August 31, 2022

September Eve

 Don't get me wrong. I really enjoy this.

But I really, really, love this.

And so it goes, my friends. It is September Eve. I start getting the itch for this time of year in mid-July. Just a few thoughts of cozy afternoons, earlier evenings, soups, hoodies, and pumpkin spice. I wait patiently through those beautiful summer days and long summer evenings. I enjoy the fresh fruits and morning lake swims. I really do. I love mornings on the deck as the world awakes to the sound of birds. And yet, my heart will always yearn for fall. September. A new school year. Cooler days. Colored leaves. Cozier clothes and pumpkin spice. It is here, my friends. The promise of all that and so much more is here. Join me for a cup of cozy this morning.

 Happy September Eve! Cheers!

Billie Jo

August 29, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

Good Monday morning, my friends! Welcome to the last few days of August! I am patiently waiting for September to pull out the autumn decorations, but you bet I am all ready to go! I am pretending it is not 90 degrees outside today, by the way. 

Yesterday, I did some deep cleaning upstairs, especially in my bedroom. Suddenly, I needed to scrub, dust, wash, and shine. This does not happen often, but when it does, it is productive. The kids always know I am in the zone when I head upstairs with all my things and a Bluetooth speaker. In case you are sitting there wondering what I have on my fall playlist, and I am sure you are, I am sharing it below. LOL! When I was done, I set a few decorations on my bedside table. You know, just a ceramic pumpkin. And a candle. And my autumn books. : ) 

That is about all for today, my friends. The rest of the day will involve lesson plans for homeschool next week, laundry, and some stuffed peppers with mashed potatoes for dinner. We will finish the day with our guilty pleasure, The Bachelorette because although I would not want my daughters to find their husbands on television, I am not above watching others who do. 

Have a wonderful Monday. And thank you to all who commented on my last post. I am always so thankful for the support. I read and appreciate them all! This blog world is a fantastic place, isn't it? We have a place to share ideas, encourage, and support each other in a safe and cozy place. Thanks for stopping in!
Billie Jo


August 26, 2022

Check It Off


Hello, my friends. Today was the day. If you have read here for some time, you are familiar with my OCD and Health Anxiety diagnosis. My annual mammogram is a trigger for my anxiety. It is just what my mind decided to latch onto. This year I handled the anticipation much better than in years past, partly due to the tools my therapist and psychiatrist have given me. Partly because of the medication I take to treat my OCD. And partly because of the love and support from family and friends that helped me look at this annual appointment differently. 

I dread my annual mammogram. Not the test itself, but rather the fear of what the results could be. My friend Danielle helped me to change my thinking about it. Now I try to think of it as maintenance for my body, as something I can do to keep myself healthy. I liken it to my annual physical, dental, or eye doctor appointments. None of which give me anxiety, by the way. I go to it, and I can cross off my list. And so today, I went. Danielle and Steve went with me. It was quick and painless. And the results were good. Thank You, Lord. I made another appointment for next year, said a prayer of thanksgiving, and got some lunch and a coffee.

I am home now, showered, and on the couch. Relieved, thankful, and happy that I did it and didn't let my anxiety stop me. If you have a concern about any medical test, I get you. Try to look at it a different way. You are taking care of yourself. And you will be relieved and glad you did! 

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

Billie Jo

August 24, 2022

I Didn't Write These

 But I wish I did. 

Because I love them all.

Happy Wednesday, my friends!

Billie Jo

August 22, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning! I hope your weekend was cozy, fun, or quiet and relaxed, whatever you hoped it would be. We had a lovely weekend here. It was busy and productive and fun! 

Nicolas, Flynn, and twenty other twelve-year-olds attended a hunter's safety course on Saturday. They both passed the test and are now proud prospective hunters!

These two beautiful people had a date night in my Jeep and were kind enough to send this picture.

And our awesome friends from far away drove many, many hours to spend a week here with us before summer ends. We are having fun drinking coffee, watching movies, cooking, and playing games with our families.

Have a good day, my friends.
Thanks for popping in!!!

August 19, 2022

Friday Again

~ Diner breakfasts are highly underrated, don't you think? ~

Good morning! Happy Friday! I don't have much to share with you today because this past week has been uneventful! And I am not one bit sad about that. Our hot, sunny July weather was replaced with slightly cooler, cloudier days that gave me a glimpse of the cozier ones to come. I wish I could tell you how much I accomplished this week, but that would be a complete untruth. Mostly I did the bare minimum amount of housework, laundry, cooking, and continued binge-watching The Walking Dead with Flynn. We are trying to finish before we start homeschooling again. I also enjoyed snuggling with the pups!

Steve and the kids went shopping one night, and I opted to stay home with the dogs. I am selfless like that. You know how much I love shopping, right?? My kids did surprise me with this special treat! And yes. It is for me.

Rhett did have one question. Who even is Frute Brute???

I am off for one more cup of coffee, my friends. Today I have some quick cleaning to do because we are getting some repeat visitors this weekend! Although I don't need to clean the entire house before their arrival, I think it is a common courtesy to scrub a few toilets and sweep a few floors, right? Have a lovely weekend, whatever your plans may be. Thanks for visiting! I am always glad you do! 


Billie Jo

August 17, 2022

With Apologies To Rachel Ray


I am a meal planner by nature. Every Saturday, I check the calendar for the upcoming week, look around and see what we have in the pantry and the fridge, and decide on what meals to make. Usually. Sometimes I don't. Those days, I throw something together at the last minute so we don't resort to takeout again. (Trust me. We do that too.)

This meal is one I often make when I need something quick and easy. And good. It is a simple tortellini alfredo with chicken. The express version! I made it last night when I looked at the clock and realized what time it was! I had a couple bags of Barilla Cheese Tortellini and two jars of Bertolli Alfredo Sauce in the pantry. I stock up when they are on sale for just this reason. I grabbed a bag of fully cooked chicken breast strips from the freezer and heated them with the sauce while the pasta boiled. When the pasta was done, I drained it and added it to the sauce. I added some frozen broccoli and fresh Italian bread, and we had dinner in less than thirty minutes! 

Do you have a favorite quick meal to share? 
Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friends.

Oh! In the interest of full disclosure, I must add that we like this dish better when I make it with shrimp! 

Billie Jo

August 14, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

 Hello there! Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I hope restful and fun. Our weekend was a combination of those with a side of super good food thrown in for good measure. Friday evening, we literally had no plans. Flynn and I had a busy week, so Friday, we spent the afternoon with Rick, Michonne, Daryl, and the rest of The Walking Dead. I had no dinner plans, so lucky for me, Madison and Nicolas invited us over for dinner on the deck again! Madison prepared the MOST AMAZING pasta with tomatoes and basil. Nicolas grilled zucchini and grated fresh parmesan too. We ate outside on their deck and then went inside when it got chilly ( I see you there autumn! ) and played our new favorite game. Have you heard of KNOW IT OR BLOW IT ? It is a trivia game for teams. So fun. Steve and I won, in case you were wondering. Even though Steve said the wrong name of the son in The Jetsons. Leroy????!!! We enjoyed Madison's Peach Upside-Down Cake too!

On Saturday, we had an awesome family friend over for boating, tubing, dinner, and a fire. Alan went to school with Madison, and we have known him forever. He is a super young man we don't see enough, so I am thankful he took the time out of his busy schedule to visit. Everyone was able to make it except for Kyrstin, who was working. We enjoyed burgers, pasta salad, chips, and fresh fruit, plus some delicious corn that Alan picked himself from their own field. I had a packet of something that you throw into the fire and it made beautiful colors, so we enjoyed that too.

And finally, today is a special day in the Catholic faith, and my very favorite feast day in the church year. It is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. Years ago, a priest told us that on this feast day, we can present very special intentions to Mary and ask her to intercede for us. I have every year and have received many blessings in return. Here is a favorite prayer I pray on this special day.

Well, I am off. It is time for me to become friends with some seventh grade teacher's manuals. Seventh grade! Not sure about dinner tonight, but I am sure it is Bachelorette Monday! Have a good one, my friends!

Billie Jo

August 12, 2022

Friday Photos~Like A Bunch Of Photos!


Good Friday morning! It is mid-August in Pennsylvania, so I will give you one guess what I am enjoying here with my coffee. If you thought zucchini bread, you are correct! I. Love. Zucchini. Bread. And you know why I love it even more now? I don't have to make it! I know I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. When you have little ones, you may think it is extra work to have them help you in the kitchen. It is, I suppose. But the rewards far outweigh that. I hold so many beautiful memories of baking with my little ones. Madison sitting at the counter helping me sprinkle brown sugar on her birthday blackberry pie, Peyton and Rhett taking turns stirring a big bowl of brownie batter, then sitting on yellow plastic chairs in front of the oven watching them bake, and of course, Peyton teaching Flynn all the same things I taught her. Peyton now bakes in her own kitchen, and I am happy to reap the benefits! Her zucchini bread is amazing!

August also means peaches! Steve absolutely loves fresh peaches. He has a friend who provides us with juicy peaches every year, and for a couple weeks in August, we are all about peaches. Steve's favorite way to eat them is over a bowl of Cinnamon Life cereal. And, in pie, of course.

He and Madison prepared all these delicious-looking peach crumb pies this week. They mixed and peeled and crumbled. They baked one and froze the others. Look how perfect!

Summer is winding down around the lake. I know we have a month or so of summer weather, but once school starts along with all the activities, people are too busy to boat and tube and swim as much. It gets oddly quiet as if the lake takes a much-needed rest after a busy summer. No complaints from me.

Last night, Nicolas and Madison took Flynn to a play in our little town. It makes my heart so happy and thankful that my children are each others' best friends. They also took her out to dinner beforehand. Something we like to do when we are all scattered is send pictures of our dinner in our family group text. I know. I know. Weird? Maybe. But fun too!

Flynn sent a picture of this shrimp and crab pasta...

Steve and I sent pics of our meals from a restaurant across town. Steve got some sort of fajita situation that I think he regretted once he saw my delicious turkey dinner. And yes. I shared with him. : )

Kyrstin cooked a delicious-looking meal for her and Rhett. It was breaded cod with homemade garlic toast!

Peyton shared the meal she made for her and Chris, homemade shrimp and crab stuffed pasta. She literally made the ravioli!

Well, that wraps up the week here, my friends. Have a wonderful weekend in your part of the world. Many things in our country are crappy, for lack of a better word, and I am aware of it. Although it may seem as if I am burying my head in the sand and pretending it is all sprinkles and butterflies, I am not. I am choosing to avoid the unnecessary negative drama that is the news today, to educate myself when necessary, and to surround myself with things that bring me peace. More importantly, I am giving it to God in prayer. I am sorry I have not been around to visit as much as I want. I will be snuggling on the couch this weekend, and I can't wait to grab my laptop and a cup of coffee and spend some time here in Blogland!

Happy Weekend!

Billie Jo

August 10, 2022

Do You Relate??

Do any of these speak to you today, my friends?
Which one?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Billie Jo

Oh....Heck. I can't help myself. I have one more!

Pinterest for the fun!