A daily record of gratitude; from quilting to photography to a mix of technology, books, movies and the musings of life!

Welcome to my Blog of my daily gratitude and photo of the day!

Since January 1, 2012, my goal is to write a daily sentence or two about gratitude of the day and to include one photo (at least) that I took that day (but will add others from time to time). It has defintely been a challenge every day throughout the past three years, but I welcome the challenge again this year 2015. I hope you will continue the ride with me!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

One More Sleep Until Retreat 

Do you count "sleeps", instead of days, before a trip or big event? Seems like a good way to tick off the days leading up to the departure or event, like tonight’s "one more sleep" before my bee meets up at West River for our annual spring quilt retreat starting tomorrow! Since I haven’t sewn for a week, I’m primed to sew 12 hours a day for the next four days, which will also include lots of laughter, food, advice and more laughter. I’m thankful for the time I will spend with my bee-mates, and they inspire me beyond measure!



Photo of some of my sewing stuff (can’t forget the machine!). 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Quiet Moments

An unplanned trip to Cleveland yesterday yielded some quiet moments with my Mom, and I am thankful to have make the trip. Her communication skills are very limited now, but she seems stronger than we think she is, and ultimately, seems happy "enough" to muscle through her days. Of course, many emotions flow through my veins, which I believe, is perfectly "normal" in witnessing the slow deterioration of my mom and the other nursing home residents as well. 

I am truly amazed at the workers who take care of the elderly, anywhere on the planet, because some of them are worth their weight in gold...hands down!



Monday, April 16, 2018

Planks in the Park-Central Park

Our wild weekend continued with a trip to the Wine Library in Springfield NJ, then lunch at our favorite Italian restaurant, Enzzos Trattoria (near Wine Library), and onward ho to The Big Apple for the rest of the warm and beautiful day! A leisurely walk through a slice of Central Park gave way to some planking on the lawn... with Mark Misencik going over the five minute mark and could have gone longer. Thankful to travel with six great folks and kin!

BSoleille! The bright side of a warm spring day walking around Manhattan!


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Special Love Gala 2018

A whirlwind weekend with the Stongsville Tomoff's and the Amherst Misencik's began Friday with the  super fun evening of eating, bidding, dancing and raising funds for Special Love programs as Camp Fantastic, BRass Camp and year-round weekend programs for childhood cancer thrivers and their families! A tribute to Randy Schools and, posthumously, Tom Baker (co-founder of Special Love) rounded out the very "special" evening. We all enjoyed ourselves and the people who make these camps special to hundreds of kids held every summer since 1983. So let me finish with a huge: HOW-HOW to everyone who contributed to this worthwhile event in every capacity!


Mark, Linda, Bill, Terri, Don and Beth
Olivia and Liz Verrecchia

Olivia and Ryan

Bill and Shari Fisher

Tom/Marilyn Eichner and Bill/Terri

Special Love Gang!

Dr. Shad, me, Azmat (Dr. Shad's sister)

Ryan and friend Brian Lowe

Friday, April 13, 2018

#CelebrateOthers - Julia Tavano 99 Years and 364 Days Old

On the eve of Julia Tavano's 100th Birthday, I wanted to give a shout out to Julia and her family on this terrific milestone occasion. The family will be celebrating her birthday with a big family reunion, tomorrow, in Hartford, CT. Wooohoooo 100 Years Young!!!

I met Julia and her daughter Judy, plus Judy's husband Ross Gardner, at my guild's annual quilt show in Bowie, Maryland, last month. The trio has been coming to our show for the last five years, and I noticed how carefully and lovingly Judy and Ross wheeled Julia around the show, giving her the chance to really look at each quilt and everything else at the show with, what seemed like, nary a rush on anyone's part. I finally had to ask this trio how they liked the show and what was their connection. Judy mentioned that her mother comes to live in Maryland for two months each year (with them), and our quilt show is smack dab in the middle of her stay. They saw an advertisement a few years back, and this began a new tradition for the three of them to visit our show.

When Judy leaned over to me and whispered that her Mom was a quilter, and did stunningly beautiful quilts, I knew I'd wanted to delve more into this "renaissance woman's" life. They obliged. 

Julia was born in Hartford, CT, but lived in East Hartford most of her life. She was married for 52 years and had three children (Judy, Louis, and Maryann). She began quilting after her retirement from the State of Connecticut as a payroll accountant in her early 60's, and her very first quilt was featured at the Woodlawn Plantation in Alexandria, VA in the late 1980's. Her daughter described this quilt as her "masterpiece", which is a breathtakingly hand-stenciled-hand-quilted Baltimore Album style quilt. Interestingly, Julia has "only" made about 25 quilts because each quilt is simply, outstanding; and quality over quantity is how Julia liked to do things.

During her quilting years,  she sewed on a Singer, then Bernina sewing machine, and belonged to the Piecemaker's Quilt Guild of Glastonbury, CT. She was also a very prolific artist, dabbling, then mastering, other crafts as rug hooking (which her daughter Judy loves to do); rug braiding; basket-weaving; cake decoration; stenciling; knitting; crocheting and needlepoint. I say this is truly inspirational and awesome; and her secret? Well....there is no secret according to Julia. Can you believe that? However, she did say to "get up every day and do what you have to do." Spoken like a true 100 year old, I'd say!

So, you maybe thinking, what inspired Julia through the years? Her thoughtful and delightful answer: her mother, who was also a "renaissance woman" in her own right and "never used a pattern on anything she made" (and think about that, her mother was born in the late 1800's!).

Believe it or not, this color blue loving lady still lives in the family home where she married and raised her family, albeit with a live-in caregiver nowadays. She goes out twice a week to soak in a therapy pool, still reads and loves to check out recipes in her extensive cookbook collection! A full and happy life indeed! Happy 100th Birthday, Julia!


Thursday, April 12, 2018


After six seasons of "binge watching" Longmire, I simply could not get enough! I really loved the character development, the writing, and most importantly, the metaphors of life capitulated in each episode. If you’ve watched this series on Netflix, you know what I mean. I really enjoyed this "old timey" Western with modern technology used to solve crimes...in Wyoming. Cowboys and Indians to the fullest extent of the "law" plus crime, drama, scene stealers (Lou Diamond Phillips comes to mind on several occasions), and good cop/bad cop at each turn. I thought about this show all day today after finishing the series last night. 

If you’re looking for another show to watch, give this one a try!



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Top of the MLB Season 2018

A sunny break through day baseball game at Nationals Park is a great way to start off the season, especially with a sports nut son who loves this game fanatically! Cheap seats ($13/each) in the upper bowl seems like this will be perfect afternoon to spend at this ball park and cheer on the home team (playing Atlanta). Go Nats!! We are both thankful to make this happen and know there will be more games in our future this summer. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a 1:05pm game start!