April 17, 2024

Four Down, One To Go!

Hello! And Happy Wednesday! We have been back in Pennsylvania since Easter and have enjoyed many visits with friends and family, as well as organizing things like closets and shelves. I have also been checking off some essential things on my list. I scheduled all my appointments for this month, and I have one more to go. My friend Dannielle, who blogs beautifully HERE, always reminds me how good it is to "Check it Off. " If you have read here for any amount of time, you may remember I am diagnosed with OCD and suffer from Health Anxiety. I am thankful that through years of therapy and hard work, along with medication, I am doing much better and am no longer paralyzed with fear about these appointments and the results. I can see each as not something I have to do but rather something I get to do. I still don't look forward to going, but I realize I am blessed to have the opportunity to do so. So far this month, I have had...

a mammogram and ultrasound, 

a dental checkup and cleaning,

a yearly physical with my primary care physician,

and an annual skin check with my dermatologist.

Last up is my yearly eye doctor appointment next Monday. I am happy and blessed to report that all of these appointments went well, and I am good to go for a year! The anticipatory anxiety I felt prior to each, which, let's be honest, is very normal, was well worth the peace of mind I have now. I scheduled my appointments for next year and have tucked the appointment cards into my planner. Please know I do not share all this for any reason other than to encourage anyone needing a reminder to get these appointments scheduled and checked off. It is a good feeling, I promise.

Have a lovely Wednesday, my friends. After an absolutely glorious spring day yesterday, we will see a cloudy, rainy day here. I am ready to be cozy! Thanks for visiting, my friends. I am always happy you do.

Billie Jo

(Google for the images!)

April 15, 2024

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning, my friends. I hope your weekend was just what you wanted it to be. We had a nice one here. Steve and Christopher went hunting on Saturday, and Peyton came to spend the day with Flynn and me. It was like old times, I have to say! They baked a cake together, a yellow cake with chocolate icing from scratch, and we watched a movie I hadn't seen in years. Flynn recently read the book The Outsiders, so we watched the movie. It was one of Peyton's favorites when she was younger. And I remember reading it myself in Eighth Grade! When the movie came out in 1983, which I refuse to believe was forty-two years ago, it was THE movie to see. 


Saturday night, the entire family was here for dinner. Steve cooked steaks, I baked potatoes, and Kyrstin made a salad. It was so nice having all of us together around the table, talking and laughing—and enjoying the homemade cake, too! Sunday was mass, followed by a nap for me and the newest craze, Pickleball, for others. Then, a few of us went to the movies to round out the weekend. 

A few random things that have no purpose other than to jump from my brain to this screen:

~ Movie theatre popcorn is substantially better without the syrupy imitation butter substance added.

~ People who leave detailed, helpful reviews for clothing on websites need to be appreciated more than they are. 

~ You should always check your pockets before washing clothes. Also, torn, wet, clumpy, shredded tissues left in said pockets are evil pieces of torture.

~ No matter how busy or tired you are, you should always make your bed. Folding down the covers and sliding into a freshly made bed before you fall asleep instead of plopping down and tugging pieces of intertwined sheets and blankets to cover yourself is well with the effort.

Leaving you with these today, just because it's Monday.

Have a cozy day!

Billie Jo

April 12, 2024

Fun On A Friday

Hello, my friends! Happy Friday! I was just about to tell you that we have another cozy, rainy day here in Pennsylvania, but as soon as I started typing, the sun appeared, and the room filled with brightness. Let me check the forecast. Nevermind. Today, there is a 90% chance of rain and a high of 47 degrees. I used to get frustrated with the weather. However, age has gifted me with acceptance, and I realize it is what it is. Besides, I love a good rainy day. 

I also realized I have a distinct lack of photos to share with you today, but that is alright because I wanted to write about some of the things we are watching and anticipating. First, let me fill you in on a little secret we enjoy.

There was a day when the news was on in the background. Not anymore. I have always loved game shows, especially the old ones, as you know. I recently began watching Game Show Network during the day. Would you believe my family has become fans as well? We love it. No stress. No doomsday news. Just fun. We have a couple of new favorites, too.

Split Second

You can find the schedule online or on TV. You can also leave it playing in the background and watch whatever happens to be on! 

We are also watching and enjoying Manhunt on Apple TV. This series highlights the life of John Wilkes Booth following President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. It is very well made, and although I have read different reviews saying it is not historically accurate, it lends itself to research and comparing truth with fiction. 

This next one is a new documentary just released on Netflix. I have not watched it yet, but I am familiar with the story, which is very sad. This will be a good one for you if you are a fan of True Crime.

I am looking forward to this next show! Presumed Innocent is an upcoming television series on Apple TV. It premiered in June and is based on the Harrison Ford movie from the 1990s based on a book from the 1980s. I loved that movie and am anxious to see Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role because...Jake Gyllenhaal. 

Now, for movies! Last summer was all about Barbie and Oppenheimer. This year, we are anxiously anticipating another film in one of our favorite movie franchises.

Now. Hear me out. At first glance, you may think, "What the heck?" But honestly, these are really good movies. They are action-packed sci-fi with an actual storyline. Grab the popcorn and settle in if you have some rainy days and haven't seen the first three movies yet. This movie is coming out in May and takes place after the first three:

Rise of Planet of the Apes
Dawn of Planet of the Apes
War of Planet of the Apes

Those movies are for the kids too. This next one is not. I cannot wait for this movie! It is the sequel to  Joker, the outstanding film from 2019 that is not about a villain in a superhero universe as much as it is about the anguish of mental health issues seen through the eyes of one disturbed man. Joaquin Phoenix won an Oscar for his role as the Joker, and I am so ready to see him again in that role, along with Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. I will be waiting until October, but that is ok with me.

Well, there you have it. All the things you did not need to know about my viewing habits! I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea, and perhaps I should be doing something more constructive with my free time, but this is me being real. Now, I am off to watch Match Game '77 while I eat my cereal. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

(Google for the images.)

April 10, 2024

Wishful Wednesday

Yesterday, Flynn and I went to the dentist. No cavities, by the way! I saw this little peek of yellow in the parking lot and knew I had to take a picture. If you have read here for a while, you know why. If not, let me explain with pictures.

Years ago, when Flynn was little, she noticed all the beautiful specks of yellow popping up in our yard and ran outside to admire them. While many see these annual visitors as a nuisance, Flynn sees them as a bright and cheery part of nature. We began to wait each year for her dandelions and captured her happiness with a few pictures, showing her joy. Well, years passed, as they seem to do, and although we no longer document these little signs of spring, we still notice and remember the days of Flynn's dandelions. I am thankful to her, for in that initial moment of childhood innocence, she instilled in me something I always remember. We can see certain things in life as weeds needing harsh removal or as flowers that, for a brief time, offer us an opportunity to pause and admire them before they blow away as wishes in the wind.

I wish a dandelion-filled Wednesday for you, my friends.
Have a cozy day!

Billie Jo

April 8, 2024

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning! And Happy Eclipse Day! I know we have all heard so much about this, so that is all I will say about that, except be safe and enjoy! As for the weekend, we had a great one here. Saturday morning, Steve, I, and all the kids met at a new coffee shop~bakery here, and we had the nicest time. Madison, Nicolas, Peyton, and Christopher have been going to "Cinnamon Roll Saturday" and kept telling us how amazing it is. So, bright and early Saturday morning, we all met in the cozy reading room for breakfast. I can confirm that the food is fantastic. And they have the second most delicious cinnamon rolls, next to Peyton. 

Saturday late afternoon, we went to mass and were surprised to find out that we all have very bad memories! We were so excited to be there eight minutes early for 4:15 mass, only to find out it starts at 4:00 and has for quite some time! Mass was packed, but fortunately for us, Christopher is very tall and could see us standing in the back from his and Peyton's seats up front. He texted Rhett and told us to come up. So I chose sitting in a comfy seat right next to the altar over standing in a crowd at the back of the church for the entire mass, despite that weird feeling you get walking past a whole church filled with people long after mass begins. 

After mass, Steve's brother Todd and his wife Beth came for dinner. Steve had planned on cooking chip steak with mashed potatoes, but due to a rather unfortunate incident discovered when Steve unwrapped the meat, we had to change plans. Instead, we did what most hungry Americans would do. We got buckets of KFC chicken with all the sides! And it was good! Beth brought some of the most perfectly cut brownies I have ever seen, which were also delicious, and a peach berry pie. We ate, visited, and played cards. It was a fantastic night. 

Yesterday was a HAPPY DAY! I got to see my momma. Rhett and Kyrstin drove down with me and Steve and surprised her. Margie was there, and I am so very thankful to her for everything she does for Mom on a daily basis. We had a great visit, made even better when I was able to actually see the very moment Mom recognized me. I felt it in my soul and saw it in her eyes, smile, and tears. I will keep that feeling in my heart forever. 

It was a good day. We headed home, and after a quick 30-minute nap, I woke and cleaned up for our friends, who had come for puppy playtime and dinner. They have a beautiful dog, and they brought her over to play with Cosmo as those two dogs are so good together. We ordered takeout from a restaurant they own and then played cards. It was a great night.

After a good night's sleep, it was morning. Morning is my favorite time of day. I like the quiet, my coffee, my prayers, my pups, and just sitting and watching the world wake up to start a new day. It's one of the perks of getting older! I'll take it. 

And that's it, my friends. Today, I am going to wipe down my bedroom with a big bucket of water and Murphy's Oil Soap, change my bedsheets, and clean some bathrooms. I hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

April 5, 2024

Refrigerator Delight

Well, Hello there! Sorry to leave you hanging on Wednesday. I am usually consistent with posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but Wednesday got away from me this week. I had an appointment, and that threw my whole day off. The title of today's post is from the files of things my Mom used to say, as are so many of the things I do. Because when your Mom is the best, you have a childhood filled with memories to draw from. My Mom cooked dinner every night when we were young. Dad got home from work a little after five, and dinner was at 5:30. She was a great cook, and I remember loving everything she made except one. Chili. I cannot and will not eat a bowl of chili. Can't explain it. Just is. Every so often, my dad would go somewhere, and takeout wasn't the rage then, let alone DoorDash. So Mom would serve "Refrigerator Delight. She would take whatever leftovers and random things she found in the fridge, and we would help ourselves. This post is just that. I looked through my photos and found the ones I still needed to share. What do these photos have in common? Nothing. Except. Like Mom's Refrigerator Delight, they are a collection of things that define moments in our happy family life. First up. Nicolas and Madison were thrilled to finally meet Marty.

Speaking of Marty, I wanted to reintroduce the assortment of pups in our family. Sometimes, I read a blog and need clarification, and I hesitate to ask because...Shouldn't I know this? This person is my friend; I have read this blog for years! I cannot ask. Tell me I'm not the only one? Anyway, here are the dogs that call us family.

This is Mocha, my little Yorkie. She is eight years old and never leaves my side. Unless she does. And then she barks. Or howls.

Next is Draper. Draper is four years old and is Madison and Nico's Havanese pup. He is the sweetest dog and loves them so much.

Here is Jenny, Christopher, and Peyton's beautiful Lab. I don't know how old she is, but she has been Christopher's for a long time, and Peyton loves her so much! Jenny is so relaxed, well-behaved, and kind.

Next is Cosmo, Steve's ten-month-old Cavapoo. When we lost our Kirby last summer, Steve knew no other dog would take his place. Cosmo isn't trying to do that. He is here to love us and make us smile. Cosmo is by far the cuddliest and most tender-hearted dog ever. I know Kirby picked him out for us. 

Finally, here is Marty. He is Flynn's Maltipoo puppy. He is three months old and a cutie! Flynn researched, studied, prayed, and wished, and finally, she chose Marty. Or maybe he chose her; whatever the case, he is the newest member of our family, and we all adore him.

What else? Oh yes. I had my hair chopped, and I am thrilled. It is short and healthy, and I can still pull it back with a couple several bobby pins if I want. And I really am not someone who takes pictures of herself on a regular basis. I just always like to show Madison as soon as I am done. 

Peyton and Chris had us all over for dinner last night, and it was delicious. She made lasagna and homemade breadsticks, and Kyrstin made a delicious salad with homemade dressing. Madison brought ice cream to go with the skillet cookie pizza Peyton made for dessert. Although there is absolutely no photographic evidence of that, I assure you, it was amazing! Steve and I sat on her cozy couch and watched all the kids play cards after dinner. Although I was lovingly teased about how I would write about it on the blog, I am going to do just that. I felt so much joy and contentment watching those little children we brought into this world as young adults and one teen, along with the amazing person each chose, playing and laughing together. God is good, you know. I loved, loved, loved being a mom of little ones. But I am loving this chapter of my life, too. So very much.

Finally, here is an assortment of random photos that I could try to caption, but in the interest of us all moving on with our day, I will not. This is just life—ordinary life—the best life there is.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Billie Jo