A New Life: Changes and Great Expectations! 2023 – 03

A Graduation!

Last week, our middle grandson graduated early from high school and will be going to Flight School: a first step to becoming a pilot. He is expecting to have his Private Flying License this summer. Because we now also live in Apex, I was able to attend the ceremony of 35 graduating students, and that after watching a basketball game of the youngest, on his way to become the tallest of the family. After all that we all went out for dinner and I had a most delicious hamburger, the first one in a very long time. It was so wonderful to go out with family, and to know that a good friend was keeping Mike company. Mike is not interested in large gatherings – still very cautious to not catch anybody’s bug. Knock on wood: we both have been very lucky for years in that respect.


Lani finally had a grooming session with one of the local groomers and she is now “in the loop.” What a blessing: we could hardly see her eyes any more, even though I tried to snip away some hair around them a few times. So now all three of us have hair stylists established and are all “in the loop”, each in our own specialty shop. Mine is in “Cloud Nine”, and I think, based on the first cut, that he is a keeper.

MyCharts and Patient Portals 

Each of us needs one such “Chart” for every doctor to exchange messages, get test results and see upcoming and past appointments. We never had such means of communication with our doctors before: I would just send them an email and get a response in not too long a time. But now, to set those all up, fill out questionnaires and then to communicate with all of our doctors is not only complicated, but extremely time consuming. I hope that all that will be flowing in due time, and I must agree that it is practical from the point of view that doctors are extremely busy.

New Fridge, new Printer, new Toaster Oven

When it rains, it pours, they say. All these appliances broke down in a matter of two weeks. What a blessing that Dennis lives close by and was able to help with unpacking, installation and setup. Of course I tried to do some things on my own, but I called Dennis when I injured my left leg on the sharp corner of the carton box of the toaster oven.

Crystals in my head

A neurologist (I now have my own neurologist!) determined that my dizziness has to do with imbalanced portals in my head, not a problem with my brain. I am signed up for ten weekly appointments with a Physical Therapist in Cary. I am learning that my Unilateral Vestibular Hypofunction is on the left side, which is also the eye with a sightly lesser vision. I have 20/20 and 18/19 vision. Absolutely something to be super happy about, because I do not need glasses or contacts to see even the smallest print at a distance. And that at 84 years of age! So I am very happy. But with exercises at home, and the ten week sessions in Cary, I hope to improve my left-sided imbalance. This was the test I failed, and please try it yourself if you want to know how it feels. I  thought it was very interesting. Stand in a corner with your feet together, arms crossed and eyes closed, on a 2″ thick peace of foam, for thirty seconds, and do that three times. I got to six seconds the first time, then four, then six again. Each time I fell into the left wall. Of course I wanted to know if I could correct that. And yes, they think I can!

Meetings with my best friend

Because all my appointments are in Cary, and I have a caregiver at home for Mike, I will have time to meet with my best friend in Waltonwood every Friday. I have missed that contact since we moved, and am delighted I will be visiting with her again.

A long-time, very good friend of ours in the Netherlands, who has been suffering for years of almost unbearable health problems, wrote us in a final farewell email that he was finally allowed to go to sleep on January 30, today, and his cremation would be on Friday at noon. It makes me think.

Someone I know recently wrote that only one time in his life he had been able to fully enjoy the moment; to be somewhere, to do something at one time and consciously love it. Only once! How do you feel about that? Do you often consciously revel in an experience? Or always? Or never?

Today, Monday, is a day without appointments, so I sat down at my computer to write, instead of fill out doctors’ questionnaires. It was a joy beyond measure!

Hoping you are well and sending you my best

Until next time!




A New Life: Changes and Great Expectations! 2023 – 02

It’s a Wonderful World!

Absolutely. But I wish the days were twice as long. Not only have we moved into a new town, but we moved from a retirement community to a regular home. From “Doctors Making Housecalls” to finding new Primary Care Physicians, setting up “MyCharts” for each doctor and each person, and then responding to the questionnaires in those MyCharts. Endlessly!

I am not complaining, but there is a lot to learn and a lot to do. And every day is only 24 hours long. Slowly, but surely, we are finding our way around from the comfort of our lovely home. Waiting in doctors’ offices, I have been able to read a wonderful book; it’s just that I haven’t gotten to the computer much except for business.

Another difference is that our meals are no longer provided. But here is a miracle: in the next neighborhood, a half mile from our home, lives My Chef, who caters from his home. He has a 500 square feet kitchen. Every Tuesday night, he delivers meals to our neighborhood if we sign up for them. The menu is known on Friday afternoon. So far, every week we have had wonderful meals, healthy meals. When I asked him the first time if he would cook more evenings for us, he said no, he needed a $200 minimum for party catering. But the next week he said that he was often catering business lunches on Thursdays – would we be interested? You bet we were. On those specific Thursdays, he prepares two dinners especially for us, and then often an extra box with eggplant Parmesan or something else. We are blessed with delicious meals brought to our door several days a week.

But now I have to stop because I have to fix Sunday dinner. We are having a Kale salad and broccoli-cheese soup, all ready to go in the fridge. Much more news later!

Be a blessing to others and

Enjoy every day to the fullest!

Until next time,


A New Life: Changes and Great Expectations! 2023 – 02

62 and counting!

What a wonderful day it was yesterday: our 62nd wedding anniversary. Nobody visited, but everyone was present. Surprises kept coming. An e-card with a pink champagne wish, a box with six fresh, warm donuts, cards, and texts from the grandkids, a bouquet of cream colored roses, another bouquet of mixed flowers and a bottle of champagne. Oh, a small one, so that we could finish it in one night 🙂

In the morning I went to a coffee gathering at the Club, where I met many of the neighbors. In the afternoon, our next-door neighbor brought the huge trash and recycling bins from the street all the way to our garage. And to top it all off, Steven, the Chef, delivered a delicious dinner of Chicken Wellington, fresh green beans, a green salad and a three-layer chocolate dessert.

Would you believe that we have a professional caterer, Chef Steven, living around the corner? He has a 500 square foot kitchen at his house; his wife makes delicious desserts. Every Tuesday night we can sign up for a delicious dinner, and often Steven saves two plates for us on Thursdays, when he caters a luncheon for a large group in Raleigh. The portions are so generous, that we sometimes have enough for lunch the next day.

On Monday morning, when I walked Lani before daybreak, I heard the plaintive sound of a Mourning Dove. I had never heard a sound like that in nature, and yet, I knew it. Many years ago, our daughter gave my mom a clock: a large, round clock with a green rim. Does anyone remember seeing or having a clock like that? At every hour, a different bird made a distinct sound. And I believe that at 4 o’clock it was a Mourning Dove’s call. I would like to know if I remember that correctly? I had no idea then, what it looked like, but now, when I googled it, I learned this: it used to be called Carolina pigeon or Carolina turtledove. It makes sense then, that I never heard it in Arizona or Hawai’i. 

I’m back at the computer, but can’t promise I will post regularly on Wednesday. Take it or leave it. I hope you will take it 🙂

Be thankful, be happy, be loving and kind

Life is precious, but getting shorter by the day



A New Life: Changes and Great Expectations! 2023 – 01

2023! A New Year!

Peace, Love and Happiness to you in the new year! Let your dreams take flight!

I want to start my first post in the new year after a long sabbatical with some thought provoking statements from well known people that touched me at this time. Positive, active energy that I need after months of – it seems – standing still.

“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.” —Germany Kent

“Life’s not (only) about expecting, hoping and wishing, it’s about doing, being and becoming.” —Mike Dooley

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” —Nelson Mandela

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” —William Shakespeare

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” —David Bowie

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” —Shauna Niequist

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” —Socrates


Who could have thought that, after more than five happy years in a retirement community in Cary, we would be even happier in our own home in Apex? Our son, a top realtor, found us a house in a small community with a clubhouse and an outdoor pool; it has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office, a fireplace, hardwood floors, a fenced-in patio with a nice border and a huge garage: a dream house! The best thing is that we are only two miles from our son’s house, so we enjoyed family visits during the holidays and my birthday.

Mike’s infections are clearing up, and he has even walked outside in the brilliant sunshine of a 64 degree New Year’s day with Lani and me. Caregivers are helping me during the week, and as far as shopping is concerned, I am delighting in the services of Instacart and DoorDash as long as I have not become familiar with our new environment. Thank goodness for their help, because I still need time to organize closets, for opening boxes and trying to find places to put things or hang things.

Our house is light and airy, with more windows in every room than before in the cottage, but that means there is less wall space than before to hang our beloved art and artifacts. So we are trying to find a good home for things and are delighted that it works! In the giant closet in the laundry room we have designated three shelves for “give-away things”, and our cleaning lady and caregivers go “shopping” to their heart’s content each time they come and see new things on those shelves.

Our first haircuts – Mike’s, mine and Lani’s, were a disaster. Both Mike and I got a recommendation from someone in Cary, and both stylists butchered us. Because all local groomers were busy, I ended up with an appointment for Lani at PetSmart. That’s a long story…it ended after two and a half hours, when she was bathed, dried and groomed except for her face and tail. She stood on the table and looked miserable. They said it would take another two hours because she needed breaks because she was too nervous. Then the manager said, “Ma’m, we can’t finish this dog. Please take her home and come back another time. We will not charge you.” Lani took a beeline to the exit, me in tow, and I was happy she at least had a bath and part groom, and free of charge. I will do her ears and cut some hair away from her eyes. In February, one of our neighbors will introduce me to her groomer and we’ll make an appointment that will only last two hours instead of four.

Be kind to one another, love everybody.

Life is beautiful, but getting shorter by the day!

Until next time,