Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Dolls and Holidays

Started off the morning with breakfast and The Bernstein Bears Meet Big Paw on YouTube. Papa Bear is slightly shaken when Mama divines that Big Paw, a legendary figure on the mountains over Bear Country, will come and destroy them if they're not good to the needy. Mama insists he's not that scary, but the citizens in the valley are ready to blast him to bits...until they see Sister and Brother Bear trapped on the mountain. 

Quickly made my bed, then headed out to run errands and do some Christmas shopping. I would have done a morning in Collingswood whether the house inspector came or not. The weather was utterly stunning, sunny, breezy, and in the mid-upper 40's, perfect for November. It was too nice to be hanging around inside, even if I hadn't been spending a lot of time there lately. 

Wandered around for a while. Checked out the gift shop Occasionette, but didn't buy anything. Looked around at the games and toys store Extraordinary Ed for a few minutes before I dashed across Haddon Avenue to the Collingswood Library to use the bathroom. Since I was there, I peeked at their books and DVDs for sale. Found a set of the first three-episode season of the 1999 BBC Scarlet Pimpernel TV show for a dollar. I heard it's not much like the books, but I love anything Pimpernel and am definitely willing to try it. Went back to Extraordinary and bought two card games, one for Lauren and her parents and one for my 12-year-old nephew Collyn. 

Strolled further down the street and ducked into a tiny whitewashed shop crowded with tables of hand-made soaps, body lotions, and other fancy bath toiletries. Truthfully, I wasn't in a very good mood, even as I bought a gift for Mom. Everything is going wrong. I can't afford an apartment until I get a better job, and I can't get a better job until I find a place to live. Either everything is full, or they don't understand that I have money in the bank and can pay the rent. My family is all at each other's throats over it, and the job I do have is driving me crazy. 

She was really sweet. She apparently just lost her parents and is also trying to figure things out. She suggested going out into nature and giving myself a chance to think and enjoy the view. I haven't had the chance to get out and enjoy nature lately, or do much of anything. She also figured I was on the right track with my outing. I needed to take some time out and enjoy myself.

In that spirit, my next stop was a block down at Sabrina's Cafe. They're normally crazy-busy when I'm in Collingswood, but they didn't look full when I went by. When I asked the hostess, she said there would be a 15 minute wait. As it turned out, it was barely five minutes before she seated me at one of the small rustic wooden tables along the blue vinyl booths on the wall.

Sabrina's specializes in fresh local dinner and lunch meals. Some of their portions can be huge, so I kept things simple and ordered a cup of soup, half of a chicken sandwich on a bagel, and fries. Good thing it was only a half of a chicken salad sandwich. Even that was massive, piles of chicken spilling out of a thick, chewy bagel with everything on top. The spicy tomato-basil soup was tasty, but it was in a tiny cup, and there was a lot less of it. The fries were neither too greasy, nor too heavily seasoned.

Checked out Clutter after lunch, but I saw nothing there and moved on. The lady was right about it being the perfect day for the park. Since I still had a lot to do, I opted for a bike ride through Knight Park and Newton Lake Park rather than strolling by the lake. It did feel nice to be breezing past the glowing gold and flame orange trees on my bike again! It felt like fall, too, with just enough of a chill in the air to keep the food cold before dinner tomorrow.

Heard the phone go off as I left Newton Lake Park. It was Rose, who forgot to tell me the other day when to come to Thanksgiving dinner. I can come anytime after 12. I wanted to call her back anyway and ask her if she needed me to bring anything besides pumpkin bread. Nope, she said. She has everything else covered, since it's just us eating anyway. 

The Target on Cuthbert Road was my next stop. By this point, the local kids were out of school for the Thanksgiving weekend. I managed to push my way through a gaggle of students let loose from Paul the 6th Catholic High School down the street and lock my bike before going in. Surprisingly for the day before Thanksgiving, they weren't busy at all. I picked up a gift for my 17-year-old nephew Skylar, cute toys for Finley and Khai to play with on the way to Maine, and York peppermint patties shaped like snowflakes for me. 

My last stop of the day was at WaWa. Treated myself to a creamy eggnog smoothie. It was sweet and rich, and this year, actually tasted like eggnog. I enjoyed it while riding home.

Put my presents away after I got in, then dressed the dolls for the holidays. Samantha wears her original Cranberry Christmas Dress, which perfectly matches the red shoes from her Spring Dress. Molly wears her Evergreen Christmas Dress and borrowed Samantha's black strap shoes. Ariel gets Julie's second Christmas outfit, the purple brocade minidress with the white gossamer sleeves and the soft knit stockings. I actually like Molly's white t-straps better with that outfit than the black shoes that originally came with it. Jessa is in the original 1996 Chinese New Year outfit with the brocade pants and jacket. (The current dressier Lunar New Year's Outfit on the American Girl website is too girlie for Jess.) Josefina resembles a Mexican princess in her yellow and black striped Christmas Dress with the black lace mantilla. Felicity's ready to dance at the Governor's ball in her bright blue Christmas Gown. Whitney wears the elegant blue-violet Snowflake Ball Gown from 2010 with black stockings, a black spencer jacket from another dress, and black velvet strap shoes.

Half-watched, half-listened to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles while I worked. Neil Page (Steve Martin) is an ad executive who's desperate to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. He manages to make it as far as Wichita before his plane is grounded by a snowstorm...but not before his cab in New York is accidentally stolen by Del Griifth (John Candy). Del is a traveling salesman and the nicest guy you'll ever meet, but he's also a chatty mass of bad habits. As the two men keep getting thrown together traveling across the frozen Midwestern landscape, Neil starts to understand why Del is really on the road...and realizes how much he has to be truly thankful for. 

Two of Martin and Candy's best performances anchor this ode to getting home for the holidays under any means necessary. They're never less than believable, even when the movie takes a slight left turn into forced sentimentality towards the end. 

Rose called again as I finished with the dolls. She and Craig apparently heard that someone moved out of the apartment/condo buildings a block away between Manheim and Reading and are in the midst of remodeling the apartment and are willing to rent it for 1,000 when it's done in three months. I just hope they're also willing to negotiate...and Jodie is willing to wait that long.

Worked on writing for a while after I put all the doll things away. Brett sends her sons through the mirror, but she's hesitant to do it herself. She finally steps through the glass, which ripples like silk, before falling into a dark void. She only falls a few minutes this time before landing on something soft in the same room she left. But something seems different...

Broke for a banana-orange chocolate smoothie for dinner at 6:30. I've looked forward to Buzzr running this week of Match Game '79 episodes for a while. Vintage TV puppets Kukla and Ollie became the first non-humans to join the panel, and it's just too adorable, especially how Brett flirts with them. Meanwhile, Eva Gabor is still arguing over her answers with Gene and the judge while Charles snarks in Brett's general direction. 

Put on Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving while making that pumpkin bread for dinner at Rose's house tomorrow. I'll go further into this semi-musical anthology of Pooh holiday shorts and specials at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog tomorrow. 

Switched to Molly's Pilgrim as I did the dishes and pulled the bread out of the oven. Molly is a little Russian girl who came to the US with her parents for religious freedom. The other girls at school make fun of her accent, her old-fashioned clothing, her acrobatic skills, and her borscht lunches. She's really upset when her mother makes the pilgrim doll she's supposed to bring to school look more like a Russian peasant than a traditional Mayflower pilgrim. Molly's mother and her teacher remind her that her family are as much pilgrims as those Mayflower Voyagers were. As one of Molly's schoolmates point out, it really does take all kinds of pilgrims to make a Thanksgiving. 

Finished the night online. The Thanksgiving episode of Barney Miller, "Thanksgiving Story" from the fifth season, is currently on Crackle. Barney and his boys have their hands full with a guy who stabs his mooching brother-in-law in the hand with a fork over a turkey leg and a trio of escapees from a mental health institute who caused trouble at the nearby automat. 

There's dozens of Macy's parades from Thanksgivings past littered all over YouTube. I went with the jam-packed show from 1989. Wow, I'm sorry we spent that morning traveling to my Aunt Terri and Uncle Roger's house in the Washington DC suburbs. We missed The Jets doing a terrible version of the Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers theme song, a hilarious Looney Tunes tribute to Bugs Bunny, impressionist Fred Travelena's great Jack Nicholson Joker imitation, a Barbie float with colorful dancers all "Doing the Barbie," Melba Moore singing "Holding Out for a Hero" while escaping Doctor Doom on a Marvel float, New Kids On the Block, and a beautifully detailed float depicting great folk heroes of American history, from John Henry to Paul Bunyon and his blue ox Babe. Not to mention Alf making jokes about eating the Pink Panther and Garfield balloons and Michael Jeter's amazing rubber-limbed Charleston in the "We'll Take a Glass Together" number from Grand Hotel.

Here's the entire parade, complete with most of the original commercials! 

And here's even more Thanksgiving specials of the past to enjoy while you wait for the big dinner tomorrow!


Just Jenny said...

Good luck... long time reader and I feel just terrible for you have any long term hotels in your area? Maybe if Jodie is not reasonable you could stay there short term.
Happy thanksgiving and be well/Jennifer B,

Emma said...

Not that I know of. This is primarily a residential area. There may be in Cherry Hill - I'll have to look that up.