Both of the humans received some cash for Yule. Quite a bit of that went toward replacing dead electronics, such as the female’s iPad and the male’s computer. Still, the desire to cover some of the computery stuff from the household budget and buy fun stuff with Yule loot remains.
The human male is looking at games. Some of them defy explanation.
Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.
Ah. There is a new version of an old standard, one which addresses the main complaint I have with it, namely that it takes longer than three minutes.
Thor’s Bitty Ball-peen! Now the human male is poking other variants at me and saying, “Look, Loki–this would be perfect for you!
My honor and my person thus impugned, I shall be buying this for him.
Not that he’s a drinker, but the stunts and forfeits will drive him around the bend. And then I’ll make a version where he has to draw things…
We passed the night most comfortably in Flamingo Cottage. No detail was spared with the interior of the place, I can tell you. It was thoroughly retro. Luckily, I sleep with my eyes closed, so I was not kept awake by the loudness of the teal and burnt orange decor. I double checked, when I awoke this morning, that we had not, in fact, traveled in time and that the 1950’s are merely an illusion peculiar to this place.
We are out and about now, poking through the shops in search of after-Yule bargains. There’s nothing we need, but you never know when you are going to encounter some truly hideous knick-knackery that desperately wants to go home and grace the human female’s living room. It is, after all, traditional to return home from travels with souvenirs, yes?
No, Sigyn, these hedgehogs are too cute. Thehuman female might actually like them. We should keep looking.
This might do:
Sigyn, you can try all you like, but I suspect that feline is Professionally Aloof and would not welcome scritches. We can add it to the “maybe” list, though. It would be amusing to have a third cat that refuses to sit on her lap!
This llama looks stuck-up, too!
Or perhaps it has been instructed to examine the ceiling tiles for leaks? If he finds one, he can stand under it and water his plant. Llamas are great multitaskers!
Don’t think you’re likely to get much sense or hard work out of this fellow, however:
Plump, round, and possessed of approximately 3.2 brain cells and a vacuous expression. It and the human female would get on like a house afire.
This pig, on the other hand, is all smiles and everything genial and looks ready for action.
If you can steer the conversation that way, Sigyn, see if you can figure out how/where he acquired the boots and the reason he is thus attired. Can’t you just picture him, trotting around the house with muddy galoshes? It would drive the human female batty.
Oops! We appear to have reached the Sigyn vs. Glassware portion of the program.
Sigyn getting stuck in something vitreous: It’s right up there with death and taxes. Inevitable. Completely inevitable. Also funny, if it’s not happening to you.
Sigyn is excited. The seasonal silk flowers are being offered at quite a reduced price.
Very pretty, but what would you even do with a posy the size of size of a dinner platter?
Hold on! Where did Sigyn go? I turned my back for just a second to look at some very life-like rubbery grapes that I though would be fun to sneak into the fridge back home, and now I can’t find my beloved anywhere!
Sigyn never did find something that she really, really wanted for a Yule gift. And the museums are still closed, and plague idiots are everywhere, and it has been SUCH a year, that we finally decided to just get away from it all. We went away for Yule last year, and enjoyed it, so we’re doing the same thing again, looking for a good place to stay. The fact that the human female, male, and the felines aren’t with us is icing on the cake Bûche De Noël.
What sort of place do we want to stay in? Last year, we ended up in a cozy little airstream trailer, and it looks as if a similar option is available again this year.
Cute, I suppose, but don’t you want to try something different?
Something different with a door and which does not smell of bovines?
Here are some quaint little cottages.
Emphasis on “little.” There’s barely room for one of us in any of those, let alone the pair of us.
This is better. Certainly more spacious. It would do, but I can’t help feeling there’s something even more special that we haven’t seen yet.
Perhaps we should ask the locals if they know of a good spot.
You, sir, you look like a member of the gendarmery. Do you know of a good place to…
Great Frigga’s hairpins! Put my sweetie down this instant, you wretched percussionist, or face the wrath of Loki, god of making KINDLING out of people like you!
Rest assured your commanding officer shall be hearing from me. It’s a court martial for you for certain, my fine lad!
Perhaps this isn’t such a good neighborhood after all! But we’ll try once more. Let us ask this jolly fellow what he recommends.
“Ho, ho, ho–h-over there. There’s a new motel opened up. Just got back from a delivery there. Very kitschy, very mid-century feel. You might like it, if you’re into ‘retro.'”
That’s not actually a bad suggestion. Sigyn often gets nostalgic and sentimental around Yule, and she might like something that feels old-fashioned without being homespun and hokey.
The office looks right out of the 1950’s. This is promising…
It appears to be a regular old-fashioned motor court. That fat man was right when he called it “kitsch.”
Sigyn adores it.
I agree, Sigyn, this unit is cute too, even if Yule trees are not traditionally pink. However, I believe it is occupied–did you not see the 1957 Golden Hawk Studebaker in the drive? Not to mention the obnoxious, also pink, poodle.
This one is vacant:
Nothing says, “Happy Yule” like not one but TWO pink trees, a kitty cat, a canary, twinkle lights, and a cadre of antler-wearing, santa-hatted flamingoes.
Let’s get settled in, my love. We’ve found our refuge for the next few days, and I can’t wait to get started on the snuggling.
The Eve of Yule is upon us, and Sigyn and I are still looking for her Christmas gift. Today we are out and about, dodging last-minute shoppers and trying to tune out the fifty-seventh playing of “Frosty the Snowman” on stores’ loudspeakers. (People say I’m evil. What about the person who wrote that song? My misdemeanors are tame by comparison.)
Now we are back at that market that has things from all over the planet.
If we find enough goodies, we might need a shopping cart.
Sigyn and I are firm believers that you are never too old to ride in the cart.
These folders would be perfect for organizing my mischief…
If they weren’t, you know, the ugliest color ever created by mortals.
Ah. They have the same kind of personalized chocolate that they had last year.
You are definitely a “happy.” I don’t know anyone who smiles as much as you do.
Even when you are caught in your usual predicament.
Trapped in glass. Every. Single. Time. I don’t know how she does it. Hang on, sweetie. Loki will get you out.
From a bear to a wall-eyed hippo.
It looks like it’s just grinning, but I’ve heard those things kill more people every year than lions do. They’re always hungry. If it makes any false move, I’m prepared to blast it into a pile of gooey papier-mâché.
These deer look a little more stable,
And also very “retro.” I hope she chooses one or both. I’d love to see the human female keeping up wiht all the shed glitter!
This bird looks like the friendly sort.
But this one appears to have fallen afoul of some predator:
Possibly that gluttonous hippo.
You know what, my love? We could spend hours here and not find the “perfect” gift. Why don’t we just do the “cozy getaway” like we did last year? Away from all of the crowds. Wouldn’t that be nice?
The human female and her band of Do-gooders are winding up their Yule gift drive. The gifts are mostly here, they’ve been sorted, and each family’s presents have been bundled into a big black bag.
Larger families or those with bigger gifts might get two bags!
As you might imagine, with over 200 families and over 1,000 gifts, there is ample opportunity to cause a little mayhem.
Take, for example, the Plague Lady. She called the team to tell them that she’d bought most of the gifts she’d signed up to purchase, but that she’d been exposed to The Virus and didn’t want to hold on to the goods any longer than it would take to drop them off for wrapping. Fair enough. When she arrived, the human female put on some latex gloves, had the Plague Lady lower her shopping bag into one of the big black bags, and bade her a speedy goodbye. Then she slapped a big “Covid Donor! Do Not Open For At Least 72 Hours!” label on the bag and stuck it in an out-of-the-way corner.
When she opened the Plague Bag after the allotted time had passed, she found that not only had the ladies size 16/18 pants and shirt not been bought, the rest of the contents were all mischified as well. There were supposed to be “baby girl shoes, size 8.” There’s just one problem with that—baby shoes don’t come in size 8. Confused, the donor had bought baby shoes and little girl shoes size 8. The Do-gooders looked up the actual age of the child and figured out that the larger shoes were right. So now there were extra baby shoes.
There were supposed to be shoes for two older girls size 1 and size 7, but they weren’t in the bag. There was, however, one pair of girls size 3. ???? As luck would have it, there was a pair of size 1 in the “extra gifts” area, so they were swapped for the size 1’s, but someone had to go out and buy the size 7’s.
Someone also had to go and buy the Minecraft game a little boy wanted. The Plague Bag contained only a tiny box of Minecraft-themed Legos. Legos! Pffft! What a lame gift. I have never understood the fascination with those knobby bits of plastic.
Most of those gifts were for Family 134. You may wonder what I have against Family 134. I have nothing against Family 134. I picked that number at random, and I’m not done with them quite yet.
You see, two of the teenage boys in that family wanted wireless bluetooth speakers for making a phone into something called a “boom box.” Those were gifts 65 and 67. 67 had showed up but 65 did not. One of the Do-gooders had ordered it, but it hadn’t come, then another showed up, so the person who ordered it was going to return it when it came in. The human female wrapped both of them and put them in the bag. Or she thinks she remembers she did. When the bags were checked, though, 65 was still missing. Obviously the human female Pulled a Stupid and put one of the speakers someplace else. Maybe Family 65…? In any case, someone has had to go out and buy yet another one to make the bag come out right.
And then there were the families whose gifts were ready that no one could reach by phone or text or email…
And the lost person the human female had to give directions to for twenty minutes before they could find the pickup spot…
It will be a true Yule miracle if all of these bags get where they’re going before 2021 rolls in.
The gifts I wrote about yesterday are spread out in multiple rooms at one of the local churches. All of the packages Sigyn and I were examining yesterday were in the room that is usually a nursery for very tiny Midgardlings. You may have noticed the sign on the windows.
“Do not let kids play with the blinds.”
I totally played with the blinds.
The nursery’s toys have all been stashed to the side for the duration of Operation Yule Chaos.
Sigyn, of course, has made a beeline for the farm animals.
Oh, Sigyn, Sweetie! Please do not kiss the piggy! You don’t know where he’s been! That cow has disturbingly large lips, the donkey appears to an imbecile, I suspect the dog is rabid, and the goat–the goat clearly has jaundice. In fact, why don’t you go see if there are eggs in the nest in the barn, instead?
The human female is hanging out with her do-gooder friends again. This time, they’ve collected a quantity of Yule gifts for the less fortunate of the community.
They are all sorted out by the families they are going to.
Everything is so well organized! The presents come in with the family number and a note as to what the gift is. As the parcels are sorted into family bags, the temporary tags are replaced with the recipients’ names. There’s a spreadsheet and a schedule of pickups and everything. It would be a shame if someone, oh, say, switched all the tags around…
Sigyn likes looking at all the festive gift bags and wrapping paper.
“Look, Loki! Red and white boingy ribbon!”
She’s particularly smitten with this unusual yellow llama paper.
Can’t say I’m as enthusiastic about this superhero wrap. I know this spidery fellow hangs out with Captain America and my stoopid brother Thor and all that crew. Bah, humbug.
(poke, poke, poke) I think some of the gifts must me motion-activated tots’ toys, because as we shift things about to look, some of the packages are talking to us. They’re paper-muffled so we can’t understand what they’re saying, and the effect is rather eerie.
What do you think is in this snowman one, Sigyn? It’s a bit squishy, so it might be clothes.
This is all such a gargantuan effort, and the best part is I didn’t have to help. I do plan to sneak back in tonight and help myself, though. I plan to leave all the clothes, but I am pretty sure there are books, games, blocks, stuffed animals, and some girly things Sigyn would like.
I can sense the general outrage from here. Listen–I have to put up with the human femaleall the time. Surely, if anyone is less fortunate, it is I.
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!
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…
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
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…
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!
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!
These may be gold or they may be chocolate–either way, I win!
Look, Sigyn! They made a drink just for me!
But I bet it’s false advertising. I’ll wager my remaining uneaten chocolate gelt that it isn’tmade with freshly-squeezed red pandas.
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.
Yes, yes, Sigyn. I see the chocolate “just for me.” Very funny.
Ah. Sigyn has chosen where we shall have lunch today.
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.