HAYRIDES & HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS is a blog to discuss the traditions of this holiday. Whether you celebrate this day of little trick or treaters is an individual choice but you have to admit if you have ever gone on a hayride or seen the lil ones in their cute costumes, it can be a fun event. #blog #halloween #traditions #hayride #children #trickortreat




TODAY THE WORD is HAYRIDESAt this time of year with Halloween, Fall Festivals, etc. coming up or maybe it is my hay fever taking me back to my experience of hayrides. I am not sure if  hayrides are popular anymore, but in my childhood, I was privy to several and I think every child needs to experience at least one hayride. I thought I would take us on a ride down memory lane and hope that all children can hop on and ride with us.
Usually the hayride coincided with Halloween or fall festivals and were mostly sponsored by local churches. The farmers helped by furnishing the trailer complete with bales of hay, sometimes loose hay for all of us to sit on or fall in which happened quite frequently. The time was set normally to start this ride through the country side at dusk. The objective was to get all of us children excited with a little fear thrown in for good measure. The slow ride accompanied by the sound of the tractor was supplemented by a lot of yelling, a few screams, and the attempted campsite song of broken choruses when the trailer would hit a hole or bump in the road. Oh, it was funny and scary at the same time. Once in a while, someone would fall in the hay, not serious enough to injure, but silly enough to cause laughter and giggling.
The trail would sometimes stop at a cemetery, where church members (adults who were the biggest kids in the world) were hiding behind tall tombstones to scare the daylights out of us. The running started then with the “big kids” laughing their heads off. Everyone was loaded again, and off we would go, laughing and some girls crying since they didn’t see the humor in the scary events in the graveyard.


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We have always had candy for the children and love to see the little ones in costumes. I say it is an individual choice to celebrate Halloween or to not celebrate. I have never thought of bad thoughts about this holiday but again, it is not up to me to encourage or discourage others.

The Origins of 15 Spooky Halloween Traditions

This Halloween, don’t just have the best costume and the spookiest decorations on your block—share these sweet facts, too.

1. Jack-o-Lanterns

Jack-o-lanterns, which originated in Ireland with turnips instead of pumpkins, are based on a legend about a man name Stingy Jack who repeatedly trapped the Devil and only let him go on the condition that Jack would never go to Hell. However, when he died Jack learned that Heaven didn’t really want his soul either after all his devilish dealings, so he was condemned to wander the earth as a ghost for all eternity. His old friend, the Devil, gifted Jack a lump of burning coal, which Jack carried around in a carved-out turnip to light his way. Locals began carving frightening faces into their own gourds to scare off evil spirits such as Jack of the Lantern.

2. Ghosts

Celtic people believed that during the festival Samhain, which marked the transition to the new year at the end of the harvest and beginning of the winter, spirits walked the Earth. Later, the introduction of All Souls Day on November 2 by Christian missionaries perpetuated the idea of a mingling between the living and the dead around that time.

3. Costumes

With all these ghosts wandering around the Earth during Samhain, the Celts had to get creative to avoid being terrorized by evil spirits. To fake out the ghosts, people would don disguises so they would be mistaken for spirits themselves and left alone.

4. Trick-or-Treating

Everyone can agree that free candy is awesome. Beyond that, there’s lots of debate around the origins of trick-or-treating. One theory proposes that during Samhain, Celtic people would leave out food to placate the souls and ghosts and spirits traveling the earth that night. Eventually, people began dressing up as these otherworldly beings in exchange for similar offerings of food and drink.

5. Trick-or-Treating, the Scottish Way

Other researchers speculate that the candy bonanza stems from the Scottish practice of guising, itself a secular version of souling. In the Middle Ages, soulers, children and poor adults, would go to local homes and collect food or money in return for prayers said for the dead on All Souls’ Day. Guisers ditched the prayers in favor of less religious performances like jokes, songs, or other “tricks.”

6. Trick-or-Treating, American-style

Some sources argue that our modern trick-or-treating stems from belsnickling, a tradition in German-American communities where children would dress in costume and then call on their neighbors to see if the adults could guess the identities of the disguised guests. In one version of the practice, the children were rewarded with food or other treats if no one could identify them.

7. Black Cats

The association of black cats and spookiness actually dates all the way back to the Middle Ages, when these dark kitties were considered a symbol of the Devil. It didn’t help the felines’ reputations when, centuries later, accused witches were often found to have cats, especially black ones, as companions. People started believing that the cats were a witch’s “familiar”—animals that gave them an assist with their dark magic—and the two have been linked ever since.

8. Bobbing for Apples

This game traces its origins to a courting ritual that was part of a Roman festival honoring Pamona, the goddess of agriculture and abundance. Multiple variations existed, but the basic gist was that young men and women would be able to foretell their future relationships based on the game. When the Romans conquered the British Isles the Pamona festival was blended with the similarly timed Samhain, a precursor to Halloween.

9. Black and Orange

The classic Halloween colors can also trace their origins back to the Celtic festival Samhain. Black represented the “death” of summer while orange is emblematic of the autumn harvest season.

10. Pranks

As a phenomenon that often varies by region, the pre-Halloween tradition, also known as “Devil’s Night”, is credited with a different origin depending on whom you ask. Some sources say that pranks were originally part of May Day Celebrations. But Samhain, and eventually All Souls Day, always seem to have included good-natured mischief. When Scottish and Irish immigrants came to America, they brought along the tradition of celebrating Mischief Night as part of Halloween, which was great for candy-fueled pranksters.

11. Candles and Bonfires

These days, candles are more likely than towering traditional bonfires, but for much of the early history of Halloween, open flames were integral in lighting the way for souls seeking the afterlife.

12. Candy Apples

People have been coating fruit in sugar syrups as a means of preservation for centuries. Since the development of the Roman festival of Pamona, a goddess often represented by and associated with apples, the fruit has had a place in harvest celebrations. But the first mention of candy apples being given out at Halloween didn’t occur until the 1950s.

13. Bats

It’s likely that bats were present at the earliest celebrations of proto-Halloween, not just symbolically but literally. As part of Samhain, the Celts lit large bonfires, which attracted insects. The insects, in turn, attracted bats, which soon became associated with the festival. Medieval folklore expanded upon the spooky connotation of bats with a number of superstitions built around the idea that bats were the harbingers of death.

14. Candy

The act of going door-to-door for handouts has long been a part of Halloween celebrations. But up until the middle of the 20th century, the “treats” kids received were not necessarily candy—toys, coins, fruit and nuts were just as likely to be given out. The rise in the popularity of trick-or-treating in the 1950s inspired candy companies to make a marketing push with small, individually wrapped confections. People obliged out of convenience, but candy didn’t dominate at the exclusion of all other treats until parents started fearing anything unwrapped in the 1970s.

15. Candy Corn

According to some stories, a candymaker at the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia invented the revolutionary tri-color candy in the 1880s. The treats didn’t become a widespread phenomenon until another company brought the candy to the masses in 1898. At the time, candy corn was called “Chicken Feed” and sold in boxes that read “Something worth crowing for.” Originally just generically autumnal candy because of corn’s association with harvest time, candy corn became Halloween-specific when trick-or-treating rose to prominence in the 1950s.

Now for the deeper thought…..I feel some indoctrination into the “scary” parts of life are healthy for children. Parents teach children to trust in them by being there for the support and for the safety from the “boogie man”. God is our Father and we are exposed to some scary times in our lives and we need to remember the lesson of the hay ride. We are going to be scared in life; we have to trust in God to make it all go away and allow us to load back on the life trailer and keep riding. Life can be fun and at the same time a little frightening so if we make sure God is on every hay ride; we are going to have a good time and make it over the holes and the bumps in the road.

1 Corinthians 3:12, 13
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.

(C) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material, if known, is sourced to original location for credit reference.


Yesterday, my dear friend Linda Christian (center back) who is pictured here with me and Joyce Hanna Ricciardelli (left) and Jan Malphus Downing (right) lost her battle with cancer after fighting one of the most courageous fights I have witnessed. I wrote this: 

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Today, I dedicate this blog to the dedicated gardener and my friend Linda Christian who was celebrating her birthday when this was first posted.
THE GARDENER’S GLOVE was a popular message and I love the lessons behind it. We have a beautiful growing container garden this year. I have mentioned our garden before but in watching our “crop” grow, I am amazed at how the rain, the pruning, and the feedings affect the amount of growth. It led me back to how proper care of ourselves can affect our growth and especially our health. Stay tuned and when we begin the harvesting, I will share some recipes and photos.



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TODAY THE WORDS are THE GARDENER’S GLOVE  This topic may seem a little strange coming from a lady whose husband does all of our landscaping and who considers herself blessed to not have to pull weeds (but he doesn’t do a lot of that with his routine weed control). I have several FB friends who grow beautiful gardens (Linda Christian whose birthday is today and she can make us envious of her gardening skills and beautiful spirit of sharing with others) , some who are in their rose gardens and flower beds, and there are my friends who do not like the outdoor gardening at all. I love flowers and there is nothing better to eat than fresh home grown vegetables but I think my resistance stems from my childhood.
Let’s return to my childhood to give you my thoughts. In order to make some money, my Mother grew turnip and mustard greens in our back garden. Before school, and sometimes in the bitter cold, we would go to the garden, gather the greens which were ready, clean them off and bundle with string. Off to the grocery store they would go and off to school we would go. It wasn’t the work as I had too much energy; we didn’t use gloves. In those days, you used your hands (maybe others had enough money to buy gloves; not us). It was the smell of the greens on my hands and mind you, I washed my hands several times and they were as clean as they were going to be. I see my husband prepare, by putting on gloves, before he goes out to do yard work, gardening, and/or pruning. He is very particular about how the gloves have to fit as a proper fit will not slow him down. He jokes with other guys that his wife does yard work. He says “She tells me where to put everything and walks back in the house.” He smiles when he says it but I know he loves being in the yard and in control of its beauty. I am usually the one who is in charge of the interior of our home and I love doing it.
Now for the deeper thought….as important as gloves are to a gardener or landscaper…..gloves of life are as important to our being. Gloves are a protective covering to avoid scratches, cuts and sometimes bites from insects. They wrap around the hand and fingers securely and when properly fitted, are an extension of our very bodies. They become a second skin in other words. Our “character” is a pair of gloves of life. We start, at an early age, to develop (or put on) our character which comprises of several things: our personality; our integrity; our work ethics and our moral ethics (may be the same or sometimes not); our nurturing persona; and our spirituality. With the proper gloves of life, we can garden our souls and protect ourselves from the scratches, bites, and burns which the garden of life brings. I am not discounting God’s influence in our gardens, but we as His Children, need to put on our gloves and protect ourselves too. Good gardening, my friends, and don’t forget your gloves. 
Genesis 2:9                 
And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


(c) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material, if known, is sourced to the original location for reference.



Sometimes a reader pulls up one of the previously posted messages and I find myself reading it again. I looked at this one and found it timely so here is another chance to find out how pumpkin carving came to be. Please join me on the blog and share it with others. Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, you may learn some facts you may not have known before. #blog #Halloween #pumpkincarving #pumpkin #life #jackolantern #amwriting


THIS IS A REPOST FROM 2016 but I thought it was an interesting post so I decided you might like to read it too.
WHAT’S UP WITH THE JACK-O’-LANTERN? A young man, Blake Lott posted on Facebook When and why did it become a social tradition for people to sit around a table and carve spooky vegetables together? 🎃 👻 Did you know the original jack o’ lantern was actually a turnip ”     “”

I thought, “How interesting are those questions!” I decided to do a little digging and I hope everyone enjoys this post about our pumpkin carving tradition which is really not American but is tracked back to Ireland.
I found this article on the legend:

THE LEGEND OF “STINGY JACK”People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.Did You Know?The original jack-o’-lanterns were carved from turnips, potatoes or beets.Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o’lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.

Article Details:
History of the Jack O’ Lantern
I have heard a discussion back and forth whether Christians should or should not celebrate Halloween. This is a personal decision and I leave it to individuals but I decided to do a little digging on the holiday itself. Here is a definition from Wikipedia on Halloween:
 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the observance. For other uses, see Halloween (disambiguation).

“All Hallows’ Eve” redirects here. For other uses, see All Hallows’ Eve (disambiguation).

Halloween, or Hallowe’en (a contraction of All Hallows’ Evening),[5] also known as Allhalloween,[6] All Hallows’ Eve,[7] or All Saints’ Eve,[8] is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide,[9] the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.[10][11]
It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from Celtic harvest festivals which may have pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, and that this festival was Christianized as Halloween.[1][7][12][13][14][15] Some academics, however, support the view that Halloween began independently as a solely Christian holiday.[1][16][17][18][19]
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising), attending Halloween costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing and divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular,[20][21][22] although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration.[23][24][25] Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows’ Eve,[26][27] a tradition reflected in the eating of certain foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes and soul cakes.[27][28][29]


I thought it would be interesting to find out more about Trick or Treating tradition’s history too. Why not? Here is an article from Smithsonian.com (link below article)

 It’s almost that time of year when underaged kids get into costume and traipse around the neighborhood ringing doorbells and begging for treats. When you think about it, trick or treating is kind of a weird thing. Where did it come from anyway?

Today I Found Out discovered that the practice began with the Celtic tradition of celebrating the end of the year by dressing up as evil spirits. The Celts believed that, as we moved from one year to the next, the dead and the living would overlap, and demons would roam the earth again. So dressing up as demons was a defense mechanism. If you encountered a real demon roaming the Earth, they would think you were one of them.Fast forward to when the Catholic Church was stealing everybody’s holidays and trying to convert them. They turned the demon dress-up party into “All Hallows Eve,” “All Soul’s Day,” and “All Saints Day” and had people dress up as saints, angels and still a few demons. Today I Found Out writes:

As for the trick or treating, or “guising” (from “disguising”), traditions, beginning in the Middle-Ages, children and sometimes poor adults would dress up in the aforementioned costumes and go around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for songs and prayers, often said on behalf of the dead.  This was called “souling” and the children were called “soulers”.You might think that this practice then simply migrated along with Europeans to the United States. But trick or treating didn’t re-emerge until the 1920s and 1930s. It paused for a bit during World War II because of sugar rations, and it’s now back in full force.The term “trick or treat” dates back to 1927. Today I Found Out explains:The earliest known reference to “trick or treat”, printed in the November 4, 1927 edition of the Blackie, Alberta Canada Herald, talks of this,Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.The British hate Halloween, apparently. In 2006, a survey found that over half of British homeowners turn off their lights and pretend not to be home on Halloween. Yet another reason by the United States is happy to be free from British rule. No funs.

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All in all, Halloween is on its way, whether you carve the Jack-O-Lantern, Trick or Treat. You can choose to participate or not. I find it interesting to read the history and how these traditions have come about. However you decide is fine with me. I am 67 years old and I have never felt an evil feeling about Halloween and over the years my husband and I have enjoyed the small children coming to our door with their little costumes yelling Trick or Treat. May your holidays be bright and cheery.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline L Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. All third party material sourced to original location for credit.



HARSH WORDS, THE BULLETS OF LIFE is a good post that takes on the usage of words that are used to harm, inflict hurt, or criticize. Sometimes we use words that we may mean them in a harmless way, but they shoot straight to the heart and can even destroy people’s lives. Take a few minutes and read this one, ponder it, and consider thinking before we speak. #blog #bullying #positivity #selfesteem #life #conversation


HARSH WORDS, THE BULLETS OF LIFE are penetrating and leave holes in the hearts of those who hear. The other day I wrote a piece of not using excuses and being real. I may have given the wrong idea of how I feel about communication. I have strong feelings about what I believe in and I don’t hesitate to express how I feel BUT, wait a minute, I don’t mean that every thought should came spitting out of our mouths either.

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May I move this thought a little farther, and I don’t think she will mind me using something that was used in a post for a good example of this unintentional oversight of using a phrase or descriptive term without realizing how strong words are received and perceived. As she was describing how God desires us to be steadfast in our actions daily and not on and off, she compared this on and off not to be “bipolar nuts”. I know this lady and I think it was nothing but a way to describe an attitude and not poking fun at a very serious health condition. It happened that a dear person, close to me, had recently been diagnosed with the same condition. I admire this person to the highest level and know the heartbreak of living with bipolar and I felt the use of this term in a nonchalant manner was in poor taste.  Without intention, a message that was profound and on point, turned into a sensitive, unnerving distraction.


I did not use this example to criticize anyone but at the same time, in our world today, I hear similar comparison and the ones I hear are intentional, not like the previous example so imagine if I thought this person meant it intentionally. How many times do we use descriptive harsh words about others, even people we do not know? Have you ever seen someone you haven’t seen in a while and you haphazardly say, “Boy, you have put on a lot of weight!” or “man, you have changed a lot since I saw you”? Let’s look at widely misused words that may do as much damage as a bullet to the heart.




Stop using “fat” in a way that shames others — or even yourself. Sure, fat is something we all have and need to survive. But being concerned about “looking fat” in a dress is a way to shame people who might not fit the conventional beauty standards of our society. It’s a way to verbally value thinner people over others.

Allies, feel free to reclaim fat as an empowering identity (here’s looking at you, #fatspo). But if you’re going to pull a Facebook and say you’re “feeling fat” today, refrain. Fat is not a feeling. Fat is not a put-down, nor is it shameful. Fat is a part of your body.


We all really need to relinquish the R-word. To catch you up to speed, the term “mental retardation” is a stale, clinical term once used to label what we now call intellectual disabilities. Using the term to mean “stupid” devalues those with intellectual disabilities, which should make you question your word choice.

While adults are guilty of using the term to describe something annoying or unappealing, the word is especially a problem among youth. Stop using it and replace it with more colorful words. And don’t forget to politely correct the person, whether grown man or child, who still thinks this term is perfectly fine. It’s not.


Sure, this is an older term that doesn’t lurk in our language all too often, but it’s definitely not just a vocab issue for out-of-touch, elder generations. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch was rightfully criticized earlier this year for using the term “colored” while advocating for diversity in film during an interview. (No, the irony is not lost.)

The term Cumberbatch (and you) should be using is “people of color,” which is a widely accepted umbrella term that includes any non-white person.

“Colored” is outdated. Let’s reframe.


When you have your desk all nice and tidy, you might be tempted to proclaim yourself “soOCD.” But obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental illness that means so much more than a knack for organization. It means having a lack of control over certain thoughts or activities, so much so that they inhibit daily life.

Though you may think you’re just describing your affinity for Windex, there’s a whole population of people who don’t appreciate you trivializing a major daily obstacle. Try using “particular,” “clean” or “organized” instead.


If you’re using the term “crazy” countless times a day, you’re probably in the norm. But that doesn’t mean it’s OK. Terms like “crazy” — or “insane,” for that matter — make light of mental illness in a way no ally wants to support.

Your boss isn’t “crazy” for her serious, intense demeanor; she’s stern. Your friend isn’t “crazy” for dating her ex; she’s a little misguided. Your cashier wasn’t “crazy” for putting your bread and laundry detergent together in the same bag; he just sucks at bagging.

Other words are always going to be available, not to mention more inclusive. Use them.

(Some Excerpts from12 words you need to ban from your vocabulary) 

You can read the entire list by clicking on the link above, but this was to get us started thinking about words, and these are not the worst ones that are thrown around like water and it will be wise to stop and think before using these. I want to think I am a kinder person but I realized years ago, people pay more attention when I use constructive, positive verbiage to get a point across. I can be blunt as that is my nature but I don’t have to be mean, right?

 I thought I would dive in to a side line and on this portion of the post, I am guilty, literally. I find it amazing and awesome that basically I use these words really a lot.

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Here are 12 words that have been so overused they really don’t mean anything anymore:

  • literally: Originally meant “in a literal or strict sense,” but is used as a more general intensifier for things that are not strictly true. Because of this, “in a figurative sense,” the exact opposite of the original meaning, has now been added to the dictionary as a definition for literally.
  • unique: Originally meant “unlike anything else,” but is used to mean “different, to some degree, from the standard or the norm.”
  • awesome: Originally meant “causing feelings of fear or wonder,” but is used as a general, positive descriptor like “great” or “cool.”
  • amazing: Originally meant “causing overwhelming surprise or astonishment,” but is used as a general, positive descriptor like “great” or “cool.”
  • totally: Originally meant “completely, in every part,” but is now used as a general intensifier, much like “really.”
  • basically: Originally meant “essentially” or “fundamentally,” but is now used as general verbal filler.
  • incredible: Originally meant “impossible to believe,” but is now used as a general, positive descriptor like “great” or “cool.”
  • really: Originally meant “actually true,” but is now used frequently as a general intensifier.
  • very: Meaning “to a high degree,” we all just need to stop using it in every other sentence.
  • honestly: Originally meant “in an honest and genuine manner,” but is now often used as general verbal filler.
  • absolutely: Originally meant “in a complete and total manner,” but is now used as a general intensifier.
  • unbelievable: Originally meant “impossible to believe,” but is now used as a general, positive descriptor.

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Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 7.39.37 AMSince 2012, after a suggestion from an author friend and former classmate, Peggy Mercer I started blogging after having to research what a blog means. It has been a commitment but for some crazy reason I keep blogging. I have written two novels and working on the third one at this time but I cannot stop the blog. For me, it is a personal commitment as it has never been a revenue making project. I receive more when I get a heart warming comment or see that more people from a lot of countries read this small town girl’s adventures and thoughts. Keep reading and I will try to keep writing as all of you inspire me……Until we read again……..Arline L Miller, blogger of SippingCupsofInspiration and author of books available on Amazon by searching Arline Miller, romance books.


75 Countries have viewed Sipping Cups of Inspiration since I have moved it to wordpress.com and prior we had over 100 countries viewing it on blogger.com. How wonderful to know my blog can be translated into all of their native languages. I appreciate all of the world’s views………………..Arline Miller



This blog is not for the faint hearted since today is the day I express the need to be assertive and not apologetic for being you. You will find it to be a day to throw away excuses and stop trying to recycle the same ole same ole. Get real on EXCUSES ARE NOT TO BE RECYCLED and share it with others. #blog #getreal #noexcuses #amwriting #life #assertive


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There are times when I probably get under some people’s skin with my direct approach but I don’t apologize and I can tell you why. In my lifetime, I owned my life. Whether it was good decisions or bad; I have owned all of them. Anyone that knows me will attest to that personality trait…..Blunt but truthful. I say this to explain the title of this blog, EXCUSES ARE NOT TO BE RECYCLED. This topic can be life changing and I want to share with you a key to a good life.

I am not wise but I am Life Experienced. In life, many events and jobs have instilled in me that it is best to own your life and not excuse your actions. Sometimes, it may be necessary to explain your actions or apologize for them as well but never should you excuse your actions. How many of you remember Steve Urkel in Family Matters played by Jaleel Ahmad White? He would look bewildered and say “Did I do that?” All of us laughed and even though we laughed each time, did you ever wonder would it have been as funny if he had said, “Yes, I did that”?  A comedic situation is the only time I give approval for the excuse statements.

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To kick this thought process, I found an article and have posted an excerpt for handling mistakes by being assertive. I thought this a good way to use a business example but apply the same methods to our personal lives. Different situations but similar solutions can be resolved in the same way:

Managing Mistakes By Being Assertive

A guest post by Jo Pogson .

So this week I’m (mostly) handing over my blog to Jo. First, she gives an excellent explanation of assertiveness in term of our rights and responsibilities in a relationship. Followed by a superb tip in how to be assertive when the worst happens and the person you have referred makes a mistake with your client.

I know my rights! You have the right to remain Silent! Yes, we do. We have lots of rights, legal, moral, ethical. Assertive rights are the ones that give us the right to:

  • be treated with respect

  • express opinions and feelings

  • set goals and objectives

  • refuse a request or say ‘no’

  • ask for what you want

  • make mistakes

  • be the judge of your own behaviour independent of the goodwill of others

  • change your mind

  • decide whether or not to assert yourself

  • state your limits and expectations

  • make a statement not based on logic or rationality

  • make your own decisions

  • be independent of the company of others and enjoy ‘me’ time

  • get involved in the problems or affairs of another or not

  • be ignorant and not understand

  • be successful

  • say ‘I don’t know’

  • ask for clarification when you don’t understand

Dame Rennie Fritchie defines assertiveness as “Standing up for your rights without violating the rights of others“.

Then these rights suddenly take a new importance. They are the heart of assertiveness. And how good are we at asserting these rights, taking them for ourselves and using them? How good are we at not asserting them? And when we think on to the rights of others, how good are we at allowing, even encouraging, others to assert their rights? Are we perhaps good at violating the rights of others after all?

And if we are to really embrace these rights, does that mean we have the right to just make all the mistakes we want, without a care in the world? What if those mistakes hurt someone else? What if, by making a mistake, we disrespect someone else? Now it’s getting complicated. Either we have the right or we don’t. Which is it?

Like most things in life if we’re going to take our assertive rights, we also sign up to do it in a responsible way. So thinking about the right to make mistakes, the way to assert that right with responsibility is to only make ‘honest’ mistakes, not deliberate ones; to own up to our mistakes; to fix mistakes that have been made; to appreciate others will also make mistakes (not violate their right to make mistakes); to learn from mistakes and help others do the same.

So to summarise: Rights are an integral part of being assertive. It can be easy to deprive ourselves and others of those rights. True assertiveness is being responsible with our rights.

Now a question that troubles a lot of business people I meet is a fear that once you’ve referred someone, they then make a mistake and compromise your relationship with your client and them. So I asked Jo for her thoughts on how to manage that situation.

Her response is in the context of honouring all your rights and the rights of the other two people involved.

The best course of action when managing the situation might depend on the specifics of who and what, but as a generic suggestion.

Rennie Fritchie’s definition goes on to say “assertiveness is open, honest and direct communication“. So my starting point would probably be to apply the ‘making a mistake’ responsibilities in an open, honest and direct way by owning up, apologising and asking how you can help to fix it.

Being honest means be honest about what is relevant. If it’s not relevant, don’t say it (even if it is honest). I think this works for all three people involved. It’s worth remembering that we all engage in a referral relationship at some time from each of the three positions.

Some suggestions from each position if client/suppler relationship cannot be repaired,

  • As the person who referred – “I’m not sure this relationship is going to deliver what we had both hoped. I’d like to reconsider and, with your permission, recommend someone else.

  • As the referred person – “I’m not sure that what I can offer is going to deliver what we both had in mind. I’d like to suggest our introducer finds you someone else.

  • As the client – “I don’t think that you (or your recommendation) are able to deliver what I had hoped for. I want to reconsider and seek an alternative.

I would recommend finding the words that feel right for you so that what you say is both personal and sincere and then try them out with someone outside of the situation. That way you can rehearse the words in a safe way, with safe people before you have to use it in earnest.

Whatever happens long term in that particular suite of relationships, being assertive in this manner does mean that you can, at the very least, feel comfortable when you bump into each other again, as inevitably happens, when you are engaged in the same business community.

is (1)


I appreciate the statement of “finding the words that feel right for you so that what you say is both personal and sincere and then try them out with someone outside the situation.”

I find being myself and understanding that my blunt way may be misconstrued at times but it would not work if I tried to EXCUSE my actions. I ADMIT I am blunt, straightforward, direct, etc. but I don’t try to say, “I don’t know why I said that” or other lame excuses. I may say there are times I say something in an effort to help or support another person and it may appear as criticism to that person and it gets lost in translation.

Make an EXCUSE disposable and throw them away and GET REAL today.

is (4)


LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by owning your life with the good and the bad, but be a Real Person without excuses.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material will be sourced, if known, to original location.

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