Tuesday, September 2, 2014

All the Shades of Labor Day by Catherine Lanigan & Rula Sinara

Photo by cooee

Hi, Everyone!

We hope everyone who celebrated Labor Day yesterday had a fabulous long weekend. With summer vacation all wrapped up and today marking the first day of school for many, we’re not ready to end the celebrating! In fact, we have put together a GIVEAWAY tailored for a hard worker out there who deserves some time to kick back and relax…because not everyone got to take off work yesterday. Someone was working all those sales! Right?

CATHERINE: So true! Historically, Labor Day began with a parade in New York City the first Monday in September by the Central Labor Union to honor the American worker. It was made a Federal holiday two years later in 1894. It’s great that we celebrate it on the same day as our Canadian friends too.

But in these contemporary times of absolutely everything being “politically correct” and so many of our traditional holidays and special event times fading into a no-man’s land of “spring breaks” and “fall festival” days, on the one hand, it is amazing that Labor Day has endured at all. Or at least not been replaced with “End of Summer Day”.

RULA: Yes, and what’s sad is the commercialization of just about everything. I mean, if we played the word association game right this minute and I said ‘Labor Day’, I’m betting the first word that came to mind for many of you was ‘Sale’ (come on…admit it), instead of words like ‘hard work’ or ‘foundation’. Okay, some of you might have thought ‘barbeque’. That works ;).

CATHERINE: I always look forward to this mini-break after the long summer season. When my son was young, it meant barbeques with friends or a pool party at a neighbor’s house. These days my husband and I still get together with friends and since we live in Indiana now, we cherish these last few cook outs before the colder months descend. There’s something very nostalgic about Labor Day weekend parties all around if you ask me. It’s not quite harvest but it is the end of summer outings and all those summer garden projects. For us, if our repairs and fix-ups didn’t happen by now, most of them have to be put off till next spring!

RULA: Like you, here in Virginia our evenings get cooler and there’s that promise of Autumn colors around the corner. Fall is my favorite season, and even though the official start is yet to come, September feels like the gateway to Fall. For me, that definitely means prepping the garden for the winter.

CATHERINE: For a great many of us, this first holiday in September marks the beginning of a new school year. There’s a ton of expensive book buying, computer rentals and purchases, school supplies and the clothes! That’s not counting the big financial drain: tuition. Whether for private school or college, those bills add up fast. That fact alone can take the fun out of that last minute weekend trip to the beach or mountains with the kids or just a day trip that includes an ice cream cone!

And don’t forget, when we’re thinking of the laborers in this country, some of the hardest working and under-appreciated folks of all are our teachers. God bless them! They spend their summer getting ready for the fall semester and their August days are no picnic.
Photo by Sgarton

RULA: I totally agree! This past weekend was ‘last minute everything’ at my house and the season of homework evenings has begun. Today was indeed the first day of school for us and, since I work from home, I’m celebrating a quiet house J. Just kidding. I do miss my kids…sort of…but you bring me back to the word ‘foundation’. Where would we be without every individual’s hard work and contribution to our communities and society as a whole?

And you’re right about the teachers and, actually, all school staff. They start preparing for school long before it starts and I bet they were doing 'day before school' preparations on Labor Day, just to make sure our kids' school year would start off on a perfect note. That’s dedication. These are folks who truly deserve Labor Day…because without them, my house wouldn’t be quiet right now. Just kidding again! There’s nothing more important than the health and education of our children. Ensuring these things is no easy feat. Kids are our future.

CATHERINE: What about all those retail stores that are open even longer hours for Labor Day sales? For twenty years, retail was my life and I remember working nearly every holiday that most people didn’t. Sundays, too.

RULA: Bless you! I feel for everyone who works holidays. Why isn’t everything closed on Labor Day? Those retail workers who are so important to our America as a whole--our communities and economy. They work so hard and deserve the day off.

You know, I realize that Labor Day was founded on the idea of eight hour work days. But times have really changed. People work from home with odd hours. And some don’t have ‘official’ salaried jobs, but they too work endless hours. I’m talking about volunteers and those working to keep a family/household functioning, so that the other parent can work outside the home. They're a behind-the-scenes force that allows the other half of our workforce to be out there doing their thing...and the 'stay-at-home' parent usually works right through Labor Day (and weekends, and nighttime and…you get it).

CATHERINE: These days I think of all the grandparents who are helping Moms and Dads with the kids, as you say, “behind the scenes” whether babysitting or being the chauffeur to get the kids to school and activities while parents are working. These days it’s more true than ever that “it takes a village.”

RULA: I think they all deserve recognition and a reward. Although we can't do something for everyone, we could do a little something in their honor. After all, the beginning of school, the smell of fall in the air...it all puts one in the mood to do something nice…like a GIVEAWAY!

CATHERINE: Great idea, Rula! September also marks the beginning of those lovely autumn days when I, for one, most enjoy curling up with a good book, watching the fall leaves turn to shimmering colors. It’s my favorite season of the year.

RULA: Mine too. Relaxing with a book and a warm cup of tea…I almost want to keep this prize for myself! But no, I’ll be good J.

WE'RE GIVING AWAY A BEAUTIFUL GIFT BAG CONTAINING:


Autographed copies of Catherine Lanigan’s Love Shadows and Heart’s Desire

Autographed copy of Rula Sinara’s The Promise of Rain with matching bookmark

A canvas tote bag, approx 15x15in, (great for lunches, books, groceries & more) imprinted with the cover of The Promise of Rain

A 16 oz, BPA free, Stainless Steel Contigo Travel Tumbler

Teatulia Black Tea, Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified

A custom ‘Sweet and Heartwarming’ bracelet from the Harlequin Heartwarming authors and…

A ‘Think Harlequin’ button pin


Please note: The gift bag drawing is open only to entries from U.S. or Canadian residents. One winner will be chosen by random drawing. All other entries (international) will be placed in a drawing for an e-book copy each of Love Shadows, Heart’s Desire and The Promise of Rain.

Join our conversation to be entered in the drawing! Tell us anything from how you spent Labor Day or what it means to you…to whether you sent kids off to school today. Or just say hello! It’s that easy to enter. Check back here tomorrow morning for the winner announcement.

HAPPY HOLIDAY, SEPTEMBER & FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL TO YOU ALL!!!

(P.S. Be sure to look for our next post and giveaway October 7th!)

43 comments:

  1. Labor Day for me means a long weekend in the mountains, with nothing to do but read, hike. play cards and play outdoor games as long as the weather is nice. Sadly Labor day is spent traveling back home and unpacking.

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    1. Oh, a weekend 'unplugged' in the mountains sounds so perfect! I wish weekends like that never had to end :). I hope you find many beautiful days this fall to enjoy the outdoors!

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  2. Don't enter me, but a great giveaway! I'm enjoying end-of-summer here in Indiana with Catherine, only everyone's been back in school for a few weeks already trying to be prepared for the snow days yet to come!

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    1. Liz, a friend down south just told me her kids have been in school for 3 weeks already! I can't believe we're just starting. As for snow, I've heard we're going to have a good amount this winter out east. I'm not ready just yet lol. I want to enjoy the fall colors and crisp air first ;).

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    2. Liz! I have to admit that I really dread the thought of winter coming!!!

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  3. Due to Labor Day being on the 1st this year and the fact I work in our Finance Dept, I had to work. But after work I went to a picnic at church. It was a wonderful time. I love Harlequin Heartwarming stories and hope I win this wonderful gift.

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    1. So sorry you had to work! See what we mean? But I'm glad you had a great picnic and we love that you love Harlequin Heartwarming stories! Good luck in the drawing!

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    2. I agree Rula! Luigi glad you like Heartwarming !!!

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  4. I love that you mentioned teachers. My hat goes off to elementary teachers especially. Many no longer work eight hours. With papers to grade, meetings to attend, emails to answer. And then there's the money they spend out of pocket on supplies. When teachers make the same as athletes, we'll see a change in education :)

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    1. I hear you and agree, Pam. A great teacher is a true example of dedication, hard work and love. They aren't close to being appreciated enough. I love gifting them gift cards so they can either treat themselves (well earned!) or use them to help with those class supply expenses.

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    2. Rula and Pam, I just don't know how teachers do what they do anymore. I hear such horror stories from teachers. God bless them all!

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    3. For every horror story, there a hundred times the fairy tales. I still hear from many of my kids :)

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  5. I somehow damaged my back so I spent Labor Day hobbling around the house. ) :
    However, I did go on a day trip with my husband and two of our close friends on Sunday. We spent a beautiful day in Blowing Rock, N.C. The weather was so perfectly cool. It's such a lovely little town. We had a picnic lunch followed by ice cream in the park. I endured the back pain for the trip, and it was worth it. It's so beautiful in the mountains, and spending the day with friends was an added treat.

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    1. Laurie, I know how much you love the mountains, so I can imagine how much you enjoyed that trip! But I'm so sorry about your back! I've hurt my lower back multiple times (once so badly I couldn't move at all) and I know it's awful. I hope you recover soon!!

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  6. My kids are grown, so no back to school for me. We just relaxed and watched some good movies.

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    1. Robin, I love my kids dearly, but some days I look forward to being an empty nester. Of course, my mom always tells me a parent never stops worrying about their kids, even when they're older and out of the house. I'd still love some quiet time to watch good movies. I love movies :). However, yesterday, I was 'dragged' to see 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and, although I got the humor, it just wasn't my 'cup of tea' (giveaway pun intended lol ;). I need a great movie just to recover lol.

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  7. What a fun post! I worked, but happily(: Also made a birthday cake for my father-in-law who turned 88 yesterday.

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    1. Happy Birthday to your father-in-law, Carol!! You're so sweet making him cake!

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    2. Birthday cakes are the best! Wish I was there!!!

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  8. For me Labor Day meant school started the next day. Now, here in Mississippi School has been in session almost a month, so it's their first holiday. And this is a birthday to several in my family. But not me. My birthday is on an ordinary day...unlike my sister's whose is the 4th of July. I mean, REALLY?

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    1. LOL, Patricia! At least your b-day isn't on Christmas! Kids hate it when they get one gift for both. Happy b-day to your family members ;).

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  9. No need to enter me in the drawing. I hope someone who loves Heartwarming books as much as we do wins this lovely prize. What a great kick-off post you guys. I had a busy August with a lot of company, and also had books to put to bed so I looked forward to doing nothing on Labor Day. Fall is my favorite season, too. It's still in triple digits here though.

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    1. Roz, we had unseasonably cool temps all summer here in VA, and now suddenly, right after perfect 'fall' weather, we've been hit with a mini-heat wave of sorts. We're hitting about 90 today, but humidity is almost 60% (closer to 100% early tomorrow AM) and it'll feel like it's close to 100 later on today. It's not as hot as where you are, but a few seconds outside and water beads all over your skin, making clothing feel sticky and yuck. I think we'll be back to a high in the 70's on Sunday. I can't wait.

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  10. Great post Rula and Catherine. I have a revision due back tomorrow, so you know what I did on Labor Day - labored! But kudos to everyone out there who works to keep us safe, to educate our children and to man the sales . I spent a lot of time in retail, too, and feel their sore feet. The winner of your giveaway is going to be so happy ! Books AND tea! Pig heaven!

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    1. Muriel, your laboring on Labor Day is much appreciated by all of us who get to enjoy your book when it comes out! I hope you get to take a nice book and tea break when it's turned in :).

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    2. Thanks, Muriel! I was writing all day as well. I think a LOT of us were doing that.

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  11. We had lots of fun family time this weekend--regatta, picnic, children's museum, dinner out, and Dock Dogs (a fun competition during which dogs jump from a dock into a giant pool). Thanks for the post and prizes!

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    1. I've never heard of Dock Dogs but that sounds like a lot of fun and a great way for the dogs to cool off ;). What a great weekend, Christy!

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    2. I'd like to be a dock dog! What a life and what fun!

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    1. Thanks, Dana! Putting it together was fun :).

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  13. Labor Day for me was just a day of me and husband relaxing. Battling bad sinus problem and pink eye. I would love to win and review all these books. Then I share them with people.
    jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

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    1. Hi squiresj! Relaxing is great, but hugs on the pink eye and sinus problem! Best of luck in the drawing and get well soon :).

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  14. Summer passed too quickly this year. Can we push cool weather back another month? Please :)

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    1. Seriously, Carol? Even after all that TX heat??? LOL. You're one brave girl, but then again, if I could dig my toes in the sand under a Tiki Hut (Carol's blog, everyone ;), then I'd probably want a longer summer too ;).

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  15. When I think of Labor Day, I think about how I'm not supposed to wear white until Memorial Day. I don't know why that's a rule. I often wonder who came up with it! Well, I am excited about your giveaway. So cool!! Good luck to all those who enter :)

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    1. Amy, is that still a rule? I'm so not up to date on fashion (to my younger sister's lament). I do remember that in high school it was a MAJOR rule, lol! I think I got picked on once for wearing white at the wrong time :P.

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    2. Oh, I forgot to add that, then in college, 'winter white' themes became big at events. Fashion is confusing lol. As long as perms don't come back, I'm good...

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  16. When I lived back east, Labor Day meant school started the following Wednesday. Not in Arizona. My granddaughters began school on August 11 this year, my college began August 23. I loved that Wednesday after Labor Day.

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    1. Marion, I loved the first day of school as a kid. It meant seeing friends I'd missed and getting to have all new organizational office supplies. I still love that stuff lol.

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  17. I spent Labor Day moving! LOL Not the most fun I have had on Labor Days past. But we love our new house. In AZ, Labor Day is still very much summer weather. I can't wait for cooler climes.

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    1. Congrats on your new home, Marinda! A big move definitely makes for a memorable Labor Day!

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  18. Good morning, everyone! I'm back for the big announcement!

    The winner of the gift bag is...

    ROBIN DRISCOLL !!!!!

    Congrats, Robin! Please contact me with your mailing address through my contact form at www.rulasinara.com or my name at gmail and I'll get the prize bag sent to you, courtesy of Catherine and myself :).

    And a note to all...the Heartwarming authors love hosting giveaways, so come on back! You never know when or what the giveaway will be for :). Also, check out our monthly giveaways on our Goodreads page (see button link in the right column). We look forward to seeing you around the Heartwarming block!

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