Sunday, 13 May 2018


"Helenium x Rubinzwerg - Sneezeweed", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2018

Today's posting will be the final one of my "red phase" drawings.  My next posting, on May 27th, will feature the first of my "yellow/white phase".


Helenium x Rubinzwerg, commonly known as Sneezeweed is native to North and Central America. This well-known hybrid is a member of the family, Asteraceae.  

Sneezeweed is a clump-forming perennial which produces large, red, daisy-like flowers with central, intricate yellow/brown balls. Rubinzwerg Sneezeweed will grow to be about 28 inches tall at maturity with a flower spread of about 24 inches. The upright stems have slender, slightly-toothed leaves of medium green. The flowers are particularly attractive to butterflies and bees during the summer months. 

Most Heleniums are hybrids of Helenium autumnale (Common Sneezeweed) or Helenium bigelovii (Bigelow’s Sneezeweed). All Helenium are commonly known as Sneezeweed due to the ancient use of their dried leaves in making a form of snuff, inhaled to help sneezing thereby, as was commonly believed at the time, ridding the body of evil spirits. 

The genus name, Helenium, is taken from the ancient legend which tells that the first Helenium flowers sprang from the ground, watered by the tears of Helen of Troy. I think that the cultivar identifier, Rubinzwerg, comes from the name of its German "creator"; however, I was unable to confirm this.

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


Suki Thinking about Her
Upcoming Appointment
with the Vet
Poor Suki has to go to the vet this coming week.  No, nothing new has occurred that requires her to receive urgent medical attention -- rather, it is time for more blood work.  The vet wants to check once again on the hypercalcemia and, as well, she wants to see how Suki's kidneys are handling the use of long-term pain medication.

On Thursday, Joycelyn and I will be taking a taxi from my place to the veterinary clinic with Suki in her carrying case.  Thankfully, Suki doesn't run and hide when she sees the case come out of the closet.  Rather, she seems to accept the inevitable, allowing me to put her in the case with little resistance.  She cries, pitifully, for a few moments and then settles down to await her fate.

The worst part of the whole ordeal will not be the trip to the vet nor the needle in her vein.  No, the very worst part will be the fact that she will have to be fasting from bedtime the night before until her 10 a.m. appointment.  I have taken Suki in for enough fasting blood work now to know just how much she suffers from not being able to have her breakfast -- and how much she will make me suffer as well for not providing breakfast as usual! 

Hopefully, we will have good news from the vet once the results of the tests are available. 

As for me, I am doing as well as possible.  Thankfully, no new medical problems have occurred nor have the chronic diseases I live with gotten appreciably worst during the past two weeks.

I have been trying to arrange another visit with the boys and their parents (you know who I mean from previous postings); however, trying to arrange a visit with a young, busy family is not easy.  After numerous attempts to find a date that suits us all, it now appears that a visit will take place on Sunday, June 3rd.  

Today is Mothers Day so let me wish all of you mothers who read this a very happy day.  Of course, most women are mothers of one kind or another whether they are mothering their own children or those of others.  As well, philosophically, women mother all sorts of creatures other than human children and, in some cases, even the earth itself.

Before I post again, we in Canada will be celebrating our long weekend in May (Monday, the 21st, is Victoria Day).  As well, my next posting will be on the Sunday in the middle of the long weekend in the U.S. (Memorial Day).  I hope all of you who are able to be out enjoying these holidays with family and friends will stay safe -- especially on the water and on the highways.  


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