Friday, 9 November 2012

Acts of Kindness

Protea (pink)", a drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

 As you may recall (if you are a regular reader), the above effort is not my first attempt at drawing Protea "blossoms".  The first effort occurred back in 2011 as you can see in the drawing to the right.  
"Protea repens", drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

However, I felt compelled to draw this pink and white version as soon as I saw it.  I love the shades and variations of pink that the Creator used in the design of this unusual plant.  Also, I cannot see these shades of pink with thinking immediately of my mother (may God rest her soul) who died 32 years ago this past September.  Oh, how she loved the various shades of soft pink. 

As you may have noticed, I used a section of a photo of Protea leaves, greatly enlarged, as my background, using that as my "canvas" so to speak.

Proteas occur 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 pink touched with white and to the deep red varieties.

Proteas have 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.

All in all, a beautiful and useful plant in all its different forms and variations and, no doubt, I will try drawing it again someday as I find the "chalice" shape of the open "flower" not only appealing, but a reminder of THE chalice.



During these past weeks, from the days shortly before my surgery up until now, I have been greatly blessed by so many acts of kindness on the part of family, friends and neighbours.  Some days I am almost overwhelmed by the loving generosity of others as they express Christ's love to me.

Following are some photos of just a few of the items I have received over these past weeks.  Sadly, I am not able to take photos of kind words or gifts of food nor did I want to scan all the get well cards into the computer.  So, instead, I will let these photos represent all the acts of kindness.

Here you see some of the colourful daises that my neighbour, Helen brought to me the day I came home from the hospital.  There were so many of them that I ended up having to put them in two vases!

This beautiful arrangement was delivered to my door at the request of my dear friends, Joyce and Terry.  When the basket arrived, it was festooned with a number of pink ribbons.  These have since been removed as I began using the spray bottle on the various plants in an effort to keep them happy and healthy.

This sweet little cyclamen was a gift from my dear, dear friend, Grazyna.  It has lots of blossoms on it so it should last for some time yet.



Braden has gotten his first cold.  The poor baby.  Mother and Father have also gotten the same cold -- the joys of family life!

Below is a photo taken of Braden suffering from the cold.  To me, he has a look on his face which clearly says:  "How could you let this happen to me?"

Braden suffering from his first ever cold...  Sniff, sniff...

I love this closeup of his face half in shadow and half in light.

Here he is in his striped suit prior to getting a cold.  I like the bib which reads:
"New Baby on the Block"


A dear friend also has a new baby in her family.  Vanessa was born on almost the same day as Braden.  The guy holding her is her father and he couldn't be prouder of his beautiful little girl... 

Vanessa and her proud Father!
 Congratulations to her parents.  God has indeed given them a precious gift.



Suki watching me!
Do you remember me saying in my last posting that Suki had been behaving herself?  Well, shortly after I published that posting, I went in to take a shower only to discover that for the first time in months, Suki had managed to remove the shower drain and hide it!  I spoke severely to her about her misbehaviour, but she only ran around like a wild cat, apparently very pleased with herself over what she had done!

So, for these past four days, I have not been so trusting.  As far as I can tell, however, she has not done anything too bad during this time.  Sooner or later I will probably stop paying such close attention again and then, then, she will undoubtedly get into some new mischief.

One interesting development that has occurred this week concerns Suki's strange behaviour during the night!  Let me explain. 

It is not unusual for Suki to come and tell me she is hungry around 3:30 or 4 a.m.  She usually does this by meowing plaintively over and over again until I respond.  I often need to get up at that time anyway, so I really do not mind being awakened as I can get up, take care of my needs and feed her a small bit of food as well.  Then I can return to my bed and know that she will be satisfied for some time which means that I can sleep undisturbed until I awaken at my usual time between 6 and 6:30.

For the past week, however, Suki has been waking me up not by loud meowing, but rather by sitting on my chest and staring at me!  It can be most disconcerting to be awakened by pressure on your chest (I usually end up dreaming that I am having trouble breathing just prior to opening my eyes).  Then when I do wake up, Suki still doesn't say anything, but she just sits there and stares at me.  If I close my eyes and start to fall back to sleep, then she will begin to wash my face with that terribly scratchy tongue!  This definitely awakens me.  Once she is convinced that I am awake, she meows and from that point on the process continues as usual.  Why her behaviour has changed; where she got this idea, I do not know.  Perhaps she has been turning the TV on while I am asleep and listening to that subversive Pet Channel!  Just one more reason to keep a close eye on her.

Now, for a brief update on how I am doing.  I am slowly improving in most areas although there are a couple of concerns regarding areas of my face where there was evidently a lot of trauma to some of the nerves and they haven't yet recovered.  The hope is that they were only traumatized and not damaged permanently!  Only time will tell.

Otherwise, I am looking better and able to do just a bit more each day.  It has been quite an experience, I must say -- one I do not intend to repeat.  If these prostheses wear out before I do, then I will just have to satisfy myself by eating mush and not talking!  Speaking of eating mush, have any of you ever had to eat pureed food in the hospital?  Not only does it taste terrible, but it looks totally gross.  The only way I could manage to even get a little bit of it down was by closing my eyes and trying to eat a few bites without looking at what I was eating!

So, I think I have covered everything now that I wanted to say in today's posting.  Once again, thank you for all your prayers and kind thoughts directed my way.  I am so grateful.

In return, I pray that God will bless you each and every one during these next four days.  May the peace of God be with us all.

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