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 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...


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!


Beginning to think about dressing a doll...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


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!



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!                                            

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

In Like a Lion...

Spring at woods' edge...

 There are plenty of folks around here who will readily proclaim, because of last night's damage from strong thunderstorms and possible tornados, that March definitely came in like a lion.  The rain was a blessing, of course, but we could have well done without all the rest. Today the winds are still blowing, but the sun is shining, and spring, which had seemed to be lingering just at woods' edge, came joyously rushing across meadow and field, tinting them in hues of green.

Millie and her daily splash in the pond...


The final version is FINA!. It is traced with a Sharpie onto template plastic...something I have never done before, because it has never been final before!  (It only took me twenty years!)

Miss Chip's Doll Pattern... 

Final prototype (She sits well.)...