We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Philly Cheesesteak Burrito...seriously

         Over the years, I've tried to find a 'perfect' Philly cheesesteak, outside of Philly, and have come close (Frankie's over on Campbell, Daglio's on Pantano)...and, I've always counseled friends NOT to choose to buy a Philly cheesesteak when we are out to eat at a place like Village Inn - or one time, we were at some steak house in Dallas and a guy that I worked with at Toys R Us, Ed Reeves, asked me "Dave, think I should try the Philly Cheesesteak?"  No Ed, it will be horrible.  He did not listen.  And I was right.
        And I'm OK that I cannot find that Pat's or Geno's caliber cheesesteak.  I've come to appreciate what I have here - chile rellenos - you kiddin me?  Or any Mexican food, for that matter.  I really don't need another Philly cheesesteak, truth be told.
        So when Filaberto's, a local Mexican fast food chain put up a Philly Cheesesteak poster several months ago...I ignored it.  But each time we went there, my curiosity grew.  And grew.  Today, I broke.  I went against every bit of advice I've ever handed out.  And I know in the case of the cheesesteak, my advice has never been wrong....yet, there I was, with Cody today at Filaberto's for lunch.  When the lady asked me what I wanted, I ordered Cody the rolled tacos, and then, I heard - out of MY MOUTH, as if I had aboslutely no control, as if I had lost every last marble - over the rainbow - 'I'll have the Philly cheesesteak burrito!'...
         I was wrong.  This thing was great!  It had grilled onions and peppers.  And provolone cheese (sorry Cheez Whiz fanatics...there was NO Cheez Whiz when the cheesesteak was invented by Pat and Harry Olivieri back in the 1930...it was not invented until 1952 and didn't really catch on until the mid to late 80's...I was already in college and had eaten so many provolone covered cheesesteaks by that time).  Now, in my opinion, that burrito is a great combination of the real Philly cheesesteak mixed with Mexican food...
           Oh, and Cody and I had a nice lunch together, while the little bambini went swimming with our friend Tammy.  And here's the little dare devil going down the slide...head first!  They had a lot of fun...
          After lunch, just for fun, I took my last real estate course I needed to renew my license.  You must complete 24 credit hours of continuing education to keep your license every two years.  I completed my credits with full 30 days to go!  And scored a 96% on my final exam.
         
             Tonight, we went to Fuddrucker's, for Angie's daughter, Kristie's and Kristie's daughter, Trinity's, birthday celebrations...we pretty much took up their whole front room.  I lost count at 30.  I got to be talking to Mark, about the world today, etc...and Mark told me, his personal philosphy is that you need to surround yourself with postive people.  Supportive people - to be happy these days...I had to point out the irony in his philosophy as I showed him how he had done just that for my family.  And, to prove this point, today, an old friend from high school of Kim and mine, Karen Miholics and her children, Kallie and Matt, arrived in town and Angie and Kristie insisted we invite them along!  We spent about 4 hours eating burgers, cake, watching the multitude of bambini carousing about, playing video games, the older boys playing ball outside on the patio, the smaller ones crowded around the poor guy making balloon animals...good times.
            And now, it is after 11:30, and,  Lexy, Trinity and Autumn are on a conference call on my cell phone.  I had no idea that you could conference in multiple callers on my phone.  Autumn did.  And she has.  I'm getting old.  The striking thing, is, not only did Autumn know how to initiate this conference call, none of the girls were impressed or awed by this feat.  It's as if they've done this a million times...

          I got a great text today, from Ami, my blog-technical and design guru, and kindergarten teacher of Cody.  And incredo-mom of triplets.  She was enroute with her family to San Diego.
               Ami commented that the only way to survive driving through Yuma, is with a Rock Star!  I have to concur.  And Bryan makes a smart choice with the orange, rehydrating Rock Star!  Way to go Bryan!  Although Rock Star cannot help you hyperspace through Yuma, it can make this barren, scorched, wasteland bearable until you get to the sand dunes in Cali.  Smooth sailing after that!  Hope you guys have a fun time in San Diego!  I'm playin' that lottery, if I win it for enough millions...there will be a Conca Beach House in our future!!!

           At the end of the day, it's about people...good people.  People helping people.  I was once married to a girl that believed in that.  She'd say 'Do things for people, with love and a smile.'  She was right.  I believe that more than ever now.  So, it was with great sadness that the district that I work in with Barnes & Noble was dissolved this week.  For the business.  Which means that my District Manager, Tom, no longer had a district to manage.  We will miss him.  And I've told you how much he had done for my family.  He'd claim that he had done nothing, yet, here was an agnostic actually praying for Kimmy to get well.  And praying that I did not truly go over the rainbow and making sure that I could be with the bambini to help them begin on their new journey.  And his wife, Cathy, had her prayer group praying for us all...and their two daughters, too.  Tom was the first D.M. I've ever worked for that truly got the meaning of work/life balance.  He's a good person, so I'm confident he will land firmly on his feet - but please say a prayer for him and his family for me tonight...
                    Love,
                              Dave
                

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cars 2

      As the temperature hit 106 again today, we took shelter at the theater...there is not shortage of interesting movies out there...and so, we gathered together at the Park Mall...Along with the bambini, I picked up Janene's son, Brendon and Andrea's daughter, Breanna and we headed to meet up with Andrea's sister Kristie, in visiting from NM...she brought her daughter, Trinity, who is two weeks younger than Tonio - her and Kim experienced a lot of 'pregnant times' back then...where have 8 years gone? And her son Richie.
     The mall was hopping.  I immediately assumed that it was Saturday, a feeling I could not shake the rest of the day.  We managed to find a spot and hike across the bubbling tarmac without melting...and head right to - Justice.  Brendon and Cody fled for the safety of the Vans store.
     We wanted to get some food in the kids before the movie, so we made our way to the food court.  Subway and McDonald's, all the way around.
  Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is up to his old shennanigans in Cars 2 - pretty decent sequel!
                                Tonio, Breanna, Autumn and Trinity are glued to the screen!  Brendon and Cody sat a little higher up and Kristie ended up near the top with Richie and some friends.  We were in the third row, but, boy, those reclining seats are nice!
                              Afterwards, Kristie took the little ones to the playground off of the food court.  I remember many times, I'd sneak out of Toys R Us down the street to meet Kimmy for lunch and we'd sit and watch our bambini racing around that little playground...Cody was such a dare devil, climbing up on the roadrunner they used to have and launching himself off of the highest point of its head!  Kim would try to stop him, but he was so quick.  It was always a nice way for us to spend some time together during the work week.
                           I took Trinity, Autumn and Tonio back to Justice, to purchase items that they had seen prior to the movie, while Brendon and Cody hit the hat shop.  The little ones all bought Webkins and couldn't wait to get home to link them online and meet up.
                          And so, we swaggered out into the blazing hair dryer of a parking lot and went off to meet  up with Andrea...and drop Brendon and Cody at the skate park.  They like to ride there and zoom up to McD's when they get hungry...suddenly, it was 8:00 and the kids were telling me they were hungry.  I had nothing.  I didn't want to take them this late to McD's, so, I called Viro's, to see what time they were closing.  They used to close at 8, and I was relieved when Vito Jr. told me they were now open until 9 on Friday's and Saturday's.
                          Rosa and Vito left for Wisconsin to visit relatives on Thursday and then are off to New York, so we had a chance to visit with Vito Jr., as he runs the bakery for them while they are out of town.  Autumn had....pasta!  Tonio - calamari.  And I decided to try Kimmy's all time favorite....linguini with clams.
                  Kim was crazy about this dish.  She'd get it every time we went to dinner at Viro's.  I'm not a big linguine guy, but, thought I'd get it tonight for Kim.  And found it to be delicious, especially with a Moretti Rossa.                       
                   We left full and satisfied and got home around 9:30.  The kids hooked up with Lexy, Breanna and Trinity on Webkins until 11:00...then, we went outside into the chilling night (it's down to 93 degrees!  That's a 13 degree swing!) to say goodnight to Mama...

                      Another good day....

                          Love,
                                  Dave

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Plumber

     Another cool thing that I did on Father's Day, was, fix the toilet in my bathroom.  I've told you a million times, Kim was the handy man in our household.  I am not handy.  When I noticed that the toilet would not stop running, first thing I thought of was the flapper.  I've actually changed one of those before, and was excited that this was something I could handle.  Sure enough, I swapped the old, tired, flapper out with a new one.  Hey, it was 7 years old. That's 49 in dog years.  What the extrapolation on toilet flappers?  I was happy with the length of service I had received from this particular flapper.  
     Later that day, I came to find that it was not a bad flapper.  Damn.  I had sent the old flapper to an early garbage can death.  What else could it be?
                Who KNOWS what this thing is called - 'the little floaty, arm thingy that floats up and stops the water piece', is the technical name I believe.  This is the old one.  We lived in our first home for 10 years and these things never went bad - so I was a little dissappointed with this piece.
                       I got myself laughing pretty hard, as I was jammed behind the toilet and the wall, right where that garbage can is, trying to get the plastic nut off the bottom of the piece pictured above, and had this mess on top of the toilet.  All I could think about was, Kimmy walking into the bathroom, seeing my disorganized attempt to fix this and telling me 'OK Dave, move over, let Kimmy take over', as she had done so many times in the years we lived together.

 Birds eye view!  New flapper!  New floaty thingy that controls the water!  I did not let this thing beat me!  I am better than the toilet!

And Bella agreed with me, coming in to check on my progress frequently and offering ecouraging advice and comments...hey, do you think Kimmy could have...??

And when I pulled up Kim's blog tonight, the new MixPod music player that I put on it began to play 'I need a Dr'...I hadn't realized it is the version from the Music Awards...And the voice of Skylar Grey froze me, sounding so much like Kimmy...

Other than that, it was a fantastic day today.  We got up early and walked Bella through the desert before the fires of hades had really kicked in.  It got up to 106 today, but did not feel a degree above 102.  I love to take the bambini and their friends to the movies on hot days like this.  Andrea dropped us Lexy and Breanna and we went to see Hoodwinked 2.  I don't believe it will win any awards, but the kids sure enjoyed it!!   And they came home with us for some pasta (Angie made Kimmy's vodka sauce and it came out great!!) and played until 9...it's cooled off to 95 degrees and I told the kids if they wanted to play outside, they might want to grab a jacket...

...I believe I will sleep tonight...

Love,
 Dave

Flotsam and Jetsam

         No, not the eels from The Little Mermaid - if you look up the definition of flotsam and jetsam, you'll mostly find it to mean the floating wreckage of a ship, or its cargo...

        ...and, in 'cleaning up' what's left to write about our trip to Cali, I found bits and pieces unexplored, or that I had forgotten, or recently realized...kind of like flotsam and jetsam in my mind...

          But first, the new playlist.  Thanks Ami, for teaching me about MixPod, so the music for Kimmy's stories would auto-play again!  MixPod, you might note, also has a video feature, one of the bonuses Ami pointed out to me when she suggested it.  Tonight, Cody and I were watching Layer Cake, starring Daniel Craig - a fine, twisting story that will surprise you several times - especially the ending!  One of the songs in the soundtrack was a Duran Duran tune that Kimmy and I used to like - 'Ordinary World' - and as I listened to the lyrics, I thought - I need to put that on Kim's blog tonight.  I found a nice acoustic version that puts the lyrics on the video - just click the drop down box to make it big enough to read with a magnifying glass...

          So, here we go.  First of all - we had a good trip.  Cleansing.  We needed that.  And, if we weren't already tighter, the bonds we have made are even stronger now.  The bambini are amazing.  Jeanne, the owner of Bella Stanza, who's shop I shared with you in last night's blog, emailed me some wonderful feedback on how well these guys behave and get along together - don't get me wrong, they still have their moments, but, it's different now...
        Second, we all came back really tan (and, I use sunscreen now!).  The sun was fabulous - interesting thing though, I seem to have a hole in my tan, right about where my heart used to be...a round circle - about the size of a quarter...or the size of a wedding ring and engagement ring hanging around the crucifix Kim bought me for our anniversary one year from San Xavier Mission...The whole is perfectly round and white against the rest of my tan...I'd take a picture of it to post, but I'm not about to freak anyone out with the sight of my chest!  The rings shielded that part of my chest from the sun, creating a perfect circle. 
        Thirdly, aside from the video on Laguna Beach of us scattering Kim's ashes that Autumn somehow shot without me noticing, she also got some other pretty cool photos - here's some now:
S.D. CA 055
Bella, pre-barf-o-rama...snuggled down for the long ride...

S.D. CA 048
The sand dunes...you know Yuma is behind you and you are on your way to San Diego when you pass these beauties.  Best use of the dunes in a film?  Napoleon Dynamite.

S.D. CA 316
Here we are (turn computer sideways), at Seaport Village, with some giant lobster guy outside of a shop that carried 6,000 different style socks, according to the young lady behind the counter.  Fascinating.

S.D. CA 160
And, outside the little corner restaurant, right on Laguna Beach, that Kim liked to eat lunch or breakfast at.  Cody has his finger up this gentleman's nose.

S.D. CA 240
Autumn was captivated by the road signs "why can't we have a Pacific Coast Highway or Sea World Drive in Tucson?" she asked me one day.  "The street names here are so cool!"

S.D. CA 110
Wyland Museum/Gallery in Laguna.  About 25 years ago, I bought a Wyland whale's tail ceramic piece at a shop on Long Beach Island for Kim...she loved this place.

S.D. CA 114
Antother great street name!

S.D. CA 208
Bringing Kimmy to the ocean...6/13/11 - Treasure Cove, Laguna Beach

S.D. CA 132
Near sunset at Laguna Beach...

    Autumn is such a cutie and she has a pretty good eye for a nice photo - I did not see these until a day or so ago and don't know when she stopped to snap all of these shots.  But I'm glad she did.

     No one left awake to say good night to Kimmy with me...Autumn and Tonio watched Nemo together, while Cody and I watched Layer Cake.  He said he'd be right back and never came back out - he and Bella fast asleep in his room.  A boy and his dog.  The night sky, so brilliant, as always...and still near 90 degrees at 1 a.m.  It's a dry heat!
 
           Love,
                  Dave

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Little Italy

       Thank you Ami, for posting up the new lead photo of Kim, walking towards the ocean and beginning to look back over her shoulder - this was always one of my favorites - and, even today, when I pull up her blog, it has the same affect it has had on me over the years...

          June 15th...our last day in Cali...once again, I woke up before the bambini, and ran Bella...this time, up hill - for those of you who just returned from this area, you can attest to the grade of some of the hillsides...I started off pretty strong...slowing down as gravity worked its will against my body...slowing, feeling as if I wasn't going very fast...Bella, showing little effort 'why ya slowing down???'...Not going to let this hill beat me - and I'm at the top - my heart feeling like it stopped for a minute...coming back down, not too much easier, as I fought to not go too fast!  Shin splints!!

           We got to the beach by 8...the bambini wanted as much time as possible in the sand and surf...the dolphins were there to greet us, playing in the waves - again, at least a dozen of them - it was so peaceful and tranquil to sit there and watch them...

                        Autumn was so proud of this sea weed bulb thingy!  They dug, swam and played until around noon, raced back to the hotel to get cleaned up, throw our stuff in the car, including Bella and head over to Little Italy!
                        We ate a great lunch at Fillipi's,
                       Autumn...pasta, what else?  Tonio and Cody split a pizza and I got the torpedo sandwhich...
                       Then, we walked down to the corner of Beech and India, to Bella Stanza. 
             Kim and I had visited Bella Stanza together nearly 18 years ago - Kim loved the items in this shop.  Over the years, we looked forward to our visits with the owner, Jeanne - and Kim would pick a new item for our home.  Jeanne has unique pieces, as, she will travel to Italy, for a month or more at a time and traverse the back streets, looking for that talented artist, working out of their home and purchasing their art to bring back to her shop.
          Jeanne has literally watched the bambini grow, and we've seen the photos of her grandchildren as her children have had them...
            Here were a couple of Kim's favorite items she picked up there:

                   Kim used this for freshly grated parmesian cheese (Tonio had just picked that cherry tomato from our garden).  We have a little matching finger bowl that she'd put oregano or sea salt in or sometimes olive oil for dipping.
                        She chose this salad bowl on one trip and the utensils on another.  The handles are made of Murano glass.  The little dish with the blue dove, she used to put our salt and pepper shakers on.
                   The Madonna, she actually bought for me one time and it hangs in our kitchen.
                   Another piece of Murano glass work - set on the chest as you enter our house.  Kim kept, guess what?  Sea shells in it...that we found in San Diego.
And a nice pitcher, that she liked to put water in for us...

There were many others, each punctuating our visit to the coast....
                        
               We visited with Jeanne for some time, as we caught up and she had a chance to talk with the bambini.  I told her I needed to pick up a fruit bowl.  In all the years we had visited, we never got a fruit bowl.  Jeanne had a beautiful selection, and, with Autumn's help, they chose this one:

          It looks perfect in our kitchen on the breakfast bar (hey, there's even a runner!  didn't know we even had that, thanks Janene!) and is 'functional' as Kim used to like to joke when we were picking out something for the home.
         If you get a chance, next time you are in San Diego, check it out.  It's just two blocks north of Seaport Village...Bella Stanza's website is http://www.bellastanzagifts.com/ ...sadly, it was time for us to leave - it was already about 4 in the afternoon!
                   Jeanne sent the bambini home with gifts...a pinocchio for Tonio...
       
                             A 'Ciao Bella' pillow for Autumn and Cody got a Italia key chain...Jeanne has a big heart...
                     Jeanne snapped a photo of us around the fountain in front of her shop...something Kim did each time we visited...
                   Prepping for the loooonnnngggg drive home...Ice Tea/Lemonade Monster...not too bad.
                 Autumn got this photo of the sun setting as we raced across the desert...

                  Arriving home around 10ish to a completely clean house...
                                Janene detailed the kitchen...took everything out of the fridge...spotless.
                            The oven!  Kim had been meaning to get to this....
                                     Even the laundry room....
                                 Her son, Brendon, nailed the hall closet, while Angie scrubbed base boards, bathrooms, Kim and Andrea decorated, did the sheets,  wash, etc, etc...in fact the house is still looking pretty darn good!  All of the kids rooms were cleaned and Angie has told them that she'd do 'surprise' inspections....and they are keeping up with their rooms, too!  These guys had 'snuck' into our home, a couple days in a row and cleaned everything, with vacuuming help from our neighbor Betsey!  Have I mentioned that we are blessed?
                           It was nice getting back to our home, especially not having to worry about cleaning!

                           And our trip was a good one, for us...and to 'visit' Kim - I have so many good beach memories...so many - the new lead photo of Kim on the beach - it's from 1985...Beach Haven on Long Beach Island N.J., where all of our greatest beach times began...

                            Love,
                                    Dave

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sea World

        Backtracking - do blogs have to go in chronological order??

 6/14/2011 - Flag Day

         Staying at a Best Western off of Clairmont and the 5...one mile from Sea World...I get up at 6 to run Bella...no beach, but neat neighborhood of cottages, well kept, nice elementary school, "Bayview"...I stop running long enough to look around, see the bay at the bottom of the steep hill, nod and say 'yep, there is a bayview' and keep running...the temperature in the 60's, sea in the air - it's great running weather...
                I wake the bambini for breakfast and tell them we are going to Sea World.  There is much rejoicing.  Out of all of the theme parks and attractions in California, Sea World was Kim's favorite.  We never even made it to Lego Land, because, given the choices, Kim would always come back to Sea World.  She loved the dolphin show - and would always make sure that we saw all of the shows available, memorizing the time schedules and organizing our route through the park to coincide with the shows.  I didn't do so well with that.  We were all over the place.  Literally going from one end of the park to the other only to discover the attraction or show we wanted to see was back on the side we just had come from.  We put on a lot of miles, but had fun.
         We got to the park about 1/2 hour prior to it opening to be able to get Bella into her 'accomodations'.  Sea World has a kennel on site for pets!  Bella was not too sure of the cell, er, dog run that she was assigned - all cinder block and concrete floor...prison!  There were a couple dogs already there, barking their heads off.  I told Bella not to talk to them.  We were able to come out and walk Bella twice during the day - and each time, the lady told us Bella was the best behaved and she didn't bark...good girl.
           They were handing out mini - U.S.A. flags as you entered the park and had us wave them during the Shamu show.  Very nice.

                                                                We did not kill Shamu...
                                                       Penguins!!  The bambini enjoyed this exhibit - but, boy, did those birds smell!!
                                                       Front row...splash zone for Shamu! 
                                          Tonio is pretty wet after the show, proudly wearing the Alaska t-shirt that Angie and Mark brought him back from the cruise that they took there.  Yeh, and I bought him the typical souvenior stuff, too.
                                 Turtle Reef is a newer exhibit at Sea World - this exhibit was my favorite today...the turtle were so peaceful to watch...
                                                    Cody and Tonio enjoy the 'Riptide'. 
                                       Autumn thought the street sign was cool...
                                       The dolphins were awesome....
                                      And Atlantis...Tonio's first real roller coaster ride!  He was immediately hooked.  There was absolutely no crowd, so we went on three times in a row without waiting, until Autumn told us she was going to get sick...we came back later for a 4th ride...and ran into the Peru family, also out here on vacation from Tucson - small world!
                                     Before I forget, like I said, Kim liked to see all of the shows...I did not.  There is one featuring pets - cats, dogs, etc.  Pets.  At 'Sea' World.  I never got that.  And, I could never work up the desire to see the show, although, of course, for Kimmy, I'd 'suffer' through it.  We laughed about Kim always wanting to see the pet show today...and steered clear of it!  The bambini suspected that Sea World had taken Bella from her kennel to be in the show today. 
                                    We stayed until the park closed, stocked up on more souvenirs at the exit and ran to release Bella, who was very happy....until we dumped her back at the hotel and headed to Old Town to get some dinner!
                                Old Town is another part of San Diego that we made a point to visit each time we got out there.  They have some of the coolest and best Mexican restaurants there.  We got down there around 9:00 p.m. and the place was packed.  We chose a place called Fred's to eat - the carne asada was fantastic!
                               One time, Kim somehow found a little bungalow for rent at the top of Old Town.  It was so fun, coming home from the beach and walking into Old Town to hang out for the evening.  She sure could find the spots.  Rockin' Baja Lobster was one restaurant we used to enjoy going to - not so much for great food, but atmosphere - we had a lot of fun there.  And the Mexican restaurant where they have someone making the tortillas right out front was always amazing!  I forget the name of it - we tried to get in there tonight, but it was so crowded.
                              We closed Fred's and got back to the hotel near midnight...tired, but having covered a lot of ground that we had enjoyed with Kim...and had a lot of fun together today...
                         Love,
                                 Dave
                                 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

              First of all, a big thank you to my Dad, for all of his patience (and you can imagine, he had to have had a lot to raise me!!), dedication, love, understanding and incredible listening skills...I wouldn't be here right now without him...

              The bambini wanted to make a big deal out of today...but I woke up way before them (thanks for the 6:05 a.m. text Kenny - you know, we are 3 hours earlier out here than on the east coast) and Bella and I ran hard through the desert.  We saw a jack rabbit that was nearly as large as Bella, which freaked her out a bit.  She prefers to see the regular bunnies that pop out of the bushes as we run, causing her to rear up like a stallion.  She's funny. 

             Autumn woke first and presented me with a card, that she proudly had secretely purchased at the Hobie surf shop in Laguna:
                    What a beautiful card...the boys came out soon and all three were very morose, down and I asked them why?  "We didn't get a chance to buy you any presents." they all said...they were horrified that they couldn't figure out a way to get to the store! Although Autumn was able to conceal this card when she was purchasing postcards in Laguna, it was always Kim who would sneak them out when I was working to be able to pick something special out for me...I told them that they were my present, that I had all that I needed.  Cody tried to slip me $5.00.  Tonio made me a cheetah out of Legos.  And Autumn made me a new book marker.  See? It's all good (although I would not accept the $5.00 : ) ).

                         Autumn's little bundle of hand made book marks!  One says '#1 Dad', one says 'Books' and one, with paw prints on it, says "Penn State".  Precious, every one.
And Antonio proudly present this cheetah to me...

                    Of course, it being Sunday, we ran over to Viro's, where Rosa and Vito had a little breakfast with us.  Little?  They expanded their huge Sunday buffett, somehow making it more gargantuan than it already is.  I was in trouble.  I always over eat and there I was starting off my morning with a big bowl of peel your own shrimp.  They also had a nacho bar, several types of chicken, extra desserts (including the BEST eclairs I've ever had - and I used to eat a Tastyclair EVERY day in high school - which is an eclair made by Tastykake.  Somebody send me some of those!!).  After the shrimp, I had my tradional omelet (with the hot, crushed peppers blend), deviled eggs, seasoned potatoes (how do they do that?), cappuccino (nicely done Christie!), etc.  The bambini all had Italian wedding soup, to compliment their omelets and pastries. 
                 We gorged ourselves and went to Mass at St. Pius, where the Knights of Columbus hauled us up in front of the congregation, to present a check to Nancy Kirk from Carondelet - she's the lady that administers Kimmy's Foundation...I thought the check was going to be for $2,700 and the Knights surprised us by upping it to $3,200!!  So, between Janene's Kut-a-Thon and the Knights raffle, the fund received $5,400 over the last two weeks!! Amazing.  Father Harry gave a great Mass, giving the bambini hugs and kisses and the reading was John 3:16 today...so appropriate, talking about a father's love and the sacrifices they are willing to make...I got it.
               The bambini wanted to go back to Viro's for gelato, so we dragged Nancy there with us and they all ate another bowl of wedding soup, before digging into gelato - well, Cody had tirimasu - he has a sophisticated pallet, apparently.  I opted for ice tea...as the feeding frenzy from the morning still lingered in my memory...and my tummy...How cool is it, that on Father's Day, I get to go to my favorite restaurant - twice!
              And, I always say, that my situation could be worse - I'm reminding of that daily and am thankful for what I have and for those of you in my life helping me out.  The head chef at Viro's, Dave, came out to say hi and Happy Father's Day - I asked him if he had any children, he's about my age.  He said no, his wife was unable to bear children.  Dave had been very supportive when he heard Kimmy was sick, and gave consolation when Kimmy passed - today, he told me that his wife had passed away from cancer, too.  Five years ago, he told me, as he began to tear up...she was healthy too, just like Kim...one day, she got pretty sick, they sent her to the hospital and found she was overwhelmed with cancer.  She died three days later.  Three days.  That was very sobering.  I got to enjoy Kim's company for 55.  I have nothing to complain about. I am blessed to have the bambini. And I told him, I don't know what I'd do without them.  He told me, you'd go crazy for about a year, like I did.  My heart went out to him - he was able to tell me he knows how I feel... It's amazing how many lives that b.s. disease has touched with its dark, malignant hand....
             Back to the light!
             Nancy said that Kim's Foundation is has just over $7,000 in it right now (thank you all for your support and generosity!!) and they are going to decide, with the nurses and admistration of St. Jospeph's, on purchasing a necessary piece of equipment for the hospital.  They are so excited!
            Initially, I remember passing through the hallways of St. Joseph's and seeing benches, paintings and statues with plaques on them 'in memory of'...thinking something like that would be nice - but, in thinking it through over the months, decided that would not be "Kim".  She used to like to say to me "well, this is nice, Dave, but is it functional?", whenever we were shopping for something for our home...yes, 'functional'...that's more "Kimmy"...Nancy said the piece of equipment will have a plaque put on it with Kimmy's name...
             Now, my challenge will be to keep Kimmy's Foundation funded - if anyone has any experience in the area of fundraising - I'm all ears! 
            But sincerely, thank you to all of you for everything.  Thank you to all of you father's out there, who make a difference in the lives of our children.  And thank you Father, for reminding me of all that I am blessed with and the sacrifices You've made for me, so that I can be here doing what I'm doing....

               Happy Father's Day,

                                 Love,
                                       Dave
PS and when Autumn asked me how my Father's Day was going, I told her 'You've made it the best ever...'
  

Misc Videos that I thought you should see...

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                 The dolphins...we'd always look for them...at Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, N.J....Myrtle Beach, S.C....and in California...and, we'd always see them.  Inevitably...they were ours.  So care free, and majestic.  I tried to capture them in this video...they were elusive, but so nice, comforting and fun to watch...

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   And here...the wooden roller coaster...Kim's favorite.  We always loved wooden coasters, as they gave you a truer ride...Dorney Park, in Allentown Pa...great coaster...Myrtle Beach used to have a great wooden coaster...and the Belmont, one of the finest...Cody's first ever wooden roller coaster experience.  Although, it was dangerous not to hang onto the bar...and I thought I'd lose my phone, I wanted to video this for Cody...for Kimmy...and, to my chagrin, I was holding my phone upside down...still fun to watch!  Cody and I had a blast! Turn your computer upside down to view this one!
     Lastly, I'm uploading the video that Autumn shot of us scattering Kimmy's ashes on Laguna Beach, Treasure Cove on June 13th, 2011, 6 months after she left us for Heaven...watch at the end, I pick up the shells I blogged about last night...turn your computer sideways for this one...
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        I hope that you can view these....and enjoy them...we did enjoy filiming these scenes...it was a long day, we ended it outside, as always...saying goodnight to the Big Dipper.  Wishing Kimmy a good night and sweet dreams...
        Love,
               Dave