Murdo Girl…Pearl gives a lesson on the value of gossip 1 & 2

Part 1

This is Ellie/Essie…

If I swore, I’d say every curse word I know right now. If I threw fits, I would lay down on the floor and kick and scream. I don’t know how that woman could be so mean.

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The old Methodist Church in Murdo, South Dakota. The parsonage is next to it.

You see the Methodist Church had a fundraiser. All of us kids had to work for someone who paid us by the hour. We had to work for eight hours and all the money goes to the youth program. I got hired by mean Mrs. Stone. She made me do things a two hundred pound man could barely do.

I was too fast at my work. That’s what it was. I washed all of her dirty windows inside and out. I pulled the weeds in her garden and worst of all, I had to clean out her refrigerator. Now I’ve got to go take Pearl the dog for a walk if my poor little wobbly stick legs will let me.

*****************

“Hi Pearl, I came to take Pearl the dog for a walk.”

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Can we go see my frog friend?

“Well ,Essie…you look like you could go bear hunting with a stick. What or who has gotten you so worked up?”

“Working for Mrs. Stone has me all worked up. She never let me rest once except for the fifteen minutes it took me to choke down a minced ham sandwich. When I took the last bite, she smacked her hands and said, up, up, up…time to get back to work! Then she got really mean.”

“Tell me, Essie. I just love to hear gossip. When I had my beauty shop, I’d have a woman on each side of me shooting gossip into my ears. Oh how I miss that. I don’t get to talk to many people now except Grace and she tells me everything twice and comes up way short on the details. Gossiping is an art you know. One of these days I’ll teach you how to get people to spill everything they know, or think they know, and you won’t have to give up a thing. Now, what was the really mean thing she did?”

“When I got ready to leave, Mrs. Stone said I might have to come over again tomorrow. I said to her… no way, Mrs. Stone, that’s not how it works. Then she said she was going to have to deduct an hour’s pay on her check to the church. When I asked her why, she said it was because I didn’t get all the weeds out of her garden, and Mr. Stone would be upset because he would have to do it. It’s not fair Pearl,”

“You have got to get some dirt on that woman, Essie, that’s all there is to it. Now go take Pearl the dog for a walk. When you get back, I’ll give you a couple of quick lessons.”

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Pearl’s Gossip Lesson

Listen closely, Essie, and you will have that mean Mrs. Stone right where you want her. If she has told you something secretive about herself, she won’t cross you ever again. It will be worth it for you to go over there tomorrow. When she says something mean to you, and she will, you say this:

“I sure don’t see why several of the ladies in town aren’t partial to you Mrs. Stone. I think you’re real nice.” Then smile your sweetest smile, just don’t laugh when you see the look on her face.

“Then what do I do, Pearl?”

You say, “Now, show me those weeds in your garden that I missed. I’ve heard from reliable sources that several of your friends think Mr. Stone is henpecked and I wouldn’t want to add fuel to the fire… if you know what I mean.”

“See Essie… it’s nothing you can’t do. You’ll be a natural.”

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“Then what do I say Pearl?” I was really starting to get into this gossip lesson.

“Nothing. You won’t have to. She will be so upset she’ll spill the beans on every gossip friend she has. She’ll say things like, I bet I know who said that! It was Ethel, well let me tell you a thing or two about Ethel..bla,bla,bla,bla. Then you have to close the secret transaction.”

“What’s a secret transaction, Pearl?”

You say, “Well, I guess I should get started on those weeds now so poor Mr. Jones doesn’t have to do it. It’s not in my nature to cheat the church either.”

“Do you mean I’m still going to have to pull the weeds, Pearl?

“Not a chance. Mrs. Jones will probably say something like this. Oh no, dear. You sit right here and I will get you a nice cold glass of lemonade and one of the cookies I baked for Mr. Jones. You must call us Charles and Helen…I’ll pull the weeds.

One more thing, Essie. When she tries to get out of you who told you all that gossip, you say…I think we both know who told me those terrible things that you told them. It’s just awful how people spread gossip they hear on the grapevine.

” I can’t wait for you to tell me how it goes tomorrow, Essie. Wasn’t that a great lesson? I should have been a mother. I believe my mothering instincts have gone to waste all these years.

The Beauty Shop is a great place to hear good gossip

Part 2 – Ellie/Essie Executes the plan

Well, I decided I would try out Pearl’s gossip lesson and go back to Mrs. Stones’ house and get some dirt on her. I sure hoped Pearl was right because I sure did not want to pull more weeds.

There was one thing Pearl’s plan didn’t account for.

******************

“Hi, Mrs. Stone…I came back to pull those weeds in your garden; the few little ones that I missed yesterday.

“Well just don’t stand there, Ellie, come in. I don’t have much time to direct you. My bridge club will be here in just a few minutes. Get one of those paper bags in the pantry and fill it with the weeds you pull. Now get to it Ellie. Why are you just standing there with that dumb look on your face?”

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That’s the mean thing, I thought. The bridge club coming over could be a hot potato, but I decided to move forward with Pearl’s plan.

“Are the bridge club ladies the ones that don’t like you very much?”

“What on earth are you talking about, “Ellie? Who told you that?”

“Um…I think we both know who spreads gossip around this town.”

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My mom played bridge

Mrs. Stone had a horrified look on her face just like Pearl the human said she would, but she didn’t tell me I didn’t have to pull the weeds, and I really didn’t think she would offer to pull them herself with all those women here. I was going to have to wing it!

The ladies started arriving then so I waited. Mrs. Stone saw me standing there and told me to go do what I came to do.

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll go pull those weeds, so you won’t make poor Mr. Stone go out there and pull them. Do you have some cold lemonade so I can go out and sit on your bench and drink it? Those cookies sure look good, too.”

“You are one strange child, Ellie.”

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Then a bridge lady spoke up. “Well, Helen Stone, did you get involved in the Methodist Church fundraiser? I heard most of the kids were on the lazy side. They had to be prodded to do anything. It was so good of you to give this girl a chance to do it right. Young lady, you need a few lessons in etiquette. You do not ask for refreshments and you definitely do not take a refreshment break before you have even started your work.”

She’s mean too, I thought. Pearl didn’t account for two ladies being mean to me.

“Mrs. Martin,” I said. “I heard your husband is henpecked.”

It worked again! Mrs. Martin looked horrified; just like Pearl said. All of a sudden, Mrs. Stone took me by the ear and marched me to the door. “You may leave now,” she said. “I would rather pull the weeds myself than deal with the likes of you, young lady.”

I couldn’t wait to tell Pearl the human all about my experience with her gossip lesson. I decided to walk Pearl the dog a little later.

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I like now, now is good!

“Hi Pearl, I came right over here to tell you what happened with Mrs. Stone. I said exactly what you told me to say and guess what? I didn’t have to pull one weed. Mrs. Stone said she would do it. There is one thing though…She didn’t offer me a cold glass of lemonade and a cookie.”

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I like cookies

“I knew it,” Pearl said. (I’ve never seen Pearl so excited.)

“I’ll have to think up some more life lessons to teach you, Essie. Living in this world takes know how and if it’s one thing old Pearl has, it’s know how!”

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“Do you know anything about etiquette Pearl? One of the bridge club ladies who was at Mrs. Stones’ house said I could use a few lessons on etiquette.”

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“Boy, Pearl the dog, Pearl the human sure was puffing away on that air cigarette when we left. She just doesn’t seem herself. Where should we go on our walk? How about Mrs. Stones’ house to see if anybody pulled those weeds.’

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Okay Ellie, but it’s getting pretty dark. Do you think she’ll give us a cookie?

Murdo Girl…Fame is fleeting

One of my favorite Pearl and Grace stories…

I’m on my way to The Busy Nest. We’ve been really busy since Pearl started putting cornstarch in her Elixerfixer and calling it new and improved. All the women are buying it and losing weight. The cornstarch and hot water thickens in their stomach and makes them feel full. But no one, I mean no one knows the Elixerfixer formula, and they are buying that stuff like there’s no tomorrow.

“Hi Grace, hi Pearl, I’m here, are you?”

Grace: I’m here, but Pearl had to go on another Red Owl run. We’re down to only four bottles of Elixerfixer and just look at that line-up of women outside the door. There’s likely to be a real dust-up if Pearl doesn’t get back soon and formulate some more. I think I hear her coming in the back way.

Pearl: I’m back! I’ll get busy in the formulation room and you two can open the door and give those ladies a number.

**********************

Well, our success was short lived. That very day, Mack’s Cafe had a roast beef and mashed potatoes with lots of gravy, special. That gravy hit all that cornstarch and hot water in the ladie’s stomachs and they all felt like they’d swallowed twenty pounds of concrete. They feared they’d been poisoned by the beef. The real dramatic ones were sure they were knocking on death’s door. Doc Brown was called to the scene and it wasn’t long before the Doc, followed by twelve sick women came marching over to The Busy Nest. We saw them coming and could tell they all had their knickers in a twist.

Pearl pinched her cheeks, put on her lipstick, straightened her shoulders and met them all at the door.

Pearl: Why Doc Brown, what an unexpected pleasure, and my goodness, you brought some ladies with you. Welcome to The Busy Nest.

Grace: Pearl, don’t you recognize these ladies? They were just in here to buy new bottles of Elixerfixer.

Doc Brown: So I’ve been told. It seems all of these ladies took their dose of your famous elixer shortly before eating Mack’s Cafe’s special, consisting of roast beef with mashed potatoes and lots of gravy.

Grace: Do they make their gravy with cornstarch?

Pearl: Grace, dear, would you mind going to get the mail?

Doc: I was looking at the very fine print on the back of the label and it just says it’s made with all natural ingredients. Would you mind telling me what they are?

Pearl: Certainly…I travel many miles to purchase the greatly sought after freshly distilled spring water it contains.

Grace: It’s the kind you put in your steam iron so it won’t clog up.

Pearl: Grace, the mail! I add a very carefully measured amount of extract from the endosperm of corn, li’mon juice from a small producer in Arizona, and mother’s apple cider vinegar. Believe me, it’s a very precise combination.

Grace: Can you believe we can get all that stuff in Pierre at The Red Owl Store?

*********************

Well, Doc Brown happened to know that extract from the endosperm of corn was cornstarch and concluded, when followed with hot water, it would swell up in the stomach enough without adding a good amount of gravy to it.

Those ladies were bound up for a week and our new and improved Elixerfixer sat on the shelf and thickened.

I can’t wait to see what Pearl comes up with next. She’s a good idea person.

Murdo Girl…Angels of friendship

I know the truth of their existence.

Ethereal or heavenly.

I try to offer no resistance

When their message speaks to me.

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Be they visible or transparent

Each one is unique.

Yet some qualities are inherent.

Some are boisterous some are meek.

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They help me know what I am missing.

Help me find the things I seek.

Is there something I’ve been dismissing?

Do I listen when Angels speak?

My body can betray me.

My thoughts can go astray.

Is this the way it must be?

A total chasm of disarray?

What can I do to find the strength

To make it through the darkest hours?

My Angels go to any length

To bring sweetness to what life sours.

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Be thankful for your Angels

Never look past those who care

They will bring you to a place

Where you no longer feel despair.

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The first Angel is the Angel of Celebration, given to me by my sister-in-law and friend, Karlyce Newkirk.

The second Angel is an Angel signing love. She was given to me by my friend, Sherri Miller.

I received the third Angel, yesterday. My friend, Dianna Diehm had her made for me. She is the Angel of Friendship. Dianna also made the card which has a message inside that I will always treasure.

I will indeed be reminded to treasure my Angels, always. We all have them. We all need them. Nothing is more comforting than to be surrounded by beautiful and giving, Angels of friendship, love, and celebration.

Murdo Girl…Small town bridge

Mom is having her bridge club over tonight. The ladies in the club take turns hosting and tonight is Mom’s turn. Sometimes I help her get everything ready. First, we set up card tables with four chairs to each table. I’ve been meaning to ask Mom what happens if she has one lady too many, or she’s one lady short.

I also put the mints and nuts out. I fill little glass serving dishes with them and set out little plates and little spoons. At halftime, Mom serves real dessert. She makes cream o cheese o cherry pie and lemon chiffon pie every time. Lemon chiffon pie isn’t like lemon meringue pie. Its fluffy and lemony. The player who is a dummy always has to get up and make coffee so it’s ready at halftime.

I always stay awake until the pies are gone. Mom doesn’t let me have mine until she knows she’s not going to need it. I’ve never gone without one piece of each kind, yet. I think some of the ladies fill up too much on nuts and mints.

From left: Harriet Parish, Marce Lillibridge, Florence Murphy, Marge Bork, Evelyn Johnson, and Mom

I listen to them talk while they play. Mom says you have to let your partner know what kind of cards you have. That sounds a little like cheating to me. You have to bid and pass and and smoke all at the same time. A couple of the women don’t smoke. They usually cough a lot. One time Mom and I drove past a nonsmoker’s house the day after they played bridge and we saw her dress and coat hanging outside on her porch. I know how she feels. By the time they all leave, the smoke haze has floated into my room and my eyes burn.

They manage to work a little gossip in while they play, but Mom says they have to be really careful because Murdo is a small town and it’s very hard to remember who everyone is related to. One time something was said that was pretty shocking. Mom said you could have heard a pin drop. Thankfully, the relative stayed quiet, but the next day, Mom called my aunt and a couple of other people and told them all about the “news” she heard.

Mom in the red dress, Harriet Parish in the black dress, Florence Murphy in a dress with a white collar, and Marge Sorenson by the fireplace. Pictures were probably taken by Elsa Peck. The bridge party was in her home.

The other thing that I was going to tell you about is how the ladies get all gussied up. If Kitty Reynolds is going to be there, they all try to wear a dress that she made for them. They usually look the best, anyway. They wear nylons and high heals. They also wear earrings, beads and sometimes bracelets. They all wear a different kind of perfume which about knocks you over when they first get there. You would think it would overcome the smoke, but it can’t. They come in smelling like perfume and go out smelling like smoke.

They all have a good time and I do, too. I’m never going to try to learn that game, but tomorrow, I’m going to ask Mom to show me a bridge trick.

Playing tricks is a measurement of trick-taking potential with your longest suit trumps. This is typically used when you have a 6+ card suit, such as for a preemptive bid, but can be applied any time.

Huh? Never mind…

I sure wish halftime would get here so I could have some pie…

Murdo Girl…Arf takes a trip

  • I’ll be posting reruns here and there while we get some projects completed before going on an RV trip. I thought you might like to go back to the first Arf story episode.

My pink frisbee just flew up the ramp and into the big truck. I ran to get it because that’s what dogs do. All of a sudden it got dark inside that truck. I sniffed around and found my frisbee, but I couldn’t see the door and the ramp. We were moving! Oh, no…we were moving and I was in the dark. I wanted to go home. Please…someone open the door so I can take my pink frisbee and go home.

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My name is Arf and it looks like I’m moving with my people. Wait! my people aren’t moving. This truck was down the street. Someone else is moving. I wonder if they like dogs. I don’t think I know those people.

I usually don’t get out the front door. I wasn’t going to stay outside. I just wanted to see what was out there. I was getting ready to go back in when I lost my frisbee. I didn’t really lose it. A gust of wind blew it away.

Alf spent two days in the moving van. He was surrounded by box after box in the front, and several pieces of furniture were stacked clear in the back. As his eyes got used to the dark, he could see where he was going during the day, but it was pitch black during the two long nights.

I found a case of water that was different from any water I ever drank out of my bowl. When I bit into the bottle to get a drink, it fizzed all over the place. If this was my house, I would for sure be in trouble for getting the couch all wet. It was also too bad because I was thinking of spending the night on that comfy couch. There was no one there to scold me. I could do anything I wanted to. Anything except go home.

On the end of the 2nd day, the truck finally arrived at it’s destination.

It seemed like forever before the men opened the door. I didn’t know if I could trust them, so I stayed way in the back behind the wet couch. I can usually tell when a human likes me and when they don’t. I hoped they would go away soon. I was really hungry and I had to find a place to do my business.

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They didn’t like me. They yelled at me so I grabbed my frisbee and ran down the street. I ran and ran and ran until I was far away from there.

But where was I? All I could see was house after house and they all looked the same. I found a place to solve my first problem, but I still couldn’t find anything to eat. It felt like my stomach was hitting my backbone. I was getting weak.

Oh, No! I ran out of houses! I’m in a place where I can’t find one house. Should I go back? There’s a road. I guess I’ll keep going. I wish I knew how to fish. Dogs don’t eat garden stuff which doesn’t matter because I don’t know where I can find a garden. There’s water up ahead. I’ll drink some water and rest a while. Dogs take a lot of naps. I’ll take a nap.

When I woke up, I knew I had to find something to eat, but where? My people had always given me a bowl of food and a bone at night. How many nights had it been? There was nothing to do but keep on walking.

Soon I came to a place that had some animals that I had never seen before. Was that food they were eating? Would they share?

On the other side of the yard I saw a bird. I know what birds are, but this one was eating out of a big pan. Should I ask the polka dotted animals if I could have some of their food, or should I ask the bird? None of it looked like dog food, but beggars can’t be choosers and I know how to beg.

Murdo Girl…SeeYa in the city

This is a rerun of a very exciting day in the lives of Kip and Mary McNinch. (October 22, 2018)

We left our spot near New Haven, Connecticut yesterday morning and headed for Manhattan. The GPS said our new RV spot for the next couple of days was just a short ninety-eight miles away. We were pretty proud of the fact we had found a place that looked really close to everything we wanted to see.

It was a lovely drive. We navigated through some tricky places, and we were congratulating ourselves on our ability to remain calm and follow the GPS map… and the reassuring voice of the GPS lady we have come to trust. Less seasoned RV travelers could surely benefit from our obvious expertise, we decided.

Then…for some reason, we have yet to figure out, our GPS lady turned on us.

Kip: This place is in Jersey City, right? We’re supposed to exit in a couple of miles and head west through the Bronx. I figured we’d probably stay on 95 and go across George Washington Bridge and then down to New Jersey.

MG: Remember the other day when we thought the GPS lady didn’t know what she was doing so we didn’t follow her map and we got lost?

Kip: You’re right. She must know a better way.

A little while later…

Kip: I can’t possibly turn up that street! It’s too narrow and there are cars parked on both sides. I’m going to have to go straight!

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Mary: Wait! GPS is rerouting. That’s never a good sign. Haven’t we been on this street before? Watch out for the pedestrians!!!

Kip: What is that up ahead?

Mary: Let me look on the map. That’s the Queensbury Bridge. I think the GPS lady wants us to go across it.

After going around in circles to find a street that would accommodate us (never mind the Jeep we’re towing), going around a construction crew twice, and listening to two GPS ladies, (by this time, I had my cell GPS going too), we made it to the bridge that we hoped would get us closer to our destination…

Kip: We can’t go on this bridge!

Mary: What are you doing? We’re stopped on a very busy highway. We have to keep moving!!

GPS lady: Clearance violation! Clearance violation!!!

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Kip: It says maximum clearance is eleven feet! We’re eleven feet and six inches!!

Mary: I think that bridge’s clearance looks higher than it says.

Kip: Me too!

GPS lady: Clearance violation!!

Kip and Mary: Shut up!!

Silence as we proceeded to go across the bridge…Both of us are ducking our heads. It had to be close, but we didn’t hear any “ripping off the roof” noises.

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After we said, “Thank you, God,” we saw a tunnel up ahead. There was a guard waving at us to stop. Kip slowed down and managed to get his window open. The guy yelled something and Kip said, “No.” The guy nodded and we proceeded to go through the one and a half mile long Holland Tunnel. It dawned on me that all three dogs had disappeared with the cat. We later found them hiding under the table.

Mary: Did that guy ask if we had propane? (We do…)

Kip: Maybe…I couldn’t really hear him.

Silence…even both of the GPS ladies kept their mouths shut.

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After getting through the tunnel without blowing up, we cautiously breathed a sigh of relief. We were on the New Jersey side. We made it to the less than beautiful, but absolute best RV spot ever. I will tell you why we love it so much when I write about yesterday afternoon and today…probably tomorrow.

Kip: Well at least we know we won’t blow up in a tunnel even though we have propane.

Me: I bet they’re trying to find us now. That guard is probably telling the authorities, “That guy had propane and lied about it!”

GPS lady: (I had accidentally hit the microphone on my cell and she thought I was trying to verbally ask for directions.) “I don’t know what to do with… that guy had propane and lied about it!”

Kip: Oh great! She’ll probably share that with Google…

So far, we have escaped the law. We plan to head out before dawn tomorrow. Stay off the streets of New York…

 nps means not my picture. I was busy when we encountered the bridges and tunnels…

Murdo Girl…Grandpa John comes home.

“What are you doing here, Brad?” Barbie wanted to know.

“I came to take you somewhere that I know you’ll enjoy, but first, you need to change into this. I’ll be back to get you in fifteen minutes.”

“Wait, Brad…I have no desire to go anywhere. I’m happy staying in my room, but thank you, anyway.”

“No one can be happy spending all their time holed-up in a bedroom. Please don’t argue with me, Barbie. I know this outing will be good for you,”

“Okay,” she sighed. “Come back in fifteen minutes.”

“Where are we?” Barbie asked. “And why am I wearing riding boots? Have you forgotten that I’m blind? There is no way I can get on a horse.”

“Sure you can. We are at an equestrian day camp. I’m told that you will be riding like a champ in no time.” Brad saw the frown on Barbie’s face. “Don’t scowl little sister. It’ll be fun. I promise. The fresh air will do you good. Come on. I want you to meet the instructor.”

****************

Grandpa John didn’t want to stay at the ranch for even one night. It’s a good thing Dina and Jamie got the house all furnished and decorated. It was ready for him and Biff to move right into.

“Thanks for bringing me over here right away,” Grandpa John said. “I was nervous about moving out of the cabin and I know I wouldn’t have slept a wink not knowing where Biff and I will be living.”

“Not a problem,” Mark said. “I can understand wanting to get settled in as quickly as possible. I’m going to stay here with you until Clark can get here, and then he and Arf will spend the night with you. Arf will be staying here and working with you until you’re comfortable getting around on your own. I also want you to know you have two telephones that should be pretty easy to get to.”

Back at the ranch, Clark was loading Katie, Annie and Biff into the truck Brad had given him. They were headed over to Grandpa John’s house. Mark would bring Annie and Katie back to the ranch, but Katie wanted to see where she used to live.

Annie: This really is a super duper family. I love everyone and everyone seems to love Arf and me. I’m sure they’ll all get used to Biff, too. The only human I’m having a hard time getting used to is Jamie’s dad, Mr. Langford. He says things in a funny way. Like, “Don’t beat around the bush,” and “bite the bullet.” He’s always saying someone has a chip on their shoulder. (I think he’s seeing things.) Jamie said people like him are why aliens won’t speak to us. She said it in a loving way, though.

Jamie says she’s happy her mother, Mrs. Langford, is getting to be friends with Miss Bessie. Since Grandma Helen moved to the farm, Miss Bessie has a lot of people to cook for, especially since they’ll be bringing food to Grandpa John, too. Mr. Langford says they’ve got a big plate to say grace over, but I’ve never seen it.

That night, after supper, Brad and Jamie were sitting on the porch having coffee.

“Did Barbie enjoy her day at the equestrian camp?” Jamie asked.

“She did fine. I think she was a little surprised that her instructor was twelve years old. Nancy has been blind from birth and she has never known any other kind of life. Barbie was sixteen when she lost her sight. I’m not sure which would present more challenges.”

Jamie pondered that for a minute. “And now we have Grandpa John who lost his sight at the age of eighty. Does Barbie know about Grandpa, yet?”

“I don’t think so, she hasn’t shown much interest in anything that’s going on around here.”

“I know.” Jamie laughed. “Dad said she’s a hard dog to get off the porch.”

“He’s right. I’m hoping learning to ride will give her a little more self confidence. Speaking of dogs, Arf and Annie are spread a little thin. Annie is watching over Katie while Arf is working with Grandpa John plus she has really been Clark’s dog. What about our little Jake? He needs his own dog to love. We don’t have a shortage of people around here, but maybe we need more dogs.”

“I don’t think Arf and Annie would like that,” Jamie said. “It’s bad enough they have to deal with old Biff. What about a kitten? I can’t believe this ranch doesn’t have any cats.”

Annie: I had been taking a little nap by Brad’s chair when I heard them talking about cats. I decided I’d rather go watch squirrels out the window.

Brad looked down to where Annie had been sleeping. “Where did Annie go? She was just right here.”

“I think she misses Arf,” Jamie said. “Those two are best buds.”

All is calm and all is bright at the Humboldt ranch. At least for the moment…

Murdo Girl…The slob and bellwether

Edith and Frank were the perfect pair.

Frank was bald and Edith had hair.

You’ve heard the phrase, “opposites attract?”

Well, I’m here to tell you that is a fact.

They went to different schools together.

Frank was a slob, Edith a bellwether.

Edith was the cream of the crop.

Ralph was boring…a real social flop.

Ralph was shy and unassuming.

Like a shaggy dog, he needed some grooming. 

He’s wearing a wig

Edith had talents that were quite impressive.

Poor Ralph… was seldom expressive.

While still just kids, they lost touch with each other.

But neither had ever married another.

How did Edith and Ralph find true love?

It came on the wings of a mourning dove.

Awakened by a soft cooing sound,

Edith listened and became spellbound.

Outside, the weather was daunting.

But she had to see what sounded so haunting.

When the bird flew away, Edith wanted inside.

The door wouldn’t open no matter how hard she tried.

In her wisdom she decided the door must be locked

so she knocked and she knocked and she knocked.

(And she knocked)

It had slipped Edith’s mind that she lived alone.

She was confused.. like you.. who are reading this poem.

Anyway, Ralph left his home to go buy bread.

He should have turned right but he turned left instead.

He saw a vision of beauty walking down the road.

He stepped on the brake and the car slowed.

“You look cold,” he said. “Would you like a ride?

I’ll open the door and you can get inside.”

Edith knew not to ride with strangers.

Her mother had warned her of all the dangers.

(It was dark and several years had passed by.

They no longer recognized their different school tie.)

She walked all the way home but Ralph stayed close behind,

And that gave Edith real piece of mind.

By the time Edith got safely to her abode,

Both  knew in their hearts true love flowed.

Edith and Ralph the slob and bellwether,

married and grew old together.

Every morning and night they gaze up above

and hear the soft coo of their mourning dove.

                                  

Murdo Girl…Things work out for the best

By the time Miss Bessie had driven Katie, Mrs. Langford, and Annie back to the ranch, Katie seemed to be doing fine. She and Annie had cuddled up in the back seat and when Mrs. Langford looked back at them, she smiled and told Miss Bessie the two were fast asleep.

Miss Bessie and Mrs. Langford were wiped out when they got home

“I’ll find Dina right away and tell her what happened, but I think Katie is going to be okay, don’t you?” Miss Bessie asked.

“She’s going to be just fine, but I do hope Arf comes back soon. I have an idea for another performance involving Clark, Katie, Annie and Arf. We never did take our musical to the senior centers like we had planned, you know.”

That evening, after supper, everyone gathered in the great room to visit and have dessert. Once again, Barbie had declined to join them. Brad decided it was time to find out what was going on. He decided he would talk with her first thing in the morning. In the meantime, he had another announcement to make.

“Listen up everyone, I have some good news. I got a call from Grandpa John today. We talked for a long time and came up with a plan that we’re both excited about.”

“Clark was on his feet. “What is this all about? Is Grandpa John Okay?” Clark didn’t know whether to be worried or excited.

“I’ll get right to the point,” Brad said. “Most of you have been to the house down the road that was once owned by Steve and Dina. Well, I recently had the opportunity to buy the place. I was intending to fix it up, and keep it in case they changed their minds and decided they wanted to live there, but now, Steve is happy at the farm and Dina is going to remain here for a while. Anyway, as I talked with Grandpa John, I could tell he was beginning to face the reality of being blind. He knows how much he’s going to have to depend on his buddies to get him to doctors appointments and run other errands. He also knows that Arf won’t always be there to help him. He’s agreed to move into the little house down the road and of course, he’s bringing Biff with him.”

Clark could hardly contain his excitement. “I can’t believe you’re doing this for my grandpa, Brad. I will love having him close by even though he’ll have to give up his little recording studio, it’s totally worth it.”

“Oh he’s not going to have to give it up. There is a nice little shop on the property. We’ll move all of Grandpa John’s equipment there. Mark is going to start loading it up in his truck and trailer and Jamie and I are going to drive up there this weekend and finish packing what Grandpa John wants to bring with him. Then we’ll bring him to his new home.”

“Will Arf live with Grandpa John?” Katie asked.

“He’ll be staying with him until he gets used to the new house and surroundings, honey,” Jamie said. “But he’ll be close to the ranch so you’ll be able to spend a lot of time with him.”

“That’s right.” Dina added. “We can stop by there when I bring you home from school.”

“That’s okay,” Katie said. “Grandpa John needs him. I’m okay now. Besides, Clark said I could borrow Annie. She can even sleep in my room.”

I’ve gotten kind of attached to this blue frisbee. Do you think Arf will notice?
I can’t wait to get home and play with my blue frisbee

Annie: I’m really happy that Arf is coming home, although I wouldn’t want him to know that. A dog sure does have to be flexible around here, but at least we feel wanted and needed…and then there’s the big bones. That lazy dog, Biff will even like those.

How many more miles?

Arf: I’m really happy that Grandpa Jim is moving close to the ranch. I heard him say he had wanted to stay here in the cabin because he couldn’t see himself living in a mansion. It’s really not that bad.

The next morning, Brad knocked on Barbie’s door. At first he didn’t think she was going to answer, but then the door slowly opened. His sister did not look happy. Even when she found out it was her twin brother standing there.. What she didn’t know, was that the things he had brought to her would change her life.

Murdo Girl…Halloween is coming

Halloween is coming and I need a good disguise. I’m going to a party and I want to win the prize.

I spent all day shopping. I’m running out of time. My look went from ridiculous to sublime.

I tried on every wig in every store in town. Should I be a queen or should I be a clown?

Should I be a blond, a redhead or brunette? Dress as a rag muffin or as part of the jet set?

I just heard on the news… there will be no trick or treating. There won’t be clever costumes…or candy to be eating.

Let’s plan a virtual party. Are you up to the task? We’ll dress up in our costumes, but we won’t need a mask.

If that idea doesn’t fly, I’ll have to entertain myself. I’ll take down the video that’s been sitting on a shelf.

I’ll make a costume with two heads right before your eyes. When I’m finished dressing up. I’ll give myself first prize.

Halloween 2017