I woke up early Saturday morning on this, the first long weekend of the summer in Canada.  I had it all planned out with the regular long weekend things to look forward to like smoking some ribs, getting my plants in the ground and developing a flip flop callous between my first and second toes.

Also, I was going to eat my first frog.  Not my first frog ever, obviously, just the first one of the summer.

I’m gonna be perfectly honest with you right now, I had a surprisingly hard time looking forward to eating a frog.  Believe it or not , it’s something you really have to talk yourself into being excited about.  Like undergoing a horrifically painful hernia repair.  Or going to a baby shower.

But I did it, it’s done, and now I don’t have to think about eating that frog anymore.



If you’re any sort of normal human being you’re wondering one of two things right now.  1)  Why the hell did you HAVE to eat a frog?  and 2) Where did you get the frog and how did you eat it and how can I get a frog and eat it?

The frog was in my backyard and I smoked it.

I’m sorry, I completely forgot to mention that “Eat the Frog” is just an expression for getting something done and over with as soon as you can.  It’s taken from Mark Twain



So I didn’t eat a live frog per say. I didn’t even eat a cooked frog.  I “Ate the Frog”.

I’ve needed to build 2 gates to cover up my garbage cans in my backyard for years now.  It’s the thing I always dread doing for some reason and I put it off until it’s close enough to the end of the summer that I can justify not doing it because soon it’ll be winter and I won’t be in the backyard anyway.

This method of avoidance has served me well and I’ve managed to not build gates for at least 5 years now.

But here’s the funny part.  I maybe haven’t built gates for 5 years but I haven’t stopped THINKING about building gates.  It is constantly on my mind, sometimes right there in the forefront and other times, hidden in the back just behind the spot in my brain where I keep the memorized recipes I don’t cook anymore.

Thinking about building gates has consumed more of my time and energy than actually building gates ever would.  That’s the big mistake we all make with large projects. We put them off, because we don’t want to do them, but by putting them off we’re keeping them hovering over our lives like a black cloud raining down frog guilt on us for months or sometimes years.

There is no worse rain than frog rain.

So how did I finally Eat the Frog?


I did 3 things that are essential for completing any project.

  1.  I bought all of the materials I would need beforehand so they were ready to go.
  2. I wrote down all the steps I’d need to complete and a realistic timeline for each of them.
  3.  I committed to doing it on Saturday morning so I’d have the rest of the long weekend to enjoy without frog rain. And I told my pesky “did you finish it yet?” family members.

That’s it.  Do those 3 things and your chances of getting any big (or small) project done are increased by 3 trillion percent.  That’s a scientific fact based on a mathematical algorithm pie chart graph fortune teller.

So the next time you look at a big project and think “UCH … how in the world am I going to ever get this done?????”, just remember my 3 steps.  Buy materials, outline your steps, do it as soon as possible, eat the frog.  I’m sure you’ve kissed a few, and I can tell you from experience that eating one is far more palatable.


  1. Brett says:

    My momma always said, “Life was like a box of frog chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get done.” But aren’t ‘realistic timeframes’ the knowledge bank of a job already done? I find it’s best to just get in & do it, whatever it is, and finish when you do – at the end. No expectations, no disappointments – just done. You’re so right that it’s hard to look forward to frog eating – but they taste so sweet when you’ve smoked them complete!

  2. Evalyn says:

    I want to thank you for this post. I have been retired for 2 1/2 years with a list To Do as long as your leg (I’m short, so I’m using your leg for demonstration purposes), never quite getting anything started and surely never finishing anything. And, even though I have heard the phrase “Eat a frog for breakfast every day, etc.,” before, when I read your posing, it suddenly hit home for me. So, in the last few days, I have eaten several frogs and hope to soon have my list be as long as MY leg so I can get down to the serious business of being retired.

    One of the things on my list is to build my own pizza oven, so naturally I have a few questions. How versatile is the oven? Can you bake bread in it? How about pot roast? I want it to be something I can use for more than pizza. What I really need to do is build a new hen house, so I need good reasons for not eating that frog while I eat a different one. (The post about making a doable To Do list didn’t stick as tight as the frog eating one.)

    • Karen says:

      Hey Evalyn! You’re welcome. The oven is very versatile. You can cook anything you want in it! I’ve done chicken, potatoes, rice pudding, bread, pizza … whatever. The theory is you cook what’s hot and fast like pizza first, then something that requires a lower temp. like bread, then something that’s long and slow like a pot roast last or overnight. :) But usually I’m in such a mess from pizza that I curse myself for also having to bread in it afterwards, lol. Plus now that this summer I have completely committed to relaxing in my backyard (I really do have to make a point of it or I won’t) I’ve even used it just for ambiance. Light a fire, then sit right by it with a book at night. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever made. ~ karen!

  3. Elen G says:

    There needs to be an ‘ate the frog’ emoji. Just sayin’.

  4. Amie M says:

    Our frog is building a sandbox, so the kid stops digging in my veggies beds. That I just seeded.

  5. Dale says:

    My house is full of “frogs”. Every corner there is a “frog” waiting to get smoked, fried, stewed, etc. They are all waiting for that rainy day, but when the rain starts, they all seem to hop away into a local pond somewhere. Just can’t seem to find them.

    Oh, well, it’s a sunny day so maybe I’ll go outside and find a fresh air “frog” to eat.

  6. Wendy says:

    I have a frog to eat too.
    It’s a dollhouse. To paint. I love the dollhouse, and I want to have it be clean and fresh inside & out. And it’s sitting on the floor in front of my fireplace. With sample paint cans waiting inside. Before that, it sat in my basement. And before that it sat outside where I sprayed most of the outside white. Before that it was hiding at the back of an art classroom waiting for some industrious Grade 8 students to paint it. Instead, all they did was bang up the little plexiglass windows.
    I don’t know why I don’t do it.
    So now it’s not just a frog. It’s become a bullfrog.


    • Penny says:

      Maybe you don’t do it because you’re scared that the finished article won’t reach your expectations?
      No, wait, that’s MY reason for all the three-legged humungous freakin’ cane toads around my house and garden! I have a vivid imagination and can clearly visualise my home once all the wish-list improvements are a reality. This perfect image is so damn’ daunting, because my skill-set might not be up to it, and my budget sure as hell isn’t.
      I’m sending some of the healthy frogs out into the world on Freecycle, after admitting that I’ll NEVER ‘get around to it’.

      • Wendy says:

        Yeah, that’s me too. The funny thing: I don’t know why I love the dollhouse. Someone gave it to me a few years ago, and I’ve always loved dollhouses. If I could get to it . . . it would be the mini house version of what I can’t create in real life, in my own house.
        I have way fewer skills than you.
        The good news is I have a new incentive:
        After 11 years of being a school librarian . . . I’m teaching Kindergarten in September. I need the dollhouse ready for my kiddos for their play-based learning. But who’m I kidding? They will love it as is, undecorated, bashed in windows and all.

  7. Kelli says:

    A ribbit here, a ribbit there. So many tadpoles. It’s downright biblical here at and around my place…BIBLICAL, I tell you.

  8. Tricia says:

    “Buy materials, outline your steps, do it as soon as possible, eat the frog.” I guess the first 2 outta the 4 is a good start for me, but I have zillions of projects sitting arond with all the materials needed for each taped or ziptied to each and they’re ALL still sitting around. Sooo, I’m gonna take your advice (and my own) and get my boo-hiney in gear and go from one to the other until they’re done! You bless me each day knowing I’m not alone with my ‘am I alone in this’ thoughts. I DO have a list of my projects though..NOT dated. Another stressor would have been seeing the date I ‘started’ them. Yep, we ALL want to see the gates!

  9. Yvonne M says:

    Hubby and I “ate the frog” yesterday. Moved the furniture back to where it belongs – experimented with relocating it a year ago, and instantly regretted it. Now it’s Monday and we’re sitting back feeling so smug and enjoying the view around our living room, ‘cos it’s a cold and dull day here on the West Coast. All’s well with the world now, the frog has been eaten, and Victoria Day means a short work week ahead.
    Happy May Two-Four, Karen!

  10. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Yeah..I’ve eaten the frog…at least the legs part…what did it taste like??..it tasted like frog…Good job Karen!

  11. Cred says:

    I’m going to list my frogs since maybe it will make me accountable. Just ate a small one- power washing the deck so I can stain it. It’s not hard but tedious- now hoping for several dry days to let it dry and get the staining done.
    I have a huuuuuge to-do list but they’re not all frogs- to clarify for some of the commenters, frogs are only those jobs you’ve been procrastinating on. I can do a thousand other satisfying tasks on my lists and some are not very pleasant. I’m often productive but will have frogs to eat that hang over my head because i get a mind block and mentally turn them into something monumental that i dread.
    Mine are a couple sets of blinds to clean, refinish my dining room table, renovating my coop and building a permanent run. Oh and yuck, take apart my dishwasher and clean out the bits and grime- Ewwww!

  12. NinaMargoJune says:

    Still smiling from eating my own frog last Sunday! After extended procrastinating and planning, I found some green chicken wire in the garage, and attached the end of one piece to the top of the trellis and with floral wire, suspended the other end so it would hang suspended from the roof of the lanai. The jasmine was so overgrown that after I picked up all the new growth and threaded it to the trellis extension, that it’s almost to the top! So smugly pleased with myself that I can’t stop admiring it! That was one tasty frog!!!!

  13. Feral Turtle says:

    Way to eat that frog Karen!!

  14. Kathy Hartzell says:

    HaHaHa. Went to a baby shower yesterday!! Four geezers and tons of young millennials. It was a hoot. Especially the blind whiskey tasting!! And the budgets of little bottles of colored fabric paint an a couple dozen white onesies and bibs for guests to decorate. And we got to visit the chickens in the backyard.

  15. Teddee Grace says:

    I’m not a frog eater, per se, but frog legs are good.

  16. Laura Bee says:

    Ha! I have a few frogs around here. Bit the head off the one in the shed a few weeks ago. Need to finish the rest of it still. Happy May Two Four!

  17. Barbie says:

    WHAT? NO PICTURE???? I NEED MY PICTURE…… Where is the picture? :( lol

  18. Jen Topp says:

    Now I need to SEE the frog gates.

  19. Suzanne says:

    I use a form of this expression with my son… “If you have to eat a frog, eat it early in the day. If you have to eat two frogs, eat the big one first!”

  20. Brenda says:

    Bribbit – urp!

  21. Ev Wilcox says:

    Whew! As I am sort of a reptile person I was not looking forward to a pictorial on the cooking and eating of a frog! Many people do eat frogs, and that is fine. I just didn’t want to witness it! There are so many “frogs” here it is awful. If $ was more plentiful, there would be an army of paid frog eaters here all the time! Oh well, must get busy doing “you know what”!

  22. Linda in Illinois says:

    I collect frogs as in flower frogs. I ate a frog once, well lets just say I tasted it, deep fried, wasn’t pleasant to me at all and did not taste like chicken. Sea food never one of my favorites, the thought of where they live and what gets put into their homes by humans makes me gag just thinking about it, don’t get me started. Anyway, I have lots of frogs to eat for the summer.

  23. Anderpants says:

    Gate pix, please.

  24. Debbie D says:

    Been eating frogs like crazy for weeks now (only on the weekends as I work way to many hours during the week and have a crazy commute). Just installed a new ceiling fan (actually had an electrician do it as electricity scares the &*^% out of me). Bye bye old whomping noise ceiling fan in the bedroom that kept me awake at night. Love the quiet and efficient new fan. Then painted indoor and outdoor trim as I had 4 new doors installed. Got the glass doors and windows cleaned in the house, inside and out. Fertilized and mulched the entire front yard, back yard pots and will finish the rest of the back yard this week. Went through and cleaned out closets and gave stuff to Salvation Army. Cleaned out the garage and gave stuff to Salvation Army. Made homemade jam and canned it for the year (grocery store specials on apricots and on cherries were too good to pass up). Been cleaning out the food in my freezer and pantry and using it up. Still need to deep clean the house, clean the gutters and finish the yard, clean the bar-b-que but am hoping to get those done in the next week as we have a 3 day weekend this week. Thank goodness! Then I will reward myself with binge watching sappy movies and eating those beef bbq ribs with my name written all over them!

  25. AmyL says:

    I actually DO the three steps you recommend, but alas, I just perpetually have about 18 half-eaten frogs strewn about the house, yard, and basement.

  26. Ann says:

    My Eat the Frog moment is to get our house all cleaned today. Company coming in 2 days and we have not done any real deep cleaning for longer than I care to mention. We are not fussy about the house and live outdoors as much as we can. The house stays open to the air much more than most and gets dusty quick. We track in stuff on our shoes every single day, and so we sweep every morning but that and dishes tend to be the majority of what we do to keep the house tidy.

    So it is my job to remove the patina of dust that has accumulated and clear away all the bits and bobbles of usless stuff that has taken up residence. I think I would rather just really eat a frog

  27. Jody says:

    Good on you.

  28. Sondra says:

    A saying I’ve not heard before. I was waiting for a new recipe for frog legs, LOL! Actually frog legs and chicken have a whole lot in common – they taste almost the same. And, I know this how you ask? Well, my father came from Oklahoma and as a young child we were visiting from California and I witnessed first hand the fun sport of “gigging” for frogs. Rivers full of water moccasins and frogs, a boat, two men off to get the frogs and I would not get in the boat after one look at those snakes! Later, a wash tub full of croaking frogs, I refused to eat the frog legs but was tricked into eating a frog leg by my grandmother who told me she had some chicken legs in the refrigerator! I’ve eaten frog legs on a couple of occasions as an adult but as you can image they are not easy to come by unless you want to travel to snake infested areas of the country and catch them yourself. Nope, I’ll pass, LOL!

    • Melissa says:

      Being from south Louisiana, I too was expecting a new frog legs recipe! I’ve had them at restaurants and they are always battered and fried. When I read “I smoked it”, I thought now that’s just genius! What’s not better when it’s smoked??

      • Sondra says:

        You gave me a real chuckle! Smoked frog legs. Why didn’t I think of that? That should be tasty…YES! Actually, when I’ve been asked about how frog legs taste I’ve always described them as tasting like “fishy chicken!”

  29. Teresa Jennings Richardson says:

    Funny, I did the same thing to a minor degree. I have been wanting to put a canopy up over my wrought iron furniture I inherited from my parents so I could enjoy it in my back yard for several years now. After my sweet, but totally plant ignorant hubby “accidentally” cut my Rosemary bush to the ground (Yes, it was my fault–I told him where I kept my hedge clippers and did not go out to supervise him)–but I thought he knew the BACK fence from the SIDE fence, the difference between vines growing ON the fence and a giant herb bush IN FRONT of a fence, and that when I said, “stay out of my garden spot and don’t touch anything green,” he would listen and steer clear. But alas, he did not. In fact, it took him so long to cut down my turnip greens I was letting go to seed and my beautiful Rosemary bush that I planted when it was a twig the size of a toothpick and nurtured for years, that he was too tired to do any of the work he went out to do. The vines are still on the back fence…. But I needed something to distract me from seeing that naked hole left at the end of my little garden patch area, so it was the perfect time so set up an outdoor living area. I love it. I used up all the frustration I had accumulated as I enjoyed the sweet Rosemary fragrance that filled my entire backyard, made spaghetti for supper using fresh herbs from the pile of rosemary debris (took me 5 hours to harvest that one plant and I still have to put up the dried herbs in a few days), and made him a chocolate cake to prove I had really forgiven him. Maybe I can laugh about this in a few thousand years….But I do enjoy sitting in the wrought iron rocker with my feet propped up on the wrought iron table admiring the lovely canopy, carpet, and cushions as my dog takes care of his morning business….

    • Cred says:

      You know the saying, when you need a job done right…..
      I may have cried if it were my Rosemary.
      This reminds me of a few years back- I was working in the US for 6 months and my parents kindly took care of my property while I was away for the summer. My mom mowing the lawn, avoided a large patch of weeds next to the wooded side of the lot, she mistook for my wildflowers, while my dad whipper-snipped the entire bed of wildflowers mistaking them for weeds. Ah well, what can you do?

      • cathleen clark says:

        that’s funny…as my dad was getting on in years he and mom lived on the property he always kept busy. One afternoon I looked out my kitchen window to see he had mowed over the barrier between our house and neighbors. Dad was in the neighbors yard with the riding mower just mowing along his merry way. My husband knocked on the neighbors door and told him dad was mowing their backyard…My darling neighbor said “That’s fine as long as he mows the front too”. priceless

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      “that when I said, “stay out of my garden spot and don’t touch anything green,” he would listen and steer clear”…oh you silly silly girl…lol..

  30. Maureen Locke says:

    First I was grossed out, then intrigued and then excited to see pics. So.. where are the pics??? It’s Monday already.

  31. Jennie Lee says:

    Sorry–I see you claimed victory over your frog right at the start of your post. I salute you. I’ve been sneezing all day, and probably blew my frontal lobes out. And it is far too late. Goodnight.

  32. Jennie Lee says:

    At first, I thought it must be a chocolate frog, like Harry Potter would eat. Then I thought you might be preparing some French cuisine. Then I remembered a Monty Python sketch about assorted chocolates , including one with a frog inside. (Why do the British connect frogs with chocolate?) And I clean forgot Twain’s advice. My frog is setting up my computer printer. And don’t think I didn’t notice the fact that you never did say that you ate the frog! I suspect you didn’t, or you’d have shown us at least one picture. Confess–did you eat the frog?

    • Helen Whaley says:

      ‘My frog is setting up my computer printer’ – for a minute I actually thought you had some kind of geek frog busily installing your printer. On the off-chance that you do have a smart frog, will you send him over here to sort out the volume control on my telly?

    • Jeanne says:

      That particular chocolate was called “Crunchy Frog”. I’ve never forgotten it…that kind of thing sticks in your mind!

  33. TucsonPatty says:

    Okay, I first read that sentence (“I did 3 things that are essential for completing any project.”) as: “I did three things that are (NOT) essential for completing any project” and boy howdy, was I excited to find another excuse to put things off. I’m still snickering. Freudien, yes? I had read that quote before, but had forgotten, so thank you for reminding me of the value of “just get it over with and move on.” Happy frog day to you!

  34. MissChris SA says:

    I must admit, I nearly had a hernia attack about the frog eating thing – I LOVE frogs!

    In saying that, best I eat my frogs now too!!

    Have a great day!

  35. Michelle says:

    I’d have to admit being partial to Dead Frogs, in particular the Nut Brown variety. ;)


  36. Jani says:

    I have so many frogs waiting patiently saying “Ribbet….will I be next”?

  37. Kathleen says:

    I loath this expression. My ex-boss used to use it all the time!

    My frog is the window and door frames… I have set a date. My 3 and a half year old granddaughter will not be around wanting to “help” me, (We live on the same property), so I have to do it then.
    Will let you know if I do it! :)

  38. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Great post! Now I have a real name for it… Frog Guilt… Maybe I should get a gold frog…

  39. Stephbo says:

    THANK GOD!!!! I was really bothered by the fact that 1) It wasn’t your first frog and 2) It was only the first one of the season, implying that there would be more. *blergh* I, too, am eating a frog right now. I have a cabinet in my entry way which has been there for over a year and which needs to be gotten rid of. I finally got around to emailing a donation place about it tonight, so hopefully it will be it off my house by the end of the week. I’m sick of looking at it!

  40. Suel says:

    Thank you again, Karen, my frog is repairing, sanding, painting and rehanging a paling fence around the outside basement entrance. Then I can treat myself with putting up 3 bluebird houses!

  41. Brandy Ballard says:

    I’m currently eating that frog right now……

  42. Lisa says:

    IF you don’t eat the frog (love the expression), you’ll always be “flat out like a lizard drinking”.

  43. Ms Procrastinator USA. says:

    That’s just crazy how you put off stuff for years and it takes 15 minutes. Or 2 hours. Or maybe longer, but you know. My family lives 2500 miles away and they are still bus station pests.

  44. Sue says:

    So many frogs! So little time!

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