A New Life: Great Expectations! 2023 – 30

 Ah yes,

A time to sit still and reflect on everything and absolutely nothing. Peace and quiet, light and darkness, a time to meditate for a while. I can’t afford it yet, but after I have finished some of my projects, I will create that time in my day. Right now, I am taking  time for daily exercises to promote knee health and back strength, together with some yoga poses. And it works, early in the morning, thanks to the  caregivers I have during the week.

Time out this week came as a wonderful break. Two of my friends from Waltonwood, where we used to live, invited me for breakfast yesterday. It was so enjoyable to see them again and to have pancakes with blueberries and coffee in a Cary coffeeshop and talk. Afterwards I made a stop at Trader Joe’s, always for fresh flowers and groceries, and I made it home before the caregiver left for the day.

Wednesday ruckus

Wednesday is gardener day. They come around for about two hours with mowers and blowers and make a lot of noise. Lani goes crazy and can’t stop barking, and Mike goes crazy and can’t stop yelling. I attended a zoom meeting with the dog training company I subscribe to, and they sent an article on how to stop your dog from barking at noise, at strangers passing the window and ringing the bell. Train her with special treats and the word “quiet”. Well, I got special treats, freeze-dried raw chicken breast, and went to work at her first barking session. Lani devoured the treats, which I started to throw on the floor after she almost bit in my fingers. She loved the treats, but got right back to her barking, then back again to the treats. The result was that she did not eat breakfast or dinner. I still have the treats in a jar close to me, but I don’t go to her when she barks, I call “quiet ” and throw her a treat when she comes.

I decided to send her to a day care place and found a very nice lady with a large fenced yard, living in the next neighborhood, willing to take her on “gardener day”. Lani and I met with her and I hope this will be an arrangement for a while that we both like. I found her through a company named Rover, through which I also found our dog walker. Monica still walks Lani in the early mornings for half an hour, and I have taken over the evening walks. I love being outside again and my knee is doing well.

Next for me are another blood draw and doctor’s visit for my six month checkup. I need more protein and eat fewer bananas; not hard to do with links to Amazon protein foods that our daughter-in-law sent me. Can’t wait to try some. It is not easy to get on a “safe, healthy diet” since I don’t cook dinner anymore but am depending on restaurants and our local chef. Mike is lucky in that he can eat anything and does not gain weight. I must admit that he does not like snacks; except for an occasional stroopwafel and the krupuk (shrimp snacks) that I serve when I cook nasi goreng occasionally. I can’t resist that, especially because there are no Indonesian restaurants anywhere in this area.

At this time I looked at the clock and decided it was time to go to the kitchen, so Time out!

Until next time,





A New Life: Great Expectations! 2023 – 29

Exciting news from the next generations

While not many exciting things are happening in our lives at 86 and 84 years old, we are enjoying the
adventures of the second and third generation, near and far. Our oldest grandson, in California will be
rowing the Head of the Charles again in Boston with his team next weekend. He was invited six years ago,
while still in High School, and this may be his final year, with the Varsity from SBSU, in a boat of four.
The Head of the Charles is the world’s largest 3-day rowing competition held annually in October, in Boston,
Massachusetts, attracting 400,000 spectators, 11,000 competitors and 2400 volunteers.

His sister was invited to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York with her high school choir earlier this spring. She is touring colleges for a selection in 2025.

Another grandson, here in Apex, took his Dad up for a two hour flight in a single engine airplane. And that while he is only 18 years old! He graduated high school early, in January, and got his Private Pilot’s license five months later. He has been flying many hours with an instructor and is close to getting his next license: Instrument Flying. We saw a video of one of the training sessions, where he flew in dense fog, when suddenly the runway came into view and he landed the plane carefully. Amazing!

What a day!

From 6:00 a.m., when I got up, until just now, my day has been filled with calls and texts to doctors and  pharmacies, to schedule appointments, correct medication doses and refills. The Physical Therapist came for Mike, and I got nothing else done. On a day like this I opt for Chick-Fil-A with a kale salad for dinner with a frosted lemonade, nothing to thaw or cook, just take out of the bag and serve.

After a 6 hour night plus a 2 hour nap, I am now only able to serve ice cream. Then start the going-to-bed routine  at 8:30 to make it before the garden lights go out at 10:00. Ah! what joy to live in our own home in this wonderfully quiet neighborhood and be totally independent!

All is well with my soul.

And that’s a wrap!

Until soon,


A New Life: Great Expectations! 2023 – 28


When we lived in Prescott, Arizona, I used to shop at Walmart a lot. They had everything and I knew my
way around. I bought a pair of beautiful sunglasses there once, that were indestructible. I had them for
years. So when, some twenty years later in North Carolina, the frame broke after putting it in my purse too
many times, the best thing I knew to do was find a Walmart in Apex and see if I could find a nice pair of
glasses to replace the broken ones. I could not believe that there, on the rack, were two identical pairs of
sunglasses, just like the one that broke. For many years, I would have bought both pairs – just in case:
a remainder of the war, when there was never enough of anything. But this time, I resisted the temptation,
trusting there would always be another pair of sunglasses at Walmart.


Last week, going to Trader Joe’s in Cary, I walked into large containers of pumpkins! They looked so inviting that I could not resist the temptation (there are many temptations in my life!) and I bought two large ones,
one of them a gift for the neighbors, and three small ones to decorate the coffee table with.

When the kids were little, we would carve the pumpkins. Now, I decided to draw a face on the big one in the front porch. That was fun. And to complete a nice entrance, Stephanie brought us a lovely fall wreath.
She makes those in her home and ships them all over the country. I have several that she made for different occasions during the year. If you are interested in seeing her beautiful collections, this is her website: http://www.welcomewreath.com.

We have a glass storm door in the front, and I don’t want to obscure any light coming in by a wreath. So our wreaths are hanging on the side wall.


Overnight, the wonderful, balmy temperatures dropped down to the forties. An early morning call to the heating company resulted in a technician coming around 10:00 am. He checked the furnace and reset the thermostat, so that we now have comforting heat all around. The days are still sunny, but down to the sixties. Tomorrow morning there is “Coffee at the Club”, a monthly opportunity to meet people in the neighborhood.

And that’s a wrap!

Until soon,