February 28, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning, my friends. In the interest of full disclosure, I did replace my morning coffee with a cup of hot water with lemon and a bit of honey. My anxiety has been visiting these past few days, and I find that a reminder to pay better attention to myself. For me, that means less caffeine, less computer time, more prayer and reflection time, and an extra nap to two. And reminding myself that this, too, will pass.  

It seems frivolous to focus on ordinary things as the people of Ukraine are literally fighting for their lives, homes, and country. My heart and prayers are with them, even as I go about my daily life. This includes preparing for Mardi Gras tomorrow, followed by Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. 

I hope you have a cozy Monday, my friends. I will be around to visit soon!

Billie Jo

February 21, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk...With Muffins!


Good Monday morning! I awoke to this beautiful sight and somehow managed to grab my camera and get a few shots before it faded away. I am always amazed at the beauty God shares with us on a random Monday morning. I hope your weekend was nice. I didn't accomplish much other than pack away the few Valentine touches I had around and set out the even fewer St. Patrick's Day things I have! Now that the kids are older, I do less decorating, but I will never not do it. I am a holiday person, and I like a bit of them around my home. 

I am slow going this morning as I had trouble sleeping last night. I don't usually, but yesterday's late afternoon nap probably didn't help. I did shower and drink my water, and I also said my prayers and listened to my anxiety app. So, I suppose I am off to an ok start today. Dinner tonight is a new recipe for citrus salmon with rice and steamed vegetables. After that, we will tidy up and watch The Bachelor. Well, some of us. Steve and Flynn either play a game or watch something I don't like! 

Saturday morning, I found I had an abundance of fresh raspberries, so I decided to make some muffins. I think they turned out great, although I am so far the only one who has tried them. I guess I didn't realize that no one else likes raspberries! I did send some for Madison and Nicolas, so I won't end up eating them all! They are raspberry and chocolate chip, and they are delicious. I will link the recipe down below. Have a cozy Monday, my friends!

Billie Jo

February 18, 2022

A Friday In February

Is it me, or did this week fly by? In any case, the weekend is here, and although we have next to nothing planned, I am here for it. Steve and I are going to dinner with friends tonight; we have mass tomorrow, and that is about it. Steve has watched the Olympics every night. Flynn and I started yesterday with the Women's Figure Skating, which honestly broke my heart. There was so much sadness, anguish, disappointment, and confusion at a time that should have been a total joy that I could barely watch. We will probably watch the Pairs Long Programs and wait another four years to watch again.

Today Flynn and I will homeschool, and although I don't write as much about that as I used to, I am happy to report she is doing wonderfully. I imagined 6th grade to be difficult for me, as I am much more comfortable in the preschool-lower elementary grades, but we are both really enjoying it! She loves science, especially the space unit we are studying. She actually has a small telescope and a book of stars and constellations we are looking forward to using. Flynn also enjoys world history and math this year. Have I mentioned the amazing YouTube channel we use to supplement our math? It is called Math with Mr. J, and it is invaluable! And a couple of pictures from the past few days...

My Mocha, who is rarely out of my sight. Last night we watched a total guilty pleasure show called Joe Millionaire.

And my Mom. We had the best visit this past week! She looks amazing and is doing so well. We are so thankful for the safe, clean, loving place she calls home. After I took it, I showed her this picture, and she replied that she thought she looked pretty good. Not too old! I told her that I pray I look as good as she does when I am 85! I treasure every moment with her and every phone conversation we share. 

Well, I hope you have a good weekend, whatever you have planned.
Thanks for visiting.
See you soon!

Billie Jo

February 16, 2022

From My Heart

Valentine's Day has always been a fun time for our family. When the kids were young, I began setting the table with special plates and napkins and serving a special meal. Years passed, the children grew, yet we still celebrated this special day together. This year, we sat as a family of four, or as Rhett refers to us, The Final Four, and enjoyed a delicious meal of Cheese tortellini and shrimp with chocolate-covered strawberries. 

My two oldest are married and living in their own houses, yet I was so happy to receive photos of each of their special Valentine's Day meals. While we no longer sit at the same table, we can connect through technology, memories, and love. When I told my girls how proud I was of them, I was touched to hear them say they learned it all from me. Years ago, I began these simple traditions as a young mother eager to share special moments with my little family. To see that my children are continuing these same traditions is an extra special blessing on top of an already blessed life.

Valentine's Day at Madison's house

And at Peyton's house!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friends!
Thanks for stopping!

Billie Jo

February 14, 2022

Valentine's Day Morning Coffee Talk

Good morning, my friends! And Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. We had a quiet Saturday and a festive Sunday. Yesterday we enjoyed a small Valentine's Day Brunch complete with pastries...thank you bakery..., fresh fruit, coffee, and juice. Later we watched the Superbowl and enjoyed some of Peyton's delicious treats. It isn't the Superbowl around here without Oreo Balls! It was an exciting game, and although our favorite team didn't win, we were happy for the team that did. I always hate that someone has to lose, you know? Anyway, here are a few pictures I snapped before brunch.

One of Peyton's traditional Superbowl Oreo Balls...which is blurry because I was trying to take it on the couch while grabbing one...

And here are a couple from the archives. Just because.

Happy Monday!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Billie Jo

February 11, 2022

Friday And A Festive Weekend


Hello! Happy Friday! I am enjoying my coffee in a new favorite mug from a new favorite restaurant. Last week at the beach, we discovered a new place for breakfast, and it was delicious. They had Buckwheat Pancakes! I love them and don't find them often, so I was happy!

Can you believe we are halfway through February? Sunday is Superbowl, and although my Steelers are not playing, and I usually have little interest in the actual game, I am rooting for The Bengals this year. Something about underdogs and hard workers and a young quarterback leading a team that hasn't seen this much excitement in thirty years makes me want to cheer for them. And then there are the commercials. Although I fear they are getting out of hand. Now they are showing previews of commercials!?! I miss the olden days when everything wasn't such a THING, you know? Speaking of the good old days...

I found my magazine! I am not a magazine reader, per se. However, I saw an ad for this magazine, and I knew I would love it. It is full of nostalgia, photos, recipes, puzzles, and more from those simpler times. I often say I was born at the wrong time, and this magazine lets me pretend for a bit that I am back in the 1950s! This sounds very much like a commercial, but I promise you, it isn't! Here is a link to the website. Just click HERE. Enjoy!

I hope you all have a good weekend. We are planning brunch on Sunday morning to celebrate Valentine's Day with the kids. Nothing fancy. Some pastries, fruit, coffee, and juice. Other than that and the big game, we have no plans except for mass. How about you, my friends? Any plans for you this February weekend? 

Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

February 7, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning! I am sipping my coffee, not in my usual spot in front of the fire, but snuggled under a throw near the crashing waves of the ocean. These past few days have been productive and relaxing, but now it is time to pack up and return to our cozy home on the lake. Madison and Nicolas left yesterday, so Steve, Flynn, and I watched a movie last night before heading to bed. 

When we purchased this condo, it was completely furnished and decorated. While it was beautiful, we thought it was dated and perhaps dark. However, at my age, I am so over projects and renovations! We decided to paint, buy a new sectional, rugs,  appliances, and add some new prints on the walls. Madison was a huge help with the color scheme, Steve did all the measuring and ordering, and I found the prints for the walls. Overall, it came together well, and, I think, is a good combination of the old and the new. 

 We stayed in most of the time, swimming, watching movies, and playing cards. One night Steve took me out to dinner, and Madison and Nicolas took Flynn for some tacos and fun. Our meal was delicious. We had fillets and sweet potatoes with asparagus, followed by a delicious apple tart! It was lovely, and as soon as we were done, I was back in the condo, face washed, and in my jammies!

My children love the beach. Perhaps it is because so many beautiful memories come from this exact place. My parents have come with us many times, and I know the memories of those trips will forever be in my children's hearts. I remember many days getting up to find a note my beautiful mother left me saying she and little Madison took some Pop-tarts and went for a walk on the beach. I remember my mom sitting under an umbrella, little Peyton nearby making sand cakes for her. And my mom pretending to eat and enjoy them, over and over again. I remember Steve and me watching from the window way up high as my dad put a young Rhett up on his shoulders and out to the water. And then watching as a wave knocked them over, and they came out laughing and laughing. I remember my mom, sitting near little Flynn, as she dug in the sand with the same plastic Sesame Street shovel that Peyton used years before, watching the waves she loved so much. I realize now that at any given time, in any given place, our daily moments can become wonderful memories our children will tuck into their hearts forever. As will I.

Well, my friends. Time for me to get up and get going. Thanks for visiting today. Tomorrow will find us back home, schooling at the kitchen table, preparing dinner, and doing laundry. Happy to have gone. Glad to be home. Have a wonderful Monday! I will be around to visit soon!

Billie Jo

February 4, 2022

Sledding And Pizza Burgers

Good Friday morning! I hope this day finds you safe and sound, especially if you are dealing with the winter storm. Snow is one thing; ice is another. This past week some of us bundled up and went sledding! (Noticeably absent from any photos would be me. I was home watching Match Game '78 and heating up chicken tenders for dinner!) Steve is and always has been the "Outdoor Activities" parent. Thank Heavens. He, Madison, Nicolas, Rhett, Kyrstin, and Flynn had a blast sledding down the huge hill in our neighborhood. Again, I am so thankful my older children love spending time doing family things. It is especially nice for Flynn, and I do not take these moments for granted.

Steve cooks on Sundays, and this past week he made one of his mother's recipes. Mum was a great cook. These are her famous Pizza Burgers, and Steve replicated them perfectly. When I took my first bite, I literally felt I was back in Steve's house when we were dating, having dinner at his house, with Mum making these with a side salad and some cut-up cantaloupe. 

If you want an easy, delicious meal, just brown some ground beef and drain. Add some spaghetti sauce. Mum used Ragu. Always. We had another brand, but it works. Let that simmer while you toast some English muffins. Then, assemble. On each English muffin, place a slice of Velvetta cheese. This is imperative! It must be Velvetta. Then spoon some of the meat mixture on top. Add some shredded Mozzarella cheese, and bake until hot and melty. 

Leaving you this wintry Friday with a picture of Mocha, all snuggled up on my lap for the ride to the beach. Some of us made the six-hour journey to spend a few days at the ocean. It is rainy and cold, but being here is relaxing enough for me. We will swim indoors, eat good takeout food, watch movies, and play some cards. Steve loves the beach. He always has. He works unbelievably hard at a job he loves. His mind is always going. Here, for some reason or another, he can relax. That is why after years and years of renting, we finally decided to purchase our own condo. Now, we can come and go without any planning or worrying. My children also love it here. We hope that they will one day bring their own families here, and Steve and I will sit in our beach chairs, watching the waves as we grow old together.

Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are, my friends.
Thanks for visiting!
I am always glad you do.

Billie Jo

February 2, 2022

Winter For A Bit Longer


Good morning! This is what greeted me when I opened my eyes this morning. And although it is quite cold outside, I am enjoying these winter days here on the lake. When we are out on the boat on warm summer evenings, surrounded by green trees and blue skies, I can hardly imagine the cold, ice-covered lake surrounded by bare trees that I see today. And today, as I look outside at the people huddled around a small circle ice fishing, I can hardly imagine the lake in summer, waves rolling as boats and jetskis fly by.

I suppose that is how life is. And it is why I am learning to completely live in the moment, not thinking of what was or what will be. Whatever that is, it is. And what is now is now. Learning that any worry or anxiety I have simply has no bearing on the past or the future is a challenge for me. But I am working on it. A work in progress, so they say!

We did celebrate Chinese New Year last night. We had take out with Chinese music in the background. I had grand plans of making an entire Chinese meal, complete with a special cake for dessert. Obviously, that did not happen, partly because my local store does not carry a Chinese 5 Spice blend for the cake. Nevertheless, we had a lovely dinner together. And no cleanup, so there's that!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friends.
I will be around to visit!

Billie Jo