Won’t you be my neighbor?

Date #2 with Duncan’s Hero is coming up.

You remember the air national guardsman who my son was so impressed with?

Yes, we’re “going out’ on Date #2.

I used the phrase “going out” loosely because in actuality we’re probably going to eat at his place.

So it’s kinda like eating in.

The WHOLE reason why I’m even going on this date is because The Photographer convinced me to text Duncan’s Hero long after I’d given up hope of ever hearing from him again.

I got an immediate and swift response asking me “out.”

Some of you might say, “Well hey!  He’s probably expecting something.”

To which I say, “Please?”

No really, I say, “So what?! We’re adults!  He lives 2 miles from my house.  Now that’s a convenient booty call!”

He’d be my NEIGHBOR if he was any closer!

Australia Quilt

My whole life I’ve dreamed of going to Australia.

I have a small obsession with it.

It’s a beautiful country with amazing wildlife and I can’t wait to see my first kangaroo out in the wild when I go there.

I can only imagine how breathtaking it would be to see something so foreign just out and about, like it’s no big deal.

It’s a kangaroo!

My friend Michelle and her husband took a trip to Australia and I was so envious of them making that trip.

They’re global adventurers to say the least.

I was right there after their trip, asking questions.

What did they do?

Where did they go?

What did they see?

Someday my sister and I will take a trip to Australia and I will get to experience firsthand what my friend and her husband got to enjoy.

All the diversity of life and the people of Australia.

In keeping with my passion for quilting, I’ve started to work on my Australia quilt.

Now, remember I make quilts for other people so making a quilt for myself is a rare occurrence.

The last time I made a quilt for myself was about 8 years ago – a beautiful pinwheel quilt very similar to this one:

I’ve decided I’m going to make myself an Australia quilt and I’ve selected the perfect wildlife fabrics from Spoonflower (naturally) to make this quilt:

I like this pattern for the quilt because it allows you to focus on the fabric design.

It’s called Craftsman by Amy Smart:

And because I want to surround my quilt with a beautiful border and binding, I’ve selected this wonderful ocean wildlife fabric for the border and geometric waves fabric for the binding:

Should make a GORGEOUS quilt no?

Almost as gorgeous as all the critters, small and large, who make up the fabrics I’m using!

Only in my dreams

I had a dream the other night that I was interested in a man.

I have no idea who this man is, but the best part of the dream was that HE WAS INTERESTED IN ME TOO.

As in RECIPROCAL INTEREST, not just unrequited love.

Which is what I seem to experience the most of these days.

I recall slowly waking up and trying to FORCE myself back into my dream, it was so nice and lovely.

Of course as things go, I wound up waking up all the way and the dream was gone.

But that feeling of “OMG, someone LIKES me” lingered.

And I felt suddenly blissfully happy and content lying in bed.

It seems odd, given that yesterday was National Singles Day, for me to be so completely enthralled with a dream of love.

There’s no doubt that I am pretty content with the single life I’m living now.

But for a bit of a reprieve, I’ll take the dream and daydream that there’s someone out there for me, anxious to meet me too.

I may be happily single, because I’m very pragmatic about dating.

But it sure would be nice to meet someone special.

Even if it’s only in my dreams.

Steve

Recently, I started watching “Crikey, It’s the Irwins” on Animal Planet and I have mixed feelings about it.

They intersperse new footage of Terri, Robert and Bindi doing their thing at Australia Zoo with relevant old footage of Steve Irwin doing his thing years ago.

It’s bittersweet, that’s for sure.

Every time I hear Steve’s voice and see him on tv – his larger than life personality, his charming Australian accent, his overflowing enthusiasm for all things wildlife – I’m reminded of how much the world needs him in it, and how very much I miss him.

It may sound strange, coming from a middle-aged administrator living in California, some 7,000+ miles from Australia Zoo.

I live in a completely different world than Steve Irwin.

But 20 years ago when my kids were newborns, there were few choices of what to watch on tv at 2 am, 3 am, or 4 am in the morning as far as quality entertainment goes.

Back then, Animal Planet ran episodes of The Crocodile Hunter late into the night and I found myself up at night with my newborns, watching the adventures of Steve Irwin.

And let me tell you, he was as good as it gets.

This was back before the days of on demand TV when you could only watch what was on the tv or what you’d recorded to video.

Yes, video.

I closely associate Steve Irwin with the infancies of my kids and to hear his voice or see him on tv transports me back to those days when I was a young exhausted mother, struggling to get my kids to sleep so that I could go back to sleep myself.

Steve was so good at entertaining me, I often waited for the episode to complete, even after my kids were asleep, so that I could see the conclusion of the episode.

That’s how good he was.

I’m thrilled of course to see Terri still doing her thing for wildlife conservation and it warms my heart to see Steve and Terri’s two kids, Bindi and Robert joining forces with their mother.

They have the same light that their father had.

So of course it’s nice to see Steve living on in the faces and the enthusiasm and passion his children have for wildlife.

But I still miss Steve.

Rainbow baby

The road to parenthood has not been an easy ride for me.

From the beginning I struggled with fertility issues.

Granted, I was 25 years old when I started trying and I had years ahead of me to be successful in my quest to have children, but the steps there were filled with fertility treatments and unfortunately, pregnancy loss.

I admire women who get pregnant and just assume everything will be okay.

After my first loss – a stillbirth at 22 weeks – I never took my pregnancy for granted again.

I stressed and worried and bothered my OBGYN in ways you can’t even begin to imagine, insisting on extra ultrasounds and additional testing to be sure that everything was okay.

No amount of reassurance could convince me otherwise.

I have been pregnant six times but only have two living children.

My first pregnancy ended in stillbirth when it was discovered that my son Douglas had a large tumor growing off the base of his spine – a sacrococcogeal teratoma.

Google it if you want to see what it looks like, but be forewarned, it’s not pretty.

It’s called a “monster-making” tumor for a reason.

Douglas was born still on September 22, 1998.

He was perfect in every way except for a giant tumor on which his little legs rested.

To add insult to injury, Douglas’ body was thrown out with the hospital laundry by accident so it took a few extra days to recover him, cremate him, and hold a memorial for him.

Not all my family was supportive.

My mother-in-law didn’t even bother to attend the memorial.

After Douglas, I lost three babies between 8 and 12 weeks.

I also lost a little girl named Ruby at 16 weeks.

She was physically perfect and genetically nothing was wrong with her chromosomes.

It’s just one of those things that happens, I was told.

Recently, another loved one’s loss has brought all these feeling bubbling to the surface again and it was with tears in my eyes that I embraced her, knowing that she’s reluctantly joined the same club I joined all those years ago when I lost Douglas.

The club for women who will never be able to sail through a pregnancy like women who haven’t experienced a loss.

Worst club in the world, if you ask me.

But we’re there for each other.

There are meet ups for pregnant women who are pregnant again after a loss.

And they call subsequent babies “rainbow” babies to signify how even after a loss, something beautiful can be created.

My love to you.

You know who you are.

Tranquil Ocean

I may have gotten a little excited about the 50% off Spoonflower fat quarter fabrics.

Just a little.

I bought 26 fat quarters to make my niece Bella a custom quilt yesterday.

Today, I bought 18 fat quarters to make a custom quilt for my nephew Calvin.

First, I found this OUTSTANDING window pane quilt pattern made with Kate Spain Terrain fabrics.

The exceptional fabrics make the quilt really stand out.

It’s probably a quilt I can knock out in one or two weekends of work, I think so it’s what I call an “easy” quilt project.

Unlike the current project I am working on which will take 50 – 100 hours of work (all for my kid who wanted it).

Spruced Goose Quilt

And just because I like lining up all my fabrics in a row and looking at them in one glance, here are the Spoonflower fabrics I selected for a watercolor underwater themed quilt for my nephew (who is REALLY into seahorses):

Spoonflower Sale!

Spoonflower is having a sale on fat quarters.

For those of you who don’t know what a fat quarter is, it’s when you get a quarter yard of fabric that’s 18 inches by 20-22 inches instead of 9 inches by 40-44 inches.

It’s a FAT quarter yard, hence the name.

Spoonflower has the MOST DELIGHTFUL fabrics on the internet and if I was a rich retiree, I’d spend thousands of dollars buying their fabrics for my quilts.

They’ve literally got every design you can possibly think of.

My niece is turning 12 this year and while there’s no way I can possibly make a quilt in time for her birthday this November, I’m putting a quilt in the queue for her.

Hopefully I’ll get to it in the next 6 months.

This is the design I am looking at online, but instead of being pink and orange, I’m making it BLUE AND VIOLET (on my cousin Jennifer’s recommendation).

It’s a 16-patch combined with a pinwheel, in an on-point (diagonal) pattern:

quiltJust because I want to see all the fabrics in one place, I’m posting them here for you to see.

Most have some sentimental meaning to either me or to my niece.

Here are all the blue fabrics I’ve selected:

And here are all the violet fabrics I’ve picked out:

Yes, I’m aware there’s Daryl Dixon from the Walking Dead in there.

My niece happens to be a HUGE fan so I have to work it in somehow.

The rest of the fabric makes me think of her = be it baby chihuahuas, wizard fabric, or footballs (go Niners!).

Can’t wait to get started on this quilt, right after I finish the three I’m already working on!

Date!

I went on a date with a man I can only describe as my son’s true hero.

He’s an enlisted Air National Guardsman who has risen through the ranks to basically the highest level an enlisted man can achieve.

The top 1%.

My son was so enamored of my date that he INSISTED that I let him speak to him during our first date.

What did they discuss?

The perks of being in the military, of course.

Discounts to state parks, free baggage, commissary discounts, and on base accommodations.

It was heartening to see my son so engaged in a conversation with someone I was interested in.

Unfortunately, as these things go, I am not all that interested in this man.

Not because he’s not an outstanding person, because he is.

But he’s at a place in his life where he’s going to retire soon and travel extensively and I’m at least 10 years away from that place in my own life.

I might see him again, however.

He lives a mere 2 miles from me so it’s REALLY convenient to date him.

We’ll see how things develop.

Wish me luck!

Lizzo-inspired performer

Sorry for the gap in posting, I’ve been sick since Sunday.

For my aunt and uncle’s post-Halloween costume party which took place on my birthday, I dressed up as a Lizzo-inspired performer.

No one is Lizzo but Lizzo, that’s for sure.

And certainly not this white girl who loves her music.

The unfortunate thing is that I was coming down with a head cold that night and so I wasn’t feeling my absolute best.

But I did shots of tequila with the best of them.

I also drank something called Truly, which is just like White Claw hard seltzer.

It was yummy.

All in all I had a great time.

My aunt really goes all out with the Halloween decorations.

I even got to work my magic making one aunt into a sexy glittery green dragon and another aunt into a deer.

And just to prove I was there, here are a few pics from the night:

Working the numbers

I ran into a man I dated today.

He and I work at the same company, though in different buildings, and we somehow managed to not run into each other in the 6 years since we dated.

He looked great and it was nice to see him.

He recognized me and came over to talk.

He’s married now.

To the woman he stopped dating me for which (ironically) I found very comforting.

It sucks to be dropped but when someone meets The One, it’s understandable.

So we caught up.

All is well in his neck of the woods.

And all is well with me.

We discussed internet dating for a while.

We met on Match which is where he met his wife.

I’ve heard one in eight marriages start online.

Maybe even more now.

His take on internet dating:  it’s a numbers name and you need thick skin to play but you can meet the person of your dreams online if you’re patient and thorough.

So I’m not feeling so bad that I’m already back online meeting men through Tinder.

In fact, I’m feeling optimistic about my date tomorrow with The Airman.

The Airman is in the military and had traveled all over the world but is originally from New Jersey, a state I’ve never been to.

All his kids are college age and older so he’s in the same boat as me:  getting ready to retire and travel.

Wish me luck!

I may not be thick skinned but I’m definitely working the numbers.