Tackling The To-Do List

This week we were able to get a few personal tasks accomplished. Mother had a dermatologist appointment on Monday in Glenview. This is her last remaining doctor from her time living in Northbrook but for now, she is not looking to change. Whenever we go there, we cannot resist a visit to Taco Nano. I am sure I have mentioned it before but Taco Nano is a really cute gourmet Mexican restaurant in Northfield. They recently expanded their space and it was the first time I have been there since their expansion. They have booths now which is great. All they had before were those small trendy metal chairs that are not big butt friendly! There are lots of tacos to choose from but we both always get the shrimp tacos. The shrimp are breaded and there is watercress, matchstick cut radishes and a drizzle of a creamy serrano sauce. I always get the Mexican rice on the side and this time we decided to get an order of tortilla chips as well. The chips were great, warm and delicious. As usual, everything hit the spot!

While we were gone, I had Pointe Pest Control come and treat the house with their non-toxic service. What speedy service! I made the internet request when I thought of it last Saturday and they actually called me Sunday to schedule the appointment. The first available was Monday morning and while I knew I would not be home, I wanted to take care of the issue as soon as possible. When I first moved to my current home 21 years ago, I had an exterminator for a bit but really do not like being around the toxic chemicals so I did not keep up the service. Growing up I thought it was part of home ownership to have an exterminator. We had "Jim the exterminator" the whole time we lived in Park Ridge, he treated all of the neighbors' homes. He sprayed wet chemicals from a metal container along all the baseboards which I am sure was very unhealthy. Although I would vastly prefer that there be no bugs in the house, I lived with having a few bugs around. This year though the bugs were at an unacceptable level - lots of little black caterpillars in the basement, some spiders here and there on the first floor and silverfish and some big bugs with about 100 fluffy legs upstairs. Since Pointe Pest Control came, I have not seen a single bug, dead or alive. It is as if they all went to live somewhere else. The technician treated the garage and shed as well. It is about $500 a year to have quarterly treatments but it looks like it will be a good idea to keep the service going forward. Next will be to tackle the 20 birds living in my backyard awning and the skunks living under the shed. Pointe Pest Control does not handle these issues but they have partners they recommend. The last thing I want to do is harm any animals so hopefully there is solution to close off these areas when they are not there.

On Tuesday, Kuochun and I made our last trip to Oak Brook to the financial advisor's office to finalize the transfer of his funds to his new account. We needed to hand deliver a check which cashed out one of his accounts that was sent to the house. We each received a current snapshot of our account status. It was a fair amount of work this past month but I am so glad we both finally made this change! I feel like our accounts are in good hands now and will grow the way they are supposed to rather than staying stagnant and unattended to like they were.

Of course, Kuochun wanted to grab something to eat after the meeting. We headed down Ogden Ave because I know there are lots of restaurants there. We made a healthy choice and settled on Tropical Smoothie Cafe as opposed to Scooby's Red Hots which was next door. I knew there was a Scooby's right near Mother on Arlington Heights Rd south of Central but we have never been there. We enjoyed our lunch - I had a chicken Caesar wrap with a kale apple carrot salad on the side. Kuochun had a turkey sandwich and chips. It was difficult to decide on a smoothie, there were so many choices for us newbies and people were behind us waiting to order so Kuochun asked the cashier to just surprise us. He gave us a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie which was really good. It was smart to only get one because it was huge! I had never been to Tropical Smoothie Cafe before but when I looked up other locations I found they are in Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights and Rolling Meadows among many others. I thought it was a fabulous alternative to fast food and I will definitely visit a local shop in the future. We were very proud of ourselves for not choosing the hot dog joint.

I have been thinking about parting ways with the Briesmobile. My past history with cars since I graduated college has been to buy new but keep them for 10-12 years. In 1988 it was the Nissan 240SX in the camouflage colors of light green on the top and charcoal grey on the bottom. Next, it was the silver 1998 RAV4 which served me very well on the art / craft show circuit, store years and starting the estate sale business. Currently, I have a 2010 Ford Transit Connect which has been great as the estate sale business grew and there was a need to move a lot of supplies from home to home.

Other than some rust which seems to be common with these early Transit Connect models, the van has been running well. However my dream is to have Apple Car Play so I can see the navigation at a glance as opposed to having to always look down on my phone. For some reason, the sound does not always work on my phone during navigation. But it is time for a new phone too which is a separate issue. The Sirius/XM radio is hanging off the dashboard along with a makeshift cell phone holder which mounts through the CD player. Having everything integrated would be amazing!

I feel that since Kuochun is retired, we no longer need two cars in Mount Prospect, it is very easy for us to share his 2019 Honda CR-V. The van needs to be run several times a week, if it is left idle the battery dies and cannot be revived. Also, Mother is not really driving anymore and her 2019 Mini Cooper Countryman stays in the garage most of the time. I do try to take it out when driving her to errands and appointments once a week to keep it going. She only has 6,300 miles on it! I promised her that we could keep it in my garage while we were gone since the garage is heated.

I was hoping we could send the Mini Cooper to Scottsdale to use there but Mother is not quite ready to not have a car in Arlington Heights. So Kuochun and I started the search for a new car. It is not going to be easy to find one due to the car shortage. After our visit to Tropical Smoothie Cafe, we headed down the road to the Hyundai dealer in Downers Grove. The Hyundai Kona really caught my eye last winter during our short time in Scottsdale. I had not heard of it but noticed one in the parking lot of the nearby Walgreens. I thought it resembled the Porsche Macan but for a fraction of the price. Ever since then, the Kona has been my top choice for a car for Scottsdale. It is a compact SUV, will fit in the garage easily and will be simple to drive and park around town. Also, it is a little higher up than a car which will be better for Mother to get in and out of. However I did not want to choose a car without at least test driving it first.

To our surprise, the Kona comes in the most amazing color called Cactus Fern and there was one in stock in Downers Grove to test drive and see in person. Color is really important to me and I would like something interesting after driving a silver SUV and a white van these past 24 years. Cactus Fern is a really pretty grey / green color with an unexpected surprise - a bright turquoise sparkle in the sun! I could not have come up with a better color myself. I was able to take quite a long test drive and thought it was lovely. The Kona has great get up and go and was very easy to handle. Even the seatbelt was easy to put on. There was a driver's assist feature that keeps the car in the center of the lane, which I especially noticed as we were going around a curve. There is not a lot of trunk space but the back seats do fold down to transport larger items. The only drawback was there are no climate controls in the back seat and the back seat passengers need to rely on the air conditioning and heat in the front. I do not think it will be a dealbreaker though as the winter weather in Scottsdale is very mild by our standards and much of the time there will only be one passenger. The "deal" was $1,995 over list price but that includes paint and fabric protection. I would have bought the car on the spot in order to secure one but Kuochun wants to get the car in Scottsdale so we do not have to have it transported there. I also would save about 3% on the tax by buying it there. Kuochun has been searching around the Scottsdale area for one all week but is not having any luck. The only one we saw has already been sold on a presale, with delivery at the end of September. I hope it will not be a mistake to let the one in Downers Grove go. There is no way I can settle for a white car now!

I was not able to post a new jewelry lot this past week but plan to get back to it in two weeks, after the Labor Day holiday. The summer has just gone so fast, I hope I will not need to postpone my online sale of vintage Native American jewelry. I had started posting cuff bracelets but several of them sold. I removed them from the pending online sale listing but of course I have received new ones since then. I plan to carve out a time between estate sale work to get the jewelry photographed and added to the sale.

So often I see postings for "ISO" (in search of) items in the Facebook groups and 90% of the time I say to myself, I have that! If I have all the photos easily accessible I will be able to participate in answering these requests as time is of the essence. If the original person is not interested, it is possible that someone else reading the post will be.

For those of you who were not able to attend our pop-up sale, all of the Oak Park and Arlington Heights consignment jewelry will be relocated to our Wilmette sale next week. A photo of the home is above. We are conducting a combined moving sale for our Wilmette clients and there will be room for the entire collection! We sold a lot during the pop-up but there is still so much to see. Everything will be reorganized for easy shopping. The Oak Park collection in particular is all quality, cute pieces at reasonable prices. Everything will be 50% off original pricing. The sale starts next Friday September 2. If there is enough to sell, we will extend the sale to Labor Day Monday.

I am happy to have knocked a few things off the to-do list and I am looking to tackle a few more next week. It is a great feeling to get those extra tasks accomplished. See you next time!