Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Thursday, January 21, 2021

To Smile is to...

Today, I`m thinking about smiles.
I love smiles.
Smiles make you feel good.
They cross all language barriers.
And ages.
One of the first milestones we watch for in a newborn baby is that first smile.
 A smile from someone in nasty traffic is a sure-fire way to put the sun back in the sky and help you relax.
A smile is wonderful news.
A smile is friendship.
A smile is love.
But smiles are weird.
Can you think of any other species that shows its teeth (Or gums. Remember the baby…) as a sign of friendliness and/or encouragement?
Okay, I’ve seen a few dogs, cats and horses and even a couple of bears use their teeth in an ‘affectionate’ gesture of correction toward their young.
Well I assumed it was affectionate.
But seriously, who figured out that smiling was a sure fire way to say, “Hello! I’m so happy to know you! I hope you have a great day!”
It must have started somewhere.
At some point in time, someone said to themselves: I’m going to show my teeth to those people as a sign that I really like them.
See what I mean?

P.S. I did have a dog that smiled. Muffy. (She of the long, shaggy hair and the wiggly bum and the heart of sweet, sweet marshmallow.) She really smiled. But one day, when she was in the yard and I wasn’t, she smiled at the letter carrier, who then called her supervisor to report a vicious dog.
Yep. Smiles are weird.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Death by Toddler

Oh, she only looks innocent...
The soft cascade of warm water and sweet-smelling soap caresses the aged body, following every curve.
And/or bulge.
Problems and irritations disappear down the drain with the water as total relaxation is, finally, achieved.
The warm water continues.
A state of near-bliss is achieved.
Ahhh . . .
Cue: Sharp strings played in a tight Eee! Eee! Eee! Eee!
The shower curtain is pulled back abruptly.
The shower-er spins about with a startled gasp.
A shadowy figure sticks its head into the cubicle.
“Hey! Gramma! What’cha doing?!”
And ‘Gramma’ collapses and dies of a heart attack.
Okay, it doesn’t quite have the punch of the original Psycho. But the death is just as real.
And permanent.
Death by Toddler!
Coming soon to a shower near you.
Rated: ‘T’ for Toddler. There is no stronger rating…

P.S. Grandma is looking into locks for her bathroom door. It has suddenly come under the heading: Essential.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

17 17's

 With all the turmoil, I’m worried today. So how will I handle it? I will tell jokes…

You know, I think working in a mirror factory is totally something I can see myself doing.

(I love this one!) I tried really, really hard to catch some fog the other day. Mist.

Someone stole my Microsoft Office the other day and they are gonna pay. You have my Word.

A Roman Legionnaire walks into a bar and hold up two fingers and says, “Five beers, please.”

(Something I just read…) According to statistics, someone in London gets stabbed every 52 seconds. Poor beggar.

I had an event last week. I broke my finger. On the other hand, I am okay!

Here’s something: You know, you are not completely useless. You can always serve as a bad example.

How many Germans does it take to screw in lightbulbs? One. They’re efficient and not very funny.

Women call me ugly until they find out how much money I make. Then I’m ugly and poor.

My grandfather has the heart of a lion. He also has a lifetime ban at the zoo.

Some horrible person went and stole my mood ring. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Parallel lines have so much in common. It is a real shame they will never, ever meet.

You don’t need a parachute to go skydiving. You only need a parachute to go skydiving twice.

Yesterday, my wife accused me of being immature. I told her to get out of my fort.

This just in: I threw a boomerang a few years ago. Now I live in constant fear.

Just say NO to drugs! Well, if I’m talking to my drugs, I’ve probably already said yes.

I told my wife that she was drawing her eyebrows too high. You know, she looked surprised.

Word Counters is a fun word challenge. 

This month's number? 17!

Assigned by me! 

Ready for more?

See what my fellow Word Counters have wrought!

BakingIn A Tornado                    


Monday, January 18, 2021

My Hero


At six, the first that I recall,

Was in a book for children, small,

A bear who loved his friends and life,

Caused no pain or hurt or strife!


At eight, I moved to Nancy Drew,

And Hardy Boys, to name a few,

And Trixie Beldon, Ames girls, wow!

Were certainly the cat’s meow!


From there my heroes came and went,

But mostly had a ‘horsey’ bent,

Alex and Black, and Flicka, Ken,

Sham and Agba, read again.


Then others picked by happenstance

Until I found Gothic romance.

Filled with love and hate. Desire,

They set my teenaged heart on fire!


I read the classics, heroes there

Who managed on a hope. And prayer,

Each time I read with heart agape,

Of daring deeds and tight escapes.


I read a lot and wrote a bit,

Had many heroes I admit,

But none were greater, none more fair,

Than that first, stuffed and ‘small-brained’ bear.


‘Tis sixty years since last I stood,

With Pooh in ‘Hundred Acre Wood’,

I know this day’s for him, the bear

Who gave such gentle, reasoned care,


Two things of many that he said,

They’re part of me, stuck in my head,

If you don’t mind, ‘cause you’re my friend,

Instead of hugs, these words I’ll send:


“If there’s…a day…we can’t be together,

Keep me in your heart and I’ll stay there forever!”

“If you live to…a hundred, I want that, less one day,

So I’m never without you whenever I play!”

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 JennyCharlotteMimi, 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, in poems from near and far,
We'll talk about our favourite car!

Thinking of joining us for Poetry Monday?
We'd love to welcome you!
Topics for the next few weeks...
Spunky Old Broads (February 1)
Craziest Vacation Memory (February 8)
From Your Pet's Point of View (February 15)
Favourite Word that Starts With D (February 22)

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!

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Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?