Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Against the Wind

Began another sunny spring day with banana-chocolate chip muffins for breakfast and The Backyardigans. I thought I'd take a break from the Cat In the Hat to do that Polka Palace Party DVD I picked up on Saturday. The title episode has Tyrone trying to get Sherman the Worman (the cute Technicolor worm-like critters who appear on the show from time to time) to his brother's party in the Wild West. He also plays the tuba, because he loves polka, and wishes he could form a band. He eventually runs into clarinetist Uniqua, accordion player Pablo, and drummer Austin along the way, who ultimately help him with his wish.

First on my to-do list today was the laundry, which I was going to do yesterday but put off because it was so nice. It was fairly quiet when I arrived, just me and one other woman. I chatted with her and worked on story notes while half-listening to The View. I really didn't have much to do under any circumstances. I was mainly washing clothes from the last week and whatever new clothes I bought on Thursday, including all those socks. I was in and out in less than an hour.

Put everything away as soon as I got home, then went right back out again. Though it remained bright and spring-y outdoors, it was also much windier than it was yesterday, and the wind was chilly. I actually regretted not bringing a sweater this time as I made my way to Haddonfield. I got a slightly later start and decided to take a quicker route, cutting through the parking lot for the offices that's under the PATCO rails and past the Westmont PATCO station. (At least as well as I could. They were putting new gravel on the ramp into the parking lot - I had to walk my bike around the construction work.)

I had lunch at the Bistro when I got into Haddonfield. It was exactly 1 PM by then, and they were still incredibly busy with the lunch hour people. I'm surprised they were able to find me a small table outside, next to the signs for the shops on the corner. I enjoyed my divine Pear Salad (a Bistro specialty - pear chunks, blue cheese crumbles, bacon slices, and candied walnuts on spinach) while watching the cars go by on King's Highway.

Next stop was the little bookshop a couple of blocks down King's Highway from the Bistro. I saw some Star Wars books there a while back in the kids' section. I was hoping they'd have some novels, but I only saw one, and it didn't interest me. I did pick up the coffee table book Ultimate Star Wars for the nice photos and to help with research for my fanfiction.

I was mainly in Haddonfield for counseling. I made it literally just in time! Mrs. Stahl had just peeked to see if I was there as I arrived. I told her about my long and busy month - the long hours last month, all the trouble with the plumbing and my kitchen around St. Patrick's Day, finding out why I was made a bagger (three weeks late), Dad-Bill being diagnosed with cancer, my neighbors catching the animals in the walls (they're long gone - haven't heard anything in nearly two weeks), my birthday mall trip, Dad and Jodie's dinner the day before, seeing Zootopia, the work I've been doing on my writing. I really don't have much planned for this month. I mainly intend to concentrate on writing. Lauren's visit is coming up in mid-June, too - I need to consider ideas for things for us to do while she's here.

Stopped for a water ice at Primo on my way home. Despite the cool wind and a few clouds, it was still a pretty nice day, 73 according to the sign at the Westmont Fire Department. I enjoyed a thick, tasty Chocolate Peanut Butter water ice, managing to get there well before the kids out of school, for once.

Rode home across Newton Lake Park. The lake was gorgeous today, both going to and from Haddonfield. The waters are still so clear and green! I hope they can keep them like that all summer. It was surprisingly quiet for after school, though. Once again, maybe I just missed the crowds.

When I got home, I looked over the Ulitmate Star Wars book while finishing out the Backyardigans DVD. Tyrone, Uniqua, and Pablo think "High Tea" will be boring. Not tea the way Tasha does it! She shows them how a tea party can be an adventure when she takes them to the jungles of Borneo, the hot water springs of the Gobi Desert, and introduces them to grumpy Chinese emperor Austin in the search for the perfect cup of tea.

A trio of Tarzans (Tyrone, Pablo, and Austin), each representing a typical Tarzan trait from various media over the years (Tyrone talks to animals, Pablo is strong, Austin talks like a cave-kangaroo), take Professor Uniqua to "The Heart of the Jungle" to return a Wormen to its natural habitat. Uniqua keeps insisting that finding quicksand and talking to animals isn't "scientific," but the guys remind her that pulp fiction doesn't exactly abide by the strict rules of science.

"Viking Voyage" once again has Pablo, Uniqua, and Tyrone on a journey and Tasha trying to show off. In this case, she's a mermaid who wants to prove she's tougher than any silly viking. Meanwhile, the kids are just trying to discover a new world.

Called Rose right before dinner. I wanted to bring Khai's birthday present over - he turned 6 today. Rose said no, he had t-ball practice and was tired from school. She'd take him to Friendly's for dinner, but she wasn't going to do anything else. They had a big party at a kids' center in Marlton on Saturday. I'll bring his present around tomorrow.

Finished the night with a few Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That episodes while making Coffee-Hazelnut-Chocolate Cookies as a further cake mix experiment (and to use up the last of the hazelnut flavoring). A blue-footed booby teaches Sally and Nick how to walk on the mud without getting stuck in "Blue Feet are Neat." The Cat and a couple of fish and squid teach the kids some "Reef Magic" when they learn how aquatic animals protect themselves from predators.

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