Problems & Escapes

This has really been an up and down week! Although we got off to a good start with a new plumber at the end of last week, the process was not without hiccups. On Monday we had to clear out Mother's room and move her upstairs to the guest room and former office. We reconfigured my room so it could accommodate my desk and printer. Thankfully with the new plumber's help the old hot water heater held up until the replacement of the sewer line started Tuesday. The guys got mixed up and instead of moving Mother's bed upstairs, they moved my bed to the guest room. We got it straightened out though. They tunneled from the laundry room through Mother's closet, on through her bathroom and out to the patio. From Tuesday to Thursday we had no bathroom facilities and no water except for the kitchen sink. It would have been difficult to hole up in a hotel room with a barking dog for three days and I would not have been able to keep up with my work so we decided to tough it out and stay at the house. It is easy to take basic necessities for granted until you do not have them anymore! All was well Thursday night as we still had hot water from the old heater. The new hot water heater and water softener were scheduled to be installed on Saturday morning. The remediation company has been working at the same time to dry out the wall and on Friday while removing the tile in the laundry room they made the mistake of not only uninstalling the washer and dryer but the hot water heater and water softener as well. I was not home when this happened and Mother asked them about the water. The guys said see, it's fine while turning on the kitchen sink. Then they promptly left. Well that was just leftover water pressure until the pipe emptied. Of course they knew we had no water!

We let the owner of the plumbing company know and he blew a gasket on the remediation company, he was the one who referred them to us. He demanded that heads roll because that was out of their jurisdiction to monkey with the water supply. The plumber who was going to install the new systems Saturday came out on Friday night to do the job so we would not be left without water again. We are so very grateful that he did that for us. The install went well except at the end the electrical box started smoking. He promptly flipped the circuit breaker - we had water but no hot water. We could live with that.

In the morning, the emergency electrician came to investigate the problem. He showed me the wiring - it looked like chewed up gum. We were so lucky it did not catch on fire. We thought we were in the clear, well not quite. The owner of the plumbing company arranged for the remediation company to pick up the old hot water heater and water softener from the garage. Due to their negligence, the plumber came early and didn't have time to empty his truck to take the old equipment away. He was going to do that Saturday morning before he headed to us. We thought all went well although we did hear some loud noises during the removal process. In the evening we went out to the grocery store and were horrified to see the entire driveway broken from left to right, along with brush marks on the driveway that clearly show there was a water spillage and the water was pushed down the drain. I broke down on the spot.

Here I thought I was doing a good thing for Mother, taking her to a relaxing paradise and there has been one problem after another like this ever since we arrived. First the landscape guy hacked up the backyard and broke the irrigation system, we have tried to get someone out to give a quote for his insurance and people either do not call back or promise to come but do not show. I hired a landscape designer to redo the backyard and he promised me numerous times to give me a quote for the irrigation but simply did not do it. I gave him a Venmo payment to do the landscape design a month ago and have heard nothing. Thankfully the interior designer and her assistant have been a pleasure to work with but the plumber she recommended was a nightmare and wasted a week of our time. They are still hassling me, wanting payment for two service calls when they did nothing for us. They did not even call to try and schedule this emergency job until five days later. It is not like me but I gave them a piece of my mind!

Other than a very nice man across the street, we have not had much of a welcome to the neighborhood. In addition to someone calling the police on us because of Vivi's "non stop barking" and someone else yelling FAT PIG! at me, last week when I was in the little traffic circle with Vivi, a man drove slowly around the circle and said something which I couldn't understand but I got the tail end of it - NUT JOB! It has gotten to the point where I do not want to run into anyone out there and always check to make sure the coast is clear before I take Vivi out. I am already on edge because of the coyote that came flying around the corner after Vivi and I left the house one night. Tomorrow morning we are meeting with a couple of members of the association who are interviewing us for the monthly newsletter. I am hopeful that once some more people "meet" us in person and see we are good people to know attitudes will change. Scottsdale is a wealthy area but I did not expect this kind of treatment here on the south side. I keep telling myself I am still glad I bought this home, I am still glad I bought this home...

There have been moments where I just need to turn the world off and escape. How do I do that? Game shows! I have loved game shows my entire life. I enjoy trying to answer the questions and I am really happy for people when they win money and prizes. My best friend Sue and I chose to go out for breakfast and then back to her house to watch The Price Is Right on our high school senior ditch day. I thought I was in heaven! When I was in the midst of the drudgery of a corporate job, I always told myself one day I am going to work for myself, have my own schedule and never miss The Price Is Right! Things did not quite turn out that way, I have always been very busy working since I set out on my own but since the invention of the DVR I am able to catch game shows at my convenience. I love the reboots of Match Game, Card Sharks, Press Your Luck and Name That Tune and loved the originals as well. I found a channel called BUZZR here in Arizona (I am not sure if we have this channel at home) and have been watching original Match Game, Classic Concentration, Card Sharks, Sale Of The Century, Blockbusters and Password Plus episodes. Alex Trebek was the host of Classic Concentration in the '80s which I did not remember. Game shows have helped save my sanity during this time.

One thing I have found fascinating is the excitement about the prizes won on Sale Of The Century and Classic Concentration. These are all items that are challenging to sell at estate sales today because they are no longer popular. Some examples are sleeper sofas, oak entertainment centers, tube TVs, brown wood dining room furniture, silver plated tea sets and glass punch sets to name a few. It is very hard to imagine paying $799 for a tube TV today! It sure explains why so many estate sales have these items. Another thing I observed, especially on Match Game is that the manner women were treated at times would not be acceptable today. The female contestants are usually housewives, are always very soft spoken, meek and afraid to say anything wrong. Oftentimes the host has to ask them to repeat what they said because they could not hear it the first time. One Card Sharks episode from the '80s brought forward ten women over the age of 65 and asked them, would you vote for a woman for president? Five of them said they would not. I bet if they were alive today they would be amazed to see a female vice president in office.

In the midst of all of the craziness this week I was still able to get two 12-pound boxes of jewelry shipped home. Mike came over yesterday and kindly put together almost all of the jewelry cases I need for the big sale in Burr Ridge next week. Since there are little to no items at the cash wrap, there are three 6-foot tables available for the jewelry caravan. There will be three medium size cases - new Thai jewelry and Tibet jewelry as well as vintage to newer Southwest style costume jewelry. There will be four medium size cases - sterling estate jewelry, Southwest style / Native American jewelry, vintage costume jewelry in the cool colors of blue, green and turquoise and interesting vintage to newer costume jewelry. Most all of the pieces I shipped were incorporated into these cases. I will be posting the photos Mike took of the cases to the Burr Ridge ads today. Nicole is going to be totally devoted to jewelry sales in Burr Ridge. We also have a great sale in Deerfield next weekend, Mike took jewelry and cases with him to organize and display there. I am very appreciative of all the help from our group. If I were there I would have manned the jewelry myself but I know Nicole will do a great job. I am hoping for a big weekend of jewelry sales as I have more jewelry to ship! Since I am in Arizona longer than I originally planned, I will not be able to hold the sale at home base the first weekend of March. The Burr Ridge sale will be like a mini replacement sale. I have not decided whether I will hold a spring sale or just wait until fall. It will depend upon if I can get to the Tucson Gem Shows and what I can find there.

One good thing that happened this week was that I have had success consigning furniture and rugs that I would like to sell. I closed out my storage unit at home and sent everything (whether I was keeping or selling) in the rental truck with the thought of posting the items I would sell to Chairish. We have been to SO many cool mid-century modern stores in the past month, many recommended by our interior designer and we have purchased items from some of them (before the plumbing disasters.) We were talking to a woman working at one of the stores and it turns out that she is from Chicago and has been to many of our estate sales in the past. Next month she is planning a trip home to visit family and if she finds enough to buy she will drive a truck back. We inquired about items we both would like to sell but they are more purists and only buy outright. Although the rugs I would like to sell are really beautiful and look amazing with mid-century modern decor they are not from the mid-century. It did spark me to think maybe I should consign locally rather than waiting a long time for items to sell on a high-end website. Another store posted some different and fabulous items for me on Chairish more than a year ago, none of them have sold.

Enter Vintage Vibe Scottsdale! I discovered this hidden gem of a store while searching Facebook Marketplace. It is only 2.5 miles from home, right along the route I take to the post office. I have been past it probably 50 times but never noticed it was there. The store is in a strip mall but the store is perpendicular to the street, not facing the street. I looked them up on Instagram and found that they were closed last weekend because they were in the middle of moving to a double size space next door and now had room for vendors. I e-mailed the owner and we had a meeting with him later in the week. He is very easy-going and I appreciated him taking the time to meet with us while he was getting his store ready. I love the concept of the store which is to price things reasonably and move them out quickly. He said if I still have an item after 30 days, it's either priced too high or just ugly! He and his wife came over and made two trips to pick up items I wanted to sell for no charge and they were able to get some of them on the floor for the new store opening. My room divider and one of my rugs have already sold and I have high hopes for the rest of the rugs and the cool '70s couch with rosewood side panels and original upholstery. This is not like me but with all of the plumbing expense I waited too long on a little dresser I need for my room (since I sent the Heywood Wakefield dresser to sell.) I inquired about it today but it sadly sold on Friday.

I am going to do something radical this week and try posting the rest of the Native American jewelry I have on eBay to individual auctions starting at a penny. I need to raise money to help with all of the plumbing expense and the bills that came before the plumbing expense. Homeowner's insurance does not cover the plumbing work but the hope is that they will cover the remediation and reconstruction work, less the $1,000 deductible. That was another setback this week, we did not call the insurance adjuster back after a day - with all the chaos at the house we had not checked voicemail - and she left a voicemail saying she was closing our case and sending us a letter to that effect. We tried to call her back and she is now not answering our calls. This is totally wrong and we will work to make sure the insurance company does not do this to us and pays for what the policy should cover. No wonder I cannot sleep! Hoping this is the low point of these events, I will gather strength to fight and turn this situation around. To a better overall report next week!