Tag Archives: winter

Winter White

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Winter White

This was the view from my bedroom window earlier in the week. There was none of that white stuff in sight.

And then came Friday the 13th. The view changed drastically.

In all honesty, it’s a beautiful picture postcard out there today. First snowfalls are always pretty. And here in Washington the mountains are an amazing backdrop unlike the flat Canadian prairies where I come from. As the temperature rises, the snowfall has changed to rainfall, washing away the snow on the ground.

My last non-Mexico winter was in Winnipeg in 2009, although I did escape to Cuba for a bit of a reprieve. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever envision spending a winter in Washington. But I am now.

Something Different

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Something Different

This post is not about COVID-19 or Trump. I want to forget those for a moment and write about something completely different.

Monday night I went to a baby shower. I can’t remember the last time I went to one but I know it’s been years. It was such fun to see all the cute items for this precious new baby.

Yesterday was our exercise get together. We have now grown to five from three. My body really appreciates this as the colder weather has a tendency to stiffen up the joints.

Usually at this time of year, if I’m not already back in Mexico already, I’m shopping the summer clearance sales for clothes. Instead last week my purchases included boots, a toque, lined gloves and a cozy pullover sweater.

Although many of the trees have lost their leaves, there are still many showing off their glorious hues of red and orange. The recent rain has kept them hydrated.

While I turn to Duolingo every day and text in Spanish to some friends, I must admit I’m enjoying watching movies in English again. But I did go to my favorite Mexican restaurant last week and I always get to use my Spanish there.

I’m really enjoying my new tablet and am in the process of buying a new computer. However I became so reliant on technology is beyond me. It’s sure a different world.

And then there are the video calls. My granddaughter Madeline in Canada turns three in February and thinks her grandma lives in a phone. My grandson Juan Carlos in Culiacán is eleven and we converse in English regularly. Now if only I could convince my son in Canada to do video calls.

Today is another shopping trip to Wenatchee. More warm clothes for winter are very much needed. Somehow my usual wardrobe of capris and tank tops are not appropriate attire here in Leavenworth at this time of year.

The best part of being here is that I’m having a great time renewing friendships, meeting new people and making memories. My extended family just keeps on expanding. Life is more than good.

Boots Gloves And Hat

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Boots Gloves And Hat

Friday’s snowfall was pretty to watch from inside. However I didn’t venture out until it began to melt the next day.

Today I am headed to Wenatchee to do some shopping. Seeing as I’m here for the winter, I am in search of the appropriate clothing.

Sandals hidden away at the back of my closet, the first item on my agenda is boots. The last time I wore winter boots was a decade ago. Not looking forward to it.

Gloves and a hat are the next priority. My friends assure me it doesn’t get as cold as the Canadian prairies. I hope they’re right.

I actually got a ski jacket the first year I came here. But I hightailed it back to Mexico at the first hint of snow in 2016 so I haven’t had much use for it until now.

There may be a few other interesting items further along the line, such as bear spray. Apparently the bears are hungry and adore coming into town in search of food.

I see deer around frequently, but they’re relatively harmless. Cougar and coyote sightings are still common. I sincerely hope the rattlesnakes have disappeared for the winter.

And speaking of wildlife, election fever is high here. But I’ll save that for another post.

It’s Been Years

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It’s Been Years

There’s been snow up in the mountains for days now.

But yesterday was the first snowfall here in Leavenworth. And it’s already beginning to melt.

In another lifetime I would take the change of seasons in stride. Winters on the Canadian prairies were harsh. Plunging temperatures and high windchills were the norm. Warming up even a little meant icy roads and treacherous sidewalks frequently hidden by a fine dusting of snow.

Covid-19 has turned my world upside-down. Last year on this date I flew into Guadalajara en route to Aguascalientes. I eagerly looked forward to my usual six months of summer rather than winter.

Six months turned into eleven before I was able to leave Mexico and return to Washington State. The joys of being Canadian and finding travel health insurance to be in the USA during a pandemic!

But I did it and I’m here. I still don’t know how long I’ll be here. My plan to return to Canada is on the backburner for now. Quarantine has to disappear and Winnipeg has to reopen it’s airport to international flights. And don’t even get me started when it comes to the apps the government wants me to put on my phone.

I miss you Mexico and I pray for you. The precarious state of healthcare there more than intimidates me. What little resources still available should be reserved for the citizens of your own country.

I’m Staying

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I’m Staying

I have decided to stay here in Aguascalientes rather than return to Canada.

Because of my age and health issues I am in the high risk category.

If I didn’t get sick from COVID-19 from crowded airports and stuffy airplanes, I’d probably get pneumonia from arriving in Winnipeg in shorts and sandals. I haven’t experienced a Winnipeg winter in over ten years.

I opted to do on-line church only today as my city has banned public gatherings.

There is lots of toilet paper here.

I also have the blessing of being able to go outside to the park everyday.

Stay safe everyone and practice whatever preventative measures you are able to.

What To Do What To Do

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What To Do What To Do

Today was supposed to be a beach day. I’ve been back in Mazatlan for almost three months and have yet to spend a day at the beach. Yes, I walk along the malecon every day. But that’s walking BY the beach, not ON the beach. And I go to restaurants and bars that overlook the beach. I even play cards by a pool that has a view of the ocean. But I have yet to feel that cushion of sand beneath my feet.

I had really set this day aside to lie on the beach. But then the clouds rolled in. Then the drop of rain spattered against my bedroom window. Instead I have opted to stay indoors today. It’s actually been a productive writing day. But I am going to brave the rain and wind shortly and head out down the malecon. It’s Wednesday which means that there is a jazz jam at El Recreo. And after that there is a dance performance at Museo de Arte.

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The weather this winter has been strange. Above normal temperatures greeted me in November when I returned. But December was cold and January even more so. Jackets are a necessity once the sun goes down. Jeans have become a regular part of my wardrobe.

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Of course the tourists who come for a week or two still think this is paradise as there is no snow or windchill factor. They are easily identifiable by their pale faces and wardrobe of shorts and tank tops. But even they remark on how the global warming idea has actually had the opposite effect on the climate.

While the weather is not the greatest right now, there is so much to do indoors. Music is everywhere. There are malls and movie theaters. Pre-Carnaval events are underway. Yes, we are only a week away from Carnaval, the third largest celebration of its kind in North America.

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Construction crews are in a frenzy trying to complete the work on the malecon. The parade routes have been announced and it’s imperative that the malecon be open. This season it has been a nightmare of traffic delays and rerouting of vehicles due to the closure of several streets in Centro as well as the malecon itself.

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I think back to gloomy winter days back in Winnipeg. Somehow a little bit of rain and clouds just don’t seem so bad after all.

I Miss Winterpeg………….Not!!!

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I Miss Winterpeg………….Not!!!

Whenever expats get together here, inevitably the conversation turns to how things are different here and some of the things we miss from back home. We all agree that we miss our children the most. Those who are fortunate enough to have parents, siblings or extended family also lament that they miss them as well, especially at holiday time.

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The discussion then shifts to the more mundane things. Those of us who enjoy cooking and baking face real challenges and have had to adapt our styles to what is available here in Mexico. Personally I really miss Bulk Barn in Canada. Anything you can ever imagine for baking is available at this store, but many items are sadly lacking here in Mazatlan. I used to take for granted all the sprinkles, caramels, candies, chocolate and even the variety of flour and sugar. I baked up a storm when I was in Leavenworth last summer. But my choices here are limited. My apple crisp has evolved into apple enchiladas. Cheesecake is now of a much heavier texture. Cookies are not as colorfully decorated. But I did learn how to make a delicious chocolate flan in my most recent Mexican cooking class.

Expats tend to bring their own bedding and towels from home. The main reason is the poor quality available here. Small appliances such as breadmakers, toaster ovens, hand mixers and blenders cost a fortune down here. Only specialty stores carry Keurig and good luck finding the cups in any but the most ordinary coffee flavors. There is also an endless list of other kitchen items unavailable here ranging from SOS pads to household cleaners.

Heating pads? Electric blankets? Bring them down and use them only if you are prepared for the outrageous CFE bills here. Electricity is extremely expensive. Gas ovens and and grills are the norm here. And the low energy light bulbs are very prevalent and are definitely deficient in brightening up a room. 

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Bras and panties? Run, do not walk, to Victoria’s Secret before you come down here. Actually, if you want any type of quality in clothing, don’t buy it here unless you shop at Liverpool. The quality there is not always consistent either, although the high prices are.

But aside from my children and some of the more obvious items listed above, I actually find myself almost missing snow at this time of year. That first snowfall……….the delicate snowflakes are a beautiful sight. Sitting by a fireplace in the evening gazing out at that winter wonderland. The clean, crisp air as I venture outside. But wait! It’s -30 degrees Celsius with a windchill? No thanks. I think I’ll stay down here in Mexico a while longer.

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