Diving Into The Jewelry Archives

This was a jam-packed week, starting off with house cleaning for all of us. The house cleaner Mother has had went to Poland and has been gone for a month with no return date given. She has her come every other week and could not wait any longer. I had given Mother the information on another house cleaner who was highly recommended on Nexdoor a couple of years ago and noticed that she was recommended once again. Mother called her up and after an in-person viewing actually received her very last opening. She was about to take a job which was further away but took Mother's job instead. However I do not know what will happen long term as Mother did not have house cleaning in Arlington Heights while we were in Scottsdale. It is very possible that the new house cleaner will need to take another job while Mother is gone and will not have time for her next spring.

Luckily she started at 7:30 AM because it was time for our monthly house cleaning and when she comes, we need a place to go. It is a lot having two people and two dogs around while trying to clean, especially with me trying to work. We stayed as long as we could but had to head out at around 10:00 AM. When arriving at Mother's, we found that her house cleaner was still there. Both girls but especially Margot is keenly aware when we are approaching Mother's home. As soon as we slow down to turn onto Vail, Margot starts crying. This time it was a little traumatic as we got to the home, couldn't go there and had to keep moving. I had some Amazon returns to bring back to Whole Foods for Mother and the GPS said there was one at Streets Of Woodfield. However we could not find it, headed back to Mother's and again could not go inside. We then went to Randhurst to get some dog food and by that time we were good to go. Those poor girls did not know what was happening!

However it was not long after arriving when our house cleaner let me know there was water in the furnace room and the furnace was leaking. Luckily I was able to have AA Service come look at it in the afternoon. It turned out the PVC pipe was clogged and the condensation had nowhere to go. It was actually quite dangerous as water was pouring through the entire system. The technician said there was 4" of water in the corner of the furnace room. There was some minimal damage to a few belongings which were on the floor. He was there until 8:00 PM cleaning up the water. I was so surprised but they did not charge me because I had just had maintenance done less than a month ago. I cannot say enough about this company, every time they have gone above and beyond. I just shake my head when I think about the other company wanting me to replace the entire system last year when the PVC pipe just needed to be cleaned out. I am very grateful that the system survived the downpour inside.

I did receive the beige and grey string mannequins from Canada on Monday. They arrived so quickly, just as the seller promised - I ordered them on Thursday evening! It was faster than Priority Mail is sometimes. I started with the grey mannequin but I found that in some cases my background remover removed the mannequin as well, leaving a necklace floating in the air. I had better luck when I switched to the beige one. I decided to start with my collection of new Navajo-made pendants that I have purchased from the Tucson Gem Show these past several years. I have not really done anything with them but it is definitely time to get them online. This pendant is an amazing statement cluster by Bobby Johnson featuring Pilot Mountain turquoise. I have this one as well as a second one with the same turquoise but in lighter colors. These are amazing investment pieces and will never go out of style! The Navajo pearls are my personal set but I do have a few similar ones for sale by the same artist, Marilyn Platero. This is not the same as a live model but I think it will give people a pretty good idea of how necklaces will look on. It will give me the push I need to get these pieces posted. Now to just find the time!

On Tuesday, Margot went to The Grooming Lodge for the first time and came back with a strange haircut. Her chest was totally shaved and her legs were medium length. I wish they would have just shaved everything if they had to shave her chest like they did with Vivi. Margot is adorable no matter what and I know her hair will grow back. Going forward, I will ask for medium length which will be easier for us to maintain.

Finally after about a year and a half, we are back to #1 on EstateSales.org. We conduct the most sales by far as well as our sale extensions so the less than #1 rankings have been puzzling. Possibly some of the other companies are paying for extra advertising as the rankings are based on ad views. I do pay a monthly fee which has just gone up due to inflation. Hopefully we can keep up our top position!

I had a night and day eBay experience with two different customers. The first customer told me they might be interested in this necklace but that my photo was HORRIBLE. I thought this was so rude because I do take a lot of care into putting the photos together. I am not the most artistic but I do know what I like and work hard to make them look good to the best of my ability. The night before I had happened to take this test shot and sent it to them with a short explanation. Of course there was no response.

Later in the day, I received a customer question about this amazing Leo Feeney Sleeping Beauty turquoise and blue topaz necklace. She so politely asked if I would consider selling it for $100 less than my asking price. The price did work for me on eBay and she was so kind that I did not even counter offer. I feel that when selling these higher-end pieces, just like with real estate the first offer is typically going to be the best offer. The customer has already received it and was very pleased. I was tempted to keep this one but it was a bit on the shorter side for me. I am very glad that it went to a good home.

The rude customer did get me thinking that maybe my black and white cowhide backdrop is a little busy for necklace photos. I decided to order some more hides from Etsy. I selected two large size pieces, including this brown one which I think goes well with the driftwood as well as a white one with a subtle silvery grey pattern. I like the brown but I am not loving the white. Also, I ordered a smaller piece I already had. I am going to see if I can exchange these two pieces for something else. I am really pleased with the other small pieces I ordered which include a black and white and a saddle brown floral embossed leathers and a brown and white cowhide. I think I have enough variety now but I will check on new styles every once in a while. I started by shooting pendant photos with the saddle brown color. It is a little shiny but overall I am happy with the way the photos turned out.

On Wednesday I had a doctor's appointment of my own, an annual dermatology checkup. It has actually been about five years since I have been to a dermatologist as I had a bad experience the last time. It was a referral from my primary doctor and my first time going to a physician's assistant instead of the dermatologist. I had a very small wart on my hand and instead of giving me a couple of puffs of the liquid nitrogen to freeze it she continually sprayed my hand for about 15 seconds. I had a hole in my hand down to the bone and was in a lot of pain for about 6 months. I still have a scar. She also removed a small spot from my leg which was less than 3mm in size but dragged the scalpel across my leg, leaving a scar about 5 times larger than it should have been. She also made me sign the consent forms after I had undressed and was told to lie on my stomach which I thought was strange.

It took time to get up the guts to see a dermatologist again and the pandemic delayed things as well. I let my primary doctor know about the experience and she referred me to Derick Dermatology in Arlington Heights. I had been there with Mother before we left for Scottsdale this year so I was familiar with the office and treatment. The office is gorgeous and the people are all so nice and friendly. The physician's assistant could not have been better. I had such a professional experience with Dr. Haugen, she answered all of my questions and I came out with a good report. She did suggest that I wear a hat or wear powdered sunscreen on my scalp when I go out. I am not a hat person but the hat sounds a lot easier than the sunscreen. However my one and only hat is in Scottsdale. I told Dr. Haugen that I noticed a lot more freckles on my arms after spending a winter there. I do need to be more vigilant about applying sunscreen. Luckily I have a brand I just love which is organic, handmade and does not feel sticky at all. I did not expect anything to come of it but I mentioned that I have developed a lot of lipomas and there are three in particular which are very bothersome. She approved to have two of the three removed and I will be able to have this done at the Arlington Heights office at the end of September. However by this time next year she will be locating to the Skokie office. It is not a big deal to go to Skokie but Arlington Heights is definitely more convenient. I think I am going to change my Skokie appointment and keep going to Arlington Heights.

From there I headed over to Mother's house as I needed to take her back to her primary doctor in the afternoon. The doctor did not love the way her legs looked and said if things got worse we would need to go to the ER. I asked if Mother could keep her rehab appointment for the next day and she said she could. In the evening, I resumed work on posting these wonderful pieces from the July 16 jewelry lot. All of the unsold items are now online except for the onyx cuff bracelet with leaves at the upper right, the onyx stacker cuff at the upper center and the onyx multi-stone inlay watch on the right. The plan is to get them posted next week. There already has been a lot of interest in the watch on the left but no takers yet.

On Thursday, I took Mother to rehab and when I picked her up, asked her if she wanted to go grocery shopping at Jewel which is in the same shopping center in Rolling Meadows. Since it was our first time there, I checked to be sure they had a motorized cart and they had two but they were quite old. It did the job though. Mother likes to take her time with grocery shopping so when either Kuochun or I take her, we drop her off and pick her up later as she could be there for up to two hours. I had loaded my van with a lot of the vintage silver jewelry which was in large cases to consolidate them to medium size cases again so they are easier to manage at the estate sales. I went back to Mother's house and sorted the jewelry by category as it had gotten mixed up while I was gone. I was happy to see that only five pieces need updated tags but a lot of pieces need polishing. Unfortunately though Mother forgot that the visiting nurse was coming and she missed her visit. I was very apologetic and even offered to get Mother from Jewel but they said they had another appointment and did not have time to wait.

Friday was my first haircut since I have been back to Mount Prospect. Ever since Kerri our previous stylist retired, I have been going to Dana at Bloom Salon in downtown Arlington Heights. She is a very nice and cute girl and does a great job. Plus I totally love the Davines products they sell! They are the best products I have ever used and their scent is divine. I use the Love line which is for curly hair. I was almost out of shampoo and the first time Dana had suggested the curl mask which comes in a tub and I only have about 25% left. She mentioned that it was the annual sale for the liter size products so I decided to get the shampoo and smoothing conditioner. She also used Oi Oil which was so lovely and smelled great so I got that too. The products are on the expensive side but their quality is amazing, they are well worth it. I am still trying to use up the products I already have but will be transitioning to using exclusively Davines once they run out. I also use the leave-in conditioner and the gel oil for styling.

I mentioned to Dana that on my last haircut in Scottsdale one side was left longer than the other (luckily this is not too noticeable with curly hair) and the permanent color did not stick. She said where did you say you live in Arizona again? When I said Scottsdale, she said when she used to work in the city she worked with a girl named Aimee who moved to Scottsdale to a salon with the same products and she also specializes in curly hair. The salon is in North Scottsdale which is about 25 minutes away but the distance is not a problem. Hopefully the price will not be as steep if I get out of the Old Town area but the north side is fancy as well. I am going to give Aimee a chance and since the same products are used, I will be able to keep a consistent hair color. I have not washed it yet, I always give it time before the first washing in the hopes that the color stays true longer. It is very dark right now with a blueberry purple over it. It will probably settle down after I wash it a few times. The cost of the service in Scottsdale is twice what it is in Arlington Heights so for that price I expect it to be amazing. The stylist I was going to is very nice and sweet but is very young and I think needs more experience.

After my hair appointment I stopped by the local jeweler, I had not been there since last year. I had some repairs piling up and needed an emergency repair on a piece I had sold. I ended up purchasing this necklace that I had my eye on for about a year. It is vintage Navajo pearls which were strung with the turquoise and accented with a handmade hook clasp. I am sure I will get a lot of use out of it. I had also purchased a necklace and earrings from them previously that are not an exact match but I think will coordinate well. I also selected a silver necklace and bracelet set from Mexico which looks like a flat watch chain and they had the cutest vintage concho belt which I am having them make into a necklace and three pairs of earrings.

On Sunday Kuochun and I actually tried to go out and do something fun. He discovered that Waukegan has a new casino currently called The Temporary At American Place. Apparently they opened back in February while we were gone. This literally is a temporary location while the permanent one is being built. They have a Sunday brunch buffet for $18.95 and although Kuochun is by no means a gambler, he occasionally likes to give $20 to slot machines and $20 to roulette. I was hesitant to go up there as I am always worried about Mother and all the work I have to do but thought maybe it would be alright to go do something for three hours. The location is at Fountain Square which is near Route 120 and Route 41, very close to where Kuochun used to live in Gurnee. He wanted to drive past his former home as well. When we arrived, we found that The Temporary is in a beautiful tent, even nicer than the ones they use for Tucson Gem Show. Most of the people visiting were VERY casually dressed, like in clothes they would wear when cutting the grass. The setup was very nice inside, above is a photo of L'Americain where the brunch was held. I was not expecting much for the price but the food definitely gave me mixed reviews. The setup was like catering for a party, with skirted red tablecloths. Cold items were placed in containers of ice and hot items had warmers. I decided to get the scrambled eggs instead of waiting for an omelet but I wish I would have done the omelet. All of the breakfast foods were ice cold. I was concerned that they were not warm enough to be safe to eat but luckily I did not get sick. I next put together a simple salad which I really enjoyed - spinach, shredded cheddar cheese, wontons and apple cider dressing. I will definitely try to duplicate this at home. However while I was eating my salad I noticed Mother was trying to get a hold of me. She let me know that she felt she needed to go to the ER for her legs. Unfortunately we could not stay - I did finish my salad and had a quick brownie dessert but did not get to try any of the lunch of dinner selections. Kuochun really enjoyed the spaghetti with spicy sausage and peppers. Drinks were casual with cans of soda and mini bottles of water in an ice bath. We did not get to fully walk the space but noticed there were a pair of vintage Airstream trailers which I think had coffee and snacks for sale. It was not a bad drive - 25 minutes on the expressway so I would be willing to go again when we have more time. Fountain Square Mall had been abandoned for a number of years so this is really great for the local economy.

After 3 hours of encouragement, I was not able to get Mother to go to the ER on Sunday after we rushed back to attend to her. I do believe she needs to go so I will try again on Monday.