A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-76

Our Pond

Mother Goose had spent two months sitting on eggs that did not hatch; she finally found out they were not fertilized and would never hatch, and joined her mate, catching up on eating and walking around and swimming together.  Meanwhile, out of nowhere, a mother duck had arrived in the pond, followed by five little ducklings. It was a joy to watch them grow, and anxiously watch whether all five were still there. Five became four, but then those four, closely following their mother on land and in the water, grew until the were about half the size of their mother. The blue heron visited again and swallowed, with difficulty, another frog; one of the turtles came up on land to sit in the sun in the afternoons. It was so much fun to watch that we sent a request to the assistant Manager to put a bench at the top of the pond, so Residents could sit and watch for a while. The pond is deep down, so can’t be seen from the Gazebo, nor from he street, unless you stand close to the fence.

One week later, all pond life had disappeared. No more geese (but they could have flown North), but all five ducks had disappeared as well. My thought is that one of the maintenance men hired a company to remove all fowl in the middle of the night and take them elsewhere. What a scare that must have been for those poor birds. Anyway, the ED would look into it, his assistant did also, but nobody came up with a possible answer. “One of the Residents may have done it..” Yeah right, someone in a wheelchair, assisted by someone with a walker, assisted by someone with infrared light,… no, that was not the answer. To make a long s tory short, I emailed the ED that I had found the answer. After three days of rain the water level of the pond rose to such height, that the four little ducklings could not keep their heads above water and went under, and the mother was so desperately looking for her babies under water that she ran out of breath and disappeared below the surface never to be seen again. I told him it was a fascinating topic to write a story about and to leave it at that.

We all hope we will soon have some life in our pond again to enjoy when we pass. A bench will be out of the question for now, I think.

Father’s Day

We had a lovely Father’s Day brunch at the Club, gifts and cards from all the kids and grandkids, and a brief visit from our son and wife, who came by after church. We had already been together last Sunday, when the whole family came over for lunch and to celebrate a birthday, a graduation, and an early Father’s Day. It is so special to live so close to family and to be able to visit again in person, without masks, and to feel safe.

I had to think of a song that always brings tears to my eyes when I hear it: Cat’s in the Cradle. There is an old man here in Waltonwood, whom we have known since we got here, when his wife was still alive. He is now alone, but once I saw his son visiting him. Henry is one hundred years old, he is skinny and does not shave every day, but he sits outside sometimes, reading a book. This man is extremely intelligent and had a very high class technical job; someone told me what he used to do, but that was three years ago and I forgot it. Henry has invited us and others too, to come over and have a glass of white wine with him; which we never did, because, really, we drink mostly red wine and Mike hardly drinks at all. So today, at the end of the day, I said to Mike “I would like to go to Henry’s apartment and give him a bottle of white wine from our refrigerator for father’s Day”. I went at 5 p.m., when I had to pick up our dinner anyway, and called ahead of time to make sure Henry was home. He was. He was delighted to see me and gave me a big smile and thank you for the wine. We stepped outside onto his lovely patio, which is looking out at the inner courtyard. I asked if his son had been over for a visit, for lunch perhaps? “No, he is very busy, he has his own business. And his wife is very busy too.” What kind of business it was he explained but I could not understand. “But Henry, today is Father’s Day.”
“Yes, I know. I called him at eight o’clock this morning. but he said he was busy.”
“I am so sorry to hear that. I am glad I came, and I hope I made your day.”
“You sure did, sweetheart. Would you not stay for a glass of white wine?”
“No, I have to go home with dinner. But I may take you up on your offer sometime.” A vague promise.
“Oh, please, do, and bring your husband with you.”

We should really do that. There is not much time left to receive guests if you are a hundred years old. And having guests is such a joy in the loneliness of every day.

Vacation Planning

The week is finally here! The week of planning and packing and getting ready for our two-week beach vacation. Everyone is ready for it. And even though I will have no use for my snorkel, I hope to dive into the ocean once again and swim to my heart’s content. We are being treated like royalty and only have to take care of packing our own things. Without telling us the kids got together and, knowing we would arrive late on Saturday afternoon, at the same time as hundreds of other tourists, they ordered groceries online from one of the stores, and paid, so everything will be ready for curbside pickup when we get there. Possibilities in the aftermath of Covid! So many wonderful things to look forward to! What joy!

May your days be peaceful and happy.

Until next time,


A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-75

New Bathroom scents

A new discovery: the carton tubes inside rolls of our toilet paper are now scented with a lavender/vanilla fragrance. The toilet paper itself has that fragrance too, as well as the under-the-counter cabinet, and, last but not least, the whole bathroom is pleasantly scented! What an invention! What a discovery!

New Alzheimers drug

I was very excited to read about the new Alzheimer’s drug Aducanumab or Aduhelm, approved by the FDA, visualizing a cure for many, or at least hope for many. But upon further reading of the reports, I came to realize that it is very controversial, and can have bad side effects. Sigh. There are so many people with dementia around here; Alzheimer’s is only one version of it, and so I am afraid that this disease will stay incurable for many more years.

A visit to a nursing home

On Saturday morning I picked some of the beautiful blue hydrangea that are growing on a large bush next to the cottage across the street, put them in a vase and went to visit a friend who used to live here in Waltonwood but  had moved to the nursing department of a brand new senior care home. The difference with our twelve year old building was amazing. I can only hope that the planned remodeling of our facility will bring a result we can compare with this new complex of buildings. Rumors are that the remodeling will start in August; it was all deferred since February of last year because of Covid.

Buffet stye dinners

It started with the buffet style brunch three weeks ago; because of the ongoing lack of servers and kitchen staff, two  dinners were planned buffet style after that. Very efficient for the staff, it is not pleasant for us. We have to go by the buffet, our plates are filled according to our wishes, and then we have to find a table to sit at. With a walker, even one with a seat, that is not an easy task especially several things come separate, like coleslaw, broccoli salad, rolls and dessert. Then, when we find a table, I have to get water and by the time we are seated and ready to eat, the food is cold. The buffet was planned for Saturday, Sunday and one weekday. We decided that I would pick up dinners on those days or cancel and order from a restaurant; our favorites are Thai, Mexican, Italian and pizza.

A day at the Museum

The Waltonwood bus took five other ladies and me to the North Carolina Museum of Art last Friday, to see the exhibit Art in Bloom, where many local florists had created floral arrangements based on particular paintings. It was delightful and amazing to see all their beautiful creations with fresh and dried flowers and greens from as far as Hawai’i. At the entrance was a “trail” of gerberas in various colors. I was intrigued by the special glass vases and looked for them at the gift shop – no luck. Then there was an arrangement based on a painting of “Madonna and Child”; one based on a painting with the wing of an airplane over a city in the dark with millions of lights; a knight in shining armor; one with a church window and finally an arrangement of giant anthuriums and orchids in the most beautiful, artistic wooden vases.



How wonderful to be able to go out again and see what the world has to offer! Slowly but surely, life is getting back to normal again.

It’s a wonderful Life!

Until next time,








A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-74

True Turtle Rescue

This week, in the afternoon heat, while walking the dog, I noticed a 10″ turtle crawling along the street, off the curb, on the wrong side of the pond. It had probably come from Wimbledon, through our yard, and then kept on going towards the water but it had gone a street too far. I put Lani’s leash around the top of the fence and told her to stay. Then I walked to the turtle, lifted her by the edge of her shell with both hands and walked all along the fence (which is on top of a high wall), around it and back along the inside of the fenced wall, then down the slope towards the water. When the slope became too steep to be safe for me, I carefully put the turtle down. I wish you could have seen what happened. I have never seen a turtle run. But this little one ran so fast towards the water, his rear legs stretching out behind his shell, that I looked on in amazement and laughed out loud. When it reached the rocks, I expected it to go around to the water, but it ran straight onto the rocks, its shell scratching, then dove, and swam and swam, until it was out of sight. Every afternoon it sits on the side of the pond, basking in the sun.

A raccoon shuffled across the back lawn in the afternoon heat yesterday. I watched it from the bedroom window, too far from my phone to take a picture. It went to the little pond we have there, took a drink and then dove into the water and out of sight. Wildlife at the water hole!


It rained for the past two days and nights and the water in the pond reached a level as never before. The deserted goose nest completely disappeared and I had trouble locating the ducks. I saw them later, the four little ones already half the size of their mother, and mother duck, happily foraging in the wet grass.

My old garden hose, which I have always on standby, had sprung a leak last week, and today one of the maintenance men came to take it away and dispose of it. Just before he came, a new 50 feet hose arrived from Amazon. New to me, it was light weight and very small, then expanded as it filled with water. I keep it on standby, so I can easily water the plants I have in the front porch right now.

My pride and joy is this lily, a gift in a 4″ pot on Mother’s Day 2020, which lasted through the winter in the garage without light off water. I repotted it and this is how it looks now, more and more buds opening every day. Then I have a pot with lush basil, two tomato plants that grow tall and strong, one little tomato already larger than a cherry, and ginger, which is just now showing an inch of a green sprout coming up through the soil.


I found a hairdresser close by that is so good that I will stay with her for ever. I finally found someone who knows what I am talking about when I say I want a Dorothy Hamill haircut. The first time she cut it, now six weeks ago, I was not 100% happy, but when I talked to her yesterday, she did exactly what I asked and I am excited. The most amazing thing is that she does a shampoo, cut and blow dry in less than thirty minutes. She sure knows what she is doing after thirty years of experience. The first hairdresser who gave me this cut, Jay, in Pasadena, when I was in the acting business, took two hours every time for the precision cut! He was so good and so nice, that he even came to the airport hotel in Los Angeles when I flew back from Hawai’i to finish some business on the mainland. After that, I let it grow like all the Hawaiian women, and it went well with dancing hula.

Vacation Preparations

I am getting busy with preparations for our two-week reunion at the beach and I don’t know if I will have the time to write a lot until the middle of July. Our California granddaughter will celebrate her 14th birthday when we are there, and I am planning to give her an hour of horseback riding along the beach, with me, as a birthday surprise. We are staying in a beach front home on Hilton Head Island, and the tours are on Daufuskie Island, close by, so the whole tour includes a Ferry ride to and from the island and the stables, and one hour along the beach. I am so looking forward to this wish on my bucket list. The only time I ever sat on a horse was in Tretes, a mountain village on Java, where we went on vacation once. They had the small kuda’s, the mountain horses. So this will be a very different experience!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,









A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-73

Memorial Day Weekend

The week went by faster than ever. I spent time making phone calls about wrong products being delivered, talking to the new ED, making appointments with the dentist, ophthalmologist, you name it; mostly for checkups. But then, one night, I noticed Mike’s sock was bloody and when I took it off I saw a bloody wound on the inside of his left leg. I treated it as best I could, but ten minutes later it was oozing again from underneath the bandaid. So, via the front desk, the EMS car came with flashing lights and brought bags and a gurney. I told them it was only a leg would, so they came in without the gurney, but since it was raining, I told them to bring it in anyway. To make a long story short, after one shower the next day, which I messed up with a plastic bag around the leg, I thought of Saran Wrap. And that did the trick: it covered the whole bandaid patch and kept it dry.

Via our daughter in California, whose friend is a would care specialist, I heard, after sending a picture of the wound, that I should try to roll out the skin flap with a wet cotton swab to cover the raw part as much as possible. With two wet swabs that worked! It does not cover the raw part completely, but it is better than folded over. And now we wait for it to heal, and quickly, because we are going on our long awaited family reunion at the end of the month.

Sunday Brunch and Concert

We had our first Sunday brunch again after eighteen months of Covid. The understaffed kitchen did a fantastic job and created a delicious meal. Everybody dressed in their Sunday best, well, almost everybody, and we had a good time. The annual Memorial Day Concert was performed a little differently, and without a live audience, but it was beautiful.

Because going out for dinner is getting more and more difficult, we had friends over for pizza and wine again last night. Can you imagine what “going out for dinner” entails for most people here? 1) We have to make reservations at a restaurant that serves dinner outside. 2) The weather has to be good and not too hot. 3) Each couple has to provide their own transportation. We are lucky that I still have a car and drive; but Mike’s bike fills the whole back end, so that we can’t transport anyone else. 4) the other couple has to take Uber (for a while not available because of the gas shortage) or I would have to drive twice to pick them up, because one of them has a walker. Aaaah! No way! So we invite friends from the main building over here and the evenings are wonderful. And we are invited back to others’ apartments as well. We have had Pizza dinners, Thai dinners, Mexican dinners, and an Italian dinner. Red wine goes with everything, but champagne is great with Thai, and I discovered Margarita wine at Costco via Instacart. I have not tried that yet, but when the restaurant refused to serve a Margarita-to-go (although they did the first time) I looked for and found Margarita wine.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,