Thankfully…

…the hectic pace has begun to slow–and just in time for the holidays (Haha!)!

Between nighttime leg cramps and a number of ocular migraines, a good night’s sleep has been a tough goal, and even though I woke today at 2:00 AM, I felt rested for a change…perhaps the culprit was the three-hour ‘short’ nap I had yesterday afternoon?

But…the closets are freshly painted and totally reorganized, almost all the photos are framed and ready to hang, the hardwood floors have been washed down with Murphy’s Oil Soap and treated with OrangeGlo and I had a wonderful morning baking Ginger Snaps, then shopped this afternoon, and just finished a very satisfying, healthy dinner (steamed salmon, potato slices baked with onion and a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh broccoli).

I can finally show you more Autumn brilliance!

These were taken last weekend and sadly, due to extremely windy conditioned over the past three or four days, most of these trees are nearly bare and grossly faded–but, they’re still beautiful to me!

Autumn Brilliance-1

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Autumn Brilliance-6

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Autumn Brilliance-4

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???????????????????????????????This last image is my favorite, which I’ll take to the printer and have it done quite large!

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Though I may not post every single day, be assured that I am continuing to shoot and process–it’s just that everything has taken so much longer to accomplish that I felt exhausted continually.

I checked out the DVD “Chicago” from the library today, and will be watching it (again!) tonight.

Back in 1978, a dear friend took me to see it here in Chicago with the original Broadway cast (Jerry Ohrbach,Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera) at the old Blackstone Theatre, and I fell in love with the storyline and the music.

Hope you all will have as enjoyable evening as I will!

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WHEW!

It’s been yet another horrendous week!

Out of the past eight days, two were spent at a hospital, one for a CT chest scan with iodine injection, the other for a mammogram. Both tests turned out well (thankfully!).

Last Friday was another doctor’s appointment to determine if the ‘add-on’ medication is aiding in lowering blood pressure–and it IS! More good news for me!

The other two days were spent cleaning, sorting, doing laundry, and moving furniture in order to spend Saturday and Sunday priming and painting two smallish hall areas and a much larger area where I sleep. I am about half-way finished painting the apartment–a great feeling, indeed!

BUT…on Saturday morning, I first wanted to post…and my monitor ‘growled’ at me and began clicking on and off!

I continued throughout Sunday to get some response, instead receiving only a black screen, and more on/off clicking.

Frustrated, I turned everything off, shoved the computer desk over a few feet, laid down drop cloths to protect the floor, taped along the baseboards and proceeded to paint woodwork (which I truly enjoy–it’s actually very relaxing for me to concentrate on painting well).

With no working monitor on Monday, I tried contacting my computer guy, who was out all day on a job in the suburbs…I finally spoke with him late this morning, and made an appointment with him for 8:00 PM tonight to come and see what the problem could be.

Monitors can fail, and mine is coming up on five years old, so we also discussed the possibility of acquiring a new one (UGH! More money, I thought, and I just gave him the final payment for the new motherboard/CPU today!).

He had a nice surprise for me though–a new 2GB memory RADEON graphics card, which would replace the Standard VGA graphics adapter!

He arrived shortly after 8:00 PM, and was truly puzzled at the monitor’s lack of response, so he finally popped open the unit, placed the card in the PCI Express slot, then turned on both monitor and computer and began the install…which was successful!

He then tweaked the resolution, and I now have a ’round’ analog clock on my desktop, not an elongated oval…and I do NOT need a new monitor!

YAY!

He also discounted the cost of the card, so even with our exorbitant Chicago sales tax (9.25%!), It only came to a bit over $60.00!

YAY–again!

So…I am finally ‘back in business’ with a properly-working computer and monitor for less than $300.00, and can present this wonderful image I captured last Wednesday while walking in Evanston from the hospital to the train!

The Autumn afternoon sunlight was perfect, and the subject?

Well, have a look:

A 1930-ish little boy and his dog...probably the most charming garden statue I've ever run across!

A 1930-ish barefooted little boy and his dog…probably the most charming garden statue I’ve ever run across!

I’d like to thank you–all of my followers– for your patience of late!

It’s been a difficult several months and, yes, a few bedbugs came through the open electrical outlets while I was painting this weekend, so the exterminator is returning on Friday, this time to do what I asked (demanded, logically!) the last time he was here:

“Bring a stud-finder, locate a stud, then proceed 8 inches from that stud, drill a hole in the wall and heavily powder that section of wall.  Proceed with this process every 16 inches along the entire wall, please–not just haphazardly?”

He argued with me about this last time, and was very ‘cavalier’ re: “If you see one or two bedbugs, it’s no big deal.”

Well, I had THREE yesterday…one was crawling up my newly-painted wall at 10:20 last night…so I gave the building manager a bit of ‘that place down under’ this afternoon–and I don’t mean Australia!!!

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I should be able to finish painting this coming weekend (it IS a bit tough on this old gal, going up and down the ladder so much, but I totally enjoy painting well, which I had done professionally for a number of decades in the theatre and both businesses and private residences), so bear with me if I don’t post for a day or two, or get to view and comment on those blogs I follow–I’ll catch up, little by little, bit by bit!

And…I have many, many new images to present which need to first be processed–all in good time!

For right now , ‘true happiness’ is a healthy body…AND a working computer!!!

From my window: Saturday morning bonus

Last evening’s sunset was, I feel, the most spectacular I’ve photographed in the almost-six and a half years I’ve lived here.

What do you think?

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The tall church spire is approximately three miles away (as the crow flies)...and my little Nikon did its best, with a bit of help from Photoshop (TM)!

The tall church spire is approximately three miles away in downtown Evanston (as the crow flies)…and my little Nikon did its best, with a bit of help from Photoshop (TM)!

Yesterday…

…I had to make a short trip to the Evanston Home Depot to get some extra stain-blocking primer for my living area walls and ceiling.

That wonderful store is only about four miles away (two different buses), but I decided to first overshoot it by a quarter mile and see what the Skokie Northshore Channel looks like during these last few days of Summer.

Have a look!

It was a gray, somewhat windy-but-warm morning, the rippling water making splendid reflections of the trees along the banks.

It was a gray, somewhat windy-but-warm morning, the rippling water making splendid reflections of the trees along the banks.

 

I took more than a dozen shots as I slowly walked across the bridge with a stiff west wind at my back.

I took more than a dozen shots as I slowly walked across the bridge with a stiff west wind at my back.

 

A final shot, so abstract, yet so satisfying that I continued walking the several blocks, pausing every now and then to be very thankful for the beauty around us!

A final shot, so abstract, yet so satisfying that I continued walking the several blocks, pausing every now and then to be very thankful for the beauty around us!

It’s been the worst of times…

…because my computer totally died and both the motherboard and the CPU had to be replaced.

AT&T kept giving me a ‘security error’, stating that my Internet account was “Unprovisioned“.

In addition, BEDBUGS migrated from an apartment one floor below, and even after TWO exterminations, a few remain, though I’ve caulked every baseboard, filled every hairline crack, washed walls and almost every article of clothing I own (much is still tied up in plastic bags until I can get to the cleaners).

My lovely home/apartment has been totally ‘topsy-turvy’ for the last two and a half weeks…and I.  Am.  Exhausted!

Yesterday, I spent five hours re-installing software (still have some ‘tweaking to do!), made two trips up to AT&T in Evanston to alleviate the ‘lack of Internet’ situation, and have made it through one of my three e-mail accounts before collapsing into bed.

Time to begin again…

New Day

…with a brand new day!

Last night…

…this wondrous storm came rolling in slowly from the west.

21JUL2013 Storm NW

You can see a heavy rain falling at lower camera right, such a heavy rain that the view of downtown Evanston was almost not there at all!

21JUL2013 Storm N Downtown Evanston

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Many of you know I am also a painter, and I have been spending some amount of time in the studio, working on a project dedicated to my deceased younger son.

I’ve had his business card for all these seventeen years, and needed to do something with the Chinese characters which translate to:

Gold(en)

Silent

Man

Its progress was interrupted last year by my nine days in the hospital and a fairly long recuperation time.

Recently, I pulled it out, and struggled to find a ‘good’ direction…of course, it’s not finished yet, as I have many other projects going on, but I feel you’ll get the idea?

The border was taped off, then stippled in with a mixture of regular joint compound mixed with flexible white glue (SOBO brand), a combination I've used for many years, beginning way back when I was a Scenic Artist.

The border was taped off, then stippled in with a mixture of regular joint compound mixed with flexible white glue (SOBO brand), a combination I’ve used for many years, beginning way back when I was a Scenic Artist.

The characters are painted in a pointillistic manner with Liquitex Deep Hooker’s Green Heavy Body acrylic…it took four passes to get this texture.

The border was then given several coats of acrylic polyurethane, which, while still wet, I sifted some variegated gold leaf pieces over.

The border was then given several coats of acrylic polyurethane, onto which, while still wet, I sifted some variegated gold leaf pieces.

I then carefully washed with a thin Venetian red, but still was not getting what I wanted to see…so I brushed on an oil-based deep gold, then sponged it off–NOW I was getting somewhere!

The last step (I hope!) will be washing in shadows along each edge of the border in the Deep Hooker's Green...I may or may not also add a drop shadow of the same to the characters.

The last step (I hope!) will be washing in shadows along each edge of the border in the Deep Hooker’s Green…I may or may not also add a drop shadow of the same to the characters, which need a bit of touch-up…and possibly add a bit more selectively-placed gold leaf to the border.

Here’s the entire 12″ x 16″ work in its current state:

I know my dear friend Ng Tom in Hong Kong has been patiently waiting to see this ouevre...it shall be finished soon, Tom, and of course I'll post it, completely framed!

I know my dear friend Ng Tom in Hong Kong has been patiently waiting to see this ouevre…it shall be finished soon, Tom, and of course I’ll post it, completely framed!

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You might also want to visit Tom’s blog, that’s how I see the world, just to understand a bit more of the beauty in Hong Kong.

Out and about

Though I keep taking as many as I can, the florals are giving me a case of the ‘dizzies’!

I had to go out and buy some photographic paper yesterday, and while in Evanston and back in Rogers Park, I took this series of still life shots.

A great break from the florals, especially for all of you!

FYI...I did not write that, but I may have, if I had a marker with me!

FYI…I did not write that, but I may have, if I had a marker with me!

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"Mister Red Laces", waiting for the next train north.

“Mister Red Laces”, waiting for the next train north.

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"Dead Umbrella", under the Jarvis station "L" tracks.

“Dead Umbrella”, under the Jarvis station “L” tracks.

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"Ouch #1", at the local auto repair shop lot.

“Ouch #1”, at the local auto repair shop lot.

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"Ouch #2", at the same place.

“Ouch #2”, at the same place.