Monday, October 12, 2015

Long Day's Journey On the East Coast

Started a beautiful blue, sunny day with cartoons on travel as I rounded up the last things I needed to pack and ate Apple-Dark-Chocolate-Chip Muffins for breakfast. Did a couple of cartoons while I got ready. Strawberry Shortcake In Big Apple City was one of the original Strawberry specials from the early 80's. Strawberry hits the city to compete in a nationally-televised bake-off. The Pieman is close on her tail, but she meet some new friends who help her with his devious tactics.

Garfield isn't much happier out in the woods with Jon and Odie in Garfield In the Rough. He'd rather be on any vacation but camping. Their boring trip into the wilderness becomes a lot more dangerous when they discover that a killer panther is loose in the area!

Austin is having his own problems pursuing "Le Master of Disguise" on The Backyardigans. Pablo can dress up in any costume, making him very hard to find! He can only be recognized through his distinctive laugh. Austin searches for him among the passengers on the Orient Express, including Conductor Uniqua, Cowboy Tyrone, and Circus Performer Tasha.

I dragged my things downstairs at 9:30. Rose didn't show up until almost 10 minutes after that. And I didn't realize she was going to bring her smaller car. I had the other, larger suitcase for her to take home. Between trying to jam two suitcases in her tiny trunk and her being late (and then missing the exit for Cherry Hill), we were not going to make the train to Philly. She ended up driving me to the 30th Street Station instead, letting me off of at the Citra Centre. (I loaned her the toll money - she hadn't planned on going to the city.)

Things went better at 30th Street Station. I like that station. It's so big and elegant, the Frank Sinatra music the guy at the shoe shine booth was playing seemed totally right. I half-expected to see Sinatra practicing with Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra somewhere. I did make a mistake when I mixed up the train times, but the man at the track turned me around.

The train to New York was relatively calm. I was in the quiet car, which probably helped. It was busy but not full. I quickly called Rose to tell her I was on the train (and to tell Khai the train was passing by the Philadelphia Zoo), then sat back and watched the trees, suburbs, and graffiti fly by.

By the time the train arrived at New York around quarter of 2, Penn Station was more of a zoo than the Philadelphia Zoo! Unlike big, grand 30th Street, it's an ugly neon maze. Unless you want to eat or shop, there isn't much to do. I packed my own food and wanted to save my money. I spent most of the almost 3 hours I was there either walking around in circles or sitting on the floor near the waiting lounge, eating my snacks and reading.

Not only was the Lake Shore Limited to Albany and Chicago more than 20 minutes late leaving, but the line to get on the Albany car went half-way around the main room! I was lucky to get on at all. At least the Asian Indian girl I sat with was sweet. The gorgeous view helped, too. The line is aptly named; the lakes and rivers of the Hudson River Valley area are beautiful. Yachts with billowing white sails bobbed on rippling glass waters surrounded by rolling green hills. It was like a painting or a picture from a storybook. (I hope the shot the Asian Indian girl took of the sunset with her phone camera came out - the sunset was amazing, all pinks and purples and blues. I regret having left my camera in my big bag that went on the rack.)

It was almost 7 when the train finally arrived at Albany. I'd called Lauren about a half-hour before and told her I'd be late - it was supposed to have arrived at 6:20! Lauren, her parents Mr. and Mrs. Miller, and I had dinner at a Denny's about 10 minutes from the station. We all had breakfast for dinner. Mr. Miller had french toast. I had Blueberry Muffin Pancakes (blueberries and white chocolate chips). Lauren had a make-your-own-Grand-Slam - scrambled egg whites, hash browns, bacon, sausage. Mrs. Miller had The Grand Slamwich, a huge egg-sausage-and-cheese on toast concoction. Mr. Miller ended up eating most of his wife's hash browns. I was so hungry, I ate the last of Lauren's hash browns and a bit of Mrs. Miller's Slamwich. We shared Apple Crumble with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

(And I don't know how this happened, but two guys with a baby walked in while we were having dessert. They had a baby carrier with them. As we were leaving, we heard a waitress complain that the guys had eaten their meal and walked out without paying, and left the baby carrier, to boot.)

We finally got into Pittsfield around 9:30. Lauren and her parents live in a big, lovely home on a quiet street in the hills. I'm sleeping in their guest room/office. Right now, Lauren and I are chatting together online in her room in the basement and watching stuff on YouTube. Tomorrow, we're going to begin our exploration of her area with a trip to a bookstore in Lenox and a chocolate cafe in Pittsfield, along with walks in downtown Lenox and Lee.

And I hope your Columbus Day was a lot less hectic - and equally full of discoveries!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Eagles March Over the Saints

After staying up late with Lauren online last night, I slept in this morning. When I did get up, I made Gingerbread Pancakes and sipped tea while listening to records. I found Satin Affair about five or six years ago. This instrumental album from I'm guessing the early 60's is sweet and slinky, perfect for a lazy morning or afternoon in the late summer and early fall.

After breakfast, I had just enough time to do some cleaning. I forgot to wash the indoor trash and recycling canisters this week, and they badly needed to be done. I do them twice a year, usually in mid-May and mid-October. I usually take them to the area under my porch where the hose is to be washed. While the water line is set up down there, Charlie got rid of the old hose and hasn't replaced it yet. I just used buckets of water.

Listened to Disney's Splashdance and Mousercise albums while I worked. Splashdance has a cute song called "Chip and Dale's Vacation," detailing what the pair of rodents do when they find themselves in "a tropic paradise." Mousercise is fun to listen to when you're moving around, it being an exercise album. My favorite number there is the hilarious "Get the Money (Uncle Scrooge's Money)," with aerobics moves intended to imitate the Beagle Boys in Scrooge's money bin.

After I finished that, I rounded up some of the Apple-Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins, then headed to Dad's house to watch the game. It was just him and Jodie when I arrived. The game was just starting. Mark showed up towards the beginning of the second quarter with the fixings for chili dogs. I just opted for a hot dog with cheese. Jodie had a very tasty veal stew for half-time. (Vanessa went to get her hair done, an all-day affair for her.) Rose and Khai were out apple-picking and didn't come in until the fourth quarter, when the game was nearly over. It was very busy there - poor Khai was so pooped, he was half-passed out on the couch when I left.

Oh, and once again, the Eagles played much better in the second half of the game than they did the first. While the Saints' quarterback Drew Brees is excellent, the team surrounding him isn't quite at his level. It helped that Sam Bradford was looking much better, throwing two touchdowns and avoiding sacks. The Eagles finally out-threw them 39-17.

I headed out towards the end of the 4th quarter, when the Eagles had built up such a huge lead they were probably going to win no matter what. I stopped by Rose and Jodie chatting with neighbors across the street. Rose is going to pick me up to take me to the train platform at Cherry Hill around 9:30 tomorrow - the train comes at 9:55.

Headed home to organize a few things and grab my laundry. I really wanted to get some things washed before I leave tomorrow. Of course, I got all the way there, only to realize I'd left the money for the change machines on my dresser. I had to run home and retrieve it. Thankfully, once I got the money, I had no problems. It wasn't that busy - by the time it was picking up, I was pulling my things out of the dryer.

(And they had the Patriots-Cowboys game on while I was there. The Cowboys couldn't get anything going against Tom Brady and lost hard, 30-6.)

As soon as I got home, I finished as much packing as I could. As of right now, I've packed everything but this laptop and anything that goes with it (I'll be online while at Lauren's), the snacks for the train (I'll make the tuna sandwich tomorrow), and anything I'll need tonight, like my pajamas, hair brush, and tooth brush.

I'm looking forward to this trip. I haven't been out of New Jersey for longer than a few hours in at least five years. I'm overdue for this.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Time For Vacation

Started off a sunny but chilly morning with breakfast and Halloween specials. Garfield's Halloween Adventure has the famous fat cat and his none-too-bright dog buddy playing pirates to do some trick-or-treat looting. Their nautical holiday stops being about just candy when they find themselves stranded on an island inhabited by the ghosts of buccaneers who are looking for their lost treasure.

The Backyardigans not only have their own fun with spooks in the first season episode "It's Great to Be A Ghost," they become them! Uniqua, Pablo, and Tyrone pretend to be ghosts haunting a scary old mansion. Uniqua and Pablo are having a great time, but poor Tyrone is nervous about all the scares. When Tasha shows up and can't be scared, it's the least-likely kid who finally figures out how to really get to her.

Made a quick run to the farm market after finishing breakfast. I was only there for apples. I'm going to take them with me to Pittsfield to eat for a snack there and on the train. The farm market was very busy; it looked like there was going to be an apple pie contest there later.

It was such a nice day, I took the long way home across Newton Lake Park, stopping at CVS for snacks for the train. I wasn't the only one in the park, either. I passed dog walkers and what appeared to be a group of people running in some local marathon. CVS was busy, too, probably with people on their way to or from fall events.

I got home with just enough time to have a quick lunch, change, and start another Backyardigans episode. "Soccer Monster" has Uniqua and detective Tyrone looking for her lost soccer ball. Retrieving it from from the castle of soccer monster Pablo won't be so easy. If he catches the duo, he'll turn them into soccer monsters, too!

It took me so long to eat and get going, I was almost late for work! As it was, work was on-and-off busy, a little bit more than it has been this week, but not too horrible. Other than some annoying customers, there were no major problems, and my relief was on time.

Oh, and my schedule next week is...vacation! I'm leaving for Pittsfield on Monday. I'll be there until next Sunday. I'm off tomorrow, too. While even a little bit of a paycheck when I got back might have been nice, it'll be great to have some time to get the laundry done, finish packing, and even watch the Eagles-Saints game with my family.

It was so nice, I took the long way home down Nicholson, dodging rush-hour traffic. It was worth it. By quarter after 5, there wasn't a cloud in the brilliant blue sky. I passed a lot of people on Atlantic speeding with their windows open, just enjoying a gorgeous fall day.

Did a little writing when I got home. Betty can't sleep. There's too much noise on the street where the Buttery Inn is, and her bed is too lumpy. She goes to her window instead...and sees Maple sneaking into the courtyard, along with several other people. Curious, she makes her way downstairs, where she runs into Mackie. They both end up following Maple to the stable.

Had a very quick dinner of leftovers while watching Halloween Is Grinch Night. The Whos all flee when the Grinch is on the prowl, roaming around on Mount Crumpet with his cart of wild, mind-blowing scares. After he's blown up into the mountains, little Eukeriah Who takes it upon himself to make sure that the Grinch and his cart never make it down the mountain to Whoville.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Dodging the Rain

So much to do today! I started off with breakfast and another episode of Wonder Woman. Diana and Steve go from Arizona to Palm Beach for international intrigue in "The Queen and the Thief." The two go undercover to make sure a renown thief doesn't make off with the jewels of the newly-crowned queen of a tiny European country. If the jewels disappear, her people, who are already suspicious of her being a gold-digger, may insist on her being abdicated.

After breakfast, I washed the windows, then started packing for my trip. Anything I won't need this weekend, like my camera, the train tickets, or long pants (it's supposed to be warm here tomorrow and Sunday) went in the bags. I'm trying desperately to not bring too much. The last couple of times I went to visit Lauren, I overpacked and ended up dragging a ton of stuff I didn't need around three train stations. (Well, two train stations and a platform.)

That's why I wanted a smaller suitcase. I have two suitcases, but they're both large. One does roll, but not very well. It's made of tweed, old and very heavy. It's really more for longer trips, probably two weeks or more. I found it at a yard sale just days after moving here. The other is a teal nylon L.L Bean case. You can wear it as a backpack as well as carrying it. Great idea if you only need it for a weekend, like I did in college...but it can be a little awkward carrying a week's worth of stuff on your back. Not to mention, my carry-on bag is a shoulder bag. That's too much weight on your top half.

Next up on the list was putting up the Halloween decorations. I've been meaning to do it for a week, but I wanted to dust first. Unlike my sister Anny or Matt at Dinosaur Dracula, I'm not the biggest fan of horror and tend to prefer folksy or cute decorations to gory or flat-out frightening ones.The scariest decoration I have is a wolf Beanie Baby with red eyes.

Ran Halloween specials as I did my chores. Linus keeps insisting that It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. On Halloween, the Great Pumpkin will rise out of a sincere pumpkin patch and give all the good little children treats...or so Linus claims. Sally, who would do anything for her "Sweet Baboo," joins him. Lucy is more skeptical. Charlie Brown has his own problems with trick-or-treating. Snoopy ignores the festivities in favor of fighting the Red Baron.

Piglet has an even rougher trick-or-treat in Boo to You Too. Halloween frankly scares him to death. In deference to his little porcine buddy, Pooh simply insists that they won't have Halloween this year. Tigger, Gopher, and Eeyore cry foul and set out to prove that Halloween is nothing to be afraid of.

Went back to Max & Ruby next. Ruby's having her own problems with her brother Max's costume in "Max's Halloween." She wants Max to be a nice, handsome prince, but he'd rather be a scary vampire! She wants "Ruby's Leaf Collection" to be the best in the class. This doesn't prove easy when Max keeps adding to the pile of leaves and burying her leaf book!

Headed out for my first errand run of the day around 11:30. Considering it was still sunny, breezy, and humid at that point, the Oaklyn Library was surprisingly busy. Even so, there wasn't a ton to do. I organized some adult DVD's and gave the children's area a going-over.

Clouds had begun to build up as I headed out of the library. We were supposed to get rain later in the day, and I realized I left a book I needed to take back to the Oaklyn Library at home. I made a brief stop at my apartment for a bathroom break and to grab the book, my rain jacket, and a bag.

It was past 12:30 when I made my way back out to West Clinton. My first stop this time was Studio LuLoo. I'd peeked there on my way to the library, but they were closed at that point. They mainly just needed a lot of tidying up and organizing for their kids' open mic night. I cleaned up the playroom and put away the many guitars scattered around the main room and music area.

Next on the docket was lunch. Since they were cheap and next-door, I went right to Phillies Phatties for slices of cheese and mushroom pizza and a can of Diet Pepsi. I took advantage of the sun reemerging to eat outside at one of the picnic tables and watch the people (including a mom doing an exercise walk with her little girl) stroll by.

Ran a couple of errands next. I stopped at Rite Aid, mainly for pads, which I badly needed. Also grabbed wet wipes and a small travel bottle of ibuprofen tablets to pack for the trip. Bought sponges, birthday cards for my friends Lauren and Amanda, a thank-you card for Lauren's parents for having me over, a new shower curtain (also badly needed), and two books at Dollar Tree.

The Haddon Township Library wasn't nearly as busy as the one at Oaklyn had been. I did organize the children's DVD's (those S titles still can't fit), but there weren't too many adult titles or audio books to shelve. I was out in less than an hour.

Made a quick stop at the WaWa on the way home for money and a coffee drink, then headed for my apartment. I'm glad I did. Even as I was riding home, the clouds that had been around off and on all day were starting to gather, and it was growing even more humid. Thankfully, I was long at home and writing by the time it started to pour. It's rained off and on for the rest of the evening.

I got a little more done on my story. As Jeff joins Mackie onstage, Betty and Maple arrive back from the library. Maple joins the others to do a dance routine while Betty tries to question Holstrom. She doesn't find out if he has the fire artifacts, but she does learn that he believes the Rebel Society is crazy for going against the Shadow Realm, who are far stronger and better-equipped than they are. She's about to inquire further when the others call for her help onstage. The crowd is getting rowdy. She suggests performing a play from one of her books to settle them down. Holstrom takes advantage of the distraction to hurry out.

I baked Apple-Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins, then threw together the last of the turkey tenderloin, a can of chicken chunks, and most of the vegetables I had in the refrigerator to make Poultry Vegetable Soup for dinner. Watched The Muppet Movie while I worked. This hilarious road-trip tale tells the "origins" of the crew from the original Muppet Show. Encouraged by a big-shot agent (Dom DeLouise), Kermit takes off cross-country to Hollywood to become a star. Along the way, he picks up most of his original pals, including Fozzie and his Studebaker, plumbers Gonzo and Camilla, and a very romantic Miss Piggy. Meanwhile, a frog leg fast food chain magnate (Charles Durning) would do anything to get Kermit to be his spokes-frog, including chase him cross-country.

Though a few of the gags are dated and probably won't mean much to a lot of kids today, this is still a great introduction to the original Muppet Show gang. The songs are memorable ("The Rainbow Connection" was the hit and was nominated for an Oscar), the script is hilarious, and the guest stars are priceless (Steve Martin is especially funny as a very rude waiter).

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Cleaning Up the Fall

I started the morning with finishing the dusting. I needed to do it. I put it off last month, and it was getting really bad. It was so bad, I spent most of the morning sneezing. I did it as fast as I could, and I still just barely finished in time to change, throw lunch together, pack everything, and hurry out to work.

Work was on-and-off steady, a little busier than it has been, but still not as overwhelming as last weekend. It did pick up quite a bit around rush hour. I'd been there for less than a half-hour when my register made a funny noise, and then decided to run slow. I ended up moving to another register. Other than that, there were no major problems, and my relief was on time. (And I got quite a few compliments on my cute new haircut!)

When I got home, I went right into writing. I had just enough time to do a quick scene with Mackie and Jeff at the bar later in the day. They're drinking and watching Mr. Foley and Eugenia play for the crowd. Mackie notices that the drunks are getting restless with just music. His solution - do a skit with the two until Maple arrives.

Made tuna salad over cucumbers and tomatoes and corn on the cob for dinner while watching a second season episode of Wonder Woman. It may look like she's saying "I Do, I Do," but she's really going undercover at an exclusive spa for couples in Arizona. There's been several recent leaks of top secret information. A masseur is using his particular talents to hypnotize the wives of top government officials and convince them to tell him what they know. He tries the same trick on Diana...but Wonder Woman knows better.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Busy Autumn

I had a ton to do today, so I started early with some writing. Maple takes Betty to the largest library in Yorkalia to find out what happened to the dark and fire magic artifacts. The Dark Talisman vanished when the king's family did; some say the talisman and weapon may be under an invisibility spell on the castle grounds. The Fire Talisman and bow and arrows were purchased at auction by none other than Kurt Holstrom, mayor of Yorkalia. Maple knows how to get to him - Holstrom is a regular at the Buttery Inn's bar.

Charlie came upstairs briefly to check out the back room and see if there's any electricity. Despite there being an electrical outlet, no, there isn't. I had actually thought of sleeping in there when I first moved in, but there's no heat and no electricity. I also asked him when he's going to be done downstairs and starting up here. As of right now, not until spring, or even later. The back yard in particular is apparently taking him far longer than he'd anticipated. (From his cursing downstairs, the repairs on the first floor apartment aren't moving all that fast, either.)

After he left and I finished writing, I headed out to run errands. It was still cloudy and chilly when I made it to the Hair Cuttery in Collingswood. I was way past due to get my hair done. While I still got it layered, this time, I got it cut much shorter, barely to my shoulders. I was tired of the frizzy mess it had been all summer. I love it! It looks so cute now, and very curly.

Went straight down Haddon Avenue next, dodging lunch hour traffic, until I arrived at the Bread Board Plus. As one of the many local sandwich shops, they were very busy at noon, but I wasn't up to anything too fancy. I settled for a mini roast beef and provolone hoagie, chips, and a can of Diet Pepsi. Watched a family with young kids settle down while I ate.

Headed to Haddonfield next. I got there at 1 PM, too early for my counseling appointment. I ended up at CVS. I needed shaving cream, tooth brush picks, and travel-sized conditioner and mouthwash. Even that didn't take up too much time. I walked around for a little while, enjoying what was rapidly becoming a gorgeous day, then went for a short ride. I still made it to counseling with more than 20 minutes to spare.

We spent almost the entire hour discussing my rapidly-dwindling finances. I'm hoping that this vacation will actually prove to be less expensive than Lauren visiting here in June. We'll mostly be exploring the historic downtown districts in her area. She also wants to take in her local mall and the Lennox Outlets. I put in a request for a drive to Vermont and a peek at the Vermont Country Store. Lauren's local mall is in the middle of nowhere, and according to her, isn't very good. I'll probably spend more money on food during this trip (Lauren and her parents don't cook) than only anything else.

It's hard for me to cut things out of the budget. I hate having to miss all the yard sales and not be able to eat out or shop because I'm broke. I really don't do that much besides work, write, and volunteer. Mrs. Stahl says most people have been in this position...but most people have two incomes. I don't. I'm the one of the only people I know who only has one source of money. No one in my family has dealt with their finances alone for years. She says cut back on treats and try to start building up a nest egg again. That's nice and all, but every time I try to build a nest egg, I have to spend it because I need rent money and my hours suddenly went down again.

And I can't help apologizing when I've done something wrong. I feel guilty. I shouldn't say wrong things. I shouldn't do wrong things. That's why I say "sorry." When you do or say something bad or wrong, you apologize for it. I don't know what else to say. I'm afraid people will be angry and will get upset, even when they don't.

The sun had begun to emerge around lunchtime. By the end of my counseling appointment, the sky was a crystal-clear blue and it had gotten much warmer. I decided I could afford a water ice at Primo's. Thankfully, I caught them before school let out. I tried Baklava - honey-flavored water ice with cinnamon and nuts. Yum. Sweet and tasty, with lots coconut flakes, nut bits, and honey flavor.

I cut across Collingswood and Newton River Park on the way home so I could swing by Dad's. Dad has been a cruise ship captain and doing other jobs that require travel for at least 50 years. I figured if anyone would have luggage I could borrow, it would be him. I was right. He pulled exactly the type of luggage I had in mind - soft-sided, wheeled, a medium-sized rectangle in navy - out of the storage area next to his room on the first try.

Chatted with him and Jodie for about an hour after he found the suitcase. They'd gone apple-picking at a local farm yesterday and had come back with a bucketful of apples (they gave me four smaller ones) and a multi-colored mum that Jodie fell in love with. I'll call them again on Sunday, but I think it sounds like Rose is going to drop me off at Cherry Hill on Monday morning, and one of them will likely pick me up Sunday evening. The suitcase was light enough that I was able to get it home balancing it on my basket.

When I got in, I went through my suitcases, looking for the rest of my travel items. I was able to find my travel-sized umbrella right away (I had it for Lauren to use in June if it rained while she was here). Everything else took a while to find. I had to ditch a few things that had expired. I'll get new ones when I grocery shop on Friday or Saturday. I even found my old Care Bears coloring book that I bought to amuse myself on long trips years ago.

Had to get some cleaning in next. I vacuumed everything as well as I could. Since I was taking the trash out anyway, I emptied a very full vacuum canister. I then dusted the living room and the entertainment area.

Ran an episode of Moonlighting from the first season while I dusted and had leftovers for dinner. It's "Next Stop Murder" when Agnes, Maddie and David's secretary, wins a special contest put on by her favorite mystery author. He invites four of his closest friends and one big fan to a twenty-four hour train trip...and to witness a staged murder mystery. Maddie and David aren't very happy when they're accidentally stranded on the train. Meanwhile, to Agnes' horror, the "staged" murder mystery turns very real when the author turns up dead and almost everyone on board has a motive for killing him.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Early Fall Magic

Started off an absolutely glorious morning with a walk to Rose's house on Kendall Boulevard. The weather was the nicest it's been in months. The sky was a radiant blue, the sun was shining, and the wind was long gone. It had to be at least in the lower-mid 70's, normal for South Jersey in early October. The leaves are just starting to turn colors here. Some houses have already decorated for Halloween; more will probably join them this weekend.

I met Rose and her dogs Toby and Kelsey at the door. I was hoping Rose would have a suitcase I could borrow for the trip. Both of mine are too big to lug around train stations. Alas, Rose didn't really have anything smaller that could roll. Her one rolling case was too small. The other was smaller than mine, but hard-sided and heavy. I did end up borrowing the larger one, but I'm going to try to see if Jodie has anything closer to what Lauren uses to come here tomorrow.

After Rose dropped me and the suitcase off, I went on the computer to write and contact Jodie on Facebook. (She was at work - I figured that was the easiest way to get a hold of her.) Did some writing while I was on. Maple LaMarsh, the curvaceous head of the Buttery Inn, says there's no rooms available for the trio...until Mackie shows her the book he's delivering from Scott. Scott is an old friend of Maple's. She not only finds them rooms, but agrees to help Betty find out what happened to the missing Guardian artifacts as well.

Had leftovers for lunch, then used that box of Golden Vanilla cake mix I bought on Friday to make Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies. Finished out Summer Magic, which I started earlier in the day, while I baked. Haley Mills and Burl Ives headline this sweet 1963 coming-of-age musical. Mills is Nancy Carey, a young lady whose widowed mother (Dorothy MacGuire) just discovered they've lost most of their money in bad investments. Nancy sees this as the perfect opportunity to move out to a nice old house in small-town Maine and start over. Her younger brother is thrilled; her composer older brother, not as much at first. Even as they settle in and meet local general store owner Ossium Poppum (Ives), Julia, a snooty cousin, joins the family and leaves Nancy's plans - and her attempt at winning the handsome new teacher - in an uproar. And then, there's the mysterious owner of the yellow house, who is off somewhere in foreign lands. Poppum claims he's been writing him...but why hasn't he written back?

If this sounds something like "Meet Me In St. Louis in rural Maine," it was written by the same woman, Sally Benson. Though some of the attitudes towards city slickers vs rural folks and how a girl should really win a man are a bit dated, most of the film remains charming. The Sherman Brothers wrote a sweet score for this film. "The Ugly Bug Ball" is probably the best known number, but I'm especially fond of the gentle title song that MacGuire sings with the kids on their first night in Maine.

Went right to work after Summer Magic ended. Work was pretty much the same as yesterday, off-and-on steady. There were no major problems besides a few annoying people. It slowed down enough by 8 PM that I was able to leave with no relief.