Last autumn, my friends and I waited a little too long to go apple picking. We wound up with a bushel of one-step-up-from-crab apples, suitable for nothing but apple sauce and looking cute in decorative bowls. This year we were on top of it. Unfortunately, mother nature was not. After an unusually early bloom, the apple trees were all but bare by the time we got to them on Oct. 13. We got apple punked again. So instead, we picked pumpkins.

The only apples to be found were in wooden crates, picked for us. Where is the fun in that? They did, however, look much more edible than the rejects we picked last year, closer to Thanksgiving than Halloween. The town we went to was also much better than last year, with cute shops and cafes to pop into for coffee and antique window shopping and treats...

...like the most insane bacon maple doughnut you have ever seen, or really even imagined. This little (actually huge) gift from heaven made the entire trip worth it for Erin, and the tears of happiness in her eyes did the same for Julia and myself. As long as my beautiful friends are happy, so am I. And bacon makes everyone happier than apples.


Foxing around

We have been enjoying perfect open-window sleeping weather in Washington. For the past few weeks we have listened to the crickets and cicadas, instead of the hum of our absurdly loud window unit. Since our apartment backs up to a park, we have the urban luxury of natural white noise, even though one of us (the one that's not me) still likes the fan on.

One night a little while ago, a new noise worked its way into my dreams. In my dream it took the form of a crow - a big angry crow. But the noise became uglier and more guttural, coming closer as my sleep got lighter. I opened my eyes and went to the window, looking for whatever injured animal or angry witch was making this noise.

What I saw was a fox trotting up the path next to our building. It was such a big noise for such a little fox just foxing around. She has been back a few more times, on these cool open window-nights, foxing around the big city. She reminded me of these little critters I have spotted all over sweaters, makeup bags and especially scarves. Maybe one of these will have to come live with me in her honor.