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, February 28, 2014

"A Self Made Man"

His son's eulogy noted that James (Jimmy) Courter of Lincoln Park, New Jersey, was a self made man. No fuss, no muss, just got the job done in everything he did. May you rest in peace, Jim. 


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Live. Each. Day

Easy enough, right? What else are we going to do?  Seriously though, maximizing our days with good positive energy, along with healthy food and better relationships with family and friends, rounds out a good life. The death of someone you know and love really bring these thoughts to the forefront, and to that end, a great reminder to live each day to the fullest!  


Let There Be Light...Or Less Light?

The company I work for is reconfiguring the office space and there is a lot of construction going on throughout the day. Today, once the wall was knocked down, it was startling to see the difference with the regular window as opposed to the tinted windows. I am not sure what I like most (and my opinion does not count), but it's nice to ponder for a moment. That part of the office gets a lot of light, so maybe the tinted glass will help with the glare and the fading of furniture etc.  I'm sure that was all taken in consideration. The office is going to look great no matter what!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club

We were fortunate to be guests of the Tracy'sKids Red Carpet event again this year at the Gallery Place Theaters in downtown DC. The event raises funds for Art Therapy (mostly pediatrics) in several locations in the metro DC area. We had to choose one of the academy nominated movies to attend (oh so hard, right?), and I selected the Dallas Buyers Club, a movie I've wanted to see for awhile. For me it lived up to its current reputation, and a front runner for a few academy awards including Matthew McConaughey's great role as Ron Woodroof, the guy who lived 7 years with his HIV diagnosis kicking, screaming and fighting the whole way through!

BSoleille!  The bright side of immersing yourself during a great movie!

Photo of my son Ryan being interviewed by Tracy's Kids personnel. 

Monday, February 24, 2014


It has been all in the news lately regarding passcodes, passwords or whatever. People need to make difficult ones so no one steals your information or puts out scams "they say". So, over the years,  I think I have come up with some good ones, but those great blog readers if mine know that I still get "hacked" by movers and packers of New Delhi. It seems that no matter how difficult I think I make up new passwords, they still seem to break through. 

I am thankful for your patience, and I hope everyone comes up with hard to break codes for their personal electronic gadgets!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

An 18 Hour Visit

"The Best Daughter" and two of her roomies came home to Crofton for a short spell. The roomies (Haley and Sam) wanted to see a friend swim in the Patriot Conference Meet held at the Naval Academy) this morning. The visit entailed making a crockpot meal AND a chicken dinner for the girls last night, plus breakfast at Chick and Ruth's early this morning. As my daughter commented, "sometimes you just can't beat a home cooked meal".  I'm thankful and happy to oblige. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of ordering a delicious crab omelet, it can't be beat!


Friday, February 21, 2014

Squeezing Me Out

Living with animals, especially dogs and all their antics, is really quite fun - never dull. Today I could have blogged at 6:23am this morning because that's the time I woke up and had these two "clowns" practically velcroed to my side of the bed, yielding me about 2" of breathing space and my legs at the edge of the mattress. I guess these two pups think the cold nights are just a wee bit nicer snuggling up with their humans. 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Learning Something New

Do you ever have to "force" yourself to learn something new? Or more importantly, sticking to a difficult task to "master". For me, a favorite quilting technique for lots of quilters is paper piecing. Over the years I have avoided it like the plague. But something this past weekend gave me a change of heart, and with minimal guidance, muscled through making a paper pieced "block" for our guild's anniversary quilt that's raffled off in May. 

Thankfully, I really enjoyed the process of figuring it out (on my own mostly) and thrilled with the finished result. It would be great to win it!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a learning curve!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dirty Birds?

Maybe you have heard of "Angry Birds", the addicting phone app that was all the rage the last couple years?  Well, today I went on a walk with the pups, rounded the corner, and almost walked into the "dirty birds" bath, compliments of the snow run off on the concrete sidewalk. Several of the "dirty birds" were going to town splashing around like mad until the dogs got a bit too close and they took off (birds). Is spring just around the corner?


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We Made It!

The "call" went out several weeks ago about needing 37 quilts for 37 single soldiers returning to the USA in a few weeks to Ft Hood, Texas. My great quilt guild delivered on that call with not only 37 quilts, but one extra, for 38 heading down next week. I have been blogging about the progress and this past retreat weekend brought them all together for the "final" count. Kudos to those who made one or more, quilted them, bound them and put labels on them. Thanks to all the Southern Comforters of Bowie, Maryland who contributed to this super team effort. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of giving back to those who gave so much fighting for a better world. 

Photo: (back l-r): Pat Scully, Mary Nielsen, Susan Navarro & Janet McCabe; front: Charlotte K and me with a few quilts

Monday, February 17, 2014


Everyone has their own criteria for fun. Of course, this past my fun included four days of sewing bliss with my quilting buddies. However, all good things come to an end and I am back home and back into reality like the entire retreat was a figment of my imagination. I am thankful that I am still smiling over all the fun being on "sew-fari'!



Photo of breakdown of camp, and "Bandit' hiding in the trunk of my car leaving camp. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Monkey Business

Between working on "serious" quilts, there was a lot of "monkey business" going on this entire day of retreat. By dinner time our monkeys were in various states of completion, but afterwards,  those half done (er, baked?) monkeys took on lives and personalities of their own!  Mine became a "Bandit" and the name stuck. He and I got "arrested" by the quilt police due to too much "monkeying around", but quickly released because "Buffy" posted bail (she's in pink w/bow and green dress).  Funny, my crew was deemed the "misfits", as the "Hear No Evil, See No Evil and Speak No Evil" crew were considered the "cool monkeys" at the end of the day. Way too much fun and giggles all around while we were crafting their personalities. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of some "serious" monkey business!

PS "Misfits" also includes Good Girl Wendy w/ the red hair. 


Friday, February 14, 2014

Going On a Lion Hunt

I am on a retreat Safari (this years theme) with my quilt guild, and the only things we are hunting for are snacks on the communal snack table. Actually, there is a great assortment of sweet, salty and healthy so never fear!  Also lots of monkeys, zebras and tigers throughout the retreat center (the soft and cuddly kind) which sets off the theme creatively. One project I am participating in is making a sock monkey which I've always wanted to try. My photo today shows the monkey in process. We will finish them tomorrow. The other photo is approximately 26 completed soldier quilts. We will have the 37 for the Ft. Hood Company by the end of this weekend. A great effort from this guild and I'm thankful for that!

BSoleille!  The bright side of being on Safari!


Thursday, February 13, 2014


With the state of Maryland practically shut down due to last nights snow storm, we hunkered down in house (some shoveling on my part), and got ready for this weekends quilt retreat which is still ON!  I can't wait to hunker down and sew, sew, sew with hopefully, no more snow, snow, snow. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of seeing a kid (my kid) with a shovel in his hand and clearing the driveway!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It Is What It Is

I guess we just have to wave the white flag when Mother Nature unleashes her white fury (AKA snow), and realize we just cannot stop it no matter what. All the big fanfare of the impending storm is quite crazy, and one has to be prudent and make wise choices in taking this head on (like driving somewhere)!  An ice storm is in a category all by itself, and we do not mess with that one either. This too shall pass and sunny skies are just around the corner. Be safe my blog readers in the Delmarva!



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Super Secret Sauce

How surprised was I when my 19 year old son decided to make an entire dinner for us?  He used all the right utensils/pans in the kitchen plus went out to buy all his "secret ingredients" for the  marinade  that he used for the filet mignon. He ended up marinating the steak all day, plus made red potatoes and Asian noodles. Bon Appetite!  The meal was so delicious and I'm very thankful he took on this entire task with very minimum help from me (i.e.,what temp do the potatoes like). As I cleaned up the mess, I kept thinking, isn't the cook supposed to clean up as well?

BSoleille!  The bright side of KP duty (after a great meal prepared by someone else)!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Where Were You 50 Years Ago Tonight?

The Beatles had their American debut on the Ed Sullivan show 50 years ago today. I was 2.5 years old and I remember my parents making a big deal of watching these young phenoms from Britain that night. I could not understand then, as now, all the screaming girls as they performed. Crazy, but all good, as they revolutionized music in the 60's (and beyond) following closely behind Elvis. 

Tonight CBS had a special on George, Paul, John and Ringo with this golden anniversary!  We sang along with everyone who sang their music 
and, of course, knew all the words as everyone does as well no matter the age. Timeless rock-n-roll!

BSoleille!  The bright side of Paul and Ringo singing two Beatle songs together after a very long hiatus!


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Living With Dogs

It is purely fascinating living with other animals, the non human kind, as in my case, two canines. Can dogs get jealous?  You betcha!  My two goofs would not attempt to get on the bed at night because cutie pie Sophie was already on it and had a "spot". I guess they figured there was no room for them, "pouted" just a little, and settled into their beds on the floor (I heard no complaints on their very comfortable arrangement; hey, they are used to it). Once up in the morning they did give Sophie the "evil eye", and as all three stretched it out, they stood just in the spot Sophie needed to jump off the bed to the floor. She had to wait patiently until I opened the door and my two finally broke rank and walked down the hall ahead of her. It was a good week puppy sitting and Sophie is back with her people!



Photo of Lucy in the "spot"

Casino Royale

This was the theme of this years Special Love Gala held at the lovely Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland. I am very thankful that I was able to go since my good friend Shari Fisher had an extra seat at her table! (She's in the middle of the photo w/ Marilyn Eichner and me). All monies raised tonight benefit Camp Fantastic, a cancer camp for kids held every summer in beautiful Front Royal, Virginia. It was a "fantastic" evening catching up with many people that make this camp so special. A BIG "How-How" goes out to Dave Smith and the board for putting on this terrific event!

BSoleille!  The bright side of "some winnings" at the roulette table and dancing to the best "wedding/all occasion band in DC, Restrospect!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Go Team USA

It is that time again for the Winter Olympics in Socchi. I hope these games stay safe and all athletes compete to the best of their abilities. We tuned in a little this evening as events have already begun in skiing and men's figure skating. It should be an exciting 10 days of great athleticism and fierce competition from many winter sports and I am rooting for the home team!


Photo of another soldier quilt I long-armed quilted that is red, white and blue- Go USA!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Possibilibees +1

Tonight I hosted my bee (Possibilibees),  plus Leslie Sumner who is a member of my guild, and a member of the "Grateful Threads" bee. (Our guild has several bees). She could not stay long but she sure did bond with Sophie, plus did some quilt exchanges with another bee member. Before we did a lick of any type of sewing though, we had homemade soup and bread (thanks, Carrie) and dessert (thanks, Susie). And, I do not like to admit this, one of the best part of the day was a much needed deep cleaning of the house (all those muddy paws)!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a clean house = company!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Inbetween working on soldier quilts and guild show quilts, I snuck in long arm quilting two Georgetown Pediatric Hem/Onc quilts made by Lori Costello. She has beautiful workmanship and two kids are going to be comforted by our combined efforts. Now this is something to be thankful for!

BSoleille! The bright side of a combined effort for a common good. 


Photo of Lori's quilts (Eye Spy on left and Robots - in fabric on right)

Monday, February 3, 2014

"The Bias"

Learning a new technique in anything requires concentration and "stick-to-a-tive-ness". A self taught one, maybe one notch up on the scale. So with pride today, I tell you I learned how to make bias tape (3/8") for stems and leaves for a quilt I am making. I tried making some yesterday with a practice piece that I messed up. I consulted several web sites and blogs to find the one that "spoke" to me best on mastering this odd, but very useful technique, and successfully made 400" of bias tape in great leafy green color. I am thankful I stuck with it; yes, an "old dog can learn new tricks"!

BSoleille!  The bright side of sticking to learning something kind of hard (at least for me).


Photo of today's practice piece. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Puppy Bowl

It seems the Denver Broncos fell short and lost to the Seattle Seahawks in today's Super Bowl, and I was way off on my score prediction. But my puppy bowl (literally) at home was all in good standing and I made a lot headway in my quilting projects. My photo today is the "puppy bowl" AKA chow time before the kick off!

BSoleille!  Sports: The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

So Doggone Cute!

Have you noticed that the Super Bowl is becoming an almost national holiday?  I heard on the radio this week a DJ tell the listeners to "have a great Super Bowl weekend!"  Sometimes the game is actually good and competitive, but most of us watch for the great commercials. However, we do not really have to wait for SB Sunday because the best ones are already being aired. So far my favorite, and a crowd favorite as well, is the puppy and Clydesdale horse Best Buds (Budweiser) one!  

Who's going to win the game?  I predict Denver 41-38 over the Seahawks. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of cute puppies!  My photo is of hubbie and a grown puppy-Sophie. (Our dogs slightly jealous of her cuteness)!