Sunday, 28 February 2010

St. Maximilian Kolbe


St. Maximilian Kolbe is the subject of tonight's drawing.  Are you familiar with him?  Well let me tell you about this modern-day Polish saint.

He was a Franciscan who accomplished wonderful things for God in the early part of the 20th century.  His community used the power of the written word to catechize many, many people in Poland, Japan and many other countries.  He founded a magazine by the name of Rycerz Niepokalanej -- a journal named for Our Lady, Mary the Immaculata.  He also established houses dedicated to Blessed Mary in Japan.

By the time of the Second World War, his community had grown to be very large and he and his fellow priests and brothers had built what amounted to a small city in Poland, dedicated to the Immaculata. They were constantly turning out all sorts of Catholic publications along with their, by now, famous magazine.  Then the German army invaded Poland.

For a while, the German military left Fr. Maximilian alone.  They even visited him on occasion, asking to be show the vast workshops, printing presses, etc.  But before too long the military began to turn nasty and to make it clear that they did not approve of him, his publications and his faith.  The day came when Fr. Maximilian was arrested.  He, like thousands of other priests and nuns, eventually ended up at Auschwitz.

Once at the camp, he did whatever he could to help those around him, providing the Sacraments whenever possible.  Then there was a "prison break" which led, as usual, to the commandant selecting men from the prisoners to be put to death in retaliation for those men who had escaped.  One of the men who was randomly selected began to cry and plead, saying that he was a father and husband -- asking what would happen to his children.  At this point, Fr. Maximilian stepped forward, requesting that he be allowed to take the place of the man since he had no family.  The commandant shrugged his shoulders and told the soldiers to take this Catholic priest instead of the other man.  Then Fr. Maximilian and 9 other men were placed in a starvation bunker without food or water and left to die slowly of starvation.

It took a number of days for the men to die, but instead of the usual cries and screams that were normally heard from men being starved to death, the camp heard the men singing and saying prayers.  Fr. Maximilian encouraged them to trust in God even in the starvation bunker.  Slowly the men begin to die off until only Fr. Maximilian was left.  Eventually, the commandant sent the medics in to give him a deadly injection and thus he died after having given hope to his fellow prisoners and to the whole camp.

The man whose place St. Maximilian took survived Auschwitz and testified to the events that occurred there as material was collected in the cause for canonization of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe.

You will notice in my drawing that I used a background of the words from the Gospels that really epitomize the way St. Maximilian lived his life.  The verse reads:  "Greater love than this has no man than that he should lay down his life for his brother..."   John 15: 12+.  

St. Maximilian is shown wearing his Franciscan habit with his uniform shirt from Auschwitz over his shoulder.  His number was 16670 and would have been tattooed on his arm.  In his hand I have placed a scroll to signify the magazine he published -- you can see a portion of the Polish name of the journal.  In his other hand is the Rosary that he carried with him at all times.  In the camp he would not have had his habit, his magazine or his Rosary but he remained a priest and a Franciscan, still teaching the Faith and praying until his very last breath.  St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.

Now from the sublime to the ridiculous!


I came across this photograph recently and it made me laugh out loud.  I knew immediately that I wanted to share it with my readers.

I entitled the photo:  "A Face only a Mother could Love!"

Some of God's creatures just plain look funny and this is surely one of them.  I can easily imagine the sound that would come out of the mouth of this dear creature.  Thinking of that while looking at the photo makes me laugh even more.  

May God bless each and every one of you. 

Friday, 26 February 2010

A Lenten Project


I hope you are not too shocked to see another "icon", but I decided as part of my Lenten preparation that I would add two additional saints to my novena book -- which is still not finished.  This third volume of the "praying with the saints series" is turning into something similar to Penelope's weaving (the wife of Ulysses) -- I never seem to be able to get it finished!

This icon is of Saint Faustina -- the Polish nun who gave us the image of Christ Jesus as Divine Mercy.  As you may recall me telling you when I posted my drawing of the Divine Mercy image, Sr. Faustina was shown the image of Christ with streams of blood and water pouring from His heart with the instruction to do a painting of what she had seen.  The only problem was -- Sr. Faustina did not know how to paint! 

She got permission from her superior to seek out an artist who could do the painting for her.  She described what she had seen to him and he did his best to produce the painting.  Of course, Sr. Faustina was not satisfied, but finally had to accept that the artist had done the best he could and that no mortal would be able to capture the beauty of the divine on canvas.  In spite of what she thought of the painting, it has become a beloved image throughout the world.  For my drawing, I used the icon of the Divine Mercy that I drew several years ago.

You will notice that the saint's name is listed twice -- on the right side of the icon it is shown in Polish (sw. being the abbreviation for saint in Polish) while the English version is on the image's left.



I came across this sweet photograph of a Polar Bear mother and her twins the other day and wanted to share it with you.

There is something so appealing about Polar Bears even though we know what a nuisance they can sometimes be in northern communities -- especially around the garbage dumps.  Of course, if we had not destroyed their habitat, they would probably be quite content to stay out on the polar ice that they have called home for eons.  

Speaking of twins, I had a phone call today from one of the vets I had contacted about helping me find a new cat companion.  She has two litter mates (black and white) who need adopting, but she wants them to be adopted together.  Someone else had planned to adopt them but backed out at the last minute.  I am very tempted, but had not planned to adopt two cats.  I continue to be torn about what to do.  I am praying to make the right decision.  Please pray with me.

Meanwhile, I pray that peace will be with us all.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Arizona Poppy, Kallstroemia grandiflora

The Arizona Poppy (above) is a southwestern desert wildflower found in the U.S. states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California -- and also found in Northern Mexico.  Theses so-called "Poppies" are not Poppies nor are they even closely related to Poppies, but they do look like Poppies, especially California Poppies.  "Arizona Poppies" are one of the most handsome wildflowers in the Southwest, frequently found growing in large masses along roadsides or sandy washes, brilliant in the summer sunshine.

They are members of the Family, Zygophyllaceae.  The Genus is Kallstroemia and their species name is K. grandiflora.  The plant has several common names other than Arizona Poppy, including Arizona Caltrop and Orange Caltrop (the colour varies from yellow/orange to orange.  The plants are a favourite bird food, especially liked by doves.  Notice the interesting leaves.

Next, I have posted a helpful chart entitled "How to tell if you have stinky feet".  I am sure you will find this very informative as it uses the latest scientific techniques [a cat scan] to help you determine if you, in fact, have stinky feet. 


You may want to consider keeping a small oxygen mask close at hand just in case the "cat scan" needs to be revived!

The weather people are promising us another snow storm and saying that this time it will really snow -- a lot.  However, after their last big prediction which left us downtown dwellers with may an 1/8th of an inch which melted the next day, I am not inclined to take their latest prediction too seriously!  I will certainly express to the weather people my sincere apologies should they actually get it right this time!!

May peace be with you all. 

Monday, 22 February 2010

Lily of the Incas


Tonight's drawing is of a particular species of Alstroemeria by the name of Alstroemeria aurantiaca.  The species in the genus, Alstroemeria, are commonly known as Peruvian Lilies or Lily of the Incas.  This South American native is seen growing mainly in two areas:  central Chile and in eastern Brazil.  There are approximately 50 species of Alstroemeria.  The Family name, not surprisingly, is Alstroemeriaceae!

The genus was named for the Swedish baron, Clas Alstromer, who collected the seeds on a trip to South America  in 1753.  Alstromer was evidently quite enchanted by the flowers which, as you can see from the drawing above, are quite showy and bear similarities to lilies and amaryllis.

I have come across good photos of a couple of other species of Alstroemeria so you may be seeing drawings of these in the near future. 


 Tonight's funny picture shows a Canada Goose chasing a fox!

Never underestimate the ferocity of a Canada Goose -- especially in the spring when the snow is melting and nesting time begins!

It is always delightful to see nesting birds chasing away much stronger prey animals.  Just like the Redwing Blackbird that once attacked me near Harbourfront when I unknowingly walked too close to its nest.  I have even seen a sparrow try to attack a car as the driver attempted to park under its nesting tree!

I hope that none of my Ontario readers have been unduly affected by the snow.  Thankfully, as is usual these days, we had very little snow in downtown Toronto.  We are supposed to get more later in the week so we may not be so fortunate this next time.

May peace be with you all.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Cordia lutea

Let me introduce you to Cordia lutea of the Boraginaceae Family -- commonly known as "Yellow Cordia".

 The genus, Cordia, is composed of shrubs and trees in the borage family.  About 300 species have been identified worldwide, mostly in warmer regions.  Many Cordias have fragrant showy flowers and are popular in gardens.  A number of the tropical species have edible fruit.  Many of the species are commonly called "manjack".  I am not sure why they are given that name, but that's what the books say.  

Yellow Cordia (my drawing above) is an ever-blooming, small tree, growing up to 15 feet tall.  It is native to South America.  The flowers are canary-yellow, in clusters.  I don't know if I achieved the correct shade of yellow or not, but I must say that I did enjoy drawing these flowers and the fruit of the Yellow Cordia tree.


Tonight's "cute" photograph is actually two photographs -- not related, but both appealing in their own way.  

The first (above) shows a very hungry little child -- I suspect it is a boy considering the eating habits already in evidence!  Forgive me, I just couldn't resist.


The second photograph shows a tiger taking a cooling bath on a hot summer's day.  He obviously likes living on the edge!  It is interesting to me how some members of the cat family love to play, swim and sit in water while others run from it like a huge pit bull.  

Speaking of cats, I am still missing dear miz k.d. very much.  I know it will become easier with time.  I am also already thinking about the possibility of asking another kitty to share my home with me.

May peace be with you all.  

Thursday, 18 February 2010



Agapanthus or "Lily of the Nile" is a genus of mostly summer-blooming plants native to South Africa.  They have been placed either in the family Alliaceae or separated into their own family of Agapanthaceae.  I think they belong in their own family of Agapanthaceae -- for whatever my opinion is worth!

Members of the genus have funnel-shaped flowers in varying shades of blue.  The flowers are produced in many-flowered cymes on long, erect stems called scapes which can grow up to 1 metre long!

The example in the drawing above is called "Agapanthus Ben Hope" and is described as being "a magnificent hybrid with intense, blue flowers on compact plants."

I did not achieve the exact colour of blue that I was aiming for -- I wanted something closer to a light indigo.  So, I may be showing this drawing to you again if I can achieve the right shade of blue.

Next, I want to show you my photograph for the day.  I cannot look at it without laughing with delight.


I call it "The Elephant in the Shower".  

Certain animals, like young children, are able to express pure joy.  For me, this photographer has captured the expression of such joy and delight.  Even now, I can't stop smiling as I look at the photo while typing these words.  And these days I need to see things that make me smile and laugh as I am missing miz k.d. so very much.

I want to say once again how much I appreciate all the kind emails, phone calls and cards that I have received in the days since miz k.d.'s death.  Thank you.

Peace be with you.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

In Memoriam


miz k.d. -- May 8, 1995 - February 15, 2010 -- R.I.P.
(this photo was taken last September showing miz k.d. resting in her favourite spot at the foot of the bed)

Yes, miz k.d. was "put to sleep" last night by my vet while I held my kitty in my arms and told her not to be afraid.  It was a very precious time as she was first sedated and after about 15 minutes she was given the injection that stopped her heart.  What made it special was seeing miz k.d relax for the first time in days as the pain and discomfort disappeared and she became calm.  I was weeping quietly through all this by the way, but was very careful not to let my tears disturb miz k.d. as I stroked her head.

Now I am missing her very much, but I know that in time the sadness will ease and I will remember all the good years.  I don't know what happens to loved kitty cats when they die, but I do believe that God knows and sees and cares.  I will paraphrase what Our Lord Jesus says in the Gospels: "not a sparrow falls to the ground without the knowledge and permission of our Heavenly Father."  So, if that is true for a little sparrow, then it must also be true of an 11 pound, all-white kitty cat by the name of miz k.d.

It seems a bit strange to me, but people have already started asking me if I plan to get another cat!  I think that I probably will in good time.  I am far from being ready to do so yet.  I need time to process all that has happened these past weeks and really come to terms with miz k.d.'s death.

Now I want to go and search out a few more of miz k.d.'s toys which she seems to have hidden all over the apartment.  Each one has a memory attached which I can re-live before I add it to the growing pile of items that need to be either discarded or passed on to another cat person.

Many of you who read my blog regularly have already been in contact about miz k.d.'s death as the news seems to have travelled quickly.  Just let me say how grateful I am for each and every one of your kind words and promises of prayers.  God is so good.

May peace be with you all.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

The Saffron Crocus

Tonight's drawing is of a very special Crocus -- Crocus sativus.  

All the approximately eighty species of Crocus plants are native to a large area from coastal and sub-alpine parts of Europe to China and beyond -- in a wide range of habitats including woodland, scrub and meadows.  The genus Crocus is placed botanically in the iris family (Iridaceae).  Crocuses typically have three stamens.  The spice, Saffron, is obtained from the stigmas of Crocus sativus, an autumn/fall blooming species.

The bright orange/red stigmas of Crocus sativus are dried and used in cooking as a seasoning and colouring agent.  Saffron, long the world's most expensive spice by weight, is native to Southwest Asia.  A carotenoid dye allows Saffron to impart a rich golden-yellow hue to dishes and textiles.  Saffron also has a number of medicinal uses, some of which are being investigated by medical science.

[Copyright Jay Thaxton]
Tonight's special photograph was taken at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina.  My sister, Janet, and her family used to live in Aiken and although I only visited her there once, I did see enough to know that Aiken is a lovely southern town.  If any of you are golf fans, you might know of Aiken from the Masters.  

The photo was taken by a guy named Jay Thaxton.  My friend, Hylott, put me in touch with him and now I receive a daily photo.  I will obviously be showing you more of his excellent work.


And, finally, I want to show you a photo of miz k.d. that I came across recently.  In this picture, miz k.d. is less than one year old.  She is sitting next to a cat I had at that time by the name of Mr. Ginger.  He tolerated miz k.d. and bullied her badly whenever I wasn't around.

If you look closely you will see the black marking on miz k.d.'s head.  When you looked at the black markings from above they formed the letter H -- which I sometimes said stood for "Hell".  I would call her the "cat from Hell" whenever she made messes or got into mischief.  The strangest thing about these markings is that they totally disappeared in the first month after she turned 1 year old.  Since then she has always been completely white.

As for her health, she seems to be managing OK.  With my help, she is eating and drinking reasonable amounts -- she just does not like to walk.  It seems to be very painful for her to do so.  The vet is bringing pain medication for her tomorrow and I am now wondering if it is the kidney infection which is causing her to be in so much pain.  I will keep you informed.

May peace be with you all. 

Friday, 12 February 2010

Prunus domestica

I must confess, it is really difficult for me to concentrate on writing about my art tonight when miz k.d. is lying in a bed beside me obviously feeling very ill.  As I told you in my previous posting, she has been diagnosed with only a kidney infection; however, I am still not convinced that there isn't something else going on.  Anyway, for the moment she seems to be managing OK so I will try not to worry and trust her wellbeing to the God who created her.

As for the drawing above, it is the flower and buds of an ordinary wild plum tree.  The Latin name, used in the title of this post, is Prunus domestica.  Interestingly, it is a member of the rose family or Rosaceae.  There are several different subspecies of plums found in North America, both wild and cultivated, and since they are able to cross breed easily, numerous intermediate forms can be found.  The flowers range in colour from white to pink to purple-pink and vary from the simple 5-petal varieties to multi-layered flowers such as I have drawn.

Wild plum trees always remind me of the tree that grew at the edge of the woods just as you turned to start up the hill towards the house where I lived during my teenage years.  The flowers were so beautiful and sweet-smelling while the fruit was so tart that it was almost impossible to eat!  Every year I tried to eat those delicious looking plums only to give up and leave them to the birds! 


I made a topographic image of this drawing to see if it had the right ingredients to be effective; however, I don't think it worked all that well.  So far my experiments with this software have yielded very few positives and a lot of negatives.  Only a few drawings have attained that look of stained glass.


Here is a photo of miz k.d. when she was younger and healthier.  This was probably taken around 2000/2001 when she would have been 5 years old.  If only she was looking half this bright-eyed and bushy-tailed now, I would be extremely happy.  Oh, well, I need to trust. As Julian of Norwich said all those centuries ago:  "All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well."

May peace be with you all.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Report on miz k.d. 10-02-2010


 It is very, very late, but I wanted to post something before collapsing into bed.

As some of you are aware, yesterday afternoon I was told that the x-rays taken of miz k.d. showed a growth that appeared to be attached to her liver and a possible growth in her chest area -- suspected tumours, possibly cancer.

Tonight, a little over 24 hours later, I was told that on ultrasound examination today, there was no sign of any tumours.  She does have a serious kidney infection, but the spots seen on the x-ray on Tuesday were not visible on ultrasound on Wednesday.
Yesterday, after learning of the possibility of cancer, I contacted several friends, telling them of the situation and asking them to pray for miz k.d. and for me -- and to also ask St. Francis to join us in prayer.  I was very distressed at the time I sent the emails and so did not send the information to all my friends, but to the few who immediately came to mind for one reason or another.  I was quite a mess emotionally to put it mildly and could hardly think straight.

Anyway, the vet finally got miz k.d. back home this evening about 8:30 and we have slowly been getting ourselves settled down.  miz k.d. has eaten, given herself a bath and is now sound asleep in one of her favourite chairs.  I am trying to unwind -- which is the reason I am still awake at ll:30!

I know that the x-rays could have been read incorrectly or that the doctor who did the ultrasound made a mistake.  However, at the moment I feel as though I am faced with the evidence of a miracle which occurred in answer to our prayers.  miz k.d. and I have been given a reprieve for which I am extremely grateful to God. 

May peace be with you all.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Cannonball Tree


Tonight's offering is a drawing of the flower and fruits of the Cannonball Tree -- what a scary name for a tree!

The tree gets its name from the large, spherical fruit it produces.  These fruit fall from the tree and crack open when they hit the ground, often causing the sound of a small explosion.  The fruit emits an unpleasant aroma when exposed to the air.  So, "like coconut palms, the trees should not be planted near paths or near traffic-filled areas, as the heavy fruit is known to fall without notice."  No kidding!

The strange looking flowers are found on thick, tangled extrusions that grow on the trunk of the tree, just below the foliage branches.  These extrusions can range from two to six feet in length.  The flowers are attached to an upwardly bent, white, fleshy disk.  The flowers have six petals which are large, orange-red and strongly perfumed.  I suppose this helps to cover up the bad smell of the ripe fruit!

The Cannonball Tree, properly called Couroupita guianensis (Family, Lecythidaceae), is commonly found in the area of the Amazon Basin.  It is native to Guiana in South America.  It is also found in India where it is grown extensively in Shiva temples.

This various parts of this tree posses antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiseptic and analgesic qualities.  Local medicines are made from the tree for the treatment of colds and stomach aches.  The juice from the leaves is used to cure skin diseases.  The inside of the stinky fruit can disinfect wounds and young leaves ease toothache.

All in all, I think these are some of the strangest looking flowers I have ever tried drawing.   


Tonight's photo shows that many kitty cats will take whatever lap they can find, especially when it is in the sunshine!

Speaking of cats, I have had a rough day with miz k.d.  In fact, it is her fault that I am so late in writing my post.  miz k.d. is sick.
I knew she wasn't well when I awoke this morning and found her all curled up on my chest.  She never sleeps there unless she is feeling unwell.  She seemed very lethargic and totally uninterested in food or water.  I called the vet right away and she agreed to stop by at the end of her day.  She and her assistant got here about 6:15 and finally finished up about 7:40.  Poor miz k.d. -- how she suffered.  But by the time the vet left, miz k.d. had been given medication to settled her stomach and bring her fever down.  She had also been hydrated, had blood and urine samples taken and I was a whole lot poorer than I was this morning!  Now I have to wait for the lab reports to see what is really going on.  I get to worry while miz k.d. sleeps!

May peace be with us all.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Solanum dulcamara


Solanum dulcamara is a relative of our Common Nightshade.  Like that plant, Solanum dulcamara (also known as Woody Nightshade or Bittersweet) is also very poisonous to many living creatures!

S. dulcamara is a species of vine in the potato genus Solanum, family Solanaceae.  It is native to Europe and Asia and widely naturalized elsewhere, including North America, where it is considered an invasive problem weed.

As with other varieties of Nightshade, Bittersweet produces red berries which are poisonous to humans and livestock, but edible for birds.  Although rarely fatal to adult humans, there have been several documented cases of adults who died after eating those little red berries.

Bittersweet is used in naturopathy and herbalism.  Its main usage is for conditions that have an impact on the skin, mucous membrane and synovial membrane around the joints.  It is considered by some to be a herbal remedy for treating herpes and allergies.

As you can see below, I created one of the topographical images just to see how it looked.  I rather like it.  It contains the colours and shapes that seem to do reasonably well when made into a topographic image. 


For tonight's interesting photograph, I am posting the following:


This deer appears to be reading the POSTED sign very carefully in order to make certain that he and his mate are indeed in the right place!  Yes, the notice does include the statement "no hunting".  Now he will have to hope that the hunters will be able to read as well as he can!

My sympathies are with all my readers who live anywhere within the big snowstorm area.  As you may know, we continue to remain snow free here in Toronto.  Meanwhile, Newfoundland gets all the snow while poor British Columbia, near the Vancouver area, has almost spring-like conditions -- just six days before the start of the Winter Olympics!

May peace be with you all. 

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Turnera -- Two Types


Warning:  The following material contains adult references which your children should not be able to understand!

You may recall my mentioning a type of Turnera that is famous as an aphrodisiac.  The drawing above is of that species.  It is Turnera diffusa which is known most commonly as Damiana.

It is a shrub native to Central America, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean.  It belongs to the Family Turneraceae.  Damiana is a relatively small shrub that produces small, aromatic flowers (see above).  It blooms in early to late summer and is followed by fruits that taste similar to figs.  The shrub is said to have an odour somewhat like chamomile due to an oil present in the plant.  The leaves have traditionally been made into a tea which was used by native people of Central and South America for its aphrodisiac effects.  Spanish missionaries first recorded that the Mexican Indians drank Damiana tea mixed with sugar for its ability to enhance lovemaking.

Actually, Damiana is used for everything from bedwetting and depression to the treatment of sexual dysfuntions plus its well known use as an aphrodisiac.  It is said that if you crush the leaves into a fine powder and inhale the powder, you can experience a mild "high".  Remember, all this information is simply educational and is not intended to give you any ideas!!


This second drawing is of Turnera ulmifolia which I talked about a few postings ago when I showed you the drawing of Turnera ulmifolia 'elegans'.  This is the actual plant that goes by the delightful name of Ramgoat Dashalong as well as Yellow Alder.

This plant, like the other Turneraceae plants, is also used medicinally for many different physical and emotional problems.  It seems to be especially useful as an intestinal anti-inflammatory and research shows that it has high antioxidant activity.


Finally, I want to show you a funny photo!

I would love to know how the mother hen ended up deciding to keep a puppy warm while leaving her poor chick out in the cold?  I think this must be a very confused hen as well as a very confused puppy!  And the poor chick -- just think of the rejection and abandonment problems it will have to deal with later in life!

The title that came with this photo was "the warmest place in the house" which I don't really think is suitable.  I can't think of a good title -- maybe you can help!  Send me your suggestions, please.

May peace be with us all.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Samson the Cat

I do apologize to all of you who are not particularly fond of cats, but I am a cat person and I just can't help myself.  I love to see cats, pet cats, play with cats, draw cats -- and all the other things, easy and difficult, that go with sharing my life with cats.

I am also very fond of certain breeds of dogs, but have never been in a situation where I could live with a dog -- so, cats became my preference because they are what I know best.

Anyway, let me talk about these two drawings of the same cat:  Samson.  Unfortunately, Samson died this past year after a very happy life of looking after two humans -- I am sure he thought they were very nice, but just a bit slow when it came to things like speaking cat, for example.  These two humans happen to be two people I care about so I wanted to do something special for them after Samson died.  Thus the drawings.

As for the reason why there are two, I was trying very hard to get the exact shade of Samson's coat, but found it almost impossible with my limited palette of colours and in the end I couldn't decide which colour I thought was closer to the real colour of Samson's beautiful coat.  So now they have two colour versions to choose between in case they want to print themselves a copy. 

I wonder which one you would choose! 

Continuing with my cat theme, I decided to post the photograph below.

I call this picture the "Dance of the Cats".  It really does look almost like they are dancing; however, if you look closely, you can see that they are just energetically having one of those mock fights that cats love to engage in with each other and with their humans.

You may recall that I was complaining about our lack of snow last week -- well, we finally had a snow storm today!  It lasted a couple of hours leaving us with an unmeasurable amount of white in patches on the ground.  I am sure it will all be gone by morning.  So, I am still waiting.  The groundhog said six more weeks of winter but at the rate we have been going, we will be wearing shorts by the 1st of April.  Forgive me for complaining -- I am trying to learn to be thankful for whatever weather comes our way.  Actually, I am very grateful that we haven't had any earthquakes, floods or blizzards as so many others have and I pray for all those who are suffering because of weather.

May peace be with us all.