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, September 30, 2021

30 Days Hath September

It's a wrap! My 30 days of one minute videos regarding Childhood Cancer Awareness Month are completed and uploaded to the various social media platforms including my blog here. It has been a great journey for me. Stretching me beyond what I thought I could do. My mission of hope and inspiration was recorded drip by drip each day. Of course, families are fighting with their children with cancer are at it more than 30 days in September, but it is the awareness that is key in those who want to help others in their fight. I hope I was able to send a ripple out into the world.

Thank you so much for tuning in over the past month. 

Here is the last one: Day 30 - CCAM Wrap up with Bill's written reflection 



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Guest Speaker today on CCAM One Minute Video

Today is Day 29 September of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I've gone 28 days posting on other social media platforms in a one minute video of a nugget regarding childhood cancer. It's been quite exciting, and I had a guest speaker for Day 29 - my hubby, Bill Tomoff. He knocked it out of the park answering the question of: "What would you have wanted to know when Ryan was diagnosed almost 25 years ago?"

In only a minute, he was able to think of a few things that have not only resonated then by trial and error some of the time, but today as well. It was a great exercise and reflection that he is capturing further in his writings. 

If interested in viewing all the videos, or want to check one you may have missed, they are all curated in youtube. Here is the link: Terri Tomoff youtube channel 

Tomorrow is my last one for the month of September in #goinggold. It's been one heck of a ride. 

I may do a blooper video in the next couple of weeks. A one minute video seems like an hour when there are goofs and mistakes galore while taping it! 



Ryan's Confetti Parade at Duke University Hospital 2005

Tuesday, September 28, 2021


As I am rounding the corner heading down the home stretch of my one minute videos in conjunction with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month; What would I have wanted to know when my son, Ryan, was diagnosed with cancer almost 25 years ago?

Today’s video explains…but only for a minute. Day 28 of CCAM - BRAVERY

It’s BRAVERY! That’s what I wish the docs/nurses/social workers would have told me. I guess they wanted me to see for myself what bravery looks like, and so it did.

What is the true meaning of bravery?

1 : the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty : the quality or state of being brave : courage showing bravery under fire .

I’d have to say that Ryan was under fire most of his young life - from 2-10 years of age. Oh sure, there were good times thrown in for good measure, but it was the miracle of witnessing this kid battle on, and here is the big one, he never complained.

Please give your kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews an extra hug (or virtual hug) today.

Thank you for reading along with me and my words!



Ryan with the late BRAVE John McCain

Monday, September 27, 2021

Podcast on The Focused Fight with Pro Linda McLachlan!

It was a real treat for me to be on Linda McLachlan's podcast recently: The Arena. Linda is the consummate pro, with a great radio voice and outstanding questions for her interviewees. I met her in Akimbo's Writing In Community. She's clear and concise. We had a wonderful session while recording this podcast over a month ago. I learned it takes time to splice and dice it to where is spits out at about 45 minutes and it gooood. 

It's profound.

It's powerful.

Please tune in. I'm posting here today, but will post it on other social media platforms after September 30th due to Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I think this podcast would get lost with all the other posts I've done and the one minute videos I'm doing each day, and this one is too important to miss (in my humble opinion - not that anyone is asking...but...)

Thanks for listening when you get the chance!




Sunday, September 26, 2021

12th Annual JustTRYANIt Kids Triathlon today!

Many families pray and play together, of course, but for me and my family, we include an activity we all enjoy:  volunteering together—especially during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This morning, we volunteered at the Just Tryan It justtryanit Kids Triathlon at the Landon School in Bethesda, MD.

Kids aged 5-12 swam/biked/ran in honor of another cancer kid in the battle. The racers each raised funds to help provide financial assistance to many in the DMV (Delaware/Maryland/Virginia area) and beyond. Two siblings each raised close to $9000! Wow! As of last night, this years fundraising efforts amounts to $78,000. In the last 12 years, Just Trying It has raised over $3.5 million dollars to help struggling families with their rent/mortgage payments, food allocations, uber rides to the hospital for treatment, car insurance and car notes and the incidentals that life throws at the families they are helping.

I cannot say enough adulations for this wonderful organization. They are amazing from top down!

Witnessing this event is a testament to see the will and drive on so many kids faces; they were determined to “compete,” even though the water was a wee bit chilly this morning.

For the record, Bill and I were the announcers (Bill announcing/me shouting out their race numbers) in trying to say every child’s name that crossed the finish line (about 250 racers). Olivia, her friend Bo, and Ryan all volunteered in the Transition area (from swim to bike and then from bike to run). Tying shoes, helping with helmets and clothing were their duties; plus helping them set up their bikes in the area assigned to each racer!

The day was spectacular all away around, even though we woke up at 4:30am to be at the school by 6:15 am (yes, it was still dark!).

Credit of video/photos compilation to Bo Hudson



Double Ryans: My Ryan on Left; Ryan Darby on right (This kids Tri is named after him!)

OneMinuteVideo of Day 26 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month- Triathlon Style

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Brian Lowe - Gone Way too Soon!!!

This is Bill Tomoff's Reflection of Brian Lowe passing 9/16/2021 - the world has lost a kind soul and a caring young man | Childhood Cancer Awareness Month:

A component of Terri’s blog is an initiative to shine the light on and celebrate others. Two years ago, she was honored when Brian gave her the green light to profile him and share his story with the world. It is beautiful to know that Brian had the opportunity to speak from his heart and share with Terri his wonderful attributes, what is important to him, and his beautiful perspective of life that he brought to the world every day.

A few highlights from her blog post on September 6, 2019. Terri’s full post is linked below.

“Brian Lowe is the nicest guy you will ever meet.”

“While we talked about his cancer experience, Brian said that Special Love, hands down, was the pivotal camp/program, and the people associated with it, that helped him through his darkest hours.”

“Being involved in Special Love’s programs was a family affair and Brian has even been recognized twice: Special Person of the Year in 2012 and Counselor of the Year in 2017. He loves to give back at any chance he gets to this beloved organization.”

“Brian expressed to me his love of working at Starbucks, the support he receives from the management, and that his customers that have become his friends that keep him going and upbeat every day. Brian was even promoted to shift supervisor and exclaims that it’s “crazy cool” to work at Starbucks!”

"As I continued to shake my head and sigh over all Brian has been through in his battles of childhood cancer and beyond, I asked him how he continues to be so upbeat and loveable. Without missing a beat, Brian said that when a kid is diagnosed with cancer, they get a “shot” of reality very quickly and that they figure out that “LIFE IS SUPER PRECIOUS!”

Brian went on further to state that “every day is a blessing and to be enjoyed and not wasted.” “Every second matters.” And then this blue and green loving extrovert (his words) said that he loves and lives for his family and friends along with the deep friendships he maintains with each one; this really made my heart sing!

In addition to the love he has for those close to him, he also loves to talk to his customers at Starbucks, and people from all walks of life. He is willing to share his story, but knows everyone has a story and is a willing listener to those who wish to share their story with him…preferably over a hot cup of coffee!"

#CelebratingOthers with Five -Time Cancer Survivor Brian Lowe

When Terri had completed her memoir The Focused Fight , I wrote a reflection about the unimagined gifts that her effort brought to Ryan and our family. One point was that every child fighting childhood cancer “has a story” that the world needs to hear. Yet, these children and families often fight their wars in relative silence, and the story does not go beyond the scope of family, friends, and caregiving professionals. My specific observation (point four within the reflection) was:

“Beyond Ryan, we also came to realize that too many children and families fight the horrific war of childhood cancer, and their heroic efforts are rarely known outside their family, treatment specialists, and support organizations (like Special Love for our family). These children have dreams like everyone else, and they too deserve affirmation that they are a unique gift to the world. Unfortunately, most of these children fight in anonymity, and their blessing to the world is known by too few people. Terri’s, and Ryan’s gift to the world, through telling his story, is a way to honor everyone chosen to face the war of childhood cancer.”

Thanks to Terri’s blog post celebrating Brian, we are thankful to know that he shared his story. I am sure in his quiet way, he was grateful to have his journey and perspective shared with the world. The Special Love community and bonds developed with Ryan and other campers allowed his light to shine in magnificent ways. The world has lost an incredibly caring, loving, and tremendous young man. Despite his challenges, Brian lived to connect, help, and lift the spirit of others.

Brian, thank you for your contributions to the world. Through your example of living life to the fullest in service to others, you have left a legacy that will forever inspire others who were blessed to have been touched by you.

In closing, I am again reminded of these thoughts from Erica Neubert Campbell, Executive Director of Pinky Swear Foundation. Her quote is shared in The Focused Fight book, Part I Diagnosis.

“In a tough situation, few people wake up every morning and say, ‘I’m going to be resilient today.’ Most people under extreme stress wake up with heavy hearts, but with a small quiet voice that tells them never to give up. Resilience is listening to that small inner voice and finding people and organizations to help you slowly turn up the volume."

Not only did the Special Love community help Brian " slowly turn up the volume, " he was inspired beyond measure to do all he could to pay it forward and help others turn up the volume. Thanks to Special Love, Brian, Ryan, and the countless volunteers who give of themselves so selflessly to lighten the burden of others, many campers are in the world KNOWING THEY MATTER, THEY ARE LOVED AND CHERISHED, AND ARE INSPIRED TO FIGHT ON!



Friday, September 24, 2021

Elephant or Goldfish?

There has been a lot of talk around my house lately about memory after watching the show: “Ted Lasso.” The character, Ted Lasso, portrayed by comedian, and SNL alumni, Jason Sudeikis, is a witty guy cranking out “Lasso-isms” left and right. It’s a story about a college-level American football coach who is unexpectedly recruited to coach an English Premier League team despite having no experience in soccer. 

The one Lasso quote that shines brightly from the show that lives on, at least in our home, is that a goldfish is the happiest animal in the world. Why? Because it only has a 10 second memory. Ted Lasso encouraged one of his players to “be a goldfish” and from there, there the rest of the team eventually.

So, I’m trying to take that quote to heart. Any snide or cruel remark toward me or a loved one; I’m a goldfish. Those soccer mania fans that scream at a soccer referee doing their best on the field, I’m a goldfish. Even a tiny slight in words or actions by someone, perhaps even a loved one, I must be a goldfish. 

On the other hand, there are times when it’s fantastic to keep the memory of an elephant. Keeping my children’s laughter in my brain; elephant. Remembering the voices of my parents (now passed away); elephant. A beautiful sunrise or sunset, a loving kiss by my husband, a good book that can’t be put down because it is that good; elephant. I want to keep those wonderful memories close to the surface to visit them every now and again.

As we move through our lives, I think it’s wise to see-saw back and forth in the memory category depending on the day or moment. I can choose to be an elephant and hold that memory close and for a long time; or I can choose to be a goldfish and “let it go” after 10 seconds, never bringing it up again.

Photo design: Annette Mason
Elephant Keyur Nandaniya
Goldfish Kyaw Tun 



Thursday, September 23, 2021

Officially Fall of 2021

When the leaves start turning, the thoughts of a comfy quilt fills my head. Sew…my fingers are not only typing on a computer to pound out my dailies/blog posts, but are busy making quilts for others. That is the best feeling in the world for me.

Dazzling Dogs

My life hasn’t gone to the dogs. Nope, quite the opposite. I appliqued these dog blocks over a couple of years while going to my evening quilting bee between 2008-2011. It was entered into my quilt guilds annual show in 2011 and won a blue ribbon! It brings me joy to honor the dogs that enhanced my life that no human can - unconditional love 24/7/365!

I hope this one brings a smile to your face. It’s a pattern by Amy Bradley Designs. I quilted it with dog bones in the yellow borders and other doggie things throughout the quilt you may not see in the photo. Plus, as with anything in a lot of photography, the photo does not do this quilt justice, but you get the gist.



Dazzling Dogs - 2011

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Mazda Miata My Favorite Car!

My Favorite Car of All Time - The Mazda Miata

Oh, no, I’ve never owned my favorite car of all time, the Mazda Miata. But my good friend Debbie has. She has never driven a jalopy in her entire life, and I share that comment lovingly. She likes the new and shiny and never apologizes for her wheels (nor should she). Since I’m such a good friend of hers who loves cars like she does, Debbie lets me drive them or borrow them when I’m in town (Cleveland, Ohio should I fly).

Debbie and I have similar tastes in vehicles in color and designs. A lot of the cool cars she drove in our youth either she bought, or her Dad bought. I was never jealous or envious because I either couldn’t afford them, or did not want to part with a wad of cash to get from Point A to Point B that an old beat up reliable jalopy got me there. I was thrilled for her when she would wheel up to my house in her new gorgeous sports car. Within moments of some oohs and ahhs out of me, we’d drive off as only two good friends can into the sunshine or evening or black night.

Remember the Pontiac Fiero Gt 5-speed? Deb had a fire engine red one. I had the deep pleasure to drive it on occasion. More recently, she had a beautiful navy blue and white striped Mini-Cooper. Also one of my favorites. I think I drove it once when I was in her neck of the woods.

However, when Debbie bought her navy blue ragtop Miata 6-speed back in the early 2000’s, I was all in and thrilled for her. Since she knew I loved that car so much, she let me drive it anytime I was in Cleveland; sometimes for a week, and definitely for weekends. She would even go so far as to drop it off at my sister’s house so it would be there when I arrived. One time I took it to a wedding in Toledo, Ohio for the weekend. It was a solo trip for me and I took to the open road with the top down thinking I was one of the cool kids. I loved careening down the highway with the sun on my face and wind in my hair…that is until the weather turned on a dime and it began to rain. I had to pull off the turnpike to put the hard top back on. I wasn’t sure if I could press the button and it would go on safely and snuggly traveling at 65 MPH, so to be safe, I grounded my ride to a full halt.

Once we got a little older, she still drove a few sport cars. In fact, she had (2) Ford Probes. In more recent years she relented and began driving sedans, though sporty sedans like the Grand Prix, Monte Carlo SS and an Acura. Since I was also driving sedans along with Minivans, the allure to drive her cars bottomed out to zero.

Today, every time I see a Miata on the road, I truly pine for one of my own. There was one older one for sale near my home that was fire-engine red that I considered for a brief moment this summer, but alas it was sold quickly to someone else. I run/walk past it quite often since it remains parked on a street in my neighborhood. Often my mind wanders to: what if that car was mine.

I’ll keep dreaming of adding a Miata to the fleet, that way someday could become a possibility, but I won’t hold my breath.



Me and Debbie's Miata in 2002

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

CRV in 2003!

Our only small SUV, purchased brand spanking new in March of 2003, is still going…strong. Okay, maybe I should accurately say, limping along but it’s a strong limp nonetheless. Our son, Ryan, drives it. The mileage is high—approaching 240K miles. It’s in the shop with Joe the Mechanic a lot, but usually for little pesky things like a tail light is out or the window went down and won’t go up. That last one cost us though, the window motor had to be replaced. 

Most people would be fed up if they had to unlock the passenger door to get in, but not us. It’s what we do to keep the ride alive. Frankly, it's more Ryan having to open and crawl over the seats to open the driver’s side lock. He’s thrilled if he has a passenger to help with the locked door arrangement. He unlocks the passenger as required, then the passenger gets in to unlock his driver’s door. This only plays out if the car is locked, which I think he does most of the time. 

The back seat is messy and the cargo area has become the repository of golf clubs, tennis rackets, tennis balls in a holder, bottled water, sunscreen and many more items. He says he has to lock it up so those items don’t walk away. I can't blame him there.

Instead of duck-tape, some areas of the car are covered in stickers to hide any imperfection, or, to spread the message that there is a NY Yankee fan driving the vehicle. Back in the day, I put on the first sticker of a quilt block. Thankfully, it’s never been removed and I grin when I see it and Ryan driving away in it with the sticker proudly displayed below the back bumper. Maybe someone will think twice about doing anything bad to the vehicle if they notice a quilt sticker…because quilters are good people, sew don't mess with our vehicle! 

Every time I enter this car, I say to no one in particular, this thing needs a cleaning. A deep cleaning. Ya know what I mean? I'd like it if Ryan would heed those words: deep cleaning. Those words I utter fall on deaf ears though. If the Peanuts character Linus had a car, this would be his, or something like it. I don’t know how Ryan “thinks” when driving with all the c-r-a-p in it. I certainly can’t. 

Nowadays, the only time I put my foot down to have it cleaned it is when we have a trip planned and go to Kelleys Island, Ohio. Since this model has an extra spare tire wheel on the back, it’s easy to put on a bike rack to travel. We’ve taken up to three bicycles on our tiny bike rack which is really quite remarkable. I'm lazy to buy another bike rack to fit onto a sedan, so we pray this elder vehicle will make it. Once home from this type of trip with bikes on the back, the car stays clean for the week or so. Then it goes back to the messy mess per usual, ugh!

I gave up wasting my breath in getting it cleaned up the rest of the year. However, I'm thinking if it gets cleaned up, and cleaned out, maybe it can reach the next mileage milestone of 250,00 miles. 

I'm crossing my fingers for both a quick tidy (at least) and reaching 250K. Ha!



Monday, September 20, 2021

Should You Lock a Duck-Taped 20 Year Old Car?

The car stories I’ve been writing have been super fun to write while tearing them out of the recesses of my brain. I’m also blessed with being an A-B driver. You may know the type, they don’t care what set of wheels they are driving, they just hope and pray they can get from Point A to Point B safely. My dad must have broke me and my sisters in early with that scenario of driving jalopies, and I kind of still dig it today. Bucking the trend of driving something brand spanking new and shiny (good luck buying something new today though) brings me joy. Oh yes, my non-mechanical husband can’t do any maintenance, so every decade or so we spring for a bright and shiny new vehicle. Let me add that what he cannot do in car maintenance, he can instead do a spread sheet on something financial or car maintenance that can rock your world!

It’s amazing that the jalopies we drive can be parked anywhere-especially the small ones! And, is it an oxymoron to lock the doors of a 20 year old duck-taped car that many people have told us they wouldn’t be caught dead in it? I don’t know the answer to that one, but out of habit, and a hat tip to the newer ones we’ve got, I locked those beat up doors anyway.

One of the benefits of living in the Mid-Atlantic area is that our cars don’t turn into rust-buckets like they did living in Ohio near Lake Erie. We do not need to replace them as often. Maybe that’s a double-edged sword. Perhaps folks get tired of them before there is something wrong with them. We never tire of them until they’ve driven their last mile and cannot go another inch.

Despite all the funnies I’m making about our cars, they are well-maintained by our mechanic, Joe, that I aptly named: “Joe the Mechanic.” He keeps them humming along and purring like a basket of kittens. He gives every car he touches TLC, even old beat up things like ours.



2001 Toyota Corolla (looks great from a distance!)

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Lotta Work and Effort for a One Minute Video

Before I get back to finish the '73 Mercury Maverick car story, I wanted to share that prepping, videoing (sometime more than one take than I like/hubby likes since he is the videographer) and loading it all up to social media takes time. More than I thought.

However, I am very happy to do so in spreading our message of hope and inspiration. I am/we are doing that one family and one person at a time which has been my mission the entire time. 

Thank you for reading along. Here is a sneak peek at the behind the scenes of setting up the videos.



Using my quilting design boards!

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Flushing Out A Car Story '73 Maverick

If you are a reader of this blog, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am thinking that when I am done with my 3000 post by years' end, I maybe switching it to a new format, perhaps a new name. There are a lot of ideas swirling in my head, but I can tell you that I will continue to write, no matter where it ends up. Those reading here will know first!

So here goes a story I am working regarding a car I drove in college. It's not perfect, but still working on it. Thanks for your patience!

Let’s Party…Giddy up in a 1973 Maverick

Way back in the day, during the first two years of university, I didn’t have a car. Not many kids did unless they lived out of state, or their parents were generous enough in buying their son or daughter a set of wheels—not necessarily new. This was in the early 1980’s. My dad thought he was cute when he bought me an old bicycle that was painted red -EVERYWHERE.

The wheels, handlebars, spokes, seat, any other metal, plus the body, was painted fire engine red. It was a sight to behold. I never had to lock it because no one would be caught dead riding it, even for kicks or a minute! When I was finished with all the jokes and barbs of riding it around campus, I took it out to the train tracks to be run over by the next passing train. Hey, I was goofy and in college and that’s the kind of thing kids did then.

After I moved off campus to an apartment with three other roommates (Buff on Clough - Buff was the name of the apartment building and Clough rhymes with Buff. I used to like to say, “In the Buff on Clough…), my dad bought me a car. Now this was no ordinary car. It was a 1973 beat up Maverick with a landau top (does anyone remember those-they were vinyl or cloth instead of metal?). The driver’s side did not open. I had to exit the vehicle through the passenger door. It had “Let’s Party” written on the driver’s side panel, but was spray painted over though the words still seeped through the spray paint and still could be read - especially from a distance. It had an extra long tail pipe because the shorter one was dumping obnoxious fumes into the body of the car. No one could put their feet down on the carpeting in the back seat directly behind the driver because there was some type of gooey oil all over it. However, except for the oil on that side of the car, the backseat was in pristine condition.

My dad paid $100 for it.




Photo of my roommate Jen with Mav

Friday, September 17, 2021

A Perfect Day of Greenlights Last Post

Since it was early afternoon, I figured traffic wouldn’t be an issue. It wasn’t. We sailed through the city to Maryland. However, about five miles from home we faced stopped traffic on the off ramp to get home. Bill suggested we take another exit off the ramp and drive through the adjacent city until it dumps us back out to the road we wanted to be on in the first place. I took the other ramp, but then jumped back on the road he suggested I stay away from. I saw in the distance that traffic was moving so go me. 

This road is 60mph but still has lights on it. They are spread out, but if stopped by a red light, they last between 3-5 minutes to go again. We never faced a red light; they were all green. Then Bill suggested for me to stop at our local Dunkin Donuts as he wanted a cup of coffee. No problem, but we were sailing through several miles of lights that we may get there before his order (on the app) is ready. When he punched in his order; it came back FREE. Another Green Light.

Where this DD is located there is a huge intersection. We always wait at the light for several minutes and rarely, if ever, get a green light. The magic wand must have been broken because plumes of fairy dust cast over our vehicle and we never had a red light at all. As soon as we approached the intersection, the lights turned that color of money. By this point we couldn’t believe out “luck.”

Our afternoon went quick. Once home I got ready and left to officiate a Boys Varsity High School soccer game, and Bill took Ryan to a dermatology appointment at the University of Maryland. Thankfully, after a week of crazy high school coaches in my craw, I refereed the most beautiful game of soccer with two Christian High School teams. I never heard a word out of a parent, student, player or coach. We all stood in the center of the field and the coach from the home team said a prayer before the start of the match. He did it at the end too. It was exactly what I needed to see. Green Light.

One more incredible moment happened when I called a woman who was trying to get in touch with me for a couple of days. Her mother lives on my street and is quite lovely, a retired 4th grade teacher. The teacher’s daughter, a woman I’ll call Roxanne, wanted to share a story with me regarding my book. She recently bought two signed copies at a locally owned store that sells unique items and gifts, and reluctantly gave her second copy to a friend of hers that has 1 year old son  battling cancer; neuroblastoma Stage 4. This woman I’ll call Lola told Roxanne that my book couldn’t have come at a better time in her life. Her son is in his focused fight at Johns Hopkins and took a photo of her reading the book with her one year old son laying in the hospital bed. Powerful connection. Green Lights all around. 

I knew my book could help others: one person, one family at a time. It is happening. The powerful words, the resources, the hope and inspiration in my message has been taken to heart by Lola and her family. I am over the moon with gratitude that this book is HELPING THEM! 

I cannot thank Roxanne enough either. Roxanne also sent me a lovely card, and a T-shirt with Lola’s son’s name, Jagger, on it for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I am going to wear it proudly.

As for Ryan’s dermatology appointment, he had an ALL CLEAR except that the doc had to remove one skin tag. 

It is rare to have those perfect Green Light Days in life. What I’ve leaned into though, is recognizing them. Counting the blessings. It was one after another, so it was difficult NOT to see what was happening. We all get these type of days now and again. My hope it that others will tune into those seldom days and celebrate the moments no matter how big or small they may be.

Green lights.




One more photo from Grand Rounds at Georgetown


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Green Light Day (continued)

By noon, another group was taking over the auditorium, so we took our group out into the hallway. There, Ryan, Bill and I, along with Dr. Shad, fielded more questions from the students. They couldn’t get enough, or so I thought. When Dr. Shad mentioned that I had written a book, 8-10 students clamored around a small table to buy one since I brought several just in case this would happen. One student, who wants to be a cardiologist, told me that it was the best lecture she’s heard all year. It was profound, powerful and raw, she added. Others chimed in similar what the potential cardiologist said. 

After all the hullabaloo died down and everyone moved on, Ryan mentioned that he’d like to have lunch in Georgetown. Bill and I were OK with it, but I was not sure because of parking problems on the main streets. The distance of the hospital to the restaurant was over a half mile away. The temperature was hovering around 90 degrees. I made a deal, if we could find a spot to park, we could do it. We drove over to Wisconsin Ave where the restaurant he selected was. Sure enough, the magic wand full of fairy dust began its swathe over us. There was exactly one large parking space right in front of the restaurant. Green light? Miracle?

When I put the parking location in the persnickety app to pay for the space, it worked like a charm. Green light. Lunch was fabulous and the three of us left elated.




photo from lecture at Georgetown Medical School

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Green Light Day

On 9/14/2021, on a regular day in Maryland/DC with beautiful weather,stunning actually, Ryan’s main doctor, Aziza Shad, invited us to speak at Georgetown Medical School Grand Rounds. We were delighted to help her with the lecture of Childhood Cancer Survivorship and Late Effects. Even my husband, Bill, rode downtown to take in this event. He’s never gone before and wanted to see what our part of the lecture would hold.

We had a nice trip to Washington DC with light traffic despite the beat up roads, cranes everywhere, and road detours/lane closures required to fix those beat up and pitted roads on the main thoroughfares getting into the city and slow traffic once we got from MD to DC.

The lecture was at 11:00 am to noon. Dr. Shad, as always, and an excellent speaker, knocked her part of the hour out of the park. Then Ryan and I were called to the stage. Ryan started out telling the eager medical students (and others) what it is like being a 5X cancer survivor. He had them laughing! The crowd, I could tell, was on our side. They were hungry for a story, and we delivered.

Then it was my turn to talk. I hit many points about being a parent, what people can do to help, finances at that time (Bill jumped in at this point), what medical students can do to work the parents and children in their charge, and never underestimate the power of a chocolate chip cookie. Then Ryan and I did a one-two punch on video games, meals, and the attending doctors these students in front of us can learn from…the very best in DC metro area. Our 30 minutes flew by.




Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Magical Day with ALL Green Lights

Today I had one of those days that everything goes right. Greenlights as Matthew McConaughey discusses in his memoir of the same name.  There were so many little green lights that I had to write them all down before nightfall. I am trying to process it all, wondering intently if it is from a sign above? Were they divine interventions from a place I don't know of? Or "who" opened the magic wand and spread plumes of fairy dust from Crofton, MD to Washington DC and back to Crofton the whole day long? I plan to write more at length about this day tomorrow is my hope. I still have 2.5 hours of the day to embrace. 

My plan is to take my time with the reflection. I think it's one of those days that are rare in our lives that we all could embrace, pause, and be thankful for the goodness. I think it surrounds us more than we care to realize...goodness that is. 

Stay tuned...and thank you for reading along.



My awe was as tall as these evergreens (closest thing I had in my photos to Green Lights!)

Monday, September 13, 2021

Social Media Posts...Everywhere!

I am having a ball with doing one-minute videos regarding Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in conjunction with The Focused Fight. It is harder than it looks, but I think I am improving. Keeping the nugget on any given day under a minute (works best) is hard. I've been cut off on a few of them because of the "time limit." 

The halfway point this month is two days away. I have fodder for several months due to the minute time frame allotted. I'm debating if I should continue on. I'll have to see how I feel about it in the next two weeks. 


Day 13 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Question #33 - What is You Motto?

It didn't take me very long to come up with one, if not two mottos I like to use. The first one is not mine, perhaps the second one is not mine too.  

1) Do small things with great love—Mother Teresa. Anyone, and almost everyone, can do something small for someone else. It can be as small as picking a daisy or dandelion and giving it to someone else. A phone call. A shoulder to cry on. 

2) It is what it is. Useful for lots of situations in life, as in everyday life. 

What is your Motto? Or maybe your Mojo?



A yellow flower in Golden, CO (not a daisy or dandelion)

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Twenty Years Ago - 9/11/01

Our world has certainly changed from that horrible day in NYC and the Pentagon. We became Patriots to our country and forged ahead with renewed hope. There were no social media platforms, no iPhones and Google was just entering the arena of search engines. No Netflix either...

May we Never Forget that day. I heard from a New York friend that it is still too soon to really talk about that day to other New Yorkers. Still fresh in everyone's mind is what he said to me.

I took the below photo in the fall of 2019, when our world was doing quite well, at least from a health standpoint. It's on the building of the local fire department on the corner from where the twin towers stood. A restaurant is next door that still stands today.


Friday, September 10, 2021

Funniest Accountant In America

I completely forgot to post on September 9th, though it will look like I'm posting two on September 10th, because, well, I am. But this one was supposed to go out yesterday. Anywho, I'll take the miss as rendered. There are not that many days for me to "take off" before the end of the year, so I better get crackin.'

However, "The Best Daughter" sent me/family a funny photo that is the picture says it all. We joke in the family that hubby Bill is the funniest accountant in America. According to the photo below, he could be well the happiest accountant in America too. 



An Answered Question for the Book of 3000

Question #12: Which words or phrases do you most overuse? If you have been reading along with me and this blog, a few come to mind. #1 - perhaps  #2 - Frankly,....  and #3 - Yikes! 

I have a feeling there are more, but I cannot think of them right now. Maybe I'll circle back and cull a few more for posterity. Ha!



Schools are in session once again. Safety first always when around yellow school buses.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Videos During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2021

If you are still reading this blog, I'm thankful, and frankly, impressed you followed me here to this space.  I am thoroughly enjoying the one (1) minute nugget of information I have been doing every morning for almost one week. I thought I'd try it, bloopers, mistakes, tongue-tied words and all. I've never been nervous about doing it and have a list of 30 topics/themes/ideas to share. 

My hubby, Bill, bought me a microphone which I do think helps with the ancillary noise. He also bought me/us another contraption that has a ring light with a clicker that can be paired with the phone through bluetooth capabilities. Heck, we are going high tech over here. I'm learning a ton too. Everyday there is something different. I like that since it stretches me just a bit more. 

Funny thing, doing a one minute video is harder than you think, just saying.



Here's me in trying to get the lighting right with a photo first; then video

Monday, September 6, 2021

9:6:2021 How Can I Help?

Labor Day 2021

I hope everyone will sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor this Labor Day. Hey, the last 1.5 years hasn't been a bed of roses for anyone. So much strife in the world that it would be a good idea to quiet the mind of all the crazy, if not outright, bad stuff, going on each day. 

Maybe being with your loved ones, or even a new friend, will lift your spirit. We don't know what's happening around the corner, so live each day to the fullest! 

What's that saying, "Today it a gift...that's why it's called the present."

BSoleille! The bright side of Labor Day Weekend 2021!


Sunday, September 5, 2021

Taking a Day to Sneak in Chapters of my Current Book

Reading for me has somewhat become a guilty pleasure. I would love to sit all day and read, but that is typically not the case for me. Too much other stuff is running through my mind to do besides reading. 

I wrestle with myself every day on reading. Sometimes two weeks will go by and I haven't cracked open that book I told myself that I was going to read just one chapter "today." But I need to challenge that thought and go ahead and read. 

Once I finish this post, I'm going to read (maybe finish) that book. I've got about 30 more pages. 



Saturday, September 4, 2021

Quilts in the Queue

Summer is still in swing which I am happy about. I am also happy to report my T-Shirt Quilting queue is building for late fall/Christmas delivery. My dining room is filled with cut-out T-Shirts and ready to begin the process of getting them on the design board until they move into my Long-Arm room to quilt. It's a process for sure, but one I love to do. 



Friday, September 3, 2021

Question #10 from 3000 Questions

When in doubt, I will grab my 3000 Questions About Me book. I'll peek inside for a question to explore with hopefully an answer I will like and that will make sense. Hmmm.

Question #10 is this: What is the quality you most like in a man? 

Since the man in this question is singular, I'll answer that way. I am married to a man with the quality I like most, if not love, just as Aretha Franklin belts out in her iconic song—R-E-S-P-E-C-T! By far this is an excellent quality to have for anyone, and I am a lucky girl to have found a man, now my husband of 34 years, that owns his respect for me. He also has it for practically everyone he meets because it is in his DNA; it's his essence. 

Through the years I've seen other couples struggle in their partnerships. Some have divorced. Some have worked through their issues. When I've been informed of these struggles, as well as the stories shared with me, the lightbulb goes off  right in the beginning. What I realized is that most of the stories told have a genuine lack of respect. Trust, honesty, humor, good looks, frankly, are way down on the list of qualities. 

Respect, IMHO, takes the cake and is in the #1 slot hands down.

What is the quality you most like in a man?



Thursday, September 2, 2021

A Whiff of Autumn

It feels kind of like the first day of school for some reason. I think it's the minute change in the air, or perhaps the barometric pressure. Last night we had a huge storm that blew through the area; remnants of Louisiana's Hurricane Ida. Before, and right after, the rain, the air was thick and sticky. Although I love it hot, I don't 90% plus humidity. I couldn't cool off no matter how much cold water I drank.

A few hours after the weather settled down and the storm had passed, I peeked my head out the door. I immediately took a whiff and smelled autumn. Only a hint, but it was there. I'm aware the calendar says three more weeks of summer, which I am very happy about, but once that high pressure left the area, the air felt really cool (and better sleeping weather for sure!). 

That huge storm that did quite a bit of damage north of us in Philly and NYC; quite devastating for so many folks to now endure and repair their homes and lives. A tornado touched down 12 miles East of us that did extensive damage to one of our local high schools. Thankfully, school is not in session until after Labor Day, and that there were not many staff/students/faculty in the building(s) and surrounding area. 

Saying prayers for many tonight in the aftermath of Ida. She was a doozy!


In honor of that whiff of fall, I made a crock pot meal - Salsa Verde Chicken! It turned out DELICIOUS and will go into my frequent repertoire. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

3000 Questions About Me

While walking though my local Target the other day for some necessities, I couldn't help but swing by the notebooks they had on hand. Since it's back-to-school time, there is a lot of stuff to choose from as opposed to other times of the year. I was able to find some small lined notebooks to fit into my new leather rustic journal. I use it to write in when I am not at my computer, or when the mood strikes to hand write something, even a grocery list. 

But while perusing the said notebooks, there was a book that stood out amongst everything else: 3000 Questions About Me. No author was noted, but it was published by Piccadilly Press in 2020. It somehow managed to get into my basket. 

Since I won't be posting my blog onto the FB platform for the next 30 days, as I usually do after I write it, I thought I'd have some fun with answering some of the 3000 questions in my new book! 

Here goes the very first question in the book: What is your idea of perfect happiness? My answer: good health of my family and friends. 

PS  I had a doctor appointment with my gynecological oncologist yesterday with an "all good" appointment. Grateful!