United We Stand for Labor Day!

Labor Day Is great because it celebrates the contributions workers have made in our country. We both come from hardworking families and decided to devote this week’s blog to Labor Day. Included are some quotes and articles, some personal reasons why we support unions, our repurposed lunchbox, tipping advice, and ways to keep your workday lunch cool. Of course, there also is a garden update. Some of this week’s post is serious and some fun. We think it’s a good balance.



Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894. Here are an excellent article and some great videos with info about the history of Labor Day.


A great quote from one of our favorite columnists:

“Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts.” Molly Ivins


Unions help working families; they certainly helped ours. Here are two, from what could be many, personal examples of the benefits unions provided our families:

Roy’s Family;

Roy’s mother, Phyllis, battled breast cancer for 5 years from 1970 until her death in 1975. Had the family not had decent health insurance, which was secured by the union at his father, Bill’s, work, Roy’s family never could have afforded her treatment and could have lost their home.

Kevin’s Family:

Kevin’s father, Warren, passed away, leaving a pension to his widow, Kevin’s mom, Irene. Irene collected that pension until she passed away 20 plus years later. Had the union not secured that pension, she would have had to get by on a much smaller income.


The Iconic Lunchbox

Roy’s father, Bill, carried this lunchbox to work for many years. Being a metal worker came in handy when he had to fashion a new handle after the original one wore out. These days, it is back to work for the lunchbox as a holder for our markers and crayons. Having it around brings back good memories for Roy. It also reminds us that its important to balance work and fun and what is more fun than being creative?

IMG_5227 (2)IMG_5229 (2)Lunchbox tip: 

A great way to keep the contents of a lunch bag or box cold is to include an ice pack (the type that you use in coolers). If an ice pack is not available, a frozen water bottle or juice box also works great. It keeps your food cold and will de-frost in time to quench your thirst during lunch. Plus, it’s a space-saver! Another option to keep your lunch cold is to wet a new sponge and freeze it in a Ziploc bag. The frozen sponge will keep your lunch chilled and then act as a moist wipe when it thaws. (Make sure its a new sponge, not the one hanging out by the sink!)


Tipping: There are many professions whose employees rely largely on tipping. Here is an article with appropriate guidelines for tipping.



Because of this week’s heat wave, we had a surprising, late-season tomato surge, harvesting 60 plus tomatoes. Only a few peppers.

Here is this weeks veg art piece:

IMG_5211 (2)




Source: the other 98%


The hard-working bears featured above have earned the right to relax this Labor Day weekend!

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Roy and Kevin

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