#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

On Track

My new exercise bike is being assembled even as we speak, and when I’m done with today’s writing, I’ll be able to break it in!  Yeehaw!  Never thought I’d be excited about EXERCISE, of all things.  :)

I am definitely excited about the shipment of flower seeds I received in yesterday’s mail, too.  Jeremy and I are planning to scatter poppy seeds at the top of the draw as soon as it’s warm enough–and that’ll be a while, methinks, since the weather is a little above freezing and around here most people plant after Mother’s Day.  We’re starting seeds pretty soon, though, and will use a grow light to get them going–tomatoes, spaghetti squash, lettuce, you name it.  I’ve even got some gourd seeds to plant outside the fence–does anybody know if deer eat the plants?–and they are SO COOL.  Once they reach a good size, I can make bowls out of them–decorative ones, of course, and not the kind you’d serve mashed potatoes in.  :)

Bernice has already had her first barn adventure of the day–it’s so fun to watch her when Jenni gets out the leash–that dog is practically beside herself with joy.

ChaCha kitty gave me a scare last night–I couldn’t find her anywhere, and it was cold outside, and I could hear coyotes howling like mad in the draw.  They probably couldn’t get her, because the fence is high and stands at the top of a fairly steep slope, but STILL…all three of my pets tend to cuddle close when they hear the coyotes, and I didn’t want Cha Cha to be scared, not to mention cold.  I looked everywhere, including outside, with no luck, and she finally came strolling casually into the room, fluffy tail sweeping elegantly back and forth.  Her body language clearly said, “You looking for me?”  Darn cat.  I swear she and her sister Jitterbug are capable of slipping into the next dimension or something–when they disappear into one of their hiding places, it’s a real trick to find them.  Margy, my granddog, was here for a visit with Wendy and Jeremy last night, and she’s an angel, but she’s also still a pup, and the cats especially give her a wide berth.  Bernice is getting a little braver with every visit.

There will be a new contest tomorrow–ONE WINNER will receive a signed book and one of my sister Pam’s (polymerpamela on Etsy) sparkly bead bracelets.  Since there was some confusion last time, we’ve changed the way we announce our lucky winner.  Jenni, super-assistant, will email that person and, after we hear back, I’ll post the name.

Jen made me laugh hard this morning, by the way.  She’s starting a Twitter feed called, “The Devil Wears Chico’s”.  :)

I’ll let you work that one out on your own.

Be well, be safe, and be kind.

20 comments to “On Track”

  1. Hilda
      · January 15th, 2013 at 3:04 pm · Link

    LOL, Linda! My cat was the same, I swear she’d go into cyberspace or outer space or wherever, I’d come home from work and I wouldn’t have a CLUE where she was. She’d eventually saunter out – exactly like your ChaCha! And then there were the times I wouldn’t see her but when I’d go into my bedroom to change clothes after work, there’s be a curious lump under my bedspread. Guess who??????? Dang, I miss her.

    I hope you enjoy your exercise bike. I love mine, but I don’t allow enough time to use it. Gotta make that a bigger priority instead of making myself a “bigger” person! [pun intended]

    Have a wonderful day, Linda!

  2. Judy
      · January 15th, 2013 at 3:10 pm · Link

    I don’t know about gourds, but they will strip the leaves off squash and cucumber plants down to the stem. With the prickles on them the deer must have tough mouths.

  3. Mary Stahlecker
      · January 15th, 2013 at 3:40 pm · Link

    I like the story about the cats disappearing. I am on a loop through yahoo that we talk about our cats. I do remember them talking about the holes in the walls that only our cats can find and then they take off for their adventures. Also, they like to sit and stare at the wall-why-we do not know.

  4. Norma Stanforth
      · January 15th, 2013 at 3:43 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,
    I know you had to be pretty scare when you couldn’t find you cat, i am sure glad you found her.It is good that you got your exercise put together. I bet you are out side and ready to get your seeds plant in the garage. You have a good day and God bless you.
    Norma Stanforth

  5. Connie Collins
      · January 15th, 2013 at 3:54 pm · Link

    This is my first time and this is great.
    Just finished the third book in the Big Sky series. As all of your books, I loved them.
    I need to shop around for some of your older books. I feel like a sponge in search of more and more of your books. :wink:

  6. Lois Rotella
      · January 15th, 2013 at 4:36 pm · Link

    I know what you mean about the cats. When I had cats they also could disappear and the next moment they would stand by you and look like they were looking also, only we were looking for them. I have seen gourds painted. A friend of mine, his wife made them. I bought one from her and gave it to my niece as a gift. Have a great day and a wonderful week.

  7. BetsyB
      · January 15th, 2013 at 4:45 pm · Link

    Hi all-
    Don’t forget that if you want older books, the public library can get them for you. If they do not have them, then they can interlibrary loan them from local or regional or national libraries. As a new reader, that is how I am getting them-and I’m a librarian!

  8. BetsyB
      · January 15th, 2013 at 4:52 pm · Link

    Hi Linda-
    Here’s a link with some suggestions about deer. If they will eat curcurbits like cucumers, they’ll eat gourds as well, sadly. Cornell uses bars of Camay soap in their trees in their orchards-just drill a hole in the wrapped bar, string wire through it and attache to the tree. But there are other suggestions here as well. Your county extension agent can help with this as well.
    Hope this helps,

  9. Sue Mccormick
      · January 15th, 2013 at 4:58 pm · Link

    We had a cat who used to climb on top of the hot air conduits (square pipes) in our basement utility room. She was in plain sight, except that one doesn’t look up to search such places. I think she was just after warmth, but from our point of view she had found a great hiding place.

  10. Juanita Rice
      · January 15th, 2013 at 5:43 pm · Link

    It wouldn’t surprise me if they do. I know I’ve lost roses to those critters. :)

    You sound like such a happy camper these days! Getting ready for spring, exercising, writing those wonderful stories. You go, girl! :) We’ll keep reading.

    We lost my daughter’s new kitten one time. She scrunched herself behind the hutch where not even a small mouse should have been able to fit. But there she was, resting away her fright at being in a new home. And when she came out she took over. :)

  11. Debra
      · January 15th, 2013 at 7:28 pm · Link

    How exciting to think about seeds and planting. I planted some bulbs for the first time and can’t wait until they show themselves this spring, now you’ve got me thinking about starting some seeds early.

  12. Delorse
      · January 15th, 2013 at 7:49 pm · Link

    I am so glad you started this inter action with us, it makes you more human, we read your books, but now it is very nice. sorry, I don’t know how to express my self very well.

  13. Billiesue Sanders
      · January 15th, 2013 at 8:22 pm · Link

    Hello Linda,

    I enjoy reading your accounts of daily life so much. I feel that I know you.
    My favorite book is your “High Country Bride”. I so much enjoyed reading the descriptions of how things were done in an earlier era–the kitchen, the wood stove, canning and enjoying the results of canned goods in the winter reminds me so much of my grandmother’s kitchen in both winter and summer.
    Thank you so much for writing stories that take me back. i appreciate you.

    Billiesue Sanders

  14. donna harris
      · January 15th, 2013 at 8:27 pm · Link

    Glad you found your cat. My cat use to do the same thing. I would hunt everywhere, under the beds, in the closets, no cat. Then later here he comes and sits and looks up at me, “are you looking for me”! I swear they’re invisible! lol! He’s been gone now for 2 months, I still think of him (and cry). I still she him, in my mind of course. I miss him dearly.
    About the deers good luck, they eat everything. We have a man that is on tv every wednesday from a garden center that answers questions. He talked about what you can do about deer, but of course my memory is gone with age. Maybe I can find it on their website.
    Good Luck on the treadmill! I have one and I probably used it one month. I was just talking about using again, oneday! Make sure you start out slow then build up slowly so you don’t hurt yourself. Take care and be safe! Donna Harris

  15. Charmaine Wardrop
      · January 15th, 2013 at 11:49 pm · Link

    I am getting excited about planting my seeds too. Have my grow lights, just need to get them set up again. Living in Bellevue is a bit warmer than Spokane generally, but still don’t want to lose anything to frost.
    I have finished the third of the Big Sky Series. Loved them all. No complaints from this happy reader, except that once I am done with a book, I am fretful until I can get a new one to lose myself in.
    I don’t have an exercise bike yet, but think that would be a great addition to our expanding gym.


  16. Anne Little
      · January 15th, 2013 at 11:56 pm · Link

    I see I am not the only one with a strange kitty roomate. Mitze loves hiding in closets, boxes, behind the furniture, cupboards and several times I have thought she escaped (she is an indoor cat) only to find her hours later. Last time I was searching and calling for her only to find her a few hours later curled up and sleeping in a cloth shopping bag under the kitchen table. She totally ignored my calling out to her. She was probally laughing her tushy off when we searched outside for her freezing our own tushys off!! The Lil’ Dickens!!!!

    Deer will eat garden plants. I have known them to lay waste to a vegetable garden in a single night. Your best bet is noise makers and all natural deterents. There are some plants that are supposed to keep them away. I also recommend netting over a wooden frame for protection. Planting narcissus may deter them as well. Tieing multi colored ribbons that will blow when its windy works well I am told but we tried it and the deer ignored it. Noise makers and netting are your best bets. So is 8 to 10 ft. fencing but way to expensive.

    • Anne Little
        · January 16th, 2013 at 12:18 am · Link

      The way we did it was to tie little jingle bells to the netting we would toss over wooden frames on the outside rows of the vegetable garden. We filled feed sacks with dirt to hold down the netting. The jingle bells you can get at any craft store. Everything will fold up nicely when not in use and you can uncover the plants durring the day time hours covering them up in the evening.

  17. Sue G
      · January 18th, 2013 at 6:19 am · Link

    I watched a show about composting and they said to put dried deer blood in the compost to keep the deer away and help the compost. They said you could buy it at the garden store. Never heard of it before, but it might help.

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