A New Life: Great Expectations! 2023 – 09


We bought a bird feeder on a pole and put it outside of the sliding glass door in the border of our patio, visible from inside. It has two compartments and I filled them both with cut sunflower seeds. An occasional bird showed up, but it was not exciting. Then our son recommended two different kinds of seed: Wild Delight, Sizzle and Heat and White Millet. The first one for larger birds, with a spicy taste that would deter squirrels but attract all birds, the second one for little birds – I put that one in the top half. While I was putting everything together, I noticed that the Wild Delight had half peanuts in it. I like peanuts, took one and put it in my mouth. Immediately I spit it out again – my mouth was on fire! Unbelievable that it does not affect birds, only squirrels! After all the rain yesterday, we only saw two little birds on the feeder today. We are hoping for more.

The Computer Age

As the education of current generations: grandchildren especially, gets more and more technical and computerized, I have the feeling we are staying behind. I don’t know what to say if someone asks me the major of our college age grandsons: it’s too complicated to understand, let alone to remember. The young people of my generation would study Law, or Medicine, or Languages, Marine Biology, Music, or Art. Easy to understand for everyone. All that has changed. Methods of communication like telephone calls and letter writing have been replaced by emails and texts, all done on computers and tablets. What is the result? The older generation has skills that the current generation lacks. Like using a letter opener!

Four Months

It’s unbelievable that we have been in our own home for four months already. We have accomplished a lot. The garage is clean and can now house two cars. Inside, we are surrounded by memories of our lives: our bedroom is the Hawaiian room, my office has art and memorabilia from Indonesia and Hollywood, plus a book case with my most precious books. The living room has art and furniture from the Netherlands and Arizona.

Outside, the border of the patio is showing new surprises almost daily. A beautiful coral azalea, a little rose bush in the corner, three white gardenias that are not blooming yet, two blue hyacinths, clumps of other bulbs, daffodils… and against the fence next to the azalea a volunteer, a 12″ pine tree. I grew a volunteer like that in a pot when we lived in our cottage in Cary, and planted it in the grass on the corner of the street before we left. Once in a while I do a drive by, and enjoy its ever growing size. Now we have one in the border, and it will be our little outside Christmas tree again.

In the picture  you see the statue of a little terra cotta boy holding the end of a garden hose, which encircles the ground on which he is sitting, making it a little bird bath. That little boy, a gift from our neighbor in Pasadena when she moved to a retirement home, traveled with us to Hilo, then to Prescott, Arizona, Cary, North Carolina, and now it sits on our patio in Apex. All the climate changes have not harmed him in any way. He is a lovely memory of the time when we first emigrated to the United States with two daughters, a baby son and a chow chow, fifty years ago. And a new addition is the little gnome with the watering can against the fence. He is one of my collection of inside and outside gnomes.

Wherever we lived, we have surrounded ourselves with the things we loved, and that is our secret of a happy life. I hope we will enjoy it for many more years.

And that’s a wrap!

Until next time, stay safe.





A New Life: Changes and Great Expectations! 2023 – 08

We finished our taxes!

This year I had help from Dennis. We used Turbo Tax, which Mike and I have used for many years, and got it done in two sessions.


In Waltonwood, we had Doctors Making Housecalls, which was nice, because we did not have to go anywhere for doctors visits, even some specialists, or lab tests. Here, we found a Mobile Vet who comes to the house for Lani. Last week, Lani was obviously not feeling well and the Vet and her assistant came to check her out. I needed a urine sample. How do you get a urine sample from a dog? You take her for a walk when you know her bladder is full, and when she sits down you slide a 3 x 6 plastic tray between her hind legs. Tray provided by the Vet. Voilà. Before continuing on our walk, I had to take her home, then  hurry back to the tray with the urine. A lady walking ahead of me suddenly stopped and looked at the tray. I called to her Ma’am, that is a tray with urine of my dog. I will pick it up right away. She turned around, dumbfounded, Oh? She looked at me and back at the tray, then walked on. This is a small neighborhood where everybody knows each other. We have been here only three months, so I don’t know everybody yet. But I’m sure she will have a story to tell to her friends about the new lady down the street, who does not only collect the poop, but also the urine of her dog. Now that lady is an asset to the neighborhood!

The Vet decided Lani needed a sweater to wear when going on walks with me in 28 degrees weather. Especially right after grooming. I went to PetSmart right away this morning. Well, at first I could not find anything, even though online it had showed that the PetSmart store had a choice of sweaters and jackets. But then I saw a pile, some things on hangers, some just thrown in between. All the sizes I saw were XL. It was like a grab bag; finally, down in the back, I found a black puffer jacket in Medium. Wow, a real find. I took it up front: This has no hanger and no price tag. The cashier said, These are all on sale, I will tell you the price in a minute. She scanned the tag and said, One penny. I only had brought my credit card in my coat pocket, left my purse in the car. So I took out my credit card and we both laughed and she said, Here, take it, it’s free. That was a fantastic $20 windfall. It fits Lani perfectly and the lining is soft and warm.

Lab results

We’re waiting for the lab test result of last week’s biopsy on my arm and for that of Lani’s urine. So I am picking up every phone call, even though it says Unknown caller or toll free call, calls that come in every day in multiples, even though our number is on the Do not call list. Do you have that problem too? In those cases I usually wait to see if they leave a message.

This is a short post, but I am posting it as usual on Wednesday morning, hoping to get back in the routine of things.

Enjoy every day, love your neighbors.

Until next time ,


A New Life: Changes and Great Expectations! 2023 – 07

A Greenway!

To my great joy, I discovered a trail, which here in North Carolina they call a Greenway. It’s just like in Cary, a trail between trees and bushes with homes on either side in the distance. It’s shady most of the way. The first times, because I saw the entrance close to the lake, but did not know how long it would be, I drove down with Lani, parked the car and walked the trail. Like everywhere here in North Carolina, there is water to the left or the right, or crossing underneath a bridge. This trail crossed one road, and ended on a street close to home. I have finally walked again, made 10,000 steps a day again, and feel rejuvenated. Next time, I can for sure walk the trail from home and back. The first time, Lani and I were exhausted, but it is getting better as we are “gaining speed.”

Lab Tests 

The happy feeling continued this week after a visit with my new Primary Cary Physician, who showed me that my high cholesterol had come down to negligible in only one month. How did I do it? I started reading labels and stopped eating Dutch cheese! It is one of the staples in our house, Gouda Cheese. Well, abstaining from cheese and chocolate is manageable as long as I do not have to take medication.

A Celebration on March 15

66 years together is worth a celebration and so we now have an Areca Palm next to our loveseat, and a pole with a bird feeder outside the sliding door to the patio. It takes a while to get birds to find it, but I’m sure that “build it and they will come” will count for birds as well as baseball players and animals to Noah’s Arc. If the birds don’t want to visit inside the patio, we will put the feeder just outside a window that is also visible from Mike’s recliner. Tomorrow, after my appointment in Cary, I will buy us some flowers.

A new Moai!

 A new 1.6-metre Moai statue has been discovered partially buried in the bed of the dried Rano Raraku lake, in the crater of the Rano Raraku volcano, on Chile’s Easter Island.

The most recognizable art forms from Easter Island are its colossal stone figures, or moai, images of ancestral chiefs whose supernatural power protected the community. Between roughly 1100 and 1650, Rapa Nui carvers created some 900 of these sculptures, nearly all of which are still in situ. 

About six years ago, archeologists discovered that the moai heads have hidden bodies. In order to carve and place the statues upright the Rapa Uni used large tree trunks that were placed into deep holes adjacent to the statues. They then used rope and the large tree trunk to lift the statue upright in place. The Rapa Nui carved the heads and front side of the statues while they were lying on the ground, then completed the backs after uprighting the stone statues. The tallest of thee statues comes in at 33 feet high and is known as Paro.While excavating the statues the team found etched petroglyphs on the backs of the figures, commonly crescent shaped to represent Polynesian canoes. The canoe motif is likely the symbol of the carver’s family, providing clues as to different familial or group structures on the island.

Dorsal view of an excavated moai, circa 2014. Photo: Easter Island Statue ProjectEaster Island heads and their excavated bodies

I am intrigued by the history of Rapa Nui, especially after we were there for a day while on a cruise from Valparaiso, Chile, to Tahiti via Robinson Crusoe Island and Pitcairn.

Ahu Tongariki on Easter Island. Photo: Ian Sewell, commons license

It’s Wednesday, and I’m posting again!

Life is worth living! Enjoy the daily blessings and

Take good care of all those you love

Until next time,




A New Life: Changes and Great Expectations! 2023 – 06

The Unbridled Creativity of a Dermatologist: Just so you know, if it should happen to you

It goes without saying that dangerous skin cancers need to be cut out as soon as they are discovered, and the spot itself needs to be removed with a safe margin. So when the nurse told me ahead of time that the surgeon would probably take a margin of 7 mm on all sides, I figured out how large my scar would be. After the margin was penciled out, they showed me a picture that measured an oval of about 2″ in length and 3/4″ across. The surgery was done quickly. I felt no pain at any time, and I am happy that it was discovered early and treated early. But can you imagine my shock when I took  the bandage off forty hours later: it will be a scar of 4″ long! That is inches, not millimeters! I’m counting my blessings: it’s on the back of my arm, practically invisible, and in no time at all the stitches will come out and I can start pampering it with gentle massages. Phew!

Pine Straw 

The gardeners spent two days putting fresh pine straw on all the borders and around all trees in the neighborhood. It seems to be the thing to do here in North Carolina. I remember putting pine straw, available from the hardware store, in the dog run that we had created for Lani next to our patio in Waltonwood. There was a layer of wood chips at first, but the little puppy loved to eat the wood chips and that was dangerous for her health.

There is Book Life after Retirement

Since I retired from book writing and lectures and the like, it feels good to know that my books are still available in many places, some of which I had not heard of before they asked me if they could publish my books. I just received the list. Have you read all of them? Or some of them? Would you tell me your opinion?

Of course you can get them also on Amazon, in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, England and many other countries all over the world.

Reviews you will find on Amazon, typically not at libraries or other publication places.

The three books currently available are:

Rising from the Shadow of the Sun: A Story of Love, Survival and Joy,

Survivors of WWII in the Pacific and


Following is a list of my books’ publications since 20017

A long list with most of the links, I will publish it right away, otherwise the page will get too long!

Barnes & Noble – Published @ Barnes & Noble on January 17, 2017, 20:44 PM

Apple – Published @ Apple on January 17, 2017, 21:05 PM

Scribd – Published @ Scribd on January 17, 2017, 21:30 PM

Kobo – Published @ Kobo on January 23, 2017, 23:12 PM

Bibliotheca – Published @ Bibliotheca on July 8, 2018, 11:11 AM

OverDrive – Published @ OverDrive on October 25, 2018, 20:08 PM

Baker & Taylor – Published @ Baker & Taylor on January 30, 2019, 10:27 AM

Tolino – Published @ Tolino on September 7, 2019, 15:03 PM

BorrowBox – Published @ BorrowBox on July 11, 2021, 14:48 PM

Vivlio – Published @ Vivlio on June 2, 2022, 20:30 PM

Hoopla – Published @ Hoopla on July 25, 2022, 16:14 PM

Smashwords – Published @ Smashwords on February 19, 2023, 23:38 PM

Palace Marketplace – Published @ Palace Marketplace on March 2, 2023, 21:14 PM


Enjoy life to the fullest, a day at a time

Love everyone who crosses your path and

Join me again next time when my post pops up in your mailbox!