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, July 7, 2017

Dog Days of Summer...









It was hardly midmorning when I noticed through the window that the cattle had already "found the shade" as the Cowboy would say.  But, it's that time of year, for the dog days of summer are upon us.

 And, if I should have gone looking for Millie I would have known right where to have found her, for she would have surely been in her shady corner of the little rock garden next to the house. She has dug a nice little hole there, but it is hardly noticeable, actually, for it is behind a fairly large abelia with long arching branches.

For the past couple of days, I have played the role of the good fairy, and poured a bucket of water into her hole before filling it back in with soil.  In this way, she won't have to dig deeply to make for herself a cool damp bed.  I've never scolded her for it.  I used to take Nell inside on hot afternoons, but Millie seems to prefer being outside. 







Actually, the Dog Days of Summer, which are taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, doesn't have anything to do with dogs, or even with the lazy days of summer.  Instead, it turns out, the dog days refer to the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens.  To the Greeks and Romans, the "dog days" occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. 

Although July and August are generally known as the hottest months of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the hottest period can vary from year to year.  And depending on your latitude, the astronomical dog days can come at different times.







As soon as breakfast is finished, Millie and I head to the garden.  She lies under the shade of a tree and watches me work with my  head bent low beneath the okra and zinnias. 

I made some miscalculations when I planned this year's little garden. (Imagine that!)   There is no room...zero...to get between the rows to cut the okra pods.  And, on the other side of the row, it's no better because of the tomato plants that are reaching out from their cages. I just didn't expect the California Giants to be so...well, gigantic!  But, my how I love them!  Oh well...there's always next year.  I am now thinking the old plow in the center of the garden wasn't such a good idea.  But there will be zinnias again, even Giants!  Let's see, I could always move the old plow over there.....   And, so it goes!






Millie isn't the first dog to lie in the shade of  this tree while I worked in the little garden.  This was Nell's favorite spot too.  Oh, how lonely I was when there was no Nell under that tree, so you must know how happy I am to have found another little doggie friend that loves me as much as Nell did!  I really doubted that I ever would.

Millie and I talk about things.  She's a girl, you know, and girls talk.  She in her way and me in mine, but we each understand the other.  It's a mutual love, for sure!









Also........... A blogger friend, E.C., has gone into the black swallowtail butterfly business. :~)   For the complete story, you'll have to go back a few posts, but it's worth it.  Good job E.C.! 





Sunday, July 2, 2017

July...






July 2017


July 2016


July 2015


July 2014


July 2013



July 2012
We were all praying for rain...

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Wishing you all a safe and happy Independence Day!  Happy Birthday, America!









Saturday, June 17, 2017

Red Zinnias and Hay Bales...





California Giants...


Easy to grow...


With just a touch of pink...



Lily Pads and Hay Bales....









I finished raking ahead of the baler man, so, having nothing better to do, played around with my phone.   I took a nice little video, but couldn't get it to play here.  :~/  I should have taken my fishing pole, but lily pads always give me trouble. 







Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sarah...







From cloth, clay, and a few dabs of paint...  She's been a stubborn one (or has it been me?)  I so enjoyed the comments of another fabulous doll maker and dear friend, Martha, on the subject of  the "troublesome" ones.  She wrote   "...but I think its good to share that every doll you make just doesn't jump right off the work table onto the paint table onto the dress making table and be a fabulous beauty."

So, I am out of here...off to get a haircut, mow and mow again, then walk off into the sunset with Millie...  I hope everyone is enjoying these last few days of spring...





















Tuesday, May 30, 2017

On My Camera Card This Week...




Millie (of course)...




A Regular at the Feeder... (I don't have a cat.)






The Finished Doll's Dress...









Monday, May 22, 2017

If John Can Do It, I Can Do It...






Slow stitch by slow stitch...



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I have long been inspired by the work of this oh-so-talented wedding dress designer, who was featured  in an old 1990 Victoria Magazine, A Tribute to The Art of Dressmaking.   I often say, "If John can do it, I can do it."  :)))


John Burbidge calls them "les petites dames de mode." For the last 11 years, John, who recently retired as a wedding dress designer for Priscilla of Boston, has painstakingly crafted two or three mannequins a year.  Each is but 29 inches tall, marvelously and meticulously dressed.  "To do this kind of work, you have to be a little mad!" John says. 

                                                                ~Victoria Magazine, January 1990










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In the meantime, the Piney runs deep and wild, and I have a zillion blades of grass to cut...








Saturday, May 6, 2017

Rainy Days...





The rain seems to be over for now, but how the plant world must have loved those rainy days... Green, green, green...so many shades of green!  I've never claimed the color as one of my favorites, but in the great big wonderful outdoors, green can be a beautiful thing.




A porch is a nice thing to have on a rainy day...  Now if I only had a "cookie."






There's nothing quite like a long nap on a rainy day...




The pink abelia is beginning to bloom.  In previous years, the hummingbirds would have been all over these pretty trumpet-shaped blossoms.  This year, for some odd reason, there are only a handful of these little birds here.  I am puzzled about this... 



Rose-breasted grosbeaks


What could be nicer than visitors that are strikingly beautiful, and that sing an equally beautiful song?   ( I am enjoying the Audubon App. on my I-phone for identifying birds and for listening to their songs.  However, I still rely most on my National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds ~ Eastern Region.) 





The little garden, which must be protected on all sides from the white-tailed deer, is a mix of veggies and flowers.  The little plants are up from seed...even several red zinnias. :~) 






Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Call of the Whip-Poor-Will...




My grandparents and me...


A few days ago, I was excited to hear our first whip-poor-will of the season.  If I should make a list of all the things I love about spring, the list would be long, but at the very top, undoubtedly, would be the call of the whip-poor-will.  Every year at this time I feel just like having a party... a party like we once had long ago, when my grandmother made my favorite candy and placed it in a pretty dish on the dining table.  Then, in a flash, almost before my very eyes, it was gone!  My grandpa said the whip-poor-wills had taken it.  But, he quickly laughed, for he was only having a little fun with me.  Just as quickly as it disappeared, the candy was back on the table.   And, all the while the whip-poor-wills were singing a chorus just outside the windows, both near and far.  It was a magical time that I will never forget.

 And, maybe we will do just that this year ~ have a party!  We will pack our dinner and head to the Little Piney, which is near my grandparents' old home place.  There we will sit at water's edge and wait on the dusk...and the call of the whip-poor-will.





Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Good Night, Moon...





Good night, Pond...


One of our children's favorite bedtime stories was Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, which features a bunny saying "goodnight" to everything around:  "Goodnight room.  Goodnight moon.  Goodnight cow jumping over the moon.  Goodnight light, and the red balloon..."

The children sometimes liked to add some of their own favorite things to which they said, "Goodnight."  To this very day, many years later, I still think about those happy times and still enjoy saying "Goodnight" to some of my own favorite things...






Good night, Birds in the trees so tall...



Good night, Great White Heron...




Good night, Little Hummers...









Good night, "Moo-Moo Cows"...



And, Good night, My Sweet Millie...



Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring Roundup...





It was a week for rounding up the cattle here on our side of the mountain.  Of course, a camera is something one doesn't carry when doing such work, so this old picture will just have to do.  Maybe it wasn't exactly the same, but you get the idea... 

As expected, the Cowboy was at his best, doing what he loves to do.  There was only one evening that dark caught us and we had to use our headlamps to finish up. 
















He was dressed for the occasion, and quite frankly, seemed to like showing off his fancy jeans and chaps.  At least his legs were protected from mesquite thorns and such.  (Yes, I know we have watched too many old Western movies and read too much Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour.)

Of course, he had the best help ever...























who was just happy that her favorite Brown Heifer was among those that would be staying on here to take their places in the herd.





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And, here's the real Cowboy,a few years ago, with our first child.  Look at those cowboy boots ~looks as though there were a thousand miles on them...



Photo courtesy of cnfarm...Thanks! 




Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring Cleaning...






So many old books to dust...




So much more fun cleaning outside...





Happy Trails, and Happy Easter...