We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween 2012 +

                  All of those Halloweens that Kim made special, came roaring back as Cody brought the decorations down from the ceiling in the garage...Her Mrs. Pots (from Beauty and the Beast) costumer...and all of those that she had made for the bambini over the years...the ghosts she collected, adding a new one each Halloween. 
                 With those costumes and decoration, I realized, also came expectations.  From the bambini.  Unspoken, to be sure, yet, none the less, there.  Halloween had been one of my favorite holidays - I knew I could put something decent together.  For the kids.

                  Autumn, Tonio, Lexy and Breanna set up all of the inside decorations for me...and Tonio helped me set up all of the pumpkins outside.  We have a lot of pumpkins.  In fact, we got a great review from the Bunckins, Ami and Brian Bunch's triplets, who came over for pasta one night along with their cousin Brinley and Mary and Emilio...

Mary, Emilio, Ami and Tonio...after much pasta! Another of my favorite Adidas shirts...

Colton, Hunter, Ethan, Brinley and Autumn...having played trains, kitchen, doll house, entertained Bella, etc, etc, retire to the couch.
On their way out, Ami told me that the triplets hollered 'Bye scary pumpkins!'  and "Bye lotta pumpkins!"
Doing my best to muster my 'inner-Kim', we had our annual pumpkin carving night.
Kim always had the bambini sketch out their ideas first...

Autumn borrows one of Mama's tricks - using a melon baller to make the mouth and eyes.

Cody has Kim's instinctive ability to find the face in the pumpkin and bring it out.
My favorite part - scooping out the pumpkin guts!

Autumn decides to try the raw pumpkin...an likes it!

And, her 'sister', Bella does too!  (as I was posting this, Autumn says 'Are you putting the photo of me eating the pumpkin guts on the blog?'  Yes, I tell her, and the one of her 'sister'.  "We look so much alike" she giggled."

It's hard to see, but Cody made his pumpkin look like Jack Skellington.

Autumn prepares the seeds.  A long standing tradition that Kim started, is to brush the seeds with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and bake them!  When they were done, we watched Ocean's 11 - not exactly a Halloween movie, but a cool one, none the less, as I continue to show the movies Kim and I loved to the bambini.  And, ironically, the main character, Danny Ocean (played by George Clooney), outwits the bad guys, despite impossible odds, ends up with a lot of money, and, of course, rides off into the sunset with the girl...dammit.
Here's Aut's with the melon ball effect.  When you light a candle inside of the pumpkin, the areas carved by melon baller glow.  Pretty cool.

Bambini pumpkins.
The night of Halloween, Cody got an early jump on transforming the front of our house into the entrance to hell.  He used a ladder, black Hefty bags, white Hefty bags, strobe lights and...this year's new investment...a fog machine!

                                       Tonio is Batman, Aut the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp version, of course) and Cody did dress as a ghoul, once his buddy Alex came over to help him hand out candy and collect the souls of hapless trick or treaters!  He had a lot of fun this Halloween - being able to use duct tape and any household item he desired, helped Cody have a memorable Halloween.  He enjoyed trying to scare everyone and building a spooky environment. 

                                    And the little ones made their rounds throughout Rita Ranch, which they enjoyed, beginning at our neighbor's Rachel and Dave (who give them rides to school in the morning), where we had some dinner before heading out with Lupe, Manny and Monsi. 

                                Rachel and Dave's little girl, Parker, was Pebbles, Rachel dressed as Wilma and Dave had an awesome Fred Flinstone costume that Rachel made him.

Monsi is dressed as Marceline, from the cartoon "Adventure Time" one of the kid's favorites!  They had fun going door to door.  Tonio even went through a haunted house by himself!

                                Afterwards, Monsi, Tonio and Autumn inspect their loot.  It was cute watching them separate the 'good' candy from the 'bad' candy and then do some trading!  Monsi helped make the little ones Trick or Treat a great one!

                                And some random Halloween photos:

Brinley makes the sweetest bee!

Ethan, Hunter and Colton - ready to save the world!

                                        Kim (Snooki), Andrea (Scarecrow) and Janene (Victoria's Secret Model)

                                   I know that the kids had a Happy Halloween this year - and that was my goal...we all combined to make it a good one.

                               As I searched for Kimmy Halloween photos - I was able to come across some photos of happy times - before it always seemed like October.

This was on 7th street in L.A.  We stayed downtown for a business conference I went to.  In this shot, we were waiting to watch the Red Hot Chili Peppers filming a video for MTV from there latest CD 'By the Way'...a great CD.

Autumn and her Mama.  Kim, always a Disney fan - I had gotten her the Dumbo cookie jar that you see behind her.

And, with Baloo bear at Disneyland!
Love that face!

Antonio.  I loved Kim's hair in this one.

Cody sporting the Donald Duck hat in Toon Town at Disneyland.
I will post more later...I've found soooo many.  We always wondered what we'd do with all those boxes, cartons and albums of photos...I'm glad we took so many now, but, there still are not enough of Kim!





Tuesday, October 30, 2012


              Lizards have become comfortable with our home.  Out front, there are a lot of geckos.  They recently had babies in our garage.  Kim always thought that they were good luck.  We had quite a few at our old house.  They especially liked the front porch, near the light.  When we moved, Kim actually wanted to try to catch a couple to bring with us!  She was delighted when she saw her first one on our front porch a couple of years after we moved in.
             Out back, there are a variety of lizards.  Tonio is crazy good at catching them.  He may be part lizard, loving them as much as his Mama.  He works his way toward them, blending in, and deftly shoots a hand out to make the catch!  Lightning quick.  The 'lizard whisperer'. 
             Once Tonio catches a lizard, he studies it, gives it a proper name and releases it back in to the 'wild' of our garden...Kim's garden...

                         This was her sanctuary.  Where she loved to be to start her day.  I still am not a morning person, but I've adapted the best I can, getting the kids up at the last possible moment, whipping them up breakfast and flying out the door, late.  As usual.  But Kim liked to get up about a half hour before anyone else and spend her time, with her chai tea, watching the dogs play, watching the hummingbird zip and soar to her flowers, seeing the butterflies dance...and in the winter, the cardinals would come.  I find solace there in the night...the solar lights bring just enough glow and the shining stars and moon above do the rest to make it a magical place.

                          When I water in the mornings, I hear her before I see her.  I shrill chirp, of sorts.  A hummingbird!  Kim loved to watch them dart and dive, hovering effortlessly above a flower while they took in its nectar.  The greens and reds on these delicate birds are beautiful. 

The east side of her garden...Autumn's little donkey in the lower, left corner.  The sun, on the back wall, I bought her at the street fair one year.  The olive provides some great shade for the Hearts & Flowers, trailing over the wall.

We got the sunflower down in Tubac at Kim's favorite shop, The Country Shop.  This has kind of become Autumn's section of the garden.  In the big blue pot, is a gardenia that she chose at Civano Nursery.  She takes care of making sure it has enough water and trims it.  It's over a year old now and blooms often.  Aut inherited a bit of Kim's green thumb!  The donkey is Autumn's.  A colorful, Talavera print, she bought it in tribute to her Mama - a huge donkey fan.  She asked me many times "if we could save up, to buy a ranch, and get a donkey".  The little pot on the wall ledge has an aqua colored ceramic owl in it.  All Aut.
The hummingbirds love the two plants in the big blue pots.  I watch and wait for the when I'm out, thinking it's Kimmy saying hello.  The Mary statue came from the same shop where we got the St. Francis statue in Kim's nitcho.
Trying to keep a lot of permanent, year round color in Kim's garden. She would tell me she was running to Civano, or Lowe's to 'get some more color for the back yard'.  The sunflower is from the same shop as Mary and St. Francis.  The little set of lizards, chasing each other in the upper right corner, Kim had put on our wall.  And the bird feeder, on a Shepperd's hook, to attract more birds for her to watch during her peaceful mornings...

The bench was Andrea's idea - we painted it bright colors and she suggested putting pots on top.  We bought the pots from Craigslist - the bambini, along with Lexy and Breanna, made the trip to mid-town to pick these up.  The kids chose plants at Civano together.

Jesus, in the shadows of a Mexican sunflower plant.  The blooms are incredible.  And a sunflower bird house on the far wall.

Bella loves her yard.
Bella will chase lizards with the same intensity as Tonio...but, lacking the stealth, and thumbs, with which to catch a lizard.  Kim always had loved lizards...she had a Mountain Horned lizard (Iggy) and a Dwarf Tagu (Monty), that was vicious, as pets over the years.
 The bambini love the garden.  They really work hard, keeping it looking as pretty as possible - helping in everyway. It's nice spending time with them there...talking about our favorite memories or wondering out loud how Mama would like their choice of plants and flowers.
             Along the way, I've taught them how to dig the right sized hole and how to make sure their plant had a drip irrigation line to it (not to mention, being careful not to pierce the irrigation with their shovel when digging a hole, something I've done many times.  Although, they sure get a kick out of the geyser that erupts from a nicked pipe!).  And, with care, I've shown them how their Mama would rotate the plant, making sure it's best side was facing the way she wanted it - "Hmmmm"  she say "Which side has the best eyes?".
             They especially love trips to Lowe's or Civano to choose new plants and flowers - thinking through what color the flowers will be, how big the plant will grow. Some days, the yard needs just a little trimming here and there, others, we spend several hours.  The time really zooms by in Kim's garden.  We all find peace there.
And she shaped our yard into a haven for lizards, butterflies, hummingbirds, and cardinals.  Tonio was helping me weed, trim and add 'some color' on Sunday, when we heard the loud chirp of a cardinal.  Tonio froze, looked at me and pointed above his head "DAD!  A mama cardinal!" he whispered.  "It's Mama saying hello!"...