Finding the glory of ordinary

I find that almost anything can be photographed. It just takes a little imagination and a variety of perspectives.

Take this ring holder. It may be bedazzaled with some fake bling and fairly cute. However, to get interesting photos of it, I had to move around.

I once had a photography mentor who said, “Think about what most people would do to take a picture of something. Then, do the opposite.”

Trying to live up to that all the time is hard though. I am sure I am not completely original all the time. But that is ok too. My goal is not to be the most quirky, unique photographer in the world. Sure, I would love to photograph exotic places and stunningly gorgeous people. However, for now, I just want to develop my skills each day so that I can make the ordinary interesting, the bland compelling and the pretty extraordinary.


Then one day, if I happen to run into a batch of super human people who defy the normal bounds of beauty in some stunningly exotic paradise…I will be ready. But until then, I can find enough beauty right here in my life:)


For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black and White


Habits vs. Addictions

26 May

I have started a new habit that just may be bordering an addiction.

Every time I go into the commissary (military grocery store), I pick up a package of sushi. Regardless of whether I go in to buy 1 item or 89, I just cannot seem to resist this freshly made treat.

My selections almost always consist of shrimp or crab, but sometimes I will throw in a wild card and get salmon. However, there is always avocado. Frankly, there cannot be sushi without avocado. That would just be silly and unheard of.

I didn’t always do this though. I mean I liked their sushi and would get it from time to time, but now, it is a must. There is never a question of whether or not I will get sushi, it is merely a question of which variation will I find and eat.

This new requirement got me thinking about habits. According to, a habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary or a customary practice/use. I think my recent regularity of commissary sushi purchases would indeed fit these descriptions.

I think most people would agree that you can have good habits, and bad ones. I would have to say eating sushi a few times a month would fall into the good category. When I first started to write this though, I referred to this new routine as an addiction since I do it automatically now, every time I go into the store. However, when I looked up the definition of addiction, it didn’t quite fit. According to, an addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. Hhhhmmmm. Yeah, I like sushi after my commissary trips, but I wouldn’t say that I am enslaved to it, and I certainly don’t think I will fall down in physical convulsions if I don’t eat it after one commissary trip.

Now, I might agree that it is psychologically habit forming to some extent though. I get simple, yet utter satisfaction eating my little treat after my shopping trip, and look forward to it quite honestly. Isn’t that what most habits, the good ones anyway, are for though-to bring us comfort, happiness and pleasure? (And in this case, there is the bonus of protein too!) It is all those little habits in our lives that build our routines. It is all those little moments that give our day substance. And, it is all those little moments that pull us through hard times. These are not the case for bad habits and certainly not addictions. Well, I suppose an addiction could pull you through a hard time, but in the long run, it is not a helpful thing.

Bad habits may not rank up there with addictions, but they certainly don’t help people either. Procrastination makes us stress out and unprepared. Smoking damages are lungs and costs us money. Overeating helps us gain weight. The list goes on and on as we all have at least some bad habits. The bottom line is, like Benjamin Franklin said, your good habits need to outweigh the bad.

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”

That’s a bit harsh Ben. However, I have heard the truth hurts. And if I think about it….After I subtract my bad habits of overeating, multitasking, saying yes to everyone, not getting enough sleep, refusing to read instructions and procrastinating on big tasks, I think all I am left with is … my habit of eating commissary sushi.

Not sure that is a remarkable net worth to the world, but hey, at least me and the sushi maker man are supporting each other’s contributions, and that right there has made the world just a bit brighter for us both:)


For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Challenger’s Choice (Food Photography).



The Texture of Life

My youngest child is about to graduate and move away to start college. Like most parents, I have mixed feelings. Of course, I am proud of him and excited that he is about to start this new chapter in his life. However, on the flip side, there is a sad mom that is scared and sad that her baby is leaving.

Being a mom has been the hardest and most wonderful role in my life. I adored my kids toddler days: their chubby little hands; their funny, never-ending questions; and their pure innocent and honest faces. Oh, how I miss those days.

Now, the teenage years were different. Their cute little hands were slamming doors, their questions were laced with attitudes and their faces had moments of downright guilt and contempt. Nonetheless, these stressful times were always smoothed over with laughter, hugs and discussion. Eventually. I had a front row seat to this self development. I witnessed, and experienced, thousands of little moments.

My memories with them are the glitter in mind. They make my past sparkle, even in my darkest of days. I laugh when I think about my four-year-old daughter pushing her newborn brother around in her baby doll stroller and watching her play mommy. Now, years later, she is still pushing him around, but in ways to motivate or uplift him.

I remember watching my little blond-headed boy sit up on his knees with such interest while watching the River Dance and asking him how he liked it afterwards. His little preschool answer was classic and still true to his character today: “The boy fight dance was cool. The girly dance was dumb.” Now, his favorite things are playing paintball and driving around in his car that has its own booming stereo and light show.

There are countless other stories to tell of course, as most parents can relate. Beautiful moments I will never forget and others that still bring tears to my eyes. I wish I could have protected my children from difficulty and sadness, but I know that is impossible. All these moments, good and bad, are part of life. And it’s all those little moments that we’ve shared that have woven the fabric of our lives. Like the best fabrics, a good life is rich in reality, according to Ralph Fienness.

” Little moments can have a feeling and a texture that is very real.”

~ Ralph Fiennes~

I couldn’t agree more. Some of best memories are so very simple, yet…they are the best and most powerful. Many have built upon each other as well, forming something unique and wonderful. Not that I would wish some of the same pains upon my children, but surviving those things has made them who they are

If I were to change their past, would they still be the same? It’s hard to say and an answer I will never get. So all I can do is appreciate the young adults they are, and pray for the people they will become.

I pray that these little babies of mine will continue to blossom. I pray that they can learn to live in the moment. I pray that they can really the magnificent details in life. I pray that they can embrace the glorious textures of experience for what they are.

Overall, I hope they find happiness and come to appreciate just how wonderful they are. Though they are different, I can’t help but find both of them equally terrific, my little blooms.


For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black & White.