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, 2020

My Horse is at a Gallop!

I hope all my readers had a great Thanksgiving Weekend. Was it difficult in some way to have a smaller affair? Did you miss a big gathering? Or was it quiet and understated, and basically wear the jammies all day long kind of day?

For me the "extra" hours this holiday weekend with no guests or soccer to referee, led me straight to my computer and writing my memoir on Ryan's and our family's cancer journey. I am at the point where my horse is not only smelling the "hay in the barn," it is galloping and headed to cantering to get to that hay. Meaning: my memoir is almost done! I should clarify, the writing part is almost done. It has been a super large project for me, but I could not have done it without the support of so many (will be in acknowledgments!) I believe the eight years of blogging helped catapult me to a good place to write the story; the good, the bad and the ugly.

I will let my readers know when the kindle version will be available, and hopefully, a paperback as well - all in due time. There are a lot of dots to connect before the whole thing comes together, but I can start making out the finish line and am very excited about sharing our journey with all of you!

My Writing in Community Zoom call this morning started out with a 2 minute warm-up exercise with the word "Release," and I'd like to share what I wrote (I love to write in haiku), the release is exactly how this memoir feels for me:

Releasing the angst

Community writing strong

Every inch written



Photo credit to Bill Tomoff - photo taken this summer at "command central."


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving 2020!

What a weird year, right? But hopefully, no matter if our celebration was big, or more likely, small, we all had a wonderful and grateful Thanksgiving. It's the best holiday of the year - no gifts need to be exchanged -which leaves us a chance to reflect on the goodness that surrounds our lives. Although we miss the hubbub and chaos of our Ohio family in the house, and the meals and clean up that goes on all day long, the quiet of the four of us was nice today. We feel blessed beyond words, and celebrated a wonderful meal - the meat smoked carefully by Ryan, along with other delicious sides. 

What was on your dining room table?

I hope everyone reading this had a safe and healthy Thanksgiving, and I think we can predict next year won't be so weird...and maybe - wonderful!



Sunday, November 22, 2020

Special Love Parent's Getaway - Virtual!

So many people, businesses and nonprofits have pivoted to get things done during this world-wide pandemic. Clever folks never cease to amaze me, and even though we cannot be with our peeps in person, technology today leverages those who still want to connect and continue to make a difference. The childhood cancer organization, Special Love, Inc., is one of those organizations that continues to make a difference, using the tools available to most everyone to facilitate their programming and keep people connected. If there is any silver lining, it's that --connectivity!

While we only had a Saturday program, instead of a weekend, it was wonderful and beyond my expectations. We had a couple of keynote speakers (excellent), a yoga class and some break out discussion sessions later in the afternoon . We reconvened in the evening for an art project (mosaic) and our connectivity continued. It was a chance for new families to explore the Special Love love, and we did our best to do so. A shout of Thanks to the committee (Shari Fisher, Marilyn Eichner, Maureen Lilly and Sharon Johnsen) along with CEO Jan Bresch and Program Chair/Outreach Angela Ashman and Dave Smith! 



Friday, November 20, 2020

The "Boss" Quilt!

Gentle loving care was used on a recent T-shirt quilt for a client with her years of accumulated Bruce Springsteen's concert shirts. One shirt in the quilt is "valued" at $250.00 - and I cut it up! Ack! It's all good though, and the sweet part of this story is the woman I made the quilt for is having a milestone birthday in a couple of weeks and her mom commissioned me to make it for her! The guitars going around in the borders was just the ticket to set off "The Boss" in all his glory on this commemorative Tshirt quilt! 



Thursday, November 19, 2020

I Am a Quilter!

I am a quilter, and now have a tshirt that proclaims me as such! It is a birthday present from my sister, Kimberly, and I love it! (Thank you!) 

The plan is to proudly wear it whenever I can, even over my fleece jacket on a cool day as shown in my pic below. My quilty friends/bee mates wear a lot of sewing/quilting themed T-shirts and sweatshirts, and now I have one too! (I must admit that I do have a couple of quilt guild T-shirts in my repertoire).  

Sew on....



Still pointing to my North star!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Sliver of the Moon

When I looked out the window at dusk, I noticed the orange sky and a bright shiny moon, a sliver of it at that. It was super bright and noticeable and I am surprised on how well my phone did in taking this pic! 

I'm over the moon! Ha!



Sunday, November 15, 2020

Looking UP!

We have two big sky lights in our kitchen that I love to gaze up and see what the sun, moon or clouds are up to on any given day. But one day this past week, with the leaves flying all over the place, never staying put, a few were stuck on one of the skylights that were pretty as a picture! Of course, I had to take a few pics of them laying this way and that way until they blew away once again.

As in life, look up!




Thursday, November 12, 2020

Mighty Fine at 59!

Isn't 59 the new 39? Please say it is so. "The Best Daughter" says I can "cry if I want to," but I've got my big girlie pants on and will stay true to my North Star - staying weird, happy and blessed beyond my Wild Ter imagination. Life is funny with its twists and turns, and I am thankful to stand bravely at 59. A shout of thanks to all the well-wishers today, because you all made this crazy girl feel loved, and that is what life is all about - family and friends and a special day for those who would like to express their greetings in the form of social media messages, phone calls, texts and cards! 

Take-out dinner from Mi Casita's in Crofton (my favorite Mexican Restaurant) rounded out the day with the family. Wooohoooo!!!



Photo credit to Mary Pavlyshyn on our trip West to the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. I'm pointing toward my North Star - who cares if there is a puffy white cloud in the way?! Standing with me is Terri Gindlesberger Lemke at the Painted Desert in Arizona! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Fall Leaves...Quilt Style

My quilting and writing has been non-stop and I feel bad that I've neglected my blog for a few days in a row. However, today's beautiful Maple Leaf quilt was pieced by my sister Kimberly Kocan (I did one very similar several years ago), and I free motioned quilted (FMQ) it for her on my Handi-Quilter Avanté Long Arm the last couple days (Thank you, Mary Kay Kerr...I love it!) 

The mid-Atlantic is not experiencing cooler temperatures yet, more like summer, but the autumnal splash of color everywhere is in abundance and simply beautiful! Reds, Rusts, Oranges and Yellows!

Happy Fall Y'all and this quilt will be delivered to my sister in Ohio before the temperatures dips below 32 degrees, or that is my hope! And it's a biggie - 85"X100"



Friday, November 6, 2020

Freaky Friday with a Serendipity Moment

About a year ago "The Best Daughter" needed a monitor to work at home (or was it was this year - the year of Covid?) I can't remember anymore, can anyone? Anyway, fast forward to yesterday when I decided to do some errands with my last stop at Costco for some groceries and a few other items. I've been toying with the idea of buying new monitor since I gave "mine" away. I even ran into the Wal-Mart next door to Costo to price comparison shop. However, nothing appealed to me in the monitor department, and I came home with groceries, some light bulbs and a set of mixing bowls - but no monitor. Something stopped me, or maybe it was me, and I wasn't "feeling it" right then to buy one.

Sew...24 hours later, hubby and I did our daily 4 mile scoot around the Crofton Parkway, and about a mile from the finish line (our house) there was an older brown recliner with a "FREE"sign in large letters taped to all sides of the chair. For giggles and grins I took a look at it (we didn't need it, but hey, I can look, right?) However, what I did notice, and "needed" was a beautiful monitor sitting on the seat of the chair with "Free -works fine - we just have too many TV's." Well, there it was, all for the taking and waiting for me to run by, or so I thought. I had to make a quick decision (hubby continued running when I stopped) either to take it under my arm and walk it back the mile, or run home and grab the car keys and drive down to pick it up. I chose the latter and told hubby, if it's still there when I return, it's meant for me. 

Serendipity and a shout of Yippee Yee Ki Yay since it was still there upon my return and now all mine! A thank you card will be forthcoming. 



Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Sixteen Years Post Ryan's Bone Marrow Transplant!

The years keep rolling by (Harry Chapin), and we are thrilled that today celebrates 16 years since Ryan's PBMT at Duke University Medical Center. It was a long road until we finally got there, but we did and we are here today, standing proudly and giving shouts of THANK YOUS to anyone and everyone who played a part -large or small - we will be forever grateful! 

Can all say it was a "miracle." I say, "Yes!"



Vote, Please!



I had a great blogpost in my head for several weeks which included the road to the women's right to vote 100 years ago. The whole world closely watches the USA, and there are still countries that don't allow women to vote. I am thankful for those brave women back in the early 1900's that made it "their job" to get the vote. I salute them today!



Maryland's sticker is kind of cute, don't you think?