Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Winter's On It's Way

Started a cold, sunny morning with the Miss Spider and Her Sunny Patch Friends holiday DVD Hum Bug. While only the first two episodes really had anything to do with winter holidays, that was still more than on the "Halloween" set. The title episode is set during the Winter Solstice. The bugs are all preparing for the arrival of the Dream Bug, who brings sweet dreams to bugs who do good deeds. Bounce wants to bring holly berries to a hungry family. Spidercus lies that he'll bring them for him, then eats them instead. The selfish arachnid discovers the Dream Bug doesn't mess around when his Solstice dreams are anything but pleasant!

"Dashing Through the Snow" deals more with the family aspects of the holidays. The Spiders are celebrating Jolly Holly Day (which seems to be more like Thanksgiving) with a big party for all the family. Miss Spider was out running errands with Squirt and Bounce and gets delayed by a snowstorm. They first spend some time with Stinky the Stinkbug, then get some unexpectedly bright help home.

Some of the non-holiday stories were interesting, too. Dragon also learns the importance of helping others when he aids a near-blind fire fly in finding his lost glasses in "Seeing Straight." Squirt is the best web rider in Sunny Patch, but he may have met his match in sassy girl spider Petal in "Best Bug Buddies." And in "Spider Mom," Squirt's disappointed when he ends up with his mother for a partner in the big bug games. Miss Spider's not much of an athlete. Squirt learns a lesson in competition when things don't work out as anyone planned, especially in the silly run race!

After Miss Spider ended, I headed out to run a few errands. My first stop was the Oaklyn Post Office. I've put off sending Lauren's birthday presents for weeks, and Anny and Amanda have birthday cards due, too. I also wanted to pick up stamps before the holiday rush begins.

I next rode over to the Oaklyn Library for this week's volunteering session there. I shelved regular fiction and romance novels, then did some quick organizing on the adult DVDs. The kids' DVDs were in better shape. I did the board books and took a short look at the picture books before heading out.

When I got home, I made steamed broccoli and cut up some kiwi to join leftover Salisbury Turkey Steaks for lunch. I ran a couple of lesser-known Rankin Bass Christmas specials as the steak cooked. The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold is the only holiday special I know of to blend Irish mythology and Christmas stories. Art Carney and Peggy Cass narrate the tale of a young Irish sailor who is accidentally left behind on a magical isle off the coast of Ireland. When he digs up a pine tree for Christmas, he unleashes a banshee who has been after the gold that belongs to the leprechauns who live on the island. If she doesn't have gold by Christmas morning, she'll turn into salty tears and be washed away by the sea. It'll take a lot of wee folk trickery and a Christmas miracle to keep the banshee from getting the precious metal.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas is another unusual tale from Rankin-Bass. While stage favorite Joel Gray is technically the star, the real narrator is George Gobel, as the mouse father of a brainy boy mouse who writes a letter that insults Santa. The clock maker builds a clock that he hopes will make Santa happy with them again, but the mouse gets into the works and ruins it. Can the mouse and the clock maker set things right, just in time for the famous holiday poem to come true?

Switched to Max & Ruby as I got ready for work. Ruby's been recruited to set Grandma's table as fancy as she can in "Max's Thanksgiving," but Max is more interested in Grandma's nut stuffing. And in "Ruby's Candy Store," Ruby is helping Candy the candy store owner sort things out in her shop. Max would rather be a taste-tester, but Ruby keeps trying to get him to eat sweet fruit that's good for you.

Work was pretty much what I figured it would be, in the middle of the week, the middle of the month, and two days after a major holiday - very busy during rush hour, otherwise steady-to-quiet. It died so quickly after 7PM, I spent most of the last two hours cleaning and doing returns. I had absolutely no problems whatsoever.

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