Afghans for All – Wed May 9, 2018

Today I finished up another afghan in my large collection of afghan orders!  I love making these pieces of art!  They are so humble in their existence yet mean so much to the one it lays upon warming and comforting.  Whether it is a new baby with years of love and adoration for this piece or as today’s completion represents a new beginning for two people on their wedding day!

I have been making these now for almost four years and I never get tired of creating and mixing up the patterns and ideas for something new.  Mom asked me the other day what is my favorite of all I have made…..OMG I cannot answer this because I don’t really have a favorite.  But the American flag is the one I have made the most and I think that number is seven or eight.  One of these went to a friend in Colorado that has a veterans event each year and they auctioned it off.  Well over $200 was raised from this flag!  Awesomeness to say the least!

Baby afghans have been popular as well and I have really lost track of all those.  I have made so many team related too – Michigan,  Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Ohio State, and some just plain Jane ones but special to the owner!

I have a couple orders in the hopper so stay tuned here to see what I am coming up with next in the afghan category.

Here is more on the one completed today.  Wedding is 5.19.18 and the hearts represent the wedding date.  She is a Seattle Seahawks fan and he a Dallas Cowboys fan.  Together they will be joining their love and love of the game with this one of a kind afghan.NFL Wedding Afghan

I can create something special for you as well – message me from my Caffeinated Crocheter FB Page  or find me on Instagram .  You can also message me directly here on this site Crochet blog.  I love to create and find new ways to use yarn.  Lets chat today and see what we can come up with for your someone special!

Peace and Awesomeness today!

Maria, The Caffeinated Crocheter

Ending into a Beginning – Sat May 5, 2018

It’s estimated that 43.5 million adults in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the past 12 months, according to a recent study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP.  Pulled from Bluebird Home Care.

As the days and months have turned into years as a caregiver, recently an episode in my life has given me thought.   I will be very blunt here as it is my only escape from the life I currently lead.  The emotional stress leading to physical deterioration and not to mention the financial upheaval of my life has been detrimental to say the least.  As mom’s mental capacity lessons, the happy times are gone.  Tension and stress are more the day to day with us.  I have found I am incapable of understanding and dealing with the memory loss and it is taking its toll on me in many ways.  By no means does this mean I will not care for her, but I need to put up some kind of barrier to keep myself from completely going off the wall.  I don’t think I am the first nor will be the last to feel this way caring for a person with dementia.

With this said I will be ending this blog as one of caregiving and turn it into something more uplifting for myself.  I really want to make my crochet business more of a success and the concentration I put into the caregiving I need to put into my small business to be able to support myself while caregiving.

Come with me on my crochet journey and give me support, enthusiasm and of course comments and ideas of what you would like to see, maybe want something for yourself or a gift.  I want to learn more techniques and maybe even begin to learn how to reach pattern charts and whoa wait – design a pattern of my own.  Yippee!

I am currently working on a design incorporation some hearts from another pattern. Once complete I will share more and see what you think.  Stay tuned for this – or go to my Instagram page and see what I have going.  Don’t forget to check out my Inventory for sale page and if you see anything let me know or hit that buy button.

My well being is so much more important that I ever could of imagined and the Ending into a Beginning is the first step I have to take.  Thank you for following my journey into caregiving and the comments and support you have given so far.  Stay with me and see what we can do in the next chapter!

Peace and Awesomeness to you

Maria, The Caffeinated Crocheter

 

Can you go home again? Sat April 28, 2018

Well the drive from Arizona to Michigan was a success after much ado.  Break down in Santa Fe NM, hearing aid break down in Kansas and cold windy weather!  Nothing to sneeze at except when driving with your mom that is somewhat feeble and in early dementia!  I did realize that doing this was hard not only on me as the caregiver but on her too.  So we must re-evaluate this for next time.

I have always considered Michigan home, no matter the amount of time I have spent in Arizona.  Mom on the other hand considers Arizona home even though she spent most her life in Michigan.   She definitely does not like nor can appreciate anymore the colder weather nor the abundance of snow and the fun that can be had when in it at times.  For me the season changes that I am experiencing is beyond something that cannot be replaced in your mind and heart.  As I grow older I have come to appreciate more the time I spent in Michigan growing up on a farm and all its glory – and non glory as well!

As we were driving, I was asking mom about stories along the way and I am saddened that she cannot recall many of these memories anymore.  She even at one point asked me why were going to Michigan when my husband was still in Arizona?  She was very confused on this subject – but as I talked more about it she then recalled he had left for Michigan a few days before us.  One thing she can remember each day and it brings me so much happiness is her beloved Detroit Tiger’s baseball team.  Each and every day she says – when is the game?  I hope to get her to the stadium one more time this year.

She remembers things now and again from her childhood or a summer up north in Michigan with her uncles.  Crazy thing here – our home we bought up north in Michigan is on the same lake her uncle had a house many many years ago.  We even found the home and I took her and her sister before she passed to the home.  They didn’t recognize it as it had been probably 20-30 years since they had seen it, but they had some memories at the time about their uncle.  She uses the word cottage to describe any home that is on or near a lake.  We don’t have a cottage it is a home, but to her it reminds her of some long ago time when they would go up north to a cottage to visit cousins and aunts and uncles.  This is something very precious to me and this is why we are back in Michigan – FAMILY!

As the summer progresses and we are able to finally get out on the lake and have family time and bon fires in the yard – there will be more times to express images and memories from her.  Now is the time to get what I can with this because we all know what road we are facing in the future.

To those in a situation like mine – ask many questions and write down stuff, tape it or whatever you can to keep it from dying when your loved one is gone.

As always don’t forget to check out my inventory for sale page – no job here in Michigan yet.  Not for lack of trying though- so buy something my friends!  Hugs to all!

Peace and Awesomeness today!

Maria, The Caffeinated Crocheter

 

Hitting the Road Jack – Tue April 17, 2018

The road map of life – in the featured picture we see roads of all sizes, and materials.  Dirt roads, city roads, rural roads , giant busy highways.  All that take us from place to place – lazily along for a Sunday ride or hurry up and get there type road! What road are you traveling today?  What road have you traveled in the past and where will the road of your future take you?  I often question this last road, but as I spoke with a neighbor yesterday the road I have taken was not a planned route.

I have been on the busy highway in my career for 25 years in the entertainment business.  Today my road can be described as a city road with many stop lights in my way.  Some days those lights are green and onward and forward we are moving and other days that red light is object of my day.   The curves and bumps in the roads are what give us character…as in life how many times we go down the same bumpy road and hit the bumps is up to you.  At some point do we not remember there are bumps and go around them and smile to ourselves and say ‘hey I remember there was a bump and I got around it safely’!

Each day I travel life with a person in dementia, my road has so many bumps, curves and potholes.  These roads are only getting slicker at this point but it is how we handle the slide that gets us home safe! Ah a baseball metaphor too – mom loves her baseball.

I can see more and more the vacuousness in her eyes and this alone gives me a feeling of a long dark road where you are lost.  Other days she is right there along side of me on an excursion for the day.  You know the feeling when you want to go down this road or that road to get somewhere but there are roadblocks and you have no reasoning why you should still go that way – well this is how mom is some days when we talk.  Sharp turns are part of the conversation at times and confusion is mine.

Anyway – we are about to embark on a new adventure of our own to Michigan.  Now this time for the drive I have more concerns about what road I might have to take just to get me mentally on the road that keeps me moving onward and forward daily.

I am not able to crochet for days moving forward since I have to do all the driving.  Boo hiss!  Mom keeps asking about yarn (she calls it thread now) and will I give her more or can she have some of mine.  I’m sure she will want to crochet in the car every day and I’m jealous.  I have three afghan orders with a fourth order once the baby gender is revealed.  More and more orders keeps me busy with mom and home.  Because I have to be home more with her I want to keep busy.  Order something happy for someone today.  Imagination is a happy tool and using mine to create something for you.  Sharing with you the creations I make, makes me happy!  Take a look at my inventory for sale page – don’t see something ASK ME!

Peace and Awesomeness today!

Maria Klimaszewski

The Caffeinated Crocheter

 

Tolerance or Patience – Wed April 11,2018

Tolerance  defined as:  the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

Patience defined as:  the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

These two words are hitting me today like bricks.  A few episodes of such happened over the last week and I have been back and forth with these words.  How does one tolerate such nonsense in life and be patient with learning to tolerate.  These two words seem interchangeable in such instances as mine lately.

I have said for many years the lord is trying to teach me a lesson.  Well after this week I wonder if patience is not the only lesson but tolerance along with it.

Caregiving alone needs patience and some days I fit the bill to a tee!  Other days I want to just scream at the sky!  So if I can learn to tolerate the ‘particular existence of opinions’ even when I feel they are so backwards maybe I can learn to have a more patient capacity within myself.

The tolerance of someone when the actions are deemed hateful and socially unacceptable are thrust upon you, one must learn patience.  This was also presented upon me this week in a matter not related to my mom and caregiving.  My heart was broken and the actions are such that I want to ‘hurt’ them but patience and tolerance must be in place within me to reach a point of ‘caring’ instead.  Reach out and help but I an not able to do this – so I must reach back inside of me instead.  The hurt will never go away but the peace of mind can eventually take its place.  I have always said we see and become a part of something in our lives we cannot explain but it takes us to another level of understanding.  Well here ya go Maria – now use it!

Going through daily life, caregiving for mom, working jobs.  Part of life – but I do ask myself why do we do these things?  What is the bigger picture along the way besides eating, sleeping, cleaning, errands, saying hi to someone on the street and on and on.  I often feel that I am not in the bigger picture yet, but on the sidelines of the game.

Will tolerance and patience allow me to enter the game at some point?  Tolerance 2Is the enemy myself or the one that I do not share views and actions with?

These two words should be used and put into practice more in our world and our lives, including first and foremost MINE!

Caregiving could be easier at some point and in some ways if this practice is used and my mental state could actually improve and maybe then the ‘game’ will be fun again!

Peace and Awesomeness to you

Maria, The Caffeinated Crocheter

 

 

This is for and about ME! Thur April 5, 2018

My Afghan

Last night I decided to get this back out and work on it again. September 2017 was the last time I touched this when visiting with my dad.   This sage green and coral pink afghan is for my own bed in the lake house in Michigan!  It will be very warm in the winter and look awesome on that big bed!  Not even half way through this, but it was nice to begin on it again with the happy thoughts of my lake house.  Time to head back is upon us and my anxiety to get there increases by the day!  Chester has even figured out something is happening!  He is such a smart dog – and his fourth birthday is next week – HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE BUDDY!

Weather is happening there every day – unlike here in Arizona where it is just sunny and hot from now until September!  Yep cold about 35-45 is going to be awaiting my arrival but the excitement is tremendous.  I have not been in really cold and snow for almost 30 years!  Detroit Tiger Baseball too – mom asks everyday, ‘is there a baseball game today?’

Remember times when you were excited to begin a new adventure – whether a new job, new home, new baby, vacation to a new place – whatever your adventure was, well I am feeling this with the return to Michigan for another adventurous spring, summer and fall!  Opening the house and getting the new spring smell from outside inside.  Getting the garden ready (Ted has plants already started to take back so we are ahead of the game)  Smart!  Planning family time with everyone – oh the joys of being on a lake.  Sunrise and sunsets over the lake is awesome!  The big lakes too – we are not to far from Lake Michigan and the sounds and smells of it put me into a euphoric place!

Job possibilities could be waiting – still not sure on this!  Crochet projects lake side while taking in the smells and breeze!  Selling my crochet projects too – might have an outlet to do this!  Exciting and New  –  the love boat!  My boat will be sailing the roads of our great country soon and even though I have driven them over and over, my heart still loves the open road and adventures.   Take me away Calgon – in my big red jeep and over the roads to new undertakings this summer!

Products for bargain prices  – selling selling selling!  The more I can sell now the less I have to pack and take – so check out my inventory page and lets bargain bin you to death!  Anything that I have already created and have on there will be sold at a bargain price!  Message me and we can go from there!  Or if you think the prices are good already – HIT THAT BUY BUTTON PLEASE!  For every $50 you purchase I will throw in a gift of a nice cotton GOLD dishcloth free!  Deadline to do this before I have to pack is Thursday April 12, so I have time to package it up and get to the post office.

I would like to thank everyone for reading my blog, following me on Instagram, and my Facebook Page.  I appreciate everyone so much that listens to me, and comments on my pages.  Love feedback and the opinions of others too!

Peace and Awesomeness today!

Maria, The Caffeinated Crocheter

 

Caregiving for the Ages – Mon April 2, 2018

I have been trying to find out more about caregiving through the ages, with not so much luck on a lot of information.  I have in my mind that families years and years and years ago would have multiple generations under one roof.  Was this for economic reasons, health related reasons or just because it was the social norm of the time?  Did I get this from the movies or books?

Here is a tad bit of what I have encountered while searching the last few days.

History of Caregiving in the US   This is a good article but does not go back far enough for me.  There are many links in this article which makes more reading.  Social Security begins in 1935 and The Public Health Service Act of 1944 helps too.  There have been quite the many name changes and agency updates over the years.  I supposed because this has been happening… excerpt from http://www.ericdigests.org:

Since 1970 the median age of the United States population has been rising and is expected to continue to rise into the mid-21st century. In this so-called graying of America, a greater proportion of the population will be over 65. In 1900, one American in twenty-five was age 65 or over; in 1984, one in nine. By the middle of the next century, one in five Americans will be elderly. The proportion of oldest-old Americans, those 85 and over, is growing even more rapidly. This part of the population is expected to triple in size between 1980 and 2020. The oldest-old are especially important to caregiving studies, since this group of elderly is most likely to have chronic health problems and children who are elderly themselves.   Also mentioned in this article is this:

Traditionally, it has been the duty of adult children to care for their elderly parents. For previous generations, children served as old age insurance. Today’s elderly may be more financially independent than their predecessors, but family still plays an important role for the elderly (Shanas, 1979).

What can this mean for the next generation?  I am right at the end of the baby boomer generation and the next up and coming generation will be caring for me.  Will care be more hands on,  or will we have more and more ‘assisted living’ homes/centers for my generation to go to?  I saw a commercial just yesterday for a ‘Senior Living’ property and they had pools, spas, exercise rooms, bars and restaurants and on and on.  Seems they have multiple levels of care and expertise on the grounds so as one progresses in age, the care progresses too.  Where are the families of those that ‘choose’ to go to a place such as this?

As I talk to more and more of my generation I find this:  some families have many that step up to help in caring for a parent, aunt or uncle and even grandparents.  There are also those families where only one steps up and takes on the ‘burden’ of caring and then some just put their loved ones into a home and walk away.  Circumstances are different for every single one of these scenarios but where will we be as my generation – (some of us do not even have kids) continues to age and multiply onto the healthcare system.

I was able to find this page and some really good reading.  History of caring for elders  There is a nice timeline in this article to see how major advances in this subject came about.  We have come a very long way from the Medieval years, but as I was searching for places for my mom seven years ago, the homes I walked into had elders sitting on couches with blankets on them and a TV on.  Waiting to die is all I could muster in my mind and the decision to take in mom became a reality.  We have talked about down the road as she declines will I be physically able to help her.  Her mental decline seems to be increasing and this is where my problem helping comes in.  I try and try but have my own issues trying to understand how the mind can go like this so quickly.

I guess the good in all of this is how far we as a society have come from medieval times to today with many good places to put a loved one.  I heard a story just a few days ago though of a home that had some ‘less desirable’ caregivers, that were making mistakes that would make me fume if I saw it happening.  So do your research thoroughly before you put a loved one in any place but your own home.

Peace and Awesomeness today!

Maria – The Caffeinated Crocheter

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: