I had a ton to do today, so I started early with some writing. Maple takes Betty to the largest library in Yorkalia to find out what happened to the dark and fire magic artifacts. The Dark Talisman vanished when the king's family did; some say the talisman and weapon may be under an invisibility spell on the castle grounds. The Fire Talisman and bow and arrows were purchased at auction by none other than Kurt Holstrom, mayor of Yorkalia. Maple knows how to get to him - Holstrom is a regular at the Buttery Inn's bar.
Charlie came upstairs briefly to check out the back room and see if there's any electricity. Despite there being an electrical outlet, no, there isn't. I had actually thought of sleeping in there when I first moved in, but there's no heat and no electricity. I also asked him when he's going to be done downstairs and starting up here. As of right now, not until spring, or even later. The back yard in particular is apparently taking him far longer than he'd anticipated. (From his cursing downstairs, the repairs on the first floor apartment aren't moving all that fast, either.)
After he left and I finished writing, I headed out to run errands. It was still cloudy and chilly when I made it to the Hair Cuttery in Collingswood. I was way past due to get my hair done. While I still got it layered, this time, I got it cut much shorter, barely to my shoulders. I was tired of the frizzy mess it had been all summer. I love it! It looks so cute now, and very curly.
Went straight down Haddon Avenue next, dodging lunch hour traffic, until I arrived at the Bread Board Plus. As one of the many local sandwich shops, they were very busy at noon, but I wasn't up to anything too fancy. I settled for a mini roast beef and provolone hoagie, chips, and a can of Diet Pepsi. Watched a family with young kids settle down while I ate.
Headed to Haddonfield next. I got there at 1 PM, too early for my counseling appointment. I ended up at CVS. I needed shaving cream, tooth brush picks, and travel-sized conditioner and mouthwash. Even that didn't take up too much time. I walked around for a little while, enjoying what was rapidly becoming a gorgeous day, then went for a short ride. I still made it to counseling with more than 20 minutes to spare.
We spent almost the entire hour discussing my rapidly-dwindling finances. I'm hoping that this vacation will actually prove to be less expensive than Lauren visiting here in June. We'll mostly be exploring the historic downtown districts in her area. She also wants to take in her local mall and the Lennox Outlets. I put in a request for a drive to Vermont and a peek at the Vermont Country Store. Lauren's local mall is in the middle of nowhere, and according to her, isn't very good. I'll probably spend more money on food during this trip (Lauren and her parents don't cook) than only anything else.
It's hard for me to cut things out of the budget. I hate having to miss all the yard sales and not be able to eat out or shop because I'm broke. I really don't do that much besides work, write, and volunteer. Mrs. Stahl says most people have been in this position...but most people have two incomes. I don't. I'm the one of the only people I know who only has one source of money. No one in my family has dealt with their finances alone for years. She says cut back on treats and try to start building up a nest egg again. That's nice and all, but every time I try to build a nest egg, I have to spend it because I need rent money and my hours suddenly went down again.
And I can't help apologizing when I've done something wrong. I feel guilty. I shouldn't say wrong things. I shouldn't do wrong things. That's why I say "sorry." When you do or say something bad or wrong, you apologize for it. I don't know what else to say. I'm afraid people will be angry and will get upset, even when they don't.
The sun had begun to emerge around lunchtime. By the end of my counseling appointment, the sky was a crystal-clear blue and it had gotten much warmer. I decided I could afford a water ice at Primo's. Thankfully, I caught them before school let out. I tried Baklava - honey-flavored water ice with cinnamon and nuts. Yum. Sweet and tasty, with lots coconut flakes, nut bits, and honey flavor.
I cut across Collingswood and Newton River Park on the way home so I could swing by Dad's. Dad has been a cruise ship captain and doing other jobs that require travel for at least 50 years. I figured if anyone would have luggage I could borrow, it would be him. I was right. He pulled exactly the type of luggage I had in mind - soft-sided, wheeled, a medium-sized rectangle in navy - out of the storage area next to his room on the first try.
Chatted with him and Jodie for about an hour after he found the suitcase. They'd gone apple-picking at a local farm yesterday and had come back with a bucketful of apples (they gave me four smaller ones) and a multi-colored mum that Jodie fell in love with. I'll call them again on Sunday, but I think it sounds like Rose is going to drop me off at Cherry Hill on Monday morning, and one of them will likely pick me up Sunday evening. The suitcase was light enough that I was able to get it home balancing it on my basket.
When I got in, I went through my suitcases, looking for the rest of my travel items. I was able to find my travel-sized umbrella right away (I had it for Lauren to use in June if it rained while she was here). Everything else took a while to find. I had to ditch a few things that had expired. I'll get new ones when I grocery shop on Friday or Saturday. I even found my old Care Bears coloring book that I bought to amuse myself on long trips years ago.
Had to get some cleaning in next. I vacuumed everything as well as I could. Since I was taking the trash out anyway, I emptied a very full vacuum canister. I then dusted the living room and the entertainment area.
Ran an episode of Moonlighting from the first season while I dusted and had leftovers for dinner. It's "Next Stop Murder" when Agnes, Maddie and David's secretary, wins a special contest put on by her favorite mystery author. He invites four of his closest friends and one big fan to a twenty-four hour train trip...and to witness a staged murder mystery. Maddie and David aren't very happy when they're accidentally stranded on the train. Meanwhile, to Agnes' horror, the "staged" murder mystery turns very real when the author turns up dead and almost everyone on board has a motive for killing him.