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, October 30, 2015

Shoreline Seafood

Although Maryland is known for their crabs, Ohio friends Mark and Lil Linda Misencik wanted the "Old Fashion New England Clam Bake" with two lobsters, oysters, clams, shrimp and all the fixins' from their favorite East Coast carry out. I must admit that it was all good, and I especially like the Maryland crab soup, but ate a little of everything in the platter. Interestingly, the menu states this dinner is for two hungry mates, but realistically, it fed four mates with plenty of food to spare in leftovers. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a red lobster!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Myriad of Color

Autumn season joyous colors abound everywhere. It is a cacophony of reds, yellows, oranges and deep burgundy that set off the trees and shrubs for endless feasting on the eyes. It is intoxicatingly beautiful and to appreciate it is all is the best. I took this photo just a couple of days ago. All colors of the autumn rainbow on center stage, and the brilliant blue sky certainly sets it off nicely. 

BSoleille! The bright side of the hues of fall!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Scrap Fabric"

In quilter's parlance, when life gives you scraps, make quilts. So when my friend, Trish, gave me 1.5 yards of "scraps", or more aptly, unwanted fabric from her stash, I made two tote bags. One for each of us; our 2Bee bags!

BSoleille! The bright side of making two totes with fun fabric!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

No Foolin' Poison Ivy

While running and walking the dog, I could not help notice all the "colorful" poison ivy hanging around just about everywhere. I cannot say it's "pretty", but it does have a pleasant yellow hue nowadays. It will still wreak havoc on your body with its oil (urushoil), but I learned today that the plant I try to rid of in my backyard all summer long, is actually a plant that feeds wildlife in many parts of the world. Many deer and songbirds eat the seeds of the flowers, hence the many plants growing along fences! I am not a fan, but glad to know it does provide a service to something, and I love the melodies of songbirds!


Monday, October 26, 2015

A New "Toy"

About two weeks ago, after much research on sergers (a heavy duty type machine that makes a finished edge on a garment or seam), I finally purchased one. And just like when I got my Handi-Quilter Long Arm machine, initially I just "visited" it, and looked at it, of course wanted to try it, but really became terrified of turning it on and quilting with it (knowing full well it was the best thing for me to get along my quilting journey). But I slowly got the hang of it and now it is plain easy. I hope the same goes for this new piece of equipment. Funny thing too, when it first arrived I sat the box on the table. Two days later I opened up the box and set it up, looking at it and organizing all the doodads that comes with the machine. But I never turned it on until today. I pretty much sewed all day with it, making mistakes, taking out the mistakes and learning how to operate this new toy much to my delight!

BSoleille! The bright side of a new learning curve!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

It is Hard to be "Perfect"

A perfect football record of 7-0 for JMU prompted ESPN's College Game Day to descend on the campus this weekend for its weekly Saturday show. The predictions were in for JMU to beat the stalwart squad of the Richmond Spiders, but in the end, they could not do it. Final score: 59-49. But excitement and electricity surrounding yesterday's Game Day was terrific, and it was fun to be a part of the large crowds of football fans. A sea of purple was prominent wherever you went or when the cameras rolled!

BSoleille! The bright side of College Game Day. 


Friday, October 23, 2015

ESPN Game Day at JMU

Big Ten football is all the rage, and I get that, but mid major programs like James Madison University whose record is 7-0, and has beaten bigger name schools (SMU in Dallas, by the way), has gotten the attention of College Game Day this weekend! The campus is crazy and we are headed to the "big game" against Richmond. An all day tailgating party begins at 6am!!! Actual game time: 3:30pm. Go Dukes!!!

BSoleille! The bright side of a spectacle of tailgates, JMU style, with posters made and all the fixings packed. 

Photo of the Bluestones on campus before the frenzy....

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Magazine Pile

This post is a footnote to the post of social media frenzy. I need to be honest with myself and realize I probably will not read all these magazines in the piles and will have to recycle them at some point. I do have good intentions to read them all, but really? I am kidding myself. I have quilts to do....


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Red Brick House Sisters

I grew up in a red brick house in Cleveland, Ohio. It was easy to identify because it was the only red brick one on the street (and maybe the entire neighborhood for that matter). I do not have a photo of the house handy as I blog today, but I do have a photo from 1972 of the three sisters that grew up in it. I think it is really neat to manipulate photos from years past with photo editing apps. The possibilities are truly endless. 


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Social Media Frenzy

I think "a world gone social" has certainly affected me and the love of reading books. Genuine hardback or soft cover, doesn't matter, I loved them all. I am so behind on what I want to read it is not funny, and that doesn't even count the one or two magazines I receive each month. I am behind on those too. So what is keeping me from all the above?: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Trivia Crack, Words with Friends, Pacman, Pinterest, Netfix, Ted Talks and Blogs of all sorts. I love the technology and what it can do (especially all the photo editing apps), but I feel the need to start and finish a book soon. I do not think I am alone here in this thinking?!

BSoleille! The bright side of so many choices of how to spend our "leisure" time. 


Photo of the Drakensburg Mountains using the Tiny Planet app. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Crescent Moon

The air is crisp, and the skies quickly turn to dark blue ink, but a super white crescent moon in the night sky cannot be  missed. It looked like you could reach up touch it!  Now that would be wild!


Sunday, October 18, 2015

It's All About Shouting Out: B-I-N-G-O

Twenty-one plus people got to shout that out today (I was not one of them), at the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild's 9th Annual Quilt Bingo. The beautiful quilts were highly coveted prizes by such a talented group of people from the guild, and we were thankful to host over 160 people who came from near and far to try and win a prized quilt! Lots of ooh's and ahh's as each quilt was displayed for the 21games played. A big shout of thanks to all that made and contributed quilts and other prizes, and of course, the folks who came to support our guild; we could not have done it without you! Next year will be our 10th year, so be on the look out for spectacular quilts for this event!

BSoleille! The bright side of that thrilling sound of shouting BINGO (provided you have it on the card!)


Saturday, October 17, 2015

19 years....

I am thankful for two healthy kids, one a cancer survivor and 19 years since day of original diagnosis! When people ask me about that day, all the events come rushing back to me in a heartbeat and the feelings from that time bubble up rather quickly as well. Cheers to my hero, Ryan! We are so thankful to string together 19 years since that fateful day, (although many days were not so pretty), but we ultimately survived. And that, my friends, is truly something to be thankful for!


Ryan today. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cameron Diamond Donation Quilt

Over the last several years I have donated a custom made tshirt quilt to various organizations and foundations I believe are making a difference. So this past summer a family who bid and "won" a tshirt quilt from kidsquiltz.com, dropped off their Cameron Diamond novice swim meet tshirts to me for their "custom" quilt. They only were able to provide nine shirts, but the use of larger sashings and borders extended the finished size for a decent sized quilt. I am thankful to have dropped it off yesterday to the family who were thrilled to receive it (surprise Christmas gift to their daughter!). 

BSoleille!  The bright side of giving back!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Autumn in Full Swing

As someone who absolutely loves summer, I am finally on board with autumn and all its beauty. The crisp nights and warm afternoons, the turning of the leaves in all their glorious colors, the Halloween decorations of pumpkins and goblins, what is not to like? And one of my favorites; wearing a warm wool sweater on a cool evening. I hope we all find this autumnal beauty beyond reproach. 


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

BG vs. WVU

A "winning" combo of schools is the completed collegiate tshirt quilt for my friends Laura Murphy and her husband Mark. Laura is a fellow alumna of Bowling Green State University, and obviously, Mark is alumni from West Virginia University. Hopefully they will enjoy the memories they had competing at their respective schools "back in the day", but now will share cold nights (or, at least a nap) snuggling underneath it. 


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Instead of a Restaurant...

Restaurants are great for all kinds of meals and relaxation with family and friends when the mood strikes or for a special occasion. No fuss, no clean up, just pay the bill when done. However, if going to a restaurant is not doable, how about a good food truck lunch or dinner?  Check out the row of food trucks near Franklin Square in Washington DC. So many great choices to choose from, so maybe a sample or a small serving from a couple of them. Either way, a repast to keep the "grumblings" at bay!


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pillow "Fight"

Our Lucy-Loo pup sleeps like us, resting her head just so on the pillow. Interesting thing though, we have to fight her for the space, but thankful there are more sofas with pillows so we all have the chance to nap if we need it! (She seems to "need" it much more than we do). 


Friday, October 9, 2015

Pumpkins For Sale

Did you know that there is a pumpkin shortage in 2015? Apparently, the state of Illinois produces the most pumpkins, and that due to heavy rainfall this past June, they lost a large percentage of their crop. I guess there will be just enough for Halloween festivities, but there may not be enough through Thanksgiving and Christmas for pumpkin pie fans. So last winter, when our pumpkins were no longer decorations, I threw them out in the back part of the yard. One of them germinated and yielded exactly one pumpkin that I just picked off the vine. 

BSoleille! The bright side of one cute home grown pumpkin!


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Is Our World Spinning Faster?

It seems like our world is not only spinning faster, but sometimes out of control with so many crazy things going on all over the place. Maybe the stars are not aligned just right, which is causing so much strife, or simply the good news is not filtrating down to the street level. Instantaneous info all the time is really exhausting to keep up with and it is not slowing down. However, on the nature side of things, it takes a certain amount of time and chlorophyl to start the leaves turning their brilliant hues or a summer season to grow corn and tomatoes. I am happy and thankful for that "slow" process when other events seem out of whack. 

Photo of the first tree I have seen in our area in turning colors. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A View from the Field

There is nothing that compares to a beautiful fall day that involves a soccer ball and two teams to play. I am thankful for this view of the field on my game last night that I helped referee. And the new turf field was very new and plush that it was a dream to run on for 80 minutes of play. 


Monday, October 5, 2015

Lori's Quilt #2

In a previous post I promised to blog about Lori's Quilt #1 that I machine quilted for her family. I forgot to take a photo of it, but relieved that bee-mate Susie Stevenson did. She recently and sent me his photo of the finished product. I certainly hope the Costello family will enjoy and use this quilt for years to come!


A shout of thanks to Susie!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Dog Makes the Game

You have probably seen a Border Collie get into a crouch position, and "walk" deliberately to herd cattle, kids or sheep, so while refereeing a U18 Girls game this morning, the cutest black and white Border Collie "chased" the game ball around the entire perimeter of the fence including the players. The crowd of parents cheered when the ball was kicked over the fence and this dog gracefully darted toward it to "retrieve" it, albeit with two punctured marks on a couple of balls. I finally started asking players if this dog belonged to one of them, and sure enough, it belonged to the away team's forward (this dog was also eyeing her and following her every move on the field). I never saw anything like it, and unfortunately, did not take a photo of him either. I am not sure if the parents from both teams cheered more for this cute dog than they did for their daughters (though no player seemed to mind!)


Photo of Lucy Loo near a fence (close as I could get to something like I saw this morning). 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fall Decor

With adult children, the question is whether or not to decorate the house like from years past. Same stuff really,  and since everyone's home right now, I took the plunge this afternoon for 15 minutes and "decorated" with fall and Halloween items. And because of the dramatic change in weather the past two days, it looks just about right with the autumnal hues hanging around the house. 

BSoleille! The bright side of Jack-o-Lanterns (they stay lit until November and become the homes night lights).


Friday, October 2, 2015

Weird Shoe Morning

While getting dressed this morning, and switching around my shoes and sandals getting ready for fall, I pulled out a pair of clogs that "changed colors". No other shoes, sandals or boots were dusty like this pair and I have no idea how they could have gotten that way. A little clean up was all they needed to get back into the rotation!  Crazy color change too!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

There is More Good in the World

It is "Rocktober", and it has started with a storm and the proverbial "bang" out in Oregon. Sad news on the 45th shooting this year with 10 students dead and many others injured. When is the madness going to cease?  I find this all so profoundly sad, but then realize there is way more good happening each and every minute around the globe; it is just what the media feels like it has to cover for "today's story"!  And the unpredictability of Hurricane Joaquin has got the better part of the East Coast on edge, so what a way to begin October. I made a pot of comfort food - chili.