Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Friday, July 7, 2023

21,667 Days Later

Denver made good.
Maybe I should explain…
This first part, most of you have heard before. But I’ll recap…
When I was 10, the big thing was the Superball.
Everyone wanted one.
I wanted one more than I wanted my first ‘big’ horse.
And you have to know I wanted that horse a lot!
But for some reason, I just never got one.
The Superball, that is.
Though I did pester.
I did.
Then, without warning, the stars suddenly aligned.
We were on our way to the National Western Livestock Show in Denver, Colorado to…you know…show cattle.
We had stopped briefly—truck, trailer and all—to pick up something at a local mall.
And when Daddy came out he was carrying (I am not making this up) a SUPERBALL!!!
For me!
Forgive me while I remember briefly how I felt: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
I unwrapped it in truly record time and held my holy grail carefully while we drove the last few miles to the fair grounds.
Then, still clutching it tightly, I walked into the vast caverns that were the show barns.
Picture it: Rows upon rows of short walls with cattle tied and bedded down on each side.
Here’s a picture so you can really grasp it...
I stood there in the center of the first alley and looked way, way up to the distant ceiling.
This was the place where I could really get some height for my new little wonder.
I raised my hand, grinning at the thought of just how far this little miracle would go…
Then threw it down with everything I had.
It did go far.
It bounced off the cement floor and I think it very nearly touched that aforementioned distant ceiling.
Then it came down.
And this is where I should probably mention a thing called: forethought.
Erm…I didn’t have any.
That ball came down.
And landed in one of those vast piles of straw.
In that equally vast building.
In order to shorten this already overlong story (too late), I’ll mention, here, that I never did find it.
Though I did invade numerous ranchers’ spaces to search.
Tears were shed.
And life went on…
Recently, Husby and I were on a sailing in the Mediterranean.
It was perfect.
Perfect weather. Perfect food. Perfect sights.
Perfect new friends.
Two of them, Steve and Carol were from (this probably won’t come as a surprise) Denver!
I told them my woeful little Superball story and they shed figurative tears of sympathy.
Then the conversation shifted to other topics.
But they hadn’t forgotten.
A day or so later, they came back from exploring the Greek Countryside and accompanying town wearing big grins and handed me…wait for it…a SUPERBALL!!!
59 years, 3 months and 26 days OR 711 months, 26 days OR 21,667 days (give a day or two) after I lost my first one.
Denver made good.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Nearly Scammed

From my Husby!

Okay, it’s not true. I just thought it was funny . . .

A deep thinker, this man . . .
Subject: Scam warning! Home Depot
A 'heads up' for those men who may be regular Home Depot customers. This one caught me by surprise.
Over the last month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping. Simply going out to get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic. Don't be naive enough to think it couldn't happen to you or your friends.
Here's how the scam works: Two seriously good-looking 20-21 year-old girls come over to your car as you are packing your shopping into the trunk. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts. It is impossible not to look. When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say 'No' and instead ask you for a ride to McDonalds. You agree and they get in the backseat. On the way, one of them climbs over into the front seat and starts hugging and kissing you, while the other one steals your wallet.
I had my wallet stolen May 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, & 24th, 29th. Also June 1st, 4th, twice on the 8th, three times last Saturday and very likely again this upcoming weekend.
So tell your friends to be careful.
P.S. Walmart has wallets on sale $2.99 each.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Bridge. Mixed

Portion of a painting by George Hughes . . .
 My parents were having a Bridge party.
Something that was very popular in the Sixties.
The house had been cleaned, top to bottom until everything sparkled like a new penny.
I should mention here that I’ve always wondered why, when company was coming over, my Mom felt it necessary to clean absolutely every surface in our home.
Was she really expecting her guests to go wandering into the storage rooms or laundry room?
Were they actually going to notice the fingerprints on the downstairs bedroom wall?
But, already, I digress . . .
Several card tables had been set up in the front room.
Each with four chairs.
A deck of cards.
Pad of paper.
And the all-important, easily snitched from, dish of treats.
Usually mixed nuts.
Or (cue exciting music . . .) bridge mix.
Have you ever eaten bridge mix?
The chocolate-coated voyage to tasty yummy-ness?
It’s an adventure in itself.
There are mint, orange, and Irish crème flavored pieces coated in dark chocolate; peanuts, raisins, caramels, and Turkish delight in milk chocolate.
The adventure comes in finding one that you like.
Because some of them can fool you . . .
My favourites? The orange, Irish crème, peanuts and caramels.
The others? Ick.
At first, the only way to tell was by size and shape, but that can be deceiving. The raisins, for example, can fool you into thinking they’re peanuts.
Taste was the next option.
But Mom and Dad protested, sometimes violently, when they discovered treats with little nibbles taken out of the sides.
Then returned to the dish.
I know. Parents are weird.
But there was no way I was ever going to chance my taste buds coming into contact with something as icky as Turkish delight.
Or mint.
Raisins and I also have a history. (Seehere)
Finally, I came up with a solution.
If you squeezed the candies gently, they cracked just enough for you to get a glimpse of their soft centre.
If the colour denoted icky-ness, you could, by squeezing in the opposite direction, return them to their original shape.
Caution: May contain icky pieces
We won’t go into the fact that we kids weren’t even supposed to be in the front room.
Let alone snitching from the candy dishes.
Moving on . . .
I don’t know if people still have bridge parties. 
Judging by the cries of excitement or dismay that emanated from the room, they were an immense source of fun and dismay in equal parts. 
Myself, I never learned to play the game.
But I do remember the treats.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Medieval-ly Yours

First things first: Happy Independence Day to all my American Brothers and Sisters!
I hope you have a wonderful day full of celebration.
And I hope the weather gods smile upon you!

Our own national celebration was a few days ago.
July 1.
Canada Day.
For years, our family celebrated with a grand Medieval Feast.
The one in which everyone dresses up...erm...medieval-ly, and then has a great feast wherein everyone gets a bread trencher (that serves as both plate and sop), a bowl of gravy (for something to sop), and a knife.
And also plays really old games--some with a new twist.
Covid put the brakes on it.
But this year, we broke out and decided to have a go.
The weather was 'iffy', but we had a few minutes outside to joust and ax-throw.
It was just SO FUN to be doing this again!
This was the result...

Everyone having a marvelous time! (erm...)

Your utensils, Milady. (Okay, yes, I cheated this year.
In years past I made the trenchers. This year, we got pitas...
Bread is bread. Right?)

This is a photo of feasts past.
The weather didn't cooperate this year!

Another shot of everyone!
Note the two little dragons...
(Please excuse the lack of focus. Medieval cameras can be so capricious!)

Yes, there are two grandchildren in that 'horse'.

The dragons were the first to give out.

Despite the rain and the fact that not everyone could come, we had a grand time.
This Grandma was very happy!
Stay tuned for bigger and better next year!

Monday, July 3, 2023


My mirror told me that I had an entertainment ‘glow’,
Then it clarified: I have a face for radio!

A mirror will never lie. Let’s face it, it would be uncouth,
But, trust me, it can be selective how it tells the truth!

I think my mirror needs glasses, ‘cause it fills me with distress
To see myself there looking like a big ol’ blurry mess!

“Wanna see something scary?” said my mirror (once) to me,
Showed a reflection of my bank account. More scary cannot be!

My mirror advised more makeup on my face. Said, ‘Just because’,
I said to stop reflecting back so many of my flaws!

I really love my mirror, cause without it I’d not see,
Reflections of the happy girl I really want to be!

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, there's no muss or fuss...
When Teddy Bears, we will discuss!

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!)...

Mirrors (July 3) Today!
Teddy Bears (July 10)
Emojis (July 17)
Cousins (July 24)
Avocados (July 31)
Moonshine (August 7)
Roses (August 14)
Sea Monsters (August 21)
At the Beauty Parlour/Parlor (August 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!

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Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?