Friday, July 31, 2009

Finding More Frogs! Maybe Northern Leopard Frogs?

Remember back when we caught a frog? How I swore my husband was seeing things when he told me he saw one so next time he mowed he caught one for me to see when I got home? Well, apparently we have a whole family of frogs now! May have to look up more about them because I just do not understand how they are living so close to our house. We have a few ponds in the neighborhood but not in our backyard...more like down the street a few houses. So HOW exactly are these little guys flourishing and reproducing it looks like!

I caught the little guy above right outside our front door!

We've spotted at least three larger guys like the one we caught last year in the backyard and several little guys like the top pic! Too cute!

Ok...did a little research on the Indiana DNR website and really can't tell whether our frogs are Pickerel Frogs or Northern Leopard Frogs. Probably Northern Leopard Frogs - which are a "species of special concern."

Hmm...I think we should get some sort of wildlife protection zone for our backyard for creating an apparently safe haven for these guys. Pretty sure they are feeding off the insane amount of huge scary wolf/grass spiders we have and our tons of grasshoppers!

Makes me wonder, though - is our house sitting on some sort of unstable marsh land or maybe we have an underground creek?? We DO always have really mucky wet areas on one side of the house...the "side of doom" as we've come to call it because nothing...and I mean NOTHING will grow there. If you dig a hole it will fill with rain water and sit like that for DAYS even if the rest of the yard it cracked and dry...hmm?

Here's more info from the DNR website:

Northern Leopard Frog

Northern Leopard FrogDescription
2-3” (5.1-9cm). Dark spots on back with white margins. Spots mostly larger than eye. Dark spot on snout, no spot on external eardrum. Green, tan, or brown with a white belly. Dorsolateral ridge extends to groin. Slender with a narrow head.

Call Description
Deep rattling snore that lasts 2-3 seconds, followed by a chuckling sound, like a heavy creaking door slowly opening. Also sounds like two balloons being rubbed together. Difficult to distinguish from southern leopard frog unless heard on the same night.

Indiana Range
Northern, central, and extreme southeastern Indiana. This is a Species of Special Concern.

Eats terrestrial invertebrates such as insects and insect larvae, spiders, slugs, snails and earthworms. Large adults also eat other frogs.

Marshes, bogs, moist fields, lakes, streams, and ponds surrounded by wet meadows.

Breeding Habitat
Marshes, wetlands, fishless ponds, and roadside ditches.

Breeding Season
Mid-March to May

Females may deposit 3,000-5,000 eggs in globular clusters. Usually laid in shallow water and attached to submerged vegetation a few inches below the surface of the water. Hatch in 1-2 weeks.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Reader Opinion Needed! Accent Wall?

Thinking about painting an accent wall in our living room Bittersweet Chocolate. Here's poorly photoshopped image with the color artificially slapped in. Whadaya think?? Kinda worried that the color will actually turn out a lot darker than this pic, but we will see.

P.S. That stupid palm tree in the corner died - loved it while we had it but it died in like 2 months.

Also, do you think I can cover this whole wall with one quart? Prob not huh? Maybe just 2 quarts?? Let me know your thoughts...I have no painting experience when it comes to how much I actually need.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Garden/Yard Wish List

(Me falling in love with Cosmos at the Indianapolis Zoo...that is my "can't we just dig some up and take it home with us" face! ;))

Every year it seems I fall in love with a new plant that I can't wait to add to our yard and garden. Earlier this year I just HAD TO HAVE peonies, bleeding hearts, strawberries, asparagus and purple coneflower and catnip...and I do have one of each at least planted! Woohoo!

Last year and the year before I was pining for rhubarb, snowball bush and lavender.

Here is this year's/next year's "to plant" list:
  • Cosmos (orange)
  • Clematis
  • Zucchini
  • White Daisies
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Russian Sage
  • Bearded Iris (have the bulbs - just haven't planted them)
  • More Lavender and purple coneflower!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Post Anniversary Update + Indianapolis Zoo Review

Just realized that I didn't post an update about the fabulous time my husband and I had on our day off celebrating our five year anniversary!

We lunched at home and had lunch-time dessert at the Grand Traverse Pie Company - highly recommend the Strawberry Rhubarb!

Then headed off to the zoo where we got to pet and elephant and dog sharks! I was very impressed with the shark petting area, it was my first time seeing that exhibit since they added it...very cool!

The Komodo's, though, were not so exciting. Seemed like they were in a ramshackle-put-up-at-the-last-minute area...the exhibit was sooo tiny and everything was plexiglass so any pictures you took just got the reflection of the guy standing next to you.

Then headed downtown for a little shopping - my husband got himself a new pair of swim trunks for our upcoming cruise! Which he wears around the house every night now I swear! He really likes them. LOL.

Dined at McCormick and Schmick's...had a marvelous berry lemonade martini and a yummy smore creme brulee - not to mention a fabulous steak! Matt had seafood - I did try a mussell - not too bad. LOL. One really cool thing is that the restaurant had made personalized menus that had a special "Happy 5 Year Anniversary" message printed on it that we got to take home with us! :)

You can also read Matt's take on our anniversary festivities on his blog!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Know what I hate? Feeling crummy.

Kinda feel that way now, just had a long day of driving. Tried to make it up north for another family reunion, this one was on my dad's side.

Problem was that the hubby didn't have the day off, he was going to ask for it off but somehow he has next Sunday off and not this Sunday. So, it was either leave him here or do all the driving myself while he slept.

We opted for the sleep and drive, though next time I may just leave him here because it is just too stressful to worry about getting back at a certain time, especially when it is a 2.5 hour drive.

And driving in silence is not fun - unless you are reading, which you can't do if you are the driver. So, Mrs. Chatty-in-the-Car had to be quiet and that got me all in a wide-eyed driving-forever trance that I just could not shake off. I mean the radio was on and all - but it is just weird making it a point not to talk to the person next to you because you know they need their sleep. I kept catching myself almost saying something every 20 minutes...sigh. :(

Then, of course, I was less than pleasurable to be around once we got there - in fact, my hubby and I were both quite sticks-in-the-mud. Sigh. I think knowing that we could only stay until 2:3oPM tops when we just arrived at 11:30 kinda made us all anxious, aloof and grumpy.

Felt like I let everyone down... :(

Saturday, July 25, 2009

SPF Chihuahua

Tried out my new swim suit for our upcoming cruise and tried to catch some rays last weekend, but the chihuahua would have none of it! She's isn't a good outside dog - she always wants to be right on your lap if you're outside even if it is super hot out. Silly pup!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Celebrating 5 Years!

Very happy to get to spend the whole day today with my love - celebrating five years of marriage! Possible plans for the day include: komodo dragons, swim trunk shopping and dinner downtown. Pics of our adventures to follow as usual.

Love you, Matt!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Adventures in Guest Blogging!

Just a heads up! I am guest blogging this week for Alli at Hooray Design while is off vacationing with her hubby in Florida and visiting Disney World- very honored and excited at this great opportunity! My first post is up already! Check it out at!

Alli and I are friends in real life, not just in the blog world, it's always cool to have a friend who "gets" what you are talking about when you ramble on about blogs, rss feeds and Twitter!

Crochet Afghan Update

Slowly getting somewhere on my crochet afghan. 8 squares down - 62 more to go!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Leveraging Garden Goods for Barter

Our bounty of summer squash and cucumbers really paid off this year! Fellow blogger and designer, Ann from Prairie Vision Design, emailed me last week about a possible swap. Some of my garden goodies for a framed Babar poster! Of course I jumped all over that opportunity! :) Thank you, Ann - I love it!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Craigslist Crazy!

Matt and I have been having a pretty decent year with garage sale shopping this year. Scored an amazing wine rack for $40, lots of pretty ceramic bowls for my kitchen, a men's bicycle for $5, a dart board, some gas cans and a tool box.

Well, today we didn't make it to many garage sales but that is ok because Facebook and Craiglist came through with flying colors!

Found these two ladder style bookshelves for $40 ($20 each!!) on Craigslist!

And snagged this white bookshelf for free off of one of my Facebook contacts! :)

A pretty productive day! Love how new things in the house spurs a cleaning spree too! Yay for motivation!!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Wearing blue jeans, long sleeves and socks in the summer is too much! I don't mind if it's like this during the week while I have to hunker down inside and work - but the WEEKEND?! Come on!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend in Review

Besides Saturday, which involved a dentist visit, nomming on all our favorites at Panera (baked potato soup, smokehouse turkey panini and yummy cinnamon crunch bagel) and sleeping the rainy day away - my weekend went by pretty fast.

Made it up to northern-ish Indiana for a family reunion (one of three this month! Though I think I can only make it to two). Had my Great-Grandma's delicious sugar cream pie or custard pie - good stuff either way, my Mom's great taco salad and a host of other delicious family reunion-type foods.

I toted my little Lola up for the trip to keep me company in the car and she managed both 2.5 hr drives without incident! Maybe we are finally past our car sickness stage! She had a fabulous time - got drug around by a toddler at the family reunion, rolled in something hideous at my Grandma's which resulted in being hosed off outside and given a bath inside, got chased by a goat and saw chickens for the first time! Exciting stuff for my suburban pup!

All-in-all a fabulous time, got to spend time just sitting around with my family, looking at Grandma's amazing yard full of flowers and watching the animals (i.e. goat) antics. Haven't got to do all that in a long time - it was nice.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Long Post about a Toothbrush. Brace Yourselves. :)

Matt and I had our 6 month dental cleaning yesterday morning - yeah, I know, Saturday mornings and dental appts don't really mesh - but I would rather get up early on a Saturday than use any more of my vacation time at work to have my teeth poked at.

I do love my dentist - A New Smile, they are so friendly and chipper - gentle with the pokers and make you feel good about your dental hygiene.

We've been to a few bad ones over the years - ones who shove $3,000 dental plans in your face to fix minor surface staining - dentists who insisted we were going to get periodontist disease - made me feel like I was some sort of sugar huffing, non-teeth brushing scum bag - yeah, will NEVER go back to them needless to say. LOL.

Our appts went good - got a clean slate of dental health! Though I do always brush too hard which causes AWFUL sensitive areas on my teeth. Been looking into sonic rechargeable toothbrushes for awhile now - they are clinically proven to be 1,000 times more effective than a regular toothbrush AND it turns off if you brush too hard.

I don't even realize that I am brushing too hard - it must be ingrained now because I just don't notice that I am doing it. I think my subconscience associates brushing hard with getting my teeth REALLY clean. Who knows?

Anyways, got to chatting it up with the lady cleaning my teeth - you know, the kind of chatting that requires just minimal throaty uh-huh's and oh's and mmm hmm's from the patient and the occassional brief sentence or two after you've been allowed to spit into the suction thing. But anyways, we got to talking because she hit a sensitive spot with the metal thing and I just about cried and she mentioned how I might brush too hard and I garbled a yes and pointed at the Sonicare Toothbrush display that was conveniently located near my head and managed to mumble how we had been looking at them.

She said they sold them right there at the office, about how it was a good investment and about how we would only have to buy one because they have color coded little brush heads that snap off and get cleaned every time in a UV sanitizer.

This got me thinking...because anything from the dentist I can put on our medical card...can't do that at Meijer...and about how we ALMOST bought each other one last year for yeah, we came home with one. :)

Couldn't go and use it right away though because we had that new waxy fluoride that has to sit all unpleasant-like on your teeth for at least 5 hours before you brush. And when I talked about going home and using it, the lady that was checking us out said not to use it until tomorrow...sigh. Must be pretty powerful if it would clean off all the fluoride they just put on.

Wow, long post about a tooth brush. LOL. Sorry guys, but, yeah, I am THAT jazzed up about it!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dazzling Daylilies

When we first moved into our house, my Great Grandma Peggy dug up some of her day lilies for us to plant - and they are truely one of my favorite flowers in the yard. Most of the blooms look like the the one above - peachy, pink with bright yellow, orange centers and frilly edged petals.

But the ones below that just bloomed this morning are from the same bunch of day lilies but look so much pinker! I am glad I went out this morning shooting pics befoe my dentist appt because now it is all crummy and raining outside. :(

This might be my new desktop image!! Gorgeous triple blooms!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Outdoor Dining Necessity

Been looking for one of these nifty food screens for awhile now that we have our outdoor table up and going for the most part. Hubby is making benches and we still need an umbrella...but we've already used it twice to eat outside! With outdoor dining tho, comes bugs...which is where wanting these cut little food covers comes in.

I SWEAR I saw them a few weeks ago at Walmart or somewhere, but OF COURSE now that I want some I can't find them anywhere.

I did manage to snag one for $2 at my favorite antique store - isn't it festive?!

If you all know where to find more please, please, PULEEZE let me know!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Went through all my archived pictures on Facebook and couldn't find a one that was 4th themed. My husband and I just really haven't done anything really festive for the fourth since 2005 when we watched the fireworks downtown while seated on the steps of the Indiana State Museum, eating our picnic and listening to some band play. Didn't have any digital camera back then I guess, or not with us anyway. I do have really great black and white pics I took from that night with my 35mm. LOL! Oh goodness.

So, I decided to post a pic of my favorite kind of fireworks! The kind that bloom in beautiful colors in my garden! :)

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Beginnings of a Bookworm

I have always been a bookworm and I think one of the big reasons, in addition to loving parents who read to us all the time, was the many great books I grew up around, many of which have take up residence on a little bookshelf in our new home. Looking back through them all though, there was one or two I knew I had loved but that I couldn't find. Of course, I vowed to find copies of these dear books and add them to our ever-growing collection.

Well, today while I was out perusing my favorite antique store guess what I found? TWO of my missing books! The Story about Ping and Seashells of the World!

I am not sure where the Ping book originally came from the seashell book (if my memory serves me correct) was in an old box of seashells that the owner of the house my parent's bought in Chalmers gave to us kids. I would take each seashell out and look it up in the book...ah, memories!

One of my favorite scenes out of the book!

Ok, Now What?

I've got squash coming out my ears now.

Anyone have any good recipes? I've got nada.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Yay, I Can Crochet!

Yup, I figured out how to crochet! Two granny squares down, 68 more to go if I want to make a blanket! LOL! :)