GOODBYE 2020, GOOD RIDDANCE

If you want any more of this ridiculous year, go on with your bad self, but I for one want to see it gone and praying 2021 will be a peaceful, recovery year from COVID all over the world. As I was thinking of this year going away, I wrote a poem. I thought I would share this poem with my best wishes to all.

YEAR 2020, I AM GLAD TO SEE YOU GO

Years have come and years have gone before in my life.

However, 2020 I can’t remember a year with more strife.

You tangled your aggravating web like a spider with intention

To capture seemingly innocent victims with a deadly conviction.

The virus was unleashed and with a mysterious origination

It had no mercy on the old but grabbed on and surpassed imagination.

The young became vulnerable and the death numbers soared.

While the lockdown was ordered, and we all sat still while bored.

Politics have become so corrupted and the lines have blurred

Who to trust, I think none, and all of our emotions have stirred?

What happened to civility and good manners where did you go?

It seems it was replaced by “I will get you before you can know.”

2021, come on in and boot this disastrous year 2020 out the door.

We will as Americans have to struggle to get up off the dingy floor.

Let’s find a way to come together and fight each other no more.

A kind word here, a good deed there, and morality can we restore?

Let us wish each other, no matter who we meet and greet

A Happy Year for all to enjoy and may we have the success we seek.

Let’s laugh again and work for a good and healthy life for all of us.

Happy 2021 and may 2020 come no more; in God we trust.

Written with hopes for a better year in 2021 by Arline Miller

(C) Copyright 2012 – 2020 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material if source is posted, will credit original source.

DID WE GIVE UP, GIVE IN OR GIVE IT OUR BEST?

NOTE FROM ARLINE MILLER, BLOGGER: As we close 2020, I think almost everyone can say Good Riddance 2020, you have made me miserable with quarantine, viruses, politics, changes, losses, and other tragedies. Hurry up 2021, we need some happy news. While we have been locked down, has our weight gone up? I thought I would repost this blog as it is meant to encourage and believe me, we need some encouragement. Happy New Year and Happy New You!

HAPPY NEW YEAR OR IS IT? Here we are again, the beginning of a new year and with it comes the ongoing, well meaning, resolutions one more time. This year is going to be different but is it? I am reposting a message that is a reality check for us. Watch for the hint/tip at the end. This has helped me avoid so many snacks and desserts….not all of them but some! Remember this quote from A L Williams, promoter of term insurance…All you can do is all you can do but all you can do is enough!

GIVING UP, GIVING IN, AND GIVING TO FOOD. We are in a new year with new goals and new intentions. Let’s make resolutions and promises but let’s get real…..Are you really going to Never Eat a Donut the rest of your life? On this blog, I want to recognize our human side of our thinking on the subject of eating. The answer to my question is probably not, even though on this first few days of the New Year; you may have answered Yes! Let us look at a few reasons why this normally doesn’t work.One of the reasons we eat is Emotional or Comfort Eating and I am referencing to an article on WebMD on this subject. (Link is included for entire article)Emotional Eating: What Helps By Joy Manning, Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on July 28, 2014 on webmd.com      Does stress, anger, or sadness drive you to eat? Do you turn to food for comfort, or when you’re bored? Many people do. If you often eat for emotional reasons instead of because you’re physically hungry, that can be a problem.       Obeying the urge to eat more than you need is a sure-fire way to gain weight. It’s an even bigger problem if you already have health conditions like diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure. You can get back in control of your emotional eating. The surprising part is, it’s not really about food at all. You might not even realize you’re doing it. One of the biggest clues: “Eating until you are uncomfortable and stuffed is a sure sign something is going on,” psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD, says. Another clue: You’re gaining weight and you don’t know why. Don’t assume that it’s just that you’re getting older or slacking on the treadmill. Consider how you’re doing emotionally, and whether that might be affecting your eating.   Another reason for eating is Habitual or I Can’t Stop Eating.Even though this is a form of emotional eating, it should have its own category. We form habits as eating a certain food during a specific time during the day. Some people want something sweet at night or at least a bowl of cereal, a few cookies and milk, a sandwich, chips, etc. Think about it; is there a certain time of the day only a certain food will satisfy you? If you find yourself eating at this certain time, my tip for today is change what you do at that particular time. Even a big glass of lemon water or a cup of hot tea, or hummus on a celery stick, can alter what can happen. Taking a shower or a little activity can break this chain of habitual eating. If eating at 10 pm is the witching hour, try to schedule other activity instead of sneaking into the kitchen. If cereal or cookies are the demonic foods (which I say can tempt anyone) get them out of the house. You might be surprised how the urge will leave you if they are not handy. Keep other healthy items easily accessible. You most likely will not eat them at this time, but you are breaking a habit. Another tip is remember it takes up to 30 days to break a habit.

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This is me, Arline Miller age 69 with diabetes type II and managed with diet and small amount of meds.
Now at 71, numbers still going good and this method of small portions works the best for me.

Ask yourself this question: Can I make it 30 days without my usual habit food? At least give it a shot. Even if you make it two weeks, pat yourself on the back. If you give in; start the countdown again.

HEALTHY BITES has been created to include a good variety of healthy foods to eat and I suggest you check it out for recipe ideas. If you follow me on Pinterest, one of my boards Healthy Bites, is also directed to some of the recipes I have found not only healthy but tasty. There are so many great sources to eat healthy and know how to develop good habits and a healthy life.

2019 Note from Blogger: I pulled up this post message from 2016 for a reason. Most of us eat emotionally. Only a few actually eat only when we are hungry and not dehydrated. If we would make one change, it would help dramatically. Drink water first! Even if you feel you are going to eat that donut, chip, cookie, whatever, do yourself a big favor…..Drink a big glass of water. Place the goodie by the water glass and only eat when the glass is empty. This one change will slow the brain’s urge to splurge and can make a huge difference in the amount of junk you will consume. You may find that this small hedge will diminish the urge and actually prevent a snack accident!

(C) Copyright 2012-2020 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos are credited to original source if known for credit references.

THIS YEAR HAS BEEN A LITTLE FRUITY SO BRING ON THE FRUITCAKE

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

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

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

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

Momma’s Fruitcake

1 lb. Candied Pineapple                                    1 cup Self-Rising Flour

1 lb. Candied Cherries                                       1 cup Plain Flour

6 cups Pecans                                                       1 t. each vanilla & lemon extract

1 cup sugar                                                            1 cup chopped dates               

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

5 large eggs

1 can Angel Flake Coconut

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

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

History of the Fruitcake

A traditional Easter Simnel cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 Fun Facts About Fruitcake

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

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This brings me to my focus of this message.

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

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

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

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

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

(C) Copyright 2012-2020 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

CHILDREN SLEEP WHILE SUGAR CANDY CANES DANCE IN THEIR HEADS

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Here is Myles the youngest grandson with our first granddaughter.

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My daughter Missy with most of the boys. What a lot of love for Aunt MissyImage may contain: indoor

Candy Canes with Loving Care

The candy canes are hung with loving care

In hopes the grandchildren will see them there.

It is a tradition for the canes to accompany them.

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

Each year as the boys come into the room,

It seems as if their bright eyes begin to zoom.

Nana, are those our candy canes?

Yes, boys, your excitement never wanes.

They are to be earned for your good deeds

Not to be gobbled whenever you please.

Your parents will keep them nice and safe.

So be good boys and don’t hesitate.

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

Be nice to each other; kindly play not tease.

We have lots of candy canes so release

All your goodness and enjoy your sweets.

For our grands who love the candy canes and all our

Love……Nana and Granddaddy 2016

Written by Arline Miller

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

BIBLE FEATURED VERSE:

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

The Birth of Jesus

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

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

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

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

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

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

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

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

(c) Copyright 2012-2020 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location for reference credit.

BEFORE IT IS CHRISTMAS MORN

2020 has been a challenge for all of us, each person and/or family facing different obstacles concerning the pandemic and losses or setbacks relating to unemployment, caretaking, social distancing, and the isolation for months. During this time, it is easy to face a form of depression and I thought I would post my poem from 2017 with this thought. Christmas must be a season that we overcome all opposition to the well deserved celebration to be observed on December 25 th. We celebrate to recognize that all things possible come from the special event which occurred on that miraculous day.

There is still a lot of time before Christmas Morn and a lot of us have started decorating and getting into the spirit of Christmas.  I wanted to share my poem and post from last year to remind us again of why we celebrate Christmas. Please enjoy the season but remember the reason. In the world today, people want to dismiss this is celebration for Christ’s birthday and not for all of the worldly manufactured persona. As long as we keep Christ at the forefront, Christmas is a day of the truest celebration.

Here is the original post from 2017:

This is another Christmas poem I have written and since I had posted some of my other poems, I thought I should add this one. One of the best compliments I receive is when a family member (my dear Sister this time) read the poem and didn’t realize that her sister had written it and thought it was beautiful.  She read through to the end and was happy to see I was the author. My writings are not meant for commercialism but they are inspired and from my heart to your heart, I hope you enjoy this one too.

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I finish with this little statement: If you are blessed with your parents and/or your children and other members of your family, please take the time to spend time with them. I spent all of the time I could manage to visit my Dad and his wife Martha and I made the blessing sacrifice of my weekends to spend with Momma. If I could, I would walk my Momma holding her hand and show her the Christmas decorations and see that lovely smile but she celebrates Our Savior’s birthday with Him in Heaven.

(C) Copyright 2012-2020 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced if known to original location. Photos are not necessarily property of Sipping Cups unless stated.