Wednesday, April 27, 2011


California Buckeye Bud
It seems like Spring is finally here in Los Gatos. I guess it took Easter to make sure of that. A month ago, the California buckeye trees were starting to leaf out; now they have flower buds - very long buds.

So, now I go outside and it is all sunny and I can't wait for our deck work to finish. That's one thing I had to get used to living on the hillside of the Santa Cruz Mountain chain. Deck maintenance! Constant deck maintenance. We don't have a backyard, our house is tucked into the hillside and because of that, we live on our deck. That means every year we have to take a look at our decking and decide which part really needs to be done this year and what part we can leave off until next year.

Well, this year we decided the next section to be done would be the portion of the deck out to what we call our "View Deck." The former owners had just a tiny little spot about 8' x 10' and the walkway out was just boards laid down on the ground. You had to walk single file to get to the view. Being on the ground, the walkway boards were rotting away and the ground shifts (lots of rain, hills begin to move... ) were making it hard to walk out. Plus the view deck itself was coming apart.

Deck Work with Snow
Back in February when it snowed here for the first time since 1976, I had taken a shot of the "skeleton" in trying to get more pictures of the snow.

Deck Work almost complete!
Now, it much closer to completion and we are eagerly awaiting its finish.  As you can see, we are almost there.

To give you a little idea of what I mean when I say our house in built into a hillside, take a closer look at the deck work. To the right of the decking, those are tree branches.  And, to the left is the retaining wall to hold back the hill.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'll be back soon.....

I have to apologize to all my followers for my lack of updates on me, my life in the Santa Cruz mountains in California and the antics of my two dogs.

My Sleeping Beauties
This has been a very rough month for me. I don't like to complain, but this month my CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) has flared and left me with virtually no energy and a lot of pain. My best shot of getting over this hump is for me to rest as much as possible.

I know I have missed playing with my dogs and seeing what is going on outside, and I hope you have missed my updates. All I can say, is please hang in there with me and I will be back soon with more funny dog stories.

I have to say that my dogs have not abandoned me during this time; they are sleeping right along with me. Well, not with me exactly, but they are sleeping none the less.  :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

I've got to say I'm really please that 2 people have chosen me for the Stylish Blogger Award and I procrastinated acknowledging it. I'm so ashamed.......   :(

So, very belated thank-yous to Milena of Just the Goods and Cathy of Headpin Wear.

And, now, I get to tell all of you 7 things about myself - I have to say, I don't like this part, I'm not very good at biographical writing... Enough procrastinating, here they are:

1.  I live in a lovely house in Los Gatos, California. Los Gatos is in the San Francisco Bay Area, down in the south part, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Los Gatos is a small town that still has a real downtown, with small shops. Since our house is in the mountains, the house is built into a hillside. This means that we have a lot of decking around our house. There is no level piece of land on our property. By the way, you can't find our house on Google Maps because our street is a private road, so they couldn't come up and take pictures.

2.  My husband and I own our own business. This is Turner Designs, which makes fluorometers. A fancy word there :)  These instruments are used to measure water quality, so a lot of researchers use them to watch what the ocean is doing. Some of our instruments are used around oil wells to check for oil in the water (there were a lot being used during the Gulf oil spill) and others are used to check the water in streams, lakes and cooling systems.

3.  My husband and I are both electrical engineers and we met at one of the companies we both worked at. He didn't like me when he first met me because I was hired to test this big in-house test system that he had built and I told him it didn't work! He was not a happy camper then. Obviously, that changed!  :)

4.  We have 2 daughters who are both taller than me, so that makes me the shrimp in the family. My husband is 6'1", daughter #1 is 5'5", daughter #2 is 5'10" and I am 5'2". This makes hugging my girls a little interesting. :)

5.  I quit working as an engineering manager (director level) when my oldest daughter was in kindergarten because she was diagnosed with a learning disability. I hated to quit, but I knew I had to stay home with her for a while to help her learn. Both daughters were thrilled!

6.  I volunteer and taught science in the elementary school that my daughters went to. And, when my oldest hit high school, I was the Robotics teacher. :)

7. I love animals and so does the rest of my family. I was such a soft touch, that my oldest daughter has a bird, a cockatiel named Dover and my youngest has a Dutch bunny named Oreo. We also have 2 Australian Shepherds, as I have written about before.

Boy, I feel really strange telling all of you about me. I wrote a lot more than I expected. I hope you found this little glimpse into my life interesting.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I have a weird dog :)

As you may know, we have 2 Aussies. One Aussie is from a breeder who was trying to breed a dog that could compete both as a show dog and as a herding dog. It wasn't a successful attempt. :)

Shadow is cute and friendly and loves to cuddle. But, for an Aussie, he's not too bright. So, when we went to get a second Aussie, I looked for a dog from a herding line. Actually, this dog is our third Aussie, our first one died from cancer and I missed her so much, I needed to get a puppy.

So, enter Penny. She is a herding dog that I got from a breeder in Missouri. She's smart, energetic and a lot of fun (and work). We are constantly learning new things that she can do. One of the strangest is the way she sits on the stairs. She will sit on one step and put her front legs on another! I have never seen a dog do this before, so of course, I had to take a picture.

She will sit this way outside too. I guess she is so long that it's more comfortable for her to sit this way. Every time I see her doing this, I have to laugh!

Shadow, on the other hand, will lay down every opportunity he can get. You can see how hard a life he has when you see him yawning when I try to wake him up and get him off the sofa. I'm going to bed, but Shadow would prefer that I leave him alone to sleep on the sofa all night.

I may be a softie with my dogs, but letting him sleep on the sofa all night - I don't think so.

Actually, both my husband and myself are real softies with our dogs. Both of them love to sleep on the sofa when ever they can. Penny still sleeps as a puppy, all sprawled out and when she does, you can see that she has very long legs.

In fact, I have to make sure she doesn't push me off the sofa when she stretches out her full length. :)