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, December 31, 2018

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes - How do You Measure a Year?

On this rainy mid-Atlantic last day of 2018, don't we all need to stop for a moment and ponder on how we measure the year? "The Rent" song Seasons of Love lyrics suggest; in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, and cups of coffee; along with inches, miles, laughter and strife. I believe we all have measured a little bit of each throughout 2018, and the next year will have a bit of the same, though I hope it's measured in good health, happiness, and making good on our truest wealth...time.

Today's blogpost is my 2,264th one culminated over seven years (began 1/1/2012). My posts have almost been daily, and for sure the last 31 days since I took part of a blogger challenge to post each day in December. I kind of liked my "built in" days off over the past couple of years, and hopefully, will continue that style in 2019. I have really enjoyed the labor of love in posting, and today, reflecting upon a good year in my family's health, adventure travel beyond my wildest dreams, and catching up with a lot of folks throughout the past year I may have lost contact with through the previous years. They are all blessings and I am forever grateful for each friendship that continues to endure since "yesterday, today and tomorrow."

I'd like to start 2019 checking out the daylight (I love those January skies), drinking lots of hot tea (sorry, not a coffee drinker), drive thousands of miles (that's for the whole year) and be mindful of spending my time wisely. That's how I'll measure the year ahead...

I hope everyone reading this last post of 2018 will have a Happy and HealthyNew Year and Thank You for being a part of this journey.

BSoleille! The bright side of Seasons of Love...


Photo from a recent morning run...daylight busting through a glorious morning.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

"Beautiful" The Carole King Musical

Carole King... Tapestry..."You’ve Got a Friend"...a beautiful evening with my friend Wendy Allen to see the Carol King Musical - "Beautiful" at the National Theatre in Washington DC that was simply fantastic! This legendary, rather should I say, genius, singer/songwriter has written over 400 songs that have been sung by thousands and listened to by millions. You can’t get any better than that, can you?
It was a stellar evening of all her classics and the hits she co-wrote with her first husband Gerry Goffin. I’m thankful to have ended the year seeing such a great show coupled with excellent performances by the talented cast.
How many of us listened to the album "Tapestry" over and over again and know every word to every song? I bet millions...
BSoleille! The bright side of an American treasure in Carole King’s prolific songwriting career!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Can it Still BEE Christmas? Yes it Can with the PossiblilliBEES!

We are early this year in exchanging BEE Christmas gifts with the Possibillibees; it's usually not until the first or second week of January, but December 29, 2018, was a great day for a get together and have a sew date, along with our annual gift giving gathering. A big shout of Thanks to our Hostess, Susie, in opening her house (along with two six foot tables) "sew" all of us could sew together.  Our gifts can be hand-made or bought, and everyone gets the same gift as everyone else.

This year our gifts included: A book (some quilty and some not) from Shelley Jackson (an English teacher); a little jar of clips (instead of using pins) from Cappy Phillips; a pair of Southwestern socks from Carrie Casto (who has "almost" moved to Arizona); a hand-knitted washcloth with a bar of soap and quilter bandaids from Mary Nielsen (lives in Florida); a hand-made "Kitchen Boa" (sling it over the shoulder and you always have a towel at hand) from Janet McCabe; a "Betty Bridge Supreme" (this is a notion that makes it easier to establish alignment) from Susie Stevenson; a wine/water glass that says "Sew a little Sip a little" with home made stove top potpourri from Deb Hoppe and the Happy Bee Day coffee/tea mug compliments of yours truly. Sew fun for everyone!

We've been doing this type of gift exchange for close to 20 years with everyone buying or making the same gift for eight or so bee-mates. That way we all share in the love of all the gifts, a fun way to exchange for sure. Years ago, our dollar limit was two bucks a person...and everyone had to be clever and think outside the box! However, I think our amount may have inched up a tad in the last few years, but still remains fun as ever.

BSoleille! The bright side of anything is possible with the Possibillibees!


Friday, December 28, 2018

A #CelebratingOthers THANK YOU!

Well, I tried my best in 2018 in #CelebratingOthers on many Fridays throughout the year. It was a new angle on my blog that I truly enjoyed, and would like to continue in 2019.  I am so very thankful to all the folks that let me celebrate them, and in turn, sharing their stories to the world. I loved learning about all of them; their hopes and dreams, who or what inspired them, and what makes them "tick." They have all been an inspiration to me, and for that time spent with each of them (by phone and in person), I am eternally grateful.

I'd like to share a couple follow-ups:

My first #CelebrateOthers post was my Mom, and she is still doing fairly well today. That strong Polish blood keeps her going and she seemed happy during each visit I had with her in 2018.

Jim Stevenson's post on May 5, 2018, resulted in a phone reunion with an "old" Army buddy from Viet Nam/101st Airborne (a reunion that was 50 years in the making) whose wife read my post by happenstance. Patricia Preau reached out to me to reach Jim, but by the time I realized who she was,  and her husband, who was friends with Jim, Hilton Preau, she had already contacted Jim for the reunion by phone. They are planning on seeing each other in person in the next year (Hilton lives in Georgia). I am thankful that Jim's post with the "right" hashtags connected these two patriots! Makes my heart sing!

And one of the best updates for the year is from Cancer Survivor Danielle Eichner's post on May 11, 2018, when she was eight/nine months pregnant, and thankfully, had a perfectly healthy baby girl, Logan Rose, on May 22, 2018!

BSoleille! The bright side of a wonderful wrap and round up of #CelebratingOthers in 2018. Thank you for tuning in...


Logan Rose

Sophie Nolan

Jim Stevenson and his Viet Nam buddies

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Are We Feeling a Little Reindeer Tired?

I’m thinking a lot of folks around the globe are feeling a wee bit like my "tired" reindeer as seen below.  I’m thankful for the parties, the eating out, the sugar cookies, the gift giving and all the wonderful visiting, but all good things do come to an (almost) end, only to ring in the new year in a few days. 

BSoleille! The bright side of being tuckered out!


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Cousin Christmas 2018

Enjoyed an evening with our first cousins on my Mom’s side of the family at Tony Malone’s in North Royalton, Ohio; Shelli, Frank, Marylou and Ray. Last repast of the trip!



Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Day 2018

Happy Day celebrating Christmas with the Tomoff and "Nolan" families, and like a lot of families, splitting the day between the two. No worries, it was a great day for all! A big shout of thanks to the Strongsville Tomoff’s and Kocan families for hosting two great parties (and good food, drink and cookies!)

Wishing all a wonderful holiday season!



Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas 

To those who celebrate the birth of Jesus, Merry Christmas to one and all!

A shout of thanks to The Misencik’s in hosting a traditional Slovak/Polish dinner. They are friends that we consider family. 

So I matter where you are in the world tonight, may the peace and joy be in your heart this day and through this holiday season. 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

It’s Not All About the Plank...Visits Too

Our annual Christmas visit and lunch starting with Bill, Colleen and Jordan Gawne at Town Hall, and a great one at that, led to the Guardian Bridge that overlooks downtown Cleveland...and another plank. I am the "photog" capturing the moment and the biggest cheerleader of this "phenomenon". After two minutes...of "the plank" we moved on to the next thing, a quick run through the West Side Market. It was very festive inside and a good place to buy my favorite bakery goods to share in the coming days. 

Then our day would not be complete without a visit to my Mom, especially with my whole family. I’m thankful for these precious moments no matter who my mom thinks we are at this time. 

The day ended with dinner with The Strongsville Tomoff’s (Don, Beth and Alex) at the North Olmsted Fat Heads (the Bumbleberry Beer is worth the trip to Cleveland for sure!), and good food and drink were had by all. 

It’s time to turn in after all the food eaten today. But very thankful to share a repast with awesome friends and family. That is what these holidays are all about. 



Saturday, December 22, 2018

Planking Pals...from NYC to Hiram, Ohio

Planking in NYC in Central Park this past April has nothing on a snowy Saturday afternoon in Hiram. 

You see, Bill is a daily planker, and after a several hour drive to Ohio, recruited pal Tom Franek to a plank no matter how cold or snowy a day my be. Note: Bill typically planks each morning in the comfortable surroundings inside the house. However, a plank on the diving pier was top billing for this afternoon with Tom for two whole minutes. No coat needed since the blood heats up quickly...

And a shout of thanks to Rosalie for making a delicious pot of chili for "weary" travelers followed by a raucous game of Quiddler with Bill edging out our hostess for the big win!

BSoleille! The bright side of kicking off Christmas week, on the shortest day of the year, with Tom and Rosalie Franek. 


Friday, December 21, 2018

#CelebratingOthers with 2018 USA Para Sled Hockey Gold Medalist - Noah Grove

How would you like to be a well traveled and Olympic Gold Medalist at Age 19? Well, that is Noah Grove. However, that world travel has come at a high price of being diagnosed with osteosarcoma at age 4, and having his left leg amputated to rid the tumor at age 5. Noah's surgery was in June of 2004, and our families were "next door neighbors" at Georgetown University Hospital since our Ryan was there after relapsing for the third time and awaiting a life-saving bone-marrow transplant, and Noah was in recovery from his amputation plus getting a round or two of chemotherapy as well.

The boys did not meet until a year later when they were both "in the clear", but we became fast friends with Noah's parents, Chris and Rachel Grove, exchanging pleasantries when we could and sharing movies while we were all hospitalized together.

Born and raised in Frederick, Maryland, Noah has one younger brother, Carson, age 16, who Noah considers his best friend despite all the attention Noah received, and continues to receive regarding his situation and that fact he is on the USA National Sled Hockey Team and on the USA Amputee Soccer Team.

Both boys are phenomenal athletes (Carson sport is soccer and he made 1st Team All County as a sophomore in high school), and of course, Noah scoring (2)goals in the Para Olympic Games in PyeongChang/Gangneung, South Korea this past March (can you believe it was only nine months ago?); one goal against Japan and one goal against Italy, plus (3) assists! All these goals, plus a stellar roster of awesome "sledders", catapulted them to the gold medal match where they beat Canada 1-0 in Overtime (it was 1-1 at the end of regulation)! Noah was happy to play exactly 2 minutes and 30 seconds in that iconic Gold Medal Game.

Noah revealed that he has always loved sports and has tried most everything (even with his prosthetic or using crutches); basketball, lacrosse, golf (on the varsity squad in high school), and of course, soccer and sled hockey where he excels beyond measure. At age 13/14; Noah was on the fast track of making the developmental teams, then national team in sled hockey in 2016; and has always been in the pool of athletes for the USA Para Soccer Team. So, that is where all his travel began: to tryouts and games across the US and the world, and yet he has managed to balance all of it with grace, gratitude and grit!

Interestingly, Noah at 19 years old is the youngest on the sled hockey team by age, but considers himself a "veteran" of the team as well. He is wise beyond his years for sure...

When I interviewed him by phone a few days ago, he was driving home (he can with no problem using his right leg) from college for the holiday/winter break. He is now a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire (loves the school) with an undeclared major, though very much interested in psychology and Child Life studies to eventually help families and kids just like him someday. He selected UNH due to their excellence in education and that the school offers a premium club sled hockey team program run by the North East Passage or NEP.

Noah also wanted to address that he has also played various sports with the Wounded Warriors. He declared the guys on the team helped him "grow up" in a lot of ways that even his parents could simply not help him as the amputee guys could do. He says they helped him "accept the reality" of his situation and keep chugging along. Did I mention this kid is amazing?

As mentioned above, Noah has a deep interest in helping families and children cope with traumatic experiences, news, and devastating events in their lives. When I inquired on how he has managed and coped with his experience, he attributed most of his resilience to his immediate family unit and the close knit bond they developed by leaning on each other (hard at times) to get through the tough moments and building lasting strength for each other to this day. Bravo my friends!

As lastly, when I asked this medium blue loving kid what he would grab if his house was on fire and had two minutes to get anything out (except pets and people), he immediately said his gold medal. He then thought for a moment and mentioned that he would also grab a lavender dolphin stuffed animal his mother had given him as a young child that has special meaning and wouldn't want to live a day without it. How sweet and sentimental is that?

BSoleille! The bright side of #celebratingothers with Noah Grove!


Thursday, December 20, 2018

White Lights to White Flowers

Of course white lights of the season are ubiquitous on every street and corner, but how about white flowers? I love to linger near all the beautiful flowers in the grocery store, especially when we are void of any fresh vegetation in December. It’s a quick pick-me-up on a gloomy day for sure (we’ve got rain here in Maryland). All the flowers are so pretty, but this day I seemed to be drawn to these beauties. 



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Last Quilt of the year from NeedleOnFull

I am thankful to have completed all the quilts commissioned for Christmas from needleonfull.com. Today, the following quilt was picked up by my customer, Quinn. It's one of the largest quilts I've ever done with the length over 122"! That's longer than a king sized anything...sheet or comforter etc.

My husband and twin bro stood on dining room chairs and raised their arms as high as they could go on their 6' frames and the bottom still graced the ground a wee bit. I think it turned out great, and Quinn was super happy as well!

BSoleille! The bright side of a happy customer!


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Quilts for Kids at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital

Not only did Ryan and I meet with the Washington Capitals yesterday, compliments of Tracy's Kids and Hope for Henry, at Medstar Georgetown Hospital, we were able to haul three bags of lovingly crafted quilts by my guild; Southern Comforters of Bowie, MD, for the staff to distribute to the kids and families who are  typically newly diagnosed patients. It's a program we have supported since 2000, and I could not be more proud of all the members of my quilt guild who work tirelessly in giving to others with these beautiful and treasured quilts to the pediatric oncology unit for 18 years - amazing!

I'm thankful that Tracy, Ryan and I were able to "sneak" back to her office to show her some of the quilts after the chaos of the Caps subsided, and also take a couple of photos with Tracy and Dr. Corinna Gonzalez (one of Ryan's former docs at Georgetown).

BSoleille! The bright side of giving quilts to peds/oncology patients and their families.


Monday, December 17, 2018


The NHL season is in full swing, and the players are doing their stuff on and off the ice. For a big fan like son Ryan, an invitation to Medstar Georgetown Hospital's player meet and greet in the Pediatric Oncology Clinic was just the ticket to "fawn" over these Stanley Cup Champions and relish the moments spent with many of the guys who patiently signed autographs and played tic-tac-toe with the patients. And Ryan was in his glory armed with a backpack of Caps stuff (jerseys and 8x10 glossy prints of players - all in plastic sleeves - that he was lucky enough to have signed for posterity).

A Big shout of THANKS to Tracy's Kids, Tracy Councill and Matt Gerson, Laurie Strongin, founder of Hope for Henry, and the Washington Capitals in hosting this wonderful event. A great time for all as they brought joy to so many who are fans of the game of ice hockey.

Two videos: first one from WTOP  (it's 1:21 and Ryan and I both have "speaking roles" and, and the second one from NBCsports, and some photos too! Please check them out.





Below: Ryan and Evgeny Kuznetsov

Alex Ovenchkin and Ryan

With my fav; Nick Backstrom

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Wrappers and Wranglers

An early blogpost today for me, but getting the word out that the wrapping station is back at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland (near Nordstrom)! The monies collected all go to charity: Special Love and Friends of NIH, both well deserved for sure! 

Son Ryan and I have made it a tradition to volunteer with Sharon Johnsen, and this year added another elf with hubby Bill! 

Let the wrapping begin!



Saturday, December 15, 2018

Obie's in Goodville, PA

There are no words to adequately describe the quilt shop Obie's in Goodville, PA, except maybe a hoarder's dream? When up in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, area with my sewing sisters yesterday, no road trip  is complete without a stop at Obie's. You may have to squeeze through the aisles and watch the floorboards on the second floor so you don't "fall into the first floor", but that is really the "fun" of it all. It is chock full of thousands of bolts of fabric (and hand-made items by the owner, Nan, and quilts made by folks from the surrounding area), in a small country store that was built in the 1850's. And believe it or not, we all seemed to "find" fabrics that certainly appealed to us to purchase in all the chaos surrounding the bolts of fabric.

BSoleille! The bright side of Obie's because there is nothing else quite like it anywhere...


Photos of Susie Stevenson and Karen Todd to show the scale of how many fabrics and bolts are squeezed into the store.