Murdo Girl…Just nip it

Kip and I had a long day in Dallas yesterday, but we had a plan for after my doctor’s appointments.

Our anniversary was last week and since we knew we had to go to Dallas this week, we decided to wait to celebrate. We wanted to stop at one of our favorite restaurants on our way home.

Bubbas in Ennis serves really good Texas barbecue, but we love their steaks. They season them just right and we always have them with a baked sweet potato that’s slathered with cinnamon sugar butter. They serve it with a fresh salad and Texas toast.

You pick out your own steak
There was a picture of Barney on the wall behind me.

Barney was always in favor of stopping a problem before it started, which is where his catch phrase came from. He always said, “Ya gotta Nip it! Do you hear me? Nip it! Just nip it in the bud!”

I asked the server if she would snap a picture of us. I said, “we’re sort of celebrating our anniversary.”

Kip said, “Sort of? That’s a funny thing to say.”

Yes…we ate it all. We were starving and we nip, nip, nipped in the bud. That phrase can help us get through more than one life situation.

If you’ve got a little problem, you’ve got to do your part to nip it before it gets out of hand

Thanks, Barney. I’ve missed you.

Murdo Girl…Thank you, Tammy

I spelled potato with an e last night. I decided years ago not to spend my last $100,000 on a college education and sometimes it shows. I used to be able to spell most words, and add and subtract in my head, but those abilities went by the wayside. I can, however, remember a lot of the past.

Last week, I received something very special in the mail from Tammy Lindquist Van Dam. She sent me various annuals that were extras at the school. I’ve had a great time going through them and remembering all those bright young faces.


A while back I wrote about the doohickey that came loose and caused my hose to sag, which threw off my saxophone performance and resulted in my getting less than a superior score.

Well, you won’t believe this…

I often meet someone I find I’m connected to through family or friends. I have a few incredible examples. This is one of them.

The young man who accompanied me on the piano as I butchered my solo, was Sydney Iwan. I ran across his picture in one of the annuals Tammy sent.

In 1986, Kip and I bought a house in Richardson, TX. A couple of days after we moved in, the lady next door came over to introduce herself. When she discovered I was from SD, she said she grew up in Bonesteel, SD and was a family friend of the Applebees. We drilled down a little bit more and discovered the Iwans (not from Bonesteel) were her cousins.

Sydney Iwan


Coach Applebee

I told her that Sydney and his family lived across the street from the high school and he had accompanied me a few times when I played solo’s at music contests. (I didn’t tell her about the doohickey incident.) Sydney also accompanied different choruses and glee clubs.

Sydney’s stats


I said Mr. Applebee coached Football, basketball, and track, and taught history throughout my high school years.

Mrs. Peters

I wanted to show you a picture of Mrs. Peter’s, who as far as I know, is not related to any of the above. I had her all four years in English and English Lit. She was a great teacher. I’ve used her name for my password several times. Oh, look who is standing next to her…Pat Penticoff!

Anyway, as most South Dakota people would be, Judy and Everette were great neighbors. We lived next to them for ten years. You have to admit it’s rather remarkable that someone from Murdo, SD, a town of about 800 at that time, and someone from Bonesteel, which was probably equally as small, became next door neighbors in Richardson, TX. I think the Dallas metroplex population was about three million back in the eighties. It’s now twice that and Bonesteel and Murdo are less than 1000 combined.

I’ll keep going through the annuals.

Murdo Girl…Moms aren’t all alike

I was reading a story written by someone just a few years older than me, and I began to realize that even in a small town, each family has it’s own characteristics and can operate very differently.

Mom and me with Elsa and Harold Peck at our house

The writer’s mother operated a mangle and pressed their sheets. She ironed their dad’s shirts and all of their clothes. She kept house and cooked three hot meals a day. She also taught her daughters how to do these things. On cold winter days, they all read books.

I never had a chance.

As the little old lady that lived in the neighborhood south of highway 16 said. “Those Sanderson girls (my mom and her sisters) never learned how to do anything useful.”

Mom sent Dad’s shirts to the laundry in Chamberlain and they came back pressed, folded, and wrapped. I had no idea sheets weren’t supposed to have wrinkles.

Breakfast was whatever we could find after we brought Mom coffee in bed. I didn’t mind. I loved cereal. At one point she thought Billy needed to eat eggs but he didn’t like them, so she mixed up a raw egg in his cocoa every morning until I told him.

Once, while driving me to band, Dad asked if I’d had breakfast. When I said, “no ” he whipped into Fern’s Cafe and bought me a sugared donut and chocolate milk. No better way to insure your daughter has a nourishing breakfast. I loved Fern’s sugared donuts.

Most of the time, Mom cooked a hot noon meal, though sometimes it was something like a Swanson’s chicken pot pie and a baked potato. Supper was leftovers or chipped beef on toast. None of us liked sandwiches. I find it interesting that Dad became a good cook and my second father, Gus, is a great cook, too.

Mom was not what they now call a helicopter parent. She didn’t stick close by me to wipe my nose or ask me unimportant questions like, “What grade are you in?” She let me get into my own messes, but I also had to get out of them. This curbed my impulsiveness a little bit.

The interesting thing is, when my boys were born, she wanted me to be a mangle mom. She did not want me to work while I raised my kids. She didn’t get her wish.

She had fun with them, though. She took them to the movies with a hundred dollar bill. When they got home, the boys said, “Grandma didn’t even have to pay because the theater couldn’t break a hundred.” That worked a couple of times. She also fed them nourishing snacks like raw carrots dipped in garlic salt. You couldn’t get within ten feet of them for a week.

When Mom called the house, the kids would yell, “It’s Grandma.”

“Which one?”

“The crazy one.”

She loved it!

Mom said she just wasn’t made for hard work. Maybe not, but she was smart and a good business woman. All the cousins and I worked for her at the motel at some point and we all learned things that served us well in later years.

Craig, me, and Mom having tea. (Mason was there too.) Swimming off our boat. With Gus, by the pool, with Mason on her lap, and at Karen Lindquist’s one year birthday party.

Murdo Girl…Hurrah, Hurrah

My friends came marching one by one, Hurrah, Hurrah

My friends came marching one by one, Hurrah, Hurrah 


Down old sixteen they came, they came,

Now it will never be the same,

Oh they all cayayame….to Murdo town.     

 And they had the nerve to wear a crown 


They went to the Pioneer Auto Museum, hurrah, hurrah

I sure hope nobody did see’em, hurrah, hurrah

Did they sit in the red convertible?

Did anyone tell them it’s time to go?

Or did they wear those crowns all over town?

It sounds like they really got around.


They went to get a rhubarb shake, hurrah, hurrah,

They’re at the diner for heavens sake, hurrah, hurrah

They also got a burger or two

Lav, they spent more $ than me and you.


Oh, they won’t remember us in Murdo Town


The next time we happen to come around.

Hurrah, Hurrah.



Murdo Girl…They live in our hearts


Dad and Uncle Jerry were out driving around today like they do sometimes when they’re talking about jobs. Dad is a plumber and Uncle Jerry builds houses. Dad said they pulled up to a stop sign and there was Greg (Uncle Jerry’s son), throwing rocks. He was hitting a sign and causing it to dent all up. Well, Uncle Jerry wasn’t too happy about it, so he rolled down the window and was about to call Greg over to the car.

Before he had a chance to say anything, Greg ran over to the car and said, “Dad, I want to have a talk with you when we get home.” Dad said Uncle Jerry didn’t know what to say then, so he just rolled up the window and they drove off.

Andrea Miller-Sheehan, Jerry Miller, Blake Haverberg, Helen Haverberg, not sure, Wayne Sanderson, Elna Miller

Uncle Jerry doesn’t talk much, which might be kind of good, because there are plenty of people in our family who do. Two weeks ago we had a little mixup at my house. Mom went to Pierre, to buy flowers for the Motel planters, and to spend the night with a friend. She thought Dad was taking care of me. Well, Dad thought Mom was going the next day, so he went out-of-town to check on a job.

Spaghetti at Mom and Dad’s (Bill and Loretta Francis) Mom and Dad, Elsa Peck, Uncle Jerry and Aunt Elna (Miller)

When I got home after school, no one was there. (Billy was gone somewhere too.) I waited until suppertime and started getting hungry. Murdo is a small town. If your Mom and Dad get mixed up, there is always somewhere to go. I started walking and headed South of Hwy 16. I was really hungry by then, so I stopped at the first relative’s house I came to. Aunt Elna is a good cook, and I like to play with my cousins, Andrea, Stephanie, and Greg. Aunt Elna said, “Sure you can stay here, and we’ll just keep calling your house in case someone gets home.” Then, we all had chicken pot pies.

The outlaws

Al Leckey, Bill Francis, Jerry Miller, (not pictured, Bob Haverberg)

I ended up spending the night and the next morning, Uncle Jerry got me up early and took me to my house so I could change my clothes and get my saxophone for band practice. That was pretty nice I thought. He even gave me a ride to band practice.

Since I’m writing about Uncle Jerry, I will tell you about his office. My other cousins and I don’t go in there, because that’s where all his house plans, and other work stuff are kept.

Guess what? My cousin Andrea, (Jerry’s daughter), invited my cousin Valerie to go in the office. She said there’s a really nice stereo in there. She got to listen to a Gene Pitney album. I love Gene Pittney. He sings “A Town without pity.”

I’ m going to ask Stephanie if I can hear it too.

Uncle Jerry does a lot of work on the Cabin


The Days were Splendid, Every One

Murdo Girl…She should

I’ve been imagining how I can fix up my she shed. I’ve used fencing wood to finish the inside walls. This isn’t exactly where everything will be placed. I’m just playing around.

One wall before:

(The cabinet cleaned up well.)

Outside before…

Outside after…

The overhang will be different, and mine has double doors. The trees aren’t the same and I don’t have a real cow, but the neighbors who live behind my she shed have a pig and a bulldog who are best friends.

I couldn’t get a picture of them together today.

Murdo Girl…Can we go now?

I really want to go somewhere for a month or more.

I want to drive through little towns I’ve never seen before.

Let’s roll out the motor home and really make it shine.

Pack up all the things we need and leave the rest behind.

We’ll take the dogs and cat. They love to come along.

We’ll walk around those little towns pretending we belong.

When we’ve seen all there is to see we’ll hit the road again.

We won’t know where we’re going. We’ll love where we have been.

Those little burgs are waiting, for us to visit them.

Each town is different from the last. We find them on a whim.

I know that we can’t leave right now. I’ll stay here if I must.

I’ll try to count my blessings and suppress the wanderlust.

We have amazing friends here and for that I’m really thankful.

But let’s clean the RV anyway and gas? Let’s get a tankfull.

Murdo Girl…Waiting for a three dog night

“Three dog night,” is a phrase used by Australian Aborigines, meaning a night so cold you will need to take three dogs to bed with you to stay warm.

I have the three dogs, but there’s no three dog night in sight.

I feel like I’m on fire. It’s been 100 degrees outside

For days and days and days, relief has been denied

At three a.m. in the morning, there’s a 3% chance of rain

If we get a drop or two, it will feel like a hurricane

In the early hours of the morning, we take the dogs for a walk

They stay out until it’s 99, and inside they all flock

Once a day I wonder, what they did in the olden days

They didn’t get relief until 1902. That’s what Google says.

Air conditioning was invented. It surely was life changing

God decided if we cooled off, we might be more engaging

Took this on our 2017 RV trip

I guess I should stop complaining as I work on my laptop.

In my cooled down tiny home, where 3 dog naps don’t stop.


Before and after rain photos taken near Ft. Pierre, SD… by Dianna Kenobbie Diehm

Last time I saw rain clouds here

Murdo Girl…Three quarters of a century

Kip’s birthday was yesterday. He turned seventy-five. I was just getting used to my brother, Billy, turning seventy-five two weeks ago. The only sign of aging I’ve noticed in them these past few years, is their naps are getting longer. When Billy calls me, it’s usually right after his afternoon nap. I think he’s using me to regain full consciousness. He sounds pretty groggy at first. Kip doesn’t do that. I can count the times he’s called his three sisters in the past few years on one hand. They make sure they stay in touch.


We had a good time Sunday night with the girls and their families. We met for Mexican food and I made cupcakes. The kids were all good. Hudson’s Mom did catch him pinching his brother, but when she said not to do that, he said, “I wasn’t pinching, I was massaging his arm.”

20190811_204132From left: Heather’s husband, Scott, Heidi’s husband, Brad, Kip, Heather, granddaughter, Nikki (Heidi’s daughter) and Justin, (Nikki’s husband) Kids from left are: Hudson, (Scott and Heather), Ryan Constance, great granddaughter (Nikki and Justin), Nikki is Heidi and Brad’s daughter. 

We have twelve more that live too far away to make it. Son Mason and wife, Amy, have two boys, Mason Jr. and Ethan. Son Craig and wife, April, have two daughters, Olivia and Charlie. Grandson, Mike and wife, Amber, have a son and a daughter, Griffin and Kai.

There are twenty-four of us. Are you ready for the test?

Yesterday we went to Denny’s for breakfast. You get your breakfast free if it’s your birthday. Some good friends told us about it and we all went. I love having a leisurely breakfast and time to visit after.

You know what they say, “Age is nothing but a state of mind.” What is that supposed to mean?

I just googled it. There are four states of mind. When you combine the types of focus (helpful and harmful) you get four distinct states of mind: autopilot, critical, thinking, and engaged. We want to be in the helpful states.

All that means to me is you’re either in a good mood or a bad mood. I’m just guessing, but I would say thinking and engaged are the helpful, and critical and autopilot are harmful.

Many of us think we have to be, look, and act like everyone else to fit in. I read something that made sense to me. God doesn’t want an orchestra of identical instruments all playing the same tune.


He wants us to let go of the status quo and just be ourselves. Anything else is too exhausting.

I’m going to start asking myself if what I’m doing is helpful or harmful and remember Shakespeare’s words, “To thine own self be true.” I’ll add, “Don’t wait for a better time to follow your heart.”


Are you trying to tell me that this was a snoozer?


Murdo Girl…Delayed gratification

Do you know what this is?

20190809_1617421330636034993760424.jpgIt belongs to the cat. It’s big enough for several cats, so it should do the trick for Dollie. She likes to be outside, but has to stay inside the fence. (When we travel, she doesn’t go outside at all.) Kip did a good job, don’t you think? It only took seven or eight trips to Lowe’s for materials. If he goes back for stain or paint, I’ll complain.


Meanwhile, my she shed is going unattended. Our friend, Scott, came over and gave Kip some good ideas on how to make it totally airtight and when that is completed, I can start to move my precious things in there. I haven’t found my round rug yet, but I’m going to paint the concrete, anyway. I’ve decided I want to finish the inside with reclaimed wood. That’s not very expensive is it? I would like a window, but that can happen later if need be.

Kip knows I’ve never been a very patient person, so the third time I mentioned my she shed to him (today) he said he had moved it up on the list of things to do. Tomorrow, I’ll ask him what else is on the list.

Kip’s birthday is on Monday and I’ve already decided to give him a gift certificate from Lowe’s. Do you think he’ll figure out it’s to help with the expenses to finish the she shed? I won’t write that in the card or anything. Men are impossible to buy for anyway. They have everything they need and what they don’t need, they don’t want. Kip usually shops for himself. He’ll say, “Here’s the drill you bought me for Christmas. Thank you very much.”

I don’t think he’s had the time to shop for his birthday, yet. I’m also going to make him his favorite, Tang pie. I know it doesn’t sound good, but it’s delicious.

One thing I never, ever do is keep Kip from his desserts.

I went to a new bakery today with my friend, Barbara, and this is what I brought home for him. He’s saving it for one hour.


Oh, Kip’s cake. I’ll just have a little bite.