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, October 31, 2018

Last Row...Last Seat

I guess someone has to sit in the last seat in the last row, and today that someone was me on a early morning American Airlines flight to Chicago. For $50.20, I thought it was a good deal, and I am sticking to the "good deal" story. Luckily, no connecting flight to contend with so I waited patiently to deplane after 200 others deplaned before me, and thankful for smooth and friendly skies...

Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Nothing beats the hues of fall, with the reds and yellows throwing a spectacular show once again. I never tire of colors of fall, do you?

The only thing following these brilliant colored leaves is when they finally drop...we know colder days will prevail. 



Sunday, October 28, 2018

Dallas Daily x2

The last vestiges of the Dallas Weekend with "The Best Daughter" and sisters was met with some planning and serendipity, with serendipity being a fan favorite. From the Ross Perot Museum, to Sundance Square, to Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant, to the Fort Worth Stockyards, we tackled adventure around every corner. Following the rodeo, our last surprise of the day was walking over to Billy Bob’s (across the way according and to the stockyard announcer), paying the $20 cover and was told by the ticket office that the Eli Young Band (country band) was headed to the stage. What a score for us!

If you’ve been to Billy Bob’s, you know what a huge place it is for country western aficionados and the bands that play there. Apparently, if you play a gig at Billy Bob’s, you’ve made it. Maybe country lore, but it was certainly a fun place, y’all. 

So a big Thank You to "The Best Daughter", Briphi, Kimberly and Annette (and Briphi’s parents, Steve and Karen) for making this a spectacular weekend (and great weather too!). 



Friday, October 26, 2018

Sister Weekend with "The Best Daughter"

Zooming around Dallas on a beautiful fall day is not too shabby. If one has two younger sisters to hang around with in this city is even better. And then, to sweeten the deal, "The Best Daughter" and boyfriend, Briphi, was the icing on the cake to complete a great day, especially, in the foodie options. 

I’m also thankful for the Dallas thrift shops, The Bush Presidential Library at SMU, and Annette’s try at a Tarot Card Reader/Psychic at a place called Dolly Python (kind of creepy). 



Thursday, October 25, 2018

Plane Crackers...Y’All

While on a late morning flight to visit "The Best Daughter" from BWI to Dallas on Southwest Airlines, plain plane crackers were handed out for all passengers. I guess the peanuts and pretzels have gone by the wayside and have been replaced by these "delicious" provisions for hungry travelers far and wide. Good move I’d say. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a yummy cracker. 


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Variety is the Spice of Life

Right? It is a good mantra, no doubt, and that is what Augusta Cole, our quilt guild's guest speaker tonight, mentioned quite a few times while sharing her quilts and stories that go along with each of them. She is a snappy scrappy quilter and doggone proud of it, as well should be by the plethora of beautiful quilts shown to us. Augusta, forever a teacher with a thick southern drawl, was quick witted and pinged around the stage while discussing half-square triangles, four-patch squares, and squares in a square; all for the fun of pursuing her passion of quilting (mostly large quilts)...and, hopefully, ours too.

You can check her out at her website: www.augustacolequilting.com

BSoleille! The bright side of variety is the spice of life....


Photos of Augusta and a few of her quilts.

Guild member Karen Todd with Augusta

Monday, October 22, 2018

October Skies

The January skies typically are quite brilliant and ethereal, but who's not taking a peek and looking up at these crazy awesome October skies?  The hues are strong and seem to be in every color of the rainbow right before the night skies take them over. A quick stab at a Haiku....

Right before the night
Brilliant colors abound
Extinguished too soon


Sunday, October 21, 2018

A Windy Autumn Day in October

I spent today's "blustery" cool day refereeing soccer; you may know the kind (even without the soccer), a coolish morning start, then a bright sunshiny afternoon with big winds of 18-22mph to make things "interesting."  Wearing layers is key to being comfortable (with hat and gloves too!), and I'm afraid that's for any activity  going forward now.

But the best thing about being quite chilly for most of the day, was getting into warm car that was basking in the sun the whole day. It was an "ahh" moment, and not just getting out from all that wind! (It's not too cold yet for the inside of a vehicle to be cold...yet).

My photo is a quilt I finally finished from that June 28th class I took with Lisa Ellis. I named it: "An October Fall Day"...like today!



Saturday, October 20, 2018

Running Our Hearts Out

For Special Love, and the camp programs that help hundreds of kids and their families while battling childhood cancer. When "The Best Daughter" and boyfriend, Briphi, (that’s short for Brian Phillips, and less confusing when talking about Ryan or Brian...), planned on coming to DC for a wedding, "TBD", signed us all up to run the race. 

Thankfully, it was a beautiful fall day on the Crescent Trail in Georgetown, to run our hearts out in either the 5K (me) or 10K (them), and help raise funds for this awesome organization!

BSoleille! The bright side of falling in love...


Photos from the race, and a photo of "TBD" and Briphi 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Sweet Nothings

Awhile back I posted about a heart that coiled just right with the vacuum cord. Totally serendipity, of course. I guess that I was paying "attention", if you will. Yesterday, another heart captured my attention while making "churn dash" blocks with my bee-mates, again, totally serendipity, this time with an errant piece of thread on one of the blocks. 

BSoleille! The bright side of the little sweet nothings...


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

22 Years and Still Counting...

As a milestone poster, I could never forget this day when my son, and our family's lives, changed forever with a childhood cancer diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Right about now 9:16pm, after arriving at Georgetown University Hospital at 4:00pm, Ryan coded because his platelets were crashing and he was failing fast. I have the entire day seared into my memory, but I'd like to take this moment to give a shout out to Ryan and his unbelievable strength in his many battles of fighting his cancer(s). I love the fact his family, our extended family, many friends and neighbors, and, of course, his entire medical team were always there for us, inching us along to restore Ryan's health, and it took years...

That fateful night and the years following, I could not possibly see down that dark "tunnel" to 22 years, but so thankful to report tonight, that we busted through that tunnel to bright light. We are incredibly thankful!

As many of you may know, not too many things were easy then, and that is a definite understatement, but it was the many caring and compassionate people that gave us their time, energy, meals, and prayers that got us here today. We cannot THANK YOU enough (and we try!).

BSoleille! The bright side of a tough young man I am honored to call my son, Ryan!


Olivia and Ryan


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How Many Pairs of Sunglasses Does One "Need?"

In a "weak" moment today, I decided to do some heavy purging and cleaning of a couple of areas in my kitchen. These were two areas where a lot of "stuff" gathers, collects dust, and "never moves," like magazines, crayons, pens, pencils, old mail, and apparently, 20 pairs of sunglasses. I could not believe how many pairs of sunglasses has accumulated in a family of four. How many pairs are actually "needed" to shield our eyes from super sunny skies? I like to wear one pair until they break, which could be anywhere from one to two years, so 20 pairs as back ups seems quite excessive, even for three people living under one roof nowadays, don't you think?



Monday, October 15, 2018

Cornelius Van Diggelen - "Van"

Yesterday's memorial service for Van (age 72) was simple yet fitting for the wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend that he was to so many. The entire Van Diggelen family was gracious to all their guests, and the memories about Van flowed around the room were so articulate and poignant to the man who was one of the best CPA's around! He mentored my husband as an accountant and as a professional finance person, in which Bill absolutely cherished their bond for over 30 years, and this was coupled with their great stock market talks as well. Van certainly helped many businesses and individual clients through 50 years of accounting services; and it was apparent that his quiet demeanor and quirky sense of humor (and the HUGE Cubs/Baseball fan that he was) endeared his clients to eventually become his friend. Can one's life get any better than that?

His wife, Barbara, and sons, Joel and Dale (and their families including three grandsons) were the highlight of Van's life, and Bill and I were grateful to be a part of their Celebration of Life honoring this great man.

Living with my "own" CPA, I know how excited he can get around an office supply store, and loves all things envelopes, paper, paperclips, folders, pens etc. So when Van's family had "party favors" for all, they included the all the above, very clever to honor an accountant, don't you think?


Photos from the Van Diggelen family
Bill and Van going to a Cleveland Browns game in October 1991

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Chi-Town Visit

A weekend visit to Chicago for a memorial service (tomorrow) for C. Van Diggelin, one of my husband’s mentors for over 25 years, also enabled us to visit "old" Crofton friends, Deanna and Jim Gage. We are grateful for our friendships and the four of us picked up where we left off from our last visit. Leisurely meals coupled with long talks and catching up with our children and our lives has been the highlight. 

I will say the 29 degree morning was quite chilly, but once the frost burned off, the guys headed to kayak on the Fox River and the girls went to hike a trail, shop and dine in St. Charles and Geneva, Illinois. 

Dinner at an Italian trattoria called Za Za’s rounded out a glorious day!



Thursday, October 11, 2018

"Super Bobs" Bobbins and Great Customer Service!

Hey, I know, another post about quilting...but it's not really. It's a post about great customer service involving quilting items, like Super Bobs from Superior Threads www.superiorthreads.com. When I returned home from my summer trips in late August, a lot of work was staring at me in the face, like Long-Arm quilting and T-shirt quilts, and I needed to get back to it all right quick.

For Long-Arming, I really like the pre-wound bobbins that come all colors; though I tend to use brights and neutrals, and these bobbins "go the distance" instead of winding the bobbins myself (don't get as much thread on them). As my supply was dwindling down (and fast),  I went out to the Superior Threads website to re-order the bobbins I needed. However, every time I checked their website for the brights and neutrals (over the course of a few weeks), the items always stated: currently out of stock. Hmmm....

In the meantime Superior Threads ran a great sale on many items, including the bobbin thread of which I continued to be very interested in. So, to "solve" the dilemma, a phone call was necessary to see what was happening at headquarters. Thankfully, a kind woman named Trish answered the phone on the first ring, and I explained my circumstances as stated above. She was determined to seek out the issue of "currently out of stock" bobbins, and to get back to me ASAP. She did not get back to me that day (they are located on the West Coast), but she took my phone number and told me she would call me with an answer soon.

A few days later, guess who called back? Yes, Trish called me back and reported that there were issues from the manufacturer on certain colors, but asked me if I'd be willing to swap out some colors for different colors, and I practically screamed, "yes." When Trish added that Superior Threads would honor the sale for me since I tried to order during their sale, they turned me into a customer for life. Just like their bobbins, Superior Threads, and their employee, Trish, certainly "go the distance!"

I love sharing the good in people and companies when warranted, and great customer service is definitely something everyone can identify with. I am back to quilting on with my Super Bobs.

BSoleille! The bright side of great customer service!


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Math in Quilts with Kathy Lincoln

Most people don't know (or realize) that quilters do a lot of math when constructing a quilt. I tend to think I mostly do algebraic equations in getting the numbers straight for how many squares, rectangles, etc. to cut when constructing one block, and then "need" for the math to cut enough (correctly) for 20 blocks. The silver lining is that we sew in straight lines (thanks, Cappy!).

So when our guest speaker tonight at our guild's meeting, Kathy Lincoln, gave us a lecture on "poor patterns that are in many books and magazines today," she also gave us "tools" for pattern problem solving. Sometimes it all boils down that if you purchase enough fabric for whatever quilt is to be made, the "extra" more than makes up for all the boo-boo's that are bound to happen, even if there are poor math instructions from the various patterns.

According to Kathy's website: kathylincoln.com she has a special passion for simplifying techniques. Kathy believes in reducing fabric waste and speeding up the process, as time is the most precious commodity for everyone. We learned tonight that she is always looking for new ways to do things and improve techniques. Most notable, Kathy especially enjoys helping others learn and share her love of quilt making. She is a prolific teacher, lecturer and quilter, and very versed with the Bernina brand of sewing machines. Her work has been in shows and publications all over the country, and she teaches classes as the biggest shows in the United States (Houston, Paducah, Vermont, Mid-Atlantic). She is one busy lady on the quilting and lecturing scene and was a great teacher tonight as well.

Lastly, any tricks and tips by sewists and quilters, like Kathy, who learned to sew at nine years old by one of her grandmothers, and willing to pass on her knowledge to the rest of us, is simply gracious and fantastic in my book! Bravo, Kathy!



Photos of Kathy and some of her beautiful quilts...with blocks that came together more easily due to Kathy’s math corrections. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Foggy Fields 

The changing seasons sometimes brings in different kinds of weather, including fog, which makes everything look quite eerie. This past weekend, while refereeing a soccer tournament in Columbia, Maryland, we were met with "intense fog" upon arrival at 7:30am, and it lingered most of the morning. Thankfully, brightly colored uniforms helped all the players passing the ball to their teammates, and a good time was had by all, eeriely looking fields or not. I was thankful it never rained...only misted for a spell in one of the earlier games. 


Monday, October 8, 2018

Have You Ever Met a Wine You Didn’t Like?

My husband, Bill, has a HUGE man crush on Gary Vaynerchuck and convinced me,  thankfully, by taking me to a wonderful wine tasting event and business seminar at The Manor, in West Orange, New Jersey, this evening. Not only did we sample wines from around the world (around 700 bottles), we also went to a "private" Q&A with the man himself which was spectacular (and sampled 5 wines)!

Gary Vee, as he is commonly known, was fantastic as he bounced around the room answering questions from the 50 or so people in attendance for this special occasion. He truly is a social media genius and has an empire of social media mania called VaynerMedia.

I was very impressed with how kind he was in answering the many questions posed to him, plus the photos and selfies after the session ended. His gift for business and his intrinsic knowledge on what is relevant for today catapults him on a different playing field than most in the social media business.

He built his knowledge from his family’s winelibrary business which has parlayed him to another stratosphere with his thousands (millions) of followers. This guy is on to something...big (and has a dream to one day own the New York Jets).

If that isn't enough, Gary has written several books, has a social media empire, and, of course, has a great handle on wine, but ultimately, he is an everyday "Joe."  This, I believe, endears him to the masses of people around the world who believe in him and, in turn, he believes everyone can do and  build a better widget! If you haven’t heard of him yet, that’s okay. But take a few moments to check him out; he’s got a way with grabbing the here and now and running away with it! Maybe you can too!?