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, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

May 2015 be a stellar year no matter what!  So many new things to think about and try and I am thankful for a "new clean slate". And since this past year I did not read as many books as I wanted to (lots of playing on social media sites), I hope to bring that "old fashioned" endeavor back into the fold. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a Happy New Year 2015!


Photo of "The Best Daughter and Son" in downtown Annapolis from this morning. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Thank You

Many thanks to all the quiltsfromtheheart blog readers in 2014!  I am truly blessed in so many ways, and love to find gratitude in each passing day. I hope my readers have found daily gratitude as well, even if it's a just a can of peas!

Photo is a turtle bar square that is sooo delicious and an exact opposite to a can of peas (but I like peas too!)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Changing of the Purses

There are the changing of the seasons, changing of the guards and tonight, a complete "changing of the purses." As I was changing the old one out for the new, it really baffles me how men get by in life by "just" carrying a small wallet.  I guess some men supplement space by also carrying a briefcase or backpack, but there are so many "essentials" I think I need to carry for everyday use that a purse is about the only thing that encompasses this concept. 

BSoleille! The bright side of finding loose change at the bottom of a bag!


Weekend Wrap Up

A five mile hike with my cousin Shelli and her friend Bonnie jump started this good day. Though cloudy and grey and very muddy, our spirits soured by the surroundings of the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Penisula, Ohio. I was thankful of the quick clip in the hopes of "breaking a sweat" and "detoxing" the body from all the cookies consumed this past week. Haha

A visit to meet up with some childhood friends concluded the weekend and I am really thankful for the time we spent together, both in our formative years and today. 


Photos from the hike and at the home of Dave Gentile with his sister Ann Kukucka, and my sister Kimberly. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Social Media Fest

YikYak, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and that was the start of the social media session the Tomoff's had today at the Hoffman Group, compliments of Don, Bill and Brett Tomoff!  Whew, a lot of information (at times overload), but all good to be "in the game" for what's hot now in the social sphere. 

Photo of most of the group hard at work on our phone and tablet!


Friday, December 26, 2014

Gleaming Harwood Floors

After spending the final Christmas celebration with my family, we all headed to North Royalton High School for their half time salute. Nephew Nathan Kocan and the rest of 2014 boys varsity baseball state finalist team were honored by the school during the boys varsity basketball game. I could not help but enjoy the beauty of those gleaming hardwood floors, and the squeak of sneakers cutting all over the floor. 


It is All About the Family

From my family to yours, I hope you had a wonderful celebration!  Happy Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Wishing all my blog readers a very Merry Christmas with family and friends!

He is the light of the world....

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Spirit

Gifts are nice, giving is better and getting together with friends and family is best!  So, I am thankful to have had the chance to celebrate the season with the Rhodes High "Girls" for lunch, family Tomoff for dinner and decorating holiday cookies!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Franek: Food, Farm & Fitness

I am thankful that we had big bold plans today that were executed and we are all still "standing".  The girls started the day with 4.6 mile run, then strengthening exercises with the boys in the barn (lots of core), and ending the morning in the hot tub (30 degrees air temp/102 degree water temp). After lunch we all headed out to hike at Nelson Ledges State Park, taking the "difficult" trail that included hiking through some very tight crevices in the rocks -Whew!

The late afternoon back at Butternut Hill Farm included full body (Bill) and back messages from massage therapist extraordinaire  Rosalie Franek (Right Path to Fitness and Health), and hot tea and cookies if the mood struck. Simply a fitness and spa experience for sure all compliments of the Franek's!

Lastly, we all headed to the Welshfield Inn in Troy Township for dinner. Their Monday special of $5 burgers were delicious!

BSoleille!  The bright side of hitting the sack hard on a day well "spent"! Thanks Tom and Rosalie. 


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Butternut Hill Farm

An Hiram, Ohio "tradition" is taking a ride out to Butternut Hill Farm to select a wonderful home grown Christmas tree, take a scavenger hunt/hike, and finish back at the barn with hot chocolate and ornament making. Of course, the chestnuts roasting on an open fire is truly one of my favorites with hosts Rosalie and Tom Franek (Tom did the roasting). What a wonderful way to usher in the Christmas spirit for the week. I am thankful that three families got to share in this goodwill: Franek's, Misencik's and Tomoff's.

BSoleille!  The bright side of a hike at dusk!

Saturday, December 20, 2014


AKA, chocolate chip cookies, a favorite of mine and the family and, I believe, world wide appeal. They are certainly something I try to make during the holidays and this year "The Best Daughter" helped out, and I am thankful for that!  Can you beat that "just out of the oven melt in your mouth" taste?Heaven!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Black Hole

That proverbial black hole has reared its ugly head once again. My household was doing fairly well with finding and recovering "lost" and misplaced items. Recently, my favorite pair of denim jeans have disappeared without a trace or clue. How can one lose a pair of jeans I ask myself over and over? So, of course  I called every hotel, retreat center  and persons stayed with over the last two months to no avail. My husband says they will turn up and I hope he is right! Thankfully, I have spare pairs!

BSoleille! The bright side of "a pair of jeans that fit just right", as the song by the "Zac Brown Band" goes. 


Photo of an awesome December setting sun. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Santa's Elves at Work

We are known as wrappers and wranglers, and had a very busy day at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland, making beautiful packages all benefitting NIH Charites (including Special Love, Inc.). 

Funny thing, I actually broke a sweat "wrestling" with a huge awkward box containing an iMac computer. I put my quilting skills to work, taping two long sheets of paper making a "center seam, then carefully wrapping and overlapping the paper until the box was covered and looking good. (Customer very happy with the result)!

BSoleille!  The bright side of working with such a strong team for six hours!  

Photo includes (l-r) Olivia, me, Sharon Johnsen, Dave Smith, Ryan and Robin

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Farewell to Dr. Gabriel Hauser

How do you say goodbye to one of the best doctors that treated your child in the PICU at Georgetown Universry Hospital? And that we served together on the first PAB (Pediatric Parent Advisory Board) for 10years? My best guess would be, "see you later", and, of course, "best wishes" at your new gig at St. Christopher's in Philadelphia? That was all said by many but he is so much more than all the accolades bestowed on him tonight at his farewell party. His commitment, loyalty, expertise and "super star" clinician sets him a part from his peers, but his great passion to help and heal the thousands of kids who passed through those C52 doors (including my son Ryan) truly make him an outstanding human being!  

Our family was honored to be a part of Dr. Hauser's evening, and unbeknownst to us, we solely represented all the patients and families he treated for the past 25 years as chief. He truly set a high bar for his staff, but everyone rose to meet it day in and day out to make the 
best possible outcome for all his patients. This is really remarkable for sure.  

So, Dr. Hauser, "so long", and "best wishes" on your new journey at St Chris. You WILL be missed in DC by many!


Photo of Dr. Hauser and Ryan

Monday, December 15, 2014


As we all know teamwork comes in many forms, usually for the common good. So I am so thankful to capture a moment this afternoon when "The Best Daughter" and "Best Son" banded together to empty the dishwasher, clean dishes in the sink, and start prepping dinner all with little fanfare!
Teamwork at its best during holiday break. Now if they would do this daily....that would border miraculous!

BSoleille! The bright side of a clean kitchen and delicious chicken fijatas. 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Last "Race" of the Season

A reasonable 10:00am start for the Annapolis Strider 15K was a great way to kickstart the morning. Apparently, this event is run with less than desirable weather, but not today, and I was thankful it was clear and dry. About seven miles in, all I could think about was a hot shower and a nap once home, even though we were running through the beautiful Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland. 

However, once I turned on my street, smack dab in front of me were men and work trucks parked everywhere and a big hole dug out on the street. At first I thought this could not be good, but also did not think this would affect me. Haha to that thought but muscled my way through the "maze" anyways. 

Of course once in the house I beelined to take that one thing that kept me going- hot shower!  I got all the sweaty wet clothes off, leaned in to turn on the hot and cold water....and nothing came out!
Well, I thought if I put on a lot of dry clothes I will warm up and postpone that delectable, er elusive (by this point) shower. (Those darn trucks and water break!)

I was just about dressed, and for the heck of it, tried the water one more time and it WORKED!  A yippee moment for sure. All was right in the world once more. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of that second thought -a much deserved nap!!!

Photo of fellow Croftonite Rich Flanagan and me. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

In Maryland there is no snow, but two hours up the road there was this morning on a fabric acquisition road trip with buddies Mary Nielsen and Cappy. That white stuff was everywhere upon crossing the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, and actually looked quite pretty all around Lancaster County. 

Of course the trip included a stop at Obie's, where once again we took our life in our hands upon entering. The creaky floor to ceiling filled with heavy bolts of fabric did not disappoint and we thankfully left the store unscathed except a little lighter in the pocketbook!

BSoleille! The bright side of a full day road trip with great friends!


Christmas in Washington

On my drive over to Georgetown University Hospital this afternoon for a meeting, I could not help but notice the pretty decorations on a row house in Georgetown off "Q" Street. My initial reaction was to stop and take the photo but there was no parking at that moment. I then thought if I could park for a minute on my way back, I will stop and take a few photos. I must admit it looked great from the street and my photos do not do it justice, but pretty nonetheless. I was thankful to stop and get the photos for a few brief moments. 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Guild Christmas Party

Our guild had our Christmas party tonight with wonderful festive table toppers and "hostesses with the mostestess"!  My 2Bee with Trish hosted a "Forest Green Wonderland", complete with live good smelling greenery, and other wonderland accoutrements. Our thinking was "less is more"; I think we accomplished our goal. And...thankfully there were several other beautifully decorated tables to complete the entire look of the evening. 

In addition to all the above plus the potluck dinner and breaking bread with our fellow guild members, we swapped 12.5" holiday blocks that were all great!

My photos include our decorated table, the reindeer block made for the swap and "reindeer twin" Sheila Walker, it was too cute not to post!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Puzzling Dogs

As much as our dogs study us, I think I return the favor and "study" them too. So thinking that maybe they have me and the family figured out by now, I, on the other hand, am still puzzled and shaking my head with them and their crazy antics. Take for instance Big Lucy, who spends most of the day outside no matter how hot, cold, rain or snow. Then when she comes in, wants to snuggle in the "warmest" places in the house, including the "big one", sleeping on our beds and my quilts!!  However, I do not believe she is trying to warm up. She is a funny one for sure. 

Thankfully, little Lucky I have figured out a  bit. He goes outside for one thing only and hustles back in the house no matter what the weather (even on a beautiful day you would think he would stay out). But he is fairly predictable and that is good. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of cold "two dog" nights!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

"Pheen" Dinner

I am thankful that this years holiday festivities included dinner out with the "Pheen" (AKA Freestate Phoenix soccer) parents from "The Best Daughter's youth soccer days. A lot of the players keep in touch, so why not the parents who shared those sidelines together for years cheering on our collective daughters? This group has one daughter already graduated and working in the "real" business world, one graduating next Saturday in nursing from Georgetown, and "The Best Daughter" graduating next spring. We all commented on how fast the years flew by!

BSoleille! The bright side of Gordon Biersch's German beer. 

Photo: Angie & John Kozlowski, Tom Gitlin, me & Bill and Patty Gitlin

Saturday, December 6, 2014

"Are You Having Fun Yet?"

That was the question I posed to a U14 male soccer player this afternoon, as "we" all fought through the rain and his team fought to stay in the game. He looked me straight in the eye and said, "no...because we are losing."  Several minutes later I complimented him on his play and he said he still was not having fun. I loosely quoted Ghandi and said "be the change you want to see on this field."

I would like to think my comment made a difference, though I will never know (and maybe that's a good thing), but this same player took matters into his own hands and scored his teams only goal late in the second half. I was secretly proud this kid persevered, recovered a loose ball and scored, if only to prove a point to himself that he did change and made a difference, even though his team lost the game. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a completed fall soccer season of nearly 100 games!!!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Tiny Batteries

If it wasn't for a pair of decent readers, changing a couple of little watch clock batteries would have been a lot harder. Basically, the "deeply imbedded little buggers" needed nerves of steel to excavate, but alas, a set of tiny tools won the day (second thing to be thankful for). 

Now I know why one clock sat on 7:40 for the past few years. As I kept looking at it and telling myself it needed batteries, the thought left my mind as soon as I walked out of the room...to a tune of two years at least. 

BSoleille! The bright side of two working clocks once again. 


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Possibilibees Bee

My Possibillabee had a nice gathering of the seven of us at Carrie Casto's last night. She made two delicious quiches that were scrumptious and the evening was met with friendship and "sister of stitches". For me this means that three out of seven brought hand sewing (bindings) and an SOS went out for one that needed to be finished that night. I was thankful to pitch in for the cause (as well as Mary Nielsen), as it has been a long time that I did any sewing by hand. I must admit I really enjoyed that thread and needle as we wielded it through the quilt and binding to completion. 

BSoleille! The bright side of bee and helping Shelley finish off her quilt (like bees used to do back in the day). 



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pillow Pals

A brother and sister combo pleased as punch with their new pillows I recently made for them out of their grandpa's shirts. The big squeeze hugs made my day and I am thankful to have pleased even my youngest "customers"!

BSoleille! The bright side of a "girlified" pillowcase made with mostly masculine colored shirts. 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Footnote to Yesterday's Post

All day today I thought I needed to add a footnote to yesterday's post or an addendum. So here it goes:

Several years ago I believe I received a re-gifted Christmas present with the Elvis Christmas CD. The person who gave it to me either 1) did not care for Elvis; 2) thought they were pulling a fast one on me; and 3) certainly never listened to it because they would have never given it up (IMO). Basically, I have the "last laugh" and very thankful that I do!

In addition to Elvis though, I feel compelled to include my other favorites too. This list may include your favorites as well: Carpenter's Double Set (traditional carols and contemporary Christmas music); Amy Grant's Christmas; Kenny G Holiday music (clarinet instrumental); George Winston's Windam Hill "December" (piano solos) and the classic Bing Crosby's "Merry Christmas"!

BSoleille! The bright side of listening to Holiday music for the next three weeks. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

"If Every Day Was Like Christmas"

Last week when "The Best Daughter" was home on break we jumped into her car for an errand and lo and behold, the blaring gritty voice coming out of the speakers was none other than Bruce Springsteen. I about fell over and promptly asked her why. She replied that one of her friends Dad listens to him and thought she may like it as well (both the friend and TBD). She also said "her generation's" music is just not the same as the music I listened to when I was her age (22 years old). 

Fast forward to today when I loaded my CD player (I know, old school), with my favorite Christmas music. And in my humble opinion, the best of the best is hands down Elvis Presley's "If Every Day was Like Christmas". Gospel, R&B, Rock, and Ballad, Elvis covers it all, and truly so beautifully with each and every note. Love. It. 

BSoleille! The bright side of yet another generation's music -the "King" - Elvis.