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!

Monday, July 26, 2010

More Photos from the Photowalk - Sunnyvale, California

Worldwide Photo Walk

IMGP6422, originally uploaded by sunmallia.
So this past Saturday I joined the Worldwide Photo Walk, my group was located in Sunnyvale, California.  Now I am pretty shy so it was quite fun to get together with other photographers and start snapping away I think crowds give you courage or you can hide behind them if someone gets cross with you. I was actually able to do some portraits of people which I never do as I am always to shy to ask, but people kept approaching me asking what I was doing and after I explained I would meekly ask "can I please take your photo", and you know everyone I asked said yes, who would have thunk! Now comes my second problem you see since I never take portraits  I got so excited at the prospect of actually shooting a LIVE person I did not pay attention and many came out blurry, (maybe this is why I don't take portraits).

I am also entering my first contest all participants get to submit a photo of the day; now since my competition is photographers who actually know what they are doing from all over the world my chances are slim, but for me I did win as I did in one weekend two things I have been scared to do ask a person for a photo and enter a contest;  so good on me :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Do other photographers do this......

Day 204/365, originally uploaded by sunmallia.

As I was getting ready for the Kelby Photowalk today I had the camera in the bedroom and noticed the running water on the shower handle as I was stepping out so there I was naked as a jay bird and shivering shooting a pic of my shower faucet! I guess I can use it as a learning experience if I ever have to shoot a nudist colony!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Darn Where Are My Glasses?????

As I get on in years this happens more and more. I  set something down look for it a second later and forget where the heck I put it. I have lost a kazillion sunglasses this way, I think I am the one keeping that business afloat. Mind you many times they are sitting right on top of my head. I have even tried buying those things that hang your glasses around your neck, but then I forget I have it on and start looking for the glasses until they hit me in the face as I am bending over to look for them.

John and I laughed the other day as it takes us longer to do the gardening now as we forget where we leave the gardening tools. One day we looked and looked for a shovel, each of us blaming the other for putting it somewhere where we could not find it ever again and there it was leaning on the fence right next to us.

Yesterday when I arrived home I heard the house alarm blaring in the background, this could only mean two things I am being robbed or the dogs are in the house having a party!!  Unfortunately it was the DOGS I forgot to close the doggie door before I left for work yesterday and they were in there running around with pillows, laying on the bed, getting in to their food container, the usual bad dog stuff.  I did however have a nice greeting at the door from the little ones as Presley knows better and she ran out into the yard as soon as she heard me coming, the little guys just figured mom was being nice for the day so let's whoop it up in here while her mood lasts, anyway......

I used to tease my mom about all the post it notes she would put around the house to remind her of things, now that idea is actually starting to seem like a good one. The only funny thing about my mom's notes is she would put her name "Rita don't forget doctor's appt", she is the only one in the house who else would the note be for!!! But guess I better not make fun of it as maybe at some point that might become logical to me too......

Monday, July 19, 2010


These 3 beautiful creatures were all found as strays and brought to the shelter where I volunteer. 

Let's start with the little fellow at the top (Guiness).  It was love at first sight when I met this little fellow.  Guiness has a neurological disorder and when he walks his back feet become dead weight the only way he can move around he has learned is to run and hop which works well for him but not for the person taking him for a walk as that little fella can move it!  He is no bigger then my hand and must weigh about 5 lbs tops if even that but he has a heart and soul bigger then any 150 lb dog  or person I have ever met.  He does tire easily so when he does he loves to be picked up and just held in your arms, and for this he will give you a big wet kiss.   He is strong willed too he crawled over 6 other dogs to get to the front of the kennel so that I would see him and take him for his walk, little did he know I was there just for him anyway.  How anyone could have left him on the street to fend for himself is beyond me, I wonder what was his life like before he came to the shelter.

Lingcod is a beautiful 1 year old Pit Bull with the best personality.  He is quite the ladies man quite gentle when he knows one of the girls is walking him and loves to sit right by you and be petted and getting a belly rub sends him over the moon.  He is such a fun loving guy always wagging that tale and eager to please.  He has been at the shelter for a while now as currently the shelter where I volunteer has 65 dogs up for adoption let alone the ones waiting in the back to be moved up, one of which is Lingcod.  Unfortunately for the bigger dogs kennels do not come available as quickly; then of course there is the long wait in the adoption kennels as Lingcod is a Pit Bull and most folks will just walk right on by instead of giving him the chance to show what a wonderful boy he is and what a loving and playful companion he would make for some lucky person.  At the moment the volunteers at the shelter are trying to make his stay bearable as he is becoming stressed from the long days of just sitting and waiting.  We take him out for walks and play with him as much as we can but it is not the same as having your own person to love you.

Next is Frex,  a sweet and fragile 8 year old chihuahua found wandering the streets.  Frex was found wandering the streets near starvation every little movement scares her.  To pick her up and hold her puts her in a panic until she realizes you are someone that can offer her the love she probably never had.  She is afraid to look at you but will sit on your lap quietly until you take her back to the kennel with the others where she is considering her home for the moment. 

It always boggles my mind how people just use pets as throw away items.  I can understand those that bring their pet to the shelter because of today's economy many of those people are so broken hearted to release them to the shelter, but those that just don't care that bring them to the shelter because they are no longer puppies and are no longer cute and cuddly but rather frail  and sick, or puppies that have to much energy, something had they researched before they would have known, why do people think animals are things.  Some days I come home and I sit and cry as I so want them to all have good homes but some are so damaged by humans they never make it out the front door of the shelter again.  It hurts me to look at those eyes from the other side of the kennel, even the ones that are so tuff that bark and charge the gate, give them a cookie and they calm down.  Yesterday there was a German Shepard with the tag to euthanize on his kennel, he barked and barked at me and I went over and gave him a couple of cookies and he let me pet him, I told him he was loved I hope that he remembered this .

For the lucky ones that do make it out you can bet they are grateful, I only wish we the humans realized it is us that should be grateful.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Spoon Full Of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down - In a Most Delightful Way

Day 197/365, originally uploaded by sunmallia.

I remember when my mom used to give me castor oil as a kid, it was a quarterly ritual in our family back then, then to follow it up a spoon full of sugar to make me feel better. What was she thinking!!!!! Can you imagine the taste of castor oil and sugar together!

Medicine today has not gotten any better, Cherry Cough Medicine (gag), orange fiber drinks (gag), lemon flu medicine (gag). Why is it with all the technology we have today that there is not a scientist out there that can come up with a formula for good tasting medicine.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Furry Friday

These are my regular customers, twice a day they line up and watch me fill their dog bowls, once filled they each go to their respective spots and wait for me to place the bowl down. We each have a routine before I put the bowl down, Presley sits and waits until I tell her o.k. and then she gets a big hug, Cody runs to his red carpet, sits and waits for me to give him a big kiss and scratch his chin and Sparky speaks and spins then sits and waits for a kiss.

They each know they do not invade the others space and when they are done they run out to the yard, back to chasing their squirrels. Presley is usually the first to finish, she is like a human vacuum I often wonder does she even taste the food, Sparky is next and finally Cody, he had to have most of his baby teeth removed and they never grew back so he eats and chews very slowly.

Happy Furry Friday everyone!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Day 192/365, originally uploaded by sunmallia.
This last weekend I had my cousins over for Brunch, they are visiting from London.

It was so funny as my cousin Louis could not grasp the concept of having savory food (sausages and hash browns) with sweets (German Pancakes). I had this happen with my cousins from Australia as well my cousin Mike could not understand why you would make a sweet dessert out of pumpkin! When you think about it I guess mixing the two is strange, but this is how I grew up and I love it!

Although we are different in the food arena we are so much alike in many other way. Louis and I never grew up together, obviously because of the distance between us. But it is so strange how we do have the same habits, mannerisms and such. When I see them it is like we pick up where ever we left off the last time we were together, not a beat skipped.

We laughed for most of the morning and made fun of the rest of our family who could not be there to defend themselves, he he. It is always sad when they leave I wish they were closer by, but these days with the Internet and all it is almost and I say almost like having them just around the corner.

We were always taught as kids that your family is the most important thing, if you have nothing else you will always have them. With my family this is true, I know if I needed anyone of them they would be on a plane in a flash. I am very lucky to have them as I know this is not always the case with people, so God has blessed me well.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


As we were driving to Mt. Lassen this last week we came to an area that was devastated by fire. It was a stark contrast to the snowy mountains that lay just ahead. I wondered was it man or nature that caused this devastation. Nature I can always forgive as mother knows best what is good for her planet. Man I cannot forgive as he/she should know better.

As I walked around taking my photos I noticed two boys fishing in the stream below, funny how life does go on in the midst of all this.  But how long will it take for this area to revive it self to it's former beauty.  I think of the gulf coast and the horrible attack on it's ocean and wildlife, I worry how will they survive, when and how will they make it go away, how much more does this region have to endure before life is able to thrive again.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Day 181/365, originally uploaded by sunmallia.

I love bird houses, I have a collection of them at my house and sometimes they even get used. I have had several birds build nests in some. This one I just happen to see as I was taking a walk and thought it was cute.