About me

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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Taking detours

My week flew by. 

Someone said to me I should blog more and unfortunately I can't figure out a way to let you all have access to my head as I tear around so you can read the posts that are written there but not published in the real world.

Second thought maybe access to my head might not be a good idea. Pretty confused in there with the day-to-day intermingled with grandiose sewing intentions.

OK so back to the week.

This one I took care of the three grandchildren for two days and spent two days cleaning my about-to-move-to-Austin son's place at the beach. He lives upstairs in a spectacular apartment and rents out two units on the main floor. Those are what I cleaned.

Here is one unit and here is the other.

This kid is really enterprising, like all my kids actually. He is my real money saver and bought this place for not much - I had my doubts-  it was run down and decorated in dusty rose with pictures of cats '80s style, and he completely re did it himself.

My best part of that story was my husband and I were out one weekend staying in the RV helping him paint and I woke up to see a strange light moving around the yard.

I looked out the window and there was youngest son with a miner's helmet on dipping each board for the siding one at a time in natural stain and setting them out to dry in the dark.

Lately I have been thinking of my family.

I have friends and neighbours who have kids who all live close by. In a month both of my sons will be in the US, working at good jobs they got from very hard work. I still have my daughter here with the kids, a few minutes away and am extremely blessed about that. My daughter too is a hard worker. She is a children's cancer care coordinator and is about to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner - while working with three kids.

Sometimes I wonder why we all try so hard. I wonder about folks who have all children close, but I know this is how we are and were meant to be.

I become a single mother in my early 40s unexpectedly. I remember my daughter saying "we are watching you and if you are OK we will be OK." 

Well that was that.

I also remember an angry father coming up to me in the line up at parent teacher's (both my boys were school presidents) saying "I don't understand why your children are doing well - they come from a broken home, and my son doesn't."

Things people say.

This week was my 15th anniversary. My husband Leo is, to quote my mother, a gift from God. When he met me, my kids knew his kids, he told me that I, a middle aged mother with three kids, a dog, and a house that needed a lot of work, was someone he knew he had to "snap up before someone else got there first."

You see where my mother is coming from.

I don't usually share much that is personal on this blog but every once in a while I think it doesn't hurt. Part of blog culture for sewers is everyone posts great pictures of their garments and lives look smooth. 

I think the sewing is real and the lives behind the sewers are too. 

We are all just trying to make something.


marcy harriell said...

What a gorgeous post.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Life is full of twists and turns. You just have to keep on trying to do your best. Good for you that you found someone who appreciates you and enriches your life.

Diane Kaylor said...

Thank you for sharing. Life is funny, how things turn out. I love how you think.

Vancouver Barbara said...

Thanks for a great post. Love the stories and reading about smart-as-a-whip Leo for snapping you up! Your son's house is great and looks like a lovely place to stay.

Susan said...

The beach house looks great. As you mentioned you had been cleaning two of the units, I was wondering how difficult is it to keep up the barn door styled shower doors ? I really like the look but wonder if the hardware is a magnet for shower gunk? Thank-you for writing your blog-reading it frequently makes my day.

wendy said...

Thank you, I love reading everything you write just because it so real and you write so very well.

Sydney Brown said...

Whenever one of your blog posts shows up, I immediately stop sewing and go sit down and read. It is ALWAYS worthwhile. Thank you.

Elle said...

Hah! Leo and your mom were both right. You're all gems, as far as I can tell. Thanks for giving us a little window into your lives.

Joanna said...

I was 39 with 2 sons, living in Germany, when I boarded the same boat as you. My boys have turned out great and meeting my 2nd husband was a real one in a million chance. We've been together 31 years now and I will keep him. You're right, the sewing is real and so is life. It's good to get to know the person whose writings I admire and respect a little better. You carry on, Missus.

Brenda said...

Yes, we are all making things. Or stitching a life together. : )

Ana said...

Hey ;)

I am recently married with a small child. I am terrified of losing my husband sooner than usual due to family medical history... It gave me Confort to read this post - I think your kids turned out great because of your attitude ;) thank you for sharing.
And yes, sewing is real despite the greater part of it being inside our heads. Life is also real and so much is inside our heads as well ....

My grandmother and mother arrived yesterday from visiting my uncle in another country. It is difficult, but these visits are so precious and so happy!

I think we all try hard because we want the best for us and ours !

Keep it up, I love the way you talk about stuff - even in podcast format - they are very similar to your written posts!!

All the best, all the love from across the ocean!

Brooke said...

Oh honey, congratulations on your anniversary and thank you for sharing your story. (And all your sewing wisdom.) We're all better off for it. xoxo

karenviser said...

My children live 9 hours away - or 2 hours by plane - and always will. I live in a small southern town (near Knoxville!) where the majority of offspring have their big fling in college and then come home to stay. I was always a roamer and think I passed it on to my children. I'm proud that they had the courage to follow exciting career paths in interesting locations. It's an adjustment and sometimes I am envious of those who have families nearby. Most of the time I'm busy with my own projects and when I start missing them I hop in the car or plane and go visit. And those visits are special and lots of fun. I think the most important gift we can give our children is to live a happy and fulfilling life so they don't have to worry about mom. It's a balancing act that works most (but admittedly not all) of the time.

Lyndle said...

Congratulations on your anniversary. This post exemplifies why you are my favourite blogger. That's all.

garnet128 said...

When children are successful and have the courage to spread their wings and fly far from home (even though it tugs at your heart) it speaks volumes for your parenting. You did good mom. Real good.

Obviously Leo was the perfect gift from God. Congrats on you anniversary.

Barbara said...

Folks there were a few really wonderful comments that got deleted by mistake. I read and appreciated them and am so sorry my fingers slipped before I could make them public.

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary to you and Leo! I wish you many more happy years to come.

I'm struck by the oddness of the father's comment. Lots of back story there I suspect! And I wonder how you manage to sew at all when I hear about days of grandchild wrangling (after which I would have to recuperate for another day!) and days of rental house cleaning.

Both my adult kids live a substantial drive rather than a flight away, and its hard.....I'd love to have one close enough to hand for them to be a more frequent physical presence in my life. On the other hand we are all on affectionate good terms and see each other frequently and they seem happy, so I'm not complaining (much, outloud anyway).

As always thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.


Bonnie @ sewplus.blogspot.com said...

Such a sweet post, very heartwarming!

Gwen Van Kleef said...

I loved reading this. I remember you once wrote something like, "Being a good parent is doing yourself out of a job" which I thought was marvellous. I think your sense of humour and joy of life and productive lifestyle has passed down to your children. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara said...

Susan those shower doors aren't hard to clean. They slide so you can get at them one at a time and the handles just screw into the glass without any fittings that could catch stuff. Plus they really look great.

jane said...

Posts like this confirm that we in the sewing community are sisters at heart. Thank you and please keep writing.