Just like this bee…

…going ’round and ’round, I have been systematically pushing forward to success in getting rid of the dreaded, nasty bedbugs!

Bee on Sunflower-Diffuse Glow White BKGD

Each morning, I’ve made the rounds checking walls and ceilings, dismantling sheets, blanket and pillow cases, then shaking them out over the tub–NOTHING!–not one ugly bedbug since the exterminator visited for the third time last Thursday.

My hard, strenuous work patching and caulking has really paid off–but the exhausted feeling is still there, unfortunately.

He punched quite a number of holes in the walls, and pumped in some powder; I then immediately patched the holes, hoping and praying those nasty beasties are stuck in the walls and will soon die–well, they CAN live for one to three years without ‘nourishment’, but I’m hoping and praying just the same!

So…my life is somewhat back to normal–whatever THAT is, and I can finally afford to take some time to post and go through all YOUR posts (though there were so many, it’ll take quite a while, so I began with the newest).

RE: the computer:

Now that I’ve had to reinstall Adobe CS4 and have all the current updates, I’m planning to spend some time learning new ‘ins-and-outs’ in Illustrator (TM) in hopes of enhancing the images I present.  Though I’ve had it for over four years, I’ve never really ‘worked’ in it, so I do look forward to that new challenge, perhaps doing more ‘composite’ images and such.

I still have a monitor resolution situation to conquer, but it looks as if we have a warm, sunny day ahead–so I will probably go downtown to the Harold Washington Library, then walk around and shoot for a bit, as I’ve gotten pretty bored with my neighborhood and haven’t been downtown in several months!

Thanks to all for your kindness and patience while my life has been in such upheaval the past month–you probably might not understand just how much your comments mean to me, but they are what keeps me going at it!

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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

* * *

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!

* * *

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.

Last Sunday at the lake

Finally, today we have somewhat of a cool-down with only 76 degrees F. at 8:00 AM (CDT)…and I’m very happy, because the excessive heat really did me in!

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time preparing walls for painting (when it gets cooler!), which means taking down ALL artwork, cleaning it, and patching holes…it’s a lot of stuff that takes time and energy.

So I took my vitamins early this morning, with my third cup of coffee, and now I’m ready to go at it…again…but first, I thought you might like some images from this past Sunday at the shore of Lake Michigan.

Touhy Beach was crowded...

Touhy Beach was crowded…

 

...and the lifeguards had their boats ready in case of any mishap.

…and the lifeguards had their boats ready in case of any mishap.

 

The cool waters beckoned, but I didn't go in...it's enough for me to see these beautiful waters, and watch the kayak race markers bob up and down in gentle waves.

The cool waters beckoned, but I didn’t go in…it’s enough for me to see these beautiful waters, and watch the kayak race markers bob up and down in gentle waves.

 

I walked over to my favorite spot at Leone Beach to just sit on a rock and watch the movement of the waters.  The beach ball belonged to two little girls, perhaps of Indian descent...

I walked over to my favorite spot at Leone Beach to just sit on a rock and watch the movement of the waters. The beach ball belonged to two little girls, perhaps of Indian descent…

 

...who were spending their time not swimming, but building these delightful sand castles!

…who were spending their time not swimming, but building these delightful sand castles!

I’ve so many more images, but this is it for today.

Hoping to find/make some time to get into my e-mail to look at some of your posts!

Out with the old!

After a harrowing, hot weekend, the power supply in my desktop was finally replaced late yesterday afternoon…HOORAH!

Thanks to “Kris at Quest” (located on the first floor of my building), everything is running smoothly and very quietly.

I was offered the old power supply and took it, merely to photograph, and shall recycle it promptly.

'Dead' Power Supply-Front

‘Dead’ Power Supply–Front

 

'Dead' Power Supply-Back

‘Dead’ Power Supply–Back

The black ‘thing’ at the top of the photos is another exhaust fan, which Kris also replaced, as that was what was causing a whining sound which worsened as time went on.

I urge everyone to clean the inside of your computers regularly, thoroughly and carefully by vacuuming out all vents and, if it’s a desktop model, take off the side or top, and carefully (again) clean out all the dust and dirt from the inside.

Your computer will thank you for that!

* * *

First, I’d like to thank all of you for your patience, as it became too difficult and time-consuming to post anything on my poor old laptop, which, as I told you earlier, was prone to ‘falling asleep’…the blinking on and off became very irritating, so irritating that I couldn’t really get into my e-mail to even look at your posts and comment on your work.

I promise that will be accomplished over the next few (very HOT!  Low 90s F.–near mid-30s C.) days, as I sit drinking icy cold herbal teas with a huge fan blowing on me!

Here are some images I took late last week…boy, do I have a lot of catching up to do!

While walking a new route from the hardware store on Friday, the lighting was perfect for some truly ‘chiaroscuro’ shots.

Chiaroscuro on Ashland Avenue, the first

Chiaroscuro on Ashland Avenue, the first

 

Chiaroscuro on Ashland Avenue, the second

Chiaroscuro on Ashland Avenue, the second

Fallen Mulberries litter the walkway beside Leone Beach Park.

 

Mulberries and Shadows, the first

Mulberries and Shadows, the first

 

Mulberries and Shadows, the second

Mulberries and Shadows, the second

* * *

For those of you in heat-devastated areas, please stay cool and drink lots of water…and for those of you where it’s Winter now, please keep warm and cozy!

Just one of those things

At about 3:00AM Thursday morning, my desktop made a grinding noise and shut itself down.

After four hours of sleep, I figured out how to open it and spent the bulk of the day cleaning the inside and trying to get it up and running, to no avail.

The internal power supply had “died”, which I found out from my computer guy downstairs is a common occurrence after a few years.

So…I dragged out my very old Toshiba laptop, hooked it up, and surprisingly, remembered my password…but, not only is it VERY slow, it just ‘puts itself to sleep’ at any point!

At least it has a working copy of Photoshop (TM) 8, so I could process the images!

The new power supply will be installed sometime on Monday, according to my computer guy, so posting until then might be a bit sparse–please accept my apologies for that!

The resident copy of Nikon Transfer would not do its job, nor could I uninstall then reinstall, so I had to figure a way to transfer my photos taken during a wonderful walk yesterday afternoon.

I accomplished that, but have been interrupted quite a few times re: the intermittent ‘falling asleep’ problem, which means I’ll have to go out later and make a trip to “The Patience Store” to pick up at least TEN pounds of patience!

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Earlier in the week, I purchased a manual food chopper for the reasonable price of $7.99 (plus tax, of course!).

I thought you might like to see it.

Nice, isn't it? I haven't used it yet, but I can tell you the blades are REALLY sharp, and the entire piece disassembles for washing. However, I had some trouble releasing it from its packaging, which to my mind is a bit 'wasteful'!

Nice, isn’t it?
I haven’t used it yet, but I can tell you the blades are REALLY sharp, and the entire piece disassembles for washing.
However, I had some trouble releasing it from its packaging, which to my mind is a bit ‘wasteful’!

I think the designer went a bit overboard with all the folds and inserts!

I think the designer went a bit overboard with all the folds and inserts!

Here's the inside view, which makes it easier to see the intricacies of the design. Ah, well, into the Recycling Bin with that!

Here’s the inside view, which makes it easier to see the intricacies of the design.
Ah, well, into the Recycling Bin with that!

The graceful Yucca

NOTE: I published this post on the 9th…yet another which WordPress dumped! I’m not very happy right now, as this has happened before, and I wish WP would get their “stuff” together!

A festive plant, certainly, yet there are a limited number being grown in the neighborhood.

A festive plant, certainly, yet there are a limited number being grown in the neighborhood.

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The blossoms are especially gorgeous...

The blossoms are especially prolific…

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...and are able to withstand the heat quite well.

…and are able to withstand the heat quite well…

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...plus, they are truly gorgeous! Don't you agree?

…plus, they are truly gorgeous! 

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Don’t you agree?