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, June 30, 2016

Throwback Thursday

I couldn't resist the "throwback" post, and only from this past December as I recently received today's photo of another satisfied tshirt quilt customer- Greg Lubin - who now resides in Los Angeles, California! His mom, Patti, gathered a lot of his shirts, but the real "prize" is that she held onto his hospital onesie/shirt that's in the center of the quilt for over 30 years. That's love...and I was happy to weave it into Greg's forever keepsake tshirt quilt!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Glory Days...

Youth has an uncanny way of fast healing, and thankfully, Focused Warrior, Ryan Tomoff, is no exception! Today was a double appointment day starting with Dr. Aziza Shad (Hem/Onc) at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore and ending with Dr. Robert Ord/ Dr. Joshua Lubek (Maxillofacial surgeons) at University of Maryland Baltimore. Good lab (blood) results matched the good and solid healing of his tracheotomy scar, plus the skin grafts on his left wrist and left leg and neck. Ryan's speech has improved nicely, and his tongue has seen dramatic healing even with several stitches that the docs deemed "roughage" as they fall out naturally! 

To celebrate this almost 5 week post surgery "milestone", we headed to Glory Days Restaurant and basked for a 
moment in the "Glory" of the afternoon



Monday, June 27, 2016


Today was Campower day at our local Crofton Chick-Fil-A, a fundraiser for Cam's Playroom at Johns Hopkins Hospital (Pediatrics). Cam lost her battle with leukemia at age eight but her spirit and legacy continues to inspire many eight years later. I hope they did well in all fundraising efforts (our family ate two meals there today to help along the effort!)

Photo of Julia and BJ Diamond, and husband Bill. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

7 Yellows and 2 Reds

It adds up to the Copa America Soccer Final between Argentina vs. Chile and a very wild first half! I wouldn't want to be the center referee this game, but the stakes are high and there is pressure on both teams. Lionel Messi, the world's best player (Argentina) really seems to be enjoying himself while being an excellent competitor on any part of the field. With the two send offs and both squads playing with 10 players, anything can happen. As I write this post the game remains tied 0-0 in extra time, but I'll wait for a final score before the actual post. The match will be decided by penalty kicks... I'm pulling for Argentina for the win!

BSoleille! The bright side of 82,000 soccer fans strong at the Met Life Stadium in New Jersey! (I'm not there, have a front row seat by the home TV).


Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Winning Ticket

I have to end the week on a "high note" and share a story about the winning Cleveland Cavaliers and a winning bet made last summer. Last August our family went to Las Vegas to celebrate the son's 21st birthday and "The Best Daughter's" college graduation. Unbeknownst to me (until this week), Ryan placed a $10 bet on the Cavs winning the NBA title, which, as you know with great fanfare, they did! So he pulled out his winning prize ticket, now valued at $32! But really, wasn't it the thought that counted when he placed the bet in August of 2015? I think so. He has also picked several winners in the past, including Super Bowl scores and teams, as well as NHL Stanley Cup bouts, but never placed a bet where it counted.

BSoleille! The bright side of a long season bet on the NBA champs of Cleveland, Ohio!

Friday, June 24, 2016

And the Years Keep Rolling by...

The days may seem slow (at times, you know, lazy summer days), but as the Harry Chapin song goes, "the years keep rolling by!" Another swim season is upon us and today is my first time back at the pool! It is also Ryan's first day back to work (at the pool as a gate guard), and we could not be more thrilled for him to "get back some of his summer". He is four weeks post surgery today and his healing has been quite remarkable. We are so thankful for everything associated with his recovery, especially all the wonderful thoughts and prayers to get to this point exactly! Even the staff at the pool welcomed him back with balloons attached to his chair and some decorations in his "office". 

BSoleille! The bright side of welcoming summer one and all (only three days late!)


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Life in the Fast Lane

Cousins, Dylan and Zach, from Cleveland, Ohio, enjoyed an afternoon with Ryan at the Autobahn in Jessup, MD. It is an indoor go-cart place that has two "tracks", and cars designed like Formula One cars. For teenage boys, they could not get enough (along with the 21 year old), and the place was buzzing with lots of activity and "race car driver attitudes!"


What a Life!

And this pooch, Loo-C-Loo, is no exception to a great dog life. Isn't it amazing that canines love a soft pillow and comfy sleeping quarters as good as the next guy? Her "work out" was a .7 mile walk, and then she tended to her "beauty" rest quickly afterwards. Sweet dreams.....maybe of the Cleveland Bowns winning Super Bowl #51!?

BSoleille! The bright side of letting sleeping dogs lie. 

Photo by nephew Zachary Pejeau

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer's Here!

The calendar officially says today is the first day of summer, June 21st, summer solstice and longest day of the year. It started out fine (mowed yard), and then darkness set in with wild and crazy weather! Tornado warnings (a touch down of one about 25 miles away), big hail and finally, a beautiful rainbow to end the "longest" day! Sunshine was intermittent but we had to take what we could get. 

Photo from this to that:

Can you Have Tech Overload?

The past two days have been met with a lot of "new technological" advancements for yours truly, and thankfully, (or maybe not so much) my brain has been really stretched! Let me clear the air, I am getting "coached", but I still had to do the work. One of the first tasks was buying three months of premium Spotify for 99c, and setting up playlists (did on my own-easy peasy). Checking out what exactly the "premium" means is about 10,000,000 songs, and that's no joke. I followed this up with obtaining a Google Voice phone number (free), setting up a pay pal account (I know I "should" have set that up eons ago), and buying a WIX subscription for a website (more details later).

And then tonight, I got sent a video (Cavs victory from last nights basketball game) through Google Photos, and at the very end it asked whether or not to download the app. I pushed the button to do so, and BAM, the downloading of 7500 photos and videos began immediately. It will take most of the night for the download, but from what Google Photo "promises", I think I will love the possibilities this app offers for photo creativity (initially for another storage mechanism) including albums, collages, animation and movies!

What I've come to learn that there are millions of ways to "skin a cat", not 10, as in years past, and the possibilities of limitless potential of just about anything creative leaves me speechless! Any help needed is simply at your fingertips using Google or YouTube. So I will plug away and learn and stretch my brain in these endeavors as best I can, there are built in safety nets everywhere to catch a "fall"!


Photo: Valley of Fire, Nevada 2015

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Great Night for Cleveland Cavalier Fans!!!!

A wonderful Father's Day culminated with a huge NBA Cleveland Cavalier win - The Championship - over the Golden State Warriors in a nail biter finish to the last tick on the clock!!! Kudos to Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Tristan Thomas and the rest of the team, who worked together from a 3-1 series deficit to win the next three games (never been done prior to tonight) to win game 7! Whoohooo! 

It's been over 50 years of never winning a championship in my hometown (born and raised in Cleveland, the 216!) and I am so thankful to have this team bring back a sports trophy to the adoring and unwavering fans of this great city!!!

BSoleille! The bright side of "breaking the curse" in Cleveland, Ohio!


Friday, June 17, 2016

Not to Shabby!

So is shabby chic still in? It does not really matter whether or not it is, but I think folks still like that soft look -especially for a summer quilt. I had some left over and "extra" fabric from two other quilting projects, so I decided to make a very easy quilt using said fabrics and cutting them into 6" squares. I randomly put them together, and it turned out to be a sizable quilt about 66"x84... not to shabby!

Photo of quilt and then quilt with Loo-C!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cavs vs. USMNT?

I'm not sure if we have "picture in picture" on any TV (we only have two in different rooms), but from my perch, I can "straddle" the two rooms and watch both. Amazing no doubt! So high tech! Not really, but this way I get to watch all the action...Cleveland up by 20 points most of this NBA Finals Game 6, and the Copa Cup where the US Men's team is beating up (with 10 players now due to a send off/red card) on Equador. Not too shabby on this Thursday evening of big thunder boomers and lots of rain. 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hitting "Stride"

My son Ryan is now 2.5 weeks post surgery, and today we met with his surgeon who is quite  happy on how well Ryan is healing and is "well within range" of the process. The tracheostomy is almost healed closed, the tongue his still in the healing stages, his left arm muscle has healed nicely thus far, and Ryan has moved onto eating more solid foods (though nothing spicy...yet!). He's got a hankering for his super secret chicken wing recipe, but that may just have to wait a wee bit longer to execute. We will meet again in two weeks for another follow up appointment. 


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Aunt Stevie Takes Annapolis

My husband's sister Stephanie's (aka "S" or "Stevie") week visiting us has drawn to an almost close. But not before the spectacular weather descended on us this afternoon to enjoy Annapolis for lunch (crab cakes) and a stroll past the lovely yachts parked in Ego Alley. It was a nice treat to get out of dodge, and Ryan really seemed to enjoy it too! 

BSoleille! The bright side of having great aunties in life!

Photo of S and Ryan 

Monday, June 13, 2016

29 Blissful Years

Today, celebrating 29 years of marriage! Life happens and we roll with all the punches, together, as a team! I'm thankful for a great partner to travel this adventure with, and cheers to many more years... And adventure with Bill Tomoff!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Few Words

When are the senseless acts of horror and obscene acts of violence going to end?

Thoughts and prayers to 50+ grieving families in Orlando, Florida. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Spur of the Moment

How often do we really do a "spur of the moment" activity? Well, today I decided at 7:00am that I would run a 10K "race" starting at 8:00am. Originally, I was going to cheer on "The Best Daughter" in the Crofton 10K, as this is a community event (Kiwanis), and the race goes right by our house. I thought I would run down with her to the registration table and starting line, but as I started getting dressed, I thought maybe I should run it too. I quickly switched to running clothes and shoes and we jogged the two miles to the start. No car needed, but we did walk  back home. Ten miles of activity that was never on my Saturday radar! But you know what? I'm thankful I pushed myself to do it. I have not done much in the last several weeks, so it was great to break a good honest sweat and take a "scoot" around the Crofton Parkway on a beautiful Saturday morning!

The morning also included a trip to the Annapolis Quilt Show and the Amish Market (also spur of the moment activities). 

But our evening was spent with Tom and Josh Franek (the only planned item!) and was it was great to catch up with these two cool dudes!

BSoleille! The bright side of spur of the moments....


Friday, June 10, 2016

Brandon from the Baysox

A couple days ago, Brandon Kaiser, from the Bowie Baysox, came to visit Ryan on behalf of the entire team! He brought a goodie bag and a signed bat and well wishes from the staff and players. This was all made possible by my friend, Janet McCabe, who called the front office and told them of Ryan's new bout of cancer (Ryan worked four summers as a Bat Boy-his very first job for the Baysox). Janet attended a game over Memorial Day weekend for "Stomp out Cancer Day", and felt that Ryan could be recognized by the organization! They did, and we are thankful for the visit! A big shout of THANKS to the Bowie Baysox and Janet for making the connection!


Second photo by Amalia Morousiewicz 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What a Difference 12 Days Make!

That is, post surgery from Ryan's tongue tumor removal on May 27th, and a good report from his doc (surgeon) today! Staples were removed from his left arm and neck, the docs were pleased with his healing tongue (reconstruction), and he has graduated to eat "soft foods". But what does a young 21 year old want to get back after major surgery? It's the green light to drive once again, and that was, thankfully, a resounding "yes"! 

There is still quite a bit of healing to go, but Ryan is certainly heading in the right direction on many fronts, and we could not be happier for him (prayers working!). He is also working diligently on his nutritional needs (with lots of encouragement from his mama/dad), and looking forward to fun summer days ahead!

Photo from Bill Tomoff's SnapChat 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"Respite Ride"

So my friend Wendy Allen popped over yesterday in her cute Mini Cooper, a crowd favorite, especially on a beautiful spring day in May with the top down. She offered to take Ryan out for a spin, but it just so happens that Dad/Bill came home for lunch, and well, he took it out for a spin of fresh air around the Crofton Parkway. It was just what the "doctor ordered"! All smiles when they returned, so a successful respite from the sofa!

A big shout out of thanks to Wendy!


Monday, June 6, 2016

Back in the "Drivers Seat"

And that "seat" is for driving my sewing machine. I tried to do some today (very little) but I did turn it on and ran with it for a short spell. Hopefully more tomorrow! My one and only patient takes a large part of the day with all his care, and I am more than happy to oblige!

BSoleille! The bright side of sewing one seam! (Better than none.)


Sunday, June 5, 2016

"Float like a butterfly"...

"And sting like a bee!"  It's one of the best quotes from Muhammad Ali! So the world lost an iconic character in Ali this weekend, but he left the world thinking about people of all colors and creeds, and that is his greatest legacy he left behind, even above all the fights he won. And, his best "sparring" was with Howard Cossell back in the day where they "held their ground" with the utmost respect for each other. We can learn a lot from those days gone by. 

Closer to home (and it is pretty sweet I may add), the last 48 hours have been met with Ryan improving faster in his strength, endurance and pain management. Top on the to do list is nutrition and pushing protein in a liquid form. Easier said than done, but the Magic Bullet has become our best friend. We are very thankful for answered prayers! One. Day. At. A. Time!

Photos of "The Greatest", and "My Greatest"!

Friday, June 3, 2016

On the Eighth Day...Discharged!

We are thrilled to report that (#FocusedWarrior), Ryan Tomoff, has thankfully returned home from the battlefield (hospital) after a brutal eight day stay. His many battle scars will take weeks to heal, (along with OT/PT) but we are on board to do whatever we can to maximize his road to recovery. Believe it or not, today marks exactly one month from his tongue cancer diagnoses. 

In addition to the above, a huge part of Ryan's surgery hinged on the pathology reports. Thankfully, it came back (today) very favorable for Ryan, and considering Ryan's complicated medical history, it was determined that no further treatment (chemotherapy and/or radiation) is recommended. 

So after this baker's "dozen"week (7+1) in the hospital, we feel honored (and relieved) to be able to provide around the clock care at home. And you know what? Isn't a "proven fact" that  healing times improve dramatically when home? We certainly hope that this is the case for Ryan as he moves forward in his recovery. 

Thank you all for the prayers, well-wishes, positive thoughts and support throughout the past month! It certainly lifted all of our spirits!

BSoleille! The bright side of "breaking" out of the hospital!


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Slow and Steady...

It is amazing that when pain diminishes, the healing process moves quickly to the forefront. Ryan's good report begins with the three full walks around the unit, the first one at 11:30am, when we "snuck" out of his room to meet his sister at the elevator. He then got two more unit walks in throughout the day (yay!) as recommended. 

The healing process continued to his second big thing today: speech and swallowing therapy.  Ryan's resolve to garner the much needed laser focus to talk and swallow was truly inspirational-bar none. And all this while he still has a tracheotomy and feeding (NG) tube to boot! But he has homework, and that is to continue to talk and drink the recommended fluids enough to have those two things removed. We will cross our fingers and be relieved when that occurs! 

BSoleille! The bright side of "slow and steady..."


Photo of Ryan and his Physical Therapist on lap 2 in the unit!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


I would be remiss in not congratulating the Class of 2016, both high school and college! How sweet it is to all those wonderful students, both near and far, and those close to our family! A big hearty Congratulations!!

And more close to "home" at the University of Maryland in downtown Baltimore, a little graduation for Ryan as he walked (with assistance) to the bathroom in his room. From bed to bath, that's one huge step for him! We certainly "celebrate" these little victories in the game of healing! So thank you for your continued prayers and well-wishes, they are helping.

BSoleille! The bright side of Ryan turning on his beloved sports channel on TV this evening!