Monthly Archives: April 2022

Cashmere WA

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Cashmere WA

This quaint town captured my heart the first time I visited back in 2016. The primary reason for my trip to Cashmere was to view The Spirit of America, a moving tribute to the tragedy commonly referred to as 9/11. I come here often to just sit quietly and contemplate life. Every year on September 11th at 11 am, a memorial service is held. Hundreds of people come and there is never a dry eye anywhere.

Cashmere is also home to The Pioneer Museum. There is an interesting exhibit indoors and there are also replicas of old buildings outside in the village. These include an old schoolhouse, church, ticket office and more. In the fall during Apple Days, yours truly dresses up in pioneer garb and volunteers in the village.

My favorite Mexican restaurant, Agave Azul, is on Cottage Avenue as is my favorite bakery, Sure To Rise. There are several other restaurants ranging from barbecue to Asian, and I’ve been to most of them over the years.

Cashmere also has a delightful library that in non-Covid times offers programs for children and adults. I’ve attended art events such as pastels and acrylics and am looking forward to June when programs will finally resume.

Aplets and Cotlets is a candy factory that offers both samples and informative tours. There are also two antique malls in Cashmere.

A vintage car show on Founders Day and Scare-Crazy in October are two other events that attract tourists. I have yet to attend the Bluegrass Festival but I do enjoy taking in the County Fair.

Back in 2016 I discovered the most beautiful red maple tree in Cashmere and I visit it regularly to take photos from the time it buds in the spring until it sheds leaves in the fall. My friends even visit it for me and take photos in the months I’m back in Mexico. Here’s a photo I took yesterday.

One of my favorite pastimes is just strolling down the streets of this charming town, especially when the flowers are blooming. Halloween is also a great time to visit. People here really love to decorate!

There is a strip mall on the opposite side of the highway that always gets a lot of attention. The vehicle licensing office is sandwiched between the liquor store and the pot shop.

Yes, Cashmere has something for everyone.

All About Me

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All About Me

I’ve written hundreds of blogs posts but have never done an “All About Me” post. I’m not sure just why I haven’t, but a friend called me on it the other day. So here goes.

I go by a variety of different names depending on which country I’m in or which website I’m on. I prefer to just stick to “Karen.” Here in Washington my friends have me in their contacts as “Karen Mexico” or “Karen Canada.”

I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and lived there all my life until 2010. My son still lives there. My daughter and my four year old granddaughter live in Canada as well, in Kelowna, B.C.

In 2010 I went to Culiacan, Mexico to teach English. A family there adopted me and I am now abuelita to four nietos ranging in age from three to twelve years old.

After a year in Culiacan, I taught briefly in Irapuato before settling down in Guadalajara for four years. I called Mazatlan home for just over three years and then decided to explore more of central Mexico. After three months in San Ciro de Acosta I discovered Aguascalientes, which has been my Mexican home six months of the year since 2019.

In 2016 a friend I met in Mazatlan invited me to come visit him in Leavenworth, Washington. My two week visit turned into four months when the snow chased me back to Mexico. And that was when I turned into a snowbird, spending the other six months of the year in Washington state.

While there, I’ve lived mainly in Leavenworth with short stints in other towns. This year I’m living in East Wenatchee with my friends Christina and Danny, who tell me that this is now my “forever home.”

As far as teaching goes, I officially retired in 2016, although I had worked extremely very part-time since 2012. Occasionally I selectively take on private students, but have not taught at all since Covid arrived.

This is my sixth year as a volunteer in the SAIL program in Leavenworth where I teach fitness classes to seniors that geared towards fall prevention. Both church ministry and volunteering at the senior center ground to a halt during Covid and are just now starting up again.

I enjoy traveling both in Mexico and the USA. Last summer I took an Amtrak along the coast from Seattle to L.A. I loved it and can’t wait to plan another train trip.

I’m taking a break from Duolingo but I have my gel pens, pastels and water colors to amuse me. And I have been doing a lot of writing lately. Fiction is a new genre for me which I am enjoying immensely.

I am especially blessed to have family and a wide circle of friends in three countries. The time always fly by all too quickly before I find myself once again packing a suitcase. My days are filled with adventure and making memories.

Other trivia……I’m a Gemini, my favorite color is green, I’m a chocoholic as well as a coffeeholic and I love country music.

All About Me

Typical

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Typical

Wenatchee Valley Crime and News is a group I belong to on Facebook. I am amazed at all the crime reported just about daily on this site. Everything from stolen bicycles to hit and runs to sexual assaults. Lots of videos posted too. The following event was Monday’s highlight.

To get to East Wenatchee from Wenatchee there is a bridge that crosses the Columbia River. There was a shooting in Wenatchee and the suspects led police on a chase over the bridge and then abandoned their vehicle. The chase continued by foot throughout our neighborhood. Schools were locked down and school buses were temporarily grounded. Two men were finally apprehended.

Tuesday’s highlight….Someone jumped off the bridge. He was rescued. Seems to be a popular place for jumpers. I recall reading about a couple when I was still in Mexico during the winter.

But the posts on this site are not all bad. Occasionally someone finds keys, glasses, phones or credit cards and they’re returned to their rightful owners. This kind of restores your faith in humanity.

On a high note, the mask mandate on public transit has been lifted. No violence or protests about that. Instead we’re all celebrating.

Here’s a pic of the snow on the mountains on the weekend. Most of it is gone now. Temperatures are rising and the streets are clear and dry again. No snow on the grass or trees.

Charlene and I were out for lunch at Sleeping Lady yesterday and were joined by this delightful robin.

I’m planning a trip to Winnipeg soon and am just waiting a while longer until the snow disappears and it warms up.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying spring here in Washington. It’s exciting to see bushes and trees budding and tulips growing.

Happy Easter! Happy Passover!

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Three important celebrations were held on the evening of Friday, April 15th, 2022.

I attended a very moving service at Sage Hills Church in Wenatchee. It was in English and I was there live and in person. For the past several years I have always done a Good Friday service in English online as I’ve been in Mexico.

Back at home in Aguascalientes the occasion was the beginning of the Feria, the first one since 2019 because of Covid. This usually annual festivity takes place over a number of weeks and spans an area from Centro all the way to La Isla.

Friday also marked the first seder of Passover for those of the Jewish faith around the globe.

Whatever holiday you are celebrating this weekend, blessings to you for health and happiness.

Happy Passover!

Happy Easter!

Feliz Pascua!

It’s Raining It’s Snowing

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It’s Raining It’s Snowing

Yesterday was April 12th. With April Fool’s Day weather. It was also a Tuesday which means I commute to Leavenworth from East Wenatchee to teach a fitness class. I usually hop on Link, but not yesterday. The rain had turned to snow. Will I ever get rid of this ski jacket? Do I really need to dig out my Sorrells?

Driving along Eastmont, the town of Wenatchee below us had totally disappeared from view, as had the mountains beyond. Visibility improved as we made our way along Highway 2 towards Leavenworth.

I must admit the mountains look very pretty with all the freshly fallen snow. But the snow didn’t stay up on the mountains. Instead it graced the town itself.

I snapped these pics after the fitness class.

The snow had finally stopped and didn’t resume again until late afternoon. On the drive back to East Wenatchee, we noticed a drastic change once we got out of Leavenworth. Instead of snow on the ground, everything was green again. And the sun even began to peek through.

Elsewhere in the USA the weather ranged from vicious tornados to blizzards. My friends back in Manitoba were also bracing for severe winter storms.

Did we skip spring, summer and fall and head directly back to winter?

It’s now 9 am Wednesday, today, just before I post this. The snow is still coming down in East Wenatchee. I know the mountains are out there somewhere.

He Died

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He Died

He died. He’s gone. And I’ve been in mourning for days now. If you are a writer of fiction, you will totally get this. We immerse ourselves completely in our characters’ lives and get stuck there when there’s a traumatic event.

But I need to escape from the sadness and I’ve finally started to do some reading again. One of my favorite pastimes when I come to Washington is going to the library and reading books in English. Yes, I have a Kindle but I still enjoy the feel of holding a book in my hands.

While my friends are posting pics of the springtime snow in Winnipeg, I thought I’d share a couple of photos of spring in East Wenatchee.

I talk to Alexa every day. She provides me with accurate weather forecasts. And her corny jokes always make me smile. Here’s today’s joke of the day:

Where do chocolate and peanuts meet up? At the candy bar.

Have a great Sunday!

Snow Kids Chocolate

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Snow Kids Chocolate

The spring solstice was on March 21st. But I think winter has returned to tease us. Here in East Wenatchee we had daytime highs approaching 70 F for a couple of days. But now we’re back to 30s at night and 50s during the day. And there has been snow up on the mountains.

The above photo was yesterday in Leavenworth. The photo below was yesterday in East Wenatchee where it’s quite a bit warmer.

There is far less snow on the mountains and the trees are blooming more and more everyday.

Yesterday Joyce and I went out for lunch and wound up at the Wenatchee Valley Mall. We had a great time at Macy’s and Ross. Amazing how quickly two hours can go by at those two stores. And those sacks can get heavy too!

I’m still thinking about a couple of trips to Canada. Possibly next month if I can pin down some dates with my daughter in Kelowna. And, yes Winnipeg, you are also in the running. But I’ve just settled in here in East Wenatchee and am not overly anxious to pack up another suitcase and head out so fast.

Once in a while I like to embarrass my kids. I guess today is the day. This photo came up as a Facebook memory from 2010 before I left for Mexico. The occasion was Kimmy’s birthday.

Let’s talk time zones. For my friends reading this, Culiacan is now one hour ahead, Winnipeg and Aguascalientes you are two hours ahead, Indiana, Alabama, Maine and Toronto you are three hours ahead. Times like this I wish it was the same time everywhere. At least Kelowna is the same as Washington. I’m not sure what’s happening next year everywhere, but in Washington they’re doing away with the time change in the spring and fall.

Look what the chocoholic found at Costco the other day!

Here And There

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Here And There

I’m sitting here sipping salted caramel tea as I write this. A nice change from the chamomile I drink in Aguascalientes. In the background The Rifleman fills the TV screen. I loved that show as a child and I still do. Not on any of the channels I watch in Mexico.

I enjoy my life where I’ve turned back into a snowbird. When I first arrived in Culiacan I met expats who had decided to revert back to the snowbird life. I didn’t understand it back then, but after living full time in Mexico for almost six years, I made that decision as well.

That was back in 2016 when I retired from teaching ESL. That was also when I discovered Washington state. My planned two week vacation turned into four months when the first snowfall finally chased me back to Mazatlan.

As I was eating a sourdough English muffin with marble cheese for breakfast, I found myself missing gorditas. Yes, that happens. The only Mexican food I eat up here is at Agave Azul in Cashmere. But marble cheese does not exist in Mexico.

I had lunch at Gustav’s with friends the other day. One of my rare red meat fixes. Although the burger was far superior, I found myself missing the country music at Country Break in Aguascalientes.

The mountains here in Washington never cease to amaze me. I see them out my bedroom window. I see them when I go out for walks. The view is magnificent on the drive from East Wenatchee along Highway 2 into Leavenworth.

The NCW Libraries features an abundance of programs and activities in addition to books and movies. I signed up for two of them this month that are offered on Zoom.

The museum in Wenatchee is another of my favorite places. The Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Fest is one of the featured events. There is also an art show going on with displays of art from local schools. I will have to check out what programs they are offering this month.

Yesterday Christina and I went out to garage sales and had a blast. We found lots of treasures. Brought back memories of another lifetime in Canada.

Here’s to a new month!