Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Is On Its Way

I started another sunny, windy day at work. Other than a spurt around noon, we were once again quiet for most of the day. It's too nice for anyone to want to do a lot of shopping, especially after all the fuss last week. I actually did returns for a little while later in the day. By the time it was starting to get busy again, one of the college boys was arriving to relieve me.

I took the long way home, down Nicholson Road and over Atlantic Avenue, rather than down the Black Horse Pike. The traffic wasn't great and a lot of the area doesn't have sidewalks, which is why I rarely go this way. On the other hand, I was trying to avoid the road repair on the Black Horse Pike ramp into Oaklyn, and it was a nice ride despite the wind.

When I got in, I changed into regular clothes, then headed back out on foot. I decided it was too windy for bike rides. Besides, I wanted to see spring coming in. I wasn't the only one enjoying the day. Kids were just getting home from school at that point. I could see bikes left on front yards. Boys tossed a baseball around; girls chased each other.

I ended up at the CVS on the border of Collingswood and Oaklyn. I was originally going to walk through Newton Lake Park, but I didn't feel like dealing with the rush-hour traffic. I needed a few things there, anyway. I was just about out of razors. Hair band were buy one, get one half-off. I can't remember the last time I bought new hair bands. Bought some unusual cough drop flavors for work (watermelon and tropical citrus).

Strolled down to Duncan Donuts and treated myself to a Mocha Coollatta. I was originally going to buy a Lucky Mint Coollatta, but I didn't see it advertised anywhere. They were very busy, mostly with older men on their way from work sitting and swapping stories with their brew.

It really was a beautiful day for a walk, wind aside. The sky was bright blue and cloudless. The wind was cold, but the air still felt warm. There are signs of spring all over Oaklyn. I saw the first crocus of the season at the house on the next block over from the Library. Soft green grass is popping up everywhere. People are starting to spend more time outside, washing cars and cleaning debris out of gardens. The trees have their first buds, too.

After I got in, I had leftover bean and vegetable soup for dinner, then thought I'd try another cake. I bought the Fall Baking cookbook from one of the front register racks at the Wildwood Acme over a decade ago. One delicious recipe from that book that I don't do often enough is the Chocolate Snacking Cake. It's very simple, just butter, cocoa, flour, baking soda, chocolate chips or chunks, salt, and cold water. You even mix it all in the pan. Thankfully, unlike the Pink Velvet Cake, this one came out perfectly, rich and ultra chocolate-y.

Ran The Adventures of Robin Hood as I baked and went through my old journals in the back room. Errol Flynn is the title character in what is still considered the definitive version of the English legends about the former nobleman who robbed from the rich to feed the poor. Olivia DeHaviland is his lady love, the intelligent and spirited Maid Marion. She at first only sees that he's stealing...but then he shows her how badly the people are being treated. Claude Rains is greedy Prince John; Basil Rathbone is his right-hand man, the nasty Guy of Gisbourne.

If you love Robin Hood stories or old-fashioned swashbucklers, this is still one of the all-time greats, especially the classic sword fight between Flynn and Rathbone in the finale.

Oh, and American Girl is having a big 20 % off all spring outfits and accessories sale until the 24th. Coupled with a free shipping code, I just couldn't resist. Almost everything I bought, including two of Samantha's just-released dresses, were part of the sale or on deep discount. The only things I picked up at regular price were more (much-needed) hangers and Sam's Accessories, which I probably would have bought sooner or later.

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