Murdo Girl…Two out of three ain’t bad

I’ve given a lot of thought these past few months about what I want to do with my Murdo Girl blog and my MG podcast in 2022. So far, nothing profound has come to mind. I can’t do video on the podcast, but I can on the blog. I was thinking of doing some joint posts with friends. …maybe some interviews or time spent just chatting. How about a skit? That sounds like fun to me. Whatever we do, it has to be light and fun. There is too much heaviness in the world, so I want to stay clear of heavy subjects. There are plenty of other places you can to go for that.

I felt bad when I heard the singer, Meat Loaf, died last week. I have a memory of listening to his music. When my youngest son was seven months old, and my oldest was 5 yrs, circumstances intervened and I had to go back to work. I found a job working in an optometrist’s office. They had the radio on all of the time. Meat Loaf was really popular, so the radio station played him many times during the day. (I’ll put my favorite Meat Loaf song at the end of the blog.)

I hated my job which consisted of scheduling appointments and completing forms, but mostly, I hated leaving my kids. I cried every time a mom came in with her little ones. I wanted to be like that mom. I wanted to stay at home. Erma Bombeck wrote about what she called, the strange phenomenon. She thought it hard to understand that people would go through all they do to bring children into the world and then pay someone else a couple of bucks an hour to take care of them. Of course, that’s an oversimplification of most people’s situation, but it was always difficult for me, and I worked the whole time the kids were growing up. Many moms can do it and handle both very well. I still feel guilty and my boys are 44 and 49. All four of our kids work full time and have raised or are raising great kids. It was me who missed out on a lot of those little things.

That’s my Meat Loaf memory…

I’m going to have to go to bed soon because we’re going to church tomorrow and it would be rude to fall asleep. I always stay up pretty late and get up early, anyway, but tonight I’m staying up extra late to eat. Kip and I are going on one of those diet plans where they provide the food… for a price, of course. We’ll have everything we need by Monday. At this moment, I’m eating one or two of the four bear claws that Gus sent to us from the Ontario Bakery, He stood in line for 45 minutes and it cost $9.45, but it was worth it. The one I’m eating right now is delicious. Thank God they got here before Monday…

I want you, I need you…2 out of 4 ain’t bad

Murdo Girl…Full of gratitude

I heard the perfect saying for me on television the other day which is strange because I’ve had very little time to watch television. Some of the advertisements sink in by osmosis. The words I heard were, “Heavy is the head that wears the crown.” Perfect right? I think it’s supposed to mean that I’m the head of something which I’m not but I try really hard to do my part. And I do occassionally wear a crown.

Kip and I will be in California for a while longer. We’re enjoying spending time with family and trying our best to get our dogs trained. Nellie loves the dog park and she behaves herself. She knows the drill and follows other dogs around until she gets one to play with her and then she runs them ragged. Rylie is too rowdy for the dog park so I walk him, or rather he walks me, on the leash. He’s a real cutie though and very sweet and affectionate.

I wrote a little poem to say thank you. I owe so many family and friends my thanks. I hope you know I miss you.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and laughter….Kip and Mary

Kip and Rylie

I have so much I want to say and things I want you all to see.

To my dear family and friends, thanks for sharing your love with me.

I love you more than I can say. Wish I could shout it loud and clearly.

Instead I’ll whisper loving words, hoping that you will hear me.

We all have things to comfort us and things we share to comfort others.

Thanks for all you give to me. I love when we help one another

When I hear It is well with my soul, my breathing slows to its lovely pace.

When I hear In the Garden, I walk beside He who gives me grace

I often worry about things that never make it to fruition.

I don’t know what the right things are. I don’t have that intuition.

So I push the fear away and don’t give it space inside my head

I look to something I have read or something someone else has said.

“Don’t push the river it always flows.” My mother often said to me.

“It’s important to remember that we shall see what we shall see.”

So much depends on where I look…and that which I wish to see.

Do I see what makes me sad or will my heart look for the beauty?

My happiness can be found in skies filled with either sun or rain.

Don’t think I over simplify but peace can rise above our pain.

If you want the best seat in the house, move the dog.

When someone smiles do you smile back? It’s the natural thing to do.

So offer all your sweetest smile. You might say, “God Bless You,” too.

Happy Thanksgiving

Murdo Girl…Hello out there!

Well, every day can’t be a good day…right?

I haven’t blogged in the past few days because, 1) It’s been busy and 2) it would have sounded like this…dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, cat, dogs. adjusting, dogs adjusting, cat adjusting to dogs, sick dog to vet, up all night taking sick dog outside to do her duty, (she’s better now), and finally, Kip woke up this morning with an abscessed tooth. He drove to a town thirty miles from where we ended up staying last night and saw a dentist who gave him an antibiotic that will, hopefully, work in the next couple of days.

We are headed for Cattail State Park which is really close to Lake Havasu. The park is one of our most favorite destinations. This will be our third time there. It is beautiful. It reminds me of the scenery and the clear blue water I saw in the movie, The Blue Lagoon.

We will be there four days and neither of us can wait. Lake Havasu City is fun to visit as well. It’s about ten miles from the park. Below, are pictures of Lake Havasu which is fed by the Colorado river, and a picture of the campsite we reserved.

I hope everyone is doing well. I’m still taking book orders. I get free shipping if I order at least two of the illustrated books. You can buy one for $12 plus $5 shipping, or 2 for $24, and no shipping. The publisher has been getting them out pretty quickly. You can still buy the large print through Amazon for $9.

You can email me with your $12 book order and send a check or use PayPal. If anyone has had a problem or is unhappy with the book, please let me know. You have all been so supportive, I want this book to be something you enjoy.

Rhymes for all Times, poetry by Mary Francis McNinch

A collection of poetry written by Mary Francis McNinch. You will read about family, friends, sad times, joyful times, old times, recent times, spiritual thoughts, and one person’s perspective of life’s ebb and flow. *add $5 postage if purchasing one of the $12 books. Postage is free with two or more. (It’s the deal I get.)


Murdo Girl…Loading up the 2nd home

We’re getting ready to leave on an RV trip in a few days. I have to pinch myself to believe it. We went on a COVID trip last fall, visiting State Parks and the part of the Grand Canyon that’s near Flagstaff, AZ. It was a fun trip and so good to get away during the COVID lockdown. We were mostly outside and there were no crowds.

This year we have 2 different dogs that we are in the middle of training and we’re hoping on the road is a good time and place to do it.

Nellie Mae

My name is now Nellie. I’m one of the new dogs

I’d like to meet the readers of the Murdo Girl blogs

The dogcatcher found me wandering the streets

I love my new home…man its sooo SUWEEET!

I had it all to myself for a almost a month

Then along came dufus who’s a feisty little runt.

We have something in common. We both lived “At Large.”

We hid from dog catchers and ate tasty Garbau’ge.

Our twains didn’t meet until we got to this house.

I came from the North, Dufus (I mean Rylie came from the south.)

We’re trying to adjust, but it’s not always easy

At first eating dog food made my stomach feel queasy.

As for Rylie? Well he’s growing on me.

We’re going camping. Sounds like “At Large” used to be.

Murdo Girl…Happy Birthday Mom

My cousin, Bobby, sent me a piece his mother, Helen, had written about growing up in Horse Creek. It is really a stand alone piece, so I’ve decided to include it with my Rhythm of Life stories. In the meantime, I want to wish my mother, Loretta, a heavenly happy birthday….

One 101 years ago someone special did arrive.

They thought she’d be the last child born as she was number five.

Her father called her Babe, then another joined the mix.

Six years later came a big surprise… baby number six.

She went to country school where the kids sat side by side.

 She told me when she moved to town not one classmate cried.

To skip part of this story you’ll agree won’t be a crime.

To cover all 101 years would take all of your  time.

Though her personality can’t be easily defined,

This woman whom I’m speaking of was truly one of a kind.

From bold and beautiful to successful entrepreneur.

She was courageous and confident and not at all demure.

Mischievous, sometimes cantankerous, horse race enthusiast,

She was the hootiest. 

Her two offspring and her husband, Gus, still miss her every day,

And we’re remembering her today…her May the 6th birthday

1-Loretta Gustafson's Life in Photos 017-001

Murdo Girl…Her card business (or not)

I missed the birthday of a very special friend. (I sent a lame text message when the day was at its end.)

Happy Birthday Card

Sweet Dianna

How can I rectify this terrible fauxpas? I can’t sing happy birthday. The words stick in my craw.

I have no good ideas. I hope this card suffices. I’ll send it in a day or two from one of my devices.

Amber and Bow look so cute…

I love, love, love your new red-netted throne. You can hold court in it and Bow can eat his bone.

Get Well Card

I have a special friend who had an operation. I fear that her recovery won’t be like a vacation

Hello dearest Pat, You’ll soon be good as new. Your shoulder was repaired with a plate and screw or two.

Once you’ve healed a little, you’ll get some therapy. They say those boring exercises really are the key.

All your friends and family are sorry that you fell. They know that you will persevere and they all wish you well.

Tonight I’ll say a prayer and ask God to comfort you. He’ll give you the strength to do what you must do.

I love you many bunches…

You go Pat!


Last week my niece, Erin, calmly celebrated a birthday that I must admit, left me devastated.

She’s the baby of our family, but I hope she doesn’t mind… sharing with her Aunt MG the age of thirty-nine.

A special birthday greeting was privately shared with Erin the day before her big day… Happy Birthday sweet Erin.

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.


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.