Monthly Archives: March 2020

Howling for Healthcare Workers 11/60

This is a new time we are living in. It is a very trying time for me, and my stresses and worries are quite small compared to those of many people. I am employed and working safely from home, I don’t have kids so I’m not trying to run a home-schooling program and though one niece is recovering from the virus, her symptoms were relatively mild and she is well on the mend.

I’m grateful for all those out working hard ever day to care for others. When I heard about making noise to salute healthcare workers, from applause, to banging pots and pans, to howling, I knew I would participate.

I’ve now done it two evenings in a row (8:00 p.m.) and it is a great stress-reliever. I breathe deeply before letting out a great “Owooooo!” I hear others in my neighborhood yipping and howling and I feel part of something bigger than myself.

I don’t know if any nurses, doctors, lab techs, or any other healthcare workers can hear us but our message is being sent and maybe that is enough.

Turn up the volume to hear others howling.

Thank you for your visit.

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Snow! 10/60

It snowed overnight in Taos where we we stayed! We went out in our pj’s, just grabbing some layers plus shoes and hats.

It was pretty magical to see the dusting of fluffy white snow over everything outside, as if it had all been sprinkled with powdered sugar.

We scooped up some clean snow and made snow ice cream, concocted with sugar packets and the tiny cups of half and half from the fridge of our Airbnb. It was delicious!

After a proper breakfast, the snow was already melting. We walked down the street to this pretty little adobe church. Although it was clear and sunny, it was still quite cold, especially for us, with our inadequate gloves.

I’m glad I got to see snow on our vacation.  We didn’t have the trip we anticipated but waking up to snow in the front yard  and experiencing the unique crunch when we stepped on it, and the crisp, crystalline air after it had snowed, was an especially delightful experience and a significant NEW thing to add to my list.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Learn A New Language 10/60

Of all the new things I’ve done since January, and things I’m looking forward to doing, this has been my least favorite.

Along with learning new words and phrases, which to be fair, has been pretty easy due to LOTS of repetition, I’m also learning a new culture.

As with any culture, there’s a range of things I’m discovering. The scent of different soaps, sanitizing gels and disinfecting wipes.

How to rate a public restroom, for example, with new rules then what I’ve used in the past. A perfect score would obviously include a clean, uncrowded space, but would also reflect a facility in which I could enter and exit and take care of all my business without touching anything and a garbage can outside to dispose of the towel I used to dry my hands.  A nice scented soap is a plus. Obviously negative points for only offering hand dryers.

Part of my learning has been undertaken on a vacation to New Mexico, so I’ve seen quite a wide range of restrooms. Another cultural phenomenon that has come with this new language has been the food. Stress snacking is one aspect but so is quarantine cooking. 

This has been one of  the better parts of learning a new language and culture. We’re still on the road so I haven’t started it myself but I’m looking forward to trying out some new, delicious recipes my friends are posting while we are sheltering in place.What are you cooking these days? 

Watch your mental health needs. I downloaded a coloring app on my phone to help curb my obsessive flicking through Facebook and it has been calming for me, kind of a fidget spinner for the brain.

Big hugs to everyone out there. To those of you still working so our health care needs are met and we can put food on the table, and to those of you navigating a new normal of working from home with or without kids, mates and other distractions. Do your best.

Thanks for the visit.

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Sushi Newbie 9/60

A few weeks ago, in the innocent days before the virus, I  enjoyed a relaxing visit to Kabuki Spa with my niece, Leah. After our luxurious soak and steaming session, Leah introduced me to sushi.
Yes, I  admit I have tried sushi before. But as a person who thought all sushi was sashimi, or raw fish, (except for the grocery store California rolls). I needed someone to guide me. Leah was up to the task.This little shop in Japantown has a conveyor belt circling the counter, with the sushi makers working in the center.The plates are priced by the color, so you grab what looks good.  Your bill is tallied by the stack of plates  when you are done.
As a guide, Leah did an excellent job of informing (who knew you could  have salmon and cream cheese sushi?!) and challenging me without pushing.
My sushi horizons have been expanded and I look forward to trying more delicious and beautiful little plates of sushi in the future.
I hope you and yours are staying healthy.

Thank you for the visit.

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Rest in Peace, Beau

My younger brother, Beau, died last month. I’ve been thinking about our childhood and younger years, and sharing memories with friends and family members. I’ve had a slideshow of pictures in my mind, images mostly of Beau as a toddler and a kid. He was born a little over 6 years after me. I remember him wearing shorts and black rubber boots – even when he was napping. I remember reading Richard Scary books to him and you had to read every little word on those pages. They were very detailed. He loved firetrucks and firefighters. He banged on pots, pans and cookie tins until he got real drums. Some of my memories are of Beau as a dad with two sons. They also loved firetrucks and being read to.

My mom shared a wonderful story that illustrates the kind of musician Beau was. Forgive me if I don’t have the details quite right – I think you’ll get the gist of it: Beau was about 16 or 17 years old, and one evening a phone call came to my parents home with a request that Beau come right away to play drums for the second act of a show with Marin Civic Light Opera. The drummer for the show had fallen ill. It was intermission and they were holding the show until they could get a drummer there.

Beau, (I’m picturing him grabbing some drumsticks) agreed to go and my dad was going to drive him to the theater. Just as they were dashing out the door, Beau turned and asked my mom, “What’s the show?” “Brigadoon,” she replied. “I’ve never heard it,” Beau said as he left. Needless to say, he not only played the second act, but he played the rest of the run.

Here is Beau’s obituary.

Daniel Paul (Beau) Faw, 53, of Richmond, CA, died on February 5, 2020 at Kaiser Hospital, Richmond, after a long illness.  His loving wife Pamela was at his side.

A well-respected drummer in the Bay Area, Beau taught and inspired many. He played with The John Belushi Memorial Blues Band, White Stagg, The Black Circus, Snake Juice, Lee Presson and the Nails, Blue Beard, The Acme Swing Co, Connie Champagne and the Magnum Brutes, Danny Montana and the Bar Association, The Lost At Home Parade Drum Line and countless other projects. He was the resident drummer at Hillside Church for more than 13 years and also played at Saint Hilary Catholic Church for special occasions. Beau taught drums and percussion in after school programs. He was a glass blower at Maslach Art Glass. Most recently Beau worked as the Head of Batch Production and Batch formula Consultant at East Bay Batch and Color where he formulated new color recipes now being used by many glass artists.

Beau served as a volunteer firefighter/paramedic for six years for the town of Ross. He was an enthusiastic and knowledgeable military historian, and helped restore the USS Iowa as a volunteer.

Beau, born and raised in San Anselmo, was the youngest of six siblings. He attended Sir Francis Drake High School and College of Marin.  He was a very talented drummer from a young age. Beau was in his high school Jazz, Pep and Concert bands and played for all the musical theater productions. He played timpani in the Marin Youth Symphony, and toured with them in Australia at age 17, the same year he was awarded a scholarship from the Marin Music Chest.

Beginning in middle school, he played in the orchestra for numerous musicals at the College of Marin, the Mountain Play, Marin Civic Light Opera and other venues.

A dog lover all his life, Beau rescued, fostered, and found homes for over 44 dogs and is missed by the four dogs in his current pack: Merle, Dolly, Tugboat, Spuzzy and his cat, Gilbert.

Beau married Victoria Barsimanto in 1988 and they raised two sons, Jake and Sam, both musicians. They separated in 2009 and later divorced.  In 2017, he married Pamela Carey. He was predeceased by his father, David Faw, and is survived by his mother, Nancy Faw, his wife, Pamela Faw, his sons, Jake (Chelsea)  and Sam Faw, siblings, Michael, Pat (Valerie), Kathleen, Dianne (Rem) and Sarah, nieces, Leah, Miriam (Nick) and Caitlin, and nephew, Cooper, and many other family members and friends.

Thanks to Dr. Howard Chang of Kaiser Richmond/Oakland, Extraordinary Nurse Mila, Firefighter Burton Eubank, and Master Chief David Canfield for compassionate care given to Beau.

A Memorial Mass will take place on Saturday, March 7th, at 11:00 am at Saint Hilary Church, 761 Hilary Drive, Tiburon, CA 94920. In lieu of flowers, the family requests you support The Sea Ranch Chapel Foundation PO Box 259 The Sea Ranch, CA 95497, music in schools’ programs or  animal rescue organizations, in his memory. There will be a Flag Raising Ceremony on the USS Battleship Iowa in Long Beach,CA on March 14th. A Celebration of Life with live musical performances is being planned for May 25th, Beau’s Birthday, at the Marin Rod and Gun Club.

I’m going to finish with a quote from my niece, Leah Faw, because she said it so well: “… it’s so hard to understand how someone can be in the world and then, not be. If you have a little space free in your mind today, please think of my Uncle–a talented musician, funny man, complicated person who isn’t here to love and be loved today. And then go love your people, because time is short and tomorrow isn’t promised.”

Thank you for the visit.


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