big city to the south

Sigyn and the Tiny Shinies

Our second stop in the Big City to the South is Spice Shop Number Two.  We have managed to secure a parking spot right in front of the establishment!

Which appears to have been de-establishedSo sorry, human male!  Looks like you will have to order your urfa chilies online from now on.  You will have to console yourself with a trip to the Purveyor of Pens, which is fortuitously just in the next block.

Sigyn and the human female are taking this opportunity to have a good snoop in the bead shop which is next door to the defunct spicery.

Now, keep in mind the human female does not need any more beads.  She has bags and boxes and jars and strings and hanks of beads.  She and Sigyn must be part magpie, though, because it has taken them approximately ten seconds to dive into the broken- strand bin and start swimming.



Though I saw to it that they did not emerge with the bronze-colored jump rings the human female initially entered the store for, they have emerged with quite a haul.  There are three strands of faceted beads with the matching larger beads that they had to sift the loose beads for.


I heard the human female counting to fifty and muttering something about “decades”.  I can only assume that that is how long it’s going to take her to actually finish the project.

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Spice is Nice, But Plushies are Possessed

The humans woke up today and just decided to “run down” to the Big City to the South.  (Any excuse not to mow the lawn, eh, female?)  Now, if it were just me, teleportation would be involved and our errands would take maybe half an hour.  But since I refuse to waste good magic on bad mortals, “running down” involves two hours in the car each way and all of the accompanying traffic jams, bad drivers, and wrong turns.

Our first stop is Spice Store Number One.  Sigyn and I like this place, though I can do without the prickly, incipient-sneeze feeling that sniffing all the sample jars gives me.

Looking at the jars is giving me some good ideas.  It might be a little hard, though,  to sneak this into the humans’ food…


Hmm.  This stuff is a familiar color, so…


I wonder if the humans would notice before they sprinkled their applesauce, if I swapped this out for the cinnamon?

Sigyn has gravitated toward the kiddie corner, where there are books, crayons and paper, and a small assortment of plush toys.  The cow seems harmless enough,


…though its fatuous, vacant stare makes me wonder about its IQ.

But Blessed Glittering Bifrost!  What in the Nine Realms is this…this… rainbow-hooved and be-horned thing?!


Surely those eyes are portals to a realm of purest evil!

Back away slowly, Sigyn.  Back away slowly…

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1 Evening, 2 Cellos, 3 Over-Excited Females, and a Whole Lot of Screaming

The human female has been insufferable all day.  She and the blue-haired goddaughter, who has driven down all the way from the Big City to the North, have tickets to a concert in the Big City to the South tonight.  She says it involves cellos.  I have no real objection to stringed instruments, so I think Sigyn and I will go with them.


Uhg!  The females chattered all. the. way. down.  I am more than ready for some soothing cello music.


They look a bit under-dressed, but perhaps that is not what they wear to perform…

Now we are standing in front of the auditorium, waiting for the doors to open.  It is cold and windy and Sigyn is getting chilled.  If my sweetie catches cold, someone is going to pay!

Ehehehe!  The security line Sigyn and I are in has moved smoothly.  The human female and the blue-haired goddaughter’s line is not moving at all.  Perhaps that’s because I just zapped the metal-detecting frame and it’s dead.  Now all the cranky mortals have to shuffle over into a longer line!  See you later, ladies—Sigyn and I are going inside where it is warm!

Our seats appear to be satisfactory.


Later:  Sigyn was sleepy, so she is taking a little nap while some unknown vocalist performs some songs no one can catch the words to.  Thor may be the god of lightning, but I do all right with electricity and can scramble a PA system as well as anyone!

Muuuch later:  Sigyn is sleeping so peacefully that I am letting her have another thirty minutes of nap, while the other concert goers get to sit staring at an empty stage and growing increasingly annoyed.

Later still:  Very well.  Sigyn is rested and refreshed, so I suppose it is all right for the concert to start.  An hour past scheduled start is enough mischief.  Let there be Cello!

Lovely, lyrical cello and—

Great Friggas’s Corset!!!  I did not know cellos could be manipulated to play heavy metal music!


And what is that frenetic drummer doing up there?!  Odin’s eyepatch!  I have been lured here under false and very decibellious pretenses!

Just for that, I shall make sure that the human female and the blue-haired goddaughter do not show in the official concert photo.


Sigyn and I are approximately under the red arrow.

The show is over and all the females are still squealing and bouncing up and down.  My ears are still ringing! And we still have a long drive back–it’s going to be midnight before we reach home.  No one had better mess with me tomorrow, because I’m sure to be as surly as a bilgesnipe with a sore paw…

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She Has Finally Succumbed, Part III: You Guessed It! More Pens!

Suitably fortified, the humans have re-entered the pen show.  I’m not sure what they didn’t see already–I was pretty certain they’d seen/bought all of it– but they seem just as eager to get back in there as they were to arrive.

Sigyn has stumbled on a craftsman who specializes in rather more primitive writing utensils than the rest of the vendors.


Yes, my love.  The shiny peacock feathers are quite beautiful!

This same vendor has some of his own inks with beary good names:  Blue-beary, Straw-beary, CUCUM-bear, etc.  (I think he was kind of reaching on that last one…)


Sigyn is nothing if not predictable.  Gently, love, gently.

This same merchant also has some other low-tech, suitable-for-the-aftermath-of Ragnarok writing supplies.  He makes a line of ink out of plat-dyes, and his brother-in-law makes some lovely pens.  And hey!  They have something that is right about at the human female’s intellectual level:

wax tablet

This  is where I tell my latest THFSTypical Human Female Story.  You know how she likes to find errors in other people’s work and feel superior when she fixes them?  And then turns around and does something utterly stupid?  Well, little children, listen to Uncle Loki:  One of the activities at the show is a silent auction.  Various bits and pieces of pen accoutrements are laid out on tables in the lobby, with a sheet of paper underneath identifying said clutter and stating the opening bid and the minimum bid advance.  One writes down one’s name and offer and, at the end of the show, the highest written bid is the winner.  No shouting, no waving funny numbered paddles in the air.  The human female, very early in today’s exploits, found that the bid sheets on two adjacent items were reversed–quite obviously, as one pen was blue and the other green, and the color word was in the description.  So she switched the sheets around–no bids on them yet, so no fuss.  And she felt very smug (which is not a good look on her.)

Not all that long afterwards, she was testing a vintage pen.  It is a Thing Which is Done–one asks if one can try the pen, the pen tip is dipped in ink, and there is enough ink to write a sentence or two so one can see how the instrument performs.  No need to actually fill the pen, which is messy and wastes ink.  Then the pen tip can be swished in some water, blotted dry, and there you are.  Usually, the proprietor does the cleaning, but not always. So there the hapless female is, writing with something Italian, old, and far out of her price range.  She finishes, and the stall proprietor is busy talking with someone else.  This is the human female’s first Pen Show, and she desires to be seen as Knowledgeable and Helpful. She sees the plastic cup of water practically at her elbow and helpfully dips and swishes.

Which is when the Affronted Matron standing behind her says (with enough ice in her tone to qualify as an honorary Jotun), “That is my drink.”

Did you know that hotel carpet is actually tough enough that one cannot chew through it and keep going until there is a hole of sufficient depth that one can disappear into it?  Lessons one learns the hard way.

Speaking of disappearing, mortals, isn’t it about time we were going?  How many pens can one look at, anyway?  Gather your friends and accessories.  We’ve been here all day and still have a long drive home.

See?  Sigyn is ready to hit the road already!


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Mini-Break, Part V: The Requisite Visit to the Large Market

It wouldn’t be a trip to the Big City to the South without a visit to the Large Market.  I will admit it—Midgardian food is much more diverse than Asgardian fare.  It’s meat, ale, bread, ale, fruit, mead, cheese, and ale back home, but I never know what we’re going to find here.

Oh!  These, mortals!  Purchase some of these!

blood orange

I don’t know what they look like inside, but with a name like that, it’s bound to be spectacular!

What do you have there, Sigyn?


Ah.  the sign says, “pepino melons,” but the human female says they’re more closely related to tomatoes and potatoes than cantaloupe or watermelon.  Regardless, Sigyn is hugging the stripey one.  She says she thinks it’s probably sad because it’s not like the others.  Leave it to my beloved to feel sorry for fruit.

One of the best parts is the opportunity to sample all the things the helpers are offering as samples.

fruit spread.jpg

It’s sweet, it’s fruit, and it’s red!   It’s the Sigyn trifecta!

The Large Market has apparently started stocking Fine but Overpriced cookware in Sigyn’s favorite color.


And this is new as well!  If  I understand correctly, these are glutinous rice balls filled with ice cream.   We’ve had the plain ones before with the red bean paste inside—but ice cream!  That’s different!


The human male wants to try the vanilla, Sigyn wants strawberry, and I’m stumping for Double Chocolate.  Give me all the chocolate…

As always, Sigyn likes to round out her visit to the Large Market with a stroll through the extensive floral department.  Sometimes she finds exotic blossoms, but today’s she’s quite taken with the roses in her two favorite colors:

Sunny yellow,


and cheerful red.

flame rosess

They are no more beautiful than you, my love.

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Mini-Break, Part IV: In Which We Run Into A Spot (or two) Of Bother in the Gift Shop

We are here in the museum’s Gift Shop, which is always a risky prospect.  How so?  There is the very real danger that:

–The human male is going to find an expensive book that he wants

–The human female is going to embarrass us all by squeeing over scientifically accurate stuffed animals.

–Sigyn is going to find something motion-related and become– like this.

It. Happens. Every. Time.  Pendulums, marble machines, factory equipment–doesn’t matter.  Sigyn is absolutely mesmerized by moving things.  In this case, it’s colored oil drops rolling down little ramps in some sort of desk doo-dad.

Oh, sweetie.  Can you…?  It’s all right… Just look away…  Come on.  Lets go look at…something else.  Something not moving.

Here!  Come see this!


Who doesn’t love a good novelty cutting board?

Or maybe you’d like to check out the rubbery prehistoric beasties?


Jormungandr’s jodhpurs!   Unhand my beloved, you toothy behemoth or I shall render you extinct a second time!  Hang on, Sweetie!  Loki’s coming!

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Mini-Break, Part III: Wondrous and Translucent Lapidaceous Beasties

Sometimes the unexpected is the most interesting.  The humans did not know this exhibit of carved gemstone animals was here.  Magpie-like, the human female has been drawn in by their glitter.  Sigyn has followed and, as I am not in the slightest averse to gemstones, I have come along as well.

I must say, the luster of the agate used has captured the look of a real snail very well.

carved snail1

The card says, “Brazil,” but they were all carved by one man in a little town in Germany.

There’s a purple one as well.


Agate is apparently good for toads as well.


Careful, Sigyn! That amphibious blivet looks as if it could explode at any moment.

This toad-on-a-mushroom is giving me the stink-eye.


Sigyn likes this golden fellow.


Great Frigga’s corset!  There’s a pink one!  This Dreher chap must really have fancied toads.


Toads which, apparently, come in stripes.


Is there *anything* here which isn’t a toad or a snail?

That’ll do, Pig.

carved piglet

That’ll do.

I must admit, this pelican is quite well done.

carved pelican

The human female has decided that it—or perhaps this little rosy mouse–are her favorites.

carved mouse

Sigyn is hard pressed to choose between this ermine…

carved ermine

…and these cavorting otters.

carved otters

Which one do I prefer?  I think I will have to go with this lovely green chap.

carved chameleon

Green, shifty-eyed, and with handsome curly bits.  Yes, this is the one I want.  Give me a moment to disengage the case alarms, and it’s souvenir time!

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