Tucson Gem Show Postponed

Normally at this time I would be reporting on all of the wonderful jewelry finds at the Tucson Gem Show. However this is not a normal time and the shows have been postponed ten weeks to April due to the pandemic. These new dates were announced a while ago and so far have not wavered. I wonder how this will affect the international vendors such as my favorites from Mexico, Thailand and Tibet. I hope they will be able to make it. The postponement does change our plans because it would not be cost effective to drive home in March, only for me to fly back here, not have a vehicle and have to take the jewelry back on the airplane. I have big plans to bring in exciting new items so I do not want to miss out!

I have been keeping an eye out for updates and will plan to stay here in Arizona through the shows. One thing that I noticed is that my two favorite shows are not starting on the same day, one will be starting on April 7, the other April 10. I do not remember that occurring last year. The drive from south Scottsdale to Tucson is about an hour and 45 minutes, similar to our drive from home to the Wisconsin lake house back in the day. Because things are so uncertain and I now have a place to stay, I do not think I will be booking an Airbnb this time. I will plan to make the drive on the 7th and again on the 10th. This time is also different because we have Vivi with us so unless Mother can get on board with doggie day care I will need to go alone. Some wonderful news was that we received the alert that Mother could sign up for her second vaccine. I was able to sign her up three weeks and two days after the first one which is in the ideal range. She received her first vaccine on a Sunday and for the second vaccine they are not doing Sunday or Monday. There were lots of appointments available to choose from. Two weeks after the second vaccine and she can feel a lot more comfortable going out and about, maybe even the Gem Show? Time will tell!

We do have a possible option for doggie day care now - we took Vivi to a local groomer and they also offer this service. Mother dropped Vivi off at the groomer Thursday at 9:00 AM while I waited in the car. They forgot to tell her (and she forgot to ask) about when Vivi would be ready. It got to be 4:15 PM and still no call. Mother was wild that they left her baby there for so long and stormed over there. When she arrived, they said they had called but there was no record on her phone. She gave the tip, grabbed Vivi and left. Upon their return I saw the result and was amazed! They did a perfect job which was a miracle because Vivi was way overdue for grooming and her chest was completely matted from wearing sweaters and harnesses. I figured they were going to have to totally shave her and start over. Mother felt compelled (and I agreed) to call them up and let them know how happy she was with the job. When she called and said who she was, the girl on the phone was like YESSSS..., waiting for the complaint to come. I think Mother put her into shock when she actually had glowing compliments! After making the appointment, I discovered they had Groupons available so it was a great deal to get to use the Groupon the first time for nearly 50% off and we will definitely have her back every time she is here and needs grooming. Margot too, I hope! Kuochun tried a new place with Margot on Tuesday and she was not so lucky. She did not get a Schnauzer cut, she was done in only 45 minutes and just looks OK. Margot is always so sweet and adorable to us but HATES to be groomed.

It has been a very hectic week keeping up with work and dealing with plumbing problems at the house. The laundry room is in the garage which is common in this climate and there has been pooling water in there. Then we noticed that water was also accumulating to the base of the stairs going from the garage to the first floor and it was starting to smell musty. I called a plumber who was recommended to me and got the runaround from them all week. Twice the plumber showed up at night when there was no time to do anything, the second time we thought he was coming between 10:00 AM-12:00 PM and he did not show up until 5:30 PM. We postponed a meeting to be available. That day, the hot water heater also decided to fail. After the plumber told me I was going to be charged for these two "service visits" I made the choice to call someone else the next morning. I consulted Yelp and one company stood out as doing exactly what they promised from start to finish. Thank goodness I took a chance on them, they have been simply amazing and have provided exemplary service so far. I also have involved the homeowner's insurance company because we were not sure if the water issues were being caused by the landscaper breaking the irrigation system. It turns out that these are separate from that issue, there is about four inches of standing water in the wall. The insurance company's remediation person did not think to look in a simple place for the water so although he was very nice it was cause for concern. Everyone we have dealt with so far has warned us about the pitfalls in dealing with the remediation industry. According to them they tend to overinflate jobs so they can charge more. I am starting over with the new plumber and the remediation company they recommend which also has been excellent so far. Right now we have an industrial dehumidifier in the laundry room and a huge HEPA filter air scrubber in the house running 24/7. The machines are loud but are doing their jobs!

It turns out that there is a large crack in the original cast iron sewer pipe which is embedded in the foundation and services the upstairs bathroom. The new plumber was able to take a great photo of the crack. It is going to be quite some time before I will be able to use the upstairs bathroom again. The crack needs to be fixed and the remediation work done before the new hot water heater can be installed. Because of the nature of the loss, all contaminated surfaces have to be removed including the tile and drywall. The new remediation person said this is a Category 3 loss so I asked him what the worst category was. He said this is basically it outside of a Category 4 loss which would be a natural disaster.

All of the equipment in that room will need to be replaced. The water softener is not a good one and does not do much of anything to make the water safe for drinking so I am going to have it replaced by the plumber as well. It turns out that the owner of the new plumber is from Chicago and two of his three plumbers moved from Chicago with him! We received the plumber who is from here and we could not have asked for more. He was so smart, well-spoken, thorough and pinpointed the problem right away. He even resurrected the hot water heater for a bit and said to call his personal number if it failed and he would do his best to help us out. I am naturally hoping the homeowner's insurance will contribute to at least some of this. I was told though that the plumbing work will not be covered and there is a $1,000 deductible so this is going to be a big unexpected expense. Since we have been here such a short time it makes me wonder if the previous owner knew about the water leak issue but did not disclose it during the home purchasing process.

The silver lining is that although the laundry room was at the bottom of my to do list we will have a nice new laundry room and not the yucky room we inherited. I cannot see putting the used washer and dryer back in the new room so I am sure I will sell this set and get a new set. I actually do not need a front-loading set and all the bells and whistles, I prefer a traditional top-loading set. When I had the basement in Mount Prospect remodeled, the designer and contractor thought I was nuts to want a Speed Queen set but that is exactly what I wanted. I bought the set on my own at Abt. I have always figured that there is a reason why Speed Queen is used in laundromats, they are reliable and last a long time. I love my Speed Queen set! I have already found a local company similar to Abt which I will be taking my appliance business to.

Switching gears, I am putting the finishing touches on sending a box (or it may end up being two boxes) of jewelry back home in anticipation of our big sale in Burr Ridge. There is going to be about 250 sterling rings, some gold, sterling and CZ stud earrings which are very popular, brooches made by Swarovski, interesting costume jewelry pieces, Southwestern style costume jewelry and Brighton jewelry to name a few. If I do go to two boxes, I will fill the second box with sterling silver pieces such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pins. For now I am keeping the Mexican silver, Native American and Southwest style sterling pieces with me. There is still a possibility that we will conduct the moving sale in Phoenix so I would like to be prepared with a caravan just in case. The photo above shows just some of the rings I will be sending, there are rings for both men and women in a great variety of sizes and styles.

One more long day's work and I think I will be able to get through the backlog of sterling jewelry. This will be a major milestone! I have also been setting aside a lot of pieces to sell another way just to get the inventory under control. I met a local person through Facebook and he made a large purchase from me last month. He said he is ready for more! This backlog has been weighing heavily on me for three years so I have made peace with letting some of it go for what I paid.

Some great news is while looking for something else for me, Kuochun found my jewelry tools in the garage! He sent a package off which should arrive Monday. Mother will definitely be inspired to get back into design mode since I will now be able to finish off the pieces. Once I receive my tools, I will be able to tackle the jewelry we have been setting aside which I have the skills to repair. Then all that will be remaining is the costume jewelry that is missing stones. If we do not get to that this time it is OK, I will just leave it here for next time. Speaking of next time, see you then!