i’m not cleaning this up

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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Oh, Come On! You Can Do Better Than That!

Sigh. Some days.

Some days it just seems like all my efforts are for naught. I spend hours and hours working with the Terror Twins every week, coaching them on how best to shed, shred, rummage, decapitate violets, refuse food, etc., etc. But do they profit by my instruction?

They do not!

One of them–I’m not sure who–did this this afternoon.

That’s disgusting!

I mean, the hairball’s a decent size, and it’s got two hairball trailers, and the overall length of the splatter is nearly record-breaking, but Odin’s Eyepatch! The human female’s very expensive custom orthotics were right. there. And you MISSED them.

Have I taught you nothing?!

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In Which The Humans Try to Redeem Themselves

The humans–especially the male–still seem to be possessed by the notion of creating the perfect bread. You will recall, perhaps with the same schadenfreude and nostalgic chuckle that I do, their attempts to make homemade pizza crust. It did not, by any stretch of the imagination, go well.

Today they are trying a simple recipe for Amish bread, a white sandwich-style loaf that is made from an enriched dough. Sigyn, shall we help them out–or at least bear witness to the carnage?

Prep time 30 minutes? With these two, I’m betting it’ll be closer to an hour. You’d think two cooks would be twice as fast, but that assumes no one’s getting in anyone else’s way.

And that I’m not involved.

I knew it! The humans are physically incapable of following a recipe precisely.

They’ve already deviated from the stated ingredients in two ways. The human female has reduced the amount of sugar and is planning to substitute some whole wheat flour for one of the cups of white flour. (Woman, it’s bread. If it turns out, you’re going to eat a ton of it, which is not healthy, wholegrain flour notwithstanding.

First, we need to prepare Sigyn’s favorite part.

My love, we’ve had the discussion about leaning out too far over measuring cups.

And be careful around the stove!

The human female told me why we need to scald the milk. She said, “Blah blah, denaturation of enzymes, blah, blah.” I propose a new rule: No science in the kitchen.

Once the milk has cooled, we need a cup of water…

And some sugar–but not as much as in the original recipe–

Yes, my sweet, you can draw a smiley face in the sugar with your finger if you want.

The milk, the water, the yeast, and the sugar all go in one big bowl.

While our “little fungal friends” are doing their thing, we can assemble the other ingredients and tools.

Sigyn likes the look of the foamy, recipe-ready yeast.

I think it looks disgusting, but then, the larval stage of anything is usually unattractive, and I suppose there’s no reason bread should be any different.

Time for the first cup of flour.

Then more flour, oil, and salt.

The first few cups of flour go in easily. After that, the dough gets rather stiff and it takes some real muscle to do the stirring. And then there is ten minutes of kneading!

Come on, humans! Get through this and you can skip arm day at the gym. (I’ve heard mortals say that. I have no idea what it means.)

Stirring and kneading complete! We now have what the human female calls a “dough baby.”

Soft, round, squishy, and makes a mess everywhere. Yep. Baby.

Time for baby to take a little nap in a warm place.

It’s barely warm in here, and the felines can’t play with it. Now, while we wait for it to rise, I suppose we could clean up the mess we’ve made. But gods don’t do dishes, so I’ll leave all the bowls and cups and pans and measuring spoons for the humans to deal with.

(later)

Our dough baby has grown up. Now comes my favorite part of the process–smacking down the risen dough to watch it deflate!

Do I spy a human female handprint? I believe I do!

Morekneadingmorekneadingmorekneadingmorekneadingmorekneadingmorekneading… Ready to shape into loaves.

(later) The loaves have risen and are ready for the oven. Welcome to the human female’s kitchen–the pans don’t match…

…and the loaves don’t either. The female did this one. Look at that unfilled corner!

Sloppy, mortal, sloppy. But into the oven they go!

Now all we can do is wait.

And wait.

And wait. It is starting to smell good in here! It could still go badly wrong, though. The human female could pull the loaves out too early. Or too late. What will it be–soggy bottom or meteorite?

Well, for good or ill, the loaves are out and are cool enough to turn out of the pans.

What do you think, Sigyn? They look all right. But the proof is in the eating. And the verdict is….

Yummy!!! Circle the date on the calendar, the bread is not only edible, it’s actually good.

And it’s going to make awesome toast!

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Did You Know…

…that if you sneak up behind a cat while it’s eating that it’s apt to get a little startled?

bookitty

Ehehehehe!

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