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, January 30, 2015

Balloon "Man"

So it is Super Bowl weekend, and the country (and military bases around the world) are gearing up for Sunday's "big game". Let's face it, we love the commercials and half time show, and "the game" can be considered second banana for all but two towns in the USA. But the very best is all the great tailgate food being made around the country to serve. It is like the nirvana of tailgates and all at no calories! Go Team...Seattle or bust!

My photo was taken at the grocery store today and the first thing that sprang to my mind was "Seattle or bust Mr. Balloon Man". Haha

BSoleille! The bright side of may the best team-commercial-SB party win!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday

While visiting a local restaurant in Cleveland,Ohio over the holidays, I noticed this photo print of John Belushi which brought back funny memories of "Saturday Night Live", and then, of course, "Animal House ". Truly a blast from the past and never expected to see this type of photo near the ladies restroom!

BSoleille!  The bright side of the unexpected. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ingenuity in the Quilt Studio?

My pre-owned HQ Long-Arm came with a computerized Pro Stitcher that I seldom use, and may need to be replaced down the road. However, I typically free arm quilt, and like to look at patterns while I do so, but I do not like to put a book on the quilt while quilting, nor put it behind me (too hard to go back and forth). So I thought why not try to some how "jiggy rig" my iPad in front of me so I can see the pattern or you tube video while I am free motion quilting. VoilĂ ... It may not look pretty, but it got the job done and the quilting looks great on the "minky"back. 

BSoleille! The bright side of thinking outside the proverbial box. 


Monday, January 26, 2015

Bill Welly's Tshirt Quilt

One of my largest (very long @110") tshirt quilt to date is finished and will be shipped out tomorrow (weather permitting). I believe some of the shirts date back to the 70's, and threadbare, but thankfully, I quilted delicately around the most Mr. Welly's tender shirts. His quilt will be a trip down memory lane with all the softball teams he played on through the years!

BSoleille! The bright side of a personalized and one of a kind quilt. 

Twins in the House

It is been five years since my husband's twin, Don, has come for a visit. His visit, however, includes work in the area with twin Bill, my husband. They are fun to be around, and boy let me tell you, the "tech talk" is at full steam (at least for me). 

Our night also included Karen and Mike Serafini who came to celebrate our finished kitchen (Mike did the awesome installation and renovation), meet Don for upcoming work strategies and get a dose of more "tech talk" to help see "a world gone social" through the eyes of Bill and Don!

BSoleille! The bright side of keeping up with technology....if you can!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

They Are Called..,.

Button hooks!  Back in the day, the button hooks helped tie up shoe laces on "old fashioned" shoes and boots. Some shoe stores also had a shoe horn attached to the hook for a dual purpose tool!  Thanks for all responses and most guessed a rug hook!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a button hook collection from the home of Mary Nielsen. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

What Are These?

I had a 2Bee today with quilter extraordinaire Mary Nielsen, who will also be the Featured Quilter at our guilds' upcoming show in March. I have been to her home on several occasions and always admired her collection of ____!  If you know what these are, send me an email with your response: ttomoff@gmail.com. I will post the correct answer tomorrow, and  maybe some of the guesses received. 

The "reveal" tomorrow will have a couple more photos of her wide collection that is very cool!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mind, Body, Spirit

Om, yoga!  We are back in the saddle of weekly yoga (core and back), and  I am thankful that my husband has joined me now for our second session. Running, aerobic activity, swimming and tennis are all all great, but yoga helps with the much needed stretching (at least for me) to keep us all going. My big question is why I was not aware of doing it for the past 30 years? It would have been so helpful in college for sure due to all the running and very tight hamstrings....still!

BSoleille! The bright side of one possible day of touching my toes!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Arrested Development"

With a blustery cold day that included a couple of inches of snow, I was thankfully ensconced at home working on various TShirt quilts/projects.  And though I mostly listen to music or books on tape while I work, there are  certain parts of the process that I can actually watch something, and today I chose to "binge" watch "Arrested Development" on Netflix.  It was LAUGH OUT LOUD funny (I am in season 2), and I giggled all afternoon with the super sarcastic banter of the characters. A mood buster for sure!


Photo is yesterday's sunset....

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Quilt for the Show

My quilt guild, Southern Comforters of Bowie, Maryland, has our annual show coming up the weekend of March 21-22. Exciting news; we have a new venue this year- Sam Ogle Middle School (bigger space, brighter, and good parking). 

So as it is never to early to work on and finish quilts to go in the show, my photo today is one of the quilts I will enter this year. I am still deciding on borders, and if this quilt looks a little familiar, I made a baby quilt late last year on a smaller scale with no borders.  It is called: Two Happy from the Happy Zombie website. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of "Two Happy"!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Shark Teeth

On cold winter nights, what's not to like about dreaming of summer and planning new summer activities. On my list for this siummer is packing a picnic lunch and heading down to Chesapeake Beach in Southern Maryland to look for shark teeth. A friend of mine told me it's quite addictive looking through the sand to find one, and from the looks of her loot collected over several years, some of the teeth found are teenie-tiny!

BSoleille!  The bright side of making summer plans in January!


Saturday, January 17, 2015


I am so thankful that our kitchen renovation is 90% done with the backsplash installation this weekend!  We had waited to select the tiles, and we really like the coke-bottle glass green that we finally settled on to finish the room. Once the grout is applied, it will be a done deal and I am thrilled with the final outcome. 


Friday, January 16, 2015

Favorite Jeans Found!

My husband did tell me that my "lost" and favorite pair of jeans will turn up....someday.  That someday, thankfully, was today. How can that happen you ask? Well, that "black hole" happened to be one of our vehicles that I never drive (son does). But today I needed to drive it, and while looking in the cargo area for something, came across a bag that had my jeans and a pair of socks. I have no recollection of putting those items in a bag, and in this vehicle, but there they were front and center (and clean)! 

BSoleille! The bright side of coming "whole" again with a "lost" item. Hooray!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Lightbulb Moment

For lots of people, a "lightbulb" moment is that proverbial "ah ha" moment when a thought or concept crystallizes finally. For those that love the "old" lightbulbs, our time is limited and all of them are slowly burning out and being replaced by the pesky CFL bulbs (which mine hiss by the way). And what is up with darkness when you turn on the light switch? It seems like it takes forever for them to "warm" up, and then when they finally start to shed some decent light, we are done with a task or left the room, and need to turn them off once again. Cheers for saving energy!

BSoleille!  The bright side of bright lights!
p. s. There is a "Killing Patton" in the Bill O'Reilley series.....

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"One Country, One Destiny"

Last summer I got interested in the "Killing" series of books by Bill O'Reilley and Martin Dugard.  "Killing Jesus" was the first one of the series I listened to on "tape" with Linda Misencik while driving out to Colorado. Currently, I am listening to "Killing Lincoln-The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever" that I will finish tomorrow. What is so cool about the series is the depth the authors go to educate the masses on very historical material in a clear concise manner. 

As much as I love history, I do not think I was paying as close attention to the details of what I am learning now. Interestingly, in "Lincoln", it is estimated that 30 million people viewed Lincoln's body as it layed in state as his body travelled from Washington to Illinois (and that would or could never happen today); that 87 Union soldiers died in the Potomac River trying to capture John Wilkes Booth, and the Ford's Theater play, "Our American Cousin" was what Lincoln and his wife Mary went to see the night of his assassination. 

The last one of the series is "Killing Kennedy", and that one should be quite interesting!


Monday, January 12, 2015

Bucks vs. Ducks

In college sports, there is nothing finer than a College football Championship game.  Heisman trophy winner vs the grit of "the boys of O-H-I-O"!  I love the bands, fans and excitement all around the loud and boisterous stadium crowd. As I write this blog tonight, the score is 14-7, Ohio State taking the lead. Of course being an Ohio girl, I am hoping for an Ohio State Buckeye win!!!

BSoleille! The bright side of college football traditions. 


Saturday, January 10, 2015


A big hearty dog "laugh" and saying "ahhhh" are two captured photos taken today of Big Lucy!  Maybe she is a little stir crazy since we did not walk outside, but it sure seems like she thought something was funny this afternoon!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Hawaiian Pineapples

A whiff of pineapple and the warmth of an Hawaii day (never been, but hey I can dream) made this display of many pineapples take the sting of the Artic chill encasing most of the country this week!  I did not buy one today, but plan to soon. 


Thursday, January 8, 2015

"Little Dancer Aged Fourteen"

The National Gallery of Art has two worthy exhibitions to see at this time, and I am thankful "The Best Daughter" and I got down to DC to take them in today.  

El Greco had one fantastic gallery of both small and large paintings that leaves one speechless. 

And Edgar Dagas "Dancer" was terrific to see "in person"; quoting from the museum:
"Now adored, this original wax version of Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer Aged Fourteen was reviled by most critics when it was shown at the 1881 impressionist exhibition in Paris.  Art critic Elie de Mont was flabbergasted: “I don’t ask that art should always be elegant, but I don’t believe that its role is to champion the cause of ugliness.” The diminutive figure, the only sculpture Degas exhibited publicly, was described variously as “repulsive,” “vicious,” and “a threat to society.” Modeled in colored wax and adorned with real hair and a fabric costume, Little Dancer decisively broke with 19th-century academic practice by introducing unusual mixed materials and frankly representing a provocative modern subject; Degas added to the controversy by exhibiting it like an anthropological specimen in a glass vitrine."

Both Olivia and I thought it was great, and I really liked how the sculpture looked from the rear angle as shown in my photos today. 

BSoleille! The bright side of "cool" art!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

At the Strathmore CEO To CEO

This evening was an exceptional night celebrating the fantastic work of outgoing CEO Kathy Russell and welcoming the new CEO Jennie Lucca for the NIH Children's Inn in Washington DC held at the beautiful Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland. 

Two years ago I blogged about Kathy being name "Washingtonianof the Year", and she was also highlighted in "People" magazine for her tireless work in helping families in crisis with sick children. Kathy was very instrumental in helping our family, especially our son Ryan, who battled childhood cancer for 10 years. She knew just the right thing to say to us at any given time, and for that, and the countless words of wisdom (along with Special Love Camps and trips to the beach) bestowed on us, over a very long period of time, incredible kindness and empathy and generosity. We are forever grateful to her and her family through the years...

In conclusion and in Kathy's infinite wisdom, she groomed her successor in Jennie Lucca, who takes over the reins on Friday. May these two incredible women find joy and happiness on their new paths in 2015!

BSoleille! The bright side of a beautiful "changing of the guard" CEO style of the Children's Inn. 


Kathy Russell: Washingtonian of the Year

ksWashingtonian Magazine named Kathy L. Russell, founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Children's Inn at NIH, a "Washingtonian of the Year" in its current issue.  


Congratulations to Kathy for receiving this prestigious recognition as a champion of children facing life-threatening  and debilitating illnesses.  

Photos from tonight:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fun in the Snow

That certainly is not me, but one dog that lives with us, Lucy-Loo, it certainly is!  She seems like she can't get enough of the snow and bitter cold temperatures, bless her part husky soul!  Warm hearty soup and lots of hot tea is something to be thankful for today across the land. 


Photo by "The Best Daughter"

Monday, January 5, 2015

Every 25 years....

I am thankful that my first pair of hiking boots lasted 25+years (purchased from LLBean), but really they are on their last leg and are not waterproof any longer. If my new "waterproof" Merrell's last 25 years, I will be one happen camper. And with cool and wet weather moving into the area, this is a great time to wear 'em and get that broken in feeling quickly!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Awesome January Sunset

Four days into the new year and it seems like the days are lighter longer, and I am thankful for that. Just think...it will be spring in less than three months. But in the meantime, watching out for super wintertime sunsets will get my attention as today's did, and here to share as the photo of the day!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Food+Friendship = Fun

A combination Possibilibee Christmas "party" and sew day on a rainy Saturday was just the ticket to get those engines, er sewing machines, humming once again (at least for me on the sewing machine). Then mix in show and tell, a hearty breakfast and lunch and "seven sewing sisters stitching" (sounds like it could be part of the song "12 Days of Christmas") and it made the day fly by all too fast to start the year on a positive note "quiltily". A big thank you to Susie Stevenson for hosting us once again.

The cool loot included: Best Press Spray Starch, post its and candy (me); a knitted sock with a thumb drive with 70's music (Mary); a large clear plastic zippered bag (Cappy); two bean bag type neck warmers made with rice (Shelley and Janet); a fabric bowl to use under a heated/hot bowl (Susie), and a sock monkey bottle holder (Carrie)!  Very clever....and so thankful that these ladies are in my life. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a rainy day!

Photos include Shelley's Batik Spectrum Quilt and the Six Sister Sock Monkeys 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Empty Shelves

It seems that New Year resolutions are in full swing, especially when it comes to eating well. This evening I had to get a few things from the grocery store, and lo and behold came across almost empty shelves of produce. I hope there is genuine interest in America to eat healthy, and I will check back in a few months to see if the produce section is still a "hot" aisle. 

BSoleille! The bright side of fresh carrots, broccoli, lettuce, zucchini and squash!


Thursday, January 1, 2015


Wow, another start to a brand new year!  I do plan on continuing this blog, hopefully on a daily basis (may miss now and then), but this daily dose has certainly become part of my "fabric". 

Interestingly enough, the kids desired "experiences over things" for Christmas. So this afternoon they experienced the "first" experience with The Winter Classic (outdoor) NHL hockey game -Caps vs. Chicago Blackhawks at Nationals Stadium in DC. Thankfully, they enjoyed the entire day, taking it all in, and a bonus of an exciting finish of a WIN (Caps 3-2 over Blackhawks in the last 12.9 seconds of the game).

Planking for two minutes, running/walking the Crofton Parkway with the hubby and setting and updating myself up on various social media sites made for a productive day I must admit. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a wildly connected world of six billion people!