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, March 30, 2016

A Return to the Hive

The first quilting bee I was in included my friend, Mary Lopes, whom I ran into at a local quilt shop a few days ago. Since Mary does not drive, we made arrangements for me to visit her as she had a book to lend me, and for me to see her quilting projects of late. Interestingly, for 10+ years our bi-monthly meetings were held at Mary's (in another house in Bowie,MD) since she did not drive, but today it was like old home days even though we were in her "new" home.  We picked up where we left off and updated each other on our lives, plus what we are currently working on sewing wise. We also played with her three dogs, especially her new puppy Mia, and who can resist a cute puppy? I am thankful for the get together and I know she was too!

BSoleille! The bright side of a two bee reunion and a cute puppy!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bingo Quilt

I started out making my husband two quilts (I should say finish them), because both quilts were started in the year or before 2010. He actually got to select just one, but the one he selected, he wanted to make sure I put the soft fleece (minky) back on it. Of course I made that happen. But the one remaining, "Blue Hawaii", was also finished and hung in the SoCo Quilt Show a couple weeks ago. It has a soft cotton backing, and will be donated to our Quilt Bingo which will be held later this fall (date to be determined-usually October). 

BSoleille! The bright side of a finished quilt not "due" until October!


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter 2016

Renewel...rebirth. A risen Lord. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

And the Winner Is....

Ron Berg, Jr. (son of guild member, Carol Berg) who won the 2016 Southern Comforters Raffle Quilt! He was very excited (as well as his wife) and told the guild last week that he really loved the design and was so thrilled when his mom called him after the drawing. We are happy that he won too! It only takes one ticket purchased to win...

BSoleille! The bright side of winning a quilt!


Photo of the winning Bergs!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Reluctant to Cut

For the longest time, I could not bring myself to cut into my stash of hand dyed fabrics (some dyed myself). I have no good reasons. Recently, I purchased some Cherrywood Hand Dyed fabrics, which are the cream of the crop in the world of hand dyed fabric (must be at $18/yard). I've owned these new hand dyed fabrics exactly one week, and took the plunge in slicing them up into 4" squares today! I have a plan and a method to my madness (a colorful quilt), but also sliced into my stash that I have kept intact for close to 8-10 years that were combined with the "good stuff". Thankfully, the cutting into that "held onto for too long fabric" was not bad as I thought!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

To the Moon...

I recently read about former astronauts and how they felt about our world from looking at it from afar...as in out of space! Interestingly, they all "agreed" that ugly human behaviors (i.e., hatred, racism, pestilence, you get the story) seem to melt away and that in the infinity of space, "not much matters" on that "speck" of blue so far away in the distance - our earth! Can you imagine? The closest the "regular Joe/Josie" gets to "out of space" is maybe flying on an airplane at 40,000 ft., and that the thrill of flying, (maybe going to a foreign land, or even a visit home to loved ones) makes us realize how small we are compared to the earth, and then the infinite universe.

I certainly wish this attitude of how these former astronauts felt would transfer to those undesirable minds who commit to acts of terror and destruction of ruining lives, communities and nations around our precious earth. This senseless and deplorable thinking and action must be stopped. As a world, we must believe that good wins over evil, as Belgium has so eloquently displayed today in the wake of the atrocities yesterday. Thoughts and prayers to the many families who lost loved ones....


Photo of the March 2016 Full Moon

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

There's a Birthday in the House! Yippeee!

And this special day belongs to one of my own, "The Best Daughter", AKA, Olivia! She is 24 years old and a smart, kind, fun-loving, adventure seeking young lady that is a joy to hang out with! So Happy Birthday, Olivia, and have a fantastic year pursuing your dreams!

Terri (or Love, Mom for today!)

Photo was taken on this day in 1997 (five years old).

Monday, March 21, 2016

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

That is unless they are in your "spot", then we have to "squeeze" into it. After spending most of her days outside, even on bitter cold ones, it baffles me/us that she wants to snuggle up at night (not a complaint)! With this spring being a "three dog night" AKA: cold, her warmth is mostly welcome (as long as she sleeps vertical instead of horizontal). 


Photo of Lucy in my spot!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Savuti "Souvenir"

Considering that we "only" saw about 12 vehicles while on our mobile safari in Botswana, we thankfully, saw plenty of what we came for: wild animals! Over 120,000 elephants, giraffes, impalas, lions, leopards, cape buffalo, hippos, zebras and many many birds (and many more animals) are "hanging around" Savuti and the Chobe National Park. But as much as the animals garnered most of our attention, I would be remiss if I did not mention the flora and fauna of Africa! And most notably, the baobab trees. They are the "super" trees of Madagascar, Africa and Australia, and there were many in Botswana that we thought were just fantastic!

These trees can grow to be super large and live over 1200 years if not for droughts, black fungus, water logging, lightning and elephants. They are deciduous and their bat-pollinated flowers bloom at night. They also store large volumes of water in their trunks, and that is why elephants and elands and other animals chew the bark during dry seasons. The large trunk (one recorded being 47m wide) has housed a jail, a post office and bush pubs! Not including all the animals and birds that find their homes in and around this stately tree! Sometimes the way the branches grow, they look like they should be in a Dr. Suess book (or maybe those are the trees he illustrated in his books?).

Our guide, Master, had us view this tree from a long distance, and then closer, and it was something else for sure when we were right next to it! While we parked and near the tree, we noticed a large amount of wet bark on the ground. Master then picked up some long fibers of bark to tell us about the bark and it's many purposes (including medicinal and the use of rope building). It was fascinating, and I really liked that the baobab rope is one of the strongest fibers on earth. While he was "braiding" the rope, I asked him if I could have it as my "Savuti Souvenir". These are the best kind of souvenirs, as they are not sold in any shop, but native to the area!

A simple bracelet, but a treasured piece of Botswana Bark of a baobab tree!


Photos of Helen Gruneisen and I near the tree, Masters hands as he braided the rope, and the bracelet.

The baobab’s biggest enemies are drought, water logging, lightning, elephants and black fungus. - See more at: http://africageographic.com/blog/9-fascinating-baobab-tree-facts/#sthash.c09AL6Tq.dpuf

Friday, March 18, 2016

Lancaster PA Quilt Show

Four quilting buddies got on the road very early this morning to road trip to Lancaster, PA. Tis the season of quilt shows, and with such a large fun show not that far away (less than two hour drive) we wanted to go and check it all out. Truly some very fine and amazing quilts were "studied" and photographed, and inspiration abounded around every pipe and drape for our next project or quilt. A big shout out to Wendy Allen for driving and Susie Stevenson and Misty Cole for stimulating "car talk" there and back-quilty and non quilty topics!

BSoleille! The bright side of going to a big quilt show and being a guest!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Washington Capitals on St. Patrick's Day

So the "dilemma" today was the wearing of red (Washington Capitals) or green for St. Patrick's Day. I decided to split my wardrobe and wore a green top to run in, then switched to a red/white/blue striped sweater (after my shower) to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly renovated Georgetown Peds Hem/Onc Clinic. Three Caps players were on hand to usher in a new era of the clinic. Ryan and I were very impressed with the design and layout of the space! It was especially exciting that the Caps clinched a spot in the playoffs, and talk of hoisting the Cup was discussed throughout the afternoon! A big shout of thanks to the Washington Capitals and the Monumental Sports Foundation in supporting the "new" clinic (most work done on the weekends). And, thanks to players: Braden Holtby (goalie), Karl Ahzner, and Nick Backstrom for coming out to support this community!

Go Caps! Caps! Caps!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Just "Sew" Bee

January 2016 ushered in a new year, of course, but also a new day time bee for a beehive of five. Today I hosted it and the time flew while we all worked on projects. For me I completed three fat quarter tote bags I started, but did not finish (on purpose) for my demonstration at the quilt show last weekend. Hopefully, I will be ahead in the gift giving department come November!

BSoleille! The bright side of a "finished" project. 

Photo of Just Sew Bee: Susie Stevenson; Deb Hoppy; Mary Nielsen and Carrie Casto. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Candidate Crazy Talk

The more this 2016 campaign gets underway, the more I seem to pull away. Do we really "need" a president? Or will it upset the checks and balances of power?  Maybe no one should vote at all, then what would happen? I recently refereed a U18 girls soccer game and the winning team did not have a coach. They self coached. I was impressed by their self governance. So can we apply that same principle and self govern over the next four years? I know, crazy talk, just like the candidates vying for the title of President! But crazier things have happened...and, by the way, each state does have a governor to get us by the hump!

BSoleille! The bright side of self government!

Photo of the Zambezi River in Zambia 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Wonderful Weekend at the Quilt Show!

The 2016 Southern Comforters Quilt Show is now a memory, but a great one at that! A big shout of thanks to all the vendors, the featured quilter Trisha Rader, our guild members and show chairs, Carrie Casto and Misty Cole for facilitating a great show and community event! There is a lot of work behind the scenes, and these gals, plus many more "guildies" logged lots of hours to host this event.

 I'm so thankful for all efforts to make "The Best little Quilt Show" the best one yet! 

BSoleille! The bright side of winning two ribbons: a blue (first) and red (second)! The horse ribbon quilt entitled "She's a Winner" got another blue one and Dot. Com got the red! I am a happy quilter!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Lovely Wedding Day

In between quilt show duties, I was able to "sneak" out to attend the wedding of Kimberly Frank and Akeem Hebron. Kim is the daughter of our Crofton friends, Carl and Michelle, and we met when their #2 daughter, Kirsten, played soccer with our daughter, Olivia. A great All American  family and we were thankful to celebrate the joyous nuptials of a newly minted bride and groom! 


Photos of the happy couple, Phoenix moms of Betsy, Michelle and me (with Pheen daughter Lyndse on the left) and the beautiful bride Kim!

Friday, March 11, 2016

It's Show Time!

A big shout of thanks to the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild and all our vendors in setting up the 2016 show! Sam Ogle Middle School has never looked so good! Our fearless leader, Carrie Casto, implemented additional tools and ideas to make "The best little quilt show in Maryland" the best one yet!

The "Wow" quilts are hung and we are hoping for a big crowd to enjoy (and hopefully) appreciate all the work involved in making a quilt and making a show come alive for one weekend a year! Looking forward to seeing many familiar faces in the crowd!


Photos of 1) Carrie Casto 2) Trisha Rader 3) Carol Berg

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Iced Tea Weather

Freshly brewed iced tea is the best, and with a slice of lemon, it is delicious. And as the mercury rises, my thirst for this delectable beverage increases dramatically. Lipton makes a "cold brew" tea bag which sufficiently satisfies my hankering, but I think the freshly brewed can't be beat! While touring around South Africa, Botswana and Zambia, where the temperatures hover between 85-95 degrees most days, one would think they would have this drink everywhere, as this is a no brainer (especially how hot it is there and most places serve hot teas and coffees to boot!) Why no iced tea I kept wondering? As the trip progressed, I asked all dining establishments for freshly brewed iced tea and not one restaurant/deli/B&B had it! The best they could do came out of a can...a disappointment, but thankfully, not insurmountable when I decided to switch to a cold Savannah instead!

BSoleille! The bright side of a large glass of unsweetened iced tea (with lemon!)


Learning to Hunt

Due to the quilt show this coming weekend, and doing a lot of work "behind the scenes" for the show, my African photos have been put on a temporary hold.  I will hopefully post some of the "good" ones soon, along with some stories and observations about the trip. However, I could not wait, and started to peek at some of them and wanted to post this cute one of a lioness learning to hunt.  Females are mainly the hunters of the pride, while males only hunt when a big kill is involved. Interestingly, they learn to hunt by picking up sticks and run and play with them for quite a long time before they tire out and drop them. So it was really cool that we came upon a pride of females (and some young males too) playing along the Chobe River in Botswana. They surely know how to "kick up the dirt", but in this case, sand!

BSoleille! The bright side of a female pride pride!

"Fly Me to The Moon"

Our guild meeting tonight was threefold: quilt show talk with this weekend's show starting Saturday; guest speaker, Suzanne Miller Jones, and our featured quilter, Trish Radar's trunk show of her very beautiful and sweet quilts!

Suzanne's project of "Fly Me to The Moon" encompassed her receiving 179 quilts from quilters all over the world and their interpretation of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon walk. She gave us a six minute rendition of several quilts that she will be presenting in Houston,Texas, later this year. They were all so good and interesting, especially on how each artist devised and developed their design using approximately a 20"x30" size limit. 

Following Suzanne, Featured Quilter Trish Radar gave us a glimpse of her beautiful quilts that will be displayed this weekend at our annual Southern Comforters Quilt Show at Sam Ogle Middle School this coming Saturday and Sunday (March 12,13) in Bowie, Maryland. 

According to this years chair, Carrie Casto, the quilts entered are "stunning" and should not be missed if you are local!

Photo of Amalia Morusiewicz and Suzanne with their "Moon" quilts, and Trish Radar with two of her favorites 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Biscuit Laundering

No, I am not in any underground biscuit ring, it is just that I was unaware of an entire plastic barrel of biscuits falling into the washing machine and never realizing it until the cycle was complete and the lid was opened. I faintly remember hearing "extra loud" noises from the machine, but chalked it up to "heavy towels". I am thankful that the machine came out all right and the barrel did not cause any damage (except to itself being batted around the drum), and the biscuits remained dry and well received when offered to Lucy-Loo!


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Farewell Downton Abbey...

Wow, what a television show that tearfully (for me, at least) ended a few moments ago. Both sides of the pond became captivated with this major historical British drama series following the effervescent Crawley family and their servants in the family's Georgian house. I found the character development compelling, but thoroughly enjoyed the painstakingly attention to detail on the costumes (especially Lady Mary), the elegant table settings, the architecture and art, and all things that made it such an awesome series. Six seasons does not seem enough, but all good things must come to an end, and that end was tonight (in the USA); but I am not ready for it to end! I believe I will watch this particular series starting from the first episode very soon. If you have never tuned in, I highly recommend it and will find it on your local PBS station.

BSoleielle! The bright side of one of the best series on television taking their final bow tonight, but the characters will stay in our hearts forever!

Image result for downton abbey

Saturday, March 5, 2016

All Quilts Done for Upcoming Show

While auditioning fabrics for this last quilt's binding (to finish before next week's quilt show) I turned around for a few seconds and look who found a comfy place to lie down. And the front of the quilt is not where the comfort factor is located, it's the very soft "minky" backing that rocks this quilt!

If local, please come to the Southern Comforters Quilt Show next weekend: March 12,13 at Samuel Ogle Middle School in Bowie, MD. 

Lots of vendors, BEAUTIFUL QUILTS, BBQ food truck and a scissors sharperner (so bring dull scissors and knives and clippers to be sharperned). 


Friday, March 4, 2016

In Case You Were Wondering

A bit silly this post, but did you ever wonder how long a small tube of toothpaste that the dentist gives away after an appointment will last? I can tell you, two weeks exactly, providing two good brushings a day (even using water from a water bottle/not using tap water). So that boils down to 28 uses on those small travel size tubes, 29 would be pushing it....just in case you were wondering. 


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Love at First Sight?

Or is this more aptly a Zen moment? Or possibly a "communing" between two species? Photog extraordinaire, HpGruneisen, captured this photo of me and a young male at our first camp in Kwai/Mororemi in Botswana. At most, 10 yards separated us plus a shallow river, but my heart was fluttering at this beauty standing before me just doing his thing. A special moment in time for sure! After a few minutes this young lad headed back into the bush behind him, and I had to pinch myself knowing we were "this close" out in the wild together. 


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Super Tree: Baobab

So instead of Super Tuesday, I thought a "Super Tree" would be a good post for today. These funny looking trees (Dr. Seuss-like) like warm sandy climates and grow in many parts of Southern Africa and Australia. They are very distinctive and have many uses in various eco systems; from their leaves and bark to their huge trunks (one tree is a post office)! Elephants like the sweet succulent flowers and could knock a small one down in no time (it's a wonder when they grow very large since they were not "attacked" by any elephants). 

BSoleille! The bright and big side of a Boabab Tree!
Photos: Tree from a little distance, w/ Helen Gruneisen, and a view of the large trunk!

Leap Day 2016; Turtle Style

Besides all the Oscar buzz today, the next thing is the leap year talk.  There are so many things to usher in another leap year, but I am going to post a photo of a turtle that saunters around, not leap, but can move when they want, especially if there is a predator around.  I like this turtle with it's cool looking "house" or shell, and it seems very cozy in it on the plains of Africa.  Our guide, Master, spotted it while out on a drive.  He spotted a lot of things we would have never noticed, so I am thankful he pointed out the smaller animals that we were just as interested in as the large game (although they blend in so well too!)

BSoleille!  The bright side of leap year 2016....