Murdo Girl…I didn’t write a story

You are not going to believe this. I didn’t write a post today. No Connie story, no Brick House tale, no Murdo reminiscing, no poem, no rap, nothing about Fay, or Jerome. I didn’t make apple chips or Fern’s chocolate cake. I didn’t record myself singing. (Lucky for you.) I didn’t dig for old school papers, or tell other people’s stories.

Here is what happened. I had to have some work done on my house. Yes..the joys of homeownership! I had to do it though, because if left undone, this house would one day fall down around us.

Do you believe me? It is the truth. A lot of work needed to be completed. I have been dreading this day for over a year…and if you’ve ever experienced home improvements, you know how it is. If you make one room look great, then all the other rooms look shabby, so once you start, there really is no end to it.

Here’s what I did. I cleaned it…and I had to do it by myself, because Kip selfishly went to help a friend put a new sink in their kitchen. It’s funny isn’t it how selfish and selfless have a lot of the same letters in them, but are vastly different in meaning. A friend (Dianna), sent me something today that made me realize what a good Queen I am.


*And they shouldn’t be made to clean anything but their Crown!

I haven’t had to yet, but I would. Usually it just takes a little hot glue. I don’t know if it’s a Queen thing or not, but I even wear my crown when I clean, and sometimes accidents happen.

When I was feeling tired and haggard today, I started thinking about all of you and how much you mean to me. You have all come to know me so well. It’s impossible not to I guess when I write 1000 words a day about everything I know and some things I don’t know.

Everyone knows I love funny stories, Murdo, Crowns, water towers, animals, Bings, funny animal videos, Queen E, family, family memories, travel, shopping at GW, Connie like anything, did I say Crowns? I love older people too. Preferably older than me. I’m sure I have left out something.

This is how I know that you know me. Here are just a sample of the wonderful things you have seen that made you think of me. I have tons more, especially if I include all of the water tower photogaphs. I included banners and signs, recipe’s and wonderful photographs.

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So even though my hands are raw from hard labor, I know how grateful I should be. I guess you could call me a Cinderella Murdo Girl Queen.

Yeah, I like that. CMGQ..

Well, I have to go now. I stubbed my toe on the vacuum cleaner, so Kip fixed me a cup of tea.





Murdo Girl…What an abomination



Once upon a time, many years ago (about 60), there was a sister and a brother who were babysitting their two little sisters while their parents went to visit some friends for a couple of hours. It wasn’t long before a war of words, and a few actions ensued. What course would you imagine an altercation like this would take?

Both injured parties felt it was very important to document their side of the unsatisfactory situation. Karen and Kip were the documentors. Kristin and Karlyce the innocent young girls whose lives were entrusted to a couple of rebellious older siblings.

One important thing. When the youngest of the siblings, (Karlyce), later found the napkin Karen had written her tale on, and the lined paper Kip had written his ‘attorney like’ replies on, she made sure they were both preserved for posterity. (That’s you and me.)

(You can read Karen’s larger handwriting on the napkin. I will translate Kip’s response at the end of his statement.)


Karen and her Mother, Naomi graduated college together.


“This is business like,” is written at the top of the page of Karen’s deposition.



Kip’s Response



  1. Kristin told Karlyce to not like me. Reply: Karlyce accepted her.
  2. They kept teasing and making noise so I couldn’t study. Reply: I gave them fair warning, but they didn’t accept. Reply: They kept making noises, so I pushed them around some.
  3. They ran in the dinning room, front room and hall without wiping their feet. Reply: I tried to call you.
  4. Kids had gone to bed. Reply: I was studying and Karen started to play the piano just to tease me. Reply: I whistled as loud as I could. Reply: She called me a madman and choked me around the neck. Reply: She went upstairs and wrote a note about me.
  5. She came down and played the piano again! Reply: I didn’t listen, so she came out there and made lots of noises. Reply: I wish you would take action against these thoughtless insults.
  6. I tried to be nice to Kristin at first, but she ran in the front room, so I made her get out, so she got Karlyce to turn against me. So if Karen even calls me a bully like Mike and afraid to fight somebody my own size, I’m going to beat her up.


**Note from MG: I don’t know who Mike is, and I didn’t want to ask Kip because I was afraid he would whistle loudly in my ear.


The Family during happier times..Smile..(Maybe next time.)

Murdo Girl…The Brick House..Anarchy

Rerun…feeling a lot better, but couldn’t get the new story completed, today. Love you all and thanks for hanging in there with me. I often miss the Brick House gang, anyway.

It’s Monday morning at the Brick House. Next Pres Murdo Girl is in the Oblong Office diligently working on her crossword puzzle. Let’s see. What is a 19 letter (two words) for spy _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . “Easy one,” she says out loud. “Aggressive Informant, Yes! I can’t believe how smart I’m getting. I’m almost ready to go from beginner to intermediate!” 

She is also getting pretty good at hearing someone coming up the stairs to her office. She hears footsteps now and hastily shoves her puzzle into the drawer stuffed with Bing candy bars, nail polish, and a newspaper. She looks up to see DM entering.


MG: Hi DM. What do you know?

DM: What? Am I supposed to know something Next Pres?

MG: No DM. That’s Next Pres speak for..What’s in your head.

DM: Oh.”” DM  walks over and sits at MG’s desk and begins to look around the office.

Next Pres Murdo Girl: I’m waiting for you to tell me why you are here.

DM: Oh, sorry Next Pres, I think there’s something you should know. It could be a really bad thing. Or, it might not be anything. You know how things can be bad or good or nothing?

Next Pres Murdo Girl is not in the mood for this, especially since she just thought of the answer to 12 down. What is a 12  letter word for Defense Monitor?.. Exasperating!

DM: Sorry MG, I’m trying to figure out a way to tell you this without you going all ballistic. I don’t even know why I used that word..ballistic. Anyway, Lav is down in the employee lounge and I overheard her telling TC about a bomb threat.

MG: What? Are you kidding me? Go and get TC and Lav, right now! Bring them to my office!


MG is shocked and dismayed, and rightly so. That’s all the Coyote Administration needs. A bomb threat! Sheesh!

Soon, but not soon enough, (a nervous NP Murdo Girl has already wolfed down her last 2 bings), DM enters the office with TC and Lav in tow.


Lav: Man, it smells like cherry mash in here.

MG: Lav! DM here says you have been telling TC that you are aware of a bomb threat in an attempt to overthrow our Coyote Government. How did you come by this bit of delicate information?

Lav: Huh? I saw it for myself. Sherri has put them everywhere. I don’t know what’s wrong with her, except maybe she’s bored. We haven’t had any good parties here recently, the weather has been cold and there’s not that many photographic drawings for her to draw

MG: What? You mean that Sherri is the bomber? TC..Are you an eye witness to any of Sherri’s bombs?

TC: Yes Next Pres Murdo Girl, I witnessed her. She’s been hiding them in plain sight. I cried, because I’m the Town Crier and that’s what I do, but she just laughed at me.

MG: Why do you always salute me TC? You keep sticking your fingers in your cheese head and it’s messing it all up. You don’t have to salute Next Preses.

Lav: I was going to wait until after she was caught and you fired her, but I have the name of another pretty good photographic drawer.

MG: Looks at LAV in disbelief. She thinks she should have saved that last Bing for a situation like this instead of reacting to crossword puzzle worries.

MG: To everyone in the room. Is Sherri in the employee lounge?

DM, TC, and Lav look at each other and shrug their shoulders.

MG: Never mind. I’ll go look for myself. DM..Call Deputy Barney Fife. Ask him if he knows how to disarm a bomb. TC.. Go uptown and town cry in front of the Post Office. Let everybody in this town know we have someone who is hiding bombs around town and to go home and hide..someplace. Lav..Come with me!

MG and Lav walk single file to the employee lounge. The door is open a crack and MG peeks inside. Sure enough, Sherri the Photographic Drawer is sitting there with Carol. She has a duffle bag sitting by her feet. MG listens for a ticking bomb, but since she’s not exactly sure what one sounds like, she decides to play it kind of safe.


MG: Lav go over by Sherri’s chair and without her knowing it, get that duffle bag and take it outside. Don’t put it near the Jeep, if it’s here, or the Driver’s Ed car. Wait! Do you really know someone else who can draw photographs? I mean just in case Sherri has to leave suddenly.

Lav: Yeah..but she mostly draws photographs of sunrises and sunsets. Kind of good morning and goodnight photographic drawings.

MG: That’s all??

Lav: Yeah that and fence posts. The only thing I know for sure is she can’t write poetry.


MG: Feeling like her head is going to explode from the tension, and the 2 pops (cokes) she downed with the two Bings, says: Let’s just cross our fingers that Sherri will be found Innocent of all charges. Maybe she is being blackmailed.

Lav: Yeah, either that or she’s been brainwashed. She hasn’t been over to see the Water Board has she?

MG: I have outlawed water boarding in this town! Never mind Lav, go get the duffle bag, and do not let her see you. Wait, I’ll distract her. Stay here until I give you the high sign.

MG walks nonchalantly into the employee lounge and sits down at the table between Sherri and Carol. She is as nervous as a ceiling fan store owner with a comb-over..No.. more nervous..nervous as a potato chip on Super Bowl Sunday.

MG: Hi Carol and Sherri! Say Carol, I’m feeling really patriotic today. I’m thinking I need you to sing a real Patriotic song.

Carol starts to sing a rousing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner,” but all Murdo Girl hears is.. ‘THE BOMBS BURSTING IN AIR!’

Sherri: I just LUV that song.

MG’s eye starts ticking, or wait! is that the bomb ticking?’s definitely her eye. She raises her hand to her eye, and Lav thinks it’s MG’s hi sign to run in and grab the duffle bag. Lav grabs the bag and runs out the door followed by Carol and MG. As they all run out the front door, DM hears the commotion and runs out the door too.

Right as they get outside, The Deputy Sheriff, Barney pulls up with his lights flashing and his siren blowing (loudly). Pico, A I, Treason, Jerry and TC pull up in the Jeep. TC has her head out the window yelling “TAKE COVER!” A I jumps out, but has to go back to the Jeep to get her sun glasses. Pico yells, “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!” Treason is writing in a notebook, taking notes for the Murdo Coyote Newspaper no doubt. Jerry..where did Jerry go? Oh there he is on the ground with a bean bag full of beans over his head.


Sherri: What’s going on? Lav, why did you run off with my bag full of pictures?

Everybody at the same time: PICTURES?

Sherri: You all found out I was doing something wrong didn’t you? I’m really sorry and I will never draw pictures again with me in the background.

Deputy Barney Fife: (sniff) You mean you weren’t going to bomb the whole town?

Sherri goes and gets her bag and opens it. Yes indeed, the bag is full of pictures, and Sherri has photo bombed every single one of them.






MG: Turn off your sirens Barney. TC, Town Cry..All Clear. Has everyone calmed down now?

A I and Jerry: (Whining) Where’s our pictures? We want a picture too!!


Sherri: Really? Well let’s go down to the Employee Lounge and I’ll draw one for everyone. Maybe we can do a group photo bomb.

Treason: Yea! We can put it in the paper!

MG: Somebody please get me a Bing and a Coke!

The Murdo Coyote

Special Edition

The Town of Murdo calls for impearment of Next Pres. Murdo Girl

By reason of impearment. (and Anarchy among the whole Coyote Team Cabinet.)


MG: What is a 7 letter word for “Government is Nuts?” Oh yeah.. Anarchy.

Murdo Girl…Connie’s story..Problems and platitudes

No one said anything for the longest time. Pearl had just told Lauren and me that my father was the product of an affair between Lauren’s Grandma’s brother Hal and Pearl. She had given her baby to her best friend Content, and her husband, Bradley Crandall.

“Whoa,” I said out loud. “That means you and I are kind of related Lauren, and everything comes back to you Pearl. Let’s see, who are we missing in this family drama? Wait..Hal, where is my Grandfather #3 and Lauren’s Great Uncle? Please don’t tell me he has a bunch of kids and grandkids I’m going to have to send birthday cards to.”

Pearl took exception to my remarks and I could almost see fire in her bespectacled eyes. Pearl was having a Pearl clutching moment.


“That is quite enough Faith, and for the record, you and Lauren and the little brother are 2nd cousins I believe. Now, what else do you want to know?”

“Who put my Connie doll in the snow where Janet and Connie were found during the blizzard.” Lauren was having trouble getting all this to sink in.



Pearl just sat there with the little photo album in her hand. She looked older than usual. Maybe she looked older because she had a grey dress on.

“I guess I’ll answer Faith’s question first. Hal stayed to help run the family farm, and when his father died he continued to manage it. He married, but his wife was barren. She died several years ago from influenza. Hal suffered a stroke a short time after he lost his wife. He is being cared for in his home by a nurse Lauren’s Grandmother hired. He was never told the baby was his, but if he didn’t think of the possibility, he was a fool.” Pearl seemed to be talking to herself not to us.

“I’m sorry I was snotty to you just now,” I said. “You look tired. Maybe we should take a break. I know Lauren and I both want to know about the Connie dolls and Angels that have helped us both so much, but we don’t have to cover that right now. We’ve waited four years, what’s the rush?”

I was hoping Pearl would say she wanted to get it all out and over with, but she didn’t. She nodded her head, got up, touched us both on our cheeks and left the cat room.


After Pearl left, Lauren and I went to Aunt Grace’s kitchen to find something to eat. I was getting used to hearing shocking and sometimes devastating news, but Lauren wasn’t. She had just come to terms with what had happened four years ago, but now she wasn’t so sure. Janet who lost her little sister in that horrible blizzard, was coming to Murdo and she wanted to talk to Lauren.

Janet’s sister Connie holding a doll in the school picture..Janet and Lauren a year before the blizzard

While we were eating the phone rang. I didn’t see Aunt Grace around, so I answered it. If I thought I was going to get a few moments of peace between my history lessons, I was sadly mistaken. Warren was the caller.

“Hope,” Warren said.” I’m really glad I caught you. I don’t have anyone else to talk to.”

“Sure Warren, do you want to come over here?”

“I can’t. I’m at St. Mary’s hospital in Pierre with my Mom and my Grandparents. Mom is here, and she’s in intensive care. Can you get a ride and come here?”


Lauren was the only one I could think of that had a driver’s license, and could take me on such short notice, so I asked Warren to hang on while I asked her. “She’s going to call her Mom Warren, I know this is long distance, but can you call me back in 30 minutes or so? It would take too much time and money to try to track you down in that hospital.”

It all worked out and within an hour Lauren and I were on our way to the hospital. Poor Warren. I never did have a chance to ask him what happened? My mind was going to the worst possible outcome.

“Lauren, because of all that’s happened to the people I love these past four plus years, I always try to be prepared for bad news, but I never am. I should try harder to think positive thoughts, like.. Mrs. Martin is going to be just fine.”

“I know Hope,” Lauren said. “It must be hard to stay focused on the good things when you have as much turmoil in your life as you’ve had. I want to ask you something about our Angel, or Angels I guess. I’ve been wondering if she told you what she told me.”

“We’ve never really talked about our Angel experiences have we Lauren? What did your Angel say to you?”

“She said when I’m feeling like I’m ready to cave in, or wishing I had someone else’s easier life, I should concentrate on simple things. She said one thing I’m thinking about right now. One who falls and gets up, is so much stronger than the one who never fell. I try to remember this. She also said, be anxious about nothing. I think that’s in the Bible somewhere. It means that worry and fear don’t get us anywhere. That we should remain calm and believe in the power of faith.”

“I don’t remember my Angel saying those words to me, but she did say to remember simple things. She said, What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” She also said, everything I ever wanted was on the other side of fear.” 

Warren told us to come to the intensive care waiting room, and that’s where we found him. “Where are your Grandparents?” I asked.


“The doctor said we could go in, but not all at the same time. I told them to go first, because I wanted to wait for you. Hi Lauren.” Warren smiled at us and asked us if we wanted a pop.

“We don’t need anything,” I said. “We want to know what you need. Do you want to tell us what happened?”

“I feel so guilty,” he said. “I thought the worst when the Sheriff called and said Mom had an accident and needed to be rushed to the hospital. He said the nurse and another injured woman were with her, and the policeman was driving them to the hospital.”

Warren’s Mom at the restaurant

Lauren asked Warren if he wanted to talk to me alone, but he shook his head. “It’s fine that you’re here Lauren. I know how much Hope thinks of you… I jumped to the conclusion that Mom was probably drunk and wrecked her car. I was madder than I was worried. I was mad the whole time we were driving here. My Grandparents didn’t think that way. They prayed and said positive things. They said the only important thing was that she was alive, and that we would deal with everything else later.”

Warren’s Grandparents and Warren

“Your Mom was in a car accident? Is that what happened Warren?” I was so worried that Warren’s worse fears had come true. That Mrs. Martin had started drinking again and had a horrible accident.”

“No..She was at work and there was a grease fire in the kitchen. One of the other waitresses clothes caught on fire. Mom told someone to call the police and get the fire extinguisher, but I guess no one had been properly trained on how to use it. They were trying to figure it out, when Mom grabbed the lady and pushed her down to the floor and started to roll with her away from the spreading fire. She told someone else to grab the baking soda. I don’t know what finally happened, all I know is Mom got badly burned trying to save someone else, while everyone else in the place panicked and froze.”

“Have you found out anything?”  I was thinking, please say she will be okay. Help Warren and his Mom Connie Angel.

“They came out a little while ago and said she was badly burned, but she would recover. She will be in the hospital until they’re sure she is healed enough that they won’t have to worry about an infection.”

“I’m so sorry this happened to your Mom,” Lauren said. “She has already proven what a strong woman she is and she will get through this.”

“How is the other lady?” I asked.

“She was burned pretty badly too. She has about the same prognosis as Mom. They said all the way to the hospital, she kept saying that Mom saved her life, and her kids would still have a Mother. I feel so guilty because of the things I was thinking about her. I was only thinking about myself.”

I saw myself in the things Warren was saying, and I heard an Angel’s voice. “You know exactly what to say to Warren. I heard you and Lauren talking about your “Angels.” I don’t remember using so many platitudes in our conversations. When you tell Warren what he needs to know, and you need to say, don’t talk in platitudes.”

“What on earth does platitude mean?” I asked.

“The same thing as it does in Heaven.” img_0934-1


Murdo Girl..Full of Goodwill

Have you ever shopped at a Goodwill Store? If you haven’t let’s go! Even if you have let’s go, and men…There are things there for you too! I got an ice cream maker for $6.00, and some great shirts for Kip.

It took a while for me to get the hang of shopping at The GW Boutique. At first, I kept asking them if they had something I liked in a different size. After you’ve been there for about 2 hours, they start looking at you funny. You can’t return stuff either. I usually try everything on, but if I get something that doesn’t fit, I’m not out a huge amount. I cleaned out my closet the other day and took old clothes to the back door to donate, then walked around to the front to shop. I saw a lady there that almost bought her own top!

I joined some friends for a yoga class this morning. My body hurt all over before I went and I cannot tell you how much better my 65 year old joints, and muscles felt after I went through the class. I love that class. Anyway, Kip went to Tyler to shop for recliners for the RV, so I ran some errands before coming home. It’s been so warm in this part of Texas, I was in need of some cooler clothing. I needed some things I could wear to Church and a few things a step above workout clothes. I spent two hours there and I could have easily spent 2 more. I’m excited to show you my finds.

The first pic is me in the Goodwill dressing room still in my yoga clothes, but I did buy the top at Goodwill ($2.00). All the things you see in the next photos are things I didn’t buy. I didn’t need another workout jacket (pink), or denim jacket($5.00), although this one is really cute. I wanted the long skirt ($4.00), and the purse ($5.00), but didn’t get them. I may go back and get the purse. It’s good quality and in excellent condition. I will be wishing I had it when spring gets here. Do you like it? Do you think it’s “Connie like?”

wp-image-1961030987jpg.jpgThis is what I came home with. I will try everything on for you.

I bought the denim vest ($5.00) last year and I have worn it many times. The shoes were brand new Stride Life ($3.00). I bought them last week, and they’re super comfortable. The skirt ($4.00 Old Navy), and T shirt ($1.99 Old Navy), I bought today. The orange choker necklace was Mom’s, total cost of the outfit..$14.00

The Shirt ($4.00 Talbots), the capris ($4.00 Gloria Vanderbilt), Keds tennis shoes ($3.00) I bought them for this outfit, but I washed them and they’re wet, but in perfect condition. Total cost of the outfit..$11.00.


I thought these workout pants would be fun ($4.00 Venus Wear). the Crown T shirt says Keep Calm and Cheer On. It has a crown on it too of course. I got it last week for (2.00) A really casual outfit for a total of $6.00.

wp-image-1526133535jpg.jpgI forgot to try these on. I wasn’t sure I would like the big parrots on them, but they are cute on.. ($4.00 Bill Bass). The peach shirt I bought last year for $3.00, but I think I’ll wear white or a deeper orange with them.

I bought the top today. It is the softest stretchy fabric, ($4.00 Ellen Tracy) I got the new slippers for ($2.00), the new belt ($2.00), and the Jeff Foxworthy book $.50)

My total expenditure for today was $37.00


Ping Golf shirts I got Kip ($4.00 each). I didn’t get him anything today. My favorite shirt is in the worsh.

I needed a raincoat for RVing.. I got this one in perfect condition for $5.00..”Are you kidding me Lil Papa? I love it!” No Charlie, Lil Papa is a goodwill shopper. I hate going anywhere else.

So Murdo Girl readers..If you want me to shop for you send me $10.00 and tell me what size and what you want. I won’t guarantee anything or pay for shipping, but I need someone else to shop for. I don’t need anything more and Kip says nothing is a good deal if you don’t need it. I won’t even blab that what you are wearing came from the GW Boutique…

Well this has surely been fun. I promised I would share my apple and zucchini chip recipes. I also promised a Connie story. I might do something different tomorrow, and a Connie story Sunday. I hope everyone is off to a super week-end!


Murdo Girl…Ingenious Narrative

Today Murdo Girl and Queen Lav are sharing a cooking experience with all of you. We are following the instructions given in a paper Murdo Girl’s grandson Mason wrote for one of his classes. It details how 2 write a how 2. Mason’s written instructions will be in italics so you can see and understand how to write a how 2, and demonstrate how the how 2 works, with your how 2. Get it? Got it? Good!

Hi guys. Do you love to write? Well if that is so, then you will love this! It’s a narrative instructing you on an ingenious way to write a how 2. Now.. to learn how to do this wonderful task you will need to read this amazing narrative, but don’t read too much at one time. You might hurt yourself.

First you will need your magical supplies.

Queen Val is writing her how 2 as she recreates her Mother Ella’s roll recipe.

Queen Val: (clears throat.) My magical supplies are: The recipe, ingredients, bowls, utensils, a warm spot for the rolls to rise/raise twice…(Preferably not in the sunny spot where the cat suns himself. My cat was rather irritated.)

Once you have all of your supplies gathered, all you need is an ingenious mind and you can get started.

(tick, tock, tick, tock,) Are you ready Queen Val?

Okay now we can get started. First you should start with some sort of thought organizer such as; a t-chart or idea web. This should help you organize yourself. Then you need to think of a hook or something interesting to say. It should intice your target audience to want to read your how 2 narrative and of course, the best outcome is for them to make your Mom’s rolls. (*hint* My example: “Do you love to write? Well if you do? You will love this!”) You should also use descriptive words to replace boring old plain words.

Queen Val: My hook is: Do you love to watch an ingenious, beautiful Queen baking heavenly rolls? (I just searched in my “idea web” which is in my ingenious head, for this gotcha hook!) If you’re hooked on rolls, then welcome to my world.

Now comes the body. This is where you take all of those ideas from that handy-dandy organizer you so ingeniously thought of, (you can thank me later), and just take those ideas right off the page. The body should be full of juicy details that you didn’t give away in your hook. (You didn’t did you?) If you don’t know what I mean by body, it’s just the stuff in between the beginning and the end of your how 2 narrative. 

Queen Lav: I mixed up the dough by following my Mom’s instructions to the T. Well, except I’m not sure what Oleo is. My “idea web” thought of a good idea! I looked up Oleo in the dictionary, which said, “We don’t know. Ask someone from South Dakota. It’s probably going to be the same people who worsh their dishes, instead of washing them.”

wp-1487815725778.jpgQueen Lav: Now for some juicy details. After I let the 10 pounds of dough rise, I had to punch the dough, make little balls, put the balls in the pans and let them rise again. While they were rising, I chewed on a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. That takes care of the juicy detail, so I guess I will do what comes next. I have been working on this how 2 for over two hours. I have dirty dishes to worsh, and it’s hot in this kitchen. I hope the rest of this narrative goes fast so I can get these little beauties baked.

After all of that, you can head on to the conclusion. The conclusion is technically the end. but we all know there is no end to learning. In the conclusion, you can write a nice summary of what you have so perfectly written and done. You can leave the people who haven’t already gone out to eat with a nice little goodbye note.

Queen Lav: To summarize what I have written and done, I will say this. MG sent me Mom Ella’s recipe for rolls that was featured in the 1951 Methodist Cook Book. I spent 2, maybe 4 hours following the instructions on the narrative she forced me to write, baked 36 rolls and then stood in a long line at the store to buy my favorite Hawaiian rolls. So narrative person, what do I do next? Oh yeah, I will leave you with a nice little goodbye…CYA..

MG: I’m sure she meant see ya! I asked Queen Lav to send me a picture of “Ella’s rolls” after she baked them. I told her I didn’t need all 36, just a sampling.

Gone Fishing

MG: I don’t know what to say except, “Do you like to fish?” You have the hook, you stood in line, and now you have 36 weights or sinkers.  You have created a fishing experience with your hook, line, and sinker rolls, and you don’t even have to swallow them. See?..a frown is just a smile turned upside down.


Note from Queen Val’s family. We support her narrative. Let’s see, 36 divided by 6 is only 6 fishing weights each. The cat: So I can eat the fish and I don’t have to eat the weights? I’m in!

Well I hope you liked my how 2 on how 2 write a how 2. This has been a lot of fun. If you’re reading this, or if I’m reading it to you, my hope is that you have a nice day..Mason Masteller. Now I’m off to shoot some hoops.


MG: Unfortunately we are all out of time. The ink is barely dry on my amazing narrative. I will leave you with some tantalizing photos of my world-famous apple and zucchini chips and psgetti squash, accompanied by psgetti squash seeds, which I have roasted to perfection.

If you beg me, I might show you my narrative. I’ll copy it as soon as the copycat moves.

wp-1487889718080.jpgSkyler: Isn’t Grammy funny? That’s her Loretta pose. Ryan Constance: Am I funny haha, or funny peculiar like Grammy?

Murdo Girl…The wise old woman

Today’s Cookbook Findings

Remember the story I found in my Cookbook? The one my son wrote in 1989. Well, I found the 2nd page of it and started to read what turned out to be a book report of sorts. Craig apparently had to read a story and answer “thinking” questions. When I first started to read it, I was irate. I would have called the school, but then I remembered the report was written in 1989, when my son was only eleven. You will see by the comments I made at the end of my review, that I changed my position.

The story is quite relevant, so I’m going to share a little of it with you.

Why were there no old people in the village? The young lord of the village ordered everybody over 71 to go to the mountains and die. He thought older people were useless.

What did the farmer do with his 71-year-old mother? He took her to the mountains to die, but on the way up she broke up small twigs and dropped them along the way so her farmer son wouldn’t get lost on his way back down from the mountain.

*MG’s translation..Son, you can’t even find a jar of peanut butter in a cupboard full of peanut butter much less make it back down this mountain..that is..without your mother.

Why didn’t the farmer leave his 71-year-old mother on the mountain to die? The farmer changed his mind about leaving his mother because he was too close to her and he could not think what it would be like without his mother.

*MG..Good answer my loving son. I probably would have added that it might get too dark before he got down from the mountain and he wouldn’t be able to see the twigs…or wild animals lurking about.

What did the farmer do with his mother when he got her back down the mountain? He just couldn’t let her die so he brought her back to his house and hid her in a hole he dug. The farmer knew if the young lord of the village found out his 71-year-old mom was hidden in a hole, the farmer and his mother would both be sent to the dungeon to die. (Craig spelled dungeon wrong, but that’s beside the point.)

*MG..wait a sec.. a hole? Doesn’t this village have someplace better for you to hide your 71-year-old mother? How big is this hole? Is the dungeon bigger?

This next question I don’t quite get. I only have Craig’s answer.

The farmer’s mother laughed when her son told her about the impossible task of making a rope out of ash because she knew how to make that very, very, easily.

*MG..Of course she did. The question is why do you need a rope made from ash? A cub scout badge perhaps?


How did the young lord figure out what was going on? The 71-year-old mother saved the village 3 times. The lord knew that the farmer was not that wise so he asked the farmer if anybody had helped him. The farmer could not lie so he told the young lord that his mother helped him.

*MG..I probably would have said “MY MOM DID IT ALL YOU IGNORANT YOUNG LORD!! Where is your Mother? That’s what I would like to know!”

What lesson did the young lord learn? He learned that old people are not useless, but they are wise.

MG* I probably would have told the young lord that my son is very, very, wise. He learned it all from his Mother the Queen.


*MG..I think this book or story should be mandatory reading for all 11 year olds. They should have to read it a 2nd time when they are 16.




1932 picture of the E.A. Thomas and M.E. Sanderson families. Mom is 2nd row, dark short hair and hat. Valerie’s Mom is the tall girl next to her with the bib overalls. Mom was 11, the same age Craig was when he wrote about the old wise woman. Uh oh..I don’t believe my Mother lied about her age when she was 12. She crossed out 12 and put 11. She probably did this after she became a wise old woman. Well at least she was consistent. She changed her DOB in Grandma’s family Bible too.



Murdo Girl… It’s all in the recipe (book)

You have to see what I found today. I won’t enter it in the water tower contest, but coincidinks are things meant to be appreciated. Just look..

All of you know how many thousands of pictures I have accumulated since I started writing Murdo Girl. Tonight, I picked up a small photo album that Gus brought when he came for Christmas. This photo was among several more recent snapshots, most of which I had already seen.

The beautiful young woman wearing the fur coat is my Mother. She is holding Billy. This picture is over 70 years old. Maybe one of you Murdo readers will be able to tell me where it was taken. The Murdo water tower is in the reflection of the window, and in Mom’s handwriting on the back it says..Doc Murphy said this is a good picture of the water tower.

This is amazing for several reasons.

1) To state the obvious, I’m collecting photos of water towers. It delighted me to find this one.

2) We lost many of our older family photos when the storage unit Mom and Gus had the pictures stored in flooded.

3) Mom was not a preserver of anything. I can tell this photo barely made the cut. It looks like she spilled her coffee while she was writing the description. I also have a nice 5 x 7 picture of Mom’s very dear friend Sugar and her husband George taken on one of their special anniversaries. Mom wrote her grocery list on the back of it.

I have all of Mom’s old recipe books. Two Methodist Church, and one Jones County Cookbook. Mom’s favorite recipes are dog-eared, but it’s not the recipes I treasure, it’s the entertainment. Mom had all kinds of notes, newspaper clippings and letters tucked between the pages. I found a two page handwritten recipe for soft oatmeal cookies. I purchased all the ingredients, mixed the batter, and was down to the last bit of instructions on how to bake them, when I noticed on the bottom of the second page, she had written, “Emily’s on page ? of the Jones County Cookbook are much better.”

In all fairness, I’m not any better. Inside my Jones County Cookbook, I found a newspaper clipping that Mom had cut out and sent to my son. It was an Ann Lander’s column describing the best way to get rid of blackheads. At the top Mom wrote, “I noticed last time I saw you, you had some breakouts…Try this.”

In the same cookbook, I found another newspaper clipping telling me If I was going to move to Texas, I would need to know how to kill cockroaches. The advice was to place oranges all over the house. Fortunately, I never had the need to try that particular remedy.

Inside my cookbooks I found 2 report cards (Mason), immunization records (Heather), a note from our daughter (Heidi) telling us what she wanted on her hamburger, and birthday cards to various people. I’m sure I didn’t send them because I didn’t remember I put them in the cookbook. Many of the pages of my books are torn out of the binding, but I can never quite manage to put them back in the right sequence. Everytime I make lemon bars, (Mom’s recipe), I have to turn the book upside down and shake the page out that has the recipe on it.


This sample packet of Morton’s Season All has been inside the Methodist Women’s Cookbook for at least 20 years. I’ve never thrown it away because..well, it must still be good. See.. it’s still in the wrapper. I also recently found the warranty for a Rival crock-pot I haven’t had for probably 15 years.


This is the recipe file my Aunt Elna Miller gave me 40 years ago. It’s been a while since I’ve looked inside. I found a story in there that was written by my son in 1989. Maybe I saved it because he got an A+. I guess it’s not a story, but it’s a pretty good read.

wp-image-846531793jpg.jpgNext, I found a picture of Aunt Elna, Mom and Grandma Sanderson. I haven’t seen it since around 1989. (I would guess.)


I know this post is later than usual, and I never got around to writing the next Connie Story, because I was too busy looking for a recipe I can’t find.

Note to cousin Valerie: I found a recipe for Ella’s rolls. Do you have it?


Terry Sanderson and Billy Francis..1946


Murdo Girl…Life’s Mementos

I’m wondering how many of you Murdo Girl readers surround yourself with things that remind you of love, laughter, family and friends. I hope all of you do. I had a lot on my mind last night and I have a brain that can’t be spread too thin. I sat and stared at the computer for a while, but I didn’t really feel like writing. Then I started to look around the spare bedroom where I do a lot of my blogging. I have stuff everywhere. (I started this last night and I decided not to change anything other than to tell you that I started this last night.) Here are some of my mementos. (In no particular order.) I have to stop for a minute, I just heard from Teresa…back now.. She and several others have come up with some great questions as you all read tonight’s (last night’s) Connie’s story.

Back to mementos. You probably think I spelled it wrong. Spell check spelled mementos with an e instead of an o, so I’m going with it. Hopefully someone will research the correct spelling and let me know. Oh, wait a sec, I just heard from Sherri. She had 5 questions about Connie’s story.

I took all of these photos tonight right here in this room. I even photographed the picture of Mom and me. (It’s me not I, I checked.)


The Beasterhop


We Shall See what We Shall See

just close your eyes and it will be.

Sometimes when we close our eyes, we can see much better.

The Beasterhop came to life and I said…”Dad, let’s look at him together.”

When I first wrote about my memories of growing up in Murdo, I sent the pages to my brother Billy. After reading them he said, “You didn’t write about the Beasterhop.” I hadn’t thought of it until he mentioned it, but I decided it should be a story all by itself.

When I was a little girl, I would sit on my Dad’s lap and he would tell me stories. Usually they came from an old Mother Goose book I had. It’s pages were tattered and torn. Dad knew all the stories and he told them so well. I loved those nursery rhymes. I looked at the book while he recited all the stories from memory and of course, he added a little bit of his own color here and there.

One day he turned the tables on me. He asked me to tell him a story. That day the Beasterhop was born. I have added two more Beasterhop stories to the little book and I will put them all on the blog when we get a little closer to Easter.

I found the figurine pictured above and took my Beasterhop along with my story to visit my friend Pat in the hospital. I dropped the Beasterhop and broke him. Pat said to give her the pieces and she took them home and glued him back together. He looks like new, and every time I see him, I think of my Dad and Pat.

Bonnie Blue


I found this beauty I named Bonnie Blue, standing in a glass case at the Goodwill Store. Something about her intrigued me. I asked the lady working there if she would take the doll out of the case so I could get a closer look at her. The tag on her toe said $6.00. I bought her, brought her home and wrote a 45 page story about her. In a way, she became real to me, and now I know all about her life. I read a quote once that said, “I wrote the story, because I wanted to read it.” That’s how I feel.


I have other mementos stuffed in this little room. The picture above is part of a collage of photos I have on my desk. I love this picture taken several years ago when I visited Mom and Gus and also Billy and Liz and their family in California. Gus took this picture when he dropped Mom and me off at the Pomona fairgrounds. They have simulcast horse racing there on the wk-ends and Mom loved to go. You can see how excited she was. I’m holding the pillow she used to put behind her back. Look at her Converse tennis shoes. She wore them before they became popular. Billy always said Mom was the first person to photo shop. She took an ink pen and colored in areas of a picture that she didn’t particularly like…mostly her arms (age spots), and her neck. She bought cheap tennis shoes and drew the Nike logo on them. She loved to go to garage sales, but only in the rich neighborhoods.

On this particular day, we really had fun. When I went up the two flights of stairs to get my 3rd baked pretzel during the running of a race, the guy sitting next to us leaned over to Mom and said, “I don’t think she’s really paying much attention to the races.”

I look at that photo and remember a fun day with my Mom, and it always makes me smile.

Here we have Jerome and Fay with a few other things I have collected for future stories. Next is a small bulletin board with a Valentine cousin Valerie made and sent to me last year, a card from a my friend Barbara that says,”We can’t all be Queen. Someone has to bow as I go by.” On top is the collage Judy Dykstra Brown and Patti Dykstra Arnieri made and presented to me at the reunion last summer. There is a picture of Grandpa Sanderson picking up the Christmas presents from everyone’s house on Christmas Eve, and one of our two cockers, Sammie and Pattie. You already know them and Cyndie..she is Pearl the dog in the Connie stories. You have also met Dollie the cat. The cross was given to me by my friend Fran, and the other dog picture is of Obie, who was very special to me.

To the far right is the ashtray my cousin Mark won on a “free game” when Dad took us to play Bingo. Mark kept it all these years and gave it to me last summer. Inside the ashtray is a bracelet one of my grandkids made for me. The ball of tinfoil is the very tinfoil Patti Dykstra Arnieri helped me make my crown with the night before the big parade.

I could go to the other room where I have a beautifully framed cork board Heidi gave me to display all of the grandkid’s most recent art and photos, but I better stick to just this room.

I use these old photo albums full of family pictures..both Kip’s and mine. Many were taken during the same time period as the Connie’s stories, so the photos you see are mostly of our families.

I’m sure you remember Dad’s pink ceramic giveaway holding one of the crowns Sherri Miller sent me. (Jerome and Fay fight over it.) I have crowns from my good friend Pat. (She has made 2 for me.) I have another from Sherri, one from Lady J, and two or more from others. I also have two T-shirts with crowns on them.

The 1967 MHS annual was given to me by Connie Jackson’s brother Eddie. It belonged to Connie and I treasure it. The butterfly pin was given to Mom by her best friend Sugar Nyquist Parker many years ago.

The picture below hangs in this room. It was given to Kip’s Grandma Lois McNinch by the Green River Valley Cowbells. Kip’s grandparents homesteaded in Big Piney, Wyoming. You have probably heard Big Piney mentioned on the weather report, as the coldest spot in the Nation.

I recently found this Prayer for Family that spoke to me. It’s not in a frame yet, but it will be.

I’ll stop now, but there is much more..I’m sort of a late blooming Queen. (I can’t bring myself to say old..Okay, less young.)

I was feeling a little sad when I started this. I feel much better now. It’s nice to revisit happy memories.