Month: September 2021

Home Again, Home Again–Mischief Update

*Yawn!* Yesterday was a long day of driving. I’d like to know whose idea it was–it surely wasn’t mine!–to put the human female’s mother’s place in a different time zone, so that about twenty minutes into the already-long trip it is suddenly an hour later already. We returned home a via different route, one that goes past a rather scenic dam-made lake and not through an hour and a half of stop-and-go traffic associated with the Big City to the West.

So here we all are again, back in the heat and swampy humidity. I’ve healed Sigyn’s broken arm and she’s as chipper as ever. I so hated seeing her in that awful cast!

The humans noticed immediately upon pulling into the driveway that the roofer had not made good on his promise to fix some small areas of roof/gutter intersection that weren’t nailed down properly. A call to him has brought a further promise to send someone out to attend to that this week, weather permitting. And the gutter replacement? No sign of it.

The lawn looks like the Pampas of the Argentine. Of course, I’ve seen to it that there are a few bare spots where take-all patch has done a number on the St. Augustinegrass, so the effect is somewhat patchy. Still, mowing will have to happen soon or else the humans will get a nastygram from the City. The human female need not worry, however, about mowing down the blooms of her perennial, autumn-flowering schoolhouse lilies because they are nowhere to be seen. Did they flower while she was away, or are they late this year? I know, but I’m not telling!

The house also needs some attention. The houseplants are gasping for a drink, various cats have been sick in various spots (the cat sitter cleaned up, but you can still see where), and the dust bunnies have mutated into dust rhinos. There is laundry to be done, along with grocery shopping, and the kitchen window is just begging to be cleaned. (Don’t look at me. I don’t do windows.)

I have been playing hide and seek. I hid the female’s watch before we left on our trip. She tore the house apart looking for it but did not find it. Her mother gave her a spare one and she has put a new battery in it. Of course, once she’d spent the money to do that, I poked the old one out of hiding. The male found it in the box of “tech” they’d taken on the trip. Such tech! You would not believe the number of chargers, cables, adapters, hubs, etc. that those two own! The human female never can find the charging cable she needs, or the one that gets photos out of her phone. If she has the cable for the tablet, the one for her tiny fan is missing. If she knows where the fan cable is, the one for her phone has gone AWOL. The red one goes with her blue camera. The white one goes with the blue iPad. The blue fan has a black cable. It’s diabolical! She’s tried keeping them in designated spots–it’s like she’s never even met me.

Today I have hidden the human female’s spectacles. She knows she had to have them to see the TV last night (catching up on the news) but took them off to work on her computer. Logically, then, they should be somewhere between the living room and the dining room table. It’s been immense fun, watching the humans turn the house inside out, rummage through the garbage already in the bin, riffle through piles of paper, grope around in the sofa and then move it away from away from the wall (look! cat toys! more dust rhinos! that leg weight you’ve been missing!). I know where the glasses are, but I’m not telling. Maybe I’ll nudge them into her path tomorrow. Then again, maybe not. First her watch, now her glasses. She feels lost without either. Next, I think I’ll hide her library card. Then a shoe… Or car keys… Or maybe a pair of the shorts she wears so often… There are so many options!

And then there is plumbing. One of the felines was sick this morning–ate too quickly and harfed up all her kibble. The human female grabbed a tissue, scooped it up, and disposed of it in the commode. Imagine her panic when it wouldn’t go down!! She sprinted for the plunger, still in her pajamas and socks. The plunger proved ineffective, but she did manage to reach an arm in (ugh!) and pull out a wad of clog. More plunging. Now, all of this frantic plunging and groping splashed water all over her, her socks, the floor, and the toilet. Reaching into the cabinet under the sink to get the disinfecting cleaner just knocked two bars of soap into the cats’ water dish, putting *more* water on the floor. The human male, coming to help and to bring her the long plumbing snake I’d hidden in garage, walked through the water on his way out of the bathroom and left tracks throughout the house. She did eventually get the clog resolved, and then they both spent a good chunk of the rest of the morning mopping, scrubbing, disinfecting, and then cleaning the rest of the floor, themselves, the plunger, the cats’ bowl, and the various towels used in the operation. Tomorrow, I will induce the other feline to gobble her breakfast and then re-present it for inspection, and we’ll see what happens next.

The human male has sent his misbehaving camera off for repair, but now his computer display is strobing and there’s a funny line down the middle. . . It’s still under warranty, but he’s going to have to travel to the Big City to the South to have it looked at, and if it’s anything beyond a minor repair, it’ll have to be sent out for service. Before he can do any of it, he has to back up everything on the machine which will take (peers at status bar) approximately eleventy-three hours and fifty-four minutes.

That will give him plenty of time to get the insurance thing straightened out. The humans have their car insurance and credit card with Usually Sounds Amiable, Although… They’ve arranged to have their insurance billed to the card, which they pay off every month, rather than getting a separate insurance bill every month. Recently, that arrangement has become unarranged, and individual bills have been arriving. The male has called and called and emailed and emailed, and each time, he has been assured that everything is back the way he wants it. Another monthly insurance bill has arrived today and he is on the phone–again–trying to make it past the phone tree to bludgeon some cooperation out of them. We’ll see how that goes.

(later)

He was finally able to talk to a live human being who assured him that yes, insurance was being billed yearly to the card, but that their “new and improved” billing systems is programmed to send out a bill to everyone every month anyway. No one, not the customers nor the help line folks, likes the new system. Well, rats! I thought it was some of my best work!

Aaaaad, Taffy Cat is on the dining room table again!

So, as you can see, settling back in and situation normal!

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A Last Few Sweet Things

I must admit, I have enjoyed my time here in the desert-y end of the state. The food has been great, the scenery is a welcome change, and it is ALWAYS a treat to spend time with someone who isn’t the human male and female. Aside from poor Sigyn breaking her arm and the lecture I received about “Not Criticizing Others’ Handicrafts When They Were Just Doing Their Best With What They Had”, it has been a good visit.

Now there are just a last few things to do.

We need to go for another walk.

We need to look at some more tiny flowers.

And the human female has to offer a further bit of quilt-related help. Her mother is nearing completion of a quilt of her own, not one inherited in pieces from someone else. It’s all in shades of chocolate and caramel, and it will probably end up being named “Sweet Shop” or something similar.

Sigyn and the human female put their giggly little heads together and decided that it needs some appliqued chocolates scattered upon it. The human female bought two colors of fabric—for milk and dark “chocolate”—and created a half-dozen fabric morsels that look right out of a Whitman’s Sampler.

(For someone who can’t eat chocolate at all, she sure has an unhealthy obsession with it.)

These two are our favorites. Sigyn likes the dark chocolate swirl and says it has a cherry cordial inside.

I, of course, have claimed the one with the “L” and the bite taken out of the corner.

There is just time for one or two more shared family stories, one more round of good-night hugs, and one more delicious breakfast before we take to the road very, very early tomorrow morning.

Farewell, mountains. Farewell, desert wildflowers. Farewell, human female’s mother. Take care of yourself until we can visit again.

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Mamaw’s Taste Was All In Her Mouth…

The human female likes to Make Things. After spending time with her mother, I can see where she gets it. The human female’s mother is always making *something.* If it’s not food, it’s a quilt. If it’s not a quilt, it’s a teddy bear for someone’s little sprout.

This week, with the human female around, it’s food and quilts.

Someone gave the human female’s mother a bunch of 90+ year old quilt blocks and hired her to make them into a quilt. Sigyn and the human female are offering Opinions on how this should be done.

The blocks each have a fan arc made of seven “blades”. This blue and yellow one, while not my taste, is nonetheless somewhat pleasing to the eye.

I mean, the womenfolk involved in this project have informed me that blue and yellow is a “classic.”

Unfortunately, the blocks, made by the friend’s grandmother, Mamaw Rhilla, are not all like this one. There is a good deal of pink in many of them, a color for which I find I have a low tolerance.

This one is better:

Red and green are the best colors, right, Sigyn?

But then there’s…The Plaids.

Mamaw Rhilla had at her disposal an unconscionable abundance of not one but several very colorful yet very hideous plaids, fabrics which manage to clash with absolutely everything else in these blocks.

Don’t look, Sigyn! My godly constitution protects me, but I there’s the very real possibility you could permanently damage your retinas…

It has also come to our attention that the fan arcs on the blocks aren’t all curved the same amount. Some are a little arc-ier than others. That means finishing each one with a curved-top-wedge piece to make the base of each fan is out of the question since, while the eye doesn’t immediately notice that the arcs are wonky, it would quickly pick up on the fact that solid-color fan bases were all different shapes or didn’t all fit the arcs the same way. The arcs will just have to float on their own, though the human female says the fan base can be put in with quilting, which will be less jarring.

The human female’s mother intends to put the blocks “on point” (whatever that means) and reckons she will need thirty two to make a bed-sized quilt.

There are only twenty-eight. I know. I counted.

Plus bits like this:

There is an assortment of unmounted fan arcs. The human female has offered to sew the least objectionable four of them to some fabric her mother has which matches what Mamaw Rhilla used for her blocks some nine decades ago.

(later)

The sewing down of the fan arcs is complete. Now it’s time to lay out the blocks into some semblance of a palatable arrangement.

Ehehehehe! This is where they will discover that I lied about how many original blocks there were so that there are now thirty-four…

This is going to be challenging. It requires one person to place the blocks and everyone else to stand back and critique. The human female has tried putting the blocks with solid red in the four corners and the middle of each side, and then the blocks with solid blue

No, that doesn’t work, because now there are two “greens” next to one another. If you separate them, that produces a congregation of Ugly Plaid down in that one corner, there.

If you put the blues in the corners and the middle…No, now there is too much pink print along the right side.

What about–? No, that doesn’t work either.

This is splendid entertainment. I haven’t had so much fun since watching the human female and forty teaching assistants try to decide who is teaching each of 180 lab sections spread across three courses and ten rooms. Something is going to have to give.

(much, much later) In the end, two of the quilt blocks were swapped out in favor of the two spares, and the Ugly Plaids were separated as much as humanly possible.

From a distance, squinting, it’s not as hideous as I feared it would be. Finished with pink sashing and solid white half-squares along the edges, it will probably manage to look very “sweet” and “old fashioned” when it’s complete. The human female’s mother will be able to be proud of a job well done.

Just color me thankful that the quilt the human female’s mother has made as a Yule gift for our house (and which the human female is forbidden to see until then) is all in shades of green.

Pensé Que íbamos a Visitar Solamente Una Mesa Vieja, Pero en Realidad Hay Aquí Una Ciudad Completa, Part III: Of Fancy–and Possibly Haunted–Comestibles

All of this wandering about and shopping and perusal of tomes the humans have neither the funds to buy nor the shelf space to house has rendered us all a mite peckish.

Our choices for a midday repast are varied. We can eat Tex-Mex at La Posta, which was once a stagecoach stop and has a courtyard full of parrots, try one of the trendy little cafes, or allow the human female’s mother to treat us to a meal at the Double Eagle. I hear it’s a very fancy place. Are we sure they will let the human female in? I mean, she is wearing shorts and she’s sporting that ringworm I made sure the stray cat she petted passed on to her…

The outside of the Double Eagle doesn’t look like much, but the inside is all antique wood and brass and glass and other shiny things the human female shouldn’t be allowed to put her grubby fingers on.

That is just the bar area. I hear the lemons cost $20 apiece. I can believe it.

The side, private dining rooms are just as over-the-top.

One corner of the place is even supposed to be haunted. Sigyn is a little nervous about that. Don’t fear, dearest! I am by far the scariest thing in this place.

Ah. Apparently we are going to eat at a restaurant-within-a-restaurant, a place called Pepper’s. I am given to understand that is is more casual, less arm-and-a-leg fare. Sigyn is excited that we are going to get to sit in the very leafy courtyard surrounded by ferns and cycads.

I think they put us here so we’d be upwind of the humans…

Here’s the menu.

They have assured us that, even though it says “Dinner Menu” we can order lunch.

Hmm. What do you fancy, Sigyn?

The human male and the mother are going for the San Franciscan. Nearly everything here has green chile, but if you don’t like it, I suppose you could pick it off.

Vegan fajitas? Is that even a real thing? And what are “calabacitas?” Allspeak doesn’t know what to do with that word.

By Volstagg’s Greasy Chin and Fingers! What is this that the human female has been served?!

Chicken salad with pecans and berries in a pineapple boat, with a rainbow of fresh fruit. The photo doesn’t do it justice, since the pineapple top is still attached and hangs waaaaay off the left side of the plate. That is a lot for one person. Sweetie, you may have to help her finish it.

(later) Well, we are all completely stuffed. There will be some to-go boxes coming home with us, that is certain—and somehow the human female has persuaded our waitress to keep them cold for us while we go do more shopping.

Yay. More shopping.

(later again)

That was a very full/filling day. We came home by a different route and got to see different fields and pecan trees and adobe houses and mountains. All in all, New Mexico was very interesting, and Sigyn was pleasantly distracted from her poor broken arm.

Plus, I always do like the chance to be snarky in a different state.

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Pensé Que íbamos a Visitar Solamente Una Mesa Vieja, Pero en Realidad Hay Aquí Una Ciudad Completa, Part II: In Which There *IS* a Table

I am being dragged into another store, but I don’t mind this one at all. It’s a bookstore! And because it is an independent store and not part of a chain, the owners have felt free to stuff it full of interesting titles, and not just the mass-marketed rubbish that one can find anywhere. The human female is happy, because the natural history section is especially well stocked.

I think she’s hinting.

I have wandered into the children’s area and–Sweet Sif on a Cracker!

I don’t know whether to be horrified or intrigued… (page, page, page.) Actually, cover art aside, it’s a pretty decent child-level treatise on how various Midgardian beasts are constructed. I assume it’s only Midgardian beasts. I certainly didn’t see a depiction of the inner workings of a bilgesnipe.

Oh, now what’s this one?

Ah. It would appear that not all of the tomes are equally instructive. Or anatomically accurate.

Sigyn has joined me and–unusually for her–she is not really paying any attention to the books. Instead, she is looking at the jigsaw puzzles. This one is very whiney.

And now she is looking at the little dioramas in the center of the children’s room.

It is a very cozy-looking room. I think she is hoping the penguin will invite her in for tea. Or, since this is New Mexico, possibly enchiladas.

The rooms really are very detailed.

There is even mood lighting. I thinks Sigyn would very much like to live here!

I am fairly certain none of these rooms or their contents are for sale.

However, I have access to large sums of money, a great deal of magic, and a certain roguish charm. I can be very persuasive. If my beloved wants it, I believe I can make sure this day ends with the purchase of una mesa after all.

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Pensé Que íbamos a Visitar Solamente Una Mesa Vieja, Pero en Realidad Hay Aquí Una Ciudad Completa, Part I: A-Shopping We Will Go

The humans have proposed a day trip. When I heard them discussing it, I was under the impression it was just to the local furniture store to buy a table, but we are going to visit Old Mesilla, a town which, even though it is in a completely different state, is closer to the city we are in than the city we are in is to any other city in Texas. Sometimes Midgard just doesn’t make sense.

We are taking the long way there. Sigyn is entranced by the fields of cotton and the orchards of pecan trees we are passing, all watered by cleverly constructed canals that tap from the Rio Grande. I am busy planning how best to annex this territory when I launch my final push to take over the planet. From what I can tell, whoever controls the supply of three vital commodities—water, adobe, and Hatch green chilies—can be king in this part of the world.

We have arrived. It’s a small place, but apparently “rich in history.” Its main claim to fame is once having housed the notorious outlaw Billy the Kid. Well, now it has housed me, so it is even more significant.

There is a bi-towered church on the main plaza.

I know Sigyn would like to see inside, but unfortunately the doors are locked. That is fine with me. It doesn’t appear to be the sort of place that would welcome a Norse God anyway.

The human male wants to take some photos of the outside. I have other plans for his camera.

The square is surrounded by quaint little shops. Sigh. I just know I’m going to be dragged in and out of each and every one of them, but for my sweetie’s sake I will paste on a happy face and tag along. Besides, I might be able to find a good present for her. Yule is only three months away, after all.

This shop seems to be full of very… colorful knicknackery. Some of it is tasteful, if a bit religiously offensive to someone of my godliness.

I haven’t the heart to tell her that the little well is meant as a receptacle for holy water, not an observation post…

Great Frigga’s Hairpins! Such gaudy papier mache’ pussycats!

The human female’s mother is in the market for a new feline. But I do not think this is the sort she has in mind. Still, I might buy her one of these. She’d have to display it, out of politeness, and either one of them would clash wonderfully with all of her eagles and blue and white china…

And I might invite these fine fellows home for dinner.

We’ll have a jam session afterwards and all the neighborhood dogs will bark. It’ll be great.

Sigyn has discovered some more sedate companions.

Licking Sigyn on the forehead in 3…2…1. Slurp!

This next emporium has a selection of woven end embroidered items.

Those are so bright that I bet even the human female couldn’t manage to lose the glasses case in the black hole that is her backpack.

Jewelry store.

Store with spiced pistachios and local wine.

More knick-knacks.

Gallery.

And our penultimate stop, the building that used to be the jail that held that famous outlaw. There is some very touristy stuff here, as well as a little something that I think will need to make an appearance in the human female’s stocking

After all, Yule is only three months away…

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An Apple A Day Keeps the Sigyn at Play (Sigyn Speaks)

Can you guess what is happening here today? Go on, guess!

If you guessed “More food!” you are correct!

The human female’s mother has agreed to teach me how to make her special Apple Roses. With a cast on, it’s going to be a mostly hands-off lesson for me, but I’m enthusiastic nonetheless. Loki says it all sounds “a bit too girly” and that he’ll sample the finished product. That’s all right. Pastry and cloaks don’t mix very well!

We are starting with a nice, crisp apple.

This one’s an envy. Isn’t the color gorgeous? You could even make some yellow apple roses–or a combination of red and yellow!

First, you want to wash and core your apple. But don’t peel it! You want that color!

Cut each half into thin slices–about 1/8″.

You might end up with some pieces toward the outside of each apple half that aren’t very big. You can either eat those (yum!) or save them for the middles of the roses. Drop the slices into a bowl of water with a splash of lemon juice as you cut them. That way they won’t brown.

Microwave the bowl of apples in water for three minutes on high to cook them a little. You want the slices to be flexible, but not mushy. Not that I have anything against mushy apples! Applesauce is nummy! It’s just not what we are aiming for today.

We are using frozen puff pastry. If you have the time and skill to make your own, you are my new hero. When my arm heals, I may try making some. But store-bought is perfectly okay!

Roll out the pastry to about 1/8″ thick.

We are making six roses from one apple and one half package of pastry, so we want to cut each of the marked-out pieces in half lengthwise.

To start making the roses, first spread one strip thinly with apricot jam. If your jam is too thick or too cold, you can warm it up a little.

Don’t use too much jam or your roses will be soggy. : ( You want just enough to be “glue”!

Next, place apple slices overlapping on the top half of the strip, fold the bottom of the pastry up over the bases of the slices, then roll the whole thing up.

Isn’t that pretty! Don’t worry if your first try is a little wonky–mine was! It will still be delicious.

We are going to cook these in a muffin tin. Put a rose in every other space so the rose petals have room to spread. We’re spraying the cups we’re using with non-stick spray and filling the unused cups with water so that things heat evenly.

At this point you can sprinkle the roses with a little sugar if you want them sweeter and sparkly. You could also use cinnamon!

Bake at 375F until the pastry is crisp and golden, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let them cool for a minute or two before taking them out of the cups–any longer than that and they will probably stick!

Squeee! These are almost too pretty to eat! You can serve these warm or cold, with ice cream or whipped cream or a dusting of powdered sugar. You could tuck a rose or mint leaf in between the pastry and the petals, too, if you want to be really fancy.

Somehow, though, I don’t think these are going to last long enough for any embellishments, not with the way Loki is eyeing them!

Oh, no! I just realized I didn’t get a photo of the rolling-up process! I am so sorry!!! There are some good photos here, though we weren’t working from that particular recipe.

These were really fun and easy and yummy! I hope you try some of your own!

: )

Noms Make Everything Better

Sigyn is feeling better today, thanks in no small part to the human female’s mother’s cooking.

Every morning has started with a good breakfast. This is what she fed us our first morning.

Blueberry pancakes with REAL maple syrple and peppered bacon.

Last night, she cheered Sigyn up with fried rice, egg rolls, and spring rolls.

Sigyn really appreciated the sauce for the egg rolls, which was her favorite color.

No one made me a sauce in my favorite color. But then, I didn’t break my arm, and at least the soy sauce bottle has a green label.

It really is all about the food here. At breakfast, we are asked about what we want for lunch. At dinner, we’re reminded that there are cookies and ice cream and about four dozen options for breakfast. The human male and female have even pitched in with a will. They made tzatziki to go with the Greek meatballs for lunch, and they are planning fish tacos for one of the nights we are here.

And when we aren’t making food or eating food or talking about it, we are shopping for it. There are one or two things the human female’s mother needs, and Sigyn and I have tagged along to see what a different market looks like.

I am pretty sure the market back home doesn’t stock… this.

And I find that I am absolutely okay with that.

Oh, now this is neat! The human female’s mother has taken us to her local Asian market, since she needs to purchase some more of her favorite Korean coffee. Such places are always entertaining to look in, and this emporium is exceptionally well-stocked, well-organized, and very bright and clean.

Sigyn has found something she wants to try.

Evidently the pale pink sort we have at home is not brightly colored enough.

She also thinks that these look “fun”:

Dearest, did you read the fine print on the package? They’re not actually that color, and I doubt they have smiley faces.

The human male has acquired some ramen,, along with some dumplings to prepare for the human female’s mother to try later in our visit. The human female has seized upon a package of these. Are they cookies? Are they crackers? I don’t know— and neither does she, though I think she has hopes that they will taste like the sesame cookies the human male’s former student worker’s mother made for her once.

Uh oh. I can feel it coming on. I have been very, very good all day and the urge to do some mischief is just bubbling up inside me. I’m not sure I can control myself. . .

Augh! It’s like they knew I was coming!

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Plus ça Change, Plus C’est la Même Chose, Part II: Of Plants and Owies

Oh. I see we have to look at the outside of the house as well as the inside, to see if anything has changed.

For starters, the big mulberry tree that was in the backyard is gone. Sigyn, the human female, and the human female’s mother are all in mourning. Borer beetles, I think they said.

The “dwarf” arborvitae trees in front of the house are bigger than ever.

Never trust a plant salesman out to make a quick buck, unless you don’t mind having to prune things every year…

The pomegranate bush in the front planter is also still thriving.

Reddish flowers and good for dangling–in Sigyn’s book this is the perfect shrub.

The human female says the Virginia creeper vine that is swallowing the back of the house wasn’t quite so rambunctious the last time she saw it.

She says that tomorrow she’ll drag out the stepladder and trim it away from the eaves and windows. I think that is a very good idea. Not that I care about possible damage to woodwork and masonry from the vine’s sticky little aerial rootlets, you understand. I just like to sHaKe ladders when she stands on them, especially if she’s holding sharp tools while she’s up there.

Of the multiple four o’clock bushes that used to be under the bedroom windows when the human female was a sprout, only one remains.

Sigyn, I know the human female says they are pollinated by big, fuzzy, night-flying moths that look like hummingbirds, but do you really want to sit and wait to see them? There are hours and hours of daylight left.

It is getting warm out here! Shall we go inside and look at the houseplants? I don’t care if they’re real or artificial, as long as air conditioning is involved.

Hmm. New cactus in the kitchen window. New schefflera in the bathroom. Same old ficus in the den. And Great Frigga’s Hairpins! Hanging from the shower curtain rod is the same oak-leaf ivy that the human female had forty years ago!

It isn’t much larger than it used to be, but look how thick the “trunk” has become!

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Later. Much later.

I think my heart rate has finally come back down to normal. I don’t want to spend an afternoon like this ever again!

I was just about to tell Sigyn to be careful climbing around in that ivy when she suddenly lost her footing or her grip or something and took a tumble right onto the tile floor! Even with my godly reflexes, I wasn’t quick enough to catch her, and we got to see a part of the human female’s natal city neither of us wanted to.

It’s a nasty break in her upper arm. I’ve been speeding the healing along with my magic, but she’s still going to be in a cast for a while.

I’m so sorry, my love. I just wasn’t fast enough.

The only good thing—if any part of this can be called “good”—is that it’s her right arm and she’s left-handed. The human female’s mother has administered healing hugs and is feeding her to “keep up her strength”. The human female, though, she’s going to pay. After all, it was her stupid ivy. Dangerous plants like that need warning signs or something. Just you wait, mortal. Revenge, served hot or cold, is one of my very favorite dishes, and I’ve been taking cooking lessons…

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Plus ça Change, Plus C’est la Même Chose, Part I: Inside

We are enjoying our stay with the human female’s mother. (Unlike her daughter, she’s a joy to be around.) The human female is wandering around, soggy with nostalgic sentiment, gazing at the home she grew up in. Sigyn, let’s tag along and “help” her play What is New and What is the Same as it Has Always Been.

The human female’s mother loves eagles. The big poster just inside the front door has been there for years.

The collection of eagle figurines still adorns a shelf in the dining room

Sigyn finds these little fellows to be quite friendly…

While the larger ones in the living room are a bit more intimidating.

Don’t you give my sweetie the stink-eye, you featherbrained fowl, or you will learn a different meaning to the word “bust.

The collection of decorative plates on the hallway wall is still there, though a teeny-tiny oil painting by the human female’s aunt has joined the ranks of round things.

Sigyn likes it because it’s “just my size.” If you like it, my love, I shall secret it away in my luggage when we depart.

The other walls in the house have lots of blue-and-white china plates. There is also a good assortment of tableware in the same color scheme—as well as a new, quaint-but-impractical pair of pointy shoes.

Sigyn, you should have had the flowery one.

The dining room table is also where one can usually find a puzzle book.

My sweetie is very good at simple substitution ciphers.

There is still a flock of photos on the table in the living room.

That one is of the human female on her wedding day. Her mother made that lacy dress, can you believe it?

The sewing machine music box is new.

Wind it up and the treadle and needle go up and down, while the wheel goes round and round. Clever.

The hoop-framed quilt blocks are still on the bedroom wall.

I think one of the human female’s grandmothers made them. The mania for cutting up perfectly good bits of fabric and sewing them back together seems to run in the family.

The printed-plush leopard rug is still on the door of the room we are staying in.

I understand that it is customary to manipulate the plush so as to give the feline “blind devil-kitty eyes”.

I am more than happy to comply.

Same old soup tureen on the hutch in the dining room, though time seems to have done for both of its handles.

The human female’s mother has been known to hide cash in here, so it is worth a closer look…

And finally, the bathroom, where the human female is seeing whether she can still find the “pictures” in the patterns on the tiles.

The raccoon is still above the sink.

Okay. Now I see him.

Supposedly there’s a horse in the shower.

You must admit, mortal, that’s a bit of a stretch.

But the fact that the human female has been seeing things that aren’t there since she was a gap-toothed brat in pigtails just goes to show that her mental instability is of long standing and has nothing to do with me, all rumors to the contrary notwithstanding…

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