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Reasons Why I Don’t Do Cooking Videos…Reinvention Queen

As much as I love cooking and baking, and yes, after being asked numerous times to do videos, I tried a few and it didn’t take long before I realized I am not cut out to do the step by step, measuring and attempting to work a video camera. My daughter who is a lot more savvy even saw how difficult it is. First of all, let me applaud all of you who have the patience to make them, I am impressed. However, I love to learn new tricks and I am enthralled by kitchen hacks, right? You are too. Here comes the BUT….I see so many mistakes and non preparation in these videos that it is hard not to become a critic. All in fun, but has anyone looked at the videos afterwards to see how they could be improved, or maybe in this time of instant recognition, some have a tendency to grab on to “stardom” and forget people are actually watching these videos.

Cooking comes second nature to me but the appeal of cooking is to grab a spice, or herb at the time of cooking and add it to see if that is the bomb. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but the talent of cooking is to have that inner talent of “fixing” a recipe. My daughter and I cook and bake a lot when she visits. We talk about what we want to try to make prior to her coming over. Missy and I may look at recipes but we never stick to a “formal recipe” as it is too much fun playing around with some of her preferences and my own take on the good combos of flavors. That kind of spoils a prepared presentation but allows us so much freedom of creating some powerfully flavored dishes.

We eat with our eyes first, so the appeal has to be considered when plating.

If we see the food bubbling or seeing the freshness of the ingredients, the appetite is heightened.

I will see I have a message on my phone and it will be her new version of a dish that she has thrown together for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I usually ask what’s in it and she has to stop and think what she added. When we discuss creating a cookbook, we have thought it should be titled, “A Little of This and A Lot of That” because that’s the way we roll. I thought I would give you my reason for not doing cooking videos and that reason may change as time goes on, but now, I would like to throw some pointers to those brave souls who attempt to be the next Paula Deen or Brenda Gantt. Here are my thoughts and they are valued at cents on the dollar and we all know how little that is now. Some of you who love to cook and who watch videos observe the same mistakes or at least I think you have observed these things too:

What to Check before cooking and/or Videoing a Cooking/Baking Show:

  • Check the background in your kitchen before you start videoing. I cannot tell you how much clutter and weird things we see which are distracting. The less that is visible in the kitchen area keeps the viewers’ attention on what you are cooking.
  • Semi-rehearse what steps you are going to take. Repetition of the same steps, over and over make the videos longer and sometimes very boring. The terms, this is how I like to do it, I, I, I, gets old after a while. An outline of the steps might be wise to create and try to mentally follow it. Natural is good but when I watch several of the videos from the same person, I cannot stay with it if it is the same old same old stuff.
  • Prepare a lot of the measured ingredients prior to video. The shows I enjoy the most are the ones who have measured the salt, pepper, seasonings, and the chopped ingredients. It is okay if you have a tip or shortcut for the viewer on chopping, but no one wants to watch five minutes of chopping, slicing, or mincing. I watched a lady peel about six large potatoes and then chop them just to demonstrate how to make potato salad. This may be a time that you pause the video after showing the first one.
  • Have space on counters for what is going to be done. Switching back and forth can work havoc on us ADD folks so keep the video smooth as possible and we know cooking is real and anything can happen so you cannot control every little step but you can control being prepared.
  • Choose non noisy utensils, banging in drawers, pots and pans, and any nuisance should be avoided. I have actually screeched watching videos and if I have, I guarantee it unnerves a lot of people.
  • Be aware of your appearance. I am not saying that only pretty people can cook but hair unkempt is not a good match to food prep, and clean nails, and clothes neatly worn are attractive and not distractive.
  • Conversations of personal stories should flow and should not slow down the cooking activity. We love the stories of the cooks as they allow us to get to know them, but it may be annoying when the cook/chef makes it all about them.
  • Make an impression by creating a good fairly short video instead of making your debut as a wanna be food network star. If people like the way you cook, your creative ideas, and your easy cooking talents, they will watch the next one.
  • I am no expert on this as I said, I don’t do videos unless I want to share the good times I have with my daughter in the kitchen which brings me to my last tip on videos. Just because you love your family and pets, it is not a good idea to have them continually say hello, help cook all of the time, and go over their adventures. Occasionally, this might be cute but if someone has tuned in to see how you make a cake, they are focused on the cake recipe, listening to you and your tips. There is no one that loves her family more than me, but my thoughts are Keep it Simple. As I said, occasionally, but watch overloading the audience with too much traffic during the cooking time.

I say all of this to possibly help some of you who are thinking about videoing. We are in a world of almost thinking it is okay to go with the person when they go to the bathroom and let nature take its course, but I am from the old school of there are moments to share and there are times for privacy. The videos can be entertaining more than educational. I think the combo is the preference for most of us. I have learned a lot of handy ideas and I appreciate someone taking the time to make a video. If you have tried to make one, you realize it is a big effort if it’s done right.

Live Life, Love Life, and Live and Love Life to the Fullest by taking a little time to prepare. Just loving to cook or trying to get it on video is sometimes not providing the full picture. The way I see it, if you don’t keep your kitchen clean, don’t offer to cook for me. Just Sayin’……Until We Cook and Clean Again….Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to the original author/location for credit reference.

SPEAKING FROM MY HEART

Speaking from my heart, the blog covers why we either show how much we care or why we put our needs ahead of others needs.

This past weekend was a super celebration of several recognition. My birthday was on Saturday, my daughter’s birthday was on Sunday, and we celebrated Father’s Day too. My mind has been collecting thoughts on how special these occasions are, not for presents which are great, but for the precious time for laughter, fun, reminiscing over past celebrations, and emotional tugs for those missing in our wonderful times.

We started out with a normal size family and now, today only my sister and me are still living. We miss those who are no longer with us.

Now, that the days of recognizing the blessings of being granted another year has passed, I wanted to speak from my heart on what I perceive as good qualities in people and what I feel is the loss of a great opportunity to create good memories by either selfish motives and/or ignorance of the importance of living in times that will not be repeated. It is up to people what is important but I felt very much love on my birthday, Missy had time with friends and us and it was great, and Greg enjoyed his Father’s Day too.

My daughter who celebrated her birthday with her Dad who she took care of for over two years who passed away. He was recognized as it was Father’s Day.

Let’s just get this out in the open as I know some people were lonely over this weekend, somehow forgotten on their birthdays, and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as well as all the other holidays are not recognized with even a phone call or card. In the past, I have seen the good, bad, and ugly actions and have heard of those who are alone and the hurt they feel. Are you guilty of placing your own priorities in front of your parents, children, and other members of your family to do things with friends, play golf or other hobbies?

My husband celebrated Father’s Day with an added bonus of us going to visit the grandchildren with some ice cream. Greg’s son, Cory was cooking on the grill for his family and some of the grands had made dishes. Good going, Nolan, Jonas, and Elias for being helpful on Father’s Day.

Am I A Considerate Person or Am I Selfish?

I thought I would create a list of Dos and Don’ts for us to read and mentally check off this rather candid look in the mirror:

  • Do I check to see what my family members are planning for a holiday/celebration before I make personal plans?
  • How often do I make a phone call or even a text to find out how an elderly family member, friend, neighbor, and/or associate is doing?
  • Do I expect others to check on my health or well being instead of considering others’ health and well being?
  • Do I make plans without any consideration for my family?
  • Do I make the effort to recognize other’s accomplishments, special occasions, awards, or just a feel good text, message, and/or phone call?
  • Do I want to be encouraged by others or do I want to be the cheerleader?
  • Here is the big one….Is it all about me or do I feel better if I have done something special for someone else?

All of us are guilty of any of these at one time or another, or at least I know I have been selfish at times, but I am not proud of that. Let’s take a look in the mirror and start with Father’s Day that was this weekend. Did we go out of our way to recognize our fathers that are living? I can almost without fail say that those who have lost their Dads felt a void, wrote a message, posted pictures, but can we truthfully say we exercised every effort to be with them, take care of them, and show them love. Remember, no one lives forever and all of us will leave this earth. This is not in our control but we can control our actions while we are living and others too.

Nuff said, but I will add one personal note. When Mom was in the nursing home, my sister and I were very good to visit, shop for her, assist in her care when we were there, give her reasons to laugh, and provide all of us with precious memories. I worked all week, lived two hours away, but left each weekend that was possible to stay with her each weekend day, and only leave her for a few hours to sleep after she had gone to sleep. I don’t regret a second of that time. It gave me forever memories. My sister was faithful to go during the week. All this was out of love. When the New Year came near, I dreaded the traffic and thought I would wait until the second day of the new year to go for my usual weekend. I got up early that morning and packing my clothes in the car, ready to go and I received that dreaded phone call that Mom had passed an hour before. I cannot tell you how I replayed that call, that decision, and the cold fact I couldn’t see her one more time. She knew she was loved, but those actions or non actions can be long lasting so I say to everyone, if you can visit or see your loved ones, by all means, DO IT!

I turned 73 and I had the best presents…my daughter and my husband making my day special. I had so many Happy Birthday Greetings I had to group thank everyone.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced if location/author are known for credit reference.

Reinvention Queen Is Reinventing How We Cook

Today, instead of showing several reinventions of meals, I thought I would give my readers an insight on how I think in my kitchen. I never think of only one meal when I cook, but how I can reuse the ingredients or even the whole dish in a new way that it takes away the sting of eating “leftovers” but a new dish with different and/or additional ingredients. I am going to list out my reinvention thoughts when I begin to prepare a meal. The list will be broken down into food categories and it may give more insight than showing recipes after recipes. I will continue showing you reinvented meals but let’s start with how it helps from the get go. Here’s the list:

MEATS

  • Seafood
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Pork

Each category offers flexibility in multiple uses and we will review how to choose, prepare, and store. I use shrimp a lot in reinvented meals but salmon makes an excellent source for my reinvented dishes.

Seafood such as shrimp or salmon can be cooked in larger quantities than the first dish and stored until it is reinvented. I usually begin with grilled, sautéd, baked and I will prepare the seafood to have at least three meals from the initially cooked meat. I am aware you are thinking why not prepare as you need it. Most certainly, you can do this. Maybe, I am hesitant about the multiple preps and cooking time. It makes sense if I am grilling, grill three times the amount in one grilling event, rather than prep three times and grill three times. When we are really “lazy” we buy the freshly steamed shrimp from our supermarket and work from the larger amount we buy. Salmon is prepped the same way, more quantity is bought, prepped, and grilled either on the grill, the air fryer oven grill, or sometimes in a pan, but always more is prepped and cooked than our initial meal.

The first meal was steamed shrimp topped with my homemade cocktail sauce.
One of the three follow up meals was this delicious Shrimp ala Arline Pasta. The shrimp were added after the cooking and blending and placed on top and covered to allow the shrimp to come to the same temperature as the other ingredients without recooking.

Beef is a common reinvention meat that several dishes are made from the initial prep and cooking. I will make meatloaf and work from that initial dish and reinvent another dish using rice or noodles. I have used my leftover meatloaf to make the best burgers or have used the meat in the base for spaghetti or soup. Beef roast becomes the main ingredient for a sandwich with other ingredients. Maybe the thought behind my reinvention queen mentality is what else can I make from the meatloaf or roast. Build from the first meat dish and I will remove and/or replace some ingredients in the next dish such as potatoes and carrots from a roast and make a pot pie from those ingredients with a different meat, such as leftover baked or stewed chicken. Use your refrigerator as a cold pantry instead of only thinking how many times will my family keep eating leftover meatloaf or roast.

Chicken is one of my favorite reinvention meats. I grill, I bake, I stew, and then I store the extra. If any of you have learned to reinvent, I will say you probably use chicken more in the recreated meals than other meats. I have stewed a pot of chicken breasts or thighs, or even both. I will store what I am not making the first day but don’t put it past me to recreate a new meal from the first dish too. Let’s say I make chicken and noodles the first day. Let’s put our Reinvention Hats on and think what could I make from that initial chicken and noodles? What if I add a crust which can be a store bought crust and use leftover potatoes and carrots from a roast I spoke about in the beef section. Throw in a can of sweet garden peas, even a can of whole kernel corn, some chopped or sautéd onions, and make a chicken pot pie. I would process the noodles slightly to encourage a thickened filling. Add herbs and seasonings to make the pie the preferred taste. How simple can that be? What about taking the breasts and/or thighs and either make a bbq sauce or use a bottled one and wallah, you have bbq chicken in a few minutes. Or what if you chop the cooked chicken and make a great chicken salad, adding celery, mayo, grapes, nuts, and seasonings. The ideas go on and on. The key is in the beginning. Don’t cook a small amount, think of the quantity of three meals/dishes would require. Cook the meat at the same time and a good tip is to invest in quality sealing containers. Never leave the extra meat out, but store immediately as this will give you a freshly cooked meat.

Pork is another great reinvention meat. Ham, oh sweet ham can be a great reinvention queen ingredient. I bake or Greg smokes the ham and I don’t do anything in the beginning as we want the presentation for the first meal. Greg will take the ham pieces off the bone leaving enough meat for a great bean or greens cooking. I make a base from cooking the bone until the flavorful broth is formed. Sometimes, and this is where I think about what can come next. I store some of this ham broth for multiple flavorful dishes. Never use the broth for one reinvented meal, think three if possible. I then will use the ham for breakfast meals with eggs or omelets. Some of the ham pieces can be used for a ham pot pie, or flavoring a soup, sandwiches, and even use in dips, or like deviled ham salad. I think you see what I am plotting and planning when I prep that ham in the beginning. Pork chops are a gift from heaven as they can be grilled, baked, and/or fried. After they are cooked, they can be eaten of course, but if you make enough, you can store the extra, chop and use in Pork and Rice, sau’te some of the chopped pieces with a mustard base with sautéd onions and peppers or a great sandwich and/or even a salad. I can go on and on many other ideas, but now is the time for you to get creative yourselves.

I reinvented the blue cornmeal muffins into my Cornbread Layered Salad and used a lot of the veggies and sauces I refer as my pantry staples. Reinvent, and recreate is my motto!

As a true Reinvention Queen, I found stocking my pantry and refrigerator with what I call filler foods. Mushrooms fresh and canned, onions, garlic, herbs, peppers, cheeses, cream and buttermilk, seasoning bastes, vinegars, balsamic vinegars, seasoning salts, and dried herbs, honey, sugar, cream of whatever soups, broths vegetable and meat, vegetable bouillon as well as better than bouillon, bread crumbs and crackers to make crumbs, flour (I use White Lily) WL corn meal, and specialty mixes for quick breads, and BUTTER as well as EVOO, and even shortening. That is a short list but it helps to have it on hand instead of trying to make a list every time for each meal.

For some of my reinvention meals, Search on my home page search for Reinvention Queen and several blog posts should come up for you to go one on one with me in my world of reinvention. Use What You Have and a philosophy I believe is WASTE NOT, WANT NOT! Have fun, try new things. Mix it up and create your own dish. Until we reinvent again………..Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen 2022.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and permission reserved. Third party materials, if known, are sourced to original location/author for credit reference.

Memorial Memories of Honoring The Fallen 2022

Today is Memorial Day 2022 and my heart is filled with love and gratitude for the fallen who sacrificed the ultimate gift to our freedom. I have included the poem and post in 2020 as it touches my heart even though it was my writing. Please join me in a salute and tribute to all of the fallen with respect for those who have served and for those serving now. We respect this day as the one chosen to honor the fallen.

Greg Miller of American Legion Post 21 with two of our grandsons who helped give out the flags to the big group of volunteers in preparation for Memorial Day. Thanks guys!

I was inspired to write a poem and I cried when I read the words I had written.

I don’t express this as an attempt for attention but I felt this one in my soul.

A Soldier’s Last Night

As I woke from a restful sleep, I began to wonder

How a lonely soldier felt about his chosen plight.

In the trenches, so far away from home, so somber.

Did he know the ultimate price he would pay tonight?

As he lay in the muddy hole which would be his last

His heart, did it pound or was he unusually calm?

Did he stay alert, did he pray, and that tear fall fast?

His silent cry, his grip tightened, only thoughts of harm.

Did he think about the protests and why he was here?

Or did he only try to overcome any temptation to run?

Did he find the urge to do his best and to hide any fear?

He may not have known his job on earth was done.

Did those hours before his end seem like a million years?

Was it true that one’s life does indeed flash before the eyes?

We may never know, only a brave soldier’s mind would veer.

We come to pay homage at the cold grave where he lies.

A small flag stands as a symbol of his ultimate sacrifice.

A cross may stand to remind us of his absence of life.

To you, the soldier who stood tall and paid the price

For Our Freedom, let us honor and recognize your strife.

Written by Arline Miller with homage and respect for all of

The Fallen and Gone but Never Forgotten.

Happy Memorial Day, May 25, 2020

This last Friday and Saturday were filled with my husband, Greg Miller, participating in the flag placement activity. He made me so proud of him for posting, calling, asking neighbors and businesses to donate flags to be placed on the graves at Oakridge Cemetery in advance for today’s celebration. Our neighbors, Lowes, and many other organizations, including American Legion, civic leaders and citizens donated and placed about 1400 flags. One of our neighbors, Ike Branch, was active in the placement event right along with Greg and about 40 dedicated participants.

How patriotic and gratitude filled event in Tifton.
Greg Miller, American Legion Member and Ike Branch, local clergyman and neighbor at the flag placement event.

An additional tribute and such a life lesson taught by Greg for and with our oldest grandsons, Abram, Jonas, and Nolan Miller on how to properly respect and depose of the existing flags taken from the cemetery. They readily filled the need to ready the flags for the retiring ceremony to be completed by local scout group. Respect is taught at an early age and continues throughout life.

Abram, Jonas, and Nolan Miller making sure the flags are properly dismantled and taken for the flag retirement ceremony by the Boy Scouts.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, including photos, are sourced to origination, if known, for credit reference.

RAMBLIN’ THOUGHTS, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Sometimes, I find my thoughts rambling from either news events, personal occurrences, or then sometimes it is just plain rambling. I don’t make a lot of serious decisions during these times, but once in a while, what comes to my mind will linger and I will retrieve them while I can use them. I heard the term used in a negative meaning, “I think I am overthinking this.” Come with me this morning into Arline’s way of under-thinking.

Why does everything have to be life shattering these days?

What happened to funny times with friends and family?

Why is everything politicized?

Why did people quit fishing like we used to do?

What happened to family reunions and Sunday visits?

When did we stop seeing gray instead of all black and white?

When did almost naked women and men become the center of commercials?

Why does anything not matter any more or nothing matter so much?

source for photo (click on link)

If we don’t ask why, we can never understand anyone’s reasoning. If we don’t understand anyone’s reasoning for thinking a certain way, we can never have a reasonable conversation with the other person. (ALM 2022)

I am not sure why I love diving into a problem, see it from both sides or almost see everything from both sides as there are a few things and/or beliefs I don’t get, but after considering why the other person sees or feels the way they do, I may not agree with their thinking but I can understand how they came to their beliefs.

Life is sometimes a cesspool of thoughts, but if we remember the clean feeling that comes after a good shower or bath when we have gotten so muddy, we actually feel the mud has become a part of us. It is sticky and clings to every crevice we have.

I am not writing to give any credit to my way of thinking as it is only my way of thought processes. As I get older, I have learned to go deeper but with less stubbornness. I have learned to listen, even feel empathy, amazing I can feel sympathy easier. I have learned that listening is just that. Even listening to persuasive people, very intelligent people, professional people, savvy and interesting people, we have one thing in common…..Guess what that is? All of us have ears and can listen. Does it mean we have to agree with each one or all of them? Absolutely not, and if they feel we are required to agree or think like them, walk away. I feel I have grown wiser listening more and learning why I want to think for myself, but only after considering all sides, accepting that all others are not going to agree with my beliefs and thoughts. Whether their thinking is good or bad, the end product is it’s my choice, my mind, my life and I have no one to blame how it turns out but ME.

In closing on this subject, I want to say to each of you reading this blog. It is never my way or the highway. I love sharing thoughts, but they are only my thoughts and not meant to do anything else but open your thought process. I used to go 100 mph in both action and thoughts. I felt if you didn’t want to know how I felt about a subject, don’t ask. Times have changed, I find that less people want to talk with someone but rather, everyone seems to talk at each other and not listening. I heard that expression if God had wanted us to do more talking than listening, He would have given us two mouths instead of two ears. Right?

Today, I choose to find adventure whether it be in cooking something new, read something interesting, have a good conversation, stop and look at our tomatoes growing, check out our flowers/plants blooming, and yes, I will thank God for forgiving this ole stubborn gal for all those times I wasted on idle conversations talking at folks instead of really getting to know them by listening instead of gabbing. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LISTENING TO THE SOUNDS OF GOD MORE THAN THE CHATTER OF FOOLISH MEN AND WOMEN.

A-Z QUOTES, image courtesy of Neale Donald Walsch

Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced if known to original location/author for credit reference.

ACCEPTING YOURSELF TO ACCEPT OTHERS (2020 Post)

I have given this post a lot of thought. It seems we are struggling to accept others and this struggle has brought a lot of discord among all people. Politics have taken the place of parenting as we are persuaded to think this way or another. As children, our source of influence was simpler. We had parents who wanted us to behave in a certain way, respect or even disrespect according to how they felt, and our faith had a lot more to do with how they believed than a personal relationship with a Higher Power. Today, I look at the pros and cons of thinking on our own and finding ways of accepting ourselves in order for a better assessment of how we feel about others.

Let us begin with the quote from Lucille Ball:

Love Yourself First And Everything Else Falls İnto Line. You Really Have To Love Yourself To Get Anything Done İn This World.

How can we expect to love others with their imperfections if we do not accept our imperfections? How can we accept love from others when we are incapable of accepting self love?

I looked at this perception of love and I know this is the key to a more peaceful transition. This quote from John Spence is reflective of my thoughts:

Maybe if we get alone with ourselves, accept the good qualities we possess, as well as the imperfections which may be inherent or here’s a thought…We can work on ourselves first to improve our ability to co-exist with others if we obtain a peaceful environment about ourselves. I have assembled some questions to begin the contemplation of whether we truly love ourselves as a person:

Here are some thought provoking questions:

1- If I met someone exactly like myself, would I like them or would I find fault?

2-Could I carry on a conversation with me and find it interesting, boring, or antagonizing?

3-When I am alone, am I content or do I try to find alternate ways to avoid myself by eliminating alone time?

4-When looking in a mirror, do I look at myself realistically or do I imagine a different person staring back at me such as a younger, leaner, athletic, or a more contented person?

5-Do I value my thoughts and write down my thoughts or do I depend only on others written words?

6-Do I share my thoughts or creative ideas on how to do something with others or offer to teach things I know how to do well?

7- Do I always find myself in contradiction to surroundings, events, news, books, movies, etc.?

8-Can I compliment myself when I exhibit good qualities or do I shy away from personal achievement or recognition?

9-Do I see my life as a success, even with occasional set backs or do I feel like a failure?

10-Can I express love for myself to do the following instructions as expressed by Dr. Steve Maraboli?

This self evaluation is necessary for us to be fair in how we accept others. It would be impossible to accept others if we cannot accept ourselves. We, as well as others, will never be perfect. Imperfection is a part of love, self and expressing love to and for others. In life, the average looking girl can be happier than a homecoming queen sometimes. The reasoning is the bar was never pushed so high for the average girl but so high for the homecoming queen that maintaining happiness is not sustainable as time and wrinkles come. Live in reality, love the uniqueness of each individual by initially accepting yourself.

(C) Copyright 2012 -2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights reserved and to be used with permission. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit references.

THE TIME IN BETWEEN. FROM THE CROSS TO THE RESURRECTION

As a blogger and writer, there are times in between events and I occupy myself. Always at this time, this post comes to my mind about the time in between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. It seems worthy of reposting this year. Happy Easter to all of us who celebrate this holy holiday and may each of us have a beautiful reason to know why we celebrate it.

This is a repost from 2014 but I found it to be appropriate as we move into Good Friday. TODAY THE WORDS are THE TIME IN BETWEEN. We have obligations, appointments, meetings, scheduled events, etc. which have specific times set aside throughout our days, weeks, and months. We write them down and plan to be on time and sometimes we schedule several places to be on the same day to make the most of our time. While doing this, we have some unavoidable down time or some time in between. We find ourselves with a half hour, an hour or sometimes two with nothing to do. What do we do with our time in between two events? Some of us bring our iPads, books, puzzles, etc. and fill our time either wisely or just idling with very little productivity. This made me have a deeper thought about this Easter holiday. When the events occurred on Good Friday and with the promise from Jesus to His followers He would rise on the third day; how did they fill the time in between? Did they sit around and mourn Jesus’s death as we do today when one of our loved ones die? The tomb was sealed so they could only visit the outside. Did they stay watchful or did they have the confidence to wait the days out? How did the conversation go between all of the disciples? Did they fear their safety knowing others had seen the Lord’s strength during his torturous death? Did they reminisce about His miracles Jesus had performed? How did they fill the time in between?

Easter cross
All of us may know what happened on Easter Sunday with all of the celebration and miraculous resurrection; but my mind has been directed to the time in between and here is what I feel. Our lives are actually time in between. We are born into this world and then we die. All of our life is this time between birth and death and what we do is important to prepare for our resurrection into Eternity. How do we fill our time in between or in other words, what do we do with our lives? Do we fill our time with productivity and good works or do we idly fill our time with nonsense and useless activities? Do we learn, earn, live, and love? Do we reach out to help others find their way? We are taught about Good Friday and Easter, but I think we need to spend some of our time understanding how important the time in between was. Life is here for us and while we show reverence and love for Jesus’s sacrifice for us; let us use our time in between wisely. Happy Easter to all and a Happy In Between Time to fill with goodness.


For positive affirmation with “the power of positive thinking” I am including a short article for you to read: The Power of Positive Thinking

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

Did you know that some of the world’s most successful people – including professional athletes, actors, business-people, artists, and spiritual leaders, attribute their success to one thing, above all else?

Its called “the power of positive thinking,” and more and more regular people are harnessing this incredible force to achieve happiness, personal success and abundance in their lives.

If you want to successfully change your attitude, it is important to know that, just like a magnet, your thoughts, expectations, and beliefs attract everyone and everything that enters into your life, both positive and negative.

How To Be Happy
Does anger, worry, fear, anxiety, and/or depression lead your emotional state and thought patterns?

If so, then experiences validating these thoughts are exactly what you will attract into your life. Good thing for you, there is a very effective solution.

What is the secret to making the power of positive thinking work for me?

Meditation. In order to manifest positive experiences into your life, you must change your thoughts, which must be done from the root: the subconscious layers of your mind.

Once meditation melts all of the layers of worry, anxiety, depression, and fear clogging up your thought processes, your new-found mind-mastery, with crystal clear thinking, and positive mental attitude allows you easy manifestation of anything you want, whether it be love, good health, wealth, more friends, or success.

Easter hope
Scripture Excerpt from The Bible:

John 20:16-18 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
positive thoughts

(c) copyright 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material/photos are sourced when known to original location for credit reference.

GUEST BLOGGER/BRUCE FLETCHER

Bruce Fletcher from lifetimeofhappy.com is our guest blogger. This article is his writing submission and very interesting and informative.

I am happy to post a wonderful article from Bruce Fletcher, blogger/writer. You may check out his website for more of his work on lifetimeofhappy.com and let’s welcome him to Sipping Cups of Inspiration. He has all rights and privileges attached to this article and links. It is exciting for me to acknowledge others’ talents and information so if you enjoy this article as I am sure you will, please comment and allow Bruce to feel our support.

Here is WORKING AND RELAXING AT HOME by BRUCE FLETCHER:

Working and Relaxing at Home

Separating your work from your hobbies can be a tricky task, especially if you’re working from home. It can be difficult to be productive, and it can also feel hard to properly relax when your work is right next to you. Updating your home so that it can be used as both a place of relaxation and a workplace is one of the best things you can do to maximize your well-being and productivity. Here are a few tips courtesy of Sipping Cups of Inspiration.

Keep Your Work and Hobbies Separate

One challenge of working from home is that you’re always one step away from being distracted by the things you love in your home. Making sure you keep your workspace free from distractions can help you work more efficiently and then be in the moment to enjoy your hobbies more.

Create a Space Dedicated to Your Hobby

Whether your hobby is working out, arts and crafts, or playing online games, creating a room dedicated to doing something you love is a great way to relax and disconnect from your work. A hobby room is a great way to release the stress of work and can provide a creative outlet that makes you feel more energized. 

Upgrade Your Home Office

Making changes to your home office can ensure that you work more efficiently and will make working more enjoyable. There are many things you can do to renovate your home office:

  • Decorate the walls of your office. Whether you repaint the walls for a cleaner feel or add sculptures and paintings, decorations can greatly improve your work efficiency and enjoyment.
  • Make your office ergonomic. Investing in a comfortable chair and desk will ensure that you can work longer hours without feeling physically uncomfortable.
  • Organize your space. Having a decluttered and organized office space will greatly enhance your productivity during work time.

Declutter Around the House

A clean house can be a gateway to reduced stress levels, allowing you to relax more fully at home. Try going around the house and packing up belongings that you don’t use often, or consider donating what you don’t need. Additionally, consider removing the digital clutter from your life by erasing files and apps on your phone and computer. Doing this can contribute both to reduced stress and higher productivity during the workday.

Prioritize Your Own Wellness

Making sure that you find time to wind down is crucial for your well-being and work-life balance. When you aren’t working, try to prioritize your wellness with mindfulness-based practices such as meditation and yoga. Regularly engaging in mindfulness practices can help you to relax and reduce work-related stress.

Creating a dedicated wellness space in your home can help you to practice mindfulness regularly and reduce stress levels. 

Finding the Right Balance

Making sure that you have a proper balance between working and relaxing is crucial for your own well-being and the success of your company. Working from home also means that you must spend more time on planning workplace management and public relations to ensure that you still have an efficiently run company with a strong online presence.

Image from PEXEL

Note from Arline Miller, blogger and author of Sipping Cups of Inspiration: Thanks, Bruce Fletcher of lifetimeofhappy.com for this enlightening article reminding us of how to Work and Relax at home. As for someone who has worked from home for many years, this resonates with me. I welcome you back in the future, and extend this offer to any of you who have content you would like to submit for prior publishing review. We wish you the best Until We Read Again…..Arline Miller.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all personal rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos is sourced to original location/author, if known, for credit references.

GARDENER’S GLOVES IV

During this burst of Spring, we have planted the herb planters and it is such a sign of future life and freshness to our meals, I decided to pull this popular post. I love seeing my friends getting into the garden phase and also getting our yards in shape with new straw, fertilizers, new plants, and trimming up for maximum blooms. It makes me remember those are not here any more like my Mom who spent her days in her garden beds. Sweet memories and I cherish each of her plants that live on in our yards. Have a beautiful spring and don’t forget to get some soil on your hands or as this post suggests, Gardener’s Gloves. Good gardening produces tasty and healthy foods so we can make great salads and other dishes. I sometimes return to older posts for refreshment of thought. I dedicated it to a great gardener Linda Christian and who is genuinely missed by so many of us

A nice way to reward the family is with a salad from your own garden.
Contained garden to keep out unwanted guests who like to serve themselves.

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.



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.

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: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 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material, if known, is sourced to the original location for reference.

DID CUPID’S ARROW HIT ITS MARK?

While Cupid is getting its quiver filled with romance arrows, it made me pause and wonder what kind of accuracy does Cupid have? Have you ever thought how many arrows made their mark in the lovers’ hearts? Do the lovers know how they were targeted to be together? While many are wondering if Cupid even knows their location and how long is it going to take for him to load his bow of love and for him to take aim in their direction. Today, this blogger who feels she was shot by Cupid’s arrow not in February but on a hot August day back in 1999.

Wikipedia describes Cupid in the following way:

Cupid is winged, allegedly because lovers are flighty and likely to change their minds, and boyish because love is irrational. His symbols are the arrow and torch, “because love wounds and inflames the heart.” These attributes and their interpretation were established by late antiquity, as summarized by Isidore of Seville (d. 636 AD) in his Etymologiae.[16] Cupid is also sometimes depicted blindfolded and described as blind, not so much in the sense of sightless—since the sight of the beloved can be a spur to love—as blinkered and arbitrary. As described by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1590s):[17]Cupid sculpture by Bertel Thorvaldsen

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love’s mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is love said to be a child
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled
.[18]

Photo from Wikipedia

I thought I would share a personal story of my own when Cupid (disguised as a dear friend of mine) brought me right in the path of love’s arrows. My friend who I will call Cupid worked with the man who was destined to be my love for the rest of my life. She, knowing I had experienced the let down of love and romance, kept saying to me on the phone that every time Greg said something, she thought of me.

Over a span of almost 3 months, she tried every trick in the book and kept shooting arrows but I dodged them. I kept throwing the arrows back with every possible objection but she wouldn’t give up. Finally, in an effort to get her off my back, I agreed to meeting him on a visit to see her. I thought, I go, I meet, and then I could say I wasn’t interested or even better, he wouldn’t be interested in me. So the next Tuesday, I had to go through the town they worked in and arranged a lunch date with her with plans of quickly meeting him. Oh yeah, I thought I was so smart and cunning. Her plan was destined to fail. In all fairness, Greg was thinking the same thing. He was ready to get her to stop talking about this Arline. I find it so ironic that she was working us both and we both had the same mindset…..Don’t need romance…..Don’t want the hassle of another relationship…..And we were ready to shut up “cupid”.

The actual story of how it worked out is hilarious and I will save it for another day because there are many facets of that fated day with both Greg and I not getting a look at each other, thinking that the other was not interested, and that this was going to be easier to resolve than we thought. All miscommunication until we met. I couldn’t imagine all the lovers that have been hit by Cupid’s arrow, but I will tell you that once Greg walked out the door of his office and we took one look at each other, that lil Cupid shot those arrows into our hearts…we have been in love with each other since that time. Cupid sat in a corner watching us as we talked as if we had known each other all of our lives.

22 years later, we are together, as husband and wife of soon to be 21 years, and if ever two people were meant to be together, we are. We blended our families and what matters most, is we have a marriage of God’s inclusion. We may kid about how we met, but we know God played a part in sending love via our friend. Nuff said!

Here are Cupid’s “happy wedded victims of love” in April 2001.
Here we are in 2021, still snared by the arrows of love.

For the entire article 7 Ways Your Love Can Last Forever go to this link:

https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/what-is-really-important-in-a-marriage-or-relationship-bbab/

1. Honor Your Differences

Respect is the cornerstones of our relationship. We may not always see things the same way, but we respect the ability to have different thoughts and ideas. We never put each other down to others or to each other. There is no faster way to erode a relationship.

2. Keep an Open Door Policy

Allowing your partner to share how they view and experience an event, and how they are feeling without judgment creates an environment of trust. As important as it is to share, it is just as important to listen and to really hear what the other is saying. This creates a healthy dialogue and a strong foundation.

Shared laughter can bond an  experience and create great memories.
Let us continue on!

3. Don’t Lose Yourself in the Relationship

You are your own person with your own feelings and thoughts. You had your own friends before you met. If you give them all up for your spouse or romantic partner, you are snuffing out part of who you are and you may feel resentment later. My husband goes bowling with his friends weekly. It’s his time to be away from “us” and hang out with his buddies. I enjoy time with my friends too and then we then look forward to being together as a couple even more.

4. Remember Who You Fell in Love With

Don’t try to change your partner to a version of them you think they should be. It is a lose/lose proposition. Not only is it not really possible, it causes resentment. Remember the reasons you fell in love in the first place. Honor that person. If someone has to bend over backward to make you happy, or you have to do it for them, your relationship has lost its authenticity.

5. Tickle Your Funny Bones

Laughter is a stress reducer and an energy infuser. Shared laughter can bond an experience and create great memories. My husband and I always look for little ways to make each other laugh. Humor in a relationship makes being together more enjoyable. When you are not together, thinking about a time when you were laughing and having fun will make you smile and feel closer to your partner.

6. Put Love on the Calendar

Date nights are important to keep a relationship fresh. It keeps a couple from stagnating with the same boring routine. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a special night together. It can be as simple as dinner and a movie at home, or going out, and can be elaborate as well if it fits your budget. What matters is scheduling it so you both have something to look forward to. We like to record our favorite shows during the week and watch them together. One night a week we plan dinner out. Phones and computers are put away! Keep the date on the calendar, get a sitter if you have kids, and bring on the romance and fun that is part of dating, no matter how long you have been together.

7. A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way!

Expressing gratitude to each other every day will keep you close. We share with each other at mealtime, telling each other something about our day that was special that we are grateful for. And we always try to notice the efforts the other made for us, even if it’s just doing the dishes, taking out the trash or washing the car. Showing appreciation for the little things that seem routine makes us look for ways to help each other out even more. Gratitude has a way of opening up your heart. Many of the things that may have annoyed us in the past aren’t even noticed anymore. That’s something to be grateful for!

Note from me, Arline Miller: Love can be instantly projected but true love lasts when the initial fantasy becomes reality and the heart accepts the truth of love is acceptance, growth, being a constant in life, and even more, a forgiving heart. May Cupid find your heart’s forever love but may God sustain your love is my Valentines Wish for You!

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to original location and author for credit references.

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