We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Agua Caliente Park...

  Yesterday, we went back to Agua Caliente Park...it was a beautiful day here in Tucson...sunny, no clouds, and about 80 degrees...lots of turtles, ducks, a road runner...the bambini's played by the forbidden spring, watching the fish swim...we talked about the Mother's Day picnics we had here and how much Mama enjoyed the huge palm trees, grassy field and the cat tails in the water...

             Here are the bambini, gathered around the forbidden spring - despite the sign advising them not to pass the sign telling them not to go down there...There were originally two springs - one hot, reportedly 100 degrees, and the other cold.  Back in the 1800's, the army dynamited the springs, to  make them flow together, believing they could maximize the water flow.  This area was one of the original forts in Tucson.
                                                    The boys spot some fish in the spring...

                     And, in a parallel universe...here's a photo Autumn found of Kimmy and Cajun, from July of 1995, sitting at a small spring at the Lehigh Valley Parkway, back in Pennsylvania...
Can you see what is at Kimmy's side?  A loaf of bread...for the ducks!

                  Lil Kim - could she look any prettier?  And so much like Kimmy...they both loved to feed the ducks at Aqua Caliente - Kim would put aside rolls, bread, whatever to bring along.  On the rare occaision that she forgot...we would make the quick stop at the Circle K on Tanque Verde on our way in.  Today, I forgot to bring bread...and forgot to stop at Circle K...but, I made it up to Autumn on the way out, stopping for Icee's for the bambini's!

                     Yep, it's inevitable...if there is water...Tonio is going to get wet!  Today was no exception!
The funny thing is, he didn't know that I saw him, or photographed him...so when I asked him if his Puma's were wet and he told me 'No', he was a little surprised when I showed him this picture..."No" turned to "well, just a little" pretty quickly.

               Here, the kids are standing in the dry, third pond.  It had water in it when we moved here in 1994, but dried up shortly thereafter.  The second pond, which has been dry for awhile, actually was about 1/4 full this day.  Autumn bought her umbrella, with her own money, at the Tucson Festival of Books.  Tonio's finally picking out his own outfits and has all of the color coordinating skills of his Dad!  I'm telling you, Kim bought all of my clothes and made sure I had matched them up correctly before going out the door.  On the few occaisons that she did not, I sure received a lot of comments (see Patti at Cottonwood for my McNabb jersey/shorts choice!)...none of them overly positive!

               And, the obligatory, Conca's in the tree portrait...my sisters, Lauren and Sherri have kept this tradition alive, as well!

                This morning, we all got up early (well, 8:40ish) to meet Brian and Tom to go for a bike ride at Fantasy Island (they were surprised I was able to get up at all, after a full scale fiesta broke out in my driveway the night before...).  I was ready...and, just making sure I really had lost it, I was taking the bambini back to Fantasy Island!  Brian, Tom and Cody took off on their own so I could keep pace with Tonio and Autumn (and I knew there was no way I could have kept up with them this morning!).  The big boys did about 12 miles worth of hard, desert riding today and were impressed Cody could keep up on his BMX bike!
               The sun was warm, but there was a cool breeze coming from the west, with just enough humidity in it, that if you closed your eyes, you would swear you were in San Diego...I could almost hear the waves.  And the air smelled impossibly fresh today, too.  It was a great day to be out there!
               We managed about 4 miles today - that last mile, Tonio kept yelling things like "Cramp!",  "My thighs are burning!"  and, "We're all still here!"  I think he was getting delirious.  But they did great again today.  No one ran into any cactus, or crashed too badly.  As we approached the 'Sand Pit', I began calling out instructions "Hold onto your handle bars tight!"  "Keep your wheel straight!"  "As soon as you hit the sand, pedal hard!"...to which the kids asked "Huh?", "What?"  and plowed into the sand, immediately tumbling off of their bikes!
           It is some deep sand!  When we came to the bike we hung for Kimmy, Aut and Tonio wanted to stop, have some water and say a little prayer...
           Afterwards, we went bike shopping for Cody.  Brian and Tom said the riders they passed were amazed that Cody could keep the pace on a speedless bike.  We had been planning on getting him a mountain bike for his birthday next month, and decided to find one today...he chose a nice Trek bike and we'll go out there Monday or Tuesday morning to test it out...
           Tonight, we were having Lexy over, so I decided to make Kimmy's chicken tortilla soup.  Autumn says it is her fourth favorite dish that Mama made, behind her pasta, wedding soup (coming soon!) and london broil (maybe soon!)...
           We stopped on our way home from bike shopping to get all of the ingredients - well, first we stopped at Pier 1, Kimmy's best store - they loved her there so much, they talked her into working there - she actually worked two nights, until 2 a.m., helping set the store with their Christmas merchandise...it was our first time stopping in since we lost Kimmy.  We had run into one of the nice ladies who has worked there since it opened and has known Kim for many years, Jackie and her husband at Viro's a few days ago.  I told her we'd be in, because there was something Autumn wanted there, but I couldn't remember what...Autumn reminded me today - every year, Kimmy would find a new rabbit for Easter...and Autumn wanted to keep up that tradition and go pick one out.  Jackie was just getting ready to leave as we went in, but dropped everything to walk Autumn around and show her all of the rabbits they had and helped her make a wonderful selection.

            Anyway, the tortilla soup...I read over the list of ingredients, in Kimmy's sweet hand writing and got everything prepped...then, I turned the card over, to see how to make the ingredients into soup...and the back of the card was blank...it turned it back over...ingredients...other side...still empty.  HOW WAS I GOING TO MAKE THE SOUP???  I called Angie.  She would know - as luck would have it, she was driving home after a day of shopping and had Andrea in the car with her - the two of them talked me through it - so these are Kimmy's ingredients, with Angie and Andrea's direction on cooking (they told me they do not cheat and buy a chicken at Fry's : )  ).
            Dice or shred a cooked chicken (we do cheat and buy one of the rotisserie chickens at Fry's).
            Boil 10 cups of water, adding 10 boullion cubes.
            Sautee 1/2 chopped onion and 3 cloves of garlic and add to water.
            Put in 1 tbls of cumin and add 1 14oz can of diced tomatoes, plus juice.
            Add chicken and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover.

            Meanwhile, chop up a bunch of stuff to put on your soup after you serve it:
            Cilantro, green onion, shredded monerrey jack cheese, avacado, limes, etc.
            Then, cut 8 tortillas into strips and bake them until crisp at 350 degree, to use on top of your soup.

          And it all worked out - the kids all ate it up - Lexy says it was better than Macayo's, but not as good as Sandy's (Angie's niece)!  I'll take that.

                   Autumn was a great helper!  She diced the cilantro and green onions, prepared the tortilla strips and sauteed the onions and garlic for me!

                                         Oh, and put a healthy dollop of sour cream on top, too! 
                                       Lexy and Autumn love to take have fun with the camera!!       Then, the girls settled in to watch "My Sister's Keeper"...'It was so sad!!!' they told me.
                     Oh, and Autumn lost a tooth today!!  "Mama always took a picture of where the tooth was...and then one of just the tooth".

         After their movie, the girls decided to start their own art gallery - they created 11 masterpieces each!!
             Ahhh yes, another day, another fight - Tonio drifted off while watching his movie...Cody went to Alex's house to sleep over tonight...and we dropped Lexy off at her Grandma, Angie's house...
            Nothing left to do but wait for the toothfairy...I better set an alarm, just in case!

"I know that God will not give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish that he didn't trust me so much."

                                                                                                   - Mother Teresa

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dave
    It has been a while, Time has been really flying bye when you are a single parent and with Tim away so much that is how I feel. These pictures are breath taking. The children are growing so fast. It has only been 2 years since we left Tucson, it is amazing how they have changed. I like Autumn's long hair. She sure does look like Kim.

    You are doing a great job. and Mother Theresa was right for the Holy scripture tell us, 1Cor 10:13 "No temptation has taken you except what is common to men But God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it"
    Continue to take refuge in our heavenly father(Ps 18:2; Zep 3:12)"Endure under tribulation. Persevere in prayer" ro 12:12 " Always pray and not give up"Luke 18:1
    I am always thinking and praying for you guy.
    Love and Friends,