A Rocky Month

Feb 13-23, 2024

Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,

Our mid-month has not been as "normal" as we would have liked. Marianne's back pain increased. Doctor visits brought no answers, just more sympathy and Oxycontin. These three weeks have been tiring for her, frustrating with failed attempts at restarting art, and worrying. However, as we approach the end of the month, things seem to be getting better (knock wood).

puzzleFor me, worry became my major activity. I'm inclined to worry in good times, and this was not. Even my puzzle distraction seemed limited, working on this little 100-piece cereal-box picture neighbor Joan gave me. Thanks.

Of course, the world news added to worry: Ukraine is losing their struggle against the invaders; Trump is as popular as ever; Republicans have been entranced by the criminal, while also acting in support of Russia. The US and European efforts to shift to cleaner electric cars are faltering. Ford, GM, VW, and Mercedes are all cutting back their ambitious plans. Tesla is losing its lofty profit margins by cutting prices.

PelotonflowerWhile Marianne does her best to get healthy with therapist-specified stretches and exercises, I try to keep up on walks, exercise, and Peloton rides. Some of these rides provide me a chance for travel to Alaska, India, and other bucket-list destinations. Welcome rains have limited outside activity, but have improved flower pictures. I hope we get back to in-person travel and more memorable photography

TeslaYesterday, I managed a distraction: a Tesla Maintenance experience at the local Service Center. Two to three dozen owners were given a run down on the expectations for maintaining our electric cars and, with few exceptions, the guidance was: "if something breaks, fix it". There essentially are no regular trips to service. Cabin air filters can get moldy and stinky, so replace them when they do. Brake pads last 100,000 miles, so check them a bit before. Tires wear out. Replace them. (Pretty often, actually, since the cars are heavy.) Replace windshield wipers when they start skipping. Replace the small "12-volt" battery every three or four years. (The big battery is warrantied for eight years and, baring damage, should remain usable for 10 to 15 years.) All in all, I came away with a bit less worry and, for me, that is remarkable.

This coming week we have picture events planned: medical pictures. Our house patient will get a PET-CT scan to, hopefully, assure us there are no detectable cancers. Maybe we can get news to reduce worry. Maybe.

Stay tuned.

John and Marianne