Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Friday, August 25, 2023


A politician standing there outside the pearly gates,
Listened to St. Peter as the man discussed his fate,
“Now you can come right in,” he said, “But better you should see
The way that they do things in Hell. Informed, then, you will be!” 

So ‘Gerrold’, as we’ll call him shrugged and told the man, “Okay.
I really didn’t have another thing planned for today.”
The next he knew, was waking up in a five-star hotel room,
With Satan standing by his bed, with jokes and naught of doom. 

He offered Gerrold drinks from his convenient mini bar
Then took him to the window. What he saw there was bizarre,
For all his friends were teeing off in a golf course for the pros,
“You like golf?” Satan asked him. “Well, Son, we’ve got ten of those!”

“There’s everything that you could want to make forever sweet,
And all you have to do is say you’ll stay to play and eat!
Well Gerrold spent that day enjoying all they offered him,
Including time spent with his wife, once more so young and trim.

Then finally, once more he stood outside the pearly gates,
With St. Peter once more asking what he wanted for his fate,
Well, Gerrold shrugged and told him, ”Hell. You know it was a lark!”
St. Peter said, “I figured so.” Then snapped. And all went dark.

Gerrold frowned and peered around, but not much could he see,
The air, it smelled of cinders and the light, dim as could be,
As his eyes adjusted, there stood Satan by his side,
“What’s going on? This isn’t right, old buddy!” Gerrold cried. 

“Where’s the golf course? Where’s the food. And where’s my wife?” asked he,
“Before all this was beautiful. Just lovely as could be!
But now there’s grief around me everywhere, that I have noted!”

“Before we were campaigning, but dear Gerrold, now, you’ve voted!”

So know when making choices that you need to be aware,
Cause sometimes there are options that could catch you in a snare,
And things won’t be exactly what you think that you behold…
I guess you’ve learned by now that: All that Glitters is not GOLD!
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,
With GOLD this month, how did I do?

Please go and see the others, too!

Karen at Baking in a Tornado

Mimi at messymimismeanderings

Thursday, August 24, 2023

With Love

Mmmm . . . love.
We were invited out to dinner one night.
Our hostess served us Turkey a la King.
And fresh, warm muffins.
With a crisp spinach salad.
Everything was absolutely delicious.
Which is usually the case when someone else cooks.
But as I was eating my salad, I suddenly remembered the spinach of my youth . . .
My Mom was a terrific cook.
Really terrific.
I can't remember anything that she made that I didn't like.
From her breakfasts of pancakes or waffles or bacon and eggs, through to her suppers of roast beef or shepherd's pie or veggies with cheese sauce, and everything in between.
But Mom had been raised by her Mom to believe that everything . . . everything . . . needed to be well done.
Even veggies.
All had to be baked or fried or boiled to 'within and inch of their lives'.
Or at least until they had lost whatever colour they originally had.
It wasn't until I was married that I discovered the joy of 'medium rare' and 'tender crisp'.
And sometimes . . . raw.
I remember the first time someone served a mound of fresh, crisp cauliflower.
With dipping sauce.
I stared at it.
Cauliflower was suppose to be served steaming hot.
With cheese sauce.
I didn't even try it that time. Merely having seen it was sufficient for me.
Shortly afterwards, I did.
Try it, I mean.
I found it delicious.
And it opened a whole new world for me.
A world of colour and taste and texture that I never knew existed.
Back to the spinach.
Do you know how my Mom always served it?
Not steamed. Boiled.
I kid you not.
Then serve it as a glop on our plates.
With vinegar.
And you know something else?
We loved it.
Slurped it down like it was our last food on earth.
My point here is that I love food the way I prepare it now.
But I loved it equally as well when Mom fixed it.
I guess it all just comes down to how much love is served with it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Having Respect

The work is getting done. Guess who's in charge?
Husby is retired now.
As am I.
He had been at the same organization for over thirty years.
He knew the business inside and out.
Wrote most of its policies.
And conceived and implemented nearly every one of its processes.
Yep. Inside and out.
But in his organization, a new wave of up-and-comers were . . . up and coming.
They’d not changed any of the policies. Yet.
But they were beginning to tinker with the procedures.
Don’t get me wrong. That’s fine.
There are always new and improved ways to do things. I have no problem with that.
What I do have a problem with was the way they regarded my Husby.
Suddenly this man who has been a main cog in the great machine was being regarded as a bit rusty.
Out of date.
The fact that he had personally schooled and guided every single one of these young people meant nothing once they’d gotten their momentum.
And they’d definitely gotten their momentum.
Our story is not unique.
I see it happening all around me. Older people who were once at the forefront of their fields of expertise are being sidelined. Disregarded.
Those who, though they may have fallen a bit behind in the technological side, could still be viewed (and utilized) as a source of wisdom and knowledge.
And experience.
Husby and I were speaking of it one morning. The lack of . . . respect.
Is it something the new generation has not been taught?
All of this is my long-winded way of telling a story.
Which I’m ready to begin. Finally . . .
During its heyday, the Stringam ranch was a hub of activity and a great source of employment.
Cowhands came and went. Learned a little or a lot.
But left better than when they had ridden in.
And a large part of that was due to my Dad’s example.
He led, choosing to work with the men rather than give orders and watch from the sidelines. He counselled. Disciplined. Instructed. Corrected. Instructed again.
And the men respectfully listened.
Oh, there was the occasional man who didn’t like the discipline that the Stringam ranch demanded. But even they learned to show respect during their short stay.
Most of the men went on to lives of industry. Some to direct their own enterprises.
All spoke of my Dad with respect and affection.
One man came to my parents fresh out of high school and had then stayed a number of years under the tutelage of my Dad. In his quiet way, he soaked up everything he could learn.
Then he married and finally left to begin his own ranching enterprise.
The bond of friendship remained strong.
One day, he called my Dad at Dad’s room in the local senior’s lodge. The man, and his son who was now running their family ranch, had a difficulty and needed some advice.
Who did they turn to?
My dad was nearly ninety.
His days of directing the affairs of a large ranch, riding the range and commanding crews of hired men were long behind him.
But the respect for his knowledge and expertise and the genuine affection went on.
Daddy hung up the phone from that conversation and cried.
Is this respect being taught today?
Do we look at the elderly people around us (and they are growing in number) and see someone who is merely old? Redundant? Stupid?
Or do we see the person they were? A person full of life and new ideas. Contender and driving force and world changer of their generation. A person who could still be a fund of knowledge and experience.
A person upon whose shoulders the newest generation is standing.
I hope so.
If not, it’s a great waste.
And a pity.

P.S. About the picture. The guy in charge is the one kneeling on the ground, holding the calf.

Interested in reading and ‘liking’ my semi-finalist short story, Nighttime in Newsome?
Go ahead! It’s totally fun!

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Nighttime in Newsome

I have some exciting news!
A short story I wrote is a semi-finalist in a contest.
I would love for you to read and comment...
You can find it here:
Nighttime in Newsome is the story.
A little bit mysterious.
A little bit kooky.
A whole lot entertaining!
Thank you.
 I promise to love you forever!

Monday, August 21, 2023

Sea Snacks

Two heads popped up above the surf,
Two monsters of the sea, they were,
They recently had left their cave,
Were sailing west above the waves,
And looking for someone to scare,
Plus, maybe find some tasty fare.
A string of ships were sailing by,
A gleam sparked in one monster's eye,
And moving closer, took a sniff,
Then gobbled that ship in a jiff!
The second and the third one, too,
He did what monster's always do
And one by one, he ate them all...
His buddy'd watched this all befall,
Then tapped his friend upon his neck,
And loudly asked him, "What the heck?!
Potatoes are what those ships hold!
There's better stuff--or so I'm told."
His friend just raised his monster brow,
Said, "I don't mean to cause a row,
I know there's much more tasty fare,
In lots of ships tween here and there,
Potatoes Ships are snack-y fun,
And none of us can eat just one!

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 Karen, Charlotte, Mimi, 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'll be an exciting one,
At the ‘Beauty Parlor’ we'll have fun!

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!)...

Sea Monsters (August 21) Today!
At the Beauty Parlour/Parlor (August 28)
Newspapers (September 4)
Remembering (September 11)
Cheeseburgers (September 18)
Dreams (September 25)
Birthdays (October 2)
Family (October 9)
Dictionary (October 16)
Talk Shows (October 23)
Mischief (October 30)
Watermelon (November 6)
Grandma's Kitchen (November 13)
The Bus (November 20)
A Pet's Life (November 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!!!

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My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

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Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

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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?