Yarn Along 

It’s been too long since I’ve joined in with Ginny over at Small Things.  Might as well dive back in to blogging at warp speed, no?!  I started a pair of baby balloon pants in a Quince & Co yarn (colorway Boreal) for Harmon over the Thanksgiving holiday, but as we were all sick or convalescing, I didn’t get much accomplished.  Hoping for a December 25th finish!Someone was trying to help mama photograph the knitting on the bed yesterday!  He’s so very sick today now–high fever, respiratory gunk, feeling awful, can’t breathe properly.  Poor bug.  Hoping he kicks this soon…you can’t be sick on your first birthday!  

First Tooth Lost!

June lost her first tooth last night after working ALL.DAY.LONG to pull it out!  She was determined to lose it ASAP in order to share about the experience at school.  She kept telling/asking me to pull it out for her which I gladly would have done, but she clearly needed no help.  She wiggled and twisted for hours, exasperatedly telling us how badly she wanted it out NOW.  And then all of sudden it was out!  It didn’t even bleed it must have been so close to falling out.  This is the earliest any of my kids have lost a tooth and Harmon Hunter (who turns one year old this week!!) still has ZERO teeth!  So crazy.  We took all four kids to the dentist yesterday (I thought Harmon would have a mouthful of teeth by one year of age, oops) and everyone with teeth is cavity-free.  (Coralee has a congenital hole in one of her adult molars that we’ve known about forever that will be filled permanently if the tooth ever manages to rise completely above the gums, but we don’t count that.)  The dentist didn’t even look at Harmon, for obvious reasons.  Hopefully he’ll have a mouth full of chompers in six months’ time when we go back.  The Tooth Fairy left June a nice handwritten note rolled up with 5 one-dollar bills & tied with some lovely purple baby alpaca.🙂

I should address the fact I’ve been MIA for over six months here on the blog…I can only blame a tornado in July that took out the area’s only cell tower that our service provider uses (apparently) and the fact that we live in rural Iowa and cellular data is our only internet access.  Oh, also, Harmon requires every bit of me.  Every.bit.  I am very tired.  I will post a one-year update for him soon, once we take his one-year photos.  I promise it will be worth it, so I hope I haven’t lost all my readers!  He’s very cute!  A tiny tiny little man at 16lb.  See you back here soon!

Yarn Along a western road


(((Drumroll))) 

Guess what?  I won the lottery!!!  Ok, no, I didn’t, something even better happened!  I–at long long last–finished Harmon’s Wee Envelope!  A good deal of car knitting this past Monday & Tuesday did the trick!  I even got the 65 million ends woven in so now all it needs is four buttons & Harmon will be ready for his (month-late) six-month photo session this Saturday with my western bestie Mia!  The hotel I am staying at is literally 50 yards from a yarn shop (how divine is that???!), so hopefully I can find buttons worthy of the ridiculous amount of time it took me to finish this sweater.  As soon as I tied off the last end yesterday afternoon, I cast on immediately for Coralee’s birthday gift (another thing I’m a month behind on)–Storyteller Hoodie in some scrumptious Madelinetosh.  I also continue to read the biography of Rachel Carson this week–I’m roughly halfway through now & just got an email from the library stating the book is due back tomorrow…& I’m out of renewals…story of my literary life!

Joining in with Ginny from the road.

Yarn Along {congrats Ginny!}


I’m not sure if Ginny will post a Yarn Along today or not as she *just* gave birth to beautiful Mae barely a week ago (so head over to her blog & get your newborn photos fix!)…but here’s what’s doing anyway in my knitting life.  I wound the last ball of Q & Co Chickadee in Belize for Harmon’s Wee Envelope.  I’m so close to being done!  I hope I have a finished photo for the blog next week.  I do have a swift somewhere in my house for winding, but I only had like one minute to do this before Harmon got antsy, so seize the moment I did!  (Please ignore the fact that my skin is so translucent white the colorway that is Belize absolutely does match the veins in my legs & elsewhere-yikes! I am a pale pale lady.)

Dill Bed Biologists

Merritt planted a dill bed in our garden about three years ago using Seed Savers Exchange Grandma Einck’s Dill seed & we’ve never had to replant since that summer. Dill is an annual herb, but it is very good at self-propagating! The kids have found Black Swallowtail caterpillars on the plants the last two summers–these caterpillars eat almost exclusively from the carrot family of plants. Finding the first Black Swallowtail caterpillar is a source of immense joy for all three of the older kids. Merritt completed his 4H project this year on the importance of pollinators & focused specifically on including pollinators in your garden plantings using dill, so it was quite important to the kids to be successful in their butterfly rearing this past month. The last of our Black Swallowtail butterflies flew away a few days ago & now the kids are patiently waiting for this first adult batch of the summer to lay their eggs so they can raise another brood. From our research it seems three broods per season in the Midwest is a good year for Black Swallowtails.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Coralee, Merritt, & even June all became scientists, but June does still occasionally tell us she also wants to fly planes.  Time will tell all too soon!

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Dill bed.

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Free range dill!

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Black Swallowtail caterpillar–fourth instar (stage).

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Black Swallowtails munching away on dill stalks…& defecating all over my porch!

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June LOVES caterpillars, butterflies, moths, lightning bugs, dragonflies…she says she wants “people to know” she wants to help pollinators more than her brother. Merritt & June are the ultimate competitors for some reason.

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Black Swallowtail in its chrysalis. The chysalis of the Black Swallowtail caterpillar/butterfly is so strangely shaped.

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June doing her “research” . “See mom???”–is her constant refrain.

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A Black Swallowtail emerges!

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Two at once (female on left)! We took six caterpillars from the dill bed (leaving many behind), one died shortly thereafter, five went into the chrysalis stage, & four emerged.

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Male, we think.

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Merritt releasing one…they are much harder to handle than Monarch butterflies. Monarchs are fairly easy to handle, these Black Swallowtails are much more active & agitated–they want out ASAP!

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Yarn Along {how to try a sweater on a baby}

That’ll do.  I never gauge swatch anyway, but, shhhhhh, don’t tell.

My Wee Envelope.  Still, yes.  Sorry.

Joining in with Ginny.

Epilogue

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Harmon woke up almost immediately after taking the above photo yesterday evening (after a full day of hardly napping at all)…he obviously does not want me to finish his woolie sweater in the middle of June.  Smart Hobbit.

Oh, and, yes, Harmon is a boy & he is wearing “girl” pjs.

June’s old pjs to be exact. #ihavealotofkids

The Things We Leave Behind: Father’s Day Musings

I suddenly realized this past week that Harmon looks like my father. My father in turn looks very very much like his own mother, my grandmother Mary Belle. So Harmon also looks like his great-grandmother who would have been 100 years old this July had she lived. While tending to the very basic needs of a six month old baby, your mind sometimes wanders in directions you wish it wouldn’t…you internally fuss at your lack of sleep, your lack of time to yourself, your lack of time in the bathroom, your lack of time to, well, you get the picture. But lately I also find myself looking at my son & seeing my father & then in turn thinking of my Grandmother Darling (Mary Belle, who called everyone “Darlin'” being from South Texas as she was, hence I thought her name was Grandma Darling as a child & the name stuck).  I’ve been wondering what my Grandma Darling and my father were up to when he was a wee boy like Harmon…did my grandmother talk to my dad as she changed his diaper?  Did she sing to him when she was trying to put him to sleep?  Did she bounce him on her knee to get him to laugh like I do with Harmon?  Did she look in his eyes & feel like she would walk off the face of the earth if she had to for her son?  In a way I feel like I’m mothering my father & not in a creepy way…in a good way.  I feel like I’m bringing my grandmother back to life & thinking about her a lot more than I ever would be right now if Harmon hadn’t been born looking so much like my wonderful dad…DNA is a tricky thing…it can give you a hereditary form of cancer, it can make you impatient and worrisome or reflective & watchful or boisterous & loud…& sometimes it can make you look so much like someone from your genetic line it’s a bit eerie…leaving you with tangible memories imprinted on your very body long after the donor is gone…we’re all connected in this big old world, whether we want to be or not, & those ghosts that visit us in our ears, noses, mouths, even jawlines serve as a good reminder of what we all leave behind when we’re gone…glimpses of a mother loving her son in a small blue house on a tree-lined Texas avenue…no one was there to write about it…but Harmon’s face reminds me all the same that we’re all someone’s baby, we all matter to someone…I’m so lucky to have my dad.  He’s a great guy.  A gentleman & a gentle man. He’s given me so much & I am forever grateful for that, Dad.

I love you, Daddy, & Happy Father’s Day!

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My father in 1944.

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Harmon aged six months, 2016.

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Harmon & my father, December 2015.

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Merritt, Coralee, Brian, Harmon, June & their Papa B–Father’s Day 2016.