April 30, 2023

May Is National Health Awareness Month!


Good Monday morning, my friends! Monday Morning Coffee Talk returns next week, but today is all about Mental Health Awareness. May is many things, among them Mental Health Awareness Month. This little space here allows me to bring awareness to mental health and the need to break the stigma associated with it. Several years ago, when I was finally diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Health Anxiety, I realized I had suffered silently for too long. In retrospect, I realize I was concerned about what people would think about me if they knew I had mental health issues. Those days are long gone, my friends. Finally becoming unable to live with the intrusive thoughts affecting my life and being forced to seek treatment were the best things that could have happened. Now I have the proper dosage of medication, regular sessions with a fantastic therapist, and a knowledgeable primary care physician and psychiatrist allowing me to manage these conditions that are part of my life. 

Anxiety is hard enough. Thinking you are alone with anxiety is unbearable. In sharing my experience, I hope to help even one person see that living with anxiety is possible. You are not alone in your worries, fears, anxiousness, and intrusive thoughts. I am proof of that. Recently I realized that my anxiety has lessened and that I can handle certain situations without becoming anxious or obsessive. My mind isn't ruminating, causing me to seek reassurance about things I fear. When I thank her for helping me, my therapist reminds me regularly that she is there to provide me the tools I need but that I do the hard work. Just recently, I realized she was right. I wish I could say a magic wand exists that will take all the anxiety, fear, worry, and obsessions away. But that will never be true. The truth is, I work every day to manage my OCD and anxiety. I accept that it will never be gone entirely, but I can honestly say I am managing it in a healthy, productive way. 

I have learned a few things that may help you on your mental health journey.

*Show yourself the same compassion you show others. What do you do when someone you love is struggling? You offer help and support. Do the same for yourself. You deserve it.

*Accept help. Let your loved ones in. Struggling with anxiety while trying to keep it a secret is unimaginably hard. Don't ask for reassurance. Just ask someone to listen.

*Talk to professionals. Your doctor will help you find a counselor or therapist to talk with. And know this. Anything you say to the therapist has been said before. Be honest about your anxiety, your obsessions, and your fears. 

*Medication can and does help. With your doctor's help, find the right one with the correct dosage. It might not be the first one you try but keep at it. You will get there!

*Stop Googling. Let me say that again. Stop Googling. Just stop. Stop looking for answers on the internet. 

*Find an app to help. I love the Dare Response! It is the very best thing I have found to help me with my anxiety. Click HERE to go to the website. I use the app every day.

*And finally, keep at it. Show up for yourself every single day. When you start to see a change, keep going. Like brushing your teeth or washing your face, managing your anxiety should be a part of your daily routine.

Thank you for the support you have given me over the years. You have given me the courage to continue talking about my mental health challenges. And I hope I have done the same for you. 

Have a cozy Monday, my friends!
Thanks for visiting!

(Insert cute puppy pics here.)

Billie Jo

*Google for the image.*

April 28, 2023

A Chilly Rainy Friday In April


Good morning, my friends! And yes, this would be my view right now. It is indeed chilly and rainy outside, so I am using this opportunity to indulge in the coziness of the fire. I know I have precious few days left before the sun and warmth of summer arrive. In fact, it is beginning to look a bit springlike here at the lake. Slowly, I may add.

Little by little, buds are appearing, opening and adding green touches to the barren brown. The weekend here looks to be rainy and cool. If it is also forecast for inside time for you, you may want to check out the Netflix series we all are currently obsessing over. Have you seen it yet? It is called ANIMAL, and it is fantastic.


We have watched the episodes entitled Apes and Bears so far. It is not just another nature documentary, I promise. The footage is unbelievable! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friends. Thanks for stopping by! I always appreciate it when you do.

Billie Jo

April 25, 2023

Eye See You!

Someone wanted to help Flynn with her Math test yesterday. She was being very sneaky about it, but I saw her! Apparently, Mocha is very confident in her knowledge of fractions, decimals, and percentages.

And I am off early today, my friends. I have my annual eye appointment, and then I am meeting my friend Heather for breakfast. Not lunch because I always schedule the earliest appointment of the day. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo


April 24, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning! This was me for a substantial amount of time last week at the beach. Cozy clothes, makeup-free, with my coffee and pup nearby. For many years, I enjoyed the fun and excitement of being in the middle of the action at the beach. Now I am happiest as a bystander and only occasionally joining the excursions, choosing instead to stay back and watch the dogs. Yet another reason this introverted homebody is thankful she married an extroverted fun seeker.  

On this trip, I had a friend to drink coffee with and watch crime shows with! Danielle has a beautiful blog right HERE, and she and I have been friends for years. We met through our blogs, and now we are friends in real life too! She and her family spent the week with us, and it was filled with laughter, coffee, movies, beach time, and fun. 

It was a wonderful week for us all. We were all able to enjoy the time together, except these two, and we missed them dearly, but they were on their own adventure in Washington, D.C., celebrating their 2nd wedding anniversary! So happy for my Peyton Rose and her Christopher!

We stayed in touch with phone calls and photos, of course. I am home, safe, sound, and ready for a new week. Today I will organize some things, do the laundry, and make my meal plan with a shopping list. The leaves are appearing on the trees, and the days are getting longer. Spring is trying to arrive here in Pennsylvania, but winter isn't going quietly. We had snow flurries this morning, and I have the fire going beside me. And I am not complaining about that. Have a wonderful day, my friends. I will be around to visit and get caught up! 

Thanks for visiting!
Billie Jo

April 17, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning! Is your Monday starting out like this...

Or is it more like this...

Mine is a little bit of both! I'll have another cup of coffee and get back to you! We are at the beach with our dear friends, who drove an obscene distance to be here with us this week. Our plans include rest, coffee, games, beach time, coffee, movies, and maybe some coffee ice cream! I hope you have a cozy Monday, my friends. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Billie Jo

April 13, 2023

Random Photos On A Friday

Hello and happy Friday, my friends. This past week started out slowly and gradually picked up steam! Monday and Tuesday were ordinary, cozy days at home. I helped Madison at her bridal boutique Wednesday and then visited with my sweet Mamma. Afterward, we met at our little local ice cream place for dinner. More on that later. Thursday, I had my annual skin check with the dermatologist. Thankfully it went well, and I left feeling good. And now, time for my PSA about wearing sunscreen! Please wear it. Everyday. Remember your face. I am a testament that someone who hates the sun and avoids it like a vampire can and did get skin cancer. Ok. Because we have to drive a bit to get to the dermatologist, Steve and I treat ourselves to lunch. This time it was Panera. And it was good! I had half a grilled cheese sandwich with chips and, not pictured but equally delicious, some Papaya Passion Green Tea. Then it was back home to shower and put on my cozy clothes. Does anyone else love coming home, showering, and putting on fresh, clean clothes just to sink into the couch and breathe a sigh of relief? Or is it just me?

This little lady was patiently waiting for me to get home.

Another book recommendation? You bet! This was a new author for me, and I loved this book. I literally had to force myself to put it down. 

Finally, I am adding some pictures I had no idea were being taken. I am glad they were, though, because seeing pieces of everyday life without posing or planning is refreshing. First up is this gem Flynn took of me in my natural element.

Yep. Me with my phone on the couch in my jammies. True life, right there. Madison snapped this next one when we went for ice cream. I am so happy she did because it is a moment in life that would have gone unnoticed had she not. 

Please note: The kids bought my cone! I could not believe how big it was! For the record, it is Hershey Cappuccino Crunch and Hershey Cold Brew Caramocha. You know, just in case you want to try them. 

Well, I need to run. The dogs have an appointment with the groomer, and I have one with the laundry. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. And a special Thank You to those of you that do not blog but read and comment here. I am so happy you do and appreciative that I get to know you through your comments!

 Have a cozy afternoon, my friends!

Billie Jo

April 11, 2023

Well, Hello There, Dad!


I was sitting on the couch talking on the phone with my sister about our dear Mom and her Alzheimers journey when I looked up and saw this visitor. I knew right away. I felt right away that it was my Dad telling me he was near and everything would be just fine. Thanks, Dad. 

April 10, 2023

Easter 2023

Good Monday morning! And Happy Easter! I hope your day was everything you dreamed it would be and then some. Easter was sunny and pleasant here in our part of the world, just as Easter should be. Gone are the days of leaving carrots out for the bunny and waking before dawn, and this Momma isn't complaining. I am blessed that my grown-up children enjoy everything Easter and sleeping in, so we have the best of both worlds! I set the table Saturday night for our Easter Brunch because that is one less thing Sunday morning. Our menu was similar to last year, adding in some meat and cheeses for little sandwiches.


Kyrstin, Rhett, Peyton, Christopher, Nicolas, Madison, and Flynn. So thankful for these amazing young people and the joy of being Mom.

And for this wonderful woman who taught me how to be a mother and who made every Easter so special with homemade peanut butter eggs with each of our names written in pastel icing nestled in Easter grass in the center of the dining room table, and who always prepared a delicious ham dinner, inviting both of my Grandmas to celebrate with us, and made it all look so easy. Flynn and I spent time with her on Easter Sunday, and while we were there, memories of Easters past filled my heart. 

Easter isn't over, my friends. We can pack away the bunnies and the baskets. We can finish the chocolate eggs too. But we will have the joy of the Resurrection and the memories of our day forever. 

Happy and Blessed Easter, my friends!!!

Billie Jo

April 7, 2023

A Good Week And Good Friday

Good morning, my friends. This week brought the warmest weather of the year so far to our little lake in Pennsylvania. Young Billie Jo would have most certainly organized a "Clean and Scrub the Deck Furniture" family event, but Older and Wiser Billie Jo simply had Steve pull out the dirty chairs that were stacked last fall so we could sit outside for a few hours. 

Favorite meal of the week? Rhett and Kyrstin planned and prepared a delicious breaded chicken with pasta alfredo meal for all of us! Delicious! And I know my dear Dad was smiling down from Heaven when Rhett used rigatoni! That was his very favorite.

Peyton provided the best dessert for Holy Week. She made Hot Cross Buns! 

Here is my beautiful Momma! Steve's Sister Sally, AKA The best person in the world, visited my Mom this week and took her an Easter surprise! How blessed am I that so many others love my Momma? Madison also saw her this week and Facetimed so I could visit too!

Today is Good Friday, and Flynn and I will fast, abstain, and pray the Stations of The Cross. Tomorrow we will prepare for Easter and attend Mass, and Sunday, we celebrate Easter Sunday with brunch and joy and chocolate and each other.

Happy and Blessed Easter, my friends.

Billie Jo