Saturday, August 1, 2015

Monday, Monday...

Monday, Monday....can't trust that day. 
Or so the song goes. 

I, however, choose to trust that Monday will be good to me. Monday is the day I get a new hip. I am excited to NOT be in pain all the time, eventually. I am a little anxious about general anesthesia, which is pretty normal for me, and for all sane people. (Please do not tell me you are not anxious, or that you would not be anxious if you were me. This would not be helpful. Just tell me that you will be praying for me. Even if you won't, it will comfort me to think that maybe you are.) Finally, I am nervous about abandoning everyone where I work, even though they are all very smart people who will figure it out, or put it on hold until I get back. Maybe, come to think of it, I'm really worried about what my desk will look like when I do get back! lol!

In any case, I have simple, post-operative knitting at the ready, 

and I think all my ducks are in a row. Tomorrow is the annual church picnic, and I am eager to see what the pot-luck goodies will be! But today I will just chill and knit (maybe something a little complicated?) 

while I wait for Monday. The waiting, they say, is the hardest part. I think "they" are correct. 

I anticipate that I may miss a blog post or two. I will be in the hospital until at least Wednesday, and I haven't had time to blog ahead, so I'll miss seeing you all here in Blogland. But, as Schwartzenegger would surely say, "I'll be Bach!" I don't know why he wanted to be Bach. Maybe he thought Johann Sebastian was a cooler name than Arnold. Cool or not, Arnold would beat Bach in arm wrestling, for sure!

Wow. All of that even before I get sleepy-time pain meds? I can only imagine what I'll imagine post-surgery! If it's good, I'll blog it! In the meantime, happy knitting to all the knitters, and happy everything to everyone! I'll catch you on the flipside with my brand-new, shiny hip! 

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Just Walk Away...

On Sunday, I got three haircuts. I'm scheduled for hip surgery next Monday, so even though I have needed a haircut for some time, I was really trying to hold out until the week before...the last thing I'll want to think about during my recovery is my hair, right? 

So, as we drove home from church, stopping at the grocery store along the way, I decided I'd just pop into that shop by the grocery store. I am sure I have been there before, and aren't most of these drop-in salons pretty similar? That was my thought anyway. So I dropped in.

As I checked in and took a seat, I looked at the 4 stylists on the floor. "It'll be fine," I thought, "as long as I don't get that one, with the blue hair on 2/3 of her head...and the bad haircut." I've read in magazines that you shouldn't ever have your hair cut by someone with bad hair. I wasn't too worried, though, because the young gal with the funny blue haircut had just taken someone to her chair, and I was next on the queue. But, you know, Murphy must have been sitting next to me.

Big-Bad-Blue whips through that guy's hair, and calls my name. His hair looks fine. I look around at the other stylists, who all have lovely hair styles in varying shades of real hair colors and not, but still...three great haircuts. In my head, I am screaming, "Noooo! Not her!!!" But I've just come from church, and thoughts of grace and not judging and giving everyone a chance are swimming through my head. I get up, and I sit in her chair. I smile and say, "I have good hair. I'd like my bangs cut to just above my eyebrows, and then layer the rest pretty short. Taper it around my face, but do not leave my ears hanging out, please." She smiles, as though she understands, and I smile again, and she puts the cape on me.

After round one, my bangs are still in my eyes. She has only taken off half the hair that needs to come off, and she is rather pleased with herself. I put on my glasses and repeat the instructions. "Well, if I cut your bangs that short, they'll shrink up even more, and you won't like it." 

"I know. That's the way I always have it cut. I like it. I know I like it," I say with a smile, a little more forced than before. 

She says something about communication being difficult, it's hard to tell a stylist exactly what you want the hair to look like, yada yada yada. o_0 Then she cuts my bangs again, and she is pleased with herself, and I have the weirdest mullet you have ever seen. I coach her to match the top and back and sides to the length of the bangs, but she is not happy to give me the haircut I've asked for...probably because she now has to cut my hair twice...and I have a lot of hair, which she has mentioned several times. But I am now running low on grace...and patience...and hair. So I tell her it's fine, thank you, then I pay and leave. Two haircuts, not finished. 

I wish I had taken a picture at this point, but then again, no. The sides were twice as long as the bangs, which were not quite short enough. The top was shorter than the bangs by quite a bit, and I don't even know what was going on in the back. When I got to Best Cuts, the shop I usually go to, where I have given the same instructions to 2 or 3 girls who have done what I have asked multiple times, I am called back immediately. I tell the gal my story as she starts to run her fingers through my new "do," and she asks, "What did she DO to you???" Then, she fixes it. The first time. On my third haircut of the day. 

Now, this is only my second bad hair story in 47 years,* so I'll stop complaining here. After all, it's just hair. However, from now on, if I walk into a shop/salon and see any stylist with a style I don't like, I'm just going to walk away. The magazines are right. If she works in a place where she could easily have that fixed, yet she hasn't, it's simply not worth the risk.

By the way, to console myself, I came home and knitted quite a bit on a pair of socks. I am so glad to have knitting in my life!

I hope that your hair and knitting stories are all good this week. But please share if you've had a funny disaster...we can all use a good laugh, right?!?

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

*My other really bad hair story involves a home perm, circa 1980-something, when I was in my teens. We all have a bad home perm story from the 80s, right? And no, there are no photos of that one either...lol! 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hip Check!

Even though my last couple of weeks have been far from what I'd consider normal, I seem to have a bit of normal on tap for August. Let's look at my last few summers, to see what a "normal August" means to Pretty:

August 2012 - Total hysterectomy. Sure. Because a uterus the size of a cantaloupe is definitely not normal. I don't remember what I knitted that August, because there were a LOT of painkillers involved, and I apparently did not blog about the surgery until September.

August 2013 - Broken Fingers. After taking up running in May of that year, I fell three times. On my last fall, I broke my fall by breaking three fingers on my left hand. Ouch! Still, I knitted dishcloths, and I managed to finish a sweater for Peanut. Knitting with a cast on one hand requires some determination...

August 2014 - Physical therapy. When I started running, I also started noticing some pain where my leg bone's connected to my hip bone. Eventually, there was an x-ray, showing pretty good arthritis in my left hip, and the doc sent me to an orthopedic guy and physical therapy. I knitted a lot...hurty hips do not affect August knitting, apparently, and I continued knitting on seven pair of Christmas socks through the summer!

August 2015? Well, funny that you should ask. This year, I'm having a hip-replacement. That's right, even after the PT, and even though I have stopped running, still my hip has declined. I assume that there will be painkillers again, so I have already started planning my simple, post-op knitting. I've cast on things like a Sockhead Hat, and I'm almost done with the ribbing, so that will give me miles of mindless stockinette to work with immediately...

There is also a pair of socks, with random ribbed patterning on the leg and foot. This is a self-striping yarn that I am loving, and the pattern is a little more than stockinette, so this one may be post-post-op knitting, when I have fewer painkillers in me, but I'm not quite back to work, etc...

And then there's the scarf...the entrelac scarf. I started it, thinking, "Entrelac really isn't that difficult. I could do it post-op..." Of course, entrelac is not really difficult at all, which is why I've actually finished this one. 

LOL! So, it's not post-op knitting at all. It's for Peanut, because she wanted one "just like Gramma's

"but PINK!" So, now I'll have something to put in her next package. Yay!

I may also cast on a simple sweater or scarf, and I am investigating ideas for that, or I'll wind more yarn for a second sockhead...but for now, I am all about getting back to life, back to reality, and getting ready for a short hospital stay and a 3-month recovery plan. I wonder what NEXT August will bring?!?

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pretty by Any Other Name...

Tim always called me "Pammy Sue." Sue is not my middle name, and there's only one friend who ever really calls me Pammy on a regular basis, but that's what Tim called me. He called Brenda "Brenda Sue," and I'm pretty sure he called Linda "Linda Sue." I don't think I ever heard him call Neal "Nealy Sue," and that's probably for the best.

Somewhere around Sunday evening, it dawned on me that I won't hear Tim call me Pammy Sue again, and I won't roll my eyes at him about it again, and that got me to thinking about all the names I've answered to through the years. 

My grandfather, my mom's dad, called me Pamela. I have a friend at church who always calls me Pamela now, and I like the sound of it. In Saving Mr. Banks, every time Tom Hanks said the name "Pamela" on screen, I kind of imagined he was talking right to me. Pamela is my given name, and I like it. When my church friend says, "Good morning Pamela," on Sunday, I usually respond, "Good Morning Markela!" Then it's his turn for the eye roll!

My grandfather was Italian, and he spoke with a thick accent until the day he passed. When I was born, he misunderstood my name to be "Poundala." He thought that was silly! But for years, my dad called me Poundala. I remember that I liked the sound of that, too. It was a little weird, and my friends questioned it, but that's what Dad called me. 

In high school, I had a friend who called me Peppy. She said it was because I was so upbeat, and then she said it was short for pepperoni, which I am not sure I understand, but we went with it. We went with it so far that, when I started dating Sweetie, she started calling him The Mozz (short for mozzarella because, you know, the cheese is all over the pepperoni on the pizza!). I'm not sure I've ever told Sweetie that. Well, Babe, that's the way it was.

Sweetie calls me Hon. Short. Sweet...to the point, Hon. I suppose that it's technically only a partial name...not even the full "Honey," but those three letters still manage to convey love, humor, tenderness, frustration, compassion or even anger at times. After 28 years together, there is no name I enjoy hearing more than that one...it's my favorite. I love to hear him call me Hon.

I call myself Pretty in the blog, and in many places online. When I started blogging, it was to protect my family's identity more than my own, but now it's part of who I am. I am Pretty. I don't need a pair of pants to tell me that, because I am Pretty! I don't need to be always perfect or always right, because in the end, at least I know that I am Pretty...and Knitty. I am Pretty Knitty, and this is my pretty knitty life. Want proof? Here's some knitting (and some cat):

My knitting is pretty knitty, too!

Thanks for stopping by. I know that the blog has been pretty emotional these last few posts, and my hope is that some of that may be helpful to friends and family who have suffered their own losses. Life and emotions are messy, but no one should have to do it alone. So, no matter what you call me, feel free to stop in and be friendly anytime. One can never have too many friends, or too much chocolate, or too much pretty (or knitty, right?).

And if you knit, I hope that you will Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Remembering Tim

When I wrote my last post, on Wednesday morning, my pastor was dying. I got the notice that he had passed just before 6pm that same day, and I grieved...and I rejoiced for his entrance to heaven. His funeral was this morning, and my head and my heart have been home to a flurry of emotions for this entire week. I could write that all down again, but instead, I'd like to write down some of the things I will remember about Tim.

I remember the way his eyes danced when he spoke to a child, and I imagine that his eyes are dancing in Heaven, and all the children who have passed before him are clamoring around him to catch the sparkle in those eyes. 

I remember the shake of his shoulders when he laughed. It took a LOT to get a guffaw from him, but I imagine that he throws back his head now, his mouth wide open with laughter in Heaven. 

I remember that he loved to sing, and I'm a little bit sad that I will not hear his voice again here. But I know that the angels are rounding out his rich baritone as they praise God together now.

I remember the gentle way he corrected me when I needed to improve in the office, always quietly encouraging me to be better. 

I remember that he was NEVER too busy to hear me out when I had something to say, even when I was being silly about things. He listened without rushing me, and he prayed for my requests in such a beautiful way.

I remember the first year I was secretary at my church. I was hired in early April of the year 2000. He and Paul, our Youth Minister at the time, took me out for Secretary's Day that same month...he didn't even know if I was a good secretary yet! Still, he took that opportunity to invest in me, and I was encouraged.

I remember him standing before my son and daughter-in-law on their wedding day, blessing them with his knowledge, humor and love, and entrusting their relationship to the Lord. 

I remember him sharing pictures of his grandkids, one-by-one, and the way his eyes shone with love for them. Then, when I had grandkids, he looked at my photos too, his eyes shining just as much. 

I remember him making low-carb pizza in the toaster oven at church, with a melted cheese crust, that was often burned and pretty smelly!

But most of all, I remember his steadfast love for the Lord, and his great faith. He had faith that could move mountains, and it did. It moved mountains of disbelief in the hearts of many who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior today...I've simply lost count of how many he has brought to Christ in just the past 15 years that I've been his secretary. What a wonderful legacy!

I'm not finished grieving, and I may not be finished for some time. Yesterday, I went into his very quiet office, and I just sat in "my" chair, the chair I would often sink into just before I would look at him, behind his desk, and ask, "Can I talk to you for a minute?" I spoke not a word, but tried to remember the last conversation we had had in that office...I don't know what it was about. He has been out of the office for the past few weeks, and I can't remember our last conversation...but that's not important. The important thing for me to remember is that Tim lived his life according to the Book, doing his best to live the love of Christ in all that he did. 

Wouldn't the world be a lovely place if we all lived like that? 

See you soon, Chief. See you soon.