Tag Archives: blogging

This Week In Writing Land

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This Week In Writing Land

I was talking to one of my blogging friends the other day and somehow we got on the topic of why we blog. I originally started blogging as a way for my friends back home to come along with me on my travels and adventures. But it has evolved into more.

I write about whatever happens to come to mind, whatever I’m in the mood to write about. At the moment, mental health is very much on my mind. May is mental health awareness month. And one of the leading characters in my WIP is bipolar. I also have friends in Canada, Mexico and here in the USA who struggle with a bipolar disorder. Needless to say I’ve been doing a lot of research on the subject lately.

No idea why but I started thinking about Carl Rogers and encounter groups. Anyone else out there remember encounter groups? They were a part of my life back in the late 60s, early 70s when I was studying psychology in college. Ah, yes, my Canadian friends. I used the word college instead of university. Next you’re going to accuse me of spending too much time in the USA.

Back to my character. At the moment he is in a psych ward, not the most pleasant place to be. After all the struggles he’s had throughout childhood and his early teenage years, the diagnosis has finally been made and I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing with him next.

My character has had issues with anger management all his life. It began with temper tantrums as a toddler. And then there was the stage where he held all his emotions bottled up inside. Then the volcano erupted. Mood swings became the norm. Is he headed toward full-blown narcissism and ultimately Alzheimers? Too predictable. A serial killer? Nope. Don’t like that one either. Oh well. I’m sure it will come to me eventually.

But I sure am enjoying writing fiction. It’s fun to let my imagination run wild. People beware. I’m finding inspiration in the most unlikely places.

Writing In 2022

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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.

Changing It Up

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Changing It Up

For over a year now I’ve been posting on Wednesdays and Sundays. It’s time for a change.

I started writing this blog years ago when I lived in Guadalajara. At the time it was mainly directed to my friends I had left behind in my hometown in Canada. I replaced the mass emails with blog posts. My close friends know that I detest email and consider it to be snail mail. I don’t check it regularly.

What I do check daily are calls and texts on my phone, Messenger and What’s App. I don’t even check my stats on WordPress daily, although it is interesting to see that I have followers from a variety of countries, some whose names I can’t even pronounce and have had to look up on a map.

Over the years I’ve taught with people from all over the world. Everyone seems eager to come to Mexico to teach. People stay for varying lengths of time. Some return to their home countries although many keep right on traveling.

As for me, after six years here I reverted back to snowbird status. But I don’t return to Canada. I spend the summer and fall in the USA. Covid complicated things and I applied for and was granted two extended stays in foreign countries during the pandemic.

Just as my life has changed, it’s time to change up the blog posts. I do look forward to posting on a regular basis, but it won’t necessarily occur on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Thank you to all my readers. It’s gratifying that so many of you follow my blog. I appreciate your feedback and comments, although I seldom publish them on my page. I know that when I read other people’s blogs, I prefer to form my own opinion rather than scroll through a myriad of comments, and am determined to spare my followers from just that.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Family

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Family

Snow has arrived in Leavenworth. I decided to escape to the warmth of California tonight and tuned in to YouTube to watch Season 1 Episode 3 of one of my favorite TV shows. Family aired in the 70s and 80s and featured Kristy McNichol as Buddy.

When my son Kyle was three years old, he enjoyed watching this series with me. In those days we had a VCR and the episode I watched tonight was Kyle’s favorite. He called it “the swimming Buddy.” He admired Buddy because she learned to dive by herself. His favorite expression back then was “self did it”, so he really identified with Buddy. He was always eager to do things on his own without any adult help.

That episode struck a chord with me because Willie was such an awesome older brother to Buddy. That’s an experience I never had growing up although I do now have a couple of close male friends who are like the brothers I never had before.

I also treasure a number of close female friends whom I consider to be more like sisters. Two of them even date back to middle school years. And have we ever changed since then!

My friends tell me I collect family. I don’t like the word “collect.” It’s true that my extended family continues to grow over the years with all the traveling I do. But these amazing people are much more than a collection. We’ve been there for each other through thick and thin. We’ve shared laughter and tears and it doesn’t matter where we live now. We are more than friends for life. We are family.

Memoirs On My Mind

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Memoirs On My Mind

On February 9th, 1977 I lost my best friend, my hero, my father. More than 43 years have gone by but in some ways it seems like yesterday.

I was so young when he died and there is so much more that I wish I knew about him. Although we were very close, because he left me so long ago, there are questions that have surfaced over the years as I have grown.

My dad never met his grandchildren. They came along years later. It’s sad that he missed out on the opportunity to be a grandparent. And it’s also sad that my children never had a loving grandfather in their lives.

One of my writing projects involves writing my memoirs for my granddaughter. Madeline is 2-1/2 now and it will be years until she will read and understand the significance of these stories. Yet it is important to me that this history be recorded. Indeed my own daughter is not aware of some of these memories.

I must admit that compiling these memories at times is overwhelming. How much information is too much information? And wow is some of it emotionally draining for someone who practices mindfulness on a daily basis to avoid unnecessary sadness and anxiety.

I had hoped to attend another memoir writing class this year while in Leavenworth. Due to Covid-19 there is no class. And as I continue to work on my memoirs, I wonder just how much Covid-19 will impact my writing. Only time will tell.

Something Different

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Something Different

This post is not about COVID-19 or Trump. I want to forget those for a moment and write about something completely different.

Monday night I went to a baby shower. I can’t remember the last time I went to one but I know it’s been years. It was such fun to see all the cute items for this precious new baby.

Yesterday was our exercise get together. We have now grown to five from three. My body really appreciates this as the colder weather has a tendency to stiffen up the joints.

Usually at this time of year, if I’m not already back in Mexico already, I’m shopping the summer clearance sales for clothes. Instead last week my purchases included boots, a toque, lined gloves and a cozy pullover sweater.

Although many of the trees have lost their leaves, there are still many showing off their glorious hues of red and orange. The recent rain has kept them hydrated.

While I turn to Duolingo every day and text in Spanish to some friends, I must admit I’m enjoying watching movies in English again. But I did go to my favorite Mexican restaurant last week and I always get to use my Spanish there.

I’m really enjoying my new tablet and am in the process of buying a new computer. However I became so reliant on technology is beyond me. It’s sure a different world.

And then there are the video calls. My granddaughter Madeline in Canada turns three in February and thinks her grandma lives in a phone. My grandson Juan Carlos in Culiacán is eleven and we converse in English regularly. Now if only I could convince my son in Canada to do video calls.

Today is another shopping trip to Wenatchee. More warm clothes for winter are very much needed. Somehow my usual wardrobe of capris and tank tops are not appropriate attire here in Leavenworth at this time of year.

The best part of being here is that I’m having a great time renewing friendships, meeting new people and making memories. My extended family just keeps on expanding. Life is more than good.

It’s Been Years

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It’s Been Years

There’s been snow up in the mountains for days now.

But yesterday was the first snowfall here in Leavenworth. And it’s already beginning to melt.

In another lifetime I would take the change of seasons in stride. Winters on the Canadian prairies were harsh. Plunging temperatures and high windchills were the norm. Warming up even a little meant icy roads and treacherous sidewalks frequently hidden by a fine dusting of snow.

Covid-19 has turned my world upside-down. Last year on this date I flew into Guadalajara en route to Aguascalientes. I eagerly looked forward to my usual six months of summer rather than winter.

Six months turned into eleven before I was able to leave Mexico and return to Washington State. The joys of being Canadian and finding travel health insurance to be in the USA during a pandemic!

But I did it and I’m here. I still don’t know how long I’ll be here. My plan to return to Canada is on the backburner for now. Quarantine has to disappear and Winnipeg has to reopen it’s airport to international flights. And don’t even get me started when it comes to the apps the government wants me to put on my phone.

I miss you Mexico and I pray for you. The precarious state of healthcare there more than intimidates me. What little resources still available should be reserved for the citizens of your own country.

Ghosts And Goats

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Ghosts And Goats

We are more than halfway through October and I’ve been back almost a month. The days are cooler now, the trees are losing their leaves and Halloween 🎃 is only a couple of weeks away.

Scare-Crazy in Cashmere has always been a favorite. Scarecrows are on display for the entire month. I found this one the other day that is decked out in Halloween attire.

While Walmart in Wenatchee already has a Christmas display inside, Halloween is still the theme outside.

My tree in Cashmere is not nearly as resplendent as it has been in past years. Some wicked winds have done their damage and the rain didn’t help matters either.

And now to the goats. These guys were out for a ride the other day when I was walking along Highway 2 in Leavenworth.

I wonder what Halloween will be like this year in view of the Covid situation. There will be no Light The Night at the Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene, an event the whole town looks forward to every year. I imagine that the number of trick or treaters on the streets will be significantly lower as well. Halloween will certainly be different this year.

A Rainy Day

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A Rainy Day

Yesterday was actually a very productive day thanks to the rain. I stayed in most of the day and successfully conquered some very tedious tasks.

First on the agenda was sorting through paperwork. How could so much have accumulated over the months I’ve spent here? Why on earth did I have so many photocopies and save so many receipts? They’re all in the trash now.

Next was books. Coloring books with only a handful of pages completed. Books I’ve read and reread so it’s time to pass them along.

Community Cupboard is a thrift store here in Leavenworth. I’d already begun to fill a box with clothes I no longer wear. The books will make a great addition.

Empty file folders and binders are now in the box as well, as are an assortment of rulers, reinforcements and other miscellaneous stationary supplies.

Lastly I had to sort through cards and photos. I’m definitely not as sentimental as I once was which is a good thing.

But I am keeping all of my completed artwork. I was delighted to find my pastels and hope to make use of them again soon. Thanks to Amazon I have a new set of gel pens and a Thomas Kinkade coloring book.

The forecast is for clearing skies and sun today. I’m more than ready for an adventure in Wenatchee after a day of tedious tasks.

Fall Is My Favorite Season

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Fall Is My Favorite Season

When I was younger, my favorite season was spring. In the garden, the perennials came began to grow. The bushes and trees came to life again. As the weather warmed up, I would plant the colorful annuals as well as some vegetables. It was heartwarming to see everything thriving over the summer.

But now fall has become my favorite season, especially here in Leavenworth. The leaves on the trees are all various shades of green, yellow, orange, red and purple. Their color changes daily. I love to take photos and have taken hundreds over the years.

As I write this, I can hear the rustle of the leaves in the wind outside my bedroom window. The forecast was for rain today, but it has not yet arrived. But you can almost smell it in the air.

Usually at this time of year I am starting to think about returning to Mexico. Instead I have just arrived in Leavenworth. Covid-19 has certainly turned my world upside down.

Thankfully I arrived in time to enjoy the colorful leaves before the temperature plummets. The harvesting of pears and apples from the trees is also almost complete.
In addition to the spectacular sight of all the gorgeous trees, I love to hear the crunch of the fallen leaves as I walk. Of course fallen leaves also means the chores of raking and burning, which I gladly leave to others.

I hope that autumn lingers for a while longer.