Monday, June 29, 2009


Last night I suddenly realized I was due to go to the dentist this week and it turned out to be today.

I had a funny conversation with a bus buddy this morning, about his wonderful dentist- about the fact that his dentist and the whole practice was really friendly and helpful. He said they had a massaging chair, they let you listen to your own music and even their receptionist was wonderful. I just knew he was talking about my dentist too..

Santa Teresa Dental

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Motorcycle Safety Foundation basic rider course- Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

It all started Thursday night- 4:40 PM to 10 PM - the Motorcycle Safety Foundation basic rider course classroom instruction. The instructor, Skip, kept the pace going and was a lot of fun too. Gave some very down to earth advice, and the evening flew by. It ended with a written test. Thanks to some studying before and some good teaching, I got 50/50.

Saturday was day one of the actual riding part of the course. Not the best day to sign up for, with temps over a 100F and the tarmac added another 15 degrees- put that together with a hot motorcycle and it was extremely hot. The instructors were very good about getting us in the shade as often as possible and reminding us to keep drinking water often. Skip was back with us, and Ian was the other instructor.

We did lots and lots of practice turning, stopping, weaving, changing gear and generally getting to know how to control the bike. The day went past pretty quickly but it was very hot and tiring and I made some silly mistakes towards the end, so I didn't finish the day overly confident.

Today however was a different matter. This time Phil joined Ian, and we went back over the exercises from the previous day and joined a few of them together. It was supposed to be as hot, but somehow, it didn't feel that way. Maybe because we were expecting it and had got a little used to it after the day before. After many many practices, we finally had to be marked in a test. We never found out the scores but were all given the card that said we had completed the course. We have to wait 10 days to receive the certificate in the mail. Then I still have to go to the DMV to take their written test. After that I will have my license!

Dog sitting :-)

Our friends, Joel and Stevie live in Pasadena and were going up to Sonoma wine country for the weekend, so we said they could stay the night on the way up there if they bought their dog with them, so we could dog sit for the weekend. I was so used to having an beautiful but slow old lady around, I forgot how much energy a younger dog has, and how much hair they leave around the house :-) Popper was a little confused at first but settled in nicely- especially when there is food around. It did make me realize that the walk we used to do with Pepper is very short for a fast walking dog with lots of energy, so it was a good reminder of our commitment when we get another younger dog. He also does not still for very long when trying to take a picture! This was the best of not many good ones..

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday- photo day

I had to have a new photo taken for the internal web site at work today, so I took one with my iphone too for my 365 days project..

Thursday: The longest day

Up at 4:50 AM (should be banned!), drove into work to start at 6 AM (too early and I hate driving in!) Hit the ground running. Worked until 1:30 PM, and left for an appointment at the chirporactor. All straightened out and then home, picking up the CSA farm box on the way. Back out the door and driving the mustang (Yay- the best part of the day!) down to Gilroy arriving at Gavilan College at 4 :30 PM for...


Home and in bed by 11:15 PM.. too late. Tired.

(update on Sunday night :-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Final new home update

Back in March (20th) I noted that a builder had started to build some new homes near where we live. There were seven of them. On May 5th they were just abut finished and I wondered how long it would be until they were sold. Now they have completed the final touches- the gardens etc, and three are already sold!

Now I'll be keeping an eye on the other new development near the train station...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Please tell me I'm not the only one who never gets around to reading all her magazines.. this is just the latest three and I haven't opened last months yet! Keeping life "Real Simple" is not so easy when there is "More"- my poor "Body and Soul" ;-)

Monday- my new bike!

I rode my new bike to the bus station the last two days. This is when I finally realized that I do need a stand! I'm scared it will fall over and damage it. It is so much lighter and easier to ride than my old bike..

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pinnacles National Monument hike

Pinnacles National Monument is in central California, 50 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and 140 miles south of San Francisco, and today we went hiking there. It is a strange place- rolling hills, rock spires, monoliths, canyons and even caves. An unspoiled wilderness. It is the remains of an ancient volcano- proclaimed as a National Monument in 1908.

It was quite a steep hike to start with- from the eastern side of the park, uphill to the ridge, and through the high peaks trail which meant clambering up steps hewn out the rock. Back down a meandering trail. Six quite strenuous but interesting miles. Beautiful.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Busy day!

This morning we did our normal chores and then went to pick up my new bicycle. I forgot to mention that yesterday. I got a new commute bike :-) It is much lighter than my old one and has brakes and gears that work properly, which is nice for a change. Must remember to take a photo of it tomorrow! So of course, we had to go for a bike ride. We decided to explore a new section of a bike path that we used to use when we lived in the apartment. It was only 6 miles in total but nice to be on a purpose built path right in Downtown Morgan Hill.

On the way home we went to the "Cool Brews for Cool Pools" - something we'd only found out about the night before but completely forgotten about until we came across it. "Cool Brews for Cool Pools is a family festival sponsored by local businesses that brings together local breweries, wineries food and sports vendors and the community to celebrate the arrival of summer and raise money for the Morgan Hill Aquatic Foundation". The first band was one of our local favorites. I so wished I had my camera with me then but I didn't even have my iPhone. After they finished we dashed home and I got my camera and a sunhat! Back there I took pictures of the reggae band Kapakahi and the audience..

Friday- Morgan Hill Summers

We been asking ourselves that last few weeks whether the Friday night music series in Morgan Hill had begun yet and finally we discovered that this was already the third week! So we went downtown early evening and had a meal at Rosy's at the Beach. (Whilst there we also found about two other events this weekend -more about that tomorrow).

We sat outside and had a lovely meal- right near one of the Morgan Hill mushrooms. These were an art project where several of the same size mushrooms were decorated by different local artists and are now located in different places in the downtown area. This is one of my favorites

We then wandered up to see the band playing in the new location for the Friday night series- the Community and Cultural Center amphitheater. I did not originally like the idea of the Chamber of Commerce moving it from it's original third street location but it really did work. There must have been over 300 people there, it was more comfortable and the sound was much better. It would also have been much easier for everyone in terms of set up, and they have real public toilets there instead of porta-potties. I'm looking forward to next week!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday - Small sneaking signs of improvement

Ever since we moved to Morgan Hill, there has been a sign saying that new town homes were going to be built on a big lot near the town center. There have been no signs of movement for two years, but in the last couple of weeks there have been huge earth movers laying the plan for the new subdivision. They have laid down some pipes for drainage and every day they achieve more. It feels really good to see some new work going on! The picture is not a wonderful one but I did take it at 6:30 AM...

Poppy's Fish and Poultry

At least once a week I try to get over to Poppy's. Wednesday was salmon night. Every piece of fish we get from there is divine, and the folks who run it, Jane and Mike are really friendly. This lobster was chillin' out in the tank.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday- Swimming

About a month ago I started swimming two or three times a week in the pool of the small gym in the office block across the road from our office. I hardly ever see anyone- only the occasional person in the gym or someone taking a coffee break and relaxing in the chairs by the pool. Tuesday was a nice surprise, because they had repotted all the plants around the pool and they look very pretty.

Sewing issues

I haven't done any sewing in a while, but when Mary was here we went to a craft store and picked up several projects for her, and so I got a small glasses case to embroider. Recently I finally got around to sewing it and suddenly realised that I can no longer thread a needle because I can't see that close! My long distance eyesight is fine, it is just about a foot from my eyes, it becomes fuzzy. I know it is just age related, because both my parents needed glasses to read about the same age but I don't like it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bikes and hike

Bikes are on my mind. On the way to our hike in Calero County park, a pack of sportsbikes (looked like a bike club) appeared and we ended up in the middle of them driving up a long winding road.

Once we got to the trail, a new one for us, it was very quiet and peaceful. It was a little hilly in places, and quite dry already but it's really close to home, so very easy to get to.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dick's Motorbike

This morning we went to a motorcycle shop in Gilroy to pick up supplies for Dick's afternoon project. We had to have a look at the bike's and it got me thinking once more about re-taking my bike test here in the states (I passed my test in the UK fifteen years ago). It's a weekend commitment. I may just sign up this weekend.

Dick spent much of the afternoon changing out all the fluids on his motorbike- the oil, brakes and clutch fluids. I ended up taking photos after he had finished but I really wish I had thought of taking them at the time, although it would probably have annoyed him thinking about it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday night ride

Tonight after work, I got out my Townie Bike- it's the kind of bike with a basket on the front and saddle bags, so that I "pootle" along on slowly enjoying the sights and sounds around me. I cycled the three miles to the Coyote Creek bike path and then joined the trail at the Morgan Hill end with the intention of meeting Dick coming in the opposite direction from Blossom Hill. It was quite quiet and so I saw deer, lots of birds and most frightening- a skunk! It was only about 4 feet from me sniffing along the side of the trail and therefore didn't seem to see or hear me thank goodness. There was no sign of it on the way back.

Five miles into the trail, Dick came into sight and so I turned around and we cycled back together. By that time, my bum was getting a bit numb! I haven't ridden that bike for a while and the seat is very different to my other bike. Still we made it back via the Chipotle restaurant and bought a burrito to eat at home. A fifteen mile bike ride is not bad for a Friday night!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Extension tube

I had completely forgotten that I have an extension tube for my camera. So tonight I went outside (a little later than I should have gone) and took some more photos of (no surprise) some more flowers. One in particular had a tiny feather caught on the petal.

New nasturtium.

Another lily.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Monday and Tuesday

On Monday late afternoon I went to my pilates class. It was a hard class because the instructor, Jill, had been on holiday the week before and the week before that was Memorial day, so we'd had no class for three weeks. Jill had also learned a few new moves and was determined to try them out. There were also two older ladies who were really trying their hardest, but neither seemed to know their left from their right and it was hard not to spend the class smirking.

After the class I decided to take some photos of the exercise equipment and found out why I like my iphone for those on the spot photos. I used both my phone and my olympus point and shoot camera and the best ones were on the iphone because of the lack of flash!

Today I was back out in my garden taking pictures of my latest garden acquisition, the now named "Loo brush tree".

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Saturday I slept in much later than I normally do. I must have needed it! After the normal chores (farmers market, fish shop and Trader Joes) I headed back out into the garden to weed a little and plant a new small tree- a bottle bush tree, which Dick calls a "loo brush tree" :-) I also realized that yet another plant I have is an oak leaf hydrangea!

Another week of catch up

Dick is back after a week at Java One, so now our routines should be back to normal, and I might just get to post my pictures every day instead of once a week! Last week I seem to have taken pictures of my garden quite a lot!

.. this one looks like a thistle, and has multiple heads.

...I have a new plant (whose name totally escapes me right now). It has beautiful flowers that the hummingbirds love.

On Wednesday, I went for a walk in downtown San Jose and found that the Tied House brewery had closed! I later found out that they had decided to close the San Jose restaurant because it is too big. They have just kept their Mountain View branch.

On Thursday the Luis Maria Peralta Adobe was hosting a school visit..


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