Life is mostly no fun when you’re sick…

…& you’re a baby & you’ve been awake screaming/wailing practically every half-hour like clockwork for the last two nights due to congestion…& since you’re congested you can’t nurse properly…so you’re really mad at life…& you’re also teething due to being 15 months old & only having 1.5 teeth(!)…& your fevers don’t really respond to anything mama tries…& your mama is also sick & keeps coughing at night which wakes you up every.single.time…what else…oh, of course, the best part!….your mom has been eating dairy the last few days & now your eczema is raging all over your torso & limbs & today you started scratching a lot…& your tummy rumbles way too much because of said dairy eaten by your mother…

Due to your banshee-esque wailing in the car during school drop-off this morning, mama got you out of your car seat while we waited the 30 minutes for older sister’s Band practice to end…

You enjoyed pretending to drive…sort of…You loved watching the late busses come & go…Well, not really.Mama tried to comfort you…you really seemed indifferent.  And angry.Your morning nap was hard won!  You slept off and on for close to three hours due to mama’s constant rocking (& attempts at nursing) between sleeps…You actually woke up fairly happy!  “Fed” yourself oatmeal for the first time…

Nope, nope, maybe not.  So we took a bath at noon due to oatmeal being plastered basically everywhere…Now you’re sleeping on mama again & it’s ok because she can see birds at the feeder in the garden from this position..but surely tomorrow will be better, Harmon  Hunter, little hobbit, surely surely. ❤ 

Yarn Along: Garter Ear Flap Hat FO

Harmon’s been a bit under the weather this week, so when I snapped most of these photos on Monday he wasn’t in a knits-modeling mood, he was in a sleeping-off-my-illness mood.This is Purl Soho’s Garter Ear Flap Hat.  I knit two sizes of this pattern for June when she was a toddler.  She was still regularly wearing the larger version up until this winter…until she wasn’t because she lost it & I was instantly a sad sad knitter.  That particular hat was rather special to me because I made it just for her and twice-over to boot due to sizing issues.  Once I got the size right, it quickly became part of her winter persona in my mind, as silly as that sounds. 

She definitely doesn’t need anymore hats-June has inherited dozens of hats from both her older sister & older brother.  But lucky for me Harmon has zero knit hats made by his mama to wear at the moment (isn’t that a bit strange?), so I found myself knitting this pattern again after a four year absence. I still love the construction (I swoon for short rows for some reason) & especially the final product.  It just fits so well & looks so cute-if you knit the correct size, of course, which I did on the first try this time!I used Quince & Co Puffin in Honey.  I think this single strand wool is absolutely perfect for this pattern.  Fluffy and warm.  Soft, but hardwearing.  Blooms beautifully when washed.And makes the best fuzzy tassel!Following his morning nap, Harmon awoke in a slightly better mood &, as this boy does love his hats, he was quite willingly to oblige me several knits-modeling photos. Due to Harmon’s large noggin I had to knit the third listed size in the pattern.  Lots of growing room for next winter.

He’s learned to fake snap to jazz music this week.  No lie!  He’s extremely obsessed.  He’ll carry my phone around the house listening to the public radio jazz station app while fake snapping & shaking his torso to the music.  This could go on for hours if I let it.  But I promise I don’t.  Eventually we put the phone away & just listen to the jazz station on the actual radio.  Anytime he wants to listen to jazz he will start fake snapping now & wiggling his hips while smiling at me.  I’ve tried turning on The Muppets Movie soundtrack in lieu of jazz, but he wants no part of it.  Jazz only, please, Mom!

We went for a walk yesterday afternoon & it was quite uncanny how well the color of his new cap matched the buds on the juniper trees.  


Still hoping we find June’s lost hat, but in the meantime, joining in with Ginny on this Ash Wednesday.

Iowa Blues: New Coop Tenants

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There’s new birds at the Bodeker Coop this week.  We bought a quartet (1 rooster + 3 hens) of chickens this past Saturday for Merritt to show as a 4H Poultry project this summer (his current chickens are not working out for various reasons).  A neighbor down the road has been breeding Iowa Blue chickens for about three years in a bid to help restore the breed back to a sustainable population (along with several other breeders in and around Iowa).  The Iowa Blue chicken almost went extinct by the mid-1980s, but luckily one of the founders of Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa began working to bring the breed back from just one remaining flock.  The Iowa Blue dates back to the early 1920s in Northeast Iowa.  It is a very hardy breed–withstands both the horrible high humidity levels of our summers & the sub-zero windchills of our winters rather easily.  Iowa Blues are quite large chickens, good layers, & the hens, I’ve read, can be extremely broody.  Our three hens are not quite laying yet, but should be soon.  We’ve got them sequestered for now away from our other chickens for both their safety & the health of our flock.xzjj65971

This is the rooster.  He’s got some comb damage from abuse by other chickens at the old farm.  Hopefully we’ll get that sorted out.wpls09671

This breed is not actually blue, but from afar the hens are supposed to look blue-grey, hence the name.
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I think they’re quite lovely.  We named the hens varying forms of the color blue–we’ve got Periwinkle, Celeste, & Sapphire.  Sapphire is June’s chicken & she chose the name from a list of blue color names.egrg17971

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June & Sapphire.  She’s very excited to have another chicken to call her own.

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We let the hens run around in our hibernating garden yesterday afternoon.img_87021

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I thought these seeds were pretty hanging in our woods.  The pods almost sparkled.

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Prairie the cat snoozing in the garage.

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On our walk back from the bus stop yesterday we found another blue bird…an Eastern Bluebird!  There are actually quite a few bluebirds wintering in Iowa every year, but this is the first one in our yard this year.

For more information on the Iowa Blue chicken, check out this pdf book by Curt Burroughs & courtesy of the Iowa Blue Chicken Club.

Yarn Along {Stripey Balloon Pants FO & in-Action!}

I think I’ve knit this pattern out of my system now, at long last.  Maybe it’s the heatwave we’ve been experiencing these past few days here in Iowa, but I’m ready to move on-finally!!!-from woolly baby pants.  Harmon wore his new stripey version all day yesterday.  We were out & about a lot running many errands, buying a Speed Queen washing machine, chauffeuring Coralee to & from homeschool co-op classes & Band, hanging at two different coffee shops (yikes!), running down the sidewalks in town screaming (Harmon did that!), shrieking very shrilly at the library when it was time to put books away (again, Harmon, but I can see how you may have thought that was me-ha!), & then falling asleep in the car on the way home at 2PM because that’s a long day (I reiterate, that was Harmon falling asleep…I had a Venti-sized coffee at noon so I was wide-awake).  The Balloon Baby Pants held up great all day & did not sag out like the first pair so I’m glad I knit the smaller size with smaller needles this go.  Harmon is just such a peanut!  He is 14.75 months and this is the 5-8 MONTH size on US 2 needles with sportweight yarns.  Babies/toddlers definitely come in all sizes!

Harmon sure does LOVE books as of late.  Especially books about chickens or cats or peek-a-boo.

Joining in with Ginny.

February Heatwave

To say it’s been warm in Iowa the last few days is an understatement.  This is a heatwave!  I feel like it’s the end of April and I need to be out in the garden.  Iowa weather is very tricky.  It will probably snow next week.  Harmon is sure enjoying his first steps–literally–outside the past two days.  He was wary at first, but quickly took off & wandered aimlessly (or maybe not?) all over the yard.  He is still unsteady on his feet & fell over as much as he remained upright.  We discovered he is afraid of the dogs up close, would like to catch one of the cats, & doesn’t really care about the chickens up close, either.  

He’s telling me all about the rooster crowing in this photo.This is Louisa.  One of our favorite chickens at the moment.

On Saturday we headed east to the Mississippi River in Davenport for an Iowa Young Birders trip on Credit Island.  Lots of Ring-billed Gulls & Bald Eagles.June found many gull feathers + she was wearing her new spring jacket resplendent with flying gulls so she wanted her photo taken in front of a large flock of gulls hanging out on the ice.I’m posing, Mama, snap the photo!

Harmon’s first time on a swing!

Later we swung by the University of Iowa to pick up Harmon’s godmother (& cousin) Miss Bailey for lunch at our favorite place Sutliff Bridge & Tavern.  I’ve blogged about Sutliff several times over the years.Quizzing June on her bird knowledge.Harmon is generally very very wary of people other than his mama & Coralee, but he took to Bailey straight off!  So sweet! ❤Happy Weekend Warmth!

Yarn Along

Not much progress in the knitting department this past week–I apologize for continuing to bore you with the same WIP for like four+ weeks’ running now.  I haven’t been reading much either other than thumbing through the books I picked up on dairy goats, trying to read Goodnight Goon (a Goodnight Moon parody) in its entirety to Harmon (his current favorite book to carry around) before he toddles off, & enjoying the beautiful photo essay book on American Kestrels by Kate Davis.  Shameless plug- check out my “guest post” yesterday for more on this bright little falcon & maybe bid on some cool artwork while you’re there. 😉


I bought the Nui Organics shirt Harmon’s wearing in these cheeky photos to coordinate with his stripey Balloon Baby Pants, but the color in real life turned out to be more of a gold/orange than the fantastic yellow that is Quince & Co’s “Carrie’s Yellow” so I’ll have to keep looking for that “perfect” coordinating top (such a silly endeavor, yes, I know!).Harmon is so much fun right now!  He’s a goofy, but serious, little man & also soooooooooooo much a mama’s boy lately!  I thought once he began walking he’d bid me adieu, but he seems to be going in the other direction….now he just chases me around the house faster!  I’ve almost tripped over him so many times–I turn around & there his tiny self is when he wasn’t anywhere near me two seconds previous…he’s a sneaky little hobbit.  And so very short & petite it’s actually quite easy to trip over him!Joining in with Ginny.