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Back to Life, Back to Reality..

Apparently, they don't call it Slowcala for nothing.

When last we spoke, we were heading out with high hopes, which if the show closed on Saturday, I would be writing that those hopes were not only dashed, but smashed to smithereens. Alas, Sunday redeemed the experience somewhat. We'll get to that in due time.

The show site clocked in at 83 miles from home. Set in a large park, there were two kinds of spaces--sunny and grassy, and shady and sandy. Now, it's not like I haven't been intimately acquainted with dirt this last month, it's just that I was hoping to have that behind me. That was not meant to be.

Bruce arrived a little before me now that I've become a pokey driver. Picking up the registration packet, we made our way to site F3, immediately discovering that we were to set up on all dirt/sand. Yikes! Heading back out to the main drag of Ocala, I came across a Big Lots nearby, with a Big Lots Furniture store no less. The biggest gray rug I could find was 5'x7' which once you see the booth space you'll agree was better than nothing. Additionally we used the carpets that lay in the back of the Element. Have I kept you in suspense too long? Well, here it is:
The oak tree shading our spot had one of the largest trunks I've ever seen. Seriously majestic. You are looking at the final product taken Saturday morning.  As you well know, it takes a good deal of time to get it looking this way.

Normally Bruce busts a move with the set up, however, on Friday we took it slow and easy. Did I forget to mention that Bruce's favorite little buddy came along for the ride? Well, here are the two of them:
Bruce was taking a business call in this with Baxter snuggled up in his lap. He stayed with me long enough to enjoy the welcome dinner on the grounds before making the trip back to Orlando. There was a little comedy act going on behind Bruce. They didn't mean it to be funny, but the fellows setting up those panels kept having the worst time getting them right--like almost two hours worth! Their banter while this was going on kept us entertained. Much to my amazement when the tent was open the next morning the paintings were amazing! Here's his next door neighbor taking a closer look:
Adding to the comedy--he set up in the wrong space! Somehow he thought this space was the end of the row, for which he paid, but it was one in.  Apparently, this artist typically wins best in show, however, this time he was denied. A pencil artist surprised everyone by winning. From the little bit that I saw, there was some terrific art to be seen amongst the 200 tents.

Back to Friday evening after the dinner--as is my wont, I took a left turn once I saw a sign recognizing the Historic district. Here's a little scene I came across just as the sun was setting:
This, however, was not such a great plan because I ended up lost. Duh! Eventually, after several calls to Bruce, begging a woman who stared right at me through her car window to help me, and eventually receiving directions from a kind man in another car next to me, I found the Hilton. Whew!

After a good night's sleep, not to mention a wonderful breakfast buffet, I managed to drive right to the site with high hopes for a good day. Your first sale is always great--you've broken the ice. Leaving that evening my spirits were not so high, although I tried to not let it get me down. I sold 23 items, mostly small. Really, like a decent day at the market, which I don't need to remind you, does not require a caravan and $225 fee. Calling Lisa to let her know how things went, she said she'd been worried that it would be too much for me to handle on my own. If only.....

For probably the first time in, I can't even begin to remember, I fell asleep with the tv on. I was watching the Alabama/Tennessee game which was pretty much a foregone conclusion early on. Instead, the Oklahoma/Missouri game might have kept me awake with the upset. Anyway, Sunday morning I was refreshed and ready to give it another go. It was no avalanche of people, but I did manage to eke out 40 more sales, mostly small, but at least I wasn't just standing there! For a closer look at my sales floor, check this out:
Thank goodness for those rugs! Bruce, that darling man of mine, arrived a little before 5:00 for the tear down. Once we removed the pieces from the walls, we were left with their white shadow on a sea of gray dirt on the panels! Wiping them down the best we could, with both cars full, we headed off into the sunset....

Only to arrive 1 1/2 hours later to our beautiful Orlando oasis. Ahhhh.......
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