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. ❤ 

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 (it’s in there somewhere)

I began watching my daycare girl this week (almost four years old) & her six-week-old sister…I think the two days per week they’re here are just going to be a hot mess for everyone involved, at least for awhile.  Harmon’s Balloon Pants are almost finished & I’ve begun reading up on keeping dairy goats.  Drinking a lot of coffee & making a lot of bottles.  Harmon was definitely out of sorts with the baby here.  He also is suffering from a big time allergic reaction to a dairy test (I’ll blog on that later this week).  The knitting is in there somewhere.  And Harmon’s little hand.

Joining in with Ginny!

Happy Christmas! (plus outtakes)

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Wishing everyone who reads Being Bodeker a blessed 2017!  I hope you are warm & dry, celebrating with your family & friends on this Christmas Day.

Please enjoy the many many outtakes from our family’s Christmas photo-op in the front yard on Friday.  It was definitely not without its misshaps–including a chicken who would not stay in the sled eating her pile of peanuts no matter what we did & a child who didn’t want to wear pants (I’ll leave his identity to the masses to determine-ha!).

Much love from Iowa! xx

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I LOVE this one…^^^

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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.

Yarn Along

We are still still still still STILL knitting on the second Wee Envelope in Quince & Co’s Chickadee (colorway Belize). I almost have the second sleeve done & then I know (hope!) the body will fly by & it will be all ready for Harmon to wear…just in time for Iowa’s 90+’F heatwave & practically 100% humidity! Ha!  I’m so on the [knitting] ball around here.

After re-reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring with Coralee this past school year, we both listened to the Science Friday Silent Spring Book Club podcast from the summer of 2012. The author of the Rachel Carson biography On a Farther Shore was interviewed as part of the podcast. I’m only three chapters into William Souder’s bio (reading snippets of it while Harmon nurses to sleep during the day), but I am definitely finding myself fangirling Carson even more now.  Her childhood was tough, but almost seems magical in a way.  I am getting the feeling there was a higher power at play in her life, leading her down all the winding, but purposeful paths to eventually end with the extraordinary feat of writing that is Silent Spring.

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Joining in with Ginny (finally! at last! once again!) & not a moment too soon–new baby to arrive shortly!