Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Dishes: Viva La Purple!

Welcome to the first installment of 'Sunday Dishes'. I'm going start using each Sunday's blog post to show off my Fiesta and Harlequin dishes. This will be done in the same spirit as my previous 'Bargain of the Week', which I haven't done in awhile. That's because most of my recent deals have been boring non-bargains (like on Thursday when I paid $2.69/gallon for gas) or dishes. I've been having some good luck finding cheap very affordable vintage ware on eBay. Most of it will be showcased here.

One of the most fun parts of collecting Fiesta is the ability to experiment with different displays, layouts, and color combinations. I do more than feed my family with this stuff. I decorate with it, too. Here, I have Plum, Heather, Cinnabar, and Lilac on display in the kitchen baker's rack.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Feline Dental Care

This week, I had to take Jango to the vet for her yearly check-up and shots. During her examination, the doctor noticed how dirty Jango's teeth were. She was also showing signs of advancing gum disease. Apparently, this is a problem among the oriental breeds (Jango is Siamese) and she really needs to have her teeth brushed on a regular basis.

I had no idea! I had been around cats my entire life and the idea of cleaning a kitty's teeth had never been broached. After all, cats are infamous for their meticulous personal hygene. They lick themselves clean, and bury their own messes. So naturally I assumed that dental care was also part of the package.

So, not only do I have to start brushing Jango's teeth, I also had to buy a special toothbrush and kitty toothpaste. This turned out this was easier said than done. No such products were found at Target or Fry's. I had to make a special trip to PetSmart.

And that's another reason why I knew nothing of feline dental care--the lack of selection and availability of products required to do the job.

And what a fun job it's going to be. NOT! Jango doesn't like being held, much less have a plastic rod shoved in her mouth. This is definately going to be a two person job. A job that nobody is looking forward to doing. That's why we haven't done it just yet. The vet took care of that just the other day and her teeth are not yet dirty enough to warrart putting Jango--and us--through the pain.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More, Please...

Recently, I had been making lists of TV shows and commercials that, to put it mildly, I could live without. Below is a list of shows that I wouldn't mind seeing more of:

--The A&E Saturday morning lineup. Shows like: Biography, Sell This House, Flip This House, Find and Design, and especially...

--...Big Spender! Or as I like to call it, The-Valerie-Spends-Less-Money-Than-The-Rest-of-the-World-Show. This is one show that Q and I like to watch together. It features individuals or families who are deep in debt due to frivalous spending. Typical episodes revolve around the 28 year old girlie girl who still lives with her parents, drives a little red roadster, has 200 pairs of designer shoes, and works 20 hours a week as a receptionist. And there's always the under-employed boyfriend who persuaded his girlfriend into helping him buy an Infiniti SUV (he downgraded from a Hummer H2). I believe this same couple spent $450+ per month on restaurant meals.

Anyway, Larry Winget--a style challenged self-help guy (and Dr. Phil wannabe)-- comes in and literally cleans house. He eliminates frivolities from the family budget, and advises the debtors to cancel the cable, hold yard sales, sell their plasma screens and expensive cars, repay loans from relatives, and get part-time jobs. Big Spender is on at 11:30 Saturday mornings in Phoenix. Everyone else, check your local listings.

--Also, I wish A&E would bring back Airline. There's nothing funnier than watching some skanky drunken lush of a woman get agitated because she was denied boarding.

--The Griswold family vacation movies. Except for European Vacation...that's the only one that didn't have Cousin Eddie in it. They can play Christmas Vacation all year long as far as I'm concerned.

--Caveman commercials!!!!!!

--For SOAPnet to bring 80's nighttime soaps back to its schedule. Drop the teen dreamy shows like One Tree Hill, OC, and 90210. Bring back Dynasty, Falcon Crest, and especially Knots Landing.

--Reruns of Love Connection on Game Show Network.

--For TV Land to bring Three's Company back to its line-up. Please. And show it during normal waking hours...not at 3:30 in the morning.

--For Cox Cable to add the Style Network to it's Phoenix station lineup. I'd be more than happy to give up SPEED, Golf Channel, AND Fox News for this ONE channel.

--More real estate shows that aren't House Hunters.

--Cell phone commercials where Mom reads her kids the riot act for running up the bill or dumping unused minutes in the kitchen trash. Kudos if Mom takes away the phone.

--VH-1 reality shows that feature former child stars. Train wreck TV is fun to watch.

--Speaking of VH-1, how about more of those "I Love The___" shows. The 70s, 80s, and 90s have been done to death, but how about the 60s? Even though most of the VH-1 key demograpic wasn't even born in the 60s, we'd love a chance to see what we missed. And while I'm at it, please rerun When Kiss Ruled The World.

--Superfriends cartoons on Boomerang!

--The TLC Saturday night lineup. Flip That House, Moving Up, Property Ladder, and The Real Estate Pros. All real eatate, all night long!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vacation Pictures: Minnesota

The final leg of our trip included antique shopping in Stillwater, MN...a trip to the amusement park at Mall of America, and boating at Centerville Lake.

Beautiful Stillwater, Minnesota. Located on the St. Croix River, Stillwater is said to be the antiques capital of Minnesota. I could kick myself for passing up a red Harlequin 36s bowl that was priced at $18. I guess it didn't seem like a big enough bargain at the time.

At the Mall of America. We're on this ride somewhere.

Q's mom was nice enough to hold on to my suede purse while the rest of us got wet on the log ride. She also took this picture.

Little girls love Lucas.

Lucas and Sidney (Q's cousin's daughter). These two became fast friends.

Sidney and Luke being towed behind the boat at Centerville Lake...

...and Kyle and Q...

They even managed to get me on that thing!

This is a real store at the Minneapolis airport. "Keep walking, boys. We will buy our overpriced snacks and magazines elsewhere."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Vacation Pictures: The Reunion

During our time in Iowa, we got to stay at my cousin, Kris' big, beautiful farmhouse. This place was built in the late 19th century. And several family members have reported supernatural encounters, if you will, in a few of the upstairs rooms.

One nice thing about farm life is that there's always someone to play with...

...and you don't have to worry about your ball going over the fence into the neighbor's yard.

My dad was one of 12 brothers and sisters. Of the 9 surviving, 7 made it to the reunion.

The Blue Crew! My sister, Meredith, my cousin, Karen, and me...having a great hair day, despite the humidity.

We flew into Minneapolis, where Q's mom very graciously loaned us her car for the trip to Iowa. I still owe her a trip to the car wash.

On the way back to Minneapolis, we took a side trip to Niagara Cave in Harmony, MN.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Vacation Pictures: Dorchester, Iowa

We've been back from our trip since Wednesday, but I've been working on paring down the king sized pile of laundry that took over our family room. Also, I needed a vacation from my vacation.

My dad's very large family is from the tiny town of Dorchester, Iowa. Below is the family church--a very simplified example of gothic architecture.

The little house my grandparents moved to after they retired from farming. Some of the best meals I ate as a child came out of its kitchen.

Beautiful downtown Dorchester. The building on the left is the supper club (that's what they call restaurants back there). The place in the middle is the local bar, and the taller building on the right is the post office. I think there's a small store on the far right.

The creek. We played here alot as kids. I remember trying to catch fish with a homemade pole fashioned out of a large twig and a piece of rope. On this visit to the creek, we had to cut through a private yard to get there. The whole time, I thought someone was going emerge from their house and chase us away.

Mark G. is not the only garden pic poster in the blogosphere.

The Pot of Ice:

Reunion photos will be posted tomorrow.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Happy Chocolate Day, Everyone!!!

I plan to celebrate the day accordingly. :-)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Not Another Survey!

Yes, another survey. What can I say? I love these things! This one came from Kimberly--a friend from MySpace, Medium Green, and a fellow Fiesta collector.

1. Have you chewed gum after someone else already has? Are you kidding me????? NO! That's just sick!!!!!!!!

2. What song describes your relationship? There are lots of good ones: "Count On Me" by Jefferson Starship comes to mind. Or maybe "For Once In My Life" by Stevie Wonder ("For once I can say this is mine, you can't take it!")

3. How much does your dog weigh? Zero. I don't have a dog.

4. Who are you thinking about right now? Nobody in particular.

5. Ever been skinny dipping? Every chance I get! :-)

6. Earrings or necklace? Necklace. I used to wear earrings all the time until Kyle was born. He used to tug on my ear lobes, which made wearing earrings painful. I haven't worn them since then.

7. Who have you texted the most lately? Probably Q. I don't text unless I absolutely have to.

8. Color of your shirt? Very thin red, white, blue, and gray stripes.

9. How many years have you taken a language? 4 years of high school French...most of which I have forgotton. Use it or lose it, I guess...

10. Who's on speed dial? On my cell phone: Q's cell phone, Q's office, house phone, Mom, Mom's office, Mom's cell, Q's mom, Q's mom's cell, several neighbors, boys' friends, school attendance line, sister's cell, all my BILs' cells, all my SILs' cells, some girls from school, Jango's vet, and Brother's Pizza!

11. What color is your background on your computer mainscreen? Blue with a picture of 4 rare Fiesta Sapphire mugs.

12. Do you wish on 11:11? Huh?

13. Good advice if you ever go camping? Make sure you don't lose or forget the plug for the air mattress! The rocky ground is very uncomfortable.

14. Are you A BAD influence? I think I'm a pretty good influence, thank you very much! :-D

15. what color are your eyes? Greenish

16. Would you rather have your name or your siblings's name? I don't know. I've gotten kind of fond of Val...the shortened version of my name.

17. Would you do anything for someone? That's a very broad statement. I would do LOTS of things for very few people.

18. Have you ever been called a bitch? Not in the last five minutes! :-)~

19. Favorite color? Do you really have to ask? Bubble gum PINK!!!!!

20. Do you use smiley faces on the computer? Yes. My favorite one is with the tongue: :-)~ or :-P

21. What song is on? Runaway by Jefferson Starship. Yes, I'm a big 70s dork!

22. Do you eat all the servings in the food groups on a daily basis? Not as much as I should.

23. Are you ever a freak about cleanliness or organization? I go in cycles. Sometimes I go around the house polishing doorknobs. Other times, I just don't give a damn.

24. Have you ever been to South America or Africa? Neither

25. Do you know how to knit? No.

26. Do you have a cell phone or iPod with a patterned cover? I have a pink silicone cover on my iPod. My cell phone is already pink so a cover is not necessary.

27. Have you ever written love song lyrics yourself and put them in a song? No, but I do enjoy changing around the lyrics to other, well-known songs...Weird Al style.

28. Do you keep a diary or journal online? You're reading it.

29.When you open your closet, what is the dominant color? Khaki. Surprised? Well, the pants are in front, facing the door. And there are a lot of pants.

30. Baskin Robbins or Coldstone? Baskin Robbins, definitely!!!! I could live on their chocolate and peanut butter.

31. Physics or Chemistry? I will avoid both as long as possible.

32. Earphones or headphones? Neither, if I can avoid them. Headphones look dorky and I find earphones uncomfortable.

33. Pink or teal? See #19.

34. Earrings or a ring? I prefer rings. See #6.

35. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars? Hmmmm. Star Wars, by default. Kyle is a SW fanatic.

36. Fly or road trip? Road trip. Flying is more trouble than its worth anymore. But when time is an issue, flying is just slightly more convenient.

37. Starbucks? No. I don't drink coffee, period.

38. Have you ever bought clothing at Nordstrom? Yes. Nordstrom has the best clearance racks. Unfortunately, there isn't a Nordstrom on my side of town.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I'm Worried...

We're going to be leaving for vacation in a few weeks. My sister and I and our families will be traveling to a large family reunion--spanning 4 or 5 generations--in northeast Iowa. Afterwards, Q, the boys, and I will be spending time in Minnesota with his family.

For me, this will be my first time flying since security restrictions were placed on liquids awhile back. Since then, it seems like the rules are changing on a daily basis. And since I fly so infrequently, I haven't exactly kept up with my carry-on etiquette. I don't know what is and isn't allowed on a plane--this week, anyway.

For this reason, I'm worried about the embarrassment of having something seemingly innocuous--like my Chapstick--confiscated by airport security. I'm actually thinking about sending my mother-in-law some cash and a shopping list just so I don't have to wonder if mint-infused shampoo is on the red-flag list. Among other concerns I'm having:

I'm worried that we will oversleep on the morning of our flight.

I'm worried that we won't be able to find a place to park at the airport.

I'm worried that a long line at the security checkpoint will cause us to miss our flight.

I'm worried that my astringent bottle will leak inside my suitcase.

I'm worried that Jango will be severely depressed while I'm gone. She's staying at my mom's and I know Mom knows how to take care of cats. But this cat goes nuts when I leave the house to get the mail.

I'm worried that our flight could be cancelled. Apparently, the NWA pilots are having a snit about one thing or another. They've been "calling in sick" en masse.

I'm worried that my current acne outbreak won't be healed before we go.

I'm worried that one of Q's customers will track him down with a problem that anyone in his office could solve.

I'm worried that while we're gone, a monsoon storm will hit our area. We will come home to roof damage, busted windows, downed trees, and patio furniture at the bottom of the green pool.

I'm worried that the Minnesota humidity will wreak havoc on my hair.

I'm worried that our luggage will be lost (Old Navy t-shirts for everyone!)

I'm worried that the hostess gifts I bought will arrive broken.

I'm worried that someone will get sick. This happens more often than I care for it to.

I'm worried that the boys will complain about being bored. I don't think there are too many video game consoles or computers where we're going.

I'm worried that I will forget something a cell phone charger. I never forget easily replaceable stuff like toothpaste and cotton balls.

I'm worried that I will pack the wrong clothes for the weather. If I bring tank tops and sandals, it will be cold and rainy the whole time.

I'm worried that someone, somewhere will pick a fight about something stupid.

I'm worried that I will lock the keys in my mother-in-law's car.

I'm worried that there won't be enough time to visit everybody. Q and I come form very large extended families...both of whom live in the area.