Saturday, November 19, 2016

Last Harvest of the Season

Had breakfast while watching one of two Backyardigans holiday episodes. "The Action Elves Save Christmas Eve" is from the fourth and final (to date) season. Uniqua, Tasha, and Pablo are the title characters, who have to rescue Santa's sack from the goofy Abominable Brothers (Tyrone and Austin). The duo don't even realize they've stolen Santa's sack - they just think they found a cool bag. Santa (voice of Conan O'Brian) keeps tags on them via Uniqua's cell phone.

Headed out to run errands soon after. Today was the final Collingswood Farm Market of the season. They always end the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I'm glad I was able to go. Between the beautiful weather and people looking for produce for their big meals on Thursday, they were absolutely mobbed by 10:30. I could barely move around. Pumpkins were gone and a lot of regular booths were replaced by craft tables. I was still able to pick up broccoli, red leaf lettuce (a small bunch from one of the organic booths), bananas from the tropical fruit sellers, apples, and cranberries for the bread I take to Thanksgiving.

Since the one booth was out of apple cider donuts, I decided to try another treat on the other end of the block. One of the Italian restaurants in Collingswood has a booth that sells, among other items, zeppoles. These seem to be fried pieces of dough covered in powdered sugar. I ended up with three. Tried one as I was leaving. Yum. Not bad. Very soft, sweet, and egg-y. Kind of like a fried popover.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a ride around Collingswood and Haddon Township. I checked out the Rite Aid in Collingswood and the Westmont Acme for something. No luck. Took a look at a yard sale on the border of Collingswood and Westmont. It was all junk, and junk in bad shape, at that. Nothing of interest.

Rode home through Newton Lake Park. The park was almost as busy as yesterday. In addition to people fishing, walking dogs, or going for bike rides, a local church was hosting a lake clean-up. I finally avoided the lines of people searching for trash by hauling my bike up a wood and stone staircase to the neighborhoods above the park.

Did a little bit of writing when I got home. Lady Kaydel explains that Queen Leia has been driven to the Ribbon Candy Village. She conjures up a sleigh made of molded sugar and foil-wrapped chocolate to take them to the Sugar Plum Fairy Queen's domain.

Ran two episodes of Good Eats on fruits that are often consumed during the holidays as I put my fruit and vegetables away and ate a quick lunch."Cran Opening" shows how the very tart and extremely nutritional cranberry can be made into everything from sauce to Cosmopolitans. In "Orange Aid," he takes the round citrus fruit out of the juicer and into Orange Julius, orange sherbet, and my favorite, orange marmalade.

Although work wasn't bad when I arrived, it got very busy later on as people began to come out of the bazaars and church fairs and into the stores. I spent almost the entire four hours outside gathering carts. Not that this was a bad thing. Far from it. It was so warm, I was able to wear short sleeves for most of the night with no problems. It was too warm, really, into the upper 60's.

I had a few things I wanted to pick up on the way home. Someone finally had what I've been looking for the past couple of days. I normally don't read People Magazine, but this week's issue had an article on Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher I was dying to see. I was starving after pushing carts around for four hours - I needed a pretzel.

I'd also finally saved enough stickers to get a free pot. Usually when we have that pot promotion, the pots they carry are either too big for my apartment, or not something I really need. This time, they had the perfect pot for me - a cute little pot with pour spouts on either side. They're Farberware, too. They're a really good brand. The pot was the smallest in the promotion and cost the fewest stickers, too.

Oh, and yes, they were able to switch with a college student who wanted extra hours and get me Thanksgiving off. I'm disappointed I wasn't able to pick up extra hours on Tuesday. Maybe I'll see if I can stay an hour or two later this week. They'll very likely need the help. This is the week before the biggest food holiday of the year. We're always mobbed.

When I got home, I put on soup really quick, then spent a few hours working on Lego Star Wars. Finally got the last pieces on "Bounty Hunter Pursuit," "The Battle of Endor," and "Betrayal Over Bespin." There's only two rounds left in Free Play I can't figure out, "Dagobah" and "Speeder Showdown." I'll work on them the next time I play.

Took a shower, then finished out the night with Anastasia as I got settled on the couch, in honor of the stage version debuting on Broadway this March. This 1997 animated musical takes us to Russia in the 1920's, shortly after the Bolsheviks came to power. Anya (Meg Ryan) is a young orphan searching for her past. Her only clue is a necklace that says "Together In Paris." She seeks out Dimintri (John Cusack), who has papers that can get her to France for a price. As it happens, Dimintri and his friend Vlad (Kelsey Grammar) are looking for a young woman who can play the missing Princess Anastasia and get them a big reward from her grandmother the Dowager Duchess (Angela Landsbury). They take her to Paris...but the more she learns, the more Dimintri begins to wonder if she might not really be royalty. And her arrival has awaken the evil Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd), who put a curse on her family and is determined to make sure it's fulfilled...

 Don't come here looking for a history lesson. This is pure 90's animated fairy tale. Great music by Broadway tunesmiths Lynn Aherns and Stephan Flahtery (including the lovely "Once Upon a December") and some really nice animation, though. Violence and the nasty gimmick of Rasputin literally falling apart makes this for older princesses, but if you have older girls who are wondering about the start of their own journeys (and don't mind the historical inaccuracies), this is very much recommended.

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