Murdo Girl…But who is counting?

Hold everything! This is not a rerun. It is a new display from my incomparable  collection of worldly water towers. With over one hundred thirty-four and one half highly respectable receptacles in my portfolio, this collection has really increased the value of the Murdo Girl branding.


The Sunflouwa-flower Tower
Submitted by Dianna Diehm… a fabulous photographer and friend
This water tower is truly out standing in its field. “Off in the distance” is a perfect location, location, location for this rather indistinguishable WT. The value is in the beauty of the landscape. For sentimental reasons, I added Sunflouwa when naming the tower to represent Mom’s favorite Glen Campbell song. She loved the way he twanged the word sunflower, making it sound like,”Sunflouwa.”
Thank you, Dianna, for this beauty!
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The Crown of Beastertown
Given to me last year by my dear friend, Sherri Miller, this well designed tower doesn’t hold water, but it sure makes the little burg look cute. The rabbitants are good with little bowls of H2O strategically placed around town so storing water hasn’t really been an issue until lately when Betsy’s Hare-dos opened up. It’s difficult to fix a do on a hare without water. So far, we’ve managed with wishing well water, but I’m sure we’ll have to do whatever we have to do for Betsy to continue to do her dos.
No No No
See? If you make one exception to the rules, people take advantage. This entrant doesn’t begin to meet my high water tower standards. The submitter can expect a blistering letter from my “Watered Down” Department… Pretty picture, though…
Orange and Black Fight Fight
Submitted by Lewis Williams
Beat up, bent up, and that name must be graffiti. Who would do that to a 1970’s orange and black water tower that has already been humiliated by having to hold a saline solution. I’m seriously considering hauling this WT to Murdo to place near the burning M on homecoming just in case the fire doesn’t burn out in time for the snake dance. It might help me fight for an orange and black comeback.
1880’s Ladies
I picked up these two beauties last summer when Kip and I visited the 1880’s town west of Murdo. SEE THERE’S KIP! He’s standing sort of in the middle. It was hotter than fire that day. An ice-cold Sarsaparilla was the only thing that saved me.
Well my water tower followers, this has to be a short one. Kip and I spent a long day in Dallas with a couple of super special people and it’s time to call it a night.

Murdo Girl…PlaaaaayTIME

I had just about decided that all anyone needs to relieve stress is to play for at least two hours every day. It’s fun and relaxing and wears the body out in a good way. As it happened, I had to rethink things. Charlie and Craig came for one last weekend, so Craig could finish the work he’s been doing for us.


Playtime didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. The first three times, I didn’t really have any expectations. For the most part, we played well together. This time was different. This time I found myself thinking about what my Barbie was going to do and say. Was she going to be a professional, a college student, a mom? I didn’t have the chance to find out.

Charlie forgot to bring her Barbie dolls. Do you think it’s possible she forgot them on purpose? Maybe she wasn’t having as much fun as I was…Nah.

So instead, we set up all of the Beasterhop village again and wrote a story. Charlie said her Dad’s phone took better pictures than mine, so she took all of the photographs. She taught me some things, too. I now know why you sometimes use a flash when it’s not even dark.

The master at work…

Since Charlie likes to develop stories, she took over that part, too. I told her we needed about twenty pages for a little children’s book. I got to be the scribe, and I’m going to self-publish it. It will be ready by October, which is good, because the name of it is, “A Thanksgivington Christmas.” I have to correct her name if we use this cover. It’s Charlize.


When we got to a stopping point with that project, Charlie said we should make treasure maps. We each made one and took Charlie’s outside to follow the clues on the map to the treasure. We located all of the markers… just like she had drawn them on the map. Things like water, tall grass and big trees…amazing.

When we got to the place on the map where the big X marks the treasure, she looked down and there was a perfectly formed thing she said would make a great Christmas decoration. Later, when they were getting ready to leave, I asked if she was going to take her treasure home. She said, “You keep it, Lil Papa. It matches your house better than mine.”

I guess playing for a while each day really is a good thing. I hardly had to do much at all. I’m sure going to miss those much anticipated play dates. I think I’ll buy a Barbie. Maybe I’ll buy two…just in case she forgets hers again.

Which cover design do you like best?


Murdo Girl…They tower above us..reposted

Rerun of water tower collection. I have 56 more to catalogue (so far). I haven’t gathered all of the submissions, yet!

Those 70ish Girls




Moline, Illinois…submitted by Karen Lindquist

This lucky tower has a great view of a children’s playground. What fun to watch the kids slide down the slide or climb on the monkey bars. This has to be a one of a kind location and as in all things of value, location and uniqueness add to the pricetag. A little kid playing would have been nice.





Denison, Iowa…submitted by Eddie Jackson

I almost put this in my “drive-by” category, but it sits in Denison, Iowa , the home of Donna Reed, and I rather like the feathery clouds and different shades of browns in the photograph. The viewer’s eyes are eventually led to the image of the tower in the distance. I’m sure Donna would be proud of this representation of her town.





Rapid City, South Dakota…submitted by…

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Murdo Girl…Oh what a collection

I’m counting all of the water towers in my collection and thought we would revisit a few in my display!

Those 70ish Girls

I have received a number of water tower photos in the last several weeks. You are all getting so good at spotting the great ones, and I appreciate your taking the time to photograph them. Of the many recent submissions I have received, these are a few of my favorites. They are now on display at my Water Tower Studio.



Hernando Beach, Florida…submitted by Kerri Venard

The first thought I had when I looked at this tower on the beach was.. sun on the head makes for early balding, no matter how much water you hold. This guy has a rather wide-toothed comb by his side for windy days. Wind and comb-overs aren’t a good combination, and I’m sure it’s hard to use much hair product when you’re a BeachedWater Tower. Kerri tells me this is close to where Sherry Dykema Phillips lives and Weeki Watchi…Nice!


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Murdo Girl…Six and Sixty-six

I have recently had three wonderful play-dates with my granddaughter, Charlie. I can’t begin to tell you how much I have learned about how things have changed, and surprisingly, how much they have stayed the same.

For instance, kids still play with Barbie dolls. My friend, Cynthia and I played with our Barbies for hours on end, but Barbie has changed. Her main purpose in life, is not to look good for Ken. Barbie is a veterinarian, or a mountain climber, or a super hero.

It took me until the third round of Barbie to get the courage to ask Charlie if she thought I had learned enough to name my own Barbie and even talk for her. Charlie negotiated with me. If she could be the one to develop the story-line, I could play with, (manage), one Barbie. She didn’t like the name I picked, but she didn’t make me change it. (She bit her tongue a lot.)


When the story started, we were all in the dungeon of a castle. As we progressed, the story began to sound an awful lot like Beauty and the Beast. The Barbie dressed like a super-hero was bad and she kidnapped three other Barbies, a dog and a little girl and locked them in the dungeon. It was my Barbie’s job to distract the mean Barbie while the others tried to escape. I thought of a great way for all of them to get out, but Charlie said it was too soon. She said we had to keep the story going for a while. When I thought about it, I could see it made sense, so I continued to let the evil Barbie beat up on me while Charlie orchestrated the activities of the other three, plus the little girl and the dog.

In the end, we had a Christmas party because Charlie decided that the evil Barbie was just starved for attention and a few presents would change her attitude…at least for a while. She said to watch her closely because she could turn evil again at any moment.


We had our props set up in the bedroom, and right when it was getting exciting, Kip peaked in. He rolled his eyes a little when he saw we had retrieved a little Christmas tree from the garage, and an infuser that lit up and changed colors. We also had a box we had transformed into stage and another Christmas decoration that played a Johnny Cash song. I think Hudson gave it to Kip last Christmas. All the Barbies danced to “The Ring of Fire” during the finale.

After we cleaned up that mess, we played hide and seek outside. I found I can no longer move quickly enough to find a good hiding spot when the other person only counts to twenty. I cheated and kept moving while Charlie looked for me. Craig, who was outside working on building our front steps, gave us clues when he tired of us trying to get him to tell us where the other one was hiding. Hide and seek was my least favorite thing to play. It’s much more difficult to hide when you’re big.


We played Old Maid a bunch, and Go Fish a bigger bunch. We had another board game and we walked the dogs as many times as they would let us. I had six miles on my Vivofit the first day. I didn’t look the second day, but I know it was more.

We put a puzzle together. Unfortunately, I dropped one piece and Sammie chewed it up.


I didn’t take many pictures. I was too busy learning how to play with a pro!

Murdo Girl…Surprise!

Have you ever been truly surprised?

We had been really busy that summer planning our wedding day.

The date that had seemed so far off, was only a month away.

The invitations had all been sent and the Church knew we were coming.

The location of the momentous event was Casper, Wyoming.

We had both been married before… ten years each, to be exact.

With two kids apiece (and three dogs)…our new home would be jam-packed. 

Kip called me at work on a day that everything had gone wrong.

He said there was someplace he had to go. Why didn’t I ride along?

“You won’t have a chance to change,” he said. “I’ll pick you up in a few.”

I really didn’t want to go, but there was no good reason not to.

As we drove, we talked about our day. I didn’t ask the destination.

When we pulled up into the driveway, I asked with some consternation,

“What are we doing here? This is where Carolyn (my boss) lives!

Are you doing an appraisal review? Come on…tell me, what gives?”

I knew her house had been for sale and Kip was a real estate banker.

“Does she know we’re coming for dinner? You apologize and I’ll thank her.”

I was laughing as she opened the door. I thought she’d be so surprised.

It turned out, the joke was on me. It was a shower she had organized.

(Carolyn caught this picture as a co-worker, Ann, opened the door.)


Heidi (13) Heather (11) Mason (8) and Craig (3) were all a part of two households. The youngest, Craig is now 40 and Heidi is ten years older. I love the picture of her sleeping at the end of the big day. She still had the baby’s breath in her hair. I joined Heidi, Heather, and Craig who were all asleep on a bed at the Ferguson’s who invited everyone over for a celebration after the ceremony. Mason and Kip were the last to give up. The other photos are of our first home together in Casper, and our first Thanksgiving there with Mom and Gus and Kip’s sister, Karlyce and her husband. (Come on Mary, I’m sure you looked lovely.) The last picture is of me with our first grandchild, Michael, born a few weeks before we moved from Colorado to Texas.





Murdo Girl…Gone..A red carnation

(The young woman and her new friend, Arf, continue their search for the future)

“I know the man who wrote this book. I recognize his name.

Is he the one orchestrating this senseless game?”

Arf didn’t move and he wasn’t sympathetic.


He looked at me as if to say, “I don’t do pathetic!”

“Okay, Arf!” I said. “Don’t look so perplexed.”

I’ll go along willingly, where do you want me next?

He went to the book and turned the pages with his paw.

I watched intently…not believing what I saw.

He started at the back and stopped at the beginning.

I saw the author’s photo. Now my head was spinning.

I’ll tell you this story Arf, since there’s no one else to tell.

I met this man the day I left somewhere I used to dwell.

He helped me board the train I took to some random destination.

He took the seat next to me and handed me a red carnation.

He asked me odd questions like, did I want to work or be a wife?

I said I hadn’t had a chance to plan the next stage of my life.


Before he got off the train, he handed me a book.

It was one he had written and he hoped I’d take a look.

I never read a word of it though I should have I suppose.

Did I leave it somewhere? Only heaven knows.

Would it have been of interest to this lonely waif?

Someone who spent most her life never feeling safe?

The writer said something I haven’t thought about in ages.

He said I would find my truth between the pages.

I remembered the photograph. Who was I dancing with?

And how was she connected to the gentleman wordsmith?

That day he left me on that train, I couldn’t hear all he said

As he removed his hat and slightly bowed his head.


It was when I heard the whistle, and when I heard the bell.

 I heard a man’s voice whisper, “I bid you a fond farewell.”

Now, I can recall… he whispered something more.

“I know your father loves you… now and forever more.” 


I heard the whisper at the well say, “You’re ready to move on.”

Look back for just a moment to make sure the past is gone.”










Murdo Girl…Grace Place?

This is Ellie-Essie. My name is really Ellie, but Pearl calls me Essie, and if you know Pearl, you can’t change a single thought that goes through her head. She just can’t remember people’s names, that’s all. She even named her own dog after herself. She thought it would make it easier for everybody to remember the dog’s name, but now we have to go through all this, Pearl the human, and Pearl the dog, stuff so everybody will know who we are telling them about. That’s why I shortened my name to Lese.

Anyway, you are not going to believe what Pearl the human and Grace are up to, now. It turns out their six month lease on Pearl’s Busy Nest wasn’t redeemable. I’m glad I wasn’t there when the lady from the city came over to tell Pearl. I heard she pitched a fit and the lady fell in it, (figuratively speaking). Pearl can make you feel pretty beat-up with her words, even though she doesn’t curse. She doesn’t even have to yell loud. Pearl says the louder you yell, the less people hear you. She learned that when she had her beauty shop. I don’t remember the story, but I think it had something to do with a lady who yelled “What!” five times when she was under a noisy hairdryer.

Uh oh…here comes Pearl and Grace. They’re sure to interrupt my thinking. Oh, well. I have to take Pearl the dog outside, anyway.

Grace: But I don’t want to leave town, Pearl. I like living above the store, and you have to admit, we sure would miss Lese.

Pearl: Who is that?

Grace: It’s Ellie only you call her Essie, she’s referred to around town as Ellie-Essie, so she shortened it to Lese.

Pearl: Lese-Essie’s mamma works all hours of the day and night, and the poor girl is always with us, anyway. Besides, Grace, we’re only moving a little ways out of Murdo. I’m tired of the city life. I want to live on a ranch. I have a desire to let dirt run through my fingers…Just as long as it doesn’t ruin my manicure. I want to ride horses and eat fresh veggies from our own garden. (I like them lightly sauteed. Can you saute, Grace?) I want to know what it’s like to milk a steer and be out in the sunshine and fresh air for a couple of hours every day. Remind me to buy some stylish hats. What do ya think pardner? Are ya feeling the wanderlust?


Grace: Will I get to hear cockadoodledoo every morning at the crack of dawn? Can I have lots of roosters and collect the fresh eggs that haven’t been eaten by snakes and then go to bed early like the chickens do? …..I’m not doing that! No wanderlusting.

Pearl: Well, It’s too late! I already put a down-payment on a nice little ranch. You are just going to love it! It has its own little pond and a barn.

Grace: Really? What’s the house like?

Pearl: We are going to convert the hayloft in the barn…but never mind all that. I’m naming the ranch after you.

Grace: Really? Please don’t tell me you’re naming it Graceland!

Pearl: Of course not, Grace. We’re going to call it “Grace Place.” I think I can remember that. Now let’s start packing! I’m so excited, Grace! we are going to have almost a full acre of land! do you know how much land that is, Grace? Because I don’t.

How they see it, Pearl’s future loft?   How it is…I wouldn’t miss this.

Murdo Girl…Gone..The book

Arf watched as I opened the book he had brought to me.

 I looked at the picture. “What do you want me to see?


The woman and the little girl danced their carefree dance.

You could see the love between them in their loving glance.

I didn’t know the woman, which seemed strange because…you see

 I knew the child…That little girl was me.


“I don’t understand, Arf. Why are we going back in time?”

And why do I keep hearing the whistle and bell chime?”

I’d heard the whisper at the well,  “You are ready to move on.

 Look back for just a moment to make sure the past is gone.” 


“I think maybe we should leave, Arf. The more I see, the less I know.”

He came to me and licked my hand. My tears began to flow.

My eyes went to the book, I turned it over in my hands.

 I saw the author’s name. I knew I had to change my plans.


First I heard the whisper. Then I heard the bell.

Something unknown gripped my heart. A fear I could not quell.


I heard the familiar whistling. The soft voice filled the air.

“If you want to get someplace, you have to leave nowhere.