Saturday, 6 August 2011

Ixora Red (Ixora coccinea)

Ixora Red (Ixora coccinea)

Ixora is a genus of 529 species in the family Rubiaceae, consisting of tropical evergreen trees and shrubs. Though native to the tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world, its centre of diversity is in tropical areas in Asia, especially India.  Ixora now grows commonly in subtropical climates in the United States, such as Florida.  Ixora is also commonly known as West Indian Jasmine. Other common names include Jungle flame, Needle flower, Flame of the Woods, Jungle Geranium.  Plants possess leathery leaves, ranging from 3 to 6 inches in length, and produce large clusters of tiny flowers in the summer.  Members of Ixora are suitable choices for bonsai.

Red Ixora flowers are commonly used in Hindu worship, as well as in Indian folk medicine.  It is also a popular choice for hedges in parts of South East Asia, like in Thailand.  In tropical climates they flower year round. For more information go to:

I tried several different variations of this drawing using my special software; however, they just looked rather blah.  So all you are getting today is the original drawing!


Feast of the Transfiguration
 Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord.  The Gospel is taken from Matthew 17:1-9 and relates how Our Lord Jesus took Peter, James and John up Mount Tabor where Our Lord was suddenly transfigured before them.  I like to think of it as Our Lord showing these three the "God" part of His nature.  In this transfigured state, Jesus was seen talking with Moses and Elijah.  The three disciples were terrified -- as any of us would be -- and Peter, in his usual manner, blurted out a bunch of foolishness.  At this point a cloud covered the whole scene and a voice was heard speaking from above and saying:  "This is My Son, the Beloved; with Him I am well pleased; listen to Him." 

Icon drawn by S. Thayer, 2009

Of course, even after all this, these three, so close to Our Lord, still did not understand who and what they were dealing with.  And when, on the way down the mountain, Our Lord told them "do not speak of this until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead", the disciples seemed as clueless as ever!  I would have been no different, of course.  We still, with all we now know, cannot even begin to comprehend what and who we are dealing with.  Thank God for the wonderful gift of Faith that came with our Baptism.



The following photos are from a group called "Friends of Irony".  You may have already seen them on the web.  I looked through a bunch of them a few days ago and found some truly ironic ones; however, of them all, I felt the following four were the best.  So, get ready for a bit of irony!

Obviously congestion has been greatly eased by this considerate lane closure!

And whose phone do I use to do that?  Honestly!

Poor psychics! 
I have always wondered why people go to psychics.  I mean, if they were really psychic, they would have won the lottery many times over and would not be living in those dingy apartments they always seem to rent.  I mean it just makes common sense, doesn't it?  

Truly, this is a dilemma!
What a foolish thing to do -- waste all that money on a billboard that no one who is illiterate could possibly read in the first place!  And then to add insult to injury, they ask the poor illiterate soul to "write" for help.  This seems almost like a cruel joke someone is playing, but, sadly, we know it is just the result of a bureaucracy that does not seem to possess common sense. 

Now that you have had your dose of irony, I want to move onto some family news.


Family News

The Scott and Stocks Families -- August 2, 2011
The group above shows my sister, Janet, and her husband, Tom, with their children and grandchildren.  This is a summer picnic I would have given almost anything to attend in person; however, that was just not possible.  This photo was in the first lot of photographs I have received thus far.  I am hungrily awaiting many more photos along with more news of who said what.  Truly, even the messiest of families can be a real gift so we should always try our best to be at peace with one another.  I know maybe better than most how impossible it is to be fully reconciled with some family members -- their "crimes" have been just too terrible. Still, we can always pray for them, asking God to bless them and to change us and/or them to make real reconciliation possible.


Suki and Sallie

Suki has just honoured me with her presence which meant I had to stop working on the computer and spend a few minutes holding her like a baby.  I am sure you remember the photo that shows what I mean, but just in case you don't, here it is again.

Sallie holding Suki, 2010

As for me, I am still walking around (or riding around, it depends on how far from home I am going) looking for all the world like a big turtle with its head sticking out of its shell!  Monday I begin my treatments and will see if I start to show any improvement after a few weeks.

I continue to go to the gym almost every day now as it does make me feel a bit better.  Anything that helps me to have less discomfort, even for a little while, is something I will do gladly.  I was wondering recently how many kilometers I have covered on my stationery, recumbent bike -- I am sure it is in the thousands.  I complete an average of 22 kilometers each time I ride and I have been riding at least 4 days a week for 19 months -- wow!  Fortunately, just like life, I only have to deal with each day's activities, not 19 months at one time.  I am so glad that God arranged things that way!
Speaking of the gym, it is almost time to get ready to go.

Wishing you all a blessed Feast of the Transfiguration and a holy Sunday tomorrow.
May the peace of God be with us all.

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