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..."


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Through the Seasons...



Winter


There are some places that are bound to keep showing up here...bound to, because in my mind's eye they are the most beautiful places I know that are near to home.  Of course, you might guess our Little Walden Pond is one of those places and right at our door step, so that's a good guess.  Another is along the banks of this Ozark Mountains stream that runs though family properties about a thirty minute drive from our house.  Every time I visit this spot, I take a few pictures, spring, summer, and fall...same old spot, same old tree.  But when looking through my picture files a few days ago, I realized that I have no winter pictures taken from along the creek.  Last Sunday afternoon, when out jeepin', we stopped by the creek for a little photo shoot, and I wasn't disappointed at all with the winter landscape.  While standing there at water's edge, I couldn't help but think how pretty this place would be in the snow.  So, begins plans  for another adventure in 2014... jeepin' in the snow... to the same old spot, same old tree.

Happy New Year to all...



Spring

Summer

Fall



Saturday, December 28, 2013

No one remembers who comes in second...






Even though Nell's Christmas photo wasn't chosen (by me) for our Happy Holidays blog picture, I think she, at least, deserves honorable mention here.  Having a ribbon tied around her neck just didn't seem to be in her plans this year.  Perhaps, she was having flashbacks to the time when she had to wear that horrible old plastic collar/cone around her neck while she was recovering from leg surgery.  No doubt, from the look in her eyes, she was wondering what to heck her beloved master was trying to do to her.  And then, to make matters even worse, what about that big old cat who won the photo contest, and did absolutely nothing but go to sleep inside an old wooden wheelbarrow beside the front door.  We both just gave up and went exploring around Nell's favorite place, our own Little Walden Pond.  And, left the cat napping...



Nell loves these walks through the woods with her Chip Butter when the Bossman's not around...

Unlike many dogs, Nell doesn't care for swimming.  But, a boat ride might be nice...

There are so many luscious smells all around...

We both wonder what's under those watery depths...

She just may be dreaming about tomorrow's walk.  One thing's for sure, she will be waiting at the back door an hour or so before dark every day...




Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kindred Spirits...



Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.  It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables



The Kindred Spirits sewing basket...



Christmas just can't get any better than this.  What a surprise!  A big box in the mail from The Other Side of the Hill (and it is a big hill, too).  After having sent pieces of wools and flannels from which I made clothes for the "U" doll, I was so surprised to find another box on my doorstep from my doll-making friend, Sarah.  There was no way I could wait until Christmas morning to open that big box!  And, oh the wonders inside...all old, of course.  A sewing basket (made by Sarah) filled with colorful skeins of DMC wool, pieces of cloth, and a precious little box tied with narrow ribbon which was filled with some rare old pieces just perfect for my next little Indian doll.  Any guesses as to what I will be working on in 2014?


The gift box 


The Kindred Spirits sewing basket opened...  

Inside the small box...I especially love this old card with a personal note from Sarah!

A pair of old doll moccasins and a beaded necklace...

One of my dolls dressed in fabrics from Sarah...

Such a wonderful old look and feel. Sarah has taught me to love the old...





 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Long Night's Moon of 2013...


as seen from our neck of the woods.  Also known as the "cold" moon, it is said to be the most distant and visually smallest moon of the year. 











Even the cattle seem to be watching (I think they were actually watching me)...





 


Monday, December 16, 2013

...when all through the house...


not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse......(love my Tasha Tudor illustrated book, The Night Before Christmas.)




Ximraan (which means celebration)


Ximraan and his compadres

Ximraan is the final one in this series of Father Christmas dolls.  (Lol...since when have I ever planned a series of anything?  Things just happen around here!)  I am not saying another Christmas doll won't show up; one might, but his hair and beard will definitely not be of curly Cotswold sheep's wool, although I do love the stuff.  It just seems like three of these wooly faces are enough...a finished set, I think. 

This clay over cloth doll is 13 1/2 inches tall and is able to stand alone because of an internal wire armature.  His coat is made from over-dyed wool, lined in a flannel print, and trimmed in sheep shearling.  Ximraan is definitely ready, along with his compadres,  Legend and Raphael, for a wild midnight's ride come Christmas eve.  "Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Tree...




One friend commented on my previous post that she would like to see more of the tree, so here it is!  You will notice that there are no presents under the tree yet.  I am trying not to count the days... 
                                                         


The tree by day...

At night...


Little feathered friends among the branches...






And topping it all...



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Old Books...



The tree is up!  And decorated!  With snow and ice and cold having held on outside our door for almost a week, there really were no excuses for not having this job done.  So, here it is!  Now, if I could just get finished with this year's Father Christmas doll.  Could it be that on these cold days I enjoy, a little too much, sitting by the fire reading from some of my old books, such as these old Victoria magazines?








     Recently, I have been rereading the 1990 issues, and oh my, they are wonderful!  Who wouldn't be amazed at the beautiful gardens and embroidery of the fabulous Joanna Reed, who, for fifty years "turned her artist's eye to the view outside her window, embroidering a garden equally splendid in winter, spring, summer, and fall."  She first created four crewel curtain-panels for her living room, each one depicting the splendors of a different season. She said she learned to use "bigger, freer stitches, to embroider flowers directly from nature, to paint with thread."  Victoria magazine published a three part series on this magnificent woman and her works in the January, May, and October 1990 issues.

     Now, should I read "At Tasha Tudor's ~ A Peaceable Kingdom in the August issue, or work on the old Father Christmas doll?  We will see.....




Saturday, December 7, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reflections of more than one kind...


It is hard for me to walk past the upper pond (I call it Walden Pond just for fun) and not snap a few photos.  Late in the day, when Nell and I take our hike over the big hill behind the house, every leaf and limb seem to be reflected perfectly in the pond's water.  I am not sure why that is since, from my point of view,  I am facing east with the sun at my back, but that's the way it is.  Most of the leaves have now fallen, but even the trees' bare trunks and branches create beautiful pictures whichever way one looks, up or down.



 
 When I go walking these days, Nell is beside me at every step.  Well, except for when she finds some wild critter to engage her in a game of chase.  It's catch me if you can, but she never does.

Having come so close to losing Nell a few months ago, I am ever so thankful that I have been granted more time with her.  I love her more every day and do everything I can to let her know.  Of course, that's the way we should be with all our friends and loved ones, appreciating the time we are given, knowing the days won't last forever.







On the first day of this year, I began tossing a small stone at the edge of the trail that I walk daily.  Before long, there was a pile of stones almost as long as I am tall.   The idea to do this came from Louis L'Amour's, Last of the Breed, in which he wrote,  "It is an old custom of these people to pick up a stone and toss it on the pile.  Perhaps it is a symbolical lightening of the load they carry, perhaps a small offering to the gods of the trails." 

All last winter, until warmer days brought out the crawling little critters that like to bite a traveler passing through, I tossed a stone on the pile I was building in the woods.  It was a satisfying thing to do, as though the spirits were pleased.




Nell and I are again walking the trail through the woods, and once again, I am tossing a stone onto the pile each time I pass by. I am sure the gods of the trail are not pleased when I do not come, so I only miss when the weather is bad. ( Thinking this way is a good incentive to keep me walking, I think!)



 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Valley, a Cowgirl Doll...


"The first cowgirls broke the rules.  In the nineteenth century, a woman's place was in the home, not out on the range herding cattle, branding calves, or breaking horses:  Victorian society considered this behavior unladylike.  Complete with corset, a lady behaved decorously, served tea in the parlor, sewed, and cared for her husband and family.  Living on the fringes of society to run a cattle ranch was a preposterous vocation for a woman and represented uncharted territory.  Aware of the risks, but determined to succeed, one of Wyoming's first cowgirls was hanged for trying."

                                                            ~Cowgirls, Women of the Wild West by Elizabeth Clair Flood

Valley all dressed up in her Sunday best


A cowgirls can wear a bow in her hair. 

Valley takes pride in her wide brimmed "Stetson."

No side saddle for this little gal, thanks to her new split skirt.

 

Every cowgirl needs her own rope.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Hiding in the Tall Grasses...


We found him hiding in the tall grasses...OR's first baby calf.  I told OR's story first here, then more here.   I am sure Dad would be as proud as I am.





Friday, November 8, 2013

Hunting Season...



for the white tails...tomorrow.  I hunt too...no license required.




Thursday, November 7, 2013

He has been captured...


The little cat and mouse game is over.  The Great Blue Heron has been captured, not very well, I must admit, but captured, none the less.

Always watching...

And, away he goes...