Around Home, Mostly

October 14-21, 2021

Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,

I have delayed writing this diary for ten days, mostly due to overall lethargy. Over the 20+ years I have been making the, there have been several times when it's hard to stay sufficiently enthused. This is one of those times. Mostly, I feel we need do do more that can be exciting and reportable. Until, then, I'll just do these little records.

artistsalegatorOn Wednesday (October 13), we dropped by Ren Lee at Clay Hands to chat, pick up one new piece (a pig bowl), and maybe scout out a future purchase? Ren had just returned from a successful show up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she is able to command prices more like what her art is worth, so we get excited about bargains bought with a "friend and family discount" here in Fresno. We'll see.

In the early evening, we joined friends on Zoom. This included three other couples whom we had first met in Kyiv, over 20 years ago, and with whom we still stay in touch. Video conferencing is a great way to still be connected, despite being in Minnesota, Virginia, Florida, and California. Of course, Marianne and I will try to hit the road again and see people in person, but until then, Zoom will have to do.

Friday was the start of "little chemo" for me. Thanks to too much time to, from, and in the city pool when I was a little kid in Spokane, and thanks to Norwegian skin, I now have enough "precancerous keratoses" to warrant treatment. That means 2-3 weeks with EFUDEX ointment poisoning the keratoses and making my face and scalp a scary map of red. No pictures, please.

Despite this, we drove an hour north to see what we could of the Stanislaus Artist Open Studio Tour. We only had time for a few of the two-dozen studios where over 30 artists were showing, but it was a nice introduction to the valley towns of Turlock and Modesto. We have driven through these small communities on Highway 99 dozens of times, but never left the road. We need to return!

studio backyard

A studio and a backyard gallery space

Mistline Gallery

Mistline Gallery

Slater explain detail

Slater art studio. The artist was not there,
but interesting examples of her work were still available for viewing.

We cut our art tour short, because we needed to tour a Cambridge Avenue open house. Neighbors Ellen and Craig had spent over a year remodeling and the work was finally done enough to show off. Theirs is one of the nicest old homes on the block and the modern-with-an-old-feel kitchen was wonderful. Congratulations.

Middleton'sliving roomkitchen

That was a week ago. For the record, this week was a bit of a blur. I remember the Tesla had to go in to the shop to repair some under-car damage on the too-low car. The repair eliminated wind noise we had gotten accustomed to. It was nice to enjoy the quiet of electric transportation again.

On Thursday, we also had an oncologist phone conference, where the details and reality of Marianne's upcoming treatments were spelled out. The chemo is in pill form this time, but still comes with a wide range of potential side effects. The patient was almost overwhelmed. Almost. We are now into one day at a time coping.

I don't know how much more of our daily life I will document, unless we do something unusual, preferably something photogenic.

Stay tuned,

John and Marianne