Monday, June 30, 2008


My cinnamon rolls have a reputation of being cinnamony, gooey and delicious. Last year for the 4th of July Breakfast, the new ward activities chairman did not request people to bring rolls and other goodies. When I arrived I was met by more than a handful of people WAITING for the cinnamon rolls to arrive (they had arrived early so they would be one of the first to get one!). They were very disappointed. It was annouced that this year's 4th of July Breakfast would include those traditional items that have been brought in year's past, namely, Ann's cinnamon rolls. Sadly, I won't be making them this year unless Von wants to follow my instructions!

Since it had been so quiet at our home on Sundays, I thought it would be a good thing for us to be a little more social! So I invited a few ward members over for Cinnamon Rolls. We invited about 5 families over. Afterwards, I was asked, "When are you doing it again?" So I came up with a new tradition for Von and I, "Cinnamon Roll Sunday". Every 5th Sunday will be Cinnamon Roll Sunday, and we will invite new families in the ward we haven't met to join us. I have encouraged those 5 families to do the same - but they haven't got with the program yet - mainly because they haven't mastered the technique of cinnamon rolls on their own. Possibly I may do this every 4th Sunday so we can share the cinnamon goo a little more!!!

Anyway - I tried another cinnamon roll recipe tonight. I liked it. We will have a verdict tomorrow morning after we see how well they hold up "the day after". Another good thing about Cinnamon Roll Sunday is that I get to try out new recipes - trying to find "the one" recipe that fulfills everyone's cinnamon fantasy.


Tomorrow I go in for surgery for my right hand. This is my 4th surgery on this hand - and I hope it is my last! (This is not my arm - I do not have black hairy arms!!!)

After my first surgery, they wrapped my hand and forearm up so nice and pretty. The nurse called it a "overgrown zucchini" bandage. That is what will happen again tomorrow. It will be a frustrating week.

The challenge: Do everything with your left (or right for the lefties) hand for 2 hours. Let me know how you succeed!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008


I love springtime in Carlsbad because there are so many colors in the foliage from the Flower Fields to the Birds of Paradise and now the blossoming of the Jacaranda trees with their bright lavender flowers. Rancho Santa Fe is lined with Jacaranda trees as well as Melrose Ave. and the Von’s shopping center on Alga & El Camino Real. These trees make me happy as I drive by them each day.

Growing up in Yuma, AZ, we didn’t see much color (one of the reasons why I love Carlsbad!). There were two predominant colors - SAND, BROWN, GREY-BROWN, DUSTY-BROWN, MUDDY-BROWN, ALFALFA-GREEN, GREY-GREEN, CACTUS-GREEN, CITRUS-GREEN and TOAD-GREEN.

By our front porch we had a Jacaranda Tree, the only non-fruit bearing tree in our yard! I don’t think anyone else had one in Yuma. Every spring it would bloom, big, beautiful clusters of LAVENDER blossoms. We officially were a 4-colored yard! After the blossoms dropped the leaves were a treat as they were large fan-like wisps that kept the sun from beating down on the front porch.

We also had toads that hibernated in the ground near the front porch. They are supposed to ‘emerge’ when the monsoons come in August – but the monsoons rarely dropped a raindrop in Yuma. Instead we irrigated our yard, especially when springtime was upon us – so the tress would soak up heavily to bear the summer heat. Our toads used the irrigation as their alarm clock.

So, each springtime as the Jacaranda Tree was blooming, the evening exodus of toads onto our front porch began – along with their croaking songs! Now - these toads weren’t the small cute things – they were huge; the size of a salad plate in circumference and 4-6 inches tall!!! And we didn’t have a few, we had MANY. Our front porch was about 10’ x 6’ with a 5’ walkway to the driveway. When you would open the front door, the WHOLE front porch would be covered with toads. We would open and shut the screen door to see if they would move – which they didn’t. Then you would take one of the toad-sticks, which was kept in a bucket by the front door, to prod the toads to action. If you were lucky, they’d hop onto the toad next to them and hopefully cause a domino/chain reaction and MOVE! It took a few minutes to clear a path. Then we had to move quickly, as they liked to gravitate back to their favorite spot.

It was a disgusting chore to clear the porch. Toad cooties, toads flopping on your feet, toad remains – yes, you can imagine the excuses we would come up with to fore go the nightly ritual. And heaven forbid if we had company! Didn’t have cell phones to call someone in the house – instead our company would yell to get our attention so WE could clear a path to the front door. However, my nephews, when visiting in the evening had a grand time. They would grab the toads, scare one another with them, chase after them, put them on their heads, or see how many they could get inside the house and stuff in their mom’s purse without being caught. In fact those were the only evenings that the toads seemed to disappear without the toad-stick.

It was one of those rare dry-cool evenings that AZ is known for, that the wind picked up. The Jacaranda blossoms had begun to drop, and they left a mess on the porch. No one had swept the porch that day. The toads began to congregate. Around 9 PM, I arrived home from work to discover the front porch covered with a heavy layer of Jacaranda blossoms from the wind. I thought it looked so pretty in the light. I was mesmerized by such color and beauty and stillness, that I did not stop to consider the reason for such depth of dropped blossoms.

I joyously started walking to the front door only to realize that the blossoms were starting to lurch! Oh, no, purple toads! I stepped on one – gag! It was able to move away from my foot which caused me to stumble and play a quick two-step to avoid stepping on more toads!

“MOM!!! HELP ME! MOM!” I yelled. That seemed to wake up the sleeping toad princes! I was frozen, not wanting to step and crush anymore toads. They started hopping, those purple covered toads, plopping on my feet, brushing against my legs, ugh! Would no one come and save me?

Finally the door opened, and my mom and dad - well, they just stood there and laughed at the mounds of purple flopping toad-blossoms around my feet. Purple Toads – they have a way of diminishing all your dignity.

In honor of the Toads, I collect them – but they are ceramic, which line my front porch. Maybe someday I will get myself a Jacaranda Tree then I will have some more Purple Toads – that don’t flop and plop!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

At some point I will get this

I am not sure how to do this, so the beginning of this blog is going to be random posts.