Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

All of My Friends

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Pebble Debts

Poetry Monday

Feeling a bit pensive today,  being away from family and having time to ponder...

Yes, I stood there with the crowd,

And yes, I joined their actions,

But mine were not as bad as theirs

They were but just a fraction!

I did not throw the biggest stone,

When stones were being tossed.

T'was not my stone that caused most pain, 

Could I, like them, be lost?

The rocks they threw were great, and were

With great precision met,

Mine was just a pebble, true,

Should I receive their debt?

Theirs, they cast with all their might,

Mine, with little force.

If greater strength means greater wrong,

Am I truly on their course?

When sins are being weighed at last

And punishments are laid,

Will the Lord request a smaller due

When my 'pebble' debt is paid?

Zip over to Delores at Mumblings


Jenny at The Procrastinating Donkey 

And see what their Monday is like!

Me, I'm still rambling with my Husby and our friends. In the South of France now and heading toward Switzerland. Loving this!

Monday, March 20, 2017

The First Explore

Four little travelers on their first explore
Bags packed and loaded, they close the front door.
They wave a good-bye to their cozy home nest,
And brimming with eagerness, start on their quest.

The first leg is easy, just hop on the plane,
They listen intently as things are explained,
They try very hard to do all they’ve been told,
Keeping seatbelts all fastened and hand luggage stowed.

They eat what they’re given and smile as they do,
Pack everything neatly and bid it adieu.
They smile and are pleasant to everyone there,
All the pilots, attendants and peeps in the chairs.

The flight is so smooth and they’ve had so much fun,
They’re really surprised to discover: it’s done!
They gather belongings and check once and twice,
Then follow the others toward paradise.

Now you have to know all of them really prepared,
They read the brochures and their info, they shared,
They knew they were set for this little explore,
They were ready for all on this thrilling new shore.

There’s just one little thing that they hadn’t expected,
An aspect, for them, that’d gone quite undetected.
They knew all the culture and customs and facts,
Could look up the ‘places to see’, just like that.

But this one little thing they’d forgotten, for sure.
Something that wasn’t in any brochure,
This something gave those English speakers  a wrench,
In France, did you know, all French people  speak French?!

It’s Poetry Monday.
In France!
Hop over to Delores and Jenny and see what their Monday is like!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Library Crimes

I rarely look inside my purse.
It’s true.
I don’t shop. And when I do, it’s so rare, I need instructions about where to slide or insert the little card thingy.
I also love to read.
All of this will become relevant . . .
When the kids were little, we went to the library.
A lot.
It builds character.
We had our routines. Which usually consisted of me hauling a great bag of books into the place.
And another great bag of books out of the place.
Why do so many of my life’s memories include me carting heavy loads?
Just wondering . . .
On many of our visits, several of the books I carried in and out were for me.
This is both good and bad.
Because I read a lot. Which was good.
But I also brought whatever I was reading with me wherever I went in the house. And, because I’m unorganized, usually left it there. So, when the time came for our weekly library trip, I couldn’t yell at my kids for displaced books because I was the worst offender.
On this particular occasion, I had lost the book I was reading.
Really lost it.
No amount of hunting and cleaning and interrogating family members brought that little beauty to light.
Finally, in desperation, I decided I would simply have to purchase said book.
During our library visit, I talked to the girl at the counter, explained my dilemma, and paid for the stupid book.
Then gathered my kids and headed toward the exit and my great bag of books that had been slid through and was waiting for me beyond the turnstile.
As we neared the gate, a great electronic shriek filled the room. Definitely not a ‘library’ sound.
It startled all of us.
Including the people behind the desk.
“Ma’am?” one of the girls said. “Do you have an unscanned library book?”
I looked at my children, all bookless, and shook my head.
“May we examine your purse?”
Nodding, I handed it to her and she opened it.
And there, nestled among the used Kleenex, lipbalm and hairbrushes, was the lost book.
I am not making this up.
Both of us gaped at it like we had spotted a snake nesting in the warm confines of my handbag.
“That’s it!” I exclaimed unnecessarily.
She pulled it out and looked at me.
I don’t remember what happened after that. I think they gave me my money and kept the book. Everything was a blur.
I should tell you I have no idea of how that book got into my purse.
Ahem . . .
I swear I’m not indifferent to rules. I understand how a library works—the whole borrowing and returning thing. I also know that when you wish to purchase a book, you go to a book store, pay your money, and then stuff your book into your bag.
Knowing isn't doing, I guess.
So, if you’re considering going to the local library to apply for a membership card and need a personal recommendation from a friend?
Probably you should look elsewhere.

Every month, Karen, of Baking in a Tornado collects words.
Then she distributes said words.
The result is Use Your Words and it is such fun!

My words this month were:  character ~ unorganized ~ indifferent ~ recommendationlibrary and came to me, via Karen, from Rena at Diary of An Alsheimer's Caregiver 

Here are the other participants:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

(Bad)Luck of the Irish

He’s not a  mean or nasty lout,
In fact, were you to ask about
Our Paddy Craig O’Connor boy,
You’d find that he’s just hoi polloi.

He’ll shoulder in, with work to do
He loves his wife, and kiddies too,
He’s loyal, almost to a fault,
A fisherman--a seasoned salt.

But after a long day at sea
He’ll meet the boys occasionally,
And, of the good stuff, have a dram,
Then get himself into a jam.

‘Cause Paddy, when he’s had a few,
Well, there’s nothing he won’t do,
Though he draws the line at lawless stuff,
It's hard for him to say, "Enough!"

He’s mixed the pigs in with the sheep,
And upset everybody’s sleep,
Howled with the dogs, sang with the cats,
Joined Ladies Aid with a box of bats.

Dropped a pig in the local pub,
Took chickens to the senior’s club.
Yes, Paddy really has a knack.
For strolling down the 'mischief' track.

Until that time e’en Paddy knew
He’d knocked the Universe askew.
He had to make a major change.
Frivolities, he’d rearrange . . .

It’d started harmlessly enough,
With Paddy swimming ‘in the buff’.
Just floating out there in the bay
Till the Archbishop came his way.

I must admit: How could he know
An august visitor would show?
But there he was upon the sand,
With formal robes and raise-ed hands.

Well, Paddy rose out of the sea,
His clothing somewhat absentee,
Walked up to ask him “What's the craic?”
And give His Grace’s hand a shake.

And right there on the sea levee,
In frank and simple way, did he
Beseech His Excellence to leave.
A blessing for one who believed.

The blunt request no sooner said,
His Grace’s face turned slightly red,
T’was only then Pad realized
They were the focus of all eyes.

The village, whole, was there to see.
Pad sobered up immediately,
And in the mayhem that ensued,
Vowed he would be more subdued.

So if you’re staying there to sleep,
Hear pigs and chickens and some sheep,
Know, with those feats of fun and brawn,
That Paddy’s clothes are staying on.

Every month, Karen of Baking in a Tornado presents a challenge.
Poetry. On a theme.
For March? Luck.
What could be more fitting than a repost of someone's luck--erm--running out?
Okay, well it made sense to me . . .
See what the others have done!
Karen of Baking In A Tornado: Luck Gone Amuck
Dawn of Spatulas On Parade: The Meaning of Luck
Jules of the Bergham Cronicles: Luck of the Draw

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Elves and the Shoemaker

What an amazing experience!
The Elves and the Shoemaker was my very first attempt at writing, producing and directing.
And I survived.
Would I do anything differently?
Enjoyed every uncertain, educating, sleepless, difficult, breathtaking, teary, exhilarating minute!
To all my elves and shoemakers: Thank you. A HUGE thank you.
I love you all!
Pictures by : Kristi Milner Pfeiffer.
Sawyer's saving you a seat!
Little Elf Face



Welcome to the town of Bliss, Anywhere.

The elves appear
While the Shoemaker sleeps . . .

These shoes are 'Perfection'!

Peeved being a little less peeved.

Bad Boy Blues

Narrator 'staying out of it'.

Sorry, Jonny, I forgot you were there.
Why were you there?

Shoes for everyone!

Videos and more pictures to follow as soon as they are ready!

In other news:

Tonight is PIE NIGHT!
The second most magical night in the Tolley year.
71 pies this year. 
Apple, Strawberry/Rhubarb, Cherry, Blueberry, Cherry/Blueberry, Peach, Chocolate, Coconut-cream, Lemon and pumpkin.
Wish you were here!

Monday, March 13, 2017


It's Monday!
Time for a little rythm.
A little Rhyme.
And a whole lotta fun!

Our play has wrapped.
Today and tomorrow? Memories of The Elves and the Shoemaker:

Their parents were all in the cast or backstage,
Their grandparents, too, with the play were engaged.
Two little girls in the large gallery,
Two last little sprigs on their family’s tree,
Had grown bored with the play they had seen from Day One.
That first day was great! The rest, not so fun.
They’d seen scenes through first blocking and all incarnations,
Knew all of the songs and heard all the Orations.
And while those in the room were still fixed on the show,
Running sound and effects. Lights above and below,
Two little girls weren’t attentive at all,
They wanted to run. They wanted to sprawl.
They did not want to sit in their chairs quietly,
They wanted to dance, laugh and giggle. Times three.
But Grampa, just sitting there, manning the lights,
Had to keep ‘shushing’ his two little mites.
Then in an effort to give them a scare,
Vowed to tape two little butts to their chairs.
Two little girls sat down quietly then,
But those silly old wiggles soon started again.
And then Grampa, still working the lighting board’s keys
Heard a sweet little voice, and it said, "Grampa, please—
We’ve done everything mom sent for we two to share,
Grampa, please, could you tape both our butts to the chair?"
Every day we learn something, and today, here is one:
When is a threat not a threat? When it’s fun!

Ahhh! Doesn't Poetry just smooth out the wrinkles?
Visit my good friends and see what they've done with Poetry Monday:
Jenny_o at Procrasintating Donkey
Delores at Mumblings

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dadstory: Conclusion

The play is done.
It was a great success and so much fun!
Details to follow tomorrow--when I've recovered!

Dadstory: Conclusion

Dad was a hopeless clutterer. He was never unclean; just disorganized. And he did not really have the patience to bother with tidying things up - unless it was his vehicles or machinery or building a granary, and then everything was kept in tip-top shape. But to actually sit down and try to organize things, Dad could not be bothered. For example, whenever the family was getting ready to go on a trip, Mom would start sending things out with all of us to Dad, who had the chore of packing it in the trunk of the car. It would be easiest to say that Dad's inability to fit everything into the trunk stemmed from the fact that rarely knew ahead of time how much he was expected to fit into the trunk - and he always ran out of trunk before suitcases. But I think it would be closer to the truth to state that Dad simply started putting things into the trunk with little thought as to spatial arrangement, and much space was wasted or ill-used. And so, the trunk filled up before the goodies quit coming. Dad would eventually give up, and go to tell Mom that she was going to need a three-ton truck to transport all of 'that stuff'. Mom would invariably come out to the car for inspection, and take EVERYTHING out of the trunk, and start over. Dad, at this point, would hover nearby, trying his best to convince Mom that she might as well give up, she was never going to get it all in anyway. Mom would continue, telling Dad that only "a dumb ezzle" would pack a trunk "like a sausage" or some other such loving jab, while Dad would snicker and continue to try to intimidate her into giving up as he had. After a little while, Mom would clamber out of the trunk, say something to the effect of "is that all there is?", and then drag Dad over to look at her packing job. "Well, I'll swan!!", Dad would exclaim as he examined the trunk, which was invariably little more than one-half full. And then he would snicker and grin, amid accusations that Mom had thrown half a dozen things away while he wasn't looking - all the while knowing that it was simply Mom's superior packing techniques that made the difference.
 Dad was a simple man. Now I don't mean that in a pejorative sense at all. What I mean is that to Dad, life was very simple -- black and white, with no shades of grey. Everything was either right or wrong. There was no teetering in between. I remember one time watching the evening news next to Dad, one of his favorite activities. I don't recall the particular incident, but I do recall that there was a report on the news that evening of one of the senseless battles that had been raging, resulting in some deaths. Dad's eyes didn't leave the screen, and he said: "Now what do you suppose they would want to do something like that for?" At the time, I thought it was just Dad's way of expressing his disgust with violence, for he was a gentle and peaceful man. I thought it was just a passing comment, inspired by the carnage on the TV screen. But when I thought about it later—many times, in trying to understand my father—I realized that the comment was more than just a rhetorical question. Dad REALLY didn't understand. He could not for any reason fathom why people had to do such things to each other. In a way, it was innocence—and I guess that's why I say he was a simple man. He could not understand many of the complexities of society. In many ways, I envy Dad. He created his own world, and lived quite happily in it. I am most grateful that he chose to include me in his simple world. It was great while it lasted, and I often long for more of it.
 Dad was a spiritual man too, in his own way. He understood the inner being in himself, and he understood more about humankind than I think most psychologists could lay claim to. This was evident through a little habit that he had—a good habit, I must say—of collecting poems. For as long as I can remember, Dad was always clipping poems from whatever reading material that he was into at the moment. For the most part, the poems came from the Wheat Pool Budget, a little newsletter affair that came out once a month or so, for farmers that were members of the Wheat Pool organization. Others he would clip from newspapers, or write down as he heard them. When Dad died, Mom asked what I would like that was his. I asked if I could have his collection of poems. I have often thought I should make a book of them; they would make a wonderful anthology of poetry (and a pretty big one, at that). But I haven't; they sit in a file folder, unorganized. Just as Dad left them. When the rush of life gets to me, and I wish Dad were around to give me a word of wisdom, or a grin and a snicker, or tell me one of his goofy jokes to cheer me up, I go to his poems. It is there I am able to find his philosophy on life. It is there I find comfort and solace.
It is there I find Dad's Story. 

Grant Tolley

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Dadstory: Part Four

Two performances of the Elves and the Shoemaker down and two to go.
Having such a lot of fun!
Wish you were here . . .

Dad (left). Mom (right).
Part Four:
As most parents, I am sure, are wont to do, my folks tried to get us kids to eat our vegetables. Now you must understand that (and this is something that medical science has yet to discover) the vegetable thermostat doesn't kick in on most people until they are about 18 or 20 years old or so I don't remember not liking vegetables particularly, but I do remember the encouragement that we would get to eat them. Of course, there were all of the regular reasons that parents everywhere use: "eat your vegetables, they are good for you"; or, "eat your peas and potatoes or your ears will fall off" (you know, all the 'scare' tactics).  But I think the most novel reason that I have ever heard from anyone for eating a vegetable came from Dad. Now most parents know, from some deep intuitive sense, that eating carrots is good for the eyesight (have you ever seen a rabbit with glasses?), and never fail to let their kids know that if they want to able to see well, they should be sure to eat their carrots. But Dad's took the cake (so to speak). Dad wasn't content stop there - I distinctly remember him telling me one evening that if I ate all of my carrots, I would be able to see THROUGH hills in the dark, that's how much eating carrots would improve my eyesight. I remember the odd variation on the theme, like the time when I challenged the claim (I must have been maybe 6 or 7 at the time), so Dad relented and admitted that it wasn't really true - I would only be able to see OVER hills in the dark if I would eat my carrots. It worked. I still like carrots. And I am still trying to see either over or through hills. No luck. At least not yet.
Dad could not resist a joke - and the drier the humour, the better, to his mind. I remember two jokes in particular that really epitomize, I think, Dad's brand of humour. The first joke went something like this: What is grey, stands on the top of cliffs, has four legs and is furry, howls at the moon, and is full of cement? Answer: A coyote. The cement was to make it harder. The second joke shows his wry sense of humour, and goes something like this: A hog farmer started feeding saw-dust to his hogs, and found that he could save all sorts of money on hog feed by doing this. One day a neighbor stopped by at feeding time and noticed that the farmer was spreading out saw-dust for his  hogs to eat. "Hey", says the neighbor, "is that saw-dust that you are feeding your hogs there?"  "Sure is", replies the farmer. "Well, that's really strange", says the neighbor; "Doesn't it take an awfully long time to fatten a hog on saw-dust?"  "Sure does", replies the farmer; "But what's time to a hog?"

Speaking of animals, Dad had a favourite bit of humour that he had concocted from an animal disinfectant. Each fall, when the calves were branded, doctored and de-horned, Dad would always use a very strong disinfectant or antiseptic known as 'Creolin' to treat the wounds and prevent infection. As Dad was wont to do (poisonous though the stuff was, and we knew it), he would inevitably offer a swig to whoever was closest, which was alternatively all who were present. The offer was usually accompanied by the assurance: "It'll cure whatever ails you."  And then Dad would snicker and grin his silly grin that always accompanied his joking. Now Mom really didn't like the smell of Creolin at all; like all disinfectants, it had a sharp, pungent smell that was not really pleasant, although not totally unpleasant. Dad ordered to the shower, post haste, whenever he came in the house smelling of the stuff. But it didn't stop there. Even when we weren't doctoring calves or anywhere near a bottle of Creolin, and someone would complain of a sore throat or some other such minor ailment, Dad's solution was always to "gargle with a bit of Creolin", or "soak it in some Creolin". For Dad - or at least for his joking - Creolin was the panacea that could cure all ills. 
To be Continued . . .

Friday, March 10, 2017

Dadstory: Part Three

Opening night was amazing!
I'm so proud of my little elves and my shoemakers.
Three more performances to go.
Wish us luck!

Dadstory: Part Three 
Foreground: Two little grandsons.
Background: Dad and his dancing doll

Dad was famous for betting banana splits, whenever the occasion arose for a wager. I lost several thousand banana splits on the Belt Trick, I am sure, and I don't think I ever paid many, if any, of them. But I come by that rightly - Dad never paid up on his banana splits either. Dad still owes my Beloved a banana split for a bet they held on 1977 World Series. I can think of several that I was never able to collect on, too. And Dad was sneaky. Everytime that you managed to corner him (and that was only way that you could collect, was to corner him), he always spent the entire consumption time explaining at great lengths how this banana split ran concurrent with all other outstanding banana splits, and the debt was now paid. We always tried to tell him that no, they didn't run concurrent, and that really there should be interest paid on un-collected banana splits. (Our idea of interest ran usually into 200-300% range - per banana split, per unpaid week. Hence his protests and lectures on concurrency, I am sure).
I really only got the better of Dad once in my life that I can remember. There were six of us in his new car, about 2 years before his death, and we were headed to the city to do some shopping. Dad really didn't care to drive, so he let me take the wheel. We had had a good chat all the way to the city, and when we reached the outskirts, I intimated that we were early, and that I thought a banana split would fill both the extra time and the extra space in the stomach - and besides, I added, Dad owed each of us several banana splits, so he could pay for them. Well, Dad immediately began his protestations, because he could see that this one was going to cost him a bundle. He kept on insisting that all debts were long ago paid, concurrently, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Well, before he had finished explaining (for the tenth or twelfth time on that particular trip) how all banana split debts ran concurrently, I had driven to the nearest Dairy Queen and wheeled into parking lot. "Well, I'll be corn-swaggled!", Dad exclaimed. And he was. It cost him twelve dollars for banana splits that day!  I'll bet he still swans when he thinks of that. And if there are banana splits in Heaven, Dad had better be saving up. He owes a lot of us, big-time . . .

Some of Dad's most sage advice over the years came from his time-honored sayings that many times I took for granted until I was more-or-less forced to stop and think about what they really meant. I think that anyone who knew Dad well would agree his hallmark saying was: "Wherever there is an advantage, there is a disadvantage". Many times when we were weighing the pros and cons of a particular course of action, whether in our individual or collective lives, Dad would come out with this particular saying, to help us all stop and think things through. (I am not so sure that sometimes he didn't do it just to aggravate us all a little bit more, but his gentle prodding nonetheless provided a good training ground for thought. Cogitation, really.) The phrase became such a trademark in the family that, of course, the rest of us soon learned to use it to our own advantage as well - always with great delight when we could turn the tables and use it on Dad!  After Dad passed away, Mom seriously considered putting the phrase on his headstone in the cemetery. I think she still wishes sometimes she had.
To be continued . . .

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Dadstory: Part Two

Opening Night for the Elves and the Shoemaker is tonight!

The following days will be--hectic.

So for the next few days, Husby will be taking over this blog.
With stories of his dad.
And I'll see you soon with stories of my Elves.
And Shoemakers.
Part One was here.
Today, Part Two:

Continued from yesterday . . .
Paddles: Dad was a master tormentor, a genius at little so-called 'Chinese torture' games that you didn't really realize he was using on you until all of a sudden you would notice something terribly annoying and wish it would go away - and then you would realize that it was Dad that was pestering you in some way, and had been doing it for ten minutes or so. One of his favorite things was to lean on you, ever so gently, and gradually increase his angle of incline until you felt totally uncomfortable but couldn't figure out the reason for it. And when you finally did figure out that you had the weight of the world leaning on you, so to speak, and ask him to move, he would just snicker and grin his mischievous grin, and would comply with your request - until about ten minutes later, when he would commence the whole process all over again. Anyway, we all inherited a goodly portion of Dad's ability to torment each other - and justice claimed its own when we were able to turn the tide by discovering something that really annoyed Dad. One such little trick was to sneak your feet up in front of his face while he was lying on the floor (he had a bad back; the floor made it feel better), trying to watch television, rest, or just plain relax. He would often lie there with his eyes closed, and you could see the discomfort on his face when your feet, usually
not in the most sanitary state, approached his sensitive nose. He would open his eyes, take a swat at your feet, and declare: "Move those paddles!", or            "Get those smelly paddles out of here". We, of course, always complied - for a few minutes.
Pnoggin: pronounced just as it looks, without a silent ‘p'. This was a word in the same category as 'phizzog', and was used to mean 'the head'. Example: "I fell off my bicycle and now I have a goose-egg on my pnoggin."  Or, to really keep it colloquial: "Cogitate that one in your pnoggin for a while - but be careful your phizzog doesn't fall off".
Dad some favorite phrases that always tickled our funny bones when he used them: "Well, if that's supper, I guess I've had it!"
Whenever we would go out for dinner where a bean salad was served, Dad never failed to ask someone (if not everyone!): "Well if it's bean [been] salad, what is it now?"
Dad had a favorite riddle he always liked to ask any poor unsuspecting soul that he knew he could get the best of. It went something like this: “Would you rather be dumber than you look, or look dumber than you are?" Invariably, the poor unsuspecting soul would agonize over which would be worse - to be dumber than one looks, or to look dumber than one is. After what was usually a valiant struggle with one's very inner being, an answer was given. It really didn't matter to Dad which answer was given - his reply was the same no matter what the poor unsuspecting soul said: "How could you be?"  (followed by a grin and a snicker)
Think about it.
Dad also had a favorite trick or two that he liked to pull on his kids. One was his famous hat trick, which is difficult to imagine without seeing it done, so I won't attempt to describe it here. The other, however, was his belt trick, and as I write this I can't believe how many times he suckered me on that one before I caught on that he was actually cheating! The belt trick used - oddly enough - a belt. Dad would take the belt, double it in half so that the two ends were together, and then start rolling it from the other closed end. Try it. You will find that as the belt rolls, there are two definite 'holes' in the middle of the belt. Dad would then issue the unsuspecting sucker with a nail or a pencil or some other such thin instrument, with instructions that the object of the game was to stick the nail through the loop that you thought would be the 'inside'loop, or the loop that the nail would catch as the doubled belt unrolled (since one loop is 'inside' the doubled belt, and the other is a false loop created only by rolling the doubled belt.) For literally YEARS, I was unable to get the right loop. Dad would just laugh his dry laugh, and then usually tell you that you played like a sausage, or you were a dumb ezzle, or something else that was equally appropriate under the circumstances. Oh, his remarks were always kind and made lovingly - but he delighted to no end in knowing that he had gotten another one over on you. Well, as time went on, and I grew somewhat older and a little bit wiser, I began to notice that sometimes when Dad unrolled the belt, the inside leather (which was usually a different color or texture) of the belt sometimes ended up on the OUTSIDE when he unrolled it. It took me another year or two to figure out not only what he had done, but HOW he had done it - after all, you can only unroll a belt one way when it is    doubled and rolled up, can't you? Or can you??  Finally, one day I got smart and watched his other hand, the one pulling the two belt ends. Here all these years, the old smartie would watch to see which loop you chose. If you chose the wrong one, well, no problem - he would simply unroll the belt normally and then give you his snicker and grin since you were playing like a sausage. But! If you chose the RIGHT loop, there were dark dealings going on in that other hand!  Dad would very quietly, in this instance, let one of the belt ends slip around the circle of rolled belt, which has the ultimate effect of making the RIGHT loop the WRONG one. Try it. It isn't easy to do, but Dad had it down to an art. He had his laugh down to an art, too. But I was and still am glad that I had been suckered by my Dad.
Now it's my turn with MY kids . . .

More tomorrow.

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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 . . .

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The Babysitter

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


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


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?