#5 Watermark

#5 Watermark

I have been learning about the little things that make living in this place interesting, if not  embarrassing.  🙂  

As I was unpacking our things from the big shipping boxes – I would cut them down to stack nicely in a pile outside our door in the hall so the maintenance  guys could pick them up in the morning.  

Normally when you leave the door unlocked to go out –  you can get back in.  Not so with our apartment door !  It was 10:00 pm and I was locked out !   (Luckily I wasn’t in my pajamas.  🙂

I went down to the front desk, hoping someone would still be there.  There was.  Learned we have 24 hour staff available with a night security guy. 

Lesson #1  The only way you can open the door is with the key – whether you leave it locked or unlocked.  (double security) 

They give us this nice little key chain bracelet  – and now I hang it on the door handle so every time I go out I just slip it on my hand.

Oh, that black thing on the key chain – It is a sensor.   

If you enter the building at the main entrance after 8:00 pm when the doors are locked, you can still get in by touching the sensor to the box next to the door, and that opens the door.


Stay tuned for Lesson #2  🙂

#4 Watermark

#4 of Watermark

Our move in date to the Watermark was postpone a week because the apartment was not ready, which was a relief.  I was not ready with things packed.  May 27th was the big move.  

The day we moved in,  sitting on the counter,  was a welcome basket with  all these goodies …..   paper towel, Kleenex, dish washer powder, hand soap, box of trash bags, etc, etc – and a little night light for the bathroom.

When I opened the refrigerator – there was a big bowl of fresh fruit and a large vegetable  tray of vegetables with a dipping sauce!    That was our dinner!  (sorry – I didn’t take a picture)  🙂

I felt we were welcomed as VIP’S !

The residents and staff have been very supportive and friendly – like being welcomed into a large family.  

One of the big benefits I love is I don’t have to cook dinner  🙂  The food has been very good.  The dining room is like an upscale restaurant that you order from a menu with large selection of choices. 


To be contined – Learning about the little things that make living in a place interesting, if not  embarrassing.  🙂  

#3 Watermark

#3 of Watermark

Thursday – April 22 we went to look at the Watermark – a brand new Independent Living building in Trinity near us that just opened in July.

We were greeted by Wendy and some of the staff and given a grand tour of the place. We were very impressed! Here are some of the reasons that influenced our decision that this might be our new home:

1. Brand new building – new apartments
2. The floor plan we liked was available on the top floor which would be our first choice.
3. An attractive move-in bonus
4. A long list of amenities
5. The dining room is like an upscale restaurant that you order from a menu with large selection of choices.
6. Most of all – a flexible eating plan

Most places like this includes 3 meals a day which you are paying for, whether you eat or not. Here you are given credits each month ($500 / person) that you can spend in the dinning room, cafe, hair salon, activities, etc

In analyzing how we could afford the rent – here is what I did:

I had just figured our housing expenses for the year for tax deductions for our business …. mortgage, insurance, taxes, utilities (water, electric) internet, HOA dues, lawn care, repairs, etc, etc ….and divided that total by 12 to come out with a monthly housing expense.

Subtracting the $500 credit per person for the food (which I am not spending at the store any more) – to my surprise, it almost matched the monthly rent of Watermark.

We ended up putting a $500 deposit down, with a move-in date of May 21.

Called our realtor – he listed our house Monday and it sold the next day! Wow!

Things were moving fast. I had one month to downsize and pack. Whew!

To be continued. 🙂


#2 Watermark


With no car, we asked a friend to go shopping for us while we shopped for a car online. We started with FORD, because my brother is a retired FORD employee, and could get us a discount. Hard to believe there is no place in this area that installs lifts for mobility scooters. So we called a mobility store in Spring Hill.

Surprise! No American cars have a solid floor in the rear to mount a lift. The salesman recommended a HONDA CR-V – the smallest of the SUV’s, Online, the HONDA CR-V looked possible, so we called the local dealer. The salesman told us they had only one Pre-Owned Certified CR-V on the lot that was in our price range. He drove it over and picked us up, Bob drove us back to the dealership, and a few hours later, we drove home in our new-to-us HONDA SUV.

It is a 2018 HONDA SUV with 4 new tires, and only 32,000 miles on the odometer. It is metallic.  Our new HONDA looks like, feels like, and drives like a NEW car — a little stiff, but Bob is learning to like it.  After a day driving to Spring Hill to get the lift for Bob’s scooter installed, we were now mobile.

The package of information about the WATERMARK Independent Living facility arrived, and we poured over the floor plans. Any apartment with more than one bedroom was out of sight for rent. The apartments that were financially feasible had very little storage space. There was one apartment that looked possible — the PELICAN. It had 1,090 Sq ft, one bedroom, one and one-half bath and a den.

I called our relator friend to find out our chances of selling our house and his response was: “You better find a place first before we put your house on the market.  Houses in this area are selling fast.”

I called Wendy, the WATERMARK sales lady and made an appointment to go tour the facility. That day, Bob went armed with a long list of reasons why we couldn’t make the move —- our house wasn’t sold, not even on the market, and our income was less than the rent.

To be continued. 🙂

#1 Watermark


What happened to Blogger Bob? Our internet service got cancelled – and I’ll explain why – as we begin another major adventure for Bob and Betty.

It began in March. It started as a routine day when Betty left to go shopping.  Then the phone rang. Betty called from the Medical Center ER to tell me she had an accident, and was at ER getting stitches in her forehead, and her lip glued together. “I’m okay”. The car collision triggered the airbag, which had smashed into her face. I also learned her nose was fractured, and probably so was her big toe. “Okay’? REALLY? 

At that moment, a knock on the door interrupted, and I opened to let in two EMT men bringing Betty’s packages from the car. The told me the car was “totaled” and had been towed. The car was totaled, and Betty says she is okay. WHEW!  All I could do was wait and pray.

What a relief when a cab pulled up and Betty came in the door. She had a black eye and a sore big toe. The miracle was she was not wearing glasses when the airbag hit her face. Betty has worn glasses all her adult life, but her eye check last year showed she was seeing 20 20 without glasses. She gives credit to the nutraceutical supplements we have been using for 2 1/2 years. 

The next day, our neighbor Jim took Betty to our eye doctor to check for damage. Her eyes were labeled “beautiful” with no damage to the retina or the gel-like fluid that protects the retina.  In fact, we learned that the gel-like fluid shrinks as we age, but in Betty’s case, the doctor said her eyes looked nice and healthy, and the gel was intact!  Again, we credit the nutraceuticals we use.

In the mail the next day — COINCIDENCE? — was a mass- mailed postcard 

inviting the reader to visit the new WATERMARK Independent Living at Town Center, Trinity. 

Out of curiosity, we looked at the website. It looked amazing!  Long list of amenities, a gourmet restaurant, and a big protected pool looked interesting to me. Betty called and requested their information packet.  Then she said to me; “ I think God is telling us to move.” I covered my face with my hands, and replied: “ARE YOU SERIOUS!”

(I knew moving to an upscale facility was impossible, not feasible, improbable, and unlikely, so I agreed to look at it.)  

We didn’t even have a car to go look at it. That’s another story. So I’ll continue next time.

PS.  If you are curious – here is the website of the Watermark  https://trinity.watermarkcommunities.com/living-choices/independent-living-at-the-town-center/

FLIGHT # 2021

FLIGHT # 2021

I got this from our business partner John, and thought it would give you all a smile to get this year started.
Greetings Friends &  Family.  Welcome to Flight #2021.   ✈️
We are prepared to take off into the New Year.
Please make sure your Attitude and Blessings are secured and locked in an upright position.
All self-destructive devices should be turned off at this time. All negativity, hurt and discouragement should be put away.
Should we lose Altitude under pressure during the flight, reach up and pull down a Prayer.
Prayers will automatically be activated by Faith.
The Captain (GOD) has cleared us for takeoff.
Destination – GREATNESS #2021

Interviewed By My Home Town Newspaper

Interviewed By My Home Town Newspaper

I sent a news release to my home town newspaper in Michigan – the Ionia Sentinel Standard.  The reporter called me for an interview, and then wrote the following article.


IONIA — A former Ionia resident turned his experiences growing on a farm north of M-66 into another children’s rhyming story picture book — this time about a ladybug.

Bob Hicks, who is a member of the Ionia High School Class of 1954, published “The Ladybug Known as Lil” on Oct. 12 — his fourth rhyming children’s book.  It was inspired by Hicks’ memory of growing up on his grandfather’s farm four miles north of Ionia on M-66.

“That was a big influence in my rhyming stories because I was inspired to start writing the stories about my experiences with the critters when I was a kid on the farm,” Hicks said. “I had a pet crow, a pet raccoon and a pony, and just watching bugs and frogs in the backyard lily pool — those were inspirations. Remembering those inspired me to write rhyming stories about those experiences.”

When Hicks was 9, he remembers helping his parents plant a garden and his mother telling him to not harm the ladybugs because they would protect the plants from aphids.

“The Ladybug Known As Lil” tells a tale of the wild west as aphids invade the garden. Lil, singer at the Pumpkin Club, rides her roach through the night to find Bugaroo, sheriff of the garden, to save Pumpkin town from the Aphid Gang.

Hicks’ award-winning books are available on major online booksellers, and are endorsed by the American Dyslexia Association for easier reading by early readers.

“I want the rhyming to be perfect, because that helps kids to make the ear-brain connection for distinguishing sounds and learning to read,” Hicks said.

Hicks added a question and answer section to his books to turn them into a teaching tool.  Hicks is a retired college teacher — having taught speech communication for 24 years at the University of Hawaii.  A special “Things to Learn” section has photos and information about the real insects that are characters in the story.

Hicks said he was an average student his first two years at Ionia High School, but missed a year after becoming paralyzed.

“Because I had matured more and because I was in a wheelchair, I couldn’t get out and do things,” he said. “I spent more time studying and started getting good grades for a change.”

Hicks couldn’t get a physical job because he was limited in what he could do, so he decided to stay in school. He chose education as his profession.

“I think education is extremely important,” Hicks said. “I would tell kids to stay in school as long as you can and learn as many things as you can. The more you know, the more options you have, and the more choices you have for your life.”

Kim Grant, Hicks’ nephew, lives on the family farm north of Ionia, and has donated the Ladybug book to the Ionia Community Library.

Hicks has published three other rhyming children’s books: “Tommie Turtle’s Secret,” “Mouse in the Manger” and “Danny the Dragon.” He also has an e-book titled, “Once I Was A Kid With the Wild Things On the Farm.” He has started working on a his fifth, about Katie Caterpillar.

“The caterpillar book is just in the beginning stages,” Hicks said. “I’ve only got a couple of stanzas. We’ll see how fast it comes.

Hicks and his wife, Betty, reside in Florida. They may be contacted through Bob Hicks’ website: robertzhicks.com.

— Contact reporter Evan Sasiela at esasiela@sentinel-standard.com. 

Ladybug Lil is now available

THE LADYBUG KNOWN AS LIL is now available on Amazon!

Here is the link for purchase
It’s the wild west in the pumpkin patch! Ant bursts in the door of the Pumpkin Club to warn the bugs that aphids are invading the garden, and on their way to Pumpkin Town.
Ladybug Lil, singer at the Pumpkin Club, rides her roach through the night to find sheriff Bugaroo to save Pumpkin town from the dreaded Aphid Gang. Will the sheriff and his posse reach Pumpkin Town in time?  Will Lil see her beloved Pumpkin Club destroyed by the invading Aphids?
Told in rhyme, The Ladybug Known as Lil is good for early readers. The THINGS TO LEARN section is an introduction to the study of insects;  Questions and Answers test comprehension.
Endorsed by the American Dyslexia Association.
When you get the book, we’d greatly appreciate if you would pop back on Amazon and write a review.    Ladybug is my favorite story.  Hope you like it too.

Ladybug Lil update!

Ladybug Lil update!  

Ashley Otis, who did the illustrations for “Mouse in the Manger” and “Danny the Dragon”, has finished the illustrations for the award-winning manuscript of “The Ladybug Known as Lil”

Ashley is working on the book format, — and then, after final proofing, she will send it on to the printer.


We hope to have the book available in time forChristmas!

We’ll keep you posted.

My Whole Body Challenge Story

My Whole Body Challenge Story

New U Life started a new blog feature on their website.  When I opened it, I was surprised to find that the company’s new creative writer had delved into my Whole Body Challenge reports that I posted each week, and compiled and wrote my story.

What an honor! Than they posted it on the company’s You Tube channel for the world to see.  Amazing!  

Thought you might like to see the story.  Click on the link.