Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Spring Cleaning Days

It was absolutely gorgeous when I headed out around 10 this morning for this week's run to the Haddon Township Library. It was sunny, the sky was blue, and it was a little bit warmer than yesterday but nothing intolerable, probably in the upper 70s-lower 80s. Newton River Park was bustling with bike riders, joggers, couples out for a mid-morning stroll, and kids and their parents darting around the playground. Though the river is looking a bit mucky, the park is green and shady now.

Haddon Township Library was surprisingly busy for having only been open a half-hour when I got there. I organized the DVDs as best I could. The kids' titles and the adult titles on the side of the shelves with the M through Z and foreign movies are still full to capacity. I also shelved some children's picture books.

But the beautiful day beckoned. I headed out after about an hour. My next stop was the Rite Aid across the street from Westmont Plaza. I'm almost out of contact lens solution. They were having a half-price sale on a particular brand of photo albums. I was able to find one with magnetic pages that would work as a replacement for the recipes clippings scrapbook I found at a yard sale in Haddon Heights two months ago.

I had lunch at Capitol Pizza. It was noon by then. There were a couple of people watching the French Open when I came in. I ordered a slice of mushroom and a slice of cheese pizza and a can of Fresca and took them outside. Ok, so the view of parked cars and old buildings on the White Horse Pike isn't exactly scenic. On a beautiful day, it beats sitting inside, watching the French Open (tennis never was my sport).

Since I was back in Oaklyn earlier than I planned, I stopped at the Oaklyn Library on my way home. I just finished organizing the adult DVDs (including pulling the plastic off of a new one) when the first-graders arrived for their story hour. I listened to the head librarian read a story about a kid who kept bringing animals, from frogs to elephants, to the building, and the mess they made. I then helped her demonstrate the different parts of a library and all of the remodeling and updating that's been done in Oaklyn over the last year or so. I didn't want to disrupt the kids, so I headed out after that.

Spent the rest of the day at home. As soon as I got in, I got right into organizing that collection of recipe and food clippings. I added another small pile of recipes I'd gotten from various places over the years, too. Just sorting and cutting down the two piles to fit into the new book took almost two and a half hours. The recipe book had come with a bag of dividers, and there were already dividers in the scrapbook itself. I separated meatless main dishes from ones with meat, pasta and rice from meatless main dishes, and desserts from cakes and cookies. The remaining bits - a spice chart, a chart listing common household stains and how to get rid of them - were included in the back under "miscellaneous."

Spent the rest of the afternoon scrubbing the bathroom. I wanted to get it done last week, but I got called into the Acme. It was gross. I scrubbed everything as hard as I could, including the bathroom floor and the rectangle of linoleum between the living area and the bedroom. I normally do that in April, but I held off on it this year until closer to Lauren's visit (and because I just plain didn't have the time in April). I really need to replace the huge bath mat that's covering the linoleum in the hall with a new bath mat, or better yet, a real rug. It came with the apartment, and it's showing its age. The bottom is flaking away.

Oh, and I took down the spring decorations and put up the very few items I have for summer. I'll wait until after Lauren's visit to put up the decorations for the Fourth of July.

Ran The Muppet Movie while I had leftovers and farm market veggies for dinner and made Wacky Zucchini Cake (a variation on a recipe from the scrapbook dubbed "Wacky Cake," with added egg whites and finely chopped zucchini and no cocoa). The first Muppet film details how the original crew got together and found their way to Hollywood. On the way, they have several close encounters of the goofy kind with the Colonel Sanders-esque Charles Durning, who wants Kermit to be his spokesfrog for his chain of fried frog's legs restaurants. Kermit has a dream, however, and neither amorous pigs nor a multitude of guest stars nor nearly as many running gags are going to deter him from following it.

If you're a fan of the Muppets in general or the original Muppet Show, this is one of the best of their movies. (My personal favorite is The Muppets Take Manhattan, but some of that might be nostalgia talking.) It was huge hit in 1979 for a reason. While several of the guest stars and pop culture jokes may fly under the radar of many audience members today, the script is still fairly witty, and the Muppets themselves are as endearing as always. Highly recommended for fans of the Muppets or anyone looking for well-written family entertainment.

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