Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Friday, December 30, 2022

Royal ME

I wonder, some, how it would be

Had I been born to Royalty,

Have all greet me on bended knee,

And toast with glasses of Chablis,

Or shout and cheer and all agree,

From sea to ever-shining sea,

A princess, true, yes that is me,

Who always dresses with esprit,

Whose manner could be called ‘lordly’,

And for whose goodwill they would plea…


But then again, I must confess,

 I’d much prefer my life of rest,

And absent, members of the press,

Or any more who might aggress,

Sooo…no one that I must outguess,

And ditto, minimal distress,

With nothing that I must repress,

A quiet life, well, more or less…


And then I look around and see

My friends and all my family,

All quietly supporting me,

In all my goals and plans carefree,

Encouraging with grand esprit,

Making me feel like Royalty!

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:

This month’s theme: Royalty

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Snowy Boots

1. The Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the electoral district of Cardston needed to make sure he received his mail. Daily.
2. My Uncle Bryce, Dad’s next older brother like to play tricks on Dad.
3. My Dad couldn’t get his boots off.
These three statements go together. 
I know; it doesn’t appear to make sense to me either.
Let’s start at the beginning . . .
For three terms, my grandfather, George L. Stringam served as the MLA for the District of Cardston, living, at the time, in the village of Glenwood – a small, sleepy little town about 34 Km (21 Mi) away from the town of Cardston. In the year 1930, Glenwood was a fairly progressive place, with many modern conveniences. One of which was the daily delivery of the mail.
As the MLA, Grandpa needed that mail.
His son, Bryce was assigned the task of retrieval.
Now a bit of background: Although motor vehicles were quite common in Glenwood in 1930, the heavy winter snows usually curtailed their use except under certain circumstances. The retrieval of the mail was important. Let’s just say it wasn’t important enough to drag out the car.
Thus the seven or eight blocks to the Post Office had to be covered either on foot, or by some horse-drawn conveyance.
Eschewing the former in favour of the latter, Bryce hitched up a single horse to the small stone boat and prepared to drive across town. Then he invited his youngest brother to join him on the adventure. Seven-year-old Mark happily climbed aboard.
Now, remember where I said that Bryce like to play tricks on his small brother? That would come into play here . . .
Bryce instructed Dad to sit at the very rear of the sled, facing backwards, to avoid getting a faceful of snow. Dad did as he was told and discovered, as Bryce got the rig underway, that it was true. The snow blew past him without any of it getting into unwanted places. Bryce appeared to have his little brother’s comfort in mind.
Appearances can be misleading.
After they had proceeded a few blocks, Bryce steered the horse off the packed main part of the street and into the drifts at the side.
The resulting cloud of snow came over the sides of the boat and straight down onto the small boy happily swinging his rubber-booted feet at the back.
Filling those boots instantly with snow.
Now it wasn’t a very cold day, and the trip was short, so Dad really wasn’t that uncomfortable.
Until they got home.
It was then he discovered that, not only were his boots as full of snow as they could possibly get, but said snow was jammed so hard that the small boy was quite unable to remove them without larger, stronger help.
Dad shuffled into the house and sat there on the floor while a rather shame-faced Bryce quite literally pried the boots off his little brother’s feet.
The good news?
Bryce was right. Dad didn’t get snow in his face.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022


During the two years my Husby lived in Paris, France, he and his companions stayed in many and varied dwellings.

Some nice.
Some . . .
But the best of the best was the time they lived in a guest house on an estate in the Paris suburbs.
A real, four bedroom deluxe guest house.
On a real French estate.
The estate, itself, covered ten acres and included said guest house, as well as the main mansion and assorted outbuildings, all owned by an aristocratic octogenarian. A woman whose actions belied her age.
And athletic ability.
Let me explain . . .
Husby and his companions had been living in this (to-eight-young-men-in-their-early-twenties-who-had-lived-in-some-rather-unpleasant-places) remarkable abode, for about four months.
In all that time, owing to the fact that their rental had been handled by the husband and wife team who directed them, none of them had met, or even laid eyes on, their landlord.
One afternoon, several of them were out in the beautiful grounds, enjoying an unexpected few hours of relaxation. Suddenly a slender, erect person carrying a cane appeared and moved slowly toward them across the yard, chattering in French as she came.
As the figure drew closer, they could see that it was a very well and expensively-dressed woman. She stopped next to them, and they deduced that they were, for the first time, addressing their landlord landlady. They also noted that she had the bearing of someone who was accustomed to being in charge.
For a few moments, they discussed the beautiful weather, and the day in particular.
Suddenly, the woman noticed a sizable bug, crawling up the trunk of the large, mature tree standing next to her.
“Ah!” she shrieked, making the young men jump. She turned and, wielding her cane with intent and purpose, preceded to pound the hapless bug until even the memory of it had disappeared. “C’est mauvais, ca! (That’s bad, that!)” she said.
Then she smiled and nodded at the speechless boys and, turning, continued across the yard.
I will add one more thing . . .
Their rent was always paid on time.

Monday, December 26, 2022

The Cane Refrain

Once they came in only white,

But sweet and tasty, pulled just right,

Perhaps to calm some choirboy crew,

With hooks to calm the church board, too,

Or just conveniently designed

To hang on trees with treats in kind,

Whate’er the reason they ‘became’

They’ve now become a household name,

With billions turned out annually,

They make their way to you. And me.

And so, enjoy! Please don’t disdain

The humble, tasty Candy Cane!

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 will be a total pleasure,
Cause we will be discussing treasure!
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!)...
Candy Canes (December 26) Today!
Treasure (January 2)
Stuffed animals (January 9)
Get lost (January 16)
Clocks (January 23)
Time (January 30)

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Morning After


The Morning After


It’s happened once or twice in ev’ry hundred years or so
When, for whatever reason, Santa simply cannot go,
And cause there’s no one willing, (and there are not any planes!)
Then Mrs. Santa steps right up and takes those Christmas reins.

The reindeer seem to know that something different’s in the air,
And get excited when they hear her step upon the stair.
And does she dress in red and white? In fur and velvet? No!
She’s dressed in leather for her chase o’er lands of heat or snow.

In a worn ol’ buckskin jacket and some goggles—Santa’s spares,
A pair of leather ‘racing’ gloves, a helmet o’er her hair,
Some ‘biker’ chaps and Uggs for boots, a scarf that’s warm and soft,
One that covers mouth and nose when she’s up there. Aloft.

She steps into the loaded sleigh, the reindeer snort and stamp,
She smiles and says, “My children, it is time that we decamp!”
“And be more careful this year as we streak ‘cross swamp and heath,
I’d like to try this time to keep the bugs out of my teeth!”

And with a cry of “Wagons, ho!”, she, sleigh and deer are gone,
Leaving Santa and the elves at home to carry on,
And as they clean. And plan for all the next year’s girls and boys,
Mrs. Santa does the work:  delivering the toys.

You have to know she sets speed records everywhere she goes,
They’re still unsure just what flew through in Rome 10 years ago,
Those Salt Flats guys have not recovered—likely never will,
From the blur that passed them both like they were standing still.

And she and all the reindeer have a huge sleighload of fun.
Deliveries in record time. This woman gets ‘er done!
And as she very nimbly hops out of the sleigh. And in,
She’s never lost for laughs. Or found without her happy grin.

And with the rising of the sun, she’s back. She parks the sleigh,
Then checks it to be sure it’s safe to drive another day.
She gives each deer a great big hug and praises all of them,
And tells them, each and everyone, they are her brightest gems.

Then hurries in to Santa and the breakfast he’s prepared,
Expresses hope that what was troubling him has been repaired,
Then with a sparkle in her eye, she tells him of her night,
And all the records she has broken during this year’s flight!

Then Santa simply shakes his head and serves her scones and cream,
And teases her that her new name will be Madam Jet Stream,
And when she’s full. And drowsy from her chase up through the clouds,
He tucks her in and kisses her and tells her he is proud.

So on this Christmas Eve as you anticipate the morn,
Waiting for sleighbells to tell you someone is airborne,
It may not be old Santa who is pulling on the reins...
It might be Mrs. Santa, setting records once again!

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!

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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

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Deborah. Fugitive of Faith

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael

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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!

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

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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

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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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The Babysitter
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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!

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Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?