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My Newest Hobby

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My Newest Hobby

The other day I was talking to my daughter in Ontario and telling her all about how I spend my time here in Leavenworth. She groaned when she heard me talking about the senior center here, and accused me of being like her late Bobba. She said it made HER feel old. I told her that I was indeed at that age, and that she should be happy that I was staying active. I informed her that she should be reading my blogs regularly to find out what I’ve been up to. Let’s see if she took my advice. I haven’t yet told her about my newest hobby. I had shocked her enough for one phone call.

I was at the senior center for lunch one day when I first heard about this hobby. Dee was excited as in September the craft afternoons would resume for the season. I shook my head and explained to her that I don’t knit, crochet or quilt. Count me out. Dee was determined and asked me if I colored. I gave her a funny look. Colored? Colored what?

And that was when I first heard of adult coloring books. No, they’re not adult rated with anatomically correct body parts, at least not the ones I’ve seen. These are coloring books with fanciful flowers and beautiful birds, with the intent of relaxation as well as maintaining co-ordination in older adults.

The following day Fran brought in a book, along with a package of the brush pens she uses. And I colored one of the fish you can see in the background. What fun! And it would have been even more fun if I had my reading glasses with me.

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Off I went to Walmart the following week when I was in Wenatchee. My choice was birds, flowers, birds and flowers…..or zombies. I decided on birds and flowers. There were no brush pens so I settled for a pack of colored pencils.

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Of course finding the time to just sit and color is the real challenge. I really lead a busy and full life here in Leavenworth. My plan is to set aside a few minutes every day to color. Here is a photo of my first masterpiece, albeit a work in progress.

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I was in Lake Chelan a couple of weeks ago and found a bookstore. I checked out their coloring books but the prices were astronomically high. I was intrigued by the box of brush pens until I saw the price………$29! I’ll have to check out Hobby Lobby in Wenatchee. At least I have a coupon that I can use for 40% off. 

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Kimmy, if you’re reading this you’re probably rolling your eyes by now. But I assure you that I haven’t lost ALL my marbles just yet. And I can hardly wait for the craft afternoons to start next month. I’m ready!!!!!!

And August Begins

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And August Begins

It’s August already? What happened to July? Since I returned from Springdale, the days have been a blur of activity. Aside from the usual exercise classes, bridge games and lunches with friends at the senior center, there have been other things on the agenda.

Along with my friend Becky, we volunteered one night at the concession stand for Leavenworth Summer Theater’s production of The Sound of Music. The venue is atop a hill, albeit a considerable amount of smokey haze somewhat obscured the spectacular view of the mountains. The audience numbered approximately 500 people, and it was well worth the climb uphill to reach their seats. In the opening scene, Maria sauntered through the woods singing as she made her entrance onstage. What an ideal setting for this musical!

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The Rotary Club held a barbecue at a park in Wenatchee. Clubs from Leavenworth, Cashmere and Wenatchee were represented. The park had a swimming pool, a playground and tennis courts.  About 100 people attended this event.

Last Friday I braved the smokey skies and headed for Lake Chelan. I was delighted with the museum and enjoyed viewing the variety of items on displayed. I sauntered through the churchyard and headed down to the water, but it was far too smokey to stay very long. I then had a lovely lunch at BC McDonalds before returning to Leavenworth.

 

 

Guess what some of us did last Saturday morning at 8 am? Nope, we didn’t sleep in. We attended a four hour CPR/First Aid class held at Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. And we now have a two year certification by the American Red Cross. I hope we never have to use these skills but it’s good to have reviewed basic first aid, CPR and the use of AEDs. It’s also interesting to note how the laws vary from state to state, quite different from the classes I took back in Canada where lawsuits were only lightly mentioned.

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Earlier in the week on the internet I obtained my Washington food handlers certification. I want to volunteer in the kitchen at the Senior Center where this course is required. And this week I began a new course online entitled Rethinking Ageing offered by The University of Melbourne. I also had my home group online from Church of the Rock in Winnipeg.

Earlier this week I also went out to Plain with my friends Dee and Karen. The first stop was Plain Hardware.

 

Karen then gave us a spectacular tour of Grunewald Guild. She used to live here and we spent hours touring the buildings and the grounds. Once again, I took far too many photos, but here is a sampling.

 

We then took a short drive through Lake Wenatchee State Park, where despite the smokey haze, surprisingly quite a few people were swimming and boating.

I am heading to the golf course shortly to have lunch with Charlene. Wild Huckleberry is one of my favorite restaurants in Leavenworth. Not only is the food amazing, but the view is  also spectacular. Perhaps the deer will be out today. A lovely start to the weekend!

Roadtrip To Springdale

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Roadtrip To Springdale

Last weekend my friend Ann and I ventured east to visit her brother in Springdale, Washington, a community close to Spokane. Her brother Robert lives on a farm there on a primitive road. Primitive Road? That’s what the sign said. I’d never seen a sign like that before. Basically it means it’s an unpaved road with lots of curves and no guardrails, just steep drops along the side of the road. And of course there are no warning signs to indicate just where any of this is. But we arrived there safe and sound, and navigating the primitive road over the next few days became old hat.

On our way to Springdale, we took Interstate 90 and coming back to Leavenworth we took Highway 2. Therefore we saw different sights along the way. Of course the breathtaking view of hills and mountains always surrounded us.

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In Crescent Bar we came across an old antique shop. At first glance it appeared abandoned. But in actuality it has some extremely limited hours and wasn’t open when we were there.

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We drove both on the upper and lower roads in Crescent Bar and admired the gorgeous homes embedded in the rock at various heights. Beautiful in the summer, but in the winter I’m not so sure.

Another quaint town we drove through was Reardan. We found a park and sat in the shade sipping water. Nearby a daycare was doing crafts and across the street was a small church with a familiar VBS sign.

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We arrived at the farm and these murals greeted us on the building near the gate.

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We stayed in a delightful guest cottage on the property. The inside was as quaint and charming as the outside. Although you see a dish mounted in the photo, there was no TV. 

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I was enchanted with the goats. They are very shy, but Vicky persuaded them to pose for a picture when she attracted their attention with food.

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I forget how much acreage Vicky and Robert own, but it is substantial. Here are a few miscellaneous pics, including a photo of the front of the rambling seven bedroom main farmhouse.

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We also took a drive to Loon Lake one day where we found a restored vintage schoolhouse and an interesting thrift shop.

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We spent some time in Chewelah and found interesting antiques and a farmer’s market as well as a casino.

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The weekend flew by quickly and we were soon on our way back to Leavenworth. We stopped in Douglas for a quick lunch at a drive-through where I took some photos of a rustic western hotel.

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I look forward to exploring more of Washington state this summer. It is certainly different from the flat prairies where I grew up in Manitoba. The majestic mountains have more than captured my heart.

 

VBS 2017

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VBS 2017

Last week marked one of the most amazing weeks of my life. The occasion was Vacation Bible School at Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. It’s incredible to think that only a year ago I arrived in Leavenworth and had never even heard of VBS. I recall walking into the sanctuary for the first time and seeing the decorations. And then I was enthralled with the voices of the children as they were the praise team that morning. I knew that I had experienced something really awesome, and that I wanted to find out more about VBS and the church’s role in the community.

Becky Goodman is the pastor for children and families, and we soon became good friends. This dynamic lady hales from Indiana and is a treasure in the ministry of the church. Her passion and drive are amazing. I am always in awe of how she remains so calm, collected and cool no matter how gargantuan the challenges may be.

I first got my toes wet when I helped at Light the Night last fall. I was back in Mexico for the winter when Becky asked me if I’d be interested in volunteering for VBS (Vacation Bible School). I was definitely interested. I told her that I was flexible and to put me where she needed me, as I was totally unfamiliar with VBS and what was entailed in planning the program.

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Becky decided that co-director of the preschool/kindergarten program would be a good place. When I arrived back in Leavenworth in May, I soon found myself engrossed in planning meetings. I met Heather, the other co-director, and we were soon busy organizing and purchasing supplies, as well as decorating and setting up classrooms for activities.

The statistics are impressive. There were 204 children registered and 134 volunteers involved. The children were divided into groups of five, each with a crew leader to assist them in the activities. Each station had two rotation leaders. Other volunteers were in registration, in the kitchen, doing security, assisting with light and sound, as well as setting up and taking down of decorations.

The mission project for the week was raising funds for a concrete floor to replace the existing dirt floor in a home serving as an orphanage in The Democratic Republic Of The Congo. Earlier that month, the missionaries themselves had visited our church and told us about their experiences working with the African people, describing in detail the poverty and the decrepit conditions in which they lived. The goal was to raise $1600. The generosity of the community was overwhelming, and the total amount raised was a staggering $5222.50. Not only will there be a concrete floor, but there will also be a ceiling and beds for the children.

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The theme of VBS was Maker Fun Factory. A typical day at VBS began with an opening program in the sanctuary. The children were introduced to a Bible Point and a Bible Buddy. A skit was presented by two teenagers. The 29 children in the praise team enthusiastically ensured that there would be lots of singing. Everyone sported wristbands to remind them to “Watch For God”. Each day God sightings were discussed and colorful lights were added along the walls in celebration. 

 

The elementary division held their activities in a separate area of the church. The children rotated between Bible Discovery, KidVid Cinema, Imagination Station and Maker Games. The preschool/kindergarten division rotated between Bible Adventures, KidVid Cinema, Craft & Play, Exploration Station and Games. There was even a group of nursery children all three and under who checked out these stations as well. All children were provided with a healthy lunch prepared by volunteers in the kitchen.

Here are some photos taken in the preschool/kindergarten division.

A closing ceremony at the end of the day showed a video with highlights of the day, as well as a discussion about the Bible Point and the Bible Buddy. Parents were encouraged to attend this daily event.

On the last day, a preview of VBS 2018 was shown on the screen and the squeals of delight from the children added to the excitement. 2017 was my first experience with VBS and I know that I will be back for more. Will you?

 

Kinderfest

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Kinderfest

The more time I spend here, the more amazed I am at the various events here that are family-oriented. This time the event was Kinderfest and it was held on the fourth of July. Temperatures soaring into the 90s were no deterrent to the hundreds of adults and children who filled the streets in the downtown area. Front Street was transformed into a major carnival with a variety of games and activities.

The fun began with a bike parade at 11 am. Afterwards long line-ups prevailed throughout the day as eager children excitedly awaited their turns at a bouncy house and a water slide, not to mention all the other crafts and games that were set up. An incredible amount of volunteer manpower was evident and I am impressed with the giving spirit in this community.

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A popular area had fire engines, ambulances, tow trucks and tractors that were all kid-friendly. The children were delighted to clamber aboard and honk horns or blow sirens.

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One of the tables touched my heart. A friend of mine from Cashmere spearheaded this one. Children were encouraged to write a note and enclose a tiny flag that would be sent to soldiers serving overseas.

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There was a table where hats could be constructed.

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Games included fishing with magnets, basketball, balloons and more.

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The bouncy house was a favored attraction, as was the water slide for cooling off.

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The Rotary Club volunteers were hard at work building birdhouses.

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Here are a few miscellaneous shots.

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And that was Kinderfest 2017. 

 

Canada Day In The USA

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Canada Day In The USA

Today is July 1, 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday. But I’m not in Canada, so today I celebrated Nutcracker Day at The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum. That’s correct! This museum is totally dedicated to nutcrackers.

This friendly nutcracker greeted me at the door.

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I sat down to watch a short video on the history of nutcrackers. How interesting to see the different styles that have emerged in different countries. And how awesome to have a display of this caliber right here in Leavenworth.

There was a new activity for Nutcracker Day this year. Children of all ages were encouraged to design a nutcracker and prizes were awarded to the winners of the contest. Pictured here are a few of those that were on display.

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I then wandered through several rooms of glass-encased nutcrackers. The themes were of a great variety and here is a sampling of some of the photos I took.

Here is Karl, the life size headliner attraction. Children of all ages clamber to have their picture taken with him.

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There was even a table complete with nuts and nutcrackers for those who wanted to attempt to crack nuts.

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There was an interesting display of antique nutcrackers but unfortunately photos were prohibited in this area. I was able to take a photo of a rather informative display about walnuts.

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An hour and a half later I found myself back outside and made my way over to the Art Walk. Every weekend various artists display their creations that range from traditional works of art to jewelry and tattoos.

Next I found some shade and enjoyed the musical offerings from a trio at the gazebo.

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Every weekend throngs of people descend upon Leavenworth to enjoy this quaint little village. I heard a variety of languages spoken, but did not spot a single maple leaf or Canadian symbol of any type. This is very different from all the photos that my friends back in Canada have been posting today on Facebook. Red, maple leaf and Canadian flags are quite predominant in their photos.

But this is Canada Day here in Leavenworth. And this is how this Canadian spent her day.

I Do Some Really Different Things On Weekends

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I Do Some Really Different Things On Weekends

Wherever I may happen to be living, I try to immerse myself in that particular culture. Here in Washington state, there are always so many events and activities to choose from on the weekends.

This weekend my favorite town of Cashmere had its Founders Day celebrations. While it all sounded interesting and exciting, I opted to stay here in Leavenworth to attend other events.

Friday night some fifty-five children and adults gathered together at Icicle Junction for pizza and mini-golf. Pastor Becky Goodman from Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene did an amazing job of organizing this event. The kids had a wonderful time golfing followed by games in the arcade. By some miracle, they were lured out of the arcade to pose for a group photo.

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On Saturday I found myself at the Cascade High School watching a performance of The Little Mermaid. This production by Upper Valley Connections touched my heart as the majority of the cast members were from the special needs community. I worked in this field in Canada, and was moved to tears by their beaming faces as they acted, sang and danced for us on the stage. 

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Another event on Saturday was a car show held in the downtown area. I have never been a car buff, but some of the vehicles on display did attract my attention, especially the Corvettes. The temperature was above ninety degrees, and with no shade I didn’t stay very long.

I went to church Sunday morning and the guest speaker was Rev. Bob Luhn. He will be back again next weekend, and I look forward to hearing him again. Although he is retired, he is highly requested for speaking engagements and we are fortunate to have him here in Leavenworth.

Next weekend may be Canada Day where I am from, but I will be at a potluck in Cashmere as well as hanging out near the gazebo here in Leavenworth to listen to music. And Fourth of July is right around the corner…………………