Last year, this Monday, Kim dragged herself home from Pier One Imports at around 2:30 a.m. She had just completed a shift to help the store set up its seasonal merchandise. Everyone knew Kim at the Pier One on Broadway and the Pier One on Old Spanish Trail. She was their best shopper! You can scan our house and see a ton of Pier One influence. Kim had an eye for what would make our house a home. And, it seemed, Pier One stocked it!
I have known Carmella, the store manager there for years - retail circle friend. I supplied her uncle with real estate information, as he looked to make investments here in Tucson. She was a manager at the Pier One on Broadway, when I was the store manager at Linens 'N Things, right next door (and next to Janene's Unique Identity Salon!). Going further back, we knew Carmella from her Mervyn's days, when I was the store manager at Toys R Us across the street and Kim would buy my work clothes there, as well as, clothes for herself and the bambini. Small world.
Carmella knew Kim's eye and had asked for her help with the seasonal set and hope that Kim would like it enough to stay on for the whole Christmas season. Kim liked that idea.
I was awake when she came home and she was so excited. "Gosh, I had know idea what hard work it would be, but it was so fun!!" she gushed. We talked for awhile, Kim telling me about the process, the people she worked with, the food Carmella provided the crew and what an motivational manager she is. I asked her then, to call out at work at Rincon Vista the next morning. I told her I would go in late so I could get the bambini ready for school and take them so she could sleep. Or, I suggested, call and ask if you could work a little later shift - as volunteer coordinator, this could work.
You know Kim. She was awake a few hours ready, cooking breakfast for the bambini, tired, but eyes sparkling, telling them about her night!!!
That was a glimpse of how we used to run all day. I should have noticed, over the last two years, that Kim started to slow things down. Less walks. Less day trips. More wanting to stay home. That was not Kim...
We are back into the swing of things following our California trip! The bambini slept in today until 7:00. I left at 7:30 for physical therapy for my throbbing shoulder - cortisone did not work. I appear to be immune to it, much like Spiderman. I got home at 8:20 in time to grab Cody and drive him to school. He's got a pretty nasty cold, but refused to stay home, not wanting to get behind in his work (who does that sound like??). I got home at 8:40, we ran Bella a mile and then headed up to Cottonwood to pick up the tickets for Kim's upcoming dinner (less than two weeks!!). We visited Desert Willow - by now it was 10:30 and I realized I had not fed Tonio and Autumn (or myself, but I usually do not eat breakfast anymore), so we zipped into Bruegger's, and then went to Empire H.S. From there, we made it over to Rincon Vista - I knew I should have left the kids in the car as soon as we entered the front office...Autumn and Tonio had stopped dead and were staring at Kim's desk. The desert art work she had so carefully hung when the school opened still there. The looks on their faces were so forlorn. I grabbed them in a hug and moved them along. "Mama's desk..." was all Tonio could manage...
It was now around 11:30...we ran to the $3.00 car wash - the car had turned a light brown (it is sometimes white), smelled like a kindergarten (no offense Ami, Mary and Anabelle!) and had a layer of food and trash in the second and third row. Free vacuums and they are the best!! The kids helped me clean it out - this took us to 12:30...clock ticking...we ran by Walmart to get bird food, as Blue Bell had run out (Autumn informed me as we were leaving!!), which is always great people watching. As we hurried to a check out, an old man was scooting by on his Rascal, reached out with amazing speed, grabbed my arm and asked "Americano or Italiano?" I was wearing my Del Piero jersey in observance of Columbus Day. I leaned way down, pulled the back of my collar away to show him the Italian soccer insignia tattooed between my shoulder blades and told him "They stamped me before I left the country." He roared with laughter and I wished him a Happy Columbus Day as we ducked into a line.
Quick stop at Fry's to get the kids some lunch items and then we headed home. Vito called me enroute and said he was on his way to my house. He wanted to stop by Desert Sky to look at their kitchen and talk about Kim's dinner. Why not? I hadn't been to Desert Sky yet today. I dropped the groceries, hopped in Vito's Mercedes and off we went.
Cindy Petersen, Office Manager at Desert Sky, showed us around. She has been pointing the decoration committee for the dinner and has some great ideas (if anyone has any white, blinking Christmas lights that they could lend us for the event, please let me know!). It was good to see the facilities through Vito's eyes - it should be a smooth event!!
Tonio had it last week. I was thinking sinus infection, because he had a lot of congestion over the last few days with coughing. No temp. I told him, after our appointment, we'd get back to the eastside quickly for the kids 5:30 swim lesson. There is a CVS across the street and I thought I could take him to their Minute Clinic to get checked out. We made it there by 5:10...to find, not every CVS has a Minute Clinic. So, I told him that we'd hit the one on the way home after the kids swim lessons.
He was a trooper, I got him a soda next door at Quik Mart to sooth his throat as the little ones swam. Autumn's stroke has really developed and Antonio continues to improve. 6:05, swim lessons done. We sped to the CVS at Golf Links and Houghton...and were the very last patient allowed to sign in!! The nurse practitioner asked me what was wrong and I told her - she admonished me that I could have, should have just called the kid's doctor and he would have prescribed antibiotics for Cody over the phone, given he had just seen Antonio. I let her go on for awhile before telling her I didn't think he had strep and besides, the kid's doctor was closed by now.
I was right. Bad cold, no antibiotics needed at this juncture...
7:30. Ahhh yes, almost a flashback from the morning. No dinner started...in a bad parenting move, I hit McD's (I bought chicken noodle soup...in a can, for Cody).
8:30. Kids fed, Cody medicated, gargled and nasal aspirated, I took Bella for a mile run, no sprint, through the desert. The cool evenings are so nice.
9:00. Tonio helped me make a batch of chicken piccata, start the dishes and the wash and then through in Lady and the Tramp to watch. That's the movie the bambini decided to show at Kim's Dinner. They think the spaghetti scene reminds them of Kim and I...
10:50. I carried a sleeping Tonio off to bed, said goodnight to Mama with just Autumn - Cody had gone to bed around 9 and started to clean the kitchen, flip wash, etc.
And here we are. Almost through the day. I don't think I would have changed anything - oh, Cody of course. Poor guy, he rarely gets sick - but he had a little cold going into our roadtrip and I think the long days caught up to him.
We'll slow it down a little tomorrow...HA! Just kidding!! Time to get cranking on Prop 405 - I received a 20 page list of voter's names/numbers to call and will get going on that. I know I've said it before, Kim worked tirelessly on the last two props - she found it odd that people would even question giving our wonderful Vail School District a few more dollars a month so they could teach things like art and have class room sizes under 30 students...AND we'll work on promoting Kim's dinner and figuring out how to sell a couple hundred tickets over the next 11 days!!! Amongst other things, of course!!!
I took Autumn to Pier One a couple weeks ago. Janene had told me that they had some neat Halloween owls. Autumn found a cute one, of course. I know they have begun to do their seasonal change over and I'll take the kids by to check it out. Kim definitely enjoyed the two overnights she did there. She wanted to stay a work a day or two a week, despite the amount of time she was putting in at Rincon and volunteering at Cottonwood, etc, etc, I'm sure she would have signed up to do it all over again this year!!!
Happy Columbus Day,
PS Sorry no photos today!! I'll try to incorporate some the rest of the week!!