Thursday, 24 January 2013

Spotted Mandarin -- the Wildflower


"Disporum maculatum -- Spotted Mandarin", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013
The Spotted Mandarin (also known as the Nodding Mandarin) is a relatively rare wildflower and a member of the Lily Family.  They can be occasionally spotted in their deep woods habitat from Michigan down to Georgia.  The small spots on the "petals" give them the Maculatum part of their Latin name. When Disporum if placed in front, it translates into something like "organization of spots" -- at least that is the conclusion I come to using my fractured Latin!

Plants of this sort which are somewhat shy (even though the Spotted Mandarin can grow up to 30 inches) are rarely seen unless you are looking for them. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that as the stem grows longer, the flower head tends to bend over toward the ground so that only the leaves are showing. There is a yellow-flowered relative growing in the same habitat and known as the Yellow Mandarin.  Disporum maculatum produces white berries which eventually turn yellow.

If you would like to take a look at these plants, I have a cousin in East Tennessee who would be happy to show you these wild flowers and many, many others up in the Great Smoky Mountains.


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BRADEN IS GROWING!


Braden is getting to be such a big boy -- wanting to sit up more and explore things as you can see from the two photos posted below.

Here we see Braden reading away and while he is sitting up, I am not sure that Mickey Mouse likes being used for a chair!



Here Braden is exploring things.  Think of all the discoveries that are ahead of him as he investigates the world around him!


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SUKI AND SALLIE


"Are you sure you are giving me enough
food?  How about another couple of
spoonfuls?!!

Suki has been reasonably well behaved of late -- this is a good thing as I have not been doing that well.  Maybe she is aware of my discomfort, but whatever the cause, I am grateful that she has not been trying to convince me to get up at 4 a.m. to feed her!

She has also been a bit more willing to eat her dry food between her regular meal times unlike in the past when she would insist on getting her favourite canned food and would pester me about it until I would often finally just give in.

Coming off the medication I told you about has not been easy.  We take these pills the doctors prescribe because we trust our doctor but what is often overlooked is the fact that these are drugs and once our bodies get used to having them, our bodies want them.  When the drug is decreased or stopped -- and I am not talking about narcotics here, just regular prescription drugs -- the body reacts.  This is what I have been going through these past few weeks.  As well, the problem that the drug was being used to treat flares up even more in the absence of the drug the body had come to rely on.

This whole experience has made me a lot more aware of how serious a matter this can be and how important it is to closely monitor the drugs we are taking.  My new motto is:  "the fewer, the better".

Suki doesn't know it yet, but I will be away overnight at the beginning of next week.  Joycelyn will be here early in the morning the following day so Suki will only have to go for a few hours without any human companionship (translate that to read "without the possibility of getting any of her favourite food").  Then after Joycelyn leaves later in the day, Suki will only be alone for a few more hours before I return home.  I am sure she will complain about how difficult her life has been as soon as I return home that afternoon, but I know her well enough by now to know how she can exaggerate!

I had a phone call from the sleep disorders clinic doctor yesterday and she plans to look at my results from the sleep study as soon as they are available.  She wants to try to prevent me from having any more falls if at all possible which means we both have the same goal.

So, remember, I won't be posting on Monday, but hope to post again by Wednesday.  As a matter of fact, I am thinking seriously of setting up a new routine where I don't post every four days but every Wednesday and Sunday.  I will have to see how things work out for me.  I will, of course, keep you informed.


Meanwhile, it is getting late and I want to try to get some rest.  I pray that God will grant us all a restful and peaceful night.

May St. Paul, whose feast day is tomorrow ("the Conversion of St. Paul"), pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.  Amen. 

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