What makes a great deal on art? and a note about this blog

Monday, April 29, at home in Arizona

The Best Little Trailer sleeps behind the privacy fence.

Remember the two rain barrels at the back of the house?  I had them installed last summer.  They are proving to be handy.

Like most American neighborhoods, water is available from outdoor spigots and indoor faucets.  (Still a wonder for this former full-time boondocker!)

Since our house doesn’t have its own well, water is purchased. Our usage runs about $25 monthly.

I haven’t taken the time to figure out the cost savings of the rain barrels.  It probably isn’t much.  Undoubtedly the water bill will increase once I add a tree or two, climbing roses, and other young plants that require babying.

(The fence is bare nekkid except for a yucca here and there.  See the stalks from which blossoms will appear?).

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Thrift store art

Thrift store shopping can provide more than furniture, tee-shirts, and bric-a-brac.  I find it particularly exciting when I find art.  Not just any art, but something that is pleasing and meaningful to me.  A bonus is when it brings into a room the colors I want.

This landscape was my first purchase of art for the house.

Photo is poor due to reflection on the glass causing the muting of colors, the loss of brush detail, and then there’s the light fixture superimposed on it. 

The picture is the perfect size for the mantle at 28″ x 40.”

I loved it the moment I first saw it leaning against a wall in the thrift store.  This was early on, at the beginning of my decorating.  At that time the living room had only a coffee table and a chair, maybe a lamp and end table.  I don’t remember for sure.

Anyway . . .

The sticker price of $30 caused me to balk.  I went home without it.  Physically, that is.  I carried that landscape around in my head for days.

What is it about that picture that draws me to it?  

 Then it hits me . . .

Owens Valley, California!  I saw that scene!  I was there!

Well, maybe not that exact scene, but a very similar one.  I’ll never forget that morning, the way the autumn colors seemed to be lit from within.  Such a peaceful place.  I took several photos, some turning out to be my favorites.  You can see them at this October 2013 post.

Several days pass since I first see the picture.  The Perfect Tow Vehicle carries me back to the thrift store.

Oh, don’t be gone, don’t be gone . . . .

There it is!  Got it!  Yay!

Have you been to Owens Valley?

If you’re a regular snowbird, you’ve probably driven its length numerous times.  For those who haven’t, Route 395, the north-south road on the east side of the Sierra in California, runs through the valley.

( The crew and I camped at the Alabama Hills at Lone Pine a few times.)

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What have the crew and I been up to these days?

Well, we watch the hummingbirds sucking nectar from the aloe blooms (right, above).

I’m at the Blackstone griddle every day.  Currently on a turkey-burger-with-grilled-onions kick.  Oh gosh, are they good!   I cook a burger patty for Reggie and Roger, too, because I don’t want to share mine.  (They get pieces from a quarter of a patty each.)

Almost every morning . . .

I spray roses with an anti-fungicide mixture of baking soda and dish soap in water.  Spraying both the top and bottom sides of roses is a arduous task for my hands so I don’t do much at a time.

In order to protect all ten rose bushes, I do a little bit each day.  It can be a meditative experience.

Something about roses . . . 

Their need for repeated, tender, close-up care, preferably in the stillness of morning, creates a sweet intimacy.

I have an affection for this yellow rose.  It appeared from the only bud on its entire, sickly bush.

The boys and I visit the porch several times daily from early morning (sunrise) to after sunset. We eat meals out on the porch while birds sing around us.  I’m furnishing it with thrift store items and plants in thrift-store pots.

The frame of the folding chair with flowered cushion (above right) is the exact same green that I painted the wicker rocker.  How fortuitous is that!  A fun discovery (and comfortable to sit in) at six bucks.

Every item in the above photo (excepting the live plants) came from the thrift store, most costing only a few dollars, including the wicker rocker.

Remember the cactus that broke in half?

It’s doing well, as you can see from the next photo.

After the break, I took the top half (See the wound, above left?) and planted it elsewhere.  So far it’s not doing anything — other than recovering from the shock, I suppose.

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About this blog . . .

Obviously, to anyone who has read my posts of previous years, the focus of my life and subsequently of this blog has changed.  I admit that my interest in writing blog posts has waned.

It’s difficult for me to write, for several reasons I won’t go into now.  This has resulted in gaps of several days.

Emails, phone calls, and comments tell me that my absences cause worry for some.  My repeated assurances that I’m “just taking a break” don’t seem to help much.  Therefore, I’m going to remove the uncertainty by putting this blog on a regular, once-a-week schedule until otherwise noted.

In the meantime you can find (and provide, if so inclined) entertainment and fellowship in the comments section.

I’ll strive to publish a post at some point during the first days of each week.  I’ll shoot for Mondays.

We’ll see how it goes, okay?



RVSue and her canine crew is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

RVSUE recommends the Blackstone griddle available from Amazon.  

You can see the griddle at the above link to Amazon, along with quality accessories from Blackstone.  — Sue

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Posted in At home in Arizona | Tagged , , , , | 76 Comments