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!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Playoffs in the Pros

It seems to me that in the NHL or NBA, their first 82 games are more or less a warm up to the post season. When tuning in to the games now, the players are skating a bit faster or rebounding the ball unlike they do during a regular season game. It is actually fun to watch and the rest of the family enjoys tuning in as well. Thankfully, the Washington Wizards are in the second round of playoffs for the first time in nine years!  Go Team!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

All The Pretty Tulips

The rose is one of my favorite flowers, but the tulip is a very close second. So when my neighbor told me last fall she planted over 200 bulbs I was very excited to see the "fruits of her labor".  Fast forward to the last week and her tulips are in full bloom and all their glory. Beauty. Years ago I planted a bunch of tulip bulbs as well, but the squirrels and moles ate them all and today I do not have any tulips whatsoever. I hope my neighbor's flowers fair better then mine so  I can enjoy these proud blooms!

BSoleille!  The bright side of April Showers bringing in April Flowers!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Run DC Run

As in the Nike Women's half marathon held this morning at 7am sharp!  "The Best Daughter" and several of her former soccer club team mates (Pheen) all ran and finished this well-organized race with 15,000 strong and confident women! (OK, we did see a couple guys running too). The cool attraction was the Tiffany necklace given to each finisher that is really quite impressive. Brilliant sunshine and perfect temperatures really helped the cause for all the racers. I want to sign up tomorrow for next years race!

BSoleille!  The bright side of knowing all the training runs do pay off, as these young ladies accomplished today!

Olivia with the "Tiffany Blue Box"

Kristen Schmidbauer, Katie Gitlin, O, Rachel McKee and Nicole Clark

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pediatric Reception

Tonight Dr. Aziza Shad and her Hem/Onc Pediatric Advisory Board (I am a member) hosted a Thank You Reception for the donors, sponsors, foundations and in-kind donations (think quilts to every newly diagnosed pediatric patient). Everyone is on the same page in helping the kids (plus siblings and parents) get through difficult times when a child is diagnosed with cancer; no task/donation/gesture is too small or too large as mentioned by Dr. Shad in her remarks. I am also thankful that three members of the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild joined me in attending this wonderful reception, as their work in quilts brings joy to the many kids and families we "serve". Amen

BSoleille!  The bright side of Thank You!


Photo 1:  Mary Kay Kerr, Dr. Shad, Mary Nielsen, me, Susan Navarro

Photo 2:Donna Shank, me, Dr. Shad, Allison, Marilyn Eichner, Patty Lubin and Carmen Cheng

Friday, April 25, 2014

If The Shoe Fits

My quilt guilds' block of the month persons decided on an "extra" block for the month of April which happened to be a shoe. Any "type" of shoe I asked? They said, "yes", so I made a red cowboy boot for my "shoe" block. Unfortunately, only three of us participated, but the other "shoes" were really cool too! Check out my photos. 



Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Beautiful Day For Baseball

My Ryan, a batboy of the Bowie Baysox, started his fourth year working for this organization (farm team for the Baltimore Orioles) this season. Today was a day game (with lots of school kids from all over Maryland), and I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to go as well. Although the home team lost (9-5) to the Erie Seawolves, there was a grand slam home run by Erie on a fast pitch!  This, by far, is a great moment in sports to see no matter who is playing. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a grand slam "touch 'em all"!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Contemporary Quilt Artist

My guilds' program tonight hosted contemporary quilt artist Diane Rusin Doran. Her computer generated images and color design are outstanding, coupled with very heavily machine quilting makes her quilts simply exquisite!  She also incorporates techniques that go beyond the traditional (I like this), but her very precise machine quilting appealed to me the most!  Impressively, her work has garnered many awards in digital imagery and innovative gatagories in quilt shows throughout the nation. Diane' passion about her work made her a delightful speaker and a force to be reckoned with in the world of art quilts. 


BSoleillle!  The bright side of contemporary quilting!


Photo of Diane and one of her award winning quilts: "Return of the Grackle" 2010

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

University of Maryland Visit

My son Ryan and I were invited to speak on behalf of Special Love Camps (for kids with cancer) to a public  policy/philanthropy class on UMD College Park campus. CEO Dave Smith was also there, along with one other camp family. The class is in the process of selecting and grant writing for a worthy cause and Special Love is in the mix!  Ryan did another stellar job of explaining all the high points the various camps SL offers to kids with cancer, and hopefully, swaying the group toward "investing" in this wonderful organization. From the question and answer "session" it seems like the students are ready to get on board with this one!  

BSoleille!  The bright side of "How How"!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

I hope everyone had a nice Easter!  I am very thankful to all my blog readers whenever you get the chance to tune into  quiltsfromtheheart!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Go West "Young" Woman

My road trip continued West with a quick breakfast stop in Amherst, Ohio, with Linda Misencik, and then continued Westbound to Slyvania (Toledo suburb),Ohio for a wedding shower. The bride to be is Carmen Smith (her Mom Jodie is my friend from college). With all the crazy weather we have had and crazy world events of late, it was refreshing to see a "blushing" bride filled with excitement and gratitude of the day!  Now that is something to be thankful for!

BSoleille!  The bright side of new and shiny kitchen stuff. 

Photos of Jodie and daughters Carmen and Anne; and the BG contingent of me, Jodie and Laura Murphy

Friday, April 18, 2014

Cleveland Museum of Art

An early afternoon visit to this world renowned museum was just the ticket for today. Moving quickly I was able to see most of the galleries enjoying all the classics (paintings and sculptures) plus some special exhibits. I especially liked the silks and tapestries and included a photo from Turkey in today's post!


Busted Loose....Again

I am thankful to have "busted" out again with my Mom, this time to the local Walmart. We actually "shopped" for a couple hours in the brightly lit store perusing the many isles of various merchandise. The Easter candy isles (a few) were the biggest hit with my Mom. And, of course, we purchased her favorite loot so she could head back to the nursing home all set with chocolate bunnies, candy eggs and a chocolate Hershey bar!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a brightly lit store!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

To The Ends of The Earth....for Baseball

Road trip to Cleveland, Ohio today. First stop-Michael's Bakery in my old neighborhood. Second stop, Elyria, Ohio to see my nephew Nathan's baseball game. He is a senior in high school so I wanted to see a game before he graduates next month. Although sunny and bright, it was chilly and windy. However it did not deter the Bears of North Royalton who gave a strong showing the second half of the game to come out on top: 11-4! And the best second basemen doing everything and anything to make a play is Nate Kocan!

BSoleille!  The bright side of high school sports!

Photos of Nate and the "chill" sisters (me and Kimberly)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yep Still Quilting

It has been awhile since I posted about any quilty things, but believe me my sewing machines have been hard at work. Tonight I just finished a tshirt quilt top that really turned out very cute. I incorporated lots of clothing elements (like footsie pj's), and other onesies, that I used to frame other shirts. But the one element that really shows off this quilt so nicely is the Lightning McQueen fabric used in the outer borders. I did not think I car could be so stinking cute!

BSoleille!  The bright side of Mattie's quilt. 


Monday, April 14, 2014

A Mowed Lawn

We recently had our yard cleaned up by a professional outfit (plus gutters) that spruced up the place and welcomed spring, at least I hope so. But the grass had yet to be cut, and today my in-house grass cutter finally decided today would be great day to get that first mow of the season out of the way. It may be May before that second cut is in the books if the weather does not cooperate; but we all know we cannot control that!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Nutrition Counts

The family and I attended a Pediatric Advisory Board sponsored event at Georgetown University Hospital with Nutritionist Danielle Cook, who wrote the book, "Happily Hungry".  She is very good at explaining how our bodies work and the importance of good nutrition with or without a cancer diagnosis. Some of the ingredients she used to make the salad dressing in her demo I've heard about but do not have in my pantry. The next time I go shopping I plan to get some of the products she used to really make that veggie salad "sing"!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Great Compliment

Soccer Referreeing was the top order of business today with 5 games in about 6 and 1/2 hours in glorious sunshine and around 75 degrees. They were typical rec games encompassing boys (and girls on boys' teams) age groups from U7 through U14's. Everyone was pleasant; from the coaches (who ultimately set the tone), to the parents and then down to the players.

 But what I'm thankful most from today is a comment I received from one of the players as we were walking off the field after a game. He looked up at me and asked me if I will be referreeing all their games. When I delicately said, "probably not, but it is certainly possible I may be back", he responded that "he hopes I come back because he thought I did a nice job"!  He was probably 10 or 11, and I do not think his team even won the game but I felt his comment was sincere (I'm sticking with this), and it made my day!!!

BSoleille! The bright side of "out of the mouth of babes"!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Bao Bao at the National Zoo

The impetus for today's trip to the National Zoo began when Mai Xiang had a baby panda several months ago, named Bao Bao, and the "furry" began with panda-monium (and I could not wait to get down there)!  So, with a great forecast predicted, my friend Wendy Allen and I headed out with our cameras, lighter weight clothing, and laser focus on getting to see that baby panda!  Upon arrival we headed straight up to the Panda Pen and were delighted with Baby Bao Bao's "antics" right from the start.  At first he was just hanging out, quite literally, in a tree, and never got down as long as we were there (over an hour).  He was moving around a bit, but then fell asleep (we were told he sleeps for 20 hours/day).  So, to see "some action" was terrific for those who came to see him today.  We then continued to "watch him sleep",  which, let's face it, not too exciting, so we decided to walk around the Panda House.  Once inside, we got through to the "scientific cameras" where we noticed that Bao Bao's Mom headed out to the "yard".  We quickly followed her outside.

At this point I was practically jumping out of my skin because she really gave the crowd a great show and plenty of photo ops by walking around, eating a lot of bamboo, "doing her business", and then waddled back into the "house".  This probably took about an half hour total, and the cuteness factor never wore off!  Our cameras were working overtime to try and "capture" the moment(s).  It was definitely worth the price of admission (free, but parking is a flat $22).  For me, this was extremely exciting to see!

We then ventured on to other animals throughout the zoo, but everything paled in comparison to the cute pandas.

And finally, since we were already in DC, why not just go home though the District and see the Cherry Blossoms to round out the day?  It was a drive by, since traffic was quite thick, and parking is at a premium, but beautiful nonetheless.

BSoleille!  The bright side of being thankful for a glorious day well spent!

Photos:  wittled down to several favorites taken today, and since I did not post yesterday, I hope you "bear" with me.....

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Every Dog Has Its Day

And that dog is Lucky!  Since the winter was so cold, and this spring is on the cooler, rainy side, I decided to keep Lucky's coat a little longer than usual before the spring shave. But I do believe we are on to something now, and that is warmer temps, so the shears came out of hibernation to clean him up. The first photo is "Mop Topped Lucky", the second photo is "Lucky the Lion", and the third photo is just right. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a good pooch hair cut!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014


A few (maybe a couple) years ago one of my daughter's friend's, Katie, came over to the house with a huge bag of black felt, fiberfill and purple cotton fabric. She wanted me to make her three pillows with "K", "O", and "A" initials on them using the purple. That project got buried until today when I furiously worked on the three pillows requested and a "bonus" pillow. You see, Katie left a torn up sweatshirt in the bottom of the huge bag she had the supplies in. I was not sure what it was for, but I thought I could cut up the sweatshirt a little more and make another pillow. When I met for a Mom's "Pheen" dinner tonight, her Mom, Pat, and Angie were loving the sweatshirt pillow more than the lettered ones!  Who knew that pillow was the hit of the night?

BSoleille!  The bright side of what Angie described as a "genius" move on the pillow front. 


Monday, April 7, 2014

NCAA Colllege Hoop Championship 2014

Before the tip off, I am picking the frosh Kentucky team to win over UConn 72-70, with a last basket win by one of the Harrison twins from Kentucky.  The family is doing a $5 bet for the winner!  I hope I win!!!  Go Wildcats!!!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a fast paced, albeit defensive, college hoop championship game.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Banquet

I am so thankful that "The Best Daughter" has been a part of a wonderful soccer program for the past four years at James Madison University.  Despite her injuries which limited, and eventually stopped her playing the game, the coaches embraced her and encouraged her to help in other team capacities which she has done with grace and humility. As a parent, I could not be more proud of her and the JMU Women's Soccer Team. Today was the team/parent/coaches banquet, and the last one we will attend as this is Olivia's senior year. Gosh, the past four years have flown by......

Go Dukes!!!

Photos of the senior Lady Dukes and their CAA Conference Championship ring from the 2013 season. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

West River to JMU

Wild day with waking up to sew at West River for a few hours, then pack up to head to James Madison Universry for my daughter's senior banquet tomorrow. Loved going to the last game of spring season JMU Women's Soccer (won 2-0 over GW) and dinner with the senior parents and coaches to finish out their four years!!!  



Photo of Weat River, MD and the mountains in the background in Harrisonburg, VA

Friday, April 4, 2014

Eat, Laugh, Sew

I am thankful to be on another quilt retreat, this time with the "Possibillibees" at West River Retreat Center. I just plain ran out of "time" yesterday posting a blog because I wanted to finish all the projects I was working on. Of course that would never happen but it was a good try. 

Most of today I spent working and FINISHING a Downton Abbey tote bag. Two weeks ago at our quilt show I bought a "kit" including the new line of Downton Abbey fabric and decided today would be great to tackle the directions (thanks Janet) and take it to the finish completed. My photos include the half bag this afternoon and the completed tote at 11:09 pm. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a "finish"!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Another Sign of Spring

A sure sign of spring is all the roofers I see around the neighborhoods, either repairing or doing a complete tear downs. I captured this photo of some roofers  at a house nearby working hard! Spring?


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

12 Years Ago

Twelve years ago today my Dad died of heart disease in Cleveland, Ohio. All day I thought about him and selfishly pondered on "what he missed". This, of course, included the normal family stuff like graduations, college soccer games, baseball and hockey games, and various parties and weddings, but also world events like 9/11, Katrina and since he was a veteran, the war in Afganistan and Iraq. He never carried a cell phone and come to think of it, probably never tapped on a computer (certainly never a laptop) either and that's no joke! These years have certainly flown by. 


Photo is of my Dad, Johnny, at the Peterson Classic Bowling Tournament in Chicago, Il. He loved bowling!!!