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, November 30, 2013
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.
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
"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
Friday, November 8, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Saturday, November 2, 2013
A day or so ago, a friend on Facebook said, "I love the trees. It looks like they are celebrating..." So, yesterday, we got out to celebrate with the trees, and to celebrate my birthday. And, of course, one must eat out on her birthday...that is out in the middle of yonder mountain!
"Yet we must never forget that the land and the waters are ours for the moment only, that generations will follow who must themselves live from the land and drink that water..."
"I walk in the shoes of the men of today. I fly their planes, I eat their food, but my heart is in the wilderness with feathers in my hair."
"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."
"Everything fades with time, but the land stays there..."
"Now the mountain was stark and beautiful, a place for no man or animal, just for the clouds and eagles."
~All quotes are from Louis L'Amour.