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THE FALLEN SOLDIER, I WILL REMEMBER YOU

My Husband, Greg Miller proudly participates in his local American Legion to honor the fallen on Memorial Day. Ike Branch, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene lended his support.

TODAY THE WORDS are I SHALL REMEMBER YOU. This holiday especially, even though some of us still work on this day while others get to relax and enjoy celebration, is one for all of us, no matter where or what we do on this day, to take more than a few seconds and whisper to all fallen soldiers worldwide, not just America “I shall remember you”.

Photo courtesy of Google. Sacrifices have been made by so many.


I would like to step outside the USA boundaries and give us something to ponder on this Memorial Day. A soldier is a soldier! A soldier is also a son or daughter of parents and when they came into this world, the entire world lit up in the same parents eyes.

God sees beyond nationality, ethnicity, social circles, wealth or poverty, and God tells us to love all people. With this in mind, God doesn’t agree with mistreating others and does not agree with evil in any form, shape, or religion. This may cause confusion to many. When a soldier gets an order it is an order and he will fight, he will save lives, he will rescue and/or destroy. He is not carrying out his personal feelings sometimes but is being a true soldier. So many times, in the heat of the battle, opposing soldiers have found themselves in a predicament and did a valorous deed and actually assisted his “enemy”. What is hard for all of us to understand is that war is the enemy, not the actual soldier. What is harder to understand; the soldier has to and will respond to enemy fire or combat without seeing the soldier as a human being. War, in any form, is a tragedy for so many and cannot be taken lightly. If, we as God’s people, can figure out a way to avoid war and share love for all mankind; we can say, “I shall remember” and remember how we were able to lie down like that lamb and the lion together (technically not the way it is actually stated as you will see below) in God’s love.

Happy Memorial Day to all members of the military, family and friends of those who have sacrificed and paid the highest price so that we can look around today and enjoy God’s beauty and freedom to breathe a sigh of relief and peace.

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Isaiah 11:6 King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

(C) copyright 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material including photos are sourced to original location if known for credit references.

STAGING A HOME REVISITED

Note from Arline Miller on why I am reposting this blog message now: This is a time when home prices are soaring but for how long. If you are looking to sell your home, you may want to read how important staging a home can affect the price you are offered. Lately, my husband wanted to get a better view from his desk in his office/retreat so I took a look and it was amazing with a few small changes/rearrangement of furniture, his office looks at least twice as big.

This a post I wrote before we moved to Tifton, but yesterday I was reminded how staging a home especially before posting or listing is so important, I decided to repost this helpful blog. It is important in every day living, less is more.

STAGING A HOME IS LIKE STAGING LIFE. My husband and I are in the process of transitioning to his hometown and for any of you that follow the blog realize that is where our hearts are….Grandchildren and of course two of our children. It is even a great idea for my daughter who lives in California as her Dad’s home and ours will be closer for her to go in between. In preparation, I always stage our home prior to showing it and I feel that this process with my tips I have learned may be helpful to others. Of course, I will tie this experience to a life lesson at the end so watch for it.

Arline’s tips for staging a home:

  1. Get rid of clutter. Too much of a good thing is too much. A possible buyer is not interested in your belongings, groceries, trash, etc. Eliminate the extras by packing, throwing away the trash, has beens, junk, etc.
  2. Do not display personal photos if possible. The future homeowner wants and needs to envision themselves in their “new home” and not be reminded this is “your domain”.
  3. Extra furniture, even though it may be an essential piece in your home may prevent the buyer from seeing how spacious your rooms are and how easy they can fit their furniture in. This is a time that less is more.
  4. Clean, clean, clean! There is nothing more distracting or unattractive for the prospective buyer than to see anything but sparkle. Dust, scrub, touch up places, and replace those items that are old and need removal.
  5. Smell your home before people arrive at showings. I bake cookies and offer them to visitors. I keep baking sheets I have prepared so it is fresh home baked aroma throughout the showing. It reminds them of the fun they will have in the kitchen. Do not use heavy disinfecting spray right before the showing. It will give the impression of trying to mask odors.
  6. Pay attention to drawers, cabinets, shelving so that all is neat and organized. I recently viewed a home and was really impressed the towels in the linen closet were neatly rolled. I opened the matching linen closet and it was a totally different look and was disarranged. People notice those little things so don’t overlook them.
  7. Taking photos of the home staged is vital. Do not wait until the last minute and take photos from different views. A person decides from the web site whether this is a good fit for them. I am going to show some photos from different realty websites without disclosing where these homes are listed for a Do and Don’t Do Comparison. I will use the ones I have staged in our home and possibly you will see what I am referring to in what to do and what not to do.
  8. Make sure windows and blinds are sparkling clean.  A good view to beautiful scenery and/or a great front or back lawn makes the buyer feel at home. Nothing is as distracting as film on windows or dust on window blinds/sills.
  9. Kitchen sink under-cabinet staging. Display organic, non-chemical cleaners and no roach or rat preventive items. Keep items to a minimum and have clean sponges, brushes, pads, etc. As a home owner, it is easier to show the home without having to have discussions about pest control. Tip: Maintain your home at all times to be pest free so this is not even a concern.
  10. Pet Staging. Many of us love pets, dogs or cats and even some other varieties of animals. Carpets should be cleaned often if pets are present and vacuumed frequently. Bathe your pets regularly and use the natural fragrances to keep them smelling good. Litter boxes have to be religiously emptied and cleaned and open windows frequently to allow fresh air in your home. Any pet that is not house broken should be crated until you can trust them to be out. Carpets and area rugs should be cleaned and deodorized to prevent the paw tracking from pets going in and out.
  11. Window blinds/curtains should be opened for better lighting if possible. Some of my friends prefer a darker ambiance but most people love to see lighter rooms. If a window cannot be visible, make sure lights are on. Dark corners do not reflect bright, cheery atmosphere so keep it in mind even if you are Dracula’s descendants and love the dark.
  12. Staging is important but your attitude is what counts as well. If you have an agent representing and showing your home, please do an attitude check on how they feel about your home.

Helpful tip from me on Staging A Home Photos: Before you list or post photos, do yourself a money making favor. Even if you put the items back on the counters, sinks, furniture, or even clutter on floors. Before you take the photo remove all personal or even a mountain of figurines, dishes, vases, etc or children’s toys……A little less is always best and they can see your home above the rest! When I had Interiors by Arline, light touches were highlights and not distractions in trade shows. I see so many beautiful homes that if de-cluttered for the presentation it would mean a higher price! When we sold both of our homes, you better believe I staged the poster pictures. No one cares about your collections or personal shampoos, etc. but they want to see walls, counter space, and living spaces. Clean and neat can’t be beat! Just sayin’ to help!1 Co

I posted this tip with these Before and After photos to make a visual point of comparison.

Here are some photos I wanted to share for the DO’s and DONT’S for staging a home:

IMG_0361

DO: Minimal items on counters; clean and wiped cabinets, sinks, and appliances allow buyer to see backsplash and space in kitchen.

Don't kitchen

DON’T: The busyness of this kitchen takes away from the counter tops and size.

IMG_0349

DO: Simple accessorizing helps to accent a feature like the fireplace. Greenery can be used but dust free if used. I used this photo for a reason. I left the cabinet open to show the TV but this is an option and it looks nicer closed for showings. I am posting another Do for a Living Room and this one is from a realtor website. Good job.

Do Living Room

DO: See how minimal accessories allow you to see the walls, fireplace and just how much furniture is possible. Nothing personal.

IMG_0377
IMG_0376
IMG_0345

DO’s: These bedrooms are staged with clean appeal, accessories, made up beds, and clean carpet.

don't bedroom

DON’Ts: Toys, boxes, “junk” have to go or be displayed in an attractive way on shelves.

In finalizing this thought of staging, I thought about less is more when preparing a house for someone else to like what they see enough to spend time and maybe make it a home place.  I thought about the same when we go to choose a mate for life. Look away from the material things and look at what I call the “bones” of a home. If we choose to spend our life with someone, it should be because it has an attractiveness, a cleanliness of body and spirit, room to grow both emotionally and wisely. In other words, maybe we look to see if our future mate has the ability to shine and sparkle without overdressing and speaking. Allow the person to win you over like a good, solid home does by being themselves and standing out from the crowd.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location when known for credit reference.

THE TIME IN BETWEEN. FROM THE CROSS TO THE RESURRECTION

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Easter hope
Scripture Excerpt from The Bible:

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

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

RED POLKA DOTS II

I usually don’t think about the posts that I have written years ago until something springs into focus but this morning, my post and memory from years ago came forth without provocation. I thought I would share this post but end with a reflection of a thought resulting from this memory.

This photo came from googling dotted swiss on Google.

Here is the original thought and post from 2014.

TODAY THE WORDS are RED POLKA DOTS. It seems I wake up one morning with serious topics on my mind and the next morning, I wake up with a humorous thought. So the story of Red Polka Dots is the theme for today. Several times during the course of writing this blog, I have shared the fact I didn’t come from wealth; as a matter of fact, we were not even among the “current” middle class. Our family did the best we could but we didn’t have extra money, so hand me down clothes were a good thing. Our aunts would give us clothes from their older children and then we would go through the process ourselves. My sister’s clothes were handed down to me and I always joke when someone kidded us about me being taller and having a larger frame than my sister. Look, I said we were close to being poor; I didn’t say I wasn’t smart. I just grew faster to avoid having to wear hand me downs. Back to the red polka dot story…..Mom saved some money and found some pretty polka dot material and made BOTH of us an Easter dress. Oh yes, I was walking in high cotton and probably strutted in MY new dress. Mine, it was mine and it was new and oh, how I loved my dress. It was white background with red polka dots and did I say it was mine? I wore it with pride and as often as I could. It wasn’t long before I grew out of it and then it happened……I had to wear the one Mom had made for my sister. What? Hand me down on the dress I loved so much, how could that be? It was not even funny to me at the time, but as the years go by, it has become hilarious. The difference is how I would handle the same situation today. I would continue to “strut” as no one would notice, if I had kept my mouth shut. It was me who let the cat out of the bag and I should have appreciated the fact I could keep wearing a pretty red polka dot dress. How we learn in life to make the most of an awkward situation! Life can be an emotional roller coaster or we can decide to enjoy the ride. We can laugh; we can overcome our fears; we can shout with joy; and we can cry from the sad times. What became important to me is that it isn’t what we are dealing with today; it is the privilege of living life to the fullest. God gives us polka dots to see the colors of the rainbows He makes.

2022 Note from Arline Miller, blogger: As time goes by and we get older, our priorities change and our positions of the focus of life are repositioned. We care about different things such as family, security, homes, communities, and such nuances as fashion diminish in ranking. I had an elderly man who I worked with make a statement when an acquaintance of mine visited to make an observation which I took offense when he said, “Those sensible shoes make her look older.” He was speaking from a man’s view of how women’s legs looked in high heels not from the comfort and safety of wearing practical shoes. Today, I laugh as I have many beautiful high heel shoes packed away for what reason I don’t have a clue since I am happy to be in the “sensible shoes” era. Dotted Swiss is pretty and it is a happy memory just like sensible shoes.

Those were the days (photo blurry but no sensible shoes in those days 70’s)

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

James 1:17 ESV 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

(c) copyright 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to original source/location, if known, for credit reference.

Mr. Easter Bunny, Are You Lost?

Mr. Easter Bunny, Are You Lost? Written by Arline Miller, blogger and author

Photo courtesy of: https://pixabay.com/images/search/easter%20bunny/

On a bright and sunny morning, on his way to gather some colored eggs to hide for the little children, Mr. Easter Bunny found himself on a road which he wasn’t familiar and he stopped to look around. He couldn’t tarry long as the children would be coming out with those pretty decorated baskets and they would be anxious to begin their hunt.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.allaboutbirds.org%2Fguide%2FAmerican_Robin%2Fid&psig=AOvVaw2vupx08EN5BM4lBBdZD1iv&ust=1649855204848000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAsQjhxqFwoTCNjD_dzLjvcCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ (photo courtesy of)

A robin was hopping on the ground looking for a good juicy worm and saw Mr. Bunny looking confused. Since he was a good bird, he hopped over to find out what Mr. Bunny was doing.

“Mr. Bunny, what are you doing? You look sad and lonely and if I might say, somewhat confused,” chirped Robin.

“For some reason, I seem like I have lost my way. I have made this journey for many years and I am wondering why I do this every year. I am a rabbit and I don’t lay eggs, but I have been given this responsibility and don’t want to disappoint the little girls and boys. I just wonder what the meaning is behind a rabbit hiding eggs to represent this holiday called Easter. Do you know why?” asked Mr. Easter Bunny.

“Mr. Easter Bunny, this is quite the dilemma and we need to find Hooty Owl as he knows everything. He will figure this mystery out. I think he is over there in that big ole tree. Let’s go see what he has to say.” With this announcement, Mr. Robin began hopping toward the high pine tree.

“We should hurry as I don’t have much time to gather the eggs and hide them in all the places the children can find them. I hope Hooty can help me understand why I have been put in charge.”

Together they hopped until they got to the base of the tree and Robin let out a big chirp which Hooty Owl heard and who stuck his sleepy head out of the hole he called home. He seemed shocked to see Mr. Easter Bunny waiting for him. Luckily, Hooty was full and not hungry so he was willing to listen to their question. He had a reputation of being wise to uphold so he felt he could figure out their plight.

“Hoot, hoot, what can I do for you fellows this early morning? You know I sleep during this time so make it quick with your questions.”

Mr. Easter Bunny asked, “How did I get mixed up with the holiday called Easter? I thought Easter was designated as the time that a Savior named Jesus was crucified and resurrected to mankind could have an opportunity to have an eternal life through His Sacrifice. Am I wrong?”

Mr. Hooty Owl turned his head around to see the forest and who might be watching and listening as he was wise and had to ensure his words were profound. He remembered hearing some humans talking one day about this very subject. He looked at his friends and said this to them:

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

(Source: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/easter-symbols )

Mr. Easter Bunny thumped his paws into the grass, seemingly to allow this information to sink in. He looked at Robin and Hooty and seemed to smile. He rose from the grass, wiggled his tail, and started to hop away.

Mr. Easter Bunny turned back and said to both of his friends, “Thanks for straightening this out. I was chosen not to take away from the miracle event of Our Lord Jesus but my part was to add to the celebration. I don’t replace that the true meaning of the Easter Season is what He did for all of us, especially the humans, but to add to the resurrection of Jesus as a sign of new life. I’m good with that as long as children are told the true meaning of Easter. I better be on my way and Happy Easter to All.”

Note from Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration: Easter is to be treasured and respected for the sacrifice and promise from the resurrection of Christ. We honor this holiday and in no way, do I mean to say Easter Eggs are the meaning of this holiday. I thought I would use my creative writing for those who might have this question of how Easter Eggs came into play. Happy Easter, remember to teach the little ones why we celebrate Easter.

John 3:16King James Version

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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

GUEST BLOGGER/BRUCE FLETCHER

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

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

Here is WORKING AND RELAXING AT HOME by BRUCE FLETCHER:

Working and Relaxing at Home

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

Keep Your Work and Hobbies Separate

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

Create a Space Dedicated to Your Hobby

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

Upgrade Your Home Office

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

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

Declutter Around the House

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

Prioritize Your Own Wellness

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

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

Finding the Right Balance

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

Image from PEXEL

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

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

GARDENER’S GLOVES IV

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

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

THE GARDENER’S GLOVE was a popular message and I love the lessons behind it. We have a beautiful growing container garden this year. I have mentioned our garden before but in watching our “crop” grow, I am amazed at how the rain, the pruning, and the feedings affect the amount of growth. It led me back to how proper care of ourselves can affect our growth and especially our health. Stay tuned and when we begin the harvesting, I will share some recipes and photos.



TODAY THE WORDS are THE GARDENER’S GLOVE This topic may seem a little strange coming from a lady whose husband does all of our landscaping and who considers herself blessed to not have to pull weeds (but he doesn’t do a lot of that with his routine weed control). I have several FB friends who grow beautiful gardens (Linda Christian whose birthday is today and she can make us envious of her gardening skills and beautiful spirit of sharing with others) , some who are in their rose gardens and flower beds, and there are my friends who do not like the outdoor gardening at all. I love flowers and there is nothing better to eat than fresh home grown vegetables but I think my resistance stems from my childhood.


Let’s return to my childhood to give you my thoughts. In order to make some money, my Mother grew turnip and mustard greens in our back garden. Before school, and sometimes in the bitter cold, we would go to the garden, gather the greens which were ready, clean them off and bundle with string. Off to the grocery store they would go and off to school we would go. It wasn’t the work as I had too much energy; we didn’t use gloves. In those days, you used your hands (maybe others had enough money to buy gloves; not us). It was the smell of the greens on my hands and mind you, I washed my hands several times and they were as clean as they were going to be. I see my husband prepare, by putting on gloves, before he goes out to do yard work, gardening, and/or pruning. He is very particular about how the gloves have to fit as a proper fit will not slow him down. He jokes with other guys that his wife does yard work. He says “She tells me where to put everything and walks back in the house.” He smiles when he says it but I know he loves being in the yard and in control of its beauty. I am usually the one who is in charge of the interior of our home and I love doing it.


Now for the deeper thought….as important as gloves are to a gardener or landscaper…..gloves of life are as important to our being. Gloves are a protective covering to avoid scratches, cuts and sometimes bites from insects. They wrap around the hand and fingers securely and when properly fitted, are an extension of our very bodies. They become a second skin in other words. Our “character” is a pair of gloves of life. We start, at an early age, to develop (or put on) our character which comprises of several things: our personality; our integrity; our work ethics and our moral ethics (may be the same or sometimes not); our nurturing persona; and our spirituality. With the proper gloves of life, we can garden our souls and protect ourselves from the scratches, bites, and burns which the garden of life brings. I am not discounting God’s influence in our gardens, but we as His Children, need to put on our gloves and protect ourselves too. Good gardening, my friends, and don’t forget your gloves.

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:Genesis 2:9

And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material, if known, is sourced to the original location for reference.

REINVENTION QUEEN HAS BEEN BUSY REINVENTING LEFTOVERS

While I played nurse to my husband who had a total knee replacement a month ago, we were homebound except for physical therapy and follow up visits. Since we work from home, I have cooked a lot for us and I love finding ways to reinvent a meal to eliminate that dreaded “leftover” syndrome. If it looks the same, we have a tendency to feel the Oh No, not that again. It has become a challenge, a fun one, to see what and if I can make it look new. Here are a few of my latest reinvention meals to share with you.

Remember, I am not trying to give you recipes but I want to encourage you to use what you have, try a few tricks of my trade, and waste not, want not. Open the door to your imagination, feel flavors, sense what will go with what, and experiment.

STUFFED BELL PEPPERS FROM LEFTOVER PORK AND RICE

My husband wanted to give me a break as I have cooked the three square meals while he recovered, and he made some awesome pork and rice in our InstaPot. He used cream of mushroom soup, can of mushrooms, chicken broth, salt and pepper. The rice, which I suggested he use Success Rice made in microwave and added at the last few minutes to prevent the rice from getting too soft or mushy. It was great but it made a lot so I thought what can I do to make a new dish.

Look at how great the InstaPot Pork and Rice made by Greg Miller looks and tasted.

I thought about some bell peppers I had in the fridge which needed to be used. Hmmm, remembering how a recipe I had created making stuffed peppers had rice and tomatoes and how could some yummy chopped pork not add flavors?

I cut the bell peppers in half, cleaned out the insides and coated with a small amount of EVOO and placed on the pan with a rack on top.

I mixed the pork and rice in a bowl. In my small chopper I combined a can of drained fire roasted tomatoes, garlic, chopped shallot, some leftover yellow onion pieces, chopped fresh garlic, seasonings and blended. This became the filling once mixed together with the chopped pork and rice. I added some grated Havarti cheese with dill too. Of course, I added some mirin, tamari sauce, and even a tsp of Worcestershire sauce. I added some goat cheese on top with fresh cilantro. I filled the peppers and baked on 350 degrees for 30 -40 minutes. See the photo for the results. For my summary, you could do this with leftover chicken and rice.

Here are the reinvented peppers I made.
Now, here is how I think when I make a dish, what can I do with the leftovers even from a reinvented meal….I placed the leftovers in one of our food saver bags and we sealed this for a future meal from our freezer. Free food…Love it.

Garden Peas with Leftover Spam Made Easy

I have made this easy breezy lunch all the way back when my daughter was in college. She makes it often without the meat, but this was my first time adding leftover Spam and it was delicious.

A quick summary as this is so easy, you don’t need a recipe: I can of Garden Sweet Peas, 1/2 macaroni, Spam which I had in fridge, butter 2 tsp., 1/4 cup half and half, Seasonings including Onion and Garlic Salt and enough chicken stock to cook macaroni. Saute’ Spam to give it a browned taste in pan, add butter and chicken stock and when hot, add macaroni. After about 4-6 minutes, add half and half, seasonings, and then add garden peas. Cook for same amount of time or until macaroni is cooked but don’t overcook macaroni. Cover and allow to sit for a few minutes and liquid will reduce into macaroni. This is cooked in less than 15 minutes. You can add boiled eggs, pimentos, and even cheese.

This doesn’t need a recipe. I seal leftovers such as small lima butterbeans cooked with leftover pieces of baked ham in our food saver bags and frozen. I had the cheese muffins leftover and thawed the butter beans and heated in pot. I added chopped shallots and chopped chives as a topper. This meal tasted fresh and took approximately 10 minutes.

I hope you will begin to experiment with leftovers by adding cheeses, meats, seasonings, make fritters from leftover veggies, and I am contemplating reinventing some of my great salmon patties into a breakfast dish with eggs so watch out for more from 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 original location and author for credit references.

TODAY THE WORDS are FOUR LEAF CLOVERS

Today, in year 2022, I woke up with thoughts about how “lucky charms” and how we choose to pull from the luck of the Irish. As much as I think of Irish luck and pots of gold, I want to always remember truest blessings come from God and to always give Him thanks for our blessings. St. Patrick should be honored for his contributions to Christianity so wear your green proudly and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day with hopefully some luck coming your way today! Here is the original post in 2016.

Saint Patrick used the three leaves of the shamrock (clover commonly found in Ireland) to teach the Irish people about the Trinity (God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit).

Kristin Duvall / Photographer’s Choice / Getty Images

TODAY THE WORDS are FOUR LEAF CLOVERS.  Today, being St. Patrick’s Day, the topic was very easily innovating. So many people are celebrating for so many reasons, and I am not judging, but how many of the ones drinking the green beer, wearing green, accessorizing with four leaf clovers and all of the traditional Irish garb and not knowing why.

Patrick had miraculous success bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland. Before Patrick began his mission to share the Gospel message with the Irish people, many of them were practicing pagan religious rituals and struggled to understand how God could be one living spirit in three persons (the Holy Trinity: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit). So Patrick used shamrock plants (clover that commonly grows in Ireland) as a visual aid. He explained that just as the shamrock has one stem but three leaves (four-leaf clovers are the exception), God was one spirit who expressed himself in three ways.

 

Patrick recorded baptizing many thousands of people after they came to understand God’s love for them through the Gospel message and chose to become Christians. His efforts to share his faith with people also led to many men becoming priests and women becoming nuns.
 
 
Now, for the thought associated with four leaf clover searches……They are supposed to bring good luck and fortune……From reading about the miracles of St. Patrick and the use of the 3 leaf clover depicting the Holy Trinity, that is all of the luck we will ever need. When, as a child, I searched for the four leaf clover, I overlooked millions of 3 leaf clover while looking for the magical Four leaf clovers. May we stop looking for the illusive things in life and be as St. Patrick and be aware of God’s presence, Our Lord’s presence and the Holy Spirit in our fields of life! Happy St. Patrick’s day!
 
 
 FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
 
John 2:11 – This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
 
(c) copyright 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to original location for credit reference.
 

Art of Any Kind Is a Display of Love

I was reminded this morning when I posted a photo of eggs I had cooked in the egg rings my daughter had given me, cooking can be an art as many of you food lovers and chefs can attest. I had a dear friend Betty Burkhalter, who loves to cook post that she takes so much pride in how she prepares her husband’s eggs each morning and has mastered flipping them perfectly. It gave me pause thinking how sometimes I am kidded and sometimes praised for how I plate food. Then it hit me, I treat, as some of you do, cooking and baking as an art.

This is the photo that inspired this blog post. My daughter bought me egg rings since I have a tendency to spread eggs all over the pan.

Let’s think about what we perceive as art? I had not placed cooking and/or plating as an art form but I am a member of a group that displays table scapes and one particular setting caught my eye (all of the ones displayed are gorgeous) because of the use of a rare item, the knife holder. The friend I mentioned above called my attention to the fish flower vases and I zoomed in on the dining room which is quite tastefully decorated. It struck me that Maria Prather decorates as a painter paints a masterpiece with colorful blends of attractive interactive pieces. I love to think that she signs an imaginary signature to her work.

This beautifully set table scape invites the guest/family to gaze on its beauty and the love put into the display. Maria Bryan Prather shared this photo on a group on FB, Southern Tablescapes which is full of similar masterpieces.

I have a page on this blog called Decor Haven and will soon update it with Spring decors from my friends who post them on Facebook and allow me to use them. Watch for the update soon but now for the focus of this blog message.

Some can sing, some can write, some can paint and/or sculpt, some can build, some can invent, some are great chefs, and some are great speakers, and some can put the oddest things together and create a masterpiece of decor. Some can fish and importantly catch a lot, some are inventors, and some are great people who are service oriented and volunteers. Are they artists in their own right?

A pie can be a work of art and this one is special as Missy, my daughter made it for Greg and me to enjoy. It was almost too pretty to cut but the taste was as pretty.
The perfect grill marks Greg masters on the steaks he makes looks like art. Thanks Greg Miller for your artwork which always amazes me.

I figured out a great piece of Life’s Puzzle when this thought came to me. God is the most gifted artist ever. Every sunrise, sunset, river, ocean, mountains, pastures, and rainbow has been created by the Master. Now, for that piece of the puzzle….He also created each of us….A One of A Kind piece of Art, unique, and he signs an imaginary signature to us. He gives us talents to make our own pieces of art. Whichever form we choose to exhibit, he smiles. Whether it is a grandchild that loves a cake, cookie, or like I love to do, is make it where they smile when they see that piece of love art that they can eat. One of the most rewarding things I made were banana dolphins and Eli wanted to save his. He wanted to keep it and not eat it. I felt like Michelangelo for a minute. Then we decided it wouldn’t keep.

These are the banana dolphins I made (I have made them a couple of times) and they were pieces of art to the grands.

It is a good time to reflect on your pieces of art and love that you have shared with loved ones. We are not all meant to be in the public spotlight and fame doesn’t come to each of us. What we can relish in is the knowledge we are in God’s spotlight and He wants us to shine in The Love He Gives Us so others might find their talents and spread His Love.

Live Life, Love Life, and Live Life To The Fullest by loving what you do, what you can share, and to know you are a piece of God’s Art and Beauty.

(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 location/author for credit references.

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