An Up And Down Week

Last week I mentioned that this week would be busy but it turned out to be even busier than expected. Monday kicked off with Kuochun's colonoscopy. Everything went well with just one small polyp discovered which was removed. He does not need to have another colonoscopy for seven years. The doctor mentioned that it would be his last one. Kuochun would be 79 at that point so maybe they are not typically done for folks over 80? He also had a CT scan of his lungs on Thursday and we are so grateful that it came back clear. This, combined with continued excellent results from his prostate procedure is all such amazing news. It was a completely different story last year. Next step will be to have Kuochun's primary doctor refer him to a pulmonologist to see if there is anything that can be done about his chronic coughing. We have a message in and are waiting for a response.

Since Kuochun was doing well Monday evening, I went ahead and scheduled a jewelry buying meeting at Mother's home. These sellers are going to take some time off so it will be the last chance for goodies from them for a while but in the meantime I have more than enough to do! I chose so many budget-friendly sterling silver pieces including rings and earrings. They are so popular that I will make a point to get them into circulation as soon as possible. I also have more cool vintage Native American pieces including a concho belt with turquoise and coral. One of the little coral pieces is missing so I will have it fixed.

On Tuesday, I filled in for Adam while he was on vacation and went to meetings at two Lake County homes to see about potential moving sales. The first meeting was in Highland Park - I absolutely love this 1928 home a stone's throw from downtown but in such an idyllic setting. What a great balance of keeping the original interesting features while making modern updates. We look forward to conducting this sale in August! I am not sure if the other sale will go through, the man of the house is skeptical about the process and we have not heard back from the couple since the meeting. I reassured him as best as I could, I never put on any pressure so we will see what happens. Everyone I met with was delightful!

On Wednesday, I started to post the unsold jewelry from last week's lot using AI to create the descriptions. Although the descriptions were wordy I went with it. After sleeping on it I thought I would try and refine the descriptions more. I spent a lot of the time working out the kinks to come up with the exact query to use for generating the descriptions using AI, ideally without having to make any manual changes. By the end of the week, I was able to get things 99% the way I wanted and will go back to update the listings I first started with so everything is consistent going forward. I decided to limit the description to one paragraph and instead of two groupings of bullet points I condensed it down to one. I also decided to use the same description for every marketplace (with a few tweaks here and there to follow each marketplace's rules) as doing a custom query for every item for five marketplaces was turning out to be very time-consuming. I have too many items that I would like to post! The only thing I could not get AI to do was add extra line spacing between sections. No matter how I worded it, the spacing remained the same. But now that there is one basic description, I just need to correct it once. I am excited to move forward with new items! 

I was continuing to work away on Thursday evening when I heard an unexpected "ka-ching" from my phone at about 8:00 PM. This stunning pair of Leo Feeney southwest style earrings sold directly from the online store! I was absolutely thrilled that the customer trusted me enough to purchase these earrings for $650. I actually had them in the queue ready to cross post them to all of the different marketplaces. I also purchased quite a few amazing Leo Feeney pieces at the last Gem Show and have not done a thing with them yet. I am definitely motivated to get them out there now!

Friday I was planning to continue my online store work but I received an unexpected call just before 10:00 AM. Mother had tripped on her oxygen cord and fallen right on her replacement knee. Somehow she cut her toe and because she is on blood thinners, it was bleeding like crazy. Thankfully the visiting nurse was scheduled to pay her a visit at 10:00. I rushed over and the nurse was able to get her cleaned up and bandaged. She said possibly urgent care could help as opposed to going to the ER but I know from past experience her maladies complicate things and the ER would be best. It was not terribly busy this time so we were seen pretty quickly. A lot of X-rays were taken and they came back with no dislocations or broken bones. The doctor gave her a numbing shot in the bottom of her foot so she could trim her toenail. Then her foot was thoroughly cleaned and wrapped up. I was at home with Mother for a while after that and turned my back to leave - next thing I know she was flat on her stomach in the kitchen. Her hospital sock had started to come off her other foot and she tripped on it. It took about an hour to get her back on her feet and step by step over to the couch. She is pretty banged up and sore, she was fearing the worst but I explained that when I have fallen in the past, I was sore for a few days so this was normal.

Later in the evening Kuochun and I stopped by, I located the walker for Mother to use until she can feel more confident walking again. We are contending with an extra dining room set in the living room right now but I cleared a path so there is room to get through with the walker. Once things settled down we decided to get something to eat. I suggested heading over to the corner of Golf and Algonquin because there are a lot of restaurants around there. I was thinking about Noodles & Company since we had not been there for a long time. I gave it up when I found out that they use cheap inflammatory oil in their pesto sauce instead of olive oil. It was not meant to be because when we showed up to the Rolling Meadows location it was gone. We are finding a lot has changed around here in eight months! We went to Chipotle instead. This time the food was not warm enough and although the restaurant was pretty busy considering it was an hour before closing, the employee working the floor would not let me sit where I wanted to. She said go to the bar stools which I do not feel comfortable sitting on so I went to the opposite side of the room and she proceeded to come over do all her work right around us. All the chair moving, cleaning tabletops, mopping etc was really annoying. I think she did it on purpose! We will stick with the Randhurst location and carry out.

Saturday evening we checked on Mother and I brought her all of the first aid items she needed. She has been following my instructions and is feeling a little better. I still would like her to take it easy for a while and not try to do too much. Kuochun wanted to go to Jameson's Steakhouse, we have not been there in ages. I used to get Shrimp DeJonghe there, a Chicago specialty. I also remember that they are one of the very few remaining restaurants that serve both soup and salad. This time I decided to go with something different. I am not really a beef eater but there was a special of filet mignon sliders with a parmesan crust and grilled onions. It came with soup which was chicken tortellini. There are not too many soups that I eat but that one was acceptable! The sliders were OK, I think the buns were King's Hawaiian which I like but they were cold. The topping was very crunchy which made the whole thing taste weird. Kuochun ordered the Greek-style sea bass. He loves sea bass and ate the whole thing. I did not think it looked appealing and it smelled kind of fishy. Also, the restaurant does not have the upscale feeling of years past. The lights were turned all the way up and there were noisy families in larger groups with kids all around us. I do not mind a lively restaurant but something about the overall environment was not the same. Our server was "old school" as Kuochun called her, clearly a career server and was very lovely. However, there are so many choices for restaurants I will not be in a hurry to be back.

On Sunday I posted a new lot of vintage Native American jewelry, mostly new arrivals with a couple of oldies but goodies mixed in. I was not thinking that many would consider this the holiday weekend, looking back I should have taken the night off from it because there was next to no interest and no sales. But I am on track now with a procedure to start putting unsold items from these lots up starting on Wednesday, when I get a little breathing room between estate sale tasks. I took some time to go through past lots and pull items currently not online but are ready to go with write-ups and photos. Although I have been feeling like I am in quicksand trying to get the vintage collection posted I am finally on the right track! I have set a goal to catch up with it by the end of July. Summer is the slowest time of year for online sales so I do not expect items to sell right away but for once I would like to be prepared for the holiday selling season!