Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Holiday Preparations

The weather remained beautiful when I got up this morning. It was sunny and breezy, with a sky so blue it hurt your eyes. It remains cold, in the upper 40's, but that's really what it's supposed to be at this time of year in southern New Jersey.

I had a quick breakfast, then made Cranberry Bread. Since my Cranberry-Orange Bread got a bit charred, I bought a mix last night at work and added real cranberries with the dried ones. It still didn't cook as well as I would have liked, but it looked better than the other one. I'll keep the other one for me.

Ran Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving while I baked. This direct-to-home-media "feature" is an anthology of two episodes of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the Thanksgiving special. The Thanksgiving special is the reason I have it. Pooh and the others are ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with a spread of haycorns, honey, and chocolate ice cream. No way, says Rabbit. That's not how Thanksgiving tradition works. He sends Pooh and Piglet after the turkey (neglecting to tell them what a turkey looks like) and Eeyore and Tigger after cranberries. With Pooh and Piglet conjuring up images of a monster bird and Gopher making pumpkin pie with attitude, this is one dinner that isn't going to go as Rabbit planned. When his party is ruined, it's Pooh who reminds everyone that it's not what we eat for Thanksgiving that counts. It's whom we eat it with.

Went right into cleaning as soon as the Cranberry Bread was in the oven. I always do a thorough house cleaning before I start putting up Christmas decorations. Not to mention, I do have my friend Amanda visiting next week. Got the bathroom and the kitchen done today. The bathroom was especially grungy. I washed down more than I usually do in both rooms. The kitchen cabinets needed to be dusted badly. I'll be using the kitchen in particular a lot in the coming weeks. One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the baking.

Watched Muppet Family Christmas as I cleaned (and tried to drown out the cursing and 80's music blasting downstairs). Fozzie, Kermit, and the other Muppet Show crew surprise Fozzie's mom on her farm on Christmas Eve. She's really surprised - she was planning on going away and rented her home to Doc and Sprocket of Fraggle Rock! The arrival of the Sesame Street characters and a turkey whom the Swedish Chef intends to roast for dinner brings even more chaos. Meanwhile, Miss Piggy has last-minute work and shopping to do and is stranded in a snowstorm. Kermit and Robin visit the Fraggles to cheer up while they wait for her. This is a fun special that, thanks to the three groups of Muppets being owned by different companies, is hard to find intact today. Try YouTube or other online video sharing sites.

Squeezed in a little bit of writing after the Muppets. Gertie gets a call from the kids' mother. She's going to be late picking them up; she's stuck at the store. Gertie and Betty aren't enthusiastic about babysitting. We're not babies, Lisa insists. We can take care of ourselves. Alan wants to meet Amazon Andy. Betty tries to explain he's on the air as Scott and Rollie "The Satanic Santa" Pruitt, the station's nasty Scrooge of a financier, come in the door.

Made those crab cakes from Friday for lunch with leftover broccoli, Cranberry Flummery, and Cranberry-Orange Bread. Ran episodes of Max & Ruby as I ate. Ruby's decorating the table for "Max's Thanksgiving." Her brother is more interested in Grandma's nut stuffing. "Ruby's Roller Skates" has Ruby trying to learn to skate to Grandma's. Max just wants to find his tow truck. "Ruby's Leaf Collection" will be the best in her class...if her brother stops covering it with his leaf pile. "Fireman Max" wants to come to the rescue, but he keeps getting in his sister's way while she's trying to jump rope.

Finished out the afternoon with an episode of Remember WENN while I got ready to go to work. While "And How" from the late third season isn't a Thanksgiving episode per se, it does involve food and Native American relations. The WENN staff are going to be appearing on an episode of a popular network western, "The Strange Loner." When the star who is to be unmasked on the air turns up drunk, the male staff compete for his role. The Native man who plays the Loner's sidekick turns out to be far less sterotypical than his "he say ugh" part would indicate. Meanwhile, Eugenia the organist has discovered a new and "adventurous" food - pizza!

Though it was relatively quiet when I came in, it picked up during rush hour...and this time, stayed busy for the rest of the night. I got pretty stressed early on, especially when a WIC check family took forever. Moving to a register on the other side of the front end helped. Like the college girl who came in for me said later, it gave me room to breathe and think. A lot of people weren't in the best of moods, either. A customer said traffic on the Black Horse Pike was really bad, which may have been part of the problem. Thankfully, it was perfectly normal by the time I finished at 7. I had no trouble getting home.

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