A New Life: Great Expectations! 2024 – 39


My life has become easier since last December. I have discovered gels! Gel nail polish that is. Despite all the work I do all day with my hands, my nails keep looking fresh and strong for at least three weeks. No chipping, no breaking, no touch ups! A beautiful, professional manicure at all times. Let me tell you the journey of my nails.

In the late 70s, Dr. Stuart Nordstrom, a dentist, had invented the professional liquid and powder system used in acrylics. One of the first people to use acrylic nails was Florence “Flo Jo” Griffith Joyner in the 1980s.

In the 1980s, living in Pasadena, California, we had a friend who was working for a dentist. He was manufacturing the products that had become popular in the seventies, a powder and a liquid: acrylic. One day, our friend asked me if I would like to start a business and market his product for him.

At the time, I was doing print jobs, commercials and an occasional play in the greater Los Angeles area. But having my own business? That sounded exciting. I knew virtually nothing about acrylic nails, so I went to a nail salon to educate myself. And if any of my current readers were in California at that time, you will remember that I practiced on you, offering a free set of acrylics! You may not have wonderful memories of those freebies, you may even have taken them right off behind my back, but then I was practicing, and thankful to my subjects. Of course I was also doing all the other fun jobs plus taking care of my family and the dog. My mother called me a centipede. These days, my daughter would call me a multitasker.

The next step was creating a name for my business. Her Nails was created and powder and liquid samples came in neat little white boxes and bottles printed with that name in red. Just wonderful. I visited many salons, selling Her Nails, and since that time I used them myself, first home applications then at a salon. Great looking nails, at any length I wanted but they needed a “fill” every two weeks. After three years, when it did not bring the profit I had expected, I closed the business. And we left for Hawai’i.

To make a long story short: I used acrylics in Hawai’i and when we left Hawai’i in 2001, my nail tech gave me a nice size bottle of OPI liquid and powder, and that lasted me a while. We moved again, to Cary, North Carolina, and with the arrival of Covid I gave up artificial nails and did my own, using nail strengthener only.

Now, in Apex, my nail tech gave me a gel manicure for my birthday in December. With all the work I did my nails kept looking fresh and beautiful for four weeks! I realize that many ladies have already used gel nail polish for years. But to me it is new! A great discovery. I’ll use only gel from now on.

A Foot Massage

Well, I am getting used to all kinds of luxuries. I had an hour’s foot massage with reflexology and aromatherapy last Monday. It was wonderful, and partially not just a luxury, because I had suffered from metatarsal pain in my right foot for a while. Today, I have been walking with less pain, and if foot massages are therapeutic and help me get to my 4 miles a day again, then I will have some more. The salon is just 4 miles away, small, family owned, and there was only one English speaking person in the place, not my therapist. They are from Thailand. It’s a good way to learn some sign language! But I enjoyed an hour of reading in the wonderful book: The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese.

That must be it for tonight. I’m going back to my book on the sofa!

Stay well,

Until next time,





A New Life: Great Expectations! 2024 – 38

2024, a Whole Long New year!

We will have one extra day in this year! It is a Leap Year, he Year of the Dragon, and so February has 29 days.

We had a very peaceful end of the year. Our daughter from Canada Facetimed and our daughter from California called and both of them texted. Dennis was away to the mountains, so we were home alone. Just because of that, I rented the movie Home Alone and it was a hit! Mike liked it and could follow it well. After that we switched on the scene at Times Square but turned it off right away. What an awful way – in our opinion of course – to spend those precious last hours of the year. Instead, we sampled the bonbons I had received for my birthday from a neighbor. The Ferrero Collection. Three different wrappings, gold, brown and white. We tasted one of each, mmm…And for good measure, we had one more of our favorite. We could have finished the whole box if I had not come to my senses. It was so special that Mike was my partner in crime, because he really never eats sweets or cookies. We indulged and loved every minute and every bonbon. Just missed midnight by half an hour.

We started the new year with a breakfast of Christmas bread, pumpkin bread and fruit, and coffee of course. The day was full because I was the sole caregiver again, but after dinner we watched another movie, BIG, which was another hit. It was a welcome change from the concerts of Andre Rieu.

We were happily surprised by a text from our California grandson and his girlfriend to thank us for their Christmas presents and to let us know that there was a delivery at the front door, a lovely bouquet of flowers! I arranged them in a suitable vase (I have vases of all sizes and shapes because I love flowers) and sent a picture back to them with a thank you note. It brightened our day.

63 years!

We celebrated our 63rd Anniversary in many ways. In the morning, Dennis came to clean up our patio border; he took out all diseased (not to be confused with deceased!) plants and put them by the street. The border looks wonderful, ready for new spring planting soon. Then we had surprises: cards, flowers, and a cheesecake. And I had invited seven neighborhood friends to come at 7:00 p.m. for a dessert party. Our second dessert party! At our age, I guess that is the thing to do. No fuss with what wine to serve, people our age do not drink wine anymore (due to too many medications) Two of our guests wanted tea and two coffee.

Our house has always had an open door, and we had parties. When the children were little and teenagers, in Pasadena, California, we had pool parties and sleepovers. We had costumed Halloween parties, a surprise party for Mike’s 50th, hot tub parties and more. In Hawai’i, we were introduced to potluck parties. When we were in a rental in Prescott, Arizona during the time our house was built, we invited the people in the street for a potluck, and that was so well received, that they had street potlucks in other homes long after we had left. Our newly built dream home lent itself well for potlucks, and we had many in the fifteen years we lived there. Also, to celebrate December 5th with the Dutch club, Sinterklaas and Black Peter came to our home, and with the balmy weather we could branch out to our large deck.

After Arizona, we moved to a cottage on the grounds of a nice retirement resort. We made friends and had pizza parties. There was always something to celebrate. And now, in our own home again, we already had one impromptu desert party for Mike on his birthday, and a desert celebration for our Anniversary. If you ever have a dessert party, order a Tuxedo chocolate mousse cake from Costco! It serves twelve people and it is more than delicious.

May you enjoy many celebrations in the new year!       Pies & Cakes Kirkland Signature Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse Cake heroUntil next time,