|The three honnourees:
Mary Coffman Viviano
Bonnie Rose Hough
|Bonnie Rose Hough and the Honourable Justice James Lambden of the First Appellate District, California Court of Appeal, who intro-duced Bonnie and extolled her Compas-sion which has always guided her in ensuring access to Justice for all.|
Then on Saturday 1 November Sherna built and "altar" for the Bahá'í communty at the annual Day of the Dead Celebration in the canal District of San Rafael (see http://www.bahaisofmarin.org for the full story).
The big news for Sherna this month is that her Court Web site went live! See http://www.cc-courthelp.org. She acheived her deadlins (as always) by the beginning of this month so was able to join in a family celebration with a clear concious.
Nearly the entire Hough family flew to Rhode Island on the 2nd of October, to attend a nephew's wedding.Matriach Margaret, daughters Bonnie and Sherna, son Brian, and all the in-laws - Jim, Judy and Bryn. The truly wonderful thing about it all was that Magaret had recovered enough from her July heart attack and subsequent angioplasty, Jim had recovered enough from his Deep Brain Surgery (although he was still nursing a broken wrist) and Brian, two years after his Liver and Kidney transplant could face the journey. Additionally it was Judy's (Brian's wife) first visit to the East. The only one not present was son Bill who had to attend to some business in San Francisco.
We all had a pretty wonderful time. The weather was georgeous except for the actual day of the wedding when it rained -- which everybody said was a sign of good luck. Did all sorts of touristy things. Most of us only stayed 4 nights, but Brian and Judy were able to stay another 3 nights and do a bit more sight seeing. So a few pictures:
|Sherna doing what she loves a lot - steering a yacht!||Sherna, Brian, Judy, Jim and Bonnie|
|The Hough ladies being silly (AGAIN!)|
|Matriach of the family - Margaret, and daughter-in-law Penny (Mother of the Bride and married to oldest son Sam)|
|Yesterday, Sunday 26th October we volunteered at the Bonita Lighthouse - on a spectacular day as the following pictures show:|
|Looking North from the Light-house.||Pt Bonita LightHouse, Marin Headlands|
|Monday 13 Oct.
Another spectacular day two weeks earlier. Being Columbus day it was a Federal/State employee holiday, so we took the opportunity to ride our bicycles accross the Golden Gate Bridge! What a wonderful experience. October is definately the best month to visit!
This last month the biggest event for our American family was the "Deep-Brain-Stimulation-Implant" operation on our brother-in-law. It was a 12 hour operation in which two electrodes were implanted in his brain to be hooked up later to two pace-makers which were implanted the following week. Unfortunately, after the operation he had a Grand-Mal Seizure during which he broke is wrist. For various reason it did not get set well, so this last week it had to be rebroken and reset! So far that has been the most painful part of the whole process, and has delayed the programming of the pace makers until he is off the pain killers. Sherna spent a couple of nights with her sister at a hotel near the Stanford University hospital where all this was taking place.
Now ther is some light at the end of the tunnel, and soon the implants will be programmed. When this happens we are hoping for a fairly standard response for the process which is a miraculous lessening of the symptoms of his Parkinson's disease. This process has only been used for some 8 years and not every Parkinson's sufferer can qualify. As much for economic reasons as any other I would guess.
Apart from the family affairs, we attended the Association of Bahá'í Studies Conference in Burlingam at the end of August where we met up with some really old time friends - as the following picture Album shows:
|Left: Overview of the Coffee shop.
Right: Bryn and Sherna at the BWC recruiting display with an interested party.
|Left: Graham Hassall from Australia, Bill Collins, the co-founder of the Bahá'í World Centre Library and Bryn.
Right: Dianne Hill, one of the witnesses to our wedding in May of 1984 at Achziv in northern Israel.
|Left: Holly Hanson and Kim Naqvi both of whom served at the BWC with us in the 1980's
Right: Marianne Gorski who was the "flower-girl" at our wedding! (and who hates have photos taken of her!
To the North it is pure agricultural land and wonderful hills:
It was a pretty hazy day, but you get the idea.
Life isn't too hard around here. We've landed in a lovely part of the country. We are both working Tuesdays to Saturdays so have Monday off to do errands - Today's was mainly to do with getting the Nissan operational, but we also went for what has now become our traditional late afternoon swim in a pool at a State park just 3 miles from us. The Pool is at MacNaire's Beach State park, nestled under huge Eucalyptus trees at its back, and over looking the bay to its front. Deer roam around the park the whole time. I took these photos out there today..
Now what Deamer worth his salt wouldn't send photos of vehicles, so here's some pictures of the San Rafael Deamer fleet. Sherna's office is in the garage, and she rather enjoys have me dabbling around on the car while she is working on her Court stuff - as long as I don't interrupt her too often.
So that's what the Nissan engine looks like all stripped down... Notice the shiny new piston in no.1 on the left. I don't know when that was put in. Underneath is the VW that belongs to Bonnie and Jim (Sherna's sister and her husband) that they are happy to give to us - but can never seem to find the "pink-slip" transfer form.. Yes those are big scratches on the side - it very beat up. Even the license papers have the word "salvaged" on it, but I'm not sure what the significance of that in licensing office parlance is. I was going to take out the starter motor today, but went to the pool instead... Oh well. Finally another picture of the Camper van which at the moment is our only reliable transport. The Nissan is dead, and the VW only starts and average of one in 10 turns of the key - so far it has ALWAYS eventually started, but its a bit nerve racking wondering if it will finally never start at all... Must get the starter out and work on it.
Sherna has been driving the camper van to work - 30 miles each way, for the last month or so. Actually she enjoys it because it's as big and high as all the SUV's that roar along the road, and even the Semi Trailers seem to notice her. The hubcaps are new today from Target - $15 for a set of four. Bit silly, but we started out with only 2 last year and lost a third last week. Dodge originals cost $108 EACH... So I opted for the least ugly plastic ones I could find.
So that's a little bit of our life around here recently...
Just back from a quick trip to Maxwell Bahá'í school on Vancouver Island, B.C. (Canada), to witness my nephew Parviz Deamer's graduation. In between the graduation events we went to the Butchard Gardens nightime musical fireworks display, had tea at the Empress Hotel, went whale watching, and had dinner with artist Carol Evans and her husband Bryn (nice name!) King on Salt Spring Island.
Just for our own record let me enumerate what we are involved in now.
Coordinator of the Self Help Section of the Court of Contra Consta [ her full-time day job]; Correspondent for the Marin Independent Journal, writing a bi-weekly interfaith article; Member of the Local Spiritual Assembly (LSA) of the Bahá'ís of San Rafael; Media Representative for the LSA; Member of the Board of Directors (BoD) of the Marin Inter-Faith Council (MIFC); Member of the Membership committe of the MIFC; Member of the BoD of the Montecito Area Resident's Association (MARA); Member of the Newsletter task force for MARA [NEW TONIGHT!]; Gives weekly deepenings on the Faith; runs monthly movie-night fund raisers...
Medical Record Clerk II (full-time at Marin General Hospital); Member of the LSA of San Rafael; Recording secretary for the LSA; member of the LSA's Community Affairs, Personal affairs, and Archives committees, and Web page task force (www.bahaisofmarin.org); Member of the BoD of the Homeless Chaplaincy of San Rafael; Member of the BoD of MARA; helps run monthly movie-night fund raisers with Sherna...
So that keeps us busy. I've been asked to offer to be the "Honory Consul of Vanuatu to California" - and maybe if life settles down to a routine I might take that on. Looks good on the Resume anyway!
All in all we've been blessed so far with a healthy and happy integration into the Society. We even have three cars - although we only own one of them. The one we own is the economical 1989 Nissan Sentra that Sherna drives 60 miles each day to get to work and back. Then we still have the lovely Dodge Camper van that belongs to Suzi in New Hampshire (Come and get it whenever you want it Suzi!), and we are looking at taking over a 1985 VW 7 seater bus from Sherna's sister. It's a bit beat up, but I think it could be very useful as a transporter for both the Bahá'í community and things like the Homeless chaplaiNice.
So - work, eat, attend Baha'i meetings of various types, sleep etc is becoming the norm.One meeting recently was a Fund raiser at which we were asked to talk about the Baha'i World Center, so Sherna put together a slide show of the history and peopel of Israel and the development of the World Centre within that context. Some people were fascinated, others bored I'm sure by the large amount of history - but that's life. Different people respond to different things.
And so life goes on..
It was very exhilarating for Margaret, (and exhausting at 84 and basically blind). She had been working hard at it for weeks, trying get exactly the right message accross in her 8 minutes and she did very well.
Sunday and Monday (a public holiday here in the U.S) I spent digging and 80 foot long ditch and laying some drainage pipe. I can't remember having dug such a ditch since I work for the Railways in Western Australia back in 1982 - when I some 21 years younger. Any I didn't seem too suffer too much. Sherna was going to give a deepening at the community's Sunday morning devotions/school/deepening session, but two very interested (and interesting) enquireres arrived so they spend the morning answering their question. Later another lady who has been coming to the devotions for a number of years, finally decided to get off the fence and decided to become and full member of the community - much to the surprise of all there!
Last week was my first week as co-moderator of Bahá'í-Announce the world distribution listserve of the Bahá'í Computer and Communications Association (BCCA - http://www.bcca.org/announce). That was quite and experience, and one which I will repeat every third week as there are just three moderators. The other two ladies have been battling on for some years so they are glad to have somebody else to share the burden.
Sherna's job is continuing to be exciting, and I'm continuing to enjoy my job at the hospital. Now tonight, Sherna is off at the Local Spiritual assembly meeting, and I'm catching up on the public diary.
From the snowy mountains around lake Tahoe to the Deserts of Death Valley!
So now Sherna's been at work for two days, and thinks she is really going to enjoy it!
Today Sherna was offered a job as Court Services Coordinator for the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa. (see http://www.cc-courts.org/ ). So now one of us has a real Job! She hopes to start work on Monday 10 February- that way we can have one last four day weekend in the Van before she has to get settled into the job. If so we'll head for the East Side of the Sierra Mountains and down to Death Valley... We miss our Negev in the winter trips so lets see what this desert has to offer.
I'm still enjoying the Marin General Hospital's "temporary" job in the medical records. It is so nice to be able to just ride a bike to work and keep off the Freeways. Tommorrow I have an interview at a clinic just around the corner from the Hospital who is looking for a full time medical records assistant. I don't know if my 11 weeks of experience will be enough - but at least it got me an interview!
Yesterday (Sunday) we had a bit of excitement when the drunk driver of a light truck hit a wooden power pole outside out house, snapping it off at the base, leaving it dangling dangerously over the street and cutting out the neighbourhood's power for 10 hours until a new pole could be put in place next to it and the old lines moved over to it.
Since we had no power, we went for a drive through the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed area, crossing over a beautiful artificial lake (Lake Alpine), winding up hills and down dale and arriving at Bolinas for dinner. It was a spectacularly beautiful day, but did we take our camera... Dumb...
Monday, 17 January 2002: 20:20
Medical records, medical records, medical records!
Still at it the hospital, but they don't look like this anymore!
|As you can imagine, finding records in the above mess was a challenge, but once all the 2001 records were shipped off to the off-site storage, I was able to tidy them up somewhat.
Sherna goes for her job interview tommorrow. Maybe the next time I add something to this Web Log we'll be a two income family.
Thursday, January 16, 22:40
Still working at Marin General Hospital as a "temp" with yet another week's extension. Sherna tried out the commute to a possible job some 45 minutes away to the east and was pleasantly surprised by the ease of travel, and the beauty of the country she passed through. During the morning rush-hour she was going in the opposite direction to the rush so had clear roads.
The Van had it's 100,000 mile service, plus a few running repairs - new passenger side electric window motor and repaired lower alternator mounting - turned out it was only hanging on by the top adjustable mount. So that got rid of the loud rattle at an idle. Good thing that I'm still working- The service and repairs cost the equivelent of two weeks wages as a temp....
Sherna's office is coming along - nearly finished insulating the ceiling, then we have to cover it with fire resistant board. Then we can work on the drainage system to keep the water out when it rains, and finally we can put down the carpet and maybe her fingers wont freeze up in here. Sherna has had five articles publsiehd in the Marin Independant Journal - and they've asked her to continue doing one each two weeks. Almost no money involved, but a good crop of by-lines..
Monday, December 9, 21:40
San Rafael, Marin County - just over the Golden Gate bridge.
Managed to register the Deamer.org domain, which Jason Deamer had allowed to expire. Glad to do it before it was snaffled up by some squatter organization. GoDaddy.com is the host for this site. Also managed to take over ownership of the everyone.net mail system that provided our mail service, so we know have full control of the our own email addresses again - bryn @ deamer.org and Sherna @ Deamer.org.
Also started getting serious about learning the Adobe GoLive that came with my Mac, and am slowly moving my files from geocities and BCCA to this Domain. When I get it all sorted out I plan to individually contact members of the Deamer family and offer them web-pages, or a sub-domain if I can work that out, and an email address at the Deamer.org. I don't want to hold this site for just a few Deamers but want to open it to all members of the clan.
A very family orientated Christmas and New Year - A wonderful Christmas dinner with Sherna's younger brother Brian's family in Benicia, over the other side of the San Fancisco Bay. Also there were the mother and father of Brian's wife, Judy, in their 39 foot recreational vehicle! Made Suzie's van look like a bike on training wheels - wish we had thought to get a photo of them side by side. But we are happy with the snugness of the "little" van. We took it to her sister's home (Bonnie and Jim) just 10 miles up Hwy 101 in Bel Marin Keys on New years eve, so that we could sleep in it after we had seen in the new year with the family. Next morning I spent some time trying to figure out how to make the passenger side electric window work again (failed) and how to make the gas fired furnace work (success - just turn it on - DUH! - wish we'd worked out how in Yosemite last month in the snow - could have used it then).
I've continued to be employed at Marin General Hospital - it was meant to end on 31 Dec, but they asked for "just two more days", then on 3 January asked for "just two more days" - so should finish on Tuesday 7th - unless they want just "two more days..." again. Now that the holiday season is over, I should start hearing about the Sonoma State University, and/or the Marin County Free Library - but all I got when I rang today were voice mails - so maybe some people are still on holidays. No big bites for Sherna, but some things are cooking in the background.
Marin County has been cold and rainy these last few weeks, but Sunday dawned bright and clear so after spending the morning putting insulation in the roof of the garage (Sherna's office), we went back to Bonnie and Jim's and finished demolishing their runaway boat dock. It had broken up in a previous storm and we got the biggest chunk of it out broken up and stored then, but had left the smaller chunk which was still tethered - pity we didn't think to take photographs - we really haven't got it all figured out with the camera yet.
San Rafael, Marin County, CA, U.S.A.
|Just back from four Days in Yosemite with Alan Kean, a co-worker from the Baha'i World Centre here on Holidays|
Bridal Falls, seen from Hwy 120
|Sherna and Alan at the base of Bridal Falls.|
|Alan in snuggled up inside the van.|
|On the trail to the giant Sequoias.|
Alan experienced Yosemite during the first major storms of the season. While it limited some of what we could do, seeing nature in the raw, and not having the summer-time crowds was a real bonus. However, the greyness and lack of light meant that the photos are pretty surreal..
San Rafael, Marin County - just over the Golden Gate bridge.
Today we lost our DEAMER.ORG domain email addresses - what a pain. Temporarily I've created Sherna and account at shernadeamer @ yahoo.com and I'll have to use my brynwdeamer @ yahoo.com address.
Bryn is still working for Marin General Hospital, while Sherna has had the first of four articles published in the Marin Independent Journal. It's late, and I've had to work on recovering from the loss of our deamer.org email boxes, so time to go.
More another time
[NOTE : must look into Web Logs (Blogging)]
Sunday, November 23, 21:40
San Rafael, Marin County - just over the Golden Gate bridge.
Since we arrived in San Rafael on 1 September, Sherna has been appointed the Bahá'í representative to the Interfaith Council, and was then elected onto the L.S.A. in a by-election. This is the first time she has ever served on an L.S.A. because she has only been a Bahá'í in L.A. and Haifa. So she is pretty busy. She also spends a few hours each day on the computer in the garage/office writing job applications, searching for stuff on the internet (we've got a high speed DSL connection which is WONDERFUL!) and other stuff.
For some reason I'm the first one of us to have got a job - working at Marin General Hospital in the Health Information Management section (once known as Medical records). It's not a high paying job and I'm being paid through a "temp" agency, but it was nice to receive my first pay check since sometime in 1977!
The people in the office are good, hard working, and overworked, and the entire system is about to go digital, so it is actually and interesting time to be there. It would seem that I'm the first Librarian they've ever had work for them, so the task of filing and bringing order out of chaos is enjoyable to me, and they are really appreciative of my creative solution to the temporary over-flow of records problem (I'm using cardboard boxes on the top of the shelving units and on the floor to get things in order), my willingness to keep at the sorting, my "professional attitude" etc..
I'm also really enjoying working once again in an institutionalized flexi time situation. It is sooo wonderful to have it clearly laid out what hours I've worked each day, and to be able to work extra hours some days, and have flexi-days off. I've arranged to have the last day of the upcoming two week work cycle off, and the first day of the next two week work cycle off thus giving me a 4 day weekend and I could do this once a month if I wish to. It's what I used to be able to do way back in 1976/1977 the last time I had a "Real Job&quoI've got my sight set on a couple of jobs at the Sanoma State University's "Jean and Charles Schultz (as in Peanuts) Information Centre" (i.e. Library) which will be decided on in January. So it's nice to have the income to get us through until a "Real Job" turns up. I've also got an interview on 6 Dec. with the Marin County Library for a Technician Level job there.. Could be nice just a bike ride away.
This first four day weekend we plan to go to the L.A. Area and meet up with Alan Keane who is visiting from Haifa and staying with exstaffers Tony Verderossa and the Jaenicke family. We hope that he may come back with us to Marin for a few days to see Northern California also.
Each Sunday Sherna and I volunteer at the Marin Headlands National Park Information centre the object being to meet new people rather than just keep going to Bah' functions and preaching to the choir. It's proving a great way to quickly immerse ourselves in all that there is to know about the environment, history, geology, flora and fauna of Marin nothing like being asked questions to make you remember the answers. And the people who work and volunteer there are really a great bunch.
Wednesday November, 6 2002 : 21:50
San Rafael, Marin County - just over the Golden Gate bridge.
A second month has passed. This is a beautiful area, and it will be almost a shame when we do have jobs and thus no longer have the time to explore the country side. After 19 years of being illiterate (having never bothered to learn Hebrew properly - shame, shame) it been great to be able to know what is going on all around us. So many classes, volunteer opportunities, places to visit and things to do in between looking for jobs and sending out resumes.
Sherna has been appointed the Bahá'í representative to the Marin Intereligious council by the San Rafael Local Assembly, and was elected on to the actual Assembly in a by election held recently. I've been doing a bit of volunteer work manning the Golden Gate National Recreation Area's Marin Headland Information Centre and Book shop. Nice way to meet people and be in the middle of a beautiful scenery - and away from computers for a while!
Today I connected a PC we were given to our DSL portal - and was about to connect our Mac when I read the fine print: "USB/HomePortal conectivity is not available for Macintosh, ..." Hmm how come they didn't know that when I ordered the service and told them we had one mac and one PC to connect to the system..
It has helped that we've taken one day each week to scout out the surroundings, doing trips to the North along the Coast and inland. It is truly a beautiful part of the World. We've found hot-springs in Callistoga that are just as close as Hammat Gader was to Haifa - and about the same price but without the alligators or roman ruins and big picnic grounds.. Oh well...
Even closer are the beautiful Marin Headlands, where the Marine Mammel Sanctury is situated. As soon as our renovations are complete I plan to go there and offers some volunteer days each week. Might make a wonderful change from sitting in front of a Library's comupter.
The Job search continues - no bites yet. Inshah'ullah.
We still have the use of the Van and have taken the family members out for picnics and they've got quite a kick out of it. It's really fun cooking dinner, loading it into the van, then just driving to somewhere beautiful, setting up the tables, opening the doors and eating out!
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