We’re getting ready to leave on an RV trip in a few days. I have to pinch myself to believe it. We went on a COVID trip last fall, visiting State Parks and the part of the Grand Canyon that’s near Flagstaff, AZ. It was a fun trip and so good to get away during the COVID lockdown. We were mostly outside and there were no crowds.
This year we have 2 different dogs that we are in the middle of training and we’re hoping on the road is a good time and place to do it.
My name is now Nellie. I’m one of the new dogs
I’d like to meet the readers of the Murdo Girl blogs
The dogcatcher found me wandering the streets
I love my new home…man its sooo SUWEEET!
I had it all to myself for a almost a month
Then along came dufus who’s a feisty little runt.
We have something in common. We both lived “At Large.”
We hid from dog catchers and ate tasty Garbau’ge.
Our twains didn’t meet until we got to this house.
I came from the North, Dufus (I mean Rylie came from the south.)
We’re trying to adjust, but it’s not always easy
At first eating dog food made my stomach feel queasy.
As for Rylie? Well he’s growing on me.
We’re going camping. Sounds like “At Large” used to be.
My Rhymes for all Times book is ready to purchase. Here’s what a few readers had to say about it…
Mary Francis McNinch says it all in the opening page of Rhymes for all Times, “…as we live the life we get to live.” She follows up with a delightful collection of her original poetry, prose, and even a bit of suspenseful.playwriting. You will meet your own family members, your friends, and your neighbors in her depiction of the ebb and flow of life. It is poignant, humorous, thought provoking, and spiritual, sometimes all at once. My.personal favorite is “He Stepped Up,” a lovely tribute to her stepfather. Take a bow, Mary…Judith Allison
I Just finished reading the book. I love, love, love it! So wonderful that you put all of your great writings together! I really enjoyed reading them all in this format. I have always known you are an amazing talent, MG, but having these all together really showcase what talent you have been blessed with. I can’t wait for this book to be made available so I can get my copy and some for family and friends. Thanks for letting me be a critique.on this. I would make no changes, as it is perfect just the way it is! (I really cried, happy tears, when I read Pete’s!) Love you! …Sherri Miller
Mary Francis McNinch, writer extraordinaire! Whatever your choice for reading material, be it children’s books, historical fiction, fantasy, suspense, memories, mystery, or just pure, fun, fiction, this talented writer either has or will be writing something that appeals to you. I believe this book, “Rhymes for all Times” is the “icing on the cake” as they say up to this point in time. I can’t wait to see what is next on the agenda for Mary. I know it will be something that we will not want to miss. PLEASE STAY TUNED!…Patricia Davis
Mary, I LOVE the Rhymes for All Times book!! That is a difficult project and you made it look so easy. My you evoked many happy, sad, funny, pathetic, weary, lovely emotions and stirring up memories throughout making me giggle one page then tear up on the next, and of course, I loved the “Sam Spade” pages!! You are truly the Queen of verse. Erma Brombeck who? I’m getting copies for my friends so from whom do I order?? Hugs, Jean Robinson
Rhymes for all Times comes in three different formats
The book above is laminate soft cover. It is black and white with muted graphics. I love the way it turned out. It can be purchased at Bookemon.com for $12.00 plus postage. If I order 2 or more books, I can get free postage. Email me at email@example.com if you want more than one. I will have them mailed directly to you from Bookemon.
Hard Cover – Black and white with minor graphics. It can be purchased on Amazon for $14.00 (It’s a pretty book.)
Please let me know if you have any problems ordering. I think Rhymes for all Times in any of these formats would make a great Christmas gift…
This is not about me doing something nice. It’s about others being nice to me. There is no doubt about it. I have some pretty special friends in my life.
For instance…last summer Kip and I took our RV to Rockport, TX and spent a couple of weeks parked next to some friends who spend the winters there. (They’re from Indiana. It’s cold in Indiana.)
One day, I mentioned to Molly that all of the placemats I could find were too big for my RV table. We were shopping at the time and she had picked out a piece of fabric thinking it was pretty and she would make something with it someday.
The very next morning, she came over with four placemats that were the perfect size. And then, she handed me the leftover fabric, saying, “Maybe you can cover the chairs with this.)… She knows me…she was joking.
Below, are the before pictures. I remember the day I picked these beauties out. Just kidding. They came with the RV.
My friend, Pat came to have coffee with me in the Cottage a couple of weeks ago and saw the fabric. Pat is very creative, and came up with an idea to cover the chairs. I picked them up today, and I’m delighted and excited.
Thank you Pat and Molly. You are both so caring and giving…
Yesterday, a package came in the mail, and inside was this beautiful doily. It was made by the 90 something friend of Dianna Diehm. I’m riding to Walmart with Kip and I don’ have her name with me. I tried it on the tabl. I will take it off while we eat.
One day a while back, a friend who is a very talented painter, posted a beautiful watercolor of her grandmother. I told her how amazing I thought it was that she could paint her own grandmother. She asked me for a photograph of one of my grandmothers, which I gave to her. I was gifted with this beautiful watercolor of my Grandma Francis. What a stunning likeness it is!
All of these friends will get a “Rhymes for all Times book from me…
Countless people have been kind to me in so many ways. I’m sure you have been the recipient of acts of kindness, too. I could write a book.
Mrs. E was 25 years my senior. Mom was 31 when I was born. These two women were raised during times that saw great change. Mom was in her 20’s when WWII broke out. Mrs E was 15 when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Like Mom, many of the men and boys in her life went to war.
When I first met Mrs. E, it had been about 4 years since a stroke had left her partially paralyzed on her left side. This event changed her life in a very big way. Her house was full of reminders of her many talents. She had beautiful crocheted bedspreads and afghans in her closets, and bookshelves full of jigsaw puzzles. She had gardened and in other ways, had been very active. She had to give up all those fun and rewarding pastimes after the stroke.
Knowing that many people of her generation loved to play bingo, I asked her if she had ever played the game. She said, “Oh yeah, that’s how I got my 4th old man.” This started a conversation about the men in her life. She made it clear to me that she was not a “rounder,” nor were any of the “old men” who had been important to her .
Over that four year period, I learned about these men. The happy times, and the tragedies that she experienced. As I tell you about our conversations, keep in mind that sometimes her memory played a few tricks on her, and she did sometimes embellish for effect. Something of course, I never do.
When she was a young teenager, little miss E, developed a crush on the boy who lived down the road. They spent evenings in his living room where they would lie on the floor propped up on their elbows, and listen to the radio with his folks. This is where they were when they heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked and the U.S. was entering WWII.
Mrs. E told me the young boy she was with went the very next day and enlisted. I waited for her to tell me more, but she just went back to eating her Spam sandwich. Finally, I asked, “What happened to the boy? Did he go overseas?” She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Oh yeah, he went over there, got killed and came back the same day.”
What was supposed to be her first date, with the man she eventually married, didn’t happen. She had agreed to go with him to some kind of a church or school social, but at the last minute, she chickened out. She climbed a tree in her front yard and waited. From her perch, she watched him come to the house and knock on the door. Her Mother answered and told him her daughter was around there someplace. They looked everywhere, but didn’t find her, so he finally left. She came down from the tree and went inside. She said her Mother never mentioned it.
Like many depression era families, she grew up very poor. She had to work in the cotton fields and couldn’t attend school. She told me how hard it was for her to go to school for the first time and try to join an 8th grade class. One day, as she waited for her school bus, she got sprayed by a skunk. She was so determined to go to school, she boarded the bus anyway. She made it all the way to school, but wasn’t allowed to stay and had to walk all the way back home. She never learned how to read or write anything but her name, however she was indeed street smart. She signed everything, even a birthday card to her daughter, “Best wishes, and always her full name.
She told me about her half brother who was about 4 years older. She called him Bubba. The two of them had some pretty wild escapades. They became irritated with a group of kids who walked passed their house each evening and sang loud songs. One day the pair spotted a dead animal, which gave Bubba an idea. The two of them found a board about the same size as the newly departed beast, who was looking pretty gruesome by this time. They nailed him to the board, and attached a long narrow rope to opposite sides of the board. Each took a rope and positioned the mounted animal beside the road. They hid themselves behind trees, one on each side. They were now ready for the singing children to come walking by.
It wasn’t long until they heard the familiar, yet irritating singing. They waited until the children were close enough to see the dead animal, but still couldn’t see the ropes. Bubba tightened his rope and slowly pulled the upright dead animal across the road in front of the kids, who by this time had stopped singing. Little E, slowly let her rope out as Bubba continued to pull the grotesque animal onto the kid’s path. Mrs. E told me those kids turned and ran as fast as they could. She and Bubba could hear the screaming above their own laughter. Apparently, the choir learned their lesson, because they never heard them come down the road singing again.
I thought of course this was the end of the story, but Mrs. E. went on to tell me that she and Bubba just left the mounted dead animal laying on the side of the road. That night, when they were called to supper, they had quite a surprise. Bubba and little E. sat on a bench pulled up to the table. When they were seated and ready to eat, their Father, left for a minute and came back with the dead animal still attached to the board and set it between them on the bench. I’m assuming this was his way of telling the pair he knew what they had done, and he did not approve. Mrs. E. said they both wished they could run away screaming, but they knew better. They sat there and ate their supper in silence.
Apparently Mrs. E’s father was a man of few words when it came to disciplining his kids. She told me of a time they got into some “Good Ole Mountain Dew,” and drank enough that it was noticed. Rather than say anything, he gave them an extremely bumpy wagon ride, until they felt the effects of drinking and riding. Both of them got pretty sick.
Mrs. E. could tell the stories with the best of them. She loved talking about the barn dances they had every Friday night. Her Dad played the fiddle and everyone had fun. We found a radio station that played those old familiar hoedown songs. I could tell by the look on her face that the music took her back to those special times. She knew all the words. I even knew a few of them.
It seems as we get older, the good times rise to the top like sweet cream, while the bad times no longer have the sting they once had. What a blessing that is…
Let’s see. Where were we? Oh yes. It’s a cold and windy day in the old town. Its almost too much for Detective W. Spade to handle. All that gum on his shoes was starting to wear on him, not to mention his good shoes. Et Al, also known as MG and Lav, were being held hostage near the North Dam (Probably in some dark and scary abandon shack.) As near as we can figure they are both captivated by one of the Cross brothers. We think that because his brother, Chris Cross told us he saw them there and they had dried concrete on their feet. It appeared that the cross Cross brother was heading for the dam with them.
Back to the dam: Berferd is in the shadows. He’s going to wait until the last minute and jump on the cross Cross brother right before he pushes the girls into the water. They would have to figure out how to get the concrete off their shoes by themselves. He wished they would hurry. The show uptown started in a couple of hours and he always goes to the show.
Back at the gingerbread house W Spade was trying to get the gum off his shoes, He had used the last of the Goo be Gone that morning. The gum had caused him to stick to the floor so when he tried to walk, only the top part went. he fell into the office chair which began to spin and the phone cord wound around his neck. (This would be an embarrassing scene if someone walked in.) It was Thursday and Friday had the afternoon so W. Spade was at the beck and call of his victims… The phone rang.
The voice on the end of the line said the girls were both in trouble.
W. better get his detective self to the North Dam on the double.
The cross Cross brother was out of sorts and Et Al were in his way.
If W Spade wanted to keep Et Al then he would have to pay.
W: I’m tired of paying smackaroos when I haven’t earned a dime.
A detective’s life is not his own. He’s always solving a crime.
Et Al need to learn the trade and save themselves instead.
Detective work is hard… some lesser slicks wind up dead.
I think I’ll fill up the El Camino and head westward later on.
but first I have to find the guy that Chris Cross Stumbled upon.
I know you’re all mighty anxious to hear what happens next
I found the dead guy who wasn’t dead but he sure was perplexed.
Vivian guy: I came all the way from Vivian to ask a girl to the dance.
I tripped and fell and hit my head before I got the chance.
Say, do you know two guys from Presho that go by the name of Cross?’,
W: I saw them leave town with two girls… I guess their gain was your loss.
Who were you sweet on Vivian guy? Was her name Et or Al?
W noticed the Vivian guy had a real South Vivian drawl.
Don’t answer that said W Spade be glad you had that fall.
Et Al have concrete on their feet so they can’t dance at all
Et: I don’t know Al. I feel like I’ve gained 10 lbs.
Al: Must be the rhubarb milkshakes or maybe it’s the concrete boots.