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..."

Friday, January 30, 2015

January, The Door To The Year...Gone...

It's hard to believe that the first month of this brand new year is already gone. January, the door to the year...gone.  She wasn't the nasty one that she sometimes is, but, instead, quite meek and gentle.  I have to admit, if goals weren't all reached, January was not to blame...

She gave us rainy days, icy days, and windy days...perfect days for staying inside...to read a good book or to work with needle and thread.

And, she gave us warm, sunny days...perfect days for being outside...to go hiking or to get the gardens ready for spring planting .

When I read, I sometimes stop to jot down a word, or line, or sometimes an entire passage that I want to remember or to learn more about.  Over today's lunch, as I was reading from Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop, I found myself reaching for one of my little notebook journals to copy the following lines:

"Coming along the Santa Fe Trail, in the vast plains of Kansas, Father Latour had found the sky more a desert than the land; a hard, empty blue, very monotonous to the eyes of a Frenchman.  But west of the Pecos all that changed; here there was always activity overhead, clouds forming and moving all day long.  Whether they were dark and full of violence, or soft and white with luxurious idleness, they powerfully affected the world beneath them.  The desert, the mountains and mesas, were continually re-formed and re-coloured by the cloud shadows.  The whole country seemed fluid to the eye under the constant change of accent, this ever-varying distribution of light."

Strange that I just happened to read  this passage on a day when the old cowboy and I, as we were out and about, couldn't seem to take our eyes off the skies above that were so active with clouds..."soft and white with luxurious idleness."

A little later a friend wrote, "Are you stuffing dolls today?  Have you noticed how the sky is filled with bits and pieces of Polyfil?"

Polyfil, yes, and marshmallows, too!  The clouds may have reminded me of marshmallows, somewhat, because a couple of days ago, I had researched remedies for a sore throat and found that eating marshmallows can soothe a sore throat.  Really?  That sounded too good to be true, and definitely more appealing than a warm salt-water gargle.  It seems that the Egyptians used the root of the marshmallow plant as a sore throat remedy, and to treat other maladies.  Today's modern marshmallows no longer contain any marshmallow root, but are made mainly of sugar, gelatin and water.  Even so, some still claim that marshmallows can sooth a sore throat.  It surely was worth a try!  And, that's all I have to say about that...

At times like this, I often quote from one of my favorite books ever, Eric Knight's Lassie Come-Home.  "When human beings are ill. they often make a show of their injuries and parade them so that others may see and give them sympathy.  It is just the reverse with an animal living in its natural state.  Asking no sympathy, deeming rather that weakness of any kind is something to be ashamed of, it crawls away into some hidden corner and there, alone, it awaits the outcome.....either recovery or death.

Good thing there were a few marshmallows left over from the Christmas ambrosia......


  1. Great post. I really enjoyed your picking out the phrases from the books. So true the beauty of the clouds and sky. We were going to town the other day and the sky was amazing with deep blue and grey clouds, but tons of soft flowing clouds. To pretty to be real almost. I think you should eat lots of marsh mellows to atleast see if they work or not.

  2. I love your photos. Your sharing has been very interesting. I like the idea of marshmallows helping a sore throat. It is sad sometimes though to learn that food has changed from the past; and it has less good health benefits for us. The clouds do look like fluff from a bag of stuffing or batting. December always seems so far away; but the months seem to pass by too quickly. How do we slow things down and enjoy each day to the fullest? Excited to see what February will share with us.

  3. So beautiful and so inspiring. It makes want to grab blanket and head for the middle of the field and lie down enjoying the day watching clouds. Just as I did as little girl.

  4. Made it to KC. It's snowin' and blowin"! YUK! I think the Snookum Chiefs are handsome indeed! Beautiful photos and inspiring post.

  5. I agree with Julie, I use to LOVE laying on the grass, looking at the clouds. It gave me a sense of wonderment and calm at the same time. How something so huge and magnificent can be so soft and enveloping. Who am I to question, but to enjoy. So true on your Eric Knight quote. I, too, am guilty of that. What we could learn from the animals if we just observe and listen.

  6. Beautiful patterns...no wonder it caught your eye. I imagine the birds are glad it's only water vapor and not polyfil. :~D

  7. Such beautiful pictures!!
    This week, after the Farmer's encounter with the cow, I know all about parading one's injuries. :) And it is so true about an injured animal.

  8. Love
    reading your words
    and looking at the images you post.
    Now it is March
    when Spring really arrives.
    Take care..