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!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Heir And a Spare

It is not royalty I'm talking about, rather two bikes that work. Last summer before I invested in a new road bike, I "fixed" up my 25 year old one with new tires, brakes etc. So this weekend while pumping up my tires on my "new" bike I blew out the back tube. Because we were on time crunch, I'm thankful I was able to hop on my old bike and get the ride in with "The Best Daughter"!

Tonight I had that tire repaired and got in a quick ride on a beautiful evening. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a ride!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cats to Ducks

While at a small planning meeting for the 4th Annual Cameron Diamond novice swim meet coming up in July, I could not help but notice the Diamond's family cat named Buddy who squarely sat on a stack of books for a solid 45 minutes with nary a move. He was quite majestic in his stance and turned once when called. This was the moment I snapped his photo. 

After some time we went into the garage to get some event TShirts (for a TShirt quilt), and as I looked up from the boxes, three ducks were waddling up the driveway honking away and eventually made their way in. For sure they were not afraid of people and walked up to all of us. The biggest scare though was when they decided they had enough of us and noisily flew out charging right at us as they made a quick exit. We howled with screams of laughter with these crazy ducks!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jackie's TShirt Quilt

This past weekend I was able to give a thrilled Jackie V. her much anticipated TShirt quilt that her parents ordered for her as a high school graduation present.  As you can see from today's photo, I believe I met her expectations and then some.  Congratulations to a lovely young lady who graduates in a couple weeks (Lots of Virginia schools graduate in June). 


Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day!

I would be remiss if I did not thank the countless men and women in uniform that keep our great country safe and our freedom alive. So a big hearty Thank You for your service to this great land, and all the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Truly, this blog and our freedoms were made possible in keeping  the democracy alive through our great military and all its glory. 

God Bless America!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Burning Fuel

Today it was all about burning "fuel", and it got jump started by mowing the front and back grass then referring three games of soccer in bright and sunny with a perfect temperature day (really to do most anything outdoors). Then it was off to a high school grad party for our friend Alex!

My big number today......6,000 "fuels". 


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Two out of Four...

A big wind and bright sunshine were a decent combo to referee a couple games of soccer today.  Originally I had four games scheduled this afternoon, but once at the fields, the third game got cancelled (the fouth game was cancelled midweek).  I'm thankful that I will get paid for the third game though, as it was a long drive out to Western Regional Park in western Howard County, Maryland (beautiful grounds and fields, I may add).  The U14 Boys set was quick and fast and the crew I worked with was fun!  Tomorrow I'm working a few games of U16 and U19 Girls in my county, still a part of the Columbia Memorial Day Soccer Tournament.

I am going to add one more note to this post (I promise it will tie into the above paragraph):  I just started wearing my Nike Fuel Band once again after a long hiatus of not wearing it due switching out a couple of broken ones.  I finally set up the new band and have been wearing my new one for almost one week now.   Knowing full well that I wanted to run as much as I can while on the pitch to maximize "fuel", I have to say I am retiring the day with 4900 "fuels"!  My goal for each day is currently set at 3000 "fuels", and I hit that as soon as I was done with the two games.


Photo: Our two pups not getting any "fuel"; only "rest".

Friday, May 24, 2013

Recall Notice X3

Our 2003 CRV recently had three recall notices on various items with the vehicle.  Once Honda started calling the house, I knew I could not wait any longer and took it in for the recalled repairs.  I am thankful I did because one part had to be ordered, and the vehicle was deemed "undriveable" at that time (that is,  according to the Honda dealership mechanics).  They had the car for a full three days to get everything repaired.  I realized being down one vehicle puts a kink in the regular routine of more drivers than cars;  if only I can get the kids proficient in driving a stick shift we would be all set!

BSoleille!  The bright side of another working vehicle in the driveway!

Photo:  There are class clowns, and now a class cookie-sweet!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Major Milestone Met

For parents getting one kid through high school is an achievement, getting two (or more) is a double bonus!  Tonight my son, Ryan, graduated from Archbishop Spalding High School!  A beautiful ceremony highlighting the almost 300 graduates of the class of 2013!

For this wonderful young man who faced many medical challenges throughout his youth, this pinnacle is a strong testament to his unwavering spirit, a super strong community of caregivers (doctors, nurses, medical staff, tutors, teachers, family, friends, and neighbors) and faith that he could achieve this dream, is nothing short of a "miracle". 

A Big Hearty THANK YOU to the many folks who helped Ryan (and his family) on this wild journey!

BSoleille!  Forever bright: The Entire Class of 2013!

Photo of Olivia '10 and Ryan '13. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Quilt Class

Even though my sewing and quilting has been been significantly reduced the last couple weeks, I am thankful to have snuck in a class from Dawn Stewart. She is a rep for Handi-Quilter, plus designs patterns and has a plethora of sewing and quilting knowledge. I hoped I gleaned enough hands on knowledge  today to enhance my machine quilting. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of learning something new!


Photo of Dawn in her quilt studio holding one of her quilt samples. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


No words can really describe the devastation in Moore, Oklahoma, and the surrounding areas despite all the media coverage. My heart and prayers go out to the people of that state as they try to slowly navigate all the destruction and the rebuilding of entire communities. We, unfortunately, have to realize that Mother Nature is our biggest terrorist on days like this. No matter how many guns or tanks we have, it just doesn't matter to a mile wide tornado with 200 mph winds cutting through towns, schools and hospitals, plain and simple. 

Prayers and a solvent Red Cross seemingly is what is needed out West! I hope the great people of Oklahoma find some kind of peace as they move forward in the clean up process. 


Monday, May 20, 2013

Refreshing Beverage

Now that the weather is finally warming up, I've gone from drinking hot tea to my favorite summer time beverage, unsweetened iced tea (with a lemon wedge, of course). Nothing beats it for cooling off and quenching thirst. I have brewed several pitchers of this wonderful dark amber colored refreshing liquid and plan on it until the first frost months away. 

My photo is freshly brewed Lipton iced tea. 


Sunday, May 19, 2013


This afternoon was the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Walk in Alexandria, Virginia. I mentioned in a couple previous posts about the dog quilts I made and donated to this cause and a tshirt quilt as well. I have to report back that according to the founders, Vicki and Peter Brown, the tshirt quilt raffle basket was one of their most popular items from on- line ticket sales to the event today!

I'm thrilled that I could give back to this great foundation and help support their mission in helping kids with cancer. The woman who won the tshirt quilt service was also thrilled and told me it will be for her daughter -using all her sorority TShirts and more. 


Saturday, May 18, 2013


Unlike their parents, my kids have been fortunate to go to their respective high school proms. Tonight was my son Ryan's prom in downtown Annapolis, Maryland. Of course prior to the dance, multiple photo sessions with the group of kids he went with was a "requirement", which includes the one for my photo today.

Three high schools in our county had their proms tonight. I hope they have fun and stay safe on their big night!

BSoleille!  The bright side of dancing the night away....


Friday, May 17, 2013

Sandy Point Park

This afternoon I volunteered to meet an ice cream company who dropped off two carts of ice cream for the Blues Fest this weekend at Sandy Point Park. The ice cream sales will benefit Special Love, Inc (for kids with cancer). 

The grounds looked great and the huge stage was set up and ready for sound checks for the various bands playing Saturday and Sunday. The park is at the foot of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge with a nice beach. I took today's photo on the beach looking towards the bridge. 


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Senior Dinner 2013

Tonight was Archbishop Spalding High School's class of 2013 senior awards dinner. Many impressive students going on to a bigger academic stage, plus all the awards for excellence in service, citizenship, merit and spirit. I am very thankful in reporting my son, Ryan, received a few awards and one that surprised all of us. 

He received mention and certificate for completing 223 community service hours; the Color Guard Award (given to two students who consistently raised and lowered the flag each and every day school is in session); and the surprise of the night, the Spirit of St. Augustine Award (with humility, courage, sheer determination and profound faith, this student has only begun to realize his true academic potential)!  That award made our night and we are so proud of his school accomplishments because the last four years were quite challenging for him in many aspects. His perseverance seemed to pay off tonight.  

BSoleille!  I believe Ryan's future is bright!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I have mentioned in previous posts that the games I play (mostly words with friends) and Netflix has substantially cut into my reading time. However, lately I am muscling through a book called "Down Range-Navy Seals War on Terror" by Dick Couch. He was a SEAL in Vietnam and has written several books on Navy SEALS that are excellent. I am really enjoying this particular book. 

Today's SEALS are the epitome of a supercharged GI Joe, and all the Special Forces are working hard to keep America safe.  But these guys are simply amazing and I couldn't last a minute in any of their training sessions whether it be on land or sea!  I cannot believe how tough they are not only physically but mentally as well. Yowza!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Yesterday I was lucky to go for a walk with puppy Gunnar in Ohio and his Mom, Linda. He's a German Short-Haired Pointer and he loves to point in that doggie sort of way at mostly birds and other animals as we made our way around Beavercreek Park. 

But one of the best things about Gunnar is that he loves those knotted left over tshirt toys I make. He's gone through a big bag of them already and is down to his last few "toys". I'm fixing to send him and two other dogs a couple bags of these beloved "scrappy" toys. 


Photo of a pointed Gunnar. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

"Old" Friends Reaquainted

To garner cheap airfare, sometimes flights are "scheduled" at odd times. But that did not stop my son and I to enjoy our last day visiting in Cleveland. The son got to go to 1.5 games of a double header MLB Indians vs. Yankees, and I got to visit with two friends.  First up was a trip to Amherst, Ohio for lunch and a walk with Linda Misencik.  (I ordered the Lake Erie perch). 

Afterwards I headed back to Cleveland and and met with a friend I had a crush on in 2nd grade, David Gentile!  We've played phone tag for a couple years and texts recently and we finally worked out a long awaited visit from 4-5pm today!  We talked nonstop catching up on our lives and I also got to see his four kids and beautiful wife, Beth! Wow. Good stuff and I'm thankful we were able to work in this visit. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of hanging with an old track and field and cross-country buddy!


Photo of me and Dave. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the moms who dedicate their love, compassion and energy in raising families, I tip my hat to you all!  What a great day we have set aside since the early 1900's in celebrating mothers!  I'm thankful today to see and visit with not only my mom, but also my mother-in-law, Dorothy. 

But the biggest honor for me is to be the proud mom of two great kids in Olivia and Ryan. You two make my heart sing!

BSoleille!  The bright side of being a mom. 


Photo of me with my two kids from this past fall. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Cleveland Browns Wedding

My cousins Larry and Mary Joan's Oliver  son got married today in Cleveland. Ohio. At the church we were met by a huge "Dumdog" bus that was just crazy fun (for the wedding party). The bus is apparently the talk of the town at Browns tailgate parties at fall games. The bride and groom, Doreen and Larry Jr.,are rabid Browns fans and their entire wedding theme was the Cleveland Browns, plus their colors of seal brown and burnt orange. 

The bridesmaids wore orange dresses and the groomsmen wore orange vests to match;  a great touch to their special day. 

It was fun catching up with cousins I haven't seen in awhile plus the good food and dancing that were just plain fantastic!

Best wishes to Doreen and Larry and it was a real joy to be a part of your special day. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a themed wedding!

My photos of today's wedding   

Friday, May 10, 2013


In Cleveland, Ohio for a wedding this weekend and thankful that I finally had the chance to go to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame Museum today. I really enjoyed it and would have stayed longer except my son got hungry after a couple hours so we left to find noon time provisions. Lots of cool memorabilia and some of the stuff from the 60's and 70's brought me right back to that time period in my mind. Cleveland rocks!

BSoleille!  Rock on!!!


Thursday, May 9, 2013


Chocolate Chip Cookies are a favorite for me and lots of folks. I made 5 dozen yesterday morning and the house was filled with a homespun aroma that was heavenly. Even the dogs had their noses up in the air sniffing in all the good smells!

BSoleille!  The bright side of making CCC's!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Going to the Beach"

Our guild's anniversary dinner was tonight, and my 2Bee (with Trish) hosted another table-meaning decorated. The theme was beach bound or "going to the beach"!  We made little bags and filled them with salt water taffy, sprinkled the table with sea shells resting on cheesecloth, and provided everyone with a pair of sunglasses. Notice the wonderful sandcastle cake Trish made in the foreground of today's photo, complete with sugar for the sand and candy seashells. 

Photo people: sitting (l-r), Shelley, me and Trish; back row (I-r), Peggy, Susie, Elfrieda, Wendy and Flo

BSoleille! The bright side of indoor beach fun with sunglasses. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A "Boxed" Lunch

In between looking for my son Ryan's senior photos (took hours but finally found), I had lunch with a friend at Otani's, a Japanese restaurant in Crofton, Maryland. I have had boxed lunches before at conferences etc., but this was a true "boxed" lunch that was really delicious and part of their lunch menu. 


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Soccer "Record"

As I write this post, I am pretty dog gone tired and heading to bed soon after this is posted.  A few years ago, while working a soccer tournament, I worked four games in one day.  I thought that was a lot.  Today, I beat that number by one, and refereed five games!  That's about 7 hours of a lot of running, walking, and not too much else.  OK, so that is crazy, uh?  But I am thankful that I was able to go home and have some lunch and "rest" for a spell after the first three games before heading back to the fields to ref two more games.  It was a great day on the soccer pitch and my legs are still tingling.....


My photo today is of my son son Ryan and the pups having a good time while I was gone.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

New Board

Five volunteer cancer fighting Mom's are in the process of starting a new pediatric advisory board for the community of hematology and oncology families at Georgetown University Hospital. Lots of planning goes into this endeavor but all the ladies are stellar in their roles as we proceed forward in our mission. I'm thankful to be a part of this new initiative to help pediatric cancer patients and their families!



Photo of our long meeting this morning (l-r) Patty, Marilyn, Carmen and me.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Last Day of School

Except for one final exam next week, my son Ryan is done with high school today. Graduation is in three weeks and we are celebrating this great moment with him. This morning my husband treated him to a Chick-Fil-A breakfast and we will take him to dinner over this weekend-his choice! I'm thankful for this great day!

BSoleille! The bright side of being a high school senior!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lots of TShirts

Yesterday I finished a very nice tshirt quilt for a young lady graduating in the class of 2013. On the tails of that completed project, I started tshirt quilts for my family. My son has been very patient waiting for his so I cut through approximately 100 tshirts today including 50 of his alone! He may get two since he has so many shirts. This endeavor took me about 8 hours.

I'm thankful to kick back and watch the Caps in the NHL playoff after cutting all those shirts!


Photos of Jackie's quilt and my work station today.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Fresh Flowers in 2013

The biggest challenge in writing a blog almost daily is trying to keep things fresh, and for me, to try and refrain from repeating things I posted last year. Today's post is "new" because my idea of always keeping fresh flowers in the kitchen was inspired in January 2013. I usually purchase carnations due to their longevity in vase of cool water. They last between 3-4 weeks and look great day after day. I get whatever color looks best the day I'm buying a new bouquet, and I'm never tired of having fresh flowers!

BSoleille! The bright side of a colorful spray of fresh flowers.