Double Nickles

I reached a milestone (I guess?) this week, my 55th birthday. When I was in my early 20s, I used to play bingo at a local church and whenever they would call G55 they would yell out "Double Nickles!" Now all these years later, here I am. Looking back, I really have been prolific work-wise. My strong work ethic came from Dad and my grandma, his mother. My grandma was born in St. George, IL in the Kankakee area. When she married, she and my grandpa settled into a one-bedroom apartment on the south side of Chicago at 63rd and California. I remember that apartment like the back of my hand. Even though the neighborhood started to change over time, she stayed there for 40 years to be close to her best friends, Merle and Mary. They were wonderful ladies, I always felt like I had two bonus aunties. I still have the kelly green afghan Mary crocheted for me. I remember being amazed that Mary was born in 1900. My grandma was a working mother, she started at Illinois Bell as a telephone operator and was the first woman in Illinois Bell history who worked her way up to management. I remember attending her retirement party in a long Little House On The Prairie dress (very '70s!) She never stopped moving, always liked to keep busy and I am the same way. My grandma was the sweetest person I have ever known. We lost her to dementia when I was 22.

Dad was an only child and growing up he slept on a pull-out chair in the living room. He was a latch-key kid and made his own dinners. It would have been easy for Dad to fall into the south side trap of the wrong side of the law and my grandma knew he was destined for better things. She sent him off to Saint Bede Academy in Peru, IL. I am sure he did not want to go but the experience set the tone for him to move on to Marquette University for his undergrad and Loyola University for his master's degree. He started off in the corporate world first at a company called MSL and then Borden, both in the Human Resources field. We loved the products he would bring home from work like Cracker Jack and Pippin Cheese wheels. Dad was able to get me a Wyler's Lemonade stand which I set up in the front yard in Park Ridge, my first real "job." When Dad was 35, he made the leap out of the corporate world and struck out on his own. He had several occupations over time and always more than one at the same time - teaching, first at Roosevelt University and then at Keller Graduate School of Management, selling Atari computers, conducting corporate attitude surveys, helping Mother with a monogramming business and later arbitration and the awning business. Dad was able to support a family of four (plus one or two Mini Schnauzers at a time) and gave us such a nice life in a lovely home in Park Ridge and a family vacation every year or so. He was so happy to become a dual homeowner with the Okauchee Lake home in Wisconsin as well with 25 wonderful years there. I am honored to follow in his footsteps of hard work, dedication, following interests to see where they lead and not taking BS from anyone!

It has definitely been a challenging time since we lost Dad two years ago with the pandemic, work shutdown, all of the issues with the Scottsdale home, Mother's stroke and subsequent fall and dealing with difficult clients. But I am entering into this 55th year with optimism - I am always looking for ways to improve both the estate sale and jewelry businesses. I will do all I can to make things in Scottsdale right so Mother has a wonderful place to relax in the winters with beautiful weather. We are looking forward to having guests as well! I started Seattle Sutton this week and my goal is to get out of my comfort zone and eat some foods I normally would not eat. The one-week weigh in is in the morning, I am interested to see if I made any progress. But I will keep at it until I am back where I used to be, a size 10 / medium. I have to admit I picked some of the vegetables out to give to Kuochun and Margot but I have been gradually introducing new foods to my diet.

We did make an exception and went for a nice dinner for my birthday. Normally we go to Noodle Cafe in Wilmette but at this time Kuochun is pretty leery about dining out and Noodle Cafe is a small restaurant with tables very close together. Also, I needed to pick Mother up in Arlington Heights. I decided on Cafe Lucci in Glenview, I had been there twice before and loved their Chicken Milanese with arugula salad on top. I thought this would be a better choice than a big pasta dish with pesto or vodka sauce. I used to love the vodka rigatoni at Portillo's until I saw it was 2,300 calories!

Kuochun ordered the lamb chops with potatoes and Mother chose crab cakes and a side of mixed vegetables. Fresh bread was served with roasted garlic spread and we all shared a sticky toffee bread pudding with vanilla bean gelato for dessert. Everyone really enjoyed their selections, especially dessert! Cafe Lucci is a great place to go for a special occasion.

This week I did not have the opportunity to post a new jewelry lot online but I have a final Native American lot (for now) to post this evening. If nothing new comes in, I will then be moving on to Southwest Style jewelry. We only have one estate sale going on this week but were able to book a third sale for next weekend and the hope is that we will be able to fill in the schedule through Thanksgiving. From there, we will see what December will bring!

In the normal situation we would be heading to Scottsdale soon but at this time there is not a lot of livable space. The primary bedroom suite is still torn up, the new cabinetry has filled up the living room, everything from the primary suite is upstairs and who knows what the garage looks like after the flooding. I did get the OK from the attorney to get the original project started again, which means I will need to wait in line until the contractor has time available. He is thinking mid-November for a start time, I have a message in to see how the holidays will affect the schedule. I let him know that I will wait until the major demolition is complete and the new floors are in before coming out, but the latest I can come is mid-January in preparation for the Tucson Gem Show. I bought very heavily last time and I have not had the chance to get everything priced and put into circulation yet but I still would like to go. There are several artists that I missed because of the date change due to the pandemic and I hope they will be back next year. I am working on finding out what combination of family / dogs will be wanting to go. I have never stayed in a bad place in Tucson but this time I would like to book further in advance and snag an even better place. This is even more important if the place needs to be pet-friendly. We loved the Oro Valley area and the condo there was easy to live in but it was time-consuming to drive back and forth to town every day. At least it is pet-friendly and will be a good fall-back option. Mother does not think she wants to go but I will encourage her to just go and she can attend or not attend shows or other events at her own pace.

Time to sign off and get back to other work, see you next week!