Monday, February 8, 2016

Family Day 2016

Today is Family Day here in British Columbia; a holiday for us.
I've been really ill for 12 days, ever since Thursday, January 28.
Ack!!!! It went straight into my chest. I visited the Dr on Monday February 1st, and he said I had bronchitis. He prescribed erythromicin, but it doesn't seem to have helped like it used to in the past. So either I had The Thing which is going around, or antibiotics don't work on me like they used to.
Either way, after lounging 11 days on the couch, Robert took me out for a drive, as my cough is 80% better than it was. It was glorious to get out in the sunshine and see blue sky. It's rained most of January here, with snow on the mountains.
We went to Granville Island and had lunch at Tony's Fish & Chips.
Matthew was working, so we saw him, but he couldn't join us for lunch.
We saw snowdrops and crocus blooming. I bought 5 primula plants, all colours, to put in the front porch planter.
Yesterday I was looking through photos from 2010 and came across the video clip above. I'd never thought to look at my video clips. This one is so lovely; very short, but so sweet.
I really miss my FIL so much. He died in 2012.
By Loretta Houben

Friday, January 29, 2016

Barbie's new look in 2016

The new look Barbie from Mattel.
You can Google them if you like.
I think they look odd. But my Mom will be happy!
She is 82 and she never liked Barbie due to her large chest size. Tee hee....she thought it wasn't modest for little girls to play with such a doll, so she never bought me one. She refused so instead I got a flat chested brunette knockoff doll from Woolworth's store on Hastings Street. I grew to love her, but secretly wished for the beautiful and glamorous Barbie doll. Seriously, would you like to have a fat doll? (known today as curvy) Yikes. Whatever for? I sure wouldn't. I'm "curvy" and short (now known as petite today) and I'd much rather be slim, glamorous and tall, even at my age. Yes, I'll admit it. 

I adored everything about Barbie in the 1960's. I'm so glad I grew up back then. She was part of a fantasy world, full of imagination and grownup glamour. I wouldn't have cared for a short or plump Barbie at all. Yikes.
An aunt gave me Stacey for my 8th birthday and I was delighted, mostly because of her bendy knees! 
I never did own a Barbie, but had Francie, Skipper and Ken. Well, as long as children enjoy good wholesome play, who am I to complain? 
But I do prefer the 1960's Barbie above all else.
What about you?
By Loretta Houben

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hump Day

It's amazing and fun what you can find at the $ store!
I had to go out today in the rain to pay a visit to Stadium Station's transit office to ask about the Compass Card. The lovely faresavers are being phased out. If you buy booklets of 10, you get a nice discount; $31.50 instead of $40 for two zone, and $21 instead of $27.50 for one zone. So I purchased my Compass Card for $6.00 and added $52.50 to it. The big hitch with this method is: I must remember to TAP IN and also to TAP OUT or I will be charged for 3 zones! Ack!!!! Plus there is nothing to tell me what TIME I have remaining, unlike the paper faresaver. 
I don't know if I will travel less or more in 2016.
Time will tell.

While at the station, I decided to pay a visit down the street to a nice $ store.
It has interesting things, a lot from Japan. It reminds me of the Daiso store in Richmond but it isn't a Daiso store. I bought a pretty Japanese blossom table scarf, Japanese blossoms, a small Japanese doll, Chinese confetti, Chinese notebooks for our Bible study group, and plastic picks. It was a fun outing even if I did get a bit wet!
I still have 2 booklets of faresavers left, so I haven't used my Compass card yet.
By Loretta Houben

Recycle issues; blue box

Case # 7227635

It's a dismal wet day with rain.
No snow in sight.
But although our garbage was picked up today before 10 am, our blue box wasn't.
So at 4 pm I called 311 and reported the error and Sheena told me our whole area was missed due to reasons unknown.
So there you have it, case #2 already this year.
I wish I could get to the bottom of it...
By Loretta Houben

Inventor of the television

90 years ago today television was invented, more or less.
I would never know about these things, but thanks to Google doodles which show up on my Google homepage I am learning quite a bit of history I wouldn't otherwise learn!
I snipped the above image and the one below from this website:
Television's creation 90 years ago.

I find this all very interesting.
On a personal note my parents bought their first TV in 1970 when I was 10 years old. They attended a church which instructed the congregation that TV was sinful and a waste of time and they were encouraged not to purchase one. When my parents began attending another church, they bought a TV and we discovered that although there were some unwholesome shows on it, for the most part it was very entertaining and even educational! The moral of the story being that everything should be done in moderation.
We had set times to watch TV. One of them was between 3:30 and 4:30 when we would watch shows like the Brady Bunch, or the Flinstones. My sister Marlene, 5 years younger than I, would always get up at 7 am on Saturday morning and watch cartoons. The rest of us would sleep in.

My parents enjoyed watching the news each evening at 6 pm, and on Sunday nights we would always watch The Walt Disney Show. I also loved Black Beauty, and later in the 1970's we loved The Walton's and Little House on the Prairie.
Leona loved Star Trek and anything that was science fiction.
We had a black and white TV. 

When I got married, Robert and I decided not to have a TV. In 1985 we got a computer, though, and I firmly believe it's more of a time waster than the TV ever was or could be! In 2003 when Matthew was 14 we decided to buy a TV at last, but by that time, Matthew was past becoming addicted to it.
TV has really changed in the past 10 years or so. 
I find it rather startling that our iPhones are so much more entertaining!
I'd rather have the Internet than TV any day.
How about you?
By Loretta Houben

Saturday, January 23, 2016

My latest crafting project don't you wish you were here, in a jungle hut?
I had such fun creating this today!
I woke with a migraine at 4 am so I had to take it easy today.
Yes, crafting is taking it easy! It's such fun and so relaxing.
I got this idea from Doll Diaries online. Karen Owen came up with the idea of using a Dollarama store basket.

I found the same basket and so I started with the same idea, but added different things.
I made the loft using bamboo skewers, and added a felt layer and made felt pillows sewed together and stuffed with cotton puffs. I cut out felt flowers without using a pattern and used quick drying glue to attach them.

The hammock was made with a piece of burlap tied with string to two posts which I wedged underneath the skewers. I think it turned out really cute.
The rug is also felt.

The table and stool are simply a paper towel roll covered in felt. I added the tops using a piece of cut out cardboard.

Lea fits nicely in the loft or the hammock. With frogs and fresh fruit at hand, she will have lots of fun in the jungle. She just has to watch out for snakes!
By Loretta Houben

Friday, January 22, 2016

Doctor assisted suicide in Canada

On Wed Jan 20, the Vancouver Courier newspaper landed on our doorstep as it does each week. As usual I opened it and looked through the flyers, and read the articles. I've enjoyed this paper for many years. 
On this evening, my face blanched of all colour, and my heart palpitations were extreme as I read Allen Garr's article on doctor assisted suicide here in Canada. I've included it below. Please read and please respond in all ways you know how. I disagree 100% with the views posted as I believe the vulnerable and ill should be protected and taken care of, and not snuffed out like the family dog. I believe in the sanctity of LIFE.
By Loretta Houben

Just in case the article disappears over time, as is often the case with online newspapers, I will also include it here in its entirety so I won't forget what's at stake in our beloved country: 

I suspect that, following the most recent Supreme Court of Canada decision, a law legalizing physician-assisted death is a done deal in this country.
The court granted the new Liberal federal government a four-month extension to come up with legislation effectively making that practice no longer a crime.
And, as such, it will bring about one of the biggest cultural changes we have seen in our country since Dr. Henry Morgentaler finally won his decades-long battle and abortion became a legal right back in 1988.
Both of these historic shifts in our country’s ethical perspective came about with the aid of the federal Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ironically, while it was Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals that brought in that piece of legislation, his government actively upheld the law that made Morgentaler’s work illegal.
That was until the courts, considering the Charter, finally weighed in.
But like the issue of doctor-assisted death, the general public was way ahead of the government and the courts of that day. In Quebec in particular, where Morgentaler was repeatedly charged and tried for providing abortions, in spite of the very clear prohibition under federal criminal law, successive juries chose to acquit him rather than find him guilty.
It led to the extraordinary situation of higher courts overturning jury decisions. But in the end, the Quebec government simply threw up its hands and declared that, in spite of the law, abortions could take place in free-standing clinics.
Quebec, having thrown off the yolk of Premier Maurice Duplessis and the Catholic church back in the ’60s in its “Quiet Revolution,” has become among the most socially progressive jurisdictions in the country. While cases were making their way up to the Supreme Court of Canada, Quebec legislators spent years considering the issue of physician-assisted death.
And while we awaited a response from Stephen Harper’s Tories to follow the Supreme Court’s demand to rewrite the law and legalize that practice, Quebec passed its own legislation in December. (There has been at least one sanctioned death in that province since.)
This issue, which ultimately can touch us all either personally or through a family member, had its most recent history more than a quarter of a century ago in the case of Sue Rodriguez.
She was a Victoria resident suffering with the fatal neurodegenerative disease ALS. Her case ended up in the Supreme Court of Canada but led to a split decision of 5-4 against her in 1993. She would die a few months later, it was suspected, with the assistance of an anonymous physician.
It would be another 20 years before we finally saw a victory on the issue. It was where the case of another woman, Gloria Taylor also suffering with ALS, along with four other plaintiffs, all represented by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) and its lead litigator Grace Pastine, was brought before the Supreme Court of Canada. And this time they won.
That was almost a year ago, and the court ordered the Tories to come up with a new law within 12 months.
Among the Tories’ first acts under Justice Minister Peter MacKay was to set up a panel of three doctors to consider the matter. As evidence that the Tories were simply dragging their feet, the BCCLA pointed out two of the three doctors had previously testified in court cases against doctor-assisted deaths. It seemed unlikely Harper’s crew would do anything before the October election, which proved accurate.
As for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, they are on the record supporting legalization and one can assume they will meet the extended deadline.
Meanwhile, the court granted an exemption to the government of Quebec, allowing them to carry on under their legislation. They also, in an extraordinary move, granted an exemption to individuals who, in the meantime, could meet the criteria set out in the court’s original ruling to seek a superior court judge’s permission for a doctor-assisted death.
As Pastine notes, the technical legislative task before the Liberals “is very simple.” As for the politics, well, they did promise, and the most recent poll I could find shows that 77 per cent of Canadians, including all ages and political persuasions, would welcome this most profound change.
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