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!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wacky Weather

I'm not talking about the weather today because it was a "slow" day, no I'm quite concerned about the wacky weather we are having that's wreaking havoc on the environment, specifically my flowers!

Yesterday the temperature shot up to 71 degrees and so did my daffodils. I did a double take in the backyard as I saw an "almost" yellow bloom and exclaimed, "No, its to early to bloom!" to myself, the dogs and the rest of the bleak January brown grass of the yard.

BSoleille! The bright side of a weather correction today to hopefully preserve the plants, flowers and fauna of the mid Atlantic. Photo of the almost bloom.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Wild T"

One of my favorite Christmas presents this past year was a key chain endearingly entitled "Wild T", my nickname in college. It was given (actually sent) to me by my Sunny San Diego friend Cathy Kimpel, who was affectionately called KK. I giggle every time I grab them to head out the door. Now you are probably wondering what the heck I did to "earn" that nickname, and really it is all quite innocent.

How about pennying dorm mates in their rooms? Or calling a friend a hundred times as the "mad ringer" (with rotary dial phones, I may add) and commiserating with her that it has to be some lunatic on campus doing all that calling!? And one of the best ones, and you had to be quite sneaky I have to admit, was going to parties and secretly removing the labels off all the cans in the cupboards. We called it "surprise in a can" for the poor saps who lived there! There are more "wild" stories but they will have to wait for another time to share them....haha!

BSoleille! The bright side of the giggles reflecting back on those college days gone by.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January Sunrise

I have got to admit, the January skies for 2013 are not like the previous years with their awesome visual landscapes and color schemes.  However, my thoughts on this changed for a spell around 6:50am while packing my son's lunch (and working by the kitchen sink with a window to the East), that I saw a superb combination of early morning fog and orange sunlight poking through the trees.  With that in mind, I grabbed my camera right quick and headed out to the golf course where I took several shots of the sunrise sequence in my slippers and pajamas.  And, since the temperatures rose over night, I did not even need a coat (temps got to the mid-60's this afternoon)!

BSoleille!  Thankful for a great January sky, albeit a morning one, since there are only two days left of this month!


Monday, January 28, 2013


I do not think I have ever hosted a 3Bee until today (with Wendy and Trish) and it was quite productive I must say. We three worked on projects and quilts for our upcoming show next month, then did a group project that I will reveal later on this year, but it was fun for sure (especially on a cold, rainy and grey Monday)!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Soup Night

Besides a sunny day above freezing and clearer sidewalks for a 3 mile run/walk, my friends Linda and John hosted a "soup night" this afternoon. Three soups including: Lipton extra noodle chicken soup (for the kids); French onion (made by Bruce, and delicious) and my vegetable concoction with just the right amount of spices rounded out this foodie delight. With ample amount of good bread and tasty appetizers we were all quite full in no time (at least I was).

Photo of Linda's kitchen and a bowl of soup devoured.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Katz's Bee

My quilt guild's Saturday sew days at the Crofton, Maryland library is called Katz's Bee, and open to anyone in the guild to come out and sew in a large room with great light and fellow quilters. I have not been to one in awhile, so it was a good day to work on my portion of a Batik Spectrum quilt that seven others are also doing for an eight person swap (of blocks) in many color ways. I worked on my pink ones today.

Photo of Katz's Bee sewing and checking with the others are working on.


Friday, January 25, 2013

"International" Breakfast At Panera

A very cold morning was made wonderfully tolerable by meeting some Crofton Moms at our local Panera! Lots of tea for me (combo of tea and coffee for the others), great conversations, and the warmth of the local community doing the same thing we were doing, plus lots of laughs all around while catching up with each other!

My photo includes (starting left at the table) PiƱa Turner, Patrice Jenstrom, Mai Ho, Ewa Gorski, Tammy Wates and me.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside

The frigid temperatures hitting our area are not getting me down. Nope, I dress in layers and wear lots of wool on my feet (socks) and upper body (sweaters)! My mind thinks tropical and I blast the heat only in the car (thankfully it heats up very quickly for an old codger).

We woke up to snow and a two hour delay for schools... for an inch!

Photo today of summer chairs with a dusting of snow. They are looking forward to warmer days I'm sure! Heehee

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Big Bag Lady

I love bags (including purses and wallets) in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and I also like to make them as well. Today I had a 2Bee sewing session with friend and fellow quilter Mary Nielsen. She has a pretty sweet sewing set up in her basement that is just terrific. We got together to work on 2/3 "travel trio" bags we will share and coach how to make them at our upcoming guild retreat in February.

Thankfully, I only needed to bring my fabric as Mary had plenty of tools for both of us to work on our projects. In fact, she had plenty of extra sewing machine needles because I kept breaking them trying to sew through the many layers of seams!

My photos include our 2bee session this afternoon and... Tada " the big bag".

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gone Fishing?

Say you are out shopping/returning/even exchanging an item at Bass Pro Shop and you need to use the highly decorated rest rooms that are located right in the store. Well, for me I thought I might have entered the men's room (called "Bucks") because once i ventured in, lots of fish and "real" rod and reels were hanging all over the walls. Talk about bringing the outdoors in!!! Thankfully, another woman walked in and I knew I was in the right one (I noticed on the way out the sign said "Does".

If only they had a stocked pond in the there we would all have fun casting a line!



Photo of the "Doe" restroom.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Another January Sky

In a couple of last years January posts I mentioned the brilliant skies during this month that are just breathtaking. In 2013 so far, not so many but I captured one from a couple days ago. The vibrant blue coupled with orange and yellow sunset-beautiful! It's too bad the view is only a few minutes long so I'm thankful I snapped my photo for today!

BSoleille, the bright side of a brilliant sunset!



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pre Football Family Fun

If you like to bowl and have an open Sunday morning like we did today, Crofton Bowl has a deal for $24. That price gets you shoes, one lane of up to 6 people, and all the games you can bowl for 3 hours (today 8-11am).

Due to some sleeping in we only got in most 3 full games and a lot of fun! The exciting thing was Ryan getting 3 strikes in a row and bowling his highest score ever!


Saturday, January 19, 2013

NHL is Back!!!

Even though the Washington Capitals hockey team lost their opening game to Tampa Bay tonight, hockey is back in town, and I'm happy about that!

I just loved the fast paced action of ice hockey and interested is seeing how this abbreviated season pans out. Go Caps, Caps, Caps!!!


Photo of Ryan in his Caps jersey watching the game with his trusted iPad.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Shrimp in Fridge

Not knowing what to eat but opening the refrigerator and seeing some shrimp I bought several days ago was just the ticket for a late afternoon snack. Nothing else appealed to me like thawed out shrimp with tasty cocktail sauce!


Photo from summer 2012.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Snow Storm?

Yesterday my phone was buzzing with "severe" weather alerts regarding lots of snow heading our way. Today I was home and working on quilts sitting in my usual seat at the dining room table (and near the sliding glass door), when Big Lucy Loo kept bugging me to let her out about 50 times!!! She seemed like she was waiting and excited for the incoming "snow" as her inner Husky was commanding her outdoors.

By sundown she quit asking to be let out and quietly curled up on the sofa. Who knows if we will get this predicted storm?

My photo is of Lucy in a pensive state of mind!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

No Turn On Red

My idea for this post came early this morning on my way to Lothian Elementary School in South Anne Arundel County.  While still in Crofton, and at a light that has tight turns when either turning left or right, there is a road sign that perfectly states "No Turn on Red" for this purpose.  I happened to be in the next lane and a car back from two cars sitting in that right hand turn lane.  The first car was obeying the sign and not turning, but the second car kept honking her horn trying to get the first car to turn (and really making a commotion over nothing).  So the first car lady,  instead of turning (when she clearly was not going to),  calmly got out of her vehicle, walked over to the window of the second lady driver, and pointed to the sign directly to her right- "No Turn On Red" and stated she was not going to turn until the light turned green.  I could have hugged her for sticking up for herself, but in today's day and age, I would have sat "patiently in my car and waited for the light to turn green!

Thankfully, everyone got on with their day when that light finally turned green, but that scene stayed with me all day, albeit with a little chuckle.


Photo of downtown Annapolis from summer of 2012

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hearty Soup

I love a bowl of hearty soup all year round, but especially on a cold, damp and rainy day like today. I made a crock pot full of vegetable soup last week and ate some, but also froze several cups to eat some this week as well. I believe it's better than Campbell's since I used mostly fresh ingredients. Ummm good!

Photo of the pups lounging on the sofa.


Monday, January 14, 2013


I am back to my Apple classes after a few month hiatus, and boy did I miss them.  I am thankful today I had one of my favorite instructors, Andrew, though he is moving out West this summer -bummer.  So my goal is to get in lots of time on the computer and photography and work on my projects with his help when I can.  One hour flew by like a New York minute!

My photo today is a June sunset (though I love January skies, I will include one before the month ends).

BSoleille!   The bright side of learning new things!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Washingtonian of the Year!

Kathy Russell has been wonderfully bestowed this great honor of being selected as the Washingtonian of the Year! And Congratulations are certainly in order and I am thrilled to share her great news:


I read the article on the Children's Inn website.  The honor is so well deserved and our family is truly thrilled to see this happen for Kathy!

The Tomoff's are one family that can attest to Kathy's impact on families fighting life threatening situations with their children.  We certainly believe Kathy, and her enitre family, have been a monumental part of Ryan and our family going through the challenges over the last 15 years.  The countless discussions / counseling, social, and just "a shoulder to cry on" have been invaluable.  But most importantly, she is a genuinely caring and compassionate person!  We are so proud of you!

My photo today is Kathy and our kids, Olivia and Ryan, during the summer of 2000 and spending time with her and her family in Bethany Beach, Delaware.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Honoring a Long Lost Gift "Certificate"

You have heard the stories of long lost class rings thrown out to sea, and miraculously, 50 years later it resurfaces to a shore in some far flung locale, and found by the owner's long lost girlfriend or boyfriend? The proverbial "dark hole", or in the above case, "dark sea" scenario.  So while cleaning up Christmas, and rearranging "stuff" in the garage, I noticed a pair of flip flops (brand new and never worn) that I planned to toss in the Goodwill pile, on top of a file cabinet.  Under the flip flops was a box full of other boxes that fell over, and underneath all that, several gift "certificates" to several Crofton restaurants in perfect condition from August of 1999!  They were placed there by my husband (and won or bid on in the Sue Jaeger Golf Outing) and long forgotten about until today!

So for giggles and grins, I decided to call one of the restaurants and explained that I found one of their gift certificates from August 23, 1999 and would they, or even could they, honor it?  (I did preface this call to the woman who answered the phone that I had a "wacky" question, and she encouraged me to tell her what I've got).  I explained to her the very same story above and she told me to hang on for a minute. And here is the wonderful part of the story, when she returned to the phone she suprisingly said,  "yes", they would honor it and to please make a reservation soon!  Bonanza!  Now that is some awesome customer service!  The restaurant's name is Christopher's located on Rt. 3 near the Dunkin' Donuts/Post Office Plaza, and we will be dining there in the near future for sure.

BSoleille!  The bright side of "cleaning" and finding long lost "good stuff" from that dark hole.

Photo is a blast from the past: May 2006: The family with Bob Barker at the Price is Right in Hollywood, California

Friday, January 11, 2013

Girls Night In

My neighbor Jen Patrizio hosted a "Girls Night In" evening with various friends from around Crofton (I thankfully could walk to her house). It was great meeting some very interesting ladies and what they are accomplishing with busy families (book author, Pilates instructor, nurse and realtor and writer).

Jen is also nursing a bum left foot and wanted the company on a rainy Friday night!

Photo of Jen and her decorated cast!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Canine Cuddlers

As you know, living with a couple of dogs certainly provides entertainment on many fronts. Their chow can run about $30 for a 42 lb. bag but they are well worth it. We typically have instant running partners and warm companions when watching tv and movies.

But the thing that intrigues me most is how the two of them decide on who goes first, or more importantly, who gets to sleep "in" the new dog bed. We finally broke down and got them a new bed to "share" as their Christmas present.

My photos include the first shot when we went to bed last night and the second shot is first thing this morning! They switch at some point, who knew?!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Double Jeopardy

At least that's how I felt today after taking the Jeopardy test to seek a spot on the show. 50 questions with 15 seconds to read and type in the "correct" answer. Those 15 seconds they give you seems like 5 as you try to read the question and recall the answer. So many answers were on the tip of my tongue but I simply could not get it that quickly or drew complete blanks, like what is the capital of Wisconsin? Madison! Got that way after my allotted time.

But it was fun to do and be rest assured I will not be on the show based on blank and wrong answers supplied by yours truly tonight!


Photo is The Arcade in downtown Cleveland taken at Christmastime.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Sewing Day

It is great getting together with a fellow sewer or quilter and today I sewed with my friend Wendy Allen. We both worked on projects that required "some" concentration, but talked in between those moments. I am thankful that Wendy gave me some valuable pointers on the fabric I was using since it was misbehaving ever so slightly in keeping a straight of grain. Lots of starch needed was my answer!

BSoleille! The bright side of "starch"and keeping my fabric straight!


Photo of Wendy hard at work and in deep concentration!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Archbishop Spalding Girls Soccer Coaches Dedication

Eleven years ago Coach Bob Dieterle, along with Assistant Coach Bob-O Wagner, transformed the ASHS Girls Soccer Program from a middle of the conference pack to a national powerhouse contender. His mission: to build a competitive program. He accomplished that mission and so much more through the years along with empowering young girls to become leaders on and off the field, plus bring in traditions and passion for the game.

Tonight the Spalding soccer community gave thanks and recognition to that program with congratulations and Good Luck to Bob, Bob-O and their Assistant the last couple years, Fallon Brown.

Bob's teams compiled a record of 173-24-21. They made the finals of the IAAM "A" Conference 8 times in 11 years winning the Championship 4 times (2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012). That is truly an impressive record for sure! My connection to the team is that my daughter Olivia played on the Varsity Team for three years and was on three of the four championship teams. Great memories!

Thank you coaches for a job well done.

Photo of me and Coach Bob Dieterle and the present team and alumni who could make it to this event.


Saturday, January 5, 2013


A wonderful evening with "Pheen" daughters and mothers with dinner at the fun Latin American restaurant called Paladar's in Annapolis, MD! The food is inspired by Central and South America, Cuba and the Caribbean, and one of their featured items is the delicious guacamole dip with plantain chips. All the entrees looked good and my tilapia meal was superb.

The girls will be returning to their respective colleges soon, so tonight was our get together send off and I'm thankful it worked out in everyone's schedule.

Photo by Tim the waiter of the gang.
Pat, Alyssa, Terri, Olivia, Angie and Katie


Friday, January 4, 2013

Gift Card Money Found

While cleaning out my purse the other day, I "found" an LLBean gift card that I received from my husband for Christmas in 2011! Bonanza! However, I did spend about half of it last year but was so tickled that I had a few more $$ to use up that when my daughter had some training in Columbia, MD today I hitched a ride and had her drop me off at the mall there.

I had my sights on a few new turtlenecks and a thick wool sweater to chase away the cold January days ahead. There's nothing that beats their carefully crafted knitted wool sweaters, as I have purchased several through the years and have never been disappointed.

Now I am disappointed to learn that the Columbia Mall LLBean location will be no longer as of sometime in May (verified by store personnel). They could not renew their lease and the mall decided to add more restaurants in that space.

Photo is my sweater with matching turtleneck.

BSoleille! The bright side of a cold winter day combating it with a thick wool sweater and many layers!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Time Off Overrated? Quilt Guild's Appreciation Breakfast!

I took yesterday off from blogging on Quilts From the Heart, and I missed it too much to not blog, so I am back.  So much for time off, yes?  I must say I may not post everyday, but now the "pressure" is off for the moment.

Unfortunately, my "sports car" that can haul....stuff, and lots of it, plus seven people and a bunch of kids going to soccer tournements died today.  Not with out a fight though, and one last trip to Georgetown University Hospital for a very special occasion with my quilt guild.  About a year or so ago, I was mentioning to one of the social workers at Georgetown (who happens to be married to the Chief of Pediatrics) that my quilt guild has been very prolific in providing beautiful, made with love and prayers, quilts to every newly diagnosed pediatric cancer patient. It did not take long for Dr. David Nelson (Chief) and Tim Mooney (Hospital Administrator) to call me that very same day to "plan" an event to thank all the ladies who make and donate the quilts to the hospital.

"Fast" forward a year, and today we had the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild's Appreciation Breakfast at the Hospital.  My van (Ginawinakafina) barely made it to the parking lot, and thank goodness one other member (Loretto) drove down as well and had my "back" to fend off angry motorists when she realized I was having trouble etc.  But getting back to the breakfast, it was wonderful, and many quilts were presented today to the staff to share with their patients in the new year.  I am so thankful that this program exists, and that the quilters witnessed first hand where I have taken close to 2000 of the most precious one-of-a-kind quilts for distribution by a staff member (doctor, nurse, social worker or art therapist) when they feel it's an appropriate time for the child/family member.

BSoleille!  For bright happy quilts for cancer kids.


Photo of SCQG and staff:  Standing L-R: Holly Novak; Marion Wise; Mary Kay Kerr; Loretto Cartney; Susie Stevenson; Dr. David Nelson, Mary Lane (Social Worker); Jan Powers, RN; Art Therapist Jess and Tracy Councill;  Kneeling:  Pat Scully; Terri Tomoff; Florence Marion; Dr. Aziza Shad (Director of Georgetown Pediatric Oncology/Hemotology Clinic) and Dr. Amal Abu-Ghosh

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

Hello!  I hope everyone had a happy new year celebration and will have a great, prosperous and healthy new year in 2013!

As promised, I would like to take this opportunity to "recap" the blog over the last year.  I focused on the photos I took each day, but then will add a few more tidbits!  Wow, what a year for sure....

But before I begin, a "behind the scenes" look at the fact I almost forgot to write on three occasions; I was already in bed, reading or playing with Word with Friends when I would realize (sometimes at 11:45 or 11:50pm that I needed to post!).  On one occasion I was already asleep, but woke up in a sweat thinking I missed that 12:00 midnight deadline!  I've also blogged frantically in the car (NOT driving) and trying to post before midnight when my phone was acting up or I could not get a decent signal for wi-fi!

On a few occasions I know I blogged past midnight, but I started before it;  no matter, it posts when you push "publish"!   Most of the posts in Janurary and February were done on the computer, but after I got my iPhone, I began posting from the phone since it made it so easy to do so, especially after taking decent photos etc.  I think my best photos are from my SLR camera, although you probably cannot tell the difference really.

Also, no one "guest blogged", but my husband certainly gave me a few ideas over the past year.  Some days were easier than others by viture of what was going on or what I was doing.  I also did only a few posts in advance, but that was early on, because the "gist" of this year was to live each day and write about a moment to be thankful.  I think going over the past year was good because so much happened that we tend to forget; ie., the Olympics!  No one is thinking about the Games today, but it was just a few months ago we were all glued to the TV watching our favorite athletes in our favorite sports!

So here is goes from the photo aspect:
Family- 70; Quilting (including fabric, people I quilt with, quilt show, quilts etc.)- 65; Nature - 50; Friends - 52; Dogs (mine and others)-23; Fitness/Soccer (biking/running/JMU Woman's soccer) - 15; Olympics - 11; Food - 10; Technology - 8; Tributes - 4; Weddings - 2.

One post did not have a photo and I don't remember why.  My Pac-man post was funny, and I did reach my goal this year and finally broke the 100,000 mark with a 102, 960 game!!!

I had two posts that had the same photos (oops!), the white daffodil and orange butterfly on a pink daisy; also had five photos from my wedding 25 years ago.

Lastly, a few "once-in-a-lifetime" photos:  Meeting King Peggy; Capitol Hill for the Mattie Miracle Symposium; the 56' yacht ride around the Chesapeake Bay; the Stella Walsh Documentary in process; and the visit to Barry Dixon's estate at Elway Hall in Warrenton, Virginia.

This blog is certainly NOT over, I will post,  but not daily for awhile.  I promise though, if I feel that I'm missing it, I will start up again.  This was certainly an exercise of diligence and commitment to my original goal.  So check back if you wish, and I hope you had some take-aways this year.  If I could leave one take away now is to "live in the moment and cherish each day"!  That is my wish for you!