Let’s be Better Fixers

The Old Farmall Tractor, Mars, PA - September, 2017

The Old Farmall Tractor, Mars, PA – September, 2017

Let’s be Better Fixers.

Grandma was a fixer….
From very early on, when she was only 9 or 10 years old,
she was the cook, laundress, housekeeper, and “mother” to her younger siblings after her young mother died.

She learned to splice electric wires and plumb a bathroom,
she could make a hearty feast from a bone,
she mended and hemmed and soaked and bleached and waxed and scrubbed.

She did this throughout her entire life.
She washed out bread bags and hung them on the line to dry to re-use.
She repaired lawn mowers and glued broken concrete bird baths back together.

When I was young, I thought it silly.
Sometimes I was even embarrassed of her patched clothes
or meager belongings and “fixed” things.

But Grandma is gone.
And the longer she is gone, the more I admire the way she lived.
She didn’t throw things away – she fixed them.

Do we too quickly throw things away these days?
Marriages?  Friendships?  Aging parents and grandparents?
Kids with bad behavior or bad grades?

We need to cherish what and who we have while we have them.
Because some things we love won’t last or be with us forever.
We should love, care for, fix when broken, and heal when sick our “broken” things.

We keep them because they are worth it.
Because we are worth it.
Let’s try to throw less away, and let’s be better “fixers!”

Cheers & Hugs,

Finding Purpose: Why I Blog


Everyone needs a purpose in life.

The older I get, and the more I experience new life (like the birth of my first grandchild), and the deaths of those I love (like the recent loss of my brother), the more I ponder my life’s purpose….  the legacy I might leave behind…  how people will remember me.

When I started this blog two and a half years ago on May 18, 2014 – just for fun and on the encouragement of my BFF’s daughter (my McHendy daughter, Jackie), I wasn’t sure what I was doing or what to expect.  I think I secretly thought I might be the next Ree Drummond or Rachel Ray and get rich and famous.  It was all about me.

But after posting daily for almost 1,000 days, it’s become something very different.  It hasn’t brought me the kind of fame or fortune I clandestinely fantasized about in the beginning.  But what it has become – is a purpose…  a personal mission of sorts…  a small way of giving to the world…  a place to encourage (and maybe even inspire) people to embrace the simple moments of life to cherish… especially those “in between” moments.

I have a very fulfilling career and full-time job I love that keeps me busy as the Director of Strategic Projects and Office of the CEO for a hospice and home health company.  I have a husband of almost 35 years, two grown sons, an amazing daughter-in-law and another soon-to-be, and a baby granddaugher that bring such joy to my life (and of course there is also Charlie!).  I have the most amazing BFFs a “girl” could ask for.

Yet, I still believe I need to have something that is my personal legacy, and that is what my blog has grown to be for me.  When I consider my few talents and gifts, I have often been told my greatest is that of an “encourager” or “influencer.”  I’ve taken many a DISC Personality Asssessment, and I am always an out-and-out straight High “I.”  I have taken “Spiritual Gift Assessments” that tell me I have the gift of “exhortation” or encouragement.  Hubby tells me I have the gift of “gab!”  So why not use that gift – one that comes so easily to me – to benefit others?

I have never had difficulty talking with strangers.  My goal in any situation, whether it be greeting the receptionist at an office, the UPS delivery person, the garbage collector, or a less-than-happy cashier at the grocery store, is to leave them smiling.  Not sure why it is important to me – but it is.

And that is my goal here too.  The goal of this blog is not to “show off” what I have or what I can do or to make you think my life is all peachy and perfect.  My life is not perfect.  That is not what I want people to think.  In fact, my life is far from perfect… like all of ours are!  I have an estranged relationship with my mother, I was separated from my birth father for 39 years until six and a half years ago, my brother struggled so severely with alcoholism that he took his own life by stepping in front of a train…  I struggle with my weight and have always been “chubby,” I’m not particularly attractive, I have no musical talent whatsoever….  the list could go on.  I tell you this not for pity or sympathy or for you to disagree.  I tell you this so that it might allow you to know that despite life’s challenges and adversity, we can still seek to find the joy.  We can still be kind.  We can still feel love.  There are still many, many moments to cherish…  And we must seek them, and we must appreciate them.

So no matter how busy my day, and knowing there is no monetary or fame reward or prize to be given for posting every day, I still make sure I do.  I spend a bit of time, often late at night, writing a post that might encourage you, that might make you smile, that might inspire you to bake or cook something new or paint something, or just look at something differently.  It might be a few words that will remind you of something that makes you happy.  Sometimes I am typing it at 11 pm with only one eye open.  Other times I get ahead by four or five posts and give myself a break.  But I still make it a personal goal to post something everyday (that appears at 6am EST) for my dear followers to either start their day (if they are living in my part of the world) or end their day (for my cherished blog follower friends in Latvia or Ireland or Australia or Japan).

So even on my toughest days, I seek to find something good and encouraging, because in encouraging you, I am rewarded in an even more profound way than could be achieved with fame or fortune.  I feel my life has a personal purpose.  I feel I am giving something of value to the world.  I feel I might be remembered… for being kind.  I might be creating my legacy.

Do you think about your life’s purpose?  Your legacy?  What you will be remembered for?

None of us know when our last year or day or breath will be, so my simple message is: Cherish the Moments!

Cheers & Hugs,


Dear Future Me

Dear future me

Dear 73-Year Old Jodi:

I’ve written a letter to us in the past before (Dear 13-Year Old Me), but I thought it might be fun to write a letter to future us this time.

It was one thing to look back and give wisdom to young Jodi, even though we couldn’t do anything about it “then,” but what would I like to say to the future Jodi 20 years from now at 73 years old?

53 is a good age.  How is 73 treating us?

At 13, I thought 53 was ancient, but guess what?  It really doesn’t feel that way.

Nick asked me just last week, when time turned  the number up a notch to 53, how it felt to be 53 years old.  I think he expected me to complain about getting “old,” but I surprised him (and hubby, who literally laughed out loud) when I told him it felt pretty darned great!  “53!  It’s the number to be,” I said smiling and raising my arms as if I’d won an Olympic gold medal.

Do we still feel that way about being 73?  I hope so.

Right now, I know that on the inside, we are still the same person  at 53 that we were at 43 or 33 or 23 or 13 or 3.  Who cares if the skin is a bit saggier, we have more wrinkles, more gray hair, rounder bellies?!  We’ve earned it!  If we made it this far, we have had the privilege of experiencing and enjoying every other one of those numbers, so let’s not waste our life wanting to go back to them.  Let’s embrace right now and what the present offers us.  We only get one chance – 365 days – to be this age – so let’s make the best of it.  Let’s use all the experience and wisdom we gained in the last 72 years to make this the best year yet.

When you read this, dear 73-yearold Jodi, lift your arms in victory, smile, and boldly declare, “73!  It’s the number to be!”


jodi christmas eve 2015

53-year old Jodi





Have you heard of FutureMe.org?  Apparently it has been around since 2004, but I’ve just learned about it.  According to their site,  over 4 million letters have been written to the future by people just like you and me.  Wouldn’t it be fun to receive a surprise letter from the past you some day you choose in the future?

Usually it is the future that will reflect back on the present, but FutureMe.org decided to flip that around based on the principle that memories are less accurate than emails.

So why not give it a go?  Send your future self “some words of inspiration, or maybe a swift kick in the pants!”  “Share some thoughts on where you’ll be or what you’ll be up to in a year, three years.. more?”  FutureMe.org will do the travel magic and deliver the letter (via email) to you – Future YOU!

Cheers & Hugs,