Sunday, 29 November 2015

More Gazanias

"Gazania -- Fiesta Red and Other Bits and Pieces -- Kaleidoscope"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015



Remember last week when I said that I was fascinated with the geometric designs of Clumping Gazanias and that I would probably be drawing more of them? Well, as you can see, I wasn't fooling! 

The first drawing I want to show you, "Gazania ... Kaleidoscope", (see above) is actually my attempt to create the view inside a kaleidoscope. Using another new flower drawing, "Ganazia 'Fiesta Red' " (see below), I combined it with various bits and pieces from last week's featured drawing of another Gazania. I was inspired to try this by coming across an artist's rendering of the inside of a kaleidoscope which included Gazania-type flowers.

(Sadly, since I do not find the results of my attempt at creating the view inside a kaleidoscope to be very satisfying, I will probably be posting additional attempts to get it right! I apologize in advance.)



Kaleidoscope image, public domain
To the right is a public domain image from an actual kaleidoscope. It reminds me of the many lovely images that I could create with the kaleidoscope I possessed during my childhood.  I would spend hours turning and turning it until my hands grew weary from the motion.  Now, of course, you can find programs online which create even more stunning patterns and combinations than those available to me with the old hand-held model. Anyway, enough about kaleidoscopes. Let me show you the flower drawing for this week.





"Gazania 'Fiesta Red' (Gazania rigens)", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015



Here is the actual flower drawing that I did of another Gazania,  'Fiesta Red'. As I told you in last week's posting, Gazania is a genus of flowering plants in the Asteraceae (Daisy) family. The genus is native to South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Tanzania and Angola. Additionally, species are naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, and the western USA. Gazanias are grown for the brilliant colour of their flowers which appear in the late spring and early summer. Clumping Gazanias have a number of names including 'Aztec', 'Burgundy', 'Copper King', 'Fiesta Red', 'Goldrush' and 'Moonglow'.  

Even though I remain fascinated with the patterns found in the various Gazania flowers, I promise that next week's blog posting will not contain any new Gazanias -- not even the Gazania "mandala" on which I am currently working! 








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FAMILY



I rarely show photos of my family members as I feel that they should be the ones to choose what to share on social media. However, one of their recent photos is so lovely that I felt I really wanted to share it with you all.

It shows my great-niece with her brother.  He is a child with special needs and he is greatly loved by the whole family -- especially his big sister.  I think the photo says it all.


My great-niece and great-nephew at a beach in Florida last summer.




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SUKI AND SALLIE




Suki considering what her next move will be!
This past week, Suki spent more time in the bedroom closet than usual -- poor kitty.

On Monday, the day that Joycelyn does the big cleaning, it was the new vacuum that drove her there. This new vacuum does an absolutely wonderful job of picking up cat hair -- especially off the rugs; however, it also makes a very interesting noise when it is doing so! Suki does not like this noise and so she has concluded that it is probably safer to hide out in the bedroom closet while this particular "monster" is present. 

Then, the building management decided that this would be the week for changing the filters in our heating and cooling systems. This meant that on Wednesday afternoon there was suddenly the sound of loud knocking on the front door.  Loud knocking always causes Suki to leap up from where she is resting and begin growling menacingly as she moves sideways towards the bedroom. As soon as I called out: "who is it?", Suki made a mad dash for the bedroom closet.  I could hear her scrambling over the boxes on the floor as she headed to the very back where her hide-away is located.

Then on Friday, there was a great deal of banging and clanging out in the hallway -- I think the workmen must have been doing something in the large electrical closet which is located directly across from my apartment.  I could see Suki was on edge but she did not make a mad dash for the bedroom until one the workers ending up accidentally bumping against my front door. Then, off she went!

The funny thing about Suki and the bedroom closet is that even if the vacuum noise stops completely or the noisy workman have left the area, she still stays in the closet for a long period of time.  I'm not sure if she stays there because she just falls asleep or if she remains hidden because she believes that even if the monster is not making noise, it may still be waiting for her. Perhaps "better safe than sorry" is her motto!

As for me, I ended up having to attend two medical appointments this past week.  The first one was on Wednesday and involved a test which had to be performed in the out-patient, surgery unit. Thankfully, it did not require sedation or anesthesia. The other appointment was just a follow-up.  Also, I had a good visit with my friend Sharon as well as phone calls from some of the special people in my life.

Otherwise, things remain much the same: not great, but still bearable. Thank goodness I have Suki around to keep things interesting!






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FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT




"Icon -- Christ, the Son of Man", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015 rev.



Jesus said to his disciples: “There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth, nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; people dying of fear as they await what menaces the world. For the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect; hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand. 
“Watch yourselves or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life and that day will be sprung on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come down on every living person on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:25-28,34-36



“Watch yourselves or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life...”  Christ mentions three things in this verse with which we should be concerned: debauchery, drunkenness and the cares of life. 

Debauchery means an excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures. Drunkenness is defined as being in a state in which one's faculties are impaired by an excess of alcoholic drink (or any other drug for that matter). The "cares of this life" refers to the human inclination to worry excessively about the problems we currently face while imagining even worse things happening in the future. So, what is Christ saying? I think He is saying that the excess of these things can control us so completely that we forget all about what is really important in life -- loving Him, our neighbour and ourselves.

If we are daily seeking to always act as lovingly as possible by not abusing others or ourselves then we don't have to worry about "that Day".  We remain ready for "that Day" whether it is the day of our death or the day the world ends.

Prayer:

May I move lovingly and peacefully through life and when I fail -- as I will, frequently -- may I quickly pick myself up from my self-pity and my foolish feelings of failure and return once again to seeking to live my life lovingly. And if there must be an excess of anything in my life may it be an excess of kindness.

Amen.


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