Friday, November 18, 2016

Very Warm for Fall

Started off the day with The Care Bears' Nutcracker. Funshine and Grumpy are originally sent to help a little girl named Anna whose best friend has just moved away. Their mission gets a lot more complicated when a nutcracker and a couple of rats end up in Anna's bedroom. They're from Toyland, which has been enslaved by the evil Vizier and his rat army, including the rather goofy rat king. Anna heads off with the Nutcracker and a couple of the Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins to find the ring that belongs to the true prince of the kingdom, the only one who can stop the Vizier. Meanwhile, Baby Hugs and Tugs are searching for their very own Christmas tree ornament, and Anna's brother just wants some adventure.

Worked on my own Nutcracker story late in the morning and after getting online later tonight. Luke explains how he ended up there. The Land of Sweets was originally run by Queen Leia the Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier Han as regents for Prince Finnegan, the rightful ruler, until he was old enough to inherit the throne. King Snoke, a miserable old rodent from the evil Land of the First Order, took over the land, banishing the queen and her husband to the outer villages. Luke tried to defend the prince, but ended up banished as well. He has no idea where the prince is now, if he's alive or dead or cursed.

They finally arrive in the Snowflake Meadow, a field of glistening white. Lady Kaydel, the Head of the Snowflakes, is in charge of this domain. She and her snowflake fairies are in charge of keeping the world white for the winter. Kaydel agrees to take them to Queen Leia, who is awaiting word in the Ribbon Candy Village on the edge of the Mint Sugar Forest.

Didn't get out to run errands until nearly 1. Made a quick stop at WaWa to use the ATM machine, then rode to Audubon. I had a ton of grocery shopping to do! I needed to restock sugar, ground turkey, cooking spray, skim milk, buttermilk, chocolate chips (thought I'd try those pumpkin spice chips I've seen around), I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, cheese (buy one-get one free sale on the Acme generic cheese), frozen vegetables, and tuna. (Found the Acme's generic "natural" tuna on clearance.) Italian chicken sausage was on a semi-decent sale and had a manager's coupon. A coupon for Domino's Sugar coupled with a good sale allowed me to get powdered sugar along with the white. Bought a small bottle of orange juice for the cranberry bread I'm going to make this week.

At least, I hope. Because I'm not off Thanksgiving. I was listed as working from 9 AM to 1 PM. I couldn't believe it. I didn't ask for Thanksgiving off because I didn't think I'd need to. I've had every Thanksgiving off for the past 15 years but this one. It's never been a problem before! I didn't even sign up for it. I already told Mom and Dad I'd be coming down to Cape May County! I guess it's because there's so few baggers. The two head baggers likely asked off that day, and most of the kids only work later. Good thing it was busy and the head front end manager had just opened a register. I told him how angry I was. He said he'd talk to the woman in charge of the schedules.

I was still angry when I rushed to Arby's across the parking lot for lunch. It was past 2 by then, and the place was dead except for a few couples. I just had a quick roast beef gyro, curly fries, and Diet Dr. Pepper while stewing over my schedule.

When I got home, I put everything away and finished The Care Bears Nutcracker, then headed back out. Stopped very quickly at Rite Aid to see if they had something I was looking for. They didn't, so I moved on.

The Haddon Township Library was almost as busy as the Acme when I arrived. Most schools were out by 3:30. Kids were looking for books and movies with their parents. I shelved children's DVDs, CDs, and audio books, but otherwise wasn't around for long. Not only was it getting late, but they had plenty of help from high school volunteers.

Went up the hill to Acme on Cuthbert Road. Still couldn't find what I was looking for there. Couldn't find it at the small CVS next-door, either, but I did get dish washing liquid and a sparkling water there.

Cut through Newton Lake Park going home. It was certainly a nice day for a bike ride. In fact, it was probably too nice, in the upper 60's with the barest hint of a breeze. The park was the busiest I'd ever seen it! I dodged walkers, joggers, bike riders, dog walkers, kids going fishing on the edge of the lake, and kids strolling together on their way home from school.

When I got in, I put on March of the Toy Soldiers to cheer myself up while making Oatmeal-Pumpkin Spice Chip Cookies. Laurel and Hardy headline the first talkie version of Babes In Toyland. This time, the young lovers are Little Bo Peep (Charlotte Henry) and Tom Piper (Felix Knight). Barnaby holds the mortgage on her mother's shoe and will throw them all out if Bo Peep doesn't marry him. Stan and Ollie are boarders in the shoe. They're determined to help the old lady and her children, even if it means going to Bogie Land to face the terrible demons who live there!

While I don't think this one has held up as well as the Disney version, it has its moments. I especially like Stan and Ollie giving Barnaby a "present," them at the wedding, and them waiting (in vain) for Barnaby to come out of Bogie Land.

The cookies came out really nice, too. They were originally Macadamia-White Chocolate Chip Cookies made with a yellow butter cake mix, but macadamias are expensive. I replaced the white chocolate with the pumpkin spice chips and replaced the nuts with extra spices. Yum. A little sweet, but not bad.

Put on By the Light of the Silvery Moon while eating lobster cakes and the last of the leftover frozen green beans for dinner, Majorie (Doris Day) is patiently awaiting the return of her boyfriend (Gordon MacRae) from World War I. She's devastated when he says he wants to make money before they get married, but she comes around. Meanwhile, first her brother gets attached to the Thanksgiving turkey, then thinks their father is running around with a French actress after he finds a supposed "note" from him to her. Marjorie and the family maid Alice see it, too. Marjorie tries everything she can to bring her parents together...but then her boyfriend sees the note and thinks it's from another suitor...

I put on the follow-up to the 1951 hit On Moonlight Bay because it has a sequence set at Thanksgiving, including a rather nice version of "Ain't We Got Fun?" If you liked that film, or similar coming-of-age musicals set in the early 20th century like Meet Me In St. Louis, you'll probably enjoy this one, too.

Moved to the 1965 version of Rodgers' and Hammerstein's Cinderella as I settled on the couch with my laptop. Leslie Ann Warren is Cinderella in the second of three versions of the only musical Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote directly for TV. None of them are alike. This one is in color and has one additional song ("Loneliness of Evening" for the prince) and a great cast that includes Ginger Rodgers (as the queen), Walter Pidgeon (as the king), Pat Carroll (as one of the stepsisters), and Celeste Holm (as the Fairy Godmother).

The version of this show you go for really depends on which one you grew up with, which cast you prefer, and whether pictorial quality is an issue. The restoration of the 1965 version on my copy looks great. The colors are rich and vibrant. It even includes the original CBS station identification card. If you remember this from showings on cable in the 80's or are a fan of the cast, fairy tales, or Rodgers and Hammerstein's other work, this is very cute and highly recommended.

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