Murdo Girl…Chocolate on butter

Nothing is ever ALL sad.

My mother always told me that I would need to start wearing glasses when I turned forty. She said the first time she realized she needed glasses is when she couldn’t see a number in the phone book. It wouldn’t be such a big problem, now, but back then, it was. So Mom got glasses and, just as she had predicted, I too, had to get them when I turned forty. My brother held out for another several years by closing one eye and having someone else read the menu to him. His favorite dish was always, the special.  Once he asked a friend if he was going to eat his ice cream. The friend said, “knock yourself out!” It turned out to be butter.

The other day, when I was having some problems with my medication, I also got one very pleasant surprise side effect. I did not need my glasses to see far (distance). I now only needed them to read, which I hardly ever do, anyway.

So, off to the store I went to buy several pairs of those cute little reading glasses my friend, Pat always wears. They’re so cheap, you can buy a pair to match all your outfits. Several of my friends swore their eyesight improved when they reached a certain age. I should have been suspicious since Mom had never mentioned such an occurrence.

Friday, my body started to work it’s way back to normal. My equilibrium, which was most affected, gradually allowed me to walk down the hall without hanging onto the wall.

By this morning, I was feeling almost normal, just really tired. I took out my reading glasses, found something to read, and went to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee. “Who moved the coffee pot?” I asked the dogs. (Kip wasn’t awake yet.) After spending some time looking for the creamer, the refrigerator, the water faucet, and a few other things, it dawned on me that my eyesight had gone back to “needs glasses.”

Does anyone need some plus 2.25 reading glasses? I have them in every color. I just need to find them.

Murdo Girl…Corrective shoes

Do you know what corrective shoes are? They’re just like they sound.

One year, when I was five or six, one of my mom’s friends noticed that I was walking in such a way that I was virtually standing on the sides of my shoes. Well, that really bugged mom and when she saw me doing it, she yelled at me to, “STOP!”


Of course, those kinds of tactics never work. Have you ever seen anyone stop doing something because even a person with some authority told them to “stop?”

I didn’t even get the somewhat bearable Mary Janes. My mother’s friend, Elsa, who was normally a very nice lady, told Mom that the shoes had to be tied, “tight” to work. I ended up with the brown Buster Bowns. I thought they would never wear out.

I thought


Imagine this dress in pink with pink tights and brown Buster Browns. I’m pretty sure I started a new fad and the next week the whole town sold out of Buster Browns. (See!  now you made me lie.) will have to admit, I don’t walk on the sides of my shoes anymore.

Murdo Girl…Do I know you?

It’s only  been a few days since I was walking through a car lot looking for the car I had rented to take me to the hotel down the street. I was already irritated, because I could have easily walked there in less than five minutes. Someone else would have had to grab my light, carefully packed nylon duffel bag, but we could have easily made it… that is, if I hadn’t dropped my overstuffed purse with the zipper that won’t quite zip, and hadn’t tripped two very nice ladies and a the  guy who was walking too closely behind them.

Have you ever seen the domino effect in action? It doesn’t look quite as cool getting up as it does going down. It took me five minutes to explain that it wasn’t the guy’s fault that the light turned  and we only had six more seconds to get across the street.


I hate that moment of decision when the blinking light says,” You don’t have time to make it, lady….5,4,3,2. The cars are turning into your lane now and your moment of decisiveness has passed. People that need to be someplace are fuming.


I returned the truck the next day. The gas tank was empty and one of the, “Objects may be closer than they appear,” signs was stuck onto one of the tire rims. It only took me seven minutes to get back to the car lot. The traffic was rather light. One set of keys is missing, but they have insurance for all of that, right?

I’m sort of glad I rented that truck. All of my luggage fit just fine and the truck matched the only traffic light that counts.



Murdo Girl…Love is…

True love and friendship takes work, commitment, the ability to forgive, and accept forgiveness.


Most of you know that we’ve been thrown a few curve balls, lately. I’ve also had a bad reaction to medication, and some other challenges that have kept me from being the kind of friend I should be. (My hands are shaking as I type this blog.) Kip and I have seen examples of true friendship over and over again as we travel this path. I had no idea what having loving, caring, hard-working friends means in a tough situation until this happened. (This is not a group thank you).

I had to let Facebook, and the blog go. I simply have not had the energy, ability to concentrate, or the time. Kip and I have made over twenty trips to the hospital which is about an hour from where we live. I have one more surgery, but I will get through that and whatever comes next. Forgive me for not keeping up with what’s happening in your lives. I’ve missed a lot, I know.

People go through things in their lives. Things that hurt and are difficult to recover from. I wrote this poem a while back when a friend and I were discussing a child going through a painful experience. I don’t know this child, but I know children and parents who have fought this battle. Let’s get the focus off MG for a minute. I’m too shaky to type, anyway.

Love is…

You’re a baby sleeping soundly and your mother stands nearby.

She listens for a whimper or a cry.

Her heart is full of love and her thoughts are full of fears.

Don’t let me fail this child, she prays through tears.

Will the face that looks so peaceful match his feelings deep inside?

Can she be the kind of mother whose child looks at her with pride?

Love is Faith…

You’re a youngster starting school and your mother says goodbye.

She’s so happy you’re excited. There’s a twinkle in her eye.


But school is really hard. You try your best but it’s too tough.

The other kids convince you that you just aren’t smart enough.

Your mother has your eyes checked and your teacher gives you tests.

And the reason for the problem manifests.


Love is Courage

You’re a teenager and troubled by what’s happening at home.

Even with the others there, you feel like you’re alone.

So you run around with kids who are going through things, too.

You make promises you’ll do things, but you just can’t follow through.

Your mom, lost in a sea of guilt, knows things have gone too far.

She wishes she could help you to be who you really are.

Love is patience…

You’re a young adult and you’ve worked hard to turn your life around.

Life is never perfect, but you’ve climbed to higher ground.

Once again your mother prays through tears.

So very much has happened through the years.

She knows she did the best she could, but doubts her child agrees.

She made mistakes and didn’t see the forest for the trees.

Love is forever…

They took a bumpy road, but found a place to make their peace.

And in the end they both came to believe.

They let others help them find what they couldn’t find alone.

They felt valued as they reaped the better seeds that they had sewn.

“They learned that all people are flawed, but God is God.”

Help someone with a challenge, today. Be someone’s goldenrod


Read about the goldenrod. It has healing properties and unlike most people think, they do not cause allergic reactions

Murdo Girl…Rhubarb Ann

Grandma and Grandpa Sanderson’s house had a small front room, a long dining room with a buckled linoleum floor. Grandma and Grandpa’s room was off that room. There was a bathroom off the kitchen, Billy’s room, which was also off the kitchen, a washroom behind the kitchen, and a back door that faced the crawdad pond. I remember sitting on the steps outside the back door and to my right there were several rhubarb plants. I tried to eat one once and it was the sourest thing I ever put in my mouth. The only other thing I remember about Grandma’s rhubarb was seeing it simmer at the back of the stove in a big pot of water. Grandma always had either plums or rhubarb simmering on the back of the stove. I remember eating it once in a while, but not in the quantities Grandma kept it stocked. Now that I think about it, Grandma was either extremely constipated, or she just really liked stewed fruit.

I don’t remember rhubarb pie being served. Grandma usually made cherry pie. I don’t remember eating much of anything made with rhubarb, yet to this day, I love it all… Jam, cobbler, pie, cake, coffee cake, syrup, or anything else made from rhubarb.I have recently become acquainted with rhubarb shakes, and they are something to wrap your lips around and enjoy every slow- churned bite.My cousin, Lav and I discovered them in the summer of 2016 at a little diner across from the Harold Thune Auditorium. Now we will never be able to go back to any other flavor. We are lost to the uniqueness of rhubarb.We talked everyone we were slightly acquainted with into buying us a Rhubarb Shake at the diner. We didn’t even stop to consider that other local establishments might offer them. We went directly to the source of our first head freeze each time we had the opportunity. I have never seen a Rhubarb Shake since… except the following summer when I convinced Teresa Palmer to buy me one.

I honestly think that Murdo could become known as the home of the Rhubarb Shake. People are less enamored now with the hot beef sandwiches and cherry pie you can get at Wall Drug. The summers are hot, and cooler fare is needed. You could keep overhead way down if you leave the cherry off the top, which ruins the flavor anyway…And best of all!!! You can bring back the Frosty Freeze. Every ice cream place in town gets a cut as long as they keep the standards up. Just think of it.

Murdo, South Dakota….The home of the Rhubarb Shake. Dare I suggest a sign out west of town?

We’ll have fly-ins and carnivals, Rhubarb Rodeos an of course…

A Rhubarb Queen

Or Thirty


(I will later write the Murdo Girl stories in book format, but they won’t be published on the blog. Several Murdoites would like to have them published together. You’re all the best!)

Anyway…It’s (almost) time for a new generation of idea people and I think there’s a future in Rhubarb…does the diner have a juke box?

Saw Rubarb Ann. Thought I’d take a stand..Bababababran..Betty Sue wouldn’t do…you get it!!

Murdo Girl…Bring Jean

Tonail means to nail, like to nail a pitcher to the wall. Just because a wird is not spelled like yew mite be accustomed to seeing it, does not mean it doesn’t have pacific meaning. I don’t intend to bemuse the subject any deeper, but try to understand when I tell you I like my words underlined in red.


I have a request to make. I need someone to locate Jean Robinson and bring her over to my house. Can you do it tomorrow? It’s very important that I see her. I’ve had fewer requests for visitors as of late, so I have decided to take matters into my own hands. If Jean can’t come over, then she will go to the bottom of the list and it might be a couple of days before she once again makes her way back to the top. Does that sound mean?

I will make this short and sweet and wait patiently for a reply. I realize emergencies are often in the eyes of the beholder. That’s me…That’s Jean and I don’t care who brings her. I haven’t had a good day, so don’t push my kind nature and forgivingness.


Murdo Girl…knows everything

You will very seldom hear me admit it, but sometimes my brother is right. He says that when you get older, it gets increasingly important to live near your doctors. Yes, doctors as in more than one.

They specialize in certain areas of your body, now. When you call for an appointment because your big toe is out of joint, they ask if it’s above or below the joint that in any way touches the tonail. I have yet to figure out how doctors decide how they determine where their expertise lies. Someone must have to draw the short straw. There are so many things that can go wrong with the body, that someone has to work on the yuckier parts. I almost lost it while watching a doctor remove my son’s earwax.

(Ugly potbellied pigs live in the same rocks as beautiful flowers.) Beauty and beasts live together.

But, I guess on average, we live reasonably long and healthy lives…even if our moms used talcum powder on us and fed us red jelly beans, we somehow survived.

What to do, what to do? Sitting too close to the television, which I think just makes you blind, and eating bacon, are hard to give up.

I hate to blame Mom for everything, but every ailment must be someone’s fault. She let me drink coffee when I was only five.

As for me, I can’t protect myself from wive’s tales or today’s scientific findings. It will make me crazy and hard to live with. So here is my plan.

I’ll hug my friends, let my family know how much I love them every chance I get. Pray for patience, acceptance, and forgiveness. Give love and reject hate, seek out that person who looks like they need a kind word or a smile, and hope they don’t really need a shot of baking soda in a glass of water. I’m no doctor, but my friend Pat, swears this cures everything.

I hope I can remain true to the commitments I just expressed, in writing, without making it all a part of a deal with God. (If you do that, then it negates everything.)

I’m sixty-seven and I want to remember there is nothing more important than trust and one more thing.

Do not expect money to bring you happiness… It won’t! There is never enough. Never!! But you can sing a song with Murdo.

Will I remember to live this life I know will bring me the joy I yearn for? I have relationships to mend and I need strength from the place all strength comes from.

Will you help me?

(Go ahead and hug on that flag Queen E. You know you want to.)

Murdo Girl…The tail is always at the end

I came across this bit of wisdom, today, and it spoke to me. Now I hope it speaks to you! At the end...

I walked along a bubbling brook. The warm sun felt so nice.

I sat upon a nearby rock. The water felt like ice.

I took my shoes and socks off and stuck my toes in the cold stream.

“You’ll catch your death.” I heard someone say. Not sounding one bit mean.

I felt the slippery slimy moss and knew better than to stand,

Until I found a muddy hole where I could jump and safely land.

I saw a fish swim by. He knew I meant no harm.

I had no fishing pole or pail

of minnows on my arm.

Soon the sun was setting and I knew that I must leave.

We can never know if we’ll be back, but this I must believe.

I can go anywhere I want to, but I can’t go everywhere.

I can do what you can do. Not as good, but I don’t care.

I can sing and dance and juggle balls… all at the same time.

If you try to say I can’t, you’re still a friend of mine.

I can tell stories that aren’t funny and train a dog to sit.

If you can’t keep up with all I do it’s not okay to quit.

I can make hiccups go away by drinking water upside down,

I’ve shown others how to do it and only two of them have drowned.

I can make an eggless, milkless , butterless, cake. My mother taught me how. I think she learned to make it when they had to sell their cow. They ate the eggs for breakfast and the butter wouldn’t churn. Someone hid the sugar so there’d be something left to burn.

Now here’s a piece of wisdom that I’ll only say one time.

As life goes on, sometimes you’ll run into a great big hill to climb.

If there’s a hill to climb, don’t wait for it to shrink.

Hills don’t get smaller no matter what you think…

(You have to climb it!

Don’t wait! Get started!)

Murdo Girl…From me to you

It was just a few months ago that Kip and I were on our way back from a trip of a lifetime. We had been on an eight week RV trip with the sole purpose of seeing the fall colors as they changed before our very eyes. We thought we had gotten away too late, but we couldn’t have timed it better. The only thing that could have added to the spectacular scenery and sites we saw, not to mention time spent with good friends, would have been just a few more days here or a couple of more weeks there. We always hate to see our trips come to an end, but it’s always good to catch up with friends and family at home, too.

These pictures were taken at the end of our trip that took us into parts of twenty-one states. We traveled at our own pace and took the time to spend with friends and relatives who showed us some beautiful places.

This was our fourth long trip, lasting around two months. We’ve also taken several long weekends with friends or just the two of us and our more than willing travelling menagerie.. We drive a 38′ 2002 class A motor home and tow my 2015 jeep…both have logged a lot of miles.

It’s a wonderful way to see the history and the beauty of our country. We’ve spent much more time with family and friends than we otherwise would have.

We arrived back in Mabank, TX in time for our Church’s Lord’s Acre Celebration and of course Thanksgiving and Christmas. My Dad, Gus, from California was here and stayed to help us welcome in the New Year.

In January, my Doctor convinced me to catch up on some tests I had gotten behind on, so she scheduled a colonoscopy and a mammogram. Both tests revealed cancer and I have now had a partial colectomy of the ascending colon and most recently, a bilateral mastectomy. The latter was just a week ago, so I’m still in the throws of healing from that one.

I’m going to be fine. I have a wonderful supportive group of family, extended family, and friends who have amazed me with their unfailing offers to help with anything we might need. I have never in my life experienced such truly loving, generosity and straight from the heart to God’s ears, earnest, prayers from our wonderful Pastor Dan and a church family who cares for the needs of everyone.

God gave me a husband who has shown his strength, patience, unending love and support. Our four children and their families have been pretty amazing, too. Most of you know our daughter Heidi has not hesitated to make sure I have received the absolute best of care at UTSW where she has been employed for eighteen years. My Daughter-in-law, Amy, has sent me daily motivational devotionals. and she’s also a nurse which helps to keep me informed.

Our Daughter, Heather, spent most of the night with me trying to keep me comfortable the night of the surgery after Kip and our friend, Pat finally went home after a long, long, day. I have been so loved and cared for.

My other daughter-in-law, April has spent the last three years fighting her own battle with cancer. Thanks be to God, she is currently cancer free.

Food, cards, boxes of goodies, flowers, special prayer blankets with unique appliques lovingly sewn on them, have all been made with loving hands.

I have not done one single thing to deserve any of these gifts of love, but I have learned that is the kind of love that beats inside the hearts of true and joyful believers.

I wish I could find better words. I wish you could see inside my heart, because then you would know how you have each touched it in such a personal way.

I love you all so much and I will strive to be a witness to God’s love that I have seen so bright and beautifully.

All is well, all is well, with my soul…