2019 proves to be a big year at the Fox Den

by Josie Fox

Hello and welcome to the final edition of Notes from the Fox Den for 2019! What a year it has been, and how quickly it seems to have flown by.

It feels as if we were just starting the year, blinked and then it was over.

So many exciting and wonderful things occurred this year and Mr. Fox and I are going into 2020 with very happy hearts.

Our furry family has expanded with us adding three cats, Draco, Narcissa and Bellatrix, giving us a total of five four-legged kiddos.

The dogs and cats are getting along well and I never have to worry about being cold as they tend to all vie for a spot on my lap.

Our two-legged family grew as well. Jesse’s sister welcomed her third child and our niece Jessica married the love of her life, allowing me to become an aunt twice more. If I haven’t mentioned it, I love being an aunt, especially since I am considered the fun aunt.

I even got to share the stage with my great-niece Carolyn again this year as she and I were cast in ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ at Cherokee Civic Theatre. Who knows, maybe this will become our annual tradition, where she and I audition for the Christmas production each year.

We crossed a few places off our travel bucket list in September, when we crossed the pond to visit merry ole England. We spent three fun filled and fast paced nights in London and quickly became a fan of the Underground and railway system.

We found Paddington Bear at Paddington Station on our way to Newbury for a roaring 20’s event at Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey to those who watch the show); wandered around the actual sets and props for the Harry Potter movie series at Warner Bros. Studios; toured the apartment suites at Windsor Castle; enjoyed the Georgian architecture of Bath; ate lunch at a pub that was established in the 14th century while in Lacock and took in the splendor of Stonehenge.

On our final day in London we enjoyed the most wonderful breakfast in an igloo at the Coppa Club, where we overlooked the Thames River and Tower Bridge before heading to Kings Cross Station to board the train that would take us to Edinburgh, Scotland.

I must say, there are simply no words to fully describe how beautiful Scotland is. From the formidable castle overlooking Edinburgh to the rolling hills and lochs of the Highlands, everything is just breathtaking.

I definitely left a small piece of my heart in the Highlands and of all the places I have travelled, that is the one location I can see myself moving to.

I hope to make it back someday soon and spend more time roaming the trails and countryside around Glencoe.

Our next adventure is taking us back to Ireland for a week in September 2020.

Since being diagnosed with gluten and dairy intolerance earlier in the year, I have struggled and adapted to a new way of cooking and eating.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that I have followed the diet restrictions 100 percent and I have cheated by consuming gluten… a decision I always regret later.

However, I am learning what I can substitute in my cooking and have found a few new recipes that I enjoy.

I have accepted the fact that I am going to have to give up bread, as I have not found a dairy/gluten free bread that I like as of yet. I welcome any suggestions you may have.

I have a friend that lives in the Austin area and have found a restaurant there that is certified gluten free and I love going to it.

I don’t have to ask for a special menu or read the ingredients closely as I can eat anything that is listed. And everything I have had so far is super delicious.

After this diagnosis, my hat goes off to anyone that has to follow a special diet.

The struggle is real and I now know it all too well.

Mr. Fox and I also celebrated a big milestone, just as the year was coming to an end.

We decided to purchase our first home and closed on a property we loved around mid-December.

We moved in just in time to celebrate Christmas in our own home.

I am looking forward to ringing in the New Year as first-time homeowners.

We were very fortunate to have an excellent group of realtors and lenders to work with and were able to go through the entire process of looking at the property to closing in less than 30 days.

As we get ready to head into a new year and a new decade, I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful friends, a loving family and all those who subscribe to the Cherokeean. Thank you all for the support shown throughout this last year.

You all are appreciated beyond measure and I am so glad I get to share my life with you.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that the new year brings you many blessings.