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, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

The ghosts and goblins have come and gone and it was a fine night weather-wise for trick or treating. I hope everyone enjoyed seeing all the costumed kids march through the neighborhoods. 

My photo today is a fully decorated lawn of every imaginable Halloween inflatable. I hope the kids enjoyed a fun night of candy seeking through this maze of madness!


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sports Round Up

From four soccer games (refereed), to a "Guinness World Record Party, and lastly, to the Tribe vs. Cub's game, what a wild ride it's been for the last 18 hours. My fellow referees today were a husband and wife "team", Julio and Lety, who were thrilled to work with another female referee (there are just not that many of us). We had a good set of games and the weather was perfect to be outside enjoying the day!

The next order of business was to head to the Richard Flanagan household where a celebration party was underway to congratulate Rich on his "official" Guinness World Record for his one-wheelie record in one hour that he did on May 29th, 2016. There is a lot of paperwork required by the Guinness World Record people, with the  checking and double-checking on the record once it has been accomplished. A few days ago, Rich got the official announcement that he now holds the Guinness World Record for a one hour one wheelie (64 laps on a track)! How awesome is that!??

And lastly, the Indians vs. Cubs game in which the Cubs just won game five (boo), and now the series MUST be won in Cleveland on Tuesday! What a game, and series it has been thus far. Looking forward to the best baseball around with the traditions surrounding both teams...vintage!


Photos of my ref-mates and Rich Flanagan (one of Rich very young doing a trick on his bicycle!)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ta-Da! Cool Avacado...

It took two plus years to have the kitchen done to completion, and I am thankful the family hung with me for the last phase, painting it all. Except for the outlet covers, everything is pretty much back to its rightful place, and I am thankful for that. So without further adieu, I give you the before and after photos.  I like the door especially, with a pop of paprika color!


Friday, October 28, 2016

When Good Work is Done...

My kitchen renovation was done in the summer of 2014, but was never painted to "complete" the look. I did not get to it in 2014, nor 2015, and this year, I actually broke down and bought the paint this summer. And since that purchase of several gallons of paint at Sherwin Williams, I told myself (and family), almost weekly, that I will be painting the kitchen...soon. And since August, the weeks flew by with nary an inkling to tackle that job. What's a girl to do?

Well, I went back to the Crofton Sherwin Williams store last week, and asked the store manager, Alyssa Kozlowski, for some names of painters. I told her I "gave up" on doing it myself and needed suggestions on some good painters. She happened to give me the name of David Godwin, who had recently painted a project for Alyssa's grandmother, and did "good work". He was prompt, had fair pricing for the job, and is a friendly guy who did great work. So, thankfully, I made the call. We quickly scheduled a time for him to come out for an estimate, and I "booked" him on the spot.

David spent the past two days painting my kitchen...and more. Not only did he do a great job, he happened to "wash" out all the paint that we got on our clothes as we "gingerly" walked through the kitchen and brushed against the wet paint (it never looked wet!). Of course, our dog Loo-C was no exception to rubbing against the wet paint, and David took it in stride to wash off all the paint on her coat too! 

If you are local, and need a painter, give David a call. Take the "angst" out of doing it yourself!


Photo of David at work and his business card! I will post before and after photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Giving Back to Sinai Hospital

Typically, November is the month of "Thanks" and "Giving". But for the Southern Comforters of Bowie, MD, every month is a way to "give thanks and give back". As I have mentioned in several previous blog posts, my guild has made, quilted and donated hundreds (maybe close to 2,000 over the last 16 years) of quilts to every newly diagnosed child with cancer at Georgetown. It is something we are very proud of, and the kids and parents (plus the staff) are in awe of varied and beautiful quilts bestowed on these brave warriors. With prayers and good wishes stitched into each lovingly made quilt, we want the kids to know they are loved, even by "perfect strangers", who only wish for positive outcomes through their arduous treatments. Our members take our community outreach program seriously, and it shows in each and every quilt donated.

Today, I would like to announce, with the blessing of my guild, that we have branched out to another hospital: Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Maryland. My son Ryan and I took two huge bags filled with beautiful quilts for the staff to select a "perfect match" to give to each new pediatric hem/onc patient. The doctors and staff are thrilled to have the new partnership, and I am too! We are spreading the love...one stitch and one quilt at a time!

BSoleille, The bright side of giving back in any month of the year!


Photo of Danielle Eichner, Art Therapist, and Ryan

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

World Series 2016

I've posted that if you follow MLB, October is all about pitching. Lots of teams were "hot" getting to the series, but the last two standing are the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs! As I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and a mere three miles to the "old" stadium (as the crow flies), my heart is with  Cleveland for the big trophy and a series win! It helps they are the underdogs, and I am thankful for that!

But it is really cool that the Chicago Cubs are the other team, and they even have a longer dry spell of 108 years in not winning a series. I guess 68 years is "nothing", at least according to the announcers and all the Cubs fans out there! So as the games play out, I'll be cheering on the Tribe in the next week and a half of games. "Old fashion" baseball at it's best!


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Monday, October 24, 2016

The Gang...

Is all here. And really, it was two extra for dinner, but it was all so good. The food and the company with a bouncing lively discussion kept the tempo moving along. Lots of laughs when Uncle Don and Liz Verrecchia comes to town. A must is to brush up on apps and social media because he crushes all of it! We zing from "Slack" to Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Evernote and Google photos. Whew! It's tough to keep up!


Sunday, October 23, 2016

A "Little" Hike on the AT

I awoke at 4:28am (alarm set for 5:30am!), and never was able to fall back asleep. But that meant we had a few extra minutes to pack a few things to head to Pen-Mar Park on the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland. We made arrangements to meet up with friends, Mark and Linda Misencik, as they hiked the entire state of Maryland since Friday (45 miles) on the Appalachian Trail. How awesome is that? Bill and I got out there by 8:00am and began hiking South, as the Misencik's began hiking North after they broke camp. We met up after a few miles on the trail, and hiked back to our car. We then drove them in to Harper's Ferry, WVA, their starting point and their vehicle. It was a lovely Sunday to crack our boots open this fall. Interestingly, no bugs, though no birds either, but the trees are a turning, and the vistas surrounding the area were stunning!

And to finish the afternoon, a great brunch at the Old South Mountain Inn, an establishment that dates back 275 years atop scenic and historic Turner's Gap. Lots of Civil War lore in these parts, and I would love to go back. And if General Robert E. Lee can eat there, why can't we?

BSoleille! The bright side of a little hike on the AT!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Happy Anniversary Installnet!

The company I began working for three years ago, Installnet Inc., of Crofton, Maryland, celebrated 20 years in business this week, culminating with a big party last night at the office. I no longer work for them, but my husband does, and it was a great night congratulating the owners, Dale and Karen Ewing! Dale certainly had the vision and knack to create a great company of project managers and project coordinators in the office furniture industry, and I loved working for them. So hanging out with "my" former co-workers, and my husband's co-workers, was certainly a lot of fun!

So kudos and Congratulations to Dale and Karen Ewing, and cheers to 20 more years in the industry!


Photo of Bill and the accounting staff of Freida, Karen, and Susan! (And Mike S. waving at me!)

Friday, October 21, 2016

"Old Time" Soccer Game

Do you remember the days before smart phones? How about just plain texting on a flip phone? Or do you even remember a flip phone? How about playing sports before artificial turf? And, of course, manicured Bermuda grass is lovely, but the game, any game (soccer, football, lacrosse) is still slowed down a wee bit. So this past week, I refereed two junior varsity boys games at Chesapeake High School in Anne Arundel County. The grass, in some areas, was knee high and very thick. All the teams that played this week could really kick the heck out of the ball, and they tried, but it stopped quickly if it was not in the air. The players were tripping and falling all over the field, and overall, the very tall grass (weeds) made each game quite pathetic. I was a bit nervous for the players, and also the referees stepping into a big hole that could not be seen, (big divots can wreak havoc on ankles, and even knees), but it seemed like all players/refs came out all right after each game. Whew!

But the funny thing is that on most of the field, soccer cleats were not visible.  At. All. Even while standing next to another player. The grass will probably be mowed tomorrow because the season ended today for most of the teams in the county, especially the junior varsity soccer teams.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Battle of the Seasons

The Mid Atlantic is experiencing a "hot" Indian Summer, with a record breaking temperature of 87 degrees yesterday in Maryland. Today was in the low-eighties. We know this mild, borderline on hot, weather cannot go on too much longer, but I'll take each day that it stays warm, so I can wear shorts and short-sleeved shirts. We have already wrestled with some cooler and rainy weather a few weeks ago, and I was -this close- to switch to flannel sheets on the beds!

So the past few days, the floral and fauna have created a "second wind" on blooming in the garden. We've got leaves a turning, yet dandelions have popped up, as well as my geraniums. The "cooler" mums need a lot of water so they don't wilt too much. So, I sum this up as the "Battle of the Seasons", and will see who wins out...eventually. And I hope no tulips or daffodils pop up!


Photos of some of the flowers taken today...still blooming and hope to continue blooming this fall.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Every once in awhile, I like to sew something out of the "someday" project basket. And that project was a sewing machine cover with sewing machine fabric. With sun and dust floating around my naked machine when not in use, it will now sit nicely with a suitable cover to keep it humming along!


Monday, October 17, 2016

She Did It!

NOTE: This blogpost was posted yesterday, October 16, 2016. I somehow deleted it by mistake, and there is no going back to retrieve it! But....lo and behold, tech guru Bill had saved it in another forum and was able to send it to me to re-post! #SoThankful!

A whirlwind weekend in Columbus, Ohio, culminated in a very early wake up call to get everyone up and ready to cheer on "our" first time marathoner: "The Best Daughter!" Mild temperatures and sunny skies lent for a good race (maybe borderline 'hot' for some), that covered 26.2 miles in a time of 3:42:38 for Olivia, and her fearless coach and running partner, Mark Misencik of Amherst, Ohio. The frenzy of the weekend activities and general good spirits around so many athletes embarking on either a first or 29th marathon (and half marathon too), makes one get into the spirit as well, maybe even thinking a marathon is in their future!?

And do not think being a cheerleader is easy work. Our cheer leading squad was comprised of Linda Misencik (wife of Mark); Don Tomoff, plus Bill, Ryan, and myself. Linda and I covered close to 11 miles while cheering on our runners (7 of those miles running from mile marker to mile marker), and at various points on the course. We not only cheered for our folks, but hundreds of the brave souls that set out to cover the distance. (It's easy to cheer on the runners who had their names on their race numbers/bib). Their faces light up when you called their name, and if not too tired, even smiled or gave the thumbs up in appreciation. So a big hearty Congratulations is in order for Olivia Tomoff and Mark Misencik! May the aches and pains stay at bay and you both are back in the saddle with an easy run soon!

BSoleille! The bright side of finishing your first marathon! And, the bright side of being a proud mama!

Photos from this epic day:

20 Year Anniversary

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of my son Ryan's diagnoses of Childhood Cancer (Leukemia). I cannot believe it's been 20 years as we dealt with the good, the bad and the ugly, but the kid is a "thriver" survivor! And I am very grateful that he continues to be my hero and inspiration every. single. day! Ryan's "marathon" has been the trials and tribulations of years of treatment, relapses, a bone marrow transplant, and a new cancer diagnosed this past May. He is amazing in how he handles (and has handled) all the adversity thrown his way, yet continues to plug away each day with life; being a community college student, volunteering at his Alma Mater (high school), and Special Love (Camp Fantastic), and working each summer since he was 15 years old. We are proud of the young man he has become today, and only wish for him a bright future of continued "success."

BSoleille! Hands up for the bright side of an unbelievable milestone!!


Photo Flashbacks...

And tonight...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Buckeye State

Ohio is a land of great thinkers, statesmen, the birthplace of several US presidents and "pop" instead of soda! While relaxing at the North Market in Columbus, I saw some very good signs I was back in my home state!


Friday, October 14, 2016

Columbus Expo

Columbus marathon weekend is here! "The Best Daughter", the weather forecast and the expo in downtown are spectacular! Looking forward to enjoying the race weekend with Linda and Mark Misencik, plus the family to cheer on Olivia as she runs in her first marathon. It's great to be a Buckeye for the weekend!


Thursday, October 13, 2016


"The Best Daughter" paid us a visit tonight, as we will be traveling west for a race this weekend. Of course we are excited for her visits, but our Loo-C loves it when she marches through the door! A pretty night with some late sunshine was a perfect backdrop for this photo op!


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Quilt Artist Diane Rusin Doran

Our guild's featured speaker tonight was Diane Rusin Doran. She is an excellent free motion quilter using "just" her domestic machine (not a long arm). Her swirls, feathers, flowers, plus the "three black dresses" of machine quilting: echo, pebbles (or bubbles) and stippling are spectacular. And even though I have put in the 10,000 hours of quilting, I still learned a few tricks of the trade. What sets Diane's work a part, is her attention to detail, and the finite stitches she weaves throughout her quilts. I am not sure I can sew that ti-nee tiny, but I think I will try it soon. Thankfully, I have "micro" handles for my long arm, as I will try that first. And for giggles and grins, will try to use my domestic machine to try my hand at those very tiny motifs too. I am looking forward to the challenge! 

For more info: www.dianedoran.com


Here are a few photos I took of Diane's small stitches to showcase her precision used in her quilts!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Shiny New Store!

Down the road in Bowie, Maryland, a new shiny store has opened - Harris Teeter! We used to shop in one in North Carolina in 2004-2005; and there was one in Bethany Beach for a spell, and we liked the feel and "spirit" of the store. Although we did not go on opening day, we happened to stop by three days after the grand opening. The freshness of everything, most importantly the food, was a welcome sight. I think this is a revitalization of Bowie, with Harris Teeter the anchor, and lots of other stores in the same plaza that have opened, or will be opening very soon. We bought a couple things that, and promise to go back and shop!


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Little Free Library

While taking a quick stroll along the Crofton Parkway, we stopped to take a quick look at the Little Free Library. They are all over the country and I'm thankful there is one now in Crofton. We actually "checked" out two little books. A great concept that can bring about reading "hold in your hands" books once again. 


Friday, October 7, 2016

Some Beach...

Unfortunately, there has been a "run on" of several deaths of many people lately, some I've known personally, and some are acquaintances of mine or extended family members of those good folks. Of course, very sad for those who lost their loved ones. So while out on my long run this morning, I could not get out of my head about a remark made to me last night by a daughter of someone who passed away in my community. She said her mother never got "real" mad or angry at anyone. I asked her if her Mom ever yelled at her or her sister while growing up, and she emphatically said, "no". I believed her. It's no wonder that this woman spent her entire career as a first grade teacher and was truly loved by everyone in the community. Now that is truly something, and I commend her for her persistent patience all those years of teaching rambunctious seven year olds!

While still deliberating in my head the merits of showing any type of anger in my life, the Blake Shelton song, "Some Beach", jumped out of my head phone speakers. In the song, all kinds of things try to "ruffle this guys' feathers", but as the song goes, he thinks about..."some beach" when he "could" get mad or angry. I think I need to adopt that more often than not. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we could take a deep breath when something angers us, and maybe think about a beach? or another happy place in our mind?

Shortly after I got home, I received a phone call from one of my former "bee-mates", Flo, who informed me that our "fearless" bee hostess, Mary Lopes, died this morning, peacefully and in her sleep. Mary never learned to drive, so for the 10 years we met (2000-2010), she hosted bee at her home every other Wednesday that we did not have a guild meeting. We shared not only our love of quilting, but Mary, and the other ladies that I considered my mentors about life, shared their thoughts and feelings about child rearing, teenagers, aging parents, religion, books and many topics of the day. We were a close knit group, and I reflect fondly on those precious times, that are now, beautiful memories. Mary was a gentle and loving soul, and will be missed by many. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to visit with her several times this summer.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Throwback Thursday....

Tonight I decided to post from my computer. So far so good on the crashing factor thus (two sentences but holding!). It seems that I'll limp along if I post from my phone, but I'll work it out as the year closes out! So since my computer holds lots of photos, no time like the present to pull out an oldie but goodie. Funny thing, I have no idea which one I'll post until I'm done writing.

I do want to add that October is "all" about "pitching", and I mean MLB. Exciting plays and wildcard teams all vying for the pennant in 2016. I'll catch a few innings here and there, and happy that the Cleveland Indians and Washington Nationals are in the chase! Go Teams!!!


Photo from Bostwana 2016; Here's looking at you, kid! (a not so old photo after all, it's what came up)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Still Troubleshooting!

I think I may have solved the problem.... by switching to a google chrome web browser and writing from here (or there). Blogger is not playing nice in the sandbox with the new updated version of ios10 and will not continue to do so. I decided to at least read the forums posted this week, and then "work" the "go around" and hope for the best. So far, this writing session has gone "crash free". But I don't want to be flippant on how well this is going, and from the looks of things, an adjustment period. But I hope to learn a few things along the way and pass any nuggets on to my readers. First one, Blogger won't update with iOS 10 or any version after. Beware!


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Try Again

This is my second try on posting today. First one got zapped and the app crashed while typing mid sentence. I won't push my luck anymore today. I hope you all had a great day!


Monday, October 3, 2016

Technical Difficulty

Ever since I updated to iOS 10 I've experienced difficulties in blogging on Blogger. Please bear with me as I attempt to trouble shoot the problem. 

Thank you!