Scottsdale Update & More

Overall this week I think the family is in a bit of a better place. I was able to bring Kuochun home from the hospital Friday afternoon. He had four doctors consulting on his case but in the end were not quite able to figure out the cause of his dizziness. However he was finally given an antibiotic to clear up the blood in his urine and he just finished the prescription today. One less drug to take on a daily basis will definitely help, the pill bottles are lined up on his dresser and it is literally longer than my arm. Kuochun still is not able to do much, even a simple task such as shaving is a win for him these days.

A good sign is that his appetite appears to be coming back. Kuochun was never one to eat breakfast, just a morning coffee with powdered cream and lots of sugar which I am not a fan of but he has discovered he really likes the Aloha bars I recently purchased for myself. They are organic, plant-based and have nothing artificial in them, plus they are high-fiber and a good source of protein. I ordered a couple of boxes of the sampler pack and I really like all of the flavors, as far as a healthy snack bar goes. They also arrived super fast! I found that if I eat one after lunch my hunger pangs are kept at bay until dinner which has never happened with anything else I have tried. Since Kuochun was quickly depleting my supply I ordered some more but unfortunately the sampler pack was sold out. Kuochun really likes salted caramel anything so I ordered that for him and some of the mini bars for myself. These bars truly are filling but they are 220-260 calories each. The mini bars at 100 calories will be better for me at this time but are perfect for Kuochun who is trying to get his strength back.

I spent the day at the ER with Mother on Sunday, she called me at 5:00 AM to let me know she was having pain in her chest area. They ran a bunch of tests and could not find anything wrong with her heart or blood work so they sent her home. She is now thinking it must be lung-related because the pain occurs when she breathes. She is going to be starting her pulmonary rehab soon so I think this is a wakeup call to start following doctor's orders. The nurse is going to show her how to use Trelegy. Sadly this is a chronic problem which at this time cannot be cured but I sure hope this program helps.

I have only received one update on the construction project in Scottsdale since I came back home for Kuochun, but I think things are nearing an end. Deb my caretaker shot some photos for me. I was shocked when I saw the living room completely empty, it was previously stuffed with furniture and boxes of kitchen items. Then I was amused when she said the living room was her favorite! I did not change anything there except for a fresh coat of paint. The floor is not something I would choose, I am not a fan of marble but I will keep it for now.

Deb did say she liked the bathroom too. It will look amazing when all of the finishing touches are in, such as the wild wallpaper with flowers and birds in the front hallway which will show from the living room and the black and gold large scale floral wallpaper on the wall where the range will be in the kitchen. The new lighting needs to be installed as well as the Mexican tin bathroom mirrors I found on our last trip to Tubac. The appliances I purchased from Abt were delivered a couple of weeks ago, the contractor quoted $1,200 for a subcontractor to install them. This seemed like a lot of money to me as everything is electric - the range and refrigerator just plug into the wall. But I understand that they have to move them into the house, probably taking them around and in through the alley and that the dishwasher, range hood, microwave drawer and garbage disposer need to be installed. When I mentioned the cost to Kuochun he did not have the same impression, it sounded fine to him (but then again, he is not paying for it!) so with everything that is going on, maybe I will forego getting a second opinion and just have it done. I do not want the appliances in the garage when the extreme heat hits.

Kuochun had hoped that he would be able to take a trip to Scottsdale with me so I could do a walkthrough at the end of the project and prepare the house for summer. I would also like to get the furniture we have in our garage moved out there and everything put where it belongs so when we get there in the late fall we will not have to spend time doing that. The dream is that by then, both Kuochun and Mother will be feeling as good as they can given their circumstances. But for now, things are still up in the air as Kuochun will need to wear the catheter for at least 4 1/2 more weeks and we do not know what kind of doctor's appointments he will need to have coming up, other than the cardiologist on April 15.

In spite of everything, I was able to post the Buffalo Dancer heart jewelry on Sunday evening. Overall it was very successful - the concho pendant, three of the five cuff bracelets, three of the five earrings and both rings sold. I was very surprised that none of the heart pendants found a home. They are a little small for me but I just love the stones on all of them. I am going to price them and try them in the jewelry caravan at the estate sales for a one month limited engagement.

I was also able to post a small but amazing lot of Southwest Style jewelry on Thursday evening. The necklace was from my personal collection, I only wore it once to Rachel's Hallowedding. I knew the three strands would be bulky for everyday use but I never reached for the heart pendant like I thought I would. The bale is so large, it only looks good on a multi-strand such as this one or on very large beads. I used to wear the large beads constantly but these days I am more into layering by doubling up a long strand and putting two smaller pendants on it. I thought it was best to find it a new home and that I did, along with both gorgeous turquoise pendants on the right side of the photo and the dragonfly cross pendant with heart. The pieces which sold are all by Dan Dodson. I was ready to keep those turquoise pendants if they did not sell but a repeat customer snapped them both up. I threw in the vintage liquid silver bracelet to fill in the space and it sold as well. The remaining items including the fabulous turquoise mosaic naja pendant are in the online store as part of the Southwest Style Jewelry collection.

The hope is that things will stabilize on the homefront this week as we are kicking off our busy season for estate sales with eighteen events scheduled for April, and this includes Easter week! We have five sales the week ending April 10, four sales Easter week, five sales the week ending April 17 and four sales the week ending April 24. It will be a lot of work but I am looking forward to it!

I also have a couple of sale opportunities coming up in Arizona. Melinda had a friend get in touch with her from where she grew up in Champaign who she had not heard from in 20 years. She visited for a week and looked at real estate for a day while she was there. Before Melinda knew it, her friend bought a home three blocks away and is closing in a week! The home came fully furnished so Melinda will be doing an estate sale for her. She will also include my jewelry and clothing and I will do the advertising for them. I am going to ship Melinda a box of Southwest Style jewelry which I was showing here at sales for a while. It is time for a change of venue for it and so far the customers have loved the Southwest Style jewelry out there.

Also, Melinda has another friend who moved to Phoenix from the Chicago area a number of years ago and has a very beautiful home. She has been talking about downsizing her possessions for a long time and she and Melinda put their heads together and decided an evening cocktail party for friends on a Friday night plus a Saturday/Sunday sale would work great. Sundays are not a popular estate sale day where Melinda lives but elsewhere it will be fine. If the timing works out, I would like to show the "good stuff" but Melinda has lots of beautiful items with her regardless. Melinda's former boss has not had a sale lately but Melinda has been very busy with our estate sale work. In Arizona the schedule is the reverse of ours but also due to weather. From June to September it is extremely hot, estate sales and other daytime outdoor events tend to start at 6:00 to 7:00 AM but winter is the golden time because the weather is so delightful.

I am definitely sorry to be missing the great weather right now, especially since it has been so cold, rainy and mostly gloomy. We only got to stay in Arizona for a month and the entire time we were holed up in a small space with no kitchen due to construction. The future has got to be bright, we deserve to finally enjoy this home!