Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Day In the Sunlight

Started off the day with breakfast and a brand-new episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Dan's excited when "Grandpere Sleeps Over." He's hesitant to give up his bed at first, until his father reminds him that he needs to think of other people, too. He's happier when Grandpere makes shadow animals for him and Margaret and makes sure he has the most natural of all night lights when he sleeps in Margaret's room. It's a "Tea Party at the Castle" for Chrissy and Prince Wednesday and their stuffed animals, but Dan doesn't have a stuffed animal. Queen Sarah reminds the kids to think of Dan, too.

Headed out shortly after the cartoon ended. I was originally going to take the bus both ways, but got a later start than planned. Ended up calling Uber. That may have been smarter anyway. Got a driver right away; he arrived a minute later. Dropped me off at the exterior door to Nordstrom's in ten minutes.

I was at the Cherry Hill Mall to check out a job fair I got a flyer for when I went to the one at Rowan College back in March. Unfortunately, it proved to be a big disappointment. The Grand Concourse, the area where the three wings of the building converge, was lined with tables...mostly advertising the same companies I saw at the previous job fair. Once again, the only businesses that interested me were Sun Newspapers and Comcast. Everything else was related to the health care industry or was a job for Camden County (and Delaware, for some reason). The only other non-health care or government businesses were an online casino, Walgreens, and Goodwill. 

They didn't have refreshments this time, but I did get other free goodies. One local hospital had a really nice water bottle. The company running the job fair had a travel-sized pad and pen combo. One of the hospices had a Lands End-quality tote bag. Comcast gave away nifty pocket-sized screwdrivers. The Camden County police force had pocked-sized first aid kits. I ended up with 18 pens, two of those pop-up toys all the kids love from Inspira Health, and at least five spongy balls, ranging in size and shape from a tiny red heart to a huge baseball-sized purple ball.

Wanted to try something different for lunch. I've eaten at IHOP twice in my life. Dad-Bruce took Rose and me to his local version in Ft. Lauderdale on one of our visits during the 1980's. There was an IHOP in Audubon when I moved here in what definitely used to be a Howard Johnson's. I ate there once before they were demolished and replaced with Sonic and Chick Fil' A.

I got turned around and ended up on busy Kaighns Avenue before I finally went the right way in the opposite direction to Church Road, behind the Cherry Hill Mall and its shopping center neighbor. The IHOP was impossible to miss, a tiny A-frame, blue-roofed building right behind Raymore & Flannigan's and across from the bright red and white stripes of Ollie's Discount Outlet. The outside looked a bit shabby, and someone needed to mow the lawn, but the small, cozy interior was bustling, even at 11:30. A pleasant young waitress brought me Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Protein Pancakes and iced tea. Oh, yum! A bit dry, and I didn't really taste the lemon, but they were filled with lots of tasty, plump blueberries and weren't too big to finish in one sitting.

There was an equally small bagel and bread shop next-door to the IHOP. They not only sold bagels and bread, but pastries, drinks, and deli meats and cheeses, too. I bought six bagels for $5.70 - whole wheat, blueberry, cranberry nut, plain, chocolate chip, and cinnamon raisin. I kept the whole wheat for lunch tomorrow and will give the rest to a friend and her daughter. 

(My friend told me later that the bagel shop has been around forever, at least since she was a kid in the late 60's and 70's.)

Hiked back to the mall briefly after that. I peeked at a few stores, but had no plans for any major shopping. I'll do that when Lauren visits in two weeks. Did an errand I promised I'd do for a friend, then went outside to wait for the bus. It arrived right on schedule and had no trouble anywhere on the road. I got off at the corner of Johnson Avenue and Cuthbert Road and walked the remaining way home.

It was too nice to be inside all day, sunny, bright, warm, and breezy. Ended up running a few more errands. Strolled down to Family Dollar to pick up a gift card for Mom. I wanted to send her Mother's Day card out today. Went home, got her card together, then headed two blocks in the opposite direction to the post office to send it out.

Went straight to my laptop to check the NJ Courts page...and ugh. Yeah, I was called for tomorrow. I'm so nervous. I'll never be able to do it. I'll have to call out of work, and how will I focus well enough to hear evidence or make a decision? I'm really scared about this. I have anxiety attacks dealing with my customers at work, let alone something this important. I'll never be able to do it. 

I tried to calm down with writing. Re-wrote the previous pages so it's more obvious Gary stayed behind to keep an eye on the bandit they caught. Fannie's the one who realizes that the jail's been blown to bits. Gene is worried for his youngest deputy, while Richard's hoping they haven't lost him or the bandit.

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched more new Daniel Tiger while I ate. It's "The Wedding Party" of the year in the neighborhood! All the kids are thrilled when Baker Aker marries Doctor Anna in an outdoor ceremony at the Enchanted Garden. Daniel is nervous about his role as ring bearer, but his parents are there if he needs help, and all his buddies will be behind him as flower children. He's fascinated to see pictures of his parents' wedding, too. (I love wedding clothes in the Neighborhood. Anna's dark red Bollywood-style dress was gorgeous, and Dan's mom had a really cool sunflower theme - sunflowers are my favorite flower, too.) 

Finished the night online with game shows featuring families or about moms. Mothers go way back on game shows. An episode of To Tell the Truth featured Helen Beardsly, mother of 20 and author of the book Who Took the Drumstick?, which would be turned several years later into the movie Yours, Mine, and Ours. We also got to meet the trainer of a scruffy-but-cute dog who will be familiar to fans of Petticoat Junction and the Benji films. (And Mr. Higgins' fate was happier than Helen's. Apparently, that husband with 10 kids was abusive, and she eventually left him.)

Mothers got even wilder on other shows. They helped get their kids through sloppy Physical Challenges and the dreaded Obstacle Course on Family Double Dare and answered mildly titillating survey questions on Family Feud. Family Secrets was a cross between The Newlywed Game and Tattletales. Parents have to guess what their child's secret is. Bob Eubanks presided over his last network hosting job.

I enjoyed that mother/son week on Tattletales so much, I went looking for more of it. Phyllis Diller was right that her son Perry was a lot like her. He was just as funny as his mother. The big winners here, though, wound up being a still-gorgeous Shirley Jones and her equally attractive son Patrick Cassidy. 

Second Honeymoon was somewhat similar to Tattletales with kids and parents answering questions and telling stories instead of celebrity couples. I really enjoyed this one. The parents were amusing and the kids were adorable. The kids are playing to win a honeymoon for busy parents who hadn't really had one before. Too bad it seems this one only ran a year in its native Toronto. I thought it was really cute. 

Check out some of the craziest, funniest, or bravest mothers on television with your own mom this Mother's Day weekend! (And thanks to Wink Martindale for the Second Honeymoon episode - he apparently produced it.)

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