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!!!

It’s been BRRR!

Condensation on my windows has been a real problem this year, and because it’s been such a very cold Autumn-into-Winter season here in Chicago, most days the windows have been iced up, perhaps because I was very thorough when caulking…but then, there are no drafts at all!

Yet, the iciness is truly fascinating.

I hope you’ll agree?

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09DEC2013 Window Ice-4

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09DEC2013 Window Ice-1 WM

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From my window: A year ago, yesterday…

…this was the view…ah, Spring!

20Mar2012-1

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20MAR2012-2

From roughly the same angles, these show my little world on this very, very cold second day of Spring:

21MAR2013-1

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21MAR2013-2

So disappointing, as not a bud or tiny, emerging leaf can be seen anywhere!

But…the major shock of the morning was at the legendary Emil Bach House tulip garden, where a few posts ago, I presented the first tulip sprouts coming along nicely…when I stopped by to check there growth, I found not a tulip in sight!

Apparently, they’ve all been dug out!

The northern half of the garden

The northern half of the garden

The southern half

The southern half

At first I thought it was my eyes, because I WAS really tired and didn’t want to be out walking in the cold!

But…NO!

Little ‘dug out’ spots show all the tulips been removed, meaning no spectacular display this year.

There is an awful lot of work to be done at the Emil Bach House, including installing a geothermal heating system–lots of digging around involved with that, and I give the owner much credit for the upgrade on this lovely piece of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture–they are doing it right!

But I sure will miss that large plot so full of tulips–one of my favorite Spring flowers!

 

From my other window: Spring sunrise

NOTE: No Photoshop (TM) here…these are all straight from the camera!

7:02 AM (CDT), through the plastic and the moisture

7:02 AM (CDT), through the plastic and the moisture

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&:03 AM (CDT), still through the plastic, but a very pretty day ahead, or so I thought!

7:03 AM (CDT), still through the plastic, but a very pretty day ahead, or so I thought!

Then, I checked the weather, and it’s only 15 degrees F.–that’s 17 degrees BELOW freezing, with a heavy west wind gusting to 23mph!

Not exactly my idea of Spring!

But…less than an hour later, my hardwood floors looked like this–gleaming–after being treated with an Orange-glo product!

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Spring cleaning is almost finished!

Just the oven, the refrigerator, and 3 windows (inside and out), plus two sets of window blinds (yes, I also wash those, by soaking them in hot, soapy water in the tub, then letting them dry before re-hanging)!

Oh…and then I can tear the kitchen apart…I’m planning on washing the walls, then repainting!

A lot of work, you say?

Sure…but who doesn’t like living in a well-cleaned home?!?