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..."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Think Spring...

Cattle lined up eating hay seem to be part of the landscape these days.

Yesterday, a friend in cold and snowy Iowa sent me a list of things to consider as we await spring.  I put on my thinking cap, but am afraid I can't do quite as well as she.

     ~ I agree with her that the daylight is noticeably more than a month ago, especially in the evening.  I checked the almanac and found out that we have gained 20 minutes of daylight in the evening since Jan. 1, but only 3 minutes in the morning.  No wonder I am still a sleepy head.

     ~She also says, "When it's cold, there is really no point of thinking about doing outside chores (of course we do have cattle and other animals that must be fed and cared for), so it's a good excuse to work on indoor projects that don't get done the rest of the year."  So, now I am wondering why I haven't gotten more of those projects finished!

     ~My friend's little dog, Peanut, wears long underwear under her coat when she goes out walking and the wind chill is minus 20 degrees.  Now, that is cold! Neither Nell nor I wear long underwear when we are out and about.  However, tomorrow I may reconsider.

     ~And, there's another that we both definitely agree on...Neither of us would want to be living in North Dakota!  (Take care dear son of mine!)

The not so far blue mountains of winter...

Going to get more hay...

As we wait for spring, what do you like to think about and plan for?  Or are you still enjoying the slower and colder days of winter?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Jeepin' in the Ozarks...

Eat, Sleep, and Jeep...  or so some say.  The Bossman and I haven't quite reached that point yet, but we do enjoy an occasional Sunday afternoon drive...Jeepin' of course.

On this trip, we parked the Jeep and hiked up a steep wooded hillside to reach my Great-Great-Great- Grandfather's grave.  I hadn't visited his grave since I was six or seven years old, and only had a vague remembrance of how to reach it.  His grave is the only marked grave in an old family burial plot, others having been marked with only field stones, which, if still there, have become buried with the passing of time.  According to the inscription on the tombstone, Great-Great-Great-Grandpa Henry was born December 10, 1824 and died January 27, 1884 when he was 59 yrs. 1 mo. 17 days old.  His epitaph reads, "Gone but not forgotten."

Records show that he fought in the Mexican-American War in 1846, and may have received a land grant for the lands where he lived and died, and where he now rests on a lonely hillside.  Part of that land has been passed down from generation to generation, our grandchildren being the eighth generation.  He later fought in the Civil War in which he was wounded and taken prisoner until his release in 1865.  "Gone but not forgotten"...No, I think not!

My Great-Great-Great-Grandparents

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The New Year...

The New Year is, quite frankly, behaving rather badly weather wise, dishing out huge helpings of cold winds and ice. Today marks the fourth day of this brand new year that I have not walked over the big hill behind our house, to the pond, and beyond...not that I didn't want to.  There were two days I was stopped by the fierce cold winds that came howling down from the Arctic Tundra.  And, yesterday and today there was, and still is,  ice covering the ground making each step a treacherous one.  Not even with my trusty Yaktrax Walkers over the soles of my boots, would I risk the climb up the hill and along the pond bank.  I did, however, ride along in the tractor with the Bossman to feed the cattle.  We stopped by the pond long enough to scare away the Great Blue Heron, once again without a chance to get the picture I have been seeking.   The pond was frozen over and the ice was actually quite thick, something that hasn't happened here in a number of years...really looked like a large ice skating rink.  The boat was frozen in place, and was going nowhere, for sure.

There seemed to be an abundance of wildlife, besides the Great Blue Heron, out today in search of something to eat, no doubt.  The bald eagles were clearly watching, from their icy perches, every move down below, and the poor ducks were just hanging out waiting for the ice to melt on the pond.

Inside, it has been hard for me to stay away from the warm fire that continuously burns in the wood heater.  My feet are always toasty warm in my favorite wool socks.  The big bad flu bug that has caught so many, passed me by because of the socks, I think.  My doctor's advice (that's me) for staying healthy consists of  (1)keeping my feet warm, (2) drinking lots of water, (3) getting plenty of outdoor exercise, (5) eating an apple a day, and (6) avoiding stress.  I am not sure I always do a good job on the last one.

Sitting by the fire has given me opportunity to rewrite most of the notes that I had jotted down this past year...things I want to remember about this and that.  My journals are just simple little notebooks, but I did fancy them up a bit with a cloth label on the front cover.  Making books with gorgeous cloth covers seems to be a popular thing these days...maybe I will look more into that before the year is ended.

After a little rest through the holidays and beyond,  I am now working on a new doll.  I have redesigned the pattern again, this time sewing in a flat seat in hopes the doll will sit nicely.  I have shredded some old cloth to use as stuffing to give it more heft, and hopefully also help in the way it sits.