It was still cloudy when I got up this morning. I once again spend the morning making cookies for friends who live out-of-town. This batch will go to Linda and James Young in Atlanta. They've been having a rough couple of years. I hope they both really enjoy them.
Work was also more-or-less the same as it was yesterday - steady the entire afternoon, and never worse than a little busy. As one of the managers pointed out, most people are probably at the malls. It won't really pick up until next weekend, when everyone's minds turn to what they're going to make for Christmas and Hanukkah dinner. Once again, other than some cranky customers, I had no problems getting in or out.
It was starting to pick up a bit when I did my own grocery shopping. And I had a lot of it to do! Next week is baking week. From Sunday through the week of Christmas I'll be making five kinds of cookies, two kinds of quick bread, Red Velvet Cupcakes, and a pumpkin pudding pie. The cookies and the cranberry bread are on the to-do list first. I want to get the cookies done in time for the Acme's Christmas Employee Luncheon next Saturday. The cranberry bread is for my neighbors and new landlords. I'll do the cupcakes, pumpkin bread, and pudding pie next weekend and early Christmas week.
I bought small bags of unbleached and whole wheat flour to replenish my supply. Restocked cranberries, grapefruit, eggs (the Acme's generic brown eggs were on sale for $2.99 - the same price their white eggs are regularly!), canned soup (went with Italian Wedding this time), no salt added Acme tomato sauce, parchment paper, and vanilla extract. Bought I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, maraschino cherries, and coconut for the cookies. Bought a large container for the Acme's cookies. The front porch's light bulb and one of the two over the medicine cabinet in the bathroom blew out. I decided it was time to join the 21st century and bought three CFL bulbs to replace them and the other medicine cabinet light.
Other than a few more hours and earlier hours, next week's schedule is more-or-less the same as this week's. I do have relatively early days on Sunday and next Friday, but nothing later than 7:30, thankfully. Tuesday and Wednesday are my off days. That'll give me tons of time for baking and getting to the libraries.
When I got home, there was a package sitting under the mail box for me. It was from Lauren, my best friend in Massachusetts. We always send each other boxes of presents at Christmas. I hauled the box and my groceries upstairs.
I changed into regular clothes, then finished out the Turtles set while eating sauteed spinach and mushrooms and leftover meatballs for dinner. Ironically, they never got to the episodes mentioned on the back that involved "the Fugitoid," who was mentioned a few times but only seen briefly. The closest they got was the last four episodes on the disc. "The Big Brawl" has the quartet and Splinter competing in an intergalactic martial arts tournament taking place between dimensions. While Michelangelo and Raphael beat up on creatures from across the galaxy, Leonardo crosses swords with a samurai rabbit with a strong sense of honor, and Donatello tries to figure out what's going on with the alien who runs the tournament and his none-too-trustworthy son. The son has a grudge against Leonardo, while his cloaked mentor definitely doesn't like Splinter.
I generally preferred some of the stand-alone episodes from earlier in the season. "The Golden Puck" felt more like an episode of the 1987 series. Casey Jones is not a happy sports fanatic when a couple of Texas cowboys steal the trophy from his favorite extreme ice hockey tournament. He gets the Turtles to help him retrieve it. "Junklantis" has Donnie and Mikey using their new submarine to explore under the Hudson River to find out what's been causing a series of boat wrecks on the river. They encounter a city made entirely of salvaged parts...and an old adversary who wants to settle a score.
I finally unwrapped the presents from Lauren when I went online and we got on chat together. She's truly the best friend anyone could have. She gave me two hand-made doll outfits from a bazaar she went to in her area, a cassette copy of Disney's Christmas Collection II (which I've been looking for in any form for years - I have the first one on CD), and a pile of rare movies she'd picked up from a collector (most of which are either not on DVD or only available through the frequently expensive Warner Archives).
My big gifts were four items from American Girl. Samantha got her last remaining dress I wanted from the August historical release, the very accurately titled Frilly Frock. Jessa, my modern Asian doll, needed a coat of her own. She got Julie's new purple Coat & Hat. The Sweet Spring Dress was on sale for months. It's a cute pink and beige knit dress that'll be great for Jessa or Whitney for Easter, or Valentine's Day with leggings. I also got a pair of purple glasses. Molly can finally have a decent pair after I stepped on her old ones and had to buy cheap replacements.