children, writing

And then Grandma Sneezed!

A little Thanksgiving story for all of you! I’ll add illustrations a few at a time so keep coming back to read and giggle!

And Then Grandma Sneezed Written and Illustrated by Joleen Steel



Uncle Peter carried in the corn.

Aunt Sue made the mashed potatoes.

Cousin Ed cooked the squash.

Grandpa Joe carved the turkey.

Grandpa Carl spiraled  the ham.

Uncle John canned the cranberry sauce.

Auntie Kim baked the rolls.

Granny  Kate molded the jello.

Grandma Jean whipped up the  pumpkin pies.

Mom boiled the gravy.

Dad blessed  the food.


And then……..

Grandma Jean sneezed.

Ahchoo! Ahchoo!  Ahchoo!  AAAHHHHHHChooooooo!


Uncle Peter wore the corn.

Aunt Sue mashed the mashed potatoes.

Cousin Ed squished the squash.

Grandpa Joe tangled with  the turkey.

Grandpa Carl speared the ham.

Uncle John crashed on the cranberry sauce.

Auntie Kim rolled away with the rolls.

Granny Kate jiggled with the jello.

And  Grandma Jean….       Cleaned it all up.

children, writing

Cupcakes and Tea


Cupcakes & Tea

Everyone come to the willows.  Join me for cupcakes & tea. 

The table cloth will be neatly pressed and the silver will shine like a glittering sea.

Everyone come to the table and sit beside the stream. 

The flowers will be yellow and pink and the bowls full of sugar and cream. 

Everyone come to the party. Wear your hat and gloves. 

The cupcakes will be scrumptious and the sun will shine down from above. 

Everyone come and be welcome. Bring your dearest friends. 

The dishes will be darling and the tea pot steaming with flowery blends.

Everyone come to the meadow. We’ll dance upon the lawn. 

Our dresses will be fresh and clean and we’ll sing the merriest songs.

Everyone come and be still as the sun sets over the trees. 

The blankets and pillows will be soft and warm as the stars peek through the leaves. 

Yes, everyone come to the willows. Join me for cupcakes & tea. 

You will know that I’m your friend and you are loved by me.

-Joleen Steel 2018

children, writing

A Wonky Donky kinda Day!

Yes, I know there’s a real popular book called wonky donkey out there. I wrote this for my littles and have just read it to them for the giggles. I figure it’s one of those stories that’s just for us.

A Wonky Donky kinda Day:

Written & Illustrated by Joleen Steel


On Monday Muffin the donkey went out for a walk; nibbled some dandelions and fell off the dock. Clambering out she started to bray “Well, that’s a wonky donkey kinda day!”


On Tuesday Muffin had a package to deliver; trotted cross the bridge and tumbled into the river. Splashing out she began to bray, “Well, that’s a wonky donkey kinda day!” 


On Wednesday Muffin went for a jog; dashed over the meadow and slipped into the bog.Sloshing out she just had to bray, “Well, that’s a wonky donkey kinda day!”

The bog

On Thursday Muffin had a good shake; rolled down the hill and plopped into the lake. Scrambling out she let out a bray, “Well, that’s a wonky donkey kinda day!”


On Friday Muffin began to stray; tripped on a bush and toppled into the bay.  Swimming out she gave a loud bray, “Well, that’s a wonky donkey kinda day!”


On Saturday Muffin munched on a tree; rolled off the cliff and plunged into the seaSurfing out she yelled as she brayed, “Well, that’s a wonky donkey kinda day!”


On Sunday Muffin put on her spectacles; sat in a chair and looked out the windows. Sighing now she whinnied and brayed, “If I wear my glasses I’ll be okay,”


That afternoon Muffin went for a walk, Nibbled some dandelions and stood on the dock. She took the package she had to deliver; trotted cross the bridge and looked at the river, She went for a jog and inspected the bog, had a good shake and walked round the lake, Saw the bush and gazed at the bay, munched on a tree and took joy in the sea,


That’s when she heard all her friends holler. “Muffin come on down to the water!”

So Muffin lept right past the tree and somersaulted gracefully into the sea. 

Singing with joy she let out a bray, “This is the perfect donkey day.” 


Note: If you like this little story, I’ve got kaboodles more! Subscribe to keep receiving my stories! I’d love to know you are reading so drop me a hey there over on my Face Book or Pinterest page.


Bartholomew Mouse

2EAB8306-CA3E-4956-B227-7DDBA4342932Bartholomew mouse loves autumn.

He loves the chill west wind that scoops up seeds and blows them high into the evening sky. 

He loves how the sun sets the tops of the birch trees aflame with light.

Bartholomew rows his very own skiff across the mirrored pond; gazing at the iridescent heads of mallard ducks, and listening to the bullfrogs. 

It is not safe to be out but he is drawn by the splashing minnows and the scent of the lilies glowing white on their green lily pads.

Bartholomew adjusts the tulip tree leaf over his boat. The broad leaf hides him from the watchful eye of the hawk perched in the pine tree. Hopefully, the red tailed hunter is more interested in the bunnies scampering over the north meadow, than a small field mouse.

Bartholomew knows it’s time to scuttle home when the great horned owl calls through the dusk. He does not wish to meet that great and mighty creature. 

The skiff slides onto a sandy cove under the bridge. Bartholomew pulls his boat into the tall grass and ties it to a stump. A large greedy eye peers at him from the grass. The farmer’s cat leaps, grabs, misses, and rolls. Bartholomew wastes no time scrambling up the hill and into his home just under the big rock. He knows cat will be there waiting all night. He will have to stay in now and dream of autumn from his warm house. 

So he dreams of stars gleaming in a navy sky. He dreams of sailing his skiff under a harvest moon. Bartholomew dreams, knowing that tomorrow he will venture out into the wide world again to see autumn. 

By Joleen Steel October 2018


I need a name!

I love long autumn walks with my husband. Last night we heard the call of a great horned owl as we walked through a deep green and gold forest. We spied a wasps nest hanging precariously from atop a leafless birch tree. We watched a duck family sailing contentedly across a mirrored pond.

You would think this type of beauty would drive me to paint a landscape scene in acrylic or a sunset from vibrant oil paints.  Nope, This is what I made! Something about the layers and layers of ginkgo leaves and maroon mums outside our home inspired this darling friend.  Let me introduce her.

Here we have a lovely young girl sporting a hand painted ginkgo leaf dress with maroon mum sash. Her lovely pinecone slippers are perfect for an evening of dancing under an autumn sky. Her greatest longing is to be given a chance to leap into one of Mrs. Steel’s many stories for children. My dear reader, if this is to happen, she must have a name. Will you help her?

586F262E-9E90-4913-ADA0-F787F93CE7FDIn the meantime, I have been commissioned to create a wardrobe for this young lady. The winter season is almost upon us. I must begin! Also, I’ve made her a  friends over at my illustrations page.