Thursday, August 12, 2010

Anyone know what this is?

I found this in the garage of a house I was showing last week., the home was built in 1971.  At first I thought it was some kind of alarm system, but now I'm not so sure.  Frankly, I haven't a clue what it could possibly be.  So, dear readers, do any of you have a clue what this could be?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Color photos from the 1930s and 1940s

While reading one of the many newsy websites I usually peruse, I came across a link to a photo blog form the Denver Post.  It contains seventy color photographs taken in America from 1939 - 1943.  They are absolutely amazing.  You can find the entire post here: and it is so worth clicking over to view them all. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pin ups and Fashion as Art

I guess it's a been a few days since I've last posted.  I'm not sure where I went or what I've been doing but I'm sure it was fun because it usually is.  I'm so sorry I missed doing a recipe this week though, I'll catch up next Tuesday.

So there are a couple of things coming up for this weekend (and beyond) that could be interesting.

First of all, The Phoenix Pin-Up Dolls will be showing up both Friday and Saturday at the Phoenix Convention Center (100 N Third Street in Phoenix) for the Art of Miniature Modeling IPMS Expo.  They'll be there between 9 am and 6 pm both days. 

You can find their site here: .  These gals don't just dress up retro and get their photos taken though.  They have a higher cause, helping the morale of our overseas troops.  Using money they earn through their modeling, they send packages (along with photos) to the troops.  This is a small group of women that put their art and their heart into helping someone else.  The more support they get, the more of our men and women they can give a morale boost to. 

The second thing I want to give a shout out to is the "In The Mood" exhibit over at the Phoenix Art Museum (  This exhibit, which is focused on World War II fashion, has been going on since April but is ending August 15th.  It's worth going to see.  I took my nine year old son to the museum in May to see the Ansel Adams exhibit (which is no longer there) and ended up spending the better part of the day wandering around.  The museum has been recently renovated and is fantastic.  It is a wonderful way to spend even a small part of your day.  You can find all of the admission times and prices using the above link.  But get over there before this fashion exhibit is gone for good.

So get out there and do something with yourself this weekend.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Henrietta Lacks

This is the book I just finished last night and it was an awesome read.  The book centers around Henrietta Lacks who died of cancer in 1951 at a very young age.  Cells from the biopsy of her original tumor were taken and became one of the most important components in sixty years of scientific research.  Her cells are still alive today, still being bought and used by scientists around the world.  Up until recently, nobody knew where these cells originated and only referred to them as HeLa, the name given them by the original doctor who grew the cells.  But this isn't just a book about the amazing science, it's also a biography of Henrietta herself and the family she left behind.  This book was a well written, interesting and compassionate look at the entire Lacks history.  Well worth reading.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Recipe Strips

I ran across a strip of recipes in one of my cookbooks this morning, this was the first one of the strip.  

Doesn't it sound fantastic?

Of course, you can't eat your cake until you've had some dinner, right?

All totaled there are five recipes on the strip.  At the bottom of the strip was this coupon...

Unfortunately, if you wanted to get your very own copy of Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, it looks like you needed to order it by September 15th, 1956.  Bummer.  I guess it's a good thing I already have the cook book or I'd be very disappointed!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I gotta tell you, that key lime pie recipe is awesome!  I had a couple of minor issues in the creation, but overall, it turned out fantastic.

Issue number one was that I don't have a proper zesting implement.  I had a zester at one time but I haven't seen it in years.  I most likely gave it away in some kitchen clean out I did.  I also used to have a shredder that had tiny holes that would work in a pinch.  That unfortunately is floating somewhere in between our previous home in Nebraska and our current home in Arizona.  Along with the rest of an entire box of last minute items that somehow didn't make it all the way.  I'm pretty sure it made it on the truck because I did about ten final walk-throughs instead of the normal one before and after the movers left.  There was nothing in the house.  And I'm pretty sure it made it off the truck because I went through with the checklist and accounted for every box on my invoice.  And yet, I am missing a whole bunch of things that I used to use regularly and I have no idea where they went.

Anyway, so the lack of an implement to zest the rind made me try to use my other shredder.  Which has normal size holes.  Which doesn't so much "zest" as it does "peel" the rind.  I tried to only use the smallest pieces but after it was all together you could still see them floating in the pie. 

Like so...

The other minor issue is that when I went to pull the pie out of the oven, I stuck the thumb of my oven mitt right into the side of it.  I couldn't believe I had done that, I'm honestly not even sure how I did it.  But I had a nice indent in my pie.  I'm sure if you enlarge the above picture, you'll easily find where I stuck my thumb in.  Apparently, I'm little Jill Horner, only instead of pulling out a plum I'll come out with a chunk of lime rind.

But regardless of how it looks, it was delish!  Just look at this piece of pie waiting for someone to dig in. 

I made everyone wait while I took a picture of it.  Or four, or five pictures.  I had to get it just right!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Moon Valley Beauty

Here it is.  The home I was telling you about last week.  That I gave you snippets of on several occasions.  This is not a foreclosure, not a short sale.  It's just a (mostly) untouched 1968 ranch style beauty. 

The carved door in the foyer (there's that light!) surrounded by blue side panels.

The view from the foyer into the huge family room, check out those beams!  (The home backs to a golf course)

 A better view of the golf course right out the back door.

The living room off the family room.  A entire rock wall fireplace and more views of the golf course.  Parquet flooring in the bump out area.

A view from the living room back towards the family room.  Built in book cases, real wood paneling.  The paneling covers the entire wall to my left.

Standing in between the living and family rooms, looking back towards the kitchen (foyer to the right).
Two things to take note of: the rock waterfall looking plant holder and holy cow look at that loooong counter top pass through to the kitchen!

That's the longest expanse of pink tile I have ever seen!

And the pink tile just keeps going, wrapping around the whole kitchen!  Original curtains as well.

Pink plastic inserts in the upper cabinets.

Built in intercom system.  This house has all the latest gadgets, at least for 1968!

On to the master bathroom and it's original green tile.  They added a grab bar and shower head.  Check out the floating toilet!

The counters in the master bath.  Original medicine cabinet and light.

One of the secondary bedrooms with wood paneled walls and a built in, drop down, desk.

But wait, there's more!  There's a second, jack and jill bathroom between two of the other bedrooms.  And it's all blue tile.  Original medicine cabinet and light.

Last, but definitely not least, the laundry room.  Gorgeous cabinets from floor to ceiling along the entire wall. 

There now, didn't I say it would be worth the wait?  I keep hoping and praying that whoever ends up buying it keeps it pretty much the same.  Obviously the carpeting in the main rooms is not original, but with parquet flooring in the bump out of the living room, there's at least a possibility of it being underneath the carpet.  Without pulling it up though, I can't say for sure.

Having said all that, this home has been sitting on the market for 163 days now.  It was originally priced in the low $400s, but is now down to $370,000.  I think the problem is that it's too expensive for most flippers to want to take on (that's a good thing!) and a lot of people who would want to live on the golf course don't necessarily like the vintage feel of it.  I can only hope some vintage lover out there spots it and snaps it up before it's too late and we lose yet another beautiful home to the virus known as "flipper beige".