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, 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...



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spring Comes to Our Side of the Mountain...










Spring is coming fast to our side of the mountain.  Such a short time ago, a week would have come and gone, and there would have been only a scanty few pictures on my camera card.  But, it is oh-so-different now.  Why, all of these pictures, and more, were taken in only one day along the trail.

The first hummingbirds are here, only a few for now, but more will soon follow.  They usually come just ahead of the honeysuckle bloom, on which they gorge for days and days.  It seems store- bought sugar doesn't compare to the natural sweet nectar from the honeysuckle.  I have added a new one to my little garden ~~ Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle.  It already has a few blossoms.  I hope the little hummers like it.


   












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Yes, yes, I know this little one should have been finished by now, but...........

"I meant to do my work today, but a brown bird sang in the apple tree, and a butterfly flitted across the field,
And, all the leaves were calling me.
And, the wind went sighing over the land, tossing the grasses to and fro,
And, a rainbow held out its shining hand, so what could I do but laugh and go?"

It is spring you know, and I kind of have a bad case of spring fever. The fever seems especially bad (or good) this year.  Maybe, it is because last year I was almost cheated out of spring.  We won't be forgetting that, for sure!   

"It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want--oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"   ~ Mark Twain

And, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!  (Even though, I have redone this little one's hair four times.  Clay hair is just not my thing.  I want a bit of a prim look, so paper mache seems to be my thing.  In this case I used cotton thread instead of paper, but I still want to try again with paper.) 

The doll is almost ready for paint, but it will have to wait, because our grand kiddos are here this week for spring break.  I wish I could have made their dollies a new dress for Easter.  Well, maybe I still can, but there's that brown bird in the apple tree (or is it blue?)!



Monday, March 27, 2017

I Love a Rainy Day...



What a blessing rain is...


The grass is green and growing... 


Pretty little spring flowers are popping up all over...




as well as a lot of spring-born baby calves...


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Of course, there's always plenty to do inside on a rainy day...










Monday, March 20, 2017

The redbuds were ablaze in the valley ...





The redbuds were ablaze in the valley and the sarvis painted the steep hills white...



According to this spring's migration map, the ruby-throated hummingbirds are already on the move, and could be here already.  We are ready!  A couple of feeders are hanging...









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Slow Progress... 









Tuesday, March 14, 2017

On Hoof, or Paw, or Wing...









Wildlife photos taken along the Chip Butter Trail are a hard thing to come by these days, because Millie runs ahead and alerts everything on hoof, or paw, or wing that we are on the trail.   However, one day this week, when these photos were taken, we seemed to have just kind of slipped in undetected under the radar, and I was able to get a couple of good shots.  Ahh, I can't count the times the Great Blue Heron has unfolded and lifted those oh-so-lovely gigantic wings right before my eyes while I was trying to fumble with my camera.

Each day that we walk the trail, a little stick woman with a stick in her hand, followed by a little stick doggie, is hastily penciled on my calendar for that day. On a few special days there may be another little stick person, and occasionally two others, walking with us. Those are fun days, for sure!  It has been a good year so far, and we haven't missed our walk many times... five in January, two in February, and, so far, only two in March.

Millie thinks we should walk every day, rain or shine, but the day Nell and I got caught in a terrific thunderstorm is still too fresh on my mind to allow myself to be enticed out onto the trail when the weather is unsettled.  That day, the storm caught up with us right about the place where Millie is standing and staring at the deer.  I will just say that by the time we got home, I was the wettest I had ever been in my entire life...before, or since.  That was one time I was glad not to have taken my camera!















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Beginning to think about dressing a doll...





Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Weeds...








Yes, I know that I posted a picture of this old horse-drawn mower just a couple of weeks ago, but that was before the wildflowers weeds began to bloom.  I thought the photo was worthy of being posted again.  Actually, I rather like weeds, most of them, anyway.   In fact, I like to think of myself as being one. 

"I want all my friends to come up like weeds and I want to be a weed myself, spontaneous and unstoppable.  I don't want the kind of friends one has to cultivate."  

                                                                        ~Roger Deakins, Notes from Walnut Tree Farm



My dear childhood friend, Alice, and me...  Tragically, Alice moved
away not long after this picture was taken.
Friends--how I like to think back over the years and remember those who were so dear to me. I am reminded of this passage from L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables.

     Anne tipped the vase of apple blossoms near enough to bestow a soft kiss on a pink-cupped bud, and then studied diligently for some moments longer.
     "Marilla," she demanded presently, "do you think that I shall ever have a bosom friend in Avonlea?"
     "A--what kind of a friend?"
     "A bosom friend--an intimate friend, you know--a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.  I've dreamed of meeting her all my life.  I never really supposed I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true all at once that perhaps this one will, too.  Do you think it's possible?"

I also think the great fiction writer, Louis L'Amour must have known a thing or two about true friendship, for he wrote so eloquently about it.  In the following passage two dear friends Tom Watkins and Barnabas Sackett are about to take their last stand against a band of warring Senecas.

     He looked around at me. "D' you reckon we'll make it, Barnabas?"
     "Do you wonder, Tom?
     He was silent, and the fire crackled.  Somewhere out there the wind moved through the trees.  "I reckon not, Barnabas.  I reckon I knew from the moment we straddled a horse for this ride that we wasn't goin' but one way this time."
     "We've ridden a good trail together, Tom, a long ride since that night on the edge of the fens."
     "You're a man, Tom Watkins, a man to ride down the warpath with...or any path.  You were there when the long guns spoke, and you were beside me when the blades were drawn...and when they were sheathed...and you never shirked a job that needed to be done."

"...when the blades were drawn...and when they were sheathed..."   Now, there's the thing of it --a true friend is there in the good times as well as in the bad.  There really aren't many friends like Tom Watkins, who's going to be there through the best and worst of times--someone to talk to all night--someone who loves you for who you are.  But, heck, when I found that person, I just married him!



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This is the sculpt as it is today--still lots of work to be done.  To get an idea of what this little person might look like, I have drawn in temporary features.  It amazes me how once a little face is in place, particularly the eyes,  that suddenly there's another presence in the room--someone watching and wondering.  I think she's a weed!