Author Archives: iamkaren23

About iamkaren23

I am a Canadian writer currently living in Wenatchee, 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.

Hey It’s Good To Be Back Home Again

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Hey It’s Good To Be Back Home Again

Thank you Air Canada for getting myself and my bag from Winnipeg to Seattle via Vancouver. You pretty much ran on time but checking in at the airport was less than enjoyable. You wouldn’t recognize my vaccination info on line. I also didn’t appreciate the compulsory masks and the annoying announcements in French. Your beverage service options of water, apple juice or orange juice at 6 a.m. were a nice touch. But have you ever heard of Coffee? Coke? Caffeine?

I love you SeaTac! I ripped off the mask and I finally had a much needed coffee at Starbucks. I sat outside waiting for the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle while savoring my coffee, basking in the sunshine.

As the mountains came into view, I couldn’t stop smiling. How I missed them! Manitoba is so incredibly…..FLAT!!!!

Six weeks in Winnipeg was too long. While it was nice to spend time with my son and see my friends, I was homesick for Washington. Winnipeg is not the city I remember and is definitely not the city where I would ever want to live again.

Hey it’s great to be back home again!

Last Post From The Peg

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Last Post From The Peg

The last few days before I leave are always hectic. It’s always hard to say goodbye to my son and my friends. I never know when I’ll be back here next.

Sheila and I went out for one last coffee together. So long Tim Hortons until next time.

Monday afternoon Audrey moved me from St. Vital to Westwood. On the way we stopped for pizza at Santa Lucia.

Monday night was a Goldeyes game. The weather was perfect and the Goldeyes won. It was a beautiful evening with my son and friends.

Yesterday Donna and I went to Assiniboine Park. No visit to Winnipeg is complete without a visit to The English Garden and The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.

The plan for today is the photo for my driver’s license. Then we’re off to have lunch and to check out Kildonan Park. I’ll have to find some time to pack as I have an early flight tomorrow.

Adios Winnipeg!

Nomad On The Move Soon

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Nomad On The Move Soon

Yes my flights are finally booked. Hopefully next Sunday my post will be coming from East Wenatchee. This is my last Sunday post from Winnipeg.

I had a nice relaxing time out at the lake. And I have been busy since I got back into the city. I have been sorting through hundreds of photos that were backed up on my Seagate and trying to remember where and when they were taken. My old laptop had died and finally gone to hell at some point during the early days of Covid. Gone to hell…………I hated that ASUS!!!!!

I finally booked my flights. I am taking my chances with a Canadian airline. Please keep me in your prayers that Air Canada actually has a crew to get me to SeaTac via Vancouver on Thursday. I still have to book the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle and buy my travel health insurance, but I know that is minor in comparison. I also know that Christina and Danny will be waiting with bells on for me to get back home.

Of course it is now crunch time and that means saying goodbye to my friends here. I hope they understand when I say I have no plans to come back here anytime soon. Six weeks was way too long for a visit this summer when I had planned on being here only three.

I have been texting Annie back in East Wenatchee. I have new classes to teach at Bonaventure the week of the 15th. And of course I will be back in Leavenworth teaching that week as well. I am looking forward to getting back to those fitness classes.

I also have tickets for Leavenworth Summer Theater productions of The Music Man and The Sound of Music. Performances always include an outstanding cast and the Amphitheatre up in the mountains is the perfect venue.

Almost time for internet church from Sage Hills in Wenatchee. Next Sunday I hope to be there in person.

Have a great Sunday!

And I’m Still Here

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And I’m Still Here

We came out to the lake and I do have Wi-Fi this time. So I am able to post today after all.

It’s official. Photo day is August 10th. Then I can finally head home to East Wenatchee. Calgary and Kelowna just aren’t happening on this trip.

I went to Old Navy, not the one I usually go to at Valley North in Wenatchee. It’s interesting shopping in Canadian dollars again. I haven’t done that in years.

We took Cooper for a run along the floodway the other day. I think I appreciated the walk more than the dog. Walking in downtown Winnipeg is a dangerous place and not conducive to the long walks I usually take. So it’s nice to be out in the burbs again. Saw lots of hay bales and canola fields on our walk.

I spent an hour with my computer guru familiarizing myself with my new laptop and Windows 11. But I have close to 3000 photos to organize on my Seagate and Passport. And I need to get my WIP onto my laptop from my tablet. Laura has the patience of a saint which is greatly appreciated.

Tornado warning out last night for a change. It missed us here in Lester Beach. Decided to touch down elsewhere. Got to love Manitoba summers.

Happy Humpday!

What Plan Are We On Now?

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What Plan Are We On Now?

Change. Change. Change. Adapt. Adapt. Adapt. When you go from Plan A to Z and need another…..then just keep on going.

I left downtown on Thursday and am now out in the burbs in St. Vital with my friend Rita. Until Tuesday Iwhen we head out to the lake again. Another new plan.

I’m determined to tough it out here in the Peg until I can get that photo taken for my driver’s license. In all likelihood I will hightail it back to Washington and I won’t get out west to Calgary or Kelowna. I’m homesick! I don’t care if it’s 111 degrees and threat of wildfires. I want to go home.

Of course there’s lots here to do to stay amused. Rita has had some shopping to do and it’s been fun checking out Jysk and Giant Tiger as well as Canadian grocery stores and Walmart. But I’ll save my shopping for when I’m back in the USA.

I finally got to VJ’s for a gut bomb the other day. This stand is home to the best chili burgers and fries in the province. And they actually have plastic tablecloths on the picnic tables, a slight change that’s easy to deal with.

A friend from Regina called me yesterday. We met at the YMCA about fifteen years ago in water aerobics classes. She moved away from Winnipeg around the same time I did. Kim is hoping to come to Mexico this winter and we are hoping to get together for the first time in way too many years. Another new plan.

And yet another plan. I need to get back to my son’s to deal with one more bin full of slides. My dad took slides, not photos. And I am gladly passing them on to my brother. Hopefully he will do something with them. They’ve been stagnating way too long in a Rubbermaid bin.

I won’t be posting again until next Sunday. I’m not sure if I’ll have Wi-Fi out at the lake.

By next weekend I’ll have another plan. Stay tuned.

Quarries and Salad

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Quarries and Salad

I’m really excited about my new laptop. After sending an album to the cloud rather than creating a folder, I’m finally getting a hang of this. Of course I have over 3000 photos on my Seagate that now have to be organized into folders. But I think I need to stay home to do that.

I’ve been staying out in Westwood this week. Donna’s husband Loris has been pampering me with gourmet meals and homemade wine from grapes, not a kit.

On Monday Donna and I went out to her cousin’s place in Stony Mountain. We spent a relaxing afternoon in their pool. Then it was off to go and explore the quarries.

Yesterday we had a delightful lunch at Sorrentos. Whenever I come back to Winnipeg, a Sorrentos Salad is a must. And it’s still located in the same strip mall in Charleswood as it was back in the seventies.

But a downer was that I’m feeling like I’m being held hostage by MPIC. I need to renew my driver’s license and it’s time for a new photo. But it has to be done within 45 days from expiration, and I don’t want to stay here another two weeks. However I found a great agent who will go to bat for me if I can hang in there for at least another week. So I may get to travel out west in Canada yet.

Moving day tomorrow so today I need to pack. I’m actually looking forward to getting out of the downtown area. I can’t believe how run down and full of panhandlers it’s become.

Oh oh! More rain in the forecast. We had an amazingly loud thunder boomer Monday night with lots of rain. We need to send some of it to California where they’re battling wildfires.

Happy Humpday!

Three Things

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Three Things

This past week flew. I’ll touch on three things that stand out.

I spent some time visiting with my son. And that is definitely the highlight of the week. He is also storing seven Rubbermaid bins in his home for me. They are predominantly family photo albums. But I did find a few other treasures in them, such as the outfits my mom crocheted for them when they came home from the hospital when they were born.

On Friday I spent some time wandering around the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. My friends usually take me there but I wanted time to visit other family members and not just my parents. It was very peaceful and brought back a flood of memories.

The third thing that stands out is that my friend Laura and I went computer shopping. She is my computer guru and yesterday she set it all up for me. My old laptop died two years ago when I was stuck in Mexico during Covid. I adore my tablet and just never made it a priority to replace the laptop. Until this week.

BTW the featured photo is yours truly with my daddy several decades ago.

Happy Humpday!

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Happy Humpday!

I thought I was back in Mexico yesterday with hurricane season. Torrential rain, flooded streets. Nope. I’m still in Winnipeg.

I’m staying with my son for a couple of days. I don’t think he quite gets it when I tell him we need to get together more often. Kyle has no family here in Winnipeg and I live in another country. Over time you get used to being on your own and then it does feel rather strange when you get bombarded with family. But it’s a nice kind of strange. And I think that the older you get the more you value that kind of time.

My WIP is going well. My characters have been quite talkative lately. And they’ve had some interesting adventures. I am definitely enjoying writing fiction.

Because I’m constantly flipping back and forth in time when writing, I vary my background music. For a while there, The Stones were inspirational, especially Voodoo Lounge. The Beach Boys and The Byrds are also favorites, as are John Denver and Elton John. But last night it was Handel’s Water Music.

Computer shopping with Laura is on the agenda for today. I was a tad overwhelmed looking in Seattle and Wenatchee didn’t have much to offer. I know. There’s always Amazon. But I want to play with a laptop before I buy it. And Laura is my computer guru.

Happy Humpday!

Amigos in Winnipeg

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Amigos in Winnipeg

I’ve been away from Winnipeg for years and this city sure has changed. What has not changed is my close friends whom I’ve kept in touch with over the years. Yes, our lives and circumstances have changed. But our friendship remains strong.

In my last post I told you all about my friend Lise. Today I’m going to tell you about some of my other friends.

Sheila and I met back in middle school. We took very different paths in life. Back in our teens we hung out a lot together. Although we found ourselves in different high schools, we often went bar hopping on weekends. Of course back then there was no computer chip photo ID. Life was so simple. I moved away twelve years ago and we’ve kept in touch. I came back to Winnipeg for two knee surgeries and Sheila patiently transported me around juggling my walker and my cane. We went out for coffee the other day and it’s like we’d never been apart. We updated each other on our kids and grandkids. Sheila is lucky. Her kids all live in Winnipeg, most within a one mile radius, whereas I don’t even live in the same country as my kids.

I met Audrey when Kimmy was in sixth grade. Kimmy and her son Billy were best friends. At the time Audrey was going through a divorce and my mother was dying in the hospital. So we used to trade off kids to help each other out. Our kids grew up and their friendship waned. But Audrey and I have remained close over the years. When I come back to visit, one of our traditions is to go to Nikos, one of my favorite Greek restaurants. And we did that yesterday. Then we went for gelato further down on Corydon.

David and I first met in Edmonton at YBC Nationals. He was coaching a team from Village Inn and Kimmy was bowling on a team from Academy. When we got back to Winnipeg Kimmy started going to David’s clinics. Then Kyle did as well. My kids were both bowling out of Windsor at that point, but then switched over to Village Inn. David is the closest thing to an uncle my kids have ever known. He even came to Kimmy’s wedding in Punta Cana a few years ago. David was one of my rocks when I was going through my divorce. We’ve gone to flea markets and auctions together, made wine, I’ve helped him in his garden and we even bowled on the same team once. But I’m convinced he wanted me for the handicap as my average was more than 150 pins below his. We went out for brunch last weekend and spent the day together catching up.

Rita and I met at auctions years ago. We’re both divorced now but our friendship has remained strong. When I come back to visit I always enjoy spending time out at her cabin at Lester Beach. I remember hobbling around out there after my knee surgeries and am thankful that I’m a lot more mobile now. I spent a relaxing few days out there earlier this month. And I’m hoping to do it again before I head back to Washington.

Natasha is another one of my auction friends. We went out for lunch to Saffron’s last week and reminisced. Back then there was a group of us who socialized regularly as well as went out for drinks or coffee after the auctions. Natasha lives out in Rosenort and we once had a party out there where we shot off a whole bunch of fireworks. Lots of great memories.

Now I don’t just eat my way through Winnipeg restaurants as it might appear. I do other things too.

Donna and I met when I taught water aerobics at the YMCA. One summer the Y closed down for repairs and I taught classes in the pool in Donna’s backyard. When I was living in Mazatlan, Donna and her husband were on a cruise and their shipped docked for the day and we had lunch together. The other day we went for a drive through Assiniboine Park. And on Friday night we went to a fabulous concert featuring a young and extremely talented pianist.

Laura is my computer guru. We met at University of Manitoba when we were getting our certifications in teaching ESL. Laura knows anything and everything about computers which is greatly appreciated by yours truly who is technologically challenged. Perhaps impaired is a better word. So Laura and I got together last week and next week we’re going computer shopping. Yes, I’m finally replacing my laptop that died sometime during Covid. I love my tablet, but writing will sure be easier with a laptop again.

I still have a few friends I haven’t seen yet. But I plan on being in Canada for at least another couple of weeks.

So I Went To A Funeral

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So I Went To A Funeral

On Saturdays I generally check out the obituaries in The Winnipeg Free Press. Last week I didn’t have to wait until Saturday. It hit a lot closer to home.

While I’m in Winnipeg I’m staying with my friend Lise. When we first met, I was living in Oak Bluff and Lise was living in Fannystelle, about twenty minutes away on Highway 2. She and her husband Bob used to come in to Winnipeg for auctions, and that’s where we first met.

Both Lise and I had businesses on Ebay and would regularly check out estate sales and auctions in the rural areas. We also sold in rural flea markets together.

Years ago when Lorazepam was my best friend, Lise was one of my biggest sources of support. And she was also a rock when I was going through an ugly divorce.

I moved away twelve years ago but our friendship has remained strong. Throughout the years Lise has visited my parents regularly in a Jewish cemetery here in Winnipeg and even sends me photos. By the way, Lise is Catholic.

Bob has been in a personal care home since April. His condition deteriorated quickly in the two weeks since I had arrived in Winnipeg. And yesterday the funeral was held in Fannystelle.

Returning to Fannystelle brought back a flood of memories. I visited with people I hadn’t seen in years. And I heard of others who are no longer with us.

While I like to think that I am the one who makes the decisions, there is someone else who has a plan for me and leads me to exactly where I’m supposed to be as well as when I’m supposed to be there. I often ponder the reason, but right now it’s quite clear in this case.

Rest in peace, Bob. You’re in heaven now with Jesus.