Month: February 2021

Who Can Make Mischief in the Kitchen? I CAN

The humans are great fans of flavored fizzy water. The local tap water is beyond vile, and anything tastes better. At any given time, there are a half dozen or so different flavors to be found in the house. The human male likes it because it means he has something that is not soda and some of it is caffeinated. The human female likes it because you can find some without sugar or –gak!–artificial sweeteners.

*I* like it because it gives me ample room to mess with the humans. If they like a flavor, I see that it gets discontinued. If it’s not discontinued, I make sure it’s so popular that it’s always sold out. If they manage to buy some, I have other methods…

Recently, the human male has taken a fancy to this ginger and lemon concoction.

The tall, skinny cans are attractive. But it you’ll notice I did a little combat training with this particular specimen.

I bashed the top about more than a little as well.

Want to know the best part? Let me take my helmet off and see if I can hear it.

Tap, tap, tap…

Yes! I can hear it. The human male will discover, when he picks it up, that this sealed and dented can is half-empty straight from the factory.

My job here is done.

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Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

The improved weather is giving us a chance to explore the neighborhood a bit more. There’s a new subdivision south of us that we haven’t visited yet. It’s a nice evening, Sigyn. Let’s go for a walk.

Uh, oh. I don’t have a good feeling about this..

I’ve heard of “going for the rustic look,” but this seems a bit much.

And the new neighbors don’t look too friendly.

Odin’s eyepatch! Definitely NOT friendly!

STOP LICKING MY SWEETIE YOU HIDEOUS CREEP!

Augh! The ugly dog is armed!

Great Frigga’s corset! What a misunderstanding! Apparently, they’re not from around here, and are unused to Midgardian customs. Where they come from, a good bum-licking is how they say “hello.” The exchange of saliva is regarded as a sign of trust and friendship. I don’t see the appeal, but I’m glad not to have to slaughter all of them–my mischief schedule for today is already packed.

Ah, and I guess here comes the Missus.

Greetings, Madam. What a lovely… home you have. I like what you’ve done with the…foundation.

Sigyn is making friends with Auntie Sk’rrbx.

While I have the “pleasure” of introducing myself to Uncle Raaarbaghk.

We should get together and talk weapons over a tankard of ale someday soon.

It’s a growing family. The triplets seem… nice.

Well, it has been “lovely” meeting all of you.

Sigyn, darling, we need to be going. You can come back tomorrow to swap recipes and whatnot.

Well, that was interesting. I can do without the licking, but I think Uncle and I could become very good friends…

Time to get home, though. I’m teaching Taffy Cat how to mangle the blinds.

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At Last, Sun! (Nearly Wordless Wednesday)

After so many days stuck inside because of Fimbulwinter, it feels great to get out of the house and go for a walk. Sign is eager to see what of the wildflowers survived. Where better to go than the Neener Walk?

Nothing can kill dandelions.

If you ask me, Sigyn is the real Spring Beauty.

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Loki, the All-Knowing, Part IV

We have not yet plumbed the depths of my knowledge, so we are returning to the list of things I know.

I know why everything you own needs mending.

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Here, Have an Earworm

Oh, forgot to show you this…thing Sigyn and I saw when we were in the long market line the other day.

Bubble shark, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Bubble shark, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Bubble shark, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Bubble shark…

You’re welcome.

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Someone is Probably Dreaming About Smacking a Groundhog

When Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow earlier this month, everyone knew we were in for “six more weeks of winter.” What we didn’t know is that it was all going to come in one week. Night before last, the forecast ice storm materialized, and this is what we woke up to yesterday.

The human female went ’round the outside, checking the outside hose bibs. Nothing appeared to be leaking, but I’m not telling whether I’ve cracked one or not. I’m leaving that as a surprise… It went briefly above freezing, which was good–less ice on power lines–but it has all frozen over again.

The power cycled off and on, off and on. Then the “Please save water!” notices started arriving. Due to line breakages and pump stations lacking power and people running faucets to keep pipes clear, pressure was really low. Several towns around us went to a “boil water” situation. The human female, thinking we might be next, filled up the bathtub and a bunch of pots and pans. It’s fun to watch her overreact…

Sigyn and I stayed inside, snug and warm and laughing (well, I was laughing) at how this whole situation has turned the humans into nearly hibernating bears. They’re wearing so many layers that they are practically rotund, and they look really silly wearing gloves and hats indoors. Naps happen. A lot. The bed is, after all, the warmest place, with its eleventy-two blankets and two very warm felines.

Today the power seems to be holding, though we are still in “conserve” mode and it is still chilly in here. There was more sleet/ice/snow overnight, it is colder today than yesterday (the roads are a MESS), and no glimmer of sun. They say we’ll finally be free of the cold by some time on Saturday. I reckon that’ll ruin the shrubbery for good, and the one remaining hollyhock is toast.

Meanwhile, I’m saving this wicked icicle as a souvenir.

The humans will be talking about this week for years to come. Pffft! This is balmy spring in Jotunheim!

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Mmm. Smells Rather Good in Here

It is still six kinds of winter here. Freezing rain on top of snow on top of sleet on top of ice. The power cycles off and on, the humans crawl in and out of bed. Probably something is frozen and will begin geysiring water the minute it thaws.

Here’s something I jotted down the other day, before all of this hit.

The human female often responds to the cold weather with some sort of atavistic compulsion to produce baked goods. She and the human male—both of whom have been watching far too many British baking shows and have been getting on my nerves talking about “rise” , “crumb”, “proofing”, and “soggy bottoms”—put their limited talents together and managed to produce a pair of what seem to be actual, functional bread loaves.

Of course, they couldn’t be arsed to follow the recipe properly. Their bread has less sugar, and the human female, in a nod to nutrition (as if she isn’t just going to dive right into these carbs) replaced 1 cup of the bread flour with whole wheat flour. They look all right. The proof is in the toasting, though, so I reserve judgement.

Great Frigga’s hairpins! What now?

Some sort of mysterious recipe? I can barely read the scrawl, but I think I can make out the word “vanilla” and that word there might be “eggs.”

Let’s follow along, Sigyn, and see what results.

One stick plus 6 tablespoons of margarine.

Sigyn’s partial stick is straighter than my whole one, because–eww!–the human female had the whole one tucked under one be-sweatered arm to soften it up.

Eggs next. Odin’s Eyepatch! She’s going to use that snakey egg that looked so wonky! Maybe you’d better crack it into a glass, first, in case it’s not good inside…

Ah ha! A double-yolker. That explains a lot.

Sugar next.

Take care not to fall in, my love! I would not want you to get scooped up and shoveled into the eggs and margarine.

Now it looks like we need the brown sugar.

Looks like the human male opened this bag. From the bottom. Typical.

Mix, mix, mix, mix. All the wet stuff has been creamed. All the flour and salt and baking soda and cinnamon have gone in. I am guessing this is going to be some sort of cookie? Whatever the human female adds next will let us know what kind.

Oatmeal, raisins, and chopped pecans. You know, I will probably eat these. There’s nothing in here I don’t like!

Ehehehe! I should have guessed. She’s so lazy that instead of making proper cookies she’s mooshed the batter all into one pan.

It’s so hard to be patient!

Ha! That was fun! She didn’t notice when she put the batter in the pan that it was nested in another pan. The cookie(s) took forever to bake, and then I distracted her so they stayed in the oven even longer. Then she didn’t cut them and take them out of the pan while they were still warm.

Behold the 9″ x 13″ oatmeal raisin granola bar!

Well, maybe not all of it. The sides and bottom are pretty crisp, but the center is still nice and soft. It will take some work to get them out of there, though, I bet.

Snakey egg usefully employed. Kitchen perfumed and warmed. Cookies to look forward to. I call this making the most of a cold and wintry day!

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And now it’s now again. I can report that the cookies are no more. All gone. What with her habit of eating oatmeal for breakfast and then gobbling up all of the cookies, I reckon the human female at this point is 80% oats…

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Welcome, Fimbulwinter! Part II, the Result

The local weatherpersons were eerily accurate. It commenced to sleet on Sunday evening. The human male thoughtfully brought in a cupful for Sigyn to ooh and ah at.

We ended up with nearly an inch of sleet piled up! This was the forecast as of Sunday night:

And the Special Weather Statement:

Snow on top of sleet on top of ice! A veritable lasagna of frozen precipitation!

We could all hear the wind howling and the sleet hitting the windows. Sometime in the middle of Sunday night, the power outages began–a series of rolling blackouts to keep the power grid from failing. (Luckily for the humans, I’ve given the TIVO a failing hard drive, so when the power comes back on, there’s an anguished groaning noise like a dying rhinoceros. They can always tell when the power comes back on!)

Monday morning, it looked like this:

Which translated to this:

So we all spent the better part of Monday huddled in bed, reading by ambient light and napping by turns and trying not to worry about the kitchen cold water tap, which appears to have frozen, despite all the dripping.

The humans played pioneer last night–there was power long enough to reheat the stew and homemade bread, but they had to eat it by candlelight, wearing many layers. There’s a hand-woven wool blanket on the bed.

This morning, it was a whole six degrees and the power came back on about 7:30. More ice is expected tonight, and we won’t see above freezing until tomorrow or Thursday. I’m fine, and I’m keeping Sigyn warm, but the humans and the kitties are in for a long haul.

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