Crazy Aunt Purl's Home Is Where the Wine Is: Making the Most of What You've Got One Stitch (and Cocktail!) at a Time

Crazy Aunt Purl's Home Is Where the Wine Is: Making the Most of What You've Got One Stitch (and Cocktail!) at a Time

by Laurie Perry


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The first horseman of the apocalypse is undoubtedly the Internet personal ad. I am not sure why every single one of them is some variation of:

Balding, Paunchy, Twice-Divorced, Unemployed Male Seeks Independently Wealthy Supermodel for No-Strings-Attached fun. Nonsmokers only.

She's Back, and edgier than ever. In her debut narrative, Drunk, Divorced, & Covered in Cat Hair, blogger extraordinaire Laurie Perry, aka 'Crazy Aunt Purl,' gave women everywhere a hilarious yet heartfelt glimpse into her misadventures as a recent divorcee with a herd of cats, a slight wine and Cheetos problem, and scores of unfinished and uneven knitting projects.

Now, in her second installment, she's no longer drunk-dialing her ex. She is well on her way to divorce recovery and has embraced a new-found philosophy: To make the best out of the 'extra odd bits'—both in knitting and in life. Discovering how she accomplishes this will make you laugh and cry as she navigates new territory, from dating in a weird, wired world to vacationing solo for the first time. On the cusp of the big four-O, she ventures to the most exotic, foreign locations—the gym, a therapist's office, a self-tanning emporium— on a search for enlightenment and happiness in— where else?—downtown Los Angeles.

• Island Beach Bag
• Lonely Hearts Personal Massager Cozy
• Wineglass Flip-Flop Coaster
• Quick Knit Date-Night Bag
•Brain Freeze Ice Cream Cozy
• Super-Easy Beret . . . and more!

Over a dozen knitting recipes included with photos!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757313684
Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/01/2010
Pages: 201
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Laurie Perry knits and writes in Los Angeles, California, where she chronicles her daily life on her online diary, Crazy Aunt Purl ( She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal,, Vogue Knitting, the Boston Herald, and The Palm Beach Post. Perry has written for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Winter Haven News Chief in Winter Haven, Florida. She is the author of Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair.

Read an Excerpt

January 1:
Old Year

December 31, 9 p.m.
La Habra, California
Sunny Lake Retirement Community

It's New Year's Eve. Once again I have the disturbing feeling I should be somewhere more fun and exciting, wearing a funny hat and age-inappropriate glitter while drunkenly sloshing something on my fancy dress.

Instead I am wearing pajamas and my glasses, and I am locked in the bathroom at my grandmother's house in Orange County. We just watched the West Hollywood Gay Men's Chorus on TV, and she turned to ask me if I thought being gay was a requirement to join the chorus or if it was just a learning opportunity.
I am drinking wine out of a Styrofoam cup with my name penned on it. Grandma wrote my name on the cup so I would remember which one was mine. This is my family's version of going green.

Tonight, for the first time ever, I realized that my five-year plan includes turning FORTY YEARS OLD. My grandmother, well into her eighties, is still drinking bourbon and making jokes, but for some reason I am more terrified of one day being forty than of one day being eighty.

Also, since I am being honest, instead of really wanting to be at a cool party, I secretly just miss my cats who are probably puking on my new bathroom rug, unaware that we are on the cusp of a new year, a new start, a brand-new, freshly unopened calendar whose 365 days could hold unending surprise. I need to make some changes. I have to get my life together. I should make some resolutions. I should refill this Styrofoam cup.

The Morning After

After eating the required spoonful of black-eyed peas (for good luck!) and eating my way out of a jeans size at breakfast, I left Grandma's house and drove back to my own little corner of the world. My life, contained in 800 square feet of rented bliss in the San Fernando Valley. When I moved in, the landlord made me sign a disclaimer saying I wouldn't eat the paint or gnaw on the door frames, since the house was so old it was practically held together by lead-based paint from years gone by.

When I started my New Year's resolutions, there was no one in the house except for me and the cats—and a surprisingly large amount of champagne in little single-person sizes, which I couldn't help buying everywhere I saw them on sale until I had the equivalent of a miniature champagne farm in my cupboard. I opened a fresh notebook and began to ponder this new year, this new opportunity to become the person I'd always wanted to be:

New Year's Resolutions (first draft)
Start drinking champagne at noon
Clean the cat box

I am about to turn the corner from 'midthirties' to 'mid-to-wrinkled thirties,' and my life has settled into a rhythm that is certainly less dramatic and grief-encompassing than the past few years, but not nearly exciting enough to send out happy Christmas letters written in the third person, annoying all my friends and family about the minutia of my life.

New Year's resolutions feel powerful, like they have the transformative mojo to add purpose and excitement to your life and make over your wardrobe and your love life, and change your entire path. I want those resolutions; I want the list that will advance me ever nearer bliss and fulfillment—and forty.
But I am a realist; I can't see myself running off and joining an ashram and shaving my head to find enlightenment. I just paid my hairdresser to give me shiny New Year highlights, and I have yet to find an ashram that takes cats.

New Year's Resolutions (second draft)
• Stop reading books about other people that make me feel jealous and want to stab them with a fork
• Become a better person
• Clean the cat box

It is an attainable list, especially with 'become a better person' so loosely defined.
What I need is a purpose. An overarching life goal. And a pool boy. I want to change my life; I want happiness—whatever that is.

There Is Nothing Wrong with Me,
Still I Search

Some of my resolutions, such as 'become a better person,' are works in progress and not immediately achievable, while others, such as 'try five new things (not all of them food items),' 'clean the cat box every day,' and 'send at least two birthday cards on time' seem doable. But in terms of whole-life changes, there is no single resolution I can make, so my final list is fairly brief:

1. Explore New Paths to Enlightenment.
2. Take an Adventurous Trip.
3. Knit Something That Isn't Square.
4. Go on a Real, Live Date (Versus a Pretend One with Jason Bourne-Anderson Cooper/George Clooney).
5. Grow a Garden.
6. Deal with My Issues
7. Try Something New (and Not Just a New Food)
8. Do Some Form of Exercise Other than Knitting

©2010. Laurie Perry. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Home Is Where the Wine Is. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

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Crazy Aunt Purl's Home Is Where the Wine Is: Making the Most of What You've Got One Stitch (and Cocktail!) at a Time 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
csyb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Crazy Aunt Purl, y'all. Love. Her. And I want to love her books. But...while I thought this book captured more of the magic that is her blog than did the first, it still wasn't all the way there. Like eating a low-calorie microwave meal that claims to be "Top Chef Restaurant Ready" but at the end of the day, it's still frozen chemicals in a cardboard box.Not that this book is a microwave meal - it's very entertaining, witty, and fun - and if you're not a regular reader of the blog, it qualifies as a gourmet meal indeed. But some of Laurie's vibrant voice is missing from the book for me. Luckily, she still writes the blog so I'll see y'all over there.
knittingmomof3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Laurie Perry's second Crazy Aunt Purl novel, Home Is Where the Wine Is makes for a light, witty and rather delightful read. Perry writes in such a manner that one feels as though one is conversing with her. A fun, witty and delightful read with bonus knitting and crocheting patterns. Home Is Where the Wine Is to anyone looking for a delightfully charming and witty novel to spend a cold afternoon reading.
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KIST More than 1 year ago
I have to give extra credit to an author who has me giggling out loud by page 7. And when you write about not being able to stifle a giggle when another person passes gas in yoga class, well, you become one of my best friends. Many of the chapters were so like my own life that I thought she'd crawled inside my head and made notes of the crazy stuff that occurs to me on a daily basis, especially in the gym and its locker room. Very fun, quick read, you won't be sorry you bought it, you'll recommend it to your girlfriends, but you won't want to let them borrow it because you don't want to risk losing it!
Knitting_Cat_Lady More than 1 year ago
I read Ms. Perry's blog and have read her first book and this book is even better. I appreciate that she's pushing 40 and single and is quite happy in her life. She inspires me to be me. If being me includes another person, fine. But if that, that's fine, too. She doesn't take herself too seriously - but she's serious when need be. I hope she writes another book very soon.