Living it up Older adults aim to age in place

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Local enthusiasts flock to the Los Altos Senior Center to play bocce ball. The center hosts informal games four days a week and occasional tournaments.

As baby boomers in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View nose toward their sunset years, many plan to age in their own homes, leaving retirement communities to their parents.

Traditionally, communities for those 55 and older have provided safety, social activities, transportation and medical care. Many older adults want the same amenities without moving out of their homes.


Los Altos Senior Center boosts programming

Ramya Krishna/Town Crier
Cherie Anderson, recreation specialist for the city of Los Altos, works with George Kronos on a jigsaw puzzle at the Los Altos Senior Center.

The newest face at the Los Altos Senior Center has become a familiar one to those who frequent the gathering spot.

Cheri Anderson joined the city in October as the Senior Center’s interim coordinator and recently transitioned to recreation specialist. In her new role, Anderson said she will "specialize in all areas that are needed in recreation" - primarily those at the center.


Seniors dig in at Mtn. View garden

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Debbie Ryan maintains a plot at the Mountain View Senior Center Community Garden.

Some seniors like to play bridge, others take classes and attend luncheons, but the Mountain View Senior Center has a special place for those who like to get their hands dirty.


Modern hacienda: Los Altos couple enjoy indoor-outdoor living

Photos by megan V. winslow/Town crier
The facade of the Markarian family’s Los Altos home, above, boasts Heath tile mosaic columns and a 9-foot trellis. The interior entryway, below, features the same Jerusalem tiles and a Douglas fir cathedral ceiling.

In their "modern" - not adobe - hacienda, there’s a touch of Mexico. And, just like the lyrics of that classic song, "harmony is everywhere."


Lawns and the drought

Courtesy of Astrid Gaiser
In this season of ongoing drought, homeowners can maintain a lawn using innovative irrigation systems.

Drought conditions are continuing, calling attention to one of the main potable water usages in residential areas: outdoor watering of lawns and ornamentals.


Shooting in the garden

tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Focus on interesting details, such as the chewed-on petals of this flower or its visitor. Taking a break to look at just one thing is like sitting on a bench in the garden after running around.

One of the new features at this year’s San Francisco Flower & Garden Show included the photo seminars. If you want to share snaps of your garden with distant friends and relatives, it helps to understand the 2D world of the camera.

Saxon Holt discussed the "meditative process of photography" and showed photos to illustrate the six lessons in his e-book "Think Like a Camera."


Wild foods: A new Age of Discovery

tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Some species of milkweed flowers are edible. Botanical explorer Joseph Simcox advises foragers to be sure to get a positive ID and check references before eating wild plants.

Last year, I ate lots of small, yellow, wild plums from a tree that the birds planted. Like most wild foods, these olive-size plums were much smaller and less sweet than a cultivated variety, such as the Santa Rosa plum developed by horticulturist Luther Burbank. It took a lot of time to collect them, but they made great desserts.


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