A New Life! Retirement at its Best 38

Love’s Labour’s Lost

A very tragic ending of four weeks of anticipation happened tonight. When I looked down at he goose nest, Mother Goose was not on it – for the first time. I saw a bed of grey feathers. Then both geese appeared from across the street, where they had visited the patio behind one of the cottages, where they have bird feeders. But the nest was basking in the late after noon sun, so I thought they had just gone out for some supper. A little later I went to look again, this time with my binoculars. I saw the gander rummage in the feathers – no eggs were visible. Then Mother Goose gently stepped into the water and swam across the pond. The gander left the nest and started to eat grass close by. I took a few steps to look at the nest from a different angle and then I saw three, no four eggs bobbing in the water, close to the nest. Oh! I was so sorry. What had happened? They were so close to hatching. Were the past few days too cold? Had the water reached the nest and did the eggs lose the warmth necessary for hatching? Did the parents then flip the eggs over the edge? How sad. I had so looked forward to little goslings. I’m sure they had too…

The Easter Mouse lives!

Finally, after ten days, a guy from Orkin, an exterminator company, came out with two of the maintenance crew, to do something about the mouse. All that time we had kept the closet closed and taped at the bottom. What they concluded was that the mouse had entered through a hole underneath the sink (they plugged it with a scouring pad) and that it had left the same way after there was nothing edible in the pantry anymore. Because contact with feces etc. can cause diseases in humans (I found that on Google) they cleaned the shelves and the bottom of the pantry for me and left, gifting us with a large box of more of the scouring pads. Ha! I didn’t even know there was a hole underneath the sink. Did they assume we have more holes to plug in other areas of the house? I’ll have to investigate under the sinks in both bathrooms tomorrow. I was not present at the time they left because of a tele-seminar I attended in the office with the door closed.

I have three days left to do the most urgent things inside the house and on the road, because on Friday, April 13, I will go in for surgery of my right shoulder. That means I will take a break writing my blog posts. But, like they say in the stock market these days: do not pull out, the market will come back. So I say to y’all, stay around, Ronny will be back!


I finally made the irrevocable decision. In Dutch we say De kogel is door de kerk (the bullet is through the church). What a strange expression if you think about it. It dates back to the battles in the seventeen hundreds. When even churches were destroyed in a fight and the enemy did not spare even the sacred things it was a sign that they would stop at nothing to reach their goal.

Now, nothing will prevent surgery to happen; my shoulder needs to be repaired. A completely torn rotator cuff is only one of the things wrong with it. The surgeon will be able to repair some of the problems through arthroscopic surgery, and the rotator cuff through “open” surgery. Thank goodness it will be an outpatient procedure! Earlier in March had an MRI, which showed the full extent of the damage. Six problems, no kidding. And all that as the result of half an hour playing frisbee with my granddaughters a year ago. No wonder I had a lot of pain for a long time. OT did not help, only aggravated the condition, but now, finally, the end is in sight. I found the best shoulder specialist in town to do the surgery and he promised the shoulder will be good as new and pain free.

One day of surgery sounds easy enough to live through. But the recovery period is something else. Arm in a sling for two weeks and then three months recovery with passive PT. Even that does not sound too long, though. The most difficult thing will probably be that I can’t drive for at least two weeks and I won’t be able to tie my shoelaces. I have already started using my left hand to do a lot of things to avoid extra pain on the right side. But I am very thankful that help will be available when I am really tied up (or tied down, however you look at it). I noticed in the doctor’s office that patients coming and going all had their right arm in a sling, and to my happy surprise the slings were black and not stark white, as I had imagined. My sling can even look distinguished, I decided, if I match it with the right clothing 🙂 Plus, Friday the thirteenth is the new lucky day, and this summer I will have a good shoulder again. Yeah!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next month!



A New Life! Retirement at its Best 37

An Easter Mouse  

On Friday, getting a can of coffee from the pantry, I noticed crumbs on a lower shelf. That was strange, because we don’t have open jars or cereal boxes in the pantry. Even though one of the crumbs looked like a mouse dropping I paid no further attention and thought I would clean it up later.

On Saturday morning we were having breakfast at home because of the large pre-Easter brunch we would be attending with the family at noon. After breakfast I was planning to go to Trader Joe’s, five minutes from here, to get fresh flowers for Easter. When I opened the pantry I noticed many more crumbs on the shelf and an open glass jar with a few leftover cashews in it. The large cork, whatever was left of it, sat next to the jar on the shelf, the edges were rough and pieces of cork were everywhere. But the jar itself stood upright, the contents untouched. “We have a mouse in the house!” I said, and explained my findings to Mike.
“It must be a little field mouse like the one we saw darting across the hall of the main building when we arrived last May.”
“Oh,” he said, “go to Trader Joe’s and get a mouse trap.”
“A mouse trap at Trader Joe’s? They don’t sell mouse traps.”
“Of course not. I did not say that.”
“Yes, you said go to Trader Joe’s and get a mouse trap.”
“I meant go to Trader Joe’s and then get a mouse trap somewhere else.”
“All the way at The Home Depot? No way! I am going to call the front desk.”

The girl at the front desk called me back a half hour later: “Harvey is on call but he will only come out for an emergency, not for a mouse in the house. He will come over on Monday morning with a mouse trap.”

There was nothing else we could do about it. So I taped the pantry door, which has a 2″ gap at the bottom, with two strips of tape and we will hope that there is enough cork left for the mouse until Monday. Needless to say that when we hid easter eggs for the grandkids we skipped the kitchen area.

We had a lovely brunch on Saturday with four of the five family members attending plus Stephanie’s parents, and on Easter Sunday, after a beautiful church service we had Sunday brunch as usual, then took a nap and drove to the kids and grandkids for the rest of the Easter Day and Dinner. We are certainly not starving here at Waltonwood!

On Monday morning both Harvey and Joe appeared with a mouse trap. Quite a new invention to me: a 10″ x 4″ strip of thin carton: folded at the seams to resemble a large matchbox sleeve, the inside paper peeled off to expose a very sticky surface with the smell of peanut butter. The mouse would go in and get stuck – a cruel ending of its life, I think, but we can’t live with a mouse in the house either. I just hope he is still in the pantry so we can catch him. The men put down two traps and would come back on Tuesday to take them away. I’m glad I was gone all morning, starting with an early presentation at the Sunrise Rotary: at 7:00 a.m.

When the men came back yesterday afternoon and opened the pantry door, the traps were empty; they will come back again today. A service man came out and spent over an hour fixing our TV, replacing the cable box and various cables. It is working again after two days. What was really great about not having TV was that we each picked up a good book and have almost finished it today.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until Next Time!