A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2022-126

A Sabbatical 

An organization in Dallas, Texas, invited me to be a guest speaker at their annual convention on August 14 remembering the WWII Comfort Women. They heard that I have been doing a Keynote Presentation about the Japanese concentration camps annually on the same date, and sent me an invitation to come and speak. What a tremendous honor! What a wonderful opportunity to give Mamma’s journal exposure in a whole new area!

When I told them that I don’t travel anymore because I am my husband’s full time caregiver, they suggested to send a video. And that started to get me even more excited. My son and daughter-in-law are super technical and will help me put a great video together. The wonderful thing is, that I will be able to use it anywhere during my retirement, any time.

I am going to work on my contribution: getting a storyline and getting the pictures I have somewhere in my files. That will consume all my skills and time, so I will not be able to write my Blog Posts for a while. And the reason for the late publishing today?

The Van Gogh Immersive Experience

We got tickets for the whole family as a 50th birthday present for Dennis and we went yesterday. It was amazing; I learned things about Van Gogh I did not know before. I can really recommend it.


After we came back I had to take Lani to the Vet because she had a hot spot on her tail that she was biting all the time. So now the poor thing has to walk around with one of those hard plastic collars around her neck for two weeks at least. The first day she was miserable, did not eat or drink or shi-shi or poop. But today she is getting used to the thing, catches balls, and, even though I had to walk a mile in the scorching heat, dripping wet, she finally did her business.


For three days we had no WiFi, no telephone except my cell phone, and no TV. We finally got a technician to come out; he fixed a bad connection in the cable outside and replaced the Modem inside. What an experience to have no connections to the world! Last night I had to catch up on 35 emails, and it is only now that I caught my breath and am sitting down at my Mac.

Family time

Children and grandchildren will be coming in July for a reunion, and then there is that new project! Plus hula at the Luau in August, practicing two new dances! Plus more! Always more projects on the horizon. Life is exciting!

May your life be happy and exciting

A hui hou!


A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2022-125

Boosters, Birthdays and more

Here I am, half a day late, but I made it to the computer! The treatment at the booster clinic went seamless. They had started early, and there was no line, no wait. The aftermath was also seamless, no pain or discomfort. So now we feel very safe. Nevertheless, two residents and one associate tested positive, so they are in isolation for ten days. If the number should grow, the facility will shut down again; for now, we are advised to wear masks when we are in groups indoors.

Sunday was the long expected 50th birthday of our youngest child, who emigrated with us in a carrying basket, merely 10 weeks old. We emigrated on August 20, 1972: that means on that day this year we will celebrate 50 years in the United States! There are many occasions in life to celebrate, and we celebrate them all: life is too short not to!

Sadly, the whole de Jong family had lingering colds and did not want to expose us, so we could not get together with them. Gifts had arrived from our daughters in California and Canada, and on Saturday Dennis came to get his gifts. Wearing a mask, he sat on the back patio and talked with us through an open screened window for a while. That was nice; at least we saw him on his big day. Emails and jokes kept flying back and forth on WhatsApp, and his children had arranged for some surprises. In the night, when Mom and Dad were sleeping, they put 50 pink flamingos on the front lawn, and hung a large sign on the wall of the house that said: Honk! Dad is 50!


Rescue Operations

A few months ago, for an Open House, Management bought two beautiful blooming Hibiscus for outside the front entrance. Already there were two five feet conifers, in raised pots against the wall, left and right of the entrance. Nobody watered them, despite reminders of caring residents: it seemed to be nobody’s job! One conifer died, and earlier this week, with permission from the new Interim Executive Director, I  took the two Hibiscus home, put them in pots with fresh soil and trimmed off most of the dead branches. I move them around from left to right on my front patio, so they don’t get too much sun.

Yesterday afternoon, on my walk with Lani, I found all the empty flower pots on “the back lot”. To my shock I saw that the little conifer that was still alive had been thrown down the hill behind the parking spaces. What stupid idiot would do that? I took the dog home and walked over to my cottage friend, told her the story and together we went down, hoisted the little tree in her cart and took it home. She spent another hour to put it in a nice container with fresh soil, and now it graces her patio, waiting to be dressed up as a Christmas tree!

Recently, I purchased a white plastic stepping stool, 9 inches high, to assist me with several tasks in the house and caregiving. I won’t stand, but sit on it, while I vacuum the air filter in the Alen Filter, while putting on and taking off stockings and socks, while putting moisturizer on legs and feet and more such things, which I used to do sitting or kneeling on the floor.

My Personal Trainer

What I like to do on the floor, is working out with my personal trainer twice a week, in the fitness center on my Yoga Mat. She is great, and I feel so much better already after four sessions with her. These workouts, recovery times, household maintenance and caregiving mostly fill up my days, and the moments I lie down in bed at night are the most wonderful moments of my days: I’m happy, thankful and utterly spent!

May your days be productive and happy!

Until next time,



A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2022-124


The word is that they will finally start the renovation of the main building on campus by the end of this week, the beginning of June. It is three years overdue, hence it will be a much more costly affair than originally planned. On top of that, they raised the hourly wages of associates with 40%, in order to keep cooks and a servers and cleaners and maintenance people on the job, after several jumped ship because they found a better paying job elsewhere.

Which is why this summer everybody’s rent will go up with $100 plus 7% of the total amount. Ouch! There will be several people who won’t be able to afford this. We hope that’s where it will end, because our cottage is surrounded by lovely trees, but money does not grow on  them.

The good thing is that, after years of requesting a storm door in the front (a glass door with a screen that can be lowered) the cottages will finally get one. We’re looking forward to that door, because it will let more light in the house. They probably figured they needed to placate us after announcing the rent raise.


Tomorrow, Thursday, we will be getting our second booster shot. Arranged in the dining room of Assisted Living, the cottages and first floor of the main building are up first. That is wonderful, because it could prevent possible delays of groups going before us. Neither one of us had after effects of the first booster, so we hope for the best. And then we will be safe for a while, and protected when the kids and grandkids arrive in July. Wonderful things to look forward to. Not the boosters, but the kids’ and grandkids’ visits.

May your days be sunny and carefree

Until next time,