Grand Canyon, 16 x 20 inches, acrylic on canvas, SOLD
A few days ago, I celebrated my 58th birthday here in Pinetop, Arizona. We are not towing a vehicle this summer, so we decided to go out to eat lunch someplace that was on the Lakeside-Pinetop bus route.
We'd noticed an Asian buffet, but we really couldn't tell what it was like from the outside. So we took a chance, and I'm so glad we did! Sakura Buffet turned out to be very, very good. Everything was fresh and delicious, including the sushi, which was much better than typical buffet sushi. The restaurant was much larger than I would have guessed from the outside, and it was clean and tastefully decorated. It was also reasonably priced, so we won't be waiting until another birthday or other special celebration to return. If you get to the Show Low area, I'd say it's worth the drive down to Lakeside to eat at Sakura.
We have about another week-and-a-half here at Blue Ridge Motel & Cabins. We can't extend our stay because they're fully booked for the rest of the summer, but we're also ready to move on, anyway. I'm craving a little travel, new scenery, and a larger campsite. So I've looked into a couple of RV parks that are part of the Passport America program, and we'll probably head to Clay Springs (about 30 miles away) next for about a week, and then on to Overgaard (another 15 miles) for another week. We are definitely on the s-l-o-o-o-w tour of the White Mountains this summer, and I'm glad there are so many places to stay up here where it's cool (highs of about 90 degrees, while lowland parts of Arizona are hitting 115+ degrees this weekend!).
For those who aren't members, I'd definitely recommend Passport America. It is a 50% off campground membership program that costs about $50 per year. So, if you use it for just a few nights, it's been worth the yearly fee. Every campground has its own rules about PA rates. They usually limit the number of nights you can get half-off, and they also often limit what time of the year or what days of the week as well. But, if you take the time to look at the fine print and plan accordingly, you can get some pretty good deals.
Fortunately, after a career as a law librarian, I'm a planner and researcher. I spent a couple of hours online yesterday figuring out why these two Passport America parks would work best for me. Since I sell on eBay and we don't have a car with us, staying within bicycling distance of a Post Office is important. Also, because I use Verizon as my Internet access, I like to know how good the signal is going to be. Post Office locations can be found pretty readily on the U.S. Postal Service website under the "Manage Your Mail" tab. And yesterday I found out how to locate cell phone towers, too. I'm glad I figured this stuff out, because it eliminated several campgrounds I'd been considering going to next.
I'm working on a couple of things as we finish our stay here in Pinetop. First, I'm lowering some of my eBay prices. A few months ago, I bought 1000 vintage scarves from a person who used to be known as "THE Scarf Lady" on eBay. She used to list her scarves at very high prices and she had a lot of success. However, it's been a few years since she did much eBay selling, and people just aren't buying stuff like they used to. After buying her inventory, I initially tried pushing my prices up to the maximum of what I might expect to receive, but the result has been fewer sales. So I'm going back to the kinds of prices I used to charge, and hopefully that means I'll get a lot more sales. This has meant spending hours reworking existing eBay listings, but I think it's going to be worthwhile.
Second, I'm working on my series of road sign fantasy paintings, which I'll be sending to Grapes Gallery in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, in time for July's Second Saturday Art Hop. I'm having a lot of fun making these paintings, and so far the response to them has been very positive. I've already sold two of the paintings before even getting them to the gallery, just from sharing them on my FaceBook page.
Deer Crossing, 16 x 20 inches, acrylic on canvas
The older I get, the more comfortable I am with just creating artwork that springs from my mind, without having to edit myself or worry about how the work will be received. The more fun I have making the work, the more my joy of life is reflected in my paintings, and the more people like them. I currently have enough ideas to make art for years to come, and I'm just going to keep doing it.
Today I'm looking forward to the possible arrival of my friend Roxanne, who will be passing through this area on her way to visit family. Can't wait to see her!