Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Seasons of Dolls

Began a beautiful day with early work. Surprisingly, for a week before Thanksgiving, it wasn't bad. Everyone must be waiting for the weekend. I spent the entire morning alternating between gathering baskets and carts and shelving two carts filled with returns. It was also a lovely day, cold, but sunny and breezy. Even with the biting chill, it was still too nice of a day to be shopping.

It was so nice, I took the long way home down Nicholson Road. Other than a little traffic around the entrance to the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center, it wasn't bad. The arrival of colder weather is heralded by the last straggling roses, dried milkweed stalks with floating seeds, and trees awash in sun-dappled golds and reds.

Dressed the dolls for the chilly weather we've been having when I got home. It took me longer than I planned. I couldn't find some of the pieces I wanted to use. Turns out I'd accidentally dropped them behind the shelf with my photo albums and keepsake videos. Oops. I'm glad I found the green wrap top for Ariel - it goes nicely with the red hair and turquoise eyes. The skirt I wanted to dress her in didn't fit around the knob on her back, so I borrowed the khakis from Molly's Aviator Outfit. Jessa is in drawstring khaki cargo pants, the long-sleeved white t-shirt with the flower on it and the white and aqua sneakers from the 2002 Ready for Fun outfit, and a navy-blue hoodie from another early 2000's modern outfit. Whitney gets Rebecca's School Outfit with the socks and white t-straps from Molly's Polka-Dot Outfit.

Samantha, Molly, Josefina, and Felicity all wear their original "meet" outfits. Sam wears hers with the black stockings and black boots from Rebecca's School Outfit. Molly's is paired with Springfield Collection socks and the black strap shoes from Samantha's current "meet" outfit. The short-sleeved camisa (shift) that comes with Josefina's meet outfit is inappropriate for November weather in New Jersey. She wears the skirt with her long-sleeved night shift instead.

Finally got some writing time in after I put everything away. Scrooge walks up to his door...and when he inspects the door knocker, he sees the face of his late partner, Sheev Marley (Palpatine)! He's startled, to say the least, but tries not to think much of it...until a bell starts ringing for no reason...

Broke at 6:30 to make a big pre-Thanksgiving dinner. Had Merlin's (Baked) Chicken legs with baked pumpkin casserole and green beans. The casserole was mashed fresh pumpkin topped with molasses, sugar (I was out of brown sugar), butter, and home-made bread crumbs. Oh, yum! The chicken and the pumpkin came out beautifully. I'm glad I had that old piece of bread for bread crumbs. It brought just the right crunch.

Watched Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving as I worked. This is a compilation of two episodes of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, plus a holiday special. The first story has Rabbit thinking it's Groundhog's Day and insisting that Piglet act as the groundhog and tell them when spring is.

The second story is the Thanksgiving special. The crew from the Hundred Acres Woods is gearing up for a fun meal of honey, haycorns, and chocolate ice cream, at least until Rabbit tells them that tradition must be maintained. When they make a hash of his "traditional" dinner, he thinks the holiday is over. Pooh is the one who finally reminds the others why we really celebrate Thanksgiving.

In the third story, Rabbit adopts a little bird named Kessie whom he rescues from a blizzard. They come to love each other, to the point where Rabbit has a hard time letting go when she learns to fly and is ready to go south for the winter.

See this one for the Thanksgiving special and the Rabbit/Kessie story. "Groundpiglet's Day" is cute enough, but it's really filler. The Thanksgiving story is charming and a nice commentary on how we think a holiday ought to be, rather than let it be what it is. Kessie and Rabbit's story is one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever seen connected to the Winnie the Pooh franchise, and it's so touching that  I'll forgive it not really having anything to do with Christmas.

Moved on to Mickey's Christmas Carol as I cleaned up from dinner. My first classic holiday cartoon of the season is really a showcase for Uncle Scrooge as the world's most famous miser. Mickey is Bob Cratchit, Donald is Nephew Fred, and Goofy has one of his best roles as a very funny Jacob Marley.

Finished the night with the live-action version of A Christmas Carol from 1938 after a shower. Reginald Owen is Scrooge in this one, with Gene Lockhart as Cratchit. Ann Rutherford makes for a particularly pointed Ghost of Christmas Past, even if she doesn't look the part of an ethereal spirit. There's also a bit of a romance here for Fred, as his wife (here called Elizabeth) is his fiancee, and their courtship is part of the plot. (This may be why this is the only version of this story that I know of to drop Scrooge's own lost fiancee.) A few segments from the book were lightened and left out to make this more appropriate for family audiences. And yes, that is a very young June Lockheart as Belinda Cratchit, the younger Cratchit daughter.

Not the best version of this story, but you can do far worse, especially if you have younger children who may be put off by the darker aspects of some other retellings that stick closer to the book.

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