A Near Miss

On Friday after our workout at the senior center, Kuochun decided he was in the mood for an Italian beef sandwich. The closest place I knew of was Portillo's in Tempe which was less than 10 minutes away so we headed there. I was good and chose a chopped salad. After leaving the restaurant, I was waiting to turn right onto the first available lane of the busy street which has three lanes going in each direction. The area is very lively because there is lots of shopping. Just to the south of us, a car also wanted to turn right and since the traffic would clear for them first, they headed out onto the street. Unfortunately someone else was going way too fast in that first available lane. I was frozen and speechless as I knew they were going to crash. The front of the car already on the road struck the back of the car turning onto the road and created tons of debris. I think both cars are beyond repair. Somehow one of the drivers ended up back in the parking lot and I saw him race out of his car over to the other one to see if the driver was OK. I am not good in a crisis, my reaction was to carefully drive through the debris and get my new car out of there. I assume the driver who turned onto the road was at fault but the other driver was totally speeding. Neither Kuochun nor I had ever witnessed a car accident right on the front line so we were definitely a little shaken up.

I am extremely careful driving around the Phoenix area because a lot of people drive differently here. No matter what the situation, the drivers just keep going. I can be 75% backed out of a parking space and they do not hesitate to go. I have learned to be the bigger person in every situation because there is no winning. The sweet girl who does my hair here is originally from Massachusetts and she said honking horns is a way of life there. They use their horns not only to express displeasure with fellow drivers but to politely alert them - say, if they do not go right away when a light changes to green. She said road rage is a real thing here and combined with people that carry guns, she does not advise ever using the horn. I totally believe that and luckily I have been so surprised by people's behavior I did not even think of using the horn. Once I was turning right on a green light and someone who was waiting in the left turn lane across from me decided to make a U-turn, which would have been right into me had I not stopped. She was so angry, screaming and throwing her fists when she was the one making a U-turn on a red light. I just let her go.

Backing up to earlier in the week, we had a bit of a heat wave with a couple of nearly 100 degree days. Tuesday was house cleaning day and normally we all go somewhere so we are not in the house cleaner(s) way. It was so hot that I did not think it was a good idea for Mother to go out so Kuochun and I took the girls with us. First, Kuochun needed to pick up a prescription and we went to a couple of different locations trying to find the best price. I noticed that we were in the neighborhood of the house that got away and thought it was a good chance to show it to Kuochun. I was curious about it as well since I had not seen it since I originally toured it three years ago.

I committed to purchasing this home, also in a historic district of patio homes in Scottsdale named Villa Monterrey in early 2020. However when we got to the appraisal, it did not appraise for enough and the bank wanted me to come up with an additional $17,000. Also, this was the time when the pandemic and stay at home order just started. I felt it was not a good time to purchase the home not knowing when we were going to be allowed to go back to work outside the home again.

I loved the home, the previous owners had gone through a total renovation and although it was a little traditional for my taste, not a thing needed to be done with it. The primary bedroom opened up to the beautiful backyard. Although we did not think we would use the large concrete area with fire pit, there was lots of room for the girls to run around. However it was not meant to be and I think overall for the best. Although I prefer the overall location of Villa Monterrey which is just as close to Old Town but on the east side of it, the homes inside the development in Golden Keys are way cooler with many more architectural features, a much more open feel and plenty of room for three people.

Kuochun and I had the same reaction when we drove by - it seemed so unassuming from the front compared to my home. Also, this home only has a carport while we have a two-car garage. The home literally has four rooms - kitchen, living area and two bedrooms. It would not have worked for three people to stay there since we each need a bedroom. Finally, while this home has appreciated 19% over three years, my home has appreciated an amazing 40% over 2.5 years. I cannot wait to have the front painted white and tile added! Although the colors look orange in the photo, the actual colors are more like an '80s pink. I applied with the HOA for permission to paint last October and never received a response. It is on my list of things to do to follow up.

After a quick tour of Villa Monterrey, we still needed to kill some time so I suggested we go to Chandler and American Way Cafe to grab a dozen of their fabulous cookies. The restaurant was not quite open yet but the bakery was. I found the cashier to be unfriendly. I made my selections but when I returned home I found that she had given us a couple of oatmeal raisin cookies instead of whatever else I asked for and it did not say that the peanut butter chocolate chip breakfast cookies also had banana which I did not care for. The others were all incredible as usual and I have to admit even the oatmeal raisin were good. My favorite last time was the frosted sugar cookies and so I ordered four this time.

We noticed that there was a brand new Raising Cane's a couple of doors down and although I had not had breakfast and it was early for lunch, we decided to go there. Kuochun has been doing his best to avoid fried food but made an exception this time. He has been so good, he has not been to McDonald's since his heart attack and he used to go for Big Macs fairly often. We carried out and I decided to search for a park. There happened to be a very nice park about a half mile away and we found the only shady spot in the entire parking lot. I had to break my rule about no eating in the new car because it was so hot but it worked out fine. I was able to cross two items off my to-do list before we head for home.

This week was the monthly pop-up sale at Old Brick House Market but we were not able to make it there until the last day, Saturday. Thursday the movers came to load the furniture in the U-Box and we ran out of time Friday. There was still plenty to see but a lot was missing and we did not find anything. Since I had just gotten the cookies at American Way, I passed on the cookies at the market this time. One of my top three antique malls was Antique Plaza which was on the same block as the market. However I noticed since the last time we were in town the antique mall was no longer there. I looked it up and found they moved about a mile and a half away. Unfortunately it was the first and last time we will go there. The neighborhood is slightly sketchy and the building run down. The linoleum tile floor was missing a lot of tiles and the store was dirty. I had some kind of allergic reaction the entire time I was in there so I hope the tile was not asbestos. They did have some kitschy items but the jewelry prices were high and we did not find anything.

I needed to pick up my repairs at Old Town Jewels so I suggested we head to Old Town. After that, Mother was hungry and we were surprised to find a parking space just adjacent to Cien Agaves, which is a Mexican restaurant. A couple of the stars of 90 Day Fiance live in Fountain Hills and I believe I saw on Facebook that they dined there. I tried to find it and instead, found that USA Today named this restaurant one of the top ten Mexican in America. Only 5 minutes from home! We had just carried out Mexican on Thursday but Mother loves it so I suggested we go. Being a Saturday afternoon close to happy hour, the restaurant was very lively. We were surrounded by two bachelorette parties. One group had bubblegum pink cowboy hats on with feather trim. The bride was wearing fuchsia cowboy boots and the maid of honor had pink heart shaped eyeglasses on. They were all wearing tank tops and Daisy Dukes. The other group was more subdued but one of the bridesmaids got a veil out for the bride to wear. Both groups ate and drank heartily! The cowgirl group was taking a group photo and they kept yelling "Grandma! Get in the photo!" It looked like the adjacent booth held all of the grandparents. The grandmas got in the photo and I noticed shortly after the cowgirls left. The grandparents were still there so likely they got stuck with the bill.

Mother ordered a beet salad which she found kind of weird because some of the ingredients were warm and the bowl was warm as well. She expected the salad to be fully cold. I chose a Caesar salad and we each selected a Tecate beer battered island shrimp taco which we both thought sounded good. I loved the Caesar salad, it was the best I had ever had. The dressing was homemade and instead of croutons it was tortilla strips and instead of Parmesan cheese it was queso fresco. I actually liked this combination better than the classic one. I told Kuochun about it because he loves Caesar salad. I am the one who introduced it to him many moons ago. I would definitely go again for the salad and get it with grilled shrimp.

I sent a medium and a large size box of jewelry home for Mike to set up on Friday for next week's big sale in Kildeer. He did a great job putting five large cases together. We have another great sale in nearby Hawthorn Woods and there is room for five medium size cases there. Even though our third sale in Glen Ellyn was postponed, we still have a great sale weekend on tap and plenty of jewelry to see! I sent the new amber collection which is highlighted above and below is Native American jewelry by Buffalo Dancer and new pieces from Mexico. There are some Southwest Style finds from Carolyn Pollack and others as well.

There is so much great jewelry and a lot more on the way over this next month. I have more Buffalo Dancer to send and lots of vintage silver. Mother is pretty well caught up with creating cards for the Gem Show finds so I have given her a new project. We have a lot of printed card stock which we were going to use for costume jewelry cards but have way more than we need. We also have thousands of beads that we need to sell. Although we are not going to totally cease making jewelry we are going to cut down the styles we make significantly.  Once I get the main categories of the online store set up, I will see about adding a category for Windy City Jewelry and populating my Windy City Jewelry Etsy shop as well.

Mother needed a new card punch for leverback earrings and when I found one on Amazon to buy I noticed that they had other punches for necklace cards and bag toppers that can hang on a display. I bought a case of square bags and Mother is busy filling the bags and stapling toppers on them. They came out so cute! My job is to price everything and I will ship it all home for our next pop-up sale.

Due to tax day quickly approaching I was not able to post any jewelry online but the plan is to have news in that department this time next week. I have accumulated enough new to me Native American pieces to create three weeks worth of postings. Some of the pieces are on the way and are spectacular!

We are still without a dishwasher but the parts came in and the repair company is scheduled to come next Tuesday to install them.

That's all for this week, see you next time!