The Blur Before The Garage Sale

This week was kind of a blur as it was time to resume preparing the estate sale packages and we had a doozy of an estate sale in Riverwoods over the weekend. A sale like this only comes around about every five years in the Chicago market and it could not have come at a better time. It was such an interesting mix of items including the best Barbie collection we have ever seen as well as tons of quality men's clothing, unique taxidermy and lots of cowhides. Everyone really enjoyed shopping at the sale and we are going to continue with an extension. Next week we have another great sale in Highland Park in a large home with some beautiful items and we just booked a sale in this gorgeous home in Wayne for the week after.

The community garage sale is next Saturday and I will be participating as well as doing an extension on Sunday. Melinda is going to come down and help out and the weekend format will work great for her as traffic is much lighter on the weekend days. I posted the advertising as promised, now I need to work on my own advertising! I received a question through Craigslist so I thought I would ask the group if they were selling any of the items the gentleman was looking for. A couple of people responded but then another person whom I have never met and also did the same advertising (not sure why as I suggested only one person do it) sent me a pretty nasty e-mail telling me I was going to get tons of questions like that and just tell them to come to the sale, because the sale is way too big to bother with answering questions. From what I can see, there are only about 14 homes participating so that is not large and my style is to do my best to help every customer who comes my way, even though I will not be selling what he is looking for. I nearly shot back a response saying who I was but I decided not to answer as to not make waves here. Next year he or she (I am not sure which as they have a gender-specific name) can do the advertising themselves.

Once again the local Facebook groups continue to impress with great recommendations. Ever since I mentioned Ocean Trail restaurant at Talking Stick Resort (about 15 minutes away from home) it has been on Kuochun's short list to get there because it is a combination of Cajun and Southern food, two of his favorites. We decided to go Wednesday for lunch, as we did not have a sale going on and I had a little break between my early week and latter week tasks. I was resigned to getting a Caesar salad which I do enjoy but was hoping to try something more substantial. When we approached the entrance, a man was waiting there, menu in hand and let us know he was ordering carryout and not waiting in line. He mentioned that the shrimp and grits was amazing. When we were seated and I was looking over the menu I decided to go for it. Maybe I have tried grits once in my life and found them to be overly buttery. This entree was amazing and I have that gentleman to thank! These grits are a smoky cheese flavor but not stringy with tons of cheese or butter. Diners can request a spice level of 1 to 10 and I thankfully chose 1 because it was pretty spicy. I like a little kick but nothing crazy. Kuochun selected the combination pan roast, spice level 3. He can handle a lot of spice so a 3 for him is probably a 7 at other restaurants. I think I enjoyed my entree much more than Kuochun did but we will plan to go again and he can get the gumbo.

After lunch, we walked around the casino a bit. This was our first time there since before the pandemic when we went to the buffet. The buffet is no more but Ocean Trail is a great addition. Kuochun likes to put $20 on a roulette game (not the regular roulette tables) but we could not find any. Instead, he chose a buffalo-themed slot machine. It was penny slots but a minimum bet of $2.00. We got off to a good start with some small payouts but then we hit a bunch of free spins. One of those spins hit a big jackpot (for us) and then more free spins after that. As soon as the free spins ran out, we cashed out and were left with $53.50. This almost paid for my entree so we were really excited.

Kuochun has been in the mood for dining out lately so Friday night he wanted to try the new Lou Malnati's sit-down restaurant at Tempe Marketplace, also 15 minutes away but in the opposite direction. We have a carryout Lou's just over the border in Phoenix 5 minutes away from home but thought the restaurant would be fun to try. The style is much different than the Chicago-area locations - there is absolutely no Chicago sports memorabilia on display but I understand that. We both loved the modern design and the use of different size pizza pans as wall art. I was able to snap a photo because surprisingly the dining room emptied pretty quickly.

We thought the food was as great as usual - we selected a small Chicago Classic deep dish and a thin crust sausage and pepperoni. Of course we had to get the cookie pizza! I think it will be a good choice to go there once a year because the restaurants are always jam-packed back home. Next door was Barrio Queen which is a Mexican restaurant with several locations. Looking through the windows as we walked by, the decor looked amazing and I would definitely like to try it even though Mexican is not my first choice.

I was able to post this jewelry purge on Sunday evening, focusing mainly on pieces without stones. This was another combination of very special pieces from the Gem Show and other more budget-friendly items. Only the earrings on the right and the crossed arrows pin at the bottom center sold, the other pieces are all available. As I always say, turquoise rules! I may not get to post a purge next weekend due to the garage sale but I have two lots to post after this one - one with either blue or green turquoise and the other with multi-color stones. I am going to put all of the new pieces in the garage sale so if they sell, that will be less work to do.

I feel like I have been preparing for an event the entire time I have been here between the downsizing sale, Gem Show and garage sale. After the garage sale is over, I will focus on the Gem Show finds and will plan to start polishing and pricing vintage sterling jewelry to send home to the caravan. It is about time to showcase some new pieces!