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..."

Monday, March 7, 2016


Waiting for dusk
March is a lean time for these pretty little critters, so Spring can't come soon enough for them.  This little fellow is one of five that comes every evening to pick up tidbits from underneath the cattle troughs.  I also diligently save every scrap from the kitchen and put it out, along with some shelled corn,  for them each evening down by the creek.  They seem to appreciate it, for there's never a morsel left by morning.

The Pond in March
As far as the pond goes, I suppose Thoreau's words sum it up best, even though the winter has been a mild one and there's been no snow.  "They were pleasant spring days, in which the winter of man's discontent was thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain torpid began to stretch itself."

Millie, undoubtedly, dreaming of spring.  It will be her first.

Millie has been with us, now, for just over a month, and what a party it has been.  I really don't think we could have designed a dog, if that were possible, that would have been a better fit for us.  The lady at the shelter said that we could bring her back if we weren't pleased with her.  Bring her back, indeed!  What a dreadful thought for such a sweet little dog.  Just the mere mention of "bringing her back" made me think of Anne of Green Gables when Marilla was making plans to send Anne back to the orphanage because she wasn't a boy.  "...You would cry, too, if you were an orphan and had come to a place you thought was going to be home and found that they didn't want you because you weren't a boy.  Oh, this is the most tragical thing that ever happened to me!"

 Yes, Millie has passed all the tests in flying colors, so she will be staying.  As I have said before, with her along, the hills aren't so steep and the trail's not so long.

The last of winter's stitches...


  1. Beautiful pictures! You write so eloquently, I feel like I am along the trail with you Mary. There is a warm breeze here in Vermont coming from the South this morning, a welcoming sign of Spring.

  2. Millie is blessed and a blessing. So glad you have her.

  3. Millie is a lucky dog to have become a member of your family. She takes a majestic photo. Sweet racoon, I think I've been feeding a possum the last couple weeks. The extra cat food disappears nightly! So glad that spring is just around the corner, butI don't remember a winter without a big snow!

  4. Your quote from Anne is right on the mark for Millie! I'm glad you have found such a good companion. My, what a lot of different stitches you've mastered! So pretty!

  5. Millie is a sweetie and a pretty dog too. It doesn't take long to love them and they return that love even quicker. A great new companion and friend. Wonderful of you to take her and as usual we find that we are more blessed and happier as well. the pictures are pretty and the racoon knows what you are doing for them. I always throw out scraps too. Fat possum and others will eat up everything. The stitching is beautiful.

  6. My sister-in-law feeds many racoon's; they practically come knocking on her door for dinner time. They keep bringing their friends now and the number grows. So happy Millie has fit right in with your family and home. Happy for you and for her. Your stitching looks great.

  7. How lucky you are to find a great walking companion and life long friend! We don't have a dog but share the neighbors. Girly is her name, and she makes the rounds to all the neighbors for a good scratching and any scrapes. Take Millie back to the orphanage, indeed!!!! That would be tragic! You have a treasure there with all your "critters", what fun!

  8. Yes, spring is upon us and Millie is going to have a great time with all the new sites and sounds. Such a sweet companion for you. I just know that coon is grateful for all those scraps you save.

    Your "winter stitches" are beautiful.

  9. How sweet you are to care after the raccoons! That is a cutie waiting in the tree!!! :-)

    Our little aussie rescue Sadie is a real gem in our family too, and your Millie is so lovely and very fortunate to have found her way into your hearts!!
    Spring is so close here in NY too a robin was singing full chours today!! Yay!

    Blessings and warmth, xx oo Linnie

  10. Mary, this is such a beautiful, heart-warming post. Millie, the darling...oh, I love visiting here. Swooning over the stitching too. Happy Spring to Millie and you and yours! xo

  11. Tragical indeed! Millie was meant to be yours and you to be hers, how wonderful it it. It thrills me to see a little life turned around with some love and attention.As for the raccoon, I was happy to see the last of the little fellers when we got our 2 guardian dogs. The very bold raccoons living here, made a nightly habit of raiding the cat food dishes in our mudroom every single night. The whole family would arrive, with a few possums as well. My cats were terrified of them.Yes, they are very handsome animals, but I don't want them in the house. Anyway, they've found more friendly hunting grounds since our dogs arrived on the premises.