:”I am the Lorax…” one of my favorite Suess books with a big, fat moral tucked into it. Our family is deeply enthusiastic about trees, as are all of our animals. In fact, one of our animals is part tree. Meet Lombax.
Lombax is of Topsail Island feral Cat lineage. Her crazy cat mom hid in a closet in the storage room and surprised us with kittens. Before we could even wrap our heads around this (this was a feral cat mind you-read NOT FRIENDLY) she then relocates the kittens. Where you ask? To the almost top of a pine tree. An incredibly tall pine tree, like abandon your kid in the mountains Roman times style. SO-we trapped the feral, non-maternal beast-got her a wonderful home+neuter and Shawn rescued the kittens from the tree and rehomed one and we kept Lombax. While Lombax (yes, this is a Ratchet and Clank throwback) or BaxonTraxon (like the Winnie the Pooh song “Backson”) was not to the manner born, we have managed to teach her some manners and you can pet her without being sliced to ribbons. We have not successfully convinced her that 80 foot trees are not a normal hang-out. But she LOVES to drop out of a tree, directly next to you, when you are deeply absorbed in a book thus scaring the daylights out of you and usually causing the upset of a drink, much to her delight.
Surely I am not alone in the naming of household furniture and appliances? People always say “if walls could talk”, but imagine if dining room tables could? Cafeteria tables, restaurant tables, antique zinc-topped bars that started in Italy and were shipped to restaurants in NYC, old farm tables that were hand-whittled-these would have some tales to tell!! I know I am not alone in this deep-seated respect for the personality of furniture because C.S. Lewis, Ruth Chew , Thomas Disch, Diana Wynne Jones, to name a few, wrote romping tales that centered around the magics these furnitures could perform. Thus making the book about home elements an incredibly fun read! Did you know lots of publishers initially rejected Anne of Green Gables? Or that L.M. Montgomery’s favorite flowers were hollyhocks and cosmos?
One of my plans this summer, long before this mess hit, was to plant different gardens that were author-themed! A Jane Austen garden, a L.M. Montgomery garden, a Beatrix Potter, Louisa May Alcott-you get the idea- garden-all of their favorite flowers were so very different and the resulting combinations are going to be quite interesting! It’s a bit like peeking into a diary-seeing what shapes and color combinations appealed to the minds that generated their brilliant books. (https://www.motherearthliving.com/gardening/beatrix-potter-flowers-and-herbs) Knowing so many female farmers, naturally made me interested in The Earth in Her Hands. Our beautiful plants from Green Drop Farms and Shelton Herb Farms are female-owned farms, our delicious lamb and pork comes from Southern Sheep Company, helmed by Melissa Gray, my cousin Linda is a farmer and our friend Nonie has Carol Sue Blueberry Farms and being around that many fabulous, hard-working women always reminds me not to be a lazy slug!!
I do a lot of combat with slugs, though, so it wears off on me. Did you know that cats think it’s fun to bring you slugs? They do. And slugs think it’s fun to eat your plants. I think neither thing is fun, hence slug-combat. Cats also like to bring rotting things in from the woods and sometimes the combination is simply too much and you must clean it with something industrial strength, like bleach. There is MUCH talk of bleach these days (have you seen this? it is SO FUNNY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCpf0LNYsYA ) BUT did you know bleach can EXPIRE? Did you know bleach came from SOUR MILK?
In a commerical kitchen we have to use some heavy-duty stuff to clean. One time, when I worked at a bakery on Market Street, a man was shot in our doorway, and you want to talk about putting some bleach in action…but BEFORE that, when I was still learning the ropes, when it was my turn to clean, I dumped a whole gallon of bleach in the mop bucket and then started to pour in ammonia! Luckily, an adult came screaming up to me telling me I was getting ready to die AND that I was an idiot. (Ok, I was 21, but still had not had any toxic chemical info ALSO, how on earth did women teach school at 16 and run farms and have huge families by the time they were 20 back in Little House on the Prairie days? What happened to us?) So, bleach and I don’t hang out too much unless it is an extreme situation. It was fascinating to learn though that the chemical bleach came about to replicate what sour milk and sunlight used to do for fabrics! -Side note, the Owlcation blog about bleach is great but there is some odd grammar in it, so all my editor friends prepare to cringe and shudder, even more so than you do on here.-
So instead of Clorox (did you know they own Burt’s Bees??? Is that weird or what?), I turn to Borax, 20 Mule Borax, specifically, as I own said mule. If you click the chart above it tells you loads of useful things that Borax does. It’s something I keep on hand in bulk!
We received so many texts and emails with pictures of everyone’s pizzas, #virsugardens, homemade cookies and dresses! It was wonderful to get a glimpse into everyone’s home life and it’s ALWAYS fascinating to see one thing interpreted so many different ways! Nobody’s pizzas were the same, cookies all different, home coffee bars unique and the same dress looks so different on every gal! Thanks for the inspiration-I love it!!
Until next time, please don’t let your cat stash her kittens in trees and remember NOT to mix ammonia and bleach.