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..."

Saturday, March 31, 2018

How Green Is Our Valley...

How green is our valley*...
One  day it wasn't and the next day, it was,
or so it seemed...

"...when the red buds were ablaze in the valley and the sarvus blooms
painted the steep hills white..."

And, now, just in time for Easter,
the Dogwoods along the trail are beginning to bloom...

And, the first Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
just got into town... (or, at least to The Shanty's little front porch)

*During TCM's Oscar month (February) we set the DVR to record some old classic movies that were former Oscar winners.  One of those was  a 1941 film, "How Green Was My Valley," the story of a proud family of Welsh coal miners whose lives were drastically changed by both social and economic changes.  Many years ago, I had read and enjoyed the 1939 novel by Richard Llewellyn.  

One of our favorites, thus far, has been "Captains Courageous, 1937, from Rudyard Kipling's novel, starring Spencer Tracy and Freddie Bartholomew.  "They" surely don't make 'em like they used to...

Monday, March 19, 2018

Two Houses For Millie...

Hopefully, these pretty little song birds are watching overhead for the sparrow hawk 
that's been hanging around.  A couple of days ago, right before my eyes, one of the loveliest of lovely cardinals was carried away by a hungry hawk.  And, this is all that was left of that beautiful bird.  I know it's nature's way, but ... 

I can't help but think that perhaps
it isn't a good thing to feed the birds.  It's not nature's way, for sure!  And, we all know, "You can't fool Mother Nature." 

It seems the Cowboy-Around-Here has talents aside from just herding cattle.  He's a pretty fair carpenter when he has a mind to be, and, in this case, Millie's quite glad he is.  She's now the proud owner of not just one new doggy house, but two...one for the porch and one for her small outdoor kennel, in which she stays when no one's home.  We all thought the little wooden awning above the door of the kennel house was pretty special.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Keeper of the Needles...

 For ever so long, I have kept my needles in an old piece of frayed flour sacking that my mother gave me.  It's sturdy enough to hold the needles firmly, but soft to the touch.  Recently, I began to think I should sew it into a little cloth needle book, so I finally got it done.  The front is needle-turned applique inspired by Janet Bolton's work.  The cover and inside lining is made from black walnut dyed sacking and muslin.  I would like to think that I will never lose another needle...



There's been lots of rain...

The grasses are beginning to grow...

Baby calves are being born...

And, Millie and I are out and about everyday... 
Today was our 245th consecutive walk, and the day's length will be 11 hours and 47 minutes.  


The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven~
All's right with the world!"

~Robert Browning (1812~1889)

Thursday, March 1, 2018


What a beautiful start to a new month.

Yay for the frogs!
What a chorus they are singing!

Monday, February 12, 2018

What's on your February Calendar?

The sky appears broader now than it did.
The day has opened its eyelids wider.
The lengthening of the days, commenced a good while ago,
is a kind of forerunner of spring.

~Thoreau's Journal, Feb. 19, 1852

I really love the dolls at this stage - clay and pencil marks.  I am anxious to finish this one.  I am calling her Annalee.

The "She-Shed," as I am now calling her, is waiting on warmer days, so we can put insulation in her walls.  What we will use over that, I am not sure.  I am anxious to get moved it!  Dan is happy that the hummingbirds will be on this front porch, this year, instead of on his.

What a joy this little "shelter" dog is.  The cold, wet days of winter haven't slowed us down!  :~/  We are on walk number 219.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Turn left at the old Blackjack Oak...

The hilltop beckoned.

And, Millie waited at the door. 

It was cold...20 degrees with a stiff north wind blowing!  But, there was that self-imposed challenge I had made back in the summer:  To walk every day, rain or shine, for 365 days. I suppose that also included freezing cold days as well. 

Why, even the pond was nothing but a shimmering, frozen surface of reflections in crystalline ice.

And, the Great Blue Heron seemed to be having trouble finding a bit of open water in which to fish.

Millie and I decided that, instead of crossing the hill top meadow where the wind blew strongest, we would take a more sheltered route.  We would turn left at the old Blackjack Oak, the one with three trunks, and take an old trail that meanders through the woods and down to the wooded side of the pond.  So, that's the trail we walked for three days, after which the sun began to shine and we could go back to our old paths again, where Milie can run, to her heart's content, across the meadow where the cattle like to graze.  Yesterday was Walk # 181

(A funny note about Millie's picture above:  On these cold mornings, Millie's one floppy ear was standing almost as erect as the other.  What's to be made of that?)


Chip's Corner....

The girls seemed happy with the Christmas dresses and jackets...can't seem to get away from those little jackets! 

I so enjoyed sewing the peach-colored one.  The dress is made from a piece of vintage 36-inch wide fabric and was a dream to sew; makes me understand what it means when someone says, "It has a good hand."

Tilly, the seven-year old, who says black is her favorite color, was delighted with her doll's black corduroy dress.  Her sister told me that Tilly's doll wears the dress every day. 

I am excited how far I have come with my dolls.  The bottom photo shows were I am with the torso.  The head to body ratio seems right.  And, it sits well! 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Around the Year, 2017...

The old calendar is almost filled.
There only remain three empty spaces in which to write
before a brand new calendar will be opened up to begin all over again.
The new one has larger squares with space for more notations.
There will be room for a few rough sketches; 
no doubt Millie will be there,
and the Cowboy too.
There will be space for a certain long neck,
even if he has to extend into the space above.
There will be weather and gardening notations,
birthdays and other special days ...

And so it goes,
Around the Year...

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Naughty or Nice?

Naughty or Nice ~  There were times, long ago, when the word "naughty" would send terror through me.  It's such a dreadful word, don't you think?   I will confess to having been reminded a few times of what the consequences might be on Christmas for children who were "naughty!"   Really...was it possible that Santa Claus would bring me nothing but a bundle of switches? 

Well, surely these nice old gents, Belsnickle and Santa figures, brought out from the old trunk upstairs, would never do such a thing...even if a little girl hadn't always been nice. 

"'Twas the night before Christmas
when all through the house..."

Happy Christmas to all...