Monday, September 27, 2010

Summer Time in the Fall

Here in Northern California we get our best weather in the Fall and this weekend surely did prove that. It has been so hot that I don't know how these guys were actually able to play a game of volleyball out in the hot sun like this.

Sure hope the weather lasts for a while as we had no summer this year at all!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Goodbye to Summer

Day 264/365 - Goodbye to Summer, originally uploaded by sunmallia.
Was walking by the neighborhood park and saw the empty swings. In the summer months the park is full of kids and yesterday there was no one, guess everyone has already said their goodbyes to summer :(

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill - San Francisco, CA

Day 257/365 - EXPLORE - Danke!, originally uploaded by sunmallia.
Coit Tower is a 210-foot (64 m) tower located in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, California. The tower, located in the city's Pioneer Park, was built in 1933 at the bequest of Lillie Hitchcock Coit to beautify the city of San Francisco; Lillie bequeathed one-third of her estate to the city of San Francisco "to be expended in an appropriate manner for the purpose of adding to the beauty of the city which I have always loved".[1]

The art deco tower, 210 feet (64 m) of unpainted reinforced concrete, was designed by architects Arthur Brown, Jr., and Henry Howard with murals by 26 different artists and numerous assistants

The tower was not designed to resemble a fire hose nozzle,[2] despite Lillie Hitchcock Coit's affinity with the San Francisco fire fighters of the day, in particular with Knickerbocker Engine Company Number 5.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Firey Friday

Day 252/365 - Firey Friday, originally uploaded by sunmallia.
Well I can’t say this has not been an exciting vacation!

Don’t know if you heard about the explosion in San Bruno, California, well that is my little town and I experienced the most frightening day of my life yesterday!

Yesterday Cody and I were preparing to do our Furry Friday photo when all of a sudden I heard a huge explosion and the whole house just shook and it felt like it would not stop. Then we ran outside and saw this huge cloud of smoke coming toward us with the strangest sound, lots of hissing and sizzling. I ran out to the front of the house to see what was going on and one of my neighbors told me they heard a plane had crashed into the homes on the other side of the street, we later found out it was a gas leak from an underground pipe. The sound of the explosion was one I have never heard it was like a hissing windy sound that was sucking in everything in its wake. The flames were as high as 150 feet and the smoke just started covering every thing I could see. My Aunt and Uncle were right at the explosion site and started running as soon as they heard the boom, got in their car and tried to get to me, it took them 45 minutes to drive less then a quarter of a mile as everyone was trying to get out. The fire fighters did not have water for 30 minutes as the explosion also blew out a water main so the planes are what saved us at the beginning. By some miracle the winds changed and the smoke started moving away from my house, my area is in the canyon where as my aunt and uncle are on top of the hill where the original explosion took place. Anyway I am rambling just excited to be back home, have electricity and have my family. You know they tell you to grab what is important in an emergency, well I figured out what is important to me as soon as we got the evacuate I got my dogs, my camera equipment and computer and some clothes, not an exercise I wanted to do but at least now I know what I can’t do without.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pigeon Point Light House

Day 250/365, originally uploaded by sunmallia.
This is someplace I go to just clear my head. I just sit out by the lighthouse and watch and listen and for some reason it has a calming effect on me. It is good to have a place like this; I think we all need one sometimes and the lighthouse has really come in handy during times of my life when i just could not deal. Do you have a place like this too?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Day 249/365 - Learning, originally uploaded by sunmallia

Learning to relax! It is funny how hard it is for me to just kick back and relax. I am constantly on the go with one thing or another and to actually have the time to do nothing is hard for me to comprehend. So this week I am learning to chill :)

Uploaded by sunmallia on 7 Sep 10, 5.54AM PDT.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 247/365 - Windmills

Day 247/365, originally uploaded by sunmallia.

Well folks it has to be the shortest vacation in history! We made it to Lebec, California Friday night no problem and stayed at a Rest Stop overnight, first big mistake, trucks coming in all night so we got little sleep after driving 9 hours. Then we got up Saturday morning to go to Joshua Tree and the clutch on the truck gave way, we made it to the RV Park and called several dealer ships and auto repair places and no one could help us until Tuesday meaning we would probably be at Joshua Tree through Wednesday. Nothing against Joshua Tree it is probably a nice place we never did get to see it as we could not drive to it and we were only 2 miles away! Anyway we decided it was not worth sitting in the 105 degree heat so we decided to come home and got back around 1 a.m. this morning. The clutch worked as long as we did not have to shift to much so that sure was an interesting ride home!!!!!!!! Anyway having my pitty party today and them tomorrow I start my staycation lots of great things here in the bay area to shoot too :(

This is at a rest stop in Palm Springs, who knew Palm Springs had so much wind!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 241/365 - Princess Cake

Day 241/365 - Princess Cake, originally uploaded by sunmallia.

This is a Princess Cake, or what is left of it anyway! This is the one cake I insist upon every year it is made up of a standard white cake mix with layers of fluffy whipped cream and raspberry jam, then covered again with whipped cream and a sheet of marzipan, then molded into a little dome shape. It makes me feel like a princess for a day, that and the tira I wear while eating it, ha ha ☺

So I think in 59 years I have learned these 5 things:

1.Don’t hold a grudge, it is not worth your time or energy
2.If the urge to twirl overtakes you, then you must twirl regardless of where you are
3.Never judge a book (person) by its cover, open and read it if you don’t you will have done yourself a great disservice.
4.Pay it forward, help those less fortunate then you, and believe me they will remember. When I was little we were helped by some wonderful people until we were able to get back on our feet and I have never forgotten and always keep then in my prayers
5.Take 15 minutes a day and just smile, you can do this in private or in public, although I must say the public one does frighten some people but that is their problem not yours.

Have a great day my friends, take a minute and enjoy your view. ☺

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dqy 240/365 - Wicked - Defying Gravity

Dqy 240/365, originally uploaded by sunmallia.
Went and saw Wicked yesterday "FINALLY"! It was  great if it comes your way run don't walk to see it. It had some great lessons in it and the ending was quite different then the one in the book, I cried like a baby at the end I was so happy:)

Elphaba is my hero, you can call me The Wicked Witch any day (and some do.....:)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 239/365 - Concourse @ Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA

Day 239/365, originally uploaded by sunmallia.
took this from the window at the De Young Museum. This is the concourse at Golden Gate Park. Hope all you Bay Area people have gone down and seen the impressionist exhibit from the Musée d'Orsay

it is beyond fab! 2nd half is coming in September 25 can't wait.

Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky. ~Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Silent Noon

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.  ~Charles W. Eliot

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Flying Away with a Good Book

Was watching a flock of sea gulls in flight yesterday and they reminded me of pages in a book, the more you read the more you fly :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dogs and their People

I had the pleasure of photographing the annual fund raiser (Mutt Strut) for the local shelter in my area this past weekend.  It was a very cold, windy and drizzly day but bless their hearts the dogs with their people were out there to strut their stuff and help raise money for the animals still waiting for a permanent home.  I am so happy to be able to photograph this event and I love love love to take photos of people with their pets, the faces of both pet and human always seem so happy and relaxed when they are together.  As I was editing my photos I did notice one funny thing, how many people have a characteristic of their pet, so I was wondering if subconsciously this is how the decision to choose a particular animal is made by some.  Here are just a couple of photos where I thought human and canine looked like they were cut from the same cloth.

I would love to know why did you choose your pet, what was the one special thing that you saw in those eyes that said this is the one.  Also do you think you look like your pet, I have 5 dogs and I think I look a bit like all of them :)

 Notice the shape of the mouth
 Dressed in colors similar to dogs coat
 Notice beard and smile
 Hair on human falls like ears on dog
 Dressed in simliar color as dogs coat and dog and human have same stance
 Look at their hair
Look at the mustache on man and dog

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Does Anyone Talk Anymore?

It struck me the other day while sitting in Starbucks that almost everyone there had some sort of electronic device.  There they were people sitting together yet not communicating just staring blankly into some sort of screen and drinking their coffee concoctions.  What were they staring at I thought, what could be more interesting then having a real conversation with the person you came to Starbucks with in the first place.  It seems to me that our new generation has lost the art of talking, well at least talking with live people as they certainly do a lot of talking on cell phones, texting, and emailing (although even e:mail is becoming obsolete).  It was funny for me to actually see someone with a real PAPER, newspaper, I felt as if I had discovered something from an old archeological dig so of course I had to photograph that!

Sometimes I fear that people will not come out of their houses anymore, what is the need, you can communicate with the electronic devise of your choice; in the 22nd Century we will have robots to clean our home, electronic pets to scamper about the house, we can dial in to work.  Oh all that metal so cold and so distant, I am glad I won’t be around then.

How do you suppose we will communicate in the 22nd century, maybe we will be able to read each others minds by then and do away with all the electronics, or maybe we will realize that it is actually nice to sit and have a cup with a friend in person and actually talk….  One of the best parts about talking in person is actually seeing your friend’s reaction to what you are saying, or the touch of their hand to assure you all will be well. 

As I sit here alone staring at my computer screen I wonder who is out there and what do they think of this……

Friday, August 13, 2010

Note to Self

Yesterday Brad had the most wonderful picture of sheep on his stream which inspired me for today's photo

Well I knew just where to go and as I drove up there they were all grazing in the grass, looking right at me and some even approaching so I thought WOW this is great I am going to get a fantastic shot it will be an EXPLORE 1st page this is such a great scene. So there I was setting up ready to click the camera when who wakes up, my 3 hounds who proceed to wale and they scared the beejeezas out of the poor little lambs who started running for their lives as I was yelling wait wait they won't hurt you and the more I yelled the more the hounds howled! So anyway folks here is my version of Brads gorgeous photo but on the back end.

This year I told myself I was going to learn lessons in photography, well note to self when out shooting farm animals do not take the hounds! Happy Furry Friday all :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Resistance Is Futile

Day 217/365 Happy Furry Friday, originally uploaded by sunmallia.

I am always a sucker when it comes to a dog staring me down with those big old sad eyes of theirs. Sophie here is waiting for mom to take her photo so she can have that big old cookie in her hand. Now Sophie is on a diet the Vet told us she had to lose 3 lbs!!!!! Wish I only had to lose 3 pounds, but I digress. So should I or should't I give this little person a cookie for being such a good girl with big brown eyes.........

Yup, she gets a cookie, resistance is futile........

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Presley and Her Tomatoes

Well most people would thing that Coonhounds should be out chasing raccoons or squirrels and such. Well not my Presley as she is way to busy picking tomatoes from her tomato plant to do that! She especially likes the little yellow ones guess they are sweeter or something. So this year I planted her her own plant so she would leave my tomatoes the heck alone, and she has been quite respectful of it as she always goes to this one plant as she knows it is hers for some reason, or could it be me yelling stay away from the other tomatoes! Well that is my Presley a Vegan like her momma :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Everyone needs a hug

This is Sapphire, I had a heck of a time photographing her as all she wanted to do was hug John. When we first met Sapphire she was really scared to come out with us, once we got her out she realized we weren't so bad so John walked her for a while so she could relax and I could set up the shot. While they were standing there waiting for me to focus this series of encounters occurred that I had to share with you. Check out the look of happiness and complete relaxation in her face the more John hugged her, it really brought tears to both our eyes. Sapphire was found as a stray, it looks like maybe she has had a litter and she is about 2 years old. Not trained in how to sit, stay, etc. but she sure knows how to give you love. I tell you were we not be at our limit of dogs allowed in a household Sapphire would have been part of our family today. It is funny there is this very renowned dog behaviorist that says dogs do not like to be hugged, well looking at these photos I think she better go back and do some more research. Not only does this dog like to be hugged but I have five at home that give me big bear hugs everyday when I get home from work. Who ever adopts Sapphire is going to be one lucky person as this is a dog who will shower you with love and affection. Sapphire is a precious jewel indeed.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.

Oh the art of napping. Now the Europeans they know how to nap, from 1-4 everything closes for a siesta. My dad was great at this, even when we moved here to the states this was the one tradition he refused to give up to the Americans. I have never been able to just nap, let alone sleep the older I get! My mind is constantly full of what happened, what is to happen, what would happen, to let my brain relax enough and just drift off into a world of clam quiet bliss.

Cat naps by cats are envious, by people amazing who would think one could actually fall asleep for 15 minutes and then wake up refreshed and ready to complete the day. My friend Grace can do this, she can sleep as a plane is taking off with all the engines revving and me begging "I need someone to talk to I hate to fly why are you sleeping you need to hear why", in a subway among people pushing and shoving and coughing and talking, in the car while taking a break from work. How does one cultivate such a skill oh the envy! !

In my next life maybe I shall return as a cat and take a nap......

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.

Day 209/365, originally uploaded by sunmallia.
This is Presley (The Coonhounds) tomato plant. Yes I have a Coonhound that is addicted to tomatoes, she eats them right off the vine, this is why I had to grow her her own plant. Actually this weekend I will take a photo of her eating her tomatoes as they are getting ripe now, but silly girl also eats the green ones too, raw not fried. She has also taken a liking to the blackberry vine this year. She is like her mommy a vegetarian I guess :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Morning Ritual

Day 208/365, originally uploaded by sunmallia.

My morning ritual in the summer is to get up early take a shower and then shower my garden. When I am running late I do both at the same time (he he). There is really a peacefulness about it. It is very quiet in the early morning just me and the birds and squirrels out there, no sounds from the neighbors or the city streets yet. It is my way of meditating just letting my thoughts drift off as I watch the water slowly and gently sprinkling the leaves of the plants in the garden.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Tall Drink of Water

Day 207/365, originally uploaded by sunmallia.
That is what I needed after this photo session, a tall drink of water, (or maybe something stronger)!

I saw a similar photo online the other day and thought oh let me try this it looks easy enough, a million photos later this is what I came up with and still am not totally pleased that darn shadow back there haunted me for every photo I took. Tried placing my flash to the left, to the right, above, below, behind, the only thing I did not do was stand it on it's head! Well my whole journey this year is to try to become a better photographer so I am going to win some and lose some, lately I have been doing more losing then winning though.

But I am not complaining as John and I had lots of laughs and arguments while I was trying to do the photo. John is my able bodied assistant, he has no choice but to help as he is right there in the house with me so "resistance is futile".

Maybe next year I will make flash photography my goal for the year, this year is just trying to figure out what all those dials and thingys are for on my camera, gosh better hurry only 158 days left!