proper use of the subjunctive

The Week From Hel, Day 3: One Step Foward, One Step Back, One Step Sideways

Well, the humans survived yesterday. By the end of it, they were so exhausted and ready to get out of the House of A Thousand Repairs that the thought of cooking dinner was not to be borne, and we all went out to the cute little Central American Cafe that Sigyn and I enjoyed so much before. We met up with friends, who also had a Crummy Day.

All of the fun, Wooden Fruits of Unusual Size seem to be gone, but the very tropical-looking tablecloths are new.

Should have brought sunglasses.

The menu has the same items–in fact, I think the menus are the same actual menus. They are certainly looking a little worse for wear.

As all good meals should, this one began with chips and salsa.

The human female, predictable as ever, went right for the peanut smoothie.

Between the two of them, they made short work of the thing, which made my sweetie very sad.

Fortunately, the food arrived at that point, and equanimity was restored.

Then we all went home, bathed, and fell into bed and slept like dead logs.

Today we are in sort of a holding pattern.

The new AC unit appears to be working, though it is overriding the schedule the human male set up, which is odd. If only there were a manual! The promised manual has not been sent, and there has been no further communique from the AC repairmen.

We have heard nothing from the new roofer.

The water-damage-restoration people will be here to assess wetnesses (so many s’s!) this afternoon. The humans cannot schedule the actual repair of the ceiling and the cleaning of the carpet until the restoration is finished, so all of that is on hold as well.

The human female looks particularly lumpy and gruesome today, since as we were leaving the cafe last night, I induced one of the many, many mosquitoes to bite her twice, once in the corner of her eye and once just below it. She’ll itch for a about a week and then go back to ordinary levels of lumpy and gruesome.


The restoration folks have come and gone. They will bring their equipment tomorrow. Now, how much mold can I induce to grow between now and then? I ought to get busy.

(later, again)

Compared to yesterday, today has been rather peaceful. The human female is going to spend the evening relaxing with her stitchery.


Or not. That “blip” was the sound of the specialty bulb in her task lamp burning out. Without it, she has no hope of seeing tiny stitches on black fabric.

And here’s my big surprise for the day! The light manufacturer, Obsolete Technology Troubles, no longer makes the lamp or the light bulbs that go in it. Searching online turns up multiple discussion threads about the fact that they still sell 18 watt fluorescent bulbs, but that the new bulbs have a different base, so they don’t fit in the lamp “without some modification.” That sounds ominous…

There is *one* bulb in town–or rather, in the town just to the north. The humans will hurry out to the crap crafts store to buy it tomorrow and try to make it fit. Now, I’m not saying I’ll make the human female buy a whole new lamp just because the bulb burnt out, but yes, I plan to make the human female buy a whole new lamp because the bulb burnt out…

>|: [

Escape to the Big City to the West! Part IV: Mischief and Mushrooms in the Market

No trip to a Big City, be it north, south, west, or east (Have we done east? I do not think so…) is complete without a trip to the Large Market. The human male likes to buy their ginger-apple juice, and the female is always on the hunt for new apple varieties.

I have seen to it that there are no new apples today. There were going to be, but I had the produce manager hide them in the back.

Sigyn is excited because she has never seen a “real live yam” before.

She has made friends with sweet potatoes before, which people in this part of Midgard often mistakenly call yams, but this is her first encounter with the real thing. They’re very large, but she’s not afraid at all, my brave girl.

Odin’s Eyeptatch! Sigyn, come over here and look at this! There is a veritable Fungal Festival going on here today! One whole display is nothing but chitinous Basidiomycetes. The bright yellow oyster mushroom is certainly eye-catching.

The plainer brown variety is a little less startling in its coloration.

(poke poke poke) Mushrooms feel so weird.

I do not know what this kind is called.

Looks like a pile of wood shavings, doesn’t it? Here’s another anonymous mass of mycelia:

And in case one is unable to choose, the emporium offers a thoughtful assortment box.

That would make a very good hostess gift. “Here you go–I brought you a box of expensive mixed toadstools. I know they don’t work with your dinner menu, but you have to eat them within a day or so or they’ll go all limp or get moldy and you’ll feel guilty. Enjoy!”

Hmm. I wonder if I could persuade the human female to buy a box for herself? I could sneak in one of these:

Destroying Angel

Sigyn has wandered off, attracted by the bright colors in another display:

Dragonfruit. And gaudy they definitely are! They come in yellow

…as well as a pink that is an abomination unto mine eyes.

Dearest, are you certain that food should be that color?

She certainly is a bit of a magpie, attracted by all sorts of bright and shiny things. This soap, for instance.

It is certainly…colorful. I wonder–as you use it, do all the bits wear out at the same rate, or do the little chunks fall out as the matrix wears away? I might have to do some experimenting. Also, if this stuff is made in a loaf and then sliced, Why are no two pieces alike? I have the feeling this is going to be keeping me up nights…

We are nearly done here. The human female has found her favorite tortilla chips and the required gummy octopus-shaped candy. The male has found his juice and a few other tidbits. It is certainly not as much fun here as it was in the days when they were giving out samples around every corner. Get yourselves vaccinated, people! I want my samples back!

The only department left is the floral section. Sigyn, as could be predicted, has gone straight for the most colorful bunches, in this case some huge, waxy Ranunculus.

If you were to look up “yellow” in the dictionary, there would be a picture of those.

How many Sigyn-volumes are there in one Protea? I don’t know, but I’m sure the number has a lot of zeros.

Some of the prepared bouquets are very pretty.

But I suppose I am a bit predictable myself. I find myself drawn to these hydrangeas.

They’re green, and I just know that if I could convince the human female to take some home, I could induce them to shed copiously all over the house. Bonus points if the felines eat them and leave petal-y puke… Hmmm.

>|: [

The Madness Continues

Sigyn and I have returned to the market to see if any other plush horrors have manifested.

Or, rather, *I* have returned to see if any other plush horrors have manifested. Sigyn just wants to cuddle the bunnies some more, and maybe purchase some candy at last-minute prices.

This…thing…ticks my box.

And this ticks Sigyn’s.

Sigyn, I believe it is giving you what is what is known as the “hairy eyeball…”

And at least one of its offspring is becoming adept at making the same expression.

The sheep are much less judgmental and seem to have accepted Sigyn as one of the flock.

Some of the seasonal tat would actually be very useful.

With a crate of carrots this tempting, I might just catch the Eater Bunny this year.

However,some of the wares for sale are just… unnecessary.

I mean, that raises so many questions! Is that supposed to be interior or exterior decor? Is it a lantern? Why is it all cement-colored? Why is it over thirty dollars? Why is the rabbit wearing overalls and a sweater? What does it think is so funny? And most importantly, How am I going to get my sweetie out of that thing when she inevitably falls inside?

Great Frigga’s Hairpins! She managed not to fall into the concrete bunny lantern, but I suppose this was a given:

Hang on, dearest. Loki’s coming.

I may need to steer her away from less hazardous gew-gaws. I would have better luck rescuing her from this, for example:

It just screamsonly-seasonally-appropriate desk accessory,” doesn’t it? I know that if it were on my desk (which it wouldn’t be, but if it were), I would keep trying to pull its ears off to use as paperclips.

And this, inexplicable and quirky as it is, poses almost no danger at all.

And there she is, ladies and gentlemen—my sweetie on the half-shell!

While Sigyn enjoys a good look around Kitschville, if anyone needs me, I’ll be buying some Peeps and graham crackers so I can make Horror S’Mores.

>|: [

Making the Most of Fleeting Beauty

I can refuse my beloved Sigyn nothing, so here we are again, crunch, crunch, crunch, enjoying the little bit of fall color and drifting leaves that the thirtieth parallel affords.

The Virginia creeper seems to be trying to outdo all the other vines.

If it doesn’t feel like being red, sometimes it will opt for copper.

And if that doesn’t do it, there’s always the gradient effect.

About the only color it doesn’t do is lemon yellow. Good thing the little passionflower has that nailed down.

The trees and shrubs are vying for attention, too. Winged elm can’t seem to decide if it wants to be yellow or orange.

This one has settled on burnt orange,

which should be illegal in a town in which everything is required by law to be Aggie Maroon, but whatever.

Farkleberry is adhering to the maroon law as best it can. There are usually some maroon leaves in with the red ones.

(This year the fruits have hung on much longer than normal. Where were the birds that were supposed to have eaten them up over the summer?)

Shining Sumac can be counted on for a consistent, bright red.

SIgyn would be just as happy if everything were this color. I keep trying to explain that if everything were red, nothing would stand out and she’d grow tired of it quickly. She says that might be true but it would be “fun to try it out for a few days.”

The willows down by the mostly-dry-creek have gone enthusiastically yellow.

That photo doesn’t really do them justice.

The hickory, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be trying AT ALL.

Sigyn is trying to comfort it, assuring her that it is loved and valued for its sturdy wood and squirrel-treat nuts and that it is beautiful in its own way. My love, how can you appreciate any fall color with your rose-colored-glasses affixed so firmly to your lovely face?

The Bushy Bluestem has also opted for brown this year.

What it lacks in glamor it makes up in poofiness.

Where foliage fails, the fruit can sometimes be counted on to supply the color deficit. Beautyberry is always happy to provide that color that defies classification.

I don’t know what it looks like on your phone/computer/tablet, etc., but to my eyeballs, it’s a very, very obnoxious fuchsiamagentapurplepink not found anywhere else in nature except a rare species of sea slug that inhabits the waters off of Borneo.

(I made that last bit up. Might be true. Might not. Can’t be arsed to check.)

Greenbriar has luscious-looking fruit.

And let us not have that tiresome argument about whether black is a color or not. This isn’t optics, this is botany, and anyone who has played with the berries, pulling out their rubbery-snot innards to see how far they’ll stretch, can vouch for just how dyed their fingers are for the next day or so. It’s color. Case closed.

Well, this has been a lot of walking and a good deal of dangling and poking. Sigyn, see if you can find us a soft, pretty place to rest before we make the long trip back home.

Is she the best, or what?

>|: [

Ha! I was right!

Purple Sea Slug (Chromodoris sp.) | Sea slug, Slugs, Sea

I Suppose It’s the Thought That Counts

Look, Sigyn! It’s a parcel, and it’s addressed to the human female!

Let’s open it.

Oh, don’t play innocent with me. I know you want to! No, it’s not addressed to you or to me, but the human female has so many people who truly do not like her that we OWE it to her to, um…pre-inspect it and make sure that it contains nothing harmful. Yes, that’s it.

Does it say who it’s from?

Ah. Flourish–that’s the University’s touchy-feely outfit, the one that encourages people to breathe, exercise, get in touch with their inner moppet, and not be mad at the school for making them teach live during a pandemic. (Did I say that out loud?)

Well, let’s have at it. Good thing I always have a dagger handy.

Well, look at that.

It’s a slogan. Graphically designed, multicolored, and kind of cryptic. Who is supposed to be kind, the sender or the recipient? And who’s meant to be great, President Young (that’s his little message in there) or the human female?

I’m so confused. Is there anything else in the box? Surely there must be, or why send a package via Usually Smashes Parcels Significantly when an email would suffice?


Sigyn would be thrilled if this were all the box contained. (My girl has a definite “thing” for confetti and crinkles.) I’m not as big a fan. Paper tends to catch annoyingly on the helmet.

Moving on.


Oh–I see what this is now! This is a care package, a little “Something-something” to say, “Stay safe in this time of difficulty and pestilence!” All the staff were mailed one. It’s a nice gesture.

Can we pause for a moment and appreciate how the little bottle of sanitizer is of a size compliant with TSA rules for air travel?

Not that anyone can GO anywhere at the moment, but hey, it’s the thought that counts!

Sigyn, we’re standing on something flattish… Get off and let’s see what it is.

Antibacterial wet wipes. Very useful! The Covid may get her, but the human is all set to ward off bubonic plague.

One last thing…

A mask. Very thoughtful. Very soft. Very on-brand.

Very much too big.

You wouldn’t know, because–thank the Norns!–the human female’s likeness never sullies this blog, but she really has a tiny little pinhead. There’s no way this one-size-fits-all mask is going to work.

I can hear you now–“Just tie a knot in the elastic earloops and it will fit better!” That might work, if her ears didn’t stick out like taxicab doors, but they do. Any loop small enough to hold a mask securely to her face is going to be strong enough to fold her ear right over and slip off. Trust me, I watched her try. It wasn’t pretty.

So looks like the human male gets another mask, to go with the one he received in his little care package last week.

And that’s it. That’s all there is. I was hoping for cookies or candy, and Sigyn was stumping for stickers, but sadly, it’s just plague supplies.

Bored now. Come on, Sigyn, let’s just leave all the contents for the human female.

And all the packing for the felines.

>|: [

Adapt, Adopt, Improve: What Do You Do With a Broken Lambo?

Someone should do something about this stoopid car.  It’s a safe bet the human female isn’t going to bestir herself to put it away properly or sell it or give it to the public radio station that is always asking for people to “donate their old clunker, running or not.”  No, it will probably just sit here, shedding parts, until I use it for target practice, which will be satisfying, but messy.


Hmm.   What to do?   What to do…


Aha!  Of course.  I shall take advantage of its inherent inclination to divest itself of its wheels…


A little tinker here,

a little magic there,

a gyro or two



Hoverboards for everybody!

>|: [


Sigyn Speaks: Making Shopping Lists a Little More Fun

Hi!  Sigyn here.  I thought today I would do something fun to make the humans smile a little.  Every week, they sit down and plan out the menu for the coming days, making note of who has what activity in the evenings, or any other event that might impact dinner plans.  The human male jots down menu ideas and makes note of what’s already to hand in the freezer and pantry, as well as any special weather notes.  I don’t think there’s much chance of it being cold and rainy enough to want soup anytime soon, but it never hurts to check the forecast!

Then they make a shopping list.  Loki has been known to sabotage the list on more than one occasion.  I thought it might make a nice change if the list this week were cheerful and funny.

I like to draw little animals eating the items on the list:

shopping list-1

I mean, I think a curly-horned goat would enjoy nectarines and blueberries, don’t you?  I know the feline here would love a bag of shredded Asiago cheese.  The raccoon looks like the one the human female found in her car.  This one is trying to steal the tomato paste!

Loki thinks I’m silly.  But crocodiles are fun to draw, and this one likes tomato bisque and enchilada sauce!

shopping list-2

Oooo! That is a THIRSTY cow!

Yes, Loki, it makes for a very goofy list.  I know you don’t care much for gophers who are requesting toothbrushes for good oral hygiene…

shopping list-3

But do you like the ice cream-licking snake?  I drew him just for you!

: )

Impressions of a throne

The human female does have some garden plants she hasn’t managed to kill. Take, for example, this bed of irises.


For one week in April, it resembles a work by the Midgardian painter Monet. (I saw his work in a book and was intrigued. Frigga would adore Impressionist art, Odin would dismiss it as unrealistic, and Thor… That boor Thor would ask if were time for lunch yet.)


Each velvety blossom lasts but a single day. What a fleeting perch for my beloved!

But royal purple is a fitting throne indeed for the rightful King of Asgard.