#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

A Brand New Year

May 2017 be your happiest, healthiest year yet–exceeded only by 2018 and the years beyond.

Last night, I waded through 8 inches of unplowed snow to spend a delightful evening with my neighbors, Bill and Julie.  I should have taken the truck, but I didn’t even consider it–after all, I was only going next door.  

Famous last words.  I wiped out midway between their house and mine; fortunately, with all that fresh snow, I might as well have landed on a featherbed.   I got a little wet, but otherwise, no harm done–I was very grateful that I’d fallen into softness, instead of slipping on hard ice.  As we get older, falling is a bigger issue, and besides, I’m a klutz.  Bill and Julie greeted me with smiles and the promise of a ride home at the end of the evening, and we settled in to visit, nibble tasty tidbits, and discuss our dogs.  :)  (Mowgli and Tule stayed home, as they are not well-behaved enough to make social calls, though they often accompany me to Mary Ann and Larry’s (the Canadian Wrangler) place, where there are no carpets to mess up.  Anyway, Julie served delicious black-eyed peas, a New Year’s standard, said to assure good luck throughout the coming months, and I truly enjoyed their company and their festive home.  Rose, Bill and Julie’s adorable puppy, a beautiful yellow lab, was allowed to come out and say hello, and I was delighted to see her sweet, squirmy dog self.  At the end of the evening, Bill drove me home–all 800 feet of the journey.  :)

New year, new enthusiasms–I’ve discovered herbal teas and remedies, and having a ball experimenting with different mixtures.  I’m also making some essential oils–rosemary, arnica, calendula and eucalyptus, for a start.  I plan on putting my food dehydrator to good use this year, and I will be experimenting with fermented foods as well.  Learning Paleo has led me to all kinds of interesting discoveries, including the health benefits of fermentation, and my old standby, Pinterest, is FULL of great ideas, recipes and techniques I’ve never heard of.  I’ve fallen in love with coconut oil; it has so many uses–from skin care to cooking–and I’ve just begun a new program called ‘oil pulling’.  When I first heard the term, I was confounded, and when I found out it involved swishing an organic oil around in my mouth for 20 minutes, I was, to say the least, nonplussed.  As I came across the term more and more, however, I became intrigued.   Supposedly, the process pulls toxins from the bloodstream (hence, ‘pulling’) and whitens the teeth, along with many other good things.  Because I love few things more than an experiment, even if it fails, I decided to give it a try.  Yesterday, I lasted about five minutes, but I am nothing if not persistent (or stubborn), so I tried again this morning.  Well, as my Southern cousin, Doris, would say, “butter my butt and call me a biscuit!”  I made it the whole 20 minutes, and I was absolutely amazed by the results–my teeth were several shades whiter.  Zounds, Batman.  I’m counting oil pulling as the first New Thing in my bullet journal.  

How I love my bullet journal.  I record books I’ve read or listened to, exercise sessions, pages written, blog entries :), meds taken, etc.  This month, I’ve added something, an idea I gleaned from–where else–Pinterest.  It’s called A Doodle a Day, and it was simple to map out.  (I always use pencil when I sketch a layout in my bujo, as those in the know refer to it, in case I want to make changes before adding ink, markers, etc.)  Anyway, I traced 31 little squares, using an inexpensive template from the craft store, and will fill each one with a small drawing.  I’ll be posting pictures soon, here and on Facebook, so keep an eye out.

I’ve been listening to lots of books, and reading, too.  Words in, words out.

That’s about it for Tuesday, my friends.  Thanks for hanging out with me.

36 comments to “A Brand New Year”

  1. Mary
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 6:38 pm · Link

    I received books for Christmas so I’m doing a lot of reading this month. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

  2. Gloria Herring
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 6:44 pm · Link

    Linda, how do you have time to do all that you do?

    I’ve never observed the New Year’s tradition of eating black eyed peas, pork, greens, and cornbread, but I did this time. My greens was just some lettuce, as I don’t like the other greens and had no cabbage.

    I am always saying…”Well, kiss my grits”, and my brother will say…”Butter my butt and call me a biscuit”.

    Have a good and Godly new year.

  3. Lois Rotella
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 6:46 pm · Link

    Happy New Year. Your fall sounds like things that happen to me. Lol I got gift cards to spend at the book store. I have not been home in 3 months. My brother had an auto accident. But he well on the road to recovery. He will be taking me home Wednesday. Have a great 2017.

  4. Marjorie Hawkins
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 6:47 pm · Link

    I gave up cable television and I’m down to local channels and Amazon Prime. More time for reading!! I joined Weight Watcher’s online yesterday instead of making a resolution. I need to get about 50 lbs. off me and at my age (73), it won’t be easy. I go to the gym 4 days a week and I plan to make this work. I have trouble drinking enough water, but will work at that too. I have friends at the gym who eat Paleo. I’m just following the point system with WW. It’s supposed to snow here in SC by the weekend. I won’t venture out if and when it does. Hope you are staying warm and glad the fall didn’t hurt you. Take care and Happy New Year!!

  5. Virginia Horton
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 6:49 pm · Link

    I am so glad you were alright after your fall, us older people don’t take to falls very well. I have to go in the morning to have another test done on my gall bladder because I was so sick at Christmas. My back is doing better and I am trying to walk around the block each day to build it up.

  6. Pat
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 6:51 pm · Link

    I love natural remedies! I’ve tried oil pulling, too. Haven’t been able to go a full 20 minutes yet. I like washing my face with baking soda and water. I use it as an exfoliate by making it like a scrub or add more water as a gentle cleanser. There are all kinds of uses for coconut oil, too.

  7. Judy
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 7:01 pm · Link

    I got my free book in the mail yesterday. I can’t wait to start reading it. It’s one :wink: of yours that I don’t have. Thank you so much. If you’re afraid of slipping on the icy paths we have now get some trax. They go on the bottom of your shoes and prevent you from falling. I got my first pair at QVC, but I’ve seen them in sporting goods stores in the winter. Stay warm. We’re having a miserable winter. I’m so tired of the cold and snow. I’m running out of places to shovel the snow on my sidewalk.

  8. carole fiore
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 7:18 pm · Link

    Happy New Year! Glad you didn’t hurt yourself, I can remember those days walking thru the snow, and the wind when I lived in Chicago, those days are over for since I’ve been living in sunny Fla. over 20yrs. did spend over 2 months when my mom was sick and passed away in Jan. of 1992 but that couldn’t of been helped, anyways, it was warm but cloudy here since new year’s eve and rainy off and on. Spent a nice quiet new year’s! I don’t use anything fancy on my face except Aveeno face wash and I don’t use it everyday either but I do get a lot of garlic and being Italian I have very clear skin, so many people ask me what I use, never use a wash cloth and I pat with a towel lightly, been doing this since I was a kid, just hot water and then my daughter started using Aveeno..have a great day!

  9. carole fiore
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 7:21 pm · Link

    Happy New Year!

  10. Diana Eagen
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 7:32 pm · Link

    So glad you’re not hurt, Linda. Sounds like you had a good time at your neighbors house. Happy New Year and many blessings.

  11. Diane Sallans
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 7:38 pm · Link

    I don’t know how you fit all your interests into your writing schedule!

  12. mary campbell
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 7:39 pm · Link

    what kind of oil do you use for the oil pulling in your mouth

  13. Ann Bartholomew
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 7:51 pm · Link

    Happy New Year! Wow, 8″ of snow. In KY we are above normal temps and wet. Our turn is coming this weekend. Happy writing in 2017. I’m looking forward to the next Mustang Creek book in March.

  14. Ruby Norwood
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 7:55 pm · Link

    So glad you didn’t hurt yourself, when you fell. My sister fell Christmas Eve and wasn’t so lucky. I so enjoyed your blog today, a lot of interesting ideas. I use coconut oil ever night on my hands, and cuticles. it really works.. Happy New Year everyone!!

  15. Ruby Norwood
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 7:57 pm · Link

    Oh. and it is Monday Linda !!

  16. Aviva
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 8:00 pm · Link

    You are one of my favorite authors. To read about your adventures regarding healthy changes in your life is beyond inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with your admirers!

    Happy New Year to you and many more.

  17. Margaret Witt
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 8:52 pm · Link

    I see that someone else asked about the oil you used in the pulling process. I assume it was coconut oil. I like the idea of whitening your teeth that way. Where do you buy organic coconut oil–the grocery store?

  18. Caryn Horn
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 9:01 pm · Link

    Did you use coconut oil for the oil pulling? Does it come in liquid form?

    • Lorelei Sawtelle
        · January 3rd, 2017 at 3:31 pm · Link

      I get my coconut oil from Samsclub.com. If you’re not a member you can google where to get coconut oil. It is not an oil at room temperature–except in the summer. Just put a little bit in a bowl and float that bowl in a sink of hot water. It liquefies quickly. Blessings to you and yours.

  19. Terri Shortell
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 9:07 pm · Link

    Sounds like you had a very enjoyable visit with your neighbors. I’m glad the snow provided you a soft landing. I hope everyone has an amazing year and their wishes come true.

      · January 2nd, 2017 at 9:28 pm · Link


  21. Eriko
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 9:54 pm · Link

    Happy New Year! Glad you made it safely over to your neighbors!

  22. Deborah Nelson
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 10:11 pm · Link

    You are an inspiration for the new year!

  23. Louise McCourt
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 10:13 pm · Link

    Glad you were not hurt and had a good visit. I had my black eye peas but this is the first time I had it without cornbread.

    Hope you have a great 2017..I know I will as long as you keep writing books.

  24. JoAnn Baker
      · January 2nd, 2017 at 10:15 pm · Link

    Have a new year filled with love an family!

  25. Dixie Hadley
      · January 3rd, 2017 at 12:09 am · Link

    I always look forward to your messages. I stand amazed at all you do. How ever do you accomplish all you do – it’s truly amazing . Thanks for so much new information, maybe some day I figure out a way to try a few of them for myself. Super glad you landed in the snow on your journey to visit your friends and that you weren’t hurt. Happy New Year.

  26. Gloria Jenkins
      · January 3rd, 2017 at 12:49 am · Link

    Happy New Year Linda. I want to thank you for letting us in your life. I have a while yet to retire and when I do I will have time to read, crafting, sewing and crocheting. Have a blessed week

  27. Peggy E Casey
      · January 3rd, 2017 at 3:55 am · Link

    I appreciate your testimony on Pulling. I have heard about it quite a bit this past year or so, but you are the first “real” person whom I have known to do it and am happy to hear that it works…. I will put that on my to=do list for this year as I have a list of new things “to-do”!
    Happiest of New Years to you!

  28. Jane
      · January 3rd, 2017 at 5:52 am · Link

    Yikes! So sorry you fell! And happy that no injury was done. One of the changes I have had to incorporate into my thinking/way of life is that I have to plan ahead now how to do something so that I don’t fall. I read about oil pulling also – glad to hear your results were positive. I am always afraid I would end up swallowing… Will have to try it anyway. Thanks for your emails – they are always refreshing.

  29. Trudy Wilson
      · January 3rd, 2017 at 9:06 am · Link

    Happy New Year. Sounds like no damage done on the spill in the snow. Hope that is the one and only spill you have this year! Love hearing about your experiments!

  30. Melaine
      · January 3rd, 2017 at 10:02 am · Link

    Happy New Year, Linda. You continue to amaze me with everything you do to fill your days. Wishing you the best for 2017!

  31. Fran F.
      · January 3rd, 2017 at 11:40 am · Link

    Best wishes for a very happy new year filled with nothing but the best of everything.

  32. Debbie Bleege
      · January 3rd, 2017 at 12:05 pm · Link

    Linda Your are awesome with all this energy you have. You do so many things try so many things. You have a blessed new year and I am blessed knowing you. You are a positive in my life!

  33. Rhonda Dickinson
      · January 3rd, 2017 at 2:33 pm · Link

    Happy New Year Linda! You do some of the most interesting things. I wish I had more will power like you. :wink:

  34. Lorelei Sawtelle
      · January 3rd, 2017 at 3:40 pm · Link

    I’d never heard of pulling, but it sounds logical/wise. I get my coconut oil from Samsclub.com because they ship it right to my house without adding on shipping charges. I only order the 100% organic stuff. What brand/brands do you recommend?

    I’m glad you landed okay. I’m glad you let Bill give you a ride home. Tell him “Thank you.” from all of us. Hopefully you’re not stiff and sore in a day or two. That seems to be my modus operandi. Fall one day and ache three days later.

    You’re right about needing to be more careful as we age. Even simple things like locking ourselves out of the house can become deadly serious if the weather is raw.


  35. Leanna
      · January 3rd, 2017 at 7:11 pm · Link

    It’s always fun to hear about the things you are trying, new books, bone broth, oil pulling.

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