Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Hay!

If you look closely...
In May we would have celebrated Daddy's 95th birthday.
That’s significant.
What else could I do but tell a story about him . . .
It was haying season.
In my day, that meant teams of two, one driving the tractor, one stooking.
In Dad’s day, it involved numerous men, horses, and hours and hours of back-breaking work.
This story is about Dad’s day.
The horse-pulled mower had been over the hayfield, cutting the long grasses.
They had been allowed to dry where they lay.
Another horse-powered machine, a rake, had been pulled over the area to turn and fluff and gather the still-drying grasses.
I should mention here that grasses have to be totally dried before they can be gathered and stored. Wet grass heaped into a pile will rot and stink and generally be disparaged by discerning cows.
Think of kids and broccoli.
Yeah. Like that.
But I digress . . .
Teams of men and horses were gathering the well-dried grasses, heaping them into wagons and hauling them to the main stack, where the hay sling (exactly what it sounds like) would be manoeuvred into position, pick up the hay, and swing it atop the big stack.
It was heavy, exacting work. The hay had to be stacked just right so it would stay in place and cure properly.
Dad’s brother, Bryce, had been the man atop the stack, directing the big sling.
He had other duties, so turned over the pivotal job to his baby brother.
My dad.
For the first three minutes, all went well.
Then the hay sling brought up a load.
It zigged.
Dad zagged.
And the long pole smacked him right in the mouth. Knocking his heretofore (Ooh! Good word!) buck teeth backwards into his mouth.
Don’t you hate it when that happens?
I’m sure there was pain and a lot of blood.
I know there was an attempt to press said teeth back into a proper position. An even better position than before. With partial results. Three tooth 'took'. Straight and perfect. The fourth didn't.
Finally, Dad was hauled to the family dentist and a new tooth, on an intricate framework, was installed.
As good as the old one. Almost.
At least it looked right.
From that day forward, Dad had a conversation starter.
Or stopper.
He would hide his tooth and grin his gap-toothed smile.
Or hang it out over a lip.
Okay, well, we kids thought it was hilarious.
And isn’t that what being a dad is all about?
Happy very Birthday, Daddy! We miss you!
Slinging. See the guy on top?
Brings a whole new meaning to 'Watch your mouth'.


Raking.

Collecting.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Tomat-oooo

Tomato is a lowly sort,
It’s used for things from food to sports,
And though it’s fruit so edible,
It poses as a vegetable.
And think of all that we would miss,
If this fruit did not exist…
Tomato soups to start us out,
Delicious when it’s cold, no doubt,
And Caesars are a lovely drink,
With salty rim and booze (wink, wink!)
And then we have our sauces, yum,
A million types to please our tum,
We’ve salads, infinite indeed,
And all delicious, we’re agreed,
There’s sandwiches and sweet stuff, too,
There’s nothing that this fruit can’t do,
But when it’s all been said and done,
There’s one more thing that would be fun,
The Tomatina in Buñol, Spain,
I’d love to do it, sun or rain,
Though sometimes banned, it’s still alive,
And going strong since ’45.
Yes, I think it would be a hoot,
To pelt my neighbours with ripe fruit!
And best of all, and what’s most blessed?
Someone else cleans up the mess!
So, as I said, from food to sports,
Tomatoes are a wondrous sort,
And think of all that we would miss 
If this fruit did not exist…

Cause Mondays do get knocked a lot,
With poetry, we all besought
To try to make the week begin
With pleasant thoughts,
Perhaps a grin?
So Jenny, Charlotte, Mimi, 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, because I’m out in it,
We’ll talk of NATURE just a bit!

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Read it! You know you want to!

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Looking for a Great Read?

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

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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?