Wearing Of The Green

We did not have an estate sale last week so I put the pause on the blog as well. This post will cover the past two weeks. Kuochun has adjusted to the 15-hour time change between Phoenix and Guangzhou and is doing well. He sent an adorable video of his granddaughter with him in the background, helping her with her English ABCs. He is in high demand so I do not hear from him every day but he is busy catching up with friends and old schoolmates and eating his favorite foods.

I am on full-time dog care and I hoped I would be able to adjust to a completely different schedule but it has been challenging. The girls go on three walks per day - longer walks at 6:40 AM and 6:40 PM and a shorter walk at 11:30 PM. Most days they get me up even earlier! In between, I take them to the "island" which is in the middle of the street right in front of my house and then we go "island hopping" to two more that are close by. I am trying to figure out how to get them to use the backyard for the in between times even though there is no grass. The backyard is mostly brick pavers with some areas with small stones around the perimeter. If Margot will go out there, Vivi will go. It has been hit or miss so far. Margot has always been walked so she is kind of picky.

I have recently heard the term "reactive dog" which definitely applies to Vivi. When we walk in the neighborhood, Vivi is usually the first to bark and lunge at the other people and dogs we see. Because Vivi barks, then Margot barks, but the ratio is about 5 Vivi barks to 1 Margot bark. It is very embarassing because no one else's dog acts like this. When Vivi gets excited and jumps around, she bumps into Margot which causes displeasure on Margot's part. This is why we walk them early in the morning before most people are awake and again as the sun is setting and people are busy with dinner. On the longer walks we take them the two short blocks right out of our community and into a "regular" neighborhood with no HOA. Inevitably though, we run into people. I learned that reactive dog behavior is common, affecting 1 out of 3 dogs. I am going to purchase an online training course which is supposed to help with this and I do not know how I will find the time but I will need to make this a priority. The goal would be to calm this behavior by the time Kuochun returns home in late April.I found a line of dog food which I really like so I am in the process of changing their food. It is called Spot & Tango and the main line of dog food is called Unkibble. The food is human grade and made with all whole food ingredients. They have been on a mix of kibble from Petsmart, Badlands Ranch which is extremely healthy with a little Just Food For Dogs fresh food as a topper because lately Margot was not eating the others on their own. My first task was to eliminate the regular kibble (Kuochun just liked it because it has a picture of a beautiful Miniature Schnauzer on the front of the bag) because I want to do better on the quality of food and neither of them chews it. I was on a walk and saw that a dog had thrown up (and the owner did not clean it up) and that dog did not chew their kibble either. The girls have been on Badlands Ranch for nearly a year and while it is very healthful, there is a lot of powder in the bag and some of the pieces are too large for Margot to chew. I am also afraid it was sticking to their teeth, causing all the dental issues. We still have 2+ bags so I will be phasing this out as well. I have been incorporating Spot & Tango at about 25% of what they are eating and as the inventory gets low on Badlands Ranch I will gradually increase it. They love the taste of the Unkibble and it is way easier for Margot to eat. Eventually I want to transition to Unkibble only with possibly their fresh food as a topper. It will be a little surprise for when Kuochun gets home! Also, every evening I put a scoop of PetLab dental powder on their food and I feel it is really keeping their teeth clean.

I also ordered supplements from Spot & Tango - Calming for both girls, Allergy + Immune for Margot because she chews on her paws often and Hip + Joint for Vivi to help with her luxating patellas (kneecap dislocation.) Both girls have this but Vivi's is a lot worse than Margot's. Like the food, the supplements have great flavors and they love them. I figure instead of treats that have no nutritional value, may as well give them something which will benefit them! We are about two weeks in so I will keep an eye on their progress and see if the supplements are worth continuing.

Now turning to jewelry, I did post vintage Native American jewelry lots these past two Sundays. At this time, I have enough new pieces to do 1-2 more purges. I almost hope nothing new comes in so I can turn to the Tucson Gem Show items after this. I was hoping to make more headway with the jewelry since we have not been as busy with estate sales but unfortunately it was not meant to be.

This is the March 10 lot which included pieces without stones or brilliant blue turquoise. The pendant necklace with turquoise and the turquoise cluster squash blossom earrings were both from Mother's collection and have sold. I also sold all of the rings except the one with the scrolls on the stand on the right, the pillow bead necklace and the Hopi kachina earrings. I posted a few of the unsold items and the cuff bracelet at the top center sold on eBay just a couple of days later to a regular customer. Someone on Facebook gave me a low-ball offer which I politely declined. I knew this bracelet was special and although eBay's fees are higher, I was glad that it ended up selling for the full asking price.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day I posted a lot of green turquoise jewelry. Unfortunately several interruptions during the day caused me not to be able to post these pieces in as timely a manner as I like so as of now I still have most of them. The thunderbird ring is spoken for and the turquoise ring on the stand is pending sale. Sunday was the annual meeting for our homeowner's association and there was a get-together afterwards but I felt it was more important to keep the momentum going with the jewelry.

I was only able to post these two jewelry pieces this past week, they are both beautiful investments. The plan is to get some more jewelry posted next week. This past Friday was cleaning day and I was able to take some time out to get all of the "to do" jewelry organized and the shoeboxes and trays up off the floor. Now I will be ready to tackle the job with a clean slate (and desk!)

With Kuochun away we are not eating out much (which is a good thing) so I do not have a lot to report on the dining front. We did pick up a pizza and boneless chicken wings from Lou Malnati's one evening. Mother "let" me get deep dish this time! Maureen and her husband Jerry are currently visiting Phoenix (they are staying in a resort on the north side and we are on the south side) and we were able to get together with them for an early dinner on Saturday. I chose Babbo Italian Eatery because the location was halfway for each of us and I really like their food, we have nothing like it at home. We are all planning to go to the Desert Botanical Garden which is near us on Monday, this will be my first time to go during the day and I am looking forward to it. We are also going to go to Gertrude's restaurant which is inside the gardens, locals rave about it.

For the first time this year, we are having a full estate sale schedule so this will keep me on my toes in addition to needing to work on my taxes. I did sort through a bunch of expense receipts and 1099s (now I have quite a few now that I am selling on more online marketplaces.) I am going to try using the tax spreadsheet I purchased on Etsy last year again and not get fancy with it. I just need to enter the receipts in the order they come up in the pile and let the spreadsheet do the work and not insert lines or sort the records so they are in the proper order at all times. I hope it works this year!