March 31, 2023

Almost April


Hello! And Happy Friday! Mocha and I are snuggled on the couch, watching the grackles monopolize the feeder this morning. They tend to arrive early, and the smaller and more timid birds arrive once they have had their fill. We saw a beautiful cardinal couple and several cute finches yesterday, so we will have to wait and see. 

We are all going to our first Lenten fish fry of the year tonight. Afterward, Peyton and Chris invited us to their house to decorate sugar cookies for Easter! Peyton always makes them in advance and has everything ready for us to ice and decorate. Again, I am so thankful that my adult children are so happy to continue the many traditions we enjoyed together when they were younger and have so much fun spending time with each other. 

We plan on attending mass tomorrow afternoon, and on Sunday, Steve is taking a carload to a Penguins hockey game! I plan on staying home and organizing some things for Easter. We are planning a brunch here for Easter Sunday, so I want to look at ideas for that. I know we all say this, but how in the world is it Easter? Before we know it, it will be summer and the Fourth of July! 

My friends, I hope you have a wonderful, cozy, springlike weekend. Thank you for visiting. I am always so happy you do!

Billie Jo

(Pinterest for the image)

March 29, 2023

No Rush Here

Good morning, my friends! Thank you for the get-well wishes, and I must tell you, they appear to be helping. I was thinking today that this chest cold has really helped me keep things in perspective. It is no secret that I am organized and work best on a schedule. The past few days have reminded me that we can plan all we want and schedule to our heart's content, but life may have other plans. And that is ok! Let's take a look at what I had planned for this week, shall we?

1. Decorate for Easter

2. Update my planner

3. Write out Easter cards

4. Attend Adoration at church

5. Take Flynn to the orthodontist

6. Attend the penance service at church

7. Go to my eye doctor's appointment

8. Keep the laundry up

9. Organize lesson plans for make-up work

Here is what I have actually done so far this week.

1. Drank so much water

2. Acquired a taste for bone broth

3. Tried unsuccessfully not to laugh with Rhett because it led to coughing, and coughing hurts too much

4. Became way too invested in the Gwyneth Paltrow ski collision trial on tv

5. Slept for three days in an unmade bed with rumpled sheets

6. Called and rescheduled the above appointments

7. Realized how blessed I really am

I used to have a much harder time with these changes in our routines. I couldn't wait to throw open the windows and Lysol the sheets and get things "Back to Normal." Getting older has made me realize that these sick days of crumpled tissues, dirty dishes, and cups with straws scattered everywhere are our normal too. There is no rush. And that my list of things will always be there for me when I'm ready. But for now, I have to run. The trial is just about to start for the day, and I really need to see what will happen!

Stay hydrated and healthy, my friends!
Have a cozy day!

Billie Jo

March 27, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee


Good Monday morning, my friends! I hope your coffee (or tea) is extra hot today! We are still hacking like crazy dealing with a beast of a chest cold here, and of course, it has been kind enough to give each of us a few days in the spotlight before moving on to the next victim person. At times like these, I am thankful for many things, among them, readily available hot water and Vicks Shower Soothers, my comfy set of The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown flannel sheets, puppies who like to snuggle, plastic cups with straws, and family members who deliver food and medicine at a moment's notice. I have cleared our calendar for this week, calling and rescheduling appointments and plans because I would not want to expose anyone to sickness if I can avoid it. 

The weekend was not all coughing and sleeping, though. I witnessed a true feat of determination from my very own couch. This little guy was not giving up, I tell you!

I was also treated to this most beautiful reminder that God is always with us...

Beautiful, right???

Finally, I must share this surprisingly delicious little coffee cake I found. 

It is a peanut butter coffee cake. Want a closer look?

There you are! And it is delicious!

I, of course, want to share the recipe with you. 

Yep! I found it at Walmart and was skeptical. But it is actually very easy and very good! I did add a few mini chocolate chips myself, but otherwise, I followed the directions on the box. And now I am going to have a little piece with another cup of coffee.

Have a wonderful day, my friends. Stay safe and cozy, happy and healthy. And if you watch The Bachelor, enjoy the finale tonight! I am going to watch it with my friend Heather, and she isn't free until Thursday, so I am going to avoid all info until then!

Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

(Google for the images)

March 24, 2023

Start Of Spring. Outside And Inside.

Spring has arrived here in Pennsylvania, and the outside world is beginning to awaken from the long winter slumber. The lake, which never entirely froze this year, is calm and quiet. The birds have returned to my feeder, especially the jackals, who tend to bully the tiny little guys, and the buds are appearing on the branches. When I step outside, the smell of spring takes me back to the days when my kids were little, and we ventured out to play after months of being indoors. I remember pulling out the bikes and big wheels, wiping off the swings on the swingset, and reminding the kids to stay on the driveway because the grass was muddy and wet. If I try really hard, I can still hear their shouts and giggles of joy. Early spring has a distinct smell and feel, and I will forever associate it with the pure happiness of being outside with my little ones.

Inside, I am beginning to set out my Easter and spring things. So far, I have this on my windowsill. One of my favorite spring scents from Yankee Candle is Jellybeans, and I have had it forever. A dear friend sent me this beautiful flower and I enjoy watching it come to life. 

And that is all I have today, my friends. The weekend will be quiet, with things to do around the house, laundry, grocery lists, mass, and phone calls. Steve and I are watching a fascinating documentary on Netflix called The Staircase, and it is very good. I started one on Netflix called MH370, The Plane that Disappeared, which is also really good. Just in case you are looking for something to watch this weekend!

Have a wonderful weekend, whatever you have planned. 
Thank you for visiting!

Billie Jo

March 22, 2023

Lazy Wednesday Morning


Good morning! I usually enjoy my morning time downstairs, but today I am coming to you from my cozy bed. No reason, except I am feeling a bit lazier than usual! I am just starting this book, so I cannot give any recommendations, but if it is good, I will let you know. Thank you for all the well wishes for Flynn. She is feeling better every day. I forgot how long colds can hang on. Vicks Shower Soothers are a staple in my cupboard now!

I was thinking about things that are a staple in my home, and I realized I always keep certain things on hand. For instance, some of the items you will always find somewhere in my house are extra packs of toothbrushes, assorted sizes of batteries, cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup, Vicks VapoRub, corn syrup, sunscreen, and brownie mix. On the other hand, things I cannot keep enough of are things like Tylenol, dog food, paper towels, toothpaste, stamps, scotch tape, and fresh bread. Oh, and cold medicine! Because I buy it when we need it, and then we use it, and it is gone. Note to self: Stock up on cold medicine for the next round. 

Well, I should get up and get moving. Only a little on the schedule for today, which makes me very happy. I have a few things to do around the house and some phone calls to make. Otherwise, I plan on visiting my blog friends this afternoon and having a hot cup of coffee! Have a cozy day, my friends!

Billie Jo

March 20, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning! This is my vibe right now, my friends. Just dragging a bit this morning and wanting to stay snuggled up with Mocha a little bit longer. Flynn came down with a cold, and it slowly progressed over the weekend in the textbook way colds seem to do. She has had everything from a sore throat to a stuffy nose and the general yucky feeling to the relentless cough. She and I spent Saturday and Sunday on the couch, finally finishing The Walking Dead with bits and pieces of The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner in between. Everything else can wait. For now, we rest, drink soup from mugs, and watch movies we have seen many times before. Fortunately, Flynn felt well enough for our Friday night's traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner. 

I made the best Irish Beef Stew and again discussed why we only have it once a year. Madison brought the most delicious Irish Soda Bread, and Peyton did it again with an amazingly perfect Baileys Irish Cream Chocolate Cake. I will link these recipes below and strongly urge you to try them!

Today the green and gold are packed away, and soon the bunnies and eggs will appear. Tonight I am making homemade chicken tenders with sweet potatoes and green beans and then I plan on watching The Bachelor to see if Zach can get closer to deciding which of the remaining women he will choose to spend the rest of his life with. Because Reality TV is the perfect place to do that.

Well, I hope you have a cozy Monday. Thanks for visiting. I am always glad you do!

Billie Jo

Irish Beef Stew

Irish Cream Chocolate Cake

March 17, 2023

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Hello! And Happy Friday! Are you wearing green today? Would you believe me if I told you I don't own a single piece of green clothing? I do have a shamrock necklace I plan on wearing, so I'm covered. This morning I have a hair appointment, and after that, I am coming home to put an Irish Beef Stew into the crockpot for dinner tonight. I made it last year, and it was delicious, so the kids requested it again this year. Madison is bringing Irish Soda Bread, and Peyton is bringing dessert. I'll share some photos on Monday!

The snowy days this week made me hungry for comfort food, so dinner on Wednesday was a delicious roast chicken with mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, peas, and corn. Now, before you think I am Wonder Woman and I Dream of Jeannie combined, let me tell you how I created this delicious faux fancy meal. The chicken is a Perdue Harvestland Oven Ready Roaster. It is fully prepared, so you literally unwrap it and put it in the oven! The potatoes are Idahoan instant, and they are really good! The stuffing is Stove Top and the vegetables, Birdseye. I did make the gravy myself with the drippings and liquid from the chicken. It was not Thanksgiving dinner, but it was very good and perfect for a cold and snowy Wednesday in March. 

Well, time for me to get going. I need to fix my hair before I go to my appointment. Tell me I'm not the only one that does that! Thanks so much for visiting, my friends. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a festive St. Patrick's Day! 

Billie Jo

(Pinterest for the fun.)

March 15, 2023

Here's The Story

 Of an average lady...

(In case you are new!)


This is me, a 53-year-old wife and mother blessed with a wonderful, ordinary childhood. I grew up in a white house with black shutters, along with four sisters and the best parents a child could imagine. Right before I left for college, I met the new guy in town.

Four years and many long-distance phone calls later, a month after I graduated college, we were married. It was June 29, 1991. Also known as the hottest day in recent history. We moved into the cutest apartment and began our life together. Steve joined his family car business, and I began teaching 2nd grade in the little school district nearby. Five years later, I retired from one dream job to begin another. As Mommy. Madison Marie was born on November 26, 1996.

Madison is beautiful inside and out. She owns her very own bridal store and is absolutely amazing at helping each bride find the perfect dress for her special day!

Madison met her wonderful husband, Nicolas, several years ago through their YouTube channels! He is Danish, and after living in Denmark for a couple years, they currently have a lovely house not too far from us. Yay!

Peyton Rose is our second beautiful daughter. She is 22 years old and the best baker around! Peyton is also an amazing nanny who blesses many families here with her love and care.

Peyton met her awesome husband Christopher in church one weekend, and the rest is happy history. They live in a beautiful house outside of town. Also pretty close from here! Yay!

Rhett Stephen is our son who brought a touch of blue into our house of pink! He is 20 years old and the spitting image of my father. Rhett works with Steve at the dealership, and truth be told, he is giving his father a run for the title of Best Car Salesman Ever!

Rhett has the most lovely girlfriend, Kyrstin. She is sweet and kind and perfect for my boy. Rhett lives here with us, and again, Yay!

Seven years after Rhett was born, we were blessed beyond measure with our baby, Flynn Grace. I was 40 years old and was told my baby years were over. But God can do anything, and He answered our prayers for just one more! Flynn is the sweetest child, and she and I have the best time together homeschooling, watching The Walking Dead, and playing with our pups.

Kirby is our precious 14-year-old Lhasapoo. He is obsessed with Steve and tolerates everyone else. He loves American cheese and socks.

Mocha is my 7-year-old Yorkiepoo. She is attached to me at all times, and if not, she is looking for me. She loves blueberries, cheese, and any food anyone has. She is the cutest, cuddliest pup, and I adore her.

This is my beautiful mom, also known as the very best person I will ever know. She is 86 and lives very close to us in a wonderful assisted living home. She is in the middle stages of her Alzheimers journey, and we savor every moment we have! She still knows me, and I am so thankful!

We live on a lake in Pennsylvania and enjoy spending time at the beach when we can.

We also enjoy each other and spending time together. For this, I am so deeply thankful.

Well, there's the story!
I hope you enjoyed getting to know way more than you ever wanted about me and my people!

Have a cozy day!

Billie Jo