Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Monday, August 8, 2022

Gifted


I go to church, it’s what I love,

I do believe in God above,

And all the folks who attend with me

Are people that I like to see.

 

They’re honest, faithful, loving, too,

Will gladly help with things to do,

I mentioned ‘honest’, did I not?

Their honesty, I love a lot…

 

So it will come as no surprise,

It is a fact that opens eyes,

That seldom do these people lock

Their car doors when to church they walk.

 

It’s not uncommon when we meet,

To traipse along that sunny street,

And try a car door, here and there,

And find admittance to their lair.

 

But there’s one time (you will be shocked),

When no one leaves their cars unlocked,

It happens late in summertime,

Or early autumn. (So sublime!)

 

But it’s not theft they worry ‘bout,

Nope. That thought really has no clout,

What’s taken out is not the sin,

It’s what someone is putting in!

 

Yep. If unlocked you leave your car,

You may have to travel far,

With your backseat filled with a catch

Of zucchini from your neighbour’s patch!

 

So if you go to church, you must,

Lock your car doors as we discussed,

Cause you will end up just like me…

Your back seat filled with zucchini!


Cause Mondays do get knocked a lot,
With poetry, we all besought
To try to make the week begin
With gentle thoughts,
Perhaps a grin?
So KarenCharlotteMimi, me
Have crafted poems for you to see.
And now you’ve read what we have wrought…
Did we help?
Or did we not?


Next week, we'll have hunger pangs,
And Pie of lemon--with meringue

Thinking of joining us for Poetry Monday?
We'd love to welcome you!
Topics for the next few weeks (with a huge thank-you to Mimi, who comes up with so many of them!)...

Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch (or car) Night (August 8) Today!

Lemon Meringue Pie Day (August 15)

Be an Angel Day (August 22)

Bats -or-  More Herbs, Less Salt (August 29)

Labour Day (September 5)

Chocolate Milk Shakes (September 12)

Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19)

Field Trips (September 26)


Friday, August 5, 2022

Praying to Stay Awake

See? Adorable.

I went away to school.

Far away.
It was the most difficult four months of my life.
But I learned a lot.
Most importantly, I learned that I really don’t like to be away from family.
All I could think about was being home.
I learned a lot about prayer in those days.
It got me through.
My five roommates were great. Supportive, fun, encouraging, sympathetic.
And they taught me something about prayer as well.
Maybe I should explain . . .
I lived in an apartment with three bedrooms.
Each shared by two girls.
My roommate, Bev, was a sweetheart.
Kind. Sweet. Patient. Soft-spoken.
And very strong in her faith.
It was not unusual for her to kneel in prayer for a long time.
A. Very. Long. Time.
At some point, shortly after we became roommates, I realized that she wasn’t praying.
She was asleep.
There. On her knees on the hard old floor.
It couldn’t have been comfortable.
After that, when she had been praying for what seemed a sufficient amount of time, I would make some noise.
Not a lot.
Just enough so that if she really had dozed off, it would stir her.
And save those knees.
Now Bev was nothing if not proactive.
She saw that she had a problem and did what she could to fix it.
She bought a book, ‘How to Pray and Stay Awake’.
I applauded her positive, pre-emptive spirit.
That evening, she sat down happily on her bed and opened her new purchase.
A few minutes later, I glanced over at her.
She had nodded off over her book.
And was snoring softly.
Some things you just can’t fix.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Early Parking


My stylin' ride.
The grocery store in Milk River in the 50's was on main street.
Parking was on the street.
Angle only.
I know this doesn't seem to have much to do with my story, but wait for it . . .
Mom usually came into town once a week to do the grocery shopping.
For me, it was a magical time. Mind you, I was born with unfettered enthusiasm. For me, everything was magical. But I digress . . .
On this particular occasion, my brother George was with us.
The two of us had been separated because he was causing fights.
Not me.
Never me.
Ahem . . .
So George was in the back seat and I was in the front.
Mom parked the car in front of the AGT building, directly across from the grocery store, and got out.
When we made to follow her, she put out her hand and told us to stay where we were.
As punishment for being so disruptive on the trip into town, and as Mom was only going into the store for a moment, both of us were forbidden from following.
We could sit in the car quietly and think about what we had done.
We each thought about it in our own unique fashion.
George pouted. Arms crossed, face fixed in a frown of displeasure.
I did gymnastics.
I should probably point out here that the seats of our (then) late-model car were wide.
And long.
And bouncy.
I started out small. Bouncing up and down in a sitting position.
Then I discovered that I could get more height if I got up on my knees.
Finally, I was standing, hands on the back of the seat, jumping up and down. I think I hit my head numerous times on the roof, but no brain, no pain.
I continued to bounce.
I should point out here that, in the 50's, crime hadn't been invented yet. It wasn't unusual for people to leave their kids in a car. With the keys in the ignition.
And the car running.
Don't condemn my Mom. She was a product of her time.
I bounced closer and closer to the steering wheel and wondrous, automatic gearshift attached to it.
Closer. Closer.
And then . . . that one bounce too many. I came down on the gearshift.
The car lurched into action, leaping over the curb and across the sidewalk on fat, whitewall tires.
I think I screamed, but I can't be sure.
There was a distinct 'crunch' and the car came to a sudden stop.
I don't remember George's reaction. I think he remained stoically silent in the back seat.
I picked myself up off the floor and began to cry.
And suddenly, my Mom was there. Holding me in her arms and telling me that everything was all right.
Mom was really, really good at that.
After she had calmed me down, she set me back on the seat and put the car into reverse and edged back off the sidewalk. Then she put it into park and, this time, shut it off and we all got out to survey the damage.
The bumper had pierced the stucco, leaving a half-moon crescent in the wall of the building, just below the front windows.
Where the entire AGT staff had assembled.
They waved, cheerfully.
Mom sighed and towed us into the office to explain.
The office workers were remarkably forgiving of the whole incident. Even laughing about it.
Red-faced, Mom was soon able to drag George and I back to the car.
I think I received a lecture on using the inside of the car as a playground, but it wasn't very forceful.
Probably because Mom realized that the whole thing wouldn't have happened if she hadn't left the car running.
The mark I had made in the wall remained there for many, many years. Until the building was renovated and re-faced, in fact.
Some time after my escapade, a second crescent appeared in that same wall, just a few feet from mine, obviously from a similar source.
I examined it carefully. It was a good attempt.
But mine was better.
Circa 2011. (52 AD (After Diane))
Same building. Different damage...

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Truth

A guest post by Blair Stringam


Shammy. And humanoids.
Did you ever think about something that you did in the past and wonder “what was I thinking?”
If you have then we understand each other.
If you haven't then I guess you have your ducks all in a row.
I don’t.
My sister has told this story to you before, but I need to set the record straight . . .
When I was a wee lad of 5 years, summer on the ranch was a daily adventure. There were lots of places to explore, frogs to catch at the river, horses to ride, chickens to watch (they were very strange) and barns to explore. 
But one thing I was not allowed to do. Accompany my two older sisters on trail rides. 
The epitome of fun. The ultimate in summer adventures.
For everyone  but me.
And so I pestered.
I pestered until one day they finally relented and allowed me to follow them. And even more exciting? My sisters decided that we were not only going on a trail ride but we were going to have a picnic as well. I was beyond ecstatic.
I was to ride my horse Shammy, a very fat, very quiet, very gentle welsh pony that dad had given to me on my 3rdbirthday.
We saddled our horses. Well, my sisters saddled the horses. I couldn't reach up high enough to pull the cinch tight.
We climbed aboard and headed out across the river with my sisters leading the way. Just after we crossed, we picked up a cattle trail that followed, first the river, then a fence line up a steep embankment. 
I should note here: When fences follow steep embankments there are often high and low spots. Now, placing fence posts in the high and low spots is not a problem in itself, but when you string tight wires between said posts, it tends to pull the lower ones out of the ground. There are clever things that ranchers do to try to stop this but sometimes the posts have minds of their own. 
Illustration by Blair.

Back to my story . . .
One of the posts in the fence we were following had pulled out of the ground and was hanging over the trail.
Chris rode by and ducked under the post. I watched her do this. Then Diane rode by and ducked under the post. I watched her do that as well.
Then I rode up to the post.
And didn't.
I don't know why.
It hit me (or I hit it) square on my forehead and I was peeled off the back of my horse.  I landed in a heap and began to cry.
I was mad and I was not going to be consoled even though my sisters were being very kind and soothing. Then (I think in desperation) Chris finally said, “Look at Shammy.  She thinks you are being silly.” 
I looked up at Shammy, who was standing just a few feet ahead.
She was looking back at me with a very puzzled expression on her face.
I was suddenly embarrassed and stopped crying immediately. A cowboy has to tough when he is around his horse.
I climbed back up, hoping that Shammy wouldn’t remember my moment of weakness.
We resumed our trail ride, had our picnic and went home.
Another note: Maybe Shammy didn't remember, but my sisters obviously did. 
It was a long time before I was allowed to go on a trail ride again.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The Smell of Memories

The Old Garage.
Look out below . . .
Under the floor of the old garage was a dark, mysterious, magical stronghold. A place of adventure. Of devious deeds and dead bodies long kept hidden. Where pirates, coming down the Milk River in ships, hid their treasures. And their secrets.
A place of adventure. Of wonder.
And vegetables.
Accessed only through a solid, well-camouflaged wooden door, this place was known only to the best and brightest . . . and bravest . . . that the ranch had to offer.
Me.
Okay, I admit that I had to wait until one of my larger, stronger minions actually grasped the great iron ring and pulled the door up on its protesting hinges to grant me entry, but from that point . . . I. Was. In. Charge.
Yes, okay, so they also had to reach up to the single hanging bulb and pull the string because it was too far up for me, but from then on . . .
Geeze.
I spent hours there.
Or at least as long as it took my mom to collect her baskets of vegetables and start back up the stairs.
At that point, I would abandon whatever scheme I had launched and scamper up behind her.
I could conquer worlds. Defeat any foe. Accept any challenge.
I just had a bit of a problem with being left in the dark.
The heavy door would be lowered into place with a theatrical thud, and the hideout's secrets would once more be hidden.
Entombed. Quietly, patiently waiting until the next time the sunlight briefly, piteously exposed them.
I loved the root cellar. I loved its mystery. 
Its possibilities.
But I should probably mention here that the south fork of the Milk River never, ever could have floated anything larger than a rowboat.
Well, except, maybe during the flood of '64. But a pirate raid then would, of necessity, have to be brief.
And very, very fast.
So, my stone-walled, dirt-floored stronghold probably never concealed a treasure. Or a body.
I think a cat got mistakenly shut in once for a few hours, but as it emerged unconcerned and completely unscathed, I don't think that counts.
I don't know if that particular root cellar still exists. It had been years since I was back there. But my memories of it are still sharp and clear.
The damp, cool air. The 'heavy' feel of the stone walls and dirt floor. The . . . fuzzy-looking boards that formed the staircase.
But most especially the smells. Earth. Fresh vegetables. Wet, aged wood. Things growing. Things crumbling back into earth.

There is a addendum.
My husband and I have spent many hours travelling on the underground in London, England. It is a remarkably run, efficient system.
But in the deepest tunnels, we met with an unexpected bonus.
Stepping off the escalator, I took a deep breath.
Earth. Old timbers. The natural smells of molder and decay.
I smiled.
It smelled like memories.

Monday, August 1, 2022

To You


When I was growing up, my brothers were my friends, it’s true,

Stuck, as we were, there in the very center of the crew,

But when I started school, I soon discovered something great,

A group of girls my age t’whom I could instantly relate!

Those that I was closest to changed every year or so,

But always there was someone helping with life’s ebb and flow,

I depended on my girlfriends—yep, they really got the knack,

And somehow life was easier when we had each other’s backs,

But life goes on, school ended, we all went our different ways,

Now most of them, mere shadows in my memories of those days,

But others came. Proved girlfriends didn’t have to come from school,

Sometimes, they’re neighbours, work colleagues, whose love and kindness rules,

Then Covid turned us upside down and life, for us, diverged,

And suddenly, a different shape remarkably emerged,

For far too long, all friendship face-to-faces were forbid,

And me and all my girlfriends went into our homes and hid!

But in that time, Life wasn’t o’er, just changing as you’ll see…

Cause suddenly, another group of girlfriends rescued me,

They laugh at all my jokes, encourage when they see I’m down,

And best of all they read my stuff and hardly ever frown!

I’ve learned I can rely on them, they’re there through thick and thin,

To guide or tease me through the problems I find myself in,

To all of you now reading this, I’m talking right to you,

Thank you for the many times that you have pulled me through,

I don’t know what life would be like–I think it’d be the end,

So know that I am grateful for my amazing online friends! 


Photo Credit: Karen of bakinginatornado.com
Cause Mondays do get knocked a lot,
With poetry, we all besought
To try to make the week begin
With gentle thoughts,
Perhaps a grin?
So KarenCharlotteMimi, me
Have crafted poems for you to see.
And now you’ve read what we have wrought…
Did we help?
Or did we not?

Next week's not 'bout cakes or blinis,
It's sneaking about with some zucchini!

Thinking of joining us for Poetry Monday?
We'd love to welcome you!
Topics for the next few weeks (with a huge thank-you to Mimi, who comes up with so many of them!)...

Girlfriends (August 1) Today!

Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night (August 8)

Lemon Meringue Pie Day (August 15)

Be an Angel Day (August 22)

Bats -or-  More Herbs, Less Salt (August 29)

Labour Day (September 5)

Chocolate Milk Shakes (September 12)

Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19)

Field Trips (September 26)

Friday, July 29, 2022

Guilty

Today’s topic is WEATHER.

So,first, an oldie many will have already seen:


“Look to the cows,” said Dad, the wise,
“And you will come to realize,
That by their actions, you can tell,
The weather patterns, fair or fell.”

And so I watched, and so I saw
That he was right, my smart ol' Pa.
And he knew what he talked about,
If you're predicting rain. Or drought.

The cows, they crowd together tight
And you know cold will be the night.
They seek the shed and shelter warm
If rain or snow will be the norm.

Then turn their tail and duck their head,
When wind is shrieking round the shed.
But stand out grazing peacefully,
If sun and warmth are meant to be.

But just today, I got a scare,
From cows around me everywhere,
For when I stepped outside my door
And glanced towards the purple moor . . .

(Oops, Alberta's where I live, you see,
And so I meant the wide prairie.)
My cows weren't where they're s'posed to be,
They sat on branches. In the trees.

So now I have to figure out,
What they’re predicting hereabouts.


And then something new.

It MENTIONS weather...


John and buddy, Keith, were on a golfing holiday,

But a blizzard came and forced them to postpone their play,

When it became too difficult to see through driving snow,

Asked at the nearest farmhouse if a roof they could bestow,

A pretty woman answered, said, “A widow, new, am I,

It would not be appropriate. My neighbours would decry.”

She nodded toward the barn, “But you are welcome, there, to stay,

“And you should be quite comfortable. It’s clean and filled with hay.”

The two men thanked her, headed to the barn to get some rest,

Then rose up in the morning after sleep that was the best!

They finished off their trip, the weather did cooperate,

And soon they both were back at home and working eight to eight,

Nine months went by, a letter came, t’was sent from where they’d gone,

And issued by a lawyer and addressed to our friend, John,

He read it. Then he left his office, walked along the hall,

Stopped at buddy, Keith’s, then smiling, asked if he recalled

That night they spent tucked in the barn (as weather boiled without)?

Well, Keith, he nodded. Asked his friend what this was all about?

“Did you visit our sweet hostess while I slumbered deep?

And did you give my name for yours before you fell asleep?"

Well, Keith turned red, embarrassed as he stammered a reply,

“I’m sorry, John,” he said. "What's up? Please know I will comply!”

Well, John just shrugged. “I’m happy that you can be counted on,

That lady died and left her fortune to your good friend, John!”


Karen asks, "Write for me, please?"
We write because she's our Big Cheese,
And we love her, you know that’s true,
So this is what we writers do . . .
We craft a poem based on a theme,
With pencils, sharp, and eyes agleam,
Each month we write and have such fun
We can't wait for another one,
Sooo...this month, how well did I do?
Please go and see the others, too.

BakingIn A Tornado                 

Messymimi’sMeanderings

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Chocolatey

How do you get your motor running?
I had slept in. Again.
It was summer. I was seven. It was acceptable.
Everyone else was working outside.
Well, except for mom who was busy with my little brother and baby sister.
Somewhere else.
I had the kitchen to myself.
My day had come. I could get my own breakfast!
I got down the bran flakes and poured a generous helping into my bowl. I grabbed the sugar, the Nestle Quick and a spoon and assembled them next to my cereal, together with the tallest glass I could find.
Then I went to the fridge for the all-important ingredient to tie the whole meal together. That white miracle heavily flecked with cream that, when poured over cereal or mixed with chocolate powder, produced gustatory bliss.
Fresh milk. 
The door opened.
I know I must have let out a solid gasp. Because there, on the shelf that normally held the big, frosty-cold jug was . . . nothing.
Nothing?
How could that be?
Never had there been nothing!
Had Old Bossy passed on to greener pastures?
Had all of the cow milk-ers passed on with her?
I closed the door, then whipped it open again.
Still gone.
I tried a few more times, but with the same result.
My life was over!
I looked at the bowl and glass sitting together on the cupboard.
At the box of Nestle Quick beside them.
Then I looked at the tap.
The tap that was always full of fresh, healthy, sulphur water.
Hmm . . . could work.
I grabbed my glass and filled it nearly full of water. Then I carried it carefully back to my place and set it down.
So far so good.
Prying the lid off the chocolate powder, I scooped out a heaping spoonful and tipped it into the glass of water.
Then I mixed happily and put my spoon down.
My taste buds gleefully anticipating the first chocolatey contact, I took a sip.
I probably don’t need to tell you that my little experiment didn’t . . . work out. That the liquid refreshment I had hoped to create wasn’t refreshing.
Or even palatable.
Even after the addition of several more spoonfuls of chocolatey deliciousness.
Yes. My first attempt at culinary creativity didn’t get a passing grade.
Unfortunately, it didn’t stop me.
P.S. Sulphur water on cereal. Also horrifying. Even with extra sugar. Just FYI.

And a little bonus today:
A picture of Husby, camping in the rain. Any resemblance to any garden figurines you may know is entirely unintentional.
Sort of . . .

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Superior

A bunny munching in the garden, happy as could be,

Was startled by a hungry fox who pounced on him with glee!

“Lunch!” the fox said, licking lips, preparing for his feast,

(This shouldn’t come as a surprise; you know they’re hungry beasts,)

But Bunny cried, “Don’t eat me! You must wait a day or two.”

The fox, he frowned and stared. (He thought the bunny’s brain askew!)

“Why must I wait?” old Foxy asked. And Bunny said, “Because…

I’m finishing my thesis. The result will give you pause.”

“What on earth could you write that would make me miss my lunch?”

“‘The Superiority of Me o’er Things with Teeth and Munch’.”

The fox, he laughed. “I’m greater far than ever you could be!”

“Well come into my burrow, Fox, and you and I will see!”

The fox just shrugged and followed Bunny deep into his den,

Did not emerge and strangely, he was never seen again.

A few days later, Bunny friend, again was out about,

Was cornered by a wolf this time. (It made him want to shout…)

Instead, he told the wolf exactly what he’d told the fox,

Presenting to the predator what surely would flummox,

Just like the fox, the wolf just laughed. “What could a bunny do?

You know I’m far superior to all you could construe!”

But Bunny shrugged, said, “Follow me!” and led that wolf away,

And never more would wolf be seen right to the present day!

A day or two went by and Bunny saw one of his own,

A chap who’d witnessed both encounters, wanted to be shown

This thesis mentioned--all about how rabbits were so great,

Was it really true? Or did our Bunny merely prate?

Bunny shrugged and led the way, down, down into his lair,

Showed off the desk and clutter caused by days of writing there,

A pile of fox bones to the left, with wolf bones on the right,

And in between a well-fed lion, munching a last bite…

The moral of this story’s clear, your title doesn’t matter,

The subject and the research? Less important than the latter,

What could you do that instantly makes you the ‘thesis whiz’?

What’s most important has to be who your advisor is!


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Making Do(n't)

Mom and Aunt Grace.
Making do. Even on holidays...
A friend told me a story.
A true one.
About his grandfather during the food rationing days of the Second World War.
The friend's grandmother had been to the grocery store and purchased, among other things, a new tin of pepper.
Which she set on the table.
Her husband picked it up and studied it for a moment. He looked at her and said, “This pepper is half peas!”
“Oh, for heaven's sake!” she said. “I thought I looked at it!”
I should explain, here, that, during the war, creative ways of extending food were discovered and explored. They called it ersatz. I'm not sure where the name came from, but it was expressive. Many different readily available foodstuffs were dried and powdered and added to other foods not so easily come by. Corn meal, for example, was widely used.
The use of dried peas, though not as usual, was not unheard of.
Back to my friend's story . . .
Another can of pepper was procured the next day.
Again, the grandfather picked up the little tin.
“Huh,” he said. “This one is half peas, too.”
His wife snorted in disgust. “Well, there's only one kind left,” she said. “I'll try that one tomorrow.”
She did.
She proudly set the third little tin on the table in front of her husband and proceeded to get his dinner.
He picked up the tin and peered at it closely. “Yep,” he said. “Half peas.”
“What?! I looked at it! Where does it say . . .” her voice trailed off.
Her husband was pointing at the 'Pepper' part of the label. “Here,” he said. “See? P-E-P-P-E-R. Half of the letters are P's.”
Oh. P's. Not peas.
She didn't upend the tin over him or anything drastic like that. I know I would have been tempted.
But I'm sure they had pepper to last until the turn of the century.
This story reminded me of my Mom . . .
Raised during the Depression years, Mom knew very well the days of rationing and going without.
She learned very early to 'make do”. And to purchase things quickly, when they became available.
She often spoke of a large, twenty-five pound tin of peanut butter, for example. Oil on peanut butter rises. The first two-thirds of the container were edible. The last third had to be run through a meat grinder to make it spreadable.
But they ate it.
Several large cans of cherry jam appeared at the local grocery. Her Dad quickly snapped one up.
At first, cherry jam was a treat.
Served at every meal, it became a bit tiresome.
Still, it disappeared.
In her own home, Mom tried to practice what she had been taught throughout her life. Waste not want not, she often told us.
Some of her attempts were successful.
Others . . . not so much.
When buying frozen orange juice, she always added an extra can or two of water to make it go further.
It certainly went further--actually lasted for days. (and days...)  
When there was no milk cow on the place, she tried to extend the life of the milk container in the fridge by added powdered milk to it.
Fooling no one.
She tried purchasing the cheapest brand of peanut butter.
Unfortunately, her children hadn't been raised during the Depression and were finer-mouthed than their parents.
The cheaper peanut butter languished on the shelf.
Finally, in desperation, she bought the favourite kind. Which disappeared in a flash.
Coining the phrase, “I'm going to stop buying that peanut butter. You kids just eat it!”
She made her own roast beef sandwich spread by running cold roast beef through the meat grinder, along with some pickles. Then mixing in some mayonnaise.
That one was a hit. We kids loved sandwiches spread with beef and pickle hash.
I'm sure that, through the years, Mom saved our family a boatload of money with her careful ways.
Unfortunately, my children were even finer-mouthed than we had been.
One day, one of my kids saw her adding water to the ketchup.
I had seen her do that before. It made the ketchup a bit runnier, but still tasted okay.
The child was horrified and told all of his siblings.
And she became, forever, the grandma who put water in the ketchup. The lesson in frugality and making do was completely lost.
Pity.
P.S. I've been known to put water in the ketchup, too. Don't tell my kids . . .

Monday, July 25, 2022

The Test

From an old story/joke my Daddy liked to tell. 

Oddly enough, it is true!

Her family had all been awaiting this call.
When at last they could meet her intended.
Unsure if a wedding ball’d someday befall
Or if spinster-hood ever portended.

But a young man, she'd met who was perfect, she'd bet,
In whose honour and love she felt sure.
So homeward she'd set, their opinion to get,
(And to say that her choice would endure.)

Her father shook hands with her handsome young man
And questioned him closely a while.
They talked of his clan, and he asked him his plans,
Then he turned to his girl, with a smile.

“From all that I hear, you have nothing to fear.
But if his standards aren't mine and your mother's
Don't worry, my dear,” he said. "When that's clear,
He'll be buried out back with the others!”


Photo Credit: Karen of bakinginatornado.com
Cause Mondays do get knocked a lot,
With poetry, we all besought
To try to make the week begin
With gentle thoughts,
Perhaps a grin?
So KarenCharlotteMimi, me
Have crafted poems for you to see.
And now you’ve read what we have wrought…
Did we help?
Or did we not?

Next week, I hope will never end...
I’m talking of you, my girlfriends!

Thinking of joining us for Poetry Monday?
We'd love to welcome you!
Topics for the next few weeks (with a huge thank-you to Mimi, who comes up with so many of them!)...

Old Jokes (July 25) Today!

Girlfriends (August 1)

Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night (August 8)

Lemon Meringue Pie Day (August 15)

Be an Angel Day (August 22)

Bats -or-  More Herbs, Less Salt (August 29)

Blessed by a Curse

Blessed by a Curse
My very first Medieval Romance!

God's Tree

God's Tree
For the Children

Third in the series

Third in the series
Deborah. Fugitive of Faith

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael
A House Divided is now available at all fine bookstores and on Amazon.com and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and .ca and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Romance still wins!

Romance still wins!
First romance in a decade!

Hosts: Your Room's Ready

Hosts: Your Room's Ready
A fun romp through the world's most haunted hotel!

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

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?!

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?