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!

Monday, September 30, 2013


They say, "change is good", as the only thing that remains constant is change. So this weekend we decided to take the plunge and update our phones to the new operating system.  It's different and may take some time for me to get used to, but ultimately, I hope the changes made will be good and even more intuitive than the older version. There's no turning back now and I'll try to embrace the changes. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of change!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dinner in Fairfax

It was a sheer delight to head out to Fairfax, VA this evening for dinner at Jeff and Patty Lubin's. They've been in their house for eight years already and this was our first visit!  Yikes! I'm thankful that Marilyn and Tom Eichner also joined the fun and made sure we got this gig on our calendars!  We are all parents of childhood cancer survivors and met at the Georgetown Hospital 17 years ago. Coming from all walks of life, so to speak, we all "get" each other and that's very comforting despite our children's different diagnoses. It's quite a tight bond we hold with each other that is truly special and unique. And I am thankful for that!

BSoleille! The bright side of "ties" that bind people together. 


Photo of Ryan, Marilyn and Tom, and Patty and Jeff. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Donuts From the Apple House

On our way to a James Madison University women's soccer match vs. William & Mary this afternoon, we stopped at the Apple House in Front Royal, Virginia.  These home made apple cinnamon donuts are out of this world, and the half dozen we purchased were a fresh batch right out of the oven (or fryer). I highly recommend a trip to this destination if in the area of Front Royal. 

And unfortunately, the Lady Dukes lost to W&M 2-1, but a great game nonetheless.  

BSoleille!  The bright side of a great donut (and apple cider). 


Friday, September 27, 2013

A Marvelous Maryland Moment

That is if you think a picture perfect autumn day officiating a Boys JV soccer game on the water in Annapolis, Maryland could be. I'm thankful I was the ref facing the glistening water with a few speed boats and sailboats sprinkled in my line of sight. It was my sixth high school game this week and a great one to end the week on this sun soaked Friday afternoon. 

PS I think my sewing machines are a little jealous of all the soccer I'm refereeing. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall In

Reluctantly, I am going to let fall in. I really had to once I made a huge pot of chili and had to break into two crock pots since the pot was overflowing!  Now that's something to be thankful for. I froze a few containers, but tonight I finished the last ounce of what I did not freeze and it was delicious and hearty. Yum-Eee



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One Lucky Dog

That's right, our little poodle mix, "Lucky" turned 12 years old today. He is still quite spunky and can fetch and bring back balls and other throw toys better than any lab I know. This can go on for a better part of an hour if you let him. And the funny thing about him is that the pitch of his "play" bark gets higher and higher the longer we throw the ball/toy. We quit playing before he does-that's for sure. 

I'm thankful he was the "lucky" puppy selected 12 years ago by the kids, and he has been a great joy to have as part of our family. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of dogs are people too!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Great Book

With all the distractions I seem to have in my life like social media and computer games etc., it feels good to finish a book. This one was recommended to me this summer by my brother-in-law, and I'm thankful I read it. 

It's about a near-death experience that happened to a well known neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander, in 2008 with E.Coli bacteria meningitis. He's a living miracle today. 

Lastly, Dr. A inserts some great quotes and I'm going to post one of my favorite: "Gratitude is not only the greatest if virtues, but the parent of all other."-Cicero



Monday, September 23, 2013


My husband recently went on a business trip to the Big Apple and brought me back NYC M&M'S from the store at Times Square. I'm thankful that after 26 years if marriage he thought to bring me back some sweets!  Very sweet....



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Officially Here

At 4:44pm exactly today fall rushed in on us. I'm not sure I am fully "done" with summer but I do like the cooler crisp evenings for great sleeping weather and cuddling under the quilts!

My photo today was taken this weekend at a local Costco and not only are they past fall, they are already into the Christmas season. I tend to ignore this display of extremely early retail of the season but this one stopped me dead in my tracks because it looked like all the snowmen and other displays were quite comfortable in their current surroundings, as if they've been on display for awhile already. Too. Early. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of cooler evenings, pumpkins, and hearty stews!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Diamond Project Band

A phone call to say hello to friends in Sylvania, Ohio led my husband and I out to a local Apple Fest in Elyria, Ohio. Gina Nelson's brother, Mark Hentosh, plays trumpet in a Neil Diamond cover band and played for two straight hours on the town green this evening that was just fantastic!!!  I'm thankful I made that "fluke" call because it led to a fun-filled evening that was totally unexpected!

BSoleille!  The bright side of singing along to two hours of Neil Diamond tunes!


Photos of the band. The trumpet player on the extreme right is Mark. 

Friday Wedding

I'm posting a little late for last night's wonderful wedding of my cousin Shelly's daughter, Katie, and her new husband, Alex Slogar, but I wanted to receive some photos from my sister first. The Windows on the River venue in the flats of downtown Cleveland was a perfect back drop for dancing the night away and celebrating this occasion with my family and cousins on the maternal side of the family!  Congratulations to Kate and Alex!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September has been designated as Childhood Cancer Awareness month for quite a long time now. There are many events throughout the nation commemorating and honoring brave children fighting the good fight of their respective diagnoses of cancer, and I'm thankful my son and I were invited to the Hyundai's Hope on Wheels Foundation gala at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington DC. (The building itself is quite historic.)

In 15 short years Hyundai America has donated 72 million dollars for pediatric cancer research, and for this I thank them for their tireless mission to eradicate cancer diagnoses in children. The goal is ambitious, no doubt, but they work this mission everyday and the scientific field is already witnessing breakthroughs in the research-especially at the molecular level!!! (I know its quite s weighty topic but must be shared). 

BSoleille!  The bright side of making all children's futures bright!


Photos from this evening:  Ryan with Dr. Aziza Shad and on stage the survivors. 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Streets are Paved With....

New asphalt on my street which is a big mess right now. We are hoping all the noise, dust, one-way traffic and uneven and grooved road will make way for a smooth and  beautifully paved  one. Maybe this new road will keep our vehicles safer and eliminate all the dings and dents our cars have suffered the past few years. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a new asphalt street 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Serger in the House

Being a quilter and/or sewer, I have come to find out one can never have enough machines to do a "job", and that we like choices. So today I want to give out a shout of Thanks to my friend Wendy who had an extra serger she was willing to part with and give to me!  Now some of my projects, like tote bags, can have a nice finished edge to them, and I am thankful for that. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a new to me sewing tool!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Hold Each Other Tight

The unfolding of world events like the Syrian crisis and today's unfortunate mass shooting at the highly secured Naval Yard makes me want to hold those close to me even tighter. In an ever crazy and cruel world we must look for the good as best we can. Today's events makes it quite difficult because for many of us in the DC Metro area, these events immediately take us back to 9/11 and the sniper that wreaked havoc for weeks!

My heart and prayers go out to the families of the victims from the Navy Yard massacre. I believe in a better  tomorrow. 


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Two Trips to Walmart

I am not a big Walmart shopper-usually making a pilgrimage a few times a year and not in my home state either.  So today was quite unusual with two trips in the same day,and in the state of Virginia (in two different locations).  My last trip to one was in Michigan while on vacation. No doubt they have some good pricing, but they did not have any eggplant!  I'm thankful they had the few other items we had on our list. 


Photo of The Best Daughter and son during my second trip today.

Friday, September 13, 2013

PAC-Man Highscore

With a little down time this evening and taking a few moments to "relax", I figured I would play a few games of PAC-Man before doing anything else. Playing it on the computer is great because I can easily quit games and start new ones within seconds. So several games in, I noticed I was doing well in what I  had "designated" as my last game, and racking up points and not getting "hit". As a matter of fact,  this best game of mine lasted 14 minutes with my high score of 119,310  points!!!  I ended on Level 12 and its the pear. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a new best high score!


Thursday, September 12, 2013


This week, I thankfully got to enjoy some Maryland crabs at one of my favorite restaurant's, Cantler's in Annapolis. And I think it's really fun to sit and pick the guts and meat of the crabs, dipping a portion in some vinegar then enjoying the delectable crustacean encrusted in Old Bay!  Yummy! I single handedly had about 8-10 of them myself!



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Patriot Day

As a country, have we healed since 9/11/01?  I'm not sure as the families still grieve for their loved ones and so many continue to be affected even 12 years later. 

We must never forget......

God Bless the USA!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Butler

I recently went to see Lee Daniels, "The Butler", and I thought it was terrific! This true story about a black man from the cotton fields in the South,with no education, work his way to be the most beloved butler at the White House for eight presidents!  I really enjoyed the historical footage through the decades, plus the fantastic acting by Forest Whitaker (predicting an academy award nomination, at least). Oprah played his wife and she also did an admiral job (I had to get past talk show host mentality) and "let" her get into the character!  Good stuff and a great story in American History. 



Monday, September 9, 2013

US Open 2013 Men's Final

No matter what, you have got to give kudos to anyone making a Grand Slam event final, and tonight's match between Nadal and Djokovic was no exception. Blazing speed of the players scrambling for balls all over the court and 125 mph serves were the "de rigueuer" of the night. My son and I were clapping wildly at some of the outstanding volleys (one being 54 back and forths; the highest for one point!). This is what makes a true champion, that nitty gritty play and never give up attitude. That distinction went to Raphael Nadal, a well earned victory and the player I favored tonight!

And not to shut out Monday Night Football with the Redskins vs. Eagles, we simply toggled between the two big sports events, but laying emphasis on the tennis. 



Photo of the match!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

60 Minutes

The iconic TV magazine show conjures up memories of my aunts and uncles and parents tuning into this Sunday evening show that could not be missed. Before the Internet and instantaneous news, this one news program highlighted the "current" news of people, places and things of the day that we take for granted in today's fast paced world. 

Tonight I caught a segment on robots and robotics. Very interesting and I hope they will not put everyone out of a job eventually!  There is one robot, Baxter, who is on the market for a mere $22,000 that lasts about three years. A quick calculation renders this robot "makes" $3.40/hour. Baxter earns pretty much the same wages as China and India's workers and that may put a lot of those folks on notice!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a robot, but still keeping person to person relationships, in and out of the workplace. 

Photo of a non robot, a friends' kitty (it's either Sputnik or Gizmo, not sure which)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Annapolis Crab Pot Cup

This awesome day was comprised of officiating four games of youth soccer beginning at 9am sharp!  Good boys games all around in the morning, but my afternoon games were at Annapolis High School with girls and boys varsity games. Even though I was an assistant referee in both games, I really ran my lines to keep up with the play and off sides.

And for this high school tournament, I'm thankful to have worked with an outstanding crew in Tim and Dave. Our last game was explosive and exciting with Annapolis vs. Huntingtown (boys varsity) who turned it into a nail biter to the bitter end. A last second goal catapulted the game to penalty kicks which Huntingtown came out on top with the coveted win 3-2 win!  Both teams, coaches and players were great and everyone had a great time!  I left the field with a big smile on my face. 



Photo of the ref crew Tim, Terri, and Dave. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Hanging On To Summer

I know the seasons change but I think I am having a hard time in giving up summer this year. Since Maryland was not its usual stifling and sweltering self, it was quite pleasant these past few months and I am going to miss it. And, from my photo today, the leaves are already falling!!!  On a happy note the crisp evenings make great sleeping weather and mornings are just delightful for an early morning run. 



Thursday, September 5, 2013

Little Quilt

I made one of these cute little dog quilts in May and actually cut out enough fabric to make two. Today I finished the second one and I think it turned out great. The button eyes really make it "come alive" with its own doggone personality!  



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pro Stitcher

My Handi-Quilter long-arm came with a pro stitcher which is basically a computer system which has pre-programmed stitches that quilts the quilt, and overall pretty cool. When I first got it, Quilter Extraordinaire, Mary Nielsen, went over the system quickly noting once I got comfortable with the machine, she would come back to really teach me its ways. Today was the day she came over to teach me some lessons on the pro stitchers wonderful capabilities!  Very impressive;  and we quilted a "Georgetown Quilt" for Hem/Onc Pediatrics!

BSoleille! The bright side of learning a new skill, especially  with a great teacher!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

604th Post

Wow, I just checked on this blog on my computer (I tend to do my blogging from my phone), and could not believe today is my 604th post. I have only missed a few days so far this year because I did not want to drive myself too crazy by posting every single day like I did last year. However, I may in 2014; ooh, got to love the pressure!  A big shout of thanks to those who follow along with me, and as the days pass, I really do try to bring "freshness" and new topics when I can, and that is a big challenge.  With that being said, I'm thankful for my readers and there is an endless supply of things in this world to be grateful for everyday!

My photo today is of a Higgins Lake sky!



Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day 2013

The screaming cacophony of happy swimmers was all the rage at the Crofton Swim and Tennis Club this afternoon, as today was the last day of the season as in most pools throughout the area and beyond. Although I did not take part in the drink (water), I did thoroughly enjoy my favorite band, The Bay Jazz Project, who graciously played in the hot outdoor venue with this "groupie" in attendance. They are so good!!!



Sunday, September 1, 2013

Two For One

I have mentioned in previous posts about my dogs' beds. They have two, named aptly, good bed and other bed. So tonight they decided to share the other bed, leaving good bed all alone. Who knows what these dogs are thinking?  And it's not like its cold and they are sharing warmth, quite the opposite is true for today. They keep me guessing to their antics which I will never figure it out....