We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Friday, September 16, 2011

"What would we be without these three?"...

        April 21st 2004

                         "It's been awhile since we've jotted "news" down.

                          Where to begin...
                          Antonio is now 9 months old and has 2 bottom front teeth!  He eats anything you let him!!  Hi favorites so far...Italian Wedding soup, any type of pasta, gelato, pancakes, skittles, chocolate chip cookies and all the good stuff he shouldn't have until he turns 1!!  What can ya do with 2 older siblings 'helping' out!?!
                         Last week, he was still happy being a buddha.  This week, he's crawling EVERYWHERE!!  Yikes!  He pulls himself up to a standing position as well.  Now the fun begins.
                       He still remains easy going, happy Tonio though - in spite of all of Autumn's 'in your face' lovin'. 
                      What would we be without these 3..."

                      I ask myself that every day!!

                     I think of Kim a lot, of course, but especially on Friday's when I go to San Xavier.  And clean off her picture on Mary's altar.  And light candles there and in the main church.  And try to relate the scripture to my daily life.  And soak in the absolute beauty, peace and tranquility of the church and it's surroundings.  It is incredible.  I snapped a shot of the Mission school children filing in for this morning's Mass.

                   Every step up the hill next to the Mission hurts...but it is nothing compared to what He suffered for me.  And to feel sorry for myself, would be to lose.  One day I will run up this hill...but not today, not yet...


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No text needed!

                   Nine months.  Still seems like yesterday...those memories of the final night seared into my brain and my heart.  The hope in Kimmy's eyes...the last kiss, our eyes locked, our hands entwined, pulling back until our fingertips touched...and then released for the last time...
                  I remember.  Believe me, I do not need a text to remind me!  And, with the NFL back in full swing, it brings back the memory of that game where the Eagles beat up on the Cowboys on 12/12, Kim cheering all the way!  This weekend, the Eagles beat up on the Rams.  Lesean McCoy the hero of that game.  Kim's favorite. I saw an ambulance in the wee hours of the morning and it brought it all flooding back...

                   Here is the view that greeted me this morning around 6:30 a.m., after I exited the 10 (how west coast I've become!  no one calls it 'the 95' back east, it is I-95.  Out here, instead of I-10, as the signs indicate, the LA folk have us all saying 'the 10') and was blessed with this view of the sunrise at Orange Grove and Thornydale.  Thank you Lord for the sunrise, for beating back the darkness and bringing us into the light.  Waiting for the sun.  Tonio sees Kim in almost all the beautiful things that he sees each day.  It is amazing his total recall, as he tells me 'Mama said hello to me today' and recounts exactly what he saw and why he felt it was Mama speaking to him.  And why not?  This shot of the clouds, with the sun peeking through?  Classic Kimmy.  But really, I don't need reminders about the anniversary of her passing, and I'm sure that is no surprise, given our relationship ( and I only received one text about it, but it got me thinking, satirically, about what response to such a text would be appropriate..."WTF?  Did you think I'd forgotten?  Or wanted to celebrate?", of course, I refrained...The fact is, I have ways to remember Kimmy, and the way things went down...in a positive light.  I've gotten my arms around it.

                I found this man, when I went upstairs today at Barnes & Noble.  I thought "if I were to fall asleep, in public, I would want someone to photograph me to commemorate the occasion.".  So I did.  I asked my team; "What would you say about this?"  "Sleep America?  No, Barnes & Noble!", answered Eric, who works in receiving.  "Can I draw on him?" asked Lisa.  "Sure."  I told her.  My neighbor, Amy, said she would take those mini marshmallows, soften them up in her mouth and adhere them to his exposed back.  This way, it would give maximum visual effect, but not wake him up.  I liked this plan.

The sunset, and evening have been incredible.  Beautiful, as the sun kissed the clouds, creating all sorts of pinks and peaches - as Father Harry promised us, would be Kimmy in our midst.  And then the rain hit.  Like it has over the last few days, fast and furious, with wicked lightning strikes and high winds. 
The aftermath is almost as good as the fury of the storm, too.  The night so cool.  The moon so bright.  The remaining clouds, wafting slowly across the jet black sky, illuminated by the moon.  The smells, so incredibly acute and wonderful...And the bambini, raising their sweet, little faces nightward, and wishing their Mama good night.  And sweet dreams.  And telling her how much they miss her...



PS Emilio sent me a picture of his girl, Brinley, decked out in Bengals garb...his good luck charm!!  Mary, she is beautiful!

                                 Sweet, little blessing!!  And, hey, if she helps the Bengals win, too?? BONUS!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cody in the Kitchen

              After a challenging day, we all found comfort in the kitchen.  Cody and I set out to make dinner - I told him how we used to make a nice, chunky salsa back in the day...and he went to town!

              2 large, ripe tomatoes
              1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes with juice
              1 lime
              A ton of cilantro, chopped
              1/4 cup of green onion, chopped
              garlic powder to taste
              salt and ground pepper to taste
              1 4 oz can of diced jalapenos
              Dice those tomatoes up in a big bowl and add the can of tomatoes, squeeze the juice of the lime into it, add the cilantro, green onion and stir.  Add in the garlic powder, salt and pepper, stirring and taste testing until you find the right mix.  Stir in the jalapenos, if you want a little kick!  Cody nailed this recipe!!
              It was nice working with him in the kitchen.  Another area where he is a lot like Kim.  He is comfortable and a natural around food and cooking!  We also were able to get some much needed yard work done together!
             I made enchiladas to go along with Cody's chips and salsa and corn on the cob.  Autumn was very helpful, setting the table, getting the drinks and bringing the food to the table for us.  Antonio, from his sick bed, sensed the energy in the kitchen calling out "Dad?  Is there anything I can do to help?".

            He still had his low grade fever this morning when we got to school and was feeling crummy.  Our friend Monique took him home, so I could make it to work for a couple of hours and made him chicken and rice soup!  And actually got him to eat something today!!
             I had to cancel, skip and reschedule a few things to get home to him by 2, grab Autumn, then Cody from school and get them home, so Antonio could rest...Autumn reminded me "Mama always like to wash the sheets alot when we were sick!"...so, she helped me do the sheets and blankets.

             It was a tricky day, but could have been a lot worse - thanks to those who texted me during the day and called to ask how Cody was doing and give me the strength I needed, so when I was close to blowing a circuit, you pulled me back and reminded me of what was important!

             And the rains today were so beautiful.  Starting with that wicked storm that blew through this morning, raining buckets literally the moment I got the bambini safely into school and following me up north to work...and ending with the storm turned gentle rain this evening, cooling everything down - we threw open the doors, as Kim used to love to do, to get that fresh smell and cool breeze flowing through the entire house...so soothing.


C.C.D. Fantasy Draft

               Today, the little ones started CCD classes at Our Mother of Sorrows, or Religious Education classes, as they call it these days.  I had no idea where to go...the gate to the classrooms was locked down tight when we arrived, bleary eyed after a late night.  I saw Mario's friend, Rick, bleary eyed as well, approaching and I asked him 'Rick!  Where are we supposed to be?'...'You are asking the wrong guy!'  He told me (and we proceeded to talk about that days NFL match up between his and Mario's Rams and my Eagles)...we found everyone, and I mean everyone, in the church hall. 
               They had assembled all the kids from kindergarten through 6th grade and their parents into the hall.  It was standing room only.  The education director, Laura, who is awesome and has a lot of enthusiasm about what she does, read a random, somewhat disturbing bible quote to start our day...and then failed to give it any meaning that we could apply to our daily lives...I literally sat on the edge of my seat waiting for her to explain what she just said and why, but she never did...then, she said that each teacher, for each grade, would call roll and when the child's name was called, that child should proceed to the front of the hall...seriously.
              It had the feel of a draft.  We sat in a row with Andrea, Lupe, Manny and kids.  Manny felt it was like a draft, too.  Breanna was selected first.  We clapped politely.  Then Monsi.  Then Tonio. Class after class.  I congratulated Lexy when she was chosen.  Autumn was last.  "Autumn went in the 6th round" Manny joked.  Horrible.  After each class had completed it's 'draft', Laura yelled a hearty "Let's all say goodbye to Mrs. McKenzie's (or insert teacher's name here) 2nd grade class!" and the class paraded out of the hall.  When it was over, we sat there, not sure what to do next...But, I have to say, it was fun in a way and we had good company!  The church does do a fantastic job with the content of their classes - I feel the kids have learned a great deal since we transferred to OMOS last February!  The kids enjoyed being back in class, came out smiling as we gathered them up and prepared to head to Viro's (where they have hung a beautiful photo of Kim!!)...Rick mentioned that the Rams had taken a 7-0 lead over the Eagles...damn!

             Today, I also needed to get to work.  Janene 'volunteered' last month, to help out with the bambini today.  She took her boys Brendon and Bryson, Andrea's girls, Lexy and Breanna and Cody, Autumn and Tonio to Skate Country.  Then back to her house to swim.  Brad cooked out hamburgers and hotdogs for the kids.  She brought them back to my house around 9:00, where Andrea met her to get the girls and got the bambini showered up and in bed (with a little ibuprofen for Tonio who had a mishap at the skating rink and was running a slight fever)...When I made it home around 10:00, Tonio was sound asleep.  Autumn woke when I came in to say goodnight to me and then we went out to say goodnight to Mama and babbled on about what a great day they had!...Cody actually fell asleep shortly there after, exhausted from a fun day!  Janene took such good care of all...EIGHT of these kids today!!
                We are blessed!!


PS And I still cannot believe that Cody saw a coati and got that great picture of it yesterday!!!