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, May 20, 2014

Little Britches by Ralph Moody...

As I have said before, I think our family's love of the old west is because of my husband's early life as "Little Britches." Having lost his father when he was four, he and his three sisters were brought up by a single mother. However, he spent much of those early years with his grandparents who lived on a cattle ranch where he learned to ride horses and herd cattle. When Hubby and I married, and he gathered up his few personal belongings, there were two old worn and tattered books among his things. These books were Little Britches and Man of the Family by Ralph Moody, copyright 1950. When I read those books, not only did I have a better understanding of the young man I had married, but I found a new love...the old west.

"This warm and engaging story of a boy and his father, of the wonderful relationship between them, of the adventures and wise counsel that were part of the lad's growing up, is a true story which reads like a novel.

When the author was in knee-pants, the family moved to Colorado for the sake of Father's health. The West was still pretty wild in those days, and it wasn't easy to make adjustments to a new and harder way of life. But Mother was a valiant woman and a remarkable manager, and Father- well, Father, with his understanding, his courage, his diligence, his unwavering honesty, was a guide and an example and inspiration to all of them.

The family was a close and happy one, but there was a special closeness, a special love between Father and Ralph, his eldest son. Ralph's many exciting experiences - as he learned to ride, broke his very own colt, made friends with a genuine Indian, and achieved his own glorious triumph at the rodeo - taught him many things. It was from Father, however, that he learned most - about self-reliance, patience, and the meaning of real character."


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Blackberry Winter in the Ozarks...

The old green winter coat, the wool one that I reach for on cold winter days, is back, hanging on the coat hook by the back door.  There's a fire burning in the wood heating stove, and hot cocoa is heating in the teapot.  You may have guessed, it is Blackberry Winter in the Ozarks.  It always happens.  Every year the weather turns cold when the blackberries are blooming.  This year, it is later than usual, but then, everything has been later than usual.  It was a long winter.

Along with the blackberries, the honeysuckles are blooming too.  Oh, the sweetness of them!  I can never resist a little sip.  And, no doubt, I was not the first to do so, for when the honeysuckles bloom, the hummingbirds all but abandon the feeders to feast in the delight of these fragrant flowers.  It is no mystery where the little hummers go for it happens every year at this time.

The streams of water and the ponds are full to overflowing from recent rains.  What a blessing  water from the sky is.  When out doing chores earlier with The Boss man, of course, we drove past the upper pond admiring the fullness of it, when up from the north end there was a flapping of wings...Darn, the great blue heron!  And, I wasn't even ready, wasn't even thinking about him, really.  I aimed my camera, almost too late, but got a glimpse of him disappearing into the dark rain clouds overhead.  I am taking notes...Great Blue Heron still here on this date.  Will they go north?  And if they do, when will they go?

Some of the animals here in the Ozarks love being out on a rainy day, and some do not.  Newest Kitty does not.  She does not like to get her feet wet.  When she came to meet me today at feeding time, she raised first one foot and them another in such a sweet feminine little way.  She lives in the horse barn. A small feed room there, where she has a dry bed of hay, is a wonderful home for a kitty.  She seems to be contented living there, yet, I tell her that someday I might take her home with me to live in the sewing room where her feet would never get wet again.  But, The Boss man tells me that it is meant that cats should live in barns. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Umbrella Magnolia...

Last August when I first made an acquaintance with the Umbrella Magnolia here, I knew, if at all possible, I would be back in the spring to see the large white flowers of these small trees. Right then and there, I mentally planned a trip back to this lovely place.   I knew the visit would have to be made when the water in the streams was not too high, for there is no way to reach this special spot without crossing a stream of water.  I could only guess when the flowers might appear, April-June, I had read. 

So, this weekend, when the weather was just picture perfect for a ride on the ATV into the backwoods, we set out to see what we could see.  And, here is what we found... 

Still no bear to show!  Maybe next time...