Monday, September 24, 2007

C is for Charles

This is my friend Charles Torte. He is an environmental lawyer.

Word from the wise (which foxes naturally are) do NOT ask an environmental lawyer, "Where does the water in Lake Michigan come from?" Especially if you have only 15 minutes until you are supposed to take your pumpkin pie from the oven.

First, Charles corrected my grammar. Do not end a sentence, even a question, in a preposition. Rolling my eyes. Then, he whipped out a chart and gave me an hour and half lecture on watersheds, water flow, the water cycle and the effects of pesticide on algae. He even gave me a quiz. I got a 70% but I was distracted by the smell of my pumpkin pie burning and I might have nodded off a time or two during his lecture.

Charles is a nice guy if a tad stiff. He once brought his briefcase on a picnic. But what Charles really knows how to do is challenge others to conserve. (This post is brought to you by the letter C). He has given me lots of good ideas about how to recycle, reuse, regift, restrict use of chemicals and, most of all, rethink my relationship with the environment. He even gave me a nifty book called "Serve God Save the Planet."

Charles says he'll help me with a post about things you can do to help the environment too. Now, that's a good friend.

Creme Brule

B is for Beaches

Nutmeg and I went out to Grand Haven State Park this weekend. Wowzer! What a great day!!! It was 75 degrees, the sun was shining, the kites were flying, the seagulls were skulking, the boats were sailing and we were basking it all up. Well, the seagulls were annoying but I only snapped at them once or twice.

You might think that we foxes prefer slinking through the shadows at night and sleeping all day. No! That is a myth perpetuated by chicken farmers. It's chicken farmers who sleep all day. But I digress.

I love the sunshine. I love picnics. I love the beach. But, most of all, I love picnics in the sunshine on the beach and then...looking for buried treasure.

Don't I look great? Foxes add style to any setting but we look particularly stunning on the beach. Next time you head to the beach don't forget to invite a fox with you. Better yet, come on up to Michigan and head to the shore with me. The water is just fine!

Creme Brule

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hear This

This evening I was sitting in a tree with my friend Nutmeg. I know. I don't really enjoy sitting in trees either--all that rough bark and no way to find a really comfortable seat. Nutmeg likes it though so I climbed on up. Never let it be said that foxes aren't willing to branch out. Or that squirrels don't drive you up a tree. Ha! I crack myself up.

Anyway, I asked her to tell me about her cochlear implant. I thought you might like to learn what she told me.

She says that a cochlear implant is a device that helps her hear. She wears a processor on her ear. It collects sound from a microphone. It converts the sound to an electronic impulse that travels through a coil to a receiver that was implanted under her skin. The receiver sends the electronic impulses to a series of electrodes which in turn directly stimulate her auditory nerve.

She told me that it doesn't restore her hearing or give her super-sonic hearing. She can't overhear whispered conversations at the coffee shop 16 blocks away. But she can hear the wind blow, the leaves rustle and the nuts fall. She says it is a lot of hard work to learn what the different sounds mean. Once, she answered her telephone when her alarm clock went off. And she doesn't always understand what people are saying to her. But she thinks being able to hear is really cool! And I think she's really cool for trying to learn!

Creme Brule

Just Plain Nutty

This afternoon I was deep in thought...okay, snoozing when CRASH! a branch fell, knocking me to the ground. Thankfully, I was pretty close to the ground already so I didn't have far to fall.

At first, I thought that the apple trees were still holding a grudge. I don't know why they get so miffed. They're just going to drop all those apples anyway.

It turns out that my friend Nutmeg was doing a little fall pruning and she accidentally dropped the branch. That's her story. With squirrels you never can tell. They've got a nutty sense of humor.

Nutmeg is a pretty unusual squirrel. Not only does she have a PhD in horticulture but she also has a cochlear implant. And she's fluent in both Signed Exact Squirrel and Signed Exact English. She spends so much time in trees that she even knows a bit of Pidgin English...or was it Crow?

Anyway, she's an exceptionally good friend so I overlook her little "jokes." Sometimes, you've got to see the forest despite the falling trees.

Creme Brule

Hopping South?

After a few days of nippy fall weather, today was blissfully warm. I was sitting out in the grass this afternoon when a toad joined me.

He got me to wondering: what do frogs do in the winter? Do they hop a plane? Jump on a grey hound? If there are snowbirds, are there ice frogs? I asked the toad but he wasn't croaking. And people think we foxes are sly and secretive.

I could have found a book on frogs or googled "frog winter" but it was such a nice day that I just had a little nap under the tree in the shade.

Creme Brule

Monday, September 17, 2007

A+ for Adoptions!

Here is a picture of me sitting with three of my very best friends in the entire world: Sabrina, Ada and Sophie. Aren't they stunning? I'm pretty stunning myself, if I do say so. Anyway, what is more amazing is that my friends were born in India--half a world away! (It's not at all surprising that they are really smart and are my friends.)

In addition to swing bands, sunny days, pumpkin pie and picnics, one of the things that makes me happiest is adoptions. I love adoptions!

In a world that celebrates alien abductions, I can't quite understand why we aren't cooler about adoptions. (BTW, what ever happens to all the aliens who are abducted? Do they all live in condos in Jersey? This is puzzling.) Anyway, some of my best friends in the world, the ones who aren't foxes, are adopted. (People who love adoption are always open-minded about foxes and foxes always love people who are open-minded about adoption.)

Check out my "friends area" on this blog to meet a few other amazing friends of mine. We foxes run in awesome company.

Creme Brule

Three Cheers for Foxes!

My cousin The Fox (he's a celebrity so he goes by just one name) sent me this picture of his friends Mya and Aleigha. Aren't they beautiful?! Who knew we foxes had our own gorgeous cheerleaders? Ha! Take that all you fox skeptics!

I wonder if Aleigha and Mya would send me their autographs???

Creme Brule

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Not about trees

Bonhoeffer's book is not a reflection on Palms, as I said in my last post. That would be Bessy Bonheifer's book My Tree Finds Roots: Palm Trees of Palm Springs.

Deitrich Bonhoeffer's book "My Soul Finds Rest" is a reflection on the Psalms, a book of the Bible featuring the amazing poetry of King David. Geesh! I guess this puts paid to the notion that Deitrich and I are in the same company when it comes to wisdom. I can't even proof- read my own blog.

Time for a nap. Later,

Creme Brule

Paging All Book Lovers

My friend Gregory told me I am supposed to mention the books I'm currently reading. Apparently this is de rigor on blogs. Okay.

I just finished "Stop Stealing Sheep." Ha! I'm kidding. That's my friend Tracy's book and it's about good graphic design, not rustling lambs. I tell you: foxes are not the sneaky killers you all seem to think we are.

I do admit to enjoying a good mystery now and again...although I've never read any about paltry poultry killers. The book I am enjoying right now is "My Soul Finds Rest" by the amazing, unmistakable Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

I wonder what Bonhoeffer means in German. It must mean something like "good writer", "great thinker" or "wow." This is an incrediable book, a reflection on the Palms. I warn you though: do not start this book unless you want to think deeply and to face some hard challenges--even for a swell, kind fox like myself.

I've been dipping into a couple of other lighter books too. See? Not a chicken cookbook or "Deception for Dummies" among them. We foxes are really quite gentle and wise. But today, I think I'll pull out "Lyle, Lyle Crocodile" and visit an old friend.

Creme Brule

The Sun and the Son

My Granny always told me never to talk about religion or politics in mixed company--which this is since some of you are not foxes. I hesitate to say anything but, after all, it is Sunday so let me say: Happy Lord's Day to you. I hope you had a lovely morning at the church of your choice.

I'm having a delicious day. Worship was awesome, my friend Tracy gave me a new picnic basket, the sun is shining and I've got a great new book to read. What's not to like?

Want to join me in a stroll around the block? Or pop in a good cd and snooze in the sun. Whatever your pleasure, enjoy this day the Lord has made!

Creme Brule

Saturday, September 15, 2007

An Apple a Day

It's Apple Picking Time in Michigan! There's nothing I love better than heading out to my local orchard. Ahhhhh...the smell of dust blown in my face as I whiz 150 per hour miles on a rickety old wagon down a dirt path scant millimeters from the sharp skewers of apple tree branches bent on gouging out my eyes...

Actually, I had a wonderful time. The ride on the tractor was less than tranquil but once my friends and I were out in the orchard it was lovely--sun on the branches, beautiful red orbs dancing among the green leaves, that first juicy bite of crisp apple right off the tree....

Picking apples is an art form. First, you select the perfect apple: red, shiny, and a little pert. It does not have to be the biggest apple on the tree. Alas, it is usually the highest one. However, a true apple lover cannot be dissuaded by a bit of discomfort. You must risk life on limb to climb for the tempting fruit. But be warned! An apple tree may appear to be benign and trustworthy but they have a tinge of revenge in them. Climb carefully and don't forget to keep your insurance paid up.

Creme Brule

Picnic Anyone?

The world is a busy place. No one stays still long. They are on the go. If they are forced to stay in one place for more than 30 seconds, they whisk out their pda-blackberry-cell phone contraptions and check out mentally.

Me, I'm more for a quiet pace and a quiet place. Corny though it is (and, by the way, I love corn--more about that later), I think what the world needs more is love sweet love..... Are you humming along? or am I humming alone?

Anyway, picnics! That's the answer. Leave the palm pulser at home and go sit underneath a palm tree...or a pine tree...or oak...or whatever floats your boat. You cannot be stressed on a picnic. It's impossible.

Today, I packed a lovely lunch for two. In a nod to our friends to the south, I served guacamole, chips (El Matador!), enchiladas and soft drinks. Are soft drinks Latin American? Probably not. Oh well. At least we had chocolate for dessert. Knowing the need for a bit of improvisation in life, I suggested we start with our chocolate first.

I feel nice and calm now--ready to take on another week. Why don't you join me next time? The only thing better than a picnic is one with lots of friends.

Creme Brule

What's in a name?

I am Creme Brule Fox. I live in a cosy cottage in the woods of Western Michigan. I like swing bands, good books, long walks, pumpkin pie and Sunday mornings. The only thing I raid is my own fridge. I haven't ever hassled a chicken although I did picket a processing plant once, protesting chemical additives.

You see? Foxes are just like you...except we have really awesome looking tails...and cool names....and we are snazzy dressers. But otherwise, we're like you...unless you are a no-good, lazy, dirty chicken-thief. But then if you were, why would you be reading a nice blog like this? Exactly.

Sincerely, Creme Brule

Getting Started

A few months ago I was complaining that foxes are completely misunderstood. People think we're sneaky, dishonest, prone to a life of crime and untrustworthy around poultry. That might describe a fox or two but only the ones in elected office. The rest of us are salt of the earth.

My friend Chuck told me I needed a blog. I thought he said bog. I'm all for wetland ecosystems but I failed to see how that would change the opinions of the masses. Then my friend Lucy suggested a log. My Uncle Phineas lived in a log for years, apparently quite happy despite a few infestations of termites. I prefer my cosy cottage though.

Finally, I got the picture: a blog. Aha! Perfect. And so now I will introduce myself and tell you a little about my life. Hopefully, you will form a new opinion of foxes and help me spread the word: foxes are fantastic!