Category Archives: 101 in 1001 days

I’m a MOTHER

I know, right?

Not only that, but my AMAZING son will be 14 months old this Friday, February 6, 2015.

So, yes… I’ve inadvertently knocked a few items off my 100 List!  And, my resolution for 2015 is to update on all of those items.

But for now, hello!  Stay with me.  I’ll be back.  I promise.

-k

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Filed under 101 in 1001 days, been meaning to do that, stretching out of my comfort zone

#25. make a quilt for my dad

I finished this quilt just in time for Christmas and gave it to my father when we got together for the holiday.  The colors are a little on the feminine side, but they actually work with the color scheme in my dad’s home.

Dad's quilt

Dad's quilt (photo taken at my mom's place)

And here it is up closer:

close up of dad's quilt And the back:

back to dad's quilt (amy butler midwest mod fabric)

back of dad's quilt (Amy Butler midwest mod fabric)

Close up of the backing:

Amy Butler's Midwestern Modern fabric

Amy Butler's Midwestern Modern fabric

Why was this on my 101 in 1001 Days List?

Easy.  My dad is awesome.  He’s so supportive of anything that I want to do, and always has been.  You know that song, “The Wind Beneath My Wings”?  That’s my dad.  He has always supported my aims and goals in life,  even when he thought I was making a mistake but it was something I needed to do (ahem, a certain failed relationship).  Were it not for my father, I wouldn’t have been able to carve out the career I have.  He’s not only a good parent, he’s a very good friend too.

So when he and my mom, who have been divorced for over thirty-years, got together to buy me the Pfaf Classic Quilt sewing machine (mom’s idea) because I fell in love with quilting, it was a no-brainer that I needed to make him a quilt to show my appreciation.

I’m certain this is just one of several quilts I’ll make for my Dad as my quilting skills improve (I need to learn how to machine quilt/stipple.  Right now I use the in-the-ditch method and straight lines/diagonals).   I’d like to tackle something more masculine for him, as well.  Like a nice log cabin in plaids.

-e

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Filed under 101 in 1001 days, crafts, doing for others, quilting

#8 watch the sun rise in three different countries

I’m NOT a morning person.  Not by nature, so I don’t know why I was kidding myself about this.  I decided to make the executive decision (it is my list afterall) and interpret “sunrise” to also mean “sunset” if I so chose.  And choose I did.

While I was on my Grand Thailand Trip, I also visited Cambodia, Dubai, and London.  Certainly there were times when I was up at the crack of dawn but not functioning at optimal photo-taking capacity.

So instead, I snapped photos of sunsets.

Sunset at Koh Mok Thailand

Watching the sun set at the beach on Koh Mok, Thailand

Watching the sun set at Angkor Wat, Siam Reap, Cambodia

Watching the sun set at Angkor Wat, Siam Reap, Cambodia

Setting sun in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The setting sun in the desert outside of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

So why was this on my 101 in 1001 Days List?

Just ’cause I thought it would be good for me to expand my horizons.  I was right.  It was.  Travelling is an amazing tonic for my soul.  The trip was amazing and I really learned so much about myself.

I practiced living in the moment.  Making a point to capture the sun setting was a part of it.   And living in the moment has continued to enrich my life so much and in so many ways that words fail.

-e

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Filed under 101 in 1001 days, travel & adventure

#15. wash and pet an elephant (preferably in Thailand or Africa)

I did it!

I pet an elephant AND I was kinda washed by him too.

p1000522

It was a pretty amazing experience!  This was at the Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, Thailand.  Just moments before this photo was snapped, I was snuggled close to my elephant friend and felt something warm and soft on my bent arm right at the elbow.  I looked down and saw that my arm was being engulfed by his adorable toothless mouth.  As you can see, both me and the elephant had a good smile about the whole incident.

So why was #15 on my list in the first place?  The short story is that I’ve had a thing for elephants as long as I can remember.  Probably since I saw parts of Disney’s Dumbo.  And you know something?  I’ve never seen the whole movie.  There’s one part in the movie that I couldn’t bare to watch as a kid and I haven’t steeled myself to go back to it.    When my mom and stepdad took me to Disney World when I was a kid, I got the stuffed Dumbo, not Mickey Mouse like most everyone else.

I don’t know.  I’m just a softie when it comes to elephants and always have been.  They are a pretty amazing creature with an amazing social structure and tribe mentality.  The way they care for each other and the gentleness of their souls… it breaks my heart to think of how we humans are destroying their habitats across the world.  We can learn so much from them too, especially the rogue elephants who have been orphaned, form gangs and go around terrorizing villages simply because they do not have ADULT elephants to guide them and provide a strong community.

When I was in high school I first started learning about the elephant’s amazing way of cultivating community and that’s when I was also first introduced to Richard Leckie’s work in Africa and his strides to save the African elephant.  I remember at the time passionately telling my high school sweetheart how much I wanted to go to Africa to see the elephants and work with them.

Well, life happens and sometimes we shelve certain dreams.  My destiny was not to go to Africa to work with elephants (though I wouldn’t ever shy away from the opportunity).  But when it came to making this list, I knew that I wanted to make good on what I told my high school boyfriend so many years ago — I wanted to have an upclose, personal experience with an elephant and somehow contribute positively to their welfare.  My desire to do that informed my decision to go to Thailand…  And the rest as they say is history.

I am so glad I followed through on this wish.  I have no words to articulate how much good it did for my soul.

-e

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dating

I have been terrible about updating.

Terrible!!!

My only excuse is that I have been on a dating whirl.

I’ve been on three blind dates in the last three weeks and two of those dates turned into “things.”

It is a full time job to juggle it all!

Work is good, but not very busy.  In truth, I’m enjoying a slow down in that area.  I know everything will pick up in a few weeks, so it’s a good time for me to get things sorted out in my personal life.

I’ve been purging crud from my apartment and still have a lot more to do.

I’ve started a new quilt, have fabric coming to me in the mail for another project, and have signed up for a double wedding ring class starting on March 25th!  Can’t wait for that one!

But mostly… there is someone putting a spring in my step and a huge smile on my face AND I have yet to meet him in person.  HE promises to be the best, most highly anticipated blind date of my life.  THAT’s all I will say for now.

So yeah, I still totally owe this blog updates on my 101 in 1001 days.

-e

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Filed under 101 in 1001 days, stretching out of my comfort zone

Back!

I’m back from Thailand with lots and lots to blog about:

New quilt projects on the go.

New blind dates qued up.

Lots of follow up on 101 items I checked off my list while away, not the least being licked by an elephant!

Happy belated 2009!  Damn the uncertain times.

-e

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Filed under 101 in 1001 days, other news, quilting

#78 blind date #5 of ten update

It looked promising.  At least on paper and in our email exchanges through Lavalife, the online dating site.

Who: S, a Lavalife online dating match

Occupation: Freelance graphic designer and part-time college teacher

Attraction factor: He looked cute in his pictures, slightly boyish and not really the type I go for but I thought I should shake things up.  Plus, he’s artistic and has excellent taste in music.  Through the course of emailing, I learned we went to the same concert a few months ago and sat only rows away from each other in the same section.  Aha!  It must be the fates conspiring, no?  To make things sweeter, he also lives in my neighborhood!  This is actually a big, BIG bonus considering I have a knack/propensity/misfortune for clicking with guys who live in different countries (not good especially considering my low tolerance for long-distance relationships… been there, done that).  

What we did:  On S’s suggestion, we met at a bar in the hood where a good local band was playing.  We sat at a window table near the door so we could hear each other.  At first I was a bit nervous ’cause this was my fifth blind date in so many months – and I’ve only just started documenting them.  They do start to feel a bit… old hat.  That is, you develop your intro schtick and unfortunately I tend to talk a lot about myself at first.  I don’t know why.  I think it’s just nerves.  It’s as if I feel like I have to perform some kind of stand-up routine.

But it was fine.  That is, we broke the ice and ended up discussing a gamut of things — music, bands, what he did for a living, what I do for a living, my travels, and his extensive travels during his twenties.  We even discovered a few common links.  The most eyebrow-raising is that a very good friend of mine teaches S’ two kids (girl 8, boy 11) to play piano.  Definitely a “whoa small world” moment, especially considering we live in a city of over four million, not in a town of four thousand.

Before we knew it, it was last call.  We’d talked a blue streak from 8pm to 1am.

We left the bar and started walking home, in the same direction.  When we got to his intersection, S asked me if I wanted to come over to his place for tea.  I was tired and still don’t know what possessed me, but I said, “okay, sure” which I like to think is not my normal behavior.

But I believed him when he said “just tea and continue our conversation” and something in me wanted to keep talking.  So we trudged through the snow and enjoyed the magic of the quiet snowy streets and houses decked out with twinkling Christmas lights.

Back at his place  – a very nicely kept semi-detached, we had tea and sat on his couch, talking and listening to music.  He lives with his kids part-time and it looked like a family  home, but in a nice way.  We continued discussing our travels and it was all very proper.  No need to worry about any unwanted passes, etc.

At four in the morning, I called it a night and S walked me home.  When we got to my door, we both agreed we had a lovely time and I – sigh and hangs head in shame – probably sounded a little over eager.  I asked if he wanted to get together again before I leave for Thailand.*   He begged off saying he would have his kids post Christmas and it would be hard to carve out that time.

* This is ironic because I woke up the next morning with the completely opposite feeling.  More on that further down.

On the plus side:   S was very easy to talk to.  I really enjoyed being able to enjoy music with someone else.

On the minus side: Oh boy.  Well, you knew there was a big minus coming didn’t you.

S peppered all of his conversation with references to “we” and “our”.  Initially, I wanted to think he was referring to his kids, but as the “we’ing” continued into territory that didn’t make sense to include kids, I decided to clarify things.  As diplomatically as I could, I asked if he was still living with his wife because of the “we” and “our” references, and because it sounded like they were… um, still living together.  That’s when he said he was separated (I assumed they were divorced), then later I found out that she “left the marriage.”

Because I’m tired, I’m just going to sum it up as this date was “We Versus Me”.  I got the very distinct impression that S is not ready to date, but I don’t think he even knows it.  At the end of our date, I discovered I was the first person he’s met from Lavalife, and online dating as a whole.  

Chances I’ll see him again:  Slim to none.  I’m sure now that I know who he is, I’ll probably bump into him all the time in my ‘hood, and I know I’ll be pleasant enough with him.  I genuinely liked his company, but as for romance… I’m going to take a big pass.  The “we/our/separated/”she left the marriage” are BIG red flags that S isn’t in the same emotional space as me.  I’m ready to date, I’m ready to be part of a “we”, he still hasn’t gotten past the fact that he’s NO LONGER in a “we.”  Big difference between the two.  Also, and this is so much less significant… he doesn’t make a lot of money, and he already has two kids, AND he’s undecided about having more kids.  If he was gung-ho about kids, was in a headspace to START a relationship, etc, then I wouldn’t be so turned off about the money.  I guess the money isn’t a turn off either way.  If he had lots of money, I would still give him a miss because of the “we vs. me” thing.  

Of course, I can’t help being a little angry with myself because when I said good-bye I gushed about the good time I had, etc. And the guy probably thinks I’m desperate.  Whereas, I feel the complete opposite.  Yes, I did have a good time and when I said good-bye I was caught up in the moment of having had a decent date, but I was bothered by all the veiled references to his ex and he’s really NOT someone I want to date again.  I hate that I wasn’t more truthful in the moment and I hate that I didn’t just call him all the ex-talk point blank.  Why did I play the goof/chump so I could spare his feelings?  I don’t want to do that anymore.

Lesson learned:  Don’t spend seven hours talking.  I don’t know why I didn’t just go home after the bar.  The “we/our” thing was already bugging me and there is such a thing as “leave ’em wanting more.”   I also learned that I do not want to date a man who is NOT divorced.  Separated is still married in my books and I do not date married men.  But I don’t know if I would have learned how important this is to me if I hadn’t gone on the date.  To clarify, separated men whose wives left the marriage in search of something (most likely, someone) new and better are still vulnerable to that spouse coming back and then turning to the other person, saying “Yeah, sorry, but for the sake of my kids, I need to give the marriage a second chance… you understand, don’t you…?”  Because my God, it’s the marriage.   

Sure, I could be making a huge assumption about S.  But it doesn’t matter.  There wasn’t much spark in the kiss, I didn’t find myself very attracted to him, and … why settle?  I mean, really, why settle at this point in my life?   Hell, my period is late and I could be peri-menopausal for all I know… so why settle?

I’m not sure there is a man out there for me.  It makes me sad, but whaddamIgonnado?  Go to Thailand, that’s what.  Go to Thailand and do what I can to improve the relationship I have with myself and hope the chips will fall in a way so I can find some contentment.

After all, being in a relationship doesn’t guarantee happiness.

-e

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Filed under 101 in 1001 days, stretching out of my comfort zone