IS SUBCONSCIOUS SOCIALISM CREEPING IN? Have we parents socialized our young people? I have watched the appeal of a socialistic world even though time after time, countries in the world who have embraced the Socialism Concept have and are failing with economies in the tank and all order to their previous worlds destroyed by the very implementation of their vision of the perfect world.


“Socialism is in fact a wonderful vision — a world of the imagination far better than any place anywhere in the real world, at any time over the thousands of years of recorded history. Even many conservatives would probably prefer to live in such a world, if they thought it was possible.

Who would not want to live in a world where college was free, along with many other things, and where government protected us from the shocks of life and guaranteed our happiness? It would be Disneyland for adults!”
For article click on link The Lure of Socialism by Thomas Sowell 

Looking back over our generation, we may be surprised why so many of our children and grandchildren are lured to the Socialistic view. Let us walk back to our generation first and then we will walk forward to see how this conflict in our young people has been created. What were we taught about how work and rewards work hand in hand. As a young person I was taught if I wanted something other than food and drink, I was expected to work to earn the reward. I am sure a lot of you in our generation, Baby Boomers. In our generation, we were the first of the Influencers of Entitlement (sorry, fellow friends but this is true in most cases).  We expected our daughter to work when she was out for the summer and weekends. I have to say, we established good work ethics. I noticed in a lot of my daughter’s friends this was not the case and a large number of them felt their parents owed them.  Let us see what Google defines socialism:
a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
synonyms: leftism, welfarism; More
policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
synonyms: leftism, welfarism; 
More (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.
(Google definition)

Here we go: it started in our generation and as you will see how it spiraled downward in this excerpt from ETHICS, Ethical Behavior Differs Among Generations 

Curtis C. Verschoor, CMA, Editor  
The four generational groups examined in the survey are Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X workers (Gen Xers), and Millennials or Generation Y workers (Gen Yers). 
Traditionalists, born 1925-1945, are hardworking, respectful of authority, and value loyalty. 
Baby Boomers, born 1946- 1964, are hardworking, idealistic,
and committed to harmony. 
Gen Xers, born 1965-1980, are entre- preneurial, flexible and self-reliant, and comfortable with technology. 
Millennials, born 1981-2000, are tech-savvy, appreciative of diver- sity, and skilled in multitasking.
Some of the negative traits and workplace attributes widely assigned to each cohort include:
Traditionalists—Conformers who resist change, are disciplined and pragmatic, work and family lives never coincide, dress formally.
Boomers—Self-centered with sense of entitlement, work- aholics, self-motivated, don’t ap- preciate feedback.
Gen Xers—Lazy, skeptical and cynical, question authority figures, desire for a work-life balance and flexible schedule, work dress is at low end of busi- ness casual.
Millennials—Lack basic liter- acy fundamentals, very short attention spans, not loyal to organi- zation, demand immediate feedback and recognition, integrate technology into the workplace, ex-
pect to have many employers and multiple careers, work dress is whatever feels comfortable.
When I have reviewed and researched this view, I see the parallel.  What is obvious to me, and you can beg to differ but a return to work ethics AND expectations to actually work. One of the best items on a resume is work experience even if it is a summer job or part time. Unless you as a parent and/or grandparent want your children to live in an entitled attitude; encourage work as the biggest inheritance you can leave is how to succeed in a world with the cards stacked against them.

(C) Copyright Arline Miller 2012-2016 All rights and privileges reserved. Third Party material is sourced to original location.


SAILING THE FRIEND SHIP will be an adventure of a life time.  Last night I wrote a Thursday Evening Thought as I do often in either the morning or evening. Once I wrote it and posted this message on Facebook, I expanded my thoughts for this blog post. May I share this thought with you, my blog friends?

Thursday Evening Thought: I am so glad I do not choose my friends because of any political beliefs and I am sure they feel this way too. We like each other because of a blended group of diversified thinking and a respect for each to exercise that freedom of belief. Politicians come and go but friends can last a lifetime. Thank God there are no terms for friendship so we don’t have to change friends every 4 years. Have a great pre-weekend night! Tomorrow is Friday! ….Arline Miller, blogger

Merriam Webster provides Full Definition of friend
a :  one attached to another by affection or esteem
b :  acquaintance
a :  one that is not hostile
b :  one that is of the same nation, party, or group
3:  one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)
4:  a favored companion


As I read the definition, I paid specific attention to “one that is not hostile”. As I had written in my post, we like each other because of a blended group of diversified thinking and a “respect” for each one to exercise the freedom of belief.  What I value in my circle of friends are the principles we place:

  1.  Respect for the uniqueness of each other. None of us are an exact copy of another. Even in twins, there are some traits unique in each one and to imitate the other, they must personify those unique mannerisms and/or style traits.
  2.  Favor the friendship. In favoring the friendship, we make time for each friend. Whether it is in person, or on the phone, messaging and/or texting, or a card sent unexpectedly to remind our friend we think of them.
  3. Understand we are not always their highest priority. Sometimes, the best place a friend can be is standing in the wings. All of us have events and obligations which tear us away from our normal activities and lives. A true friend doesn’t have to be in the limelight of a friend’s life 24/7. We must be willing to wait patiently until life opens up and we share in our friend’s life. 
  4. Give when we don’t feel like giving for the sake of our friendships. The most important call or visit will come at the most adverse and inconvenient times. This can be the truest test of friendship. We are needed; we are entrusted by our friends that we will come through when the world they know is crumbling. The life reward of being there at the time of most need will outweigh any sacrifice made.
  5. Be a true friend and not a part timer friend. I treasure my friends and respect any and all conversations we share. Those conversations are private and will remain private. A friend doesn’t divulge or discuss private friend discussions. Go to your grave with those times you share in confidence. That is the true meaning of friendship. 
  6. Honor your friendship with the freedom of adding other friends to your circle. Be willing to introduce your friends to other friends you have made. Do not be selfish. A friend is a friend and not a property to be coveted. The more the merrier is also true with friendship.
As I sail on the “FRIEND SHIP” I have gained so much knowledge and talents. I have expanded my experiences in life. I have cheered my friends on as much as they have cheered me on my journey. We have laughed together and cried together as well. Friends are one of God’s blessings. Have a great cruise in life with as many friends as you can get onboard.

(C) Copyright 2012-2016 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced.


WHEN WE NEED A FIX may be a little misleading and no, your blogger is not talking about drugs. Relax and follow me in my train of thought. It may be the fix you need. Life has a way of throwing our minds and bodies out of it’s normal hum or sync. I thought maybe putting a little slant of “Getting a Needed Fix“. The last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic here at the Miller Home between work, family events, trying to blend a rescued dog with our Buster, and a little fall causing some difficulty. It was all I could do not to be overwhelmed. We have managed to make it through and all issues have been resolved, all fulfillments have been accomplished, but I felt limp after all of the pressing issues and the stress attached. What can I do to “fix myself”?  I found a great article and have added an excerpt from it with the link for the complete article. Let us fix ourselves.
Learning healthier ways to manage stress
If your methods of coping with stress aren’t contributing to your greater emotional and physical health, it’s time to find healthier ones. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.
Stress management strategy #1: Get moving
Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress, but you don’t have to be an athlete or spend hours in a gym to experience the benefits. Just about any form of physical activity can help relieve stress and burn away anger, tension, and frustration. Exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel good, and it can also serve as a valuable distraction to your daily worries.
While the maximum benefit comes from exercising for 30 minutes or more, you can start small and build up your fitness level gradually. Short, 10-minute bursts of activity that elevate your heart rate and make you break out into a sweat can help to relieve stress and give you more energy and optimism. Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day. The first step is to get yourself up and moving. Here are a few easy ways:
Put on some music and dance around
Take your dog for a walk
Walk or cycle to the grocery store
Use the stairs at home or work rather than an elevator
Park your car in the farthest spot in the lot and walk the rest of the way
Pair up with an exercise partner and encourage each other as you workout
Play ping-pong or an activity-based video game with your kids
Managing stress with regular exercise
Once you’re in the habit of being physically active, try to incorporate regular exercise into your daily schedule. Activities that are continuous and rhythmic—and require moving both your arms and your legs—are especially effective at relieving stress. Walking, running, swimming, dancing, cycling, tai chi, and aerobic classes are good choices.
Pick an activity you enjoy, so you’re more likely to stick with it. Instead of continuing to focus on your thoughts while you exercise, make a conscious effort to focus on your body and the physical (and sometimes emotional) sensations you experience as you’re moving. Adding this mindfulness element to your exercise routine will help you break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that often accompanies overwhelming stress. Focus on coordinating your breathing with your movements, for example, or notice how the air or sunlight feels on your skin. Getting out of your head and paying attention to how your body feels is also the surest way to avoid picking up an injury.
When you’ve exercised, you’ll likely find it easier to put other stress management techniques to use, including reaching out to others and engaging socially.
Stress management strategy #2: Engage socially
Reach out and build relationships
Reach out to a colleague at work
Help someone else by volunteering
Have lunch or coffee with a friend
Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly
Accompany someone to the movies or a concert
Call or email an old friend
Go for a walk with a workout buddy
Schedule a weekly dinner date
Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club
Confide in a clergy member, teacher, or sports coach
Social engagement is the quickest, most efficient way to rein in stress and avoid overreacting to internal or external events that you perceive as threatening. There is nothing more calming to your nervous system than communicating with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. This experience of safety—as perceived by your nervous system—results from nonverbal cues that you hear, see and feel.
The inner ear, face, heart, and stomach are wired together in the brain, so socially interacting with another person face-to-face—making eye contact, listening in an attentive way, talking—can quickly calm you down and put the brakes on defensive stress responses like “fight-or-flight.” It can also release hormones that reduce stress, even if you’re unable to alter the stressful situation itself. Of course, it’s not always realistic to have a pal close by to lean on when you feel overwhelmed by stress, but by building and maintaining a network of close friends you can improve your resiliency to life’s stressors. On the flip side, the more lonely and isolated you are, the greater your vulnerability to stress.
Reach out to family and friends and connect regularly in person. The people you talk to don’t have to be able to fix your stress; they just need to be good listeners. Opening up is not a sign of weakness and it won’t make you a burden to others. In fact, most friends will be flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them, and it will only strengthen your bond. And remember, it’s never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.
Stress management strategy #3: Avoid unnecessary stress
While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times—your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, it’s helpful to think of the four A’s: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
Avoid the stressor
It’s not healthy to avoid a stressful situation that needs to be addressed, but you may be surprised by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.
Learn how to say “no” – Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress. Distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts” and, when possible, say “no” to taking on too much.
Avoid people who stress you out – If someone consistently causes stress in your life, limit the amount of time you spend with that person, or end the relationship.
Take control of your environment – If the evening news makes you anxious, turn off the TV. If traffic makes you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.

Stress management strategy #4: Alter the situation
If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life.
Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, be more assertive and communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you’ve got an exam to study for and your chatty roommate just got home, say up front that you only have five minutes to talk. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment will build and the stress will increase.
Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same. If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you’ll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.
Manage your time better. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. But if you plan ahead and make sure you don’t overextend yourself, you’ll find it easier to stay calm and focused.

Stress management strategy #5: Adapt to the stressor
How you think can have a profound effect on your stress levels. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. Regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude to stressful situations.
Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.
Look at the big picture. Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”

Stress management strategy #6: Accept the things you can’t change
Many sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressors, such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.
Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control—particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
Look for the upside. When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.
Learn to forgive. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

Stress management strategy #7: Make time for fun and relaxation
Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors.
Develop a “stress relief toolbox”
Come up with a list of healthy ways to relax and recharge. Try to implement one or more of these ideas each day, even if you’re feeling good.
Go for a walk
Spend time in nature
Call a good friend
Play a competitive game of tennis or racquetball
Write in your journal
Take a long bath
Light scented candles
Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea
Play with a pet
Work in your garden
Get a massage
Curl up with a good book
Listen to music
Watch a comedy
Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.
Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.
Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.
Stress management strategy #8: Adopt a healthy lifestyle
In addition to regular exercise, there are other healthy lifestyle choices that can increase your resistance to stress.
Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.
Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary “highs” caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.
Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.
You can read the entire article from Help Guide.org  
Stress Management

How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress

Note from Arline: I feel better already from reading this article. Let us “fix ourselves” in healthy, fun, and spiritual ways. I cannot guarantee that everyday we will be worry free and most likely, a lot of days may be strenuous as we live full and active lives. WE can however diminish the worry by taking good care of ourselves.

Live Life; Love Life, and Live and Love Life to the Fullest!

(C) Copyright 2012-2016 Arline Miller with rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced with original location referenced. 


TUESDAY, JULY 22, 2014


TODAY THE WORDS are SUNFLOWER LOVE. How many of us have not experienced a little sunflower love? A good friend of mine, Dewey Hayes’ wife Clara snapped this picture while visiting a friend. When I looked at the photo, I felt an instant warmth and thought it would be a nice homage to reflect on the magnificent sunflower which somehow radiates the sun itself. We feel a glow like no other flower can project. Many of us have indulged in the healthy seeds for a snack but can we feel love from the flower itself? Let’s look at an excerpt from an article.

“Sunflowers originated in the Americas in 1000B.C., where for centuries they were cultivated as a valuable food source. The use of sunflower images as religious symbols has also been documented in some native societies. With the European exploration of the New World, the sunflower was brought to new areas, and the flower’s popularity eventually spread as the rest of the world began to appreciate its beauty and sustenance. Artists throughout history have appreciated the sunflower’s unique splendor, and those of the Impressionist era were especially fixated on the flower. Today, sunflowers continue to provide a resource for commonly used seeds and oil, but they have also become recognized as a floral symbol of great significance.” *source: Proflowers, wikimedia.com August 24, 2012 (full article can be linked by clicking on flower which is underlined.) 

                                          Photo courtesy of  Clara Hayes, wife of Dewey Hayes, Jr. Attorney in my hometown of Douglas GA   I think I have felt some sunflower love in my lifetime. There is something wonderful from the large bloom with its radiant yellow, a color we relate to the sun and the darkness of the eye or center of the bloom with a tint of mystery. Love in itself is relative to this combination; love can be so bright it can be blinding to our hearts; love can be mysterious and we don’t understand exactly what causes us to feel so much emotion and attraction to a certain person, faith, interests, and habits. Love is mysterious as how it can endure all of the changes we face in life. It would be easy to love when youth’s beauty is present but even more incredible when two people have lived together for over 50, 60, or even 70 years and seem even more in love than when they first met. A sunflower can lose its petals and still furnish nourishment to its benefactor as true love offers. As we age, we may not be able to maintain the same vigor and stamina we had when all of our petals were still intact, but we offer genuine character, loyalty, friendship, and hopefully wisdom. Yes, sunflower love is to be desired and if we are blessed to have it bestowed on us; shine like we have never shone before; give like we have never given before; and nourish like we have never nourished before. Sunshine; sunflowers and sunflower love; aren’t you feeling the warmth of God’s love He sends through the Sunflower and so many beautiful reminders?


Genesis 1:29 ESV 

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food”

(C) Copyright 2012-2016 Arline Miller with rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced to original source.


ARE CALORIES OR THE LOVE IN THE CALORIES MORE IMPORTANT? I do not advocate, in this day and time of people jumping on the healthy eating train, we choose high sugary calories. I have changed my WOE (way of eating) considerably since I was diagnosed with Diabetes type 2. However, today’s message is directed to a special set of memories which I want to share with you. I posted the following message a year ago on Facebook and it gives you the theme of the message:

This morning my mind goes back to simpler joys in this life. When I was small, my Granddaddy Holt (Mom’s Dad) would bring my cousin Paula and me a whole watermelon and slice it in halves. We would eat until we couldn’t eat anymore. My Daddy’s Mother, Grandmama Lott would give me a cathead biscuit filled with her homemade white sugar syrup and I thought I must be in heaven it was so sweet. My Momma, after working would bake us gingerbread or a biscuit pudding or teacakes; she had something sweet for us when we got home from school. When Momma worked night shift when we lived in Chicago, Dad would always get us Sealtest ice cream when we watched Bat Masterson and even our dog got into the act. He seemed to know when the show’s theme started playing; it was Thursday ice cream night. What I am trying to say, is that when I look back at the “sweetest” moments of love, I remember when someone I loved and who loved me shared time and little things that, over the years, have become “big” memories. What I feel that would be the best “things” we can give our children and grandchildren is sharing time and not expensive gifts. To make my point, I would like each one of us to stop a minute and see if your memory is like mine and if it goes to a favorite thing that someone gave you, even a pass down item; a meal cooked with your favorite things; or a fishing hole shared with laughs; cartoons that you shared with your little ones (oh Missy, how many did we watch together?). Life is what we make it and coming from a non-wealthy family, we were the richest kids on the block and maybe in the world

Do something for someone today and watch the joy in their eyes and I am not talking about buying something expensive. 

We are now in such a fast pace world with fast food and fake products, it seems to be insignificant to manage our time to include family, church, community, and friend time. These are the least amount of caloric intake but are the sweetest tasting life meals we can share. I advocate IS CALORIES OR THE LOVE IN THEM MORE IMPORTANT? It is certainly the LOVE which is the sweetest ingredient we can add to our diet.

In my quest to eat healthy, I have limited my sugar only to natural sugars and those are very few and far between. If you are attempting to change how you eat and want to eliminate those hidden and in your face sugars, I found this excerpt from a great article on eliminating sugar from our diet. I live with my memories of childhood love and sweetness. Here is the except from:

10 Easy Ways to Slash Sugar from Your Diet
Sugar is added to practically everything on grocery store shelves. Slash your intake with these smart tips.
 By Jessica Migala

Cut the sweetness
You may not be eating Oreos by the roll or guzzling cans of Coke, but that doesn’t mean sugar’s absent from your diet. You’re likely eating sugar throughout the day without even realizing it, says Amari Thomsen, RD, owner of Chicago-based nutrition consulting practice Eat Chic Chicago. Sugar is added to foods that don’t even taste all that sweet, like breads, condiments, and sauces. And it adds up: although the American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day (or about 100 calories), most of us take in double that. (One note: we’re talking about added sugar, not the naturally occurring sugars found in dairy and fruit.) A high-sugar diet boosts your odds of tooth decay, heart disease, and diabetes, not to mention weight gain. Slash your sugar intake now with these 10 expert tips.

Read food labels
You’ll quickly realize just how often sugar is added to foods when you look for it on ingredients lists. “Even things that you don’t think are sweet, like tomato sauce, crackers, condiments, and salad dressings can be packed with sugar,” says Diane Sanfilippo, certified nutrition consultant and author of The 21 Day Sugar Detox. Ingredients are listed in order of how much exists in the product, so if sugar’s near the top, that’s a red flag.

Learn sugar’s aliases
When you read food labels, you’ll need to look for more than just the word “sugar.” Sugar hides under several sneaky names, including high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, invert sugar, molasses, sucrose (or any word ending in “-ose”), brown rice syrup, honey, and maple syrup. These can be listed separately on ingredients lists, so many foods, even seemingly healthy ones like yogurt and cereal, may contain three or four different types of sweetener. If several sugars appear on the label, it’s an indication that the food is less healthy than you may think.

Buy unsweetened
Once you know where sugar hides, you can start making changes. One strategy: buy foods labeled “no added sugar” or “unsweetened.” You’ll find unsweetened versions of these common foods in most grocery stories: non-dairy milk like almond and soy, nut butters (look for those made with only nuts and salt), applesauce, oatmeal, and canned fruit (they should be packed in juice—not syrup).

Don’t go cold turkey
Going cold turkey on sugar isn’t realistic for most people. Thomsen suggests cutting back slowly. If you normally put two packets of sugar in your coffee, for instance, try one for a week, then half, and finally add only a splash of milk. For your yogurt, mix half a serving of sweetened yogurt with half a serving of plain, and eventually move on to adding natural sweetness with fresh fruit.

Think protein and fat
Unhealthy carbs loaded with sugar can cause blood sugar to rise rapidly (and dive just as quickly, leaving you hungry again). To minimize this rapid rise and fall, pair protein, healthy fats, and fiber with your meal, all of which can slow down the release of blood sugar in your body and keep you full for longer. (At breakfast, that means adding almonds to your usual oatmeal or pairing eggs with your morning toast, and for your midday snack, a slice of turkey breast or cheese along with your apple, suggests Thomsen.) Fats are a key player because they help keep you fuller for longer, thus helping to decrease your desire for sugar, adds Sanfilippo. Focus on fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and heart-healthy oils like olive oil, walnut oil, and coconut oil.

Never go fake
When you’re reducing your sugar intake, you may be tempted to switch to artificial sugars for your sweet fix. But resist reaching for the diet soda, sugar-free candy, and packets of fake sugar in your latte. “These can mess up your taste for sweet,” says Sanfilippo. “When you eat something sweet, your body expects calories and nutrition, but artificial sugars don’t give your body those things.” That may be why fake sugars are associated with weight gain—not loss, according to a 2010 review in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine.

Add more flavor
Sanfilippo loves using vanilla bean and vanilla extract, spices, and citrus zests to add sweetness to foods without having to use sugar—and for zero calories. Order an unsweetened latte and add flavor with cocoa or vanilla powder. Skip the flavored oatmeal and add a sweet kick with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. One bonus for sprinkling on the cinnamon: according to a meta-analysis in the Journal of Medicinal Food, the spice has been shown to naturally regulate blood sugar, which helps control your appetite.

Don’t drink it
Avoiding soda is a good idea, but that’s not the only sugar-packed drink out there. Even drinks that are considered healthy can contain more of the sweet stuff than you’re supposed to have in an entire day. Case in point: “enhanced” waters (eight teaspoons per bottle), bottled iced teas (more than nine teaspoons per bottle), energy drinks (almost seven teaspoons per can), bottled coffee drinks (eight teaspoons per bottle), and store-bought smoothies (more than a dozen teaspoons—for a small).

Enjoy dessert
You can still indulge in an occasional sweet treat after you resolve to slash sugar. The idea is to avoid wasting your daily sugar quota on non-dessert foods like cereals, ketchup, and bread. To avoid overdoing it, set specific rules about when you may enjoy dessert: only after dinner on the weekends or at restaurants as a special treat, Thomsen suggests. 

Related: 16 Easy, Guilt-Free Cookie Recipes

Stick with it!
At first, cutting down on sugar can feel like an impossible task. Eventually, though, your taste buds will adjust. Super-sweet foods like ice cream and candy will start to taste too sweet. When you could have a whole slice of cake before, now a couple bites will be enough. You’ll notice the natural sweetness in fruits and vegetables—and yep, they’ll taste better, too.



TODAY THE WORDS are LET GO EGO. This one can be a very sensitive, two sided sword subject but here we go. Ego, oh ego, I might could get something accomplished it I let go of my ego! I say, however, we have attached a label to something and given it a “not so nice” name.

e·go /ˈēgō/ Noun

  1. A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance: “a boost to my ego”.
  2. The part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of…
In my opinion, the reference to self-esteem is more important than the self-importance and also pay attention to the mind section that deals with reality testing. Now let’s get real as I normally do. We, as humans, need a good self-esteem or as I had rather call it self confidence to give us a boost of courage to try things, take well thought out risks, and sometimes we have to fly by the seats of our pants. These elements have to be completed in the adventure of life. So in order to do those things, we have to possess some ego. The reference to a double edge sword is because it can cut both ways. At some point in some people’s lives, and I was in my past among that count, ego can become the enemy of life. We have some successes due to the good side of “ego” and unfortunately, if we are not careful; we flip the sword of ego to the “self-importance side”. We sometimes stop using the portion of ego that gives us a reality check and we can become self absorbed. Now, we have trouble; it has to be our way or the highway; our plan or no plan; our spotlight or no light at all; or me, me, me is the theme. This is now ego on the destructive side. When self-esteem is replaced by the other side of the sword, self-importance, what usually happens is non-productive action.

Let me give us a deeper thought on this….A crossroad if you please. We travel down the road of life, we struggle to find the right path, we get lost a few times on the road. We make this trip several times and each time we become more familiar with our destination. We start feeling confident, we move faster, we make better time each trip, and finally we know this road by heart and feel good about ourselves (in other words we have a healthy ego). Another trip down the same road, and we start feeling so confident and feel really strong about our talents and have this feeling that we can travel this road better than anyone else can travel and we get a little over confident (self important). Our mind starts shutting down on the reality check and we come to a crossroad and all of a sudden, even though we have traveled this road so many times, we take a different turn and guess what, we become lost all over again. Instead of asking a fellow traveler what is the way to go, we struggle and find our ego defeated by itself. God wants us to have confidence that He has given us all we need to go down the road of life without getting lost, but if we do, He wants us to check His road map and get us going in the right direction.


Proverbs 13:10 (#4 of 10 Bible Verses about Pride and Arrogance)

10Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material sourced to origination.


DO WE DEPRECIATE OUR SELF WORTH? I had an occasion to receive an opportunity to hear some constructive criticism from a person I have high respect. The person asked if I wanted it and added it’s your choice. My curiosity was raised and of course I wanted to hear what I could learn and do better. I have learned in my life to listen to others and absorb their experiences and knowledge. I could have thought “Oh whoa is me; someone is attacking me!” but that is certainly not the intention of this person. This morning, this thought came to me. It seems to me this is a subject we need to consider. So my topic is DO WE DEPRECIATE OUR SELF WORTH?
There are two choices of direction our mind can go when someone approaches us with criticism, constructive or destructive. We can evaluate and listen to what a colleague or mentor has to say. Their experience or observation may give us valuable information. This is what I chose to do and it has been invaluable to me. What do we do with destructive criticism? This may be more important to our self worth. If a person doesn’t have our best interest at heart and for whatever reason they choose to be overly critical or downright rude, how do we react?

How to Handle Criticism Like a Pro

Hurtful or Helpful?

Criticism is a term for judgment or evaluation, good or bad. And it can pop up everywhere: from college papers, to personal blogs, to family get-togethers, and chats with friends. (Your new haircut does not suit your face shape. But have a great date!) There are lots of reasons why people offer criticism, like feeling jealous or insecure in a romantic relationship (You always forget to call!). At work, organization leaders may also use criticism to help employees improve their work—and make them tremble before approaching the boss’s office. But not all criticism is bad news bears.
Constructive criticism—offering thoughtful feedback—can help us gain valuable insight into our actions and increase trust between people . Among college students, constructive criticism on academic work (Here’s how this paragraph could be better) may boost that GPA more than deconstructive criticism (This paper is awful). On the other hand, deconstructive criticism—the “you suck!” kind—involves accusing people and pointing out their faults without suggestions for improvement. Unsurprisingly, deconstructive criticism can hurt people’s self-esteem, making them feel guilty for not performing up to par. But whether criticism is useful or just plain humiliating, there are ways to deal with it and move on.

Your Action Plan

Being sensitive to criticism can be a sticky situation. Sometimes people may even stop working toward a goal out of fear of being critiqued. But don’t give in to those worries about potential critiques. Here are some helpful tips to handle any kind of criticism that heads our way:
Listen up.
Figure out whether the criticism is constructive or simply rude. You may feel hurt when your partner says you’re controlling, but having him point out this flaw may help you change and ultimately save the relationship. If criticism could be helpful, lend all ears and try to learn from it instead of getting defensive.
Respond calmly.
Be respectful no matter what, and thank someone if the feedback is useful . If the critique is uncalled for (that story you wrote was crap!), kill em with kindness. A simple smile makes you the bigger person.
Don’t take it personally.
Try to remove yourself from the situation and focus on what’s being critiqued. That C+ midterm doesn’t reflect your A+ personality! Instead, it’s a reminder to study a little harder next time, skip all that partying the night before, or realize that calculus simply isn’t your biggest strength.
Manage stress.
When we’re constantly on edge, we can feel out of control and unable to respond to criticism with a clear head. So take a deeeep breath to keep those stress levels in check.
Keep on keepin on’.

Remember that the criticism represents just one person’s point of view. Know what your strengths are and don’t let other people’s opinions keep you from working hard towards a goal. If somebody says you’re too short to be a power forward, start working on that jump shot!

When we find ourselves or our work being evaluated or criticized, let us remember. If it is in kind and meant with good intentions, receive and absorb it with thankfulness. We grow when we listen to others who want us to succeed. If you sense the person only means it critically, think before you respond. All of us are subject to people’s opinion but that is all it is. One opinion does not mean your worth has been depreciated but can be appreciated by many others. I love the action point to Respond calmly as I did when I said to the person offering her constructive criticism, “Of course I want to hear it. I am learning and we don’t learn if we don’t listen.”

Let us live to be the best we can; let us learn how to be the best we can by listening to our own voice and the voice of those who are willing to help us be the best we can be…..Arline Miller

(C) Copyright for Arline Miller in original post writings with all rights reserved. Other 3rd party origination sourced for reference with links.


TODAY THE WORDS are DRINKING FROM THE OLD WELL. I know that some of my regular readers are smiling and thinking, “well here she goes again, back to the good ole days”. I am taking the journey down the path to my childhood and that is becoming year after year a longer journey as I am getting older. One of the best memories was when we, as children, had played our hearts out in the country and had gotten hot. Instead of going in the house for air conditioning, oh wait, there was no air conditioning; we went to the old well out back. For some reason, and maybe it is only because we were so hot, the water that came out of the well and was dipped into a metal dipper was absolutely the most refreshing water in the world. We passed the dipper around and shared water and laughs with each other. Sometimes, we had to have the dipper passed around again for another taste of that water. I get a little tickled when I see bottled water thinking about the well water from long ago.

At my desk the other day, I picked up the bottle of water and looked to see where it came from and believe it or not, it was my hometown, Douglas, GA and I smiled and thought, “had they tapped into the old spring?” I had gotten out of the habit of drinking water when city water never seemed to taste as good as the well water. Since I drink bottled water now and it has a good taste, but honestly, it doesn’t compare with the water from the well.

For some good information on drinking water for our health, I found an excerpt from an article for us to read:

If you need more “ammo” on why to drink h20, here are 5 benefits of drinking water that may have you changing your mind.

1.) Supports metabolism

Water helps keeps your metabolic rate up (cellular hydration is necessary for cellular metabolism); allows you to tell whether you’re really hungry or just thirsty (you can mistake hunger for thirst), and has no sugar  or artificial sweeteners (you’re keeping  it natural – what your body likes).

2.) Promotes vitality

Dehydration can cause tired eyes, headaches, and a case of the “blahs.” Drinking enough water helps promote your wellbeing.  And remember, by the time you’re thirsty, you’re dehydrated. Keep it flowing throughout the day!

3.) Helps with digestion

Staying hydrated keeps things moving along smoothly in  your digestive tract.  Water is necessary to breakdown your food and prevent constipation.

4.) Eliminates toxins

Water helps your kidneys flush out toxins you don’t need in your system through urination. Sweat is another natural way your body removes waste products – drink up!

5.) Improves muscle strength

Muscles need hydration too! When muscles have enough fluid, they can work longer and harder, helping you get stronger and have more energy – and who doesn’t want that?

How much water do you drink a day?

Corinne DobbasCorinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and Wellness Coach with a Masters in Nutrition. Specializing in coaching, weight loss, and behavior change, Corinne has helped hundreds of women develop a healthy positive relationship with food, their body, and themselves. She helps women do this by showing them how to create a healthy lifestyle (they love) using a holistic approach. She believes lasting change starts from the inside out. Visit her at CorinneDobbas.com

Now, for the deeper thought……I had never had my thirst for life quenched until I drank from the living well! For all of you that have received this wonderful, refreshing, life changing God given water of life, you already know how it quenches your thirst and your life becomes a “well” for sharing this water with others. The water from the old well pales in comparison to one little drop of the drink from God’s well, so drink up, enjoy the refreshing change in your life and thirst no more.

John 4:14
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to original location.



Bloggers note: This is one of my favorites so enhancing an oldie but goodie:

photo courtesy of JENNELL GIEGER
TODAY THE WORDS are LOVE ME, LOVE ME NOT.  Not too long ago, on my quirky quotes, I wrote, We can give love; we can accept love; we cannot force someone to love us!” It seemed to get a large response and the childhood game of pulling daisy petals and each one counted, Love Me and the next one counted as Love Me Not and whichever petal you pulled off in the last pull was the answer. If life would only be that simple and we could tell who was going to love us or who were not. Love is such a miraculous event. We experience different kinds of love throughout our lifetime so let’s see how the love machine works. As babies, we are in awe of our parents who furnish our needs and they are usually quite entertaining; they sing, they talk some kind of language (thinking they are speaking our language); they make faces (some don’t need to do that as they are already funny looking). We fall in love with our parents because we can tell they love us and they’re willing to do almost anything for us. That is natural parent-child love and will normally bond them for life. As children, we discover puppy love and I am not talking about animal love (which comes about this same time and probably why it is called puppy love). We have crushes and innocent love for a friend and we use the word love without knowing what love entails. Puppy love lasts temporarily and goes from friend to friend. As teenagers, we start “falling in love” and as adults, we understand why it is called “falling” due to most teenagers falling for someone only to find out they “love” someone else. Sometimes, it is the other one have to experience the “fall”. If we are fortunate, after the teen years, we find our mate with love of a more mature lasting fiber. We make the decision that our love is forever and usually marry. 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the general concept of “love”. For other uses, see Love (disambiguation).
Love is a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection (“I love my mother”) to pleasure (“I loved that meal”). It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment.[1] It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection—”the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”.[2] It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one’s self or animals.[3]

Non-Western traditions have also distinguished variants or symbioses of these states.[4] This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.[5]

Love may be understood as a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.[6]

What I want to go deeper in thought is……..Along the way, we have normally experienced no matter what we do, there will be someone that no matter how good we were to them, no matter how hard we tried, no matter how deep our feelings were, and no matter how we gave it our all; they did not love us. This is probably the hardest thing to accept; it is true that not everyone will love you. It is okay if they don’t; move on to your full life. The exception to this philosophy is “God loves everyone of us”.

No matter what, no matter when, no matter how hard someone fights against this truth, He loves us forever and with all of His Mighty Power. Isn’t that incredible; isn’t that worth all of the devotion returned to God? We don’t have to force God to love us; He doesn’t force us to love Him!


Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.  Third party material sourced with original location.


WHAT’S UP WITH ALL OF THE CRITICISM? With all of the fireworks a part of history today from all of the celebration from the 4th of July, it would appear that I would choose a soft, melodic message; but NOT! I would like to express a thought I saw over the holidays that proves to be a worthy topic so let me start off with a big BOOM! I am going to criticize all of the CRITICIZERS in the world. How ironic, right? I think you will get my message once you see how the thrust of the topic blazes the blog air.
CRITICISM ˈkridəˌsizəm’ in Google dictionary means:
the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.
“he received a lot of criticism”
synonyms: censure, condemnation, denunciation, disapproval, disparagement, opprobrium, fault-finding, attack, broadside, stricture, recrimination; More
the analysis and judgment of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work.
“alternative methods of criticism supported by well-developed literary theories”
synonyms: evaluation, assessment, appraisal, analysis, judgment
I would like everyone to pay attention to certain words in the meaning such as: condemnation; denunciation; disapproval; fault-finding; etc. Looking at the meaning do you find anything positive in these words? Do you feel that keeping the meaning in mind any encouragement is found in CRITICISM? 

May I give my thoughts on this subject? I witness too many times the people who are so busy criticizing others could use that valuable time in sharing positive and encouraging thoughts to that very person. I am going to share a personal thought which I may have shared before but it has value to the worth of positive assertion applied in any situation but this pertains to parenting.
When my daughter would go somewhere or engage in something contrary to our approval and it would be time to have one of those talks, I would say to my daughter “I understand. All of us do things if we had taken the time to think if it is a good idea, we would have made a different decision. You are such a smart intelligent girl you will make the right decision next time.”
She  told me if I knew how much nonsense I had kept her from getting into by her hearing my words, “Next time you will stop and think and you will make the right decision.” 
There is a funny part of how this affected her future. She said, as a psychology major, sitting in one of her classes, the language coming out of her professor’s mouth on positive assertion was so similar to what she had been taught from me, “Mom, if I had shut my eyes and listened, it could have been you talking to me.” 
If I can pass any advice on to others. Please stop criticizing and start encouraging! Positive assertion has encouraged me and I am sure each of you can remember when someone said nice words about something you did great and the effect it had on your day.
En·cour·age·ment inˈkərijmənt,enˈkərijmənt/
the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.
“thank you for all your support and encouragement”
synonyms: heartening, cheering up, inspiration, motivation, stimulation, fortification; More
persuasion to do or to continue something.
“incentives and encouragement to play sports”
the act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state, or belief.
“the encouragement of foreign investment”
Doesn’t the idea of supporting, cheering up, inspiring, motivating, stimulating and fortifying a person’s character sound a lot better than criticizing someone? Let’s criticize our weakness for criticizing someone who can make a difference if motivated to do something spectacular.
Bible Verse:
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness,” Hebrews 3:13 

(C) Copyright 2012-2016 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. 3rd Party reference material sourced to original location.

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