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!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Grad Parties

Tis the season of graduation parties. Festive occasions with good food and uplifting spirits of the grads. Murphy's law in full swing with three parties in one afternoon (and thankful to get to all of them), and a birthday party to round out the evening! Whew and I'm stuffed!

Photos of 2/3 grads: Grace MacMillan (South River HS); Amanda Castle (U. of Maryland); Birthday Girl, Cappy Phillips and our bee. Not pictured is SRHS grad Alex Fregger. 


Friday, May 29, 2015

Back to Quilts

I am sharing a photo of a quit top I finished for a local high school graduatie. "Shabby Chic" and oh so soft to the touch. I believe the young lady is going to love it!  


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sun Sun All Around

I have mentioned a lot about the sun lately, and I am going to take the liberty of one more post today about that great big orange ball! Unsolicited, my friend Jodie sent me a photo of the setting sun on Kelley's Island, Ohio, around 9:00pm.  Thirty minutes prior, while at yoga, our instructor, Anne, glorified the sunset with the entire class oohing and ahhing and taking photos. Of course I took a few myself. Serendipity you say?  I think so!

BSoleille!  The bright side of the start of many great sunsets for summer 2015!

Photos of Ohio (water) and Maryland sunsets and an "ussie" with Yogi Anne.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Floodgates of Sunshine

So I silently squeal with delight as I open my bedroom door and peek down the hallway to see a kitchen awash in brilliant sunshine, foreshadowing a great day I hope (certainly weather wise). In the past I have blogged about the best sunsets are in January, and now I am going out on a limb to say the best and brightest sunrises are in May!☀️

BSoleille! The bright side of a sunny morning no matter where you are in the world!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

I think it is terrific that we listen to the top 500 Rock and Roll songs countdown, go on a picnic, run a race (bike, run, swim),visit with friends and family, cut the lawn and other yard tasks, paddle a canoe or kayak on a lake or river, watch a sporting event (either live or on TV), play with our cats and dogs, shop, go to the movies, or watch a parade, it is all good and made possible because of our armed forces keeping us safe here and around the world. 

With all that being said, I would like to pause a moment to THANK our many men and women in uniform, who sacrifice their time, energy and, ultimately, their lives to let freedom ring across our great land. Several members of my husband's family have served (Alex/Army); retired (Stevie and Paul/Air Force); Jim Williams (veteran of Vietnam and National Guard); Pam Hayden/Air Force; and Casey Hayden who continues to serve in the Air Force today. 

Posthumously, I would like to thank my Daddy, John (Nowacki) Nolan for his time serving in the Army during the Korean conflict beginning in 1950. His Army photo below. 


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Can You See Him Sweat?

This man with few tools, okay, I have got to be honest and admit, no tools, was just caught on camera in a tool "shed" this afternoon. What you cannot see is the the sweat beads forming on his brow just thinking of the possibility of what these things can really do. Haha!

BSoleille!  The bright side of thinking: maybe someday?!

Photo of husband Bill with an aversion of anything tool related. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Coastal Wives

Hot off the press is this upcoming indie rock band, Coastal Wives, and their release of seven new songs on iTunes on May 18th. The band hails from Denver, Colorado, and one member of the band (drummer), is Kyle Misencik, son of our dear friends Mark and Linda. With lots of practice under their belts, plus gigs around Denver and Boulder, they recently got into the studio and produced a great introductory album. I am impressed!


Friday, May 22, 2015


Healthy core and back is our Thursday class/date night with yoga at Baltimore Washington Medical Center. Our instructor, Anne, is terrific as she takes us on an health improvement path of strength, poses and breathing. Good for the soul too! Namaste...

Photo of my husband Bill ready for the start of class. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Red Nose Day

The "Red Nose Day" has landed on this side of the pond, thankfully, to help poverty stricken kids. Philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates are donating $25 for every tweet they receive with a red nose (hopefully, red stickers are just as good). We even got Lucy in on the action!
#rednoseday and #rednoseday25


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

$10 Bottle of Marinara Sauce

Believe it or not, the "little" town of Crofton, Maryland, has its own Wednesday afternoon (4-7pm) farmer's market on the corner of Routes 3 and 424. While doing a couple errands this afternoon, and a quick reminder from my son about this new venture, I decided to check it out first hand. My verdict: pleasantly surprised!  Food, craft, bakery and produce seemed to be in abundance though I certainly zoned in on some fresh, and just picked, (according to the farmer), green bibb and red leaf lettuce. 

But the kicker for me was opening up my wallet to a tune of $10 for a jar of crab marinara sauce. Liquid gold maybe?  I will blog about the flavor once it's used in a dish. It should be fantastic, right?

BSoleille! The bright side of a cute label on a jar of sauce!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Blue Angels

So the good part of working in Annapolis, Maryland in May, is the thundering practice of the Navy Blue Angels for the Naval Academy's graduation and commissioning week. As they loudly roar through the sky with such precision and accuracy, I cannot help thinking how amazing the pilot's control and concentration levels are as they maneuver faster than the speed of sound!

BSoleille!  Whoohoo!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I am Feeling Summer

Summer...my favorite time of year. No jacket or long pants and lots of sunshine to get outside and enjoy. Not even mosquitoes or pesky weeds will damper the spirit of summer that is just around the corner, and hopefully, a few adventures as well. 

My photo is from yesterday, the beach at Sandy Point Park with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the background. Also a lot of sunshine before the rain rolled in. 


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Chesapeake Bay Blues Fest

After a year hiatus, the Chesapeake Bay Blues Fest is back this weekend at Sandy Point Park in Annapolis, Maryland. My son and I volunteered to sell ice cream to benefit Special Love, a camp for kids with cancer. Though the day started our hot and sunny, clouds, lightning, thunder and rain moved in to damper the crowds, but not damper the spirits of those selling ice cream and those giving extra $$ to support a great cause. Great event and great music for sure!


Friday, May 15, 2015

Bee, Hornet or Wasp

I just noticed this nest under my back patio door eve. Not sure the type of creature that built it, and plan to knock it down before I get a closer look at the builders, but it is perfectly symmetrical. A natural wonder for sure. 


Thursday, May 14, 2015

One "Lucky" Dog

Thirteen and a half years ago (Fall of 2001) the kids and I selected a fat little poodle-mix puppy and named him "Lucky". This happened after serious negotiations with my son's oncologist, Dr. Shad, where we "argued" that Ryan "needed" a cute little dog for convelesing after finishing a relapse protocol for Leukemia. Thankfully, she gave us her blessing, and that little guy earned his keep in so many ways. 

"Lucky", for an 18-20 lb. dog, was kind, funny, gentle and a little rascal when he wanted to be. He played ball with tennis balls for hours, rang bells to be let out, loved other dogs and people, and never once complained of a bad grooming job by yours truly. He could also run four miles with no problems, and the last couple years, go for long walks with ease. 

He loved to cuddle with anyone on any of our sofas, but his true favorite, was hanging out with my son Ryan. Somehow he knew just when Ryan needed extra care (aka doggie attention) or cuddle time after a long day of cancer treatment. He watched thousands of hours of video games, plus football, the Olympics, CAPS hockey and any sport Ryan had on the TV. We eventually had to start spelling M-O-V-I-E because the dogs would race to the best spots on the sofas and leave us on the ends (instigated by the Luckster)!

Over the last several weeks we knew he was not himself. He lost interest in eating, walking, playing and even barking. A blood test confirmed our fears, he was in renal failure. Dagger. 

Lucky was a great family dog, and we all loved him unconditionally like he loved us. We are blessed we had the spunky guy for 13.5 great years.  He will be terribly missed!

"Lucky" 9/25/2001-5/14/2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Backyard Litter

The backyard "litter" is comprised of golf balls, stray branches (from neighboring trees) and helicopters!  Those pesky helicopters are everywhere...including the gutters which makes more work to clean those too...eventually. Gotta love spring in all its glory.  


Monday, May 11, 2015

Elephant Frenzie

A couple of photos of the most wonderful animals on earth...elephants!  They have feelings, nurse their young and old, and sleep standing up for 2-3 hours at a time. I think they can even laugh in their big elephant way, and that is very cool!

Photo #1 by Helen Gruniesen

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day 2015

I hope all Mother's had a fantastic day today in celebration of "our" day. After a weekend of food planning, buying or making, my choice for dinner was Wendy's fast food! And because "Wendy" has "mom" hidden in her collar, it made the day all the more "special"!  

The family then surprised me with new pair of "high tech" ear buds called "jay birds"! It is blue tooth activated and now loaded up on two of my devices for listening and talking pleasure. No more fiddling with those white ones with miles of tangled cords!

BSoleille!  The bright side of new and improved technology!


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Party Please?

I love college parties!  I am thankful that we were able to have and go to a couple of them, including brunch at one of the dining halls on campus. Lots of good celebratory food all weekend, plenty of sunshine and the happiness on "The Best Daughter's"...priceless!


Friday, May 8, 2015

Graduation Day!

I am posting today at 7:41am today, because I know I will be thankful ALL day;  the day of "The Best Daughter's College Graduation"!  When a child is born, we all try to look down that proverbial road and dream about when they might graduate from college.  Big plans....Big dreams we think.  Of course,  that road gets twisted and murky at times, but the dream still reaches out in front of us, hopefully, leading us to a "today" or a "someday".  A proud moment today will unveil itself and we will celebrate that road coming to an end of a great college career for Olivia Grace Tomoff!  So I would like to take this quiet moment (before the whirlwind weekend begins immediately after I push publish and head out the door) to say CONGRATULATIONS to that baby girl who will graduate from the College of Business at James Madison University with dual degrees in Accounting and Computer Information Systems at 7pm tonight!  We love you and are so very proud of all your accomplishments over the past five years as a college coed!

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.....Steve Jobs!

BSoleille,  The bright side of a bright future for all those graduating from high school and college!  The class of 2015!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015


A new high score in Pac-man for me. It is a great "relaxer" and I rarely go over 100,000, so this was an exciting new level to achieve-reaching the "key" that is worth 5.000 points (but never got a chance to get to it)!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Wild Shorts

My son likes bright, loud and wild shorts (why not?). The photo today is his latest aquisition in wild shorts apparel wear department. They certainly can go with everything, although that is not the point for him I am guessing. 

BSoleille!  The bright side of wearing something different!


Monday, May 4, 2015

D.A.R.T 1921-2015

A sad start to this Monday beginning with the passing of my mother-in-law, Dorothy Agnes Ryan Tomoff around 4:30 am, the funeral of my friend Lori at 10:00 am, and a sick dog.  I muscled through the day with the best attitude I could muster in being there for my husband, attending the funeral with quilting bee friends, and going to the vet for a diagnosis on "Lucky" (he has an infection, sent home with antibiotics and should make a full recovery).

But today's post is truly about Dorothy Agnes Ryan Tomoff, AKA, DART or Grandma Dart, who was a fashionable lady who raised nine beautiful, healthy and independent children to adulthood (six girls and three boys).  At 94, her life is a celebration of the many milestones she witnessed throughout her lifetime including marrying after WW11; having nine children, 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  In the 30 years I have known her, she was always a lady, and a smart fashion maven who loved shoes and hats.  She also loved to go out for breakfast and drank hot black coffee, her favorite!  When we moved to Maryland, I am thankful she was able to visit a few times on her own enjoying her son and grandchildren in their new surroundings. She was a keen observer of life, who was on the quiet side, but conveyed her thoughts and feelings when afforded the opportunity.

DART was born in Lorain, Ohio in 1921 and had seven sisters and one brother (nine total including her).  As a teenager, she became a tennis champion, and that is where she met her husband, Alex, who was also a tennis champion.  Unfortunately, WW11 interrupted their courtship, but they married soon after he returned from war in 1945.  They then moved to a Cleveland suburb (Westlake), and built and house and a family of 11 for close to 40 years.

She lived her life just as she wanted to, having no regrets, and to the best of her ability.  The last year was tough on her as her health declined rapidly, and she did not like that! The one thing I "regret" is not taking her to Las Vegas, because she was one heck of a card player with a poker face that could have won her "millions"!  No one could beat her, and she made you think before discarding or folding your hand.....may she rest in peace.

Photos from 1995 and Christmas 2014!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Graduation Countdown

After five years of college life including classes, soccer, studying and fun (not necessarily in that order), the countdown to Friday's graduation at JMU begins tonight for "The Best Daughter"!  Most interesting, is the creativity in painting of the mortar board which has gotten over 1200 likes on her schools Instagram account:  #jmulove. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a picture is worth a thousand words...


Friday, May 1, 2015

What a Difference a Day Makes

The sadness of yesterday gave way to a dear friends' milestone birthday today in Janet McCabe (in green dress in photo), celebrating the evening with many of her friends including our Possibillibees. A great day to be thankful for....

Photo of Carrie, Mary, Terri, Susie, Janet, Shelley and Cappy.