Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sunny Day Surprise

It was still cloudy out when I awoke this morning. However, the porch was mostly dry. It looked like it hadn't rained in a long time, probably since I got home last night. It was still very windy, though. I read Anne of the Island (the fourth Anne of Green Gables book) while listening to this week's American Top 40 re-run.

We danced back five years to mid-October 1977, as R&B, country, and pop sneaked in amid the disco. Hits from that fall included "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" by Andy Gibb, "That's Rock n' Roll" by Sean Cassidy, "It Was Almost Like a Song" by Ronnie Milsap, "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer, "Break Out!" by The Commodores, "Nobody Does It Better" by Carly Simon, "Slow Dancin' (Swayin' to the Music)" by Johnny Rivers, and a disco rendition of "The Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" by Meco, from that year's biggest blockbuster movie.

Though Star Wars ruled the movie theaters that year, one of the year's biggest songs, from a much quieter film, began it's very long stay at #1 that week. "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone was such a sensational smash, it would remain in the top spot through the rest of the year and the first few weeks of 1978 and ultimately win the Oscar for Best Song.

It was still a bit cloudy and very windy as I headed out for this week's farm market/yard sale run. The clouds started to break up as I crossed the White Horse Pike in Oaklyn. By the time I was checking out a yard sale in Collingswood, the clouds were slowly disappearing. They never quite left entirely, but they weren't anywhere near as threatening as they have been for the past few days.

The surprisingly nice weather was reflected in a very busy Farm Market. The fall harvest continues to make its debut, as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Bartlett pears, and all kinds of greens replace corn and cucumbers. I also got my first indications that the Farm Market only has about a month and a half left before it ends for the year. One booth was missing entirely (though that one may have been scared off by the weather), and the farm that specializes in corn mentioned that this was their final day. I ended up with tiny Gala apples, carrots, a tomato, cranberries, and the aforementioned Brussels sprouts and Bartlett pears.

My next stop was an estate sale in Haddon Township, in the neighborhood behind the woods on Cuthbert Boulevard. The gray 60s-era split-level house looked small from the outside, but the inside was lovely, with some beautiful wood walls and lots of levels. Alas, I saw nothing interesting. Most of it was glassware and appliances I couldn't carry on a bike, jewelry I couldn't afford, or Jewish music and memorabilia.

It took me a bit longer to get to Haddon Heights. They're the next town after Audubon, and they require crossing often traffic-laden King's Highway. I was hoping they were still having their fall Town-Wide Yard Sale. They're the only other town in the area besides Audubon that holds a town-wide yard sale in the spring and the fall.

As soon as I arrived, I saw a street filled with yard sales. Yes, it was on. And it was even busier than the farm market! I lost count of how many cars I dodged. Ironically, it wasn't quite as big as in the spring, once again likely due to the weather. Still, enough people put out tables that I was able to make a nice little haul:

Three more Backyardigans DVDs: Robin Hood the Clean, Escape From Fairy Tale Village, and The Tale of the Mighty Knights

One record, a Disney Christmas album - it comes with a book that has the lyrics and some really cute illustrations

Two books: a cookbook based around chocolate baked goods appropriately called Hershey's Best Loved Recipes, and The Adventures of Robin Hood, by Roger Lancelyn Green

Oh, the reason they were so busy only partially had to do with the yard sales. I discovered while buying a Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper at a local convenience-style store on Station Avenue that there was a Revolutionary War re-enactment going on in Haddon Lake Park. I saw the re-enactors as I was roaming around, looking for yard sales. They were just chatting with each other in the park at that point. At least now I know what those huge, noisy booms were around 11:30 - it was cannon fire! I thought King Kong was attacking the park or something.

I considered eating out, but I finally decided that I'd done enough riding over hills for one day and just went home. I put everything away after I got in. Had the last of the chicken casserole instead while watching Backyardigans episodes.

I managed to get some chores in between shows. I originally wanted to wash the trash and recycling canisters on Wednesday. Being called in derailed that...and then it rained for the next two days. I took advantage of Mother Nature's continuing and unexpected good mood to finally get it all done. Gave the bike a quick scrub and hose-down, too.

After I finished the scrubbing and the cans were drying on the porch, I decided to try a simple low-fat chocolate cupcake recipe from the Hershey's cookbook. I lowered the fat content even more by replacing some of the sugar with the agave nectar, the water with applesauce, and part of the white flour with whole wheat flour. Also added some of those huge Nestle's Dark Chocolate Chips. They're so big, you get lots of chocolate flavor without having to dump in the whole bag. Yuuuumm. They came out perfectly, moist and very chocolate-y!

My head had been stuffed-up all day, and by that point, I had a headache and a sore throat, too. I thought a bath might help. I slipped into a warm tub with soothing English Garden bath salts while reading Women Who Run With the Wolves. I was in for a little under an hour, and while it did seem to loosen my nose and certainly helped my sore joints and feet, it didn't do much for my headache. I discovered when I got out and stuck the thermometer in my mouth that I had a slight temperature, nothing outrageous but still slightly above normal.

I did make a simple but decent dinner. Had chicken breasts with diced tomatoes marinated in the last of the raspberry vinaigrette, whole-wheat elbow macaroni, and roasted Brussels sprouts. That was delicious, too. The chicken recipe is from Eat Up and Slim Down, a hard-back Prevention cookbook that's one of the best things Mom ever gave me.

I had continued running The Backyardigans all day. Some of my favorite episodes can be found on these three sets. By the time these discs came out in Season 3, the show was mainly doing some hilarious and frequently bizarre pop culture spoofs. Uniqua has fun with western/Lone Ranger cliches when she teaches Bandit Pablo that ping pong is no fun to play alone in "Blazing Paddles." "The Tale of the Mighty Knights" takes on rock opera and fantasy as Knights Uniqua and Tyrone, Grabbin' Goblin Austin, and Flighty Fairy Tasha chase after a very "runny" egg. Austin, Uniqua, and Tasha take on the final frontier and dodge Klingon trash thieves Tyrone and Pablo in "Garbage Trek." Tasha is a super-fast superhero with a secret identity as a photographer in "Front Page News." Pablo White wants her to get a story big enough to be on the front page, but she's too busy rescuing fellow heroes Uniqua and Tyrone to snap the shot. Austin plays Inspector Poirot in "Le Master of Disguise" as he follows mysterious criminal Pablo onto the Orient Express. With suspects like Circus Woman Tasha and Cowboy Tyrone around, it won't be easy for Austin to catch the quick-thinking penguin!

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