Digital Photography Tips and Techniques |

I’m always reading books, magazine, & web sites on photography. The link below has some pretty easy to follow tips and good information.

Digital Photography Tips and Techniques |

“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.”  Ansel Adams

Off to the recycling center, Luxu, China


Glad to see these guys heading towards the recycling center where they can earn a little money while taking care of the environment. Wish I could thank these guys for recycling and reducing the environmental debris we see so much of in our location.

The three R’s in recycling – reduce, reuse, recycle.


Instruction Manual for Raising Teen’s

More and more I find myself closing my eyes and taking deep breaths. Since counting to ten no longer works, I  find myself holding my breath as I try to calm down. It seems that I need an instruction manual for raising teens. Mind you I had teens that are now young adults, wonderful young adults at that. The two remaining young ladies are respectively 12 & 14 going on 20 & 25 with the youngest being the spoke person for both.

I believe I need an instruction manual of some kind with these young ladies. If I didn’t know better I would venture to say they are mind readers or telepathic. Communicating with each other through silence and looks. Giggling and saying to one another, I know right, when I know for a fact nothing was said. These are my two darling angels who love being with mommy. Ha! Not, it used to be that way, but not any more.

These day’s I find my daughter’s vocabulary has diminished to a few short words. For example, do you have homework? Nope. Do you have any reviewing to do? Nope. How was school? Fine. Did you meet anyone knew? Nope. Did you eat lunch? Yes. Then I wait for her to expand on what she had for lunch. Silly me, of course she’s not going to elaborate. So I ask, What did you have for lunch? Stuff. What kind of stuff? Oh you know the usual a Coke & brownie. My 12-year-old has not started her online lessons as they are not loaded yet. So rather than waste the day I’m having her work on spelling words and reading, reviewing some math & social studies and let’s not forget the all time favorite science. Along with reviewing for the new school year I get to hear the all time whining favorite words, “but mooooommmmgggg”. Somehow she adds a hard g at the end of mom to get my attention. Oh good grief!

According to my girls I don’t really know very much. I don’t know what type of clothes kids like, I definitely don’t know what type of shoes kids wear, & I don’t know what kind of food kids like, the best one yet, I listen to old school music. Seriously? Yes, I’m told I listen to old people music. What can I say, I love oldies!

If the clothes they want, leaves little to the imagination, then it’s not allowed. If they are going to flop around in their shoes, then they are not allowed. If eating junk food for lunch is eating healthy, then they have another thing coming. Little do these young ladies know that they eat vegetables just about every day, they may not see them but they are there. Thank God someone invented the blender! Oh and yes, I lied to my children when they were younger. I was one of those horrid mothers that lied to her children to get them to eat. Trust me, they are not traumatized. I told them they were eating chicken sticks instead of fish sticks, I told them they were eating watermelon instead of melon, I told them beanie weenies were very different from just beans, I told them my mashed potatoes was the same recipe from KFC, and best of all, that my chicken nuggets were the same ones from McDonald. Ha! It’s the only way they would eat.

I know this post sounds a little whiny of sorts. It’s not. I’m only sharing the love of raising teens, the compassion it takes, the love and nurturing that needs to take place to raise healthy young ladies. We may be pretty strict with the type of movies, music, books, and social media sites we allow; but, we do let them express themselves freely. There has to be boundaries, perimeters, & guidelines along the way. They may not like them but they appreciate them (I’m just sure of it).

We’ve decided to make a few changes in our home including time limits for computers, Kindle, Nook, hand-held devices, & phones. The phone we will keep on for communication purposes but not for gaming purposes. Perhaps the biggest change will be for us the parents as sometimes the only silence we hear from bickering are the gadgets mentioned above. It’s a win win situation, right? More to come.

Hongmei Rd., Shanghai, China

The girls and I decided to venture out on our own and explore one of our favorites streets in Shanghai. If I had to pick an area of Shanghai to live in, I would most definitely chose Hongmei Rd. This busy street and area offers a little of everything and enough to wet your appetite and hunger for more. This road is not unfamiliar to us as we visit quite often; however, most visits are rushed and on a time schedule. Saturday, we decided to take our time, stroll the streets, and visit the many little boutique shops available.

The smartest most economical way to travel in Shanghai is by taking the subway. It’s all a matter of comfort and what each one of us prefers, I prefer a taxi. I’d rather pay the taxi fare than be pushed and shoved while boarding and un-boarding the subway. The pushing and shoving, wow, a topic all on its own. On a positive note, the Honggiao Airport is quite easy to get around in and the very best part of it, every Chinese sign has an English sub-line. Yay!

One of our favorite areas off of Hongmei Rd., is Laowai Jie. Laowai Jie is a famous foreigners cuisine paradise. There are many different types of restaurant representing over 12 counties on this street including Indian, German, Italian, and even a Mexican restaurant. Our favorite restaurant on this busy street is Amy’s a German type restaurant with some of the best peanut chicken we’ve tasted.

There is so much to do and so many places to go while traveling to and visiting Shanghai. Our next destination Huahai Road.

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No measurements – Homemade Flour Tortillas

I debated on whether or not to add this post to my blog as I don’t have exact measurements for each ingredient to share. At a very early age I was taught how to make tortillas and to learn to measure by sight and not with measuring cups and spoons. I’ve tried on numerous times to try to measure the ingredients only to fail and ruin the dough.

One of my favorite childhood memories is of mom spreading re-fried beans and bacon on a homemade flour tortilla. I remember walking in the door from school and the smell of the tortillas cooking or freshly made still in the air. The same smell can be savored in our home today. I get the same reaction from my children as I used to have as a child. My daughter will walk out of her room and say, “mom I smell tortillas”. She’ll take a deep breath and wonder to the kitchen to lather a tortilla with butter, wrap it up, & enjoy the treat. Tortillas is a must for our family, it’s a way of having some sense of normal for the girls and comfort food for all. Fond memories!

Our challenge: Trying to find shortening in China is almost unheard of. We were able to find some imported Crisco shortening in a place called CityShop; however, the price was staggering.

Fish trapping in Luxu, China.

During one of our walks we came across the scene below. A fisherman setting his fish traps along the shallow water. This is pretty common in this rural area. It’s nice to see such a simplistic, although hard I’m sure, way of life.

There is a certain calmness about this scene. The picture was taken about 7:15 AM on Sunday morning 8/26/2012.