For some reason…

…I find great hope as the sun rises.

Sunday morning

Sunday morning

This morning, just one week before Christmas!

This morning, just one week before Christmas!

Wishing all my followers the happiest Christmas ever, and an extremely prosperous New Year!

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Last week and yesterday

LAST WEEK

For several days last week, my spare time was spent getting the Christmas decorations together.

This is just one of the results:

The red and green wreath from last year was ttoally revamped, using gold-leafed pears, small gol and deep green balls, and gold-tipped large pine cones. The old red and green lights were replaced with warm white LED lights, which use about 4.5 watts per 50-light string...I'm very happy I purchased them!

The red and green wreath from last year was totally revamped, using gold-leafed pears, small gold and deep green balls, and gold-tipped large pine cones.
The old red and green lights were replaced with warm white LED lights, which use about 4.5 watts per 50-light string…I’m very happy I purchased them!

Some close-ups:

Gold-Green Wreath-2

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Gold-Green Wreath-3

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YESTERDAY

It had been quite foggy for several days, but yesterday’s was the thickest.

04DEC2013 Fog-1

Thrilled with being able to take the time to go out and photograph a few things, I walked over to Sherwin Beach to see the effect of fog at the shore.

04DEC2013 Fog-2

Just to the south is the veranda of 1205 W. Sherwin Avenue, a beautiful spot to look at the lake which had virtually disappeared.

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Finally, I headed back home, but not before photographing my own window.

The lights were wrapped around the wreath intentionally...and it's great that it can be seen quite well, even at mid-afternoon, so that all can share the beauty of the Christmas season!

The lights were wrapped around the wreath intentionally…and it’s great that it can be seen quite well, even at mid-afternoon, so that all can share the beauty of the Christmas season!

Putting it (back) Together

It seems I’ve been running to and fro, hither and yon, to get this place totally back to ‘better than it was’!

No sooner than I feel I can rest, a prescription runs out, or the laundry piles itself so high, that I have to get out of my ‘paint clothes’, gussy up, and hop a bus or train in one direction or the other.

It’s hard work…and very tiring!

I did manage to get a few images processed, however, after walking over to the small park to deposit my ever-overflowing bag of recyclables (though Chicago has a city ordinance that all buildings of this size must provide recycling containers for the tenants, my building does not).

The Lake…Diffused

Lake Diffuse-1 WM

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Lake Diffuse-2 WM

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Lake Diffuse-3 WM

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Lake Diffuse-4 WM

And…I’m off again, to return “Chicago” and “Titanic” (which I hadn’t ever seen!) DVDs to the library, drop my winter coat (haven’t worn it in several years!) at the cleaners, and stop at the hardware store for some spray paint (a little project for a Plexiglas (TM) small shelf I want to put up), and probably, because it’s close, a quick stop at my favorite little Morse Market to pick up a few things like Krinos Greek Yogurt, a jar of pesto for tonight’s pizza and some fruit…which always seems to run out too quickly these days!

I hope to return later, with some images from last month’s tour of the Emil Bach House, but unlike our politicians, I’m not promising anything!

It’s been a long, hard week…

…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!

The day had been spent sifting and sorting, as huge dump trucks came and went with load after load of broken-up concrete and very sandy subsoil (this area actually used to be Lake Michigan before it was filled in many decades ago--hence, the sand...

The day had been spent sifting and sorting, as huge dump trucks came and went with load after load of broken-up concrete, various metals and extremely sandy subsoil (this area actually used to be Lake Michigan before it was filled in many decades ago–hence, the sand…

...and more sand...

…and more sand…

...and, even more sand!).

…and, even more sand!).

The crew is finished for now, so I guess the next crew will be taking down the trees.

The crew is finished for now, so I guess the next crew will be taking down the trees.

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.

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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!”

The Last of Summer

How happy I am that this Summer is at an end!

The final moon of Summer, taken last night at 9:12 PM (CDT) from my studio window.

The final moon of Summer, taken last night at 9:12 PM (CDT) from my studio window.

The last sunrise of Summer, taken at 6:33 AM (CDT) this morning, also from my studio window.

The last sunrise of Summer, taken at 6:33 AM (CDT) this morning, also from my studio window.

Autumn…ah, the quiet of Autumn…arrives officially at 9:29 PM (CDT) tonight!

It’s been a horrid Summer for me, what with the invasion of bedbugs which required so much extra labor I never got much of a chance to enjoy relaxing along the shore of Lake Michigan. nor did I get much of a tan.

Every day was work, work, WORK!“think like a bedbug” and caulk and patch every single crack and crevice one could find–only to discover there were severe ‘mistakes’ (shortcuts?) taken by the carpenters who rehabbed this building some years ago, leaving HUGE gaps where moldings did not join walls and floor.

Noise from morning to late afternoon, as the gas company workers dug up streets to replace ancient gas pipes, followed by water department workers who dug up other parts of the street to replace ancient water mains.

Oh, it has been an ugly Summer for me!

I welcome Autumn with the lens cap off, clicking then processing each image, relishing the beauty of the season.

Lte Summer Grasses

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Sunflower Underside

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Fading Hosta-1 Diffuse Glow

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Autumn…so very welcome!

Ch-ch-change…

…followed by c-c-cold!!!

Wednesday's Lake Michigan was quiet and gentle, very appropriate for the Day of Rdmembrance.

Wednesday’s Lake Michigan was quiet and gentle, very appropriate for the Day of Remembrance.

 

Temps hovered in the low 90s F. but the beaches were empty, except for a few sunbathers.

Temps hovered in the low 90s F. but the beaches were empty, except for a few sunbathers.

 

Thursday, an abrupt weather change brought choppy waters, northeast winds, and 2-3 foot swells...

Thursday, an abrupt weather change brought choppy waters, northeast winds, and 2-3 foot swells…

 

...as the waves roared all night long!

…as the waves roared all night long!

A mighty harsh north wind blew all day today, and the high temp was only in the low 60s F. throughout the city.

Although officially Autumn does not arrive until another nine days have passed, it seems as if it pounced on us in less than 48 hours!

Labor Day 2013

A change in weather gave us the cloudiest, coolest Labor Day in many years.

With a northeast wind off Lake Michigan, the shoreline wasn’t as packed with people as it has been in the past.

In fact, it was downright chilly as I took these images and hurried for cover from the wind.

Labor Day 2013-1

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Labor Day 2013-2

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Labor Day 2013-3

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Labor Day 2013-4

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But by the end of the afternoon, it became pretty obvious that there had been plenty of picnics!

Labor Day 2013-6

I had my own little ‘picnic’ meal–some nice homemade soup, flavored with Thai garlic chili sauce, which warmed me quite nicely!

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Also, I was informed that this is my ‘anniversary’–my second year at WordPress is complete!

It’s sure been a great ride…and I hope you’ll all come along for the next year!