Crawling Out of a Rut, Part I: Dinner in the Offing

The humans have been invited to dine at the home of one of their friends (who is also one of the human male’s coworkers–small world.)  I and my Sigynificant Other have been invited as well.  Fisi is also tagging along.  That dratted hyena has become unruly of late, so we are working hard on socialization.  Plus, if dinner conversation lags, that animal can be counted upon to do something awful and comment-worthy.

This friend and his significant other are going to be doing the cooking. I wonder what they’re making?  Actually, I don’t care what’s on the menu.  Any change from the fare the human female comes up with is sure to be delightful.  She’s not so bad at cookies, but she says that in hot weather her “cooking mojo” disappears.  Huh.  I’m not sure what a “mojo” is, but anything missing in this house is probably under the sofa with the crinkle balls and catnip mice.  But I digress.

The humans have helpfully brought along a long loaf of bread.  The female didn’t make it, so it’s probably all right.

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The friend proposes to spread the bread with butter and herbs and bake it.

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Fisi!  I know what you are thinking, and NO, you cannot eat butter right out of the tub!  If you behave, perhaps the friend will let you lick the knife.

The humans have also brought along some hard cider in most intriguing shade of pink.

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Sigyn, who is fond of apples and the color red,  says this is close enough to both to be “wonderful.”  She’s in swoony love with it and the bottle’s not even open yet.

(sip) Fortunately, also tastes pretty good.

The meal is commencing with a salad.  Fisi has apparently mistaken the red, moist tomatoes for raw wildebeeste flesh…

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Here comes the main course.  Hmm.  This is odd…  I am having a bout of what mortals call “Déjà vu.”  I could swear I have eaten this, in this place, before.

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Oh.  Wait. Riiiight.  That’s because I have eaten this, here, before.  As I recall, it was quite tasty.  Dig in, Sigyn!  And don’t let Fisi hog all the sausagey bits.

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Sigyn Making Brassicaceous Friends

Recently the human female, for reasons passing understanding, decided that radishes would make an interesting and low-calorie snack food.  As if anyone has ever bought and eaten radishes on purpose.

Sigyn is being helpful and slicing some up.

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They are destined for the lunchbox.  Or maybe the salad.  I can’t be bothered to keep track of the human female’s gluttonies.

Great Frigga’s Corset!  This particular rootlet appears to have more than the average amount of personality!

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Sigyn has made friends, and somehow I do not think it is going into anyone’s lunch…

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Floral Carnage

Every year, I see to it that the wild sunflowers spring up all over the humans’ property.

The human female likes them because they bring the birds and squirrels to munch on the seeds.

Sigyn likes them because they are bright and, well, sunny.

I like them because they get ratty-looking pretty quickly as the season progresses, and they make the neighbors shake their head at the general unkemptitude of the yard.  Also, I always make sure that the plants (which are a human female-and-a-half high) grow right up against the driveway.  The human female has to fight them back just to get into her car, and half the time she gets covered in pollen and sticky sap into the bargain.

Seriously, they do crowd.

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Aaauugghhh! He’s everywhere!

The human female is out at the big metal building all full of dead plants again.  Recently, she’s been going through the cabinet full of “historical specimens.”  These are the superannuated sheets, all collected before 1880.

Largely, these specimens area already in the database, but if they’re not, she’s having to make entries for them: Family, genus, specific epithet, locality, date, collector, etc.   All of these old labels are hand-written, and deciphering the poor penmanship can take just as long as typing it all in.

This is the label for what appears to be the oldest specimen in the collection.

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Look at that!  Do you see how some of S’s are written like F’s?  This sheet is databased as having been collected in “Valois, France.”  But was it really?

Great Frigga’s corset!  The human female with a mystery to solve is like a terrier with a pork chop bone.  She’s hitting the internet, doing some research and availing herself of  an online translating app.

(later) She thinks she’s figured it out.   The plant was collected by Jacques Gay.  It is Festuca valesiaca Gaudin.  The rest of the label says, “April, 1805.  It is common nearly all over Valais.  We have found it near Zermatt in 1809.  It grows also in Lausanne, in the territory of St. Sulpice (1809).”  So it’s from the canton of Valais, Switzerland, not France!  This makes sense, since ol’ Jaques was Swiss.

Math time!  If it took her half an hour to figure all of that out and there are hundreds of plants in this cabinet, what is the likelihood of my getting home to my beloved Sigyn some time this decade?

When I come to rule this realm, there will be just one country, with MY name on it, which will save so much trouble.

Next up:  this scrawny grass specimen.

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There’s not as much writing on this one, and part of the information is printed, so perhaps it won’t take so long.

Let’s see…  Aristida ramosissima Engelmann.   That was easy.   “Leg.” is short for the Latin for “collected by,” so George Vasey was the collector, some time in 1862.  And where’s it from?

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Aaauugghhh!  Seriously?  Some idiot named a Midgardian town after my horrible father?!  Everywhere I go, it’s my stupid family.  If it isn’t someone’s ridiculous visage, it’s their loathsome name.  Am I to be allowed no peace?

That’s it, female.   You are done for the evening.  Take me home.

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P. S.   Valais is famous for these creatures.  I think I know what Sigyn is getting for her next birthday.

 

Keeping it Real

The human female needs another project like she needs a hole in the head.  I mean that—her craft room has so many UFOs (unfinished objects) that the rest of the household calls it Area 51.

Still, her little ferrety brain keeps coming up with new things she wants to do.  Recently, she decided to try designing a lot of embroideries based on wildflowers.  She made a list of plants she’d like to include.

Actually, she made several lists.

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But she missed a few.

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She’s a naturalist, so I know she’d like to stitch complete representations of the state’s flora.  And I know that she plans to pick and fondle everything before lovingly sketching and charting it.

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A Gaming Gathering, Part III: Scraps and Snacks

Many of the games being played have never been played by this group before.  Sometimes, the players have to punch out all the pieces before they can even begin.

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No telling what this sprue goes to.

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Do you know, I bet if we take this back to the house, the felines would like to play with it and shred it all over.

One of the highlights of a gaming weekend is the food.  The humans made a half a pig’s worth of smoked pork, and there is slaw to go with it, along with six different kinds of chips, more cherries than I have seen in one place, ever, and enough sweets to put us all in a diabetic coma.

Still, some people have elected to get take-out.  The Knittery Friend’s small offspring have a tiny pizza.

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Sigyn thinks it’s “cute” and is just enchanted.

Say…  This gives me an idea.  The human female has been working hard, doing kitcheny things, and she deserves a treat.  I think I’ll order a very special pizza just for her.

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A Gaming Gathering, Part II: Up to My Neck in Spuds

There are always new games at a gaming gathering, ones neither Sigyn nor I have seen before.  Many are set-collecting games, or strategy games, or monster-bashing games.  This one looks a little different…

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No, Sigyn, I’m not sure I want to play.  But I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to read the instructions.

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Potato King?  Potato War?  What is this??

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What’s in the box besides the rules?  A burlap sack of lumpiness, apparently.  What’s inside?

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Ah.  A bushel of soft “potatoes.”

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Sigyn is smitten by their spuddy squishiness.

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I find them less endearing and am not amused.

Though I do have a sudden craving for fries…

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