Saturday, April 02, 2016

A Walk In the Spring

I didn't sleep well last night. I was awakened by raccoons or something starting World War III behind my bedroom walls. Specifically, in the walls behind my bed and over my bed. I have no idea how they got there. My guess would be there was an opening downstairs, in the unfinished apartment. They were scratching and biting and shrieking and carrying on like they were blowing up the Death Star. That was around 5 AM. I briefly opened my eyes an hour or so later when I heard my neighbor come up, talking to someone else. That was the last thing I remember until I opened my eyes again and it was quarter after 9.

When I did finally get out of bed, I watched some baseball-themed Peanuts in honor of the start of baseball season tomorrow. Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown, since she's by far worst player on Chuck's notoriously error-prone team. Chuck discovers there's even worse players out there when he trades Lucy to Peppermint Patty for Marcie. Marcie is a lot more pleasant, but she can't play worth beans and is only involved with the game because her best friend is.

Though the rain was gone by the time I headed out around 11:30, the clouds lingered. I brought my big orange-and-brown umbrella, just in case. The neighborhood is beautiful now, awash in sweet-smelling flowers and gorgeous spring colors. Everything is bright lemon yellow, pale pea-pod green, soft, dainty lavender, cotton candy pink, or creamy off-white. I felt like Dorothy walking into Oz. The trees are blooming; the dogwoods and magnolias are a riot of pink and white and green.

My first stop was the Oaklyn Library. Despite the still-gloomy day, there was nothing going on there besides talk about the Final Four and political stuff on CNN. A family arrived later to let their kids play with Legos just as I was leaving.

Headed to the border of Oaklyn and Collingswood to run errands at CVS. I've been meaning to buy new hair bands for a while. The bright-colored "lollipop" hair bands I got from the Haddon Township Library last year were stretched out and kind of cheap to begin with. The Scrunci rubber bands I picked up weren't on sale, but they were a better price than at the Acme. They had such a good sale on Secret deodorant, I grabbed some of that, too. Also decided I'd try an M&M promotion that has candy-lovers choosing between three new flavors - honey-nut, coffee-nut, and chili-nut. I went with coffee nut. Not too bad, though you couldn't really taste much coffee in them.

I had lunch at a very busy Viola's Deli. This time, I had a huge roast beef wrap with a can of Diet Pepsi. I was really thirsty after my walk and did drink the soda, but the wrap was so big, I ended up saving half of it for later. There were a lot of people there, getting soup or sandwiches for lunch, or just shooting the breeze.

To my delight, Studio LuLoo was finally open when I peeked in there. They were also a worse mess than usual. From what Sarah says, they're beginning their spring cleaning. I put all the books in the kids' playroom on new shelves and swept the disaster area of a room. A little girl watched Pluto and Donald Duck cartoons on a laptop in the background as I worked.

I spent the next few hours working on my story. The Rebels (including some characters from Star Wars: Rebels) trick a high-level Imperial official into believing they're his own men. They steal the tax money out from under his nose. Luke's going to take it to town to buy money for the poor. Leia's worried about him out in the woods alone, but Han says he'll be fine...

Figured I'd get started on this month's cleaning around 5. Didn't have much to do, at any rate. The guys did do some cleaning when the repaired the plumbing in the kitchen and bathroom a couple of weeks ago. I did do some light scrubbing in the bathroom, and the sink and the top of the stove really needed to be done. Scrubbed (what was left) of the bathroom and hall floors while I was thinking about it, too.

Watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as I worked. Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum) is thrilled when he finds a golden ticket that will allow him and four other lucky kids to tour the amazing candy-making world of none other than the world's most eccentric chocolate maker, Mr. Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) himself! With his beloved Grandpa Joe (Jack Albertson) in tow, Charlie learns that while chocolate may be tasty, there's nothing sweeter - or more appreciated - than a truly loving heart. A long-time favorite of mine, with great music and some fun performances by Albertson and the inspired Wilder.

Moved on to more Peanuts during a leftovers dinner. Charlie Brown's All Stars was the second Peanuts special made and the earliest to deal with the kids' baseball-themed shenanigans. Chuck's loss-prone team is about ready to quit when a sponsor offers to buy them uniforms. Trouble is, he won't sponsor a team featuring several girls and a dog. When Charlie Brown stands up for his team, he learns that he might actually mean something to them after all when they give him a gift for his trouble.

Finished the night in a soothing bath. Yes, the new tub stopper worked perfectly. This time, I was able to read fairy tales and relax with no trouble.

And holy cow! There was a huge storm around 11:30. There was wind, more driving rain...even hail bouncing off the porch. While the rain and hail is long-gone, the wild wind continues to roar outside my windows.

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