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!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Dazzling Dots...

Zen dots are cool; so cool and fun, in fact, I'm thankful to have taken a class today "perfecting" making dots. And lots of dots....On fabric. After doing a bobbin outline of super thick and sparkly thread. Our fearless teacher was Bonnie McCaffery, the same gal who gave my guilds lecture this past Wednesday. We started with doodling exercises and progressed from there. My "big" project was a super duper sized letter "T", and I like it after placing all those colorful dots...


Friday, August 26, 2016

National Dog Day

Today is designated as "National Dog Day", or for most of us, how about, "Man's Best Friend Day!?" If you have a dog or ever had a dog you know how they really do become part of the fabric of a family. Luckily, over the past 27 years, I have lived with three "good ones!"  The most difficult part of dog ownership is that they do not live as long as we would like them to, so we have to love them up twice as much. And once past the puppy stage, each day is remarkable with a furry four legged friend. 

So cheers to all dogs across the globe! May you have endless people to love, dozens of chew toys and tennis balls, good chow, and a safe place to rest your pretty head!


Dog #1- Wally (1990-2006)
Dog#2-Lucky (2001-2015)
Dog #3- Loo-C-Loo - 10 years old

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Throw Back Thursday" from Last Week

Before any more time slips away, I want to have "Guest Blogger", Bill Tomoff, describe what stepping out of his comfort zone means to him from our trip out West. (Now, I could be "snarky" and say he has been married to me for 29 years, and he has really stepped out of comfort zone on many occasions, but I'll let that one go!) 

Please enjoy this one from Bill:

Take a Hike...Outside Your Comfort Zone

"Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end...because in the end, it shows you a whole new world !!
Make an attempt..."

In the past year, I have committed to take on challenges that take me outside my comfort zone. I am a conservative personality and an accounting professional...risk averse as one might expect.

As Manoj Arora notes in the quote above, make an attempt and you will feel awesome and experience "a whole new world."

I recently shared my "Journey to 100 TED Talks" and have been thrilled with the content viewed. Many talks challenged my perspective and have pushed me to regularly reflect outside my comfort zone. This has truly been awesome and I have continued to date...now to 141 talks and counting!

While son Ryan was attending Special Love Camp Fantastic this past week, the rest of our family challenged ourselves with an outdoor adventure to Zion National Park in Utah. My wife, Terri, and daughter, Olivia, and I did hiking excursions every day. Our accommodation was a "covered wagon" at the Zion Ponderosa Resort Ranch. The wagon included 3 beds, but did not include electricity! Amazing, and a sign of the times we live in, the entire resort area had free wi-fi service.

The week included many moments of being outside my comfort zone, but I now reflect back on the week as one of our family's most incredible vacation endeavors!

A "bucket list" item for Olivia involved hiking Angels Landing which is considered a strenuous and dangerous hike. Thankfully, I was not fully aware of the extent of the 5 mile journey we set out to complete. Completing this hike and sharing the challenge with Terri and Olivia was an amazing highlight of the week and a moment none of us will ever forget!

The YouTube link below provides a fabulous 4 minute overview of the hike.

What is outside your comfort zone? Commit to regularly take on these opportunities. You will feel awesome and experience a whole new world.

Ryan at Camp Fantastic

Our Covered Wagon accommodations for the week

Terri and Bill hiking The Narrows in Zion National Park. Photo modified using the PRISMA app.

Terri and Bill in The Narrows. Our hike distance about 9 miles and took about 4 1/2 hours.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bonnie McCaffery at Guild

Our quilt guild was lucky to secure Bonnie McCaffery for tonight's lecture. She has international fame as a quilter, lecturer, and student of the craft. And although she is an outstanding quilter, she has found a new path in portrait photography. But tonight she lit up the room with her exquisite quilts, her passion for the quilting she once enjoyed and her bubbly personality through her slide presentation of her large body of work. Kudos to her as she pursues new artistic avenues!

You can check her out here:


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Puppy Love

Over the past weekend while hosting family from Ohio, they brought their one year old Havanese pup "Joy"! And she surely was; so cute in a bundle of nine pounds! Our Lucy took it all in stride being cool as a cucumber when the little one begged her to play, but found her safe space when she needed a break. Don't you wonder what they are thinking?


Monday, August 22, 2016

Apartment Help

Getting that first apartment after college, well, is not much different than college (especially in expensive cities like DC!) People leave things no longer needed or wanted, and to make rent, you live with at least three other people. But, there's that "trying to make it your own" mentality, and I get it. So, with a newly purchased bed frame, and a $10 night stand from Goodwill, "The Best Daughter" is finally making her small corner of this apartment her own! In two hours we also disassembled a bed, cleaned up the laundry room (probably has not been cleaned in five years-and I'm not kidding!), and vacuumed. A good start now going forward. 

BSoleille! The bright side of "inching to freedom"!


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Vacation "Blues"

Once back on the homefront following a glorious week out West, reality sets in mighty quick with dirty laundry and relatives visiting from Ohio! But we roll on through and are very thankful for time well spent in both places and familiar faces. We know summer is winding down (too quickly I may add), so let's squeeze out what is left of it!


First two photos using app Prisma...and Alex and Karen Tomoff (husband Bill's older brother and his lovely bride - celebrating 35 years of marriage this week!)