I’d be lying…

…like a politician if I told you how much fun the past few days have been, but so much has been accomplished, my feeling of satisfaction trumps the aches and pains!

I mentioned previously that I would try to finish everything but the studio and then begin redecorating.

Yep, I did it!

Even the windows and blinds have been washed, some badly needed weather-stripping put in place, and a few paintings have been hung.

See for yourself!

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All my mismatched, second-hand furniture now looks great, although it took three coats of paint to get it right!

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If you think that was hard work, the tree specialists arrived Thursday morning, and put it four solid days work clearing the land next door, which began like this…

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and ended like this, taken early this morning:

Tree Cutters-15

Here are the in-between images, arranged sequentially:

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Tree Cutters-3

Tree Cutters-4

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This is the 'high man', whom I complimented the other day as he returned from lunch. He is an expert and works quietly because he directs his men with hand signals, which I found pretty amazing!

This is the ‘high man’, whom I complimented the other day as he returned from lunch.
He is an expert and works quietly because he directs his men with hand signals, which I found pretty amazing!

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Tree Cutters-9

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Tree Cutters-11

Tree Cutters-12

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This industrious crew should be applauded for their work, executed in what I consider a very short amount of time!

They kept me busy at every short break I took, and I’ll say I was truly awed, watching all these un-cared-for trees come down, seeing all the dead limbs, and listening to the sound of the chipper as I continued my little (?) paint adventure!

Word is that construction of the parking structure will begin before the end of the year…you can bet I’ll be at my window (and, on the ground!) covering the progress!

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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 Yellow Magnolia

This fascinating yellow magnolia lives just a few properties closer to the lake on my street.  I took this shot in May of 2007, and haven’t been able to get a good one since.  This year, the early Spring affected them, and they just withered.  The leaves are looking deformed.  I guess the owner I spoke with did not heed my advice to feed the tree with compost, as it is unfortunately planted in what I term ‘construction fill’, not loamy, sweet soil.

Yellow Magnolia-3  Copyright 2007  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

I cropped it because I wanted to do a painting:

Yellow Magnolia-3 Crop  Copyright 2007  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

Lately, I took the canvas from the wall, popped it onto the easel, and began working on it again.  It requires many layers of glazes, so the work is slow and sporadic…there are also some days when my hands just do not want to hold the brush properly.  Perhaps after twenty or thirty more hours of work, it will look as it should?