May 18, 2022

Random Things On A Wednesday


Happy Wednesday, my friends! Our boat is in the water, which means summer can't be far behind! Time to get prepared, and for me, that means time to gather our summer essentials.

You were thinking swimwear, beach chairs, and coolers weren't you?? Nope. This little basket sits right by our door and contains our summer must-haves. I keep sunscreen, natural mosquito repellent, anti-itch cream if that doesn't work, and tic removal tools. See how exciting we are here??

And although I wear it all year long, I am reminding anyone who will listen that daily facial sunscreen is a must during the summer. Take it from me, a blue-eyed, fair-skinned sun avoider who ended up with skin cancer on her face. Fortunately, it was Basal Cell, the most common and least severe form, but still. Wear sunscreen. Please. My friend Marian knows how much I dislike the smell and feel of sunscreen, especially on my face, so she told me about La Roche-Posay. It is amazing!! It has no scent and feels like a regular moisturizer. I love it!

In other news, I am so excited to receive this magazine in the mail. Ok. Maybe not, but Liam Neeson on the cover makes it a bit less painful.

Do you have a signature fragrance? This is mine. And has been forever. I don't like a strong scent, so the Amazing Grace is perfect. It literally smells...good. As in, people will tell me in the grocery store that I literally smell good. But the best thing? My kids say it smells like Mom.

Finally, have you tried an electric kettle? I always used a tea kettle on the stove, but Peyton introduced me to this, and I haven't looked back. 

Well, that was a whole lot of randomness, wasn't it??
Have a nice day, my friends.
Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

May 16, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning, my friends! I am sipping my coffee on the couch, looking out at the lake. Seemingly overnight, everything decided to become green. Spring has arrived in Pennsylvania, and I am glad. Yesterday all my people were here to help us prepare our little lake home for summer. They washed porch furniture, cleaned out kayaks, organized items, and were kind enough to take some things I had stored for them in our garage. Almost two years ago. Because for some reason, cleaning and organizing a garage was at the bottom of our To-Do list and apparently kept being pushed further and further down. 

I even grabbed a broom, put on some music, and swept, organized, and purged until my body reminded me that I am no longer thirty years old and perhaps my services could be better utilized elsewhere. More in a supervising capacity. When we were done, Steve cooked a delicious meal on the grill. He made stir-fried rice with beef, shrimp, and vegetables. Peyton brought one of our family favorites, chocolate chip pumpkin bread, mainly for Kirby, who celebrated his birthday yesterday! Fourteen years old! 

(Apologies for the blurry photo. It is old, but too cute to leave out!)

It is hard to believe Kirby has been in our family longer than Flynn! Today is going to be rainy and stormy. Also known as cozy. My plans include schooling, laundry, washing my bedsheets, and enjoying my afternoon coffee. There are other things to be done, to be sure. Age has enlightened me, however. There will always be other things to be done. There will be dust under my couch. My tubs of photos may not be organized. My refrigerator shelves will be sticky. The mirrors will have toothpaste splatter on them. And I am ok with that. Finally.

How was your weekend? And what are your plans for this Monday in May?
Whatever they are, enjoy, my friends!

Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

May 13, 2022

May Days

 Happy Friday, my friends! This past week finally resembled spring of some sort, although it seemed more like summer with temperatures in the 80s.  I am not complaining, mind you. It is just funny how we seem to jump from winter right into summer now. Truth be told, I am more of an overcast, breezy, leaf-blown October day kind of girl, cozy inside with a pumpkin-spiced candle lit and a big mug of pumpkin-spiced latte by my side. That will come soon enough, I know. For now, I look forward to a change in our daily routine. More outside time, lighter meals eaten on the deck, early morning kayak rides, and days spent reading under an umbrella by the lake. 

Speaking of lighter meals, I prepared one of my mom's signature warm-weather meals this past week, one of my favorites. She called it Refrigerator Delight. It is also known as pulling together anything leftover in the refrigerator and making a meal out of it! I had the makings for a vegetable quiche, an easy salad with romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and shredded cheese, and a  roteressie chicken that I cut into pieces and served cold. I added an old standby, a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and dinner was served! 

Today in our Catholic Faith, we commemorate May 13th as The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the day in 1917 that The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. This feast day was always my father's favorite; he prayed the rosary every day.

This weekend we plan to work outside getting the outside ready for summer. All the kids are coming over to help bring the deck furniture up, clean off the front porch, check and clean the kayaks, and any then Steve is cooking Steak Fried Rice on his outdoor griddle. I plan on scheduling a nap sometime too! My friends, I hope you have a lovely weekend, whatever is on your schedule. Thank you for visiting!

Billie Jo

May 11, 2022

Mental Health Awareness Month Is Here!


We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog posts for this Public Service Announcement...May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I would be remiss if I did not use this little old platform I have here to draw awareness to Mental Health and the need to normalize discussions about it. If you have read here for a while, you know I have been very open about my Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Health Anxiety diagnosis. I first wrote about that in a post right HERE. (Just click on the word HERE, and it will take you there.) 

It took me a long time to feel comfortable discussing my OCD and anxiety with those outside my immediate family. Why? Because I used to care about the stigma attached to any mental health issue. Now, not so much. In fact, I will tell anyone who asks about my struggle with OCD and anxiety, my diagnosis, and my treatment plan, including therapy and medication. I know now that talking about it is helpful to me and anyone else struggling with any mental health issues. Anxiety makes you feel alone, as if no one understands those distressing thoughts running on a constant loop through your mind. 

Therapy has taught me so many things I wish I had known years ago. First of all, never be embarrassed or ashamed to talk about your issues. Everyone has something. Everyone. OCD happens to be mine. Another thing? I have OCD. I am not OCD. My mental health issue is a part of me. It does not define me. Also, medication can be extremely beneficial when used correctly. I am fortunate to have found an excellent psychiatrist who was able to confirm my diagnosis and prescribe the proper medication that is keeping my OCD and anxiety under control. 

I have OCD. I have Health and General Anxiety. I see a therapist and a psychiatrist. I take medication to treat my OCD and anxiety. I pray. I also homeschool my daughter, make healthy meals for my family, decorate my home for every holiday, and watch Match Game every day. I love to read. I love being a mom. And a wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I love writing this blog and reading your blogs. I love scary movies and iced coffee. And afternoon naps.

So there you are, my friends. My little contribution to Mental Health Awareness Month. I hope that it helps at least one person reading to know they are not alone. To give them that last little nudge needed to open up to someone. 

We will resume our regularly scheduled posts about puppies and coffee on Friday. In the meantime, have a cozy Wednesday, my friends. Thank you for reading!

Billie Jo

May 9, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Chat


Yep! It's Monday! I hope you had a lovely weekend in your part of the world. It's hard to believe we are working our way through May, isn't it? Here in Pennsylvania, we are still waiting for things to turn green and for the weather to get warm. All in good time, I suppose. The highlight of our weekend was Mother's Day, and it was beautiful. I was blessed to spend the day with all of my children and my bestie Marian who drove up just for the afternoon. 

I came home from Mass and dinner to find my Rhett had left this for me before he went out for the evening. Beautiful flowers and a perfect book I already started, along with a card from him and Kyrstin. 

Sunday brought cards and thoughtful gifts that made me tear up.

Madison and Nicolas prepared the dinner of my choice. And it was delicious! It is Danish Ristaffel, a curry chicken dish served over rice and topped with many things that you think would not work together but totally do! My favorite toppings are banana slices, pineapple chunks, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, peanuts, and apricot jam. I know, right? But it is delicious!

Dessert was Peyton's homemade chocolate chip skillet cookie with ice cream. Honestly, one of the best desserts I have ever eaten! 

And I was so happy to spend time with the most wonderful mother in the world Saturday evening. We had the best visit together, talking and laughing and looking at pictures together. I am so thankful for every single moment I have with her. She is the best person I will ever know. 

Today is a cozy, ordinary day. I will do laundry, homeschool with Flynn, drink my afternoon coffee, write out bills, and watch Match Game. The best days are the regular ones, don't you think?

Have a cozy day, my friends. Thank you for reading and for commenting. I appreciate it more than you know!

Billie Jo

May 6, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up


Hello there, my friends. And Happy Friday! This week was quiet around here, filled with work, school, dinner, laundry, phone calls, and tv time. The weather has yet to allow much outside time, but that will change soon, so I am soaking up every last minute of cozy before the summer months filled with sun, boat rides, porch sitting, and meals outside arrive. It is funny; just as one season ends, I am ready for the next to begin. 

Dinner last night was Shrimp Tacos in celebration of Cinco De Mayo. Although truth be told, I didn't even realize I had planned it like that! In any case, they were delicious!! I did make some rice and corn to go along with them. If you want to try them, here is the Recipe

Steve surprised me with an early Mother's Day gift! And he hung them too! I have never had hanging baskets before, and I love them. Speaking of Mother's Day,

Thank you for reading, my friends.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Billie Jo

May 4, 2022

This Or That

 Do you sometimes come across something that reminds you of long ago? Something you may have totally forgotten about until one photo brings it all back? As a child, I enjoyed television in our family room, watching a huge console tv with a remote we called a clicker. We waited all summer for the new seasons of our favorite shows to begin. And favorites I had! Which got me thinking: how many of you have the same favorites as I do? 

First up, two classics.

Little House on the Prarie


The Waltons?

I Dream of Jeannie



The Love Boat


Fantasy Island?

And finally, an easy one.

The Brady Bunch


The Partridge Family?

Which did you prefer?
And did I miss any of your favorites?
I'd love to know!

Have a cozy Wednesday, my friends.

Billie Jo

P.S. My answers are as follows:

1. Little House on the Prarie. Massive crush on Albert!
2. I Dream of Jeanie. Loved her evil sister!
3. The Love Boat. Every Saturday night.
4. The Brady Bunch. No contest.

May 2, 2022

While The Cat's Away...


Ok. Not really. But the guys were away this weekend at a Nascar race, so the girls and I had some fun. And some food. A lot of food. We went to lunch at a lovely tearoom, one of our favorite places. Look how pretty...

We also had a mini-Twilight-movie-marathon, ordered takeout, organized Madison's kitchen (one of my very favorite things to do!!!), had Peyton and Chris for dinner and games, and stayed up way too late. Yesterday I decided to scrub my shower before the Health Department paid me a visit and then proceeded to clean the entire bathroom before totally collapsing on the couch for the remainder of a rainy afternoon.

Steve, Rhett, and Nicolas with Steve's brother and son-in-law. 

 The guys had a great time golfing, watching the Nascar race before it rained out, and eating at Waffle House. And how happy am I that I was not there for that last one? The floors and menus are always so sticky. Ugh.

Proof that I did something other than eat and watch movies! Fresh sheets on a freshly made bed. 

Today I have a few places to go before school. I am getting my hair done. Yay! Then I have to stop to get my new glasses adjusted because they are pinching my nose like crazy. Meh. And finally, a quick stop at McDonald's for some Vanilla Iced Coffee. Yay!!!! Well, that's it for now. I hope you have a great day, my friends. Thanks for checking in. I am always glad you do.

Continued prayers for the brave people of Ukraine and for our whole world.

Billie Jo

April 29, 2022

Around Here Lately

Hello there! And Happy Friday! I hope you all had a good week to end the month of April. Sometimes I have some serious thoughts to share here in this little space; other times, I share some fun. Every now and then, I find a few photos on my camera roll that haven't yet found a post to call home, so today is a random photo post from our little world! First up. Cookies! Peyton is the chief cookie baker, as you well know. Since she is a happy homemaker now, we don't enjoy homemade goodies as much. However, one day this week, Madison and Flynn made these beautiful things, and they were delicious! 

My first and my last. We talked the other day that Flynn is now the age Madison was when I had her! Madison and her friends threw me a surprise baby shower all those years ago. And by surprise, I mean I was literally surprised! Seeing these two now is beautiful, remembering how much Madison loved Flynn before she was even born.

And how lucky are we all that Madison found this amazing guy from across the ocean who also loves Flynn and always includes her in the late-night Dairy Queen runs??

Would you believe these two just celebrated their First Wedding Anniversary?!? What a beautiful life they have made together. And while I have many favorite photos of that lovely day, these two are perhaps the best...

Is there anything better than literally seeing the joy in your daughter's face when she realizes her dream come true?

And this one. I don't know how many times the camera caught Christopher glancing at Peyton that day, but seeing it, I know I will never have to worry about her. 

They celebrated with the tradition of eating the top of their wedding cake, which they said was as delicious as it was on their special day. And which also spent twelve months in my freezer, only almost accidentally disposed of while thought to be outdated cheesecake one time. Peyton and Flynn text each other every single day. And I love it.

Through the years, I have commented many times how very blessed I am to have married a man who loves all types of activities, sports, crowds, and people. Steve has always been the class trip chaperone- concert-going- sled riding-football, hockey, and baseball game parent, and I am so thankful to him for that. The memories he has shared with all of our children will stay with them forever.

He cooks a darn good burger too!

And then there is me. And my Mocha. Who often seems to masquerade as a bunny.

I am getting lots of visitors outside my window. And it is so funny to everyone because I really am afraid of birds! 

Well, I guess if there is a theme here, it is one I write about often. Family. I am blessed that my children's best friends are each other. And that given a choice, while maintaining friendships with peers, each of them chooses to spend time together. With us. Together.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!
Thanks for visiting

Billie Jo