Friday, June 20, 2014

Are You Ready For the Summer?

Started the first day of summer with several vacation and outdoor-themed Mickey Mouse cartoons. Mickey tries to hide Pluto in his luggage in "Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip," but Conductor Pete catches wise and chases them across the train. Mickey tangles with "The Little Whirlwind" when he tries to clean Minnie's yard. Mickey and Minnie recall a gentler summer of vaudeville and crank-powered car rides in one of my favorite Mickey shorts, "The Nifty Nineties." Mickey and Pluto have a close encounter with a boomerang and a none-too-happy emu in Australia in "Mickey Down Under."

My first stop of the day was the Oaklyn Library. Given the nice weather and the fact that it was past noon, I wasn't surprised to see that the only people there were the librarian and two older people on the computers. I arranged DVDs and looked over the children's books. Oaklyn's selling the leftovers from its book sale last weekend for cheap. I bought The Croods and The Pooh Cook Book for 25 cents each! (They've also done more rearranging. Magazines are now on a metal rack as you enter. The larger wooden rack was moved to the back of the building and is currently used for sale items.)

I had an absolutely gorgeous ride across Newton Lake Park. The weather was just about perfect, sunny, dry, windless, and probably in the lower 70s-upper 80s. Other than algae has started taking over the river, the scenery is lovely, green and sweet-smelling. I'm surprised there weren't more people out and about, just a few joggers.

The Haddon Township Library was a bit busier than Oaklyn had been. There were lots of people on the computers and several parents and kids looking for DVDs. The kids' DVD shelves were overloaded; I couldn't get everything in and finally pulled some doubles. Had an easier time with a smaller stack of adult titles and CDs. I ended up with a collection of the original Gidget films, the independent vacation-themed comedy The Way Way Back, the newest Angelina Ballerina title On With the Show, and the cast album for the controversial Broadway musical Spider Man Turn Off the Dark.

Had a quick burger-and-fries lunch at Wendy's. I wasn't in the mood for anything fancier, and it was too late to go further. I then crossed Cuthbert to check out the newly remodeled Rite Aid. I knew the pale blue exterior had been replaced by beige, but I assumed that was as far as the changes went. I was very wrong. Almost the entire interior, except for the registers and the freezers along the sides, had been reorganized or upgraded. The interior was now a lighter pale yellow, with soft wood-grained signs that told you what was being sold there. I didn't really need much; just picked up a paper towel roll for 78 cents.

When I finally got home, I got organized, put everything away, changed into my sandals, then headed back out on foot with my laundry in my new cart. It was a lovely afternoon for a walk. The wind had picked up a little by quarter of 5, but nothing too chilly or heavy. The laundromat was dead when I arrived. I saw one other person, but otherwise, it was just me, my small load, and Action News. I was in and out in less than an hour.

Did a few chores when I returned. I swept the porch, which was covered with sticks and debris (including the first pepper nuts of the season), while listening to the Kenny Loggins Greatest Hits CD, then put up the patriotic decorations for the 4th of July. I have some fairly cute red, white, and blue-themed items, including a patriotic Care Bear with a flag on its tummy, two mini-patriotic Beanie Babies, a tall cardboard Uncle Sam, two large flags I put in the metal curls on the top of the baker's rack, a huge ribbon for the front door, and three folksy wooden doll-blocks that spell out "USA."

Ran the Angelina Ballerina disc as I made banana-chocolate chip muffins, pan-fried chicken, and strawberries and greens salad for dinner. This one has a musical instrument theme, as Angelina and her pals learn about different types of music and how use effective non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication especially ties into the first story. Angelina's teacher Miss Mimi has laryngitis and can't give the kids the direction they need for their version of "Peter and the Wolf." The way the story is told through music gives Miss Mimi a way to direct her students without speech. In another story, all of the kids are asked to make up their own instruments from everyday items. Gracie, who prefers dancing to real musical instruments, has a hard time getting into the assignment, until grocery store owner Mrs. Thimble shows her how much fun it can be to create your own kind of music. A sweet Father's Day tale teaches everyone about the music of Eastern Europe, as Angelina, Polly, and Angelina's friend Marcos plays Klesmer music for Angelina's dad for a party.

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