Labor Day Inspirations and Information

It’s a U.S. holiday called Labor Day created to honor and recognize the American Labor Movement. And this is a short video (two and a half minutes) of Labor Day Inspirations and Information. The transcript is below

TRANSCRIPT

Though President Grover Cleveland declared Labor Day a national holiday in 1894, the occasion was first observed on Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City.

Brendan I. Koerner
Image of a magical wand on an open book with "fairy lights" sparkling around the wand. With the Labor Day Inspirations and Information quote beside and below the image..

Labor is the fabled magician’s wand, the philosophers stone, and the cap of good fortune.

James Weldon Johnson.

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image of the hands of a man holding a hammer about to drive a nail into a board.

The First Labor Day Parade

According to Ted Watt’s ‘The First Labor Day Parade,’ the September Read more at According to Ted Watt’s ‘The First Labor Day Parade,’ the September date was chosen because it coincided with a Knights of Labor conference in New York, thus guaranteeing a sizable turnout for the festivities.

Brendan I. Koerner

Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation.   

  Samuel Gompers

Without labor nothing prospers.

Sophocles
Image of the hands of a man and a woman in business suits, each pointing an ink pen at papers on the table.-labor day inspirations and information

An Official Holiday

In 1887, Oregon became the first state to make Labor Day an official holiday, with Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York quickly following suit. 

Brendan I. Koerner

Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing will work unless you do.

Maya Angelou
Image of hands holding a glass cylinder in front of a torch and stretching the glass--labor day inspirations and information

Celebrate

As we celebrate Labor Day, we honor the men and women who fought tirelessly for workers’ rights, which are so critical to our strong and successful labor force.

Elizabeth Esty

Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having except as a result of hard work.

Booker T. Washington

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.  

Victor Hugo
Image of a man silhouetted against a blue glacial lake with mountains and a pink sky in the background

The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.

Oprah Winfrey

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.

Elbert Hubbard
black and white image of fingers of a black person on the frets of a guitar

Take rest. A field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.

Ovid

There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.

Alan Cohen
Relax & enjoy your holiday!

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

Designs and photographs obtained from Pixabay.com and Unsplash.com

I hope you enjoyed this Labor Day Inspirations and Information post. Another video I created, Be A Child, is available for your viewing as well. Please be safe on this holiday. Wear your mask and maintain a social distance of six feet. It’s hard, I know, but you can do it.

15 Inspirational Quotes for Tough Times

Pandemic life is tough. Add on inequality, unemployment, and the steady erosion of a lifetime of saving it’s difficult. Now add on the ordinary difficulties of life: chronic illnesses, family stresses, and home and vehicle maintenance—it’s a lot. Anxiety is high. High enough that sometimes innocent words blow up into something else. But mankind has been through a lot. You’ll get through this, too. Here are some inspirational quotes for tough times to remind you that you can do this.

Stacked stones in a bamboo forest and these inspirational quotes for tough times to remind you how tough you are

On Being Tough

Tough times never last, but tough people do.

– Robert Schuller

The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity. 

Seneca

In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.

– Lee Iacocca

On Ways to Think

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. 

– Marcus Aurelius

You don’t have to control your thoughts; you just have to stop letting them control you.

 – Dan Millman

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

–Mary Engelbreit

You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

― Andrew Murphy

On Coping

Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.

Jacques Prevert

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness

–Maya Angelou

I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.

–Louisa May Alcott

There comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life. You can’t go through life obsessing about what might have been.

–Hugh Jackman

Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.

–Princess Diana

On Hope

a pink lotus flower in water reflecting the blue sky and white clouds above and these inspirational quotes for tough times to remind you how tough you are

Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. 

– Thich Nhat Hanh

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.

–Martin Luther King

Tough Times

You are tough. When you feel you’ve reached your breaking point, remember how tough you are. 

So far you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. You’re doing great

unknown

Use the amazing tools we have today: Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Calls , text messages, and phone calls. Have a driveway or backyard socially distanced and mask wearing get together. See how creative you can be in helping friends and family maintain social distancing. And if you can’t do all those things, stop and make sure you are taking care of yourself. And maybe think about these inspirational quotes for tough times.

Love & Hope in the Pandemic

It’s good to see so many posts and articles praising and thanking our frontline workers. But there are many more examples of love & hope in the pandemic. Let’s look at a few.

Image of hands forming a heart against the sunset represents love and hope in the pandemic

Row Venice

Female gondola rowers in Venice — who are all part of a nonprofit organization called Row Venice — deliver groceries to the elderly and those who cannot shop for themselves. They also volunteer for local farmhouses, delivering organic produce and other products to the elderly and immunocompromised. Follow them on their Instagram account.

PPE for Healthcare Workers

A start up company, Augment Bionics, used to 3D print affordable prosthetics. Now the company prints PPE for healthcare workers. They need help to continue this effort. If you can afford it, visit their GoFundMe page.

Caremongering

Canadians, Mita Hans, Valentina Harper, and others started caremongering (a new word) on Facebook. . They wanted to turn scaremongering around into a positive. And they have. There are dozens of these Facebook groups performing acts of kindness for one another. You can search for caremongering and your city in the Facebook search bar. If you don’t have a group near you, why not start one? 

Hand Sanitizer

One of the many items shoppers have searched for is hand sanitizer.

Distilleries across the country and the world have been able to pivot when coronavirus COVID-19 threatened to shut down their business. Read how they help fight the virus by making hand sanitizer.

Giving Back

This Forbes report lists fifty ways companies are giving back to their employees or communities. It includes some resources you might find handy.

Respectful Protests

Israelis in Tel Aviv showed us how to protest and respect social distancing (mostly.)

Parodies

I don’t know about you, but I’m enjoying the coronavirus parodies of popular songs erupting on YouTube.

Here is my favorite #loving #pandemic #earworm. 

If you don’t know the author, professional speaker, and bookseller. Mark Leslie Lefebvre, check out his website.

Stay Informed, Not Depressed

We need to stay informed about the pandemic. We need to remember that stay-at-home quarantine didn’t kill the virus even if it flattened the curve. But sometimes the grim news gets overwhelming. Next time you are feeling down or overwhelmed by it all, look for the good deeds. Look for the love and hope during the pandemic. It’s there. Waiting to inspire you.

Life is Like Plumbing

For the past two weeks, my life has been an adventure in plumbing. Over the years, the plumbing in my old house had filled with the debris of years and years of water flowing through old black pipe. The flow of hot water to my kitchen sink had decreased to a trickle. And when my family asked if I would host Thanksgiving dinner again this year, I put my foot down. “Not without hot water in the kitchen,” I said. Unexpectedly, I realized that anything you do, that life is like plumbing.

The Assessment

My son looked at the problem, opened and shut valves, and studied the pipes in my house. Then he gave me the news. To fix the hot water in the kitchen he had to fix the flow into the hot water heater. To fix the flow into the hot water heater he needed to fix the cold water shut off—for the entire house. And the bill for all the bits and pieces cranked higher and higher. Yikes. 

“I can’t afford a plumber to do all that,” I said. 

His answer: “I can do it.”

I imagined the mess and the long hours of no running water. “I’m a caregiver,” I said. “We can’t go without water for more than an hour or two.” 

“No problem,” he said.

The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.

Tony Robbins

The Vision

My son came to me a few days later with a plan. He’d re-do the whole house’s plumbing! He wanted to install a plumbing manifold. The water in our county is full of minerals and leaves deposits on the plumbing. He envisioned a filtered, all plastic system where we could shut off water to only one specific water use in the house at a time. 

Two weeks ago, we went shopping for parts and pipes and fittings and valves. Ouch. Life is like plumbing. The bill was larger than what I wanted but; I reminded myself, not as large as it could be. 

Image of the plumbing aisle at my local large box hardware store

After we’d done the shopping, I thought to ask my son if he’d ever installed a plumbing manifold before. No, he hadn’t. But he was confident he could. “I’ve never failed at anything I’ve tried.”

I’m always doing things I can’t do. That’s how I get to do them. Pablo Picasso

The Work

The first weekend, my son spent a good twelve hours a day for two days, cutting and replacing pipe. I was his gofer and second pair of hands part of the time. Life is like plumbing–hard work.

Part of the time I babysat while my daughter-in-law filled that role and helped my son do some heavy lifting. 

Image of my smiling  3 month old grandson. He has a bit of growing to do before he realizes that life is like plumbing.
My 3 month old grandson

Together we got all the inside plumbing done in one weekend. And true to his word, the water was off for less than two hours.

The New Plumbing

Image of the plumbing manifold. Life is like pllumbing--a lot of work, a lot more complicated than you'd like, but it can be beautiful
Isn’t it beautiful?

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

And the next day I had so much hot water in my kitchen sink that I washed every dish and pan and the dogs’ dishes and the…you get the idea. 

Then I did the laundry. 

image of water on the floor beside my washer
Water on the floor beside my washer. Note the old pipe.

It turned out that he’d improved the water flow to the washer and dryer so much that when the washer spun the water out it overwhelmed the old drainage system. Yup, he said he could fix that too.

The second weekend he spent eight hours a day for two days. My new improved drainage system for the washer had to include a bathroom sink on the other side of the wall. While he was at it, he added a drain for a utility sink in my laundry. 

He has another day’s work to do but part of that is moving the outlets for the washer and dryer to avoid stretching their cords to their max. 

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Nelson Mandela

Lessons Learned

This whole experience made me realize a few things.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

Norman Vincent Peale

I changed my thoughts about how tolerable the water flow was in my kitchen and that began to change that part of my world.

It was hard, back-breaking work. But my son’s willingness to try new things, to research the options and solutions to various tricky issues, and to do the work got it done.

Difficult and meaningful will always bring more satisfaction than easy and meaningless.

Maxime Lagacé

My son’s attitude and work ethic (though sometimes I worried he did too much) were inspiring and gratifying. I was proud that he got what I tried to teach him—to try, to do. 

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

Babe Ruth

Life is a series of parts, of connections and disconnections, of ninety degree turns and sometimes everything gets flushed down the drain. But you can change the way you think, change what you do, and try again.

The purpose of life is to believe, to hope, and to strive.

Indira Gandhi

Life is like plumbing… don’t let the parts, the clogs, the flushing, get you down. Keep believing. Keep striving. Your life will be better for it.

Dirty Little Secrets to Writing a Good Story

In my post Two Secret Rules for Writers, I said the secret was that there isn’t a secret in writing. I may have to take that back. The truth is there are dirty little secrets to writing a good story. One secret? There’s probably no new story under the sun. Why? Are we writers’ incapable of an original thought?

Woman holding her finger to her lips knows there are dirty little secrets to writing a good story

Heck no! The originality comes from the blend and the bend of the story as told by that particular writer at that particular time. Stories come from the stories we have consumed (read, heard, or viewed). So they are all a melding of a ton of different things.

Study Story

To write the best stories one must study the masters. Study the successful stories. What makes them tick? And how can I use that in my story?

Pantsers decry outlines and story structure to their story’s detriment. The way the human brain processes story demands a structure we can recognize.

You don’t have to start from an outline, but whatever you write must have the parts in it to be successful.

Mish-Mash

I’ve mixed bits and pieces of Westerns and Space Opera and Thrillers and mythology. Yes, they went into one story. And it worked because I used structure to help me put the pieces where they made sense.

How? I looked at the choices the main character makes at each stage of the story. The types of decision made in the Western fit my story so there’s my beginning. Mid-point decisions made in a thriller and a myth, inspired my story’s mid-point. And the crisis decision(s) came from the Space Opera. In a way, I’ve borrowed the bones of four (or more) different skeletons. My characters, my setting, my story throughline written in my words flesh the story out.

The Secret

Studying stories can trigger creative ideas and solutions when writing my own stories. This is one of the dirty little secrets to writing a good story. But it’s no secret that Fellowship is going live on Monday, July 8th. You can pre-order now. And, if you follow my Facebook author page, I’ll let you know about a short, online launch party I’ll be having soon.