Sunday, 24 November 2013

Solemnity of Christ the King

"St. Luke the Evangelist", icon by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

I am writing this on the Solemnity of Christ the King -- the feast which signifies the ending of the Church year.  (Next Sunday will be the first Sunday of Advent -- the season leading up to Christmas.)  I mention this because the Gospel reading for this Sunday in Year C is taken from Luke 23:35-43 -- which is my convoluted way of making a connection to the recently completed icon of St. Luke shown above!

St. Luke (Λουκᾶς in Greek) is one of the Four Evangelists or authors of canonical Gospels of Jesus Christ. Luke was a native of the Hellenistic city of Antioch in Syria. The early church fathers ascribed to him authorship of both the Gospel according to Luke and the book of Acts of the Apostles, which originally formed a single literary work. Such authorship was later reaffirmed by prominent figures in early Christianity such as Jerome and Eusebius. 

In the New Testament, Luke is mentioned briefly a few times, and referred to as a doctor in the Pauline epistle to the Colossians; thus he is thought to have been both a physician and a disciple of Paul. Considered by early Christians as a saint, he is believed to have died a martyr. He is venerated as Saint Luke the Evangelist and is the patron saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, students and butchers; his feast day is 18 October. 

In traditional depictions, such as paintings, icons and church mosaics, St. Luke is often accompanied by an ox or bull, usually having wings.  This symbol represents a figure of sacrifice, service and strength. Luke's account begins with the duties of Zachariah in the temple; it represents Jesus' sacrifice in His Passion and Crucifixion, as well as Christ being High priest.  (Christian sacrifice that is also exemplified in Blessed Mary's obedience). The ox signifies that Christians should be prepared to sacrifice themselves, "laying down their lives" as Jesus said, in following Christ.  The ox or bull, which had to be prepared for sacrifice, may be the reason why St. Luke is also the patron of butchers!

Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2009

Christian tradition states that St. Luke was the first icon painter. He is said to have painted pictures of the Virgin Mary and Child, in particular the Hodegetria image. [A Hodegetria (Greek: Ὁδηγήτρια, literally: "She who shows the Way") is an iconographic depiction of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) holding the Child Jesus at her side while pointing to Him as the source of salvation for mankind.] In the Western Church the best known example of Hodegetria image is the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help with the fingers of the right hand pointing upwards towards her Child. This icon, attributed to St. Luke, is the one he is holding in his hands in the above icon. The icon used is a copy of one I did several years ago (see above).  It is said that Our Lady allowed St. Luke to paint her while she described to him how Jesus had looked as a child.  

Finally, returning to this important feast day at the end of the Church Year, I give you the text of today's Gospel reading from Luke -- this account of events during the crucifixion describes for us that perfect sacrifice which has led, and continues to lead, to the greatest good imaginable.
The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God." Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself." Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews." Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:35-43



Well, it finally happened... my sister and her husband flew in for a visit!  We had a great time catching up on all the news about family and friends and just enjoying being together again.

The photo below shows us out for lunch at a local bistro.  Although you really cannot see it very well, the plate in the centre of the table holds our deliciously, decadent desert (we each had a fork)!

Me with my sister and her husband this past week at a local restaurant



'Nuff said!
I came across the statement shown on the photo opposite this past week and immediately realized that it was perfect for placing on one of my photos of Suki.  I think it says pretty much everything about her attitude!

As this past week began, I was made aware once again of how creative Suki can be in finding interesting ways of trying to awaken me -- hoping I will get up and feed her!  

Early Monday morning, Suki began to hit one panel of the balcony door blinds against another, over and over. She cleverly chose the blinds close to a bell I have hanging on the handle of that door.  This meant that with each push of her paw, I not only heard the clack of the blinds hitting, but the bell was also faintly ringing.  She continued doing this until finally I awoke.  

It was such an irritating sound -- clack/ring, clack/ring. Usually, I can shout at her, telling her to behave, and she will cease such activities for a while. However, that morning she must have been particularly hungry as she simply refused to stop.  This required action on my part!

I got up, picked up Suki, carried her into the bathroom, set her down gently on the floor and then walked out, shutting the door firmly behind me.  I then turned on the television channel that plays only Baroque classical music (my favourite) -- turning it on just loudly enough to cover any sounds from the bathroom and yet not so loud as to keep me from going back to sleep.  I quickly fell asleep and slept soundly for another hour or so.

When I awoke, I could hear faint sounds coming from the bathroom.  Suki was making her displeasure known.  If I were able to understand cat language, I am sure I would have heard her saying some very unkind things about me.  

Ready to start my day, I got up and opened the bathroom door. Suki was sitting there in the middle of the floor, looking very displeased and she continued to meow loudly even after I made it obvious that she could now leave the bathroom.  She meowed all the way to the kitchen.  These were not gentle meows but loud, sharp ones so I am sure that she was telling me all about how terribly she had been treated.

Fortunately, once I sat a big bowl of her favourite food in front of her, she settled down right away.  After she finished eating, Suki was a bit distant for a while.  However, after she had given herself a good wash, she came over and jumped up into my lap and begin to purr.  I felt that I must have finally been forgiven.  

 As for me, I am continuing to do much the same.  

I think my poor, old body is just wearing out and there is really not much that can be done about that.  

This past week was free of doctors' appointments so I felt almost as though I was on vacation!  However, that is not true of the week ahead.  I will give you a report next Sunday if I find out anything of interest.

As I end today's posting, I want to wish you all a blessed feast of Christ the King.  On this Sunday, I always start thinking seriously about the few remaining weeks to my birthday and to Christmas.  I always try to make myself wait until about the 8th of December before I start putting out my Christmas things -- although I am always tempted to put them out December 1st!  

Even though I complain sometimes about having a December birthday, it is really rather nice to have my birthday in the same month that our Lord has His!  Which reminds me -- what am I going to give Jesus for Christmas this year?  Hmm... this is something I need to start thinking about!

So, may the awareness that this feast day brings of the Kingship of Christ -- both as a Ruler and as Saviour -- fill our hearts with joy and peace, today and every day.
St. Luke, pray for us.  

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Astrantia major

"Astrantia major", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

With a name derived from the Latin word for 'star', Astrantia is well-known and loved for the star-like quality of its flower heads. Major, meaning "larger", distinguishes this species from its smaller relative Astrantia minor.  Astrantia is a genus of plants in the Apiaceae family. Ten species exist in the wild. Astrantia belongs to the same family as the humble carrot. 

Astrantia has historically flourished through widespread growth in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe and the Caucasus. Astrantias have been cultivated in Britain since the 16th century and have numerous common names, such as “Melancholy Gentleman”, “Hattie's Pincushion” and the more well known “Masterwort”. 

Growing rapidly to be about one or two feet tall in just one season, Astrantia comes in a variety of colours, ranging from green through to cream, pink and deep reddish-purple. Astrantia’s tiny, delicate, star-shaped flower heads are held on fine stems radiating from a central point with a ruff of bracts protecting them and their seeds.

Astrantia major details

I enjoyed drawing these star-shaped flower heads.  In studying the flower heads before beginning to draw them, I discovered that when you look at them head on, you see the star shape but when you view them from the side, the white/pink "bars" actually stand up in a rounded form from the flower head so that you only see them. It was like drawing two different flowers. 



I have shown you a photo of this house previously, but the new photos I received recently show it in a much better light! The cousin who has taken on the responsibility of looking after the "ancestral" home has had it painted and it is looking much better.

This house has the standard arrangement of many houses of the early 1800s with a central hall on both floors with two very large rooms on each side.  Each room had a large fireplace on the outside wall and that was the only source of heating.  

I mention this because when I was young there were caretakers living in the house on the bottom floor.  I remember stopping by there with my parents during an Alabama winter.  Now, while it doesn't get as cold down there as it does in Canada, it can go below freezing every night for a couple of months.

As my parents and I stepped into the large sitting room this couple was using, I saw a huge fire burning in the fire place.  They were sitting in chairs pulled up as close to the fire as they possibly could without getting burned and I immediately understood why -- the room was freezing except right in front of the fire!  In fact, it felt colder by the door of that room than it did outside.  

I have often thought about that experience as I have tried to imagine my ancestors living in that house winter after winter. Somehow that image always seemed to clash in my thoughts as I imagined myself at Klein playing the part of Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) running down the stairs at Tara into the arms of Rhett Butler (Clark Gable)! How lacking in romance it was to have to imagine them huddled close to the fire place in the winter time, trying desperately to keep warm!  So much for romance!

My Mother's family's ancestral home



Suki resting on my favourite blanket

Well, Suki hasn't done anything out of the ordinary this past week -- she has just been her usual kitty-cat self.

One thing those that never ceases to amaze me about my furry companion, however, is how cleverly she devises ways of waking me up in the morning!

I have tried over and over again to remove anything from the bedroom that Suki might use which would enable her to get me to wake up in the morning when she is ready to eat.

I look around the room before bedtime and every where I gaze I can see nothing that she can wiggle, move or scratch in order to awaken me.  Anything that I can imagine could be used for such purposes has been either taped down, tucked in or hidden away for the night.

As most of you know, Suki once used her scratchy tongue to awaken me at feeding time.  However, she is no longer doing this as she has learned that when I am wake up this way, I tend to be rather unpleasant and will dump her rather unceremoniously onto the floor.  Since she doesn't seem to like this, she has now found other ways to accomplish her goal -- ways which keep her just out of my reach!

The frustrating part, for me, is that no matter how hard I try to prevent it, Suki always finds something I overlooked to use for that early morning wake-up call!  This morning, for example, she managed to get a pencil from the pen holder on my desk!  Have you any idea what a loud sound can be made by a clever cat rolling a pencil back and forth over a hardwood floor?  Well, let me tell you, it certainly makes enough racket to awaken even the deepest sleeper.

Tonight, the pen holder and everything in it will placed into the closet before bedtime!  Although, I really wonder why I even bother -- I should know by now that this cat is cleverer than I am. She will undoubtedly find some way to awaken me when she decides it is time for her to eat....

Now, as for me, I am still trying to get this cold to go away.  I thought for sure that it would have left me alone by now, but no such luck.  I continue to go through boxes of tissues at a rapid rate. I will have to admit that I am feeling just a little bit better today and so I am just a bit more optimistic about the possibility of being cold free by next Sunday.

I did have an appointment with the sleep specialist this past week and now that he has increased my medication considerably, I am finding that I am able to stay awake just a bit better with each new day.  I am now hopeful that after I have been at this dosage level for a couple of weeks, I may even be able to go through the whole day without falling asleep at inappropriate times.  It would be wonderful to have that kind of freedom again.

As I mentioned last week, I do have several medical tests ahead of me still, but they won't be happening for a few weeks yet. Meanwhile, I am just enjoying staying awake more normally.

On a sadder note, one of my friends here in the building had to move into a nursing home this past week.  She moved into this building about the same time I did 16 years ago.  We have lived on the same floor all that time and I will miss her presence here in the co-op very much.  As well, this is a reminder that we are all getting older and more in need of caregivers to help us stay as independent as possible.  

As I end this posting, let me remind you -- if you need reminding -- that we are almost at the beginning of another Church year.  We will celebrate Christ the King next Sunday.  I am already beginning to prepare for Advent with the recent purchase of an Advent book of readings and reflections.

I pray that the week ahead will be filled with blessings for all those who read this blog posting, those who are followers of this weekly message about my art, my life, Suki the cat, and my faith.  Thank you all for allowing me to share all of this with you -- especially the gift of my art work.  May the peace of God be with you all.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Little Lamb Who Made Thee?

"Little Lamb Who Made Thee?", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

Here is a new drawing of Our Lady with the Child Jesus and a lamb. The drawing is loosely based on a painting by William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 - 1905). This is another in my series of drawings showing the Son of God as either a lamb or with a lamb. 

Lamb of God (Latin: Agnus Dei) is a title for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John (John 1:29).  In the scene being described, John the Baptist sees Jesus and exclaims, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." This description, however, was not meant to depict Our Lord as the “scapegoat” of the Old Testament, which is a person or animal subject to punishment for the sins of others without knowing it or willing it. But rather that Jesus chose to suffer at Calvary as a sign of his full obedience to the will of his Father, as an "agent and servant of God" – thus this image is more related to the Paschal Lamb of Passover.

One of the better
known image of
the Good Shepherd
found in the

The lamb is one of the few Christian symbols dating from the first century, particularly, the image of the Good Shepherd carrying on His shoulders a lamb or a sheep. As well, the shepherd was sometimes shown with a lamb on His shoulders with two other sheep at his side. According to the research, the lamb or sheep on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd is a symbol of the soul of the deceased being borne by Our Lord into heaven; whereas the two sheep accompanying the Shepherd represent the saints already enjoying eternal bliss. Between the first and the fourth century eighty-eight frescoes of this type were depicted in the Roman catacombs.

However, after the conversion of Constantine and the cessation of the persecution of Christians, the basilicas that were built began to show the lamb as representing the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus. In Church and religious pictures we have all seen the Lamb carrying the cross or showing the five wounds of the crucifixion. The Book of Revelation contains numerous descriptions of this sort, portraying the Lamb of God as both the sacrifice and as the Lord enthroned and reigning over all of creation.

By the time of William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 - 1905), many religious paintings depicted Our Lady holding a lamb in her arms, holding her Son and a lamb in her arms or holding her son with a lamb at their feet. Even though the lamb could be a reminder of such images as the Lamb of God or the Good Shepherd, by this time the lamb was no longer necessarily included as anything other than a lamb.

Although it has no bearing on this drawing, I will mention once again that whenever I see, think about or try to draw a lamb, these lines of William Blake's famous poem from his "Songs of Innocence and Experience" always comes to mind.

The Lamb 

Little Lamb who made thee 
Dost thou know who made thee 
Gave thee life and bid thee feed. 
By the stream and o'er the mead; 
Gave thee clothing of delight, 
Softest clothing woolly bright; 
Gave thee such a tender voice, 
Making all the vales rejoice! 

Little Lamb who made thee 
Dost thou know who made thee 
Little Lamb I'll tell thee, 
Little Lamb I'll tell thee! 
He is called by thy name, 
For he calls himself a Lamb: 
He is meek and he is mild, 
He became a little child: 
I a child and thou a lamb, 
We are called by his name. 
Little Lamb God bless thee. 
Little Lamb God bless thee.

*Certain parts of the above information came either from Wikipedia or the Catholic Encyclopedia.


Recently, I have received several requests for permission to use some of the icons I have drawn.  One such request was from the pastor of a Lutheran church in Kansas.  As always, I asked that I be sent a copy of the finished product.  Thus, in Friday's mail, I received a copy of their church bulletin from the Sunday after All Saints.  The following image if of the back cover of that bulletin.

Back cover of the bulletin of a Lutheran Church in Kansas.  This bulletin was for
the Sunday following the Feast of All Saints, November 1, 2013 



Suki in one of her favourite chairs!
Well, this week, I can combine most of what is happening with me with the story of what is happening with Suki!

At the beginning of this past week, the arthritis in my spine began to bother me quite a lot. I tried sleeping in my bed as usual, but I was unable to get comfortable due to the pain. Even trying to arrange all sorts of pillows to support my back did not accomplish anything.

Finally, I decided to see if my recliner would give my back the support it needed so that I could get some sleep.  The only problem with this idea was that the recliner had been moved into the living room to make more space available in my bedroom.  While there was plenty of room in the living room for the recliner, I had not placed it far enough from the wall so that it could be "reclined" to the full extent.  

So, there I was at about midnight moving furniture around in my living room!  Really that sounds worse than it was as I only had to move the coffee table up close to the couch and then pull the recliner out from the wall, making sure not to bunch up the area rug.  This, of course, did not make my back feel any better, but I was desperate by this time for something relatively comfortable so that I could get to sleep!

Finally, all was in place.  I had a throw from the couch to put over my feet and legs and so I settled myself in the recliner, pushing it all the way back.  Suddenly, I felt the pain easing from my back as the recliner gave me support in just the right places.  With a prayer of gratitude to God on my lips, I quickly fell asleep.

Suki, meanwhile, had observed all my antics with a certain look of displeasure.  First of all, she greatly dislikes the movement of any furniture as that denotes change and change is anathema to Suki. As well, Suki has become really fond of spending the night in the bedroom as she is able to stretch out fully on the body pillow on my bed.  Not only is this very comfortable, but from this position, she is able to reach out with her paw and pat my face gently when she has decided that it is time for her first meal of the morning -- usually around 4 a.m.

Since I was exhausted, I had paid little attention to Suki other than to say: "Goodnight Suki, wherever you are!" just as I was falling asleep.  So I was not prepared for what was to follow.

It seemed just moments after I had fallen asleep that I was awakened by Suki perched on the recliner just above my head.  It wasn't her being there that had awakened me, rather it was the fact that she was trying to wash my scalp with her scratchy tongue! With one quick move I grabbed her and pulled her down onto my chest.  With hardly a thought as to what condition my hair might be in the morning, I quickly fell back to sleep.

Suki must have stayed there on my chest for quite some time or else she managed to move very gently as I slept soundly.  I was not awakened again until about 4 a.m.  This time I was gradually awakened by a strange brushing sound.  At first I had tried to ignore the sound in my sleep by dreaming it away and then, after awakening, I tried to actually ignore the sound and just return to sleep.  As many of you know, however, I still have excellent hearing and cannot ignore a sound of unknown origin, no matter how faint it may be.

I knew, of course, that it must be Suki up to some mischief.  So, I tried calling her name and telling her to stop whatever she was doing.  This did not work.  The sound continued just as before. Finally, I realized that I was going to have to get up, find Suki and stop her from doing whatever it was that she was doing!

As I brought the recliner upright, I begin looking in the direction from which the noise seemed to be coming.  At first I couldn't see anything as I had only turned on a small table lamp for light. Gradually, as I looked more closely, I begin to make out the outline of one very black cat sitting directly under the lamp table.  

I could see that Suki was just lying there but the noise was continuing.  Then, in the dim light, I noticed one front paw moving ever so slightly.  She was gently swinging the electrical cord from the lamp.  This slight movement caused a brushing, scratching sound as the cord moved again the wall.  That was all that was happening and Suki was lying there, looking very pleased with herself.

I begin to say some rather unpleasant things to her; however, she appeared not to notice.  Instead, she stretched and began to walk slowly towards the kitchen.  I stood there, amazed at the cheek of this cat.  My first thought was to simply refuse to feed her and to return to my "bed"; however, I knew from long experience with this cat that this plan would not work.  So, I gave in, went into the kitchen and fed her!  I know when I am beaten.

Once Suki was fed, she settled done in the chair opposite me and, after a bit of washing up, went directly to sleep!  I returned to the recliner, tried to settle myself in once again and, thankfully, was able to get another few hours of sleep.  What a cat!

So, now you know about my back problems.  I am, of course, still dealing with all the other issues that are presently afflicting me, but most of them seem to be, momentarily, under control.  There are several concerns that are presently being looked into, but since I don't really know anything new at this point, I will just save any comments until later.

My biggest disappointment these days is that one of these issues is keeping me from being able to go to the gym each day.  I am really hoping that I will feel better this coming week as I miss my workouts. Thankfully, I am still able to spend a bit of time each day doing my art.

So, I come to the end of another posting.  Before long, people from St. Michael's Cathedral will be coming to bring me Our Lord in Holy Communion.  This is the high point of my week.  As I receive the Sacred Host, I will be praying that all those people who will read this blog in the days ahead will be greatly blessed and find the joy and love that we all desire.  May the peace of God be with you. 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Cappero Capparis Spinosa - the Caper

"Cappero Capparis Spinosa", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

Cappero Capparis spinosa, the caper bush, is a perennial plant that bears rounded, fleshy leaves and large white to pinkish-white flowers. The plant is best known for the edible flower buds (capers), often used as a seasoning, and the fruit (caper berry), both of which are usually consumed pickled. Other species of Capparis are also picked along with C. spinosa for their buds or fruits. Other parts of Capparis plants are used in the manufacture of medicines and cosmetics.

Pickled Fruit of the Caper Bush
In my opinion, this bush has beautiful flowers which is, of course, why I did this drawing.  Somehow, it is difficult for me to associate these delicate flowers with pickled capers! However, there you have it.

But to return to 
Capparis spinosa, it appears to be native to the Mediterranean, East Africa, Madagascar, south-western and Central Asia, Himalayas, the Pacific Islands and Australia. It is present in almost all the Mediterranean countries, but whether it is indigenous to this region is uncertain. The caper bush could have originated in the tropics, and later been naturalized to the Mediterranean basin.

The caper bush (Capparis spinosa) has been introduced as a specialized culture in some European countries in recent decades. The economic importance of the caper plant led to a significant increase in both the area under cultivation and production levels during the late 1980s. The main production areas are in harsh environments found in Morocco, the southeastern Iberian peninsula, Turkey, and the Italian islands of Pantelleria and Salina. 

The salted and pickled caper bud (called capers) is often used as a seasoning or garnish. Capers are a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, including Cypriot and Maltese.  However, most of us associate capers with Italian cuisine, especially in Sicilian and southern Italian cooking. They are commonly used in salads, pasta salads, meat dishes and pasta sauces. 

Capers are known for being one of the ingredients of tartar sauce. They are often served with cold smoked salmon or cured salmon dishes (especially lox and cream cheese). Capers and caper berries are sometimes substituted for olives to garnish a martini!

In Biblical times, the caper berry was apparently supposed to have aphrodisiac properties. The Hebrew word abiyyonah (אֲבִיּוֹנָה) for caperberry is closely linked to the Hebrew root אבה, meaning "desire".  The word occurs once in the Bible, in the book of Ecclesiastes, at verse 12:5: "...the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail."  Ancient translations, including the Septuagint and Vulgate, render the word more concretely as κάππαρις, "caper berry".  Thus in the words of one modern idiomatic translation we read -- "...the grasshopper loses its spring, and the caper berry has no effect."

You may want to check your own favourite translation of the Scriptures and see what it says!



Drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013
When I came across this saying recently "there is an unspoken rule...", I couldn't help but laugh. This saying is so true and so difficult to obey.

In fact, I enjoyed the saying so much that I decided to do a cartoon drawing showing me and Suki in this very situation.

Suki, like many cats, loves to get in my lap whenever and wherever I am sitting.  Once there, she obviously expects me to be still so that she can have a good nap -- any movement on my part causes her to raise her head and look at me with almost disbelief in her eyes.  It is like she is saying -- "don't you know the rule?"

The problem for me consists in getting a bad case of the fidgets just as soon as Suki gets comfortable.  Up until the time she crawls into my lap, I may have been sitting quite comfortably with no desire to move at all.  But just let Suki settle down in my lap and immediately parts of my body start to itch -- and these are parts that I cannot reach without moving.

Sometimes, because Suki looks so comfortable, I try not to let myself move and just endure the discomfort.  But I am sure you know how difficult that is!  Just try ignoring an itch as it gets worse and worse.  Sooner or later, even the best of us must give in to the need to scratch!

Of course, when I do make a move in order to scratch the itch, Suki lets me know just how displeased she is.  If I am able to stop moving after just a bit of scratching then she tries to settle down again, but, sooner or later, I get another itch!  When I make this second move, Suki usually looks at me with extreme displeasure and then slowly gets up and moves elsewhere.  I feel as though she is saying -- "honestly, can't you sit still even for a minute?  What are you some kind of wiggle-worm?"

I tell you, this can be very hard for ones self-esteem!  Imagine getting reprimanded by a cat.  Oh, what a life!

So, other than being castigated by my cat, I am doing reasonably well.  I say "reasonably" because I have been having a few problems with sleepiness again. I think maybe I need to have my meds increased as I find that some of my previous symptoms of Narcolepsy have increased once again.  Nothing serious, but enough so that I am glad that I will be seeing the specialist again before too long.

My best news of the past week is that my sister and her husband (from Tennessee) may come up to see me sometime during the week of November 11th!  That is really a happy thought.

And, on that happy note, I will end today's posting.  I hope all my Catholic readers (and those others who believe in the efficacy of praying for the dead) are praying for the Holy Souls during this month of November.  The celebration of All Saints Day on the 1st and All Souls Day on the 2nd gave us a good start for remembering that we truly do believe in the communion of saints.  So please join me in praying for your deceased family and friends during this month dedicated especially to them.

My prayer for all of you, as always, is that the peace of God may fill your hearts and minds in the week ahead -- no matter what life may bring.  Amen.