Tag Archives: Family

The Dream And The Usual

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The Dream And The Usual

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.

Finally!!!!!

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Finally!!!!!

I finally got to hug my granddaughter for the first time since before Covid. This has been the best long weekend ever!

Kimmy and Maddie came from Kelowna for the weekend. On Friday they picked me up at Bonaventure after I was finished teaching. Maddie wanted to see where Grandma lived so that was our first stop.

I’ve mentioned before that the friends I live with have seven chihuahuas. At first Maddie was a little overwhelmed but it didn’t take long before she was petting and cuddling with them. Christina had kept them outside when we first arrived as Maddie was a little tentative. But she was enchanted with them and it was hard to convince her that we had other places to go.

On Saturday we headed into Leavenworth. We walked in and out of almost every store on Front Street. And there were treasures to be found in all of them, especially the candy and fudge shops. Maddie was absolutely delighted with a jar of lemon stuffed olives. Neither Kimmy nor I will even touch olives.

After a delicious lunch at Soup Cellar, we stopped at Gingerbread Factory and got her a butterfly cookie. She loved Kris Kringle, the most amazing Christmas store ever. This has always been one of my favorites and it was interesting to view it through my granddaughter’s eyes.

We were in a shop where one of the sales clerks and Maddie really hit it off. Maddie was delighted when she got to sit on Sydney’s knee and help her at the cash register. Maddie got to use the tablet, ask people if it was cash or card, as well as if they wanted a receipt. She had a wonderful time!

We found a playground where Maddie liked the slide and swings. She’s a climber so monkey bars and other structures appealed to her.

Then it was off to Ann’s to have a short nap. After we sat out on the deck overlooking the river. Rafters and kayakers came by. Maddie went down to the beach and had fun throwing sticks in the water for Mitzi, Ann’s dog, to retrieve. And of course Mitzi was excited to have someone play with her.

Off we went back to Leavenworth to visit Linda and Gene. Maddie is inquisitive and insisted on exploring the whole house. She enjoyed watching Dora the Explorer for a while and challenged Gene to a game of chess, Maddie’s rules of course.

On the drive back to Wenatchee, Maddie decided that we should get some take out rather than eat in a restaurant. Visconti’s came through with delicious lasagna, chicken parmigiana and salad.

Today Maddie wants to go swimming and have a picnic. And I’m sure we will find other things to do as well.

This magical weekend ends tomorrow when Maddie and Kimmy go back to Kelowna. Grandma has had an amazing time and will miss them dearly. Hopefully Grandma will come to visit them in Kelowna next spring when she returns from Mexico.

Ho Hum Humpday

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Ho Hum Humpday

In Manitoba I was getting tornado alerts on my phone. Here in Washington I’ve been getting evacuation alerts due to fires. With temperatures soaring around 100 degrees and no rain in sight, the fire risk is extremely high. There are fires burning but not near where I’m living right now.

There was some smoke in the air yesterday morning on the drive in to Leavenworth. It cleared and Joyce and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the patio at the golf club after our SAIL class.

Monday morning bright and early my four year old granddaughter surprised me with a video call. She was dressed and eating breakfast before daycare. Grandma was still sleeping but woke up fast when she realized who was calling. Grandma is also excited because on Friday she gets to hug her granddaughter for the first time in three years.

Just when I thought I was done sorting through photos stored on my Seagate, I discovered another folder with close to 850. But I definitely am enjoying my new laptop.

And here is Alexa’s joke for today.

Why does a deer follow its mother? Because it’s so fawn-ed of her. 🙂

Happy Sunday!

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Happy Sunday!

Leavenworth Summer Theater’s production of The Music Man was spectacular. It definitely is one of their best performances yet. The weather was perfect, a clear and starry night, and the smoke hadn’t yet rolled in.

However the following day it did roll in. And the day after that it had filtered in to East Wenatchee. It isn’t that bad yet, but the fire risk is still extremely high.

I’ve been spending more time on my new laptop. My WIP is completely transferred over and I’ve sorted through well over 4000 photos that were on my Seagate and my phone. Of course I’m constantly taking photos and I know there will be more.

The hot temperatures continue with no relief in sight. There was a tease of a few raindrops yesterday but it was very short-lived. Mainly intermittent cloud and smoke.

Did I mention that I live with seven chihuahuas? No. They aren’t mine. They belong to Christina and Danny, the people I live with when I’m in Washington. I’ll take a photo one day if I can ever get them all to pose together.

It’s great to be back teaching fitness classes again in Leavenworth. And this coming week I start new classes here in East Wenatchee. I really missed these classes when I was away in Canada.

September long weekend is coming up. My daughter and granddaughter are coming from Kelowna. I haven’t seen them since before Covid so I am quite excited. Yes, Madeline, I am a real person and do not live in a phone. And Grandma cannot wait to hug you!!!!!!

Three Things

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Three Things

This past week flew. I’ll touch on three things that stand out.

I spent some time visiting with my son. And that is definitely the highlight of the week. He is also storing seven Rubbermaid bins in his home for me. They are predominantly family photo albums. But I did find a few other treasures in them, such as the outfits my mom crocheted for them when they came home from the hospital when they were born.

On Friday I spent some time wandering around the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. My friends usually take me there but I wanted time to visit other family members and not just my parents. It was very peaceful and brought back a flood of memories.

The third thing that stands out is that my friend Laura and I went computer shopping. She is my computer guru and yesterday she set it all up for me. My old laptop died two years ago when I was stuck in Mexico during Covid. I adore my tablet and just never made it a priority to replace the laptop. Until this week.

BTW the featured photo is yours truly with my daddy several decades ago.

Happy Humpday!

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Happy Humpday!

I thought I was back in Mexico yesterday with hurricane season. Torrential rain, flooded streets. Nope. I’m still in Winnipeg.

I’m staying with my son for a couple of days. I don’t think he quite gets it when I tell him we need to get together more often. Kyle has no family here in Winnipeg and I live in another country. Over time you get used to being on your own and then it does feel rather strange when you get bombarded with family. But it’s a nice kind of strange. And I think that the older you get the more you value that kind of time.

My WIP is going well. My characters have been quite talkative lately. And they’ve had some interesting adventures. I am definitely enjoying writing fiction.

Because I’m constantly flipping back and forth in time when writing, I vary my background music. For a while there, The Stones were inspirational, especially Voodoo Lounge. The Beach Boys and The Byrds are also favorites, as are John Denver and Elton John. But last night it was Handel’s Water Music.

Computer shopping with Laura is on the agenda for today. I was a tad overwhelmed looking in Seattle and Wenatchee didn’t have much to offer. I know. There’s always Amazon. But I want to play with a laptop before I buy it. And Laura is my computer guru.

Happy Humpday!

Back in the Peg

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Back in the Peg

It’s been an interesting week. Haven’t quite decided which is worse….no phone or no Wi-Fi.

I spent a relaxing few days out at Rita’s cabin. No Wi-Fi but I had a phone. Visited, watched movies and vegged. The weather cooperated but the mosquitos were maneaters.

Returned to Winnipeg and had both a phone and Wi-Fi. But it was short-lived. AT&T switches over to Rogers and Rogers went down all over Canada. Very frustrating considering the time constraints I have here and the planning needed to organize my time in order to see my friends.

The highlight of the week was the time spent with my son. Please congratulate me. I cried before and after the visit, not during. First time we were together in five years. We had a wonderful visit and he barbecued a delicious dinner. We’ll be getting together again soon and I am looking forward to it.

On a sad note, I’m staying with my friend Lise and her husband passed away in a personal care home this week. Please keep them in your prayers.

It’s Sunday again and it’s strange not to be at Sage Hills. But I will enjoy having brunch and spending the day with David.

Will check in again on Wednesday.

Happy Sunday!

Half Time

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Half Time

I just crossed the border at Nogales. What do you mean I’ve been back in the USA for three months already?

That got me thinking about all the changes since I first arrived in Leavenworth in July of 2016. I’ve always lived primarily in Leavenworth but I’m now living in East Wenatchee. But I still commute to Leavenworth to teach fitness classes.

Covid caused a lot of changes. The Senior Center in Leavenworth has yet to reopen. I went there often for lunch and I also volunteered in the kitchen. I played bridge there and went to craft afternoons.

Covid also affected the library programs which all switched over to Zoom. The rumor is that in person programs are starting again next month. And I am looking forward to those, including book club, craft programs and speakers.

I now attend a church in Wenatchee and have a new life group as well. It’s a much larger church than the one I used to go to in Leavenworth. It’s also a Free Methodist rather than a Nazarene church.

My attorney has told me he’s retiring at the end of the year and my doctor has told me she’s moving on to a different clinic. More changes.

Over the years I’ve met a lot of people and have developed close relationships with many who I now consider as part of my extended family. Friendships are especially important to me considering my nomadic lifestyle. And those constantly change depending upon where I happen to be living. But my extended family changes very little.

There are constants in my life here as well. This is my sixth year teaching fitness classes in the SAIL program. Next month I’ll be taking training in A Matter Of Balance. But more about that in a future blog post devoted to the program.

Another constant is the beauty of the mountains. I am as much in awe of it today as when I first came here six years. This is truly God’s country!

Memories Of My Mom

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Memories Of My Mom

It’s getting close to Mother’s Day so I thought I’d reminisce about my mom. In June it will be twenty-six years since she passed away. I spent days by her bedside in the weeks she lay in ICU fighting for her life. And I also made sure my kids had the opportunity to say goodbye, something I never had experienced when my grandparents died in hospitals.

I do not own a dress. Why not? Don’t all women love to wear dresses. Not this one! My mother always made me wear dresses, and I can still feel those scratchy crinolines more than six decades later.

My mother was an amazing seamstress. She was also talented when it came to knitting and crocheting. Somehow those genes were never passed down to me. And since the Brownie pack I belonged to focused on the above, I can’t say I have great memories of those days.

My mom was an artist when it came to baking. Not only did the cakes and cookies taste amazing; the decorating was astounding as well. Her shortbread and chocolate torte were famous and were always in demand. I have memories of birthday cakes that were envied by all my friends.

I learned the importance of volunteering from my mother. She served as president of the sisterhood at her synagogue and volunteered in other charitable organizations.

At her winter home in Port Charlotte, she persuaded a group of women to do water aerobics. Now that gene she passed down to me as I was certified as an instructor and taught classes at the YMCA in Winnipeg.

Other memorable feats were getting a driver’s license for the first time at age sixty-seven and winning the award for erasing the most movies by accident when she learned to use a VCR.

I know very little about her childhood and teenage years. She once told me she’d had a dog that had been run over by a car and that’s why I’d never been allowed to have a dog when I was growing up. She had also belonged to a group called Sunshine Girls, but I don’t know if that was when she lived in Boston or Winnipeg. I honestly don’t even know how she met my dad, although I have heard different stories from family members.

My mom adored her grandchildren. She was blessed to not only live in the same city as her children and grandchildren, but we all lived merely blocks away from each other. She proudly came to her grandchildren’s concerts plays, dance recitals, bowling tournaments and graduations.

We used to talk on the phone at least twice a day and twenty-six years later I still miss those conversations. We always had so much to talk about. If she were still here today I can literally think of a million questions I’d like to ask her. There is so much more I would like to know about her.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, and especially to my mom in heaven.

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