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!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

31 Days...

It is January 31st, and it has taken me 31 days to decide on a "New Years Resolution", I think that's okay, right?
Now I've thought long and hard about this and it is simply: flexibility! On a personal level I think I pretty much roll with the punches; I like serendipity and being spontaneous for the most part, but it is my extremely tight hamstrings and shoulders that need to be more flexible. My answer: yoga and more yoga, and to eventually do an hour of power yoga. I know it's not for the faint of heart, but I can only barely touch my knees when I bend over (never could touch the floor), and I go to class once a week. 

To enhance the once a week class, I am thankful to have found an online YouTube gal that fits the bill for helping me "touch the floor" flexibility! The practices range from 20 min to over an hour, along with various ranges of ability. 

Check this out if there is some room in your hectic day to be more flexible!

And since this the last day for January sky sunsets, I had to add one more from tonight's brilliant hued display. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sinai Children's Hospital in Baltimore

It was a great pleasure this morning spending time with Dr. Aziza Shad, the Sinai administration, and several Georgetown families also treated by Dr. Shad, by touring her new facility in Baltimore, Maryland. 

This past fall, Dr. Shad was appointed chief of pediatrics at Sinai Hospital. And this beautifully appointed Children's Hospital opened in 2012 with a prime focus on family centered care, which is near and dear to our hearts. 

Our family, along with our larger cancer fighting families, wish nothing but the best for Dr. Shad as she puts her unique stamp of treating not only the diagnosed patient, but the entire family. It will be exciting to see how she will enhance this program to an award winning hospital!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Ahoy, It's a Boy

Ahoy Mateys, this is what the baby shower invitation stated for my cousin's daughter, Jennifer (and husband Keith), who will be adopting a baby boy next month. Due to Jonas (more aptly known as Blizzard 2016), there was no way I could get to Cleveland for the festivities of the pirate themed shower! Aarrgh!!! Thankfully, the power stayed on throughout the week and my brain power to design (and a "small" stash of fabric) catapulted a pirate themed quilt for the "little treasure" they have been waiting for a long time! I hope this quilt will become a "drag along" for the wee buccaneer!

BSoleille! Shiver me Timbers!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

May the Force be With You...Or Not

While out running a few errands today, I happened to be in my local Target. As I passed the toy department, I did a bonifide double take on the Star Wars "toys"!  How would you like one of these in your house? How many kids have them on their "lists"? I think these may scare the bejeebees out of you on a dark night when you least expect it (or forget you actually own one) and run into it. And shame on me, I never got the price on one these big toys, but the cute rolly polly BB-8 is kind of cute!

BSoleille! The bright side of the Force is Awakening right into the comfort of your own home...if you so desire.

One Fish, Two Fish

What is better than cooking one kind of fish? The answer is two! And so I did, salmon and tilapia with hearty chopped and sautéed vegetables. And for the "complainers" that smell baking fish, I think they cancelled each other out, so no fishy smells came out of the kitchen today. Can I be thankful for no complaints? I am. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

14.5 Hours

That is how many hours I listened to the book on tape: "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson (2003). Thankfully, I was able to listen to most of  it while sewing at my dining room table. I hear the book book is just as grand to read, but to have it read out loud is simply a royal treat I have to admit. 

What I loved most about the book was the exquisite detail provided about the 1893 Chicago's World Fair in conjunction with a psychopathic murderer in the White City over 100 years ago. Larson's prose is so good that I felt I was on the midway enjoying the sites, or waiting in line to get on the Ferris wheel; all very exciting. It was a captivating true story about the building of the fair and all that it entailed to pull off on such a grand scale, did I mention this was in 1893?! Amazing truly. 

BSoleille! The bright side of "time travel" through a good book...on tape/CD. 

Photo of Lucy loving this snow and staying out on it for hours!!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Those January Skies

Over the years I have posted in January about January skies, "the best in the business", so to speak. We have had some good ones so far, even great, but since the blizzard, tonight's sunset was just delightful! Deep reds and purples streaking across the sky makes one stand up and take notice. 


Sunday, January 24, 2016

In the Last Box...

While on "blizzard quilt retreat" in my own home, with a full family of four and dog that needs attention, constantly, (especially while I'm sewing), it may not be a "retreat" after all. But, alas, I did get some good time in - especially overturning and overhauling my sewing room looking for one piece of fabric. Of course, that one piece was the very LAST place and box I looked in. Never fear, that red and white polka dot fabric was my go to border for a quilt I finished today and I had just enough by one inch exactly! It was so close I was sweating it out as I sewed on that last border. I measured everything meticulously (even twice) but I still thought I may come up short. It was a quilters "blizzard miracle", friends, and for that I am truly thankful!

BSoleille! The bright side of one inch ahead!

Photo of the Blizzard and Dots quilt that will be in the Southern Comforters Quilt Show coming up this March 12,13 at Samuel Ogle Middle School in Bowie, Maryland. Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Eye on the "Epic Storm"

The "dropping of precipitation" has begun. Blizzard warnings all around us here in the mid Atlantic and beyond, and so far, we are "weathering" it. Our Lucy, the husky, (mix) is loving all this. Not sure how the morning will be, but today she was all about the falling snow!  

Son took Ryan the eye photo of Lucy!

BSoleille! Keep safe out there in the wonderland of winter!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Snowing = Sewing

Serveral years ago at my guild's February quilt retreat, we got "snowed in", literally.  Our saying throughout the weekend (and into the next week, like Wednesday, when we finally got dug out) was, "keep on snowing, keep on sewing"! So as long as we have electricity (fingers crossed), the weekends forecast is all about snowin' and sewin'!  With a stocked fridge to weather this epic approaching storm, it's going to be a "self serve" weekend for the family as mama has a built in home retreat!

BSoleille! The bright side of driving my sewing machine to finish projects!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"Yes, We Have No Bananas!"

The "snow secret" is out and blizzard warnings are swirling around the atmosphere like nobody's business.  I must admit, I do not like to get caught up in the frenzy and drama of a few snow flakes. However, we are being warned by so many channels, including the best one from my nephew, Alex, studying weather at Penn State University! He's been on this storm and sending the entire family updates on the direction of this thing. Very helpful! So, reluctantly of course, I heeded his advice that this is going to be a "spectacular storm", and headed to the local (large family chained) grocery store. It was steady busy, but the usual stocked shelves were skimpy at best. I wanted to cover a family of four "nutritionally" as we weather this supposed epic event, but I was SOL on a few staples, like chicken breasts and chips (just kidding on the chips). 

No problem I thought, I'll swing by one more store for chicken on my way home. No luck there either. Maybe this storm is real considering I couldn't find chicken!! Alas, my son stopped by a store too, and he was the lucky charm to find the chicken! Never fear....and we will hunker down (snow is already flying and it was not supposed to start until Friday!!!)

BSoleille! The bright side of a great weather man!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Chili Today, Colder Tomorrow...

From the looks of things at a local grocery store, "everyone" is making chili due to the green chilies and jalapeños all sold out today. Must be that pesky storm on the horizon that has folks in the mood for comfort food. I should have bought several cans the last time I was in since who knows when they will restock? We all like some "fire" in our chili, and I guess lots of other folks do too!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Peaceful Easy Feeling

My all time favorite band is the Eagles, and the founder, Glen Frey, died today. Those great harmonies are now gone forever "live and in concert". This news reminded me back to when John Lennon died in 1980, as there was that "underground" thinking that the Beatles would perform one more time together which, of course, never happened. I am thankful that two years ago my husband and I went to an Eagles concert which was one of the best concerts we have ever gone to! (If you went to one, you know what I speak).

And cheers for the guys in that band who are in their 60's (they never missed a beat and sounded like they did in the 1970's). Their harmonies rang out and through the rafters, crystal clear, and beautiful in that rock and roll kind of way,  that simply rocked the house! 

BSoleille! The bright side of wearing out two albums (Eagles Greatest Hits and Hotel California)!

Photo of a "peaceful and easy feeling".

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Beautiful Blooms

On this transition day of winter (from mild to bitter cold), that cute amaryllis has really strutted its stuff with blooms that keep on coming. So it can be doom and gloom outside, and some white stuff swirling around, but it cannot damper our spirits while this flower is perched smack dab in the middle of the kitchen island. 


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Guest Blogger About Evernote (Anything, Anywhere, Anytime)

Now in my fifth year of blogging, I never had a "guest" blogger until today. And why not?  I am going to mix it up a bit this year!  I still try to stay up with a lot the technology, but, let's face it, it is  really overwhelming at times.  My husband likes to push me into the halls of technology, (and sometimes I think he is really over the top), and would shout on the rooftops if he could about so many great apps and tools available for everyone's use.  His "big" one now that he is all over is Evernote!  Let me introduce you to Bill Tomoff, and his thoughts on Evernote!

How honored I am to do a guest blog post for Terri and Quilts From the Heart!

In my personal and professional lives, I am always on the quest to identify productivity tools in order to leverage for effectiveness in my day to day life. The goal is to be "touching and feeling" as much as possible which then increases awareness. If you follow me on Twitter @BTomoffCPA you will note a few hashtags for my passion...#EliminateTheFriction and #AwarenessIsLeverage. I Love to help others learn, develop and increase awareness!

In the last 2 years, Evernote has evolved to my favorite tool, so much value to me I have upgraded from the free model to premium for $49.99 per year! PC Magazine gave Evernote an "Excellent" rating and it remains an Editors' Choice productivity tool. Simply described, Evernote is "one workspace" to write, collect, and discuss / collaborate information with others. The incredible efficiency aspect is to think of "anything, anywhere, anytime" which means information you need is truly at your disposal whether in your computer or when you are out and about with your mobile device tablet or smartphone!

To dig into further information on Evernote, @DTomoffCPA and I have collaborated on a Flipboard Magazine titled Evernote Training!

Take a huge step in 2016 and embrace the power of Evernote. Indeed, #EliminateTheFriction...and enjoy having anything, anywhere, at anytime!

PS - Inspiration from Seth Godin today...invest in "The first fifteen minutes" and ultimately pick up thousands of minutes of future leverage!
BSolielle! Cheers for something else to remember things we will forget....elephant brain forever!


Friday, January 15, 2016

Second Chance

Don't you love getting a second chance? At life, at love, at lots of things. So the same is true for furniture and lamps and armoires and a bunch of stuff that may work in your home. Today I visited Second Chance in Baltimore, but did not quite find the item I am looking for, but will continue the seek and find until I truly "find" it. Thrift stores and Goodwills are also in the mix!

Photos of lamps galore and a motorcycle built like a car....

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Duke Visit 2016

The results are in from a whirlwind day of labs and medical tests for my son, Ryan, at Duke University Hospital: GOOD! We are so thankful for these results and our visit with Dr. Prasad, Ryan's PBMT Oncologist. It has been over 11 years since his transplant, and we still cherish everyday the best we can muster. 

As I have mentioned in previous posts, it "takes a village" to help a child and their family through childhood cancer. Thankfully, we have been blessed with many folks far and wide to get us to this point, and a day like today, with a flood of memories and emotions swirling around our hearts and brains, brings it all full circle. A big shout of THANKS to all those who played a part, no matter how big or small a role, it all made a difference!

BSoleille! The bright side of an incredible "village"!


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wing Stop Shuffle

Nothing is going to stop us, really, our son Ryan, from his favorite wing ding joint in Durham, North Carolina. It was the first place he was able to swallow and digest food after his Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant over 11 years ago. When we go for his yearly check up, the Wing Stop is the first stop on our whirlwind day and a half trip down to Duke University Hospital. And even though it seems they move locations every year or so, we sniff them out and find them for the sought after wings!


Monday, January 11, 2016

It's Blooming!

One thing about winter is no flowers in typical blooming fashion. However, the amaryllis never disappoints, and new blooms are at the ready any moment now, much to my delight, and gratefulness, of a beautiful bloom growing fully through the dark and cold days of "Old Man Winter"! Cheers for January flowers! As an aside, I believe this is the third year running now with fresh flowers in the house at all times (New Years resolution) that I honor pretty much the whole year through. They make the days seem just a bit brighter!


Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Winter Flirt

For the mid-Atlantic region, mild weather and mild temperatures have been the bill of fare since the season began. However, today's crazy wind with warm temps, then spouts of rain, and then plunging thermometer readings have the making of winter weather finally making its appearance. The four  photos today we're taken all in about eight minutes, a sight truly to behold as the skies were a changing so rapidly. Mother Nature doing her thing for sure!


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Stair stepper Scores

When my son asked if we could go bowling a few days ago, I could not say no. His community college break is somewhat long, and he was itching to do something fun!

So we went. We rolled that ball down the alley for three games, and my scores got worse with each game (133, 122 and 109). Ryan's, thankfully, improved with each game (50, 74, and 142)!

Of course he tweeted out his best game only and that he beat his Mom, and I am good with that!


Thursday, January 7, 2016

May the Force Be With You

Yep, "Star Wars" the movie. When it first came out, I mentioned going with the family, but all I got were shrugged shoulders and "not really interested". Why beg? So when my friend, Wendy Allen, said she wanted to go, I jumped at the chance to take it in on the big screen. (At least it's better to see all those galaxies they race to and fro on their cool spacecrafts)! Though loud and dark at times, the whole movie was better than I thought and has some surprises (enough to warrant another movie I think)!

Note: we did not see the 3D version. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Posse Loot and Party Kittens

Fun, Friendship and Food are the glue that cements the sisterhood of the Possibillibees! We even throw in quilting and sewing too when the time warrants. Tonight we had our "Christmas", and it is always a special night opening up the clever gifts we each give to each other after a good meal (lasagna and salad) compliments of our hostess, Shelley Jackson! 

But, truthfully, tonight's entertainment was solely from Shelley's three kittens. They were playing in the gift bags, chasing wrapping and ribbon and string, and posing adoringly under the Christmas tree. Too cute!  A big shout of thanks to my posse for all the cool presents received tonight! A quilt mystery book and post it notes; a hand made mug; a hand made bag and needle holder; home made fudge; a padded hanger and a rolled placemat with accoutrements of a napkin and silverware!  Awesome!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Green Onions

I took this photo of these lovely and hearty green onions the other day, and there is really nothing special about them, but they looked so good on the chopping block (before the first cut) that I wanted to share them. And I am thankful that there is no tearing up or crying while slicing them up for a favorite dish!


Monday, January 4, 2016

28 Years in the Making

When my husband and I got married 28+years ago, every time the holidays rolled around the issue of Christmas plates or buying a set of them would invariably come up. We never did until now. Probably 20 years ago I found a set I liked (and probably should have bought), but didn't buy. So during this season I passed by this set many times while grocery shopping at my favorite store and really liked the design. Due to the after Christmas sales, I took the plunge and bought just eight dinner and eight salad plates (that's all they had left), and I am pleased as punch. And, thankfully, I served dinner on them this past Sunday much to my husband's delight (or I'd like to think so!)


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Downton Abbey...The Beginning of the End

Seven "DA" fans gathered tonight at my friends', Karen Todd's, for the opening episode in Season 6, and unfortunately, the last season for this truly wonderful show of the decade! We all loved being delicately transported to a time and place of impeccable manners, beautiful clothing, and stunning scenery. The story lines seem quite believable from that bygone era in 1925 Britain, and this series certainly has gained popularity the world over. Like a good book, I do not want it to end. For fans of the show, let's savor each week until the bitter end!

Photo of two tiara wearing fans; myself and Cappy Phillips. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Sew in Saturday

Five out of seven of my bee, The Possibillibees, came out of the gate on 1/2/16 for a one day quilt retreat at Susie Stevenson's. It felt good to hang out with my quilting buddies and sit behind my machine and sew (worked on the Crazy 9 Patch). Food and fun rounded out the day including an hearty soup Susie made for lunch, perfect for a cold January day. I'm thankful for that. 


Photo of Janet McCabe, Cappy, Susie and Mary Nielsen. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year Sweet 2016

Believe it or not, today starts the fifth year of blogging from quiltsfromtheheart! I plan on blogging most days, but will miss some days from time to time, usually one day a week. So far I have not missed two days in a row, and that's about right for me. 

So here we are, a clean slate to the start off another year of gratitude and thankfulness. What are your plans to be the best you can be in 2016?  For me, I hope to continue honing my quilting skills (the quilt show is on the horizon in March), read more books, travel, stay in touch with family and friends, and as Natalie Cole sang, "be unforgettable too" for my husband and kids. May Ms. Cole rest in peace-she had a voice like an angel. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a brand new year to make a difference, no matter how big or small. Now that is a resolution I/we 
can muster for the next 365 days, yes?


This photo of me was taken 50 
years ago...unforgettable!