Monday, September 26, 2016

Pass That Peace Pipe

I overslept this morning. Had just enough time to read a few chapters of Red Velvet Cake Murder, write in my journal, eat breakfast, change, and rush to work. Work was fairly quiet early on. I rounded up carts when I got in, then did returns. It got busier as we got closer to lunch. They had a hard time finding things for me to do later. Ended up filling racks with dollar tote bags and vacuuming the remaining freezer mess. Got stuck taking customers for the last half-hour, even though we weren't that busy.

By the time I got off, it was cloudy, cool, and a little humid. I'd heard it might rain later in the day, so I just headed home. Spent the rest of the afternoon working on my story. Luke hurries over to Ben, Hank, Charlie, and single dad Kes Dameron and his 4-year-old son Poe. They need to go to Organa Island and rescue Leia - and fast. Unfortunately, Hera and The Ghost are out on a fishing run. Hank offers his fishing vessel The Millennium Falcon, but for a very high price. Luke protests, but Ben says he can pay. He tells Kes to call the police if they're not home by daybreak and reassures little Poe that they'll be fine.

Broke for dinner around 6:30. I had the last of the cheese-stuffed chicken thighs for dinner, along with Cucumber-Tomato Salad. I wanted to make the tasty Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from the Pillsbury cookie cookbook Anny gave me a few years ago, but I didn't realize I only had half of one (very big) zucchini left. I threw in two small carrots to make up for it and to add a note of bright color. Yum. I love this recipe. I probably should have cooked them longer, but I couldn't wait. They were very sweet and a bit nutty.

Ran Susannah of the Mounties as I ate and baked. Shirley Temple is the title character, a feisty young girl whose parents were killed in an Indian attack on their wagon train. She's taken in by a Mountie named Monty (Randolph Scott), whom she develops a crush on. He's more interested in the General's daughter (Margaret Lockwood). Meanwhile, he's also trying to make a peace treaty with the local Indians. The chief leaves his son Little Chief with them as security. Little Chief eventually makes friends with Susannah (despite being condescending to her because of her age and gender), even making her a part of the tribe. Susannah's new friendship is tested when she and Little Chief discover that unscrupulous members of the tribe tried to sell the men building a near-by railroad their own stolen horses. The head of the railroad project insulted the chief, who has kidnapped Monty. Susannah has to decide if she should keep the secret and keep the Indians from getting hurt...or tell the truth and save her guardian.

Ok Temple action pic. For all the rather silly stereotypes here, I do like that it's emphasized that both sides are to blame for inciting a near-war - the chief and the railroad owner both over-reacted - and most of the Indians are played as decent people who just want to live in peace. Stereotypes are still very much present, though, including Shirley smoking "the pipe of peace" twice. (She doesn't react well either time.) Not my favorite Temple movie, but not bad if you have fans of her at home.

Finished the night as the cookies cooled with a Three Stooges shorts. The Stooges have their own fun with Indian stereotypes in "Whoops, I'm an Indian." They're on the lam after their rigged game is discovered in town. They dress as natives to avoid their pursuers...but first they run afoul of a French trapper whose wife ran off with an Indian, then the trapper falls for "Indian princess" Curly.

( date, it hasn't rained. It's now saying early this morning. We'll see. It's just been cloudy since I got home.)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Magic To Do In the Keystone State

There couldn't have been a nicer day for a football face-off. It was beautiful, sunny, and actually chilly for the first time in ages when I got up this morning. I celebrated with Pineapple Pancakes and the original cast album of Pippin. The story of the son of Charlemagne, who is desperately seeking his purpose in life, may not sound very exciting on paper...but the show is usually staged as a kind of vaudeville circus, with death-defying "acts" and a narrator (Ben Vereen in the original) who goads everyone on.

The music by Stephan Schwartz (who also did Wicked) is much better than most people give it credit for. In addition to the dynamic opening number "Magic To Do," I'm also fond of Pippin's "Corner of the Sky" and "Extraordinary," "No Time at All" for Pippin's grandmother (apparently a sing-along number in the actual show),  and the lovely "I Guess I'll Miss the Man" for Pippin's love interest Catherine. This show was successfully revived on Broadway in 2013, and in fact won Best Revival that season. I can hear why in this recording - the music's well-written and, for all the simplicity of the plot, just darn fun.

Headed off to work at 10. I started the day doing returns, but that barely lasted a half-hour. It was a beautiful blue and gold Sunday, and if people weren't getting ready for the Eagles-Steelers game at 4:25. It was windy and cool, no more than the lower 70's, absolutely perfect for this time of year. I wouldn't have minded doing the carts the whole day if I'd had more help. They did bring in one of the college boys later in the afternoon, but I was alone for most of the morning.

It was too nice to rush home. I took the long way down Nicholson Road, past Wal Mart and the senior center. They were busy, but it was worth dodging the traffic to enjoy the weather. The sun was out and felt nice and warm, despite the cool air. The air smelled of wildflowers and dried leaves. There couldn't have been a nicer first weekend of fall. 

Spent the next couple of hours working on my story. Luke is worried about his sister, too worried to enjoy the Rogues' party. A very upset Arturro and Chip show up and confirm Luke's worst fears. Leia has been kidnapped by the Imperial Gang and taken to Organa Island, where their boss is currently holding court. Luke plies them with soda to get them to calm down, then tells his Uncle what's going on. They'll need a way to get to the island...

Went back out around 4:30. I was originally going to just see if Dad and Jodie were home, then pick up a hoagie at WaWa and listen to the Eagles for the rest of the night. As it turned out, not only were they home, but they'd just walked in the door from their vacation an hour and a half before the game. I got to see many of their photos and souvenirs from their trip down to Savannah and St. Augustine, including a slate and thick pencils (colored and regular) made from real unshaven wood for Khai and two beautiful capes (one in gray, one in white) for Jodie. 

Rose and Khai showed up not long after I did. Rose is working at Anthony's in Haddon Heights again, but she's currently looking for a law job and already has an interview. Khai's just happy to be in first grade. He's a goalie on his soccer team. Even though his team lost yesterday, his mother said he did very well and even made a few amazing saves.

The Eagles were pretty darn amazing today, too. Unlike the Browns and the Bears, the Steelers are one of the best teams in the NFL. Many sports writers consider them to be Super Bowl contenders. And yet, the Eagles dominated them today. They ran circles around their top quarterback Ben Roethilsberger, including an amazing 73-yard touchdown return by Darren Sproles. As Rose pointed out, Roethilsberger's head just didn't seem to be in the game - he was sacked at least three or four times. The Eagles proved they're much better than most people thought with their huge 34-3 win.

I'm glad I ended up over there. Jodie bought Khai and his friend Chloe (who just came back from cheerleading practice and had the cutest little gold, white, and navy blue uniform) chicken fingers and everyone else hoagies. I cheered on the Eagles over a roast beef hoagie with a ton of tomatoes and onions. (I wish I'd remembered to tell Jodie provolone cheese instead of American, please.) 

(And Dad has another reason to be happy. The Dolphins finally got their first win of the season in overtime over the wayward Cleveland Browns.)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Block Parties and Book Sales

I was surprised at how cloudy and blah it was when I got up this morning. It was supposed to be sunny today. Brightened the dreary weather with breakfast and more Rebels. Zeb and Imperial Agent Kallus find themselves trapped together on a frigid moon of Genosis. They're understandably wary of each other at first, until Zeb discovers that Kallus as as much reason to hate his race as he does to hate Imperials. The two then find a way to work together to escape monsters and get the attention of the Ghost to rescue them.

Started out around quarter after 10 for today's errand run. The Collingswood Farm Market continues to roll out the fall produce. Peaches and Chinese beans are done, but I saw large pumpkins, pears, and broccoli for the first time today, and spinach for the first time since spring. I ended up with the pears, small gala apples, red and orange peppers, mushrooms, and an heirloom tomato.

Rode around Collingswood and Westmont for a little while, looking for yard sale. I didn't find a ton (a lot of people must have thought the weather was going to be worse), but I did run into a few. Picked up the 20th anniversary Spirit of Christmas craft/cook book and a Motown greatest hits CD collection from one in Collingswood. Checked out really big "yard" sale at a church on the other side of town. I considered the American Girl "Penny" horse for Felicity, but I didn't know how I'd carry her home.

Though it was cool, more than it should have been for the time of year, I was still thirsty from riding around. (The digital sign at the Westmont Fire House listed the temperature as 64 around quarter of noon.) I treated myself to one of those frozen blended drinks from the Rita's in Westmont. They didn't have half the flavors I wanted to try, probably because tomorrow is their last day of the season. I finally mixed pina colada and strawberry watermelon. Actually...not bad. The watermelon gave it a nice zing, and there were lots of big strawberry, watermelon, and pineapple pieces.

Crossed Haddon Avenue and headed to Crystal Lake Road for the annual Haddon Township Block Party. Every year in late September, Haddon Township holds a fair on the block alongside their park and public pool facilities. There's rides and games for the kids, food trucks, a small car show, a stage with musical acts, and crafts from Studio LuLoo. I'd never seen so many bounce houses! Themes included a stagecoach, Lightning McQueen, a merry-go-round, and SpongeBob SquarePants.

I ended up buying one of the best deals there. The Haddon Township High School rowing club was selling a bottle of water, a soft pretzels, and a plastic mug with their logo on it for two dollars. I wasn't really that hungry anyway, so the pretzel became my lunch.

My next stop was Haddonfield. Their Lions Club holds a huge flea market in the wide parking lot behind one of the office buildings on Haddon Avenue. Their prices are usually pretty high, but for once, I did consider some things. Finally picked up a Christmas present for my friend Amanda.

Normally, the Haddonfield Library's annual book sale is on the triangle island outside of the library, under a series of tents. I don't know if it's because they just finished remodeling, or they thought the tents wouldn't be enough room, but it was moved to the Haddonfield First Presbyterian Church a few blocks down on King's Highway this year. First of all, it took me forever to figure out where it was. Second, by the time I got there, there wasn't much more room than in the tents, and most of it was picked over. I did find a copy (looks like the first release, in fact) of Belles On Their Toes, the sequel to the original Cheaper By the Dozen. Also grabbed the soundtrack to Animaniacs, the original cast album for Pippin, and a bag with chocolate brownie and sesame seed cookies.

I'd had quite enough riding around by then. I rode straight home, passing by the block party on my way. The traffic wasn't too bad, which was another reason I wanted to get moving. And of course, the sun finally started coming out as I rode home. It had sprinkled slightly when I first came out, but it was mostly cloudy.

Devoted a couple of hours to writing after I got home and put everything away. Boba Fett had snitched about Leia, Jyn, Cassian, and the nerds meeting to the Imperial Gang earlier. The Imperials shove their way into Jyn and Cassian's cottage. Jyn turns the tapes and the plans over to Leia, who flees, along with the nerds. The Imperials chase them across the cottages' backyards. Leia finally turns the information over to Arturro, the closest person to her, and the only one who knows how to work the tapes. The nerds flee to the Rogues' party. Leia's not so lucky. Vader grabs her when she tries to run.

Decided to try something different after I broke for dinner. I have a couple of different types of flour in the pantry, enough to attempt Multi-Grain Muffins. Tossed in the last of the chocolate chips to get rid of them. Ohhh, not bad at all. A little sweet and crunchy - the dark chocolate adds a nice contrast to the nuttiness.

Finished out Rebels while I baked and ate dinner. Kanan's tired of the Inquisitors constantly attacking them. He and Ezra join Ashoka at a Jedi Temple. Each has a vision there, Kanan fights the former Grand Inquisitor, who warns him about Ezra and makes him a true Jedi Knight. Ezra has a chat with Yoda. Ashoka's not as thrilled with what she sees in her vision, which reveals the true identity of Darth Vader...

Chopper has his own problems on another mission. He steals a new leg and hides on an Imperial cruiser. He meets and befriends a protocol droid who had once been a navigator in the Clone Wars, but is now relegated to inventory duty and is abused by the Imperials. When he removes his restraining bolt, the other droid realizes he means what he's been told...and that he can go ahead and give the Rebels a vital piece of information that'll keep them from flying into a trap.

The season ends with Ashoka, Ezra, and Kanan off to another Jedi Temple, this one a Sith temple on Malachor. Separated from the others, Ezra meets a seemingly wise old former Sith with strange red and black markings and horns on his head. He claims he wants revenge on the Sith for dumping him and convinces Ezra to get a Sith holocron. Kanan knows who he really is...and that he's using the boy to reveal the Temple's true abilities.

The Temple's real identity is the least of their worries. The Inquisitors and Darth Vader are all there as well. Ezra's livid when Kanan is maimed during the duels. While they stop the Temple and go after the Sith holocron, Ashoka confronts the man who had once been her master...

Oh wow. Now I'm really looking forward to Season 3 (which actually began today, I believe). Seasons 1 and 2 are the only DVDs currently on my Christmas wish list. I really like this show. The writing is top-notch, the animation is colorful and well-done, the music is downright amazing, and while it's not as dark as Force Awakens (or apparently as the previous Star Wars cartoon series The Clone Wars), it's a lot of fun in its own right.

As with the first season, you'll need some working knowledge of the Star Wars universe, especially the prequels and The Clone Wars series, to really understand what's going on here. If you're a Star Wars fan (especially of the prequels), this is a fun expansion of the years between the prequels and the sequels that gets a hearty recommendation from me.

Ended my night in the bath, looking over my new Christmas book and listening to jazz. Ahh. A lovely way to end a lovely week. I really needed that after all the riding around.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Legendary Rebels

Began and ended the day with writing. Leia, Jyn, Cassian, and the nerds listen to the tapes and go over the plans for the Empire Star Resort at Jyn and Cassian's cottage. The Empire Star Resort will be enormous, covering ten city blocks...and that's not counting a mall and an amusement pier. Cassian points out that this will create even worse congestion in the city than there already is during the summer.

Leia adds that the project would require demolishing not only historic hotels, but recent ones, and that it would only attract the very wealthy. Most of the tourists who visit Ocean View tend to be middle or lower-class families, young adults and college students who can't afford fancier vacations, or the elderly. There's the year-round residents to consider as well, fishing folk and local small business owners and shop keepers.

The dark-haired young woman says she'll send the plans and the tapes to Senator Mothma the next day. They're about to go to the Rogues' party and meet Luke when they overhear a commotion downstairs...

Ran an episode of Star Wars: Rebels during breakfast, and began another while getting ready for work. In the first, Sabine and Kanan go on a mission to convince a group of Mandalorians who run the planet Concord Dawn to let the Rebels pass through their world after Hera is wounded trying to talk to them. Sabine wants revenge, but Kanan insists on peaceful methods of persuasion, even after it turns out their leader is being bribed by the Empire. In the end, Sabine and Kanan learn that both peace and fighting have their place.

In the second episode, we meet refugees who turn out to be some of Zeb's people. Zeb's species was mostly wiped out by the Empire, but a few survived. They want to find a new home predicted by their version of the Force, deep in uncharted space. Zeb's skeptical at first. He'd failed to save the rulers of his original planet. When the Empire goes after them and they find themselves navigating a minefield of black holes, it takes intervention from Zeb to make sure they all get home safely.

Work was a bit of a pain today. Three people called out in the front end. I got stuck in the register for almost an hour and a half at one point. Thank goodness they were able to get one of the kids to show up early. I did get to spend that last half-hour helping to round up carts and baskets, but I never got around to finishing the returns.

My schedule next week is somewhat similar to this week. Earlier on Sunday, slightly later on Friday. Same days off, Tuesday and next Saturday (Tuesday for counseling). On one hand, I'm glad I keep getting Saturdays off. Weekends in the early fall are filled with block parties, yard sales, festivals, fairs, book sales, bazaars, and flea markets. I had to miss most of them last year, partially because of early work, and partially because of bad weather. I'm really hoping to take in as many as I can this time. On the other hand, I still don't have enough hours.

I had a little more grocery shopping to do this week than last week. Picked up a composition notebook (I use them for journals when I can't afford the fancy ones) and a pack of sponges on the clearance racks. Restocked sugar, mandarin oranges, canned apricots, canned crushed pineapple, skim milk, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, peanut butter, and pads. (Had a coupon for the pads.) The bottles of Poland Sparkling Water were on a really good sale. I didn't really need eggs, but they were also on a great sale - I couldn't resist.

When I got home, I put everything away, then changed and had an early dinner. Did more Rebels while I ate. While on a routine mission to gather fuel, the crew of the Ghost encounter a school of whale-like space creatures called the Purgill. Hera isn't fond of them - they tend to eat the hull of spaceships and get in the way of hyperdrive lanes. Ezra feels a connection to them...and realizes why when he discovers that they're also after the fuel. But the Mining Guild has no intention of letting either the crew or the Purgill have that fuel...

Hera returns to her home planet of Ryloth to help capture an Imperial fighter. Her father Chaim is currently in charge of the resistance on Ryloth. He wants to destroy the fighter to show off the might of the planet. Chaim thinks Hera should concentrate her efforts closer to home; Hera thinks he should do more to help other planets. Father and daughter find themselves having to work together for everyone when the Imperials appear.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Perfect Start to Fall

Kicked off the first morning of the fall with my second early work day in a row. I did round up a few carts when I first got in and shelved most of a cart of groceries. Spent the second half of my shift trying to haul the soaked sandbags from the leaking freezers outside. This would have been easier if the keys to the back door hadn't mysteriously vanished right before my last round. I was lucky a manager was in the back and was able to unlock the door. They were still looking for the keys when I finished for the day. Good thing it was dead as a doornail all day. The sandbags were really saturated and made a mess when I loaded them into a bag.

It was absolutely gorgeous out when I finished work. I took the long way home down Nicholson Road to enjoy the weather a little longer. They weren't much busier than the Acme had been. I dodged a few cars on Nicholson, but otherwise, I had no problems.

As soon as I got home, I changed into regular shorts and my turquoise tank top. Had the last of the zucchini-carrot muffins for lunch watching more Star Wars: Rebels. Sabine, Ezra, and Chopper are sent to meet a Rebel data carrier...who turns out to be an old droid. The droid is coveted by a bounty hunter who had once been a friend of Sabine's. The two find themselves having to work together (with Chopper's help) when the Imperials attack.

It was way too nice to stay inside all day. I headed out for a walk around 2. I hadn't seen such a nice day in ages. It was still hot, probably in the mid-80's, but not humid at all. The sky was a rich blue. A soft breeze rustled the dry, crackling leaves on the trees. Gardens are bursting with the brilliant fall colors of marigolds, asters, sunflowers, and impatiens. The grass, though, remains a straw-like beige. Most people won't be decorating for Halloween until next month - the only decorations out were a few fall, summer, Eagles, or Phillies-related banners.

I was originally going to volunteer at Studio LuLoo, but they weren't open again. I just haven't been able to catch them lately. I ended up at WaWa instead. I got a flyer in the mail a few days ago with a stack of coupons in honor of the remodeling. WaWa can now do hand-made milkshakes behind the deli counter. One of the coupons was for a $1.99 milkshake. I took advantage of that coupon to try the Pumpkin Spice shake. Oooh, that was yummy, very flavorful and spicy. Not very ice-creamy, though. It tasted more like a cold pumpkin spice eggnog, which was cool too. I like eggnog, but it's usually too expensive for me to buy often.

Spent the rest of the afternoon working on my fanfic. I may end up re-writing this part. Originally, Jyn and Cassian give Leia a recording of Palapatine's plans to tear down the Cottages, the part of the boardwalk near-by, and most of the surrounding area and build a huge Empire Star Resort and Amusement Park. I think I might return to the source material and have them just give Leia the actual plans to get to Senator Mothma instead.

I wanted a real sit-down dinner tonight. I've had a package of boneless chicken thighs in the freezer forever. I finally defrosted them, rubbed them with Brown Sugar Bourbon spices, and wrapped them around thin slices of cheese. They were cooked in a molasses-chicken stock sauce. Added corn-on-the-cob and Cucumber-Tomato Salad for vegetables. Yummm. The chicken came out so moist and flavorful! I had to have two.

Continued Rebels as I ate. Rex and Kanan have to work together in one episode to rescue Ezra and the Rebel Commander Sato after they're attacked by an Imperial ship that can pull other ships out of hyperspace. Another has the entire group coming to the aid of a ship filled with Force-sensitive infants. Another episode has Ezra following a Force-vision he had about his parents to Lothal, where a former Imperial prisoner finally reveals their whereabouts.

A young Princess Leia helps them out in another story when her home planet of Alderaan gives the Rebels ships...but at this point, no one knows Alderaan is involved, and Leia and the guys have to make it look like a kidnapping. Meanwhile, Leia, who is also taking on massive responsibility at a young age, helps Ezra with the fall-out from finding out about his parents.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blood and Thunder In the Stars

Started off the day with my first of two early work shifts in a row. It was no problem. We were dead all morning, and it barely picked up around the noon rush hour. I did get stuck going in for a cashier right before I was done. Otherwise, I mostly did returns, vacuumed the leaks, and rounded up the few carts that were around.

When I got home, I watched more Star Wars: Rebels while having lunch. After Ezra convinces Kanan and Zeb to help Rex get rid of the Imperials, Rex finally agrees to join them. He tells them about an Old Republic base that may have medical supplies. The base also turns out to be the hiding spot of one of the new Grand Inquisitors, a woman and her droids. Ezra and Sabine are in an even bigger pickle when her equally nasty brother appears. Good thing Zeb and Chopper are on their trail.

Spent the rest of the afternoon and evening working on an idea I got at work. Now, on one hand, I'm 95 percent sure Han Solo's dead for good. I know a lot of fans don't want to believe it. Han's one of the franchise's most beloved characters, and there's a lot of fussing about him not giving Leia or Luke or the kids a proper good-bye. On the other hand, I'm 100 percent certain that none of us have the Force, and we don't know what will happen in the future or the next movie. So...

This started off as a straightforward rescue story set in the actual Star Wars universe. As I continued it, I realized how much it has in common with the blood and thunder, damsel-tied-to-the-tracks melodramas of the late 19th/early 20th century. It only needed a few tweaks to set it between 1910 and 1924.

Ex-Navy hero Captain Henry Solo was kidnapped and almost killed by his son, the masked villain known as Kylo Ren, or "The Equalizer." He and intrepid early pilot Poe Dameron are being held hostage, chained to a log that's about to be sliced in half by a sharp mechanical saw blade. Ren's second Armitage Hux (and his big orange cat) try to question them about the location of lost Jedi master Professor Walker, but they refuse to answer.

Hux starts up the machine, which is about to slice them through...when it's revealed that their crew has replaced many of Hux's thugs. Professor Luke Walker and street kid Rey take on Hux. Walker's assistant Artie manages to stop the jammed conveyor belt. Detective Leia Walker Solo rescues her beloved husband, while ex-First Order Company hood-turned-cop Finn Finnegan and Poe's adorable little sister Beatrice "BeaBea" Dameron free him. Hux escapes, but Luke's happy they did get the Jedi artifacts he was trying to smuggle out of the city.

This came out surprisingly well for an idea I came up with while gathering carts and took several sharp turns on its way to the final product. It's currently available at Archive Of Our Own, Fanfiction.Net, and my writing blog.

The Rescue of Captain Solo at Archive of Our Own
The Rescue of Captain Solo at Writer's Desk at the Riverside Rest
The Rescue of Captain Solo at Fanfiction.Net

Finished the night with scrambled eggs with Ratatouille, then made Double Chocolate Raspberry Cookies (Double Chocolate Cookies from The Cake Mix Doctor with raspberry extract) while continuing Rebels. Ezra, tired of constant chores and practicing, goes off on an adventure with Chopper while the others are on a mission. He receives a distress call from his old acquaintance Vizago, whom he owes a favor to. The two go off to answer it, only to find his ship's been taken over by another bounty hunger, Hondo Ohnaka. Hondo has power converters that the Rebels could use...if Ezra can figure out first how to get them past the buyer Hondo has set up, then find Vizago.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Rebel Hearts

Slept in this morning. Began the day with breakfast, then went right into cleaning. I really needed to get the dusting in the bedroom done. It wasn't that bad, probably because I had the windows closed for most of August and only just opened them again a week or so ago, but it still needed to be done. The bookshelves get especially bad. It's getting to be a bit of a pain to dust under the Ever After High dolls, too. I really need to find them a shelf of their own.

Ran Summer Magic while I worked. Based after the book Mother Carey's Chickens, this Disney live-action musical takes us to the early part of the 20th century in New England. Nancy Carey's (Haley Mills) mother (Dorothy MacGuire) was just left widowed. Nancy sees this is a great opportunity to start over in the country. It turns out that a large yellow house in rural Maine is available for rent. The rich owners don't seem to be around, and the owner of the general store, Ossium Poppem (Burl Ives) doesn't mind if they stay. Nancy and her little brother Peter are thrilled. Her older brother's less happy, but he comes around eventually. They settle into the house, eventually joined by a rather snobby cousin from the city, and by Peter's oversized dog Sam. Nancy loves her new life, but the owner is ready to come back...and he may not be happy with the Careys living there...

Charming musical coming-of-age tale is a favorite of mine. If it sounds like Meet Me In St. Louis in rural New England, the same woman who wrote that, Sally Benson, also adapted this. I'm fond of the folksy Sherman Brothers score, too. Most of the Disney live-action musicals deserve more love, and this one is no exception. Check it out if you're a fan of the cast or musical coming-of-age tales.

Switched to the Pointer Sisters as I put up the fall decorations. I've been meaning to get around to this for ages, and just hadn't gotten there until today. This is the right time for it - the fall equinox is Wednesday, and it's supposed to cool off starting later this week.

I mostly have little things I've picked up here and there, from yard sales and craft stores - a pillow embroidered with fall leaf and acorn cut outs, a really pretty little wreath with fruit and seed-shaped glass beads in fall colors, tiny baskets of fall foliage, calico print pumpkins and apples, a big green stuffed apple, a red Beanie Baby squirrel. Mom gave me the metal and wood crow/leaf/pumpkin garlands from when she worked at Michael's. The plastic and fabric orange leaf garlands were freebies. For some reason, the Wildwood Acme had them, unused, in their storage room when they shut down to be remodeled in 2005. I volunteered to take them home (along with a wooden rack I now use for CDs).

Headed out to run errands around quarter after 1. I wasn't at the Oaklyn Library for very long. There was barely anything to do, and I'm tired of the endless bleating about political candidates no one likes on CNN. I did stick around to hear one of the customers mention her father had gotten stuck in really bad traffic on Cuthbert Road. Something about road repair and a major mess.

I took advantage of the information as I made my way over to the Westmont Plaza. I crossed at Cuthbert and the White Horse Pike instead of by Rite Aid. I could see something going on, lots of trucks, and a police car blocking the way by Wells Fargo. I had to walk the bike around the police car.

I had lunch at Westmont Bagel Shop. Either because of the traffic or because it was almost 2 by then, they weren't that busy. A group of elderly people arrived right before I did, and I saw a family with the most adorable baby girl. I enjoyed today's lunch special, a vegetable and cheese quesadilla with a bottle of water and chips, while watching the toddler's antics.

There was even less going on at the Haddon Township Library. I had a small pile of kids' DVDs to shelve and two audio CDs. I decided I'd leave the new releases and adult titles to the kids. I just took out two kids' sets. The second season of Star Wars: Rebels had arrived. I've been waiting for this one ever since I really enjoyed the first season set back in February. I think the third season premiere is this week. They have a few more Shirley Temple movies I either haven't seen at all or in years; went with Susannah of the Mounties.

Made a very quick stop at Thriftway next. I needed whole wheat flour. Unlike Acme, they still have a cheap generic brand. I also grabbed their 75 cent toilet paper since I was there. They were dead as a doornail, with no lines and barely anyone around.

Thankfully, by the time I headed home, the police cars and road blocks were gone. Good thing, too. It was rush hour. I had to dodge quite a bit of traffic, especially on Cuthbert.

Spent the rest of the afternoon on the computer, working on stories. I revised things a bit. Instead of getting the information themselves, Jyn's dad and "Fulcrum," the mysterious local DJ, got the info from an Empire Industries meeting. Trouble is, the only people who have the right equipment to run the tapes are the nerds, Arturro and Chip. Jyn and Leia convince them to come over and help them figure out what they're saying. Luke doesn't like it, but Leia's adamant. This information could save the Cottages.

I had a lot of veggies going bad in the crisper, so I threw together Ratatouille with my canned chicken for dinner. Watched a couple of episodes of Star Wars: Rebels as I ate. The crew of the Ghost are now officially part of the Rebellion...but some of them aren't too sure about giving up their independence. Darth Vader is now on their trail as well. When the Imperial head of Lothal tells them she wants to defect, they jump to help her. She's murdered before they get a chance...and the rap is pinned on them. Lando Calarissian helps them off Lothal.

After they escape the Imperials, they realize they can't go back to Lothal. They need a new base. Fulcrum - once Ashoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker's pupil - suggests her old friend, who knows where everything is in the galaxy, can help. Turns out her old friends are elderly clone soldiers, who were decommissioned after the Empire started building their Stormtrooper army. Kanan, who still remembers how the clones betrayed the Jedi, doesn't trust them, but Ezra wants to give them a chance.