Category Archives: Uncategorized

I Went Out For A Walk

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I Went Out For A Walk

It’s been a crazy weekend so far, a real roller coaster ride. And I’m trying to get off of it. But it’s a tough struggle.

It started on Friday when I read something on Facebook. And then I made the mistake of reading the obituaries in my hometown newspaper. And if that wasn’t enough, I received malas noticias from a friend here in Mexico. The icing on the cake is the crisis one of my characters is going through, and I can’t get it out of my head.

Time to clear my head. Time for a long walk, by myself. Hoping I don’t bump into anyone because I just don’t feel like talking right now.

Some people call me homeless because I keep moving around. But this woman is truly homeless and she doesn’t move at all. No, she’s camped out on a boulevard on a busy street here in Las Flores.

I walked by a travel agency and saw this interesting poster. I’m thinking it was an old one, before Covid.

Luckily the only person I had to talk to was the server at Country Break. And yes, I ordered a burger to go along with my “comfort food.”

I think the walk helped. Duolingo is calling. Today’s story is a cheesy one about a secret place. I wonder what Junior will be up to today….

2022 Week 1

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2022 Week 1

On January 1st I was in Jilotzingo. Not sure exactly what time I fell asleep after the New Years celebrations, but I do recall sleeping most of the day. Even the coffee refused to perform its magic to revive me.

On January 2nd Angie and I arrived at her home in Pachuca. After being with a house full of people all weekend, I really appreciated the tranquility, especially the garden.

Angie celebrated a birthday on the 4th.

On the 5th it was time for Rosca de Reyes.

I arrived back in Aguascalientes on the 7th.

While I was enjoying the beautiful sunny weather here in Mexico, it was a very different situation in Leavenworth, Washington. My quaint Bavarian village was labeled a disaster area as a snowfall of over four feet crippled the area. Mountain passes were closed and the National Guard was brought in to help dig out the town.

I’m so thankful I’m back in Mexico this winter. Last winter I stayed in Leavenworth due to Covid, and I can count the times I wore boots on one hand. Very different this year.

We were all eager to slam the door on 2021. Between global warming and the virus mutations, I wonder what’s in store for us this year. Only time will tell.

Writing In 2022

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Writing In 2022

Most of what I write about in this blog are stories of my travels and my life while living in numerous different places. Occasionally I write about my family and friends. I also tend to shy away from politics and religion. And I also try to leave Covid on the sidelines.

In 2022, I’ve decided to write a little more introspectively. Is that even a word? I’m not sure just what that means at the moment. But it will be interesting to find out.

After having published two self-help books, I’m currently writing fiction. Imagination rules where fact once presided. A very different style, both enjoyable and frustrating at the same time.

For the time-being, I’ve shelved the idea of writing memoirs for my granddaughter. She turns four next month, so she won’t be ready to read them anytime soon. Thanks to Covid she believes I live in a cellphone. But videocalls are the best way available to maintain contact because we live in different countries.

Years ago I wrote poetry. However I don’t feel quite as creative these days. The idea of deciding if words should or shouldn’t rhyme has lost its appeal.

While I will still write about my travels and my life, in 2022 these posts will be interspersed with topics of a more serious nature. When the mood hits.

Perhaps this post is one of them.

Adios 2021 Bienvenido 2022

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I had a fabulous New Years Eve with an amazing family in Jilotzingo. Actually it lasted the entire weekend and today we are finally arrived in Pachuca.

We left Tlalnepantla Friday morning. Traffic was heavy and once we left the highway, it was slow going as we drove through interesting small pueblos.

We arrived in Jilotzingo where we enjoyed a sumptuous lunch of chipotle pollo. We then began the project of stringing grapes on skewers. Here is a photo of Kamira doing this.

A total of 60 were made, one for each person attending the fiesta that night. 12 grapes, twelve months of the year, twelve wishes.

Here is a photo of our hostess. This dynamic lady in her 80s prepared a leg of pork, a turkey, lasagna, ponche and other dishes. Also in the photo are her daughter Liliana and son-in-law Ventura.

Here is a photo of the table. I thought of Canada and the limits of gatherings to 10 people. Happy I’m here in Mexico. Wasn’t able to capture all 60 in one photo.

Here I am in a photo with my friend Angie, her son Ventura and his wife Liliana.

Countdown to midnight followed by toasts and hugs. No idea what time we actually got to sleep, but I do remember texting friends at around 4 am while sipping cognac.

The following photo is dedicated to my friends up north who are either in awe of my nomadic lifestyle or critical of it. The tradition here in Mexico is to walk around the block after midnight carrying a suitcase. This signifies the hope for travel in the coming year. So here I am!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!

This year I’m writing my last post of the year from Mexico City. It’s been quite a year and I must say I’m looking forward to 2022.

Back in December of 2010 I took a train trip in the Copper Canyon and met this amazing family. Nine years ago I came to Mexico City for New Years and although we’ve kept in touch, we haven’t seen each other at all. And it’s been a fabulous reunion!

Angie and I are about the same age. When we met, we were both teaching English here in Mexico. Her son Ventura and his wife were also on that train trip, along with her daughter Kamira. Ventura spoke some English, but Liliana and Kamira spoke only Spanish. I had only been in Mexico for three months, so my Spanish was extremely very limited.

Today I can hold my own and converse fluently in Spanish with everyone. However they are all learning English now and are interested in practicing this language as well. So it’s been great talking in both languages.

I arrived in Mexico City yesterday and am staying at Ventura’s. Tomorrow we are going to Jilotzingo where we will spend New Years Eve with Liliana’s family.

On Sunday we return to Mexico City. Angie and I will then travel to Pachuca, where Angie lives now. So my first post of 2022 will be from Pachuca.

To all my readers and followers, best wishes for a Healthy and Happy New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2022.

They’re Talking To Me Again!

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They’re Talking To Me Again!

Writing fiction isn’t easy. It’s a lot more fun than writing self-help books, except for when my imaginary characters stop talking to me. And that’s been going on for quite a while now.

But for some reason, over the weekend they not only began talking to me again but they also demanded my undivided attention. And I have found myself totally immersed in the life of one of my main characters. I have been eating, sleeping and breathing his life.

And it’s a complicated life. He’s struggling with overwhelming challenges and is finally beginning to overcome some of them. I find myself crying and laughing right along with him.

I recall a time when one of my housemates found me in tears and was sure someone had just died. No, I explained to him, I was just totally into my character.

But unless you’re a writer, these emotions are hard to comprehend. I also cry when I watch movies. Or I laugh aloud. At the moment my character is making me do a lot of both.

I’m seriously contemplating buying another laptop sooner than later. Writing on a tablet is becoming a little tedious now that my imaginary friends are back. But I’m glad they’re back. I’ve missed them.

La Buenanoche 2021

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Here in Mexico, La Buenanoche (Christmas Eve) is the time for celebration. It is very family as well as church oriented.

This year I was truly blessed to spend the night with a Mexican family. I was invited by my friend Gloria to attend church and then have dinner with her family.

We started off at Templo de la Salud to attend La Misa (Mass). There was a beautiful choir and guitarist and the sanctuary was packed, with the overflow standing behind the pews and outside the church. I enjoyed the service and was pleased that I understood so much of the Spanish.

After the service, fireworks lit up the sky as we walked over to Gloria’s brother’s home for dinner. In addition to the traditional ponche and tamales, turkey and vegetables were also on the menu.

Gloria is one of nine siblings. All were present except for one sister in Chiapas, who delighted us all with a video call. The adorable little girl in the photo is Romena, Gloria’s daughter.

Spending time with this amazing family made La Buenanoche even more special for me.

Feliz Navidad!

A Christmas Memory

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A Christmas Memory

I’ve spent Christmas with a variety of different people in numerous places in Mexico and the USA. But one of my favorite memories dates back to the 90s, when I lived in Canada and my kids were still young and living at home. And Koal was still with us too.

My friend Lesley had invited us over on Christmas Eve. When I had a thyroidectomy, my vocal folds were nicked during surgery. Lesley was my speech therapist who worked with me to get my voice back, and we became good friends as the months went by. My kids were delighted to meet other kids at this Christmas Eve gathering, and it was a most enjoyable evening.

On Christmas Day I prepared my usual bacon and eggs breakfast, and then took my coffee into the living room where we opened presents. Of course Koal got the most gifts. That dog was spoiled rotten by all of us, and was always given way too many treats, toys and t-shirts to add to his wardrobe.

A lazy afternoon included card games and siestas, although I did spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen preparing a traditional turkey dinner.

After dinner we watched Christmas Vacation and laughed ourselves silly at the antics of Chevy Chase. I also remember the first time we saw that movie. We were in Phoenix, Arizona.

The last time I had Christmas dinner with my kids was in 2009. And I often wonder if we’ll ever do it again. We live in different countries. With the world crazy with Covid, nothing is certain anymore.

Now, more than ever before, it’s important to practice mindfulness. If you are fortunate to have family and good friends, celebrate with them NOW. A year from now, we may not all be around to get together. Nothing is promised.

Merry Christmas to all my readers and followers. May you and your families enjoy great times together, in good health, over this holiday season.

Feliz Navidad!

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Feliz Navidad!

A year ago I was wandering around downtown Leavenworth taking photos of the brightly colored trees. I was also wearing a ski jacket and boots. It was a pleasure to take photos of the lights in Centro Aguascalientes wearing only a light sweatshirt and tennis shoes.

On my way home I walked through the Jardin de San Marcos where a Christmas market was in full swing.

My last stop was a stroll through Expoplaza where a children’s fair was happening.

Feliz Navidad!

Proud Of Me

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Proud Of Me

Yep. That’s me. And oh the changes I’ve made in my life! And how wonderful I feel about myself! And then there’s that peaceful feeling in my heart!

There was a time when I lived my life for others. I never put myself first. I was afraid of doing the wrong thing and offending someone. It was easier to do what others expected of me rather than what I would have preferred to do. And I was caught up in the world of creating a good impression.

Does this sound familiar?

One of the most difficult changes I made in my life was learning to say No! and not just when asked to do something I didn’t want to do. Closely related was venturing off in a completely different direction than the one others had advised me to take.

Conformity is no longer a word in my vocabulary. I am free to make choices and couldn’t care less about being judged or criticized by others. Bring on the adventures!

It’s not an easy path that I’ve chosen. It is filled with struggles and challenges. But it is more than overflowing with strength and growth.

Here’s the result.

And I wouldn’t trade her for anything!