Labor Day 2018

Labor Day Parade, float of Women’s Trade Union League, New York, 1908

If you have today off as a paid holiday – or if you are working today but get a paid day later to make up for it, or if you get time and a half or doubletime for working today, it’s thanks to the labor movement that is celebrated today.

And if you don’t, that might be thanks to the way that the labor movement has been beaten back in recent years.

Today also marks the unofficial end of summer in the United States, even though the lines between seasons have gotten much blurrier over the years. School used to start after Labor Day and now it starts before. Football season still officially begins, but baseball season used to be winding down towards the playoffs about this point. Now the regular season has another month to run before the playoffs, and the World Series doesn’t begin until the end of October.

But still, no matter what else is happening, or what the weather is doing, Labor Day still marks the beginning of the end. The year always feels like its winding down from this point.

If you have a three-day weekend, be sure to enjoy the last gasp of summer. After all, it’s only 58 days to Halloween!

Fourth of July 2018

Fireworks in San Jose California 2007 07 04 by Ian Kluft img 9618

To those in the United States, Happy Fourth of July. So as not to be completely remiss, to those in Canada, a belated Happy Canada Day.

Now that I’ve lured you in with a picture of Independence Day fireworks, I’m going to share a different picture. This has been going around on Facebook for a few days, and I think we all need the reminder.

I check the box for immigrants. All four of my grandparents came to the United States from Eastern Europe in the early 20th century. I only exist because they fled to the this country before the Holocaust. All of my family who did not leave died in the concentration camps.

My husband’s family has been here a bit longer. On one side, he has ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. On the other, Scots-Irish who came to the U.S. just after the Civil War. But he is still the descendant of immigrants.

And whether or not you are also able to tick off some of the other boxes on that short list, so are you.

 

Memorial Day 2018

On the one hand, for most of us, today is a happy day. Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. marks the unofficial start of summer. And it’s a three-day weekend, and for those of us who get to take the whole thing off, three-day weekends are always excellent.

On that oh-so-infamous other hand, the holiday we are celebrating is not technically happy. Memorial Day was set aside to honor all those who served our country, and who fell while wearing its uniform.

Winter Holiday Traditions Guest Post from Lori Foster + Giveaway

Today I’d like to welcome one of my favorite authors, Lori Foster, to share some of her own holiday traditions here at Reading Reality as part of the Winter Holiday Traditions (+ reads!) tour from TLC Book Tours and Harlequin Books.

The book that Lori is featuring this time around (we were part of this tour last year too!) is Close Contact, the third book in her marvelous Body Armor series. I read it a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it. I hope that it’s one of the book that you might be thinking of curling up with this holiday season!

Bestselling Romance Author Lori Foster Shares
Her Own Family Holiday Traditions

While I detest cold weather, I LOVE the holidays. Ever since my husband and I first married – more than 39 years ago – we’ve been the holiday people. Family parties are at our house and as the family has grown, we’ve learned to adjust.

To make it easier on families with kids, we do Christmas Eve vs Christmas Day. With both sides of our families attending, we get anywhere from 40 to 70 guests. Much depends on whether or not the young adults bring dates. This year we’ll have kids from 6 months to 21 years. (Yes, I still count them as kids.)

I decorate the house inside and out (I hire decorators for the outside!) and I buy gifts for everyone who will be there. I prefer something wrapped to simple gift cards. Because there are so many people, I start my shopping early!

Before Christmas Eve, I get together 200+ Christmas cards to mail. I also do Christmas packages for my grandkids and a few other very special children who I adore. I’ve found that kids love getting mail! I include a Christmas card, a few pieces of candy, and some fun little toys that mail easily.

In early December, I have a luncheon for local authors and some reader friends. It’s so fun to get together with plenty of time to chat and catch up. We usually do an ornament exchange and (when I’m lucky) I end up with lots of cookies from guests. 😊

About 2 weeks before Christmas, I have a kids’ party – just to help the little ones unleash all that anticipatory energy. LOL. We play games, they win prizes, everyone gets a small gift, and then we chow on kid-fun food and desserts.

This year, we’ll probably have Christmas Eve in our new house! The contractor has been working on it for more than a year, but I think we’re close to it being done. It’ll work out better for us because it’s all one big open space – perfect for so many people to mingle. (Plus there’s still a large lower area where the young adults can go to play video games.)

In the middle of all, I still write! I’m like an ogre when I can’t spend at least a little time each weekday working on a story. However you celebrate the holidays, either in a frenzy of activity as I do, or more calmly, at a slower pace, I hope you have lots of love and peace.

About Close Contact:

There’s no resisting a desire like this…
MMA fighter Miles Dartman’s casual arrangement with personal shopper Maxi Nevar would be many men’s fantasy. She seeks him out, they have mindblowing sex, she leaves. Rinse, repeat. Yet lately, Miles wants more. And when Maxi requests his services via the Body Armor security agency, he’s ready to finally break through her defenses—and protect her day and night.
Receiving a large inheritance has brought chaos and uncertainty into Maxi’s life. Her ex has resurfaced, along with lots of former “friends,” and someone is making mysterious threats. Then there’s Miles, who doesn’t ask for anything…except her trust. Pleasure is easy. Now Maxi has to give her heart as well as her body…or risk losing a man who could be everything she needs.
“Foster writes a tale that is off-the-charts hot and steeped with mystery.” – RT Book Reviews on CLOSE CONTACT

“Mysterious things that go bump in the night fuel this romance right into a blaze.” -Night Owl Reviews on CLOSE CONTACT

About Lori Foster: Lori Foster is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin and Silhouette. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. For more about Lori, visit her Web site at www.lorifoster.com.

~~~~~~ TOURWIDE GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~

Lori and Harlequin are giving away a$50 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky entrant on this tour!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TLC
This post is part of a TLC book tour. Click on the logo for more reviews and features.

Thanksgiving 2017

Today marks Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.

For a lot of us, this is a day off of work, and a day to spend with family and friends. Also a day to end up in a turkey-induced coma, although I’m trying to avoid that last bit.

We’re spending the holiday with friends and family-of-choice. Wherever you are, I hope its warm, bright and filled with the voices of those you care for.

The leaves have fallen. Snow may be on the ground, or falling. Autumn is definitely here in the northern hemisphere.

And tomorrow, heaven help us all, is Black Friday, and the opening salvos of the holiday shopping season.

Rest up!

Labor Day 2017

Hurricane Harvey near peak intensity prior to landfall in southern Texas on August 25

For those actually celebrating this Labor Day weekend, Happy Labor Day! Today marks the unofficial end of summer.

However, those living in Houston Texas, or anywhere within the path of Hurricane Harvey, are probably still laboring in one way or another, either to mop up damage, or just to figure out what to do now that the storm if over and the recovery has barely begun.

We have friends in the Houston area, and are grateful that their ride through the hurricane was relatively mild. Their house is on high ground, and they suffered only minor damage to one car. They were lucky, when so many people were not.

Ironically, at this time last year, when I wrote my Labor Day post we were tracking the path of Hurricane Hermine. As trends go, this one sucks. And very, very definitely blows.

Stay safe, wherever you are spending your Labor Day.

Memorial Day 2017

A Marine at Vietnam Memorial on July 4 2002
A Marine at Vietnam Memorial on July 4 2002 By Meutia Chaerani – Indradi Soemardjan

Ever have an earworm? You know what I mean, a song running through your head that you can’t get out no matter how hard you try. Last year, just after Veterans Day, I had an earworm. Only a bit of the song, a plaintive voice singing a capella. After a few days of it driving me crazy, I’m going to share it with you this Memorial Day. Not because I want to drive you crazy too, but because this is where it belongs. It still makes me cry.

The Ballad of Penny Evans by the late, great Steve Goodman.

Oh my name is Penny Evans and my age is twenty-one
A young widow in the war that’s being fought in Viet Nam
And I have two infant daughters and I do the best I can
Now they say the war is over, but I think it’s just begun.

And I remember I was seventeen on the day I met young Bill
At his father’s grand piano, we’d play good old ‘Heart and Soul’
And I only knew the left hand part and he the right so well
And he’s the only boy I ever slept with and the only one I will.

It’s first we had a baby girl and we had two good years
And, it was next the 1A notice came and we parted without tears
And it was nine months from our last good night our second babe appears
And so it’s ten months and a telegram confirming all our fears.

And now every month I get a check from an Army bureaucrat
And it’s every month I tear it up and I mail the damn thing back.
Do you think that makes it all right, do you think I’d fall for that ?
And you can keep your bloody money, it sure won’t bring my Billy back.

I never cared for politics, and speeches I don’t understand,
And likewise never took no charity from any living man
But tonight there’s fifty thousand gone in that unhappy land
And fifty thousand ‘Heart and Soul’s’ being played with just one hand.

And my name is Penny Evans and I’ve just gone twenty-one
A young widow in the war that’s being fought in Viet Nam
And I have two infant daughters and I thank God I have no sons
Now they say the war is over, but I think it’s just begun.

Thanksgiving Day 2016

Happy-Thanksgiving-Images-Card

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the U.S.

Thanksgiving may be a bit more strained around some family dinner tables than others this year. We’re planning to be with like-minded friends, so while there may be some sadness amidst the joy, we’ve always been on the same side and this holiday will be a chance to welcome new friends among us and be grateful that we have each other to lean on.

Before I sign off to go see if I can help with the turkey, I have one final thought to leave you with today:

539-thanksgiving-quotes