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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hope for a Cleaner Bay

While in Annapolis this afternoon at city dock, I never noticed the city's interesting drain tile plea as shown in one of my photos today. A gentle reminder in helping keep the Chesapeake Bay beautiful and thriving with crabs, oysters and wildlife. It is the largest estuary in the U.S. so we should be cognizant of where we are dumping!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a cleaner Bay!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Tiny Tulips

I was quite startled in passing by these tiny tulips today as they bloomed so close to the ground. I like to think tulips as more regal and statuesque as they stand so proud and tall swaying in the spring breeze. But maybe the cold and harsh winter here in Maryland "stunted" its growth, but certainly not its vibrant color, and I am thankful for that!

BSoleille! The bright side of spring blooming flowers!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Another Race for Holding Keys and Jackets

So "The Best Daughter" and her college friend and soccer teammate, Kelly Abt, race an half marathon this morning called The B&A Trail Run through Severna Park and Annapolis, Maryland! It was Kelly's first half so her "new" PR is 1:41:35, a very respectable time for a "newbie" at this distance!  Sunny and quite cold with a 25 degrees temp at the start. I have got to admit though, their smiles says it all at the finish!

BSoleille!  The bright side of "going the distance"!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Walker, Merlin, Luna and Willow

My son and I are sharing dog sitting duty for four retired racing miniature Italian greyhounds. They are truly something. I am trying to figure out how they onced raced because they are so frail and skittish. Two have no teeth, and their limbs could break in two very easily, and two have very cute dispositions and like when we come around (they probably figured out we come to feed them). They sleep until 3:00 pm every day, and are all under the covers when we come in because they chill and are cold most of the time. They liked it yesterday afternoon when it was sunny and 75 degrees for an hour! 

BSoleille!  The bright side of hanging with four Italian greyhounds for the week!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cancer Documentary Coming Soon

I am thankful to have attended a sneak peek of Ken Burns new documentary: Cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies, a film by Barak Goodman. It is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by the same name by Siddhartha Mukherjee. We have the book, but unfortunately, I have not read it yet. 

The statistics of cancer are very sobering and thought provoking at the same time. Lots of questions for humankind, and not many answers, but there is always hope. Always hope...

The six hour series premieres on WETA (PBS), March 30-31 & April 1st at 9pm. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hippies in Town?

As a child born in the early 60's, I am a few years too young to be considered "hippie material", if you will. However, my photo today indicates there are still some out there, and this restaurant we went to yesterday even has a separate entrance for them, which I thought was quite humorous. (We went through the front with no fanfare)!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Waiting for Spring

I think the whole country is in "waiting for spring" mode, and a quick hiking trip with "The Best Daughter" this morning in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia is no exception. Cloudy skies and cool temps, coupled with grey mountain vistas and no new growth, made way for enjoying the quiet undertones of a glorious burst of spring that must be just around the corner. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of an early morning hike. 


Monday, March 23, 2015

Grocery Store Bound

A road trip to JMU today to take out "The Best Daughter" for her birthday (it was yesterday), could not be complete without a trip to "fill the fridge"/grocery store run. Of course once back to her place and food packed away we picked up her room mate, Kate, and headed to downtown Harrisonburg for dinner at Union Station Bar and Grill. Thankful for a tasty repast and a toast to 23!



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Successful Show

I am basking in the glow of a successful quilt show (I am a poet and don't even know it!). You knew that was coming. I am more thankful for an awesome quilt guild and all the members who stepped up to help make the transition to the new venue a smooth one on all fronts. Our quilts were showcased beautifully, our vendors did well, and the community involvement was great to see, especially the school's National Junior Honor Society who sold snacks both days to our guild and patrons. 

Hope to see many familiar and new faces next year in early March!


Photos from the show: Terri, Wendy, Flo; with Trish (designer of our raffle quilt); and "new" long arm quilter: Don Tomoff!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Power of Collaberation

Day 1 of the Southern Comforters Quilt Show (at its new venue) is in the books and it was great!  I am so thankful for all the guild members who accomplished much more collectively than any one person could ever accomplish, and it is so heartwarming to be a part of this collaborative effort on all aspects of the show. "Many hands make light work" is so very true!

BSoleille! The bright side of a vendor's comment to me that she thought our show was comparable to an art gallery!

Photo of a "utilitarian quilt" I made for my husband, Bill, that is in the show. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Quilt Show 2015

A huge thanks to the set up crew, and for Southern Comforter guild members near and far who came together to get our new venue up and ready for visitors tomorrow and Sunday at Sam Ogle MS in. Bowie, MD. The school looks stunning with the many beautiful quilts and 17 vendors of all sorts (fabric, furniture, jewelry, soaps, candles). Something for everyone!  Please join in on the fun if you are local!

BSoleille!  The bright side of quilt show 2015


Photos of our diligent pole retrievers from the Crofton Storage Unit: Steve and Mary Nielsen, Ryan Tomoff, Mike Flanagan and Andrew Robinson. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

NCAA Basketball Tournament

College hoops this time of year is spectacular, especially the "Round of 64" tournament, with its exciting, fast-paced play,  and a plethora of players that will not quit until the last buzzer sounds!  The pure "madness" of it all makes it all the more compelling for a sports crazed nation.  The "bracket busters", or the 13th seeds beating the 4th seeds, makes it all the more fun, and nerve-racking to those in pools for $$ or just for fun.  I am in the latter group.  I usually pick the underdogs, but "cheated" this year, and selected more high seeds to win their games.  So that is not going to good for me after today's games thus far!  

The big question - will the  darling Kentucky Wildcats run through the tournament flawlessly?  It's never been done since the NCAA expanded the tournament to 64 teams in 1985. That fact alone makes it hard to root against them,  and it would be very cool for them to go 40-0! For the pool,  I excitedly filled out two of the tournament sheets; the first one I picked Kentucky to win it all because I love the "Cinderella" story and the fanfare of it all, and for the second sheet, I picked the "underdog" Duke Devils to take home the trophy.  The next couple weeks will be fun as we circle or cross off winners and losers....may the best team win!

BSoleille!  The bright side of March Madness and all it's glory!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Finishing Touches

I am thankful that all my quilts are finished and ready for display at my guilds quilt show this weekend!  This evening several guild members came over to do some last minute preparation for the hanging tags that go on every item in the show. The excitement is building now, and truly, "many hands make light work." If local; Please consider coming to the show thisweekend at  our new location: Sam Ogle Middle School in Bowie, Maryland. We will be there Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday 11-4!!

My photo today includes Mary Nielsen helping Shelley Jackson sew on the binding of this king size color spectrum quilt (it's in the show!). 


Monday, March 16, 2015

Quilt Show Prep

The Southern Comforters Quilt Show entitled " The Best Little Quilt Show in Maryland" is this weekend, March 21-22, in a NEW VENUE at Sam Ogle Middle School in Bowie, Maryland. It is a much larger space with good natural light, especially for all the beautiful quilts that will be hanging in the show this year!  I am so thankful for the great members of this guild who have dedicated many hours to help move and transition our show to this new location. Of course we go forth thinking: "many hands make light work". If you are local, please consider joining in on the fun, not only seeing the fantastic quilts, and over 15 vendors, but our Featured Quilter, Mary Nielsen!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

March Winds

As the March winds breeze across the land, there is hope for warmer breezes soon to follow. But, for now the winds are so strong it is tipping over garbage cans, and, from my photo today, knocking out any bird nest in its path. The puppy dogs were all over this particular nest for some reason, but on closer inspection, nothing seemed amiss (maybe an errant feather)! Maybe they were impressed by the intricacy of the sticks and grasses to make this nature's art, er wait, that was me!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rock 'n Roll Marathon

Heavy rains poured down this morning when thousands of runners took to the streets of DC for the Rock 'n Roll 5K, half marathon and full marathon, one of them being "The Best Daughter's" friend, Liz Verrecchia! She ran the marathon with a smile (or at least she was smiling the two times we saw her on the course), and happy "The Best Daughter" ran 13.1 miles of it with her. Liz finished in 4:14 and we are so proud of her. Congratulations to Liz and all finishers today!

BSoleille! The bright side of that feeling of crossing that finish line after 26 wet and arduous miles!

Photos: Olivia and Liz; Liz and then her family and ours at the finish 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Springbok Skin

Another one of my favorite souvenirs from South Africa is a Springbok skin bought in Cape Town. They sell them in many places around the country, but that is where I got mine, it's soft and can be vacuumed and stepped on and it won't hurt this thing a bit!  Interesting thing about this is when I got home, my poodle mix, Lucky, walked around this "rug" (and still does), yet Lucy, the husky mix walks right on top of it with no qualms whatsoever!  What are they thinking??

BSoleille!  The bright side of a South African skin. 


Thursday, March 12, 2015


It has been five weeks since the last time I did yoga, and boy did I miss it. It is a good thing, and I am thankful to have "found" it to help stretch very tight muscles I accumulated over 50 years!

BSoleille! The bright side of shavasana!
Photo of a South African sunset 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tiny Nines

I believe I am remiss in posting a "critical" photo of that crazy nine patch I have been working on lately, also known as "Tiny Nines".  Thankfully, the nine-patch block to work with is 2"x2", but will be 1.5"x1.5" finished (and that is quite tiny for sure)!  So to make myself "more crazy", I forged ahead for several days to finish my contribution of Tiny Nines for 2015 for my Possibillibees.  If I counted correctly, it means I made 360 two-inch blocks, but, of course, made some extra, so my total is close to 400 of these crazy tine nines.  I can just about guarantee that this will be the one and only time I make a pieced quilt block this small (and it was done in strips!).  Someday, either later this year, or in the next 18 years, I will finish the entire quilt, comprised of about 1,000 tiny nines and 1,000 of "plain" squares (2"x2" of fabric/not pieced).  It will be a heavy one due to all the threads and seams!

BSoleille!  The bright side of teenie weenie tiny nines.
Photo of one 2"x2" block on a 36" mat to give it scale....


Monday, March 9, 2015

Daylight Savings...A Good Thing?

We think we love that extra hour of sunshine now that we have pushed out clocks ahead one stinking hour, and I love it for sure (and thankful!).  But, it comes at a price, the research says....extreme tiredness.  So far, so good for me, but my son had to take a two hour nap today to "catch up", or so he says.  Who knows what tomorrow brings in the tired department, but I certainly hope that "it"stays at bay!  To "celebrate" the late(er) light, husband Bill and I got out to stroll around the Crofton Parkway for a spell. Now, if we can do something about the lingering ugly black and grey snow piles....


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fingers Crossed on my Blog Posts Going Forward!

As many of you know, my blog has been plagued with terrible spam, and I apologize profusely for that, as it was NEVER my intention for that sort of thing, of course.  So I googled on many occasions on how to remove that nasty spam, and have gone to great lengths in changing passwords and setting changes to no avail.  Today, thankfully, I hope I have made some headway into the whole spam world, as I finally found a forum to ask the question, and received some answers to (hopefully) rid this annoying problem.  So, if a person named "Adam" is reading this blog now, THANK YOU! 

Fingers crossed......

BSoleille!  The bright side of getting answers.....

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Crazy for Nine Patches

Coming into the home stretch year of a three year bee swap, I have worked really hard on finishing teenie tiny 2' blocks, or 1.5" finished blocks for six of the Possibillibees. When my husband commented two times this weekend that those are the tiniest blocks he has ever seen, I pointed to my bag that has a pinned paper tag that says "crazy 9-Patch", which is quite easy to get to I'm afraid. So I am thankful to some much needed breaks throughout the past couple days!


Friday, March 6, 2015

From Snow to Quilts

Our husky mix, Lucy-Loo, spent most of this sunny day outside (very cold temperatures), but once she finally decided to come in (like after six hours), she wanted to snuggle on the sofa on top of a quilt. Her pitch black fur looks good against the snow as well as a red and white quilt, I have to admit. 

Thankful for another snow day to work on quilting projects!


Thursday, March 5, 2015

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday, impending snow storm but nothing to show for, today too much snow and it keeps on coming. The silver lining is to hunker down and sew sew sew!  (And I must admit, I did sneak outside to do a little, very little shoveling)!  I thought we could keep "ahead" of it, but no luck today. 

BSoleille!  Be safe!


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Favorite Souvenir

After visiting with the penguins in Simon's Town, South Africa, we happened upon a little souvenir market with an a Capella group sing their hearts out. We perused  the merchandise, but what was so fun was the bartering of the items at hand.  I originally had several little things in my hands (like key chains), and asked about a large hand carved wooden giraffe, which the booth I was shopping in did not have. Unfortunately, they were quoting exorbitant prices on everything I picked up (of course they did), and except for one keychain, I politely put down everything I had, paid for the keychain, and walked back to the car. 

It so happened that as I was climbing into the back seat, the young man at the market chased me down to buy the much larger giraffe that he "found" just for me. Once again he started in on high prices (way more than I was willing to pay), and I kept saying "no". Then he got down to my "Bingo" number, and for him, thankfully, I bought the giraffe right then for about $10. I guess I made his day!

BSoleille! The bright side of super glue. My giraffe's right ear snapped off on the flight. It's fixed and looks great!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Ice Trees

Snow is one thing (not a fan), but an ice storm is even...worse. (Still not a fan). But the silver lining is how pretty it looks on the trees, and that is it. Still not good on cars or sidewalks!

BSoleille!  The bright side of pretty "ice" on the trees!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reliving a Moment

Ahh, I feel I am finally caught up with all that jet lag, and NOT going to bed at 6:00pm any longer.  So to get me back in the swing of things, I got out for a run with the dogs yesterday, and spent today's "snow day" inside working on all my photos from South Africa (and cleaned up my laptop's desktop!)
I am grateful to have made the trek and squealed in delight with some of the photos I took while there.  Interestingly,  I could not tell how good or bad they were (unless they were really blurry) because the camera has this plastic protective shield on the back of it where photos can be displayed, and there is no telling the clarity of the photos until they are downloaded onto the computer.  So, I carried on and kept snapping away.  I figured a few would turn out great, and it did not disappoint.

So as my life gets back to "normal", and with the quilt show just three weeks away, I am glad to have the photo project somewhat "manageable", so I could eventually work on a photo book of the travels to that great country of South Africa!

I must admit, I took lots of photos of elephants, and I plan on posting many of those intermittently throughout the rest of 2015.  I will try to keep that wild African spirit alive as long as possible!


Photos of Mandela Square in Sandton, South Africa and a cute lion from Madikwe Game Reserve!