Wednesday, Dec 27

After three solid days and nights in this house (beautiful as it is) I needed to get out for a few hours, so last night I went over to the local casino, bought some tickets and played my favorite penny slot machine–Cleopatra. The objective is to get three or more Pharohs, because then you get 15 bonus spins. The bonuses, of course, are hard to find. That’s why they’re bonuses. These particular machines are popular, and I’ve seen people literally throw themselves across them to claim one. At busy times, it’s hard to even get one, but I usually manage. (I have perfected this technique. I walk sedately through the front entrance, nod affably to the security guards–who are probably thinking “You again?”–and then run like a crazy woman.)

Cleo and I have a love-hate relationship. Being a computer, Cleo always says, at the end of a bonus round, “THAT was brilliant.” Even if it’s two dollars, Cleo calls it brilliant. This got Mary Ann, my cousin, housekeeper and partner in crime, and me to thinking of things Cleo should say.
Our favorite is, “THAT was pathetic!” Other contenders for favorite Cleo sayings:

Go home. You forgot to feed the dog.

Can you really afford to be doing this?

You don’t really think I’m designed to do anything but fleece you, do you?

And then there’s the most accurate one: Sucker!

When the drink server comes along, asking if we’d like anything, I usually want to say, “Yeah, a sledgehammer.” But clobbering Cleo like that would get me arrested and–even worse–banned from the casino. So I behave myself.


We all have our vices, I guess. Now you know. Cleo is one of mine. (Unfortunately, there are others.) I’m hoping it will make my eventual “Biography” episode more interesting. (No, there isn’t one scheduled–I was kidding.)

Plans for today? Write a chapter. Take Sadie-beagle in for a follow-up visit regarding her infected ear. And, maybe, just maybe, I’ll go play a little Cleopatra.

After all, I’m up a hundred bucks. Can’t have that.

About Linda

The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West.

Raised in Northport, Washington, Linda pursued her wanderlust, living in London and Arizona and traveling the world before returning to the state of her birth to settle down on a horse property outside Spokane.

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