I spent the entire month of July in Winnipeg. I’ve written about it in other blog posts so I’ll just touch on this month briefly. July 4th I found myself out at a cabin rather than celebrating with parades or fireworks as I usually do in the USA. It was nice to get out of the city. I enjoyed spending time with my son and my friends but on a more sad note I attended a funeral. I also replaced my laptop finally. The old one had died during Covid back in 2020 and my tablet had become my best friend.
The first week in August I was back out at the cabin and the following week I flew back to Washington. Leavenworth Summer Theater was in full swing and I enjoyed The Music Man and The Sound of Music. The latter production is a favorite and I try to see it every year. The mountain setting makes this show even more spectacular. I also began teaching four SAIL classes a week instead of the usual two in Leavenworth. The two new ones were in East Wenatchee.
The September long weekend this year was really special as my daughter and granddaughter came from Kelowna. I enjoyed showing them some of my favorite places in Leavenworth and Cashmere. The County Fair began right after they left and I hadn’t been to one in three years due to Covid. September was also the 9/11 Ceremony in Cashmere and Autumn Leaf Festival in Leavenworth. Sadly it was also time to start thinking about returning to Mexico for the winter. Every year it gets harder to say goodbye to friends for six months of the year.
Three flights and a short bus trip and I was back in Aguascalientes. I love my neighborhood. Las Flores doesn’t change much even though I leave for several months every year. It was nice seeing friends again and catching up. I really dived into my writing too. The lure of the new laptop was definitely a factor. My characters were also quite talkative and that certainly helped as well. The internet has also been much better this year too.
November began with the celebration of Day of the Dead. This is one of my favorite holidays in Mexico. The catrinas are always outstanding and even the tiniest shops have colorful decorations. The alters in remembrance of loved ones are also prominent. This year I opted not to go to a cemetery but merely admired everything as I strolled through the streets. The entertainment was amazing and venues were set up throughout the city.
Suddenly it was December and the last month of the year. Festivities were now geared towards Christmas and the Centro area turned into a magical fairyland of colorful lights. Music was an integral part of this celebration and I saw dancers, heard bands and watched children performing. The tienguis was larger than usual with more vendors. I didn’t trim a tree this year. Just didn’t get around to it. Writing occupied much of my time instead. I went to Christmas posadas and Christmas Eve was spent in church. The inevitable fireworks lit up the sky in Mexico as well.
A new year is just around the corner. Here’s to a fabulous one filled with Health and Happiness for all.
Every fall it gets harder to leave. Temperatures in the 80s, the leaves changing color, scarecrow days, Octoberfest. It still feels like summer even though it’s October.
Linda and I had a last lunch at Agave Azul in Cashmere yesterday. And of course I visited my tree and took pics. But it’s going to turn a brilliant red after I’ve left. My friends all know which tree it is, and they are awesome about sending me pics even though it’s three towns away.
I only have one fitness class left to teach tomorrow. I’ve been with this class now for six years. And I will miss them when I’m in Mexico. I pretty much exercise alone there. I don’t live in a gringo area so most women my age are either looking after a thousand grandchildren or are still working somewhere. Exercising is the last thing they want to do when they have time for themselves.
I’ve been researching travel health insurance and am pretty sure I’m going to stick with the American company I use when I’m here in the USA. The Mexican quote is less expensive but I’m rather skeptical. I had an insane experience with a Mexican company a few years ago but they finally paid the bill. I don’t give in easily.
The smoke has really been awful. I actually voluntarily donned a mask yesterday. The mountains have vanished. It’s really eerie driving around in this. It’s like you’re headed for some type of oblivion. The air is so thick with smoke and air pollution warnings have become the norm.
I’ll be traveling on the weekend so won’t be posting on Sunday. This is my last post from Washington until March. Yes. I did buy a return ticket. I haven’t done that in more than a decade.
Somehow I found the time yesterday to get my second booster. Glad I did. The latest version with the omicron protection is in short supply here in the valley and the demand is high. I was in Leavenworth promoting the SAIL program at the Senior Health Fair, had lunch with Connie at O’Grady’s at Sleeping Lady and then went to Cascade Medical before heading back to Wenatchee.
Lots of debate going around re all these vaccines. I have several friends who are Trumpers and can’t understand why I could possibly have even one dose, let alone four. Simple. I like to travel. Covid is here to stay. It was rampant when I was in Canada over the summer and I can only imagine what awaits me when I return to Mexico next month.
Yes. I booked my flights. I’ve decided to fly inland to Guadalajara. It’s still hurricane season. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami warning didn’t help any this week either. The bonus is I fly out of Pangborn and avoid the hassle of TSA screening at Sea-Tac.
The leaves are starting to change color as the cooler temperatures move in. I didn’t have time for pics today when I was in Cashmere, but I did notice that the leaves on my tree are starting to turn red. I need to find some time to go back later this week and take some pics. And I know I can rely on my friends to visit my tree and take pics while I’m gone.
Naturally a trip to Costco was in order yesterday. I always find the most insane things to buy there that I never thought I needed. The kicker is that I usually make good use of these whether it’s clothing, groceries or just stuff. I must admit that my packing cubes came from Marshalls. But the dark chocolate sea salt caramels are definitely from Costco.
On Sunday Clairesse and Katie introduced me to Legends, an extremely high end and gourmet ice cream shop here in East Wenatchee. Of course it’s quite conveniently located close to where I live here in East Wenatchee. And this comes on the heels of discovering Blue Spoon, a fabulous frozen yogurt place, also conveniently located close by.
Autumn Leaf Festival is coming up this weekend in Leavenworth. Apple Days are the following weekend in Cashmere at the Pioneer Museum. Then it will time to fly back to Mexico for the weekend. So I can’t figure out why it feels like I just got back to Washington from Mexico in the spring.
The featured image for this post is a photo my daughter sent me from Kelowna last year when they were evacuated. But there are areas in Washington state that look like that today. Highway 2 is closed due to the fires raging at Stevens Pass. That’s about one hundred miles away from where I live, but the smoke is thick here in East Wenatchee. The mountains have all but vanished. And it may be time to once again start using a mask.
In Cashmere on Sunday the turnout for the 9/11 service at Spirit of America was much lower than in past years. The air was thick with smoke. Combine that with the extreme heat warnings and it was definitely not a good day to be sitting outside. But it was a very moving experience for those of us who did attend.
I still haven’t booked my flights yet. I know that I’m going back to Aguascalientes for the winter. But right now I need to decide which airport to fly into. Last year I flew into Guadalajara and was happy I did. It’s hurricane season now on the west coast and flying into Puerto Vallarta could be tricky. I’ve flown in there before in the aftermath of a hurricane and it was not a good experience. Likewise for Mazatlan. Flying directly to Aguascalientes means going through Dallas, not one of my favorite airports. Okay, Alaska Airlines. You’re my favorite airline so I’ll check out the connections through LAX.
Tomorrow is Thursday and it’s our last binge with Virgin River to finish off the season. When I’m in Mexico I only watch TV in Spanish. English is reserved for my time here in Washington. Speaking of Spanish, time to get back to Duolingo. I’ve taken a break over the summer.
Interesting the impact of Queen Elizabeth’s death on some of my American friends. In all honesty, it had more of an impact on some of them than it did on me. And I’m Canadian. I still have haunting memories of singing God Save The Queen back in elementary school. But her death marks the end of an era. And she has definitely left her mark in history.
That’s it for humpday today. Hope you have a good one.
Amber Alert. Silver Alert. Extreme Fire Alert. Air Contamination Alert. The smoke is rolling in.
We went to the Chelan County Fair on Thursday. My friends here tease me because I get so excited when I see kids getting ribbons for their prize pigs. They grew up with 4H and animals. Yours truly lived in a city and was never even allowed to have a dog or a cat. The craft displays are also amazing. I especially marvel at the quilts. There is even a building where kids display their creations. There’s a building with fruits, vegetables and flowers. Of course there are jars of jellies, jams and pickles. The rides do not appeal to me but there are so many other little booths to check out. The Chelan County Fair is one of the smaller ones in the state, but it’s just my size. I was already back in Mexico last year, and then Covid was around. So it was nice to be able to attend the fair this year.
Today is 9/11. I still recall that day in 2001 when the world changed forever. Not that the world was ever really a peaceful place. There was always a war going on somewhere. But terrorism became all too common a word. And if people weren’t suspicious of their neighbors before, it became even more pronounced. Personally I detest stereotypes. Unfortunately far too many people don’t. Nonetheless, being here in the USA on 9/11 has become even more meaningful to me over the years.
I’m going to Cashmere today, home of The Spirit of America. At 11 am a memorial service is held every year on this day. Hundreds attend and there is never a dry eye in the crowd. I’m at a loss to find the words to adequately describe this event. You really have to be there to experience this for yourself, surrounded by others who are also overwhelmed with emotion.
The first time I ever attended one of these services, a man was distributing small capsules containing dirt gathered at the sight of the destroyed twin towers. That was a few years ago, and this capsule is one of my most treasured items I’ve accumulated over the years. I hope that someday I will have the opportunity to view that rebuilt area and the memorial in New York.
The weekend was a dream that ended far too quickly. I got to hug my granddaughter live and in person. No more blowing kisses on a video call. Grandma is a real person who doesn’t live in a phone. And Maddie is no longer the baby she was when I last saw her.
It was exciting to see Leavenworth through the eyes of a child. I never realized how many “no touch” shops there are in town. Or how many candy and fudge shops there are. Or how much fun it is to run around in the gazebo or up the grassy hill. Or how a simple gingerbread butterfly could light up a child’s face so brightly.
Picnics. Maddie is a big fan of these. We had three of them on Sunday. The first was a snack picnic at Walla Walla Park in Wenatchee. The second was lunch in Cashmere at a playground. The third was dinner in my backyard at home in East Wenatchee.
I was determined not to cry when we said goodbye. But I did anyways. Maddie is four years old and I’ve only seen her three times. The first time she was only a few weeks old. The second time she was still a baby. Barring another crazy pandemic, I hope to be able to see Maddie more often.
But the weekend came and went. Labor Day found Maddie and Kimmy on their way home to Kelowna.
Back to the usual. Teaching a SAIL class in Leavenworth Tuesday morning followed by lunch at the golf club with Linda. Next was another afternoon bingeing Virgin River on Netflix. Then it was time to head back to East Wenatchee.
And now it’s another Wednesday, another humpday. The week is half over and I need to start researching flights back to Mexico. It’s almost October. The temperature is starting to drop and that means the leaves will soon begin to change color. Fall is my favorite time of year here in Washington state.
Last night at 7:30 it had cooled off to a comfortable 86 degrees. I’m getting used to the heat again after the cool temperatures in Winnipeg. Daytime highs here in East Wenatchee are supposed to continue in the range of 105 degrees plus for at least another week.
Yesterday morning I taught a fitness class in an un-airconditioned room in a church. And I get to do it again tomorrow. There isn’t even a fan in the room and unfortunately this means we open windows in an attempt to get some air circulation.
Church was air-conditioned on Sunday. It was great to be back at Sage Hills in person and not on line.
Tonight we’re going to see The Music Man, a Leavenworth Summer Theater production. The venue is the amphitheater, one of my favorite places in Leavenworth.
Because it’s so hot and dry here, the fire risk is extremely high. So now the alerts on my phone are no longer for Manitoba tornados. Instead they’re wildfire and evacuation alerts.
BTW, I visited my tree in Cashmere yesterday. It’s still really green and I hope I’ll still be here when the leaves turn that gorgeous crimson red in the fall.
My characters are talking to me. Time for coffee and writing.
I can’t believe that it’s Sunday again already. I just wrote a Sunday blog post a few minutes ago. But wait. That was last week’s. And it was a week ago.
Tomorrow is my birthday and it’s one of those where you leave one decade behind and enter a new one. People often refer to them as milestone birthdays. But I call every birthday a milestone.
The weather here in Washington has been a lot cooler than usual as well as being rainy and windy. Well, it does beat snow and my friends back in Mexico tell me they’re roasting in the heat.
Yesterday was interesting. The clouds allowed some sunshine to peak through so Christina and I headed for the community wide yard sale in Cashmere. Our biggest find was an oak armoire with lovely shelves and drawers and not even a hint of particle board. $5 well spent.
Back at home in the afternoon the rain finally poured down. I decided to spend my time doing research for one of my characters in my WIP. What’s App was the medium I used to chat with a friend in Mexico, a doctor from Calgary originally from England where she received her medical training. The topics wavered between bipolar 1 and atrial fibrillation. Heavy stuff.
Now where was I going with this post? Oh yes! Kreplach or perogies. I guess it really doesn’t matter what you call them. They are delicious.
I grew up with a Jewish background and they were kreplach. My Bobba had Russian roots and I can still envision her in the kitchen making them from scratch. I did it that way exactly once. Much easier to buy them frozen from Naleway or to head down to the nearest Ukrainian church where the ladies there offer homemade ones for sale on Friday afternoons. I also recall driving out to restaurants in rural communities where the Mennonite version was available.
But I’m far away from Manitoba now and here in Washington I’ve introduced several people to the frozen perogies I’ve found at Safeway or Albertsons. This afternoon I’ll be frying up some onions and getting out the sour cream. And ketchup. You heard me right. That’s a new twist for me. My friend Clairesse is coming over and she is one of the rare Washingtonians I know who enjoys perogies. She grew up on Camino Island and ate them with ketchup.
So there you have it. Call them what you like. Kreplach or perogies. Happy Sunday!
I’m sitting here sipping salted caramel tea as I write this. A nice change from the chamomile I drink in Aguascalientes. In the background The Rifleman fills the TV screen. I loved that show as a child and I still do. Not on any of the channels I watch in Mexico.
I enjoy my life where I’ve turned back into a snowbird. When I first arrived in Culiacan I met expats who had decided to revert back to the snowbird life. I didn’t understand it back then, but after living full time in Mexico for almost six years, I made that decision as well.
That was back in 2016 when I retired from teaching ESL. That was also when I discovered Washington state. My planned two week vacation turned into four months when the first snowfall finally chased me back to Mazatlan.
As I was eating a sourdough English muffin with marble cheese for breakfast, I found myself missing gorditas. Yes, that happens. The only Mexican food I eat up here is at Agave Azul in Cashmere. But marble cheese does not exist in Mexico.
I had lunch at Gustav’s with friends the other day. One of my rare red meat fixes. Although the burger was far superior, I found myself missing the country music at Country Break in Aguascalientes.
The mountains here in Washington never cease to amaze me. I see them out my bedroom window. I see them when I go out for walks. The view is magnificent on the drive from East Wenatchee along Highway 2 into Leavenworth.
The NCW Libraries features an abundance of programs and activities in addition to books and movies. I signed up for two of them this month that are offered on Zoom.
The museum in Wenatchee is another of my favorite places. The Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Fest is one of the featured events. There is also an art show going on with displays of art from local schools. I will have to check out what programs they are offering this month.
Yesterday Christina and I went out to garage sales and had a blast. We found lots of treasures. Brought back memories of another lifetime in Canada.