Notes from the Fox Den

by Josie Fox

Hello and welcome to the Fox Den! Many people were excited as a long anticipated cold front moved into the area at the beginning of the week. The cooler weather gave us a tiny taste of fall, and had us reaching for some long sleeves.

Although summer has always been one of my favorite seasons, fall is a close second. The crisp air, the leaves changing colors (even if we don’t see that as much in our area as other states), sitting around a fire with family and is all about as close to perfect as you can get.

Just as it states in Anne of Green Gables, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” To me, October 1 marks the beginning of the holiday season and the most wonderful time of the year.

We begin with Halloween, my favorite holiday of them all. I have always loved dressing up and passing out candy to all the little ghosts and ghouls. From the store-bought costumes to the hand-made creations, it is always fun to see the creativity and imagination as littles turn themselves into favorite characters.

I’m just glad to see the costumes have come a long way since I was a kid in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Those plastic, one piece contraptions with the thick masks left us barely able to see or breathe. I remember having to push my mask up between each house.

Some of my fondest memories are when my brother Joe would take me trick-or-treating. He was eight years older than me, so when I got a chance to hang out with him and his friends, I felt as if I were on top of the world. Now I enjoy getting to make those same kind of memories with my nieces and nephews.

Thanksgiving and Christmas tie for my second favorite holiday, and how wonderful they follow in line right behind Halloween. Although Thanksgiving is going to be a little bit of a challenge this year. I am already looking up recipes that are gluten and dairy free that I can try out before our family get together. Since I have so many new dietary restrictions, Mr. Fox and I have decided to host the festivities at our house.If anyone would like to share their favorite GF/DF recipes with me, I would gladly welcome any suggestions, they can be emailed to me at

I adore hosting big family dinners and having my house filled to the brim with those that I love. We looking forward to our Thanksgiving celebration, which we are having early so Mr. Fox can attend. Thanks to his work schedule, he is normally out of state on Thanksgiving day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Along with looking for great recipes, I have also started work on my pie crust designs for this year. I fear that it may be hard to top the design I had last year (see picture inset). For her birthday this year, my great niece Carolyn asked for help making a pretty pie, on which she did most of the work. I am hoping she wants to assist with the holiday pies as well. Being in the kitchen with my grandmother and mom was always the best part of Thanksgiving when I was her age. Those ladies taught me the art and joy of cooking and how wonderful it would be to pass along those skills to the next generations.

Talking about cooking, I think the Cherokeean may need to do another recipe contest like we did last year. That was really fun and a great way to share tried and true holiday favorites with everyone. Hmmmm, y’all keep a look out in the upcoming weeks to see what we come up with this year.

Christmas is going to be a little more special this year. My niece and I auditioned for ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ at the Cherokee Civic Theatre and were each cast. Getting to share the stage with her, while telling the Christmas story is going to be magical.

So mark your calendars now for the weekend of Dec. 13-15 and come see a great play with an amazing cast as they bring a heartwarming story to life.

I’m debating on what type of decor to put up this year for Christmas. A couple of months ago, Mr. Fox rescued a kitten from the middle of Henderson Street in Rusk. The poor thing was barely four weeks old and weighed less than a pound. He is now as tall as our miniature pinscher and into everything. I am not sure if a Christmas tree would be safe. A friend said to put orange oil on the limbs as that would deter him from attacking/climbing the tree.

We really do have the perfect window and spot for a tree, but I don’t want to come home to it laying in the floor everyday. Tips from any of our cat loving readers? What do you do at Christmas to help keep your tree safe?

Until next time, enjoy the start of the holiday season, and I can’t wait to hear some of your tips, tricks and recipes.