Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Big Yum

Last spring, I spent Friday afternoons at the boys' school selling popsicles during lunch recess. The Popsicle sales were a PTSA fundraiser, and Fudgsicles were always the best seller. In fact, we often had to hide a bunch at the bottom of the cooler so we'd have enough when the seventh and eighth graders were ready to buy.

Today while food shopping, I noticed that Fry's had buy one box-get one free on Popsicle brand. I chose the Healthy Bunch variety (the same ones we sell at the school). I was also going to get the boys a box that had superheroes on the front, until I spotted Triple Chocolate Fudgsicles. I thought it would be good to try something different.

As shown on the box, they're low in fat--only 1 gram of saturated fat per pop and zero trans-fat. Normally, I tend to shy away from reduced fat junk food, but these are VERY good. In fact, I think I'm addicted to the dark chocolate flavor.

July Wordle

Click on image below to view full size.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Reading: Part 2

Summer Reading, Part 1

Monday, July 28, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture? Part 3

This afternoon, we had lunch at our favorite sub shop in Phoenix, Arkansas. Here's the sign they currently have painted on the front window:

Decisions, Decisions...

Today's block of errands took us through the intersection of 19th Ave. and Dunlap in Phoenix. Here are the prices for all three gas stations at that corner:

Sorry for the bad cell phone pic. The price here is $4.06 for regular unleaded.

Circle K's eventeen-cent per gallon savings was definitely worth the effort it took to make a left turn. Union Gas and Valero need to get with the program.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Conference Goodies

Here are a few of my acquisitions from last weekend's HLCCA conference. If needed, click on the photos to view them larger.
Top shelf: White bulb candleholder won during Sunday morning's breakfast buffet, business meeting, and prize drawings.

Middle shelf: (left) Jubilee sugar bowl in Celadon Green was purchased at the consignment auction. (right) Turquoise mini disk pitcher won during Thursday night's Bingo game.

Bottom shelf: Vintage turquoise sugar bowl. I had this one before, but it didn't have a lid. RJ and Renee gave me their extra one.

Various Fiesta ornaments. The First Fire Ivory one was given to all conference attendees.

Everyone who visited Fred's house got to pick out a vintage Homer Laughlin ashtray as a parting gift. I chose this one because it harkens back to the mid '50s Doo Wop motel era. Also, I loved the colorful desert motif of the center decal.

I told myself that I would buy only small, lightweight, easy to pack items. But that promise went out the window when this Amberstone covered casserole went up for bid at Friday night's auction. This piece begged me to make room in my suitcase so he could follow me home.

This Granada gold gravy boat and shakers made a similar appeal. I thought these pieces would be great additions to my Ironstone/Amberstone/Casualstone collection.

This vintage cobalt sugar bowl was purchased at Fred's booth at the Hopkins Antique Mall. The people in Hopkins were very nice. Whenever we walked into a store, the merchant would announce "You're with that Fiestaware group!" They were always happy to see us. We helped stimulate the economy.

This turquoise single egg cup (far right) also followed me home from Hopkins. Here, he's posing with his buddies on the dining room shelf.

With the addition of chartreuse (far right), my Harlequin double egg cup collection is pretty much complete. There is one missing, however--medium green. But that color is quite rare, and therefore very expensive. A few people suggested that I'll eventually find one in the deep dark recesses of a thrift store for a VERY affordable price.

More to come...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

HLCCA Conference 2008

Well, I'm finally able to resume blogging. Sort of. My laptop has received a new hard drive and more memory, but there are still a few bugs that need to be worked out. In the meantime, I was able to upload photos from last weeks HLCCA Conference.

Me and my roommate, Sallie at the Thursday night mixer. Here, we had to dress in clothing or costume respresentative of our home state. I chose a top that looks like a colorful Arizona sunset and jeans with embroidered patches of Native American, desert, and cowboy motifs. Sallie kept it simple and wore a shirt from North Carolina. (Photo by Pat K.)

On Friday morning, Fred, our local host, had everyone over to his house to see his collection of vintage Homer Laughlin dishes and ephemera. I took a liking to this Fiesta Ironstone ad from 1970:

And the back:

Friday night HLCCA consignment auction. I was a very good girl here.

Saturday morning Dealer Show & Sale

I was able to find the missing piece to my Harlequin double egg cup collection--chartreuse! I refer to this as my trip trophy.

Dennis and Jimmy's Riviera display. A rare prototype Harlequin sauce cup is pictured below.

Jerry's display of Homer Laughlin premium ware. Every one of these items came from boxes of oatmeal or laundry soap.

On Saturday afternoon, Pat (Q's mom) picked me and Sallie up and we went antiquing in nearby Hopkins. In one antique mall, I found some of the same Fisher Price toys I enjoyed as a child.

Sallie and I referred to this as the Goodie Cabinet. Her stuff is on the top shelf and mine is in the middle. This picture was taken before Saturday night's awards banquet and auction. Between party gifts, drawings, and awards, we acquired even more stuff than is shown here.

Daphne, Jeremy, and DeniseVA.

Joy, Saarin, and Kathy in vintage garb.

One of the weekend's activities was the "State Your State" game. We were given a list of all 50 states and had to gather signatures from conference attendees, based on their home state. I "won" the prize for gathering the least amount of names. Fred deduced that this was because I didn't know the local language. So I was given a copy of How to Talk Minnesotan. (photo by Rebecca D.)
Chuck: "More jellybeans!"

Denise (the one from New Mexico) advised implored me to bring an extra suitcase. She said "you'll need it."

And she wasn't kidding. I had told myself that I would only buy small items like egg cups, ornaments, and sugar bowls. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. After acquiring a covered casserole, a disk pitcher, and a large oval platter later, both of my suitcases were FULL! The carry-on bag was full of vintage ware, while the Post-86 stuff had to ride in steerage.

Even so, everything made it home safe and sound without breakage. It's a good thing I brought extra bubble wrap. I needed every bit of it.

I made lots of great friends at conference. Including:

--Jerry and Joan from North Carolina

--RJ and Renee from Wisconsin. They got married just a few days before conference.

--Sheri and her mom, Elvie

--The Denises--all three of 'em. DeniseNM and I have known each other for awhile, but I finally got to meet Denise from VA and Denise from NJ.

--Rebecca from Washington

--Ms. Bea. She complimented my hair. You don't get higher accolades than that. :-)

--Michael and Bobbi Jo. They live nearby in Avondale.

--Kathy from Wisconsin. She knew who I was the minute I walked in the hotel lobby on the first day.

--Sid and Maryann from Ohio

--Steve and Terry from Kentucky

--Joe and Michele from Kansas

--all the HLCCA officers, including Sandra, Kit, Richard, Merrill, David, Michael, and Susan.

--and everyone with whom I shared a table, stood in a buffet line, or rode in the hotel elevator.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Crash of '08

First of all, I had a great time at the HLCCA Conference. This was my first conference, and everyone treated me like a member of the family. I also acquired a dish that I'd been needing to complete a segment of my collection. Those of you who know me well know which piece that is.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to post pics at this time. The hard drive on my laptop crashed this afternoon. New parts are on the way, and the computer should be fixed in a few days. In the meantime, I won't be online much. I'm writing this post from Q's computer.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Minnesota or Bust

My bags are packed. The flight and hotel confirmations are printed out. And Kyle has promised me that he'll take extra special care of Jango. On Thursday morning, I will be leaving for Minneapolis to attend my first HLCCA Conference.

I'm really excited about this trip. I will be meeting Fiesta collectors with whom I've only corresponded through phone calls and online. A few old friends will be there as well. I also have plans to spend an afternoon lunching and shopping with my mother-in-law, Pat.

The conference ends on Sunday. I will spend some time with my aunt and uncle before I fly back to Phoenix on Monday.
I'll post pictures upon my return.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Washington County

While I pack and get ready for my upcoming trip to Minnesota, Lucas is filling in as guest blogger.


1. Alabama
2. Arkansas
3. Colorado
4. Florida
5. Georgia
6. Idaho
7. Illinois
8. Indiana
9. Iowa
10. Kansas
11. Kentuckey
12. Louisiana
13. Maine
14. Maryland
15. Minnisota
16. Mississippi
17. Missouri
18. Nebraska
19. New York
20. North Carolina
21. Ohio
22. Oklahoma
23. Oregon
24. Pennsylvania
25. Rhode Island
26. Texas (one of 237 counties!!)
27. Utah
28. Vermont
29. Verginia
30. Wisconson

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mushroom Kingdom

We've been getting a fair amount of rain lately. We had a very brisk shower yesterday, but it really came down Thursday night. Any rain we get in the southwest desert is a big deal.

With summer rain comes humidity. And with humidity comes mold. Here, mushrooms are growing out of our coir doormat:

The rug got wet during Thursday's storm. And since the humidity hasn't gone down, the rug never dried out. As a result, we now have a little science experiment propagating on the front porch.

I had been wanting to get a new doormat anyway.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rain Dip

It's pouring rain outside. Yet Q and Lucas thought this would be a good time to take a swim.

Sunday Funny

Lucas showed me this video. It's the most hilarious thing I've seen all week.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Goodwill Hunting

In the past few years, quite a few Goodwill stores have opened in the Phoenix area. Thirty-seven locations, to be exact. These places have proliferated at the same rate as Wal-Mart and Starbucks.

There are four locations in areas of town through which we often travel. Three of these are on or near 19th Avenue at Thunderbird, Bell, and Happy Valley Roads. The other is in Glendale.

On a recent trip to the Glendale store, Lucas bought a Super Nintendo Console for $5. Later at the Thunderbird store, he found a game controller for $3.

I'm always hoping to snag some forgotten Fiesta dishes at Goodwill. No dice yet, but I came close a few weeks ago. From a distance, I saw a stack of solid colored salad of which looked like Sapphire (rare color). I gasped and ran over to the rack. The plates turned to be Oneida Petals. CRAP!!!!

Today, everything was 50% off chainwide. I scored four pairs of jeans--2 Gap, 1 Old Navy, and 1 Lucky Brand for $4 per pair. Lucky me! Q found three pool vacuum hoses, and got them for $1 each. He didn't have an immediate need for the hoses, but these things normally cost $11 each at the pool supply store.

Going to the Goodwill is like visiting a museum. At the Bell Road store, we spotted this little antiquity:

A Radio Shack TRS-80...later referred to as the "Trash 80". Q knew what it was the instant he saw it. This particular unit was very dusty and the letter C was missing from the keyboard. But it did include the original vinyl cover. We didn't find a price tag, however.

One of the drawbacks to Goodwill shopping is that the merchandise is often dirty. Since everything is donated, many items had been boxed up or stored in garages for several years, allowing a film of sticky dust to form. I need to start carrying moist towlettes in my purse.

And speaking of the purse, we still managed to stand out among the patronage even though I left my Coach bag at home. Lucas was wearing clean clothes and Q's belly wasn't hanging out under his shirt. As we left the store, Q remarked that I was one of only three women in the place who was wearing a bra.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Boys of Summer

This week, Lucas is attending an Arizona Diamondbacks training camp. His best friend is attending the same camp, which makes it fun for the boys. It also means that I only have to do half the driving. The other mom drives the boys to camp, and I pick them up.

I just love a man in uniform.

Father and son were outside this morning playing catch while Lucas waited for his ride.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Cool Dishes

It's 115 degrees outside. So in a vain attempt to create the illusion of cool, I rearranged my main dish cabinet with Fiesta blues, greens, and neutrals.

I'll try to keep it this way as long as I can. The exploded clown never stays away for long.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Old School Mario

In recent months, the boys and some of their friends have become interested in old school Nintendo systems and games. They watch game reviews on YouTube. And they're always asking me to take them to used media stores like Goodwill, Thrifty Joe's and Bookman's.

A few weeks ago, Lucas and I were browsing through Goodwill, where he found a Super Nintendo console for $5. He later found a controller at another Goodwill store for $3. Luke was a happy boy that day!

And then there was Kyle's friend, who acquired three complete 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment Systems. Apparently, the boy went a little trigger happy with his mom's eBay account, leaving her responsible for the purchase of all three auctions. They gave one to Kyle and Lucas.

My sister and I played a lot of NES when we were kids. Our mom got us a system for Christmas one year. Both of us were addicted to Super Mario Brothers. And now, I'm addicted all over again.

It all started the previous summer. I had what was perhaps the best babysitting gig ever. I watched two boys, ages 8 and 11 (translation: no diapers), who had no bedtime for me to enforce. Their mom always left us money to order pizza, and consistently paid me more than my $2 per hour rate. Twenty dollars for one night's work was big money for a teenager in 1987.

These boys also had Nintendo. And we would spend hours playing Super Mario Bros. "Zane" and "Jack" showed me where all the 1-UP mushrooms were located, how to get to the warp zones, and a few game glitches that can only be solved by running the clock out.
Now, I'm teaching the game to my son. Problem is, I never learned the proper names of all the characters, animals, and other game features. What I call a "bigness mushroom" Lucas refers to as "human growth hormone". Everytime he gets one, he remarks, "bigger self-esteem...smaller nads". My knowledge base wasn't near as broad when I was 10.
But a lot of time has passed since those days in Zane and Jack's living room. I have forgotten where many of the free guys and hidden coin boxes are. I certainly can't beat the game anymore. Even so, I usually mange to score enough points that, if translated to money, I could pay off our mortgage.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

New Ivory

This week, I stopped in Dillard's to see if they had the newest Fiesta color, Ivory in stock.

This divided vegetable bowl and fruit bowl followed me home.

This color looks strikingly close to vintage Ivory (left).

I think Ivory will do for Pale Yellow what Evergreen did for Juniper last year. They are very close to the same color (see above). Only those with a Fiesta trained eye could tell the difference.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Kyle's Home!

Last week, Kyle took his first unaccompanied flight to visit his cousins in Oregon and Washington.

When Q took Kyle the airport, he had to get an escort pass that allowed him to accompany Kyle all the way to the departure gate. Q told me that when they went through security, the TSA searched Kyle's backpack, which was full of video games, Special K bars, and chargers for all his gadgets.

Apparently the older woman watching the x-ray machine couldn't tell a Wii-mote from a detonator. Odd, considering that said Wii-mote was being carried by a 13 year old boy. She took it out and showed it a younger male co-worker, who told her the device was fine.

The terrorists have won.

Then Kyle's flight got into Portland early. As a result, there was nobody at the gate when he got off the plane. I am so glad he had that cell phone (he would not have taken this trip without it!) Anyway, Kyle was able to call Q, who called his mom, who was en route to meet Kyle.

As for the trip itself, Kyle said he had fun. It's difficult to to get too many details out of him because he's a teenager. The fact that he's related to Quinton, makes it doubly hard to get him to talk. I have an easier time getting Lucas to give me excuses as to why he can't empty the recycling bin.

Anyway, I know Kyle had fun with his cousins. They played video games, went to the beach, rode bikes down the middle of the freeway (I'm still trying to figure that one out), went shopping, went fishing, and played more video games.

Kyle's flight home went well. I was able to get an escort pass and meet him at the gate. There was one moment of anxiety at baggage claim, however. We stood and waited for his suitcase. And we waited. Before long, all the passengers from the Portland flight had left the area. Kyle's bag was nowhere to be seen. I did NOT need this $#!t.

So we set out in search of the lost baggage counter. As we walked between two baggage carousels, we noticed a lone black bag lying in a carousel that had been used to unload bags from a Santa Fe flight. It was Kyle's suitcase!!!!! Apparently some flighty f#(%up had yanked the bag, realized it wasn't his, and replaced it in the wrong carousel.

I'm so happy to have my boy back home. Jango missed hanging out with him. And I missed having someone to unload the dishwasher. :-)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What Would You Do?

Today, Lucas and I went food shopping. We got home at noon, unloaded the car, and put everything away.

Or so we thought.

At 5:00 this evening, I noticed a grocery bag sitting on the kitchen table. The ground beef never made it into the refrigerator.

So I wonder: Is this ground beef still edible? Should we chance it or throw it out? Q and Lucas said it smells fine, but I wonder how long raw meat can sit at room temperature before it goes bad.