Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Holiday Lunch

Guest Post by Little Brother, Blair

Blair on Holiday.
There was never a lack for work on the ranch.  I emphasize the word “never”.  Whenever there was a school holiday, I would initially think, 'Oh great then I can go biking with my friends or go hiking or tinker in the shop!' 
Then I would get home and dad would have a list of things that we needed to get done that day.  In my final years of high school I really didn’t care if there was a holiday, it was just  another work day for me. 

It seemed that many of these “holiday work” days were windy and cold.  Hey, it was Canada.  Most school holidays were in the fall, winter and spring.  We had lots of blustery days in the fall, winter, and spring.

Our school holiday would usually begin with getting up early and doing chores.  No sleeping in even on a holiday.  Then we would eat breakfast and talk with dad about what he wanted to do that day.  We would then go out to deal with whatever needed to be done.  If we were lucky, we got to work in the barn. Or the corrals where we had the fence to shelter us from the wind. 

The tasks were not usually difficult, just time consuming and cold.  We would work for a few hours in the morning. I learned to wear heavy coats and coveralls becausehe wind would blow dust into our eyes, ears, nose, down our backs.  

When it felt like I could not take any more cold, dad would say that it was time for lunch.  That was a very welcome part of the day.  

We would walk down to the house where mom had created many delicious things to eat. Usually it was a stew or something similar with other yummy stuff.  Whatever the delicious meal was, it had three important components.  It was warm, it tasted good and there was plenty to eat.  However we had to wash first (see above).  Mom made sure we washed before she fed us.  I didn’t argue, I just wanted to fill the void that was called a stomach. 

Mom also served plenty of homemade bread.  This was a wonderful complement to the tasty meal.  It seemed to make the main course taste so much better.  There was usually some homemade treat as well such as cinnamon buns or tarts or pie.  I realize that the cold weather and hard work enhanced the tastiness of the meal.

Now there was another benefit to having plenty to eat.  I could take a little longer and delay going back out to the cold blustery day.  However, all good things need to come to an end and we would put on our coat, coveralls, gloves, and hat and head back to complete our task.  Finally, we would finish, complete our evening chores then go back to the house where mom would have another wonderful meal.  Usually, I could go tinker in the shop after supper.

At least I was able to spend a little time and do something that I liked on my “school holiday”.

The following day, I would be back at school where I would hear about all of the fun things that my friends had done on the “holiday”.  I didn’t have much to say about my day.  If I tried to tell them what I did, they would look at me strangely.  

But hey, I got the fed the best.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Lights


We drove along, my folks and me,
And siblings, categorically,
I don’t know where we all had been,
Now we were heading home again.

Along the road, its twists and curves,
Dad drove along with care. And swerves.
And I, with nose against the glass
Was watching small poles that we passed.

Each one lit up when we drove by,
When passed, went dark. I wondered why,
And how they knew just when to light,
To keep us safe, when out at night.

Then all at once, there in my brain,
I had an im-pres-sion, again.
Quite suddenly, for sure, I knew,
What lit the poles there in my view.

Each pole was lighted just for me,
By little ‘pole men’ I can’t see.
Their lighting was a perfect mix,
Of strength, agility, and sticks.

‘Twas kind of them, I’m sure you know,
To flip that little switch below.
And light the pole for us to see,
So we could navigate safely.

I thanked them, each and every one,
“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” Done.
My mom looked back inquiringly,
“What are you doing, Dear?” asked me.

“I’m thanking all the pole guys, Mom.”
Confused, she frowned at me, said, “Ummm…
Okay. If that’s what makes you glad.”
Then turned and shook her head at dad.

All this was many years ago,
And I learned fast. (And sometimes slow.)
And whether old, or youngest waif,
That life has lights. They keep you safe.

And when you've safely passed on through,
Please thank your little pole men, too.

Mondays do get knocked a lot,
With poetry, we three besought,
To try to make the week begin,
With gentle thoughts--perhaps a grin?
So Jenny and Delores, we,
Now post our poems for you to see.

And when you’ve read what we have brought,
Did we help? Or did we not . . .

And next week, cause we've seen the light, 
We tackle 'PEOPLE' with our might!



Sunday, November 19, 2017

A World of Creation

You see food. I see . . . possibilities.
The headquarters/chief residence of the Stringam ranch, like most ranch houses then and now, was centred around a large, family kitchen.
Everything important happened in that room.
Eating, visiting, business, playing. More eating.
It was, quite literally, the soul of the house.
Mom reigned supreme over its scrubbed surfaces and gleaming appliances.
All traffic came through it, stopping either briefly, or of longer duration.
I lived there.
Whenever Mom was in residence (and Mom was always in residence), I could be found.
Underfoot.
Dragging out stacks of plastic ware or pots and pans.
Or, even more exciting, the dozens of Jello packages that Mom kept in a corner cupboard.
Just for me.
It was amazing what one could construct out of those small, cardboard boxes.
Castles. Forts. Corrals. Houses. Barns. Apartment buildings. Stores.
Even schools.
Infinite hours of fun and creativity. Infinite possibilities.
I should mention, here, that Lego hadn't reached my little world.
Yet.
But it would.
Moving on . . .
And my Mom, moving about the kitchen, had to step carefully to avoid disaster.
To both of us.
How lightly she moved, dancing and weaving around the complicated constructs that, to me, were edifices of genius and creativity.
Occasionally, we came to grief. Something I had made would have meandered a little too far across the floor and Mom would trip over . . . it.
But not often.
Mom should have been a professional terpsichorean (real word – I looked it up).
Or Superman. She could certainly leap any building I made with a single bound.
Looking back, though, I have to wonder why Mom kept so many Jello packages in that cupboard.
Certainly, we ate a lot of it.
But that still didn't justify the number of boxes stored there.
Maybe, like Moms everywhere, she knew . . .
Just how much fun assembling castles out of sweet-smelling boxes could be.

There is a codicil . . .
My grandchildren were playing on the floor of the kitchen as their mother and I were preparing supper. They had a complicated construction of Tupperware, old yogurt containers, pots . . . and Jello packages.
I stepped over it.
“Careful, Gramma! You'll knock down the princess' castle!”
And suddenly, I was four years old again.
Creating worlds on the kitchen floor.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Princesses of the New Age

Not just another pretty face!
Our family was together.
Because we do everything in a group.
Or in our case, a herd.
We do it often. With almost everyone living close, it's an easy thing.
On this day, we were at our local church building.
We had been eating and visiting. My two favourite things.
Now, while some of us continued with that, Grampa and a couple of mothers/aunties had gathered several of the younger kids together in the gym.
They were in a circle to play some games.
Most of which included loud noises.
Clawing, scratching and biting gestures.
And animal sounds.
They were . . . involved.
One of the two-year-old girls came out of the gym.
Stomping.
And with both hands raised in her best clawing-the-neighbours-or-anyone-else-who-might-get-in-the-way position.
Auntie stopped her.
“Are you a bear?” she asked.
The little girl looked at her indignantly and sniffed. “I’m a princess!” she stated. “See my pretty dress?!”
Auntie and I looked at each other. “Not the sort of princess I was raised with, but . . . okay,” she said.
It’s a new world.
Princesses now have claws, stomp around and growl a lot.
But still wear pretty dresses.
Just FYI.

Friday, November 17, 2017

(B)EEK!

Admit it. This strikes terror into your heart.
For three years, we lived in the ‘Little House on the Prairie’.
Really.
It was a little house. (Just over 300 square feet.)
And we lived in it.
My Husby had built it as a dog kennel.
Then turned it into a chicken coop.
Finally, cleaned it up, insulated and finished the inside.
And moved his family into it.
But that isn’t what this story is about . . .
Our little house was heated with a wood stove.
Toasty.
During the summer (ie. July), that stove sat cold and unused.
Once August rolled around and temperatures started to cool, however, it was pressed back into use.
And that’s where this story starts.
Oh, and I should probably mention that I‘m afraid of chickens.
Just FYI.
Moving on . . .
My Dad was over for a visit. Which invariably consisted of trying to carry on a conversation with three little boys playing between us in the only available space in our little house.
It was nearly suppertime. The room was starting to cool.
Time for a fire.
I checked the damper. (I want you to know that I knew what I was doing . . .)
Opened the door of our little stove.
Piled in wood and kindling.
And lit a match.
Flames licked up immediately.
And that’s when we heard it . . .
The scratching and clawing and fluttering of something inside the chimney.
We both stood there, stunned. What on earth . . .?
“You must have a bird caught in the chimney,” Dad said.
What?! How was that possible?!
The poor thing!!!
I grabbed a bucket and doused the small fire, then began pulling out bits of blackened wood and setting them back into the box.
Finally, the stove was clear.
Dad and I knelt down and peered inside.
“Oh, I see it!” I said.
It was a blackbird.
The poor thing had obviously been overcome by smoke and dropped into the back of the stove. Quite clearly dead.
I reached out to grab what I thought was a foot in the uncertain light.
It wasn’t.
“EWWWWW! A BEAK! A BEAK! A BEAK!!”
Dad shook his head and stared at me as I did the dance of disgust. *Shudder*
Eventually, he got the bird out and we gave it a proper burial.
Later, my Husby checked to see how it had gotten inside in the first place. Ah. A loose screen. Quickly remedied.
I can wrangle the most dastardly fur-bearing animals the barnyard can offer.
But chickens and I give each other a wide berth.
Turns out that it’s really their beaks I’m afraid of.
And a beak is a beak.
No matter whom it’s on.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gathering

A couple of victims clients.

Action.

Audience










Branding.
First a little lot of background . . .
Branding, at the Stringam ranch, invariably took place in high summer.
And lasted forever.
Okay, I was six. Everything seemed to last forever.
Except Christmas, but I digress . . .
For the entire day prior, every rider on the place would be involved in gathering the herds. With an operation the size of ours, this was no easy task. The fields were a section (640 acres) in size and, normally, two riders would have to work together, collecting the animals in their assigned area. Then those smaller herds would be gathered, one by one, into the main corrals.
The sun would be high and hot, baking the wonderful scent out of the sage.
There would be glorious vistas of open, wind-swept prairies where one could see, literally, for miles.
Heat and dust and sweat.
And an unbelievable din.
Picture this: Hundreds of cow and calf pairs, which, when herded together immediately become . . . unpaired.
They start bawling for each other. ('Where are you?' in cow, invariably sounds the same, 'Mooooah') They aren't smart enough to actually . . . look . . . for one another. And everyone looks the same anyway.
The cows merely sniff any calf that happens in their vicinity. 'Sniff', nope. 'Sniff', nope. 'Sniff', nope. 'Mooooah'.
And so it goes . . .
Slowly, each herd is driven to the corrals and penned. Hay is thrown into the mangers. The cows finally find their babies. Peace is restored, somewhat.
Then, another herd is brought in and everyone immediately becomes separated again.
More bawling. Then they get sorted out. Then another herd.
This goes on all day and into the evening.
Things are quiet for the night.
Then, the big day dawns. The most exciting, but noisiest day of the year.
Cows and calves are separated and the cows are moved into the largest pen.
The calves go into pens which connect to the chutes. One by one, these smaller, though not necessarily easier to work with, animals are pushed down the chute and into the squeeze (an apparatus which captures the calf and then converts into a table by tilting sideways).
And then, with the noise, come the smells.
Hot metal of irons in the fire.
Burning hair as those irons are briefly pressed to the tough hide.
KRS, a disinfectant.
Manure.
One by one, the calves are branded. Inoculated. Then released.
One by one, they find their Mamas. And slowly, ever so slowly, order is restored.
Then the entire herd is released and driven back out into the pastures.
More noise and confusion.
Then all is quiet . . .
 Every year, on the ranch, this is a highlight. For us humans, anyways. (I have to admit, it probably isn't quite as exciting for the cows, or their babies.)
Enough background . . .
This was the most exciting year of all. This was the first year I was able to participate. Well, as something more than just 'Diane-get-out-of-here-you're-going-to-get-trampled!'.
The excitement was palpable.
A crew had been assembled. (As branding is such a big job, invariably, neighbors come in to help.)
My oldest sister and I were given the smallest, and nearest field. We left the chatting, laughing, gesticulating crowd and headed towards our assignment.
The two of us gathered our herd and pushed them toward the 'New' corrals. The pens that had been constructed across the Milk River from the ranch buildings, within the actual fields. Somehow, that name just stuck. Even after said corrals had been there a number of years. A great number of years.
My sister and I chased our little herd into the corrals. Then we sat back and watched as the others' herds came in.
There were a few tense moments, but mostly, everything went off well.
The herd was tucked in for the evening.
The next morning, the real work began.
I was assigned to be the 'pusher'.
And no, it's not what it sounds like.
I was the person inside the chute with the calves, pushing each of them into the squeeze so they could be branded.
It was hot, heavy work, especially for a 6-year-old.
And I loved it.
Push. Push. Push. Gate closes. Squeeze squeezes. Tilts sideways. Branding. Shots. Tilts back. Squeeze unsqueezes. Front gate opens. Calf bolts.
Push. Push. Push . . .
And so it went throughout the day. At noon, Mom appeared with lunch for everyone and we abandoned our posts to gather in whatever bit of shade we could find, and gorge.
Have I mentioned that Mom was a great cook?
Two brothers, neighboring ranchers noted for their pranks and hijinks, were on hand to help us out.
They had found a comfortable spot for lunch on one side of the car Mom had driven up in.
Mom and Dad had relaxed on the other side.
Mom had made the mistake of supplying sliced watermelon for our dessert.
The two brothers, as they had finished each piece of watermelon, launched the rinds up into the air over the car, aiming for my hapless parents.
Two rinds had been met with silence. Obvious misses.
The third rind went up.
"Hey!" My Dad's voice.
Bingo.
Dad got up and stalked, playfully, around the car, but the brothers were already gone. He shook his head, turned towards the corrals and walked over to stand next to the chute.
It was the signal for the rest of us to get back to work.
I crawled up the side of the chute and prepared to drop down inside.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Alfred, one of the brothers, sneaking up behind my Dad. I turned to watch.
Alfred was carrying a pitcher of ice-cold water, which he proceeded to empty into my Dad's back pocket.
"Hey!" Dad spun around. But by then, Alfred had, once more, disappeared.
Everyone, including Dad, got a real laugh out of that one. Fortunately, with the hot, dry air, his soaked pant leg soon dried.
By sunset, the work was finished and the herds sent back out to pasture. Everyone who had been involved assembled at the house for supper, feeling sunburnt, windblown, tired . . . and happy.
That year, as in previous years, we all sat around the table, talking and laughing.
And it was then I realized that branding was a time of gathering, not just of cattle, but of  family and friends. Because of the vast distances between settlements in this prairie country, people would go months without seeing each other.
So branding, in addition to being the apex of the year regarding the work, was also a time of visiting. Re-acquaintance and exchanging of news.
Perhaps that is why it was so important to all of us who lived there.
More crew. And the squeeze.

In case you missed the announcement, my newest novel, A House Divided is now in stores!
Find your copy at these fine stores;
Chapters/Indigo
Barnes and Noble
Deseret Book
Cedar Fort Publishing (Books and Things)
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A House Divided

It's finally here!
The long-awaited sequel to Daughter of Ishmael, A House Divided!

Hannah has proved her faith.
And her strength.
But now she must survive her greatest test.
To turn her back on everything she holds dear and somehow build something new out of the ashes of the old.
It's a journey that will try her physically, mentally and, perhaps most of all, spiritually.
Will she survive?
And as war between brothers threatens, will her people?


See the worlds of the scriptures through the women's eyes!
A House Divided is the newest in Biblical fiction by author Diane Stringam Tolley. 
It is available at all fine stores in the US and at Chapters/Indigo in Canada. 
It is also available through Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

Meet the Author!
For those living in the Edmonton area, Diane will be featured at a book launch party on December 5, 2017, from 6:30 to 9:30 PM at 1061 56 Street, Edmonton.
Come and meet the author. Stay for a reading and treats.
Copies of both A House Divided and Daughter of Ishmael will be available at special prices.
Take a signed book home with you!


Monday, November 13, 2017

For Those Who Lived

Canada's most famous World War 1 poem:
During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2nd May, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. An exploding German artillery shell landed near him. He was serving in the same Canadian artillery unit as a friend of his, the Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae.
As the brigade doctor, John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for Alexis because the chaplain had been called away somewhere else on duty that evening. It is believed that later that evening, after the burial, John began the draft for his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
And now my poem:
For those who lived:

The field of crosses, white. Pristine.
Grounds are tidy. Trimmed. And clean.
Where once the guns of horror boomed,
And death and fear, like blossoms, bloomed.
They lie so sweetly, there. At rest.
Their duty done. They gave their best.
Each represents a man, believing
Each a family, giv’n to grieving.
And as we walked along the rows,
Of those who lay in calm repose.
One cross stood out, with wreath and note,
We knelt beside it, read the quote,
To W. Chater, RCA,
In 1944. The day
18 July. Aged Thirty-two.
He left a wife and children, too:
The note said: Thank you that you served,
For brav’ry and your steeled nerve,
I love you and I’m proud to be
The great-Granddaughter you set free.
The Chater family misses you.
[Until we meet again, Adieu!]
We knelt a long time, taking in,
The sacrifice of kith and kin.
Because those crosses represent,
Those who lived, plus those who went.
And, as we left the grounds that day,
With sober mien, we drove away,
Our love and gratitude we give
To those who died. And those who live.




Mondays do get knocked a lot,
With poetry, we three besought,
To try to make the week begin,
With gentle thoughts--perhaps a grin?
So Jenny and Delores, we,
Now post our poems for you to see.

And when you’ve read what we have brought,
Did we help? Or did we not . . .

Next week, because it's dark up here,
We'll talk of 'LIGHT'. Come join us here!.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Friends at Long Last

Tangmere. History makes me cry.   (bbc.uk.co picture)
For over thirty years, my Husby worked for Alberta Culture. Specifically building the great museums for which Alberta is famous.
The last two museums had been announced by the powers-that-be.
One to house a collection of cars and trucks and thing that go. Or fly.
The other to showcase the horse-drawn vehicle era.
Both having to do with transportation.
In preparation for this, my Husby was sent to the UK.
They have museums.
And could offer insights.
Thus, twenty-five years ago, he went. Taking me.
Because.
It was a wonderful, informative, exhilarating, exhausting, emotional trip.
We saw farm museums. Transit museums. Air museums. Automobile museums.
We even went to the mews at Buckingham palace and got up close and personal with the gold coach.
But one visit stands out above all of the others.
Oh, we had seen exhibits expertly assembled.
Cunningly and beautifully displayed.
Extensive, professional artwork in beautiful buildings.
And trained, informed staff.
But none of them could compete with the (then) little museum, Tangmere.
Near Chichester, England, on the site of the old RAF Tangmere Airfield, this museum was almost exclusively manned by airmen who had served there during WWII.
Perhaps that is what made the difference.
The displays came to life when your guide, who had known the showcased men personally, described them.
He had many stories to tell.
And no few tears were shed in the telling.
One, in particular, I remember most vividly . . .
The worker/veteran, I'll call him Michael, described a gentleman entering the museum.
Alone.
This man wandered from exhibit to exhibit, reading the hand-lettered cards and information.
Studying the artifacts.
Finally, he approached the desk. "Have you a cemetery?" he asked Michael in heavily German-accented English.
"Why yes, sir. It's just through there." Michael pointed him towards a door.
"Thank you." The man went outside to the small cemetery directly behind the main building.
There rests everyone lost during the August 16, 1940 raid on Tangmere during WWII.
Everyone.
The visitor stayed outside for a long time.
Finally, he re-entered the building and returned to the front desk.
"Please excuse me, but I couldn't help but notice that you have buried the German dead with the English."
Michael got a bit teary-eyed in his telling at this point. "Why yes, sir," he told the man. "They were each and all someone's son."
The German visitor began to cry. Finally he whispered, "I was in the wave of German fighters who bombed you."
The Englishman put out his hand.
"Well it's nice to actually get to meet you!" he said heartily, shaking the other's hand. "And I should tell you that you and your boys made one hell of a mess!"
Michael looked at us. "I don't know what we were when he came in, but we parted friends."
I cried all of the way back to our hotel.


P.S. Most of us can never know the agony, physically, mentally and spiritually. We can only thank those who take our places there . . .

Friday, November 10, 2017

Barnstormed

In a time of barnstormer’s ‘feats-of-skill-and-daring’ it probably would go down as the most spectacular.
And the shortest.
It was midmorning of September 12, 1922. The townspeople of Goodwin, Ohio were going about their normal, sleepy activities. Tending gardens or desks or children. Minding stores and banks. Attending school.
Then a strange sound intruded. A deafening pop-pop-pop that was, at once, peculiar and exhilarating. And which pulled everyone outside and drew all eyes skyward.
To see a small aeroplane skimming along just above the trees.
Almost immediately, a cascade of papers began raining down upon those upturned faces.
To the people of tiny Goodwin, these occurrences were anything but normal.
Byron Schultz scooped one of the papers up and examined it. Then whooped loudly and waved it aloft.
Not to be outdone, the rest of the town dove for their own.
Pandemonium ensued.
Each proved to be a carefully-penned invitation to follow the Ivan Gates Flying Circus aeroplane to unimaginable fun and excitement.
Tipping their heads back, the people watched as the small plane banked right, cleared the town’s outskirts and slowly began to descend.
Now most of these good people had never even seen an aeroplane, let alone touched one and—gasp—been offered a ride.
They needed no more direction.
Or encouragement.
As one, they started after the plane.
For the next six hours, aviator Clyde “Upside-Down” Pangborn, or ‘Pang’ as he was affectionately called, bestowed goggles and helmets and took Goodwinian citizens, one-by-one, on the joy-ride of a lifetime.
And, also one-by-one, brought his windblown and speechless customers back to terra firma a few minutes later.
Finally, when everyone who could muster up the courage—and the dollar—had experienced their turn in the passenger seat, Pang proceeded to do that which had given him his fame.
He barrel-rolled. He dove. He loop-the-looped. He spiraled.
And he streaked past the agog citizenry upside down.
With each feat, the crowd roared their approval and more than a few of the children—and some of the adults—vowed they would someday do the same.
Then, as the long, late summer day drew to a close, Pang tried one, last exploit.
Now, despite the spur-of-the-moment feel to the acts performed by the Ivan Gates Flying Circus, everything was always carefully planned and choreographed.
Stunts were rehearsed and timed.
Little was left to chance.
But Pang was afloat upon his own heady success this day . . .
The 6:20, one of the new Pacific models designed for speed, was just pulling out of the nearby railroad station—destination, Lancaster. It picked up steam as it cleared the town limits, following the long, slow curve around the field where Pang had been grandstanding.
Pang, his nose into the wind and his blood up, decided he’d try one last, unprecedented and totally unrehearsed stunt.
He flew low over the laboring engine as it straightened out past the curve, waggled the wings of his little ‘Jenny’, then performed a series of rolls and loops that brought him parallel and a little behind the train. Gunning the engine, he soon caught up and, for a few heart-stopping moments, skimmed along a handbreadth above the baggage cars just ahead of the caboose.
And then, lightly as a feather, he set the little plane down.
It was as neat an operation as had ever been seen.
Feeling more than a little proud of his impromptu finale, he stepped from the plane to the roof of the moving train and took a bow before the wildly-cheering audience.
Suddenly a scream rang out over the clamor of the crowd. Piercing enough to bring instant silence and the immediate attention of everyone to the gnarled, pointing finger of Miss Adelia Frown.
Miss Frown, alone, seemed to have remembered the little stone bridge that spanned the railroad track just along the way, where the rails ran parallel to the creek.
But the entire crowd was witness to the sickening crunch of wood and metal as Pang’s game little plane was relieved of both wings and tail.
Pang emerged relatively unscathed and, within days was once again skimming the skies in another Jenny.
Happily soaring over fields of quietly grazing horses.
But pointedly avoiding the iron ones.
It was just seemed like a good idea. 


Use Your Words is a challenge issued by Karen of Baking in a Tornado.
Each of her followers submit a series of words which are then re-distributed among the group.
One doesn’t know what words one will get or who they will be from.
It’s fun!
My words this month?
aviator ~ goggles ~ model ~ railroad ~ steam
They were submitted by: Dawn at https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/   
Thank you, my friend!
    

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My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


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Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?