Sunday, December 30, 2012

The... aftermath.

If you’ve never seen the Minnesota Vikings play, they like all professional sports teams have game day traditions.  As soon as the Viking horn played the trolls changed.
That sound seemed to mesmerize them. Before the echo left the dome, they stood shoulder to shoulder at attention, silent, eyes wet with tears.

“Home…,” Venn murmured. Viking horn audio

I couldn’t believe it. The Packers took the field along with the purple wearing Vikings.

“Vikings,” they all said in unison.

“Okay, so the Vikings are in purple and Packers are in yellow,” I explained, attempting to make them understand, but they couldn’t tell the difference. In their old world  troll minds,  all the armor wearing humans were fierce Viking warriors.

Kickoff, and the players flew down the field straight at each other until POW. Bodies pounded in to each other, play over.  Still nothing from the trolls. I started to worry.

Slowly Oton broke ranks and walked up to the screen.  His held his grubby hand out until making contact, “Ugh, cold.”

“It’s called Television,” I said.

Quickly he walked around the back looking for the players I assumed.

“What magic is this? Rebecca, you have entrapped hundreds of Vikings in your bright shiny box.”

Uh oh. “No, it’s a picture. These humans are hundreds of miles from here. This magic box is a window into that far away building.”

“Ohhhhhh,” they said.

The novelty of the TV gone, Oton stepped back with the others. It didn’t take long before they were all deeply involved in the battle unfolding before the Sorceress Rebecca.

 I have to admit I kinda like my new title.

I quickly introduced them to my favorite warrior, Clay Matthews, and they all easily agreed he did indeed bear a striking resemblance to a Nordic God.  The rules of the game were out the door. They simply didn’t understand, and frankly with the game going badly for the Packers, I rather enjoyed their version of events.

By the time it was over, they were tired, and happy. Everything was going great until the commentator said the same two teams will meet next week in Green Bay (since my beloved Pack failed to seal a first round by in the playoffs).

Last thing I heard as I dropped them off at the river was “see you next week, we’ll bring the rat.”

Oh, goodie.


I should have known, seriously I should have known.

I left the new car at home, and took the old beater suburban to the river. Oton, Uredd, Pod, Twig and Venn were all waiting for me.

“Where’s Folger,” I asked.

“The delicate little bud is too scared to come,” teased Twig.

“Knock it off Trollkin,” said Eog as he rounded a snowdrift. “He sent me in his place.”

“Whatever, now how many of you have ridden in a car before? There are rules.”

They all studied their toes as the crows cackled overhead. It was as I feared. “Okay, I’ll open the back door and you should all climb inside. Take a seat on the bench and try not to break anything.”

A word about my truck, it is also known as the dog hauler. The backseat is covered with a sheet protecting the upholstery from muddy paws, but it didn’t help.

Pushing and shoving they piled in. Once inside they couldn’t sit still.

“Move over,” shouted Venn.

“Pod, I see you’ve had too many bowls of rat stew lately,” said Uredd.

I just got inside, started the truck and rolled down the windows. Before I knew what was happening Oton was on the dashboard.

“Hey, I said to stay in the back.” 

“What, I thought you were talking to them,” he said as he made himself comfortable. It was going to be a long day.

It’s a good thing I live a short distance from Elvsmyr. We made it back without having an accident, but that old woman we passed got the scare of her life as Twig and Pod mooned her.

I had planned ahead, and moved a TV into the heated garage. The cars stay parked outside so I could set up tiny benches and tables.

“Turn it on,” I said to my husband who stood there staring at my little friends. “You thought I was making this up, didn’t you?” I asked.

“Uh, yeah.”

“Just go with it. I don’t know what will happen if they get angry,” I said.

I had worked all morning preparing sausages, pork chops and roasted chicken. I figured they had to be meat eaters. Pod, always hungry walked up to the table, and said, “What’s this stuff?”

I explained the dishes, and too my horror they all wrinkled up their noses in disgust until I got to the sausage.

“What’s in it?” Asked Uredd.

Having spent big bucks on the other cuts, the sausage was cheap kielbasa. As I explained what sausage was they got more and more excited. Before I knew it, the bowl was empty and I was sending my husband to the store for more.

“Not as good as sautéed rat, but it will do in a pinch,” Venn said.

“Uh, thanks,” was all I could think to say.

Their bellies full I got them each a glass of water, and took a seat to watch the game, but not before grabbing a beer for myself. It was going to be a long day. God, I’m such an idiot.

American Football >>> Troll Style

I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but it’s sunny and breezy here today. Sounds nice, right? Well, I would add it is really beautiful watching the ice crystals float by, glittering like diamonds. Still, I’m not rushing outside to catch a few on my tongue. It’s 10 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of 8. For those of you closer to the equator, that’s bone chilling.

Today is also a big day in Wisconsin. The Green Bay Packers meet the Minnesota Vikings for an always interesting Football game. Most of my readers are Americans, and therefore understand the game, but some of you are in other countries. Let me try to put this into perspective.

Wisconsin and Minnesota share a long border primarily defined by the Mississippi river, America’s longest.  This rivalry began in 1961. The Packers have been around far longer than the upstart Vikings so while long, this matchup is newer than others. Green Bay and Minnesota are in the same conference so they meet at least two times per season. Green Bay holds the record for most Superbowl wins, while the Vikings have never won the big game. Sounds like an easy win for the Packers, doesn’t it? Well, on paper yes, but there’s nothing like a rivalry to bring the unexpected to the game.

The Packers play outdoors at the beloved Lambeau Field. The Minnesota Vikings play in a dome, hiding from the cold. Both locations are cold, but Green Bay has the added element of playing along the shore of Lake Michigan. Brrrrr. Today the game will be inside at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

Enough background, I was telling Oton about this the other day. He was so excited when I mentioned the Vikings, it bordered on insanity.

“Vikings, they’re here?” He asked.

I immediately understood my error. “Well, sort of; these Vikings wear purple and run around chasing a pointy ball,” I said trying to set the football players apart for the Vikings of history.

He rubbed his nose and squinted at me. “They wear purple, the purple of kings?”

Oh geez, what had I done? He was so excited I had to try to explain, but how?  “Oton, would you like to come over to my house and see the Vikings?” I asked with more than a little hesitation.

“Pod, Twig, Uredd, go get Folger. We’re going to see the Vikings!” He screamed.

“Wait, wait, you understand the Vikings won’t actually be at my house, right?”

A blank stare froze his face. Crap, now I had to try to explain television to a troll.

“Okay,” I said, “I’ll come and pick you up when it’s time to see the Vikings, but you have to promise to behave.” I walked away with hideous images of the stains they will leave in my new car.

I left them there, frolicking around like puppies. I couldn’t back out now. I just hope my husband understands.  Now does anyone know what snacks to fix for a troll football party? Anybody?

Friday, December 21, 2012

more birds at feeder

deep, wet, cold SNOW

So this is how my husband deals with ten inches of snow over a 8 hour period
"Oton, how do you deal with deep snow we got last night?" I yelled across the valley unwilling to venture deeper into the marsh.

"Isn't it marvelous? The ponds will be stiffening with ice soon and we can practice our slides," he called from atop a half buried log.

"But you're only a few inches tall, how do you get around in this stuff?"

A puzzled look wrinkled up his already craggy face. Suddenly he pushed up from the log. Straight up in to the air he sailed until gravity took care of his feeble attempt at flight. Plunk, he slammed into the soft snow plunging immediately out of sight.

Worried I called out for him, but I should have known. Trolls are creatures of the far north after all. The top layer of the snow blasted smooth by the 35 miles an hour winds last night began to ripple in a swaying pattern. Before I knew what was happening, Oton popped out of the top of the drift in which I stood, shivering in the cold.  

"Tunnels, human, tunnels of snow."

"So if I were to come out here in a few days I wouldn't be able to see you?"

Well, the cooking pit will  have burned through by then, and the forge will be exposed if Uredd feels like working, but yeah, we will be under a blanket of snow for most of the winter."

"But, I'll miss you," I pouted.

"We'll be here for you any time you want to visit. Drop on by. Just be careful where you walk."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

hungry birds in blizzard

Blizzard birds

Having a blizzard today. Clouds so thick the satellite is out so watching recorded TV, but the action is much more interesting at the bird feeder hanging just outside my living room window.

Purple finch, chickadee, at least 2 varieties of sparrow, gold finch, cardinal and my favorite junco are pushing and shoving for the best feeding port or combing the ground for dropped morsels. Poor little things need lots of energy to survive weather like this.

I'm wondering what is happening at Elvsmyr. My chance has come to find out how the trolls deal with snow, deep, wet snow.

I can't wait until I can get out of my driveway and out to the river. I'll let you know what I find out. Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Take time to scan the sky

Take time this month to do more than stop and smell the roses. It's a stressful time of year for some, but if you take a moment to let that inner child out, you will find the universe is full of wonder.

I’m sure many of you already know this, but if you get outside this month either just as the stars are coming out, or before sunrise you have to look up. Amazing things are happening up there.

Venus, Saturn and even itty bitty Mercury is dancing in tight formation during the early morning hours this month. It’s pretty easy to find them. Just look for Venus in the predawn hours and Saturn and Mercury (really low on the horizon) will be nearby. Once the moon comes back next week, its crescent will be joining the grouping of 3 for an even better show.  

Jupiter is out there all night, big and bright. Early morning risers like me can see it on the way to work in the area where the sun sets each night.

I for one have been scanning the sky while driving to work since Thanksgiving. If you can get to a clear sky in a rural area, you will not regret taking a moment to scan the heavens. This won’t happen again in some of our lifetimes.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Self portrait?... troll art?

Not quite- Oton told me this is the face of Eik, the tree spirit.