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, March 31, 2017

Eagles and Quilting or Quilting and Eagles

It is always a pleasure to retreat in West River, Maryland, especially with my quilting buddies and the beautiful setting right on the water. Although it rained most of the day, it was the perfect day to be inside, all cozy like, running our machines with a million miles of thread! But the highlight of the day, though, was not the finished tops/table runners/other quilted stuff produced (although they are all pretty great too!), no, it was the bald eagle fairly close to our cabin in the woods. Phone cameras could not get close"enough" for a sharp photos, but I am thankful that I had my "baby Nikon" with me and a telephoto lens that got in close "enough" to take a few "good" pics. Aptly named, "Hamilton" by the crew, this majestic eagle was joined by another for a short spell, but when I tried to move in closer to them, they flew from their high perch! But I did get "Hamilton" when "he" was alone, and hope to capture a few more tomorrow....fingers crossed he/they will perch close to our cabin once again.


The "bedraggled" eagle with wet feathers and Susie Stevenson holding one of my finished quilt tops!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

This Girl is Flying Higher

Alicia Keys sings, "This girl is on Fire!", but Misty Cole, fellow quilt guild member and friend, opened her one woman show today on "Flying Solo" and, as the song goes... "This girl is flying higher" for sure! The Flying Solo is on display of Misty's fiber art inspired by the College Park Aviation Museum from today through July 9, 2017. If local, and have never been to the Aviation Museum in Maryland, please swing by and be delighted by, not only Misty's art show, but also some very cool early planes of the last century and beyond that hang in the building. Misty's work and attention to detail of the various planes she depicted captured the spirit of each piece, as in a wing, a propeller, or gas can, from that bygone era of early aviation. Well done, Misty!

But in addition to all her quilts and quilted pieces in the show, I was moved by her intertwining of this art quilt series to her father's pilot's license that he got in 1964; Misty's "interest" in planes with her father taking her and her siblings to various air shows in Louisiana in their youth, then connecting all of this to her two sons today, whose rabid interest in aviation and the aviation museum and all it's offerings is a triple feat!

Click here for more information of this interesting museum: www.collegeparkaviationmuseum.com/


Photos of Misty, her family and with her sister, Lorna

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pretty in Pink

It is Cherry Blossom time and the pink blooms are intoxicatingly beautiful. I am thankful they are actually making a good showing considering all the fluctuations in temperatures, plus snow, rain and ice to complicate their blooming cycles. But I'll take whatever Mother Nature sends on down us as hopeful signs of spring and warmer days ahead! Now that is something to be thankful for!


Monday, March 27, 2017

A New Toy

With so much "excitement" with the quilt show this past weekend, the son's most recent "toy" purchase sat dormant for a spell (mostly due to the wintry weather). However, this firepit purchase seemed like a good idea since we have a large load of wood (from the fallen tree in the yard) to put to good use burning it this spring and summer. I'm looking forward to more "campfires": backyard style!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

The 2017 SoCo Quilt Show is in the Books

Another Southern Comforter Quilt Show is now in the books! A huge bucket of cheer and THANKS to all the members of the guild, the quilts, our Featured Quilter, our wonderful vendors, our families and all our guests who came from near and far to support "The Best little Quilt Show in Maryland!" It's was a huge team effort on many parts that came together beautifully, and I am honored to stand beside so many unbelievably creative and talented ladies plus Frank! Never one to back down from a challenge, our fearless leader (Chair) Carrie Casto, and Co-Chair, Misty Cole, led the way to a superb event in Bowie, MD, and they should be very proud of all their valiant efforts in rallying the troops for the entire weekend!

One aspect of our show is that our guests, plus the members, and our vendors vote on all the quilts/items in the show that our showcased in several different categories. These include the size of quilt, whether or not it was pieced or appliqued or mixed media etc., and/or how many people worked on it (two people, group as in a bee or a swap etc.). To win a ribbon is the icing on top of all the hard work that went into one quilt! I am thrilled to announce we had some new members that won several ribbons today in various categories which included Debbi Carter, Shirley Hodge and Joyce Steier. Nice work ladies!

Every single quilt in any show has a story, and I can tell you that many hours of work went into that particular quilt or sewn item. Inspiration abounds with the colors, creativity and intricacy of each piece displayed, no doubt about it!


Photos from the show!

Friday, March 24, 2017

We are Ready for the Quilt Show

All the stitching is done. All the angst of the layout of the show is done. Most of our vendors are set up to sell so bring on the morning for The Best little Quilt Show in Maryland at Samuel Ogle Middle School, 4111 Chemont Rd, Bowie, MD! Looking forward to a great weekend of sewing and quilting enthusiasts ogling the various quilts in their assigned places!

Photo of Misty Cole (co-chair) and Carrie Casto (chair).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Many Hands Make Light Work

We have all heard that saying, and truly, it's true! So when the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild come together to put on a show, we mean business, and that means all hands are on deck. I am thankful for this dedicated group of women and Frank Rucky who care enough to make it all happen for one weekend a year. At the before-the-show guild meeting last night, Carrie Casto (Chair) had organized various stations around the meeting hall to put the finishing touches on several needed aspects of making the 2017 show the best one yet! Many hands worked together to finish each task seamlessly. Looking forward to the show weekend!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Best Daughter Turns 25

A quarter century old is like the "bingo" number of "arriving", and "The Best Daughter" arrived at that magic number today! If you are older than 25, don't you think that is the number that still sticks with you? I still feel 25, and think this is the birthday that stays with you as you age through the years...!

So how does one who "still tries to think, "feel" like, and "remember" as 25 year old now have a 25 year old offspring? Can it be true? In this case, yes, it's true, and I could not be more proud of the beautiful, kind and compassionate young lady she has become in just a short 25 years. Cheers to a great year ahead!

BSoleille! The bright side of my baby girl turning 25!


Photos: 1) Olivia a week old with her maternal grandparents and with me on a hike in the Valley of Fire in Nevada.

Knives and Gardening Tools

Along with beautiful quilts you get to vote on (this is not a juried show, the public votes, really!), the quilt show this weekend will include vendors, a quilt appraiser, a featured quilter, a food truck, demonstrations and raffle baskets too (like the card says...). But we are also going to have Superb Sharpening for getting those tools ready for spring and summer action.

From the website: Sharpening and reconditioning of scissors, knifes, clipper blades,  grooming, cutlery, podiatry, seamstress and wood working tools

So while you are at the show, local folks can bring their dull and unsharp items like the "garden tools" ready for spring along with that favorite knife sharpened to cut the Easter ham! And of course, a good pair of sharpened scissors is invaluable to hone any craft!

A phone set reminder this weekend will trigger you to actually not forget the items left in the garage or on the dining room table....just saying, ahem, it happened to someone last year....


Monday, March 20, 2017

Butter Butter

Have you tried to buy plain old butter lately? There are so many choices out there that the task is truly daunting, and I'm not kidding. I sent the son to buy a few groceries, and at the last minute, suggested he buy a few sticks of butter while he was out. No problem, right?  Apparently he picked up the few items on the verbal "list" then "stumbled" over at the butter case because there were so many to choose from that he called me to ask which one I wanted. Let me tell you, I was kind of dumbfounded by the question, and answered, "plain butter". He came back with  these choices: "butter with and without salt?"; or "creamed butter with canola/vegetable/more-oil-choices oil?" (salted and no salt); or "Can't Believe It's Butter?", and then he was on a roll with all the other choices staring at him from the case. I suggested he take a photo of what he was looking at, and yes, it's daunting all right! It took him five minutes for him to find the "plain salted butter"!  Whew! But he got the one I wanted, and I'm thankful for that!

Honestly, should it take that long to select plain old butter?


Saturday, March 18, 2017

National Quilting Day

Today is a special day...it's National Quilting Day! So kudos to all my sewing sisters, quilters, and people who love quilts! And because I've been inspired  by so many folks through 30 years of quilting, I am thankfully, energized almost daily in honing my skills and craft and rarely tire of the "fiber arts"! Years ago my husband scratched his head when I went on a quilt retreat and I returned to confirm that, yes, we do spend hours not only sewing and quilting the days away, but talk about it too (from fabrics, to patterns to quilting designs to designing our own quilts - believe me, it all gets discussed...and then some!).

Truly, I am grateful to my tribe of "sisters of the thread" (and Frank) of the Southern Comforters of Bowie, Maryland! In fact, next weekend is our show where many beautiful quilts will be displayed, along with vendors and a whole lot of fun and beauty to be had at Samuel Ogle Middle School, 4111 Chelmont Lane, Bowie, MD.

In true spirit of the day, I am including two quilt tops recently completed; a tshirt quilt for Laura Murphy and another commissioned quilt for a friend's father!

BSoleille! The bright side of National Quilting Day,  and for lots of folks (including me) means "everyday" doing what we love!


Friday, March 17, 2017


Happy St. Paddy's Day 2017!! For a gal that is 100% Polish, it's great to spend one day wearing the green and speaking Gaelic (not really!). Me thinks that would be too hard!

Best green I've got!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Throw Back about 11 Years

With March Madness underway, and already getting beat up in the upsets, I scrolled through some very "old" photos (digital photo of a photo) that brought a big smile across my face. Ryan and Bob Barker from when we went to the Price is Right show in 2006! So fun to be in the audience and see the "lights, camera and action" of a crowd favorite show, and meeting Bob Barker after the taping. He couldn't be nicer to all of us and walked us back stage to the door of his dressing room to take some photos for posterity!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hanging on by a Shard

Winter is definitely hanging on by a shard of glass, or at least that's how it looked yesterday with the "ice storm" rather than a snowstorm as was predicted. Thankfully, it did not last too long, and man, it was loud once the ice started melting and dropping off the leaves, branches and vehicles that it was just stuck to like velcro! As promised, a few photos taken of the "glass" ice!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snow Day Fun

If you have to be "snowbound" and stuck in the house for a day, sewing a thousand miles of thread is not a bad way to go. I am thankful to have Long-Arm quilted three Community Quilts for my quilt guild that needed to get done and to make room in my sewing studio for other "stuff". I did venture outside to capture a few photos of the ice on the branches and brush in the yard because the ice was so darn compelling not to. But I'll post those tomorrow, and include the first quilt I worked on today that will go into the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild's show Silent Auction (made by Jane McKinley).


Monday, March 13, 2017

Stil in Denial

About the "big storm" bearing down on the East Coast! There is a slight dusting of snow as I write this post at 9:48pm., and I hope it won't be that bad, or nothing at all. I guess we'll find out soon enough if all the hullabaloo about snowmageddon is real in the morning. The skies were so blue and full of sunshine most of the day, and it only took two hours for the change-over to grey and "smells like snow" clouds to rumble in....yikes! Can it be? So when I took the Loo-C-Loo for a much needed walk this afternoon and noticed all the daffodils and trees in bloom, I pondered on how can a big storm rustle in and take over these "spring" beginnings of new growth? Snow happens...or not!


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Show Quilt

It is a big relief to have all my show quilts done for the upcoming Southern Comforters Quilt Show in two weeks. The last one, thankfully, I finished today, with binding and sleeve (attached to back for the pole to slip through for hanging). I've been known to sew and complete a quilt up to the last day before the show, so it is a good feeling to be "ahead" of the game! Truly, the photo of "Double Luck" does not do this quilt justice, so please swing by the show to see this one and many more in person! With the lady bugs and four leaf clovers, I could have posted this on St. Patrick's Day, but since it's in red and white, why not today? Every day needs a little luck attached to it I think.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Soccer Spring Season

Maybe the only thing about opening the "spring" season of soccer was the sunshine. Certainly the cold temperatures and wild winter winds weren't it. But it was great to get back out on the pitch once again, taking in all the fresh air and seeing some really great matches today! I am thankful for the good crews I worked with and look forward to many more games this spring, albeit a little warmer...(the layers worn included a 32 degree heat shirt; a cold-weather Under Armor long sleeved shirt, a wool turtleneck sweater; a fleece jacket with down; and a full down jacket; and then my referee jersey on top of all that!). Yes, I looked like the Michelin Man/Woman! And let's not forget the hat and two pairs of gloves, the tights, the shorts on top of the tights, then sweats on top of all that! But when I refereed in the Center, I did remove one down jacket and the sweat pants, in case I got too warm! Whew!


Photos of Ref Mike and me.

Friday, March 10, 2017

SoCo Quilt Show Featured Quilter

The BEST  little Quilt Show in Maryland is in two weeks: March 25th (10am - 5pm) and March 26th (11am - 4pm) at Samuel Ogle Middle School, 4111 Chelmont Lane, Bowie, Maryland. I can tell you there are over 125 quilts and quilted items that will knock your socks off because they are that good, and for a local show, it's one of the best around! Please come by to check it out and be wowed by the many fabric/fiber artists displaying their magnificent work!

One of the highlights at the show is the Featured Quilter, and this year's show includes the beautiful quilts of Jean Dwyer. Jean was born in Ravenna, Ohio, and attended secondary school in Monroe, MI. She went on to college earning degrees in Education, History and English. She began her teaching career at a middle school in East Cleveland, Ohio in the mid-1960's, then moved to Maryland in 1968 where she began teaching in Prince George's County. She taught for 29 years with her last 23 years at Bowie High School.

Never one to sit still, Jean was always on the move either running, biking or hiking and competed in many cycling races, triathlons and road races (running) in her 40's and 50's. She also did many bicycling adventures across Ohio and Maryland through the years, and continues to ride her bicycle any time the weather is "good enough" to get out.

In 1997, Jean caught the quilting bug and has never looked back! She began by watching quilting shows on TV, then ventured out to take local classes at various quilt shops in the area, and joined the Southern Comforters in 2004, and became a very active member right away. Jean enjoys working with many different blocks and patterns and considers herself to be a traditional quilter. She does, however, like to try new block designs, techniques and rulers, rarely making the same quilt twice. Her favorite themes include Patriotic, Civil War, Thirties, Oriental, Wilderness, and Seasonal Quilts. One of her biggest challenges today is designing scrap quilts incorporating remnants from over 200 quilts!

When Jean is not quilting or designing quilts for her dozen nieces and nephews and their children, she also plays classical piano music and practices 3-4x/wk when she is home!  In addition, Jean has also donated many quilts though the last 20 years to Quilts of Valor; Quilt Bingo, Silent Auction and Community Quilts (for Georgetown and Sinai of Baltimore Pediatric Hem/Onc Departments).

Jean has been married for 42 years to her husband, Edward Dwyer!

If local, please swing by to say Hello and enjoy the quilts and the folks who lovingly make them!


Photos of Jean Dwyer

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Downed Tree Branch

When we take leave or go on vacation, we usually come home to the "vacation penalty", right? You know, the work piles (or piled) up while we were having fun and there is a need to "catch" up on all the stuff we left behind for a spell. Thankfully, my guys that were left in charge kept the place quite tidy and ALL the dishes were done and not one in the sink upon my return! That's like scoring a "homerun" in the "while you were out" game! But...there are some things out of their control, like a 20 ft. tree branch that fell from the neighbor's yard and now lying across our back yard from all the wild windy winter weather (say that five times fast!). Since we do not have a chainsaw, or any saw for that matter, getting it cut has got to move to the "top of the batting order" for the cleanup  of this debris. A huge sigh of relief that it did not go down on any house, person or animal!


Photo of big branch...

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Greetings from a Space Cadet

I am thankful to have spent the day exploring the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral with Mary and Steve Nielsen and Susie Stevenson. So much to take in and, of course, the ginormous "artifacts" of space travel in the last 50 years. 

My last visit to this complex was in 1978 while on vacation with my family. Disney was our first destination (with only one, or maybe two, themes park at the time), so a trip to Cape Kennedy was on the agenda. Thinking back, our visit was less than 9 years from Neil Armstrong walking on the moon! So much has changed since that last visit 39 years ago, like the entire NASA shuttle program and the International Space Station; really, a "lifetime" in space innovation. One day is not enough time to explore the entire complex, so I hope to return someday and not take another 39 years to get there!

Two highlights of the day: the first one being the short documentary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the first man/men who walked on the moon (kudos to Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin), and Michael Collins, who had to stay back in the capsule); and second, the meeting of docent Gregory Hale, who asked me if I had a question.... and that opened up an entire conversation of NASA lore. Mr. Hale, now retired, spent 38 years as a quality control engineer that touched every part of 110 out of 135 shuttle missions. He had a "world" of information to tell, and we listened to several of his stories that made our visit so memorable. Interestingly, over 200,000 brilliant folks world-wide worked on the Shuttle program developing new advancements and technologies that has transformed the world over in many ways! 

Remember when the space programs were a "race" to the moon between the the US and the USSR? Well, today, it's the "race" to Mars...maybe on the "Orion" (new rocket ship/spacecraft vs. shuttle format), and there is a lot of work going on to make that dream happen. 

BSoleille! The bright side of NASA and corporate America (think SpaceX) working diligently to reach for the stars...and maybe even Mars...


Please check out the facility when in the area, you will not be disappointed and actually walk out in awe of NASA and what it has accomplished throughout the last 50 years.
Photos from the day

Sunday, March 5, 2017

For the Birds

A beautiful day spent at Blind Pass Beach in Englewood, Fl was met with lots of birds, and no dolphins (I think I saw only one the whole day!) But the birds were great and flying all over the coastline diving into the Gulf for delectable "fish food".  Once back to Marie's house, we met with another Southern Comforter Quilt guild-mate, Jean Reger, who also lives in the neighborhood, and watched the antics of two other rare birds in the "magic pond"; (no alligator presently), a Roseate Spoonbill (with very white and pink plumage) and a large Wood Stork (who walked into Marie's house once too!). The Wild Birds of Florida!

BSoleille! The bright side of the birds...and the shells aren't too bad either....