Murdo Girl…Will Victory fail?

Fresh off her first successfully solved mystery, Victory Lane has been contemplating what her future will hold. How many such situations can one sleuth expect to encounter in say… a year’s time? Something tells me our Nancy Drew wannabe will turn up something soon…

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Two very bad things have happened this week and it’s only Tuesday. First off, we ran out of peanut butter. And because I can’t eat a peanut butter sandwich, I’m not able to think clearly. Mom doesn’t buy it, but it’s true. Maybe she’ll believe me when I show her my school paper. I got an unacceptable grade on my science test. I could have sworn I passed it, but every time I look at it I see a big red number 56 staring up at me. Mom is not going to handle this well. She’s gonna be really hard to face, but face her I will!

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I’m walking home by myself today. Actually, I walk home by myself everyday and there is nobody I would rather walk home with than me.

“Hi Mom, I’m home! I have my science test. Did you buy any peanut butter today!”

“I’ll be right there, honey! Did you do well?”

Just as I was about to answer, Mom came into the kitchen, so I just handed her my paper. She looked at it for a long time.

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“Victory, there is something wrong with this paper!”

“I know Mom. It’s that big red 56 at the top of it.”

“That’s not what I mean, Victory. These answers look funny. Not only are most of them incorrect, but this is not your handwriting. How do you explain that?”

“What do you mean, Mom?”

Mom handed me the paper and it only took me a second to discover she was right! My name at the top was clearly in my handwriting, but the answers to the typewritten questions were not. And upon further sleuth-type examination, the answers were stupid. Most of them weren’t even listed in the multiple choice columns.

“I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before, Mom. I was in such a state of shock at seeing that big red failing grade, my eyes didn’t search any further. Now what am I going to do? No one is going to believe me when I tell them I didn’t write these answers…not even my teacher!”

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“Well, dear…I guess you had better put your sleuthing skills to the test. If you didn’t write those answers, then who did? Hmm…you come up with a plan and I’ll run to the store and get some peanut butter.”

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Will Victory Lane be able to make inroads into solving the altered paper caper? I mean, I’ve heard of stealing answers, but Victory’s were literally lifted… 

Will Victory’s new dog, Speedway, help her sniff out crime?

15420786175453461754237722858373670219592340047940.jpgStay tuned…

Murdo Girl…The plot thins

Victory Lane is a young girl who is nosy by nature and a self-professed sleuth. She is on her first self-assigned unsolved mystery. Let’s begin where we left off with this story. Victory has spotted her classmate, Penny’s Uncle Jimbo, who left town for unknown parts two years ago. Penny said it was because her mother kicked him out for being lazy, but Victory thinks it was something more sinister. Let’s see if she has what it takes to be an up and coming slueth or, if in fact, she is just nosy.

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When I finished my PB & J sandwich, I grabbed a couple of Mom’s homemade peanut butter cookies and a glass of milk. I love peanut butter. It helps me think.

I needed a plan. First, I needed to know if Penny’s family knew Jimbo was back in town. Penny and I aren’t exactly friends, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt if I casually strolled by their house, so I did. As luck would have it, Penny’s mom was walking out to her car parked in the driveway.

“Hi Mrs. Walter. Are you having a nice day?”

“Oh, hello, Victory. Yes, I suppose I am.”

“Is it kinda the same as any other day?”

“Yes, I guess it is. I’ve got to run an errand. See you, Victory. Oh, please tell your mother I won’t be bringing cookies tonight. We’ve decided not to go.”

She was in the car and backing out of the driveway before I could ask her where she wasn’t going tonight.

Anyway, It didn’t sound like Mrs. Walter knows her brother is back in town.

Next, I decided to go back to the place I saw Uncle Jimbo a couple of hours before.

Once again, luck was on my side. Jimbo and another guy I had never seen before came walking out of the Dairy Queen. I quickly ducked behind a giant cardboard ice cream cone that was close enough to the door that I could hear most of the conversation.

“I understand how you feel, Jimbo, but it’s time this town knows the truth about you. Now come on, lets get back to the hotel and get ready for tonight. Have you called your sister?”

“No, and I’m not going to. I don’t feel right about asking her to go. Come on let’s get this over with.”

“Victory Lane!! What are you nosing around for now?”

I jumped so high I could a cleared that ice cream cone if I hadn’t knocked it over. I hate it when my cover gets blown.

“I promise I’m not being nosy, Mom. I’m on the very verge of solving a mystery.”

Just then, something occurred to me. Jimbo’s sister, Mrs. Walter wasn’t going someplace tonight, and Jimbo was going someplace tonight. I wondered if it was the same place.

“Mom, Mrs. Walter said she couldn’t bring cookies tonight because she isn’t going. Where isn’t she going, Mom?”

“Oh dear, I hope we have enough cookies. How many of my peanut butter cookies did you eat today, Victory?”

“Two…plus one that wasn’t baked yet. Where are you taking them, Mom?”

“To the Veteran’s Day Celebration at the town hall. There is going to be a surprise guest. I heard through the grapevine he’s a real unsung hero. You had better get home and get ready. You’re going with me.”

“Uh, okay Mom…I have one stop to make then I’ll be home.”

I ran all the way to the Walter’s house. I prayed Mrs. Walter would be there. As luck would have it, she was. I knocked on the door and she answered.

“Mrs. Walter, you have to go to the Veteran’s Day Celebration tonight and bring cookies. My mom doesn’t have enough because I ate a bunch of them. Please Mrs. Walter! Say you’ll come. There’s going to be an unsung hero there and everything and I’d feel just terrible if my mom got all embarrassed because there weren’t enough cookies. Buy them if you have to.”

Well, Mrs. Walter must have sensed my distraughtness because she assured me she would be there. Now all I had to do was pray really hard that my hunch was right.

“Ladies and gentlemen it’s time to introduce a very special guest. Dale, would you please come up to the podium?”

Dale? Who is Dale, I wondered!

Jimbo’s friend stood up and walked to the microphone.

There is someone here with me tonight, but I’ve asked him to stay in the other room for a few minutes while I tell you a little bit about him.

I want to tell you about a man who went to war. He went because he wanted to fight for all of you. He grew up in this town. I’ve never met a man with a stronger love of country or a more steadfast commitment to protect his own. I served beside him.

There came a terrible day. We were in the midst of battle… caught by surprise. Our commander was killed. This man I’m about to bring before you saved my life and the lives of countless others. He didn’t come home a hero. You see, he was uncomfortable with the word hero. The last two years, he’s been getting help. He had to learn to come to terms with who he is. I’ll tell you who he is. He’s the finest man I’ve ever known and I’m so pleased that he’s finally coming back home to all of you. He deserves your gratitude. Come out here Jimbo.”

I saw Jimbo walking through the door. He had tears in his eyes and a big smile on his face. I saw his sister, Mrs. Walter run to the front of the room and grab onto her brother with all she had. Everyone in the room stood, but there was silence. Then a sweet voice began to sing America the Beautiful and everyone joined in.

I felt good all over…

Murdo Girl…It’s never to late to live in the now

As most of you know, I began using Rodan + Fields skin care products. I said I would be up front with you about my experience with my new Redefine Regimen. I’ve been following it for slightly over a month now, and I have started to notice some improvements in my skin and lashes. I want to show you my old and new skin care routines.

Below are all the things I threw away. I also discarded several creams while we were on the trip that aren’t in this photograph.

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Below is everything I am currently using for skin care and make-up. I have never been very disciplined as far as skin care and after 50 plus years of using maker-up, I still buy a different color or brand every month or so. I’m always trying to find one I like. I wish I had a dollar for every unused bottle of foundation.

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This is my new morning routine, using Rodan + Fields skin care products developed by these two dermatologists.

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1) Redefine Daily Cleansing Mask: Wet fingers, apply and leave on 2 minutes

2) Pore Minimizing Toner: Apply with gauze pad…My pores are most porous on my nose and chin.

3) Redefine Triple Defense Treatment (one for am and one for pm)

4) Enhanced Lash Boost (should be applied at night)

5) Radiant Defense Perfecting Liquid in beige (very lightly tinted)

6) Redefine Lip Renewing Serum (It comes in little capsules.) I just got this and I love it. Should be used at night, but one capsule has enough to put a little on in the morning, too. Follow-up with a little mascara, brow pencil, lip pencil and eye liner.

My mascara is really old and gunky…the reason? I haven’t worn it for a very long time. I didn’t have long enough lashes. I mean it. You could barely see them! I really, really love what the lash boost has accomplished in only a month.

Here I am…Ready to go! Except for my hair. I should have thought about my hair first. Oh well, I’m going on 67 and life is pretty good! I try to appreciate each day I’m given and my new mantra is, “Live in the now!”

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If you are interested in learning more about these products, please email me at kmtexas2@gmail.com or message me on Facebook. I have decided to become a Rodan + Fields Consultant.

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Murdo Girl…Victory Lane

There’s this kid in school who says I’m nosy and people should be very careful around me. That offends me. I like to think of myself as observant. If I see something that’s not quite right, I take note. And after I take note of something I think is full of smoke and mirrors, I pay extra attention and quietly follow-up. That’s being observant. Nosy is when you go around asking people personal questions like, “How much money do you make?”

I look at myself as being more like a sleuth. Sleuths happen onto suspicious things all the time. Look at Nancy Drew. Everywhere her roadster took her, there was a mystery to solve. She got into some pretty tight spots sometimes, but her smarts always got her out just in time. I doubt anyone ever called her Nosy Nancy.

Oh well, I’m not going to worry about it. I don’t worry about much. I think that’s why Mom named me Victory. I like my name, Victory. People try to call me Vicki or Tory, but I don’t answer to anything but Victory. Someday, after I’ve solved a few high-profile mysteries, people will remember my name. They’ll say, Isn’t that Victory Lane something? My last name is Lane. I really should remember to thank my mother for my name. If nothing else, she gave me a great name. One that’s fitting for a sleuth.

Well, I better get out there and nose…I mean sleuth around. There’s got to be a mystery to be solved around here somewhere. I just need something to cut my teeth on. I don’t need a murder to solve or anything. I’m really not used to the idea of dead bodies yet. I know death comes with most run of the mill detective work, but I’m still pretty young. I don’t like blood much either. Especially if it’s my blood. I got a bloody nose once and I passed right out at the sight of my own blood.

You know what I just noticed? I’m casually looking across the street and who do I see but Penny Walter’s Uncle Jimbo. I wonder what old Uncle Jimbo is doing back in town. Boy he’s hard to look at. It must be two years since he left and he looks like he’s got the very same clothes on as when I last saw him. He was sitting at the bus stop in front of the Texaco gas station. Penny’s mom kicked him out of their house. Penny said it was because all he ever did was sit in their squeaky rocking chair and watch I love Lucy reruns. Penny said all you could hear all day long was squeaking and laughing and it drove them all to distraction. I’ve always thought there was more to it. I suspected he left under kind of a cloud. I wonder where he went? I wonder why he’s back?

This could be a good mystery for me to solve. Years from now people around here will look back and say, “I knew Victory Lane before she was a world-famous detective.”

I’ll get started on solving this thing as soon as I possibly can, but first I’m going home to fix myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You should never sleuth on an empty stomach.

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I was in the mood to write a little story.

Guess what? Kip just added it up. We traveled 7,439 miles on our 44 day trip.

You did good, SeeYa

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Murdo Girl…Storytelling

My cousin, Andrea, sent two pictures of me that were taken when I was four years old. It was fun to see photographs from all those years ago. I thought I had seen them all. I don’t remember ever wearing my hair in pigtails nor do I remember that doll. My Grandma and Grandpa Sanderson look younger than my clear memories of them, and I have many wonderful ones.

 

Moments in time seen by someone through a camera lens, and captured forever, are pretty amazing when you think about it.

These were taken a year or so before the Beasterhop came to life. Many of you know the story about my dad asking me to tell him a tale during our storytelling time. I imagined a rabbit that rides on a bicycle and called him a Beasterhop.

Two years ago, I wrote my first rhyming Beasterhop story called We Shall See what We Shall See. This year, I repackaged it to match a new Beasterhop storybook I wrote with my six year old granddaughter. This isn’t a rhyming story. It’s a heartwarming tale about a little rabbit town by the name of Thanksgivington. The name of the book is A Thanksgivington Christmas.

If you’re looking for Christmas stocking stuffers for children from ages three to eight, I’m offering a special price from now through December 15th.

 

 

Books

Buy any two books postage included

$14.00

 

Book

A Thanksgivington Christmas… postage included

$7.50

 

Book

We Shall See what We Shall See postage included

$7.50

You can purchase the books by using PayPal, or by check. Please email me at kmtexas2@gmail.com, or message me on Facebook with information about your order and any questions you might have.

These books will be a great addition to your storytelling fun with the little ones in your life. Please share this blog or my Facebook post with your family and friends…Thank you

Murdo Girl…Washing clothes without quarters

I was exchanging comments with a friend yesterday and she said, “You just as well take some pictures of the last 150 miles of your travels.” I’ve become fascinated with taking pictures from SeeYa’s window, and then looking through them to find some that intrigue me.

The morning went from rainy to sunny and then it clouded up again.

We were curious about what the animals would do after being away from home for six weeks.

The cat went outside as soon as we opened the doggie door. It was the first time she was allowed outdoors since we left. She was so good about not trying to get out of the RV. She loves to be outside.

The dogs didn’t want out. They were stressed and didn’t want Kip to get out of their sight.

Sammie even howled once. That is Cyndie looking stressed. No more new yards to sniff out.

The house actually looked neat and clean when we got here. That changed quickly when we unloaded the motor home. We’re slowly getting everything put away. In the RV, you have to lift up on the drawers and maneuver them to pull them out. That’s so they don’t open when your traveling down bumpy roads. You have to shut the cabinet doors hard, too. It takes me a few days not to do that when I get home. Kip winces when he hears me slamming everything shut. I’m on the third load of laundry and I’m still trying to find where to put the quarters in the machines.

It was nice not to have to call ahead for a place to stay and I’m sure Kip enjoyed not having to hook up the water, sewer and electricity… though we have gotten pretty proficient at all of that plus hooking up the tow car. We unhooked in the Brookshire’s parking lot.

No one wanted to go to the store so we ate the only thing we could scrounge up for dinner…two chicken pot pies. Kip had one of the two remaining bear claws, still in the RV freezer, for dessert.

It’s good to be home. I will say this…Our tiny house feels like a HUGH mansion!

Murdo Girl…Back in Texas

We’re spending the last night of our incredible odyssey on the Texas side of Texarkana. It’s a beautiful night and it’s the last evening we’ll follow the travel routine we’ve all settled into these last six weeks and two days. The longest we’ve stayed in one place was three nights. We’ve covered a lot of ground. We’ll calculate the actual miles when we get home.

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There are things I will miss. It was surreal to travel around the country in our own little house for that length of time. The whole experience far exceeded my expectations. Our plans were flexible enough to take advantage of the opportunities we had to spend time with friends and family, yet we did almost everything we set out to do in the time we had alotted.

The weather cooperated and we benefited from a tremendous amount of good luck as we made decisions about the RV park locations. It got pretty tense a couple of times when places filled up days ahead of a weekend. We had our three dogs and the cat to consider as well, so proximity to the sights we wanted to see was critical to how much we got to do.

I picked up a few new hats

I no longer like staying in motels. I like having my own sheets and towels and my own things around me. The dogs are used to their second home and make themselves quite comfortable in it. It would have been impossible for us to have traveled any other way and do the things we have done. Our whole goal was to see the New England States and the fall colors. We did that and so much more.

All along the way people came up with wonderful suggestions about what we should do and see. We had to make difficult choices. It would have taken too much time and way too much money to do it all. I think we’re both really happy with the way it all played out and as far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m anxious to be home and can’t wait to see our family and friends, but life will be really real again. Kip has to look for transportation to replace the pickup I wrecked just days before we left. I’m going to be pretty busy myself with some commitments and projects waiting for me. We’ll only have one vehicle for a while. Then there’s the holidays. I’m making lists in my head as I write this.

No matter what…this trip is in the books. The experience has given me a new perspective on things, and reaffirms my favorite words…Be anxious about nothing…I’m going to take more deep breaths, appreciate all the tiny blessings as well as the big ones, and realize I’m a very small part of a very big world. My life is only as complicated as I make it.

Stop and smell the coffee like these two handsome dudes.

Bad things can happen without a moments notice. I know that. But good things can so easily be overlooked if I’m not paying attention. I tried really hard to stay in the present during this trip and I learned it’s a good place to be.

Thanks to all of you great people who followed along on our adventure. It made it even more special.

Here are a few (not all about the trees) pictures I took today.

Murdo Girl…TennesSeeYa

We drove through some of Tennessee yesterday and after the beauty of North Carolina, I wasn’t really impressed. My pictures are only good when I have amazing scenery to capture and that didn’t happen for me yesterday.

We spent last night at a KOA in Nashville and headed toward Memphis this morning. The weather was great until about one o’clock when the wind and rain set in.

I thought these pictures were interesting. All were taken from the passenger window of SeeYa.

It seems as we’ve traveled through 21 states from late September until now, that each one has it’s own unique fall display.

Cotton Field

The Danny Thomas St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis is an enormous complex.

Crossing over the Mississippi River into Arkansas.

We’re settled in at the Memphis KOA, which interestingly enough, is in Arkansas. It’s still pouring down rain, but nothing as violent as some predicted. The lady in the laundromat this morning was scoping out a place to stand if a torado hit, and washing her clothes so she could pack her disaster bag. She’s been on the road two weeks longer than we have. Maybe it’s time for all of us to go home…

Murdo Girl…Nothing could be finer

If I had Aladdin’s lamp for only a day…

I’d make a wish and here’s what I’d say

Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning

(On the road to Brevard…Thursday morning.)

Friday….

We met Anne and Bear for coffee and a treat

At the Blue Ridge Bakery where the locals meet

Blue Grass musicians entertained us all

Outside the rain began to fall

Bear and Kip were very emphatic

They didn’t want to join us at the resale Attic

So they went to a place called Mantiques

Then met us for some yummy lunchtime eats

We took the dogs for a walk and gave them bones

Before driving up the mountain to the home of the Jones’

Saturday…

On Saturday Bear was kind enough

To take Kip and me to see lots of stuff

He drove us to Highland and Cashiers

We saw a waterfall so loud it hurts your ears

It’s called Dry Falls and yet…

When I stood behind it, my new hat got wet

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Streaming down the mountain that water was raging

If you tripped and fell…there’d be no more aging

We stopped by a thrift store (Which filled Kip with dread)

I bought this vintage hat to adorn my head

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The day was sunny and the mountains were full

Of colorful trees, so incredibly beautiful

We got back in time to take the dogs outside

Before going for another short ride

At Bear and Anne’s we saw James and Janet

Anne made the best dinner on the planet

Janet’s dessert was heaven-sent

We walked when we came and waddled when we went

After dinner the conversation digressed

From colonoscopy stories to barium tests

I’m saying you would have felt left out

If you hadn’t had surgery or at least some gout

All the way back, Kip and I professed

No one in this world could be more blessed.

To have wonderful friends like these four

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And to think…back home there’s even more

When friends become more like family

The world’s a wonderful place to see and be

Murdo Girl…Bear with us

Hendersonville, North Carolina….the Bear Claw capital of the world and a fun place to have friends to visit.

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We had a wonderful few days with James and Janet Adams. We even kept the Mabank tradition of Tuesday night dinner with friends. Kip has not stopped talking about Janet’s delicious homemade soup and if you know Kip, you’ll understand his excitement over her, secret recipe, apple dumplings served hot with ice cream. I could hurt myself eating them.

It really bothered James that the words on the signs in my selfies were backwards, so we spent a little time practicing on his sweatshirt. (We finally got it fixed at the parade.)

Many of you, who are on Facebook, already know that Kip and I entered ourselves in a Halloween costume parade in downtown Hendersonville. Our son and daughter-in-law, Mason and Amy Masteller, who live in Wyoming, gave us “Does a bear go in the woods” long johns for Christmas last year. We decided this was the perfect opportunity to break them in.

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When our kids were little and they asked Kip a question, when the answer was yes, he would always respond, “Does a bear go in the woods?”

We stayed in a very nice RV park near James and Janet and the dogs loved walking the trails. The weather was gorgeous and we continue to enjoy the beautiful fall colors in this part of the country.

We’re off to see our friends who live in Brevard…a short distance from Hendersonville. Hopefully, they didn’t decide to leave town.

SeeYa soon, Anne and Bear!