Began the morning with oatmeal and an apple for breakfast and the How to Train Your Dragon holiday special Gift of the Night Fury. As Hiccup and the Vikings of Berk prepare for their winter holiday Snoggletog, their beloved dragons fly off for seemingly no reason. Hiccup tries to figure out where they went to while the other Berk kids create new traditions to make their holiday merrier.
Since there was a little extra time, I threw on Bluey next. "Veranda Santa" is their first Christmas episode. To distract the kids on Christmas Eve, they and the adults take turns being Santa Claus who come out from the veranda with "treats." Bluey is upset when her baby cousin Socks can bite her but she can't fight back, until her mother Chili reminds her that there's more to being kind than trying to appease Santa.
Watched Family Feud while doing the dishes. Started out as a close game, with the families going back and forth, until the challengers got two double rounds in a row. They didn't do nearly as well on the Fast Money as the family from yesterday, though.
Went online after breakfast. Rose's husband Craig sent me the phone number for the man who owns a set of apartment buildings on the next block over from me. I've never seen them empty, and I'm not even sure they have an official name, but Craig and Rose say the man is upgrading an apartment now and it may be available in a few months. I did try calling the guy, but he was working on that upgrade and asked me to call him back tomorrow.
Spent the next hour looking up apartments. There just isn't much out there at this time of year. I'm really kicking myself for not pushing harder when I started looking at the market back in July. I was hoping Jodie would hold out for a buyer who wanted to keep me on, and I wouldn't have to go through this. I didn't think she'd sell it this fast!
Broke for lunch at 1:30. Made a smoothie, then worked on Christmas cards. Even if I can't decorate, I can at least do these. I bought a box last year half-price, picked up the polar bear-bird cards last month, and have pretty gold-edged cards with Christmas trees leftover from last year. Plus, I bought fancier individual cards for Mom, Jessa, and Rose and her family.
Watched The Scarlet Pimpernel as I worked. This is actually the first episode of a series of three movies somewhat based around the original books. "The Scarlet Pimpernel" uses elements of the original novel and El Dorado. Marguerite Blakeney's brother Armand is arrested, not merely under suspicion, and is held for her obedience. Armand's girlfriend. The ending with the trial and the storming of the Bastille are all inventions. At least the Czech Republic locations look passable for 18th century France and England, Richard E. Grant makes a decent Percy, and Martin Shaw is obviously relishing his role as The Scarlet Pimpernel's greatest adversary Chauvelain.
I saw the Tattletales episode many times before, so I went for a brief walk instead to deliver the cards. Dropped one for my neighbors off at their house, then took the rest down to the mail box on the corner of Manor and West Clinton. It was a gloomy day, cold and cloudy, but the biting chill felt good after being cooped up inside all morning.
Got in just as Press Your Luck began. Packed up most of the contents of my desk as contestants fought snow-plowing New Year's Whammies. They really got slammed in the first round, with everyone getting one Whammy and two contestants hitting two. The winner got lucky and really piled on the prizes, including a catamaran and a stereo.
Went into writing next. Fannie grabs Brett and runs so fast with her, Brett is breathless when she's done. Turns out they didn't go anywhere. If you fun fast in Looking Glass Land, you stay where you are. Richard slowly leads them to the edge of the cliff...which reveals a valley set up like a chess board. If Brett and the boys can get to the end, Brett will be queen and can repeal the Red King's rules.
Broke for dinner at 6:30. I put a sweet potato in the oven to bake an hour earlier. Had that with pan-fried salmon and steamed Brussels sprouts. Match Game '79 is down to its last week. The guys on the panel are peeved when only the ladies show up with balloon animals. Later, Bill tried to retrieve an answer, while Marcia Wallace wondered where he left his brain.
Did the dishes while Match Game PM was on. A lovely contestant proved to be brave and smart when she went with her own answer on "School of ___" in the Audience Match. Richard Dawson has even less trouble with "Father and __" in the Head-to-Head.
Finished the night on YouTube with The Bishop's Wife, which can currently be found for free there. Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) prays for divine assistance to build an enormous new cathedral. His help arrives in the form of Dudley (Cary Grant), an impossibly handsome and suave angel. He charms everyone around him, from Henry's maid (Elsa Lanchester) to his family friend The Professor (Monty Wooley) to his lovely and gentle wife Julia (Lorretta Young). It's when Dudley begins to be interested in Julia that Henry worries that he's lost his beloved wife forever...but as the Professor points out, he's a mortal man, and Dudley isn't.
Sweet holiday tale of faith and learning what's really important in life. Niven's fine as the frustrated clergyman, Young glows as the wife both men adore, and Cary Grant is one of cinema's most attractive and charming angels. (Check out his quick method of decorating Christmas trees!)