Mon09152014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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No mistakes: Haugh About That?

After 30 years of retirement, I found myself once again working as a D.S.S. (Derriere Sanitation Specialist). In other words, I was back to changing diapers, only this time it wasn’t some sweet little baby – it was my 95-year-old father.

When my dad moved in with me in 2011, I knew there would be challenges for both of us. For him, it would be his complete loss of independence and the agonizing feeling that he was a burden. For me, it was the constant fear of making a mistake. Our time was limited, and I wanted his remaining days perfect.

All went without a hitch the day he arrived – until the caregiver left at 4 p.m. Then, I was in charge. Not only did my father need to be spoon-fed, medications administered and helped with his tooth brushing, but there was also that stack of Depends sitting next to his bed.

Standing over his crippled body, a powerful, cascading avalanche of fear crashed down. When I flunked with my first child, Michelle, my mom swooped in to the rescue. Now I was all alone.

Knowing his daughter was about to see him in his entirety, my poor father’s body stiffened and his face shriveled up like an apple doll drying too long in the hot sun. Hoping to make light of the situation, I giggled, “OK, Dad. Close your eyes and just think of me as some cute nurse. This will be over in no time.”

After detaching the plastic strips, I guided him onto his side and yanked off the old underwear with no problem. I struggled to get the clean one positioned just right. After several frustrating minutes that felt more like a lifetime, I was sure I had it.

Rolling him over, I easily fastened the left side, but when it came to the right, there was a gaping hole between the two ends and a huge expanse of white skin exposed.

“Now what do I do?” I cried inside.

Sweat dripped down my body like some form of Chinese water torture. The thought of redoing the entire thing became overwhelming. Not knowing what else to do, I quickly ran for the bolt of electrical tape and secured him back together.

“Dad, I’m so sorry,” my lip quivered, tears dribbling down my cheeks. “This will hold you together for now. I’ll get it right tomorrow.”

Smiling sweetly, he said, “Honey, you did just fine.”

His words hugged my heart as I left the room. I’d wanted each day to go smoothly from start to finish. Being my idiotic human self where blunders abound was not part of the plan. But I remembered his gentle words when I was too hard on myself.

“Your life is all part of a beautiful universal plan where God makes no mistakes,” he said. “The error comes in not seizing the opportunity to learn from your mishaps so that you can reach your highest potential.”

I know I’ll always cringe when I think I’ve done something stupid. Old habits die hard. But with each new faux pas (and there will be many), I hope to grab the opportunity to learn something new and spectacular.

The best classroom we ever attend is the one we wake up to each day – our life. Diapers, electrical tape and all.

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