February 27, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

Hello there! And good Monday morning! I am sipping my super hot coffee while sitting by the fire this morning. I am enjoying Dunkin' regular coffee with some Pumpkin Spice creamer. And it is good. 

We went to mass on Saturday evening, and Flynn was happy to take a selfie with her Mom...

After mass, Steve, Flynn, Rhett, and I went to a favorite little restaurant for dinner, and although I texted with Danielle telling her I was going to get something healthy, I did enjoy this amazing dessert. And I think this qualifies because I shared it with Steve! After dinner, we headed home, enjoying the day's beauty fading into night.

My Uncle Jim, my mom's youngest brother, sent me these photos of him and my mom, and I wanted to share them with you because I love them so much. It is always such a blessing when I can peek into her past as a young woman, living her life long before I knew her as my beautiful mom.

Well, it is beyond time for me to get up, get some breakfast...thinking scrambled eggs with vegetables...and start my day. Today brings school to do with Flynn, bills to send, blogs to visit, and me not making dinner because Steve cooked a delicious meatloaf dinner last night, and we have leftovers! I will end my day on the couch watching The Bachelor because sometimes I need a fix of mind-numbing entertainment at the end of my day!

Have a wonderful Monday, my friends. 
Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

February 24, 2023

Friday Photos And Favorite Weekly Recipe

Well, Happy Friday, my friends! I hope your week was happy, healthy, and a little cozy too. We had snow one day this week, and Flynn and I watched someone kayaking on the lake the next! Let's see; what else did my week include?

Coffee every morning.

Healthy lunches for the husband.

A Penguin hockey game for the guys and a movie night, complete with Titanic and Mcdonald's for the girls! 

The favorite meal of the week, besides the gumbo, was simple chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese. I shared the chicken tenders recipe before, but I will link it below, just in case!

Have a cozy weekend! Thanks so much for visiting, my friends. I am always happy that you do.

Billie Jo

February 22, 2023

Tuesday To Wednesday

 Although it seems as if Christmas was yesterday, today begins the season of Lent, a time of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving for those that observe it. As a middle schooler, I walked across the street from school to church with my friend Laurie once a week to pray the stations of the cross. As a teenager, I gave up my drink of choice, Pepsi, from the can, during the forty days of Lent. Now, I use this solemn time to pray more intentionally for all the heartache, divisiveness, natural disaster, fear, and uncertainty in our world today. 

Before we begin Lent, however, we celebrate Mardi Gras like we have for years. Nothing fancy. Just a special meal, a few festive decorations, and a delicious dessert. This year, I tried a new recipe that was a huge hit! I will leave the link below. Madison brought the most fantastic cornbread, and Peyton added the best King Cake ever. 

And today, all that is packed away, and our kitchen table holds only this as a reminder of the Lenten season and what it means to us.

Have a cozy Wednesday, my friends.
If you are in the path of the snowstorm, be safe and warm.
And see you back here Friday!

Billie Jo

( I put half the amount of cayenne pepper it called for, and it had a little kick! )

February 19, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee Talk And Winners!

Hello! Happy Monday! That weekend flew by, didn't it? Mine was a good mix of rest and productivity. Not at all equal, but... still. I packed up Valentine's Day and am getting used to the clean, bare look. I plan to enjoy it for a few more weeks until it becomes Easter eggs and bunnies.

Thank you for all the comments on Friday's post. Flynn drew two names from the comments and replies, and each will receive a copy of both books.

 The winners are...

J. Mehall

Please email me your information, and I will send your books out to you!

Leaving you with a few favorite memes courtesy of Pinterest. 

Happy Monday, my friends!
Have a cozy day!

Hope they gave you a smile!

February 17, 2023

Favorite Recipe Friday and a Giveaway!

Hello! And Happy Friday, my friends. I hope you had a lovely, cozy week. We passed a touch of something around here this week and therefore spent an inordinate amount of time sleeping. The symptoms were mild: a quick bout of sweating, dizziness, exhaustion, and a stuffy nose. Thankfully, we all feel better, no doubt in part to the excellent care we experienced. Rhett's girlfriend Kyrstin made us a delicious dinner Monday night, and Madison brought another delicious meal for us on Valentine's Day. And now, the windows have been opened, the sheets changed, and the Lysol sprayed. 

I'm sharing this recipe from a couple weeks ago, and I may have shared it before, but it is easy and delicious. It is Enchilada Casserole, and I will link the recipe down below. 

I also wanted to share two beautiful books I recently read and loved, written by two lovely Blogging friends! Each of these books is beautifully written and filled with helpful advice and heart-touching words that you will reach for again and again. 

Mrs. White has a beautiful blog right HERE. I have been a reader and friend for years.

Debbie is a new blogging friend I am so happy to have met. Her beautiful blog is found HERE.

I would like to gift two of my readers a copy of both of these books. Please leave a comment below letting me know you are interested, and I will draw two names from that list and announce the two lucky winners Monday! 

Well, Mocha and I have a few things to do today. First, though, I am pouring another cup of coffee. Have a cozy weekend, and thanks so much for visiting. I am always happy you do!

Billie Jo

February 15, 2023

If You Are New


Hello! A reader and friend, Brenda, reminded me that I may have some new readers here that may like to get to know me a bit more. And she is right. So if you are new, and are interested, here are some things she suggested I share. Thanks, Brenda!

My favorite book is The Jester by James Patterson.

My favorite movie is a tie between Joker and Baby Driver.

My (current) favorite song is As It Was by Harry Styles.

My favorite color is brown. Yes, really.

Growing up, my favorite activity was being home with my family and my books.

My favorite activity now is being home with my family and my books.

I live in Pennsylvania.

I graduated from college in 1991 with a major in English literature and certification in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.

Steve and I got married six weeks after I graduated from college.

I taught second grade for five years in the smallest public school district in Pennsylvania and loved every minute.

I retired to become a full-time mom when Madison was born, and I still love every minute.

I am blessed with four beautiful children here on earth and one soul I look forward to meeting in Heaven. I also am blessed with two terrific sons-in-law.

I have been diagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and General Anxiety Disorder, controlled with medicine, therapy, and lots of hard work.

I love books, coffee, Christmas, fresh bedsheets, and being home.

I dislike crowds, shopping, exercise, being in the sun, and long car rides.

I had Mohs Surgery for basal cell skin cancer on my face a few years ago.

I love blogging and all my blogging friends.

Happy Wednesday!

Billie Jo

February 13, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

Good Monday morning! Well, that is a wrap on another football season. Congratulations to the Chief Fans! We celebrated low-key with this beauty, compliments of Peyton. And it was delicious.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day! We have a few touches of red and pink around. And chocolate. Because you can't go wrong with a little dish of chocolate kisses, right?

Well, February is half over. Except for an arctic weekend over Christmas, winter is disinterested in our area this year. The lake is far from frozen, the yard resembles those mid-March days, and the sleds have yet to leave the spot we threw them in last spring. I am one who thinks that we should have winter in winter. I have nothing intellectual to base this on, but we need a chance for things to rest, sleep, and recover so they can begin anew in the spring. We sometimes get our strongest winter days in March here, so I am not without hope. 

That is all I have today, my friends. Here are some unedited photos I snapped this weekend of what a mild February looks like in our little part of the world. Have a cozy day!

Billie Jo


February 10, 2023

Chicken Cacciatore For Dad

 Do you want to hear something neat? Yesterday I made chicken cacciatore. It was delicious!

But that isn't it. I am a meal planner. And I had planned to make barbeque chicken sandwiches yesterday. I had the chicken thawing in the fridge. Steve bought some fresh rolls, and I had the crockpot set out. And then I suddenly got the idea to make chicken cacciatore instead, just like that. I remembered I had some onions and peppers in the freezer, and although I only had fresh parsley, I could use dried herbs for the rest. So, I put the chicken in the crockpot, stirred in some tomatoes, garlic, and all those herbs with a bit of sugar, and turned it on. 

When it was time for dinner, I put the noodles on the plates and sprinkled them with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper before I added the sauce. Just like my dad used to do it. I have to tell you, it was delicious. Steve even used the rolls to make garlic bread.

But that isn't it. Today marks nine years since my dad passed. This morning, during my prayers, I thought of him like I do so often. I looked at some pictures I have saved on my phone, and then I went back and read the post I shared on that day nine years ago. As I was reading it, I knew. I knew why I had the feeling to make chicken cacciatore yesterday. And I literally said, "Ohhhhhh!" Let me show you why. Here is a part of the post I wrote the day my father died.

My father was a wonderful man. I will miss him every single day for the rest of my life. I will miss his voice and his laugh. I will miss making chicken cacciatore and pumpkin cake for him. I will miss calling him on the phone. I will miss the love between him and my mother. I will miss my dad.

So there it was. One of those rare, wonderful, blessed moments that touch your soul  and allow you to know that your loved one reached across eternity to say hello. And to let you know that he is ok. And still loves your chicken cacciatore. If you would like to read the complete post I shared then here is the link.

Thanks to all who shared in the "Getting To Know Your Blog Friends Week". It was fun reading all the comments and posts. Best of luck to everyone who has a team in the big game Sunday! See you back here Monday for a brand new week.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!
Billie Jo

February 8, 2023

In The Morning And In The Evening


What I see when I wake

What I see before I dream

And in between? 

Coffee, dishes, lunch, and homeschool. Phone calls, laundry, more coffee, naps. Dinner, dishes, blogs, and books. Family and home and dogs and love.
Laughing. Living.
Comfort. Peace.

Have a cozy Wednesday, my friends.

Billie Jo

February 6, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

Good Monday morning! I hope your weekend was restful and cozy. It was here. We didn't have any place to go, and we decided to watch mass on television, so I stayed in my cozy clothes all weekend long! I did some meal planning, made a grocery order, and threw in a couple of loads of laundry too. I tried a new creamer, which I highly recommend, by the way. And I made a pan of brownies to round out the weekend, which I took to Madison and Nicolas' house, where they hosted us for a delicious dinner in honor of Draper's third birthday! 

Before I forget...Happy Get To Know Your Blog Friends Week! Ok. I made that up. But seriously, that should be a thing. We could each post about things we don't think most people know about us. Just for fun. Like...

1. I am really, really good at baton twirling.

2. I cannot stand to be hot and sweaty. Or hot. Or sweaty.

3. I am a horrible singer. Like, the worst.

4. I love reading literature like The Canterbury Tales and Dante's Inferno.

5. I love Who's The Boss and know every episode.

6. I strongly dislike romantic comedies and Hallmark movies.

7. I will not eat chili. Ever. I can't explain it.

8. I was diagnosed with OCD about ten years ago.

9. I will proudly tell anyone about my treatment for it.

10. I floss every single day. And I will only use a soft bristle toothbrush!

Well, Mocha has had enough, so I will end it here. Feel free to share as many things about yourself as you want in the comments or on your blog. I look forward to reading them! Have a great Monday. Quiet here with homeschool, Enchilada Casserole for dinner, and The Bachelor before bed! 

Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

February 3, 2023

Friday, Flynn, And A Favorite Meal

Good morning! And happy Friday, the first one of February! Kirby is thrilled, as you can see. This week was one of quiet and transition. February always helps me move from missing all that is Christmas and into thoughts of Valentines, Mardi Gras, and Lent. And so it goes. Soon I will be planning what we will eat for the Fourth of July and thinking about how long I can wait to put up my autumn things!

This girl. This is our baby, Flynn. That precious little girl with the great big hairbows is suddenly a teenager with the absolute sweetest, funniest, kindest heart. Flynn and I share our days drinking coffee, watching Spongebob and the Walking Dead, laughing at memes, and schooling. She is a lover of all animals, especially Madison's pup Draper, video games, music, art, pizza rolls, and homeschooling. Really! I thank God every single day for giving us this child with a beautiful smile and the kindest heart, and am loving watching her grow into a lovely young woman.

These taco roll-ups are one of her favorite meals, by the way. I will link the recipe down below! And lest you think we are fancy~smancy here, let me show you how we serve dinner on any given weeknight!

Yep! Grab a plate and get in line!!!!

Ok. Well, I am off to pack a lunch and start my day. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. Stay warm and cozy! Thanks for reading!

Billie Jo