Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Matches

Awoke to a gloomy, dark morning. Was reading the book on Thanksgiving Linda Young gave me a couple of years ago when my cell phone rang. Rose wanted to know if I could come over around noon. They weren't eating until 4, but Finley in particular was really looking forward to my arrival. I told her 12:30. I wanted to finish my reading and have breakfast.

After I finished off the book, I did the material from Colliers Harvest of Holidays. They had a short story on the first Thanksgiving, as told by an old Puritan woman who was there, along with poetry and the familiar "Over the River and Through the Woods." "Pilgrims' Party" is a short story from the Disney anthology Storybook Land. Mickey and Minnie take the gang to a real old-fashioned Thanksgiving dinner at Plymouth. It's all fun and Pilgrim cosplay, until Pluto steals the turkey!

Put on Planes, Trains, and Automobiles while eating the last of the apple crisp for breakfast and getting the bread organized. Neil Paige (Steve Martin) is an ad executive trying to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. When his plane is stranded in Wichita, he ends up getting the last hotel room in town with Del Griffith (John Candy). Del's the nicest guy you'll ever meet, but he's also an overly chatty mass of bad habits who drives Neil crazy at first. It's not until they've taken every type of transportation from planes to buses to cars to together that Neil finally understands why Del is on the road...and why he has a real reason to be thankful.

Despite the forced left turn into sentimentality towards the end, this is a generally enjoyable comedy about what we really have to be thankful for, with career-best performances by Candy and Martin. Adults looking for something to watch while they recover from dinner (or who would normally be doing their own major traveling before the holidays) will really enjoy this one. 

Strolled over to Rose's house even before the movie ended. The rain vanished as I finished off reading. By the time I was strolling down Manheim, the sun was out, the sky was blue, and it was in the 60's, a bit warm for Thanksgiving. I was fine in my jean jacket and a short-sleeved blouse. You'd never know it rained this morning if there weren't puddles all over the place.

Rose and Finley did greet me when I arrived. Craig already had the Lions-Texans game on. My nephew Khai was in and out, sometimes reading Garfield comics, sometimes attached to Roblox in his bedroom. Rose had a vegetable tray and Triscuits and Club crackers out and was working on a cheese tray when I got in. (Her sliced Parmesan was to die for.) 

Finley was excited to show off her bedroom. She sleeps on a white loft bed with a slide that allows her to get down quickly. I got to admire her dance costumes (she started taking dance classes last month) and her piles of stuffed animals big and small. When we went back to the living room, I read her "Donald Duck, Private Eye" from Storybook Land while Finley listened in her child-sized recliner. 

After Rose and Craig cleared the table, we moved on to another project. Rose bought a gingerbread house set from Walmart a few days ago. Instead of making one big house, we each had our own individual mini-house to decorate. Finley insisted on covering the A-frame with sprinkles and gumdrops (when she wasn't eating them!). Khai sprinkled red and green candy bits onto the roof of his Colonial House. My "Classic Cottage" had holly leaf sprinkle roof shingles, green spearmint leaves on the roof, gumdrop "lights" on the edges (that wouldn't stay on), and holly leaf sprinkle garlands around the windows and door.

Once our gingerbread masterpieces were safe in places where curious kitty paws couldn't reach, Craig, Finley, and I settled down to rest while watching Frozen on Disney Plus. Finley initially had a hard time sleeping while her brother played with noisy Duplos. Once he got bored and retreated to his room, she fell asleep...and so did her dad and Kelsey the Mini Pincher on his lap! I snuggled into the soft leather chair, read Storybook Land, and listened to "Let It Go" and "Love Is an Open Door." 

I go into further discussion on Frozen at this review from my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog in January 2019. 

Craig just started shaking Finley awake as Rose announced dinner was ready. Everything was so delicious! Craig carved a fragrant turkey breast, and Rose mixed mashed potatoes. Brussels sprouts with ham and green beans sautéed with crispy onions added crunch and earthy flavor alongside cranberry sauce and creamy macaroni and cheese. According to Rose, even the butter was fresh from a friend of hers who worked at a Whole Foods wholesaler and gave her a ton.

Finley, Khai, and I watched cartoons while Rose and Craig cleared the table and did the dishes. Khai loves The Adventures of Puss In Boots on Netflix. Apparently, Puss is here an adventurer who loves a pretty, sweet kitty named Dulcinea. She is "The One" who can stop a terrible creatures called The Bloodwolf from destroying her town. Puss and his Senor Puss Squad help her out with their own brand of magic. After he's defeated, in the next season, Puss swears he'll be Dulcinea's sidekick, but she just wants everything to return to normal. 

Bluey and her sister Bingo have their own fun with their parents. Bluey and Bingo put on the sad-eyed looks to convince Dad to play "Ticklecrabs" with them. When Dad and Mum tell the girls they're taking a vacation without them, they imagine having to "Escape" the girls coming after them in increasingly outlandish ways.

Rose called everyone for pies with real whipped cream after "Escape" ended. Finley just had pumpkin, but I tried the pumpkin and Rose's famous apple. They were sublime, with the pumpkin perfectly spicy and the apple delightfully tart. Craig settled for watching the Washington-Cowboys game after he had some trouble with Finley.

Rose drove me home carrying a bag filled with leftovers. I was surprised to note the driveway next to the main house was empty. She mentioned Jodie told her she would be staying over Jesse and Dana's house after their dinner. That gave me the chance to get the laundry done in the laundry room as soon as I got in. I need clean socks and work clothes, and I really don't want to wait until go to the laundromat to get them.

Finished out the night on YouTube with another Match Game marathon. This one revolved around episodes that are a favorite of the owner of the channel who restores the show that he considers to be overlooked. I came around in time for the 1978 episode where Bob Barker ogles Lori Anderson rather openly. My two favorite episodes by far of what I saw both came from the syndicated run. One had Joyce Bulifant in a wild curly red wig while Bill Daily searched for his answer and a contestant somehow managed to answer "An athletic caterpiller bought 100 sneakers and ___" with "accordion." The second started with Betty White showing off her still-trim legs in a short red dress and ended with Sharon Farrell and Richard Paul demonstrating mud wrestling.

Here's the full marathon, so you can enjoy these underrated gems for yourself! And come around at 2:30 tomorrow for even more hijinks in the marathon's second half!

I hope you all matched yourselves a wonderful Thanksgiving, no matter who you ate with or the size of your meal!

(Oh, and the Texans eventually gave the Lions a solid 41-25 thrashing, while Washington kicked the Cowboys' rears equally hard 41-16.)

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