Tag Archives: Canadá

Things To Ponder

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Things To Ponder

The sheep reelected the wolf again in 🇨🇦. The decision in the 🇺🇸 was to keep the land borders closed. Here in 🇲🇽 the entire country has been declared green or yellow on the stoplight.

Please take the time to check out the link. A very moving service was held at Spirit of America in Cashmere, Washington on September 11th. I usually attend in person but this year I was already back in Mexico.

We have been getting these incredible thunder boomers at night. After being up in Washington rampant with wildfires and drought, the rainy season here is most welcome. Iracema and I went out for dinner in the pouring rain. By the time we finished eating, the rain had stopped and off we went for a walk in the park.

Talking to friends in Canada this week, it appears that flights to Mexico are still chaotic. Canceled, rescheduled and extremely expensive. I’m so glad I decided to fly down from the USA. Great connections and reasonable fares. Alaska Airlines is the best!

INM is starting to crack down on people with expired tourist visas. They are checking regularly in bus stations and stories are circulating of people being held in detention and/or deported. Original documentation is required and a photo on a phone is not sufficient.

I have finally taken out my gel pens and started coloring again. Now if only King could fix the glitch with Jelly Queen on Candy Crush Friends…..

Made It To Humpday

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Made It To Humpday

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

I wonder if Charles Dickens was forecasting the year 2021 when he wrote those opening words in A Tale Of Two Cities.”

My first winter in snow in eleven years was actually quite enjoyable. It’s much milder here than in Winnipeg.

In March the USA issued a Level 4 travel advisory not to go to Canada. I retained an attorney and began the process of obtaining an extended stay. Documents, documents and more documents. In April I provided the requested biometrics. But it wasn’t until July when USCIS officially notified me that the stay had been granted.

In June I went on my first Amtrak trip and visited with friends in Portland and Sacramento. The scenery along the coast was breathtaking and it felt so good to travel again.

Once again I’m thinking about travel. I’ve spent the past two days exploring options. It’s been nerve-wracking to say the least. And I’ve finally made a decision. And I’ve booked flights. But that will be discussed in another post at a later date.

Speaking of dates, September 20th is the date of the federal election in 🇨🇦, if the wildfires don’t burn the country down first.

I Don’t Usually

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I Don’t Usually

I don’t usually post on Mondays. But today is no ordinary Monday.

I got a phone call from my daughter in Kelowna late last night. She was calling from her car, crawling along a road where way too many people were fleeing fires. She had about an hour to pack up and get my granddaughter and the three cats into her car. Thankfully my son-in-law was there to help her. He is a helicopter pilot and has been spending his time fighting fires.

Two years ago I visited my daughter and admired the forested area across the street from her house. I’m not sure I feel the same way today. But they were able to get out safely and they do have a safe place to stay temporarily.

I thought 2020 was a bad year but 2021 is still in the competition. I feel like I should get some type of reward for successfully obtaining extended stays in two foreign countries during a pandemic. I’m trying to get back to Canada but it’s still a waiting game. I spoke to my attorney again this morning. I’m still exploring options.

My daughter works in an ICU and tells me it’s been necessary to open up a second unit because of all the Covid patients. ALL UNVACCINATED!!!!!! And she is scheduled to work tonight even with her own chaotic personal life at the moment.

As if COVID-19 and raging wildfires aren’t enough, now there are earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, and tsunami warnings around the world. What’s next???

I saw this post on Facebook today and thought it most appropriate for today’s world.

The Best Laid Plans

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The Best Laid Plans

Plans. We all make them. We try to follow them. More often than not, things don’t always go as planned.

I look at my life and wonder how everything got so convoluted. One year in Mexico has turned into more than a decade. But oh the incredible adventures I’ve had. I’ve met amazing people and traveled to fascinating places.

I had just settled in to a comfortable routine of six months in Mexico and six months in Leavenworth, with side trips to Canada to see my kids. When I headed south in the fall of 2019, I was returning to Aguascalientes. Yes I’d visited the museums and art galleries the previous winter, but I’d also made friendships and I had volunteer work planned. Needless to say traveling was also on the agenda.

The six months became eleven when Covid arrived. I watched way too many movies in Spanish on TV, colored for hours on end and found games to play on my phone that were quite addictive.

I used up all my gel pens and markers. I colored every single page, including the title page, of a book I’d brought with me. I headed for the nearest papeleria and bought crayons and children’s coloring books, all that was available in my area.

I spent hours in meditation and prayer, a most welcome respite especially after dealing with INM and obtaining an extended stay when my visa expired. I must admit it was a much easier process getting that extended stay in the USA a few months later.

I arrived in Leavenworth in late September with the idea that I’d pick up my warmer clothes and head up to Canada. These plans changed when numerous restrictions regarding travel and quarantine were enforced. I must admit I quite enjoyed the mild winter here as compared with the brutal winters on the Canadian prairies I had experienced in the past.

It’s now August and I haven’t made it back to Canada yet. Yep, eleven months and counting. But a very different life than I had in Mexico. I can’t remember the last time I colored, although I did take out my acrylics and paint yesterday. Movies are now in English and I’m usually with friends when watching. No games on my phone anymore. They’ve all been moved onto my tablet lol.

Of course it’s also been a very different experience here in the USA this year. I used to wear a mask because of smoke from fires, not because of COVID-19. My volunteer work has dwindled down to teaching fitness classes. Lunches and activities at the Senior Center are mere memories, as are book club and programs at the library.

I’m constantly being asked when and where I’ll travel to next. My answer remains the same. I don’t know. Rules regarding travel change every day. I’ve given up making plans as they keep changing as well.

There is only one constant in my life right now. As the deadline of September 20th approaches, I will be en route to Canada or Mexico. If it’s Canada I don’t know where my destination will be. I have kids in two different provinces. If it’s Mexico I will definitely be on my way to Aguascalientes. To me these are all long range plans and I have more than enough trouble making even short range plans now.

For now, my plans are merely whatever happens to fall together. Extreme mindfulness.

Calmer Now

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Calmer Now

The Red Apple Fire was brought under control. But it’s sad to see the blackened hillsides.

We drove to Entiat the other night when the highway reopened. The fires had burned right down to the road and it was all black.

I opted to take more peaceful photos when we got to the camp. This tree was heavy with apricots just begging to be picked.

I also enjoyed some quiet time by the water.

One of the highlights of my summers here is the Leavenworth Summer Theater production of The Sound of Music. The venue is the amphitheater up in the hills. Maria actually walks through the surrounding woods in the opening scene. The Von Trapp family is up on a precipice in the final scene. The performance on Friday night was amazing and I’m so incredibly happy that I was still here to see it.

Yes, I’m planning to leave here shortly. I wish I could stay longer but it’s been ten months already and I’m anxious to see my family in Canada now that the ridiculous hotel quarantine has been lifted for fully vaccinated Canadians.

July 21 is the day when Canada will make an official statement regarding reopening borders. I’m also waiting to hear if Winnipeg will once again be an international airport. Too many rumors out there and I want to read it in black and white.

Hump Day Rant Day

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Hump Day Rant Day

Today is the last day in June. And I’m still in the USA and haven’t made it back to Canada yet. July 5th is on the horizon. Perhaps Canada’s stance on the border will be more clearly stated. Or not. It’s been pretty ambiguous up until now.

The way I see it Americans are being discriminated against. Fully vaccinated with Pfizer, as a Canadian I will finally be able to return without the ridiculous cash grab quarantine. However my friends here in the USA who have had the same vaccine are not extended that privilege.

While Covid had the potential to cause a world war, Trudeau’s stubbornness is inciting rebellions among Canadians as well as Americans. Never in history has Canada been so divided. Patriotism is all but dead.

When I finally do return to Canada I know that I will be sacrificing a lot. I will not have the freedom I have here in the USA. I will not enjoy the same quality of life I have here. And I will be counting the days until I can return to Aguascalientes for the winter.

But I want to hug my kids. I want my granddaughter to know that I am a real person and don’t just live in a phone where we see each other on video calls.

Taking A Break

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Taking A Break

Courtesy of The Winnipeg Free Press I am sent daily emails updating the status of Covid statistics and restrictions in the province of Manitoba as well as across Canada. I’m done. I’m not reading this garbage anymore. It’s too depressing and it makes me angry. Here in the USA 50% of all adults have been vaccinated while Canada lags far behind. The USA has a much higher population than Canada and a federal election was held at the peak of the pandemic. Canadians are reluctant to hold an election. And as for living in a police state, I think this Canadian is in no hurry to return home when I can enjoy the freedom I have here in the USA.

As I’m writing this, I’m looking out at the river and notice the growing Canada Goose population on the lawn. Even the geese are quite content to stay here and not fly farther north up into Canada.

I celebrated another birthday on the weekend. While I had a wonderful day with friends, I had hoped to be with my kids. However they are in Canada. Maybe next year.

I downloaded the Amtrak app on my phone last night. I’m planning on taking off for a while and doing some traveling in June. While I’ve taken Via Rail in Canada, I’m a rookie with Amtrak. But I am definitely looking forward to it. The mountains and the ocean will provide some fabulous views.

As far as flying goes, the attraction was lost long before Covid. Airports the size of small cities and long lineups in security have become my norm. Did you know that the airport in Dallas has its own zip code? No, I don’t plan on flying anywhere for a while yet.

Then there are the ferries. I’ve taken a few of those in Washington state. I find looking out at the water quite relaxing. The shorelines are also interesting. I’ve taken ferries around the San Juan islands, to the peninsulas as well as to Stehekin. And I’ve enjoyed all of those rides.

The Memorial Day weekend is coming up. Attending a barbecue as well as a maskless church service are only two of the activities already lined up. Hopefully the forecast of 80s and sunshine will be accurate.

Time to practice my Spanish with Duolingo. Hasta luego!

Open? Closed?

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Open? Closed?

When I talk to my friends in Canada I feel like I live in a completely different world. Yes we still have Covid here but we have a lot more freedom. I enjoy a quality of life far superior to what I’d experience if I were back in Winnipeg.

I know we’re far from out of the woods yet. However it is encouraging to hear that 80% of seniors in the USA have been vaccinated. And almost 30% of Americans have been vaccinated. Perhaps herd immunity is on the horizon.

Traveling is once again on my mind. In April I enjoyed a couple of short trips in Washington state. And I’m planning two more short trips within the state in May.

But my plans do not include travel to Canada at this time.

My American friends are appalled at what they read about forced hotel quarantines. “Just let them try that here” they tell me.

I’m not a big fan of FOX News, but I have to agree when they refer to the hotel quarantines as forced internment camps. There is no excuse for this violation of human rights and the deplorable conditions Canadian citizens are forced to endure.

Canadians were quick to condemn Trump for the mishandling of the Covid crisis. I think it’s time Canadians took a long, hard look at their own country and the disaster that has been created by Trudeau.

I not only worry about my family and friends in Canada, but I actually fear for them. There is something very wrong when sufficient vaccines are unavailable by appointment in Winnipeg, and here in Washington state people are encouraged to come by clinics as drop-ins to be vaccinated.

As much as I long to see my children and my granddaughter, I won’t be traveling to Canada under the current circumstances.

Rant Rant Rant

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Rant Rant Rant

These are my golden years. These are my retirement years. These are times meant to be spent with family. These are times meant to be spent pursuing interests that never fit in with working years. The reality is that these are now Covid years instead.

A year ago the madness had just begun. There was a frenzy of tourists flocking back to their native countries. There was fear among those who found themselves stranded in foreign countries. Cancelled flights and border closings became the norm.

I was in Mexico when all this started. And I still haven’t made it back to Canada yet. I wonder if I ever will. I never thought I’d say that I feel safer in the USA but I feel that way now. I also enjoy a lot more freedom and have a better quality of life.

Canada can best be described as a complete gong show in terms of the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inefficiency of the distribution of vaccines. The ambiguities surrounding the quarantine and subsequent restrictions serve to only increase confusion and promote unnecessary fear. And don’t even get me started on the mental health issues associated with all the negativity resulting from shutting the economy down.

The CDC issued a Level 4 travel advisory this week. DO NOT TRAVEL TO CANADA. Is this merely a retaliatory tactic against Trudeau’s policy of protecting Canadians from being infected by their southern neighbors by keeping the land borders closed?

The way things are right now, the Americans are doing amazingly better in terms of vaccinations. Perhaps the Americans should be concerned that the Canadians are the ones who pose the real danger until Canada gets its act together.

If it were up to me, I’d open up the borders and eliminate the quarantine. I want to travel to Canada to see my family who live in two different provinces. My Canadian friends accuse me of becoming a rebel like the Americans. But this Canadian prefers to be a rebel living in the USA right now rather than a sheep up in Canada.

Still Searching

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Still Searching

Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth has captured my heart. Plop it down in Mexico and it would be called a pueblo magico, a magic town.

The downtown area along Front Street is especially charming. It’s easy to forget you’re in the USA. Instead it’s like being transported to a quaint Bavarian village with an incredible mountain view as a backdrop.

The gazebo. Fond memories of hearing amazing musicians such as Alpenfolk. During the accordion festival the parade of accordionists ended here with a gala performance. Maifest and Octoberfest celebrations. And so much more. But it now stands eerily quiet as though it too were infected with Covid.

Bears are everywhere here. I admit I prefer these ones to the real ones whose favorite pastimes seem to be coming into the town to raid the trash cans.

This sign in front of one of the many restaurants caught my eye.

What appeals most to me is small town life. It’s more relaxing and people are friendlier. If Leavenworth were in Canada this nomad would seriously consider settling down permanently.