Murdo Girl…The old ball and chain

After spending much of the last couple of days going through old pictures, I probably look like our granddaughter Skyler did when her dad held a flower up to her nose…cross-eyed.

Does it smell good, Skyler?

Going way back… I found this picture of Kip with the ball and chain the girls at the bank where he worked made him wear a few days before our wedding.

If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll probably remember in the young Murdo Girl stories, my parents insisted I make a trip to New York to visit my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Chuck, and their kids, Abby and Paul. Western Airlines had been on strike for several weeks and I thought their planes would be rusty and I would crash and die before I got to start high school. I had to miss the first week of my freshman year and that seemed like the end of the world to me. This is the postcard I sent home from New York. Marlene was my best friend and Berferd was my dog.

It’s too bad we don’t write letters anymore. Even postcards would be fun to get.

Remember the Aldens package with the Connie like dress I couldn’t wait to get?

I love these pictures of Olivia and Charlie playing in the rain…

I wrote a Christmas play for Kip, Olivia, Mason Jr. and me one year…imagine that! Kip was a reindeer. Looks like one of his antlers is broken. The pictures of Gus playing Santa and Olivia and Seamus staring at each other are Christmas photographs, too.

My son took this picture of my daughter-in-law, Amy. She said she was going out for a run, but I can’t help but notice it looks like she’s about to get into a golf cart. I don’t blame her. It’s a cold Wyoming winter.

Well, I would like to say this has been fun. And it has been for me. I could go on forever and I just might.

Murdo Girl…Lo and behold

This is not going to be a rhyming post. My rhymer is worn out. Besides, I have been going through every one of my printed pictures. Remember those? These photographs are not in the cloud. They’re all over my cottage floor. I’m trying to cull them out a little so when I want one to use in the blog, I’ll know where to find it in hours rather than days. So often, I can see the picture in my mind, but can’t find it in the cloud, on the computer, a memory stick or some other means of storage. I use them all.

I found a few that I hadn’t seen in a while…

This is before I stopped dying my hair gray. The baby is our grandson, Hudson who is seven years old now.

Usually, Kip only wore his dress socks with shorts when he came home from work and changed out of his suit. Even then, the kids would ask him not to wear brown socks with his shorts. Maybe he forgot to pack his white socks when we were on this short vacation. The girl on the right, is Kip’s sister, Karlyce. I’m sure Heidi and Heather refused to be in the picture since Dad had his dress socks on.

These next pictures are rare photographs of Yram’s twin sister, Ecnatsnoc Sicnarf, Nat for short. She is not a crack up reporter. She used to be a pretty sly gumshoe, but sadly, she isn’t able to sneak around undetected anymore. Maybe after the baby is born.

***This was actually a costume I wore for Halloween shortly before we moved from Denver to Dallas. Unbeknownst to me, some tricksters in Denver sent these pictures to Dallas and told them they were recent photographs of their new underwriter. My new Dallas coworkers knew I had been wearing a costume of course, but a couple of them asked me how the baby was doing.

Our office manager in Denver had two babies close together and she wore this dress over and over again. We were all pretty sick of it.

I had someone who babysat for her occasionally get the dress. I came to the office party as Debbie who is blond, and wears glasses. She is much prettier than Nat.

The yellowed newspaper clipping, below, is one Mom sent to me after we moved to Texas. She wanted me to be prepared for roaches. This lady’s mother, who by the way is from Florida, called them palmetto bugs which sounds better than roaches don’t you think?

You won’t believe the things I have run across…well, maybe you will because you know me and what my mom was like. I’m having fun sorting, but I don’t know how many of these treasures I’ll be able to part with.

Murdo Girl…A storybook life

I’m Empress the dancing pig. I thought I’d found a dancing gig.

But when it never did pan out, my owner kicked my pig can out.

She took me to the GW store…My price tag fell onto the floor.

I fear no one will know my worth? My tutu barely fits my girth.

A real strange  nice person wanted me. She said her heart was filled with glee!

Cause no one knew how much I cost. Another chance for me, was lost.

Couldn’t they just take a guess? Then I could be a great success!!

The stranger said not to worry, for tomorrow she would hurry.

She said, “I’ll come and buy you honey, shine your crown, and give you money.

I’ll fill your empty hole inside. You’ll wear that purple crown with pride!”

She said she’d take me off this shelf and teach me to self-help myself.

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Well… that glorious life was not to be. Another person purchased me.

She didn’t give me a chance… to show her how this pig can dance.

She took me to an uptown store. Where I will be forever more.

She gave me a close inspection. She wanted me for her collection.

It seems I’m worth thousands more, than the price she paid at the Goodwill Store.

Though now I’m with the big deal pigs, I rather miss my dancing gigs.

Why am I worth so much dough? The me inside still feels hollow.

I was in this store a week or more, when I found a boy pig I adore.

My name is Emperor and I’m a boar. I don’t belong in this uptown store.

I will learn to dance the jig and we’ll find us a dancing gig.

I’m really not the marrying kind, but I fear they’ll make me fried pig rind.

The Emperor and Empress…, soon became a great success.

They danced the jig in every town and raised three piglets who built houses.

Murdo Girl…Funny feet

My poems of late are serious and not the least bit humorous.

Laughter is a lot more fun than tears.

I’ll try to strike another tone that might tickle your funny bone.

Let’s see if I’m able to switch gears.

I saw a man walk down the street. I swear he had two right feet.

He tried to sell me two left shoes.

“I have two right feet,” he explained. “One right is wrong,” he complained.

“I’ll make you a deal you can’t refuse.”

I looked at him in disbelief. I didn’t want to cause him grief

But what would I do with two left shoes?

My feet never cause me strife. One is left and one is right.

Yet I never pass up a good deal.

I paid him pennies on the dollar. Then I found one left was smaller.

It made my little piggy squeal.

I saw a man walk down the street and asked if he had two left feet.

He said, “No!” And I chose not to persist.

My left food hurt like heck on earth but I sure got my money’s worth.

And so did my podiatrist.

Murdo Girl…Tough luck buttercup

Now I’ve done it! I somehow hit something that made everything on my laptop huge. The letters look a foot tall and I have to keep scrolling up and down and up and down to see the entire page. Kip can read my email to me from his chair clear across the room. Maybe my eyes are getting better. No…I took my reading glasses off and I still can’t read what’s on the screen,

I did what anyone who spends too much time looking at a computer would do. I started to investigate to see how I could fix it.

The older I get, the more I hate to read and follow instructions. I found an outline which was supposed to help me locate the problem. It’s called troubleshooting. I like to push troubleshoot and have the internal workings search for the problem, although I have yet to find a fix through troubleshooting. It usually tells me to make sure my wires are hooked up tightly. (That even made me laugh.)

Back to the outline. Something stuck out to me. I run out of space a lot and I don’t want to pay for any more and I know I’ve got things I don’t need in documents and photos. I use memory cards and have three devices I store things on. I don’t go back and delete them for two reasons. I’m afraid I will need it someday and secondly, I get overwhelmed just paging through it all. So I looked at that outline and stuck with the instructions long enough to figure out what I needed to do to delete duplicate files.

It was suggested that I download an app (free) on google play. I have a hard time with free apps because I usually accidentally download one of the programs the free app is advertising, and then I have to deal with getting rid of that. At first, I was really impressed with the rid yourself of duplicate files app.. It organized each file and picture that had a duplicate. There were many that had duplicates and some had as many as ten that were just like them. When you work from a laptop, a tablet, and a smart phone, you duplicate things. and like I said, I’m afraid to delete.

This time I wasn’t. I didn’t see one good reason to keep all of those duplicates, so I confidently hit, delete all. A message came up and said all of my deletions would bypass the recycle bin and could never be retrieved…did I still want to delete all. Yup.

I sat there and watched as all of those duplicates went off to never never land…and they took my original files and pictures with them.

I didn’t jump off the nearest cliff because I still have a lot of duplicates on my SD cards, cell phone, and tablet. There are some older pictures and files I’m really going to miss, though. I’ll just have to deal with it.

I gave up trying to reduce everything on my screen for now. I saw the instructions to sync my cell with my laptop so I can even read my messages both places. That is so cool!

Sorry…I don’t have any pictures for this one. I’ll get one somewhere.

You mean I passed??

Murdo Girl… The recipe (book)

I have added onto this story I wrote about Mom a couple of years ago. What a character. I’m a little bit like her…

You have to see what I found today. I won’t enter it in the water tower contest, but coincidinks are things meant to be appreciated. Just look..

All of you know how many thousands of pictures I have accumulated since I started writing Murdo Girl. Tonight, I picked up a small photo album that Gus brought when he came for Christmas. This photo was among several more recent snapshots, most of which I had already seen.

The beautiful young woman wearing the fur coat is my Mother. She is holding Billy. This picture is over 70 years old. Maybe one of you Murdo readers will be able to tell me where it was taken. The Murdo water tower is in the reflection of the window, and in Mom’s handwriting on the back it says…Doc Murphy said this is a good picture of the water tower.

This is amazing for several reasons.

1) To state the obvious, I’m collecting photos of water towers. It delighted me to find this one.

2) We lost many of our older family photos when the storage unit Mom and Gus had the pictures stored in flooded.

3) Mom was not a preserver of anything. I can tell this photo barely made the cut. It looks like she spilled her coffee while she was writing the description. I also have a nice 5 x 7 picture of Mom’s very dear friend Sugar and her husband George taken on one of their special anniversaries. Mom wrote her grocery list on the back of it.

I have all of Mom’s old recipe books. Two Methodist Church, and one Jones County Cookbook. Mom’s favorite recipes are dog-eared, but it’s not the recipes I treasure, it’s the entertainment. Mom had all kinds of notes, newspaper clippings and letters tucked between the pages. I found a two page handwritten recipe for soft oatmeal cookies. I purchased all the ingredients, mixed the batter, and was down to the last bit of instructions on how to bake them, when I noticed on the bottom of the second page, she had written, “Emily’s on page ? of the Jones County Cookbook are much better.”

In all fairness, I’m not any better. Inside my Jones County Cookbook, I found a newspaper clipping that Mom had cut out and sent to my son. It was an Ann Lander’s column describing the best way to get rid of blackheads. At the top Mom wrote, “I noticed last time I saw you, you had some breakouts…Try this.”

In the same cookbook, I found another newspaper clipping telling me If I was going to move to Texas, I would need to know how to kill cockroaches. The advice was to place oranges all over the house. Fortunately, I never had the need to try that particular remedy.

Inside my cookbooks I found 2 report cards (Mason), immunization records (Heather), a note from our daughter (Heidi) telling us what she wanted on her hamburger, and birthday cards to various people. I’m sure I didn’t send them because I didn’t remember I put them in the cookbook. Many of the pages of my books are torn out of the binding, but I can never quite manage to put them back in the right sequence. Every time I make lemon bars, (Mom’s recipe), I have to turn the book upside down and shake the page out that has the recipe on it.

This sample packet of Morton’s Season All has been inside the Methodist Women’s Cookbook for at least 20 years. I’ve never thrown it away because…well, it must still be good. It’s still in the wrapper. I also recently found the warranty for a Rival crock-pot I haven’t had for probably 15 years.

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This is the recipe file my Aunt Elna Miller gave me 50 years ago. It’s been a while since I’ve looked inside. I found a story in there that was written by my son in 1989. Maybe I saved it because he got an A+. I guess it’s not a story, but it’s a pretty good read.

Next, I found a picture of Aunt Elna, Mom and Grandma Sanderson. I haven’t seen it since around 1989. (I would guess.)

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Note to cousin Valerie: I found a recipe for Ella’s rolls. Do you have it?

I also found a recipe for eggless, milkless, butterless cake. It was one of Mom’s recipes in the Methodist Women’s Cookbook. I asked my brother if he had ever tasted one of Mom’s eggless, milkless, butterless cakes. He said he had never heard of it…me neither. I’m not going to try it. At the end of the recipe she said that you could add two eggs if you wanted to. I wonder why you would do that…Oh, yes…to make the name shorter…makes sense to me.

I might try Ella’s Rolls
From Left: Mom’s sister, Helen, with daughters Sue and Trice, and sister, Ella, with daughter, Valerie
Loretta and daughter, Mary

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Murdo Girl…From Big Bend to El Paso

Someone said the drive from Lajitas to Presidio was worth navigating the steep 15% inclines and the winding roads you cover for the entire fifty mile trip. They were right! It was definitely worth it. All of the pictures you’ll see were taken from the passenger’s seat in the RV. The formation in the first picture is named Abe Lincoln. I couldn’t see it at all until I decided he must be lying down.

After completing such a spectacular drive, we stopped in Marfa to grab a bite to eat before continuing on to El Paso where we are now. I had called ahead to reserve a spot for two nights. It was a long day of driving for us because as you have probably noticed, we stop a lot. We changed from Central to Mountain time so it’s an hour earlier in El Paso, which helped. We’re going to stay here for two nights. If we want to spend a whole day somewhere, we have to stay two nights. If we want to spend two full days, we have to spend three nights.

We’re going to catch up on a few things, tomorrow. I found a big dog park where we will take the dogs in the morning so they can go for a good run.

I’m also going to look for a place to get my hair cut. I didn’t have a chance to get the usual bad haircut that I get before traveling so I’m going to get it tomorrow. Kip needs to pick up a few things and he wants to go up some hill to see where some trams that you can ride down the hill start from. I just read they are closed to the public until further notice…They’re probably nothing compared to the climb up the Santa Elena Canyon, anyway.

It should be a fun day. We’ll be headed for Cattail Cove State Park near Lake Havasu on Sunday. We’ve been there before and it’s another beautiful place with a different kind of topography.

Murdo Girl…Where did the day go?

We were moving kind of slowly and didn’t make it all the way to the park, but we saw a couple of interesting things, today.

I had read about the Terlingua ghost town and it was just a few miles from the RV park. Terlingua was established in 1903 when mercury mining production began in the region. There are now remnants of old stone houses and a few touristy things in the town, but just down the hill there is an interesting graveyard which also began in 1903 when miners began to succumb to mining accidents. Beyond mining fatalities, the influenza epidemic of 1918-19 helped fill the graveyard. There is one grave with a hobbit theme. I saw another with a three foot statue of a Tyrannosaurus. I thought, sadly, that it must be a child’s grave. I looked at the dates and the man was seventy-eight.

Truthfully…I’ve never seen a more interesting cemetary. It made me think of the song the link below will take you to. You can listen to it and view the pictures below.

Here you go…

I spent part of the afternoon trying to figure out how to take a selfie that doesn’t make the words on my shirt look backwards.

Hey! I did it! Guess where I am.

I had to stop doing fun things for the afternoon and do 8 loads of laundry. I washed EVERYTHING!

Tomorrow morning we’re going to see Santa Elena Canyon. I read the canyon walls are 1500 feet high above the Rio Grand River.

Kip volunteered to do the yard work.

Murdo Girl…The road trip..day 6

I decided that it isn’t really necessary for me to describe every minute of each day of our road trip. You don’t need to know about every time we walk the dogs or every morsel of food we eat. I’ll just hit the highlights of each day.

We’ll be in Galveston until Friday morning. As I’ve said, Jamaica RV is a beautiful place and it’s right across the street from Jamaica Beach, which is really nice, but not as crowded as most of the other beaches around here.

These kids were trying to teach a golden retriever how to surf. He seemed to be enjoying all of the attention.

We walked quite a distance this morning and we were at a place where we could take the leashes off the dogs and let them run.

Kip is sitting on one of the swings along the trail to the fishing docks

There are several good places to eat in Galveston. We picked two because they have outside seating. We had planned to go to The Sunflower this morning, but their outside area wasn’t open so we went to The Mosquito Bite. Strange name, I know…One bite does it. We both ordered French toast and bacon. Kip also had scrambled eggs and orange juice. We were sitting there enjoying the delicious food when a thought occurred to me.

“Let’s see,” I said. “We decided that we’re going to cook breakfast tomorrow, right? Didn’t we buy what we needed to make French toast and bacon?”

“Yup we did,” Kip answered. “We decided we were going to have it twice. Now we’ll be having it three times. It sure won’t be as good as this is, though.”

After breakfast, we went back to the beach. We were all in sort of a weakened state from all of the walking we’ve done, and maybe a little uncomfortable from all of the eating. After walking a short distance, Kip suggested that we go on down to the next beach access and then walk across to the RV park instead of going back to the cut-across we normally use. He said he didn’t think it was very far. He was wrong!

He finally decided to ask a little couple who was riding in a golf cart where the access was. “Jump in,” they said. “We’ll give you a ride.”

“We couldn’t,” I said. “We have these three dogs.”

“Nonsense,” the woman whose name is Dixie said. “Pile in and we’ll give you a ride. Hang on tight,” she said. “Mickie drives really fast.”

Nice golf cart

Mickie and Dixie got us to the place Kip thought would be relatively close to the park once we crossed the busy road. He was wrong.

“How far is your RV park from here?” Mickie asked.

“A long ways,” I offered.

“Come on,” he said. “We’ll take you back to the other access.”

We were very grateful not to have to walk all that distance and we told them so. They must have been able to tell that the three dogs were grateful, too. Mickie and Dixie were a hoot!

Since they were only able to take us as far as a line of posts, we still had a little ways to walk. We saw a couple sitting in a golf cart, who looked like they were somewhat distressed. Come to find out, they were out of gas. They had just arrived from Minnesota the day before and were so happy to be able to get out in some warm sunshine, they didn’t think about getting gas. They are staying at the Jamaica Beach RV Park, too. They are wintering here. There wasn’t much we could do to pay forward the act of kindness we had been the recipients of, so we walked with Jim back to the park to get his gas can. He had his own truck to get himself to the gas station and back to the beach to pick up Sandy, so he didn’t need us.

What a day! I still managed to find some time to fix up our patio a little. I’m a little disappointed because I never could locate my multicolored hanging lights. Kip must have accidentally lost them.

I only had a little sweet roll and a cup of tea for dinner

Murdo Girl…Crafty

My “creations” once created laughter.

I’m now a talented crafter.

(In a moment I’ll give you a little preview.)

I decided to pursue other interests.

I learn how to do things on Pintrest.

(They have videos that walk me through what to do.)

I have a little confession.

I took an online singing lesson.

(I failed Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do.)

In the world I live in,

talent is God given.

(I think there is something God wants me to know.)

Writing is my passion.

I’m still waiting to cash in.

(I discovered a way as you will soon see.)

If my books are humdrum,

there is no income.

(I craftily turn them into things Christmassy.)

My name is Crafty.

This house is so drafty.

(I’m made from a glove instead of a book.)

When MG made me,

She performed rhinoplasty.

(She forgot that a carrot is part of my look.)

Good thing I have a lot of EXTRA books.