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 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 defintely been a challenge every day throughout the past three years, but I welcome the challenge again this year 2015. I hope you will continue the ride with me!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Almost There...

While on Day 3 of the Retreat Road Trip,  the machines were a buzzing all day long making train cases, ditty bags, and camper pincushions on our way to our next “destination.”  “Sew”...along with the mystery quilt and our own projects, we were busy bees and the chatter and sewing rarely stopped (okay, for meals and snacks, of course!).

It’s fascinating to me with so many different fabrics and combinations of colors that everyone truly has their own style in making a quilt or other sewn items. Favorite colors are also evident in many of the sewists’ projects. 

BSoleille! The bright side of asking, “are we there yet?”


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Road to Retreat 2018

The “Road Trip” is this years theme for my quilt guilds annual February retreat held in West River, Maryland. The day started with sunny skies and easy driving conditions... and ended with a snowy/slushy wintry mix. Thankfully, the 21 strong “travelers” only had to safely drive their sewing machines in creating a plethora of vacation memories including piecing quilts, making a happy camper pincushion, navigating a mystery quilt, and crafting a travel set (remember the old train cases?).  And let's not forget the spa detour for some weary drivers in getting an hour message!
Hearty laughter, good snacks and all the solicited (and unsolicited) advice you could ever want or need helped us to arrive at our destination today.  
"Are we there yet?"

Name tag compliments of our Lead Road Warrior Karen Todd's cousin

Morning view from West River, Maryland
Late Afternoon view from West River, Maryland

New Road Trip Travel bags made today....

Road Warrior name tags

Friday, February 16, 2018

#CelebrateOthers - Bridget Franek - Pursuit of Personal Potential

Since we are smack dab in the middle of the Winter Olympics, I thought I'd mix it up and highlight an Olympic Summer Games (remember, I love summer!?) athlete I know personally, Bridget Franek.
You can google her name and many of her accolades can be found, along with some of her races and photos of her international travels while competing for Penn State and Team USA.

A little over 30 years ago Bridget was born to my friends Rosalie and Tom Franek. My husband and I actually went over to the hospital the day she was born to ooh and ahh over this tiny little bundle, their first born, and celebrate with them this joyous occasion (brother Joshua came along a couple years later). She's always been a great and thoughtful kid, and I have been amazed and inspired by her "story" throughout the last 15 years she's been competing.

So how did that tiny little bundle of "flesh and blood" catapult herself into the world of field of Track and Field only 16 years later? With sheer perseverance, grit, and her passion of the "pursuit of personal potential." When she glides down the track her fists pump like iron (like her Momma) and her face projects nerves of steel (like her Daddy). She also has a terrific support system which is her family, but also many friends throughout the world that have been her cheerleaders from the very beginning.

I can go on about Bridget being a 6-time Ohio State T&F Champion (including when she won 4 events in 2006: 800m, 1600m, 3200m and 4X800m); or that she is one of the most highly decorated athletes ever to grace the Penn State campus, or that she placed 12th at the 2012 London Olympics in the 3000m Steeplechase (her PR being 9:29), plus other international track meets; but it's her pursuit of excellence in anything she does; not only on the track.

That's what make Bridget "tick" - the relentless pursuing of her own potential, but now, coaching at the University of Akron, and instilling this same thought pattern into her athletes; almost believing in themselves before they believe in themselves. Her college coach believed in Bridget too, before Bridget actually did, but once she had her "aha" moment, she never looked back, and boy, did she take off! Growing up in a competitive family (all for fun), Bridget shared with me that she sincerely enjoys seeing how far she can push herself, always trying to realize her full potential in anything she does or touches, and this just fascinates her. (Well, me too!)

Bridget Franek has gone full circle; from student, student athlete, Olympic and World athlete to Coach Bridget. She noted that she is truly enjoying her new role as a coach because she loves to embrace the positive in molding young and impressionable collegiate women both on and off the track. Although challenging at times, coaching has been very rewarding (instant results on who crosses the finish line when) that she maintains with her athletes that the "process of becoming a good runner" is transferable in everything else in life." I couldn't agree more! The University of Akron is so lucky to have Bridget on their coaching staff!

When this former prom queen who was also in the marching band is not running or coaching, you may find her at her stove, whipping up delicious meals, or hiking and traveling, or hanging out with her family and friends. Bridget loves to learn new things and her go-to for learning right now is listening to podcasts. And for the second week in a row in #celebratingothers, Bridget's favorite color is PINK! The darker the better...like fuschia (my favorite too!).

I hope we can all learn from Bridget in her mantra of "pursuit of personal potential." I am going to try everyday too!

BSoleille! The bright side of #celebratingothers with Bridget Franek

Photos from Bridget:

Bridget and her family; Josh, Tom, Rosalie (btw, Bridget won the women's national division of the Warrior Dash)

Bridget's extended family and world's biggest fan club!
Coach Bridget with her charges

Coach Bridget and the University of Akron ladies Track Team

In Amsterdam with FanFriends; Mona Koehler and Jodie Smith

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day 2018

I hope everyone had a big-hearted day for an unusual Ash-Wednesday-Valentine's Day combination. I wonder how many times that comes up on the calendar?

So gearing up for my quilt guild's annual show next month, there were a lot of show and tells tonight with a "first look" of many of the  beautiful quilts that will be in the show. Sometimes the photos do not do the quilts justice, so coming in person one can really appreciate the beauty and workmanship that goes into each and every quilt.

We also had a heart block of the month drawing with 27 blocks made in total. Believe it or not, I was the excited winner of all the blocks and plan on making a beautiful "quiltfromtheheart" heart quilt. So a huge shout of thanks to all who participated, and I will make you proud when I put them all together in a quilt!



Susie Stevenson checking out the Show-n-Tell

Heart blocks

More heart blocks

Frank Rucky's beautiful quilt!

JoAnn Parish's beautiful quilt!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Gold Medals for USA

These 2018 Olympic Games are several days in already, and I am impressed with the athletes from all over the world competing for their country, their hometowns, their coach(es), and ultimately, for themselves. To win gold, it's certainly not easy, so what makes one dig a little deeper to pull off the "impossible?" Is it more desire perhaps? Tonight's Men's Half-Pipe win from American Shaun White is a perfect example of going the distance to really compete and do the "unthinkable" and win the gold medal in a come from behind moment. He must thrive on the pressure and do his best work to go for the win. Amazing! I think therein lies the beauty of the Games; the thrill of victory....and the agony of defeat (from ABC Wide World of Sports).


Monday, February 12, 2018

This Day is for the Birds

Winter is far from over, but after the rains left our area breaking to super blue skies, the birds came out in numbers chatting and singing up a “storm”. This male cardinal was perched high in the tree maybe thinking he’s in “hiding”, but make no mistake, he was found... I just followed his sound!



Sunday, February 11, 2018

Nostalgia For Our Kids' Childhood Memories

It's one thing when we get rid of our own stuff, because it feels good to lighten the load, and I guess it should not make a difference when our kids do the same thing. However, I learned today, it does though, because the "finality" of adult children leaving the nest along with purging their childhood "treasures" is really quite daunting. For five hours, "The Best Daughter", her BFF, Lizdot, and I worked fast and furious in cleaning her "former" bedroom filled with many of her childhood memories that included stuffed animals, Barbies, photos, clothes, shoes, books, and tons of paper filled notebooks from elementary school through college. All this when she also has an apartment in Washington, D.C. housing more of her things...

And even though it was "difficult" emotionally for me in saying goodbye to her stuff  (with a lot of the stuff bought by yours truly...) the mission was certainly accomplished, as it was a brutal cleansing as in "the life changing art of tidying up" by Marie Kondo. But this "wrap up" and "get rid of" was time, and we are all on a clean slate once again. The hallway is filled with boxes that will be donated in the coming weeks, and that's the best feeling of all.

BSoleille! The bright side of the purge.