Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Goin' Down

The day didn't start out badly. For once, I had time for a nice, long volunteer session in the Haddon Township Library. Newton River Park was busy with joggers and dog walkers and people pushing children in strollers two and three cars wide. No wonder - it's beautiful there. While there was some alge on the river, it was mostly green and shining. The trees are just starting to blossom, and the grass is so much brighter. There were carpets of smooth yellow flowers along the riverbanks.

Since I didn't have a lot of plans for today, I spent more time at the Haddon Township Library than usual. Did a lot of kids' DVD organizing. I arrived a bit early, so there wasn't much for me to do at first. By the time I finished with the kids' section, there were plenty of adult DVD titles and picture books for me to shelve.

I arrived at the library at quarter of 11...and didn't get out until 12:30. I took out a book on healthy cooking for kids with simple recipes I thought looked interesting, along with five DVDs - the newest Scooby Doo direct-to-home-media movie Scooby Doo and the Mask of the Blue Falcon, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (Linda Young said in her blog a while back that it was pretty much a rehash of the original film, but I'm willing to give it a go after enjoying Bambi II and the Tinker Bell movies), the French animated fantasy The Triplets of Bellville, and the stop-motion animated movie James and the Giant Peach (I have several sweet songs from this film on my Classic Disney CD set and have wanted to see it for a while). I've enjoyed watching the Rick Steves DVDs this week so much, I decided to try another other; this time, I went with trips to Spain and Portugal.

My original plan was to stop at Dollar Tree for a few things, then go out to lunch. I still had to go to Dollar Tree, but I curtailed my lunch plans. I didn't have a lot of money on me, and it was really too nice to be sitting in a restaurant. I dodged a busy crowd stopping on their way from lunch at Dollar Tree to buy sponges, sweater storage bags for my winter scarves and hats, a large laundry bag to store my winter blankets in, vinegar, orange marmalade (they were almost out of the jars of those tasty preserves), and a birthday card for my sister Rose (hers was Sunday). I picked up a turkey and spinach hoagie from WaWa before heading home.

By this point, it was hot and breezy, well into the mid-80s. This was no time to be eating indoors. I enjoyed a small picnic on my porch, reading the cookbook and gulping my hoagie. This would have been a nice idea in late May or June, when the leaves on the trees around the porch were large and shady. Right now, they're barely existent or not there at all. I wound up going back inside for a while.

Did things around the apartment for a while. Loaded the scarves and winter things into one sweater bag; the other holds electrical cords that were taking up room in the living area closet. I'd really like to organize that more, but I think I'll need a couple of bins to do it properly. Loaded the blankets into the laundry bag. That worked great, and the bag was so big, it should fit my smaller deer-print blanket when I no longer need that.

Around 4PM, I thought I'd try to brainstorm hobbies. I switched on my Compaq laptop like I usually do...but while the computer did run (I could hear it humming), the screen wouldn't come up. It stubbornly remained blank, even after turning it off and on several times. To put it simply, I panicked. I called Rose and asked her if she knew anyone who knew something about computers (and to see if she ever got the call I made on Sunday). Then I called Lauren to tell her I might not be on tonight.

After all the fussing, I finally got on using Secure Restore. I'm guessing it was the updates last night that caused the problem; I don't know why, since updates never did that before. I just won't turn it off anymore until Lauren visits in June.

Rose actually returned my call just ten minutes later. She didn't return the call I made on Sunday because she's been very busy with work (she's a part-time waitress and a lawyer), and she and Craig are still negotiating on their new house, which needs a lot of work. Ironically, she said she also needs to find someone who knows something about computers, as she too needs a new laptop. While the problem with my Compaq is sheer age, she says she just needs one with more memory.

And I'm beginning to agree with her suggestion that there's a reason people own all these computer devices, like iPads and Kindles and what have you. The Compaq is all I have. My cell phone is so old, I can't do much more with it than text, take calls, and play games. Lauren owns four laptops she's bought at various times over the last decade or so, plus an iPad. She's still giving me a Kindle Fire for my birthday...and maybe it's coming at a good time.

I needed a bath. It was late, past 5:30, but I still did it anyway. Not only did it help me relax, but cooler water than previous soaks proved a great way to beat the heat. Alas, things went downhill from there. I tried to make Flounder with wine sauce and Corn Fritters from the cookbook I took out for dinner, along with a spinach salad...but doing that and chatting with Lauren at the same time took so long, it was 9:30 before I was finally making Dark Chocolate Mousse for dessert.

Mother Nature did not help. Of course, as soon as I realize I forgot to take out the trash, it starts pouring. I did it anyway. It's poured off and on all night. At one point, it was so heavy and windy, I had to close the window overlooking the park - the wind was coming in and soaking everything.

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