visiting abizona

Going Out With a Splash (Of Glaze)

Today is our last day to visit.  The humans, wanting to do something “fun” and “different” today have settled on the last thing I would ever have chosen.

Ceramics.

Really?!  We’re supposed to mess around with mud and clay and paint and messy things like that.  I don’t think so.   I don’t “do” messes.  Unless, of course, they’re of my making.

So here we are, at the paint-your-own shop.  We may never get inside, because Sigyn has discovered that there are some “yummy, fluffy, huggable” red-flowered bushes outside the establishment.

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Huggable, Sigyn?  Look at those thorns!

We have finally gone inside.  We are surrounded by plain white shapes and bottles and bottles and bottles of colors.  Sinks, brushes, aprons, pattern books.  Suspiciously cheery staff.  It’s all very jolly.

I don’t do jolly, either.

I get it now.  Apparently one picks out a blank item, slathers on an underglaze, then paints it with the supplied brushes and colors.  One then abandons it to the careful ministrations of the staff and picks it up later, all shiny and disappointing.

The human female’s mother has selected a dainty little trinket box and embellished it with some improbably tinted peacock feathers.

unfired box

The human female, plant nerd and pathological overachiever that she is, has come up with something far too ambitious and detailed.  She says she wants to put a whole bunch of spring flowers on a simple tile.  (Blank tiles are cheap.  The human female is cheap.)

Well, it looks like she’s managed to dribble on something vaguely plant-y.   It has taken her ALL afternoon.

painted tile

She swears it’s going to come out shiny and bright in the end, but it sure looks dull and washed out now.

(later.)

Well, it’s done.  Sigyn is in raptures.  I think it’s still  fiddly and ridiculous.

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But I’ll give the human female this–it is plenty shiny.

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Play With the Food/Eat the Toys—What’s the Diff?

The human female’s tall, somewhat spooky nephew…

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…who, from this getup, looks like he might be employed in the nearest local steampunk abattoir, actually has a job in a cute little sweet shop.  In the spirit of familial playfulness, and considering certain important people’s color preferences, he has brought home a selection of red and green delectables.

These remind me of something, but for the life of me, I can’t think what…

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I have constructed for myself a regal throne.

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It’s a bit knobbly to sit on, but it has the advantage of being nommable if you get a bit peckish while you’re reigning.

Sigyn, on the other hand, likes animals so much that she’s made herself a zebra.

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Or maybe it’s a llama.  Or a horsey.  Or, since it is Yule-colored, I guess  even “reindeer” is not out of the question.

This candy’s neither red nor green.  It’s a suspicious shade of brown.

chocolaterocks

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Great Frigga’s corset, Sigyn!   Don’t lick it!  You don’t know what it is or where it’s been!

You managed to eat your way through to the middle already?!  That was fast.

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Sigyn says it tastes just like banana bread inside.  Interesting.

Ah. Gummi bears.   Everyone likes gummi bears.

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Your little bears are very cute, my dear, but look at this one!

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Rawr!!!  Now that’s a bear!

Sweet glittering Bifrost!  This one’s even BIGGER!  

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I just hope we can outrun it if it decides to be fierce!

Luckily, it appears to be a gentle giant.

Sigyn, where did you get the itsy-bitsy bears?  Now you can tell the Story of Four Bears–Papa Bear, Mama Bear (who appears to be having a bit of a nap), Wee Tiny Baby Bear, and Baby Bear’s Even Tinier Sister.

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Now one fine day, the morning breakfast was too hot.  “This porridge is too hot,” said Papa Bear.  “This porridge is too hot,” said Mama Bear.  “This porridge is too hot,” said Baby Bear.  “Ah babababa goo!” said Tiniest Bear, who couldn’t talk yet.

So all four bears went for a walk in the forest while the porridge cooled.  They had just turned for home, when suddenly…

…a big Giant came down and made Mrs. Bear into a widow!

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Wow, that went to a dark place in a hurry…

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A-marketing We Will Go

Because she thinks with her stomach at least as much as with her head, one of the human female’s favorite things to do when she visits her sister is to check out some of the food emporiums (emporia?) that don’t exist in her own neighborhood.  She’s hindered, of course, by the fact that taking fresh food back on the plane could be problematic, but perhaps she’ll find something packaged to purchase and enjoy at a later date.

Sigyn frequently loses momentum at the floral display in the front of a market.  She can wander among flowers for hours.  Sometimes she just looks.  Sometimes she sniffs.  Sometimes she plays hide-and-seek.

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Yes, dear, I can see you.

Ah!   The produce department.  Very healthy things here.  That’s so important!   Because you are what you eat!

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Guess the human female has been feasting on these lumpy, bumpy, misshapen, scabby things for a while now…

This store has its own line of products.  I wouldn’t mind having some of these.

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The human female almost never makes us scones.  She must not love us.

Feeling’s mutual, wench.

What have you got there, my love?  A bottle of dry posies?

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Of course we can buy some!  Scoop out as much as you like.  (I think Sigyn likes them because of their color.  I haven’t the heart to tell her that if she makes tea with them she’ll just have sour red water…)

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One of these days her predilection for red things is going to get her into trouble.

Well, huh.

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I have read this label six times now and I’m still confused.  Are these the nests of a fowl called the Vegetable Bird?  Are they nests built out of vegetables that one can put out in the garden to attract birds for viewing—or eating?  Or are they one of those rare delicacies–actual birds’ nests made out of actual bird spit?  In which case where do the vegetables enter into it?

You know, if it’s spit she wants, the human female need look no further than any beverage I happen to bring her…

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Out and About in Gilbert

We are still visiting.  The human female’s is saying , “Fish and houseguests begin to smell after three days.”  No, that is just the human female…

Today we are poking around in the town of Gilbert.  Apparently it has a fascinating pioneer history and blah blah blah settlers and yammer yammer territory yadda yadda something.  Or at least that’s what the signs at the museum say.  Sigyn is enthused.  I prefer a bit more battle and a lot more ME in my sagas.

Still, there are a few interesting things to look at at this museum.  There’s a covered wagon on the front porch.  I’ve heard about how whole families traveled in these for months on end, with all of their belongings crammed in, and how crowded it all was.

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I don’t know, Sigyn–looks roomy enough to me…

Sigyn is quite enchanted by this little canine.  I’m not sure what he is doing here here on the porch.

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Or why his tailor did such a horrible job of fitting his fur suit.

There is a quilt show here today—which is, I think, the real reason the human female is here.  There is not a huge assemblage to view, though I must admit that this primitive and blocky giraffe makes me snicker.

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The maker had to label it so people would know what it was.

In the modern part of the museum, there is a real police motorcycle people can sit on.

So we are.

gilbert-cycle

Somehow it’s not as much fun if it’s actually allowed.

Do you think anyone would notice if…

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…a few of these sharp and pointy old veterinarian’s tools followed me home?

Do you know what Sigyn liked best of everything we saw today?

The blooming Carolina jessamine.  According to her, it smells “delicious…”

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…and makes a very tall, very fetching chapeau!

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Augh! More Girly Stuff!

Sigyn wasn’t satisfied being in on the stitching lesson for the niecelings yesterday.  Oh, no, not her!  Now she is helping the human female’s sister sort out her sewing box while the mother makes a few alterations in a dress or two.

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There are all sorts of thread spools that need winding and tidying.

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Aaaaand she goes right for the red one.

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Be careful, dearest, I don’t want you to smother in there.

*Yawn*!  This is so boring.

I mean, pins are kind of stabby, and a biggish needle makes a serviceable dagger in a pinch, and I’ve encountered a few seam-rippers that I wouldn’t want to cross, but there is nothing interesting about bobbins…

…and safety pins…

…and bits of elastic…

…and stray buttons…

…and tape measures…

…and loose snaps…

…and roll of pink tape…

…and Sigyn has found the baggie of googly-eyes!

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BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  Gasp!  AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  snort! Eehehehehehehee!

You look…ehehehehehe….  Aaaack!  She’s making them wiggle!   whimper.  

Oh, my sides!

Best.  Sewing.   Box.   EVER.

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A Delightful Lesson (Sigyn Speaks)

Hi!  I am having such a good time on this vacation with the human female and her family!  We are visiting fun places and eating yummy things, and today we get to visit with the grandnieces and grandnephews again!

The human female has decided that the grandnieces are old enough to learn a bit of embroidery.  She won a simple kit on one of her favorite websites and has brought it along as a gift.  Wasn’t that sweet of her?

The kit actually has enough goodies to make two different pictures.  One is a bouquet of flowers and one is this colorful bird.  The instructions are in a recent issue of a magazine, but the human female won that too, so we are all set!  Wasn’t that lucky?

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Hello, birdie!

The human female thoughtfully traced the design onto the fabric with a wash-out marker and zig-zagged the edges so they won’t ravel.

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The red-headed nieceling is going to work on the bird.  She’s decided that she wants his tail feathers to be yellow rather than green, which should look really good.

The people who put the kit together very generously included whole skeins of floss, rather than a few little cut lengths, so there is plenty to experiment with.  Look!  My favorite colors!

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Lesson one is how to separate the strands of floss so that they’ll lie evenly on the fabric.  Lesson two is how to thread the needle.  That can be tricky, especially for little fingers.  The human female brought some needles with good, big eyes.

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I think Loki may be coveting one of the larger ones.  Sweetheart, I’m not sure that’s a good idea…

And I really don’t think they’ll appreciate it if you abscond with the dark green floss…

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…even if it does match your cape.

: )

There Might Be Sustenance Which I Do Not Require (And Some Which I Do…)

We have finished our delectable repast at Haji’s.  The human female, pretending she is “watching her weight,” has opted to take about half of hers and some of her mother’s in a box “to go.”   Pffft!  As if she’s not going to inhale it all in a big, unhealthy breakfast tomorrow.

Or she thinks she is.  I have a midnight excursion to the refrigerator penciled into my schedule.  When she wakes up, she’s going to find nothing but a wilted parsley sprig and some hummusy footprints…

Sigyn and I are exploring the little shop attached to the restaurant.   We could, if we desired, procure some very interesting foodstuffs.

My beloved was immediately drawn to this canister because of its color.

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She thinks the chef on the label looks friendly, and now she’s trying to mimic his expression.  Hmm.  You need to squint a bit more, dearest.  And Odin’s Eyepatch!  Who needs THAT much paprika?

Sigyn likes olives a lot more than I do.

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If there weren’t glass on the front of this cooler, I do believe she’d jump right in and roll around in them…

Oooo!  This is something we might both enjoy!

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Although I know from experience that honey does not easily come out of capes.

Don’t ask.

This pastry-thingy looks interesting also.

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Looks like we have our choice of spinach, cheese, or spinach AND cheese.  They all look promising, so just pick one, my beloved, and come out of the freezer case before you develop hypothermia!

There is a nearly-physically-impossible amount of stuff squeezed into this tiny establishment.  Everywhere you turn—something else.

I may actually buy something.  Don’t ever say I’m not generous.  I am quite tempted to purchase a few articles for the human female.

This tea would suit her admirably.

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And this candy bar has her name all over it.

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(I looked for a bar called Annoying Bint, but they seem to be out.)

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I Require Sustenance!

All of this museuming and fabric-fondling (not to mention Sigyn-rescuing) has given me an appetite.  I demand to be fed!

Well, that worked better than I hoped.  We are going out to dinner!  The human female’s sister insists that that was always the plan. Suuuure it was.

We are now seated in a place called Haji’s.  It is a smallish place, part store, part cafe. The menu seems to feature cuisine from some other part of the planet.

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Falafil.  Shawerma.  Tabooooli.  I have no real idea what these are.  Some of the words are just fun to say.

Mmm.  It certainly smells good.  What do you think, Sigyn?  Chicken grilled on a skewer and some salady bits?

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The human female’s mother has ordered a mixed plate of nibbly things–stuffed grape leaves, some of the falafil balls, some beige stuff, and some green stuff.

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(poke, poke, poke)  I don’t trust it.

The food has all come with a shaker of spice to sprinkle over the top.

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Sigyn dearly wants to climb inside to have a taste and no doubt need rescuing, but in this case, the screw top is a powerful barrier.  No rescuing needed!  We can enjoy our feast in peace.

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The Crimson Motherlode

The human female and her mother are fabriholics  fabricholics hoarders of textiles.  They both say that they’re going to make quilts with their “stashes,” but only the mother really manages to complete anything larger than a baby quilt.

Nonetheless, here are the human female, her mother, and her sister, ogling the goods in a local fabric emporium.

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I think Sigyn has found her favorite part of the store…

There are plenty of bolts of printed goods, along with quite a few batiks.

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I am not sure what a “batik” is, but they are apparently a “good thing,” with a “smooth hand”, a “close, fine weave,” and a “faintly exorbitant price.”

Oh, Great Frigga’s garters!  I thought Sigyn was having fun fondling all the cottons, but she’s found something she likes even better.   She is now grombling the minky.

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Sweetie?  Sweetie, let me buy you a yard or two of your own.  The nice people here at the store can’t sell a bolt that has been drooled on…

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Fun For Little Kids–And Big Ones, Part III: This Place Goes on Forever

This place appears to violate the laws of physics–I am sure it is bigger on the inside than the outside would indicate.  (I suspect there is a TARDIS in the basement.)

There is a Noodle Forest, a space in which hundreds of pool noodles are hung from the ceiling, so close together that one can’t see through them.  Moving about in there is like navigating a slowly-waving kelp forest, one with hyperactive toddler-seals that appear from nowhere, ram into one at full speed, and then disappear again.  It’s  more than a little unnerving, but I approve, as I just saw the human female get mightily whacked in the midriff by someone’s hard little head.

Down the hall there is a vast area where youngsters can play at keeping a store—there are a loading dock, cash registers, shopping carts, and an assortment of ersatz foodstuffs.

Sigyn is utterly charmed by the realistic fruits and soft-sculpture baked goods.

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It is a toss-up as to which is sweeter, this pan dulce concha or my own little Sigyn.

So many cans!  Children can learn to read and recognize some common edibles.

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I was starting to think it was lunchtime, but suddenly I am not very hungry anymore.

After lunch and more playtime, it is time to go.  Sigyn and I are exploring the gift shop while all the grand-tots make one last trip to the potty.

Fenrir’s Fleacollar!  Unhand my beloved, you spikey-frilled hellspawn!

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Whew.  Are you all right, my love? That was close!  Lucky for everyone that he only wanted to taste her just a little bit.  For a vegetarian, he looked pretty fierce.  Sigyn is damp but otherwise unscathed.

It has been an interesting day, but I am glad enough to go.   I have left behind a little calling card on one of the napped-plush pillars upstairs.

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The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on…

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