Frog Collectibles & Other Such Nonsense: 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010

Frog Collectibles & Other Such Nonsense

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

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Cold Spot

The one nice thing about the colder weather we had last week, was that at some point during the night I could turn my pillow over and there would be a nice cold spot. I find it joyous - like finding a dollar in your pants pocket as you get ready to put the wash in the washer. A welcome surprise that goes away all too quickly. I know there are pillows out there that you can actually put a refrigerated core into so that your entire pillow will keep that cold feeling all night, but that takes all the joy out of that "Ah!" you feel when flipping your pillow in the middle of the night.

Gertie and I woke up this morning to a nice steady rain that was so desperately needed. I had to laugh when I turned on the news because the predictions were for another dry week. On the weatherman's entire map it was only raining in one tow - Tidy Town. It didn't last long - about an hour, but my lawn sure needed it. Especially when my lawn guy showed up to mow several days early and didn't really need mowing at all. He was half way done before I even realized that he was here. He joked about how short it was - I didn't think the joke was so funny because I was handing him $40 at the moment.

It was dark this morning and I don't have a light in my office so I couldn't work on what I've started calling "The Project." Twenty-one pages of the book have been written. I did finally get several pages added today, but it was slow going. I do have a light fixture in the office, but it is on the ceiling and I cannot reach it - thus I can't change the light bulb. I hate to think that I'm actually going to have to pay someone to come in and change the bulb! I'd rather work with the natural lighting from the three big windows. Besides, that way I'm not up half the night working on the computer. I'm forced to finish at a decent hour and actually unwind from technology. I hear that's the big story in the news these days.

Which brings me to a pet peeve. The news is all abuzz about the fact that we are way down in math compare to other nations. Well, stop letting kids use calculators in the classroom. If they actually had to work out a problem they might learn some critica thinking skills! Drives me nuts....

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekend Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
Gertie was so happy this last week. The temperatures had moderated a lot. Overnight temps have been back in the 60's - it was wonderful to have temps in the lower 80's during the day. Gertie has wanted to spend as much time outside as I would let her - and it was indeed quite a bit of time. The temps have gone back up this weekend but not as bad as it was - into the low 90's. It is just a small blip on the road to fall temps.

Gertie likes to sleep under my desk while I'm working. My foot is underneath there somewhere! I think this is one of the best pictures of her I've taken in a while. She sleepily lifted her head as I snapped the picture. With a couple files located under the desk I could imagine her saying "I've done the filing - can I take a nap now?" LOL She does use those files frequently as a place to hide her bone - although she often chooses different files in which to place her bone. I haven't figured out her filing system - yet......

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's Friday

Every month for about 5 months now I've been going and getting a vitamin B shot. Before I started the shots I was so tired I would get out of bed and an hour or two later go take a nap. The first shot I got - I can only imagine that if this was what normal feels like, you people live on speed! It was like I had so much caffeine coursing through my system I was running around like the energizer bunny times two. After three days it was like I hit a brick wall and what a let down. I've said that I'm now like a heroin addict in that every time I get the vitamin shot I hope that I'll get that rush like the first time - but no. Each month I get the shot and I feel nothing - until this month. My vitamin B level must be coming up a bit because I've felt pretty good with this last shot two weeks ago. Until yesterday. Today I'm back to feeling like I'm walking knee deep in molasses in January.

I received my genealogy numbering and formatting book yesterday and so today I've been incorporating that method into what I've already typed. I've got about 12 pages done. Not much but a good start and as I go back over it and fill in this new formatting, I'm glad I didn't make it too much further. It takes a lot of concentration and constant re-reading to be sure that you have everything exactly as it is supposed to be. I'm sure after I work with the system for a few more days it will seem like old hat, but for now I'm referring to the book and examples frequently.

Gertie did something new today that made me laugh so hard. And since she got a reaction out of me she kept it up for a bit. She crawled into my lap while I was watching television, put her paws squarely on my chest, looked me in the eyes, and started "talking" to me. I thought I'd die laughing as she stood right there and kept going. I don't know what she wanted - maybe she was bitching me out. But after she said her piece she laid down in my lap and took a nap.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Trouble With Nostalgia

I can remember as a kid listening to the older relatives at the family reunion wax poetically about their childhood and how things were so much better than what we were presently enjoying. I've found recently that I have become like my older relatives - nostalgia for things I had as a kid. Yesterday after I finished grocery shopping, along with other errands, I decided to stop by McDonalds for some french fries. Now when you get a bought of nostalgia - ignore it. It will never be the same as when you were a kid. Instead, I listened to the nostalgia and ordered some chicken mcnuggets. I haven't had them since I was a kid and I should have left it that way. Instead, the bathroom and I were best friends for the evening. I don't remember that being part of my childhood experience, but it probably was. Just remember, it may not always have been as good as you remember. Damn Nostalgia!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pre-Nap Post

Just got back from the grocery store and I'm exhausted. Between my back and my knees it was all I could do to get a couple basics and get out of there. I'm glad I went to IGA over Walmart - the store is smaller and easier to get around. A quick run to the post office box on the way home and I'm glad to be back in the air conditioning. The temperatures have moderated here quite a bit, but they are still getting to 90 during the day. The night time temps drop back into the 60's which is real nice. A cold front is supposed to go through tomorrow - I can't wait because I want to open up the windows and get some fresh air in here. Air the farts out as AB would say.

Well, I'm exhausted and can't keep my eyes open another second - Gerti's already sound asleep and I won't be far behind. There is nothing better than a nice afternoon nap!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Evening

The pain killers have finally kicked in a bit to at least make things a bit tolerable. Tomorrow I have to go grocery shopping - Gertie's down to her last cup of food. I'd like to get some ice cream for myself - I like to have a little dish in the evening. I really ought to get some genuine food items for real meals

Last night I watched Design Star on HGTV - really peeved that we're not allowed to vote for who we want any more. You would think after we gave HGTV one of their biggest stars - David Bromstad - that they'd trust us to pick the best person. We certainly wouldn't have had Antonio - ugh! I don't like his style at all. I think everyone was shocked when he was picked. And that's how I felt last night when Michael lost.

Ah well, I've done much of nothing except write, write, write. The genealogy project was moving along and I was seeing an end in sight. Then I got a letter today from a genealogy society that threw a giant monkey wrench into the works. I need to head east to do newspaper research to try and straighten some of this out. Gertie will love that!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Battle With Pain

I woke up Thursday morning screaming. Another bout of sacroilliitis and the pain is unbearable. Pain killers don't seem to touch it. The doctor's say that an injection can be given into the inflammed muscle but the injection is extremely painful and it only works about half the time. So I soldier on. I don't know if it's the fact I'm getting used to the pain or if it's a bit better today. I actually sat in front of the computer a bit and started writing my genealogy book - just a couple pages, but it felt good to do something.

I was going to make an omlette this morning, but with all the reports of eggs being bad in the news I decided not. Instead I decided since it was nearly noon to go to DQ (sorry mom, but if you had a peanut butter cup blizzard with extra pieces you'd understand why I didn't take your recent advice to give them up!) and got a blizzard and a couple BBQ sandwiches. Who knew that a trip to DQ would leave me in moral dilemma. I paid the eight dollar plus charge with a twenty dollar bill and she gave me back over seventeen dollars in change. She even counted the change back to me. I wasn't paying attention because I was at the drive thru and she immediately started shoving my food out her window and into mine. It was when I was about half way home that it hit me that she had given me the wrong change. Do I go back? Do I say their loss, too bad - especially since they counted the change back to me? As I told EH I would have to think about it while I ate my sandwiches and blizzard. And I don't know it was because I was basically eating nearly free food, but it was the best blizzard I have ever gotten there - tons of extra pieces.

OK, my back is starting to really hurt and I have to go change the television channel because the news is covering the whole bed bug epidemic sweeping the nation - and it gives me the creeps.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hump Day!

A busy Wednesday here at Frog Central. Since the temperatures are a bit cooler I decided to do a little cooking today. I made some 8 bean soup in the crock pot and a loaf of fresh bread. Everything was done about 1 this afternoon, so it made a nice lunch with lots of leftovers for this evening and tomorrow.

I finally finished integrating all the information into my genealogical database that a distant cousin set me. Now I'm working on writing the initial chapter and talking about the progenitor of this particular line of the family history. I like HP for their quick delivery. I ordered a half case of paper and some ink cartridges and they were delivered overnight. Now back to work...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Cooler Day

The temps finally broke here at Frog Central for a day or two - they'll be back to unbearable by the weekend. In the meantime we're enjoying the ability to be outside without frying yourself. Gertie has been a bit restless today wanting to go out and spend all day outside. She's spent quite a bit of time out of the house but eventually I have to haul her back in - she combs through the grass looking for weird things to eat then comes inside and promptly throws it back up. I guess for me to look and ooh and aah at too. So when she starts chomping on something - in she comes.

I worked on my genealogy project for the majority of the morning and am slowly integrating all the information I received from a distant cousin. I am hoping that by Friday I'll have the instruction book for the new page layout software that I'll be using to put all this information together. It will take me a while to read all 900 pages! They said it had a steep learning curve - hopefully not too steep though. I would like to finish this project sometime.

Monday, August 16, 2010

33 Years and Still the King

Sprogz Top of the Hops
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
33 years ago today Elvis passed away, thus spawning the Elvis Impersonator phenomena. Thank you, thank you very much.....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The weekend here at Frog Central has been a hot one and Gertie and I have been lazing about doing much of nothing. Gertie was even too done in with the heat to chase a rabbit that crossed her path - she just looked at it and then turned around came back inside where it's cool and took a nap. Yesterday she slept in until after 8 a.m. - I almost cried! This morning she was back to her usual 7 o'clock, but even that is a luxury compared to when Shadow used to wake me up.

I snapped this picture after I told her to bring me one of her toys - she turned around and looked at me as if to say "Which one did you want?" She has her two favorite toys beside her. Often I'll ask her to bring me one and she'll bring the other - or whichever one she wants to play with at the moment. She's smart as a whip though - she brings the toy and drops it at my feet and as bend down to pick it up she'll pick it up and hand it to me. Well, mouth it to me. She picks up whatever I'm trying to teach her pretty quick. An all around good dog for the most part.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Heaven on a Plate

Glazed Donuts
Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
The weather is getting hotter if such a thing is possible - today the heat index is supposed to be around 122 - 124 degrees. The heat warnings are extended more days and the 7 day forecast has little relief. I had to laugh because I went out early this morning to get some donuts and as I walked outside I was like wow, it feels kind of cool. The temperature was just 82 degrees! LOL

So I bought 4 donuts - two for after breakfast and the other two for a 3 o'clock snack. OK, 1 before breakfast because they looked too good and they are that delicious.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Sweet Smell of Skunk!

Last night as I was getting ready for bed Gertie decided that she had to go out one last time. It was very unusual for her because she really doesn't like to go out after dark, so I figured she really must have to go. I opened the door and as Gertie took a flying leap of the ramp, barking for all she was worth it hit me - the knock you over, clear your nostrils smell of skunk. Mid-leap I hit the button on Gertie's leash and thankfully she came down short of skunk spray. I hauled he in quickly. She didn't have to go - just wanted to chase a skunk. And quite annoyed with me that I didn't let her. I was quite overjoyed when I gave her the thorough sniff test and smelled nothing but dog.

The weather here is just brutal - each day seems to get worse. The temperature this morning at 8 a.m. was 102. With not going out I'm getting a lot done on my genealogy research. I've almost made it through all the information that a fellow researcher sent me recently. I've also gotten the software I need to put everything on these thousand or so pages into a coherent book. Now all I have to do is learn to use the software. I was told it had a steep learning curve and they weren't kidding. Happily I've found some on-line video's that helped tremendously. The 800 page instruction manual should be here soon.

In other news, I got scammed for the first time buying something on-line. I've been using the internet from the first and have never had a problem purchasing something. I was looking for the adobe software I needed and found a site called adobeabodes - I purchased the software only to have it take me to an error message - making it look like there was a problem in putting the credit card through and asking me to retry. Alarm bells went off in my head and thought - I'll call them. Second alarm bell - no phone number contact on the site - no e-mail address. Uh oh! I called the credit card company and yep - they took the money. So now I have to go through the whole disputing a charge. I've never had to do that before and I bet it won't be pretty. It made me so mad because I'm so careful about making sure I get a secure page, etc., etc. So for at least the time being, I've paid twice for the same software. And I'm scared that these thiefs have all my personal information and my credit card info.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Late Night Non-Cool Down

Tuesday morning at 8 o'clock the temps here at Frog Central was 97 degrees outside. We haven't had any real rain to speak of and the lawn is turning that August shade of yellow-brown. Gertie and I stayed in for as much as possible. I did run out quickly this evening for a DQ Blizzard treat. It was very good and it helped keep both us cool - Gertie get's a spoonfull. She's like a lot more, but I give her one of her biscuit treats instead. Not that she doesn't still beg for more ice cream though. I really need to do some grocery shopping but the last thing I want to do in this heat is fill up my trunk with frozen food and try to make it home before it all melts!

The heat advisory was extended today through the end of Friday. One day is hotter than the next - in the 12 or 13 years that I've lived here in Illinois, this is by far the hottest summer I can remember. I think there will have to be more trips for ice cream......

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Hottest Stretch Yet

Those were the words of our local weatherman this morning. The temps topped out around 100 today but the heat index soared to over 110. And today is supposed to be the coolest day of the week. We're already under a heat advisory and it lasts until Thursday evening!

I took a Walmart pizza out of the freezer last night thinking I would make it today - but at the moment I've decided I just don't want to heat the house. Maybe after the temps start to fall tonight. I'll be like my latino neighbors when I lived in Cleveland - during the summer you'd see the festive lights go on after it got dark and after a few cool drinks they'd have a meal. I might be eating at midnight tonight. I just wish I had the ingredients for my favorite cool drink - a wicky wacky woo. A drink, I might add, that I'm taking personal responsibility for making popular during my college years.

Here's the recipe to make a proper Wicky Wacky Woo.
1/2 ounce Vodka
1/2 ounce Rum
1/2 ounce Bacardi 151-proof Rum
1/2 ounce Tequila
1/2 ounce Triple Sec
1 ounce Amaretto
1 ounce Orange Juice
1 ounce Pineapple Juice
1 ounce Cranberry Juice

Combine everything with crushed ice and pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Now I'm really wishing I had one.....

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Relaxing

There's nothing better than just sitting back and enjoying life a bit. Today I went out to the emergency services BBQ - which was delicious. I wish I had bought a couple extra sandwiches to bring home for dinner. I did bring home the dessert brownies which I had for 3 o'clock snack. Now Gertie and I are just relaxing and watching a bit of tele.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Friday Dog Blogging

Originally uploaded by KenCalvino
An update on Gertie - she's doing really well. She woke up this morning and was running around like normal - ready to play. It reminded me of what Shadow's vet always told me when I went running over with her - let's watch it for 24 hours. Here she is - waiting for me to get off the computer.

When Gertie finishes one of her rawhide bones I'll ask her where her bone is - she'll look around and then back at me. I'll say do you need a new one and she goes running over to the spot where I keep the rawhide. It's become a fun game. Today she still had a little bit of her old bone and I said where's your bone - she went running over to the spot with the new ones. It made me laugh - and she got a new bone. But like a good little puppy, she hid the new one and finished the old one.

I went this morning for my vitamin B shot - I hope it kick in soon. And yes I went and got a donut as a treat. And it was delicious. Tomorrow I'm going to a BBQ and getting some pork burgers! Then Sunday is another BBQ for the emergency services squad. It's going to be a busy wekend!

A Long Day

It's Thursday night (well, technically Friday morning) and I'm finally getting ready to go to bed. This morning I had planned a lot of errands. I did get some of them done, but only the absolute necessary ones. Tomorrow I'll end up running out to finish things up. Things got way-layed today by Gertie. She woke up fine but around 9 a.m. she came up limping - not willing to put weight on her one back leg. She wanted to be held. So up in my arms she came while I checked out her paw and leg. She didn't wince at all, so I held her for a while and she seemed happy. I finally had to put her down to see what was going on with the leg. She turned right around and wanted to be held again. So I hopped in the shower and got myself ready to take her to the vets office. When I came out of the bathroom she's running around, like what's going on - where you going. I watched her for a bit and she seemed to be fine. I ran off to do my errands and made it home in about 15 minutes. Not bad for the bank, department of motor vehicles, subway and DQ. Gertie spent the rest of the day wanting me to hold her. She's finally curled up, sound asleep at my feet. Hopefully tomorrow she'll be feeling better.

I love going to the department of motor vehicles here - I was the only person there. They had my stuff ready before I could get the check written. They're located right next to the ice cream/donut shop - you don't know how bad I wanted to stop! I was hungry for a hoagie so I went to subway and got a tuna fish hoagie (yeah, I call them hoagies! LOL). I finished off my errand running by going to DQ - it was miracle network day and all the proceeds from the purchase of a blizzard treat went to a local family. I got my favorite - peanut butter cup pieces.

Unfortunately with all that went on today I didn't get any genealogy work done. Maybe tomorrow after I get home from my vitamin B shot. I stopped by there today but it was about 5 minutes after 12 and they were all at lunch until 1. They told me I could sit and wait - no thank you. You know after they got back from lunch I'd still have to wait the customary half hour before they got to me. I'll head over in the morning instead - and maybe stop down and get a donut on the way home.....

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Frog of the Day

It's another very hot day here at Frog Central. Yesterday temps were over 100 with a heat index of near 120. Today is supposed to be more of the same. And I don't care - I have a half dozen of freshly made glazed donuts. Hurray! It's true that one of our local ice cream shops has fresh donuts. So I'm on a bit of a sugar high already this morning.......

This frog collectible is from the Hop to a Cure from the Hamilton Collection. This piece is called Hip for a Cure. The white frog with pink spots is sitting on a pink leaf. A really cute piece and the added benefit of a portion of every sale goes to cancer research. The pieces are limited edition and numbered - the number of my piece is 553. I received this July 2010.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Mitch Miller Dead at age 99

One of my first memories of records on the record player were from a set that my parents had - Mitch Miller sing-alongs. When I was a teenager and had a radio alarm clock, the only station I could get was the local station. My alarm went off at 7 a.m. and I awoke every morning for years to the Mitch Miller sing-along version of The Yellow Roses of Texas. Honestly, I didn't really care for his sing-alongs, but the man was responsible for a lot of musicians and a lot of good music otherwise. Thanks Mitch.

Monday, Monday

It was a cool 65 degrees this morning and that made me feel great - I've been running around the house getting stuff done like I haven't in the last couple months. Of course tomorrow we're going back up to 110 - but I'm going to enjoy today.

I receive about 28 pages of material for my genealogy project last night - that will give me a little something to do for a while! LOL Research is never done. I find it quite interesting though.

My hunt for a fresh donut in Tidy Town may be over. I'm making a call today to see if it's really true that the local ice cream stand makes them. It's not just ice cream any more. The guy who runs the shop is a baker. He used to run the local bakery and decided he wanted to do something different. He did something different for a year and went back to food service with an ice cream stand. He's expanded quite a bit and from what I hear is basically running a bakery out of his little stand. I'll keep you apprised of the situation. I may be on a donut high for a couple days.......

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