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…We’re really going…SeeYa

I am so ready for our trip. Today, we got as far into our planning as to look at a map. We’re going to see Carlsbad Caverns National Park which will  probably be the second day out. Our first lengthy destination will be to spend time with Gus. Kip and I are both looking forward to steak night at the Legion Club. I hope Billy comes, too. I only got to spend a few hours with his family last time and it wasn’t enough.

We picked out a place about twenty minutes from where Gus lives that has a huge dog park. Our new pups are so young, I have a feeling we’re going to be more interested in running space for them than sleeping space for us. I intend to blog our adventures, so you’ll be the first to know how it goes. I hope we don’t come back early with our tails between our legs, so to speak. 

We aren’t leaving until Thursday morning as it’s supposed to rain all day Wednesday.. (99.9% chance.) The rest of the week and into the weekend is supposed to be sunny. 

I cleaned the RV today. It amazes me that with all of our travels and all of our animals that SeeYa has held up so well. She was old when we got her, but top of the line when she was new. She will turn twenty in 2022. 

I’ve been trying to get it all set up through PayPal so you can use a credit or debit card to order your books. If you have any problems, please let me know. I’ll make sure you get what you need… Thanks again for all of your support. I really feel this book has something for everyone and I’ve had some great unsolicited feedback. BUY AMERICAN MADE!

The book can also be purchased through Amazon in large print for $9.00. It doesn’t have the illustrations the $12.00 book has, but the poems are the same.

Rhymes for all Times, book of poetry by Mary Francis McNinch

Poems and rhymes about joyful times, funny times, spiritual insights, relationships, confusion and clarification. One persons experiences with the ebb and flow of life.


The book can be purchased in large print on Amazon for $9.00. It doesn’t have as many illustrations as the $12 book, but the poems are the same… Thank you again for all of your support. I have received some very good unsolicited feedback. I really believe this book has something for everyone and its truly from the heart.

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…A reminder to remember

This is now day twelve of our odyssey and the last few days have taught us that every day can’t be perfect even if you’re on an RV trip.

When we left Galveston around 10:00 o’clock on Friday morning, the sun was shining and we were looking forward to taking the backroads to our next destination which was Fredericksburg. We like to avoid the interstate highways whenever possible and this particular route also allowed us to avoid San Antonio and Austin. The problem was that it wasn’t exactly, a large RV hauling a Jeep, route.

We had to stop and fill up the big fuel tank with diesel, which set us back an hour, and later, we stopped to make a sandwich which took another forty-five minutes. We also had to walk the dogs, twice. It was dark and I mean dark for the last two hours of the drive. The hill country is hillier and spooky at night. Our biggest fear was that we would hit a deer. We occasionally lost the GPS lady who kept wanting us to take a connecting road. We tried that once and it was not a good decision. We decided that no matter how hard she tried, we wouldn’t be convinced and she would just have to reroute…which she did six or eight times. We were grateful to finally make it to the RV park and get set up.

On Saturday morning, we woke up to pouring rain and a phone call from my brother telling us that Gus was sick. He had a slight fever ten days before and decided to get tested for COVID 19. He tested positive, but his symptoms cleared up and we thought he was out of the woods. When Billy talked to him Saturday morning, he was once again running a fever and was also having a little difficulty breathing. He sounded very weak and Billy and I were really worried.

Billy has been very careful. He has done everything he can to reduce his chances of being exposed to COVID. Two weeks ago, two days before Gus tested positive, Billy went to see him and they watched a football game together. They wore masks and distanced themselves from each other, but it was still a bigger risk than Billy would normally have taken. When Gus told him he had tested positive, he quarantined himself for fourteen days. He has just graduated from solitary confinement in a room downstairs, to being able to join my sister-in-law, Liz in the living room upstairs.

Bill and I, along with Billy’s daughter, Erin, have been offering advice morning, noon, and night. Gus, who is normally very patient and mild mannered, finally suggested we were calling him too much. We decided to coordinate our call times and update each other.

As of today, Gus is doing better. Let’s hope and pray that he continues to follow our advice. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that we also have a nurse and a doctor in the family. We got advice from them, too.

Today, was freezing, but we decided to see the Empty Cross exhibit in Kerville, TX. It was truly inspiring and beautiful.

The Empty Cross symbolizes the power of God

My photographs far from do justice to the coming king sculpture prayer gardens. “The Empty Cross”, is seventy-seven feet tall and is the most symbolic cross sculpture in the world.

Tomorrow, we’re off to see the Sonora Caverns. The drive is only a couple of hours so it should be an easy day. We’ll stay at the RV park right by the caverns. Let’s hope it’s warmer tomorrow. Today was so cold, Lilie Dale was shivering so we bought her a sweater at Walmart. It was only five dollars and wasn’t very warm, but she loved it. In fact she loved it so much, we went to a doggie boutique downtown and bought her one for thirty-eight dollars. She loves it more…The cockers have longer hair and they don’t like to wear sweaters…

Murdo Girl…The road 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…Reflecting

I have seen so many tiny houses, park houses, and park cottages in the past few weeks, I can’t get them out of my head. I have seen all of the color schemes, square footage switcharoos and learned that none of the model homes show you what the stripped down version looks like. When we were looking in Rockwall, I asked the salesman which models were built without “options.” He thought for a minute, but nothing came to him. I looked at the left side of the pricing sheet, which showed the standard items, and then the right side with the upgrades. I had what Oprah calls and “ahha” moment.

I could never live in an unadorned tinyparkcottage. I really want an inside bathroom and lights, which means we must order the elite platinum cottage; especially if we absolutely, must have glass in our windows.

I think we’re doing the right thing by opting for the larger, Riverview cottage. Even so, it will be an adjustment. The Riverview is about half the size of the small home we live in now…but its really, really cute. I think it will be fun to embrace a whole new lifestyle. Minimalism is my mantra…I must remember I’m now a minamalist.

This little piece of earth belongs to us now.

I have given this lesser square footage and lack of storage conundrum a lot of thought, and I have all the answers. I will attempt to list them in the order of importance.

Challenge: How will MG resist shopping at the thrift stores. I hear she brings something home nearly every day. Her tiny home will be overcome with handbags and cute tops in no time.


MG’s solution: I was reading the ads in the Lake Area Leader this morning and spotted the schedule for the local Thrift Store. In addition to “Pay by the Pound Friday,” they have “Thursday Trade Day.” I went by there this afternoon and checked it out. You can bring in three items of clothing, that are in good condition, and trade them straight across for another three items. I made an excellent trade today. I’m looking ahead to spring. Between now and then, I can go in on Thursdays and trade three winter things for three spring frocks. Goodwill is really going to miss me. Their prices have been going up, anyway.

Challenge: Will there be enough plugins in a park house for all of my devices?

MG’s solution: I know it’s a problem sometimes in the RV, but remember, you’ve got that adapter thing with eight plugs and it only blew the fuse once. You’ll be fine…what’s next?

Challenge: No desk, no personal computer, no full length mirrors or other good places to take selfie’s.

MG’s solution: ….Well, you will have friends in the neighborhood. They might let you reflect at their house.

Who are these people in my studio? Is that Pearl in my reflection? This is MG’s worst nightmare…

Challenge: That’s enough for tonight!! My tiny brain is tired. We’ve covered the more critical challenges.


Now…where are you going to keep your toothbrush? And your crowns…Where will you keep your toppers and tiaras? Will they go the way of the Beasterhop? He’s in storage isn’t he?

Surely she will get us out of here by Easter?



Murdo Girl…Is she cheating..or is she justified?

In the post I wrote on Saturday, I told you about our plans to see all of the model homes that Recreational Resort Cottages has at their Rockwall, TX location. Our purpose for going was to confirm our decision to purchase the the hybrid tiny home we had decided on, and to see different decorating ideas and upgrades. I also said in the blog that even though we were ready to order the combination Meadow View and Trinica… Sunday in Rockwall could change everything.

The day was beautiful…perfect for walking around and going in and out. Our friends, Ron and Barbara, came with us, which made it more fun. I had looked at the RRC Rockwall website which said there were forty models on the lot. We went through every one of them, and some we saw twice. It took us a little over four hours.

I was right. After we had seen it all, we changed everything. We saw some of the larger Park homes and the extra room appealed to both Kip and me. We wanted to stay true to our original tiny home plan, but we’re fudging a little. The plan we decided on has 604 square feet, which still qualifies as part of the new concept that is rapidly becoming a desired lifestyle of the active senior set. Many, like Kip and me, want to spend a lot of time traveling, but still have a home base…or two. Minimal upkeep, low utility bills, and low taxes are some of the good points. You are also forced to virtually eliminate accumulating things. There is limited space and storage, which makes you look at your belongings in a different way. Having said all of that, we are now leaning towards a few more square feet.

By Monday, we had definitely decided on the bigger Athens Park Home. At 604 sq ft, it would give us a little more room. We need the extra space…not for things… for three dogs and a cat. Unlike most tiny homeowners, we are putting ours on a permanent foundation. Since we own the lot, I doubt we would ever have a need to move our house. If we are able to buy a tiny home in North Carolina, we’ll probably lease a lot in a tiny home community. Kip says we will find a way.

Kip had to go to Athens Monday to get some information at the courthouse, so he stopped to talk to the salesman about the larger home. As luck would have it, they told Kip they are coming out with a new, tiny bit larger model that is still a one bedroom one bath home. They haven’t built the model yet, so I can’t show you what it looks like, but I can show you the floor plan. The covered deck will be 17′ x 10′, which should be big enough for our needs and we won’t have to build a second deck for the side door which will face the backyard. We’ll just need a small stoop with steps for the dogs.

I know what you’re thinking…justify, justify, justify.

We haven’t ordered the “cottage home” yet. The first model will be far enough along by the end of next week for us to have a look at it. The Platinum Cottage factory, where it is being built, is just a couple of miles outside of Athens. I now know different models are built at different factories. The Platinum cottages  are supposedly the best. I’m going to be in AZ from Wednesday through Friday, anyway. The lot deed should be filed tomorrow, so we can start on everything that has to be done in preparation for the house and the RV port Kip is having built.

Meet the Riverview… We’ve made a few adjustments, but I’ll tell you about them in the next post.


Here are some samples of the colors we have picked out. After seeing so many different combinations on Sunday, we changed our minds on several colors and options.

The trim, back-splash, and farmer’s sink

The style of cabinets, but not the color. A movable island like ours will be, but the top will be the same as the counter-top. Our appliances will all be brushed stainless steel. It doesn’t show fingerprints.

We will have beams, a breakfast bar, and a pantry similar to these, but the color will be like the cabinets, baseboards and trim. The color block shown is pretty close, although all of the pictures are showing pretty dark on my laptop.


The wall that’s on the same side as the deck will look like this only quite a bit wider, and the ceiling will be vaulted with beams. This looks like the right trim color. The walls will be very light with a hint of buttercup.

The colors of the outside…the grey sample is the deck flooring, and the roof is copper metal. I can’t show you the style of the outside until we’re able to see the model next week.

I’m packing my hats, so I thought I would show you my latest find.

I think I’ll let Odrum have this one…