Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NaBloPoMo #30 - ...and...scene!

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Yay! Today's the last day of November & the last day of National Blog Posting Month! I want to give a big shout-out to anybody doing National Novel Writing Month, the big sister of NaBloPoMo. I hope you got your word count high enough, that any plot holes were plugged by random ninja attacks, and that you used some really big words you forgot you even knew.

In other news, remember yesterday when I was talking about being almost done with Christmas shopping? Well, as of this morning, we suddenly have a rather large item for which we must shop ASAP.

... a car.

Yup, Mr. Kluges was in a minor accident this morning on his way to work, but considering the age of the car, the mileage, and that he totally munched the front suspension, yeah, we're gonna be shopping rather than fixing.

It's gotta be dang soon, too, 'cuz the weather in December isn't usually conducive to us taking the bike & bike trailer to and from school.

*sigh* Well, at least everybody's fine.

Monday, November 29, 2010

NaBloPoMo #29 - Almost... there...

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Yay for Day #29! I'm almost done with NaBloPoMo for the... let me check the sidebar... 4th year in a row! Sure, I can't say I've said much of consequence, but I did say it every day (so far).

I'm also almost there in terms of my Christmas shopping, too. Mr. Kluges had a day of time in lieu from outages on the weekends, so he took it today. He does not enjoy Christmas shopping at all, so every year I do (most of) it. I don't mind too much, as long as he helps me come up with at least some ideas, especially for his side of the family. I figure it's a good swap, 'cuz he usually ends up doing the taxes every year. :)

So today, with Pumpkin in school, and Penguin & Mr. Kluges spending the day together, I took my list and away I went. I spent all day running here & there, but gosh darn it, I'm almost done. What's left can be done in bits and pieces, and even with Penguin along, if necessary. (I still have to do most of my weekly home blessing though, since I wasn't here to do it as usual today...)

I've not ever been much of one to have most of my Christmas shopping done before December (Wow, dang! I can't believe it myself!), except for last year. That's when we went back to MN for Thanksgiving & not Christmas, so I wanted as much done as possible so I could just drop off all of the presents for our extended families then & not have to worry about shipping stuff.

I've still got to write Christmas cards, and decorate, and wrap everything, and do the remaining shopping, but having most of the presents already purchased is huge. Now, if I can just keep up enough forward momentum, and not slack off 'cuz I think I'm practically done, I can spend December enjoying the Christmas preparations, not stressing over them.

I highly recommend it. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

NaBloPoMo #28 - Years

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

We get our local paper on Friday, Saturday & Sunday. In them, they have a feature called "Special Moments," which is where they have all the engagement, wedding & anniversary pictures and such.

I love that this feature usually includes some milestone anniversaries - 40s, 50s, 60s, etc. I think marriages are dang hard work, and that is it lovely to recognize couples who have stuck it out so many years together. They have, most likely, dealt with challenges like children, health issues, empty nest, job issues, money concerns, and a whole host of other stressors.

And yet these couples are still together. Now, I'm not saying that every marriage is going to be one for the ages. Sometimes there are truly insurmountable issues, and the marriage dissolves... but I really think and hope that those can be the minority.

But what I really, really love - what keeps me searching out this feature week after week, paper after paper - is when those milestone anniversary notices include pictures. When they include photos both from today as well as from when they got married.

I love comparing those two pictures. Seeing in in the tilt of the head or the smile on the face how it really is the same person, even though separated by years and life experience. Sometimes the hairstyle is virtually identical. Sometimes the glasses are only minorly updated. Heck, sometimes the hair is gone completely, or the chins are doubled, or the years have really taken their toll.

But still, so many times, the love that was there in the early photograph, the love that showed through in the pride the couple took in each other, in the joy of their wedding, in the way they angled their bodies toward each other, is still there in the later pictures. They tilt their heads just a bit toward each other, they share a similar expression, or stand just as close as they used to, back when they were young.

In honor of all those couples, and their pictures, I'd like to say, "Happy Belated 10th Anniversary" to my own sweetheart, and an additional "Congratulations" to both our sets of parents on their 40th anniversaries this year.

And if you're lucky enough to have somebody with whom you'd like to share a picture 10, 20, 30, 50 years down the road, think of this the next time you're feeling the hard work part of marriage, and give him or her an extra kiss tonight.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

NaBloPoMo #27 - Slacky McSlackerson

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

I know, I've been a little slacky this week with no real in-depth posts, but even with just the 4 of us here, Thanksgiving made things a little busier. And I'm afraid I'm taking it easy again today with another meme from Mugsy.

But maybe tomorrow I'll find the time to write a more thoughtful post... I'll try anyway!

What was the last thing you put in your mouth? New Glarus Stone Soup beer

How late did you stay up last night and why? Until midnight - we watched a movie, then I stayed up reading Anthony Huso's wonderful, dense, somewhat Lovecraftian The Last Page.

If you could move somewhere else, would you? It really depends where...and how long of a flight time it would be for the grandparents. :)

Have you ever been kissed under fireworks? I don't think so.

Do you believe ex’s can be friends? I believe it's possible, but usually quite difficult.

When was the last time you cried really hard? Last month sometime I'd say.

What items could you not go without during the day? Coffee, books, car keys...

Who was the last person you visited in the hospital? Syl

How do you feel about your life right now? Quite good!

If we were to look in your facebook inbox, what would we find? I'm not on facebook, though my belly dance troupe is, so I have seen how it works.

Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass? As long as they weren't testing for beer.

Has anyone ever called you perfect before? Does perfect klutz count? :) I think I'm around enough honest people that I don't think anyone ever has. :)

Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m.: who do you want it to be? Yeah, um, the sweepstakes people? Most likely it would be a bat trying to get out or a mouse trying to get in. *sigh*

Do you think too much or too little? Oh, definitely too much. I talk too much, too. *grin*

Do you believe in fairy tales? I believe there's a lot of stuff out there for which we don't have good explanations yet... so definitely be nice to any talking animals you should ever meet!

Have you ever licked the back of a CD to try to get it to work? 1) No. 2) Yuck. 3) I've WASHED the back of a CD (or DVD) to get fingerprints off to get it to work.

What’s the largest age difference between yourself and someone you’ve dated? A couple of years is all.

Have you ever been on a blind date? Not so much "blind dates" as "ill-advised" dates...

Do you have any friends that you’ve known for 10 years or more? Yes, and I count myself lucky to know them.

Have you ever had a crush on a teacher? Does Dr. Jones count? I'd study archeology from him any day!

What song do you want played at your funeral? You know, the other week at church we were singing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" and I was thinking I'd pick that one. Unless I can have a bagpiper playing "Amazing Grace."

Would you tell your parents if you were gay? Yes, I would.

What would your last meal be before getting executed? A lovely prime rib with au jus, tender baked potato with chives & sour cream & butter & salt, in-season corn on the cob, Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic-Brown Butter Sauce, caesar salad with garlicky croutons, and probably some French Silk pie and dark, rich coffee with cream for dessert.

Do you walk around the house naked? No, we have a lot of windows!

What do you do as soon as you walk in the house? Usually put my keys where they go, hang up my purse & coat, & check for phone messages.

Who is the person you can count on the most? My husband, followed closely by my wonderful family (original & in-law), and my fabulous friends.

What is your favorite holiday? I'm quite keen on Halloween.

Would you ever get plastic surgery? If I was in an accident, definitely. For my current appearance, well, no. I don't think the pain, $$$, & all would be worth it when I can just buy more Spanx. :)

Have you ever caught a fish? Yes, but only wee small ones.

What is the first thing you notice about people? If they look nice, friendly, intimidating, pissy, welcoming, etc.

What is the farthest you’ve been from home? New Zealand

How did you meet your spouse or significant other (or most recent one)? I met Mr. Kluges at college.

Where was the last place you drove (other than home/school/work)? We went out for supper tonight at Red Robin & I drove.

Friday, November 26, 2010

NaBloPoMo #26 - Busy busy busy!

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Whoa! I almost forgot about NaBloPoMo today! Busy busy all day with house & kids & Christmas stuff. Today I managed to
  • Take down all fall/Thanksgiving decorations on walls, windows, etc. & pack them up, along with the fall/Halloween books.
  • Brought tote of above fall stuff down to basement & put it away. :)
  • Mr. Kluges & I rearranged the living room 'cuz he felt like it & I was willing. :) We'll see if we like it enough to keep it - it's a little tighter, but the couch doesn't block the radiator anymore. Maybe we'll end up with different winter/summer arrangements.
  • Got Mr. Kluges to sit down & talk Xmas lists with me - what we're getting the girls, some ideas for what we might get for other people, ideas to share with our families for stuff we might like, etc. Not his favorite thing to do, but now it's done for this holiday season! :)
  • Got Mr. Kluges to look at the Xmas card possibilities I had done up on Shutterfly & we chose one & I ordered it straight away.
  • Did normal boring stuff like putting away a load of laundry, running some more, doing weekly change of sheets, normal meals/dishes, etc.
  • Worked with girls to (almost) finish their new weekly charts, which will be used to help them keep their rooms a bit tidier & for allowance!
  • Went through 2 totes of winter outerwear - granted, coats & snowpants are bulky, so there wasn't that much, but did have to have girls try on some stuff & do some sorting.
So, now I've just got to call my youngest brother & wish him a Happy Birthday (Happy Birthday, Uncle TP!), fold a load of laundry, & (if I'm good) do a half hour of exercise. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving yesterday & a relaxing (and/or productive!) day today!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

NaBloPoMo #25 - An incomplete list of gratitude

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Good food
Cranberry/orange relish
Good books
Relaxing days
Radiator heat
Comfy beds
Warm blankets on cold nights
Windows (with screens) that open in summers
Clean laundry
Routines that work for me/us
Rosemary potatoes
Treadmills & tvs
Cozy cardigans, especially red ones
Hot showers
Nice views
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Songs to sing along to
The delicious smells of pumpkin pie and turkey
Having the dishes done
Warm pjs put on early, a comfortable couch, & movies from the library

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WW - Time to start the holiday baking!

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NaBloPoMo #23 - You need to buy lamb ribs. Really.

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

So, you know we got that lamb, right? Well, I thawed some lamb ribs to do something with this weekend, but I ended up turning them over to Mr. Kluges AND OH MY GOODNESS DID HE MAKE THE MOST AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, DELICIOUS LAMB RIBS!!!!!

Recipe here at Recipeeps 4 Us
, but do yourself a favor, if you're a meat-eater, and consider seeking out some lamb ribs from your local butcher. YUM!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

NaBloPoMo #22 - Did I mention Mugsy's Saving My Biscuits Memes?

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

How could I not keep following the example of the intrepid Mugsy... here's the Meme of Odd Questions Part 3.

45. Favorite color? The cool colors - blue, green, purple, and the shades in-between

46. Have you ever slapped someone? I must confess I've lightly slapped the girls' fingers away from something when they were smaller & not leaving it alone, but I've never slapped somebody's face.

47. Is your hair curly? Yes, the amount rather dependent on the humidity level.

48. What was the last CD you bought? They Might Be Giants - Here Come the ABCs

49. Do looks matter? Yeah, they do, and more than they should.

50. Could you ever forgive a cheater? Are we talking in cards or in a relationship? I'm pretty doubtful I would.

51. Is your phone bill sky high? No. I use my landline and cell phone quite rarely. Thanks, internet & Skype!

52. Do you like your life right now? Mostly, yeah, I do.

53. Do you sleep with the TV on? No. We only have a tv in the living room & down by the treadmill anyway.

54. Can you handle the truth? I hope so. I'd rather have the truth anyway.

55. Do you have good vision? Um, where did you say the eye chart was? Isn't it usually an E at the top? You know, that big blur?

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people? Yeah, I dislike more than 3. (But none of YOU, of course!)

57. How often do you talk on the phone? Rarely - I average less than once a day.

58. The last person you held hands with? Penguin and Pumpkin after school

59. What are you wearing? Brown sweater, t-shirt, tan cords, tan socks

60. What is your favorite animal? I do like cats.

61. Where was your favorite picture taken at? Ireland

62. Can you hula hoop? Not well at all.

63. Do you have a job? I spend pretty much all my time taking care of my children/family and household. The overtime is crazy & the pay isn't all that, but I do sometimes get naptime. :)

64. What was the most recent thing you bought? Gas and milk

65. Have you ever crawled through a window? Yes, I crawled out of the living room window just last week. Have you read about our out-to-get-refinished front door at House of 42 Doors lately?

Thanks again, Mugsy, for finding such nice filler, uh, I mean, memes for me to copy! :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

NaBloPoMo #21 - Happy Birthday, Grandpa Pharaoh!

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

It's my dad's birthday today; Happy Birthday, Grandpa Pharaoh! So, in honor of this auspicious day, I bring you three silly dad stories.

One of my nieces, for quite some time, honestly thought his name WAS Pharaoh, like the Egyptian rulers and in the Moses story in the Bible. Apparently she was quite surprised when she learned she hadn't gotten it quite right. :) In her defense, he does have an unusual name. (And yeah, that's where I got the idea for his blog pseudonym.)

Speaking of his name's unusual qualities, the receptionists at his work are often amused by the mispronunciations and mistakes regarding his name... but I think the best one so far was when somebody called and asked for "Squirrel" HisLastName. Collect any acorns lately, Dad? *grin*

My girls have lately been much amused to hear about a tease he used to do to me when I was their age. My favorite comfort item was a stuffed animal...made out of sort of leopardy print fabric, but with roundish doggy sort of ears... anyway, it's name is Leopard Kitty. (Yes, some of you college friends might have seen it... I even have a poster-sized drawing of it done by Indy resident "M. Schmeeel" when I was his RA.) My dad used to say to me, "I can't say 'Leopard Kitty;' I can only say 'Leo-pardo Kitt-ay!'" To which my young self would reply, "But you CAN! You just said it!" And my dad would, of course, repeat his statement, followed by a more animated & impassioned rebuttal by my young self... and repeat and repeat and repeat. :) My girls LOVE that story, so don't be surprised if they ask you about it at Christmastime, Dad!

So, Happy Birthday, Dad, and best wishes for many, many more! Love from us all!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NaBloPoMo #20 - Sweaters and shirts and shorts, oh my!

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

My brain is currently fried after spending the entire morning sorting through bins and totes and boxes and drawers and shelves and garbage bags of clothing. We are very lucky to have two different neighbors who hand-me-down their daughters' clothes to us. An embarrassment of riches, actually. Sure, I need to buy specific colors/sizes/underwear/special events stuff sometimes, but, between hand-me-downs and lovely gifts from relatives, all in all, I go clothes shopping for the girls very rarely.

Anyway, one neighbor had just dropped off 3 garbage bags of stuff last weekend, which needed sorting through for now stuff, summer stuff, not-suitable-for-us stuff, and too-big stuff. Plus I had two big totes of "was too big last fall" stuff to sort through. AND I knew some of Pumpkin's stuff was getting a little short/small. In addition, the two boxes in her room where I put too-small-for-her-but-too-big-for-Penguin clothing as we discover it doesn't fit were overflowing.

So, hours and hours later, I've got all of the too big totes sorted out and put away or put back, the 3 garbage bags sorted, Pumpkin's closet resized and retidied and slightly rearranged, the in-between sized clothing sorted and boxed or put away, and a laundry basket of should-fit-now clothes ready to be put away in Penguin's room. Also, I've got a nice, healthy sense of "Yay, that job's done!", which happens so rarely since most of my tasks (laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc.) are so very on-going and never-ending. :)

But before I put away those clothes into Penguin's room, I'm first going to need to pull out all the a-little-too-small stuff so there's room for the new stuff, but that's gonna be happening a different day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

NaBloPoMo #19 - Chicken Cheddar Chowder

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

...or maybe Cheddar Chicken Chowder? I can never remember. Anyway, this super-yummy, suitable-for-leftover-turkey, healthy (it came from Cooking Light!), warm, rich, delicious soup was made this week by me and posted today over at Recipeeps 4 Us.

I highly recommend serving it with a side of cornbread.

Also, make it soon.

I mean, how could you not? :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NaBloPoMo #18 - The Mugsy Saves My Biscuits Meme, Part 2

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Oh Mugsy, how glad I am that you're also doing NaBloPoMo! Yet again, I blatantly steal your meme! Thanks!!!

Meme Of Many Odd Questions, Part Two

23. Do you rent movies often? Rarely. More often than I go to a movie theater though. However, I check out movies from the library every week... mostly kid ones though.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in? There's lots of sparkly stuff in my belly dancing bag in the closet of this room.

25. How many countries have you visited? Let's see... New Zealand, Ireland, Iceland, Germany, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico... any others the train went through... about 10.

26. Have you made a prank phone call? If I have, it was to somebody I know, not just a random number. But I'm admitting nothing.

27. Ever been on a train? Yes.

28. Brown or white eggs? The stores here usually carry white, but in Ireland it was mostly brown, so whatever.

29. Do you have a cell-phone? Yes. I think this might be an oldish meme.

30. Do you use Chap Stick? Yes. I have them stashed all over 'cuz I hate when I want one and don't have one. But it doesn't have to be "Chap Stick (tm)," there are lots I like.

31. Do you own a gun? Nope.

32. Can you use chop sticks? Yes.

33. Who are you going to be with tonight? My husband and the kids, who are hopefully asleep by now.

34. Are you too forgiving? I don't know - what have you done? :)

35. Ever been in love? Yes & still am.

36. What is your best friend(s) doing tomorrow (or the next soonest week day)? Not sure, also, why must it be a week day?

37. Ever have cream puffs? Yes & you're all welcome to send me some in the mail whenever you'd like.

38. Last time you cried? Oh, within the week. I'm a big sap re: books & movies.

39. What was the last question you asked? "[Mr. Kluges], where are those papers I asked you to photocopy for me?"

40. Favorite time of the year? The fall

41. Do you have any tattoos? No, I haven't yet found/decided upon anything I'd like put on my body permanently. And if I ever do, I'm still waiting (at least) a year to be sure. So, probably never.

42. Are you sarcastic? As my father might say, "Do bears go poopy in the forest?"

43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect? Yes. And again, this meme dates itself.

44. Ever walked into a wall? Yes. And doors, coffee tables, side tables, chairs, etc. Once, in Washington, D.C. with Mr. Kluges & my in-laws, I managed to walk into the post of a sign while strolling down the sidewalk. Yup, ever-graceful, that's me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WW - And then there was dancing

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NaBloPoMo #16 - Cuts of Lamb

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Over at Recipeeps 4 Us, our theme this month is The Other Red Meat(s), so if you're interested in learning a bit about cuts of lamb, pop on over there, 'cuz that's where I wrote today.

Otherwise, feel free to share some ideas for classic/cultural/important/significant movies that you think I should watch as a comment for yesterday's post, pretty please?

Monday, November 15, 2010

NaBloPoMo #15 - Life List Movie Help?

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Some of you might already follow Maggie from Mighty Girl. She's amazing! I love her verve and her sense of fun and her creativity.... She just seems really amazing. I wish I really knew her.

ANYWAY, she does this thing, and encourages other to do so as well, that's called a Life List. Basically, you put a bunch of stuff on it you'd really, really, really like to do. Things that would bring you joy. Things you've always dreamed about, but never dared to do. Wishes and hopes and happiness.

And then you do them.

No, seriously, even just putting them together into a list is fun. It gives them weight. It makes you take a look at what you enjoy, what you miss, what you dare to dream, things you always meant/mean to do.

I realized while making my life list (I'm only up to the 30s - I want to give myself room to put the things that I discover I want to do still! But yeah, running a 5K is/was one of them!), that I really want to get caught up on movies. I mean, you know how there will be references to famous books or movies or events in TV shows or ads or just everywhere? Well, there's a lot of movies out there that I feel like I should have seen, that everybody else has seen, but that I just, for whatever reason, haven't.

Sure, I've seen ET and Dead Poet's Society and Gone With the Wind and Wrath of Khan and Wizard of Oz and Star Wars and Thelma & Louise and Independence Day. Mr. Kluges made me sit through Planet of the Apes and 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining (ok, that one was good). I just watched Steel Magnolias for the first time this summer.

So, I'm adding to my life list to watch 10 cultural significant movies that I've missed out on. But I need your help.

What should I watch?

There are a few I'm already considering. It's approaching Christmas time, and I've seen neither Miracle on 34th Street nor It's a Wonderful Life. So, at least one of those is going on the list. But what else should I include? I'd LOVE to hear your recommendations for movies everybody should have seen so I can use them as I make my list.

Who knows - maybe I'll have to up it to 20. :) Thanks every so much!!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NaBloPo Mo #14 - Bits and Pieces

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Ok, first of all, in case you were wondering, Pumpkin did just fine with her first sleep-over. No calls, no need to pick her up in the night. They were up WAY late, and woke up way early, so she was a tish out of sorts all day, but her mood wasn't as bad as I'd feared. We'll see how much of lack of sleep carries into the week, but all in all, it looks like a nice successful first sleep-over!

Yesterday, Penguin figured out how to skip. Whenever she used to try, she'd just gallop. Now she can skip. Granted, she's a little solid on her landings, so it's not a light & graceful skipping yet, more a pounding, sort-of-hopping pace, but still, it's a step-hop-step-hop actual skip!

After many weeks, we've gotten our front door back. Mr. Kluges sent it out to be refinished. Turns out there was more work involved than it had seemed at the beginning. (Are you surprised? Not me.) Sure, it was the reason I talked Mr. Kluges into letting me get two of these benches for the back hallway, so that helped contain all the shoes and such, with which I'm well pleased, but it's really, really nice to have it back. I didn't let him put the storm window on the last dining room window so that I could open it to holler out at the girls, or receive packages from the mailman, or even climb in or out a time or two. The door is much more convenient. :)

For my advanced belly dance class, we're doing a sword dance this year. There's a solo part, which actually doesn't have as much tricky sword technique as the other parts, but it requires more DRAH-ma, and throwing oneself into the part. I got it. I mean, I wanted it, because I've been having no trouble with the technique for the parts we've learned so far, having done a bit of swordwork for several years now, while everybody else is beginning at it. I need to work on being more expressive, etc., so it's my growth area anyway. Still, I'm a bit nervous already.

Ok, I need to go and run tonight, so I'm off. Hope all you Minnesotan are doing ok shoveling yourselves out!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

NaBloPoMo #13 - Another first

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

My eldest child, my 6 year old, is at her first sleep-over party tonight.

It's only a few blocks away, and it's her best little friend from her first year of school, plus a couple other girls in their grade. We've done playdates & the parents seem really nice.

But it feels so weird to not have her here. Other than the one wedding Mr. Kluges and I attended this past summer, when we stayed overnight at a hotel, and the girls stayed with my parents, he or I has always been there at night.

She was so excited to go! She and I, just the two of us, ran out today to get the birthday girl's present and to buy a sleeping bag. (Big stuff, that new sleeping bag! I think we might be getting one for Penguin for Xmas 'cuz she thinks it's pretty awesome, too.)

We talked about how it would go, what she could expect, what to do if she had to go to the bathroom in the night, what if she didn't like what was for supper, if they watched a movie she thought was scary (she's got such an imagination that she gets so scared by some of those kid movies - she won't watch Little Mermaid 'cuz of Ursula or Cinderella 'cuz of the mean stepmother).

She's got her new sleeping bag and her familiar pillow. Most importantly, she's got her special blankie and her current favorite stuffed doll. (Big thanks to Grandpa Pharaoh and Grandma Pet for mailing them back to us after Pumpkin left them in your car last weekend!) She's got a book and a flashlight that can glow.

She'll be fine.

And if she's not, they'll call and she'll come back home, and that'll be fine, too.

But there it goes again - another little new thing, a first-time thing, a growing-up thing...

...when did she get so big?

Friday, November 12, 2010

NaBloPoMo #12 - Belated Vets' Day Wishes

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Yesterday, Pumpkin's 1st grade teacher caught after school because she wanted to share a conversation they'd had earlier that day. Here's roughly what she told me.

I told the kids today was a very special day and asked them if anybody knew what day it was.
"Thursday!!!!" they all shouted.
"Well, yes, it IS Thursday, and Thursday is a good day, but I was thinking of something else because today is a special day. Does anybody know what special day it is?"
[Pumpkin] raised her hand, and when I called on her, she replied very seriously, "Today is Veterinarians' Day."
So, Belated "Vets'" Day thoughts to all those who have served or are serving our country, as well as their families. We appreciate you veterans even more than we appreciate our cat-and-dog-and-large-animal-doctors!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NaBloPoMo #11 - Future Aspirations

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Penguin loves to help us cook. Stirring, measuring (well, pouring in what we've measured), scooping - it's all fun and good. I remember how much Pumpkin loved to help me make bread when we were in Ireland & Penguin loves baking just as much.

Today we opted to make some cookies.

Me: Ok, now it's time to add the eggs.

Penguin: We need two eggs, right, Mommy?

M: We do use two eggs for our chocolate chip cookies, don't we? But is a recipe for different cookies and it needs 4 eggs.

(slightly later)

Me: Ok, time for the vanilla. We need two teaspoons of vanilla. (measuring & adding them)

Penguin: Oh! We usually need just 1 banilla for cookies.

M: That's right. Boy, you really know a lot about cooking already. Maybe you'll be a chef or a baker when you grow up.

P: Yeah, I'm donna be a cooker when I growed up!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WW - Me, giant! You, itty bitty lamb chop! NOM NOM NOM

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

(Well, "NOM NOM NOM" after I cooked it, anyway.)
Cross-posted over to Recipeeps 4 Us.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

NaBloPoMo #9 - Shepherd's Pie

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

...and it's found over at Recipeeps 4 Us. This is one of those 'mental recipes' where I don't have any exact measurements, so every time it's just a little different variation on delicious. :)

Monday, November 08, 2010

NaBloPoMo #8 - Changing seasons, changing sheets

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

As you all probably know by now, we don't have air conditioning. Old house + radiator heat = no ductwork to run air through. Now we COULD do window units for the bedrooms, but it's not been so bad in the three (is it 3 already?!) summers we've lived here that we're willing to do so.

Also, as you know if you read my husband's blog, House of 42 Doors, we've not really got any insulation. Which means heating this behemoth is a bit pricey. So we tend to have the thermometer set pretty cool in the winter, and even cooler at night. Which means we pile on the blankets.

As I changed the sheets last Thursday*, I got to be thinking about how much our bedding has to change to reflect the seasons.

First you've got summer, which is regular sheets with the lightest weight bedspreads, plus a folded up fleece- or other light-weight blanket at the foot.

It gets a little colder & the bedspreads get swapped out for comforters, or the duvet cover gets the duvet put back in.

Currently, the regular sheets have been switched out for flannel. Yay, flannel! Also, that folded-up blanket is usually spread on the bed now, too.

Later, we'll add an extra duvet/comforter on to each bed. Yay for layers & also for goose down!

And on really cold nights, we microwave our bed buddies or the girls' "warm bear" and "warm lamb" to take the first chill-off.

Yeah, not everybody's lucky enough to live in a house where you so completely have to change out your bedding for each season! :)

*I know it was Thursdays 'cuz I always change the sheets on Thursday. That way my brain doesn't have to remember when I last changed the sheets, 'cuz it's always the same. *grin*

Sunday, November 07, 2010

NaBloPoMo #7 - The Save My Biscuits Meme

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

You know what I like? I like doing NaBloPoMo while friends of mine are, too, so I can steal, uh, "borrow" their memes. :)*

1. First thing you wash in the shower? My face.

2. What color is your favorite hoodie? Black.

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again? Yes, and I plan to repeatedly, since it's (not unexpectedly) my husband.

4. Do you plan outfits? The night before. Thanks, Flylady.

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now? A bit tired, also like I need to get going on my before bed tasks, plus guilty in that I'm trying to figure out way to avoid running tonight, but thankful Mugsy posted a meme. :)

6. What's the closest thing to you that's red? A pencil.

7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having? Something about being under a deadline, and there were shoes, but they didn't fit, but they needed to fit, but they didn't.

8. Did you meet anybody new today? Um, the waitress at Perkins?

9. What are you craving right now? Sleep...chocolate...beer... the usual. :)

10. Do you floss? Occasionally, but not as often as I should.

11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage? Cole slaw & our CSA.

12. Are you emotional? I certainly can be!

13. Have you ever counted to 1,000? Nope, no reason to do so.

14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it? Yes, and yes.

15. Do you like your hair? Most of the time actually.

16. Do you like yourself? Mostly, and most of the time, though I'm certainly aware I've got more than a few faults!

17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush? Depends on the menu? ;)

18. What are you listening to right now? The hum of the computer fan.

19. Are your parents strict? I thought so as a kid, but I think their granddaughters might get away with a bit more than we did!

20. Would you go sky diving? I'd LOVE to - it's on my Life List.

21. Do you like cottage cheese? You know, I never used to, until college. Now I get occasional cravings for it.

22. Have you ever met a celebrity? Not yet, but I'd love to meet my favorite apiarist, who happens to write some novels. :)

*Thanks, sweetie! You're awesome. Also, be careful & get some sleep. Also, also, give that little baby of yours an extra smoochie from me, ok?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

NaBloPoMo #6 - Delicious Dreams....

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

No, not Nathan, though that woulda been nice...



Oh, right, back on topic!

As I mentioned yesterday, because my folks are here, Mr. Kluges and I got to both go to his work's twice annual book sale. Good fun, we need more bookcases, and a little bit of Christmas shopping got done.

On our way home we passed this shop.

And you know, it's important to support your local merchant... especially when they sell delicious chocolate!

After we chose (a lot of) chocolates (What? We needed to get three of everything so that each of the six of us could try each one!), we saw an intriguing new product they have/do.

YUM!!!! There's a huge list of possible mix-ins - crunchy things like pretzels & rice crispies, dried fruits like craisins, apricots, & goji berries, seeds & nuts like pistachios & cashews, sweets like sprinkles, marshmallows & pop rocks (?!) & spices like cinnamon or coffee.

Sure, they've got a list of recipe ideas like toffee, almond & sea salt (the almond toffee), rice crispies & marshmallow (rice crispy treat), cayenne pepper & vietnamese cinnamon (slow burn), and macadamia, pineapple & toasted coconut (toasted Hawaiian).

And double-super-cool? They make them up right there in front of you while you watch! We're totally going back with the girls to do this someday!

But I want to know - what do YOU think would make a good combination? See here if you want to know what they've got available or let me know what your imagination comes up with!

Friday, November 05, 2010

NaBloPoMo #5 - 12 Good Things

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

I've been being annoyed by small things today. I'd rather not be, therefore, let's focus on the positive!

A Dozen Things Which Have Gladdened Me Today
  1. The new small gourmet grocer guy in the city center where Penguin has class on Friday. I bought some lovely gouda, applewood-smoked bleu cheese, and Carr Valley Mobay today. Yum!
  2. The excellent salad bar at our local Festival Foods - it made lunch easy.
  3. The way Penguin says, "hossibility" instead of "hospital." It's such a funny word match-up/mix-up.
  4. (Finally) cleaning out the vegetable drawers of the frig. And it didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would.
  5. My parents are coming for the weekend...
  6. ...which means Date Night!
  7. The (not always intentionally) funny things Pumpkin tells us about her days as a 1st grader.
  8. Yummy, readily available craft beers, like the New Glarus and New Belgium ones I picked up today.
  9. That my husband will & does help around the house as more than just a handyman.
  10. The fact that I had already-made homemade noodles in the freezer for my off-the-cuff homemade chicken noodle soup (see also, cleaning out the frig! *grin*)
  11. Penguin took a late nap today, which means she can stay up late enough to see her grandparents when they arrive.
  12. Tomorrow is Mr. Kluges's book sale for work! And even though it's his turn to go, since my folks are here & can watch the girls, I can go, too!
Ok, I feel better now, my NaBloPoMo post is done, and I'm off to continue doing a bit of tidying up!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

NaBloPoMo #4 - In which I run a 5K, again.

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

WAY back in January, I resolved to run a 5K this year. Several of my friends & some family members have run 5Ks and/or 10Ks and/or half-marathons and/or marathons (scary impressive, those ones!). I figured, "hey, exercise for exercise's sake can get boring, so maybe if I've got a goal - a published goal, at that - AND a deadlines (my town's annual festival's 5K), well, then I'll do it!"

And so I did. See! Many thanks to the insight & support & encouragement from y'all, btw with that! Also, yay for the Couch-to-5K program!

Then, as I kind of expected I would, I started slacking off. I was running usually twice a week still, but not three times like I had been. Sure, with dance class (oh yeah, remind me to tell you about my extra class!) I was still getting in three good sessions of exercise a week, but I had been doing more.

Solution? Another 5K. I wasn't willing to preregister way in advance though - I'd done my 2010-resolved 5K already, so I wanted to see what the weather would hold before I committed.

But that bright, sunny, chilly Saturday morning, October 30th, found me up early and on the starting line (ok, back in the middle of the pack that is) for the local Y's annual 5K.

Looking like this... except with more people & pavement and fewer leaves.

Yes, there is a jingly coin scarf under that racing number. Also, leggings! A big shout out to Nectarine for the headband - I HATE having my hair in my face when I ran, so her stretchy sparkly headband worked GREAT for functionality & prettiness. :)

Hey, I figured anything I could do to make it more fun was good. Sure, I didn't win (the race OR the costume contest - somebody came as a box of popcorn, with white bath puffs as the giant popcorns attached to her painted cardboard box costume... but I dunno if she actually ran in hers) but I had fun...

...and I beat my old time by more than a minute! Go, me!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

NaBloPoMo #2 - The Other Red Meat(s)

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Ok, in case you don't know, I also sometimes write stuff over at our let's-share-yummy-recipes-together blog over at Recipeeps 4 Us. Since it's November, we're starting a new theme over there - The Other Red Meat(s). So you're welcome to pop over there and check it out, but I wanted to mention it here so y'all didn't think I forgot about today. :)

(And yes, I know this isn't a substantial, newsy post either, but I gotta come up with a lot of stuff to get us all the way through November! :) )

Monday, November 01, 2010

NaBloPoMo #1 - It can't be that time again?!

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Ok, let's get the obligatory "It's been forever since I've actually posted; I'm so sorry." bit out of the way. You know - life just happens. And then I get out of the habit of posting and/or finding the time to post and the longer I wait, the harder it is to actually write.

But here we are in November, which is a good month to begin again, since it's National Blog Posting Month... along with its more challenging older sibling, National Novel Writing Month. (By the way, hats off to those of you doing NaNoWriMo this November - maybe someday I'll be brave enough to join you.)

This is my 4th year doing NaBloPoMo (I had to go count my badges over in the bottom of the right side bar to check!) & here's hoping I make it. Now, let's count this drivel as day #1 & I can go back to taking down Halloween window clings in between Dancing with the Stars performances. :)

(Also, if there's anything you want to hear about this month, do pretty please leave a comment? 'Cuz you know there will be a day or two (or three or a dozen...) when I'll sit down here all "Argh! Blank page!")