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!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Flamenco Beach

It’s the bomb! No, really, the area was used for bombing/target practice for the armed forces during WW11, and there are still some "inactive" explosives around the island of Culebra. That tidbit of information did not stop us from going to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and having a stellar day enjoying the sand and turquoise waters of the Northwest side of the island. 

We are thankful for warm water in the Caribbean that was comparable to swimming in a pool in July back home. 



Friday, March 29, 2019


If you have visited here, you know how awesome this little Island off the East Coast of Puerto Rico really is. If you’ve never been, I think I’ll recommend it based on what we’ve seen so far, and the "crowd pleasers" we will try to see in the next few days. 

One highlight was the 30 minute flight over here on 9 person airplane (minivans are larger by far). The wheels stay down the entire way and we probably traveled around 50 MPH - even going wide of a rainstorm near the El Yunque rain forest. 

First and only beach today was Malone near the downtown/ferry area and thankful for the warm turquoise Caribbean water! Funny thing, hardly anyone there and it was so easy to float on your back for some reason. 



Thursday, March 28, 2019

Quilts Delivered to San Jorge Children’s Hospital in Puerto Rico!

A huge shout of Thanks to the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild who graciously stitched and sewed and lovingly quilted 32 quilts (shown at our show this past weekend) that we (Laura Murphy my travel companion) took today to the San Jorge Children’s Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

Another shout of Thanks to Tracy Councill, Art Therapist, and head of Tracy’s Kids, for connecting me to Urania Dominguez, the only Art Therapist on Puerto Rico and who also is a certified Child Life Specialist splitting her talents all over this Hospital. The 10 or so children we met, along with their parents, were very delighted to have received one of our quilts and hearing the story behind our efforts. 

The quilts certainly brightened up the rooms, as they do no matter where a kid battles childhood cancer in this crazy world. 

I/we were thankful for this opportunity to meet the families and children in the throes of their battle on the pediatric oncology unit. 

Below are some of the kids we met! Or shall I say, "heroes!"



Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Life with No Dogs Means Life with Outdoor Pet(s)...This Spring - Birds

Last summer when our last beloved dog Loo-C died in July, it did not take very long for "other" types of pets...or pests, to move into the backyard. A large hornet or wasp nest was built rather quickly, and thankfully, was at the back of the yard, away from windows and doors to cause any havoc.

Most recently, we have a "group" of starlings building, what I think, is a rather large nest in an area under our roof that lost some siding in a storm last year (we are getting a new roof soon, and that exposed area will be filled in). The birds are loud, and quite industrious as they build their nest using insulation, twigs, decrepit leaves and debris from around our yard and beyond. We are not sure if they have flown the coop today because there was no activity of building or squawking. I actually found other birds perched on the gutter, perhaps contemplating it if they should check out the nest right beneath them (it did not happen while I was watching it all play out).

It really is quite fascinating on how the circle of life can be viewed right outside our windows, but frankly, I'd rather not see them building their nest under an exposed roofline.



Sunday, March 24, 2019

It's a Wrap for The Best Little Quilt Show in Maryland...

Approximately 550 people came to the Southern Comforters Quilt show this past weekend, and from what I gleaned from the crowd, were enthralled and amazed at the quilts and work involved in pulling off, "The Best little Quilt Show in Maryland!

But besides the beautiful quilts, the Maryland Quilt Challenge, Vendor Hop (Wendy Allen's idea) and great vendors, do you know what makes a great show like this dazzle? If you guessed a committed group of volunteers, and not only our guild members, but members of the memberships' family and friends and a local church's youth group, all working steadfastly together, you would be correct! The Quilt Show Team comprised of Wendy Allen and Susie Stevenson (they are rock stars...diamonds, really) and I spent "hours" behind the scenes to tweak and make some changes and try to improve on what already has been a great local show, much to the members and public's delight. A big shout of THANKS to all who made it to the show and helped with any part of the show including set-up or take-down in any way. Appreciation has been oozing out of us all weekend long!

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing many friends and neighbors at the show (Thank you!), but I was just as pleased to witness the other members of the guild who had their friends, family and neighbors there as well in support of all our artistic efforts. Guests expressed to many of us how impressive they thought the workmanship was in each quilt (about 130+) quilts in total), and thankful they attended our show!

Lastly, I am so honored to be recognized by the public with winning four ribbons; two third place for "Lori and Me" and "Sewfari Bee and Me"; one second place for "Converging Ideas" with Barbara Dahlberg and one first place for "Choppy Seas" in Group Quilts. If you missed the show this year, set your calendar of our show in 2020...sometime in March!

It's not time to rest up and cook a home-cooked meal...and clean the house....or not!



A smattering of photos from the show; first one with the Quilt Show Team of Terri, Susie and Wendy (our blonde hair make us fearless!)

Sewfari Bee and Me

 Choppy Seas with hubby Bill

Lori and Me

Elfrieda Harris

Jane McKinley, Wendy Allen, Marion Wise and her daughter, Karen

Deb Hoppe and Robin Stinchcomb

Saturday, March 23, 2019

#CelebratingOthers with the Southern Comforters Quilt Show 2019

There are a lot of community events in many towns and cities across the land, but I have to admit, for a local quilt show, nothing can beat the hometown gals that throw a mighty fine quilt show in Bowie, Maryland. Many of you may know, that March is Women's History Month, and with that, history is in the making with the display of 119 beautiful quilts and a plethora of accoutrements (vendors, raffle quilt, raffle baskets, featured quilter, and a vendor hop) that goes right along with this fabulous show.

New this year is the Maryland Challenge using unconventional materials that was judged last night. At 87 years young, Flo Marion's "quilt" entitled: "Is This Our Future?" won first prize. She used plastic bottles, toys, cardboard, beads, snaps, wire and paper and a few other "non cotton" materials to make this stellar inaugural quilt that certainly impressed our judge, Russ Little of https://russlittlefiberartist.com/. A huge shout of Thanks to Russ for your expertise in judging our first ever Maryland Quilt Challenge (17 quilts entered).

The boundless energy of our entire guild is consistently displayed every year. This show does not happen without many giving volunteers.  We have the grit and know how to build the apparatus to hang our quilts, and then, truly transform a basic middle school into a complete art gallery with gift shops (vendors) and free demonstrations to educate the those interested in the nuances in the fiber arts.

If local, please consider coming out to support our guild tomorrow from 11am to 4pm at Samuel Ogle Middle School, 4111 Chelmont Lane, Bowie, Maryland 20715. We have more FREE demos and a whole host more!

Also please check us out at: http://southerncomforters.org/ and "like" us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SouthernComfortersQuiltGuild/

BSoleille! See you at the Show!


A few photos from set up (Friday night) to our first show day (today/Saturday).

Thursday, March 21, 2019


I think today is the first full official day of Spring, ushered in sometime yesterday. Here in the mid-Atlantic, Spring started off "rough" with a very rainy day. Not a huge fan of this type of weather, but if it brings sunny days soon with lots of flowers and leaves on the trees, I'm all in once again.

My photo today is of the big trees in the backyard that look somewhat lonely without their leaves. However, the silver lining is it's easy to see the birds bounding from one branch to another while belting out a lovely birdie tune.



Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Last Minute Preparations for Quilt Show 2019

We are in the final days before the Southern Comforters Quilt Show this weekend. It's like having a baby and getting the house cleaned and the suitcase packed for the hospital, except we are getting our quilts quilted (and putting on the final touches if they are not already done...), ribbons adjusted and hang-tags prepped for the show. There is no turning back now!

Luckily, Wendy Allen, Susie Stevenson and I had some help this evening with the last of the preparations before we all descend on Samuel Ogle Middle School this Friday to set it all up! A shout of thanks to Jane McKinley and Rosa Walls in making "many hands make light work."

BSoleille! The bright side of the Roy Orbison's song: "Pretty Ribbons"...with Blue being a crowd favorite.


Monday, March 18, 2019

Tip Toeing Through the Tulips or TTTTT

I simply cannot wait for the tulips to start blooming in the Mid-Atlantic (Maryland), so I cheated and bought some beautiful tulips at the grocery store recently. The squirrels have eaten though all the bulbs I planted years ago, and I never replanted (and boy, they looked good for a few years too). These pink tulips were tightly closed upon purchase, and I wondered if they'd open up at some point. Well, they did, plus have such a nice coloring to them I couldn't resist taking a photo or two or three.

BSoleille! The bright side of terrific tulips and TTTTT.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Pretty Sky on St. Paddy's Day

Sometimes it's the little things...like an awesome evening sky in March on St. Paddy's Day. It goes with the Irish sayings like:

Keep Calm and Dance with the Leprechauns 


Over that cotton candy sky is a pot 'o gold!

BSoleille! My photo is unleashed and unedited...


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Here Comes the Bride...Gitty Git AKA Katie Gitlin

It's one thing for an adult to "get older", right?  But when our kids gets "older" and go on to college, move out of the family home, or get married...whoa! That age thing catches up with us very quickly, no matter if we "feel" 25!

So when "The Best Daughter's" Pheen teammate got engaged to be married (she/they are in the age group of "everyone" getting married - 25-30 age bracket) I was honored to be invited to Katie's bridal shower that was held today. This lovely bride-to-be was an epitome of happiness, along with her closest friends, Mom Patty, Oma and Aunt Peggy.

And just like any blushing bride-to-be, Katie was showered with beautiful gifts (she could probably serve a mean Thanksgiving feast for 20 but learn to cook first!), and thankful for each item opened.

I loved that the karma was so good in Oma's home, and everyone was happy for Katie and Travis and their upcoming nuptials in May.

BSoleille! The bright side of Katie "Gitty" Gitlin and Travis wedding shower! And...hanging with my Pheen peeps, Patty (Mom of bride) and Angie Kozlowski!


Patty Gitlin, Angie Kozlowski, and me

Katie with Bill Tomoff (they always had to take a photo each season while playing for the Freestate Phoenix!

Katie and me

Opening presents!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Throwback Thursday to Spring of 1980 - Outdoor Track

The nice weather is upon us, fingers crossed, until the fall again. With the time change over last weekend, it seems that the sun is a little brighter and people can't wait for a "proper" spring (and I'm one of them!).

Spring Track and Field will be outdoors soon (if not already for most high schools and colleges), and not that long ago (39 years to be exact), I was out there on the track slugging it out in the 800M or 1600M runs. Today's photo was found as I was cleaning my Long-Arm Sewing room (AKA back bedroom) and couldn't resist to post it. The track was cinders at James Ford Rhodes High School in Cleveland, Ohio; but we took pride running on any track and in most conditions. It was "fun" to change our spikes to longer ones to race on cinders, as opposed to smaller spikes for all-weather tracks (not many in 1980...but schools started updating their stadiums then).

But more than the spikes, check out the socks we are wearing? Those were the days..., yes?

BSoleille! The bright side of Spring; Track and Field and Longer days with brilliant sunshine! And I am on the far right of the photo; my friend, Ann Gentile Kukucka, is on the far left.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Pedal to the Metal with Quilt Show Prep Time

I think I know how if feels to be a twin like my husband, and his twin bro, Don. They talk multiple times a day, mostly business talk I think, but who knows? While planning for the upcoming show in 11 days, the Quilt Show Team members; Wendy Allen, Susie Stevenson and I, end up talking to each other multiple times a day as well. It's usually quick snippets of information that is shared, but we've been known to yak on longer calls to clarify the many facets that the show entails. The other day we all decided to take a photo of our "quilt show central" in each of our homes. The following photos make it abundantly clear that there is a lot going on for each of us, but we wouldn't want it any other way...or would we?

Of course, it will be all worth it in the end; as these gals are wicked smart and the most organized women I know. I'm thankful that we are very compatible with our ideas (we have a lot of new things going on at the show), and run things by each other so our guild, our guests and our vendors have a wonderful weekend. It's no small feat...and as they say: "Preparation + Opportunity = Luck.

BSoleille! The bright side of a "Lucky Quilt Show Weekend", March 23, 24 at Samuel Ogle Middle School in Bowie, Maryland. Hope to see you there!


I am having trouble loading the photos onto the blog; I'll try to post the photos in the morning. I hope this is a one-time glitch in Blogger. Photos loaded on 3/13 (day after this post); I guess it wasn't as messy after all...except mine! Wendy starts out below with the Maryland Quilters Challenge on her living room floor.

Terri's messy dining room table....
Wendy's organized table!
Susie's organized quilt show stuff 1
Susie's organized quilt show 2

Monday, March 11, 2019

Footnote to Yesterday's Post...Soccer Fierceness

It is truly and honor that I can be on the pitch refereeing a match of soccer with some top-notch athletes; boys and girls. However, since I am so close to the athletes while on the field, I feel the electricity from the players and intensity in their dynamic play. As a Center Referee, one hears the conversations from one teammate to another in the battle to score a goal, or to move the ball up the field, or to cheer each other on with their decisive moves in one direction or another. As referees, we all try to tune out the yelling from coaches or parents, as it is up to each individual player doing their part to make their team the most effective squad that they can be, because, in the end, they are doing all the work.  From what I see out on that pitch, I sometimes think that the play is a kind of an artform, really, even though it's an athletic event bar none.

So from the twack of the ball being swiftly kicked to another player (teammate, hopefully), or the beads of sweat forming around their brows (even in cold weather), I am amazed with the discipline and determination I see on their grimaced faces when these athletes line up and are ready to compete at their highest levels. I'm not sure a coach or parent can see what a referee can see or feel on the pitch, or even know the ferociousness from the 22 players that stand before us for either 60, 70, 80 or 90 minutes (length of game depends on age). And what is most incredible, most players battle wholeheartedly the entire match whether or not their team is winning or losing. It's fierceness from whistle to whistle and never let up; now that is a blessing for sure!

BSoleille! The bright side of team fierceness.

Photo from the Fulham vs. Tottenham game; London 2019 (By the way, Tottenham won this game in the 93rd minute; a "Disney Goal"; meaning the goal was scored in extra time with seconds left in the match...this team never let up!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Not Exactly a Half Marathon

I am not sure if I am in "shape" to run an half-marathon or 13.1 miles...straight. However,  today I ran 13.1 miles in five games of soccer which is a lot of running, stopping on a dime and turning in the other direction, and walking and running along the side lines as an Assistant Referee. I must admit I am as sore as running 13 miles straight, so I will "take it easy" for a short spell, and sit at my sewing machine in the coming days to get ready for my guild's annual quilt show.

I am also thankful for the great cast of referees I worked with today at Indian Creek High School in Crownsville, Maryland; the Maryland United Football Club, who also provided the referees a meal at Bobby Q's food truck, and the stellar weather we were blessed with today (started out cool and cloudy, but ended a little warmer and sunnier for all to enjoy). It was fast and furious soccer (my favorite kind) played by the best young ladies (from Maryland, Connecticut and New Jersey) on the pitch from ages U14-U18. So fun!



Friday, March 8, 2019

#CelebratingOthers with Elfrieda Harris - Featured Quilter at the Southern Comforters Quilt Show 2019

 I am always thrilled to "interview" great people for my #CelebratingOthers; posting most Fridays when I can. Today was no different with Elfrieda Harris, quilter extraordinaire and our Featured Quilter at the Southern Comforters Quilt Show coming up in two weeks: March 23, 24, 2019 at Samuel Ogle Middle School in Bowie, Maryland. http://southerncomforters.org/

Elfrieda was born in 1945, and raised in Bloomfield, New Jersey, an only child born to her parents...but "not spoiled," according to Elfrieda. I believe her because she is one of the most gracious and caring persons I know; and I think many would agree with me who know Elfrieda!

When Elfrieda graduated from Bloomfield High School in 1962, she continued her education at Rutgers University; graduating with a Math degree in 1966, and incidentally, was one of only four women graduating from that very rigorous and prestigious program at Rutgers. Her boyfriend, John, who eventually became her husband, who also graduated from Bloomfield, went on to MIT, graduating with an Electrical Engineering degree in 1966 also. Elfrieda was too funny as she stated a few times while we talked that "her whole life happened in the 60's." After graduation, they married and moved to Maryland with jobs in hand; Elfrieda as a programmer at Goddard; and John at the National Security Agency. Life was good and they both appreciated and enjoyed the "gifts" bestowed on them each day.

Elfrieda reminisced on how much she loved working as a programmer (the early years in FORTRAN); while at Goddard, working for contractors throughout her illuminating career; the last 10 years before she retired with Booze-Allen. She loved the beautiful campus, the environment, and her easy commute from Greenbelt (where they first lived when they moved to MD; and Bowie from 1969 on).

She and John had two children; Jonathan born in 1970 and Pamela born in 1973. Elfrieda took a 10 year "leave" to raise her family, but jumped right back in in 1980 and never looked back. Unfortunately, John was diagnosed and lost his battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma before his 50th birthday in 1994. It was a devastating loss to Elfrieda and her children as one could imagine, but she carried on as best as she could. Three years later, she met Larry at the Ski Club of Annapolis, and they remain a couple today. Larry has been a blessing and a terrific grandfather to Elfrieda's four grandchildren and they enjoy each day together as well.

Interestingly, as a programmer, Elfrieda loved puzzles that stretched and challenged her on the job each day. She also loves to solve puzzles noting math and quilting are all about solving puzzles. This purple-loving gal began quilting 30 years ago when a coworker introduced her to the world of fabric and ultimately quilting. She made her daughter a Christmas quilt and has been quilting ever since. She's learned a few tips and tricks along the way (no longer ties her quilts), has an awesome color sense, and enjoyed garment sewing and construction through her children's toddler years.

It's interesting to me that so many quilters have enjoyed crafts and needlework before going down the path of quilting. In fact, Elfrieda's mom was not a sewist or quilter, but took up the avocation after her retirement. Guess who taught her how to sew? Her daughter, Elfrieda, did of course! Full circle moment for her Mom, and Elfrieda's son, who also likes to sew and can make beautiful Halloween costumes when pressed into "service." (exquisite costume making when his children were young).

Today, Elfrieda prefers to work in bright colors (she is a gal after my own heart), and is grateful for each day. She dotes on her grandchildren and grown children, makes beautiful quilts, and has been a member of the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild for over 10 years. She is a delightful person, and if local, please check out her quilts at our show in two weeks (website highlighted above). You don't want to miss the chance to meet Elfrieda, or her quilts!

BSoleille! The bright side of #CelebratingOthers with Elfrieda Harris!


Photos of Larry and Elfrieda below, her family and some of her quilts...

Thursday, March 7, 2019

We've Got a New Bee-Mate with Debbi Carter

Debbi Carter is our newest member of the Just Sew Bee, and she hosted us this past Wednesday at her home in Laurel, Maryland. She is an awesome quilter with great ideas and is just lovely. I am/we are so excited that she is now a part of our Wednesday Bee (daytime), and thankful that we will to get to know her better as the weeks and months "unfold." As with all our quilting friends, our sewing studios are the meccas in the home and it's a "must" see when we host for the first time. Mine is old hat, as I mostly sew on my dining room table with my long-arm machine and fabrics in my "studio", or what I call a back bedroom...

So it was no different with Debbi, as we trucked up her stairs to, what she calls, her "craft room." We all got to ooh and ahh over her wall of stash...fabric stash that is. It's a comfortable place for anyone who enters, especially taking in all those lush fabrics is a feast for the eyes.

BSoleille! The bright side of "new" bee-mate, Debbi Carter!


Debbi with her stash...

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

That Fish Eye...in Lancaster, PA

While on a trek to Hinkletown Sewing with my bee-mates: Carrie, Karen and Debbi, to get some machines serviced, we also did a wee bit of fabric shopping in the little towns of Lancaster, PA. It was a long and fun day and it's always a great treat to bring a "newbie" (Debbi) to Obie's (a "hoarder's paradise") and see the look on their face upon entering this iconic store.

We also trekked to other fabric stores (and even "found" a new one); and the "Amish Target" called Goode's. We also like to shop where Mennonites and Amish women shop; and that is where I took the fisheye photo. The sun was shining just right into the tank, and the fish seemed quite playful. I took a lot of photos and this playful fishy caught my eye just right...and me his!



Monday, March 4, 2019

Quilt Show Team

As with any organization who hosts an annual event, volunteers are the fuel to its engine. It's no different with our annual quilt show coming up soon (March 23, 24th), when we need volunteers to help with set up; hanging the quilts, and volunteering throughout the show in many capacities. It's an "all hands on deck" mentality needed to run a good show; gala, or music event based on volunteers, no doubt.

I am thankful to "work" with a bunch of great quilters, who not only give from their sewing (think community quilts etc.), but in many ways throughout the year. This year, I am proud to represent my guild, along with Wendy Allen and Susie Stevenson, as the Quilt Show Team Leaders. We have a stellar cast to help with the many facets of putting on a great show, and I am thrilled to work so closely with them as we have learned no detail is too big or too small to tackle. It's a ying-yang thing with three people, a good way to have our checks and balances as we proceed right up until the show.



Photo of Susie Stevenson and Wendy Allen at our local storage shed.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Tiny Potty

It's a great thing to have lots of toilets at a large venue, like the one at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. Some venues don't have enough, and haul in portable potties (and probably need more). Because I can only comment on the ladies rooms, thankfully, it seems close to 90% of them have larger handicapped stalls to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. It's all good, right? But where are the toddler potties?

If you've taught or volunteered in a preschool or elementary school, they do accommodate the kiddies with little toilets, but I/we were not expecting to see one in the Convention Center. What a great thing to provide this service to world's littlest customers!



Friday, March 1, 2019

Inspiration at the 30th Anniversary of the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

We all know what the "Season of Light" is, or Festival of ______ is; but right now, we enter the Season of Quilt Shows throughout the nation. I am grateful to have traveled down to Hampton, VA, yesterday, and spent about 28 hours at the www.Quiltfest.com (day and a half with bee-mate), Susie Stevenson, to be inspired by all the wonderful quilts and vendors at this large show. We also met up with other guild members, and checked out guild members that had quilts accepted into this show: Misty Cole and Julia Graves.

I salivated over some very pretty fabric(s)...which I eventually...ahem.. bought. I also stocked up on my long-arm supplies of batting and threads, and oohed and ahhed over the many beautiful quilts in the show which was worth the trip for jump-starting inspiration and that unmistakable can-do attitude that the sky's the limit on what can be done with fabric!

I'd like to add that as soon as my show quilts are done, and my NeedleOnFull Tshirt quilts are up to date, you bet I'm going to start something new....and hopefully, finish the "older" UFO's and WIP's too. This will take me to the end of 2019 (probably longer)....so I'll fasten the seatbelt on my sewing chair, and drive my machine like mad at 1,000 MPH just to get me started.



Tables of pretty fabrics

Misty Cole's quilt: "Nepenthes"

Terri and Susie with Misty Cole's quilt: "Political Circus"