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LET’S SLOW DOWN TO GET FAST RESULTS

What do I mean by this title of my blog message? I feel we have gotten into a manic rush form of thinking and doing. Let’s look at the names of appliances and social media such as InstaPot and InstaGram, Snapchat, etc. We have adapted our minds to an Instant Decision Making Process. No longer do we take reasonable time to consider the consequences of our actions. My focus on this message is perhaps on the important matters, we should use the Slow Cooker method to allow our decisions to simmer long enough to obtain the maximum positive results. Let’s dive in, and go over the options of pros and cons of thinking and how our actions can affect our lives.

Photo courtesy of Indeed.com (they own rights to this image)

My Assessment of this Use of Thinking Skills

In my lifetime, not one time but many, I have used impulsive buying as in see something, buy something. Impulsive buying has had a probable result of 50-50 satisfaction. I think if I had exercised 1, 2, and 3 steps, I could have moved my satisfaction meter up to at least 75% or higher. Tags on clothes, that I gave away due to the 50% non satisfied are proof.

Communication #4 has been boggled by social media. The intention of most of our social media platforms was to engage all of us, even though we have different locations, ethnic backgrounds, work diversification, religious and political beliefs, genders, etc. This sounds like a great idea but it also allows for dissension among the social media followers and argumentative actions can be counter productive. Maybe unbiased research and conversations in a private setting may be more productive and less hostile. Constructive criticism (I hate the word criticism as it negates any positivity so I like to use input or feedback) if used in a character building manner can be useful.

Problem Solving #5 is a way of life for me, maybe to a fault. If someone, even someone that I have the highest regard and value their intelligence, tells me of a problem or situation that requires solution and/or resolution I want to offer my opinion immediately. This is not a good thing and I am working on it. Let’s see what I have been working on to help solve problems but not mandate my solution:

  • If I ask questions instead of making recommendations, this gives the person an opportunity to self help of making decisions with a confidence builder for them.
  • Once a person has stated a problem, by asking a question of what they think should or could happen to resolve this problem, it puts the ball back in their hands. It becomes their decision, not yours.
  • Listening instead of talking, asking instead of telling will be more effective and the recipient of any input from me is better received.
  • Caring enough to follow up with someone who has stated a problem on the status, what has been accomplished, what is still outstanding, and if not resolved, ask what they feel is the next step.

I am going to take a step backwards to #2 Analysis. I am learning, WIP, to do what I term as Realistic Analysis. What is the difference by adding Realistic to Analysis? I am a writer and also a very positive person. I see the best, but I have learned that I have to expect realistic results. Prince Charming is not every man or every woman is not a Princess. There are trolls and evil queens outside of fairy tales. Realism is a realistic way of life and we should analyze possibilities in a realistic visual. Some examples are creams help diminish wrinkles topically but they are still part of the aging process and even though the creams help, we can expect this is an ongoing part of aging. We can dream to accomplish what we would love to happen in our lives, but the reality is, can we live without that dream if it doesn’t come to us? We can, we can also dream of other accomplishments we can realistically achieve while we work on the master dream.

Sipping Cups of Inspiration is now in its 10th year with well over 150 countries viewing it.

Let’s slow down, brew a slow brew of delicious coffee bypassing the instant coffee. Let’s doodle, draw, write, sing, dance, exercise, meditate, contemplate, envision, go fishing, watch football, baseball, or even work puzzles, cook or bake instead of take out. We are each going to come to a Stop Sign of Life and that is about as realistic as it gets. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY SLOWING DOWN TO SMELL THE ROSES!

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

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Food For Thought: I have given much thought as to what effect if we knew what was going to happen before it actually happened. Would we change course, would we run as fast as we could, would we accept the inevitable, what would we do? During life, we get hit with unexpected situations, changes, losses, gains, relationships, moves, windfalls and devastations. We question Why and either celebrate or find ourselves wondering how we will overcome this obstacle.

I am not sure we would benefit from knowing. My reason for this assumption is in my life, I have grown from the difficult times. I have learned from my mistakes and yes, from other’s mistakes too. I have learned compassion and empathy from life’s events. I have mourned the losses, appreciated the wins, and have found and lost love. I have learned all friends are not true friends and have learned how to figure out which is which. I have worked for a long time in different vocations and if you asked me which I enjoyed the most I would reply all of them because each one taught me how to use different skills and talents. I have been shocked by so many things that these experiences have taught me not to be shocked and actually expect the unexpected. This taught me how to be flexible. I have learned to not depend on mankind without having the firm faith in God who takes care of us if we trust and believe. I learned from my experiences with mankind an important structural fact…Man is Limited but God is Limitless. Giving things in which we find ourselves limited over to God enhances the possibility of obtaining what is out of our control.

Yes, it seems like it would be an easy life if we had the prior knowledge of things to come. I would like to offer a hint to all who believe in The Holy Bible. It gives us a heads up as to the future. No, it doesn’t give dates but at least we are given a true picture, even those listed in parables, of the possibility of a future in Heaven where it will not be necessary to wonder what is going to happen tomorrow. Just saying, put our faith and trust in God that everything can be all right if we live for God to serve His Truth.

Have a blessed day in Christ and love each other as He Loves Us.

May be an image of sky

This is a short blog post that I placed on my FaceBook Page but I wanted to share with you. I do not push my faith on anyone as I firmly believe we have to find our own salvation. I do wish everyone peace and joy in your lives.

(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 to location and author, if known, for credit references.

REINVENTION QUEEN “HAMS” IT UP

I posted the following blog post about a year ago. Since that time, I have baked more ham, froze the bone with meat, and used them to season cabbage, greens, beans, soups, and I thought that it is a good mental reminder to think of ways to continue make the most of meats that we cook. I am adding a list of ideas of how to use leftover ham before the original post:

  • SUGGESTIONS FOR LEFTOVER HAM
  • Leftover Ham Salad
  • Ham and Bean Soup
  • Leftover Ham & Leek Pies
  • Baked Ham and Penne Pasta
  • Ham and Cheese Croissant Casserole
  • Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets
  • Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Pizza
  • Ham Hash
  • Glazed Ham Hash Loaf
  • Leftover Ham Breakfast Sandwich
  • Ham and Cheese Grits Casserole
  • Ham and Pineapple Rice
  • Ham and Potato Casserole
  • Ham Pot Pie Soup
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Biscuits
  • Leftover Ham Chowder
  • Leftover Ham Sandwich
  • Split Pea Soup
  • Ham and Cheese Sliders
  • Leftover Ham and Potato Soup
  • Ham and Spinach Casserole
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Scones
  • Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Frittata
  • Waffles with Leftover Ham
  • Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
  • Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding
  • Leftover Ham Pasta
  • Monte Cristo Sandwich

For the recipes for all of those listed above please visit the following link to find out how delicious these recipes can be: https://insanelygoodrecipes.com/leftover-ham-recipes/

Last weekend I informed my husband I was craving an oven baked ham like I used to do before the days of the wonderful smoker prepared hams he does so well. I have to say I have enjoyed the past few years with Greg smoking the turkey and ham which gave me the room in the oven and the time it took. But like they say, you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. I think the same goes as you can take the cook out of the kitchen but you can’t take the kitchen out of the cook. Yep, I was craving it and you may have figured something out about me, I will not be denied. As I was baking this wonderful and best smelling ham, my mind was already going to making all of the extra meals.

This is what we were craving ….juicy, flavorful, and just right!
The picture of my ham after it was glazed with a pork dry rub, dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, honey, brown sugar, everyday seasoning, coca cola at the end but mixed in glaze as well.
The first meal and the one we had craved was Ham Sammies with the softest bread we could find along with mayo and salt and pepper. I tell you it was over the chart yummy.
Foil is important and you do see it but I tent the top with foil and seal the sides while it bakes, It keeps the flavor and allows the meat to tenderize while baking. I baked this ham at 325 degrees all day with the last two hours at 300 degrees. I kept it foiled and it turned this gorgeous color.
I like to score the ham to thoroughly cook with the basting glaze seeping into the meat further enhancing the flavor.
I can’t even express the flavor this ham brought to our kitchen. If you consider how many ways you can use this ham, it becomes economical even in these high food cost days we are in.
I use the ham bone in the first meal I make after baking the ham but I have frozen the bone with some yummy ham attached for soup later.
The ketchup is purely for me and something my Dad taught me. The ham pieces flavor any kind of beans and black eyed peas too.
One of the favorite Reinvention Queen is to season fresh or even frozen greens with my ham pieces. Blanch the greens first and all bitterness will leave.

The pictures show several ways to use a baked ham. As someone who doesn’t like to waste any food, I will share a list of selections of how I will use leftover ham. I start thinking of what meals I use the meat at the onset of preparing it.

  • How to use a baked ham for many meals without getting tired of it:
  • Ham and rice (cook the rice in some broth with the ham pieces). Add garden peas and carrots or celery for flavor.
  • Ham and stewed potatoes (Stew potatoes with onions and add ham pieces to enhance the potatoes) You can add vegetables but I prefer the ham and potatoes.
  • Make a ham crusted pie. Use a bag of frozen vegetables thawed and a can of cream of celery or mushroom thinned with some heavy cream. Add cubed ham and mix with salt and pepper, garlic salt if you like, place in a frozen pie crust that you can bake but not brown and cover with another pie crust. Bake at temperature on pie crust package.
  • Breakfast suggestion: Slice ham and place in hot skillet to fry slightly and use in biscuits with fried or scrambled eggs. The slightly browning will make a great taste change from baked ham.
  • Cube ham pieces and add to soups. You can freeze the cubes and conveniently add to so many dishes as needed.

I could keep listing meal suggestions but you can use your own ideas once the creative juices begin to flow like the ham juices that come from making your own. I love fast and easy preparation but taking some time and preparing the foundation foods are worth every minute. Thanks for allowing me to share my ham ideas with you. It is great the first meal, fantastic the second round, and even more wonderful when you can freeze some for the next time you crave some old fashioned, slow baked ham by thawing it out and not even having to cook dinner. Until We Cook Again…..Happy Meals from Arline Miller, the 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 to original location and author if known for credit references.

WHEN YOU THROW OUT THE TRASH, THROW OUT SOME BAD HABITS TOO

Throw out the bad habits and stock up on healthy, adventurous times, and a great life.

I have been busy with my day job and I haven’t had time to post but it has given me some time to think of some bad habits that I, and I am going to say I am not alone, have acquired during the pandemic. That’s it…..I said it! Now, what are we going to do about it?

I will relate this blog to taking out the trash, cleaning out closets and drawers, and oh my, yes, eating. We have become a country of plastic, paper, jars, and those packages that are made bigger to give us less of the actual things we pay for. If you don’t believe me, look at a package of tortilla chips and see how heavy the actual packages have become. We accumulate more trash from the “disposables”. I have thought about this action and realize we can reverse some of the negative results on ourselves by eliminating the “human disposables”.

Photo courtesy of kindpng.com

What do I mean? I prepared a list of what I am labeling Human Disposables, and I am not talking about Depends. Here is my thought provoking human disposables we may have accumulated and which we can remove or throw out with the other trash in our lives:

  • My plan of healthy eating has disappeared and replaced by fast food or unhealthy snacking
  • My hygiene or personal care has changed. Nails and hair are done only if we have mandatory events.
  • My wardrobe has become a vision of the comical Walmart shopper.
  • My entertainment has changed from outdoor activities to become an award winning couch potato.
  • My vocabulary has become a muddled conversation formed from the social media/television/reels/tik tok.
  • My reading list has disappeared to google expertise without any meaningful research.
  • Mental exercises are limited to whatever is the topic of the day and decisions are not based on quality critical thinking but more impulsive and relatable to the popular thought for that day and switchable if the main street media decides to go into a different direction.
  • Finances are a troublesome thought but no hesitancy to stop the spending and become frugal in difficult times.
  • Romance, date nights even if it is simple have been eliminated or have been pushed to the background.
My husband and I on a lunch date.

Having listed what I observe by others and even me on some of these, I wanted to offer some suggestions on how to “throw away” some of the items listed.

  • First, let us return to healthy eating. I personally have returned to mentally focusing on preparation, shopping, and planning meals which are better for our eating plan. Prioritize health first and cosmetics will help complete our physical overall look.
  • Take pride in what we wear and put the sweat pants, yoga pants (unless you are doing yoga or other exercise) in the drawers. This is a good time to clean the closet and organize a “healthy wardrobe”. For those of you who are too young to remember the A-line dress, I will give you an interesting thought. Waist lines went up 1 1/2 inches upon introduction of the looser and no longer defined waist. What happens if we cover our bulges with loose tops, maybe we think we are fooling ourselves and we can get away with a few extra inches. Not really!
  • Mental exercises are as important as physical exercises. Why? If we are mentally sharp, we have more confidence and the more confidence we exert, the more we will concentrate on the total package. Think more, act more, and see more results.
  • Pay attention to finances, learn how to budget or at least set up a budget, and don’t indulge in impulsive purchases out of boredom. Out of control spending only makes your life become out of control. About 6 or 7 years ago, I talked with my husband and showed him how I planned to pay off all credit card debt and we agreed to making it happen. It worked and within a year and a half, they were gone and I am happy to say we only use a card to complete a purchase with cash back points and pay the entire purchase off before any interest charges. You can do this if we can. I think I wrote a post on this subject but may do a repeat for reference.
  • Romance helps everything to better. Choose time for your significant other and even if it is watching a movie with popcorn/snacks, do it. Budget a lunch or dinner and don’t talk about anything but good times and pleasant subjects. The food will digest and so will your love.
  • Find entertainment/reading to be outside of the usual media such as news. Don’t get your education from one news source or biased outlet. This is hard today as no longer is anything composite/round table with lots of different views which is the preferred way to learn. Discuss, not argue, with people of different beliefs, religions, cultures, and listen. You don’t have to change your beliefs, but you may understand why others think differently. Calm composure of thoughts, rather than trying to push beliefs on others, is a positive flow of communication.

Okay, now tie up your collected trash bag and get it out of your life. I am in the process of bagging up useless bad habits acquired during the sagging events of the past few years. I like to think, and no it’s not morbid, if today was my last one on earth, what would I like to leave as a legacy for myself? It is definitely not a big bag of chips. May I leave a positive footprint of creativity, mental inspiration, and some good, loving thoughts? How about you?

Live Life, Love Life, and Live Life to the Fullest by Cleaning Up Your Life Trash and Remember to Recycle by Giving to Others.

Spend time for other’s special occasions like we were honored to attend Wyatt Smith’s 90th Birthday Celebration.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

BROKEN ORNAMENTS ARE LIKE LIFE III

2021 Holiday Message from Arline Miller, blogger for Sipping Cups of Inspiration: As we were hanging our interior wreath which has some of the vintage ornaments we display in a high position to keep safe, I straightened some of the ornaments and noticed the Raggedy Ann and Andy was broken. I guess it happened after we took it down. My heart wouldn’t allow me to take it down so I turned it to a position the broken part was not visible. It happens and makes this post more relevant in life as well. Have a Merry Christmas and let us pray for a Happy New Year keeping all of us safe and sharing peace in this world.

Here is our vintage wreath and you can see Raggedy Ann & Andy in their sled.

Since we are blessed with nine grandchildren and one of them still in toddler stage, I bypassed putting up our traditional tree and went with an interesting Cardinal Tree with hand painted birdhouses by the grandchildren with a Granddaddy and Nana two hole birdhouse as the topper. No breakable ornaments to worry about. We had one of the grands here with us yesterday (in the photo) who thought the birds looked real and the tree was awesome. It reminded me of this post I wrote in 2016 about the similarity between broken ornaments and broken lives. Maybe it needs repeating. May your holidays be filled with many moment of love and may all of your ornaments and lives stay in one piece.  

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Jonas Miller finding his birdhouse ornament on our Christmas tree 2018

    Here is the original blog message: BROKEN ORNAMENTS ARE LIKE BROKEN LIVES  

TODAY THE WORDS are BROKEN ORNAMENTS.  On this morning, my mind went to a place of remembrance of how it feels to lose something or as you will see “someone”. A lot of times in my writing, in order to put feelings in simpler terms, I use what I can replacement memories. If it is something we can relate to everyday or normal events, it is somehow easier to get a point across to others or at least it can make common sense. Most of us have our Christmas trees, or if not, we have occasions which have ornaments or displays which have a value to them and to us when we show them to the world. As a Christian, we have the decorated Christmas tree to celebrate Christmas season. For most of us, we start early collecting the ornaments, and even though the monetary worth is usually low; the emotional worth can be priceless. We unwrap them very carefully and hang them and a lot of Wow, Ooh, and Aah’s are heard as the ornaments are hung. Some have their “spots” to be hung; some even are hung in order. We add new ones each year but it is the older ones we cherish more and are so protective. My thoughts bring me to a sad thought of opening a box of ornaments, however carefully wrapped and cared for, finding one broken or even more than one and it is devastating. It doesn’t matter how many other wonderful, shiny ornaments we have; it is the loss of this one which takes our heart and crushes it. Even though the tree will still be beautiful, we know one of the best ornaments is no longer going to hang around and allow us to look at it and recall the years it has been around.  This photo occurred a few days ago and it was so ironic that it would be this ornament that I had bought when my daughter’s cat became intrigued by the ornaments on the tree and decided to knock them off and push them down the stairs. After all of these years, about 20 that I have had that funny ornament, it came apart while hanging it and broke.

Yep, it happened. It is ironic that after 20 years, it finally broke without a cat around.

I see the same thing in life and now for the thought given to my heart…..Life is like the Christmas tree. We start life with a tree with some ornaments and we begin to add ornaments such as family and friends. Our tree begins with few and usually ends up with many lovely additions or “ornaments”. We, as loving people, take care of our “ornaments” by taking care of our siblings, starting our own families, and making sure our parents (the oldest ornaments and highly cherished) are cared for by wrapping them with love and care. Once in a while, one of the newer ornaments fall suddenly, without warning and are broken beyond repair and it is a tragedy. Some of the ornaments age and have to be cared for and repaired. They become fragile and we handle them carefully. When they finally break, and we can no longer have them on our tree; we feel their absence; we gaze at the tree and remember the missing ornaments while enjoying the new ornaments such as grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and new friends. It is impossible to tell when an ornament is going to break; all we can do is carefully wrap and enjoy each breathtaking moment we can share with them while we have them to enjoy. Live life; love life; and live life to the fullest by cherishing each wonderful moment and when you have a chance to say I Love You; Say It!

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

(c) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for reference credit.

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