Just a quickie here, as I’ve been so very busy and not feeling quite up to par this past week.
While looking out my window as I sipped coffee, I noticed a bit of smoke not too far away.
Oh, I thought to myself, someone’s lucky enough to have a fireplace on this damp, gray day!
Then I looked again, about a minute later, and saw this:
It took the better part of half an hour before the fire was struck, as little areas of thick smoke would appear, then be dissipated.
Quick action by the firefighters saved this building…
I didn’t walk around to the back when I went over at 4:30 this afternoon (it was raining and my lens kept fogging up), but I’m certain the place has had not only fire damage, but is also soaking wet inside.
You can find the story here.
Apparently, a space heater sparked from the electrical outlet, setting a mattress on fire.
The lesson to be learned?
If you are using a space heater, as many who live in older Chicago buildings are forced to do, PLEASE keep it away from any furniture, clothing, curtains, etc.
NEVER use an extension cord with a space heater; plug it directly into the electrical outlet!
SAFETY FIRST, or your home could end up looking like this:
…like a politician if I told you how much fun the past few days have been, but so much has been accomplished, my feeling of satisfaction trumps the aches and pains!
I mentioned previously that I would try to finish everything but the studio and then begin redecorating.
Yep, I did it!
Even the windows and blinds have been washed, some badly needed weather-stripping put in place, and a few paintings have been hung.
See for yourself!
All my mismatched, second-hand furniture now looks great, although it took three coats of paint to get it right!
* * *
If you think that was hard work, the tree specialists arrived Thursday morning, and put it four solid days work clearing the land next door, which began like this…
and ended like this, taken early this morning:
Here are the in-between images, arranged sequentially:
This industrious crew should be applauded for their work, executed in what I consider a very short amount of time!
They kept me busy at every short break I took, and I’ll say I was truly awed, watching all these un-cared-for trees come down, seeing all the dead limbs, and listening to the sound of the chipper as I continued my little (?) paint adventure!
Word is that construction of the parking structure will begin before the end of the year…you can bet I’ll be at my window (and, on the ground!) covering the progress!
…I took a break from all the work and walked up the street to the ArchitectureChicago Open House, a city-wide event.
Of course, my sole architectural interests were a mere block and a half walk away!
As much as I wanted to see inside, I passed by because there was no waiting line next door at the Cat’s Cradle Bed and Breakfast, another renovation financed a few years back by Col. J.N. Pritzker of Tawani Enterprises, Inc.
I almost felt as if I had somehow ‘gone back in time’, to a much gentler, more civilized era.
Cat’s Cradle contains five bedrooms, each with the flavor of that bygone time, yet each is technologically up-to-date.
I’ll title them in the sequence I viewed them.
* * *
Because I’ve been so busy in the apartment, painting not only walls but also furniture, and doing some fall cleaning in between, I haven’t gotten around to processing any other images from this wonderful tour.
There’s just one ceiling area to give a third coat, and then only the studio remains…I’ll take my time and do that piecemeal, as it is small and requires a lot of shuffling things back and forth—and I’m pretty ‘pooped’ right now!
I did, however, have a fine chat with one of the Innkeepers, Wayde Cartwright, which was both informative and most enjoyable!
If you plan to visit Chicago on business or vacation, give Wayde or his fellow Innkeeper, Bruce Boyd, a call at 1.773.764.9851, or you can visit www.catscradlechicago.com.
The rates are extremely reasonable, especially when you consider the surroundings and all the amenities provided!
(Yes, that was pretty blatant advertising from me, but if I were visiting, I’d surely love staying here!)
…because I am still painting walls, thanks to the building management who provided the cheapest, chalkiest paint…which does not contain enough Titanium Dioxide to cover very well!
Both the bath and kitchen will require a second coat, while most of the other walls have taken FOUR coats, in addition to the original stain-blocker coat, and the ceiling in the bed area needs a second coat for sure, and hopefully not a third…I really expect to be finished, cleaned up and redecorated by Hallowe’en!
It hasn’t been as easy as it was in the ‘olden days’, when I could climb for hours or paint a room’s ceiling in fifteen minutes (including the cutting in!)…nor can I even climb every day, for that matter.
It’s been long, but (hint-hint to the building management!) could have been accomplished in one, maybe two, coats had the paint been of a better quality, but alas, they are known to be ‘penny-wise and pound-foolish’!
In between the painting, I managed to take hundreds of images of the demolition of the Shambhala Meditation Center next door…which, of course, I haven’t been able to do anything with just yet.
However, I can show you yesterday’s pix, taken at the end of a very long workday for the meticulous, hard-working crew involved.
I’ll call this “The Sham-Gone” series!
Though that may seem sad to some of you, it’s actually a good thing, as the owners of Shambhala were not very wise stewards, especially in maintaining the trees.
Lots of broken limbs and dead/dying stock littered this property…and a number of trees were allowed to sprout naturally, but were never regularly pruned to allow them space to grow well.
In addition, most of the trees had very shallow roots due to the sandy subsoil, so that as they aged, the potential for crashing down became greater with each passing year.
* * *
I had spoken several times with the crew (mainly the shovel operator and his two assistants), telling them I thought they had done an excellent job.
Though they were all a little embarrassed at being praised, one assistant piped up,
“Well, at least somebody appreciates what we do!”
…is quite beauteous in autumnal floral displays, don’t you think?
It seems to become an even more attractive plant when it is combined with another delightful Autumn tradition: the simple, yet always gorgeous, Chrysanthemum!
NOTE: The above images were processed in Photoshop (TM) utilizing the Watercolor filter overlaid with the Diffuse Glow filter (using pure white as the glow color).