Monday, March 19, 2007

Ms. Val's Bargain of the Week

A few days ago, I won this item on eBay:

In the auction, the gravy boat was listed as "vintage Bauer" and "similar to Fiestaware". My knowledge of vintage wares is mostly derived from reading numerous dinnerware collecting books, scanning online auctions, and information from the fine folks at Medium Green. From that, I was able to tell that this piece is, in fact, Fiesta. It's an Ironstone sauce boat in the turf green color. And yes, the piece does contain a few nicks, but they don't bother me. I'm strange that way. Anyway, I bid accordingly, and I got the sauce boat for only $.99, plus shipping. You can view the completed auction here.

The sauce boat arrived safe and sound in today's mail, and it sits proudly on display in my dining room. Now, the search is on for a piece of Ironstone in the mango red color.

In Bloom!

When we planted our orange tree six years ago, it was only about a foot and a half tall. It is now over nine feet tall, but except for a lone orange a few months ago, it has never produced any fruit. In fact, we had pretty much resigned ourselves to having a fruitless, but otherwise healthy tree in the yard.

Then this morning, I discovered several small clusters of orange blossoms scattered throughout the tree.
There aren't many, but it's still early in the growing season. Our lime tree started blooming a few weeks ago. Many of the white petals have fallen off, leaving behind these little green nubs with yellow tips. These are future limes.

The lime tree was planted a year before the orange tree, but we usually have a pretty good lime crop. That tree bears enough fruit to keep us in fresh limes all summer long. We share them with the neighbors, and Q often leaves bags of them on the break room counter at work (that's also where we get our lemons). Also, Q's mom once bought us a lime cookbook.
We're really excited about all the fresh citrus. I'm hoping for enough oranges to at least make a pitcher of fresh squeezed orange juice on Father's Day morning.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Poetry Time

While I continue to recover from an acute case of blogger's block, please enjoy the poetry stylings of our guest blogger, Lucas.


when you step into it,
you skin gets hot and dry
the air turns humid
you feel like you will burn
drowning in your own sweat
because it's very hot
this may not sound like fun to you
but to me it really is
when it reaches 110,
you want to get away
but stand by and find the wonders
hidden beneath the thick, thick sand
Rock Bands

CAKES 'N' FEAR (Coming in 2011) [I'm in it]


Boys and Guitars

There once was a boy from Qatar
Who dreamed he had a guitar
So he went far
and found a jar
But still had no guitar.


Waterfalls splashing
Make a rainbow in the sky
Three thousand feet tall
(Inspired from Angel Falls, Brazil)

Too Much Noise

Drums Roll
Horns Blow
Eyes scroll
Ears Ring
Pianos Soothe
Cymbals Crash

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spiders on Drugs

I know I just posted a video the other day, but I got this one from my sister in law. Besides, I'm plum out of creative ideas at the moment. I guess that's what you call blogger's block.

This was just too good not to share.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ms. Val's Birthday Facts

Today is my birthday. According to Brownielocks, it's also Geneology Day, Mario Day (the video game guy?), and Salvation Army Day. Yawn. I was hoping for something more obscure and interesting like National Duran Duran Appreciation Day (August 10). But hey, my birthday does fall on the end of International Gay Ski Week!

My 2nd birthday. This was my grandparent's house. I can tell by the orange carpet and calico sofa in the background.

This is my 5th birthday at the Enchanted Island amusement park at Encanto Park. The guy behind me is my daddy. The kids next to me are neighorhood kids whose names I don't remember.

I also share a birthday with Chuck Norris, Jasmine Guy, Eva Herzigova, some guy named DJ Aligator, Sharon Stone, Shannon Tweed (Gene Simmons gave her a Lexus convertible for her birthday on an episode of Family Jewels), Bix Beiderbecke (I did a paper on him for jazz history class. I got an A on it mostly because I typed it and didn't plaigerize), James Earl Ray, and Osama bin Laden (I'm not so proud to be in company with those last two).

This is when I turned 6. Yes, the photo had discolored somewhat, but everything in that picture really was 70s orange--namely the walls and furniture.

Friday, March 09, 2007

99 out of 100!!!!

This semester, one of the classes I'm taking is Sewing for the Home (it's an elective for the interior design program). For our midterm project, we had to make a cushion cover that included a decorative trim and a zipper closure. Mine is pictured below:

When we turned these in, we had to include an evaluation list on which we had to grade our own work. We had to give each item an X (well-done), S (satisfactory), and O (needs improvement). I gave myself a few X's, but mostly S's for neatness, zipper application, trim application, and fit.

The instructor graded our pillows during break time (it's a 3 hour class). When we returned, I was shocked...shocked at my grade: 99/100. Not only that, but she had changed most of my S's to X's. Apparently she had a higher opinion of my work than I did.
And that seems to be the general concensus around here. When he saw the finished pillow, Kyle asked "you made that?" Quinton thinks it looks something that could be found in a high-end store with a $50 price tag.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Perfect Husband

I got this from my former next-door neighbor, who moved to Ohio a few years ago, but who sends the best e-mail joke lists. I felt this one was worth sharing with the group.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How Dishes are Made

Hello. You have reached Ms. Val at the Fluffy Pink Blog. I can't come to the computer right now because I'm busy watching Made in America. On tonight's episode, host John Ratzenberger is be profiling the Homer Laughlin China Company--the makers of Fiesta dinnerware.

If you wish to leave a message, please click on the "comment" icon at the bottom of this post, and I will respond when and if I feel like it. :-)

Made in America can be seen on the Travel Channel. Check your local listings for time and station.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Tucson Trip

Shortly after leaving home, we got a 5-pack of sixes on the odometer. I don't know why, but little trivialities like this (and spotting license plates with my kids' initials in them) fascinate me.
The boys were so well behaved! Thank goodness for iPods, Nintendo DS, and earbuds. Especially the earbuds.
Heading south (or is it east?) on I-10, we encountered some wind, accompanied with blowing dust. This is a major problem in the summertime when late afternoon dust storms reduce visibility to almost zero, and invariably cause mulitple car pile-ups. While yesterdays conditions weren't that bad, we did come face to face with MANY tumbleweeds.

This is what happens when Kyle eats a blue snowcone. What the picture doesn't show is that his teeth were even bluer than his lips.

Game highlights and lowlights:

--The game itself was fun. When we got there, it was quite warm. By the 8th inning, the wind we encountered on the freeway was now blowing through the ballpark, and it was freezing cold (stupid me...I left my sweatshirt in the car).

--During the game, I made my requisite trip to the souvenir shop. When I returned with a shopping bag, Q said: "I hope you have a t-shirt for Lucas in there." Indeed I did. Good thing, too. Just two minutes earlier, Luke had dripped snowcone juice down the front of the shirt he was wearing.

--I wish the Seattle Mariners organization would shell out the dough to put the player's names on the backs of their uniforms.

--Lucas got his ticket stub autographed by Diamondbacks outfielder, Dave Krynzel.

--We left before the end of the game. The closing pitcher (a rookie) was being mercilessly heckled by an obviously drunk spectator. It was maddening because the wind was blowing and kicking up dust. Hardly ideal playing conditions for even the most seasoned player.

--The Diamondbacks won 6 to 4.

--It had been over 10 years since I last ate at El Charro Cafe. I loved it then, but yesterday's visit wasn't as good as I remembered it. Maybe it was just my meal because Q and the boys were happy with theirs. I ordered crispy beef tacos, but they were prepared like a dry hamburger patty stuffed in a taco shell, and topped with shredded lettuce, salsa, and peas. Also, I think the rice was topped with Veg-All.

--Now, the best Mexican restaurant title goes to Cantina Laredo in Scottsdale.

--I had to break a few speed laws, but I managed to get home in time to watch Desperate Housewives. We pulled in at 10 minutes before 8.

--I know it's only temporary, but DH is simply not the same without Marcia Cross.


This morning, I had to leave to run an errand. I was gone for maybe one hour. When I got home, here's what I found on the wall unit in the play room:

What the picture doesn't show is that Jango is covered in dust (be honest...who really cleans the top of an almost seven-foot tall cabinet???). I'm just glad I didn't have class today because she would have been stuck up there until late afternoon.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Road Trip!

Baseball tickets are one of the few indulgences to which Q treats himself. The Arizona Diamondbacks are his team. But he'll watch any game, anywhere, anytime--including a rerun of game 5 the 1977 Venezuelan Little League World Series at 3 AM on ESPN 14 (channel 748 on our cable system).

One year, he gave me spring training tickets for my birthday. That's what I get for being born in March. Anyway, I believe he got a charm bracelet, a Banana Republic gift card, and a copy of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack for his birthday later that year.

For Valentine's Day, I bought Q four Cactus League tickets to tomorrow's Diamondbacks vs. Seattle Mariners game. The game will be played at Tucson's Electric Park, so we're going to make day trip out of it.

I'm not much of a baseball fan, but do enjoy attending games. There's just something about paying $8 for an ice cream cone that makes it taste better than a popsicle from the kitchen freezer. And it's more fun to buy a $32 t-shirt at the souvenir shop than it is to buy the same shirt for $9 at Target. I'm kidding. I almost always wait until the end of the season and buy that stuff for 90% off...unless the shirt makes my waist look small--and I have a few such tops that do. In which case, I'll pay full sticker.

Also, It's been a long time since we've been to Tucson. While there, I'm hoping we can work in a trip to the best Mexican restaurant in the entire state.

Friday, March 02, 2007


This evening, Christopher was nice enough to send me the link to HeroMachine (even though I am a Pepsi drinker!) I spent a good part of the evening attempting to draw myself as a superhero. As always, I had a hard time finding a hairstyle that did me justice.

Anyway, since I didn't have anything better to write about, I decided to post my creation. I really wish I had that figure...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursday 13: The Brand Loyalty Edition

Most household items I buy are governed not by the name on the label, but by what’s on sale. Yes, I buy store brands and generics, and I don’t care who knows it. A perfect example is dryer sheets. They’re all pretty much the same to me. All I ask is that they reduce static cling. Light bulbs, too. As long as they illuminate the house, I'm happy. But there are a few items for which I must buy a particular brand name.

1. Spot Shot Carpet Stain Remover. When we sold our first house, the buyer complimented me on the condition of the carpet. Aside from the minor wear and tear associated with seven-year old carpet, it looked pretty good. Thank you, Spot Shot.

2. Crest Whitening Expressions Cinnamon Rush toothpaste. It’s the only cinnamon-flavored toothpaste out there that I know of.

3. Pop Secret Homestyle microwave popcorn. I used to buy whatever popcorn was on sale. After all, popcorn is popcorn, right? Wrong. Q’s aunt served this up at her house once, and I was hooked.

4. Zout Laundry Stain Remover. Every household with children should have this stuff at the ready. I was once at a baby shower where someone had included a bottle of Zout with their gift.

5. Feline Pine Cat Litter. My sister once told me that this stuff is best at absorbing litter box odors. Since I have very little sense of smell, I’ve chosen to take her word for it.

6. Method All-Purpose Pink Grapefruit surface cleaner. It’s pink. Need I explain myself further?

7. Aura Rosemary Mint Shampoo and Conditioner. I love how the mint makes my scalp feel icy and tingly.

8. Pepsi. It’s a matter of personal preference. I’ll still buy Pepsi, even if Coke products are on sale (gasp!). But I will drink Coke if it’s the only thing available.

9. Glad ForceFlex garbage bags. According to the commercial, these stretchy trash bags can prevent a sanitation truck from going over a cliff. And they’ve proven able to handle my family’s banana peels, pizza boxes, and yard waste.

10. My Nana’s Tortilla Chips. I think these are only sold in Arizona. Heat them up in the microwave for 30 seconds and they taste as good as the chips you’ll get at a Mexican restaurant. For weekend afternoons out by the pool, I’ll serve up a big bowl of these along with…

11. Arriba Fire Roasted Red Salsa (Medium). Again…tastes just like restaurant salsa. All of the Arriba salsas are good, but the family seems to like the fire roasted red salsa the best.

12. Lifestride shoes. What they lack in label cache, they make up for in comfort. I own four different pairs of the Mimosa sandals and I’m on my second pair of Durangos. Lifestrides are easy on the wallet, too.

13. Suave Naturals hairspray. Yes, I'm admitting it. I buy cheap hairspray from the grocery store. It just so happens that this stuff is the best for maintaining my hairstyle without making it stiff. I just wish they sold it in a travel size.