Tag Archives: Leavenworth WA

2022 Part 2

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2022 Part 2

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.

HAPPY 2023!

This Week In Weather

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This Week In Weather

December. Winter. The end of the year 2022.

My friend Ann in Leavenworth texted me a photo of the snow the other day. Quite a heavy blanket covered her car. Reports of two feet of snow. Chains needed to head over the mountain passes.

It’s very different here in Aguascalientes. Sunny and warm with temperatures hovering near 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It does cool off in the evenings. When I go out for my walks I need a light sweatshirt.

I was talking to David yesterday. It’s cold in Winnipeg. Temperatures are in the minus 20s Celsius. Not sure how to convert that. I’m still in American Fahrenheit mode.

My featured photo is one I took in Leavenworth two years ago when I spent a Covid winter there instead of returning to Mexico. I miss those gorgeous trees. That Bavarian village is a spectacular winter wonderland.

I remember my first December in Mexico back in 2010. I was living in Culiacan and it was extremely hot. My students didn’t like the air conditioning in my classroom and started wearing hats and gloves to class. I took the hint. Off went the air conditioning. The teacher got to roast so the students didn’t have to freeze. As soon as class was over I ripped off my uniform and changed into shorts and a tank top. I stopped at the first tienda and bought an ice cold Coke to put up against my cheeks to cool me down. It was much hotter in Culiacan than in Aguascalientes with temperatures soaring around the 100 degree Fahrenheit mark.

When I lived in Guadalajara the temperatures in winter were much cooler. Yes, there were nights when it dropped down to the freezing mark and we actually used the fireplace in our house. And I wore gloves and a hat. Atole was always welcome. And then there was one year when it actually got so warm that we had a thunderstorm on Christmas Eve.

I must say I enjoy seeing all my friends’ posts on Facebook with the photos and videos of snowfalls. They’re beautiful to look at from here in Mexico. But I sure don’t miss shoveling snow or driving in it. When I lived in rural Manitoba I rolled two cars off the highway due to black ice and totaled them both. I also do not miss the treacherously icy sidewalks.

So wherever you live, readers, be cautious and aware of inclement weather. Be prepared and stay safe.

Have a great Sunday!

And Another Month Comes To An End

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And Another Month Comes To An End

November ends today. That means there’s only one month left in 2022. I need to start working on my year end blog post. This past year was packed with activity.

Here in Mexico Christmas decorations are already visible. Displays in department stores and shopping malls are being set up. Santa is on his way too.

My friend Karen posted a beautiful video of the snowfall in Leavenworth. Almost makes me wish I was back there right now. Almost.

On a sad note, I had two friends pass away in November: Joan in Winnipeg and Adele in Leavenworth.

On a much happier note, my son Kyle celebrated his 42nd birthday in November. And I actually spoke to him rather than just leaving the usual voicemail.

I’m enjoying my courses online and have a new one this month. It’s an Advent bible study with Church of the Rock in Winnipeg.

I’ve been the world’s worst correspondent lately. While I do have a long distance plan, I’ve been using What’s App and Messenger a lot and texting instead of talking. I encourage people to read my blog and check my Facebook posts instead.

I’ve been spending most of my time writing. The perfect ending as well as an amazing title for my book are what’s occupied my time lately. And that’s all you get for now.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Last Saturday In Leavenworth For A While

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Last Saturday In Leavenworth For A While

It’s fall. The leaves are starting to change color. The temperature is dropping. And I’m down to my last two weeks here before returning to Mexico for the winter. This is always a bittersweet time of year. I love fall, but it’s getting harder and harder to leave. Friendships have grown over the years and so has my extended family.

I met friends in Leavenworth for one last Lions Club breakfast yesterday morning. The sun was shining and the smoke level was more tolerable than it’s been lately. We enjoyed a lovely meal of pancakes, sausages and eggs. Then we walked downtown to Front Street where Alpenfolk were performing at the gazebo. I have fond memories of the first time I ever saw them back in 2016 when I first discovered Leavenworth.

Next we walked up to the Senior Center where I saw friends I haven’t seen in a long time. Now that I live in East Wenatchee, I usually come back to Leavenworth twice a week to teach fitness classes. I no longer go to the Senior Center for lunches or to play bridge. Craft afternoons and music nights are history as well. Covid affected a lot of activities and I hope that maybe by next spring many of them will have resumed.

This weekend is also Autumn Leaf Festival. We enjoyed watching the Grand Parade from the shade of the veranda at the Senior Center. Some of the seniors who come to my fitness classes were on a float from Mountain Meadows and we waved at them enthusiastically as they passed by. I’m always amazed at all the high school bands who come from all over the state to play in the parade. There were also two small floats from Canada. One was from Penticton and the other from New Westminster. Beautiful flower arrangements adorned some of the horses in the parade.

I got a ride back to East Wenatchee from a friend who lives across the river in Wenatchee. Bob has lived in the valley for decades and I enjoy hearing his stories of what life was like before Highway 2 was built. Where stores and warehouses now line the road, vast empty fields once filled the land. The road to Wenatchee to Leavenworth meandered across both sides of what is now the new highway. We drove along the North Road to Peshastin before winding up on Highway 2, always a beautiful drive. And the high road up to East Wenatchee offers a picturesque view of Wenatchee.

I will miss Saturdays in Leavenworth. But I look forward to them again when I return in the spring.

Double Boosted

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Double Boosted

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 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.

Where I Live

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Where I Live

Seeing as I first discovered Washington State back in 2016, here’s a little more info about where I spend the six months when I’m not in Mexico.

Leavenworth has a population of roughly 2000. However on the weekends when all the tourists bombard this quaint little Bavarian village, it feels more like 2 million. Highway 2 splits the town in half and traffic is a nightmare.

I’m living in East Wenatchee in Douglas County. The population here is approximately 14,000. This area is home to Costco and several restaurants. The Wenatchee Valley Mall is here and shopping also includes Safeway and Grocery Outlet. Pangborn Airport is also on the outskirts.

On the other side of the river, Wenatchee is in Chelan County and has a population of 34,000. Walmart and Valley North Mall are here as well as restaurants, theaters, a senior center and the YMCA.

Also this week, a haircut at Shears, watching more of the new season of Virgin River and The Sound of Music up at the amphitheater in Leavenworth.

Feliz Miercoles!

Nomad On The Move Soon

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Nomad On The Move Soon

Yes my flights are finally booked. Hopefully next Sunday my post will be coming from East Wenatchee. This is my last Sunday post from Winnipeg.

I had a nice relaxing time out at the lake. And I have been busy since I got back into the city. I have been sorting through hundreds of photos that were backed up on my Seagate and trying to remember where and when they were taken. My old laptop had died and finally gone to hell at some point during the early days of Covid. Gone to hell…………I hated that ASUS!!!!!

I finally booked my flights. I am taking my chances with a Canadian airline. Please keep me in your prayers that Air Canada actually has a crew to get me to SeaTac via Vancouver on Thursday. I still have to book the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle and buy my travel health insurance, but I know that is minor in comparison. I also know that Christina and Danny will be waiting with bells on for me to get back home.

Of course it is now crunch time and that means saying goodbye to my friends here. I hope they understand when I say I have no plans to come back here anytime soon. Six weeks was way too long for a visit this summer when I had planned on being here only three.

I have been texting Annie back in East Wenatchee. I have new classes to teach at Bonaventure the week of the 15th. And of course I will be back in Leavenworth teaching that week as well. I am looking forward to getting back to those fitness classes.

I also have tickets for Leavenworth Summer Theater productions of The Music Man and The Sound of Music. Performances always include an outstanding cast and the Amphitheatre up in the mountains is the perfect venue.

Almost time for internet church from Sage Hills in Wenatchee. Next Sunday I hope to be there in person.

Have a great Sunday!

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.