Sunday, 30 October 2016

Echeveria agavoides 'Romeo'

"Mandala -- Echeveria agavoides 'Romeo' ", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

I decided to portray today's featured drawing in the style of a mandala.  The centre of the mandala shows the leaves of Echeveria agavoides 'Romeo' as they usually appears by early summer. Notice the 5-pointed star that Mother Nature provided as the central point. The bunches of blossoms placed in the four corners represent E. agavoides blossoms which occur in late spring and early summer. The flowers are found growing at the end of long stalks high above the rosette formed by the leaves.

Echeveria agavoides
Echeveria agavoides is a species of flowering plant in the Crassulaceae (plants with thick leaves like succulents) Family. These plants, native to rocky areas of Mexico, are stemless, star-shaped rosettes of fat leaves up to 20 cm in diameter. They are often solitary, growing offsets only slowly or not at all. Some forms have reddish tips and some forms have slightly red to very red margins. 

Agave attenuata
Source: Fox Tail Agave Seeds by SmartSeeds on Etsy  

The genus name of Echeveria is used to honour Anastasio Echeverria y Godoy, an 18th century Spanish botanist. The specific name of “agavoides” means “looking like an agave plant” [Agave is a genus of succulents native to the hot and arid regions of Mexico and the Southwestern United States.] 

Many hybrids have been created from E. agavoides in order to obtain more brightly colored flowers or leaves. An example of one such cultivar is the subject of today’s featured drawing: Cheveria agavoides ‘Romeo’

This succulent forms clumps of individual rosettes that are around 6 inches tall by 8 to 12 inches wide with red wine coloured leaves with darker red edges showing the occasional bit of green. The red flowers, slightly smaller than other Echeveria agavoides cultivars, have a greenish-yellow interior and bloom in the spring through early summer. The leaves are not as pointed as the other forms so it is less “agave like”. The colour however can, sometimes, be amazing as it ranges from rosy-red to aubergine (the colour of eggplant).

Below is an "enhanced" image of today's featured drawing:

"Mandala -- Echeveria agavoides 'Romeo' Enhanced"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

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


Halloween Greeting from Suki and Sallie

I won't be telling you any new stories about Suki this week. Rather, I need to write about the possibility that I may be reaching the point where I can no longer continue to publish this blog posting each week.

The fact is, I almost did not publish anything this week.  I had not planned to use the Echeveria mandala as a featured drawing.  It was one of those drawing that I completed but had not felt inclined to post as I was far from satisfied with the result.  

However, on Tuesday morning, I got my flu shot in preparation for this winter's onslaught of flu bugs.  I have only had one bad reaction to the flu shot and that was almost 20 years ago now so I really wasn't prepared for the next three days of discomfort.  My symptoms consisted, mainly, of a swollen and itchy arm, really bad headaches and extreme exhaustion.  

I was certain that I was going to have to post a notice on my blog saying "sorry, but I hope to be feeling better next week". Thankfully, however, I began to feel a bit better yesterday and so am able to at least publish a little something today.

The reason all of this unpleasantness has led to my need to discuss the future of "Salliesart" is that this extra illness piled on top of everything else has made me very aware of all the many problems I have been dealing with these past months. I have been "suffering through" a number of new aches and pains without admitting to myself (or others) that my disabilities, and the problems they cause, are worsening rapidly.

Too often now, the pain caused by the dying nerves in my feet and legs becomes almost intolerable and the only way I know to escape is by taking the extra pain medication that I am allowed at such times.  This means that I end up sleeping away the night and half the day.  

Then when that pain has eased for a while, I try to keep up with any important email correspondence, deal with my bank account, pay my bills, etc.  After that, if I have any energy and/or interest left, I can spend some time losing myself in my art work. Finally, if I have any strength left at all, I try to take a quick look at Facebook in order to see what the children of my niece and nephew are doing these days.

Of course, this obviously means that there is much time for drawing and such so that I reach Sunday without having had the time or energy to produce anything new.  Thus, I am then forced to try to find some older, unsatisfactory drawing and whip it into shape in time for Sunday's submission.

Unless something changes rather radically, I can see the day approaching when I will no longer have any new art work to show you at all.  Perhaps, when such a time arrives, I could plan to publish every other week or even once a month.  Of course, the more time that elapses between postings, the more likely many of my followers and regular readers are to lose interest. Eventually, I may well end up posting a blog only for myself.

At any rate, I felt this was a matter that I wanted to go ahead and write about to you folks.  In fact, I would like to know if you have any comments or opinions about what I should do regarding the future of my blog.  If so, please feel free to write to me at my address. 

You can, of course, always post comment on the blog itself, but I have often found that people, particularly those who want to say something of a personal nature, feel more comfortable writing directly to me.  As usual, if you say something in your email that I think would be good to share with everyone, I would get your permission before posting it anywhere.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Happy Halloween!


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Malus x 'Prairifire' - Flowering Crabapple

"Malus x 'Prairifire' -- Flowering Crabapple", drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Malus is a genus of about 35 species of deciduous trees and shrubs found growing in Europe, Asia and North America and is native to the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. Many of the species found in the genus Malus produce fruit, including apples. 

Malus x 'Prairifire' is commonly known as Flowering Crabapple. Crabapple trees are actually members of the rose family, Rosaceae. As with roses, there is a never-ending desire to develop new forms. This has resulted in approximately 800 cultivars of crabapples. 

Flowering Crabapple is a dense, rounded, deciduous tree which typically grows 15-20' tall with a branch-spread of a similar size. Pinkish-red buds open to become slightly fragrant, deep pink-red flowers in spring. These flowers, viewed against the bright blue of a prairie sky, often look as though they are on fire. 

In the late summer, these flowers are followed by masses of small, purplish-red crabapples which mature in the fall. The fruits are persistent and attractive to birds. 

Leaves emerge purplish in spring, mature to dark green with a reddish-tinge in summer, turning orange in autumn. 

The genus name of, Malus, comes from the Greek word, μήλων, meaning apples. The cultivar was introduced by Dr. Daniel Dayton, University of Illinois, in 1982 as a disease-resistant cultivar. His misspelling of the name, Prairifire, was intentional.


Just a note in reference to last week's featured drawing of Hymenocallis coronaria, known as the Cahaba Lily.  One of the regular readers of the blog sent me a photo showing the vanity licence plate for Alabama on behalf of the Cahaba River which includes a drawing of the Cahaba Lily.

Sample of Alabama vanity licence plate "Save the Cahaba"
featuring a drawing of the Cahaba Lily.
(Thanks to the kindness of J. Seymore) 


Portions of the above were taken from various Internet sources.


Here are some new photos of my boys getting ready for Halloween. As everyone knows, from Charlie Brown on down, this particular celebration requires a visit to the pumpkin patch. You never know... you might just meet The Great Pumpkin there!

Obviously, being boys, the brothers have to check out the rotten pumpkins first!

Ro has discovered a pumpkin just his size and, of course, he has to listen to it --
that's how you can tell whether it's a good pumpkin for carving!

Along comes the hay wagon.  It is intended for carrying the pumpkins, but
Braden decides he may as well hop on for a ride!



"OK, whose bright idea was it to put
this stupid red ribbon around my neck?"
First, I need to tell you that after a few years of being able to sleep in my bed again, I am now back to sleeping in the recliner -- too much pain in my neck and back otherwise.  The reason I need to tell you this is so that you will understand the following story about Suki's misbehaviour this past week.

The first couple of nights after I begin sleeping in the recliner again, Suki was a bit unsettled about it all.  In fact, she stayed away from me completely until about 6 a.m. -- the time at which she always becomes quite insistent that I get up and feed her. Otherwise, she left me alone. Perhaps it was the fact that my sleeping in the recliner was something new again and so she had to adjust her thinking.

Anyway, whatever the reason, by the third night Suki began to return to all the bad habits she displayed during those years when I could not sleep anywhere else except the recliner [as you may recall, it was the only sleeping arrangement I could find where my neck was supported in such a way so that the pain wasn't bad enough to keep me from falling asleep]. I would have thought that Suki might have forgotten all her nasty little tricks, I had. Unfortunately, her memory is still much too good.  

Here is an example of the kind of misbehaviour to which I am referring... For years now, I have had a medium-sized Peace Lily sitting on the table next to my recliner.  During the time I was using the recliner as a bed, Suki discovered that if she extended her claws, poked them into one of the leaves and pulled quickly, she could create a most unpleasant ripping sound.  This action, aside from waking me up, also destroyed the leaf. Waking up from a deep sleep and seeing the torn leaf would upset me sufficiently so that I would be almost instantly fully awake -- which meant that I was unlikely to be able to return to sleep.

I had completely forgotten about this behaviour until Suki returned to the practice early Wednesday morning, about 5:30 a.m.  I was awakened by the sound of something tearing, saw the poor, torn leaf hanging there and, immediately, the memories came flooding back. I yelled at Suki, but, by then, she was already at the entrance to the kitchen, waiting for me to come and feed her! 

The only solution to this problem, the one I used previously, is to add moving the plant to my list of bedtime chores.  This list now reads: feed Suki; make certain that her litter box is absolutely clean; wash Suki's dish after she finishes her bedtime snack (it needs to be ready for the morning); take my pills; clean my teeth; move the plant and, exhaustedly, fall into whatever I may be using for a bed.

Apart from all of this, it has been a busier week for me than I expected when I wrote last Sunday's posting.  I went to my scheduled medical appointment on Thursday as planned and, as usual, visited my friend on the 6th floor on Friday morning -- these were my only outings for the week.  However, I did receive a number of enjoyable phone calls, some unexpected emails which required lengthy responses and one unexpected visit from a dear friend. So, I guess you could say it was a good week in spite of having to sleep in the recliner and having to deal with a very naughty Miss Suki!

This coming week should be relatively quiet since I only have one doctor's appointment scheduled for Tuesday.  Otherwise, all the rest of the week should be what passes for normal for me these days!



[Just a note about the drawings I have been using lately in this section of my posting.  

You have, no doubt, noticed that several of the drawings I have posted recently have contained some of the same figures used over and over again in different drawings.  

For example, the Pharisee in today's drawing was a figure I drew several years ago for another icon; however, it is also the figure I used in last week's drawing of the Unjust Judge.  Previous to that, the same figure represented the wealthy landowner who decided to "eat, drink and be merry".  The clothing may change somewhat, but the basic figure remains the same.  

I am, of course, able to use the grouping function of my software to bring all the elements of a particular object or person together, save that grouping and then use it wherever I wish in later drawings. This is what I have done here. ST]

"Icon -- The Tax Collector and the Pharisee"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016 revised

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity -- greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for whoever exalts themselves will be humbled, and whoever humbles themselves will be exalted.”       Luke 18:9-14

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Hymenocallis coronaria -- Cahaba Lily

"Hymenocallis coronaria -- Cahaba Lily", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Hymenocallis coronaria, commonly known as the Shoal lily, Shoals spider-lily or, in Alabama, as the Cahaba lily is an aquatic, perennial, flowering plant in the genus Hymenocallis. It is endemic to the Southeastern United States -- being found only in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and, originally, parts of North Carolina. Within Alabama, it is known as the Cahaba lily as it is found growing primarily among the shoals of the Cahaba River which is located just south of Birmingham, Alabama. 

Hymenocallis coronaria requires a swift, shallow, water current and direct sunlight to flourish. The plant grows to about 3 feet in height and develops from a bulb that lodges in cracks in rocky shoals. It blooms from early May to late June. Each fragrant flower blossom opens overnight and lasts for only one day. The plant is pollinated by certain moths and butterflies. 

Hymenocallis coronaria is under consideration for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to entire populations being wiped out by dam construction. There are only approximately 50 extant populations of Hymenocallis coronaria left and these are found in the states of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. 

Of course, Hymenocallis coronaria is not a true lily but bears the name just like numerous other non-Lilium flowering plants. It is actually a member of the same family as the amaryllis plant (Amaryllidaceae). The genus name, Hymenocallis, comes from a combination of two Greek words and means “beautiful membrane”. The species name of coronaria is derived from the Latin word coronarium which means “crown”. 

The inspiration for drawing this flowering plant came from a recent look at a lovely painting of these flowers by the wife of an Alabama cousin of mine. She did the painting several years ago now. When I first saw it, I made a feeble effort to copy what she had done, but ended up with something which left me totally dissatisfied. When I came across her painting again a couple of weeks ago, I once more felt the desire to attempt another drawing of these lovely flowers. So, while I am far from satisfied with the result presented in this posting, I am sufficiently satisfied.  This means that I am willing to let you have a look at what I have done rather than just deleting the file!

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


"There had better be a good reason for waking me!!"
Why do young children and pets have so much trouble remembering what you want them to but, somehow, always manage to remember all those things you want them to forget?  I mention this because of an experience I had this past week with Suki.

For the past several years, I have made it a part of my bedtime routine to pick up the wastebasket I have in the bedroom and place it in one of Suki's least favourite chairs. Then, taking a small pillow from another chair, I place it against the wastebasket so that it is firmly wedged against the back of the chair.  Anyone watching might think that I was suffering from some mild form of dementia.

However, there has been a definite reason for this behaviour... If I did not do this, then around 5:30 a.m. Suki would begin using the wastebasket as an alarm clock.  You see, I like to keep those recyclable plastic bags in my wastebaskets so that they are easier to clean, but plastic bags, when moved about rapidly with cat paws, can make a most unpleasant noise -- the kind of noise that is bound to awaken you no matter how deeply you are sleeping.

Then, this past Monday night, for some unknown reason, I forgot to put the wastebasket in the bedroom chair before going to bed.  In the morning, as I was getting out of bed, I noticed that the wastebasket was in its usual place on the floor.  This observation was followed by the realization that Suki had not used the plastic bag in an effort to try and awaken me.  I was quite pleased and thought, hopefully, that perhaps Suki had forgotten about using it after so many months of not having access to her homemade alarm clock.

I left the wastebasket on the floor the following night as well and was extremely delighted the next morning to realize that another sleep had passed without Suki noticing the plastic bag.  After she ignored the bag again on Wednesday night, I was convinced that I would never again have to put the wastebasket in its easy-chair "bed".  I was sure that Suki had forgotten completely about how she once used that plastic bag to awaken an irritated and angry me!

Well, you can just guess what happened next.  At around 5:25 a.m. the next morning, Friday, I was awakened by that most irritating sound of cat claws ripping at plastic.  Suki had definitely not forgotten how to use a plastic bag as an alarm clock.  I painfully got out of bed, yelling all the while, placed the wastebasket in the chair topping the whole thing off with a pillow.  Meanwhile, Suki was sitting in the hallway, watching, just in case I decided to head towards the kitchen.

I tried going back to sleep, but after a few minutes, I knew it was hopeless.  So, I got up, said numerous nasty things to Suki -- which she blithely ignored -- while I fixed her breakfast and then began my own daily routine.  From now on, it is back to putting the wastebasket in the chair each night before going to bed.  

Still, the question remains, why do we and other creatures so often forget what we really need to remember -- things that would make our lives easier and safer -- and remember those things we really should forget?

Speaking of forgetting, there are several nights from the past week that I would like to forget and that statement has nothing to do with Suki's behaviour.  Rather, for some reason, I have had some unpleasantly painful nights recently.  I have no idea why, but, fortunately, the past couple of nights have been easier.  So, I am hoping that those bad night were just aberrations and not symptoms indicating that things are getting worse. 

As for this coming week, I have a medical appointment on Thursday, but, otherwise, it should be quiet. 

I want to finish the "Suki and Me" column today by posting a drawing I did recently for a birthday card.  Many of you know that this time of year is my favourite (with winter being my second favourite season -- yes I said winter!).  Every so often I try to draw another tree showing the changing leaves of Fall -- one of the reasons why I enjoy this season so much.  Here is my latest effort.

"Autumn Leaves", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016



"Icon -- The Widow and the Unjust Judge", drawing by
Sarah " Sallie" Thayer, 2016 revisions

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”  Luke 18:1-8

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Nerium oleander

"Pink Oleander (Nerium oleander)", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Nerium oleander is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae, and is toxic in all its parts. Oleander is the only species currently classified in the genus Nerium

Oleander tree and shrub
Source: ©  
N. oleander is most commonly known simply as oleander. So called, it is thought, due to its superficial resemblance to the unrelated olive tree whose oil was known in Latin as Olea. Comparing the photo of the Oleander tree (see photo at right), you can easily see a superficial resemblance to the European Olive tree. (see photo below).

Olive Tree (Olea europaea) 


Oleander shrub showing the longer leaves
Source:  Wikipedia
The flowers grow in clusters at the end of each branch; they are white, pink to red consisting of 5 petals around a central corolla tube. They are often, but not always, sweetly scented. The leaves are in pairs or whorls of three, thick and dark green in colour. The leaves of the tree-type oleander are smaller in size, more like those of the olive tree, while the leaves of the shrub type (see photo at left) tend to be longer and broader. 

Interestingly, the oleander flowers require insect visits to set seed but since the flowers are nectarless and offer no real reward to their visitors, the plant is pollinated through what is known in evolutionary theory as the “deception mechanism”. Similar to the orchid, oleander’s showy corolla acts as a potent advertisement to attract pollinators from a distance. Although the plant gives the insect nothing, the insect's brief visit gives the plant what it needs for continuing pollination. 

Obviously, since all parts of the oleander plant are toxic to some degree, they should not be ingested, rubbed on the skin or used in the preparation of food. Knowledge of the poisonous nature of this plant has led to the creation of an “urban legend” about a family (sometimes it’s a scout troop) all succumbing to oleander toxins after using small oleander branches for roasting hot dogs and/or marshmallows over a campfire! 

And, finally, a mystery – what is the exact origin of the genus name of Nerium? It could have been derived from the Greek, Nerion, which supposedly refers to the Greek Sea God, Nereus, and his daughters, the Nereides. It has also been suggested that the Greek word, nerion, is derived from the Greek word, neros, which means moist and refers to the wet places where the oleander plant grows wild. 

Whatever the source, the name remains... Nerium oleander or, simply, oleander.

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


Suki was sleeping in the sunlight --
until I came along and bothered her by
taking a photo! (enhanced using Sketch Artist)
Another week with nothing much to report about Suki. She has been her usual self and done her usual things.

It is a continuing battle as I try to make certain that Suki keeps off the weight she has lost.  She has a real talent for begging for food so piteously that it takes all my willpower to refrain from giving her just a bit extra.

On the other hand, I have had a busier week than I would have liked.  As I mentioned last Sunday, I did have company early in the week, but that was a very enjoyable visit and did not cause me any difficulties.  However, my medical appointments on Thursday were a different matter.

First of all, let me just say that I would have had an easier time of things if I had not experienced a serious, senior moment Thursday morning prior to leaving for my appointments at the hospital. Although I knew the time for my first appointment, and had even written it down in my date book, for some mysterious reason, I started thinking my appointment was at a different time! So, I planned my morning accordingly.

It was only when I was in the hospital elevator on my way to my first appointment that I checked my appointment slip and discovered that I was already 45 minutes late!  There was nothing I could do then except explain to the receptionist what had happened, apologize and ask her to give me the next available appointment.

Instead of reprimanding me, however, the nice, young lady, told me to sit down and wait while she checked to see if the doctor could fit me in at the end of his morning schedule.  If he could, then she would arrange for me to have the required breathing test before I saw him.  The doctor said "yes" and so then I began the waiting process.

After playing numerous games of Solitaire on my phone, I was finally called in to do the breathing test.  I thought I did really well; however, when I finally saw the doctor, I was informed that my lung function has now decreased almost 14% since this time last year.  So, the doctor and I talked about puffers and the importance of using them regularly and not just when you feel like it (this doctor must have a spy camera in my house!).  Finally, it was decided that I would continue using the same puffer but would now use it at least twice daily.  

What made the day so difficult for me, however, was that due to my senior moment, I ended up waiting for my second appointment -- the one with the doctor, himself -- for almost two hours.  So those two hours, combined with the hour and a half I spent waiting for the breathing test and taking the test, totalled about three and a half hours.  Then, when I finally left the hospital, it took me almost 1/2 an hour to get a taxi due to construction on all the streets surrounding the hospital. Let me just say that Thursday night was not a good one for me. 

Suki says:
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
(Photo Source:  Pinterest)
For those of you reading this who do not live in Canada, let me inform you that tomorrow is our Canadian Thanksgiving Day (the second Monday in October).  So, although this may not be your celebration, please allow me to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, Canadian style. 



As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
"Icon -- Healing the Lepers, Part 1",
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016, revised

They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”

"Icon -- Healing the Lepers, Part 2",
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”  Luke 17:11-19

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Philesia magellanica -- Bellflower

"Philesia magellanica -- Chilean Bellflower", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Philesia (Family Philesiaceae) is a South American genus of flowering plants first described in 1789. The flower is mostly pink in color, but some darker, more purple variations have been recorded. 

Philesia magellanica, is the only known species of this genus. It is native to southern Chile and southern Argentina, although rarely seen in the wild, and is commonly known by its Chilean name of Coicopihue

Philesia magellanica -- Chilean Bellflower
Source:  Wikipedia
With only a cursory examination, the flowers of Philesia magellanica look almost exactly like those of its cousin, Lapageria rosea, the national flower of Chile. As with P. magellanica, L. rosea, commonly known by its Chilean name of Copihue, is the only species found in the genus Lapageria. On closer examination, however, it is easy to determine whether the plant is a shrub (P. magellanica) or a vine (L. rosea). 

Sephanoides sephanoides -- 
Greenbacked Firecrown Hummingbird
Source:  Wikipedia

Philesia magellanica tends to form a compact shrub about 3 feet tall and wide, with small, evergreen leaves. The vivid, pink blossoms are 2 inches long and are largely pollinated by the Greenbacked Fire-crown hummingbirds. 

As to the proper names of this plant, the genus name, Philesia, is from the Greek word philesis which means “loving affection”. The species name of magellanica refers to one of the areas native to this plant – the Magellan Straits, Chile.

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


Suki Sulking on Rug

With gratitude, I report that the two of us have had a relatively quiet week.  To the best of my knowledge, Suki has not done anything aggravating, irritating or devious since last Sunday.  (You notice that I qualified the above statement with the words, "to the best of my knowledge" -- the reason for this is that too often in the past I have discovered something naughty that Suki has done several weeks after the fact)!

I do want to comment, however, on the above photo (taken early this morning).  It shows Suki sulking.  And, why is she sulking? Because I won't give her any more food!  By the time this photo was taken, Suki had been fed her normal breakfast portion of turkey and gravy PLUS about 12 pieces of her beloved "crunchies". Normally, I would only give her turkey and gravy, but she still seemed so very hungry after eating that I gave in and gave her a small portion of her dry food.  Even that did not seem to satisfy her and when her begging-meows remained unanswered, she went and plopped herself down on the rug and glared at me unhappily. Eventually, she gave up and settled down in one of her chairs for a nap that will last until close to lunch time.

You may be interested in knowing that the rug on which Suki is lying was made about 100 years ago by one of my fraternal great-aunts.  It was given to my mother as a gift, passed along to my sister, Betty, after our mother died and, now, since the death of my sister, Betty, back in 2007, it has come down to me.  I intend to pass it on to my niece.  The carved stool legs behind Suki belong to a handmade, wooden stool with hand-painted tiles on the top.  It belonged to my mother-in-law who told me that it came from Mexico where it had been created by a well-known craftsman. I would guess that it must be about 80 years old. Then there is Suki!

I am expecting a visit this week from a dear friend.  We don't see one another very often now what with all my problems; however, the moment we start catching up on each others "news", we will swing easily back into enjoyable conversation and laughter. Friendship is an amazingly, wonderful thing.

I also have my regular six-month's appointment with my pulmonologist/internist this coming week.  This visit will include a breathing test. As you may recall, last time I took this test, I was informed that I only have about a 5% margin separating me from continuing to use the mild puffer I now require and having to start using a much stronger one.  So please cross your fingers that I will "pass" the test easily.  Thanks.

On this day in the year 1869, Mahatma Gandhi was born.  Today we commemorate his birthday as well as the International Day of Non-Violence. Please be kind to one another.



"Mulberry Tree ('If you had faith the size of a mustard seed...')"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’? Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”   Luke 17:5-10