Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 Resolutions

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at
(1/2/08: edited to add a 5th resolution.)

Well, last year I had this to say about New Year's Resolutions. If you don't feel like following the link, here are my goals for 2007 in brief:
  • Get Pumpkin to start sleeping in a big bed.
  • Get Pumpkin potty trained.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Exercise.
To reflect back, we managed #1 without a problem, the second goal took a little longer due to all the change that happened in her little life (transatlantic move, new baby, move again, move AGAIN), and the last two are a little harder to measure. In general I think I did better at the eat healthily than the exercise overall, partly because of the whole pregnancy thing. I was doing well with exercising almost every morning until we moved into the brick house. With the electrician coming around 7:30 am, I wasn't willing to exercise and possibly meet him in my pjs or exercise gear, so that's slipped by the wayside! Having belly dance every week helps, but it's not enough on its own.

So on to 2008 in only hours! (By the way, "Cheers!" and "Slainte!" to those back in Japan and Ireland who've already rung it in!) Once again, I'm going to set myself some goals (as opposed to resolutions - it feels like I've got a little more wiggle room).

1. To reach an appropriate weight according to my Body Mass Index. I mentioned it in my birthday post of 35 things I'd like to do in my life, so I might as well start now before I keep inching further away from it. Of course, I need to buy a scale to know for certain where I am starting out, but last time I weighted myself, I was only about 10-15 pounds away (ok, now that it's been the holidays, with Oreo Balls, I mean Christmas Coal, and Love Boats, it might be more like 15-20). Not fabulous, and it won't be easy because I do not have much willpower when it comes to food, but within the realm of possible. I figure if I do weekly weigh-ins, that will help me keep on track and be a regular reminder to watch what I eat and stay active. I might set some monthly goals to help me with this. Even if I only lose 5 lbs., (how's that for defeatist talk already, huh?) it'll still be worthwhile.

2. To get Penguin sleeping in her own bed. Even though I swore it wouldn't happen again, like Pumpkin when she was a wee lass, Penguin has learned to only fall asleep while nursing. And since I'm much more likely to nurse her in our bed than I did with Pumpkin, she's now in the habit of wanting to have a bit of a snack whenever she wakes up in the night. She's well past the age of needing to eat in the night, and it's definitely just a comfort thing, but, oh, it's going to be rough. She's a stubborn little thing already, and a good yeller, so it will not be fun for any of us. I'm holding off until Steve the electrician is done so that if (when) we do this and don't get much sleep at night, it won't matter if we have a little lie-in in the morning and don't get out of the pjs right away. Then, yeah, I'll have to look forward to the joy of having a little more room in our bed, and sleeping more soundly, to help me get through the painful week or two of retraining her to sleep on her own. Lord help us.

3. To get Pumpkin more independent with the potty. She's trained (except a couple of accidents lately when she was too busy playing with new Christmas toys and the like) and very able, but it's faster and easier for me to help her with the details. I need to start easing back and letting her handle more and more of the process from beginning to end. The incentive for this is a community ed. class I'd like to sign her up for in the fall. It's 2 hours, twice a week, but the kids have to be totally independent with the potty. We've certainly got time to accomplish this, and now a washer and dryer in the house (yay!), but making it a goal will help me get moving on it sooner.

4. To unpack/look through every box before we've been in the house a year. I say "look through" because some stuff, like holiday decorations, costumes, fabric and sewing supplies, and such like that, will probably always live in plastic totes, but I want to finish unpacking and putting things away! Argh! I know it takes a while to find a place for everything, and some of our stuff has been in boxes the whole time we were away and all, but I'm SOOOO looking forward to knowing where my stuff is and for everything to have a designated place so I can a) find it and b) put it away when I'm done with it!

5. This one's a late addition to my list: To read at least 4 nonfiction books this year. I enjoy reading, but I practically always read fiction. Mr. Kluges recommended The Omnivore's Dilemma to me, and it made me realize I should be at least reading some more nonfiction. And since I'm in-progress on it, I'm going to be counting it as my first one for 2008.

So there ya go - once I hit "Publish Post," I'm committed. I'm a little hesitant about the first one, because it's so measurable. That means I can fail at it. I'm not good with failure, but, hey, if I could do NaBloPoMo, and succeed at that, I'm willing to give that one a go as well! Wish me luck!

P.S. Happy Belated Birthday to my wonderful, wonderful husband! I love you, sweetheart!

Friday, December 28, 2007

I am Queen of Free Rice!

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

That and Ruler of the Multiple Choice Question. Da da da da dah DAH!

(Oh yeah, and lucky, too.)

P.S. That's, by the way.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blogging in real time

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

As I type, two guys from Best Buy are downstairs hooking up my new washer and dryer!!!!!!

We took off one door last night, they took off one today, but the washer and dryer are both in the basement on their pedestals.

Update at 3:17pm
Wheee!!!! Now to read the manual!

Future updates as needed!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

(Because playing around with photos is way more fun than, oh, say, cleaning the house...)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Baking

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

This is basically the first chance to sit down at the computer without either or both of the girls needing me that I've had since Sunday. Whew.

Monday was the last day Steve the Electrician was going to be here until after holidays, so Pumpkin and I had a baking morning so we could send him home with some treats. We made my mom's famous chocolate chip cookie recipe, plus two from Recipeeps4Us - Syl's Pretzels & Hugs and All Knowing Jen's Oreo Balls.

The pretzels and hugs were great fun. I got to stir up the chocolate chip cookies almost on my own while Pumpkin carefully unwrapped the Hershey's Hugs. There was a bit of "one for the recipe, one for me" going on, but snacking or "quality control" has always been part of my cooking and baking! We made them on square pretzels, and I think they're just calling out for some sort of cute name with "rafts" in it. So if you've got an idea for a cute name, let me know!

The Oreo Balls, while delicious, were rather more challenging. I don't know if I got too large a package of oreos, or if it was that we broke them up by hand and then pounded them inside a ziploc baggie to break them up since we don't have a stand mixer so they weren't fine enough, or what, but when I tried dropping them into the melted chocolate coating, they just fell apart. Not that they were very smooth and round to begin with. So at our house, they're now called "Christmas Coal," because that's really what these delicious but messy treats ended up resembling.

And they are delicious enough that we will be trying them again next year! AKJ, if you have any tips or hints, let me know, because they were good, but didn't seem to turn out quite as I expected.

Our tasty, but not pretty "Christmas Coal"

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Have I mentioned the "busy?"

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Stealing a few moments to blog. I can tell we're busy, because I'm starting to think in bullet points.

This weekend we:
  • Put up the tree. It took me TWELVE hours to put it up on Thursday between diapers, feedings, fixing the branches, potty breaks, "I NEED you, Mommy!" and all, but I got the darn thing up. Friday I put the lights on, and in the evening Mr. Kluges, Pumpkin and I put on the ornaments while Penguin napped. It looks really nice, IMHO.
  • ordered our washer and dryer finally! (Thanks for the gift cards, TNGreatAunt!) They're supposed to come on the 27th. Hopefully the sewer guys will have been back and finished fixing the floor in the basement by then
  • purchased a new living room rug. The old one was rather nasty and now that Steve the Electrician is nearly done, and won't be tracking through so much, it's nice to get the new one in.
  • rolled up the old (11x12' or so) rug and carried it up to the attic, managing to make the tight corner upstairs by going out the door onto the back porch and then back in through the window.
  • carried down the TV armoire that we thought we were going to use in our room, but it's just a few inches too big to fit the space allotted. Mr. Kluges has been trying to set up the TV and accessories in it today.
  • rearranged our bedroom now that Steve is done so that the big dresser is where it goes.
  • carried one heirloom cedar chest upstairs and the other one downstairs because they'll work better that way.
  • put Penguin's rug with carpet pad in her room.
  • picked up an Arts and Crafts paint sample sheet from Sherwin-Williams.
  • purchased a Christmas present I need to mail ASAP.
  • printed some pictures that need to be put into ornaments and mailed ASAP.
  • went grocery shopping.
  • picked up some dealies to go on the picture rails so we can eventually get some pictures up.
  • found Penguin's shoe that had been missing for a week. (It was in the window seat sort of thing in the vestibule.)
  • Mr. Kluges fixed it so that we can have phone and internet at the same time. Good thing because his cell phone accidentally went "swimming" this weekend and my power cord has gone missing and now my phone's dead.

Wow, huh?! I'm impressed with us, anyway.

I could do a bulleted list of all the things I have remaining to do before Xmas, including finish buying presents, mailing presents, write and mail Xmas cards, etc., etc., etc, but my time would be better spent actually DOING those things.

Besides, I might get finger cramps from the length of the list. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

If the zombies come, these'd be handy

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

I don't know if it's this area, or Craig's List in general, but you just never know what you're going to find...

Battle Axes for Sale

These aren't quite as much fun as the Spanish Shield, but still funny.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Tribbial Question

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Why is it that a girl who watches "bideos" eats "coal-vee" cheese?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Some things I thought about blogging today

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

You know how it's winter in WI? And people wear hats, even in their cars? And sometimes you're driving behind somebody and looking at the back of their head (esp. at a red light)? And you can't tell if it's their fuzzy-sort-of hat or a bad hair-do? Yeah, that's distracting, isn't it?!

Penguin had a big ol' poo while sitting in her high chair this evening. (And now you know it's about excrement & you can skip to the next paragraph if you want.) Sitting down poos require extra clean up due to the squish factor. (See, you could have stopped reading. I'm not holding a gun to your head.) So I went to change her and before I could blink she had gotten her hand in it! And then while I was trying to keep that arm from waving about while I cleaned it off, she kicked both feet in it! THEN while I was trying to stop her feet (possibly while shrieking, "No! Don't.. no!! Oh no!"), she grabbed my arm with her poopy hand! .... *sigh* Yeah, having kids rocks.

One of the other moms at Pumpkin's Teacher & Me class gave us her number so we could do a playdate sometime! Score!! She seems cool and the two girls went right up to each other before class today and were holding hands and playing Ring Around the Rosie. We'll never replace her first, bestest friend in Ireland (We miss you, Ava! And talk about you all the time!), but it'll be nice to start making some pals here.

And finally, Mr. Kluges's wire came yesterday and he got the 5 kitchen lights rewired already, so Steve the Electrician put them up today & they look AWESOME. Except that the nice one in the ceiling now totally highlights that the ceiling is in bad shape and is painted 2 noticeably different shades of white. But the lights? V. v. nice!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

35 is the magic number!

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

It was my birthday yesterday! As you might suppose, it was a tad bit busy - my parents were here for the weekend (and we got so much done! Thank you!!) and Pumpkin seems to be getting a tad "under the weather," and we were trying to do a fair amount of shopping for the house and all. So my post is getting delayed until today.

Last year for my 34th birthday, I wrote about 34 things I'd done in my life. This year I think I'll try for 35 I'd like to do, in no particular order. (Ok, other than the first one, which I wish was done already.)

  1. finish unpacking!!!!!
  2. visit the Great Wall of China with Mr. Kluges because I've always wanted to see it
  3. visit the pyramids with Mr. Kluges since he's always wanted to see them
  4. go back to Paris with my children when they're old enough to remember and appreciate it
  5. go back to Venice on a second honeymoon, but also on that trip see new parts of Europe we haven't visited yet
  6. watch my girls grow up to be the strong, confident, loving, competent, assertive, empathetic, cooperative, responsible women I know they can be
  7. watch them graduate high school
  8. watch them graduate college
  9. develop family traditions (like maybe making gingerbread houses every year...)
  10. learn how to can pickles from Gramma Yori
  11. get to make my mom's chocolate chip cookies well enough that Mr. Kluges finds them to be as good as hers
  12. get this House of 42 Doors into a state where I'm proud to bring people into it - and not have to say, "It'll be beautiful someday." (Not that I don't like it now, but I keep seeing all of the to-do projects, you know?)
  13. pay off the house
  14. go hang gliding
  15. go snowmobiling
  16. write a novel for NaNoWriMo
  17. learn what shape/style/cut of clothes look good on me
  18. get rid of the stuff that doesn't
  19. get down to my appropriate BMI (Good news is I'm only about 10-15 lbs. away from being in the "normal weight" category.)
  20. maintain that BMI
  21. visit Yellowstone National Park and see Old Faithful
  22. make fun Halloween costumes for our family every year
  23. have one or two cats for pets again
  24. watch my girls each find the love of her life
  25. enjoy grandkids - someday in the distant, distant future
  26. learn another language at least to tourist level in preparation to visit a country that uses it
  27. exercise regularly - I always feel better when I am getting regular exercise, but it's too easy to let it slip out of my schedule when I get busy
  28. run a 5K race
  29. if that goes well, run a 10K or longer (Note: I have no desire to run an actual marathon, but have great respect for those of you who have!)
  30. get my master's degree
  31. finish my mosaic that I started in 2002, tried to finish this year, and still haven't quite completed
  32. attend more Girls' Adventure Weekends
  33. go back to Ireland when my kids are older to show Pumpkin where she lived for two years, to let Penguin see where she, ahem, got started, and to visit our friends and favorite places from when we lived there
  34. learn enough of the constellations and their stories to go star gazing with my children
  35. Hike some or all of the Superior Hiking Trail

And oh yeah, I wouldn't mind #36. winning the lottery, either! It would make so many of those previous 35 a lot easier to accomplish! *grin*

Friday, December 07, 2007

Making memories

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

This is what we did yesterday...

Soup cans come in handy, especially if you don't follow directions and mix the icing too runny.

No, it's gingerbread, not cardboard. And that's (runny) icing, not glue.

By the time Mr. Kluges came home, it was dry and sturdy enough to decorate.

(Yeah, I know I'm so glamorous in my old college sweatshirt, but I ended up with all kinds of icing drizzles all over, so that's life. Don't call Trinny and Susannah on me!)

(Ok, do call 'em, 'cuz I'd love finding out what would suit me best and getting a new wardrobe!)

Mr. Kluges helped decorate, too. Finally by this point, Pumpkin had realized that hey, this is CANDY we're using to decorate the house... and it could be EATEN!! I was amazed it had taken that long.

And here it is, our finished product, with the box from the kit in the background. Beautiful, in a made-with-a-three-year-old kind of way, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Busy, BUSY, busy

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

In the past few days we've managed to...
  • decide on a Christmas card & order it
  • finish and order Mr. Kluges' yearly present of a photo calendar
  • get the electricity upgraded
  • find some photo frame ornaments, finally
  • finish up a package and mail it off
  • continue to care for, bathe, change, take to the potty, dress, and feed two small children
  • keep up with the dishes now that we don't have a dishwasher, and
  • finish cleaning out the rental house and have now turned in the keys
So, whew. Granted, it's supposed to snow again today, which may require more SHOVELING, but hopefully when my parents come this weekend, Grampa Pharaoh can help us fix the snowblower. (There's some hose broken, Dad, and the gas leaks out. That's all I know.)

Ok, I should be taking advantage of this brief hiatus in my day while the two girls have an unexpected sleep-in. I should be unpacking, oh, excuse me, UNPACKING because there are more boxes in this house than... fleas on a dog? Pimples on a teenager? Sprinkles on a Christmas cookie? Oh, I know - candles on Methuselah's birthday cake.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Quite the bargain

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Hee hee hee hee! So I haven't had the time (and for a while, the internet access) to check Craig's List for bargains. But I had a moment tonight, so I thought I'd take a look. I'm sure you'll all enjoy this one... He's dropped the price quite a bit, hasn't he?!

Can't break the habit

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Ok, it just feels too weird to not be posting today. I guess 30 days in a row did make it a bit of a habit, huh? Maybe I should apply that revelation to something else - like, say, exercising? Not eating junk food? More veggies and fruit? (Oh, wait, that's what I was trying to do with my monthly goals... Right.)

It's snowing tons outside. The forecast was for 6-7 inches. Yeah, half a foot.

And we don't know if our snowblower works...

Good thing it's a weekend - we might be spending 8 hours shoveling tomorrow.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Scenes from 3 am

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

In the middle of the night last night I heard a scream. An actual "AAAAAAAAA!" sort of scream. Leaping from my bed, I realized it was Pumpkin, who was then calling for me. I stumbled to her room, where she frantically told me, "There was a mouse on my pillow, Mommy! A mouse!" Now if you've been following the House of 42 Doors, you'll know we've caught almost that many mice in the past three months; I think the count is holding at 40.

However, I really, really, really doubt that there was a mouse in her bed. She's had vivid dreams before - that her best friend from Ireland was there in her playhouse on her bed so they could play together, for example - so I'm sure that's what it was.

Regardless, she needed a bit of reassurance and calming down. So I gathered her up in my arms, told her it was just a dream, and that everything was ok. She wanted me to double-check that there was no mouse, but I'd hurried to her room without my glasses. And since I'm desperately blind without them, I needed to go back and get them.

So I told her to look out the window because earlier that night I'd noticed it had snowed and I thought she'd be pleased and distracted by that, and that she'd stop thinking about the dream mouse for a minute.

I got my glasses, returned and asked her, "What do you see?" Instead of the "Snow!" response I expected, I got, "It's some animals, Mommy."

"No, honey, that mouse was just a dream," died on my lips as I looked out her window...

... at the two deer wandering through our neighbors' yard.

We stood there for a couple of minutes, watching and talking about those deer (who had the most wonderful sense of timing). And as I shared that moment with my daughter, I no longer regretted being woken up at 3 am.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Almost there

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

I'm almost there. I'm almost done with NaBloPoMo. This is my 29th post on the 29th day of the month. I'm nearly there!

And man, it's been a little trickier than I thought it would be. I found it challenging to try to remember what I had intended to write about, but even more difficult was that period of time when we didn't have internet here or at the rental house, so I had to get to the library. I won't take my internet access for granted again!

I was without water for the majority of the day while the plumber/sewer guys were working, so I have to keep this short because I've got a ton of dishes to do.

But just one more day, then I'll have done it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Penguin's Turn

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

I'm blogging from home! I'm blogging from home!

Yup, Mr. Kluges got our internet up and running last night. It's not in its final configuration - I currently have to unplug the phone (which is sitting on the maid stairs), plug the phone jack into the router on the kitchen counter, and plug that in to power, but still - I've got internet! Woo-hoo!

While funny Pumpkin was the star of yesterday's blog (I forgot one quote I wanted to include: "That bite was too big. It stretched my soggygus out."), I wanted to share with you some of my current favorite things about Penguin.

  • How intently she examines things and people. She gets this little frown and just stares as though she's trying to memorize their every little detail.
  • The way she lifts her eyebrows sometimes when she smiles. It slays me.
  • The way she giggles when I tickle her chubby, chubby thighs or pretend to eat up her tummy.
  • Her funny little rather deep growly voice when she "talks" to us. She makes the oddest sounds and is so thrilled when we mimic them back to her.
  • The fact that she said "Mamamama" as her first sort-of word.
And finally,
  • The way she smiles at me when she first sees me in the morning. It's like I hung the moon, the stars and the sun especially for her. I don't know how she does it, but her face just SHINES with happiness.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pumpkin Quotes

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Not much time again today as I'm blogging from the library, but this time I left the rest of the family at home. Still need to keep it brief as we've got to run over to the rental yet tonight for baths and showers. At least this is the LAST TIME! Mr. Kluges got the tub caulked tonight, so we should be good to use it as of tomorrow. Hooray! Now, once he gets phone/internet up, we won't have to run around like crazy chickens every evening. Not to denigrate Mr. Kluges at all - he's been trying to coordinate and manage all the electrical and plumbing/sewer stuff that's been going on at the house, plus put things away, plus actually do his job, plus, oh, help out with parenting our two girls.

I've been trying to keep track of some of the funny things Pumpkin has been saying lately, and I think it's time to do a brain dump 'cuz I just can't keep so many things in my head anymore these days. So here you go:

Oh no! Grabbity pulled down my tent!
Mmmm! Asparagus!

(Followed by grabbing an asparagus spear off Mommy's plate. How many 3 year olds like asparagus?)

The bacteardium in my stomach are eatin' it all up!

And my favorite, courtesy of an extra-long shirt she was wearing...

Aaah! Where's my butt?!

Monday, November 26, 2007

And you think YOUR basement is messy

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

You'll have to forgive me. I had all these ideas for what to write about, but now that I've sat down to write, they're just gone. Phooey. And we made a special trip out to the library so I can finish out NaBloPoMo in style. Just gotta make it through Friday! (Well, that and I had to return and/or renew a bunch of stuff & couldn't do it online from home since there's still no "on-line" there yet.)

Thanks to those who let me know how far (or not) they are with their holiday shopping. I feel a bit better to hear I'm not the only one barely started. Also, I started counting through the presents we need to get and I've at least got ideas for a lot of them, and at least one person I'm buying for has an wishlist.

(Handy things, those. I also use mine to store ideas of things I'd like to get for myself, and I like how I can set up present idea lists for others in case I come across good ideas.)

I'm totally wishing that our computer was set up so that I could share some pictures with you of our basement. We're in the midst of what they first said would be a 2-3 day project to replace all the sewer line, but that now looks to be a 4 day project. The basement... well... how to describe it.... It's got HUGE paths of concrete cut out it. It looks like there's not much more than 50% of the concrete left in place between the cut-out for the main line, the one that connects to the toilet, the long one along the wall for the laundry sink, the one for the drain we're putting in near the boiler, and the one to the defunct stand-alone shower dealie drain. (Yeah, don't ask - I don't know what they were thinking.) And these cut-out paths are, oh, say around two feet wide and go down through what turned out to be the 6-8 inch concrete slab to dirt. And then there's the path cut through the to-be-exercise-room. It really looks weird. And messy. Really muddy and messy and crazy. I have to take some pictures when we get home because it's something. (Also, probably, find the camera charger 'cuz it's almost out.)

And outside? Well, the backyard is ALL ripped up thanks to the line they're running out to the city line. They showed up with a much bigger digger than we expected and so took out more of the brick path - and even part of the patio - than we had moved/removed. Mr. Kluges is also a bit crabby about the damage this larger digger did to his limestone path. Also, there's still a huge pile of dirt. Granted - they're not done yet, but it's a good thing we're doing all this before we'd done any landscaping because it'd be toast.

Ok, I should finish up. Both girls are being remarkably quiet with Mr. Kluges across in the kid section of the library, but I don't want to push my luck. Especially since the big one didn't get a nap today and was in tears getting out of the car because she wanted to bring her stuffed bear in and the other one was asleep in the car. Poor things. I'm looking forward to when life slows down a bit for all our sakes!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Xmas Status Check

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Ok, I've got a question for you all. Mr. Kluges loves Thanksgiving and feels it gets too short-changed by the Christmas season (and shopping season) coming early. Therefore, in deference to his feelings and because it's been so busy this year, we haven't really done much Christmas shopping at all, nor are our cards ordered, etc.

So here's my question:

What percentage are you done with your holiday shopping?

(If it seems like y'all are also not very done, then I'll feel better; if you're close to completion, it can be a reason me to talk Mr. Kluges into watching the girls while I go shopping without them! I win either way.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hmm... how many more days to go for NaBloPoMo?

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Ok, I'm having a bit of brain blockage here. Can't really think of anything new to write about. So... um...

Oh, ok, confession's good for the soul, right?

My November goal (other than NaBloPoMo) was to limit the amount of treats I ate since I knew we'd have a bunch of leftover Halloween candy around.

And that's been going... well... um... yeah. Chocolate = good. Chocolate in the house - willpower = no more chocolate in the house.

But on the plus side, (or minus side, actually), I've lost weight since the last time I was at my in-laws's house. (Yeah, we don't own a scale, other than a kitchen one for ingredients.) I'm sure it wasn't in the last month, with all the post-Halloween candy, but still, I'll celebrate progress where I can.

There, I'd say that's enough words to qualify as a post. I'll have to try to get some ideas stewing in the back of my head because I've still got not quite a week yet of this NaBloPoMo business.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving recap

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

We had a very enjoyable and filling day yesterday, and I hope you did, too. Delicious feast with turkey AND ham, green bean casserole, yummy-scrummy mashed potatoes, homemade buns... I'm starting to drool again already!

It was so nice to have all of my immediate family together. My parents, my brothers, my sister-in-law, my husband, my children - all in the same house, chatting and laughing and playing and eating together. That didn't happen the whole time two years we were in Ireland, with the exception of Uncle TP and Auntie Kay's wedding, so I really appreciate it more when it happens now. (We even got to open a package for us all from TNGreatAunt - it was much enjoyed - thanks!)

And today Pumpkin is enjoying playing "tea party" with Gramma Pet, Penguin got to go on a stroller ride with Grampa Pharaoh to the store, and soon we off to see the other grandparents and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with them tomorrow.

It's so nice to be closer to family.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans out there! Here's an incomplete list of things for which I'm thankful:
  • my wonderful husband Mr. Kluges, who makes my life a grand adventure
  • my darling firstborn child Pumpkin, who makes me laugh daily
  • my precious secondborn child Penguin, for her smiles like the sun rising
  • my mother for her quirky, just-so ways, yummy chocolate chip cookies, dedicated nursing skills, and willingness to be silly with us and the girls
  • my father for balancing out my mom, his we-can-do-it attitude, his help with our house to-do lists and his wisdom
  • both my parents, for their boundless love and support throughout the years
  • my brother Uncle Drew for his humor, intelligence, and love of games
  • my brother Uncle TP for his drive and ambition
  • my sister-in-law Auntie Kay for her graciousness and for bringing out the best in Uncle TP
  • my in-laws for their many visits and much help (especially recently), and for making me so welcome in their family
  • my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and their two girls for how fun and lively things are when they're around
  • my TNGreatAunt, for her fun attitude, her own quirkiness, and her extreme generosity
  • all of my relatives for being family, with all that entails
  • my college friends for how tight we've stayed over the years, and how much we care about and help each other. You guys rock! I could say individual things about you all, because you're all fabulous in your own different ways, but I've only got until Penguin decides to wake up...
  • my wonderful friends I made in Ireland. They are what I miss the most from our time there
  • the internet, which helps me keep in contact with all of those listed above and has let me make new friends as well
  • YOU (yes, you) for reading this blog and making me feel my thoughts are heard and validated
  • the delicious food we'll be enjoying today and Saturday surrounded by family
  • being able to see grandparents more often now that we're back in the US
  • having had the opportunity to live over in Ireland for those two years, and all of the adventures we had there
  • our it'll-be-gorgeous-someday House of 42 Doors. Did I mention that my life is more adventurous thanks to Mr. Kluges? *grin*
  • the huge grocery stores stocked with such a variety and sufficiency of food here in the US, and also that they have fun shopping carts with cars on the front for Pumpkin to ride in
  • my college experience. Meeting new people, studying challenging and/or fun subjects, and really connecting with others - I felt like I really became myself in those years.
  • the changing of the seasons. I know winter will seem extra cold to us this year, but the changing seasons have always helped me mark and celebrate time
  • libraries, books, and reading. They have enriched and entertained my life.
  • hot baths
  • a bed that's cozy and warm
  • beer
  • chocolate
  • for Pumpkin and Penguin sleeping in long enough for me to do this post
  • and so many, many more things with which I've been blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Placeholder for pie

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Just a quick post due to travelling all day today. Also, I'm getting closer to the wire today! Between 1) we were trying to finish up packing and get on the road and 2) while the phone and internet service were supposed to get switched over yesterday, the electric guys who were at the House of 42 Doors to trench in the upgraded power accidentally cut the phone line, I couldn't post before we left this morning. So, anyway, I'm posting from Gramma Pet and Grampa Pharoah's place - better late than never.

This post is really just a placeholder to send you over to Recipeeps 4 Us where the Wednesday Fun question and poll are about the pies and/or desserts you're having for Thanksgiving.

(And now I'm totally hungry for something sweet...)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm two thirds done and not givin' up yet!

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

This is a super quick post just 'cuz I signed up for NaBloPoMo, and I've made it through almost 2/3 of the month, so darned if I'm going to give up now!

(Grandparents, that means I'm going to need to borrow some time on your computers when I'm visiting, ok?)

You know what's not very easy? Packing for a long weekend trip while moving. Yeah, it's bad enough not knowing where anything is, but then I'm trying to locate specific items in the chaos. Well, sometimes not even "specific" items so much as "matching clothes" or "toiletry kit" or "the platform-y thing with the straps that holds the portable DVD player in the car." Yeah, Mr. Kluges packed that one in some box that's in the whole big stack of boxes and totes in the basement. And the box isn't labelled. *sigh*

So, that's all from me for today because supper and packing and unpacking and FINDING stuff are calling my name. Cheers!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Yeah, more about the move

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Whew. I'm exhausted. Not that I'm not sleeping well at the new house, but I'd forgotten how much moving totally sucks the life out of a person! There are boxes and furniture and bags of (clean, 'cuz I hit the laundromat yesterday) laundry and suitcases of miscellaneous stuff EVERYWHERE. Mostly right where I'm trying to walk. And today my two girls could have been renamed "I'm NOT taking a NAP!" and "You can't put me down, Mommy!" so that was a bit of a trial as well.

But we are in. Still coming back here to the rental for baths and showers in the evening. Mr. Kluges should be able to grout later tonight and then clean off the excess in the morning, so by the time we get back from Turkey Day, we should done with that and the bath should be usable. And Mr. Kluges spent most of the day gathering up the last of our stuff here and emptying out the rental. He's got practically everything out, and should be able to get the rest of it easily tomorrow - except for the vacuum and cleaning stuff, and rocking chair and diaper stuff, and a bit of stuff in the kitchen so that when I'm here cleaning with the girls next week I've got those things.

I was working on putting things away in the kitchen cupboards. I'll have to take a picture of the way they're adjustable 'cuz it's hard to describe, but I've roundly cursed whoever it was that painted them in. However, I can be a determined So-and-so (stubborn, some say), and between a hammer and a utility knife over the past two days, I've freed the pieces and adjusted the darn things. So there.

Let's see - other business while I'm thinking of it and have a moment...
AKJ - every room has lights that work, but there are some places where we need to get and/or rewire lights to go in to either replace lights that are there or to go in spots where the electrician just has boxes in the wall right now. Also, most but not all outlets work. The worst part is that he hasn't done anything on the second floor yet, so we can't put all the furniture where it's supposed to go yet.
Kittenpie - the local library does check out puzzles. Either the wooden base (like for the younger kids' puzzles with the wooden pieces with handles, you know?) or the laminated top of the box is on the shelf with a number written on it. You take the base or laminated top to the check out and they give you the bag with the pieces for it. Each piece has the puzzle's number on it, and the bag (it's like the kind for book/tape sets) has the identification number and the number of pieces on it. This was our first time checking them out, but it seems good. Of course, sometimes you can't tell what the puzzle with just the wooden base until you get the pieces.

Ok, going to go do a quick breeze-through to check on your-all's blogs. If this wasn't NaBloPoMo, I totally would have skipped writing today, but I've got quantity, if not quality today anyway!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

We did it, we did it, we did it! Hooray!

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Just a brief post because a)I'm exhausted, b)I'm surrounded by exhausted & therefore whiny children, c) I'm catching a quick moment to type here at the rental because we don't have internet at the House of 42 Doors yet as we didn't expect to be in yet.

Did you catch that "in yet?" As in, we're now in. In residence at the House of 42 Doors?!?!?

Yup, thanks immeasurably to our good friend in need is a friend indeed, NoNick, we got all the big furniture and such moved over to the House of 42 Doors yesterday. He and Mr. Kluges loaded up the Blazer & trailer and made multiple trips while the girls and I stayed at the rental and packed boxes.

The most exciting parts of the day? Mr. Kluges and I having to Bo-and-Luke-Duke it in through the windows of the Blazer since we'd tied the mattress to the top and through the front windows because it was blowing up too much in front. Yeah, I'm only 5'4", so it was a bit of a stretch.

Then, we had to haul the mattress and the box spring up over the back porch balcony, over the partly-rotten-and-unsafe railing before we could go to bed because there was no way either one would fit up the stairs and around the corners. Good thing NoNick knows a lot about knots.

Ok, it's a melt-down with the toddler (who even got a 2 hour nap today) 'cuz moving takes it out of a person, so that's it for now.

(But I did get my NaBloPoMo post in today!)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saint NoNick? It's got a nice ring to it.

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Just a brief post today. You see, our good friend NoNick, out of the sheer kindness of his heart and generosity of spirit, has driven all this way to come down and help us move for the weekend! Yay! So we're planning on a big day of moving big stuff like the couch, large metal desk, etc.

In fact, depending on how things go, it's possible we might even get to moving the beds yet today.... which might mean sleeping at the House of 42 Doors tonight...

(Ok, we probably won't get that much done, but it's within the realm of possibility!)

Ok, gotta run - stuff to pack, things to move, girls to manage and feed and change and everything.

Friday, November 16, 2007

You got your trekkie...

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

... in my investment planning!

No, you got your investment planning on my trekkie!

I get to see this sign (and giggle at it) every Wednesday on our way home from Teacher & Me class. Fortunately, I'd brought my camera along for the Halloween party, so I pulled over and took a photo just to share with you all.

Live long and prosper!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

7 Random Things Meme

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

(Edited with the help of Mr. Kluges to have a better #7.)

I got tagged by Mary Beth over at Cats...Books...Life is Good for this "Seven Random Things About Yourself" meme. Since she's been enjoying reading about the House of 42 Doors, she suggested I maybe do the 7 random things about our house. And since I just did the 5 Things You Didn't Know About Me meme - about, obviously, myself - I thought that'd be a great idea.

(P.S. Thanks, Mary Beth, for the NaBloPoMo fodder! And since we are home most/all of the day today, I can just keep plugging away at it until I think of all 7. Yay!)


1- Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2- Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.

3- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

4- Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven weird or random things about the House of 42 Doors...

1. We are the first people to own this house who are not members of the family who built it. I think I will refer to them as the G__ns.

2. When Gramma Yori originally came to visit and clean, she had a dream the first night in which all the G__ns were coming to the house while she was cleaning it. If I remember correctly (and feel free to correct me in the comments or send me an email and I'll fix it, Gramma Yori), there was a Grandma or Grandpa G__n who was welcoming them all back home. In the dream, she was getting a bit frustrated because they were all in the way of her cleaning, but she could tell they were pleased to have somebody living in their house again. So, due to that and to another dream she had while painting (ok, not while actually painting, but when she was visiting us to do the painting), in which she asked one of the elder Mr. G__ns to help keep the paint on the walls, and then a large bubbly spot where she repainted the ceiling dried back up overnight and fixed itself, I don't really worry about (the/any) ghosts.

3. We probably could have called it the House of 1001 Cans between all the old cans of paint, stain, and coffee cans full of nails, etc. (pretty much exclusively Hills Brothers) that we took out of the basement.

4. Some of the cans of paint are a custom-made color from a local paint store. They're labeled "G__n Ivory." Because there aren't enough shades of white and off-white to choose from, you know. *eye roll*

5. There are a few vents in the walls - the workroom downstairs, the basement toilet, the kitchen, the upstairs bathroom - of a sort that our inspector said he'd only seen once before. Apparently, they were put in the house to aid airflow to help prevent TB.

6. Red blinky lights that look like eyes look AWESOME in the attic window on Halloween.

7. The roofline of our house, the way it goes down and has trim and all, is apparently "Tuscan Entablature." Yeah, I'd never heard of it, either, but it definitely qualifies as a random fact. Thanks, Mr. Kluges, for the help with that.

Ok, time to tag 7 random people. Well, I guess I'll use to help me choose random people from my blog roll over on the right sidebar. (Because I don't think, say, choosing 7 random people from the phone book would do much good... so I guess it's random within a very limited sample.)

...consider yourselves tagged.

(And if I didn't tag you, and you still want to do this meme, I certainly won't stand in your way!)

(P.S. Since this is about the house, I'm going to cross-post it to House of 42 Doors.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bases covered

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Alright, I've got my bases covered in case today gets too busy with classes and errands to do a more substantial post. Come on over to Recipeeps 4 Us and join in the Wednesday Fun with a question about Thanksgiving and a poll about the bird.

('Cuz you know, truthfully, if I come up with any good ideas, I'm totally saving them for tomorrow.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A busy, brrr-y day that went by in a blur

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

This is why I'm not posting until less than 3 hours to the deadline for today...
Today I...
  • got up, got myself, and both girls ready (with some appreciated help from Mr. Kluges).
  • brought Mr. Kluges to work.
  • drove to the brick house and dropped off stuff.
  • drove to the auto mechanics a few blocks away & dropped off car to get coolant leak fixed.*
  • packed girls into the double stroller and walked back to the brick house. (brrr!)
  • did usual feeding, changing, bringing to potty, playing with**, etc. girls while staying out of the way of the electrician, who was working mostly in the kitchen.
  • sorted what ended up to be 9 loads of laundry.
  • loaded up girls in stroller and walked to downtown area for lunch and to get out of the house.
  • stopped at bank for cash but no ATM.
  • stopped at next bank a few blocks down. Their ATM was "temporarily out of service."
  • asked the nice tellers location of nearest ATM.
  • walked several more blocks to gas station with ATM.
  • went to restaurant next door to gas station for lunch. (Yay for the treat of eating out! Double yay for Pumpkin and Penguin who were exceptionally well behaved.)
  • on walk back home, stopped by local library - checked out books, puzzles, DVDs.
  • got call from Mr. Kluges that car was done.
  • walked to auto mechanics, paid them, loaded up girls and stroller.
  • drove back to brick house.
  • loaded up laundry***, portable DVD player, toys, etc. from house. Chatted briefly with electrician.
  • went to Once Upon a Child to get more pants for Pumpkin's lengthening legs, plus a few things for Penguin.
  • found high chair there. Told them I wanted it, remembered back of Blazer full with double stroller & multiple bags of laundry. Paid for it, put it on hold, must remember to pick up this week.
  • got call from Mr. Kluges while at OUaC requesting asap pickup from work as he was not feeling well.
  • loaded up by-now-a-bit-overtired girls. Drove fussy girls to Mr. Kluges's work, picked him up, brought poor draggy Mr. Kluges and two now-sleeping girls home.
  • managed stuff while Mr. Kluges showered & had nap.
  • went to laundromat, put clothes in washers.
  • came home, nursed Penguin.
  • went back to laundromat, sorted clothes into dryers, did some folding and hanging of clothes, came home.
  • assisted with bathing and bedtime routine for Pumpkin, took care of fussy, fussy, hungry, sleepy Penguin.
  • tidied up a bit, chose girls' clothes for early, busy day tomorrow (Teacher & Me class in a.m.), hung up clothes that need air drying, eventually got Penguin to sleep.
  • realized hadn't posted yet today! Popped open Woodpecker cider, sat down at computer, realized how glad I am that every day isn't as busy as today was! (Also realized I missed supper with the running to the laundromat... need to take care of that next!)
And that is/was my day so far. Now I just have to fold laundry that will otherwise wrinkle beyond hope (i.e. basically everything but underwear, socks, and washcloths), get our post-class snack bag ready for tomorrow, prep the coffeemaker, have supper, thank Mr. Kluges for cleaning up the kitchen while I wrote this... and eventually go to bed!
Good night!

* Yeah, we'd noticed it this weekend. Big enough leak that we brought it in asap. Figured it might be pump, hoped it'd be less expensive hoses or something. Ended up being something with the radiator. Now we have a new radiator.

**Including Elefun. A great jump around and shriek game, even if you jump around and shriek so much you don't catch any butterflies. At least that's the apparent review from our three-year-old. Also, watching people play Elefun is good entertainment for a 6 month old.

***Except for one bag that I forgot upstairs. Guess I'll be doing more laundry soon because that had the load of jeans (necessary) and colored towels (definite mold potential).

P.S. Not to imply that others aren't equally or more busy, it's just that we're not usually so busy in one day!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Final Countdown!

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

We've given notice that we're moving out of our current rental house as of the end of the month. Yeah, moving's a lot of work, but I won't mind being out of this place with its tough, could-hold-up-to-a-daycare, not-soft-at-all industrial carpet, its rumbling plumbing, and its "Frogger" view out across a service road, a two-lanes-each-way major road, and a big parking lot. Granted, I will miss being able to walk over to the grocery store, but this'll just move getting a car up in the priorities list.

(By the by, know anybody wanting to sell a car for reasonable?)

(And we're hoping the electric and sewer work will be done by then... but there's a chance that one or the other will still be finishing up.)

So working backwards, that means we need to have the place empty and cleaned by the 30th. Which is a Friday.

Ok, so then the "big move and get the house empty" can be the weekend before, with cleaning happening on the evenings.

Oh wait... that's Thanksgiving weekend. We'll be in MN, spending time with family.

In fact, we're leaving WI on Wednesday the 21st (Grampa Pharoah's birthday!) in order to be able to spend 1 full and two half-days with each side of the family.

So... that means we've got to get beds and big things over by the 20th. That way we can bring Grampa Pharoah's trailer, which has been on very long term loan, back to MN when we go.

However, the 20th? Is in 8 days.

8 D.A.Y.S.

Oy vey, have I got a lot of packing to do!!!

Who's got time to chat with you folks?! I'm off! There are boxes calling my name!

(At least Mr. Kluges has saved up a bit of vacay, and can take off the 19th, 20th, & 21st, but still! Argh!)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Eleven Eleven... is that lucky?

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Yesterday I posted to House of 42 Doors, so today I posted to Recipeeps 4 Us so that it didn't get too lonely. *grin* If you want a lovely, but time-consuming recipe for homemade egg noodles that kick butt in homemade chicken noodle soup, it's the place to go.

And if you want some other sort of recipe, take a look. There's a good two dozen assorted recipes there from the bunch of us!

(Feel free to drop me a line if you want to join the the Recipeeps fun, too!)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

33% down, 66% to go!

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

If you haven't been there (yet or for a while), Mr. Kluges is sharing the story of our new old brick house over at the House of 42 Doors. He's kind enough to let me blather on over there, too, so that's where I did my post for today.

In other news, NaBloPoMo is about a third done, and I've posted every day so far. Yay, me!

(Also a shout out to those doing NaNoWriMo. Hope you're having fun and keeping up that word count!)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Bad Timing

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Yesterday we were at swimming lessons at the local high school. Apparently it was parent-teacher conferences because the place was parked up like you wouldn't believe. Mr. Kluges ended up dropping us off so that I could get Pumpkin ready in the women's locker room and then meet him by the pool after he parked.

So we got ready and went out to the bleachers by the pool to wait for him. And we waited. And waited. And waited. I started to worry that he'd gotten a page from work (since he's on call this week) and couldn't reach us by cell.

Pumpkin took a couple of the water toys they use during free play out of the crates to play with while we waited. She was scrunched over holding them, saying, "This one's the mommy hippopotamus, and this one's the baby."

When she overbalanced onto her forehead on the hard, hard pool tiles.

Oh, the tears and the screaming and the big ol' lump that immediately made an appearance. And it's just me there with both girls, class is about to start, and Mr. Kluges is nowhere to be seen.

Thankfully Penguin's happily sitting in her soon-to-be-outgrown carseat, watching whatever's going on. I cuddle Pumpkin for a while, class starts, and she calms down.

Mr. Kluges still isn't there.

Pumpkin and I go to the edge of the pool so she can at least dangle her feet. We play with a boat.

Eventually Mr. Kluges arrives. He'd had to park a few blocks away... and then all the doors were locked. Pumpkin gets to join in with the rest of swimming lessons and has a great time after all.

But you know what I had planned for today, don't you?

You know, pre-lump-on-the-noggin and bruise-on-the-cheekbone?

Yup. You guessed it. Christmas card photos.

P.S. Still wondering about that Spanish shield? It's reposted again...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I love my girls' hair!

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

I love my girls' hair.

That's the long...

...and the short of it!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Carseat Culture?

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Wednesdays are our busy day with "Teacher & Me" class followed by a visit to the library and belly dance class for me tonight. Plus it's been so cold and windy that we haven't walked to the grocery store the last two days, so since we have the car today, we'll be doing that, too. So I figured I'd better post early today.

Last weekend we bought a combination front-facing car seat/ later a backless booster seat for Pumpkin. That way we can move her to that and put our growing Penguin in Pumpkin's old rearward/forward-facing seat instead of the kind you can take out of the car and carry her around in. So yesterday I took off the seat cushions and pads to wash them at the laundromat.

While doing so I found a disgusting lot of crud.

A (probably partial) list of things I pulled out of the cracks and crevices of Pumpkin's car seat, or that fell out when I turned it upside down and shook it a lot:

bits of granola and/or cereal bar
a creased, wrinkled up sticker
needles from the spruce twig that she adopted and named "Kinny"*
cracker bits
soy nuts
ends of ripped open packages
chex mix bits

So yeah, maybe I should make a habit of washing the seat cushions more often, especially if I let 'em eat in the car, huh? Ew.

*No, I am not kidding about that one. Ask Mr. Kluges if you don't believe me.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Some Things You Don't Know About Me

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

There was this meme that was going around a while ago. And what better way to fill a slow day of NaBloPoMo than to do a meme! I don't remember for sure if it was three things or five things, so we'll see how many I can think of...

1. I'm kind of creeped out by grapes. I think it's because they get squishy and icky apparently randomly. You know, you can be eating some off the bunch and then all of a sudden there's a bad one. The rest are fine, but that one's not. Grosses me out.

2. I feel bad for my clothes that I don't wear anymore. It makes it difficult to get rid of them sometimes. I know it's silly, but there it is.

3. I once submitted a sentence to To quote from their site, "One Sentence is about telling your story, briefly. Insignificant stories, everyday stories, or turning-point-in-your-life stories, boiled down to their bare essentials." (You can try to find it if you want, but it's not credited to either Ms. Huis Herself or my real name so your chances are pretty much nil.)

4. I really enjoy making forms, practice sheets, games, etc., usually on PowerPoint. It was great for school because once I made a game or whatever, I could easily print extras to send home with kids instead of laboriously physically cutting and pasting stupid little pieces of paper onto posterboard. Also made it really easy to do things like turn the "Long E Game" into the "Long A Game."

5. I can still tell you the names of all my high school classmates, complete with middle name. Which isn't as much of a feat as you might suppose since there were only around a dozen of us.

And I tag anybody else doing NaBloPoMo who needs a topic!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Maybe I can sell my "ancient Egyptian Tupperware (TM)" for even more...

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Somebody on Craig's List is trying to sell this "Very Old Spanish Shield" for $1600.

Here's the posted description:

Very old, but in great shape. The Spanish Shield, found in the attic of a house buildt in the 1800's. Solid wood frame, some solid metal and plastic accents. Really nice addition for someone who collects old items. This item is very unique $1600.00 OBO

So, are Mr. Kluges and I the only ones who think that the "plastic accents" might maybe imply that this shield is neither an antique nor worth $1600.00?

Edited on 11/6:
FYI, they've reposted it. Here's the new description/offer:
Full solid wood frame, red velvet face, solid metal and plastic accents.

Great addition to anyones collection and has been in my family for 2 generations!

Check out the picture!!

$1300.00 CASH ONLY!! or will trade for 1994 Jeep Cherokee must be in running condition.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

When we bought the House of 42 Doors, we knew that we'd be left with a lot of miscellaneous "stuff." It had always been owned by the same family, the previous owner was now living in Australia, and we figured his sister in Green Bay would come and take some of the furniture that had been in the house for showing purposes, but not all the random stuff.

We were right. Over the past couple of months, we enjoyed finding a lot of "treasures" like this jar of money!

(We'd been joking with Gramma Yori about finding a bunch of money. We just didn't expect it to be a Greek pickle jar full of a WIDE variety of foreign coins.)

We now are the (proud?) owners a rhino carved on a fake plastic stone that we could (but won't) use to decorate the mantle.

Or we could put it on this actually beautiful antique table. Only problem with the table is that it's too big to be a behind-the-sofa table and too small to be a dining room table. If we can just figure out where to put it, we'd be thrilled.

We also adore this mirror. The plan is to put it in our room above our long, dark cherry wood dresser where it should look divine.

We are also happy that they left behind the nice runners from the upstairs hallways. These have been cleaned and are now happily awaiting the day when the electricians are done to be put back into place.

But for all the treasures, and "treasures," we also have stuff like this stack of mostly rusted through enamel pots, pans, and one enamel, um, I guess I don't know the term for a bedpan for a male patient who needs to relieve his bladder... but we've now got one.

And this? This is the 3 car garage after we (mostly Mr. Kluges) emptied out the attic...

(Go on, click on it to make it bigger...)

And you know what? There was even more "stuff" in the basement!!!!

P.S. Don't be shocked if there ends up being another "treasures" post yet this month. You've got to see some of the rest of the stuff to believe it!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Who needs dental when you've got this?

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Mr. Kluges works for a company with many branches and divisions, one of which does publishing. We recently found out about a very cool perk which we will thoroughly enjoy. You see, about 3 times a year, the company has a "damaged goods" sale here in the area we now live. Apparently, any damaged books, ends of runs, whatever get sold at two bucks a book to employees. Yup, $2 for everything from kids' books to cookbooks to gardening how-tos to coffee table beauties.

This morning was the first one we knew about (and of course Mr. Kluges attended). You have to have a ticket to get in, it's employees (or their spouses or both together) only, no kids allowed, and Mr. Kluges was advised to bring a wheely suitcase.

He said it was a big old dirty warehouse with 75-100 pallets of books. No obvious rhyme or reason, books stacked up to 3 feet high with no regard to topic, aisles packed full of people. He said you could walk past a pallet and come back 10 minutes later and see all new titles that had been unearthed from the stack.

He came home with 30 books.

Actually, not all books - they have some books on CD sets, of which he got Lord of the Rings. Yay! That'll make the long drive to MN go a little faster this Thanksgiving! Some other highlights include several Sandra Boynton books for Pumpkin, the Charles McRaven books we didn't already have, How To Build Bat Houses, lots of garden books including one about restoring American gardens with heirloom ornamental plants from 1640-1940, a couple of cookbooks... it was like Christmas come early!

So yeah, they're upping how much employees have to pay for medical and dental and all next year, but hey, we got BOOKS!

(And I get to be the one to go to the next book sale! Wheeee!!!)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Katie's got nothin' on her

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

You might have heard about the picture of CBS's anchorwoman Katie Couric and how it was Photoshopped to make her look slimmer. Here's one link to a story about it, but put some variation of "Katie Couric thinner Photoshop" into Google and you'll find tons of others about it.

The reason I bring it up is this - based on Penguin's 6 month check-up today, allegations have been made...

Alleged "Slimmed Down Version"
(See? Normal, happy, healthy baby!)

Alleged Original

No, seriously, here are her stats:

Height: 26 1/2 inches 78th percentile

Head Circumference: 41 1/2 cm 23rd percentile

Weight: 17 lbs. 14 oz. 100th percentile!!!

Yup, top of the charts, our girl! Go, Penguin!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaBloPoMo begins

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

I love Halloween. I've always loved the costumes and dressing up. Trying to be creative and clever and original with them is a fun challenge. I mean, one year I used a real iron to scorch a chef's hat so I could go as the "Ironed Chef." (*snort* I'm funny!)

I'm really looking forward to when the girls have ideas for what they want to be for Halloween. So far Pumpkin has been a parrot (while Mr. Kluges and I were pirates. She was all of 2 months old, and adorable!), a dinosaur/dragon, and a cowgirl. The cowgirl was cool because it was my mom's costume from when she was a girl.

This is the first year that Pumpkin had an opinion. She kind of waffled around for a while with different answers to "What do you want to be for Halloween this year?" but when I got "A black kitty!" several days in a row, I figured she'd actually chosen. And she loved it. And when I found the little infant kitty hat, I couldn't resist matching the two kids. If I would have found my witch's hat, we could have been a set! (Granted, I thought Penguin could also have gone as a "cat burglar" dressed all in black with that little skull cap... *giggle*)

In fact, all that seasonal creativity gets me excited. Carving pumpkins or dyeing eggs at Easter. It's an excuse to carve some time to be creative and crafty out of our regular lives.

I should do it more often!

(You'll never guess who wanted her pumpkin carved like a kitty... and who now wants kitties on the wall of her new pink room...)

(Hmmm... That reminds me... I think kitty presents would probably be well received at Christmas! Also, I better hurry up and start doing holiday stuff like presents and cards and such.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Priceless, redux

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

(No, this is not a repeat post... quite.)

Kitty hat:
$1.00 at Target

Velvet-y black onesie:
$3.50 at Once Upon a Child

Dress black pants:
$7.50 at Once Upon a Child

(They were part of a set with a white shirt & a dressy black sweater that will be used over her short sleeved Christmas dress.)

Tiny kitty socks:

(Again, thanks, TNGreatAunt!)

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Confession is good for the soul

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

7:30 pm 10/29
Halloween candy first purchased

12:30 pm 10/30
Halloween candy bag first opened and "sampled"

Well, I made it 17 hours, but this is why I don't buy it until it's almost Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Weekend Report

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Busy weekend! Gramma Yori hung up her paintbrush and called it quits after a very productive week and a half stay with us. I'm sure Grampa Jem was glad to see her back home on Saturday, but we were sad to see her go. Man, did she get a TON done while she was here! We even had overlap of guests when Jaysan and The Sexy Blonde came out on Friday to visit us. We took it a little slower over the weekend when they were here, but still were rather distracted with house and children. Had a good time anyway.

I've uploaded and organized a new set of photos on Flikr to show some of our work in progress. I haven't remembered to take pictures of everything (like the messy, messy basement ceiling removal), but you can see a bit of it anyway. Click on the picture in the sidebar to the right to see the rest of the pictures. If you want to read about the whole calcimine-paint-removal process, Mr. Kluges just wrote about it on House of 42 Doors.

But the big news from the weekend is that Penguin said "Mama"!!!!! Well, it was really more like a very sad "mamamamamamama," but still! Yay! That's my girl!