I got a Tube of E-6000 to see if I can glue that broken Trophy back together, it didn't work, I'd like to keep it even with a major repair, so I'll have to try something else. I'm still distraught and mad at myself that I broke her. She was the largest Angel Topper on a Trophy I've ever found. I can't Believe how fast October is wrapping up, only a few more Days 'til Halloween. Except for Exterior Decorations, I usually keep the Interior Decorations up until after Thanksgiving, since, mostly, it's Fabric and Tole Painted Faux Pumpkins. I didn't go overboard with Decoration for Halloween and used restraint... which is translation for: I was too lazy to take it further. *LOL*
I think Christmas will be understated too, I just lack the Energy and Motivation to go overboard with Holiday Decorating this year. I can't even blame it all on Pandemic Fatigue, I think as time marches on, I'm strangely okay with Less is More. *Gasp! Yeah, I know!* I've found if I do just a few things Well, it's Enough, even if it's Simplistic and doesn't consume a lot of time and become a lot of work. I really like my Exterior Decorations and how the Vignette turned out, even tho' it took about Five Minutes to set it up and will probably take Ten Minutes to take it down and put it all away.
I think in future Years I'll probably opt to rotate certain Decorations to change things up, but keep it Simple and a lot less Work. Then I won't have that dread about taking it all down and putting it away. I Love the setting up part, the taking down part, not so much anymore. Whenever the RV Garage and Art Studio Spaces are done, I could always have some Year Round Displays to enjoy my Collection of Holiday Treasures. Since they won't be in the main living areas, it won't matter if they stay up and are enjoyed all Year long... until they're rotated in for Main Displays. That's the Master Plan. It will eliminate Seasonal "Storage".
The Man will be going with T.J. and some of their Friends to do some Prospecting. I had told you that they'd Sold Off a very large Mining Claim for a big windfall, but, they still like to go Mining and have other locations. T.J. showed me some semi-precious Stones they've found in abundance, looks like Smoky Topaz to me, they hit a Motherlode of them. The Man used to go Prospecting and Rock Hounding all of the time so I'm glad they invited him along for their next trip to go do both. He'll thoroughly enjoy it and he still has all of his equipment, it's the one thing we didn't Sell off of his Recreational Cache' after his catastrophic accident.
T.J. also just Gifted him a bunch of Fishing equipment, so he is Jazzed to be able to go Fishing again. There's a lot of Man-Made stocked Lakes around here close by, plus the River, so he's certain to be able to catch good sized Game Fish doing some Urban Fishing. Hell, I see huge Fish swimming in the Irrigation Canals all of the time, the Water in those is usually crystal clear and they zip by on their migration down the Canal structures. Lots of small Fry too in abundance. We went out and had a Seafood Dinner in the interim, the Zoo nearby has a great BBQ and Seafood Restaurant called "Dillon's".
The Restaurant has an enormous circular Tank with Sharks and Rays... and several smaller Aquariums with Saltwater Fish. The Bar section has a huge Habitat with an Albino Alligator... and the Exterior Dining Area has a huge Habitat with Flamingos and other Exotic Birds. We ate with the Sharks this day. *LOL* I also Photographed the Banana Plants outside of the Restaurant, I want to grow some of those here eventually. I think it would be Cool to grow some of my own Bananas on the Property. I also Love the Look of Banana Plants and some types of Tamales are Wrapped in Banana Leaves rather than Corn Husks during the Holidays around here.
The RV Garage is Two Stories Tall and on the East Side there is also a Six and a Half Foot Block Wall separating our Property from T.J.'s Parent's Property, which also offers Wind Protection and Shade parts of the Day. It is a graveled area of our Property right now, so an above ground Garden Area would Beautify it too, having Tropical Plants growing there. I want to be very methodical about Placement of any Gardens to make Care and Maintenance easier. Since the Pasture has to be mowed and irrigated regularly, I don't want fussy above ground Gardens complicating that chore. I will plant Grape Vines along the back Chain Link Fencing that runs across the back of our Acreage, when I find the right Vines.
I'd also like to try to grow Avocado, Pineapple, Mango, Papaya and Lemongrass. Some Exotic Tropical Nurseries carry all of those since they've been grown in Arizona for a long time. The challenge is to learn as much as you can about what you want to try to grow so it has the best chances of not only surviving, but thriving enough to give you a Harvest. I see a lot of very Mature Plants of everything I'd like to grow, so I know it's possible and they look like they're doing fine, even when used for Ornamental Purposes and being left on their own a lot, like at the Zoo Restaurant. They've left their Banana Trees to almost grow Wild and just have them well Irrigated and up against the Building.
Most of our Neighbors have Mature Citrus and Nut Trees on their Mini Farms, so I don't feel a Need to grow some here, they Share their overabundant Harvests freely, everyone has too much. *LOL* I'm still contemplating some Chickens eventually, just a couple of Hens... perhaps... and see how that goes? Because we do go thru a lot of Eggs and having some fresh ones would be a Bonus... we bought a Mini Farm specifically to grow some of our own Foods. I do Love to Garden and when we had the Historic Property Acreage we had a nice Victory Garden that grew an abundance of Veggies and Herbs.
At Villa Boheme' I only had a bit of luck growing Potted Tomatoes and Rosemary, the Home was ridiculously enormous, but the Lot was all House and very little Yard to grow much in. The Interior Court Yard there at Villa Boheme' seemed to be Idyllic for a Garden Space and turned out to be so Hot, with the reflection off the Two Story Walls of the Villa that it fried every living thing except a Morning Glory Vine! You almost can't kill a Morning Glory Vine, usually they're invasive plants they're so hardy. Even my Resin Buddha in that Court Yard, got so hot that it's Knees blew out from the Inside! So we never used that Court Yard at all like we envisioned we would when we bought the Home.
The Front Court Yard there was better and more insulated from the direct Sun since it had more Shade part of the Day, so I did well with some Vines and Potted Tomatoes there. Mostly, that Property required Xeriscape Desert Plants tho', it wasn't conducive to growing Produce or even Herbs. So, to now have another Property like our Historic Acreage where I can grow anything I want to with a measure of high Success, I'm Jazzed. I just have to find out what the Hell is eating my Mints? Something has decimated my Spearmint, Peppermint and Chocolate Mint Plants. I'm suspecting some kind of Caterpillar, but can't find the Suckers! Tomato, Sweet Basil and Thai Basil are doing well tho'.
With the cost of everything going up constantly and supply chain issues, I'd like to have other Options available to us for Fresh Foods especially. I don't intend to be self-sustainable, we're not that into it at this Season of Life go to off the grid or anything really extreme. *LOL* But, The Man has been The Great White Hunter sort so he Loves to Fish, Hunt and has often filled our Freezer with what he's Hunted successfully. There's no Wild Game he can't dress like it just came out of the Grocery Store and know how to Cook into delicious Meals for us. His Family not only grew up Hunting almost all of their Meat, but Canning their own Fruits and Vegetables. My Mother-In-Law made her own Jams, Preserves, Pickles and such out of what she grew herself.
I have a Hoard of Jams, Olives and Pickles, but mine came from the Grocer. *Smiles* Now at the Shops the Christmas Merchandising is out in force. I don't mind as much as I used to, any festive look right now is Welcome, regardless of how premature they're rolling it out before the actual Holiday. I just was bummed they barely gave a nod to Halloween, yet they've seemed to be able to Source Christmas Merch just fine with the Supply Chain Issues, which is just Odd. So long as peeps can get what they want for under the Tree I'm guessing nobody will complain. Looking thru my Photo Archives of Holidays Past, I should have bought some things that now you just never see being offered anymore.
That Peacock Necklace pictured earlier in the Post for example, was a Becky Edwards piece from 2012 that I desperately wanted and didn't have the Budget for at the time. I just don't see Becky's pieces anymore, she even had to Cancel a Show in Arizona a few Years back, so I didn't get the chance to meet her either like we'd intended to. Her 'Every Dish Has It's Day' Upcycling of broken China Shards into exquisite Jewelry and Accessories was something I just fell in Lust with, so over time I acquired a Collection of her Creations. I should have just Charged that Peacock Necklace and made payments on it. *Le Sigh* But, I always pay Cash for purchases, I don't like Credit Cards. If I can't pay Cash I figure I can't really afford it. Why Yes, I'm still Tortured some other Lucky Woman is wearing MY Peacock Necklace instead of me and owns it! *LOL*
I'm Creating this Post in Real Time on October 26th and on October 26th of 2012 is when we opened our Showroom at the Antique Mall. It looked way better in the early years... back when I thought the demographic of the Area would actually buy Vintage, Antiques and better quality Collectibles and Selling them would be sustainable. I was Wrong. Yes, I'd LIKE to go that direction again and be more upscale in the Merch offered, but sustainability meant sacrificing the Vision and Selling what they'd buy instead... thus, I'm one of the only original Vendors still left... adapt and improvise... but sometimes it Sucks to not follow your Heart's Desire and be more authentic to Self in what you're Hawking and how you Merchandise it.
Yes, I Sell a lot more now and get regular Checks, so I can't complain, but I liked it better when I was Selling The Good Stuff and enjoyed spending time in our Spaces at the Antique Mall and being Creative about Displaying it all. Now I only go in there to dump off Merch and get out again hastily. It doesn't matter how it's Displayed when people are buying inexpensive Tchotchkes and mass produced "Collectible" Toys. It's discouraging to me that people would rather buy LPS and Shopkins Toys at an Antique Mall than actual Antiques or Vintage Quality items, but, whaddya gonna do. Right now our Bread and Butter is in Princess T's Merch of Toys considered Collectible by her Generation and we Sell a lot of them.
Back in those days I had a clear cut Vision of how I wanted everything to look and it pretty much reflected my Essence and Aesthetic. Now if you walk into that Showroom you really wouldn't know who the Hell I am judging by how it looks and it still bugs me, but it makes Money, so... whatever. I keep saying I will Transform it, but in actuality I've taken more down than put anything Special up in there to improve the actual Showroom as a backdrop to what's being Sold. I liked it way better before, in fact, I've had other Booths and Showrooms that I absolutely J'Adored the Vibe of, but had to Close down when the Economy began tanking and Sales got so Soft. Now, whatever Sells and is a Quick Turn, is just crammed in there.
Mebbe that's why I NEED to get my RV Garage and Art Studio Spaces in Order and do me in there instead, without compromising, I dunno. Rented Space has overhead and so it's not Cheap and ya gotta do whatever will make Rent and then turn a Profit, regardless of infusing yourself into the Project wholeheartedly, or, you will not make it. I've seen some of the Best Vendors with the most Ahhmazing Spaces just have to fold 'em and get out of the Game. In fact, the very Best never stay long and they've got the Primo Merch, but the demographic won't support it, they want what they want and quality is marginalized over how Cheap they can get it. Repops Sell over The Real Deal, so long as it's Cheaper and looks similar enough!
Once anything Trends, the Reproduction Market mass producing knock-offs of whatever it is are who profits most in the Industry, not those Selling the Real Deal anymore. In fact, Designers know this and almost all of them who become well known Outsource to 3rd World Countries to Produce their Line Cheaply now to keep Costs down for them so their Margins are better. The Quality is no longer there but if the Brand is having Consumer Loyalty, nobody much seems to Care. So long as that coveted Label is on there, the Customer will flaunt that shit, whether it's a poorly and inferior made POS now or not. I could go on, but I won't... too discouraging!
But, it is what it is... and I probably wouldn't have even Gone There with this Post had I not been Pricing fucking PEZ Collectible Dispensers earlier to bring in to Inventory for the Holidays! *Bwahahahaha* Oh Yeah, I got 'em all, and they'll Sell like there's no Tomorrow and with great Margins. Do you know E-Bay got it's start due to the Founder's Girlfriend Collecting PEZ Dispensers? True bit of Trivia, not an Urban Legend... or so I'm told. And I'm sure that Guy was eternally Grateful for how that made him a Millionaire. *Smiles* Yep, E-Bay started in 1995 from one Dude's Idea for Collectors to Buy and Sell fucking PEZ Dispensers as a Favor to his Girlfriend... and so now here we are... go figure! And if it's good enuf for him, it's good enuf for me.
Happy Halloween from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian