Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Shaved Off

Changes. Some are good . . .
This was a bit more than a little girl’s mind could take in.
Let me tell you about it . . .
Every Christmas season, Husby and I spend our time among families and other assorted celebrants at their festivities, dressed as Santa and his Mrs.
It is a happy, joyous occupation as we have often stated (and restated).
But it necessitates the growing of a beard.
His. Not mine.
And the keeping of said beard year round.
This year, Santa-in-the-off-season decided he would shave.
To the skin.
Yeah, I was surprised, too.
He did so. And presented a bare face many of us have not seen for years.
Oh, we knew it was in there behind the tangle of whiskers. We just hadn’t seen it.
The day after the significant wielding of the razor, we met our family for food, fun and games in the cultural hall of our chapel.
Santa-in-the-off-season, or Grampa, as he is known was running and playing British Bulldog with numerous grandchildren.
He stopped.
And realized that one small person was standing beside him, looking up.
He looked down.
Into some serious—and rather confused—dark brown eyes. 
“What’s that matter, Leah?” he asked.
I should probably reiterate here: that beard has been on Grampa’s face for longer than that little girl has been around.
Four-year-old Leah blinked. “What happened to your face, Grampa?”
“I shaved off my beard, Leah.”
“Oh.” She turned that over in her mind. Then, “Can you shave it back on?”
Change. It’s all about us.
Sometimes good.
But most times unwanted. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Puffed and Perfect

How do you spell 'delicious'?
There was a bright spot to every school day.
And no, it wasn’t that magical moment each morning when we first stepped into the hallowed halls of learning and knowledge.
No, it was that moment, when the whole thing was safely in the past.
The long bus ride to school.
The sweat and toil.
The long bus ride home.
That moment.
When Mom would usher us into the house and the smell of warm deliciousness would sweep over us like a welcome blanket.
Snack time.
The wonderful reward for having made it through yet another school day.
And mom made it special. Homemade snacks like pudding, cake or pie.
Hot chocolate.
Sometimes the extra-special spudnuts.
Fresh, warm bread with melty butter.
It made all of the pain and drudgery worth every drop of effort.
Then, as we grew older, Mom stepped back a bit and let us create our own snacks.
In the process, something was lost. But something else was definitely gained.
Our snacking of preference grew and changed as our skills did.
At first, my brother, George, would simply spread cheese on crackers and create a giant stack.
Which was then happily consumed, layer by layer.
I would toast bread – just barely – and spread it with peanut butter.
Peanut butter is better all soft and melted.
Just FYI.
Then Mom got a new invention, a Teflon frying pan and I discovered the magical world of omelets.
With lots of melty cheese.
Then George was introduced to tapioca pudding.
Made from scratch and eaten while still warm.
And sometimes shared with his sister.
Until she was shown the amazing chocolate wonderfulness of puffed-wheat squares.
I should explain here that the puffed-wheat is simply a medium to get the chocolate syrup to your mouth.
And it does it well.
Did you know that a hungry teenager can eat an entire pan of puffed wheat squares and still have room for supper?
It’s true. And I proved it on many an occasion.
Moving forward many, many years.
Yesterday, I dug out my tattered old recipe for puffed-wheat squares.
It was stained.
And worn.
But still readable.
I mixed and cooked.
Added, pressed down and cooled.
Then, with my daughter and granddaughter, sliced and consumed.
And, just for an instant, relived the best part of growing up.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Not Quite Right

 Way past excited, that was me,

I’d made a great discovery,

‘Twas there, just waiting to be ‘took’,

And all I had to do was look…


Our family was at the fair,

Mom bought me cotton candy there,

Delicious? Well this stuff just might,

Be our Miss Diane’s Kryptonite.


The only problem there for me,

Was waiting a whole year to see,

That treasured booth with sugared treat,

Expressly for Diane to eat.


But one day, I was crawling round

Beneath my bed. And there, I found,

Some cotton candy! Yes, I swear,

And better yet, just lying there!


I grabbed it up, you know I did,

And in my dresser drawer, I hid,

Just waiting for my playmates to

Find some other things to do.


They could not have my treasure, no,

‘Twas far to special. (Yes, it’s so!)

But once my playmates went elsewhere,

Then I wouldn’t have to share!


When they had gone, with eager haste,

I dug it out and took a taste,

But something simply wasn’t right,

A gritty, awful, dreadful bite!


I took it to my mom. Complained,

She turned all red, looked rather pained,

And got the vacuum, thrashed about,

Sucked all my cotton candy out.


Well, you can guess just what it was,

That gave my tastebuds dreadful pause,

Dust bunnies simply are not great,

Better if for the fair you wait.


Though desired and delish,

That cotton candy that you wish,

Your tastebuds will wish they were dead…

So never seek it ‘neath your bed!

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?

Those stuffies we all think are sweet?
We will talk of them next week!

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!)...
Treasure (January 2) Today!
Stuffed animals (January 9)
Get lost (January 16)
Clocks (January 23)
Time (January 30)


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Available from

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Sunshine Award!!!

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My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

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