Saturday, February 27, 2021

Along This Mountain Stream...


February 2021

Over the years, I have taken many pictures along this mountain stream here in the Ozarks, but this is the first one taken with my phone camera.  There are noticeable changes  from season to season and from year to year, such as the eroding away of the creek bank on which this scarred old tree clings. Where I  once could plant my feet at its base, the tree now teeters on the edge as though it might, at any time, crash into the deep water below.  Raging flood waters have, through the years, hurled boulders against the trees  leaving them, now, vulnerable and weak. 

   It is here, on this high bank beside the old scarred tree, that we like to cast our fishing lines.  (Although I would much rather go exploring as you will see in the pictures below.) 

February 2021

February 2021

There's such a lovely little beach on the opposite side of the creek here where we like to make camp.  Hot dogs and marshmallows are oh-so-fine roasted over an open fire.  We once had a firepit of stones built here, but it was carried away in one year's flooding waters.  

We always try to be here on the longest day of the year when we so appreciate the coolness of the deep shade along the water's edge.  When the wild Magnolias bloom in the spring is the supreme time to visit these wild places.. unless the creeks are flowing out of their banks from seasonal rains, which they sometimes do.

On my birthday, the first of November, it is our practice to eat out... that is....out on the creek bank.  The weather is usually nice and the colors of fall are absolutely breath-taking. It always seems to me that the whole world is celebrating my special day. 

So, if you will, come along with me as we take a look at some of our favorite pictures from the past few years, all of which are from the big Canon Rebel.  


Every once in awhile, I wander down to the Indian bluffs.  Campers have left a lot of rubbish inside, which is a shame, but it does help give one a perception of just how large this space is.  One of my friends and teachers, Dixie Redmond, electronically brushed away all the junk and sent this updated picture back to me.  Now, that should please the spirits, don't you think? 

 Dan won't go inside.  He says there are spirits living there. I suppose he should know about such things for in his veins flows Native American blood. And, actually, he might be right because years and years ago, archeologists dug up a young Indian woman's skeletal remains there.  It, along with other artifacts found at this location is  now displayed in that department at the University.  

Until next time...

Take care!


Saturday, February 20, 2021

One More Look...

It's not often that we have this much snow, so are taking one more look before it's gone. 

The girls are back in the window from whence they came.  They are tucked back
 into their old familiar cans where they will feel secure until the final work is done.
is done. 

One of my favorite passages from Willa Cather in Death Comes For the Archbishop
has to do with things made by the human hand.

  "The thick clay walls had been 
finished on the inside by the deft palms of Indian women, and had that irregular
and intimate quality of things made entirely by the human hand."
~Willa Cather

The Granddaughter's Snow Bear... "that irregular and intimate quality."
I love it!

Thanks for stopping by our snowy woods this morning.  Take care

and keep your feet warm.  Spring is on the way!


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

This Ain't Montana...

Thanks to all for your comments on my last post. I love them!  I really was feeling kind of down about having to break my walking streak of more than three and a half years.   I thought nookworm, in her comment, put the whole thing in its proper perspective.  She wrote, "I'm glad you used common sense to not trek around as usual this time.  I'm sure when the storm is over you'll be back on the trail, enjoying it all and not having to worry about how many steps you count anymore.  It will be new and different to start back." In truth, I had begun lately to feel a little like Forrest Gump when he just suddenly stopped running and said, "I'm pretty tired...I think I'll go home now."  

 Yesterday, even though it was still very cold, the sun was shining so that Millie and I could walk our paths again. I took lots of pictures with my phone and thought they turned out quite well.  The first one was taken from the main road past our house, looking north.  In the next one Millie is feeling her oats, as they say, and gave the whitetails a friendly little chase just to keep them honest.  

Today, I had it in my mind that I would finish painting the last doll's face, but then sometimes, "the best laid schemes o' mice an' men. Gang aft agley..." (go awry)"... Robert Burns.  We were just finishing breakfast when our son pulled into the driveway with an almost frozen new-born calf.  So, my morning was spent working with the poor little thing.  I have never felt little feet so cold.  I really think the calf may make it though, but my fingers are crossed. 

But, back to the dolls... Four of them were all dressed up in borrowed clothes, so we had a little photo shoot.  Riata Millwright is still waiting for her final painting, so she had to sit this one out.  I have promised her that she will get her new clothes first, so she seems really happy about that. 

Linnie Estelle Butts

Named after my great-great grandmother

Jubilee Ione Cliff

She looks lovely in this borrowed frock and insisted on wearing the bonnet too.

Maggie Rose Gunderson

My granddaughter says she looks like she is in charge.  She does seem to have lots of resolve. I think she will go far!

Robert Mitcham's mother's maiden name was Gunderson, so that's where I snatched

that one. 

Jillie Anice Cooper

Her borrowed dress was a little small, but she liked it so much she insisted on 

wearing it.  It is made from a very old fabric cut from an old garment.  The fabric

is very delicate, dry-rotted a bit, I think.  It is one of my favorites, of course,  

because it's such a nice brown.  

And, speaking of brown, I think the Garden Shanty looks so nice painted brown, especially in the snow.

We will be back soon with a picture of Riata.  Take care!  



The Fifth Doll....  Added 02-19-2021

Riata Laverne Millwright

Monday, February 15, 2021

A Day in February...

Well, the streak is broken.  It had been 1,314 days since Millie and I hadn't walked these old hillside trails, but thanks to the historic winter storm that is moving across the U.S., that's all over.  I am surprised "the streak"  lasted as long as it did.  Why, that's over three and a half years that Millie and I have been out on these wonderful woodland paths, day after day, watching the seasons come and go in all kinds of weather.

  Not to say that we gave up easily today, for we both wanted badly to go.  Right up to the time darkness shrouded the hillsides, Millie was outside the door waiting.  It was all I could do to keep myself from  grabbing my warmest winter coat from its hook, grasping my old walking stick and heading with Millie over the  almost obscured snow-covered trails.  And, I would have if the temperature hadn't been somewhere between seven and ten degrees!  


We took a little spin, literally, around the farm to see what we could see.  I took my old Canon Rebel for a change and brought back some snowy black and whites. What happened to the green shades in the beautiful pine and cedar trees, I don not know.  (Guess I need to buy colored film next time!  Anyone remember those days?)

The Pond covered with ice and snow.

We checked closely on the older heifers that will soon be having their first calves.  The heifer below is Rosa who was so named after I fell in love with the story of Hannah Hauxwell and her beloved cattle, one of which was named Rosa.  I think a lot, these cold winter days, about Hannah and her solitary life with the cattle on the bleak Yorkshire Dales where winters were long and harsh.  I wrote about Hannah here when I first read her books. 

Hopefully, Millie and I will soon be back to our hillside treks, but from now on I will not be keeping numbers on the calendar.  We will just walk and enjoy...  In the meantime, we are under more winter storm warnings, so... 

Take care,


Thursday, February 11, 2021

"Turning tears and trials into beauty..."


"Turning tears and trials into beauty..." I am not sure where I read or heard that, but I found it written in my "Creating and Dressing a Doll" Journal.  

Actually, I am not sure I have ever shed a tear when making a doll.  Oh, I may have stomped my feet and tossed a few into the trash can (only to go back to retrieve them in a bit), but to actually cry.... No, I have not.  

The Five Best Friends Forever are progressing right along.  The two pictured, Jillie Cooper and Jubilee Cliff have their faces now.  These two sweet girls were brave to step up to be first.  There certainly has been a lot of guessing, testing, and revising for these two who have surged forward to break the waters.  But, one good thing for them, they are first out of the cans.  When the others get their faces, we will have a day for painting arms and legs.  

How's the weather over your way?  I try not to complain much about whatever comes, for that's not  in my department to change.  The weather here is unpleasant to say the least, but not so bad that Millie and I have missed a single walk over the hillside trail.  We are now on day 1,311 without missing.  Millie's always ready to go.  She's a great inspiration for without her, I might dream up a good reason for not going.  

I pulled the  picture below from my files taken a couple of years ago.  We haven't had much snow this year. (This morning the ground was covered in ice and sleet.)  However that may change before next week is over.  We are quite worried about the bitter cold heading over from Asia which could break records this far south.  We just don't see many zero and below zero nights here.  We worry most about the farm animals.  Hopefully, they will find a cedar thicket and hunker down.  

From our hearthside to yours, take care and keep warm.