Friday, August 29, 2008

Today: Pluses & Minuses

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

+ No bats since the other night. Yay!
+ My in-laws will be coming today.
+ With the car my dad ever ever so kindly did all the car-shopping for. Yay, Dad! You rock!!
+ It's green. I like green.
+ The mason, whom I've met a couple of times now as he's come over to try to match mortar, seems very, very "do the job right," at least about color-matching. I'd say he's as concerned about the color being right as Mr. Kluges, which is saying a LOT!
+ He's also a nice guy; he came today at about 1:30-2:00 and checked to see if the girls were napping before he did anything loud. What a sweetie!
+ Pop Fly by Justin Roberts is a very, very catchy CD, as evidenced by the fact that last night I was singing along to it in my dream. (Video here.)
- While prepping supper, I cut the bejeesus out of my thumb. No, not to the bone, not more than an inch long, and the bleeding (eventually) stopped, but PAINFUL! And a hassle! (Also, that'll teach me to cut potatoes without a cutting board.)
- Even with the mason being so kind as to not do loud grinding, it was enough noise after Penguin had slept long enough-ish, that she woke up anyway.
- Which was right when I was in the process of getting Pumpkin up for "quiet time."
- No simultaneous "in their rooms" time means the house is still cluttery... and the in-laws are coming.
- Mr. Kluges did freak me out the other night by thinking he heard that "fletfletflet" noise, but it + turned out to be nothing.
+ Blogging is a lot more fun than tidying, which - needs doing more.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And how was YOUR night?

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Last night, at about 2:18 am, Pumpkin woke up (and woke me up) with a bad dream. I went in, we chatted about it, and I turned her relaxing music on to help her sleep. I went back to bed and fell immediately back asleep.

At about 2:50 am, I woke up, hearing a strange noise, sort of a soft "fletfletfletfletflet." I groggily opened my nearly-legally-blind eyes to figure out what in the blazes it was. I mean, we've got no a/c in this old house, so we get some strange noises from outside on occasion.

This noise, however, was coming from inside the house.

Inside our room.

Flying around the ceiling, in fact.

If you guessed, "Oh! It's a bat!", you'd be concurring with my own sleepy brain, which (fairly quickly, considering the hour) put the "fletfletflet" together with the small, fast, dark (blurry) shadow looping around close to the ceiling and came up with the flying nocturnal mammal, too.

I quietly woke up Mr. Kluges, and after a whispered conference, he hopped out of bed to take the window fan out and close the door so the bat could find its way out of our room without getting into the rest of the house. However, once he did that, I no longer heard the "fletflet" or saw the looping shadow, with or without glasses.

"Hm, it must have gotten out into the hallway right before he got the door closed," was my reaction. So I tiptoed out of our room, listening carefully, and crept downstairs.

In the dining room was the small, dark, looping shadow and by-now-tell-tale noise. Not wanting it to get back upstairs where my children (and spouse) were sleeping, I crouched down (Why? Um, not that I was afraid of it getting in my hair, but I didn't want my not-really-so-tall, sort-of-looming form to send it flying out the other door, I guess.), pushed the French doors closed and took the adjustable screen out of the window right next to them, leaving a 2'x3' gaping hole to the outside.

(This was all sans-lights, by the way.)

Then I crawled over to the kitchen door and closed that one, too. Looking up at the ceiling, I was reassured that the bat was still in the dining room, so I crawled out the kitchen door, then went around to peek in the French doors.

The bat appeared to be looping around very close to the open window and the French doors. In fact, at one point, it zoomed so close to the French doors that I involuntarily flinched backwards.

When I looked again, I couldn't see the looping shadow anymore. Hoping it had made it out the window, but not wanting to open either door and possibly let it into the rest of the house, I left things as they were and tiptoed back up to bed...

...where the residual adrenaline and nervous energy made it a tad bit harder to fall back to sleep this time.

WW - Best Canned Olive Label Ever

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

You can find more Wordless Wednesday here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our First Friends-Over Birthday Party

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

We had 7 little girls in all (ok, one was a big sister, but she was like 8) at our house today for Pumpkin's birthday party and I. am. exhausted.

That's not even counting Penguin, because Mr. Kluges saw the descending horde of small dresses & pigtails and high-tailed it outta there with Penguin in wagon. Not that I blame him - he's just not used to that many kids around, and he was tasked with being in charge of Penguin anyway.

So the two non-neighbor moms* who came and I were hopping helping the girls out with the projects. Having taught, I knew to overplan a bit on what to do and if we didn't get to something, fine.

So we did sidewalk chalk and butterfly tattoos, moved inside and made windsocks, outside for the pinata, inside to open presents, then we strung necklaces and/or bracelets with glow-in-the-dark beads, then it was cake and homemade ice cream (made by Mr. Kluges), then there was dancing around outside with bubbles and these ribbon-ring thingies I made.

All that in two hours.

Good thing I overplanned a tish because we did do everything. Granted, there could have been finishing up of sidewalk drawings at the end, if I'd've needed to stretch things more, but it was good.

Except that I forgot to send the windsocks home with most of the girls. Oops.

Here are some of the few pix I managed to take during all the excitement. As you can see, we're having FUN!!!

* 3 of the kids who came are neighbors close enough that we can see their houses from ours - one set of parents was on a date, but the sitter brought that girl over; the other two were going over to the local elementary school to do some painting at the playground. That's why there weren't more parents around.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Pumpkin!

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Happy 4th Birthday, Pumpkin!

With much, much love to my big, strong, brave, frustrating, clever, hilarious, beautiful, red-headed, charming, first-born daughter.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Brief Thoughts I've Had This Week

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

  • Looking at our financial situation in terms of second car ownership, I can say with utter certainty we have spent a holy hell of a lot of money of this house already.
  • It's impossible to listen to Billie Holiday without drinking red wine... or singing along.
  • Penguin's going to be a coffee fanatic; she already likes to find my coffee scoop and lick it out.
  • It's a good thing I drink decaf.
  • Pumpkin's most favoritest thing in the world right now would probably be a pink and purple, ruffly, sparkly, bejewelled princess kitty... or unicorn... or butterfly. Or really, anything PINK.
  • I hate the one and a half nap stage. 'Cuz one isn't enough.
  • I think the combined total weight of the wasps, bees, and bats living in our eaves / soffits / wherever is very likely greater than the combined weight of the humans. Or at least so I fear.

WW - Our Dancing Princess

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

(Thanks, Gramma Pet, for the tutus!)

You can find more Wordless Wednesday here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Things I've Learned Today Re: School Commute

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

1. It takes 22 minutes to walk the 1 mile to Pumpkin's school pulling the wagon with the two girls.

2. What with possible increased traffic-to-work slowing down our street crossings, plus time to put on shoes, coats, etc., I should aim for leaving about half an hour before we need to be there.

3. It's a rather pleasant walk, that can take us past the library, in case Penguin and I want to stop in on our way home after dropping off Pumpkin the am's.*

4. Unless it's really pouring, with the wagon roof, rain coats on the girls, rain coat and rain pants on me, we shouldn't be TOO wet by the time we arrive.

5. It'll be a good way to get some guaranteed exercise - a mile to bring her to school, a mile back home, a mile to go to school to pick her up after her half-day, and a mile back home again. Should help me get off this not-quite-10-lbs.-lost plateau I've hit recently.**

6. Since we'll be getting home just before noon, I should have lunch prepped, plated, & ready to go immediately upon our return. Also, I'm hoping that the busier morning schedule might maybe possibly lead to a resumption of the afternoon nap, as opposed to just "quiet time" for the big girl.

7. Even considering #4 & #5, and especially considering, oh, say winter in Wisconsin, we still need to be moving forward on getting a second vehicle. ***

* Also, rather temptingly near the new local bakery, which, in case you were wondering, is not open on Mondays, saving me from about 500 unneeded but delicious calories today. Pumpkin did notice aforementioned store on her own and say, "Maybe we should get a yiddo snack at that bakery!" Then we got to have a discussion about why the baker needed a day off to spend with family, like Daddy does on the weekend.

**One contributing factor to this plateau is the fact that Penguin has learned how to, and enjoys, turning off the TV. I had been doing exercise videos, like this memorably retro-fashion one, in the mornings when she was up but before Pumpkin awoke... yeah, doesn't work anymore!

*** Fortunately, my dad's been doing some looking for us in MN. Thanks, Grampa Pharaoh!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cereal with a Spoon

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Some days I just can't believe how big (and capable) she's gotten...

Doesn't she just look like a pro with that spoon?

But the best part is drinking up the milk when you're done.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Weekend Away

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Off to MN for the second time in like 5 weeks within an hour or so, so don't be expecting any posts until we're back sometime on Monday. (That is, we're back Monday... posts might very well not be happening quite that quickly.) We'll be at a BIG family reunion for Mr. Kluges's extended family. We'll be in a local small town parade, there'll be a magician and games, much food and fun and visiting.

See you on our return!

P.S. Recipeeples, that means there'll be no CSA post on Friday. We'll be picking up our box on our way out of town anyway though!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Shrink-Wrapped Kitchen

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Dear Internet and all the people thereof,

Remember my kitchen ceiling? You know, the one that was looking like this? Because of the totally rusted through cast-iron waste pipe that was running through it? That started leaking as soon as we got home from our fun 4th of July weekend in MN?

Well, the plasterers came to fix it today.

The ceiling is looking good. They just have to come back tomorrow to do the second coat of plaster.

(See? No big gaping hole in the ceiling & part of the wall showing the replacement pipe!)

But the rest of my kitchen?

Is looking like this:

(Hmmm... don't think I'll be turning on those lights there... under the plastic...)

(The cereal is in those cupboards.
As are all the dishes and glasses.)

(I especially like this one.
They put the post-it with
our cell phone numbers
conveniently near the phone.
Oh, wait... the phone...)

Don't despair, O Internet.

They left me access to the frig. What else do I need?

Ms. Huis Herself

P.S. to my husband: Want to go out for supper tonight?

Friday, August 01, 2008

It's History.

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Big bad news in the town recently. The big plant, the one that's a block & a half away, the one that's the major employer in the village... announced on Wednesday that they're closing.

By the end of August.

And they've got no plans to sell the plant to any other company.

That's a LOT of people out of work and affected, plus property values, tax base (especially for the schools), etc.

Mr. Kluges talks more about it over here, and how the history of the House of 42 Doors is tied into the history of the plant, but to let you know just how integral this plant is to the city we live in, here is the town's logo.
You see those two chimneys? Yeah, those are the plant.