I THINK I WILL PASS ON FRUITCAKES IN THE KITCHEN AND LIFE

In 2021, I choose not to make either the fruit cake or the orange slice cake or even the fruit cake cookies I love. I am over it, all of the nonsense in the world so I will make other cakes like a sweet pound cake and cookies without the fruitiness as we have seen all of the fruitcake personalities and it is time for a smooth, and simplistic versions for 2022. Joking aside, I plan on downsizing a lot of things in the new year both food wise and spiritual side. Focusing on quality and not quantity, value and not as much on how it appears.

2020 NOTE FROM ARLINE: Merry Christmas to All and I decided to bake an Orange Slice Cake instead of the fruit cake to hope 2021 will be a better year. I wish you and your family a safe and prosperous New Year as well.

I watched a video from Cooking with Brenda Gantt who showed us how to make this cake. For the recipe go to Cooking with Brenda Gantt on Facebook. Be sure to follow her as she is a talented cook and great spirit.

FRUITCAKE SEEMS TO FIT THIS YEAR with all of the craziness going on in our country and our world. It seems the entire human race has become fruity and early this morning this inspiration came to me. It may seem satirical but I am known to be a little brassy and sassy and even a little fruity so let’s bite right into this subject.

When we were little, the Christmas Fruit Cake was a great treat for us so I have never understood the adversity to the fruit. We would have to wait after Momma baked her fruitcake, packed it with sliced apples, and wrapped it in cloth (later became foil). It seemed like the longest days before that luscious smell in the oven to actually getting a piece. We all stood round when she finally cut into it for her approval of her baking skills. She would say, “This is a good one or “We need to let it mellow longer” which was not the news we wanted to hear. Even if she was going to let it sit as she called the time we were waiting, she would give us a sample. Keep these words in mind as I move through this thought process. I will refer to this time again.

Momma’s Fruitcake

1 lb. Candied Pineapple                                    1 cup Self-Rising Flour

1 lb. Candied Cherries                                       1 cup Plain Flour

6 cups Pecans                                                       1 t. each vanilla & lemon extract

1 cup sugar                                                            1 cup chopped dates               

1/2 lb. margarine melted (butter for me)    1 cup golden raisins

5 large eggs

1 can Angel Flake Coconut

Chop fruit and nuts in large container. Pour coconut, sugar, flavoring, and beaten eggs over fruit. Add melted butter and mix. Add flours over mixture and mix until wet. Bake in lined pan (Momma used wax paper but modern times have other options) at 275 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. 

Note: No mention of the apple slices placed on top of cake and wrapped. To be kept unopened for several days until it becomes moist.

My friend Bill Curington posted this funny one from the Farside and I had to share it on the blog.

History of the Fruitcake

A traditional Easter Simnel cake

The earliest recipe from ancient Rome lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. In the Middle Ageshoneyspices, and preserved fruits were added.[citation needed]

Fruitcakes soon proliferated all over Europe. Recipes varied greatly in different countries throughout the ages, depending on the available ingredients as well as (in some instances) church regulations forbidding the use of butter, regarding the observance of fastPope Innocent VIII (1432–1492) finally granted the use of butter, in a written permission known as the ‘Butter Letter’ or Butterbrief in 1490, giving permission to Saxony to use milk and butter in the Stollenfruitcakes.[2]

Starting in the 16th century, sugar from the American Colonies (and the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits) created an excess of candied fruit, thus making fruitcakes more affordable and popular.[3]

Here is what I perceive has been going on in our lives and how fruity we have become.

  • We want things in life to be “sweet” even if it goes against any healthy reasoning or moral values, manners, or traditions and we are asking people to accept anything that has that “sugary” feeling.
  • We see videos over and over on the cat-dog, pig-dog, cats-horses, etc and we want to believe that all animals accept all animals can live in harmony and on the surface, it seems so beautiful but nature is nature and we have to stop and consider the safety of each species. It is not a given that all creatures get along and we have to consider the rule of nature and take precautions to prevent injury to either one.
  • Some people just don’t like fruitcake. I personally love it but have to eat a small piece now for health reasons but I have seen so many people go “Ugh! How do you eat fruitcake? I can’t stand it.”

For all of you who want more of Fruitcake Trivia, I found an interesting article that is too lengthy for me to add in this blog. Here is the link to the article

15 Fun Facts About Fruitcake

Click on the link above to take you to the article for your reading pleasure.

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This brings me to my focus of this message.

No matter how much you blend, chop, mix, and/or bake, some people are never going to like fruitcake and that my friends is society in a fruitcake. You can preach, beg, threaten, or try to convince people and if they don’t like it, they don’t like it. We need to stop saying we believe in inclusion and acceptance and then tell the others they can’t say this or they can’t say that. That is not acceptance……that is bullying! We all have preferences and some like fruitcake and others prefer pound cake or pie or neither. My point is that even though I personally like fruitcake, I can understand others not liking it. I can see their side and accept that side. I don’t however, feel I have a right to push fruitcake on them. I personally don’t like raspberries very much so I would prefer someone understanding my dislike. I wouldn’t have a problem with others eating raspberries and I think this is the true meaning of inclusion and acceptance. In our society, we could benefit from agreeing to disagreeing but never demanding that the other one has to say “I love fruitcake” when they don’t. Get my drift?

As I promised to return to the period of “curing” time for Momma’s fruitcake and it contains a wonderful lesson in life. Thank you Mom! Here is my interpretation: Mom’s cake would have been good when she took it out of the oven. As children, we would have gobbled it up immediately but Momma was wise and knew it needed that quiet time, that curing time, that sweetening time. Waiting while it matured in flavor, we were impatient and wanted what we wanted right then but the lesson we were taught was the following:

“Anything worth having or accomplishing is worth the time that it takes to happen in the right way. Success cannot be impulsively demanded but has to have the mellowing and adding that extra ingredient to complete perfection.”  (these are my words but could have been delivered by Mom during our waiting time).

I leave you with this final thought: Life is not just a pound cake, fruitcake, cookies or even pie. Life is a continual meal and has to be prepared on a daily basis.

LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by adding ingredients and mixing it up with some fun ingredients.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

CANDY CANES ARE A STILL A TRADITION.

As the holiday season has begun in 2021, we are looking forward to another year of celebrating Christmas. I am blessed to have the two of the older grandsons helping Granddaddy and Nana put up the decorations. Wow, have they grown and we thank God for them to be tall enough to help. Of course, they get treats, breakfast out with Grandaddy and Nana had cookies waiting on them. I wondered if they were still excited over the candy canes and so I asked. I received a resounding YES! Here is a post about the candy canes at Christmas at Millerville.

2020 update on Candy Canes: The candy canes will be displayed this year as well. The children up to ages 12 and down look for them as they come in the door at Christmas. This year I am using a ceramic big Santa Boot to display the large ones and will continue to place small ones in the ceramic snow capped house that we smile as we unpack it every year. We now have 9 grandchildren, 6 boys and 3 girls. There is never a dull moment but a lot of happiness when we get together.

This was a post in 2016 and more grandchildren are here (8 total) and each one precious in their own right. I thought I would repost this one for several reasons. Yes, the candy cane house is out on the counter waiting for the grands to see but not touch and will go home with them as years before. Why I bring this tradition up is to reflect how important the little things and lessons we teach the young ones stays with them as reminded a few days ago when one of our grandsons came to spend his one on one day with Granddaddy and Nana. He saw the Christmas tree and was excited to be the first one to see his birdhouse (that is a blog post for another day) but what I found to be profound was when he spotted the candy canes in the house on the counter. He didn’t want to grab one even though he immediately let Nana know peppermint is one of his favs. He reminded me of the promise of Nana sending those candy canes home at Christmas for their reward candy. Oh, how Nana smiled and promised those were their reward candy canes. How sweet it is. I was reminded we do make a difference and now for the original blog post:

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CHILDREN SLEEP WHILE SUGAR CANDY CANES DANCE IN THEIR HEADS. We live in a world where a lot of children never know what the word no means. I am writing this post in hopes some people will read it and witness positive ways to bring children into reality and hopefully dispel some of the fantasy of giving anything to children anytime they say they want it

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We buy the candy canes that fit in the ceramic house that Berta made us so the children can spot them when they come in the door.

.At first, when our son (my stepson but he is like mine) and his beautiful wife started having a lot of children, we were shocked. Of course we worried like all grandparents do….Will they be able to take care of them?…..Will they be able to take the time with each one?……Will they be able to get good education…..and on and on. Old dogs can learn new tricks and both of us, Granddaddy and Nana have observed one of the best parenting teams we have ever seen.

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As you can see the Candy Cane House and Boot have the Reward Canes Ready.

Here is Myles the youngest grandson with our first granddaughter.

Myles and Mason and since then we have Rubie. Total of 9 wonderful grands.
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My daughter Missy with most of the boys. What a lot of love for Aunt MissyImage may contain: indoor
Poetry comes from the heart. I know mine does.
These two have grown since this beautiful picture but Hank was so proud of his little sister Addilyn, I couldn’t resist posting this one.
Here are 7 of our 9 grands with Rubie in Abram’s lap. I asked Nolan if he still loved the candy canes even with him getting older and it was a definite YES!

Candy Canes with Loving Care

The candy canes are hung with loving care

In hopes the grandchildren will see them there.

It is a tradition for the canes to accompany them.

For a reward, they can earn; not eat on a whim.

Each year as the boys come into the room,

It seems as if their bright eyes begin to zoom.

Nana, are those our candy canes?

Yes, boys, your excitement never wanes.

They are to be earned for your good deeds

Not to be gobbled whenever you please.

Your parents will keep them nice and safe.

So be good boys and don’t hesitate.

To say I love you, thank you, and please.

Be nice to each other; kindly play not tease.

We have lots of candy canes so release

All your goodness and enjoy your sweets.

For our grands who love the candy canes and all our

Love……Nana and Granddaddy 2016

Written by Arline Miller

Now for the deeper thought……Sometimes we forget as we get older the most precious moments and special gifts are those gifts we work toward and feel a great accomplishment when we achieve. It is not the monetary value; it is the love behind the gift. I have witnessed so much love and sharing between our 5 grandsons and now they have their sister who each one of them take the time to hug or touch Mason when they pass by. She is special to them and I know they will teach her the Candy Cane Rewards that Nana will send home with them as she grows older. Maybe it might be fun to try this little game with your grandchildren and watch how they respond. Have a Merry Christmas or Holiday Season with the little ones! CHRISTMAS is the birthday of Jesus Christ who is the reason for the season.

BIBLE FEATURED VERSE:

Luke 2:1-20New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

(c) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location for reference credit.

WHAT WAS SPECIAL ABOUT HOSS?

As we get older, it becomes more evident how the stories and adventures shared while we were young are not getting passed on to the younger ones. Or at least, not in many circles is what I observe. I have shared some stories with our grandchildren and they seem to be excited about those childhood escapades. Nana is looked at at a baker, a spoiler, a source of love, but when I told them that Nana grew up mostly outdoors with my Dad and actually went hunting for raccoons, and fished with the best of them baiting my own hook, grubbing for worms, and always taking off the fish I caught from the hook. I could shoot a gun safely and even killed a moccasin in our yard from a distance keeping my daughter safe. Do you share your childhood adventures with your children and/or grandchildren?

This is my Dad who was in his police uniform but he was happiest in his country clothes.

I had a conversation with an uncle who I have always been very close to me and he shared a story about a little hen that had so much spirit. I hadn’t heard that story and I felt I was there with him while it happened. I could see that little hen giving life all she had to survive. It was interesting and it was a warm loving moment for me and him to share it. It made me feel that it was a blog message in the making for us to consider writing or recording these priceless stories.

Let me ask you this question, Have your parents/grandparents/aunts and uncles/good family friends shared those old stories and the tingle rose from hearing those adventures?

Now, for the story my Dad shared with me about Hoss? Hoss was the name Daddy chose and once I saw Hoss, I knew that was a perfect name for this dog who was as big as a pony. Back then, we weren’t as concerned about a dog’s pedigree as we had a lot of mixtures or as we called them Heinz 57’s. I think Hoss was a mix of Great Dane. He had eyes that looked into your soul and he summed a person up in a second as to the character in your body. Even still, he was territorial and until my Dad said it was okay, you didn’t come into “Duke’s” yard. Once Daddy said, Okay Duke, you could come in and he was like a puppy to play with and a total lover boy. He obeyed Daddy’s commands and he seemed to understand every word out of his owner’s mouth. He was a one person owner and as I said, until Daddy said it was okay, Duke never moved from his position until it was time for his yard perimeter patrol. Daddy took pride in Hoss and would give me a heads up on Duke’s precise timing. Daddy said, “Watch this baby, Hoss will patrol the yard in a couple of minutes; he does it every hour with in a minute or two of exactly an hour.” Sure enough, in a minute or two, Hoss stood up and began the trek of the yard fence and in a precise directive walk, walked the fence line, sniffing and looking out beyond the yard and slowed down at intervals at the pigeon house. He lifted and lowered his big head and listened for any sounds. He returned to his spot and laid down satisfied that all was secure. He would sleep, get some water, but he waited at that spot. Of course, I couldn’t wait to see how close he would come to the next hour when Hoss stood up at amazingly close timing and repeated this action. Daddy would chuckle showing off Hoss.

Photo courtesy of Camelot Kennels and this is not a true comparison since Hoss was a lot larger than this true Great Dane.

I used this photo to give you a glimpse in how large Hoss was but we never got a picture of Hoss but he was larger than this big boy.

Here is the true story of Hoss told by my Daddy on one of my visits and why it is important to pass down these “good as any book” story. I called Daddy to check on him and he said, “Baby, you are not going to believe what Hoss did.” I expected that he had caught some trespassing animal and took care of it, but he apparently caught a real trespasser. Daddy’s land ran close to Georgia Power lines and if the linemen were going to go to work on the lines, it was necessary to park on Daddy’s land as the land sloped and was lower where the actual lines were. The lineman had come out the day before and asked Daddy for permission to park at the front of his yard and he would be working on the lines most of the morning. Of course, Dad had no problem with him parking his truck. The next morning, Daddy was working at the car repair garage and it hit him. Oh no, he hadn’t told Hoss or introduced the lineman to Hoss. Daddy jumped into his truck and drove home immediately, and this was the sight he saw. The man was on the top of his truck with Hoss standing on his hind legs barking every time the man moved an inch. Daddy called out to Hoss, it was okay, good job, and to go to the yard. Hoss obeyed him and dropped to all fours and walked away as it he had completed his mission. The man was ready to leave and he told the rendition of how Hoss immediately put him on the top of his truck and even when he tried to slip into the cabin, Hoss sent him back to the top. He couldn’t even leave. He tried to talk to him but Hoss was not having it. The funniest part of the story was Daddy told him he was sorry that he had not told Hoss the man was coming and it was okay and now that Hoss knew he could come and go as he pleased. Hoss wouldn’t bother him. That theory wasn’t tested as I am sure that lineman found a new place to park just in case Hoss didn’t hear my Dad. I knew that he could have come and Hoss would have been fine. He was that smart but a part of my heart fully understood why he chose not to come back.

Doesn’t your family have great stories and do you share them, record them, and treasure those memories. I have many stories from my childhood and I love to share them. That may be the writer in me, but it doesn’t take a writer to record one of our parents/grandparents/siblings/others recount of times gone by. I suggest it strongly for our heritage to remain in our families. I have listened to my family’s antics and adventures and I hope you have a storehouse of your own.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material will be sourced if known to the original location/author for credit reference.

GOATS ARE THE AMBASSADORS TO COUNTRY LIVING AT ITS BEST

A LOOK BACK TO DADDY’S GOATS is a tribute from Daddy’s girl (me) to my Dad Arlie Lott. You can see who I was named after and miss this man who shared so much of my childhood with hunting and fishing. We rode the country side together and if he had his head under the hood of his 1949 truck, my head was under there too. I treasure those times and I found this post from several years ago. I hope you enjoy the humor in it because that was something my Dad and I shared too.

One of the cutest goats on the Lott Family “Farm”. Photo courtesy of the Lotts, Blake, Cody and Katie, and Mark and Sheila Lott
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Here is the post featuring my attempt at writing a song (you can see I was smart enough to stick with blogging. A little update, I finished the second book and started on the third book. (UPDATE: This is a previous blog from several years ago and I am happy to say I published my third book in 2019).

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My family with my brothers Joe and Carlton, my sister Juanelle, My Dad, Arlie Lott, and my Mom, Beatrice Holt Lott.

TODAY THE WORDS are DADDY’S GOATS.  Usually,from the stories I post which encompass the animals, I get a lot of response. This one may give you a little laugh or smile. Many of you will know who I am talking about when I mention Peggy Mercer, a classmate of mine, author of several children’s books and songwriter  encouraged me to try my hand at song writing. I assured her she might want me to stick to writing on the blog and on the book, but many of you know how persistent Peggy is so here is the first verse and chorus of my “song”  DADDY’S GOATS. The beauty of the story is such a good one for all of us to learn from the goats. They knew how to keep life simple. They had goals and if something happened to upset their completion of those goals (climbing up and going down) they got up and tried again. I miss my Daddy since he died and I miss those special times when we would go out and visit with his animals and what I would give to go fishing with him one more time. When this song writing fiasco happened years ago, I emailed my song to Peggy and once she stops laughing at my amateur attempts at song writing; she will probably tell me to get up and try again LOL.  (Side note: As of July 2015, I have received no offers for song writing contracts so I leave all of that to my friends, especially Michael Rey – Country Songwriter; Lily Nelson; and Peggy Mercer but on a good note, I have published my first novel, “A Mistress, A Wife” and now writing my second one, “Tell Me Lies; Love Me Still”.)

The moral of this story is we may not be good at everything, but it never hurts to try. We may have to try several times to get it right, but we need to keep trying. God allows us, by forgiveness, to try and try again to get our lives and souls right. I hope you smile when you read Daddy’s goats. Live life; love life and live life to the fullest!

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Goats playing as they know how to really have fun. Photo on Google

Verse 1

My mind goes back to a better time

When life was simple and people were kind

I would  visit on My Dad’s country place.

The farm; my Dad; and his goats in a line,

Laughing and loving, all the love we could find.

Chorus:

Love was simple way back then

Nobody was mad; everybody was glad

Dad loved his goats and he loved us.

They loved him back like the rest of us.

He was simple in love; he was simple in life.

If life could be free as Daddy with his goats.
(written by Arline Lott Miller)

Some city folks are returning to the “farm” by including some fun loving goats. Photos courtesy of the Lott family.
I think these young ladies have a little country blood in them and the animals love it. Photo courtesy of the Lott family.

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 


(c) copyright 2012-2021 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material, if source is known, is credited to original location for credit references.

My Oh My Do I Smell Pumpkin Pie?

TODAY THE WORDS ARE HOLIDAY SCENTS

No blog message on the HOLIDAY Scents would be complete without the scents of mountain air and beautiful leaves with their awesome display of color. This photo was from our wondrous changing of the leaves vacation.

Pumpkin flavored everything seems to be in all ads, coffee, shakes, lattes, cookies, pies, tarts and breads bring the strong allspice and cinnamon flavors. Answer me this…..As I listed these tasty and fragrant delights, did your smell sense rise especially when I mentioned cinnamon? Let’s go on a little memory trip and visit the gingerbread land.

When I was young and always ready for something Momma had baked; I looked forward to her tea cakes, her pound cakes (which we would always catch her out of the kitchen and jump up and down to cause it to fall; bless Momma’s heart it was years before she realized her cakes would have been beautiful if we hadn’t sabotaged her efforts to have it taste better), but I remember her gingerbread best of all. I could smell the fragrant aroma of the gingerbread loaf before I made it home from school. Walking up to our house, I could smell it’s wonderful smell and I was so excited. I am speaking from my heart but this was a unanimous contention for all of my siblings. It was a wonderful and joyous moment and now a great memory of those spices and more importantly, the love shown by our Mom.

We, as humans, are susceptible to smells as much as taste. We are usually expressive either pro or con about smells and aromas. Fall presents strong aromas and seemingly tied to family gatherings and holidays. This brings me to my focus for this message.

The Health Benefits of Pumpkin Spice

Tis the season … for pumpkin spice, that is. This seasonal spice blend might have its naysayers who believe that the pumpkin spice love has gotten a little out of control, but to them, we say: bring it on. Even Trader Joe’s is embracing pumpkin spice mania — or, as they put it, “Pumpkintopia”.

If you don’t know what pumpkin spice is, we have to say, you are missing out. Contrary to the name, it doesn’t contain any actual pumpkin, but the warming blend of spices pairs oh-so-well with pumpkin pie and the famous concoction that has stolen our hearts over the years: the pumpkin spice latte. Unfortunately, the most mainstream example of our beloved latte, the Starbucks PSL, is not and cannot be made vegan, but worry not — it’s easy to make your own vegan pumpkin spice latte at home.

Bonus: this homemade version comes with some health benefits. Let’s break down the reasons why.

Ahh, pumpkin spice … A warming symphony of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
Cinnamon has been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Studies have also suggested that it may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Ginger boasts a variety of health benefits, such as combating stomach ailments, reducing inflammation, reducing headache pain, aiding in digestion, and increasing metabolism.

Nutmeg is rich in manganese, which helps regulate blood sugar, absorb calcium, metabolize carbs, and helps form tissues and bones.

Allspice, also known as pimento, is rich in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, may help improve blood circulation and more.

Cloves are a rich source of manganese and an active component called eugenol, which functions as an anti-inflammatory substance. It has also been the subject of studies on the prevention of toxicity from environmental pollutants like carbon tetrachloride, digestive tract cancers, and joint inflammation.

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Blend at Home
Ready to make your own pumpkin spice blend? First, make sure you have your supplies. You’ll need an empty bottle (save the bottles from spices you use up just for moments like this) and a kitchen funnel. You could also make your own kitchen funnel by cutting a sheet of printer paper in half diagonally, shaping it into a cone, and taping it.

Then, combine 1/2 cup ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons ground ginger, 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1 teaspoon ground cloves.

Now, you’re ready to use your homemade blend in homemade pumpkin spice lattes and more! Here are a few of our favorite recipes, courtesy of the Food Monster App:

Pumpkin Spice Latte With Homemade Pumpkin Seed Milk
This dairy-free version of the ever-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte by Courtney West is made using homemade pumpkin seed milk! The latte is a concoction of the pumpkin seed milk, pumpkin spiced maple simple syrup and cold brew concentrate. Though this may seem a little involved for a coffee drink, the recipe will make enough for about four drinks, so you can keep sipping on PSLs all week long

I thought I would share my own Pumpkin Pie Recipe which I created over the years, but it is a winning combination of just enough spices and sweetness to satisfy any pumpkin pie lover.

Yummy, yummy to the tummy Pumpkin Pies

Now for the deeper thought……As our senses tell us what aroma is filling the air; we need to be as conscious of who and what is filling our lives. We need to “sniff”our home environment and smell out what children are hearing and watching.

We need to appreciate the warm, comforting times we spend with our family and friends. We can seek out God more and take time to thank Him for all the sweet blessings and treats of life. We want to cherish the good taste of life while we smell the cinnamon aroma of living and loving life.

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Proverbs 15:17 ESV
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location/author if known for credit reference.

AT LEAST BUDDY WAS THANKFUL!

BUDDY’S ESCAPE

Buddy, the tan Chihuahua, who came into our lives and went out as fast as he came in. He left an impression that will stay forever in our hearts. No one knows where Buddy came from and no one is sure what his given name was in his previous life. Buddy, however left his paw print on every heart he met while he was on the road.

One morning I happened to see a post in our subdivision about a small dog loose in our neighborhood. There were many sightings of the illusive Chihuahua here and there and a few pictures and it seemed no one could catch this charming but skittish wanderer. He didn’t look like he had been on nature’s environment very long but once the sightings were confirmed from several weeks, it became important to ensure his safety from traffic and other risks.

One of the residents noticed he would follow another dog, so they enticed him into a back yard using another neighbor’s dog. It took some time to get him to enter their home and it was a little scary to see how Buddy, his new name, would interact with her two dogs, a gorgeous golden retriever and a black and white beautiful Papillion. He seemed to be more comfortable with the dogs so wherever he came from, there were other dogs.

Jessica, the lady of the house and Buddy’s rescuer, fell in love with him immediately and I agree he was a charmer even though he was hesitant, even resistant with human approach. Being patient with him, Buddy decided to start following her around the house. Over the next few days while they posted and called trying to find his real owner, Buddy became conservatively comfortable.

Jessica’s husband felt they had enough dogs already and decided they could not keep three dogs and felt they had no choice but to send Buddy to a no kill shelter who came recommended by a pet caretaker service. Jessica’s heart broke and apparently, Buddy’s heart was broken too. He had chosen Jessica as his new owner and couldn’t understand why he had to leave. Here is how we came into the picture.

I had been following Buddy’s story and was elated when I saw that a neighbor had taken Buddy into their home. My heart jumped with joy being a dog lover myself. I sighed a big breath of relief as it was frightening knowing that little fur baby was wandering the streets. I was happy and was hoping Buddy’s owners would see the announcement and come for him. If they didn’t, he was in a good home. Then I saw the post they were planning on taking Buddy to a shelter and my heart screamed, “We will take him in, and Buster can have a “buddy” to play with.

Buster is our Papillion mix and is black with a white chest patch. He was a rescued puppy and we had to work with him on social skills so we hoped he would accept Buddy without incident since Buddy was skittish. We were excited and apprehensive at the same time but was determined no shelter for Buddy. We were experienced in rescue dogs since all our dogs have been rescued and those precious dogs are another set of stories themselves but for another time.

We thought Buster should have a “Buddy” . Here is Buster with Greg doing what he loves to do, Ride!
Buster tried to be a buddy to Buddy, but Buddy wasn’t having it.

We made the contact with our neighbors who had Buddy and I should have picked up on a hint since they hesitated and took a very long time to bring our new bundle of joy. We waited and waited and then Greg, my husband called them. They were coming in their golf cart with Buddy.

As they drove up, she had a tight hold on Buddy and of course he looked frightened but he didn’t try to jump out of my arms and allowed me to put the collar and leash on him and rub him while Jessica cried and made me promise that if it didn’t work out, she wanted me to call her. I agreed but felt we would spoil Buddy and would have no problems. Little did I know what we were getting into and the dilemma we would face.

Buddy ate that night and he and Buster even played together. We watched Buster not even bark at Buddy. My husband and I thought it was wonderful to see them bonding as this was the biggest threat or at least that is what we thought. Wrong!

I am not sure if Buddy looked at me as the enemy and the thief who stole him out of his owner’s arms, but I have never had any dog, even aggressive tagged dogs, to resist my loving. Buddy would look at me with almost humanistic eyes with questioning why I had done such a vile thing. I had dealt with dog’s nature all my life and thought with a little time, Buddy would come to love me. For some reason, he followed Greg around and I thought that was good and a step forward. Buddy slept all night and we looked forward to the next day.

We have a doggie door and Buddy had either used one before or he is just extremely smart. The first evening and the next morning both he and Buster went out with Greg and me. We watched both dogs play and romp and chase each other. I saw several submissive plays by each one and was elated. We felt we had a new baby and Buster’s BFF. Oh, how we were deceived by this escape artist.

After feeling contented they were playing together as if they had known each other for a while, I went back in the house to finish getting dressed and to make some business calls. For some reason, I thought the dogs came back in the house when Greg came in and announced he was going to get a collar and name tag with our info. We planned on taking Buddy to the vet clinic to check for a chip when we realized he hadn’t had the scan for a chip. As much as we were excited about having him, it was only fair we check as we would want someone to check Buster in case he got out and became lost.

To be clear, these events happened in a few minutes that I will explain. I walked into the living room and saw Buster come in the doggie door. It had already been established the night before that Buster would come in first and Buddy would follow. I waited a few seconds and didn’t see Buddy’s head pop through the door. I looked out in the yard and I didn’t see him. Jessica had explained he sat in the corner until he felt comfortable. I called Greg on his cell and asked if the dogs had come in with him. Apparently, they did come in but had gone back out, but Greg thought they were in the house.

My search began with looking in each room, under each bed, and in closets. I started to panic and called Greg back. He assured me that it was okay, and he was probably hiding. I went back to the yard and tried to see if I could tell if he had escaped. I didn’t see the small hole behind a hose hung on the fence or I would have panicked earlier than I did.

Greg came back and checked and found the hole, so the neighborhood search was on. Greg and I took turns manning the vehicle with Buster riding shot gun. We searched and searched with each round through the neighborhood causing our hopes to sink. We received a call from Jessica, Buddy had returned to their home and dug under the fence. That should have been our sign, but we went and brought Buddy back home. Buster was happy and even Buddy looked happy. Did we have a surprise coming?

The next morning, with everything seemingly going smoothly, our new little pair of fur babies, went out the doggie door, playing together, and frolicking. Greg asked where Buster and Buddy were. He went out the back door and at that very moment spotted Buddy had dug a new hole and after taking one last goodbye look at Greg, darted under the fence and vanished. Greg walked back as I was coming out the door, said “Honey, Buddy is not our dog and he has made up his mind who his owner is and it’s not us.”

All I could think is Buddy was out again and the fear of him getting hurt was bearing on my mind. The search began again, and Buster couldn’t figure out why his new friend kept leaving. Well, it became clear to Greg and to Buster when they found Buddy on the porch at Jessica’s home. The Buddy Adventure was over. He had claimed his new home and Jessica and her husband had a new owner. At first, we, including Buster, were sad and a little disappointed and then we thought about it. When an animal chooses a human, that will is so much stronger than when we humans choose a dog to be ours.

Buster with Duchess playing keep away/tug.

I am happy to say Buster is doing great with his new “sister” Duchess and from all accounts Buddy is safe at his home with his chosen family.

Written by Arline Miller

May 7, 2020

As a writer, I found this writing about Buddy and felt at this time of thankfulness I would share it. Life never plays out like we expect and even if our intentions are good, some plans go awry. Buddy’s happy and we are blessed with Duchess who is Buster’s side kick. All is well with us!

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location and author if known for credit references.

WHO WILL INCLUDE ME IN THEIR THANKS?

WHO WILL INCLUDE ME IN THEIR THANKS? First, allow me to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans and anyone in this world can give thanks any day, so feel free to use this day as a way to feel gratitude for the good things in our lives. This morning, when I was praying and giving thanks for so many blessings in our lives, a thought ran through my mind. “Who will include my name when they are going over their list of what and who they are thankful in their lives?” Of course, this message rang through as a topic on my blog for us to ponder.

I am including a poem I recently wrote and it reflects a little on what impact our lives make and the most important reason for us to be thankful when we realize we have a Higher Power to guide us and protect us. Here it is:

Maybe I am in a deep probing mode, but it seems important we concentrate on what impact and how much good we can do for others to fill voids, add love, give charity, and feel compassion. One of the biggest goals we could set for ourselves is to give until others feel our love. Let us concentrate of being someone who, on a day like today or any other day, they say, “I am thankful for you.”

I found excellent points from an article and wanted to share with you. You can view the entire article by clicking on the link provided:

  1. Focus on your own growth.
    You have to be committed to on your own personal development. Ask yourself truthfully if you are really committed to your own personal growth. If you are, keep at at and develop yourself every day. If you are not, you should start committing yourself to your own growth. Read, learn, get trained, take risks… do things that helps you grow in wisdom, knowledge, understanding, relationship with people, the result you command etc
  2. Offer More Value
    There is no way people will know you as a person of value if you are not offering more value. You can’t say you are a medical doctor but you have never assisted anyone medically. Start offering the little value you have. By that, you grow more and in value. The more value you offer, the more you become a person of value. Offer more value daily.
  3. Sharpen Your Skills
    Do you have skills? If you say you don’t then you need to check yourself. There is no human being without a skill. You need to discover your skill. After which you need to sharpen that skill. The only way to sharpen that skill is to put it into practice, Put in into practice by using it as a point of value to other people. Skills are valuable.
  4. Work Harder on Yourself
    Always strive to be better than you were yesterday. You need to go to work on yourself. If you change, everything will change for you. You may change companies, you might change tactics, strategies or mentors but YOU are always the constant, and you will still be there. Strive to become a better person, and instead of comparing yourself with others, differentiate. The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.
  5. Value your Time
    There is nothing more valuable than time invested wisely and intentionally. You can sow your time and get anything you want. You can sow your time and increase your circle of influence, make more money, or increase your health. Never waste this precious gift. Learn to see the value of time, because with time, anything can be accomplished.

Originally posted on The Book of Solutions as How to Become a Person of Value
https://be.linkedin.com/in/adesojiadegbulu


May your blessings be many and your ability to bless others with your gifts and/or talents is my prayer for Thanksgiving! Wishing each and every day an opportunity for us to share our blessings with others……….HAPPY THANKSGIVING from Arline L Miller, author and blogger.

(c) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location for reference credit.

FINDING REASONS TO BE THANKFUL

I want to write this post mainly because Thanksgiving is coming soon. I give thanks on a daily basis, sometimes on an hourly basis but it seems that many people are struggling to feel thankful at a time when so much uncertainty is present in our world. Maybe, I look at everything in a positive way, I can find so much to be thankful for and I am not speaking monetarily.

Put politics aside and think about trusting in Our Higher Power to calm the storms and bring peace on earth. Can we be thankful we have a God who loves us and has given us so many things to be thankful. Each breath, each step, each smile, each laugh, and even each tear means we are alive. For all of us who read God’s word, only Heaven is spoken of as Paradise. Even though we have numerous places of beauty to be thankful for on earth, we look forward to seeing and living in the wonderment of eternal beauty and peace.

Photo courtesy of my facebook friend Betty and Dan Burkhalter.

Let’s look at some of life’s gifts for consideration of being thankful:

  • A quiet place to read, meditate, pray, or rest
  • A stream to sit and listen to the water soothingly making a bubbling sound.
  • A bed, whether it is small or large, soft or hard, to lay our head to sleep.
  • A roof over our head to keep us dry as rain or snow falls, and to keep us cool when it is hot and warm when it is cold.
  • A bathroom, or more than one, to allow us to have privacy when we need to release bodily waste.
  • A job, whether it is a medial or executive position where we can apply our intelligence, skills, and talents to pay our bills.
  • A community to be a part or the country or wilderness to choose whether we prefer to mingle or be alone.
  • A church to go to of our choice of faith to display our love of God and to ask for forgiveness when we seek the cleanliness of our redeemed souls.

I purposely left out the usual gifts we give thanks for and sometimes take for granted. Relationship with the person we love; family; friends; and our day to day associates are meant to give thanks and show respect. Do we give thanks for adversity, changes, disappointments, and wait for it…..failures?

Personally, in my life, the adversity, the changes, disappointments, and even failures have strengthened my inner strength, heightened my awareness that I am a WIP and am learning from each experience. Let me give thanks!

Do we give thanks for losses? I am sure you are shaking your head at this one. However, when we lose, we revisit our performance and seek ways we could have been better, right? This self evaluation can enhance future performances which can bring us closer to success. Let me give thanks!

Do we appreciate challenges or do we find ourselves wanting a coasting life? From my observation and research on many happy couples and successful business people, and even writers as myself, we welcome challenges and thrive on overcoming challenges. Let me give thanks!

As you can see from this post, we should give thanks for the “good, bad, and ugly” as God has designed life as a challenge, full of disappointments, and failures for us to become strong and attentive to the possibilities when we overcome those very things. God allows us to slip while keeping His Hand near to assist us but His Hands are not there to do all of the work. It is not that He can’t but how do we learn to be the best we can be.

If a parent never releases a child’s hand, they hold on and it takes longer for them to pull away. Yes, a child may fall while trying to walk, but when they see they can do it, the biggest smiles and the widest eyes appear as they see opportunity ahead. Let us give thanks for letting go!

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, if source is known, is credited to original location including photos.

LIFE’S STRAND OF PEARLS III

Once in a while I will reach into my vault of my blog posts and pull out one of my favs. This one has a sentimental pull since I love pearls. Recently, several events have tried to deny me my pearl but I keep hanging in there with the belief, Life is a strand of pearls and some of the ones to be added to my strand are struggling to mature to the maximum beauty. I should be patient as we have no control on the timing. Good things come to those who wait. Here is the post I love and I hope it has meaning for you too. This was prior to me moving the blog to WordPress and we are still building our audience. 

TODAY THE WORDS are LIFE’S STRAND OF PEARLS.  In anticipation of reaching an important goal for the blog of 150,000 page views, I went back to my log of posts and found this one. I thought we might enjoy some pearly whites this morning.
For most of you who know me, you already know how I love pearls. I have worn pearls and they have always given me such a warm feeling when I have them on. I will notice in photos of anyone that has a pearl necklace, earrings or brooch (for any youngsters that is a pin). What I would like to share is the thought behind pearls. A dear friend of mine has told me many times, “there’s your pearl” when something good happened. He would also say when he was giving me great advice, “here is a little pearl”. One day, when I was about to put one of my strands, I took a long look at it, realizing the importance of message it was portraying.   Let me share this with you. Pearls are grown in a hard shell (and really few of us look at an oyster shell as pretty like we look at other shells). It may take up to 20 or more years to bring a pearl to full size so a lot of time goes into the process. Pearls in their natural state aren’t the finished pearl we see in the strands as they are polished and by this process, it brings out their true luster. If you take the time and look closely, pearls are still unique and usually no two are exactly the same. As beautiful as pearls are, they can be beautiful with others or beautiful on their own. Pearls are usually a gift given by someone who loves them dearly.  

PHOTO COURTESY OF depositphotos.com

Now for the deeper thought……have you thought about the clasp? As beautiful as the strand of pearls are, without the clasp to hold it all together, the pearls would fall to the ground It is the most important part of the necklace and here is how I see pearls. Pearls are our different stages of our life. When we are young, we are the pearls being nurtured in our shell surrounded by a hard protective cover (our parents). After a while, we are plucked into our adult lives. We can be successful on our own or part of a collection (company). We have strength and luster; but are fragile if not connected by a strong clasp (God). We can add other pearls (spouses, children, friends, and grandchildren) to our strand and people like to enjoy our pearls. God will hold our lives together and the clasp needs to be checked to make sure it closed securely (our faith). Next time you see a strand of pearls, take a deep look at it. God gives us the freedom to build a beautiful strand of pearls of life with all of its beauty and luster but He wants us to keep our pearls safe, protected and loved.  

Photo courtesy of nationalgeographic.com

Blogger’s note: I had a thought this morning to add to this post. As times have changed and styles too, not as many people wear pearls. I wondered that even though change is sometimes good, have we taken a route of easy to acquire beads and metals as well as fast food, and disposable clothes (wear a few times and they become worn). My question is have we thrown away our quality of life with those clothes or when we carelessly throw the jewelry into a casual place that can be lost. Maybe we need to return to the days of pearls and vintage clothes that last forever, treasuring each inheritance instead of wanting the instant gratification, I want it now and I don’t care if it lasts. Just thinking out loud.

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Matthew 13:45 – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls

Photo courtesy of jewelersmutual.com

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to the original location/author if known for credit references.

OATMEAL COOKIES MAKE ME CRY (revisited)

It is about that time of year and I have purchased my ingredients to make a batch of these memory lane oatmeal cookies. These are incredible oatmeal cookies and I love my version with the addition of honey. If you make some, please comment as I would love to hear your results.

Today’s bounty with added cranberries, pecans, and of course, my honey addition.

They went square today and I think I added a little more honey. Remember no more than 1/3 cup honey and cut the sugars in my notes.
Such sweet memories while making them and I know Mom is smiling down from Heaven.

As the holidays come closer, memories of special moments come flooding in and as always a lot of them are engulfed with my Mom and I found this post about oatmeal cookies and to tell you how special this memory is, I haven’t made oatmeal cookies since she died except one time and it pinged my heart strings that I haven’t repeated it again. Some memories are that strong but one day, I will pick up some oats and make them for the grandchildren. I will start a new tradition that will make me smile when I see them enjoying them like Grandmama BeaBea did and I will share this story with them. You will probably understand the blog title more from reading this blog.   MY ORIGINAL POST:     Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies Recipe  

Print

  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups oats (we use Quaker Quick or Old Fashioned. Do NOT use instant.)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (use 1/2 cup if using raisins)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)

  Method 1 Cream shortening and sugars, add eggs and vanilla and beat well. 2 Sift flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to first mixture and mix well. Add a tablespoon of water. Add raisins (if using) and nuts. Add oats last. 3 Spoon out by heaping tablespoonfuls on to greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely.  

Copyright reference for above recipe. Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies on Simply Recipes. Thank you! Read more: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/grandmas_oatmeal_cookies/#ixzz452z2Njuj

************************************************************* NOTE FROM ARLINE: My version is taking and cutting sugar by half of the brown and granulated sugar and replacing with honey. I never measure by use taste method but no more than a 1/4 cup unfiltered raw honey. Love this taste. 

TODAY THE WORDS are OATMEAL COOKIES. We are going to go down memory lane for a visit to my dear Mother’s home before she passed away. As my Mother got older, she cooked and baked less, which is understandable.  I began to bring her baked goodies when I would visit her. I started out with a variety of different desserts but it was soon narrowed down to my version of “Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies”. They had honey in them and they are scrumptious to say the least. I would bring her a container full. She would always eat one as if testing them to make sure they were as good as the batch before. As I would watch her, I received more sweet enjoyment than the cookies’ sweetness. I could tell how much she loved them and she also loved I had made them for her. She had a certain spot the container would be placed when she had finished. Once in a while she would splurge and eat two, but never more than two. As sweet of a memory as this is to me, this is only part of the reason for the topic. Why the oatmeal cookie plays such an important part is not that the cookies were tasty, it was Momma’s rationing of the cookies that will reflect a life’s lesson. When I would call Momma for our regular Saturday morning talk which usually lasted about an hour and a half, one of the things Momma would share is how many cookies she still had and if my Sister had stopped by and had eaten some cookies. My Momma was a wonderful person and she would share whatever she had, but you had to be willing to be frugal with those goodies like she was. I would bring her fresh ones every time I would come so rationing was not necessary. It was built into my Momma to have a willing spirit of anticipation.  

Now for the deeper thought…...If we would live our lives on Momma’s Oatmeal Cookie program, we could enjoy life a lot longer and better. I see many people who devour what they receive in a hurry never thinking if they are going to get hungry soon. We are a living, breathing example of why we should eat a reasonable amount of food and not overindulge. The same goes for the rest of lifestyles. some of them need to be lived (or tasted), We need to savor each day (or morsel). We need to appreciate the love and labor which went into each opportunity with a palette of life. We should exercise moderate portions of life and enjoy each bite (or experience) we are given and not feel as it we are on our last “cookie”. Live life, love life, and live life to the fullest!

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:\1 Peter 5:8     

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

(c) copyright 2012-2021 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is referenced to original location for reference credit.

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