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!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

College Football

I'm thankful the whole family was available this weekend to attend the first JMU football game on a warm afternoon of tailgating and beautiful evening of football!  JMU defeated Central Connecticut State University 38-14, but I think the Royal Dukes Marching Band was one of the highlights. A big shout goes out to Laura R. for organizing a great tailgate party!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Eggplant Dish

I became a real eggplant eater this summer and I cannot get enough of this vegetable. Most people either love it or really dislike it. It's very flavorful the way I've prepared it all summer and I made it again today. The kicker is using romo tomatoes (they have less juice when cut), some garlic and spices and its in the oven in no time. Delicious!

BSoleille!  The bright side of summer bounty of vegetables!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Antique Quilt

I'm thankful I had the privilege to long-arm quilt an antique 1930's quilt lovingly hand pieced by Merle Covington of Pottsboro, Texas. She is the grandmother of my friend Margaret Walters, who mentioned that Ms. Merle was a wonderful country woman who worked hard into her late 70's. She died five years ago and would have been 100 this September!  Lots of wild colors in the quilt that could have been men's shirts and child clothing from a long ago time. 

Now Margaret and her family have a great finished quilt and a peek into her grandmother's past. 



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lunch Date

I spent the afternoon (including lunch) with my friend and mentor, Marilyn Eichner. She is a walking miracle today, thankfully, following her brain aneurysm at the end if June. If you did not know her background, you would never notice anything askew since she is recovering and healing so well!  Prayers and well wishes moved mountains on her behalf. Beautiful to see the tremendous progress she has accomplished in two months. 



I'm including one more photo of Lucy-C-Loo who is really in trouble for lounging on Ryan's bed. The dogs do sofas but not beds until I caught her "blacked pawed" this week!

Monday, August 26, 2013

National Dog Day

Not only is today a big back to school day, but also an homage to our four legged furry canine friends!  I'm thankful for Lucky and Lucy as they are great dogs, but I admit they are work at times. I'm also grateful to my dog sitter, Grace, who takes the utmost care of them when we are away! So give those furry creatures an extra treat today (maybe tomorrow) in celebration as they make our lives quite interesting. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of cuddling a cute puppy!


Photo of only Lucy today taken early this morning. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back to School

I would like to wish everyone a successful upcoming school year, with many starting classes tomorrow (and some already started)!  The days may seem slow but the year will fly by quickly. On the eve of my son starting his freshman year at the community college, and daughter starting her senior year at JMU, I can honestly say I have two kids in college!  I don't think I'm old enough to have that though....it seems like it was just "yesterday" I was starting at Bowling Green State University. 

BSoleille! The bright side and privilege to attend college!


Saturday, August 24, 2013


Except for the binding, Ryan's quilt is finished!  Yeah!  He loves it so I think maybe it was worth the wait (and some down right begging on his part for me to 'git er done'). You can't see from the photo but the backing is lime green (the new neutral) with "Boo-Boo" bunny fabric in the middle. It fits Ryan perfectly. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of another completed project. 


Friday, August 23, 2013

Ambitious Evening

Ahhh, the joy of getting back behind the "wheel" of my long arm quilting machine tonight. I finally finished Ryan's tshirt quilt #1 and posting its photo while on the machine and not the full view until tomorrow's post because he's working and has not seen it yet!  After that was completed I quickly loaded another one that I will finish tomorrow. I'm giving myself the "over achiever award" for tonight's work. Lol

BSoleille!  The bright side of correct tension on any sewing machine. 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

School Health

Another school year is upon us next week, though the teachers and health staff are back in business readying their spaces. This week I was awarded my 5 year pin of service in school health services and I'm thankful for that!



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Emissions Testing

Don't you think it's kind of a pain to take our vehicles in for emissions testing?  And what exactly is the $14 charge on each vehicle used for?  I'm thankful that the two cars I took in today passed but I really do think this is a silly money maker for the state.  I take it that's the price we pay to keep on rolling down the highway!



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monkey See Monkey Do

I guess this concept could apply to dogs too, especially if they have lived together for a long time. As my photo says loud and clear, its either the "dog days of summer" are here, or these two whipper snappers mimic each other when they can, including nap time!



Photo of Lucy (big one) and Lucky

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cough and Cold

That's what I have right now and I'm not liking this at all. Starting the lawn mower for my son to cut grass was about the best of my strength today. Thankfully no fever and I'll be back to "normal" very soon. 

BSoleille! The bright side of soft tissues to blow my nose!


No new photo today, I think a first for 2013 (did not want to take one of cough and cold medicines or tissues!)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Peds Hem/Onc Picnic at Smokey Glen Farm

Dr. Aziza Shad's/Georgetown Pediatric Hematology/Oncology's annual picnic was held at the lovely Smokey Glen Farm in Germantown, Maryland. Over 150 parents and kids came out to enjoy wagon rides, cotton candy, snow cones, a huge chicken dinner, Candy Cane the 
Clown, and mingling amongst the parents and kids. Even an overcast day did not stop the fun!

A big shout out to Patty Lubin, one of our  Hem/Onc Pediatric Parent Advisory Board members, who basically handled the entire event from soup to nuts beautifully!



Photo of our newly formed PAB for Peds Hem/Onc: sitting L-R; Patty Lubin, Carmen Cheng, Marilyn Eichner; standing  -me, Dr. Shad and Donna Shank

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Two Sun Rises/Visit in Ann Arbor

Higgins Lake "tradition" calls for getting up at sunrise and drinking coffee. I do not drink coffee but got up for the first and last sunrise of the week, just in time to pack the cars and head back to real life!

A change up came this afternoon when I contacted an old friend, Nancy Shafer Boudreau, early in the week in the chance she and her family would be home for a quick visit.  She lives in Ann Arbor which is on the way home, so it was an easy stop (plus drove the family through the University of Michigan).  We all had a great visit catching up with our lives and I'm thankful I made the initial call. A shout of thanks to Nancy, Bob, and Elena (other daughter at college). 


Friday, August 16, 2013

Happy 19th Birthday to my Ryan

I am very thankful to give a shout out of birthday greetings to my son Ryan, an almost 17 year childhood cancer survivor!  And by coincidence??? his BMT doc from Duke requested some recent photos of Ryan due to a Bone Marrow Drive this doctor was attending this weekend to give hope and inspiration to others!  Fantastic!

Today was our last full day at Higgins. Everyone broke camp early to pack and head back to our respective homes in the early am. Great week with the Tomoff Family Higgins 2013!



Photos of the birthday boy; jet ski (my fav); and the 14/16 iPad users and enthusiasts....

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Days Flying By

Why is it that the days fly by while on vacation, but sometimes drag on when we are in the humdrum routine of life?  Right now though I'm thankful for sunny skies to do all the outdoorsy stuff we all like to do, including water/boating activities here at Higgins Lake. Today I enjoyed laying on a raft in the lake and taking the jet ski out for a few spins around (not to mention some after dinner fishing with nieces and nephew)!



Photos of Alex Tomoff with the boats' largest catch of the night, campfire (held nightly) with Cousins Kristin and Olivia and one of my little fishes that I caught tonight as well (total of 17 fish with 4 people casting lines). 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Good Day for Fishing

After my obligatory bike ride, I was thankfully able to take the communal boat out to the drop off and fish for two plus hours!  It was a wild success for me, in that I snagged 10 small mouth bass!  #'s 7,8,9 were caught within a minute if each other.  Now I'm up to reeling in a dozen so far this trip. Yeah!

As you can see from my photos posted today, the Lake really calmed down this evening and it was truly beautiful. 



Photos of yesterday's white caps, Olivia with cousin Brett and Debbie, one of my fishes, and the calm of lake tonight. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Love That Biking

So far I'm 3/3 in cycling around the lake at 25 miles a pop. My goal would to finish the week with 150 miles total and some sore and tired legs. Thankfully we go in morning so we can do other fun stuff in the afternoon. Last night, the temps cooled considerably after a storm rushed in (and I was out on the lake fishing). So water activities were minimum today because the Lake had whitecaps, at least early on today. Naps and some reading were just the ticket this afternoon. 



Photos from the week; obviously some warmer days plus one of two fish I caught and the tribe of bikers!

Monday, August 12, 2013

6:39 Sunrise "Fall In"

A tradition at Higgins Lake for those not faint of heart is to "fall into" the sunrise. I admit, as much as I love the water, I cannot seem to force my body into the cool water (with cool outside temps-55 degrees this morning), rather, I get up to record the event through photographs. But I simply admire those that do, it's a great way to wake up, albeit a bit crazy!

This morning was designated the day to "fall in", and 50% of the tribe took the plunge. Yikes!



Photos: 1) 8 people fall in, 2) 5 cousins

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Getting It All In

Due to some possible cooler weather this week (in the 30's at night, yikes!), I/we are trying to get in a lot of activities. As a matter of fact,  today was centered on getting as much "fuel" as possible. Six of the tribe cycled around the lake for 24 miles, then walked and ran plus played numerous games of corn hole. For me, an hour on the jet ski plus two hours of evening fishing rounded out my day. I'm thankful the sun broke out in the afternoon so I could get on that jet ski, one of my favorite things to do at Higgins Lake!



Photos from the day 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Peaceful Sunset

We finally arrived at Higgins Lake, Michigan late this afternoon. It's pretty far up here but not quite to the U.P.(Upper Penisula). I guess by mid August it starts to cool down but it is still pleasant temp wise, maybe low 70's.  Our group consists of my husband's side of the family with our total this year set at 16 strong!


Photo of the lake and the first campfire of the week. 

Friday, August 9, 2013


I/we've taken a few days here and there for some mini vacations this summer, but today we start a week long one. I'm thankful to start our first day visiting with some "old" friends, The Nelson's, in Sylvania, Ohio, on our way to Higgins Lake, Michigan. 

It's fun to get together and talk about old times, and the take away is that somethings never change!



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Whatever Happened to Hiding Deer?

When I was out and about recently in Rockville, Maryland, and visiting my friend Marilyn, (who is doing very well and continues to heal), look what crossed my path. Two deer that seemed very comfortable around people in a neighborhood that had kids and dogs, traffic and big noise with lawn mowers and other loud equipment.  They were quite bold too,  eating flowers in someone's garden when I first saw the Mom and her fawn. When they slowly looked around to seek out other "food" sources, they crossed the street right in front of me like they had not a care in the world! 



Favorite Dunkin Donut

I usually give myself the freedom of eating one donut a month. I do not think I had one in June or July, but perhaps I did (I'm on the honor system with myself), and today I had my all time favorite with a Chocolate Glazed one. My friend Jodie had her favorite too, a Boston Cream-breakfast of "champions" they are!

BSoleille! The bright side of a chocolate sugar rush!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fabric Acquisition Trip

To the Lancaster, PA area and the quilt shops dotting through the small towns with my quilting buddies, Cappy, Carrie, Susie and "quilt appreciator", Jodie. We all "petted" many fabrics and purchased some too, now its to find the time to work them all into new and "old" projects. 

BSoleille! The bright side of cotton fabric!


Photos of Susie Stevenson at Sauder's, Jodie Smith "becoming" Amish for a moment and my newly purchased fabric!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Jodie in Town

My college friend Jodie arrived today in what I call a glorious day in Maryland!  Low humidity and a perfect 82 degrees. We caught up on our lives but had to get outside and take advantage of the great day by getting in a fast 4 mile walk. 

We ended the day by watching a great documentary: " Jiro Dreams of Sushi" that my husband has been recommending for quite some time for me to see. It's the story of a 85 year old, Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world's greatest sushi chef (he's been making it for 75 years)!  His 10 seat restaurant in a Tokyo subway has been awarded the prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating and people flock to it from around the globe for its perfection and mouth watering flavors. 

I'll never look at sushi the same way, and the making of it is truly an art, certainly at Jiro's! Check it out if you get the chance. 



Photo of Jodie and me. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

I Passed

I will continue to be a Grade 8 USSF soccer referee through December of 2014 as I passed the Recertification exam with a 94%!  I also sat through a 5 hour recert class today to "finalize" the requirements to wear the "stripes".  The class was interesting because the topic was Game Management; tips on how to talk players out of fouling and displaying unsporting behavior!  I aspire to good game management every time I step into the middle of the field, not so easy at times. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of wearing the USSF badge another year!


Photo of class

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bread is the Staff of Life

As "The Best Daughter" and I shopped for some groceries this evening, I passed by some CCC's (aka chocolate chip cookies) that looked very appealing to me. I really wanted to add them to the cart but was out voted, shucks!

I then neared the wonderful breads and came upon a good looking loaf of sour dough bread that got the thumbs up from "The Best Daughter". It seems this was too good to pass up. We decided we will eat the carbs instead of the sugar. Lol

BSoleille!  The bright side of a decent slice of sour dough bread!