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!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spring Break Already?

"The Best Daughter" arrived late this afternoon as her college spring break began today. It seems like yesterday was New Years Eve and now we are staring March in the face tomorrow! Yikes!

But she has plans, of course, that will whisk her away on the two weekends of the break. Spending "quality time" is of essence here with the family. And we love having her home for whatever her time allows.



Photo of Olivia AKA "the best daughter"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Guild Preview

My quilt guild's annual show is coming up soon (March 24-25, 2013) in Bowie, Maryland. Tonight we had a sneak preview of our featured quilter, Misty Cole's, work. I was honored to take many photos of her quilts, plus the additional "traditional" art she also brought to show-like her watercolors and other paintings. She is a very talented artist and I look forward to the rest of her body of work at the quilt show.


Photo is of Misty Cole and her "Bonnie Hunter" quilt. (I believe this was a mystery)!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Colors of Winter

By now into the season of winter the colors are bland, there are truly no leaves on any tree and it is to early for buds of spring. But if you look closely the trees look stately in gray and the barren grasses have several yellowish hues. Monochromatic really. By this time next month the entire landscape will be changed and welcomed and most likely a lot greener.

The bleak beige patterns of the farms I passed today heading to a job in south county seemed very pronounced to me. But the chestnut horses that dotted a lot of those same farms broke that monochromatic color scheme quite splendidly.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Academy Awards

I am posting before the big TV event tonight regarding the 85th running of the Academy Awards. I only saw a few of the movies nominated but wanted to see the all before tonight. Oh well, I'll save the rest for Netflix! However I'm going to predict "Lincoln" as Best Picture with Daniel Day Lewis taking home the Oscar for Best Actor in a leading role (I know I originally thought the nod would go to Hugh Jackman for "Les Mis"), but DDL was simply awesome!


Photo of cool buttons!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival

I had a wonderful day traveling to the MAQF in Hampton, VA with Carrie Casto, Cappy and Janet McCabe. It was a thrill to see Janet's civil war quilt (her original design) entitled "Blue vs. Gray" combining Janet's love of civil war history and quilting as part of this prestigious show! There were lots of spectacular quilts to inspire me to strive for better techniques, design and quilting. The vendors were also out in full force, and of course, we all supported that effort.

My photo is of Janet and her quilt "Blue vs. Gray".

BSoleille! For all the quilt beauty under one roof this weekend!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Three Hour Block

I am finally working on the last of my four quilts entered in next month's show. Tonight I worked on the VW Bus Block that is going into my "Bug" Quilt which took me about three hours to complete. I don't know why it took me that long but I guess cutting out tiny pieces of fabric after using fusible interfacing may have something to do with it. I only have one more to do, block-wise, so I can sew up the rest and finish it soon!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Balancing Act

Life is all about balance; from what and how much we eat, or work, or sleep, or exercise and even play. I'm thankful when life seems balanced for a stretch (a few days to a week) for sure! Not always easy but desired.

My photo(s) today is of my daughter Olivia in a completely balanced pose(s) of strength and concentration. We need these attributes also to hopefully lead a balanced life.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A New Quilt

I couldn't let it rest after winning those tropical getaway retreat blocks - minus one more border. Since I had some extra time in the last day or so, I "quickly" put mine together. I love it so far and once the top is done I must move onto the quilts that are entered in the quilt show next month!

BSoleille! The bright side of a bright and happy quilt.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cool Temps

We keep our house on a relatively cool thermostat through the winter months that even the dogs don't mind wrapping up in a fleece blanket like Lucy Loo is in my photo today. I also wanted to capture her beautiful icy blue eyes that look great against her pitch black fur. She thinks she is a big lap dog most of the time!


Monday, February 18, 2013

All Good Things Come to an End

I'm thankful for such a great quilting weekend, and like a good movie, a romantic date or a wonderful vacation, those precious times seem to end too soon! The food, fabric and friendships (old and new) keep me coming back year after year. Not too shabby to finish a few things as well, and even manage to start something new like the retreat blocks I won yesterday.

My photo is my view for the weekend on the West River!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Retreat Block Winner!

Over 60 blocks were made for our retreat blocks with "tropical" like fabric and enough for five winners! I was delighted when Cappy called my name first as a winner of one of the sets, as that meant I picked first as well! I contributed four but so did many others so our chances were just about equal.

My photo includes my blocks and a "small" Big Bag Lady Bag that I made today and donated it to the Silent Auction four our upcoming quilt show in March.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Travel Trio and a Flying Pig

The "Tropical Getaway" quilt retreat is in full swing with many projects going on and the hum of 34 sewing machines and 3 sergers keeping pace with the many conversations.

Lots of laughter, little sleep and the bonds of sisterhood at its finest with the common "thread" being the love of fabric and what we do with it, mostly making beautiful quilts!

I'm thankful for this wonderful weekend of food, fun and "fabrico"!

Photos of my travel trio and Karen's flying pig!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Parrot Head of Completion

First day of my annual February quilt guild's retreat and I finished the quilt I brought to work on. Because our theme this year is "Tropical Getaway", upon finishing an item we are bequeathed with a genuine Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville Parrot Head instead of a tiara as in retreats past. I was the first one to don the bird!



Thursday, February 14, 2013

And They Called It....

"Puppy Love". Certainly not your traditional Valentine, or what Donny and Marie Osmond were thinking while singing that cute song, but our dogs were loving me up today! Not sure if they were trying to cuddle with me or each other, or trying to keep warm! Maybe a little of all three.

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day today because there are many kinds of love to go around this big world!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

And The Winner Is......,

Tracy's Kids-the art of healing and a red carpet event in Washington, DC tonight. My son Ryan and I are in attendance at this yearly fund-raiser and plan to see "Lincoln" (me) and "Zero Dark Thirty" (my son). Lots of members of Congress here as well and Congressman David Camp who was presented with the Courage Award!

All the films nominated for an academy award are available for our viewing pleasure. I'm blogging before the show because it will be a tight squeeze for me to post before midnight.

BSoleille! The bright side of supporting Tracy's Kids- art therapy for kids fighting cancer!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Slight Smell of Spring

A glorious day today with sunshine and milder temperatures that prompted an Annapolis (Eastport) lunch with a good friend. With water views all around we decided to check out the winterized boats that were gently swaying in the Bay (and probably can't wait to get out in open waters)! Although from my photo you cannot tell, the water was glistening over the deep blue sea.

BSoleille! The bright side of thinking spring.


Monday, February 11, 2013


I'm loving the Downton Abbey saga and believe it or not, The Bachelor. I'm thankful that a friend has the series and invited me to see the last episode of season 3 recently. I hope this show will continue on, as its not only a big hit in the U. K., but here in the US as well.


Photo today of an awesome sunset tonight.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rock-n-Roll Played Loudly

To get me through a tedious quilt project that included what seemed like miles of satin stitches (small and very close zig zag type stitches) I had to listen to several of my favorite CD's to the likes of The Cars, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, The Eagles and Hootie and The Blowfish- loudly!!! It was the only way to get it done plus the actual machine makes quite a bit of noise running it as I do!

BSoleille! The bright side of "loud" listening!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snuggled In

One of the best things to do on a cold winter night is to snuggle under three quilts with a good book, or in my case lately, an iPad. But I'm thrilled to report I finally finished a good book this year entitled, "One Thousand White Women - The Journals of May Dodd" by Jim Fergus. I typically move on to the next novel quickly and tend not to think much more about it. However, this one I'm still lingering over; it was that good!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Opening Day at The Movies

Not often I get see a movie on its opening day, really pretty much never since my teenage years quite frankly. But that changed today when my son had today off from school and suggested we see a movie and go out for lunch. How could I resist and I paid for it all as well!

So we saw "Identity Thief", which was very funny and just a perfect movie to see with a teenage boy. That Melissa Mccarthy (from "The Bridesmaids" fame) is one funny lady and has at least one more movie coming out with Sandra Bullock. Not academy worthy but certainly entertaining.


Photo from the ads in the movie before the 10 minute spiel on turning off the cell phones.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

15,900 Photos

The above number is the amount of photos I have on my laptop computer, and today, I looked through every one of them to put together an ad for my son's yearbook.  I guess you are probably wondering how long that took, so I am here to tell you that it took about five hours total.  And that was cruising  through pretty fast as he was not in huge concentrated photos like girls high school and club soccer!

But, as with anything, I got hung up looking at photos from the past 20 years plus (scanned those in), and some of them really took me "back".  It was a great trip in memories as it is with any project like this.

My photo today is one I took up at Higgins Lake, Michigan two summers ago that I'd like to share today.  What a glorious day it was, at least according to this beautiful sky!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Basketball Balls

While in Cleveland, Ohio over Christmas break we were able to visit the NBA Cleveland Cavalier Offices. They have some cool things set up but what intrigued me most was this huge "wall" of Spalding basketballs. If you look closely you will get a glimpse of me peeking out from one of the balls!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Love A Hot Iron

I have lots of irons and they serve different purposes for me and my quilting and sewing, but I never iron clothes (ok, rarely)! I have one iron I use with steam, another one for fusible web and still another for doing TShirt quilts etc. I think I have about three more as well in the iron queue!

The last few I acquired have come from Freecycle, a network to promote waste reduction and help save landscape from being taken over by landfills. The post said something to the effect, "who needs to iron anymore with wash and wear clothes?" She never met a quilter I'd say!

But this one I picked up literally and figuratively is hot, hot, hot! The burn still hurts!

BSoleille! The bright side of Freecycle.

Photo of my "new" iron and my burn blister.

Monday, February 4, 2013

February Sky

So the month of January did not yield many great sunsets, but so far February is taking over with two out of the first four days bringing it home with coral pinks, bright clear oranges and medium blue skies. I wish they would last longer than five minutes or so!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Black Birds vs. 50-1'ers

That is the Super Bowl Final: Ravens and the 49ers! Do we really care about the final score at this point? Rather, its all about the tail gate snacks, or the great, made especially for Super Bowl tv commercials and/or the half time production and whether or not there is lip synching involved in any of it! I think the two brother coaches were lip synching the whole game (haha)! A big shout of thanks to the Flanagan's for the fun evening!

BSoleille! The bright side of a good 4th quarter in Super Bowl football.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Redeemed Restaurant Certificate

Tonight we finally redeemed our 13 year old gift certificate at Christopher's Restaurant in Crofton, Maryland. The restaurant is located in a shopping plaza on Rt. 3, but once you step over the threshold into the bar area you feel like you stepped into a wonderful restaurant in Georgetown or Adam's Morgan in DC.

We took friends Laura and Chris Rush as a thank you for some house projects they helped us with. We are thankful got that!

And by the way, all our meals were delicious! A big shout out to Christopher's for honoring the certificate.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Turkey Vultures

This afternoon I helped my son out by dog walking "Sophie" (he walks her three times a week) because he had another commitment. Of course it was a cold and windy day, but I did not mind because I dressed in lots of layers!

As Sophie and I marched through our brisk walk, I could not help notice some large birds flying overhead and into one of the backyards on our course. So Sophie and iI decided to extend our time together and check out those big birds. I was delighted to come upon an oasis of about 50 vultures in an open grassy area. As you can see from my photo, those crazy birds loved to perch on the fence and probably 20 or more were perfectly spaced apart on down the line. Sophie did not even bark at the spectacle and we both just took in the scene.