Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WW - Reflection at the Farm

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

You can find more Wordless Wednesday here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Day at the Farm

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Our CSA farm had a potluck picnic day on Sunday. Even though it's an hour away, I convinced Mr. Kluges it would be a good idea to go - meet the farmers, see the farm, let the girls see more about where that box of vegetables comes from every week.

It was so worth the drive. Especially since both girls (BOTH girls!) fell asleep almost right away in the car on the way there. Which meant they were both rested and cheerful and great while we were there... plus the ride was so nice and quiet!

It's just a small farm/very very large garden. They've only been doing CSA for 3 years, but have grown each year. It's a couple about our age or so with their three kids (5, 7 & 9). The dad works full-time outside the home, so it's mostly the mom and kids, plus some occasional help. They do things without chemicals, but with cover crops between some rows, so you might notice the pictures look a little weedy.

It was so neat to see the salad mix growing all mixed-up in the rows. They had so many tomato plants going! We're going to be swamped with tomatoes when our 6 plants (2 cherry) start producing, too! Guess I'd better get out the books/recipes Gramma Yori gave me about canning!

Penguin LOVED the raspberries that we picked while on the tour. Even though she'd make a funny sour face with each bite, she kept asking signing "more" and saying, "Mmmm."

Pumpkin thought it was great, too. She got to pet a chicken, swing, feed the chickens, ride on the back of a golf cart, have a picnic, and play with other kids in a sandbox.

I know it was a good day, because we weren't five minutes down the road on the way home when Pumpkin said,
"Let's go to the farm EVERY DAY!"

Friday, July 25, 2008

Some random Friday thoughts

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

After mowing the lawn this afternoon (pre-forecasted-rain), the nicest things I can say about it are that it is large... and biodiverse.

Penguin is going through an "I don't NEED to nap" phase. Which is utterly, utterly wrong.

Her hair is now long enough to do one of those silly-looking straight-up ponytails in the front. Which looks hilarious, but she doesn't take it out like she does clips and it keeps her hair out of her eyes.

Pumpkin loves science videos. A lot. And it's fun when she talks to us about them and uses terms like "Archaeopteryx." (FYI, I just asked her, "Hey, hon, what's the name of that dinosaur bird?" "Um, Ark-ee-op-tricks." Smartie! Yay!)

She's also going through a rather whiny phase. That's not so "yay!"

Mr. Kluges is on notice that he is NOT ALLOWED to peel paint in any more rooms until he finishes doing it in the entryway and the bathroom. Which means LEAVE THE DANG GUEST ROOM ALONE! I don't care if it does come off easily in nice long pieces - LEAVE IT ALONE!

The baby Cooper's hawks are now big enough that they're learning how to hunt for themselves. We've seen two large ones (presumably the parents) and two smaller ones (presumably the young) in the neighbor's tree. There has also been a lot more calling, more droppings, and more feathers around.

We were lucky enough to get two packages in the mail this week! Thanks to both of you senders!

I can finally hang up clothes outside again. We've got a female mulberry tree in the side yard that fruited recently. Even though it wasn't right over the clothesline, it was near enough that the birds liked to eat some mulberries, and then sit in the oak tree above the clothesline and POOP! @#$%^@%@# So I declared a moratorium on eco-friendly clothes-drying and used the dryer for a while. I'm glad to be able to get back outside with them again.

Happy early birthday wishes to my mom! Love ya, Mom!!!!

Also good... that it's the weekend. Yay, weekend! I hope you enjoy yours, too!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WW - Peeping Tom

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

You can find more Wordless Wednesday here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Weekend: Good Stuff

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

  • fireworks on Friday night. If we wouldn't have had so many trees in the backyard, we could have watched from our back balcony.
  • Pumpkin getting to make paper. Here she is, with Daddy, using a shop-vac to get some excess water out.
  • beautiful weather both days (if a tad bit hot)
  • listening to a band in the food tent (The Happy Schnapps) who sang songs like this one with the chorus (as best I remember... ) "This ain't my bathroom. I can't sleep here tonight. It's got a padded seat. The toilet paper's on the left; it should be on the right. I'm in the dark. I've got to find the light. This ain't my bathroom; I can't sleep here tonight." and another one that went "The Bears still suck. The Bears still suck. The Bears still suck. The Bears still suck." You'll note they have their own bartender on the stage.
  • Three words: triple chocolate doughnut
  • This little plastic car in the kids' area was Penguin's absolute favorite, possibly because she could (mostly) get in and out of it on her own.
  • the dream I had about Indiana Jones. (Hey, I didn't say they were ALL festival-related.)
  • our first balloon drop
  • Pumpkin getting "levitated" by a magician
  • Racing up the steep hill with the strollers. 'Course, I think the girls enjoyed that one more than Mr. Kluges and I did.
  • being close enough to walk to and from the festival, which helped to work off the fair foods we enjoyed
  • not having to make lunch Saturday or Sunday since we ate there
  • The petting zoo was a big hit with the kids. We even had to go back the second day.
All in all, a very enjoyable weekend. However, I am glad that it'll be a whole 'nother year before it comes around again. Fun, but I couldn't do it every weekend.

Friday, July 18, 2008

And Santa brings YOU presents...

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Thursday, July 17, 2008

An afternoon at the beach

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Walking 25 minutes to the swimming area + pulling the wagon with both girls the whole time + carrying the bag of towels & other "essentials" + playing at the beach with them for more than an hour + walking back with wagon and bag (& girls) = justification for the triple chocolate filled donut we picked up at the bakery on our way home, right?

If it's close, does the fact that it was a new local bakery & so I was supporting local business help at all?


Seriously, this was the first time we'd been to this swimming area and it was awesome. When we'd signed up for the local library's summer reading program, we got a certificate to attend the swimming area for free on a particular day as a celebration of it. The original day was rained out, but today was the rescheduled one. I'd thought about going before, but "free" and "library-related" put it into the "oh, why the heck not today?" category. So we went.

Long walk; longer that I'd thought it would be because it's at the completely opposite end of the park from where we come in. Plus, with both girls in the wagon, I ended up carrying the bag of stuff, most of which... ok, I'm an over-packer... 30% of which we used.

The swimming area itself is basically a beach, with plenty of space, plus it's fenced-in, has bathrooms, changing rooms, and a concession stand, etc. and a roped-off separate diving area with quite a few more lifeguards than I'd expected. Being a beach, it was GREAT for Penguin - no worries about her tumbling onto cement or tile, plus the nice gradual slope into the water. Pumpkin found some other kids with beach toys and settled herself right in; Penguin loved walking into the water with me. Good fun was had by all.

The weather was a bit cloudy today with some threats of bad weather later in the day but it was still fairly busy. I'd guess that on a sunny day there'd hardly be room to move.

On the way there, we walked past where they're setting up for a festival this weekend; on the slightly shorter way back we strolled past the aforementioned bakery.


I'd call it that aspect of it a wash, wouldn't you?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WW - You're never too young for chores, right?

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

You can find more Wordless Wednesday here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Hey, guess what? After visiting Cool Mom Picks nearly every day for weeks and weeks and weeks, and entering their contests quite regularly, I FINALLY WON SOMETHING! Hooray!

So you should go check out their site, too, because they've got cool stuff, picked by moms, (you know, hence the name).

And also, I'd recommend their near-daily contests, 'cuz you know, it could happen to you, too.

I feel so lucky; maybe I'll buy a lottery ticket today... :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Girls' Adventure Weekend by the Numbers

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

forever: the time our drive seemed to take
20 minutes, max: the amount of time we were at Grampa Jem & Gramma Yori's house before Penguin managed to pee on the carpet
10 under 10: the children of Mr. Kluges, his 3 high school friends, and us spouses who all got together for the first time in years, thanks to Nectarine aka Noodle aka Turtle.

50%: the percentage of us women at Girls' Adventure Weekend, who managed to get up on water skis
100%: the percentage who tried
about 4: average number of tries per person
12: ounces of Brie drizzled with brandy, wrapped in foil, melted at the edge of the fire, and consumed with crackers. Yum!
50-75 :approximate number of fireworks lit by Mr. Kluges and/or Grampa Jem and/or Uncle T.

5: number of spectacular falls I took while waterskiing, either because the water was rough outside of the wake or when I tried to kick off one ski and keep going.
1: number of spectacular bruises I still have after apparently landing on a ski during a fall.
12:21 am: when I called Mr. Kluges to come pick me up from hanging out at the campsite with the other 3 Adventurous Women - Allknowingjen, Pusher & Suzuri. It was fabulous.

about an hour: amount of time we got to visit with my brothers, SIL, and parents while admiring the new kitchen at my youngest brother's house
less than one: months of age of Sam Brody, new baby of The Sexy Blonde & Jaysan, for whom Puck and Pusher hosted a shower that afternoon
1: number of times I rolled doubles while playing the dice game there
6: songs I played or sang with Rock Band at Puck & Pusher's
1: how many it took to get me addicted

1: number of super cool necklaces Suzuri MADE over the weekend, and gave to me, that I forgot safely in a glass tray at my parents' house. *sigh* I'd wanted to post a picture, but I guess it'll have to wait.
2: girls napping at the same time for about an hour of the 6 hour drive.
70%: approximate percentage of the drive in which songs from Rock Band were running through my head.

6:30 - 7:00am: when Penguin woke up every single day, no matter how late she went to bed.
6: meals cooked on a grill consumed throughout the weekend - chicken, burgers, brats, pizza buns, steak, chicken-spinach brats.
878 = 353 + (30x2) + (10x2) + 67 + 17 + 61 + 300: miles from home to the in-laws to the high school friends' gathering and back to the in-laws to the campsite and back to the in-laws to my youngest brother's to Puck & Pusher's to my parents to home.
1413: the same number converted to kilometers.
only 1: surprisingly, the number of days it took me to catch up on the laundry from the trip.
4 and counting: days until the rest of the travel gear is all put away. I suppose I'd better get back to it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The plumbing works...

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

...but this is what my kitchen ceiling still looks like.

"One step at a time," huh? Or is that "one step forward; two steps back?"

Edited to add: Mr. Kluges writes about it more, with a picture of the old pipe, over at House of 42 Doors.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

  • My knives are on the mantle.
  • My utensils are on the buffet.
  • My microwave is on the dining room table.
  • The glass globe for our kitchen light fixture is here on the computer desk.
  • Penguin had a bath last night in the kitchen sink.
  • Pumpkin had her bath last night in the laundry sink.
  • I head down to the basement to use the toilet.
  • My toothbrush is in the kitchen.
  • My shower is a washcloth-sink affair in the basement.

I sure hope the plumber can get everything fixed tomorrow.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Not the homecoming for which I was hoping.

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Right, so.

We've been home from a fabulous, fun- and friend- and family-filled weekend for all of an hour.

Busy unpacking and sorting, girls playing, Penguin has a snack, etc.

The bathroom gets used a couple of times....

...and suddenly there is the pitter-patter of rain coming from the kitchen, which directly below the bathroom.


Mr. Kluges is calling the home warranty people as I type.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

This is my family. *sigh*

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

In case you had any doubts about the relative sanity of the Kluges/Huis household, you may put them to rest. All of the following happened today.

I was checking weather on the computer, looked over, and Penguin was standing on top of the Sit-n-Spin. As in, both little baby feet planted firmly on top of the topmost part, holding on to a toy shelf/rack right next to it. I opted to get her down rather than find the camera and document the moment. I fear we may have a climber in this one.

Pumpkin was running around in circles in the living room, chanting, "I am the bad one in your dreams. I am the bad one in your dreams."

I told Mr. Kluges I was running down to the basement to check the laundry, and that I'd be back up "in two ticks."
Mr. Kluges, smartie pants: Wood or deer?
MHH, cleverly, I thought: Lyme-bearing!
Mr. Kluges, who wins this round: Mmmm! Those are the best for margaritas!

And there's a slice of life here at the House of 42 Doors to tide you over while we enjoy a weekend away at Grampa Jem & Gramma Yori's at the lake. Where, in fact, we'll be celebrating the I-don't-know-what-number annual Girls' Adventure Weekend with some water-skiing with some adventurous women friends! Hooray! Also, happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans!

WW - Waving at the boats, July 4, 2007

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

You can find more Wordless Wednesday here.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Her first intended haircut

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Last night I did it.

For the first time ever, I sat my not-so-little-anymore girl down on a chair in the kitchen...

...and took out a scissors and trimmed her long, gorgeous hair.

Being rather, rather cautious, and not wanting this first ever haircut to be too traumatic for her (or me), I did NOT do bangs (fringe), but merely took about an inch of scraggly split ends off the back.

I'm hoping that helps with some of the snarles and tangles that have been getting increasingly worse. Plus it evened out a bit of the scraggliness.

But it's still nice and long! In fact, when combed out damp, like I did last night before commencing trimming, it very nearly reaches the seat of her chair when she's sitting down!

And technically, it's not quite the first time her hair has ever been cut, but I don't think having a tiny bit cut and shaved off for stitches after falling down the stairs should be the only time her hair has ever been cut before she goes off to school, you know?