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!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Before This Month is Over

I wanted to share this month's block of the month-Tall Ships. Still in conjunction with the war of 1812 the tall ships were an integral part of the war against the British.

Not a lot of blocks, but a respectable 12 to our winner this month, our president of the guild, Pat Scully! I am really enjoying selecting blocks with my co-chair and seeing where they all end up! Three different ships were available to make.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Still Hanging on to Summer Flowers

I have noticed that some leaves are beginning to gently fall from the trees, but I an still holding on to as much summer as I can. I guess in Maryland it will not be too hard to do this next week as its going to be on the 90's.

So for the last vestiges of the summer flowering season, I could not help but take a photo of one lone morning glory busting through a crack in the driveway.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Does Everyone Have a Black Hole at Home?

Sometimes I think I'm losing my mind when I think I'm putting something "sacred" in a "secret" or safe place; only realizing I cannot find it or remember that special spot when I'm looking for it. In our house we call it the "black hole" and I believe there is a lot of stuff still in it.

However, a few days ago my husband surprised me by finding my US passport (I guess in the black hole) and missing for over a year. Really though he was looking for something else and found it sandwiched between two papers in a folder And two days ago I found some quilt squares I needed for a project (think black hole) but was in the glove box in my van. Found those looking for something else once again. They went missing in mid June so I'm thankful for finding those in "record" time.  If only I could find a few sets of car keys and our marriage certificate from that doggone black hole I would be all set!

BSoleille! The bright side of the proverbial black hole!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1st Day of Senior Year!

I want to give a shout out to all the students, teachers, administration, staff, health room nurses, school crossing guards and custodial staff to have a great school year 2012-2013.  Today I noticed as I drove to my school that we need to slow down and pay attention to speed limits in and around the school for everyone's safety.  That would be a great thing to do for this school year for sure!

My photo today is me with my son Ryan on his first day of his senior year of high school.  Sixteen years ago, I could not see down this tunnel to where we are today, but I am so thankful to have reached this milestone.  "Only" 179 more days to toss that cap up in the air!

BSoleille!  Finding the bright side of a great school year for all!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Corn Hole Anyone?

I am thankful that our good friend Tom G. made an extra set of corn hole boards that we scooped up pronto. Tom even put a coat of primer on them! They are rugged and will see many years of good old fashioned fun - bean bag toss, that is.

My son then knew of a woman who painted several years worth of murals and sets for the middle school plays, so I looked up Ginger Hills Facebook page and contacted and contracted her to paint our boards. Art by Ginger is the site and she does a great job with quick turn around time. My kids each chose one and the photo shows the final product!

BSoleille! The bright side of a non-electronic game!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Great Weekend of Soccer

I mentioned in yesterday's post that my daughter has taken a red shirt for this coming season at JMU (not playing due to injury in her case), but her enthusiasm for her teammates on the field is what I'm thankful for today.  Despite her injuries, she continues to work hard in rehab and cheer on the other women for the good of the team and that is something to be truly proud of.  Thankfully, they won 2-0 over Temple University in a crazy weather afternoon with intense sun/heat; and then rain and a sudden cooling during the game.

I am posting two photos of today, one of the JMU Lady Dukes heading down the winding sidewalk to the practice fields in this new 30 million dollar complex called University Park; and the other one is Olivia in her #16 jersey.

BSoleille, for the bright side of women's soccer at the collegiate level!  Go Dukes!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Welcome Back to JMU

Even a red shirted season of my daughter's soccer season could not stop my husband and I from heading down to JMU to support the team this weekend. I am thankful that my daughter's room mates (collectively known as 1623) and their families all went out for a nice dinner at Dave's Taverna in downtown Harrisonburg, VA. A toast to their junior year both on and off the soccer field!

Photo of Kate Courter and her mom Marion, me and husband Bill, Sam Lofton, daughter Olivia, Haley Miller with her parents Darcy and Mike, Liza Lofton last around the table Jim Courter! Fun times!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Admin Week

It's 8:06pm and I am in bed already. I'm bushed from a week of paper work and updating immunization records for a school of 715 students! Although not a student in sight this entire week, I felt helpful in preparing for the start of a new school year next week and being in the "work" saddle once again.

BSoleille! The bright side of school health!

Photo of my desk for the next 8 weeks!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Khloe with a "K" turns 1

Following close on the heels of my son reaching adulthood at age 18, with kids' birthdays a thing of the past, my pups got invited to a doggie party last weekend. My crazy friend Leslie threw a "surprise" party for her 5 lb yorkie -Khloe.

Lucky and Lucy (and I am quite sure the other dogs there as well) were very thankful as Leslie spoiled them rotten with all the food and treats given out at the party. They ended up being so "full" of themselves as she served them chow (boiled chicken, rice and beans), pup cakes and doggy ice cream!

What a hoot and all were we'll behaved canines!

BSoleille! The bright side of doggie pup cakes! (delicious because I tried a bite or two).

Photo of Leslie and birthday pup and my dogs.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Quilting Inspiration

My quilt guild's program tonight included hosting Cheryl Lynch - fiber artist, author, designer and teacher. She gave a wonderful presentation on what inspires her, and in turn, hoped to inspire us as well. Circles, squiggly lines, wrought iron, tiles and flooring are just a smidgen of what inspires Cheryl. Her quilts are beautiful and what I liked best was the fact she incorporates all types of fabric, not just cotton. I loved the use of silks plus interesting embellishments for her one-of-a-kind creation.

Photo of Cheryl Lynch on left, with Karen Todd and me on the right. Mary Nielsen is holding Cheryl's homage quilt to her father and Alzheimer's disease. More of her work can be seen at CherylLynchQuilts.blogspot.com


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Afternoon Ride

After a morning of school health meetings and a great lunch (I ordered a lump crab cake-delicious!) with other nurses and health assistants, I needed to expend some pent up energy from the day.

Not too often I ride later in the day, but today was a beautiful afternoon and I took advantage of being in the saddle for an hour plus. Certainly a great way to melt away any "stress" from the day!

BSoleille! The bright side of keeping my ride alive! (especially when my tires are properly inflated -haha).

Monday, August 20, 2012

Is Summer Really Over?

Reality set in first thing this morning as I headed back to school health services. I will be working in the health room at Broadneck Elementary School for the next 8 weeks as a long-term sub. No kids this week so that is a blessing in setting up our nursing stations before the students arrive next week! The summer flew by.....

BSoleille! The bright side of a new school year.

Photo of a good looking hallway getting ready for 715 kids!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Women Who Make a Difference

Today was Dr Aziza Shad's annual picnic for current and former patients and their families from the Georgetown University Hospital hematology/oncology clinics. Since I have missed the past two years due to my daughters' soccer games, I am thankful I was able to take Ryan this afternoon and catch up with many families and staff from the clinic.

My photo today includes Dr Shad, Marilyn Eichner, Sister Pat and Patty Lubin. They are all unbelievable strong women in medicine, their faith, and parenting children with cancer and their siblings. We've all come so far from when our worlds collided at Georgetown almost 16 years ago that have made us stand tall today. I thank each and everyone of them for their support through the years!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ready to Rock the Red? Go Caps!

A friend of ours, James Castle, won the "World's Greatest Caps Dad" contest recently. One of his daughter's wrote a great essay on why her Dad deserved this honor. As a season ticket holder and a reassignment in the military he still travels 3.5 hours to most home games. His infectious loyalty to the Washington Capitals Hockey Team has included his entire family and the are all rabid fans today.

So, thankfully, we were invited to a party in which Slapshot, the team mascot, came out to personally congratulate James and his family. Slapshot was gracious in photo ops as well as signing autographs for all.

BSoleille! Finding a way to cheer on the caps pre-November!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hair Cuttery

After a big work out this morning, I treated myself to a cut and highlights at the Hair Cuttery in Crofton. Master stylist Sherrie Mitchell has been coifing my blonde locks for about five years or so and I'm thankful she does such a nice job and is very sweet and easy to talk to while in the hot seat!

From a summer of sun and sweat, my unruly hair really needed a makeover for sure.

BSoleille! The bright side of a good "bouncy" haircut!

Photo of Sherrie putting in foil highlights

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy 18th Birthday Ryan Tomoff!

A special day, for a special boy, now man, Ryan Tomoff.  However, his special day is spent at Camp Fantastic, probably the most appropriate place to spend his birthday (if not home, that is); and has done just that for the last 11 years.  Despite the many medical challenges he has endured before, during and after camp, this magical place allowed him to forget his troubles at least for a few moments, and those moments added up to minutes and on and on until he strung together the seven days of camp week!  That is one HUGE blessing, and I cannot thank the many people who make that happen enough!

The following wonderful piece was put together by news reporter Mike Conneen from WJLA who highlighted and thread Ryan's story and Special Love's Celebration of 30 years of Camp Fantastic!!!  A big shout of HOW HOW to Dave Smith, Dr. Steve Chanock (head doc), doctors, nurses, and staff who make this week the most magical for the 100 kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases who come simply to have FUN!


BSoleille!  The very bright side of Camp Fantastic!

Photo of Ryan and husband Bill (his favorite) that really captures the big love bestowed on Ryan that day, and every day since!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Zoning in on Cycling

You know when you start to do something and you look around and it seems like everyone's is doing it too, well that's what I think about cycling today. And I love it! On Facebook today I noticed a high school friend, who lives in California, who went on a bike ride this morning and rode the same distance as me once I responded to her post. I recently had a conversation with my friend Debbie in Ohio, and she mentioned she's gone biking as well lately . Lots of people riding I think. Is it the age of our knees needing some relief from the pounding of running?

Yesterday I am thankful my friend Angie Koz drove over to Crofton so we could ride together. She comes from a swimming background and wanted to try and add in some cycling as well. I hope she liked it and will continue to ride with me and her husband (who incidentally bought a brand new bike a few days ago).


Photo of an August sunflower.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

London Games 2012 Recap

I wanted to take today's post and give a shout of congratulations to the entire Olympic staff in making the London Games a true success in every aspect. I am most thankful for top notch security In making the athletes, coaches, parents, friends and spectators safe at every venue around the beautiful country of England and all of Great Britain. I applaud all efforts there!

As for the watching the games, I really enjoyed that as well. In various circles, everyone seemed quite pleased on how it all came together. This was basically the first games with a plethora of social media outlets, and lots of folks took quick advantage of this. I personally liked the live streaming on anything that I wanted to see, including the early rounds of various sports and not necessarily involving US athletes!
That was precious for sure. It will be very interesting on how things will look in 2016 in Rio De Janeiro!

Until then.....

Monday, August 13, 2012

3 Times Around the Loop

My new road bike just cannot park itself in the garage, it calls my name most mornings since I got it this summer to climb aboard and ride it. Thankfully, I have listened to that faint "call" and have truly enjoyed my time in the saddle. Today I rode a little longer than my usual and I was wiped out afterwards. But it was a good feeling nonetheless and the weather was just perfect.

My photo is from this weekend as I corralled my husband in going at least one loop! (My one loop is 10 miles)


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ryan's Last Year at Camp Fantastic

Camp Fantastic is a week long camp in Front Royal, Virginia, for kids fighting/or have fought cancer and other life threatening diseases. It's a week like no other for the kids and staff who descend to the beautiful 4H Center in the mountains,
and this is Ryan's 11th straight year in attendance.

We thought last year was his last year of eligibility, but a call from the director of the camp, Dave Smith, several months ago invited him to come out one more time. The thankful "glitch" is the fact at the start of camp (today) Ryan is still 17 years old. He will turn 18 on Thursday August 16th! Therefore, another year of Special Love!

This organization - Special Love Inc. has been a godsend for our entire family over the past 16 years with family weekends, parent only weekends, and an entire week of camp dedicated for the cancer kids' siblings called Brass (brothers and sisters, that has been a huge part of my daughter's life.

BSoleille! So very grateful for the magic of Special Love!

Photo at NIH drop off Building 10.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Teenager T-Shirt Quilt

I have known Caroline and her family since she was two months old and what a beautiful teenager she has become She will enter her freshman year of high school this fall.

To commentate her "early years", her Mom, Margaret, commissioned me to make Caroline a t-shirt quilt that she can forever treasure. I am thankful to work her beloved shirts into something fun and useful. My photo is of Caroline deliberating over her favorites shirts!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Airport Folly

This summer has been hot and humid and very little rain across the nation the past few weeks. On my son's annual trip to Ohio to visit family, the skies over Western PA decided to wreak havoc on flights yesterday on his return home. The poor kid waited by himself for 8 hours in Cleveland as the airline kept delaying his flight until 7:30pm when they finally cancelled it.

I am thankful for bluer skies today and his safe return home early this afternoon.

Photo of Ryan at Cleveland Hopkins Airport (self photo).


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gambling -Maryland Style

Whether the people of Maryland like it or not, the world of casino gambling is here now. My husband and I checked it out over the weekend, and thankfully for us, we did not play one game of anything. We decided to "eat" the money we would have spent on the slots and went out to a nice dinner instead But the casino at Arundel Mills seemed nice with lots of people and activity all around.

The Ram's Stage venue looked very entertaining (still being built), and I would love to take in a show or two once open. Anyone in?

Photo outside of the entrance of the Arundel Mills Casino


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Inspiration Needed

Remember show and tell in Kindergarten and 1st grade? It was so fun, and not only did we want to show our stuff, we liked to see what our classmates had to offer as well.

One of the neat things in quilt guilds is the show and tell part if the program. Beautiful quilts are shown and displayed for all to "ooh and ahh". For me the quilts give me inspiration in designing, working on or completing one, and not necessarily in that order. My photo today are some of the quilts shown today by various members. Lovely!

Thankful that several if them are going to Georgetown Pediatrics-Oncology.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"When We Were Friends"

This is the most recent book read by the lovely book club I recently joined, and it was a great summer read. Most of the women liked the varied relationships that developed throughout the book and the author, Elizabeth Joy Arnold, did a good job planting twists and turns in the plot as well.

As i have mentioned in previous posts, I feel very blessed and thankful for the friendships in my life, as so many of them make me a better "me"!

And the greatest joy now is seeing my daughter on her way in establishing wonderful friendships as well. Today's photo is Olivia and friend Chelsea Allen having dinner with us this evening.

BSoleille! The joy of true friends!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Witnessing a Olympic Dream

Bridget Franek is a gold medal winner in my heart and the hearts of many around the USA! Her commitment, drive and pure passion for her sport is an inspiration for all who know her, and know of her.

I am thankful and thrilled to have rode the wave to London with her along with thousands of fans around the globe. Bridget, along with her family (Dad -Tom, Mom -Rosalie and brother -Josh) are a very hard working and genuine family and true champions of their sport. I am so happy for this day to come, as it was thousands of incremental steps and hours involving many people and prayers through the years culminating with an Olympic Final in London. Yes, it certainly takes a "village" to raise an Olympian!

Congratulations Bridget, Tom, Rosalie and Josh! A lifetime of memories!

Photos taken by my brother in law Don Tomoff on his iPad-using that wonderful technology


Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Trip to JMU

A quick trip today to James Madison University to visit Olivia, and of course, no trip is complete without a few rides around and through campus. It was very quiet as the only students here are the fall athletes.

I thought taking a photo of the stadium all quiet and calm was interesting since no one was near it or walking anywhere in the area. In two weeks this place will be bustling with activity, students and football mania!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bridget Makes It!!!

With an outstanding field of runners from all over the world, Bridget Franek qualified for the Olympic Final in the Women's 3000 meter Steeplechase!!! The final is on Monday.

We watched it live streaming on the iPad and it was a great race by Bridget. Whooooohoooooo!!!! Go Bridget Go!!!

BSoleille! The bright side of Olympic competition!

Photo from her race off the Internet.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bridget Franek Prelims tomorrow

On a personal note, and a very highly anticipated moment for Bridget Franek and her family, the 3000 meter women's Steeplechase is scheduled for Saturday August 4th at 5:35am EST. Bridget is in the third heat so her race will be more like 6:05 EST for those needing to sleep in a few extra minutes!

Go Bridget, we love you!!! Good luck and run like the wind!

BSoleille! The bright side of a special Olympic moment!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quiet Home

Back to the dogs for me? My daughter has gone back to college this morning, and I dropped my son off at the airport this morning as well for him to visit relatives in Cleveland, Ohio. I forgot how quiet the house can get without them around as the omission of noise came through loud and clear.

I guess I'm thankful for my two crazy dogs to keep the vibe of the house going until the kids get back home!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Olympic Coverage

I hope most people around the world are enjoying the Games as much as I am. And as technology has advanced, coupled with social media, the results of the Games' various sports and competitions are known immediately, and I like this, especially with the time difference.

However, I have noticed that NBC, who is televising most of the Games, holding back the results so viewers will tune in. I get this but I think most people already know the outcomes. I hope NBC will "learn" to use all the technology available to them and step out of their paradigm to make it enjoyable for all.

On the other hand, I am thankful they are streaming live a lot of venues, and I am using my iPad for the viewing. I bet at the 2016 games that's how the world will be watching!!!