Yarn Along (summer’s comin’ & my internet stinks…)

It’s Wednesday & that used to be Ginny’s Yarn Along day as most of you probably know (whether you knit or not), but Ginny discontinued the Yarn Along and, alas, I need to let go as well.  Blogging is something I really like doing–I don’t know if it makes me feel like someone out there is with me here in the trenches of motherhood when it can get kind of lonely despite the fact a mother is never alone or if I really just blog because I am TERRIBLE at documenting the childhoods of my children & feel like they will all disown me someday for not keeping a beautiful, meticulous babybook for each of them–but whatever the reason, I do like blogging, however, what I ABHOR is our horrible awful terrible ALLTHEBADWORDSYOUCANTHINKOF internet connection out here in the Iowa sticks!  Sorry for yelling, virtually, at you.  We cannot get highspeed internet.  The End.  Our neighbors have a satellite–it never works.  We cannot get cable, either.  We use our phones as hotspots & our phones barely work on windless days…this is Iowa, it’s always windy!  Argh.  I’ve been fighting this battle for going on a decade now & I am so over it.  We are NEVER going to get good internet, I’m sure of it.  We just aren’t.  Every time I write a post with photos it literally takes like ten minutes per photo to upload & with a toddler around I truly do not have time for that…my eldest is homeschooled & needs the computer constantly anyway.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that summer is coming & all the kids are going to be home all day, every day, so the blogging is going to really slip (like it hasn’t already, I know) & Yarn Along is definitely over forever now.  I have rediscovered Instagram using my Ella Mae Knits account & I really like using that–it’s quick, it’s pretty, it gets the job done.  And there are so many yarn/knitting holes to fall into on Instagram, it’s dangerous.  (Time sucks are real, people, I do recommend we all watch out for those.)  You can always check out what’s going on with us here at Being Bodeker this summer by stopping by my Ella Mae Knits Instagram page–it’s public so you don’t need Instagram to have a look & there’s a link on the right side of my blog page. 🙂

So most of these photos today have already appeared on my IG page.  I apologize if you’re like,”This is all old news, Ruby.”  I am currently test-knitting a pattern for Kathryn Folkerth.  I love it so far & I LOVE Quince & Co linen so it’s a win-win.  I can’t say exactly what I’m test-knitting as it’s a gift for Coralee for her birthday next month.  I’m also still knitting my Waterrock vest for myself.  Soon I will be casting on something to give to someone in need as I begin my project to knit every other thing for someone I don’t even know because the world could use a bit more love. xo

Finished Harmon’s shortie overalls this week & they are sooooo cute!  But he was sleeping when I went to photograph them today so this is the best I could do.  The pattern is a Debbie Bliss pattern called Florence.  It’s available on Ravelry.  Tomorrow I hope to take some photos of Harmon modeling his new overalls & I will post on IG. 🙂

Harmon really likes playing with cards.  And putting his sisters’ hair decorations in his hair.  Totally random facts I thought needed to be shared.

Coralee & I saw our first Sora ever last week at a wetland very near our house.  Hoping to bird a lot more once my daycare biz is wrapped up in an effort to help Coralee one day become the Young Birder of the Year.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?!!!  I think she can do it.

Harmon rocked some Lyle Lovett hair this week on IG and I playfully tagged the REAL Lyle Lovett in the photo (because I love Lyle & always have & tried to name Merritt after Lyle, but Brian wouldn’t let me)…then the real Lyle Lovett liked the photo so I can die happy now.

Summer days ahead!  Despite the fact I vowed not to sign my kids up for much we seem to have a never-ending pile of stuff to do all summer so I’m sure September is going to look really good come about mid-June.  Harmon turns 18 months in a week & I vow right here, right now to write an 18 month post for the hobbit, so let’s all meet back here in a week, ok?  Somebody virtually yell at me if I don’t show up. 😉

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Mother’s Day Cast-on, a Kestrel Program, & an Ella Mae Knits Update!

I should just call this post “Stuff,” but that seems to sum up all my posts lately…I apologize for being so scattered!  I cast-on a new knitting project for me yesterday as part of the Mother’s Day Cast-on movement (not sure that’s the right word for it, but, in any case, I got the idea from My Tangled Yarn Knitting Adventures & I love it!).  I chose the Waterrock vest & used some yummy Madelintosh I purchased last summer in the colorway Still.  Hopinghopinghoping I actually finish this…I’ve never knit myself anything other than fingerless mitts!  What is wrong with me, you ask?  Sooooooooo much, ha!  Thank you goes to Martha for the pattern inspiration–your version is beautiful!  I loved all your Instagram posts for it.  I also finished knitting a version of my June Belle beanie pattern for a dear, dear mama friend of mine who had a baby boy in March of this year.  Hoping the cap will fit him this next winter.

Coralee painted me two panels of a prairie scene to dress-up our 3-season porch using old shake siding panels (we have hundreds of these panels sitting under a tarp–if you’re interested in her painting you a set of something, just let me know, she’s unemployed & would love some side-work!).  I can’t wait to hang these.  Love my girl.

Harmon is sick.  Again.  Always.  Bleh.  I don’t know what else to say about that–I spent Mother’s Day caring for him off & on, in-between gardening bouts outside.  Brian, Coralee & June worked their backsides off yesterday on the property–I really REALLY appreciate all the work you all did yesterday, thank you!!!!  They painted a fence (to keep our naughty chickens out of the flower beds) white, mowed all over the place, tilled, planted, weeded…there is so much work when you live on a parcel of land…

Coralee spent Saturday morning teaching at our local nature center.  It was International Migratory Bird Day.  She’s working to educate the community about the decline of the American Kestrel as part of her Young Birder of the Year competition for the American Birding Association.  I never posted her results from last year’s competition–she placed FIRST in the Field Notebook Module & THIRD in the Writing Module!  She’s working to place higher this year overall.  This contest is wonderful, I highly recommend it!

She created from scratch all the materials.  The craft project was so much fun!  I was extremely impressed with the crazy amount of information my daughter knows about kestrels.  I had no idea!  The naturalist was impressed, too, & is hoping she will help out this fall with their huge field day for 5th graders & teach this activity again.

Yes, I made her siblings attend.  She needed more participants.

This was the culmination of the class.  We hope to donate the pdf for this activity to the American Kestrel Partnership for the Education materials section.  If you’re interested in using this activity yourself, just let me know in the comments & I’ll be sure to let you know when the link for it goes live!

And finally, Ella Mae Knits.  I began using my EMK Instagram account again around Earth Day.  Please follow me there if you, too, use IG!  I was inspired by the movie Moana (yes, an animated movie–it’s brilliant!!!) to change the way I operate EMK.  Going forward, I am going to donate every other item I knit to someone in need.  There’s a post about this change in my IG feed (which is public, so even if you’re not using Instagram you can still check it out).  I hope to get this going at summer’s end–once my daycare job ends & I find more time to sit & knit…I will carve the time out somewhere, hopefully.

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all who celebrate & especially to our shared mother, Mother Earth! xo

Yarn Along (not much knitting, new chicks, cat-chasing, old favorites renewed, & life changes)

I cannot seem to find much time to knit these days, which is a shame because my anxiety could sure use the medicine that is knitting.  Harmon caught a bug from one of my daycare girls & has thus been very clingy, very feverish, & plain old grouchy the last couple days.  I attempted to knit last night after he fell asleep, but he woke up practically the minute I picked up the needles, so, yeah, yarn along this week isn’t much of a yarn along.

Our chicks hatched!  Well, one egg out of five hatched.  Three were apparently not fertilized & the Cochin egg quit developing after only a few days.  So we hatched one lonely Iowa Blue chick & bought four Barred Rock chicks to keep him or her-Lucky Penny-company.  I do not like Barred Rocks at all–the roosters are nasty–but there were no other chicks available at our local feed store small enough to join our day-old chick.Harmon is not exactly enamored with the chicks–unlike June who bounds out of bed in the morning in order to play with the chicks.  He will air kiss the chicks when asked…

…but then he tries to shoo the chicks away.

Chasing the hens around the yard, however, is great fun for Harmon.

Until he sees something else…

Not now, Turken…

…there’s a kitty in the yard!  Too bad you’re allergic, Harmon, because you sure do love the cats around here.

I got out June’s old beanie–my original June Belle (pattern available for free on ravelry).  The brim is a soft fuzzy Malabrigo & the main cap is a super duper squishy Cormo from White Barn Sheep & Wool.  I love this cap, reminds me of many happy days spent with my baby girl June…


I have given notice to my daycare girls’ parents that I will be done with childcare at the end of June & my anxiety levels are lessening the closer we creep to that time…I will therefore be (fingers crossed!) reopening my etsy shop by the end of summer with some June Belle beanies for sale & another pattern I’ve been dreaming about designing for years, so I hope you will all join me for that release in late summer!  I’m also considering using my teaching license in a virtual capacity this fall & I continue to edit my father’s book.

I hope I can be a better mama to my own four children with this change in vocation…I’ve been extremely impatient & short with all of them for far too long, much MUCH more so on the days I babysit.  It’s hard work being responsible for someone else’s babies!  Kudos to those who successfully and lovingly run in-home daycares for years…I’ve spent the last 4.5 years watching someone else’s precious souls, but it’s definitely time to move on…perhaps this change will enable more “yarn” in my future “yarn along” posts!

Happy Yarning to all my knitting friends out there!  Joining in with Martha!

Yarn Along/Works-in-Progress Wednesday

This is a fairly boring update to my latest knitting WIP-I’m still working on the 71 rows of stockinette stitch that make up the front trouser.  Hoping I cross the threshold into the front bib soon.  I think I’m currently knitting around row 55.I finally found a block of time to give Harmon dairy again yesterday as per my pediatrician’s instructions (two+ weeks ago he ate ten bites of yogurt as a test & got hives).  No difference this time-he still got hives & as a bonus this go-around he also became incredibly itchy within 10 minutes & scratched himself bloody in several places on his torso through the onesie plus his eczema patches flared all over.  Nap time was tough as a result.  I spent most of it alternating between knitting while watching him & soothing/nursing him back to sleep.

He managed two fitful hours of sleep & woke up much happier, hives gone.

Watched some chicken antics outside.  He can imitate a rooster crowing like no other 17 month old I know.

I haven’t mentioned on the blog that we’re currently incubating eggs (speaking of chickens).  This Sunday will be Day 21-fingers crossed for a good hatch day!

Harmon still loves playing in June’s doll camper from Land of Nod.  I call it his hobbit home (it’s for dolls!).  He spent a lot of time in there yesterday while I watched him for symptoms.

Itching again.  I finally had to snap the onesie back on & dress him in a sweatsuit to stop this (he already was covered in his eczema cream & various other anti-itch medications we use).

Joining in with Martha, & Ginny in spirit.

Yarn Along

I’ve really made little progress since last Wednesday on Harmon’s Florence.  I did connect the two legs of the front & knit maybe ten rows since the join. So much for these being a spring wardrobe staple, however, the weather has turned cold & windy & rainy & just plain gross today so it doesn’t even feel like spring anymore anyway…my lilac bush is trying to blossom, but with little to no sun it’s struggling.  Still smells divine though!

Knitting time the past week has been taken up mostly with four days of daycare kids plus my own kids, of course.  Harmon is almost the same size as the baby girl I watch (she’s the one with the pink face below).  Harmon is such a little hobbit & I’m a bit perplexed at the “mommy-shaming” I’ve recently received for referring to him as “my little hobbit” in nothing but a loving manner…(((sigh))), I get it, I do, I have a child with several learning disabilities so I completely understand the power of words in this modern age…but I’m also #sooverthemommyshaming & #notgoingtotakeitanymore.  Hobbits are not real & I’ve read The Hobbit…plus I was told my entire pregnancy with Harmon he might have dwarfism he was so insanely small & his limb measurements were so very much out of proportion to his body…I worried about it for months…I’m not going to indulge this ridiculous conversation anymore.  Apologies for the soapbox tirade! (((Stepping down now)))

Forgot to say-Harmon loves his “second breakfast” so there’s that, too.  Ha!

My parents stopped by briefly last Friday.  Harmon loves his “twin”–my dad–& gave him & my mother many kisses.

We also spent a lot of time in the garden on Sunday when the weather was glorious!  Got the potatoes and radishes in & the strawberry bed restarted (we sort of let the weeds take over to an extent that couldn’t be fixed).

(((Muah!)))–from a little hobbit & his twin!  Hoping for a wee bit more knitting time in the week ahead!

Joining in with everyone who still wakes up on Wednesdays and thinks of Ginny! 😉

works-in-progress wednesday: join me!

Hello!  Happy Wednesday!  I hope you’ll join me (aka keep me accountable!) in my new endeavor here-“works-in-progress wednesday”-as a replacement for Ginny’s Yarn Along which ended a couple weeks ago.  I think my knitting was greatly improved or at least furthered because of Ginny’s Wednesday link-up (many many thanks to her for all those years of Yarn Alongs!).  I could join a yarn along on another blog, but I feel a bit weird just jumping in somewhere else–like a yarn bully, ha!  So here I’ll stay & attempt to keep my own knitting & other projects going.  If you’d like to join me, please leave me either a link to your own blog in the comments or just a comment telling me what you’re up to this week & I promise to head over to your blog and/or reply to your comment. xx

I am currently knitting a pair of short trousers with suspenders (overalls-a Debbie Bliss pattern) for Harmon in (yes, again!) Quince & Co Chickadee, colorway Belize.  I’ve bought this color sooooo many times Quince might as well just change the name to Bodeker Blue. 😉 Coralee & I moved most of our seedlings outside onto the newly-spring-cleaned 3-season porch on Sunday (thank you, Brian, for helping me set up the porch!).  I love how the stems and underside of the leaves of our German Pink tomato seedlings have a hint of purple.  I cannot wait to eat a garden fresh tomato in a few months.

Coralee dug a few purple violets from the yard & potted them up for me.  Another big thanks to my eldest for always doing so much to make our house a home!

Harmon is looooving the porch.  Also this orange golf ball he found outside on Sunday.  He has slept with it every night & nap since Sunday.  Must be a good ball.

He’s very much into getting in & out of this kid-sized Adirondack chair my uncle Ron made for Coralee when she was a toddler.  He also is working on going in & out of the porch door to the house.  It’s one step, but it’s giving him trouble going back out–he tries to just walk right off it like a plank into the ocean.


Rubrubrubrub RUB the face.  We’re also deep deep deep in the midst of working with our pediatrician to figure out what on earth Harmon can eat & can’t eat.  Allergies, intolerances, auto immune disorders, weight loss, failure to thrive…this has been our life practically since birth & it continues…

I thought his issues were only food-related, but after spending several hours outside Sunday afternoon on the lawn (but around the cats & chickens & dogs & not up in the carrier), his arms and torso flared considerably & his nose & eyes became green-goo infested.  Poor hobbit, he cannot win it seems!  We are most definitely a work-in-progress.


(Above photo of Harmon taken during a brief, glorious few days of no allergy/intolerance-issues early last week!  He was so genial & happy!  All the work we’re doing to manage whatever it is he has going on is worth it, I know.) 

Hope you’ll join us here on a future works-in-progress wednesday sometime soon!

Good Friday, 2008,…

…was March 21st.  I know this because I spent much of the day in a small town Wisconsin hospital with my mother waiting to have surgery.  A surgery to officially end my third child’s existence as part of me.  It wasn’t the best day, obviously.  Our baby was 20 weeks gestation, but an ultrasound (& subsequent post-mortem) showed our baby to have stopped growing sometime around 16weeks, maybe 17.  I had been to my OB-GYN between 16 & 20 weeks at some point (math is fuzzy now) & our baby was alive with a heartbeat at that time.  But then, on Good Friday Eve-Maunday Thursday-I started bleeding & never stopped.  I refused to look at the ultrasound screen the next day, on Good Friday.  I knew what it showed before I even laid back on the table.  I stared at the wall in that dark room & bit my tongue, trying with everything I had not to cry.  The ultrasound tech never said a word, but held my hand.  My mother sat in the waiting room during the scan.  Brian was still down in Iowa at school.  I was visiting my parents for Easter along with my children, Coralee who was in kindergarten & Merritt who was going to turn 3 soon.  Such a strange day.  It was sunny when I entered the clinic that morning & by the time my surgery was over & I was discharged, my mother & I walked out into an evening of gently falling snow. And it was beautiful.  And I can still see it perfectly all these years later.  Beautiful white flakes filling the air.  Like the world wasn’t crashing down on me.  Like I was supposed to stop & recognize there was still beauty out there.


I bought the baby alpaca green yarn that makes up the vest Harmon is wearing in the above photo when I was pregnant with my 2008 Good Friday baby-who, incidentally, had a due date of MY birthday, August 8th.  I thought the due date was a sign this baby was meant to be!  Harmon has worn this little vest I knit with yarn for his special sibling many times.  I snapped these photos of him just before Christmas last year.


I remember buying this yarn.  I was so happy. I loved the color.  I loved how soft it was; Blue Sky Alpacas is dreamy for sure.  I often thought about throwing the yarn out after that Good Friday.  I think I may have thrown some of it away, but I kept a couple skeins wound & unknit for a long time.  When I was pregnant with June I knit some of it up into this vest.  I don’t think June wore the vest but once, if that…this is Harmon’s vest.  I like to think it’s keeping our baby’s memory present. At least with me.

So three years after that horrid Good Friday I gave birth to a living baby, our June Belle.  Yes, on the same day!  March 21st surprised me again.  That’s got to mean something…


And now our second March 21st baby is 6! And such a wonderful little girl.  She does her birthday proud.  

Good Friday will forever be something of a conundrum to me.  Holy Week is tricky, too.  It’s both the worst of life & the best.  Which is scary true on so many levels I get chills thinking about it.  I feel like I have a special connection to Mary, Jesus’s mother.  I really do.  I also lost a child on Good Friday.  But then I was gifted another three years later on the same date.  So, I want to say, Good morning on this goodest of Fridays.  It is a Good day.  And thank you for indulging my thoughts here on this little blog.  May your Friday be Good as well.

P.S. Thank you, Mom. xxo