Frog Collectibles & Other Such Nonsense: 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008

Frog Collectibles & Other Such Nonsense

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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Frog of the Day

North Star - Frog Spit
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
I'm up and around a bit late this morning and I've got lots to do! Today I've got lots of fruitcake to brush with another layer of brandy to start with. The temperature here is a bit warmer this morning - supposed to go up into the 60's today. Hurray! My front tooth is feeling much better today, but I think I'll still take it a bit easy and stick with soft foods today. Although, there's a BBQ happening downtown that I'd like to go to. There having pulled pork - that shouldn't be too tough to chew, maybe.....

This frog item I found in the local supermarket and had to buy to try. It's an ice cream novelty, actually sherbert, from North Star and is called Frog Spit. I can't give you an accurate description of taste because when I got it home and opened it up, the sherbert had melted all over the inside of the box and refrozen. It's been a long time since I bought ice cream at Buehler's and I forgot that if it's on special it's been thawed and refrozen. So if I see it again at Walmart or some other store I'll try it again. If you've had it and want to let people, including me, know what it tastes like, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today's My Day

Today is Hermit's Day! My favorite day.

The news this morning was all about snow in New York and Pennsylvania. Brrr! I wondered if mom and dad got snow - I hope if they did it melts fast. We've been under freeze warnings here in southern Illinois for the last couple of nights. All I know is that I love crawling under those heavy blankets, getting all warm and toasty - and not wanting to get up in the morning at all!

Last evening I was munching on some granola mix - it has raisins, cranberries, and soy nuts - quite tasty. Unfortunately I munched a little too hard on one piece and now have a throbbing toothache. Today I've been eating things that require no chewing - pudding, ramen noodles. Tonight dinner will be mashed potatoes. Hopefully things will be better in a couple days.

I guess it's time to get back to enjoying my Hermit's Day celebrations.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Today is the second time in a week that I feel like I've been supercharged! I woke up this morning with almost no pain in my back and knees and that's a day of which I like to take full advantage. I've already done two loads of wash - all folded and put away. A third load is in the dryer. That's normally a weeks worth of chores for me - all done in a morning! I'd love to have a lot more morning like this I tell you. I'm sure getting a lot done.

I made it out to vote yesterday. Here in Illinois we have early voting. The county seat is in the next town over so I made the trip over. I've been saying that I believe my car needs to go into the garage to be looked at - now I know for sure. I talked with a friend of mine who thinks I have a brake rotar that rusted in place. Who knows - we'll see.

Guess I need to get back to business here and keep on doing things while I'm feeling good.....

Monday, October 27, 2008

Frog of the Day

It's a really cold morning here at Frog Central. I didn't want to get out from under the covers this morning! Now that I'm up and about I guess I really should get something done. I thought I'd go vote early this afternoon and take a leisurely drive up to the next town to clean out the pipes on the car a bit. I don't drive much and most of it is local and that's not the best for the car.

This frog item is the birthday card I received this year. It is from Carlton Cards and part of the Littlest Pet Shop line. The head is mounted on a spring and jiggles. Very cute.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nap Time

It has been a whirlwind the last couple days. I was still going strong last night at 11:30, wrapping up the amaretto fruitcakes with their brandy soaked cheesecloth. I started right in early this morning. I had to make a run to the bank and post office for a start. Then I stopped by the Angel Food site. I missed the ordering for this month, so I wante to be sure to get my order in for next month. They have a lot of nice options and it was tough making decisions, but I think I'm going to have some good things coming in. Then I went to the liquor store to get a couple more bottles of brandy. They must wonder about me, that's the second time I've shown up in the morning through their drive through looking for brandy recently. Fruitcake takes a lot of brandy and that's just the way it goes. So I'm finally all caught up and now I'm tired and think I'm going to catch up on some sleep with a little nap. I need to be ready and raring to go because tonight is the Halloween parade in town and I'm looking forward to going to see it. Check you out later....

Friday, October 24, 2008

A non-stop Friday

Things have been really busy already this morning. All the prep work is done for the Amaretto fruitcakes and they'll be baked off this afternoon. Oh, the fruit smells so good, having marinated in amaretto for a week! I've just got a couple minutes because I'm running off to CVS to pick up my prescriptions and a couple odds and ends then it's back to bake, bake, bake. Hope you're day is moving right along too.....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

An Evening Post

And it's not even Saturday! Yesterday I finally found the cheesecloth I needed and so tomorrow I'm finishing my last fruitcake baking for this season. I'm making 5 loaves of Amaretto fruitcake. I would have made them today but it took me all day to get up and around. I was sore yesterday after getting home and it snowballed into today. But I got free CF light bulbs by sitting through a short weatherization seminar yesterday. Not a bad trade off. I also made it to the bank and post office as well as Ace Hardware. Ace Hardware had called right after I finished blogging yesterday to say that they had gotten their supplies in and did I still want the cheesecloth. They got three packages in - that was all! I told them to put all three away for me I was on my way, so off I flew. I think next year I'm just going to buy a whole bolt for 40 bucks. It will certainly save all the hassle.

When I was driving down the street yesterday I drove past our local grocery store - the Buy-Low. An hour later I was driving back up the street and it was now our local IGA. You just never know what's going to happen in an hour. I'm actually glad that it's changed to IGA, I'm hoping for better deals and a lot a people say they double coupons. I certainly hope so. It would be nice to change my 10 percent saving into 20. AB regularly shops at a store that gives triple coupons. That's how she often buys three or four hundred dollars of groceries for twenty dollars. Now that's impressive. She should have her own television show just to show people how to save money! AB is also the free sample queen and today I got a nice grip for opening jars and a free sample of a mashed potato mix. Stuff comes almost daily - it's like Christmas every day just opening my mailbox.

Well now I've woken up and the pain pills have finally kicked in - guess who is going to be up all night? I hope there's something good on television after Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I gave up on Survivor Gabon - the 17th incarnation of the Survivor series. There's just nothing new about it. I much rather watch Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow for evening tv.

This weekend is the big Halloween parade here in Tidy Town. As long as the weather is nice I think I'll probably go down and watch. It's the one parade in this town that has more parades than you could ever imagine that everyone goes to.

Guess I'm going to go watch a bit of tv and work on some handicrafts. We'll see how tomorrow goes.......

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's Wednesday!

Just in case you forgot. lol. I've been up since early this morning. I have an appointment at 11:30 downtown. I never take morning appointments because it takes most of the morning to get my joints moving and limbered up enough where I can walk around without so much pain. That meant getting up at 6. It wasn't too long ago that was my normal time for getting up to let the Frog Wrangler out, but I've gotten used to sleeping in until 7 or 7:30 lately.

It is very dark at 6 in the morning. Even by 7 it's still only just getting light. And it's cold. And I'm being a real curmudgeon this morning so watch out! LOL I guess I better go finish getting ready to go out and get this day started.......

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I've received a request for two of these Stone Critters Babies - Jeremiah Bullfrog from Bonnie. When she got married her husband bought them the Mr. and Mrs. Bullfrog. When they had their daughter they added one of the Stone Critters girl babies. And when they had their first son they added one of the Jeremiah Bullfrog's you see here. Since then she's had two more boys and can't find a couple Jeremiah Bullfrog's to complete her frog family. I have searched everywhere and have been unable to find them. So I'm widening out the search to you to help me find them. If you have one your interested in selling or you know of a store that may have one, please let me know. Let's help Bonnie have a frog family that reflects her own family. THANKS!

Frog of the Day

Frog Shower Radio
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
A couple days off but I'm back and energized after dancing and singing in the shower this morning - playing some tunes on my new Frog Shower Radio. I received this as a birthday gift this month. As you can see, the eyes are the dials. It runs on 3 batteries and has a built-in hanging loop in the back or you can use a couple plastic suction cups with hooks that were enclosed in the box. It's pretty powerful for a small radio.

I spent yesterday running all over the place looking for cheesecloth - today I'm ordering it on-line. I've got fruit marinating in amaretto and brandy and I can't make the cake portion because I don't have anything to wrap the fruitcake in when it's done. The extra days will certainly make this a potent batch of amaretto fruitcake - and there's nothing wrong with that! On to today........

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Come Saturday Morning

An oldie but a goodie song (referring to the title of this post). It has finally turned cold enough that I've had to turn on my heat. I've set it at 68 but even with 3 shirts, heavy pants, and 2 pairs of socks, it's a bit chilly around the house. I think I might have to bump it up to 70.

So I finally made it out of bed and my back returned from the little vacation it took. Like returning after a vacation where you've done too much, it's a bit sore, to say the least. At least I can make it into an upright position without screaming (I'm really surprised my neighbors haven't called the police! - It doesn't bode will if I yell for help, does it?)

Today is going to be a recouperation day. I have a list of 3 three errands that really need to be done, and we'll see how I feel this afternoon. Otherwise they'll be first thing tomorrow. I put the fruit together for a couple loaves of Amaretto Fruitcake and I need a couple things to finish up their cake part and get them into cheesecloth and soaking in brandy like the Christmas Fruitcake.

Time to get this day started - and that means going back to bed for a bit.........

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Late Night, Early Morning

I think they call it burning the candle at both ends. I stayed up late last night to watch the debate and a couple hours of the spin afterwards. So it was nearly 1 a.m. when I finally shuffled off to bed. I got some good sleep but had to be right back up at 6 this morning to bake off the last batch of fruitcake. Add to that I woke up about 4 with a coughing fit that threw my back out. What I'm saying is that I'm not having a great day so far. Once the fruitcake comes out of the oven it takes the rest of the day to cool and that gives me the rest of the day to crawl back into bed and go back to sleep. Hope your day is going better........

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Frog of the Day

Frog Lil' Desktop Helper
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
I'm a bit loopy this morning. I feel like I'm walking around drunk, but I'm not - I'm just exhausted. Absolutely no sleep last night. All I did was toss and turn. I finally got up about 4 and came out and sat in my chair and turned on my new froggie radio (you'll see a picture of him later this week). I decided around 6 to get up and start working on my last batch of fruitcake. All I'm doing now is waiting for the butter to soften.

You can tell that fall is definitely here and that winter will be setting in soon - it's getting dark by 6 in the evening and it doesn't get light until after 7 in the morning. Gone for another season are the days of getting up at 5:30 in the morning, streaks of light already streaming across the sky and being able to watch the sun come over the horizon. Now I look at my lawn, already beginning to fill with leaves from the trees, realizing that I really need to get a riding lawn mower so I can get one of those contraptions to pull behind it that you see on television that sweeps the lawn. OMG, I'd be just like my neighbor who sweeps his lawn every day! LOL

This frog collectible is already busy on my desk. It's called Lil' Desktop Helper. The wide mouth can be used for paper clips - I use the spot to hold a roll of stamps. The back has an opening to hold pens and pencils. The one arm is used for tape and the other will hold rubber bands. It is quite heavy and with the one foot sticking out it could easily be used to hold down a paper or two. A cute and functional addition to the collection that I received for my birthday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Frog of the Day

It's been so long since there's been a Frog of the Day. As you may remember when we last met, it was my birthday and I did get some new frogs for the collection courtesy of mom - THANKS MOM!. Yesterday was busy, busy, busy all day long. For a holiday there was no rest here. I stirred up the cake portion for another batch of fruitcake. One more batch to go and I'll have all the Christmas Dark Fruitcake done up that I'm going to do this year. Yesterday's batch is in the oven now and will soon be ready to cover for the last 2 1/2 hours.

I received another box yesterday from UPS - it was from AB. She sent me a couple nice frying pans. In her everlasting desire to update my kitchen she knew I needed some new pots and pans. THANKS AB!

Today's frog item is from The Popcorn Factory. This is from their "Hang in There" collection of frogs and is a frog tin that is filled with a selection of goodies from their catalog. It also has the small plush frog that is in front of the tin. I can't wait to dig in and try some of those goodies!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's my party.....

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
Thanks to everyone who e-mailed to wish me a Happy Birthday. I wish this cake was ready to eat, but it has 6 weeks of mellowing in brandied wraps to go. I took this picture just before wrapping it up. About a dozen different fruits, bourbon, rum, and brandy all stewing together. There's nothing more delicious than a good homemade fruitcake. Last year I made 6 loaves, this year I made 12. Most are spoken for but I may have a couple left if anyone is interested. Each loaf is a bit over 2 lbs. and cost $28 plus postage. Send me an e-mail if interested or you want more information.

It was a nice warm day today and although I usually have spaghetti on my birthday, I opted for lasagna this year. For desert I had some Frog Spit! A new ice cream novelty that you know I just had to try. I'll be putting up a picture of the box later in this week with a critic of the flavor.

That's all for tonight, I'm off to re-join my private party and enjoy the rest of the evening.........

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I can't believe how hard it is to find cheesecloth - no one seems to carry it these days. Luckily, I know that Ace Hardware of all places carries it in 2 square yard pieces in their paint section of all places. I stopped over there this afternoon after taking the fruitcake out of the oven and took all they had. They'll have more for me on Wednesday.

I was up at 6 this morning getting the oven warmed up and ready - it takes a little over 4 hours to bake off the fruitcake and I had 2 oven fulls to do today. The last batch is now in the oven and should be ready to wrap first thing tomorrow morning.

I took a break between the first and second baking because I wanted to go to a barbecue today. The local Kiwanis club has a BBQ every year to support the upkeep of their playgrounds. And anything I can do to keep those darn kids in the playground and off my lawn - imagine old guy shouting "Get off my lawn!" LOL

The weather today was great for the BBQ - low 80's. I even turned on the air today because I have the oven going and it was a little warm inside. Today was the first time in over 6 months that I bought any candy. While I was at Ace they had a candy section near the checkout and they had a bag of those peppermint candies that are air puffed and melt in your mouth. I figured in the world of candies that wasn't too bad. And I doubt it will be the start of a backsliding trend. It took a long time to get off the sugar and every now and then you just want a little taste. Besides - tomorrow's my birthday! See you all later.....

Friday, October 10, 2008


It has been a very busy day here at Frog Central. I started in very early this morning mixing the fruit up for two more batches of fruitcake. Then it was butter and paper the pans and mix up two batches of the cake portion for the fruit I put together the other day. Tomorrow they'll get baked off, cooled, and wrapped in booze soaked cheesecloth and put in cool storage for 6 weeks.

In the midst of this all day baking I received another box from mom - Thanks Mom! It was quite a surprise. I put it atop the box that came yesterday and I'm going to have quite the birthday celebration come Sunday.

My Walmart pizza will be coming out of the oven in a couple minutes so I'm off to sit down, put my feet up, and enjoy a late lunch/early supper. Hope your day was as productive.....

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I did my part for the economy today and went grocery shopping. I really miss having a shopping service like I used when I lived north of here. Tidy Town just isn't big enough. But with all the older citizens here in town, I bet it would be a lucrative service for some enterprising person. So I went to Walmart and did a pretty good grocery shop and got all the final ingredients for making the cake part of the fruitcakes. I also got the little light for my fridge! Thank goodness I can actually see what I have in there now. I also made it to the dollar store and picked up a couple more bowls with lids so I can put together more fruit either tonight or tomorrow morning.

When I finally got home and got everything put away, I was able to bring in a giant box that arrived today from mom. My birthday isn't until Sunday so I'll wait and open it then - maybe we'll have a couple new frogs to put up!

With the Frog Wrangler gone, the morning routine around here has changed. I no longer get out of bed at 6, instead waiting until 7:30 or even 8. Wow! Then I come out and get Petey, my cockatiel out and put her on my shoulder while I get her cage cleaned and put in fresh fruit. She whistles in my ear to me the whole time. When there's a lull I look at her and say "Thank You!" She's now beginning to mimic my thank you back to me which is really cute. There are still times that she calls for the Wrangler and tugs at my heart to hear her call, knowing it will go unanswered. So we commiserate together and remember the good times.

I think after all the running around I'm going to go take a little nap......

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


The last of the fruit for the fruitcake arrived yesterday afternoon and so the evening was spent putting it together in the proper proportions. It takes 3 quarts of fruit, now marinating in brandy, rum, and bourbon for a couple days, in order to make just three 2-pound loaves. So after they're baked off, they then get to mellow for 6 weeks. They'll be ready around the first of December, just in time for Christmas.

A lot of people don't like citron in their fruitcakes and in tasting several different types available at the supermarket and from some on-line sources, I don't blame them. I only use imported citron - it melts in your mouth and is delicious. It's important to use the best quality ingredients available - otherwise all the work isn't worth it.

Today I'm going over the remaining ingredients to make the cake part of the fruitcake to be sure I have everything I need and will make a quick run to Walmart tomorrow to get any last minute items I need. Guess I best get to it......

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Rainy day

Yesterday was supposed to be one of the last warm days of the season - 84 degrees! - so I decided to spend the day outside walking around the yard taking stock of all the things that need to be done. And there are a lot of things. I have my list - trim shrubs, wash back side of house, pull weeds, etc., etc., etc..... I'll try to get some of the things done, but I think I need to hire a local kid to do some of these things.

Today it is rainy and the weatherman says it will be this way all day. I do have a couple errands to run that can't wait. The last of the fruitcake fruits are supposed to be in today and I need a couple tupperware-type containers as I'm stirring up a couple batches as soon as it gets here. So I'm heading out to the dollar store and will hit a couple other errands along the way. I'm hoping that the whole ordeal will only take about a half hour.

So I need to go dodge some rain drops and get this day started......

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Another fun day

It's another beautiful day here in Tidy Town and I decided to head out to a chicken BBQ given by the local Shriner's. They do a lot better with their chicken than their breakfast. For 6 bucks I got half a chicken some baked beans, slaw, and a piece of cake. The cole slaw was made with vinegar, I prefer mayonnaise - but it still was pretty good nonetheless. And it was enough food that I have enough for another meal. With all the extra food I've gotten the last two day, I know I'm not cooking this next week except for some side dishes.

The temps here warmed up nicely into the low 80's after a cool start. Tomorrow is supposed to be another day in the 80's then things will drop back into the 70's for the rest of the week. I haven't needed my furnace over the cool nights but I'm glad I had it cleaned and it's ready to go when called upon. It was 60 dollars for the cleaning, but it's the best thing you can do for your furnace - and it only needs to be done every other year. It's a lot better than blowing up!

I just finished doing the coupon booklets and getting them all into the organizer. There were a lot of coupons this week - 6 booklets in all. AB and I have called this "The Year of Cheapness" and have worked hard to keep our grocery prices down. I think I'm ahead as I've only had to do 3 or 4 major shoppings since the first of the year - AB has a family to feed and extended family that shows up frequently and unannounced. I'm hoping that just one more major shop will get me through the end of the year. We're taking every cost cutting avenue that we can think of, but we're looking for more because next year we've decided on "The Cheapest Year Ever!" We'll see how that works out.

Well, time to sit back and relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend. Have a good one........

Saturday, October 04, 2008

This is my 1600th post!

Today has been pretty busy already. There is a lot going on again this weekend and I wanted to take advantage of as musch of it as possible. I headed over to the library shortly after rolling out of bed to check out their book sale. Mostly it was romance novels, so nothing doing there. So I went on down to the craft fair put on by the homemaker's extension group. Nice, but nothing really caught my eye. Driving back I noticed the Methodist church was selling pork burgers and brats. While that sounded good I had already planned on stopping by the Oddfellows for their hog roast. A great event that I like to go to every time they put one on. For six bucks you get a good serving of pulled pork, potato salad, slaw, baked beans, bread, and a drink. On the way out I bought a 2 pound container of the pork to bring home - no cooking this next week!

The temps warmed up nicely for today's outings. Temps are up into the high 70's and going into the low 80's before the day is out. Tomorrow and Monday are supposed to be rather warm - one weatherman said it may even be air conditioning time.

Yesterday afternoon was a bit rough here at Frog Central. The plumber showed up to service the furnace for the winter. Over the last 3 years since I've been here at this new location, he had tried repeatedly to make friends with The Frog Wrangler, and she would have none of it. She saw him as an intrusion into her space, so I always had to cage her whenever he showed up. That never stopped her from barking as if to say, Hey, I know you're here! So when he walked through the door he remarked that she must finally have gotten used to him because there was no barking. Telling him the news took me right back to the day I lost her. So the rest of the day was a wash. I'm glad I have my photo albums, my posts here about her, and my memory box. She'll always live on in my heart.

So I was surprised to see that this was my 1600th post. This blog has done some morphing over the years, and I hope that with my birthday being the 12th that I'll have some new frogs to put up. I have also heard from my Radko dealer that a limited edition that I ordered last year is finally scheduled to come in by the last of the month.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Fall cleaning

It all started yesterday morning when I decided to have a couple eggs for breakfast with a piece of toast and a slice of ham. While cracking the egg some of the white spilled on the stove top. After breakfast I decided the whole stove top could use a good scrubbing, which led to the deep fryer next to the stove, which led to the toaster, and on around the counter top until every appliance had been scrubbed down. Well once you get that deep into cleaning you might as well get the cupboards done too. I got started and made enough room to put some appliances up into the cabinets and gain some valuable counter space. Today I'll finish off my kitchen cleaning marathon, but now as I look around I think the living room needs a good straightening too......

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The beginning of another month

October 1st! And it arrived with a wintry blast of Canadian air. The temps here last night dipped into the low 40's. I had the heavy blanket out but I still had to throw it off every now and again because it was too warm. I didn't turn the heat on but may fire it up today as the temps are not supposed to climb out of the 60's today and dip right back to 40 tonight.

Somebody in town turned on the heat last night. Ever since I lived in Cleveland I noticed that the first cold night means a busy night for fire fighters. About 11 o'clock last night the sirens started wailing. People don't have their furnaces cleaned and serviced at least every other year, and that's what happens.

Today the order goes in for the fruit for the fruitcake. Can't wait to taste that first bite - 6 weeks of soaking in brandy cheesecloth, letting the 15 different fruits, 3 types of nuts, lots of spices, and 3 types of alcohol all mellow together. Yummy! People who hate fruitcake love my fruitcake.

Guess I need to get the day started, I have to call the plumber to clean the furnace so I don't start a fire........

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