Tag Archives: Washington State

Bienvenido 2023

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Bienvenido 2023

Happy New Year! I hope you had an enjoyable holiday and are now embracing the new year with open arms. I know I am and can’t wait to see what’s in store for me in 2023.

Have you thought about new year’s resolutions? I have and am sure not going to make any. I’ve talked to friends who are eagerly writing some down. The way I see it, no matter how realistic they look on paper, they never seem to pan out the way they were planned.

The only resolution that makes any sense to me is to be a better person than I was last year. And that is something I need to keep in my heart rather than write down on a piece of paper.

I keep seeing on Facebook pics of all the snow in Washington state. The mountain passes seem to be closed more often than they’re open. Keep safe up there people!

I’m headed for the bus station later today to buy tickets. I’m planning on going to Culiacan to visit my family later this month. I can’t wait to hug my grandkids! I saw them last February before I headed back to the USA. I’m sure that two of my four grandsons are now taller than me.

Friday is King’s Day. My Mexican friend Angie told me the story behind it. There’s a lot more to this day than looking for the baby Jesus hidden in the bread. Catholics believe that the Three Wise Men were looking for the baby Jesus to protect him. Pilate was afraid that Jesus would take over his kingdom so he ordered that all children under the age of two were to be killed.

That’s it for week one in January.

Have a great Wednesday!

Miercoles

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Miercoles

The movies have now gone from murdering cheerleaders to selling babies. Tell me again why I watch them late at night and then sleep fitfully. But my goal is to watch five movies in Spanish a week in order to hopefully improve my comprehension of the language.

Thank you to my computer guru Laura for once again coming to the rescue. Like I’m not having problems enough adjusting to Windows 11, my taskbar disappeared last night. Of course she instantly found a link and solved my problem. While I love technology it also scares me. But my WIP is safely backed up every night onto not one but two external hard drives.

The weather here is still hot. Many of my friends back in the USA and in Canada are now dealing with that fluffy white stuff and plummeting temperatures. So I won’t complain too loudly that I’m not walking as much as I’d like to right now.

Apparently I can no longer call myself a nomad. I was talking to a friend and he remarked that I’ve gotten into a familiar pattern of dividing my time between Aguascalientes and the upper valley in Washington. And as Christina and Danny often remind me, I now have my forever home in East Wenatchee.

Two events are coming up in Mexico this month. Revolution Day is an official government holiday on November 20th. But the big one is Buen Fin, the Mexican equivalent of Black Friday in the USA. It goes from November 18th-21st.

My Uber awaits and I’m off to Ags Ladies to meet up with my friends. Today is lunch rather than breakfast.

Happy Humpday!

Sunday Sunday

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Sunday Sunday

Now that I’m back in Mexico, every day feels like a Sunday. There are no scheduled classes to teach and no regular activities to attend. The only routine in my life is how I start my day. With Christian Gospel music in the background, I check emails and texts and play Candy Crush. Yes, I’m still hooked on that game after ten plus years. And of course I’m sipping coffee throughout all this.

Sundays in Washington. Church and brunch with friends and hanging out together in the afternoon. Yard sales, frozen yogurt, shopping, perogies……………….I’ve left that all behind until next spring. I haven’t found a Christian church that I like near where I live. So I do two things. The first is that I tune in to Sage Hills Church in Wenatchee online on Sunday mornings. The second thing I do is go to a Catholic church close by for mass. No, I’m not Catholic. But I figure God hears me no matter where I am. Of course I get rather strange looks from other attendees because I don’t kneel or go up for communion.

Now for the other six Sundays of the week. Routine is totally out the window other than the morning one mentioned above. I didn’t have my first cup of coffee until 12:30 pm on Friday. That’s what happens when you stay up all night writing. One minute it’s 11 pm at night and then suddenly it’s 4:45 am the next day. Yesterday was a little better. I actually was on my second cup of coffee by 12:30.

I’m trying to get back in the groove of immersing myself completely in Spanish again. This results in some interesting conversations with some of the locals. Next door to me, this elderly couple are always sitting outside with all kinds of clothes hanging from their front fence. The other day the lady was trying to convince me that I needed to add to my wardrobe with some of the stuff they sell. She opened the door to their home and I saw a front room that rivals the stock at Macy’s……packed with clothes. Of course, everything is very used and polyester and definitely not what I’d ever even consider wearing. So far no one has successfully talked me into buying a dress and my neighbor sure isn’t going to either.

My neighbor on the other side makes potato chips, the really greasy ones that taste so amazing. I first discovered those when I was up in the Copper Canyon on El Chepe. The guy himself is really nice and great to talk to, but I’m really going to have to watch myself with those chips. I’ve decided one bag a month is probably more than enough. Of course one a month is only the goal.

I was looking for a bottle of antibacterial gel to keep in my room. I have the small purse ones I buy at Bath and Body works in the USA. And I’m not interested in the industrial size that can be found everywhere here. That was one entertaining conversation with the lady in the farmicia. She was super impressed with my Warm Vanilla Sugar small ones. It took three visits, but she finally came up with just the size I wanted for my room. She has connections with other vendors.

There’s a new chicken place nearby. Chicken is a huge of my diet as I seldom eat red meat. Rotisserie chicken is one of my favorites so I was delighted to discover that I now have one close to where I live. I struck up a conversation with the owners. One of them gave me a card and explained to me that they will sign the card after every purchase. When the card is full, (I think it’s four), the next one is free. That will definitely be an easy one for me.

I also checked out a breakfast place this week as I was craving a bolillo. So many fillings to choose from! I told the guy that I’m not into spicy anymore and he let me try samples to make sure the heat wasn’t too high. Naturally he asked me where I was from. And naturally I answered Washington State. Canada wasn’t even close to being on the radar.

That’s my Sunday. Hope yours is a good one.

Three

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Three

It’s been an interesting week. It’s nice to be back in Las Flores. It hasn’t changed much since I left in the spring. Most of the tiendas and restaurants are as I remember them. And on my walks I’ve discovered new ones as well.

On Wednesday I went to breakfast with the Ags Ladies group. It was great to see my friends again and I also met new people. And yes, we all talk in English. A rare time when I do talk English. In my neighborhood everyone speaks Spanish. Some are eager to learn English but haven’t quite grasped the fact that when I tell them I’m retired, I really mean that I am retired.

I was wandering through the tienguis the other day when an adorable little boy asked me if I’d teach him English. I guess I’ll always sound like a gringa speaking Spanish. He overheard me talking with a woman selling fruit. In my opinion my grammar leaves a lot to be desired, and I don’t roll those Rs well, but I am pretty fluent.

The weather here is similar to when I left East Wenatchee. Temperatures are in the 80s but it’s sunny here instead of smoky. And I really should switch back over to Celsius from Fahrenheit. And I should also trade out my American chip for my Mexican chip in my phone.

I’m excited. My characters are still talking to me. I’d been writing up a storm back in the USA and I was concerned that they might be affected by the move to Mexico. But they seem to be quite content here. And of course I’m enjoying my new laptop. Much better for writing than on a tablet.

Final thoughts for today. There are three big differences between Aguascalientes and Washington state. In Mexico masks are still very visible and are required in some tiendas. People smoke cigarettes in Mexico. No vaping. And there are no pot shops in Mexico where I live.

Happy Sunday!

I’m Not Ready

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I’m Not Ready

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.

Stay safe out there and have a great week!

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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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.