June 30, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up And Fourth Of July Weekend

Hello, and Happy Friday, my friends. Thank you for the prayers and words of support for my friend this week. She had her surgery Monday morning. Unfortunately, we did not get the results we were hoping for, but she took it in stride, as she does with everything. She was up and walking that first afternoon! She is seventy-three years old and has no family other than her brother, who she cares for. She is a happy, busy, amazing woman, and she will not let this setback stop her. Her doctor is wonderful and has already arranged for her to start chemo next week. The surgery was to remove a cancerous tumor in her colon, but unfortunately, the cancer had invaded her uterus, so she will have chemo to shrink the tumor, and we will try again in a few months. Please keep her in your prayers. 

Tuesday, after I checked on my friend, I decided at the last minute to pick up a couple lemonades and head over to visit my mom. She was getting her hair done and was so happy to see me! She said we must have a connection because she was thinking about me all day! So if you hear a voice in your head suggesting you do something, do it. God may be whispering to your heart. Look how awesome my momma is!


I had no plans for dinner that night, so I raided the fridge and came up with corn tortillas, Colby jack cheese, and a zucchini. I recruited Steve to grill some quesadillas and zucchini. Quick and delicious!


Wednesday, we celebrated our anniversary! Steve and I drove my friend home and got her settled. Then we went to dinner at one of our favorite places. Steve had a steak salad, and I had the same thing I get every single time I go there. It is a shrimp bowl with coconut rice and mango salsa. So good! Steve agreed to take a pic with me, and although my glasses have a glare, and this was the third take, I think it came out ok.

Now, while we were doing that, look what my children and their significant others were doing!

Yep! They took a Fourth of July party to my mom! She loves this holiday, and the fireworks are too late for her now, so Madison organized a party with burgers, fries, and patriotic music. Peyton made cupcakes that I heard were delicious! I was beyond touched and thankful to all my children for making Mom so very happy. I think about the love and care my mom gave each one of my children from the day they were born, and I am reminded of how roles reverse as time passes and our lives change. And just how quickly it happens.

What are your plans for the long holiday weekend, my friends? We plan on celebrating with food, family, friends, and fireworks. And a nap or two, of course. I hope you have a wonderful, safe, healthy, and happy weekend, whatever you are planning! Happy Fourth of July!

June 29, 2022

Let's Make Pizza And 31 Years!


We are pizza people. When the kids were little, we had pizza every Wednesday night for dinner. Sometimes we ordered out, but usually, Peyton and Rhett stood on stools and spread the sauce and sprinkled cheese from the Chef Boyardee Pizza Kit. (That is actually really good, by the way.) As the kids grew, they helped me broaden my horizons, and we began to make homemade pizza. Honestly, it isn't hard and tastes so much better. It is also a fun family activity, so there's that!

In our search for the best homemade pizza recipe, we have tried several different pizza crusts and have finally settled on one we love. It is actually pizza dough already made from the store. It is in the refrigerated section with the pepperoni and things. It comes individually wrapped in bags; you simply allow it to come to room temperature before spreading it onto the pan. While that is happening, make your sauce. Sautee a few crushed garlic cloves in some olive oil over low heat. I like to use fresh garlic and press it with a garlic press, but minced garlic in the jar works too. Add a large can of crushed tomatoes and a tiny can of tomato paste. Then add some sugar, dried oregano, basil, and parsley. Just do this until it tastes good to you! You can also add some fresh ground pepper. Allow that to simmer for about thirty minutes. Your house will smell so good!

Once the sauce is done, you can make your pizzas! Rhett likes using fresh mozzarella slices, fresh basil, and olive oil. Soo good! I usually opt for a simple cheese pizza. I add freshly grated parmesan cheese first and then freshly shredded mozzarella. Honestly, I get the good stuff here. The Kraft pre-shredded is good for some things, but with pizza, I think it is worth it to pay a little extra for the real cheeses. You will taste the difference, I promise. Have some fun with the toppings! Pepperoni, tomatoes, pineapple, whatever you want! Then bake according to the directions on the crust package. Let it cool a bit before slicing if you can! And be careful not to try it too soon! You will burn your tongue. Ask me how I know.

Before I go, I must post the one photo I have scanned of our wedding day, a sweltering, sunny, magical day thirty-one years ago today! Thirty-one! Looking back, I remember so many things about that day and how wonderful it was. My favorite memory, however, was the feeling I had when Steve and I drove off together, knowing we were beginning the life we had dreamed of since the day we met...This wonderful, blessed life I would be writing about thirty-one years later, while curled up on the sofa in a house on a lake. We didn't know about the joys we would share,  bringing four blessed babies home and watching each grow. We didn't know about the sorrows ahead, the sickness and death of our parents, or the pain of losing a baby before we had a chance to meet her. All that and so much more, the blessings, the laughter, the sadness, and the struggles, were out there, waiting. Those young people knew that they were very much in love. And they would tackle whatever came their way. Together. 

Have a wonderful day, my friends!
Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

June 27, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

Good Monday morning, my friends! I woke up with the sun yesterday and was greeted with this beautiful sight. Note to self: Slow down and appreciate the beauty God shares with us.

My kids requested raspberry muffins for breakfast. I was happy to oblige. They are as good as they look! I'd share the recipe with you, but I don't have one. If you want to try them...go to the store and buy this!

Yep. These! Sprinkle some sugar on top, and enjoy!


The muffins were good, but our smoothies were better!

We ended the day with homemade pizza. Rhett made the fresh mozzarella and basil, and I worked on the three-cheese pizza. We made the homemade sauce too. So easy and fresh.

Today I am going to the hospital to be with a dear friend who is having surgery. She is a wonderful person, and I am thankful to be able to be with her, as she has been there for our family many times over the years. Tomorrow Kirby has a vet appointment, and I am hopeful he will get some relief for the spots that keep appearing. He is fourteen years old, and the bumps bother him. Wednesday, we are planning on having my mom out for dinner! She loves the Fourth of July, and since the fireworks are way too late for her, Madison suggested we celebrate with her earlier. We will enjoy hot dogs, patriotic music, and sparklers on Wednesday evening! 

Later in the week, I will clean the bathrooms and put fresh sheets on the guest bed because we have some visitors coming in for the Fourth of July! Luckily, they are such good friends I don't feel like I need to clean the whole house. That is how you know you found a true friend, right? 

Well, I better get going. I hope you all have a relaxing summer day, my friends. Thanks for visiting! Stay cool!

Billie Jo

June 24, 2022

Friday Favorites

Harry's latest in my Jeep. On repeat...

Homemade waffles with local berries and powdered sugar...

Skies like this on the way home...

After watching a fun movie that played in our local theatre, which went all out...

And a candle I can burn during summer that smells more cozy and less flowery.

Weekend plans include everyone here for dinner tonight. Yay! Mass on Saturday. Possibly watching online. And a lazy Sunday before a busy week. I hope you have a great weekend, my friends. Stay cool and cozy!

Billie Jo