Easter 2023

Normally holidays are the time for estate sale paperwork and this Easter was no exception as it was the first week in a long while where there were four packages to do. However we did take a little time to go to Old Town Scottsdale for a quick brunch on Sunday. Kuochun and I enjoy buffets but Mother is not a buffet person. There are endless fabulous Easter buffet choices around here but they are either $$$$, booked weeks in advance or both. Kuochun actually found a place where you can have all you can eat or not, which would be perfect for our group. But they were expensive and booked so we will try again on a less popular day.

Kuochun had never been to the Old Town location of The Herb Box and I have only been once. I could not find a special Easter menu online and was surprised to see openings for a table of three for 12:45 and 1:00 so I grabbed the 12:45 reservation. We were escorted to an outdoor table and found that the regular menu was being offered with no inflated holiday prices. The service was very leisurely, I commented that I felt like we were in Europe! The photo above shows a view from the outdoor space, highlighting Cement Tile Shop which is where I purchased the tile for the bathroom floor on the first level. There are only two US showrooms of Cement Tile Shop - Tampa, FL and Old Town Scottsdale, six minutes from home. It was great seeing so many of the tile choices in person and I already have my next tile project picked out.

Back to The Herb Box - on holidays, sometimes we actually get something to drink besides tap water. I decided to try an Arnold Palmer and Mother chose a mango lemonade. She was not sure if she was going to like it but she really did. I thought the Arnold Palmer was pretty good but I am not sure if I would order it again. I opted for the chicken arugula wrap which I had once before at the north Scottsdale location with Kuochun. I typically go for breakfast on a brunch menu but nothing was hitting me. Kuochun went with the same thing he had on our trip to the other location, a salmon BLT. Mother chose the pear gorgonzola flatbread which she had on our recent trip to north Scottsdale. Everyone enjoyed their selections.

Parking was a challenge but we were able to find a space around the corner and down the street. I had never been down this particular street before and we walked right past a restaurant I had heard buzz about more than once but did not know where it was. It is called Schmooze and looks so charming and beautiful. This restaurant was definitely hopping on Easter! When we returned home I looked it up. They do not take reservations and the menu looked pretty basic but I would definitely like to give it a try on a weekday with beautiful weather. Kuochun said why go if the food is basic but I said it's all about the atmosphere! Plus I do not mind basic food a bit.

We had been waiting for months for Mother's appointment with a new primary care doctor so we could establish care for her when she is here. All along, I thought her appointment was Wednesday but it turned out my hair appointment was Wednesday but her doctor's appointment was Monday. Unfortunately I did not look into it until Tuesday. Looking at Mother's phone, I saw that they texted once the previous Thursday to ask her to confirm the appointment and she did not see the text. They never followed up when she did not confirm, nor did they even call when we did not show up. As soon as we realized what happened, Mother called but we are out of luck, they are booked into June now. At this point, we will just get her an appointment with her primary care doctor at home with the hopes of finding a new lung doctor for her. It is so odd that the primary care doctor here told Mother she could not care for her because she is splitting her time between two states but she knows Kuochun's situation is the same and is still caring for him. I need to make it to 65 without incident as my insurance covers no doctor's visits here.

No sooner did we think that things were finally starting to settle down a bit with the house when the dishwasher broke down. We have used this dishwasher a total of five months, only since we have been here this time. Luckily it has a two-year warranty as it was delivered in March 2022, meaning the warranty is already in year two. It was not installed until shortly before we arrived. The control panel is out and the parts have to be shipped. Once I receive the parts, I can schedule an appointment to have the new control panel installed. So we are doing dishes by hand which is a big task because both Mother and Kuochun generate a lot of dishes.

The U-Haul U-Box was delivered Friday with a plan to fill it with my dining room set which I am going to send back to my basement and the furniture Mother either recently purchased or was already here and she would prefer to have at home. I would not have scheduled another U-Box if it were not for the items Mother wants back home but I will take the opportunity to pack some more minor items I would like to have back home as well. I guessed pretty well as to what I would like to have on hand display-wise for selling jewelry. I think I will keep all of the display items here but I am going to send half of the Replica Surfaces back home. I have so many now that they do not all fit in the rolling rack I purchased for them. I only left one Surface at home, Weathered Wood which is a black wood look. I have a plan, it should not be difficult to split them up. I am going to send a few jewelry props home and then I will be all set for both locations. I have not had the chance to do any work towards filling the U-Box and I am not looking forward to it. I will need to hire help to get the furniture wrapped and placed in the U-Box. Mother's new dining table has a marble top and cast iron base. It was very difficult for me to move it to a temporary location in the dining area because it was so heavy. I had to get on the floor and push the base. It is going to look great at her house though. I am looking forward to having space in the garage to put the car in which is a necessity to accomplish before we head home. The U-Box experience has been great but it is expensive so this will be the very last time I spring for it!

It looks like Mother will go home at the end of the month and Rachel will meet up with her, stay for a weekend and get her settled in. Kuochun and I will stay a couple of extra weeks, he has a cardiologist's appointment in early May and I would like to properly prepare the house for the summer before leaving. I hope the person who helped us last summer is willing to help us again. It was so chaotic last year with the construction going on. The hope is for an uneventful summer.

The tax deadline is looming and I am very grateful to have the extra three days this year. I have tried so many different solutions for tracking expenses over time, some fairly expensive but they were either buggy or too time consuming to use. It occurred to me that folks on Etsy are selling digital solutions and I searched for an Excel bookkeeping template. I found one for only $15.08 and I think I finally have my solution. The template is beautiful and has motivated me to get going on taxes earlier than usual, even though it is not early! I track income monthly but the expenses are overwhelming since they come from so many different sources. I was able to document all of these sources and download transactions from my business checking account and all of my credit cards (except one.) I completed the month of January 2022, recording income and expenses as a test and things went well. One more year of doing this all at once and then going forward I will be able to track everything monthly. 

There was no online posting for me this week and no jewelry package to send home but I have been working on the next package here and there. I polished and priced about 40 rings, and plan to price the amber jewelry from the Gem Show as well as finish up the Mexican pieces and Buffalo Dancer jewelry. The plan is to get a jump start on preparations for the Kildeer sale. Next week we have two sales in Arlington Heights and a sale in Mount Prospect. If I were home I would have wanted to do a sale at home base but I will patiently wait for the next opportunity.

Next week will likely be limited for jewelry news but once taxes are complete and the U-Box is on its way I plan to resume work on the online sale of vintage Native American jewelry.