A New Life! Retirement at its Best 66

Puppy Training

After another trip to the dog trainer, over an hour away, with Lani throwing up in her carrier, poor thing, I decided that was the end of this trainer. I am happy he taught her the basics, but the results were not as we expected and so I have started teaching her the basic commands myself. She is a quick learner, and a delight to have around most of the time, until she gets tired and grouchy, and my hands show the imprints of many little dog teeth – painful and not funny. Except for one time she sleeps through the night and this morning I didn’t even wake up until 7:00 a.m. Not a beep from Lani.

Because she needs to socialize with other dogs I am looking for a puppy class and for now booked a doggie day camp for a day where she will be with other dogs. Supposedly we will be able to watch her at home on the cell phone. That seems unbelievable to me, but then I am not fully up to date on modern technology.

One of our daughters sent us an Echo Dot for Christmas. She said “It was a shot in the dark”, and indeed, we were wondering what on earth we could do with it. But it looks cute and we should be able to ask Alexa, the soul within the dot, to do something for us.


On the 13th of December Caroline would be the entertainer at the Club. She is the favorite of all residents and comes once a month to play and sing. She asked me if I wanted to dance Mele Kalikimaka again, like I did spontaneously last year. That sounded great.

The week before we had received a card with the announcement of the death of one of our good friends in Prescott. His wishes were: Do not have a gathering or send flowers, but do something you love and make a donation to your favorite charity in my memory. An unusual request. He had always loved music and so that’s what we honored. We made a donation to the Community Music School in Raleigh, a charity that offers music lessons to underprivileged children and youth; an added bonus was that our son had become the Executive Director of that organization last September.

I asked Caroline if I could dance more than one hula. So I danced Mele Kalikimaka and White Christmas, and I danced Blue Christmas in memory of our friend. Because it had been a while since I had danced after my left foot had recovered from the Neuroma (that took nine years!) I did have to practice some. But because the songs are  in English, that was not so hard. Real Hawaiian hula is something that people do not understand and so I will stay away from that. I can’t stand it when people talk about hula and make silly waves with their hands. That’s the image a lot of people have of hula; that and grass skirts! Of course they don’t know any better and it is not worth my time to educate them. I’m thinking back to a group of German tourists on the lanai of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, who kept talking, their backs towards a group of live musicians and a beautiful hula dancer.

Christmas Presence

After a beautiful Christmas Cantata at church on Sunday, we had the opportunity to hear it again on Tuesday evening in the Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh. Conducted by the Composer, Pepper Choplin, the performance included 250 voices of 8 church choirs and a 36 man orchestra. Our daughter-in-law sang a solo. She has an amazing soprano voice, like her mother.

That evening I started a cold, oh no! I started fighting it with everything I had, including my neti pot and made it to the Christmas party at the Club the next evening, even walked over to Assisted Living where Caroline was singing, and danced Mele Kalikimaka for them. But the next day I had an eye infection for which I went to the ophthalmologist. Then the family thought I was too contagious and I was afraid I would have to miss out on the Candlelight Service and the family gathering. Thank goodness the cold was very light and with a mask on my face I could attend everything.

The year 2018 is ending and a whole new year is opening up.

Celebrate Life!

Until next time!


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