Frog Collectibles & Other Such Nonsense: 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008

Frog Collectibles & Other Such Nonsense

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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Frog Wrangler (1993 - 2008)

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
Here on the blog I called her The Frog Wrangler - but to me and those who knew her best, she was called Shadow. Many people thought I named her that because of her color. That never figured into the equation. The day I rescued her from the pound she threw her front paws around me and for the last 15 years she's pretty much had done the same - all day, every day. She was indeed my Shadow. If I moved from one room to another, she had to follow. She slept on my bed, practically on top of me until she could no longer get on the bed - then she slept right next to me on the floor. If I was in my chair she would crawl into my lap wanting to be held. Shadow was my constant companion. I kenneled her a few times over the years but the kennels soon started refusing to take her - she was too upset by my absence. Living alone, she was my company.

Today she went to get up from a nap and couldn't stand up. Her legs had failed her and this time it was for the last time. I held her one last time as the vet put her to sleep. She went quickly and peacefully. It had been tough for her these last months and she was ready to go. I had to be strong enough to let her go - and I did.

I will miss her terribly. May God watch over her till I see her again.

A nice day of rain

Yesterday we had a pretty nice rain. It started the night before and rained most all day yesterday. It had moments of downpour but mostly it was just steady. After the spring we had of rain all day every day, I didn't think we'd need rain again at all till next year, but the lawn was brown and the farmers were getting a bit worried.

This morning I decided to make pancakes for breakfast. I need to get some breakfast sausage - that would have made the meal complete. I've got a loaf of bread in the bread maker. Boy is that the handiest thing ever.

I can't believe we are at the end of July already. I look around and realize that I haven't gotten a whole lot done. Now with my knee I'm afraid that things are going to be even further on the back burner......I think I need a mid-morning nap! LOL

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Monday I felt pretty good for the majority of the day so I didn't take any pain killers for my knees. By Monday night I was regretting that decision. I got up to go to bed and it felt like sledge hammers slamming into my knees. It was too late to take a pain killer (it requires eating a full meal and being upright for a couple of hours) so I had to wait till after breakfast yesterday. So a sleepless night and a pain level getting worse every minute meant that by the time I woke up I was nearly out of my mind. Pain killers work better when the pain is mild - before it gets really bad. I ended up taking a pain killer after each meal yesterday to finally bring it under control. I actually got some sleep last night and feeling a better this morning. Hopefully I'll only need to take one pain killer each day now to keep the pain under control until the muscle heals - about 6 weeks from what I'm told.

So yesterday I had to make a big, hearty lunch so I could take medicine and I decided upon spaghetti. I usually make ziti or penne or farfalle - but all I had in the house was regular old spaghetti. I guess the reason that I have such problems with it is that I never know how much to make. Oh I've tried those measuring holes that come on various gadgets. You make the pasta for one and you're left wondering if it was a supermodel's meal because you have 2 strands of spaghetti in the middle of the plate. Or you get so much spaghetti it's running over the edge of the plate. I took out a small amount - tried to visualize it cooked and whether that was enough or not and decided it would do and threw it in the water.

Now spaghetti takes about a minute to go limp and the tops actually fall into the water, so I took that time to figure out what to do with the remaining spaghetti. It comes in that practically shrinked wrapped plastic - so I decided to take some saran wrap and cover the end to put it back in the cabinet. I took off a modest piece - after all, those packages aren't very big. I wrapped it around the end and found that it would not stick to the package. After several attempts and beginning to worry about the fact that I'm not stirring the pasta that's cooking in the pot, I ended up wrapping the whole package in about 3 layers of plastic wrap. I'll probably never get it unwrapped to make more spaghetti and will have to cut it open and go through the whole re-wrapping process again. I better stock up on plastic wrap.

Then I turn my attention to the pasta in the pot. Which is now one big lump - no matter how much you stir it and try to break it apart. The directions say to cook it for 7 minutes. Unfortunately I don't like my pasta crunchy, so I ended up cooking mine considerably longer. I get the pot over to the sink - and after a brief minute - decide that it would be better to pour this huge pot of water into the collander with the pot pointed away from me rather than towards me. This means you're pouring a huge pot of water into a small collander blindly. So I ended up with about half the pasta I originally cooked. Hey, I just realized why those gadgets with the holes never work!

I turn back to the stove to get the spaghetti sauce off the stove to find that with my back turned it decided to become a volcano and erupt all over the stove. While I didn't want it to dry on the stove - I've had that happen before and it's a bear to clean. So I grab the dish cloth and wipe up the little spatters that cover the stove, the wall, and I guess from the initial volcanic eruption - the hood over the stove. Finally, all cleaned up, I turn back with my sauce to the pasta which has now cooled a bit and congealed back into a single mass.

Finally at the table with my fork ready to enjoy. Twirly and pulling and splattering all over. A shirt change and a full cleaning of my kitchen and dining room - I'm exhausted!

Next time I'm picking up the phone and ordering a pizza!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A couple of quiet days

Both the Frog Wrangler and I have taken it easy the last couple of days. I've kept my left leg elevated as much as possible. It's still quite sore but I'm able to get around the house. The temps here have soared into the mid-90's and are supposed to be there all week.

I bought Zuma for my computer a while ago and so yesterday I tried that for a bit. A frog spits out different colored balls - you get three in a row and they disappear. It's a bit of fun but I'm not good with video games.

Last night we had quite a thunderstorm - which just made all the heat worse, because now it's really humid too. More showers are supposed to come in tomorrow night. As long as it doesn't mess with my television viewing for the evening. Though not much is on until Wednesday - I enjoy Ghost Hunters and they're doing an international version right now that's really cool - mostly for seeing the castles and such that they go to.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hot! Hot! Hot!

The temps are back up today. It is already in the 90's. I went out to a bake sale for the local pet animal league. It was outside at our local farm/feed store. I thought it was going to be inside - nope. I felt sorry for those people who were going to sit out there all day long. After a couple of minutes looking things over I just grabbed something for a couple dollars and got the hell out of there. I couldn't wait to get home and in air conditioning. So what did I buy - rice krispy treats. They are all kind of mushed together because of sitting in the sun - it will be interesting eating later on to be sure.

I have a load of clothes in the dryer but after yesterday, I've decided to wait until tomorrow to go down and get them. Hopefully the swelling in my knee will be down by then.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
We made it back for a picture. I wasn't sure if we would or not. But we both feel a bit better after a long nap. The Frog Wrangler laid next to the bed and here is laying right next to my chair. Every now and then she lifts her head for a reassuring pat and then she goes back to sleep.

Other than today's fall down the cellar steps she had been having a pretty good week. The temperatures here finally abated, especially overnight, making it much easier for sleeping.

So today she getting a little extra attention. All I could think when I took this picture was of that lady on the commercial who says "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!" I guess that statement would have worked for both us for a bit today.

Have a good weekend!

The Cellar Steps

The Frog Wrangler had a bad today, so I'm letting her rest and not bothering her with the camera in her face. I went down cellar to switch loads of laundry - something fun to do with a knee swollen like a grapefuit. The Frog Wrangler likes to lay at the top of the steps and keep watch for me to come back up since she can't manage steps anymore. Today she decided she was still a puppy and wanted to follow me down the steps - she fell, I fell, the laundry I was carrying went flying. We all ended up in a heap at the bottom of the steps. It was at that moment that I reminded myself that I really need to move the board that was leaning against the wall across from the steps - especially because of the couple of nails sticking out of it. Scrapes only - no puncture wounds. Once we all got disentangled - I set up a couple towels for the Wrangler to lay on while I did the wash - hey, I made it down there - wash was getting done.

I think the gods are against me having a basement that is water free. As I went into the section of the basement that holds the washer and dryer - there is a huge puddle of water on the floor. And as I'm looking at it, water hits me on the head. The sink in the kitchen was leaking somewhere.

The problem really came in getting back up the steps. I ended up carrying the Wrangler, the laundry and myself. About 20 minutes later we finally made it to the top of the steps.

The plumber just arrived to fix the kitchen sink - prompt and courteous! Hopefully it won't take long and I'll be back in business of being able to do my dishes.

Needless to say - both the Wrangler and I are taking a long nap this afternoon - well, after I take a huge pain killer! Here's hoping you have a good weekend. And who knows - if we're feeling better later, we may be back......

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Busy Couple of Days

It was late last night when I sat down at the computer and a little too late to post. I spent yesterday cleaning from top to bottom - today I should be cleaning from bottom to top but my knees are screaming at me, so I'm taking a day off. I came out this morning around 6 and plopped in my chair and fell asleep till well after 9! That makes for a late breakfast so I just fixed a couple pieces of toast.

I was surprised to hear about Estelle Getty - I haven't watched an episode of Golden Girls in ages, but she was by far the funniest.

Today there were 8 day lilies blossoms - I can't believe they're still going strong. This morning a family of cardinals was playing in the hibiscus hedge. I received an e-mail the other day from one of the nursery catalogs and they were selling Rose of Sharon hedge - it looked exactly like my hibiscus - a little digging finds that they are indeed one and the same.

I ordered one of the pet nail groomers this morning for the Frog Wrangler. She won't let me cut her nails, but I'm hoping she'll let me use this groomer tool. It would save trips to the vets for nail clippings.

The temps have finally abated for a day or two - only into the 80's. For the next four days were supposed to get rain because of Hurricane Dolly. The last couple days of rain we didn't get, so we'll see if we get any of this. The lawn surely needs it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Excessive Heat Warnings

We went under the excessive heat warnings here yesterday with a heat index of 105. I opened the door earlier to get my mail and it just takes your breath away. The Wrangler and I are staying inside at a nice cool 76 degrees. I made a Walmart pizza yesterday - yummy! They really are good and so much cheaper than if you order delivery.

I've been keeping the computer and television turned off to conserve power. Although I did peek at the news and saw that hundreds of baby penquins have washed up on the shores of South America dead. The thaw in the ice shelves have required penquins to go further and further out into the open waters. And that the land managment wants to slaughter thousands of wild horses that they've corraled out west. Ugh! Will we ever learn......

Back to keeping cool.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I hate 'em. Every time I open the door to let the Frog Wrangler out it seems that a bug or two follows her in. I've got three or four flies flying around. The Frog Wrangler is having a lot of fun outside with the lightning bugs. At 15 years old, she has trouble getting around, but when she gets outside and one of those bugs light up right in front of her she's like a puppy - pouncing on her prey. It's fun to watch.

The temps are climbing into the 90 every day - very, very hot indeed. I had to go over to pick up the angel food order this morning. I had to take a pain killer after yesterday's foray into Walmart. My knees were swollen to about twice their size from the arthritis. And they let me know it too! Thankfully, at the pick-up they have people who carry the boxes to your car. My freezer is now pretty full and I'm all set for another month.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The Frog Wrangler and I were awaken rudely this morning about 4:30 when a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit. There have been a number of 4+ aftershocks, just to keep us on our toes.

The weather here was in the upper 90's today. I made a quick run over to Walmart to do some grocery shopping. I was a puddle by the time I got home! I sat in my chair and drank a couple cool glasses of water to cool down. Tomorrow I have to go over to pick up my angel food order. That should give me more than enough groceries for the rest of the month. I didn't buy very much at Walmart and it was almost $100. Yikes, prices sure have gone up.

I have a small pet peeve to bitch about - turkey bacon. I don't know who thought up the idea, but it doesn't taste anything like bacon. It's like chewing tough, overcoked turkey! I'll use up the last of the package, but I can't say I'll enjoy it. Oh well, I'll know for next time. I've also tried ground turkey in place of ground meat and I didn't care for that substitution either.

Shadow has had a good week, although like me, she detests the hot weather. She is shedding like crazy. Here she is standing in front of my walker - obviously wanting to take it out for a spin.

Here's hoping you have a good weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another Hot Day

The temps climbed into the 90's yesterday and are right there again today. My lawn guy showed up yesterday - I'd hate to be working out in this weather but he said that since I had quite a few trees it wasn't too bad. I kept thinking to myself, keep telling yourself that because I don't believe it one iota! The lawn is really starting to burn so I don't think he'll be back in 2 weeks - probably 3 or more.

I received an e-mail last night from the wildlife defense group that I belong to. Over 100 wolves have been killed in the Yellowstone Park area already. Apparently a large hunt is scheduled for this fall that could kill off over 60 percent of the population. Petitions are circulating to stop the hunt. A quick google search will take you to one - please sign it.

I'm feeling totally wiped out today. Somehow I've gotten ahold of a bug that seems to be going around and my stomach can not handle anything. I'm down to drinking sips of water and even that doesn't set too well. So I'm going to take my leave for the day and go take a little nap......

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


More hazy, hot, and humid weather. We are definitely into summer weather. The weather on CNN said the heatwave is going to spread to the east coast over the next couple of days. I have the air set at 76 and so it's vey comfortable inside. I think that's where I'll stay. I do need a couple things from the grocery store but I think I'm going to wait until Saturday. I have a couple other errands to run then, so I'll wait and do them all at once. Especially since gas here is now $4.21/gallon.

Today is my mom's birthday - Happy Birthday Mom!! Here's hoping everyone log's onto your Avon website (link in the right hand column) and places a big order. (hint, hint everyone) LOL

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's Grand Central Station Here

Or so it felt yesterday. The phone started ringing early in the morning and didn't stop until after 10 last night. It was good to catch up with everyone though. AB is back from a trip to the south and we had lots to catch up on. NC and EH called later in the evening wanting to chit-chat. So I ended up getting very little done yesterday. The temperatures here are in the 90's pretty much every day so I've decided not to go over to the ag fair. It's just too hot to walk around and see the animals or walk over to get a funnel cake. I need to get a scooter - then I wouldn't mind so much.

I made a loaf of bread over the weekend in my new bread maker - it is fantastic! And I get to have toast in the morning. Today is trash day and I've got quite a bit going to the curb again. I think my neighbors must think there's 4 or 5 five people hiding in this little house. There's no recycling here in Tidy Town so everything has to go to the curb. So I guess I better go get to it before it gets too hot outside.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

OMG! It is so damn hot!

The Frog Wrangler was sound asleep this morning at 6 when I got up and came out and turned on the computer to see the news and tune in a radio station. I like to listen to KQED, the public station out of California to listen to Ian Shoales. My local station doesn't carry him and I think he's hilarious. I opened up my internet page that has, of course, the local weather and such. At 6 this morning it was 82 degrees! Let me repeat - at 6 a.m. the temperature was over 80 degrees! The temps are currently in the 90's and the Frog Wrangler does not want to go outside. She's waiting til her eyes are crossed and then making a mad dash, being as quick as possible, and running right back inside. Back to her pillows and the air conditioning vent. She has found that almost as much fun as laying on top of the vent is to lay next to it and feel the cold air on your face. That's what she's been doing all day today and every time the air conditioner cycles off, her eyes get wide, she looks at me and you know she wants to say "Make it do it again!" Needless to say, I'm not heading out to the fair today.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
I'm not sure how this picture is going to show on the blog - on my 20 inch monitor it looks fantastic. The Frog Wrangler has ensconced herself on top of the air conditioning vent. Of course that means her pillows had to move to the vent too. Here she is keeping cool in style! The Wrangler has had a pretty good week. Like me, she hates this 90 plus degree weather, so we're both keeping as still as possible and enjoying the a.c.

Television has been especially bad this week with a lot of talent on vacation. This next week things should be back to normal a bit. This week did see the beginning of the second season of Ghost Hunters International - they were off to a castle in New Zealand. I want one of those new cameras that caught the ghosts in the ballroom. It can see infrared and ultraviolet as well as regular lighting. How scary when he took a picture that showed people sitting at one of the tables watching them....... thank goodness the Wrangler was nearby to keep me safe! LOL

The Frog Wrangler want to be sure you all have a good weekend. We're hoping to go to the ag fair for a bit this weekend.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Wrangler's Pills

I usually order the Frog Wrangler's medications from 1800PetMeds. The vet office always gives me grief because they say they sell the same pills. So today I decided to go pick up her pills from the vets office. Guess what they don't carry. I was livid. They searched around and called one a nearby vet office and was able to get a bottle delivered. The secretary actually had the nerve to ask me why I thought they'd have the medication. I nearly hit the roof! I don't think they'll give me any further problems when I place my order with 1800PetMeds.

I hadn't been feeling too well the last few days. I still haven't heard back from the doctor. I guess if I don't hear from him soon I'll have to stop over the emergency room. Just what I need - a several hundred dollar bill to get a $2 prescription of antibiotics. That seems to be the way here in Tidy Town.

The County Agriculture Fair starts today - so nothing in this town will move until the end of next week when the fair is over. It's a bit hot and sticky so I'll wait until we get a day that's a bit cooler hopefully. When I went out today I saw the biggest, nastiest bug on my car. I almost didn't want to go near the car for fear it would attack me. I don't know what type it was - it reminded me of that Star Trek Voyager episode where the micro-organisms became giant macro-organisms. All I know is I saw a huge stinger on this thing and it was eyeing me pretty closely. Thankfully, it couldn't hang on once the car started moving down the street. Yuck! I hate bugs of all sorts.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Still Hot!

The temperature was 82 degrees when I got up this morning. That doesn't bode well for the rest of the day I'm afraid. Thankfully, the swelling has gone down a bit from the abscessed tooth. Still waiting to hear from the doctor's office, but that's not unusal here in no-man's land. It can take weeks to get a call back. They say that if it gets too bad to go to the emergency room. Here in the heartland you have to be from hardy stock I guess. As the old adage goes, what doesn't kill you.... oh my god, another day living in the midst of where you can't get a doctor's appointment for weeks..... LOL!

The amaretto fruitcake didn't turn out well the other day, so today I'm putting up another batch of fruit to try again. It has a very strong almond flavor, which is the essence of the amaretto, but it will need a good six weeks of mellowing to really tell the flavor - and of course six weeks of stewing in brandy. It will soon be time to turn to my tried and tested Christmas fruitcake. I can hardly wait! I should start taking pre-orders.......

Monday, July 07, 2008

Heat and Humidity

It is hot here in Tidy Town - and extremely humid! I stepped outside to get the mail earlier and thought I was going to melt. But 18 boxes of Cheerios came in today's mail and so it was worth it. The Frog Wrangler is really bothered by the heat and is laying across the air conditioning vent to keep cool. Thunderstorms are supposed to be coming in this afternoon and are in the forecast for the next couple days, so I guess the steaminess of today will last for awhile.

I woke up yesterday morning with my face swollen from an infected tooth. I'm waiting to hear from the doctor's office about an antibiotic prescription. In the meantime, the Frog Wrangler and I are going to go take a nap.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fruitcake Saturday

Today I finally got busy making my new recipe - Amaretto Fruitcake. The loaves have come out of the oven and now I'm waiting for them to cool completely so I can wrap them with brandy soaked cheesecloth. Candied cherries and pineapple are the major fruits and it is a white rather than dark cake. I'm looking forward to tasting!

The weather cleared up last evening and the fireworks in town went off without a hitch. I stayed home with the Frog Wrangler and watched them on television. I don't know - they didn't seem as spectacular as in years past. The best were the Boston Pops, but they don't play during the fireworks any longer. And I'll never understand why, during the climax of the display, they cut to show someone in the audience oohing and aahing. Very poor directors.

My July 4th celebration included sausage with peppers and onions - yum! Of course some ice cream to keep cool.

Hope your weekend is going well.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July

A reprise of the Sprogz Spawn on 4th of July seemed appropriate for today. Hope you all have a good day, enjoy the fireworks, and have a great holiday weekend!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Busy Morning

Last night I broke down and took one of my strongest pain killers. That meant that I got a fairly good night of sleep and this morning I was up early ready and raring to go! This morning, still with some relief, I decided to run some errands. I made it to the post office and to Ace Hardware to pick up some cheesecloth to wrap my latest fruitcakes. Then across the street to Save-A-Lot to pick up some locally grown peppers. I felt well enough that on the way home I decided to stop at the bakery looking for some Italian long rolls, and when they didn't have them I swung by the Buy-Low. No one in Tidy Town makes Italian long rolls. Just like you can't find tofu - of any type. I do miss not being near an Asian market. And a decent bakery. A Thai restaurant. An Indian restaurant. A good pizza parlor..............

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Lawn Envy

It's fun to watch the neighbors when my lawn guy shows up. Usually Adam, my lawn guy, shows up on either Saturday or Sunday - and the minute he pulls up with his truck and mowers, the Mad Shitter runs out and hops on his mower - even if he just did his lawn. So yesterday, being Tuesday, meant he couldn't do his lawn until he came home from work. When I laid down for a nap yesterday I head the neighbor behind me fire up his mower, then Tiny next door, followed by the guy who lives caddy-corner. I got up to get a laugh and saw the guy across the street was doing his lawn too - and I knew he just did his on Saturday. Finally, the Mad Shitter came home and I'm sure was in a panic as he went full throttle up and down his lawn to catch up with everyone around him. I love creating "Lawn Envy" - especially when I didn't have to lift a finger! I would highly recommend everyone get a lawn guy. It's a lot of fun to watch the neighbors.....

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Time for a nap!

Yesterday and today has been really busy. The mailman knocked on the door because there was more mail than would fit in the box. I no more than sat down to look at the mail when the bell rang and it was the FedEx guy bringing me the ink cartridges for the printer that I ordered. So I made it through all the mail, opened the FedEx box and was getting everything put away when the bell rang again - it was the UPS guy with a box of fruit I had ordered. This morning I no more than hopped out of the shower when a loud knock came at the door - the lawn guy. I'm ready to label this place Grand Central Station! I put together the fruit this afternoon for an Amaretto Fruitcake and realized I didn't have any brandy. So a quick trip to the liquor store. Now I'm ready for a nap!! The Frog Wrangler agrees with me on that one......

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