August 30, 2023

Come On Down!


I have so many wonderful memories of my childhood, and one of the best is watching Bob Barker on The Price is Right every day in the summer, on holiday breaks, and on sick days home from school. Was it even a legitimate sick day if you didn't watch Bob Barker, sip ginger ale, and eat Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup with saltines?? 

I remember summer days at 11:00 a.m., sitting in the family room with my sisters, hoping that someone would get to play The Clock Game or win both showcases. My Grandma Mil watched it too, and sometimes we would call her and see what she thought about a game or a contestant! It was fun. Simple, clean, cozy, fun. And I loved it.

I also remember watching some other favorites, The Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants. Bob Barker hosted these programs for several years, and I loved it when he used his signature line there, too. I still hear him saying, " Come on down, Miss USA!" 

Hearing of his death was not a surprise. He was 99, after all. But realizing that yet another one of my childhood icons is gone is hard, as it serves as a reminder that life does indeed pass quickly, and I get older at the same time. Maybe that is why I prefer to watch the old Price is Right. The one I know and love. The one with Bob Barker streaming on Pluto and Roku TV. For a short time, I can forget about the ugliness of our world today and be that young girl again, sitting in my childhood home, watching The Price is Right with my sisters,  my mom making melty ham and cheese sandwiches in the kitchen nearby.  

If you are interested, CBS is airing a special to celebrate Bob Barker's life tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friends!


August 28, 2023

Check It Off!


Hello, my friends. I am coming to you a bit later this Monday. Today was Mammogram Day! (Hence, the lovely picture of me without a stitch of makeup and the slightly disturbing look on my face.) I used to absolutely fear this day. If you have read here for a while, you may recall that I suffer from OCD and Health Anxiety. Mammograms are at the top of my list when it comes to triggers. However, through the years, I have worked hard with my therapist to recognize that I am choosing to get a mammogram. I don't HAVE to go. I am choosing to go. I am doing it as preventive health care. Do I enjoy it? Nope. Do I still get apprehensive about it a few days prior? You bet. I schedule my yearly female appointment on the same day so my doctor can discuss the results with me. And thankfully, today, all was good! 

I am home now, showered, in my cozy clothes, and snuggled on the couch. There may have been a McDonald's Dr. Pepper on the way home, along with a prayer of thanksgiving. Have a cozy evening, my friends. I plan on visiting with you this afternoon!


August 25, 2023

Just Like That!

Last night, we enjoyed a delicious meal and a cozy evening with Madison and Nicolas at their lovely home. As I sat there, watching them work together in the kitchen, I realized I was now my Mom. (And there is no one I would rather be!) I remember so many times calling my parents and inviting them to my house for dinner. When they arrived, my dad would sit in his favorite chair, and my Mom would ask what she could help me with. I always told her to sit down and relax or play with the kids because she had cooked dinner for so many years! It was her turn to relax. Last night, I realized I am now the mother, visiting and relaxing while my daughter and her husband cook for me. So when I asked Madison what I could do to help, and she told me there was nothing they needed and to sit down and relax, I did just that. And just like that, I realized how wonderful life is. Each of us is but one link in an endless chain of people sharing precious moments in time. 

Everything was delicious!!! They prepared homemade strawberry lemonade, chips with guacamole, cheese sauce, and salsa, fresh crunch wraps, and strawberry pie! 

We finished the night with a fun family game called KNOW IT OR BLOW IT. It is really fun for everyone to play together.

I so appreciated the delicious dinner and cozy evening at my oldest child's house. Once again, I am reminded that grown children are a whole new kind of wonderful!

Have a lovely weekend, my friends.
Thanks for visiting!


August 23, 2023

Almost Here Again


Well, I've waited as long as I can. I thoroughly enjoyed summer. I really did. And I know we have more sunny days, boat rides, and hot dogs on the grill to come. But something else is coming. Soon, the cooler air will allow for soft, cozy sweaters, the leaves will say goodbye with one last burst of brilliant color, and the afternoon will slowly slip into evening a bit sooner.

I loved fall before it was cool to do so. I didn't need Pinterest to tell me how cozy autumn days are. I have always loved the fresh start of the new school year, the cooler mornings, and the gently falling leaves. 

I love the cozy nights that gradually come sooner. Autumn evenings are spent on the couch in fresh pajamas after a shower with a soft throw and a good book. 

I love the comfy food of fall. I love sloppy joes and crockpot soups, pumpkin cake, and apple pie.

And, of course, I love a steaming hot pumpkin spice latte.

But really, what I love most about autumn is knowing that we are in the twilight of the year. I love the feeling of contentment and peace autumn brings. We turn inward and spend more time together in the comfort of home. Time slows, and life can be simple. And cozy, of course.

Happy almost autumn, my friends!


Thanks, Google, for the fun!

August 21, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee


Good Monday morning! I couldn't wait another minute. I got a few of my fall mugs out of storage...aka the corner kitchen cupboard with a weird angle that makes it impossible to reach things in, so I keep lesser-used things in there... and I love my morning routine even more. One can not have too many fall and Halloween mugs, right?

I hope you had an enjoyable weekend, my friends. I say this every year, but it is hard to believe summer is almost over. Thinking back to that glorious last day of school as a child, leaving that bare classroom on an early afternoon in June, and saying goodbye to the friends you knew you wouldn't see for a while, summer seemed an eternity! Of course, we had three whole months of summer fun back then. And it made sense. June was the early part of summer. The weather was getting hot, the community pool was just opening, and the days stretched long and empty before us. July was an entire month of hot days at the pool and nights spent playing Ghosts in the Graveyard and Kickball with the neighbor kids after dinner until dark. August was much the same, with no thought of school until Mom took you to the mall or to Kmart for new school clothes and a pair of shoes. By the time Labor Day rolled around, we were ready to return to the squeaky-clean school and see the friends we hadn't seen in months. We couldn't wait to see who our teacher was and who was in our class and see the brand new tablet, pencil, and box of crayons on our desk. Oh, the good old days.

Our weekend was filled with fun, food, family, and friends. We visited with our friends Justin and Gina and their adorable baby Walter on Friday night! He is about 17 months old and is absolutely precious. He and I sat on the rocker on the porch, looking for deer while we waved at passing cars. I have the cutest picture of him but haven't asked their permission to share it here. It is clearly evident what a fantastic job they are doing with him, and we are so happy we could spend time with them, even doing something as simple as eating pizza and visiting with Toy Story on in the background.

Steve, Flynn, Peyton, and Chris went to Pittsburgh for the day on Saturday. They visited a science center and then attended the Steeler preseason game. They had a great time as evident from the photos they shared. Flynn was also happy to check a few things off her summer to-do list! Still left to be checked off? Completing a packet of math review pages and organizing her closet, but priorities. Right?!?

Although I planned on visiting my mom this weekend, I had several nice phone visits with her instead. She has good days and some not-so-good days, but even on those difficult days, she and I talk and laugh together. Alzheimer's Disease sucks. It really does. 

Rhett and I were on our own Saturday night, and my son made me one of the most delicious grilled cheese and soup meals ever! He made the sandwiches with Artisian Italian bread and put a little mayonnaise on them before he grilled them. Delicious!!!! We also watched some tv, and I once again thought how blessed I am with these children God gave me.

Sunday morning, I returned the favor with delicious waffles and fresh fruit. I made regular and pumpkin spice, and Steve cut some fresh peaches. So good.

Finally, Mocha is adapting to life without her best friend, as we all are. She likes snuggling on this beautiful blanket some dear friends gifted us. It is so soft and is covered in precious pictures of Kirby. I cannot tell you how much their thoughtfulness meant to us all.

This week I have a therapy appointment and an appointment with the psychiatrist I see for my OCD. There was a time when I hesitated to share a sentence like that. That day is long gone! The stigma of mental health issues must be challenged so that more people suffering in silence feel empowered to share their struggles and get the necessary help. Hiding OCD is exhausting and so very difficult. Treatment with a psychiatrist and through medication can and will change the life of someone suffering from OCD. I am proof of that.

In lighter news, the Bachelorette Finale is tonight! However, I will avoid any mention of it until I watch it Wednesday night. My best friend Heather is coming to watch it with us and can only come then due to work. We have watched this show together for years, and I look forward to seeing which man Charity chooses to spend the rest of her life with, despite only knowing him for six weeks and the fact that she is possibly in love with two other men. Quality television right there, friends!

Well, Mocha needs a bath desperately. And I need to get ready for the day. Have a wonderful Monday, and thanks for visiting!


August 18, 2023

Friday Photos

Good morning, my friends. Friday again? This past week was a busy one here, as each week is as we begin to wrap up one season and start thinking about the next. Spoiler: my favorite! Tuesday evening, after a beautiful holy day mass, we all went to dinner at one of our favorite places in town. At mass, we ran into Linda, our friend Fr. Ross's mother, and she joined us for dinner. It was a lovely evening.

 Especially since we had our very favorite server! 

We just adore her!

I have been trying to do more reading and less scrolling, and this book was just the thing to help me do that! It is different from the books I usually enjoy, but it is so good. It tells the story of two families and spans several years, and that is all I will say about that!

How has your weather been? We have had rainy and cool weather here, and I think I felt a hint of autumn! Last night I made a comfort meal of roast chicken with mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and corn. I am not over hot dogs on the grill with fresh cut-up fruit, but this tasted so good on a rainy late summer evening. Lest you think I can pull off a mini-Thanksgiving dinner just like that, it was easy! I used a Perdue Oven Ready Seasoned Roaster, which is already seasoned and bagged. You just put it in the oven and cook. The drippings make delicious gravy! The mashed potatoes are the BEST boxed ever! They are Idahoan Instant and honestly taste homemade.  The corn is Birds Eye steamable frozen, easy, and delicious! The stuffing is homemade and worth the extra time, believe me! If you have yet to make homemade stuffing, try it sometime. Just rip some bread into pieces and let it sit out a bit. Saute chopped onion and celery in melted butter with salt, pepperer, and poultry seasoning, then let cool and add some beaten eggs. Pour this over the bread in a baking dish, add some chicken broth, and bake for about an hour at 350 degrees. 

Flynn and I both got passing grades from the dentist this week. I always love the feeling after a good cleaning and vow to keep them that sparkly myself. And I do. Until I don't.

Well, Mocha and I are going to start our day. Tonight, we are having a very dear friend and his family over boating and pizza. You may remember him...

Justin spent a lot of time here this summer sleeping on my couch and eating my food, so he offered to cook us chicken for lunch last week before he left for college. I am thinking the oven...silly me! He shows up at eight in the morning and rigs this up in our yard and cooks chicken all morning!

I went with it...and It Was Delicious! He cooked raw potatoes and veggies with olive oil too. We rounded it out with a fresh peach pie made by my Peyton, and it was perhaps the best meal of the summer! He cleans up too!
( From August 22, 2013 )

Justin is now married to the sweetest young woman ever, and they have the cutest little one-year-old boy that we adore! 

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends! 
Thank you for visiting!


August 16, 2023

I Didn't Make These...

 ...But I wish I did because I love them all!

Have a happy Wednesday, my friends!


August 15, 2023

The Feast Of The Assumption Of Mary


Good morning, my friends. Today is a very special day in the Catholic Faith ~ The Feast of the Assumption of Mary. I  look forward to this day every year. A priest many years ago said in his homily that on this day, we can bring our special requests to Mary and ask that she intercede for us. Over the years, I have done just that and received many blessings. The prayer is one I cut from a church bulletin many years ago and keep in my prayer book. 

And my prayer book? It is very special to me, as it was part of a three-book set my parents received as a wedding gift in 1956. It has been a constant in my life, from college student to young wife and teacher, from mother of littles to mother of not-so-littles. My mom even had it rebound for me when it started to fall apart from so much use. 

Today, I will open it and pray for my special intentions. We will attend mass and even go to dinner because if I am out and about, I might as well, right?!

Have a lovely day!


August 14, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee


Good Monday morning, my friends. I hope your weekend was relaxing or crazy busy; whatever makes you happiest! We are home, having arrived late last night, but not too late that I couldn't get things unpacked and myself showered. I am a creature of habit and find it hard to deviate from my schedule! I took this photo through the car window when we stopped for a dish of ice cream yesterday, and looking at that beautiful sight led me to think about slower and simpler times.

I was thinking about how many things in life today are rushed and how much we might miss by all the multitasking we can do now. I remembered my Grandma Mil, my mom's mom, sitting in her chair by the window on any given day, sipping a cup of coffee, talking on her corded phone for hours at a time. I thought about how she didn't ~couldn't~ unload the dishwasher, scrub the bathtub, or organize a closet while she was on the phone. Her phone cord didn't reach that far! Her attention was primarily focused on her conversation with the person on the other end. Then I thought about how I often do numerous things while on the phone. I sort laundry, dig through files looking for one specific paper, and even clean the garage. I realize now that I cannot give my full attention to the other person and what he or she may be saying because my mind is being bombarded by too many things at the same time.

This need for instant gratification and accomplishment has become so prevalent that I fear we are missing so much of the joy of simply being. Have you recently tried to sit and talk on the phone without doing something else simultaneously? It isn't easy! We seem accustomed to allowing and even promoting the desire for excess information and the need for constant accomplishment that the very acts of being, living, visiting, and resting are now seen as laziness and selfishness.

When I ask people why they stopped blogging, I am often given the same answer. It is usually something along the lines of Reading blogs takes too long. Or I don't have time to sit and write a blog post! Instagram is so much quicker! Exactly. Blogging does take more time. Reading blogs takes more time than scrolling on Instagram, being bombarded with so much information that the mind cannot process it before moving on to the next. I am all for technology. After all, I use it every single day to connect to my friends here in blogland. However, I also long for the days when the world moved much slower. When my parents had a cup of coffee after dinner while talking about their day. I miss the days of being able to watch the news for thirty minutes and then turn it off and go outside to enjoy the quiet of a summer evening. 

It is possible to do these things. I can certainly try! What is that saying? Change begins with you? Or Change starts at home? Something like that! Well, I will stop there, my friends. I need to write a grocery list, do some laundry, and eat breakfast. I hope you all have a wonderful day and will join me in prayer or loving thoughts for the people affected by the recent horrific fires.

Thank you for visiting!


August 11, 2023

Wrapping Up The Week


Hello! And Happy Friday! I am coming to you from the beach this morning, where we have spent a few days with my best friend Heather and her husband, Dave. Here are a few pictures of the fun we had together...

Baskin Robbins ice cream is a must for me here because we have none anywhere close to us at home. I introduced Heather to the best flavor ever, World Class Chocolate and she was hooked! Fun fact: I will always choose a sugar cone over a bowl. Every time.

I am blessed to have my oldest daughter be a hair, makeup, and fashion expert. This took about 3 seconds, and it looked and felt so good!


I am the only early riser, so my mornings were quiet on the porch with my coffee and rosary.

Late afternoon was for this. Sitting watching the waves and spending time with a friend.

I'm not referring to this guy, whom I was a little afraid of.

Which was ok because he had some contemplating going on.

Finally, sitting on the porch at the end of the day, everyone is full, relaxed, rested, and happy,

Because the beach will do that every time. 

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. Enjoy these waning weeks of summer! 

Billie Jo