What Randhurst Should Have Been

Time got away from me last week and I was not able to make a posting but there has not been a lot of jewelry news. We continue to be busy with estate sales with very nearly a full schedule in November which is great but I have not been able to post any new items online. My Vendoo listings turn over to the next month on the 3rd and I do not want to lose the 25 listings I paid for so I did set them up with vintage Native American pieces. The plan is to launch them next week, as well as the statement pieces both Native American and Federico which I did not want to ship home over the summer so I took them offline.

The next pop-up sale will be our downsizing part two in Scottsdale the weekend after Thanksgiving. This time I am not going to open the house or backyard and keep most things to the garage. I will be listing the larger and key items individually on Facebook Marketplace to see if I can clear any space prior to the sale start. I definitely learned from the last experience - when I opened the garage door, lots of customers came rushing in and it was very difficult to pull the clothing racks onto the driveway with all that going on. Plus the driveway slants down towards the garage so I was working against gravity trying to get them in place.



We have had amazing experiences with landscape maintenance and housecleaning providers recommended through some of the local Facebook groups. They both do a wonderful job for a reasonable price. I was hoping for the same success finding a handyman but no such luck. I probably already spoke about the person I had come to the home for an initial meeting earlier this year. Long story short, he was a complete disaster and very unprofessional. Another person was recommended as being the best craftsman in Phoenix and I contacted him regarding the handyman work plus remodeling the laundry room but no response. I then took to Google and found that Ace Hardware has a handyman service and the reviews were excellent. We love the staff at our local Ace Hardware. I actually wrote a Google review about them and it sort of went viral because so many people found it helpful. I filled out the online form and received a call the next day. The lady on the phone thought my tasks could be completed in a half day but I am not so sure. At any rate, the handyman is scheduled to come next Thursday so my homework will be to clear the areas in the garage so he can work. Priority order will be to hang the shelves, electric fireplace and large decorative hook made of rebar. Then we will see if he has time to repair the hole in the wall and switch out the electrical sockets in the kitchen. I will probably have to schedule more time to finish the rest of the to-do list but this will give me a chance to see if the work is good first.

For the longest time, these photos were the oldest ones in my phone. I purchased this shelf system from one of our estate sales, it was a condo in Mount Prospect way back in February 2012. They do not look like much in the photo but they are cute in person, vintage with a bamboo style edge. I have had good intentions to put these shelves up all this time but it never happened so I ended up moving them to Scottsdale after I lost all of the built-in cabinets in the garage due to a summer flood. The shelves make a "U" shape with shorter shelves on each side and a long shelf across the top. I misplaced the long wall tracks somewhere along the way but I still have the shelf brackets. I went to Amazon to search for replacements but ended up getting floating brackets in white which do not need the tracks. This will give me more flexibility with the design and also modernize the look. Light and bright does well here in Arizona so eventually I would like to paint the shelves white. This has been a long time coming so I am excited about it!

The home came with this electric fireplace in the dining area which has a grey limestone surround and a pine wood top. The first thing the designer wanted to do was remove this fireplace. I thought I would have no trouble selling it, I tried at more than 75% off retail for two years but no luck. I have decided to see if the handyman can hang it up in the garage. This may seem silly but in the early morning of the sale days it was cold in both December and February. Sales start earlier here than in Chicagoland. I push the envelope as much as I can by running my own sales from 9:00-3:00 but I believe the community garage sale started at 8:00. Kuochun noticed last year the early birds were out shopping by 7:00. The fireplace should warm up the room a bit and add to the cozy atmosphere. It changes colors and has "embers" made of crystal so that goes with jewelry. I am going to see if it can be installed in the empty space in the center of where the shelving will go. If all goes well, it is going to be such a great feeling to have all these parts and pieces up off the floor in the laundry room and garage and hung up!

I am also thinking about sending this black storage cabinet to Scottsdale. I really no longer have a use for it in Mount Prospect as I am downsizing my costume jewelry collection but I could really use it in Scottsdale. It would be a great way to store jewelry and photography props. I tried to sell it at my pop-up sale and on Facebook Marketplace but surprisingly there was no interest. I am going to see what a mover on uShip would charge to bring it out here. It is tempting to send my two IKEA glass display cabinets as well but if they break that would make for an expensive repair.

After catching up with my license plate sticker at home, lucky me - it was time to renew the Arizona license plate sticker as well. Deb who was keeping an eye on things groaned and said before we arrived that "ADOT" came in the mail. Now I know why! Their price for one year is about the same as I paid for two years in Illinois with a vanity plate. They do have a multi-year option and although it was a big expense I decided to go with the five-year renewal because I will save at least $500 - and if the price goes up I will save even more. Wow, nearly $2,000 for the license plate renewals but I will not need to renew Arizona until 2028.

We have eaten out a few times since we have been here but mostly quick bites like Chipotle and Jimmy John's. Mother is still on Lean Lifestyle so she is not eating out. We knocked The Local Donut off our to-do list - this is not our order but I did choose the blueberry old fashioned. Another memorable one was the Ferrero Rocher which had one of the candies in the center.

While at The Local Donut, we noticed a new restaurant next door called The Eleanor. It looks like the owners did wonders with this mid-century modern building which used to be a dry cleaners. It was buzzing with activity. We knocked one off the list and added another! We tried going last Saturday but the parking lot was completely full and a bunch of people were lurking around waiting for spots. Kuochun does not like to wait so we ended up going to US Egg.

We had never been there before but it is right near the car wash so we could get that taken care of as well. I did not have high expectations but I really enjoyed it. Every time I go to a "pancake" place I am torn between ordering something sweet and something savory. I most always go with something savory. At US Egg, they have the Half & Half - two smaller versions of their specialty protein pancakes which have blueberries and granola in the batter and a small skillet with one egg. I have never seen this at a restaurant of this type and it was perfect for me! The food and service was really good and we actually ended up going a second time. I am ready to go somewhere new now.

We have made many trips to Tempe Marketplace since we have been here, mainly to Cox (cable and internet) to get help with Kuochun's new TV for his room. Thankfully this is all worked out now. I have to pay a little extra but we can now record up to 6 programs at the same time. We could only record two at a time before and my programs kept getting bumped by the millions of episodes of House Hunters Kuochun records. In order to add a fourth cable box for Kuochun, we needed to switch out the equipment. The big box in the living room is gone and we have four wireless boxes which are a little bigger than a wallet. Kuochun says "game changer!" Cox is actually about a year behind Xfinity as far as new technology goes so when we come back we are going to do the same switch at home.

Tempe Marketplace is one of the best shopping centers around, it has everything you need in one place. I truly feel the Randhurst developers could have taken a cue from Tempe Marketplace. It is what Randhurst should have been. There are lots of great restaurants in addition to stores. We had one lunch at Mad Greens which is a salad place. This was our second time there and I loved it both times. Another day we tried King's Fish House which reminded me of Shaw's Crab House. I tried the shrimp taquitos appetizer as my lunch along with a side of macaroni and cheese. We had a great server and she said the taquitos are not ordered enough and she did warn me about the spicy sauce drizzle but I did not love them. They were too spicy and the shrimp on tails were inside the taquito shells which was kind of weird. I loved the sourdough bread and the mac and cheese though. The sauce was very light which made it a little more guilt-free. I suggested Kuochun try the New Orleans BBQ shrimp which he really enjoyed, he ate every bit. On another trip in the evening we went to Portillo's. Every time we go it seems to be pretty popular which I am happy to see. They recently opened a sit-down Lou Malnati's which I would like to try as well. The logo is different and the building is much more modern than the ones at home. We have a carryout Lou's only 5 minutes away from us but I always prefer dining in, everything is hot and fresh.

Mike has been working hard packing up lots of jewelry for Mark to ship to Scottsdale for the pop-up sale. I now have the vintage and new Native American, Buffalo Dancer and new Mexican pieces with me. The hide and leather photo backdrops and the tabletop mannequins are on the way and should arrive next week. I did take inventory of what I have online to be sure everything is accounted for. Even though I have not been able to get back to jewelry purges or online postings yet I still sold several items out of my store through eBay and Etsy.

I have come leaps and bounds with the online store but having the pop-up sale at home did set things back. I will definitely be very prepared for the holiday season in 2024. The jewelry purge items are piling up and the plan is to post a great purge next Sunday. Once the handyman hangs everything up, I can get to work staging the room for the pop-up sale. I am going to try staging Mother's Christmas items in the front entry to free up space and keep things separate. I am not worried about theft but I will be able to close the iron gate at night to keep the goodies secure. Mother has a lot of garlands to sell so maybe we will be able to hang them on the gate.

As usual, so much to do so I will end here!