A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-48

More Covid Cases

Last week, walking Lani, I watched while a man and a woman put on full protective gear before they entered the main door at Assisted Living. As far as we were told, one positive Resident had been taken to the hospital and one positive Associate had gone home in isolation. So I deducted “the outbreak”, as was reported on the news, concerned more than just those two, who were no longer in the building.

The general manager says he wants to be transparent, but in essence he is not, probably because he “does not want people to panic”. So I called one of my friends in the main building who always knows the latest of things going on. I heard that there are 8 positive cases in Memory Care and 2 cases in Assisted Living. Whoa! An outbreak indeed. They must strictly order all staff to remain in their own section of the building for the safety of all of us, and hope they comply! We have three “communities” here, and before Covid, cleaning crew, staff, servers and even visiting family could go back and forth. There is a shared kitchen between Independent and Assisted Living.

One person tested positive in Independent Living last week, and has been in isolation in her apartment. Having talked to another friend, I now know who she is. I’m so sorry! We have friends, a pilot and his wife, who tested positive, got sick, then better, but now, two months later, are still suffering after effects, even heart problems. What a terrible disease! And yet, I am aghast to see how many people are traveling for Thanksgiving! Many of them will be sick at Christmas time! Why can’t they wait just a few more months and celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in July? It is beyond me. And I am thankful that we made a good decision four years ago, sold our Prescott home and are now living safely in a cozy cottage on a beautiful campus, close to some of our children, and get our meals delivered to our door. We are thankful too, that we can support many people here in North Carolina with food through the local Food Bank.

Playing games

Last night, my youngest grandson, 10 years old, texted me: would I please download an app on my iPad and play a game with him? Ha! A link to the younger generation! With a little explanation I found the app, downloaded it, and was offered to play the game of twenty questions. A funny sound, a dark bonk – a- bonk -a- bonk played in the background, counting to twenty seconds, during which I had to ask questions and get answers. I will not explain more, but it took me a while to get the picture; I got very close to the right answer, but was just a few questions short 🙂 I lost. Grandson wanted to play another game, but I had to put the dog to bed and then myself (these young ones stay up late!) so I promised to play again the following day. I’m so happy to have a “connect” with one of the grandchildren, and I love to play games!

In these unprecedented times, we hope that you have at least a few family members in your “bubble” to celebrate Thanksgiving with, or connect with family in other ways, and have a blessed and happy day.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,



A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-47

My new Mac

is wonderful! It works with the speed of light it seems, and has many new features I still have to learn more about. The desktop image is again a Hawaiian ocean scene: this time it is “dawn in Kailua-Kona”, on Oahu. The printer works again without having to turn off the WiFi, and I could even print from my iPad in the living room. I love all this modern technology!

New Covid Scare

Last Wednesday, all the relative freedoms we had in the past weeks were withdrawn again: no visitations, no scheduled activities, no meals in the dining room. A flyer from the Assistant manager stated these new regulations and explained that they had found one resident in Memory Care and one caregiver in Memory care testing positive for Covid. The resident was taken to the hospital, the Associate went home to wait in quarantine until she would be better. On Monday we would all be tested again, with the team going door to door. But on Monday morning all testing was cancelled because one of the testing nurses got sick. While many residents had looked forward to getting together with family for Thanksgiving, the Culinary team had envisioned a new lockdown, so the traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be served on the actual evening. In previous years, we had our dinner a week early, to give residents the opportunity to be with their families on the outside on Thanksgiving day and/or weekend. So this year we’ll just be together in our cozy cottage, connected to our three families by zoom. C’est la vie.

A purpose for each day

At a time like this, eight months into a lockdown with very little communication with family or the rest of the world, I feel we need to set a goal for each day, give each day a purpose; at least, that makes me happy. The problem is that I have so many goals for each day that I lack the time to do them all! I started on Sunday with the harvest of my ginger.


When we lived on the Big Island of Hawai’i, we had a friend who had a ginger farm across the highway, in Papaikou. Once in a while he came over with a large “hand” of fresh ginger – clean and fresh and so beautiful. At that time I created recipes with ginger: ginger banana bread, ginger carrot cake, and, my favorite: banana ginger jam. For many years we had a slice of the banana bread or carrot cake (without frosting) with our morning coffee, and the jam was not only delicious on toast, but also made wonderful gifts.

Before Covid, when we dined in the dining room, I would sometimes bring an exotic fruit from the Asian store close by to show to people at our table. One day, I brought a small, 3×3″ piece of ginger as the topic of our conversation. Afterwards, I put it in the large antique fruit bowl on the kitchen counter. It remained there until I came across it the second time I emptied the bowl, sometime in March. The ginger had shrunk to a pitiful dry piece; yet I could not throw it away. I found a pot and some potting soil in the garage and planted it, according to Google’s instructions, 1/2″ below the surface and put the pot on our front patio. The following months I was absolutely delighted to watch first one, then another, then a total of eight green stalks rise up to a height of two feet. There was life in my shrunken ginger, life after death!

On Sunday I decided it was time for the harvest. When I started cutting off the stalks, I discovered a bud – a flower-to-come? How delightful! I did not cut that flower, but decided I would plant it again with the root attached. It was a little difficult to dig up the ginger root with my hands, because it filled up the whole pot. I found a tool to help me: my mother’s antique silver serving fish fork that I had not used since we live here, because I don’t cook anymore. It worked like a charm, and I got the whole ball of ginger, dirt and all, out of the pot. This was yet another item that served a different purpose in another time of my life!

Back to the front porch, where I have a garden hose at the ready (until it starts freezing). I cleaned the ball till most of the soil had come off, and continued to clean it on the kitchen counter. It was an amazing sight! With the sharpest knife I own, never used, I cut the ginger roots in pieces and cleaned those some more. (It’s like editing, you need to do it multiple times.) On Monday, I brushed some more dirt away until all the pieces were ready for consumption. I was going to make banana ginger jam.

In the mean time, realizing that I had a lot of bananas from the Club and fresh ginger from my patio but virtually nothing else, I ordered sugar and lemons and more from Amazon Fresh, and the wait is for the mason jars from Amazon. They will come today, Wednesday, so you know what I will be doing! Oh joy! Life couldn’t be better!


It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,










A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-46

Presidential Elections 2020

How amazing it is that our country is so utterly divided! Today is Thursday, and they are still counting the ballots in several states, two late nights and long days later. Last night, I could not sleep, even though I was exhausted. So I finally got up at 1:00 a.m. and took a sleeping pill; we still have some back in the medicine cabinet from the time we needed them. At 1:45 a.m. the dog started barking, loudly. I got up, let her out, whereupon she barked outside, into the night. It was a bright, moonlit patio, but I sure did not see anything worth barking about and we went back to bed. At 2:25, she started again, and then again ten minutes later. Sigh! I then had three hours of undisturbed sleep, thank goodness. And this morning I saw that she had thrown up in her dog bed. She was scheduled for a bath at the Vet at 8:00 a.m., and I threw the dog bed in the washer and dryer, and now everything is clean again.

It was finally decided on Saturday, when the majority of all votes was in, that Biden and Harris were to be our next President and Vice President. Let’s hope they can at least get the Covid threat down and bring peace to this country!

It has been such a hectic week that I will cut this week’s post short. Not only car maintenance was on the schedule, but I needed and bought a new computer with our son’s help, and it’s coming today. That means that I will have to learn to use it, and so I will be super busy the rest of the week.  My old Mac was getting very slow, and was almost out of Memory. When the new one is installed this one will go to our ten year old grandson, who has been doing schoolwork on a borrowed iPad. He will be so excited, and I am overjoyed that my iMac is going to have a whole new life! And guess what? This new, powerful desktop Mac will be an early Birthday/Christmas present from Mike. And all the time our son spent on research and purchase and installation of just the right new computer will be his Christmas and birthday present for me. I had started thinking of what I would like for my birthday this year. I could not come up with even a short wish list, because I really have everything my heart desires. And here, out of the blue, I get Birthday and Christmas presents early! Life couldn’t be better!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,



A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-45


has come and gone. A few people dressed up during the past week, bags of candy were handed out on Friday during Happy Hour, but that was basically it. On Thursday, after dropping off a special card at our son’s house, driving back along the inside roads, I discovered on a street corner a large pumpkin patch. I can’t remember the time that I actually walked around a pumpkin patch! So I immediately crossed over to the left lane, turned into the side street, made a U-turn and parked my car. It was fun! I had planned to get a pumpkin at Trader Joe’s, but this was better. It took me quite a while, however, to find a small pumpkin without blemishes, and I was surprised to see that not all pumpkins are round. There were many that were covered with growths, like large warts, colorful yellows, greens and oranges. Tall ones, and huge round ones, too numerous to mention, reminding me of the diversity of the human race.


The movers came early across the street on Monday. Sonia, the lady whose husband had passed away in August, is moving today to an apartment in the main building. She had ample choice of apartments on any of the floors, because I counted 26 vacancies. It is unbelievable, and I’m sure not good for business. Perhaps that is why the containers in which we get our food, oatmeal, soup, cottage cheese and fruit, are getting smaller, and therefore the portions have been getting smaller. I now order two oatmeal for Mike, and two soups. The kitchen is still struggling to get workers, and so sometimes we get three salads and no soup, or other kinds of mixups. Any new people they are hiring have to be trained, and sometimes you wonder how smart they are. For instance, getting all the containers in one plastic bag caused the problem that the boxes with dessert always ended up on the side. I then had to scrape off any whipped cream from the sides of the boxes put it back on top of the cake or pie. So I asked the chef to give me a second bag for the desserts. And what did I get repeatedly? A second bag; but instead of putting the boxes on top of each other, someone in the kitchen puts them neatly side by side, on their sides! So the pies are facing bottom to bottom and two whipped cream rosettes are squished somewhere between the top of their pie and the side of the box. Finger licking good!

Another move was taking place in Assisted Living: our son’s father-in-law was being moved to a whole new facility closer to the family. That was not done lightly, moving a disabled octogenarian to a whole new place. But considering the alternative, staying in an Assisted Living place where housekeepers did not do a satisfactory job of dusting and vacuuming, and an occasional mouse would come out of the bathroom, it would be my choice to get out of there too. We are so lucky to live in our wonderful cottage, are very independent, have a housekeeper that we hire from the outside, and we are thankful for every day.

Car maintenance and more

It has been a really hectic week: One day I had to take the car in for oil and filter maintenance, and when I was there, they reminded me that a year ago, they had given me an estimate for four new tires. It’s a good thing that after November last year I did not do a whole lot of driving! I made an appointment for the next day, after I had secured a ride from our son. The ride the garage offered was still too close for comfort.

On top of that, I needed to make appointments for Lani: a bath, an annual shot and a grooming session with a new groomer at another Veterinarian’s office, because the original groomer is away on maternity leave.

And then there were tons of daily political emails, and requests for money. It was quite a week. But today is Voting Day, and I am going to watch tonight who will be the winner. Think of all the money that was spent on this election! It could have been spent on disaster relief, the Food Bank, housing for the homeless and more. If only one president considered one term enough and another president would take over for the next term. That will not be the case, and next week we will know more. May the best team win!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time