Warm Wishes

from the Gerbargs

2023 Update

Health & Wellness, Family, Pets, Career, Home, Hobbies, Recreation

Health & Wellness

It was another challenging year for Laura's health

At the start of this year Laura's health was poor. She continued to struggle with debilitating symptoms due to persistent digestive system issues. As we marked her birthday, there was little to celebrate.

With changes to her medication, supplements & activity level, Laura is doing much better now than she was at the start of the year. Her symptom management is very dependent on a limited diet & strict eating schedule. So while there has been progress, she still has a long way to go to restore a sense of normalcy around food, socializing & travel. The remainder of the year will be dedicated to a new treatment plan that will hopefully yield more dramatic improvements.

Laura & Louis performing a Gyrotonics "duet"

We both enjoy weekly sessions at our neighborhood Gyrotonics studio. Similar to pilates, this practice is a therapeutic exercise that balances the body & mind through a series of movements utilizing specialized equipment.

A new yoga studio opened in downtown Saratoga this summer, providing another option for accessible exercise. It wasn't a good fit for Louis but Laura is able to make it work and practices there weekly now. We have also been able to add in some occasional acroyoga at home practice as well.


Laura's parents, Maria & Steve, visiting from Florida

Laura's mom came out for a brief visit in March and then again with Laura's dad in June. During their summer visit, Laura, Maria & Steve went shopping for outdoor pottery and made some improvements to the potted plants at the house.

Maria repotting one of the front yard palms

Louis, Naomi, Avi & Bernie

Louis flew to Florida to visit his parents, Naomi & Bernie, in June. During their visit, Louis's brother, Avi, made a surpris visit to reunite their nuclear family.

Naomi & Bernie visiting from Florida

Louis's parents visited for 3 weeks in August and enjoyed a break from the hot Florida summer. Trip highlights included visiting the Computer History Museum and San Jose Rose Garden.

Louis & his parents checking out the Computer History Museum

Louis's parents & cousins, Darcy & Gene, watching Louis play the game Sayonara Wildhearts

Laura, Naomi & Bernie at the San Jose Rose Garden

Celebrating the first birthday of Laura's niece, Alice, with Laura's brother, Steve, & sister-in-law, Mara

Laura & Louis enjoy keeping up with their respective brother's families via phone, messaging & FaceTime. It is a treat to get to celebrate milestones together in whatever way possible. Laura's brother's family lives in Seattle and Louis's brother's in France.


Sophie looking at Cheska in their former shared cage through the bars of the playpen

It was a very hard year for our chinchillas, Cheska & Sophie. In January, after 10 years of peaceful co-habitation under Laura's care, the girls started to fight. Fighting in chinchillas can quickly turn lethal. We were fortunate to observe the change in their behavior in time and separate them quickly without any injuries. Cheska was very stressed and started to have GI issues. We were very worried for her, as chinchillas often deteriorate quickly by the time symptoms manifest. Thankfully she stablized after the separation and both her and Sophie have been healthy since. Sadly they will likely never be able to be safely reintroduced due to their past history of violence now.

The old shared cage on the left & on right the new divided cage with Sophie on top & Cheska on bottom

Sophie would probably prefer to be together

Cheska is happier alone


Louis & his teammates at lunch

Louis continues to be an important cog in an important machine at Apple. His attention remains on the linker as it has been for the past 8 years. This year, as in last, he has had a particular focus on security for DYLD.

After 4 long years, a licensed manicurist in the state of California

This September, after many obstacles, Laura was finally able to obtain her nail technician license. She originally started school in October 2019, so it has been a long & winding journey to arrive here. Currently she has no plans to put her license to work, but now it is an option she has should things change in the future.


This year we replaced 2 full ducted heating & cooling units plus 1 mini split and are enjoying better climate control. The next project we're working on is addressing the water hardness in the house.

We said a sad goodbye to a once mighty Coast Live Oak on our property

In the summer we got around to the task of hiring an arborist to inspect all the trees on the property. Unfortunately it turned out that one of our large oak trees was compromised and at immediate risk of falling in the next big storm. It wasn't a happy task, but one silver lining was that we met most of our neighbors through the process of communicating what was happening with the tree. We are fortunate to be surrounded by such great company.

Festive lighting for Halloween

Louis replaced some of our outdoor lights and we now can enjoy changing the colors to suit our tastes or seasonal holidays.

Bird of Paradise knocked over in a winter storm, now in a much sturdier pot

Laura & her mom worked on several plant projects this year including repotting & adding to the collection of outdoor potted plants.


Louis and our new 3-in-1 3D printer, CNC mill & laser cutter

We are enjoying playing with this new toy and have much to learn to fully utilize all it's capabilities.

Kandi was a special interest this year for Laura

Kandi is an art form consisting of strung & woven beads (usually plastic), charms, fuse beads and other found materials that is traditionally made to be given away to others both known & unknown. Especially during the most difficult parts of this year, kandi making provided Laura much comfort and distraction. She enjoyed making pieces for special people in her life for various occasions.

Laura made Halloween kandi for trick-or-treaters to great success, Louis printed a display stand for her creations

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom, Marvel Snap & Majora's Mask (DS remaster) were some of the titles played this year

Louis & Laura both enjoyed quite a few video games this year. Laura played The Last of Us 1 & 2 (and still hasn't emotionally recovered), Final Fantasy Crisis Core, Majora's Mask for the DS, Zelda TotK & Marvel Snap. Louis played Star Trek: Resurgence & Marvel Snap.

Some of Laura's embroidery projects

Laura continued her passion for embroidery, specifically Bucilla felt kits. She had several finishes this year. She also started to add signatures to her work. Her current work-in-progress is a large greeting card holder.


Louis & Laura at club Fugazi in San Francisco to see the show Dear San Francisco

Laura & her friend, Shaina, attending a local ballet

Louis & Laura with Laura's cousin, Julia, her friends Max & Ben, & her daughter Sophia, for Julia's birthday

The Barbie Movie was a quintessential 2023 experience

Louis trying his hand at a janky crossbow at the Renaissance Faire in Gilroy, Laura's first ren. faire

Laura's first turkey leg (and a rare meal out of the house) at the ren. faire, huzzah!

Enjoying Cirque du Soleil with Louis's parents at the SAP center in San Jose

Louis & Laura in the "bat rave" room decorated for Halloween

If you made it this far congratulations, you are all up-to-date on the latest news :)

P.S. Please reach out if your name or address needs changing for next year's cards