Sunday, 1 July 2012

Pineapple Lily & A Blessed Event

Pineapple Lily (Eucomis bicolour), drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

Pineapple lilies – there are some eleven species of the genus, Eucomis. They are native to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Eucomis can be found in grassland, forest, swamps and on river banks, but is absent from the drier regions.

Only a few are well represented in gardens outside of southern Africa. These include Variegated Pineapple Lily (E. bicolour) which has leaves with wavy edges and flowers that are pale green with purple edges. E. autumnalis is similar, but the flowers do not have purple edges. Wine Eucomis (E. punctata) has flowers that are pink to purple or white. The undersides of the leaves of this species have purple spots.

Eucomis is a member of the Hyacinthaceae (hyacinth) family, formerly part of the Liliaceae (lily) family. One writer claims that Eucomis is a genus of African bulbs in the asparagus family (Asparagaceae), subfamily Scilloideae, but most others seems to agree that they belong with the hyacinth family.
The name Eucomis comes from the Greek word 'eukomos' and means 'beautifully haired', referring to the tuft of leaf-resembling bracts crowning the flowering head.

Although the bulb is toxic, Eucomis autumnalis is used medicinally in South Africa. Decoctions of the bulb in water or milk are usually administered as enemas for the treatment of low backache, to assist in post-operative recovery, and to aid in healing fractures. Decoctions are also used for a variety of ailments, including urinary diseases, stomach ache, fevers, colic, flatulence, hangovers and syphilis, and to facilitate childbirth.


Pineapple Lily (Eucomis bicolour) Solarization software,
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
Above you an see the result of my experimentation with the Solarization software.  I think it makes for a very interesting looking plant -- although not in any colours nature intended!


Pineapple Lily (Eucomis autumnalis), photograph shows the similarieties of Eucomis to a growing pineapple.
I wanted to include this photograph of Eucomis autumnalis, apparently the most commonly seen variety in European and North American gardens, as it shows more clearly why the plant is called the Pineapple Flower or Pineapple Lily.  The shape before the flowers begin to open definitely resembles that of a developing pineapple.

Now let me tell you about my really BIG news!
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A BLESSED EVENT


As I mentioned a couple of postings ago, I have been waiting anxiously for the births of about 4 babies this summer.  Well, the first one (and the one probably most important to me personally) has now put in his appearance.

My godson, Patrick and his wife, Vivian, have longed for a child for some time now and so they, their family and friends are totally delighted to welcome Braden Božidar Pitt.

Braden is an Irish name for Patrick's side of the family while Božidar is a Slavic name most frequently used by Serbians and this is for Vivian's side of the family.  He is such a handsome boy already.  Let me show you.

Braden Božidar Pitt, born June 28, 2012 (photo taken with phone)
In this photo, Braden is approximately 23 hours old and seems to be sizing up this new world he has entered into.  Some hours previously, Patrick took a photo of Braden being weighed and the poor thing looked absolutely miserable -- taken from his mother and placed in such a cold, sterile environment -- but by the time this photo was taken, he looks to be much more comfortable.

Braden Božidar Pitt, born June 28, 2012 (photo taken with phone
a few hours after the one above!).  His father calls the hat "his Stegosaurus hat!"
Here he is again a number of hours later.  To me he looks, once again, as though he is still trying to figure everything out -- but is doing so in a very quiet manner.  In both photos he appears to be calm, almost contemplative.  I know this is not the way life is for a new born baby, but I am hoping that, for everyone's sake, he will, indeed, turn out to be one of those wise little ones with no allergies!

Patrick was born lactose intolerant and it was almost a year before this was discovered.  Meanwhile, he seemed to cry non-stop, not surprisingly.  So, I am praying that this little one will not be allergic to anything!

I am looking forward to receiving lots more photos which I will be sharing with you -- sorry about that, but I feel just so very proud and happy that this baby we have all prayed about for so long is finally here with us.  Thanks be to God.

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SUKI AND SALLIE

THE BIG LETTER "S"
 Well, I have made a major change and thus far I seem to have gotten away with it...!

Suki keeps an ever-watchful eye on her big "S"
I decided a few nights ago, after another night of being disturbed by Suki and her strange antics with her big letter, to try moving the letter!  I did not know if this would work after having experienced so many difficulties when I had tried to remove the letter entirely.

My plan was to move the "S" to a new location in the bedroom -- a location where Suki could still reach it and sit in front of it, but a location much closer to me and my bed.  I made the move a couple of nights ago and so far it seems to be working -- at least the arrangement seems to work much better than when the "S" was all the way across the room.

Now I can reach out and touch the "S" as well as Suki when she is sitting in front of it.  It did not take long for her to realize that I could do this after a few bouts of Suki doing her strange behaviours with the "S" and then suddenly finding my hand reaching out and grabbing her!  Since she had this realization, she seems to have settled down considerably and last night did not make any attempts to perform her strange rituals at the big letter!  I am very hopeful that this is going to be a solution that works. 

I mean, I want her to have the letter as it seems to be so important to her, but I don't want to allow her to continue to disturb my sleep by her antics.  I doubt that I will ever understand what this letter means to her.  That is OK with me, but I don't want her "religious practices" to cause me to become truly sleep deprived.

As for Sallie, I think I am doing reasonably well these days.  People tell me that I am looking better now that I have returned to the gym on a regular basis.  When I look in the mirror, all I see is an old lady with a bent over neck and upper body! 

It is interesting how my head has become my greatest burden.  Trying to hold it upright so that I can see where I am going and look people in the eye when I am talking with them are some of the more painful things I experience each day.  Whether I am in the wheelchair or using my walker, the strain seems almost equally problematic.  Only at home can I position myself in such ways that I am not in any serious discomfort which means that I find I tend to stay home much more than I did previously.  I don't see this as such a bad thing and, of course, Suki seems to really like things this way -- whenever she wants a good chin scratch or to sleep on my lap, I am almost always here.  Sometimes I think she is going to explode when her purring begins to cause her whole body to vibrate!

Today my thoughts seem to be very much with Blessed Pope John Paul II.  Recently I have been trying to do another drawing of him.  This is the third or fourth effort now and I am still not satisfied, but I will keep trying until I get one that really expresses how I feel about this holy man.  Anyway, I just thought I would share my latest effort with you so you can see what I mean.


Icon, Blessed Pope John Paul II,
by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
 May Blessed John Paul the Great pray for us -- especially for our current Holy Father, Benedict XVI.  May Blessed John Paul's prayers be joined by those of my dear patron, Saint John of God.  Let us ever rejoice in the Communion of Saints -- those who ever dwell now in full and total awareness of the presence of God.  How wonderful that we can ask them to pray for us and know that they hear us and rejoice in helping us to grow towards sainthood.
And, finally, may the precious peace and joy of God be with us each and every one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. I agree Gods gift does look contemplative! But I'm biased. More photos to come and thank you for your prayers and support.
Patrick