Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More Halloween pix - Trick or Treat edition!

copyright 2006 by Ms. Huis Herself
Please read this at www.musenmutter.blogspot.com
because that is the REAL site. Thank you!
Ok, I got our Halloween pictures taken, downloaded onto the computer, and emailed out to the grandparents, but I thought you all might enjoy them, too. Plus, I think Pumpkin is ADORABLE as a cowgirl! She gets extra cool points because her skirt and vest are authentic family vintage - they were my mom's when she was little.

Howdy, pardners! Trick or treat!
(Thanks, TNGreatAunt for the treat bag!)

Pumpkin in her pumpkin shirt from earlier in the day.

And I'll have you know I accomplished this without a pattern!
(Just please ignore the fact that the cat's tail is kind of sliced through and doesn't quite line up anymore.)

Mr. Kluges's side of the pumpkin
Definitely the scariest pumpkin face we saw tonight!

Me and my cowgirl

Happy Halloween, y'all!

Happy Halloween! (Now with pix)

copyright 2006 by Ms. Huis Herself
Please read this at www.musenmutter.blogspot.com
because that is the REAL site. Thank you!
Happy Halloween!

Sorry about the gap in postings. It was a "Bank Holiday Monday" yesterday, so we were enjoying a three day weekend. Yay!

One of the other moms who goes to Gymboree invited us over to their place in Cork for a little Halloween party for the kids on Sunday. It was fun. Pumpkin was the second oldest after their 2 3/4 year old. They're both Canadians and he's in the doctor program at University College Cork. (I know, I think the name's a bit redundant, too.) Most of the other folks there were involved in the medical program at UCC and/or expats, mostly from Canada. It was nice to meet some new people, but sometimes the conversation would get stuck on some med school topics for a while.
(Note to AKJ: Pumpkin wore her ADORABLE Mummy's girl shirt and got quite a few compliments! Thanks!)
(Here's the bean dip I brought. Spooky, huh!)

That night we got to go out! Yup, on a DATE! It was the Cork Jazz Festival weekend, so we got our babysitter for Sunday evening and hit the town. Every place with music seemed to have a T-O-N of people spilling out the door, so we didn't catch a lot (ok, any) jazz, but we did have a drink in a couple of places. It was nice to just be wandering around Cork at night just the two of us.

Oh, and while we were wandering, we found a liquor store that had the HUGEST beer selection we've found in Cork. Hooray! We came back with a few different bottles, including one made with quinoa. Mixed results so far. Well, actually, they've been tasty, except for the exceedingly strange Grand Cru Mr. Kluges opened last night. It was... odd. Sweet, sour, and vinegar-y at the same time, sort of. Yeah, didn't really care for it.

We carved our pumpkin yesterday. Didn't have any patterns, or tools better than our kitchen and pocket knives, but I was quite pleased with the results. I'll take some pix of both sides of it tonight, too, when we've got a candle in it, and post those, too.

Ok, gotta run - my Pumpkin is "helping" me and starting to get antsy with the Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse sites I've got pulled up on the bottom half of the screen!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Question #7 - What are YOU going to be for Halloween?

copyright 2006 by Ms. Huis Herself
Please read this at www.musenmutter.blogspot.com
because that is the REAL site. Thank you!
Those of you who know me from real life, know that I LOVE Halloween. While Christmas and Thanksgiving are great friends and family holidays, Halloween is a just-for-fun holiday, with no need to write Xmas cards, or think of thoughtful presents, or fit in visits to all the various segments of family. It's just about dressing up, the candy, and pretending to be scared. Love it.

Here in the land of leprechauns they celebrate Halloween, but it's not quite the same as in the US. Grown-ups don't really dress up. Ok, if you were a young thing going out on the town, you could get away with a funny or sexy costume, but anybody over, say, mid 20s? Ummm, no. You'd be weird.

Which makes me miss our annual costumes-required-or-you-can-borrow-one-of-mine Halloween parties, in large part 'cuz I loved seeing the funny, interesting, creative costumes folks came up with. I mean, one year Pusher and Kashka_z staged a skit (with props!) in the hallway of our apartment building to explain their costumes. Mr. Kluges (who can't stand uncomfortable costumes), once wore black jeans, a black t-shirt with a Guinness logo, and a "bottlecap" hat made from a yellow plastic plate. The most abstract costume I can think is NoNickTodd coming as a lower case letter i. Hilarious, if a little hard to guess. But the creativity and humor were great every year.

So, here's Question #7 - What are YOU going to be for Halloween? Or, (like if you want to keep it a secret until the day), what's a costume you've done of which you're especially proud? Feel free to add your comment in after the day as well... and if you want to email me a photo to either see for myself or to put up here, do so! I'd love it!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

One of those days...

copyright 2006 by Ms. Huis Herself
Please read this at www.musenmutter.blogspot.com
because that is the REAL site. Thank you!

I opened the girl's door first thing this morning and managed to scrape it over part of my foot.

Later, I went to give her a kiss. She sat up suddenly, her hard ol' noggin hit my face, and now I've got a fat lip and a mother of a cut/split/hole inside where my tooth cut in.

Pumpkin and I whipped up a batch of chocolate cherry muffins today. They were supposed to bake for 20 minutes. I burned them in 12.

And during lunch I knocked over my whole big glass of orange juice all over the table AND the floor.

I think the universe is telling me to go back to bed.

I think I better listen before the messages get any worse.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

GP - What difference does 5 degrees make?

copyright 2006 by Ms. Huis Herself
Please read this at www.musenmutter.blogspot.com
because that is the REAL site. Thank you!

And Mr. Kluges graces us with another guest post....

It's a simple question that I find myself pondering as the days grow shorter and we get closer to winter. Last year's winter seems a bit like a dream where everything was dark and fuzzy. Sometime during last winter, I became a bit obsessed with sunrise and sunset and the length of the day.

I knew that we were moving further north, but I never bothered to check to see how much further north. It can't be that much further right? Well it turns out we are 5 degrees further north. To put that into perspective for those of you back home, we are as far north as Winnipeg, Canada, and further north than any point in the contiguous 48.

I came across this handy website (http://www.sunrisesunset.com/) which will tell you all kinds of nifty facts about the sun and moon. For instance, did you know there was such a thing as nautical twilight? Anyway, compared to back home on December 21st, during the darkest day of the year, if you exclude twilight, I miss out on a whole hour of daylight. Now maybe you think it's a lot, maybe you don't, but I definitely notice it. And I miss it.

I remember when we moved here in May and our next door neighbor was sitting outside, leaning against her house just enjoying the sun. It wasn't a particularly warm day (maybe high 50's or low 60's) but there she was, basking. It struck me as odd, but I totally understand now that after a long dark winter, you can crave the sun with an intensity equal to chocolate.

So, all you folks out there in sunny USA, if you can figure out a way to bottle up some sunshine and send it over, I'd be grateful. I'll need to store it up for the upcoming months.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Yum! Cookies!

copyright 2006 by Ms. Huis Herself
Please read this at www.musenmutter.blogspot.com
because that is the REAL site. Thank you!

This weekend, Mr. Kluges, Pumpkin, and I tried out a recipe from a new cookbook we'd gotten at the Blarney Woolen Mills. Feeling extra-fancy, we made these lovely chocolate-orange checkerboard cookies. Impressive, huh?

So when I was having a snack last night, I decided they were missing just a little something...

And then they were perfect!

Yummy yum yum!!!

(And if Kitten can have a cookie at 9am, so can you!)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pumpkin's Pretendings

copyright 2006 by Ms. Huis Herself
Please read this at www.musenmutter.blogspot.com
because that is the REAL site. Thank you!

Our Pumpkin has been exercising her imagination like crazy lately. Here's a few examples...

She likes to take all the blocks out of a particular clear plastic container, put it on her head, and tell us she's an "astronaut." Then she'll tell us she's "going in... paceship."

She's taken two 12-inch rulers, placed them on the floor, stood on them, and said she's "skiing."

Yesterday, she had Mr. Kluges put his big white bathrobe on her after her bath. When he called me up the stairs so I could giggle at her, too, she shuffled a few steps (the tie was about midshin on her) and announced, "I am... penguin!"

That silly girl! She makes me laugh all the time. (Well, except when I'm trying to get her to nap.) I only wish I'd been fast enough to catch that last one on camera - she wiggled out of the robe about 3 seconds later and wasn't interested in getting it back on to pose.

So there you go... no pix tonight (watched Lost instead - Yay!), but a post anyway. I'll try to get some photos for yesterday's post added in sometime this week. Probably not tomorrow though, 'cuz Tuesdays are usually a CSI double bill - also yay!

(No, not addicted to TV... really...)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Summary of the Turtles' Visit - Now with Pix!

copyright 2006 by Ms. Huis Herself
Please read this at www.musenmutter.blogspot.com
because that is the REAL site. Thank you!
So, let's see, what to write about the fun we've had with our latest visitors. Well, first of all, Mr. Kluges has decided their code name should be the Turtles. Alrighty then.

We had a fun and relaxing (if very rainy and windy) time with Mr. and Mrs. Turtle. Seriously, they got the worst weather of any visitors we've had so far but were good sports about it. They arrived early Tuesday morning & left this (Sunday) morning, so it was a shorter visit, but I think they were starting to miss their own kids by the end. Both were great about helping with Pumpkin when she needed stories or distraction & Mrs. Turtle gave her her bath most nights and taught us some new songs.

What did we do? Well, Tuesday we went from the airport to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. It was rainy and crappy weather, but they really enjoyed seeing the castle and having lunch at a pub there. We visited a church in Limerick that we found by the "Um, it looks like that big steeple is that way, so take the next turn" method. We hadn't seen it before, so that was cool. Picked up Mr. Kluges from the Limerick office & headed for home.

We took it easy the next day with a visit to Cork City, picnic lunch selected from the Old English Market, and the obligatory Blarney Castle visit. Thursday we went to Midleton, ate lunch at the wonderful Fire & Ice Cafe, and visited the Old Midleton Distillery. Of course we coached them about volunteering at the end, so Mr. Turtle got his hand up in time to be an Official Irish Whiskey Taster. Had planned on visited The Queenstown Story in Cobh, but it got too late, so we just went to St. Coleman's Cathedral there. Very impressive & beautiful church!

Friday dawned clear, so we took advantage of the weather and headed out to Mizen Head, the furthest southwest point of mainland Ireland. Beautiful day, spectacular scenery, and we even got Mr. Turtle to a beach where he rolled up his jeans and splashed in the water, while the rest of us watched with our coats and hats on. :) Ah, now he's waded in the Atlantic. Stopped by the Drombeg Stone Circle on the way home, and in the little back roads happened upon a stray bull who was trying to climb a hedge/wall/barrier to get into another field with some (he hoped) friendly cows. We had to stop the car so that the Turtles could get pictures. (But the photos were taken from INSIDE the car, as none of us was foolish enough to get out to "get a little closer." Bulls are big... and unpredictable.)
Saturday we'd planned on visiting Kinsale for shopping and Charles Fort, but the weather was so crappy we just popped into a bunch of shops and ate in town. Too wet to tour an outdoor site, so we toodled home, made orange butter scones (yummy!), got the girl to bed at a decent hour, and enjoyed a couple of rousing games of Settlers of Catan. (And Mr. Kluges actually won once, which he believes was the first time he's EVER won at Settlers!)

Today it was up early and off to the airport for them. We had a GREAT time with them here - fun and relaxing - and are so glad they were able to ditch the kids for a week and come to see us. We hope (and think) that they enjoyed their first overseas trip, too!

P.S. It's a little late to fuss around with adding photos tonight, so I'll try to put some in over the next couple of days. I did put in a bunch of links in case you want to see other people's pix of some of these.




copyright 2006 by Ms. Huis Herself
Please read this at www.musenmutter.blogspot.com
because that is the REAL site. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

#$%^*& Bitacle!!!

No time for a real post 'cuz our friends are here, but I had to warn you all about this, in case you hadn't heard about it yet.

There's a website called Bitacle that's been taking content from a TON of blogs ... here, I'll just let Mary P. from It's Not All Mary Poppins explain it 'cuz she does so more clearly than I could quickly recap.

So, please link over there and read it, then think about this...



Monday, October 16, 2006

Dream on, child, dream on

The scene: We're in the kitchen, a little after noon. I'm looking in the frig.

Mommy: (rhetorically) Let's see, what should we have for lunch?

Pumpkin: (hopefully) Sorbet?

Now that's an optimistic thinker! Not for lunch, but maybe we will have some of Mr. Kluges's homemade-from-berries-picked-in-the-lane blackberry sorbet for dessert!

By Jove, it's a morning nap!!!

*dancing around* The girl is asleep; the girl is asleep!

Our poor Pumpkin seems to be coming down with something. She's been clingy and needy the last couple of days. She's also developed a bit of a rash on her neck, but I think it's just dry skin. She's been taking a LONG time (45 min or so) to wind down for her afternoon naps lately, but definitely needs them.

Yesterday, she dozed off watching TV with Mr. Kluges in the morning, but then just had "quiet time" in her room for an hour and a bit instead of napping in the afternoon. (But Mr. Kluges enjoyed just hanging out on the couch with her while she slept and he watched a show about the Loch Ness Monster. It also was a convenient excuse to take a break from what turned into a big ol' fall cleaning day)

But today she was rubbing her eyes and yawning while watching Bear in the Big Blue House, so we read a couple of stories and I popped her in her crib. No fussing, no yelling, and within 10 minutes, all was quiet. Yup, that's the first time she's taken a morning nap in weeks, if not months.

And me? Well, I enjoyed taking a shower without a running commentary from the peanut gallery. (Mommy, wash hair. Mommy, shower. Mommy, rinse off. All done - dry off with towel!) I changed the sheets on our bed, ran the dishwasher empty with bleach to clean it out, tidied up the kitchen a bit, made sure our guest room is ready for our friends* who are arriving tomorrow, and now I'm enjoying a slice of black-bottom banana cream pie and cup o' joe while catching up with y'all. *contented sigh* It's nice.

And I'm going to have to remember how much I enjoyed this morning nap time when she starts to get a bit out of sorts this afternoon and might not be tired enough to sleep then.

But oh, it's relaxing around here at the moment!

*Our friends who are coming to visit are Pumpkin's godparents. He was Mr. Kluges's best man and very good friend since elementary school, she and I were RAs together in college, and we are thrilled they are managing to leave their 5 1/2 year old and 2 1/2 year old at home with the grandparents to come and visit us. Hooray!

Friday, October 13, 2006

By the way...

... my husband just asked me what was up with all of you not leaving any comments anymore? He said, "What, did you get boring now?" So, please do me a favor and at least say, "Hi!" or something so I don't start feeling all self-conscious... or give me an idea for a riveting post or something.

(Or if you want to tell me I have gotten boring 'cuz I write too much about ___ all the time, then tell me in a nice way and feel free to leave that kind of comment anonymously and in a constructive-criticism way, ok?)

Big Girl Underwear

Got big girl underwear for Pumpkin in Cork yesterday. Big excitement! She helped choose which multipack to get. Pink and aqua with lots of bows and lace and hearts and stuff. Very girly.

We've had a potty seat to put on a big toilet for quite some time & now Gramma Pat got us a little potty chair, so we've been talking about it all more recently. (But not pushing it 'cuz we've had too many visitors recently & more coming on Tuesday, so I want to wait until we can have a more regular schedule.) The other day, Pumpkin was big into sitting on her new potty from Gramma Pat, and even went twice, but not since then. Pumpkin knows that Mommy and Daddy (and other big people) use the potty, and that even some of her friends do. She'll tell you that when she uses the potty, then she'll wear big girl underwear. She's quite keen on the underwear, more so than the pottying.

Mr. Kluges had a work thing last evening/night, so he didn't get to see her new dainties, but when he asked her about them this morning, there was IMMEDIATE insistence to wear them. So we put them on and she ran around in a shirt, long socks, and her itty-bitty big girl underwear.

And less than an hour later, the couch got baptized.

*sigh* And I'm sure it won't be the last time.

P.S. And no, it wasn't. Not the couch this time at least, but we're now on the third pair of cute big girl underwear. *sigh* And I had, not 30 seconds before, had her sitting on her potty chair. Oh well, Rome was not built in a day either.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

October Goal at last

Yeah, in case you didn't happen to know... I'm a bit of a procrastinator. Yup, if you took any classes with me in college, you know I was up the night before finishing the paper or painting the costume design or cutting the stupid construction paper to make a stupid math game. It took Mr. Kluges and I nearly two years to get married after we got engaged. And when we had Pumpkin, we went to the hospital with our list of dozens of potential names in hand (and even then she was Baby Girl OurLastName for more than 24 hours).

So me being a few days late on my October goal - pshaw, that's nothin'.

And actually, it doesn't even matter because I've succeeded admirably at my goal EVERY SINGLE DAY so far this month even without having posted it here for the public accountability that helps me stay on track.

That's because this is my October goal:

I will NOT BUY any Halloween candy until the weekend (or preferably day) before Halloween.

Yup, simple, elegant, and necessary. You see, if it's not in the house, I can't open the bag to just have one little snack-size candy bar... and end up with an empty bag by the next day. And if we end up going to the store on the 30th and they only have crappy candy left, well then, so much less temptation for me with the leftovers! ('Cuz there will always be leftovers, 'cuz how crappy would it be to run out of candy on Halloween for the little trick-or-treaters?!?)

So there you go - my October goal. Hooray! And if you were wondering, I am very glad I took last month to just firm up my previous three monthly goals of fruit/veg/juice at breakfast, 64 oz. of water daily, and exercising with my class plus 4 fifteen minute exercise sessions each week. I think the water and breakfast ones are pretty ingrained by now (and I love just grabbing some dried apricots or pineapple first thing - yummy and easy). Splitting the exercise down to smaller chunks let me a) recognize my grocery store walks with full stroller uphill push as exercise ('cuz dang it, it is!) and b) it's way less intimidating to take on 15 minutes than 30. I'll keep an eye on this one especially as we move through October though, 'cuz it's the easiest one to let slip.

Monday, October 09, 2006

When Gramma, Grampa, TNGreataunt and Brother Drew Came to Visit

Rather than give you a big, long, wordy post about my family's visit, I'm going to give you a big, long, photo-y post instead. Hope you enjoy it!

<-Of course, we had to bring everybody to Blarney Castle!

Going late in the day means short or no lines... and we also caught this great shadow photo! ->

We went to Kinsale and visited Charles Fort. Above is Dad taking a picture of my brother Drew on the Devil's Bastion, and below is a great shot my bro took of the Drombeg Stone Circle that same day.

The menfolk drove many hours up to Cong one day
and flew hawks and an owl at Ashford Castle.

Grampa and Gramma enjoyed showing Pumpkin around the Bunratty Folk Park with its farm equipment and animals.

Here's Mr. Kluges looking imposing (hee) in one of the big halls at Bunratty Castle.

(This photo is taken from a small hole (seems too small for an arrowslit, but what do I know) in one of the staircases.)

That night we went to a banquet at the castle, but since Pumpkin had skipped her nap, Mr. Kluges and I took turns playing with her outside so that her yelling wasn't ruining everybody else's night inside. She did enjoy dancing to the music when we first got there though.

Doing touristy stuff was fun, but mostly it was about hanging out with family.

Some of my family and me

(P.S. Sorry if you use bloglines or similar and it looks like a published a ton of updates and there's just this. I can't for the life of me get the photos quite where I want them in the "compose" view, so I put them in, publish, edit and move them, publish, edit and move them AGAIN, and repeat until they're where I want them or I give up.)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

ALA's Top 100 Challenged Books for the Nineties

Ok, I'll play, too. This is originally from It's Not All Mary Poppins, but I know Aunt Templeton and All Knowing Jen have posted theirs, too. I have to say I'm with Auntie Temp on the no-content-quiz-please 'cuz it has been a while for quite a few of them. (And there might be a margin of error of plus or minus a couple 'cuz some of the titles are so familiar I'm pretty sure I read them, but not positive.)

(Edited to add... Syl played, too. Wouldn't want to leave her out! Good luck keeping up with that soon-to-be-walker, Syl.)

Here's how Mary P. introduced it...
In honour of Banned Books Week, I'm offering a meme of sorts. Below is the ALA list of the 100 most frequently challenged books, 1990-2000. Bold the ones you've read. And then run, don't walk, to your local library.

So, there you go...

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What? by Mem Fox
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Now, some of these I doubt I'll ever read, The New Joy of Gay Sex for one. Also with the Stephen King ones - I've read a few of his and they're just too gratuitously gory for me. (Except Misery - that one I've liked enough to read twice now.) I'll take some H.P. Lovecraft instead, thank you very much.

Where's Waldo? Seriously?

But I do have to admit that I came across a challenge for myself when I had some of Shel Silverstein's books in my K-1 classroom. Most of his poems are silly and a little... subversive to authority? but good fun. Anyway, I'd ask for requests for which poems to read, but I wouldn't read aloud the one about a kid dancing naked in the rain because I knew getting control of the class again would be difficult. I ended up saying (repeatedly of course, because every now and again someone would request it), "No, I'm not going to read that one out loud because I think it might make you get too silly, but if you want to read it yourself later on, these books are kept in the poetry chest." And that seemed to satisfy them. Never had a parent come and ask me about it either (which is good! *grin*). (And just so you know, there were no naughty bits in the picture or anything, but if you've ever seen a giggle-fest take over a group of fifty 5, 6 & 7 year olds, you'll know the whole subject of nudity is to be avoided!)

Friday, October 06, 2006

The WORLD wide web is right.

Yesterday I noticed a big jump in my sitemeter numbers. A very atypical leap, in fact. So, being a bit of a curious cat, I went to see more about it all. I don't know what was up, but I had 20 hits in an hour. (That'd be between 3:53 pm and 4:49 pm, in case you really wanted to know.) And they were ODD hits, from a variety of different countries & states. In addition to two unknown location ones, I had visitors from Slovakia, Spain, Canada (might have been real, since I know a couple of Canadians do pop on occasionally), Norway, India, Germany, the UK, and the United Arab Emirates. That's in addition to US ones like DC, Mass., Utah, California, and some others. All of that in a single hour.

Yeah, weird, huh?

And looking at them more closely, it looks like they all came from other blogspot sites. The only thing I can figure is that my site was stuck on as "next blog" or something for a hour.

Anyway, weird. Just thought I'd share.

(Also, Sitemeter can be fun, if a little disconcerting. I mean, I didn't know that you could collect that much data from a visit, and I didn't know I had as many visitors (some accidental, but still) as I sometimes have.)

((Also, also, no, I'm not avoiding putting up my October goal... no, really... umm.... going now.))

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bits and Bobs, or Vegetable Soup Blogging

Here's a few nubbins that have been floating around in my brain for a bit. Nothing large enough to be its own entry, but together... well, it's kind of like making soup out of all the leftover (non-moldy) veg in the crisper drawer. Not gourmet fare, but it's usually tasty enough, nutritious, and gets the leftovers gone! :)

Pumpkin's three favorite phrases lately:
* What you doing?
* ___ went? (insert name of person or item that she's looking for)
* What's that?
You'll note she's now entered the asking-questions phase of toddlerhood. At least we're not at the constant "why?" yet.

Pumpkin's favorite thing to do when my parents were here:
Say "Boo!" to Gramma Pat and giggle while Gramma would be "scared" and pretend to hide.

I get tired of eating home-cooking (especially since it's almost always me doing said cooking, since I'm the one at home during the day), but after eating out so much when my family was here, Mr. Kluges and I have declared a moritorium on french fries for the next while, and are only cooking vegetarian for the rest of the week.

I'm SOOOO glad the washer broke when it did, and our landlady was so quick about getting us a replacement. I can't imagine trying to deal with no washer and/or the laundromat when we had visitors. Also, this new one is faster and larger, so Yay!

Oh yeah, Pumpkin used her new potty chair from Gramma Pat TWO TIMES yesterday to go pee! She did it; she did it; she did it! Hooray!

If you leave your sleeping child in the stroller after getting home from the grocery store, sometimes she'll slumber long enough for you to get a blog entry done.

And with that, I should go and try to get some other quiet things done while she dozes. Slainte!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Does not bode well for the rest of the day...

6:?? am Hear strange beep. Wake up. Think must have been dreaming. Fall back asleep.

6:??+1 am Hear strange beep again. Wake up. Mr. Kluges says, "Alarm system, I think." Go downstairs and hit code on alarm system. Alarm system says, "Setting alarm. BEEEEEEEEEEP!" Quickly type in code again before child wakes up. Alarm system says, "Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Alarm unset."

6:??+3 am Begin stumbling upstairs. Hear strange beep again. Go back and look at new washer. Turn off since it beeps when done, but since it was started at 10pm, shouldn't have just finished, but sleepy mind not exactly functioning yet.

6:??+5 am Stumble upstairs again. Hear strange beep. See Mr. Kluges on chair taking down smoke alarm. He says, "I think the battery is going." He removes battery. Beep keeps occurring at the annoying 30 sec to 1 min interval due to residual power.

6:??+7 am Put stupid smoke alarm in now-empty guest room. Cover with 4 pillows. Go back to bed and see that it is 6:30. Ask Mr. Kluges what time his alarm is going off.

6:30 am Quickly try to fall asleep before alarm goes off at 6:45.

6:32 am Still trying to fall back asleep.

6:37 am Still trying to fall back asleep.

6:44 am Just dozing off.

6:45 am Alarm goes off. Try to fall back asleep since Mr. Kluges turns it off and doesn't immediately get up.

6:55 am Child wakes up screaming for food. Sigh, get up, and begin day.

Now I know this won't get much sympathy for those of you who have to get up at an ungodly time like I did when I worked outside of the home and had a 45 minutes commute (I know, I had to be up, breakfasted, dressed & have girl up, breakfasted, and dressed in order to leave house by 7 am), but it was a harsh way to start our first post-visitors day with a still-overtired girl with a cold. Here's hoping for multiple naps today.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The 7 of us at the Drombeg Stone Circle

See what a fun time we're having!

(Also, yay for cameras with timers!)

Fly-by Posting

A quick post to let y'all know I'm still alive and kicking. We've been pretty busy with our house guests, but are taking an easy day today. Tomorrow the menfolk are heading up to Cong to do the falconry thing that Mr. Kluges and I did back in '02, which I think they'll enjoy. The rest of us will be enjoying a slower day of shopping and some napping for Pumpkin. She's been a trooper, but the weird schedules and busier days are started to tell in her attitude a bit.

So far, we've visited St. Finbarre's Cathedral and the Old English Market in Cork, climbed Blarney Castle and kissed the Stone, wandered around in Kinsale, poked around Charles Fort, drove out to the Drombeg Stone Circle, and enjoyed a lovely leg of lamb that Mr. Kluges cooked for us. And all that was only on Friday and Saturday!

Ok, going to run and try to catch up reading a few of YOUR blogs before somebody needs something. Hosting is fun, but can be a bit demanding at times. Good thing Gramma Pat has been doing almost ALL of the diaper changes for us! Yay!