Sunday, September 3, 2017

Happy 62nd anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Happy 62nd anniversary, dear Mom and Dad!
I find it hard to believe, but you've remained together through thick and thin, the good times and the tough.
You've remained true and faithful to each other.
It's rather astounding in the world in which we live.
Not many seem to take marriage vows seriously and they divorce right, left and center.

But I'm thankful you two decided before God to remain dedicated to one another, forsaking all others. You didn't give up at the first glitch, or separate when your first son died prematurely, 60 years ago. 
Your love for God has strengthened you, and Christ's love has held and carried you through life's storms and joys.
This, to me, is what marriage is all about.
May God bless you richly on your special day.
Love from Robert and Loretta

I sent special greetings to CTV morning news, and they put a special anniversary greeting on TV last Friday.
HERE is the link to the clip. 

My parent's greeting is number five in the greetings for the morning.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Lady Diana; 20 years ago....

I will never forget the disbelief and grief I felt on hearing that Lady Diana had died in a stupid and senseless car crash, due to a drunken driver.
It took me years before I even began to believe it. I thought that there was some conspiracy to get rid of her, but no, it was simply a horrendous act, and she should never have got into that car. But then, she should never have married Prince Charles, in my opinion. Poor dear Diana. 
I'll never forget her.

By Loretta Houben

Monday, August 21, 2017

Aug 21: solar eclipse!

Today, August 21, 2017, there was a solar eclipse over certain states in the USA. Here in Vancouver BC we had an 87% eclipse but without special glasses I didn't notice anything unusual except a murkiness in the air. The sun dimmed a tiny bit, but if I wasn't aware of an eclipse happening I wouldn't have noticed anything.

Here is Kelsie, age 16, laying in her first partial eclipse and she didn't seem aware of anything. But she's half blind, so that isn't surprising. 
The next solar eclipse in these parts is in 2042 I believe. I'll be 82 so I might get the special glasses then. LOL!

I remember the solar eclipse on Feb 26, 1979. Here is a video clip of it from online:
1979 eclipse

And here is a photo I took this morning, showing a bit of eclipse shadows through the tree!

By Loretta Houben

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Do you entertain?

A way of life.

I love the past eras where people loved to entertain their family and friends, and they actually had the time or took the time to have them over for gatherings in the kitchen or dining era. This is still one of the delights of living that makes me so happy! Last night I entertained in the boiling 32 C heat in our dining/kitchen area and I used a real table cloth, and my fine Dimity Rose pattern china set by Royal Albert which I collected piece by piece in the 1970's and 1980's. (a lot as gifts from my parents)

I love my china set dearly and I use it often. Not every day, of course, but for special occasions and for company. Our son has actually said that he likes my china pattern, so hopefully one day he will use it too!

By Loretta Houben

Friday, July 21, 2017

Changing map of Europe over the years...

I haven't written in this blog in ages.
One of these days I'll get caught up.
I discovered a link to a changing map of Europe so I'll post it here. I can't seem to find bookmarks, so this should do.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Our European trip; May 17 - June 2, 2017

Three weeks ago we returned from our trip to Europe, to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary.
It was shorter than 10 years ago, and Matthew didn't come with this time. We visited London, Somerset, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Port Meirion, Dublin, Oxford, Paris, Maastricht, Frankfurt and Heidelberg.

The above 2 photos were taken at YVR before we set off. As usual we got there by taxi too early, but I always have a fear of not getting there in time, so we browsed the shops, and had supper before boarding the plane. I think YVR is a very pretty airport.

After 2 nights in London we traveled by train for 2 hours to Castle Carry, where we caught an expensive taxi to Wells. We spent 2 nights here, and I could cheerfully have spent 2 weeks. John Chant, a distant relative of the Palmer family, came and picked us up at noon and drove us to 
Stoke-sub-Hamdon, place of the Palmer ancestors. It was a dream come true! Here I am with John at Ham Hill.

Here I am at Stoke Priory, a medieval hall in 

John and Robert in Stoke Priory.

Another of my dreams come true; St Andrew's Cathedral, commonly known as Wells Cathedral. Elizabeth Goudge was born close by in 1900.

And yet another dream come true; Geufron Terrace where my paternal Grandfather, John Griffith Williams was born, in Blaenau Ffestiniog. We loved Blaenau!

Robert at the Llechwedd Slate Mines.

We visited Port Meirion on our full day in Blaenau.
We rode the one hour long old Ffestiniog train down, and spent a few hours. This is where "The Prisoner" was filmed 50 years ago.

Capel Pisgah, a renovated Welsh miners chapel, where we stayed for 2 nights.

On our way to Paris!

In Paris!

In Dublin, Ireland!

In the doll museum in Paris!

In Theu and Ellie's garden in Maastricht!
We had a delightful time.

By Loretta Houben

Sunday, April 23, 2017

30 years ago today....April 23, 1987

30 years ago Robert and I bought our first home on April 23, 1987. We had been saving for 5 years. I was 26 and Robert was 28. I felt we were getting quite old. The house was $110,000 and that was the highest we could afford.

 This was the year after Expo '86 and properties were starting to increase in value. When a home came for sale, there were "bidding wars". Many offers were put in at one time. We offered $1,000 more, as our real estate agent s
uggested, and our offer was accepted, plus appliances, as a young pastor owned the house, and he liked us when he found out Robert was an assistant pastor/preacher at the local church nearby.

 We were THRILLED to be home owners! The house was built in 1949 and we thought it was ancient! It needed a lot of work inside, so after living here for 7 years we moved a few blocks away to our present location, to a house which was only 3 years old.

In 2003 the dear old house was torn down, and this is the current value of the property. (taken from the BC Assessment website)

 By Loretta Houben