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!!!

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!!!

Yesterday’s ‘first day of Summer’ weather…

…was a bummer!

Look closely at these two images, taken at 1:20 PM (CDT), and you’ll see how the rains distorted the Farcroft building a block and a half to the north.

No Photoshopping here, it was just that dark and gloomy!

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Looking down to the parking lot wasn’t very inspiring either!

Window-5 125 PM

I’ve been feeling in a kind of funk the past few days, so I went out earlier and walked over to the lake.

Boring!

I did find a few flowers along the way, which need to be processed–ho hum, more flower shots!

Then I captured an image which best-describes my mood:

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Perfect!

A reflection in a puddle…nice and dark and dreary!

I think I’ll slow down a bit, and post every other day or so…until the adrenaline begins to flow again!

Last evening began…

…with a look toward the east, from my studio window…

...as a storm alert had been issued.

…as a ‘storm alert’ had been issued.

I moved to my north window and began watching the skies, as heavy clouds moved in.

I moved to my north window and began watching the skies, as heavy clouds moved in.

After a drenching but brief downpour, the weather settled a bit as the sun, almost at its northwest quadrant peak, commenced its 'end of another day' light show.

After a drenching but brief downpour, the weather settled a bit as the sun, almost at its northwest quadrant peak, commenced its ‘end of another day’ light show.

Colors warmed, from yellows to golds...

Colors warmed, from yellows to golds…

...and finally to soft pinks, softer oranges and deep umbers, signifying the first day of meteorological Spring was, indeed, a glorious day!

…and finally to soft pinks, softer oranges and deep umbers, signifying the first day of meteorological Summer was, indeed, a glorious day!

Compared to other areas, Chicago ‘got off easy’ in the last forty-eight hours, for which we should be truly thankful.

Please…remember the residents of Oklahoma City and its surrounds in your thoughts and prayers.

Their losses are painful, as they sift through rubble, seeking remnants of Life.

At about this hour…

…one year ago today, I was near death in an emergency room, suffering from a huge pulmonary embolism (blood clot) in my right lung, very, very close to the heart.

After nine days, I was finally released, and received home care from visiting nurses for almost a month…until I found my wonderful new doctor!

He has helped me regain my general health; of course, I, too, work very hard at it, because at sixty-seven years, I could give up–but that’s just not in my genes.

The most ‘help’ I’ve received is from YOU, my followers–new and older!

YOU keep me going at it!

So please, pat yourselves on the back and celebrate LIFE with me today, because one year ago I thought I might never see another Spring, like this:

"Idyllic"

“Idyllic”

Though supposedly…

…I have now entered the ‘Winter of my years’, unlike this absent limb…

...I do not feel decrepit, rotting, or molded and falling apart.

…I do not feel decrepit, rotting, or molded and falling apart.

True, my life has been ‘pruned’, as harshly as this branch…

...yet I remain hopeful in being able to be part of another Spring, feeling much like these tender buds in brightest sunlight!

…yet I remain hopeful in being able to be part of another Spring, feeling much like these tender buds in brightest sunlight!

Tender Buds-Harsh Sun

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Thank you to all who follow this blog…you keep me going!

There is so much more beauty to be presented in this, my sixty-seventh year!