Salt of the Earth People

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Take note of all the good and beautiful. It is there. Sometimes in the smallest crevices and sometimes boldly standing there.” ~ Lisa Desatnik  http://www.GoodThingsGoingAround.com.

Last week my husband and I were granted what I considered to be a great priviledge. We were given permission to look in on the daily operations of a business that reaps the beauteous bounty of the sea. Nothing goes to waste from the harvest. What does not get processed to feed people, goes toward’s growing crops. The crustacean shells are used for fertilizer.

Lindy’s Seafood, a Mary Ellen Brand, in Woolford, Maryland allowed us to see their business first hand and take photos and video. What an eye-opening and educational experience. We arrived in the wee hours of the morning because the work day takes place from 1am to 9 am on Hooper’s Island a remote place on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake.

Grace, the plant supervisor, described to me what this line of very tedious work means to her 36 crab pickers, who come to the U.S.A. to find a job to support their families in Mexico. Typically women are crab pickers but for the first time ever, this harvest season, there were approximately four or five men among the workers at Lindy’s.

It was evident from my observations, these employees mean business! Picking crabs is treated like an art and the craft is taught to the younger generation when they bring their family members into the fold of working in the seafood industry. Crab picking is very tedious and detail-oriented labor and not for everyone. Grace mentioned the Mexican’s wonderful work ethic and the fact that they are as reliable as the change of seasons. She said they WILL NOT go home until the catch of the day is processed and will work as many hours as need be. She said she nearly has to herd them out the door to take a lunch break, which comes at 6:oo in the morning! They don’t want to stop what they are doing. From I what I gathered from our conversation, finding that kind of dedication and attention to detail from American workers is very difficult.

As they labored, not a word was uttered but Spanish music played in the background, and the fast paced rhythm kept their hands briskly moving.

From my observation, economy of movement in the workers and efficiency of the operation allows the plant to process many bushel baskets of seafood daily. It was a very fulfilling morning observing this group of people who depend on the fruit of the sea for their fulfilling livelihood.

More photos:

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My husband and I would like to personally thank Terry Vincent, President of Lindy’s Seafood and his sidekick, his daughter Aubrey for allowing us to see the business operations first hand. And thank you to Grace for providing us with answers to our questions.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her books Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart and Soul.

 

Soups on, In Steamboat!

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“Only the pure of heart can make good soup.” ~Ludwig van Beethoven

I guess that throws me out of the pure of heart category. Making good soup is not my forte. I am posting this blog today, as a little self-help tip and  for others who need remedies for weak soup making skills.

In sickness and in health, hot soups nourish the soul and the spirit. In places that have long winters, like where I live, we rely on soups to warm our inners and get us through the cold season. Soup has long been associated with healing and bolstering immune systems. Here is an article about the properties of soup that make them so nutritious. http://exm.nr/11VJAN0.

Ski town Soups_Author Jennie Iverson has complied a cookbook,Ski Town Soups , a collection of recipes from sixty East to West Coast ski areas in the United States. The recipes are not run of the mill, nor are they light broths made for first course appetizers. The publication contains more than 100 ideas of creative, unique blends of hearty flavors that have won high accolades from customers in premium restaurants in mountain resort areas, including Steamboat.

Visit us again tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime – Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and  www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Songs, Taylor Made

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“Music is what feelings sound like.” ~ Bo Bennett 

taylor MMA official picI have found a new independent recording artist that I love. He has just released his first “ep” (extended play CD), Big Medicine. His voice and his lyrics are  beautifully matched. 

A little about the artist. Taylor Batton is a self-taught musician who writes his own tunes, plays the guitar and harmonica. He is a senior at MaineMaritimeAcademy in Castine, Maine. http://www.mainemaritime.edu/ Because he is a sailor, one might think he belts out rollicking seafaring tunes (perhaps with salty language) – far from it. His music is tender; musical narratives that seem to come from a deep spot in his soul. The timbre of his voice makes for easy listening. You’ll see what I mean when you hear my personal favorite songs on Taylor’s Big Medicine EP -The King and Queen,and Lies and Darkness, songs two and three. http://bit.ly/Uj5wx5.

Taylor has traveled many nautical miles over his short lifetime on wide open seas, experiencing the worst weather conditions imaginable as well as glorious days of ocean travel. The art of steering tugboats and other vessels, laden with heavy loads, safely to shore he has learned as a maritime student. He also understands how to crew on a team, all working together, to bring success.

When asked what sailing does for his songwriting, this is what Taylor  had to say  “You get a really strong sense of loneliness. At the same time, you feel a really strong and strange power. All of that kind of ties into how I go about writing the music. I just try and capture that feeling. ” Taylor racing

I look forward to hearing more independently produced music from this artist. Taylor Batton, may you always  weather the storms of life through your ability to communicate with music. Keep on riding the high and low tides with your face directed to the light.  Happy Valentines Day.

Visit us again tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Anticipated Cinema Releases for 2013

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What counts for me today are: making movies, creating and giving dreams.” ~ Claude Van Damme

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Last year, I went to the movies more frequently than usual. I’m hoping that the film industry will bring many fulfilling films to theatres in 2013. Here is a short list of anticipated movie releases for next six months; just a sampling from many from different genres.

To read the long list, please visit this link. http://www.movieinsider.com/movies/-/2013/   Many of these films are independent, while others are produced by the big film studios. Note: If you click on the title of each, when you go to the link, you can read a short summary of the film. If you click on the dates, there are even more titles.

Movie tickets can now be ordered over the internet, in advance, from www.fandango.com. Happy Movie Watching in 2013!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Shopping with the Click of a Mouse

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Communications is at the heart of e-commerce and community.” ~ Meg Whitman 

Tis the Season! According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, http://gbpg.net/U9ALXu Cyber Monday had a 20% increase in on-line buying this year. Other sources report as much as 30%. Fulfillment centers everywhere have increased their staffing to accommodate for the buying and shipping activity that will take place over the next month, until Christmas. People filling orders are like Santa’s little helpers – selecting items, wrapping and packaging. What would bring you personal fulfillment this holiday season? Almost every imaginable item is now sold through internet commerce. 

Remember the days when the neighborhood store ran a tab and you went to the retail establishment to make your installment payments? You had to face the man who lent you the money! It felt more risky. And you wanted to stay on good terms with the shop keeper.  “Buying things on time” in the 1950’s was so vastly different than buying on credit today, sixty years later. 

On-line buying has become so easy! All it takes is a few clicks of a “mouse,” and you’ve got it – that thing you desire. No need to get in the car to mail your installment payment. Bill paying on-line reinforces the convenience. 

What you would spend in gas going to a retail store and mailing your payment at the Post Office, can be put toward buying another present. A carrier will even deliver the goods to your door! What with the price of gasoline these days, that’s not a bad thing. What do you need? Express, priority or standard shipping? How much of a hurry are you in to have it? 

Products are shipped worldwide, in short-order thanks to digital communication, logistics, computers, merchant services allowing for electronic funds transfer of currency – even money exchange from other countries is no big deal. 

Welcome to the world of e-commerce! Happy Holiday Shopping, everyone!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Headed Between the Covers

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“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ St. Augustine

 I am ready for a little traveling. Where am I headed? To Between the Covers Bookstore. http://bit.ly/NaKzRg. Where is that? In a “box canyon” in a place called Telluride, Colorado; where the mountains soar to altitudes of almost 13,000. According to Wikipedia, “a box canyon is a small ravine or canyon with steep walls on three sides, allowing access and egress only through the mouth of the canyon.” The bookstore co-owner is like me, a Baltimore transplant, who has ended up in the West. 

I suspect at certain times of the year, when large shipments of publications are delivered, Between the Covers Bookstore, feels as if it is a box canyon, until all the books are shelved. There is a certain book that I will be searching for at this bookstore that would come in handy on days when I struggle to put down my digital devices and stop working. This two minute video, shot last February, gives a quick glimpse into the book I am looking for.  http://vimeo.com/37703165.  

The video is courtesy of film editor, visual effects artist, independent filmmaker Marc R. Leonard. http://marcrleonard.com/editing.  Thank you, Marc, for a little insight into Telluride in the other season, winter.

Telluride is, from what I understand, a neat little “artistic town” and very scenic! It is home of the Telluride Film Festival.  http://www.telluridefilmfestival.org/

Our trip to Telluride will be timely. My husband and I will watch our son run in his first half-marathon, which goes over Imogene Pass – seventeen miles of climbing and running, traveling from 8,000 ft in altitude to 13,000. The boy has energy, I tell you! It’s time to play catch up and see what else he has been doing.

Come on back next week. On Film Friday, we will be featuring a new Disney movie that both adults and children, who enjoy Celtic legend, may enjoy seeing. Have a good weekend, everybody.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Quality Control in Order Fulfillment

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Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for.” ~ Peter F. Drucker

If you have ever stepped inside the doors of an order fulfillment center, you know there is a lot of inventory being moved around. It is the nature of the industry. If you are an independent publisher who plans on outsourcing your order fulfillment, there are some steps you can take to reduce the chances of having your product damaged in a warehouse environment and increase the odds of your customer receiving your book, dvd or cd in good condition.

  • Request a sample of the packaging, from the fulfillment house, that will be used to ship your book, cd or DVD. Does it pass your “crush test?”
  • Shrink wrap your publications; further safeguarding the product from getting beat up and bent up – especially important for paperback books.
  • Visit the fulfillment house, if at all possible; take tour. Check for cleanliness and order.
  • Every so often, have friends or family order your publication and take note of the exterior packaging. Does it meet with the standards and speed of delivery you agreed upon and are paying for? Does the exterior packaging hold the “goods” securely in place during shipping?

Shrink wrapping may not be necessary for books that will be sold by a wholesale book distributor, in case lots. However, for orders that will be fulfilled individually, shrink wrapping is a great way to protect the edges and corners from being damaged, as it moves through the channels of the warehouse.

Any respectable fulfillment company should give potential clients a tour of their facility and provide you with a sample of the packaging they use, if you ask. A reputable company understands that a lot of time and money has been put into producing and publishing your product, and you are trying to protect your investment.

As an independent publisher offering a quality product, do you what you can on your end to help reduce the likelihood there could be some damage to your stock.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.