Touching Base and #Update

Some of you already know this from various posts around social media, but I am officially under “house arrest” for the next few weeks. Because I’m in a high risk group for Covid-19, due to my age, and have three additional strikes against me due to some health issues, I have been advised to stay at home. Period. I’m taking the advice very seriously. I have grandkids I’d like to see grow up, books to write, and friends to enjoy, so I’ve cancelled my local presentations until further notice, and am NOT leaving the house or yard any time soon.

Now, I’ve become more and more of a hermit over the years, even though I’m not particularly introverted. (Some would say not at all introverted.) I stay at home for days and days at a time, never going past the mailbox, and am fine with it, but it’s my own choice. Knowing I have to stay here is a whole ‘nuther kettle o’ fish. However, I’ve made up my mind that this can have benefits in addition to decreasing my risk of getting sick. If you checked out Don Massenzio’s post I shared earlier, you’ll understand what I mean.

I’m actually looking forward to some uninterrupted writing and blogging time again, as soon as I shake this cold I’ve been fighting. (I’m getting better every day, honest.) I also want to catch up with a whole bunch of things around the house and yard that have fallen by the wayside in recent months. So, I’m going to focus on my at home time as a chance to do all of the above. Naturally, I would have preferred to find a way to make that chance come about without the current wretched crisis we are all trying to cope with, but that’s out of our hands, and we just have to make the best of it.

I’m going to miss getting out to talk about Florida wildlife with audiences that have become friends to me, but many of these wonderful folks are seniors, too, and do not need to be attending events where there are mixed audiences around them. No one wants to expose another person to illness, nor be exposed themselves, so cancelling these events is the right thing to do. If you were planning to attend any of the next few, just know that we will be reassessing in a few weeks, and as soon as it’s safe, we will resume our usual schedule. 

I will also be resuming my regular blog features here in another week or so, as soon as my energy level picks up a bit more.

In the meantime, please folks–take this threat seriously and do everything you can to stay safe yourself and to avoid exposing others to this dangerous illness. When we’ve reached the other side of all this, I don’t want to discover there are any faces missing from my my circle of online friends or the audience at my next event!! (Not even MINE!! 😉 )

Stay safe, stay informed, stay WELL! And I promise to try my best to do the same. 

#Update – Hangin’ in There but Movin’ Slow

Thanks so much to everyone who has sent me wishes for a speedy recovery. Unfortunately, while I’m not seriously ill, this cold is taking its own sweet time about moving on. 

Because I’m in a double-high risk group for you-know-what, I’m paying very close attention to the things I need to watch out for. I do not have a single one of the more worrisome symptoms, and I’m 99% sure I caught this bug from Mark. The good news is, he has pretty much completely recovered. The bad news is, it took about 9 days for him to feel he was totally back to normal. I seem to be following the same pattern, only about 3 days after him, which makes sense, given that he caught it first and gave it to me. (He’s so thoughtful that way. 😀 ) 

I have a regular appointment coming up soon with my family physician, but I will call to talk to her sooner if there is any worsening of my condition. So far, I’ve only seen improvement, slow though it might be. For instance, the low-grade, off and on fever seems to be gone now, knock wood, and I have had no chest congestion at all. Mine has all been sinus related, which probably indicates that my allergies kicked in, right alongside this cold. 

 

I am self-quarantined for now, because a) nobody wants to catch a cold or mild flu from me, either, and b) my resistance is likely low, and I do not want to expose myself to any other problems. Again, there’s no indication that I have anything more serious than a common cold/allergy combo, but I am moving at a snail’s pace, for sure.

Please take care of yourselves! Stay informed on what you need to do to remain well, but don’t give into the mass hysteria. This, too, shall pass! In the meantime, I’m going to remain on R&R a bit longer, until my energy level picks up again, but I will continue to update you every couple of days until I’m back.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled program!

 

 

 

An Update on #ShareAReviewDay

I know I said I was going to be resuming #ShareAReviewDay starting tomorrow, 1/7, but I was a bit over-optimistic. I’m still trying to catch up with a ton of stuff, while trying to pace myself by not over-doing. And my local presentations are starting up again this coming Saturday, so I’m not totally organized yet.

Okay, who am I kidding? I’m never totally organized! But I’m usually closer to it than I am right now. With that thought in mind, I’m going to resume #ShareAReviewDay Tuesdays (one of my favorite regular features) on Tuesday, 1/21, and I’ve already got one review set up for that morning. I like to do two per Tuesday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and it’s always on a first-come, first served basis.

If one of your books has gotten a new review you’d like to share, or you have an older review you’d like to get in front of some new readers, please check the instructions in the header above under “General Blog Rules and Various Feature Instructions.” All you have to do is email me the things listed there, and I’ll set you up in the next available slot. (The first one to reach out to me gets the afternoon slot for 1/21!)

Be forewarned: When I don’t get enough reviews from you guys, I start sharing my own.  😀 

I hope to hear from a few of you in the next week or two, so I can start scheduling you. Let’s let everyone see what readers are saying about your books! 

Now, back to your previously scheduled programming.
😀

Home from Denver, and Up to My Usual Mischief Once More


Red Rocks Park and Natural Amphitheater

Brace yourselves, folks–she’s baa-aack! And bringing photos and news along with her! We had a lovely time in Arvada (just outside of Denver) and enjoyed the nippy (20 degrees or so) weather. Even got a bit of snow, but nothing like the 18″ that fell a couple of weeks before we went. 

We visited several outdoor areas and parks, including the one above, and took a long drive into the mountains. Sadly, our planned trip to Estes Park was cancelled due to heavy snow up that high the day we were planning to go, but we’ll see it in the spring, I’m sure.

We did visit Lair O’ the Bear park, but could only hike a small ways along the trail, as it was iced over and very slippery. Will visit that one again in the spring, too. Still, as you can see from the above photo, it was beautiful, and we had a great day.


Red Rocks Amphitheater from the Top


Some of the Fantastic Rock Formations at Red Rocks Park


More red rocks at Red Rocks

We had a fabulous time at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater, where many, many concerts have been held. Mark got a nice shot of the amphitheater itself, but by the time I made it up there, I was too winded to think about pictures. But I DID make it, and it’s a pretty steep path. I am ecstatic to be able to say I sat on the stage where so many groups have performed! Yay, me, for persevering through all the huffing and puffing! I’d share the pics of Mark and I at the top, but they are somewhat less than flattering, so I’m sparing your sensibilities! 😀

John Denver “Spirit”

One of my favorite things about the park was this fantastic statue of John Denver, an icon of the area, for sure. (You can hardly keep yourself from singing “Rocky Mountain High” under your breath as you hike along!) We really enjoyed the day. I was also excited (birdwatcher that I am) to spot my first magpies on this trip. Got a great look at one at Red Rocks, as well as seeing a small herd of mule deer.

Mule Deer (a first for us)

Gramps and Kaelen

Here’s another shot from one of our outings, though I’m not sure which one.  Gramps and Kaelen usually led the way on our adventures.


Picnic in the Snow, Anyone?
(We ate FAST, then went for our hike!) 😀


Back at the (WARM) House!


Erin, Me, and Reya 

And I think I’ll close this with a picture of three generations of happy ladies, windblown, red-cheeked, and having a great time.

Hope all of you have been enjoying the season, so far, and are ready to celebrate the holidays. Me? I haven’t bought a single Christmas gift, so I suspect I’m going to be very, very busy this week! 😀 But I’ll be ho-ho-hoing all the way! 

Merry Christmas!

 

Happy Day After! Shopping, Anyone?

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving or Thursday, whichever works for where you are. Anyone heading out to the stores on Black Friday? They’d have to be giving away boxes of actual cash before I’d go anywhere near a store today. Nope. Nothing would be worth wading through crowds like this day generates, as far as I’m concerned. However, it’s our tradition to put up the Christmas lights the day after Thanksgiving, so Mark will be doing that shortly. 

Sad to say, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be able to handle our full Christmas House of A Thousand Decorations this year. The spirit is willing, but the flesh … well, you know what they say. Five Christmas trees (2 large, 3 small) and 300 Santas are more than I have the energy to deal with. We will definitely put up one of our big trees, and I’ll unpack enough Santas to fill the mantle. Probably. But I’m saving my energy for our upcoming trip to Denver, so I’ll really be able to enjoy our time with Erin & Crew.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to feel well enough to enjoy this?

By the time we return home, I plan to resume blogging, though I’ll start off slowly and work my way along. Blogging is one of the things that has enriched my life immensely, and I have hated being away so long! Lots to chat about, lots to share with you guys, and lots of blogging friends to visit, as well. *smiles at new blog header and whispers “Soon, my precious … sooooon.”*

In the meantime, hope you enjoy the start of the Christmas season, preferably someplace far from the madding crowd! 

#Update & #TakingABreak

I have to write this now, before I chicken out! Here’s the deal. My visit with my doctor yesterday brought home some things I wasn’t aware of and a few more I’d been trying to ignore. I definitely have some concussion issues (read, brain injury/damages) that have not healed. YET. While I’m drastically improved over the first 48 hours, when I couldn’t read, because the words didn’t make sense, I’m still struggling with some cognitive issues and balance problems. A few other things, too, but those are the biggest ones.

I’ve learned that even six weeks (which I’d been shocked to read on several medical sites) isn’t always enough time for a brain to heal from the kind of blow mine suffered when I fell. It could be months or longer before everything that’s still not working well heals–if it ever does. On the plus side, because I’ve made pretty good progress so far, my doctor is optimistic that my brain will come back “online” fully over time. On the negative side, I’m trying to do too many things at once, and hindering my own recovery. 😦 

Noise and light are big issues. (I’d already stopped wearing my hearing aids while home alone because noise was bothering me so much.) Anything that over-stimulates the brain is a bad idea. She would like me to limit my time on the computer considerably. Okay, she’d like me to STOP using the computer at all, but I don’t think that’s doable. So we’ve compromised, more or less. I’m going to limit myself to an hour a day. Since I’m finishing up WRR4 for publication, that needs to be where I focus that time, for now.

With that in mind, I’m going to take a break (my first in 15 years or so) from blogging. I truly hate to do this, and know how much I will miss all of you (and your non-failing support), but I think in order to give myself the best possible odds to heal properly, I have to do it. I also know that you guys will understand.

I DO plan to check in as often as possible to let you know I’m still alive and kicking. But I won’t be able to follow and comment on all your wonderful blogs for a bit. 

How long this will last depends on how well I’m doing. I could be back in a week or two, or it might be a month or two. But I’m going to do my best NOT to push myself, as I don’t want to be my own worst enemy during this process.  

I WILL be checking my email daily, and will respond (via dictation, which helps reduce the light stimulation). So if you have any questions or need to reach me, you can reach me at marciameara16@gmail.com 

I will NOT be unplugging anything! I’ll just be busy wrapping up my book, with plenty of breaks as needed so as not to tire myself. And as soon as I’m comfortable with how I’m doing, I’ll be right back here, up to my old tricks.

Thanks for understanding, and just know that your thoughts and prayers have sustained me throughout this mess (and many others). In the famous words of you-know-who:

Good Morning & An Update


(For Mae)

Happy Freya’s Day, Everyone! (Okay, Friday is actually named for the Norse goddess Frigg, but Freya and Frigg are considered by most to be the same goddess. That being the case, I’m going with Freya, because, you know. It sounds nicer. 😉

At any rate, I hope your day is a good, productive one with plenty of smiles. 

As you may have noticed, I don’t have things back on my preferred schedule quite yet, and I apologize for that. The truth is, I’m still not feeling 100% after my fall of two weeks ago. I’m vastly improved, for sure, but I’m still suffering some recurrent dizziness and fatigue. This isn’t uncommon when you’ve received a concussion and can continue for several weeks before finally disappearing. And while the ER doctor said he didn’t THINK I had a concussion, he also told me to watch for the signs of one. (Along with the signs of brain bleeds and swelling, and various other things. I spent a lot of time watching, believe me.) Bottom line is, concussions are often missed, and based on the types of symptoms I have going on right now, it appears I’m still recovering from one. Frankly, I’m just grateful I’m not still recovering from a fractured skull. 

And all of this is by way of telling you that, as you’ve no doubt noticed, #FirstLineFriday has been put off for another week, due to a couple of bad days Tuesday and Wednesday that pushed me even farther behind on my overall work schedule. But NOT to fear! I am much better than I was, and I know I’ll be catching up soon. I’m just trying to do what my  doctor suggests and not push too hard, though it’s against my nature to be idle very long. So, I work a bit, and then I rest a bit, and by and by, I expect the time spent working to increase until life is once again as normal as it gets around here.

Thanks so much for your patience and your well wishes, and all the kind things everyone has sent me. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you can imagine! Will be resuming my usual blog features, etc, one at a time until all is running smoothly again, which I hope won’t be too much longer.

And now we’ve come full circle: Happy Freya’s Day, Everyone! 😀 ❤

Update: Laughing at What Ails Ye – It’s Good for Body and Soul!

It’s been my lifelong belief that you can handle anything thrown your way once you reach the point where you can laugh about it. Laughter is a saving grace we have all been blessed with, but the importance of which is often forgotten. I honestly do not know how anyone who can’t laugh at themselves, and at life in general, can survive, though I see plenty of evidence today that many people have lost the ability.  My heart goes out to them, for they apparently lack one of the greatest survival tools of all.

😀 😀 😀

Granted, as I was lying on the floor Tuesday, in blinding pain and with the mounting fear that I had fractured my skull in the worst fall I’ve ever taken, I was not laughing. Nope. Way too soon. Nor did I laugh while struggling to get to my feet and into some clothing,  so I wouldn’t have to go to the ER in my nightgown. Still too soon. I did start making a few feeble jokes with the good folks in the ER. Maybe not too soon for a dark chuckle or two, but definitely too early for anything resembling clever humor. 

And so it went for three days, as I reflected on how lucky I was to still be alive and possessed of functioning brain cells, though a few of those may have abandoned ship in the great tumble. But actual humor was still a struggle. It kept being drowned out by the mother of all headaches, some pretty extreme fatigue, and  a lot of overall shakiness. But guess what? It’s baaaa-aaaaack!

😀 😀 😀

Yes, my sense of humor–weird and slightly twisted as it often is–has returned! I’m laughing again this morning! And after a conversation with my very good friend and cover designer, Nicki Forde-Ficocelli (who says she is going to paint a flowered helmet for me), I realized I’m laughing all over the place. It was the vision of me wearing said helmet while riding around on a tiny tricycle a la Arte Johnson from the old Laugh-In show that did me in, and is still making me giggle. (Hey, I never said all my jokes  were genius quality!)

The upshot of this is, I’m feeling much more stable on my feet, much more certain that my life will return to something resembling normal, and pretty darn sure that no matter what’s going on, if I can find something about it to make me laugh, I can survive!

My sense of humor has stood me in good stead for 75 years, and hopefully, I’ll get a bit more mileage out of it, yet. And my hope for you is that no matter what life throws your way (or where life decides to throw YOU), you’ll be able to find the humor in the situation at some point. Laughing will save your sanity, and it has the added bonus of making everyone around you wonder what the heck you’re up to. Try it. I heartily recommend it. 

😀 😀 😀

Our regularly scheduled programming will resume on Monday! Have a great weekend!

I’m BACK! (I think.)

At the risk of jinxing myself, just want to let everyone know my computer is up and running again. So far. It seems the cable company was doing some work/upgrading in the neighborhood yesterday, which is probably a good thing. (It could have been a “perfectly fine” thing, had I known and been prepared for it, but that’s another story.)

At any rate, everything is working well this morning and hopefully will continue to do so throughout the day. Week. Month. Year. For all time! 😀 I am having to do a fairly large email dump, as I can’t hope to catch up with everything that came in, but I’ll try to snag the critical stuff. And please forgive me if I miss responding to some comments here and there on the blog. 

Overall, though, this day is starting out much better than yesterday, and I’d like to think it will continue to go relatively smoothly. (I tend to hyperventilate and tear at my hair when computer issues crop up. If it happens again any time soon, I could end up blue in the face and bald! 😉 )

Thanks for your patience and understanding. Things happen. Life goes on. 

Update on My Family in Destin, FL #HurricaneFlorence

When you have no control over what might be coming your way, and you’ve done everything you can to be prepared, this is what you do: take your children somewhere safe and live in the moment with them. Be joyous for the time together. Be hopeful for the future. Trust that things will work out as they should. And send pictures like this to your worrywart mom.

Tomorrow will be here soon enough.