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!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Play Ball...at Yankee Stadium 

A quick drive up to The Bronx from Crofton, Maryland, gave way to sunny skies and paltry traffic to ease into the Big Apple (about 3.25 hours). Son Ryan, a huge Yankees fan, thought it would be a good idea to go to the game, providing good weather and the drive up. He got both wishes. We are seated and ready for the first pitch: Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics!

Looking forward to visiting the McCarthys on Long Island for the rest of the weekend!
Here’s wishing everyone a labor-free Labor Day Weekend! And for friends in Florida, who have to ride out Dorian, we are thinking of you.

BSoleille! P.S. I initially wrote this blogpost from my perch in the stadium (nosebleed section, but who's complaining?), and waiting for the game to start. I am finishing today's post by adding that the Yankees won in the 11th inning on a walk off home run (4-3). We don't get to see those that often (walk off home runs), so to see the win in that fashion was super fun for sure!


Friday, August 30, 2019

The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz - Survivor of World War ll from Poland!

Today, a field trip with some of my quilt guild buddies, the Southern Comforters of Bowie, Maryland, directed by our Program Chair, Misty Cole, was to the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Baltimore, Maryland. Can I say it was phantasmagorical (FANTASTIC!!)? Thankfully, Misty got us into the exhibition before it will be taken down next month...and with our excellent docent, Margie Spirer, it was a win-win to go and see!

If local, this is a "must see" museum located very near the Baltimore Inner Harbor. It's America's official national museum and education center for intuitive and self-taught artistry. There is a lot of very cool art on multiple levels and buildings.

According to the "bookmark" Margie gave all of us, "Esther Nisenthal Krinitz was 15 when she defied Nazi orders, separating from her family as they and other Jews of their Polish village reported to a nearby train station. Making their way to a village where they were unknown, Esther and her younger sister survived the war by posing as Polish farm girls. They never saw their family again."

"Fifty years later, determined to show her daughters the family she had lost, Esther turned to needle and thread to create a series of 36 hauntingly beautiful, exquisitely detailed works of fabric collage and embroidery - a legacy born of love, loss, and the sheer force of memory." Note: At 9 or 10 years of age, before the war, Esther showed aptitude with fabric and sewing, and was working on her craft in her village in Poland making dresses).

Art and Remembrance, a non-profit organization founded by Esther's daughters, uses art and personal narrative to recognize individual courage and resilience, and to foster understanding and compassion for those who experience injustice.

The exhibit was profound, humbling and the details in each of the 36 works, simply exquisite. I am/we are grateful to have viewed Esther's work and given detailed explanations to each piece in the show.

BSoleille! The bright side of viewing Esther Nisenthal Krinitz works of art depicting her life prior to WWll and beyond.

Photo below is our gang with Margie Spirer with name badge: and L-R: Peggy Alexander; Ann B., Margie, Misty Cole, me, Wendy Allen, Susie Stevenson, Margy Hill and Deb Hoppe

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Quilt B-I-N-G-O with UNBELIEVABLE Quilts on October 19th, 2019!

If local (DelMarVa), please mark your calendars "Quilt Bingo" for Saturday, October 19th, 2019 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Route 3 in Bowie, Maryland. Tickets will be sold at the door for $20; with extras sold throughout the afternoon. Doors open at 12:30pm and games start at 2:00pm. It's the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild's Annual Bingo and our members have truly outdone themselves with their spectacular quilts donated to this year's effort. I am including a few sneak peek photos of a couple of quilts that could be yours if you come join us, play and win!

Don't you just wanna scream BINGO and go home and snuggle with a beautiful quilt? What can be better on a fall day?

More details below along with two quilts donated at our meeting tonight. It was just like "Christmas."

BSoleille! The below quilt was quilted by Frank Rucky!


Bingo Info
Quilt made by Joyce Steier

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Skies, Flora and Fauna

Traveling with 'old' friends and family is truly quite awesome, but digging into the heels of what surrounds a place (skies, flora, fauna and wildlife) is, quite frankly, equaling exciting.

Sometimes it's a quick glance to see something cool (a bird or bee), or maybe it's something longer, like lingering on a beach watching the sun set. It's the "little things" that add up to make the day come alive for all of us. Without further adieu, I'd like to share some of those cool photos from the Indiana Dunes Trip that gave me pause...

BSoleille! The bright side of the "little things." No filters used on the below photos...


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Can't Wait Until the Next BG Girls Weekend!

As our weekend drew to a swift close this afternoon, the memories shared over the past several days will hopefully last until our gang meets up once again. The last two days included more fun in the sun with a bike ride to Mt. Baldy and surrounding area in the National Park, kayaking in somewhat windy conditions yesterday (the two Laura's), to kayaking today in practically no winds and "on a sheet of glass" Laura H., Rosalie and me); along with the usual runs, bike rides and trips to hang out at the beach. I am thankful that the super nice weather lead to a stellar week of doing many activities outside (our favorite) for all us.

And, we all learned a new board game as well: Wingspan. Hp brought it and we were all very engaged in this new game over two nights when the sunset on our daylight activities.

A huge shout out of THANKS to Laura and Jay Hennessey for accommodating us for several days while we checked out her beautiful home and area of Beverly Shores, Indiana, the newest National Park in the US, and a lot of its environs.

BSoleille! The bright side of our beautiful friendships, one and all!


Below: Wingspan game with Hp Gruneisen and Jodie Smith

The Laura's after a 2 hour windy kayak ride...

Mt. Baldy Dune

Rosalie Franek

Bike ride through the marsh

Some much deserved R&R (Laura H and Hp Gruneisen)

Beach Time

Maryland City, Indiana Lighthouse

Our BG Girls!

Hosts: Jay and Laura Hennessey and Timber!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Chicago or Bust! And a Quick Bike Ride...

While looking at the Chicago skyline last night and admiring the view from Beverly Shores, one "gang" member wondered if a trip to Chicago could be in our "plans." We usually get together for R&R that encompasses running, biking, hiking, beach going (depending on area) and game playing, but typically not a big city jaunt. But why not?  So, we made a decision that we are "close" enough to go, and hatched our plan to head to the Windy City by train and spend a beautiful summer day tooling about Michigan Avenue (Miracle Mile), the bean and shops and sites along our path. It did not disappoint, and we enjoyed several hours on what the city has to offer, especially the views from Cindy's (top of the Chicago Athletic Club).



Below: Beverly Shores train depot in on the National Register for historic "train" stations

Train ride into the city

Gotta get the obligatory "Bean" photo!

Cindy's top bar and view

Chasing the sunset
Evening bike ride to the beach/sunset

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Indiana Dunes in Beverly Shores is AWESOME!

The newly minted National Park is located in and around Beverly Shores, Indiana, and it is terrific! If looking to get in some "close" National Parks in or near the Midwest, this one should be on the top of the list!

In April of this year, this 15,000 acre area in northwestern Indiana along the shore of Lake Michigan, was dedicated as the country's 61st national park; now called the Indiana Dunes National Park! (It was previously known as Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore). From sunup to sundown we enjoyed the day running, biking, hiking and enjoying the beach area (waves of Lake Michigan were as big as the waves Ocean City, Maryland today!

So thankful to hang with Rosalie Franek, Helen Gruneisen, Laura Murphy, Jodie Smith and our fabulous host for the weekend, Laura Hennessey. These amazing women are smart, funny, inspiring and energizing, and we make each other better through our lifelong friendships. Now that is something to be truly thankful for!



Photos from the day...

Morning run and the beach

Heading back home after our run and morning beach time

Rosalie on top of one of the dunes on our afternoon hike

Where's Jodie? 

Sunset on Beverly Shores Beach (Chicago Skyline 30 miles away as the crow flies) 7:37pm

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

To Ohio and Points West - Beverly Shores, Indiana and the Newly Minted National Park!

A couple of my college roommates and other BGCC teammates (six total) decided to meet up at the newly minted National Park in Beverly Shores, Indiana, where Laura Hennessey lives. The trip is dubbed; BGGGW (Bowling Green Girls Gone Wild), which will include running, biking, swimming kayaking, yoga and good food all weekend long. And let's not forget going to the new National Park and the Dunes of Indiana - the "main" event for sure!

My trek started at 7:30am in Crofton, Maryland, (with a side trip to BWI airport to drop off hubby Bill), and then my drive to Hiram, Ohio,  to pick up Rosalie Franek. She then took over driving duties and headed straight to Beverly Shores, IN. It's amazing that spending 12 hours in the car/van was not too bad, and we all arrived at our destination safely.

We were all looking forward to the weekend, catching up with our lives, and creating memories to last a lifetime. Most of us have known each other since we 18 years old, and freshmen in college. I am thankful that our friendships have flourished throughout the last 38+ years where this amazing group of women are continue to be inspiring, caring, and leading fulfilling lives that we all continue to celebrate!

BSoleille! The bright side of a "college" reunion of Bowling Green CC Girls!


Our bikes on the back; Rosalie Franek in the driver's seat.

A few hours into the trip.

Prepping dinner at Laura H's. (Hp; Jodie Smith, Rosalie and Laura H.)

Laura H. and Rosalie

Monday, August 19, 2019

Southern Comforters Quilters Sew-In for Community Quilts

At this past Wednesday's guild meeting, a large quilting crowd gathered on a hot evening to cut, sew, and piece together community quilts for various organizations in our region and around the world. I am so proud of our guild, and the members who dedicate a large chunk of their time to #helpothers, with beautifully hand-crafted quilts, that we in turn, donate to veterans, childhood cancer children (and sometimes their siblings), NICU babies and our local communities that need comfort. It's a win-win for all involved and the camaraderie is truly contagious.

Thankfully, this "workshop" was highly attended and we really worked together and got a lot of tops done. They will all be quilted by our members and then prepped (bindings added along with our guild label for the back of quilt) to be donated back into the various organizations we contribute to every year. 

BSoleille! The bright side of this very impressive and talented group!


Directly below: Donna Norris and Robin Stinchcomb

Jean Maassel and Peggy Alexander

Holly Novak

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A "Weekend Warrior" Weekend with Dinner at Beteseb!

What a great weekend catching up with one of my BGCC roommates, Rosalie Franek, in Crofton, Maryland. She is currently training for an upcoming marathon in September and needed to run 20 miles. Considering we have a 10 mile loop inside the Crofton Parkway, I thought 2 loops of 10 (including running by the house) would be a good option. I did not run, rather rode the bike to keep her company, hold her water and an extra water bottle, and cheer her on until she reached 20 miles by golly! She was a champ out there, and even though we started early, the temperature was rising, along with the humidity, but she finished and did awesome!

We continued our "play date" with some relaxing pool time (which did include lap swimming) until she met up with the rest of her family in Baltimore (her son lives there). I certainly hope the swim time and being in the water helped her zing back to her natural energy and vitality! Running 20 miles on a hot summer day can certainly zap all the energy out of you for sure!

The following day we met up with her and her family for a superb Ethiopian dinner at Beteseb in Silver Spring, Maryland. A little celebration of congratulating the engagement of Josh Franek and Kristina Fabi and meeting her lovely parents. Out of the eight that joined us, only two of us had Ethiopian food before, but it seemed like everyone really liked it. Keeping with the culture, we did not use forks and used our right hands to scoop up the injera with the meat and vegetable toppings. I was thankful to use a gift certificate that I bid on (and won) at the Ethiopian Embassy in May to benefit the Aslan Project.

Interestingly enough, the owner of Beteseb, Ayneye, catered the Aslan Project event and was so captivated by the story of treating cancer children in Ethiopia that he volunteered on the spot to have his business be an auction item. I was the lucky winner, and could not be more pleased on the wonderful meal, service and overall magical evening we all had thanks to Ayneye.

I will end the post with a quote by Clevelander Jesse Owens:

"Awards become corroded. Friends gather no dust."

BSoleille! The bright side of old friends and new friends! And...the feeling like I was back in Ethiopia for a spell last night at the restaurant!


Rosalie with twins Don and Bill

At Beteseb: Rosalie & Tom Franek; me and Bill; Kristina Fabi with her Dad, Perry Fabi behind her, Josh Franek and Kristina's Mom, Lourdes Fabi

Our gang with the owner, Ayneye, seated next to Rosalie on her left.