About Blog Title...

As a child, it was one of my greatest delights to visit my grandparents in the spring when the whip-poor-wills began to call. Grandma and Grandpa lived in a remote valley of the Ozark Mountains where there were trees a plenty, and, seemingly, a whip-poor-will, or two, in each one.
My grandmother insisted that a whip-poor-will's call was not "whip-poor-will," but instead, "chip-butter-white-oak." I would listen really hard trying to hear it exactly as she said it was, but all I could hear was "whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will,..." But, I never let on to her.
I remember my grandpa watching and listening, with an amused look on his face, to one of these listening sessions. Shortly after that he began to call me, just for fun, "Chip Butter." It is a name I am proud to wear for I still love to hear that long, lonesome call on a warm summer's eve. And, sometimes, when I listen really, really hard, it seems I can hear quite clearly, "chip-butter-white-oak, chip-butter-white-oak..."

Monday, November 12, 2018

November is all about the...


Leaves and more leaves, everywhere we walk...maple, sycamore, sweet gum, elm, and oak...

Just perfect for making leaf prints on cloth.
Lay them flat, then roll
and bind tightly around a stick.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Farewell, Sweet October...

It was a rainy, rainy day here in the Ozarks, but even that couldn't take away
 from the beauty of this last day of our beloved October.

Millie and I managed our walk over the hill, but it wasn't to be  done
 without our getting wet ~ Millie more than me.
And, tomorrow while every tree and bush is still celebrating,
I will join with them and celebrate too, for tomorrow is
my birthday

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Old Green Coat...

The old green wool coat is already hanging on its hook by the back door, after having been stored away for ever so long, or so it seemed.  It has been rainy and cold here in the Ozarks this week and the warmth of a winter coat have felt mighty good when Millie and I made our daily trek over the hill.  I was actually almost reluctant to put the coat on the first time, for it was so soft and clean when I took it out of its chest.  Last spring instead of dry cleaning the coat, I had washed it in the bath tub using a nice smelling shampoo and conditioner instead of detergent, and that smell still lingered, and the softness too.

  India Flint, in her book Second Skin, choosing and caring for textiles and clothing, writes on the subject of washing woolen clothing.  "I recommend avoiding dry cleaning at all costs.  Hand washing delicate garments is so much cleaner and simpler than having them sloshed about in solvents.  I find that a drop or two of shampoo is ideal for washing both wool and silk; these are protein fibres and display properties comparable to those of human hair."

"Wool can be washed in warm water provided that the temperature of washing and rinsing waters doesn't vary by more than 5 degrees C (9 degrees F).  If the garment is very dirty, immerse it in the water-bath and let it soak for a couple of hours which will save scrubbing.  (I did soak the old coat.) If the garment is made from wool, the best way to dry it is to lay it flat." (And, I did that, too.)

Stay close, Millie...

Of course, with the cooler weather, we have already started up the wood-burning stove.  Bringing in wood is a rather messy business, but the benefits of a warm fire far outweigh the small inconvenience of  sweeping up bits of wood chips and ash. As the old timers used to say, "Wood will warm you twice - once when it is chopped, and again when it is burned."

The first fire...

There was a day just three weeks ago that I walked the trail alone.  Millie was sick...very sick.  It was a dark, sad day for me; one I best not think about.   The following day we found out she had a tick-related illness and would need medication for three weeks.   Thankfully, she is almost back to her old happy self and is back to bounding over the trail with me every day.  So, for the sake of record keeping, the score is...  462 walks for me and 461 for Millie.  I hope I never have to walk that trail without her again.  It was a long walk, for sure.

The long walk...

Millie back on track...

I finally gave the doll some hair.  It now needs two or three coats of gesso, and then painted.  This cloth and clay doll also has a cloth over clay head which gives her a nice feel and provides some protection for the clay.  It too will get a coat or two of gesso before being painted.  She is wearing, for now, a dress that she borrowed from another doll.  You know, just to have her picture taken in.  I've done that, haven't  you?  (Thanks for once loaning me the sweater, Charlotte.)

However, for now, I must put this little girl away and get busy on the girls' Christmas dolls.  I promised them they would each have one  for Christmas.  But, it's just that I get so attached to each one as it comes to life, and I worry how I will handle letting them go.  But then, how could one be so selfish?   Well, no matter, I must get busy for Christmas is right around the corner, and those girls will have their Christmas dolls, the best  I can make (I hope!)

Gompf's Pond  ~ October 20, 2018

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

If you were a rock...

If you were a rock, would you rather be a rock among hundreds of others, sometimes wildly tossed here and there in the raging waters of an Ozark mountain stream?   Or would you prefer to live a more civilized life, along with a select few (forty-six in this case) arranged in a somewhat organized fashion to form a walkway in a lady's country garden?  (What fun to personify an ordinary creek rock! :~)

Ready for some planting...

The lucky (or unlucky) forty-six...

Looking through the Shanty's window...

Leading right to Millie's barn...

Monday, September 24, 2018

Fall Equinox 2018...


There's no way I could let the Fall Equinox get by me without a picture or two.  I am surprised that there is so much color already.  What a wonderful time of the year! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


One of the things I like best about September (Oh the list is long, for sure.) is that the wild ducks begin to return to the fresh water ponds here.  In the photos is one little loner that I was able to photograph in the lily pads, while a half-dozen others wanted no part of having their picture taken.  I am now wondering if this duck is able to fly at all.  He is quite entertaining to watch as he swims leisurely about, diving occasionally underneath the water.   Thoreau had these thoughts about the ducks on "his pond."

"The spruce and cedar on its shores, hung with gray lichens, looked at a distance like the ghosts of trees.  Ducks were sailing here and there on its surface, and a solitary loon, like a more living wave, - a vital spot on the lake's surface, - laughed and frolicked, and showed its straight leg, for our amusement."  ~ Henry David Thoreau


I think if this little duck had ever read Thoreau, one of his favorite quotations might be,"I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude."
~Henry David Thoreau
I do readily agree with Thoreau's thinking on the subject, for my own solitude is something I value (for a limited time, of course.)

The last cuttings of hay have been baled... (Well, except for a small patch or two.  It seems we are really never finished.)

The little hummers are still here, although not nearly so many as there were throughout the summer.    We are well into fall migration, so these little travelers are undoubtedly just passing through.  I wish them luck on their long journey.

Jean Craighead George wrote of migration in Frightful's Mountain.  "The happening was migration.  It was full upon the Northern Hemisphere.  The shorter hours of sunlight and lowering temperatures were telling millions of birds to go south.  The event had begun in mid-August.  The loons, geese, ducks, and shorebirds had heard the message from the environment and had left the barrens of Alaska and Canada.  A few days later the swallows and swifts felt the change and left the Northeast." 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Pause, Reflect, and Reprioritize...

The boots were new, and Millie hadn't even been born when I began to write and post pictures here at Chip Butter White Oak.  I sometimes think about all those mornings when the grass was wet from the morning dew or from an overnight rain,  that I pulled these boots on over heavy socks, grabbed my stick, called my dog, and headed out over the trail that my dearest Nell and I began walking  almost thirteen years ago.  One might think that walking that same trail, day after day, would become tiresome and monotonous, that there would be nothing new and different to photograph, but I have not found that to be the case.  As Thoreau wrote, "Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence."  Well, that's our forest path.

It was on a rainy day that I began this blog.  I wrote, "I love a nice rainy day, like today, when the rain is gentle and there is no thunder and lightening.  I like to forget about outside things on days like this and enjoy inside things... things like sewing and working on my dolls.  It's also a perfect day for a cup of coffee with Dan who has been driven inside by the rain.  According to the Green Mountain Coffee Story printed on the box, "A great tasting cup of coffee can give you a whole new perspective.  It's a moment to pause, reflect, and reprioritize."

Pause, reflect, and reprioritize...   As I said back then, "I think I smell the coffee..." ( I definitely need to do some reprioritizing.  But, I'll think about that tomorrow.)

My Sweet Nell... (What joy she brought us.)
 (Please note that I did not make this rocky hillside part of the trail we walk.  I was quite relieved that I made it down this day without a broken leg.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Big Hat...

There has been a lot of activity around the hummingbird feeders lately.  These little birds don't fly around, these days, in a crazy frenzy as they did when I snapped the picture below earlier in the summer.  Now, they quickly perch and drink as though their very lives depend on it.  And, I guess it does, for the time to migrate is right on their sweet little tails, and they know it.  Migration is, without a doubt, a serious undertaking.    

Earlier this summer...

Really, they could stay a bit longer for they are leaving a lot behind.  The hummingbird garden, which they have loved,  has never had more blooms than right now.  But, no, they need to go while there's time.  They will remember this place, and they will be back next spring.


It has been a hot and very humid week here.  Miss Chip has done lots of mowing.  Why she even mowed the trail over the hill, including a couple of extra loops over to the woods where the muscadines will soon be ripening.  She has had to wear her big hat every day, so it has certainly been a bad hair week, for sure!

Our favorite photo of the week...

Down by the Creek...

And, next might be this one of a sassafras tree, which is already starting to color up for fall. 

Sassafras tea, anyone?