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 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 defintely been a challenge every day throughout the past three years, but I welcome the challenge again this year 2015. I hope you will continue the ride with me!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gearing Up for Quilt Bingo 2017

The Southern Comforters Quilt Guild's annual Quilt Bingo is scheduled for October 21, 2017 at the Knight of Columbus Hall, 6111 Columbian Way, Bowie, MD with doors opening at 12:30pm. Tickets will be sold at the door for $20. Games start at 2:00pm sharp!

Our guild members are working diligently in preparing 20 beautiful quilts (and other quilted items for additional prizes) before October. It's a great afternoon and I hope to see a large crowd there to take in the afternoon, with food, beverages and bakery to boot!

My photo today is one of the quilts that will be awarded to a B-I-N-G-O winner: "Ambrosia" - pieced top by Pamela Budesheim and quilted by yours truly. I think it's a beautiful quilt, and it could be yours...


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Birthdays Never Get Old

When you are a five time cancer survivor, Birthdays never get old. Every single one of them is welcomed and celebrated, and today is no different to wish that son of mine/ours a very happy one for sure. We are thankful for each day, and today is just the "icing on the cake" for 23 years young!

So HOW-HOW and Happy Birthday to the one and only Ryan Nolan Tomoff!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Glimpse of Special Love Camp

Our first time on visitor's night at Camp Fantastic in Front Royal, Virginia, did not disappoint. In fact, husband Bill and I were giddy driving out to the northern gateway of the Shenandoah Valley and it's beautiful surrounding mountains. There we descended on the camp where 107 childhood cancer campers aged 7-17 were found having the time of their lives...at least for one week out of the year, and dinner was being served by a local Kiwanis (Rappahannock) group. Son, Ryan, was a camper through those years, and now is a full-fledged bona fide camp counselor with his charges being 11/12 year old boys. So for a few hours, we were able to see a glimpse and feel the "magic" of camp that our kids have tried to explain to us for years. Yes, we've gone to family weekends, parent retreats etc., but, nothing can ever compare to this week (along with BRASS week in July)!

And in 16 years, we were, thankfully, able to say "Happy Birthday" one day early "in-person" to Ryan, which was a great highlight too. Of course the medical team, volunteers and staff have truly kept this yearly camp as a well-oiled machine, and it was definitely a pleasure to see it all unfold before us, even for a few hours. A HUGE HOW-HOW to NIH, and all involved with this magical place, along with Tom and Sheila Baker, the founders, who had the vision back in 1983 to honor their young daughter who died of childhood cancer, and give other kids the chance to have FUN despite their cancers and any medical challenges they face.

Here is a short video "explaining" camp....

Photos from today: 1) Ryan with me and Bill; 2) me and Dr. Francis Collins, a "rock star" in my "book"...he mapped and sequenced human DNA plus he is the Director of the NIH... 3) Medical Director of the Camp Dr. Steve Chanock, chief nurse Tammy Jenkins and me; 4) Bill and I with Shari and Andy Fisher; 5) Dave Smith and Bill; 6) Jarvis Kuo and Bill

Monday, August 14, 2017

Northern Cardinal

While in my living room yesterday working on a quilt, I could not help but notice, and hear the unmistakable slow trill of the male northern cardinal right outside the window in the boxwood, and actually "pecking" at the window. My photo here today does not do this bird justice, but think of it as it's own "photo app" that permeates social media photographs lately; this one is called the "screened in look"! One day I'll get a better shot with a better camera, but these red beauties are all over the yard lately. They must like all that new grass seed I put down to grow "good" grass instead of "crab", er, shall I say, "crabby" grass...


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Quilt for Emily

Another needleonfull.com production with Emily R.'s quilt using her club and high school soccer jerseys plus several tshirts too. Emily committed to play Old Dominion in Virginia to continue the beautiful game at the collegiate level, and this past weekend was her first set of "preseason" games! Best of luck to her and all the fall athletes as they journey back to their respective schools to...study...and then play their sport!

Photo of Emily's Quilt

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Using Gift Cards and Movie Tickets

No longer am I keeping gift cards and movie tickets in the drawer. Rather, they stay nice and tidy in my wallet (since Christmas), and when the light bulb goes off (or I gloss over them while looking for something else in the same wallet), it's dinner and a movie only eight months later. But, hey, why rush spending or using those precious cards? Thankfully, tonight was the night we had the chance to use them and enjoy a night out close to home. I will say that the movie was mutually selected - "Dunkirk", and was quite intense from the opening scene...and NEVER let up! I don't believe it was more intense than, "Saving Private Ryan" (one of our favorite war movies); but it was a WW11 true story nonetheless. After the movie ended (we needed to catch our breath as the credits were rolling), I sat and thought these stories remind us all how devastating a war truly is. War destroys morale of nations, and more importantly, the young men and women in uniform who fight for their countries.

I am two for two on intense movies for this summer, so I think I need to ease up and see a RomCom for the third one, or at least something fun and light.

BSoleille! The bright side of using Christmas gift cards to restaurants and movies in August!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Early Birthday Celebration

When your birthday falls EVERY year during the middle of Special Love's Camp Fantastic, as in Ryan Tomoff's case, the celebration has to be before or after his "special" day. Believe it or not, he/we have not celebrated on his actual day (16th) in 16 years! But, I do believe it's been celebrated at camp through all these years, first as a camper (ages 7-17); then LIT, and now a full fledged counselor bearing down on 23 years old. Last year his goal was to get to camp following his tongue cancer surgery, and he met that goal solidly. This year, he selected his favorite steakhouse and we could not be more thrilled to see him happy, healed (mostly), and ready to embark to camp in Front Royal, VA.

So a BIG "How-How" to Ryan at camp (he arrived there late this afternoon), and the entire crew (staff) arriving tonight to usher in, prepare and celebrate "the best week of the year" with over 100 childhood cancer thrivers and survivors arriving Sunday. (Yes, it take a couple days to get prepared and ready the 4-H Center). It's really special to see Ryan on the "other side" in being a counselor, as it was really not that long ago he was a camper and equally excited for "this best week" of his life.

To see more about this fabulous camp, check out: specialove.org