Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Friday, November 25, 2022

Kindness Begins With...

I want to be kind to everyone,
For that is right, you see!
So I say to myself, “Remember this…
Kindness begins with me!”
            -from a favourite childhood song by Clara W. McMaster 

My Mom was the sweet soul of kindness,
She helped everyone that she’d see,
With cooking or cleaning or baking or gleaning…
She was an example to me.
If we kids started in with our fighting,
She’d start singing her favourite song,
Even caught in the fight, there was nothing else right…
Except to start singing along.
When Big Brother got into some mischief,
She chased him about with the broom,
Rebuke turned to glee—no ‘swattage’ for he…
And happiness replaced the gloom!
People are known for their talents,
Athletes, or writers and more,
There are all kinds of fame, people cheering their name…
Mom’s kindness is what I cheer for. 

This month's Theme: Kindness
Karen asks, "Write for me, please?"
We write because she's the Bee's Knees!
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:

The song: Kindness Begins with Me. Mom's and my favourite!
(It repeats three times...)

Thursday, November 24, 2022

A Little Prayer of Thanksgiving

A little prayer of Thanksgiving today. To honour our Brothers and Sisters south of the border.
Dinner time was special in our house.
It was the time when everyone gathered.
When everyone ate.
And everyone visited.
We are a family of expert visitors. Just FYI.
Sometimes, the talk and laughter would go on for hours.
Long after the eating had finished.
It was the best part of our day . . .
And every dinner time began with prayer.
Thanksgiving for the food.
For the blessings of the day and every day.
For each other.
Our children had been raised with prayer at meal times.
It was as important as the food.
As soon as each of them began to speak, they had their turn.
Gently coached in the very earliest days.
Given their freedom as they got more proficient.
And kids can certainly pray. Sometimes those prayers would go on for some time.
Blessing everything from their friends to their toys to their favourite TV programs.
It was . . . sweet.
And went by all too quickly.
Our kids are all grown up now with families of their own.
But prayer is still a big part of their lives.
And especially their mealtimes.
The next generation is being carefully trained up.
Case in point:
Our eldest daughter and her family were sharing the evening meal with my Husby and I.
Everyone sat down.
I looked around. “I think it's Baby girl's turn to say the prayer.”
I should point out, here, that this little girl was just learning to talk. Her vocabulary of decipherable words was . . . not extensive.
And this was her first opportunity to say the prayer.
Everyone bowed their heads and closed their eyes.
Little arms were folded.
Beloved Heavenly Father,” her mother began.
There was a pause as we all waited for the expected response - the repetition of her mother's words.
Baby girl opened her mouth. “Eyes!” she said.
We're thankful for our blessings,” her mother went on.
“Eyes!” Baby girl said louder, pointing to her mother.
We're thankful for safety today.”
“Mama! Nose!” She was making progress.
We're thankful for this wonderful food.”
“Mouf! (Something unintelligible) Mouf!”
Please bless it to nourish us.”
“Eyes!” We were back to that.
In the name of Jesus Christ . . .?” her mother paused, waiting for the obvious answer.
Way wrong.
A chorus of 'Amens'.
Than another chorus of long-suppressed chuckles.
“Oh, Sweetheart, you said your first prayer!” I said. “You're such a big girl!”
She clapped.
Her words weren't 'right'.
But the food was well and truly blessed.
As were we.
A precious moment indeed.

Happy Thanksgiving, my brothers and sisters!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

That Place

Charlie's. The dive formerly known as Danny's.
But, in reality, the Canadian Cafe.
All the teenagers in Milk River went there. The little, dark, hole-in-the-wall storefront with the half-dozen booths, a couple of pinball machines, dusty dingy floors, dim lighting and the long glass-fronted counter on the north wall.
It was the 'after-school and sometimes Saturdays' place to be.
To just hang out and be cool.
Maybe get a snack. A bottle of pop. Fudgecicle. Chocolate bar.
Play pinball. I should mention here that this was where I learned there is a fine line between 'encouraging' the pinball game and making it 'tilt'. There's a dime I'll never get back.
Moving on . . .
One could listen to the latest hits on the giant jukebox that greeted you as you stepped in the front door. Those fresh and new and those that instigated a store-wide groan because they had been played a little too much. *cough-Honey!*
It was to Charlie's I went to meet my friends whenever I had a loose nickel.
Or--more often--when I didn't have any money at all.
Of course, at those times, we were at the mercy of the moneyed because they got to choose all the music. *cough-Honey!*
Charlie's was the place to let it all hang out.
The first place I saw someone my age smoking.
Where you snuggled into one of the booths on a vinyl-covered bench with your sweetie-of-the-moment.
Okay, I never got to do that, but I dreamed . . .
It was also the place my friends and I discovered that one could actually square dance to 'Ode To Joy'.
True story.
Also my brother tells me it was the place for the finest chop suey known to man.
Who knew?
What was your Charlie's?

One more time. Honey.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A Gas

Another of Daddy's favourite stories...

In rhyme again because I love it!

It’s important you know that Emerson Ells loved beans most of all when he dined.
But it’s also a fact that his good wife Elaine, was not one to be so inclined.
It wasn’t the taste or the texture abhorred, but the methane that followed hereafter.
I’m sure you appreciate all her displeasure when gas filled her home to the rafters.
So Emerson, he of the bean adoration, betook himself oft times to lunch,
And happily chose from the menu extensive, a large plate of baked beans to munch.
On this day it was doubly important to him, for his birthday, again, had appeared.
He decided a plate of baked beans would endorse his making it through one more year.
He happily slurped up—not one, but two—plates of his favourite food.
Then laughed when he thought of his unwary wife (and her wishes that he could elude).
When Emerson got to his home after work, his wife met him as he came in.
“I have a surprise!” she said as they kissed. Then blindfolded him with a grin.
She led him, unwary, along the main hall, the dining room clearly her goal,
When someone knocked loudly upon the front door. She sighed and disrupted their stroll.
And parking her husband in a dining chair, she hurried herself off to see,
Who could possibly be interrupting her plans and to knock with such temerity.
Now, remember those beans so happily consumed and their unlucky penchant to gas?
Well, through the drive home, old Em’s  innards roiled and now he had something to pass.
He listened. Elaine was still firmly engaged. He could hear as she spoke from somewhere. 
So Emerson leaned to one side (sneakily) and let loose a blast of hot air.
He felt better at the ensuing release, but his bowels soon started to strain,
And knowing his wife was still there by the door, he tipped himself over. Again.
A third time inflated, a third time released and a third time his needs were addressed,
Then hearing his wife as she closed the front door, decided he’d best keep the rest.
Soon his dear wifey was there at his side. As she murmured her a-pol-o-gies,
Old Em, he just smiled in a secretive way, thanking his three times release.
“And now your surprise!” his sweet wifey exclaimed as she pulled off his blindfold with care.
 Its removal revealed some guests at the board. Twelve of them were seated there.
So to you who like beans, and I’m one, I confess, please beware of the spouse-ly surprise,
Cause the likelihood’s there that you may just end up: the sole cynosure of all eyes.

Monday, November 21, 2022


The day before Thanksgiving, Joey’s phone began to ring,

He wondered why his father would be calling his offspring,

They’d talked a day or two before, when Joey told him that,

He’d not be home for turkey. Work just had him right out flat!

“Hi, Dad,” he said. “Is something wrong? Problems on the course?”

His dad said, “Son, I’m sad, but we are getting a divorce.”

“Oh, say it isn’t so, Dad!” Joey moaned into the phone,

“It’s true, but I can’t talk of it. Go tell your sister, Joan!”

So Joey called his sister, then, to give her the bad news,

She called her dad, said, “Dad, we’re coming! This woe we’ll diffuse!”

Her dad hung up the phone and turned and hugged his smiling wife,

“It was a little complicated. Caused a bit of strife,

They’ll be here for Thanksgiving, should be flying in by ten,

Now getting them for Christmas…could we try all this again?”

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're eating yummy stuff,
Come early! There will be enough!

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!)...

Giving Thanks -or- Thanksgiving! (November 21) Today!

French Toast--or Breakfast (November 28)
Mittens (December 5)
Poinsettia -or- Potted Plants (December 12)
Muffins (December 19)
Candy Canes (December 26)
Treasure (January 2)
Stuffed animals (Januray 9)
Get lost (January 16)
Clocks (January 23)
Time (January 30)

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!

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

Blessed by a Curse

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My very first Medieval Romance!

God's Tree

God's Tree
For the Children

Third in the series

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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

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Now available at and .ca and and other fine bookstores.

Romance still wins!

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First romance in a decade!

Hosts: Your Room's Ready

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A fun romp through the world's most haunted hotel!

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

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Need a fright?

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

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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

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Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
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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?