Iron, move it.

Life ain’t about how hard you’ve been hit…. but how hard you can be hit…. and keep moving forward over and over. I think that’s why I’m back lifting. It rings a bell with me. It keeps me moving forward and not looking back, well, not too far back.

Plank for your core. The core you need to be strong. It’s good for the bootie too!

A plank allows one to focus.

I’ve always been an olympic lifter because it’s my DNA, plus I could excel in P.E. classes. Clean, Clean and Press, Clean and Jerk. Love ‘em all and as I age muscle mass is vital especially with the meds I’m on that tend to deplete bones.

I’m pressing again. Not my body-weight over my head, like “back in the day.”

My left side is “strong-as-hell,” even though I lack “feeling” throughout the peck and armpit areas. Little Tricia gave us a workout that included five (5) sets of ground-to-overhead, basically clean and press (push-press) (dip-drive-dip) x 5 (125# was my weight on bar).

Here’s a little example of what you can do too.

Who paints their house?

Have you ever bit off too much?

Perhaps that’s what I just did when I decided to prep my house for new paint. So, when I’m not working, cleaning, sleeping or exercising, I’m scraping, sanding and blasting the surface of my house-exterior.

This work is satisfying and tiring at the same time.

Me all geared up for the job!

Thank goodness the house is half brick and half stick. It makes for less prep.

Check this baby out!

I’ve never done anything like this before and YouTube demos showed me the way.

Love my belt.

Sanding away, one inch and a time.

I’m sure I could add this “action” to my résumé!

If I don’t blend the scraping, then my house will look like and old ship.

Moms are wonderful. She’s my primer.

Easy goes the work with these.

The stuff in my leather pocket is for plugging nail holes.

The belt.

Next stop, painting. One foot at a time.

Take on a little paint job at your house. It doesn’t have to be the entire house, as fresh paint in a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen can unleash your creativity. Or, hire it out!

Labor Day, why?

In the US, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It’s a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country and when I was a kid it meant that it was time to go back to school….boo hoo.

Last year’s “First Day of School” photo.

I’ll be updating this photo in a couple of days.

In many countries, the working classes sought to make May Day an official holiday, and their efforts largely succeeded. I agree, why not! Worker’s need a holiday and that would include me. “Smile, big smile.”

Best “Labor job” ever is being a Mom.

To take advantage of large numbers of potential customers free to shop, Labor Day has become an important sale weekend for many retailers in the United States. Some retailers claim it is one of the largest sale dates of the year, second only to the Christmas season’s Black Friday. My daughter, Jacqueline is working Labor Day (college kid) on a long shift where many customers will be purchasing high-end handbags.

Rosie the Riveter AKA-Jacqueline works for Coach. I prefer the “benies.”

For me, I’m painting my house and talk about a labor of love. The prep work is easy but laborious—but, but but, all the professional painters that I’ve talked to told me that “prep” is everything. I hope so!

One last weekend.

I think I’ll always be a laborer and I like it that way. Farm girls work and love their work. For Labor Day this year, I’m going to think back on the jobs I’ve been thankful for.

My list.

 Making my bed (thanks Mom and Dad), feeding calves, strawberry picker (ate more than I picked) AND-they found out that I was too young (11 years old and had to be 12 AND I wanted to work), bulb digger-thanks Roozens!, spinach rouger, milking cows (during the USA Olympics my Dad would set up a TV so that I could milk cows and watch! How awesome is that?), plowing fields, seeding fields, “scraper tractor” yep me (scraping cow manure with music blaring), stall pitcher (got muscle), feeding rabbits, chickens and my horse, driving pea combine, pea truck driver-thanks Dad, wheat truck driver, silage truck driver-but always wanted to be the one pushing up the stack!, International Harvester!-yep I ran that thing for wheat and barley!, cannery worker, feeding dairy cows, University cafeteria dish washer-a little hard on my ego (ego is in check now), college food server, University dignitary driver (great college job because I had a car and famous people to cart around), college movie theater worker-The Mister would come to the movies, department store clerk, weekend newsroom writer/editor, deli worker, spinach and cabbage seed truck driver, exercise instructor for “fat kid’s summer camp” for east coast rich kids!, cauliflower packer, general farm laborer, carrot truck driver, news reporter, talk show host, news anchor, weather girl (old school name), PIO (public information officer), Christmas department store help, injury prevention specialist, emergency medical services manager, EMS-Medic One Executive Director (CEO), contracted editor/writer, copy writer, Crossfit trainer, kettle bells instructor (miss my girls), olympic lift coach (dip, drive, dip! grrrrrrr.), tasting room worker-snobby visitors at times (smile and sell), bottling, capping & labeling worker (Lord don’t taste!), EOD-Navy-trainer (little Tricia and me), Executive Director Future Farmers of America and more than likely the most enjoyable “professional” job to this day (the people and students are key!).

And, once a farm girl, always a farm girl.

However, no job will ever beat my best job of being a MOM!

Happy Labor Day, take it off and make your list of jobs.

In the kitchen.

If you love to cook, then you’ll appreciate my love in the kitchen and recently, my son asked for that “Tater Tot Casserole.” I fired up the kitchen because he needs nutrition and I love to cook.

But first, this is why I’m cooking.

Beast mode.

Ripping the ropes.

Medicine ball snap.

The cheerleaders are the best!

The Coach let us on the field to watch “Adversity Night!”

Watching the players.


Push ups. Crossfit has made a difference in his conditioning.

Kick feet.

Yay, Burpees….Burgener style, of course!

Round 4, 4th quarter.

I love the sled.

Action! Check out the sound.

OK, so what about that Casserole?

It’s me, Jodi.

It’s been two years since this “cancer thing” was brought to my attention and through it all I’ve believed that I looked the same….the entire time – (I know, really?) – (you’re kidding?) (Nope!)

Even when the long thick locks were cut off and donated. Even when I got my head buzzed with my son at the local barber shop. Even when the Mister and kids shaved my head. Even when I went bald and pale. Even when the new hair sprouted. Even when I sported a cute little pixie. And even now, when I straighten my hair (new curls-don’t like so much).

But I have discovered that people looked at me differently and still do. For me, I didn’t think there was a change and saw myself like I always had.

It’s me, Jodi.


Waiting for Dr. Fang, SCCA
Radiation Oncologist

Me, about two years ago, just after being diagnosed traveling with my Mom.

Somewhere USA Airport.

Life is pretty darn sweet. Chow. P.S. I think I should go back to the pixie!

The Doc took a taxi.

“What’s your favorite color?”

Hmmm, well, he said, “I think Green.”

I said, “that’s good because I’m going to buy you a green moped scooter so that you can get to work on time!”

The surgeon said back to me, “they told you?”


That was  the start of my chemo port removal!

Removal is a big deal and I am feeling nuteral about it all. But I know my family is happy.


Waiting for a nurse.

Plugged in.

I googled “Port Removal” so that I could see what was going to happen. This would be surgery #5.

Prep time in the medical locker room and there’s nothing sporty about it!

Strip down.

I don’t know what I was thinking…one last look.

My locker.

Ready to go.

Obviously, all went well. The doc said that removing it is more difficult than placement because it’s been in for about two years and things “grow.” I smiled.

1st peek following surgery.

While I was laying in recovery the doc came up and placed something in my hand. He said that I wouldn’t remember where this came from. I smiled.

It was in this.

I gave this to my daughter and told her to slip it in her purse. Shhhh.

My little purple heart.


The first thing I noticed in the mirror is that the “fake” vein was gone.

Ok, here’s the difficult part. The medical staff gave me instructions to lay low until Monday. That’s how many days? Lord have Mercy. I am trying and will follow protocol. In fact, medical protocol is something that I am very good at because that’s how patients like me live longer. We help statistics look good!

Here’s what I’m doing to follow protocol until Monday.

Kitty and me.

Port gone.

No swimming until next week, docs orders.

The port is gone. Don’t want another one.

Tummy tuck, next! Ha, ha ha. Lack of hormones are messing with me.

No real sun today.

It’s just me and kitty.

And about that surgeon, well, he couldn’t find his car keys.

But I’m so glad he found my purple heart.