DANCE OF THE GOLDEN LEAF III

PHOTO COURTESY OF GORDON AND MARTHA CLYATT

This morning, I woke up and this post was on my mind. Fall is a great time and although we are practicing Social Distancing, we can gather in our minds and allow the thought of falling leaves and the beauty of the wondrous fall season to take us to the crispy air, the vivid warm colors for a relaxing trip of the mind. I am reposting as you can see from my poetry inspirational pieces contained in this post. I hope you enjoy it.

When Leaves Fall


I walked out on our deck to see

If we had any falling leaf activity.

A few had scattered on the deck.

I felt fall is here; the world’s a wreck.


Isn’t this the time we usually slow down?

Don’t we take trips and walk around town?

What is so different and what is wrong?

I want to hear the wind’s falling leaf song.


The wind and some rain gently will say.

Time to get all this drama out of your way.

God made this time to slow us down to see.

Why he paints the leaves and bears the tree.


Don’t walk so fast and why your sudden haste?

Stop and look so My Beauty isn’t a total waste.

Each leaf has a story as so does all of you.

Listen and hear the tale of earth’s classic view.


God made the leaves, the trees, and birds too.

A plan to give you a place for peace to ensue.

Keep your heart pure and your thoughts clean.

Nothing on this earth to ever come between.


Me with my coffee with a golden red leaf in hand.

You are right God, the beautiful canvas is the land.

I need this time with My Savior with no distraction.

Give me peace, silence, love, and soul satisfaction.

Written by Arline Miller for Welcome to Fall 2020

DANCE OF THE GOLDEN LEAF II has been posted to remind us of the beauty at this time of the year and even in the midst of so much rhetoric from all political sides, we should stop all the chatter, walk outside and look around this beautiful world we have been blessed to live in. This post is meant to calm and soothe all of the ruffled feathers and instead focus on the rustling leaves. I am fortunate to have wonderful friends and am please to include a slide show from their mountain vacation this year so it proves God doesn’t take a vacation and is creating new joys for us to enjoy.    

DANCE OF THE GOLDEN LEAF

The blue sky as its brilliant backdrop
The patchwork of fall colors as its floor
One ballerina maple leaf costumed in gold
Began its beautiful dance of descent.
Mesmerizing twists of lifts without stops
Leaps and swirls with imaginary arms
Reaching to the heavenly skies
Pointing to earth once more
Quite torn between its choice
Freedom from holding onto the branch
Should she soar through the skies
Or cling to the earth’s solid ground
This choice the ballerina will make
but for a little longer
The leaf will continue to dance.
Written by Arline L Miller, Author  

  My husband and I were blessed to spend 5 days in the NC mountains with family and friends at Gordon and Martha’s cabin. Since we are all workaholics, this seemed to halt the train of business thoughts and put in the most relaxed moods. I was inspired by nature’s compelling entrancement and realized there are times to shut the hectic, busy life down and chill. Sitting out on the 2nd level porch with the mountains in view and having some great conversations with Martha and Sandra, I began to watch a gold maple leaf dancing in the fall sky. I watched as it performed a melodic dance and it inspired the poem I wrote upon waking up. I shared it with the ladies later in that day and was reminded of the gift God has blessed me with. I imagine you think I meant the gift of writing. I thank God daily for that. What I was reminded is how blessed we are to share thoughts, writing, beliefs, creativity, recipes, singing (listening to good singing for me as I can’t hit any note correctly). Writing is my gift but God has surrounded me with great people who have been so richly blessed and they like to share their gifts and talents with me. How great a gift that is! Gordon drove us through those mountains like a pro guide with such ease and composure while I was reminded of my fear of open heights. Those narrow roads with traffic both ways would have been a challenge I wouldn’t have attempted. Greg would have taken it in stride too. I was reminded how blessed we are to have them in our lives for those times we feel uncomfortable because they took us to the height of God’s beauty for us to enjoy without fear. Now for the deeper thought……When we appreciate the gifts we have been given, both direct gifts and gifts inherited from others, life is at its fullest. I am humbled when I learn from those who can accomplish something I am not comfortable or don’t know how to do. To each of us, God decided what one can do and if they are humbled by God’s blessing on them to teach others, we can be further blessed by sharing these gifts. I thank God he has surrounded me with talented and learned people who are willing to share. Please God, allow me to do the same for someone every day you bless me to live.    

1 Peter 4:10-11ESV    As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced to original location for credit.

Would You Compete If You Knew You Would Lose?

As I thought about times when there is a winner and loser such as sports and politics, I wondered if the losers would have competed if they knew the outcome. I wrote a Facebook post that I am sharing with my blog readers.

Morning Thought: If you could know the outcome of every situation, would you make the same decisions? Would you go forward knowing you would fail? Would you compete if you knew you would lose? Of course, if you knew you would win and succeed, you would go at a high pace. What we do know and it’s how life works, is the challenges in place which make us stronger if we learn from both the successes and failures. They both will happen to those who try. The only loss that is life defying is when someone sits on the sidelines without even trying. When they claim defeat without competing. In my lifetime, I have experienced both and learned from both. Successes have taught me I can win, not always, but the averages are in my favor. Losses have taught me to keep trying, maybe not the same thing in which I failed, but expansion of my talents in other directions. Failure is a temporary state if you get back up, dust yourself off, and get after life. Flaws sometime make us stronger because when they are overcome, they become a strength. God made us with flaws and strengths to balance us as humans. God could have made us perfect, but we can obtain a high degree of overcoming imperfection with God’s help. I look at life as a recipe where we have all of the ingredients, we mix them up, we stir and add other ingredients, we taste, and it is apparent, we are missing something. We pick up a spice or two, we taste again, and then we realize we need a little sugar to even out and make the other ingredients marry in a good way and it is delicious. God is the missing ingredient and once He is added, God will blend everything in our recipe of life. Don’t forget to add God to your life. You will be pleased how sweet life can be and your family and friends will enjoy your cooking.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.moravian.org%2F2018%2F08%2Fi-am-the-bread-of-life%2F&psig=AOvVaw2OOfunYjgVgIW-YwFISOtc&ust=1631790759955000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAwQjhxqFwoTCLD457bsgPMCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ

John 6:35 ESV Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.John 6:51 ESV I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”Matthew 4:4 ESV But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Quoteszilla.com (courtesy of Pinterest)

In life it is wise to consider:

  • Be prepared for the unexpected, win or lose, prepare to compete.
  • Competition is more about competing with yourself to do better than before.
  • Learn from the failures, if you experience it and apply those lessons in the future.
  • Be humble in both wins and losses, character strength is the best asset you possess.
  • Practice, practice, practice in all phases in life. Do good, do great, and do your best.
  • Be realistic in goals. Maybe a 5 foot person could achieve good things in basketball, but the odds are definitely not in your favor. Start with the best odds by analyzing your best qualities. If you run fast, maybe track or cross country is a possibility. If you have a good aim and eyesight, target or bow sports may be an option. Think about your assets and tweak your flaws to obtain the best possible odds of success but be realistic by not setting yourself up for failure.
Courtesy of Quotemaster

(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/author if known.

EVERY LITTLE STEP I TAKE

This morning I posted a short post but one I gave a lot of thought. Some days we seem to go like we are working a crossword puzzle, going up and down and across but here and there without a lot of thought on the best direction to go. I thought I would share my morning post before I get myself in high gear as I have a busy week. How are you feeling this morning? Do you have plans? Have you given any thought to how your actions/words will be received?

A Fall Welcoming Planter of Mums sits at our front entrance.

Let’s take a walk in our minds and think about the steps we possibly will take and the effects they can have on our lives and others:

  • Will we walk in a positive direction and effort or will we wander aimlessly from day to day?
  • Do we walk in circles? I use this as an analogy of how we revisit old arguments, victim stories, old dissolved relationships, oh woe is me tales, etc.
  • Do we see our path clearly or do we map it out before we start out on our journey? I know that sometimes, good things come from spontaneity, but good planning is a more probable success. Give your life some thought.
  • What do you do when the road splits and you are unsure of the right direction to go? Stopping and taking a breather before making your decision. Weighing out the options/consequences is wise.
  • There are no guarantees in whichever path you choose, so keep alternate routes in mind. I refer to our careers and hobbies but also relationships, not that I advocate leaving a relationship, but there are such things as treacherous paths and relationships that for a person’s mental and physical well being, they have to be avoided or dissolved.

Life contains a multitude of directions, but while choosing our life’s direction, we benefit from having sources of positive assertion and implementation. Our parents, siblings, and friends can be a good source. Our faith based associations are critical assets and can guide us in the ways of Our Maker. Mentors, books, seminars, and other inspiration sources can move us, allow us to stretch our legs and wings. I know for me, my number one source is listening to God’s still voice in my heart. Now, let’s get moving and make each step count. Life is waiting, so what are you waiting for?

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, for credit references.

Gifting of Ourselves Is The Best Gift

So many times in our lives, we fail to acknowledge the gifts we have been bestowed in life. We see ourselves smaller than we are and even though humbleness is a beautiful asset to have, we may be missing the point. If God has bestowed a gift in our life as the ability to write, sing, paint, build, organize, etc., are we not cheating God out of a praise moment. Below I have added my FB post this morning. We will dive deeper after you’ve had a chance to read it.

I used one of my husband’s photos to show how we can possess a talent and not recognize it until later in life. Thanks Greg Miller for having the “eye”.

As a young person, and maybe my gift was having “guts” to try new things without worrying about the consequence of failure. I am not saying this to boast as I am a normal person but God blessed me with a curiosity that allows me to question, seek, search, and try something new. Because of this curiosity, I expanded a small town girl’s life by doing a lot of interesting and learning new things. If I had to sum my inner self up, I would say gutsy. If I didn’t know how to do something and the opportunity came along, I would step up and say I will try it. As I moved forward in life, it became easier to jump at an opportunity. I will list a Live by Arline’s Do’s and Dont’s so you can get an idea of how I think. Am I saying you should do what I did? Not hardly, as I am not famous or wealthy, so my ideas are not to Get Rich or Famous but I have lived an interesting life and at age 72, I feel strong and smile a lot, know that I have a close relationship with God and family and my friends are family to me too. What I do suggest is to try new things, not self sabotaging, but new. Step out of that comfort zone. Grab a paint brush, cook new dishes, change your hair style, do special things for people without expecting anything in return, write down your thoughts, volunteer and give your time for good causes, start a workout routine, congratulate others for a great accomplishment, and support those trying to do something great. You will be surprised at how little aches and pains diminish, smiles come more often, and tears come less frequently. You may really be surprised at a new talent being born. Be sure to encourage and support young people who are trying to fit in and give them the benefit of your attempts at things, both successful and not so successful tries, as they need to see you as being “REAL”. Here is my track record:

Arline Miller, author and blogger, cook and baker, wife, mother, and Nana loving life
  • I aimed high as a student and as a matter of fact probably overstudied but I found time to work and made honor graduate.
  • I had a curiosity to read, watch, learn, and loved to watch people’s actions and mannerisms. Later, when I decided to write a book this experience gave my characters a realistic persona.
  • I developed strong work ethics of organization, creativity, attitude, and a desire to figure out how to do each job easier, smarter, and more efficiently. Later, as I became a business professional, I was and still am a problem solver.
  • I was a sponge in everything. I love to cook and bake and I can assure you I soak up ideas from professionals but I am not shy about doing it Arline’s way. I add and subtract from a recipe and now I develop my own. Do I ever fail? Why yes, but not as often as before and getting better as I grow.
  • I understand the philosophy of never being a “I know it all. I know better than others. I am the best.” Instead, I practice “I can learn anything. Others can teach me new ways. I am striving to be the best I can be while gaining from others.”

Life is definitely for the living and as I say, Don’t let everyday living get in the way of living life to the fullest. Give of yourself and you will get back. Don’t be shy, as the world will give you the tools to expand on the Gifts from God. You have some waiting to come from within and see what life has in store for you. Encourage don’t Discourage anyone or even yourself from giving it a shot!!

(C)Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material will be sourced if known for credit references.

GET UP OFF YOUR BACKSIDE

As I get older and not so sure about the wiser, I have been returning to my childhood days and finding out that we may have the clue to life. For all of you who are younger, much younger, this message may question all the healthy plans you have but even if it doesn’t change your mind, it may encourage you to lift you eyes, head, and even your body away from your almost permanent fixture called Iphone. Bear with this ole gal as I give you a glimpse of life before all this technology.

First, let me give you a clue. In the 40’s, 50’s, and even 60’s there were hardly any obese children. Some adults were overweight, but not a large majority. It wasn’t that we didn’t eat carbs and sugars, we ate plenty of the fats too. It was activity both in work and relaxation. I smiled thinking of how many calories we burned while playing ball, swimming, running and chasing, climbing, and any other activity we could find. We walked, we ran, and we used every limb of our body as well as every limb in every tree we could climb. We MOVED!

Work was physical. I can remember working at Sears while still in school and my job was filling bags of returned merchandise which weighed at least 40+ pounds and throwing those bags on a pile which by the end of the day got very high. I thought nothing of it. I was strong and I got paid to do it. Nuff said. When I got off work, I studied. I didn’t play video games and I also did my chores around the home.

Don’t get me wrong, I got tired. What is wrong with getting tired? I am not writing this complaining about my younger life, I am proud of what I could do physically. Today, it seems as if people have to go to a gym to get a work out, and they boast about what they can lift or how many miles they can do on a machine. What happened to morning runs in the fresh air? What happened to doing yard work? What happened to growing a garden to provide those healthy foods? Man, we are ordering our food online and getting it delivered so no exercise going up and down the aisles. Are you beginning to see the picture of why we are in the fix as a human race?

I don’t have factual proof but I am sure that the experts have looked at this so why would the majority of people think we have to change our entire eating habits? Leafy greens, yes but we ate mustard, turnip, and collard greens on a regular basis. No bread? What, we had bread at every meal but our bread was not filled with preservatives since we ate it before it could go bad. Sweets, by all means but they were a treat and not a staple. We would look forward to a home made treat, a pound cake, save our leftover biscuits for a biscuit pudding, or oatmeal cookies. But we MOVED. We washed our dishes and dried them before putting them away. We didn’t plop down on the sofa as we had our baths to take, clothes to be ironed after washing them and Wait for it, hang them on the line to dry. There hasn’t been a laundry additive invented that will rival the fresh air line dried clothes. I remember sticking my nose and smelling them as I put them in the basket after taking the clothes pins out.

photo courtesy of Pinterest

Here are my recommendations to healthy life changes:

Activity is important so clean up your home by cleaning out closets, utility rooms and houses, rearranging furniture, and even remodels if possible. Vacuum cleaners give a natural workout as I have never seen it work without some pushing activity. Window cleaning, floor sweeping, and a multitude of gym activities can be replicated without ever leaving home and a lot of pride when it is spic and span.


3-Mind-Boosting-Games-for-Kids-to-Improve-Concentration (photo courtesy of)

Cooking food for your family. You can choose the type and what goes in each dish and the fresher the better. I chose several years ago to cut portions and not food groups. I eat from every food group but I don’t eat a lot from any of those groups. You would be surprised by learning control without elimination of the foods I like. Example: We were looking forward to eating from Olive Garden for a night away from cooking. I skipped appetizer and yes, even salad and chose Cheese Ravioli. Greg had gotten mozzarella sticks (Oh no, not fried mozzarella sticks you are thinking). I pulled out two sticks and here’s the amount I ate with those two sticks, I ate 2 cheese raviolis and was totally full. I didn’t eat bread. I felt satisfied. I don’t know if this works for anyone else and am not advocating this is the only way to eat. All I know is I have slowly taken off 41 pounds and feel like I don’t live to eat but eat to live and it feels good.

Photo courtesy of House Beatiful

Development of a MOVE attitude. Get off Social Media, do some stretches, clean and organize, take a look at your clothes and develop “I will get back into those smaller sizes”, and realize who actually controls your mind, body, and life style. There’s nothing wrong with going to the gym, I am definitely not saying that but you may find you get a better workout if you get up off your backside, quit feeling sorry for yourself and do what you can to get moving, even if it is a small task, DO IT. You don’t have to run marathons but even getting in gear and walk some.

For those of you who say, I don’t know what I am talking about, maybe you are right but at 72, I still cook and clean (I have help every two weeks just to be transparent) but younger I did all of it myself while working full time (and for me full time was about 60 hours), and work full time and oversee a million dollar web system. I do my hair even cutting and styling. I do laundry and happily say my husband will do a load in a heart beat. I have written three novels and many inspirational quotes so I recommend exercising our minds as well. I don’t say this boastingly as I have battled Diabetes for almost 1o years and have it almost normal levels. I meant I wasn’t going to let it win. Am I skinny? I am laughing as I am typing. I am not in bad shape either. Do I get inspired? Yes, when I see 89 or 90 year olds still giving it their all, I want to do more.

Arline Miller who believes in Moving, Grooving, and Living Life to the Fullest.

I hope you give this message a few minutes thought. I hope you look at how you live your life in a new light. It is all decided in your mind and your body will follow. Enjoy life by saying to yourself, It is my life and I will take care of myself by controlling how I live it. Have fun!

(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 if known for credit reference.

Perils of Being a Great Cook II

As a Southern Cook that has loved to cook for most of my life, I find myself still watching cooking shows, researching recipes, learning to expand my seasonings and herbs from my daughter. I wait for praises from the grandchildren when I make their favorites or invent new ones. My daughter and I even cook together over the phone, sending pics as we progress, changing and enhancing ingredients and of course, the finished plating photos. We laugh and say, take the picture and say grace before eating it. i pulled up this blog post from several years ago, but it rang truth and a few giggles when I read it again.

PERILS OF BEING A GREAT COOK is a comical look at being a Southern Cook. This morning my husband and I were having a chuckle over our weigh in. Now, it is not literally funny as we both would prefer losing some weight and the topic went to how he explains to people why he is heavier now than when they all went to school……”My wife is such a great cook and I don’t want to disappoint her.” It brings us to our blog topic.

Let’s look at the benefits of Southern Cooking or in reality any regional cooking style that puts the fluff on our bods!

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This is not a holiday meal but a good Sunday Southern meal.



WAYS TO LAUGH ABOUT A SOUTHERN COOK REASON TO COOK:

1- We cook a lot of food as if we are cooking our last meal or in case the power goes out. We fuss about all of the food in the refrigerator but that is really bragging on our part.

2- If our food receives compliments, and we have leftovers; we can hear the same compliments again. In reality everyone is thinking, “Are we eating the same thing over and over?”

3- We believed the saying “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” as gospel. We tell our husbands that if something happens to us, they better not be trying to find a pretty wife but one who can cook like us.

4- We want to win the competition when men gather and start talking about which one has the best cook and they try to name more good dishes we cook. We don’t want to hear about how many fish they caught but how much they bragged on our cooking.

5- We want to hear the “I ate too much” groan as they slide on the recliner with the follow up line “I need a nap to wear this off.” We worry more if they don’t eat than them gaining weight.

6- And this is probably the secret reason, we want to hear “I am not going to tell Momma, but you made this better than her.” This is a rare statement but if we ever hear that it is better than winning the Betty Crocker Award. The worst critique after they have emptied all of the bowls is to hear “Momma always made us this _________ and she could make it better than anyone. A cold shower doesn’t work as good as this line for killing romance.

7- We begin posting every meal we cook to see how many likes and shares as well as requests for the recipes. We reply that it is a family recipe, right? That means right after we copied it off Pinterest or the Food Network.

8- We will cook an occasional healthy meal just in case someone criticizes our unhealthy fattening cooking style. It is more for show and once we receive the kudos for watching our family’s eating habits, we make a pan of homemade cathead biscuits, grab the butter and syrup and redeem ourselves. Not to forget the pies and cakes we make to show our true love.

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All of this is in jest but there is some truth in how we, as Southern cooks, love cooking. It is rare for a Southern gal to not know how to cook like most of us do. When we good cooks hear that someone hates cooking or is a rare bad cook, we have to stop ourselves from saying “what’s wrong with that gal?”

All of us have our hobbies and talents but most southern ladies will proudly tell you “Cooking and Baking” if you ask what they love to do.

I didn’t learn how to bake these from a cookbook.

LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY COOKING TIL THE LAST OF THE GOODIES ARE GONE.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known to the original location for credit reference.

If You Had a Lot of Money

This morning, as a lot of mornings in the past, I felt a poem inspiration coming my way. This is just a thought for those of us who believe in God. It is meant to share my belief to others but as Jesus declared that we are to come unto Him. Have a day of reflection and if you have the joy in your life and especially your soul, you will understand my poem.

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I hear so many people talk about what they would share

If they came into a large amount of money in life.

It is easy to speculate what big amount would be fair.

Take away their worry, the drama, hurt, and the strife.

I thought to myself why wait and it seemed I should dare.

For all of us who believe, the gift we need to lovingly give.

We possess the best spiritual treasure which is so richly rare.

It is free to all those souls who receive it and how they live.

I am not talking about riches and earthly treasures my friend.

I am referring to our salvation’s testimony and God’s Love.

It isn’t stored in any bank here on earth but when life will end.

The glory is in Heaven with our loved ones and God above.

Share what God has done for you and I will do the same.

What God promises each of us in holy eternity’s reign.

It is more than money, property, and any earthly fame.

God’s Love is an eternal gift as high as we can ever attain.

Written by Arline Miller with God’s Gift of Love to All

August 18, 2021

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(C) Copyright 2012- 2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to the original location and author if known.

Lessons from a Doggie’s Point of View

I had so many warm and receptive responses from Whisker’s post a few days ago, I thought I had one more to share that I would love to have a picture from that day, but I think if you use your imagination, you will get a visual impression when Whiskers went rogue and joined the ranks of the Oompa Loompa from the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

This was the last pictures of Whiskers along with Bandit, our rescued Yorkie. Even though Whiskers was sick, he would not give up and went along with the Christmas festivities.

Whiskers had a lot of terrier in his mixture of a schnauzer and if you know terriers, they are inherently diggers. It’s in their blood and Whiskers lived true to his heritage. Before we rescued him, he was infamous for digging out of his yard and visiting his neighbor’s Rottweiler who was huge, but that didn’t stop Whiskers. I am sure it was frustrating to his owners to have to fill in the holes only to have him dig new ones.

I think, looking back on our life with that rowdy fella, he would have made a trucker an ideal copilot as he would have jumped into any truck or car and rode. Greg and I joke about he is trying to get my Mom to take him for a ride in Heaven and if that were possible, he would tell her to speed up so his fur would blow for his “weasel” look. Or he would round up Greg’s Mom who drove like a speed demon as she definitely would get the fur blowing.

Several times in Augusta, we didn’t have a fenced in yard, we would be allowing Whiskers out to do his business in the back yard which looked like it was in the mountains with a stream flowing, Whiskers would be strolling around and it was like something came over him and off he would run. Of course, we would get all panicky and try to call him back while he so candidly looked back and seemed to laugh that he was free and off he would go. I won’t go into the many rides and tears of worry I went through only to find he had found a big girl doggie somewhere and was visiting her. One was a big Lab and one was even a chow that was chained which normally makes them unfriendly, but there was Whiskers acting the cool hand Luke and looking at us like “What?”

No matter what was going on, Whiskers had to be in the middle of the action.

When we moved to Kathleen, of course Whiskers loved the adventure of riding with Mommy and seeing places he hadn’t seen and then came that big wooden fenced in yard at our new home. All the years, we lived there, and each time he went out the doggie door, he patrolled “his” yard. Squirrels had to jump and run away from him as he was the Security Guard. We thought how nice we don’t have to worry about Whiskers running off. Right, you think? Wrong!!

On one side of the back yard, the fence had a slight opening along the bottom to keep the gate from dragging. I know that rascal probably saw that light in that opening while we were at the office working and thought why not? As it is common in Georgia where we live, we have a lot of red Georgia clay so you may begin to paint a picture. I am not sure how long he had to apply his claws to that mission, but apparently he broke through and dug out. We have no clue on where he went and how long he wandered.

At some point, and this is where the lesson came in, Whiskers had a life moment. Even as much as he loved wandering and exploring, he realized he had found humans who loved him, accepted him with his seizure condition, his scruffiness, his security, and care. We loved him when he was unwanted and we gave him a home, this home he had worked to escape to see what else was to see. When we came home, sitting at the garage door, with his famous thrown out back leg was Whiskers, totally orange from the clay covering, but wanting to go inside and never to dig out again. Whiskers had learned the lesson like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.”

Whiskers was one of a kind and unforgettable. We love you!

A little side note: Greg did pour concrete in the ground at the gate and that might have been more of a solution but we like to think he learned how good he had it and chose to stay home.

Home is a valuable refuge from all of the worldly noise. We have a link to our childhood home or homes even as we move away and go in different directions. Take time to make memories to share with your children and grandchildren. I try to sit with our grandchildren and share my childhood memories and their eyes show interest and yes, they ask questions and that warms my heart. Don’t let those memories get lost. Savor those Whiskers moments by sharing them.

(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/author, if known, for credit reference.

Taking a Break can Break the Monotony of Life

May I say a direct hello to all of the readers of my blog. I decided a little over a week from my daily Facebook posts of many of my meals/recipes, my inspirational posts, posting every inch of blooms and growth in our flower gardens, and the many Happy Birthday, Anniversary, Congrats, etc. I have to say I miss seeing everyones’ Hoopla moments. On the whole, I thought of how many posts I create and how I love to watch the comments, likes, loves, and laugh emojis. One thing I noticed is how much more time I have to focus on some life thoughts and emotions. At the same time of this break from social media, I backed away from watching news. How refreshing this has been and I thought I would share how a break can actually break the monotony of life.

Social Media Icons

Social Media has become our social activity. To prove my point, how long has it been since any of us took the time, without having a celebration, death, tragedy, or other catastrophic event, visiting our friends and/or family and just kick back without an agenda other than companionship. Am I right?

Photo courtesy of Your Tango

I want to go back and this is a long time ago that I would get up very early and do my chores on a Saturday morning so that when my Daddy would decide to ride out to visit old friends in the country. Some were related; some were not. Most of them had fishing ponds and gardens. They were always willing to let us wet a hook and pick some vegetables. Along with these goodie gathering activities, there were lots of conversation and oh yes, the good ole day stories. Even picking peas or butterbeans and scratchy okra, there were peaks of roaring laughter. I learned a lot of their history, the hard times, the fun times, the courting stories, but through out their renditions of those stories, I heard love and survivorship. I heard how neighbors and families helped each other. When a family member passed away, how everyone pitched in to harvest crops and help each other. I learned how neighbors rebuilt barns when it burned down. I learned how bounty of gardens were shared when insects destroyed a friend or family member’s garden. I received the best lesson of how people should care about each other. I now realize I was taking a break and enjoying the lessons I learned.

Photo courtesy of Focused Collection

Let us learn how to take a break:

  • A break can be temporary without setting a time frame or setting a period to not engage in any chosen activity. A break can be simple as I won’t eat bread for a week, month, or I am giving up bread.
  • Choose what you wish to accomplish during the break. It can be giving up an activity or avoiding it for a time period. Is the goal of the break to free up time? If so, what is the desired result. Is it to relax, or speed up productivity in another activity? In other words, are you replacing one activity with another or are you looking for more free time to avoid activity?
  • Commit to the break or at least the time frame if one is selected. It is easier if a time frame is selected as we are creatures of habit but if we have agreed to a certain amount of commitment, we have a better chance to succeed.
  • Decide the outcome you desire from this break. Are you taking the break to engage in a different direction and/or activity? If so, it is advantageous to prepare for that activity with new goals.
  • Once the break is scheduled, Go For Your Break time! Kick back or get it in gear!

I want to summarize my thoughts about the pitfalls a break can produce. With social media, we have become “pawns” waiting for the players of life’s chess game to move in certain directions. We applaud, we pray, we comfort, we explain, or we just watch and allow others to make the strategic moves. A good bit of advice I can offer is STOP being a watcher and LIVE your life. Take your breaks, get moving, do something, and accomplish what you want to achieve. It is not to be determined by anyone else but BREAK away from living your lives through others. I agree encouragement can be helpful and is appreciated, but that first step has to be YOURS. Live life; Love Life; Live and Love Life to the Fullest by actually Living!

(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/author if known, for credit references.

The Lessons We Can Learn From Our Pets

This post may not be interesting to the people who don’t own pets and even don’t like pets, but for the many of us who have pets who we consider family members, will get this and probably will want to comment. All of us who love our fur babies love to mention our babies and feel welcome to post pictures and stories.

Whiskers, our wonder rescue dog, who would tolerate being dressed in costume.

My husband and I have been blessed to have some “humanistic” rescued doggies since we have been together. Our first rescue was Whiskers, a schnauerrier (mix of schnauzer and terrier) and his name was perfect. We didn’t name him as we knew where he came from and he had his name. Here is Whisker’s story:

I was in insurance at the time and called on businesses for supplemental health insurance. My husband, Greg, knew of a auto repair shop, and actually set up the appointment with the owner. I drove over to the shop and the waiting room was full of customers and so I sat down to wait for the owner to discuss him offering his employees some coverage. While I sat there, I happened to notice a rough cardboard sign which read “Free puppy to a good home.” On the floor, there were two bowls, water and dry food. My curiosity was raised so I asked what the sign was about. I learned about Whiskers, who was owned by the shop owner’s neighbor. Whiskers was intrigued by his big Rottweiler, Zeus, and would dig out from his yard and visit Zeus. One day, they noticed a big moving truck in front of Whisker’s home early as he left for work and was shocked that afternoon they had completely moved out but left Whiskers in the yard with a handmade note saying “Please find Whiskers a good home.”

When I heard his story, my heart went out to Whiskers as I could only imagine him wondering where his little girl had gone as they usually played outside. I am not going to express the anger I felt from his abandonment. The guy who owned the business I was calling on brought Whiskers over to his house which seemed fine with Whiskers but Zeus, while accepting Whiskers as a visitor, was jealous of Whiskers as a potential resident. Here is where I felt a confused and almost angry response. Thinking Zeus might harm Whiskers, he decided to take Whiskers away and drove him 9 miles and put him out on the side of the road. Oh, I had to fight the inclination to be verbally loud at that moment of the story. What was incredible was Whiskers walked back the entire 9 miles to the only place he knew, he came back. This created the owner to take him to the shop and see if he could find Whiskers a good home. Now, here I enter the story. Greg and I had discussed having a dog as we are both dog lovers. What I want to interject at this time, I had not seen Whiskers and Greg was working.

As I listened to the story, my heart tugged. He, after telling me of the history, asked me would I like to see him? At the very second he asked me, he opened the door next to me and out came Whiskers. He was wagging his tail, looking around with excitement at him being let out to investigate all of us waiting. He went around the room, stopping with old people, young people, every race, every size, with the same amount of enthusiasm and friendliness. He didn’t judge or make a sound, but worked the room until he came to me. Our eyes met and he just knew. He sat down in front of me and waited. When I reached my hand down to his head, he let out a squeal, not a bark. Again, he knew he had a new owner, a new family, and he never looked back. We went out to my car after I had called Greg who didn’t have a clue what he looked like or anything else but immediately said, “Yes, bring him home.”

I am going to stop the story as we were so blessed and I have millions of stories of how smart he was and how much he meant to us. We both sigh at the memory of Whiskers who had seizures which was probably the reason he was abandoned, but not for long, as we had the blessing of the cute dog that chose us for a good life. The lesson from Whiskers is to never give up as happiness is a wag away if you keep finding your happiness.

Photo courtesy of Good Housekeeping.
  • Dogs accept their owners without any judgment of looks, wealth, personalities. If you are having a bad hair day, they are fine with it.
  • Dogs forgive easily. It may be that their memory span is shorter than humans. Maybe humans need to forget and forgive.
  • Dogs don’t need a lot of toys or entertainment sources to keep them happy and if you look around, dogs that are owned by poor families are usually as content as dogs who live in luxury.
  • Dogs will protect their families if threatened, to the death if necessary without thinking whether that is a good idea. It is a natural instinct.
  • A dog loves unconditionally and fully. A picture that breaks my heart is to see a dog that has been abandoned, with or without food or water, wait patiently or try to run after their owner’s vehicle. It doesn’t seem feasible in their mind they won’t come back for them.

I thought our love of animals who capture our hearts would be a good focus instead of all the serious and tragic events going on in our world. I will post some of the stories that make our memory bank full of the laughter filled moments and the emotional tugs. Whiskers lived 9 1/2 years which is great for a dog who had seizures since before we got him but if he could have talked, he would tell you he had a happy life full of adventure with us.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, if source is known, is referenced to original author/location for credit reference.