Tag Archives: Canadá

Let’s Go

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Let’s Go

Ok. I’ve been in areas and experienced tornados, hurricanes,thunderstorms and blizzards. I’ve seen hail the size of golf balls and have been caught up in flash flooding. But on Sunday I added mud slides to the list. From sunshine to rain to flooding to mud slides in a matter of minutes. Power outages affecting traffic lights and even shutting down Walmart and the movie theaters. Wenatchee was a mess!

Yesterday I was in Ellensburg. It was a gorgeous, hot and sunny day. The drive over Blewett from Leavenworth was beautiful. I never tire of driving through the mountains in Washington. The scenery is spectacular.

When I write I always have music on in the background. The latest added to my playlist is some Marianas Trench from about ten years ago. Don’t ask me why but Celebrity Status has always been one of my faves by this Canadian rock band.

The other day we went exploring at a Coastal store. My friend is an avid equestrian and showed me all kinds of saddles, chaps and other paraphernalia associated with horses. My favorite area was all the cute baby chicks in cages. Coastal also has clothing, kayaks, wood burning stoves,cowboy boots, toys, feed, outdoor furniture and so much more.

I’ve started researching my travel to Canada. Winnipeg is not the easiest city to get to from East Wenatchee. By the way, East Wenatchee and Wenatchee are two completely different cities. The former is where I live and is in Douglas County. The latter is in Chelan County.

Back to travel. Shuttle to SeaTac and two flights or an Amtrak out if Wenatchee and hope someone wants to pick me up in Grand Forks and drive me across the border. Like I told Lise the other day, maybe I should just fly there on my broom! LOL!

On My Mind

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On My Mind

My blog post on Wednesday had more than a few of you wondering WTF was going on in my life. It was a short post and I sounded kind of down.

About three weeks ago I saw my doctor in Leavenworth to get a prescription refill. I hadn’t seen her in almost two years. In Mexico I don’t need a script. However this past year there were still shortages so I wasn’t able to bring my meds with me to Washington.

She noticed a mole on my ear and was concerned. I consented to a biopsy. The results that came back were inconclusive. I had her book me in with a specialist in Wenatchee. He removed the mole on Tuesday and phoned me on Thursday with the results of the second biopsy. Malignant. But he was confident that he got it all and that the tissue surrounding it was healthy and cancer free.

I was relieved. But at the back of my mind is that nagging thought. What if I had waited until next month when I got back to Canada? I would never have gotten an appointment with my PCP and then seen a specialist within three weeks. Instead it would have been several months. Yes, the precarious nature of the Canadian medical system scares me. Socialized medicine is not all it’s cracked up to be.

I have nothing but praise for Cascade Medical Center and Confluence Health. The medical staff were attentive and caring, as well as efficient. Canada can learn a lesson from their neighbors to the south.

Another Tragedy

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Another Tragedy

A week ago at this time, millions of us in the world had never even heard of Uvalde, Texas. Now we can’t get it out of our heads. The sad part is that the focus should be on the senseless killing of innocent children and teachers, of the injured including the shooter’s own grandmother. Instead it has become a political gong show about who is to blame. This makes the tragedy even worse.

Accounts detailing the shooter’s biography are chilling. A victim of bullying. A history of violence. A son of a drug addict. And most disturbing that he legally purchased two rifles prior to the shooting and posted photos on his Instagram account.

My kids attended a private elementary school back in the 80s in Canada. The school had a security system and the doors were always locked. Here we are decades later and Robb Elementary had a door left propped open. With the track record here in the USA regarding school shootings, a door propped open during school hours? Absolutely reprehensible!

The mother instinct is a strong one. How dare they handcuff a woman who in desperation was trying to protect her children! Other angry parents begged for the Kevlar vests that the police had because law enforcement merely sat back and didn’t do anything. Perhaps more mothers are needed on the police forces.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims. I can only imagine how helpless they felt while the shooting was going on and how horrific the grieving is now that it’s over. We need to pray not only for these families, but for all of America, a country in crisis.

People First NOT Politics First.

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

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!

Today Is Wednesday

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Today Is Wednesday

Four weeks ago yesterday I crossed the border at Nogales. I’m only allowed 180 days in this country and already 30 precious days have flown by.

I was talking to a friend in Winnipeg last night who asked me what I was planning to do when I got to Canada and how long I was going to stay. The painful truth is that I don’t even want to come to Canada. I come back to see my kids, my granddaughter, and the handful of close friends I keep in touch with. And of course I want to go to the cemetery in Winnipeg. But my life is here in Washington as well as in Mexico.

I’m settling in to life in East Wenatchee. I’ve never lived in Douglas County before. Always in Chelan County. The big difference I’ve noticed is that each county has its own judicial buildings.

While I still teach fitness classes in Leavenworth, I found a new life group from Sage Hills Church just down the street from where I live. And on April 1 the senior center in Wenatchee reopens so that will be an opportunity to meet people and perhaps even play bridge again.

I’m off shortly for a walk. I love watching the trees come to life in the spring. I took this photo of a tree down the street a couple of days ago when it was just beginning to bud.

I peeked out my window a few minutes ago and it’s now in full bloom. A new photo is definitely in order.

Have a great Wednesday!

Que tengas un buen miercoles!

La Vida

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La Vida

It happened again on Wednesday. Another bomb scare in Leavenworth. There was one last year too. The downtown area was closed off. Highway 2 through town was closed off. Thankfully no bomb was found on either occasion.

I live in Mexico six months of the year. My friends up north tell me I’m crazy to live there because it’s dangerous. Well, I’m up north and it’s just as peligroso up here.

One of my Canadian friends suggested it was time I move back to Canada. Not on the radar. I read the headlines in The Winnipeg Free Press, my hometown newspaper. Lots of crime there too.

Our world was going crazy long before Covid and the situation in Ukraine. Technology makes it far too easy to build bombs or create other weapons. Technology is also to blame for the increase in school shootings. Canada, you’re not far behind the USA when it comes to those either. Technology is also responsible for providing accessibility to all types of criminal activity and even providing inspiration to criminals.

Face it, people. Nowhere is safe. So we may as well get out there and enjoy life wherever we happen to live. Maybe I take it to the extreme because I travel a lot. At least I’m living life to the fullest.

Have an amazing week out there! You only live once!

Yes I Moved Again

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Yes I Moved Again

Hopefully this is the last Washington move. One night in Seattle, two nights in Leavenworth, one week in Dryden, four nights in Peshastin and now I’m in East Wenatchee.

I’ve unpacked one of my two suitcases. I got here Sunday evening so that’s not bad. The other suitcase has things like pastels and water colors. No time for that yet.

I went into Leavenworth yesterday for a SAIL class. Higher up in the mountains so it’s cooler and there is still snow. I’ll be going into Leavenworth again on Thursday for another class.

We watched House of Gucci last night. I am so glad I watched it in English. Had I watched it in Spanish in Mexico I would have missed a lot of the little nuances. Great movie and I highly recommend it.

For all my hometown friends in Canada…..you are now two hours ahead of me. That means I won’t be calling as regularly as when I was in Aguascalientes in the same time zone. Apparently Washington has also decided to do away with the time change starting in the fall.

The featured photo is the view from my street. I just can’t get enough of these mountains. Living on the flat Canadian prairies for so many years will do that to you. The mountains in Queretero always remind me of the ones here in Washington.

Things are looking better for traveling to Canada this year. Doing away with Covid tests to enter the country is a start. And Amtrak is going to start running to Vancouver again.

My thought for Humpday:

Why Am I Here?

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Why Am I Here?

I was sitting outside the other day enjoying the warm Washington sunshine and wondering why it is that I’m meant to be here. Have you ever done that? Wondered why you found yourself in a certain place or in a particular situation? I mean, you know how you physically got there, but it’s the why you came to be there that is so totally fascinating.

I vividly remember sitting in a bar one night in Guadalajara with my then boyfriend more than one decade younger, listening to a Mexican band playing music from the British invasion. As a teenager back in the 60s listening to the same music while living in Canada, never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself ever having this experience. It’s now several years later and I still wonder why I was meant to be there at that time, other than the obvious reason that I was teaching ESL in Guadalajara.

Just last month I was in Culiacan with my Mexican family. Although I am not Catholic, I always go to mass with them when I visit. My nine-year-old grandson did a reading and I was so very proud of him. The service was outdoors in the evening and I found myself distracted from the priest’s sermon by the stars twinkling above. It was as though they were smiling down at me and telling me that I was meant to be there and there was no need to even ponder the why.

I’m having great difficulty putting the finishing touches on this post as I have an Australian sheepdog and a cuddly cat vying for my attention. Thank goodness the fish are in their own tank. I wonder why I’m pet sitting in a home along the river in Peshastin, Washington aside from the obvious reasons that my friend needed a pet sitter and I needed somewhere to stay. Six years ago I’d never even heard of Peshastin, Washington.

I guess I’m always going to wonder why I’m meant to be where I am.

And that’s okay.

Because I have complete faith in The One who does know.

Today Is Moving Day

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Today Is Moving Day

Today is Wednesday and it’s moving day. This time it’s from Dryden to Peshastin. Will be pet sitting for a friend…a dog, a cat and fish.

I will still be on the river, but closer to Leavenworth than to Wenatchee. Temp will be a little cooler and a little more snow left on the ground although the rain the other day washed some of it away.

I saw this the other day.

I admit that this is something this free spirit rarely does. But I’ve started doing it this year. No, I don’t have paranoid friends, although I’ve accused them of this in the past. Maybe it’s approaching the almost seven decades of life. Maybe it’s Covid. Maybe it’s what’s going on in the Ukraine. But this year I have one contact in each of the three countries who always know where I am when I’m traveling.

I was contemplating a trip to Canada next week but have decided to put it on hold until May. The crazy and inconsistent regulations regarding Covid in Canada are raising my anxiety level, and I don’t need that when I can remain here in the USA and live a comfortable and relatively stress free life with a good deal more freedom.

Last week I was able to get a booster shot that had not been available to me in Mexico. While I was at Cascade Medical in Leavenworth, I realized how much at home I felt there. I’ve been there a handful of times in the past few years, yet I can no longer even envision the clinic I went to for so long all those years ago in Winnipeg.

I have friends who marvel at my lifestyle and I have friends who are very critical of it. In all honesty, sometimes I question it myself. But then I think of the amazing people I’ve met and the incredible adventures I’ve had and settling down in one place for a long period of time loses its appeal quickly.

So where’s home?

It’s true that I have called Aguascalientes home six months of the year for the past three years. But I don’t stay there all the time. It’s my home base for traveling elsewhere. Although it’s been more difficult traveling during Covid, this past winter I did get to Culiacan twice to see my Mexican family, celebrated Thanksgiving in Mazatlan, New Years in Jilotzingo and got to explore new places near CDMX and in the state of Hidalgo.

And it goes without saying that the other place I call home is Washington state. I have fond memories of my first visit in July of 2016. I came for two weeks and stayed for four months. The snow in mid November chased me back to Mazatlan. I have lived mainly in Leavenworth when I come to Washington, but that is going to change when I leave Peshastin next week.

Hint: Leaving Chelan County and moving to Douglas County.