Friday, December 30, 2011

Heading Out . . . Again

Grenville and I are leaving today for our post-holiday visits with family and, of course, that includes spending time with family. This extended trip includes stops in NJ, PA, RI, CT and a week-long stay in NH before we head back to VA by mid-January. Most family live 6-10 hours away.

We'll be posting along the way, perhaps not as often, as we plan to spend the most time we can with family.

A big HUGE THANKS to ALL who visited The Frog & PenguINN blog this year. We have appreciated and enjoyed your comments and look forward to “seeing” you in the coming year.

2 penguinsOur Best Wishes to All

Friday Funnies

YES, I heeded advice from several fellow bloggers and CASHED 5 cent bonusthe settlement check received earlier before the Dec 22 deadline:

  • No holiday shopping
  • No banking it
  • No tipping

AND, this was BEFORE taxes !

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gas on the Rise . . .

Are gas prices UP in your part of the world?

A week ago, gas prices here on the VA eastern shore were the lowest in months – $3.13/gal. Yesterday morning, prices at ALL local pumps were $3.15/gal.  But within a few hours, they had increased, not by a few pennies, but 10 of them!


On a brighter note – THANKS to fellow bloggers who exchanged Christmas cards with us. We enjoyed your notes and photos. The cards brightened our holiday spirits – Happy New Year to ALL!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Not a blueberry

Know what these berries are called ?
IF you said juniper berries, you were right!

A juniper berry is the female seed cone produced by various species of junipers.
It is not a true berry but a cone with fleshy and merged scales, giving it a berry-like appearance.

The cones from a handful of species, notably Juniperus communis, are used as a spice. In the Middle Ages, the scent of juniper was believed to ward off plague, witches, evil spirits, curses and contagious diseases. The juniper berry has been an herbal remedy for urinary problem and gallstones and is an old folk remedy for gout.

Juniper berries gives gin its distinguishing flavor. The name gin derives from genièvre, the French word for juniper berry. Golden raisins soaked in gin are a popular home remedy to relieve arthritis. 
We don’t have enough berries to make gin, instead Grenville dries the berries and uses them to season pork roasts. Crushing the berries before using releases their distinctive flavor.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Cuties

We didn’t get to visit with the grandkids at Christmas. That fun comes next week on our after-holiday family visit road trip. Our last visit with them was in late October – way. They live about a 10-hour drive from our home on the VA eastern shore. 

We did “see” them Christmas morning through photos and videos sent by their mom. We watched grandson opening gifts. Next year, granddaughter will be joining in that fun. 

1225 Bobby xmas

1224 Elizabeth-Bobby

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day is Now a Memory

We hope everyone had a peaceful, joyous and loving Christmas – however and wherever it was celebrated.

Grenville and I celebrated a simple Christmas at The Frog & PenguINN. Our neighbor, Mary, joined us for breakfast – blueberry pancakes, bacon and fresh fruit. Later, we turned on the tree lights, lit ALL the holiday candles (a lot), and snuggled up for a movie marathon. We’ve been re-watching our collection of holiday films since early December. Yesterday’s choice was The Santa Claus  movies starring Tim Allen – YES, all 3 movies:

  • The Santa Clause (1994)
  • The Santa Clause 2  - The Mrs. Claus (2002)
  • The Santa Clause 3The Escape Clause (2006)
By mutual agreement, we did not exchange gifts – cause we don’t need more “stuff.” Instead, our holiday treat was dinner at Annie’s, our favorite area restaurant. It was beautifully decorated for the season; Christmas dinner seating was by advance reservation only. We has dinner with 40 people – a delicious meal and no cleanup.

trees collage 

The photos are a little blurry as they were taken in available room light with an iPad.trees collage2

No, I don’t take the iPad along when we go out and rarely take photos with it. But, it had some special photos we wanted to share with our friends, Matt and Annie, who own Annie’s.  We will share them with you in another post.

At the end of this week we’re off on (another) road trip to visit family in NJ, PA, RI, CT. We’re also returning to NH for a week.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Thought

In 1926 an obscure Los Angels preacher, Dr. James Allan Francis, wrote a short sermon of just 245 words. Words about a solitary life from an obscure village. A solitary life that would impact the human race for over two centuries. As Dr. Francis wrote, I wonder if he realized the impact his words would still have 85 years later.

It’s Christmas. A time Christians the world over will celebrate the birth of a solitary man from an obscure village. A man who has had a most profound effect on the human race. A man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. I wonder if either of these men realized how much they would affect future generations.

Let us turn now to the story. A child is born in an obscure village. He is brought up in another obscure village. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life. While still a young man, the tide of popular feeling turns against him. One denies him; another betrays him. He is turned over to his enemies. He goes through the mockery of a trial; he is nailed to a cross between two thieves, and when dead is laid in a borrowed grave by the kindness of a friend.
Those are the facts of his human life. He rises from the dead. Today we look back across nineteen hundred years and ask, What kind of trail has he left across the centuries? When we try to sum up his influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely picayune in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life…
“The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled “Arise Sir Knight!”).

Whether or not you believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, his influence on the human race is unquestionable. It is His birth we celebrate today.

Peace on Earth, Good will to all.
Merry Christmas.
Happy Birthday Jesus.

It's Official

Christmas Eve is here...

Thanks again for all the Bloggy Support this fine day. BUT it is now time to Deep Fry the Oysters for the Feast of the Eve.
Merry Christmas to all,,,, and to all a good night....

It's Christmas Eve!!!!

OOOOPPPPSSSS! I started this and then got distracted, dang reindeers on the roof again, and never finished it.

YES!!!!! It is Christmas Eve. A magic time when almost anything can happen. Like loosing the picures i was going to post.....
More later,,,, I hope,,,, Gotta go clean up the reindeer poop!!!!
Grenville ( Cleaning and looking for the lost photos)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Seeing Red

geraniums bloomingPerfect for Christmas – red  blooms in the back yard

red berries

Friday Funnies

Bearly fittinglook fat

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A quick THANKS!!!!!

to everyone who sent suggestions for the Live Writer Mac quandary. I did find a Mac alternative but it will not run on Lion osX. I know cause i tried to force it but failed.
And running a virtual windows machine seems counter intuitive to me.
SOOOO For now it will be composing in Word (for Mac) and then a copy/paste to Blogger. I can only imagine what will happen to the graphics :-).
Again, Thanks all, and it's nice to know how many Mac'sters are out there.

Happy Solstice

No one really knows when humans became aware of the changing seasons. It was probably early on. Plants grew and fruited at a certain time. Animals migrated at a certain time. The weather changed at certain times. In many ancient civilizations the solstice and equinox were times for celebration.

On Winter Solstice we celebrate the shortest day of the year with the least amount of sunlight. From here the days get longer until we get to Summer Solstice in June, the longest day of the year. In many ancient cultures Winter Solstice was celebrated as New Years as the days lengthened. The celebrations differed depending on when and where you are.

Our modern celebrations include Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanza and New Years. BUT some of us still like to keep the old traditions. It’s a nice way to start the Holiday Season.

Here on the Eastern Shore today(Thursday 12/22/11) is Winter Solstice,and Winter officially begins at 10:30 am EST. Amazingly the weather prediction is for cloudy and near 70F.

So take a minute today to stop, look up, and say thanks to your Creator for the year gone by and hope for a better year to come.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hey Mac!!!!!! I'm in a quandary!!!!!

Well the big change over to a Mac Book from a life (well since 1983) of PC's has been a real adventure. For the most part I'm really liking my MacBook. Just some little irritations.... LIKE no blog editor like 'MS Live Writer' for MAC. I thought i had found one but it doesn't play nice with Lion osX. And there isn't much else out there. DO any of you Mac users have any suggestions???? I did buy Office for Mac which has Word, Excel, and Power Point, but none of them seems to be what i'm looking for. So for the time being i'm composing in Word and pasting into Blogger.

Any help would be great.... come on .... i know someone out there is a closet Mac user..... fess up!!!!!

I'm Waiting...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thanks for the Christmas Cards

Our Thanks  to all blogger friends who have sent Christmas greetings. We have enjoyed reading your holiday messages and seeing your photos. cards (3)Fellow bloggers who sent an email with their name and address will be getting one from us. And, if you want to get in on this year’s exchange, there’s still time. Here’s what to do.

We’re putting the cards on display in our living room as we always do. It’s nice to be surrounded by “friends” at Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Funnies

Just in time for holiday spending – this check came in the mail.

IMG_7491Notice the amount – that’s right – it’s 5 centsIMG_7493And, it’s only good until Dec 22.IMG_7486WOW, it’s a good thing that Grenville and I agreed on no gift buying for one another this year. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Frank

For those of you who may not realize it, 'The Chairman of the Board' would have been 96 years old today. What???? You don't know who i'm talking about????? Well maybe you're too young, or didn't grow up in the shadow of Manhattan listening to WNEW-AM. That is where DJ Martin Block crowned Francis Albert Sinatra the Chairman of the Board.

Born on December 15, 1915 to Martin and 'Dolly' Sinatra in Hoboken New Jersey, he decided on a career in singing after hearing Bing Crosby. Frank went on to become one of the best known entertainers of the century. In Las Vegas the Sands Hotel announced his presence with just one word on the marquee, "FRANK".
His recordings still represent some of the best of the "Great American Song Book".
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRANK!!!!! We miss you.....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like . . .

IMG_7412Last weekend, we went tree shopping. After visiting a couple of nurseries and not finding any balled trees that were (1) small enough or (2) nice looking, we decided to go with a live cut tree once again. This year, we wanted  one that would fit on top of a table by the front window vs. the typical floor-to-ceiling one of past years.

xmas tree 2011Our search was successful and soon the tree was in our cart, tied securely atop Grenville’s Jeep and on the way home. We decided to try  LED lights this year. Since we were using a smaller tree, a single 100-light set would be perfect.


The finished result after we decorated yesterday. That’s an angel that lost her head (but only for the photo). Small toy bears are around the tree stand and this group is guarding the tree below.

IMG_7392Another group is hanging out by the TV/stereo cabinets.IMG_7393This Nativity set was purchased more years ago than I can recall from a K-Mart store. It’s set up every holiday season and is usually on the fireplace mantel. This year it was relocated to a table.

IMG_7395We will be spending the holidays at home alone for the first time in many years. This decision is by choice to recoup from recent road trips, visits from electro-gremlins, and plumbing “adventures.” We’re planning to spend Christmas at home watching  holiday movies, relaxing and being together without any company, dinner to prepare, schedules to keep or gifts to exchange. We’re giving one another “nuttin for Christmas” this holiday, except each our love.

And we’re keeping inside and outside The Frog & PenguINN decorations  simpler and not putting as much “stuff” as in previous years. Of course, we still have favorites, like the mistletoe ball, holiday bell, “snow” penguin and the merry chris-moose.xmas decos collageWe went through containers of holiday trimmings then donated a lot of “stuff.” A nursing home was happy to receive many stuffed teddy bears, penguins and frogs. These will be given to residents who might not otherwise receive any gifts.

Grenville decorated in the front yard and those decorations are much simpler as well. Penguins, candy canes and angel flags. A large cedar tree in the front yard was decorated with white lights.

xmas decos collage2xmas decos collage3We’re wondering how YOUR holiday plans are going this year and welcome your comments. 

  • Are you decorating more, less, or the same ?
  • How/where are you spending the holidays ?
  • Do you exchange gifts ?

ONE “tradition” we’re keeping is sending put holiday greetings – the old fashioned way – by mail. Thanks to the fellow bloggers who have emailed their names and home address to me. Our cards will be going out this week (the photo reprints were finally received).

IF any other fellow bloggers would like to participate in a card exchange, the details can be found here.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Funnies

bears NH1018 (21)If the bears don’t get them first!

bears NHBut remember . . .

bears NH1018 (8)Seen at . . .

bears NH1018 (9)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Take a Moment

Amidst the pre-holiday hustle and bustle, some dates get “forgotten.”

Today, December 7, is the 70th anniversary of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor (Hawaii).

According to an online site, the U.S. suffered these casualties, injuries and damages:

  • 2,388  died in the attack
  • 1,178  were wounded
  • 21 ships were sunk or damaged
  • 323  aircraft were destroyed or damaged
  • 1,177 involved in the attack were serving on the USS Arizona
  • 333 serving on the USS Arizona survived the attack

This 70th anniversary year will mark the disbanding of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association on Dec. 31. According to national president William H. Muehleib, the association is disbanding because of “the advanced age and ill health of our membership and the declining numbers of members.”

The formal disbanding announcement will be announced in a ceremony today at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, overlooking the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial with a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. – 70 years to the minute from when the Japanese attack began.

Never forget.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Redesign Means Gone?

penguin t-shirt (1)

It’s NOT the penguins fault.

This time it’s Google Mail (Gmail) driving me a bit crazier than usual.

Gmail has a new design. Today, I found out that my mailbox contents were GONE – all GONE, saved emails too.

Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue, but in a post last week, I invited fellow bloggers who wanted to do a holiday card exchange the old-fashioned way (postal mail) to send me an email.

Several fellow bloggers responded and I saved their info in my Gmail account. But tonight there were NO emails in my Gmail !!!

BACKUPS are always a good thing as I’ve learned from past experiences. This weekend I had copied the card exchange info to a file on my computer.  To date,  these bloggers had replied: Artic View, Dancing with Daisy, Montanagirl, Wspersweetly of Cottages, Mamabug’s Nature Photos, and The Cottage by the Crane Lake.

IF anyone sent an email in the past day or so, it may be in Gmail never-never  land. So, please resend to the email address listed on my blog profile page. I’ll check my Gmail account later and hopefully will get it.

What’s this ALL about – here’s the “guidelines.”

  • Post by snail-mail only (please)
  • Include a photo of yourself, family to share
  • Add a personal note (pretty please).

We’ll do the same which means you can “see” Grenville & Beatrice.

  • Email Beatrice (check her blog profile page).
  • Include your email, name, and mailing address.
  • She will email back and provide OUR mailing address.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Santa Claus Came to Town

IMG_7124Santa came to our small town this weekend, but not in a sleigh powered by reindeer – but by train accompanied by Mrs. Claus and some helper elves. And, of course the train crew.

The Santa Train is an annual event in early December here on this part of the VA eastern shore.

The sign told him WHERE to stop.

Families gathered by the historic Onley Train Station to await his arrival. There were several stops ahead of ours. Thankfully the weather cooperated with clear skies, although snow would have been a nice touch.

Santa waitSanta’s train was an hour behind schedule because of large turnouts in several towns preceding our stop. Still the crowds waited.

Santa arrivalThe Onley Station was decorated and ready for Santa and his entourage. Members of the Society for the Preservation of the Historic Onley Train Station (SPOTS) of which Grenville is a founding member, provided refreshments – hot chocolate, popcorn, and cookies. Members also decorated for Santa’s stay.

Santa wait collage2Santa arrival2As soon as Santa was settled, the lineup started. Everyone wanted to be sure Santa knew what was on their “wish list.”

Santa arrival3Eagerly they came one-by-one or in groups.

Santa arrival4Santa arrival5Mr. & Mrs. Claus  posed for pictures too.

The ClausesAfter every child had talked to Santa and received a gift, it was time for the Santa Train to head to the last stop. Of course, that’s before Santa returns on Dec 24 using his traditional travel methods.

Sanata leavingBut not before wishing one and all . . .


Merry Christmas


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Countdown Starts

Ready or not – 24 days ‘til Christmas !

frog-penguinJumping for joy like the penguin or boggled like the frog?

Grenville and I are keeping Christmas simple this year with no presents for each other, just contributions to charities. BUT, we are sending holiday cards – the kind that come in the mail vs. electronic ones.  YES, we’re old-fashioned that way.

Want to exchange holiday greetings? 

  • Post by mail only (please)
  • Include a photo of yourself, family to share
  • Add a personal note (pretty please).

In return, we’ll do the same AND you get to “see” Grenville & Beatrice – isn’t that worth the cost of postage? No need to answer that one. We’re curious to “see” you all.

HOW to do this?

  • Email Beatrice (check her blog profile page).
  • Include your email, name, and mailing address.
  • She will email back and provide OUR mailing address.

If you decide to “opt out,” that’s OK.

Thanks for your visits and comments on our road trips, household inconveniences, gardening, food adventures, and joys of grandkids.

We hope your holidays are as stress-less as possible.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Surreal Sunset

Our ride home from NJ on Sunday was relatively easy, considering all the hype about possible traffic delays.
sunset 112711 (1)IMG_7091
Our special after-holiday treat was seeing this spectacular sunset.
These were taken from inside the car using the “vivid” setting on my Canon PowerShot SX130IS camera.
sunset 112711 (8)
I was experimenting with the settings; no other changes were done. It amazes me that I can have such fun using a point & shoot type digital camera, after previously owning a couple of digital SLRs.
sunset 112711 (6)
Today was cyber-Monday but we did not do any online shopping. Instead, we worked on going through “stuff” and sorting “stuff” to be tossed out or donated to local thrift stores.

Did YOU shop online today – for yourself or others?