Flash Friday Winner

I want to thank everyone who has submitted to our flash fiction competitions! I love reading through the submissions and seeing the widely different takes on the prompt. This week I was intrigued b…

Source: Flash Friday Winner

Advertisements

The Black Friday Blues

I live in Canada.  Black Friday was not always something that happened here.  We used to only have the Boxing Day sales every year.  But, with the world being more socially connected, Canadians decided to try this Black Friday thing.  We have sales.  The purpose in starting it here was to help the Canadian economy by giving shoppers the opportunity to find deals and sales here at home, and in theory it makes sense.

The timing is good.  If you are able to get your Christmas shopping and major household purchases done on Black Friday, you stand to save a good amount of money.  There is a lot of hype about Black Friday.  Now it is going through right until Tuesday.  Sure, I like a good sale as much as the next person , but when you live on a budget, it is hard to plan for such things.

There are times I think about shopping.  I have already written that I can be an impulse shopper.  These days it applies mostly to food.  I have been following a plan, and making my own meals to eat healthier.  When I make food for the week it is called prep cooking.  In a household of 2 with only me on plan, I do the prep cooking on a much smaller scale than I would like to.  One or two recipes a week gets my breakfasts and lunches ready so I am able to stay on track and have a quicker exit to go to work in the mornings.  When I work hard at it, it works.  I have seen the results from the changes I have been making.  It is encouraging to see it work, and frustrating when it gets stalled or goes in reverse. I have been stuck in a rut this past month.  It is that time of year, when the undiagnosed seasonal depression kicks in.

I could have seasonal depression.  I do get gloomy in the winter.  I still go through the motions, go to work, eat, sleep,  repeat, but I don’t have a lot of energy in the winter.  I am also terrified of falling on ice outside.  I have a lot of padding built in right now to break the fall if it happens, but it is not something I have had good experiences with.  So if I could hibernate, wake up for Christmas and New Years, and them resume hibernation until the spring comes, that would be OK with me.  Maybe stretch my legs and get a box of chocolates in February, you get the idea.

Did I do any Black Friday shopping today?  I worked for most of those shopping hours.  After work, I came home and made supper.  There are leftovers, and I am trying a new recipe this weekend.  There was a bit of planning in supper, because the spaghetti sauce will be an ingredient in the casserole I am making tomorrow.  Right after supper we did go down the road to the grocery store.  When I climbed in the car this morning, I was told by my husband to be ready to go get groceries when he got home from work.  He heard a Black Friday ad on the radio while he was warming up the car, for the grocery store.  There is a sale on cheese and chicken.  So we got our groceries tonight.  Sans list, free style.  Which means there will be this or that needed between now and next payday.  But the groceries are done, and a sale on chicken and cheese makes us both happy.

We keep telling ourselves, if we work real hard, and keep paying down our bills, maybe next year we can get to experience The Black Friday shopping in Canada (or get in on the Boxing Day sales).  I don’t know if there will ever be a time that we will be able to do it.  But we keep working hard anyway, because we have to keep paying the bills.  They don’t pay themselves, and they won’t just go away.

What would I buy if I had the money?  A new car, it is hard to manage with one car and two people.  A new fridge and stove.  A new bedroom set, we haven’t got that grown up purchase done yet.  Cell phones, yes, you read that right, we do not have cell phones because it is an expense we cannot afford.  Peppermint plants for every room ( I read they keep spiders,  mice and bugs away).  Clothes are a given.  Sneakers for sure.  A new purse and some new shoes.  Make up.  But something I really want is more of those glass containers that I could store my prep cooking in.  We have some, but I was thinking today that if we could Black Friday some more of those, it would be beneficial for the days that I FEEL like prep cooking, I could do more and have some food frozen for the weeks I don’t feel like it.

At least the cheese and chicken freeze well.  Would I buy more of both tomorrow?  In a heartbeat.  I go through a fair bit of cheese and chicken with this plan, and I have to have the ingredients on hand for when I want to cook.  At least when we took the groceries in there seemed to be a decent amount.  It is expensive to eat healthy, and I am trying really hard to improve my whole life.  It is not easy, but it has to be done, and I am the only one that can do it.  I hate coming home from the grocery store and having a fairly large amount of money spent and only 2 bags of food to show for it.  It irritates the Scottish half of me.  If I am going to spend money, I want to feel I got my money’s worth.  Today that worked out OK.  Maybe next year we can start working on the want list instead of scrambling to cover the needs list.  Maybe next year.

I hope if you are reading this you were able to enjoy The Black Friday events on either side of the Canada US border that you got some deals that will make you happy because it was something practical that you really needed, or will use.  The cheese and chicken were very practical for us, and will be put to good use.  It will help me get back on track, and that is more important to me than any sale, because it is going to help me achieve my healthy lifestyle goals.  There is no price tag on my health.

Numbers and Years

I do not like numbers.  As a general rule of thumb.  Which I wish was a greener thumb.  I have been known to try to keep a pink polka dot plant and it did not end well for the plant.  I do OK with African Violets, though.  I still have the one from my wedding bouquet.  It was a little scared for a while, but it is happy and growing again.  Five years and counting.

I can do math.  I have taken a calculus course as a part of my Bachelor of Science Degree.  I can manage a budget.  I choose not to, as sticking to a budget when there is a need or a fantastic sale completely ruins the budget, as I can be an impulse shopper.  These days, I don’t get the chance to shop much, other than for groceries and necessities when a need arises.  My husband does manage our budget.  We made an agreement a long time ago that he could do that, and we would absolutely fight about it from time to time.  What that translates to is that when I deem something has caught my eye and I want to buy it, I check and see if we can swing it.  If not, then we may have an argument over the importance of the desired purchase.  I was very clear that there will be times when I am really mad, but it is not at my husband.  It is at the root of all evil in my house, money.  Or the general lack of it.

Don’t get me wrong, we do splurge once in a blue moon.  We also try to plan purchases that are out of the ordinary so we can have the things we need, but sometimes there is a little bit of a wait on those things.We cut costs where we can, and make allowances if things happen.  Because we all know things happen, and they usually cost money.

So you are now wondering, “OK Tish, where are you going with this?”  As you can see, I do tend to not think or write in a straight line.  I am a creative person, and I had a thought years ago about the comment we have all heard at one point in our lives, that time flies.  We all notice that as we get older; the years seem to blend together, and they do seem to go faster.

To someone that likes numbers, this is probably not going to be a mind blowing concept.  But the fact that I came up with it on my own, well that is a different story.  I think that is rather phenomenal. I really go out of my way to avoid as much math and numbers as much as possible.  However, I did stop and think about this concept one day, which does happen from time to time.  Thinking.  I do that more than I let on.

In the first year of your life, you live it all, 100% of your life in that year.  In the second year of your life, you live 50% of your life in it, because the other 50% of your life was lived in year one.  In year 3, 1/3 of your life is lived within it, and 2/3 of your life was lived in years one and two.  So if each consecutive year of your life seems to go faster, if you think about it, it is.  It is a fraction of the time you have been alive.  So the saying is true.  Each year does go faster than the previous one, because it is a smaller percentage or fraction of the time you have been alive.  That’s where I was going with this post.  I can think about things, and come up with ideas, and not all of them are about crafts and jokes.  I do have an intelligent side too.  I don’t always share it, but it exists.  I always tell my husband that I am always thinking, and he usually shudders and says that it scares him.  But I also tell him I am always full of surprises, and he has to agree with that from time to time.  Surprise! I spent time thinking about a mathematical concept, and I didn’t have to.  Who would have figured that one out?  I did.  🙂

 

Grey

It was so exciting reading all the entries for our first Flash Friday! I wanted to thank everyone who submitted. I laughed and I cried, but one entry really stood out. Our winner is Megan Johnson, …

Source: Grey

It was a Scotch Lick kind of a day.

I didn’t want to get up.  I was still tired.  But I am begrudgingly at times a responsible adult, and I have a day job.  So I fought my way out of bed.  Stopped at my computer to check in on the way to the shower.  Got dressed, packed my lunch, and ran out the door.

Rough day at work.  It happens sometimes.  Got through it, and was a little later than planned when I was running out the door from work to go home before catching a movie.  Too short on time to have supper, changed plans, and decided to eat at the Mall before the movie.

Traffic was backed up on the bridge, so we arrived at the mall just in time to buy tickets and see a preview or two.  Then the movie started.  We didn’t even have time to stop and buy popcorn.

Trolls was fabulous.  Singing, glittery, rainbows and laughter everywhere, fabulous.  Even with the hidden morals and the necessary bad guys.  I mean, there has to be a villain, otherwise there isn’t much of a plot line. The jokes were for all ages, if you know what I mean.  Lots of laughs and giggles.  It was a fun movie.

Finally, we had supper at the mall.  I was almost hangry by the time I did get to eat.  I am not usually the first one to finish what’s on my plate anymore.  I always was when I was growing up, because that was how to get to your dessert faster.  The most important meal for my day has always been dessert.  But that is a topic for another day.  I was still the last one done eating my supper, but it wasn’t a leisurely paced meal like I might have had at another time.

We drove my friend home after the movie.  Too late to visit, everybody has to work in the morning.  So we made our way back home.  It is nice to get out of the house with friends for a movie, but we had to plan for the early show because of that whole responsible adult day job thing we all have to get up in the morning for.  Unlike whomever had 2 car accidents on the bridge that stopped traffic before the movie, we all arrived home safe and sound.

So you are probably wondering what a Scotch Lick kind of a day is.  Well, let me back up to this morning.  My day basically started with a Scotch Lick, and didn’t slow down for very long all day.  A Scotch Lick is when you take a shower, but don’t wash your hair.  Because you are in too much of a hurry to make time for that extra step in the start of your day.  My whole day was pretty much a rush from one thing to the next, all day long.  Sure, you can be fancy and use the shower cap and not call it a Scotch Lick, but being half Scottish, I rather like the term, and it certainly applied to my whole day.  I got everything done that was necessary, so now I plan to relax for the rest of the evening, and hope tomorrow is not lived in so much haste.  Because I will have to make the time to wash my hair tomorrow.

Accumulation

Webster’s Encyclopedia of Dictionaries defines accumulation as a collection; a mass; a pile.  It is also the word that my sister used to describe winter in Fredericton, usually with a colourful expletive or two in front of it, depending on who she was talking to.  When I got the assignment of writing a story around the topic of Winter In Fredericton, this word naturally came to mind.  So I am going to try to apply all three meanings to it.

A pile of snow last year, has quickly grown into  a much bigger pile this year.  If there haven’t been records for snowfall, then we must be at least acknowledging that we have been pummeled with winter storm after winter storm, along the whole East Coast, if not the whole country this year.  So yes, the word pile does accurately describe winter in Fredericton, at least this year.  I don’t remember having snow here like this, at least not since moving here.I am now shorter than most snow banks.  It is intimidating to think about it, and one does wonder where it will all go in the spring.  Hopefully not into my basement.

Which brings me to my second thought on the definition, a mass.  There is a whole mass of ice under all of that snow out there, that makes it treacherous to walk or drive anywhere in this town.  Not using salt on the roads is better for the bodies of the cars we drive, but I am not so sure that it is the safest thing to do this year.  The mass amounts of ice on the trees since the storm we had on Sunday night is nice to observe, but not so nice to the trees.  Some are bending under the sheer mass of the ice on their limbs, and some of them will not be alive in the spring.  This being said, there was also a mass of water that came down in the last storm, to make new ice on the trees.  It also caused temporary flooding in the city.  I drive a Neon, when I drive.  I didn’t know that when I was driving to work, and came up to Lake Dundonald, that it was part motorboat as well.  The water went in every direction, and the poor car stalled after that particular ordeal, but I made it to work, although i was a little bit late.  The Neon is tougher than it looks.

Finally, the description of a collection.  This is the good side of Winter in Fredericton, which came to a rather high point last weekend, when Fredericton was the host of this year’s ECMAs.  There were performances in every bar in town, from Thursday right through Sunday.  It was an event I was proud to participate in, as a fan of music.  The amount of talent may have varied in style, but nonetheless, it was a collection to be noticed.  This weekend, as winter in Fredericton continues, we get ready for Winterfest.  It is a different venue for Frederictonians to revel in the wonders of sledding, a snow maze, and to take part in other winter themed activities.

So, winter in Fredericton is definitely an accumulation of all sorts.  I guess my sister was right.

Note: This story was written in 2011.  As the first snow of the season is starting to fly, the accumulation will begin for another winter.  It brought this story to my mind, and I thought I would share it here.  The Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a bad winter this year, so there will be more snow to come.

The assignment was from when I was in a creative writing group called Freddy Words, that I was a part of at that time.  I did name the group, and it seems to have busy moments, and lulls.  It has been in the lull mode for several years.  I hope to stir it back to life again, someday.

There is no “Lake Dundonald.”  The water had accumulated to flood the street.  It was a short lived flood that I thankfully did not get stuck in.

I attended one of the performances of the ECMA weekend.  I chose the Nova Scotia venue, being from Cape Breton.  I had a wonderful time, and discovered The Tom Fun Orchestra for the first time.  I enjoyed the show.

Now I will go to my window one more time before I go to bed, to look out into the night, and watch the snowflakes fall from the sky for the first time this year.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.  But not too much, as the accumulation leads to a lot of shoveling.

Why I Cry and Why She Cries

Why write two versions of the same song?  Well, in this case, I wanted to expand the possibilities.  What if the person singing does not want the song to be about themselves?  Then it would get skipped as an option for a potential collaboration with a variety of musicians.  I do not know if this is a thing or not.  I do think it is a unique editing exercise, that may or may not apply to other songs.  I don’t think it can be done with all songs, but I would do this again if I had the right lyrics to work with.  I am satisfied with both versions of this song, and how they turned out.

If you want to see them without having to look too far, I am linking them both below.

Is this a thing?  Does it happen in songwriting courses?  I am curious to know if anyone else has successfully done this or wanted to.

Why I Cry

Why She Cries

Lyrics and Notes

Welcome to Lyrics and Notes .  This is a starting place.  I will link song lyric pages, each separately, so that they are easy to find and the page does not get too cluttered with all of my lyrics on one page. To the reader, they may be seen as poetry.  To me, they are all songs, and all of them were written with a melody in mind.  I hear them as I write them, so I cannot read them without the melody playing in my head.  All they need is someone to sing them.  Please contact me by e-mail if you are interested.

Love at First Sight

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/love-at-first-sight/

You’re My Best Friend

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/youre-my-best-friend/

Why I Cry

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/why-i-cry/

Why She Cries

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/why-she-cries/

He Looked At Her Funny

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/he-looked-at-her-funny/

Just Keep On Smiling

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/just-keep-on-smiling/

Anymore

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/anymore/

How Much Time?

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/how-much-time/

It Should Have Been, But It Wasn’t

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/it-should-have-been-but-it-wasnt/

Will You Promise Me Forever?

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/will-you-promise-me-forever/

Lucky

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/lucky/

You’d Better Watch Out For The Girls From St. Rose

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/youd-better-watch-out-for-the-girls-from-st-rose/

Hard on My Head

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/hard-on-my-head/

Blind Spot

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/blind-spot/

The Wild Cape Breton Rose

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/the-wild-cape-breton-rose/

Heart On My Sleeve

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/heart-on-my-sleeve/

What Is It Worth?

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/what-is-it-worth/

Tomorrow I’ll Be Fine

https://tishmacwebber.wordpress.com/tomorrow-ill-be-fine/