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!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Focused Fight is in The House!

My heart was pounding when Ryan grabbed the box left gently on our front stoop and brought it into the house to open. In it were (5) beautifully packaged books... my book! The feeling is hard to describe, but I had a huge grin and sweaty palms as I caressed one in my hands. Note: Never fear more copies have been ordered!

I think holding the paperback with my words was like "birthing a baby" in a weird way, holding it gently, sweaty palms and all after the nurse (editor) and doctor (formatter) had checked it over and good enough to hand over.

What a ride it's been. I am over the moon and so thankful! Maybe even another out-of-body experience. 




Monday, March 29, 2021

I Bought a Mouse Today!

I Bought a Mouse Today!

No, not the cute grey little ones in the pet store, or the ones you see scurrying across the kitchen floor, this one is a bonafide genuine contoured computer mouse!

In my personal life, I’ve only worked on a Macbook. I am great with the built in trackpad and I can practically have my computer do cartwheels depending on whether I use one, two, or three fingers gliding across it and it’s built in “tricks.”

Husband Bill shakes his head every time he sees me working on such a small computer/keyboard/trackpad. I like it. However, he commented while I was typing away early this morning about purchasing a mouse. I stopped him mid-sentence and went out on the Web immediately (how’s that for a distraction in the writing community?) looked at the one he suggested. In moments I purchased the doggone thing and it will be here in less than a week.

Apparently, this thing will glide over anything straight—desktop, of course, but a whole host of other surfaces like a picnic table or glass. Who knows, I may really like using one?

I’ll let you know once it arrives and I take it out for a test drive on my dining room table.



My photo has nothing to do with a mouse...but we all need to see a pretty sunset (last night after a hard rain!)

Saturday, March 27, 2021


Wow! It's been a long time coming. I am beyond thrilled to announce that my book is DONE and ready to start sharing with all of you starting TODAY! 

The Focused Fight can be purchased on Amazon either the ebook/Kindle version or paperback! I would appreciate if you would SHARE this post on your social media accounts. THANK YOU!!! It will make a difference when traffic is on the site and how the rankings go in Amazon (not totally sure how it all works, but that's what I've been told by others who have gone before me). The whole project has been a labor of love for over 5 years, and beyond my wildest imagination!  Thankfully, there have been countless people who have been placed in my path for this whole book to come to fruition! 

Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1736453319

It's been one heck of a journey, and today, I can finally share this memoir with the world!  Woooohooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BSoleille! The bright side of a published book!


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Banner Week for the "Big Shots"

It all started for us with the Covid-19 shots last Friday with Ryan getting the Pfizer at M&T Bank Stadium. I followed up with mine this past Monday at the same place where Ryan went—a two hour wait time and a queue that looped us around to a tune of 1.5 miles (Pfizer also). In Maryland, the 60 and over group began yesterday and Bill, with "The Best Daughter's" help, was able to secure an appointment today near the beach in Salisbury, Maryland (about 30 miles outside of Ocean City, MD). 

When Bill asked me if I wouldn't mind taking a drive out to the beach, I was all in. The sun was shining yesterday and I thought that sunshine would carry over to today and the drive would be awesome. Instead we were met with driving 100 miles in liquid sunshine—AKA pouring down rain. It never deterred us, and we rolled up to the civic center (drive through shot) with nary a wait. Bill got he Pfizer.

Since we thought we would have a wait, but did not, we decided to head over to the ocean for a looksie. The skies cleared a bit (still grey and cloudy) and I ambled on down to the beach to touch the water. Yep, the ocean is still there and wet (and cold!). As I was turning back up to the Rehoboth Boardwalk, the rain started once again. Thankfully, Thrasher's Fries was open for business, and I ordered a medium sized bucket of fries with vinegar. This became our lunch for the two of us! Bill got his favorite Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and we were back on the road again and home in less than 2 hours! 

I also want to add how my experience was on this past Monday even though I had a long wait time. EVERYONE was super polite. Everyone social distanced as requested. The nurses, staff and military combined did an OUTSTANDING job with all their lined up patients! I was simply amazed on how this Mass Vax site is able to vaccinate around 5000 people a day.

We all go back in three weeks for our #2 shots. Hopefully the ride out to the beach next time will be sunny and bright!



Saturday, March 20, 2021

Spring Solstice with a Piano Recital!

I would like to share with all of you the power of community; this time the power of my Writing In Community and a person I met last summer on our journeys of writing a book through the Akimbo platform, MIchele Stanners. I shared the Akimbo website for those interested in writing as the new class was forming--there are still openings for the WIC2. All you need is 15 minutes a day, every day for six months. I love the habit I've gotten myself into each day. You can invest as much or as little as you want to, there are no tests or teachers or grades. https://www.akimbo.com/writingincommunity

A week or so before my surgery in February, Michele Stanners asked what she can do for me during my recovery. My standard answer is a prayer for me and my surgeon’s hands on surgery day, or thoughts of well-wishes in recovery. Since she lives in Calgary, CANADA, and I live in Maryland, there are not too many tangible things to offer or drop off at the house that easily.

We then came up with a plan on a piano concert (she is an excellent pianist!) in the future. Fast forward to today (the future), and a solstice concert was born through the technology of FaceTime. Michele tickled her ivories on a beautiful deep burgundy colored K Kawai piano that amazed and inspired me through each song/classic compositions.

Her dynamic repertoire including numbers by Debussy, Mozart (my favorite), Bach, Yann Tiersen and Chopin. She finished the most covered song of the modern age that everyone knows; Somewhere Over the Rainbow by composer Harold Arlen! She brought my house down with her magnificent skills in serenading me that, hands down, blew me away!

In addition to the 4-part Toccata by Mozart, she added in Fantasia he composed in D minor. She had me do an exercise when I listened to the entire composition that I will share tomorrow!

Thank you, Michele. You lifted my spirits and heart way, way over that rainbow!



Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Erin Go "Braghless" 2021

The post heading makes me laugh every time I say it, and for sure, write it. The land of Ireland is on my bucket list, that's provided I can get myself out of Africa! A big Happy St. Patrick's Day for 2021. No green beer for me today, but I did have a wonderful helpings of corned beef, potatoes and cabbage at my neighbors this evening! Delicious!



Photo was taken in Utah in the summer of 2015...it was the easiest green to find (as opposed to a four-leaf clover in March in Maryland) 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Attention Storytellers!

Everyone has a story to share, and mine (The Focused Fight) will be available soon. I cannot shout from the rooftops loud enough about the Akimo's Writing in Community (WIC). This week is the beginning of another "class," Writing In Community 2. If you have writing in your blood, and perhaps think you may want to share with the world on a story that you have circulating in your brain, this may be the ticket on a beautiful ride of the written word. There are no tests and no teachers as in the traditional sense. It's all up to you on how far you'd like to go with the "program," even publishing a book at the end of the course (Amazon Kindle). 

There are cohorts (classrooms), but tagging others as you get used to the Discourse (Akimbo's platform) on your daily writing is suggested. If you can carve out 15 minutes a day to write, you can do it. If I can do it, you can do it too. My husband Bill and I took the course on the buddy system. It worked great for us, as we were able to discuss our writing, the Kindlings (writing prompts) and the day to day community we got wrapped in to learn and grow. It can be the greatest gift you give yourself in 2021. 

I am signing up this week too! Check out Akimbo here: https://akimbo.com/writingincommunity 

NOTE: There are several classes coming up, so please check out the Writing In Community 2 with Kristin Hatcher. 

BSolielle! I am a sucker for a beautiful sunset. Now that our days are longer—oh what a feeling!


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Good to Be Back!

It's a good day when the body is feeling better and my "fuzzy brain" + "covid brain" is diminished more than in the last few weeks. More importantly, the weather is getting warmer and the days here in Maryland are bright and sunny. Covid shots are on the horizon for many of us (not yet for me/family) which is encouraging. Can we get back to "normal?" A year ago today and tomorrow the whole world shut down. Remember that feeling? I think we have more hope now than we've had in a year! I celebrate how far we've all come. 

BSoleille! Do you think this lioness is dreaming about her future? 


Lioness - South Africa 2015

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

"When You've Got Your Health...

 "You've got everything." My Dad, who I've been thinking about all day, would have been 97 today. How crazy is it that this was one of his favorite "sayings?" Let's all face it, he was not far off the mark for anyone living and breathing and world-wide to boot! Thankfully, he enjoyed "relatively"  good health to a ripe age of 77(he had heart disease towards the end).  

The photo below was taken in January of 2001 (a couple of months before he died), at the Ryan Tomoff Fundraiser my sisters/family hosted at the Polish Falcon Club on a very cold January night. Olivia and I were able to sneak away from Maryland for the weekend to enjoy the night with so many family and friends coming together for a good cause. It was a magical night I will never forget!



Monday, March 8, 2021

The Focused Fight!

Hello readers! Maybe you have noticed that I have not blogged or posted anything since Valentine's Day. I am sorry about that, and I've missed it more than you know. However, I've had some major health challenges of late, and had two surgeries, the last one on February 17th, 2021. Ironically, I was done with writing, as well as the formatting (by Susie Stevenson) the day before my surgery. I was working night and day to finish it before I went in as I knew I would have a "longish" recovery period. I plan to write about my diagnosis and the challenges that I faced at at later date. NOTE: I'm OKAY!

The irony of the whole thing is that in The Focused Fight, I talk about advocacy quite a bit. It's one of the lifelines in dealing with a Childhood Cancer diagnosis. The parent has to be the eyes and ears and voice for the young child moving forward in just about everything medical. I did a huge amount of advocacy for Ryan, and most recently, had to advocate for myself. The book, not even published yet, had to be "dusted off" so I could use some of the strategies to get me to the correct place in my journey. It worked!

Drum roll please...here is a preview of my book's jacket. Inching along...and getting very close to publishing.