Sunday, 12 June 2016

Daubenya aurea

"Daubenya aurea 'Red' ", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

I was attracted to this flowering plant because of the beautiful orange-red colour of the "petals".  As usual, I am not satisfied with the results which means that you will probably be seeing at least one more attempt at this particular plant in the near future.  Now let me tell you a bit about it...

Daubenya aurea is a member of the Hyacinthaceae family. It is a rare species which produces red or yellow flowers and is found growing on clay flats in the Roggeveld -- a plateau located in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape, South Africa. 

Daubenya aurea produces two spreading leaves and tubular flowers arranged in a cluster between the two leaves. An author has written about these flowers as follows: “Although it is dormant during summer and autumn and has a very narrow distribution area, this extraordinarily, beautiful member of the Hyacinth family is a must see for every plant lover. The striking red or yellow flowers light up the veld when it flowers in spring.” 

The genus was first described in 1835 by British botanist John Lindley and named in honour of his compatriot, Charles Giles Bridle Daubeny (1795–1867), who explored the horticultural potential of the species at the Oxford Botanical Garden. The specific epithet, aureus, is Latin for “golden” (think of the word “aura”) and refers to the golden yellow flower of this species.

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


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Do you have any idea just how difficult it is to try to get a cat to lose weight? 

The vet has told me a couple of times lately that Suki really needs to lose a few pounds -- not because she is dangerously overweight but, rather, because less weight means less pressure on her bad left leg. This should lead to less pain and discomfort for her all around.

The vet has suggested that I give Suki mostly canned, all-meat cat food and very little of the carbohydrate-based, dry, crunchy cat food.  So I have been trying to feed her 4-all-meat meals each day while placing a small amount of her low-fat, crunchy food in a dish for her to nibble on if she feels a bit hungry between meals (if I don't give her something to snack on between meals, she pesters me).

Suki, however, is not interested in any sort of weight loss regimen. Instead, she has devised her own diet which is not designed to help her lose weight, but is designed to give her maximum pleasure. How very "catlike" of her!  Let me explain...

At present, I do, indeed, feed Suki meat four times a day, but each day, at Suki's insistence, the food must be of a different preparation: Friskies Turkey with gravy one day; Fancy Feast Chicken with extra gravy the following day; and Fancy Feast Turkey with gravy the day after that.  Then we must repeat the cycle.  However, Suki basically refuses to eat the actual meat (other than a few pieces); instead, she slurps up the gravy -- even going so far as to press the meat down with her tongue and lick up the gravy released by her action.

Once she has gotten every bit of gravy out of the dish, she turns and walks away with a big smile on her face.  Later she will return to the kitchen and fill up on her crunchy, dry food.  When her dry food bowl is empty, she pesters me until I give her just a tiny bit more -- and so it goes day after day.

I have been told that I should just refuse to put any dry food down at all and then, sooner or later, Suki would be forced to eat all of her meat meal to satisfy her hunger.  This sounds like such a great solution; however, I can tell you from experience that it does not work. 

When I tried this solution about a week ago, things begin simply enough.  At first, Suki just came and sat and stared at me each time she discovered that her dry food dish was still empty.  After a while, though, she began to meow for a minute or two each time.  As time passed, she begin to meow for longer and longer periods of time.  Even though all of this was very difficult for me, I held out until bedtime ... but then the battle really began.  Suki cleverly allowed me to fall asleep and then she begin her real torture technique which consisted of waking me up at odd intervals by various and sundry means, over and over again, until I finally reached my breaking point.

Exhausted and defeated, I slowly made my way to the kitchen, put a handful of crunchy food into her dish, crawled back to my bed and, with a grateful smile on my face, fell sound asleep -- and slept soundly for the rest of the night.  I am sorry, but I won't be trying this again.

So, instead, I have now started adding a little water to her gravy and meat dish at each meal which means that the gravy contains fewer calories per total volume.  Since she will be drinking more liquid, hopefully, this will cause Suki to feel a bit fuller and, thus, lead to her eating a smaller amount of the strongly discouraged carbohydrate-based cat food.  What a rigmarole! 

If this plan doesn't work, then I guess Suki's weight will remain the same. Do any of you have any suggestions about how I might help Suki lose a few pounds -- a suggestion will allow me to maintain my mental health while helping Suki actually lose weight?

Otherwise, life goes on as usual.  

I had two medical appointments this past week and have two more this coming week.  As I tell people, this is my social life now -- visiting my various doctors.  I may no longer be well informed about local politics, but I am totally up to date on what's happening in pain management and other related medical fields!



"Kissing the Feet of Her Lord", portion of an unfinished drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner." Jesus said to him in reply, "Simon, I have something to say to you." "Tell me, teacher," he said. "Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred day's wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?" Simon said in reply, "The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven." He said to him, "You have judged rightly." Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven because she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little." He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." The others at table said to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" But he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
          Luke 7:36-50

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