Murdo Girl…Destressing

It seems that people nowadays are really quite obsessed, with naming what they’re feeling and the word they use is, stressed.

I hear them say, “I’m stressed and I can’t take it anymore.” If that’s the way you’re feeling, its not something to ignore.

The word stressed, means under pressure and too much will make you break. It can be caused by work…or the money you don’t make.

When stress piles on too quickly, it will make your health go South. It steals away your smile and then you get down-in-the-mouth.

The only way I’ve found to shoo that stress away is to take a little time and play away the day.

Laughter is good medicine. It has no side effects. It doesn’t cost you money and it causes no regrets.

So send your stress a packing, though it may not leave forever, it will be a nice vacation and you’ll feel a whole lot better.

(Good things happen to those who create…

Bunnies out of a paper plate.)

Murdo Girl…Beaster Mom puts on her big girl shoes.

There was a Beaster Mom who lived in a shoe. She had so many Beaster Bunnies she didn’t know what to do.

Their shoe was so small, they were always stepping on each other, which wore out the shoe AND the Beaster Mother.

She paced back and forth. What steps could she take?

Should she get a mobile shoe and take the kids to the lake?

She paced back and forth until she wore a big hole… in the sock rug…(Bless that shoe’s sole.)

She lived on a shoestring, but she needed a break.

She hoped stepping up wouldn’t be a mistake.

Thinking outside the shoe box she finally gave in and knew right away her plan was a shoe-win.

She rented an old travel shoe and a 4 foot tent…packed up her bunnies and off they all went.

They had fun in the sun, ate carrots they roasted, and discovered that Peeps tasted good toasted.

Beaster Mom watched the fun and enjoyed her boot rest. Her bunnies said, “Mom, you’re the absolute Bootiest!!”

Murdo Girl…Ryan goes shopping

I like to ride in a cart and shop…

While I’m looking for the Beasterhop.

He rides a bicycle to his garden…

The one he works so very hard in.

I wonder what his garden grows…

He says he reaps just what he sows.

He has a basket on his bike.

I hope he picks the things I like.

Will he be here? Can we fill our cart?

Will Mommy know where we should start?

What’s in his basket? Will he stock it…

With candy kisses made from chocolate!


There is a place called Beastertown. A place where beasterhops are found.

Where beaster bunnies go to church and school, and learn about the golden rule.

Treat your friends and others too, how you would like them to treat you...

Murdo Girl…SOW syndrome

This blog post is dedicated to my friends and family who live in one of the state’s that has been hit with insurmountable snow and below zero temperatures for month after month.

This is in no way meant to minimize the devastation that has and will continue to affect all of you. I will continue to send prayers your way…

This following teaching moment is for those who can use a few minutes of relief from tension.

As you know, I always like to be of help, so I have developed a little presentation to aid in getting you out of the white funk syndrome I call SOW, (Sick of Winter). Follow these steps and you’ll be smiling again in no time.

# 1, Stop eating all that comfort food or I’ll have to develop another kind of SOW presentation.

#2, Stand in front of a mirror and clap your hands 3 times while at the same time saying, “Ha, Ha, Ha.”

#3, Repeat #2 three times.

#4, Now, clap 5 times while chanting, “Ha, Ha, Hahaha.) Are you still with me? Okay, let me do a demo.

As you have just learned, you do the same thing with Hohoho…if you wish to advance to a higher level, use Hehehe and repeat 10 times.

Now for the cool down…or should I say SOW down?

The tune comes from a song by the pacemakers…no pun intended.

Don’t let the snow catch you cryin.

In July your friend in Texas will be fryin.

Don’t blame yourself if you’ve got sow.

You have a way to fight it now.

Hahaha and hohoho…

Until you’ve seen the last of snow.

No don’t let the snow catch you cryin….

The cat loves SOW downs

I have to get the clothes out of the dryer now!

Murdo Girl…You won’t want to miss this!

By the time you get to my age, you have probably found what brings you joy and what doesn’t. If you’re not that old yet, or haven’t found those things, (just things not people), that make life special, I’m about to give you a gift…Below are a few items I cherish.

Extra durable Mr Clean Magic Erasers.

I couldn’t live without one of these in every room. Mom used to clean her floor by dragging a wet rag around with her foot. I do that in the shower with one of these. I can get the soap scum off the floor and at the same time, I magically erase the callouses from the bottoms of my feet.

Another eraser thing. Revlon Root Eraser. Sorry girls, I can’t afford to spend a hundred dollars at the beauty shop once a month and if I don’t keep my roots touched up, I start to look like Whistler’s Mother.

See how her hair is brown in front and gray in the back? Mine is gray in front and brown in the back. Not very attractive. I could have fixed her right up. This new root eraser comes in a nifty canister, and can be used three times. Now that right there is a money saver! You can thank me later.

I love this rechargeable battery operated fake fire. I suppose it looks like a flickering candle, but it’s much more dramatic looking when you put it inside a frosted glass holder, or a more rustic one like this. It even comes with a remote, and I charge it with it’s own little charger, which also works on my Samsung phone.

Rodan and Fields anything! I love the Redefine Regimen. It works for me. I also use the Active Hydration Serums. One for my neck and one for around my eyes.

An absolute must have for me is Lash Boost. I didn’t use mascara for years because I really didn’t have any lashes. I tried to get some good shots of them, now.

My favorite hat. I found it at a quaint little thrift shop in Cashiers, NC.

My favorite books are both Jesus Calling. The pink one was a gift from my daughter-in-law, Amy, and the brown one was a gift from Gus. I read one every morning. I keep one book in the house and one in the RV.

I won’t get into my favorite Beasterhops, water towers, crowns, or Queen E pictures. I know you’ll appreciate that.

You can thank me twice, later!

I received these beautiful flowers, yesterday, from my cousin Greg Miller and his wife, Carma. They’re so uplifting! I love fresh flowers and appreciate the thoughtfulness that came with these.

I’ll thank them three times!

What things bring you joy?

Murdo Girl…Little c or big C

We’re off to Dallas this morning. I have a doctor’s appointment that could have been avoided.

Remember my cute little poem that started with, “testing, testing, one, two, three, I’m prepping for a colonoscopy?” It had been ten years since I’d had one, which would have been okay, if my previous tests hadn’t revealed several polyps that had to be removed. The lab report called them precancerous. The doc considered my Francis family history of digestive tract issues, and recommended I come back in 3-5 years.

Ten years later, a total of twenty polyps were removed during an hour and a half long colonoscopy that normally takes twenty minutes.

A week later, I was driving home from a friend’s house, when my doctor called to tell me I had colon cancer. A couple of weeks later, I had nine inches of my large intestine, fifteen lymph nodes, ten more polyps, and my appendix removed.

The surgeon is positive the tumor had not spread outside the submucous of the large intestine in which case no further treatment is usually recommended. He decided to refer me to an oncologist for a second opinion. We’re headed that way now. I will let you know how it goes.

My reason, of course, for telling you all of this is to convince you not to delay having all of the preventive tests available to you. They save lives.

In my case, I have suffered some consequences of blowing them off, but if I hadn’t tired of my doctor and husband hounding me and finally had the dreaded colonoscopy, the big C would have progressed.

Beautiful glass sculpture in the lobby of the Harold Simmons Cancer Center

Stage I cancers have a survival rate of 80-95 percent. Stage II tumors have survival rates ranging from 55 to 80 percent. A stage III colon cancer has about a 40 percent chance of cure and a patient with a stage IV tumor has only a 10 percent chance of a cure.

I don’t like drinking that yucky stuff either, but now I have to do it every year, and I’ll enjoy every swallow.

Are you convinced?

Murdo Girl…What to do, What to do?

I’m excited about the JC Coyotes going to the State B basketball tournament this week. They’re scheduled to play their first game, today!

At the end of the blog, I have a couple of pictures of two guys I was around a lot growing up. I believe both went to the State B as participants when they were Seniors (wink).

I graduated in 1970. Our team made it to the regionals.

Now…Here is the blog I wrote for today…

In the last week, I have read three novels and a children’s storybook. I had read two of the novels and the children’s book before, but that was over a year ago. Yesterday, I was invited to the Cedar Creek Literary Club brunch. The speaker was an author who has had a novel published and is writing a second one. I was fascinated by her accounting of the challenges a writer faces once the book is completed. It was clear that I had approached it all wrong.

She said two “must haves” are an editor and a cover creator. She gave us a lot of other information as well, but I’ve been organizing my thoughts around these two.

The first book I read was written by a bestselling author. It was a little “dark” but pretty good. The second was written by me. Since I hadn’t read it for over a year, I got a knew perspective.

I realized I needed a professional editor. They are costly, ($3500.00 to $4000.00). I had help identifying punctuation and grammar errors, but since I was the only one to actually work on the manuscript, I missed correcting a few…several…a lot of them.

As I reread the book, the storyline kept me interested, but there were parts that were too repetitive. It was if I was afraid the reader had fallen asleep and maybe missed something. A few other things also need finessing.

As far as the cover goes, I think it looks great, but then I could be attached to my own creation. It happened when I had children, too. Thankfully, a higher power was involved.

I put a lot of time into this book. I think it’s time I make a decision. Do I scrap it or make it something I can be proud of?

Now all I need is four thousand buckaroos.

The third book I read needs some minor changes, but I think the story is riveting. I, again, was slightly repetitive with information. It was like I was doing a twenty thousand word story and I only had fifteen thousand words.

The photographs in this story are the work of a good friend who specializes in outdoor scenes. They’re fabulous.

Taken near Nemo in the Black Hills of South Dakota…

The story in the children’s book, is from a childhood memory of mine. We Shall See what We Shall See, is what it is! It’s about a favorite character I made up while my dad and I were telling each other tales.

I have neglected my blog. I’ve been recovering from surgery. I will write more on that later…I believe all is well.

Have a great day! Prayers for all of my South Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming family and friends who have been hit hard with yet another awful blizzard.

On the good news side, the Jones County Coyotes made it to the State B tournament for the first time in thirty years!

Go Coyotes!!!!

William Francis, Sr. Is 2nd to the left in front.

Billy Francis, big Bill’s son is the guy without the cover-up.

Val and I are Sandersons. We’re trained not to look in the direction of the camera.

Murdo Girl…What is an educated woman?

June 8, 2016

The following is an excerpt from an exclusive interview with retiring Jones County High School teacher, Margie Peters.

Mrs. Peters

This exclusive interview did in fact take place. Even if it didn’t, it’s all true.

Yram Sicnarf: Good morning Margie. May I call you Mrs. Peters?

Mrs. Peters: Whatever floats your boat.

Yram Sicnarf: Let me introduce myself. My name is Yram Sicnarf and I’m an award-winning reporter out of Gun Barrel City, Texas. Please call me Yram.

Mrs. Peters: Gun Barrel City?

Yram: Yes, it’s a little town, South of Riffle Butt, and East of Slingshot, but that’s all you need to know… Mrs. Peters, out of the thousands of students who have excelled under your tutelage, is there any ONE particular student, who because of your influence, has risen to greater heights than those less fortunate?

Mrs. Peters: Oh, my goodness Miss Sicnarf from Gun Barrel, that’s really a loaded question. (No pun intended.) I hate to single out any ONE student, but I will say the whole town is extremely proud of Senator Thune. I’m sure you must have heard of him.

Yram: Yes, yes, I’ve seen the sign. Maybe it would help if we narrowed it down a little. Let’s say the class of 1970. To tunnel down even further, think female!

Mrs. Peters: Well yes, that certainly narrows it down doesn’t it? Hmm, let me think…

The sound of crickets

Yram: I recently interviewed a stunningly talented young lady who was very complimentary of your influence. She goes by …Murdo Girl.

More crickets…

Yram: Yes, Murdo Girl idolized you. She told me she credits you with the success of every one of her careers.

Mrs. Peters: Careers? You mean she’s had more than one? Are we talking jobs or careers?

Yram: Mrs. Peters, we’re here to talk about you. As an aside, Murdo Girl told me that she has never forgotten you…well there was that one time she used your name as a password prompt. The question was, “Who was your favorite teacher?” She had a momentary brain freeze and forgot. It all came back to her when she remembered how you had tricked her in speech class.

Mrs. Peters: Excuse me?

Yram: Yes the topic for the impromptu speech was, “What is an educated woman?”

Mrs. Peters: Ah yes, it’s all coming back to me. I was trying to get my students to think on their feet and be more creative. I recall a young woman who was struggling. She talked about school and college, blah, blah, blah.

Yram: So you admit to setting her up?

Mrs Peters: On the contrary Miss Sicnarf. I hope it was a valuable learning experience for her. An educated woman is a great deal more than…

Yram: I hate to interrupt Mrs. Peters, but I have an interview in a few minutes with the Senator’s father. He taught me, I mean Murdo Girl, algebra, and hired her to work at the Frosty Freeze one summer. Let’s wrap it up with this question. Do you really feel it’s important to know how to diagram sentences? I mean, how many times is an employer going to ask you to diagram a sentence?

Mrs. Peters: Are you sure this Murdo Girl was in my class? If so, she would realize the importance of using correct grammar. Knowing how to write and speak properly is part of being an educated woman. Knowing how a sentence is structured teaches the correct usage of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Some are unable to snag a good job because they don’t know a conjugated verb when they see one. I’ve noticed you always use first person.

Yram: I see…Does it help to use a lot of pictures? Never mind. I’m off to see Mr. Thune. Miss Murdo Girl has never had to use Algebra either, although she can make a mean malt.

Mrs. Peters: It’s very nice to have met you Miss Sicnarf. Don’t you want to take a picture before you go? I would suggest you take several.

I don’t see the sign. Do you see the sign?

Is this the high school? I can’t find a parking spot. I even have a sticker. Does Murdo Girl have a sign?

Murdo Girl…Snapping back

I’m beginning a new exercise class tomorrow. Remember when I signed up for yoga last year? Here’s the story…

Like almost everyone in the free world, I woke up New Years Day with a resolve to get into shape. I didn’t set the bar too high because I think that’s the reason why others who might be lacking in self-discipline, fail. I decided my plan would be to exercise a few days a week and stop eating anything white. I couldn’t start right away because of our New Year’s trip to Galveston. Under those circumstances, I have no control over what other people feed me right? Don’t be saying that it’s not what, but how much I eat that counts. I don’t like to hear that nonsense because if the truth hurts, I wear it!


Lav and I participating in a vigorous and challenging class with Gus. Lav and I are the ones with the crowns on 

For years, I was so committed to running, I didn’t have to worry about a fitness resolution. I could catch up easily if I got waylaid for a month or two. Unfortunately, all that ended a few years ago. Actually it’s now been double digits ago. Anyway, shortly after that, I came to the end of the elastic in my skin. I hadn’t realized that when elastic has been around a while, it doesn’t snap back. Old elastic begins to resemble cottage cheese. All that kind of bothers me, but there is one thing that I’m having an even more difficult time accepting. I experienced it yesterday in the midst of a yoga class. All my flexibility is gone and rigor mortis has set in.

I struggled from the git-go.

I was already humiliated enough when I discovered if I tried to stand straight with one foot against my calf, I would fall over. Then the instructor said to move the foot upward toward my knee while still balancing on the other foot, and continuing to pay attention to my breathing. She said we could use a block that she had placed beside us if we felt “unsteady”. I was hoping she didn’t notice that my eyes were crossed and I was very close to hyperventilating. With very little oxygen going to the brain, I couldn’t feel my arms, let alone remember if I was supposed to hold them out like airplane wings, or above my head. I cannot breathe right when I am trying to look at the sky through my right arm while I make sure my fingers are spread wide and my eyes are actually closed. By this time, my friend, Barbara and the instructor had stopped making eye contact with me, anyway.


When I was supposed to have my eyes closed, I caught a glimpse of my feet. I looked at my right foot. Not bad, I thought. My nails were clipped and filed and I had painted them with a couple of coats of orange-ish colored polish. I was pleased since I hadn’t realized you did yoga without your shoes on. It really does pay to be prepared for anything. I couldn’t see my left foot yet because it was still trying to get to my knee.

When we were again seated on our mats, I saw my left foot. How in the world could I have forgotten to manicure the toenails on my left foot? Did the phone ring? Did the doorbell ring? Did I run out of time before I had to shower and dress? I don’t know!! Now what? If I stopped to put my shoes and socks back on, that might draw more attention to my dilemma, and later people would ask me why I decided to put my shoes on in the middle of the class? I guess I could have told them I got cold feet, which would have been true. Instead, I did my best to put it aside and continued to struggle through the remainder of the class. Even though I was sitting, I still felt like I was falling. During the drive home, I made a Thursday resolution to never let that happen again… starting Thursday. Now for the remainder of my life my left foot will be on a different schedule than my right foot.

I remember a time when my Grandpa Sanderson was showing me something, and I noticed that his fingernails were flat. I didn’t make the connection between flat nails and aging. I just noticed. I don’t know when it happened to me, but I have flat fingernails, too. Are you looking at yours? There is nothing you can do about it.

The bottom line is, you cannot outrun mother nature. Even if you have everything lifted, tightened, tugged and sandpapered, you will not look young forever. Your knees will still sag and so will your bottom. It will be more difficult to stand on one foot, and getting up from the floor hurts. Your smile really will look like a frown turned upside down and you cannot live in dark shadows forever. You can whiten your teeth now unless you have a mouth full of crowned teeth like I do. Crowns don’t whiten, which is the only thing I have found negative about a crown.



My mother said, “Mary, you will get to a certain age when you have to decide if you are going to be plump with a good face, or be slim with a lined and sunken face.” She said to stay plump and sit down a lot. Thanks my forever beautiful Mother. I’ll do my best, but I will go back to that yoga class…as soon as I can find the time for a mani-pedi. How much do they cost now anyway? I think I’ll have someone else do it.

From now on, I will try any excercise that doesn’t begin with a Y, and I won’t drink anything white…except milk.