A Tradesperson A Day

This has been quite a week with visitors as we catch up with Scottsdale home projects that were not accomplished while we were away. Every day including the weekend, folks have been working on the home. When I arrived, I noticed that there was a hole in the countertop to the right of the kitchen faucet. I thought it was odd since I did not request a soap dispenser. It turns out it was for a button for the garbage disposal. Our contractor gave our button to another client since we were not there and had not installed it yet. We did not know this for the first week we were here and Kuochun likely let food slip into the disposal. We now have been without a working kitchen sink since Tuesday evening as we had a sudden backup. It looks like it was a combination of construction dirt and the container of asparagus Mother tried to grind up in the disposal. It seems that many occupations are short staffed in the area. We tried a national plumbing company (oops, Kuochun's idea) and our appointment time kept getting pushed back. Finally, a plumber came out Thursday evening. He was very nice but unable to clear the drain. He said there is no cleanout which is plumbing 101 to have present. He did not charge for his visit and his suggestion was to have their camera person come out to survey the area at a cost of $350. I was requested to pay this in advance. When it looked like the camera person was not going to make it Friday, we decided to ask for my money back and find another company.

Luckily the previous owner had left me a big accordion folder filled with notes, receipts and owner's manuals. Included with this was a plumbing receipt for 2017 which showed that they experienced the same problem. The receipt explained exactly how the problem was solved. We then knew who to call! The same thing happened with our Saturday appointment - first it was pushed back to later in the day and again to Sunday but thankfully the plumber did make it at around noon. He was able to fix the problem and also ran cleaning solution through the area. We have two sinks in the kitchen which are connected and the smaller sink was an explosion of the construction dirt and asparagus. What a foul smell it was! I was never so happy to have that replaced with the scent of cleaning solution. The best part was the problem was resolved but a close second was that I was not charged overtime for it being a weekend. This company has weekday and weekend plumbers and charges the same price every day. I sure wish I would have consulted these receipts when I had the big plumbing problem as I bet I really overpaid.

I receive the local newspaper by e-mail and the pages turn with a click of the mouse so it is enjoyable to read. I took a moment to read the latest issue and noticed a full-page ad by this company with a long list of all of their awards. They also only charge $99 for their camera service. My charge was $226 for all the plumber did which I felt was reasonable. If I would have seen that ad earlier I could have had an additional $25 off but all in all we are so glad to have the kitchen back.

We could not cook anything this week and ended up eating out more than we would have wanted. I was able to check another restaurant off my go-to list though when we visited Doughbird Thursday night. Mother and I tried it on our last visit, splitting pizzas and salads. This is my kind of restaurant - both the food and decor. Doughbird specializes in house-made pizza and rotisserie chicken and is located in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix which is right next to our neighborhood. Last time I noticed they had a salmon dinner on the menu so I knew it would work for Kuochun. Sure enough, salmon is what he ordered. I selected this spicy chorizo and egg pizza. It did not occur to me at the time but it was actually kind of a breakfast pizza with the chorizo, egg and slices of potato. I did not love the squirts of avocado salsa verde but dealt with it. Mother had a piece and Kuochun ate the rest for lunch a different day. I had a Ceasar salad to start, it was good and cold with creamy dressing and green lettuce the way I like but a little on the fishy side. Kuochun ordered it as his side dish and really enjoyed it. He must have been hungry because he not only ate his dinner but the dark meat from Mother's rotisserie chicken dinner as well. She ordered an heirloom tomato salad, we both thought it was going to be sliced tomatoes with dressing but it turned out to be a couscous salad with lots of other vegetables as well. She did not like it at all and did not bring it home. We did all agree on the dessert we shared which was the warm butterscotch cake with vanilla bean ice cream. I had butter cake for the first time in Las Vegas near the resort we stayed when we visited five years ago and never forgot it. At the beginning of the meal the server said "I don't care how full you think you are after dinner, you can't leave without trying the butter cake." The one at Doughbird was next level with the butterscotch sauce. I highly recommend ordering butter cake if you see it on any menu!

On Sunday Kuochun wanted to go to Lenscrafters to get his glasses fixed and the closest location is at Fashion Square Mall. It turns out it would have been faster to drive to the next furthest location as it took a lot of time to park and walk through the mall to get to it. But it gave Kuochun the opportunity to eat at the pasta place at the food court which he really enjoyed the last time. After that he was in the mood for ice cream. We did not see anything at the mall so I mentioned that I noticed some sort of ice cream place in Old Town in the past and had a general idea of where it was. We headed that way and it turned out to be Luxe Bar, they specialize in hand dipped ice cream bars. The shop is connected to Luv Luxe, which is a reseller of high designer handbags. All of the ice cream bars were named after handbags. Kuochun chose the Birkin Bar which was pretzels, caramel drizzle and sea salt and I went with the Neverfull of Nuts which was crushed peanuts, Nutella drizzle and a Reese's peanut butter cup. They allow you to choose your ice cream flavor. I steered Kuochun away from mango (that combo did NOT sound good!) The helper said the most popular with the Birkin Bar is chocolate and I selected vanilla as I am not a chocoholic. This was a real splurge and boy was it good! They were about $9 each but a very generous size and very high-quality ingredients. It was worth it! We were people-watching while eating our bars out in front of the shop and noticed that EVERY woman who walked by gawked at the designer bags in the window next door. I just had my eye on the ice cream bars!

It has been a lot of moving things around to help all the folks do their jobs at the house this week. The contractor has been over to help with our punch list, a handyman has been by to prepare a couple of areas for wallpaper and the electrician stopped by to see what supplies he needs to complete his part of the construction project. Friday was a very fruitful day as the designer and her assistant came to hang all the art. They did a great job and were able to utilize the art we already had as well as the pieces I sent in the storage containers this trip. Literally everything fell into place, it was a great collaboration between my selections and the designer knowing where to put it all. I will take some photos once our sale is over and the home is fully staged. Mother has too much good stuff in her room and her project will need to happen another day. Even Kuochun was very impressed at how good the art looked. I had to throw a lot of stuff on the back patio but I will get to staging it for the sale next week. The designer told us to "stop shopping" but it was really all stuff we already had! I told her not to worry, I need to save up for the second floor project. I cannot wait to have the white carpeting removed but it may not happen until next fall.

I pulled an all-nighter Friday to get the remaining items out of the garage because I found out late Friday night that the epoxy chip floor was going to be installed at 7:00 AM Saturday morning. I was able to get the garage cleared out and the laundry done in time. They came back Sunday morning to finish the job and I am grateful that the job went smoothly and the floor looks awesome. Next step will be the drywallers next week to replace the drywall in the laundry room which was torn out during the remediation. Finally the areas will be painted white and we will be all set to stage the garage for our sale.

With all this going on and keeping up with estate sale work there has been no time for jewelry. At this point I am resigning myself to the fact that I will need to put all of my efforts into our sale and focus on the online stores in late December. Kuochun and I are looking forward to taking some very much needed time off with our drive to Las Vegas and the stop in northern Arizona on the way back during our holiday break from estate sales. But as usual, I will be sourcing jewelry!