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!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Nevada...Off the Beaten Path

I would be remiss in not mentioning one of my favorite parts of this trip, an adventure to Valley of Fire about an hour drive outside of Las Vegas. "The Best Daughter" and I got out there early, but maybe not early enough, as the temperature rose quickly to a "comfortable and doable" 115 degrees on the two rock formation hikes. They each took about an hour which was just enough!  We are thankful we had plenty of water on board. Simply. Amazing!

Photos from Valley of Fire. 

No Limits, No Judgement

Our last night in the no limits and no judgement city of Las Vegas where we find people watching so interesting. It seems like anything goes and there is a lot of good energy all through the strip. And with very little in the win column, one can see how all the opulence of brick and mortar is funded through all the "losing/losers".  (Fountain show at the Bellagio) The grand hotels are cities in themselves and always lively, and  this destination to celebrate a 21st birthday and college graduation was a great choice for the family!

BSoleille! The bright side of great people watching in a city that never sleeps!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Puddlers, Muckers and Nippers

The strip in Las Vegas is fine and dandy but getting out and exploring the area is also good for the soul. One highlight being the great Hoover Dam: a modern day marvel on the Nevada/Arizona border. It is truly something to see and view while in the Black Canyon area. It took four years to build from 1931 to completion in 1935. However, the suspension bridge over the Colorado River was completed only five years ago. And from taking the tour today, there is no way something of that magnitude would be built today. It would have been met with too much opposition. 

While checking out the history of it in the visitor center, I was intrigued by the jobs, duties and wages. Not only was this Dam a feat of engineering, but also a feat of moving  and feeding thousands of workers for to complete the task at hand!

BSoleille! The bright side  and cheers for the thousands of dam builders!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Viva Las Vegas!

Like New York City, a city that never sleeps, Las Vegas is just as busy with "glitz and ritz" but a whole lot hotter (especially in summer with temperatures 105-108 degrees). Thankful for A/C for sure!  We are celebrating son Ryan's (21st Birthday), and "The Best Daughter's (college graduation) in this city that never sleeps either. We have not won any big money, but maybe we will, especially if we put money into the slot machines....

BSoleille!  The bright side of family time!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ohio Deer

There are lots of deer everywhere, but they seem very prolific and almost too frolicky in the Great State of Ohio. At dusk and even before, they were playing and eating flowers on the front lawns. Car doors slamming, dogs barking, and kids playing near them had no effect to deter their "good natured" foray and frolick amongst the houses. They almost seem like pets....


Monday, August 24, 2015

An End of an Era

On March 26th, 1994, in Cleveland, Ohio, we bought our first mini van, a green Mercury Villager. We told "The Best Daughter" that it was her birthday present since she just turned two that week!  We had our son in August of that year, so we were all set for transportation of precious cargo with two car seats and all paraphernalia needed to cart around two little tikes.  It served us well until it hit 158,000 miles in 2005. 

Looking for a buyer that could fix and repair as needed, we did not need to go too far when my brother-in-law, Paul Godleski, expressed great interest in the deal of exactly $1.00 to purchase our "Green Monster". Yes, one dollar is all it "cost" him. 

Today, sadly, this  21 year old van has left the family for good. We all have our memories of the miles traveled in it, and it was donated to a great cause. (Thanks, Paul). 

Here's what Paul wrote us today:
"She was a great car. 245000 Miles! Got her 10  Years ago with 158000 Miles! We remember Katrina 10 Years ago this week! She was there for me each and every day just being the Villager! I will miss her!!!"

BSoleille!  The bright side of an happy van and miles of memories!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Farewell Picnic for Dr. Shad

I am very thankful for the beautiful afternoon to reminisce with the many families and patients of Dr. Aziza Shad. Those who came out to see her and wish her well in her new endeavor were treated to a great lunch with games and a water slide at Smokey Glen Park in Potomac, Maryland. After 20 years with Georgetown University Hospital, and in my opinion, the best doctor in the land, she has accepted a new position as Chief of Pediatrics at Mt. Sinai in Baltimore, MD. A big shout out to the PAB, and especially Patty Lubin, who organized the entire event for over 200 people. 

My ah ha moment of the day was seeing so many childhood cancer survivors enjoying life and thanking the woman who saved them. Precious beyond words!!!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Ananda, a New Restaurant

A very nice 34th Anniversary celebration took place with my brother-in-law, Alex and his wife, Karen, and their friends Kendra and Jon, at "Ananda" in Fulton, Maryland (Howard county). It is a very nice Indian restaurant that does no advertising, but the food and presentation were excellent! Their advertising is the good old fashioned way, word of mouth (although I did read some reviews on Yelp before you-all good by the way).  We will go back!

BSoleille!  Happy Anniversary to Alex and Karen!


Friday, August 21, 2015

Family in Town

It is always nice when far away kin come visit. Lots of laughs and old stories come to light with new twists for a younger listening generation. Good for the soul!


Photo with Alex Tomofff and "The Best Daughter"!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

It seems like the whole country is in it: dog days of summer with high temperatures and high humidity. But it is August and it is supposed to be like this, along with loud chirping crickets, a plethora of home grown vegetables and cooling off for a few seconds when opening and standing in front of the refrigerator!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cotton Candy Sky

A late evening walk with my husband, "The Best Daughter", and Big Lucy-Loo yielded this beautiful streaked sunset we aptly named: "cotton candy sky"!  After a humid and hazy day, I am thankful it "blew" out to this. 


Monday, August 17, 2015

The Dog, The Husband, The Sewing Machine

All three missed me while I was gone, but according to Vicki Bozick of Tomorrow's Treasures Quilt Shop, the sewing machine wins hands down!  For the past three weeks my machine was in the "spa", getting massaged, cleaned, and rested. She should be ready to go and sew millions of miles of thread!  We certainly have missed each other that's for sure. 

BSoleille! The bright side of a clean and well-oiled machine.  


Photo of Vicki Bozick and my machine -ready to be released and be home. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

21st From Afar

"A BIG Happy Birthday" to my son and #1Hero, Ryan Tomoff, who is celebrating his 21st today!  As in most of his birthdays over the last 14 years, he is celebrating this momentous occasion at Special Love's Camp Fantastic, a community of cancer kids and cancer survivors who really understand what birthdays are all about! I could not be more proud of this resilient young man who continues to give back to kids like him. Though we miss celebrating with him, we know he is having a great day and week at camp (and cannot get our calls and messages due to sketchy phone service in the mountains of Front Royal, VA)!

BSoleille! The bright side of being parents to two bonafide adults!


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Endless Summer in Cleveland

The past two days in Cleveland have been great. Yesterday I met up with high school friends in Marblehead, Ohio, for some fun in the sun with lunch and boating and kayaking in the harbor near Lake Erie. The day ended with some shopping with my sisters in Strongsville. Today, I met up with the Tomoff side of family for breakfast with the intent to visit my mom afterwards and then be taken to the airport to fly back to Maryland. Everything happened except the flight back to BWI. Now with two cancelled flights under my belt, we learned the server is down in all three DC airports and two in NYC. I decided to rent a car tomorrow to get back and give up the flight idea all together. (Only a six hour drive!)

BSoleille!  The bright side of planes, trains, and of course, automobiles!


Lunch/boating with Debbie Martinko, Robin Chandler, Kata Pagon and Sue Doerle; the shopping sisters (Kimberly and Annette) 

Friday, August 14, 2015

"Hike", Bike, Pond

A busy day comprised of "hiking" in Hinckley, Ohio with my friend Debbie, then biking and swimming in Hiram, Ohio at the Franek's made this good day great!  I am thankful for a perfect sunny day in Cleveland despite orange barrels lining every highway and byway while getting to my destinations. 

My photos of Debbie and me in Hinckley Tom and Rosalie Franek on their Hiram farm!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Meteor Showers

The coolest part of the day while visiting family and friends in Cleveland is the very cool meteor showers seen with the naked eye in the last 15 minutes (lying on the driveway, eyes skyward and focused on the million stars). 

While gazing, one cannot help thinking we are such a small spec of the universe amongst all the galaxies to boot!

Photos of my Mom and me this afternoon and Linda Misencik at the Cleveland Tea Revival on W. 29th Street (her nieces business). 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Running Time

A new running store opened in Park City, Utah recently, and I/we had the chance to check it out while there last week. Some nice stuff, of course, but the biggest "thrill" for me about the shop was the "shoe clock" as shown in my photo today. You can put the accent on either the first or second word for two meanings or "it's time for a run!"


Rolling Down the Highway

A ten hour drive is nothing to sneeze at, but clear sunny skies surely helps the cause. I am thankful for a safe trip to the half way point toward home, and a great last day in Boulder and Denver yesterday with the Misencik clan. Missing those glorious mountains already!

Photos of Linda and Caitlin Misencik and Gunnar the German Shorthair Pointer who has hitched a ride back with us to Ohio!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Search is Over

After "willing it" for four days to see a moose, we finally saw one this morning on a Pinebrook Trail in Park City, Utah-(the IDare trail).  A site like none other of a big brown furry creature (we named it Gladys...as in glad for us!). The moose was a quite a surprise as we were hiking down the mountain with four people and two dogs that kind of made some "human hiking noises".  And let's not forget that moose do not like dogs of any sex, creed or stature. So as we admired this beautiful creature in which we thought from a "safe distance", we quickly learned she did not feel the same.  As she began to lick her lips and begin her approach to us fairly quickly, we did an about face on the trail and ran down part of the mountain; hearts pounding!  

A great hike to finish our Utah adventure and drive the eight hours back to Boulder, Colorado. 

Photos of Jenno and her husband Dan and their two labs, Ella and Maggie and Linda Misencik in the aspen arbor. Then Gladys!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Searching for Moose

Moose are all around in these parts of Utah, but good luck spotting one. However, we had no shortage of spotting mule deer on the trails, and a surprise fly by (real close) a flying squirrel last night. We could not take a proper photo of "Rocky", so I am posting photos of the beautiful hike we did today in Guardsman  Pass and Lake Solitude in Brighton, Utah. Amazing views of mountains, wildflowers and some animal life, but no moose! Maybe tomorrow!


Friday, August 7, 2015

Where the Buffalo Roam....

Lots of buffalo roam at Antelope State Park, the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. The beauty of this land, and the very salty water, along with the many monochromatic colors of the sky and water, is truly something to behold. The Frary Hike is in the middle of the island and had us climbing over 2000 ft. of elevation gain in just over three miles (one way). It was very hot and very dry, but we loved this hike, and except for one other couple hiking, saw not one person for miles!

BSoleillle! The bright side of seeing lots of buffalo, birds and antelope despite a hot day (90's) on the range!


Photos of Jennie Groves and Linda Misencik. The last photo check to find Jennie as she tries to look at the summit. This certainly gives perspective on how big this range really is!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


It has been 31 years since I have visited the great state of Utah, and today was no exception to the beauty that still inspires and wows the crowds!  But first we had to drive through the entire state of Wyoming "quickly", since the speed limit is pretty much at 80 mph everywhere. (And many cars and trucks going faster than that!) Very thankful for the safe drive and final destination in Park City to visit my college roommate Jennie Groves and her family. Looking forward to adventure and "a trip to the bountiful".