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, November 30, 2015

Post Weekend Reflection

While I was busy in the kitchen over the weekend, thankfully, the menfolk in the house tried to help with setting the tables and adding chairs to our one dining room table and then a six foot table to accommodate the crowd of 12. Napkins, water goblets and water pitchers were carefully placed amoungst the settings beautifully. When I finally walked in to sit down and eat, I was amazed to find an "extra" chair covered with an American flag. Puzzled for just a second, my son claimed responsibility of the deed and stated it is reserved for those who are serving or have served in our military throughout the years. I could not be more proud of him in that moment of complete empathy toward our men and women in uniform, and that he wanted to honor those who could not be with their families this year! 

BSoleille! The bright side of a good gesture that still resonates long after the turkey day meal. 


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Crabfeast

Not only did we feed and shelter 12 people for five days to celebrate the holiday, we decided we would close the weekend down with a genuine Maryland Crabfeast because a few in the crowd have never experienced one (albeit indoors, but hey, the idea was there!). We also had a friends added to the mix for a true soirée!

BSoleillle! The bright side of fun, family and friends...


Photo of the gang of Kocan's, Tomoff's, Kozlowski's and Duret's, plus the kids. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Bright Friday!

Bright and early this morning a hiking trip was first on the agenda much to our delight. The sunshine and mild temperature was perfect to hit the Billy Goat Trail on the Maryland side of the Potomac. It really is a great little hike of about two hours that involves a small rock scramble along the river. I am thankful we arrived fairly early this morning since the trail it got quite crowded in no time. It was a lovely hike with Bill and Olivia!

BSoleille! A "bright" (not black) Friday for us!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

I hope everyone had a restful and gratitude filled Thanksgiving holiday spent with family, friends or both! A quick and easy 5K jump started this years festivities with "The Best Daugjter" and husband Bill. And then the "big" meal fulfilled everyone's appetite for a great turkey day (we also roasted a delicious chicken besides the obligatory turkey to delight of the family!). What a beautiful day it turned out to be so we could take some fun family photos and enjoy the last bit of the mild temperatures in November. 

BSoleille! The bright side of Thanksgiving 2015 in the books!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Gang's All Here

Our Thanksgiving visitors (my side of the family) arrived safe and sound and I am thankful for that. Some last minute shopping rounded out the day for a successful Thanksgiving meal tomorrow!  And a big shout of thanks to my son, Ryan, who single handedly marinated and grilled 10 lbs. of chicken wings (82 of them to be exact) that were simply delicious! The crowd is all set for talking turkey tomorrow, I mean eating!


Thanksgiving Road Warriors

For all those traveling the highways and by-ways this week of Thanksgiving, safe travels and sunny skies (and no traffic) is my wish for you. Truly this the one holiday for expressing gratitude in all its glory much to my delight. This gathering with family and friends with a couple of good meals thrown in for good measure is the best recipe for a happy and thankful crowd. 

A big shout of thanks to those traveling to visit loved ones near and afar!


Photo of two turkey vultures who will not be on the dining room table!

Monday, November 23, 2015


One of the most precious thing in the world to be thankful for. And clear running drinkable water out of a faucet is  icing on the cake!

Cheers to clear drinking water anywhere on earth!


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Crayon Connection

Our Special Love Parent Weekend at the George Washington Inn Hotel in Winchester, VA, went off without a hitch. I am thankful that several new couples were able to join in our relaxing and thoughtful weekend. We began with an exercise of coloring with crayons (we each got a new box, and I learned I use crayons very intensely!), that touched upon relaxation techniques associated with PTSD and all that entails with dealing in childhood cancer. 

Many connections were made at a psycho-social level in dealing with said stress, along with the connections the parents made amoungst themselves. That is the true beauty of accommodating a need found in this particular community of dedicated parents to their children (both with cancer and their siblings without). 

Lastly, our guest speaker this morning, Jeff Quelet, a 33 year cancer survivor (diagnosed at age 10), really put in perspective that it takes a village, plus a camp as special as Camp Fantastic and all that it entails, to help heal cancer kids through mind, body and soul! 

BSoleille! The bright side of "running away to camp" for parents (even if for a short weekend!)

Photos of Jeff Quelet, our SL Team:
Marilyn Eichner, Sharon Johnsen, me, Shari Fisher and Maureen Lilly, and my intense coloring page along with my husband's page (softer touch with his crayons). 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Special Love Parents Weekend

It is that time of year for the parents of children with cancer's "getaway weekend" in Winchester, VA, sponsored by Special Love. The anticipated program brings many parents in all stages of their child's illnesses to relax, have meaningful discussions with others in similar circumstances, and provide hope to all that are dealing with serious issues with their families. I am thankful (along with my husband) to be a part of the program and to help others now going down a similar path we did 19 years ago. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a healthy respite!

Photo of our crew: Tom and Marilyn Eichner, Lee and Sharon Johnsen, Maureen Lilly, Shari and Andy Fisher and me and my husband Bill. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pink Skies

After a full day of steady rain, we were greeted in Maryland with an evening sky of pink and maybe a drizzle of rain to finish out the day. The entire house was cast in this hue, so when I looked up and around, I had to run outside and capture a photo of the moment. And I am thankful for the pretty scene!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Oh what a year! Ronald Reagan was elected president; average cost of a new car $7200; and gas for that new car would have cost $1.19/gallon. We had 226,500,000 million people living in the USA according to the 1980 census; the USA hockey team beat the Soviet Union in Olympic history in Lake Placid and labeled "Miracle on Ice"; and John Lennon was shot outside his NYC apartment. 

It was also the year I graduated high school and began college in the fall, and my favorite game came out in the arcade called Pac Man (where all my quarters made it into!)

So while at the mall this evening to get a few watch batteries, I could not help smile when I saw this 1980 T Shirt in one of the stores...memories!

BSoleille! The bright side of reminiscing back to 1980.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Out With the Old, In With the New?

Have you ever been in love with an inanimate object? Maybe a necklace or car? For me it is my pink sunglasses purchased exactly one year ago. I have worn them religiously for at least 340 days out of 365, and I am not kidding. Looking back on photos, I have them on more times than not. However, up until last weekend, I thought they were on their last leg; one nose piece fell off, and the other was weak. The two hinges were also missing pieces so I thought I needed to buy a new pair at the Richmond Expo this past weekend. (Also where I bought the pink sunglasses last year.)

But no, the friendly guy at the booth fixed up my old pair fairly well, but I am not sure how they will hold up for another year. So I decided to buy a "back up" pair in red...

BSoleille! The bright side of cool new sun specs. 


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Two Fat Quarter Bag Expounds

After a few days of nonstop action with Linda, Linda, her giddy take away was the making of her very own tote bag sewn right on my dining room table. Luckily, she had the skill set and knowledge of operating a sewing machine so the teaching part was easy for me. It was cool to see her "ah ha" moment because she accomplished something new and totally unexpected with pretty fabric and the "ta da" moment with the completed tote!

BSoleille! The bright side of learning something new unexpectedly. 


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Richmond Half Marathon 2015

For an entire year I could never let go of the fact I ran a 2:01 half marathon (13.1 miles) in Richmond in 2014 (and was "this close" to breaking 2 hours...), so I "vowed" to myself last year to run a little more and run a few longer runs and signup to do it again this year with the hope of breaking that barrier. Mind you, this is in the "new era" of running and "racing" over 50!

Fast forward exactly one year ago to today and my goal at the start was to smash that time. Thankfully, with a little help from my friend, Linda Misencik, we not only beat it, but shaved off five minutes from last years' time. It was a fabulous day of perfect temperatures for November with brilliant sunshine and a good course through the city of Richmond, Virginia. Our "team" also included "The Best Daughter" and friend, Ryan Collier, who both finished fantastically.

In order of finishing: Ryan 1:31; Olivia 1:40: Linda 1:55 and me, 1:56!!

BSoleille! The bright side of a PR in the "golden era"! And the fans who came out to cheer us on: Laura and Liz!


Friday, November 13, 2015


I had another post today all ready to go, but it pales in comparison to the tragic events happening in Paris, France today. Prayers for Paris is what is needed at this time, and I am sorry the world is in this very sad place today. Hope for a better tomorrow world-wide. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I Can Blog if I Want To

When it is your birthday, you can do "anything", right? The best things being some thrift store shopping with Linda Misencik, lunching  in downtown Annapolis (along with birthday buddy, Kathy Cook), and catching a movie with the family made today a perfect day to celebrate! I am thankful to love and be loved....


Photo at the movies: "Bridge of Spies"

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Armistice Day" 11/11

Armistice Day, also known as Veteran's Day, and a very special day indeed to thank those men and women in uniform (and retired) who served our nation in time of war and beyond.  Freedom is not free, and I would like to take a moment to shout out THANK YOU to all those who served: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard.  Our entire nation is indebted to you!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Getting Strung Along

Chain piecing, or sewing two pieces of fabric together, is a quick method of making blocks for various pieced blocks. Depending on the size of quilt, chain piecing can go on for "miles", or at least seem to. But it is efficient and I am thankful when I can employ this method when working on various quilt projects. 

BSoleille! The bright side of stringing units of fabric along!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Difference a Day Makes

I am thankful for a splendid quilt retreat on the West River with 19 quilt buddies all working on multiple projects. The hum of the machines, and the chatter over those machines, is what makes the weekend tick. So while the work is being done inside, it is so nice to check the outside, and nothing beats being on the waterfront. I took the two photos on the two consecutive mornings at about the same time this past weekend and what a difference one day makes. 


Saturday, November 7, 2015

One Exception to "No Frills" Weekend

My quilt guild's fall retreat is typically in November and it is fairly low key. That means no mystery quilt or secret sewing sisters (think secret Santa), or anything extra. Pure sewing and quilting on your very own projects. However, the only "frill" was the demo of the 2Fat Quarter bag I made and posted last week. We had six or seven make them and they were a hit (or at least in my estimation). Each bag was "unique" simply because of all the different color combinations of the fabrics used. A fun little tote for sure!


Friday, November 6, 2015

Lucy Loo in the Leaves

Pretty Gingko leaves had our dog Lucy Loo hanging out in the leaves (though she is not rakin' them!). And since her black coat against the bright yellow leaves, with no veins in the leaves mind you, was so striking, I had to take several photos. It is too bad she does not like it when we take her photo, so we have to be sly and quick to get a decent one of her. I am posting two that captured her best this morning. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a black dog and bright yellow leaves. 


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Friends and Sponsors of Georgetown Pediatrics

I am thankful to have been invited to the Medstar Georgetown Friends and Sponsors dinner held at a new location: Sequoia on the waterfront. Lots of familiar faces in the crowd for Georgetown to thank the many people who continue to support their programs and initiatives to heal the children of the greater Washington DC area. It is a great feeling to give back whether its financial, time, or in my case, the many beautiful quilts made by my guild, Southern Comforters of Bowie, MD, for every newly diagnosed pediatric cancer patient. Pat Scully, president of my guild, accompanied me to this spectacular evening, and who is, I may add, a huge proponent of making and rounding the other guild members to donate quilts to this worthwhile endeavor!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fallen Oak

A new house was built on my street this year, and the owners kept two large oaks in the front yard. A good thing I thought at the time. However, I wonder if their roots wreaked some havoc on their new underground systems since they took one of the trees down today. The cut "logs" are all over their yard, as it was a very large oak. So when I went past it today, I stopped to "read" the years/circles on the stumps, which I could not do. But I thought this photo was very cool of those lines....


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Welcoming Reception/11 Years!

My family and I were honored to attend a reception welcoming Dr. Aziza Shad in her new journey in treating pediatric cancer patients with the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai, at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland. Many like-minded people were in attendance to support Dr. Shad's initiatives in all pediatric care for the Baltimore region. 

The three of us were also honored to say a few words about our relationship with Dr. Shad, and to exude all the goodness she brings to her patients and families (they run in the hundreds!), formally at Georgetown, and now at Sinai. 

And not only did we celebrate with her on her new journey, today we celebrate Ryan's 11 year anniversary of his pediatric bone marrow transplant from Duke University Hospital!!! 

BSoleille! The bright side of Scott Harris, who graciously donated his marrow 11years ago so a 10 year old boy had a second chance at life!!! We cannot thank you enough....


Photo from tonight's event: Terri, Bill, Beth and Eddie Goldberger, Dr. Aziza Shad and Ryan. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

There is Always One in the Crowd!

Even in nature, there is always that one renegade flower, animal, or in this case, a tree, that refuses to change color. The "funny" thing it stuck out like a sore thumb, so I had to take this photo of the one green standout. Maybe one day this month it will magically turn color, but I unfortunately, won't be there to see it. Cheers to all renegades out there that refuse to do what everyone else does, even a single tree in a forest!


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Trick or Treat on Old Rag

Nah, but the four of us dressed up in "Halloween costumes" like hikers (with boots and day packs), and climbed up to the summit of 3291 feet! And  although  there were throngs of people enjoying what we were enjoying, it was still a thrilling experience ablaze with color and panoramic views of the valleys below. Interestingly, the colors leaned toward oranges and yellows with a few reds sprinkled in for good measure, but beautiful nonetheless. Of course my favorite thing was the two mile rock scramble over granite boulders besides the long waits of getting through. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a glorious hike with Mark and Linda Misencik and hubby, Bill!