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!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

A New Thing - The Focused Fight One Minute Videos

Now that my book has been published with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month beginning tomorrow, September 1st, I best get to talking about it through videos (on youtube as highlighted below). My hope is to raise awareness through different powers: community, connection, advocacy and even a chocolate chip cookie. I will do 30 posts of one minute or less; a different topic/info/musing each day. 

Although I will do a small post here, my video posts will be on the other social media platforms, namely (or at least for now), Facebook and Instagram. Maybe LinkedIn too, though not sure this evening if I'll start posting there.

For the next 31 days, I'll write on my blog here in this space, but won't post it to Facebook since a post will already be there. I will keep my streak alive but do not want to double up on the various platforms. 

Thank you for reading along!




Monday, August 30, 2021


Have you heard this word lately? Infobesity? It's all the information coming at us like a firehose. Sometimes it is just too much. Sometimes we see things and want to hear more. We've had to become circus acts of balancing whatever is going on with our world, and then the world at large. Nothing is easy. But there is always hope. 

If you have been reading along with my blog for the past 2,884 of them, I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Today is my 2,885th post; 115 to reach that self-imposed number of 3,000. There are 123 days left of 2021, and I'm gonna make mine count! I'd like to come in at 3,000, or slightly over, but not under. That leaves me with eight days to "play" with, or not post. 

My hope today is to morph this blog into my website's blog: territomoff.com for the coming year(s). Perhaps I'll morph it to a new name (still deciding), but behind the curtain, it will still be the same ole me. 

In a couple of months I'll be 60 years old. My 59th year has been wild with so many things in my world, and the world at large, spinning rapidly like a large swirling dervish. From Covid-19, to lockdowns, to "something is not right with me," then learning I have uterine cancer the day after I finished the writing for my book, to self-publishing that work two months later, to healing and hearing from people near and far about so many things (my health and the book), my head and heart are swelling with love and gratitude for ALL of IT. 

I am a connector, and I hope I keep connecting with you! My other plan right now is to do some marketing of my third baby, The Focused Fight, because September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I feel my book will help that one person, one family at a time if it gets noticed and then the best thing...it's read!

bSoleille! The bright side of culling for us what information we like to hear and know about. 


This mountain could care less about infobesity!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Baby Shower for Liz V!

The Best Daughter's bestie, Liz, is having a baby...soon...like in November. Today, Liz's sisters, Mom and her Mom's friend, Rebecca, hosted a lovely backyard baby shower. The weather was cooperative which made the entire event feasible on a typically hot August day. Liz and baby got a santa's wagon full of gifts which will help baby and its parents (gender not revealed until the birth) get through the first year, at least (okay, maybe the first six month). 

My whole family is looking forward to meeting Baby Schaefer!




South Dakota Black Bear (one of my gifts for baby)

Grandma to be Margaret and Aunts to be, Caroline and Jackie

Olivia and Liz

Saturday, August 28, 2021

First Soccer Game of the Season (Referee)

It it the end of August, and today I finally stepped on the pitch to referee. I typically start refereeing the first week of January, but not this year do to my cancer diagnosis and surgeries. I feel I am healed quite nicely and was anticipating my time back to the game I love. 

Even though the weather was hot and humid, it did not matter to me. I drank plenty of water to fend off the amount of sweat coming out of every pore of my body, or so it seemed. 

Since we are in the beginning week of the Maryland High School soccer season, I refereed two games (was supposed to be four), a Boys Varsity and Boys JV. Once I took that first step and blew my whistle for the first time in 2021, I knew I was home. When the coaches from both squads of both games complimented me and my partner on our game and the way we handled the games, I was elated. 

I am back...



Friday, August 27, 2021

Back in the Groove

I am thankful to be back in my hotseat(s) of the gig economy—writing, quilting, and tomorrow, refereeing soccer as the start of the high school matches begin. All this following an epic vacation the past two weeks. 

To share the writing prompt today from the Writing In Community brings me joy; here it is.

Summer Vacation 2021...

I am trying to fit into my world on what it meant for me to be gone from home 8 weekends in a row; the last two weeks were spent out West that incorporated the 7th and 8th weekend as well. This is what I learned and contemplated about:

The Power of Love - three weddings; Long Island, New York; Red Bank, New Jersey and Hiram, Ohio

The Power of Travel - family vacation on Kelleys Island, Ohio in June (drove), a two week vacation out West in August with Bill (flew) and the whole month of July planning and recovering from the five weekends of being away from home.

The Power of a Book Signing - a big one in Cleveland, Ohio in July as well as a couple of book club appearances.

The Power of Friendship - deepening bonds with visits including both family and friends from near and far.

The Power of Connections - meeting up In Real Life (IRL) with members of WIC; Annette Mason 2X (Washington DC and Boulder, Co); Kathy Taylor in Lyons, CO: and Angus Lockyer in Boulder, CO. The magic of the conversations were off the charts as well as meeting spouses (Bob - Annette’s husband and Tim, Kathy’s husband). There was something strong and genuine with each meetup that I am over the moon with our timing that it worked out. 

The Power of Vision of Foundations - we were introduced not only to the iconic restaurant Flagstaff House in Boulder, CO, but a local foundation “There With Care” by our dear friends now living in Colorado. This benefit was near and dear to our hearts as their mission is to help families and children during critical phases of medical crisis. Typically they help with the day-to-day expenses and obligations with compassion and care. A win-win in our book!

And finally, I think my biggest takeaway this summer was being mindful of every hike I was gratefully able to do in a forest.

The Power of Forest Bathing - I simply could not get enough of it. As an athlete through the years, I’ve done a lot of running, 99% of it outside in all kinds of weather. Running down tree-lined streets or a park is not the same as hiking through thousands of pine trees or aspen in a dense forest in the mountains of Colorado or the canyons in the Black Hills of South Dakota. To take in the gifts of nature and allow it to take over the senses is what Forest Bathing is all about. Camping at nearly 10,000 ft. in elevation eliminates being tied to a smart phone or computer since there is no WiFi or signal in sight to connect to. The best connection happens to be right there in front of you, each tree, rock formation, wildflower and wildlife to ease the mind of everything else swirling around the brain. Sleeping under the stars in a sleeping bag on soft pine needles made the forest bathing even more profound. When the full moon came around the tall pines the first night, I was ecstatic on my good fortune for a possible moon tan since it was so so bright.

I found this forest bathing (which I’ve done many times before but never had a name for it until this trip ironically) lifting my spirits to a new plateau. I tried to overdose on it so when I got home I can still feel that feeling of mindfulness and the spirit of the forest until my next visit.  



Bill, me, Kyle Misencik, Julian Wheating, Caitlin Misencik, Linda & Mark Misencik
Pablo's in downtown Denver, CO (a favorite/local coffee shop)

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Home Sweet Home

After a two week trip out West, we are home! Although I love to travel and share adventure and experiences, there's nothing like resetting the batteries at the humble abode. 

I'd like to give a shout of THANKS to Linda and Mark Misencik for their wonderful hospitality in and out of their home in Colorado (we traveled through a couple other states). 

We are pooped out with a long travel day (flying the friendly skies this time). More later...



Hiking with Gunner the GSP

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Back in Boulder/Berthoud with an Akimbo Meetup

Last full day in Colorado with a fantastic meet up with a two people from my Akimbo writing group! Bill and I already met Annette Mason of Solana Beach, CA at the beginning of the month in DC. Today at lunchtime we were thrilled to meet Angus Lockyer (a Brit) living in Boulder, along with Annette who flew to Colorado this morning for a volunteer effort over this coming weekend. Luckily, she was available to get to Boulder and have lunch with us too. 

Our repast overlooking the famous Flatirons was wonderful. A deep conversation with the four of us on many topics was magical and enlightening beyond measure. Our friendships in writing began with daily postings on the Akimbo Discourse, along with Write Nows and Read Out Louds in Hollywood Square style for far too long. With that method, a worldwide cohort is achieved by cheering each other on with whatever the others are writing or blogging or bringing value into the world through their words. Annette and Angus have been a huge part of that effort!

I am over the moon with gratitude with another meet up IRL. 



Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Airstream Quilt

There was a quilt pattern going around a few years ago of a camper that was so cute, I had to make it for my friends, Linda and Mark Misencik's Airstream. They bought theirs in 2018 and have traveled all over Colorado and Wyoming with it for the last few years. The camper quilt now graces the inside of the cabin. in a prominent spot. On our annual quilt guild's February retreat, several quilt guild members witnessed me creating this small quilt, which is a perfect size for their camper. 



Monday, August 23, 2021

Under the Stars and Full Moon!

A Manufacturing Sunshine Story - Under the Stars and Full Moon

There are all kinds of ways to make do, even when camping and forgetting key elements at home. Take tent stakes for instance. Our host Linda had her camping checklist which included the tent, sleeping bags and two camping air mattresses, as well as everything else needed to outfit their Airstream. Food too. We were all set to head out yesterday morning to Golden, CO, with nary a care in the world. We would be off the grid for the rest of the day and the following couple of days sans a quick trip into Nederland, CO, each morning to find a coffee shop to post our dailies/blogs/Linda’s work.

The Misencik’s beautifully outfitted Airstream can sleep two comfortably, three people can happen (kitchen table reduced to a bed), but a bit cozy; hence taking a tent. The girls decided to give the guys the Airstream for sleeping arrangements. Heck, we are old pros at living off the grid when we needed to. Linda and I car camped for a week a few years ago in Crested Butte, CO, with no problems, and no shower for five days. We were so grimy and dirty after five days of hiking that our hair was standing on end with the dust and sweat entrenched into our scalps and long locks.

Once we arrived at our wonderfully appointed camp site, we made quick work of setting up for the next couple of days. Linda retrieved the tent from the belly of the Airstream and we went to work pitching it up. Uh oh. No tent stakes were in the bag. We couldn’t set the tent up as intended. Those doggone stakes happened to be left at home, Linda then thought that they were probably with their other 2-person tent. Oh well, we had to improvise and manufacture something else; four in the Airstream was not going to happen unless a sweeping storm with torrential rain or lightning strikes happened to be too close for comfort. Thankfully, that was not the case.

Never one to pass up a new opportunity, I was all in to sleep under the stars…and a full moon to boot! It was the first time I ever slept under the stars with just a sleeping bag; Linda too. We were lucky that there were no bugs (mosquitoes) or wind. It was a perfect night to fall asleep under the canopy of pine trees, the stars beyond them, and that glorious and striking full moon that cast its moonshine all over the mountain at 9500 ft. of elevation. We slept like babies. Gunner, the Misencik’s GSP, was safely ensconced into his portable crate next to us. He slept like a baby too.

I did have some fleeting thoughts of waking up to a set of coyote’s eyes staring at me, or a deer or bear. Nope, nada. I woke up refreshed with the nighttime forest bathing, a brilliant full moon, and breathing in fresh mountain air all night long.

Oh, in case you are wondering, the boys slept like babies too, safely ensconced in the AS.



Saturday, August 21, 2021

National Dog Day!

If you have a canine or two, I celebrate with you today with your bundle(s) of fur and everlasting companionship on National Dog Day. It's been a few years since our last dog, Loo-C-Loo died. We sure do miss them, cuddling on the sofa and going for long runs and walks when they were able. 

What I/we do now is cuddle up with our friends' dogs, or dogsit on occasion, or admire them from afar. While visiting our friends, Mark and Linda, their dog Gunner has been one of our favorites. He's a German Shorthair Pointer (GSP) and very well mannered. When the day is nearly done he will curl up on the sofa to cuddle. He is not a licker or kisser, shucks!

When he comes to visit us in Crofton, he heads straight for the toybox. I still keep a doggie toy box for any and all dogs to play with when they come over. Gunner likes to take his time taking them all out of the box/basket to play. But...he doesn't clean up after himself. The trail of toys is a force to be reckoned with!

Cheers to all the Canines near and far. A dog...a pet that is just like family. Please give them extra love today!



My sister Kimberly with Champ and Olivia with Loo-C and Lucky


Friday, August 20, 2021

Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing is the happening while in Colorado and South Dakota for us! It's harnessing the joys of and health benefits of being outdoors, and we love that. The Black Hills Forest in South Dakota have thousands of pine trees, tall and mighty. Standing amongst them as a human being, I feel so puny compared to their majestic stance as far as the eye can see. 

The whole concept of Forest Bathing was started in Japan but gaining more and more popularity in the US. It's a great concept for "being one with nature." Perhaps reaping the benefits of keeping stress at bay as much as our psyche will allow us to is what Forest Bathing can do for many people. I am usually in awe every step I take in the forest and beyond.

I recently bought a book on this exact subject, and plan to read it soon.



Thursday, August 19, 2021

Road Map of the Lower 48

I guess my bucket list of visiting all 50 states in a lifetime has garnered some interest, starting with our hosts, Linda and Mark Misencik. They pulled out their trusty Travel Vision United States Road Map once we were done eating and back from our Dakota trip. They immediately began marking off the states they have visited, and those they have not--even from their youth. Maybe we can visit a few states we can do together in the future. 

My photos below are of Linda and Mark as well as some of the wildflowers captured in the Black Hills Canyon in Spearfish, SD. Mid-August is late for blooming wildflowers as the snow will start flying in a month or so. I was happy to take in all the flowers and Forest Bathing I could (another post).



What state next, honey?

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

North Dakota Today...My 43rd State!

It's not every day that you enter a bucket list item. Today, I/we entered, on purpose, my 43rd state out of the Union's 50! It was a planned visit, about 15 miles past the South Dakota border to reach North Dakota. The Misencik's and The Tomoff's had drove 2.5 hours each way from our wonderful stay in Spearfish Canyon, SD, to have lunch at Grazer's in Bowman, North Dakota. It was a great lunch to boot - hamburgers - all around, and for me, a bison burger. The rest of the week - salads!

The restaurant was a "Be Kind" kind of restaurant, and hubby #Billboard Bill had on a T-shirt that said "Be Kind to Everyone." It was total serendipity on Bill's part, but he was hootin' and hollerin' the whole meal! 

There was not much else to see or do, but we did not care. On our way up, I kept saying that I would love to see a cowboy rustling up the cattle. I've never seen it in Colorado, Arizona or South Dakota (or any state out West). Guess what? Today, as it was my turn to drive, about 50 miles into the drive back to SD, I saw in the distance (not hard, as there is not much out there) a truck and some cowboys! 

Once closer, there three cowboys, a dog and a horse trailer that Linda was able to capture. Yippee! My day was complete this afternoon. 

bSoleille! Cheers to 43 states visited: States to go: Alabama; Louisiana, Mississippi; Idaho; Minnesota, Montana, and Oregon. I hope to get to all the rest someday.


Cowboys in North Dakota!

Linda poking her heard out of a boulder on our late afternoon hike

Devils' Bathtub HIke - Spearfish Canyon

Hiking at One Hundred Degrees

South Dakota gets over 35 inches of snow per year. The Black Hills area receives upwards of 100 inches, and that's exactly where we are hiking this week. However, summertime is completely different - no snow, but 100 degrees plus while on our Lookout Mountain hike in Spearfish, SD late this morning. 

Never fear though, once done, we headed to the downtown area of Spearfish and found an excellent brewery to drown out the heat with an iced cold craft brew. 

All the hiking the four of us have done over our lifetimes, and not one of us ever hiked with cows. Our hike started out with cows on the trail for about the first 1/2 mile. They were happy cows and I waved and told them how great they were as the mooed and mooed. From the looks of it, they were happy to have some humans on the trail with them, slogging through the high temps just like they were! Ha ha!



That's John the Waiter taking care of us this afternoon at the Spearfish Brewery

Monday, August 16, 2021

Happy 27th Birthday, Ryan!

Birthday greetings to the best son around! I am shouting from the rooftops from Colorado to wish Ryan a very Happy Birthday today! I am thrilled to celebrate this cool kid, from afar, but just as sincere as if in person. He typically celebrates his "special" day with over 200 people at Special Love's Camp Fantastic, which is virtual for the second year in a row due to Covid. 

Please help me usher in his 27th Birthday to this awesome young man! And cheers to the start of your 28th lap around the sun!



Sunday, August 15, 2021

Breakfast in The Buff!

Breakfast in The Buff is a great place for a brunch on Sunday morning and fully clothed that is. This Boulder restaurant has 99 cent mimosas or bloody mary's that go great with practically everything that they have on the menu. Not too long of a wait either and we had a great waitress go boot! When we were almost done a thunderstorm snuck up on us as we were seated outside (beautiful sunny morning before the rain). 

First photo of Mark and Bill with "billboard" T-shirts and in the rain, as well Mark & Linda.



Saturday, August 14, 2021

Sunflowers = Bees!

Oh how the wild sunflowers are preening themselves all over Colorado right now. They are really pretty and I cannot get enough of them. Colorado has five varieties of wild sunflowers that bloom in August: common, Maximilian, Nuttalls, prairie and bush sunflowers. Everyone has them in their gardens, and they are blooming all over the state as as well.

While walking through the small town of Berthoud, CO, with our hostesses, we happened to come across a house with almost the entire tree lawn of sunflowers. I "needed" to have Bill take a photo of me in the middle on them, but I noticed a lot of bees buzzing so I did not get too far into the thick of them. 

It didn't take too long for me to get stung on the back of my toes once on the sidewalk, One bee must have been irate that I invaded their space and tore off after me once the photo was taken. I screamed the second I got stung since it hurt! I had to sit down on the curb (away from all flowers) where I carefully used a credit card from Bill's wallet to remove the stinger. Problem solved and the pain was instantly gone. 



Admiring the pretty sunflowers moments before getting stung! OUCH!

Friday, August 13, 2021

Signs of the Times

No bear sightings today on our hike late this afternoon - the Ceran St. Vrain, located northwest of Jamestown, Colorado. Shucks was my thought (I do live on the edge sometimes, but not with my gang today!) However, there were a few signs coming into Jamestown that "warned" visitors of the bears near the little town and the mountain we headed to for our hike. Of course, bears can be destructive just like any animal looking for food, but I am always hopeful to see one IRL. 

Frankly, with the four of us talking (Bill loudly- and I say this affectionately) and the Misencik's dog, Gunner, running ahead and zig zagging on the trail, no bear would step near us. My hope would be to see one in the distance, especially today when we hiked near a babbling brook - a perfect backdrop to see a mama and baby bear. Maybe next time... 



Bill, Terri, Linda and Mark

I am a sucker for wildflowers

Berthoud & Boulder!!

Instead of driving for three days to Colorado we decided to fly the friendly skies! Way easier, but I may miss traveling across the USA. I will say it’s easy peasy to be out West from the East Coast in 5 hours by air.  

Once at the Misencik’s in Berthoud, we had a little bit of time to have some down time before Mark and Linda Misencik treated us to a benefit dinner at the Flagstaff House in Boulder. Our six course dinner with delicious wine pairings will benefit a foundation quite near and dear to our hearts like the ones we know in DC; "There With Care" based in Boulder. https://therewithcare.org/

Their mission, like a few out East, provide a wide range of services to families with critical phases of their children’s medical crisis. This foundation has built a network of services to ease the burden of the day to day obligations to over 800 families in Colorado! 



Wednesday, August 11, 2021

It's Never too Late

To get to the cement pond and swim laps. When our nephew, Alex Tomoff, paid us a visit for a couple of days recently, we made sure we got some laps in on these hot summer days. That water rushing over my back with each stroke really makes me happy. However, I am not too keen when I get a cramp in my foot or calf, which happens more than I like to admit.  "They" say eat bananas, but I cannot do that either (I've tried multiple times.) 

Cheers to getting a good workout in a pool...one lap at a time.



Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Summer Joy

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so "they" say. How about a picture is worth two thousand words, or egads, ten thousand words? What would happen then? Probably nothing.

When "The Best Daughter" sent the below photo to me today, I had to share it - pure joy on a hot summer day, just like today in Maryland. That photo was taken today, August 10th... but years ago.



Olivia, Meritt Godleski and Ryan



Monday, August 9, 2021

Reservation Gas

While driving home the other day just a tad South of the Buffalo, NY area, I decided to fill the gasoline tank (it was about half-full). Since my trek home only encompassed interstate highways for no more than 50 miles at a stretch, the roads home were (2 lane and scary) and some (4 lane) highways and byways. After an hour of driving and on a two-lane road with a few lights, I decided to pull into one of two gas stations in the area.
I am usually an observant person and driver. For some reason, maybe because I was singing along with a song on the radio…loud and proud… I was not "tuned" in to my actual surroundings. It happens that the route Siri had me on was smack dab in the middle of an Indian Reservation. I never knew there were Indian Reservations in that area, though the sign at the gas station "First Nations Convenience," should have been my first clue.
I thought the name was a marketing scheme, never thinking it was truly a First Nations store.
When I pulled up to the pump, I retrieved my credit card out of my wallet, pushed the button to open the gas tank, and jumped out of the car. The car ahead of me began pulling out of the lot when a man appeared right in front of me and scared the crap out of me. I did not see him when I pulled up initially.
He said that I was at a Full Service Station, and that I was on an Indian Reservation. I was lost for words because I was still thinking about pumping my own gas (they also have full service in New Jersey and we always fill up before we get into the state). He kept walking towards me until there was nowhere for me to go except around the car the other way. I handed him my credit card so he could begin the process of pumping my gasoline.
Once around the car, he suggested to seat myself back into the car and relax. So I did. I replaced my credit card back into my wallet, and waited patiently (slow pump) for my tank to fill up. I manufactured some sunshine with deep breaths and thankfulness that my car was being taken care of by a very kind man.
I then looked around the gas station and area with a more critical eye. Sure enough, I noticed more First Nation people coming and going out of the convenience store, along with the area surrounding this station.

I was elated to find this treasure!

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Nephew/Cousin Unexpected Visit!

It's great to be young with warm sunny days and nothing but time to have fun, especially on weekends. My nephew, Alex, drove to Ocean City, Maryland this past weekend to meet up with friends and decided to pay us a visit on his way back to Ohio (tomorrow). We ordered dinner, we caught up with his life, and we all got to visit with him on a beautiful evening. 



Saturday, August 7, 2021

A Splash of Color

Hubby Bill walked into the house with a few groceries and, what he calls, "a splash of color." A small bouquet of flowers for me - "just because." I want to think he missed me while I was away for a few days, which he will emphatically say, "yes of course." 

I gladly accepted the pretty flowers and their mild fragrance - a total splash of color for our kitchen island to spruce up the room for the next week!

BSoleille! The bright side of a small bouquet.


Friday, August 6, 2021

Water is Powerful

So is friendship! My gang decided to take a trek to Niagara Falls this morning on this beautiful August day. Sunny skies, warm temperatures and little humidity made it the perfect combination to take the hour drive up to Buffalo, New York and surrounding area of the Falls. The loud rush of the water on the American side was intense and awesome. It's been a few years that any of us has gone to see them, so being so close, it was a good choice on our loose itinerary. 

Short and sweet post—as a picture is worth a thousand words: