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, December 13, 2017

Advocating for Tracy's Kids Art Therapy at NCI

Tracy's Kids is an Art Therapy program started by Tracy Councill over 20 years ago with "just a bucket of crayons and paper". It has grown by leaps and bounds and her program is now is several Baltimore and Washington, DC Metro area hospitals helping hundreds of childhood cancer patients, siblings and parents deal with and cope through very traumatic treatments, blood transfusions and chemotherapies. It has been a life-saver for Ryan and our family through many years, and we are indebted to Tracy and all her art therapists who make going to the hospital for treatment a little less "scary" for many patients and their families, and the willingness for each patient to fight on for another day...through art and creativity that Tracy and her staff initiates each day. 

Thankfully, research has shown that anxiety and stress levels are significantly decreased with these type of programs instituted in medical centers that cater to the pediatric cancer kids, and I've seen first hand, it works splendidly!!

So when Tracy asked if we could represent Tracy's Kids at a CFC (combined federal campaign) event today at NCI (National Cancer Institute) in Rockville, Maryland, we could not resist! Ryan and I spoke to several NCI employees about the great work Tracy's Kids provides children and families of all ages, and at no cost to any individual or family. It's great care through art (every kid checks in with Tracy or an art therapist, then they check in the the medical staff for treatment...in that order!) I hope we persuaded some new CFC donors over to Tracy's Kids...

BSoleille! The bright side of art therapy in many settings (but especially, pediatric cancer).

Ryan manning the booth

An employee learning about Tracy's Kids

Ryan and Terri

Employees of NCI at the event


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What is an Infusionarium?

Infusionarium...A new word in the pediatric cancer world, and Ryan and I were invited guests for the "big reveal" of this wonderful set up at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, this afternoon. The creator of the Infusionarium (and set up in approximately 16 hospitals nationwide thus far) is Co-Founder of Reimagine Well, Roger Holzberg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Holzberg. We had the chance to meet Roger, plus the donor for this amazing "treatment tool", Paul S. Pariser too.

According to the Wikipedia on Roger Holzberg, an Infusionarium is a "media set up which helps a child with cancer cope with treatment by asking the questions designed to determine what setting would be best and most comforting to them, and then using virtual reality technology and live events, to immerse them in such an environment during treatment."

So if a child would like to go on an African Safari while getting a sack of platelets, consider it done. Cute puppies, kittens and bunnies while getting a long infusion of chemotherapy, you got it. One of the best things about the unit, it's portable, and can be used by several patients at one time. Now that is something to be thankful for!

So a huge shout of THANKS to Paul S. Pariser for having the vision of helping kids in the Sinai community and Dr. Aziza Shad for coordinating all the variables to make the Infusionarium a bona fide "reality."

Paul Pariser; Neil Meltzer and Dr. Shad

Ryan and Roger Holzberg taking the Infusionarium out for a test drive!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Feisty Fabrics

Feisty fabrics are also known as scraps, and quilters are notorious for their scraps. Some have more than others, and many a quilt is made from lots and lots of scraps. Frankly, there are many books dedicated to the "scrap quilt", so it is a thing! Of course, over the years, I have accumulated many "feisty fabrics",  and, I must admit, they do come in handy even when a scrap quilt is not involved.

Today I have been working on a few quilts, but one in particular needed just a little bit of color and pop. No need to use a large piece of fabric for such tiny pieces, so into the scrap bag I went and dug though...looking for the exact color I needed. Sure enough, the scrap bag does not disappoint and I was able to carry on with the task as hand without missing a beat. Thankfully, I am working on a deadline, because while looking through the scrap bag, my mind started wandering on making something else with all those scraps...like a scrap quilt! Nope, not today!

BSoleille! The bright side of a large inventory of feisty fabrics!


This is a scrap bag of feisty fabrics that is 2 ft. high!

One of my current projects; the star and bulbs are "scraps".

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cookie Party 2017 in the Books

If you have hosted, or attended a Christmas cookie exchange, you know how fun it is! I love the fact of baking one kind of cookie, then exchanging with a dozen or so other people who brought different cookies, and the best part, we all go home with a plethora of super delicious treats to share with our loved ones. The Harcourt Avenue (and alumni/friends) ladies had a great time and a big shout of thanks goes to hostess Christie Best in accommodating the "crowds" and the cookies too! Food and Fun for sure; always a favorite during the holidays.

BSoleille! The bright side of a sugar high...one cookie at a time...


Saturday, December 9, 2017

First Snow of the "Winter"

Winter doesn't officially start for another 10 days or so, but you would not think that by the looks of the white out today...especially on the soccer field (grass, not turf). It certainly gave way to some very sloppy play, but it was fun (according to the teams playing). I am thankful that I was the center referee on the first game since I ran plenty and felt warm through two 45 minute halves. But, by the second game, and as an AR (Assistant Referee), the cold wet feet and heavier snow really got me, and everyone else quite chilled. I even threw on an extra down coat under my jersey and that still did not help too much.

While trying to keep warm, I started to think about how a hard cold rain is tough to gut out in outdoor activities, but so are freezing temperatures and 2-3"of snow scattered about a soccer field. I had to "rethink"my stance of loving the outdoors and "opting outside" over sipping hot tea and quilting/sewing in the comfort of a "warm" home than being out in the elements today!


After the first game with Mark Jennings, one of my Assignors!

Cold and icy feet!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Driver's License and Registration Mam

Those were the words uttered by a young female Maryland State Trooper to our bee-mate and driver, Deb Hoppe, who got pulled over (with four other bee-mates in the vehicle on a road trip to Lancaster, PA. We were on our way for a fun day of friendship and fabric acquisition, and in heavy Baltimore rush hour traffic, when Deb noticed the flashing lights illuminating the back of her vehicle. We all knew she wasn't speeding, nor was she following the car in front of her too closely, so we were all fairly clueless in why "we" were being pulled over. Lo and behold, Deb had one tailgate light out, and a work order to fix and repair was written, and thankfully, we were back on the road with no further incident.

Many know the feelings of that crazy adrenaline rush and increased heart beats when those flashing lights seem brighter than a tequila sunrise,  and Deb was no exception to those reactions. But, I have to admit, she continued on like a champ and we were safely "chauffeured" around Hinkletown, Bird in Hand, Lancaster, New Holland and Intercourse, Pennsylvania for the rest of the day!

BSoleille! The bright side of safe traveling...even with one tail light out!

Just Sew Bee L-R: Deb, Susie Stevenson, Carrie Casto, me and Karen Todd

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Drone Came to the Hive

Well, if bee-mate Mary Nielsen has moved on, and to Florida at that, it's very difficult for her to come to a bee when it's hosted in Maryland. Not to fear, though, guess who showed up to bee yesterday? Why her husband, Steve, that's who! What a nice surprise for sure, and I'm thankful he stopped in to say "hello" and hang out for a spell with his wife's bee (she is still part of our hive!). But not only did Steve "spin some yarns", he came bearing gifts of quilts (for Quilt Bingo/Community Quilts) that Mary knew would fit into his suitcase (he flew to Maryland on a business trip/Caps game(s)). I hope Mary is not too jealous!

BSoleille! The bright side of our "hive" welcoming the "drones, as well as the "worker bees" -us!


Photo: Susie Stevenson, me, Steve Nielsen and Karen Todd