Tag Archives: Washington State

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.

Maybe Morbid

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Maybe Morbid

If thinking about death or dying makes you uncomfortable, then don’t read this post. Read an older post and wait for the next one. Or read someone else’s blog post. Just don’t read this one.

The other night I had a really strange dream. I dreamt how I was going to die. Isn’t that weird? Not exactly the dream you want to have or even remember. But I woke up the next morning and all the details were still there. The people who were with me. The place where I was. And how I was about to die. I’ll spare you the gist of it but it was a rather violent death. Although the time of death was rather vague.

Normally I try not to think about death or dying. But as I get older, I seem to be surrounded by it more. And especially when Covid hit, and I lost a few people I knew to that ugly virus. Each year I return to Washington state from Mexico and find out that friends have passed away. I also read the Winnipeg Free Press on Saturdays and recognize names in the obituaries as well.

I was talking to a friend the other day whose stepmother is dying. I found out that a former bridge partner passed away. And I’m sure there are more than a handful I don’t even know about. Just last weekend at the 9/11 service in Cashmere, I was reminded of all the people who died because of terrorism.

When I was in Winnipeg over the summer, I went to the cemetery to visit the graves of my parents as well as other family members. I can’t get over how that cemetery has expanded since I was last there five years ago.

However there’s also a positive side to dying. Surprised? I’m referring to how summer is ending and flowers are dying. I view it as fall is approaching which means that those gorgeous, colorful leaves will soon be here. Fall is my favorite time of year, especially here in Washington. My tree in Cashmere is already beginning to change color and I can’t wait to see those spectacular red leaves again. Last year I was already back in Mexico when that happened.

My final comment on death. There was no cliffhanger on this topic when Virgin River ended this season. Actually, after the multitude of cliffhangers last season, there wasn’t much at all this season. We were even told that Charmaine’s twins aren’t Jack’s. A little on the disappointing side.

That’s it for death and dying. On to living now.

Have a great week everyone!

It’s Smoky Out There

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It’s Smoky Out There

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.

Hey It’s Good To Be Back Home Again

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Hey It’s Good To Be Back Home Again

Thank you Air Canada for getting myself and my bag from Winnipeg to Seattle via Vancouver. You pretty much ran on time but checking in at the airport was less than enjoyable. You wouldn’t recognize my vaccination info on line. I also didn’t appreciate the compulsory masks and the annoying announcements in French. Your beverage service options of water, apple juice or orange juice at 6 a.m. were a nice touch. But have you ever heard of Coffee? Coke? Caffeine?

I love you SeaTac! I ripped off the mask and I finally had a much needed coffee at Starbucks. I sat outside waiting for the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle while savoring my coffee, basking in the sunshine.

As the mountains came into view, I couldn’t stop smiling. How I missed them! Manitoba is so incredibly…..FLAT!!!!

Six weeks in Winnipeg was too long. While it was nice to spend time with my son and see my friends, I was homesick for Washington. Winnipeg is not the city I remember and is definitely not the city where I would ever want to live again.

Hey it’s great to be back home again!

What Plan Are We On Now?

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What Plan Are We On Now?

Change. Change. Change. Adapt. Adapt. Adapt. When you go from Plan A to Z and need another…..then just keep on going.

I left downtown on Thursday and am now out in the burbs in St. Vital with my friend Rita. Until Tuesday Iwhen we head out to the lake again. Another new plan.

I’m determined to tough it out here in the Peg until I can get that photo taken for my driver’s license. In all likelihood I will hightail it back to Washington and I won’t get out west to Calgary or Kelowna. I’m homesick! I don’t care if it’s 111 degrees and threat of wildfires. I want to go home.

Of course there’s lots here to do to stay amused. Rita has had some shopping to do and it’s been fun checking out Jysk and Giant Tiger as well as Canadian grocery stores and Walmart. But I’ll save my shopping for when I’m back in the USA.

I finally got to VJ’s for a gut bomb the other day. This stand is home to the best chili burgers and fries in the province. And they actually have plastic tablecloths on the picnic tables, a slight change that’s easy to deal with.

A friend from Regina called me yesterday. We met at the YMCA about fifteen years ago in water aerobics classes. She moved away from Winnipeg around the same time I did. Kim is hoping to come to Mexico this winter and we are hoping to get together for the first time in way too many years. Another new plan.

And yet another plan. I need to get back to my son’s to deal with one more bin full of slides. My dad took slides, not photos. And I am gladly passing them on to my brother. Hopefully he will do something with them. They’ve been stagnating way too long in a Rubbermaid bin.

I won’t be posting again until next Sunday. I’m not sure if I’ll have Wi-Fi out at the lake.

By next weekend I’ll have another plan. Stay tuned.

Coming Home?????

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Coming Home?????

Winnipeg has changed. This is not the city I remember growing up in and raising my children in. This is not the city I would ever care to live in again. There is such a cold feel to it. Winnipeg may be my hometown, but it definitely is not nor ever will be home to me again.

When I think home, I think Washington State and I think Aguascalientes.

It is nice to see my friends again. It’s been a few years. We have lots to catch up on. It’s interesting to see where we have moved to and what we are all doing now as we’ve grown older. Retirement has meant different things to different people. And let’s not even contemplate all the compromises we’ve made that have been impacted by health issues.

We’ve gone for drives through neighborhoods from my past. New roadways and buildings. A multitude of new apartments and condos. Even the trees look different, and not because they’ve grown taller over the years. They’re new too.

I met a friend for brunch on Friday and wandered over to look at the high school I graduated from back in 1969. University of Winnipeg Collegiate still looks pretty much the same. That’s my feature pic for this blog post.

We drove by my old elementary school and middle school. We drove by the house I grew up in as well as the house I lived in when my two kids were born. And of course the cemetery was one of the first places I wanted to go to as well.

The Forks has seen a few changes. Many of the restaurants have changed. Shops are not the same. But the river is still there.

I’m currently staying in the downtown area. It’s sad to see the empty Bay building. Taller skyscrapers also dot the downtown area and many buildings have changed names.

Tomorrow I’m headed to a cabin with a friend for a few days so I won’t be posting on Wednesday. Looking forward to the peace and quiet possible with No Wi-Fi!

Happy Fourth of July to all my friends out there!

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!

Kreplach or Perogies

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Kreplach or Perogies

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!

After Plan B Comes C, D, Etc.

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After Plan B Comes C, D, Etc.

Life. A sequence of events where unplanned by far outnumber the planned. And when you get to Plan Z, you start over with Plan AA, Plan BB, Etc.

March was when I arrived back in Washington. I expected to go to Kelowna in March but Canada still had too many Covid restrictions. The next plan was May but that isn’t working out either due to my daughter’s work schedule. Another plan was May in Winnipeg but a minor health issue got in the way. I thought maybe June but there’s some fitness training all month that I really want to do here in Wenatchee. So now it looks like July in Winnipeg. There is always another plan.

https://youtu.be/M7wYyVi1ugo

I hope you check out the above link. It’s an old John Denver song I came across the other night. And I can’t get it out of my head. It really takes me back in time and I realize now that none of my plans back then have ever come into fruition. And that’s okay because there is always another plan.

So…….why make plans at all if they never seem to work out? I’ve come to the conclusion that long range plans don’t work for me. Even short range plans don’t always come about. But I still continue to make plans because I have learned to become extremely flexible. I don’t stress out when plans fall through.

To quote John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

My plan for today is, hmmm, that isn’t going to work out either. Oh well!

Guns and Pot

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Guns and Pot

In Mexico when I watch TV the programs are all in Spanish. When I’m up here in Washington, not only do I watch TV in English, I enjoy watching old westerns. I’ve been watching episodes of The High Chapparal lately. Lots of guns and violence. The same is true of The Rifleman and Gunsmoke. We all grew up watching those shows back in the 60s. I even had a cap gun when I was a child and we all played Cowboys and Indians.

Back then school shootings were unheard of. We didn’t have guns or rifles in our homes. It was a safer time.

Living in the state of Washington it’s very different. Many people I know here have at least one gun or rifle in their homes. They’re not always secured in gun cabinets. They’re often loaded and kept in nightstands or other drawers. I have female friends who carry them in purses or in glove compartments of their vehicles. They marvel at the fact that I don’t have one of my own yet.

Apple Blossom Festival was held last weekend here in Wenatchee. Just before the Grand Parade, a somewhat enraged man opened fire resulting in an officer being shot before he himself was shot and killed. Shootings are becoming all too common.

Then there’s pot, something we used back in the 60s to enhance our enjoyment of everything from rock concerts to sex. But we’ve all aged and now use it more for pain control. My philosophy remains the same now as it was in the 60s—– everything in moderation.

I recall flying in to Kelowna, Canada from Seattle a couple of years ago. Going through Customs, I was asked if I was carrying guns or had any pot. When I replied in the negative, the officer’s comment was “Are you sure you’re coming from Washington?”

I spend six months of the year in Mexico. When my friends ask me why I want to live in such a dangerous country, I shake my head and tell them to look around at their own neighborhoods.

It was great being a teenager in the 60s. It was a unique decade of flower power and hippies promoting peace and love. What a contrast to the decade we are currently in!

Times have changed.