For some reason…

…I find great hope as the sun rises.

Sunday morning

Sunday morning

This morning, just one week before Christmas!

This morning, just one week before Christmas!

Wishing all my followers the happiest Christmas ever, and an extremely prosperous New Year!

Advertisements

Last week and yesterday

LAST WEEK

For several days last week, my spare time was spent getting the Christmas decorations together.

This is just one of the results:

The red and green wreath from last year was ttoally revamped, using gold-leafed pears, small gol and deep green balls, and gold-tipped large pine cones. The old red and green lights were replaced with warm white LED lights, which use about 4.5 watts per 50-light string...I'm very happy I purchased them!

The red and green wreath from last year was totally revamped, using gold-leafed pears, small gold and deep green balls, and gold-tipped large pine cones.
The old red and green lights were replaced with warm white LED lights, which use about 4.5 watts per 50-light string…I’m very happy I purchased them!

Some close-ups:

Gold-Green Wreath-2

*

Gold-Green Wreath-3

*

???????????????????????????????

YESTERDAY

It had been quite foggy for several days, but yesterday’s was the thickest.

04DEC2013 Fog-1

Thrilled with being able to take the time to go out and photograph a few things, I walked over to Sherwin Beach to see the effect of fog at the shore.

04DEC2013 Fog-2

Just to the south is the veranda of 1205 W. Sherwin Avenue, a beautiful spot to look at the lake which had virtually disappeared.

???????????????????????????????

Finally, I headed back home, but not before photographing my own window.

The lights were wrapped around the wreath intentionally...and it's great that it can be seen quite well, even at mid-afternoon, so that all can share the beauty of the Christmas season!

The lights were wrapped around the wreath intentionally…and it’s great that it can be seen quite well, even at mid-afternoon, so that all can share the beauty of the Christmas season!

Putting it (back) Together

It seems I’ve been running to and fro, hither and yon, to get this place totally back to ‘better than it was’!

No sooner than I feel I can rest, a prescription runs out, or the laundry piles itself so high, that I have to get out of my ‘paint clothes’, gussy up, and hop a bus or train in one direction or the other.

It’s hard work…and very tiring!

I did manage to get a few images processed, however, after walking over to the small park to deposit my ever-overflowing bag of recyclables (though Chicago has a city ordinance that all buildings of this size must provide recycling containers for the tenants, my building does not).

The Lake…Diffused

Lake Diffuse-1 WM

*

Lake Diffuse-2 WM

*

Lake Diffuse-3 WM

*

Lake Diffuse-4 WM

And…I’m off again, to return “Chicago” and “Titanic” (which I hadn’t ever seen!) DVDs to the library, drop my winter coat (haven’t worn it in several years!) at the cleaners, and stop at the hardware store for some spray paint (a little project for a Plexiglas (TM) small shelf I want to put up), and probably, because it’s close, a quick stop at my favorite little Morse Market to pick up a few things like Krinos Greek Yogurt, a jar of pesto for tonight’s pizza and some fruit…which always seems to run out too quickly these days!

I hope to return later, with some images from last month’s tour of the Emil Bach House, but unlike our politicians, I’m not promising anything!

A very scary Hallowe’en morning indeed!

While looking out my window as I sipped coffee, I noticed a bit of smoke not too far away.

Oh, I thought to myself, someone’s lucky enough to have a fireplace on this damp, gray day!

Then I looked again, about a minute later, and saw this:

Definitely NOT curling smoke from a chimney!

Definitely NOT curling smoke from a chimney!

A minute later, I was still unable to determine what was on fire.

A minute later, I was still unable to determine what was on fire.

But a minute later, at 9:32 AM, I knew exactly where the now-huge flames were climbing!

But a minute later, at 9:32 AM, I knew exactly where the now-huge flames were climbing!

By 9:34 AM, the Chicago Fire Department was already at the scene...

By 9:34 AM, the Chicago Fire Department was already at the scene…

...their hoses streaming water under drizzly skies.

…their hoses streaming water under drizzly skies.

It took the better part of half an hour before the fire was struck, as little areas of thick smoke would appear, then be dissipated.

Quick action by the firefighters saved this building…

...a Sheridan Road former mansion now owned by the Unification Church.

…a Sheridan Road former mansion now owned by the Unification Church of Chicago.

I didn’t walk around to the back when I went over at 4:30 this afternoon (it was raining and my lens kept fogging up), but I’m certain the place has had not only fire damage, but is also soaking wet inside.

You can find the story here.

The cause?

Apparently, a space heater sparked from the electrical outlet, setting a mattress on fire.

The lesson to be learned?

If you are using a space heater, as many who live in older Chicago buildings are forced to do, PLEASE keep it away from any furniture, clothing, curtains, etc.

NEVER use an extension cord with a space heater; plug it directly into the electrical outlet!

SAFETY FIRST,  or your home could end up looking like this:

Unification Fire-7

Yesterday…

…I had to make a short trip to the Evanston Home Depot to get some extra stain-blocking primer for my living area walls and ceiling.

That wonderful store is only about four miles away (two different buses), but I decided to first overshoot it by a quarter mile and see what the Skokie Northshore Channel looks like during these last few days of Summer.

Have a look!

It was a gray, somewhat windy-but-warm morning, the rippling water making splendid reflections of the trees along the banks.

It was a gray, somewhat windy-but-warm morning, the rippling water making splendid reflections of the trees along the banks.

 

I took more than a dozen shots as I slowly walked across the bridge with a stiff west wind at my back.

I took more than a dozen shots as I slowly walked across the bridge with a stiff west wind at my back.

 

A final shot, so abstract, yet so satisfying that I continued walking the several blocks, pausing every now and then to be very thankful for the beauty around us!

A final shot, so abstract, yet so satisfying that I continued walking the several blocks, pausing every now and then to be very thankful for the beauty around us!

Ch-ch-change…

…followed by c-c-cold!!!

Wednesday's Lake Michigan was quiet and gentle, very appropriate for the Day of Rdmembrance.

Wednesday’s Lake Michigan was quiet and gentle, very appropriate for the Day of Remembrance.

 

Temps hovered in the low 90s F. but the beaches were empty, except for a few sunbathers.

Temps hovered in the low 90s F. but the beaches were empty, except for a few sunbathers.

 

Thursday, an abrupt weather change brought choppy waters, northeast winds, and 2-3 foot swells...

Thursday, an abrupt weather change brought choppy waters, northeast winds, and 2-3 foot swells…

 

...as the waves roared all night long!

…as the waves roared all night long!

A mighty harsh north wind blew all day today, and the high temp was only in the low 60s F. throughout the city.

Although officially Autumn does not arrive until another nine days have passed, it seems as if it pounced on us in less than 48 hours!

Labor Day 2013

A change in weather gave us the cloudiest, coolest Labor Day in many years.

With a northeast wind off Lake Michigan, the shoreline wasn’t as packed with people as it has been in the past.

In fact, it was downright chilly as I took these images and hurried for cover from the wind.

Labor Day 2013-1

*

Labor Day 2013-2

*

Labor Day 2013-3

*

Labor Day 2013-4

*

???????????????????????????????

But by the end of the afternoon, it became pretty obvious that there had been plenty of picnics!

Labor Day 2013-6

I had my own little ‘picnic’ meal–some nice homemade soup, flavored with Thai garlic chili sauce, which warmed me quite nicely!

* * *

Also, I was informed that this is my ‘anniversary’–my second year at WordPress is complete!

It’s sure been a great ride…and I hope you’ll all come along for the next year!