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?
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.
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.
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
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.
Buddy, the tan Chihuahua, who came into our lives and went out as fast as he came in. He left an impression that will stay forever in our hearts. No one knows where Buddy came from and no one is sure what his given name was in his previous life. Buddy, however left his paw print on every heart he met while he was on the road.
One morning I happened to see a post in our subdivision about a small dog loose in our neighborhood. There were many sightings of the illusive Chihuahua here and there and a few pictures and it seemed no one could catch this charming but skittish wanderer. He didn’t look like he had been on nature’s environment very long but once the sightings were confirmed from several weeks, it became important to ensure his safety from traffic and other risks.
One of the residents noticed he would follow another dog, so they enticed him into a back yard using another neighbor’s dog. It took some time to get him to enter their home and it was a little scary to see how Buddy, his new name, would interact with her two dogs, a gorgeous golden retriever and a black and white beautiful Papillion. He seemed to be more comfortable with the dogs so wherever he came from, there were other dogs.
Jessica, the lady of the house and Buddy’s rescuer, fell in love with him immediately and I agree he was a charmer even though he was hesitant, even resistant with human approach. Being patient with him, Buddy decided to start following her around the house. Over the next few days while they posted and called trying to find his real owner, Buddy became conservatively comfortable.
Jessica’s husband felt they had enough dogs already and decided they could not keep three dogs and felt they had no choice but to send Buddy to a no kill shelter who came recommended by a pet caretaker service. Jessica’s heart broke and apparently, Buddy’s heart was broken too. He had chosen Jessica as his new owner and couldn’t understand why he had to leave. Here is how we came into the picture.
I had been following Buddy’s story and was elated when I saw that a neighbor had taken Buddy into their home. My heart jumped with joy being a dog lover myself. I sighed a big breath of relief as it was frightening knowing that little fur baby was wandering the streets. I was happy and was hoping Buddy’s owners would see the announcement and come for him. If they didn’t, he was in a good home. Then I saw the post they were planning on taking Buddy to a shelter and my heart screamed, “We will take him in, and Buster can have a “buddy” to play with.
Buster is our Papillion mix and is black with a white chest patch. He was a rescued puppy and we had to work with him on social skills so we hoped he would accept Buddy without incident since Buddy was skittish. We were excited and apprehensive at the same time but was determined no shelter for Buddy. We were experienced in rescue dogs since all our dogs have been rescued and those precious dogs are another set of stories themselves but for another time.
We made the contact with our neighbors who had Buddy and I should have picked up on a hint since they hesitated and took a very long time to bring our new bundle of joy. We waited and waited and then Greg, my husband called them. They were coming in their golf cart with Buddy.
As they drove up, she had a tight hold on Buddy and of course he looked frightened but he didn’t try to jump out of my arms and allowed me to put the collar and leash on him and rub him while Jessica cried and made me promise that if it didn’t work out, she wanted me to call her. I agreed but felt we would spoil Buddy and would have no problems. Little did I know what we were getting into and the dilemma we would face.
Buddy ate that night and he and Buster even played together. We watched Buster not even bark at Buddy. My husband and I thought it was wonderful to see them bonding as this was the biggest threat or at least that is what we thought. Wrong!
I am not sure if Buddy looked at me as the enemy and the thief who stole him out of his owner’s arms, but I have never had any dog, even aggressive tagged dogs, to resist my loving. Buddy would look at me with almost humanistic eyes with questioning why I had done such a vile thing. I had dealt with dog’s nature all my life and thought with a little time, Buddy would come to love me. For some reason, he followed Greg around and I thought that was good and a step forward. Buddy slept all night and we looked forward to the next day.
We have a doggie door and Buddy had either used one before or he is just extremely smart. The first evening and the next morning both he and Buster went out with Greg and me. We watched both dogs play and romp and chase each other. I saw several submissive plays by each one and was elated. We felt we had a new baby and Buster’s BFF. Oh, how we were deceived by this escape artist.
After feeling contented they were playing together as if they had known each other for a while, I went back in the house to finish getting dressed and to make some business calls. For some reason, I thought the dogs came back in the house when Greg came in and announced he was going to get a collar and name tag with our info. We planned on taking Buddy to the vet clinic to check for a chip when we realized he hadn’t had the scan for a chip. As much as we were excited about having him, it was only fair we check as we would want someone to check Buster in case he got out and became lost.
To be clear, these events happened in a few minutes that I will explain. I walked into the living room and saw Buster come in the doggie door. It had already been established the night before that Buster would come in first and Buddy would follow. I waited a few seconds and didn’t see Buddy’s head pop through the door. I looked out in the yard and I didn’t see him. Jessica had explained he sat in the corner until he felt comfortable. I called Greg on his cell and asked if the dogs had come in with him. Apparently, they did come in but had gone back out, but Greg thought they were in the house.
My search began with looking in each room, under each bed, and in closets. I started to panic and called Greg back. He assured me that it was okay, and he was probably hiding. I went back to the yard and tried to see if I could tell if he had escaped. I didn’t see the small hole behind a hose hung on the fence or I would have panicked earlier than I did.
Greg came back and checked and found the hole, so the neighborhood search was on. Greg and I took turns manning the vehicle with Buster riding shot gun. We searched and searched with each round through the neighborhood causing our hopes to sink. We received a call from Jessica, Buddy had returned to their home and dug under the fence. That should have been our sign, but we went and brought Buddy back home. Buster was happy and even Buddy looked happy. Did we have a surprise coming?
The next morning, with everything seemingly going smoothly, our new little pair of fur babies, went out the doggie door, playing together, and frolicking. Greg asked where Buster and Buddy were. He went out the back door and at that very moment spotted Buddy had dug a new hole and after taking one last goodbye look at Greg, darted under the fence and vanished. Greg walked back as I was coming out the door, said “Honey, Buddy is not our dog and he has made up his mind who his owner is and it’s not us.”
All I could think is Buddy was out again and the fear of him getting hurt was bearing on my mind. The search began again, and Buster couldn’t figure out why his new friend kept leaving. Well, it became clear to Greg and to Buster when they found Buddy on the porch at Jessica’s home. The Buddy Adventure was over. He had claimed his new home and Jessica and her husband had a new owner. At first, we, including Buster, were sad and a little disappointed and then we thought about it. When an animal chooses a human, that will is so much stronger than when we humans choose a dog to be ours.
I am happy to say Buster is doing great with his new “sister” Duchess and from all accounts Buddy is safe at his home with his chosen family.
Written by Arline Miller
May 7, 2020
As a writer, I found this writing about Buddy and felt at this time of thankfulness I would share it. Life never plays out like we expect and even if our intentions are good, some plans go awry. Buddy’s happy and we are blessed with Duchess who is Buster’s side kick. All is well with us!
(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location and author if known for credit references.
This is the second in a series for those interested in blogging. BLOGGING IS LIKE FISHING and of course I return to my childhood days and try to “catch” your attention by fishing around a little. Please join me on the blog with some interesting analogy of how we prepare for our blogging fishing trip. For all of you who would like to dabble your hook and line by guest blogging on my blog, please contact me and let’s go down to the fishin’ hole. #blog #amwriting #life #bloggers #writers #tipsforblogging
BLOGGING IS LIKE FISHING is my second blog post on why I blog, how I blog, and most importantly, how you can blog. For those who read my blog on a regular basis, first let me thank you. Without you the reader, this early morning work would be better spent with some extra zzzz’s. Now for the good stuff all of you writers, the mystique of blogging is similar to going fishing. When I was young, I went fishing with my Dad or a group of family members. For some reason, I never wanted to go alone but enjoyed the sharing of excitement of interacting with others.
As I usually do, I will associate my blogging experience to a good fishing trip that we came home with a bucket full of fish and had a fish fry. Let’s see how we can go down to that ole fishing hole (blogging world) and pull some of those scrumptious fish (readers) in with our bait (blog).
1) First, you have to have the desire or want to go fishing attitude. Blogging takes dedication and some time is required to get ready to fish or as we are doing, blogging.
2) Set aside some time to write the blog post each day. I find that I am more creative early in the morning, but this might not be the best time for you to “fish”. There is no set time but there has to be regularity to prepare and for fishing (blogging).
3) Decide what you need to make the fishing trip successful. I will break down what I use to wet my blogging hook so you get an idea.
a) Fishing pole or reel is your niche or your market. In other words, what kind of reader do you want to reel in with your blog. Example: Foodies, Sport fans, fashionistas, spiritual or more newsie types. As my Daddy always told me you make sure you have a strong enough pole to catch the big ones. It may not be the best comparison but you want to appeal and draw the right audience to your blog.
b) The right size hook is vital. Too big of a hook may scare off the best fish or reader out there by overkill. Decide if you want to be a sizzle or a fizzle blogger. What do I mean by that expression? A sizzle blogger is usually young and has a lot to say. This is the type hook you may need if you are writing the blog to catch fashionistas, trendsetters, groupies, They want the bling, bling and the photos and quick reads. It is more dazzle than deep set ideas. On the other hand the set hook will draw the harder to catch but worth the effort reader as they become the loyal followers or readers. They crave the research you put into the blog.
c) The bait….oh yes…..the bait is You. On a blog you put yourself on the line or hook. You get jabbed and prodded but it is a piece of yourself which is the attraction. Add a little personality, develop your own style. Don’t get all politically correct and if you do as I do write your blog from your heart and throw in a little fact and research to enhance the topic. People love to feel they know you, the blogger, and they need to feel you want to know them. Reply to comments, thank your readers, and always represent what you truly are.
d) The bucket to keep your fish or readers in is your platform. There are many platforms and we will cover those choices pro and con in another session but it is important that the platform or bucket is safe and will keep the readers comfortable.
I thought you might find it ironic but when I googled how to write engaging posts, Google provided me with the following tips and the first one caught my eye with the use of HOOK.
7. Make Your Post Unique (Even If The Idea Isn’t) …
End With A Punchy Conclusion.
As I take a little time from my usual posts, I want to encourage new writers to try your hand writing, whatever the source or style. Try your hand at a short story, a poem, prose, or just write like I do. Express yourself in ways which are outlets for communication. A blog is summed up as in the excerpt from How to Write a Blog Post (with link to article for reading):
A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.
Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.
I recommend this article link very highly if you are serious about starting your blog or even for those of us who always are looking for better ways to keep the blog going. So grab that fishing pole and go fishing (or blogging).
LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST whether it be writing, drawing, crafting, woodworking, speaking, cooking, or whatever floats your boat.
(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos are sourced to original location if known for credit reference.
Once in a while I will reach into my vault of my blog posts and pull out one of my favs. This one has a sentimental pull since I love pearls. Recently, several events have tried to deny me my pearl but I keep hanging in there with the belief, Life is a strand of pearls and some of the ones to be added to my strand are struggling to mature to the maximum beauty. I should be patient as we have no control on the timing. Good things come to those who wait. Here is the post I love and I hope it has meaning for you too. This was prior to me moving the blog to WordPress and we are still building our audience.
TODAY THE WORDS are LIFE’S STRAND OF PEARLS. In anticipation of reaching an important goal for the blog of 150,000 page views, I went back to my log of posts and found this one. I thought we might enjoy some pearly whites this morning.
For most of you who know me, you already know how I love pearls. I have worn pearls and they have always given me such a warm feeling when I have them on. I will notice in photos of anyone that has a pearl necklace, earrings or brooch (for any youngsters that is a pin). What I would like to share is the thought behind pearls. A dear friend of mine has told me many times, “there’s your pearl” when something good happened. He would also say when he was giving me great advice, “here is a little pearl”. One day, when I was about to put one of my strands, I took a long look at it, realizing the importance of message it was portraying.
Let me share this with you. Pearls are grown in a hard shell (and really few of us look at an oyster shell as pretty like we look at other shells). It may take up to 20 or more years to bring a pearl to full size so a lot of time goes into the process. Pearls in their natural state aren’t the finished pearl we see in the strands as they are polished and by this process, it brings out their true luster. If you take the time and look closely, pearls are still unique and usually no two are exactly the same. As beautiful as pearls are, they can be beautiful with others or beautiful on their own. Pearls are usually a gift given by someone who loves them dearly.
Now for the deeper thought……have you thought about the clasp? As beautiful as the strand of pearls are, without the clasp to hold it all together, the pearls would fall to the ground It is the most important part of the necklace and here is how I see pearls. Pearls are our different stages of our life. When we are young, we are the pearls being nurtured in our shell surrounded by a hard protective cover (our parents). After a while, we are plucked into our adult lives. We can be successful on our own or part of a collection (company). We have strength and luster; but are fragile if not connected by a strong clasp (God). We can add other pearls (spouses, children, friends, and grandchildren) to our strand and people like to enjoy our pearls. God will hold our lives together and the clasp needs to be checked to make sure it closed securely (our faith). Next time you see a strand of pearls, take a deep look at it. God gives us the freedom to build a beautiful strand of pearls of life with all of its beauty and luster but He wants us to keep our pearls safe, protected and loved.
Blogger’s note: I had a thought this morning to add to this post. As times have changed and styles too, not as many people wear pearls. I wondered that even though change is sometimes good, have we taken a route of easy to acquire beads and metals as well as fast food, and disposable clothes (wear a few times and they become worn). My question is have we thrown away our quality of life with those clothes or when we carelessly throw the jewelry into a casual place that can be lost. Maybe we need to return to the days of pearls and vintage clothes that last forever, treasuring each inheritance instead of wanting the instant gratification of I want it now and I don’t care if it lasts. Just thinking out loud.
FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Matthew 13:45 – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls
(c) copyright 2012-2019 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material including photos is sourced to the original location, if known, for credit reference.
DAD’S POCKET KNIFE IS A PRIZED TREASURE is the topic on the blog. In today’s world we do not see as many pocket knives, but with some help of my friends’ posts and memories, we take a walk down memory lane on how this simple tool meant and still means a lot to many outdoorsmen and farmers. Please join me on the blog, and whether you have one or not, you might enjoy this message. #blog#amwriting#lifelessons#pocketknife#childhoodmemories
Today, on the blog, we go back to a story told to me in my childhood concerning Better Start Swimming….Or Sink and I think you will enjoy a little of gourd history as well as how they played a part in a great life lesson. #blog#amwriting#life#gourds#lifelesson
Come gather ’round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you Is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’.
Come writers and critics Who prophesize with your pen And keep your eyes wide The chance won’t come again And don’t speak too soon For the wheel’s still in spin And there’s no tellin’ who That it’s namin’. For the loser now Will be later to win For the times they are a-changin’.
Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call Don’t stand in the doorway Don’t block up the hall For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled There’s a battle outside And it is ragin’. It’ll soon…
(These lyrics are for reference only and not for any commercial use)
Times are changing and I thought of a story my Mother told me about how they used gourds as swimming aids similarly to floaties used today.
Here is an excerpt from an article identifying the use of the bottle gourd as a swimming aid dating back in Roman history:
The bottle gourd’s most obvious use is for carrying water, but they were also used as pontoons for rafts in ancient Egypt, as children’s swimming aids by the Romans, as birdhouses by native north Americans, as gunpowder dispensers in revolutionary France, by pipe smokers in Victorian England and more recently as motorcycle helmets in Nigeria. Gourd is also possibly mankind’s oldest musical instrument resonator.
It is the only known plant whose use by humans spanned prehistoric cultures across the entire globe, but one thing that has puzzled scientists was how – given its African origins – it came to be so widely used in the Americas thousands of years before the arrival of Columbus.
Now, back to Mom’s story and I think you will see the lesson behind the swimming gourds. The practice was to find two gourds and tie a rope between them with enough length to place one gourd under each arm pit so they would float out from each side. Mom had her gourds and used them faithfully when she would jump in the pond and had no fear about swimming. She knew the gourds would hold her up and off she went. She would swim and then get out and jump in over and over having so much fun. She did it so long that she had confidence in the gourds’ ability to hold her up. As she was swimming across the pond and had swam a long distance, she didn’t see her gourds and turning around looking toward the dam, there were the gourds at the edge of the water. Mom realized she had lost them when she jumped in. She had swam on her own.
The lesson behind this was it was the belief that she didn’t have to fear.
We live in a changing world and every day, we find the familiar changed and we have to adapt to new ways and even learn to swim without the gourds. Sometimes, we just have to jump in, learn new things and take risks to achieve new skills.
Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the fullest by discovering how times are a’ changin and how we have to change with them.
(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.
Our guest blogger is a dear friend, Donna Childre. You may remember her since I have mentioned her and her husband Greg on the blog before. I have been so enlightened and inspired by Donna’s writings which are touching, personal messages with a highlight of honesty and integrity, not to mention a strong faith and servitude attitude. I like to say Donna is exactly what she portrays, absolute transparency. It is with pleasure and a sincere blessing that I present Donna’s bio and her post. We hope to see her again and please encourage her to find her writing platform. Please join me presenting EVERY DAY IS A GIFT. It is a gift within itself. #blog#amwriting#nature#faith#inspiration#positivity