A Reluctant Tesla Adoption

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This is how I looked on my last day with my Toyota Corolla. I bought it last fall when I decided to go to school in a neighboring town. I usually drive a large family vehicle, so I wanted something with better gas mileage.  In the process of buying that car, it came to my attention that I am married to a man obsessed. I already knew of his great love of all things Jurassic Park. I know and love his homemade R2D2 robot.  His weird affinity for spreadsheets—I knew about that, too. But until I had to argue my way into buying this Toyota, I had no idea that my usually completely reasonable husband had in one small way, gone mad.

What was the source of this madness, you ask? Well, it is only distantly related to dinosaurs.  My husband, like me, loves green energy. We’d both love to be independent of fossil fuels if possible. We have solar on our roof, which he installed himself to make it affordable after extensive research.  In this way, our values align. And yet, I would be happy to wait a few more years until electric cars are not so much “early adopter” vehicles.  Alex, on the other hand, has been, let us say, firm in his belief that our next car had to be an electric car.

I will not go into the gritty details of the extensive conversations we had about the economics of cars over the past year. I will jump to the happy ending.  After Alex finally decided to just reserve a  Cybertruck and wait until they get around to producing the least expensive ones, a Tesla Model 3 finally came down to Alex’s budget point. Last week, a short time before his 40th birthday, he bought a Tesla.  And in the car shuffling process that ensued, I sold my Toyota.

I would drive the Tesla for a few days, because I was just not too sure about it. I wanted Alex to have it all to himself and relish it as much as possible.  Finally he did push me a little to drive it, and I did. Here is what I think.

Teslas are the future.  It flips the normal way I drive on its head, because the second you take your foot off the accelerator, the car slows way down. So instead of hovering that foot over the brake, you have to get used to using acceleration to slow down less dramatically.  The previous owner said it would take just a couple of hours of driving to get used to, and I am sure he was right.

The other big adjustment for me is the keyless thing. The car does have a  card you can use as a key, but otherwise it senses from an app on  your phone when and if you are there , and unlocks and turns on based on proximity. I am still adjusting to the push-button putting it in park.

The blue tooth picked my audio book right up for me, and the sound system is nice and crisp. The car comes with a feature called “Caraoke” which I enjoyed immensely yesterday while we belted out Bohemian Rhapsody and Sweet Caroline. Of all the little techie doodads, that may be my favorite.

One thing I didn’t anticipate was that now that we own a car that was expensive to us, I worry about it more. What if someone damages it? What if it gets in an accident? What if I drive it wrong?  The other night we were looking at a van, and another car pulled over in front of our parked Model 3. The driver and another guy got out and walked around the car, shining their flashlights in the back window.  I was really on edge, worrying that they would do something to the car.  But they eventually just left and got in their own car without touching the car.

When we got back in, Alex showed me something called “Sentinel Mode” which records video whenever anything comes within a certain proximity to the car.  We could see the license plate of the guys’ car, and everything they did. For some reason that helped me worry less.

Overall, I have to say it feels good to know that one of our cars is now powered partially by the sunshine that falls on our roof every day.  I miss my Toyota, and I will probably buy another one before I’m ready to get my own Tesla, but I’m definitely more open to one in my future now that I am making friends with one and still in love with its happy owner.

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Coping Strategies

So this whole virus thing seems pretty serious. I am realizing that as an introvert I am very well equipped to deal with lots of staying home and isolation. Still, I’m slowing from the former frenetic pace of life, and it’s an adjustment. I thought I’d share a few of my coping strategies that are working so far.

Read All the Memes

First of all, thank you Internet. You have not disappointed in the meme department during this crisis. Every day there is something new making me chuckle.
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My husband’s favorite: “Whoever said one person can’t change the world never ate an undercooked bat.”

Quilt all the Quilts

My sewing room is full of UFO’s, which are also known as UnFinished Objects. I have already finished two, and look forward to finishing more. Check out Jenny Sews for the details in coming days.

Walk

I often go on 20 minute walks during normal times, but right now I can go for longer walks, and they help lift my mental mood significantly.

Watch All the Jane Austen and Period Dramas 

So far I have watched

Pride and Prejudice 1995 BBC version

Sense and Sensibility 2008 BBC version

Emma – Gwyneth Paltrow Version 1996

Mansfield Park 1999 Romance Drama

Wives & Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell Miniseries)

North & South (Elizabeth Gaskell Miniseries)

And I plan to watch more as opportunities arise. I have wanted to sit down and watch these movies forever, and I never make time for that. Thank you quarantine!

Whatever Else Suits My Fancy

I’ve sewn a mask out of cute fabric for me to wear while grocery shopping. A man in line at Walmart today told me I should sell them.

I made a loaf of sourdough bread that took about four days to finish due to bad planning and timing on my part, but it tasted delicious.

We recently had our kitchen wood floor sanded down and re-finished, which made me want to deep clean our fridge. I did that, and it’s very satisfying.

I’m listening to and reading a couple of different books, and trying recipes out of one of them.

I think I’m reaching a point now where I’m settling into a more restful pace of movie watching, walking, and general survival with the homeschool responsibilities. My emotions range from calm to hopeful to despairing to optimistic, and a whole mixed bag of many more.  I think the one thing that helps me the most is to just remember that this is something affecting the entire world at the same time. How crazy for us to share a global experience like this! I hope it helps us all be a little more compassionate and understanding of one another.

 

 

You Hesitated

What have I been up to? I ask myself that every day right now. What am I going to do with my life? I don’t just ask the big question, What Am I Going to Do with my Life, but every day, I ask myself what I am going to do with my hours. I am going through a career change, and at the same time, I am a busy stay at home mom.

A few weeks ago we went to the Valley of Fire with some friends. My kids have been watching Avatar, the Last Airbender, and it mentions meditating. So my youngest two stopped and sat down, yogi style, with their hands together. I asked the five year old what he was doing. “I’m hesitating,” he said.IMG-7089

I feel like his answer summed up my current life.  I’m hesitating. I just had to leave a workplace I loved for the sake of my health. This left me feeling like a giant failure. Now I would like to find something with a lower stress level that still challenges me, and the pain of losing a job I loved makes me hesitate before jumping into something new.

I have started talking to myself about finding “meaningful work outside of the home.”  But when I listen to myself talk that way, I start to wonder, Can I make my work at home more meaningful, and quit cracking a whip on myself so hard to succeed elsewhere? I honestly don’t know that I can. Since I was a little girl and heard my kindergarten teacher say that it was possible for the first female president of the United States to be elected in my lifetime, my ambition has been kindled to do something great.

Do I have it in me to re-define what I think is great?  Isn’t it great to have healthy relationships with my spouse and children? Can that be great enough? Can I find a low stress work environment that provides me with an outlet from the exhaustion of full time caregiving, but that doesn’t leave me having a hard time managing my RA? If I ask myself one more question, will I go mad?

In the meantime, I’m taking a portraiture class. Art is another form of hesitation.  I stop my busy week for five hours every Thursday to learn from a master portrait painter. I have a lot of positive self talk, there.  I’m new at this. I have a lot to learn, and growth is a good thing. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

Below is my first attempt at a color pastel portrait. I’m working on my second right now, but I accidentally chose the wrong paper color, so I’m a little worried it’s doomed. Still, I’m new at this. I have a lot to learn. Growth is a good thing.

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One thing I like about art is that, like quilting, when you are done investing your time and effort, you have something to show for it. However, the product is not my favorite thing. The product brings up my worries and inadequacies.  My favorite thing about art is how, in an effort to focus on the subject at hand, all of my other worries sort of melt away. Trying to make art is a form of mindfulness, and in a way, a meditation.

 

Motor Bikes

IMG-5095As I was writing our family Christmas letter this year, I remembered back to the cruise we went on in May. We have been married for 15 years, and celebrated a little early because the cruises were cheaper then than our anniversary in the mid summer.

We ate so much food. I bought a journal in Belize to write detailed descriptions of the food to help me remember its beauty and bounty. My favorite thing was having waffles with blueberry compote and Nutella for breakfast the few days after I discovered this option. Every time we stopped at a port, we went on an excursion, and on our last excursion we decided to try those motorized bikesit seemed like a good idea after all of that Nutella for breakfast.

I like biking a lot, and though I lack skill, I make up for that in enthusiasm.  We got off of our cruise ship, took our Mexican taxi van, and stood in a group with the others who had signed up for the bike ride as well while we had a safety briefing.  Our guide showed us how to use the bikes, and then said we could try a little loop before getting on the road. I volunteered to go first because I was so excited. I had never tried a bike which had motors inside of the bars to help me along before.

I confidently jumped on, and pedaled straight toward the orange cone we were supposed to ride around. Since it was my first try, and since I was so enthusiastic, I took the turn a little too quickly, and gracefully slid my bike out from under me, landing flat on my face and scratching my knee.  It was a great learning experience.  For the whole rest of the bike ride I used the proper amount of caution, and no one else in my group fell off of their bikes.

It just went to prove that wise old adage that if you can’t serve as a good example, you’ll just have to be a terrible warning.

Oh Vanity

 

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I have a sister who has a talent for looking fabulous. She always has some gorgeously textured cream colored sweater, and a matching bag and shoes that go with that sweater. The whole ensemble will also  complement her complexion. She buys a lot of clothes, and many of her cast offs come to me.

A few months ago, she gave me the sunglasses pictured above. They have a hint of Art Deco style, which is one of my favorites as I love natural and dramatic styles. I have really enjoyed them. Normally I just use sunglasses for their practical purpose, and don’t think much about how they look, but these are different. When I wear them, I feel a little bit like a movie star.

The other day I was walking out of the dining area on campus, and as I stepped into the sunshine I congratulated myself on my beautiful glamorous sunglasses. I liked my outfit that day, too.  I had a brief moment of anticipation that I was going to look so smooth as I took my fancy glasses off of the top of my head and placed them gracefully on my face, covering it in large rounds of sophistication.  Unfortunately, as I began to lift them off of my head, they got caught in my hair, and I was still unceremoniously yanking, half way down the stairs. At last they came off, and I shoved them on my face.

Three women were walking toward me from the library. I didn’t know if they had seen the fall of my hubris. I smiled at them warmly, so that at least they would know I am kind hearted if not chic. Then I picked a hair off of my face that had got stuck in the glasses.  So much for my vanity. I guess glamour is not my destiny. I’m still going to wear those glasses though. They really keep the sun off of my face.

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