cocoa purl

Chocolate Covered Misadventures (knitting, childrearing, surviving) of a Passable Mind

A Burst of…Something August 17, 2009

Filed under: crafts,Eco-friendly,kid's stuff — cocoapurl @ 3:07 am

So I had started out writing a long post about how ECSTATIC I was about how my baby girl is suddenly, inexplicably, sleeping through the night. I am not unaware of my extreme good fortune in this matter, nor do I wish to draw the ire of all those parents who are, at this moment, subsisting on three hours of sweet sleep at a time for months and months. So to those folks, I say, Sorry, Thanks, and Hang in There. And please don’t hate me, though I totally understand if you do.

Anyhoo, with this newfound sleep time I find my brain is working ever so much better. I’m experiencing sort of a craft renaissance with all my rediscovered energy. Strangely, though, I seem to be more attracted to my sewing machine than my knitting needles at the moment. (Or the laundry.)

I had been wanting to try to make the n0-pattern kid pants as described by soulemama in her book The Creative Family. I love this book – she makes it all look and sound so easy. And by it,  I mean be a wonderful and natural mama to her gorgeous brood, all while creating and sewing and cooking and looking beautiful in skirts she made herself. Meanwhile, I’m still wearing my PJs (its late enough to be drinking, let’s just leave it at that), my shirt has spit-up on it that I can smell but not find, and the TV is most assuredly on. Oh well.

In the case of the pants, it was remarkably easy – I’ve made four pairs of pants for Evie (mostly from my old pajama pants and maternity tees) and they are flipping adorable on her, if I do say so myself. Of course, she’d be flipping adorable in a flour sack. Besides the point.

It turns out that I like sewing a lot, certainly a lot more than I used to. I think I’ve only recently (like, yesterday) realized why – I like sewing without a pattern. More specifically, I hate sewing with a pattern. This would be fine, except I don’t really know how to sew without one – I’m not gifted with a spatial superpower of how things should be put together (unlike my hubby, who uses this talent on things like automobiles.Pfff. What a waste.) So I’m stumbling through, and practicing on sacrificial material (i.e. maternity tees, old ripped PJ pants) as I fly, quite literally, by the seat of my pants.

Sorry. Couldn’t help it.

I also made the felt toy cube from the book. I used regular craft felt (labeled as recycled from soda bottles – even polyester is ECO) and put a bell inside. I also used bamboo fiber to stuff – it has a bit more heft to it than the regular poly stuff, and makes me feel even more virtuously ECO. However, I do realize that the likelihood of this thing breaking down in a landfill is pretty much zero – oh, well. At least its not plastic/made in china/toxic. Evie’s not much interested yet, but I sure like it.

We went on a little road trip to Grandma’s last week, which inspired me to make a felt board for the Little Guy. I loved these when I was a kid – it was always the most fought over toy in kindergarten, and time won on it was precious. It could be my nostalgia talking, but I love this thing. LG is not as interested, but again, I like it. (I’m noticing a trend here.)

Making it was super easy – I bought an inexpensive canvas at the craft store, a yard of blue felt, and a bunch of different colors of foot square felt. I stretched the blue over the canvas and glued and stapled it in place on the back of the frame. We went about cutting out basic shapes from the felt, but there are some more fancy pieces that the hubby cut out (he’s generally talented in just about every manner artistic) like trucks, cars, and even a shark. That last one sort of eclipses my meager trapezoids and pedestrian rhombuses (rhombi?).

I was inspired by blynkenandnod on Etsy to create shapes to make letters, instead of the letters themselves – so clever. Mine aren’t nearly as pretty as hers, but they work.

I finished Evie’s Magic Slippers, just in time for her to outgrow them. Serves me right for making booties in August. They’re still adorable.

I also used my newfound sewing prowess to make my big guy a pair of pajama pants. Unfortunately, the only material I could find with sharks on it was flannel, but he loves them anyway (he’s gaga for sharks at the moment). Hopefully he won’t hulk out between now and, well a month from now (this is western NY, after all). I did manage to score some awesome universe material that was pricey, but I was sure send him over the moon. (Sorry again).  Turns out – meh – not so much. These days, if its not about, pertaining to, or related to sharks, its not on the radar. They’re still cute, and he wears them willingly – more than enough for me.

Next on the agenda: more pants for the munchkins, and perhaps a pair for myself. I also started some gift knitting on the QT, so no pictures on that. Suffice it to say, its from a CHART. Amazing what a few more hours of sleep can do for you.

Pictures to come!



Now I really mean it and FO’s July 13, 2009

Filed under: adventures,blog,kid's stuff,LG — cocoapurl @ 3:33 pm

Clearly, I wasn’t being completely honest in my last post. Three months and one baby later, now I’m RILLY, RILLY back.

Introducing my latest FO: Evelynn Faye (after her grandmas). Born April 10, 2009 (five weeks early) at 5lb 6 oz. Another C-section on account of my water breaking AND her being sideways. Sorry to those with sensitive sensibilities for the TMI. That’s as bad as it gets.

Evie at 3 months

Evie at 3 months

Oh. My.

Oh. My.

Can you stand it?

Can you stand it?

Oh. So. Cute.

And I’m not just saying that. She’s cute from a completely aesthetic, non-Mom-bias perspective. So cute that I like to nibble on her from time to time. And now that she’s smiling – oh, help me.

She is now 3 months and nearly 13 pounds, thanks in large part to constant nursing. Apparently, I’m good at growing babies and feeding babies – just not so hot at actually birthing them.

Given the round the clock nursing of the last few months, I haven’t been doing much knitting. Or spinning. Or sleeping. But I have been surfing Ravelry and reading knitting blogs voraciously via my iTouch. I have spun and knit thousands of projects, virtually, in my head.

I’ve actually STARTED a pair of booties, Magic Slippers, by SockPixie, in the real world. Well, I started them twice. Apparently I can screw up even the “super easy” “mindless” project that its supposed to be – my February Lady Sweater is being put aside until I’m getting five hours, solid, a night. Until then, I’m knitting remedial.

On the topic of the iTouch, one handed computing is the best thing ever for a nursing mom. There’s even an app called “Blogger” (Baby and Logger together, I’m figuring) that allows you to record every feeding, sleep, pee and poop of your baby. Sounds dumb to non-parents, I know. But the pediatrician likes to know these things, and I’m too out of it to remember to apply deodorant, much less remember how many times the baby pooped today. Oh, and as a bonus, I can even upload my Blogger log to Twitter! (Not that I do, but I could. I don’t tweet. I certainly don’t tweet when my baby last pooped.)

There are a couple downsides to the iTouch for a sleep-deprived new mom.  Namely, you can search anything anytime thanks to your handy WiFi-enabled browsing. This is a problem at three in the morning when the baby won’t sleep and you Google the little rash you found on her bum and come back with all the horrible things it could be, but probably isn’t. At 3 AM, though, its panic time. One Google later, I’m shaking the hubby awake, convinced she has leprosy.

Evie is tolerant, even amused by her folks. Her comedy de jour is Daddy doing raspberries. She smiles so hard that she’s teetering on the edge of a giggle. Now that we know it will happen any day, its a bit of a competition to see who gets her to giggle first. I think I have an ace up my sleeve, but the subtlety of a one-eye cross may be lost on my darling 3 month old.

In addition to her sense of humor, she has also found her thumb. Right now, this is GREAT news because it means she can “self-soothe” (Been reading a few too many baby books, have we?). A few years down the road when our 8 year old is still sucking her thumb, maybe not so much. But I have the willpower to completely ignore THAT possibility, because with thumb-sucking brings the potential for MORE SLEEP. And right now, sleep is my drug of choice.

Oh sweet thumb

Oh sweet thumb

Ive got you now

I've got you now

Snort, zzzzzzzzz

'Snort', zzzzzzzzz

Evie’s big brother LG is adjusting pretty well – it was a bit of a shock for everyone when she came early, and we were working up to preparing him for the big day. (We did the abridged version on the way to the hospital from the OB’s office). But he’s adjusting well to his new role, and even gives her kisses from time to time. And he likes putting her toes in his ear. Don’t ask.

Oh, and Little Guy is now officially a Big Guy. Thankfully, he’s a somewhat benevolent dictator. He decreed just today that Sunday is His Day to Complain. I inquired, and it is His Day only. FYI.



I’m BACK March 10, 2009

Filed under: blog,crafts,knitting — cocoapurl @ 3:37 pm

My poor, poor blog. Its been highly neglected. In fact, I can’t think of a thing that’s been more ignored by me in recent weeks months, except for maybe the laundry. To its credit, the blog doesn’t make things stinky when ignored.

I’ve made more than my share of excuses, mostly to myself, as to why I haven’t been blogging. I could go through them, but methinks its sort of like beating a dead, boring horse. Let me just say SORRY, and we can close this boring chapter in the life of a blog and move on to more important interesting things like:


Or more specifically, baby (sorry to freak you out, Mom). This one is 7 months along (hmm, duration strangely similar to absence of blogging), and kicking like a soccer champ. She’s a she, and somehow I thought She would be quiet and gentle compared to LG. Oh, so wrong. The upside is that I haven’t eaten my way to a Tom Wahl’s (local burger joint) customer appreciation plaque, as I almost did last time round. She just doesn’t seem as HUNGRY/RAVENOUS, and I am therefore not nearly as keen on eating every hour and a half.

Everything is going swimmingly (knock wood) and I’m just passing the cute pregnant lady phase and entering into the nervous-glances (as in “My God – she could deliver any minute!”) phase. And I’m nesting. In a HUGE way. Which leads me to my next segue:


My knitting mojo is back with a vengeance. Thanks to my lovely chiropractor, my hands are fully functional and not numb this time around, and I’ve had a full outlet for my nesting tendencies. In fact, I think knitting is a much better alternative to, say, washing the kitchen cabinets. Or scrubbing the bathroom floor. Though the bathroom actually needed it, making a baby sweater is WAY more satisfying.

First, I made this:

Easy Baby Hoodie

Easy Baby Hoodie

  • Pattern: Easy Baby Cardigan, by Diane Soucy (link to Ravelry)
  • Yarn: Gedifra Florida, pink and purple
  • Needles: KnitPicks size 5

Thanks so much to Denise for getting me past the DUH! moment of how to make just the sleeves striped, where to start, and not laughing at me for being a dummy.

I also made this:

Hooded Baby Blanket

Hooded Baby Blanket

Pattern: Hooded Baby Blanket by Nikol Lohr, The Thrifty Knitter

Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Superwash Wool, 7 skeins

Needles: Maybe 8’s? Can’t remember…

For my new cutie-patootie nephew Maximo Wilbia Sisson! Now, if I can just find thier address…or phone number…maybe poor Max will have his blanket before summer. (more…)


FOs and Flying off the Handle August 13, 2008

Filed under: knitting,LG,rambling — cocoapurl @ 9:10 pm

I finished not one, but TWO projects this past week. In fact, I got so carried away by Finish-itis (which I NEVER have had before, mind you) that I stayed up far past my bedtime to get the second projecxt done in the SAME day, just so I could say I did. Ask BG how personable I was the next day, but I have TWO FOs, people. Did I mention that this was heretofore unheard of?

Pattern: Liesl by Ysolda Teague
: Debbie Bliss Cotton Silk Aran, 10 skeins (I didn’t use that many, I don’t think)
: US 7 KnitPicks Options
: July 7, 2008
: July 31, 2008
: Changed to stockinette after bodice, continued garter stitch edging, bound off after about 2.5 inches of garter stitch.

Liesl is done – and she’s purty, and wearable (gasp)! I changed to stockinette under the girls to give a sort of empire waist look (but in reality, between the weight of the cotton/silk and the fact that my waist is a scant inch from my ribs, its more like my actual waist). Truth is, this was a bit of a leap for me, as I have been very much a married-to-the-pattern knitter thus far, but having the whole thing feather-and-fan would have been just too busy for me. After consulting my knitting group about my plan (thanks, ladies!) I modified. And wonder of wonders, it actually worked. Hooray!

Now I’m in search of a button to work with it – I’m in no hurry, as I inherited some cool clasps (the giant safety pin type) that are working just fine. I’ve worn it twice already, and it isn’t even blocked yet. Is that wrong?

I also finished my Jaywalker socks – finally. I’m not sure why these have taken so long – maybe its knitting wool socks in the summer, maybe this yarn, however gorgeous, has worn on my last nerve with no pattern being quite good enough for it. (You see, its NOT me, its the yarn. This beautiful, demanding yarn.) I am happy with the final result, and am already electronically window shopping for just the right shoe for them. What about these? Or maybe these? Doesn’t everyone dress around their socks?

Jaywalker Socks out of Koigu - a little loud, but I love em

Jaywalker Socks out of Koigu - a little loud, but I love 'em

Pattern: Jaywalker, by Grumperina
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM, 2 skein
Needles: US 1 KnitPicks Harmony DPNs
Started: May 27, 2008
Completed: July 31, 2008
Modifications: None, I don’t think

I’ve started two more projects, following my new rule: One mindless project (in this case, a pair of vanilla stockinette socks), and one more challenging project. I’m hoping this will keep me in my new mode of FINISHING things.

If you use your imagination, you can see a sweater.

If you use your imagination, you can see a sweater.

The challenging project is the February Lady Sweater – well, it is for me, since there will be lace, and you know how I feel about lace. Its not that I can’t do it, its that I can’t have ANYTHING else going on when I do. Like television. Or conversation. Or breathing.

OOOOH - Stripes!

OOOOH - Stripes!

The second project is a pair of plain, vanilla stockinette socks. Am I the only person who is endlessly entertained by self-striping, self-patterning socks? Completely rhetorical question. The yarn is Sockotta, and I’m using my size 1 KnitPicks Harmony DPNs. Because I refuse to use a size 0 – so there.

So it was the perfect opportunity to cast on for the FLS during our garage sale this past Saturday. Before you’re impressed by my ability to knit AND handle the swarm of people wanting to buy my wares, let me clear that up right now – there was NO ONE. It rained. It rained hard, and it rained often. So I knit, and took the fact that I had worked on setting this dumb sale up for the last week and a half in stride. (In other words, I swallowed my frustration like a good repressive does.) I knit under stress. Probably better than drinking.

No – I didn’t fly off the handle then. It was today, when it hit me – THERE ARE THREE MORE WEEKS UNTIL THE FALL, AND I HAVEN’T FIGURED OUT WHAT TO DO FOR PRESCHOOL YET. After beating myself up for a good couple of hours (lousy mother, what have I been doing with my time, knitting! instead of researching my child’s future, etc.), I’ve made several appointments to see a few schools. To be fair, I did the same thing a few months ago, only to discover that the one we had sort of settled on was mucho expensive. I mean, second-job expensive. So to plan B.

But I have a bone to pick and a bit of a rant to go on, since I have no idea how women people (sorry, that was sexist) who work full time (i.e. all year round, unlike me, academic slacker that I am, who only works ten months out of the year) are supposed to juggle most preschool programs given they are a HALF DAY. I completely understand that its probably the most academically responsible approach, given that most 3 year-olds wouldn’t do with a full day of school. What I don’t get is how I’m supposed to make that work, AND go to work so I can pay for said preschool, AND provide for the best educational prep for LG.

Did I mention that guilt is a huge motivator to this rant?

Ahh, MommyGuilt. Guilt is huge for me – its in my genes and in my upbringing. I can’t escape it. And now, I’m being told in order for my son to get the best start in school (which could ultimately color his perception of school in general, and cause him to either love it or hate it, and if he hated it he would end up living in the basement into his forties – you see what I mean about the guilt?) I have to make it work somehow to drop him off at noon and pick him up at three. While I’m working all day.

Is there something I’m not getting? Is there a transporter available? Or some sort of manipulation of the fabric of time and space?

Please don’t get me wrong – I WISH I were a stay-at-home mom. I do. If I could take a time-out from working, I would. But I can’t – that’s pretty simple and obvious. So, I need to make it work.

The last time I felt this level of MommyGuilt was dropping LG off to daycare for the first time. Nothing will make you question every decision leading up to that moment as leaving your 8 month old with a veritable stranger. He was completely fine – I was, however, a mess. For months – in fact, I don’t remember being anything but miserable for that first year. I still have a twinge of it EVERY time I leave him to go to work. It gets easier only because I know he has fun.

This is a different sort of guilt, because I know he’ll have fun and I know that its best for him. Its not so much “I’m abandoning my child” guilt as it is “I need to do what’s best for my child” guilt (You see? I have categories). What I don’t know is how everyone else in the same position makes this work.

/rant  (That’s end rant, for those not web geeky enough.)

Sigh. Please, someone who’s smarter than me, clue me in. ‘Cause I don’t get it. I guess its a lot to ask for the answer to the ultimate Mommy/work balance, but ya’ll are smart people. Throw me a bone.

And in response to the stress, I knit. Or spin. Or pretend to shop for shoes online.

I’m off to do all three of those things before I have to shower for work, and do laundry – LG and I are going on a road trip to see YaYa the day after tomorrow. I’ve decided that 8 hours in a car – with just me and a three year old, ought to cure me of any guilt – I may want to sell him to the circus by the time we get there.



Those Lazy, Crazy, Hazy, Days… July 29, 2008

Filed under: adventures,crafts,knitting,LG — cocoapurl @ 8:06 pm

Emphasis on LAZY. Not that we haven’t done a lot, but apparently, blogging isn’t part of what I call our newfound “lifestyle productivity”. You know -knitting, spinning, swimming, watching fireflies and hummingbirds, going ’round the house naked (LG, who quite enjoys it). Nothing productive in the true sense – we haven’t been fretting over the state of the economy, doing much housework, or even much real cooking (unless baking counts). We may be kicked out of the adult club for this summer, truly. Especially if there are any surprise house inspections.

Let me ‘splain. ….No, no – there is too much – let me sum up. (We just watched the Princess Bride again for the zilliionth time. Love that movie.)

  • I got a wheel.
My new Lovely Lendrum

My new Lovely Lendrum

And many ibuprofen later, I’m coming up for air. Seriously. I’m not sure I even showered those first few days. What sort of fiber freak gets so sore from spinning she actually ices her wrist?

YO! That would be me.

I’m figuring things out, little by little (namely, DON’T buy felted merino, no matter how pretty it is, and DON’T spin for two days straight unless you’ve trained for it) and am actually making something that looks like yarn – how about that?

This is a Lendrum DT (stands for double treadle) – its an upright wheel, as opposed to the Cinderella-style saxony wheel that most people think of. And not only does it fold, but it fits just nicely in this little corner next to the window. And the air conditioner (hey, if I’m crazy enough to work with wool in July, then I plan accordingly).

After much hemming and hawing and driving all over to try every flavor of wheel I could think of, I bought this one from the lovely Louise from the Marion Sheep and Wool shop (not ten minutes away from my house, I kid you not).

I’ve spun a LOT. At least, to me…

  • LG went to his first 4th of July Parade/fireworks.

He didn’t much care for the parade at first.

And then…the folks on the floats started to throw candy.



Instant convert.

  • LG got a big boy bed.

And since we’ve been talking a lot about how big boys also go on the potty, and have heard this is the best way to get them to learn:

The Pants-less days of Summer

The Pants-less days of Summer

It hasn’t worked yet, but we’ll keep on trying until A) He’s potty-trained, B) it gets too cold, or C) the neighbors start to complain.

  • We went to the Air Show.

BG was VERY excited. LG was game to go along, as long as he had earplugs. (We also may or may not have bribed him with a toy plane.)

And this was the helicopter used in the series Airwolf...

"And this was the helicopter used in the series "Airwolf"..."

Oooh, look! A tiny sliver of plane!

Oooh, look! A tiny sliver of plane!

Commiserating on who can make the best plane noises

Commiserating on who can make the best plane noises

My boys on the big plane - my photomerge experiment

My boys on the big plane - my photomerge experiment

Stick a fork in him...

Stick a fork in him

  • We’ve also been learning all about expressing our emotions.

  • I’ve been doing some knitting.

The hat is the Republic Hat (free pattern on Ravelry), made with my first ever handspun. Spindle spun, no less. I can’t quite decide if I love it or if it looks like a Redskin’s mascot threw up. On my head.

The dinosaur is Norbert from – I made this for my dinosaur-lovin’ nephew for his birthday. Knit up two weeks in advance, check. Assembled, check. Double-check on his birthdate…


Sorry DW – this one’s going to be late. Your Aunt C has a mental deficit when it comes to dates.

The end.



IT! July 1, 2008

Filed under: blog,rambling — cocoapurl @ 1:45 am

I was tagged by the lovely Denise from knitting group, and boy, howdy – I feel pretty special about it. I feel a little like the new kid at school, being waved over to the cool kids’ table in the cafeteria. Now, if I can only hide my true inner dorkiness for a little longer…

What was I doing ten years ago?

I had just finished my first year teaching at RIT as a lowly (and I mean lowly) instructor, and was seriously debating the wisdom of returning in the fall since I had done such a lousy job. Then I got my student evaluations – never have I questioned my own grip on reality as with those evals. They thought I did a bang-up job. Were they actually paying attention? I think, no.

Dean and I had just gotten married the previous fall, and were still flush with the giddiness of having health insurance. For BOTH of us. With DENTAL. Woo-hoo! We lived in a thin-walled two bedroom duplex in East Rochester (which we would later buy) next to our landlords – in retrospect, we should have recognized the reality TV goldmine that was our landlords.

What are the five things on my to-do list today?

I have a few more then five, so I’ll spare you the REALLY boring ones. Like tackling the single sock basket pile.

  1. Laundry. Apparently buying more underwear and socks doesn’t mean less laundry, less often. Someone much smarter than me needs to explain this mystery to me. And how is it the towels are never clean? Must buy more.
  2. Grocery store. This morning’s trip was pre-empted by very dark clouds appearing out of nowhere while we were in Target. And yes, of COURSE I left all the windows in the house open, so then we had to go home, eat lunch, and then LG needed a nap… But we need to get there later, because without the essentials (sugar for coffee, bread for PB&J, chocolate) things get ugly fast in my house. While there, come up with, buy ingredients for, and MAKE dinner, instead of copping out at the last minute and getting something to bring right home. Darn you, Rotisserie Chickens, and your accompanying, expensive, convenient sides!
  3. Go through my email. I detest email even more in the summer than during the school year. I almost resent it – doesn’t everyone realize summer is my time to veg, goof off, and basically drop off the professional planet? As a result, I end up ignoring it for days on end, until I get nasty “Your account is over its limit” messages and 190 messages in my inbox. Not counting the 232 in my junk folder. BLECH. I may need to come up with a self-reward to make me do it. That’s NOT food based. I’m trying…
  4. Play CandyLand/Thomas’s Great Race, build a fort, have a picnic with the finest plastic food money can buy, and read books to my son (at least until I get so sleepy that I need a break). Drink caffeine. Repeat. Resist temptation to let him watch TV.
  5. Ply and wash the last of my very first fiber. I need to watch the DVD again to remember how to andean ply. Without breaking off my middle finger. OOh, wait! I found this instead. After I finish that, I want to start on a knitted critter for my girlfriends b-day. When is that again? Oh, right – it’s today.

5a. Call Erika for B-day.

Snacks I Enjoy

  • Chocolate, obviously. Dark, but sweet and unadulterated by nuts or other contaminants – sort of like the cheap wine of the chocolate world. I can’t eat milk chocolate because of the dairy allergy. My current favorite is Newman’s Own Sweet Dark – today has been a two square day. So far. (I do need to confess a strong affinity for chocolate covered blueberries, despite my claims of being a chocolate purist.)
  • Chips and guacamole. I could eat guacamole all day, every day. Ask me how I know.
  • Toasted flatbread and hummus, or flatbread and tabbouleh. Not recommended in the same day.

Things I would do if I were billionaire

  • Pay off all of our debt, all of our families debt, and repay my parents for college. Pay off Tori’s debt. Invest enough to make sure BG never worries about money ever again.
  • Build my mother-in-law her own house, next to her parents’ house on the land she grew up on. She’s been basically their live-in caregiver for years now, and needs her own space.
  • Fund our families’ retirement.
  • Build a house with lots of land, horses, sheep, and alpaca. Realize I know nothing about raising horses, sheep and alpaca, and hire someone who does.
  • Buy BG a ‘63 Corvette split-window coupe. Not too perfect, though, so he can tinker with it and call it his own.
  • Build BG a woodworking/sculpture studio. Hire Norm Abrams to help him outfit it. Enable him to build me that spinning wheel that he’s been threatening.
  • Set up a trust for Nick, and give Tori some start her own coffee shop/go back to school/travel the world without-having-to-work-two-jobs money.
  • Travel! Visit my dad and stepmom in NM, then travel Europe and Asia. Then maybe Australia…
  • Fund a non-profit organization, benefiting any of the following: dogs, horses, babies, kids with disabilities, cancer research…
  • Buy a spinning wheel. Build a little outbuilding for a craft/photo studio.
  • Buy a house on the beach in Cape Cod – spend 1 month out of every summer there.
  • Give away whatever’s left

5 People I would like to learn more about

Nick – I just want to hear more about the space bullet train trip to Jupiter he took during his nap. ‘Nuff said. His blog will be quite something, once he learns to read.

Tori – I already know she’s brilliant and fascinating, but don’t really get to know true life philosophies in our weekend visits. Especially lately, as I’m usually occupied with corralling her half-brother. I want to know her values, her politics, her pizza preferences, and if she’s a Captain Kirk, or more of a Mr. Spock. Or is she a Scotty? If you know what I mean. Get a blog, you! Plus, I need to know how not to dangle a participle. The blogosphere needs more english majors. Tag!

Denise – a former lawyer with six kids who spins, blogs, knits fearlessly and buys couches from eBay. How could I not want to know more?

My sister – While we didn’t exactly see eye to eye growing up, I figure now we have more in common than not. All you need to add is a blog to your great website. How about it? Those kids, dogs, cats, husband and job shouldn’t be taking THAT much of your time. Consider yourself tagged.

What would you like to learn this summer?

I guess I’m currently in progress with this one – spinning! I’m still on the lookout for that one perfect wheel for me. I have one spinning class left before I have no more wheel access, and I’m already a little apprehensive at the thought. The spindle is good, but the wheel, is.. well, better.



To the Exclusion of Everything Else June 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — cocoapurl @ 3:31 pm

I tend to be a bit of an extremist when it comes to “projects” (I know, Mom and Dad – no news there). For some reason I get it in my head that if I can’t go all the way with something, or be really good at it, I shouldn’t do it at all, and I lose interest. Fast. Casualties of this philosophy include: my photography, knitting projects (I’m never gonna give up the number of UFOs I have), housecleaning, exercise – you get the idea.

I’ve come to realize that this approach is, well – stupid. Its a recipe for disaster and usually has the added benefit of making me feel like a failure. And so here I sit, in a house with a sparkling upstairs bathroom but an inch of dust and dog hair everywhere else, writing this instead of doing those things that I should do. But there’s a method at work here – I’m giving myself a good (public) kick in the pants.

And the first item on the agenda: exercise. Lately I’ve been pretty irritated with myself for allowing my weight to go up while my fitness has gone WAY down. So three weeks ago, I found a site called “Couch to 5K” that intrigued me. Running has never been my favorite thing to do in terms of exercise – in fact, it ranks right up there with going to the dentist – but its always done wonders for my body, and fast (at least it did when I was 21.). And this program promised a slow steady progression – literally from the couch (which is exactly where I was at the time) to being able to run 5K.

And so I was DOING it – every other day I would run/walk for 25 minutes (according to the training program), and I was feeling pretty good. Great, in fact. And my right knee, my cantankerous Achilles Heel that had all of its cartilage removed in the second of two surgeries, was not protesting at all.

And then I got a cold. Not a big one, but it coincided with going out to Albany to celebrate Tori’s B-day, and the next thing you know –

Its ten days later, and I haven’t stepped foot on the treadmill. And yesterday, I was coming dangerously close to packing it in, using that old standby – I’m not doing it well, so what’s the point in doing it at all?

See what I mean? Stupid.

But today’s a new day. I’m turning this around. In the immortal words of Susan Powter (remember her?) “Stop the Madness”! (Wow – she’s scares me more than I remember).

And one of the purposes of writing all this down in a fairly public way, is to state this as my goal. I figure that if its just me holding myself accountable, then I can walk away without much fuss. Whereas if I announce this as my goal here on the blog, then hey presto! The REST of you can give me a kick in the patootie if I lapse again. Right? At the very least, it provides me with the sense of potential public humiliation – as good a motivator as I’ve ever heard of.

I’m off – the treadmill calls. Wish me luck!