Monday, December 14, 2015

Winter Was Too Warm

Started a cloudy, humid morning with breakfast and a couple of short holiday specials. The First Christmas Snow is an unusual religion-based Rankin-Bass special from the mid-70's. Angela Landsbury is the narrator of this melodramatic tale of a shepherd boy who is blinded in a lightning storm, then taken in by a group of nuns and a priest (Cyril Ritchard). The little boy dreams of the snow one of the nuns has told him about, but he's more worried that the well-meaning priest may send him to an orphanage.

Moved on to Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special as I prepare to run errands. Manny gets upset when Sid the Sloth breaks his treasured Christmas rock and tells him he's on the naughty list. He then says to his daughter Peaches that there's no Santa at all. Determined to prove otherwise, Peaches and the comic possum critters Crash and Eddie head to the North Pole to find the real Santa.

Headed out to run errands around quarter after 11. My first stop of the day was the Oaklyn Post Office. It took me longer to get there than it did in line. For some reason, the city of Oaklyn had to pick the Christmas season to do road work in front of the post office. Thankfully, once I got in, the line was short, and I had no problems sending my out-of-state packages to Linda and James Young and Lauren Miller and her parents.

Went down to CVS next. Even as I did, the clouds were breaking apart, and a sunny, too-warm-for-December day was emerging, to my surprise. It was supposed to rain all day! CVS wasn't overly busy. It was suddenly too nice for shopping. I just bought a 9 volt battery for my smoke alarm and Dawn dishwashing detergent on sale.

The Oaklyn Library wasn't any busier. In fact, it was just me and two librarians. I actually got to organizing the kids' books for the first time in weeks. I also got to give a hug to the older librarian, who is retiring after tomorrow. I'll miss her. She was always so sweet.

I needed skim milk and it was past noon. Time for lunch. I went to WaWa - to my delight, their quart of skim milk dropped from $1.65 to $1.45. Picked up a Gobbler small hoagie and a Mint Cream Smoothie for lunch. It was so nice and sunny by 12:30, I ate them at the picnic benches on West Clinton, outside of Studio LuLoo and Phillies Phatties. The smoothie was very green and very, very minty; the Gobbler was a total mess (other than it seems to be using real turkey slices rather than deli meat now).

Went home...then went right back out again. I had laundry to do. The sun had vanished again by this time, and it was getting a wee bit colder. Maybe that's why the laundromat was so quiet. It was dead the entire time I was there. I worked on story notes and listened to cooking/talk shows on ABC in peace. It's probably just as well my load took less than an hour anyway.

After I got in and put everything away, I went right into writing. Mr. Eldridge and the kids let two of the toy soldiers carry Pruitt off. He vows to get revenge on them, especially Scott. Scott does get a smitten but not quite convinced Betty to go with him to the Christmas Festival the next day.

Mr. Eldridge agrees to let them stay with him, Betty, and Scott in the Shoe that's owned by Betty's mother, the Widow Gertie Blue. While Scott plays with Alan and the Widow's other children, Lisa asks Betty about her relationship with Scott. She says she likes him...she may even love him...but she's not sure she can trust him. He may be charming and handsome and smart and makes her melt, but he's also a former criminal who's been known to tell more than a few fibs.

Around 5:30, I went into taking this year's Christmas portraits of the American Girl dolls and various decorations. I had trouble uploading them to Photobucket. I'll mess around more with them tomorrow and see if I can fix them. I also discovered that somewhere around here, it had finally started raining. I went outside to take a shot of Molly, but the porch was wet, and it was showering.

I finally made simple buttermilk pancakes for dinner, along with broccoli and a slice of meatloaf. Ran White Christmas throughout the evening. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye headline this smash hit 1954 musical. Two popular performers who are now producing a Broadway show falls in love with a sister act (Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen) and follow them to Vermont. They encounter their old army general, whose ski resort is suffering from a lack of cold weather. Musical numbers and misunderstandings follow as the men pursue the ladies and bring up their show to help the general regain his confidence. Slick and fun until the middle, which sags terribly thanks to the contrived romantic comedy cliches. Look for Bing singing the title number in the touching opening sequence set during World War II.

Finished a busy day with a nice, quiet bath. I read American Girl holiday stories while listening to one of my classical-based True Value Happy Holidays CDs. Kirsten's Surprise is her plan to kick off her pioneer family's holidays with St. Lucia Day, a favorite holiday in Sweden. She needs her father to get their trunks from the near-by town for her plan to work. When they're stranded in a blizzard, Kirsten discovers just how strong she can be.

Josefina's Surprise also revolves around popular regional traditions. Josefina isn't sure if she's looking forward to traditional New Mexican holiday events like Las Posadas. Her mother died the year before, and their Christmas wasn't much fun. When they discover that the altar cloth their mother embroidered was damaged in a flood, Josefina and her sisters learn how they can keep her memory alive.

Addy's Surprise takes us almost literally home, to Philadelphia in 1864. Addy dreams of buying her mother something nice for Christmas. She almost has enough money when her volunteer work helping newly freed slaves arriving from the south reminds her that freedom has a cost. Her Christmas turns out to be full of happy surprises...including the arrival of a member of her family.

(Oh, and the rain ended when I was in the bath. I don't think it's going now. It's supposed to knock down the temperatures - it'll be in the 40's by the weekend.)

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