Murdo Girl…Big scare

I had a family member whose favorite expression was, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.” He always talked about his bad luck. I’m not like that. If I dropped to my knees everytime I thought something bad was going to happen, but it didn’t, I would be on the floor most of the time.

Take the time I flew from Casper, WY to Billings, MT. My company decided to send me to take care of our little real estate loan office in Billings. I would be there for three days while the staff went to a training meeting in the home office. I will begin the story at the Casper, airport.

I already had my ticket, so I went to the counter to get my boarding pass. The name of the airline was Big Sky. I asked the lady helping me if I could please have an aisle seat. She leaned over the counter and said, “Honey, they’re all aisle seats. I thought she was kidding. I didn’t know how small the airplane was until I walked out on the tarmac. When I saw it, I turned around to leave and ran straight into Kip, who had decided he’d better see me off.


I got on the plane and sat directly behind the pilot and co-pilot. There was no barrier between us. A man boarded and sat behind me. Another man sat behind him, and a woman sat on the other side. Without getting up from his seat, the pilot asked the second man on my side to move across the aisle, so the airplane would be more balanced.

I wanted to ask everyone how much they weighed, but I held off. As we took off, the man behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, “They call this airline, Big Scare.” I started to feel light-headed and then we took off. Just as the pilots were trying to get high enough to get over the Big Horns, It started to rain. The extremely capable pilots turned the windshield wipers on.

“Looky here!” The co-pilot said. “My wipers only work half the time. I sure hope you can see okay.”

“Yeah, I can see okay…as long as it doesn’t rain too hard.”

I was not believing this, but what was I going to do? Bail out over the mountains! Everyone on that airplane was letting all the air out of their lungs in hopes it would help us climb higher.”

We finally made it to Billings and for the next three days, I worried about flying back. Little did I know…..

There was one other person sitting there and no pilots. Finally, here came the same two who had flown me to Billings. “Sorry we’re late,” the pilot said. “We had to fill out some paperwork.”

I was grateful when in no time at all, we began our descent. Once we landed, I looked around at surroundings I had never seen before. Someone came running out onto the tarmac as the pilot struggled to open his window.

“What are you doing here?” The guy asked. “You aren’t supposed to land in Sheridan. It’s a straight flight to Casper.

“Oh,” said the pilot. “Do you have any paperwork for us to sign?” When the airport guy shook his head, the pilot turned around and asked his two passengers if we wanted to go inside and use the bathroom. We both declined.


(Our house in Casper)

The next day, when I got to work, the first thing I did was ask my boss if she knew anything about Big Sky Airlines. She looked at me rather sheepishly.

“A little,” she confessed. “A friend of mine was on the plane and they forgot to put her bag in the baggage compartment, It got caught in the propeller or they ran over it or something, and she saw her clothes, most of them new, flying all over the tarmac. Those pilots got an earful,”

“Must be why the pilots have so much paperwork,” I said to her as I talked myself into forgiving her. Later it began to set in. “I must be the luckiest girl in the world,” I thought.

It was definitely a kneel down on the floor moment and I was grateful there was a floor beneath my feet.

Murdo Girl…You don’t have to be crazy

No…You don’t have to be crazy to be my friend. I’ll train you!

Happy Friday!

When I was in the eighth grade, we moved to a new school building. Our teacher suddenly became obsessed with the black marks our shoes were making on the shiny new floor. One day after school, thinking we were alone in the room, some of us started to mock him. I would look under someone’s desk and say, “Just look at this gigantic black mark!! These two tiles are ruined I tell you! From now on, this kid is going to be wearing snoopy slippers to school, and not those slippers with the skid resistant foot. I haven’t had a chance to investigate the damage they can do to this gleaming new floor.”

Then I would kneel down and kiss his precious floor..

Just as I had completed my exaggerated imitation and it was someone else’s turn, I looked up and saw the teacher standing there, looking at me, arms folded, and slowly shaking his head.

He said, “Mary, (I wasn’t MG yet), I stay up nights worrying about you, and I worry, and I worry, and I worry.” And then, he turned and walked out.

Tammy Lindquist Van Dam and I standing outside the school that was new in 1966. Tammy works there and does so much for the school, the kids and the community. I was her babysitter many years ago.

I made a short video of some of you who, as far as I know, have not yet discussed an intervention regarding my, ” lighter side.” I’m sure I’ll look at it later and say, “Oh, No! I forgot someone who should be in there.” Please forgive me. I love all of my friends. You’re the best!

*The video did not include the 50 pics it was supposed to. I added some of them at the beginning of the blog

Murdo Girl…1960 phone etiquette

I grew up without caller ID. We had a rotary dial phone upstairs and one on the wall downstairs. If you were home, you had to answer the phone, because there was no way to screen the calls, nor did anyone have answering machines.

Mom had some great strategical compensation methods to substitute for things that weren’t invented yet. She was also very impressed when she learned of a new strategy from someone else.

You’ve probably heard about the idea of putting get well cards all over your house which would explain why your house looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in weeks. This was great in case someone dropped by unexpectedly, but what about those unwanted phone calls. You know, the ones from people wanting you to do something.

Mom was no different from most people when they’re caught off guard. If you have no time to think, the answer out of your mouth is usually…yes. It’s hard to say, no. Without a well thought-out reason for saying no, it doesn’t “ring” true to the caller on the other end. A long silence on your end, doesn’t cut it either. What a dilemma. After you said, yes, it took a lot of time and trouble to back-peddle.

It was actually my aunt who came up with the solution. She began to answer every phone call sounding like she was sick. “Helooow,” she said in a voice you could barely hear. After a couple of weak coughs, she added, “who iiis this?”

If it was someone she wanted to talk to, she perked right up. If not, she had a ready reason to say no if she wanted to.

It was Mom who came up with a plan to take care of long-winded callers. She would say, “Please, tell me all about your granddaughter’s visit, and don’t leave anything out.” Then Mom simply hung up on herself. Her thought was, no one would believe she hung up on herself.

“What if the caller thought they had unfortunately been disconnected?” You might ask.

Well, Mom took the phone off the hook for thirty minutes or so, which was very irritating to those of us at home. We had to listed to the beep, beep, beep of the busy signal.

In later years, I had to laugh when Mom suddenly hung up on me. By then, she had gotten into the habit of hanging up when she was finished talking. She didn’t bother with good-byes.

I wrote this poem a few years ago about the calls between Mom and Aunt Ella, (Val’s mom).



Hi Mom, I called to…Mary is that you?

Yes Mom, I want to…I called Ella today. I had some “news” to tell. To get a word in edgewise, I really had to yell!

Well, Mom how long…Oh, we talked an hour, and it was on my dime. If she wants to talk again, she’ll have to call next time.

So, Mom…I’d tell you what she said, but it was blah, blah, blah. If you really want the truth, I forgot it, ha, ha, ha.

I only have a minute Mo…I went shopping with my coupons. I thought I’d save a ton. They told me they were all expired, no more two for one. Say, last time I saw you, I was constipated. Did I tell you prune juice, is highly overrated? I use Metamucil now, two teaspoons to a cup. You should try it dear, you really sound bound up.

1-IMG_20160506_0002 (1)

I have a question Mom…I have a tickle in my throat. I’m sure that I’ll start coughin…It’s been fun catching up. You should call more often.

I’ve been trying to reach you Mom, but it’s been really hard….

Oh never mind, this Mother’s Day, I’ll just send a card.

I heard her hang the phone up. She was in a tizzy.

I knew, if I called her back again, the line would still be busy.

She’d be calling sister Ella, so they can talk in rhymes.

I know for sure that every day, they talk at least three times.



Ella and Loretta Sanderson…sisters and friends

Murdo Girl…Standing or sitting?

Do you remember how your mother cared for her skin? I do! People who read my blog have seen lots of Loretta pictures and heard countless Loretta stories. Mom was one of a kind, and she was beautiful.

Almost every night she would, as she called it, “greeze” her face. She used Ponds cold cream faithfully, and as a kid, I thought her face looked a little greasy most of the time. I do think it helped her hold off the wrinkles beyond the usual time of their appearance.

The most important thing Mom did to save her skin was to avoid the sun. That choice came before we knew about the damage sun does to our skin. Mom had a fair complexion and had gotten one bad sunburn, which was enough to make her decide she wasn’t meant to have a tan.

There was one piece of advice she gave me about aging and your face. She said, “There comes a time in a woman’s life when she must choose between her body and her face. You can be thin and your face will look drawn, or you can be a little plump, have prettier skin, and sit down a lot.”

I’ve tried both ways, and I don’t like either of them…In October, I chose to give Rodan and Fields skincare products a try. Lash Boost alone will make you a believer, but use one of the four regimens and there will be no going back.

My experience with Lash Boost…

Taken November 18th I was very proud of my growing lashes.


I just now took my glasses off and took the photo below. I’m not wearing makeup or mascara.


I occasionally put Lash Boost on my brows, too and they have almost totally filled-in where I have over-plucked.

Lash Boost is $150.00 retail and $135.00, if you are a preferred customer. I began using it “pretty” faithfully around the end of October while on a two month RV trip. I am still using my original tube.

This is the regimen that I use…

Several people have given me the huge compliment of taking the time to tell me they think I’m really looking great! Some don’t know why. One friend said she’s been keeping an eye on me and has seen a major improvement in my skin.

Give me a call at 214-392-9302, or email Message me on Facebook. Check out the solutions tool on my website……Let me show you how to become a preferred customer and get great savings.

What have you got to lose?

Murdo Girl…Testing 1..2..3

Testing, testing, one, two, three. I’m prepping for a colonoscopy.

It started with a lingering cold. I went to the doctor who began to scold.

He said I needed a physical. The last one was two years ago.

Considering all the things he found, I’m surprised I’m even still around.

He said my blood pressure was through the roof. I smiled and asked, “Is this a spoof?”


My cholesterol was way too high…must have been all that Christmas pie.

He sent me to a dermatologist, who sent my skin to a radiologist.

I need dental work on my pearly whites, or I’ll be gumming food not taking bites.

The doctor didn’t tell me so, but there’s another place that I must go.

I’ll be seeing the optometrist. I’ll begrudgingly add him to my list.

When a car behind me tried to pass, instead of slowing down, I hit the gas.

Home and rest were in my sights, but l didn’t see the policeman’s lights.

Don’t worry, I’m going to be just fine. I caught the problem just in time.

I’ve been freed by the simple truth. Those doctors tried to steal my youth.

I’ll stay home when I have a cold and I’ll decide when I get old!

I didn’t even have a chance to show those docs how well I dance.

Murdo Girl…It’s never too much!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I don’t remember exactly when I started to write about my memories of growing up in Murdo. That amazing little town in South Dakota. It was long before I started writing the blog which began as a way of recording our RV trips. The first long trip we took was in September of 2015.

I wrote down everything I remembered about Murdo because I didn’t want to forget all of those rich stories about all the wonderful people who lived there…all 800 of them.

I started with the memory of my brother, Billy, becoming a runner for the food swap ladies. He took Mom’s leftovers to Bonna Lindquist and Bonna’s leftover goulash to Kitty Reynolds and Kitty’s ham and beans to Mom’s sister, Aunt Elna, who sent him back to our house with a tuna casserole.

After I had written about every last thing I could remember, guess who I called? Yup…my cousin Valerie. I read a few stories to her over the phone and it wasn’t long before we were laughing so hard, we were crying. Val and I had some pretty wild adventures together as kids, and I hope she’s having as much fun with all the crazy things we do now, as I am.

It would not be the fun it has become if it weren’t for Lav. She is the absolute best sport and doesn’t hesitate to jump right into whatever crazy turn the blog takes. She is the hootiest.

She started the whole idea of the Combo Awards by sending me a trophy for Christmas.

Lav has been Next Pres in the Brickhouse Stories, a Queen E stand-in, a road trip side-kick, and played countless other roles. She has performed raps, happy birthday tributes, and dances for blog videos and comes up with a lot of crazy ideas, herself. She never tells me I’ve gone too far. We often tease about what her mom, my Aunt Ella, would say when things got complicated. She would say, “It’s too much!! It’s just too much!!

I can tell you right now, I never would have ridden in the Murdo All School Reunion Parade. I can’t imagine sitting on the back of a red convertible all by myself! Lav came as a rather young looking Queen E and sat there with me. We had a ball.

I love you Lav. I could write pages, but I’ve got to let the cat in 🙂 Just kidding!

You’re the best, Cuz! We’re taking a road trip in May to see all of our friends, right?

Murdo Girl…Cut!!

You are about to see the taping of the Combo Awards Show. If I hear someone yell, CUT, one more time, I’ll come after them with the hedge trimmers we used to stop the filming. That being said, I didn’t leave much on the cutting room floor. Lav”s satellite appearance is in here, but don’t strain too much to hear it, because It’s in a separate recording at the end!

Below is a word from our Proud Sponsor. (Sorry, Our CUT lady was busy.)


This is a hoot, Lav. You are my hero and the best sport, ever. Thank you so much for going up in that satellite just for me. Uh, I don’t want to spend a lot of time up there shining down on everyone just yet, though…

I hear they have one two time winner of the Bicentennial Combo Awards in England…


A great big thanks to Pat Davis, Jean Robinson, and Yolie Beavers. I won’t be making eye contact with you for a while because I owe you all a HUGE favor.


Kip said my Cherry something looked like raw hamburger meat,

Murdo Girl…Who’s who at the Combo Awards

I hope the soon to be released production of the promised Combo Awards Show brings you a laugh or two, because we cracked up all the way through it. Poor MG has been trying to recreate her days as a young queen. Can you imagine how important she felt sitting in that horse-drawn wagon in a 4th of July parade? She later had the honor of being Murdo High School’s Homecoming Queen…that was forty-nine years ago. If you ask me that’s a long time to recreate. This production should put the whole thing to bed. Let’s hope so.




The Judge, aka Pie Lady, aka Church Lady, aka Airy, has played an important role judging pies at the Texas State Fair. On the flip side, she has been known to talk the police, (who occasionally stop her for speeding), out of a ticket by telling them she sings in the choir and is distressed because she forgot her music at home. And…if he insists on talking about her slightly heavy foot, he’ll have to follow her to church.

The Presenter/Master of Ceremonies …aka Patty Cake can always be relied upon to show up just for the dessert. Thankfully she’s fun, reads well, is a good sport, and doesn’t try to sneak out early. She’s also a whiz at fixing gowns with duck tape.

The Videotographer/CUT Person aka Windy, also in charge of wigs and shawls. She really knows her way around a camera and is a collector of props. Don’t let her park behind you, or you might have to wait while she packs up! She is a stand-up person which is good, because we were short of chairs.


Lav Yekcel…aka Queen E, convertible groupie and foodie….and… Murdo Girl, aka MG, aka Yram Sicnarf, (crack-up reporter), wannabe singer, dancer, and Queen.




**Full production scheduled for Saturday night, unless Kip and I decide to have date night at Burger King…

Murdo Girl…Forever Friends

First of all, I would like to say a big Happy Birthday to my friend and former classmate, Eddie Jackson. He and his wife Mari have been loyal friends of the Murdo girl blog and me. Eddie wrote stories about growing up on a ranch west of Murdo and the challenges of moving to a town school after going to a country school. His older sister was Connie Jackson. She was the person I wanted to be like. Eddie’s memories are a big part of Connie’s Story, a book I wrote about an angel and a little girl.

This is one of the stories Eddie wrote describing a memory he had about an adventure he shared with his sister, Connie. For the purpose of our book, it is written as if it was told from Connie’s perspective.
There was a Willys jeep on the ranch where my family lived, the small type like you see army officers running around in during movies. It had a canvas top and vacuum driven windshield wipers. Many times we would be going through muddy pastures and mud and water would be splashing on the windshield, and when you needed the wipers most, you were driving blind because you were trying to power through the gumbo. You would have to briefly let up on the gas and let the wiper make a swipe and then you hit the gas before you came to a stop or you would probably be stuck.
One day Dad had to go out in the hay field and work on some machinery, and he took my little brother Eddie and me with him. We were probably five and seven, maybe a little older. All I know is that I could not sit in the seat and reach the foot pedals. I decided I wanted to take the jeep for a spin, so I had Eddie sit on the floor and I instructed him on how to run the pedals. I was going to steer and shift gears, while standing on the seat. We had it planned out how Eddie would push in on the clutch and I was going to shift gears while he kept pushing on the gas pedal.
I got the jeep started and Eddie was pushing on the gas pedal and away we went. I was telling Eddie to push in the clutch, but he looked back and Dad had run and jumped on the rear bumper. He was yelling, “Do not push in on that clutch!” Eddie didn’t do it and he also took his foot off the gas. The caper was over. We didn’t get into trouble that day for taking off in the jeep. I think Dad was pretty sure we wouldn’t be trying it again anytime soon.

Eddie and I were Homecoming King and Queen in 1969 and graduated together in 1970. We didn’t see each other for over forty years.

Through a series of events, Eddie, Mari, Don Edwards, and my cousin Valerie all met up at the 2016 Murdo All School Reunion. We had a blast… and now, we stay in better touch with each other.

We’re all hoping we can make it to the 2021 reunion. Val and I are hoping we can wear our crowns and gowns and ride in the red convertible in the reunion parade. Our goal is to get in and out of the car under our own power. We plan to channel the stamina and endurance of our grandfather, M.E. Sanderson. We’ll be fine.

So, have a great birthday, Eddie, my friend. Take care of yourself. We have big plans for 2021 and you and Mari better not disappoint us,!

Murdo Girl…Lav’s Boogie Woogie

Lav is a person with many talents and unlike me, she isn’t shy about showing off. I mean performing. Although, it escapes me why she wears dark glasses in all of her shticks. I have a few more comments as we watch her doing a boogie shoes dance.

Pause the tape when you can see the bottom of her shoes. Those must be her gardening shoes. See how dirty they are? She probably has mud all over her house.

I had to restrain myself from doing elaborate moves. I was unable to zip my dress all the way up. I’m waiting for a shipment of red duct tape so I can fix the back and the sleeve. You go, Lav. I wish you all the best…please, dear viewers, hit the arrow.WAIT!!!

Somebody wants an ice cream sammich…


Now…back to the dance…Wow what an ending!!! I was a little worried at first when she almost fell over backwards.

One more thing. I only wore one crown the whole way through Dancing Queen. It needs new batteries. The rhinestones flash. It’s not about me, right? Lav got a little crazy at the end and switched hats? I think she just needed an excuse to leave the room to catch her breath.


You know what, Lavish? You can mooove, baby!! See ya Saturday night at the awards show. I haven’t received my invite yet. Have you?


Na Na Na Na Na na….