Darlene Foster's Blog

It´s now day 5 of the Five Day Challenge. This is how it works: Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.

This is my picture for day 5

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Family Picture 1909

This is one of my favourite family pictures. As you can see it is very old. It is of my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother, Henry and Katherina Hoffman, my great Uncle Gust and Great Aunts, Tillie and Lindina. Great Grandmother is expecting  my grandmother in this picture. The family had just arrived in Canada from South Russia. As Germans living in South Russia, they could no longer stay due to the political climate at the time. After crossing the Atlantic in a cattle ship, they were about to travel by train across Canada to their homestead in southern Alberta. The journey was delayed by a stop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where my grandmother, Lydia, was born. Once settled on the prairies, Great Grandmother gave birth to nine more children. I remember her as a strong, hardworking woman who always put family first.

This will be my last blog for a couple of weeks as I am travelling to Canada soon to attend a Hoffman family reunion in southern Alberta where the many descendants of these hardy, brave individuals will celebrate with food and stories, and carry on the tradition of family get-togethers. I expect to see well over one hundred relatives. We are all forever grateful that these incredible people made the decision to immigrate to Canada when they did.

Now I would like to nominate Marylin at Things I want to Tell my Mother Marylin writes wonderful stories about her mother, before the onset of Alzheimer´s, in a compassionate and often humorous style. You will enjoy her blog.

Thank you so much for following these posts.

Here is my picture for Day 4 of the 5 day challenge.

About The Five Day Challenge: Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.


The Four Bears

The four bears, Elvis, Ted, Tootsie and Spot, lived on a farm with a little girl who loved them very much. She played with them everyday and made up adventure stories for them. The little girl grew up, as little girls do, and moved to the city. She put them in a box and seldom took them out or told them stories. She had children of her own who had their own special teddy bears. She moved to a bigger city and then to an even bigger city by the ocean. The box with the four bears always went with her. But the box was never opened and the bears had not seen the light of day for many, many years. Then one day, the girl, who was now a grandmother, was cleaning out a storage locker when she opened a dusty old box. “My teddies!” she shouted. She hugged each one, cleaned them up and aired them out. “You are coming with me,” she said. They didn´t argue. They always went with her. Elvis, Ted, Tootsie and Spot were put back in a box and travelled across the ocean. A few months later, when the box was opened, they were greeted with brilliant sunshine and heard a familiar voice say, “Welcome to Spain!”

Now I would like to nominate Nancy over at Living the Seasons. A visit to her site is a must. She is an excellent photographer, her posts are great to look at and enjoyable to read. She has a wonderful sense of humour and every now and then lets the beagle write a post!

Here is my picture for Day 3 of the 5 day challenge.

The Five Day Challenge is: Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.


 Darlene in the Desert

This is a picture of me in the desert of the United Arab Emirates. I visited a friend, a few years ago, who was working there at the time. I had such an amazing experience. When I returned home, I knew I had to write about it.  Six months later, I started a story about a twelve year old girl who travels to the UAE and has an adventure. This story eventually became Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask, my first published novel. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In my case it turned out to be fifteen thousand words. Like me, Amanda has done more travelling since.

Now I would like to nominate Fatima Saysell at Welcome to My World  to do the 5 day challenge. Fatima was born and raised in Spain, lives in England and travels to France for holidays whenever she can. Hop on over to her blog where she shares great pictures and writes about her wonderful camping trips to France.

I am having fun with this challenge, hope you are enjoying the short daily posts.

Here is my picture for Day 2 of the 5 day challenge. The Five Day Challenge is: Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge. 70800009

Six Generations

This special picture represents six generations of my family. The baby on this picture turned 8 yesterday. Back row, left to right: my son, me, my mom; front row, my granddaughter with my great granddaughter on her lap and my great aunt Barbara (my maternal grandmother´s sister). We lost Great Aunt Barbara a year ago at age 95, but we still have two of my maternal grandfather´s siblings. We are incredibly blessed to have 6 generations in our family to share customs and stories. It is a wonderful feeling of family connectedness. My mom, for instance, has a close relationship with her great, great granddaughters. Life is good!

Now I would like to nominate Lorna at Lorna´s Tearoom Delights for the 5 day challenge. You must visit her blogsite where she travels around picturesque rural Scotland looking for the perfect scone and shares mouth watering pictures with her readers. Beware, you may get hungry or wish to book a trip to Scotland!

We have a winner of my bi-lingual book Pig on Trial/Cerdito a juicio. Congratulations Tess from How the Cookie Crumbles   Tess is a great supporter of other authors and does some amazing writing herself. You should see what she can do with only 100 words! Check out her blog site, you will not be disappointed. Tess, your book will be in the mail soon.

I have been nominated for a 5 day challenge by a blogging friend, Judith from I choose how I will spend the rest of my life.  Check out Judith´s blog to learn about her interesting life down under where she is growing younger each day. Thank´s Judith for the nomination

The Five Day Challenge is: Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.

Here is my first photo.

EPSON scanner image

My best year in school was grade three. That was the year I had Miss Roll as my teacher. She was wonderful and made a huge difference in my life. She made learning fun. I wrote about her before here:  https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/a-special-teacher/

At the end of the year she took a picture of the class. Behind us is the mural we painted as a group on a huge piece of brown paper. One lucky classmate got to hold the class pet, a budgie named Chico, in his cage . (Chico is Spanish for boy; we learned about Mexico that year.) As young women, we were taught to stand tall with ankles together and hands clasped in front of us for pictures. I took picture taking seriously and did what I was told.

If you are wondering which one I am, take note of the pedal pushers and matching sweater. I still dress like that. Some things never change!

I would like to nominate Marian from Plain and Fancy You will love her blog. Among other things, she shares awesome pictures and stories of growing up in a Mennonite family from Pennsylvania.

Have fun with this Marian!



Inspired by a post about a garden sculpture on Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life , I thought I would share a story about my special garden statue, St Francis of Assisi.

The first time I visited Spain, eleven years ago, I fell in love with the beautiful gardens. The colourful flowers surrounded by ceramics and sculptures, including those of St. Francis, warmed my heart. I was tempted to bring a statue home with me. Of course it was not practical to purchase a large figure and drag it back to Vancouver, Canada.

You can imagine my delight on my next birthday, when my dear husband surprised me with my very own St. Francis. The sculpture lived in our garden for over ten years surrounded by various plants and pets. He is known as the patron saint of animals and the environment and I always felt he blessed my garden. It made me very happy to be able to see him from my living room.


Hidden behind the California lilac

Hidden behind the California lilac


Last year we decided to move to Spain. Packing up a large heavy figure and moving it to Spain (where they are in abundance,) was not practical. So I rolled him up in a blanket, packed him in my car and took him to my daughter´s island, where I knew she would find a good home for him. She recently sent me a picture of my St. Francis on her property. He looks very much at home, don´t you think?  I believe he is blessing her environment and animals.


Considering my daughter is a potter, I thought this quote by St. Francis very appropriate.

St. Francis

Someday, many years from now, someone may come upon St. Francis in the forest, on a small gulf island, and wonder how he got there. Perhaps it will become a legend in a hundred years or more.

To read the wonderful story that inspired me to write about my garden sculpture click here:


Do you have anything special in your garden?

If you haven´t commented on my previous post, Pig on Trial, you have until Friday June 12, when I will make a draw for a free copy of my bi-lingual book.

These past six months have been quite crazy. Moving to another country is not for the faint of heart. There is so much to learn. Since travelling around for the first month, we have lived in three different places. It feels good to be in a more permanent place now. It goes without saying that my writing has taken a back seat. I´ve been working on the fifth book in the Amanda series, but it has been slow going.

However, I was fortunate to be introduced to Pablo Solares Acebal, from Ediciones Camelot, by Mary Barr, a fellow writer from Canada.  Pablo agreed to translate and publish my story, Pig on Trial, as a bi-lingual book called Cerdito a juicio. I am very pleased with the final result.


The book is written in English on one page and Spanish on the opposite page.


The Blurb:

What is Sebastian to do? The family pig, Frederick, is on trial and Sebastian can’t seem to do anything to save him from this injustice. He is, after all, only a child. Children and adults can read this exciting medieval tale in both English and Spanish. A great way for individuals to learn English or Spanish by reading the story in both languages, at the same time.

Don´t you just love the cover!


It is now available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Cerdito-juicio-Spanish-Edition-Darlene/dp/8494369008

Please check it out.

I´m currently offering a give-away to one of my blog readers. All you need to do is make a comment and on June 12 I will pick one commenter of this blog post to receive a free copy of Cerdito a juicio.

So I haven´t been totally idle, lazing away in the sun as you thought. (well maybe a little)


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Pig on Trial

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