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, March 25, 2015

"I meant to do my work today, but..."

A beautiful little trout lily* was hiding among spring grasses, and among lichens and leaves of old...  (Can you see it above?  I almost stepped on it.)

And,  farther downstream, rushing waters were being tossed to and fro across rock and craig...

And, the sarvis* blooms painted the steep hills white, and the red buds would soon be ablaze in the valley below.  (In memory of Dad)

"So what could I do but laugh and go...."
                                                                  ~Richard Le Gallienne

Sorry little girl.  Spring is here.  But, there will be rainy days...

*White Dog-Tooth Violet, White Trout Lily ~ The white blooms have petals that curl back as they open; are solitary and 1 inch wide or slightly wider with large yellow staments.  The blooms often are in a nodding position.  Most of the plants have single leaves.  The flowers are on the two-leaved plants which have leaves up to about  inches long that are mottled with purplish brown suggesting the coloring of the trout.  The name "dog-tooth" is derived from the shape of the bulb.  Browsed by deer in early spring.  (Surprised we have any; so many deer.)  ~ Carl G. Hunter, Wildflowers of Arkansas

*Serviceberry, shadbush, sarvis ~ In early spring the rounded clouds of white blossoms contrast with other dormant vegetation, especially on hillsides.  The early blossoms were gathered for church services in eastern states, thus "serviceberry" or in some areas "sarvis berry". Carl G. Hunter, Trees, Shrubs, & Vines of Arkansas

Sunday, March 15, 2015

"The Dishes Are Yours"....

"Sister, the dishes are yours."  As a girl growing up in a large family, I heard these words often after meal time, when my mother would steal away to sew before time to begin preparations for the evening meal.  It seemed especially so on rainy days when most outside work was put aside.  Perhaps, it is stamped on my DNA that I should sew on rainy days, for it seems the sewing room is where I usually while away the time as the rain patters pleasantly down overhead.

Small streams dream that they are mighty rivers...

The old White dressing up the sewing corner...


On this particular rainy day, I found myself in the attic searching through boxes for pieces of old cloth suitable for dressing an Indian doll, fashioned in the style of the old Skookum dolls made long ago.  Mary McAboy is a hard act to follow, for sure.

It is not all about the dolls themselves, but also about their simple clothing...cheap cotton cloth and colorful scraps of wool...both scarce commodities these days. It hardly seems fitting to dress such a doll otherwise.

I felt like I had hit the jackpot when, in one box, sent to me by an antique textile enthusiast friend,  I found this note:  "1880's calico.  I did not wash, but seems very clean."  And another read, "1900 - antique cotton - I reclaimed from a garment - all washed."

And finally, the icing on the cake, "Antique wool piece - very old - came from the southeast U.S.  Hand spun- hand woven, probably 1830 - 1850.  Look at the red binding that is left!  You could take that off and reuse on whatever you make with wool."   Wow, now talk about a "rainy day friend!" (Meaning one you can always count on).

Love these colors...double click to admire the coarse weaving...

A bit of frayed wool in a beautiful orange/red

After the rain...The earth is refreshed....

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Day in March...

It will soon be time to walk along the creeks and spring headwaters in search of spearmint for a favorite springtime salad.

Apple-Spearmint Salad

Search creeks and spring headwaters for spearmint (it grows alongside watercress).

6 crisp red or yellow apples
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cups (packed) spearmint leaves, washed and drained
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup black walnuts or pecans, broken up
1/2 cup mayonnaise

1. Wash apples, core and cut into small pieces, but leave skins on.
2. Sprinkle lemon juice on apples (This enhances flavor and keeps the apples from turning dark.)
3. Tear or snip spearmint leaves into small bits.
4.  Toss apples with raisins, nuts, and spearmint.
5. Add mayonnaise and toss salad briskly.
6.  Place in a sparkling-clear glass bowl.

Serves eight.  (Note: This salad is quite delicious without the spearmint leaves when they aren't available.)                     

Billy Joe Tatum (1932-2012)
Author of Billy Joe Tatum's
Wild Foods Field Guide and Cookbook