Snowflakes That Stay On My Nose and Eyelashes. . . Really?

Right about now, many of you are dreaming about spring.  What a winter.  Blizzards, mudslides, floods.  And it’s still only January.

But let’s not talk about climate change.  In fact it could be dangerous for me to mention.  After all the Attorney General of my own fair state, a global warming skeptic, is currently trying to prosecute a University of Virginia professor for fraud because of grants he received to study that oh-so-controversial subject.  Watch out academia!  Nothing is safe here.  Studying, say, the mating call of the double-breasted cormorant could be next on Mr. Cuccinelli’s hit list.  Mating.  Double-breasted.  It could happen.  After all, this is the man who has redesigned the state seal to cover the naked breasts of the Roman goddess Virtus with armor.   

Instead, let’s discuss what to do about the wintry months ahead.  Today we’re going to talk about our favorite things.  And when I say “we?”  Listen up.  That means YOU, too.  In fact, I’m going to make sharing your favorite things worth your while, because I hope one of them might be an autographed novel from Emilie Richards.  Details at the end of the blog.

Meantime, here are a few things that make me smile. Remember this piece of advice: “When the snow falls, when the ice forms, when I need to thaw, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so. . . blah.” (Ouch, so sorry.)

A Few Of My Favorite Recipes:

  • Cuban style black beans.  I have better results with 2 cups less water than this recipe calls for.  Practice making and eating before reading Sunset Bridge.
  • Oatmeal bread.  A variation?  Three packages of Quaker Hearty Medleys cereal and enough boiling water to make 2 cups, in place of oatmeal. No honey needed.
  • Cheese grits.  What more can I say?  If you don’t “get” grits, can’t explain.  But this recipe’s fabulous and simpler than many.
  • Otsu.  I make this with regular soy sauce and rice vinegar. Can’t describe how wonderful this vegetarian dish is.

A Few Of My Favorite CDs:

  • Somewhere Along the Road by Cathie Ryan.  Really anything sung by Cathie Ryan.
  • Songbird by Eva Cassidy.  Again, anything sung by Eva, but “Fields of Gold” on this album is one of my all-time favorites.
  • Part II by Brad Paisley.  Okay, not a huge country music fan, but when my husband and I heard “Two People Fell in Love” on our radio on a road trip, we pulled off at the next K-mart and bought the CD. His recent CDs are also great.  So okay, they’re mushy, who cares?

A Few of My Favorite Websites:

So now it’s YOUR turn.  What’ s just one of your favorite things, something specific that might make the rest of us smile or sigh contentedly?  Tell us by clicking on “comment” at the top of this post, and you’ll be entered in a giveaway for one of five autographed novels to help wile away your winter evenings.   Obvious spammers will be eliminated at my discretion, of course, and only one chance per commenter, although you can add as many favorites as you like.  No links required.  You have a week. will make the selections.

Come on, make somebody happy today.  Spring’s on the way, I promise.


  1. Marilyn Seitz on January 17, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Baby giggles, puppy breath, sunsets, sunrises

  2. Vanetta on January 17, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Hello Emilie,

    mmmm let’s see:
    my family,
    my books,
    my friends
    Choc. Chip Cookies
    Coco Cola 🙂

    LOL I can name more, more I will leave it at that! 🙂

    Happy Monday! 🙂

  3. Melody Askew on January 17, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Curling up in a comfy chair with a child and a book in my lap. ♥

  4. Paula on January 17, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Reading in my big comfy chair with hot choc and marshmallows
    sitting on the deck of the Carnival Conquest watching the sunrise with my dh drinking coffee before everyone was up.
    My dd who is a actress singing the Phantom of the Opera opening night.

  5. Paula on January 17, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Reading in my big comfy chair with hot choc and marshmallows
    sitting on the deck of the Carnival Conquest watching the sunrise with my dh drinking coffee before everyone was up.
    My dd who is a actress singing the lead part of the Phantom of the Opera opening night.

  6. Donna Dreisewed on January 17, 2011 at 11:10 am

    My favorites are grandchildren to play with and my cuddly cat, who loves to warm himself on my netbook as I am trying to use it.

  7. Kelly Grace on January 17, 2011 at 11:11 am

    A few of my favorite things? A toothless smile from my son, spending the evening watching tv with my husband with a fire going, reading just about anything, quilting, cross stitch…..I could go on and on 🙂

  8. Lucy Golden on January 17, 2011 at 11:12 am

    pink kitty noses, babies laughing, the sound of waves crashing on the beach, the softness of the tops of my husbands feet.

  9. Barbara S on January 17, 2011 at 11:15 am

    hugging the grandchildren; my children saying “love you, mom”, the beach, salt & vinegar potato chips, lemon pie….

  10. Debbie Hearne on January 17, 2011 at 11:19 am

    My favorite things

    1.A kiss & hug from my grandaughter.

    2.Good cup of coffee.

    3.A good book.

    4.Snuggling under my favorite throw.

    5.A vanilla scented candle burning on a cold winter night.

  11. Amy Higgins on January 17, 2011 at 11:27 am

    1. reading!!
    2. quilting!!

  12. Kay Myhrman-Toso on January 17, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Time for real conversations w/ family & friends; the welcome home greetings of our dogs; Minnesota Public Radio; “last frost date”=spring planting time; uninterrupted time for reading; hiking a new trail.

  13. Deb Forbes on January 17, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Curled up next to my hubby reading while he watches TV

  14. Debbie Haupt on January 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Why reading a book by one of my favorite authors :), sitting by the fire watching the snow and knowing I don’t have to be out in it with my hubby.
    ps Thanks for the contest


  15. Penny Tuttle on January 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I raise foster kittens for the local humane society – so kittens really make me smile.

  16. Karen Pollard on January 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Big hugs from my Grandson.
    Giant snowflakes
    Coconut Cream Pie
    Good Music
    Reading a great novel
    Memories of my Daughter

  17. Sue Rice on January 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    The warm washcloth on my face in the evening after I wash my face to get ready for bed. The song “Jump” by Van Halen always makes me happy. My family. Nuff said!

  18. Tiffany Drew on January 17, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    One of my favorite things, especially when it is cold outside, is playing some board games with my two kids and listening to them laugh. They are so much fun and it is always hilarious to play games with them 🙂

  19. Sue Goodin on January 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    One of my favorite things is the smell of a newborn baby.
    Nothing can beat it.

  20. Cathy Norton on January 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Making cookies with my granddaughters
    A day too snowy to be able to go to work so I can stay in my pjs, drink almond tea and work on my latest quilt project

  21. Fran Currier on January 17, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    There is nothing like reading a recommended book, or writter and discovering I like and am inspired by them!!! There are so many out there, good and bad! Also like discovering new musical artists! Have loved music all my life and always like to discover someone I havent heard that I REALLY like. Also like to hear good news and inspirational people.

  22. carolyn mirabella on January 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    frshley bathed babies
    soft spring rains
    quietly snowing at night
    Christmas smells
    BEST OF ALL: when my three youngest grands come running, calling “Nonni” and their arms around me with kisses
    Falling asleep with a baby in my arms in the huge recliner [I’m 5’2″] that I can’t reach the floor with my feet
    My husband’s everynight for the last 50 years
    When my husband says “I love you” out of the blue and getting to do that back to him at another time
    Holding onto my husband and him holding me back

  23. Dorena bunetic on January 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    my children, peppermint truffles, cheese on toast, my Snuggie, my pets and days off!

  24. Evie on January 17, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    A good book while listening to my favorite tunes from the 60’s and
    When I get perfect seams and points on my quilts.

  25. Sherry on January 17, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    One of my most favorite things is sitting on the floor of a book store with my sister. We do not discriminate…used, new, Barnes & Noble, Borders…any book store will do. We love all book stores! If this is happening, then it means we are on ‘Sisters’ trip somewhere. This is my most favorite thing…dusting the floor of a book store with my behind as my sister and I seek out THE next book. Pure joy!

  26. Linda P in IL on January 18, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Sleeping under a toasty electric blanket on a cold winter night…off to do that now 🙂

  27. Kelley on January 19, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Hmmm, I have to say having a Coke in the morning gets me through most days, hot or cold. That first sip in the morning takes me to my happy place. Also, waking up in the middle of the night and knowing I still have several hours to sleep. What makes it even better is when I also know I can sleep in 🙂 And, having my daughter make me laugh over silly stuff is what makes me happy the most.

  28. Betsey Sumners on January 19, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Hot cup of cider and a book are wonderful, but then again a hot cup of tea with lemon is perfect in my sewing room working on a quilt or sewing project. The hard part is choosing! So I have time to do either or, there is something in the crockpot so dinner will be ready for my family, they will have to wish for clean clothes another day?? Only kidding, need the occasional change of pace of flipping laundry…sigh!

  29. Paula Petty on January 19, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Chocolate, Diet Coke, iced tea, and puppy licks.

  30. Audrey Bonnell on January 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

    When the wind and snow hits northern Mi, I begin to think of spring and the renewal and rebirth that season brings. My most favorite and uplifting thing when that season is just around the corner (which one I ask) is the first sighting of the hummingbird, what an amazing creature. When I see them coming to the feeder and just hanging there in mid- air I can’t help but smile. If I am late with the feeder they come and look right in the window as if to say “Ok where is my food, did you think I would forget that you feed me. Bring it out here right now!”

  31. Betty Olson on January 19, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Book stores, both new and used books. I can spend hours in one.

  32. Betty Olson on January 19, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Why is my comment awaiting moderation? How can I get my email address out of there?

    • Emilie Richards on January 19, 2011 at 10:45 am

      Awaiting moderation only means that I scan it first to be sure it’s not spam before it goes up as a comment. Only I see your email address, and I only use it to notify you if you’ve won one of the novels. It’s not added to any lists, and wordpress has security measures. If you want my online newsletter, you must sign up for that on my website, and confirm you did in a separate email. Hope that helps.

  33. Alicia Farage on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Watching puppies play contently while I’m enjoying a good book.

  34. Lavanya on January 19, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Thanks for this contest! Aside from reading books with my puppy by my side, I love checking out cute pics of animals at That site always makes me smile no matter what!

    Look forward to the third installment of Happiness Key!

  35. Jackie Roisler on January 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Happiness is a few ‘me’ moments….(1)after a tiring day I feel rejuevenated by propping my legs up via (learned this from my Dr.) lying on the floor on my back near a bed/chair and placing the feet/ankles up above on the chair/bed (this looks like sitting in a hard chair, just laying down), after a few minutes my legs feel lighter. Remove the legs to the floor, roll over to lay flat on your stomach on the floor and lift up your back with elbows to floor with hands relaxing on the floor, thus stretching the spine & back muscles…stay until you feel relaxed. (2) Hugging my critters (3) Really looking @ our beautiful nature & sky 🙂

  36. Betty Olson on January 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks for the explanation.

  37. Judy S. on January 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    1. A snow day–especially on a Monday or Friday–with a brand new book (the latest in a series is best of all) just waiting to be read.

    2. When my 3rd-graders all really get something I’ve taught them–love the looks on their faces!

    3. A pepperoni, sausage, black & green olive pizza from our local pizza place.

  38. Becky in Georgia on January 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

    1. A hot, hot cup of coffee as soon as I wake up.
    2. Returning to bed on a rainy day to read for hours on end
    3. Sewing sessions with my quilting buddies
    4. Watching football with DH

    Enjoyed reading the other comments!

  39. Ruthanne on January 20, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I love having my grown children come to visit with their children because they want to see me. I love that I share my quilting and reading and miniature hobbies with my family and friends. I love being mostly retired so that I can do all those things. And I love discovering that one of my favorite authors graduated from my alma mater and another grew up where my parents moved when I went to that alma mater and now lives in my beloved NC mountains near where I was born. How many degrees of separation connect us all? Not many. I love that too.

  40. Nancy Badertscher on January 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Spending time with my 4 kids, 3 of whom live near us now that we moved from VA to GA, and our 5 grandkids
    Having Hubby around most of the time now that he is retired too
    Having a room to quilt in so I can go in whenever I want and just pick up where I left off
    The low-country cooking of one of my sons-in-law
    Reading – sometimes even during the middle of the day, with hubby reading on the other end of the couch
    Having a house big enough to accommodate all our kids when they come to visit

  41. Fran Currier on January 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    My favorite food in the world—-hard shell crabs from Md and Va. Living in Ohio, I only get them in Colonial Beach, VA twice a year and of course have a crab feast when we have them. Grew up in MD. Another favorite thing is finding a book that have been looking for forever!!!!One more—-recommending a book and people follow my recommendation and come back to me and say they loved it!Makes you feel good!

  42. Denise on January 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Some of my favorite things are my journaling/quiet times with God, spending time with my Grandsons, and the rest of my family :), movies, painting, reading, quilting, sunlight streaming in through the windows, being outside in warmer temps on my “mood” swing.

  43. Patricia on January 21, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Enjoying a good, home-cooked meal with my family and sharing memories….

  44. Sarah Vee on January 21, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Favourite things – I love this song sung by Kenny Rogers on his Christmas CD.

    Other favourite things include camping with my family {but not the prep work!},
    Lasagna and cheesecake,
    being at a parade,
    designing a new quilt,
    making my kids laugh,
    and finishing a good book:)

    Thanks for the chance!

  45. Grace on January 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

    The first cup of tea in the morning.
    Reading a good book.
    Quilting with my friends every Tuesday night.
    Going to quilt shows with my friends.
    Listening to Kenny G cd’s.
    Spending time at the beach.

  46. Quilter kathy on January 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

    What makes me smile is… friends who are creative and brainstorm ideas together, and come up with something to inspire others…just like you and Pat have done! A quilt to go with a book series…a fabulous treat!

  47. Linda on January 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Doing nice things for others – each night my husband & I try to beat each other at turning on the electric blanket so the other one will be nice and toasty warm. Or getting the coffee made early in the morning for each other.

  48. JoAnne on January 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Flourless chocolate cake.
    Watching a beautiful (and not being obligated to go anywhere)

  49. Shirley in Canada on January 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Besides chocolate – my all time first with Anything ;-), it would be the laughter of my four grand-kids (ages 1 – 6)and the humor they find in every day life. Looking at the world through a child’s eyes is so very rewarding!

  50. Nancy on January 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Hearing my favorite song come on the radio and turning it up full blast so no one can hear me sing along!
    Chocolate, lots of chocolate!

  51. pam on January 21, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I love to spend time in antique malls or shops, fabric shops, and book stores.
    Curl up in a chair with a good book on a cold day and sip tea. Oh, and be under a warm quilt. It doesn’t get better than that…unless a cat decides to sit with me.


  52. Maeve on January 22, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I just found your blog through Pat Sloan and I am so happy to be here! OK, a few of my favorite things: my family, my grandchildren, my friends, bookstores & books galore, fabric & quilting, walking outdoors on a cool, sunny day, and very dark, rich chocolate. Those are but a few of my favorite things. I will be enjoying your blog from now on! And ordering your trilogy!

  53. Linda on January 23, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Having your grandchild unexpectedly walk in the door and say they wanted to come and see Granny 🙂

  54. Emily on January 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Hearing my son’s ringtone on my cell phone.

  55. Sharel OConnell on January 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    For me, my favorites include…. reading (your) books on my new Nook, playing electronic games (currently addicted to Farmville, LOL), and spending time with my family and friends. I have a busy job, so these favorites help me unwind in the evenings and weekends.

    By the way, cooking doesn’t rank on my Favorites list, because I’m lucky enough to have a husband that does all the cooking. I guess that’s another fave – watching him cook. LOL

  56. Katy on January 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Curling up with a warm blanket, a cup of hot chocolate, my kitten and a good book always makes me feel better.

    Knitting with my favorite yarn (Malabrigo) helps too.

  57. Lynn on January 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    One of my favorite things is to sit down in my chair and have one of my cats come and curl up on my lap and purr. No matter what day I’ve had or what is going on in my world, that sound is a great stress reliever for me. Of course I am also enjoying a cup or tea and a book at the time, which are also big favorites.

  58. Gail Poreda on January 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    I love to cuddle up in an afghan and read,read,read.I read to my ten grandchildren constantly and when I’m not reading to them,I’m reading and rereading any book I can get my hands on.I love any genre.

  59. Denise on January 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Curled up in my favorite chair with a good book, sipping what I call “a hug in a mug.” An oh so warm, Big Train Spiced Chai Tea Latte!

  60. Patty on January 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Sun breaking through the clouds after a long, cold, rainy day! Mississippi isn’t supposed to be this cold! And, yes, good grits are great! Ever had Shrimp and grits?!?

  61. Wendy Jo on January 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Being part of bringing food to the needy people in my community and then baking cookies and desserts.

  62. Karen Pollard on January 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I would LOVE to win one of your autographed books! How cool could that be???

  63. Connie Williamson on January 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I love to travel, to see how other people live, what other people see. Then I take pictures of it all.
    Oh and chocolate.

  64. Sandy K on January 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    My favorite comfort food is my homemade macaroni and cheese! So very good when it is cold outside in NE Ohio.

  65. Lynn Ross on January 23, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    My favorite things depend not so much on what I am doing but rather with whom I am doing it. I love unexpected get-togethers with my family, visiting with friends in person or on the phone, reading (especially your books), writing and playing on Facebook.

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