Sunday, 30 November 2014

Correa backhouseana -- Australian Fuchsia

"Correa backhouseana -- Australian Fuchsia", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014


Correa backhouseana, commonly known as Australian Fuchsia, is a species of flowering plant in the family Rutaceae. It is a coastal shrub, native to southern Australia. It can grow to between 5 to 6 feet in height. The leaves are wide, glossy dark green on top and pale, grayish-tan underneath. The drooping, tubular flowers are pale (yellow-green to white) in colour. 

The species was first formally described in 1834 by botanist William Jackson Hooker in The Journal of Botany. The type specimen was collected by English botanist and missionary James Backhouse (thus the species name of backhouseana) at Cape Grim in Tasmania in 1833. Three varieties are currently recognized.

Correa backhouseana is a hardy plant that is useful as a screening plant or along fencelines. However, due to destruction of its habitat, it is now on the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment's Advisory List of Rare Or Threatened Plants.  

However, C. backhouseana continues to be found in gardens where it tolerates both salt-laden winds and light frost.  Also it is grown in greenhouses as the flowers and leaves are often used in floral arrangements.

I have had this drawing on the go for a number of months now -- I just couldn't seem to get it finished.  Then a couple of weeks ago, I came across it again and the time just felt right.  I got back to work on the drawing and stayed with it, over several days, until it was finished.  

My major complaint about the drawing is my inability, once again, to create "glossiness"!  As the experts say, "the leaves are ... glossy dark green on top".  When, oh, when, will I figure out a way to create "glossiness" in my computer drawings?


Much of the above information was taken from various Internet sources.


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RONÀN AND BRADEN


Photo update of these two, sweet boys...


Ronàn very much asleep while his hands are busy --
perhaps he's dreaming of directing Beethoven's Ninth!


Braden looking rather pensive -- or is he just trying to decide which truck
car or tractor he is going to play with next?



Brothers -- that says it all




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SUKI AND SALLIE

Suki -- Undercover detective!
As I write this, I raise my eyes from the computer screen, look up and what do I see?  

I see two very piercing cat eyes peering at me over the top of my computer screen!

Suki has somehow managed to get herself positioned just behind my laptop as she continues her ongoing campaign to get me to give her an early lunch.  

This is, of course, not going to happen -- a fact of which Suki has been informed several times already; however, hope does seem to spring eternal in her kitty-cat breast.  So the battle of wills continues, as usual.  It's just another ordinary day at my house! 

The problem about all this "laying down the law to Suki" business is this:  I have weakened on a couple of occasions in the past and given in to her demand for an early lunch, supper or whatever. I mean, sometimes she can be such a pest and I really get tired of being bothered.  I know, I know... I am just an old softy. Anyway, Suki, knowing that such a thing has happened in the past, continues to hope that it may happen again in the future -- or right now, to be exact.

However, I continue to try, once again, to steel myself against her purring pleadings for I know what will happen if I give in:  an hour from now, when it is the proper time for her to have lunch, Suki will act as though she hasn't eaten since breakfast.  She will indignantly claim to have no knowledge of any previous feeding and will insist on being fed as usual. She will make such a fuss that I might actually give in and give her just a bit more food!  

Truly, the way she behaves at times such as these always leaves me feeling guilty (for some reason).  Behind Suki's pitiful meows, I somehow feel as though she is threatening to contact the Humane Society and claim that I am refusing to feed her!  What can I do except give in and feed her again? Truly, this cat has got me wrapped around her little paw -- and she knows it!

Otherwise, things continue to be much the same for me.  My days are spent trying to keep the pain at a manageable level through pharmaceuticals and distraction techniques.  Most of the time I am able to manage fairly well although there are some days that are quite horrendous.  Thankfully, I have reached a point in life where little is expected of me (other than catering to the cat) -- thus, leaving me free to do whatever is needed to get through each day.

I did have some extra phone calls this past Thursday as family and friends in the States called to wish me a happy American Thanksgiving.  They know we celebrate a different day in Canada, but for them there is really only one Thanksgiving Day -- the last Thursday in November.  

During the conversation with my family, I was informed about various items on the menu.  How I wish I could have been magically transported as they gathered around the dining table and, thus, join in good conversation while dining on all those delicious southern, Thanksgiving-Day delicacies.  

Speaking of Thanksgiving food, know what I miss the most? I miss the day after Thanksgiving when we would make Turkey sandwiches with lots of cranberry sauce on them!  Yum. 



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FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT


"Christ: 'I am here at the door' ", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014 Rev.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’ ” Mark 13:33-37 

And so we begin the period of watching and waiting -- Advent -- waiting with Mary and Joseph, as they waited that first Christmas for the birth of the Christ Child.  Watching for the signs of His approach.

Waiting is seldom easy for any of us.  I know that when I desire to have something or know I will be receiving something greatly anticipated, I find it very difficult to wait patiently.  In fact, it is, and has been throughout my lifetime, hard work to discipline myself to wait. Even though I learned years ago that the desiring of something is often so much better than the actual getting of it, I still want to receive it right now!

The story of Christmas, it seems to me, is all about waiting, trustingly and patiently, for the ultimate desire of my heart. What is that desire?  It is the unfulfilled longing for love -- for perfect, unconditional love.  

May we watch and wait trustingly, patiently for the coming of the Child who is Perfect Love.

Amen.

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