Murdo Girl…What’s the big deal?

I think everyone who knows me would agree I have been pretty busy this past year. It seems I have a self-imposed deadline almost every day. Sometimes, I have two or three. For instance…tomorrow, I’m having a garage sale. Everyone said, “You’re crazy! Do you know how much work a garage sale is?”

I think I’ve figured out why people say they get so tired getting ready for their sale. It’s not hauling all the treasures out there that wear you out. It’s getting something all cleaned up and displayed and then saying…I think I want to keep that. I took some things back and forth all day long. I’m sure I’ll wake up in the night and decide I won’t be able to live without something that’s sitting out in the garage waiting to be sold.


Kip’s sister painted this abstract cow at least forty years ago. We have all had it hanging in our houses at least once. I couldn’t believe it when Nikki brought it over today. I thought it was long gone. I’ll make you a good deal!

Bringing things back inside isn’t going to work out well…because I have already spent the proceeds. Now I’m stressing that I was too quick to make that impulsive purchase. I must have sounded a little worried today because Heidi sent Nikki and the girls over to help us get ready. They did too!


Then Kip took us to Cochran’s for chicken tenders and to Dairy Queen for dessert. We had to beg Kip to get himself a hot fudge sundae. Nothing comforts me like chicken fingers and ice cream.

This is what I purchased with my garage sale wannabe proceeds. I was excited to find my Mickey Mouse hat while I was sorting through things. It’s one item I decided to keep.

Well, I have to do a few more things before I call it a night. We’re getting up early to put out the signs and move everything (that’s left) from the garage to the driveway.

If you live around here and come to the sale, be prepared to be pressured into buying something. We take monetary donations too. At least I didn’t have to pay for the permit. You get one free permit before you have to start paying. I got my free one in May, but I told the guy I didn’t have the sale because it was too hot. I told him I knew he knew I could be lying. He said I looked like an honest person. I told him I usually tell the truth. He told the lady if I was going to tell the truth about lying, I was probably telling the truth.


I know…I look really exhausted don’t I?

I saved money on the newspaper ad too. I forgot to put one in. Kip asked me what time the sale was supposed to start. I said eight o’clock. If you see me on the corner behind Brookshire’s waiving a garage sale sign and pointing down the street at my house, you will know why, okay? Tell your mom and them to come. My granddaughter, Skyler, is serving/selling lemonade.


Murdo Girl…The Real Bad Lands

I tell you what…the road trip gang made good time traveling from Wall Drug to the Badlands, but it seems they didn’t factor in the additional five miles they had to go down the road until they got to the Real Bad Lands. As it were, it was getting on towards twilight  by the time they got there. Have you ever been in the Real Bad Lands after dark?


“Who is this guy A I? He looks kind of crazy, and he’s riding a horse head.”

“Did someone make eye contact? Remember, you’re not supposed to make eye contact…Do you want to move?”

“I don’t know if I can. I’ve been sitting like this since yesterday.”


“Is that better girls?”

“Do they have food here?

“No, just stalactites and stalagmites.”


“We’re going to dig a cave and hit the snow early. Squeeze wants to go hunting in the morning.”


“I like cherry pie and dogs and signs. I’m wearing camo so you can’t see me. I’m trying to catch a dog.”


“We heard there’s a good Mexican restaurant at the top of these stairs.”


There’s a what doing what?


“Oh Yes!!! This is more like it. Hi Queen E. Remember me Lav? I’ve been in Europe. Where have you been?”

Well…I see Hedda and Hopper beat Eucy and Lethal to the Margaritas.

“You want all three of us to sleep in that tent?  HaHaHa…Yeah right. One T-rex and it would be all over for us.”


Oh yes, I’m quite comfy. See ya in the morning!! No snakes up here.


Hey!! Where’d the Cowboy go? Did he get kidnapped?


“HaHaHa…Let me think a minute…NO!”

“I don’t feel very good. It must have been that green cherry pie I had at the Wall Drug. We need to find a place to bed down for the night, mysterious Wrangler’s horse. Do you have a name?” 


Be careful all those who made fun of my Halloween costume video. I wield a lot of power in the Real Bad Lands…It could be a looong night.




Murdo Girl…The Real Bad Lands

My apologies to those readers who won’t have a clue as to what this means.


Have you been there? To the Real Bad Lands, I mean.  Just let me say this…There’s nothing else like them. Well except maybe the Grand Canyon…only the Grand Canyon is bigger and deeper, but I’ll tell you one thing…the Grand Canyon is not badder.

Do you remember the Cowboy in the road trip gang?

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Yeah…him…Well, he said he wanted the road trip gang to take a trip to the Badlands, so that’s what we’re gonna do. Yup…we’re gonna meet at Wall Drug at high noon and have a hot beef sandwich and some cherry pie while we discuss how this will all play out.

Now who is coming on this trip?


We’re Lethal and Eucy…We’re going to the Real Bad Lands, because we’re real bad!

But we’re not as bad as our evil twins…Hedda and Hopper. All they do is gossip.


(It happens every time they drink green Margaritas.)

I‘m Lav and I’m going even though I just got back from Europe and I think I’m really too good to go to the Real Bad Lands. Who is that person with the leaves growing out of her head? She looks funny.

My name is Pattycake and I used to make cakes, but now I make pies. I only  make cherry pies, but they come in every color. Who is that tall person with two heads?

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My name is PG (Presho Girl) and that’s the head girl above my head. Her name is MG (Murdo Girl). Are there dangerous snakes in the Real Bad Lands? The Girls don’t like dangerous snakes.

1-Dianna Bad Lands

Did I hear Danger? I live for danger. Danger is my middle name. Yup…Kodak Danger Kadoka…Just call me KK, okay? Hey! look at this house I live in. It’s crooked and a crooked house is full of danger…and snakes!!


I’m TC and this is my main squeeze, Squeeze. Well, actually, he’s my only squeeze. That’s his name…Squeeze. We’re going to the Real Bad Lands with y’all. Aren’t we Squeeze?


We’re just sitting here with these chipmunks minding our own business.

Don’t make eye contact, girls.

What are we doing in this blog? Isn’t she the one who made us take all those pictures of water towers?

Yes! That’s her…

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Queen E.? Affirmative…Fill’er up Dean… and boys…wash the windshield, please.

Will the road trip gang make it to the Real Bad Lands? They should cause it’s only eleven miles from Wall Drug. Will they meet danger? Probably, unless her house falls on her. Will they see the mysterious Lone Wrangler or did he git while the gittin’ was good?

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Murdo Girl…Halloween costume instruction video

I have a costume idea for you. It’s one of those ideas that is somewhat difficult to explain so I decided to video a demonstration of how you put it all together. I’m waiting for it to upload.

Okay…It can be instructed now.

  1. When we were in Murdo a few weeks ago, I got a new sign. Tammy Lindquist Van Dam made it and gave it to me when I visited the elementary school. I was very surprised when Tammy told me they are going to build a new grade school. That school is practically new! I remember my class moving into it after Christmas when I was in the 8th grade. Well…I guess that was about fifty years ago. They don’t build them like they used to.
  2. I got a couple of new hats that you will see in the video, but I also got a new crown that you saw in last nights blog.
  3. I got some very pretty book markers that Dianna made for me. She even made some for me to give away at book signings or when I give a book to someone. These are mine.
  4. There is one thing else you haven’t seen…This pillow I got from Laura and Doyle Avant. Isn’t it cute?

Good luck with your Halloween costume. You might want to see who among your friends are planning to wear the costume in the video. It would be kind of awkward if two or three of you wore the same thing.

If you have any questions, just ask.


Murdo Girl…Looking ahead

I have no doubt someday I will be famous, though I might not be rich because my fame might be posthumous. I sometimes imagine how I will be discovered. Will one of my descendants be looking through piles of old treasures in the attic, blow the dust off   “Connie’s Story” and begin to read it? Will she be mesmerized and unable to put it down? A couple of days later people may notice they haven’t seen her around. Her best friend might come to my descendant’s house and yell, “Yoo Hoo!! Are you home?”

My descendant will shake the cobwebs off her head. “Boy those spiders work fast,” she might think. Book in hand, she will stumble to the ladder and make her way down from the attic. She’ll walk into the kitchen and scream because she didn’t hear her friend yell, “Yoo Hoo!” It may take a minute for both to identify the problem and settle down.


My descendant will speak first.

“I was going through some boxes in the attic and I found this book. It was written by one of my ancestors way back in 2017. It’s actually pretty interesting.”


“Let me see it,” says the friend. “I used to be a book agent back in the day. That was before they started putting those little chips in our heads at birth.”

“Amazing isn’t it that our ancestors actually had to know how to read? The only reason I could read this book is because I got one of those chip adapters that allows you to look at a book and the story is automatically transferred to your brain. You have to be careful though. Once in a while it tries to convert several books at a time and it all comes out as one science fiction mess!”

“Well,” says the friend, “I’ve gotta go! When you get a chance, chip-shot this story to me. I’ll see what I can dig up on this ancestor of yours.”


Two days later…

The friend is outside my descendant’s house banging on the door. “Yoo Hoo, ding dong, Yoo hoo!!”

My descendant runs to the door. “This better be important, my friend. I was just about to go to the gym and lose ten pounds.”

“What?” The friend exclaims! “Are they running that ‘take one off lose one free in less than an hour’ special again?”

“Yes…and in my case, they’ll give my tinfoil crown a brilliant sheen and resize it if I lose fat from my head.”

“Your head will forget all about that when I tell you the news! Your ancestor was the original creator of the Beasterhop!”


“Really…my very own ancestor? They have been trying for years to solve that mystery. Everybody has been trying to figure out what brainiac made up that story about a rabbit who rides on a bicycle?

“Where did your ancestor grow up?”

“She was raised in Murdo, South Dakota. Her childhood home is buried beneath a tree at a motel right off old Highway 16.”


To which the friend says, “Is this one of those science fiction messes you were talking about?”


The poor dear…It’s only a pipe dream, whatever that is. The family promised never to speak of her again. It’s just like I always say, “A rolling book gathers no dust.”



Murdo Girl…her goose is cooked

I have a bone to pick with a friend of ours who caused me to start thinking about the origin of certain words or phrases. Now it drives me crazy until I research where an expression came from. Today someone told me to rinse something in lukewarm water. I have never in all my years wondered why we say lukewarm when we’re talking about the temperature of water. Have you?

I would be willing to bet that the last time you heard someone say it’s raining cats and dogs you didn’t question where that idiom came from. At the drop of a hat makes a little sense, but why beat around the bush? It’s a far cry from what I meant, but please give me the benefit of the doubt before you jump on the bandwagon even if it’s the last straw. I think I’m losing my mind!! I mean, give me a break for Pete’s sake!

Have you had enough?

Please…let sleeping dogs lie and do not let the cat out of the bag. You might want to take it with a grain of salt, but don’t  try to pull the wool over my eyes. I don’t know how the cow ate the cabbage, but I went the whole nine yards and it was a piece of cake. I would do it again in a New York minute.

That, my friend, is the whole ball of wax!

Stick a fork in me I’m done!

The cat got my tongue when we were raining.

Our church’s Lord’s Acre celebration/fundraiser was today. The country store in the morning and the live auction in the afternoon were outside under a huge tent. It felt to me like it was 110 degrees. I know it really cooked my goose. Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to stop myself from sounding like I’m off my rocker.  I sure hope I bounce back soon.

Our great grandie, Ryan, horsing around in the bounce house.

James, you are in hot water for putting this bug in my ear.

How many idioms did you come up with?

I think I’ll call it a day…or should I call it a night?

You know what they say…uneasy lies the head that wears a crown…

Murdo Girl…Black and white

Have you ever felt the fright, of something that is black and white?

Do other colors frighten you…like brown or green or navy blue?

A witch in black thinks she’s real scary. If dressed in white she’d be a fairy.


A goblin isn’t even real. And a vampire’s not a real big deal.

What other things are black and white that will or won’t scare you tonight?

A newspaper is black and white, but red all over every night.

Salt and pepper? Don’t make me laugh. That won’t scare a big giraffe.

Okay..guess I’m reaching now. It’s bedtime for me anyhow.

If you want a big surprise. One that’s bigger than your eyes.

Don’t blame me if in the night …you get scared by black and white.

Black and white scares everyone. Look at yourself you might be one.

If you’re black and white and so is he…. it’s all about the size, you’ll see.

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Murdo Girl…A stayca

Some of you may recall that Kip and I recently took a two month trip in our RV.  We had a wonderful time and feel sad that we can’t go on another long trip until next fall. We have limited ourselves to one epic journey a year. We will go on shorter trips in between, but it’s nothing like living on the road. A couple of my friends told me this morning that they enjoyed the travel blog and couldn’t I go on another long trip so they could read about it? The sad truth is…No! I decided to write about a trip to Mabank, TX, since that’s where we live in the off-season. Yes…it is possible to stayca in an RV.

An RV trip to Mabank

We woke up this morning ready to go. We like to pack-up and buy our food ahead of time, so all we have to do the next morning before hitting the road is put the animals in and hook up the car behind the motor home. When we go someplace we haven’t been before we really check out the parking lot situation. We have to be able to make it around, because we can’t back up the rv when we’re towing the Jeep. 

This proved to be a difficult task in Mabank. We wanted to go to a nice place for breakfast. We ended up parking at the Shell Station where we bought a box of those yummy chocolate covered cake donuts and a cup of coffee. (They have good creamer flavors there.)

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After breakfast we programmed our GPS for the next stop. We found a place to spend some quality time and it had a big parking lot. We went to Hometown Cinema. Since we didn’t have a choice anyway, we didn’t bother to inquire about what movie was showing. We parked in their lot and spent the time between getting there and the start of the movie, walking the dogs.

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At last, movie time rolled around, so we put the dogs inside the rv and started the noisy generator so we could keep the air conditioning on for them. We heard a voice telling us, “You can walk from here. You can walk from here.” After investigating, we finally figured out it was Miss GPS. We had forgotten to shut her up, I mean turn her off, when we reached our destination.

The movie was about a dog who dies and wakes up a different kind of dog, then dies and wakes up a different kind of dog again and again. I think the name of it was, A Dog’s Purpose. We were sure glad they don’t allow dogs in the movie theater, because our dogs are chicken enough and would be afraid to go to sleep even though they get the two recliners and the pullout bed.

It was lunch time by now so we went back into the movie theater to buy some popcorn. A lady came out of nowhere and confronted us about the noisy generator. Kip said, “Unless you want a real live, A Dog’s Purpose, outside in your parking lot, you won’t push that idea too much. The noise didn’t bother me at all when we were inside the theater, but I guess it could be because I’m used to it.

By the time we were ready to leave Hometown Cinema, it was close to three thirty, which is when we usually try to estimate where we will be when we’re ready to stop for the night. Since we weren’t actually leaving town, we decided to stop at Walmart and do what you call Boondoggle. It’s where you self-maintain. You use your generator for power, hope you have enough potable water, and that’s it! Unfortunately, it was only four-thirty when we got there and a real long night loomed before us.

We walked the dogs and put them in the rv while we went inside Walmart to buy something for dinner. We found some great looking steaks, a salad from the deli, rolls from the bakery and peach cobbler, but we bought sandwiches at the Subway inside the store. Kip didn’t feel like setting up the grill and everything in the Walmart parking lot….The way I looked at it, we were saving money by boondoggling, and we were on a stayca, therefore we should have sprung for the steaks.

Here are a few RVing tips I have learned in the past couple of years. I learn almost everything by watching YouTube videos, listening to other RVers, or the hard way.

Spray Bottle
Fill a spray bottle with water and a tiny bit of dish-washing soap. Spray your dishes before you put them in the sink. This simple step will act as a pre-soak and help you use less water come washing time. AMAZING. No more soaking the dishes in a sink full of soapy water like Mom did. I wish I had known this years and years ago.

Plastic Bin Washing
I saw this idea on a YouTube video and have been using it ever since. Traveling with no time to wash socks and undies? No problem. Fill a plastic bin with cold water, your laundry and a dash of soap. Click the lid on for a tight fit. Place the bin in your shower and head out on the road. At the end of the day, the movement of your rig will agitate the clothes. Just rinse and hang. The perfect emergency washer! SO EASY. While an excellent trick, it is not meant for boondogglers who don’t leave town… You don’t drive your rig around enough to agitate the laundry. Why not just go home for a couple of hours if you really must wash…though some might label that cheating.

The Electric Fly Swatter
Yup. They make these, and some RVers don’t want to live without them. Electric fly swatters or bug fryers are a great way to keep your RV free of flies and their ilk. (I’ll get into varmints another time.) The nice thing about these high voltage swatters is that if you like tennis, this will double as a racket and send a ball over the net at high speed. Once you get the hang of it, and can keep it in bounds, you will be the winner you’ve always wanted to be. Oh, I almost forgot, keep your battery charger handy. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having to stop a tennis match because your battery needs charged.

Murdo Girl…quit complaining

I’m so tired of school, I honestly don’t think I can make it until the end of the school year without a break. This is not good because it’s only October. Mom says I’m grumpy and need more sleep. Grace said she doesn’t think I’m eating right, and Pearl the human says I complain too much. Just between you and me, I think it takes a complainer to know a complainer. Anyway, I have decided to go one whole day without complaining. I only mean out loud. I can still complain in my mind where nobody can hear me.

There’s Grace with her dish towel and Pearl with her air cigarette.

I’m on my way to Pearl the human’s place to walk Pearl the dog before school, which will give me a little time to prepare for the day. Oh, by the way, if I hear anyone else complaining, I will suggest they listen to themselves because they might benefit from an exercise like I’m embarking on.

I was doing just fine until Pearl asked me what was wrong. I said, “nothing.” Then she said . “you haven’t said two words this morning and that’s not like you.”

I was about to argue with her, but remembered my self-test, so instead of saying, “I hate getting up early and I hate school,” I said, “I would be more than happy to say two words, Pearl…Good bye.”

As I was walking out the door, Pearl said, “You’ll walk through life much easier with a smile on your face.”


I didn’t think the school day would be as hard as it was. You’re not supposed to talk in school anyway, but it seems the less you talk, the more people get suspicious. My best friend, Kathy, thought I was mad at her. Instead of saying, “I’m not mad, get off my back,” I said, “I’m not mad at anybody in the whole world.”

I’ll admit, I didn’t say much all day because most of what I was going to say would have sounded like I was complaining.  I kept telling myself what my mom always tells me. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” I pretty much had to keep my lip zipped all day.


Mack’s Cafe is on the corner

After school I stopped in at Mack’s cafe for a Bing and a Coke before I took Pearl the dog for her long walk. I had been thinking about that Bing all day so you can imagine how I felt when I accidentally dropped it into the trash. I threw the candy bar away and kept the wrapper. I must have been overwrought. I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t been so distracted by the new girl at the cash register who couldn’t make change. She felt so bad, she took a dollar out of her pocket and offered to buy me another Bing.

“It’s not your fault.” I said. “I should have been paying attention to what I was doing.”

The waitress looked at me and said, “Most kids would be mad that they dropped their candy bar in the trash and take it out on the first person they see. You must be a real nice person. It’s like my dad always says, “keep your face towards the sunshine, and you will never see the shadows.”


The windows above the store are to Pearl’s living room and bedroom.

I left the cafe and walked across the street to Sanderson’s store and climbed the stairs to Pearl’s place. Grace was there and when she saw me, she bustled across the hall to her rooms and came back with three homemade chocolate chip cookies, a box of cracker jacks and an apple. She was grinning from ear to ear when she gave them to me. It was only then that I remembered Grace thought I wasn’t eating very good. This was her attempt to try to help. I ate the cookies so she would feel better. I could have used some milk with them, but I didn’t want to complain.


Pearl the dog had been sitting there beside me, without complaining, but she was really ready to go for a walk and I was too, so away we went. I wanted to go see what the kids south highway sixteen were doing, but Pearl wanted to go to the elementary school. She just loves to watch the kids swinging, and when they go down the slide she stands down toward the end where she’s just tall enough to stick her head over the side so the kids can pet her as they slide by. Pearl and those kids could do that for hours, but I get kind of sick of it. (I just thought that, I didn’t say it.)


“Come on Pearl. We’ve gotta go,” I called her like that three times and she ignored me. “Pearl!” Come here! I want to go back.” I was really starting to get mad, so I stomped over by the slide. Then I heard her whining really loud, so I decided to find out what was wrong before I complained. It wasn’t Pearl whining, it was the little kid that lived down the hill from the school. Pearl was licking his hand.

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“What’s wrong, Pearl?” I asked. Pearl whined, which is a high pitched complaining sound. I could tell she wanted me to follow her. She looked up at the top of the slide where the little wooden stand that you push yourself off from is. I did as Pearl wanted me to and climbed up to take a look. I didn’t see anything at first and started back down, but Pearl whined again like she wanted me to keep looking. Then I saw a big old rusty nail sticking out. It had a piece of the little kid’s shirt on it.

Well, we took the little kid home and he never stopped bawling the whole time. (I just thought that, I didn’t say it.) Anyway, we told Mrs. Anderson that he pierced his hand on a real rusty nail that was sticking out at the top of the stairs.

I hate to tell you this part. The next day Mrs. Anderson told everybody that I had saved her little boy from getting lockjaw because I told her he injured his hand on a rusty nail. He got a tetinus shot just in time. I didn’t tell her that Pearl was the one paying attention, not me.

Pearl the dog still acts like she loves me. At least she didn’t complain. She didn’t care who got the credit, she just wanted to take care of that little boy. I guess Pearl the human is right when she says Pearl the dog loves all living things…even crying little boys. Uh Oh…where did the kitty come from?

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Murdo Girl…Little angels

Is the ability to render someone speechless an art or a gift? I don’t know anyone over twelve who can do it as effectively as those twelve and under.

Our four year old grandson is having problems in his preschool. He’s feisty and he can’t be convinced that it’s not okay to hit people. He and Kitty, a little girl in his class, have been best buds since last year. When our daughter said, “It is not okay to hit everybody,” he defended himself by saying, “Well…I don’t! I don’t  hit Kitty.”


What do you say?

When our youngest was overly tired he, like most kids, he was easily brought to tears. We would try to give him a pass by saying, “Oh, you’re just tired.” That upset him even more. He informed us that crying doesn’t mean you’re tired, yawning means you’re tired.

What do you say? x 2

Those are both good, but my favorite is one that my cousin used when his dad pulled up to a stop sign and caught his son (my cousin) throwing rocks at things that could be damaged. My cousin, ran over to the car and said, “Hey Dad, I need to talk to you when we get home.”  He took the words right out of his dad’s mouth.

What do you say to that?


What do you say? X 3

Just to make sure the technique doesn’t work for older people, I practiced it a little bit today. I told Kip I socked a lady in the grocery store. He said, “Good…she probably had it coming.”

What do I say?

This afternoon I started crying because Kip ate the last fried pie we brought home from vacation. To push it just a little, I said I was hungry for a fried pie and REALLY tired. He said, “You’re probably just feeling sluggish because you ate the other three fried pies.”


She’s inside eating fried pies

Rendered speechless

I didn’t want to throw rocks at stop signs so I had to think of something really good for my last try. Kip hates it when I don’t put things back where they belong, so I took the scissors, tape and all of our pens and hid them.

Normally, he would look at the ceiling and tell me he had looked everywhere and still couldn’t find them. Today was different. He bought me my very own, scissors, tape and pens.  The kids trained him well. The only thing I could think of to say was:

Thank you.

1-20160131_181705-1-2They are all little angels.

I’ve been working long hours on a writing project, so my blogs are short and not as frequent. Thanks for being patient and hanging in there with me.