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..."

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

For the Glory of the Garden...

"Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!"
~Rudyard Kipling

The motley bronze hues of this enchanting little creature seem to match perfectly with other old rusty iron pieces  found here and there in the garden.  I can't help admiring its handsome long legs and its fascinating coiled-like tongue (proboscis), through which it drinks. 

Well past its prime, this giant zinnia is still beautiful.  The California Giants have taught me to love pink in the garden again!    

Rust and Red... A nice look for a country garden, I think.

This year's garden, with its bright tapestry of colors, is fading fast and will soon be put to rest,  but "if the Lord's willing and the creeks don't rise,"  I will be out here again next spring..."upon my knees."

Monday, September 11, 2017

Don't forget your "jumper"...

"Don't forget your jumper," my dad would often remind me when I was a kid and going out on a chilly day. I never thought much about his use of the word "jumper" when I was young, but later began to wonder about it.  I might just think it was because  he was a sailor, for one of the meanings given in the Oxford dictionary is "a loose outer jacket worn by sailors,"  but I seem to remember his dad, my grandfather, calling his Big Smith denim jacket a "jumper."  Well, no matter, I like the word, so "a jumper it'll be when I head over the trail on  cool, crisp mornings such as this morning.  My corduroy "jumper" did feel good!

And, how about wearing a jumper like the one pictured above?  Talk about "stylin'!  This is one of my favorites from Boro, Rags and Tatters from the Far North of Japan.  (Yukiko Koide & Kyoichi Tsuzuki).

"Situated dead-end on the northernmost tip of the main island of Honshu, Aomori was home to dirt poor farmers who, out of desperate necessity, created an astonishing textile aesthetic out of boro - mere rags. Everything from work clothes to babies diapers to futon bedding for the long winter nights was sewn from stiff, scratchy hemp cloth.  And, if a single layer wasn't warm enough, they stitched and reinforced layer on layer, patching holes and stuffing hemp fuzz in between for whatever little insulation they could get.  Boro was the shape of survival in this inhospitable land."

Bag made of hemp...


My latest stitching creations, which I like to call "Rice Bag Therapy," have become a big hit here in our neck of the woods.  These bags of rice are made from soft cotton knit that I salvaged from a pair of old Land's End Pants.  The bag shown here has eight sections which keeps the rice evenly distributed so it can be more easily applied to a knee, neck, or back.  Now, when those old aggravating aches and pains show up at the end of a long day's work, we just pop our bags into the microwave for about a minute, and soon enjoy warm, soothing relief!  (Warning:  I did break a couple of machine needles.  I suppose hand stitching the seams is also an option.)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Soon September will blaze a trail into these hills and valleys...

We are hoping she (if September is a she) will give us time to get the hay baled and hauled from the fields.  The hay lots are beginning to fill up so there should be ample feed for the cattle this winter.

Google Earth tells the story. I zoomed in on a couple of the Cowboy's lots just for the fun of it.  (According to Google these images are from October 2014.)  I am amazed that he can so precisely arrange the rolls of hay from the seat of his pants on a John Deere Tractor.

One hay lot, and...


I could well become a world traveler just by zooming in on far-away places, but for this time,  I clicked  on an old rusty barn (and the hay lots) right here on our little mountain top farm.