#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
Wednesday’s News

Today was Weight Watchers day, and I’m thrilled to report that I lost 4.4 pounds this week!  Jen, Wendy and I went to lunch at a favorite Mexican restaurant afterward–I had a chicken enchilada, my favorite, along with rice and beans.  Delicious.  Of course none of these items are on the Power Foods list, but that’s one of the wonderful things about this program.  It’s flexible.  I ate about half of what I was served and avoided the torilla chips and bean dip the waiter served as soon as we sat down.

In between these two events, I stopped off at JoAnn’s to buy more of the metal artist trading card blanks I found there last week.  (If I find something I really like, I tend to buy it in bulk.  Guess you could call it a Costco mindset.  :)  )  Naturally, several other interesting items found their way into my shopping cart–some nifty paper punches, glitter in two scrumptious colors (magenta and turquoise), and some plastic sheets I can paint on and then shrink in the oven.  (Another experiment–and experiments are one of my favorite things–#20, I guess.)

The weather is perfectly gorgeous today, cold but sunny.  It sure raises a person’s spirits.  Haven’t spotted any sprouts in the tulip/daffodil beds, but I’m trusting them to show up soon. 

I read a book last night–yes, the kind with pages–called “The Little Book of True Ghost Stories”, by Echo Bodine.  VERY interesting.  I don’t see ghosts, and I don’t want to, but I’m what you might call a sensitive.  If there’s a shift in the energy, negative or positive, I’m aware of it.  I’m sure this is actually pretty common.  Black tourmaline, strategically placed, seems to even things out, and many people, including moi, believe it is a stone of protection, and an extremely powerful one at that.  When I have aches and pains, I carry rock crystal in my pockets or rub the sore area gently with either rose quartz or moss agate.  Although it would be difficult, if not impossible, to name a favorite, both rose quartz and moss agate are go-to stones for me, along with jasper and labradorite.  I can feel the energy in these (and most other) stones just by holding my hand a few inches above them.  Jasper is wonderfully calming, and so is labradorite–plus, the latter is absolutely lovely to look at, filled with light and colors that seem to shift and change, like a very small universe, full of Hubble-bright galaxies, or a hologram.

I’m constantly giving gemstone pendants to friends and family–in fact, Debbie Macomber tweeted a photo today, and she’s wearing the moss agate I gave her.  :)  It’s worth looking up the picture just to see that wonderful, light-up-a-room smile of hers.

I miss my good friend, can you tell?



These are a few of my favorite things…

Some of which, I feel compelled to point out, are not actually things, but living beings.  :)  (Also, they’re not necessarily listed in order of preference.)

1. Dogs, cats, horses–and all other living creatures.

2. Trees–there’s something to that tree-hugging thing.  It looks silly, I admit, but it grounds me, big-time.

3. Gemstones and crystals.  (Duh)

4. Audiobooks and book-books

5. Candles–they give me a sense of the sacred

6. Art supplies of almost any kind


8. Torani sugar-free flavorings–especially Black Cherry, which jazzes up a diet cola or glass of plain water without messing up my Weight Watchers plan.

9. Weight Watchers and their Simply Filling program.  HOO-HAW, I can DO this!

10. 3×5 index cards, dividers and boxes to hold them.  I have switched from the traditional to-do list to a system I learned years ago, from the Slob Sisters, who were very popular organizational experts back in the day, and probably still are.  (They have other names but I can’t recall what they are.)  The SS recommended making an index card for each daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly task, their focus being housekeeping.  There were appropriate dividers for the days of the week, etc.  Basically, every morning, (I used the method for years before, lucky me, I could afford help) I would lay out the cards on a counter or the kitchen table and, as I completed each job, I would refile the corresponding card under the next day.  This gave me a huge sense of satisfaction AND a very clean house.  :)  Now, I’ve resurrected the idea, but I use it for things like devotional time, blogging, listening to the Daily Audio Bible, exercising, etc.  If I have a once-in-a-while task, I make a card for that, too, and simply discard it when finished.  Two caveats here: 1) It’s important to include something, no matter how small, that is just for you–mine simply says, “Make art”.  2) They just don’t make index cards like they used to, and that bugs me.

11. All kinds of music–from Verdi’s FOUR SEASONS to the Beatles to Big Band–to good ole Country.  Music peps me up when my energy is low, and inspires me when I’m writing or brainstorming.  (I don’t listen when I’m revising or reading–too distracting.)

12. Flowers–especially daffodils, tulips and PEONIES.  :)

13. Going to Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or JoAnn’s.

14. Glass jars full of pretty stones, buttons or craft supplies.

15. Making and receiving artist trading cards.  I’ve been at this for about four years now, and I’ve amassed quite a collection of OPCs (other people’s cards) and filled binder after binder with my own work.

16. Insights–most often they arrive while I’m writing my Morning Pages.

17. Dancing.  (Peek in my window some fine day and, before you get arrested or are wrestled to the ground by one of the ranch hands, you might see me boogying all over the place–much to the consternation of Bernice and the kitties.)

18. QVC (guess this qualifies as a guilty pleasure, like the next item on the list.) I mostly buy clothes (they’re good quality and often unique), household gadgets, like pressure cookers, etc.

19. Playing slot machines and, of course, winning.  :)  I’m extremely lucky, if I do say so myself, but it’s wise to remember: nobody, but nobody, beats ‘the house’ (casino)–except for those very rare winners of a progressive jackpot, and I wonder if that’s really good fortune or a terrible curse.  Like a big score on the lotto, enormous windfalls can be destructive.

20.  Writing to you.  Thanks for ‘listening’.  :)


Though the term “stick ‘em up” is widely used in Western films, it wasn’t actually coined until the 1930′s.