Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Another Renfrew/Collingwood newspaper article published.



I had another newspaper article published in the Renfrew Collingwood Community newspaper.
I've written many articles for them and I really enjoy it. I find that the shortness of articles and limited word count, plus the pressure of a monthly deadline, works very well for me. Maybe I should write my novels like this; maybe each chapter should be looked upon as a newspaper article!
Please click on the link above to read it on page 11.
Sometimes over the years the link will no longer work, which is why I "snipped" the article to the best of my ability and included it here.

By Loretta Williams Houben


Monday, May 2, 2016

Expo '86: World in Motion....30 years ago today!


May 2, 1986
30 years ago today, Expo '86 opened and Vancouver has never been the same. It seems so long ago, and I was only 25 years old, the age of Paul Partington. The photo above was taken on Oct 7 but it's my favourite of myself. In those olden days I had a camera which held 24 or 36 print film. It cost $5.99 or $7.99 to buy the film, (I usually used Kodak) and it cost $20 to develop a roll! That was nearly $30 for 24 photos! It's hard to imagine, so of course I rarely took photos. That's why the few I have of Expo are so precious.



 This is a shot from Main Street Skytrain terminal. What a change in the city since then! There's now a row of ugly looking apartment condos where the entrance once was. 


 This is the Roundhouse where Engine 374 was located. Robert and I purchased a brick with our names on it for $19.86 to help restore the engine. At Expo we were disappointed to discover the bricks weren't ready for viewing, but fortunately the brick with our names survived and is now inside the building beside the engine. I blogged about it HERE.


 The many bright colours of Expo! Each area had a coloured zone, with matching buildings and even matching flowers. It was a delight for the eyes and the senses. I was one of little faith and thought it would all be exceedingly boring, and while Expo was being built, I had no idea or understanding what it was about, having never attended a world's fair. I had a chance to purchase a full 6 month pass for $100 but turned it down and bought two books of 3 day passes. I regretted it deeply. 


 Expo was glorious! My favouite memories were the sights, sounds and vibrant colour of the place itself, the things to do and see, the souveniers, the delicious food, and best of all, the tourists who spoke every language under the sun. I used to listen and watch while riding the Skytrain, which was another wonderful legacy of Expo. How we loved it!
The downside of all this glory was that the world discovered us, especially China, and a lot of money exchanged hands and suddenly Vancouver is a place where ordinary Vancouverites can no longer afford to live. A 400 square foot apartment downtown costs $2,400 to rent, and an ordinary 1,600 square foot home on a small lot is worth $1,250,000!!!!
Our heads are still reeling from the after affects of Expo, but 30 years ago, we were having a blast, while "something was happening here"!

By Loretta Williams Houben

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ken Davies...author of the Penmon.org site...

Ken Davies, author of the Penmon website, and who has been of vast help to me since 2013, is related to Royalty! 
Here is his Royal Garden Party page on his phenomenal site. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Happy 90th Birthday, Queen Elizabeth!


For my whole life, Elizabeth has been the Queen of Canada.
Some think she shouldn't be. But I'm rather traditional and I have British blood, so I like the monarchy. Plus someone has to be in charge.


 I'm not very fond of Prince Charles. I can't forget how he treated Lady Diana. But of course, it doesn't matter if we like them or not! I wonder when he will finally be King. Then there is Prince William who I've watched grow up, and now I'm enjoying seeing his darling little son, Prince George.


 I cheerfully saved all these images from the internet. Aren't they delightful? I also splurged and bought two items from the Royal Mail.


 This is one of the most adorable photos I've seen.
Isn't it priceless? I think Queen Elizabeth looks great for 90!
The children are:
Her youngest grandchildren on the left:
James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise, the children of the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
Mia Tindall (holding the Queen's handbag) daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall.
Savanna and Isla Phillips, daughters of Peter and Autumn Phillips.
Prince George and his sister Charlotte in the Queen's arms.
By Loretta Houben

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring beauty...and my 1000th post!!!!


Today, April 18th, is Paul's 25th birthday.
It was also a fantastic HOT day. I believe the temps at the waterfront were 25 C.
They sure felt like it.
I had an ophthalmologist appointment at 9:30 am, which is a very early hour for me.
It was a good checkup, so I lingered downtown in the spring beauty and heat.
I captured the above shot near Canada Place, just outside Waterfront Station at the North entrance.
There are so many pretty areas in our city.
We still have snow on the mountains, too. 


My sister Marlene used to work at the Vancouver Board of Trade, under the sails.
I always thought she had such an exotic job, yet I never ate lunch with her except one time.
I would do so now!
It's funny how a person changes over time. I miss seeing her.
She lives far away in St. Louis.
The last time she visited was in December 2013.


Sunday April 17 was another exceedingly warm day.
After lunch we walked by Deer Lake, and ended up visiting the DQ on Kingsway near College Street.
Kelsie LOVES ice cream. We always share a bit with her.
This is one of her favourite places in Vancouver.
She adores car rides and ice cream.

This is my 1000th post!

By Loretta Houben

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The beauty of spring!


On Monday, April 4th, Robert's 57th birthday, we drove down to Mt. Vernon in Washington, about one hour past Bellingham. We went on the spur of the moment, as it was going to rain but the wind blew it all away. Robert had taken the day off due to a Spring Scout camp the 3 days before. (missing our anniversary once again)
The tulips above were at the Roozengaarde Gardens, which are my favourites.


Aren't they just exquisite? You can't really get enough of them, so I hope to persuade Robert to go down every year. The tulips bloom early now due to the warm weather we've been having the past few years.


The gardens have two windmills. There were crowds of people there but you can't really tell in this photo. It was quite cold due to a strong wind. We ate lunch at the Farmhouse Restaurant just off the highway, before you get near the fields.


This photo was taken in Tulip Town, just down the road from the Roozengaardens.
It has large tulip fields, and a small garden. It also has 2 large gift shops and an inside display of tulips with a unique canal of water and lovely wall paintings. We enjoy both gardens equally. It's a fun place to visit!
By Loretta Houben