Sunday, 14 February 2016

Mandala Leftovers

"Mandala Tulipa -- Tulip 'Salmon Impression' Enhanced"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016 

Today's posting includes my remaining efforts to create mandalas using only my own flower drawings. There will be a mandala in next week's posting, but it came about accidentally as I worked on an entirely different kind of drawing. Today, however, please bear with me as I talk a little bit about the types of flower drawings included in the mandalas above  and below.

"Tulipa 'Salmon Impression', 2015", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, Revised 2015

The tulip is a perennial, bulbous plant with showy flowers in the genus Tulipa, which comprises 109 species and belongs to the family Liliaceae. Tuplia's native range extends from Southern Europe to Iran and then from there westward into northwestern China. 

Although tulips are often associated with The Netherlands, commercial cultivation of the flower began in the Ottoman Empire. The word tulip, entered the language by way of French "tulipe". Other sources include tulīpa from Modern Latin and tülbend meaning"muslin" or "gauze" from Ottoman Turkish.

The salmon-rose coloured tulip shown above is one of a number of large tulips developed as a result of a crossing between the Single Late (Darwin and Cottage) Tulips and the Early Fosteriana Tulips.

"Mandala Magnolia -- Magnolia grandiflora, Enhanced"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Above is my attempt to create a mandala using a Magnolia blossom surrounded by the Magnolia cone (or follicetum) and the dark, green leaves of Magnolia grandiflora.

"Magnolia grandiflora -- Southern Magnolia"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, Revised 2015

Magnolia grandiflora, commonly known as the southern magnolia, is a tree of the family Magnoliaceae native to the southeastern United States. Its range stretches from Virginia south to central Florida and west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma. Reaching 27.5 m (90 ft) in height, it is a tall, striking evergreen tree with large, dark- green leaves and large, white, fragrant flowers.

Magnolia grandiflora was one of the many species first described by Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae, 1759. The genus name of Magnolia is taken from the name, Pierre Magnol, a 17th century French botanist. Its specific name of grandiflora is derived from the Latin words grandis "big", and flor "flower".

"Mandala Zinnia -- Stylized", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

"Zinnia x hybrida", drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2009
Finally, I created a mandala-type drawing using a very stylized Zinnia.  I was inspired by a drawing I did some years ago of Zinna x hybrida (see image to your right).

Zinnia is a genus of plants of the sunflower tribe within the daisy family. They are native to scrub and dry grassland in an area stretching from the Southwestern United States to South America. Members of the genus are notable for their solitary long-stemmed flowers that come in a variety of bright colors. The genus name honours German botanist, Johann Gottfried Zinn, who died in 1759.

Portions of the above information were taken from various Internet sources.


Suki wondering what day it is!
Poor, dear Suki...  She has had a most difficult time this past week. Why? Because Joycelyn came to see me on Tuesday rather than her usual Monday time slot.  

This meant that Suki was alert and all primed to play with the "red dot" on Monday morning.  I tried to explain to her that Joycelyn had changed her schedule for the week and would be coming to see us on Tuesday; however, Suki refused to believe me and thus spent most of the morning awake and waiting.  

By about 10:30 a.m., Suki was so tired that she gave up and went to sleep. In fact, she was so exhausted that she slept through lunch time!  I delayed my lunch as well so that she could get a bit more sleep, but by about 12:30 my stomach was complaining so much that I got up and went to the kitchen.  This caused Suki to awaken and soon she was in the kitchen with me begging to be fed.  

When Joycelyn arrived the next morning, Suki was even more confused, but she happily allowed Joycelyn to move that "red dot" enticingly across the floor until the batteries gave out again after about 10 minutes. 

Then, to make matters even worse, Suki was totally unprepared for Joycelyn to arrive to see us on Thursday morning as it had only been two days since her last visit instead of the usual three.  Once again, she enjoyed playing with the "red dot" until the batteries gave out, but all of this has left her very confused.  

Since then, she has been spending more time awake each morning after breakfast than she has been doing in the past.  As I had mentioned previously, she seemed to know which days Joycelyn was coming -- normally Monday and Thursday -- and prepared herself by staying awake after breakfast on those days and waiting for Joycelyn by the front door. Perhaps Suki senses which day it is by the passage of a certain number of light and dark periods ... just a thought.

Now, poor thing, she is all confused and I don't have the heart to tell her that Monday is a holiday (Family Day) so Joycelyn won't be coming back again until Tuesday!  After a second week of confusion, I'm not sure what Suki will be doing come the following Monday when Joycelyn will return to her regular schedule! I hope I won't have to end up taking her to see a cat psychiatrist!

[As an aside, I would just like to mention that Suki is now playing very differently with the laser light.  Rather than chasing after it, she now seems to prefer to have the light moving slowly right in front of her so that she can try to grab it while lying down.  I gather that she has finally decided that the arthritis pain caused by chasing the "red dot" is simply not worth it.]

As for me, I had a rather interesting week with a couple of visits to my doctors.  

The first visit was just for general follow-up; however, while I was being checked over, the doctor discovered that my blood pressure was rather alarmingly high.  So, she brought in the "torture equipment" -- you know, that machine that automatically takes your blood pressure six times and then gives the average on its little screen.  I call it torture equipment because each time the cuff tightens around my arm it feels as though someone is trying to break my arm off.  Then, the cuff stays tightened in that position for what seems like an eternity before the pressure begins to decrease. I really hate that machine.

At any rate, the average of all the BP's taken was still too high and so now I am taking a diuretic.  What fun that is.  As well, I have to return to see the doctor this coming week to have everything re-checked.  I think I will ask her to sedate me before she forces me to undergo the "torture equipment" again!

My second appointment was due to something that I can only assume was a spider bite.  On Thursday morning, I noticed a red mark just above my upper lip on the right side.  Within a few hours my lip was swollen so much that I looked like I had just come from the dentist.  It was difficult for me to speak clearly and when I tried to drink from a cup, I had to hold a towel under my chin to catch the "drips".  In fact, the right side of my face felt a bit swollen and numb and I was also having a bit of trouble swallowing because my throat felt too tight.

Of course, I rushed off to the doctor who, after a thorough examination, declared that other than these obvious symptoms, there seemed to be nothing else wrong.  There were no signs of any kind of neurological deficit and I passed all the strength and reflex tests easily.  So, the only explanation would seem to be a bite of some sort.  Anyway, whatever it is, it is gradually getting better and the swelling is decreasing a bit each day -- so, not to worry.



"The Temptation in the Desert", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’ ” Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’ ” Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.  Luke 4:1-13

Ah, temptation... we are all faced with it every single day of our lives.  How we respond to it, I think, truly reveals the quality of our inner moral being.

What I am referring to has nothing to do with belonging to one religion or another.  Nor am I referring to the temptation to take an extra cookie when you are trying to watch your diet or telling a little fib on occasion to keep from hurting someone's feelings. No, I am talking about the stuff that defines our significant choices -- how we treat others, no matter who they are.

The very best people I have ever known during my lifetime are those who truly do treat others exactly as they, themselves, want to be treated.  Those who always seek to make choices that will cause the least harm to others. Those who truly hope that someday all people will be able to live in harmony and peace and, as a result, always try to make choices that will further that goal. Those who will set aside their own comfort in order to be kind and generous to others.  

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