Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dishing With Friends

Today, Q and I drove out to Apache Junction to meet up and go Fiesta hunting with fellow dish buddies Rebecca, Mike, Wendy, Rick, and Denise. I had met Wendy, Mike, and Rick before, but I had only known Becca and Denise from the Medium Green message board, and from phone conversations (Denise).
We started the day at the Patterns of the Past antique mall. Q and I were the first to arrive so we waited in the car. But it wasn't long before Rebecca and Denise made their entrance by nearly t-boning the Mustang with a Chevy Malibu.
Once inside, Denise spotted a ginormous bin of loose silverware. She set out to look for a certain pattern whose name I can't remember. Wendy scored a vintage Fiesta ivory ice lip pitcher for $20-something. Also, Becca accidentally broke--and had to buy--"an ugly, overpriced vase".
Then, it was off to lunch at Dirtwater Springs. This is an old cowboy-type joint with wood plank floors and taxidermy decor. This place had some of the best salsa I'd had in a long time. Also, nobody spit in Denise's food when she sent it back to the kitchen. This was a source of some concern. The beef in her French dip sandwich was mostly fat, she thought the cook would retaliate when she ordered a different meal.

We also celebrated an impromptu belated birthday party for a fellow disher (Sally), who's family apparently forgot. Rick brought a red velvet cake, and Becca and Denise held up Bics as candles. I "borrowed" this picture from Rick because his turned out better than mine.

Outside Dirtwater Springs: Wendy, Denise, Val, and Rebecca. Becca gifted us ladies with these nifty disk pitcher pins. Hers was pink, Denise's got turquoise, I wore yellow, and Wendy got ivory. Walking through the antique malls we looked like some sort of madcap dishing gang.
After lunch, it was off to the Superstition Grand Antique Mall. This is where I SCORED. I just about fainted when Rick found an Antique Gold Ironstone sauce boat. Then he showed me the price ($12.50) and I almost fainted AGAIN! THEN he informed me that it's 20% off, and I began to hyperventilate. Rick had to hold me up, and Q held on to the sauce boat because I didn't want to pull a Becca.
Also at the Grand, Wendy and Rick both passed on a white Fiesta tripod candleholder. At only $4, I snatched it up.

After the dishing was done, we got some passerby to take a group photo. I "borrowed" this photo from Wendy since I didn't get one on my camera. We didn't want to bombard the dude with FIVE cameras. (l-r: Becca, Mike, Wendy, Rick, Denise, Val, and Quinton).

My haul for the day. The Harlequin salt and pepper shakers were a gift from Denise, and the cobalt ornament blank, along with a yellow Fiesta pin were from Becca.
In all, it was a great day. Great dishes, great food, and best of all, GREAT FRIENDS. Tomorrow, Denise and Becca will be traveling back to New Mexico and Washington, respectively. Be safe, you two!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fluffy Pink Searches, Part 2

One of the coolest features of Site Meter is the ability to see the types of oddball searches that refer people to this blog. Many searches were used multiple times, but I omitted the repeats. Other than that, the list below is completely unedited. I'm letting the typos, missuse of punctuation, and blatant spelling errors speak for themselves. My responses--if any--are in parentheses).

luke's tattoo fashion house (I have higher hopes for my son, thank you.)
scottsdale police shoot pharmacist

patti's patch 2006 men,s sofa throw

pink things list

"this kiss video"

"homer laughlin" harlequin fakes (Is there such a thing?)

hypercalcemia and famous

refinishing oak bannister pictures (Don't do it if you don't have to. Seriously. It's a long, arduous, and VERY messy job)

squirt blog vidéo

recovery from cushing's

kids room in lavender and pink faux sponging

trends in whitewashed woodwork (it's hopelessly passe)

whitewashed woodwork

fluffy pink thing

eval kineval bike jumps

places in phoenix arizona to buy faux designer purses (You won't find that information here, Hon.)

a list of pink things

"ms val's" shop (Where...where...WHERE!?!?!?!?)

pink bathroom things

linens 'n things happy valley mall phoenix

fluffy pink basket

pitchers of fluffy the cat (Who's pitching kitties? That's mean!)

fun ways to wrap hair up in a towel

mere littering most occurs

ms. mark's hot mom next door

pictures of junie b kissing herb

boys wearing pantyhose and dresses

purple dishes

kenny loggins eddie rabbit separated at birth

things people collect list

pink dishes

blogs for fruity cheerios jingle

pink wooden floor (I'd actually like to see that one.)

itrip worthless (YAY!!! I'm not alone!!!)

ken berry homo

x-men wrapping paper

lovin my fluffy

payphone locator phoenix az (Yeah, good luck with that!)

faking pregnancy for revenge

haircuts boys

griping baby blog

fluffy laptop jacket

lake havasu hot girl pitchers (I don't know. Ask Fluffy the Cat.)

fluffy pink computer chairs

my perfect husband (Someone's looking for that HERE?!?!?!?)

fluffy pink armadillos

list of pink things

buy feline dental care products (I had good luck at PetsMart.)

a place for all things fluffy

fiesta real wives stories


Fluffy Pink Searches, Part 1

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Very Fiesta Christmas

Santa must have had a discount on Homer Laughlin pottery because he brought a ton of it this year.

--2 trivets, cobalt and white (apparently Q was anxious to retire the Crate and Barrel tile squares I bought over 10 years ago).
--a vintage turquoise sugar bowl from my mom (I am now in search of the lid.)
--a small heather canister
--a large peacock canister
--3 Harelquin single egg cups (spruce, blue, and maroon)
--a Harlequin double egg cup (yellow)
--a Harlequin shaker (turquoise)
--a heather fruit bowl (Kyle got me this to replace the one he accidentally broke while unloading the dishwasher)
--a 2007 ornament from Dillard's

On the Collectible Medium Green message board, a bunch of us did a Secret Santa exchange. My Santa--a wonderful lady named Daphne--sent me this Fiesta Hostess Serving Set. These are great because we are always running out of serving spoons. They were a REALLY pleasant surprise because I had never seen them before.

These two Fiesta ornaments are only available through the Bon-Ton department store chain. There are no such stores in the Phoenix area, and the ornaments can't be bought online.
I had asked my mother in law to pick them up for me. I even called the Herberger's store in Stillwater, MN to check availibility before having Pat drive down there. During the phone call, I inquired about having the ornaments shipped to me directly, which the sales clerk cheerfully agreed to do. This move saved Pat the trouble of making an extra trip to the mall. Also, since Herberger's doesn't have a presence in Arizona, sales tax wasn't paid.
A better shot of the canisters, plus the evergreen covered butter dish I got from my sister.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Now in COLOR!

A few months ago, Q and I compiled a list of which TV theme songs were sung by the show's stars. Well, the other night, we got into a similar discussion over which classic TV shows went from black and white to color. I'm sure there are a lot of them, but since this is before our time, our list may have a few empty holes.
Anyway, here's what we came up with:
--I Dream of Jeannie
--The Beverly Hillbillies
--The Andy Griffith Show
--Gomer Pyle
--My Three Sons
--High Chaparral (we're not completely sure about this one)
--Every soap opera that began on the radio or early TV, and was still on the air by the 60s.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Triple A!

I just got my semester grades. I aced all three classes!!!!! I'm quite proud of myself. I'm especially proud of acing my Color & Design class. At midterms, I was running a B in that class. But during the second half of the semester, we had a couple of major projects, and I hit both of those out of the park. Harpy also said that I my drafting skills are "superior". Major compliment there.

But even more than C&D, I was worried about my grade in my AutoCAD class. By the end of the semester, I hadn't finished the entire final assignment packet. But then, almost nobody did, either. When the instructor informed me of my A grade, I was floored. Apparently, he decided not to grade those last few drawings. Phew!

As for my texiles class, that was an easy A. Yes, I did work hard, and I did well on the tests. And on the assignments, I produced quality results. But the instructor (wonderful woman...I'd love to take classes with her again) is a very generous grader.

Now, I have a month before I have to do it all again.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday at Santa's

Yesterday, we took the boys to Santa's Theme Park at Firebird Raceway, just south of Phoenix. We thought it would be a fun outing with the boys. Besides, Q's company was offering discount passes. This was also the first rain-free weekend we've had in a several weeks.

From one of the Ferris Wheels, we had a lovely view of the traditional late weekend traffic jam on eastbound I-10. I'm sure the roadside attraction didn't exactly help to keep things moving. Anyway, it's a good thing we live in the other direction.

Kyle and his best friend Kolton.

Eat your heart out, Marge Simpson!

According to the park map, this is the biggest Christmas tree in the USA. No size was given, however.

All four guys at the shooting game. The object of this game was to shoot BBs at a piece of paper. To win, the red star at the center of the paper had to disappear entirely.

Quinton you did a great job, but "like a bad marksman, you keep missing the target!" There's still a tiny bit of red left, Dear.

I have never gotten sick on a fair ride before, but this one came close to making me run for the nearest trash can. It went up, down, sideways, and round and round and round.

We have some of the best sunsets in Arizona. We captured this view from the top of the big Ferris wheel. The lake on the bottom is used for hydrojet racing.

The whole park from the top of the Ferris Wheel.

In recent weeks, I had lost enough weight to fit into some jeans that I haven't been able to wear in almost two years. But I was willing to risk gaining it all back just to try deep fried Oreos. Admittedly, they weren't what I expected. For one thing, the deep frying made the cookies soggy. Also, I thought the batter would be crispier, kind of like vegetable tempura.
In the future, I'll think enjoy my Oreos straight up and unencumbered by mushy batter and lard.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


For real this time. Today is my first real day at home, and I'm loving it! Not so much the "being at home" part, but the "not having to stress about homework and tests" part.

The only part I'm having trouble with is getting my considerable posterior off the couch to clean house. I'd rather just sit at my computer, decompress, and listen to The Adam Carolla Show.

I'll get moving soon. I have to. Today is my bi-annual Throw Out All School Papers Day. This is a chore that requires my bringing the recycling bin up to the kitchen door. This is certainly easier than hauling the stuff out to the yard. Yes, there is that much of it. I keep absolutely everything.

This, by the way, turned to be a good thing. In lieu of a final exam, my CAD teacher had us gather up all of our graded assignments, organize them in a folder, and submit them for review. Most of the students cringed when he made that announcement. There was a sudden mad dash to reprint stuff. No problem for me there! In fact, I got an A in the class.

The paper toss process is quite theraputic. That is, when I get around to it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Done For The Year

Almost. I have two more classes tomorrow, but I finished my design class today (translation: no more Harpy).
I'm pretty confident that I did well on the final exam. But at the end of the test, there were three short answer questions. One of which asked what we got out of the class.
Does she really want to know? That's a very loaded question that--at least from my end--is open to LOTS of snarky, nasty remarks. For instance, I might have mentioned my newfound ability to subsist on very little sleep. And perhaps I mentioned my need to take out a home equity loan to fund supplies for the class. That didn't really happen, but Harpy doesn't need to know that.
I did offer up one sincere answer...after all under Harpy's tutelage, I did learn valuable techniques that aided me in creating some kick-a$$ drawings (Christopher, I haven't forgotten...I promise to share real soon).
But there are many other things that I got from her class that I'd gladly give back. These include: daily headaches, anxiety attacks, a peptic ulcer, insomnia, nightmares, hot flashes, projectile vomiting, a crowded aura, a low-grade fever, Valley Fever, cat-scratch fever, Saturday Night Fever, toxic shock syndrome, high blood pressure, low blood sugar, anger control issues, chronic nausea, shortness of breath, cystic acne, toenail fungus, head lice, a weight problem, a drinking problem, a drug problem, dandruff, tooth decay, hammer toe, blurred vision, brain damage, brain drain, brain freezes, chapped lips, and MANY bad hair days!
Gradewise, I'm sure I did OK. I mean, I DID attend EVERY class meeting, completed EVERY single, solitary assignment (some of which were pointless, tedious and inane), and took advantage of EVERY opportunity for extra credit that presented itself. That has to count for something, even if not all of my work passed Harpy muster.
I'll probably come away with a B. B as in "blah". That's not bad for most people. But I did work my @$$ off here. Anyway, I'll get my final grades next week.
I still have to get through tomorrow's classes, but those should be relatively easy. In the meantime, I can breathe again.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Time For a Diet?

Q likes to cook. Yes, he makes some big kitchen messes. But we eat really well--sometimes too well. My Fiesta dishes get used and appreciated. And that's all matters.

Q especially likes to try new recipes. He'll spend entire evenings watching Food Network. And he reads cookbooks the way most people read a novel. Occasionally, he comes across some recipes that makes us laugh. Or cry.

In the mood for dessert, Q was looking for an apple crisp recipe. He came across one whose ingredients included an 11 0z. can of condensed cheddar cheese soup. Of course, the recipe was in a Campbell's Soup cookbook, but still...
Keep looking, Dear.
Another book had a recipe for Mayonnaise Sugar Cookies. No thanks. I prefer my mayo mixed in with tuna, or on a roast beef sandwich. Keep it away from the cookies.

The best place to find odd recipes are in cookbooks compiled by parents groups, churches, PTAs and ladies clubs. These books contain lots of great meals, but there are many that leave me scratching my head. One such book contained a recipe for something called Ice Cream Salad. I like ice cream. And I like salad. Those two belong together about as much as cookies and mayonnaise.

I also came across a recipe for something called Sky-High Biscuits. Is this any relation to Funny Brownies?

My favorite recipes--for comedy value, anyway--are the ones where the name has nothing to do with actual dish...or even food, for that matter. Q found something called "The Next Best Thing To Robert Redford". This turned out to be a recipe for dessert bars.

Also worth a laugh are the recipes that don't even deserve to be called recipes. Case in point: a Spanish rice dish that consists of 2 cups of Minute Rice, 1 can of tomato sauce, and 1 can of hot water. That's NOT Spanish Rice. That's just...Minute Rice with tomato sauce mixed in.

And Q wonders why I'm such a picky eater...


Q fixed the Mustang the other day. All he did was remove the gas cap, and stick his finger in there. Why, I don't know. Anyway, he put the cap back on, started the car, and the gas gauge worked normal.

Apparently, the car didn't like the way I twist a cap.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Avoid Foreclosure!

Recently, these signs have been popping up around the Phoenix area:

You want to avoid foreclosure? I can give you a few tips:
--Don't be greedy. Don't buy a bigger or more expensive home than you can afford.
--Don't fritter away your equity by using your home as an ATM.
--Say no to adjustable teaser rates. You can not buy a $500K house for $500 per month. That payment will eventually go up. Way up.
--Oh your damn mortgage!!!!
*Now, I do realize that there are people facing forclosure, who have ligitimate hardship: illness, job loss, etc. But according to a recent Arizona Republic article, foreclosures around Phoenix are up 566% in 2007. There's no way all those people were laid off, became widowed, or were stricken with advanced cancer!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Car Trouble

I hate car trouble. Not only is it inconvenient, but it can be scary. Especially when it happens in the middle of a busy intersection. That's why we refer to the 67th Ave. and Bell Rd. area as my Death Corner. I have had a disproportional amount of break-downs there.

Whenever the car makes a noise, I feel a twinge of anxiety. If lights start blinking and bells start chiming, I grab my cell phone, call Q (number 2, 3, or 4 on speed dial), and go into double freak-out panic mode.

That's what happened tonight...except for the freak out part. I kept calm, for once. On the way to school, I stopped for gas. After leaving the station, I got less than a mile down the (this time it was 67th and Cactus) when I noticed that the "Low Fuel" light was on and the gas gauge read EMPTY.

I KNOW there's gas in that car. I am $30 poorer because of it. Also, the tank was still more than 1/4 full when I topped it off. But still, I felt that the car might quit at running at any minute.

I made it to the college fine, and called Q right when I got there. As predicted, he told me I have nothing to worry about. That may be true, but I find any mechanical abnormalities to be quite jarring...even though the car is, in fact running fine.

I did make a point of resetting the trip odometer to zero. This will be my...I mean it's Q's short term gas gauge. He'll be driving the Mustang for awhile. The car will get a fill-up when it reaches around 200 miles.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Oh, Christmas Tree

We finally got around to putting up or Christmas tree today. This year, we decided to put the tree in the living room instead of the family room, as we usually do. No reason for the change. I just wanted to do something different.

The hardest part of the job was remembering where we had stored the decorations when we dismantled them last year. The ornaments were under the guest room bed. The outdoor lights were in the downstairs closet. And the indoor lights were in the garage. Backwards, yes, but we eventually found them.

Most of our ornaments consist of craft projects the boys made at school, items received from past family ornament exchanges, and cast-offs from Q's mom, my mom, and my grandma. But this year, I treated myself to a few new ones. I won a Pier 1 gift card in a raffle back in May, and it had been languishing in my wallet since. Today, I finally used it.

I went with a gold theme on the tree this year. I would have liked to do pink, but that would just make the tree too girlie. Besides, pink doesn't match the rest of the room.

I'm hoping put some Fiesta ornaments on next year's tree. I'd love a holiday lights ornament, but the stores that sell it don't have locations in the Phoenix area.

We also did some decorating on the front of the house. We kept it simple because Q's ladder won't reach the eaves on the second floor. We had also decorated the yard in the past, but decided against it this year. We get so much wind around here that yard ornaments tend to fall over or blow out of the ground. Unless they're deeply staked to the ground, inflatable snow globes and cactus do not mix.

We have a lighted reindeer, but he never stays where we stake him. And there's nothing sadder than having to pull Rudolph out of the gutter at 6:30 in the morning.