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, July 31, 2016


Living on Lake Erie the past weekend has afforded me valuable time of reflection, and I'm thankful to spread this fine time into this next week. Early morning bike rides, a few mile runs and hours of writing has been top billing, and the quiet at the point of Kelley's Island has never been better! I am tickled when I pick my head up from pecking on my keyboard to see the beauty of the lake and all the goings on!


My friend Linda Misencik reading her book; sunset; and check out the kayak at sunset on the last photo!

Lake and Sky

Today is a day with beauty in abundance. The lake and sky views with all the colors seemed awesome as a storm rustled through the Point area on Kelley's Island. Not much else to say when the lake and sky "touch"!


Friday, July 29, 2016

Kelley's Island, Ohio

Kelley's Island is one of my happy places on this wonderful planet we call Earth! And I'm thrilled to be here once again, compliments of my college friends, Jodie and Scot Smith. Although the drive is a "long" one, I had a few stops along the way to make it a destination I couldn't wait to get to!

A stop in Cleveland was met with a good visit with my Mom in her nursing home, a trip to my favorite bakery, and once on the island, a run into my sister-in-law and brother-in-law at the Caddyshack restaurant on Division Street. What are the odds of that? I'm thankful for the time that will be spent here wisely. 


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Canning Season

It's that time of year again for the canning season, especially tomatoes! (Actually in the next few weeks for sure). But the opportunity to can with friends Patty, Marilyn and Mimi (many hands make light work) that we took advantage of it and "slaved" over a hot stove to make 18 quarts of the sweet and savory sauce! Now that's something to be thankful for, right?


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Saying "So Long" with a Quilt

So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Bye, like the song from the Sound of Music, but quilters say in a quilt. This row quilt theme is how the Possibillibees said "so long" to bee mate, Mary Nielsen (and husband Steve), tonight as they make their way to Florida this weekend after Steve officially retires on Friday! Each row represents one of us, in addition to the tiny nine patches as the unifying "block" where swapped hundreds of 2" blocks for three years! Crazy right!? 

We will miss our Mary, but send her off with best wishes as she starts a new chapter of her life (and her doors open when we head down for a Florida retreat!)


The last two photos are not the same...Deb Hoppe joins us in #2 photo -back: Susie Stevenson, Deb, me, Janet McCabe, Shelley Jackson, seated: Cappy Phillips, Mary, and Carrie Casto

Monday, July 25, 2016

Cam Diamond Swim Meet

The Cam Diamond Swim Meet lived up to its reputation of a sweltering hot day! And no matter if you had kids swimming in the meet or not, it's still a great community event for a great family and their cause in raising funds for the Cam Diamond Play Room at Johns Hopkins Department of Pediatrics! I am thankful that my son Ryan continues to volunteer at the event and help bring awareness to helping kids with childhood cancer!

Kudos to BJ and Carol Diamond, along with their daughters and family and a slew of volunteers to bring this event to its eighth year!


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Definite Pool Day

A hot one today, and being in the water was a good choice to cool off a bit. The day was even better when I invited Josh Franek and Kristina Fabi to join us at the Crofton Swim and Tennis Club with dinner home after our dip! A great summer treat!


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hershey's Quilt Odyssey

Did you know "real men" go to quilt shows, and will cross state borders with their wives to attend one? That was the happening for us today, and I am thankful for the great company riding up to Hershey, PA, in an air-conditioned vehicle no less! Luckily, husband Bill already comes with a huge understanding of the passion and commitment that comes with the territory of making a quilt, so he was "right at home" oohing and awing at the beautiful quilts on display made by quilters from all over the world. In addition to that, he was also patient with me while I scurried through the merchant market to pick up a few needed items for my own quilting endeavors. And though I did not snap a photo of my "moved-to-Florida" friend, Mary Nielsen, who was at the show teaching classes, we had lunch together to catch up with her move and her "new life" in the Sunshine State. 


Friday, July 22, 2016

To Jetski

It's not very often I get to do one of my all time favorite things in the world- jet skiing! But very recently I had the opportunity to ski in the Chespeake Bay, and it was downright awesome. Dodging crab pots was the caveat, along with being on the lookout for pods of dolphins which, are apparently, all over the bay (and rivers too). Unfortunately, no sightings while I was out but maybe next time!

BSoleille! The bright side of that wind in your hair feeling while gliding over the water...


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Marketing Through "Social Media"

I am all in with productive apps, social media and the like, and tech gadgets that makes life just a wee bit easier. So, this photo was interesting to me as I drove by this young man holding a sign on a very hot summer day advertising Great Clips. I'm curious if his sign waving produced more customers that day over a blitz on local social media gaining customers for a simple haircut. Apparently, sign waving is alive and well in the "cut" throat world of advertising!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Just Sew So

Hosting my "Just Sew" Bee is always more than just "so" or "sew"! The house gets a quick tidy and the conversation rarely stops as our machines purr on. We all work on our own projects, but there is help and advice for anything we are attempting to tackle, and that is the beauty of a bee (not including the strength of the friendships). My serendipity theme today was "Christmas in July" by making two table runners; and I'm thankful for the "start" on presents needed come December!

Photo of Carrie Casto, Cappy Phillips and Deb Hoppe

Monday, July 18, 2016


No matter how many times you go to the beach, the sounds of the waves crashing over can never be mistaken (especially when the wind picks up like 14-15 mph!). And as these two final weeks of July close, the beaches are filled with thousands of people enjoying the sun, sand and surf up and down, at least, the East Coast. Grateful for a few days getting sunkissed in Ocean City, Maryland. 

BSoleille! The bright side of colorful umbrellas dotting the white sands...

Photo of me and Susie Stevenson/Stevenson Family

Sunday, July 17, 2016

OCMD 2016

A beautiful day at the beach starting with a 32 mile bike ride on Coastal Highway; "warm water" aka ocean, to dive into; low  humidity and lots of sunshine plus Maryland crabs to end the day, is truly something to be grateful for in Summer of 2016. A big shout of thanks to the Stevenson Family for letting me "tag" along!


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Let's Talk TED Talks

As promised, a guest blog post from Bill Tomoff on the subject of TED Talks. Like potato chips, you can't watch just one...now see why!

In years past, I would occasionally watch TED Talks. In July 2015, this all changed after reading an article about Erin Freschi in California. She adopted a practice of watching a TED Talk each night with her 8 year-old son. To read the article: TED Before Bed: One mother's nightly ritual with her son.

The idea of watching a steady stream of TED Talks resonated with me, and I committed to watch 100 talks. This is referred to as my "Journey to 100 TED Talks" and little did I know the impact this process would have on me! The journey started on July 15, 2015 and completed June 19, 2016! While the challenge has been completed, I am inspired, and have continued the journey. As of this writing, the count is 114 talks watched. For more information on the TED Talks organization, check out About TED Talks.

As I started my journey, one rule was that the talk had to be watched completely from start to finish. The quality of most talks was amazing and I honestly picked up something from every talk I chose to watch. By committing to watch a talk completely, I found that I became more open to other viewpoints and my overall perspective evolved to be a bit more "rounded". One early talk that was difficult for me was Amanda Palmer's "The Art of Asking" but I now look back on that talk as the kick-off to exposing myself to topics and knowledge that previously would not have interested me. See link below for Amanda's talk.

Though not all-inclusive, five speakers who were especially enjoyable for me included:

  1. Brene' Brown
  2. Dan Gilbert
  3. Seth Godin
  4. Sir Ken Robinson
  5. Simon Sinek

In future posts (follow Twitter @btomoffCPA), individual talks will be shared in greater depth. Below are a sample of talks that I really enjoyed:

  1. Susan Cain: The power of introverts
  2. Angela Lee Duckworth: The power of passion and perseverance
  3. Daniel Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness
  4. Seth Godin: Stop stealing dreams
  5. Amanda Palmer: The art of asking
  6. Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation
  7. Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity
  8. Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice
  9. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

I urge you to create your own individual journey of TED Talks. Via Twitter, please provide any additional talks that impact you and let's share the power of growth and perspective to be gained through TED Talks!

BSoleille! The bright side of just trying one talk...


Friday, July 15, 2016

Unfinished Business...

Today marks seven weeks post surgery for my son Ryan. He has improved greatly, and with the blessing from his docs, a preplanned trip to Las Vegas (package purchase four days prior to the new tongue cancer) has materialized! As I write this post, he and his Dad are still in flight, reaching their final destination in an hour or so. 

But the "unfinished business" is the cashing in his winning bet on the Cleveland Cavalier win of the NBA Championship a couple weeks ago for a whopping $32! He purchased the ticket 11 months ago while in Las Vegas celebrating his 21st Birthday!

BSoleille! The bright side of miracles happening right before your very eyes! #thankful

Ryan and Bill at BWI airport

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Advertisement for TED Talks

Do you know what a TED talk is? TED stands for technology/entertainment/design and there are hundreds of powerful talks on the internet ranging from 5 minutes to 27-30 minutes. I watched several of them while on international flights (17 hours to Africa), because why not?

But the interesting news about TED talks is that my husband, Bill, is hooked on them has been diligently viewing them (has watched 115 to date) and has catalogued his favorites and the "go to" Top 10. He will be guest blogging here with TED Talk Tidbits I'll be sharing soon. The talks are compelling, I must admit, and I think his "list" will get you thinking about all sorts of topics from science, education and global issues. Please stay tuned....


Photo of lunch on the water in Annapolis with ladies Patty Lubin and Marilyn Eichner today - 95 degrees but a breeze!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"Political Circus" You Say?

When the political climate is charged (as it is now and through modern times during big election years) quilters get busy with their thoughts and panache of quilt making. My friend and fellow quilter, Misty Cole, has taken this years presidential election, a political circus, if you will, and weaved her magic into this stunning quilt! She has posted this quilt through Facebook and other social media sites, so when she showed it in "real life" for show and tell at our guild meeting this evening, I most definitely took a photo and was granted permission to blog about this fabulous quilt! 

For more information on Misty Cole, please drop by her website and take a look around at what she's been up to; she is amazing!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Today I, thankfully, finished "The Best Daughters's" high school and college soccer tshirt quilt. The "deadline" has certainly moved a bit for me (2010; 2015, and today!), but I do work best with one. And since she's moving out in four days, I finished just in the "nick of time" to have it be packed with all of her stuff to take with her this weekend! So in addition to the tshirts she wanted in the quilt, I also added the leather tongue of one of her favorite soccer cleats for a bit of nostalgia and interest. My saying about tshirt quilts, "If I can get a needle through it, I can use it!" And the best part... she loves it!

BSoleille! The bright side of an arbitrary deadline...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Farmers Market Flowers

Is there anything more vibrant than fresh farmers market flowers? The colors are simply intoxicating and it is hard to walk away without purchasing a bunch! Against a backdrop of sunny skies, anything floral just pops, and I'm thankful to take a bunch home and pretty up the kitchen...


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer in the City

A semi warm morning with little humidity lent itself for another city ride in DC! We couldn't resist, and for some reason we never tire of the National Mall. But we did a larger circle riding out on Rock Creek Parkway to Adam's Morgan and then back to the Memorials after a quick coffee/iced tea break in Georgetown! Fun!

Photo of husband Bill at Dean&Deluca on "M" Street. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Mickey Mouse and the Olympics

While catching most of the 2016 Olympic Track and Field Trials in our "back office/man cave", out of the corner of my eye sits a fairly large Mickey Mouse stuffed animal I bought in 1984 while in Los Angeles for the Olympic Games! How very exciting those three plus weeks were with driving across the country,  taking in all the sites enroute, and then attending many events and venues around Los Angeles (mostly track and field). On an off day of the Games, my travel companions and I went to Disneyland where my Mickey was "born". And because I bought such a large item, the duty to pack the trunk of the car each day was left to me because I didn't want Mickey's nose to get crushed with bags and suitcases!

It's really kind of crazy that I still have him, but every time I look at him, I'm happily reminded of a wonderful time in my young life at that time, and those awesome Olympic Games of 1984!!

BSoleille! The bright side of Olympic memories (think Carl Lewis, Joan Benoit, Rowdy Gaines, Mary T. Meager, Tracy Caulkins, Bart Conner, Mary Lou Retton and Edwin Moses)! 83 Gold medals in all!

Terri (and Mickey)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Shabby Chic Revisted

This time with a photo of the finished quilt with a "flare". But to get to that "flare" or AKA scalloped border, I not only had to make bias binding, (no problem), I had to: (four letter word coming), hand sew the binding on the quilt! I rarely hand sew anything anymore so this was quite the "sacrifice" for "The Best Daughter's" quilt, who, incidentally, loves it!! It really did take me hours to figure out how I wanted the scalloped border to look, then the "worked" binding to finish off "that look". I'm thankful for another completed quilt in the books!

BSoleille! The bright side of finishing...


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Quilters Do More Than Sew!

You betcha! They even go to happy hour at Fat Boys (means big crabs) on a hot summer night. Not a sewing machine in sight, but we did talk about quilting and other quilt related topics. Susie even pulled two out of her bag that she has been working on for us to "review" and look over. All that talk was primed for a crab cake and coleslaw entrée. Heaven!

Susie, Cappy, Carrie, Janet and me. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Horseshoe Crab and Shark Teeth

If you travel to Chesapeake Beach, or Breezy Point, Maryland, there is a good chance to see a "flipped on its back" horseshoe crab looking to get back to the water, and fossilized shark teeth. Today, we even found an inner ear bone from a dolphin. Very cool indeed. And in 20 years living in Maryland, this was my first time looking and finding shark teeth in this area of the Chesapeake Bay. The day was hot, the water "warmish", a gentle breeze near the water and no signs of jellyfish yet. A great day to enjoy the bay with former co-workers in school health, Linda Duret (and daughter Lena and friend Meg) and Mary Hall!