Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Felicity's Retirement Party and Other Stories

I slept in again and started today late with a Tomato, Mushroom, and Colby Cheese Omelet and a ride to the Haddon Township Library. I got in around 11:30, and while it wasn't busy, there were plenty of DVDs to put away and books to shelve. I didn't want to stay too long because of my sore ankle, and I had no intention of taking out books. I have plenty to read at home! I did take out three more DVDs - the 60s Journey to the Center of the Earth with James Mason, Please Don't Eat the Daisies with Doris Day and James Niven, and another set of recent Care Bears cartoons.

Made two quick stops on the way home. There was nothing I needed at Super Fresh. I did get a turkey and swiss hoagie and Cherry-Chocolate Iced Tea from the fountain to have for lunch at home.

I spent the rest of the day in and around my apartment. Bored, I decided to try something different that wouldn't tax my ankle. Inspired by the many photo stories at the AGPlaythings Message Board, I decided to try my hand at creating a story about several Care Bears, the other AG dolls, and my Sailor Moon Barbie-sized doll Sailor Mini Moon holding a "retirement" party for a morose Felicity to try to lift her spirits.

Felicity's Retirement Party

I was going to go swimming, but I wasn't up for it, and I'd already done enough on my ankle. I opted to read the rest of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm on my porch instead. I really enjoyed that, by the way. A coming-of-age tale similar to Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, Rebecca is about a young girl in New England who is sent to live with two spinster aunts in order to get a better education. The story follows her adventures in trying to please her aunts, especially stern Aunt Miranda, making friends, and getting into scrapes. It's not at all as saccharine as it's reputation suggests, and nothing like the Shirley Temple movie of the same title. If you enjoyed the Anne series, I'd highly recommend giving Miss Rebecca Randall a try.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hot as a Laundromat In August

I overslept, which didn't bode well for my morning chores. I really needed to do the laundry today. And of course, the laundromat was the busiest I've ever seen it today! Every laundry machine and dryer was in use when I arrived. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait very long for a washer or a dryer, but I did have to wait.

After I finally finished, I rushed home on the bike. I couldn't put off folding my laundry, either. My work shirt was ready to stand up by itself, and I needed it today. I did that as quickly as possible, then rushed and had cereal and a plum for lunch. I changed as fast as possible into my uniform, pulled on my shoes, threw together dinner, and hurried out. I just made it on time.

After all that, work was steady during rush hour, but dead otherwise. I suspect most people went down to the Shore the moment it got really hot outside. Other than some obnoxious beginning of the month customers, there were no major problems and I was in and out quickly.

(And Tina, I'm still slowly working my way through WishCraft. In fact, I had to renew it. I'm only on Chapter 4. I'll see if I can do some more exercises tomorrow either before or after I hit the library.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happiness Is a Warm Day

I awoke late to another sunny, clear day. It was much hotter than it has been, in the 90s, but still not humid at all. There was such a nice breeze, I left the air conditioner off.

I've been feeling really down lately. Everything was working so well in the late spring and early summer, but none of my ideas seem to have panned out. I don't have the money to join a gym. I can't find any local walking or biking clubs for adults. Oaklyn had lots of pamphlets and fliers for local kids' sports teams, but nothing for adult exercise classes or community sports events. Collingswood's few adult fitness events were mostly geared for seniors.

This is especially disappointing coming from Cape May County. Every Cape May County town has a recreational center, and they all have inexpensive sports and fitness classes for children and adults. Few of the towns here do anything like that. Why emphasize the children and neglect their parents, not to mention single adults and college students?

I haven't been losing weight, either. I'm still stuck fast at 202. I want so badly to drop at least 50 pounds and be a more normal and healthy weight for my body size, but I just can't seem to do it. It came off so easily when I started working out in 2007, but now it won't come off at all.

I don't have Rose's support this time, either. She's so busy with her new baby! Everyone else I know here either lives too far away, works when I'm at home, are too old for strenuous workouts, or just aren't interested.

I had to talk to someone to cheer me up, so I made my weekly call to Mom before I even had breakfast. We talked for almost an hour. She suggested Weight Watchers or similar groups. I couldn't bring myself to do it a few years ago, when I first joined Weight Watchers Online. I had Rose backing me up then, and I still felt weird about groups.

I still feel weird about groups, but I'm going to at least give it a go now. I can't think of anything else I can do. I don't know how else to really meet people like me. I feel so isolated all the time. Mom says it's normal. Ok, if it's so normal, why don't I ever see anyone else who is always alone like me? Everyone else I know lives with at least one other family member or friend.

And I just don't have the money for gyms or anything that costs a lot right now. I wish I knew more single people like me who lived alone and wanted to work out, or hang out, or talk, or get together. I'm just not like anyone else. It's hard to make friends when you're not like anyone else.

We talked so long, Brunch With the Beatles got half-way through The White Album before I even realized it, and I hadn't even had breakfast yet! I finally got off with Mom around 11:30, then had Peanut Butter and Apple Butter Buckwheat Pancakes with maple syrup for brunch/early lunch.

Work was long, off-and-on busy, and a pain in the neck. There were lots of obnoxious beginning-of-the-month people with all their usual hang-ups, and all those annoying ladies who give 500 orders on how to bag but either won't help themselves or rearrange everything you did anyway. The fact that I was tired didn't help much. Thank goodness my relief was right on time, and I had no trouble getting in or out.

I had salmon with roasted peppers and dandelion greens salad for dinner, then listened to The Dress Circle. Coming full-circle from when I started listening to it regularly last year, the theme was once again "Back to School Songs." In addition to the songs they play every year, we also heard numbers from the very-short-lived Broadway flop 13 (it only lasted one performance) and the stage version of Fame, along with charming number about a girl's involvement in her school's version of Bye Bye Birdie taken from a compliation CD, "Joshua Novack."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Farewell to the Merriest Girls In Virginia

I really thought American Girl would retire Molly and Emily this year. Molly's the last of the original 80s American Girl dolls still in production, and her collection is neither as fancy nor as big as some. Plus, there's already five other 20th century American Girls.

I was wrong. Turns out the next in line for retirement are the Misses Felicity Merriman and Elizabeth Cole, the Colonial characters. Apparently, AG already semi-retired Felicity in the early 2000s, then returned her and added Elizabeth when the movie came out.

Actually, AG retired most of the outfits I liked best for Felicity already. There's one outfit on their site that I really want, Felicity's Riding Habit, and one that I can live without but wouldn't mind having, if only for the cool hat, the yellow Tea Lesson Gown. Otherwise, I see nicer home-made clothes for Lissie and Lizzie on Etsy (the eBay for home-made items) and eBay.
Harvest Time

It was another gorgeous, mid-80-degree day when I headed out for this week's Saturday errand run. Started with stops at two yard sales in Oaklyn. One was on Newton Avenue. The other was on West Holly. Both were just a few blocks from the Oaklyn Library. I didn't find anything at the small one on Newton, but the one on West Holly was huge and yielded two Barbie gowns for my Sailor Moon dolls to wear at Christmas.

Next stop was the bank. It was dead when I got in, and I was in and out. I did see a pretty good line at the drive-up window. I guess people were on their way to work or their own Saturday errands.

I stopped at one more yard sale on Cold Spring Avenue and had no luck before riding over to the Farm Market. The Farm Market, as usual, was as busy as ever. Cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash are gone, but I was able to pick up peaches, red plums, mini Gala apples, corn, red, green, and Cuban peppers, Colby cheese from the dairy and meat booth, and 9-Grain Bread from one of the bakery booths.

I rode down to Newton River Park in search of more yard sales. I ended up at CVS instead. I needed shampoo and a stabilizer for my still-sore ankle. CVS wasn't busy, either. I was in and out.

Rode back to my neighborhood and was heading home when I saw a sign for a yard sale on Eden Drive near Kendall Boulevard and decided to check it out. I'm glad I did. They had some really interesting things, including piles of records. Most of the records were singles or promotional discs. I was able find LPs for Jim Croce and Tony Orlando and Dawn, along with the soundtrack for the infamous 1969 film version of Paint Your Wagon featuring Clint Eastwood. (Yes, in a musical western.)

Finally went back to the apartment after that and found another surprise. There was a small package in the mail box. I won Kit's Beach Pajamas for my Molly doll on eBay. They're a blue-and-white sailor-style bell bottom pantsuit and red slippers. They're supposed to be for tomboyish 30s girl Kit, but I think they suit patriotic World War II cutie Molly even better. They're so soft and cute, I think they're the best pajamas American Girl makes, bar none. Alas, they're likely to be retired by the end of the year, so if you want them now, grab them.

(I will add that while I had no problems getting my Pre-Mattel Molly's plump rear in the 1-piece pantsuit, her feet were a little big for the shoes. It took some jamming to get them on.)

Spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon dressing Molly in her new jammies and doing things online. I had a big chicken breast and tomatoes and squash lunch while watching Hello Kitty Furry Tale Theater episodes.

Work was on-and-off steady. It wasn't quite as busy as yesterday or last week. I got quite a bit of candy put away between customers. On the other hand, it's almost the beginning of the month, and there were quite a few annoying old ladies who want everything bagged just so...or else. I really wish they wouldn't fuss so much. We know what we're doing.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Arts and Recreation for Adults

It was such a gorgeous day today. The sky was clear and cloudless. The air was cool and dry. It barely got into the 80s. There couldn't be a nicer day in late August.

I kicked it off with a walk and a quick stop at the Oaklyn Library for this week's volunteer session there. An attempt at organizing the DVDs and videos didn't get far. They're a mess! They've been trying to pull DVDs that teens can take out, but it looks awful. I had more luck with the children's picture books.

Went for a walk down the White Horse Pike and around the neighborhood next. I was very disappointed with my stop at Oaklyn's City Hall. It wasn't nearly as fruitful as my stop at Collingswood's city hall was yesterday. They just had pamphlets for taxes and flyers for local kids' cheerleading and football teams. I don't care about what the kids do for exercise here. What I want to know is what the adults do for exercise.

Didn't have much luck on West Clinton Avenue, either. I was hoping to get some prices and a class list for the Pillar School of Dance next-door to Leo's Yum Yums, but they were closed and had no pamphlets or flyers outside advertising their classes and prices, like Yogawood does in Collingswood. They don't even have a web site that I can see, though they are on Facebook.

And while I was walking on West Beechwood, my left ankle turned. It hasn't done that in ages! I put it on ice for the rest of the morning. I can walk on it and have no problem riding the bike, but it is sore.

My (slightly) early work was steady-to-dead with no major problems other than standing on that sore ankle. It'll be even less fun next week. Though I only have 21 hours and have 3 days off, they're all 6-hour days except for Sunday, and every day except for Sunday is until 8 or 8:30. Saturday was originally 6-11, but there was no way I can do that on my bike. I'm so grateful one of the managers was able to switch it for a far more normal 2:30 to 8:30.

Ran to the mall behind the Acme after work. I loved seeing Dreamgirls again last night so much, I knew I couldn't put off buying the DVD anymore. I actually found the 2-Disc "Showstopper Edition" new for $4.79 with my membership card. That's the third time I've gotten a 2-Disc set for less than $6 this year. There are advantages to DVDs having increased competition.

I had two slices of chicken and broccoli pizza for dinner, then went grocery shopping. I didn't need much. In fact, three of the big things I needed - contact lens case, dust spray, and tissues - weren't even food. Also needed yogurt, eggs, canned tomatoes, and those $1 fish packs. Oh, and Guilden's Mustard was on sale for 88 cents, so I stocked up on that.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On a Clear Day, You Can Balance Forever

It was an absolutely stunning day in Southern New Jersey when I left for yoga class. It was sunny, clear as a bell, dry, and no more than 80 degrees. It was a great day for yoga. I just wish I could get better at doing headstands! A 12-person class worked on headstands and neck-opening exercises this morning. I still wish I could do heandstands. I'd feel a lot better.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm two steps behind the rest of the world. I told a friend from the class so after work. My friend Lauren is going to be starting graduate school classes next winter. My sister who is closest to me just had a baby, and most of the people I see around here who are my age have kids.

I'm still not losing nearly as much weight as I'd like. I want to join a gym, but I don't have the money. Actually, I'd like to join any kind of exercise class, but it's hard to find cheap classes in this area. My classmate suggested looking up local walking or biking groups. It was a good idea. I may do it tonight or tomorrow. I'm not used to thinking in terms of groups, or for looking for groups who would be interested in me. However, I really do want to lose weight. Going it alone doesn't seem to be working anymore, and Rose is too busy to support me this time.

Headed for the library next. Very busy day there. I organized piles of DVDs, pulled DVDs that were categorized wrong, and returned non-fiction books. I also looked up books on several recent interests of mine, including the Bowery Boys.

It was after 1 before I headed home. I stopped at WaWa for water and mini-Yorks. Stopped at the thrift shop to say "hi" to Erica and bought a never-used copy of one of the 80s Care Bear Family sets. It was still in its wrapping and everything.

It was almost 2 before I finally returned back to the apartment. I had a peanut butter and apple butter sandwich and a peach for lunch, then spent the rest of the afternoon watching Care Bears and Pup Named Scooby Doo and continuing this month's cleaning. I washed the deck furniture. I scrubbed the trash and recycling canisters. I did the kitchen.

I realized when I was cleaning the kitchen that I was out of dust spray. It was too nice to be inside for very long anyway, so I went for a walk to CVS to see if they had any. They did, but it was expensive. I'll see if the Acme has it tomorrow.

I saw lots of people when I was out and about. There were groups of kids on bikes and parents chatting on porches. People walked their dogs and pushed their children in huge strollers, enjoying the beautiful day.

When I came home, I made Marinated Chicken and Tomatoes and corn on the cob for dinner and watched Dreamgirls. If you're a musical fan and you haven't seen it yet, seek it out. It's the fabulous story of the rise of a fictional 60s girl soul group, and how one is ousted from the group when her straightforward manner and curvy body just doesn't fit. Jennifer Hudson mightily deserved her Oscar win; her "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" is the most amazing solo performance I've ever seen in a movie musical.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Picnics and Libraries

Slept in and started out late again. It was once again cloudy, but this time it was more humid and a little warmer, in the upper 70s-lower 80s. Warmer and more humid than it has been, but nothing resembling last month.

I made a quick stop at Super Fresh first. I'm out of maple syrup, and Super Fresh has much better prices on real maple syrup than the Acme. (The Acme's cheapest is $6.99. Super Fresh has their small size on sale for $4.99.) I also picked up a turkey and Swiss hoagie for lunch, figuring I'd eat that quickly at home after I got in.

I didn't arrive at the library until quarter of noon. It wasn't really busy when I got in, but things picked up later in the day. I mostly shelved non-fiction DVDs. There were also a pile of kids' CDs to put away. Pointed out the kids' DVD section to one mother and her brood.

Since I brought back a pile of books, I took out another pile. I continued my exploration of children's literature with Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and the second All-Of-A-Kind Family book. Took out two more books on doing what you want and exploring opportunities. Found Wild Ride, an interesting-looking adult action/supernatural story of a young woman who encounters obstacles both demonic and romantic when she restores a long-gone amusement park. I also checked out four DVDs - the 80s soap opera spoof Soapdish, the musicals Dreamgirls and Strictly Ballroom, and a collection of episodes of Pup Named Scooby Doo.

It was late when I finally left the library, almost 3PM, and I still hadn't had lunch. I decided I was too hungry to wait until I got home to have my hoagie. I enjoyed a nice little picnic at a table in Newton River Park, under two trees a few blocks down from Cuthbert Road. It was far enough away that the noise of the busy street were barely a memory. I had a very pleasant lunch, listening to birds chirp and fish splash and reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm while I ate my hoagie.

I was thirsty going back, so I stopped at Leo's Yum Yums for a Root Beer Water Ice. There were two women chatting at the window, but other than that, it was pretty quiet there, too. I did see a lot of people out doing lawns today. I guess the recent rain is finally starting to show on the grass.

Spent the rest of the afternoon and evening at home, cleaning and doing chores. I'm starting this year's fall cleaning this week with a major bathroom scrub. I hadn't really scrubbed the bathroom since late May. In addition to doing the tub and the sink and toilet and all the tile around them, I washed the bathroom and hall floors. I normally only do them in the spring, but they looked disgusting. Wiped down the window blinds, too, and dusted them. I'll see if I can get the kitchen and vacuuming the apartment in tomorrow after yoga and volunteering at the Collingswood Library.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Easy Goin'

It was a good morning for sleeping in. The weather all day was cloudy, gloomy, and much cooler than it has been, no warmer than 70. Given what it's been like around here all summer, I'll count that as a good thing. I could even wear capris without sweating to death.

I went for a walk after breakfast. I decided to go by Dad and Uncle Ken's house and see if he's home yet. Yes, he is. Uncle Ken was on the porch, and he was inside, doing things online. He's fine. He was hired by a very fancy cruise ship and made quite a bit of money. He may be doing another one soon, although that trip seems to be postponed for now.

(He also added that the pool had quite a bit of algae in it when he came home. He usually takes care of the pool area, so it was up to him to get it clean. He says it's still not quite right. I don't know if I'll be going swimming again this summer. The weather is pretty much supposed to stay more-or-less like this for the rest of the week.)

I made a quick trip around to CVS and back after leaving Dad. I didn't go in CVS, just went down that block. When I got home, I worked on Wishcraft exercises while watching The Chipmunk Adventure and the Happy Summer Days Disney shorts video. Had a quick yogurt lunch, then paid this month's college bill online.

Headed to work next. It was so cool out, I actually needed a jacket on my ride. I didn't even roll up my pants legs. Hasn't felt this nice out in ages. I wasn't even sweating when I arrived at the Acme.

Work was on-and-off busy. It came and went in spurts, mostly during the 4-6 rush hour. There were no major problems, my relief was on time, and I was able to buy my green mint tea and ride home quickly despite the continuing traffic on the Black Horse Pike.

I had leftover Persian Cucumber Salad and a chicken thigh for dinner when I got home and watched Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird, the first Sesame Street movie. A misguided but well-meaning social worker insists Big Bird should live with other birds...but the family she places him with are stupid and a bit bigoted. Big Bird runs away, hoping to make it back to Sesame Street. His friends and neighbors go after him...and so do a pair of sleazy carnival owners who want him for their sideshow.

If your kids don't mind the lack of recent characters like Elmo and Zoe, this is still a really cute movie. Great music, too, including the fun traveling songs "Easy Going Day" and "Ain't No Road Too Long" and the lovely ballad "One Little Star."

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Walk In the Rain

It was sunny, clear, and dry when I got up this morning. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. It was much cooler than it has been, too, barely in the 80s. It was a perfect morning to do the laundry. I had to work at noon, and I would have waited until later, but I really needed to get my Acme uniform shirt washed. I only have one short-sleeved one this time. I did get a long-sleeved shirt, but we're obviously not quite ready for that yet.

There were big, heavy clouds on the horizon even as I was leaving the laundromat. By the time I'd put my clothes away and was having an early lunch, it was cloudy and much cooler (though oddly enough, still not as humid as it has been). It started to sprinkle as I headed out to work.

Work was a little less busy than the weekend, but there were still larger crowds than there have been over the past month. Not only is everyone coming back from vacation, but we have kids going back to school in a few weeks and people getting ready for their big Labor Day celebrations. I had a relief, but he was called in early, so another boy was pulled from the self-checkout line to finish off the Express lane so I could buy some very on-sale lemons (15 cents a lemon!) and go home.

My customers said the rain had picked up shortly after I arrived at work. It was just sprinkling again when I came home. By the time I got in, the rain was slightly heavier, though hardly a raging storm. It was so nice and cool and smelled so fresh, I decided to go out for a walk anyway. Rain or no rain, I'd been inside for most of the day.

I'm glad I did. It was even cooler by then, probably in the upper 70s, and it felt great. I even wore my blue rain jacket with no problems. The rain never got heavier than a gentle shower. I strolled down Goff Avenue and around the neighborhood behind Kendall Boulevard, then back down Kendall. I wasn't the only one out in the rain, either. I saw kids walking in packs and one guy even mowing his lawn.

The rain didn't pick up until well after I'd arrived home. I listened to the rain on my roof as I had Beef and Pepper Stir-Fry for dinner and watched Summer Magic. Since it was so cool and Acme was having that lemon sale, I made lemon squares while Summer Magic ended.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away!

I was laying in bed around 9AM, contemplating whether or not it was a good idea to get up or just stay where I was and try to get some more shut-eye. My cell phone answered that question when I heard it go off. Mom called to say "hi." She did end up staying at the Michael's. She's been complaining that the hauling she does there is hard on her arthritis, but they've lost a lot of help lately to kids leaving and college students going back to classes. She said her boss begged her to stay until at least after the holidays, and she agreed. I think that's smart. She'll still have money away from Dad, including extra money for Christmas shopping. Once she gets past Christmas, she might be in a better mind to decide what to do.

The morning was gloomy, rainy, hot, and crazy-humid. I was actually happy about that. As I've said, we really needed the rain. It was good rain, too. We had some good, solid showers on and off all day. I stayed inside, fooling around online and listening to Brunch With the Beatles ("The Beatles' Movies" was the theme today).

It was just starting to sprinkle when I finally headed off for work. The sprinkle was picking up to another shower when I arrived at work. Thankfully, I got inside before I could get really wet.

Work was the same as yesterday - busy until around 5, after which it slowed to on-and-off. Business at the Acme should pick up as people return from vacations and start preparing for Labor Day celebrations.

I got lucky with the weather going home, too. My relief was late again, so I just shut down and headed out with my container of small butter cookies. I got in around 6:15. By the time I was sitting down to salmon, roasted peppers, and dandelion greens salad for dinner, around 6:45, it was pouring again. The rain stopped by 7. It looks like it's breaking up out there now, but it's still humid.

I got The Dress Circle in tonight, too. "Pop Singers Who Performed Broadway Tunes" was the theme tonight. Other than some unnecessary comments about the state of modern music in the beginning, we heard some fine standards from Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones, The Four Aces, Shirley Bassey, Julie London, Doris Day, and Sarah Vaughn, among others.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summer Harvest

I was getting ready to head out for the bank and the farm market when the phone rang. Yup, it was the Acme. Could I come in at 10? No. It was quarter of 9! Not to mention even if I didn't get to the farm market, I really needed to hit the bank. I have bills to pay this week. I told them I'd be in around noon.

It was another gorgeous day in the neighborhood. The humidity had risen a bit, but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as earlier this month or last month. It wasn't really that hot, either. The bank was quiet when I deposited this week's paycheck. The Farm Market, on the other hand, was bustling. Blueberries are gone, but I did see the first pears and large squashes of the year. I picked up an organic eggplant, tomatoes, an ear of corn, small Gala apples, peaches, red plums, a jar of apple butter, and tiny little grapes that turned out to be as sweet as candy.

Stopped at CVS really quick for shaving cream. (Which is MUCH cheaper there than at the Acme! It's $1.49 there, compared to the Acme's $2.49.) I only saw one yard sale this morning, and it mostly had baby clothes. I was home by quarter after 10. I put everything away, had Peanut butter and apple butter on honey whole wheat bread sandwich and an incredibly sweet red plum for an early lunch, and did finally make it to work around 11:30.

Actually, I'm glad I went early. I didn't really have any huge plans for this morning after my farm-market run anyway. The Acme was steady-busy all afternoon, and despite two call-outs we had plenty of help. There were no major problems. It was quiet enough by 6 for me to close down, despite my relief being one of the boys who is always late coming in from his other job.

I had a quick dinner of a leftover Chicken Thigh Poached in Lemon-Wine Sauce and Persian Cucumber Salad, then changed back into regular clothes and went for a walk. I headed down to Goff Avenue, then back around the neighborhood next to the Oaklyn School and over to West Clinton. I treated myself to a pineapple Leo's Yum-Yum for dessert before strolling home for a shower.

Friday, August 20, 2010

In the Good Old Summertime

Started off another gorgeous day in Oaklyn with a walk around the neighborhood. I needed milk badly anyway. I took the opportunity to hike all over the area of Oaklyn I live, between the Black Horse Pike and the White Horse Pike. It was surprisingly quiet. I heard kids playing at the Haddon Learning Center on West Clinton, and saw a mother teacher her children how to ride bikes on the end of Manor near Cedar Avenue.

After I came home, I decided to try something. I did some exercises from the book Wishcraft, which basically gives you the tools to get what you want...without having to change who you are. I just need confidence. I'm too shy to talk to people I don't know, and though I feel better about myself and my abilities than I did in the winter, I still sometimes feel like I can't do anything.

I also ran the last Bowery Boys movie I intend to watch for a while, Dig That Uranium. Uranium is the Boys' second western tale. Louie Dumbrowski, the excitable owner of the ice cream shop the Boys hang out in, buys a uranium mine. He and the Boys head out west to find the mine...but find themselves dodging Indians and outlaws and befriending an old prospector. The best part of this one by far was Slip and Sach's hilarious spoof of The Lone Ranger.

(Uranium, incidentally, was used heavily for nuclear warheads in 1955 - it was probably considered more important than gold or silver at that point. Today, it's considered toxic, radioactive, and dangerous - not something someone would go chasing around Nevada for!)

Headed to work after the last of the Tuscan Tuna Salad for lunch. Work was pretty much the same as yesterday - steady, with no major problems. Even with a call-out, we had trainees coming in and plenty of help.

I had dinner at Sonic after work. Had the Chicken Wrap and Low-Cal Diet Cherry Limeade again. I love that. The wrap is filling enough that you really don't need the Tater Tots. And their limeades are sooo good! They put real lime in them.

Made a quick stop at FYE after dinner. I was looking for the new Looney Tunes DVDs for Bugs and Daffy, but I couldn't find them, so I moved on to the Acme for this week's grocery shopping trip. I mostly needed to restock chicken, beef, and yogurt. Also took advantage of a 2 Skippy Peanut Butters for $2 sale with coupon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beautiful Day Balance

First of all, Tina, that chicken is easy to make. Think home-made Shake-And-Bake. All you need is a half-cup of cornmeal, a teaspoon of salt, pepper (freshly ground preferred, but black is fine), and dried basil and parsley. If you like things hotter, add some red pepper or chili powder. Pour the ingredients in a bag. Add three chicken breasts, and shake until covered. Then fry in a medium-heat frying pan or wok until it's no longer pink inside.

It was still relatively cool when I awoke, but yesterday's humidity was gone, and with it went the clouds and rain. It was a lovely day for yoga class. 9 people, including me, my friend Pattie, and the teacher Karin did handstands, twists, and hip openers.

Next stop was the Collingswood Library for this week's volunteering session there. It was pretty busy. They already had someone doing the DVDs, so I spent an hour putting books away upstairs.

I would have done more, but I had work at 1:30 today instead of 2:30. I was home by noon. Had a simple yogurt, peanut butter, and peach lunch and watched more Bowery Boys. When one of their regular buddies gets beat up while on an undercover newspaper assignment, the Bowery Boys take it on themselves to flush out corruption in the local jail...by getting sent up the river!

Work was on-and-off steady today, but not as bad as yesterday. The nicer weather must have put people in a better mood, too. There were no problems, and with the new cashiers training, plenty of help. It was so dead by 6:30, I was able to leave on time even though my relief was late.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

When You Get What You Wished For

We've needed rain for at least two weeks now. The grass is starting to look really dry again. I've been hoping for some good, solid rain. I finally got my wish when I woke up to a shower this morning.

It ended around 8...and held off long enough for me to make it to the Oaklyn Library for this week's volunteering session there. And they needed a lot done! They'd just hosted a local summer camp for very young kids the night before. There were chairs all over the place and kids' books piled on the tables in the middle of the children's area. I had a lot of organizing to do.

When I finished, I headed out for a walk. It was around 11:30 by then. It was cloudy, cool, and really humid, but not raining. I went for a short walk over the train tracks and down to Kendall, then down Goff Avenue and back to Manor. It was just starting to spit a tiny bit when I made it back to my place. It started to rain harder shortly after I arrived, but the rain ended around 1:30, and to my knowledge, it hasn't rained since.

Spent the rest of the afternoon quietly at home. Since it was cool, I baked Applesauce Cake via a recipe my best friend Lauren Miller sent me and added apples and blackberries. I watched two more Bowery Boys movies. No Holds Barred was the funnier of the two, both of them revolving around sports. Sach Jones somehow develops a very, very hard head. His best buddy Slip Mahoney takes advantage of this unusual ability by entering him in professional wrestling circles...but the ability keeps moving to different parts of Sach's body!

Work was really busy tonight off and on. I couldn't figure out why until I talked to one man with a very large order. I forgot that most colleges are just about ready to begin fall sessions if they haven't already. There's a lot of colleges in the area, and kids who don't live at home are probably stocking up for the fall. Plus, we're in the midst of training new cashiers, so a lot of the lines were going really slow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Laundry Day

I way overslept this morning. I didn't get up until quarter of 10! I'm surprised I got to the laundromat as fast as I did. Thankfully, I timed it well. I got in just as one woman was leaving and before a couple with a several huge loads of laundry that took up five washers and dryers arrived. I had a little more than usual, thanks to new work uniform shirts to wash, so it took me a little longer than usual.

I got home with just enough time to put my laundry away, have lunch, watch another Bowery Boys movie (Private Eyes), change into my now-clean uniform clothes, and head to work. Work was busy when I came in, fairly quiet when I left. Unlike the weekend, there was plenty of help and no major problems.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Wish It Would Rain Down

Maybe it would get rid of this heat! It's back to being hot and humid again. While I don't think it's quite as hot or as humid as last week or most of July, it's not fun, either.

I slept in and got a late start to the Haddon Township Library. There wasn't a whole lot to do on a Monday. I put away the very few DVDs there were and shelved kids' books. I debated taking out DVDs, but I'm going to be working for most of the week and probably won't have the time to watch them. Today is my only day off this week.

Didn't head out until past 1:30. I was hungry, but I didn't have the money for a full lunch. I stopped by the Bagel Shop and bought a Cranberry Whole Wheat Bagel and some water. I enjoyed my treat outside on my bike before finally riding home.

Spent the next couple of hours inside. I finally had tuna salad, Persian Cucumber Salad, and Zucchini-Carrot Muffins for a real lunch. I crocheted. I watched another Bowery Boys movie, this one on their venture into the Navy.

I decided around 4 that a swim would feel nice. My cousin Amber and her family were just leaving as I was arriving at Uncle Ken's house. Amber told me that the pool was a bit cold, but not bad...and she was right. It was chilly, in the lower 80s, but chilly felt very good on a hot day! This time, I had the pool all to myself. Uncle Ken was the only one at home, and he was working on putting everything in the den back where it was.

I swam for about a half-hour, then read The Wind and the Willows for another half-hour. I was just getting ready to go when I heard crashing behind the pool area! It turned out to be Uncle Ken's neighbor Sandy. She was working on some things in her garage, and she wondered if I needed any furniture? All the furniture she was trying to get rid of was too big for my apartment, but I did pick up two Christmas craft-story-and-recipes books from her, Country Christmas and the 1991 edition of Christmas With Southern Living.

Had a pleasant dinner of Cornmeal-Battered Chicken Breasts and Ratatouille at home, watching more Bowery Boys movies. One had Slip and Sach seeking out corruption in the Air Force; another showed Sach being mistaken for a famous French scientist, which leads the Boys (and Louie Dumbrowski, the owner of the ice cream shop where the Boys hang out) to France to sort things out.

(And it did finally rain a little around 8:30, though I don't believe it's doing so anymore.)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Welcoming the Rain

I slept in this morning and spent most of the day hanging around my apartment. It was a good day for it, too. The weather was cool, cloudy, and very humid. (I've actually turned the air conditioner back on, despite it not being that hot. It's too humid not to.) I had Plum Honey Buckwheat Pancakes for breakfast, then tried calling Mom. When I couldn't get her, I went on the computer to work on inventories. Listened to Brunch With the Beatles. Paul McCartney, who is playing Philadelphia on a sold-out concert tour as I type this, was in the spotlight today.

Work was busy again for the first half of my shift, on-and-off for the second. We still didn't have a lot of help, but other than that, there were no major problems. I spent a lot of the second half of the shift putting candy away.

Got home in time for the last half-hour of The Dress Circle. The theme tonight seemed to be "An All-Star Annie Get Your Gun." They mostly played studio sets, but we did hear Ethel Merman singing the last Broadway show tune Irvin Berlin wrote, "An Old Fashioned Wedding," from Annie's early 60s Lincoln Center revival.

By the way, it did finally rain while I was in work, but it was down to misting when I was riding home at 7, and I don't think it's even doing that now. I actually wish it would. We really, really need the rain again.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

In the Cool of the Evening

It was a gorgeous day for a farm market run, and an even nicer day for a Craft Festival. I stepped out into a barely 80 degree morning. There were still a few clouds when I left for Collingswood, but they vanished quickly.

The farm market was bustling when I picked up peaches, cucumbers, blueberries, honey, a huge zucchini, tomatoes, an onion, garlic, mushrooms, and the first mini red apples of the season. (Large apples are now out as well. That was a surprise; we don't usually see apples until late August, sometimes well into September.) Lots of dogs out, too. I saw a sleek greyhound and a cute little fuzzy black-and-white Boston Terrier.

Getting into Collingswood was a bit of a pain. They were diverting traffic from Haddon and Collings Avenues for the annual Arts and Crafts Festival in Collingswood's downtown area. Unlike the May Fair, the Arts and Crafts Festival is a more elaborate version of the craft shows that used to run on the Cape May Promenade and Wildwood Boardwalk in the summer. Along with the usual booths selling home-made jewelry, furniture, pottery, handbags, clothes, toys, frames, and pictures, there's food booths and booths for various local services, like the PATCO and Verizon. I didn't buy anything, but it was fun to walk around.

I had a nice ride home via Newton River Park. Spent the rest of the morning at the apartment. It was so nice, I baked Molasses Spice Cookies from a Prevention Magazine recipe, and the apartment didn't get the least bit hot. After the cookies were out of the oven, I had lunch and updated my finances (such as they are).

Had a very pleasant ride to work. Work...was not so pleasant. In fact, it was a real pain in the rear end. First of all, there was a call-out. I ended up staying until 9:30. I would have said "no," but I really, really need the extra hours.

Second, people were just annoying. One lady with a passel of loud, obnoxious, unruly children was an unorganized twit. First, she insisted her small order had to be broken up into three even smaller ones. Second, she held up the line for 15 minutes while she searched frantically for her Food Stamp card. Her children screamed, raced around the front of the store, and snuck a box of Batman fruit snacks out of a bag and gobbled them as fast as they could. I finally cashed her out.

She paid for the fruit snacks, and we thought that was that...until she came back with the card. We'd already put away the rest of her order because we thought she wasn't coming back! And then she complained that she'd put her boxes of mashed potato mix in the wrong order. She wanted a certain coupon, and she could only get it if certain things were paired with certain other things. Lady, if you want those darn coupons, organize your order better in the first place...and for the love of Pete, discipline your children! We later discovered they'd stomped fruit snacks into the floor. The managers had to scrub the floor with bleach to get the sticky stuff off.

There were also several demanding older ladies, and several old men who thought they were being funny but were just jerks. All in all, I was very glad when it finally died around 8, and I could spend the rest of the evening putting candy away.

My schedule next week, BTW, is much better. With a quarter of the Acme employees on vacation, I have some great hours, including 3-7 tomorrow. I don't even mind only having one day off next week. I had no really huge plans for next week anyway. I'm broke, and I just got off my vacation.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th

This was a fairly quiet day. Some of you probably spent it watching the ridiculously long-running Friday the 13th slasher movie series. As for me, I'm a wuss when it comes to horror. I'd rather laugh at my fears than jump at them. I opted for a spooky Bowery Boys movie, Spook Busters, instead.

(However, I intend to save the remaining horror-themed Bowery Boys and East Side Kids movies for October and Halloween. I don't have much that's horror-themed that I can handle to watch that month, so it'll be nice to have these.)

I ran to the Acme after Spook Busters ended. No paycheck today (we get our vacation paychecks in advance), but I figured I'd get my grocery shopping done anyway. Not that I needed much. I mostly stocked up on necessities like yogurt, tuna, peanuts, and granola bars. I ran out of vanilla last week and grabbed some today. Also got money for next week.

Rode straight home after I finished at the Acme. I made Tuscan Tuna-Bean Salad and Persian Cucumber Salad for lunch. After I ate, I went to the Oaklyn Library. I worked a bit on organizing the children's fiction books (which I haven't done in a while), but I got there a half-hour before they closed for the afternoon, and I didn't get as much done as I would have liked.

My next stop was CVS, via a stroll on the White Horse Pike, for a lint roller. Those black shorts I bought with Mom last week are nice, but they pick up lint like crazy. It had been cloudy earlier, but the humidity from yesterday was gone. The sun started to peek out as I left CVS; it got a bit hotter, but still nothing like last week, and not humid.

I took advantage of the cooler weather to make Zucchini-Carrot Muffins for a snack while watching more Bowery Boys. I spent the rest of the afternoon at home. I worked on crocheting Molly's hat. I swept the porch, which really needed it. It's been so windy these past few days! I thought of going swimming, but the wind was chilly, and it started sprinkling briefly around quarter after 5.

Watched Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure during a lovely dinner of Dandelion Greens and Tomato Salad, a Chicken Thigh Poached in Lemon-Wine Sauce, and a slice of Blueberry Brunch Cake. I know I've said I'm not a fan of Peter Pan, but these Tinker Bell movies barely qualify. They're set in the world of Pixie Hollow in Neverland, where Fairies work in harmony to keep nature running. Tink is an industrious "tinker fairy," who creates machines that help the other fairies in their work. Tink's friends are a bit one-note (and despite the name voice cast, we don't see that much of them), and the lessons about being proud of your gifts and accepting friendship are spread on too thick. In general, though, these are sweet, enjoyable movies that would be really cute for girls who are too old for princesses, but too young for wizards and pop stars.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Clouded Balance

It was merely cloudy and cool when I started out to Yogawood this morning. By the time I arrived, however, it was sprinkling. The rain picked up during the class, providing a quiet background to a rather involved class. We concentrated on twists, handstands, and hip opening. I can twist just fine (when my knee is up to it). I can kick, but I still can't get on my head. Kicking is an improvement over two years ago, though.

With only four dollars left in my pocket, I didn't have the money for the thrift shop or any kind of shopping. I went straight to the Collingswood Library after class. By this point, the rain was starting to let up, but it was still cool, cloudy, and humid. I put a small pile of DVDs away downstairs and a larger pile of non-fiction books away upstairs, then read some fairy-tale books for a little while.

When I rode home around noon, it was still cloudy, but the rain had started again. It didn't last long. It was ending even as I arrived home, and to my knowledge, it's stayed cloudy, cool, and very humid for the rest of the day.

I had lunch, then spent the remainder of the afternoon watching The Bowery Boys and Max and Ruby cartoons and crocheting. Max and Ruby are a pair of energetic bunny siblings. Ruby is the girlie elder sister; Max is the pesky toddler brother. Their tales of rummage sales, selling Bunny Scout Brownies, flying kites, having slumber parties, and trying to turn Max into a moving baby doll remind me a great deal of my own childhood. My brother, however, was actually a very good kid and usually didn't give me the kind of trouble Max gave Ruby. No, that was my sisters.

Work was busier than yesterday, but still not overwhelmingly so. Worst thing that happened going there or coming back was swatting a spider off my shoulder. It was still windy, humid, and cloudy, but any rain seems to have held off. My relief was on time, and I was in and out with no trouble.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What's Hot, Scooby Doo?

Started off today with a run to Westmont. I needed sponges, so my first stop was Dollar Tree. (And I finally discovered what they're building where the Halloween store used to be. It's going to be a new bank building for Wachovia. They're currently renting the first floor of a large office building in front of the mall, directly across the library. I like that. It's certainly more useful than another fast-food outlet.)

The Haddon Township Library was very busy when I arrived. There were piles of DVDs leftover from yesterday to put away, and more coming. It was Storybook Hour day, and there were lots of kids looking for DVDs. I helped a little girl find Disney Princess cartoons. There were quite a few adult DVDs to put away, too, and a pile of non-fiction DVDs. I also did some kids' Easy Readers and picture books.

I spent over an hour looking around for books and DVDs for me. I eventually chose the next Tinkerbell movie Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, a set of Max and Ruby cartoons, and another adult romantic comedy from the 80s, Bull Durham. I also took out another self-help book on fulfulling your dreams, Wishcraft, and a book on nutrition for women.

Went straight home after that. Had a very late lunch and watched Bowery Boys movies and Scooby Doo 2 for the rest of the afternoon. Scooby Doo turned out to be fun, by the way. I liked the first one, but it wasn't great. This was a definite improvement. The members of Mystery Inc (including the animal one) have to prove themselves as detectives when the monsters they once unmasked as fake seem to come to life and terrorize the city. Still no masterpiece, but the characterizations are better and there's fewer gross jokes. Fun if you're a fan of any version of Scooby Doo, including the current one.

Rose and I were supposed to go to tea in Haddonfield, but her baby son Khai was napping and she couldn't leave him. That was ok. Babies need their naps. I went for a walk around the neighborhood instead. It was still hot today, but it was neither quite as hot nor as humid as yesterday. I hiked down to West Clinton and strolled around the neighborhood behind it, then up to the schoolyard and back down Kendall to Manor. I was sweating when I finally got in, but I'm glad I took the walk.

I do need to figure out how I'm going to continue to work out once swimming season's over. The walking will continue, but I need to either find cheap classes or start saving money for a gym.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

Ugh. It's back to being hot and humid again, upper 90s and really humid. Good thing I had very little laundry, and it took less than an hour to do. After I finished at the laundromat, I spent an hour or so watching the Bowery Boys and When Harry Met Sally. I went for a quick walk before I went to work; it was too hot for a long one!

(By the way, I really liked When Harry Met Sally. A guy and a girl keep meeting over a decade, then eventually try to prove that a man and a woman can be friends without sex interfering. A sweet, simple, charming movie with fine performances by Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan as the title pals and Carrie Fisher as Ryan's best female friend. As much as I love knockabout comedies, fantasies, musicals, and cartoons, sometimes it's just nice to watch a quiet movie about intelligent, witty adults behaving like intelligent, witty adults.)

For the second day in a row, work was on-and-off dead. It was so quiet, I spent the last forty minutes or so doing returns. There were no major problems, and I was in and out with no fuss.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Back to Work

Which is what I did for most of today. Today was my early day, 10:30 to 4:30. Thankfully, it was no problem. Everyone was in a good mood - many had just come back from or were going on vacation - and it was off-and-on busy. My relief was on time. I had to go around some workers who were removing a fallen street lamp pole on my way home, but I was on time to work and had no trouble getting there and back.

It's probably just as well that I spent the majority of today in the Acme. It went back to being hot and humid. I changed, had dinner, and watched Bowery Boys movies. After dinner, I went for a walk around the neighborhood, stopping at Leo's Yum-Yums for an Only 8 Vanilla Frozen Yogurt Cone. It's not really summer until you have a cone with dripping soft-serve ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The End of My Vacation

Technically, my vacation ended yesterday. However, I had today off. I just decided that I'm having an extended vacation week. I spent today doing what I haven't done all week - nothing. Relaxing. Just doing things around the apartment.

I baked a Blueberry Brunch Cake before it got too hot to do so. I watched Bowery Boys and East Side Kids movies. I listened to the Brunch With the Beatles radio show on WOGL; "The Beatles In Concert" was the theme today. I ate out of the fridge for dinner.

Went for a swim at Uncle Ken's around 3:30. It was more than a little awkward. There were a lot of friends of Uncle Ken's and Dolores' whom I didn't know in the pool at that point. I hate trying to talk to new people outside of the family. I just ignored them.

Called Mom when I got home. She was doing the same thing I was, just hanging out. We talked about my week and everything that happened yesterday. She told me that she'd given her two week's notice at Michael's. Her boss apparently wanted her to stay, but she doesn't make much for the work she does, and unlike grocery stores, hobby stores don't have unions to back up their decisions. We'll see if she changes her mind or not. She doesn't like her job any more than I like mine, but it does give her some financial stability away from Dad.

I'd already jumped in the shower before I'd talked to Mom. Finished dinner, then listened to The Dress Circle. "Shows Currently Running In London" was the theme tonight. And people say that Broadway's had a dearth of creative ideas lately. Almost every show they ran tonight was either a sequel to a hit or based after a movie.

Sometimes, this worked. I agreed with the guys that the Sister Act songs were really cute, and that movie was already a semi-musical anyway. Dirty Dancing also made sense. While that's far from my favorite movie, it's also already a musical. And I've heard the music from Billy Elliot. It's amazing. That show deserved every award it got when it debuted a few years ago.

On the other hand, what the heck is Andrew Lloyd Webber thinking with Love Never Dies? The premise - Christine and the Phantom meet again 10 years later in Coney Island - is utterly preposterous. The music was awful. Just goes to show that Webber's way past his 80s-rock opera prime. I like Phantom as much as the next person and consider Sunset Boulevard to be underrated, but he hasn't done anything really worthwhile in ages.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Good Idea, Bad Idea

Ok, anyone remember the "Good Idea, Bad Idea" segments from the 90s cartoon Animaniacs? A narrator would would show a skeleton guy demonstrating a "good idea." Then, they'd shown the same scene with the skeleton guy again...only this time, it would result in being blown up or having an anvil dropped on his head.

I had that kind of a day.

Good Idea: Sleeping in a little bit more than usual on a Saturday, but still getting out early enough to make the Farm Market and drop the bag of Miss Ellie's shoes at the thrift shop. The weather was gorgeous for the second Saturday in a row. It was sunny, mid-80s, and not humid at all, not out of line for the time of year. I managed to dodge the crowds and dogs and buy blueberries, nectarines, dandelion leaves, blackberries, an ear of corn, and all kinds of peppers.

Good Idea: It was decent enough outside for me to make cookies when I came home for the first time in ages. I made my favorite Oatmeal Chocolate Chip recipe, and they came out quite nicely.

Bad Idea: I was going to take the 1:40 to Clementon Park and Splash World. I'd debated on and off whether or not to go to Clementon Park, a small local amusement park, this week. Even with the $10 off coupon I picked up from the Bagel Shop last month, I still don't have a lot of money. Since it was such a nice day, I finally said "why not?" Alas, I left too late to catch the 1:40. While this did mean I could go back and get the coupon (which I'd left at home in my haste to leave), it also meant I would be taking the 2:25...which was almost 20 minutes late and very full.

Good Idea: Clementon Park isn't a bad place. It's very small, with only one large roller coaster (the Hellcat), one decent water flume (King Neptune's Revenge), one small coaster (Ring of Fire), and all the usual things you find in an amusement park - games, a carousel, swings, kids' rides, a very small arcade. That means it's easy to navigate in a few hours...

Bad Idea: ...Granted those hours aren't on a Saturday afternoon. Thankfully, the lines weren't too long, but it was very, very busy. Hot, too. There's no shade whatsoever at Clementon Park. Even most of the lines are outside. The water I bought cost me $3. That wouldn't be so bad if it was Wildwood or Disney World, but at a park that's not even a quarter of the size of the small Great Escape, that's highway robbery. (Especially since there's a CVS across the street that sells water for 99 cents!)

Bad Idea (for me): Clementon Park is a family park. Major emphasis on family. I couldn't ride the Ferris Wheel. Not because of my weight or height, but because they wouldn't take people who were alone. That's ridiculous. I rode the Giant Ferris Wheel in Wildwood all the time by myself.

Good Idea: I had more luck with other rides. The Carousel is lovely; it may be the original from when the park opened in 1907. (Clementon Park is actually one of the oldest amusement parks in the world.) The swings were a bit precarious. I felt like my seat tipped too much! The Egyptian themed design was cool, though. And I did manage to get on King Neptune's Revenge. Two big, cheerful ladies who were standing in front of me happily insisted I join them. I'm glad they did. I sat in back, and they were in front. They kept falling into me, insuring me that I would remain in the vehicle at all time with no problems. (And damaging my eardrums in the process.) It was short and pretty slow for what you get. I don't know what everyone in the line was fussing about. All those Camden people obviously never rode the Log Flume at Morey's Pier.

Bad Idea: I spent more money than I should have at the games. I don't have much to spare. Especially since I called work this afternoon and discovered I'm not working again until Monday at 10:30 and have three days off. While one more day of vacation is nice, it also means my hours are lousy again.

Really Bad Idea: I decided to take the 5:32 home, hoping to be in Oaklyn in time for dinner. The bus was late again. The 5:32 didn't show up until 10 of 6, by which time there was a huge, noisy crowd waiting. The bus was very full all the way back to Oaklyn. People chattered noisily, jumped back and forth between seats, held loud conversations on their cell phones and over people's heads, and just basically behaved like uncivilized pains in the rear.

I really felt sorry for the poor teenage lifeguard who had been waiting for a bus for over an hour. Apparently, the 4:46 never showed at all. She was going on a long car trip to Arizona with her family and wasn't thrilled about being stuck in the car in general or now having to rush getting ready to go. Plus, she was certain that her family wouldn't wait for her if she was late. I even let her borrow my cell phone to call her mother. I hope she made it, poor kid.

I did finally get in around quarter of 7, by which time, I never wanted to see that awful bus again. The driver was slower than five turtles, and everyone wanted to get off at every darn stop on the entire route. A bus ride that should have been a little over a half-hour ended up being almost and hour!

Good Idea: Learning some lessons about doing amusement parks, even tiny local ones. First of all, never, ever go on a weekend, especially a Saturday. If you must go on a Saturday, go in the morning or late evening, when the bus is likely to be a lot less full and there's less traffic. If you have very young kids or are single like me, go online and find what rides will be appropriate for their ages or for someone traveling alone.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Sidewalks of Haddonfield

I slept in this morning, then went to the Acme to pick up my paycheck. I browsed in FYE, Fashion Bug, and Avenue after that, but I didn't see anything I really needed. I didn't need a lot of groceries, either. There was a really good sale on chicken breasts, by far the best we've had so far this summer, so I bought two packs. I also stocked up on Acme canned pineapple, which was on clearance. (Perhaps Acme's changing the labels? They've already renamed and/or changed the labels of many of the store's generic brand items.) Also grabbed Jiff Extra Chunky Peanut Butter and a can of diced tomatoes.

I rode home for lunch and to drop off my groceries. Had a tasty turkey wrap with romaine lettuce, then checked the bus schedule. The trip to Clementon Park takes a little over a half-hour...but it was almost 2:30 by then. If I wanted to be home by dark, that wouldn't give me a lot of time in the park. I finally opted for a long random bike ride instead.

I've never ridden all the way up to Haddonfield before. I usually ride over to the Collingswood PATCO and hop on a train. The train ride only takes a few minutes, though. That's fine in the winter. Today, however, the weather was once again slightly hot and humid, but not overwhelmingly so, and it was still windy. I figured, why not?

I'm glad I did. I rode up to Kings' Highway to discover that many of the stores in Haddonfield's main shopping district are having a huge sidewalk sale. Tents, racks, and tables are filled with merchandise marked down as much as 70-80%, a big deal in that expensive town. I still couldn't find any clothes I liked (even on sale, Haddonfield's fancy boutiques are not cheap...and most don't deal in plus sizes). On the other hand, I made a score at one of the salons. They were selling Goody brushes and combs for two dollars and a dollar, respectively, and Scrunci hair bands for $1 each. I got two packs of hair bands, a comb, and a brush. I've been needing them badly.

While I didn't see anything at the Happy Hippo Toy Store's sidewalk sale that I liked, I did find a WebKinz. I've been wanting a Pom Pom Kitty ever since I saw the adorable lavender feline in the WebKinz Music Starz video "Cats and Dogs" last fall. They did have them before, but I opted for John the Ginger Cat then; not this time.

I rode to Haddonfield via the White Horse Pike and King's Highway. I rode home on Westmont Avenue, eventually ending up in the Westmont section of Haddon Avenue. I stopped at a little water ice shop, Primo's, and bought a small Black Cherry Bordeux water ice for $1.50. It was worth the extra 25 cents. It tasted like real cherries and had huge cherry pieces in it. That was some of the best water ice I ever had.

Made my way across the rush-hour traffic on Cuthbert, then just rode straight home. Miss Ellie was home when I got in. I promised her I'd take her bags of newspapers and magazines out to her porch, where a friend would pick them up and take them to recycling. She also gave me a boatload of shoes she couldn't use. Most of them were way too big for me and will be going to the thrift shop in Collingswood. I did net two good pairs of boots and two pairs of good sandals in black and tan. One pair of boots are thigh-high, fur-lined, and water-proof. The others are ankle-high leather. Both will be far more useful - and probably last longer - than those suede Ugg imitations I bought from JCPenny last New Year's Eve. The salt from all that snow last winter completely killed the suede.

Passed the rest of the evening at my place, watching Bowery Boys movies and eating cubed steak, Pan-Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes, and green beans for dinner.

Oh, and meet Violet the Pom-Pom Kitty! Vi is full of vigor and loves lots of activities, including her favorite - cheerleading! She's also a bit of a girlie-girl and will be sharing the new Pink Princess Room with Ursula the Signature Black Bear.
Monkees Role-Play Story Now Posted

Just posted this month's Role-Play story, The Monkees and the Ice Cream Caper, at our site. Lauren's moving next month and has a lot to do to get ready for it, so this month's story and next month's will be up early. Enjoy!

The Monkees and the Ice Cream Caper

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Balance On Vacation

I got a lot done today. Started off a hot, humid day with yoga class. We worked on stretching and arm work. A lot of it involved holding yourself up on blocks and kicking or swinging. I'm trying, but I don't know if my arms aren't strong enough, or I just can't get it. Oh, well. There were only 8 people in the class, counting me, my friend Pattie, and the teacher Karin, so no one really saw much.

The thrift shop was the next stop. I had some clothes to donate to Erica. After that, I headed for volunteering at the Oaklyn Library. Not a whole lot to do there; nothing to put away and no DVDs to file. I organized the DVDs on the shelves and read Calvin and Hobbes upstairs for a while.

My next stop was Haddon Hair Designs across the street from the thrift shop. I usually wait at least another month before I get my hair done, but between the heat and my lack of finances, I figured I might as well get it done now. The nice girl I had in February layered it and cut it slightly longer than last time, but shorter than it was. I like my hair just above shoulder length. It's not too short, and yet not too heavy.

After that, I treated myself to lunch at Tortilla Press, a few doors down from the thrift shop on the same block. Tortilla Press is a tasty Mexican restaurant. They're a little pricey, but not too out of line for what you get. Like all Collingswood eateries, they get their produce fresh from the Farm Market during the summer and fall, and it made all the difference. I had a delicious chicken and cheese quesadilla and a small but tasty salad for a little over $9 with tax. I suspect the salsa and chips were home-made.

I headed home after that via a windy ride in Newton River Park. Spent the next couple of hours working on last month's budget (spent the most by far on food, which is what I figured, since I didn't really do much last month) and editing this month's Monkees role play. The role play should be up by later tonight.

Went out for a walk around 4PM. I needed skim milk anyway, so I thought I'd have a nice, brisk stroll down the White Horse Pike. Kaya's Custard Corner is a few blocks down from WaWa, so I went there first and treated myself to a mint chocolate chip water ice while watching Spongebob Squarepants on the TV. Kaya's was a little busy with rush-hour people looking for refreshment, but the line wasn't really bad. WaWa wasn't busy, either. I was in and out of there with my milk and no problems.

Spent the rest of the evening crocheting and watching What's New, Scooby Doo? episodes and two Bowery Boys movies, News Hounds and Mr. Hex. While I'm probably never going to be the fan Lauren is, I have to admit, I'm enjoying the Bowery Boys movies quite a bit. They're basically 75-minute slapstick sitcoms, and as such, have held up remarkably well.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Summertime, and the Livin's Easy

Actually, today was more like an ordinary day off for me. I slept in, then volunteered at the Oaklyn and Haddon Township Libraries this morning and early afternoon. I finished off organizing the paperback pre-teen and teenager book collection at Oaklyn. I did Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Borrowers, A to Z Mysteries, The Boxcar Children, and Paddington Bear. I also weeded out books that really belonged on the regular young adult shelves (like the Judy Blue books and Sarah Plain and Tall), and series they only had one title for (like Katie Kazoo Switcheroo and Captain Underpants). The Oaklyn Library relies heavily on donations, which is why they only have one of some of the most popular series and tons of the older ones. Speaking of the latter, I shifted them to the top shelves and pulled Nancy, the Hardy brothers, the Borrowers, and Paddington down to lower shelves, where younger kids could reach them.

I made a quick stop at Super Fresh (and forgot what I went for, which was a lint brush), then headed to the Haddon Township Library. They were quite busy when I arrived. People were bringing piles of books back during their lunch breaks. I mostly shelved DVDs, for kids and adults. There weren't many on the return cart when I arrived, but the ladies just kept adding more.

I eventually took out two books and four DVDs. My friend Lauren was sending me a bunch of Bowery Boys/East End Kids movies this week, so I limited my adult DVDs to When Harry Met Sally. I'm not normally a fan of romantic comedies, but Rose has recommended it to me for years. I also grabbed three animated DVDs - Barbie and the Magic of the Pegasus, the Disney Tinker Bell movie, and a couple of episodes of the 2002 show What's New, Scooby Doo?

It was almost 2:30 when I finally left the library. I was going to go to the Indian restaurant in Westmont for lunch, but it was just too late. Besides, my trip to the Wildwood boardwalk on Monday left me craving pizza. I stopped at Capitol Pizza on the White Horse Pike and had a bottle of water, a slice of Vegetable Pizza (picked off the olives - I hate olives), and sugar and cinnamon raisin cookies for lunch.

Rode home after lunch, put the books away, and spent the next couple of hours editing this month's Monkees role-play. Lauren's moving in mid-September, so we did this month's role play early, and will be doing next month's early as well.

I decided around 5:30 that I really needed a swim. I'm so glad I did. It was very relaxing. The water was a little colder than it has been, lower 80s, but once I got in it and got used to it, it was fine. I had a wonderful swim. Dolores and Uncle Ken were around, but they were entertaining family on the porch and never came over to the pool area. Dad is still on his cruise ship job. It was delightfully quiet and peaceful.

Watched Barbie and the Magic of the Pegasus while making Chicken with Tomatoes and Roasted Peppers, corn on the cob, and cucumber salad for dinner. Pegasus is one of the better of the Lionsgate Barbie As titles. It's an original tale of a princess, Annika, who loves to skate, but is forbidden to by her overprotective parents. When an evil sorcerer turns her family into stone, she must travel to the Cloud Kingdom with the enchanted winged horse of the title, a cute foundling polar bear cub, and a troubled blacksmith with a shady past in order to create the Wand of Light, the only thing that can reverse the sorcerer's spells.

This was a far more involving story than Twelve Dancing Princesses, another Lionsgate title, and I think it's now one of my favorites. Both Annika and her male companion are excellent characters, and Lionsgate managed some nice effects amid the still-waxy CGI. (There's an option to play this in 3D. Alas, the Library's copy didn't come with the glasses.) And Shiver the Polar Bear Cub is just way too cute!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Return to the House On the River

The skies were still clear and blue and it was still relatively cool when Mom and I headed out this morning. She had work at Michael's, and I was heading home. No one else was there when I left. Keefe was still at Anny's, and Dad had gone fishing. Mom and I said our good-byes at the Dunkin' Donuts on the corner of Route 47 and Route 9 in Rio Grande where the bus stop is. She went to work, and I went to wait for the 9:46.

When the 9:46 didn't arrive by almost 10 (even though the bus to Cape May was on time), I decided to assume it was late or I'd missed it. I went in Dunkin' Donuts and bought an iced tea with no sugar and a sesame seed bagel. I was outside for less than 5 minutes when I saw the bus pull up at the stop! I ran with my meal and just barely made it.

Thankfully, that was the worst that happened on the road. The 552 to Atlantic City did get crowded between the Wildwood Bus Terminal and Cape May Courthouse, but it's also one of the few buses that run at the Southern Jersey Shore, and the only bus that makes stops at Route 9 and on Crest Haven Road. Once we got past Courthouse, everyone cleared out, and the trip to Atlantic City was peaceful. There wasn't even any traffic this time.

I arrived in Atlantic City and realized I'd forgotten to pack a lunch. I stopped at the Subway in the Outlets and had a roast beef 6-inch hoagie. I originally wanted apple slices and a soda, too, but the guy didn't put them with the sandwich. I didn't understand that you had to get them from the main dining area...and then I couldn't find them because I couldn't understand a word the guy said under his thick, unidentifiable accent. I finally stormed out with just my sandwich. I ate the sandwich on a terrace next to the building, then walked to the Train Terminal at the Convention Center and bought a soda.

The rest of my trip passed without incident. The train from Atlantic City to Lindenwald departed and arrived right on time. The bus to Oaklyn arrived on-time, ran into no traffic whatsoever, and arrived on-time. Neither vehicle was close to full. I got off at the dentist office across from PNC Bank in Oaklyn and walked home.

After I got in and unpacked, I briefly debated a swim, but finally decided that I had way too much laundry to ignore. In addition to everything from vacation, I had towels and dust rags from last week to do, along with my work uniform and all the usual things. I was there for more than an hour and a half; good thing it wasn't busy at all. There were just two old people and an older Hispanic man.

I got in around 6:30. I sorted my laundry and put it all away, then called Mom. I wanted to wait until after she was done work at 6 to tell her I was home. Yes, she was home. She was glad to hear from me, happy that my trip went well, and very happy that I went to visit her. I called Rose, too, to say "hi." She was holding her son Khai when she called me back and couldn't talk for long, but just the fact that she actually called me back within 20 minutes of me making the call was a good thing.

And I have to admit, even with the fussing over my clothes, I'm happy I went down there, too. I rarely got Mom and Dad to myself as a kid, much less now. There's usually siblings or grandchildren around. I don't often get to connect with my parents the way my friends Lauren, Linda, and Kelly do. No wonder they all enjoy spending time with their parents. I had a great time.

And tomorrow, library volunteering and more vacation!

Monday, August 02, 2010

By the Beautiful Sea

The morning started cloudy and fairly quiet. Keefe and Anny came over to pick up Skylar for an appointment with doctors at Cooper River Hospital in Camden. Dad went to work. Mom went out for a hair appointment (and came back with a very cute and short new do). I hung around here, played Super Mario Wii, read Mom's craft books, and watched cartoons.

Mom came home around quarter of 11. She first chatted with my sister Rose. Anny and Keefe were supposed to be meeting Rose after Sky's appointment, but they weren't sure how long they were going to be there or if they were going to have the time to go to the Please Touch Museum in Philly. We chatted on the porch about my sibligns for a little while after she got off with Rose.

Our next stop was the Peebles and JcPenny in Rio Grande. Mom had good-naturedly fussed that my shorts were too tight and too short. Well, of course they are! I'd just gained weight, and really hadn't planned on buying new clothes until I'd lost weight. I wasn't going to argue with her, though. So, I ended up with two pairs of capris (I don't care what Mom says, they're too long for shorts) and a new shirt in a nice brown/black pattern.

(And while I appreciated the clothes, I'm still really embarrassed. I'm still at a large/1X in shirts...but I've gone back up to 18s again in pants. That means I'm back to plus sizes. I'm so upset! I was so, so proud of being able to lose so much weight and get out of plus sizes. Mom says I look better than I did at Christmas, and my pants have been a little looser at home. At least all the walking and swimming I've been doing lately does seem to have paid off, even just a little.)

Mom had a cell phone call from Dad even before we made it back to the house. He was at home. He'd postponed his fishing trip again when he was overwhelmed by paint fumes and had heart papatations. He was at home, resting. We decided to let him rest and head into Cape May for lunch and a walk after I dropped off my clothes.

It took longer to get to lunch and a walk than we planned. First of all, the lady at the counter at Peebles forgot to take the ink-thing off my pants, and we had to go back there. Then we were chatting and Mom lost track of where we were going and kept going straight instead of turning off to the Garden State Parkway. We ended up taking the "scenic route" through Wildwood Crest to get into Cape May. That was cool, too. I got to see the outside of the rebuilt Wildwood Acme (which looks GREAT, BTW - Doo Wop without being as overdone as some of the other newer 50s-style buildings in the area).

While I did enjoy the drive through Wildwood Crest and seeing some of my old haunts, I was very happy that the drawbridge from Wildwood Crest to the boat docks in Lower Township was just going down when we pulled up there. (Mom did have to scramble for $1.50 for the toll, though. Apparently, it used to be a dollar, and she wasn't prepared for the rise in price.) We went past the boat docks, across the marshes, around the country club marinas, and over the big Cape May Bridge and into town.

Mom parked next to the water tower in central Cape May, a few blocks from the former Madison and Blue Amber Motels. (The Madison, at least, is now a condo-hotel, and both had elaborate remodels that make them fit in far better with the tony neighborhood than they did when I was a kid.) We strolled up to the Boardwalk first, past lovely old bed-and-breakfasts and condo buildings with gorgeous gardens, along with the Chalfonte, one of the oldest hotels in Cape May.

We ended up at the Promenade, Cape May's concrete boardwalk, and had lunch at Henry's By the Beach. Henry's is literally by the beach; we ate on a porch area that looked out onto a picture-perfect day. It was a day out of a Cape May postcard - clear blue sky, bright-colored umbrellas dotting the white beach, cooling breeze. The clouds and humidity had disappeared by the time we were in Rio Grande. It was 2:30 by then, so we both had the "mini meals." I had a crab cake and salad. Mom had a small cut of blackened salmon, salad, and a tomato-seafood soup. We enjoyed our lunch tremendously.

After we ate, we walked a couple of blocks to downtown Cape May and the Washington Street Mall. The Mall is three blocks of restored Victorian buildings filled with cute shops and literally some of the best restaurants in New Jersey. We visited some of my favorite stores there, in many cases since childhood.

We walked through Carpenter's Square Mall. We browsed in the Whale's Tale, a wonderful gift shop. (Mom bought Keefe a dragon card for his room - he collects dragon items. I didn't get anything. I was disappointed they only had a few AG things. In the early and mid 90s, the were the only place in Cape May to buy anything American Girl.) We went through a shop that had really cute hats. We went to Bath Time, a bath store. Mom got a lotion she really likes. I a coconut-lime bar of soap. Good Scents mostly specializes in scented items like candles, but they have other gift-items, too. I bought a journal with real dried flowers in the cover. We went across the street to the mall where the Cape May Acme is. Mom browsed in the yarn store; I browsed in Oma's Doll Shop. We admired the adorable Japanese-girl sign in front of Cape Orient. (It looked so much like a life-sized Japanese doll, I wondered if someone at Oma's Doll Shop next door made it.)

We strolled back to the car after leaving the mall, past more older homes, the post office, and Alexander's Restaurant. Mom used to live in that area, in an apartment behind a long-gone leather store; she had some great stories about living in Cape May in the mid-70s, and I told her mine about when I would visit a friend of mine who lived near the post office in high school.

Unlike getting to Cape May, we had no trouble whatsoever getting home. Dad called Mom while we were in Cape May. He was feeling much better and was up for joining us for a stroll on the Boardwalk in Wildwood. Mom wanted coffee, and we both needed to sit down for a while after our walk. Mom and Dad watched an antique show downstairs, while I browsed through Mom's old Christmas With Southern Living books. I've always loved the heck out of those. Not only do they have awesome recipies, but the first chapters talks about Christmas both in the old and new Southern US. This may be where at least some of my love of Christmas traditions in other parts of the US stemmed from.

(Oh, and Mom answered my question as to why I walk so fast. She does, too. We've spent most of our lives walking against the sea winds and blowing sands, not to mention the tides of tourists. You either walk fast...or get blown back several feet or carried off by the throngs.)

Dad, Mom, and I took Dad's truck into Wildwood around 6:30. There were no problems getting there this time. Dad parked in the big lot next to the Wildwood Convention Center and the cool, cute beach ball sculptures.

The boardwalk was busy at 6:30, but it wasn't packed. There was a lovely, fresh breeze coming off the beach. We browsed in the Boardwalk Mall (where I got a Wildwood T-shirt), then had dinner at the Original Hot Spot next to Mariner's Landing. I had a tasty mushroom cheesesteak that wasn't too stuffed, like some of the ones up north tend to be. It was just the perfect size. Mom and Dad had gyros. We had the funniest waitress, too. She was a tall, cute Russian girl with an adorable accent and a great sense of humor. She handled Dad's good-natured teasing very well, and even gave him two high-fives.

Everyone wanted some candy to go with dinner. I suggested Douglass Fudge, the most elegant of all Wildwood candy stores, and one just a few doors down from the Original Hot Spot. I found my favorite candy of all, the fruit slices. Mom bought her favorite candy, Almond Butter Crunch, and peanut butter fudge. Dad got raspberry jelly squares.

Mom wanted to check out a kitchen store on the Boardwalk between Mariner's and Morey's. It's a larger version of a tiny kitchen store in Collingswood. They sell gourmet mixes and cute and kooky kitchen gadgets of all kinds. I bought a buckwheat pancake mix as a special Sunday treat for me next weekend and a new address book. Dad got a piece of metal that's supposed to make your hands smell better. Poor Dad always gets fussed at about the way his hands smell after work; one of the hazards of being a fisherman.

Dad wanted soft-serve ice cream, so we next took a look at several ice cream booths. It was around 8:30 by this point. The boardwalk was filling up fast, and getting busier and busier by the minute. It was getting colder, too. The nice breeze from earlier was quickly becoming a chilly wind. We walked back to the car, stopping at the Kohr Brothers stand at Wild Wheels for soft-serve cups. Mom had Peanut Butter-Chocolate. Dad had Orange-Vanilla. I had Mint Julep. We enjoyed our treat while watching people play games. I also tried a Care Bear crane machine that had larger Care Bears in it than usual; didn't win anything.

There was a little bit of traffic on Rio Avenue in downtown Wildwood when we went home, but once we got off the bridge, it was smooth sailing. Dad's downstairs, probably watching action movies. Mom is in her room, watching Guys and Dolls. I'm about to take a shower. Tomorrow, I'll be on my way home; everyone here has to work. I'm glad I came up here. I had a wonderful day. I don't get to spend nearly enough time with my parents, and I rarely got them to myself as a kid. This was really lovely of both of them.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

On the Way to Cape May

I got an early start to Cape May County today, even before the Beatles show was on. I wanted to run around and make sure I had everything packed before I left. Even with leftover pancakes from the freezer and a bowl of blueberries and blacberries for breakfast, I still just made it out the door at 8:57, barely making the 9:10 that stops in front of City Hall in Oaklyn.

Actually, that was the worst thing that happened on the road. Otherwise, my traveling went very well. The 403 to Lindenwald was on time. It was full when I got on, but most of those people seemed to be going to the Voorhees Town Center. (I thought that was a bit odd at 9:30 in the morning, since the Town Center is mostly a mall, but maybe they live in the condos back there.)

The 10:56 train to Atlantic City was on time; it rolled in an hour later. There wasn't a bus to Cape May County until 12:47, so I spent most of that hour having a Vanilla Frappucino and eating the lunch I packed at the patio outside of the Starbucks in the Atlantic City Outlets. After lunch, I walked over to the Bus Terminal and collected schedules, just in case I'd need them for a day trip or another trip down south.

The bus to Cape May County was a couple of minutes late, but not too bad. I always enjoyed my bus trips to Cape May County when I was in college. It takes about an hour, and mostly covers the Atlantic City Expressway, Garden State Parkway, and Route 47 through Middle Township. The traffic was only bad in two places - the big bridge in Egg Harbor, and Rio Grande.

Dad picked me up at the Dunkin' Donuts on the corner of Route 47 and Route 9 in Rio Grande when I finally got in. My nephew Skylar was with him; he, too, was sleeping over tonight. Dad was going to buy an ice cream cake from Carvel to celebrate having guests. I'd never seen a real Carvel ice cream shop before. The only Carvel ice cream cakes I've ever seen were from grocery stores. Sky and I played 80s video games like Jr. Pac Man and Centipede for a quarter while Dad bought us milkshakes and the cake. The cake was nicely done, a very pretty little round thing with brilliant red icing.

Mom was the only one home when we arrived. Anny and Keefe had gone to run errands. Skylar showed me his crane and battleship toys. Dad watched FX. Mom showed me their little yard, including all of her beautiful flowers. She has marigolds that are doing very well, and lillies that don't get enough water. There's cacti on the porch and a really pretty little Colorado blue spruce and roses in front, and a wisteria vine that Mom says just keeps growing.

We had dinner at 5, shortly after Anny and Keefe came home with the hamburger buns. Dinner was "whatever is in the fridge," which translated to grilled burgers, home-made roasted white and sweet potato steak fries, sauteed squash and tomato, and green beans. It was all delicious, as it always is when Mom and Dad cook.

After dinner, Anny and Keefe went out, and Skylar, Dad, and I played Super Mario World Wii and Mario Kart Wii. I'm don't own a Wii and didn't do very well on either game, but it was nice to just be able to play with those two. Dad was actually supposed to have gone fishing tonight; he opted to stay an extra day to spend time with Skylar and me.

It's quiet here now. Dad is downstairs, probably snoring over The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Sky and Mom are watching Bolt. Tomorrow, it sounds like Keefe and I are going to watch Skylar while Anny runs errands and Mom goes to get her hair done. Then Keefe and Anny are going to take Sky to a doctor's appointment, and Mom and I are going to browse in Cape May.