Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Friday, January 27, 2023

Going Away

Gramma comes and gramma stays. Then Gramma goes away.

But while she’s there, her little ones enjoy their time in play,

But Gramma lives a long ways off, by jet she must arrive,

The trip would take her days to do if ever she did drive!

So at the airport, filled with glee, her family appears,

Collects their Gramma and her gear—least once or twice a year,

Then days are filled with food and fun and games and reading, too,

How those kids wish she could stay. A month, or maybe two,

But soon the days have passed and then, it’s time to take her back,

And leave her at the airport with her suitcase and her pack,

They love it when she comes, but not when she must go away,

And so much time must pass before another ‘rrival day,

One day when they were driving to the airport once again,

To leave their gramma there to wend her way home on the plane,

The youngest child betrayed that, though she knew the where’s and why’s,

She’d missed a little something in the ‘how’ when Gramma flies,

Gramma talked about her car—a problem she had there. 

The child looked surprised, and turned and gave her ‘Gran’ a stare,

Said, “Gran, you have a car? I didn’t know that, not at all!

Why don’t you ever drive it when you make your Gramma calls?”

Mama said, “Why do you think we’re at the airport, Hon…

Collecting Gram when she arrives to join her loving ones?”

The little girl just raised her brows as high as they could get,

“I didn’t know she had a car, I thought she drove a jet!”


Each month, Karen of Baking in a Tornado issues a challenge: Write a Poem on a Theme!

We all contribute topics.

And the result is our Monthly Poetry Challenge.

This month’s theme? Go Away

Thirsty for more fun?

Baking In A Tornado

Messymimi’s Meanderings

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Moving Out

A room of her own...
Our youngest daughter and her family lived with us.
They had been saving for a house and it seemed a logical--and rather elegant--solution.
We had enjoyed those days together, probably more so because we knew they wouldn’t last forever.
But the house-hunting had started.
Now you have to realize that Youngest Daughter (hereinafter known as Mama) had been with us since her first marriage crumbled. Her little girl (LG) was just past a year old When things fell apart and Mama needed the support as she went back to work.
Grandma got to spend her days with LG and routines continued unabated. (Ooh. Good word.)
But now, with a wonderful new husband and a desire to ‘add to their family’ (whatever that means…) they were getting serious about finding a place of their own.
There were certain things they wanted in their new home. A garage was important so Mama could continue with her theatre carpentry at her own home.
Things like a kitchen, living room, basement are a given.
And bedrooms.
And this is where other members of their family made their wishes known.
LG had some particular demands. For one, she wanted the master bedroom to be big enough that her little bed could be parked beside her mother’s. None of this ‘separate rooms’ nonsense.
Also, there must be a room for Grandma.
Soooo . . . at least two bedrooms.
Now we know what a real estate agent goes through.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Catching Colt

Have you ever heard the term 'catch colt'?
I'm sure you can figure out that it has something to do with horses.
And you'd be right.
Allow me to explain. And to do so, I'll have to tell you a story.
But first a little lesson in land surveying . . .
On the Stringam ranch, at its heyday, there was a lot of land.
A. Lot. Of. Land.
Two and a half townships.
Pastures were measured off in 640 acre sections.
36 sections were grouped into a township.
The ranch covered two and a half of those.
Not the largest ranch in Southern Alberta, but up there somewhere.
You've probably heard the term 'wide open spaces'?
That would apply here.
An animal let loose in one of those pastures had a lot of ground to cover.
And an endless selection of things to get into. Good. Or more frequently, bad.
It wasn't unusual for a cowboy out checking the terrain to come across animals in dire need of assistance. Animals that had been attacked by cougars or wolves. Cut by barbed wire. Foundered in a mud pit. Even lamed by an altercation with something as innocuous as a gopher hole.
In fact, with all the room out there for anything to happen, it's a wonder more 'anythings' didn't.
Also. When animals are out on the range, hijinks occur.
And that leads nicely into my story . . . the Catch Colt.
Our little herd of working mares and geldings (male horses with their 'male' bits removed) had been turned out to pasture.
They lost no time in heading for the nearest far-away place.
And you know just how far-away that could be. (See above.)
A few days later, those same horses were brought back into the ranch for their next work shift.
They came in as they went out.
No more. No less.
Or so we thought.
In fact for several months, we so thought.
Then one of the mares began to show signs of grass-belly.
I mean that girl could eat.
Ten months later, she surprised us by proving her belly wasn't full of grass.
Okay, I'm pretty sure that my dad, he of the veterinarian doctorate, figured it out long before I did.
But for me, it was a grand surprise to see, next to our newly-lean mare, a fine little roan filly.
A little girl whose parentage was very much in question. We didn't own a stallion. (Male horse with 'male' bits intact.) None of our neighbours owned a stallion.
No wandering stallion had been reported in the district.
Where did this little girl come from?
Her attentive mother hid her secrets behind quiet dark eyes and a far-away look.
I think it went something like this: Tall, dark stranger wanders into the campsite. Wows the ladies with stories of far-away lands and grand exploits. Invites the quiet one out for a stroll and enticing dip in the cool waters of the Milk River.
And . . .
Now you know where 'catch colts' come from.
You're welcome.

Monday, January 23, 2023


Clocks are such amazing things,

Made of sprockets, gears and rings,

All put together with finesse,

A skill I missed, I do confess.

Someone I know possessed the flair,

Made working clocks of naught but air!

Yes, I exaggerate, it’s true,

But still he had the talent to

Take wood and gears and faces, hands,

The clocks he made for us were grand!  

He didn’t start that way, oh, no,

On a ranch he dared to grow,

Became a rancher well esteemed,

Lived the life that many dream,

Bossing cowboys, cows and mounts,

And did it well, by all accounts,

But as he aged, his holdings shrank,

A one-bed walk-up, small, but swank,

And nestled in the basement there,

A shop for ‘making’ or repair,

And there he learned to hone his craft,

With wood and saw and gear and shaft,

And works of art he mass-produced,

They gave his self-esteem a boost,

And proudly shared with one and all,

His handsome clocks, both large and small…

He’s gone now, on the other side,

His clocks have spread both far and wide,

Remembered for so many things,

Husband, father, neighbour, king,

Rancher, businessman, and wise,

With friendly smile and knowing eyes,

Though known for much, all good, not bad…

When I see CLOCKS, I think of Dad!

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, a similar refrain,
Our topic will be 'Time' again!

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!)...
Clocks (January 23) Today!
Time (January 30)
Frozen Yogurt (February 6)
Random Acts of Kindness (February 13)
Be Humble (February 20)
Pineapple (February 27)
Cookies (March 6)
Butterflies (March 13)
Buzzards (March 20)
Celebrating Earth Day(March 27)

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!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?