A New Life! Retirement at its Best 103

The Beauty Parlor

As long as I can remember I have been interested in learning many practical things I could do myself without having to pay maintenance guys to do it. My Dad, early on, kindled my interest in hands-on projects, like helping him close the crop of one of our doves (which he had slit open with a scalpel to remove a blockage). I had to use a four inch long curved needle threaded with cotton yarn, to tug it back and forth through the tough skin of the crop. With that, he was training me for Med School in the future of course; but he instilled an interest in fixing technical things of all kinds. Much later, when we lived in Pasadena, California, I enjoyed many classes: how to fix things under the hood of a car, how to replace a flat tire. After that, on a more personal level, I took classes in massage and acupressure. When I graduated, I thought I could practice on my family members, but they were not interested. The only one who was game was our son, when he was a teenager. Because of the lack of a proper massage table, he would stretch his long body out on the bar in the kitchen, face down, while I worked away on his muscles with fragrant honeysuckle scented massage oil. He liked it, but it did not happen very often. The good thing about that class is that I learned the names and locations of muscle groups, tendons, nerve points and more. I still share acupressure with people who have headaches; I hardly have headaches myself, happy to say.

Still in Pasadena, when I started my own business selling acrylic nail products for a chemist friend, I learned to apply acrylic nails, and of course I have always applied my own nail polish on my own hands and feet. In 1976 I was invited to participate in a Hair Show at the Hilton Hotel. A new cut and color were introduced into my life, just when I embarked on my modeling and acting career. Soon after that I learned to do it myself, color that is, and I have applied my own color ever since. Think how much money that saved me! I leave the hair cutting to a professional. But let me get to the point of the Beauty Parlor.

In Arizona, where we lived after twelve years in Hawai’i, I found a nail tech in the hair salon, who did my nails, and I found another one here, in North Carolina, who took over. What luxury! After I had shoulder surgery in 2018, I needed massage therapy for three months. I found a Massage Parlor within two miles from where I live and the masseuse was so good, that I now have a regular massage once a month! To top it all off, at the same Massage Parlor I found an aesthetician with velvety-soft fingers who treated me to a wonderful first-ever facial. I was sold. I reasoned with myself that I have now reached the wonderful age to be pampered to keep in shape and beautiful. And guess what?  I convinced myself that now I can spend all the money that I saved in my earlier years on my beautification and health today. If you figure it out: money saved in the past, spent today and in the near future: +$$$ = -$$$ It equals out to 0. YES!

The little cocoon

For two weeks I have been keeping an eye on the folded leaf in which I saw a little caterpillar encapsulate himself preparing his change into a moth or butterfly. Google said: 5 days to 21 days. Alas! Today, the winds had blown almost all of the yellowing and browning leaves off the tree. I could not find the one I had been watching so closely, and all I could do was hope that the little creature had flown away on the wings of the storm.

It’s a wonderful Life!

Until next time,





A New Life! Retirement at its Best 102

Your opinions count

Looking back at my weekly Blog Posts I came to realize that I have been writing these for two years now! The subjects I chose from my daily life in a Retirement Community, starting at the age of 78, are not just focused on the many older residents and new friends who live here, their ailments, hospital visits and deaths, but more on the things that happened in my own life. I am privileged to be healthy, can still walk the dog twice a day, I can see without glasses, hear without aids, use the computer to a certain extent, and write and edit my stories. I am thankful for all that and plan to continue writing my posts if you, my followers, deem most of it interesting. How interesting, of course, is a personal matter. That brings me to the following question. How many of you would encourage me to edit all my posts, bundle them, and publish them in the future? It will take time and effort and money, to be sure, and I would gladly spend all of those on this project, but only if you think many other people than my friends and relatives would like to read this book. Will it have an audience? Can I change things about it to get an audience? Only you, who have been reading my posts can judge this, so I would like to take a poll; I will not be offended if the answer of the majority is a NO. Would you submit your vote below this post or vote (anonimously) in an email to ronnyhermandejong@gmail.com?

A Little Miracle

A few days ago, standing in the dog run, waiting for Lani to do her shi-shi, I noticed a tiny movement on a leaf in front of me. This is what I saw and what caused me to run inside and get my camera. IMG_1786
(To see this video, click on the link, then click on the full link it takes you to at the bottom of the page.)

One hour  later, I saw this, I could still peek inside, and another hour later the leaf was folded and closed completely. How long will it take for the metamorphosis to take place? Google says five to twenty-one days. I will be watching!

Harvest Moon on Friday the 13th

A rare event, which last happened nationwide on October 13, 2000 and you will not see again until August 13, 2049. Ha! That is thirty years from now! However healthy I am today, however long I am hoping to live, God willing, in thirty years I would be 110 years old. Even though my mother lived till almost 102, and a very few live to be 110, I will not be among them. And if I would reach that ripe 🙂 old age, I will not be looking at the moon, wherever I live.

A harvest moon rises about 25 minutes after the sun sets in most of the northern United States, NASA said, 25 minutes earlier than a typical moon. This brings extra light in the evenings. And like any full moon, the sun and moon are opposite each other, so the sun cranks up the moon’s brightness. Hence the title Harvest Moon: the farmers could spend more time harvesting before total darkness.

Once, when we lived on the Big Island and took a trip to Moloka’i with friends from the Netherlands, we were sitting on the beach, watching the moon rise over the ocean, while the sun was setting behind the top of the hill behind us. In my mind’s eye I see again the beauty of the scene, the light against the darkening sky, the lapping of the waves at our feet…A full moon at sunset on beautiful Moloka’i. We were staying at the Pau Hana Inn, where, on the lanai under the huge banyan tree the locals came together on Friday nights (pau hana means after work, when the work is done). There was live music, laughing, singing, and of course, hula.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,





A New Life! Retirement at its Best 101

September 11, 2019

A moment of silence will be observed to correspond with the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, beginning at 8:46 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time), the time the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

To see the impressive 9/11 Memorial that has been created on the spot where the Two Towers of the World Trade Center once stood is something on my bucket list. We lived in New York for a year when we were just married, in 1961, but have never been back except for a brief visit in the nineties. And guess what? I am planning to visit New York the weekend after Thanksgiving this year and one of the things to see is the Memorial! Much more about that later – planning immense things like that take time!

Coqui Frogs on the Big Island

I wanted to post just the YouTube link to this article, to no avail. Instead here it is, taking up almost a whole page! When we had lived on the Big Island for a few years, we heard sounds at night, sitting on the patio; it sounded like two birds were answering each other. A few weeks later, there were more, similar songs. I went to the University Hawaii at Hilo two ask what kind of bird was making the beautiful sound. They told me that they were not birds, but tiny Coqui frogs, up in the trees at night, coming down to bury at the foot of the trees during the daytime. Not native to Hawai’i, originating from the Caribbean, they spread to Maui and Oahu as well. In just a few years they became a nuisance because of the high decibel sounds they produced, especially in colonies of hundreds. The government tried to eradicate them by spreading coffee grinds underneath the trees at first, later tried to kill them with acid spray; the coqui frogs survived all that. To many, they are extremely annoying. However, some people love them and some think they are a tourist attraction. One couple created a Place of Refuge, a Sanctuary for them on the Big Island. Listen and look and let me know if you have heard them when you were in Hawai’i and what you think of them.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,


A New Life! Retirement at its Best 100


Wednesday afternoon we got a call from the Activities Director: Would we like to take a tour of Waltonwood at Lake Boone Trail, be treated to drinks and a full dinner? Today, in an hour? Waltonwood Lake Boone Trail opened in October 2018 and we had not seen it yet. It sounded great, so we dressed for dinner and went to the Club, waiting for the bus, curious who else was going. We learned that a whole group had gone for lunch, yesterday as well, and so we were full of expectations. What followed was a totally different and unexpected experience.

Instead of the bus, we were picked up in the red cadillac by the Lake Boone Driver. Instead of getting a tour of the building, we were ushered to the second floor, to an activity room, where a chef had created two cakes and several cupcakes, and was decorating them. People sat at the table watching and two men took pictures with cameras. It was then obvious that they were doing a photoshoot for Waltonwood’s website and possibly Facebook page. We were asked to stand and sit close to the table, and then volunteers were asked to help decorate some cupcakes. I volunteered, got instructions, and decorated a cupcake, then another. “What a big smile!” one of the camera men said.

“You are looking at a retired actress!” prompted Mike. Amazement. We were all asked to eat a cupcake while the cameras were rolling, and after that the Activities Director came over to ask me to go downstairs with them and do a testimonial about Waltonwood. WOW!

We went downstairs and out to the patio, where they installed me properly, set up the cameras and a large disc light reflector, and talked a bit before the shoot; I mentioned that one of the places I had done some acting was in Archie’s Place. Everyone is always impressed when they hear that, because everyone knows of Archie’s Place. “OK, just pretend that you are in Archie’s Place and start telling about your experiences in Waltonwood.” The first thing I said was “Can I have a drink please?” because it was hot outside and I was thirsty after that cupcake.  Someone got me an iced tea from inside the building and then I started talking about Waltonwood. I had to be careful that I did not describe things that Lake Boone did not have, like the cottages, the pond, and so on. We did three takes of one sentence that I could not get right, and of course they will cut and paste when they are editing. What all this meant was that I will be a spokesperson for Waltonwood, on their website and Facebook. WOW! How fun is that! I can’t wait to see the results of the pictures and video. The driver stood at the ready to take us home again, so no drinks or dinner! But I got something more out of our visit than that!

The leader of the group doing the shooting was a filmmaker and owner of a movie company, he told me, when I asked him if he had any contacts in the movie industry. The grand opening of his latest film would be in October. WOW! That is the closest I had ever been to a movie producer! I gave him several of my business cards and, since he expressed interest in my book, I promised I would have a book ready for him when he came over to Waltonwood Cary Parkway. They would go there next, to shoot videos and pictures of the beautiful landscaping we have here. So that’s what happened. We were taken back to the Club in the red cadillac, I got a book from home, autographed it and handed it to the producer when he came in. That night, I he Messaged me on Facebook and said that they were looking forward to meeting me again soon! WOW!

More exciting things are waiting in the wings, many more, but those are not yet visible on stage!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,