This Past Week

This past week I received a surprise bouquet of flowers
from a generous friend named Gary
who grows the most beautiful dahlias.

This past week I also learned I lost a dear blogging friend
whose name was Terry from his beautiful husband named Gary
after I spoke to him just the day before sharing my love and admiration.

This past week I worked and I played and I laughed and I cried
in determination and freedom and joy and in sorrow
for family and friends both cherished in my life and those I have lost.

Tomorrow is Labor Day in the United States.
A day set aside to honor the American labor movement and the contributions
workers have made towards the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of our country.

I think about Gary laboring over the beautiful flowers he planted.
I think about Terry laboring to breathe when I spoke to him the day before he died.
I think about Gary laboring to get through the days following the death of his love.

I think about those who labor to provide comforting care to hospice patients.
I think about those who labor in hospitals and emergency rooms and trauma centers.
I think about those who labor to protect our country’s freedom.

I am grateful for a weekend of respite
and the opportunity to work
this past week.

Cheers & Hugs,



My Favorite Cocktail: Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

Happy Labor Day in the USA!

In honor of this day to relax,
and celebrate,
and take a break from work,

I thought I’d share one of my favorite cocktails.

If I’m not drinking a dry red wine,
my favorite adult beverage of choice is gin.

And when I really want to celebrate it’s
Hendrick’s Gin – a lovely Scottish gin infused with rose and cucumber.

And when it is the end of a vacation,
a holiday weekend,
and after 5pm (which it was when I had this yesterday),

I adore a Hendrick’s Dirty Martini
with gigantic green spanish olives
stuffed with tangy blue cheese.

Food and drink can be an art form
when prepared with the utmost detail,
and that is how I prepare this special cocktail.

Here’s my recipe if you are an olive, gin, blue cheese lover like me.

If not, what is your favorite cocktail to celebrate with?

Jodi's Hendrick's Dirty Martini

  • Servings: 1 Cocktail
  • Print


  • 1 1/2 (or so) shots of Henrick’s Gin
  • Splash of Vermouth (or not)
  • 3 large Spanish olives
  • Splash of olive juice
  • 1 Tbsp. fine bleu cheese


Stuff 3 large olives with bleu cheese and skewer with large tooth pick.

In a shaker full of ice, add Gin and Vermouth (or not), and shake vigorously to chill.

Strain and pour into martini glass, add olive juice and stuffed olive skewer.  Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,

Fresh Red Raspberry Puff Pastry Tart

red raspberry puff pastry tart 1

If you are looking for a fresh, light, simple, yet surprisingly impressive dessert to take to a holiday picnic or serve for a simple weekend dinner party, I’ve created this quick, but scrumptious and beautiful fresh red raspberry puff pastry tart using fresh fruit combined with the convenience of frozen puff pastry.

red raspberry puff pastry tart

For the Memorial Day holiday weekend (or Fourth of July or Labor Day), you could use some blueberries in this one too for a red, white, blue theme.

red raspberry puff pastry tart 2

Here’s my easy peasy recipe that is bound to to get rave reviews!

Fresh Red Raspberry Puff Pastry Tart

Ingredients:red raspberry puff pastry tart 1

  • I pint fresh red raspberries
  • 1/4 cup apricot or raspberry or your favorite jam (I used apricot, because it is what I had, and it made a nice combination of flavors)
  • 1 sheet Pepperidge Farms Frozen Puff Pastry (thawed 40 mins. at room temperature)
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • Powdered Sugar for Garnish


Unfold and place sheet of puff pastry on baking stone or baking sheet and turn up edges on all sides to create a crust edge.  Poke center with fork 6-8 times to prevent center from raising up too high.  Bake at 400 degrees F for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.

While still warm, spread jam on bottom of baked puff pastry. Place half of fresh raspberries on top and mash with a fork.  Allow to cool completely.

Once cooled, place whole fresh red raspberries on top.  Drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

To serve, cut into 6 pieces and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  

Hope you enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,

Fried Egg Burger ala Marty

fried egg burger

Happy Labor Day!

It’s a day for barbecue…

A day for burgers and hot dogs and family and friends…

A day for picnics or just relaxing…

A day to celebrate the end of summer.

Here’s a photo of a burger hubby recently made.

We love to mix Lipton Onion Soup mix in with our ground beef to make the burger patties.

For this yummy sandwich, we topped the grilled burger with a fried egg, sauteed peppers and onions, an heirloom yellow tomato, a greens mix of arugula and spinach, and some smoked Gouda cheese sandwiched between some toasted sourdough bread.

What your favorite way to to enjoy a burger?

Cheers & Hugs,


Jack of Many Trades, Master of None

I wonder what those of you that happen upon my blog must think…..

Do you say – what the heck is this blog about?

One day this Jodi chick is baking and sharing recipes…

smore cookies

S’more Cookies Please!


Homemade Haluski – Peasant Food Fit for a King

Another day stamping and gluing and cutting and sewing and card-marking…

child birthday card punch art birds on wire The paper players

Birthdays are for the Birds!


Friends Make the World a Better Place Mojo Monday

Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a Friend!

I also love to take photos and consider myself an amateur student of photography…

Hummingbird Photo

Hummin’ the Hummingbird Tune!

polar bear pittsburgh zoo & ppg aquarium

Sunday at the Pittsburgh Zoo

and writing and telling stories gives me such joy.

Remembering Grandma - Stella Star

Remembering Grandma – Stella Star

I thrive on encouraging people – it’s in my DNA (or at least my DISC profile – LOL!)….

Remembering moments

Remembering Moments

Always be the last to let go of a hug


and if I just could find the time to make 1/1,000,000th of the DIY ideas I’ve pinned on my Pinterest boards for decorating or gift-giving…

Wedding Survival Kit

Wedding Survival Kit

I adore spending time with my family and friends…


The Day We Almost Caught a Fish

Girlfriend Camp GFC2014 Mars, PA spaceship

Girlfriend Camp

I tinker with gardening…

gardening, tomatoes

The Great Tomato Caper

and I truly seek to discover and learn new things always – it keeps me (ahem) young and alive…

Alpacas  Four Points Alpacas

A Visit to Four Points Alpacas

I enjoy doing so many things (and am so fortunate to work a full-time job I love too!) that I just wish there were more hours in the day…

or at least wish that I was one of those people that only needed 3-4 hours of sleep a day (tried it for a while – didn’t work out – dangit!)

I sure am a jack of many hobbies and master of none.

But it is fun to be that way – eh?!?

And I love sharing the journey with you – my  supportive friends that have encouraged and continue to encourage me to write my blog – and those that have become new friends along this journey.

Global Mudder Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder

It is so exciting to see new friends subscribe, and comment, and “like” daily.

So on this Labor Day Holiday – I just thought I would share some of these faves from the 100+ posts I’ve shared so far from this labor of love blog I call

It was really hard to pick favorites, as I have LOVED writing and sharing every single one of them.

What is your favorite thing I write about?

I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Labor Day!  Make every thing you labor over a labor of love!

Cheers & Hugs,


Gone Fishin’

side porch evening

Where did summer go?

I can’t believe it is Labor Day Weekend already!

And Marty and I are celebrating early as we both took today off to extend the weekend into four days instead of three.

And we are going fishing today!  Well……..  Marty is going fishing, and I am going for a boat ride 🙂

And our trusty First Mate Mikey will be with us.

I hope you are taking some time to relax and enjoy this holiday weekend.

Savor every moment of these last days of summer as we approach the magnificence of Fall – which I am going to strive to embrace again this year!  (Fall is so beautiful, but for many years I have not savored it knowing that winter was ahead and summer was over, but I realized last year that I was wasting a lot of beauty and joy worrying about what was behind and what was ahead instead of enjoying the moment I was in.)

So here’s to the ending days of Summer…..

the beginning days of Fall……

and every moment at Life in Between.

Cheers & Hugs,