A Tale Of Two Pockets

When I look back on this past week it was such a blur and I wonder "what even happened?" but I am sure it will come to me. I mentioned preparing this Buffalo Dancer coin jewelry for sale and I did things a little backwards this time and wrote everything up for the online venues before posting to the Facebook groups. I was so happy with the way the group photo turned out. I think I will try this combination more often and maybe if I cut down the group sizes posting will feel a little less overwhelming. I have so many Replica Surfaces that I can use as the background. I did shoot the rest of the jewelry individually on the brown and fuchsia backdrop but I did not realize that the dark wood piece was really washing out until I was most of the way through it. The only way I could prevent it was not to put the focus on the jewelry pieces and then the images were not as sharp as I would have liked. I ended up using the first set of photos and will think twice about using the dark wood in the future. It also has a satin finish and shows every little scratch. I have a smaller slab which looks similar to the large one for the group photo, I think I need a medium size slab to match for necklaces. I will have to check and see what the lovely Etsy seller from Ireland has to offer right now. I have spent entirely too much time on these 13 pieces and definitely do not want to do any reshoots! In the end I should nave waited another week and not posted anything on Mother's Day. I was not able to post all of the details to the groups Sunday so I think that hurt sales. I sold a pair of the post dangle coin earrings and a keychain. I had a total of three earrings and two keychains so everything is still technically available.

Kuochun was ready to try Cornish Pasty Co so we headed over there on Tuesday for a quick lunch. He was all set to drive to a further location than Old Town which is only 6 minutes away. He is always very skeptical about dining out anywhere in Old Town because of all the tourists but I had a feeling at this time the restaurant was not going to be busy. We went to Old Town and it was not busy at all. I went with the Meat and Cheese which is the same one I had before at another location. Kuochun chose the Oggie which is the traditional pasty with steak, potato, onion and rutabaga with a side of red wine gravy. We ordered the chips (fries) as well. Unfortunately Kuochun did not care for the pasty, it is not his cup of tea. I thought he would be able to handle it because the pastry shell is very thin. My pasty was great but I thought the chips were overdone. We gave the other half of Kuochun's pasty to Mother and she absolutely loved it! So much so, that we got her an Oggie of her own for Mother's Day dinner. Mother was also in the mood for dessert and I suggested the Sticky Toffee Pudding, which is toffee drenched sponge cake with dates and ice cream. She said it was the best dessert she has ever had in her life. Although the food looks like it would be salty, Mother said the pasty was not salty at all which is a good thing as she is supposed to be on a low salt diet of only 2000mg per day. First thing Monday morning Mother is going to a planned hospital visit to drain out the excess water and then have some heart tests done including the right heart catheterization which sent her to critical care last summer. I imagine that she will be in the hospital for the better part of a week. Praying for better results this time!

The pasty was not the only pocket food I had this week. Kuochun watches TikTok quite a bit and came across a guy who travels around the country trying different food. It is amazing that so many people make a living doing this! The video was for Zookz Sandwiches, which are made with bread with different fillings and pressed in a special machine, kind of like a panini. The guy in the video recommended the #68 which has 2 eggs, chorizo, jack cheese, red onions, sliced potatoes and buttermilk dressing. It also comes with avocado but I asked them to leave it out. I love chorizo so it was the one to try for me. The concept is good but I felt the sandwich was kind of bland. It is about 15 minutes away so I do not think I will be in a hurry to go there again.

I had the sandwich in the car Friday morning because it was cleaning day and it is just easier if we make ourselves scarce at least for the first two hours while Irma cleans the upstairs. After that, we can bring the girls up there and put up the fence so we do not bother her. Vivi was amazingly good and did not bark once. I have been working with her to correct her "reactive" behavior. We use the time away to run any local errands. This usually involves a trip to the post office. Irma starts at 8:00 and it was great going to the post office before they opened. Luckily the package dropoff was unlocked. We rounded out our trip with a stop at The Local Donut. They did not have a full case but there were still plenty to choose from. I noticed a full tray of donuts I had not seen before called the Princess. It had pink frosting and a whipped cream center with coconut. If I knew how delicious it was going to be I would have taken a photo! It was very sweet but amazing. The people who passed on the Princess missed out! Normally we get a dozen but this time went with a half dozen and Kuochun picked up three cronuts. There was only one Nutella left and the other two were vanilla. They put a fresh raspberry in the center. Randy's Donuts which is famous in LA (the one with the huge round donut sign) recently opened here in Phoenix but Kuochun says (and I agree) that nothing can beat The Local Donut. I still think we should try it though!

This last trip out of the house on cleaning day left us thinking about what we will do once we return home and the cleaning job takes up to 8 hours. We used to go to Mother's home. Kuochun had a pretty drastic idea to just go somewhere and get an Airbnb. It is a lovely idea but taking time off work and the expense would be prohibitive as cleaning day falls on Mondays. I know he would like to drive by the Wisconsin lake house to see how it looks but I do not think it has changed. I looked it up for fun and the folks my parents sold it to back in 2013 still own it. Dad would be amazed to know that the value has skyrocketed to nearly $1.5 million!

The worst of Mother's apartment move is complete, there are still a few things in her room and I plan to bring them over while she is in the hospital. Every time I go I bring things and take other things away. I had a Facebook customer stop by for a butterfly pin so that forced me to get all of her moving boxes and packing materials under control. Next step is to pack it all up and see if there is enough for a U-Box to send it all back for the moving sale. I think there will be, combined with the items I want to send back. Next week I have a week off from estate sale packages so I will have more time to get this final part of the puzzle completed.

The real estate process is moving along but the buyer kind of ticked us off when she said she would not ask for any concessions as a result of the home inspection and then went ahead and did, to the tune of over $3,000. It sounds like someone she knows put a bug in her ear and told her to ask anyway. But they do not know Mother! We will see how the moving sale goes but I would be willing to bet she will not want to leave anything behind for the buyer now. I will counsel her to take emotions out of it and if it is easier to leave the items behind we will. We received some feedback a week after the potential buyer visits the first day the home went on the market. After that, showings were cancelled. The feedback was weird - price too high, rooms too small, did not like the style. Did they not look at the real estate listing? At any rate, the final hurdle should be the appraisal. For Mother's sake, hopefully the home will appraise for enough.

At the end of the time Kuochun and I were waiting to go back home Friday morning, I received some very bad news. My entire jewelry case filled with sterling silver pieces was stolen overnight Thursday. This has never happened to me in fifteen years of conducting over 2,000 estate sales. I consider myself fortunate that we had such a great track record but this is still a big financial loss and very disappointing to say the least. The case was on the table when the group left the sale Thursday afternoon and they noticed it was gone Friday morning. The sale was extremely slow, there were only five sales the entire morning so I truly do not believe a customer walked off with it. This particular family was laying claim to items - some were taken out of the sale and others were put back in later. Everything points to a family member thinking the jewelry belonged to them and not wanting to sell it but they say they did not take it. There were no signs of forced entry and the cash box was not touched. Melinda filed a police report with Kane County as the home is in an unincorporated location. I had to come up with a value and carefully went through the photo. I could see some of the price tags which helped and I know how I price things so I feel my estimate is very accurate. I came up with a cost of almost $2,300 and a selling price at 50% off of almost $4,600. I am at least slightly relieved that this was not a super high-value case filled with rings or Gem Show items. I have had these pieces for a while. I know that nothing will come of the police investigation, the family will just say that they did not do it.

My plan for when I returned home was going to be to focus on inventory reduction and further pull items I feel I can sell online. This is a definite setback though and at the moment I am not keen on reducing inventory at cost. I will not let this get me down, I will stand up, move forward and keep doing what I believe in.

Plans for next week are to get everything packed up that needs to go, including me separating out all of my sterling silver jewelry inventory. I am going to send back all of the "regular" jewelry for the caravan as I originally planned, whether it is ready to sell or not. I should have more time to work on it this summer with Mother staying here in the apartment. I will plan to bring all of my online inventory in the carryon bag on the airplane and possibly the Gem Show pieces in Kuochun's carryon bag if he does not need it.

Until next time!