Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Days 1, 2 and 3...Lucky Me!

It's been a busy week! I started my new job, training for 2 weeks in this building:

This is not my permanent "work home" at Hyland, but it is a good starting place, and there has even been knitting with yarn bought on vacation! :) (By the way, if you are in Naples, FL, stop by and see Nancy and her staff at Knitting With Nancy. Lovely shop, and lovely people!) 

The start of training at my new job is for absorbing a LOT of information and getting ready to get my hands into new software, to figure out my new place in the work world. 

So far, it is good. It is very good. I am certain I will be very happy here! 

Thanks for all the well wishes, and thanks for stopping by the blog today! Now, off I go to day 3 of training, and I hope that you will find contentment and happiness in your Wednesday!

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I'm Ba-ack!

Well, I am back from my little hiatus and blog break, and here's how I spent my 3 weeks between jobs: First, I tackled a list of "have to" things, as the responsible adult does at the beginning of vacation time...kindof like eating your broccoli before your brownie in the world of adulting. I am growing weary of adulting these days. ;o) 

Next, I contracted the flu, just before leaving on an actual vacation, where I managed to infect my sweet hubby and the dear friends who invited us to go to Florida for the week, and provided for our every happiness. It was good to visit sunny Florida and to miss some late winter/early spring snow, but it was a little bit "bumpy" as vacations go, while we all took turns with the cough, fever, and general body aches the flu brings. Still, we were able to visit a couple of lovely places, including the Corkscrew Swamp, 

where we saw a water moccasin and some other local wildlife...

A short trip or two to the beach...

And the pier at Naples.

Overall, it was a good time. We had great weather and fun friends, but I fear that I am not very good at going on vacation. At least, I'm not a good vacationer when I have the flu! When we got home, I went to the doctor, to check out the lingering cough, where I received a diagnosis of acute bronchitis and three prescriptions. Thursday and Friday were spent taking it easy, running some errands and a working on a couple of frivolous projects...nothing too taxing, and I start my new job on Monday. Of course there was knitting, a pair of socks for one of our hosts

...and a second pair for his wife, so the vacation was complete and full of the things I love.

Now, with just hours left before I venture into a new job, all that is left is the Easter ham, church and family time this weekend. :) I'm not sure what your faith traditions are, but I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and I have accepted him as my Lord and Savior. This means that I mourned his death on the cross yesterday, BUT tomorrow (and for the rest of my life) I will continue to celebrate that He is risen! My sins died with Him on that cross, and today I am free of guilt and condemnation, washed in the blood of the Lamb, and worthy to be called a daughter of God. 

I have said it before, but I'll say it again...if you don't have a regular church, I'd love to invite you to mine. Email me at PrettyKnittyJewelry [at] yahoo [dot] com for the address and directions, services are at 8am, 9:30am and 11am, and I'd love to have you join me to celebrate the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Happy Easter, Peeps! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Blog Break

There hasn't been much knitting (or anything else) going on, so the blog will take a short break this week. Still, Spring is nearly sprung, so here's a quick photo to hold us over until there is more to say. 

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Weekend to Reminesce

Since the loss of my husband's brother and sister last month, we have spent a lot of time talking about what growing up in a family of 7 was like for him. With 4 boys and a girl in the family (plus their parents), I know that they had their share of squabbles, sharing, and sprinting to the fridge for food. As you might imagine, it wasn't all smiles and popsicles, but there is photo evidence that they all did learn how to smile... Sweetie was the oldest boy in the brood, born three years after his sister.

There was another brother, just 16 months later...

...and another about 18 months after that...

...then the "baby" of the family was born about three years later, which completed the set.

Born before the digital age, there are not many photos of them as kids. Last night, looking through some of these photos for the first time, I was a little overwhelmed at the thought of 5 kids...I don't know that I would have survived that many kids, even though I did have a really good minivan during my childbearing years! Something else struck me as I looked at that last photo, the one with all 5 of them, circa 1973. There are very few pictures of all five of them together at any age, which makes this next photo pretty special to me:

It is not the best photo I have ever taken, a faraway cell-phone shot while I was still learning about how to use my telephone as a camera...but this was the last time I had seen them all together at a family gathering (summer 2010) until this past Christmas. I am kicking myself for not making them pose for a new one in December, but it is what it is. At least I have this picture, all five of them in their parents' back yard at a picnic, and most of them are smiling even. 

If you have siblings, cherish them. Even though you may not get along all the time, your siblings are the only people in the world who were raised just like you were. No one but a sister or brother will ever understand your "you know how Mom and Dad used to..." memories, or the "remember when we were little..." giggles. Siblings, you can't choose 'em, but you can choose to love them anyway. 

I say that like I'm good at it, but here's my confession: I need to be a better sister. Maybe it's because, despite the shared experience of growing up together and being raised by exactly the same parents, my sister and I have turned out pretty different as adults. Different, however, doesn't mean we can't get along, so here's my apology, too: I'm sorry, Sister. I am working on being a better sister. Please forgive my past performance, and know that I love you.

Now, off I go to do Saturday stuff...maybe there will even be knitting. :)

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Day Three

Today is day three that I am not working. I am not out of a job, just between jobs, as I told you about on Saturday. Also, I should not say that I am not "working"...I am simply not going to work. I have a list of things to work on, and I am making my way through that list, slowly but surely. There are regular things to be done, like paying bills. There are neglected things I have not done in a long time, because I have been busy at work, things like really scrubbing down the bathroom and kitchen. Finally, there are things that I am longing to do in my time off, like binge watching 6 seasons of Downton Abbey while eating bonbons, as a properly kept woman in the middle of life might do. lol!

So far, I have made some good progress on the list, but I seem to keep adding items as I go. Some things I have enjoyed, like hanging the wind chimes my local knitting group gave us in remembrance of Sweetie's sister and brother. Others, notsomuch... Yesterday, I cleaned the bathroom so hard that I my quads are killing me this morning. I am not even sure how that happens! There were no weights involved...just me, the vacuum cleaner (with all of its accessories), a very scrubby sponge and all the normal cleaning products. 

But in between the "chores" I have completed during this "vacation time," I have also done some fun things! I did hang the wind chimes, and I also flung open the windows so that I could hear them while I worked. Every time they ring, I remember that I am loved, and so were they. 

I have done some knitting with catonlap, but not much...

I think the most fun thing I have done so far is to pack the birthday box including 20 packing bunnies! They really do multiply. I think I vaguely remember putting two in there to start, but just look what happened...

I have a friend who assures me that it is quite impossible, genetically speaking, for two bunnies to create 18 more, so that there are 5 individual colors produced along the way. I hear what she is saying, this is junior high level biology, dominant and recessive genes and all... However, we are talking about Red Heart Super Saver yarn, and I think most crafters would agree that this yarn has some "special" qualities...and in the world of acrylic yarns, anything is possible, don'tcha think? lol!

Sorry about that. I could not resist reminding you about the shorts. Those shorts are one of the things I carry in my head for times that I need to smile. I have thought of them often these past few weeks, and they never disappoint. I always smile!

This is the point where I usually say, "Now off to work with me!," but today I think I will get back to that list! The kitchen is jealous of the bathroom, and I have a desperate need to balance our budget, which I have neglected to do for nearly a year. There is also likely to be some knitting. Yes, knitting is one of the things I should have put on the list. I should always include knitting on my list of things to do today.

What is on your "to-do list" today? Whatever it is, I hope that you make progress, get things done, and that you still have time to knit.

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

End of an Era

For nearly 16 years, my face has been the first one you might see if you visited the church office where I worked as the secretary...or administrative assistant...or office manager... Whatever my title through the years, the job was full of adventure and surprises, along with a dose of monotony here and there. For the most part, I have really enjoyed my work in the church office, and I believe that I was well suited for it. This is is my most recent photo and profile from the church's website:

"[Pretty] has been our office manager since April, 2000. If you make contact through the church office, the odds are good that you'll meet [Pretty] first. She is married to [Sweetie], and they have two grown children and two grandkids. As a member of this church since 1995 when the family moved to the Cleveland area, [Pretty's] heart is truly in her work, but she also likes to knit. She knits a lot." *

I'd say that's pretty accurate. I have lived and loved this job for more than a decade-and-a-half. However, an opportunity has completely bowled me over this year. A new job has landed squarely in my lap...a job with a raise and some opportunity for growth. The company is pretty impressive, too. This was not an easy decision, and even though it took me quite by surprise, I cannot turn down this great opportunity. My decision has been reinforced as I have slowly shared with some local friends about my impending professional transition. First responses have often been, "Wow! You can't turn that down!" So I took the job, and my last day in the church office was yesterday.

When I pulled into the parking lot on Friday morning, I marveled at the beautiful property that has been my work home for so long. 

"This is the end of the Pam-the-Church-Secretary era," I thought quietly to myself as I admired the soft, early stillness of a late winter morning in an empty parking lot with this Friday-morning view all to myself: 

However, it is also a new beginning. I start my new job at the end of the month, and I am super excited to learn new things and work with new people! Still, it was a little sad when I left my office at the church for the last time yesterday afternoon. Thank you Neal, Bob and David for the lovely "parting gifts." I will think of you all fondly while I guzzle salsa at Fiesta Jalepeno, then curse the tacos while I try on new jeans at Kohls! You guys nailed it, those are a couple of my favorite places! Of course, if you'd gotten me yarn, I would remember that! I love you guys!

Plus, it's not like we won't see each other. I'll still be there on Sundays (and Thursdays for knitting, duh!). I won't have the parking lot or the view or the echo-y atrium to myself, but I will be there. Actually, I'm kindof looking forward to Sunday mornings without access to the copy machine, computer or keys to the office. After 16 years of being a go-to gal, 6-7 days a week, this week I will be just another worshiper in the crowd. In this season of change, I look forward to getting re-acquainted with my church from this new perspective, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for all of us next!

For now, at least for the next three weeks, I think I will knit and catch up on some things I have neglected. A little Pretty time feels long overdue. 

If you are a local friend, I hope that I will see you at church tomorrow. I promise to not run off on "official church business" if you stop to say hello. If you are a local friend who doesn't know where I go to church, email me at PrettyKnittyJewelry (at) yahoo (dot) com, and I will send you the particulars. I would love for you to join me and Sweetie any Sunday, but especially during the Easter season, where God's love looms large in a sacrifice made for all of us. 

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health. 

*Names have been changed to protect innocent husbands. ;o) 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Italian Yarn

"The Italian cousins, they get me," I wrote when I received these goodies in the mail in November 2014, and they do!

I had made some hats for Halloween that year, themed for a certain Disney movie, and shipped to Italia. One for each cousin, and one for the dog (as you do)...

...and they thanked me with Italian yarn and pottery. They get me, they totally get me! I have had the multi-colored yarn pretty prominently displayed for some time, and I finally decided to grab it this past weekend, along with a pair of 8mm needles, and this is how it turned out:

So warm, and very soft! It's an acrylic/wool blend, so I worried that it might be a bit itchy, 

but it is not itchy at all...and it is so very, very cozy! I've been wearing it to work all week, and my neck has never been warmer!

So glad that I finally got to this yarn, and even though it is nearly Spring, I do live in northeast Ohio, so I am sure to get more use from this cowl before it really heats up around here. Thank you again, cousins!

Have you knit anything quick and cozy this year?

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!