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!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

A Lemon Kind of Kindness

 “The Best Daughter” recently sent me a recipe to try, and it sounded too delicious not to try it, so I was all in to make it. A one pot Turmeric and Ginger Chicken Veggie Soup for a cold winter January day. I had most of the ingredients on hand, and since I am considered the “queen of wing” on many things, I thought swapping out ingredients that I didn’t have for something else I did have would work just fine. How hard could that be? And would it really change it all that much, I pondered? When I thought again, yes, it probably would, especially not having the turmeric (the #1 ingredient and lead in the recipe heading), I had to figure out something…and quick.

However, when I realized that I didn’t have a lick of turmeric, parsley or kale (recipe called for all three) I thought I may be in a bit of a bind. I had already started the dutch oven with all the basic veggies—onion, garlic, celery and carrots and they were all simmering nicely together and filling the kitchen with a sweet aroma. The next part called for the spices I did not have, except I did have ginger, but it seemed that I couldn’t go on without the other two spices.

In that moment of reckoning, I called two neighbors for said spices and neither had them. When I hung up the phone with the last neighbor, my son started walking down the hallway towards the kitchen. I offhandedly mentioned my dilemma, and he actually said he’d be happy to go to the store to pick up the missing ingredients. I was floored (I told him I’d go but I still had some slicing and dicing to do). Within minutes he grabbed his car keys and off he went for said spices. I was thrilled on the offer which allowed me to finished up all the cutting (chicken and zucchini). When I looked at the recipe again (back side of my 3x5 index card) I realized that I needed a lemon to add at the end of the simmering. Ouch!

Back to the drawing board on missing ingredients, but a quick call to my son met with nada: he didn’t answer his cell phone. I figured he must be driving back. In a flash, I then sent a quick text just in case. I never heard back from him until he arrived back home.

He walked through the door with big grin all the ingredients I asked for, and the last minute addition of a lemon. He said he didn’t notice the call come in, and had started the engine of his car when he realized I sent a text. He then said he stopped the car, got out and went back in the grocery store to purchase not one, but two lemons to make sure my recipe worked out! Kindness in it’s best form! I love that kid!

I finished cooking up the soup and it was delicious - with enough leftover for tomorrow at least!



Friday, January 22, 2021

Chobe Nat'l Park Botswana Elephants

I thought I'd post something fun and interesting regarding a herd of elephants doing there thing at sundown in the bush of Botswana! I took this video on February 15, 2016. I am with Helen Gruneisen on fantastic safari of a lifetime! This is the first time this video has been available to view online and I love all these majestic souls showcased here. I hope you feel the same, and may they bring a smile to your face today!


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Winter Timber

It is no surprise when you drive through a large metropolitan downtown city, you are bound to be stopped by a plethora of annoying lights. Most often, they seemed to always turn red as soon as you drive up to one, and the next one and the next (and they are like 50 yards a part!) Only when you need to look at something important do you get a green light, or so it seems. Yesterday, while driving through downtown Baltimore, Maryland with my son, we were stopped at an especially long red light when I took a glance to my left and saw a hauntingly beautiful tree.

I felt drawn to this stark winter timber which, frankly, took my breath away. I desperately wanted to take a photo of it, but my phone was buried deep into my coat pocket. Of course, my seat belt was fastened tightly across my body, and I couldn’t decide whether I would try and fight with the seatbelt and fish the phone out of my pocket before the light changed, or let the image remain in my mind. After a few seconds when the light did not change, I chose the former. I started squirming just enough to loosen the seat belt and retrieve the phone to snap the one and only photo below before the light finally turned green.

When I got home and took a closer look at the photo, I noticed something that I hadn’t noticed while sitting at the light—the mirror image in the glass window to the left of the tree. Striking!



Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Shoebox Swap and No Shoes!

I am thrilled that I have some very creative quilting/sewing friends that are forging ahead with an old-fashioned block swap—a "shoebox swap." Instead of using a shoebox though, a large ziplock bag is our method of sending our blocks (and other paraphernalia like fabrics and instructions) back and forth and encompassing three states. I am in the process of preparing my ziplock bag with a couple of examples to swap with the first of 10 people playing the game. Block swaps are quite popular; some are international that can be found on social media platforms to play. The one that I am involved with we will go until the end of 2021. Every month we will we make blocks and then swap. Easy peasy and fun! 



Photo of my barrel of scraps ready to spring into action!

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Go Browns!

It's been over 25 years that Bill and I were season ticket holders for the Cleveland Browns (split with twin Don), and thoroughly enjoyed many fun years heading to the stadium to cheer them on during a lot of snowy Sundays. All games we went to were in the old Cleveland Stadium right on the Lake, and typically very cold from the winds swirling around inside the stadium (many games at 10 or 20 degrees not counting the wind chill). 

As this season progressed, the team was gaining traction in winning games, and in turn, began winning fans all over the USA once again. I thought they would make it all the way to the Superbowl this year, but the KC Chiefs had a great last minute play to win the game and stop the "plan" for the Browns to advance. I guess there is always next year.

If the Browns couldn't win, Chef Ryan pulled out the stops to grill and smoke a delicious meal to go along with the game, and he, of course, won over his "fans." Yummy!



Friday, January 15, 2021

A Bad Day in the Bush?

When I snapped this photo in a South African bush (Madikwe) in 2015, I loved how this female lion's body language communicated that perhaps she was having a "bad" day/night, and she needed some rest. Who knows if she was thinking of the "one" that got away from her that she "counted" on for last night's dinner. Or, maybe her pride of siblings wouldn't share with her their own take of a late night kill. And then, do lion's even think? Or is everything with them, and thousands of other animals, all instinctual?

When I take a closer look at the photo though, sometimes I see sadness, and that attitude of, "I can't take another minute of it." Sound familiar? 




Thursday, January 14, 2021

Crystal Light!

No, it's not the drink powder...it's the streaks of rainbow colors that light across my walls, or in today's post, my book. Instead of curtains or drapes, I have a plethora of crystals that hang in my southwestern facing windows that showcase a beautiful array of color whenever it's sunny (and it's a lot—even in January!) When I sat down to read this morning, with a cup of hot tea at the ready, the sunlight was great enough to light up my page, and I had to share the joy of light with you. 

It's the simple things in life...



The book is: The Liar's Club by Mary Karr