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, July 31, 2013

The Sweetest Place on Earth

Is Hershey Park, of course, plus Chocolate World for the sugar fix in all of us. Yummy! My son and I drove up for the day meeting the Strongsville, Ohio Tomoff's for some fun in the sun at the Park. A new ride delighted Ryan and cousin Alex, in addition to all the other roller coasters; and equally fun for me was catching up with my brother-in-law/sister-in-law, Don and Beth. We rode some coasters and went to the "in-house" zoo (ZooAmerica) working on walking a lot and getting "fuel" on our fuel bands. A perfect day for an amusement park, and I'm thankful for that. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of going down the first hill on a coaster!  Whooohooo!


Photos from the day. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Joe The Mechanic

I have posted about Joe-The-Mechanic  at the Crofton Sunoco before, but this guy and his staff continue to keep our rides alive, and I'm thankful for that. Today I had three cars worked on for oil changes and general maintenance so it was a lot of back and forth, but hopefully we are all good for driving them several more thousand miles before the next service! 



Photo of Joe in his "office"!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Attitude is 90% of the Battle

I'm posting early today because I need to put myself in a "bubble" for the rest of the day according to The Best Daughter. I started my day with a 4 mile run, but 2 miles in I tripped over an uneven sidewalk and took a dive scraping my right hand and right side pretty good. Thankfully, three people saw my tumble down and ran over to me to see if I needed help. One gentleman offered to drive me home due to my bleeding hands and elbow. I declined and limped my way back home. I "needed" the work out..... 

After I bandaged myself up, I decided that incident was not going to bring me down so I pulled out the garden tools to trim 5 bushes/boxwoods. I did the first two with no problems, then while finishing up the third one, blew the cord to a tune of sparks and all that "glitters". I'm thankful I did not get electrocuted!

So I'm blogging now, hopeful I will get to the end of the day unscathed! (And do some sewing/quilting-that's bubble-like, right?)

BSoleille!  The bright side of a positive attitude!  


Photo of my botched boxwoods. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Magic of Everyday Things

I am thankful to those who continue to read my blog. I have to admit, posting daily (almost) is even more challenging this year with trying not to repeat too much and keeping the posts "fresh" over last years' challenge to blog every single day. 

When I consider there is "magic in everyday things", I breathe a sigh of relief that there is always something to say and some thing to be grateful for!  So even though I like hot weather, I'm not a fan of humid and hazy. Today my "thing" is the wonderful air conditioner and those who keep them running. 



Saturday, July 27, 2013

Summer Love

Impromptu picnics, fresh strawberries and blueberries, vacations, shorts, tank tops, and sandals; the beach, endless pools and running through the sprinkler!

I'm thankful for a great picnic at Linda and John's, complete with corn hole games, swimming in the pool and a bonfire. Good times summertime!



Photo of my "year round" love!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sunny Day at the Beach

It should go hand in hand with sunny days at the beach no matter where you are in the world. And what is it that draws thousands of people to shores on every coast?  For me it's the sound of the crushing waves and the salty air; I just can't get enough. Soothing. 

I, thankfully, was able to read a few chapters in my book peeking over the pages to check on the waves. My son and his cousins found delight in renting jet skis for a spell and getting splashed with sea salt in their faces!


Thursday, July 25, 2013


A quick trip to the beach with my sister Kimberly and her family is all well and good, except the temperature dropped significantly!  But a cool day at the beach is still quite wonderful, and I'm thankful for that. 



Photo of the nephews and my son on Rehoboth Beach and my sister and me with crab cake platters!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TShirt Quilts Anyone?

I use a couple methods of getting tshirts to me for making tshirt quilts, including snail mail and meeting up with folks that are local (DC Metro area) like I did today near Andrews Air Force Base. Susan and Tina saw my work and contribution to the Mattie Miracle Foundation Walk and thankfully, decided to go with me/Kidsquiltz to make their children a one-of-a-kind quilt. It's simply amazing that a there are millions of Tshirts for everything to document our lives. Pretty cool really, and a quilt certainly prolongs the memories of important events!

BSoleille!  The bright side of cool tshirts!


Photo of the "exchange" with Susan Miranda and Tina Lytle. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We Fight For Inches

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld used to say New Yorkers, "fight for inches", when driving around the city. Every inch counts. Spinning that around to medical miracles and my friend, Marilyn Eichner, she is fighting for inches in her healing and path back to restored health following her brain aneurysm on June 20th. Every good day counts!

Today I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with Marilyn and Patty Lubin at Marilyn's home, and was pleasantly surprised on how well the healing process is working. Even though she is tired and has bouts of shortness of breath, she still has spunk and the very strong will to recover! Amazing woman she is!

BSoleille!  The bright side of sharing laughter as we know its one of life's best medicines. 


Photo of cars in my driveway "fighting for inches"!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cameron Diamond Swim Meet

The 4th annual Cameron Diamond swim meet went without a hitch. Lots of swimmers, with their parents, came out to peruse and bid on the silent auction items available.  It was a great community event and I'm thankful that the Diamond Family raised a great amount money for the Johns Hopkins Children Center and Cam's Playroom. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of Campower!


Photo of BJ and Carol Diamond. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Helping Out

I'm thankful that my son Ryan and I were able to help BJ and Carol Diamond and family, plus a huge crew, set up the 4th Annual Cameron Diamond Swim Meet tomorrow evening. The swim meet starts at 5:30pm at the Crofton Swim and Tennis Club. Over 20 silent auction items are up for bids including a trip to Florida, sports memorabilia, baskets of liquid "refreshments", restaurant gift cards, and a tshirt quilt donated by yours truly!  If you are local, please stop by and check out the goods, all going to a great cause in Cameron's honor to the Johns Hopkins Children's Center Child Life Programs. 

Photo of volunteers Karen, Ryan and Julia, Carol and BJ Diamond (holding the Cameron Diamond tshirt quilt). 

BSoleille!  The bright side of volunteering for a great family!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Butterflies Are Free

This past week in the mid-Atlantic the temperatures are high and the air is thick as thieves plus quite "soupy",  I may add, but the beautiful butterflies are out in full force fluttering here, there, and everywhere. I've seen Monarchs, Longwings,and Swallowtails flitting across backyards (and front yards) everywhere. 


Photo of a blue Swallowtail 

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Bee Playdate

My "New Bee" or "Thee Bee" (still tossing around ideas for a name change possibly), got together today for a sewing day with concentration on Bingo Quilts. Our guild hosts a Bingo in the fall and winners take home beautiful quilts for their prizes. This year it's October 19th, so today was a perfect day to get out of the stifling heat and into Mary Nielsen's cool basement and work on a few quilts/prizes!  And by the way, she has an awesome set up for all of us to sew, press and cut!  

I'm thankful we got a lot done and had a great lunch that Mary made for the crew. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of Bingo Quilts!


Photo of the crew:  Shelley, Cappy, Mary and Carrie. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Back At It

And that "it" is quilting of course. After a long hiatus from any stitching, I repaired my son's backpack and finished quilting the Cameron Diamond quilt for the swim meet next Monday. Productive day which also included a bike ride but I blew out my back tire, again!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pretty Flowers

I could really complain and post on how prolific weeds and poison ivy are growing out if control everywhere, but I'd rather comment on all the pretty flowers out there in the gardens and along the highways and byways. 

The past few weeks I've really noticed the hydrangeas and the great colors that have bloomed this year. I know a lot of their color depends on the soil, but maybe all the rain had something to do with it to?


Photo of a very pink hydrangea in Cleveland, Ohio 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Pool to Cool

I finally broke down and went to the pool for the first time this summer, which is considerably late for me on July 16th!  Even though it was an evening dip it was still quite refreshing considering the higher temps this morning and afternoon. I'm thankful for that! 

The crazy part of my trip was that I knew not one person there. The younger set with kids under 12 dominated the scene. However, I knew every song played on the radio as if that was some sort of consolation. I'll be back!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a cool pool. 


Monday, July 15, 2013

It's What we All Strive For

Being Happy!  And sometimes it takes work when reaching a goal! But worth it in the end. 

My photo today sums it up pretty well:



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Morning

Getting in an early morning run or bike ride on a hot and humid day is the best (especially if you drink lots of water afterwards).  The Cleveland Metroparks are quite shaded so you can feel slightly "cooler" along the roads. Today my husband Bill and I rode north through the park so we can ride toward Lake Erie and ride along Lake Avenue and other streets closer in. Nice!



Saturday, July 13, 2013

Eat Bike Visit

My Ohio trip is not quite like Elizabeth Gilbert's book entitled, "Eat, Pray, Love", but a close second it seems for me. And today instead of another lunch, I book ended my day with breakfast and dinner out with family and husband Bill. The "non" lunch part was a visit to see my Mom, who coincidently, was having lunch when I arrived!  I'm thankful to see my Mom and the folks I dined with today doing so well!



Photos of the Tomoff tribe and my Mom

Friday, July 12, 2013

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Or the power of prayer?  I do. I've seen first hand the "magic" in prayer on several occasions and one most recently in my friend, Marilyn Eichner. A few weeks ago I posted the need for prayer after she suffered a brain aneurysm. Many folks obliged and Marilyn is home and recovering, albeit slowly as she should. 

So today when she called me and we talked for 4 minutes exactly, I felt her spark through her fatigue, but witnessed a miracle on the mend!  I'm so thankful for that call and I floated out to my next destination which was close to an hour 
away!  Simply amazing. 

And after all my great lunches this week I broke tradition and went for a 20 mile bike ride with my friend Rosalie out in the country, Amish that is. Not too much traffic on "their" roads and bikes get along well with horse and buggies!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a quiet country ride. 

Photos of our ride

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Yours Truly

OK I am 3/3 or three lunches in three days with wonderful folks all around Cleveland. Today I dined with two high school friends Debbie and Sarah, and Sarah's two girls, Isabel and Alex. Man, those girls have some high energy but were very polite and good eaters!  And after 16 straight days of rain here, I'm thankful today was a perfect summer day; a day with sunshine, no humidity and clear skies until almost 10:00pm. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of an endless summer day. 


Photo of me with Alex and Isabel at Yours Truly restaurant. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lunch for Two

Believe it or not, I do have my sewing machine and supplies plus fabric and projects to work on while visiting in Ohio. But instead I'm enjoying my time with meaningful visits. Today I met up with a friend, Diane Hall, whom I met 25 years ago with the advent of the Ohio Sports Festival (Diane in marketing and me as volunteer coordinator for the Games), and haven't seen for about 16 years. The magic was picking up where we left off all those years ago-except our kids are now pretty much grown (and we like to think we haven't changed). A simple pleasure in our busy lives. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of renewed friendships!

Photo of me and Diane. 

The Eagles Have Landed

On my bucket list. An awesome date night with my husband at the Q in downtown Cleveland. The concert was unbelievable!  I'm thankful I finally got to see my all time favorite band perform live!  And one of the things I thought was quite interesting was world renowned guitarist, Joe Walsh, played more guitars and bass then hit songs!  Sometimes he played on three different guitars in one song. Whew 

The place was rocking and the Eagles put on a fantastic show through and through. Love that "Peaceful Easy Feeling"!

BSoleille!  The bright side of singing along with a great American band-40+ years in the making.....


Monday, July 8, 2013

Stick Shift Driving

In between raindrops today I'm thankful to report teaching two of my nephews (ages 17&18) to drive a 5-speed manual transmission car. My old Toyota Corolla is the perfect "age" and "condition" to teach novices on driving a stick.  And, they did very well for their first time out!  Only a few stall outs each. Now if I could only convince my son to learn!

BSoleille!  The bright side of learning a knew skill. 

My photo today is one my sister took of me heading out of her driveway in my get away car!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Grad Party #2

Due to a large contingency of family and friends in Cleveland, Ohio, we decided to have a little party to celebrate a great milestone in my son Ryan's academic journey.  Our families were huge supporters through Ryan's cancer battle, and to see him reach high school graduation, was a blessing for all who got him/us to this point in his life.  I am forever grateful to everyone who played any part, even if it was a good joke, when life was challenging over the course of the past 18 years!  A big shout of THANK YOU to each and every one of you!  

BSoleille, the bright side of the "circle of life".


Photos of both sides of families (Tomoff's the larger clan) and cousins. (Some folks were missing due to baseball tournaments/out of towners).

Friday, July 5, 2013

Bike With Daughter

After a mistake on the wrong trail (Tow Path that was too soft and muddy for our road bikes), we packed them up moved to the Summit County Bike and Hike Trail with a much better result. A ride to Akron, Ohio through a pleasant surprise of Silver Lake, we really enjoyed the 25 mile ride!  I'm thankful that the rain held off until mile 21 as the temperature was warm enough that it felt good. 


Photo of the riders. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bay Days

Today's race was the 39th annual Bay Days run in Bay Village, Ohio. It's been a tradition for many years in running or cheering on others for at least 35/39 years for me. I've missed a few here and there but thankful today I was back at covering the 5 mile distance (no racing for me). It was a perfect day for the run even though our "tribe" had dwindled down from previous years. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a holiday run!  Let freedom ring, and a big thank you to those who protect our freedom!


Photo of our group with the Misencik's, 
Fisher's and Tomoff's

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The 4th in Ohio

I'm thankful to have made a safe driving trip with two vehicles "car-a-van" style. First stop was a short visit with the Franek's in Hiram, Ohio. Even though I opted out of a dip in their pond, my daughter jumped at the chance to cool off and stretch her legs after six hours of driving!  Fun impromptu visit. 



Photo of the Franek/Tomoff clan
PS. Have a great and safe 4th of July Weekend!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Constant Thing is Change

In life we finally figure out that the only thing that remains constant is change. Then we have to decide if we like it or not, and sometimes change is thrust upon us and then we have to learn to cope. Heavy stuff I know. 

Recently, my good friend Marilyn Eichner, who takes care of anyone she meets, needs prayers and well wishes as she is recovering from a brain aneurysm. Scary. We met when our children battled childhood cancer at Georgetown almost 17 years ago, and she has continued to be a cherished friend, mentor and caregiver to me and countless people in the Washington DC metro area!  Her husband just texted me and stated that her nurse was wondering if she is a VIP. I replied, "of course she is!"

She is loved by many and my heart goes out to her now-courageous battle of healing and recovery. Prayers still needed for "good sleep". 


Photo of Marilyn and Ryan at his graduation party and one week prior to her health change. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Campower Quilt

The 4th Annual Cameron Diamond Swim Meet is in a few weeks (July 22nd) and the family asked if I would do a tshirt quilt commemorating the occasion using the previous three years of tshirts. I am honored to make the quilt and worked very diligently today to complete the top. The self imposed deadline from yesterday's post certainly made an impact on me to get it to the finish line today. With a few minutes to spare before the day ends, I met my deadline and I'm thankful for that!



Photo of Cam's Quilt 2013