big city to the north

Making Some Pokey New Friends

The gaming weekend is winding down.  There really isn’t time to play another long game.

There is time, however, to have a quick sail around the table in these fetching his-and-hers Viking longboats.

viking boat

I do so love it when things come in green and red.

Sleipnir’s fetlocks!  What manner of beast is this which approaches?!



Careful, my love!  It may be sporting a friendly face and a “Don’t-mind-me-I’m-just-cute” earnestness (along with a charming pigeon-toed posture), but how do we know it isn’t hostile?  I don’t trust it.


Norns’ nighties!  There’s a whole parade of the creatures!


Once again, Sigyn works her taming magic on a fearsome quadruped, turning ravening monster into mild-mannered personal taxi.


It’s entirely predictable…

Come, my dearest.  It’s time were were packed and on the road.   Say goodbye to your new friend.


That woman will hug anything and I love her.

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MMMmmmm No Regrets (Sigyn Speaks)

I am having such a wonderful day!  We have all decided that shopping in the oil and vinegar store has made us just hungry enough to walk the half a block to the same lovely cafe where we had lunch the last time we were in this neighborhood.  I know that I can always find a little room for dessert—and I seem to recall they had quite an extensive dessert menu!

Hmm.  I remembered correctly!   What to choose?  What to choose?


Creme brulee is always good, but a raspberry tart would be delicious too.  And what is a key lime var?  It sounds so exotic!

The human female and I decided to split an almond croissant.  I can never say no to croissants, and there is no such thing as too much almond!

Look!  Isn’t it divine?


Mmmm.  They warmed it up so that the almond paste inside is just a little gooey and mmmmelty.

You know, Loki didn’t want to come with us today.  He doesn’t know what he’s missing!

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I Want to Taste Everything! (Sigyn Speaks)

While everyone else is playing games back at the house, I’ve come out with the human female, the Blue-haired Godddaughter, and her mother.  We’re having a little shopping expedition, and it’s such fun!

We’re in this beautiful, fancy shop I was here before, once, but I didn’t take any pictures then.  I didn’t think the shopkeepers would like it.  This location is going out of business soon, though, and the clerks all seem more open and talkative today, as if they don’t have to be so fancy anymore.  I’m sad the shop is closing, but not sad that all the deliciousness is on closeout sale.

This store reminds me of Aladdin’s cave–if the cave were full of oil and vinegar!  Really!  That’s almost all they sell!

The fun part is that you can take tastes of all the different things!   Look!  They have toothpicks and little bread cubes you can dip.


I didn’t know there were so many different kinds of oil.  And not just plain oil, either–they have different flavors!

And look at all the different kinds of vinegar!  How fun is this?


I want to try  the elderflower apple lime.  (dip, nibble, nibble…)  Hmm.  The elderflower part is nice, and the apple is nice, but I’m not sure about the lime…  The strawberry-rhubarb is terrific, though!

Isn’t this pretty?  A lot of the oils and vinegars are in big cruets on the wall and you buy a bottle and fill it up.  If you bring back an empty bottle, you can fill it for less than buying a new one.  Very clever!


Oooh!  What’s over here?


Different kinds of maple syrple!  (dip, nibble, nibble…)  Oh, the Festivus one is good–it has cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg!  Oh, shoot!  now I’m craving pancakes!

What’s over on this shelf?  Mmm.  All kinds of toppings and spreads…


Everywhere I look, there’s something I want to try!  (See for yourself!)

Ooh!  Pretty rainbow box!


It’s a whole selection of chocolate!  I can see they have the individual bars for sale, too.  What a neat idea!

Double shoot!  Now I want chocolate pancakes!

: )

A Most Enjoyable Respite

The humans are off to the Big City to the North, having plans to meet up with some of their friends.  I know, I know–it always surprises me that they have friends all over the state.  I suppose spreading them around means that none of them has to put up with the pair of them for very long at a time.  But I digress.

At any rate, the plan proposes games, eating, more games, more eating, some shopping, a moderate amount of alcohol, quite a bit of laughing, and a bit more eating to round out the visit.  The car is loaded with games and a bag of two of comestibles to contribute to the gastronomic excesses.

The Big City to the North is considerably farther away from the Big City to the South.  Sigyn and the human female, being of limited bladdular capacity, have requested what the humans crudely term a “pit stop” to interrupt the journey.

I’m not enthusiastic.  Not only do I have a godly capacity when it comes to holding my beverages, I know from previous cross-country expeditions with the humans that roadside rest stops tend to be exactly as named—little better than actual pits.

Sweet glittering Bifrost!  This is a far, far cry from most of the ugly concrete bungalows that dot the rest of the state!

Texas Rest Area building on I-10

This looks more like a destination than a waystation!  The sprawling complex houses historical displays and in addition to some truly palatial toiletting facilities.

Image result for navarro county rest area

Outside, overlooks, bird-watching spots, walking trails, and greenery cover the grounds.  There is even some theme-y art.


Sigyn says she didn’t know that bison were so tall.

She’s also exited to see that, despite the excellent state of repair of this whole place, the grounds-keeping staff have not been too punctilious in their duties.


There are some very cheerful and sit-able dandelions in the flower beds.

I, on the other hand, have great hopes for some of the wetter, wilder bits of this place…


The humans can continue on.  I think Sigyn and I are biding here for a while!

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Things to Hug and Things to Eat

I must admit to enjoying the movie.  Sigyn liked the costumes.  I liked the snark.  

Now all of us, including the friends the humans met up with earlier today, are supposed to go eat dinner.  The rendezvous place?  One of the fun Japanese stores.  It is much like the one in the big city to the west.

It is full of things Sigyn wants to make friends with.


I know you want to take the puppy home, sweetie, and having one more animal to shed on the human female’s clothes is an appealing prospect, I grant you, but it wouldn’t get along with the Terror Twins.

Yes, you are right. This dragon would not shed–at at least not hair.  And I can see that though he looks fierce, he is just a big softy.


But how big is he going to grow?  You need to think ahead.  Once he’s the size of a house and the neighbors start complaining, you’ll be sad.  That’s right: give him one last hug and tell him goodbye.

That was close!  I thought for a minute we were adding a dragon to the family.  Sigyn, are you about ready to go eat? Sigyn–?

Where did Sigyn go?

I should have known.


Sigyn has been adopted by a family of pandas.  She says that she doesn’t want to bring one home with us, because it would miss all its brothers and sisters and cousins, but she wants to know if she can come back to visit every now and then.

I think that could be arranged…

Dinner awaits!

Looks like we will be eating with sticks again.  Oh, goody.  (I can do it, but ramen is splattery, and my cloak has enough problems already.)


Ehehehe. I’ve arranged a little surprise for the human female.  She was in the mood for chicken ramen, but ALL the ramen on the menu is pork belly!  (That’s what you get for dragging me to a place that makes me eat with sticks.)  So sad!  Looks like it’s veggie ramen for you!

And all the dumplings for me!


Well, I’ll share with Sigyn, of course. But none for the rest of you!

Nom nom nom.  Tummy’s full now.  Since I missed my movie nap, I think I may sleep all the way home.  (Which is just as well, as the conversation is sure to be 100% pens.)


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Escape From the Pen Show

The human female and the blue-haired goddaughter plan to leave the males behind and go off to spend the afternoon together.  Sigyn wants to go with them.  Given the choice between more pens and perhaps another run-in with someone who looks like my brother on the one hand and listening to the females prattle on the other, I have chosen prattle.

I believe the plan is to go to view a film.  Outstanding!   If nothing else, I can get a nap if the soundtrack’s not too loud.

The film is showing at a cinema in a very, very fancy mall.  How fancy?  Observe the seasonal decorations.  Every one of the innumerable planters is full of pumpkins–great big, hideously expensive ones.  Little, tiny, throwable ones.  Strange, striped, and warty ones.  There must be tens of thousands of dollars worth of larval pie in here.


This place may be as upscale as it comes, but there are some decidedly strange folks in this place.  Take this trio outside of the theater:


Sigyn, light of my life, are you sure you should be posing with them?  They look singularly untrustworthy!

Ah!  Time to enter the cinema!  The tickets were ridiculously expensive for a matinee.  I shall indeed take great delight in sleeping through the feature, just to annoy the human female.

On the other hand, there is some waspishly good dialogue in this one.  Instead of napping, I think I shall take notes.


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To Fill Pens–And Bellies

It is now midday-ish, and the humans are starting to make hungry noises.  Since our party has encountered a group of friends, there are now seven humans to organize as to what to dine upon and where to do it.  The human female has been enthusiasing prolifically about an eatery she found online.  It has a huge menu!   It has good prices!  It has great reviews!  It is mere blocks from the location of the pen show!  It is only open until 2:00, so we had better get into our respective vehicles and skedaddle!

It is most emphatically not open today!   Ehehehehe!  I knew that and you didn’t!  Try again, mortals!  You will have to feast upon something else.  And since you called the blue-haird goddaughter to meet up with you, you will have to re-direct her to whatever venue you choose.

(a short while later)  So here we all are in a tiny diner that appears to specialize in bagels and other sandwiches.  I think by walking in our group has doubled their daily clientele.  Do you see something you would like to try, Sigyn?


While we wait for the food to arrive, everyone is pulling out their pen show purchases and comparing notes.

The human male and female seem to have been focusing on ink.  These are the female’s choices.


The box with the illuminated manuscript design of a whale holds what is purported to be an indelible medium blue ink.  Sensible choice, although there must already be fifty shades of blue in the house.  The other bottle holds a very pale, girly shade of watery blue.  The human male keeps asking the female if she’s sure she’s going to like it, because anything written with it is certainly going to be difficult to read.  She is stalwartly defending her choice.  No matter to me–I don’t have to use it.

The human male has bought green (upon which I am standing) and a shade of deep brownish-red called “Red Beans and Rice.”  Sigyn is intrigued by the fancy wax seal.


The human male is sniggering as he places the next bottle before me.


“White Lightning”?  Oh, I see.  You are throwing Thor up to me again.  Ha ha ha.  Very clever, mortal.  I note that this liquid is supposed to make stubborn inks flow more freely.  Very well.  You can be sure I’m going to “freely” a pen all over your pocket in the near future.  Then we’ll see who’s laughing.

Some of the pen vendors hand out little trinkets in their booths.  Today it seems to be stickers.  I’ve got one that looks like a splat of the human female’s pale blue ink, which is sort of lame.  Sigyn, however,  has a fancy hologram one.


*I* want a fancy hologram one!  Pout.

Wait! Why is everyone putting away the ink—?  Oh.  I see. The food is coming out.  The males have mostly ordered meaty wrap-like objects.  Sigyn and the human female appear to have ordered the most veggie thing on the menu.   Vegetable cream cheese with lettuce, spinach, cucumber, tomato, sprouts, and avocado on a sesame bagel.


To judge by the rapturous noises they’re making, it’s quite tasty indeed, but I’m feeling peevish as well as peckish, so the human female can expect to have to fight every second to keep all the delicious ingredients from sliding right out of the bagel onto her shirt.

Now, where’s my gyro?

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