January 31, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning, my friends! I hope your weekend was cozy and warm! Here in Pennsylvania, it was COLD. I know several of my blogger friends saw an obscene amount of snow this past weekend, but here it was just downright cold. I am not complaining. After all, it is January in Pennsylvania. I spent the weekend indoors, as is no surprise. I want to say I was super productive; however, I realize that would be an untruth, so I will say that I spent the past few days on the couch, reading, watching tv, and napping. I did make a delicious dinner for Steve, Rhett, Flynn, and me, or as Rhett refers to us, "The Final Four," on Saturday night. Flynn had requested chicken and waffles and I had chicken and gravy leftovers in the week, so it was easy to make some waffles, mashed potatoes, and everyone happy!

I also rearranged our closet. We have lived here for almost a year and a half, and I have never been happy with our closet. It took me this long to realize why. One side has a shelf up high and a rack down lower. The other side has two racks for hanging clothes, one high up and one down low. Well, I was using the highest rack to hang my clothes, and Steve's clothes were on the lower rack. I am 5'4". Steve is 6' tall. Needless to say, I took all our clothes out, weeded through some older items, and placed them back with mine on the one lower rack. Now I can reach them! Steve's are perfect on the other side. His shirts up high and his pants down low. One of life's minor problems solved. I suppose it is helpful to do what one can, right??

Well, now that you can rest easy knowing my clothes are within reach, I will leave you with a reminder of two special days this week. We celebrate all things here, perhaps not as much as we used to when the kids were young, but we do mark certain days to break up the long, cold winters. 

Tuesday is Chinese New Year!

Wednesday is Groundhog Day!

Just a reminder in case you want to celebrate too!

Have a cozy Monday, my friends.
Thanks for visiting.

Billie Jo

P.S. Images courtesy of Pinterest.

January 28, 2022

Friday And Chocolate Cake

Good Friday morning! This is the view outside my window as I sit in my spot on the couch, snuggled under a blanket, my coffee nearby. Many people on the coast will be seeing the same, if not worse, this weekend. Prayers for everyone in the path of that storm. Stock up and stay safe! In other news, we celebrated National Chocolate Cake Day because we celebrate everything, and Peyton did not disappoint! Look what she brought to share with all of us...

She made this fantastic cake herself, and what you cannot see is the layers of mousse she made for the inside! It was delicious! All my people were here, and we enjoyed a lovely evening together. Peyton's husband Christopher is the most amazing handyman ever and was happy to do a few things around here that have been on my list forever. It is a blessing when your older children enjoy spending time with you. And it is one Steve and I do not take for granted. 

We really have no plans for the weekend. We will either watch or attend mass, and other than that, I imagine some will watch football, while others, myself included, will watch a movie or two. I have a pile of laundry to sort, wash, and fold and some phone calls I want to make to friends. Such an exciting life I lead here, right?? Well, light a candle, pour a cup of something cozy, my friends, and have a lovely day. Thank you for visiting. And thank you for sharing your likes and dislikes in my previous post! It was fun to get to know each other even more. I am also thankful to the readers who shared that do not blog themselves. It is so nice to know you and to know you are reading!

Billie Jo

January 26, 2022

Things I Like And Things I Don't


  • January snowstorms
  • Twilight Zone marathons
  • Warm showers followed by fresh pajamas
  • Whole grain toast with melted butter 
  • Stacks of books on my bedside table
  • Eating outside on summer evenings
  • Match Game '74, '75, '76...
  • Hot coffee in the morning
  • Hot coffee in the afternoon
  • Swimming in the lake 
  • Swimming in the pool
  • Being home with my people

  • Being hot and sweaty
  • Mint flavored anything
  • Musty smelling bedsheets
  • Playing Monopoly
  • Biscuits...any kind of biscuits
  • Floral scented candles
  • Comedy movies...except Bridesmaids and Mean Girls
  • Grease splatters on my stove
  • Broken glass in the kitchen
  • Ice cream with chunks in it
  • Shopping 
  • Cars and music from the 1970s

How about you?

Billie Jo

January 24, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning, my friends! I am settled in my spot on the couch; the house is quiet except for the dishwasher humming in the background, my coffee is hot, and the fireplace is lit, adding some warmth to this cold room. I snapped the above pictures right before I sat down, just as the lake woke up. I hope you had a lovely weekend, whether cozy and warm inside or fun and cold outside. Some of us snuggled in for mass and football, while others, Peyton and Chris, skied on the freshly packed snow. 

I am happy to report I also did some much-needed bathroom scrubbing on Saturday. As I age, I have to be in the mood to clean. I am slow getting started, but I always feel so good once I do it. I love the feeling of having super clean and sparkling bathrooms. Even if that feeling lasts all of an hour or so! Today will be a relaxing day with homeschooling, laundry, leftovers for dinner, and The Bachelor this evening. 

Oh! Thursday, January 27, is National Chocolate Cake Day! As you know, we love to celebrate all things holiday, so why not celebrate cake? This easy cake is a favorite in our house, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you, just in case you want to celebrate chocolate cake too.

The cake is known as Depression Cake. The recipe I use is right HERE. I double it and bake in a 13x9 inch pan for our family. The frosting recipe I like to use is a sour cream chocolate frosting that pairs perfectly because it is not too sweet. I found it in an old cookbook called The Cakemix Doctor. Just combine 1/2 stick of butter and 3 oz. Semisweet chocolate chunks in a small saucepan. Melt over low heat for about 3 minutes until smooth. Let cool and stir in 1/2 cup sour cream. Put this in a mixing bowl, and on low speed, mix with 1 and 1/4 cup of sifted powdered sugar and a tablespoon of hot water. (I always sift the powdered sugar!) Then add 1 more cup of sifted powdered sugar and 1 more tablespoon of hot water. Beat until it is the right consistency, and then add1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat a bit more until smooth. We like to refrigerate this cake and set it out before serving. 

Well, that is about it for this morning. I hope you have a wonderful day doing whatever you have planned. Thank you for visiting. I am always happy that you do!

Billie Jo

January 21, 2022

Friday And A Pasta Dish


Good Friday morning! This morning, the sun is shining through the kitchen windows, but don't let that fool you! It is COLD! This past week was a quiet one here. After finally locating my winter boots in the basement under the shuffleboard table, I did venture out to get my hair cut and colored. And in breaking news...

I got rid of the blond. Apparently, years of adding bleach can result in less than healthy locks. Who knew? I decided to return to my natural color and had her cut off some dead ends to start fresh. So far, so good.

Last night  I made an easy, fresh, delicious pasta dish for dinner. I had some freshly chopped ~ from the store ~ onions and tomatoes, so I sauteed them in some olive oil along with some freshly minced cloves of garlic. I threw in some dried basil, salt and pepper, and a little bit of the water in which I was boiling the pasta. I let that simmer while I cooked some penne pasta. Once drained, I added the pasta to the tomatoes mixture and gave it a good stir. To finish it off, I grated some fresh parmesan cheese, and that was that. An easy but delicious dinner that literally took twenty minutes to prepare!

Well, I need to go make our menu plan and grocery order. I also need to call the dentist and pour a cup of coffee. Our weekend looks cold and basically uneventful, just the way I like it. There may or may not be quite a bit of this...

It's January, right? Thank you for all the fun comments on my previous post. It is so fun to get to know more about each other, don't you think? Have a lovely, cozy weekend, my friends. Stay safe, sound, warm, and healthy! Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

January 19, 2022

I'm Curious...


And Mocha is too!

1. Does your pet sleep in your bed with you? 

2. How often do you floss? 

3. Do you fold your fitted sheet? Or are you a stuffer?

4. When do you put on your pajamas? 

5. Coke or Pepsi?

6. Who is your favorite movie actor?

7. What is one unique talent you have?

Looking forward to your responses!
And if you are wondering, here are my answers...

1. Yes. Mocha literally sleeps right beside me.

2. I floss every single day. It's a thing with me.

3. I have never mastered the art of folding the fitted sheet. I currently jam all my sheets in a wicker clothes hamper because I can't stand looking at them all crumpled up!

4. I put my pajamas on right after dinner. Provided I ever took them off.

5. Pepsi. But my true loyalty lies with Dr. Pepper.

6. Two words. Jake Gyllenhaal. 

7. I can cook any type of pasta perfectly. Every single time.
Just sayin'.

Happy Wednesday!

Billie Jo

January 17, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

Good morning! Today finds our little lake home nestled in a winter wonderland. I took the above pictures Saturday afternoon before the impending storm arrived. And the following I took this morning after the storm moved through and left behind a beautiful, silent scene for us to enjoy.

I am sure many of you saw wintery weather too. I hope you are safe and sound and cozy as well. Our Steelers began their game last night with a valiant effort against a superior team who deserved a win. Next year begins a new chapter in the Steeler franchise, and we are waiting to see who our new quarterback will be. 

Last night before the game, all my people were here together for the first time in a few weeks, and it was wonderful! I made some homemade pizza, we played some cards, and we had some laughs. Have you ever made homemade pizza sauce? It is easy and so much better than store-bought. Just add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a pot with freshly minced garlic cloves. Let that simmer on low for a few minutes, then add a big can of crushed tomatoes and a tiny can of tomato paste. Then throw in some sugar to taste, and a teaspoon of dried oregano, basil, some fresh parsley, and some fresh ground pepper. I let that simmer while I prepare the dough for about a half-hour. That's it!

Today will be quiet. Flynn and I will do school, and I have some laundry to finish. I am making tilapia and rice for dinner. The Bachelor isn't on tonight because of football, so I will have to find something else to watch before bed. Any suggestions? 

Have a relaxing day, my friends.
Thanks for visiting.
Happy Monday!

Billie Jo


January 14, 2022

Weekend Plans


My view for the weekend.

I used to write a "Weekend Plans" post every Friday. Of course, that was when my children were little,  I was younger, and Covid was yet an unheard of threat similar to the fictitious virus in the movie Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman. I thought I would write about our weekend plans again for some reason or other, no matter how uninspiring they may be. So, here goes! 

My sister Margie is coming to spend the weekend with us while Steve and her husband head to camp to do camp things. I think that involves takeout bar food, something to do with crossbows, and comedy movies from the '70s and '80s. Tomorrow we will watch tv, play cards, call my mom, and order takeout. We will watch mass online again, as so much sickness is swirling around here, and I try to avoid it like the plague. Literally. 

Sunday, we will do much the same. I plan on doing laundry and making a meal plan and a grocery list. Then Sunday evening, we will watch the Steelers in the playoff game that should not have been! I have minimal hope they will win, but I do hope for a good match and a happy career-ending moment for our quarterback, Ben. Sunday evening, we are also expecting our first big snow event of the year. I am actually excited about the possibility of snow because I think it should snow when it is supposed to and then be gone. Snow in January is pretty and fun. Snow in April is not. 

Lastly, thank you for your kind comments of support on my previous post. I appreciate each and every one. Thank you also for your concern over Rhett's influenza. He went to the doctor yesterday and got much-needed medication. I encouraged that because sickness always worsens over the weekend, doesn't it? While he was gone, I put on a mask, opened the windows in his room, and sprayed the heck out of it with Lysol. I also changed and washed his bedsheets. I couldn't find any of his own sheets to put on his bed, so he is currently enjoying sleeping on the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin Halloween sheets I dug out of my stash. As per Rhett, he didn't complain. 

Well, that is all I have today, my friends. 
Thank you for visiting.
Leaving you with some Pinterest finds because who doesn't like a smile on a wintry January weekend? 

Billie Jo

January 12, 2022

Not A Resolution~A Goal


I didn't make a resolution this year. Instead, I set a goal. I set a goal for myself to do what I can, however insignificant it may be, to help stop the stigma associated with mental illness. I spent many years trying to understand and deal with my OCD and Anxiety on my own. And I did. Until I couldn't. I had to admit that I needed help for something I didn't even know I had. That was over ten years ago, and today, with therapy, medication, and loads of support, I am living this life I love without the constant chatter and obsessions invading my mind. I will always have OCD, but now I have the tools and medication to help me deal with it. 

I feel compelled to share this here because I know some people still feel afraid, unsure, and embarrassed talking about their mental health. That makes me sad. I often say that if I had Diabetes, I wouldn't hesitate to tell people. I wouldn't be afraid to tell people I need medication to keep me healthy. Right? I am committed to being open about my Anxiety and OCD. And that I see a therapist who helps me immensely. I am no longer afraid to tell people I take medication. Recently, more than one person has told me that my openness and honesty have encouraged them to seek help with their own Anxiety through therapy and medication. That makes me so happy because when a person suffers from Anxiety, one of the best feelings in the world is knowing he or she is not alone. 

So there you have it. If you didn't already know, I have OCD. I have Anxiety, mainly about my health. I see a therapist. I take medication. I am not embarrassed. I am thankful. Thankful that I sought help. Thankful help is available. Thankful I realize that OCD is a part of my life. It is not me. Or my entire life. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. I love my family, my home, my pups. I read and teach and watch old games shows. I cook and bake and call my mom. I live my life. Anxiety is a small part of that life. I know that now. And let me assure you, if you suffer from Anxiety, Depression, or other mental health issues, you know it now too. 

Happy Wednesday, my friends!
Thanks for visiting and for listening.

Billie Jo

January 10, 2022

Monday Morning Cozy

Good Monday Morning, my friends. It is a blustery cold day here in Pennsylvania. The lake is starting to freeze outside, making it look more like January than October. We stayed put this past weekend because of the cold, icy weather and a poor young man who came down with Influenza on Thursday. However, we had plenty to do, and I am happy to report that most of it got done. 

First up. Packing away Christmas. It always amazes me how quickly our home can go from festive, cozy Christmas to uncluttered, cozy winter. I was sad to pack it away. I always am. Next year I am decorating earlier. Remind me of that, please. 

Flynn and I watched this last night. It was good! If you are a Liam Neeson fan, you won't be disappointed. I believe it is streaming on Amazon Prime.

I found most of the ingredients for this delicious Asian Noodle Soup on hand Friday afternoon, and with Rhett not feeling well, I made a huge pot for dinner. It was delicious and hit the spot on a cold winter night. The recipe is right HERE if you would like to try it. I didn't have all the vegetables, but I think that was just fine with everyone!

We also watched a beautiful mass online. I am so thankful to our friend and pastor, Fr. Ross, for making it available and allowing those who can't or aren't ready to attend in-person to participate in weekly mass. What else? Oh yes. Football. And the almost unbelievable way the Steelers managed to sneak into the playoffs! Ben can't hang up his helmet just yet. 

Well, that is about all, my friends. Today brings school with Flynn, shredded chicken in the crockpot for dinner, and hopefully some relief for my patient, Rhett. If you are interested, I found a great explanation of the daily stages of the flu. Rhett has literally followed this exactly! It is a good resource, especially now when every sneeze brings fear of Covid. I will link it right HERE.

Stay happy and healthy. And cozy. Always cozy.

Billie Jo

January 6, 2022

From December Into January

The week between Christmas and New Year's is my favorite week of the year. This year was as special and cozy as I had hoped. One afternoon, Madison invited me, Flynn, and Peyton to her home for a holiday tea. She served tea party sandwiches, fruit, banana bread, cake, and cranberry orange scones. Delicious! With Christmas music playing in the background, we visited and then played a game of Christmas Scrabble. It was a wonderful day.

We were also happy to be able to resume our traditional visit to my sister Margie's house this year after last year's Covid cancellation. We began our annual Christmas week visit to Margie and Chris's house years ago when the kids were young. They were sad when Christmas Day was over, and going to Margie's gave them something to look forward to. Her house is the Christmas House! We always have pizza, wings, and cookies. And she and Chris spoil my kids with love and gifts. This year all of us could go, and we had a blast. 

All too soon, it was New Year's Eve, and while we had a smaller celebration than in past years, I was okay with that because I was having a hard time staying awake! We made homemade pizza and then played some games until it was time to ring in a brand new year!

This is the only photo I have of New Year's Day, but I love it! Steve cooked the traditional pork, sauerkraut, and kielbasa. I snuggled on the couch and watched the annual Twilight Zone Marathon. Later, everyone came for dinner and games, and dessert. And that was a wrap on our 2021-22 Christmas season. Insert sad face.

Monday night, Steve and Rhett and Chris and Steve's brother-in-law Barry braved the cold in Pittsburgh to watch our quarterback Ben Roethlisberger play his last game at home. I cannot believe he has been the Steeler's quarterback for eighteen years! It was a special night, and while I was happy they could be there, I was even happier I could watch from the comfort of my cozy couch.

Well, that is about it, my friends.
Have a lovely weekend in your part of the world.
Stay safe, healthy, and cozy!

Billie Jo