Sunday, 4 August 2013

Sunsets

"Our Lady and the Child beside Lake of Genneseret", drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013 
Here is my most recent drawing of our Blessed Mother holding the Child Jesus.  They are together by the side of Lake Genneseret (Sea of Galilee or Lake Tiberias) as the sun is setting.

This time I knew from the beginning that I was intending to draw a religious drawing and thus you see the nimbus above the head of Jesus and of His mother.

The art work that inspired this drawing is a quite lovely period piece I came across on the Internet.  As is so often the case with such art work, it is not accompanied by any clear indication of whose work it is.  I plan to check one more time before I publish today's posting as I would really like to give the artist credit since their work inspired my work.  However, I am not going to spend a lot of time and energy trying to locate a name.  As I usually do, I ask those who see this blog to please contact me if you know whose painting I was working from while doing my drawing.

I was noticing recently that I think I have enough new images of our Lady and the Child so that I can go ahead and start creating my "Lady calendar" for the year 2014.  I should also soon have enough flower drawings as well to complete the "Flowers calendar" for next year.



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BRADEN AT THE PARK


I keep thinking that I won't be posting photos of Braden on a regular basis anymore -- but then I receive another picture that is just too adorable not to share -- especially since so many of my readers continue to tell me how much they enjoy seeing Braden's photos!


Here comes the wild man -- happy to be able to play in the park!
(With this hair cut, his mom says he looks like Woodstock
 in the Peanuts cartoon series!)


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VANCOUVER UPDATE:

 My Vancouver correspondent (my friend, Karen) continues to send interesting photos.

This one of a message on a rock is particularly interesting to me.  It was written by someone who had the ability to see something beautiful and positive even in an event that would ordinarily be rather depressing -- almost constant rain!

Of course, as you are aware if you have been reading my previous postings, Vancouver has almost had a record-breaking summer after going the entire month of July without any of its famous rain showers.

NOTE:  If you are not used to selecting individual photos for special viewing and find the text on the rock difficult to read, please follow the instructions below:
Simply put your cursor on the photo, click and the photo will show up in a new location where you will be able to increase the magnification of the photograph.  When you finish, just click on the "X" slightly to the right of the photo and you will return to the blog page.



"Vancouver in the rain", by Regan D. Andrade, December, 1999




A local "Peking" Duck sharing the beach with Mallard ducks and Canada Geese.
"Peking" ducks, like the one in the photo above, are native to China.  This one is most likely an escapee from a local farm where these ducks are raised for Chinese restaurants who offer
Peking Duck on their menus!  Escapees should be fairly safe from being eaten since they, like all ducks and geese, shovel up the bottom of shallow water in an effort to find tasty snacks!
I would think that trying to eat a city duck would be about as tasty as trying to eat a city pigeon!!


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SUKI AND SALLIE


I recently did a drawing of a stylized sunset.
As I was finishing the drawing, I recalled a
photo I had seen of a solitary cat sitting on the
rocks, apparently gazing at the sunset.  I
decided that Suki would probably enjoy such
a scene and so I drew her into the picture.
Just as I was ready to start this section, I felt the need for a fresh glass of ice water.  Suki was apparently sound asleep in her "crows nest" bed and so I quietly made my way to the kitchen in hopes that I could grab my ice water and get back to the computer without Suki even waking up!

What a faint hope this was!

At the very instant when my bare foot stepped onto the kitchen floor, I heard a loud thump followed by some desperate sounding meows!  I knew exactly what these noises meant:  Suki had jumped from her high bed directly to the floor and was now running towards the kitchen, meowing as she ran.

In less than 15 seconds there she was, wrapping herself around my feet so that I couldn't even move until I had convinced her that she just might get fed but first she would have to stop trying to trip me!

She seemed to understand immediately what the problem was and she quickly went over to take up the position:  she sits on the floor, just under the ledge created by the drawers which are under the counter top where I tend to always prepare her food.  She waited patiently until she heard the unmistakable sounds of food being removed from a can and placed in her dish.  Then she went a little crazy and began to act as though she was starving to death, rolling around at my feet and making mewing noises.  What a drama queen she can be!

At any rate, she is now fed and I have my glass of lots of ice and a little bit of water so let me tell you what has been happening with me since last I gave you any information about a week or so ago.

I saw two of the sleep specialists on July 26th.  The only new idea they had was to suggest that I cut back on another one of my medications -- actually to cut the dosage in half!  I agreed to try it and that very night took only half of the amount I had been taking every night for the past 4 or 5 years.  By late afternoon the next day, I began to notice the side effects caused by decreasing this medication.

For the first few days, it was like being on an emotional roller coaster going from almost a sense of hopelessness to strong emotional feelings, to apparent acceptance of the situation and finally down to some sort of Stoicism.  Then the process would repeat!  It is amazing how tired such emotional activity can leave you -- at least it does me.  It was actually not until a few days later that I was able to return to the gym again as I was so very tired!

Of course, the goal of this exercise is that I will no longer have such severe sleep problems if I am taking few sedating type medications.  Sadly, this is not turning out to the be the case.  Things have changed, but, unfortunately, not for the better!

Now, while I no longer seem to be suffering from the "sleep attacks", I find that something rather worse is happening.  I am ending up in some sort of sleep fog that I simply cannot break out of.  I will find myself getting very sleepy at an inappropriate time and so I will get up in an effort to get myself moving again.  This has always worked in the past.  Well, not now...

Last night, for example, I finished watching the news and decided that I had better go into the kitchen and fix myself a little supper before I ended up falling asleep in my recliner.  If I allow myself to fall asleep before I have had supper, I usually end up not eating at all since by the time I awaken, it is simply too late to be trying to have a meal. 

Well, last night I remember going into the kitchen and preparing a light supper for myself, even doing a bit of cooking on the stove.  I then sat down at the kitchen bar to eat my meal and that is the last clear thing I remember for the next hour!  During that hour, I later discovered that I had eaten my meal and tried to put away the food and wash the dishes.  I discovered this because after almost an hour, I came close to falling forward and somehow stopped myself by breaking my fall with the back of my fist.  The pain was so severe for a few moments that I finally woke up!

I looked around the kitchen, trying to figure out what I had been doing during that hour and found the sorts of things that I used to find years ago when I had trouble with sleepwalking:  dirty dishes placed in the refrigerator, left over food taken out of plastic containers and put in clean containers and then left on the counter, dishes that had been washed and then put back with the dirty dishes, etc., etc.  

I was shocked at what had happened and very distressed as I had hoped that by removing myself from as much sedating medication as possible, I would somehow automatically end up getting better! Obviously, this isn't going to happen.  In fact, I have almost had another similar episode this morning but have managed to keep myself out of that "sleep fog".  Meanwhile, I am planning on spending as much of the day seated as I possibly can just in case another episode sneaks up on me again!  

The appointment for evaluating what has happened because of reducing this drug is not until Friday, August 9th.  I am just hoping and praying that I make it that far without doing any severe damage to myself or to my home! To be honest, I am really afraid at this point of preparing any food that requires cooking.  Thankfully, I have plenty of stuff that can be eaten cold.  

Who knows, I may yet end up having an article written about me in one of those prestigious medical journals!

Meanwhile, I can still praise God in the midst of all of this, giving thanks for all the good things He has given me and praying for all of my dear friends, family and acquaintances even if I fall sleep in my chair while doing any of the above.

And now, I pray, that the peace of God will be with us all.

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