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!!!

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On the Magnificent Mile: XI

At American Girl Place
(in Water Tower Place)

To begin, a cheery, beauty of a wreath, to get you in the mood!

To begin, a cheery, beauty of a wreath, to get you in the mood!

Next, a Golden Ribbon and Stars...with every way a little girl can get her wish!

Next, a Golden Ribbon and Stars…with every way a little girl can get her wish!

And then…the DOLLS!

As I understand, these dolls are very coveted by little girls, and you can purchase a ‘girl-size’ matching outfit for your daughter!

Little girl dolls, even baby dolls, and loveable teddies, too!

Little girl dolls, even baby dolls, and loveable teddies, too!  Hope they aren’t cold, sitting in that glittery snow?

Up on the snowy hill...the perfect place for every doll to play...even bay doll seems to be having fun!

Up on the snowy hill…the perfect place for every doll to play…even baby doll seems to be having fun!

Instead of icy igloos, the dolls warm up inside extra-large open ornaments...that's the fantasy of a doll's world, and a very creative display!

Instead of icy igloos, the dolls warm up inside GIANT open ornaments…that’s the fantasy of a doll’s world, and a very creative display!

On the Magnificent Mile: X

At the Park Hyatt Hotel

It’s not a very technically ‘good’ shot, perhaps because I expected a bit more from this place.  I did much of their original outdoor planting before they opened in 2000, and know the interior quite well.  Though the address is 800 N. Michigan Avenue, this entrance fronts Chicago Avenue.

Pretty BLAH, as festive Christmas decorations go...I did not even go in to photograph their collection of Chihuly glass!

Pretty BLAH, as festive Christmas decorations go…I did not even go in to photograph their collection of Chihuly glass!

The little half-block long ‘western’ Michigan Avenue is where the carriages pick up their clientele, so the horses are always there, like this lovely mare:

All decked out, but she looked very, very bored...she was listening though, as her ears kept flicking back and forth!

All decked out, but she looked very, very bored…she was listening though, as her ears kept flicking back and forth!

If you turn 180 degrees, you face the western facade of the Water Tower, which was one of only a few downtown Chicago buildings to survive the Great Fire of October 8, 1871.

It's been more heavily decorated in past years.  There is usually a photography exhibit inside, but I didn't go in this time, because I had another destination, just kitty-corner across Michigan Avenue!

It’s been more heavily decorated in past years. There is usually a photography exhibit inside, but I didn’t go in this time, because I had another destination, just kitty-corner across Michigan Avenue!

At Water Tower Place

This year's theme is "Charlie Brown's Great Exhibit", sponsored by the Museum of Science and Industry.  It's a wonderful change from the somewhat scary 'dancing harlequins' which were used for more than five years!

This year’s theme is “Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit”, sponsored by the Museum of Science and Industry. It’s a wonderful change from the somewhat scary ‘dancing harlequins’ which were used for more than five years!

Smaller trees, such as this one, are at the escalators which lead to the second floor...and are thoughtfully and sumptuously decorated.

Smaller trees, such as this one, are at the escalators which lead to the second floor…and are thoughtfully and sumptuously decorated.

Everywhere else, it’s huge lit snowflakes and lights dripping from the ceiling…quite an arduous installation!

Water Tower Mall-4

Water Tower Mall-5

When you arrive at the second floor atrium, the elevators, normally see-through glass, have been covered with (from this side) several story-high “Peanuts” characters…here’s Lucy and Snoopy!

Water Tower Mall-3

After riding to the third floor (and getting my ears re-pierced–Christmas gift to self!), I walked back over to the escalators and found this maquette of the Water Tower…nicely done by ‘unknown’!

Water Tower Mall-6

Oh, lest I forget, I did see something I absolutely loved on the third floor…and I don’t remember which store!

Both these outfits belong in my closet, but I really took the shot because those little paper things truly intrigued me!  Maybe next year I'll do something with them as an inspiration?

Both these outfits belong in my closet, but I really took the shot because those little paper things truly intrigued me! Maybe next year I’ll do something with them as an inspiration?

You would think, it being December…

…that this sky, seen around 4:00 this afternoon, just might bring snow!

Sign of Snow-4

A Sign of Snow?

Well, seeing as it was 67 degrees F. at that time, the answer would be a resounding, “No!”  As a matter of fact, the only snow I’ve seen lately has been man-made, like these!

Sign of Snow-3

Sign of Snow-1

Sign of Snow-2