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 (or paragraph 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 definitely been a challenge most days throughout the past eight years, and welcomed the challenge again this year - 2020 - Covid and all. I hope you will continue the ride with me!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat

My day started back at Broadneck Elementary School with most of the students dressed in costume for Halloween and very excited about all the classroom parties.

Nurse Jane Lefavor and I kept the fort (health room) open for business for little ghosts and goblins feeling ill throughout the day.

My photos are of me and Jane in the health room and Big Lucy dressed up for the 17 trick or treaters that came to the door tonight. Boo!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Eve

As I continued my quilting frenzy while listening to the radio, the disc jockeys kept referring to today as " Halloween Eve". Maybe a marketing ploy for us to buy more candy for tomorrow I guess.

Thankfully I machine quilted three quilts today, and plan on quilting three more in the next few days. No interest in going out after the storm so it was a perfect day to hole up in my sewing room!

So my photo tonight is my son Ryan trying on a mask in commemoration of "Halloween Eve".


Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm Howling In

Since lots of folks are concerned about the impending storm of the year, and maybe if the century, I called "Joe the Mechanic" and had two cars worked on this morning with absolutely no wait for the work to be completed. But now we are done driving to and from picking up cars and hunkered down for the next couple days (at least) as we wait out this crazy rain and wind.

I am blogging early today in case we lose power and I need to conserve phone battery and/or computer.

Photo of a local tree from a few days ago. I'll be interested to see if it still retains some of these pretty leaves following Hurricane Sandy rustling through here and wreaking havoc all over!

BSoleille! Be Safe Everyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Marathon Morning

The biggest blessing today was bestowed on over 30,000 Marine Corp Marathon runners competing and completing this great running event sans Hurricane Sandy or any other calamity except sore feet, hamstrings and quads!

A large crowd gathered all over downtown Washington DC to cheer on the runners from each of the 50 states and various countries around the world. Thankfully the air was filled with electric excitement and not the wild rains predicted at that time. Our cheering section screamed and clapped as "our" runners passed us on the course. And fittingly we also cheered on about 25,000 others including Minnie Mouse, Cheese Head, a Viking, and many runners dressed in pink and purple tutus (both men and women, that is).

My photos are Mike (in orange) and Mark Misencik (white tank) at the 9 mile marker); Liz Verrecchia at the 26 mile marker and the three finishers after the race!!! Whoohooo and congratulations to all. Also a big shout to Liz as she finished her very first marathon!

BSoleille! The bright side of training and finishing a marathon!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Marathon Men

I hope this crazy predicted "Frankenstorm" stays away until after tomorrow's Marine Corp Marathon in Washington DC. Over 35000 runners from all over the country have trained hard since summer to run the mall area and beyond in the nations Capitol.

Two of those runners are brothers Mark and Mike Misencik from Cleveland, Ohio. They are excited to be here but will "weather" the storm to finish if that is what it takes.

Photo of an early jog this morning (L-R) Olivia, Mark, Bill and Mike


Friday, October 26, 2012

Visitors in Town

The great Marine Corp Marathon is Sunday morning, and daughter Olivia came home to cheer her best friend Liz competing in her first one! Then a contingency from Ohio just descended in Crofton for the same reason with 2 out of 5 running as well. Fun times for sure.

I'm thankful to clean up the house enough for everyone to have a bed or sofa for the weekend!

BSoleille! Dinner at Mi Casita - our favorite in Crofton.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Week of Sewing

As the bright sunshine fills my dining room/quilt studio/work station, I find comfort in sitting in my chair and running my sewing machine about 90 mph! I stayed focused this week and finished 4 tshirt quilt tops for which I am thankful, and plan to quilt then all very soon.

My photo is my current work station in full service mode!

BSoleille! For sunshine warming my back as I sew!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quilt Historian Polly Mello

One neat thing about being in a quilt guild is the program offered to its membership. Tonight's meeting was quilt historian and noted antique quilt collector Polly Mello who presented quilts from her extensive collection that were made from the late 1800's to about 1930. Polly helped us to understand that women of that time period found quilting as one of the only methods to artistic expression, and certainly a far cry on how quilting and other creative outlets are today.

But interestingly enough, some of the best quilts made from that time period were made of fabrics especially purchased for a particular quilt or pattern. And that is the one common thread through the years as most quilters today buy fabric for a special quilt or project. Those leftovers are then used for the much beloved scrap quilts! Polly's quilts from her collection were not only beautiful but in excellent shape. I'm glad she shared her knowledge and expertise on the "revival" of quilt making in the early part of the 20th century.


Photo of Polly and a The Orchid Quilt

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


This past weekend some friends hosted an Octoberfest gathering. Good deutsch food (think cabbage soup, kielbasa and sauerkraut, and potato salad plus bratwurst, of course), good deutsch bier and oompa band music (on CD). Sehr gut!

However, the fire pit sold me on the evening - just by sitting around the warmth of the fire on a sort of chili evening star gazing and feeling the cool of the night usher in! Wunderbar!


Monday, October 22, 2012

A Leaf

Falling leaves have a "mind" of their own when they gently sway this way and that from a tree. Well, the leaf in my photo has been on my skylight for the past few days and has not budged a lick even in some gusty winds so I took its photo.

Hopefully all my pine needles will hit ground soon to get those picked up and strong winds will blow away any leaves from other people's trees that happen to come visit in my yard!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Quilt Bingo

Besides my quilt guild's annual show in March, we also do a quilt bingo in the fall. Today was our sixth year in doing it and it was a great success. The quilts were great, lots of different winners and everyone seemed to have a nice time.

Although I did not win a quilt today, I was thankful to have my 18 year old son come and play too. He even had two cards and kept up with the caller in the 20 games played!

BSoleille! The bright side of 20 quilt winners yelling B-I-N-G-O!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Becca's Run 2012

The childhood cancer community in the DC metropolitan area (and I'd say encompassing Northern VA, most of MD all the way to Baltimore MD) is a pretty tight knit "family". So this morning it was fitting for the many folks who came out to support the Lilly Family on the final running of Becca's 5k in Silver Spring, MD. It was a cool but brilliant sunshiny morning for a run. Over 700 runners hit the streets in full support -with the race proceeds aiding children (and their families) struggling with cancer as it has over the past 16 years.

Becca Lilly was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in 1991 at age 11. With courage and spunk, she overcame countless challenges for the next six years. She lived a life full of energy, compassion and commitment to others. Becca lost her battle with cancer in June of 1997. That October was the first Becca's Run started by her family and friends.

Our family has done Becca's Run most of the past 16 years and I'm thankful to have been a part of such a great event!

BSoleille! The bright side of supporting a great cause!

Photos of the start and finish with Ryan who did the 2 mile walk. I ran the 5k and finished 3rd in my age group; hence the white Becca's cap for my prize!

Friday, October 19, 2012

49 West

I finally, and thankfully, had the opportunity to see Sean Lane (on left) and his jazz group - Bay Jazz Project in Annapolis this evening. Bob Abbott, choral director at Crofton Middle School, is also in the band (he's on the right in my photo). Let me just say they were phenomenal, all great musicians and rocked the place. It was Sean's "Unofficial" CD Release Party, and they also included two guest vocals, one of whom has some local notoriety, Eric Scott.

As the crowd was energized with their energetic sound of music, the band "jazzed" the house down!

BSoleille! The bright side of cool jazz!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Queen of the Crock Pot

Based on the pumpkin in my photo, it's that time of year again to make hearty soups and crock pot meals. Sometimes I even break out my little one and have two going at the same time. The prep time is a drag with chopping all the onions, garlic and other veggies/meat combos but once that's done, voila' -easy meal and delicious too!

Today I chopped a whole cabbage and lots of veggies for a hearty cabbage soup! The recipe yielded enough to freeze a few containers for later use.

BSoleille! The bright side of crock pot "cooking"!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Another Great Milestone

Sixteen years ago today and almost to the minute (as i write this post) my son Ryan was diagnosed with Childhood Leukemia in Annapolis, Maryland. I mention this because to celebrate this wonderful milestone 16 years later Ryan selected a restaurant in Annapolis not far from that pediatric exam room that seems light years away at this moment.

It was truly a roller coaster ride of every emotion and certainly tested our resilience as a family, but I am so very thankful in where Ryan is today medically, physically and spiritually!

A big shout of thanks to the entire medical army at both Georgetown and Duke Medical Centers plus Ryan's bone marrow donor, Scott Harris, in believing in the process to save Ryan's life. You are the best!

BSoleille! The bright side of excellent medical care in the USA!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In Between Quiltling...

I am trying to stay focused on all the sewing/quilting I have got to do, but everyone has to eat, and a trip to the grocery store for weekly provisions certainly merits a "break"!  However I could not help notice the red leaves that are too pretty to describe that are just breathtaking.  My eyes can't "drink" all the color that autumn ushers in; just add chlorophyl as the science teacher says!

BSoleille!  For bright red leaves all around town!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Love a Hot Shower!

After working two varsity soccer games in the pouring rain tonight, it was great to get home and take a long hot shower! Now that is something to be thankful for!

My photo was taken a few weeks ago when I came upon a praying mantis that posed freely! I don't see them around much these days so I hope they are not "endangered".


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Love That Fabric!

I am thankful to freshen my fabric stash today as I am getting prepared to do a lot of quilting in the next few weeks.

And the best part is touching all the pretty fabrics and select the ones that "feel" the best. Quilters know what I mean. My husband can't understand how I have to touch everything while walking through a store because for me it's all in the touch.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

17 Hour Sheets?

When I was in my early twenties and still in college, I slept for 17 hours except for one restroom break about 12 hours in. I remember my Dad telling me they checked on me every hour to make sure I was still breathing! No adult beverages were involved from the previous night; I guess I was just super tired.

Jump through several decades until the last two nights with my brand new set of LLBean flannel sheets, and I bet I can sleep at least a good 10 hours straight! They are just that comfy and warm so I think I can keep the thermostat under 60 degrees! I am thankful for that.

BSoleille! The bright side of cozy flannels!

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Great Thank You

One of the greatest "gifts" in life, besides love, is being appreciated and validated by people you value and love. And from a work perspective, pretty much the same thing. Today I am thankful that the nurse I have been working with since August 20th really appreciates my "logic, directness, initiative, and most of all my enthusiasm and energy".

I have been going to work everyday with a can-do attitude and making each day count. So I was surprised by the beautiful flower she also gave me because the above sentiment meant the world to me. I will be going back to Broadneck Elementary School at the end of October for a spell, but today ended my eight week long term assignment there.

BSoleille! The bright side of being appreciated!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ugly Buggers

I am thankful that I'm much bigger than the bugs invading my house and car during this time if year. I can squish 'em if I'm fast enough or they are too slow. Right now the spiders are out in full force in all shapes and sizes. I know they like to eat other bugs but I'm not sure I like them hanging around except outdoors!

My photo is of a lonely spider in the yard. However, the real beauty is in the intricately woven web this spider wove that is about 18"x18" and maybe a little larger. Unfortunately, this gossamer like web is to faint for the camera lens to pick up.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bat Girl

Funny how this post is not about baseball or Halloween, it's about quilt batting for quilts, big and small, and Mary Nielsen, "Bat Girl", delivered the good news to my guild tonight on all types of batts!

Of course I'm tickled when my guild uses our many talented members to do a program such as tonight's, and Mary did great job of sharing her knowledge of the many different products on the market today. I was especially interested in learning about wool battings because I've never used it before, but I plan to on some W.I.P. or work in progress soon.

My photo is of Mary (on left) showing guild member Phyllis Ziegler some of the batting samples.

BSoleille! For the bright side of wool (and very warm) batting!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

HIgh School Soccer Games

I am thankful to catch a few soccer games a week by working the sidelines as a referee.  Lately, I've been assigned a lot of JV Boys and Girls, but I do have a couple varsity games in my near future, and for me, that is big fun!  Screaming coaches and parents who "call" off-sides when they are 30 yards away from the line I can do without and ignore, but I love the passion and gamemenship of the players themselves who try to do the best they can on the pitch.  Most of the time, they are having fun too!

My photo was taken a couple weeks ago in an Annapolis Varisty game!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Falling Into My Hand

A leaf turning vibrant colors and cooler temperatures have definitely ushered in autumn and all its fancy! The sleep is sound (except those tuning into playoff baseball, and frankly, that has brought in its own excitement) and I seem to have an hankering for hearty soups, tomatoey chili and hot tea! Not necessarily in that order though.

I wore my first light wool sweater of the season today and slipped into a pair of wicked good slippers this evening!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Melt in Your Mouth Not in Your Hand

I am the first to admit that I am really picky when it comes to eating candy. I only like a few kinds like Good n Plenty, a Twix Bar, a Milky Way Bar and Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. But my favorite for a quick pick me up is a bag of Peanut M&M's!!! Yummy!

BSoleille! For the bright side of fun candy!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Morning Tailgate

An easy drive down to JMU this morning culminating in a pancakes and eggs breakfast and the football game at 1:00pm. A nice crowd at both the tailgate and game considering it was Parents Weekend. A big shout out to Laura Robinson and her cousin Cindy for hosting and always making everyone feel welcome!

The Dukes eeked out a win over Towson 13-10 in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. Yeah! After the game we did some Costco shopping with the daughter for "some much needed" stuff for her apartment.

Photos of Laura and Bill and the family!

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Pink Rose

I have a very temperamental rose bush in front if my house that is always ridden with beetles and holy leaves and never really blooms fully. So a big surprise for me this first week of October where this ratty looking thing is actually blooming with pretty pink roses! Nothing all summer so I guess it's going for broke before the cooler weather prevails.

My photo today is a nice bloomer from the crazy rose bush.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Great Halloween Decoration

While waking the dogs at dusk this evening, and out if the corner of my eye, I caught these eyes following me! I did a double take of what I saw and a big smile spread across my face because it was just so subtle to me at first. I actually crossed over the street to take a photo of those eyes and was thankful I had my phone on my pocket!

I think this is one of the most clever Halloween decorations I've seen in awhile. Maybe when the lights are on in the background those eyes "light" up! I'll have to check it out one day.

BSoleille! To spooky fun Halloweenie decorations

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

If you live with a dog, or two as in my case, you know how wonderful that is. Just like us, they each have their own quirkiness and personalities. And interesting enough, without uttering a word, we can figure out quite a bit in what they want and they can certainly figure us out as well. Closely watching my two pups is really fascinating on how they figure things out between the two. For example, we are now down to one bed, called "other bed", because big Lucy destroyed "good bed" by picking at a very tiny hole and then made it bigger and bigger until all the stuffing was all over the house. I decided, "tough", I'm not buying another one so they'll have to "share".

Well, do dogs really "share"? At bedtime one of then usually claims "other bed" for the night. It's like a dance when they are both ready to settle down and circle 3 times and one bravely sets foot on the bed and lays down. The other will then sleep next to the bed without a fight! I've rarely seen then both on "other bed".

My photo was taken at 6:30 am when I "caught" them together. I don't know how long they were like that but I suspect quite awhile! How's that for some doggy sharing?


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Livestrong Day

My son was diagnosed orginally October 17, 1996 (Age 2) with pre B ALL; relapsed on September 22, 2000 and again on June 2, 2004. BMT on 11/3/2004. Leukemia is a tough and ugly disease, and his cancer was so painful for such a young boy. But he put "mind over matter" and perservered and today is a healthy 18 year old young man, in his senior year of high school, driving, and is our HERO. His name is Ryan Tomoff!

Monday, October 1, 2012

280th Post

Writing this blog on a daily basis certainly has taught me a lot, and today I would like to apologize for the spam that's hitting this blog, and some of the squirrely things that are happening that I have no control over.  I did google the spam stuff, and learned there are "black hat SEO's" that target blogs.  For the good of the order, I did happen to change my passcodes, but today I got hit with another spam.  I will try to "control" as best as I can, even if that means hitting the delete button on a particular day's spam.  It's frustrating, no doubt, and I will keep working the system to be "spam-free" eventually!

I am thankful for all the folks who tune into reading my daily blog, you keep me going!


My photo today is one from my "archives", a photo of beautiful Alaska from the summer of 2011 (cruise).

Autumn Colors Creeping Across the Country

This weekend on our drive west to Ohio, I could not help seeing and drinking in all the beautiful arrays of colors of the trees and brush along the highways and the PA turnpike. Maryland is still quite green with a slight color change (mostly yellows) about 100 miles west of Annapolis.

Once into Pennsylvania the colors were getting more "yellowed" plus orange and then the deep reds bursted out on the scene which were brilliant looking against a clear blue sky! The colors in Ohio were spectacular as well with peak times just around the corner.

I am thankful for the "leaf show" since it slightly took my mind off the dozens of 18 wheel trucks weaving all over the roads. And for interstate and turnpike driving experience, I encouraged my son Ryan to take the reins for spell, but he got tired of it after 1.5 hours. Who can blame him?

Photo of Ryan and the ride going west!

BSoleille! The bright side of autumn leaves!