#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


Barn Goddess Heads Home

Today’s the day. I’m going home–and even though I love Vegas (all right, I don’t exactly love it, because you never know what time of day it is and things are pretty crazy, I DO love the rodeo)–I’m ready. I always enjoy all the good, salt-of-the-earth people who come to watch and to participate every year. Western folks are friendly, and always have a ‘howdy’ to spare and I never come away without a bunch of new friends.

I went to the Justin Crisis Luncheon yesterday–socially, that’s the highpoint of rodeo week. Harlequin provided a table for me and 11 guests, and of course every seat was full. My only regret is that it was so loud, what with some 1500 people in attendance, that I couldn’t chat with all of my guests. Not without yelling, anyhow. :)

Every table was graced with a lovely flower arrangement (and that’s a LOT of tables, my friends), courtesy, once again, of my Harlequin family. Diana Wong, from the marketing department, flew in to help Nancy Berland make sure everything went as it should. (No small job, since Murphy’s Law is probably more operational at a rodeo than anywhere else. :)) I so enjoyed getting to know Diana, and seeing phone pictures of her adorable new puppy, Finnigan. (Don’t you love it? Finnigan Wong?)

There are lots of drawings for prizes at the luncheon–great stuff donated by all sorts of western companies who exhibit at Cowboy Christmas. And I actually WON something! (I’m lucky on slot machines, but raffles? Forget it.) I got a fabulous red coat AND a beautiful coffee table book about dude ranches!! The best part was going up to claim the prizes from my funny friend, Flint Rasmussen, host of the well-known radio show, Out of the Barrel. (Flint is a former rodeo clown–my old daddy always said that was the most dangerous job in the arena, and I agree. Even on this trip, I saw the clowns save a cowboy’s bacon at least twice.)

I can’t possibly thank everyone who should be thanked–not on today’s blog, anyhow. But I want to extend a very special thank you to Rich Vincent of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association (PRCA around rodeo folks.) He’s a wonderful guy, and last year took me on a tour behind the chutes over at the Thomas and Mack arena. I couldn’t make it again this year, but Diana is going, courtesy of Rich. Thanks, Rich. There will be some books in the mail for you.

Well, look at the time. I’ve still got to get my suitcase to shut on all those great things I bought over at Cowboy Christmas. Soon as I pull onto the Triple L, I’ll head for the barn to see the hay-burners, then on to the house, where Sadie and Bernice will throw me a welcome-home party to remember.

Talk to you on Monday.

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“Keep your ear to the ground” referred to the practice of plainsmen listening to the ground to hear hoof beats. It became the westerner’s warning to stay alert.

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