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!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Too Much Halloween Fun

Halloween 2017 is in the books. From the looks of our Loo-C-Loo, she is tuckered out from checking out all the trick or treaters that came to the house. It couldn’t be the candy...but I did sneak some extra chicken to her at dinner time...

Hope you all had a great evening!



Monday, October 30, 2017


I know it's Halloween Eve, but wanted to write a post about the Dr. Leo Buscaglia's book called simply: "LOVE!"

Raise your hand if you read it, or know of Dr. Leo. Unfortunately, Dr. Leo died in 1998, but his body of work, including LOVE (and several other books) and all its "trappings" live on... in each of us!

The "LOVE" book was written in 1972, and I read it as a college freshman in 1980. I really got a lot out of his writings then and thoroughly enjoyed it a second time as I just finished the "re-read" last week. It was like 37 years had melted away, and the "stuff" our world and our society is dealing with today, is pretty much exactly as the world and our society was dealing back in the early 70's through 1980. Kind of uncanny as I continued to read through the yellowing and earmarked pages of the book.

One of my favorite passages of the book (and there are many) I'd like to share, and I quote:

"It's the empathy that makes us responsible in love to all men. With each man who dies in the world, each of us dies a little. With each person who suffers, we, too, suffer a little. With each child born in the world, we all become richer in possibilities. We're all unconditionally like the other; it is just that we are in diverse lands, playing different roles in a variety of robes before dissimilar backdrops on various stages before foreign audiences. It would be interesting if we could often change robes and stand on many stages in our lifetime. It would give us great insight into man's universality."

I believe a little LOVE can go a long way in all our lives...

BSoleille! The bright side of 202 pages of a powerful LOVE punch!


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Is it The First or The Last 

While my son, Ryan, and I were running a few errands last week (him driving), I told him to “stop”, okay, maybe more like “STOP!!”, while still on our street. As we drove about 10 houses up I became enthralled by this Charlie Brown-esque tree with just two leaves left to fall and had to stop and take a few photos of it. 

I kept thinking: who will win the “race?” Or, who will be the first or the last to fall? I know it doesn’t matter, but it may to those two leaves...both hanging on for dear life! And possibly playing “chicken”. 



Saturday, October 28, 2017

Family Wedding 

Last wedding of 2017 and it ended with big fun with my first cousins and their kids (especially with the bride and groom-Brianne and Ray Borkowski!)

Good food, good times good people. Isn’t that what’s it all about? And of course, good music for all the dancing...everyone kicking it up on the dance floor all night long. 

Congratulations to the bride and groom, Brianne and Ray. So exciting for the family of four now!

BSoleille! The bright side of “love is in the air!”


Photos from the wedding day...

Friday, October 27, 2017


Friends and Family visits are the best, especially because we live a few states away, and very thankful for the precious times together when we get the chance. Dinner last night with the Amherst Misencik’s (and a great fall afternoon run with Linda), and hanging today with “kid sister Kimberly” at the Vintage Market Day at the Berea, Ohio, Fair grounds. A visit to Cleveland would not be complete without a visit to see my Mom (also joined by the youngest sister, Annette.)

Hubby Bill spent the day with his twin at Kent State University taking an Excel seminar that he thoroughly enjoyed. Always learning...



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Quilt Artist Cindy Grisdela

The guest speaker for tonight’s program for the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild was none other than Cindy Grisdela. Cindy began from a humble beginning of a brand new quilter (like many of us quilters) years ago, but her “craft”, er, more like, “gift”, morphed her into an outstanding contemporary quilt artist. Her work with the color wheel and flare of traditional designs skewed were simply fabulous. I’d like to try some of her techniques, especially working with color choices to enhance some of my “contemporary” quilts I’ve got floating around in my head...someday for sure.

You can check on Cindy: cindygrisdela.com

BSoleille! The bright side of contemporary quilting!


Photos of Cindy and her quilts 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Signs of the Season

Even though the Mid-Atlantic (Maryland) has seen quite mild temperatures for October, including the “not-so-cold” nights, there are still signs of autumn in all its glory. There is the no mistaken sound of honking mallard ducks, the maples showing off their fiery red leaves, and the fact it gets dark way to early. Although I finally let the rope go on summer, I do love all the autumnal colors that just can’t be beat!



Monday, October 23, 2017

Long Arm Bee to Bingo

The past few days included hosting a LongArm Quilting Bee and going to the Southern Comforters Annual Quilt Bingo on Saturday. Although my gang didn’t win any quilts or other prizes, we certainly had fun. The quilts were beautiful and anyone that won one was really thrilled to do so! We are covering the World one quilt at a time!



The second photo was the last Bingo quilt to play and win: Alaskan Sunset- made by Pat Scully 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Crisp Fall Morning 

There is nothing like a crisp fall morning for a run, jog or walk. Clear the head temperatures to feel alive and awake! My photo from a run this past week with the sun rising over the local golf course. 



Friday, October 20, 2017

JAG Jeans Customer Service Story - It’s Good

I’m going to apologize for a “lengthier” blogpost today, but please bear with me on this pleasurable post. 

Earlier this summer I purchased a pair of JAG shorts on Kelley’s Island, Ohio. I loved the color, the feel of the brushed cotton fabric, and of course, the nice fit. They were my go-to shorts all summer long. 

However, on my drive to Colorado, I noticed I lost a button on one of the back pockets. I was not really concerned until I lost another one at the waist. And you need that one to keep them on! So I took a chance and contacted the company and their customer service department via email to see if they could send me replacement buttons. I thought the buttons were kind of distinctive and that they may still have them in stock...and the did. (Pays to ask!)

A flurry of emails were exchanged for the information they needed, and they were happy to send them out to me. I then asked that once the entire transaction takes place, and buttons received, if I could blog about their great customer service. They were thrilled that I would do so and sent me a follow up email with a code to select any new item from their website including the shipping and handling. Now, I was thrilled, and had to share this great “story” from JAGJeansUSA!

BSoleille! The bright side of great fitting shorts and denim jeans!


Photos of my shorts, buttons and my new JAGJeans!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Kid Sister Kimberly Turns 50

I think it’s one thing when you turn 50, but a whole other thing when one of your kid sisters turns 50! Not only are we in the same decade once again, but 50 is fabulous...and the new 30! So a big shout of Happy Birthday to the little girl who turned into a beautiful, kind, generous, caring, wife and terrific mother to three boys, woman! Let the celebration be all that you want it to be!! Love you to the moon and back, Kimberly Sue!

BSoleille! The bright side of milestone birthdays belonging to “youngsters.”


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Quilts at the Sports and Learning Center

I was lucky to spend yesterday morning with fellow quilter, and friend, Misty Cole, to check out the quilts on display at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Center. The area is a perfect space to hang several quilts from guild members of the Southern Comforters because the lighting is so good to feature each quilt. Many are for sale as well. This show runs through November 15th, so if you happen to be in the area, stop in to take a peek!



Photos of some of the quilts and Misty’s Political Circus (and it’s for sale!)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

21 Years and Looking Ahead 

I like milestone posts and today is a double one. This post marks 1900 blogposts since I began in 2012, and I’ve learned so much about life, myself, wordplay (and word smithing) in the almost six years of nearly daily blogging. A journey in itself. 

But the second milestone is much larger. Twenty one years ago today, Ryan, (Focused Warrior) was diagnosed with Leukemia. He was two years and two months old, a baby really. But I think it’s good to look back at times to see just how far you’ve come. And for Ryan, he’s looking ahead to continued health and good things coming his way. He definitely deserves it for sure. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the gigantic village of thousands of people who helped along his/our childhood cancer journey and beyond, and for this, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

BSoleille! The bright side of being deeply grateful...priceless 


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Choosing Kindness Always

It's been a tough past month of natural disasters of hurricanes, wildfires and tropical storms, plus the senseless killings in Las Vegas and now today, the bombing in Somalia. Although Mother Nature's advances cannot be stopped, I will try to always choose kindness and goodness in this crazy world we live in in 2017. I must continue to believe that most folks of the seven billion on this earth are loving, kind, and caring; because it seems like today it's the old adage; "one bad apples spoils the whole bushel." Of course, there are lots of bad apples everywhere, and as we all know, the bad stuff is what sells "newspapers", or gets more "clicks" on social media than humans helping humans. Why do we get sucked into watching and reading this stuff?

Hoping for peaceful days ahead...and choosing kindness...


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Doing Good Work - The Aslan Project 

I am thankful to have had an evening out to support and report that the Aslan Project www.aslanproject.org continues to do transformative work in Ethiopia, and now, developing a partnership for pediatric cancer programs in Nairobi, Kenya too. 

Most kids diagnosed with cancer in the US and in high-resource countries have an 80% survival rate (and many cured), but this is just the opposite in low and middle-income countries which is devastatingly sad to those kids and families who also fight the good fight as well.  

Believe it or not, the average cost of treatment in low-resource settings is $1,000, as opposed to over several hundred thousand dollars to treat pediatric cancers in the US. I think it’s simply fantastic to give these kids around the world a fighting chance; so why would we not?

Dr. Aziza Shad (Ryan’s doc) is the founding medical director of the Aslan Project and works tirelessly for children worldwide to beat cancer in all its “forms”. I couldn’t be more proud of all her efforts (and many behind the scenes) to bring hope to thousands of deserving children. 



Friday, October 13, 2017

This Butterfly is Free

“Free” from what, I’m not exactly sure, but it was fun in the making of this 20”x16” “replica” of a photo I took at Hershey Botanical Gardens in 2008. 

As coordinator of my guild’s challenge for 2017, I thought it would be fun to celebrate a century of light as the Nikon camera is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. There are some specific guidelines as part of the challenge including the size, a black binding and inspirational photos to recreate in fabric. Embellishments are allowed and encouraged! Guild members have until November 8th, as the quilts will be revealed at that meeting. I made my free butterfly as an example, but working on another idea for the challenge. 

BSoleille! The bright side of “you can’t just make one”...like potato chips... can’t just eat one!


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Boo Crew

Several years ago I made a similar quilt entitled “Cats n’ Pumpkins”, and it even won a blue ribbon at the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild annual show. However, our home’s “black hole” swallowed up this quilt and I cannot find it anywhere, so I recreated it, and added a few ideas to the design for the new and “improved”, and now entitled “The Boo Crew.”

In addition to the mice and big print border, I increased the size of the cats and pumpkins and overall design. After it’s quilted (hopefully tomorrow), I plan to hang it in kitchen for some Halloween “spirit!” 

...and you know...the other one will turn up sometime...

BSoleille! The bright side of fall fun.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Birds on the Wire

So the warm temperatures continue in the mid-Atlantic even though we had some rain lately, but it’s the stinky and sticky kind. That’s okay, I’ll take it over any cold day. But the “funny” thing is these crazy birds are perched so eloquently on the wires as the rain pelts down on every single one of them. Are they up there for a birdie meeting? Or perhaps gossiping about other birds avoiding the high wires? I would love to know what they are “thinking!”



Monday, October 9, 2017

Ten Months Post Surgery for Ryan is Good

Our appointment today with Dr. Ord at the University of Maryland went well, and we are thankfully, and collectively, (the family) able let out one big sigh of relief. It’s been exactly 10 months since his last surgery, and we are doubly thankful to report on Ryan’s continued healthy follow up exams. It’s taken a long time for his tongue to fully heal and now grateful on how far he has come on many fronts with that huge battle behind him. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a good medical report. 


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Trust Your Gut

What I really mean to say is always trust your gut; it makes the life experience a little more palatable, and when you don't....oh well; chalk it up once again to "life experience".  Oprah Winfrey would say on her show many many times; "don't wait for the brick wall to fall on your head"; "start at the whisper". And...your gut and intuition is most always correct. If only...

Don't we all need a little reminder in trusting our guts and instincts?


Photo of the Cleveland skyline from a summer tribe game; and now in the playoffs!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Carnival of Soccer

The cornucopia of color at this weekend’s  Discovery Cup Soccer Tournament reminds me of a carnival atmosphere of vibrant colors and awesome young female athletes vying to win their brackets! All proceeds of this tournament benefit Breast Cancer Awareness month, so lots of pink is sprinkled throughout the Soccer Plex in Boyd’s, Maryland; all for a great cause. I am thankful to have “survived” eight games of soccer today, with four more tomorrow morning. Lots of good competition from the U12 and U14 age groups so far. 



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fond of Forty Year Friendships

Visits with my friend, Maryjean McCarthy, are few and far between, so anytime that we can get together is cherished as it was last night in Baltimore. We met as juniors in high school (different schools, by the way) in a summer track program called the Easy Striders. We traveled with the team all over the Midwest and Ohio competing. We ran different events and cheered wildly for each other’s successes, both on and off the track, in which I’m deeply thankful for!

Additionally, our friendship endured while going to different colleges, marrying and moving away (her to New York), and me in Ohio until we moved to Maryland. But a quick touch base phone call was/is all it took/takes for us to adjust the needle on our longevity of friendship. Aren’t these some of the best kind to have in life? I like to think so...and grateful!



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

What a Pepper

This green pepper, no wait, red pepper, no wait, yellow pepper could not make up its mind while in the growing stages. But it was “screaming” to get out of the fridge and make something of “himself” or “herself”. There are distinctions between the two (3 prongs or 4 prongs on the bottom, and I forget which is which). So it happily went into my beef stew and played very nice with all the other ingredients, and I’m thankful for that!



Monday, October 2, 2017

Raffle Quilt at Friendship Star

The Southern Comforters Quilt Guild’s raffle quilt entitled: Rhapsody in Blue, traveled today to the Montgomery County’s Friendship Star guild to rave reviews as it was set up in the church narthex. Wendy Allen and I were very thankful for the interest and lovely compliments the quilt received throughout the entire evening. A big shout of thanks to all who bought tickets...will one of them be the lucky winner?



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Rich Flanagan Sets a Second World Record

Richard Flanagan of Crofton, Maryland, out did himself this picturesque morning with his SECOND Guinness Book of World records...this time with a 100 meter dash (on one wheel) wheelie!!! It’s not every day one gets to witness this unbelievable feat in athletics. I am so thankful that I and many were able to cheer him on to “victory”! Rich’s time of 10.85 seconds will be hitting the official books once Guinness gives the affirmative nod (lots of paper work and official documents need to be sent in which takes time). 

A wonderful crowd of family and friends came out to support Rich and his entire family at the South River High School in Edgewater, Maryland! A very loud “Woohoo!!!!!” does not even “cover” the diligence and passion Rich has for the love of one wheel riding and his commitment to break World Records!

Rich is simply an amazing guy along with grit and guts that’s unmatched in everything he does...and I’m not kidding. Those that know him well can and will attest to that fact!

BSoleille! The very bright side (star quality) of #2 Guinness Book of World Record for Rich Flanagan!