Saturday, September 30, 2017

Smurfy Fall Harvest

Brr! I awoke to a morning that wasn't even cool. It was downright cold! Celebrated the more fall-like weather with a warm cornmeal mush breakfast and You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown. Charles Schultz drew from his son's real-life fondness for motocross for this special about the gang taking part in a motocross race. Peppermint Patty is so determined to beat "The Masked Marvel" (Snoopy) that neither of them pay much attention to Chuck. He ultimately proves that slow and steady - and actually paying attention to the course - really can make you a winner.

Headed to the Collingswood Farm Market around 10:30 (after a quick stop at the Collingswood WaWa for money). For a day that was cloudy and wildly windy, probably in the upper 60's, they were packed with people buying beginning-of-the-month produce. The fall harvest continues to roll out. Melons and peaches are gone, but I saw cauliflower for the first time this year and local broccoli for the first time this season. I ended up with two tomatoes, apples, grapes, and Chinese beans.

Rode around Haddon Township and Collingswood for the next two hours, checking out yard sales. I didn't have much luck. Almost all of them were just knick-knacks. I did find a copy of one of the James Howe Bunnicula books, Nighty Nightmare, at a sale on the border of Collingswood and Westmont. Think I'll save that one for Halloween next month or close to it.

Stopped at the Oaklyn WaWa to pick up a hoagie for lunch. My favorite fall sandwich, the Gobbler (turkey, cranberry, stuffing, and mayo) was available, along with Pumpkin Cream Smoothies. I grabbed both and ate them at the wooden benches on West Clinton, ignoring the wind. The Pumpkin Cream Smoothie tasted more like an eggnog smoothie than their eggnog does. The Gobbler was awesome, as always. You can't beat cranberry, turkey, and stuffing on a roll. (Even if the stuffing they used had a few really big bread chunks that hadn't been mashed properly.)

Went home, put everything away, then went back out again to the Acme. I still had a lot of other grocery shopping to do. I was lucky they were having a 40 % off all chicken (our brand and Purdue) this week. I was able to pick up boneless chicken thighs along with catfish with a manager's coupon. Took advantage of another big sale to pick up Life Cereal. I had their Pumpkin Spice last year and would love to try it again.The fancy "enhanced" eggs in the Styrofoam container were slightly less expensive than the regular eggs, for once. Restocked diced tomatoes, mandarin oranges, white and brown sugar, skim milk, yogurt (the mix-ins for lunch, plain to use for baking and cooking), blue corn chips, and honey. Thought I'd try a new Betty Crocker "galaxy" (blue/green/white/navy) sprinkle mix while baking items were on sale. The Talenti ice cream was also on sale again. I had such a hard time choosing a flavor, I ended up grabbing Vanilla Bean.

After I got in and arranged everything, I went on the computer to do some writing. Here, Leia and Luke both go back to Dagobah Creek, where Uncle Ben is visiting Yoda. They explain that their brother Adam took up a life of crime after he came home from Vietnam to discover their parents had died in a car crash. His girlfriend Patti Mae was pregnant, and he had no money for the baby. Simon Palpatine, who had been on the city council then, agreed to pay him if he did his dirty work - leaned on people who disagreed with him, burned, robbed, or harassed them out of business.

Broke around 5:30 to take a bath. Ahh, that felt so nice after running around all morning and early afternoon. I lay in the warm water, listening to Jazz for the Quiet Times and looking over Christmas craft books for holiday ideas.

It was past 7 when I finally got to dinner. My leftover chicken drumstick was accompanied by zucchini sauteed in soy sauce and chicken broth and Eggplant Parmesan. Had the Vanilla Bean ice cream for dessert.

Watched Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin while making dinner. Pooh is surprised and disappointed when Christopher Robin doesn't appear at their usual spot one day. A pot of honey with a note is in his place. Owl (mis)interprets the note, claiming that the boy is at "skull" and has been kidnapped by the dreaded Skullasaurus. The rest of the citizens of the 100 Acre Woods go after him...and learn a lot about themselves in the process.

Unusually bittersweet outing for Pooh and his friends, especially when Pooh sings the heartbreaking "Wherever You Are." Little kids will need a hand to hold during some of the sad or scary scenes...and you may need a free hand to grab a tissue for yourself.

Ended the night with Smurfs: The Lost Village. Smurfette (Demi Lovato) feels out of place at Smurf Village, and not just because she's the only girl there. Her name doesn't denote her talent, like it does with all the other smurfs. Even Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin) can't figure out what to do with her. When she discovers a hat in the Forbidden Forest, she becomes determined to discover what else is out there. Unfortunately, so's Gargamel (Rainn Wilson), the nasty wizard who created Smurfette from a lump of clay. Gargamel wants to absorb all of the Smurfs' powers...but Smurfette can absorb his powers, and that of others. Hefty Smurf (Joe Manganellio), Brainy Smurf (Danny Pudi), and Clumsy Smurf (Jack McBrayer) join her in her quest to discover a whole new breed of Smurfs, before Gargamel can get his hands on them.

This actually wasn't bad. It's basically a feature-length episode of the show with brilliant-hued computer animation. Reminded me a lot of Trolls with less music and a more focused plot. I always did like Smurfette as a kid and am glad to see them doing more with her here. The scene where the other Smurfs have to bring her back to life actually choked me up a bit.

Frankly, your interest and enjoyment on this one will depend on your memories of the original show. I haven't seen it in years, but the girls and I used to love it in the early-mid 80's. I'm a bit surprised it was a flop in the US this spring; it did better overseas, where the Smurfs have fans of long-standing, especially their native Belgium. At any rate, almost everyone said it was better than the two live-action/animation hybrids.

If you loved the original show or the comics, or have young kids who might enjoy the Smurfs' antics, this may be your cup of Smurf Berry Tea.

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