Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Of late, sewing has been a difficult thing around here. I can tell you, without any compromises to any individual's privacy, that I am exhausted at the end of each day. Many people find the pre-school years challenging, but the level of challenge I have faced would be the stuff of most people's nightmares.

I think the kind of journey I have been through having a child with the kind of disability mine has, has left me with the mentality that life is what it is. My thinking has been hugely shaped by 2 books, "Man's search for meaning" by Viktor Frankl, and it was this book about managing suffering that helped me when things were very low. Also I have been hugely influenced by the writings of Zen Buddhist teacher Charlotte Joko Beck - the philosophies are very powerful: life is what it is, and in full experiencing whatever that is, is the joy of life.

And if nothing else, you should see our diet! It is so healthy. We have cashew nut kefir smoothies with vegetable juice for breakfast,and that's only the beginning. I sometimes think I should show you all the cooking I've been doing because that is where all my creativity is going.

I made a pair of corduroy pants for winter. They are nothing special. I used Burda 7192 - it has some interesting design features. They have this interesting fly facing, and the front topstitching is angled to match:
And this strange pocket flap which I immediately sewed down:

The back view is why cord gets a bad rap. It never does anyone's backside any favours - could be a granny style cardy opportunity, that's what I am thinking:

The front. I like the flare of these cords. And they are, after all, super comfortable which is why we do such unkind things to our flabby tummies and saggy botties.

I love how they feel on, but think that this is not the right pattern for corduroy.


  1. I think that you are doing something very good. Thank you for sharing your story. From around the world I am constantly amazing by your resilience and humor. Not to mention your impeccable topstitching.

  2. You are exhausted because what you are doing is very, very, very hard. Even ordinary parenting is hard---adding a disability to it is a whole 'nother ballgame. I hope you are seeing results from all the effort, though.

    Congratulations on the dietary modifications! My husband is supposed to be eating a very specific diet, and we rarely make it more than a couple of days without blowing it in some way.

    As for the cords, they look slouchy and comfy, which is what cords excel at. :)

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure all your love and effort is making a massive difference, even if it doesn't always show. Without knowing all the details, it sounds like this is one of those "in it for the long haul" situations.
    I hope you are getting a little time here and there for yourself- you are important too!
    As for your cords, sure they are a little baggy, but I would wear them to death. They are comfortable, practical and will match everything:-)

  4. I am a great believer in comfort sewing, but mine does not include topstitching,zippers nor corduroy ;).
    It is good to see that you are still sewing.
    I don't know what to say about your very hard job. Your philosopy is admirable, but I hope you get some breaks and good fortune. Long haul situations are very wearing.

  5. Wow, I have to say it but I truly believe you are doing an amazing job. I can only imagine the time and creatively suck a restricted diet would bring to your life.

    Comfy cords look and sound great.

  6. gosh my heart goes out to you not that this offers any kind of help .I have patients with severely disabled children and they are amazing people. I hope you are able to get some breaks from time to time. I find sewing a great stress buster as well.

  7. Those cords are cool- but nothing beats those fabulous floral ones you sported in Dn.
    You're so right that life is what it is, and people are who they are. Don't forget we love you all, just the way you are.

  8. I am sorry to hear about your exhaustion. I don't know of course what you are dealing with exactly but I gather its involving round-the-clock vigilance.
    I will have to check out this Charlotte Joko Beck, this is the second mention I've encountered of her in a week or so.
    Please do share you cooking! I'm all for sharing creativity, no matter what form it takes, and besides you have really piqued my interest with these cashew nut kefir smoothies...
    And the pants are cute :o)

  9. Thank you for sharing. Your posts are so eloquent. You are doing the most important job on earth and I wish there was something I could say to make it all better.
    Regarding the cords: If you make them too tight you get that 'whoof whoof' noise when you walk. I remember it well ..

  10. The cords look like great comfort pants. I would love to see some of your cooking - I want to get some good "sweet treats" for my son to avoid eating the few processed foods we do eat.

    My sister has a son with a disability and another (of my 4) sister was in a terrible car accident 20 years ago and has disabilities too. I feel for you... there is no real respite. There are Carers retreats and organisations here that send the carer away for a weekend and arrange for care ... I hope you have access to something like this in NZ. Thinking of you and the great job you are doing.

  11. Nice to be hearing from you again. I have just been reading about inappropriate spambot comments and am trying hard to think of one that might make you smile.

    I understand that sometimes creativity just appear to sap away especially when there are other things on your plate. I hope you are getting a lot of practical support rather than just the well meaning stuff.

    As you are my style compass, I am wondering if I am lost, as I caught myself passing up on some very cheap hot pink and purple cord last week. Is this good sense or a lack thereof?

  12. Thanks for sharing Mary Nanna. I would love to see your food if you feel like a little (or a lot) food blogging.

    The cords I really loved the most were those fab paisley ones you posted about not long ago.

  13. That sounds hard Mary Nanna, and as we all know parenting's a tough gig even when it's relatively straight forward. Kudos to you for being so dedicated to your little boy. Wishing you many days of comfort in your cords ;-)

  14. I love corduroy pants for their softness and comfort, and the wider the wale, the better. They will never be a fashion forward look though. I was really moved by some of your previous posts talking about the improvements brought about by diet and lifestyle changes. Here's a heartfelt wish that those continue to happen as a result of your hard work and devotion to your son.

  15. My heart breaks for you, reading about your situation.

    I would love to read about what you are cooking. I am trying to eat better and better and better and could benefit from your wisdom. :)

    I love mindfulness meditation and you may benefit from it as well--perhaps there is a MBSR course in your area?

    As always, your pants are impeccable!

  16. I'm a corduroy fanatic, so I can hardly be objective about suitable patterns :-). I do like your pockets very much, and the color, and it looks so soft and yummy..

    In the more practical/less religion vein, don't overlook "full catastrophe living". And after all this time, are you really certain that all that grueling cooking is making a significant enough difference?

  17. I think your cords are the perfect cords. They look warm and comfy and beautifully curl-up-on-the-couch slouchy. What more could a girl want?
    You are doing it hard; being a Mum is challenging even without another dimension such as yours. Do you have someone who can help out to give you a bit of a break every now and again? I hope so. :)

  18. I think these are what cords are supposed to be - comfy and slouchy.

    Although I can't truly relate to your situation, your willingness to embrace it is certainly admirable and inspirational. If anything, your post is a reminder to me that sometimes I should be more patient with and more appreciative of my children and all they have to offer. I hope you always remember to timetable in some time for yourself.

  19. I follow a strict diet because it is the difference between being curled up on the couch in pain or living functionally. It is beyond difficult to eat this way, let alone explain how it is benefiting you and others.
    I was not blessed with a child with disabilities but I have several friends who have been.
    Keep room for your sewing so you stay positive.

  20. Ugh, I feel for you. When Jack was so sick this fall, I couldn't think about anything else and all my creativity was focused on him getting better. I know you don't have a temporary situation, but just know that you are doing a wonderful job, a necessary job. Yes it is hard, but you can't not do it. And you are doing it well. I think you should show us what you have been cooking. I for one am interested!

    Sending you virtual hugs through the inter webs.

  21. I hear you on creativity going to cooking instead of sewing or whatever else. Creativity takes a ton of mental effort - and I've realized I don't have an endless supply of that!

    I have a fondness for corduroy bagginess. And the color is very cozy, too.

  22. How's it going Mary Nanna?
    I'v nominated you for a Leibster Blog award. Come to my blog to read all about it!


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  26. Wow, gorgeous clothes and gorgeous photos - I'd love to marry you please :-) hehe xxx