Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Friday, March 24, 2023

A La Mud

All the talk about pie this past week has reminded me of something...
The next generation starts in. Mmmmm...
I've used many, many recipes in my life.
I started with simple: crackers and cheese.
And, believe me, you have to get that one just right . . .
To more complicated: hot dogs.
And I'm sure I don't have to explain the vital importance of the meat to bun ratio. And I won’t even go into the selection and/or serving size of condiments.
But my very first recipe was not nutritious.
Or even edible.
In fact, though it smelled rather good, I wouldn't have fed it to the dog.
Well, actually I did try.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
I was staying with my friend/cousin, Jean.
It was summer.
We had been playing in Aunt Grace's kitchen. Under Aunt Grace's feet.
Till Aunt Grace finally had enough and kicked us outside to play.
Dutifully, we had played.
Then we started looking for something a little more . . . constructive.
“Let’s make mud pies!” Jean suggested.
Mmm. I like pie. “Okay.”
She found an old pot and we started adding ingredients.
I should mention here that, as we didn't have all of the ingredients for pie, and really weren't completely sure what those ingredients were, we . . . erm . . . substituted.
Back to my story . . .
Dirt. (For flour)
Water. (For water) And I should tell you that you have to get this ingredient just right. Too much and your mud pies are sloppy. Not enough and you can’t do a thing with them.  Just FYI.
Rocks. (Those were the raisins)
Two eggs that we stole from the hen house. (For eggs)
Grass. (For coconut)
We didn't mix any awful things into it, though I did find some dog doo that I was tempted to add.
For flavour.
Jean stopped me. “Diane! If you put that in, no one could eat it!”
Important point.
Finally, we mixed our wondrous concoction and formed it carefully into little blobs on the wall of her mother’s flower garden. Right in the sunlight where our pies could cook and get nice and toasty.
Mmmm. They even smelled good.
I never got to taste our pies.
We were called in to dinner and my Mom picked me up just after that.
But I remember them. And how they would have tasted . . .
Our good friend, Shirley was over visiting.
She told us her ‘mud pie’ story.
How she and her sister found an old pail.
Added their ingredients.
Stirred well.
When it comes to the ‘cooking’ part, Shirley’s story takes a different turn from mine.
Her family had a chicken coop.
With a little wood stove inside to keep their feathered friends warm in the cooler months of the year.
Why bother to set their mud concoction into the sun, where the actual ‘baking’ would be iffy, at best.
They would set their creation on the little wood stove.
And boil it.
No sooner said than . . .
I probably don’t have to tell you that the flaws in their technique were almost immediately apparent.
In Shirley’s words . . . “It really stank!”
So, a note to all mud-pie enthusiasts out there.
Don’t boil.
You heard it here first.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Very Guilty

In honour of National PUPPY Day...

Husby and I are empty nesters.
At that point in time, it was a fairly new experience. One that we were enjoying immensely. Maybe because we got all the perks (quiet evenings) with all the blessings (grandkids over daily).
But what we didn't have was a four-footed furry.
Maybe I should explain...
For over thirty years, we raised Old English Sheepdogs. (We love the breed. Smart, loyal, protective, easily trained.
And highly amusing.)
When our last puppy, Aldo, bid us farewell and crossed the rainbow bridge two years before, we decided our 'furry' days were over.
We were truly empty nesters.
Then, that March, our friends got a puppy. An OES cross.
And quite suddenly I knew my own dog days weren't done.
A week later, I was the proud owner of the newest generation of Old English Sheepdogs.
Pandora, but we called her Pandy. Among other things...
She was everything we've come to love about the breed.
And had settled into her own little corner of my heart.
Enough background...
That evening, Husby and I were in the family room, watching the movie 'Dragonslayer'. I was multi-tasking in that I was also working on a puzzle.
Pandy was rousting around, nose to the carpet.
A habit of hers, I must admit.
She rousted herself into Daddy's office.
Now, normally, this wasn't cause for concern as usually, Daddy was in there with her.
This time, he wasn't. (See above.)
I allowed the normal amount of time necessary to wander into the room, realize that your beloved person is not there, and wander out again.
That time had elapsed.
"Pandy!" I called.
She came out immediately.
But the reason for her tardiness became immediately-and painfully-apparent.
And yes, that's an Eat-More bar wrapper stuck to someone's furry face.
I've heard of wearing your guilt.
But never quite this accurately.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Goodbye, Please?

The walks were nearly bare! Then, this morning . . .
 November 8th. They squealed with glee,
They ran outside, both he and she.
For glistening, glorious, flakes of snow,
Upon the ground in drifts did go.

Almost too lovely to believe,
They praised the Lord that they did leave
The desert dry for such a place,
With snow-wet cheeks, they did embrace.

Our Ernest went to shovel, then,
And soon their walks were clean again,
Till the snowplow trundled through,
And on their sidewalk, snow did strew.

He laughed. “I get to shovel more!”
And finished this delightful chore.
Then back inside to watch it all,
The white snow unrelenting, fall.

Next day the sun arose and shone,
Soon all their precious snow was gone,
They sadly groused to neighbour, Bill,
“Don’t fret,” he said. “You’ll get your fill!”

And he was right. A week or so
Would scurry past, then winds would blow,
And with them came eight inches more,
All piled so nicely there. Outdoors.

With scoop in hand, he headed out,
And finished just in time to scout,
The snowplow coming up the road,
And dumping, once again, his load.

He shook his head. “That goofy guy!”
“He must not see as he goes by.”
Then, with a grimace, he did bend,
And shoveled up the snow again.

Next day another foot or so,
Upon their neighbourhood, did go,
It took two hours before he saw,
The sidewalk bare, the snow withdrawn.

Until the driver of the truck,
Deposited his load of muck.
He shook his fist and nearly swore,
Then sighing, started in once more.

I probably don’t have to say,
The snow fell day by day by day,
Poor Ernest and his mighty scoop,
Understandably, were pooped.

Then came that day and the last straw,
Another foot or so he saw,
His shovel broke, he nearly cried,
He threw it at the snowplow guy.

He stomped inside and told his wife,
That he no longer liked this life.
He said, “It’s May. For Heaven’s sake!
Who knows how much more I can take.”

“Before I have a heart attack.
Or I beat someone blue and black!
Go grab your bags and pack your things,
We’re moving back to Desert Springs!”

So If you’re thinking of the snow,
How jolly and how fun to go,
It is as sweet as you perceive,
But in Canada, it never leaves!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Something Wooden This Way Comes

 Okay, I understand the despair and resulting need and would have probably done something similar if I had the skills. And the time. And perhaps some magical ‘other worldly’ help. Maybe I should start at the beginning…

Geppetto was a lonely woodcutter, living somewhere in the wilds of Italy. (Are there wilds in Italy?) He longed for a friend/son. But, as that wish seemed unlikely to be granted, he resorted to making his own.

Once my parents told me to go make some friends, but it never occurred to me that they could have been talking literally, rather than directionally. Hmmm…I wonder what I could have come up with? Moving on…

That Geppetto, he was one talented woodcarver. The small boy he carved was both beautiful and functional. But not real. I want to stress that here, because the rest of the story will try to suggest otherwise.

This is where the ‘other worldly’ comes into play. Blue Fairy had her eye on kind and gentle Geppetto. Perhaps because he was k&g? (see above) And saw an opportunity to put her wand to good use.

Now I’m a little ‘iffy’ on the whole ‘Blue’ fairy bit. Was she really blue? As in colour. Or just really depressed. None of the versions of this story explain. I think it needs to be explored.

Anyways, regardless of her personal real-or-imagined mental struggles, the Blue Fairy saw a chance to help someone who was suffering. And did what she could to alleviate it. I’m beginning to like her. A lot.

Her spell went something like this: “Now, remember, Pinocchio: be a good boy. And always let your conscience be your guide. Prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish, and someday, you will be a real boy.” Oh, boy.

Right now, I’m wishing someone had chanted that over my four boys. It might have eliminated a lot of ‘Mama’ angst/sleepless nights. Oh, well. It may have taken a little longer, but they made it eventually.

Pinocchio, having realized sentience, immediately went on to wreck the room and burn his own feet off. Okay, yes, it was a rocky start. But he improved. He moved up to truancy, running away and poor decisions.

And lying. Let’s not forget that little gem. But he discovered that a lie, though small at first, “grows and grows until it’s as plain as the nose on your face.” Which in Pinocchio’s case, meant: gi-normous.

True story. Whenever he attempted to tell a lie, his little, wooden bud of a nose grew longer. And longer. Finally sprouting branches and even residents. And no, I’ve never actually seen a nose do that. Horrifying.

The Blue Fairy came to his rescue, sending woodpeckers to peck his tree of a nose back into a standard and acceptable ‘nose’ shape once more. Lesson learned right? Right?! Sadly, there were still other ‘adventures’ brewing…

Listing them. Hang on tight! Running away instead of going to school. Getting puppetnapped by a fairly nasty puppeteer intent on making the best of a little, stringless puppet. Running off again at the enticement of some other nasties.

Only to end up at the enticing-sounding ‘Land of Toys’, and discovering that, in reality, young boys were turning themselves into little beasts and being caged and sold accordingly. That particular scene haunted me for decades. Yikes.

From there, sporting some spanking new ‘donkey’ parts, Pinocchio escapes and, returning finally home, discovers his beloved Geppetto has gone in search of him. There follows some angst as the two of them search desperately for eachother.

Complicated by the fact that Geppetto, and his entire household (ie. cat, fish) have been swallowed by the huge, terrifying and, let’s just say it: doggone rude Dog Fish. Pinocchio has his work cut out for him.

But he has become clever and resilient whist making his bad decisions and figures out that the best way to escape the behemoth that now has them all captive is to make it sneeze. In a word: Ewww.

But it works. Before you can say Gesundheit, Pinocchio et al are skimming the waves ahead of a ‘no more Mr. Nice Guy’ big fish. Pinocchio sacrifices himself to save his beloved Geppetto. And all is well.

Except for the ‘sacrifices himself’ part. Re-enter the Blue Fairy. (I don’t know about you, but I’d like to keep her around. Just sayin’.) Who rewards him for his bravery with life (again) making him a real boy.

Headline: Little Wooden Head Runs for Political Office.
News at 11.
I knew it!

Today’s post is a word challenge! Each month one of us chooses a number between 12 and 50 and the rest craft a post using that number of words one or multiple times.

This month’s word count number is 37. And was brought to you by: Karen of Baking in a Tornado!

Links to the other Word Counters posts:

Baking In ATornado

Monday, March 20, 2023


 My kids' favourite 'Buzzard' joke...

The thrilling circus passed this way,
Folks of the desert came to play,
Poor Bobby Clown, so old and grey,
He’d gone out drinking. Went astray,
Could not find his way back. Dismay!
He did not live to see the day.
And somewhere on the sand, he lay,
Until along about midday,
Some buzzards passing by the way,
Decided: here, they all would stay,
No one alive to tell them ‘nay’,
And good ol’ Bob would be their prey.
The poor old clown had some decay,
And also just the right bouquet,
Knowing nothing’d come their way,
That’s better than a ‘Bob souffle’,
The buzzards’d better not delay,
They started and they ate away.
But one of them, we’ll call him Jay,
Turned up his nose and moved away,
The others watched him with dismay,
Each were wond’dring, “What the hey?”
They stopped and asked him why he strayed…
“Cause it tastes funny,” Jay did say! 

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 celebrate our way,
A little topic called 'Earth Day'!

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!)...
Buzzards (March 20) Today!
Celebrating Earth Day (March 27)
Maps (April 3)
Golf (April 10)
Safety Pins (April 17)
Pigs in Blankets (April 24)
Rhinos (May 1)
Socks (May 8)
Chocolate Chip (May 15)
Musical Instruments (May 22)
Compost (May 29)


Friday, March 17, 2023

The Housing Market

“This one. See?”
I followed Sally’s pointing finger. It stopped about a third of the way down the page of the flier she was holding.
At a beautiful home on an acreage somewhere outside of town.
“Mr. Baggins stopped by and gave me this flier. What do you think?”
About Mr. Baggins bringing my sister real estate fliers? Ummm…
“Mort and I are going to go to the open house this afternoon and have a look. Wanna come?”
I thought of the lovely book I was just getting into. And my special date with Peter later tonight that I had bought a new dress for and…
Just then Ivy Jean Gunn of the sweet face and very loud lungs sounded off somewhere in the house.
I set down my book. “You know what? I’ll drive!”
I squinted at the picture and typed the address into my phone. “K. Let’s roll!” I led the two of them into the garage and, from there, into the car. “Did anyone check for motorcycles?” I asked.
You have to know that, since the birth of Ivy, the entire family has been a bit skittish about backing the car out of the garage without doing a ‘stray motorcycle check’ first.
“It’s right there.” Mort pointed.
“Ah." I pushed the button for the garage door. "Then we’re off!”
Sally and Mort were happily discussing the selling points of the house we were going to see. (Well, Sally was. Mort just, in his ‘Mort’ way, smiled and grinned.) Suites, extra room. Extra rooms. Outbuildings. A shop. Barns.
I nearly stomped on the brake. Barns? A picture of the damage Sally could do if she had some actual, you know—horsepowerburst in living colour into my mind.
Heaven help us all.
But I’m nothing if not determined, so I kept going.
“Turn right at the next intersection,” the GPS voice said. In a southern accent that sounded more like ‘tun rat at the next intusection.’
I turned.
The house that slowly came into view was, in a word, spectacular. It went on and on and on.
I think I gasped. I should have gasped. It was bigger than the home town we grew up in.
“Oooh! It’s a win!” Sally squealed. “Morty, honey! It’s our sanctuary!!”
Mort shrugged and grinned.
I pulled the car into the wide, circular driveway.
Sally was out of the door before we stopped. She looked around. “Huh. Why don’t they have any signs?”
I frowned. She was right. Nary a real estate sign was in evidence.
“Maybe we’re early?”
She shrugged and, taking Mort’s hand, towed him to the front door and tried the knob. “Well, it’s open, so come on in!”
We did.
The foyer was amazing. And huge. A chandelier the size of my bed at home looked…normal.
“Perfect!” Sally enthused. “Oh, I’m so happy right now!”
An archway to the left led into a bright, immense, living room. Or drawing room. Or…what do they call these rooms that are so large our whole house could sit comfortably in one end and a group of forty could still find seats and carry on a conversation in the other?
Right. A cathedral.
I didn’t get much chance to get much more than an impression, though.
Because there, on one of the numerous couches, was a man.
Stretched out and obviously asleep.
Huh. Maybe he was early, too?
Just then a woman came around the corner, drying her hands on a kitchen towel. She stopped and stared at us. “Jes?” she said, with a distinct Spanish accent. “What can I help you with?”
Sally looked at her. “We're here to see the house.”
“Yeah.” Sally tipped her head to one side. “The open house.” She held up the flier and the woman adjusted her glasses and bent to look at it.
Then the two stared at each other.
I think that’s when I finally realized we had entered a set of stunning front doors, passed through an amazing foyer, and were standing in a beautiful cathedral-sized room…all in the wrong house.
I looked at the address on my phone. Then reached for the flier. The picture was a fairly close match. Oh. Walker Lakes Station. Not Walker Lakes Street. Huh. What are the chances?
On a good note, Mr. and Mrs. Cavallero have laughingly agreed not to press ‘breaking and entering’ charges.
And may be coming to dinner on Sunday.
We’re going now to see the real house.
I’ll let you know how it goes.

Today’s post is a writing challenge. Participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post with the understanding that all words be used at least once. All the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.
Today, I’m using: match ~ sanctuary ~ win ~ chances ~ happy
Submitted by my BFF Karen at Baking in a Tornado
Thank you, my friend!

Now check out my fellow bloggers! 




Thursday, March 16, 2023

Germ of the Dog

The thief.
We buy our cheese in a large block.
We have a lot of mouths to feed.
And every one of them is a cheese-lover.
Also: grating said cheese leaves an interesting pattern of little grooves on the main piece.
And: We raise Old English Sheepdogs. Our big male is named Chiefy.
On with my story . . .
Husby and I had been out for the evening.
The kids, ages eight to nineteen were home.
Watching TV and eating . . . what else? . . . cheese.
Putting it on bread.
Then toasting the two together.
Periodically, someone would come out to the kitchen, prepare another round and disappear into the TV room once more.
When we got home, the snacking and movie-watching was still ongoing.
Or at least the movie-watching.
The food had not yet been put away.
Okay, I admit it, I’m a bit OCD when it comes to food being left out.
Spotting the large block of cheese sitting on the cupboard, I made my disgusted face and instantly turned into uber-annoying SUPERCLEAN MOM.
I picked it up.
Now, usually, when the kids are making snacks including cheese, they would simply slice pieces off.
The end of this block looked as though they had been grating it.
Hmmm. Not common, but not unheard of.
I sliced the grooved end off the cheese and ate it, then wrapped the main block and put it into the fridge and generally tidied up.
Then I went into the TV room to join my Husby and the rest of the family.
My daughter turned to look at me.
“Mom! Did you see that Chiefy has been eating the cheese?”
I stared at her. “I thought you had been grating it.”
“Nope. I came upstairs and there he was chewing on the end. I pushed it to the back of the cupboard, but left it there ‘cause I wasn’t sure what you’d want done with it.”
“Ummmm . . .” I thought of the piece I had just eaten and felt a little green. 
(Lucy Van Pelt from Peanuts has nothing on me when it comes to dog-germ-phobia. I know. I know. Weird, coming from a ranch girl.) 
“I’ve taken care of it,” I said finally.
I had.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023


These pictures say it all!
From this:

Through this:

To this:

And finally, this:

86 pies reduced to 14. Happy Pi Day, everyone!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023


Until Covid, we Tolleys celebrated every March 14 (3.14) with Pi(e).
It was busy.
It was delicious.
Then the 2020 Covid lockdown came—quite literally the day my daughter and I were to make the pies.
We sighed and put our rolling pins into storage and waited for the all-clear.
This year, it came.
So yesterday, we (my daughter and two of my granddaughters) spent a few hours making pies.
70 of them to be exact. 10 different kinds (in no particular order): Cherry, Blueberry, Apple, Rhubarb/Strawberry, Peach, Pumpkin, Banana Cream, Coconut Cream, Chocolate, and Lemon.
And today, we have invited our friends and neighbours to come in and eat pie!
I wish you could join us.
I’ll let you know how it goes...
Everything has to start somewhere...

Our crew.
I’m absolutely thrilled that the next generation is learning the joys of the rolling pin!

Ready to go!

Monday, March 13, 2023

Unhelpful Literature

 Welcome to Poetry Monday!
Now I know the topic for today is Butterflies, but I'm bending it a little.
Oh, I'm still going to talk about winged insects. 
But... oh, never mind. Just read on...

The rain poured down persistently,
For days he’d stared out wistfully.
A last, he stood with arms outspread,
“I’m bored,” he, to his mother, said.
She thought about it for a time,
(Impressed I say all this in rhyme?)
And then suggested to her son,
“If all your chores, indeed, are done,
The only thing I can suggest
For you, a hobby would be best.”
“A collection, maybe? Moths? Or stamps?
Now go – and to your room, encamp.”
The little boy gave it some thought,
Decided moths were what he sought.
Donned raingear, to the store betook,
To find himself a research book.
Then home amid the raindrops sped,
Threw coat, and landed on his bed.
He read for several hours there,
Then came to mom in clear despair.
“I’ve read that book from end to end,
But failure did the words portend.
For though I read so eagerly,
No single ‘moth’ word did I see!”
His mother frowned and asked to look,
Obediently, he fetched the book.
She turned it over, understood
Just why it did him little good.
‘Advice to the Beginning . . .’, true.
A wealth of facts from those who knew.
But the last word in the title there,
Had caused her fine, young son to err.
It stood out plain from all the others,
The last word there (you’ve guessed it) ‘Moth-ers’!
Advice to 
Beginning Mothers
You can see where he went wrong.

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?

Strange, and just a little scary
Buzzards, next week, are our quarry!

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!)...
Butterflies (March 13) Today!
Buzzards (March 20)
Celebrating Earth Day (March 27)
Maps (April 3)
Golf (April 10)
Safety Pins (April 17)
Pigs in Blankets (April 24)

Sunday, March 12, 2023

My BBB's and ME

 Every eight weeks or so, it's my turn to host my wonderful Best of Boomer Bloggers tribe. 
A true highlight!
This month, my bloggers started their adventures along Consumer Protection Bay, went along Nostalgia Avenue, past the corner of Women's History Boulevard, along Truth Alley, made a right on Spring Street and ended up in the historic Grand Central Market!
I love these guys!

First up, Rita Robison:
Have you heard of National Consumer Protection Week? For Rita R. Robison, consumer and personal finance journalist, it’s a big deal, and she wrote about it last week. Take a look at Robison’s article for actions consumers can take every week to stand up for their rights, including filing complaints and findinghelpful financial information.

Next is Carol Cassara:
As each year passes, Carol Cassara finds more of her blog posts are tinged with nostalgia, a subject she addresses in this weeks piece about "hiraeth" -- a longing for lost places of our past. And in her case, her youth.

Celebrating women who tell our story is this year's Women's History Month theme. This inspired Jennifer, of Unfold and Begin to share 12 Quotes for Women's History Month from some of those women who are being celebrated.

It was Aldous Huxley who said that facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored! But when it comes to facing up to our painful experiences or moving out of toxic relationships, we often act as if facts do not exist. Denial of pain is something that Corinne Rodrigues of Everyday Gyaan has written about in her post The Truth Shall Set You Free.

Followed by Laurie Stone:
The other day Laurie stood in her yard when she heard that lovely sound. Against the blue sky was the familiar V-formation of a dozen geese, trumpeting their arrival like noisy house guests. She watched, feeling that familiar stirring. Spring is coming.

Then Rebecca Olkowski:
Rebecca Olkowski with finally got a break from the torrential rain that Los Angeles had been experiencing. She hopped on the L.A. Metro and took herself Downtown to the historic Grand Central Market for a bite to eat. Read about it on her L.A. travel blog here.

In this week’s post, Meryl Baer of Beach Boomer Bulletin takes time to recognize Women’s History Month. A history major, a woman, and a writer, she pays homage to three Victorian writers, the Bronte sisters, who blazed a path, unknowingly, for generations to come. 
Then finally, Me! 
In the modern day, the use of so-called 'expressive metaphors' has become more and more prevalent. But it is possible 'clean up one's language', as discovered by Diane's Mother-in-Law...

And that's a wrap!
I hope you enjoyed these wonderful bloggers as much as I do!
Thank you for joining us!

Friday, March 10, 2023


Twice a week, and sometimes more, the wonderful aroma of freshly-baked bread wafted through the Stringam home.
It was followed, almost immediately, by the sight of children munching great slices of fresh yumminess, thickly spread with fresh butter.
I wasn't one of them.
Oh, I loved Mom's bread.
It was amazing.
And I definitely was munching.
But I chose a unique - ie. weird - way of doing it.
Often to be followed by my Mom saying, “Diane! I work hard to make perfectly good, soft bread! Why do you do that to it?!”
She said this because . . . I squished it.
Into a tight little ball.
Which I - then - ate.
Mom would watch, in disgust, as I took my slice of freshly-baked awesomeness.
Quickly peeled off and ate the crust.
Pressed and molded the rest.
Then nibbled.
I have no idea why I did this.
Maybe it was because I had seen the screen cowboys eating little balls of bread out of their saddlebags.
Okay, it looked like little balls of bread.
I didn't realize that what they were eating was, in fact, biscuits.
I wasn't known for my powers of observation and deduction.
Ahem . . .
I no longer eat bread this way.
There are a couple of drawbacks.
The biggest one being that it's rather hard to spread any significant amount of peanut butter and/or nutella on a tightly pressed ball of dough.
And, let's face it, bread is just the medium by which such things are ingested.
And, in a choice between eating balls of dough or getting nutella to the mouth?
Even the cowboys would agree with me.

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!
My FIRST murder mystery!

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 and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at and .ca and 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


A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.


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


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

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!

Grab and Add!

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Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
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