Sunny Days & Storm Clouds

Since we have been here in Arizona, most days have been sunny and temperatures very pleasant in the 60s and 70s. I know Chicago is currently being dumped on with snow but the estate sales are continuing as planned. In our 13 year history, we have only had one snow day. I remember it well, we were conducting a sale in Wilmette in a home with a very large driveway. The snow was up to my waist but somehow I waded to the front door on that Sunday. I have always been a person to keep my commitments, no matter the challenge. The homeowner was not able to find someone to plow the driveway on short notice and it would have been too difficult for the customers to get to the door so I cancelled the day and made it up on Monday. This is before we were having Monday Madness sales. One thing I have found about the estate sales, if the people like what they see in the ads, they will come no matter the weather. We continue to sell at our two sales today!

Before the big snow storm hit Chicago, we experienced stormy weather here in Phoenix. The other day we did a bit of antique mall shopping and were surprised to be caught in a mix of rain and snow! Since it basically never happens in this area I had to take a photo of our "snow storm."

Not everything has been perfect during our time here, it has been unfortunately tarnished a bit with two incidents. The previous owner left a LOT of stuff behind and I have been spending time these past couple of months listing what we do not need on Facebook Marketplace. I have had great luck selling the items and the people have been great. A very nice couple who lives nearby came to pick up eight IKEA Billy bookshelves which were all attached together and wrapped around the corner in one of the bedrooms. It took them three trips to take the shelves home in their pickup truck. Of course, Vivi being a Schnauzer was doing her job and barked at them every time they came back. However she loved them and gave them lots of paws, which she never does with people she does not know. I thought they were coming back to pick up the final set of shelves but when I opened the door I was really surprised to see a police officer standing there. Someone had called the police on us because of Vivi. So far, we met some very nice neighbors across the street but no one else really. Some of the people do wave when we drive through the community which is nice. We have not had any interaction with or have even seen the neighbors on either side of us though. Our thought is that existing neighbors should welcome the new neighbors in. The police officer said she was just doing her job but someone reported that Vivi was barking non-stop. This is simply not true, we are very responsible dog owners and do not leave Vivi unattended outside. She does bark a little occasionally but it is normal and far from excessive. The first month we were here, we took Vivi wherever we went and one of us stayed in the car with her until she got used to the new home as she has a little trouble with separation anxiety. There are plenty of dogs in the community who bark. We were really disappointed that the person started out this way and did not at least give us a call or slip a note under our door to discuss things first. We share a wall with the neighbor on the corner and they blast their TV from about 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM. It is very annoying but we would not think of calling the police for noise pollution. In the case of barking dogs, it is music to my ears when they bark for a reason because they are protectors and tend to keep burglars away.

I had another incident while I was walking Vivi. Mother is not able to walk Vivi at home and she has gained a few pounds. We have a beautiful boulevard with grassy areas steps away from the home and I take Vivi there during the day. At night, I have been giving her a longer walk around the neighborhood. On Inauguration Day (I wonder if that had anything to do with it?) I was in the midst of walking Vivi around our block which is long and rectangular. When we turned the corner to walk the short end of the block on the opposite side of my home, I heard someone say something. I turned around but it was pitch dark and I could not see anything so I kept walking. She said it again and then I realized what she was saying - FAT PIG! I just kept walking. Then she yelled RUN ALONG FAT PIG! and then kept screaming FAT PIG! FAT PIG! over and over again. I kept going until I was out of earshot. This did not bother me psychologically or emotionally, I know I am overweight but I found the whole thing so inappropriate and odd. When I told Mother about it she thought maybe she was calling Vivi fat. I am not sure that she could even see Vivi since it was dark and she is black! I have not walked that way since.

Last night Vivi and I left the house for her walk and all of a sudden a coyote came flying around the corner! We are on the second house from the end. Since the coyote was running in the direction towards my house I decided to remain calm and just keep walking the way we were going. But after Vivi did her business I beat it right back home. For her late night walk Mother decided to protect us and came out to the boulevard with her Swiffer stick mop, swinging it in the air. It was a scary situation but Mother did her best to lighten things.

Once a year, I have as much of a "break" as I can hope for from estate sale work. This is the time of year where no estate sale packages are due. This year, it was a three-week break because we had no sale requests for the weekend before Christmas. I took the opportunity to work on the jewelry. We subdivided everything into categories - costume jewelry which only needs a price, costume jewelry which I am able to repair, sterling silver which needs a price and sterling silver jewelry which needs a professional repair. Many hours have been spent polishing and pricing the sterling jewelry which has piled up these past three years. In about a day and a half this past week I must have priced at least 200 rings. The rings are all labeled with their size as well as a designer name if they have one. I think I have about 25 rings left to go. The plan is to load a flat rate box with as much jewelry as will fit to ship back home for the jewelry caravan. In addition to the sterling rings, I have gorgeous crystal brooches and earrings made by Swarovski and enough interesting costume jewelry pieces to fill a medium case and Southwest style costume jewelry which will take the current small jewelry box up to a medium case. I believe the sterling silver and cubic zirconia stud earrings in various sizes will fit in the box as well. I would like to get those into circulation as they are super popular.

We usually do not schedule heavily with estate sales due to Super Bowl weekend but we do have one sale in Algonquin. I do not think the Super Bowl will affect the sale this year, the Bears are not in it and gatherings are still being discouraged due to the pandemic. Starting next week I will be back to more regular updates as far as curated groupings of jewelry which I have been posting online. See you then!