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!!!

* * *

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!!!

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‘Playing’ with Peonies

I found some gorgeous Peonies in full bloom on my mile walk to the pharmacy the other day…but I really didn’t care for the way the images turned out…so, of course, this morning I decided to ‘play’ a bit!

The original, as the camera saw it

The original, as the camera saw it

 

The intermediate, after straightening, cropping, utilizing Selective Color, and lots of Burning and Dodging

The intermediate, after straightening, cropping, utilizing Selective Color, and lots of Burning and Dodging

 

The final, with a Watercolor treatment, more Selective color and, of course, more Burning and Dodging

The final, with a Watercolor treatment, more Selective Color adjustments and, of course, more Burning and Dodging

I didn’t realize the next image featured a fly and the eyes of two ‘garden decor’ deer until I uploaded.

The original

The original

I decided to get rid of the faux deer–a good choice, in my opinion!

The intermediate, after cropping and utilizing Selective Color, Burning and Dodging

The intermediate, after cropping and utilizing Selective Color, Burning and Dodging

Photoshop’s Artistic Ocean Ripple filter has never really appealed to me–until I ‘played’ with it on this image…and found it added some interest to a very ordinary photo of a Peony.

The final, with more adjustments of Selective Color, Burning, Dodging and the Artistic Ocean Ripple filter added at the last

The final, with more adjustments of Selective Color, Burning, Dodging and the Artistic Ocean Ripple filter added at the last

Combined, these two images took about an hour to process, and the results were entirely worth spending the time to make the ordinary a bit ‘extraordinary’!

You might ask why I bother transforming what are considered dull images?

My answer:

“Because for me, it’s fun…and everyone needs SOME fun in their lives, don’t they?!?”

A close-up look at the neighborhood

Come…

...sit in the front yeard with me, and I'll show the colors all around us!

…sit in the front yard with me, and I’ll show the colors all around us!

Looking up, a cascade of leaves with tiny berries forming

Looking up, a cascade of leaves with tiny berries forming

Over there, some large Hostas, where last night's raindrops remain

Over there, some large Hostas, where last night’s raindrops remain

Across the way, Irises reflect in a dirty garden apartment window

Across the way, Irises reflect in a dirty garden apartment window

At the corner, the yellow and purple Irises are going strong...

At the corner, the purple, yellow and white Irises are going strong…

...as are the yellow and rust Irises right next to them

…as are the yellow and rust Irises right next to them

Glancing down, the tiniest of bees is gathering pollen from these delicate white blossoms

Glancing down, the tiniest of bees is gathering pollen from these delicate white blossoms

Down the street,neighbors have hung this happy guy in their tree.   I think he's enjoying the last few weeks of Spring as much as I!

Down the street, neighbors have hung this happy guy in their tree.
I think he’s enjoying the last few weeks of Spring as much as I!

Just two streets north…

and a block and a half west, this lovely fountain sits in a front garden…bubbling away on a very quiet afternoon.  Can you hear it?

Jarvis Avenue Fountain