I recently took part in a couple of challenges. The Brand Story Challenge was the first one. The design I started this story with is the result of the week-long challenge. But if you were not following me on Facebook, you missed a lot of the work that led up to this graphic.
There is a progression, with daily “homework” to complete the challenge and be entered in the contest for prizes. If you were reading the daily prompts, then you will be very familiar with the daily public shares that I am copying into this story here. Why am I doing that? If you are wondering, it is to show the progress, and seeing them grouped together here will help understand the process and progress I accomplished by taking these challenges.
If you want to learn about how to Master Brand yourself, check out these links. For the Master Brand course, check out this website http://www.jenniferkem.com/. She teaches about #masterbrand and #paidtobeyou. If you look on Facebook, these hashtags will lead you to the right place.
I will start with the Brand Story Challenge. This may seem like a long read today, but I feel it is the best way to share this information with all of you that are reading. So grab a cup of coffee or tea and spend a little time with me as I share this journey. The end goal is to become an entrepreneur with Bling. Blog. Books. and I will be happy if you stick with me through this adventure. You can even participate in the Bling and Blog Freebies if you read to the end.
I found out about the Brand Story Challenge #BSC while scrolling through Facebook. I do not click on all of the ads I see, but sometimes I check things out. I am in 100 Coffees to enhance my networking skills with women like myself. I am in #HappyWriting because the creator, Jessica Dionne Abouelela, has been there for my journey since almost the very beginning. She helped me to change my blog from its former Newbie status to the one you see today. To be honest, she rescued me and my website and gave me a new direction for it. I did most of the work, and she was instrumental in helping me figure out how to do that. She had been encouraging me to do more research on my own Brand, and she also thought that the #BSC would be a good fit for me. I know you are reading, so thank you, Jessica.
Jessica’s current website is girlvscity, and she is going to be launching a Happy Writing project in October. If you want to join an AMAZING writing community on Facebook, then I highly recommend Happy Writing the Facebook Group that I am in. You can also check out Happy Writing Co, which is another Facebook group she has on the go. Jessica has always taken the time to answer my questions and gives solid advice.
The next 5 entries will share the five days of #BSC public posts.
I am inspired by what happens when I apply all of my creative skills and imagination to my projects. The results speak for themselves, and when I complete a project that I conceptualized entirely myself, it literally amazes me how my brain comes up with ideas that work. My passion is being creative, and the more I believe in myself and push myself, the possibilities have no limits. I will think my way through everything that I do and find success while spreading joy through my work. If I apply my talents, each success inspires me to try more new things, and I get so excited when my brain is “on fire” and I am in the zone. When your passion reveals itself, there is no comparison to the feelings of accomplishment that you get from following it.
The world needs more of Tish MacWebber’s creativity in it. I help people spread it around, with my Blog, Bling, and Lyrics.
The moment that I decided I would help people was when I decided that I would start with helping myself. I started my blog to share my lyrics, for collaboration with musicians. I realized that writing my blog is bigger than me just writing to practice for writing my books. People are reading, commenting, and liking what I am writing about. They are watching for my regular series stories and following them. What I write about is holding me accountable, and helping me grow in my personal journey through my life. My writing is helping me gain confidence to keep writing, and to write books like I dreamed of doing. I feel good about creating, and writing is a creative outlet for me. It is something that I enjoy doing. As an avid reader, I want to write a fantasy trilogy. By writing stories from my heart and mind, I can help people escape the real world one chapter at a time, and by achieving my dreams, maybe I will inspire someone else to stop procrastinating about making their dreams a reality, and act on those dreams to make them come true. #brandstorychallenge#day2
I’m looking for 5 people who feel like their true worth is being overlooked in their real life, and love to read books that help them escape their every day and inspire them to be someone that is worth taking the time to get to know who they really are on the inside. I am also looking for people that appreciate details, that know the little things matter and can make a big impact if they are displayed in the correct fashion. Are you one of those people? #brandstorychallenge#day3
My business Superpower is applying Tish into everything I do. Whether it shows in my creativity and thinking, my stubbornness, imagination, finding solutions, embracing my feelings and pushing through them to the other side, facing every project with an open heart, my sense of humour or my geekiness, I give my all and get’er done. When I reach that time that my brain finds the solution to what I have been thinking about, I make decisions and act on them. My creativity thought processes and quirkiness combined with asking a million and one questions to brainstorm and learn what I need to give’er leads me to creative Tish solutions and final products that I am proud to share with the world. My business superpower is me, and my secret weapon is that I am full of surprises. #brandstorychallenge#day4
Tish of Tish’s Treasures wants YOU to know that when you want her to create a custom order for YOU that she will listen to what your needs are, and DESIGN unique jewellery for you or someone you love to wear.
Tish MacWebber wants YOU to know that she is the real deal. She is writing her first book, and practicing her writing skills while holding herself accountable in her blog at the same time. Her writing is reaching people through her blog in 50 different countries, and she cannot wait to share her fantasy trilogy with you all. Escape your world for a little while by reading what she is up to. There will be excerpts from her first book shared when it is closer to completion.
ARE YOU STILL AWAKE? We are halfway through this epic long story. This can be your intermission break if you need one. Refill your coffee or tea cup, grab a snack, run to do whatever needs to be taken care of, but please do come back. Keep reading, if you made it this far, there are things to do at the end!
In between the challenges, I held a Scavenger Hunt Contest to encourage people to look up my Tish’s Treasures Facebook Page, my Tish MacWebber Author Page, and of course, to check out my blog. I made my first Facebook Live videos. I had a winner, and she now has a custom designed pair of earrings as her prize.
These are the earrings I made as the prize for my Scavenger Hunt Contest.
The second Challenge was the Grow Your Tribe Challenge, #GYTC. It took some of the work I did in #BSC and added to it while exploring different methods of growing your tribe. Here is the summary of the daily prompts for that challenge.
The solutions I provide are unique because I pour myself into everything I create, and it is my passion. As an artist; that translates to being a creator of unique designs that come from my heart and mind. As an author; my writing speaks to people through my blog already. My fantasy books will share stories that are written so well that you get sucked in, don’t want to put the book down, and the readers feel invested in the stories and the characters in my books. I want to help the readers escape their lives by reading their way into my imagination. Not everyone that reads my blog is a writer, but 6 people that I know in real life have decided to look into writing their own blogs and asked me for advice. If I can do this, you can chase your dreams and make them a reality too. You just have to decide that you are going to make them happen, and start learning and doing. #growyourtribechallenge#day1
My Tribe is amazing because they may not all have been there since day 1, and they may not all know me in person, but they are open enough to learn, laugh, cry, and be surprised by me. They are learning what I am all about and at the same time, they are discovering how my creativity infuses positivity and it is my passion. Oh, and that it is contagious. People in my Tribe check things out, ask questions, and learn to believe in themselves, right beside me. I want to help my readers escape their lives by reading their way into my imagination. They will discover their passion, explore their own imagination, ask a million and one questions and add a little more Tish in their lives. They need it, and they don’t even know it yet unless they are already in!
Please note: There was a new “Tish-ism” created during this day’s challenge, so keep an eye out on the blog, it’s going to be a busy week there! #growyourtribechallenge#day2
Freebies for Tribe Members! With my free consultations, I can help you find the perfect gift for that hard to buy for person. I know for a fact that not everyone has a unique beaded design made by Tish’s Treasures, and it is my mission to share a little more of Tish with the whole world. How can I help you at the same time? I am starting up a Birthday Club for the Tish’s Treasures Tribe. There will be a survey to enter, and every month there will be a prize for one person that has their birthday that month. Bonus for everyone that has a birthday that month? $5 off coupon for your birthday month purchases with Tish’s Treasures. The Survey will be ready on Friday, September 1st, and the coupons will be good for the whole month for the September Birthday People. This will continue indefinitely, every month. Prize name will be drawn on the last day of the month, every month.
Need traffic on your blog? Guest posting is currently available with my blog. I will be both a host for your submission on my blog, and you can also ask for me to write a guest post for yours. What do you get? Both websites get more traffic. It’s a win win!
Do you want to share a story on my blog, but are not confident in your own writing skills to write your story yourself? I can schedule a meeting or an interview with you and help you share that story. I am currently looking for contributions and submissions for my Trust Your Gut series, about issues people have with weight, no matter what those issues are.
Remember Tish MacWebber is Always Thinking…and if you need help with something I am available for brainstorming sessions. I like to help people. Two heads are better than one. #growyourtribechallenge#day3
Part 1: I’ve decided to present my freebie Tish’s Treasure Seekers Guest Blogging as an open invitation which I will be designing before September 1, 2017, to share on my Facebook Author page. It will invite Bloggers to contact me for Guest Blogging opportunities, either for me to host your story on my blog, or for me to guest write a story for your blog. My initial goal is one or two a month, so shout out if you want to be involved. Guest Blogging is a very good way to increase your traffic to your blog website. #growyourtribechallenge#day4
Part 2: I’m so excited to create the Tish’s Treasure Seekers Birthday Bling Club, my new freebie that’s a short survey to help people sign up for a contest during their Birthday month! One person wins a gift from Tish’s Treasures every month, and everyone gets a $5 discount for shopping with Tish’s Treasures during their birthday month that is valid for the whole month! It will be starting on September 1, 2017. #growyourtribechallenge#day4
I am committed to streamlining the Tish MacWebber BlingBlogBooks brand, including all of you, Tish’s Treasure Seekers, because I am passionate about creativity. I want to lead by example, and this means I will be taking the dreamer inside of me and encouraging her to be the successful entrepreneur that I know she will be. I pour myself into everything I create, and it is my passion. As an artist; that translates to being a creator of unique designs that come from my heart and mind. As an author; I want to help my readers escape their lives by reading their way into my imagination. I am already proving that I can write through my blogging journey. I have already swept up people in my enthusiasm and inspired them to think outside of their comfort zone. If you’re ready to start seeking your treasures, then join me on September 1st, 2017 for the Launch of Tish’s Treasure Seekers Birthday Bling Club as well as keeping a watch for the open invitation to Tish’s Treasure Seekers Guest Blogging Series on the same day! It’s a double whammy! I am full of surprises, and when you join Tish’s Treasure Seekers, not only will I surprise you, but you may also find that you start surprising yourself!
As promised, the freebies from above are things YOU can participate in.
Please note the new website address is https://tishmacwebber.com
If you answer 6 questions, you can be entered too! I promised there were good reasons to read to the end!
Since I have completed the second challenge, I have launched the above freebies. I have also renamed and updated the Tish’s Treasures Facebook group. It is now Tish’s Treasure Seekers and is linked to the business page.
What is coming in the future? More fun. More interactions. More writing. More Bling. More contests. Growth doesn’t happen by itself, or overnight. So more work. I will be moving this Blog to an umbrella website for Tish MacWebber. Things are going to become even more exciting than they already are. I hope that you all join me. It’s going to be something you don’t want to miss.
Could I have made this a shorter read? Yes. I didn’t because I wanted you all to see the bigger picture with me. Congratulations for reading all the way to the end. I have to say, the bigger picture is panoramic! I love the view!
A few months ago, I shared a story about makeup. Makeup: A Purge and Purchase Story was fun to experience, and fun to write about. I was surprised by the comment thread my makeup questions spurred on my Facebook page. Quite a few people had opinions, and some joined me on my shopping trip.
This morning I woke up and decided I would do my hair and makeup for my Facebook Live video. I was announcing the winner of the Scavenger Hunt Contest I had going on all week. I didn’t just want a “like and share” contest. I wanted people to follow links to my different areas of expertise, one page for my jewellery making business, Tish’s Treasures, another my Facebook Author page, Tish MacWebber’s Author Facebook Page, and here, on my blog.
People showed interest, but not everyone participated. Some tried to do all of the steps, and others liked the pages. I made my first Facebook live videos this week. I found that the one I made from my personal Facebook page was the one that had the most interaction, so I am learning as I am trying new things. I have watched them after recording, just to hear what I sounded like, and to learn. I will keep working on them, as they are another way to reach out to people that might not want to spend their time hunting for different pages.
That being said, at some point in the future, I am going to make the leap from this Blog page to my own website. That will be a new step for me, outside of my comfort zone. I want to combine the Bling, Blog, and Books I am creating on to a website. I will be looking for help to do this, and I know that people in the communities I am involved with in my social media circles will point me in the right direction so I can figure it all out. I am doing all of the work myself, since this page launched for the second time. I had help at the start and took over when I was ready to take the reins. It has been a bumpy ride at times, but so much fun.
Now for the makeup. I am going to share a series of selfies I took this morning while getting ready for my video shoot. That sounds bigger than it was. It was less than five minutes long. I am still not used to how things are flipped on the laptop. It is another thing to work at until I am great at it.
Before I started. No glasses selfie.
This is what my Evil Twin looks like. I “flipped” this pic. My sisters are twins. This is as close as I can get.
Foundation, blush and eyeshadow applied.
Foundation, blush, and eyeshadow applied on the evil twin. I know it is a selfie. and I have MY glasses off, I wish it wasn’t blurry…
Now with Mascara
With Mascara, on the Evil Twin.
Close up! Lips have been found! I hardly recognize myself!
Hair done, and glasses back on.
Ready to shoot my video!
This happens to be the second tube of mascara I have tried. I miss my wonder-curl mascara, they don’t make it anymore. I will give them each another try before blogging my thoughts. I also tried a new eye makeup remover. I have not found one that completely cleans mascara from my lashes, ever. Any tips will be appreciated with this in mind. I asked about this today on my personal Facebook page, and it became quite a thread. I am always happy to see another person’s point of view. 😉
Once in a blue moon, I get the idea to buy makeup. Usually, there is an event that I will be attending as the reason for this thought to cross my mind. This time my motivations were different. I am spring cleaning my home, and I had decided that I have too much makeup for the rare occasion that I wear it. I decided it was time to purge it.
I made it official. I shared my plan on Facebook. Then I got scared. Full on panic. I was worried that if I threw it all out, I would not be able to replace all of the components within my budget. So I gathered it up to have ready to purge after I bought the new makeup.
Since I had made this a public announcement, I started getting comments. I decided that I would make use of $85.oo in Optimum Points and buy my new makeup at Shoppers Drug Mart. I was advised which store to choose in the city, there are two, and then I was asked if I went yet or not. A few friends wanted to help. I felt at this point that it was becoming more of an event than a shopping trip on the other side of the city.
One of my friends is trained in makeup application. She was joining me to get a few hours break from being a full-time Mom. She had asked me a few weeks ago that if there was anything that I was doing, she would gladly join me to get a break. She lives outside of the city, and we don’t see each other as much as we used to, so I thought it would be a perfect girls day out if she was available. She made arrangements, and I would be picking her up the next day. We decided that if our mutual friend felt up to it, that we would take her too, or if not, we would visit her before the day trip was over. By this time another friend had asked if she could join us. So, a party of 4 showed up at the store the next day.
I had decided before we got there that I was going to need a skin care routine. I don’t really have one, and I wanted to replace the skin cleansers I had been using because they had expired. The lady I was consulting with helped me with all of my choices. She was amazing! She walked me through the basics and helped me pick colours and brands that some friends had recommended, but I had never heard of before. It was an adventure! One friend joined the shopping spree and found the store to be quite impressive, as I did. Our other friends were with another consultant, and one of them, the friend I was giving a day out of the mommy land, she was getting a makeover.
Those of us that were shopping got a bonus lip gloss and 2 free movie admission tickets. That was really great! His & Hers gift for her shopping. Win-win!
When we finished there, it was time to really take a hard look at the old makeup and force me to purge it. There was a Starbucks next door, so we went in there with my 2 large Ziploc bags full of my older makeup.
We got our drinks and snacks and found a table. When we were settled in, we made a plan of attack. Certain things needed to be tossed. Others could be donated, my friend has a teenager. As discussed in detail on my Facebook wall, you can clean powdered makeup with alcohol. 90% was recommended, the kind you have to ask for. You wet the powder and wipe off the top layer of the powdered makeup with a tissue. The rest of the powder is then left to evaporate the alcohol, and it is clean and able to be used safely again. Makeup that was in decent shape was put into a donate pile.
All the old mascara was tossed, as it was all more than 3 months old. Any colours or products I wasn’t certain about, were set aside to compare to my new makeup at the end. I would say that the donate/toss makeup amounted to 2/3 of the total makeup I had there before I went shopping.
Left: to toss Right: to donate
After we all went home, I then began planning phase 2 of this plan I had hatched. I needed to find a way to keep all of the new and old makeup organized. I went on a few different trips to some local stores and found bits and pieces to pull together my very own cosmetics counter in my Master Bathroom.
This is the final result of my organization phase:
Tish’s Organized Cosmetics Counter
Tish’s Organized Cosmetics Counter
Obviously, I did not buy all of the product shown here for $85.00 in Optimum points. With the points, you have to pay the taxes when you redeem them. So I think I made good use of the points, and I am using the cleansing routine now on a daily basis.
The pic below shows what I kept, in the Ziploc bag, and what is new is placed on the counter. This is the final result of the purge and purchase:
New and To Keep Makeup.
I have also purchased Vichy Skin Cleansing, Toning, and Moisturizing products, not shown. I am happy with my purchases, although I find the new lip stain ( the 2nd tube from the right) to be a little bright. I guess that means I will have to go shopping again…
When I take the time to actually do my makeup and have a reason to put it on, I will write about the experience, with before and after pics. I have lots of before pics to choose from. What a fun afternoon we had. Do you have any organization tips for your cosmetics? What product is in your must have list?
I attended Relay for Life to participate in the Zumba at Relay. My Zumba instructor does this every year, and when I am able to attend extra Zumba classes to support her and to get me moving more, I go. I actually met her at Relay several years ago. I have come a long way with my Zumba since then, and I will be continuing to go to Zumba as long as I am able to go. I do what I can, and I am feeling the rewards of stress relief, getting stronger and healthier.
So many people are affected by the ugliness of cancer in their lives. Relay is a fundraiser to help find a cure for cancer, but for many people, it is more than that. It is a chance to reflect on loved ones who have lost the battle. It is a chance to support people you know that are fighting cancer. It is also a chance to celebrate with those who have looked cancer in the eye and beat it. Sometimes more than once.
Members of my family have had cancer. It is something I have learned to live with while trying not to live in fear of it. I have been spending some time with a good friend who is not going to win her fight with cancer. It is hard to face as a friend, but it must be even harder to face as a person with terminal cancer. It makes me sad to know that her time is limited and that her family and friends will feel this too. It is hard, sometimes, to know what to do or say. We are becoming better friends because of this terrible thing that is happening to her. We were friends before, but it is important for me to make sure that I am available to spend time with her now, while she is still here and able to enjoy the company of our friendship.
I went to Relay and did Zumba there. I did not participate in anything else. My focus this year was to go and have a good workout. I promised another friend that passed away that I would take care of myself, and although it wasn’t cancer that he died from, in going I am keeping my promise to him. The first few classes I went to after he died broke my heart. I cried. I fought to finish the classes, and I am still keeping my promise to him every time I go.
They found a Rebel who was unable to convince them of the health benefits of Zumba at Relay.
I didn’t see the Storm Troopers in the crowd this year. They were at Relay, but I am guessing Darth Vader ordered them to not participate in Zumba. There were a lot of people there. I saw some angel wings, costumes, masks, and a little girl in a princess dress. When Zumba was over, there was a song still playing on the speakers. We all stopped, and the little princess walked over to me and wanted me to hold her hands and keep dancing. So I did. I don’t know her story, if she was sick, or if she was there because of someone else. I knew I didn’t have a choice in the matter. When a princess approaches you in a crowd full of people and wants to hold your hands and dance, well, you hold her hands and dance in a circle until she wants to stop. I don’t know who she was, except that she was a princess for Relay. I don’t know why she chose me in a crowd full of people, but she did, and I wasn’t prepared to walk away. That is why I attend Zumba at Relay. You never know what kind of memory you will take home with you, and it somehow makes you feel that even when it seems like the ugliness of cancer is at its scariest, if you are able to support a friend or hold the hands of a princess and share a dance, there is a glimmer of hope. Be present in your life, and do good unto others while you are here. Which left me with the message I am carrying in my heart. Hope.
In the Zumba Zone!
There were a lot of people there.
Wider angle pic of the crowd
Which one do I follow? A radio celebrity is on stage with the Zumba Queen
Clapping to the warm up song. The Relay Princess is in this picture.
Finding my Zumba groove
Words of encouragement and hope with some of the participants
One of the teams and the Zumba Queen
Looking out over the Relay crowd-pic from the Fredericton Relay For Life page.
Zumba moves take practice! -pic from the Fredericton Relay For Life page.
Group photo with my former Team Wipeout. Hey Ellen we take amazing group selfies too!
This Saturday was my 3rd Annual Butt Blitz Event that I volunteered at. Some friends of mine have Boston Terriers, and they are rescue dogs. I have joined them as a volunteer at Boston Terrier Rescue Canada (BTRC) to help with fundraising for the group. This group has no building as an official shelter. They run their non-profit organization completely from the generosity of their members, from donations, and from fundraising events like this one.
A Greener Future sponsors this event and others like it. BTRC enters this and other contests to raise money for the rescue, but also to help the environment. It’s a win-win for everyone.
The Butt Blitz 2017 page has pics from past events (I forgot that I was in a pic there from last year!) Last year it was a sunny, beautiful day. This year, it was raining; so not as many people dropped in for the event this year.
TerraCycle works with A Greener Future to encourage people to recycle various products and clean up the planet. If you want to know what happens to the cigarette butts after we send them to Terra Cycle, check out this link: Cigarette Waste Recycling Program
Some people take the time to count the butts they put in their used containers or sandwich bags. This is fantastic! What about the other bags, the ones without the number of butts written on the bag for us to add up? Well, we have a formula for that!
How we calculate the number of Butts from the weight of the bags
We weigh the bags and convert the weight to ounces. 1lb=16oz. so for example, 1lb, 4.2oz is 16+4.2 = 20.2 ounces. I then needed to calculate the reference weight for 1 cigarette butt. I weighed 6 bags of butts. 3 pairs of the same butt count on them. I then averaged out the results, and the result was that one butt weighs approximately: 0.01095 oz. From that number, I was able to plug in the weights of the bags and come up with a grand total of 45,530 butts sent off to be recycled yesterday. That’s a lot of butt picking and collecting.
Volunteers from BTRC
Donation Drop Off Thank you!
Butt Picking in the Rain
Taking a break at the Event Table
Sorting various items for recycling
Calculating the grand total of butts
Ready for shipping to TerraCycle
Thanks to UNB Fredericton for hosting the event again this year! The Student Union Building was our base of operations for the event, and I was happy to have a dry location away from all that rain to run the numbers and calculate the grand total number of butts we sent off to be recycled.
When I press the publish button, this becomes my 50th blog on this website. I give myself a gold star! I had no idea back in November when I decided that I wanted to get my lyrics out for exposure to a possible collaboration, that I would be writing this today. I didn’t even know I wanted to start a blog. But here I am.
What have I learned so far? I still love creative writing. Whether it is about serious topics, made up things called Tish-isms, Zumba classes, or me vs the weekend, I am really enjoying this blogging thing. I like sharing my thoughts here, and since I am Always Thinking…they will continue to accumulate. I hope I never need a shovel for them because the snow in New Brunswick has that covered.
While I am not a fan of numbers, I have started following the stats for this project. I am somewhat speechless at times when I am reviewing the results. It is growing, slow but steady, in the right direction. The likes and comments I have been getting are very encouraging, also. This has been a positive experience.
I have written a poem, as one entry. The lyrics page has 20 songs on it, two of which I have written this month. They do not count as separate blog posts, they are not in the 50 count on the blog itself, but they are here also. Since a few of the 50 are shared from another blog source, they balance that out a bit. I can’t write this without remembering I wrote my first guest blog that was shared on another person’s website. I never even dreamed that I would write from my heart, and that other people would read it, like what I wrote, and tell me they want to read more. How great is that?
In the blogging world, I am finding my way. If you are reading this, thank you for doing so. If you are following my blog, I am following yours too. If you have seen the tweets and facebook page, you are getting a little more of me through those different locations. I have one story on Medium, and that is just for fun. I hope to write more like that, and I will likely share between this blog and my medium account as I expand it.
I hope to keep growing the blog as I prepare to write my books. I am definitely having a lot of fun, and this is good. As long as it continues to be fun, I will keep writing. I am certain that I will have slow times of dealing with life in the real world or the dreaded writer’s block. It is a challenge I will have to face when that time comes. Until then, I will keep up the positive stories, and expanding my horizons.
Not that long ago, I wrote about Dealing With Unexpected Grief. I have lost two friends since I moved to Fredericton, and I had met them both after moving here. One of those friends died almost a year ago. She came to mind suddenly when I found out that a band we had seen live together the last time they were in town, was going to be putting on another show here. I had a bit of a moment when I had a flashback to that show, and I decided to write the story I linked above.
I shared the ad for the show on my wall and asked in my comments if anyone was interested in checking them out with me. Because of the unexpected grief, I felt I didn’t want to go by myself, in case I got too melancholy. My friend Kathy asked me to share some of their youtube videos with her, and she decided to join me. I was so relieved to have a friend with me, it was a show I did not want to attend alone.
I found out while I was getting ready to go out that the opening act was a local band, Kill Chicago. So I jumped on Spotify and had a listen. I liked what I heard. So I spent a few minutes online while eating supper and saw a twitter contest for a free vinyl from Kill Chicago for the first person to tweet back. I tweeted and was told to introduce myself and they would hook me up with a prize. I chose a CD because I do not have a record player, and while a record is a cool prize, I am practical.
We arrived while they were on stage, and had to stand back a bit. It is a narrow, long bar, and it was packed! This made me really happy because I had seen the other band, The Stanfields play here before; in fact, this is the band I was referring to seeing with my friend before she passed away. It was the biggest crowd I had seen show up for them, (with the exception of the night they played at The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival). I am sure Kill Chicago fans were also contributing to the turnout, but I was really pleased to see the size of the crowd that came to the live show.
During the Kill Chicago set, Kathy made a friend. There was a woman there with a really cute purse, and boots with bling, sitting nearby. Kathy said hi, and admired the purse. It had a Union Jack on it and was made of canvas. The lady said she loved it because she could throw it in the washing machine, and wanted us to feel the fabric. My eyes saw the purse but LOVED the boots! Tan coloured with sparkles all over them. I would SO wear those boots. Kathy is going to try and have a friend find her that purse, which the lady bought in Freeport, USA.
I happened to see Jon Landry, before the show and said hello. He was getting ready so sing in the next set, so I didn’t bother him too much. I think I introduced Kathy, but I can’t remember. I almost didn’t recognize him, it had been a few years since I saw him at the last live show I went to.
When I saw Jason MacIsaac, I said hello, introduced Kathy, and shared an awkward hug in greeting with Jason. It would have been funny to watch, it was kind of like a do si do happened before we managed a friendly hug. He is also in The Stanfields. When we were growing up in Cape Breton, we used to ride the bus together to and from school. We had a nice chat while Kill Chicago was rocking out on stage. We were far enough back, at that point, that it was a little hard to hear at times, but we talked for a good little while.
When he came in from the cold, he couldn’t see very well. It happens when you have glasses, they fog up. Kathy then told us that she has a tip for that. She told us that if you walk into a room backwards, after being out in the cold, and you give a few extra seconds before you turn around, your glasses won’t fog up. She says it works. I have not tried it myself yet. When I do, I will leave a comment below on how well it works.
Kill Chicago finished their set, and The Stanfields had to get ready to take the stage. I wished Jason luck for a good show and decided to head over to the merchandise table to wait for my free cd. I had money out just in case, but I was told that it was a gift for replying to the twitter contest, and I could have it. How awesome is that? I then asked if the band could sign the cd for me, and most of them signed it. We decided that this location had a better vantage point, and stayed by the table for the rest of the show. ( No Grammarly, we were not “on” the table, but beside it. LOL)
Kathy and I had a conversation earlier in the night about the heights of different people in the room. She was feeling tall because most of the people she spends her time with are also tall, so she was realizing why people like myself think that she is tall. I am not so lucky. It amused me later on when a kind gentleman who was towering over everyone asked me if he was in my way. I laughed it off, and told him, no he was fine, because really if it wasn’t him there I would have to look around other people. It was a nice of him to ask, though.
I was approached by a different man who wanted to know if I knew the band. I told him I did, and he asked me if I had known John Walter. It took me a minute to place the name. I told him I had seen him at other shows, but didn’t know him really well. I remember the day I asked Jason what had happened. John was a good friend to the band and was at a fair number of their shows. He was the lead actor in their first video, The Dirtiest Drunk In The History of Liquor. One day in November 2015, John hit a patch of black ice with his car. He died, and I remember that it was a shock to a lot of people that knew him. Losing a friend is a hard thing to deal with.
The young man introduced himself as Thomas. He was looking for a safe place to stash the winter coats. Kathy & I had put ours on the floor by the table, and so I pointed to the floor. Thomas laughed and said, “I have never seen a finer corner to put my jacket in.” A coat check would have made money that night, for sure. He asked if he could buy me a drink, in honour of his friend. I accepted the offer, and he came back with a glass of draft for me. By the time he was back, I had put two and two together, and I told him the story of missing my friend that night also. Another friendly hug happened, the side by side kind of a hug. (You would think I was a huggy type of person, but I’m not most of the time). The drinks probably made me a little less worried about hugging people. I had a few in me at that point. He introduced me to his girlfriend. I *think* her name was Ashley, but I am not 100% certain. He told me they were both there to honour their friend’s memory because he was a good friend to them both, and he was with them the night they became a couple. When we were done chatting, they asked me to join them on the dance floor. I declined, it was a little too crowded there, and I was happy in my little space by the table. I was able to dance a little and clap and sing with the band from right where we were.
When I reflected for a moment, I do think my friend was there in spirit with me. I say this because when we attended the show together, there was not a crowd like this time, and we did watch from the sidelines a bit before hitting the dance floor together. It reminded me of that and thinking that she had cleared a special place from the cosmos to allow me to have a good vantage point for the show with Kathy, made me smile.
The Stanfields had one encore. Part of it was a favourite from their self-titled debut album, Crocodile Tears. It is quite the memorable tune, and those of us that have been fans since the beginning, know all the words and sang along. We got our coats, and I had paid Jason earlier for the new CD and DVD I wanted. They are going to be recording a new album soon. I can’t wait to hear what they do next! I guess it was the night of the one missing band member because I am missing one signature on the cd I bought from them too. I’ll try to remember to bring it with me for the next show.
Swag and Merchandise I took home from the show. Whenever I get a chance, I do like to support local talent and buy directly from the bands. They get a little more money in their pocket that way, and I am an artist who understands that this is how you keep the bands making more music, by supporting them at live shows.
In summary, it was a great experience. I always have fun when I go to see The Stanfields, and now I will try to make it out to go to see Kill Chicago when I can. I had recognized a local celebrity at the show, a radio personality, and we talked briefly while there. The next day we carried on a facebook chat about the show, and he enjoyed the show, as a fan as well. I am glad I was able to be there. I am also glad Kathy came with me, she is an awesome friend that I don’t get to hang out with as much as I’d like to. Make time to do things with your friends while they are here so that you can honour them after they are gone. Then you will have memories to smile about, and stories to share.
Thanks to Kill Chicago and The Stanfields for a fun and memorable live show.