Sunday, June 26, 2011

Heaven on Earth...

Heaven on earth - difficult to put into words, but a feeling so deep, so real that it is felt in every cell in the body.  There is no greater joy than having the capacity to experience this.  Life becomes so rich.

I am so grateful to be at a place in life where I get to know this feeling.  Where I am so acutely aware of every interaction, every experience, every emotion, every detail, to the point where my spirit soars and my heart sings, even when it hurts.  

This weekend was simply amazing. I met a wonderful group of photographers and spent the morning playing with new ideas, stretching myself out of my comfort zone and learning a ton of new information - about photography and about me.  Funny how there are life lessons in most all of what we do.

 I ended the morning with a series of photographs of a particular flower that just blew me away!!!  There was nothing unique about this particular flower, but it was filled with little sacs of water and the sun was glistening off the top of it, leaving an image that looked like rock candy, or tiny little crystals.   I couldn't take my eyes away from it.  I must have snapped over 100 different pics from different angles.   I am forever in AWE at the incredible detail and beauty of nature.  It takes my breath away.

 Later in the day, I was out on the lake in my kayak and watched the clouds roll in, with a wall of what looked like fog along one side of my kayak.  As I was talking to my friend, I heard a loud rush of what sounded like gushing of water, almost as if we were sitting near a waterfall.  And the sound was getting louder and louder as we paddled.   It was a wall of rain moving clear across the lake.  It was the most spectacular  show ever!  As the raindrops fell, they pelted the water and bounced off the surface into the air, liked millions of little diamond jewels. And the sound as it reached us and blew above our heads, was like someone quietly tapping little snare drums.    It was such an incredible sight.    More beautiful than ever.  We were soaked, but it just didn't matter. I felt as if I was in one of the most breathtaking scenes of a movie and was wishing I could have somehow captured it all on film .  Two women in kayaks, drenched in the rain with diamonds falling from the sky all around us!

Then it was dinner  at Pumpkin Hill Bistro, one of the most welcoming and wonderfully relaxing places I've ever eaten.   Wonderful conversation with a close friend above life and love, in a most serene and picturesque setting.  Every morsel was delectable.  There is something so very special about sharing a good meal and meaningful conversation with another.  And on the ride home, the pink/purple clouds in the sky gave way to a beautiful rainbow!  A fantastic ending to a most amazing day.

Today, I was at an intersection and witnessed a woman running. She stopped at what appeared to be her midway point, turned around, put her hands together like she was about to pray,  looked up to the sky and bowed, as if to give thanks to some higher power.  And then she turned, looked at me and did the same.  I felt humbled.  And I smiled.  A deep, heartfelt smile.

That snapshot captured what it is that I feel each day when I rewind through all the tiny little moments that add up to the 24 hours that make up a day in the life of me.  Thank you higher power for all that is put in my path, all that I am surrounded by, all that I get to experience.  For it is most days that I feel I am living in a heaven on earth.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Misty mornings; cloud watching; star gazing; bonfires and good conversation; paddling on the water on a summer's eve; loons calling; waking to the smell of earth beneath me; summer in a glass; fireflies; sand between my toes; the sound and sight of red-winged blackbirds in a meadow; farmer's market flowers; grilling; sunshine on my shoulders;  fresh fruits and veggies; warm summer rain; soft ice cream; a good summer read; Martha's Vineyard; morning coffee on my front porch; new connections, re-connections and good times with friends.

These are a few of my favorite summer things.   It's the first day of summer and the longest day of the year today.  I look forward to waking up to beautiful sunrises - like the skies pouring sunshine over me,  and winding down to quiet sunsets, leaving traces of beautiful color and a gentle "goodnight" touch on my shoulders.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Look who's getting married!

Thank you Jessi & Lizzy for asking me to take your engagement photos.  And thank you Lizzy for your patience.  I swear it wasn't my fault that things were postponed!   The ring had not yet arrived, as you now know.

What Lizzy didn't know was that Jessi was about to propose to her on this same day.  She thought we were just doing photos for their engagement.  The anticipation was great.  And then the date got pushed back because the ring was not yet in.  When it finally arrived, Jessi asked me to hang onto the ring for several days prior to this event.  Whoa!  Such pressure!  I had nightmares of my house being broken into, or somehow losing it, even though it never left the location I put it in.    I think I checked the jewelry box 15 times to be sure it was still there.  I was also afraid I'd forget it the day of the photo shoot. And then there was the little trick of figuring out how to get it into Jessi's hands on the day of the photo shoot without Lizzy knowing what was going on.  I was terrified that I would drop it down in between the wooden slats on the bridge into the running water.  Yikes!

But it call came together nicely.   You two were troopers playing in the ice cold water, doing things I don't think you intended to do for the shoot. :)   Thank you so much for allowing me to share in this very special day.  

And I hope that the pics will allow you to remember it over and over again like it was yesterday.  

Jessi couldn't help herself with this one!  I mean, really.  Who else will ever have a pic like this in their engagement album?

Attempts at making a human heart!

A practice run at carrying Jessi over the threshold.

 Here it is!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Sometimes I do things "just because".  For no other reason than I like sharing my love of life, my love of beauty in all its forms,  or just because I want to share something of myself with another    I am posting a few pics from this mornings walk through Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.  What a beautiful place.

"Just because......"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Life is a series of contradictions.    Live every day as if it were your last.  Slow down and smell the roses.  Stay connected to others, but remember to take time for yourself. Be selfless, not selfish.   Do for others, but not to the point of losing your self in the process. Make yourself a priority, but not at the expense of others.  Be strong and independent, but learn how to ask for help.   Work hard, but not so hard that you forget to play.  Exercise to stay fit, but too much is unhealthy.   This list goes on.........

The balancing act is a continual one.  One which requires adjustments and fine tuning in my thinking and my doing.  But at the foundation of it all, it is my intuition which I try to remember to listen to, even when the commotion and noise on the outside is louder than my own voice.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Finer Things

Handmade and homegrown.  These are the finer things in life.  I was driving along the back roads with my camera this morning and I am reminded of my roots.  Growing up with very little, yet in hindsight, realizing it afforded me SO much.  Having so little, yet having so much.  Taking nothing and creating something.

Forget about expensive roses.  A handful of wildflowers picked on the side of the road will make a lasting impression. Daises, Black-Eyed Susans and Buttercups - these are the makings of a beautiful bouquet.     Forget about high heels and fancy dresses.  Barefoot, jeans and t-shirts and I'm a happy girl.  Forget about fancy diamonds and pretty pearls.  Dress me in simple chain necklace made of daisies and dandelions, and I feel like a princess.  Forget about technological gadgets and motorized vehicles.  Let me climb to the top of a willow tree and I at peace; or romp in the woods, or play hide-n-seek in the corn stalks, and I am never bored and always excited for what the next adventure will be.    Forget about fancy meals in a restaurant.  Allow me to step with my bare feet and hands into a garden to pick and prepare a meal of fresh fruits and vegetables and I think I've died and gone to heaven!  Allow me to handcraft a gift from my hands and I have no need for commercialized holidays.

Handmade and homegrown.  Simple and free. These are the finer things in life.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

macro moments

I am forever stunned and amazed at the wild and astonishing beauty that surrounds me.  I was sitting on the front porch this morning, drinking my hazelnut coffee, watching the sky change colors as the sun began to show its face, and listening to the birds waking up.

My creative juices were flowing, as is typical that time of the morning, when I have few distractions.   I was pondering this idea of a 365 project.  It seems like a good idea, but somehow I tend to get sidetracked with the multitude of things I am interested in.  I can't seem to tackle one particular thing I want to focus my 365 project on.  But....all things aside, my camera is forever calling me and is never too far out of reach.

So this morning,  I decided to play around with my macro lens.  I'm still learning how to use it.  And my porch flowers just seemed like a perfect project to practice on.  Not to mention that I love the colors and lines created by the petals.  Something about these particular flowers just seem to exude artistic expression.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Moments like these.....

Regularly, I find myself thinking "it's moments like this"........ .   Gratitude, joy, happiness for all that is.  Despite all of life's many challenges, there are so many moments in a day that I can reflect and be thankful for the simple pleasures that bring me peace and serenity.

Tonight I was out with Izze for a walk in the Plantations.  One of my favorite places year round.  Every walk is a new exploration.  And with camera in hand, I am never at a loss for things to capture.  Tonight I was in my own personal aromatherapy session.  Phlox, the subtle smell of irises, sweet honeysuckle, and peonies (one of my very favorites).  An olfactory sensation.  And in the background, a melody of early evening birds as the sun began to fade, and the sound of water washing against the rocks from across the way.

When I am able to slow my feet and quiet my mind, I experience all that is moments like these.  Small, simple pleasures that make life feel big and beautiful!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


How many pairs of shoes do you own?  How many do you actually wear?  How many pair do you really need?  I don't know about you, but I have lots of shoes.  Too many, really.  One style - different colors.  Styles to match different outfits.  You know how it goes.

My niece introduced me to the Souls4Soles program recently.  It is a shoe charity recycling program for individuals in need around the world.    She is hoping to fundraise enough money to help her to go Haiti in September to distribute shoes to individuals.   I would like to help her reach that goal.  

I am offering "mini" photo shoots for $100.00 contribution.  Your $100.00 will provide you with:

 *  1/2 hour photo shoot.  I can photograph you, your dog(s), children, or your family.

 *  I will take a series of photos (done in natural light, on location)  and provide you with 5-8 cropped/edited, high resolution photos on disc for you to take to your local printer for paper copies.

This will give you a taste of my work.  It will help her to be one step closer to her goal.  My goal is to have 5 shoots scheduled and done by early July.

For those that don't feel they can contribute this much money, please feel free to visit the web site for other ways to contribute to this great program.

If you are interested in scheduling a photo shoot, please feel free to email me at