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. 😉


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 {baby balloon pants}

It’s almost Christmas & the Baby Balloon Pants are not done…I did not properly prepare myself to knit PANTS for a one-year-old on US size 2/3 needles…good grief there are a lot of stitches.  I’ve got about 30 rounds left on the left leg, plus the cuff, before I can even begin the right.  I so want Harmon to wear these white-pine-needles-colored pants for Christmas, but I’ve got a couple other items I need to finish for Christmas as well.  Oh, the dilemmas we knitters face this time of year!  Coralee needs to start picking varieties for the heritage garden she assists with every summer so that’s about the extent of my reading right now. 

As I was snapping the photo of my MC Hammer-esque pants yesterday, Coralee was conducting a ten minute FeederWatch survey in the same room & someone decided to join her!  It will only be too soon before he can actually see out the windows himself.  He has a pair of toy binoculars he knows to put up to his eyes.  Makes this birding mama very proud, I must admit, to see him do so.  I wonder how much he already knows?  I ask him often if he hears the birds or sees the birds as we look out the window…Joining in with Ginny!

Never a dull moment…{warning: dead bird photos ahead}

I never got around to posting a Yarn Along post yesterday, sadly 😦  I blame the fact that I’ve really knit nothing worth posting about (five garter stitch ridges, woo hoo!), but also because it is always just plain old nuts around the Bodeker homestead & only seems to be getting more so with each passing day.  Seriously, never a dull moment.  Can you relate?  I’ve included some snapshots of my immediate surroundings…

Hambone broth bubbling in the kitchen all morning.

Hambone broth bubbling in the kitchen all morning.  Because I need to grocery shop!  This was an Easter ham…

Knitting waiting to be knit...now smells like hambone broth!

Knitting waiting to be knit, I’m sure this knitting wants to break up with me & find a better knitting owner…and now it smells like hambone broth!

Fossil soaking on my counter; chicken scrap bucket needs emptying yesterday.

Random fossil soaking on my counter (kids!); chicken scrap bucket needed emptying yesterday.

Dishwasher's been broke for almost a year...dishes never seem to be done...it's like I own a bottomless sink...no, wait, I figured it out, I have four kids.

Dishwasher’s been broke for almost a year…dishes never seem to be done…it’s like I own a bottomless sink…no, wait, I figured it out, I have four kids.

My kitchen counter. Piles and more piles. I need to do something about this. I also spy iced coffee I probably finished 12 hours after making it & Hydrogen Peroxide for the cat's leg wound...maybe I should use it to cover some of these grey hairs sprouting all over my head.

My kitchen counter. Piles and more piles. I need to do something about this. I also spy the remnants of iced coffee I probably finished 12 hours after making it & Hydrogen peroxide for the cat’s leg wound…maybe I should use it to cover some of these grey hairs sprouting all over my head.

Diaper laundry. The laundry is never done. How do people with more than four kids ever have clean clothes???? I feel like we are just barely making it on the clean clothes front.

Diaper laundry. The laundry is never done. How do people with more than four kids ever have clean clothes???? I feel like we are just barely making it on the clean clothes front.

Now I’ll explain the dead bird.  I have a knack for spotting dead stuff on the road…no kidding!  For example, I found a dead coyote a few months ago near our home on a random backroad (I was driving around aimlessly during naptime) & so so SO wanted Brian to pick it up for me (it was a coyote!).  I love coyotes, I don’t care that they eat our chickens, which they do…we’ve obliterated/exterminated/pushed-out practically every other large predator in the Midwest, coyotes remain despite our needless war & “best” efforts…more power to these amazing creatures!  Anyway, Brian said no.  I also found a smashed (sad!) White-breasted Nuthatch three days ago…I tried to get Coralee to bring it back to our house, she refused…it was really bloody, I agree.

So, yesterday, I spotted an American Coot on our road, dead.  WEIRD!  We are at least a mile and a half from the nearest water source for waterfowl.  There is a continuing flock of American Coots in said nearest water source, but why this coot wound up dead on our road is anyone’s guess.  It has no obvious injuries, no blood, nothing.  We took it to our local County Conservation office yesterday afternoon for them to taxidermy.  Their Nature Center doesn’t have an American Coot yet in the displays so they were quite thrilled to receive our find.  I hate seeing wildlife dead on the road, makes me sad, but it’s also a reliable source of food for vultures & other carrion-eating animals/birds.  We filthy the Earth, they clean it up, unpaid, unappreciated, often run over themselves.  Thank you, wildlife!  American Coots are magnificent–really!  I never realized this until seeing one up close.  I honestly thought they were ugly & not worth my birding time…I feel poorly writing that now.  Photos below prove my newly-found respect for the American Coot & I hope you agree. 🙂

American Coot, deceased.

American Coot in a shoe box, deceased.

You are absolutely looking at a future wildlife biologist in this photo...possibly a professional ornithologist...she's so cool! I can't believe she's my kid, how did I get so lucky????

You are absolutely looking at a future wildlife biologist in this photo…possibly a professional ornithologist…she’s so cool! I can’t believe she’s my kid, how did I get so lucky????  I am not this cool.

American Coot; these feet are insane! It's like a dinosaur!

American Coot; these feet are insane! It’s like a dinosaur!

American Coot; I never realized how beautiful these tiny, scrappy waterfowl were until now.

American Coot; I never realized how beautiful these tiny-noggin-ed, scrappy waterfowl were until now.

I’m telling ya, never a dull moment.  In a good way!

Yarn Along {woefully behind}

I wasn’t going to blog today…because I’ve barely knit a stitch on Harmon’s Wee Envelope.  Baptism this Sunday.  I am sick, feel like “death warmed up” as Emily Blunt’s character says in the film The Devil Wears Prada.  Harmon is on his third cold (or is it his first & it just won’t quit?!!!).  Crazy stuff keeps happening here this week.  Raccoon in the garage (that actually turned out to be a huge cat our own farm cats were afraid of…those boys are the epitome of scaredy cats), the garage door broke (sorry, honey!), no school days, snow, mud, more snow tonight, company coming, solo parenting…did I mention I’m sick?  Oh & Harmon has decided he doesn’t take naps, like, at all.  Fun times!  June just patted me on the back & said, “I know it’s hard being a mom.”  What a sweetheart!

We’ve been birding a lot the past week, despite all the never-ending sickness, & Coralee would like me to blog about all the lifers we’ve found…hopefully this weekend or maybe next week.  In the meantime, look at the awesome gift (photos below) Coralee, our artist, made for her soon-to-be-godson Harmon Hunter (we chose her & our 20yo niece as godparents/sponsors)….a homemade mobile using the plastic form from his car seat canopy!  Harmon loves it.  I soaked my sick self in a hot hot hot tub today while he stared at it.  Kids are amazing, aren’t they?

   Uh oh, I hear my alarm going off…Harmon’s crying & obviously awake from my gazillionth attempt to put him down for a nap today.

 Joining in with Ginny.

Yarn Along {finished Pebble, seed savers, baby on the mend}

 I somehow managed to finish the Pebble Baby Vest I started last week in Quince & Co Lark (Honey colorway) despite Harmon’s severe cold.  I even got the vintage buttons sewed on Tuesday afternoon while Harmon napped passed out from his first set of immunizations earlier in the day.  Poor baby, he can’t catch a break this week; however, I’m happy to report he is on the mend today!  His cold symptoms are probably about 50% improved.  He just has to overcome all the drainage & coughing.  I really feel for parents who end up with a hospitalized newborn due to RSV.  Incredibly thankful we did not.

I finally finished Kingbird Highway & would like to post some of my favorite passages from the book, but that will have to happen next week. Coralee & I have been sorting out all our garden seeds from last summer, both those seeds we saved & those we just had left over, in order to place our annual order with Seed Savers (one of my favorite places to visit in Iowa).  We also use heirloom seeds as part of the work we do at the Richardson-Jakway Historic Site gardens (I serve on the site’s foundation board).  I’m excited for spring just looking at all our seed baggies & packets.

 Finished Pebble. 

Convalescing Harmon sleeping peacefully for a few hours Monday evening.

With Harmon on the mend I now need to turn my knitting attention/time to his baptismal outfit. I’m planning to use a special skein of Ginny yarn I snagged during her last Etsy stocking.  Speaking of…

Joining in with Ginny.

Yarn Along {not much doing}


Not much knitting happened this past week, nor reading.  I am *almost* finished reading Kingbird Highway.  My enjoyment of this book increases with each passing chapter.  Kaufman’s trip to Alaska has been my favorite section thus far.  I am up to the middle chapters of Silent Spring & continue to work on the study guide for it as I go along (as part of Coralee’s homeschool curriculum).  No.6 Aviatrix ravelry notes here.


It snowed Monday evening three whole inches!  I know, that’s nothing compared to the 40+ received on the East Coast this past weekend, but we’ve had very little snow this winter in Iowa.  Three inches may be paltry, but it didn’t seem to stop the roads from going to pot around here…I barely got Merritt to the bus Tuesday morning as our rural road was still not plowed & my little Ford Focus is so low to the ground.


Early morning–pardon my everything!

Here’s the reason not much doing around here…Harmon has been getting, I’m afraid to admit, colicky.  Merritt had TRUE COLIC for almost a year as a baby, so I don’t want to say Harmon has colic if he’s just having a string of bad days.  I’m not sure what is going on at this point.  He’s definitely possibly heading that way…every evening, like clockwork, for the last week he shrieks, screams, bawls, you name it, he’s not happy & wants us to know it for over three hours.  He won’t nurse during these fits at all which isn’t helping.  He’s been sleeping on me for most of the night, too.  He will not sleep any other way…


Waking up is like exiting a tornado.  I know we slept, but I feel worn out & obviously he does, too.  He rubs his face on me all night & that leads to some rash flare-up by morning.


He seems to need constant attention all day in order to be happy.  He does have some happy moments, but still no smiles.


Not much napping &, therefore, not much knitting.


Trying to enjoy the present with an eye to the future & fingers crossed we don’t enter true colic territory…I’ve been there, I would prefer no repeat visits!

Joining in with Ginny.