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, December 8, 2021

Christmas Party Pivot

Since my quilt guild's regular meeting place is not ready for hosting anything due to Covid, of course, we pivoted. Guild member Debbi Carter is not only the new Program Chair, but single handedly invited the members to her home with the party in her beautifully heated garage decorated with quilts, a tree and a  chocolate fountain on the dessert table. Debbi (and husband Tim) hosted 21 of us for a catered dinner—reminiscent like we were back like 2019. 

Can I say it was fantastic to be with all my quilting peeps for a couple of hours!? 

In addition to catching up with one another IRL, several participated in our annual holiday 12" block swap. I did too. I decided to make a few blocks this afternoon and made quick work of a cute reindeer block posted below. I came home with a lovely angel block made by Robin Stinchcomb. I loved all the Christmas sweaters, jewelry and festive atmosphere. 

I am officially in the Christmas spirit for 2021! A huge shout of THANKS to Debbi and Tim Carter!



Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Insulation! Gotta Have It!

After living in our Crofton, Maryland home for over 24 years, with very little attic insulation and many complaints that folks living here or visiting us here are “freezing,” we bit the bullet to hire a company and put in proper insulation. It’s not cheap. It’s a necessity though for so many reasons. One could say (or is it just me saying that?) we’ve been heating the whole street for years since so much of our heat was escaping through many holes and various hatches found in the roof and surrounding areas. 

While watching the company we hired beginning last week, it’s a dirty job. Anyone coming in and out of the house were in white “bunny suits” AKA hazmat suits. They removed all the old insulation to a tune of 100 industrial sized garbage bags. Luckily, it wasn’t too thick because most of it had deteriorated, more or less, over the last almost 50 years. The house was built in 1974 - a rancher style with no basement and a huge and wide attic. Oh, sure, there was some extra batting-type insulation thrown around for good measure from the previous owners, but nothing that would help save the heat and heating expenses through the years. 

I’m giddy about, not only saving a few bucks on the heating bill, but being more comfortable all around - winter and summer. Anything has to be better than what we’ve had to get used to for far too long. The whole process has turned to a four day job; totally understandable now. 

As I thought more about insulation of our home, I began thinking about our own bodies insulation. Fat (called adipose tissues) insulates our bodies from an organic place when exposed to cold temperatures. Clothing, like wool, down, and other animal fibers, can help keep us warm too which is a kind of insulation against the cold for sure. Sheep wool is one of the best animal insulators of all time. Also insulating our bodies are plant-based insulators: hemp, cotton, cellulose, wood fibers and cork. 

My mind then wandered over to animals and their insulation from the cold. It is the arctic foxes, in winter, that insulates them from the bitter cold more effectively than the fur of any other animal in the world, including the polar bear. I have to admit though, it was the polar bear that first popped into my mind about being the one animal with the best insulation. I’m sure they are not too far behind in the insulation category from icy waters, extreme cold and the expansive tundras that is their playground than those beautiful arctic foxes.

I cannot wait to see if insulating our house “properly,” (we chose the blown in kind with foam around all the duct work) will be noticeable. They say it will be. I’m hoping on that promise since this new insulation, unlike us or an animal, will act as a protective barrier between us and the outside world.

Fingers crossed to a new era of insulation in keeping the heat in and the cold out. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a warmer house in winter and cool/er house in summer! 


Attic insulation prep work in action

Monday, December 6, 2021

December Rose

Living in the Mid-Atlantic, it seems unusual for a rose to bloom in December. When I poked my head out the door to see if the mail was delivered, I noticed a rose bud getting ready to bloom. This particular rose bush was planted by the previous owner over 25 years ago, and frankly, it's quite temperamental. Some years it never blooms. Some years I have to trim it back mid-summer because it gets so wild. 

I think our wacky weather has something to do with this single bloom with today's temperature rising over 60 degrees this afternoon. Then it is supposed to plummet tonight accompanied by high winds (already started as I write this post). I'll have to check to see if that rose bloom has retreated tomorrow when blustery winds and cold temperatures rush in overnight. 

Interestingly enough, look at how pink and perfect this rose is ready to sprout its petals. I'm duly impressed...nature has a way to do that to me when I tune into it as I did today. 

Gotta love a December rose!



Sunday, December 5, 2021

Back on the Pitch!

After a little reprieve from high school soccer, I refereed a full slate of games in a tournament (Southampton Cup) this weekend; (8) total. Though cold at the start both mornings, the sun warmed up the fields nicely. Surprisingly, I refereed the younger age groups (mostly Boys U12). That is something I do not do much of anymore - the younger ones. 

The good thing was that the games were on the hour with 25 minute halves. The play to score has to be quick - because there is no time to waste with this weekend's format. 

I could certainly do without all the SCREAMING from the parents, but that is all part of the game. The big thing from all the yelling and screaming is that the players cannot hear the proper instruction from their coaches - the biggest travesty of all. Being cool calm and collected while flipping cautions (yellow cards) to several players throughout the weekend was, frankly, the best way to combat unsporting behavior I witnessed. 

A few people have asked me lately if I referee soccer or futsal indoors? Nope! Not a chance. I love being outdoors; even on a cold winter day. Not many like to referee in rain, and I'm in that camp too. Plus, I could not take the all the blasting whistles while indoors. That's like murder to my sensitive eardrums. 

Cheers to fresh air, getting in a lot of miles (fartlek) and having fun with my fellow refs!



Friday, December 3, 2021

Happy Birthday Bill (and Twin Don)!

Birthdays;  they come and go and add years to our lives! Yikes!! That's why it is important to acknowledge the day one enters this world, warts and all. So let me take this golden opportunity to wish my hubby Bill a very Happy BirthDay today. I know he will take the challenge on his 64th lap around the sun (he is 63 today in case you are wondering and don't want to get a headache doing the math). 

Cheers to Happy! Cheers to Kindness! Cheers to some Mission he will be on in the next year (although he could be planning something the next minute/day/week/month - who knows?). 

BSoleille! The bright side of Birthdays, today and always! I love this guy to the moon and back - maybe a couple of times...


Bill and his book he wrote last year Living Life Off the Track- an autobiography. He only made two copies, one for us and one for his twin. He's working on another book to be, fingers crossed, published in 2022! 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

CONTEST: Where Am I?

The first person to respond in the comment section on where I am (those are my boots), I'll send you a signed copy of my book, The Focused Fight. 

bSoleille! And yes, this counts as one of my posts! 



Wednesday, December 1, 2021

December is Here and Nearing 3000 Posts!

It was my brother-in-law, Don Tomoff, who threw down the gauntlet on me to start a blog in December of 2011. I mulled it over in my mind for several weeks before I took the plunge on January 1, 2012 with a mission of writing a couple of sentences on what I'm grateful for each day and one photo. I definitely fulfilled that promise and then some. 

This blog has morphed, changed, blocked and tackled for close to 10 years. It has been one heck of a ride. I couldn't have done it without YOU, my readers! Thank YOU! Some have actually read all my posts (maybe one or two, but that doesn't matter!). I'm thrilled if you found something I wrote profound, funny, sad, poignant or just plain silly. I've covered international and domestic travel; a good movie; quilting; soccer; 5K's 10K's, triathlons and half marathons; great Netflix shows; high school and college graduations; celebrating others stories; plus some of the journey while I worked on my book, The Focused Fight; milestone(s) anything; holidays and haikus; my Mom's passing (and others) and my family/son's cancer journey over the last decade. I can't believe it as I approach 3000 of these bad boys. 

Really it's a mix bag of stuff; just like life itself. 

I've been thinking on what I want to do next. I'll be mulling over ideas over this final month of the year. I plan to keep my readers apprised of what I plan to do in 2022 regarding a blog, or some type of newsletter - most likely not anything daily. Although it's been fun, it is a lot of work that I realize I've been privileged to do. 

I am in the midst of working on my sophomore book about cars! I'll share more as December unfolds, and may even share a story or two that will be in the book. A sneak peak if you will. Beep Beep!



Tis the Season