#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Challenging myself

I did it.  I signed up for a Rosetta Stone language course, the kind you do online.  I’ll be using my ever-more-beloved mini-iPad, most of the time, along with a little micro-phone dealie to practice my…


Truth to tell, I speak just a smidge of Italian, having spent quite a bit of time there back in those thrilling days of yesteryear, but I probably sound like a boat-person to the natives.  As in, “Me no hot water got,” a common complaint of Americans in Italy.  :)  Basically, you could say I know just enough of the lingo to mess up the little bit of Spanish I’ve picked up over the years, and vice versa.  Time to get beyond, “Hello”, “Good-bye” and “Where are the rest rooms?”

I was in Florence for several months on my first trip, living in a flat in the Palazzo (Palace) Antellesi, a frescoed building on Piazza Santa Croce, within walking distance of the Ufizzi Museum, the Arno River, the Ponte Vecchio, and the best risotto I’ve ever tasted.  On my second visit, I stayed about six weeks in Venice, again in an apartment–this one with a very swank layout–three floors, marble and frescoes everywhere, hand painted doors that were at least 12 feet high–and a five gallon hot water tank.  (Hence my calling the landlady in Rome to say, “Me no hot water got”.  Which did me no good at all.  I can just imagine her clicking her tongue and muttering, “Americanos!” as she hung up the phone.)  (Please pardon the inevitable misspellings?)

Why brush up?  Because I’m going back, this time, just for about three weeks. 

My ultimate goal, however, is to rent a farmhouse somewhere in Tuscany for a whole summer, “Under the Tuscan Sun” style, only without buying the place and therefore having to, God forbid, hire local workmen to renovate.  This goal is a long, long way off–but so is my fluency in Italian, so I figure, all things being equal, it’s as good a goal as any.  :)  And it’s GOT to be more interesting than my upcoming return to Weight Watchers.  I promise not to bore you with that!

I’ve been listening to Theresa Caputo’s new book–I’ll get back to you with the title, but I think it’s something like, “There’s More to Life Than This”.    It’s marvelous, in my opinion anyway, and if you’re a Theresa fan like I am, you’ll enjoy it.

I have acupuncture this afternoon–hallelujah!  I’ve missed several sessions, due to travel, etc., and I can hardly wait to bristle with needles, like a porcupine.  :)  (Actually, it seldom hurts.)  There might be a few twingles this time, though, because I’m sure there’s chi (energy) bogged down all over my body.  When that happens, it isn’t good.

I’m trying out a technique called sound therapy, too—I’ll report on that later in the week.

I’ve been writing, as usual, and doing art–also as usual.  I’ve even managed a little online Christmas shopping.  :)  Since I won’t be attending the rodeo in Las Vegas this December, I hope to hold an open house for family and friends and go all out with the decorations.  Just one more trip scheduled for this year–a visit to Uptick Vineyards, owned by my friends Robin and Steven Black.  It’s going to be a hoot–there’s a Great Gatsby party, tours of the facilities and, of course, plenty of delicious vino.  The best part, though, will be connecting with pals–Bill and Renae, Goldie and Buck, Bob and Lynn, this means you.  :)

That’s a wrap, at least until tomorrow.

Be well, be safe, and be kind.

29 comments to “Challenging myself”

  1. Diane Ball
      · October 8th, 2013 at 2:52 pm · Link

    oh wow I would love to go to Italy it’s been one of my bucket list things to do, that and Ireland. How is acupuncture going, do you get any relief? Theresa Caputo is fantastic, did you watch her Season Premire Sunday. 8)

  2. Lesley Miller
      · October 8th, 2013 at 2:55 pm · Link

    Good luck with Rosetta Stone! My kids (6yrs and 7yrs) LOVE IT! We have an app on our Ipad, and the kids have really picked up!

  3. Emily
      · October 8th, 2013 at 3:10 pm · Link

    Good luck with the Rosetta Stone. Sounds great!

    Don’t you just love the many places you have visited. I know I do. Just enjoy your 3 weeks and stop and smell the flowers! :lol:

    Have a great week……………………

  4. Mary Goodman
      · October 8th, 2013 at 3:11 pm · Link

    I am glad that you are enjoying Theresa’s Caputos book it is on myto read list.

  5. Leanna
      · October 8th, 2013 at 3:12 pm · Link

    Good luck with your Italian. Your trip sounds like a lot of fun.

  6. Jennifer Damone
      · October 8th, 2013 at 3:37 pm · Link

    You do stay busy! I would love to go to Italy one day. Also would love to go to Ireland! Just reading about your acupuncture makes me cringe. I hate needles, so I probably wouldn’t be a good candidate. :-D Hope you have a great week!

  7. Gloria
      · October 8th, 2013 at 3:38 pm · Link

    Stars above Linda!!!! You make me soooooo tired! I just took a break from doing NOTHING and saw your Blog, so I read it and now…I’ll have to have another break to get over all you’re planning to do and all you’re doing. WHEW!!!!

    Blessings on all your plans.

  8. Deborah Rae Nelson
      · October 8th, 2013 at 3:43 pm · Link

    Acupuncture is the best! I consider my DOM to be my primary care physician. I turn to her first and avoid the western approach.

    Best of luck with brushing up on your Italian.

    Be Well, Be Happy~

  9. Sherry Wallace
      · October 8th, 2013 at 3:51 pm · Link

    Wow, Italy sounds heavenly!! Will a book or two come out of this trip one day? Girl, you already have a HUGE plate full of projects!! And now you’re adding a language! How is that quilt coming along? Would love pto see pics of it :)
    Enjoy your day – weather is spectacular down here

  10. marilyn hurst
      · October 8th, 2013 at 3:52 pm · Link

    Practice, practice, practice….. I lived in Italy for my high school years and that’s the one thing natives said to me, Practice and if you try they try as well. I was in the Veneto Valley about 45 minutes from Venice. Loved it…. Have a great time with Rosetta Stone and with the Holidays!!!!

  11. Barbara Linkous
      · October 8th, 2013 at 4:26 pm · Link

    My son has learned several languages through Rosetta Stone. I envy your trip to Italy and when you mentioned UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN (one of my all- time favorite movies), I could just picture the beautiful scenery.

  12. Hilda
      · October 8th, 2013 at 4:33 pm · Link

    Linda, sounds exciting! Planning is sometimes ALMOST half the fun of a trip like that. When I was in Italy a few years ago, my friend and I need to find the restroom at a train station and I couldn’t figure out what it might be (my English and Dutch versions didn’t seem to work), so I reverted to my limited knowledge of Spanish and said “Donde esta el bano?” The clerk at the train station pointed us exactly where we needed to be!

  13. Susan Lee
      · October 8th, 2013 at 6:16 pm · Link

    Hi Linda:
    I highly recommend Rosetta stone. We use it for our new English learners at the school where I teach. I myself have used the Russian version since most of my students speak Russian and I wanted to create rapport. My ethnic background is Italian and I studied the language though not on Rosetta Stone. Buona Fortuna . I understand Italian much better than I speak it and as for writing well forget it. Hope you enjoy the romantic language of love.

  14. Jennifer L.
      · October 8th, 2013 at 7:10 pm · Link

    Rosetta Stone is a great program. I’m learning Spanish with it. Your trip sounds wonderful! And I had to smile when you mentioned your goal of the Italian farmhouse, ala Under The Tuscan Sun. Ever since seeing the movie, I’ve longed to do the same! Well, maybe someday. :)

    And you’re Christmas shopping already! I admire your energy and organization!

    Have a wonderful evening!

  15. Gloria
      · October 8th, 2013 at 7:14 pm · Link

    What is, or who is, Rosetta Stone?

  16. Diana E
      · October 8th, 2013 at 7:17 pm · Link

    Linda, you amaze me!!! It all sounds so exciting and fun. Under the Tuscan Sun is one of my favorite movies, also. Best of luck learning Italian, everytime I hear or see one of the Rosetta Stone comercials it intrigues me. Blessings.

  17. Ruby Norwood
      · October 8th, 2013 at 7:17 pm · Link

    Good Lord Linda, you got so many projects going now don’t know how you have time for anything else. All I have to say about ‘Me no Hot water Got’ LOl!!
    Have a great week everyone.

  18. Lois Rotella
      · October 8th, 2013 at 7:20 pm · Link

    I would love to go to Italy. My grandparents on my Dad’s side were from there. I never got to know them as they passed away before I was born. I am not good with languages. I have places I would love to see that is on my bucket list. Have a great week Linda.

  19. Gwen Romine
      · October 8th, 2013 at 7:40 pm · Link

    I have always wanted to learn French or Italian.

  20. Bridget
      · October 8th, 2013 at 8:54 pm · Link

    Italy sounds wonderful, so much beauty and history there. As always I enjoy reading your books. Love the historical westerns.

  21. Juanita Rice
      · October 8th, 2013 at 9:29 pm · Link

    Oh, Linda!! A summer in Tuscany!! What a rare treat! You have to go soon so you can tell us all about it!!! :)

  22. judy
      · October 8th, 2013 at 9:48 pm · Link

    Sounds like you have it all planed out. When you make it to Italy have a great time.

  23. Jean
      · October 8th, 2013 at 10:39 pm · Link

    Looking for great ideas and decorations for your Christmas open house? Check out the new Pottery Barn Catalog! Fabulous!

  24. Michelle Huang
      · October 9th, 2013 at 2:20 am · Link

    Sounds like a good plan to learn Italian before heading back there again. First time might be okay but learning to communicate them without a translator is difficult. Second time around, you will be able to get what you requested without being clueless.

  25. carole
      · October 9th, 2013 at 11:42 am · Link

    I so jealous you going to Italy! love it over there and wish I could go back its so beautiful over there! I’m Italian both sides and I loved traveling around with my nono and he knew so much about the land and the history, he’s not with us anymore but will always remember celebrating his 80th birthday in his hometown, and with all his friends that I met over in Italy!
    Were never too old to learn a language, I had to learn and every where you go they speak different. Have fun!

  26. zola udell
      · October 9th, 2013 at 5:04 pm · Link

    Phew! What a busy lady you are. I admire your courage though, to travel to a foreign country and live there a while. You are an inspiration! Please stay well in spirit, soul and body!

  27. Norma Stanforth
      · October 9th, 2013 at 8:09 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,
    Good luck with all at hope the audio book helps with you language, i hope you are able to rent your farmhouse in Tuscany for a few weeks, hope everything turns out the way you want it. Good luck today! God blessing to everyone and a wonderful weekend.
    As always your friend,
    Norma :-P

  28. Lea williams
      · October 9th, 2013 at 10:31 pm · Link

    How do you manage so many things. I thought I was doing good today to get a good ride in on my horse. The weather was so beautiful in our area. I was wondering too about your quilt. Saw that someone else mentioned it. I think the planning of a trip is much fun, sometimes when the trip is over I feel let down because so much time had gone in planning. Make sense. Italy would be fun but my bucket list is Ireland. That and Costa Rica. Blessings……….

  29. Bonnie Pruett
      · October 12th, 2013 at 11:56 am · Link

    Oh great and wonderful and esreemed wrriter, Linda, I’m happy for you taking up the challenge of learning a new language. I’ve not had the courage to do that. I now wish I had learned my anscestors language of Finland. Now its lost to me. The few words I do know I learned from my Grandma and half of those are noyt to be repeated in polite company. Since I live in te state of Georgia, there are many Latinos here, maybe I should try Spanish. Alas, my internet is only on my phone. The computer I do own is a 12 yr old dinosaur with no room to update or upgrade. Maybe when I inherit a million dollars or win the lottery. Oh yeah, that’s right, you have to buy a ticket if you want to win the lottery. No wonder I never win.
    Again, I give you lots of credit for learning a new language.
    Have a lovely productive week.


    Bonnie Pruett

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