Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

I have largely recovered from Christmas and its before-and-aftermaths.  :)  As my old daddy used to say, I've had about as much fun as I can stand.

Every guest room was full, and the kitchen was Grand Central Station, in micro.  I ate and I drank--there was a lot to celebrate--but now I'm back, with some relief, on the D.I.E.T.  and walking Bernice at least once a day.  She lives for those walks.  :)

For me, by contrast, New Year's is a very quiet and introspective time.  I set goals and intentions, light candles, and reflect on my long, long gratitude list.  I think about things I'd like to do differently in the future, like most people, but I can't say I make actual resolutions.  That just doesn't work for me, perhaps because the resolutions are so often framed (nobody's fault but my own) in a negative way. 

I like my friend Debbie Macomber's "word" method--see the current issue of "Guideposts", she's on the cover!--i.e., choosing a powerful, concise word to live up to in the coming year.  This year, I'm choosing "Thrive".  I'm determined to relax a little and enjoy the things I've already achieved, instead of looking for the ever elusive "more".  At my stage of life, it's about collecting experiences, not things.

I've set up the beginnings of an art journal, done calendar style, with a small square for each day of January, just to make a note.  I'm not all that happy with it, frankly, but since I have a shelf-full of art journals with one or two pages filled, I'm determined to follow through.  In other words, I'm willing to do this badly until I can do it better.  :)  After all, it's a personal journal--how fancy does it have to be?  Of course it doesn't look like the journals of artists I admire, like Teesha Moore and Pam Carriker, to name just two of dozens, but there is a good reason for that.  It's MY journal and it should reflect where I'm at in my journey, in the all-important Right Now.

On another topic, if you were in Spokane right this moment, you'd swear it was spring.  The sun is shining and the sky is the most delicate blue.  Only the cold would give you a clue that it's really the last day of December, and I've got that covered.  My sister Sally knitted me a wonderful, warm scarf to wear when Bernice and I head out on our short treks around the property and my trusty old nylon jacket keeps out the chill.

You, my friends and readers, are at the top of my gratitude list this year and every year.  Thank you for being exactly who you are, and for doing what you do. 

Here's to a wonderful 2012, for all of us.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Chyanne Lael

Today is my niece's birthday.  Have a happy one, sweetie.

Jeremy and Wendy are gearing up to head back to L.A. today--I will miss them very much but, may I say, our Christmas was truly a Norman Rockwell event.  Jeremy's folks, Pat and Sheri Crouch, were visiting from Port Orchard, WA, as were Wendy's dad and stepmother, Rick and Kathy Miller, who hail from Montana.  My mom, Hazel Bleecker Lael, of Choteau, Montana fame, rounded out the mottley crew.  There was a lot of laughter, a lot of food, a lot of memories flying back and forth.

This blog was briefly interrupted so Bernice and I could go out for a short walk.  With all the company and the excitement, we haven't been able to meet our usual quota for exploring the Great Outdoors.  :)

Tomorrow, I get back to work.  Just between you and me, I can hardly wait.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Merry Christmas to All

We're having a wonderful Christmas here on the Triple L.

In fact, certain aspects would make an excellent holiday story.

I'll fill you in soon.  :)

In the meantime, a very Merry Christmas to all of you. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sunny with patches of blog...

Busy times at my house, and I'm sure it's the same at yours.  Wendy and Jeremy arrived last night--it's so wonderful to have them right here at this table as I write this blog. 

I'll bet you're as busy as I am, or maybe even busier.  My shopping is mostly finished, thank heaven--more and more, I buy gifts online--it's so convenient.  The stores are just plain crazy at this time of year, of course.

I'm reading a good book--the premise is that at least 40 percent of the time, happiness is a chooseable option.  Sad times come to all of us, of course, but with a little work, we can train ourselves to focus on the blessings instead of the things we'd like to change.  It's even possible to be sad and grateful at the same time--I learned that losing my Sadie-beagle.  I miss her goofy good-hearted self every day, and I still cry sometimes, but at the same time I feel incredibly grateful for all the joy, laughter and company she brought into my life.  So many wonderful stories begin with, "Remember when Sadie----?"

We're shopping for groceries today--strangely enough, my guests aren't interested in eating the fabulous food on the D.I.E.T.  I'm perfectly fine with it, though I will be indulging in turkey dinner on Christmas Day, right along with the rest of the family.  :)

The sun is shining and the weather is very cold.  My Santa Monica-based visitors are in the market for heavier coats.  :)

So, anyway, grab your 40 percent chance (personally, I think it's higher than 40 percent), and choose to be happy today.

Blessings to you--and I'll blog tomorrow, I promise.  (At some point in the day.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's About Time

I know, I know--I usually write my blog earlier in the day.  The truth is, I slept in this morning, and I'm running behind on just about everything.

Wendy and Jeremy arrive tomorrow for their Christmas visit, and right now that's about all I can think about.  I'm so excited to have a family gathering, right here on the Triple L--my mother will be joining us, along with Jeremy's parents, Sheri and Pat.  A good time will be had by all.

There's lots of last minute wrapping and mailing going on around here--can Christmas really be this Sunday? 

I spent a very quiet weekend, still in recovery mode from Las Vegas, to a certain extent.  The art I bought at the Art of the American Cowboy show, held at South Point during the rodeo, has arrived and I will be posting the remaining pictures.  I absolutely LOVE the Lynn Bean piece I  posted recently--please pardon the shadow of my head in the photo.  :)  (I'm a writer, not a photographer.)

Bernice has been a little gimpy, with the onset of cold weather, but she's on medicine now and is much improved.  Buck is wearing his winter coat, out there in the pasture--he's easy to spot, being the green one.  :)

May all the blessings of the Season and the New Year be yours.

Back tomorrow.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Art by Lynn Bean

Posted by Picasa

What happens in Vegas...

stays on Facebook, according to a t-shirt I saw on my recent trip.  :) 

Vegas does seem to cast some kind of spell over a person--I ended up getting my ears re-pierced, and I actually considered a tattoo.  (A small one.)  Whatever my beliefs about courage may be, however--I mainly agree with John Wayne that being brave means being scared to death and saddling up anyway--I am a coward in the face of so many needles.  :)  A friend got a tattoo once, after a divorce--a small phoenix rising from the ashes, and one of my favorite podcasters, Alison Lee of "Craftcast", admitted to a sudden yen to acquire false eyelashes during her stay in Glitter Gulch.  Something just comes over a person.  :)  One starts to believe it's perfectly reasonable to wear gold lamee to the supermarket or carry a purse (around Spokane?) so laden with glitz that it could have been used to signal an iceberg warning to the Titanic--from Newfoundland.

Not that I regret having my ears re-pierced--it was quick and painless and the holes are evenly spaced.  The first round, in the 1960s, involved these wicked little hoops with points, called "self-piercers", which required a week to ten days of low-grade torment, the point slowly working its way through the earlobe.  Plus, I put them in crooked.  :)

My Lynn Bean print arrived yesterday and as soon as it's up a wall, I'll snap a photo and post it here and on Twitter.  

Back to work --and there's lots of wrapping and shopping to do, too.  My company probably won't want to eat my D.I.E.T. foods.  :)

Find something good, large or small, and celebrate.

Or wear gold lamee to the supermarket. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Home on the Range

Yorkie Bernice has been a little gimpy since the weather turned cold, so we hauled her to the vet yesterday.  (Fortunately, at 12 pounds, she's an easy-loader.)  She's on medicine and lo and behold, she's already better, which is a weight off my mind, I can tell you.   

I'm writing again, no small feat after a trip away from home, and Christmas is springing up all over the place.  The tree is lit and decorated--I have always loved Christmas trees.  (Maybe that's why I'm so drawn to shiny things the rest of the time.  :) )

There's a little skiff of snow on the ground this morning--I woke up late (again) and am still on my first cup of coffee.  Bought myself a thing called a "dawn-simulator", not nearly as fancy or high tech as it sounds.  It's basically a rather large alarm clock with a set of LED lights in it, and it gradually brightens when it reaches the time you've set--I'm sure it's known around here, on the QT, of course, as "Linda's latest wacky gadget"--but I think it might help take the edge off those winter blues that tend to sneak up on me.  This year, I'm determined to do everything I can to stay happy and well--vitamins, exercise, the D.I.E.T., etc.

Speaking of the D.I.E.T., even though I certainly enjoyed the food and wine in Vegas, I'm awfully glad to be back on my regular plan.  My jeans still fit, right out of the dryer, so I figure I did okay.  :)

I'm headed back to Parable, to hang out with Hutch and Kendra and the rest of the outfit.  It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.


Have a good day.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Home Alone

Except, of course, for the three fur faces.  Bernice the Yorkie threw a one-dog party when I came home, but the cats were only mildly interested.  Return of the human can-opener, etc.  :)

As you've probably noticed, blogging proved very difficult in Las Vegas--I managed a few short entries from my iPhone, but due to operator error, using the iPad was a no go.  Left to my own devices, I tend to do this kind of thing--I neglected, it seems, to sign up for something called 3G, since it never occurred to me that it needed to be done.  At home, of course, the iPad works from my regular wireless set up.  Alas.

I am exhausted--I did not even stir until 11:30 this morning, as Jen and I did not arrive back at the ranch until well after midnight.  Bernice and I celebrated, and I took a bath and fell straight into bed, where I instantly sank into a coma-like slumber and remained there for many hours.

The highlights of the trip are numerous, and I'll probably be remembering them all week.  :)  From a people standpoint, my brother Jerry was there with a Western art group and we got together a couple of times, first for my "VIP" event at Caesar's, a book signing held right on the casino (Paris) floor.  Fun!  I joined Jerry at South Point and sure enough, I loaded up on some of that Western art--beautiful stuff.  When it arrives, I will tweet pictures of each piece and also put them up here and on Facebook.  I am especially excited about the work of an artist named Lynn Bean ( , who uses copper to accent her paintings.  Anyway, following the auction/art show, Jerry treated me to a seafood buffet and we caught up on all the latest.  My cousin, Lee Bleecker, and his wife Margie were in town, as were daughter Wendy and fiance, Jeremy.  Wendy, Jeremy and niece/assistant Jen went on a Ghost Tour, among other things.

I did the Flint Rasmussen show--"Out of the Barrel"--and, as always, it was tremendous fun.  Met the members of a band called the Dirty Drifters--nice guys, actually, with a great sound.  I managed to cut a swath at my favorite trade show, Cowboy Christmas, like always, and didn't over-buy. (For once.)

My fabulous publisher, Harlequin, set up a Livestream interview over the internet--that was fun!--and did numerous other things to make my trip magical.  Thanks to all of you, Michelle and Melanie in particular.  As for the folks from Caesar's Entertainment, well, they just treated me like a queen is all.

Lots of unpacking to do, so I'd better get on with it.  Back to writing the new book tomorrow, and that rates a huge, YEE-HAW!!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Fabulous day! Flint's show was a hoot, as always. The event in the afternoon blew me away. My readers are the best! Family dinner here at the hotel with Lee and Marg, the British Columbia cousins, treated us Jerry had to rush off to the rodeo. I am definitely sleeping in tomorrow. :)

Hello from Vegas!

Would you believe I'm writing this entry on my cell phone????
Having loads of fun here. Did you catch my Livestream
video yesterday? Check out Harleqin's Facebook page. It will
soon be available on my site.

If you're in Vegas, stop by the Caberet area here at the Paris Hotel at
3:00. All you need is a free card from the player's club to join the fun.

These Caesar's Entertainment folks are spoiling a certain barn goddess for sure!

Will write more ASAP.

Wish you were here!

Monday, December 05, 2011

I'm Off!

Off to Las Vegas--or, as my dad would have said, "Lost Wages", Nevada.

Tomorrow afternoon, I'll be doing a live video cast from Glitter Gulch--check the Harlequin website for a link.  Even if you miss the actual presentation, you'll still be able to access it later on, so no worries.

I'll be blogging right along, and tweeting, too.  Not to mention shopping, cowboy-watching, and playing a few slot machines.  :)

More later.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Well, Gooooooleee!

Publisher's Weeky reprinted my Veteran's Day blog on their bestseller page for November 21, 2011.  Color me might darn proud.

And mighty darn busy.

Book to write, rodeo to attend.

Busy, busy!

And that's just the way I like it.  :)