Happy Thanksgiving & Catching Up a Wee Bit

Just touching base with you guys to let you know I’m still alive and kicking down here. My health issues are easing as my stress levels have been dropping, so I think the blog break has been good for me. Still not quite ready to jump back in until I see my doctor Tuesday and get a bit more info on what’s ahead. Hopefully, though, the news will be good and I won’t be MIA much longer.Β 

I did get some bad news this week. Some of you know my daughter and her family moved to Denver a year and a half or so ago, and they were planning a ten-day visit over Thanksgiving, which we were very much looking forward to. Erin, being a pretty smart gal, had isolated them for the whole week before departure date (and they’ve been extremely cautious, anyway) and then they went for testing on Monday, hoping they’d get the results back before they left. They did. Erin and my grandson were negative. Myres, sadly, was positive for COVID. So the trip had to be cancelled and the four of them are in total isolation at home, with Myres staying in the guest room for the ten day period. So far, he has what he describes as mild cold symptoms going on, so we are hopeful he doesn’t get any worse. And I’m praying my daughter and the kids (7 and 2) do not get sick. If they are still doing well by Thanksgiving Day, that’s what I will be most grateful for in the whole, wide world.

So, Mark decided to go ahead and take off all week as he’d planned to do , and he and I will have a very quiet Thanksgiving. We are hoping that if all is well by Christmas, they might come for a shorter visit the day after Santa’s arrival. πŸ™‚ Then we can have a slightly belated Christmas with them when they get here. But everything hinges on how well they do.Β 

On a more positive front, I’ve made some decisions on my current Riverbend WIP, and am now planning a series of Riverbend novellas because they are much faster and easier to write than a full-length novel, and right now, fast and easy works better for me. My energy levels aren’t where I’d like them to be, so instead of one long book, I’m going to tackle each subplot as an individual novella that I can later combine into a print book.Β 

And while I’m on that subject of tackling, I haven’t yet combined the Emissary novellas, but I think I’m about ready to put those together, too. (Note to self: Discuss cover for print book with my wonderful designer and friend, Nicki.)Β 

And that’s about where things stand right now. I’m looking forward to getting back to “normal” around here and resuming my favorite features once again. I’ll probably start with a #WildlifeWednesday, since I had one almost ready to go before deciding I needed to take a break, so stay tuned. And as always, I will reblog the Story Empire posts Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, plus a few others as I can, here and there.Β 

My best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it, and a wonderful Christmas season ahead for everyone! Thank you so much for your patience! I’ll be back just as soon as possible!Β 

In the meantime, here are a few autumn images from the mountains that always lift my spirits! Enjoy! πŸ™‚ ❀

47 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving & Catching Up a Wee Bit

  1. Those pictures are amazing. Thanks for sharing them. It was good to hear from you but sorry to hear about your son-on-law. I do hope he comes through OK and the rest of the family stay well. Stupid COVID!! Enjoy Thanksgiving anyway as we all have much to be thankful for. Sending hugs. xo

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    • I agree, Darlene. No matter what we’ve been through or what’s going on, there is always, ALWAYS something to be grateful for. I have many such things! And I’m so glad you enjoyed the pictures. Those Smokey and Blue Ridge sections of the Appalachians are my favorite mountains in the world. (The Appalachians are the OLDEST mountains on the planet, which explains their rolling contours. So beautiful!) And thank you for the well wishes for my family. I really appreciate that! πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful rest of the weekend, and a happy holiday season! πŸ™‚ ❀ (Sending hugs back!)

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  2. What gorgeous photos – looks a lot like Scotland!
    Disappointing though it is for you, at least your family is taking serious precautions, which have paid off. I hope the rest of the holiday season works out better for you.
    Good idea about writing novellas – I wish I could split mine up like that – I plan to do that with my Caledonian Sprite novels, but the epics just don’t lend themselves to it, sigh.
    Looking forward to having you around a bit more often again, but don’t let it overwhelm you – such a tricky line to tread. Believe me, I know!

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    • They are doing everything the COVID center told them to do, and Myres is in full isolation from the family in the guest room. I’m just praying he doesn’t get any sicker, and that none of the rest of them catch it. It’s scary!

      I think the novella scenario will work well for me for right now, and there’s no law that says I can never go back to full length novels, either. Right now, with my energy level down, something that feels less overwhelming and more FUN will be helpful, I think. No harm in giving it a go, and seeing how it works. I had a great time with the Emissary novellas, and had already planned on going to novellas for my next few Rabbit stories. (Cole, Cole, and Dupree Investigative Services are ready to roll when I get back to them.) So, I finally realized, I could do the same thing for some Riverbend stories. Will let you know how it’s working.

      I will be coming back a bit at a time, I suspect, but again, a lot depends on what the doctor tells me Tuesday. Will update you again after that visit. In the meantime, so glad you enjoyed the photos. I do love those mountains with all my heart! (Says she, living in the flattest stretch of beaches and swampland you can imagine! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ ) Thanks for stopping by, Debby, and I hope your holidays are joyful! πŸ™‚ ❀

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  3. Happy Thanksgiving, lovely photos. I got to have son and family to stay for his 41st birthday, but we’re all in lockdown again and all three grandsons have had birthdays in isolation this year – thought they still had fun with their families. We’re all wondering how Christmas will be.

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    • I can handle the lockdown stuff. It’s knowing my son-in-law has tested positive and my daughter & the kids were isolated with him for a full week before they found out. I’ll admit, I’m plenty worried about them all, but so far, nothing has gotten worse. Thank goodness.

      Glad you got to see your son for his birthday but sorry your grandsons have to celebrate in isolation. Still, we are all making do the best we can, I guess. Not much choice, is there. πŸ™„

      Glad you enjoyed the photos, Janet! Have a happy holiday season, one way or the other! πŸ™‚

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  4. Sorry to hear about your son-in-law. I know you were looking forward to their visit. My husband and I plan a quiet Thanksgiving with just the two of us. We are thinking about a day trip on either Friday or Saturday. It will do my sanity a world of good.

    Gorgeous photos!

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    • Thanks, Joan. He’s 47, and I’m worried about him, but so far, he hasn’t gotten much worse. Now if only Erin & kids don’t catch it, all will be well. We might get to see them right after Christmas if they’re past it all, but either way, I’m just praying they’ll be safe.

      I think a nice quiet Thanksgiving sounds pretty good about now. Hope you guys enjoy a day off and your sanity is saved. πŸ™‚ And I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. Been collecting those wallpapers for years. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marcia,

    It is good to hear from you. I’m sorry to hear about your health issues and now your families too. Please take care of yourself. I am praying for your daughter, kids, and SIL. Praise God always for the challenges and the joys.

    Best,

    Chiara

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the prayers, Chiara. I’ll take all of those I can get, especially on behalf of my family. Here’s wishing you and yours a happy holiday season, too! πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks so much, Priscilla! And I appreciate your well wishes on their behalf. (Myres IS a pretty cool name for a pretty cool son-in-law!) So glad you enjoyed the photos and new header. And I hope your holiday season is a great one! Thanks for stopping by today! πŸ™‚

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  6. Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing them πŸ™‚ Glad you’re doing ok and getting better. Sorry to hear about your daughter and her family. Prayers for a speedy recovery for Myres and that they’ll be able to come to see you at Christmastime.

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    • Thanks so much, Jeanne! I appreciate your kind words and prayers! Hope you’ll be having a great Thanksgiving and holiday season, too. (And you and I have GOT to talk. I finally managed to find time to read Battle Ground! 😨😭😡😀😫 I’m officially in the market for a HIT MAN now!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hope you have a great Thanksgiving and holiday season as well. I need to finish reading Battle Ground. I have about 150 pages left but haven’t had a chance to read any it the last couple of weeks. I know what you mean, though 😭

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        • Let me know when you finish. We’ll chat, for sure. I’m not saying anything else publicly, at least for now, but I suspect you’ll know where I’m coming from. In the meantime, eat turkey and pumpkin pie, and enjoy the holidays! πŸ™‚

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    • Glad you enjoyed the pics, Craig. They are a great example of why I love those mountains so much! I am definitely feeling better, and am looking forward to getting back “into action” a bit more soon. I’m going to be careful, though. I’m glad you are coping with all that’s come your way, and sending you wishes for a happy Thanksgiving, even if it’s low-key. πŸ™‚

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  7. Sorry to hear that your family can’t come for Thanksgiving, and sorry to hear that you’ve been stressed. Glad you’ve taken a break and it’s what you needed. I hope you and your husband enjoy a wonderful week off together. Take care.

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    • Thanks so much, Judi. We are enjoying the time off already, doing some things around here, but at a relaxed pace. If Erin & family continue to do as well as they’ve done the last few days, this might be behind them by the end of the week, so I’m hopeful we’ll still see them before year’s end. Whether they can make the trip or not, I just want them ALL well and safe!

      Have a happy holiday season! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, Sally! All I want for Christmas is a WELL family!!! (Hopefully, including ME. πŸ˜€ ) Thanks for the good luck wishes. Will post an update after Tuesday. And yes, the hiatus has helped me reduce my stress levels, which has helped me maintain glucose levels. That, in turn, has kept me vertical, with no more falling on my head. Yay! (Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.) So, things are definitely improving for me, and once my family is safe, I’ll be A-okay! Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope your holiday season is a great one! πŸ™‚ ❀

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  8. I’m glad to hear that your health is improving, Marcia. It does sound like the break has been a good one. Sorry that your Thanksgiving plans fell through, and thank goodness your daughter’s family got tested. We have cancelled Thanksgiving with our kids, and have talked with them about skipping Christmas as well (and just dropping off gifts). We also discussed having a GIANT Celebration in June with Christmas lights, a turkey, presents, lots of thankfulness, and togetherness. And maybe even a Christmas tree! I already informed my husband that we’re going to rent a big house at the beach for a long weekend. πŸ˜€ Hang in there and all will be well. Take care.

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    • I believe things work out exactly as they are supposed to, whether we are privy to the “whys” of it all or not. So I’m going on faith that, put another way, “this, too, shall pass.” I’m sorry your plans have to be put on hold, but I absolutely LOVE your ideas for a huge celebration in June! Or whenever it’s safe again. It sounds wonderful. If we don’t get to see family at all this holiday season, I’m going to suggest the same thing! Great idea, and something to look forward to!

      In the meantime, I hope your holiday season is peaceful and happy in its own way, even if quiet and low-key. Sometimes quiet celebrations give us a moment for introspection that we don’t often find in the everyday hustle and bustle. Sending you loads of good wishes for health and happiness, and hoping that when your HUGE celebration arrives, you have the time of your lives! πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by, Diana! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • My husband said, “We’ll see,” about my idea. But I told him it’s non-negotiable! Lol. When this virus is over, I’m celebrating! Have a peaceful reflective Thanksgiving, Marcia. There is still so much to be grateful for. πŸ™‚ ❀

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        • Thank you, Diana. And I agree 100%. I’ve been given many gifts, and I’m grateful for all of them. Sadly, 2020 hasn’t been the best of them, but hey. Some years are much better than others, for sure. We’re still here, my friend! Who knows what wonderful things lie ahead? πŸ™‚ ❀ (And stick to your guns about the celebration! πŸ˜€ )

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  9. I can imagine how upset you are not to have the Thanksgiving that you’d be looking forward to, but I’m giving thanks for your family being so sensible and considerate of both of you. Hopefully you might see them for Christmas, but if not, I think Diana’s idea of a June splurge is a great one. Our first child was born between Christmas and New Year – we had her birthday party 6 months on in the summer and we all had a really good time. And I do have to say that those pictures are stunning. Stunning is an overused word but it’s applicable here! ❀

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    • Thanks, Trish, and I agree that Erin was brilliant to decide they would not come down here unless it was safe for them to do so. (They were even planning to take turns driving, and sleep in the car when necessary, in order to avoid possible exposure in a motel room.) I agree that Diana is equally brilliant to have come up with such a great idea for a celebration when it’s safe to have one again. In the meantime, I’m just praying Myres doesn’t get sicker and no one else comes down with it at all! And I’m glad your delayed birthday party for your daughter worked so well. If Erin & Crew don’t get here right after Christmas, that’s what I’m going to hope for, too. We’ll see how the year progresses.

      Overused or not, I am happy to consider you stunned, because as many times as I look through my folder of Fall in the North Carolina Mountains, I’m STILL stunned with each image. While not quite as colorful as the others, the last one is my very favorite, because of the BLANKET of clouds down in the valleys, with the autumn foliage rising above. So amazing!

      Thanks for stopping by! And here’s to staying SAFE, and celebrating later! πŸ˜€ ❀

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  10. What stunning fall photos, Marcia! I am so sorry that COVID got your son-in-law. I hope he has a fast and full recovery! A quiet thanksgiving is not bad. And there’s always Zoom or facetime. Thanks for checking in! Stay well!

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    • Thanks, Jan. Happily, Myres is doing quite well, and so far, knock wood, the rest of them have not caught it. So we had a quiet, but VERY thankful, Thanksgiving day today. And that’s fine. The only important thing is that they all get well and STAY well! Same with my son & family. They decided to stay home and be safe, too, and I’m relieved that they made that choice. Hope you had a lovely day, and I’ll be back with another update before too long. πŸ™‚ And you stay safe, too! πŸ™‚

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  11. Oh Marsh, sorry to hear about the foiled Thanksgiving plans. It’s hard for everyone, but the best gift everyone can give their family is to stay home and Zoom. We must sacrifice one year of isolation so we can get to live long enough to enjoy all the rest of the years. Stay safe and well and Happy Thanksgiving! ❀

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    • Yes, staying safe is critical, and that’s why Erin had the whole family tested before departure day. Alas, they were all safe to travel except Myres, so that was that. Me, I’m probably the safest person in America as I went 8 months without once leaving my house/yard, and have only just begun to venture out under the strictest of safety protocols. But Thanksgiving wasn’t to be, and I’m so grateful she found out before they left!

      Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to comment. I really appreciate it! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jessica. My family is doing fine, so far, with Myres not getting any worse, and no one else catching this stupid disease. And if all goes well, and they come out of this okay, they are going to try to come down immediately after Christmas to celebrate the New Year with us. That would be wonderful. We plan to have all their Christmas stuff under the tree to open when they arrive, so I’m decorating from top to bottom. (Slowly, yes, but still getting it all up there, including all the trees and Santas

      Hope all is well with you, and thanks so much for stopping by, my friend! Always great to see you! πŸ™‚

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        • Okay. That would be fun. πŸ˜€ BTW, you haven’t gone blind. I took down the link to that post because I THINK someone we know is going to feature it soon as an archive post, and I thought it would be more fun for folks to see it there. But trust me. That wasn’t HALF of what I’ve been known to put up. It usually takes me 10 days to 2 weeks to get it all done, but I leave it up until after New Year’s, so we get to enjoy it for a nice, long time.

          I did start giving away Santas a couple of years ago to my best friends and kids, so the collection is shrinking a little bit. But what can I say? My favorite two men in all the world are Santa Claus and the Wizard of Oz. (Shows you how in touch with reality I am. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ )

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          • You’d be so disappointed in what we do for Christmas… nothing. Not a speck on tinsel anywhere. However, that’s because we decorate the community centre where we work, big time. So it’s actually nice to come home to normality again! Does that make sense or does it just make me a grinch?

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            • In answer to your question, yes. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Okay, bad joke, I admit. But it was just such a great set-up, I couldn’t resist. I think you can give yourself a pass if you work that hard for your community, in general. (Though that would just inspire me to try to do even MORE at home, but I’m a sick puppy about some things, so you can’t go by that. πŸ˜€ )

              And I wouldn’t be disappointed with you at all. I know lots of people who do very little (sometimes nothing) in the way of Christmas decorations. It’s not their thing. And that’s FINE. I’m a firm believer that we do NOT have to like the same things or indulge in the same pastimes in order to be friends. It makes us each special in our own way, and that’s a good thing. πŸ™‚ ❀

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