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, April 30, 2015

Lori Costello

I am sad to say that one of my "old-bee mates", Lori Costello, passed away quite suddenly last night.  We were a part of the Piecemakers Bee that celebrated 10 years of being together every first and third Wednesday of the month just a few years ago. Not only was Lori a great quilter, she had a terrific sense of humor and wit, and  kept us all in "stitches" with her one-liner comments!  While a member of the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild, she held the office of Vice President, went on several retreats, and made fast and lasting friendships with many members through the years.  And though Lori encountered numerous health problems in the last few years, she tried to quilt and sew as much as she could, which hopefully, alleviated some of her pain.  Prayers going out to her three grown children, and she will be sorely missed by many!


My photo is of Lori at the 2012 Southern Comforters Quilt Show!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A New Job

For the next six weeks I will be assisting the teaching staff at an Annapolis elementary school shaping the academic minds of our youth (or at least that is my intent). A good first day with my fifth grade class yielded a "masterpiece" drawing of a sports car of one of my charges that is pretty cool, and I am thankful for that!

BSoleille! The bright side of a purple "Audi"!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

One More Spring Flower...

Those delicate tulips rising up give me pause at their sheer beauty and shape. Their colors are so delightful, almost delicious in flower-speak.  It is all good with one tulip or dozens and today my photo is only one (not mine but next door neighbors's) that I had to share. Take notice if you can because they do not hang around very long in springtime. 


Monday, April 27, 2015

Baltimore Burning

A sad day for Baltimore and everything it stands for as a great American city...until today, unfortunately, where downtown areas continue to burn, more fires are starting and there is one big mess for the state of Maryland to clean up when it is all over. No words or videos can convey the heartbreak of a big city reduced to the ugliness witnessed today. And there are thousands of good people that live in that city!

I hope it will recover and heal, but I am afraid it will take years....


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Big Girl Math...

Quilters typically use a lot of math, fractions of inches, geometry and algebra too. So yesterday, instead of figuring out exactly how many blocks I needed for a swap I am in, I "loosely" figured to a tune of making 232 blocks instead of 112!  I doubled up and then some. The kicker was it took most of the day, the silver lining, I can use the extras for another quilt!

My photo today is a quilt I made for "The Best Daughter", should have been done three years ago....


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Making Things

I am thankful to spend all day cutting fabric into little squares, rectangles and triangles because something great will finally be assembled and appear. But I also like to have some "immediate" gratification so I made a few "bug bags" for a few JMU ladies graduating in May.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

It's Not Africa...

A cozy cabin, wild life and water views are the elements of the Possibillibees spring retreat on the West River. Oh yes, we also have lots of fabric, ideas, sewing machines, food and friendship to balance out the weekend!  So far I turned eight hand dyed flannel fat quarters into a little"ish" quilt (not done, still thinking of adding more), and muscling through another swap using Tri-rec rulers (yes, Sheila, finally getting to them!)

Looking forward to working on more projects the rest of the weekend, and thankful for the animals passing by our cabin...



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stella Walsh Documentary

Today I stumbled on the "news" that I am a "principal cast member" of Rob Lucas's documentary on Stella Walsh. Stella was a legend in the sport of track and field back in the 30's and 40's, but ran under Poland, and not the USA. She coached me as a youth track athlete when I was a member of the Polish Falcons of America!



Year: 2014
Country: USA
Run Time: 15 minutes

Stella Walsh was one of the most celebrated female athletes on the planet. She had thousands of medals, ribbons, honors and fans from around the world. Her popularity continued for decades after winning a gold medal in the 1932 Olympics, until she was killed in a robbery and it was discovered that she had ambiguous gender.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Big Clouds

Big Bertha clouds have rumbled into the area bringing lots of noisy thunder, and not much rain for all the racket it brings. It has been awhile since we've heard the crack of lightning, but will gratefully take that over an ice storm for sure any day. 

BSoleille! The bright side of big clouds and lightning that lights up a dark night. 


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tomoff Kin

It seemed like the stars aligned today for two of the Tomoff kin to arrive in the DC area for work here this week. Nephew, Brett, and Brother-in-law, Don, came on two separate flights in two different airports, but arrived in Crofton within minutes of each other. Cool beans!  So off we all went for a repast at Mission BBQ, all good eats for sure!

BSoleille! The bright side of a houseful of Tomoff menfolk. 


Saturday, April 18, 2015

30 Years Ago....

On this date, 30 years ago, I met my mate at a high school track meet (Bell Relays in Rocky River, Ohio). Our mutual friend, Bill Gawne, was meet director and got all his friends to help time at the finish line. So Bill Tomoff signed up to work that day, and I'm so thankful he did!  A year later, same date at the same meet (okay one day later), we got engaged!  Those 30 years went by pretty fast I would say. Looking forward to the next 30!

BSoleille! Cheers to a great guy, husband and father!


Friday, April 17, 2015


In South Africa, a "sundowner" is the equivalent of our Happy Hour, and better shared with friends and family.  And in SA, the sun and the beautiful setting of the sun...down is really something to celebrate!  We already had our "sundowners" the night I took this photo.  What you cannot see is Venus, which is our equivalent of the North Star high in the sky.  But the sky was spectacular as you can see and I thoroughly enjoyed those precious moments in the bush.

BSoleille!  "Sundown, ya better take care" - lyrics from Gordon Lightfoot


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Local Blooms...

A tree in my neighborhood is in full bloom and very pretty in all its glory (magnolia tree). A colder winter has led to a later spring than usual, but thankful for daffodils, tulips and forsythia making their debut for 2015!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Funny Garbage

I had to laugh at the garbage cans designated for the Kylami Estates in Johannesburg, South Africa with the word/s: "pukitup" or, as we would say, "pick it up"!

Hopefully, the job gets done no matter how it's said!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

150 Years Ago....

150 years ago tonight, President Abe Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, were at Ford's Theatre in DC to see the play: " Our American Cousin". Abe really did not want to go, but did not want to disappoint his wife (like a lot of husbands), and reluctantly went, even arriving late much to Mary's chagrin. A broken chain of events began when Lincoln's body guard (policeman) left his post for a local bar, and then that paved the way for John Wilkes Booth to "sharpen" his resolve to take that fatal shot, killing Lincoln, and changing our country forever. 

Our 16th President, one of the greatest presidents who ever held that office; may his words still radiate and continue in our world today pushing all Americans to "be as happy as you make your minds up to be!"

B Soleille!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A 10 miler and 2 Soccer Games

A beautiful morning running through the streets of DC with full blooming cherry blossoms and 20,000 runners strong started the day!  Our "CCC Team" did well with everyone finishing and enjoying the event to the best of our abilities: "The Best Daughter" and Liz ran 1:23; cousin Shelli ran 1:47; cousin Kate ran her 5K in 33 minutes and I ran 1:29 to round out the team. Bill graciously held the keys and extra jackets!

And lastly, I got my verbal wish to the family stating, "I'd like to work a couple soccer games today". This was verbalized after seeing a little girl in a soccer uniform at Dunkin Donuts after the race. Five minutes later I received a call to work two games...serendipity I reckon!  Thankful and Tired!



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cherry Blossoms in DC

The cherry blossoms are in full bloom mode in DC, with breathtaking beauty especially around the Tidal Basin. A feast for the eyes. However, that viewing comes with the expense of thousands of people trying to do the same thing with crippling traffic, and today, the tragic death of a young man at the Capitol this afternoon. Thankfully, our travels were West of the area, as the Capitol and White House were on lock down for a few hours until all the details were sorted out by law enforcement. 

It was great that we walked a lot after going to the running expo for the race tomorrow, but used the red Capital Bikes to get around the city which was a lot of fun and faster too. (Better when you know where all the bike carrels are located!)

BSoleille! The bright side of sunshine, full bloom cherry blossoms and a bright blue sky!


Photos of cousins Kate Slogar and Shelli Lanza and "our team" photo with Olivia Tomoff and Liz Verrecchia 

Friday, April 10, 2015

CCC's (and they are not cookies)

This weekend the CCC'S are the Cleveland-Crofton Cousins getting together in Crofton and DC for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler on Sunday!  An early drive in for Shelli (first cousin) and her daughter, Katie, made arrival time lunch time which we did in downtown Annapolis. A stroll over to the Naval Academy revealed a brigade parade (which we missed), but we did watch them all march back to Bancroft Hall in uniform and unison!!  I am thankful to share the moment with my cousins for it was their first time on the campus. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of a parade!


Thursday, April 9, 2015


OneDrive is Microsoft's cloud storage of documents and photos that my family has been using for quite a spell. And as my needs arose to share my South African and Quilt Show photos with my travel mates, and guild members, respectively, my husband jumped at the chance to convince me that this was a great solution for sharing my photos and other documents. However, this does come with an expense of a learning curve, as all new things do, and I have been learning and muscling right up there with the best of them. Mistakes? Sure thing, but I keep pushing to know more and do better!  I am thankful to learn this new format, and hopefully will encourage others to try it if not already into the whole cloud storage thing.  It is where the world is moving towards on many fronts.

BSoleille!  The bright side of 1TB of cloud storage!  

Photos by HpGruneisen in cable car coming down from Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

In Colorful Stitches

Our guild speaker tonight was the prolific color-your-world gal, Gyleen Fitzgerald. She has a quick wit who is funny and entertaining with great back stories behind her beautiful quilts. She "coached" us on how color affects quilts, starting from the individual fabric to a completed block, and then finished product. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she is an inspiration for many quilters near and far!

BSoleille!  The bright side of blending colors and patterns (with lots of randomness) to make quilts that touch the heart!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

FA'ing in Lancaster, PA

In quilter's lingo, FA is fabric acquisition on any level, from a fat quarter to a bolt. I am thankful to have shared the day with three Possibilibees (Carrie, Shelley and Susie) who all had various forms of FA in all colors and yardage. It was a good jump start to several Tshirts quilts that are in the pipe line to complete!

The photos are from "good ole" Obie's and a what looked like a brand new horse and buggy "sedan" "driven" by an Amish woman (you should have seen how she backed out of her space quite amazingly) as in all in a day's work. She was shopping in the same place we were. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of tactile fabrico frenzy!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Duke vs. Wisconsin

Last college game tonight with tip off in a couple minutes. My pick: Duke. They somehow find a way to win in these big games. However, may the "best" team win. Gotta love college hoops!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Time

I hope everyone had a nice Easter spending time with family and friends. Now if our spring time weather would match Easter and cooperate we can be set to enjoy the longer days ahead. 



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Rainbow

A wild weather pattern for five minutes today yielded sun, rain, wind and a brilliant rainbow as I was driving in Potomac, Maryland. I actually stopped my car to take the photo as it rose quickly after that crazy weather spell described. 

Happy Easter!

BSoleille!  The bright side of a sudden rainbow!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Tracy's Kids in the "News"!

I have made several blog posts in the past about Tracy's Kids, an art therapy program that started at Georgetown and made a huge difference in lessening the "agony" of all those days spent in the Peds/Hem/Onc Clinic and up on the floor.  But this is the 10th year of her Red Carpet Event that highlights members of the political community who are helping advance and spread the word about childhood cancer and how they help kids and families with coping mechanisms such as Tracy's Kids.  Comcast, in the last few years, has begun a feature on this event, and my son Ryan has a sliver of an interview about 2:00 minutes in the 4:36 minute clip.  Art Therapy works, as I saw it with my own eyes over many years that kids and families just "get", while undergoing therapies.  Lots of gratitude to Tracy's Kids at Georgetown, and now, all the many more hospitals it serves!

Please take a moment to watch the video:



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Marvelous Marvin

While I made a quick stop at the Amish Farmers Market in Annapolis today, I could not help notice this big giant chocolate bunny. My first thought was, "need" or "want": Meaning who needs this or really wants this big hunk of chocolate?  Even for millions of chocolate lovers out there, it is simply too big (maybe whoever buys this will share with many people!)

So much for "Marvelous Marvin" getting a ride "home" this weekend!



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It's Been 14 Years

A lot of things happen in a day, week, month and year.  So stringing together 14 years since my Dad died is certainly a lot of days, weeks, month and years.  Looking at the photo I posted today (Summer of 1995), I am thankful to those by-gone days and great memories of him as a Dad and Grandpa! 

BSoleille!  The bright side of living each day to the fullest!