January 31, 2023

Things I Do That Make No Sense


Why do I...

~ Have only a tiny, decorative wastebasket in the bathroom, which is constantly overflowing and requires daily emptying?

~ Continue to use the same potholders I bought in 1998 despite moving three times and being ripped and stained?

~ Refuse to throw away the numerous plastic baggies full of photo negatives because someday we might need them?

~ Pin recipes on Pinterest I know I will never make and will probably never even read again?

~ Take my purse into the movie theatre when I know I will never set it on the ground, and I will have to hold it on my lap?

~ Start listening to podcasts before bed, knowing I will fall asleep before they are over, meaning I have to restart them the next day?

~ Set my alarm every night, even though I wake up every morning before it goes off?

Who knows, right?
How about you, my friends?

Have a great Wednesday!

Billie Jo

(Pinterest for Kermit.)

January 30, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

Good Monday morning, on what seems to be the twenty-seventh Monday of January this year, but who's counting?! I hope your weekend was restful and fun, productive and cozy, or maybe a mix of all those things. Since I last saw you, I have had an appointment with an audiologist, as my hearing is not as sharp as it used to be. Fortunately...or not...my results concluded that my hearing was indeed fine, and I may need to pay better attention when listening! The weather was a bit sketchy, so I rode in with Steve, who had a physical therapy appointment around the same time. This is the photo I sent to my kids, sharing what a date looks like when you have been married for almost thirty-two years. Morning rides to appointments!

And because of my stellar performance at the ear doctor, I finished pretty early, so I phoned my super son-in-law working nearby to see if he could give me a ride home. He was kind enough to do so and even stopped for coffees on the way.

Saturday was a catch-up on all things around the house day for me. I sat at the kitchen table, wrote a meal plan, made grocery orders, and completed lesson plans. I got out Valentine's decorations that made me miss Christmas a bit less and caught up on enough laundry that I can now see the floor in my bathroom. We watched a beautiful mass on television too. 

Yesterday, we all gathered in a room in my mom's assisted living facility for a little surprise party to celebrate the most wonderful woman I know on her 86th Birthday, which she celebrates today! My sister Margie and her husband Chris joined us for gifts and cake, and Mom was very happy! She smiled and laughed the entire time. We gifted her a pair of slip-on sneakers, a soft cuddle throw blanket, and a beautiful new bag to attach to her walker. Peyton made the most delicious cake, and we all shared happy and funny memories together, 

It was the perfect way to celebrate this amazing woman I call Mom. I said to my children as we were waiting for her to arrive that eighty-six years ago, my mom was a tiny newborn baby. Her mother cared for her child, planning special celebrations for each passing year. She may not have considered that years later, people she will have never met will celebrate that baby for her as the circle of life continues.

My mother has one remaining sibling, her younger brother Jim. He messaged me with the most beautiful Birthday wish for Mom, and she was so very happy when I read it to her; tears welled in her eyes. Uncle Jim also sent along a picture of the two of them. It is so beautiful and a reminder that long before she was Mom and Grandma, she was a little girl playing in the snow with her baby brother.

Have a wonderful day, my friends. 

Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

January 27, 2023

The Rhythm Of Our Days

Good morning, my friends. Happy Friday! I am cozy on the couch, coffee in hand, thinking about how the rhythm of my days has changed over the years and, at the same time, stayed the same. The other day, I made my 53-year-old self a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and as I was cutting it, I thought about how I used to make and cut the same sandwiches for little ones waiting at the kitchen table. I put those little triangles on plastic plates, along with sliced strawberries and some pieces of chocolate. 

The littles would talk and giggle as I cleaned up the kitchen, and then we would cuddle on the couch for Blue's Clues or Little Bear. Naptime was next, and after tiptoeing downstairs, I put the kettle on and made myself a cup of General Foods International Vanilla Coffee. I no longer tuck little ones in for afternoon naps, but I still enjoy that same cup of coffee most every afternoon. (Although now it is called Maxwell House International Coffee.) These days I heat the electric kettle and stir my coffee after Flynn and I finish homeschooling and while she is off practicing her piano or listening to music. 

I used to pick up the family room before Steve came home for dinner, putting wooden blocks in tubs and organizing barbies and babies. I don't have those toys scattered around anymore, but I still tidy the family room before Steve comes home after work. Now I fold throw blankets and pick up squeaky dog toys. I switch on lamps in the early evening darkness. Instead of Max and Ruby or Paw Patrol on the television, I find a peaceful piano video on YouTube to listen to as I prepare dinner. 

And after dinner, as I wipe the counter and turn off the light, I still enjoy the ways we spend time together as a family. We used to play Strawberry Shortcake Memory or Chutes and Ladders. We sometimes watched Wheel of Fortune and ate bowls of ice cream with chocolate syrup. Now, we play cards and trivia. We watch movies and Netflix shows. And we still eat ice cream sometimes too.

I am comforted in the knowledge that although the details of my homemaking days evolve and change, their rhythm stays the same. As a young mom spending days at home surrounded by all things childhood, I couldn't imagine what I would do when my littles grew. Now I know. I may not be surrounded by childhood anymore, but I am surrounded by children; even at 26, 22, 20, and 13 years of age, they will always be my children, and the rhythm of our days will never really change.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Thanks for visiting.

Billie Jo

January 25, 2023

Things I LIke And Things I Don't


I Like...

  • A fresh cut and color
  • A happy phone call with my mom
  • Brushing my teeth right before bed
  • The first sip of my morning coffee
  • The Price is Right reruns with Bob Barker 
  • A brand new shower curtain hanging in the bathroom
  • Daily texts with my kids
  • Vacuum lines on my bedroom carpet
  • Special K cereal with raspberries and blackberries
  • Sharing a Hershey Bar with Flynn after dinner
  • Starbucks Iced Tea Lemonade 

But I Don't Like...
  • Mint-flavored ice cream
  • Packing Christmas away
  • Greasy breakfast food
  • Musty smells in the basement
  • Drop-in visits 
  • The smell of maple syrup
  • Really long car rides
  • Wrinkled clothes left in the dryer
  • Spilled Milk
  • Scented garbage bags
  • Any winter outdoor activity

How about you, my friends??

Have a cozy day!

Billie Jo

January 23, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

 Good Morning! I am Home ~ Sweet ~ Home this morning, and look what decided to welcome me!

Yep. Winter is here to stay for a bit, and I am thankful we all arrived home last night safe and sound. We are refreshed and relaxed and filled with memories of family and fun to lead us into a new week.

Some of us enjoyed breakfast at a favorite little diner during our beach weekend.

And I can vouch that enjoying a healthy breakfast on vacation is possible! This omelet with spinach, tomato, feta cheese, and whole-grain toast was delicious!

How blessed am I that my grown children enjoy celebrating holidays together?? Years ago, I was a young mother with four little ones. To break up the long winter months, I started celebrating the special days during that time, and the kids loved it so much that we continue a form of it to this day! We celebrate Chinese New Year, Groundhog Day, Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day with everything from simple meals to special music and holiday-themed games. I used to order supplies from catalogs, and I still have the special Mardi Gras beads and St. Patricks Day coins! Each year we set them out, and the kids share special memories from years past, remembering what we ate or wore all those years ago. This past weekend we celebrated Chinese New Year at the beach with Chinese takeout, a few games I downloaded from Etsy, and some music I played on my phone. Nothing fancy. Just fun. The big winners were Nicolas and Flynn, who won the "Major Awards" ~ a shirt and stuffed rabbit ~ for their accomplishments!

Today I will make my weekly meal plan, place a grocery pickup order, run laundry, and finalize homeschool plans. Dinner is yet to be determined, but it will involve some form of pasta and steamed vegetables. This week is a busy one for me! I have a hair appointment for a cut and color, an appointment with the psychiatrist I see for my OCD, and an initial appointment with an audiologist. Then this weekend, my amazing mom celebrates her 86th birthday! 

I hope you have a relaxing day and a happy, healthy week, my friends! I will leave you with this fun little thing I found online:

Accurate. Don't you think??

Oh! And if you are interested in the guilty pleasure that is The Bachelor, it returns tonight at 8:00 on ABC! 

Billie Jo

January 20, 2023

Wrapping Up The Week

Good Friday morning, my friends! I hope the week has been good to you. Here are a few photos from the week in my little part of the world. 

Crisp, clear mornings ~ 

Lunches for the husband ~

A guest room tidy ~

A favorite meal ~ 

A cozy kitchen view ~ 

A backseat driver on a ride to the beach ~ 

 Fresh jammies in my spot on the couch there ~

A favorite breakfast ~

And a beautiful view ~

Not pictured: Laundry, washed and folded, homeschool afternoons at the kitchen table, a quick clean with a wet rag and the vacuum, and cups of coffee on the cozy couch.

Have a lovely weekend, my friends. Any plans? We are spending it at the beach for a few days of relaxation and family fun. See you back here Monday!

Billie Jo


January 18, 2023

What Can You Say About...

Pinterest is a fascinating place. I can search for one recipe, which leads to a similar one, which in turn leads to a loosely related image of something else, and suddenly I am seeing pictures of things from my childhood I haven't thought of in years. Here are a few of these images and a short memory of each. This may bring back something for you too!

  ~ Warm from the oven with the melty icing ~

 ~ Finding an unopened one just when you needed it? Best thing ever ~ 

~ Always wanted to do this. Not sure I ever did ~

 ~ Best thing about payday! Mom bought a pack of these, and you carefully ate the pudding off the lid, trying so hard not to cut your lip ~ 

 ~Vague memories of these in our playroom ~

~ Still taste and actually smell the spilled powder that always fell onto the counter when I opened the lid ~ 

After dinner on a summer night ~ running them under the water  get the ice off ~

Hours and hours of this ~  And so many gifts for Mom and Grandma ~

On the wall in the kitchen near the stove~  Talking and twirling the cord around my finger ~

Best day ever! And waiting forever until the day the teacher comes back from prep period with a cup of coffee in one hand and the Troll Box in another ~

A brand new one for Math  every year, and hoping no one had the exact same ~

Stick pins? On blazers in the '80s

Every night before bed. And on sunburns too!

Super fun on Christmas Day! And then never touched it until Mom cleaned out the closet in March.

I hope this brought back a memory or two for you, my friends!
Anything to add?
Have a cozy Wedneaday!

Billie Jo


January 16, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good morning! How was your weekend? Our weekend was quiet, and I am not unhappy about that. I did laundry, washed some bedsheets, picked up a grocery order, got a Vanilla Latte at Dunkin', and had a wonderful visit with my momma. Football played on a continual loop here, so I watched an unhealthy amount of Forensic Files. And I may or may not have a weird habit of looking up the criminals to see what happened to them. I know. Strange but true!

I am curious. About this and a few other things. Let's see...

1. Do you watch True Crime shows? 

2. Do you make your bed every day?

3. Liquid laundry detergent or Pods?

4. Do you wear socks to bed?

5. Do you miss Christmas when it is over?

6. What is your favorite game show of all time?

7. The Addams Family or The Munsters?

8. What is the best book you have ever read?

I am looking forward to your answers, my friends. And here are mine!

 1. Do you watch True Crime shows? 

     Yes. Probably too many. But I am hooked.                                                                          
2. Do you make your bed every day?

    Ummmm. No. Do I indeed to? You bet!

3. Liquid laundry detergent or Pods?

    Recently switched back to liquid laundry soap. 

4. Do you wear socks to bed?

    Nope. Can't do it. Too warm.

5. Do you miss Christmas when it is over?

    Yes. I miss it before it is over. 

6. What is your favorite game show of all time?

     Easy. Match Game with Gene Rayburn. Always.

7. The Addams Family or The Munsters?

    The Munsters! I love that show!

8. What is the best book you have ever read?

     The Jester by James Patterson

Have a cozy Monday!

Billie Jo

January 13, 2023

Just Me. Making Healthy Lunches.

Happy Friday! Today marks two full weeks of me successfully sending my husband off to work with a healthy lunch packed in a neat container. The thing is, I go through phases. Ask my family. I get ideas and jump in headfirst. And then something happens, and that's that. Now, however, my husband is on a healthy living journey, and I realize his chances of being successful will improve drastically if I lend support. And let's be honest, I am on the same journey. Middle age lends itself to rethinking one's habits.

I have always been a meal planner of some sort. Sometimes it was with a rigid schedule written out and posted on the bulletin board. Other times it floated around in my already cluttered mind stopping long enough for one meal idea to jump out at me. Now, I sit down, plan our meals carefully, and make the grocery list accordingly. Now, I also plan lunches for Steve to take to work and find it so much easier for us. The internet has many awesome meal prep/plan ideas that I adapt to our needs. I pick one main thing weekly, like turkey wraps or tuna salad. Then I serve that in different ways each day. This week I made a tuna and egg salad with greek yogurt and did it differently each day.

Last week I made turkey and cheese wraps with low-carb tortillas. Steve loved them! It is easier to put lunch together in the mornings than to search haphazardly for something to send with him. And it is much better than him getting takeout! So I throw it together while my coffee is brewing. That is a win-win. I also meal plan our dinners. I don't necessarily assign a meal to a night because things constantly change, but I plan and shop for five meals weekly. Each week, I include a Mexican, pasta, fish, casserole, and pizza night! This week our meals included Stuffed Peppers, Homemade Pizza, Baked Ziti, Taco Chicken Bowls, and Baked Tilapia. I will link the recipes down below. 

The chicken bowls we had last night are a huge favorite. I like them because they are easy, healthy, and use up many extra things from the refrigerator. I put some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot and poured some of our favorite salsa over them. That cooks on low all afternoon. Then right before dinner, I shred it and make some rice. Madison is a pro at making the best cilantro lime rice! She adds freshly squeezed lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro to the cooked rice. Then I chop up any toppings, herbs, and sauces I have left from the week.

Last night we had shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado, green onions, cheese, corn, pico, cilantro, sour cream, and ranch dressings. Madison was kind enough to snap a picture of two of her beautiful bowl so I could share them with you!

So good! And easy! Well, I need to pour another cup of coffee and get on with my day. I hope you have a wonderful, happy, healthy weekend, my friends!

As do my Flynn, Kirby, Mocha, and visiting pup Draper!

Billie Jo