Frog Collectibles & Other Such Nonsense: 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008

Frog Collectibles & Other Such Nonsense

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

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Dog Blogging

Shadow Yawning
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The Frog Wrangler has had a pretty good week. She scared the mail lady this morning - I opened the door and the Wrangler tried to run then thought twice, instead standing just outside the door howling. I apologized to the mail lady but I think she was laughing more than scared.

Here she is re-enacting her scary face. Naw, I happened to snap this picture mid-yawn. She was so bored with me taking her pic. Her days consist of moving from one sleeping spot to another.

Her big treat today was going out right after the lawn guy finished. She loves to go out and christen the newly mowed lawn. My guy comes every two weeks and by the end of that second week, the lawn is pretty high and the Wrangler hates it when she scoots and her rear end hits grass.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A busy day indeed

I don't think I slept a wink last night - all I did was toss and turn trying to get into a comfortable position - 5 minutes later the pain would be so bad I couldn't stand it and I'd turn over. So this morning I decided to have a cup of coffee before I headed out to wake me up. I haven't had coffee in probably the last 15 years or so. I got out the coffee maker and thankfully the coffee sample had direction on it. Yuck! It took me drinking water all day to get the taste out of my mouth. I made it down the road and took a tour of the community college and met some of the staff members. Me and about 20 others looking to score the same teaching position. Ah well, we'll see what happens. Afterwards I headed over the farmer's produce market - nothing exciting. They stick to local items, which is great, but nothing local has really come into season yet.

The rainy weather that has been here for about a month now has made the national news. Farmer's can't get their corn in and are almost about to the time where it's no longer viable to plant it. The news is not good for food prices. Here in southern Illinois it's all corn and soy beans.

Harvey Korman has died - it was fun to watch him crack up on The Carol Burnett Show - Tim Conway got him every time! This on the heels of the news that they guy who did the Andy Griffith Show theme song - he wrote and whistled it - died earlier this week - he also wrote the theme music to a lot of shows of the 60's and 70's - The Dick Van Dyke Show, among others.

Tomorrow is Friday and I'm looking forward to the end of this week. Besides, there's a barbecue this weekend! Pork Burgers all around......

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Cold Day in Tidy Town

The temps barely made it into the 60's today. By this evening they were slipping back into the 50's. This evening I made some breaded chicken (from the Angel Food - with food prices soaring, you really need to check this program out!) and in the last few minutes I decided to throw on some pasta sauce and some hot pepper jack cheese. That a rice side dish made for a great dinner. Having the oven also heated up the house for the evening - which was nice. I've turned the heat off and I don't want to turn it back on, but I might as I head into bed tonight.

A lot of house chores today kept me busy. I had to do a couple loads of wash. I'm heading out first thing in the morning to head southward to the next town down. I'm going on a tour of the local community college and then I'll probably head over to a produce market I saw an advertisement for in the newspaper. It'll be nice to get out for the morning, but I'm afraid of how much gas I'll be using! Prices here have been over $4 for a week of so now. Well - I'm off to watch the Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Have a good night all!

Plastic Bags

As you may know, a lot of places are going back to paper grocery bags because the plastic ones don't break down in the landfills for hundreds of years. Daniel Burd has come to the rescue. He's a 17 year old who took part in a Canadian science contest. He found that by grinding the bags up and them with yeast, water, and some dirt that it promotes the growth of the microorganisms that eat the plastic. Not bad, eh?

It reminds me of the story on 60 Minutes recently where a retired radio operator came up with a machine that fries cancer cells and leaves all other tissue alone. According to the program the guy, who had been through chemo and thought there must be a better way, had one of those eureka moments and started building a prototype in his garage! It's now in the animal testing stage and apparently is working well.

Gives you the inspiration to try tackling something that's bothering you, doesn't it?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

OMG - More Rain

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day. It rained here - and it rained today - and I'll go out on a limb and say it will probably rain again tomorrow! A lot of thunder and lightning so I've had the computer off for most of the day. A tornado touched down in a field just east of here. It was far enough away that the sirens didn't go off. If you saw CNN's live coverage of a tornado ripping up a pig farm this last weekend, you know why those sirens are so important to heed when they go off. With any luck you get at least a couple minutes notice. Since I've moved to Illinois I've seen a number of wall clouds - what they say can be the start of the tornado - and while a number of them have been within a close proximity (less than a mile or two) I've never seen one coming at me. And I'd like to keep it that way! LOL

I baked off some tropical fruitcake this last weekend - yummy! I need to put an order in for the fruit for the Christmas fruitcake - that has to sit for 6 to 8 weeks in rum soaks - so I want to get a jump on it soon. I finally touched base today with AB - I hadn't heard from her in over a week. She's in the process, with her hubby, of redoing their master bathroom. Sounds like fun - NOT!

Tonight Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are finally back after a week off. This last week I tried watching Letterman and just couldn't do it. His jokes and bits are the same things he was doing 5 years ago (or longer).

I heard last night from my friend EH who lives in Mississippi. He planted a garden a little over a month ago. He's already had hot peppers and cucumbers on his table. And tomato plants that are about 6 feet tall! He'll be canning for a month of Sundays once they start ripening.

Oh well, tomorrow's another day - as I tell the Frog Wrangler every night as I turn out the lights and head to the bedroom - we'll do it all again tomorrow.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Weekend

As you enjoy your barbecue, picnic, or tofu hot dogs - I hope you'll take a moment to remember the reason we are able to enjoy this weekend. Not only those who have fought and died in past wars, but those who are currently in harms way. Keep them and their families in your prayers and thoughts.

I'll be back on Tuesday.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The Frog Wrangler has had a pretty good week this last week. Most of it was spent in her favorite position, shown here. lol It's been quite cool here for May and she likes that. The few warm days she searched out the air conditioning vent, wondering why there wasn't air coming out of them to cool her down! It hasn't been that warm. Well, ok, a couple days I did turn it on in the afternoon - it's a small house and it heats up quickly. And we musn't overheat the Wrangler. She has a very important job of keeping that floor held down. Lately she reminds me of that dog that used to be on Hee-Haw. The dog would lay there sound asleep and the guys would say something like I've never seen her so excited. That kind of how the Wrangler is these days.

The neighbor behind me - whose driveway is under my bedroom window - decided to have a rummage sale today. He started setting it up about 4 this morning. People started showing up by 5:30. Good grief! So it may be a holiday weekend, but no sleeping in late. Because my chair is broken, I sat on the edge of the bed for a while (until I started to drift off and almost slipped off the bed) and then came out and sat in my office chair for a bit - just not the same as wrapping up in a blanket and hopping in my recliner and taking a nap. Hopefully that will all change this next week or so.

If I could stand it, or even get up off the floor, I'd join the Wrangler on the floor - but then I would need paramedic help! LOL

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm finally home!

I left out early this morning to run errands and I finally - at 2:30 this afternoon, finally made it back home. I made it to the bank and post office - being accosted everywhere today by old ladies selling poppies. They were at the end of the drive through teller lane at the bank, they stood in front of the mail drop off boxes at the post office. They were none to pleased when I said "No thanks" to the cries for donation. Now if they wanted to donate to me that would be a different story.....

The run to CVS took over an hour because of the number of people getting their prescriptions filled. I would have left and gone back another day but I ran out my blood pressure pills yesterday - I really needed them (see previous paragraph re: old ladies selling poppies!). So I walked around and around the new CVS and marveled at how expensive everything was. They have a freezer section with these quart containers of ice cream for six bucks! They must think people are just crazy enought to pay that! No thanks. Finally I was on to my last errand. To pick out my new lift chair.

I originally hadn't thought of doing this today but this morning I came out to sit and sleep in my chair and the back gave away and I ended up flat out on my back. About a half hour later I finally made it back to a sitting position and decided that was that. I can't sleep all night in bed because of the pain it causes my back and now I don't have a chair to sleep in. So hopefully, sometime next week, my new lift chair will be here - fully electric so I can't get stuck again. Oh I had a good laugh for a bit this morning, but the realization that I live alone and couldn't get up soon wasn't so funny. I was right next to the phone but I just couldn't see dialing 911 to say "I'm flat on my back and can't get up!" Especially since the newspaper prints everything - I'd be front page news! LOL

Needless to say, the Frog Wrangler and I are both exhausted (well, I am and she's not arguing with me) and are off to take a nap! Maybe we'll be back with a pic of her a bit later - if not, we'll catch up tomorrow.....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Rain

Another day of rainy weather. I sometimes wonder if it's ever going to end. The weather has been crazy - the news this morning said that it was snowing in the state of Washington, that they were expecting over a foot of snow! Then I talk with EH in Mississippi, whose garden is rapidly growing (I want a tomato!). Meanwhile, I'm beginning to know how Swamp Thing feels. The Frog Wrangler hates getting her paws wet. It's funny to watch her out there doing a little dance trying not to put her paws down on wet grass. Poor baby.

I planned on baking ten loaves of my fruitcake today, but I forgot to take the butter out of the freezer yesterday - so it's on the schedule for the first thing tomorrow morning. A little more booze on the fruit never hurt anyone. There's a fruitcake recipe that I have in which the fruit is kept in booze for 2 whole months - now that's patience.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sugar Rush

I gave up candy and sweets 2 months ago, but every now and then you just want something to satisfy that sweet tooth. So today while I was out I found these Reese's Cookies - they come in a single package so I thought that wasn't too bad. While good, I've been running in circles for about an hour because of a sugar rush! It's amazing how sweet it tasted. Two months ago I probably wouldn't have batted an eye, but once my system got cleared of the stuff it was a shock. I don't plan on doing that again any time soon.

I got the cookie because the pie last night was just too tart. One bite and I could not eat it. I threw the rest of the pie away. When the rush wears off, I plan on taking a nap. I spent a lot of this morning put the fruit together for the next batch of tropical fruitcake - mango, papaya, pineapple, guava, ginger, raisins, currants, dates, cashews, madacamia nutes, almonds, and coconut - all bathing in spiced rum and coconut rum liqueur for the next two days. Yumm!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cherry Pie

I got a cherry pie on Saturday and last night decided to have a slice. Wow! was it tart. My lips are still puckered - lol. This morning the sun was out but it was cool - still nice to run out and handle a couple errands. It seems today has been a mad dash from start to finish - well, til now.

I wonder if last night was the end of Desperate Housewives. They did a flash forward five years at the end - which usually means the end of a series. Moonlight is gone too - and I just started watching that one. So many stations, so much crap. I find anymore I end up watching BBC America - especially on Saturdays.

The Frog Wrangler was a bit antsy this morning - she wanted to go out every five minutes, but she finally calmed down this afternoon. She climbs onto those pillows and falls right asleep. I wish I could fall asleep that fast and easy. And lately she sleeps so soundly, it takes a loud whistle to get her up!

Maybe I'll go have another piece of cherry pie - maybe tonight's piece won't be as tart as last nights (yeah, I know it will be but I'll forever be the optimist).

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I like Sundays. The Frog Wrangler and I got up a little later than normal, read the newspaper while sipping a cup of hot chocolate. Clipped coupons and got the organizer all set for grocery shopping. I took a steak out of the freezer last night for dinner. I received a big box yesterday of muffins - that was nice. 96 muffins - a whole case! Thank goodness for AB who trolls the internet looking for free deals. This last week I got more toothpaste and coffee than I'll need for the rest of the year. That's OK with me. Oh but the muffins are great - that was a real coup. I kept one box of 6 out and put the rest in the freezer.

And I even got to write a scathing letter! I always feel better after writing a scathing letter to someone. The object of my wrath today was Cokie Roberts - it's political and not appropriate for here but suffice it to say - it felt great! LOL

It's beautiful weather here today. A little cool, but supposed to warm up to 70 degrees. I'm enjoying the last few days of spring weather. On Tuesday we're supposed to be in the 80's and that will probably be that until October! Enjoy the rest of your day.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A busy weekend!

Aren't weekends supposed to be a time to unwind? It seems like all I've done today is run from one errand to another. I went down to the liquor store to pick up the booze for my summer fruitcake. Then I headed down to church to pick up the Angel Food order. With today's prices for food and gas - look for your local distribution point because it is an excellent deal. By the time I got home my knees and back were in full rebellion mode. So after a bit of resting, waiting for the pain killer to kick in, I went out to get the mail. Ugh! This month was bad from the start financially - it just got a lot worse. The MRI that I had - the insurance didn't cover it - any of it. Of course this was after they told me they would. So I received a bill for almost $5,000.00. I'll be on the phone with them Monday morning for sure. Makes me think I must have some horrible karma. I was saying to a friend last month that I was finally starting to get ahead a bit - oh how the gods must be laughing at that statement! All I can do is keep on keeping on, as the saying goes.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The Frog Wrangler has had a pretty good week. Arthritis has made her a bit lame on one of her front legs, especially when she first wakes up. All in all she's pretty happy, especially with her big treats being delivered this last week. She sees one of them coming out and her tail can't wag hard enough! She is not all happy with the warmer weather we are finally starting to get (70 degrees today - woo hoo!). I guess if I was wearing a fur coat, I'd like the cooler temps too. Well, I think the Wrangler has the right idea, nap time.......

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Human Rights

Instead of my usual ramblings, today is a day when the blogosphere unites to remind people of human rights abuses around the world. Whether the long standing problems in Darfur or the newest tragedy in Burma, too often we let these tragedies pass before our eyes on the evening news with never a further thought. Today is set aside by bloggers to ask people to think of the suffering that is going on in the world and to promise to take action - however small - to alleviate the daily horrors that make up these peoples' lives. I wish I was more eloquent to describe the problems and could move you to action with a few words. But if it were that easy, it would have already been done. Instead, I ask you to go to Amnesty International and spend some time reading through their top priorities. It is daunting. It is heartbreaking. It is necessary. One person alone may not be able to change the tide of inhumanity, but together we can change lives from despair to hope.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Ice Cream Quest

It's been a rather frantic 24 hours here at Frog Central. Last evening I decided to use the first recipe that I had for ice cream because it tasted just like Kool-Whip. My thought was to make it up and then today bake off a Mrs. Smith pumpkin pie. The ice cream maker has a connection piece that connects to the KitchenAid - and I couldn't find that piece. Last night I must have torn the kitchen apart 3 times - looking everywhere to no avail. So I finally broke down and found a site that I could order a replacement part. This morning I continued the search and finally gave up at noon because of other pressing household tasks. I reached up to get a green garbage bag from the box and there on top of the bags was the part I was looking for. It must have been a glorious Alzheimer's moment that led me to put it there. Especially since I haven't used any of those bags in 2 weeks and I used the part since then. Who knows. AB swears it's probably the person who seems to haunt this place - I tend to think it's more my own doing. Again, who knows - at least it was found and I just finished the ice cream Kool-Whip and tomorrow I'll bake off the pie and things will be back on track ....... I hope!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Frog of the Day

Frog Tote Bag
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
Yesterday was a total bust. I planned on going to the grand opening of both our new CVS and the new farm/feed store. But it was cold, windy, and rainy so everything (including the free lunch) was cancelled. As bad as the weather got here over the weekend, thankfully the worst of the storms were south of here.

For today's frog item I received an e-mail from a cute site called Never Kiss a Frog. They have these wonderful tote bags with the slogan "Never Kiss A Frog - Save One Instead." And a portion of the $19.99 price goes to Amphibian Ark, an international organization dedicated to saving frogs. Do check them out!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to everyone who qualifies - especially my mom. Hope your day is the best!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Frog of the Day

Radko - Green n Groomed
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
I'm running a bit late today in getting on the computer. I was out to a hog roast - well I showed up and they were sold out. So I drove up by a new farm/feed store that's here in town. They are having their grand opening and they have all the local fair rides set up. I'm going to stop in tomorrow because they'll be having free eats.

For the first time since I moved here to Tidy Town, I was able to do a load of wash without having to stop and start the washer dozens of time as the water drained out. The plumber fixed the outflow pipe and it worked perfectly - makes me want to do catch up on the loads and loads of wash that have piled up in the basement - well almost....

This frog collectible from Radko is the complement to yesterday's bride. This is called Green 'n' Groomed.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The Frog Wrangler had an excellent day today. She felt well enough to get up into her chair and her favorite treats arrived today! Ah, who could ask for more? Walmart hasn't carried her favorite treats for about a month now. I finally broke down and ordered them on-line (which is more expensive). I gave her a Busy Bone Dental and she ran around the house for about a half hour with her tail wagging so hard I thought she was going to fall over. She finally settled down and thoroughly enjoyed her treat. Of course, after a big treat, you need a big nap.

Hope you have a good weekend!

Frog of the Day

Hoppily Ever After
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
Yesterday turned out to be pretty interesting. I had a telephone interview for a teaching job just down the road. Keep your fingers crossed. In the evening I had a good call with fellow baker MG - fellow baker in the sense I like to bake at home and he does it professionally! lol He gave me some tips on the changes I am making to my latest fruitcake recipe. Next week I'm trying out the new recipe so again - keep your fingers crossed. It's been cold and rainy here for about 3 days now and I'm ready for the temps to head back up into the 70's again.

This frog collectible is from Christopher Radko and is entitled Hoppily Ever After. This is part of the free-blown collection from this year. I do not have this as part of my collection but would love it (hint, hint). This item sells at Angela's Radko for $78. Just tell them to send it to me - they know me too well.......

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A very late night last night

My eyes are rolling in my head this morning! They're matching the thunder that's rolling outside. I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning keeping track of the primary race. What a nail biter! This morning the Frog Wrangler did not appreciate the value of sleeping in and insisted upon getting up and outside. Oh well, a cup of hot chocolate and a piece of toast and now I'm ready to take on the day - well, till nap time ---- is it nap time yet------please.........

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fruitcake Tuesday

After yesterday it was nice to wake up this morning feeling a bit better. Especially since I had a whole day of baking ahead of me. I'm working on a Tropical Fruitcake recipe. Today was the first attempt and it came out pretty good. Some adjustments to spices need to be made and a couple fruit and nut substitutions are in order. When you're trying to put together approximately 30 ingredients it takes a couple of tries to get everything perfect. But when it gets there, it's fantastic - just ask anyone who has tried my Traditional Dark Fruitcake this last Christmas. After 6 weeks in a rum bath it is to die for! Now if I get a summer tropical fruit blend that's just as good - I'll be very happy.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Monday Morning

I did quite a bit yesterday. I spent the morning cutting up fruit for a tropical fruitcake. This is a new recipe and I hope it will taste great. The fruit is now soaking in the rum and tomorrow I'll be making the cake batter and baking them off. Yesterday afternoon I decided to make some French vanilla ice cream. This batch turned out better than the last batch but still tastes a bit too much like whipped cream for my taste. I'll keep looking and trying recipes and enjoy eating the mistakes! lol

This morning I woke up about three with my back about as bad as it's been. I alternated between sitting on the side of the bed and laying down trying to catch little naps. When I got up this morning my hands were so swollen and sore I couldn't do all the morning things one does first thing in the morning. A lot of the swelling has gone done now but the finger joints are still stiff and sore. Such is life with arthritis.

The Frog Wrangler was sore this morning too. She whined for her aspirin shortly after waking up. Oh the fun of trying to open a child-proof cap! The Wrangler's feeling better and resting comfortably. She came over and plopped her head on my leg and rolled her eyes up at me as if to say you'll be better soon too. So we're going to take it a bit easy today - nothing much is on the schedule that can't be put off until another day.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

It's King Jesus Day in Tidy Town

And you can't get anywhere in town. I went out to go to the dollar stores and then out to Walmart. The downtown dollar was closed as was much of the town - everyone was streaming to the library grounds where they were holding the King Jesus Day celebration. Sorry, I'm not that religious. I went to Walmart and did some shopping while it was empty! On the way home I stopped by one of the booths on the edge of the celebration and picked up a couple bratwursts for lunch. The Frog Wrangler and I watched as the marchers from the celebration went by (they walk all over town then back to the square for lunch and a sermon). I think I need a nap!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The Frog Wrangler has had a pretty tough week, and this has become her favorite spot. She's been feeling a bit better the last couple of days, so hopefully she's turned the corner on her latest bout of illness. The Wrangler has been eyeing the oven this evening. I've got beef ribs cooking and they smell wonderful. The Wrangler approves and wants to be the taste tester!

Have a good weekend!

Rainy Friday

And tornado warnings are swirling all about! Hopefully they'll all be cleared out by this afternoon and I can get out to run some errands. When you walk with a big metal walker - you don't go out in a thunderstorm! LOL I imagine that we'll be without power for a bit of the day but with some good luck I'll be back this afternoon with some Friday Dog Blogging.

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