Murdo Girl…Evil men’s prey

Time heals all wounds I’ve heard many say. Given some time all the hurt goes away.

Has time not reinforced what we came to believe when our nation wracked with pain had no time to grieve?

Kip at 911 Memorial Museum

Have the images so chilling and all too vivid, remained clear only to those the murderous acts benefited.

I want us to remember what happened and why. A vicious attack on our homeland that we can’t deny.

It seems the further we get from the man-made catastrophe, the more we succumb to borderline apathy.

Me – outside of Freedom Tower where all of the names are engraved.

I’ll hope that each one of us takes a moment of silence today and vows to never again be evil men’s prey.

We cared for burn victims and buried those we lost. Babies born fatherless have suffered the cost.

Fill the day with kindness, love, and remembrance.

911 Museum memorial to the canines

Murdo Girl…Hello Nellie May

In the six plus years I’ve been writing this blog, this has been the longest time between posts. I can’t say exactly why. Maybe I figured we could all use a break. In hindsight, I realize it wasn’t very nice of me not to let my loyal friends know I would be absent for awhile. I didn’t plan it that way. One day just turned into another.

I’ve been spending time with my California family. Gus was supposed to have surgery to replace a heart valve last week, but it got postponed until next week so I came home for a few days. I’ll fly back on Saturday so I can be there in time for his surgery on Monday.

It has been great to spend some quality time with both Gus and my brother, Billy. I could write a book about everything that has happened to us in the last two weeks, but I’ve been asked not to.

We have a new doggie. Her name is Nellie May. We’re all still getting used to each other, but so far so good. She has a sweet disposition with a funny side. I have been a little under the weather for a few days and she has shown a lot of empathy. I think dogs can tell when their humans need attention from them.

I went out for a walk with Nellie this morning so she could teach me how she walks on a leash. I watched training videos last night so I would be prepared, but I didn’t do so well. We’re going out for another try in a few minutes. I sure hope she brings better training treats this time.

Nellie May

We’re also being investigated by the German Short-haired Pointer Rescue group. They were going to speak to our vet today and then call to set up a time to come and interview us and decide if we would be good foster-to-adopt parents.

I don’t know if we’ll need references, but if we do, I think we can probably come up with a few.

We have a tradition of giving our dogs a name that ends in ie along with a middle name. The first name we tried out was Ellie but we both kept calling her Lillie so we tried Cassie, and then a couple of others that didn’t fit. We almost named her Wyn (What’s Your Name) but it didn’t end in ie. We got a dog tag with Nellie May on it so we would be invested in the name and not be tempted to change it again.

We just got back from my walk. I’m doing better on the leash, but those treats just don’t agree with me. I’m going to ask Nellie if I can have some Tums. We all know who the new boss is.

Murdo Girl…I’m here now

We got up at 3:00 a.m. yesterday morning so I could catch a 7:00 o’clock flight to Ontario, CA by way of Phoenix. I decided on an early flight because I dislike fighting.

I hear they have regular bar fights on passenger flights now. Mostly because passengers drink too much before boarding and then get upset because they have to wear a mask.

I didn’t get very far with this blog post yesterday.

Brother Billy picked me up at the airport. We needed help getting out of the parking lot and had differing opinions on how to get back to Gus’ house. Gus and Mom moved there 30 yrs ago, and Billy has been there 4 out of 5 days this past week. I guess he was coming at it from a different angle. I don’t know what my excuse was.

Last time we went to the Jone’s County gathering in Mesa, AZ, we stopped at a Dollar Tree store. After leaving, we drove for an hour before passing the same store which was 2 blocks from our destination.

I guess my brother and I are directionally aging poorly. Cousin Lav and Gus were both with us. I don’t know what their excuse was.

We decided we always get where we’re going. We just need to allow more time…lots more time. The cost of gas is killing us.

I wasn’t able to escape the Texas heat , but it’s all good as long as Gus has a successful surgery (Thursday) and a rapid recovery. Say a few prayers please.

We’re going to my favorite bakery this morning to have coffee and pastry with some of Gus’ friends. After that, Gus has insisted we stop by Trader Joe’s to get my favorite cheesecake for later. We’ll be sure to allow plenty of time to get there.

I just noticed there are pictures of Bill and Liz, their kids and grandson, and some pictures of my kids, and grandkids, on the walls. I don’t see any of Kip and me. What’s up with that? My brother has been spending far too much time over here, but I’m here now.

Give Billy an inch and he takes a mile…sometimes in the wrong direction.

Murdo Girl…Hello Dollie

When I lose a family member, friend, or pet, (Lilie and Pattie were all three), the thing that comforts me the most is to understand that they will live in my heart forever. The thought makes it easier to adjust to life without them, and once the pain of loss begins to subside, it is replaced by fond memories, touching, or funny stories, and gratitude. All of which warm my heart. I know what they say is true. “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Many of you know that Kip and I lost our little cocker spaniel, Pattie Ruth and our short haired German pointer, Lilie Dale. We had to have both of them put to sleep on Tuesday. It was unexpected and surreal. I think we are still in shock. Pattie had a stroke and while removing what was thought to be a benign fatty tumor in Lilie, the vet found an aggressive form of cancer that couldn’t be treated.

Kip and I have made a good home for more than a few dogs in our forty years of marriage. We have always tried to let them go when it was time, and we’ve always been there with them to say goodbye. This is the first time two of our much loved friends went to doggie heaven, otherwise known as rainbow bridge, together.

Even though she won’t admit it, Dollie Lee, the cat, misses Lilie and Pattie, too. She is acting very needy. She has always used the doggie door to go in and out at her leisure. Now, she wants us to open the door for her. She meows for treats every hour and craves lap time.

Dollie is stressed…

We have been overwhelmed by all of the kind and loving messages so many of you have shared with us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We only had Lilie Dale for a year and a half, but she was so very special to us. She was the happiest dog we had ever met. Her tale wagged constantly and she danced for her treats. Pattie was Sammie’s sister. We had them both for thirteen years after finding them running the streets of Gun Barrel. Pattie was always a little plump and rather lazy, but she found her voice after Sammie died and she and Lilie became really close.

Now, I head for California on Monday to spend some time with one of my favorite guys in the whole world. Gus is having some surgery next week and Billy and I are going to hang out with him for a couple of weeks while he recuperates…

Murdo Girl…We need a new beginning

This is not about me, personally, but I have seen families and friendships suffer because of strong opposing views and the confusion in our world continues to get worse. The anger is frightening. We seem to have lost sight of the important things that must be cherished and protected. Is it just me or do you agree that no one seems to have an end game? We must have a common goal before any kind of progress can be made. All I hear are buzzwords.

We think about our differences and in our hearts we feel despair.

And then…

We think about the times we were in need and they were there.

We think about our worldly views and the chasm which divides us.

And then…

We think about our faith in He who’s there to guide us.

We think about our shared beliefs that we know must be protected.

And then…

We think we can save the world but saving ourselves remains neglected

We think about friendships that suffer when resentments replace love.

And then…

We think about relationships and the valued histories disposed of.

We think we’ve been forsaken and we could both be right.

And then…

We think it possible to reconcile without being boastful or contrite.

We think we can bear this cross if our love is unconditional.

And then…

We think it’s worth the effort to build a friendship that’s invincible.

Faith, hope, love, trust, and forgiveness will get us where we need to be.


Murdo Girl…Old men are funny

Old men are funny. Be glad you’re not there yet.

They forget to remember, but remember to forget.

Younger men all boast of staying nice and trim

I’ve noticed that your hair is getting nice and thin.

Has your aging thinker begun to give you fits?

When you need it most does it go on the fritz?

Men who dress too young are really just pretenders

Have you thought about trying on suspenders?

I’ve seen men who appear to be growing longer ears.

It happens when they start getting up in the years.

You’re not old until the women call you sir instead of honey,

And if the truth be known. You’re really not that funny.

Yes.. Old men are funny. Be glad you’re not there yet.

They forget to remember, but remember to forget.

You are the prince of the family. What an awesome brother!

But remember I’m the Queen. (We take after our mother.)

Happy Birthday to the best brother ever…You know what to do.


Murdo Girl…Every kind of nut.

Yram woke up early Saturday morning and decided to walk uptown to get a cup of coffee before the book club met. She hasn’t read the book yet, but something tells her it most likely won’t be an issue. She notices the town is pretty quiet. In fact, it’s downright silent…almost eerie. “Where is everybody?” Yram wonders. She has walked almost a block when she wearily sits down on the court house steps. (The book club meets in the court house.) Suddenly, she hears a click, click, click, click (4 clicks). Upon further investigation she decides it’s coming from north of her in the direction of Main Street. Tentatively, Yram gets up and walks toward the clicking sound. Her heart is beating and her pulse is pounding. (Or is it the other way around?)

Before she can see where the clicking is coming from, she hears a loud roar. Well, not really a roar. It sounds more like a truck engine that’s choking on something.

As she walks toward the click and the choking, the subjects of the noise come into view. It’s Lav on a horse and behind her is KK driving a flatbed, and on the flatbed are Windy Lindy and Airy sitting in their broken down airplane.

“wouldn’t it be easier to walk than to sit in your broken down airplane that’s riding on a choking truck?”

Yram looks at Lav and says, “Why are you riding a horse, Lav and where are you going? The book Club meets in five or ten.”

“We’re going on a hay ride,” Lav says. “There won’t be anyone at the book club meeting, Yram. Every letter of the alphabet, even all of the Ha Ha’s are going on the hay ride.”


“You’ve heard of the Ya Ya sisterhood?…We’re the Ha Ha Sisterhood.”

“We’re all going to the funny farm,” says the Ha Ha Sisterhood.

“Willingly?” Yram asks.


“Flying on the ground is spooky, I think,” says Airy Heart. “I sure hope we get our airplane running again. I sure would hate it if I had to change my name. I like being Airy. My name used to be Bleeding Heart. I fainted all the time then.”


We live on the funny farm, but we’re moving. It’s just getting too crazy.

“I made a pineapple upside down cake,” says Patty Cake.

“Perfect,” says Yram. “We’ll all go to the nut house at the funny farm and ride around on hay while we eat upside down cake with the Ha Ha Sisterhood. Sounds like a blast!”

This is Yram Sicnarf. I was asked to report on our Funny Farm experience, so I have written a little piece for the paper. It seems some of the loco locals think the Funny Farm isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I would be willing to bet they are just repeating some insane things they have heard others say and haven’t even darkened the unhinged door of the Nut House. I promise to tell it like it is. After all, they don’t call me a crack up reporter for nothing.


Lav rode her horse, named Loopy. Airy and Windy rode in their airplane which is temporarily grounded. They have it on the back of KK’s flatbed truck, which isn’t running with a full deck either. TC, AI, PG, PC and the Ha Ha Sisterhood, rode on the back of the hay wagon kindly provided by the Nut House. (I pulled it with my 1951 Willys Jeep.)

Lav sure loves Loopy

A day at the Funny Farm, By Yram Sicnarf


It was a barmy day as our group made it’s way to the only certifiable Funny Farm in the state. We figured as long as we were there, we might as well get certified.

Anyway, we made good time and arrived at the gates of the farm shortly before lunchtime. We were greeted at the door by a sweet young lady who said she was Daffy. We assumed Daffy would be the one to register us, but she had us sit in a waiting room and wait for the person who would admit us. That part was a little unpleasant. With the evergrowing Ha Ha sisterhood and all, we’re a pretty large group. One of the Ha Ha’s said she wished they could sit on the nice padded walls instead of the hard old benches. I tell you, those girls drive me bonkers sometimes.

Finally, a very nice looking man came in and said he was there to help us, but he wanted to get to know us first. This upset Lav just a little. She told the nice looking man who said his name was Bizarro, she was worried about getting Loopy. (We had to leave the horse tied up outside,)

Windy, who is an animal lover said she was touched. The nice man told her she was in the right place.

The Ha Ha Sisterhood telling divine secrets at the Funny farm.

Airy asked when we would get to eat lunch. She said she was so hungry she could even eat Patty Cake’s fruitcake. He didn’t hear her right because he said she really shouldn’t say fruitcake in a Nut House.

The Ha Ha Sisterhood asked if they could have their picture taken. He said he needed a break, so we could go to the building with a sign out front that said, Unstable. We assumed that was where they kept the horses, so we headed that way. We were gratified when we walked in, to see it was full of people eating lunch. We sat down and waited for someone to take our order.

A nice lady came over and said she was Kooky and handed us all some crackers. Airy said she was hungry for something more substantial and Kooky said there were nut cases in the hall.

Nuts sounded pretty good so we left the Unstable and started wandering every hall we could find looking for the nut cases. A I said she was feeling a little weird, so we went outside and sat under a tree and ate Patty Cake’s upside down cake. We had a great afternoon. We were all entertained by the divine secrets of the Ha Ha Sisterhood, and a group of ladies came by and serenaded us with their rendition of Crazy Arms by Ray Price. They were so cute with their arms all tied up.


By this time it was getting time to head back to town, so we went to find Daffy to thank her for everything. We told her we thought the Farm and and The Nut House were better than we had heard, and the only suggestion we had was they should put their nut cases in a place where people could see them.

Goodbye Nut House

So off we went with Lav on Loopy, KK driving the flatbed with Windy and Airy on the back in their airplane, and me in the Jeep pulling the hay wagon with all of the Ha Ha Sisterhood, TC, AI, PG and a few squirrels that were hiding in the hay. They must not have been able to find the nuts either.

I will conclude by saying, it’s a great place to clear the cobwebs out of your head and meet people just like you and me. We will be  going back soon. We forgot our certificates.

Update: PG called to see if they would mail our certificates. The FF said we weren’t certifiable. We weren’t committed enough.

Murdo Girl…Yram and Crazy Horse

Hi! This is Yram Sicnarf. I’m filling in for Murdo Girl for a few days. She’s resting. You probably don’t realize this, but I’m quite a bit younger than Murdo Girl. I reside in Texas near Gun Barrel City, where our motto is, “We Shoot Straight.” I’m a traveling crack-up reporter.

I just got to Rapid City. I’m going to the Crazy Horse Monument this morning. I snagged an interview with Crazy Horse, himself. This interview was hard to get, but it will put another feather in my cap, and an arrow in my quill.

The Crazy Horse Monument is far away from the Harold Thune auditorium and the Jerrald Applebee floor, so how much trouble can I get into, right? Can you see Crazy Horse putting a restraining order on me? I don’t even like to ride horses.


We are back at the Crazy Horse Monument where Yram Sicnarf will soon be interviewing Crazy Horse. You know how when the politicians speak, they always have a bunch of people standing behind them? It makes for a good camera shot, so Sherri and Kodak are going to shoot and record the whole thing.

wp-1501257292032.pngYram: Good morning all! We are waiting for Crazy Horse to arrive. He is a busy man you know and he travels everywhere on his crazy horse. Oh there he is! I’ll try to get his attention. “YEOEOEOEOEYO!!” I think he heard me.

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Yram: Hello Mr. Crazy Horse…Pleased to make your acquaintance. I have read your dossier, so I know everything there is to know about you. Are you new in town?

Crazy Horse: I’ve been through here a couple of times many winters ago. I remember it was cold.

Yram: It says here you are a leader. That’s pretty vague. In what kind of work are you a leader?

Crazy Horse: Well, I’m retired now, but I used to put colorful paint all over my face, then go and scare the Calvary. It was fun, but it didn’t pay much.

Yram:  If you’re retired, why haven’t you completed your monument…arthritis?

Crazy Horse: Something like that. What is there to do around here?

Yram: Well Mr. Crazy Horse. Do you mind if I call you Crazy? Have you been to Custer State Park?

Crazy Horse: You’re joking, right?

Yram: Not a park person?

Crazy Horse: A very great vision is needed, and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.

Yram: Just the other day, I was talking to my girlfriend and I said that same thing. I can really relate. Where are you going from here?

Crazy Horse: I’m going to Murdo. Have you ever been there?

Yram: Yes…but not within 500 yards. They don’t want me close to the football games.

Crazy Horse: I can relate.

Yram: So would you mind having your picture taken with me Mr. Horse?

Crazy Horse: That’s my horse’s name. You can call me Crazy. I don’t like having my picture taken.

I thought that was one of my better interviews, and being the tenacious crack up reporter I am, I managed to get that picture.



So the sun sets on another western South Dakota day. I wonder what foolhardy thing tomorrow will bring? How about Mt. Rushmore? That would keep her busy for a while. 

Mr. President Washington, is it true you have wooden teeth? Are they hard to floss?

Murdo Girl…My life could be different, now

I have never been good with money. It doesn’t matter if I have a lot or just a little, I’m not good with it. There was a period of time, when it was just the boys and me, that I did pretty well. Maybe because I didn’t have time to go out and shop. My brother said my sister-in-law can shop for an hour if they stop at minimart.

As I try to come to terms with my vice, I can look back and see the signs were there. Mom used to say, “If you get $5 .00, you either put it on you or in you.” I would buy clothes… or something to eat. I wrote a children’s book about a little girl who had two problems. She couldn’t get enough “things” and when she did get things, she wasn’t happy with anything because something new and better came into her sights. It ends well, though.

I can’t relate…

Why would I write a blog on my spending habbits? I have no idea, but I’m into the 3rd paragraph so I’m not going to stop now. I once made really good money, but did you know that good money spends just as easily as bad money?

I think I know what brought this on. I volunteer at the library and for the last couple of days, I have been learning how to check books in and out, fax things, put books back in the right section in alphabetical order by author. We also have a tremendous number of LP, LARGE PRINT, books. I guess you can tell the demographics of the people in a town by going to the library and seeing what kind of books they have. It feels like a real job. They didn’t need all of us so I left. I found myself worrying about getting enough hours in…You don’t get a paycheck, Mary.

I think I blogged about the first time I decided I was going to write about my life. I went to Walmart and bought a tape recorder and a notepad. I had a sales job and I had to do a lot of driving. My idea was to record things as they came to me…that way I wouldn’t forget some good stuff. I even bought one for my brother. He was so excited when I called and told him that I was sending him a tape recorder and we were going to write a book together. I called my good friend Mary, whose wiser head usually prevails, and told her of my plan. Do you know what she said? “Can you take the recorders back to Walmart?”

I took the tape recorders back, Billy. We would have been famous by nowand richmaybe

Billy didn’t act very surprised when I called and told him the plan was off. He said, “Yeah, I usually try to sleep on ideas like that before I act on them.”

I’ve figured it out…I’m not good with money because I’m an impulse buyer. And Mary was wrong. She should have let me have that tape recorder.

Queens have to spend a lot of time in their carriages…

Murdo Girl…Mt. Moriah Cemetery

They say you can learn a lot about a town by who’s buried in the cemetery.

Some of those buried at Mt. Moriah were really quite legendary.

I walked silently through all the sections. I knew who I was looking for.

They buried the unknown in Potter’s field with those who were very poor.

A large section is filled with those who died in a tragic lumber mill fire.

I found the graves of children of misfortune, madams, and a gun for hire.

I finally came to the two I had to see.. Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.

Calamity Jane

I heard they were romantically involved but true love they couldn’t attain.

Calamity Jane at Wild Bill’s grave

Wild Bill’s friends made a promise to him that someday when he died,

They wouldn’t bury Calamity near him. I see they must have lied.

Calamity outlived him by twenty-seven years. She’s buried on the hill.

She insisted she be buried at Mount Moriah Cemetery right next to Wild Bill.


So now they’re together for eternity, much to Wild Bill’s probable chagrin.

Shot in the back while playing poker…with a dead man’s hand he couldn’t win.

Wild Bill
Jack McCall shoots Wild Bill Hickok

Mt Moriah Cemetery is in Deadwood, South Dakota