Monday, April 13, 2015

The Brutke homestead in Amity, OR.


I'm having fun using Picmonkey.com...try it for yourself!
It's all free. There is an upgrade for more content, but what I've used here is free.
I am learning how to make collages, and I'm learning how to layer.
One thing for sure, I can't believe it's been 40 years since this happy summer when I was only 15.


This is the only photo I have of the inside of the old cabin my maternal grandparents, Adolph and Helen Brutke, bought in the 1910's. (I can't remember the exact year they moved here from Taylor, Texas.) It was called a "cabin", and the big bedroom in which I and two of my sisters are standing in was added on after my grandparents bought it. When I knew it was going to be torn down so that my Uncle Ed could build a new tool shed, I was heartbroken. I think my mom was too.
I took a piece of wallpaper from the wall of that bedroom. I need to scan it in. It has a white dotted stripe, with tiny blue flowers in between, on what looks like a pale grey background.


Each summer we had such fun on this farm. It was simply marvelous to unwind from the big city of Vancouver BC, and roam free and wild over Uncle Ed's acreage. Down by the creek it was so relaxing. We would pick cherries in the morning, and play here in the afternoon. To the left of this photo, there was a steep hill with a small grove of tall fir trees. I loved to sit underneath them in the shade, during a hot and humid day, and listen to the breeze in the branches above.
Such happy times, 40 years ago.
By Loretta Houben

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A spring outfit for Isabelle!


I'm so far behind in this blog of mine!
I've been very busy in 2015.
But I will stop and pause and show you a collage I put together using Picmonkey which is a free program online, however for a month I'm trying out the Royale version and I'm already hooked.
I used the green background from the Graphicsfairy online.
The rest is from Picmonkey Royale.

This is neglected Isabelle. I went to my local AG boutique on Robson St last Saturday, and I spotted this cute outfit on sale, marked down from $36 Cdn to $24.50. It comes with the yellow barrette, green top, blue pants and cute yellow shoes. I just love it and so does Isabelle!
I also purchased the darling little mini doll carrier. 
Isabelle is so happy!
By Loretta Houben

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Remembering my great uncle, Stanley James Palmer.


100 years ago, little Stanley pictured above, died in Tonypandy, Wales.
This is the only photo I have of him. He was 2 years old and 5 months.
This photo was taken shortly before his death.
My paternal grandma, Alma May Williams, often told us about him, and why he died.
It's a sad but common story. My Grandma felt badly as she thought it was through her negligence he died. She had taken him to the outhouse in the back yard, (she was age 7) on a bitterly cold day, and alas, she forgot about him. Someone heard him crying at the back door. He caught pneumonia and died.


In 2007, Phil Evans, whom I found online somehow somewhere, helped me out and sent me the above scan. I have no idea where he got it. It shows the notice of interment for little Stanley in the Trealaw Cemetery in Tonypandy, Wales. It lists his age and date of death, the address of where the Palmer family was living, and the signature of my great grandfather, Herbert Palmer.


Here is an old picture of Trealaw Cemetery found online.


A recent photo for Trealaw Cemetery found online.

This is the closest I've come to the cemetery, in July 2007.
It's to the top right of the photo above. That's Matthew and Robert.
We had visited Penygraig where the Palmer's relocated before immigrating to Canada in 1927.
I wonder what little Stanley would of thought of relatives coming to visit his part of the world.
Life is very interesting. I wished to remember Stanley and this is the only way I know how.
By Loretta Houben


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pink Day in Canada and Grace's new camper.


Last year, in 2014, my hubby began a new job at Coast Capital Savings, a credit union.
He is a project manager and he loves his new position. He was hired full time last October.
Coast Capital celebrates pink shirt day. To see my hubby wearing a pink shirt is quite a sight!
This is supposed to bring awareness of bullying and stamp it out, especially in schools.
Of course, I realize this can only be done with a complete change of heart.
Pink will not stop any bully that I know of.
I had my fair share of bullying in elementary school, and it continued into high school.
This was mostly due to my lack of fashion sense, as my parents couldn't afford to buy us the latest fashions so I wore hand me down clothes from cousins and from the thrift shop.
My parents never took us to the hair salon, so our hair styles were quite different from the rest of the school gang. Therefore I was picked on quite a bit, enough to make me go home in tears.


In high school I took my stand as a Christian young woman and refused to wear slacks/pants. I felt a young woman should look like one, and I wore skirts and dresses to HS. Oh my goodness. I was the only one in my grade who did that. There was an older girl two grades above me who also did it. I was teased unmercifully. I must have looked like a sore thumb indeed, but looking back to this time in my life, I'm glad I stood my ground, and didn't back down because of unkind words.
You will probably laugh at the thought, but in each generation there are things which come to the forefront and you have to decide how you will live your own life. In the 1970's the wearing of slacks/pants was a HUGE issue, as up until 1970 it was mandatory for all girls to wear dresses or skirts to school. Now I've changed my mind, as pants are totally accepted for girls and women to wear, and I think they are more modest than skimpy skirts! Plus they are a whole lot warmer in the winter months.


It's very important to stand up for what you believe in. You don't have to rant, rave, or argue the subject, just stick to your guns. I'm thankful I had supportive parents and a loving home to go to at the end of each school day. Grade 8 and 9 were rough years, but I believe they shaped my character and made me strong. The joy of the Lord was my strength too, and I was deeply involved in a lovely Baptist church from 1970 - 1976, which helped in my personal growth. I was saved while attending that church and learned how to study the Bible and memorize scripture.
 In Grade 10 I found new friends and developed a core group and the bullies left me alone after that. I also developed my artistic talents and became known as an artist, rather than a weird person without fashion sense. I learned how to sew, and made a lot of my own clothes.
I will never forget the difficult times, but the good times outweigh them all, and I remember my HS years with extreme fondness.


On another subject, I believe I'm still very weird.
I love to collect dolls and doll props like this Our Generation camper, sold at Target.
Target stores arrived in Canada only 2 years ago. The Metrotown location opened in Dec 2013.
I've never cared for it as it has high prices compared to Walmart and Superstore.
We are on a tight budget as Robert's new job is quite a bit less than what he made in his own company years ago. So I use money I've earned by sewing, writing or doing surveys in order to feed and nurture my doll habits. Tee hee...


I bought this camper at the Target store, on sale for only $52 Cdn!
It's the cutest thing ever. My dream was always to own or rent a camper like this and travel across Canada to PEI. It will never come true, so I've settled for Grace having her own dreams.
I bought the Timbits carton (Christmas ornament) last Dec at Tim Horton's.


Another of my hobbies is playing around in photo programs and editing the pictures I love to take.
Isn't this neat?
I always say, a person cannot get bored!

Loretta Houben

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Our Canadian flag: 50 years old


The Canadian flag celebrates 50 years today!
I was only 4 when it was introduced so I don't remember the occasion.
I love the simplicity of the design and I love red and white and I love maple leaves.
It's distinctive and plain. It looks really good when flown against a blue sky!
I'm grateful I live in Canada.
Loretta Houben


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day, 2015


Aren't they cute?
My parents, Susie and Jack Williams.
Leona picked out the pink rose for Dad to give to his "Juliet" from "Romeo".
True love lasting 60 years!


Me and my parents at their home.


Me and my Romeo, Robert.


After eating out at Boston Pizza, a tradition of ours.
We had the heart shaped pizza of course!
We shared a chocolate explosion cake.
I love you more, dear Robert!
Loretta Houben

Thursday, February 12, 2015

60 years ago...true love!

Isn't this romantic?
My parents, Jack and Susie Williams, first met on February 20, 1955.
That's 60 years ago! 
They are still together after all these years.
What do you think is the reason for sticking together all this time?
I believe it's because of their strong faith in God, and their determination to make their marriage work through the good times and the bad.
Of course there are many ups and downs in a marriage. It takes dedication and perseverance and patience to live with each other through thick and thin.
I will interview them and post some more about their lives together.
Loretta Houben