Frog Collectibles & Other Such Nonsense: 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008

Frog Collectibles & Other Such Nonsense

A look at my frog collectibles as I get them and my wacky world in the meantime.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The Frog Wrangler obviously isn't going to make it until midnight! To tell you the truth I probably won't either. Being in the central time zone I get to watch the ball drop in NYC at 11 pm - that's good enough for me - LOL.

The weather here has taken a nasty turn in the last couple of hours. The wind has whipped up pretty good and a bit of rain has started falling. It's supposed to turn to snow overnight - brrr.....

The Frog Wrangler and I want to wish everyone a very safe and happy new year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Frog of the Day

After a couple days of feeling relatively good and pain free, the sacroiliitis pain came back with a vengeance this morning. The Frog Wrangler, who wasn't feeling too good last night herself, is keeping a watchful eye on me. I know she senses when I'm not feeling well - she comes over and leans against me and put her head in my lap as if to say it will be ok. Hopefully so.

The sun is out today and it is rather warm. It's a nice reprieve from all the rain. Of course they're calling for snow the next couple of days. Thankfully we didn't get the last couple snow storms here at all - just rain. The Sunday paper came a little late but all the papers seem to be doing last week and this week is rehash stories from this past year. And coupons are far and few between.

Update on the second amaryllis bulb - it's sending up leaves but no flower stalk. I'm glad the bulb is viable, but it looks like it won't flower this year.

This frog item is from Norfolk Lavender and is a small wooden box filled with Citrus Frog Bath Oil Pearl Drops. This came out of the Old Durham Road Catalog. I received this for Christmas 2007. Time for a relaxing bath.....

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
Yeah, I know it's Saturday - I'm a day late and the Frog Wrangler reminded me this morning. This photo is not the best but she is definitely not happy with me coming at her with a camera when she's got one of her favorite treats in her mouth. She always carries this type of treat this way - it is too funny! It seems like her jaw would get tired - she can spend about an hour finding the right place to hide it.

She's had a pretty good week. Tired of the rain and going out and getting muddy - well that part I think she likes, it's the clean-up when she walks through the door that I think she's getting tired of. The Wrangler has asserted her displeasure over the location of the freezer - i.e. that it took her favorite sleeping spot. She has taken to wedging herself between the freezer and the television to take a nap. It's nothing a treat won't cure.....

Friday, December 28, 2007

New Toaster

Yesterday the UPS guy shows up with a package - it was a new toaster. My last toaster caught fire one morning while making toast. Boy, toasters have come a long way in the last 20 years - that's when I bought the last one. This is a Black and Decker 2 slice toaster - when did they branch out from the tools? The slots are really wide and will accommodate a bagel. So when I went to make toast this morning to try it out the bread was flopping all over in the slot. I thought Good Lord this will never do. But when I pushed the lever down the slot sides slide in and hold the bread in place - how clever! It even has an electronic section - when you put a bagel in you hit the bagel button and it only toasts the inside of the bagel while warming the outside. All in all - a great toaster! And many thanks to AB, who is single handedly bringing me into the 21st century of kitchen gadgetry.

Frog of the Day

Walmart - Frog Slippers
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
Another dreary day in Tidy Town. Even the frogs here at Frog Central are saying enough of the rain already! It's supposed to rain all day today. I really wish that it had been spaced out all through the summer. Oh well, it's a good day to stay in, put on your slippers and watch some television...

This frog item is from Walmart and is a pair of Frog Slippers. The material is real soft and very comfortable. I got these for Christmas 2007 - a great frog addition to the collection.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Frog of the Day

Gummy Mistletoads
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
It's been awhile since we've had a Frog of the Day! I hope everyone had a good Christmas. The Frog Wrangler and I spent a quiet day here at Frog Central. I had a nice meal of ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and glazed apples. Delicious! I have enough leftovers for a week! At one point during the day I had to watch The Christmas Story movie - one of my favorites. And of course presents. Quite a few frogs - thanks mom! - don't forget to check out her Avon link in the right hand column.

This cute little frog item is a bag of gummy frogs labeled Mistletoads! Bitterman Family Confections make the gummy frogs - the package was sold by Rontina's Inc. A great way to start off the Christmas frogs I received this year - 2007.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

The Frog Wrangler and I want to take a moment to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Good news - the second amaryllis bulb I planted has started sprouting leaves. I don't know if it will flower or not, but I was glad to see the bulb wasn't a complete dud. I planted it the same time I planted the other bulb and that one is just beautiful with it's blossoms (see previous post).

I've heard from everyone I gave fruitcake to - rave reviews all around. I've pulled mine from cold storage and ready to slice it this evening and enjoy with some eggnog.

Enjoy the day tomorrow and we'll see you back here on the day after.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Amaryllis in Full Bloom
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
Thought I would throw in a picture of my Amaryllis plant in full bloom. It is just beautiful and I'm so happy with it. The blooms last about a week so it should still be in full bloom for Christmas.

The weather today is full of anticipation. The skies have been overcast all day - waiting for the snow to fall. I can tell you something is indeed brewing because every joint in my body has been screaming all day. The pain medication the doctor prescribed did little to dull it. Be it as it may, I still had to go out to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription and then swing by the grocery store to pick up some needed supplies for Christmas dinner. I'm glad I did, a number of things I bought the last one! And I have to tell you about how well I did with coupons. They may be a pain in the behind, but today I did especially well. My bill before coupons was just a shade over $33. I saved $25.15 with coupons. Four plastic bags full of groceries for eight dollars. On average I save 20 percent of the total, but days like today make me especially happy that I take the time to clip and sort.

Hope everyone has a good rest of the weekend. The Frog Wrangler and I are going to go take a little nap.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The Frog Wrangler has had a mixed week. She had a couple bad days but after some baby aspirins, she bounced back. I took this picture this last week when it was snowing. She came in with her face covered. Of course by the time I got the camera it had all but melted. A couple flakes are still visible. The weatherman is calling for more snow this weekend. The Wrangler will be so happy!

All three blossoms are now open on the amaryllis plant. It looks beautiful. I received a couple Christmas packages this week. The first was a box from AB, who sent me a set of six Mrs. Prindable's apples - yummy! Another box arrived the next day from mom, but I'm waiting till Christmas day to open it.

Tomorrow I have to go to the grocery store to do the last shopping before Christmas dinner. I've decided on a ham and I'm hoping to have some green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and glazed apples.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Amaryllis Blossom

Amaryllis Blossom
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The first of three blossoms has opened! A beautiful velvet red. This bloom looks to be the largest of the three blossoms on the plant.

The temperatures here at Frog Central are definitely looking up - supposed to be in the 50's today. Hurray! That will take care of the last vestiges of snow and ice. Of course the ground is muddier and we're back to washing the Frog Wranglers' feet when she comes back in - she really does hate that.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Last Week Before Christmas

And I've been snowed in. Or more correctly, iced in. Everything has been coated with ice and I'm not stepping one foot outside. Thankfully I've got enough provisions stored in the pantry for such an emergency. The weather is finally supposed to moderate today to the mid-40's. That should take care of all this ice and snow. Now if my walker just had ski attachments I might feel differently about the bad weather. The Frog Wrangler was in all her glory over the weekend with the snow, but then it froze solid - so while it looked like her favorite precipitation, it sure didn't act like it. She could not get her footing and she is over it. I opened the door this morning and she just looked at me like you have to be kidding - I have to to go out there again!

I put the last of all my fruitcake fruits together and today I'll mix up the cake batter so I can bake them off tomorrow. So far I've gotten good reports from those people I sent some to. MG called last night and said I should label it as "Adult Version." He agreed with me in that you don't taste the alcohol so much as have a nice warm and fuzzy feeling afterward. I guess 6 weeks in brandy wraps will do that.

I got a Christmas card yesterday. I did all my shopping on-line and had everything sent to where it needs to go. It sure beats the crowds at the mall - plus a lot easier to comparison shop.

The amaryllis bud opened and 3 large flowers are now making their way to opening up. A couple more days and it should be in full bloom. A nice velvet red color. I can't wait to take some pictures.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snowy Morning in Southern Illinois

All I can say is Brrr! The snow did indeed start Friday night. By noon on Saturday when I had to go out it had switched to rain and freezing rain. The snow became slush and then promptly froze. Last night a new layer of snow fell. So it looks nice, but it is a sheet of ice. I'm glad that there is no other reason I need to go out for right now. It's much prettier looking at it from inside, drinking a nice cup of hot chocolate. The Frog Wrangler of course had to spend a bit of time out this morning - she came in with her face all covered with snow. She just loves this type of weather. Although when she came in, she made a beeline for her favorite blanket - ready for a nice warm nap.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and, if they are sharing in this winter weather, are staying safe.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The Frog Wrangler had had, for the most part, a pretty good week. She is totally obsessed over the old pillows I took off of my bed last month. I had just thrown them down on the floor and she latched on to them. I was originally going to throw them out the next day, but I thought what the heck, let her enjoy them. Here she is employing a favorite tactic - lay on both at the same time. What makes this even funnier for me is that I bought her a fancy dog bed years ago and she wouldn't have anything to do with it. I finally gave it away. But these pillows - the Wrangler, I think, would protect with her life! Too funny.

The Wrangler is especially happy that the rain stopped. And so will I, the whole washing the mud off her feet every time she went out was getting old - fast. Now it's supposed to be replaced with about 7 inches of snow tonight. We'll see. The weathermen always seem to forecast the worst and by the time it's all said and done, you're lucky if you've gotten any snow at all.

I do hope that if the weather gets bad that it hold of until after 12 tomorrow. I'm going out to pick up my Angelfood Order. That is the greatest program ever. It is like a nationwide co-op. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

I went to Walmart today. Just because I got the new freezer, doesn't mean I need to fill it in one day! As I was telling Mom earlier today - I filled my cart full and came home and put it all on one shelf in the freezer. I thought I was going to bust a gut laughing. I'll never want for freezer space, that's for sure.

Tomorrow all the people I sent fruitcake to should be receiving it - I can't wait to hear what they think of it. I'm enjoying it myself. I slice off a small piece most mid-afternoons and sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy. I figure I'm getting a couple servings towards the daily recommended fruits with that slice! I'm on the hunt now for little loaf pans. I think next year I want to make 1 pound loaves. These 3 1/2 pound loaves were a good size until it came to dividing it up.

Have a great weekend all. I may be back with some snow pics over the weekend.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Freezer has arrived!

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The freezer arrived yesterday afternoon - all 13.7 cubic feet. It's a beauty and I can't wait to start filling it up.

The forecast is calling for snow beginning Friday night and continuing all through Saturday - with about 4 inches accumulation, at least.

Today has been real busy. I got all the fruitcake packed up and to the post office. Hope everyone who gets some enjoys it - my recipe calls for 31 ingredients! After 6 weeks of being wrapped in Brandy I found it really tasty.

Tomorrow is Friday Dog Blogging and I'm having a hard time choosing just one picture - she's had some real cute ones this last week. The Frog Wrangler just loves the pillows I gave her off the bed. A great place for her to nap.

I stopped by DQ after the post office today - I really like their Blizzard treats. I got the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup one. Yummy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


It should be outlawed! LOL It's been a busy day here today getting ready for this afternoon's delivery of a brand new freezer. I went over to the flooring company and they didn't have a remnant piece of linoleum to put down under the freezer. Oh well. I barely pull in the driveway and up comes the flooring guy with a big piece of linoleum rolls it out on the floor and says there you go. I barely get thank you out and he was already half way back to his truck. The advantages of living in a small town. So now I'm just waiting for the freezer to arrive - last minute housework. It's funny, no matter who walks through the front door or for how long, you want everything to look just perfect. In a small house that's a tough task.

On a good note, a week of rain and the cellar remained dry through it all. That means after a thorough cleaning, I can put storage racks in the basement and double the free space in the living quarters. Room to move around - hurray!

The Frog Wrangler is totally upset with the rearranging needed to put the freezer in. After the freezer arrives I think she's going to need some one on one time. I'll try to get a picture of the freezer up tomorrow.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays

The rain continues here at Frog Central - and probably will until Wednesday or Thursday. The lawn looks like a mud field. The Frog Wrangler hates the feeling on her paws and is only going out when absolutely necessary - and she waits dutifully to get her paws washed before tracking all over the house. Thankfully the ice storms and power outages that are plaguing the area are right now about 30 miles to the north of here. Route 70 across Illinois is like the magic dividing line. To the north they get the majority of ice and snow, to the south we get rain.

I heard from AB this morning and I want to continue to wish her well after her surgery. She had to go back into the hospital because of infection, but is now back home and cranky as ever - a good sign.

I'm hoping the bloom on my Amaryllis plant will be making an appearance for Christmas. I started it a bit late, so it's iffy. The stalk right now is about 20 inches tall - putting almost 4 inches on in the last couple days! I'll post a picture once it blossoms.

Thought I should put something in here a little froggy, so I thought with Christmas season here to remind you about your Radko ornaments and their care. I've written quite a bit here, but since they are expensive it's worth reiterating. Don't wash or use any liquids on your ornaments - the paints will come off! Keep them out of direct light so they don't fade. And be sure to use an ornament box and wrap them back up in their acid free tissue for storage. And don't store them in the attic or basement - keep them in a spare bedroom closet is what Christopher Radko suggests.

One final thing about Radko ornaments - there was a production problem this year and they stopped making this years ornaments in August. I think that this years ornaments are going to become highly collectible and very hard to find. Many of the designs are already sold out in some of the shops I frequent. Many on-line stores have an after Christmas clearance, and I would take full advantage.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


The checkers at Buehler's grocery store hate to see me coming. I shop with coupons and generally save 20 percent on average off my grocery bill. But Buehler's - which is considerably higher priced than Walmart - gets a lot of my free coupons. Today I went in and bought some treats for the Frog Wrangler, 3 bottles of juice, and a couple candy bars - all with free coupons. You can just see the steam rising out of their ears when they realize that everything I bought has a free coupon for it. Today it was 20 dollars worth! This is the second time I've done this and it makes me smile. When I first moved here Buehler's was the only game in town and they were a lot higher priced than they are now. Walmart gave them a run for their money, so to speak, and the people of Tidy Town repaid the "generosity" of Buehler's by leaving in droves. When I went in today I was the only person in the store and everything I bought I got free. Poetic justice.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
Either she's thinking "Back off - my treat!" or "I am so full - but I have to eat the last bit of this or he may take it!" The Frog Wrangler has been especially happy the last couple of days - we've been having ice and snow storms here at Frog Central. She loves to go out and frolic around in that nasty weather. Brrr!

The Wrangler knows when I'm not feeling good and she spends her time keeping watch over me. I've been feeling a bit better and today is about the best all week - so she's felt that she could take some time to herself and get some much needed nap time!

The treat she's working on is one of her favorites - it's called Chewlotta. I get the ones for small dogs and they are huge! She spends an hour or so running around the house with it in her mouth, finding places to hide it, then changing her mind and looking for someplace new. Finally I guess she decides the best hiding place is her tummy! and she sits down to enjoy it.

I've been catching up on the news - the shooting in Omaha is quite disturbing and I don't understand the need of releasing the 911 tapes. We know the people there were terrorized and I can just imagine what they must feel when every station they turn on plays the tapes with the shots going off in the background. Just as I don't believe they should say the shooters name repeatedly. The shooting can and should be reported upon, but the news agencies should refuse to name the shooter. It's the notoriety the shooter gets - isn't that exactly what they were going for? And it makes the next person think they too can get their 15 minutes, even posthumously, that seems to drive the copy cat crimes that inevitably follow. Just my two cents.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

What a week!

Monday after I posted here I had plans for errands all over town, unfortunately my stomach had other plans. And then the sneezing started, the runny nose - you get the picture. This morning I'm out of bed but still feeling rather yucky. A sneeze yesterday threw my back out. So this week has become a stay at home week. With the temperatures as cold as they are - in the teens here this morning - I'm all too happy to stay under the covers with the Frog Wrangler keeping my feet warm. Hopefully this will have all worked its way out of my system and I'll be right as rain in a couple of days.

Will be back tomorrow for sure with some Friday Dog blogging. And send me some pictures of your frogs!

Monday, December 03, 2007

My Computer Frogs

My Computer Frogs
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
Thought I'd post a picture of some of my frogs that hang out with me when I'm on the computer. I'm running really late this morning so will probably put off my errands until this afternoon.

The weather was really nice yesterday - up to 60 degrees. Then the winds hit and the temps dropped into the 30's. This morning it was only 25 with a wind chill down to 18. That's just too much winter! The Frog Wrangler has taken to getting up onto the bed after she goes out in the morning and wanting to snuggle up. This morning I think she wanted to stay in bed longer but I was ready for some pancakes, bacon, and hot chocolate.

I thought I'd like to get one of those new George Foreman grills I've seen advertised on television. OMG! They are nice but so expensive - the cheapest I found was $120. It comes with 5 different grill plates for various cooking and baking. So guess I'll stick with my oven broiler and fry pan.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Saturday Morning Mid-West Blizzard

Thankfully, it's not hitting here as of right now. It's supposed to be going a little north of Frog Central - only rain is forecast for here. But with temperatures in the 30's and 40's and overnight temperatures in the 20's any ground that is wet will ice over quickly. I finally broke down and turned the heat up in the house from 68 to 70. I need to start baking more to keep the place warm and toasty.

The Frog Wrangler and I were up about 6:30 this morning, but with cold floors and a chill in the house, I raced back to bed to listen to NPR from under the covers of my flannel sheet and heavy blanket. The Wrangler thought that was a good idea and she used her steps and hopped up on the bed and laid across the foot of the bed. My feet were never so warm! She's like a blast furnace - no wonder she loves the cold so much.

It's nice having my car back. Yesterday in my running around I stopped by the resale shop and on the way home stopped by the DQ to get a blizzard treat. I really missed doing that.

Saw on the news that Evel Knievel died. Those of us that are old enough to remember his daredevil jumps and crashes know what an icon of 70's he was. It got me thinking of this generations program Jackass - those guys may have thought they were groundbreaking and doing dangerous stunts. They only needed to look at Knievel.

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