Month: April 2020

What’s All This Hoopla?

Sometimes, friends, the best mischief is the long…slow… one.  Any miscreant can be naughty on the spur of the moment—blurt out something crude but funny, knock over something priceless, strew the sidewalk with banana peels and the bathroom floor with jacks—but it takes a Master Mischiefician to pull off the long con, the impracticably complex practical joke, the well-crafted work of mayhem that  ages like a fine wine.

The human female has just discovered such a one, made by yours truly.

You may recall that over-ambitious needlework project she’s been working on for years now.  It took her forever to chart it, and she’s been plugging away at the stitching since February of last year, as much as her feeble joints will allow.

She’s fairly satisfied.  I will admit, the stitching part of it does look pretty good.  But she’s been plagued by shiny hoop-marks that show up every time she takes the project out of the hoop to store it.

See?  There’s one right there.  (Also cat hair.)

hoopmark1

In the right light, they’re actually quite noticeable, especially since the fabric is black. She can’t think how they’re happening, because I very helpfully wrapped her hoop with twill tape for her, a trick every needlewoman knows for keeping the fabric taut and the stitches un-abraded.  Expensive hoop, too, so what the the heck is going on?

hoopmark2

Very carefully wrapped.  That bottom hoop fits snugly inside the top hoop and…

Wait for it.

The light is dawning.

It’s only a wee 40-watt bulb, but I think she’s beginning to see just where things are going wrong.

Bing!  It’s the outside, top hoop that’s supposed to be wrapped, so that it doesn’t ever touch the face of the stitching.

hoopmark3

Like a fine wine, friends, like a fine wine.

>|: [

Instant Fun

The human female is cooking again.  She’s found a recipe she wants to try, for a roast turkey breast that can be made in her beloved Instant Pot.  Looks simple enough.

I actually like it when she gets the pot out.   The recipes she finds online invariably promise Dinner! In! No! Time!  She always forgets that there’s still the prep time and the run-up to the pressure cook cycle and the pressure release time, and the standing time, so that fifteen minutes can turn into an hour or more.  And then she’s cross and hungry and I’m tickled and over in the corner eating all the good snacks. 

Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll…  She finds it more than a little annoying that she has to scroll past four pictures and two ads and a video she won’t watch and a cute little article about how good this dish is and another photo and another ad and a shopping list, all before she gets to the actual recipe, somewhere down around the bottom of the page.

There it is.

Hmm.  One envelope turkey gravy.  That’s supposed to go in at the end, right?  No?  In with everything at the start?  Are you sure that’s wise, mortal?

Very well.  Have it your way.  Follow the recipe.

….

What is that noise?!  I don’t think I’ve heard the Instant Pot make that noise before.  It does not sound happy, no it does not.

instant pot burn notice

That can’t be good.  I guess you’ll have to vent it and scrape up all the stuck-on bits and reset the pot.

….

There’s that noise again!

instant pot burn notice

You didn’t learn, did you?  Nope.  Tsk, tsk. Now I guess you’ll have to take the roast out and pour out the rest of the contents and scrub the pot and start aaaaall over, setting verything up a second time, sans gravy mix.

How late is dinner, now, hmm?

>|: [

Shopping Trip Ruined, But Possible Fun Ahead

If there is one single good thing about this veritable house arrest  sheltering in place situation, it’s that I, not being subject to mortal laws or mortal germs, am free to visit any closed-up shop I care to.  Doesn’t matter how chained shut the doors are, a quick teleport and I’m in.

Today, I’m in the mood for some new reading material, so I’m in the local used book shop in search of something good.  I probably can’t expect that they’ll have a decent magic section, or any volumes on how to take over Midgard.  History?  Maybe.  Maybe a novel?  I should probably also look and see if they have any coloring books for Sigyn.  She’d like one, I’m sure.

Wait, what’s this junk?

half-price marvel game2

Ugh!  What is Thor’s ugly face doing here?  And as if my thick-muscled, thick-headed oaf of a brother weren’t enough, there’s all his stoopid friends, too.  There are a couple I don’t recognize, but I’m sure they’re every bit as annoying.

Thanks, Thor. Day ruined.

Odin’s eyepatch!  There’s more dumb merchandise over here.  Mark my words—I know that mortals, being stuck in the house and bored, are playing more board games these days, but if anyone brings this monstrosity into the house, there will be a smiting.

half-price marvel game

Hmm.  I may have spoken too soon.  Look–in this box, Thor and his merry band of self-aggrandizing idiots are all twee little tokens.  I think I just might have to buy  take this home, so Tiny Thor can be introduced to Mr. Electrolux…

The day is shaping up fine after all!

>|: [

A Somewhat Subversive Walk

Long-time minions may recall that Sigyn and I used to favor a walk to the small pond that used to be in our neighborhood.  You may also recall that some money-grubbing developer from the Big City to the South came and bulldozed away that pond to build some Large, Ugly Apartments.  I swore, then, that I would get back at him someday.  Sigyn can’t go past the place without mourning a little, for the trees and the turtles.

NO ONE makes my Sigyn cry and goes unpunished.

Today, on our morning walk, we have spotted what looks like a little trail that runs between the Large, Ugly Apartments and a small, remaining bit of woodland that’s too wild and wet to develop.  I believe it’s supposed to be a private walking path for the sole use of the residents of the LUA.

It is, therefore, very much in the spirit of a big, nose-thumbing neener-neener-neener that we are taking this path, to thoroughly enjoy whatever we can spot in the woods by its side.  (Since the human female is once again stumping about with her foot in an aircast boot, she is not very keen on going out to larger, wetter, muddier woods.  Sigyn and I may have to go without her.  We miss the sedge meadow.)

These are some very dense woods, and they go right up to the edge of the sidewalk.  There are all sorts of things in the understory–hollies, beautyberries, sumac, saplings of oak and elm, and something–look, Sigyn!  Do you see that small tree with white—

April vaccinium

… flowers?  Well, that didn’t take long.  She scurried up that thing like she was greeting an long-lost friend.  And, in a sense, I suppose she is, since farkleberry is an old and dear acquaintance.  It’s good to know there are still some in the neighborhood.

Stump.  Pause.  Stump.  Pause.  Stump.  Pause.  Norns’ nighties, woman!  You are slow enough in the boot, do you have to stop and look at every single blossom, as well?

I haven’t had my breakfast yet, and I might be a tad impatient.  But Sigyn’s having fun, so I will do my best to quiet my rumbly tummy and resign myself to our positively doddering pace.

I suppose this is a good place to walk.  There are purple spiderworts at the edge of the treeline and some wood sorrel and–sniff, sniff!–something very fragrant up ahead.

Ah.  Honeysuckle.

honeysuckle

Sigyn is delighted since it smells so good, and I’m delighted because the human female loathes the stuff.  Not only is it an invasive exotic, she says, but even though the nectar is supposed to be sippable, she tried it once and spent the rest of the night puking.  Ehehehe!  I’d have paid money to see that.  I wonder if the nectar is detectable if mixed into, say, lemonade?

Great Frigga’s corset!  What is that?

s-orchid2

The flowers make a double spiral up the stem.

Oh, right.  Sigyn, do you remember when we saw the orchids on your favorite outcrop in the next county over?  I think these may be something similar.  Go stand next to some for scale.

s-orchid4

Well, I suppose dangling is as good as standing…

The human female says they are called “greenvein ladies’ tresses”, on account of the green veins on the lower lip of each blossom.  What a fun find!

I shall place a protection spell on all of the pretty white flowers we’ve found this morning (yes, mortal, even the honeysuckle), and a spell of crabgrass, grubs, and pestilence on the boring mowed lawn of the LUA just on the other side of the path.

And I shall not leave unscathed the LUA’s gaudy advertising, afflicting all of their golden “permanent” balloons with an irreversible case of flopsia.

deflated

So there.

>|: [

I Didn’t Do (Most of) It, Part III: Mmmmbleargh

I swear by my pointy helmet that this was NOT my idea.

But did I encourage the demented mortals who thought these up?

Ehehehehehe!

Yes.

Yes, I did.

IMG_0925

You can’t unsee it now, can you?

>|: [

I Didn’t Do (Most of) It, Part II: Got the Kaboom

The humans were more than a little disappointed that the Old State Chemistry building on campus is being crunched apart bit by bit rather than blown up in one glorious, earth-shattering kaboom.  The male looks so pouty that I simply must try to cheer him up.

He’s heating up some smoked brisket for lunch.  He has it covered and everything (he’s been well-trained) but there’s nothing stopping me from nudging the timer dial a smidge or three.

Kaboom!

boom in microwave

Ehehehehehe!   Got what you wished for…

>|: [

I Didn’t Do (Most of) It, Part I: Depriving the Humans of a Spectacle

I have sneaked back onto the campus to ascertain the status of a little enterprise that will annoy the humans.

Fenrir’s whiskers!

old state chem

Not only has the project begun—they’re making excellent progress!

OSC3

This is a very old, very shabby building which was supposed to be imploded last year.  Then over Yule break.  Then over Spring Break…  Then they decided to knock it down instead.  Everyone was a little sad about that.  Humans really do love a good implosion!

The contractors kept finding reasons to delay.  Little things like, oh, the gas meter for one of the other buildings being right next to this one.

 

The human female’s office window is actually right behind this building.  She was so looking forward to watching the demolition from a ring-side seat.

oldstatechem2

But now it’s all going to happen while she’s stuck at home.

I’m not the one who made the decision to tear it down.  Or to knock it down rather than making an earth-shattering kaboom.

But did I fiddle with the timeline so she couldn’t watch?

Is it too late to watch the destruction?

OSC7

Yup.

>|: [

Much More Comfy Than a Plague Doctor Mask (Sigyn Speaks)

I know Loki meant well with the protective garb, but I’m very, very glad to be back in my own clothes.

I’m going for a walk.  I’ve heard that more and more of the spring flowers are popping up every day, and I can’t bear the thought that I might be missing any!

Ooh!  There’s something pink over there!

Eeeee!  I LOVE THESE!  They look like something Dr. Seuss would draw.

seussflowers

The stems are kind of prickly, but the flower heads are so poofy!  I could just lie here all day.

But what is that shrub over there?  It has the same sort of flowers, but it’s even better because they’re RED.

callistemon

I think I’ll ask if we can plant one of these at the house, so I can hug it every day.

Don’t you just love botany?

: )

Practical Spring Fashions

The human female has learned over the years, much to her sorrow, that shopping for clothes online and buying them mail-order without trying them on is a recipe for regret and despair with regard to waistline and bum-size.

I, however, have a flawless body, and I’m fully capable of magically altering anything I like so that it fits to perfection.  Thus, I had no qualms at all about ordering something practical and consummately au courant, fashion-wise.  I ordered something for Sigyn, too, so we can present a harmonious whole, though the outfits aren’t exactly matchy-matchy.  That would be too trite.

I don’t do trite.

Sigyn is not sure she likes her outfit and is reluctant to come forth to be admired.

“Come, my love.  Let’s have a look.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Sigyn, my petal, I’m sure you look adorable.  Do come  out.”

“No.”

“It’s all in your best interest, you know.”

“I know.  I just don’t like it.”

“Please?  Look, I’ll go first.”

“Okay.”

plague1

“See?  All very comfy and practical.  Let me see how yours fits.”

plague2

“It fits you nicely.  The white is a nice contrast with your red habiliment.”

plague3

“Loki, is all this really necessary?”

“Yes.  Yes, it is.”

plague4

What are YOU wearing?

>|: [

Doing My Part! (Sigyn Speaks)

I’m trying to keep busy, because it makes the time go faster.  And I like to be helpful!

So today the human female and I are going to sew some masks.  The craft room is full of fabric, so I’m sure we can find something cute and cheerful.

Just look at all of this!

makingmasks1

I see scraps from at least two great-nephew quilts!

Isn’t this piece pretty?

makingmasks2

I read somewhere that they get the lovely speckles by throwing salt on the dyed fabric while it’s drying.  That sounds like a fun project, but I can’t get distracted now.  There is sewing to do!

Here are some already-strips pieces that might be useful.

makingmasks3

Oh?  They’re too short for ties?  That’s okay.  I’ll keep looking!

Hooray!  There were some long pieces of the red fabric, just perfect for notching and ripping into tie-lengths.  (Loki doesn’t know what he’s missing—ripping fabric is fun!)

Now we fold, and then iron.

makingmasks4

Sewing skinny ties takes concentration.  But I can do this!

makingmasks6

I think this mask should have cowboys.  No one can be un-cheered with cowboys!

makingmasks5

Sew the layers together with the ties tucked in, turn right side out, make the pleats, sew around the mask twice..

makingmasks7

Hmm.  That’s all right, but the human female found a different and better way.

Sew the layers together, turn right side out, make the pleats…

makingmasks8

…and then use long tie-pieces to bind off the edges as well.  It’s much faster than trying to sew the ties in the corners!

makingmasks9

There, William, now you can go out for a walk safely!

: )