Murdo Girl…Before and after

I really did not expect the response I got from last night’s post. You are all incredibly kind, but the thing that has me most excited, is all of the suggestions I received for a variety of blog topics. Karen Lindquist and others came up with some great Murdoite memory ideas. I have to admit, I have been helped by many of you in the past. The campaign was suggested by my cousin Bob Haverberg. Valerie has had several gems and she’s such a good sport. Eddie and Mari Jackson have provided ideas and most of the photos of our high school years. Sheila came up with the idea for A I, whom everyone loves, and Laura offered to be the Town Crier, and wear her cheese head. Jerry the Bean Counter, Sherri the Photographic Drawer, and Carol the singer may have been products of my imagination run wild at first, but you have all taken ownership and made each character your own. Teresa, who is Treason the Coyote Liaison, also helped spawn the idea of having the Queen be a regular.

I see clearly now the direction Murdo Girl should take. It will be about a variety of things, from Murdo stories, to Mrs. E. stories, to the evolution of Murdo Matters., and beyond.

That being said…It’s all about Mrs. E. today.

Since I mentioned Mrs. E. in my last post, I’ve been thinking about her more than usual, which is really quite often.

Because of a suggestion from someone I have a lot of respect for, I am going to write this story about Mrs. E. It is not what I would have done just yet. I would have told the stories from the beginning, but I decided I wanted to accept the challenge. You will find out what the challenge was at the end of the story.

I came home after the first day with with Mrs. E. and told Kip I wasn’t going to tell anyone about this job right away. I was seriously doubting that Mrs. E. and I would make it together. I felt that way for a while, as I’m sure she did, but the days turned into weeks, and the weeks into years.

I had been with her five mornings a week for a few months and we were making pretty good progress. The biggest problem I was having was getting Mrs. E. to take a bath. She was partially paralyzed on her left side, and it was a pretty big ordeal for her. Fortunately, her daughter was able to train me how to help Mrs. E. maneuver from the wheelchair to the bathroom stool, and onto her shower chair. I could then help her with her bath. We had another system to get her back into the wheelchair. I would push her to the bedroom where she had a pole with a crossbar near the bed. She could pull herself up and swivel around on her good leg and get onto her bed. I would help her get dressed and back into the wheelchair.

One morning, when I arrived, she informed me that she wanted me to dye her hair red. Her daughter kept it clipped in a cute short style, so I knew it wouldn’t be a big problem to color it. We told her daughter about our plan and she agreed to purchase some hair color for us.

The next morning, Mrs. E. met me at the door. Her hair color kit in hand. I said,” Great! Lets go get this on your head!” We got all the dye on and while we waited, I asked her if she wanted me to do her nails. I immediately regretted asking, because I knew better. Mrs. E. usually only agreed to do things if it was her idea. If I suggested something, she always said no. As expected, she said no, and I just shrugged my shoulders like it was no big deal. I also knew she wanted me to coax her. When I didn’t, it ruined all her fun.


When the buzzer went off, indicating it was time to rinse the dye, I started to wheel her to the bathroom. She hadn’t thought about rinsing. She didn’t get to decide about the shower this morning. She didn’t get to use her wily ways like asking me if it was cheaper to take a shower or a spit bath. It was amazing how much she wanted to save on the water bill on cold days. This time, the jig was up and she reluctantly let me get her into the shower. We got her hair rinsed out and finished getting her dressed and ready for the day. She was smiling from ear to ear.

We had taken a before picture, so now it was time for the after photo. She didn’t look at me when she said, “You know, if you reeeaally want to polish my nails, I guess it would be alright.”


Judy Dykstra Brown, as I’m sure most of you know, has a blog called Lifelessons. She is amazingly talented, and if you haven’t checked it out you should. She is extremely creative and talented in both her writing and photography. Each day, she takes the word of the day challenge and works her magic from the prompt she gets.

Judy read my blog yesterday, and gave me a prompt. The prompt was fingernails. How do you think I did?



Tomorrow, we’ll get an update on the goings on at The Brick House. I’m starting to miss the Murdo Coyotes.

20 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Before and after

  1. lifelessons August 25, 2016 / 11:37 pm

    See how great it is to have a word to swing your thoughts off???? It just sorta draws words to it. Mrs. E looks like her own daughter!!! What a difference a dye job and some color on the fingernails makes. I think Mrs. E is a winner. I’m anxious to hear the next installment and you are right. It doesn’t have to be sequential. Thanks for taking a risk and following the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch August 26, 2016 / 12:07 pm

      Really fun.Thanks Judy.Maybe you could throw a prompt my way once a week. How are you and Frida doing?

      Liked by 1 person

      • lifelessons August 26, 2016 / 2:16 pm

        We spent all morning at the vet’s waiting in line. She was okay until a couple of big dogs (bigger than her–she’s pretty big) came in. Then I had to take her to the car to wait for 1.5 hours and she wouldn’t come out. Vet had to go to car to give her a shot and she growled–which she didn’t do before. Then I had to hurry back for an appt. with the tile guys.. about a 1/2 hour drive from vet’s to my house… and they called a half hour after they were to be here to ask if they could come at 4–so now I’ll drive back to town to do errands and use mall wifi.. This is exhausting with no internet..Also found out Frida needs to be taken back to have her stitches out–2 days after I leave! So I’ll have to find someone to take her. Perhaps the house sitters..Always so much to do anyway before I leave. I did get my house taxes pd. after going to three different offices. They’ve changed the location of the office five times in 15 years. Ahhhh Mexico. Love it anyway. I’m just going on… but I’m okay and Frida seems semi-okay so long as I don’t put the collar of shame on her. That drives her (and me) craaaaazy and to punish me she keeps running it into the back of my legs which hurts.. plus knocking over everything in the house and getting stuck in the underbrush so I have to crawl in to take it off and save her. She is turning into a crusty old girl and stubborn to boot. 12 years old. Fifteen years older than moi in dog years.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Francis McNinch August 26, 2016 / 2:30 pm

        I saw her picture and she really is a beauty. Glad you’re feeling better.How long will you be gone?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. countrygirl57 August 25, 2016 / 10:09 pm

    Love the story. Mrs E is “one of a kind”. She is very lucky to have you in her life. ❤️❤️

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch August 25, 2016 / 10:22 pm

      I am grateful for the time I had with her. We were a good match.


  3. Mary Francis McNinch August 25, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    I didn’t have time to list all of your talents and virtues. Still eating FF huh? You’ve got us all beat cuz!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sanjuan831 August 25, 2016 / 10:22 pm

      Trying to get off those FF…too sugary. Distracted by the box still.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. sanjuan831 August 25, 2016 / 9:26 pm

    I think you did grrrreaaat! What a fun story about Mrs, E. I recall you telling me about her before. Thanks for the complement about me being a good sport. You are kind and it is so easy being a good sport around you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. scoper07 August 25, 2016 / 6:41 pm

    What a challenging and a rewarding job it must be. You have done well explaining the relationship you two had. The world needs more people with your talents Murdo Girl. Mrs E was fortunate you showed up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch August 25, 2016 / 7:13 pm

      You’re late 07. You are going to hear a lot about her and you will love this lady! BTW I was the lucky one by far.


      • scoper07 August 25, 2016 / 7:23 pm

        It has cooled off here so I mowed the lawn after work. I only have one speed when I mow….slow. Great story. Was she a red head in younger years? There are lots of red heads in my family.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Francis McNinch August 25, 2016 / 7:35 pm

        Good question. She said she had been a redhead, but in the pictures I saw it was dark brown (I think.) I’m sure she probably dyed it before in her younger years.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Mari Jackson August 25, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    How fortunate, Mrs.E is to have you! Another great blog, MG and you shared that the word of the day is: fingernails! 🙂
    You asked for our comments, YOU DID WELL!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mary Francis McNinch August 25, 2016 / 6:37 pm

      Thanks Mari. It was fun to take the challenge. With Mrs. E., I was the lucky one.


  7. sherri miller August 25, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    How did you do? Wonderful, as always! Mrs. E. is turning out to be a lot like I had imagined her. A little challenging and full of a lot of spunk! I am sure many of us have had or will have similar experiences with someone a lot like her. And, someday, many of us, if, hopefully, we have the capacity to, will see ourselves in her. Caring for an elderly person may have its challenges, but what a beautiful and worthwhile experience. Thanks, Murdo girl! Loved it and look forward to hearing more about your times with this special lady.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch August 25, 2016 / 5:56 pm

      Sherri..Thanks for your encouraging words. I love doing the blog, but I wanted to stay true to Murdo. I realize the saying that you can take the girl out of Murdo, but you can’t take Murdo out of the girl is true. I know you can well relate. I thought of Mrs. Theissen several times in those four years, hoping she could see how “useful” I was becoming.


      • sherri miller August 25, 2016 / 10:34 pm

        We know where your heart is, Murdo girl. It’s always in the right place!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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