Month: October 2017

I Think I’d Rather Stay Home

There is candy in the kitchen and large, violently orange pepo on the table, so I guess it can only mean one thing.

2017 pumpkin

The spooky season is upon us once more.

Sigyn and I usually have a lot of fun picking out or making Halloween costumes.  One year she was a ghost and I was the Headless Horseman.  The year after that, we dressed up like bugs and Fisi ate half the candy.  Last year she was the huntress Diana and I was (and it sticks in my throat to say this)…Captain America.

This year, Sigyn has it in her pretty little head that we need to be characters from some new movie.  Ninjajuice  Ninhydrin –no, wait, that’s a chemical.  What was it again, dearest?

Oh, Ninjago.  Yay.

Sigyn makes a very fetching Nya.


No, Sigyn, I will not come out.


No, I look ridiculous.  Look, I haven’t seen the movie, so I know nothing about this Zane character or…


…why he has such dorky hair.

Look, my love—I’m having one of my characteristic happy, brilliant ideas:  You wear the wig and go from house to house extorting confectionery, and I’ll stay home and make terrible faces at the sproutlings that come to the door. *

>|: [

* Actually, the hard job here at the house will not be passing out the candy, it will be trying to keep the Terror Twins from running out the door. **

**Although I suspect letting the naughtier of the two felines slip away into the night might be part of the human female’s plan from the outset.  ***

***Or maybe it’ll be, “You get a Starburst and you get a Starburst and you get a Starburst and you get a cat.  No, stop arguing.  You get a cat.”

A Walk a Long Time Coming, Part I: Actual Real Live Nature

The human female’s stupid bum foot (not to mention her super-lazy bum) have conspired to keep her largely out of the woods and byways in the last year.  Today, however, she has traded her air-cast for a lace-up brace and jammed her pitiful trotters into her hiking boots.  The local chapter of Texas Master Nature Nerds has asked her to lead a field trip in her beloved Lick Creek Park, and she daren’t miss that.

We’ve had the first real cold front of the season and it’s a crisp, sunny morning.  Here and there, there are a few trees that have made a half-hearted attempt at fall color.


A few have even been successful.


Unfortunately, we are sitting in a cedar elm, and the leaves are scratchy as heck.

Sigyn, true to form, has found a holly to sit in.  Whatever she sits in, she seems to like hollies best.  The leaves are definitely smoother.


Fruit’s not quite ripe yet, but that’s all right.  We’re not planning on eating it.

The fruit on this one is edible, but it’s a summer thing, so there isn’t any now.


The human says it’s called gum bumelia or woolly-bucket.  Sigyn likes it because the leaves are fuzzy underneath.  Careful, dearest!  Fuzzy is not always friendly, and this one sometimes has thorns that can extremely poke-y.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah… The human female has been walking and talking for THREE HOURS NOW.  Isn’t there any way to make her shut up?  Great Frigga’s corset!  Now she’s pointing and squealing.  What on earth could be worth such a fuss?

Ah.  That explains it.  Sigyn, get someone to boost you up—we’ll want to get a photo of you with this one.


Nodding ladies’ tresses, a dainty little terrestrial orchid that comes up in the woods in the fall.  It has a close cousin that is even rarer, and it’s out here too, but we haven’t found any today.

Still, it’s been good to get out of the house, hasn’t it?  The human female is sure to be stiff and balky tomorrow, but we could leave her home and come out again by ourselves.

Yes? It’s a date!

>|: [

A Timely PSA (Sigyn Speaks)

I try to be a cheerful person and dwell on the happy things in life, but every now and then I have to be at least a little serious.  It’s October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I’m serious about taking care of myself and getting my annual check-up.

Are you a little nervous about getting yours?  It can help to have a friend along, so let me walk you through it.  (I’m keeping my clothes on for these photos, because this is a family-safe blog, but you can bet I’ll get my actual checkup afterwards!)

The people at the Women’s Imaging Center are very nice.  They try to make the whole thing as pleasant as possible.  I think they only hire super-cheerful people for the check-in desk.

They give you one of those nifty gowns with the three armholes.


I always get a little confused about how to put it on, and it seems to come in exactly one size — S, for “Swallow.”

You can lock up your purse or whatever you like in one of their little lockers.   Go ahead and keep the key for after.


Hee hee hee!  There’s always a clipboard with an information sheet to fill out, and the pens in this waiting room look like roses!   That’s so cute!


It usually doesn’t take too long to get called back, but there are always good magazines to look at if you have to wait a little bit.


The exam room is dim, and sometimes a little chilly, and the machine is more than a bit scary-looking, but there’s nothing to be afraid of.  It’s just super high-tech.


Everyone here is in the business of saving lives and just wants to make what is a bit awkward as quick and painless as possible.   Please don’t be embarrassed.  Everyone has boobies and yours aren’t the first ones they’ve seen today.

The machine is very squeezy and you have to stay very still…


…but it’s all over before you can say “high-contrast-mammography.”  The technician may have you stick around for a few minutes.  That doesn’t mean anything is wrong!  They just want to take a quick look at the pictures and make sure they got the images they needed—and that they’re good and clear.

All done!   That wasn’t so bad, was it?   If I can do it, you can too!

Don’t forget to give yourself a treat for being brave.  I’m going to meet Loki and I think we’re going for ice cream!

:  )

All It Takes Is a Few Millimeters

The human female has a very colorful display of cards on her office wall.  She chose them specially to cover the whole gamut of biological organisms and topics, everything from a DNA molecule and red blood cells to gorillas and little meadow flowers .  Or that’s what she says anyway.  I think she just grabbed a bunch of colorful stuff and put it up with some nasty blue sticky gunk.



I like to come in here and adjust them…


One or two askew is enough to drive her absolutely screaming bonkers.


>|: [


This Wasn’t Me; These Weren’t “My” Humans

Just so we’re all on the same page,  I had nothing to do with this:

If I had, and if it had been the humans I live with, those containers would have been stuffed full of someone’s dirty laundry.

Or used Kleenex.

Or belly-button lint.

Or Cheez-whiz.

Oh, wait!  Sixty-five pounds of catnip!  Just to watch the felines be even crazier than they already are.

OR…  Okay, you get the idea.

>|: [

Nerds in the Woods, Part V: The Best Part of the Whole Day

Fresh air and trees and bones and pelts are all very well, but it might be nice to see some actual live animals.

This is more like it!  The falconers say that the smaller bird is a merlin.


She looks tiny, but they assure me she is fierce.  Her name is Freya, which is a proper Aesir name.  I approve.

I didn’t catch this fellow’s name.


But isn’t he magnificent?   Be careful, Sigyn!   Birds of prey such as these are perfectly adapted to hunt small, cute prey.

Let’s see what else is going on.  Mmm.  Look!  This booth has balls of fresh mozzarella…

Oh, wait.  That’s not cheese.  It’s clay.  My mistake.  But what are they doing with it?

Ah.  You can make fossils.  


I shall leave an imprint of my gloriousness for future generations to marvel at.  But this talk of cheese has made me hungry, and it is lunchtime, or near enough.  Let’s leave the human female to her t-shirts and leaves and go in search of something tasty.

Wait.  Is that…?  It is!  Look, Sigyn!   Do you see that woman’s shirt?  What a marvelous item of apparel!  What splendid garb!

I must get a photo of this!


My minions:  They’re everywhere.

>|: [

Nerds in the Woods, Part IV: Let Us Not Forget Our Green Friends

Not everything here at the Lick Creek Park celebration is animal-oriented.  The more chlorophyllous members of the biota are well-represented, which delights my Sigyn no end.

Someone has made a scavenger hunt consisting of trees and provided a little guide.   I have managed to find a honey locust already—look at this stupendous thorn!  It is branched, and the branches are pointy, too!   Nothing is getting past that.


When I build my palace, I shall plant a hedge of them all the way around.  And behold their marvelous fruit!  They are like flat, twisty, slightly fuzzy, black bananas.


The human female says the pulp around the seeds is edible, but why would you want to tear one of these precious curlicues apart?

Sigyn is examining the wings on a winged elm twig.


No, my sweet, winged elms do not actually fly.  But if you really wanted one to, I’m sure my magic could make it happen—just tell me where you want it to go!

The Biology graduate students from the University have made some large cutouts of plant and animal cells so that people can take cellfies.  Get it?  Cellfies?


And there’s my Sigyn, in the center of a plant cell!  Isn’t she something?

>|: [



Nerds in the Woods, Part III: Critters and Such

Several of the booths at this Lick Creek Park celebration have animal displays.   This is something which interests the both of us.  (She thinks animals are “cute;” I’m always on the lookout for vicious yet trainable species that can be conscripted into my army of conquest.)

No, Sigyn.  I’m no entomologist, but I’m fairly certain that big, shiny green beetles encased in lucite no longer want to play tag.


She thinks this is a jungle gym or a play spaceship of some sort.  I really don’t have the heart to tell her it was part of someone’s back.


She really is pretty brave around bones and skulls, provided they don’t look too much like their former wearers, all fuzzy and warm.  I’m looking at something—I think it may be a coyote—with an impressive set of teeth and room for some very large eyes.  Sigyn wants to know what the inside of her critter’s nose looks like.


Be careful, dearest!  Remember the time you got trapped in the grizzly skull!

This booth also has some pelts for petting.


Today will go down in history as the day Sigyn snorgled a skunk.

However, the fox skin, with its little face still attached, is more than a little upsetting.


Don’t fret, dearest.  Um, foxes can shed their skins like snakes, and this is one that was just too small for this handsome boy.  He, um, donated it for educational purposes.  Yes, that’s it.

And this pelt-antler combination, I believe, came from that magnificent Midgardian beast…


…the jackalope.

>|: [

Nerds in the Woods, Part II: In Which Sigyn and I do Some Nature Art

The human female’s Friends of Lick Creek Park booth has a fun activity  people can do.  It is primarily for the small, sticky people present, but nothing says grown-ups can’t try their hand.

Or, in my case, no hands.  I am moving the green marker using only the prodigious power of my magical mind.


Sleipnir’s fetlocks!  Midgardian opossums have some very strange feet…


Sigyn wants to try.  She has selected the fox track stencil.  The people at the booth have urged her to embellish the finished tracing if she so chooses.

Apparently, she chooses.


Well done, beloved!  He is the very essence of vulpine dapperness!  The sunglasses are a nice touch.  All the other kiddies are sure to be jealous.

>|: [

Nerds in the Woods, Part I: Something New

Long-time minions may have noticed that there haven’t been many nature walk this year.  The human female’s bum feet have kept her pretty close to home.  Today, though, she is back out in the woods.  Our favorite “wilderness” park is now home to a brand-new Nature Center.  The city has been building the thing for years, now, and it is finally done!

Let’s go on a quick tour and see what all the fuss is about.  I’ll be the judge of whether what we have now is better than all the trees, flowers, and grass they ripped up to put it in.  Hmm.  Curved roof, big empty room, smaller empty room,  concrete amphitheater, outdoor classroom, very-angular-not-shapes-found-in-nature sidewalks, gardens.  I must say, I’m not impressed.  No doubt it will be nicer when the city gets around to filling it with actual science.  The human female and her coworkers have provided lots of checklists and texts for displays, but none of them are up yet.  Therefore, there is still time for me to introduce misspellings, misidentifications, and various plausible yet completely erroneous “facts” into anything that goes up.

Sigyn wants a closer look at the gardens, and I’m happy enough to oblige.

Oh, these are reasonably attractive, and the butterflies seem to approve of them.


The human female is put out, though, because these pentas are not native, and she knows she thoroughly vetted the landscape plans and provided a list of attractive native plants.

Uh, oh.  The plantings also include tropical milkweed, shrimp plant, two kinds of Cuphea,, Mexican mint marigold, butterfly bush,  and powderpuff, none of which are native.  The human female has that pinched, twitchy expression she gets when there is something—or someone—who desperately needs correcting.  Best to move on before there is an incident.

What have we here?   Ah.  Various groups of nature lovers have set up booths and tables with educational displays, games, and assorted activities.  The human female is supposed to take a turn manning one of the booths.  Let’s see what’s afoot.

Hmm.  What’s all this brown cloth?  I am fairly certain that Unrepentant Package Squashers was not invited to this gathering!


And what is it they’re selling?


Oh.  The ubiquitous Midgardian garment-cum-billboard, the T-shirt.  And it has a leaf on it.  How quaint.


Oh, look—they’re for sale.  Remember:  You too can advocate for the park and be a Friend and have Friends, but it’ll cost you..

>|: [