cocoa purl

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

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.