Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Brrr! Started a brisk, sunny 30 degree morning with cereal and grapefruit and Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales. As in It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown, we have a series of Peanuts holiday-themed skits taken directly from the comic strips. Sally features in most of my favorites, including her writing to "Samantha Claus" and her unusual method of getting a Christmas tree.

I finally headed out around quarter after 10. For all of yesterday's fussing, today was fine. The roads and most of the sidewalks were perfectly clear. Though the air was cold, the sun was warm, and it was melting anything that wasn't in the shade. The sidewalk on the Westmont Plaza side of Cuthbert and leading up to Wells Fargo was a little treacherous, but I really can't ride on the street. Cuthbert is just too busy.

My first stop this morning was the Haddon Township Library for this week's volunteering session. A librarian was already taking care of the books and had shelved a lot of DVDs. I just tried to fit in as many kids' DVDs as I could (the S titles were overflowing again) and pulled some foreign titles that needed to go in the right place. I took out the Christmas episodes for Shaun the Sheep, The Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About That, and the new Care Bears show Welcome to Care-a-Lot, along with a new 2009 Angelina Ballerina disc and the Dreamworks animated movie Rise of the Guardians.

Headed over to Game Stop after leaving the library to find something for Lauren. There's a Game Stop in the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center too, but the one in Westmont is larger, cleaner, and has a far better selection. It took me a while, but I did finally come up with something fun. They'd just opened; there were only two other people in there, both probably college students.

It was too cold for a lot of running around, and I had to work later anyway. I went straight home. Ran the Welcome to Care-a-Lot holiday special The Great Giving Holiday while making a spinach, mushroom, and cheese pancake for lunch. As with the Strawberry Shortcake holiday "special," this is a compilation of the show's two holiday-themed episodes. The first has Beastly giving Tenderheart, who is allergic to honey, enough honey cookies to make him hiccup in and out of sight, so he can't help the Great Giving Bear (the Care Bears' version of Santa Claus) with his yearly rounds. In the second story, an Earth kid gets so into helping Harmony prepare for the Great Giving Day Pageant, he tries to make the show all about him, instead of the Bears...and both he and Harmony learn a lesson in bossiness and working as a team.

A bonus episode had a mild winter/giving theme. "Cheeri-No" hit a little close to home as Cheer Bear agrees to help all of her friends prepare their animal friends for their winter hibernation, then refuses help to get their food together. She runs herself so ragged, she has no time to harvest the food. It takes a run-in with Beastly and the insistance of the others to make Cheer understand the importance of the word "no," setting limits, and asking for help when it's needed. I can very much relate to Cheer here in one aspect - I also have trouble asking for help, even when I could probably use it.

I opened a package that arrived this afternoon from my online friends Linda and James Young while the Care Bears were on. Three packages (including one intriguing long, flat and slightly bumpy one) were marked "Don't Open Until Xmas"; they went in the back room until Christmas Day. One was unwrapped. Linda also enjoys the Dear America series. She sent me A Coal Miner's Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska, about a Polish teenager who is sent to America to wed a miner in Pennsylvania in 1896. I'll do that one the day after Christmas. (And no Linda, I haven't read it. They have it at the Haddon Township Library, but I hadn't gotten around to it yet.) I also got a book on Miracle On 34th Street and It's a Wonderful Christmas, which covers how the years from 1940 to 1965 helped shape our current holidays. There was also a small Dummies book on holiday cake and candy decorating that I'll look over when I do my baking next week. Thank you, Linda and James!

Ran Shaun the Sheep as I got ready for work. The animals are enjoying their holiday in "We Wish Ewe a Merry Christmas," thanks to the farmer's gift of vegetables. When they see him alone in his sparsely decorated home, they decide to give him some yuletide cheer in return. "Snowed In" has the animals enjoying a big snowfall...including the farmer, when he can finally get out of his buried home! Poor Bitzer the Dog gets sick in "Fireside Favorite." When the farmer gives him Pidsley the Cat's bed in front of the fire, Pidsley gets jealous and tries to get the farmer to move him. Meanwhile, the sheep sabotage Pidsley's efforts so their friend can get some rest.

Work was pretty much the same as yesterday - mildly steady when I came in, quiet as a mouse when I left. Most people were in good moods, probably thanks to the lack of snow and the clear streets. It was so quiet, I left a few minutes early. I did have to dodge snow piled up against the side of the street, and went around the ice that gathers on the bottom of the hill on Goff Avenue by going the long way down to West Clinton and back around to Manor.

Lauren isn't supposed to be online until late tonight, so I relaxed and worked on crocheting while watching Christmas Eve On Sesame Street. This is the first of four (to date) Sesame Street specials that have appeared on PBS. Oscar the Grouch tells Big Bird that Santa won't be able to deliver any presents if he can't get down those skinny New York chimneys. Big Bird runs experiments and asks everyone questions all night to try to get the real answer. Meanwhile, Bert and Ernie sell their most prized possessions to buy presents for each other, only to get a special surprise from Mr. Hooper. Cookie Monster has less luck getting a message out to Santa - he keeps eating his writing utensils.

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