Saturday, July 21, 2018

Harvest Before the Rain

The morning was cloudy and unusually cool for mid-July when I rolled out of bed. Brightened the gloomy day (and drowned out the cursing and power tools on the porch) with The Desert Song. This has become my favorite 20's operetta. I'm a sucker for Scarlet Pimpernel-style swashbucklers, and this tale of a French general's son who masquerades as an Arab leader has a great score that includes "One Alone," "One Flower Grows In Your Garden," "French Military Marching Song," "Romance," and "Then You Will Know."

Headed out around 10 to hit the Collingswood Farm Market. They were insanely busy with people looking for produce for a week that's supposed to be largely washed out. Local broccoli and cauliflower are gone, but I saw eggplants, apples, nectarines, and heirloom tomatoes for the first time this season. I went with Chinese beans, three little lavender eggplants, a tiny cantaloupe, a cucumber, another grey squash, small peaches, and blueberries.

Took the long way back to Oaklyn across Newton Lake Park, going by the old Collingswood High School arena that's in the midst of being demolished and the Parkview Apartments. Surprisingly, there were a couple of people out for a stroll. The wind was picking up by 10:30, and it was getting more humid by the minute.

Stopped at the CVS on the border of Collingswood and Oaklyn really quickly next. Took advantage of good sales to pick up Multi-Grain Cheerios and toilet paper. Unlike the Farm Market, they weren't busy. Everyone must have been doing their outside chores before the rain started.

I was originally going to hit the Oaklyn Library. They were closed when I arrived, despite it only being about quarter of 11. Turns out they were remodeling their bathroom today and for most of yesterday. Darn. I'll try again on Wednesday before counseling.

Went straight home after that and went nowhere else today. Since I got in earlier than expected, I decided to use up some older vegetables in my refrigerator and make Carrot-Chocolate Chip Muffins. (Half of a gray squash went in there, too.)

Watched Lovely to Look At as I baked. Tony (Howard Keel), Jerry (Gower Champion), and Al (Red Skelton) are three guys who are trying to get a Broadway show off the ground. They think they have the perfect solution when Al inherits a dress shop in Paris. They hope to offload it to get the money for their show...until they meet the co-owners and designers Clarisse (Marge Champion) and Stephanie (Kathryn Grayson). Jerry and Tony come onto them to loosen them up and get them to sell, but end up falling for them instead. But there's still that show...and not only does Al have a crush on Stephanie as well, but Tony's girlfriend Bubbles (Ann Miller) comes to Paris to see what the guys are up to...

This remake of Roberta didn't do well at the time, but it does have it's virtues, including three spectacular dance duets by the Champions, Ann Miller's "I'll Be Hard to Handle," and Red Skelton's "Go and Tell Aunt Rhodie" routine.

It was only 1 by the time I finished lunch and the muffins came out of the oven. Did some early Lego Clone Wars while the guys frantically covered the porch outside. Completed "Lair of Grievous" and picked up a Rebel fighter in Endor fatigues from Return of the Jedi...which also completes the Grievous rounds. Dooku's the only one left. Worked on "Jedi Crash" and "Defenders of the Peace," but didn't find much.

Worked on writing for a few hours after that. Artie tells Luke about his mother Padme and how close she, Ben, and Andrew were before the Great War...and how it all fell apart afterwards, when Andrew came home angry, bitter, and power-hungry. Luke vows to Yoda that he'll learn about the Force and get the goods on Vader. He's not afraid. Yoda's not so sure...

Meanwhile,  Leia calls her boss Dr. Mothma at UCLA. The Falcon had to go down near Grenoble for emergency repairs...again. She needs help finding a crew and keeping Vader and the Empire off their backs. Dr. Mothma recommends Admiral Ackbar, an old military man and former archaeologist who is a friend of hers.

Broke at quarter of 6. Did some more baking first. Made Double-Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies from the Double Chocolate Cookies recipe in The Cake Mix Doctor. Basically, I just added hazelnut flavoring. Hmm. A little bland. Maybe I'll add cocoa next time. Dinner was sauteed Chinese beans and grape tomatoes, sweet corn on the cob, and the last of the turkey hot dogs.

Finished the night as I ate and baked with Federal Agents Vs. the Underworld. This 1947 serial is really the kind of thing that most people are talking about when they mention the genre. Kirk Alyn is the head of the agents, who try to get back a pair of gold hands that were stolen from a temple by three scientists. A criminal mastermind picks off the scientists to get the hands...but she underestimates their power.

I really like this one. Republic was the master of the serial format, and this is no exception. I love that the female characters are fairly strong, both the one woman agent and the female head of the criminals, and the mystery is actually quite interesting. If you're a serial fan, you'll want to see if  you can find this online.

It didn't start raining until around 2:30 (probably to Charlie's annoyance - he fussed that it didn't start exactly at 1, like the TV stations said), but when it rained, it poured. It's been cold, windy, and pouring on and off for the rest of the day. It sounds like the whole week is going to be like that. I hope it's not too bad. We need the rain badly, but I really don't want to spend the week calling for rides to work.

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