Murdo Girl…Moving right along

We had some good family times while we lived on the lake. Scott proposed to Heather on the 4th of July one year. It was a big surprise to everyone including Heather. In the picture below, Scott looks a hundred times calmer than he did before she said yes. My friend, Mary, and her daughter, Katie were there. Mary was in the bathroom changing into her swimming suit and missed the whole thing.

We had a birthday party for Sadie when she turned fifteen. We don’t do this for all of our dogs, but she was very special to our whole family. She was Kip’s Mom’s dog and the only one who was with her when she passed away. I couldn’t believe how good she was during her photo shoot for the invitations. Olivia got to blow out the candles and Kip got to open the presents which were mostly bones. We had nine family members there to help Sadie celebrate.

I’m going to stick in a few more camping pictures here.

I could only find one of the inside of the little travel trailer. Heather is on the left and Nikki is sleeping. I didn’t do a very good job taking the picture…sorry Heather. The one on the lower right is of Mason and Kip on that fateful day of the fateful night at Dangerfield State Park. Below are pictures of the lake house, Craig skiing, and Billy and I on the boat. I ran across tons of pictures I took of people skiing, but you can’t tell who it is in most of them. Billy loved our lake house. He liked to sit out on the back deck and smoke his cigars.

We decided to sell the lake house because we didn’t feel like we were really “getting away.” So we sold everything and moved to the country.

I’m surprised the family is still able to find us.

Murdo Girl…The evolution of McNinch camping

Thirty-five or so years ago, Kip suggested we take our sleeping bags up on Casper Mountain and sleep outside under the stars. It was fun until it rained and we had to roll up sleeping bags heavy with rainwater, put them in the trunk, and drive back home. We didn’t even get a chance to eat the fried chicken we brought with us.

Casper Mountain

A year or so later, we remembered that experience and bought a tent. We took the kids and went to Dangerfield State Park. We had been there on a day trip and had a lot of fun. They have a little pond and paddleboats to play with.

The camping trip was fun, too. In fact, we had only planned to stay two nights, but we decided since it was a long weekend, we would stay another night.

Big mistake…This time, it began to pour down rain around midnight. I was sleeping on one side of the tent, Kip was on the other side, and the boys were in the middle. Our dog, Baby Jane, was lying at our feet next to the tent opening which was zipped shut.

Craig had enjoyed a nerd milkshake at Dairy Queen along with his hamburger for dinner. Apparently his stomach didn’t like the combination. He said, “Mom, I think I’m going to be sick.”

“Kip!” I shouted, “Hurry up and unzip the door, and move Baby Jane.” He came out of a deep sleep and began to follow my instructions and then decided he wanted more information before going out into the pouring down rain in the middle of the night. The wind was blowing pretty hard as well.

Kip turned and asked, “Now why am I unzipping this and going outside?” Just then Craig got sick before Baby Jane had a chance to move out of the way. We spent the remainder of the night taking turns going outside with Craig…and the rain didn’t stop. By the time it was finally light enough for us to go to the campground’s bathrooms and clean up, Craig was feeling better and the rain had stopped. We even went out for breakfast though we made him sit closest to the door. I doubt he’s had a nerd shake since.

We tent camped a few more times before Kip started looking for a small used camper. He not only found a cute little camper, we bought a ski boat, skis, tubes and knee boards. There are a lot of lakes around Dallas and we had several summers of fun with that little camper.

Camping with friends at Lake Ray Roberts

We were so into boating and skiing that we decided we wanted to live by a lake so we sold our house and moved to a lake house about an hour’s drive from Dallas. Kip and I commuted for several years. He made that drive longer than I did.

We sold the little camper to a little couple. When they came to our house to pay us and get the title, our little Westie, Sadie, took everything out of the ladies purse which was sitting on the floor by the table where we were completing the transaction. She had hidden things like the ladie’s wallet all over the house without us seeing her. Kip and I were mortified as we hunted everything down.

Mom loved the boat
Took this after a fun day at the lake house
Me relaxing
Heidi with her dad
Grandson, Mike, having fun on the tube

You would think that living on the lake would be better than camping, right?

To be continued

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…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…The outlaws

The four men called themselves “The Outlaws.”

One of them is missing in the photograph herein.

Al Leckey, Bill Francis, Jerry Miller

He was a card-carrying member of “The Outlaws.”

His name was Robert and he lived in Michigan.

By all accounts he liked it there in Michigan.

Robert Haverberg

The guy on the left went by Al.

He lived in Pennsylvania, SD, and Califor-ni-aye

He married a girl from Murdo. (She was quite a gal.)

When Al joined “The Outlaws,” it caused her no dismay.

Yes by all accounts it caused her no dismay.

Jerry is the name of the man on the right.

He was the youngest of all “The Outlaw” guys.

When Jerry spoke, he was always quite polite

Yes Jerry was “The Outlaw” who was easiest on the eyes.

By all accounts he was easy on the eyes.

Bill is “The Outlaw” in the middle.

Of the four “Outlaws” he was the most notorious.

He could quote Shakespeare or riddle you a riddle

He was good natured and his kids were glorious.

Yes, by all accounts Bill’s kids were glorious.

There is a reason why they called themselves “The Outlaws”

They all married daughters of M.E.

Mr. Sanderson said they were son-in-laws not outlaws.

He said, “It’s all the same to me.”

“I gave them my daughters which should have set me free.”

He didn’t want to be set free if you ask me.

By all accounts he never was set free.

M. E. Sanderson
The Sanderson girls…from left. Helen, Elna, Ella, and Loretta
“So Bill, am I an Outlaw or an in-law? “It doesn’t matter, Gus…you’re glorious.”

Murdo Girl…You don’t know what you don’t know.

She walked into the school room. She looked out of place.

“Don’t sit by me,” I whispered. “Find some other space.”

She was totally disheveled from her head down to her feet.

There was not one thing about her that resembled clean or neat.

She looked my way and I knew at once that she could see me staring.

I guess it might have looked to her like I was rudely glaring.

She had no pride or money one who saw her would assume.

Thankfully, she chose a desk on the far side of the room.

She said, “Excuse me teacher. “I know I look a mess.

I had no time to bathe or put on a nice clean dress.

Late into the night, we heard someone knocking at our door.

A little neighbor asked us to watch, Joe, her Labrador.

A fire was burning in her house and the fire truck was coming.

When the siren started blaring, she knew Joe would take off running.

Mamma held onto Joe and I followed the little waif.

She went to watch the fire and I had to keep her safe.

The house burned to the ground as if it was made of paper-mache.

The family and Joe went to their Grandma’s house to stay.

We just moved to town and it’s my first day at this school.

Though I was late today, I almost never break a rule.

Thank you for your gift of time. I wanted to explain.

Though to worry about my dirty dress will make me appear vain.”

When she sat down at her desk, she looked calmer than before.

I turned my eyes away and began staring at the floor.

I could almost hear the stern voice of my otherwise sweet mother.

“Whatever you surmise, you must never judge another.”

That girl and I are friends, now. The awkward day… we never mention.

I learned my lesson well without further intervention.

Murdo Girl…I was on his mind.

It sounds like the name of a Willie Nelson love song doesn’t it?

It is a love song…but not like Willie’s. His is called, “You were always on my mind.”

We attended the Good Friday service at our church last night and my eyes kept going to the words on the screen that gave the theme of the story our preacher told so beautifully.

I took this inside a church in Rushford, MN

For when he was on the cross, I was on his mind.”

Church the Beasterhops go to

Those very simple words say so much. I asked some friends if there was a song using those words and they didn’t know, so when I got home, I checked YouTube and found this song. It is so beautiful, I thought you might enjoy listening to it this Easter weekend.

Have a blessed Easter…

Meridian, Mississippi

Georgetown, Kentucky

Murdo Girl…Taco Tuesday

I laughed at myself today. I went with my friends, Pat and Jerry to a doctor’s appointment and on the way back we stopped at Dairy Queen for lunch. I knew Jerry would insist on buying, and I didn’t want to run up the bill, but I love the Mocha Frappuccino they have at Dairy Queen and it’s over $3.00. As we were walking in, I noticed a big sign advertising taco Tuesday. On Tuesdays, tacos only cost $1.00. I ordered a Frappuccino and a taco.

I was enjoying my lunch when Jerry made the comment that these days, lunches were pretty expensive even at fast food places. I grabbed the bill to add up how much each of our lunches cost. I knew mine would be the least expensive… I gasped when I saw they had charged $1.99 for my taco. “It should have only been $1.00,” I said.

Jerry said, “Why? It’s not Tuesday.”

“I wish I had known that before I ordered,” I said. “I think having that sign sitting right where it practically hits you in the face makes you think it’s Tuesday and the tacos are $1.00. I didn’t even want a taco. I wouldn’t have ordered it if I had known it wasn’t taco Tuesday and the taco would be $2.00…therefore it didn’t offset my expensive Frappuccino.”

I looked at Pat and Jerry who were enjoying the steak finger basket (Jerry) and the banana split blizzard and French fries, (Pat).

I looked at the receipt again. After adding it up according to what each individual ordered, mine was still the least expensive. The $2.00 taco wasn’t too bad, but Pat and Jerry both had French fries and they sure looked good.

We all laughed… Maybe you had to be there.

Give me a break. I only had four hours sleep last night.

Murdo Girl…Don’t write her off

I planned to write some cards tonight and send them to friends who are having health issues. I also planned to send a few thank you notes. There are others whose birthdays are coming up. Wouldn’t it be something if I got their birthday cards out on time? I wrote a list of all of these people and it added up to an even fourteen. I then counted the cards I had available and guess what? I had an even fourteen.

I went down to my cottage and got all set up at my desk. That’s when my good luck ended. I had too many birthday cards and not enough get well cards. I had two sympathy cards which I didn’t need at all. While contemplating my next move, I started to look around the cottage and I realized I had too much of everything, everywhere. I no longer thought it looked inviting so I rearranged it all and by the time I was finished, I had a big pile of things I didn’t want by the door. I kept everything other people have given me. Now all I have to do is vacuum and feather dust.

It was nine o’clock by the time I finished and I still hadn’t written one card, so I began to write. In the first card I wrote, “I hope you’re recovery is going well.” I couldn’t believe I used the wrong your and ruined a card. Things went on like that for a while until I gave up. I’ll call them tomorrow.

To you from me…

If you’re feeling under the weather, or a test brought you bad news, we’ll send up prayers together and bring you casseroles and stews.

Is this a special birthday? We’ll help you celebrate. We’ll strive to make it your day and your birth year we’ll backdate.

We owe you a huge thank you. Our visit was the best. We were sad to say adieu. You know how to treat a guest.

You’ve achieved a milestone be it graduation, anniversary or retirement. The time it took to get here was definitely well spent.

So I’ve written all my cards. Now I just need your address. I’ll have to call you, anyway, unless I try to guess.