At the end of the day . . .

I hear that phrase a lot lately, especially in the political arena. However, an an interior designer, I discovered a type of glassware that I absolutely love: end-of-the-day ware, also known as friggers. See the definition from the Corning Museum of Glass pocket dictionary.

 

The English term for an object made by a glassworker on his own time. Most friggers were made from the molten glass that remained in the pot at the end of the day. such glass was considered to be a work- er’s perquisite. American glassworkers referred to frig- gers as “end-of-day” objects. They are also known as whimsies.

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I am eclectic designer, so I applied the same concept to my crocheting projects. Crocheting is relaxing to me, sort of meditative, especially as I deal with the stress of being a caregiver for my Mom. She used to do some excellent crochet pieces. I involve her in my projects because even though she cannot crochet these days, talking about it engages parts of her brain that seem to help her in other ways.

I am just a beginning, but I love the Stash Basket pattern designed by Laura Hontz. Of course, I added my own variations to her design. Here’s what I did with all the bits and pieces of yarn leftover at the end of a project.

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And at the end of the day, I am happy to transform scraps into whimsical creations. Nothing is wasted!

Now, if politicians could figure out how to apply that idea to the challenges that face them.

LOL DESIGNS

Mom is laughing-out-loud about my little-old-lady designs inspired by a stay in a skilled nursing facility earlier this year. I did not know that UTIs effect elderly women big time until Mom was knocked for a loop with one that sent her to the hospital and then skilled nursing for a six-week long recuperation. My mother has Shy-Drager syndrome, a progressive disorder of the central and sympathetic nervous systems. The UTI intensified the Shy-Drager syndrome so much so that she had trouble with the smallest tasks: eating, going to the bathroom, and getting dressed.

Mom’s fingers could not work the little buttons on her shirts, her eyes could not see the buttons or the button holes, and her mind could not sort out which button went with which button hole. That’s where the idea for LOL Designs was sparked.

It was a simple thing to change the little buttons to larger ones. Being a designer, I decided to experiment with the idea of color to trigger the brain to remember. I found big buttons in bright colors, asked Mom which color she would like for the top button, the second button, and so on. I could have made the choice, but something told me to engage her in the process. Next, I changed the buttons – using the pattern that Mom chose – on three shirts. Voila!

DS SHIRT_1

LOL LOGO

Not only did the new buttons help her with this task, but they gave new life to her shirts. In fact, she gets comments every day about her colorful, big-buttoned shirts. If there is one thing I have learned from being my mother’s caregiver is that just because she and her friends are older does not mean they don’t like to look good.

That got me thinking. Why don’t fashion designers create a line of clothing for LOLs (little old ladies) that make it easier for them to dress and still be fashionable?

Embracing Fall With New Eyes

Embracing Fall
The leaves outside my window are changing their colors.
I watch as one leaf after another zig zags to the ground,
joining other now dried and brown leaves.

This phenomena allows me to see the patterns of the branches
and the hawk’s nest that once was hidden from my gaze.

A gentle breeze releases a shower of many rust and sienna leaves.
The sunlight casts it’s light on tree trunks
exposing a play of texture and shadowy effects not seen before.

I am reminded of the Teacher’s words “to everything there is a season.”

I wonder why we human beings do not remember to take the time to let go of our coverings, to let the light show us the core of who we are
and to know that it is time to slow down and wait for the next cycle.

Oh, Mother Earth, I heed your message
and in my humanness, I stop for this moment
for what the tree outside my window has shown me.

I embrace it’s changing colors as I embrace my own.

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It has been a year since I moved my mother from Florida to Virginia. Fall is a very different experience in these two states. Today as I drove Mom around to witness the changing colors, I noticed how some branches reach for the sky while other branches droop downward towards the earth, and yet some extend straight out as if to say “Stop!” And that is exactly what we did. We stopped and embraced fall and all its glory. And we are letting the light shine on who we are by spending time together and listening to each other’s stories. We are learning to embrace each other and our changing colors too.