yule

I Thought I Left The Carnage Behind on Vacation!

Our vacation was fun—right up until Sigyn and I stumbled upon a murder victim and I was nearly arrested for the crime.  We are both somewhat traumatized.  She is having a bit of a rest while I catch up on what has transpired while we were away.

The Yule decorations are still up.

A few cookies remain.

Great Frigga’s Hairpins!  Not again!

deadgnome1

This time I do know the victim, and I’m sure the body has been moved. This little gnome fellow is a regular resident upon the Yule tree.  Such a cruel and senseless crime!

And I believe I know where to point the finger of blame…

deadgnomeculprit

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A New Yule Tradition–Day 5: An Inauspicious Start to the New Year

It’s our last day, so to help distract us from the giant elephant in the room of having to return home tomorrow, we have scheduled one last big adventure.

Sigyn has never flown in a hot-air balloon, and neither have I.

balloons

It will be a good way to survey the surrounding countryside, and with my magic, there’s no danger that we will crash or drift out to see or some such foolishness .  See if you can find us one whose gondola is not already full of Victorian cosplayers.

(later)  That was quite fun!  We shall have to do it again sometime soon.

We do not have time for a visit to the botanical garden, but we can certainly spend some pleasant moments strolling in this grove of glitter pines.

red and gold trees

Sigyn really likes them, because they are *SpArkLy* and essentially red and yellow.  Ehehehe–think how awful one would look in the human female’s yard…  It just might be time to do a little guerilla gardening…

(later)

Uh, oh.  Sigyn, I think we may have strayed into a part of town that is not so nice…  There’s no need to fear, since I have my magic and my dagger (and many other weapons secreted about my person), but let us pay attention and remain aware of our surroundings as we work our way back to the camper.

Norns’ nighties!  I think this poor fellow has been the victim of a mugging!

stabbing

Run and fetch help whilst I try to stop his hemorrhage.

Ugh. This is not how I wanted to end our trip.  Hang on, fellow.  Help is coming.

(a bit later)

Yes, officer, I “just happened” to come upon the poor, late Mister Frosty.

tin copper

Yes, I had a dagger, but it was out because this is a shady part of town and I surmised—correctly, I might add— that you boys in blue have not been diligent in keeping up patrols in the area.  If anyone’s to blame, it’s you.

Yes, officer, there is blood on my cloak, but only because I stopped to render aid.  Is that not the correct thing to do in these parts?

Look, I know that I do have a bit of a reputation for mayhem and violence, but ask anyone:  I only visit such upon those who have wronged me, and I’ve never tasted seen the  poor fellow before.

No, I would not like to accompany you down to any station to answer any more questions.  I am a god, you dull creature, and I am done with answering questions.  I have NOT stabbed anyone today, but if you annoy me further, that might change.  Cease casting your aspersions upon my honor or I shall leave you with a wound which you can compare to the deceased’s.

Come, Sigyn, we are teleporting home.  I’m sorry that our vacation has had to end upon such a sad and sour note.   Think of hot air balloons, sparkly trees, cat-shaped mugs, cozy campers, furry deer, and strolls along the canal.

Next year, we are definitely going back to doing the glass museum instead.

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A New Yule Tradition–Day Four: Gastronomic Goodies

One of the best parts of being away from home for Yule is the distinct lack of the human female’s cooking.  Not that she can’t come up with usually-edible victuals, but by the crumbs in Volstagg’ beard, that woman cannot cook without making a horrific mess!  She never finishes meal preparation without the kitchen looking like Ragnarok has occurred. Not that I feel any particular guilt about skiving off without helping with the washing up, but I am weary unto death of manufacturing excuses not to.  Even I can run out of lies on occasion.

So, happy me and joyful Sigyn, we are sampling the very best this town has to offer by way of comestibles.

This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed home.  This little piggy had roast beef…

3littlepiggies

And the other two piggies were similarly made out of marzipan and I nommed them while no one was looking.

By Odin’s monocular vision!  Come here, Sigyn and look at this mold for cooking eggs!

funny egg makers

How’d you like that staring at you of a morning?  The pup is cute, too, and you’d get to eat the bacon that didn’t end up in the ears.  The idea is very clever, but I wonder if the actual results would be as perfect?  Never mind, though.   With my magic, I can make your morning eggs into any shape you please.

Oooo!  I have discovered the hoard of a lifetime!

choccoins

These may be gold or they may be chocolate–either way, I win!

Look, Sigyn!  They made a drink just for me!

liquid rage

But I bet it’s false advertising.  I’ll wager my remaining uneaten chocolate gelt that it isn’t made with freshly-squeezed red pandas.

(later)

All of this wandering around and tasting and snacking on bits and pieces of things is making me cross and a little hangry for a real meal.

grumpychocolate

Yes, yes, Sigyn.  I see the chocolate “just for me.” Very funny.

Ah.  Sigyn has chosen where we shall have lunch today.

crepe hut

That looks like a splendid place to have lunch.  And it appears they have two free seats at the counter.  I could certainly wrap myself around a waffle or two, and a mug of hot cider would hit the spot perfectly.

And someone else will be doing the dishes.

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Bet You Thought We Forgot, Part II: Here’s Where All The Color Is

I had such fun turning the fine but boringly colored glass green that I have decided to color ALL the objects in the exhibit!   What colors should I make them, Sigyn?  Besides red,  that is.  Red is a given.

Rats!  Someone has beaten me to it.  The other rooms of the museum are full of colored pieces.

There are swirly pastel ones.

aug18-glass3

Great Frigga’s Corset!  Sigyn, look at these–swirly AND pastel AND pushed into flower shapes:

aug18-glass2

Sigyn likes the red bowl with the crimpy mouth and the…

…the mutant daisies.  Whatever they are, she likes them.

Beloved, did you see the case full of iridescent—–

Sigyn?  Sigyn!  Siiiiigyyyyyyyn…….

aug18-glass1

Sleipnir’s fetlocks!! 

Completely mesmerized by that glorious, beetle-wing iridescent finish!  I don’t blame her.  It’s gorgeous stuff.  I mean,  the cameo glass is well-done, but look at how the blue-green pieces just glow.

aug18-glass4

Time to play our favorite game.  Sigyn, if you had to pick just one piece, which would it be?

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Just as I thought–Sigyn likes the red, beflowered, flat, round vessel that’s so silly it’s actually sort of cute.   Me, I’d be happy with one of the magnificent blue-green vases or else the green cut-glass vase I made yesterday.

Ah, who am I kidding?  I’ll sneak back in here tonight and help myself to five or six pretty trinkets.

Happy Yule, dearest!

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It’s a Tradition

The human female’s family used to have a tradition—the children were allowed to open one gift on the eve of Yule.  The human female says that somehow, it always turned out to be new pajamas—or else a big box of crayons so that they stayed busy and out of the way of the grown-ups and their holiday preparations.

Sigyn has mentioned this way of celebrating multiple times in the last week.  I can certainly take a hint when it is as unsubtle as a moose on the subway.  Very well, Sigyn, we can open one present now.  I’ll even let you choose.

If you end up with socks, don’t blame me

Ah!  Excellent choice!  I have been wondering about this parcel myself.  I have shaken it a few times, but I have not heard anything.  (It may very well be socks.)

crystal-box1

It is from the human female’s sister, though, so it is probably not socks.  Presents from her are often interesting, one-of-a-kind things.  For all I know, there’s a zeppelin in there.

The wrapping is actually a sparkly bit of ribbon.  That’s rather clever, and I approve of the color. 

crystal-box2

The box appears to be a home-made affair, cut down from something larger.  There is tape, glue, and plastic involved.

crystalbox3

What do you have there, Sigyn?  Ah!  It is a most lovely crystal!  It looks for all the world like a giant icicle!

crystal-box4

A very fitting gift for a Frost Giant, wouldn’t you say?   Perhaps I shall make it into a scepter.  Or–I know!  We can hang it in a sunny window!  I imagine it will make lovely rainbows.

That is a very good gift!  You can write the human female’s sister a thank you note.  (I do not do thank you notes.)

Meanwhile, I am going to go poke and shake the other presents under the tree, and if there is anything that looks or sounds particularly promising, I shall remove the tag and replace it with one bearing my name.

That is MY Yule tradition.

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What?! Another Party?!

I can’t believe it.  It’s another Yule party.  This is the one that the mortals’ church staff has every year.  It varies.  It used to be a potluck.  The last few years it’s been upstairs at a pizzeria.  Tonight it’s at a local restaurant.  Sigyn and I have tagged along.  Church and churchy people make me nervous, but Sigyn likes the whole deal, so I’m going to make sure she doesn’t get lost in the crowd and has a good time.

Odin’s eyepatch!  “Crowd” was right!  This place is sardinified!  There’s barely room to move around, and even the humans say they don’t know half the people here.  Who knew there were so many volunteers, interns, campus ministers, visiting missionaries, and so on?  I shan’t bother trying to learn their names.  It’s not as if one could hear an actual conversation in here anyway–the noise of chatter is deafening.

Looks like there is going to be a random gift exchange again this year.  Last year we had all the good presents–and they were all stolen from us.

xmasparty1

Sigyn thinks this parcel looks “friendly”.  I say, with that red nose it’s highly likely that Old Santy has been at the wine already. (There does seem to be a good bit of wine on offer.)

Let us peruse the menu:

xmasparty2

The human female is ordering what is basically a tarted-up chicken parm.  She’s so boring.

I must say, although we are a bit cramped now that we are all seated and though it is still noisy, this is a nice place.  Sigyn is making friends with the salt shaker.

xmasparty3

Dearest, just because it has a cute little “body” and a little “head” doesn’t mean it’s alive and capable of holding a conversation.

But at least it’s glassware she has no chance of getting trapped in!

Ah!  Nosh-itizers!

xmasparty4

The toasted bread is nice, but the smashy olive goop, unfortunately, tastes of olives.  No one at the table is liking this except the one woman who is an olive fiend.  Here, you can have ours!

The salads have arrived.  The human male is less than enthusiastic.

xmasparty5

Seeing as how he loathes both mushrooms and olives.

The gift-draw has commenced.  Our table-mate has received this lovely tree.

xmasparty6

Sigyn? Do you want me to steal it?  Just say the word, and I will, even if it isn’t our turn to pick a present.

The main course is arriving, and the gift-draw continues. The humans have just opened up a parcel which has turned out to be lottery tickets.

xmasparty7

The temptation to scratch them off and see if I’ve won anything, and then hide any winning cards so they don’t get stolen, is pretty strong.

Ooo!  Dessert!  Sigyn is all about strawberry cheesecake.

xmasparty8

The humans had the lottery tickets stolen from them.  The human male ended up with something completely lame and traded it, post-exchange, for a handy cell-phone charger caddy thingie.

xmasparty10

Except that it turns out not to charge anything.  It’s just a place to plunk phones, with their charging cords hanging out the back.  Feel pretty silly now, don’t you, mortal?

At least he didn’t get the calendar with photos of dogs pooping or the enormous jar of pickles. No one wanted those.

And there you have it.  Food eaten, gifts exchanged, ho ho ho and Good Yule to all.  Time to go home where it is quiet and spacious.  Easy-peasy.

xmasparty9

Now, if I can just convince Sigyn that it is now all right to let the prize ticket go…

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A Very Shiny Tradition, Part IV: I See a Little Silhouetto

This exhibit is sorted by them or type.  Here’s a whole case full of paperweights that have silhouettes in them.

silhouette display

Look, Sigyn!  We can play “I Spy.”

I spy, with my little eye, a weiner dog and two little chickens…

silhouettespread2

Some of the shapes are easily recognizable.  Like this long-tailed tree rat.

squirrel

Or this pelican fellow:

pelicansilhouette

The sign says this one is a goat.  Sigyn says it’s a giraffe with short legs.  Either way, the critter has righteous horns. Two thumbs way up!

giraffesilhouette

This one is supposed to be a horse.  I don’t see it…

horse

Sleipnir’s fetlocks!  Now I do! The one in the middle is not a silhouette.  It’s a face-on view of a horse with a white blaze.  But what are all the other little shapes?

Perhaps I should bypass the alarm and take some of the more problematic ones home with me to puzzle over at leisure.  Sigyn, which one do you want?

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A Yule Celebration, Part II: Easy Come, Easy Go

It appears that is now time for another strange Midgardian Yule tradition, the scrambling of the gifts.  The humans have made a game out of it — each participating person brings a gift and draws a number out of a hat (or other suitable receptacle).  The person who has number “1” can choose to open any of the gifts.  The next person may either choose a gift of his own or STEAL the gift person number 1 has.  If person number 1’s gift is stolen, person number 1 has to open a new gift.  It proceeds from there, with each new person either opening one of the remaining gifts or STEALING from a previous person, the only stipulations being that one cannot steal back what was just stolen, and no gift may be stolen more than twice.

Stealing.  I like it!

Some of the gifts are silly.  Some are rather nice.  Each person tries to provide the most sought-after gift and to acquire–and hold onto!–the item of their heart’s desire.

The human female and male have drawn a low number, which does not bode well.  They won’t have seen most of what is on offer by the time their turn comes…

number3

It’s their turn!  Well, this isn’t too bad.  It’s a gift card for a highly-touted eatery.

pizzacard

The humans have been looking forward to the semester break, when all the students go home and it is actually possible to get a spot in a local restaurant.

But where’s the fun in that?  I have suggested to someone with a higher number that a little pizza sounds really good, so there goes the pizza card!

The humans have opened another gift.  Oh, too bad!  It’s an insulated travel mug!

arcticmug

They already have a bunch of those.  Now, if they want to get something better, they’ll have to praise its merits and hope someone steals it.

Success!  Someone has relieved them of the mug.  Here’s their third try at a really stupendous gift.

deerbag

Oh, this is more like!  A gift card to the local cinema, so they can indulge themselves with whatever block-buster is currently playing.  Also included is this tartan, antler-bearing member of the Artiodactyla bedecked with a cozy muffler.

movieanddeer

Sigyn is in love.

But I can’t let the humans hang onto a such a good present!  Everyone here is keenly interested and has dubbed it the Star Wars card.  It has been stolen almost immediately.

So now they are on their fourth gift.  I have steered them to a bag which has proven to contain this.  It’s a game of some sort.

jenga

A sort of gaudy, knock-off version of a game the human male already has (acquired, no doubt in a previous gift scramble).  Yay.

Oh, and just to up the mischief quota, I’ve seen to it that the gift bag also includes chocolate, which neither of them can eat!  Ehehehehe!

chocolate

Look at all that peppermint deliciousness that they’ll have to give away.

chocolate2

Meanwhile, the Star Wars card has been stolen from the previous stealer by the parish pastor.

There are only a few packages left.  One is the one wrapped by the human female.  Looks like no one wants her twee little kittens.

kittenbag

What?  The game’s over?  The humans are STUCK with the game and the chocolate.   I love it when my plans work.

But, since I am not a heartless creature, but am always thinking of my beloved and her happiness, I have brokered an exchange with the priest, convincing him that peppermint chocolate is a good thing and that plaid reindeer are a huge bother.

Looks like the natty little cervid will be coming home with us after all.

deeragain

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A Yule Celebration, Part I: Let the Merriment Begin!

Humans have many strange traditions concerning the proper celebration of Yule.  For example, they will go out of their way to plan a party with their work compatriots, so that they can spend another two or three hours in the company of those they have just spent eight hours with.

Apparently the presence of food, beverages, and inexpensive, possibly-cringeworthy gifts makes this all right.

Sigyn and I have tagged along tonight.  This particular get-together is being held in the upstairs of a local pizzeria.  Three guesses what the party fare will be!

We are early.  That is to say, we are on time, and ‘most everyone else is fashionably late. (I have never understood that expression, as the guests arriving late seem to be no more glamorously attired than those who were punctual.  Whatever.  Sigyn and I are here at the appointed time, and we look Fabulous.)

While we wait to assemble a Party Quorum, we have been urged to sample some munchables.  There is fried cheese, hummus, garlic bread, and these.  A big plate of greasy, fried, super-extra-spicy chicken flappers.

spicywings

Sigyn thinks she wants to try them.  I am not joking, dearest.  These are not merely, “Oh! What a nice hint of paprika” spicy.  These are, “Sweet Frigga, Mother of Thor, those little $%&! are HOT”

After just the merest taste, I have the urge to burrow into the nearest snowdrift and try to put the fire out.

Ah.  Looks like the ale has been set out.  These brands are very well they known; the attendees have been aware of them practically their whole lives.

beerselection

There was a rather nice Turkish beer here—clean, crisp, quite hoppy— but it was popular enough that it has vanished.   The human female liked it, which  means I will make sure she will never encounter it again.

The tables have been decorated to a fare-the-well.  Sigyn likes this very shiny shrubbery

centerpiece.jpg

At last!  The Real Food is being brought in.  The human female is beginning with a salad.  As if that will somehow negate all the fried cheese and pizza

saladtime

And here is the main course.  The human female has gone in search of slices featuring pepperoni.  I, on the other hand, have selected this ham-and-pineapple version because I know it will drive the human female all spluttery and red in the face.

hamandpineapple

Eat up!  We can’t get to the presents until you lot quit stuffing yourselves!

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Our Annual Christmas Treat, Part II: Weighty Matters

Sigyn adores glass paperweights. It’s one of the first things I learned about her.

It always makes me happy to see her so happy to look at a bunch of them.

paperweights1

She has a special fondness for the floral ones.

paperweights2

That blue one seems to have really caught her eye.

paperweights3

The one with the tiny orchid is also pretty.

paperweights4

Someone should take her sweet face and immortalize it.

Happy Yule, dearest!

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