Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Saturday, May 8, 2021

The Philosophy of Mom

I’ve been reading my Mom’s journals again and stumbled across this gem!


My Mom's Philosophy in a nutshell:

Happiness is a direction, not a place.

From her journal:


GIFTS OF THE HEART: love, kindness, joy, understanding, sympathy, tolerance, forgiveness

GIFTS OF THE MIND: ideas, dreams, purposes, inventions, projects, poetry

GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT: prayer, vision, beauty, aspiration, peace, faith

GIFTS OF WORDS: encouragement, inspiration, guidance, praise


Mom, I miss you. Someday, When I grow up, I want to be just like you!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday, May 7, 2021

On Being ‘Honest’

Okay, yes. We're a work in progress . . .
I taught my children the moral lessons my parents taught me.
Now my children are teaching their children.
Sometimes, their success is . . . uncertain . . .
We were leaving church.
Our daughter and her daughter (hereinafter called HD) were recapping lessons learned that day in Sunday School.
“We learned about honesty!” HD said in her three-year-old, glass-shattering, there’s-a-lot-of-noise-in-this-hall voice.
“And what is honesty?” her mother asked.
She looked at her mother. “Mom!” she said. “It’s when you don’t show your knees. And you don’t show these!” With that last, she pulled down the bodice of her dress, flashing everyone who may have been within eye shot of their little family.
Approximately fifty or so people.
“Aaaah!” Her mother quickly pulled HD’s dress back into its original position. “I think you’re talking about ‘modesty’.
“Oh. Right. Modesty is when you don’t show your knees and you don’t show . . .” This time, her mother was able to anticipate the action and keep her daughter covered.
“. . . these.”
We’re not yet sure about her whole take on honesty.
But at least she has modesty . . . down.

Thursday, May 6, 2021



Language Lessons

Yumm. No matter what it's called . . .
We live in Canada.
French and English are spoken here.
Quite often in the same sentence.
But that doesn’t mean that all of us speak both languages fluently.
Or at all.
Oh, and my second son, Erik, worked at the local Sobey’s grocery store.
I realize that these facts seem to be irrelevant.
Wait for it . . .
It was a normal day at work.
Erik, one of the numerous stock boys, had spent the day uncrating merchandise.
Stocking shelves.
Packing groceries.
And helping customers find things.
Sometimes, this last duty was the most demanding. And amusing.
A woman had been wandering up and down the soft drink aisle for several minutes.
And had enlisted the aid of at least one other stock boy and, finally, the store manager.
She was growing impatient and a trifle red-faced.
Erik set down the box he was carrying and went over to see if he could help.
“I’m sorry, Ma’am,” the manager was saying. “We simply don’t carry that kind.”
“I got it here!” the woman burst out. “The last time I was in this store! Right in this aisle!”
The manager shook his head. “I’m afraid you’re mistaken, Ma’am,” he said quietly. “We’ve never carried that.”
“Young man! I took it right out of this aisle. Right here!” she pointed. “See? There with all of the grape juice.”
The manager followed the pointing finger. Then shook his head. “I’m sorry, Ma’am,” he said. “Grape juice is all we carry. We have no Raisin juice.”
The woman dropped her arm and frowned. “Are you telling me I’m stupid?”
“No, Ma’am, no!” the manager was quick to disagree. “I just think you may be mistaken. Something that happens to all of us. Me, in particular!” He smiled.
Erik stopped beside them. “Anything I can help with?”
The manager looked at him. “This customer is looking for some Raisin juice,” he said. “I’ve told her we don’t carry it.”
The woman glared at him, then turned to Erik. “And I’ve told him that I got it here,” she said stoutly. “Right here! Raisin juice!”
Erik looked at both of them for a moment. Then he reached out and turned around one of the Grape juice boxes.
‘Raisin’ was plainly visible on the label.
‘Raisin’ is French for ‘grape’. Just FYI.
Both of them stared at it.
“Oh,” the manager said.
“That’s it!” the customer said happily, grabbing the box and departing.
The manager looked at Erik and shrugged.
“Who knew?” he said.
Who indeed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021


I’m so blessed!

I’ve had 45 years with this guy.

45 years of love, talks, kids, school, games, movies, meals, home time, holiday time, work, play, walks, sports, quiet, noise, health scares, fitness efforts, hikes, diets, feasts, failures, successes, pies, friends, family, church, prayer, singing, laughing, crying, glory, pity, teasing, good times, hard times, sleeping, waking...

And through it all, he’s remained steady and sure. 

My rock.

My best friend.

I love you, Grant Lovell Tolley.

And then there's this . . .

Monday, May 3, 2021

Buried Treasures

The theme this week is quite the thing,
It’s ‘What I love the most ‘bout Spring’!
What about this season makes me sing?
You have to know: It’s gardening!
A tray of nasturtiums, a little pink hoe,
The widest of smiles, almost ready to go!
She grabbed tiny gloves, in red boots, she was clad,
And three-year-old May went to garden with Dad.

Both daughter and Pop. In the dirt. On their knees.
Teased by a squirrel and the mischievous breeze,
They spent most an hour in the bright springtime sun,
Mom could tell by their glee, they were having such fun!

Soon the squeak of the latch and a “Mom!” at the door,
And the sound as her gloves and small boots hit the floor,
Then the tiptoe of little, sweet, tender pink feet,
‘Twas her May who was plying her brand of ‘discrete’.

She slipped up to Mom, and then peered all around,
“Mama!” she whispered, with hardly a sound,
“I was out helping Daddy. Watched all that he did!
“He buried the flowers. But I know where they‘re hid!”

Photo Credit: Karen of

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?
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 all pay tribute to,

All our lost socks, both old and new!

Thinking of joining us for Poetry Monday?

We'd love to welcome you!
Topics for the next few weeks...
The best thing about spring (From Mimi) (May 3) TODAY!

Lost Sock Memorial Day. (May 10)
The anniversary of the patent of the rubber band. (May 17)
Favorite breakfast (May 24)
Memorial Day (May 31)
Best Friends Day (from June 8) (June 7)
Monkey Around Day (June 14)
Fathers (June 21)
Bubbles (June 28)

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
Need a fright?