Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Friday, March 22, 2024

A Pie-Filled Fly

It's time now to be a Fly on the Wall and get another glimpse into life at the Tolley house.
It's been quite a month!
Gramma and Grampa are home (from their recent holiday to places warm and rainy) and ready to FAMILY!
While the elders played cards...

The youngers ate ice cream and teased their cool uncle.

But the best part was Pi Night. Where we get to make pies and invite our friends and just enjoy each other's company.
The Tolleys wait for this all year!
2024 was year 12 of this celebration.
And here is a little peek!

This year's crew. We made 84 pies! Apple, Cherry, Blueberry, Strawberry/Rhubarb, Peach, Pumpkin, Coconut Cream, Lemon, Chocolate Cream, Banana Cream and Butterscotch.

Quite a sight!

Then the people started arriving!

And arriving...

And arriving...

The pies began to disappear.

A little creativity can get you a lot of pie!

Still eating.

Our new pie-eating champ. 11 pieces. (Exactly the amount she is holding!)
(Let's face it...only the young join in on this challenge!)
The title was formerly held by a young man whose record of 10.5 pieces stood for five years.

The clean up. 
And all that's left of 84 pies.
Gramma and Grampa are heading to bed.

See you next year?

P.S. As a little added bonus, my baby sister and her husband surprised us by secretly flying in from Nova Scotia! Best. Surprise. Ever!!!

Fly on the Wall is a challenge. We participants take the opportunity to give our friends a glimpse into what we were up to this month. 
We're so glad you could join us!
Now go and see what my friends have been doing this month.
I guarantee you'll love it!

Friday, February 16, 2024

A Sprat Chat

I admit it. I’m on a bit of a ‘Jack’ kick right now… 

Jack Spratt could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean.
And so Betwixt the two of them,
They licked the platter clean.

Isn’t that a great story? These two have been served a meal and each likes a different part and they are so much in agreement that they can divide things up and each be totally satisfied.
This, of course, is a nursery rhyme, quite likely without much basis in reality.
And right off, suggests several things to me…
  Jack and his wife get along well. I mean, how agreeable is your spouse to sharing your meal?
No “Wait! You got all of the peas! Why do you get more peas than me?” or “What? You know I love mashed potatoes and I’m quite sure that wasn’t half!” or the ultimate “Hey! I was saving that as my last perfect bite and you took it!”
Not that that has ever happened to us…
They are also pretty well-matched. How many couples do you know who could divide an entrée completely into two and everyone is happy with what they get?
And, I just want to put this out there, but if someone is sharing a steak with me, no way is he going to get all the meat and leave me all the trimmings.
For one thing, ick.
And for another…no… 'ick’ pretty much is what I am staying with.
So, as a lesson in spousal confluence, this is a great example.
As a lesson in nutrition, not so much.
One final thought. If they have a dog, that poor guy is pretty much stuck with what comes out of the Alpo bag.
Because leftovers are going to be non-existent.
Just saying…

This post is part of the monthly Fly-on-the-Wall challenge. 
Our noble leader, Karen of Baking in a Tornado, challenges each of us participants to offer a glimpse into our private lives.
With mixed results this month.
I mean, everyone else has been doing things.
I've been lying on a beach in Hawaii, moving only enough so people don't poke me to see if I'm alive.
But I did want to write and share something.
I came up with...good ol' Jack.
I'm loving this!
Go now and read what the other participants have contributed. 
You'll be glad you did!

Menopausal Mother

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Jumping Jack

Disclaimer: Okay, right off, I want to say that I do not condone the actions of said ‘Jack’ in what follows. In point of fact, I think…
Well, maybe I should start at the beginning…

Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick,
Jack jump over the candlestick

You’ve heard it before, I’m quite sure. This little ditty about a mysterious someone named ‘Jack’ who spends his time airborne over candlesticks.
Now I don’t know about you, but for me, a candlestick is generally used as a source of light. And less commonly, heat.
But never as some sort of athletic measuring stick.
That just makes me uncomfortable.
I mean, what happens if Jack is feeling a little less ‘nimble’ on a given day and thus ‘slower’ in his reaction times?
Would it then follow that we might see:

Jack not nimble
Jack not quick
Jack scooting over yonder hill in a frantic search for a water source.

You’re right. It doesn’t rhyme.
Now just where and/or when did this really strange activity begin?
Are we to believe that one day, out of the blue, some kid named Jack just decided to leap over some random candlestick?
Okay, yes, I know that a group of kids hanging out together are often the architects of ‘mischief’. And maybe someone suggested the art of flame leap-age as a possible reprieve from boredom.
Maybe they even suggested that everyone give it a try, and he who neither lights his britches nor snuffs the candle wins good luck and a long life.
Let’s face it, if one does light one’s britches on fire, long life isn’t going to be a problem.

Kids be nimble
Kids be quick
Kids better find something constructive to do or Mama going to warm kids’ britches--without a candlestick.

Hmmmm. I’m having trouble with this.
Actually, I’ve heard of bridegrooms attempting similar feats—the leaping, not the lighting—in an effort to ensure a long and happy marriage.
But you know me. I prefer things like: affection, conversation and good humour to blah…blah…blah…marriage.
But that’s just me…
So…back to Jack. And his candlestick.
I think the whole exercise is just silly, silly, silly.
Waste of time, energy and resources.
I think it would be better said like this:

Jack be nimble
Jack be quick
Jack leave the candlestick on the table and get Jack’s chores done.

The end.
P.S. Now I’ve heard of hiding your light under a bushel, but never under a derriere.
I just wanted to put that out there.

Monday, January 1, 2024

The Future

For fourteen years, I’ve had such fun,
Telling tales of life: homespun,
I’d talk of growing up and stuff,
Of doings planned, or ‘off the cuff’,
Of mischief made and laughter wrought,
Some lessons learned, successes sought,
A little fact with fiction mixed,
With lots to entertain betwixt,
I love to write, you know I do,
But now’s the time to say, “Adieu.”
New challenges for me to face,
(I pray I’ll do all this with grace!)
What I’ll miss most is all of you,
Will I be back? I’ve not a clue…
But know as I walk these new trails,
And try to keep on telling tales,
That in my thoughts, you all will be,
I’ll hold your mem’ry close to me…
The future beckons. It’s so bright,
(Soon everything will be just right,)
So know as now my blog I close,
I’ll still be writing poems and prose.
I dedicate it all to you,
And leave my love and prayers, too!

My good friends, Charlotte and Mimi,
Will ‘Poem’ on, but without me,
Cause that’s what Monday is about,
I can’t conceive a week without!

Photo Credit: Karen of
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?

This post today will be my last,
The Future surely got here fast!
But two of us will carry on
I pass, to them, the 'poem' baton!

Thinking of joining up for Poetry Monday?
Charlotte and Mimi would love to welcome you!
The Future (January 1. My last Poetry Monday) Today!

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

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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

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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?