Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Man-Cave to Casbah

Happy Hippie indeed.

Hi guys and gals, as well of those of you who are unsure or unwilling to commit. In my last blog post, I shared with you that I was having a busy week listing lots of scarves on eBay during a free listing week for eBay store owners. It was a great success, so the past week I've been packing up the items that sold and getting them to the post office as quickly as I can.

It's been very reassuring to me to see that I really can make a modest living from my business, so long as I'm willing to devote enough time to it and live frugally. I'd previously had some success at this level, but it was back when I had a large suburban home where I could devote an entire room to eBay shenanigans. To achieve the same results in an RV took me a while.

It wasn't just the smaller space--it was also getting to the point of settling down to business. I spent a year kind of treading water in one place after my marriage ended and then another year wandering about, both geographically and in terms of how I made a living. For a while last year, I actually had a job. After a time, I came to realize that working for someone else, even just part-time, was distracting me from my real work, which is self-employment on eBay and as an artist and busker. So I am beginning to buckle down now and do what I need to do.

Today I got an email from eBay about some upcoming policy changes that present new challenges. Every time I just about figure out how to be a top-notch eBay seller with stars and ribbons showing potential buyers how reliable and trustworthy I am, the rules change. Now I need to decide whether I can provide one-day turn-around on my shipping in order to maintain my privileged status as a Top-Rated Seller. Can I do this, living on the road? I don't know yet. I have a couple of months to practice before the new policy goes into effect.

Silk Ceiling

So, you are probably wondering what all this has to do with my title, "Man-Cave to Casbah." Actually, I have to give Steve credit for this title. While he's been dogsitting in Ajo and I've been living by myself in Why, I've been getting a little creative, bring colors other than brown and design elements besides the bones, feathers, skins and skulls of dead animals into Steve's 5th wheel. While sorting through my many hundred scarves to pull out the best designers and brands, as well as green scarves for St. Paddy's and florals for my spring sales, I uncovered some hippie fodder...hand blocked silk scarves from India. Today I stapled them onto the ceiling of the cab-over bedroom. Hence the title.

Rumi in the living room

I've also been taking down some of the yellowed paper on which years ago Steve printed out some of his most beloved sayings, and I've been painting the words directly on the walls. That's right, commitment. With me constantly finding new ways to improve his home, I'm sure Steve feels trepidation every time he comes out here to visit me. But he still keeps showing up and fortunately he has been happy with the results thus far. My next redecorating projects involve using up some of my vintage fabric cache to cover cushions and make curtains.

My first mandala

For a while this winter, my creativity seemed to be kind of dried up. But the practical art of redecorating has gotten it flowing again, and now I'm spending a little time each day drawing. One of the items on my bucket list was to create mandalas and now I am thinking of making some greeting cards, combining mandalas with the quotations that I've been gathering for daily posts on FaceBook over the past year. Mandalas are a natural for me, because I love to doodle and, like any mosaic artist, I'm mad about geometry. Most types of art work integrate your inside and outside, but mandalas are particularly great for this because you can choose symbols that hold special meaning for you.

Mesquite honey from Indigenous Nutrition

In closing I'd like to rehash some old business from past posts. In my last blog posting, I mentioned that the blooming desert is causing me hay fever, a condition I thought I'd left behind when I came to the Southwest. Who knew that such tiny flowers could cause so much sinus congestion and headache? I sure didn't. I thought about taking pictures of these little blossoming bio-hazards, but Roxanne has already done it for me. So I'll just mention that I'm trying a couple of ancient remedies this time around rather than just popping Zyrtec and they seem to be helping me.

While it's debatable whether local honey actually helps immunize you from the effects of pollen, I sure do enjoy slathering a full tablespoon of mesquite honey on my toast each morning. If nothing else, it soothes my throat while going down. And there is no doubt in my mind that using my neti pot once or twice a day is helpful. Once you get past the revulsion of having stuff coming out of your nostrils, nasal irrigation rocks! I've also begun using lavender oil instead of antibiotics for the rosacea that usually starts bothering me by late winter, and that rocks, too.

On a final note, there was a very interesting article on Yahoo! News today about the reopening of portions of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, ten years after their closure to the public following the killing of a park ranger by drug runners. For my friends living in other parts of the U.S., this article gives you a little bit of a feel of some aspects of living near the Mexican border. In a short time, though, I have become inured to the loss of civil liberties that occurs each time I travel around here (although I'm sure I would be far more stricken by their lack if I wasn't a pinkish, blondish Norwegian-American). Most days, the beauty and peace of living in the Senoran Desert allows me to forget about politics and crime.


  1. I can see how radically different ways of being can become the new normal. I hinted at my own sense of beige middle-agedness at our first border patrol stop, but I do hope I never stop noticing how my privileged pinkness buys me a pass.

    Yeah, the neti helps me out, too. Sorry the springtime suffering hits you hard. It's possible I'm allergic for the first time in my life, and Annie is having an easy spring after being fiercely allergic year-round in NY.

    The Good Luck Duck

  2. Love your casbah ceiling! and the mandala..

    I just have never understood how anyone can be successful at eBay... but you and many others are!

    I guess maybe it's just pure laziness on my part. I have tons of stuff left over from my shop...


  3. HOW very creative....your artwork is AWESOME...good luck with your card idea!!

  4. Love your post about Why and Ajo. Always wanted to buy a house in Ajo. figured I would need tires every six months from running to Phoenix! Why don't you have a link to your e-Bay store on your blog? I sell on e-bay also, don't have the store anymore, but am thinking about trying it again!

  5. I hardly ever have any reason to go to Phoenix or Tucson. Almost everything I need is here. When I get to one of the bigger cities, I do tend to stock up, especially on shipping supplies for my eBay business. You are right, Roadrunner, I should have a link to my eBay store on my blog. I have a number of improvements I need to do to it.