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!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Stash Enhancement Trip

Today I took a trip with a few quilt buddies to Denver, Intercourse, Bird-In-Hand Pennsylvania area for fabric shopping. It was a great day checking out Obie's, an over the top, bolts of fabric to the ceiling with a rickety old staircase and dust bunnies everywhere quilt shop, plus Sauder's and Zook's. I admit to some stash enhancement purchases, and I will make a quilt out of the fabric bought

Although I took photos inside Obie's, I found what I thought was just a wee bit more of an interesting photo op- the extraordinary amount of black bolts of fabric (as we were in a location in the heart of Amish and Mennonite country).

BSoleille, the bright side of pretty fabrics!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kick Off for the Jingle

This evening was the kick off for the Georgetown Jingle at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington DC. The trees and other vignettes by 18 designers were simply beautiful.

Ryan's tree was designed by Barry Dixon of Barry Dixon Interiors, Inc. and called, "Holiday Punch -a Taste of the Holidays". The tree is actually in the restaurant and looks fabulous in that location.

My photo is of Ryan, Barry and "their" tree.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Four More Quilts

Yesterday and today I started working on a pack of four new tshirt quilts for commission. I would like to have then completed and sent out before Christmas and I think I am in a great position to do just that. I had the stereo set on Christmas tunes to keep me working like one of Santa's elves and bright sunshine streaming into my work space for good lighting.

After cutting and squaring my "blocks", I toss away the scraps on the floor. My photo today is Lucky snuggling on the scrap pile of cut up tshirts! Both dogs love them.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Leaf Clean Up

I hired my nephew Nathan to clean up my yard over this past weekend. He then "hired" another nephew, Zachary, to help him. They did it all with old rakes and garbage bags and true grit to get it done. I'm thankful for their help, and just about all the leaves are down now heading into winter.

Photo of Lucy in the cleaned up back yard. Looks like she's sniffing the air of possible vermin nearby. The nephews found a dead animal that I had to dispose of and was most likely a Lucy kill! Sometimes I feel she is miscast as a family pet.


Monday, November 26, 2012

A Quiet House

I "loved" the chaos over the weekend, but the peace and quiet and soft piano music I had playing today was priceless.

My photo today is the last of the roses my husband got for my birthday more than two weeks ago. I'm thankful they lasted that long; probably because we keep the house so cool!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lots of Birdies

As we (along with the husband and daughter-(son too tired and sleepy) bid farewell to our last guests this morning and jumped in the car to go out for breakfast, I could not help noticing a "bird-fest" on the high wires! My first look at them all high and mighty perched way up was about 7:30am.

I mentioned under my breath I'd like the car to stop so I could get a quick photo but my husband kept driving.

Luckily and thankfully those birds never moved and about two hours later he stopped the car for me to capture these high wire birds on the way home!

Hopefully, all the travel human "birds" are back safely and soundly to their respective "nests" after a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.


Saturday, November 24, 2012


Rest and relaxation were at the top of the list for a lot of folks here at the house today, along with eating leftovers and watching football.

Thankfully, I kept myself quite industrious in teaching my sister Kimberly how to use my "baby" long-arm machine. We actually finished a quilt she made for her husband, and he was thankful for that!


Photos of nephew Brandon taking his R&R seriously and me and my sister Kimberly working on Jerry's quilt!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Food and Shopping

Black Friday retail shopping started early today with my only purchase being fabric. The other plan on the agenda was feeding 13 people (six of them teenage or preteen boys that eat constantly or it seems that they are hungry all the time). Enjoying lunch at Chick and Ruth's Deli in Annapolis and dinner at Fugi Steak House in Crofton was the bill of fare of the day.

Got to love leftovers because that's what is on the menu tomorrow! Lol

Photo of all three families at Fugi Steak House


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey and all the fixings for 13! Great day with the family. Hope everyone had a great day as well!

Lots to be thankful for and I am blessed!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving "Eve"

I'm thankful that my family from Cleveland, Ohio made it safely to Maryland this afternoon/evening for this Thanksgiving weekend. Just relaxing and catching up tonight with big food and fun planned for tomorrow.

Photo of Mike and Annette (sister) Pejeau, Lucky, Kimberly (sister) and Jerry Kocan with Champ.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the wonderful people following my blog! May you have a blessed holiday! I thank you for the words of encouragement throughout this past year on various posts.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Quilts for Georgetown Hem/Onc Pediatrics

Today's photo tells the story for the day. I'm thankful to the many Southern Comforter guild members who make and willingly donate quilts to all newly diagnosed pediatric cancer patients. My photo includes the three social workers: Mary, Denise, and Sharron holding quilts by Pat Scully (dinosaur quilts) and the larger ones by Margaret Beard! The quilts are then presented in a time sensitive manner to the patients and their families.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Old Court House

During a late afternoon break from the Parent's Getaway Weekend", I mosied over to the Old Court House Civil War Museum (and did a little shopping too) to have a "looksie". Interestingly, this building has graffiti from both Northern and Southern soldiers and was used as a hospital, barracks and prison by both sides during the War.

This 1840 building was used until 1984 and seemed to be in excellent shape for something that old and used! I am thankful to fall into such a great find on my walk.

My photos are the Court House and the three oak benches that were just gleaming in the late afternoon sun filtering through the leaded glass panes when I entered the main room on the first floor.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another T-shirt Quilt Finished

I am thankful that my teenage friend Caroline, along with her mother, Margaret, were so delighted this afternoon when I stopped by to drop off Caroline's completed T Shirt quilt!

Lots of quilting plus plenty of her favorite shirts culminated in a one of a kind and personal quilt to be loved for years to come!

Photo of me and Caroline holding her quilt.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Parent's Getaway Weekend

The Special Love cancer organization has done an adult only respite weekend every fall for the last 12 years or so. We sort of get the chance to "go to camp", though without bugs, hot weather and camp food. Thankfully, after a 10 year hiatus I got the chance to go once again. This weekend's event is being held at the beautiful and historic George Washington Hotel in Winchester, Virginia.

Riding out this morning on a route never taken before (through the rolling hills of Virginia), I was smitten with the most spectacular and breathtaking view as I crested a very gentle hill and saw below the Shenandoah Valley as it winds its way down to Winchester.

My photos today include the planners: Marilyn Eichner and Shari Fisher who worked very hard to put on such a wonderful weekend for parents who have children recently diagnosed with cancer to those who have years under their belts to the bereaved. Tears and laughter go hand in hand here.

Second photo of the outside of this historic hotel.

BSoleille! The bright side of relaxation. For me that included yoga and a back message!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday Season

"The Best Daughter" arrived home today for Thanksgiving break, so this has to be the unofficial start to the holidays - ready or not. I'm thankful I got her bed ready with flannel sheets, a down comforter and her Christmas Quilt because we keep the temps around here quite low compared to her apartment at school!

So to start off the weekend I took the kids to Cadillac Ranch - boots and all to this fun themed restaurant. Photo of Olivia and Ryan.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Good & Plenty

There is no mistake when you shake a box of Good & Plenty that you know inside lies pink and white sugar coated black licorice. I do not care to eat "straight" licorice of either black or red, but with the awesome sugar coated morsels I'm in!

Photo of a box of my favorite Good & Plenty candy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Song Remembers When

Sometimes a song from the past, like Trisha Yearwood's s above title, can stop you in your tracks. It can bring you right back to that moment in time and place; with what you wore, or who you were with or even the car you were in or driving at the time.

Lately with all the quilting and sewing I'm doing, I listen a lot to the radio (along with my favorite CD's). I tend to switch around genres so I don't get bored with listening to the same five songs the DJ's play. So every once on a while a "blast from the past" will come on to take me right back to that time. A couple songs will do that to me including, Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver" taking me back to Rhodes High School skating parties that started at 11:30 pm!; Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights", taking me back to 1977 when my Dad drove me and seven other summer track girls to South Bend, Indiana in a 9 passenger station wagon (and we screamed every single word in that song about a 100 times that trip), and Lionel Richie's, "You Are" taking me back to my college days as that song came on every single time I drove home.

Photo from weekend at West River as the fog rolled in for a little bit before the sun burned it off.

BSoleille! The joy of music!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Downton Abbey

Over the past few weeks I have been tuning into watching PBS's Masterpiece Classic "Downton Abbey". It's a terrific series set in England beginning with the sinking of the Titanic in April of 1912. I heard about this show from various folks and finally googled it to see what it was all about and started watching with serious intrigue.

I love everything about it from the great clothing or fashions from that time period to the romance, scandal, heartbreak and betrayal. Thankfully, I was able to watch the entire first season on Netflix. Since no one was offering the second season for free (except watching it on PBS at times I could not tune in) I bit the bullet and bought the second season which I'm half way through right now. I'm trying to finish the season to be ready for the third season starting in January 2013! Watching this though has seriously put a dent into my reading time!!!

My photo is the long shadows of the fall with Lucky and Lucy.

BSoleille! The bright side of a British television series.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Great 51st Birthday

My 52nd year started off with the quilt retreaters singing "Happy Birthday" plus a kazoo rendition from Pat Scully, who by far is the best "kazooist" on the East Coast!

Hubby Bill took me out to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant and once home, a card, a dozen red roses and two boxes of Good and Plenty rounded out this superb day!

My photo today is my last quilt finished at retreat. They were blocks of the month I won last year and I put together the top this morning. I will be donating this to the relief effort up north from Hurricane Sandy.

BSoleille! The bright side of birthdays!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Everybody Makes Mistakes

Quilt patterns that go in different directions need to have undivided attention when working on them. The alternative is seeing all that sewing done wrong and then to "unsew" and hopefully get the quilt back on track.

I'm thankful to the group for seeing my blocks run askew, as working so close sometimes you cannot see the mistake.

My photo is the one quilt I worked on today that included a lot of "unsewing". Check out where the mistaken block is and where I took it out to rotate.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

15+ Hours of Quilting

A long day sitting at my machine but oh so worth it. I'm thankful that the other 21 ladies on retreat pretty much feel the same way and we "cheer" each other on to complete quilt tops, place labels on the finished projects and, the big one, to "support" each other when squaring our pieced blocks. 

Many beautiful quilts and other sewing related items are nearing completion while here from just about everyone. If and when a project is completed the finisher receives a kazoo serenade, oohs and ahs from the multitude and a tiara plus "the beads of being done"!  I was able to wear the tiara for a good 5 minutes today!

My photo is the one quilt top I "finished" today. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of thinking "Who needs to sleep on retreat?"


Friday, November 9, 2012

Autumnal Quilt Retreat

A great weekend to spend quilting at West River for the "no frills" retreat. There are 23 of us and the machines have been humming since 1:00 pm. All of us are working on our own projects with a twist to do blocks for the relief effort in New Jersey from Hurricane Sandy.

As quilters, most of us have large stashes of fabric, books and notions. So it was great for us that Charlotte K. brought many boxes from her mothers stash from Texas for us to "enhance" our stashes. It's a never ending cycle of acquiring more and more fabric!

My photo is of Charlotte and her Mother's stash for our perusal and purchase at a huge discount!

BSoleille! The bright side of stash enhancement!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Pair of Jeans That Fit Just Right

Just like the Zac Brown Band song "Chicken Fried", nothing beats a pair of jeans that fit just right. I really do not like to buy new denim jeans as I prefer "hand-me-downs" instead. Over the last 20 years 80% of my jeans are just that. I love that worn in feel. So today I'm thankful that my friend Wendy gave me three pairs! And the best part, all three of them "fit just right".

My photo is Wendy's car "Winston", a Mini Cooper, that I took for a spin this evening after the "jean exchange".


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dinner at the New Wegman's

Although we do not get together as often as we would like, I met two "Pheen" moms, Patti and Angie, at the hot bar/food court inside the always good Wegman's. The food was good but the company great! Lots of catching up to do with our daily lives.

Following dinner I arrived late to my bee (don't like to do that) and enjoyed the rest if the evening talking quilting, retreat and patterns!

My photo is of my most recent tshirt quilt that is already hanging in a quilt show/exhibit at the Sports and Learning Center (next to Fed Ex Field) in Landover, Maryland through January 4, 2013.

BSoleille! The bright side of hot food on a cold and rainy night!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Voted!

That's what my sticker says after leaving the voting booth this afternoon. Luckily my wait was only 40 minutes. I heard some folks had waits up to 3 hours! Now that's commitment to partaking in our civic duty.

I'm thankful to so many of the women suffrages who battled for over 50 years to get women to vote. In the USA is is the 19th Amendment ratified in August of 1920, and today marks the ninth time I have been eligible to vote in a presidential election.

And whoever wins the election today will certainly have his work cut out for him during the next four years! Godspeed!

BSoleille! The bright side of living in a democracy.


Photo of the line I was in this afternoon at 3:00 in Crofton, Maryland.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Friends and Sponsors Dinner

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give".
Sir Winston Churchill

I am thankful and honored to have been invited by the faculty and staff of the Department of Pediatrics at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital for their annual Friends and Sponsor Dinner at The Four Seasons Hotel in Washington DC. It's a terrific event thanking those who make Georgetown Pediatrics a premier hospital to take care of ill children and their families.

Those honored tonight give back to Georgetown through countless hours of volunteering at the medical student run clinic, corporate donations and the founder of the NICU Parent Advisory Board, Tracy Key, who has raised thousands of dollars to help others with premature babies.

My photo is me and Pat Scully, President of the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild of Bowie, Maryland. Pat has single handedly made many "dinosaur" quilts for many of Georgetown's Pediatric Oncology Patients. I would like to thank her and the rest of our guild (community quilts) for all the quilts made for the many pediatric patients through the years!!! Bravo!

BSoleille! The bright side of "giving back".


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Big Box Store

The only big box store we belong to is Costco. I admire their return policy and the fact they try and, I believe, most of the time, really value their customers. Today I returned an opened jar of peanut butter and an unopened jar plus a set of small speakers (to use with a computer or iPad) with no fuss on the return transaction. Costco sent a recall on the peanut butter but the speakers were almost a year old. That is customer service at its best!

Photo of the check out area at Costco in Arundel Mills.

BSoleille! The bright side of great customer service!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Kid Loves Wings

This evening was another celebratory dinner out for Ryan's eight year post bone marrow transplant/or other "Birthday". This, of course, was made possible by a very generous man named Scott Harris of NYC. Scott took the initiative while in college to become a member of the National Marrow Donor Program, and at that time, the program was in its infancy.

Eight years ago Ryan was one of approximately 20,000 recipients world wide in getting a BMT. Due to the ongoing campaign of getting more and more people in the registry, they are close to 30,000 transplants world wide today! Now that's something to celebrate.

Another Big Shout of Thanks to Scott Harris for making it possible for a young 10 year old boy to become an 18 year old young adult!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Clean Choppers

A new pair of contacts, a flu shot and no cavities is what I'm thankful for today. I especially love to go to the dentist as I practically fall asleep in the chair as they are working in my mouth. Very relaxing for me although I hear that is not the case for a lot of folks. It is such a great feeling to have clean and smooth teeth but I wish it lasted longer than a few days!

My photo was taken about two weeks ago at the Key School soccer fields in Annapolis. Beautiful scenery right from the field!

BSoleille! For bright and shiny choppers (teeth).


Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Perfect Rainbow

My post today was easy enough and happened at 7:55am as I pulled into my school and looked up from my parking spot. A perfectly symmetrical rainbow over the Broadneck peninsula radiating all the colors so brilliantly. "Stunning" and "spectacular" were the two adjectives I thought of as I finagled all my bags to the ground and fished my phone out of my pocket to take the photos, and they still do not do justice as well as the naked eye.

Thankful to see such a beautiful one, and thought about checking out the pot o' gold at the end of it.....

BSoleille! For the bright side of morning rainbows!