Thursday, 29 September 2011

Feast St. Michael and Archangels

Icon, St. Michael the Archangel, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

A note of explanation... As my regular followers are aware, I normally alternate between drawings of flowers and religious icons. However, this posting which would normally have been featuring a new flower drawing just happens to fall on the Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels. Thus I could not resist posting my most recent icon of St. Michael. I will post a new flower drawing at the very end of the post and then my next post will also be featuring a new flower drawing. 

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St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael, the Archangel, whose Feast day is today, September 29th, now shares this feast day with the Archangels Gabriel and Raphael. The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the war cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against Satan and his followers. (see the Book of Revelation, chapter 12). Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief princes," and leader of the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell. He has been especially honored and invoked as patron and protector by the Church from the time of the Apostles. Although he is always called "the Archangel," the Greek Fathers and many others place him over all the angels - as Prince of the Seraphim. St. Michael is the patron of mariners, paratroopers, police and firemen.

In the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Michael has four main roles or offices. He is the Christian angel of death, carrying the souls of all the deceased to heaven, where they are weighed in his perfectly balanced scales (hence Michael is often depicted holding scales). At the hour of death, Michael descends and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing, thus blocking the devil and his minions. St Michael is the special patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament and is guardian of the Church; it was thus not unusual for the angel to be revered by the military orders of knights during the Middle Ages. Last, he is the supreme enemy of Satan and the fallen angels.

There is a caution about the archangels that Catholics should be aware of. The Sacred Scriptures have revealed the proper names of only three Angels, all of whom belong to the Choir of the Archangels. The names are well known to all, namely: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael. Ancient apocryphal literature of the Old Testament contains several other names of Archangels in addition to the three just mentioned. Like the sources themselves, these other names are spurious. Names like Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jeremiel are not found in the canonical books of Sacred Scripture, but in the apocryphal book of Enoch, fourth book of Esdras, and in rabbinical literature. The Church does not permit proper names of Angels that are not found in the canonical books of the Bible. For more information about St. Michael and the Archangels, the mention of St. Michael in the Book of the Prophet Daniel and the reference in the New Testament Book of Jude, go to: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/A/archangels.asp#ixzz1ZIe14aLC


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Children and Dogs --

I am in the mood for some of the sweet, doggy pictures -- not sure why -- maybe it is the overcast day and the promise of cooler weather.  Anyway, here are three that I particularly like.  One of them I have shown you previously, but since it is one of my favourites, I thought you wouldn't mind seeing it again!


If this little girl gets just a bit closer, she is going to receive a wet, sloppy kiss from this pup dog!



This is the one I have shown you previously.  My family had a white dog when I was this boy's age and
many was the time I hugged that dog and cried into his fur!  I am very fond of this photo.


I am not really sure that mother will approve of this, but I am sure that the dog will be very pleased!


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Suki and Sallie

Suki is so clever.  Somehow she has discovered a way to make a particular scratching sound which I really just cannot tolerate.  It bothers me enough so that whenever she starts making that noise, I wake up.  There are other noises she makes as well, but these don't trouble me that much; so once I am able to identify the sound, I can then go back to sleep.  But with this special noise, she wins every time.  As a consequence, I have been getting up at 4:30 every morning since that is the time that her "Queenship" likes to have her breakfast.  Yikes!  What is happening to me?!  Fortunately, I am a retired person and thus am able to take a nap during the day.  Otherwise, I think I would have to be committed soon.  Truly, I have never dealt with such a crafty cat before.  I mean every cat I have ever had could often get their own way after a bit of time and effort, but this one...she is something else.  If there is anyone out there who has real difficulty in getting up in the morning, let me know and I will see if we can arrange the loan of Suki until she gets you well trained!

As for me, I really don't mind getting up so early so long as I have time for a nice daytime nap.  The world is wonderfully quiet at that time of day -- even in the midst of a big city -- and it is a "sweet" time for prayer and meditation. 

Other than getting up early, I am doing fine.  Oh, I still have my usual problems with pain and trying not to fall again; however, I find that neither of these keep me from enjoying myself and the life God has given me.  I had an enjoyable time this morning with a dear friend and her sister (who is visiting from out west) and then tomorrow I will be meeting a special young friend (I call her my adopted daughter) for a visit.  So, you can see that my life is full of blessings in spite of the physical difficulties.  No news yet on when my sister and her husband might be able to come for a visit, but my brother-in-law is "checking the loads" every day -- so, maybe soon.
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Special Photo

This adorable little boy is the son of a special acquaintance of mine.  I have seen so many delightful photos of this sweet boy that I finally asked her if she would mine my posting one of the photos on my blog.  So, here he is, glowing with life and demonstrating a deep love for watermelon!


G.C. at 20 months 



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New Flower Drawing

Plumeria "Fruit Salad"

 St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle...
May the peace of God be with us all.



Sunday, 25 September 2011

Burmese Catholics


Burmese Madonna, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
A friend has been quite encouraging when I have drawn images like the one above -- a non-traditional image of the Blessed Mother and her Child.  I shared this image with him soon after finishing the drawing.  Here is part of his response:  "I think that I suggested, at one point, that you do more of these works in more realistic (non-iconic) styles, and this beautiful “painting” definitely supports that suggestion. It is always moving, to me, to see images of Holy people portrayed in the different cultural traditions that encompass our Catholic faith – thereby serving to emphasize the universality of the Church throughout the world."

In the process of doing this drawing and reflecting on it, I decided to do a bit of research into the Church in Burma -- history and current day.  What I found was very interesting and very sad at the same time.

Exactly when the first contact occurred between the Catholic Church and what is now the country of Burma is unclear.  However, by 1497 the Portuguese were showing interest in that part of the world as they moved out from Goa.  With the Portuguese soldiers came their chaplains and following them were the Jesuits.  Even St. Francis Xavier was involved in arranging for Jesuits "of the right character and constitution" to go to the area of what is now Burma (Myanmar).

Following the Jesuits, the growing Church in "Burma" was aided by the Barnabite Fathers.  Next came the Oblates of the BVM.  By 1730, Burma was declared a Vicariate Apostolic.  By 1894 there were more than 35,000 Catholics in Burma.

From the Myanmar Catholic Dioceses web site, we read the following:  "In 1966, all the foreign missionaries who had come to Burma before the Independence (4 January, 1948) and were not directly in charge of schools were permitted to stay and the others had to leave the country. From then onwards the indigenous priests and religious took up the responsibility of the Church in Burma. At the time of the hand over there were altogether two Archdioceses and six suffragan dioceses with about 120 priests and 350,000 Catholic population." For more information on this viewpoint, go to http://catholicmissionmm.blogspot.com/search/label/01.%20HISTORY

On the other hand, a series of articles in the National Catholic Register says the following:  "Catholics in Buddhist-dominated Burma are small in number (about 1 percent of the population, or 500,000 people) but historically have had a disproportionate influence on the country’s life. Catholic orders once ran the best schools in Burma, graduating numerous elites in the pre- and post-independence years. But a coup d’état in 1962 dealt a stunning blow to the church -- and to education in Burma -- when a newly-installed junta nationalized schools, banned clergy and religious from teaching in them, and deported foreign missionaries. Catholic citizens are now routinely denied better-paying administrative jobs and barred from what little social services the government provides. While the junta often subsidizes Buddhist temples, it asks for large bribes for proposed church projects, or just blocks their construction outright." For more information on this viewpoint, go to http://ncronline.org/news/global/burma-power-politics-and-church-burma

From within Myanmar, the report is that all is well between the State and the Church; however, from outside the country, we are told just the opposite.  Of special interest are some of the comments made by priests writing from within Myanmar in response to the National Catholic Register articles.  Take a look.
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More "irony" photographs

These "Friends of Irony" seem to have quite a supply of photos.  I have one friend who sends them to me occasionally.  I enjoy these even though not all of them are really "ironic". 

I don't feel that the photographs below require any explanation -- some do require a few extra moments of looking, however, in order to see the full intent of the picture!








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Suki and Me

Yesterday Suki accidentally gave me quite a scratch.  I was getting out of the chair which meant that she had to get up as well since she was asleep in the crook of my arm.  In an effort to jump up to the back of the chair, she started falling.  I made the mistake of reaching out to try to help her which meant that the only thing for her to catch on to were my hands!  Ouch!  I did keep her from falling but in the process she dug her back claws into the back of my hand.  The wound doesn't hurt, but it did bleed a lot and looks rather ugly.  Otherwise, our weekend was very quite ordinary. 

I have very little scheduled for this coming week.  Last week was full of appointments so I am pleased to be able to stay at home a bit more -- especially with the promise of rain we have for the next few days.

Oh, one bit of good news, my sister and her husband may come to visit for a day during the next week or so!  It will be wonderful to see them again.

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A Back Yard Surprise!

Photos of a wildcat taken in a back yard in Black Creek, BC, September 10, 2011. 
Evidently, the homeowners have a small dog which they usually let out into the back yard first thing in the morning!  Well, this particular morning one of the family members just happened to look out the back door prior to letting the dog out for a run.  Otherwise, Fido would have made a tasty breakfast for this big cat.  I do not know how the story ended.  Perhaps one of you would be so kind as to search and see if you can find out the truth of this story and exactly how it ended.  Or if there is any truth to it at all!  Thanks.



A beautiful cat.



Let us remember to pray for the Church in Burma.
May the peace of God be with us all.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Million Bells



Million Bells Calibrachoa--Minifamous Double Blue -
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

Calibrachoa is a genus of plants in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family.
This bell-shaped flower closely resembles a trailing petunia. The first of these plants were taxonomically described in 1989 and the first cultivars/ hybrids released in 1992. The original plants were found in coastal areas clinging to rocks and surviving in some pretty harsh conditions, they so much resembled Petunias that they were originally referred to as ‘Seashore Petunias’.  Calibrachoa is named after Antonio de la Cal y Bracho, a 19th century Mexican botanist and pharmacologist.


The family tree of this genus, in its natural state, reaches deep down into Latin America; almost all species can be found in either in Argentina, Brazil, or Uruguay.  In their natural state, they are weak, evergreen, short-lived perennials and sub-shrubs with a sprawling habit, and they have small petunia-type flowers.  The hybrid/cultivars that have been developed over these past years tend to be vibrant, hardy plants.  One writer described them as "petunias on steroids"!

The drawings shown of mostly single blossoms do not really give you a true sense of the small size of many of these flowers.  But what they may lack in size, they make up for in quantity.  For example, the flower shown in the first drawing above is one of the larger varieties.  It is a cultivar known as "Mini Famous Double-Blue" although the blue, as you can see, is really more of a purple.

Million Bells Calibrachoa -- Parviflora - Pink -
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
This variety is known as Calibrachoa parviflora and has, as is evident in my drawing, "hairy" leaves and stems.


Million Bells Calibrachoa -- Crackling Fire (Orange) -
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
 This third drawing shows a variety called "Crackling Fire".  This is one of the shrubs which contains many flowers in beautiful variations of orange and gold.

I don't find my drawings of these blossoms overly appealing , so I am including a few small photos of the actual plants to give you a better idea of how lovely they can be.



Million Bells Calibrachoa -- Crackling Fire

Million Bells Calibrachoa--Minifamous Double Blue 










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Crazy Signs

A friend recently sent me a bunch of "crazy" signs.  I chose the ones I liked the best to share with you folks.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


I mean, come on folks -- make up your minds!



Could you explain this again please?
There are two green buttons so which one do I push for yes?"




I also really liked this one as it made me think of Suki!





This has got to be my favourite -- I wonder if they actually get people buying the fish & chips who really think they have gotten a bargain?



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Suki and Me

At the left you see a rather grainy photo of Suki helping me sort the laundry this morning (early) in preparation for the arrival of my lady who comes to clean and do my laundry each week.  You can easily see how much help she was being at the time I took this photo.  She had managed to move an item from one pile to another while rolling on her back, flailing her paws wildly in the air.  She had just had a big breakfast and must have been feeling very sassy.  Eventually I was able to dislodge her and finally get the sorting done properly.  For some reason she kept thinking that every time I threw an item into a pile that was an invitation to her for further play.  It took me twice as long as it should have to get the job done, but I have to admit I laughed a lot and enjoyed myself.

I am continuing to do very well.  Thank you for all your prayers.  Thus far I have not fallen again since the time 4 weeks ago now.  I must admit that I have come close a few times, but I think all your prayers are keeping my guardian angel awake and active.  Keep up the good work.


May the peace of God be with us all.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Holy Prophet Jonah


Icon, Holy Prophet Jonah, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
Jonah the Prophet

Jonah is the fifth of the minor prophets found in the Hebrew scriptures.  While the Church has always considered the story of Jonah, found in the Book of the same name, to be based on actual fact, many modern day scholars -- including some Catholics -- interpret the story as a fanciful folk tale.

The story, as most people know, is about a prophet who is called by God to go and prophesy to the great City of Nineveh.  Because of the wickedness of those who live there, God plans to destroy the City.  However, in His mercy, he seeks to warn them first so that they might repent and be saved.  This is what he calls Jonah to do -- go to Nineveh and call them to repentance.

Jonah, not wanting to do this, tries to flee from God by taking a ship to a place in the opposite direction to Nineveh.  This foolish act almost cost the life of Jonah as well as all the crew on the ship.  A great storm arises at sea and the ship is in danger of sinking.  The people on the ship assume this is happening because someone on board has made the "gods" angry.  These pagans were all praying to their various gods when Jonah steps forward and tells them that he is the cause of all their problems.  He confesses to them that he is disobeying God and that the sailors should throw him overboard and by this action, they will save themselves.  In their fear, they agree and throw Jonah into the raging sea.  Immediately, the sea becomes calm while they see Jonah being swallowed by a great fish.  He spends three days in the belly of the fish and on the third day the fish spits him out on land -- just outside the City of Nineveh!

Jonah then goes on to prophesy as God had requested, the people of Nineveh repent, God relents and the City and its people are saved.  There are other interesting events that occur but I will leave those to you to discover.  Besides this account, Jonah is also mentioned in the Old Testament book of II Kings 14:25.  However, the most significant reference to Jonah occurs in the New Testament. This reference is deemed by Catholics to remove all doubt as to the fact of the story of Jonah. The Jews asked a "sign" — a miracle to prove the Messiahship of Jesus. He made answer that no "sign" would be given them other than the "sign of Jonah the Prophet. For as the Jonah was in the whale's belly three days and nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and nights. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonah. And behold a greater than Jonah here" (Matthew 12:40-1; 16:4; Luke 11:29-32).

There has also been a debate over the years about the meaning of Jonah's name. The name is usually taken to mean "dove", but in view of the complaining words of the Prophet (Jonah 4), it is not unlikely that the name is derived from the root Yanah, meaning to mourn. This interpretation goes back to St. Jerome (Comm. on Jonah, iv, 1). 

As for my experience in drawing this icon, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I delighted in creating the "big fish" and I truly enjoyed getting better acquainted with Jonah, himself!  I hope this icon gives you a window into the divine joy and, dare I say, whimsy of our loving God!
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Elephant Babies

I do enjoy elephants -- not quite as much as I enjoy Bears, but close.  These photos of elephant babies all make me either laugh or say "poor baby" so I thought I would share them with you and see what you think.


 Just a baby and already approaching 500 lbs.!



Poor baby.  I do hope his mother is close by and can come to the rescue. 
Sadly, he may end up with a piece of his trunk missing!


Elephant babies learn early how to say "I love you" in their language!

The saddest part of thinking about elephants is being aware of how many adult elephants are killed by poachers who kill and then cut off the ivory tusks and leave the carcass behind to rot.  Woe to any babies left behind when the whole group of adults are killed.  All this for the sake of dust collectors made of ivory and sold in souvenir shops!  How very tragic.
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Suki and Sallie

Suki has been trying to get me to play with her -- not the gentle play that I like but the rough stuff that she seems to like.  I refuse to co-operate as I hate to see her with her ears lowered and her pupils extra large.  I told her just a short while ago that I wouldn't even consider putting on my oven mitts and playing rough until she lets me cut her nails!  She refused; so I refused and now she is sulking in the other room.  What interesting creatures cats are -- and how frustrating they can be at times as well!

I am feeling great at the moment as I just came home from the gym and cleaned up and those little endorphins are still roaming around up there in my brain, making me feel good.  I now understand why exercise can become addictive!
Yesterday, my dear friend, Amra, brought me some special treats she had cooked so I am just about to go and prepare a delicious meal for myself.  After my workout, I deserve to treat myself.  Thanks, Amra!

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Finally, my attempt at telling a joke!



This photo reminds me of that old joke about Fred.  Fred fell over a cliff while out hiking alone.  On the way down, he managed to reach out and grab onto a small tree jutting out from the side of the canyon wall.  He was safe for the moment, but he knew he could only hang on for just so long.  He frantically began to yell up towards the top of the cliff, shouting: "Is there anybody up there?  I need help!"

After shouting for a few moments, he suddenly heard a voice saying:  "I am up here, Fred.  This is God speaking and I can see that you need some help right away.  What would you like for me to do for you?"

Fred, now almost sobbing with relief and amazement, called back:  "Oh, God, I am so glad you exist and that you are willing to help me.  Please get me out of this predicament and back to a safe place."

God said, "Certainly I will help you.  Do you trust me?"

Fred sobbed out, "Yes, Lord, you know I trust you."

"Then" said God, "I want you to let go of that tree and I will catch you and return you to solid ground."

For the next moment, all was silent.  Then Fred cried out once again: "Is there anybody else up there?"



May the peace of God be with us all.
Holy Jonah, pray for us.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Protea repens -- Cape Sugarbush

Protea repens, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

Protea repens occurs in the Southern part of South Africa and grows from high in the mountains of the Bokkeveld Escarpment to the Cape. The flower colour also varies, from a creamy white to white touched with pink, to the deep red varieties such as the one I have drawn. The "flowers" of Protea repens are actually flower heads with a collection of flowers in the centre, surrounded by large colourful bracts. The shape of the flowers is very distinctive, chalice-shaped.

The amazing variety in plant size, habit, flower size and colour of the genus Protea was the reason it was named after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his shape at will. The species name of 'repens', meaning 'creeping' is misleading as Protea repens is an upright, much branched shrub, which normally grows to a height of 2.5 metres but can reach a height of 4.5 m. The name is based on descriptions and illustrations by Boerhaave (1720), which show a very short stem, from which the botanist, Linnaeus, assumed that it was a creeping plant, hence the name 'repens'. The botanist, Thunberg, later named the same plant Protea mellifera, referring to the sweet nectar produced by the flowers. However, this much more suitable name had to make way for the earlier name, so this upright shrub remains Protea repens. The Proteaceae family to which proteas belong is an ancient one. Its ancestors grew in Gondwanaland (eastern Asia) 300 million years ago. Since Proteaceae is such a huge family, Protea repens is a member of the subfamily, Proteoideae.

Protea repens has been exploited for centuries, as a source of firewood as well as for the nectar produced by the flowers and more recently by the cut flower industry. The abundantly produced nectar is collected and boiled into a sugary syrup.  This was an important source of sugar for native peoples in times past.  When the European settlers arrived, they learned to collect the so-called 'bossiestroop', using the syrup as an essential component of a medicine for chest complaints.

Personally, I think it is the type of drawing that would look lovely on a company Christmas card!  What do you think?


Protea repens (using colour saturation software) by S. Thayer, 2011

As usual, I could not refrain from playing with my funny software.  I tried several different options but decided I liked the results produced by the colour saturation process best.  I really like that electric pink colour against that blue background!
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"Wascally Wabbit"

I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I have been an Elmer Fudd/Bugs Bunny fan for many years and that I still, occasionally, watch the cartoon channel when I know that there will be one of their famous cartoons playing.  So in honour of my admission of such "guilty" pleasures, I am posting some photos of real "wabbits" along with a photo from one of my favourite cartoon episode.
Elmer is sure he has gotten that "wascally wabbit" this time!


Here is a bunny that is even bigger than Elmer Fudd!


Here is a sweet photo of a mother and baby.


A really nice photo of a rabbit!  I might try drawing this.

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Suki and Sallie

Well, as usual, Suki is doing just fine.  As has happened before, she decided to get up from one of her favourite sleeping spots and come tell me she was hungry just as I was sitting down to eat my own supper.  I told her, quite firmly, that I was not going to get up and feed her until I had eaten.  Besides, I pointed out, she had a full dish of dry food already sitting on the floor.  She considered this information in silence for a few minutes -- looking from me to her clean, but empty, wet food dish back to me then over to the dry food dish and back to me!  When I did not seem to be able to understand her "sign" language, she started up with the meows -- the most plaintive sounds you can imagine!  I couldn't take it for very long.  I am ashamed to admit that I let my meal get cold while I opened a new can of food and fed Suki her evening meal!

Other than being bossed around by a 12 lb. cat, I am doing fine.   My facial bruising is almost gone now so I am even looking a bit more normal.  Now if I could just get my neck to straighten up again, I would be totally OK.  Oh, well, life is good even if I do have to look at the world sideways!  Happily, I have been able to return to the gym.  As well, due to the fact that I no longer meet my friend, Karen, for morning coffee (she moved to Vancouver), I now spend even more hours a day doing art work.  It is amazing how much I am getting done.  I may have to start posting two items at a time just to get caught up again!
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A beautiful cat in the process of getting unhappy!  Take careful note of the position of the ears.  That slight decline from the usual upright position speaks volumes.

"Don't push your luck, friend..."


May the peace of God be with us all.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Holy Prophet Daniel

[A new drawing of an Inuit mother and child can be found at the end of this posting]
Icon, Holy Prophet Daniel, drawn by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
Let me apologize for the length of the following description of the Book of Daniel/the life of Daniel.  He is such an important figure in the Jewish apocalyptic tradition -- and so little is known about him by many of today's Catholics -- that I felt it would be helpful to go into detail about his life.

Daniel (Hebrew: דָּנִיֵּאל) meaning "Justice [from] God" or sometimes referred to as "God is my judge" is the protagonist of the Book of Daniel. According to the biblical book, at a young age Daniel was carried off to Babylon where he became famous for interpreting dreams and rose to become one of the most important figures in the court.

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim (BC 606), Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were among the young Jewish nobility carried off to Babylon. The four were chosen for their intellect and beauty to be trained as advisors to the Babylonian court. Daniel was given the name Belteshazzar, i.e., prince of Bel, or Bel protect the king). Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were given the Babylonian names, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, respectively. At the close of his three years of discipline and training in the royal schools, Daniel was brought into public life. He soon became known for his skill in the interpretation of dreams. 

This ability led to one of the most famous scenes of dream interpretation to be found in the Jewish Scriptures.  My friend, Eugene, who has contributed to this blog in the past, was willing to say a few words about this event.

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin by Eugene SendelweckFrom the O.T. prophetic writings found in the Book of Daniel (chapter 5), this strange title appears as it is written mysteriously on the wall by the fingers of an unattached human hand, apparently for King Belshazzar to read, interpret and apply to himself, something he appears unable to do. (The message comes during a lavish feast given by the king, who has just desecrated the sacred vessels his father had stolen from the temple in Jerusalem, by using them in the drunken celebration!) So, naturally, he is deeply afraid of what might happen to him.
At the queen’s beckoning, he summons a little known holy man in the realm, Daniel, who is offered an impressive reward if he is able to interpret the message for the king. After refusing the reward and, instead, presenting the king with a lengthy homily on humility, Daniel proceeds to interpret the words as follows: Mene=God has numbered your days and your kingdom will fall; Tekel=you have been weighed and found wanting; Parsin=your kingdom will be divided – all of which come true, with the king’s death that very night!
This story reminds us of the truism popular in our day about being able to “read the handwriting on the wall,” in the face of our own sometimes ill-conceived life choices, and is one of a number of similar stories in the Book of Daniel, which also includes “apocalyptic” visions similar to those found in the N.T. Book of Revelation – visions written in a kind of code language, as a guide for those who remain faithful to the divine message, often in times of intense persecution. (You can see these words on the side of my icon above.)

Daniel's fidelity to God exposed him to persecution by jealous rivals within the king's administration. The fact that he had just interpreted the emperors' dream had resulted in his promotion and that of his companions. Being favored by the King, Darius the Mede, Daniel was untouchable. His companions were vulnerable, however, to such accusations.


The Fiery Furnace by
S. Thayer
This led to their being thrown into the “fiery furnace” for refusing to worship the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar as a god, but they were miraculously saved as Daniel would be years later when he was cast into a den of lions (for continuing to practice his faith in God), After this Darius issued a decree enjoining reverence for "the God of Daniel". Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Great, whom he probably greatly influenced in the decree which put an end to the Jewish Captivity (BC 536).

Daniel's ministry as a prophet began late in life and begins the distinctly apocalyptic portion of the Book of Daniel. The visions therein described represent him chiefly as a seer favoured with Divine communications respecting the future punishment of the Gentile powers and the ultimate setting up of the Messianic Kingdom. The time and circumstances of Daniel's death have not been recorded. However, tradition maintains that Daniel was still alive in the third year of Cyrus. He would have been almost 100 years old at that point, having been brought to Babylon when he was in his teens, more than 80 years previously. The Roman martyrology assigns Daniel's feast as a holy prophet to 21 July, and apparently treats Babylon as his burial-place.
For more information go to: 
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04620a.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel
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Cats and Technology
I was having a discussion recently about whether cats or dogs are more technologically savvy.  Afterwards, I came across these photos which I feel prove my point that cats are, indeed, the more technologically adept of the two.  See if you don't agree with me after viewing the following!













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Suki and Sallie

Suki has just been running around like a creature possessed.  I gave her a big canvas shopping bag to play with and she has had a great time getting in and out of it.  In between, she rushes over to her scratching post which has holes in it, jumping in one hole and coming out the other.  Any walking I try to do is met with the "attack cat".  Suki runs at me like she is going to attack only to swerve at the last moment and land elsewhere.  So I decided that sitting down at the computer was the wisest thing to do.  This seems to have worked as she has just climbed onto her favourite window ledge to observe the people passing by below.  At last, a peaceful quiet returns to the Thayer home.

As for me, I am doing well.  My bruising is almost gone which makes me feel better since I had to be out and about this morning and I did not get nearly as many second looks -- the kind where people are trying not to be obvious but can't help taking a look at my unusually marked face!  Otherwise, I am doing well. 
The worst thing that has happened, however, is the crash of my Microsoft Outlook.  I cannot access anything -- address book, email files, etc.  I took the computer in to my guy at Staples and he was able to retrieve all the information and put it into a file ready for uploading into whatever I get to replace my present Outlook, but, unfortunately, it is all in ones and zeros!  I need to reinstall Outlook, but have no idea where I put the disc which I used 5 years ago.  Woe is me.  If any of you have any suggestions for what I can do in the meantime, please let me know.  Thankfully, I can access my email from the Primus website so I am able to answer things in my inbox; however, I no longer have access to my addresses.  This means that unless you write to me, I cannot write to you as I don't remember peoples' emails.  In fact, if Raquel reads this posting, I would ask her to please call or send me an email as I need to let her know about something.  Thanks.

Oh, I almost forgot, I received a phone call from a company saying that they were receiving error messages from my computer because I had downloaded malicious software!  Fortunately, I had already heard about these people and knew that they were "scam artists".  They offer to help you fix the problem at no charge all they ask is access to the computer so that they can find the "malicious software" and remove it!  Of course, while they are doing that, they manage to steal all your personal information and gain access to your passwords for banking, etc.  Quite the scam.  They are very convincing so don't be fooled.
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Inuit Nunavut Madonna

As always, I would appreciate any comments about this particular drawing. Feel free to post them to the blog or send them to my email at sallie@ican.net

"Nunavut Madonna", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011


 
May the peace of God be with us all.
Holy Daniel, pray for us.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Ixora coccinea Orange/Red

Ixora coccinea -- Orange/Red, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
As you may recall, I did a posting with a drawing and description of Ixora back on August 6th of this year.  That version was of the pure red cultivar.  This one is orange-red in colour.  Both are simply colour variations of the species, coccinea; genus, Ixora; family, Rubiaceae.  One thing I forgot to mention in my previous posting is that the name "Ixora" is derived from an Indian deity.


A Sick Person presented to Ixora
 This flower is called as 'idli poo' in Tamil and Ixora in English. This flower is very auspicious for Lord Vishnu. It is mostly used for sahasra namavali to Lord Vishnu on Saturdays. This flower is in varied colours like orange, yellow, red and white. The red and white colours are very sacred and auspicious to Lord Vishnu.


Now here is the information I posted previously just in case you have forgotten.  "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 and Sri Lanka. 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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ixora_coccinea



Ixora coccinea -- Orange/Red -- Colour Inversion, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
I am sure, if you are a regular reader, you are not surprised to find that I chose to do a variation of my drawing using my special colour software.  Here is the effect achieved by using the colour inversion selection.  I really like the lovely shades of aqua, blue and lavender that occurred.  In fact, I am thinking of using this version of the drawing in my family calender for 2012!

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Cute Puppies
Learning about the birds and bees!



"I'm bored.  Let's go and bother mom!"



"Is that dog laughing at our ears?"


"OK.  I give up.  You win.  Now get off my head!"



Sometimes you just gotta catch some zzzzzzz's

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Suki and Sallie

At the moment, Suki is not doing well.  She is indignant that I am refusing to stop working on this blog posting when she wants to have lunch.  She keeps going over to the clock as if to say:  "look, it is already past noon!  You know how hungry I get about this time each day!  How can you ignore me?"

I, in turn, am responding to her meow's by pointing out that there is dry food already out in the kitchen and that if she is really as hungry as she says, then she will eat it! 

That is obviously not what she wants to hear as she is continuing to meow at me.  Thankfully I know she can wait as she is not really starving, just hungry!

Poor Kitty.

As for Sallie, I am looking much more normal these days as the majority of the bruising is gone from my face.  There is still enough left for me to get a lot of sympathy whenever people see me, but not enough to cause me to feel so terribly self-conscious anymore.

Of course, once one problem starts to improve, here comes another one.  Nothing serious; just a nuisance.  I hope to be better soon.

I came across the photo below recently.  It gave me a good laugh so I thought you might enjoy it as well.

Did you ever have one of those days?!!

Happy Labour Day!  St. Joseph, patron of workers, pray for us.

And may the peace of God be with us all.