Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Celebrating Our Earth

I slept in a bit this morning. I might have slept a little longer if I hadn't been awaking by the construction men banging and cursing downstairs. I read The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog and wrote in my journal instead.

When I finally got up, I honored Earth Day with a couple of conservation-themed cartoons. Started off with Sailor Moon and the re-dubbed "An Unnatural Phenomenon" from the first season. Usagi is jealous when Rei convinces Mamoru to take her on a date in a local park. She grabs Umino and uses him as a decoy so she can spy on them. Meanwhile, Ami is worried about an older friend who is a caretaker in the park. The park is supposed to be torn down for office buildings, and her friend is upset. Nephrite ends up using his anger and that of the animals in the park for the Negaverse' schemes.

My personal favorite Dr. Seuss special is also one of the darkest. The mysterious Onceler relates the sad tale of The Lorax to a little boy who has wandered to his falling-down store. Once upon a time, the Onceler was the chief executive of a bustling factory that created faddish "Theneeds" from the beautiful truffula trees. The Lorax was a little orange fellow who "spoke for the trees" and continuously protested the destruction of the forest and the loss of the animals who lived there. The Onceler ignores his pleas, until they both finally learn a lesson in the damage unchecked progress can do.

Headed out around 11:30. My first stop was Studio LuLoo. I came into a group of mothers and some very small children, as young as a few months old. Roxy explained they were having an Earth Day party for little kids. I watched the kids run around and play music with some of the volunteers while I organized old, recycled card games, Memory pieces, and flash cards that would be used to make greeting cards for Mother's and Father's Day. I enjoyed pizza and laughed at the kids' antics.

The newly revamped Yummies, replacing Leo's Yum Yums, was open when I headed out of the studio. They had more-or-less the same menu Leo's had, though, alas, their prices weren't quite as good. Even so, I thought I'd give them a try. My small cup of Cinnamon Bun ice cream was a pretty good size for two dollars. The ice cream itself was delicious, sweet and spicy with plenty of big pieces of cinnamon bun.

Since I had a free lunch, I skipped stopping to eat and went right on to the Haddon Township Library. It was still a gorgeous day for a ride at that point, sunny, warm, and breezy. Newton Lake Park is awash in the loveliest spring pastels - pale green, soft butter yellow, lavender, pale pink. There were quite a few people out and about, strolling or bike riding. I dodged a flock of Canadian geese looking for lunch.

Maybe because of the nice day, the Haddon Township Library wasn't really very busy. I did have some children's DVD's and CD's and one audio book to shelve. I still can't get all the S titles on children's shelves. The adult M through Z shelves remain so overloaded, there were a huge pile of M, R, T, and W titles that just would not fit.

In addition to renewing Jersey Boys and Get On Up (neither of which I got to last week), I found the newest titles for three of my favorite animated franchises. The latest Doc McStuffins disc looks like it concentrates on sweet Lambie, Doc's cuddly stuffed lamb. Scooby Doo's latest movie looks like it's out of this world - literally, given that Moon Monster Madness is set in outer space. Strawberry Shortcake and her friends take on winter adventures in Snowberry Days.

Headed across the street to do some quick grocery shopping at Thriftway. Their generic whole wheat flour is much cheaper than anything at Acme. I picked up light mayonnaise, too. Bought juice boxes for my nephew Khai - I was supposed to be babysitting him tomorrow. (Rose called me later and told me Khai was sick and I wasn't going to be able to watch him.)

The weather had started to get nasty while I was in the Library. Clouds had moved in, and the wind was whipping around my legs. It was time to head home. I made my way around traffic on Cuthbert and the increasing wind.

As soon as I got home, I grabbed my laundry and headed back out again. Alas, the clouds had burst by this point. I got showered on as I made my way to the laundromat. They were a bit busy when I got in, but by the time I was tossing my small load into a dryer, there were only two other people left. I listened to Family Feud and read the Kit Kitteredge mystery A Thief In the Theater and ignored everything else. The sun came out briefly while I was in the laundromat, but the showers reemerged as I went down the White Horse Pike.

When I got home, I listened to one of the Rod Stewart "Songbooks" while putting the laundry away. After everything was organized, I made chicken burger casserole (ground chicken in tomato sauce with the last of the mushrooms, onion, and cheddar cheese) for dinner, then baked Apricot-Chocolate Chip Muffins while watching cartoons.

First up was one last environmentally-themed special. It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown has the Peanuts learning about trees and the conservation of our natural resources. Sally is eager to show what she's learned and takes Lucy up on her offer to use the baseball field for their garden and orchard. Chuck isn't terribly happy...until the disruption their plants cause ends up helping them out with their game.

Moved on to Doc McStuffins next. Doc doesn't just help heal physical conditions. She's pretty good with mental problems too, as we discover in "My Huggy Valentine." Lambie is jealous of Doc's new stuffed Valentine's Day heart, until Doc reminds her that she's special in her own way. She's a "Lamb In a Jam" when she gets grape jelly all over her, and on Stuffy, too. They have to stay behind after being promised they could go to school with Doc. Hallie thinks of fun things to do to help them get over their disappointment.

As a teddy bear collector with allergies, I really appreciated "Dusty Bear." Doc can't figure out why her brother won't play with his favorite bear, until she discovers how dusty he's gotten. A good run in the washing machine gets rid of the dust...and eliminates her brother's sneezes. We learn about the importance of resting the muscles in "Awesome Guy's Awesome Arm." Awesome Guy is the resident superhero of Doc's room, ready to save Lambie and her new block home at a moment's notice! He sprains his mechanical arm while showing off and is admonished by Doc to rest it. He has to learn to let others rescue him and find new ways to save Lambie when the King goes after her home again.

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