Fall came to Central Illinois right on time. We’ve had the windows open and have been enjoying the much-needed fresh air. A couple of times we have even dipped into the 40s overnight and had to turn the heat on. Of course, we’re expecting a warm-up again for the next couple of days. But the damage has been done. Bring on the pumpkin pie and the seasonal coffee creamers. Bring on Fall. Autumn is my favorite season.

Izzy, America’s favorite Pumpkin-Spice kitty.

On Friday my parents came from the metro St. Louis area to visit with us. Still being cautious about Covid-19 and all that, we opted to have pizza out on the patio and Mom brought cake for us to belatedly celebrate my dad’s 73rd birthday. It was good to see their faces! Dan and I are hoping to take a day trip to visit them and have a meal out on their deck before it gets too cold to do so comfortably.

I’m in pretty good spirits lately. With MRI #19 out of the way and a boring (but good boring) visit to my oncologist earlier this month, my mind has been released from What-If Prison™ for another four months. As a result I’m feeling a little more inspired and productive. The results of the MRI show that my brain tumor is stable — meaning it’s still there but it hasn’t advanced — and I can stop obsessing over weather every little change in my symptoms is because of disease progression.

Cancer, man. It can really get you down.

This morning I published another Zentangle video to my YouTube channel. And I keep inching closer to my goal of being able to monetize my content there. The channel also continues to grow, even when I am unable to stay focused enough to work on it. That helps me stay motivated to keep publishing videos even if I can’t stick to a strict upload schedule.

I also gained a couple of new Patrons this month, and the mental boost that comes with the little financial boost helps too. I’m like, “Hey, now I can afford to buy another art supply!” I may be developing a little bit of a problem with art supplies. I really need to get organized in my office. (Maybe I should start calling it a studio? That sounds way more fun than office.) There is nothing more satisfying than making a pretty piece of art, but seeing an organized supply of paint, paper, colored pencils, pens, and markers might come in a reeeeeally close second!

We talked to Mom and Dad about Thanksgiving and Christmas this year and the whole family has just decided that we’re not doing holiday gatherings. It will be a little disorienting without those celebrations to anchor down the end of the year, but it’s also kind of a relief. Travel and planning can get a little hectic, and with the weight of the pandemic hanging over our high-risk heads it would just be added stress on top of worry.

What’s really nice is that we’re all on the same page about it. No hurt feelings. Just an abundance of caution to protect ourselves and the people we love. I will try to use the down time to plan to grow my Vast Media Empire™… ahem, I mean, plan content for my memoir, YouTube channel, website, and Patreon. If I have a little momentum going into 2021, I might just be able to turn more of the things I want to do into things I actually get done.

Fingers crossed we can collectively elect people in November that make next year slightly less of a dumpster fire.

That’s it for now. If I can maintain this creative energy for a while, I’ll be blogging again soon. What about you Are you saying “Bring on fall?” or are you hoping to hang on to summer a little bit longer?