Sunday, 22 December 2013


"Young Woman Daydreaming", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

This week's drawing shows a young woman daydreaming as she sits beside an apple tree.  The time of the year is obviously late summer - early fall as the tree behind her is full of ripe apples, ready for picking.  She holds an apple in her hand, but her thoughts have left her so distracted that she has not yet taken a bite of the apple.

The drawing reminds me of how often, as a young woman, I used to sit and dream of the future -- wondering what my future would be. I could imagine all sorts of things happening and would often be distracted by visions of myself either as happily married with children or as a holy nun hidden in the silence of the cloister.

Of course, things did not work out at all as I imagined.  Life is messy and daydreams never are.

The art work that gave me the inspiration for this drawing is one of the better known works by an English artist named Charles E. Perugini.  In his painting, the young woman, in a similar pose, is reading while seated in a garden beside an apple tree.

Perugini was born in Naples in September of 1839 and given the name of Carlo. However, at the age of six years, he and his family moved to England where he lived, except for a few year in Paris, for the remainder of his life. At this time his name was changed to Charles.

Years later, after working with artists in Paris a short while, he became a protégé of Lord Leighton, who brought him back to England in 1863. Perugini may at first have worked as Leighton's studio assistant. Under Leighton's influence, he began as a painter of classical scenes; then he turned to the more profitable pastures of portrait painting, and genre pictures of pretty women and children. His works were, I think, fairly typical of the English artists of the Victorian era.

Kate Dickens Perugini modeled for 
a work by Sir John E. Millais.  
The work is entitled  “The Black 
Brunswicker” (1860) -- a portion of
which is used for the cover of a 
book on the life of Kate Perugini.

In 1874, he married the youngest daughter (Kate) of novelist Charles Dickens. As Kate Perugini she pursued her own artistic career, sometimes collaborating with her husband. Perugini and his wife maintained an active social life in artistic circles of their era. He died in London on December 22, 1918.  Since he also had a December birthday (today is the 22nd of December), I felt it was appropriate to post, today, a work of mine inspired by him! 



I haven't had any new photos of  Braden to show you for a while now.  Recently, however, his mom sent me some new ones.  

I really like the one below as it shows Braden busily engaged in stirring a pot of food.  I felt it was a cleverly symbolic way to show something of his character!  What I am saying is that I do believe Braden is going to grow up to be one of those people who may occasionally enjoy "stirring the pot"!

Braden helping his grandmother prepare dinner -- at his Grandparent's home



As I told you a few weeks ago, Beaux-Arts Brampton is having a sale of the works by artists associated with them.  One of these is my dear friend, Rose Marie.  She is actually pictured in the photo below on the left side.

Remember, if any of you readers live in or near the Brampton area, I am sure it would be well worth your while to stop by and take a look at what is being offered.  Even if you can't get there before Christmas, you still might find something special for yourself in the days following Christmas.  Take a look!

My friend, Rose Marie, shown in a photo from a Brampton newspaper.
Remember, the Christmas Sale runs until January 4, 2014.



Here is Suki on an angle!  She has that
look which says "I am getting ready to
do something really crazy"!!

Suki and I have had quite a bit of company lately.  Thankfully, she has been pretty well behaved -- for Suki, that is!

For example, when friends came to visit on Friday -- with gifts in hand -- it turned out that they even had a gift for Suki.  I tried calling Suki so that she would come into the living room and receive her gift.  Of course, since cats do not come when called, this was a complete waste of breath and energy.

Finally, I went into the bedroom and found Suki sleeping soundly in the closet.  I gently got her out of her "closet box" and brought her triumphantly into the living room where she sat, yawning frequently, for a couple of minutes before she would even pay attention to what was going on around her.

When Suki finally did start to notice things, she sniffed carefully at the Christmas wrapping paper lying on the floor.  Then she deigned to turn her attention to my friend's teenage daughter who was, at that moment, dangling a play mouse stuffed with fresh catnip in front of Suki's face.  She sniffed a few times, reached out with her paw in sort of a desultory manner and then she yawned again!

This young woman was, however, very persistent and paid no attention to Suki's apparent lack of interest in her Christmas gift. Finally, my young friend was able to get Suki to take the mouse in her mouth and this caused the silly cat to begin to show some real interest in her new toy.  

Suki batted the mouse around for a couple of minutes, pushing it across the floor and watching as it moved away from her.  She would then go over to the mouse, sniff it and push it back across the floor in the opposite direction.  Sadly, Suki has never shown much interest in catnip.

After a few minutes of pushing the toy back and forth across the floor, to a chorus of encouraging comments from us, Suki pushed the mouse one more time and then proceeded to get up into one of the chairs, position herself comfortably there and begin her bathing ritual!  We had to be satisfied with her response to the mouse gift as from that point on, she ignored it no matter how frequently it was dangled in front of her face!

After my friends left, Suki took the mouse and energetically played with it for about ten minutes before needing to lie down and take another nap!  Why couldn't she have shown that kind of interest while my friends were here?  How embarrassing!  Do you think she does these things on purpose?!


As for myself, I have had a fairly busy week which included another visit to a doctor.  This time I was not only told about the results of my blood work, but also given an explanation about why the doctors find it worrisome.  

Turns out that it is my Potassium which is too high.  I was told about the kinds of difficulties, even life-threatening difficulties, which could arise if we cannot get this level back down into the normal range.  At this point I was given a new diet to follow. Shown on the handout were all the foods I need to strictly avoid and all of those which I should choose instead.  

It turns out that all the foods I like best are in the column entitled: "Do not eat"!  The other column which is headed, "Foods to eat," lists all sorts of foods that I really do not enjoy.  I told the doctor that I would try to avoid as many of the "bad" foods as possible, but that there were a few items in the "do not eat" column which I absolutely had to have in order to maintain any semblance of joy in my cooking and eating.  After all, I do need to have some "quality of life," don't I?

So, I am trying my best to follow instructions, but it isn't going to be easy -- although it may be a good way to lose a bit of weight.  Why? Well, when I am presented with foods I do not like, I would rather go hungry than eat them.  I have been this way for as long as I can remember and I don't see myself changing this late in life. Hopefully, the medication I was given will help to lower the Potassium sufficiently without my having to give up too many of the foods that make me happy (including chocolate -- yes, it is on the "do not eat" list as well -- can you imagine life with chocolate?).

Now for some sad news... as it turns out, I have had to cancel my planned visit to see Braden, his parents and his grandparents today! It is a very sensible decision, I think, as the freezing rain is still falling outside. This is not the Sunday I had hoped for!  After speaking with Braden's parents earlier this morning, we all decided that it would be foolish for me to try to get all the way out to the grandparents' home.  So, I am having to accept this disappointment with thanks to God for helping us make wise decisions.  Braden and his parents will come to visit me soon -- perhaps before the New Year begins.


I pray, as we approach Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, that all who read this posting will be blessed in some special way during this holy season.  Let us remember what the angel said to the shepherds, "Peace on earth and good will to all people."  As the peace prayer song (based on the prayer of St. Francis) says:  "let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me".  Amen to that.

Drawing for this year's Christmas card 
by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

Finally, let the cry of this season ring out across the earth:  "Come Lord Jesus".  

I wish you all a wonderful and blessed Christmas Day.   

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to Sallie and Suki