A New Life: Great Expectations! 2024 – 42

Just Because

Our neighbor across the lawn invited us for a Social, Just Because. She had invited sixteen people from the neighborhood and was hoping that Mike could come too. What a wonderful way to get to know more people. Just because Mike needs a chair with armrests to sit in, I decided this would be a great opportunity to use a wheelchair that we had borrowed and that was standing in the garage. It worked! When I could not get him across the threshold, one of the guests took over and ushered him out of our door and into the neighbor’s. We had a great time with delicious hors d’oeuvres (or pupus, as we say in Hawai’i), wine and nice company. A successful experiment, so Mike can bring his own chair when needed.

Lani, super watch dog

Last Thursday, Mike had an appointment with the podiatrist to have his toenails clipped. This is what it takes to get him there: I get the car out of the garage and park it at the end of the walkway. Close the garage door. I get Mike out of his chair and he walks to the front door. I open the door and the glass door with weights so they stay open and Mike can walk through with his walker. I walk ahead of him, open the car door, wait until he is seated and put on his safety belt. I close the door. I open the back hatch, fold the walker and hoist it into the back – close the door. Then I walk to my seat, start the car and we’re on the way.

That’s what I did. When we came home, I discovered that I had forgotten to close both front doors! They were wide open. Our Lani stood in the hallway, wagging her tail, happy to hear me say, Mommy is home!  What a wonderful dog we have, who stays home even though the front doors are wide open, to wait for Mommy. I have been training her daily to walk down the driveway with me, off leash, to get the mail or pick up the empty trash cans from the street on Tuesdays. She sits down at the end of the driveway, waiting to walk back with me to the house. I could not have dreamed that she would stay home when she had the chance to run away! What a wonderful dog! I rewarded her big time!

Just Because

Coming full circle, I’m taking a sabbatical. After more than a year, it’s time to organize things in the house and garage. Plenty of photo albums to go through as well. On top of that, Tax time is coming up, and as soon as our son has time we’ll go to Turbo Tax to do our taxes. Mike and I have done it for many years, and it is getting easier.

I am still here, will get back to my Blog when I have time, but I totally retired from my activities on LinkedIn. Just for fun, I will share the post I put on LinkedIn earlier this month.

Enjoy life, and take good care of yourself and the ones you love! Until we meet again…

Grateful to all of you who are offering jobs or inviting me to join a network, I am saying:

Having survived the Japanese concentration camps on Java during World War Two in the Pacific means that I am definitely at Retirement Age! 

If you are interested in any of my five published books, you will find three of them on Amazon. Start with “Rising from the Shadow of the Sun, A Story of Love, Survival and Joy”, follow up with “Survivors of WWII in the Pacific” and definitely don’t skip “Anguished”.

Effective immediately, I will no longer be active in any of the groups I am a member of.
I am celebrating Life after retirement and I can highly recommend it!
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A New Life: Great Expectations! 2024 – 41

It’s Monday!

I love Mondays. Ahead of me is a whole new week in which I can do the things I did not get to in the previous week. Today, while our caregiver was taking care of Mike, I found an Optometrist close to home, and he put new nose pads on both Mike’s glasses and sunglasses. We live in a neighborhood where everything is within 4 miles. Some places are even right next to each other or across the parking lot. Just wonderful. Not that I don’t like driving. I love it and we have a great car that can take me anywhere I want – except to Hawai’i. I will put that on my bucket list. Hawai’i. One day, perhaps my grandson can fly me to the Big Island. I would love to swim again across Richardson’s Bay, observe the colorful life below the surface in the underwater gardens (not visible here, on the right of the Bay) floating just inches above the sharp black lava. Do you see how close the lava is to the surface? I knew where to float with my snorkel without getting cut.

Outside of the Bay, across the ocean you see the slopes of Mauna Kea, and close to the ocean was our home: Hale Kea Akai. Twice a week we could see the cruise ships go by on their way to Hilo Harbor.

I noticed that if you receive my posts on your phone, they sometimes do not show pictures. All pictures show when you read my posts on my website.

Heat is all we need..

The thermostat does not seem to be working. Saturday, Sunday and Monday the temperature on the house stayed at 66 degrees, even though the heat was on and it was following schedule, meaning it should be at 72 degrees by 8 a.m. and 74 for the rest of the day. We like it warm, especially Mike, who likes to sit quietly in his recliner. Not any of the different thermostat settings seemed to work. So we were wearing thick sweaters and on Tuesday morning, a mechanic from the Heating and Air company went up in the attic to look at the furnace. I couldn’t believe what he found. Half of the furnace had fallen off and the rest was heating the attic! This house is only about ten years old! Anyway, he went back up with what looked like an armful of plastic ropes, and ten minutes later we had heat in the living room!

Yard maintenance

It was a day of non-stop barking for Lani. The gardeners were around for hours to deposit bales of pine straw on all borders and around all trees in the neighborhood. It was too late in the day to take her to Ginny, our dog sitter, so we tried to ignore the barking as much as possible. Dogs bark, I know. And if she barks when Amazon drops off packages, or when DoorDash delivers dinner, she may bark: she is announcing someone. But just wildly bark at the gardeners, even if we close all the blinds, is not pleasant.

Dinner Experiments

Last night, for the first time, I ordered dinner from an Indian restaurant. I had read about so many delicious spicy recipes in The Covenant of Water, that I just had to try one of their dinners. It was Butter Chicken, with white rice and Naan bread. It tasted completely different from any other food I know, and I found it delicious. Mike was wondering what he was eating and the Naan bread was so foreign that he gave it back to me. Tonight, we will have Szechuan chicken and spring rolls from the Chinese, more familiar tastes.

That’s a wrap!

I’m going to order dinner.

Until next time, be Happy!




A New Life: Great Expectations! 2024 – 40

What a Day!

Do you ever say that? Today, Friday, was one such day. It was time for Mike’s six month’s checkup at the cardiologist. The exam room of his cardiologist, who shares the office with four others, is very small. It has a desk, a computer, a stretcher and two chairs without armrests. The door opens the wrong way, and Mike’s walker has to be parked outside in the hallway. It is extremely difficult for Mike to sit down on a chair without armrests. Last summer, they could not do an ECG because there was no room for the machine plus both of us.

To make a long story short: I contacted Mike’s Primary Care doctor, asking if he could do an ECG and checkup in his office. But he told me to go to the ER. So to the ER we went, a wonderful, spacious place on the ground floor of the hospital here in Apex. There was no wait, they let us in right away and proceeded to take every test imaginable related to heart, lungs and blood. Everything was good, and three hours later the treating physician said, you can go home now, and your cardiologist will see you in a week !!!!!!!! Yeah right. I said after what you did today, I think Mike is good for a year!

Coming home, we discovered that one of the nose pads of his glasses was broken. I found a mini screw driver in my sewing box and replaced the broken nose pad with one from his sunglasses, which he seldom uses, because he does not often venture outside, certainly not in the cold weather we are now experiencing. I did call four optometrists in Apex to see if they could fix it, but on Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. they all had their answering machines on! Anyway, Mike can use his glasses, but I will have to go to the shop in Cary next time I go there to get two new sets, because they do not match.

After all that, I ordered Papa’s Favorite Pizza (the best), we had ice cream for dessert and ended the day on a delicious note.

Impressive Family  News

Today, we received the following message from LinkedIn:


Luke de Jong is our 18-year old grandson, the middle son of Dennis an Stephanie, who graduated from high school early last January. He started Flight School right away and now, after his Pilot’s License (single engine plane), and his Instrument Flying License (obstructed view and nighttime), he earned his Commercial Pilot’s License. He is now allowed to fly people and cargo. In one more week he is expecting to get his Commercial License for twin engine (propellor) planes. He will start practicing in a twin engine plane tomorrow. He told me he can get that license that in a week, because the flight deck (I called it mistakenly his Dashboard :-)) is not much different. It just has another engine on it. So by mid February he will be able to get paying jobs! Still at the age of 18. We are immensely proud. I wish my Dad, WWII Pilot with the MLD, would have been able to hear and see what Luke, his great grandson has accomplished. Perhaps he has!

And that’s a Wrap!

Be safe, be happy and be well until next time,