I’ve been so busy with condestruction and other general mayhem that I forgot to tell you about the place where we ate on our recent visit to the Comparably-Sized City to the South.
The humans have made it a point not to eat indoors in restaurants for much of the past eighteen months or so, but they’re vaccinated now and this place was far from crowded, so they decided it was safe enough.
Sigyn was intrigued by the colorful menu
There were a number of Very Fancy Drinks to be had.
The humans, being boring, chose water.
All good meals should start with spring rolls and peanut sauce, if possible.
When I take over the planet, I shall insist upon it. There is no peanut sauce on Asgard. I think that’s part of Thor’s problem, to be honest.
Philately is not an inexpensive hobby. The human female tells herself that she’s not spending huge sums, that she’s not collecting stamps that are hundreds of dollars apiece, not entering online auctions that will require her to put a kidney up for collateral. That may be true, but may I point out that a dollar here and a dollar there eventually add up? If you keep up the e-baying, you will eventually reduce your financial soundness to the point where you can no longer house me in the manner to which I would like to become accustomed, and then I will be forced to take drastic action. (Just how attached are you to that iPad of yours…? And what do you think I could get for your grandmother’s antique teapot?)
In the meantime, let us examine where the stamps are coming from. Various people who know she likes plants on stamps have given her things from their mail from time to time. When she worked at the University, interesting people with international contacts kept her liberally supplied.
As I understand it, these are all destined to attend a “Soaking Party.” That means she will be putting them in a shallow pan of water to float them off their various envelope scraps. It also means that I will be inviting the felines to said party. The mixture of cats, water, stamp glue, and bits of paper should be vastly entertaining.
There is also the aforementioned e-bay. This is one of the lots she recently bought and has been working to catalog.
Look–it’s a garden even YOU can’t kill!
There are various other online Purveyors of Philately, and several online stamp collecting clubs. The club the female has joined lets members put up stamps for sale on approval. Basically, that means they scan and post pictures of what they want to sell, with the stamps usually going for a small fraction of their worth as noted by stamp catalogs.
She has one of the approval books open now.
Ah. Stamps from a place in Midgard called “Japan.” The human female says they are known for having very colorful, often very cute stamps–as well as many stamps with plants on them. The postally-used stamps offered here are going for about ten cents apiece.
Sigyn thinks she should buy the ones with the fruits and veggies on them. She’s right, mortal. You could start a collection and call it, “Weird things I ate on my imaginary trip to Japan.” Imaginary, as in “I spent all my money on stamps and had nothing left over for airfare.”
Two packets of stamps she bought on approval a bit ago have both arrived on the same day.
Whose envelope is better, Sigyn? I think I have more of the Japanese stamps she wants and that you like too, but I can see that you have something from Malta, and that top stamp says, “Norge,” which means it’s from a bit of Midgard where I’m pretty famous. Maybe we should switch…
I am sad to report that the human female’s case of Stamp Pox has progressed beyond my wildest imaginings. I noted some weeks ago that, since her stitching light committed suicide, she had revived her old hobby of collecting little bits of colorful paper.
She has been working every evening, cataloging ones she has and making lists of ones she’d like. She already has more than any sane person should. Take this lot, for example.
Great Frigga’s Hairpins! Those are gaudy! The designer never met a neon color he didn’t like. Sigyn thinks they’re wonderful. *I* think Sigyn should take the magnifying glass she’s holding and maybe focus a little sun on them and see what happens…
These are a little better:
Especially since I see at least two poisonous plants among them…
There are sooo many more stamps than are housed in the binders! The human female has a whole sorter file thingy full of ones she needs to put in her spreadsheet.
Said spreadsheet looks like this:
Odin’s Eyepatch! I can’t believe it! (Well, yes, I can.) She is actually recording the scientific names of the plants on the stamps. Woman, you know, don’t you, that you are taking an already nerdy hobby to exponentially nerdy lengths?
Not to mention staying up waaay too late as you fall down website rabbit holes trying to identify the plants.
Ehehehe! As she’s sorting and documenting, she’s discovering that she has duplicates of some. Guess she liked them well enough to buy them twice! The duplicates go in this box for eventual trading or making into bookmarks or other craftification.
Or, you know, we could take the ones that still have stick-um on them and see how well postal adhesive sticks to cat fur…
Who doesn’t like apples? (Well, other than the human female’s Knittery Friend, who is allergic.) I myself like a good, tart pome. I’m definitely more ‘Granny Smith‘ than ‘Golden Delicious.’
My beloved, on the other hand, prefers a more nuanced taste and enjoys apples where the acid is balanced by sugar. She and the human female like old sorts like ‘Orleans Reinette’ and new varieties like‘Kanzi.’
We are trying a new apple today! I believe it is the 125th apple in the human female’s apple notebook.
Idunn’s Little Apples! This is no shrinking little snack-sized midget! This is a whole meal! What is it’s name?
You can’t be serious.
Hunnyz’?Really? Norns preserve us, it’s one of those modern apples with a trademarked name and a marketing campaign. And it’s put out by an outfit called “GeeWhiz” fruit.
Note, if you please, that that second “n” has to be backwards. It’s very important! I may be ill…
Well, the proof is in the sampling, so we’ll wait for the human female to peel and cut it…
Huh. No aroma whatsoever.
Mmmhmm. Friends, stoopid name aside, this is a very good apple! Crunchy, juicy, and delightfully crisp without being hard. Sweet, but with enough acid to balance it out and fill the mouth with flavor. Nothing shy about this one!
The human female is jotting notes in her little apple notebook:
“I don’t know if it rates a star yet, but 9/10, would narf again.”
We’re still here with all the other folks (and dogs!), looking at all the things here that are NOT vegetables, meat, or eggs. There’s a bouncy castle over on the far end of the lot that Sigyn says she would like to try out. I know you would, my love, but the kiddies bouncing around in there right now are much bigger than you, and I’m afraid you might get hurt. But we can go look at other fun things!
Things like this:
It’s a sampler of some of the pecan varieties grown in Texas. The human female says that the last two in the bottom row are what the native pecans look like, and the others are kinds that have been bred to have bigger nuts or tastier insides or thinner shells. The University has a whole Pecan Short Course that they teach for local growers every year. Too bad this booth isn’t giving out samples of all of these. One of each kind would just about make a pie!
Sigyn has made a butterfly line (like a beeline, but squigglier) to a booth that has bedding plants.
The human female says these fancy, jumped-up daisies are Gazanias, which I think sounds like something you say when someone has sneezed. She’s going to buy a couple to put in the front flower bed, where–knowing her horticultural skills– I predict they will sit without ever making another blossom.
The human male has encountered a rather humorous boo-boo on a hand-lettered sign:
Ooh la la! Ce vendeur a de beax macarons! And they have samples! Which ones should we try? Sigyn is interested in the strawberry-rhubarb but I’m leaning towards the pistachio.
By Fandral’s grande embonpoint! Those are delicious! I think some need to come home with us…
But right now, I think we need a different treat. The day is growing rather hot and I some cold refreshment is in order. Luckily, there’s a deliciously convenient pushcart right at the end of this row of booths…
New Rule: All ice cream sandwiches should be made with snickerdoodles on the outside!
Well, Sigyn, we have visited all the booths at least once, tasted some fun things, bought some good things for dinners to come (samosas–also yum!), talked to some interesting people (the lamb lady is originally from Argentina!), and had a delicious treat. I think it’s time to go home and maybe have a little nap…
The macarons the human female bought turned out to be neither strawberry-rhubarb nor pistachio, but since lemon goes very nicely with natural vanilla bean ice cream…
The weather is good enough today that we are headed for the local Farmer’s Market in search of whatever they have that isn’t leftover Gaming Weekend snacks, basically. On our last visit,the human female bought some magnificently delicious honey, and she’s hoping the same vendor is here today so that she can buy some to take to her mother, just in case the Condestruction mess is EVER resolved and we can go to El Paso for a visit.
Alas! That honey-seller isn’t here today, but there are plenty of fresh, colorful things to buy. Sigyn thinks the squash are “cute.”
Especially those weird ones that look like ghostly spaceships…
And of course, tomatoes are more fun when they come in BOTH of her favorite colors!
I am more interested in these big, sweet onions.
There is someone a few stalls over selling naturally-fed lamb, and the human male is eyeing it. That plus these will equal something delicious, I’m sure. And if not, if cooking plans go awry and the onions are forgotten and turn all sprouty and mushy and smelly and the human female has to clean that up, well, that’s fun too.
Great Frigga’s Corset! Sigyn, stop! You know what those ARE, don’t you?
They might be an interesting shade of orange, but they are still BEETS. You know the human female loathes, abominates, and despises them, and while it would be fun to buy some and sneak them into the chill chest for her to find and be grossed out by, *I* don’t particularly like them either. I’d much rather the space in the cooler be devoted to things I might actually eat.
Such as these bizarrely pastel eggs. Do you suppose the blue ones are blue on the inside as well??
The human female is on her fourth (or is it fifth? So many cherries have disappeared into her pie hole that I’ve lost track.) bag of cherries this summer, and it wasn’t until today that she discovered a twin cherry that Sigyn and I can use in our annual cherry pull.
I intend to examine them very carefully for structural flaws. I am determined that this year, I will be triumphant!
I’m winning! I’m winning! I can feel it! I’m going to win this time, and I can gloat and celebrate and be Cherry Champion for the coming year and…
…and look at Sigyn’s little face! She’s trying soooo hard. Who can say no to that face? Not me. There’s really only one thing to do…
You won! You won, Sigyn! You are the Queen of Cherries!
I’m not all-powerful, just mostly so. I can’t control everything. Sometimes, the vortices of mischief I create are so strong that they have unintended consequences. My mischief this week, having a little fun with church song sheets and religious articles catalogs, is a good example. The interaction of my mischief and the power of Sigyn’s faith was apparently explosive enough to alter the fabric of space-time completely, blowing my diary entry for today clear back into yesterday. Until I figure out what went wrong, I don’t dare write a long post today, only to have it likewise disappear. There were two posts yesterday–go back and read whichever is your favorite and pretend it’s something new.
The whole household was up early today, to get ready to take Flannel Cat to the vet. She can’t have breakfast, and she’s not a fan of the carrier, so she’s not terribly happy. The humans have donned long sleeves to try to get her in the carrier (more Feline Rodeo!), since she left some super scratches on the human male the other day, when he was trying to gather her up and keep her out of the condestruction-fu on Tuesday.
Two and three quarters of a mile of piteous mewing later, and toothache kitty has been dropped off. Next stop–the Super Special Lighbulb and Battery Store. Can they order a replacement bulb that will fit the stitching lamp? They say they can. But we’ll see a) if they can actually get it, b) whether it will fit in the lamp, and c) it actually works. My money is on the silly thing continuing to strobe.
Now to return the Unhappy Bulb. The humans have tried putting in in and taking it out several times, to no avail. Bad bulb! No biscuit!
Well, rats! I was hoping the crap crafts store clerk would tell her she couldn’t return it, not even with the receipt, because she had opened the package. But there was a new person manning the till and she called for instructions on how to do the return, and they gave it to her. No fair.
Now we’re headed for the library. For reasons passing understanding, the human female’s urge to collect small, brightly colored bits of paper again. Foolish woman, you do not need another hobby! She went online and discovered that the local library has all the stamp catalogs that she’s too cheap to buy. You’d think reference books like that would not circulate, wouldn’t you? But no, there they are on the shelf. Took her a while to locate them, though, since they’re not on the shelf marked “Stamps, Photography, and Coins.” The human male is asking her if she really wants to check out ALL of them. Well, yes, she says, she does. That has earned her a monumental eye roll, but the checkout clerk seems to be happy enough to let her have them, so it looks like we’re losing a dining room chair for the duration.
Clara B. Mounce is rolling in her grave.
(later) It’s time to go collect Flannel Cat. Sigyn is extra glad to learn that she only needed one tooth out and came through the extraction $urgery ju$t fine. The vet says that she (the cat, not Sigyn) will need pain med$ and a antibiotic$. Please, oh, please, oh, please let the vet send the humans home with a bottle of that nasty, banana- or bubblegum-flavored amoxicillin liquid that they make for toddlers! I really, really want to see the humans trying to get a ml or two of that into the cat! Banana goop everywhere!
Curses! Foiled! The vet has offered a long-lasting antibiotic $hot instead and the humans leapt at the chance. But they do have the pain meds, and ehehehehe! The bottle is leaking all over the human female! Good show. I was afraid this wouldn’t be fun.
Two and three quarters of a mile of scratchy-throated meowing and we are home again. I’ve told Taffy Cat that Flannel is an impostor and not to be trusted, so there is a great deal of suspicious hissing going on, which is annoying and alarming to the humans, bewildering to Flannel, and vastly amusing to me.
(later) I have relented a bit. The AC repairman has sent the humans the missing paperwork. Nothing from the roofer, however.
(later) Time to give Flannel her pain medication. Does she want to come out and be fussed over?
She does not! Okay human male, get your long sleeves on while the human female draws the medicine up in the syringe.
Or tries to. The humans have found my last bit of mischief for today. The pain medication was dispensed in a teeny little bottle, with a supplied (needle-less) syringe for measuring doses. And the syringe doesn’t fit in he bottle! Not only that, it splattered out a good portion of its contents when the human female opened it to try! The human male is rummaging through his ink sample bottles to find a wide-mouthed one to transfer the liquid into.
And so we conclude with a smaller, shorter, less frantic version of the Feline Rodeo until the patient is safely corralled and hugged and the medicine administered. A few more hisses from Taffy and we are ready to put this week to bed. I’m sure it’s one none of us will ever forget.
No, wait. The porch light just blew out. Now I’m done.