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!

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Bridget Franek Gets Married!

Our friends Tom and Rosalie Franek hosted a gangbuster wedding (backyard) party for their daughter Bridget and her groom, Gabriel Lemay today. They actually got married the first weekend in July in Eugene, Oregon (Bridget and Gabe's hometown), but wanted to celebrate their nuptials with many family and friends from Ohio and East that couldn't make the trek out West. The day also included the celebration of one year of marriage of their son, Josh, and his bride, Kristina, who married smack dab in the middle of Covid last June.

The day was typical Franek style (minus a bike race or road race). Twenty-five of us went on a two mile hike on their property first thing in the morning. Then we played Knockout on their basketball half court. Tom set up shooting sport gallery with bee-bee guns and clay pigeons that was a favorite for many, as well as a  volleyball court, corn-hole compeitition, swimming in their pond, croque, balloon toss and timed bucket races around the pond. Oh, did I mention delicious food and drink? They covered all bases there as well. 

The night ended with a big bonfire and tired folks from the entire day of playing, laughing and having a great time. 


Best wishes to Bridget & Gabe and Josh & Kristina for long a happy marriages.


Bridget & Gabe, Josh & Kristina

Ryan, Bill, Bridget, Gabe and me

Cornhole with Scot and Bill

Water balloon toss

Most of the gang

BG Girls; Jodie, Rosalie, me 

Generation: Kristina, Mrs. Cocita, Rosalie and Bridget

Friday, July 30, 2021

Wedding Crashers

Wedding crashers we are (a first for me) for the party before the party this weekend. It all worked out and was lovely, but that was how the ball rolled for us as we rolled into Hiram, Ohio early evening.  The bride and groom, Bridget and Gabe, were happy we came! The big party is tomorrow that we really came for but happy to crash this Friday night shindig! 



L-R: Beth, Linda (Gabe's mom), Bridget the bride and Gabe the groom 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Garden and Plants Growing Wild

If you have any luck with plants and garden perhaps everything is growing out of control. I know my stuff is growing crazy, and the weeds are choking up on the good stuff. They are growing wild too much to my dismay. The bad thing is that I am not making time to yank them out of their beds. The HHH days (although I do like HOT, I don't care much for the humidity or mosquitoes) make it difficult to make it a priority. I keep telling myself I'll weed for 15-20 minutes but it doesn't happen. 

Maybe next week I'll give it a try - especially those husky buggers that are three feet tall. They all must go!

Now, for a photo of some beautiful blue spruce trees in my sister's Broadview Heights neighborhood that are simply gorgeous! My dad was a big fan of blue spruces so we had several in a very small Cleveland, Ohio, lot. Now these fellas are keepers! 



Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Creative Spirits Unleashed...The Focused Fight's Podcast with Lynn Carnes

I am thrilled to announce that the Lynn Carne's Podcast on The Focused Fight has been released this past week. If you like podcasts and you have a long drive coming up (over an hour and a half), you will get to your destination while listening to it (or a long bike ride/run/walk). Drum roll please...for the podcast click here: Terri's podcast with Lynn Carnes

Lynn is an awesome business woman who has written and published two books, with a third one being released soon. I met Lynn in last year's Writing in Community (WIC1). We made an instant connection and have been cheerleading for each other's endeavors ever since. Here is Lynn's website: https://lynncarnes.com/ If you get the chance; check out her Ted Talk too! 

These are exciting times right now for publicizing my memoir. I am so grateful for all the goodness received, and how my family is riding the wave with me by sharing hope and inspiration to one person/one family at a time! A great journey we are happy to take on.



Ryan, Olivia, Beth & Don Tomoff, me, Paul & Stephanie Godleski and Bill
 from this past weekend's Cleveland book launch for TFF.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Tomato, Tomahto

Patty Lubin and I had so much fun canning tomatoes (missing Ms. Marilyn) today - six boxes of slightly bruised canning tomatoes Patty bought in Clinton, Maryland. Tis the season of rocking the red! We canned over 42 quart jars of the liquid gold. They will be used in upcoming soups and stews that put a stamp on the deliciousness of summer 2021! 

A huge shout of THANKS to Patty while hosting me today in addition to in all canning endeavors. Her kitchen is laid out perfectly to work in tandem or in threes; blanching, skinning, cooking to a roiling boil to canning . Violá!



Monday, July 26, 2021

Some Things Are Better Than Winning

If you are a fan of  Apple+ TV’s Ted Lasso, you understand the show that life is not all about winning. A shout of thanks to Karen Todd and “The Best Daughter” who encouraged me/us to tune in. It’s light hearted with a poignant message about kindness and respect. 

I heard the second season came out last week, so we are catching up a couple of episodes at a time in season one. So far, we are fans!

Here are two quotes to whet the appetite for the show: “I’m sorry, Nate… I have a hard time hearing people who don’t believe in themselves…” 

And introduce two people:

“Congrats, you both just met a cool person.”



Sunday, July 25, 2021

Down to 37% Battery Life

My lifeline to the world is my computer (my phone is a very close second - handy because it's so small and can travel anywhere!) However, I left my patch cords to my computer at my sister's in Cleveland. She plans on mailing them back to me tomorrow, but I am preserving my battery life (I don't want to spend $$ on new ones that I do not need, frankly.) 

PS, I'm also loving my mouse!



Saturday, July 24, 2021

Cleveland Book Launch Party a Success!

I am thrilled for today's Cleveland book launch for The Focused Fight. Over 50 people attended to celebrate with me and my family of touching lives and hearts one person/one family at a time with our story. Of course, many were family (cousins too), friends and former co-workers. I read two short passages in the book that captured the crowd by hearing my voice and intonation.

The informal conversations were deeply moving for me, as well as catching up with everyone else's life. One friend, Mark Misencik, drove his motorcycle from Colorado (he was also in Ohio visiting his family). My friend, Dan Frederick, drove in from Indianapolis, IN, to celebrate with me and my family. We met in our late teens and have remained friends through the years, keeping in touch via social media. So many familiar faces came that touched me and my family's heart more than they know. 

A big SHOUT of THANKS to The Focused Fight's Committee: Kimberly Kocan, Annette Pejeau, Sarah Marriott, Debbie Martinko and Lisa Speckman. They helped shape the party at the New Hampton Clubhouse for all to enjoy. 

I think my family and I are enjoying the afterglow of this party. We feel blessed and grateful for this incredible day.



Delicious Cake!

Kimberly, Olivia, me, Ryan and Annette

APA Gals!

About to read a passage

I signed over 35 books!

The Fighter - Ryan!

My cousins Stephanie, Marsha and Larry Piecuch and sisters

My Kocan Nephews with Shana, Taylor and Ryan

Dan Frederick, me and Todd

Rosalie and Josh Franek; Rosalie's Mom, Mrs. Cosita and me

Rhodes Gals: Lisa Speckman, Sarah Marriott, Sue Doerle, me, Debbie Martinko and Karen McFarland

Friday, July 23, 2021

T minus 1

I'm ready. My family is in town for The Focused Fight's Northeast Ohio's launch tomorrow! I am very excited to see family and friends to celebrate this moment with me. I've lived in Crofton, Maryland for 25 years now, but Cleveland will always be in my heart and 'home.' For many people who have moved away from where they grew up, I think there is some pull back to the area - especially if parents or family and friends are still living there. 



Thursday, July 22, 2021

Launch Prep for The Focused Fight

Last night's book club was the first of two events in Northeast Ohio. We had a wonderful night with insightful questions and answers with my sister's book club to kick off the weekend. Tomorrow will be prep for the party/book launch on Saturday, July 24, 2021 from 2-7pm! I am so excited to celebrate this milestone with family and friends! 

My whole family will be on hand to sign books, answer questions or talk about their "role" in the book. I may even read a passage or two if the mood strikes! It will be informal and fun and all are welcome. 

To check out upcoming events, including this book signing event, please check out: territomoff.com and then Pressroom. Location: 

New Hampton Clubhouse 1421-1461 Hamilton Drive, Broadview Heights, Ohio 44147

I would love to see some familiar faces - all are welcome.



Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Book Club Success!

What a beautiful Ohio night talking to my sister Kimberly's book club on her spacious deck. It was great! I only knew one woman out of five, and finished the night with four new friends.  They all read The Focused Fight and enjoyed further discussion on several of the stories shared in the book. I then went so far as to share other stories that did not make the cut into the book which they all seemed to like as well. While writing the memoir over five years, there were only so many stories to highlight without boring the heck out of my readers. However, it was nice to discuss those stories in and out of the book with an accepting audience, who also happen to be big readers. 

The informal Q&A worked well. I also dished on a wee bit the art of being a self-publisher which also means being a self-publicist. Even so with any type of marketing involved going forward, my mantra continues to be touching hearts with hope and inspiration: one person or one family at a time. 

A huge shout of THANKS to my sister Kimberly for hosting such a lovely event in her home!



Kimberly (hostess) and me

L-R: Christine, Tina, Kimberly, Cindy, me and Carey

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

All Clear Report!

Short and sweet, these words will never go out of style: "All Clear." Especially coming from a surgeon at Ryan's follow-up appointments. We are all pleased and grateful more than you know. The late afternoon appointment also gave us the chance to give Dr. Ord his copy of The Focused Fight. After all, he wrote a Foreword that is really touching. 



Monday, July 19, 2021

Sunshine & Hearts

While taking a walk/run around my neighborhood, from a distance I could see something bright a cheerful on a house. As we got closer, it was a sun and huge! These folks typically decorate in a whimsical style during the holidays. Summer, for me, and from the looks of it for them as well, is a holiday. This huge yellow sunshine with hearts as the sunbeams located on the side of their house has to bring smiles to everyone that notices it while passing by. I love it!  



Sunday, July 18, 2021

25 Years in Crofton!

Today marks 24 years in the house we purchased in Crofton, Maryland in 1997. We moved to the area 25 years ago this summer, renting a house up the street from where we bought.  I cannot believe we've lived here a quarter of a century! When Bill and I got married, we lived in our house in North Olmsted, Ohio, for nine years. The years keep rolling on by, faster and faster.

Prior to moving into our house, I ended up buying some new flooring and carpeting. Even though we had a dog, so did the previous owners, and the carpet was quite beat up. Since this was a "new" house for us, we decided the new flooring/carpeting would give us a needed fresh start.

But Ryan ended up being sick and hospitalized the week that we got the keys to our "new" house. I was able to be at the house the night before, but not when the carpet guy was coming to install the flooring. Never fear, a couple of Bill's sisters and a brother-in-law came to the rescue and helped with the move, and carpeting. When the installer arrived, I was in the hospital with Ryan and Bill went to work. I had no idea what laid under the said flooring, but the installer was not a happy camper. There were layers and layers of flooring under the hallway carpeting that he was not expecting. No one had a clue.

My brother-in-law, Paul, had to talk this guy down because he was so upset at the work in front of him. He was swearing and carrying on. Thankfully, Paul, retired military, and super calm in a frenzied situation helped this guy out to carry out what he needed to do on the flooring and carpeting. Paul said afterwards that he was glad I wasn't there to see how this guy lost his cool for something so trivial. 

I'm thrilled we turned our house into a home for the last 24 years. It's easy living in a rancher style home. 



Home Sweet Home

Saturday, July 17, 2021

July Brides

For years (maybe centuries) the month of June was a huge wedding month. June brides were all the rage. I think it shifted to July. But now, pretty much every weekend of the year there is ample time to host a wedding (perhaps not big holidays like Christmas or Easter or Chanukah or Eid). 

July 2021 is a busy month for us in celebrating weddings with dear friends on weekends 1,3, and 5 (yes, there are 5 Saturdays in July). Today we celebrated the wedding of Sarah and Ray Kawas in Red Bank, New Jersey (a little South of Staten Island). Sarah is the eldest of three daughters of James  and Jennifer Castle. Sarah and "The Best Daughter" played club soccer back in the day. We had a blast!

Congratulations to the Castle family especially Sarah and Ray (they had a 10 year courtship)! 



Friday, July 16, 2021

What's the Oddest Thing Seen on an Airport Carousel?

It seems like many people around the USA are "moving about the cabin" once again. I am thrilled and chomping at the bit to not only drive places, but fly too.  A friend of mine posted that she and her husband were a few minutes late to their gate to take their carry on bags onto the airplane. They are seasoned travelers, and are relearning the ropes of travel in the summer of 2021. I guess the cabin of the plane was filled up with other passengers baggage.  

It got me thinking about seeing long airport corridors filled with passengers and baggage. With millions of people with the travel bug, one sees all kinds of stuff, including what's added or comes off an airport baggage carousel. While traveling in an African country, I witnessed an interesting set of bags. They were  counted as someone's luggage: three bags of potatoes. I'm pretty sure they could have taken the smallish plastic grocery bags (tied) with smallish potatoes onto the plane with them. As far as I know, potatoes are not contraband. No judgment from me, just curiosity. Those potatoes looked odd and lonely as they made their way into the plane's belly. 

I'd be curious to hear what other travelers have seen as interesting luggage. I'm not counting golf clubs, skiis or athletic equipment like pole vault poles. I did see a box fan once going into the belly of the plane with its owners sitting in front of me and giddy that it was being loaded. They were super friendly and I asked them about their boxed fan (in a beat up box, mind you). They laughed and said they travel around the world with the same box fan for white noise. They never leave home without it. 



Thursday, July 15, 2021

Summer Nights

Summer nights can be hot and humid depending on where you live, or a perfect temperature to capture a gorgeous sunset. We've been having warm days here in the Mid-Atlantic which is excellent for swimming, not so cool nights–which I still like. The greatest joy is packing light to go just about anywhere. Phone, keys and a wallet or small handbag is all I need for my errands. It's so freeing. 

My goal is to savor the long summer days, noticing all the flora and fauna in my yard and around the neighborhood. I will say the weeds are pesky at this time too. 

The other day we were out and noticed a huge hibiscus flower that was as big as my hand. Even hubby Bill noticed it. I think it's a hibiscus or a variant of one, if not, let me know the correct name. 

BSoleille! The bright side of "cheers to long summer nights!"


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Good Report on Ryan!

Managing any type of care for a loved one is an on-going project. However, it's one I willingly take on any day. This afternoon Ryan had his 2-3X/year follow-up oncology appointment with Dr. Shad with a good report. We like to spread out appointments with the other "ologists" but I think he has a run of them in the next month or so. Thankfully, it all works out. Some of his docs even hold evening appointments which means Ryan doesn't have to miss too many days of his (daytime) work. 

Ryan is quite funny and pragmatic when asked questions about his daily health that usually gets a smile or laugh out of his docs. Today he uttered, "I'm still standing" which all of us chuckled at that one. Thank goodness that is the case. Ryan also loved to hear Dr. Shad give kudos to him and my book, The Focused Fight. She said more and more folks she knows are interested in reading it! 

TFF is now in several countries: US, UK, Canada, The Netherlands, Poland and Pakistan. I am over the moon that my message of hope and inspiration is spreading by one person, one family at a time. 



Ryan helping Dr. Shad with his labs right from his phone!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

My Wild First Six Months of 2021

A week or so ago I posted that I hope to achieve my goal of 10 straight years and 3,000 blogposts by 12/31 on this very site. Over the years I've built in "off days" so I don't drive myself crazy if I miss now and again. I'm cutting it close this year with all the time off I took in February/March. That was due to my uterine cancer diagnosis the day my book was finished - all the writing (January 26th). How ironic, right?

Thankfully, the surgery got the contained cancer with a radical hysterectomy on February 17, 2021. The pathology report was Stage 1-A, the best it could be with that diagnosis. I am blessed!

My hubby, Bill, sat on me and let me heal like I needed to. I didn't lift a finger for several weeks which, looking back, helped me come back strong and feeling good. It was a rough go at first. Healed, I am in full summer mode with exercising - my daily planks, walk/runs and lately, swimming laps - 64 most times I go to get in a full mile swim. I am also quilting up a storm with T-shirt quilts. 

I'm hopeful to post for the rest of July without missing a day. August, with some travel on the horizon, might get dicey for missing a day or so (especially if I don't have wifi). It's all good though. It's been one heck of a ride. I've learned so much with the daily posts and crafting stories, plus quilting and everything else, which all helped me to write and finish The Focused Fight. I am forever grateful!



Ready to be wheeled back to the OR 2/17/21

Monday, July 12, 2021

My List of Band Names

For years I've kept records on all kinds of things: movies I've seen (used to keep the ticket stubs); concerts I've attended and then all the albums I used to have. With several moves over the years, I've thrown out all the stubs and no longer have the albums I thought were treasures. The culprit: Technology.

However, technology gave way to the iphone/smartphone with the unbelievable capability to hold a computer in our hand(s). We can reach anyone around the world, or at least look them up with a google search. Besides the automobile, this has got to be one of the world's best invention in our lifetime. 

In having storage apps and all the bells and whistles that go along with them, we no longer need to keep ticket stubs, or the like, in a safe space in a drawer. If there happens to be a ticket of some sort nowadays, a photo of it on a camera roll serves the storage piece of holding onto it. What about storing a list or text? Yep, there are apps that can store that too.

Through the years I've come to love the juxtaposition of words which parlay into band names, at least for me. I store them on my phone since the names pop up and come to me at odd times and hours of any given day. I've been on a safari in Africa (with college friends) and I/we have come up with a couple unique band names there. My quilting bees know of my list, and one band name came out of our zoom call tonight: Skinny Bird Legs (my bird quilt block I made for our ShoeBox Swap has, you guessed it, a bird block with skinny legs, Ha!). If anyone is looking for a unique "band" name, I may have just the name for you. 

Here are a couple more: beautiful farce; Listen Properly and Widening Scandal

BSoleille! The bright side of bold band names! My photo below is the awesome band that played at the McCarthy/Favuzza wedding two weekends back in New York - Sound Society


Sound Society - Band out of New York City

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Tissue! No Issue!

Our tissue boxes in a couple of places around the house have sat unused for the last 18 months. I think there is dust on the one coming out of the box that's located in our bathroom. Not TMI, but I blew my nose for the first time in a year and a half. I'm not sick or have a cold, I think it was from the chlorine after swimming laps that I needed to clear out. In fact, I used the dusty one coming out of the box (that's how I knew). 

That was one thing in lockdown, not a cold, fever or chill the entire time. With masks on and only going to the grocery store two times a month, how would I, or anyone else doing similar shopping routines, catch anything except the unthinkable...Covid? Our bubble group was homebound too so minimal chance to catch anything from them. 

Do you have dusty tissues? I should add, if folks have allergies, tissues have been probably needed. For some reason, we did not have any allergies that rotated through several seasons through lockdown. 



Saturday, July 10, 2021

Last Nephew Zach to Celebrate High School Graduation

I am thankful to report that my last nephew on my side of the family, Zach, graduated from Rocky River High School in Cleveland, Ohio—class of 2021. It was not easy to get through his junior and senior year due to covid, but he muscled through and did well academically. He also played hockey throughout his youth and played on varsity high school team the last couple of years. 

My sister threw a nice party in celebration at a cute venue that accommodated all their guests. He plans on attending Miami of Ohio to major in finance and marketing. I/we wish him well in his new challenge of collegiate life.

Congratulations Zach!



Me, Zach and sister, Annette

Friday, July 9, 2021

Remembering Mom (Sophie Nolan) One Year After her Passing

Most people who have followed along with me through the years know that I am an milestone poster. Today is no different. It is the 1st anniversary of my Mom's (Sophie) passing one year ago today, July 9th, 2020. l really can't believe a year has gone as quickly as it has during a crazy pandemic. Last year with the Covid ramping up, no one was allowed to be with their loved one on their dying day (especially in the nursing home she was in at that time). This was my understanding, and frankly, heartbreaking beyond comprehension. 

There was some wrinkle that we could have come in for 5 minutes with a full body PPE, face mask and shield, plus sign a document (waiver) 25 pages long to not hold the nursing home responsible for possible contamination. How would we know the window of time with the 5 minutes we would be allotted when she was going to die to be admitted to the floor? It was a unfortunate notion to even try to "time it" and be there for her last breath. My sisters and I made the decision that due to my mom's severe dementia at that time, she most likely would never have recognized us anyway, and waited for the dreaded phone call. We had to come face to face that she would pass with a stranger, albeit (I hope) a kind nurse. We were apprised that was the case, but it did not make that day any easier for our family.

So many people around the world have suffered over the last year and a half. I'm hoping for brighter days ahead. I'm confident there will be many possibilities of goodness on the horizon as we recover and "move about the cabin" once again.


Thursday, July 8, 2021

Local Crofton/Annapolis Folks - Check Out Sweet Home Salvage This Weekend!

If you live in the greater Crofton area, maybe you have checked out: Sweet Home Salvage:  https://www.sweethomesalvage.com/ As their website says, they are the area's latest and most charming place to find new and vintage home furnishings, as well as antiques, jewelry, apparel, gift items and so much more. They are local gals, Gail Kramer and Pam Michienzi, who highlight local area artisans as well. The candles they sell are made in by a Crofton candlemaker that are awesome—great gifts too (I've purchased several since they've opened). 

Since publishing The Focused Fight, Gail and Pam contacted me and asked if I would be willing to sell copies in their shop! I am thrilled beyond measure for their generous offer to sell them this weekend. Please click on their link for their hours and location. 

If you are familiar enough with Crofton they are in the old piano shop behind the bowling alley. Their shop is beautiful and a great treat to have in our community. Go and find something fun (and useful) to swap out something old..er. 

BSoleille! A huge SHOUT of THANKS to Gail and Pam and Sweet Home Salvage!


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Futbol/Soccer Fans Unite this Week

If anyone is a fan (or not, but can be this week) of European soccer, you are getting your money's worth the last couple of weeks. The fast and furious beautiful game was spread out across Europe in the UEFA Championship Cup 2020. The bracket play was terrific leading up to today's semi final match. England beat Denmark 2-1 to advance to the final on Sunday against Italy. Italy beat Spain two days ago in Penalty Kicks after playing 1:20 minutes of futbol. The England vs. Italy match is going to be epic! 

On the homefront, a trip to Audi field tonight to see the DC United WIN over LDA (Liga Deportiva Alajuelense - top tier of the Costa Rica futbol league system) in the inaugural Capital Cup was outstanding. It was 90 degrees at kickoff—hot on and off the field—with all the players running and passing like champs. DC United won 1-0 over LDA on a restart. 

It looks like those European teams are gearing up to qualify for the World Cup in 2022. Tiny Qatar will be hosting it. It would be great if the USA can qualify (they missed it in 2018). 

BSoleille! A Big Shout of Thanks to Karen and Dale Ewing for tonight's match!