Getting The Ball Rolling

I am back after a week's break from the blog and newsletter due to the July 4 holiday. Although it will be quite a mountain to climb to post all the jewelry online that I would like to, I have made progress these past two weeks, even with a very busy schedule with the other job. Starting two weeks ago, I worked through my inventory list to be sure I physically had everything that was active. I did find a few items which were sold to a private buyer so I quickly delisted them. It took about three days on and off in total which was time-consuming but worth it because I would never want to sell anything I no longer have and disappoint any customers.

Over the two weeks, I posted about 30 new jewelry pieces, mostly in the Vintage Native American Silver Jewelry collection. The most impressive piece is this amazing green turquoise heishi necklace which weighs a whopping 268 grams.

I also posted more of the very special vintage Native American jewelry I found at the Gem Show. They are pricey but in my opinion "forever pieces" that can be passed down from generation to generation. Once they are all posted, I will place them in their own collection on my website. I am getting there and have about a half dozen left to go.

I revamped about 50 existing pieces which I had posted last year, making improvements to the titles, descriptions and photos consistent with newer listings. Again, this was mostly in the vintage Native American collection but I also revamped all of vintage costume jewelry and a few of the Federico pieces. It is tedious work and in order to make it a little more interesting, I alternated between new and revamped listings. The activity did garner some attention and I sold a Federico squash blossom necklace, a pair of Federico flower earrings which I had converted from clip to pierced for the customer and a pair of Navajo earrings, which is not bad since we online sellers are in the midst of the summer slump. The flower earrings sold on Etsy and the other two pieces on Poshmark. Unfortunately I lost my Star Seller status on Etsy due to the extra time it took for the jeweler to convert the earrings, causing a shipping delay. Hopefully I can get my status back again next month.

Two weeks ago, I ordered My Metabolic Meals, starting with 6 (which is the minimum order) to try them out. I received free shipping and $20 off that first order. I ordered a second week on Monday even though I did not receive the meals until last Tuesday. Overall they were good - I used the Reheat function on my Brava oven to heat them up which worked well for all of the meals except for the linguine which turned out pretty crunchy. Next time I will microwave the pasta meals but I will first transfer the meal to something besides the plastic it comes in. I ate the meals 6 nights in a row and next Monday will be my "free" meal!

On Wednesday of the first week, Kuochun and I paid a visit to our Oak Park sale which was starting the next day because the setup team needed some supplies. At first it was looking like there was not going to be room for jewelry but Radek kindly made space for one case for me. I am so glad he did! The Oak Park/River Forest area has historically been great for jewelry sales. I sold 27 rings and some other pieces as well. Next week I will plan to polish and price some more rings! The Oak Park sale was located in a house built in 1894 and had so many amazing collections. The last thing I expected to see though was a small piece of cactus like the ones I tried to buy from others at stores while in Arizona and they were not selling. It was only $4 and I waited until after the doors had been open for a while before making my purchase. It is the perfect size for photographing smaller pieces on cards, such as earrings.

After visiting Oak Park, it was time for lunch so I did a quick Google search on "restaurants near me" and came across Poor Phil's which is in the cute Marion Street district nearby. I chose it because Kuochun loves Cajun food. He went with jambalaya as usual and I got the shrimp po'boy with mac and cheese as a side. Portions were on the small side but OK for lunch. On our trip to Las Vegas 6 years ago we went to a restaurant and tried butter cake and it was so amazing! They had butter cake on the menu at Poor Phil's so I said we had to get it. Overall the food was pretty good but the po'boy was way better at Station 34 in Mount Prospect and the butter cake not as good as the one in Las Vegas. It was fine but I would not go out of my way to go to Poor Phil's again.

However on Sunday of the first week we went for the first time to what I consider to be a real hidden gem - Chandler's Chophouse at the Schaumburg Golf Club. I was planning to stay in and work but it was such a beautiful day, when Kuochun asked me to go I thought why not? We were seated in the main dining area so we did not have a window seat but we were still able to see the golfers all around us. It was so scenic and Schaumburg really keeps the golf course in tip top shape. I was surprised but Kuochun chose the shrimp de jonghe which is a dish I used to order back in the day. I selected the blackened chicken Caesar wrap with tater tots which was delicious. Tater tots can be really greasy but these were lightly done and not heavy tasting. We did not see until well after ordering that there was a little sign on the table promoting the halibut and grilled shrimp special entree. Kuochun liked his meal but was sorry he did not see the special. He cannot wait to go back there again and I do not mind a bit since I really enjoyed it too. Sue G., you have got to go there the next time you are in town, you would love it!

The atmosphere felt like we were in Arizona, which is maybe the feeling they are going for in the area. I noticed that the street to turn onto off Roselle Rd is called Maricopa, which is the name of the county for the Phoenix area, equivalent to our Cook County. I then started noticing more Arizona-themed street names nearby like Flagstaff and Kingman. I have driven through both of these towns but did not stop. Flagstaff was when my mother and I drove to Arizona from Chicago and Kingman was when Kuochun and I drove to Las Vegas two years ago. Someday I would like to go back and visit both.

My July 4 was unconventional as usual - it happened to be the delivery day for the final U-Box to Mother's apartment and my house. Melinda kindly assisted on the other end and I helped as much as I could on the phone. The date actually worked out better for her because traffic was much lighter due to the holiday. Melinda stayed overnight at my house the night before because the movers said they were going to be coming over at 8:00 AM. The movers were not able to come that early and the job took way longer than expected but we paid extra to have the beds shuffled around at my house. Mother also filled up the U-Box with stuff that does not fit in her apartment which is now all at my house. So much for leaving my house so nice and neat before we came home. But from the photo that I could see, the king size bed looks much more to scale in the room than the queen size bed did. Mother's queen size mattress is now in Kuochun's former room and his bed is now in my former room. We are left with an extra full size mattress which I just instructed the movers to leave on top of the mattress in the now guest room. Except for the bins of family photos I sent in the box, Mother is really happy with everything we sent and looks forward to using the wrought iron furniture on the balcony once the weather breaks.

Goals for next week will be to keep posting new jewelry items and also start to go through the personal items found in Mother's furnace room at the last minute. Next week Mother's estate sale package is due as well. Once I take care of these tasks plus sell the rattan set and volcanic ash table and chairs, the home selling saga will be complete.