Month: December 2018

Now Hear This–Helpful Advice From Loki

If you want to take this:

potato

To make this:

augratin

Using this:

mandolin

You had better use this:

pusher

Or you will end up with this:

wristband

And this:

thumb

She did this aaaall by herself.

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ENOYING OTHER PEOPLE’S PRESENTS, PART II: Of Mischief and Mirrors

Let us see what else is under the tree that isn’t marked “Loki” but which can be turned profitably to my use.

I am sensing a theme here…

totoropencil

The pencil matches the puzzle from yesterday.  That’s cute, but how does one help with the other?  It’s a fancy pencil, one that rotates the lead so that it is always worn to a sharp point.  Clever.  Bet I can “adjust” the mechanism for maximum mischief.  Or, if not, a very pointy pencil makes a very good improvised weapon…

Ah.  This has even more promise.

christmasink

Blue ink!  One of the human female’s fountain pens is currently filled with a very lovely but thoroughly misbehaving blue called Liberty’s Elysium.  Misbehaving, because I nudged it with a trifling little curdle spell, which was just enough to make it clot up and stop writing in the middle of a sentence, which is hilarious–at least for me.

The human female admired this ink at some point in the past, so it showed up in her stocking.  It’s a pricey brand, so that’s a good present.  I won’t meddle with this one.  I’ll see that it behaves in an exemplary fashion, with nary a blot.  Note, however, that it was a one-off, made by Menteverde for the big stamp show in the realm’s capital this year.  I’ll let the human female fall in love with it, then make sure no other bottle is ever available again.

Sigyn is in raptures over another of the human female’s presents.

christmascompact

I am the farthest thing from a needlework connoisseur, but even I can tell that someone took a lot of pains to make all of those tiny stitches.

chrismascompact2

There’s a little thumb latch, so it would appear that this is meant to open.  What’s inside?

christmascompact3

Just the most beautiful face in the whole world!

I shall create a diversion involving the felines and something chewable or smashable, and in the resulting confusion whisk this lovely mirror away where Sigyn can enjoy it and the human female can’t foul its glass with her ugsome visage.

Still playing by the Cat Rule:  What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine if I can get it.

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Enoying Other People’s Presents, Part I: Bits and Pieces

It will surprise no one that I operate on the Cat Principle:  What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine if I can get my hands on it.

Having enjoyed my icicle, eaten my share (and more!) of cookies and bacon rolls, and laughed at the human female getting socks, I am now ready to explore other people’s Yule gifts.  If I like them, I may appropriate them.  If I’m unimpressed, I may…alter…them a bit, especially if the recipient really, really likes them.

The human female received this curious little box:

puzzle1

Sigyn says the creature on the cover looks familiar.

The box is labeled in a language I do not read, and my Allspeak is not helping very much.  I shall refer to the printed insert.

puzzle2

Odin’s eyepatch!  That’s no help!

Still, it’s a jigsaw.  We know how those work, don’t we, my petal?  It is well-sealed.  How fortunate that I always have a dagger about my person.

puzzle3

What odd pieces!  They are translucent, so one has to look carefully to ascertain that they are picture-side up.  I approve of the fact that many of them are green.  Sigyn appears to have found an eye.  Well done, my love!

puzzle4

We are making good progress.   We have mostly finished the Big Creature and the Smaller Auxiliary Creatures.  Now all that is left is the foliage which, even though it is green, is boring. 

puzzle5

I have reached my monthly limit of jigsaw.  Sigyn, I shall leave it to you to complete the image.

Ah!  I see you are down to the solid white pieces.  Since they are all roughly the same shape (though not identical), I fear that this is going to be trial and error.

puzzle6

All complete!

puzzle7

You can write it down, Sigyn:  “Dear Diary,  Today I completed a jigsaw puzzle four times taller than myself!”  That is quite an accomplishment!

Time to pack it back into its box.  I may  keep a piece for myself, though, so that the human female is never able to entirely complete it.

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She Finally Got Around To It

A very Happy Yule to all my admirers, from the land of opened presents, over-tired mortals, and delicious smells.

I am relieved about the delicious smells.  For the longest time, I thought the human female wasn’t going to do any holiday baking this year.  FINALLY, she got her act together yesterday, at the last damn minute.

She started with the Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread.  Sigyn and I like them because they are festively red and green inside.  The human female likes them because, since the dough does not have any eggs, she can lick the beaters without fear of contracting some vile intestinal upset.  (Which is the very antithesis of festive.)

She doesn’t make these cookies often because A) She is lazy, and B) They contain a shocking amount of butter.  Therefore, Sigyn and I paid close attention, in case we want to whip up a batch of our own sometime.  (And not share.)

The recipe is from an old magazine and is available online.

xmas-cookies1

This is good, because I find writing out recipes to be completely tedious.

The recipe doesn’t make very many, so she made a double batch.  This involved a lot of pistachios.

xmas-cookies2

Or, as Sigyn likes to call them, smish-smashios.  The recipe doesn’t say to cut them up, but the human female says it make shaping the ultimate cookies easier.

Double cranberries came next.

xmascookies3

I feel safer when Sigyn is far away from knives.

Behold the shocking amount of butter!  The recipe calls for it to be softened, so my sweetie sat on it for a while to warm it up.

xmas-cookies4

Part of why these cookies are so yummy is that there is a good amount of fresh orange zest in them.

xmas-cookies5

I had to make sure Sigyn minded the micro-plane grater.  It is very sharp!  And a pain to clean.

Sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and quite a bit of messy beating, and we had dough!

xmas-cookies6

The best part about this dough is that there are no eggs, so it can be eaten straight from the bowl…

Still, enough dough survived to be formed into logs and chilled overnight.  Then it was a matter of slicing the logs

xmascookies6

And baking them until just golden on the bottom.  The red and green insides are quite festive.

xmascookies7

After that, she made gingerbread, and then followed it all up with her favorite Yule breakfast treat.

baconrolls

BACON ROLLS!!!

She may be annoying, but the woman can bake.

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Ahahahahaha! Snort! Ahahahaha!

I swear on my pointy helmet that I was not responsible, but…

sox1

Ehehehehe… Maybe it’s just the box….

Ahahahahaha!  Nope!

The human female…

sox2

Got socks for Yule.  ALL the socks!

So, so richly deserved!

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It’s a Tradition

The human female’s family used to have a tradition—the children were allowed to open one gift on the eve of Yule.  The human female says that somehow, it always turned out to be new pajamas—or else a big box of crayons so that they stayed busy and out of the way of the grown-ups and their holiday preparations.

Sigyn has mentioned this way of celebrating multiple times in the last week.  I can certainly take a hint when it is as unsubtle as a moose on the subway.  Very well, Sigyn, we can open one present now.  I’ll even let you choose.

If you end up with socks, don’t blame me

Ah!  Excellent choice!  I have been wondering about this parcel myself.  I have shaken it a few times, but I have not heard anything.  (It may very well be socks.)

crystal-box1

It is from the human female’s sister, though, so it is probably not socks.  Presents from her are often interesting, one-of-a-kind things.  For all I know, there’s a zeppelin in there.

The wrapping is actually a sparkly bit of ribbon.  That’s rather clever, and I approve of the color. 

crystal-box2

The box appears to be a home-made affair, cut down from something larger.  There is tape, glue, and plastic involved.

crystalbox3

What do you have there, Sigyn?  Ah!  It is a most lovely crystal!  It looks for all the world like a giant icicle!

crystal-box4

A very fitting gift for a Frost Giant, wouldn’t you say?   Perhaps I shall make it into a scepter.  Or–I know!  We can hang it in a sunny window!  I imagine it will make lovely rainbows.

That is a very good gift!  You can write the human female’s sister a thank you note.  (I do not do thank you notes.)

Meanwhile, I am going to go poke and shake the other presents under the tree, and if there is anything that looks or sounds particularly promising, I shall remove the tag and replace it with one bearing my name.

That is MY Yule tradition.

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What?! Another Party?!

I can’t believe it.  It’s another Yule party.  This is the one that the mortals’ church staff has every year.  It varies.  It used to be a potluck.  The last few years it’s been upstairs at a pizzeria.  Tonight it’s at a local restaurant.  Sigyn and I have tagged along.  Church and churchy people make me nervous, but Sigyn likes the whole deal, so I’m going to make sure she doesn’t get lost in the crowd and has a good time.

Odin’s eyepatch!  “Crowd” was right!  This place is sardinified!  There’s barely room to move around, and even the humans say they don’t know half the people here.  Who knew there were so many volunteers, interns, campus ministers, visiting missionaries, and so on?  I shan’t bother trying to learn their names.  It’s not as if one could hear an actual conversation in here anyway–the noise of chatter is deafening.

Looks like there is going to be a random gift exchange again this year.  Last year we had all the good presents–and they were all stolen from us.

xmasparty1

Sigyn thinks this parcel looks “friendly”.  I say, with that red nose it’s highly likely that Old Santy has been at the wine already. (There does seem to be a good bit of wine on offer.)

Let us peruse the menu:

xmasparty2

The human female is ordering what is basically a tarted-up chicken parm.  She’s so boring.

I must say, although we are a bit cramped now that we are all seated and though it is still noisy, this is a nice place.  Sigyn is making friends with the salt shaker.

xmasparty3

Dearest, just because it has a cute little “body” and a little “head” doesn’t mean it’s alive and capable of holding a conversation.

But at least it’s glassware she has no chance of getting trapped in!

Ah!  Nosh-itizers!

xmasparty4

The toasted bread is nice, but the smashy olive goop, unfortunately, tastes of olives.  No one at the table is liking this except the one woman who is an olive fiend.  Here, you can have ours!

The salads have arrived.  The human male is less than enthusiastic.

xmasparty5

Seeing as how he loathes both mushrooms and olives.

The gift-draw has commenced.  Our table-mate has received this lovely tree.

xmasparty6

Sigyn? Do you want me to steal it?  Just say the word, and I will, even if it isn’t our turn to pick a present.

The main course is arriving, and the gift-draw continues. The humans have just opened up a parcel which has turned out to be lottery tickets.

xmasparty7

The temptation to scratch them off and see if I’ve won anything, and then hide any winning cards so they don’t get stolen, is pretty strong.

Ooo!  Dessert!  Sigyn is all about strawberry cheesecake.

xmasparty8

The humans had the lottery tickets stolen from them.  The human male ended up with something completely lame and traded it, post-exchange, for a handy cell-phone charger caddy thingie.

xmasparty10

Except that it turns out not to charge anything.  It’s just a place to plunk phones, with their charging cords hanging out the back.  Feel pretty silly now, don’t you, mortal?

At least he didn’t get the calendar with photos of dogs pooping or the enormous jar of pickles. No one wanted those.

And there you have it.  Food eaten, gifts exchanged, ho ho ho and Good Yule to all.  Time to go home where it is quiet and spacious.  Easy-peasy.

xmasparty9

Now, if I can just convince Sigyn that it is now all right to let the prize ticket go…

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