It’s been quite a year…

…and I, for one, am glad to see it go!

The bedbug invasion in July–UGH!

The apartment painting, which took four and five coats, including a coat of stain blocker–due to the cheap paint provided by the (cheap!) building manager–UGH!

The severe leg cramps which occurred mostly at night, causing me to have to ‘sleep in split shifts’UGH!

The Lumbar MRI I had eleven days ago (no results yet)–a total of 30 minutes of really bad ‘garage band drumming’UGH!

And now, the weakness in my legs, seemingly due to some form of sciatica, which happens even when I walk around my small apartment–UGH!

Oh, yes–so very glad 2013 is on its way out!

It’s already 2014 in Sydney, Australia, where the fireworks began around two hours ago:

Sydney 2014 (Courtesy AFP/Saeed Khan)

I won’t get out to see any fireworks here in Chicago…it’s about 15 F. (-9 C.), and we’re supposed to be inundated with at least a half-foot of snow by evening.

All I can do is wish you all the happiest and most prosperous 2014!!!

Happy New Year 2014

Though it’s been difficult resting so much while I’m beleaguered by pain, I will make the effort to post more often this year, as I am able to click off new shots!

Thanks for your patience.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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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!

It’s been a very long six days…

…since I last posted, and I’d like to fill you in on things.

Last Friday, my doctor found I was suffering from hypertension and prescribed an ‘add-on’ pill to the BP pill I already take.

In addition, the pain medication I have been taking hasn’t been working well, so a new med was prescribed, as the rise in blood pressure is aggravated by constant pain.

When I arrived home, I took one of these as prescribed, and began to feel ‘loopy’, then spent Saturday and Sunday taking it easy (watching reruns of “Inspector Morse” on Hulu!) so my body could adjust to taking only half a pill at a time.

Then came Monday.

I’ve been going to bed between 9 and 10 PM, always reading for a while–but waking three or four hours later…sleeping in shifts is not something I enjoy, nor is it healthy!

So I returned to bed around 5 AM, woke at about 8:30, and quickly found the horrific events going on in Washington, D. C., which kept me riveted to the screen most of the day.

I used to live in Alexandria VA, just across the Potomac River, and knew D. C. quite well then, even after all the changes in the city.

I also had a son who was US Navy, so you can understand my interest in the situation there.

Another night of sleeping in shifts followed, but the pain was almost absent, so to take my mind off things, I began the very arduous task of priming my ugly kitchen walls.

It's a rather small galley-type kitchen, and with the appliances pulled out, there's still not a lot of space to maneuver. Oh, and it wasn't 'dirty yellow'...that comes from an additive to the gas(you should see my oven interior--within a week after a thorough cleaning, the same 'dirty yellow' is inside, which really can't be very healthy, can it?

It’s a rather small galley-type kitchen, and with the appliances pulled out, there’s still not a lot of space to maneuver.
Oh, and it wasn’t ‘dirty yellow’…that comes from an additive to the gas (you should see my oven interior–within a week after a thorough cleaning, the same ‘dirty yellow’ is inside, which really can’t be very healthy, can it?).

Five hours later, the kitchen walls and ceiling were finally finished…

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I took this shot Wednesday morning, before continuing climbing up and down to prime the ceiling area above my dinner table and little 'office area' where my computer/scanner/printer is located. More moving furniture back and forth really did me in--but everything looks great and is ready for the final coat!

I took this shot Wednesday morning, before continuing climbing up and down to prime the ceiling area above my dinner table and little ‘office area’ where my computer/scanner/printer is located.
More moving furniture back and forth really did me in–but everything looks great and is ready for the final coat!

Today, I had an appointment and some shopping to do–so of course, it was heavily raining!

Last night, there was an awful lot of lightning and thunder, but here there was very little rain, unlike further south in the city, where underpasses were flooded, cars were stalled, and a young sewer worker was washed away while working underground (I’m unsure if he’s been found at this point, but it’s another sadness to add to a very sad week).

I did manage to get some shots from my window of a few glorious sunsets, which I finally had time to work on today.

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Stormy Sunsets-3

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Stormy Sunsets-2

Soooo…that was my week, and although I’m tired and a bit achy, I’ll probably be able to finish the kitchen tomorrow, if I can just get a full night’s continuous sleep!

Any of you who have done your own painting know the upheaval necessary, and I’ll be very thrilled to put my ‘NEW’ kitchen back in order over the weekend–that’s the way it has to be for this old gal!

“A place for everything, and everything in its place!”

Fit for a…

DOCTOR!

During my last appointment, I mentioned to my doctor that I was again baking bread, and made a ‘mean Challah‘.

He is Jewish, and quickly retorted, “I LOVE Challah!!!”

Well, yesterday was a warm, dry day–perfect bread-baking weather, and as his birthday was two weeks ago, I decided to give him a belated birthday gift!

And, I did–with these!

I took the pix quickly, as I wanted to get them delivered while the Challah was still warm, so they're not the greatest!

I took the pix quickly, as I wanted to get them delivered while the Challah was still warm, so they’re not the greatest!  But he was impressed, and thanked me twice!

 

The loaf at top left is the one I presented to the doctor. The smaller loaves were baked in little oval pie pans--I gave each of the nurses one, and also gave one to the wonderful phlebotomist who draws my blood every month! She dove right in, proclaiming the Challah excellent, and asked for the recipe, which I will print out for her!

The loaf at top left is the one I presented to the doctor.
The smaller loaves were baked in little oval pie pans–I gave each of the nurses one, and also gave one to the wonderful phlebotomist who draws my blood every month!
She dove right into the loaf, proclaiming the Challah excellent, and asked for the recipe, which I will print out for her!

Of course, I had my camera, and took advantage of the lovely small Hibiscus in the center planting of the circular drive of the building, which I processed today and turned into Watercolors!

Small Red Hibiscus-1 Watercolor

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Small Red Hibiscus-2 Watercolor

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Small Red Hibiscus-3 Watercolor

N.B.:  I am so behind in viewing blogs I follow, so I ask you to please excuse my tardiness.

The breads were kneaded by hand, and required three risings, so a lot of time was spent on that, which is very hard on the fingers.

I found that by 7:00 last night, I had no energy left to do much of anything, and typing became very painful…so I’ll get to your blogs ‘little by little, bit by bit’–thanks!!!

A few days with the temps near 60 degrees F…

…and everyone seems to succumb to ‘Garden Fever’!

Last Saturday, I needed to visit the local hardware store–the only one in the neighborhood!–at Clark Street and Devon Avenue (pronounced “Duh-vahn” here for some reason), aptly called ‘Clark and Devon Hardware‘.

I was surprised to find these outside the entryway:

Clark Devon Hardware-1

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Even more surprising was the community garden just beyond the parking lot!

Beautifully designed, don't you think?

Beautifully designed, don’t you think?

???????????????????????????????Tulips and such growing rapidly…

...but more importantly, leaf lettuce and what looks like broccoli plants!

…but more importantly, leaf lettuce and what looks like broccoli plants?

One smart gardener already has seeds planted, probably for early peas, and carrots, and hardier types.

One smart gardener already has seeds planted, probably for early peas, and carrots, and hardier types of vegetables.

It’s really heartening to see these small community gardens come alive here in Chicago, and especially to see that the gardeners are ‘twenty-somethings’, perhaps taking their first try at growing their own healthy food!

They’re chock full of Vitamin C…

…but don’t plan on using them unless you know for a fact they haven’t been sprayed with any type of insecticide!

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From Wikipedia:

The rose hip, also known as rose haw or rose hep, is the fruit of the rose plant, that typically is red-to-orange, but ranges from dark purple to black in some species. Rose hips begin to form after successful pollination of flowers in spring or early summer, and ripen in late summer through autumn.

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During World War II, the people of Britain were encouraged through letters to The Times newspaper, articles in the British Medical Journal, and pamphlets produced by Claire Loewenfeld, a dietitian working for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, to gather wild-grown rose hips and to make a vitamin C syrup for children. This was because German submarines were sinking many commercial ships: citrus fruits from the tropics were very difficult to import.

Rose hips are (also)  used to help prevent colds and influenza.

You can read the entire article here.