HEY, WHAT IS A HAYRIDE?

This is a previous post but since it is a timely subject, I thought we could use a break from all of the politics and think about simpler times. Please join me for a walk down memory lane or maybe even a hayride….Hmm????

TODAY THE WORD is HAYRIDES. At 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.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location, if known, for credit reference.

WHY DO WE PROMOTE?

WHY DO WE PROMOTE? WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE TO PROMOTE? WHAT SHOULDN’T WE PROMOTE? Some of you may be feeling a little confused since you read the blog regularly and most of my blogs are related to inspiration and sometimes health and decor tips. Recently, I have had the completion of a lifelong dream to occur and it requires promotion. As I was doing my promotional tweets, facebook personal and author page posts, I realized there are some things and events we should promote. This gave me the inspiration for this topic. Do we promote only materialistic items or is it possible to promote more than those items, and my mind thought about what we possess which can be worthy of promoting and the blog began. First let us consider how we might effectively market ourselves with the excerpt from a good article (link is below with excerpt attached.)

7 of the Most Effective Ways to Market Yourself Effectively

Unless you’re in business for yourself or looking for a job, the idea of marketing yourself may not sound like anything that concerns you. But it’s a skill everyone needs to master. Understand the basics and you’ll be prepared to position yourself as an expert. Here are seven proven strategies for marketing yourself successfully and effectively:

1. Identify your niche. What are your interests? Your talents? Your passions? Think about the ways you already bring these elements together and explore the possibilities for how you can engage them in in innovation and problem solving. Focus on the uncommon things you have to offer.

2. Seek recognition for your expertise. Showcase what you know by building a knowledge base. Grow your reputation and promote your informed opinions. The hallmark of expertise is figuring out what’s information and relevant. Develop relationships with thought leaders and media representatives in your field and your community.

3. Share your wisdom. Write prolifically about what you know to get your name in front of people as an expert. Contribute articles and blog posts any time you have an opportunity. Make sure it’s informative, well written, timely, and valuable to readers.

4. Build a community. Create a network of like-minded people in your field and work on connecting deeply and really getting to know one another. Genuine expertise is always drawn to other experts, and in their company you can open up a whole world of new possibilities.

5. Be of service to others. Become a trusted advisor and do what you can to help as many people as you can. How can you use what you do to be of service? Maybe you can offer your talents to a local nonprofit or set up an internship or mentoring opportunity to help someone starting out.

6. Be social savvy. Spend focused time on social media tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and electronic groups in your industry.

Share some of your expertise for free, and you can begin building a base of fans who trust you and look to you for expert advice.

7. Remember who you are- is the message to the world. Every word you say, everything that you communicate and do, is a message to the world. Just as a good organization protects its brand, protect your reputation by being intentional about the words you speak and the actions you perform.

The person who knows how best to market yourself is you. Start now to set yourself apart as a leader and generous citizen of your professional communities, and you can take yourself much further than you may have dreamed.

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Note: As my own person, with my own quirks, likes and dislikes, I agree the person who knows you best to market or promote you is you. I am not saying to not seek professional promotion in the beginning if you feel uncomfortable with self promotion. I am comfortable in my skin and love promotion, events, networking, but the most rewarding is when I see others respond to my work, not me. It is all about the story, the books, the reader’s responses, and yes, the sales.

Here are my books and a sample of reviews (all are on Amazon for you to read:


Miriam Holland

5.0 out of 5 starsAwesome Read! Intrigue with romance and love!
October 20, 2019Format: Paperback
The entire trilogy is great reading. I especially enjoyed this book as it has lots of suspense. It also brought the characters full-circle in their lives. Freckles is such a integral part of the book. The book is very well written with excellent details.
5.0 out of 5 starsSplendid! Next chapter please!
July 13, 2015Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book totally captivated the interest of a reader with ADD. In order to do that the writer must move quickly with many surprises. The descriptive detail of characters, geographic area, compromising situations and emotions put me directly in the story as if I were there in person. I was so captivated I did not want to put it down, but my emotions were elevated to such a high level I had to take a break several times. The intimate areas were descriptive enough to understand the love, passion and emotions without being distasteful.

There were many informative lessons throughout the book. Everyone has a story and to really know and understand someone completely you must be close enough they share their story. The writer shares that one can love in many ways and choices made can lead you into consuming circumstances or relationships you otherwise would have no part. This was a great book that deserves the highest rating. Ready for the next chapter.

HappyReader

5.0 out of 5 starsA Tapestry of Love and Tragedy
May 23, 2017Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
“She deserved happiness or did she?”

This book is a tapestry of love and tragedy. It is the sequel to A Mistress a Wife. I encourage readers to start with the first book- it’s a wonderful read- and then read book 2. In this second book of a planned series, we learn more about the intertwined lives of the characters we met in the earlier book. This is a character driven book and all of the characters are searching for love amidst lies. “She felt like the princess who had been locked in the tower without understanding why.”

In book 1 we cried through the story of the love for all eternity of Dave and Rachelle. Book 2 focuses more on the younger friend of Rachelle, Destaina. Destaina is seeking to learn who had stolen her life from her. Both Rachelle and Destaina must fight to shine the light on the darkness of years of lies that threaten their journeys to love and life.

Rachelle thought sometimes lies and secrets were best left in wooden boxes. I have to agree with Rachelle. Author Miller writes with a lyrical and literary voice but the lies and secrets in this book are disturbing and dark. This is not a frilly rom com; it is a story colored by grief and sorrow, brightened by glimpses of love and hope. “I have to walk this road alone until I recognize the direction of my heart.”

While there are some lovely descriptions of gourmet meals and romance, much of the story takes place through dialogue and inner thoughts. The Author is a master at creating characters that you will remember and care about. Enjoy this intriguing story!

Final thought for all of us: I don’t have a lot of money, fame, or I don’t come from a wealthy fame, but when all is said and done the best item I have to promote is I love to write, I love people who love others, I love life, and all of the adventures it can give. Promote what you love and it will come naturally but never try to be something you are not. God gave us what we ever need in this life if we will seek those talents, work hard to make them as good as they can be, and don’t forget even a breath is a gift so never be ungrateful for each one…..Until We Read Again……Arline Miller, author and blogger

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL?

As publication of my last book in the series Reflections of Love completed, I posted a collage of the three books in the trilogy. When I looked at my post, I saw the theme I have used in designing my covers, mirrors which are conduits for what is going on with us. Are mirrors true reflections of our exteriors or do they trap our interior spirits and emotions? Today, I thought we would ponder this thought as the ole fairy tale relays, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

Photo from comicbookandbeyond.com

Looking in the mirror may give us a false sense of ‘everything is good’ but maybe we should focus on attracting good energy for our interior to match the exterior. I found an excerpt for 9 Ways to Attract Good Energy by Deep Patel (click on link for full article) and I wanted to share it. Maybe we pull good energy into our mirrors of life.

You can do this by raising your energy level and aligning yourself with positive vibrations. It’s simpler than you may think. Start with these 9 daily keys to tune up your inner vibrations and start feeling positive energy flow your way.

1. Pay attention to the energy you’re emitting.

You can’t expect to attract good energy if you’re giving off loads of negative energy. Think about the kind of vibes others get when they spend time with you. Do you exude a sense of peace, calm and happiness? Or are you more gloom and doom?

Negative energy is bound to impact your relationships. It may be subtle, but the attitude you approach others with will generally be reflected back at you. What kind of impression do you make on people?

If you naturally seem to draw others in and people seek out your company, chances are you’re doing a good job of emitting positive energy. If people avoid you and sidestep your assistance, you’re stuck at a lower, negative, vibration. Focus your energy on the positive.

Related: Dealing With Feelings: How to Be an Emotionally-Aware Leader

2. Change the tone of your thoughts.

Negative thinking can be hard to stop. It’s easy to allow yourself to slip into pessimism or take on an air of indifference. But if you want to attract good things, you must let the positive guide you, not the negative. As the Dalai Lama says, “See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” Actively work to change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive.

For instance, you can reframe the thought “I am having a hard time adjusting to this new situation” to “I know I will face challenges with this new situation, but I am capable of coming up with solutions to problems and I know I will adjust to these changes.” Don’t allow yourself to wallow in pessimistic ruminations. Stop looking for bad news or exaggerating the negative. Replace negative thoughts with positive but realistic statements that inspire you to take action.

Related: How to Know When Your Negative Thinking Is Hurting You

3. Cut off negative influences.

Negative vibes can disrupt your sense of well-being and drain you of happy feelings and contentedness. These negative influences can be people, places or things that have an unfavorable sway over your life. It may be that there are people in your life who are toxic to your overall happiness. Perhaps their constant criticisms bring you down, or you find yourself picking up their bad habits.

Cut off these negative influences and begin creating the life you want to live. Look for the negative influences in your life. You may be able to completely avoid or remove some of them, which is a surefire way of eliminating that influence. For those that are a permanent fixture, work to limit your exposure to them and mentally fortify yourself before you encounter them.

4. Expand your circle.

Just as you try to limit your negative influences, make sure you start spending time with positive ones. Surround yourself with positive, successful go-getters who are supportive and caring. Keep company with those who bring positive energy with them, and make sure you nurture and protect those relationships.

Bring your own good energy into your circle and help create a positive synergy that will permeate the group. Look for people who will tell you the truth, and will always be honest with you, but never out of spite or with a desire to bring you down.

Related: The 4 Types of People to Surround Yourself With for Success

5. Embrace compassion and kindness.

Small acts of kindness can have profound impacts on both the giver and the receiver. Research shows that people who are kind and compassionate to others are more satisfied with their lives, enjoy better physical and mental health, and have stronger relationships. Giving to others creates a positive feedback loop — the more you give, the more good feelings you receive in return.

The people who benefit from kindness and compassion are more likely to display these traits themselves. There are many easy ways of showing kindness, such as writing a positive message on a sticky note and leaving it for someone to find, buying a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line or simply taking a moment to smile as you pass strangers. All of this fuels happiness and sends heaps of positive energy your way.

6. Cultivate gratitude.

Find time each day to think about the things you’re grateful for. By finding small ways to practice gratitude, you’ll allow yourself to let go of toxic emotions and replace those with positive thoughts. You can practice gratitude each morning by thinking of 5 things you’re grateful for. Then think of at least one person you’re grateful to have in your life.

You can also try keeping a gratitude journal, where you can quickly jot down a list of little joys and things that give you a sense of happiness and contentment. Remind yourself of all the bad you have been through. When you see how far you’ve come and all of the difficult storms you have weathered, it will make you more appreciative of what you have in your life now.

Related: Use This Simple Daily Gratitude Habit to Be Grateful Every Day

7. Find your inner strength.

Insecurity, self-doubt and fear are good-energy killers. Those negative feelings rob you of confidence and undermine your ability to bounce back from adversity. But you have developed resilience by overcoming difficult situations — this is your inner strength.

Stop listening to your critical inner thoughts. These diminish your feelings of worth and hamper your potential. Work to empower yourself by channeling your inner superhero. Recognize that you are strong and capable, equipped to handle whatever is thrown your way.

8. Align your current self with your future self.

Things you spend time, energy and money on will impact you far beyond today. All of these choices will shape your future self. If you want to have positive energy flowing through you, you need to start making decisions that will steer you to become the kind of person you want to be, with the job and relationships you want to have. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you most desire in the world?
  • What goals and dreams are you working toward?

Now imagine what this life you want feels like. Who are you in this ideal future? What are you doing? Start to align your current self with the future self you want to become. As you start taking steps toward creating the reality you wish for, you’ll feel motivated to take control of more parts of your life. The more actions you take toward the positive, the more you create your own favorable reality.

9. Act in good faith.

In business, there is generally an assumption that parties are acting in good faith in their dealings. We all know that we should treat each other with fairness. Unfortunately, we don’t always follow through with these principles when we interact with each other on a personal or even professional level.

Make it your policy to treat everyone you meet with respect and civility. Be nice to people and they will be nice to you. But more than that, don’t retaliate or react harshly when someone does something wrong.

Maybe they’re having a bad day or they just reacted without thinking. Reinforcing the negative isn’t going to help. Act in good faith by treating everyone with compassion and graciousness, even if they aren’t doing the same. Your courteousness will come back to you in the form of good energy.

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My first mirrored cover which I designed with the help of a wonderful graphic designer, the beginning of Reflections of Love. All of my novels tell a deep reflective storyline. Photo and cover compliments of Arline Miller
The second novel reflecting a young couple experiencing lies and deceit from others while discovering the truth of love. I love the design cover I was privy to give the true concept of Reflections of Love. Photo and cover courtesy of Arline Miller
This is the third and final novel in the series Reflections of Love and has been published as of 10/19/2019 and keeping with the theme of mirrored reflections, I created the question mark reflection as life sometimes contorts our images. Photo and cover courtesy of Arline Miller

Note from Arline Miller, author and blogger: Life is what we see, the reality we deal with, and importantly, the visions and dreams we have in our hearts and minds. Go forth with courage, accept the risks of failure, and enjoy the successes which will come with dedicated efforts. Remember that failure is a temporary setback to a future success if we continue on our paths to our dreams.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and author with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is credited to original source for credit reference.

OCTOBER SCENTS TELL US IT IS FALL SEASON

TODAY THE WORDS are OCTOBER SCENTS. I am seeing so many wonderful and amazing displays of fall recently and it brought me to examining what I feel about fall and especially the month of October. While thinking about October, my sense of smell became a priority of thought. As fall enters our lives; we start thinking toward the baking times, the family reunion events, the upcoming holidays and it made me realize October starts my nostrils to fill with the warm and comfort smells we associate with Fall.

                    No blog message on the October Scents would be complete without the scents of mountain air and beautiful leaves with their awesome display of color. This video was composed from our recent changing of the leaves vacation.  Photos in video are property of Greg and Arline Miller   Pumpkin flavored everything seems to be in all ads, coffee, shakes, lattes, cookies, pies, tarts and breads bring the strong allspice and cinnamon flavors. Answer me this…..As I listed these tasty and fragrant delights, did your smell sense rise especially when I mentioned cinnamon? Let’s go on a little memory trip and visit the gingerbread land.   When I was young and always ready for something Momma had baked; I looked forward to her tea cakes, her pound cakes (which we would always catch her out of the kitchen and jump up and down to cause it to fall; bless Momma’s heart it was years before she realized her cakes would have been beautiful if we hadn’t sabotaged her efforts to have it taste better), but I remember her gingerbread best of all. I could smell the fragrant aroma of the gingerbread loaf before I made it home from school. Walking up to our house, I could smell it’s wonderful smell and I was so excited. I am speaking from my heart but this was a unanimous contention for all of my siblings. It was a wonderful and joyous moment and now a great memory of those spices and more importantly, the love shown by our Mom.   We, as humans, are susceptible to smells as much as taste. We are usually expressive either pro or con about smells and aromas. Fall presents strong aromas and seemingly tied to family gatherings and holidays. This brings me to my focus for this message.

 

Now for the deeper thought……As our senses tell us what aroma is filling the air; we need to be as conscious of who and what is filling our lives. We need to “sniff” our home environment and smell out what children are hearing and watching. We need to appreciate the warm, comforting times we spend with our family and friends. We can seek out God more and take time to thank Him for all the sweet blessings and treats of life. We want to cherish the good taste of life while we smell the cinnamon aroma of living and loving life

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FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Proverbs 15:17 ESV 

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.

(c) copyright 2012-2019 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

GIVE THANKS NOW AND EVERYDAY

For many reasons, I am thankful everyday for so many blessings, some of which might go unnoticed by others. I ran across this post I wrote for a Thanksgiving post with a story I personally wrote. This morning, I thought it would be a post for everyday, not just one day we set aside. Blessings occur all year round, so let’s cherish the giving heart, the forgiving nature, and the compassionate spirit. It might be nice to celebrate Thanksgiving in our hearts daily. Please join me for a gentle fictional reminder.

This year, for the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I would share A THANKSGIVING TALE. As an author I get asked more frequently that I imagined where I come up with my book plots. I like to share life lesson messages but maybe once in a while I should share my writer’s imaginary journey.

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In the small town of Misery, a young girl was walking down the dirt street that was considered Main Street. It was a blustery day and it was all Madilyn could do to remain upright from the gusts blowing her backwards. Her coat had been patched to prevent the wind from invading her body but she felt the chill. She tried to hurry to get to the mercantile and purchase the bread, milk, and cheese that her Mom needed to make their Thanksgiving meal. At the door of the store front, she paused looking at the old woman at the other end of the building. Madilyn saw the woman shivering and realized she only had a sweater wrapped as far as the too small sweater would stretch. Feeling the chill herself, she hurried into the store.

Mrs. Frankenton, the store owner spoke to Madilyn as she came in, “Little lady, I wondered what was taking you so long before coming in from the wind.” As she spoke, she gave a gesture of shaking from a chill and rubbed her arms as if she needed to warm herself. Madilyn questioned the old lady’s motion as it was fairly warm in the store. She gave Mrs. Frankenton a smile but kept wondering why the woman outside didn’t come in herself. 

“Did you see the lady outside shivering?” asked Madilyn. With this question, Mrs. Frankenton walked to the window and stretched to see who Madilyn was referring. The woman had backed up to the wall trying to cut the wind from hitting her fully in the face. It was easy to see how pale she was but her cheeks were almost a fiery red from blistering. 

“Can you invite her to come in and get warm?” questioned the young girl. Madilyn knew she should hurry to gather the few items she had come in to buy, but it seemed necessary to help the woman even though she didn’t recognize her. 

The store owner shrugged her shoulders and replied, “Well, the door isn’t locked and she could come in if she wanted, but maybe she doesn’t. Maybe, we need to mind our own business and leave her alone.”

Madilyn looked at Mrs. Frankenton with a look of confusion. Her family had shopped there since she could remember. Prices had always been fair and her family didn’t have a lot of money. It might be said they hardly had any money at all. They shared what they had with any of their neighbors even if it meant they weren’t full themselves. Her Dad had died and left them having to scrimp to get by. They continued to watch every penny but found others needed help too. Madilyn thought to herself, “Same as this lady who is cold and probably hungry” and she picked up an extra loaf of bread.

As Madilyn paid for the essentials her Mom had sent her to the store, she didn’t have enough for the loaf of bread. Mrs. Frankenton looked at her expecting her to put the bread back on the shelf but Madilyn looked at her in a pleading way. 

“How do you expect to pay for this bread?”  she asked the young girl standing in front of her.

“You don’t have enough to pay for it, Madilyn and your Mom’s account has no extra credit,” asked the curious storekeeper.

“Mrs. Frankenton, I want to work for it as well as a cup of hot coffee for the woman at the end of the building. I will get her to come in to drink the coffee and eat some bread, if you have some floors that need sweeping or windows washed, boxes to be put on the shelves, or anything else I can do to earn enough money to provide this food for her.”

The storeowner looked at Madilyn and said, “That is a nice thought but Madilyn, your family is poor and all of you struggle and probably this bread you want to earn would help your family out instead of giving it to a stranger. Why do you want to do it?”

“It is simple. Mrs. Frankenton. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and even though we don’t have much, we are thankful to have a roof over our head, coats to keep us warm, a fire in our fireplace, each other to hold on in rough weather, and Mom can make any kind of food taste delicious. God has taken care of us and I think He wants me to take care of her so she will have something to be thankful for on this special time of year. You do understand since God has blessed you to have this store so that we can be thankful for you too.”

Mrs. Frankenton, looked at Madilyn and then turned to go to the door. She went out and touched the woman huddling in the corner on the arm and motioned for her to come inside. The woman looked at her but didn’t hesitate to follow her inside. As the coffee was poured and the loaf of bread given along with some butter, Madilyn asked her name and invited her to come home with her for a Thanksgiving meal and a bed to stay out of the weather. The woman looked at this young girl and asked her why she wanted to help her.

Madilyn looked at Mrs. Frankenton who had whispered in her ear not to worry about working for these items as she would give them to Madilyn’s guest. “Why, I have added many more reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving. I have met a new friend. I have learned to love Mrs. Frankenton for her generosity, and I can thank God for my Mom teaching me to share whatever we have with others, so I thank both of you for helping me have these things to add to my list of things to be thankful.

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Note: Though this is a fictional story, it can be real for all of us who reach out to help others in need, share what we have even if it is minimal, love with God’s love, and be thankful for each breath and blessing given. Happy Thanksgiving and think, The phrase Happy Thanksgiving can be broken down to say, We are happy when we give to others with thanks for having enough to share with others…….Arline Miller, author and blogger of Sipping Cups of Inspiration

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(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

IT’S OKAY TO BE ALONE

Today, I had a thought of how we see so many scary movies advertised and even a lot of decorations for the upcoming Halloween. We find ourselves visiting our childhood fears of being alone and scared. The hairs on our arms and neck find themselves remembering all of the ghost tales and we don’t want to be alone……but is being alone so bad?

Lately, I have been observing quite a few social media posts of different people referring to those who “live apparently fake lives on Facebook”. I have given their thoughts some thought myself. I came up with two scenarios about this issue and want to give us some thought provoking ideas. Personally, I post when it hits me to post. I may get on a liking kick and like almost everything I see. Other times, I am just too busy to take the time. It isn’t that big of a deal. My friends know me and whether or not, I like or don’t like a post only means I am busy with other things. In a nutshell, I don’t worry about what they think. They love me.

Here is a list of questions for all of us, those who post every good thing that happens in our lives but do not discuss the difficult issues:

  • Do you feel a need to only share the good times because you don’t want to bother others?
  • Do you post only the items which will reflect a happy, successful life or do you do it because you are truly happy?
  • Do you post to impress or are is your only goal to share a happy time?
  • Do you give consideration of what others will think of your post or not any thought at all when posting?
  • Do you look to see how many people “like or love” your photos or posts?
  • Do you hesitate to share the ugly times, losses, illnesses, and other nasty events or do you have a need to put it all out there for sympathy or at least empathy?

Sometimes, my posts as well as my blogs, are meant for me and anyone else who can benefit from lessons and mistakes I have made. I don’t personalize them to any particular person and as a dear friend who has been posting her self healing posts from a difficult experience, she posts for herself. I encourage those who are being honest about life, the trying times, and even failures to reach out. It is from all of our encounters, good and bad, which might be the very fire starter to spark a desire to begin again, try one more time, seek help, and/or learn from others mistakes and not feeling all alone.

This being said, here is my final thought on this subject, It is not a tragedy to be ALONE. As much as I love people, I do not like to always be surrounded by people. I love my alone time which I spend in a leisurely pace of thoughts. It is time like these, I am more creative and innovated by an inner self which may be uplifted by spiritual powers. Do not be afraid to be alone with yourself. Learn yourself, push yourself, encourage yourself, and accept yourself by being comfortable alone with yourself. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by not worrying if others are living a perfect life or faking it. Concentrate on your own life. Ask yourself, “Am I living my life for me or what others may or may not agree?”

Again,

  • Learn about yourself: likes, dislikes, hobbies, talents.
  • Push yourself: what motivates you, discourages, or limits you.
  • Encourage yourself: Pat yourself on the back when you do well, find outlets for improving your talents.
  • Accept yourself: finding an inner peace as each of us have a uniqueness.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to original location for credit reference.

When Life Happens, Let It!

Monday Morning Thought: Clear out any feelings that are not positive, to begin with a clear head to move through this week. Failures, emotional hurt, financial missteps, lost loves, the stress of any kind is to be released. Go forward in faith, this week will be positive progress filled time and expect blessings. If you are reading this, like me, God has blessed us to be here to share those blessings in life. We live as we love; give as much as you expect to receive or better yet, give more. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by FULLY GIVING OF YOURSELF.
Note: I love this picture from last year and this year I am happily getting ready for the upcoming book publishing, so I am relying on the fantastic memories of this past trip, looking forward to the next one, while savoring the anticipation of Riddle Me This, Love or Bliss?

I hope all of my blog readers are patiently waiting for my life to give enough room for me to blog more. I am in the pre-publish sector and am quite happily busy getting everything ordered and finished for the book publish and release in early November. I am not complaining at all and this is the part we writers look forward. The next part is to hear and see the reviews. It is not for ego alone, but for the fulfillment for why we write to begin, Our readers’ reactions. To hear excitement and joy from how they react to reading our books and story lines, is the epitome of our writing purpose. I can love my story line, I can rely on my editor’s reaction, but trust me, it comes to full rendition when I hear the first reader’s reviews.

Please know that I will be blogging in full gear once the book is out. I heard from my editor who is making the final touches “I love the way you have brought your characters back to where it all began, making the story come full circle. Your readers will love this touch.”

Part of my pleasure is the designing of the book covers and this one makes me so happy. It reflects the spirit of the final book in my series Reflections of Love. I compose the concept, provide the components and images and work with amazing graphic designers to make the magic happen.
No book is more special than my first published novel. A Mistress, A Wife is startling to say the least, but my readers will be happy when the characters come full circle in the series.
In Tell Me Lies; Love Me Still is Destaina’s story which her mystery is heightened in the first novel and it continues the saga of people who live the first part of their lives with a cloud of lies and mystery over their heads. Again, the designing of the cover is part of the fun.

Have a great day of living your dreams and if you haven’t started, please know that I am living proof it is never too late. That is, unless you don’t start. Everyone has a book in them; it is whether you write it or live the movie…….Until We Read Again……..Arline Miller, author and blogger.

My first two books are available on Amazon and the third one coming soon. Check them out if you love mystery, suspense, and unexpected turns in plots.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location, if known, for credit reference.