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!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Four Legged Visitor

My son has been walking "Sophie" the dog three times a week for the past three years. So with Sophie's Mom going out if town for about 10 days, she asked Ryan if he could dog sit for that time period. He/we said "no problem", as our dogs are pretty tolerant of us bringing other dogs into the fold for a spell. Lucky and Lucy gave her a respectful, albeit, a lukewarm welcome thus far. I have a sneaky feeling they will all be BFF's at the end of her stay!

BSoleille!  The bright side of dog sitting!

Photo of Sophie (with me while quilting).

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I finally got to see the iconic group, New Rhythm  and Blues Quartet, AKA - NRBQ at the Ram's Head in Annapolis. It was a great rockin' show on a cold night with several local friends. I even ran into a couple of people I have not seen in several years much to my delight!  What a way to chase out the winter blues for a spell. 


Photo of NRBQ at Ram's Head and Jeanine (and Ward- though not pictured) Horner and me. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Daydreaming of Warmer Weather

I am going out of a limb today, as I am writing this blog at 2:31pm (not my usual); but I needed a break from a quilt I am working on that is giving me challenges.  Thankfully, after changing the needle, rethreading the machine a million times (OK, not quite, but you get the frustration coming through), and a bunch of small scraps in practicing the tension of the side of the quilt, it dawned on me to change the bobbin, as a poorly wound bobbin has been causing all my angst!  I am now back in business with good tension, whew!

You may wonder how that circles back to "daydreaming" of warmer weather, well, my machine faces the front window and I am seeing the bunch of snow that fell last night, and with all my above "problems" went over to my computer to look for a photo I needed for another project.  As I perused through about 5.000 photos, I happened to land on last years' vacation photos.  I could not help but stop and "daydream" of warm water, a bathing suit, and ride on a jetski!  How is that for a full circle or how my mind has been wandering lately......

BSoleille!  The bright side knowing summer is really around the corner!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Aspire....To Who You Want To Be

Wouldn't you say every so often we have to take pause and reflect on where we are going both personally and professionally?  Today my company, InstallNet,  hosted an internationally recognized author, keynote speaker, strategic planning consultant and corporate trainer on just that with Ole Carlson. His mission is to inspire people, assist them in their own personal transformations and influence business leaders at the highest possible level. I think he got us all thinking on how we can improve ourselves and thus help improve business going forward. He was funny, witty, and very passionate about what makes people "tick" and how businesses flourish.  

Ole's uplifting personal stories shared with our group illustrated how the power of positive thinking and a "little" motivation for change can help people achieve more  than they think is possible. Amen to that!  

BSoleille!  The bright side of "thank you" to Ole and his wonderful wife Sue Ann on a very thought provoking day!



Monday, January 27, 2014

Winds of Change

I heard today that the temperatures in the Carolina's were mild, like 58 degrees. However, school districts were closing classes tomorrow because they are about to get 8-10" of snow tonight and tomorrow and then back up to 58 on Wednesday. Wacky for sure. The rest of us up north have biting winds and low temps as well. It's been a wild ride with Mother Nature this winter, including such extremes as these "new" polar vortexes that....bite!  Wool sweaters, a down coat and long underwear are the answers to comfort during these fridged days. 

My photo today is Mother Natures perfection with this simple leaf and it's perfect outline I discovered on my run. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of warm clothes. 


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pitching Papers

I guess we can say January is a good month for doing some organization, and the purging of papers, lots of them, from my husband's former jobs. He originally told me to "pitch everything", but I still felt I should go through everything "just in case". It is a daunting task which took about four hours today (and there is still a little more to do), so I know why this sort of thing gets put off to another time. But I'm thankful I did as inbetween lots of accountant stuff and lots of random papers, I found precious photos and other paraphernalia that we need to keep for now. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of lessening the load of paper(s). 

My photo of the kids was taken in October 1994!  Seems like yesterday really. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Double Feature

Last night I went to Redbox and selected two block buster movies: "Captain Phillips and Blue Jasmine", and watched them both. Tom Hanks was excellent as Captain Phillips and Cate Blanchett was superb as Jasmine. I can see why they are "nominated worthy" for all the upcoming award shows. Great acting. 

But today's news with the mall shootings in Columbia, Maryland was very sad and tragic, and no words can describe all the feelings these terrible events keep haunting us as a society.  My deep condolences to all the victims families as this "story" unfolds and healing thoughts for the mall workers who will return to their stores tomorrow and in the future. When is this craziness going to end I ask?


Friday, January 24, 2014

Broken Promises

A couple years ago I hurt my shoulder shoveling very heavy snow, and it took a long time to heal. At that point I stated to my family I will never shovel again. I shoveled today and broke that promise even though my son has been doing a good job of it. I just felt I needed to break up some ice and clear more of the walkway, especially near the mailbox. With more snow on its way, I am not making any promises of doing any more (or never). Isn't spring right around the corner?  My last thought is it will melt eventually, so that is my story and I am sticking to it!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a cleared (non iced) sidewalk!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Persistence Pays Off

I am thankful I was able to focus this last week to finish and long-arm quilt four soldier quilts for the 37 Soldier Quilt Initiative through my guild. (One top was pieced by another quilter but I quilted it). 
It is a good feeling to have those done so I can turn my attention to finishing my quilts that are entered my guilds quilt show in March. In a quilter's world, the third weekend in March feels almost like tomorrow!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a finished project!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Keeping Track

I wonder how many people keep track of mundane or silly things like I have (and still do)?  It is definitely easier today due to the computer with great software like excel and other great programs for sure. Even smartphone apps are truly great in that you can keep track of lots of things within seconds and a few touches on the phone. Over the years I used to keep track of the miles I ran in a spiral notebook/runner's manual; the movies I saw (including the ticket stubs), and books read (still do).  But in 2013 I kept track of gasoline fill ups on my 2001 Corolla. So for about 15,000 miles driven I filled up 35 times and averaged about 35 mpg!  Not too shabby!  

BSoleille!  The bright side of keeping track of something!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snowy Skies

The crazy artic weather Maryland is experiencing is all the rage with the news teams and weather people. Not so with the folks at home hunkering down and staying inside trying to keep warm and off the roads. For me that equals uninterrupted quilting time and two quilted soldier quilts for the day!  I should finish my last one tomorrow for the "37 initiative".

BSoleille!  The bright side of "keep on snowing to keep on sewing"! (This is from a quilt retreat several years ago when we got snowed in for two extra days!)


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Successful Gathering

The Hem/Onc Pediatric Advisory Board I am on at Georgetown University Hospital had our first event today with an informal gathering of "Alumni Parents" of childhood cancer survivors. I am thankful that 21 people came out to share thoughts and ideas in dealing with many aspects of late effects of their child's treatment- parent to parent.  And even though every child and their parents' or caregivers travel their own unique path (medically), our journeys remain quite similar as our hope includes recovery and remission on all fronts. Sometimes it's not easy, but the take away today was we do not have to travel this alone. There are many people to lean on if needed and many resources for success!



Photo of the board: L-R; Carmen Cheng, Donna Shank, Marilyn Eichner, Patty Lubin and me. (Beth G. Out of town)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Men Shoppers

You would think a guy who cleans up carts in parking lots would be "whizzing" around a BIG store like Costco, getting all we need for the month. Today this guy could not get enough of the sofa being offered and recruited his son to take part in the "easy shopper" pose for awhile. No rush on their part in enjoying the relaxation even though many shoppers went past this heavily traveled isle. All they needed was to have this sofa next to the TV's and they probably would still be there "relaxing".

BSoleille! The bright side of "chillin" in the middle of a store on a busy Saturday afternoon. 


Friday, January 17, 2014

Two Dog Snuggle

The cool temps (in and out) of the house even have the dogs cuddling together. I do not know how they decide on who sleeps where since the "other bed" is right next to the "good bed", but they make it work for themselves. Cold noses but warm hearts!

BSoleille!  The bright side of doggie snuggles. 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

37 Quilts

My quilt guild, the Southern Comforters, are a very kind, caring and generous group of ladies. As I have mentioned in previous posts, community quilts is a strong component of our guild, and an SOS went out by one of our members recently that 37 single soldiers are coming back from Iraq and Afganistan soon to "empty barracks" at Ft. Hood, Texas. I am committed to making and quilting several made by others for this initiative because it's the least we can do for those brave men returning from the battle fields. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of fulfilling a need for our US soldiers!


Photo: Soldier quilt made by Flo Marion and being quilted by me (will finish it tomorrow). 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A "Serendipity-ish" Day

My "day off" was planned to go to Georgetown to drop off 5 bags of quilts for the Hem/Onc patients and spend some time talking to parents of recently diagnosed children with Marilyn Eichner.  Before I left the house, my son expressed interest in going to hang out with the art therapists, so he came along. We did the above, but once there, Ryan's doc said he has not been seen in the clinic for awhile, so maybe they can slip him in on the schedule, which they did thankfully (and a good report as well).  And by the way, the Secret Service is coming by to do check presentation to the clinic ($14,000) and would Ryan like to say a few words of thanks on behalf of the patients and families. He did that impromptu speech with grace and humility. 

They then had the most amazing lunch spread for the occasion that we really enjoyed, and I did talk to a few parents before we left which was my mission for the day. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of one thing leading to something else that leads to something else entirely. Serendipity!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Christmas Amaryllis

My photo today is the Christmas amaryllis in full bloom!  Fabulous! My neighbor bought me (and her) those huge bulbs back on November 17th and I planted mine that day hoping for blooms on 12/25. Not that day, but today the flowers are in full stride and beautiful and I am thankful for that!  Now if I can figure out how to preserve that bulb for next Christmas - oops, I will google it for further information, of course. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a 2 1/2 foot plant!


Monday, January 13, 2014

The Dawn of a New Quilt Shop

A quilter in my guild, Dawn Stewart, opened a brand new quilt shop today!  Her "grand opening" will be in March, but her shop located at 9691A Gerwig Lane, Columbia MD 21046, already started long arm quilting classes and has plans for a block of the month club. Fabric an notions are arriving daily. Dawn is also an Handi-Quilter dealer (and her husband repairs them). This is exciting news for Spring Water Designs!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a brand new quilt shop!!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Indian Food

Today I had the chance to eat traditional Indian/Pakastani food at a restaurant called Spice Xing in Rockville, MD. I do not recall that I have ever eaten at one before, though had this type of food at someone's home in the past. It's quite spicy and very good!  I was pleasantly surprised I sampled a large array of foods including-goat!!!  Now, that is a first for me and it was better than I thought (I think it was marinated for hours and doused with a lot of sauce and spices so I am convinced anything would taste good prepped this way). However, it did not taste "gamey", nor was it greasy, but still had a distinct taste overall. I would go back again for sure!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

From the Other Side of the Tracks

This is quite an old saying, but I am putting a positive spin on it from a quilter's perspective. As I mentioned in a previous post, my Possibillibee Bee makes birthday blocks, and the two photographed here are Mary's house blocks. I made her one with "country" color fabrics that I did not like in November, so I told her I would remake them and use bright colors (my favorites) instead. I have not seen what other house blocks were made, but it they are made with a more "traditional" palette, then mine are "on the other side of the tracks"!

BSoleille!  The bright side of "the other side of the tracks" is not so bad after all!


Friday, January 10, 2014

A Happy Kitchen

What's better than warm soup on a cold night? In my kitchen today, the answer is two (one chicken tortilla and one chili)!  That inner domestic goddess got a tight grip on me today and would not let me leave the kitchen for a few hours while the soup and chili were being prepped and made. Whew!  Thankfully, "The Best Daughter" now has several meals prepared as she heads back to school this weekend, even though she does have a meal plan (nothing better than Mom's cookin' when you are in college).

BSoleille!  The bright side of home made cooking!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

January Skies

I realize I have posted about January skies in the past, but I never get tired of them for some reason. Most nights during this month have spectacular evening skies that look like they are painted with large brush. And it is not so much the sunset, it is the deep colors that surround that setting sun several minutes before the day is over. (December 2013 had some stunner skies as well). 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a setting January sky....

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

National Gallery of Art

"The Best Daughter" is still home on break and was itching to do "something". So we decided to go to one of the museums in DC, and the National Gallery of Art won our "in house" lottery!  It is truly an amazing museum by just walking in through huge doors with tons of marble (staircases) and rotunda that just won't quit! Beautiful. Now throw in all the wonderful works of art and you are "over the moon" with delight. 

One of the highlights was the gallery talk on "the Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections" called, "Heaven and Earth". The moderator was excellent in sharing many background artifacts of the pieces on hand, and my favorite was an authentic 6th century page of one of the gospels on parchment paper that was in pristine condition. A once in a lifetime "looksie" at this incredible exhibit. 

From the gallery's website:
In 330 Emperor Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Italy some thousand miles to the east, near the site of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium on the Bosphorus Strait linking the Aegean and Black Seas. Renamed Constantinople (now Istanbul), the city became the largest and wealthiest in the Christian world. It remained the dominant power, especially in the eastern Mediterranean, for more than 1,000 years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. In the first-ever exhibition of Byzantine art at the Gallery, some 170 works of art, many never before lent to the United States, will be on view—among them mosaics, icons, manuscripts, jewelry, and ceramics. The works include newly discovered and unpublished objects and reveal the rich and multifaceted culture of Byzantium. Divided into five thematic sections, the exhibition explores the coexistence of paganism and Christianity, spiritual life in Byzantium, secular works of art used in the home, the intellectual life of Byzantine scholars, and the cross-influences that occurred between Byzantine and Western artists before the fall of Byzantium.

BSoleille!  The bright side of art appreciation. 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lunch Specials

How often do we go to a favorite restaurant and pretty much order the same thing every time we go?  I am going to change things up a bit this year 2014 with ordering new items and specials when I frequent the same Mexican restaurant. As you see by my photo today, there are 10 listed items that are considered the lunch special, and  I plan on ordering 1-10 at some point throughout the year, but not in any particular order. I do not want to be predictable in my ordering! No "same ole, same ole".

BSoleille!  The bright side of making new menu choices!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Is It Really Cold Enough?

The deep freeze is on, especially in the Midwest and West where temps are below zero and cities are practically shut down. I get that, there is no messing with frostbite and treacherous roadways. But here in Maryland, though cold enough and ready to drop to single digits tonight, it's not really that bad (no snow).  Hopefully, my car will start in the morning and we will hunker down with lots of quilts and down comforters!

My photo today was taken by "The Best Daughter" of our dog, Loo-C-Loo, when we still had the snow (yesterday). Though the Big Loo-C-Loo is a mixed breed, her husky traits ooze out of her with her loving-the-cold, ice and snow kind of ways!

BSoleille!  The bright side of an extra warm quilt on the bed!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Great Movie

Every once in awhile Hollywood comes out with a fantastic movie, especially involving history (think Ben Hur, Chariots of Fire, Reds and Schindler's List), and the film we saw last night will drop into this category- "12 Years A Slave". The title pretty much sums it all, but ah, it's so much more than that. The director, Steve McQueen, did a brilliant job of casting the actors in this true story of a Northern freed slave kidnapped and taken South for 12 years before regaining his freedom once again. It is certainly not a "feel good" movie, but one that makes us think of the history of our country in the mid 1800's before the Civil War.  Anger was a current emotion for me while watching how wretched one human being can be against another human being. If you like history, or just a want to see an excellent film, this is a must see. I bet it will be a contender of Oscar nominations if not some wins in a lot of categories!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a terrific movie, one that lingers in the mind long after the credits role....


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Back in the Saddle of Possibillabees

I'm thankful my sewing machine has finally been turned on and sewn with in 2014!  Not rusty a bit. And, the best part was I got to sew with my bee, the Possibilibees!  We had a "play"date (I mean sew date) plus we did our Christmas gift exchange. It was a lot of fun and basically a mini retreat that went the entire day. 

My photos include Susie's set up with four of us in the living room (three were set up in the dining room), and our gifts: Thank You cards, Bee pincushion, a thread catcher with Hershey kisses, a "Possibillibee pincushion, a pair of fleece socks and a holiday motif kitchen towel. The beauty of the gifts is that we all get the same thing, though maybe in a different color. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of Christmas in January!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Home Is Where the Wifi Is"

Remember the good old days and the saying, "home is where the heart is"?  In our technological society today, and according to my son, "home is where the wifi is"!  He threw that out today while we were driving along and it struck a chord with me. Everyone is so connected, and it has to be fast. The home and hearth of "yesteryear" seems to be "replaced" by robotic vacuums, high speed internet, a thousand cable TV stations, and mobile devices that has the "world" in your hand. I'm thankful to be living in these exciting tech times. And hopefully, it's going to get even better with more tech advancements. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of "wee fee", supposedly that's how the French people say wifi!


Photo of a wicked snow storm that began exactly at 5:00pm this evening. We are in for some cold days ahead!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Off to a Good Start

The past week I have been thinking of New Years resolutions (beyond the obligatory eat less, run/exercise more ones), and I think will try to learn something brand new. Last year I vowed to have fresh flowers on a continuous basis and that worked out quite well. I am going to continue this one this year too. And although I love technology and all my sewing, I would like to get back to reading a book a week. I missed it in 2013. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a new resolution!


Photo of that Amaryllis Bulb I planted awhile ago that was supposed to bloom on Christmas. Not quite ready but almost there and it is 25" tall!  My "fresh flower".