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, April 17, 2017

Spring Roundup...





It was a week for rounding up the cattle here on our side of the mountain.  Of course, a camera is something one doesn't carry when doing such work, so this old picture will just have to do.  Maybe it wasn't exactly the same, but you get the idea... 

As expected, the Cowboy was at his best, doing what he loves to do.  There was only one evening that dark caught us and we had to use our headlamps to finish up. 
















He was dressed for the occasion, and quite frankly, seemed to like showing off his fancy jeans and chaps.  At least his legs were protected from mesquite thorns and such.  (Yes, I know we have watched too many old Western movies and read too much Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour.)

Of course, he had the best help ever...























who was just happy that her favorite Brown Heifer was among those that would be staying on here to take their places in the herd.





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And, here's the real Cowboy,a few years ago, with our first child.  Look at those cowboy boots ~looks as though there were a thousand miles on them...



Photo courtesy of cnfarm...Thanks! 




Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring Cleaning...






So many old books to dust...




So much more fun cleaning outside...





Happy Trails, and Happy Easter...



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spring Comes to Our Side of the Mountain...










Spring is coming fast to our side of the mountain.  Such a short time ago, a week would have come and gone, and there would have been only a scanty few pictures on my camera card.  But, it is oh-so-different now.  Why, all of these pictures, and more, were taken in only one day along the trail.

The first hummingbirds are here, only a few for now, but more will soon follow.  They usually come just ahead of the honeysuckle bloom, on which they gorge for days and days.  It seems store- bought sugar doesn't compare to the natural sweet nectar from the honeysuckle.  I have added a new one to my little garden ~~ Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle.  It already has a few blossoms.  I hope the little hummers like it.


   












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Yes, yes, I know this little one should have been finished by now, but...........

"I meant to do my work today, but a brown bird sang in the apple tree, and a butterfly flitted across the field,
And, all the leaves were calling me.
And, the wind went sighing over the land, tossing the grasses to and fro,
And, a rainbow held out its shining hand, so what could I do but laugh and go?"

It is spring you know, and I kind of have a bad case of spring fever. The fever seems especially bad (or good) this year.  Maybe, it is because last year I was almost cheated out of spring.  We won't be forgetting that, for sure!   

"It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want--oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"   ~ Mark Twain

And, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!  (Even though, I have redone this little one's hair four times.  Clay hair is just not my thing.  I want a bit of a prim look, so paper mache seems to be my thing.  In this case I used cotton thread instead of paper, but I still want to try again with paper.) 

The doll is almost ready for paint, but it will have to wait, because our grand kiddos are here this week for spring break.  I wish I could have made their dollies a new dress for Easter.  Well, maybe I still can, but there's that brown bird in the apple tree (or is it blue?)!



Monday, March 27, 2017

I Love a Rainy Day...



What a blessing rain is...


The grass is green and growing... 


Pretty little spring flowers are popping up all over...




as well as a lot of spring-born baby calves...


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Of course, there's always plenty to do inside on a rainy day...










Monday, March 20, 2017

The redbuds were ablaze in the valley ...





The redbuds were ablaze in the valley and the sarvis painted the steep hills white...



According to this spring's migration map, the ruby-throated hummingbirds are already on the move, and could be here already.  We are ready!  A couple of feeders are hanging...









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Slow Progress... 









Tuesday, March 14, 2017

On Hoof, or Paw, or Wing...









Wildlife photos taken along the Chip Butter Trail are a hard thing to come by these days, because Millie runs ahead and alerts everything on hoof, or paw, or wing that we are on the trail.   However, one day this week, when these photos were taken, we seemed to have just kind of slipped in undetected under the radar, and I was able to get a couple of good shots.  Ahh, I can't count the times the Great Blue Heron has unfolded and lifted those oh-so-lovely gigantic wings right before my eyes while I was trying to fumble with my camera.

Each day that we walk the trail, a little stick woman with a stick in her hand, followed by a little stick doggie, is hastily penciled on my calendar for that day. On a few special days there may be another little stick person, and occasionally two others, walking with us. Those are fun days, for sure!  It has been a good year so far, and we haven't missed our walk many times... five in January, two in February, and, so far, only two in March.

Millie thinks we should walk every day, rain or shine, but the day Nell and I got caught in a terrific thunderstorm is still too fresh on my mind to allow myself to be enticed out onto the trail when the weather is unsettled.  That day, the storm caught up with us right about the place where Millie is standing and staring at the deer.  I will just say that by the time we got home, I was the wettest I had ever been in my entire life...before, or since.  That was one time I was glad not to have taken my camera!















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Beginning to think about dressing a doll...





Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Weeds...








Yes, I know that I posted a picture of this old horse-drawn mower just a couple of weeks ago, but that was before the wildflowers weeds began to bloom.  I thought the photo was worthy of being posted again.  Actually, I rather like weeds, most of them, anyway.   In fact, I like to think of myself as being one. 

"I want all my friends to come up like weeds and I want to be a weed myself, spontaneous and unstoppable.  I don't want the kind of friends one has to cultivate."  

                                                                        ~Roger Deakins, Notes from Walnut Tree Farm



My dear childhood friend, Alice, and me...  Tragically, Alice moved
away not long after this picture was taken.
Friends--how I like to think back over the years and remember those who were so dear to me. I am reminded of this passage from L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables.

     Anne tipped the vase of apple blossoms near enough to bestow a soft kiss on a pink-cupped bud, and then studied diligently for some moments longer.
     "Marilla," she demanded presently, "do you think that I shall ever have a bosom friend in Avonlea?"
     "A--what kind of a friend?"
     "A bosom friend--an intimate friend, you know--a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.  I've dreamed of meeting her all my life.  I never really supposed I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true all at once that perhaps this one will, too.  Do you think it's possible?"

I also think the great fiction writer, Louis L'Amour must have known a thing or two about true friendship, for he wrote so eloquently about it.  In the following passage two dear friends Tom Watkins and Barnabas Sackett are about to take their last stand against a band of warring Senecas.

     He looked around at me. "D' you reckon we'll make it, Barnabas?"
     "Do you wonder, Tom?
     He was silent, and the fire crackled.  Somewhere out there the wind moved through the trees.  "I reckon not, Barnabas.  I reckon I knew from the moment we straddled a horse for this ride that we wasn't goin' but one way this time."
     "We've ridden a good trail together, Tom, a long ride since that night on the edge of the fens."
     "You're a man, Tom Watkins, a man to ride down the warpath with...or any path.  You were there when the long guns spoke, and you were beside me when the blades were drawn...and when they were sheathed...and you never shirked a job that needed to be done."

"...when the blades were drawn...and when they were sheathed..."   Now, there's the thing of it --a true friend is there in the good times as well as in the bad.  There really aren't many friends like Tom Watkins, who's going to be there through the best and worst of times--someone to talk to all night--someone who loves you for who you are.  But, heck, when I found that person, I just married him!



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This is the sculpt as it is today--still lots of work to be done.  To get an idea of what this little person might look like, I have drawn in temporary features.  It amazes me how once a little face is in place, particularly the eyes,  that suddenly there's another presence in the room--someone watching and wondering.  I think she's a weed!                                            




Wednesday, March 1, 2017

In Like a Lion...





Spring at woods' edge...


 There are plenty of folks around here who will readily proclaim, because of last night's damage from strong thunderstorms and possible tornados, that March definitely came in like a lion.  The rain was a blessing, of course, but we could have well done without all the rest. Today the winds are still blowing, but the sun is shining, and spring, which had seemed to be lingering just at woods' edge, came joyously rushing across meadow and field, tinting them in hues of green.



Millie and her daily splash in the pond...































Otherwise...


The final version is FINA!. It is traced with a Sharpie onto template plastic...something I have never done before, because it has never been final before!  (It only took me twenty years!)


Miss Chip's Doll Pattern... 


Final prototype (She sits well.)...
 




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The year's at the spring (almost)...




An early morning shower...




The Cowboy going to work...





The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew -pearl'd'
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
                                  


Then coming back...








Red sky at night; Sailors delight...for sure!









Saturday, February 18, 2017

Without even waiting to put on his coat...





...in cool little pockets of the deep woods.



Nothing expresses the way we have been feeling around here, on these fabulously warm days of February, quite so well as Kenneth Grahame's, Spring House Cleaning, from his wonderful book, The Wind in the Willows. 

"The Mole had been working very hard all morning, spring cleaning his little home.  First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms.  Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.  It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said, "Brother!" and "O blow!" and also "Hang spring cleaning!" and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat."

One thing's for sure, our heavy coats have been left hanging, all week, on their hooks beside the back door.



Ready for a bit of clay..