Sigyn has decided color preferences

Of Zinnias and Mooncakes

I do soooo much mischief that sometimes I can’t keep track of it all and I fall behind in writing about it. No rest for the wicked! And sometimes it’s the little, not-especially-mischiefy things in life I don’t get down on paper. Or electrons. Whatever.

ANYWAY. This is by way of being a catch-up. None of this is recent, but it made Sigyn smile, so it’s important.

The human male came home one day with some enormous zinnias (plus some thistles) that someone at church gave him.

There was a red one AND a yellow one, so Sigyn was extra excited.

That right there is some pretty decent camouflage.

And one day, somewhat after the traditional equinoctial celebration, the human male came home from the oriental market with the biggest, last-chance-for-this-year mooncake Sigyn and I had ever seen.

It was enormous.

Could Sigyn and the human female eat it in one go? They were certainly willing to try.

(poke, poke poke.) The wrapper said it was filled with lotus seed paste. But I didn’t trust it, because I know that often there are other things hidden inside.

The human female, pretending she wasn’t going to eat all of it, cut herself a slice. (She wasn’t fooling anyone.)

See?! I knew there was something else lurking inside! Vindication! People really should learn to listen to me.

But what was the orange stuff? The human female took a bite and said she thought it tasted like egg yolks. Sure enough, she did a little looking online and learned that mooncakes are often filled with salted duck egg yolk. She and Sigyn didn’t care for it much and didn’t eat it, but they ate the cake and the lotus seed paste, all the while reading about Mooncakes and What Goes In Them. Apparently, the really fancy ones have two egg yolks inside.

Then the human female read how many calories are in one of these things, put her fork down, and turned a funny color. She and Sigyn by this point had eaten most of it between the two of them, so they shamefacedly put the rest in the cold box to save for another day. Sigyn, of course, doesn’t need to worry about her figure, but the human female is a different story. She consoled herself by thinking that since they didn’t eat the egg yolk and saved a bit for later, it was probably only million calories instead of a million and a half.

The only person who believes her lies is her, but then, she’s extra-gullible.

Anyway, we had two fall treats, one colorful and one sweet. Which brings to mind the ancient Chinese saying,

更明智的做法是在远处吃花和欣赏蛋糕,这样裤子才能继续合身。

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Noms Make Everything Better

Sigyn is feeling better today, thanks in no small part to the human female’s mother’s cooking.

Every morning has started with a good breakfast. This is what she fed us our first morning.

Blueberry pancakes with REAL maple syrple and peppered bacon.

Last night, she cheered Sigyn up with fried rice, egg rolls, and spring rolls.

Sigyn really appreciated the sauce for the egg rolls, which was her favorite color.

No one made me a sauce in my favorite color. But then, I didn’t break my arm, and at least the soy sauce bottle has a green label.

It really is all about the food here. At breakfast, we are asked about what we want for lunch. At dinner, we’re reminded that there are cookies and ice cream and about four dozen options for breakfast. The human male and female have even pitched in with a will. They made tzatziki to go with the Greek meatballs for lunch, and they are planning fish tacos for one of the nights we are here.

And when we aren’t making food or eating food or talking about it, we are shopping for it. There are one or two things the human female’s mother needs, and Sigyn and I have tagged along to see what a different market looks like.

I am pretty sure the market back home doesn’t stock… this.

And I find that I am absolutely okay with that.

Oh, now this is neat! The human female’s mother has taken us to her local Asian market, since she needs to purchase some more of her favorite Korean coffee. Such places are always entertaining to look in, and this emporium is exceptionally well-stocked, well-organized, and very bright and clean.

Sigyn has found something she wants to try.

Evidently the pale pink sort we have at home is not brightly colored enough.

She also thinks that these look “fun”:

Dearest, did you read the fine print on the package? They’re not actually that color, and I doubt they have smiley faces.

The human male has acquired some ramen,, along with some dumplings to prepare for the human female’s mother to try later in our visit. The human female has seized upon a package of these. Are they cookies? Are they crackers? I don’t know— and neither does she, though I think she has hopes that they will taste like the sesame cookies the human male’s former student worker’s mother made for her once.

Uh oh. I can feel it coming on. I have been very, very good all day and the urge to do some mischief is just bubbling up inside me. I’m not sure I can control myself. . .

Augh! It’s like they knew I was coming!

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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.

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All Right, Let’s Try This Catalog

It took a cup or two of cocoa and some serious cuddling to get Sigyn past her disappointment over not being able to order a snow leopard from the WWF catalog we looked at yesterday, so today we are looking at a more traditional catalog.

It’s the Bullseye Dog one. Sigyn likes it because anything that is not actual text or photo is bright RED.

Norns’ nighties! That beast has developed quite the case of hydrocephalus. He should have that checked out. Maybe they can put in a shunt or something.

This…thing… is apparently the hottest toy of the season.

While I applaud its taste in pendants, I hope Sigyn doesn’t insist on this. I think one childish, green entity in the household is enough.

This looks more promising.

I see my erstwhile half-sister (the one we don’t talk about) is included. I might have to buy this just to see if I feature.

Sigyn thinks the three-eyed aliens are “cute.”

Um, Dear, don’t you recall how sleazy the last three-eyed green monster we met was? Yeah, I don’t think you want to chance it.

Ooooooh! A blaster!

Looks like it shoots soft things, but still perfect for harassing the cats!

Ugh! Avengers, everywhere you look.

At least my stoopid brother Thor isn’t with them. But that bulky green fellow is here. Hmm. This one of him is inflatable. I could pop him with Gungnir and it would be most satisfying. Dog-ear the corner of this page, Sigyn. I might want to get one…

Ah–this is better.

“Wrath of Loki” I like the sound of that! Hmm. Maybe I *do* see the point of Legos after all.

I’m finding all sorts of things I like in this catalog. But we still need to find something for Sigyn.

Plush! Plush is usually a good choice. These are a little too “cutesy” for me, but if that’s what you want, I won’t gainsay you.

May I suggest the pastel rainbow winged pig-cow hybrid? It is completely ridiculous, but if you tired of it I wouldn’t mind punting it around the yard.

Of course, that’s true of nearly anything.

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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?

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Ha! I was right!

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

An Autumnal Perambulation– Fall Color!

The cooler weather means it’s no longer a hardship to go out and get a little exercise. There is certainly plenty to look at. While this part of Midgard does not, as a rule, enjoy a particularly colorful season in terms of changing tree foliage, there is some color to be had if you know where to look.

Shining sumac, at least, is holding up the red end of the fall spectrum.

Those red leaflets will soon fall off. Until they do, this is one of Sigyn’s favorite plants.

Look! There’s a tree that has begun to color up nicely!

Sweet glittering bifrost! Closer inspection reveals that this is not, in fact, a tree with colored leaves. Or rather, it’s a tree, and there are colored leaves, but they don’t belong to the tree. It’s a dead tree, completely enrobed in fall-tinted poison ivy. I wonder if I can trick the human female into collecting herself a a nice big sample …?

Farkleberry can always be counted on for some nice maroon tones.

How about fuchsia?

This little purslane is close kin to the larger moss roses people in these parts like to grow in the summer. With their succulent leaves, both kinds can take a lot of drought and heat, but fall is a good time to find these wild ones.

And finally, some floral fireworks in the form of exuberantly yellow goldenrod.

Sigyn, my treasure, you look mighty pretty up there! (Oh, and see the elm leaves in the background, human female? That’s what a native elm looks like. You’re welcome.)

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Twisty, Twiny, Climby, Part I: A Miscellany

I have noticed A Thing on my walks around the neighborhood with Sigyn and the human female: there are a LOT of vines around here. I haven’t figured out whether it’s that people really like to plant them or whether their oft-aggressive nature means they can out-compete frailer foliage when subjected to the crummy soil and wretched water which this city “enjoys.” In any case, they roil over fences from people’s back yards and swag the trees far and wide, so they’re not hard to spot.

We have been keeping an eye on the peppervine all summer long.

This is the one with the divided leaves. They can be red on new growth, which Sigyn certainly approves of!

(That’s a grapevine on the left, and the white flowers belong to something else entirely.)

The fruit are ripening well about now.

I never see them without wanting to drop their blue-black lustrousness into the human female’s blueberry supply, just to see if she notices.

Trumpet creeper is very common. It’s originally native, but it has been adopted by gardeners everywhere because you cannot kill it.

Greatly loved by hummingbirds and Sigyns, it’s an extremely vigorous plant. It clings with little sticky suckers and can smother anything stationary. Hear that, human female? Treat me right, or I will plant one next to your chair.

It also comes in Sigyn’s other favorite color.

This next one is new one for me. It has white flowers and clusters of fluffy things.

The human says it something called Clematis and that the really showy-flowered varieties do not do well here—too hot. She thinks this is probably one of the native species. The furry tailed things are the fruits (achenes.) Not that I care.

Apparently, this one climbs by twining the midribs of its compound leaves around things. Again, not that I care. The human female is once more showing off her store of botanical trivia and I just let it flow right past me. I’m not sure Sigyn is listening either. I think she’s just enjoying the dangling.

I don’t think we’ve run into this Treebine or Sorrelvine before, either.

The leaves are thick and feel rubbery. They have a horrific stench about them, too. Phew! Do you see any fruits, Sigyn? I think we need to plant some of this in the human female’s flower bed…

Another new one! The human female was stumped for a bit, but the leaf shape and the presence of small, brown, aerial tubers gave this Air Potato away.

Sigyn likes the big, drooping clusters of fragrant flowers.

(sniff) What does that aroma remind you of, my sweet? I know I’ve smelled it before, but I can’t place it.

This is Carolina Snailseed, and it looks rather like the plant above.

The human female is intimately familiar with it. There are separate male and female plants, and the lady plants have bright red berries in the fall. The human female planted a few seeds, hoping for girl plants, but I made sure that she only got male plants. They spread readily by underground stems and have tried to take over the entire lot and never a berry to be seen. She pulls it up by the handful, cursing all the while. It’s excessively amusing.

Half of all of these plants just look like grapevines to me. And there are several local species of grape, so actual grapeness is not out of the question. See? Here’s one!

Be careful, my love. Is your grip as secure as it should be?

And, finally, we have this lovely Macartney Rose.

This is not to be confused with the hybrid tea The McCartney Rose TM:

The McCartney Rose

The former is a horrible, invasive pest that has taken over acres and acres of open, disturbed ground in the southern part of this realm. The latter is a fragrant, pink-flowered, well-behaved sweetheart of a plant named for a sort of musical insect.

Guess which one I’m going to plant in the human female’s yard?

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Food! Color! People!

The summer is when the humans typically like to Go Places and Do Things.  All of their good vacations have happened in summer.  This year, they haven’t even made the run down to the Big city to the South to visit the Purveyor of Pens and the Large Market.

But we do have a treat today!  We are making a masked, socially-distant visit to the local Farm Produce Store, which we shall call the Smaller Yet Still Fun Market, or SYSFM, for short.

Many years ago, this establishment started out selling only produce.  They toyed with meats and deli items for a while, abandoned that, and later branched out into a rather good selection of nursery plants.

Sigyn (wearing an invisible spell mask so her cute face is not obscured), has not made it past the entryway, entranced by the displays of succulents.

sedum

She think the yellow Sedum should come home with us.  I’m sure the Terror Twins would find it delightful.

Sigyn, did you see the—?   What are you doing?

stringofpearls

If you hug every one of the string of pearls individually, we shall be here all day…  But since that might annoy the humans, be my guest.

While she does that, I shall look at the produce proper.  I’ve always liked these things because, hello?  Edible ghost flying saucers!

pattypan

I have so many questions.  Who bred these things? Who thought this was a good look for a squash?  How does one even eat them?  And just… why?

Sigyn has joined me!  Of course, she has gravitated immediately to the red and yellow peppers.

hotpeppers

Remember that these are the wickedly hot ones, sweetie.  If you hug them, you’ll have to remember not to touch your face! (Feel free to touch the human female’s face.)

Oooo!  Ooooh!  What are these?!

bittermelon

They’re green and pokey and bitter and I want one. 

That squeaky noise you hear is Sigyn falling in love with the tiny, tiny eggplants and talking baby talk to them.

eggyplants

I guess they’re for if you only want a tiny, tiny moussaka.

And then these would be for itty bitty banana splits.

tinybananas

Wandering and looking at all these fun things is tiring, especially while keeping six feet away from everyone and trying not to slip in the copious water puddles on the floor.  (The human female has gone down once already.  She made a very humorous splatty sound.)

Sigyn, therefore, has found a comfy place for a little rest.

comfycoconut

Angel flake coconut for my own sweet angel.

The side room of the market is usually full of pumpkins in the fall.  But it looks as if it has been converted into a mini-grocery with specialty products, many of them imported.  Fancy breadsticks, oddly-shaped pasta, strange fruit juices, flappy round breads, and all manner of candies and cookies.

It’s August.  It’s warm.  My clever Sigyn has found the coolest place in the market.

yogurts

She has also found some delicious-looking yogurt in her favorite color. She is quite content.  I may never get her out of there.

(later)

We did end up making several purchases.  Some of the breadsticks followed us home, as well as this bag of apples.

teenyapples

They’re tiny.  The human male is amused.

They’re red and yellow.  Sigyn is besotted.

They’re a kind the human female has never had before!  She’s excited.

I got to watch the human female fall down.  I’m still chuckling.

Good day all around.

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A Boxful of Color, Part I: Because Apparently a Million Colors Are Not Enough

The human male and his friend, wanting a little bit of fun in case this area gets “locked down,” made a quick dash to the Big City to the South last weekend.

Three guesses where they went, and the first two don’t count.

The Purveyor of Pens.  You are correct.  The male came back with this intriguing box.  Come, Sigyn, let us check it out.  It is certainly a colorful package.

inkbox1

Hmm.  A make-your-own-ink kit.  This could be amusing.

inkbox2

“3 Oysters”?!  Let us hope that that is some ridiculous brand name and not the contents of the box!

Inside the cardboard sleeve is a shiny silver tin.  Sigyn if you take that side and I take this one…

inkbox3

…I think we can manage to get it open.

This looks promising indeed!  Although why would you want to go messing about and adulterate what is already the perfect shade?

inkbox4

Sigyn is so excited that there is red that she hasn’t noticed the other colors yet.

The kit includes a twisty-nibbed glass pen for doing Fancy Writing.

inkbox5

Careful, my sweet–don’t drop that.  When you are done admiring the craftsmanship, slide the point back in its little rubber sleeve.

There are also a tiny bottle of thinner/toner and two little mixing beakers.

Oh, for the love of Frigga’s petticoats!

inkbox6

I can’t look. Sigyn’s managed to trap herself, hasn’t she?

Some days I really wonder about her…

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A Brief Winter Walk

It’s been foggy a lot in this part of Midgard lately. The humans have ventured out on a rare sunny day to see what’s going on in the local woods.

By Idunn’s little apples!  There is a ubiquitous abundance of holly berries this year!

hollydangle

¡ǝlƃuɐp pooƃ ɐ ɹoɟ ʇods ʇɔǝɟɹǝd puɐ ʎɐp ʇɔǝɟɹǝd ɐ s,ʇᴉ ʇɐɥʇ sʞuᴉɥʇ uʎƃᴉS

It’s not just hollies that can be dangled in.

heterothecadangle

Camphorweed does just as well.  Sigyn is beyond excited–we’ve been here scarcely a quarter of an hour and she’s had the chance to dangle in plants with both her favorite colors!

(poke, poke, poke.)  Not all plants are large enough to climb in, though.  This one is growing right in the middle of the trail, and it’s very, very teeny.

tinyplant

Sigyn has fallen in love with it.   Don’t hug it, Sweetie.  The human female says it can have spiny fruit.

Oooo!   We have found A Mysterious Hole in this creek bank!

a hole

I wouldn’t go in, if I were you…  But, human female–you feel free to stick a finger in and tell us if there’s a snake or sharp-toothed rodent or something in there, all right?

We’ve been walking and poking at things for a while now.  Time for a rest.

mysleepnumberis moss

My sleep number is “moss.”

Clever Sigyn has found a different moss.

moremoss

Sigyn doesn’t know if this one’s a moss or a liverwort.

liverwort

All this green stuff looks alike to me.  Possibly one of the human female’s plant-nerd friends could sort them out, but I really don’t care.

We’re headed to the Sedge Meadow.  I like the Sedge Meadow.  It’s all green and dapply.

pathview

Sweet Glittering Bifrost!  What’s this?

trail closed

I had heard the City was Doing Something, but I wasn’t sure what…

But, since I’m a god, barricades and notices don’t apply to me.  Come along, Sigyn.  Leave the puny mortals here obeying all the signs like good little sheep and let’s you and I keep going.

Have fun staring at the signage!  We’re going to go pet sedges.

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