Author Archives: iamkaren23

About iamkaren23

I am a Canadian writer currently living in Leavenworth, Washington. I published When Glad Becomes Sad in 2009. My second book, Alive Again, was published in March of 2015. Both are self-help books. I am currently working on a third book, this time a work of fiction.

Happy Birthday Entiat!

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Happy Birthday Entiat!

This weekend marked the 75th birthday of the town of Entiat, Washington. A celebration was held yesterday to commemorate the occasion.

The drive through the mountains was breathtaking. Entiat is about twenty minutes away from Wenatchee.

We started the day with a most enjoyable pancake breakfast, with a lovely view of the river. Then it was time to meander through the park and check out the exhibits and venues. Here’s one of the new friends I made that day.

There were activities for young and old, including bouncy houses, mini golf, face painting, a bean bag toss and rock painting. This was my creation. Now I can add rock painting to my artist resume. 

We then passed by a beer garden and a car show on the way to the museum.

The museum was small but had interesting displays. The majority of items were donated while a few were on loan. Exhibits ranged from vintage newspapers to tools to clothing to china and everything in between.

Back in the park a band was playing and there were displays by local vendors.

Although a barbecue and other events were scheduled throughout the day, we chose to leave after a few hours when the 90 degree heat got to us.

Karen The Artist

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Karen The Artist

As a young child I loved to finger paint. I used to make my own paper dolls. I even colored strings of lights to cut out and hang on my dollhouses. But once kindergarten was done, things changed.

In elementary school we were given coloring sheets for holidays. Color between the lines. We would listen to radio broadcasts of a story and told to draw something based on the story. But what if I wanted to draw something different?

In middle school art class meant drawing the spectrum. Or drawing a three dimensional object. Or drawing a vase of flowers set on the teacher’s desk. Or some other such dreary project. But what if I wanted to draw something different? Needless to say, I switched to a music option as soon as it was available and art was quickly dismissed from my mind.

We had an art gallery in Winnipeg. While certain exhibits were interesting, art just was not my thing. Only one exhibit stands out in my mind and that was a Van Gogh exhibit I went to with my dad. I was about eight years old and I think it meant more to me because I was with my dad.

I attended a Norman Rockwell exhibit in Honolulu and was totally enthralled with The Toymaker.

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Years later I discovered Thomas Kinkade and was especially captivated by his prints and tapestries of lighthouses. I had a beautiful one on my living room wall years ago when I lived in Canada.

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I also attempted glass painting for a short while.

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In Mexico I enjoyed visiting several art galleries in Culiacan, Guadalajara and Aguascalientes. I especially enjoyed the works of art involving vivid, bright colors.

Two years ago in Leavenworth I was introduced to adult coloring books. And I was hooked. I find it a very relaxing activity, even more so when paired up with music.

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Last night I discovered something new. I went to a program at the Cashmere Library where I created four pieces of art with pastels. These were not the pastel crayons I was familiar with back in Canada. These were chalky and could be smudged with your fingertips. It brought back happy times of finger painting as a child, but this time it was pastels and not paint. I think of it as adult finger painting.

While my creative talents in the past have been mostly in writing and in music, perhaps there is hope for me as an artist.

Leavenworth Wildlife

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Leavenworth Wildlife

Spring is well underway and the warm temperatures bring with them animals that have been in hibernation all winter. The starving creatures have taken to venturing into the town in search of food.

Bears have ravaged through garbage cans and have sought out chicken coops. There are signs out warning people of their presence.

Waterfront Park has the above sign up. When you cross over the bridge to Blackbird Island, you come to an area that has had numerous bear sightings recently.

Bears have also been spotted up the Icicle near where I’m living right now. They are quite brazen and roam in the daylight as well as in the darkness.

Enchantment Park is close to where I live as well. I walked through it on Saturday just hours before a child was attacked by a cougar at dusk. Fish and Wildlife tracked the animal. I heard gun shots at around 1 am and was told that this particular cougar would not be prowling around our neighborhood anymore. But the warning signs are still posted everywhere.

Coyotes are also a nuisance and a friend saw a fox on their doorstep last week.

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At least the carpenter ants and wasps have taken a break……

Leavenworth Wildlife

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Leavenworth Wildlife

Spring is well underway and the warm temperatures bring with them animals that have been in hibernation all winter. The starving creatures have taken to venturing into the town in search of food.

Bears have ravaged through garbage cans and have sought out chicken coops. There are signs out warning people of their presence.

Waterfront Park has the above sign up. When you cross over the bridge to Blackbird Island, you come to an area that has had numerous bear sightings recently.

Bears have also been spotted up the Icicle near where I’m living right now. They are quite brazen and roam in the daylight as well as in the darkness.

Enchantment Park is close to where I live as well. I walked through it on Saturday just hours before a child was attacked by a cougar at dusk. Fish and Wildlife tracked the animal. I heard gun shots at around 1 am and was told that this particular cougar would not be prowling around our neighborhood anymore. But the warning signs are still posted everywhere.

Coyotes are also a nuisance and a friend saw a fox on their doorstep last week.

Image result for photos of coyotes

At least the carpenter ants and wasps have taken a break……

My Calendar

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My Calendar

It’s Saturday June 1st already and I’m finally finding time to breathe again after a flurry of activity since I arrived in late April. This past week I was back to my Mexican plan of putting just one activity a day on my calendar and letting spontaneity happen.

Monday was Memorial Day and I was in writing mode. But the day dawned sunny and warm after several days of rain. I opted for a short walk instead.

Did I say short? Somehow it was two hours before I arrived back home. I walked up the Icicle and meandered through quiet streets. I walked along Highway 2 and was relieved that I wasn’t in the traffic going at a snail’s pace trying to leave town after a long weekend. I gave tourists directions and talked to people walking their dogs.

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I never did get around to writing much. But I did sort through photos, catch up on emails and make a few phone calls. Netflix eventually lured me and I thoroughly enjoyed that day to myself.

Tuesday morning I taught a fitness class and had lunch with a couple of friends. I was headed for home when a Link bus came into view headed in the opposite direction. Why not go to Cashmere and spend some time at Spirit of America? Of course I also stopped at the bakery for an apple fritter and signed up for an event at the library. I finally left Cashmere at around four o’clock.

I stayed in Leavenworth on Wednesday. Ann stopped by in the morning and we decided to pick up her dog and go for a walk at Sleeping Lady. I love the flowers and the river and the mountains, but another favorite is this spectacular glass sculpture by Chihuly.

After lunch at the senior center I went to the Leavenworth Library. I printed out a new exercise routine that I had collaborated on with the other instructors and then leisurely strolled through the stacks and selected some books to read. Books in English!

On Thursday I taught another fitness class and had lunch with friends. Then Linda and I decided to go to Walmart in Wenatchee. We got sidetracked on the way and stopped at Chavo’s in Cashmere for some agua fresca.

On Friday the only thing on my calendar was lunch at the senior center. However Linda, Karen and I wound up going into Wenatchee to see Rocketman.

Other than music at the senior center tonight, nothing else on my calendar for today…..YET!

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Community Bike Party

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The Chelan County Fire District 3 in Leavenworth was the place to be yesterday morning for the Community Bike Party. The sponsors of this event were Cascade Hospital and Cascade Medical Foundation.

My friend Linda is a board member and I volunteered to come along and help fit kids with helmets.

Both parents and children were most appreciative and excited. Over 200 helmets were given away, a huge increase over the 60 that were given away last year.

Children could also register for a raffle with bicycles as prizes. An outdoor hot dog barbecue was also popular.

This is a wonderful project that will greatly enhance the safety of cyclists in the area.

Another Mother’s Day

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Another Mother’s Day

Today is a bridge between two Mother’s Days. In Mexico Mother’s Day is always celebrated on May 10th, no matter what day of the week it falls on. The rest of North America celebrates on the second Sunday of May. Truthfully I feel that mothers should be celebrated every single day of the year, and not just on one day in particular.

It will be twenty-three years ago next month that my own mother passed away. I think of her often. She never got to see her grandchildren grow up. She missed their graduations. She wasn’t around when my daughter got married or when my granddaughter was born. And I really wish she had been there for me when I was going through an ugly divorce. I think she’d approve of what I’ve done with my life in the last decade and how I have become alive again.Image may contain: 1 person

I think of others who are dreading Mother’s Day this year as it’s their first time without their mothers. I lost a friend in Winnipeg to cancer this spring. Her daughter is an only child. Another friend from Mexico passed away suddenly last week and her daughter is struggling right now. Another friend in Mexico is mourning the death of her month old baby, her first child, after enduring a difficult pregnancy. Her mother is a friend of mine who had just lost her own mother this year.

The last time I celebrated Mother’s Day with both my children was in 2009 when I was still in Winnipeg. My daughter was living in Oak Bluff and made a beautiful brunch that day. Two years ago I flew back to Winnipeg and spent Mother’s Day with my son. He barbecued and we watched a movie together. 

 

I never envisioned a life with my family where we are all geographically scattered. After living in Ontario for a number of years, my daughter has recently moved to B.C. While she is now closer to me both in Washington and Mexico, my son is still back in Winnipeg. Many of my friends are also grappling with similar situations. Things have sure changed since I was a child with everyone living in close proximity to each other.

Needless to say, I have spent most Mother’s Days in the last decade in Mexico or the USA, without my children. And I wonder if I will ever be with both of my kids together again on that day. For those of you who have your mothers or your children close by, hug them tight and treasure those times. In the blink of an eye they can disappear forever.

Happy Mother’s Day, and please celebrate mothers EVERY day of your life.