One thing I’m grateful for…

This morning, after replying to the Ragtag Daily Prompt, I decided to look around and check out other writing prompts on the Internet. Which brings me to one of my peeves and its flip side, something I’m very grateful for.

The Discovery prompt for today was GRATEFUL. There are so many things for which I should be grateful, and here I am griping about one small oil slick in the sea of life.

WordPress may not thank me for this, but I dislike ads, especially those flashing ones, and even worse are the pop up ads that totally clutter up a site. Conversely, I’m so grateful for blogs with no ads.

Back to my wanderings this morning. Writing Generators, the one site I checked out had a rally good prompt generator in the center of their blog screen. You hit a button and two to four words surface. For example, I was given the words ANGUISHED and FLOWERS. Alas, there were so many pop-out ads and regular ads in the sidebars; thankfully you can click them and they’ll disappear.

Another site,  ArtJournalist, had a promising list of words a person could use for art &/or writing prompts — interspersed with various ads. At the site Become a Writer Today, you’ll find a download-able list of short-sentence prompts — and read ads tailor-made for your area. At least mine flashed ads for well known Saskatchewan auctioneers. Sigh…

I learned an interesting fact reading an online article yesterday: the person who invented the pop-up ad wishes they hadn’t. I do, too!

Perhaps you also saw this list of things the inventors thereof regret, like the atom bomb and the AK47. And coffee pods, of all things! Although that inventor seemed rather ambivalent; it’s not that he really regretted developing his idea, but wasn’t impressed in the long run with the instant-ness of coffee pods. (Sad all the way to the bank?)

Now that April is over I suppose the Discovery prompts will cease, but when I googled “one word writing prompts” dozens of pages of lists showed up. No lack, fellow writers! But I’ve wandered enough for one day.

Words. Narciso1
Image by narciso1 –Pixabay

Admiring the Ads

The Ragtag Daily Prompt was SLICK and I’m finally formulating a response to the prompt. Although there are many different ways to illustrate SLICK, it wasn’t until I was reading the telephone book this evening that an idea gelled.

No, I’m not so bored that I’ve taken to reading the phone book. We were looking for the name of a Garden Center that we visited about ten years ago, but it seems to have closed down. Then my gaze strayed to the next page and I noticed an advertisement for a business called “Ace of Carts.” As you can imagine, they sell golf carts and other small utility vehicles.

This piqued my curiosity so I did a little more finger-walking through the Yellow Pages and spotted some other business names using puns and/or alliterative ads. Depending on your sense of humor, you may call them SLICK, CUTE, or just TACKY.

Here are a few I found in the phone book:
“Reigning Cats and Dogs” pet grooming salon
“Waggin’ Wheels” mobile pet grooming
“Step Ahead Shoes”
“Crackmaster” glass repair specialists

And here are a few I’ve dreamed up, in case anyone’s interested in starting a new business:
“The Problem Shrinker” Counseling service
“I. Watchwell” Security devices
“Tall Street” Men’s business attire
“Pickled Pig Leather Goods”
“Julius Sneezer Allergy specialist” …or…
“Julius Tweezer” Unwanted hair removed quickly and painlessly.
“Over the Hill” Used Book Nook
“Nosh & Nibble Catering”

Have you seen any funny/slick/tacky business names or ads lately?

The Bedazzled Shopper

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is EVANESCENT

The primary meaning of this word, according to the Oxford Dictionary:
soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing.

Which makes me think of last Christmas. Do you remember it? So this quickly composed verse shall be my response to the prompt.

The Bedazzled Shopper

Whither fled the season
of good cheer, holly and ivy,
red bows and candle glows
and don’t be a Scrooge,
spend, spend, spend!

How did the tinselled trees,
twinkling lights and
red bows vanish evanescently
in December’s puff and stuff?
A distant memory now

as to my wondering eyes appear
all these chicks, fluffy cute,
and pastel plastic eggs
pulled from their nest in
stockrooms, with the signs
Sale! Sale! Sale!

Are You Boxing Today?

Good morning everyone.

We woke up yesterday morning to a delightful fluffy blanket of fresh snow and a calm, mild sort of day. This morning it’s -15° C / 5° F and a serious wind from the NW, reducing the temp to -21 C / -11 F with windchill factored in. a person doesn’t want to be out side long in this “invigorating” weather.

And it’s Boxing Day here in Canada. While this day hasn’t no spiritual significance, it was traditionally a day to at least think of the poor. Back in Ebeneezer Scrooge’s Day folks would have packed up boxes of food and goodies as a special treat for the poor. Of which there were many, as the Ghost of Christmas Present reminded Scrooge, including Ebeneezer’s own clerk, Bob Cratchett.

When it comes to charity, some folks are truly giving and kind, no strings attached, bless their dear hearts. When they give a gift, it’s a quality item. Others have agendas of buying friendship or affection, and still others use this as a way to feel good while getting rid of outdated, unwanted stuff. I managed a Thrift Shop for a year and could write lots about this. 😉

And there was a generation that saved everything and passed it on. My Aunt-Mom grew up in very poor circumstances and never wanted to throw away anything that might be useful. She didn’t hoard, though; she passed it on. After I was married, she’d pack and mail big Christmas parcels for us with all manner of things like cookies they couldn’t eat, blank menu sheets from the restaurant they sold, stamps they hadn’t sold at the post office, or Grandma’s old dresses for me to make into girls’ aprons. I still think back with affection on Mom’s grab-box parcels, but I can’t say much got used.

Mine is the generation that’s had to move those dear old parents and grandparents into small apartments, which meant helping them downsize. I’m sure a lot of you can tell about an endeavor of that sort. While I’m trying to declutter for my children’s sake, I still have that mindset that “This might come in handy if / could still be used for…” Yes. they’ll still have a lot of stuff to deal with when we move on.

Back to Boxing Day. I doubt anyone’s packing boxes for the poor today. Christmas hampers are generally given out ahead of time by a number of charities these days. Boxing Day has come to mean SALES! Advertised well in advance. Two weeks before Christmas we got a “BOXING WEEK SALE” flier from some store.

Traditionally, stores here in Canada have been closed on Boxing Day, though some are pushing it and some provinces are allowing store opening today. In one way, Boxing Day is our Black Friday, except that Christmas is over, the pressure is off, and there’s no scrambling over each other to get to bargains. Boxing Day/Week sales are simply the way stores get rid of surplus inventory — especially seasonal and/or perishable — before the Easter sales start in February. Sigh…

And now I shall treat myself to a cup of fresh hot coffee and think about my day’s work. We aren’t having our family Christmas until Sunday, which should give me time to scrounge through my closets and come up with a nice box of misc-this-and-that as a special treat for my grandchildren. Then they’ll have something to tell their children about Granny’s Christmas parcels — and my daughter will be that much ahead when it comes time to deal with our stuff. 😉

Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning: SPIRITUAL
Daily Addiction prompt word: TREAT

A Song in the Air

When I woke up this morning a tune came to mind:
“There’s a song in the air…”

It’s not surprising I thought of this, considering the season we’re in. I posted a dozen Christmas cards yesterday and was looking at puzzles with pictures of old fashioned village carollers. I see Christmas day is only two weeks from now!

I thought more about the words and appreciated the gentle beauty of the melody…

“And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing
for the manger in Bethlehem cradles a King.”

I’m thankful for these old carols that remind us of the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of the King. When I’m wandering through stores these days, I appreciate hearing religious carols for another reason, too. They tend to be slower and fill the air with a feeling of peace and joy, relaxing my mind.

When I hear some of the popular non-carols, the zippy winter songs merchants love to play, I feel more rushed. Is “Giddy-up, giddyup, giddyuup, let’s go!” meant to nudge shoppers into more of a “Hurry up and buy something” frame of mind? This may give short term results, but I have to wonder if this feeling of being push-push-pushed contributes a lot to the stress of the season?

Music as Motivation

I don’t know who told us this, but I once heard about two friends visiting, one of them being the manager of a restaurant. They were in the office together, looking over the eating area from the office window, and could observe the customers below.

The friend commented on how the diners appeared relaxed, taking their time over their meals, visiting awhile after. The manager replied, “Watch me clear this place out.” He took a CD from his desk and replaced the slower music that was playing with more lively songs. Soon diners were leaving; before long the restaurant was almost empty. They got the subliminal hint.

Motivational research has shown that music has a definite affect on moods. When the song in the air around them is gentle, people relax accordingly.

An Old Song

I’ve just googled “There’s A Song in the Air” and was surprised to learn it’s actually a very old one; it was written by Josiah G Holland and published in 1872.

There’s a song in the air! There’s a star in the sky!
There’s a mother’s deep prayer and a baby’s low cry!
And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!

There’s a tumult of joy o’er the wonderful birth,
For the virgin’s sweet Boy is the Lord of the earth.
Aye! the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!

In the light of that star lie the ages impearled;
And that song from afar has swept over the world.
Every hearth is aflame, and the beautiful sing
In the homes of the nations that Jesus is King!

We rejoice in the light, and we echo the song
That comes down through the night from the heavenly throng.
Aye! we shout to the lovely evangel they bring,
And we greet in His cradle our Savior and King!

Today’s prompt word at Daily Addictions: SING