Sunday, 22 September 2013

Lace Flower Vine - Alsobia dianthiflora

"Lace Flower Vine - Alsobia dianthiflora", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

Alsobia dianthiflora, also known as the Lace Flower, has small leaves and is a compact plant. Flowers are white and have frilled, "lacy" edges.  It is native to forested areas in Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru and Brazil. 

Alsobia is a rather new genus in the plant world. In 1978, two Episcia species, one of which was E. dianthiflora, were reclassified under this new genus.  Further genetic testings has verified this re-classification. 

Lipstick Plant (vine) by S. Thayer
The Family name of this genus is Gesneriaceae, a family that includes such well known flowering plants as African violets, Cape Primrose and the Lipstick Plant.     

The genus name of Alsobia comes from the Greek alsos (alsoV), meaning grove or forest, and bios (bioV), meaning life, referring to the plant's emphatic (a plant that grows by attaching itself to another plant -- such as a tree trunk, or object -- such as a pole) habitat in the forest. Surprisingly, this plant is easily-grown and does not require a great deal of attention.  Thus it has become a popular plant for hanging planters.

Since I wanted to draw this plant growing as a vine and attached to a trellis, you cannot really see the very detailed and beautiful centre of the flowers.  I am thinking about doing another drawing of the Lace flower but only showing a few large blossoms so that the beauty of the petals can be seen.  I will see how it goes! 



I came across the following while wandering through a web site this week.  It gave me a good chuckle as I have a terrible sweet tooth and have been known to make similar silly pronouncements when choosing between vegetables and chocolate!

So colourful -- this would be an extremely healthy meal, no?



I keep saying that I am not going to show more photos of Braden in order to give him the privacy he deserves as he gets older; HOWEVER, he is just so cute!  

Here he is during his recent trip to the tropics.  Evidently, he thoroughly enjoyed the beach -- which is really just a big sandbox. I also heard that he had a great time overall and definitely enjoyed all the attention he was got with his beautiful smile and winning ways.

Filling that bucket is going to be a big job!

What happened?  It looks as though more sand ended up on Braden than in the bucket!



Here is my drawing of Suki asleep in the rocking
chair.  I added the crown as it more appropriately
reflects how Suki thinks of herself -- as the Queen!
Well, what can I say about Suki? She truly is in charge of my home and even though I grumble about this situation regularly, I actually enjoy letting her be in charge!

One example of this that I was thinking about this week has to do with her sleeping arrangements.  Let me explain.

As most of you who regularly read my blog are aware, a couple of Christmases ago, I got this wonderful "tower" for Suki. It includes places to hide, several different scratching posts, a ladder for climbing and, on the top, there is a soft, cozy bed for this pampered cat.

For the first year after its arrival, the bed on top (or crow's nest bed as I call it) was the only place Suki wanted to be when it was time to take one of her 3 hour naps.  As well, this was where she eventually settled down to sleep once I had gone to bed each night.

About a year after Suki had "owned" this crow's nest bed, however, I was finally well enough to be able to stop having to sleep in a large recliner and return to sleeping in a bed.  Up until this time, there was no bed in my place as I had thought that I might never be able to sleep in one again.  So, at this point I had to purchase a bed.

When the bed, mattress, etc. arrived, Suki spent hours sniffing it all over and climbing on every part of it; however, when nap time or my bedtime came, she headed straight for her crow's nest bed. Then as the days passed, I began noticing that Suki was starting to take naps on the bed occasionally.  I didn't really worry about this as she still returned to her own bed at nighttime.

Then, a few months ago, I awoke one morning to find Suki sound asleep on the large pillow I place next to me prior to going to sleep. I use this pillow to give me some extra support in order to keep my back from ending up in a painful position.  There is barely enough room for Suki on this extra large pillow and I wondered why she would give up her comfy bed to squeeze herself in next to me!

Of course, you can guess the end of this story and you are right -- Suki now sleeps on that pillow every night.  In fact, she no longer waits until I am asleep before squeezing herself onto the edge of this pillow, she now arrives as soon as I have gotten myself into the most comfortable position possible.  I think she listens to my movements and as soon as they stop, here she comes!  

Thankfully, she doesn't move a great deal in her sleep; unfortunately, she does like to wake up and give herself a good wash every once in a while.  Even this doesn't really disturb me unless she decides to start giving me a "bath" as well!  I am convinced that no one can sleep through the experience of being licked by a cat's scratchy tongue!

Now, as for my news, there really isn't much to report.  I did see a new specialist this week to whom I was referred to test for something called adrenal insufficiency!  I assume this test was requested by one of my other doctors in their ongoing effort to get an actual diagnosis for these continuing sleep problems.  The visit this past week was just a consultation and I will have to return soon for the actual test which evidently takes quite a while to complete. I will let you know what happens.

The important appointment with the specialist at Sunnybrook Hospital that I have been awaiting for some time now will actually take place tomorrow!  I made the arrangements with Wheeltrans to get me there in time and hopefully everything will work out as scheduled. This appointment is also just a consultation during which the doctor will decide which sleep studies or other tests might be useful.  This man has a really good reputation in the field of sleep disorders so I am really hopeful that he may be able to finally give me a diagnosis so that I might receive the proper medication or treatment that will help me to have a more normal life once again.  I will tell you all about it in next Sunday's posting.

Otherwise, this past week has not been the best but I got through it all right -- thanks be to God.  I continue to be able to do more drawing again -- something for which I am really grateful.  Other activities remain uncertain, but maybe in time...

At any rate, it is time for me to finish today's posting.  I pray that God will enable each and every person who reads this to find something here that reflects just a bit of His beauty, His joy and His peace.  Amen.

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