January 2008  Los Altos, California    My mother and father were both hospitalized when I arrived, at separate hospitals.  My father had fallen, and my mother fell as well trying to pick him up.  My father passed away ten days after being hospitalized from lung cancer.  We all miss him very much. My mother returned to health after a vertebroplasty procedure and physical therapy.  Pat and I both knew we had to return home to take care of her as well as to handle my father's matters.  With much regret, we decided to sell the boat and listed it on the internet.  Pat sailed Orchid Lady single handed from Isla Mujeres to Miami in March to meet a potential buyer.  He encountered terrible weather (the worst he's seen) and lost the dinghy, davits and solar panels en route due to high wind and seas.  Thankfully he arrived safe and sound.  The potential buyer flew to Miami from Australia, and after a tour of the boat, he purchased Orchid Lady with plans to sail her back to Australia.  We were of course sad to let her go, but we're very grateful to have had four wonderful years living aboard her and having had the opportunity to have visited some beautiful destinations and meet some wonderful people.

April 2008    We adopted a shelter dog who is supposedly a cairn/westie mix and 2-3 years old.  We named him Toby, and he's quite a character.  Mom loves him too and we're enjoying having him.


August 2008 Trinidad, California    We rented a beach house in northern California and had a great time with Armand, Isabelle and K.C. (a friend of Isabelle's).  The views from the house were beautiful, and it was just a few minutes' walk to the beach.


October 2008 Los Altos, California    We finished updating the house and yard.  My parents have lived in this house for 34 years.  Throughout the years,  they updated the kitchen and added a master bath and office, although little else had been done.  We painted the entire interior, installed new carpet, added new fixtures and flooring in the second bath, installed cork flooring in the kitchen, repainted the cabinets, among other improvements.  We had the front yard completely torn out, and replaced it with a flagstone path and native California plants (a no-mow lawn). 


In the back yard, Pat designed and installed a natural pond (complete with water lotus, lilies, and other bog plants).......


and a greenhouse for my orchids .....


and of course a jacuzzi hot tub for those chilly evenings!


My father had planted numerous fruit trees and vines,  and we had a bounty of fruit including lemons, blackberries, grape, nectarines, peaches and apple pears.  The persimmons should be ripe soon.


Our time has been busy taking care of the home and Susan's mother, Tomiko.  We managed to get a couple of nice get aways, including Santa Fe, New Mexico, Washington D.C., New York and Miami.



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