Tag Archives: Black Friday

Sweet Gratitude is My Favorite Attitude! by Author Jan Nash

Thanks for the blog invite to The Seven Scribes, Katy! It’s great to be here. My debut novel, POWERLESS CONSENT, is available at: (Amazon, B&N, and SMP) Pop over to my website www.janetnash.com for details on my book. Here’s a little hint: You’ll never talk on your cell phone the same!

Sweet Gratitude is My Favorite Attitude!

I decided to skip the standard author Q and A and chat about Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.

So…Thanksgiving night, just before I slipped into my jammies and bellied up to my laptop, a flash of indigestion reminded me of how much I’d eaten. Turkey smothered in gravy, sweet potato casserole, crescent rolls slathered in butter, pecan pie…oh what a feast. Did I mention the second piece of pecan pie? Though decadent and yummy, my dancing taste buds weren’t the highlight of my Thanksgiving. What I savored most was spending dedicated time in gratitude. Ah, sweet gratitude is my favorite attitude.

Hubby and I make an extra effort to spotlight all our blessings during the Thanksgiving season. It’s become a treasured tradition. We focus on the simple, yet joyous things we normally take for granted and try to come up with creative ways to bless others. Here’s one…I’m so blessed to own an oven. I can bless a neighbor or friend by baking cookies. An added bonus is that a few cookies manage to fill my cookie jar. For me, focusing on how blessed I am always ignites a sense of fulfillment and serenity. And that night was no exception.

It didn’t take long for my happy thoughts to be interrupted by another Black Friday commercial. The chatter actually started around November 1st.  Surely, you’ve heard all the buzz. Super sales, blowout prices, save up to 80%; stores open at noon Thanksgiving Day. All I could think about was what happened to celebrating and giving thanks with family and friends?  Don’t get me wrong, Christmas shopping rocks and who doesn’t like a great bargain? But couldn’t it wait until early Friday morning? I still wanted to savor the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

I didn’t want to end my favorite holiday as a Debbie Downer, so I started thinking of what would add to the Thanksgiving spirit. I know. A smile splashed across my face. What if instead of calling it Black Friday, we tagged it Blessed Friday, and spent the day blessing others instead of spending money? Oh, I liked that idea. Personally, I’m not a super shopper, so the Blessed Friday concept sang to my soul.

Either way, shop till you drop or pay it forward, I’m staying in the zone of my attitude of sweet gratitude.

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to blog!

Readers: What are you grateful for?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of my book, Powerless Consent.

 
 
 
Katy Lee here: Jan, you sure have blessed me with your post today! You put in words how I have felt all week.  I used to work in retail and the term “Black Friday” was thrown around by the back-office managers trying to make sure they didn’t end in the red for the year. It has since become a publicly used term and now an annual event, usurping the day President Lincoln deemed a special day to remember all of our blessings. It seems only right to spend the next day paying those blessings forward.

Jan, I am so excited to have you part of the Soul Mate Publishing family! Welcome!

And READERS: Don’t miss Jan’s latest book, Powerless Consent. Don’t you just LOVE the cover? Check it out here.

Powerless Consent

Kate Ballard thinks attending a gala on a luxury yacht honoring her old college friend will be the time of her life, but secret cell phone video threats to her family’s safety, and a hidden sniper force her into a world of deception and lies. Can her faith erase such horror? Though powerless, she relentlessly tries to outsmart her captor and return to the love of her life.

Her husband, Tom, refuses to accept his wife’s decision to leave and discovers that he must revisit his past. With the help of an unlikely ally, he finds evidence of theft and murder tucked away in an old storage locker. When his investigation starts to uncover the truth, he struggles with whom to believe. Will he trust his heart, or the deception before his eyes? One thing’s for sure, nothing can stop him from reuniting his family, not even a force as great as Invisible Surveillance.

 

A Tale of Two Turkeys

Happy Thursday again, and Happy First Day of December, you wonderful Scribe fans!  Suze here.  It’s great to see you all again after the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Before we get to the “meat” of this post, some business.  If you’re a writer and you haven’t entered CTRWA’s Write Stuff contest, what are you waiting for?  There are still a few days left.  First prize in each category is a hundred bucks, which you know you want.  Go for it!  Click here for details.

Now, I know you’re all dying to find out what happened last Thursday at my mom’s house.  Remember?  The turducken?  Click here for a link to last week’s post so you can get yourselves up to speed if you missed it.

The Famous World War I Flying Ace - Suze's favorite balloon!
Mr. Suze and our son and I spent the morning at our remote woodland cabin, alternately watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and an awe-inspiring trio of bald eagles circling not too far overhead — two golden brown juveniles and an adult with a snowy white head and tail.  Once the parade and the aerobatics show were over, we headed over to Mom’s.

She wasn’t home.   We knew she wouldn’t be there yet, because she was doing volunteer work at her church.  So we brought in the box of turducken, and I set about preparing it for cooking.  Hmmm. A frown creased my forehead.  A distinctive aroma permeated the kitchen, and it wasn’t coming from my still-raw Turducken.  A tiny orangey light caught my eye.  Not a Faulknerian Light in August, but a very suspicious Light in the Oven.

I investigated further.  I strode to the oven.  I threw open the door.  A blast of hot air hit me in the face as I discovered — you guessed it — a 20 pound turkey, skin brown and crispy, hissing poultry steam from the vent holes in the old blue enamelware roaster pan.

Nearly four hundred years of family Thanksgiving tradition simply could not be denied.  Mr. Suze just shook his head.

I pulled out the cooked bird and replaced it with the turducken, prepared according to the package directions (leave it in the cooking bag and place on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven).  Mom came in the door shortly afterward.

“Oh, good,” she said.  “My turkey’s done.”  She had the grace to look a little sheepish (pardon my mixing of farm animals here).  “I had to cook the turkey.  Ooh, is that the turducken?”

She never did say why she “had” to cook the turkey.  Was it because the turkey was about to spoil and “had” to be cooked?  (unappetizing, but entirely possible)  Or was she simply compelled by a force greater than herself to cook that bird on the fourth Thursday of November?  The world may never know.

As for the turducken, reviews were mixed.  Like most prepared foods, this bizarre hybrid concoction was overly salty, or at least the rice stuffing was.  Maybe a “homemade” turducken would be better, but I can tell you that personally I will not be deboning and stuffing three birds anytime soon.  The turkey layer was judged to be fine.  The duck layer was generally not hated, but not really liked.  As for the chicken core, it tasted pretty much like the turkey layer, which is probably why chicken and turkey are never mixed together in recipes.

The other turkey ended up being sliced up for sandwiches the next day, and I made my famous Black Friday Stew with the carcass.  (I’ll give you that recipe soon).

What about you?  Do you have habits that you just can’t break, no matter how hard you try?  Inquiring Scribes want to know!

Bursting at the Seams

The following is a true story that happened to me this week. Enjoy…

Friday morning I walked into my parents’ kitchen to see my seventeen year old brother eating a cake. Not a piece of cake, not a sliver, or a slice, but the enormous hunk of homemade chocolate cake that my mother had made for Thanksgiving. The kid didn’t even have a plate. I watched him for a moment before I asked, “What are you doing?”

He looked at me as if my question was stupid. “I’m eating cake.”

Duh! “All of it?” I asked in a sort of horrified wonder as he shoved a giant forkful in his mouth.

“Planning on it.”

“But I didn’t get any!”

“So?”

As I stared at him I knew he would eat all of it because that’s what little brothers did. So I got a fork and sat next to him and starting eating cake too.

“Stick to your side.” He told me with his mouth full. I did and we ending up eating cake for breakfast.

Wanna know what I had for lunch? Apple pie and ice cream. I swear it wasn’t my idea. Upon arriving home from Black Friday shopping I see two of my brothers,( the one from that morning was one of them) sitting at the table with the biggest tub of vanilla ice cream in the world and a whole homemade apple pie.

“You want some?” The older one asked. I was about to say no, my conscience kicking me in the butt.

“Just give her some,” the younger one said. “I don’t want to hear her b*&ching later that she didn’t get any.”

“You two are going to eat the entire pie?”

They both looked at me like I was stupid. In hindsight  I guess it was stupid question. The older one plopped the pie on a glass pie and put it in the microwave, while the younger one got out three clear glass mugs. We waited in silence for the microwave to ding and when it did I watch as they placed steaming pie at the bottom of the mugs and the a layer of ice cream and finished it off with more pie.

“Let the ice cream melt some,” the little one said. “And then mix it up. It’s damn good.”

I did as he said and then tasted it. He was right it was good and the three of us proceeded to eat a whole pie and a half a gallon of ice cream.

Wanna know what I had for dinner? Stuffing. That was it. A big bowl of stuffing.

I gained 1.4 pounds between Wednesday and Saturday. Which brought my total weight gain from the summer up to five pounds and after spending a year losing forty-five pounds it served as a sharp blow to my sluggish system.

I decided to leave my parents house that day and return to my own. I blame mybrothers for my weight gain, especially the youngest one.(He MADE me eat that pie!) The boy is jacked. He’s got pecs and biceps and a stupidly flat belly and he hasn’t eaten a vegetable in years. He eats cheese fries for breakfast and waffles for dinner and he looks great. Did I mention that I hate him?

Like a lot of you I’m constantly fighting to lose and keep off weight. Every pound lost is a mini battle. Every day is a struggle to make the right choices, to say no to that brownie and yes to that banana. The truth is that there is no secret diet. Eat less. Move more and make the right choices. If you aren’t hungry enough to eat an apple then you really aren’t  that hungry at all.

So, this morning I trekked to the grocery store, avoiding the frozen pizza that has become a staple in my diet and spent a fortune on fresh fruit, vegetables and things I actually have to cook. Mentally, I feel better already. Physically I’m suffering from the shakes because of pie withdrawal and wondering how I can keep up my word count and still exercise at the same time.

Your turn! What’s the worst thing you ever ate? Have a brother you’d like to smack? What’s your diet been like lately? Love pie? How was your Thanksgiving? Any and all comments are welcome.

You’ve Got a Friend in Me…

Happy Friday everyone! Casey Wyatt here. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day. And for those of you participating in Black Friday, good shopping!

All week, the Scribes have been sharing their thoughts on Thanksgiving.  I’ll let you in on a secret, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love a day that is focused on family and food, but not obsessed with gift giving. Can’t beat that combination.

One thing I love about Thanksgiving is the holiday movie season. My family loves movies. In fact, my husband and I met while employed at a movie theater.

Many studios love to release their big holiday films the day before Thanksgiving. And in 1999, Pixar released Toy Story 2. We were all huge fans of Woody, Buzz and the gang and because we wanted to beat the crowds, hubby and I decided to take the kids Thanksgiving morning.

Seriously, going to the movies on a major holiday is not big on people’s to do list. Trust me, as a former theater employee who used to work holidays, I speak the truth.

I called my mother and told her about my plan. We’d go to the very first show and get to her house in time for dinner. And then I waited for her reaction. I mean, who puts Toy Story 2 ahead of Thanksgiving?Well, instead of balking, she was ecstatic. She and her best friend (also my kids’ Godmother) would meet us there. I don’t know why I was surprised. My mom is a card-toting member of the Woody fan club and there was no way she wanted to fight the crowds either.

That morning we arrived at the theater and the six of us camped out in prime seats: center aisle – not too far down and not too far up. As expected, there was barely anyone in the theater with us.  The kids were happy. They had popcorn, drinks, and candy my mother had snuck in for them. My youngest, only four at the time, was so light-weight my husband had to hold his seat down, otherwise, the poor kid would’ve been trapped like a human accordion.

The lights went out and we were all giddy with excitement. This was an “event” –  all of us watching the movie together. Right then and there, I was so grateful to have such a wonderful family. My mom is the coolest person in the world. She’s never lost her child-like sense of wonder and I should have known, out of everyone I knew, she’d be up for something different.

The movie was an incredible story (Pixar has the best  writers in the world) and we all loved it. I don’t really remember the rest of the day. I know we had turkey and all the fixings. My brother probably laughed at us for going to a movie that morning.

But deviating off the traditional holiday path, got us all thinking. What if….?

So we made plans for Thanksgiving 2000. We would all travel to Walt Disney World on Thanksgiving morning.

And did we all go? You bet we did. But that is a post for another day!

What non-traditional ways have you spent the holidays? Have you ever wanted to ditch the normal routine and try something completely different? Enquiring Scribes want to know.