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IF YOU COULD CREATE A PERFECT DAY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

In most of our lives, we are conditioned to do what is laid out for us. If we work, we normally do basically the same for at least 5 -6 days. We develop routines, what time we wake up, what are our preparation regiments to get ready for work, what we eat or don’t eat prior to leaving. If you wrote down your routine for a week, you would find very little variance as we are mostly creatures of habit. In this blog message, I am going to take your mind out of this routine as it is beyond any of our control but how life determines what and when we do certain tasks. Let’s go down the creative and imaginative path for a detour.

Perfect Day for My Daughter and Her Dad. Outdoors and on Horseback.

First, let’s take work out of the equation so today is a free from work day. What would you do with your time? I made a list of questions to start the creative juices flowing:

  • What are things/hobbies/tasks you love to do? Try making a list of those items for us to review later in the blog.
    • I will start the thought process as I love to bake and cook. I love to write both poetry and books (I actually wrote three novels which I am proud that I didn’t quit and all of my author friends appreciate the effort behind this undertaking). I love to decorate and make florals. I love family and family gatherings and even though the pandemic has placed a dampening on those times, I am ready for this to resume soon. I love some travel but I am not a Traveling Mac for sure so this is a back step priority if you know what I mean.

Second, let’s actually delete things/events we don’t like to do:

  • I don’t like organizing but I love organized cabinets, closets, and drawers. I don’t enjoy lectures, some concerts, or outdoor activities. I don’t like to shop and/or browse. I never have; I probably never will. Yard sales don’t appeal to me at all. The next one will probably surprise you but I don’t like reading books. Ouch, as an author, this sounds ironic. For you to understand my unwillingness to sit and be still long enough to read a lengthy book, it has to be fast action, lots of twists and turns, mystery I feel I can solve quickly, and I have to have a page turner so that I finish it in a flash. That’s me, so what are your dislikes? I ask you to list your likes as well as your dislikes for a reason.

Third, let’s compare what you like and dislike as these lists will define your personality and from here we can move in our imaginary world for a day. If you have listed outdoor activities primarily as what you love, you may want to consider your perfect day doing one or more of outdoor trips, activities, and/or hobbies. If you love traveling, lots of people do, you may on your perfect day plan a trip and include the destination to provide this type of entertainment pleasure. If you love to shop, design a day around shopping and if you are a connoisseur of good restaurants, plan to eat at one of your favorites as an enhancement to your shopping experience.

I think you are moving into the creative realm, imagining what makes you happy and what you would avoid if you had the opportunity to choose. By opening your mind to the perfect day, you can tolerate the routine days much better by planning good activities and keeping your mind in a positive light. Even though you may not be able to actually have a perfect day, you will benefit from going through the mental exercise of planning the perfect day. Dream and the dream may come true. Plan and save for that perfect day as that becomes a precedent of organizing your thoughts, your budget, and your attitude. I wanted to give you some food for thought. Self help and building positive goals and seeing dreams come to reality are the best tools available.

Now for the deeper thought: It is great to dream and I am a realistic dreamer. I see Yes and I don’t see a lot of No’s. What I trust in is a strong faith in My Maker and Creator as God placed the creative side in me but He also placed the ability to realize the work and effort to make those dreams become a reality. Let’s Get Creative and Use those God Given Talents to Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the Fullest by Creating a Loving Environment.

(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 and author for credit reference.

SIPPING CUPS OF INSPIRATION NEEDS YOUR HELP/DONATION

First, have you enjoyed the blog this year and want to see more of it in 2023? If so, please go to the Donation Page at the top menu bar. Whatever amount you can donate to keep the blog going since it takes funds to pay for the expenses, not revenue. I will have to pay publishing costs and I need the readers to pitch in instead of me having to charge for subscriptions.

Christmas is the time for giving and I hate to ask and I had hoped clicks on the ads would suffice to take care of the publishing costs. If you can’t, I understand but at the same time I would hope you would understand if I can’t continue paying all of the expenses to give others inspiration.

Have a Happy New Year with a Merry Christmas to All!

Thanks, from my heart and your wallet, Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration.

WHAT’S UP WITH GUACAMOLE AND LIFE?

Most of my followers/readers have become acquainted with how my daughter and I love cooking together. Mind you, we are very different styles of chefs with me being more traditional and very in tune with remaking and recreating dishes from the original ones. Missy, on the other hand, has a tendency due to her independent nature to go a little rogue. She may look at a recipe and say to herself, I think I will do this or that, or change the entire recipe to satisfy her individual taste. Both of us love to cook and we love to brainstorm about how we each like this or that and that brings me to the focus of this blog. The title WHAT’S UP WITH GUACAMOLE AND LIFE has to bring questions as to the meaning of this message.

While Missy and I were discussing our upcoming Christmas get together which will be different from previous years of traditional feasts of every Southern dish and most of our families being present, we brainstormed about many future posts but while discussing the idea of Mexican food being a possibility for this meal, the topic of Guacamole came up.

There was a time in my life that I had a personal preference of aversion to the soft consistency of the avocado. Even though I learned the healthy benefits from the green soft ingredient, I shied away from it. It was only after my daughter who used to live in both Colorado and California and thrived on adding avocados in many dishes, made her Guacamole Dip for me and my husband. My response was “this is amazing” with the fresh cilantro and all of the ingredients and seasonings. I was hooked on this green stuff and have asked many times for her to make some.

She said something important while we discussed adding Guacamole to our upcoming menu. She and one of her dear friends, Teresa were discussing food and Missy remarked that as many times as she made this dish, she could not remember two times that it tasted exactly the same. Granted, Missy shoots from the hip, when she is making the same dish. Barring this fact, she told me while she was repeating what she and Teresa were talking about, she said the topic words about Guacamole “It all depends on each ingredient and how they can variate at any given time.” You will see how we think these ingredients can apply to our lives and people/friends/family and the effect the variations can have and what we can do to end up with a successful Life Dip courtesy of the Guacamole effect.

Here is how we know that each ingredient can be different:

  • Avocado can differ in ripeness and texture. No two avocados are exact copies of each other, similar to each of us and our personalities with distinctive flavors and textures. Maybe some of the stiffer ones can use some softening by mixing more (giving more attention to loosen them for a smoother mixture). If they are too soft or already too ripened (experienced or like we say more baggage) we may have to lighten up on the amount of added mayo or additional stress.
  • Cilantro can be stronger or milder at the time of acquisition. It can be a good flavor enhancer or overpower the entire dish. Isn’t this the same with people? Some people are more timid or even bullish. The secret is to smell or sample a little of the cilantro (don’t jump too fast in a relationship but test the relationship to know how much involvement you want to have)and decide how much to place in the guacamole. You can always add more but if you add too much in the beginning, it is hard to adjust later. In other words, in life, take it slow and know how much is enough or too much.
  • Lemon and Lime as both make the best guacamole but one question to ask…Why do we need both? Why wouldn’t either one alone be enough? This one is interesting to me as this comparison is very applicable in life. If we have friends who could be twins, who like the same activities/faith/philosophies, we don’t have that mixture component. Actually the lemon/lime are enhancers of the other ingredient and makes the better flavor. One without the other might be acceptable but together they complete that unique combination. In life, we should welcome the variety and partnership of different interactions.
  • Onions….how could onions play a part in life the same way they add the strong but sometimes sweet flavor in Guacamole? Life needs some spark or excitement. Bland lives as well as bland food can get boring. This brings me back to Missy’s words about how she can used the same ingredients and the finished guacamole, even though quite tasty, can be slightly different in flavor due to an onion being sweeter or stronger, and it even being smaller or larger in size can have an effect. People are different, relationships can be better or worse due to outside factors which we may or may not have control. Unless an onion is super sweet, it is hard to eat raw onions and that is life’s need for us to be able to adapt when something is not the same. ADJUST, ADAPT, OR AVOID!
  • Seasonings are important, more or less, some or none, and taste to see how it blends and what and how much needs to be changed/enhanced to make it delicious. In life, relationships and friendships should be considered to see if we have added the proper seasonings or is it time to change some of the habits or attitudes to make the relationship as attractive and desirable as before. Keep it fresh so that your seasonings of life stay tangy and appealing as you remember the first time you met.
  • Mayo, I purposely left it to the end for a good reason. This is the most important step in making fantastic guacamole. Too much of a good thing or if you want to look at it in a different light, a bad indulgence can spoil all of your prep, all of your selection of the freshest and best ingredients. Too little of a needed ingredient can make for dry and dull and a less desirable dish or as we have referred to the comparison of life. Life and relationships, friend or romantic, work or family oriented, and faith is a recipe and whether you follow all of the instructions, you have to use good judgment in applying the ingredients (people) to maximize the satisfaction of blending all that you do to give you a happy life. Consider the prep, making sure you buy ingredients that blend with your tastes as well as though who will be dining with you, take pride in the process, and give it your undivided attention. Bon Appetit!

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fkeviniscooking.com%2Fsimple-guacamole-recipe%2F&psig=AOvVaw0uSLOPYuSiBB5vP1WiP5Sg&ust=1671470760730000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CA4QtaYDahcKEwjQh9X314P8AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBw

Here is my daughter Missy Haas at my last book signing. The best ingredient God gave me in the form of the sweetest and talented daughter and my friend.

(C) Copyright 2012 – 2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material/photos are sourced if known for credit references.

WHY OR WHY NOT, FRUITCAKE?

This year and for several years, it seems the world has become fruitier than a fruitcake, with so many changes in our lives I thought I would buy a small fruitcake and I know what most of you are thinking….Why even buy fruitcake? I thought about this possible reaction. I happen to be one who loves fruitcake and I try to be flexible in all the topsy-turvy world, still holding to my personal value and being true to myself. Whether you love or hate fruitcake, try to see humor in all the nutty, fruit filled days in 2023. It’s coming soon to your neighborhood.

NOTE FROM ARLINE: Merry Christmas to All and I decided to bake an Orange Slice Cake instead of the fruit cake to hope 2021 will be a better year. I wish you and your family a safe and prosperous New Year as well.

I watched a video from Cooking with Brenda Gantt who showed us how to make this cake. For the recipe go to Cooking with Brenda Gantt on Facebook. Be sure to follow her as she is a talented cook and great spirit.

FRUITCAKE SEEMS TO FIT THIS YEAR with all of the craziness going on in our country and our world. It seems the entire human race has become fruity and early this morning this inspiration came to me. It may seem satirical but I am known to be a little brassy and sassy and even a little fruity so let’s bite right into this subject.

When we were little, the Christmas Fruit Cake was a great treat for us so I have never understood the adversity to the fruit. We would have to wait after Momma baked her fruitcake, packed it with sliced apples, and wrapped it in cloth (later became foil). It seemed like the longest days before that luscious smell in the oven to actually getting a piece. We all stood round when she finally cut into it for her approval of her baking skills. She would say, “This is a good one or “We need to let it mellow longer” which was not the news we wanted to hear. Even if she was going to let it sit as she called the time we were waiting, she would give us a sample. Keep these words in mind as I move through this thought process. I will refer to this time again.

Momma’s Fruitcake

1 lb. Candied Pineapple                                    1 cup Self-Rising Flour

1 lb. Candied Cherries                                       1 cup Plain Flour

6 cups Pecans                                                       1 t. each vanilla & lemon extract

1 cup sugar                                                            1 cup chopped dates               

1/2 lb. margarine melted (butter for me)    1 cup golden raisins

5 large eggs

1 can Angel Flake Coconut

Chop fruit and nuts in large container. Pour coconut, sugar, flavoring, and beaten eggs over fruit. Add melted butter and mix. Add flours over mixture and mix until wet. Bake in lined pan (Momma used wax paper but modern times have other options) at 275 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. 

Note: No mention of the apple slices placed on top of cake and wrapped. To be kept unopened for several days until it becomes moist.

History of the Fruitcake

A traditional Easter Simnel cake

The earliest recipe from ancient Rome lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. In the Middle Ageshoneyspices, and preserved fruits were added.[citation needed]

Fruitcakes soon proliferated all over Europe. Recipes varied greatly in different countries throughout the ages, depending on the available ingredients as well as (in some instances) church regulations forbidding the use of butter, regarding the observance of fastPope Innocent VIII (1432–1492) finally granted the use of butter, in a written permission known as the ‘Butter Letter’ or Butterbrief in 1490, giving permission to Saxony to use milk and butter in the Stollenfruitcakes.[2]

Starting in the 16th century, sugar from the American Colonies (and the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits) created an excess of candied fruit, thus making fruitcakes more affordable and popular.[3]

Here is what I perceive has been going on in our lives and how fruity we have become.

  • We want things in life to be “sweet” even if it goes against any healthy reasoning or moral values, manners, or traditions and we are asking people to accept anything that has that “sugary” feeling.
  • We see videos over and over on the cat-dog, pig-dog, cats-horses, etc and we want to believe that all animals accept all animals can live in harmony and on the surface, it seems so beautiful but nature is nature and we have to stop and consider the safety of each species. It is not a given that all creatures get along and we have to consider the rule of nature and take precautions to prevent injury to either one.
  • Some people just don’t like fruitcake. I personally love it but have to eat a small piece now for health reasons but I have seen so many people go “Ugh! How do you eat fruitcake? I can’t stand it.”

For all of you who want more of Fruitcake Trivia, I found an interesting article that is too lengthy for me to add in this blog. Here is the link to the article

15 Fun Facts About Fruitcake

Click on the link above to take you to the article for your reading pleasure.

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This brings me to my focus of this message.

No matter how much you blend, chop, mix, and/or bake, some people are never going to like fruitcake and that my friends is society in a fruitcake. You can preach, beg, threaten, or try to convince people and if they don’t like it, they don’t like it. We need to stop saying we believe in inclusion and acceptance and then tell the others they can’t say this or they can’t say that. That is not acceptance……that is bullying! We all have preferences and some like fruitcake and others prefer pound cake or pie or neither. My point is that even though I personally like fruitcake, I can understand others not liking it. I can see their side and accept that side. I don’t however, feel I have a right to push fruitcake on them. I personally don’t like raspberries very much so I would prefer someone understanding my dislike. I wouldn’t have a problem with others eating raspberries and I think this is the true meaning of inclusion and acceptance. In our society, we could benefit from agreeing to disagreeing but never demanding that the other one has to say “I love fruitcake” when they don’t. Get my drift?

As I promised to return to the period of “curing” time for Momma’s fruitcake and it contains a wonderful lesson in life. Thank you Mom! Here is my interpretation: Mom’s cake would have been good when she took it out of the oven. As children, we would have gobbled it up immediately but Momma was wise and knew it needed that quiet time, that curing time, that sweetening time. Waiting while it matured in flavor, we were impatient and wanted what we wanted right then but the lesson we were taught was the following:

“Anything worth having or accomplishing is worth the time that it takes to happen in the right way. Success cannot be impulsively demanded but has to have the mellowing and adding that extra ingredient to complete perfection.”  (these are my words but could have been delivered by Mom during our waiting time).

I leave you with this final thought: Life is not just a pound cake, fruitcake, cookies or even pie. Life is a continual meal and has to be prepared on a daily basis.

LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by adding ingredients and mixing it up with some fun ingredients.

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

DOES THE GRINCH TRAIN CATS?

TODAY THE WORDS are DOES THE GRINCH TRAIN CATS? With all of the busy time of the season starting to fasten its pace on all of us who celebrate Christmas, I find it a great escape to think of something light and comical to relieve some stress. On Facebook someone posted a video of cats attacking Christmas trees and all sorts of things and it was hilarious. It reminded me of my daughter’s cat Winston, or Winnie as we “affectionately” called this black furry creature who was too smart for his own good. Winnie lived a long life through no help from him; he seemed to be a self destructive as he was destructive. 

I thought I would share a little thought for all of you who read the story of  How The Grinch stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. We remember how he loved to interrupt the normal routine…..Well, Winston loved the same thing and this leads me to my thought….I think The Grinch trained Winnie as well as other cats. They pounce, they sneak, they prowl, they take things, and they love to aggravate.

Yep, I think I may be on to something. Cats must be trained to be on high alert; trained to follow lights or objects; trained to confuse the “enemy” by acting all innocent while planning their next attack; trained to walk on their hind legs to get into a better offensive position; and for sure, they are trained to take out any dog who fails to obey them and be at their beck and call.

When my daughter was on college breaks, she loved to go to concerts with her friends therefore leaving her Mother at the mercy of Sir Winston, the cat. We got along fine for most of the time as I bribe pretty fair with the treats and Winnie was more than happy to push the treat can off the coffee table at the appropriate time (like an alarm clock) when he felt he needed a treat. I obliged to keep peace. We had to have a meeting of the cat and human mind when he thought he could liven up the peacefulness by jumping on my kitchen counter…..And then it began……apparently Winnie had been trained in aerobatics and the chase was on! The Grinch failed to warn Winnie of the water pistol known to stop him in his tracks!!! 

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I am sure the Grinch taught Winnie to seek revenge and one day I came in and couldn’t find that cat of mystery anywhere in my apartment. I sought him everywhere calling out his name and even stooping to shaking the treat can which could bring him from the far corners of the world but not this day. This day was the day Winnie decided to make my heart race from the thought he had escaped and what would I tell my daughter, Missy, if I couldn’t find him. I passed the Christmas tree numerous times, double digit visits right by it and heard nothing. I picked up my car keys after seeing the card the pest control guy had left…..Oh no, the panic was setting in. I was panicking and then I spotted two eyes on a high branch of my Christmas tree and there behind those eyes was that black cat hiding on that branch and I think he was laughing! He had been there all of the time taking out his revenge on me. His training had paid off; he had stolen my Christmas spirit as I was thinking acts of revenge myself and then I stopped……then I prayed…..and I think Winnie prayed with me for safety from my glowing eyes.

Now for the deeper thought…..Sometimes in life, it can be very serious, worrisome, scary, terrifying at times. Those are the times to stop and pray for help. It is not a shame to recognize our weaknesses and times we need to ask for help. We need to pray for thanks as I am sure, trained or not, both Winnie and I prayed that day for thanks of survival for both of us. Be lighthearted in life; we are just human and we can laugh at ourselves when necessary. Winston left us after using up all his nine lives and borrowing a couple of lives from other cats for sure, but he gave us good times too. One day I will write a book on Winston, the cat the Grinch trained. 

The Author’s thought for Cat Lovers Everywhere. It takes a special person to love a cat. For all of my friends who are the ambassadors for the feline fur balls, I love everyone’s else’s cat but I must be a dog lover since I don’t own any but I have to say I enjoyed the good times with Winston.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 of Arline Miller’s writings and photos for Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen. All other rights and permissions are reserved courtesy of HowThe Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. Youtube video with original rights preserved.

The Fun Is In The Kneading.

My last message was inspired by learning a new method for me in making homemade yeast rolls and how the dough had to be punched down with the analogy of how life works. As a curious soul and a serious baker, I decided to override my intimidation of yeast and go for some yeast rolls which my family loves. I had a great experience which proved very satisfying so I will share my experience.

I love to watch other cooks and bakers’s videos and I happen to see Mountain Cooking with Missy and guess what she was making. Yes, homemade yeast rolls. To watch the video, go to her page on Facebook and look for the video for Hot Baked Rolls or a similar title. She does a great job of simply instructing us through what seemed hard to do previously. I don’t have permission to share the video on here at this time. If I get the okay, I will edit this post to include the video. She doesn’t have a written recipe so I watched a couple of times and assembled the ingredients. I paused several times and it worked for me. I am including photos.

This is so exciting to know how to make yeast rolls and I am sure that practice will make perfect or at least close to perfection. What I want to share are my personal thoughts on actually experiencing how this analogy works with some added enlightenments I experienced.

I was interested in the blooming of the yeast and it seemed to come alive (actually does become active) and I referenced it to life beginning as our bodies and minds develop, we become active and begin to “grow” as the yeast did in the glass with the sugar. It occurred to me that it needed the sugar to help it activate and in life don’t we need love or as I like to say “sugar”?

I prepped the liquid of milk and softened butter as instructed and then added the magical yeast with an egg. I stirred and stirred until it was mixed and as I did so, I thought of how we mix family, friends, school, romance, and together they work as a future rising star. I cannot express the childlike anticipation I felt peeping under the dish towel that draped the unknown yeast but as I watched (periodically checking) it grew and you can see in one of the pics, it rose and rose. It is the same in life when we strive toward a goal, relationship, and or career. It is with excitement but can include stress too. We swell with pride upon success and we will get punched down a few times or even many before we can become what we strive to be.

The kneading was the most gratifying part of the process. The feel of “my dough” under my fingertips was so much fun. I see why my friends have love to make yeast dough. It is like a potter spinning the clay and watching the art become a reality.

I can go on and on with how much insightful this experience was and will be in the future as now yeast rolls and bread making is my new friend. This is relevant in life as we should never get stale in our relationships, religion, friendships, and our careers. We should be willing and actually enjoy the kneading required for each of these. The bread of life has to be kneaded properly or it will not be flakey and delicious as it can be.

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

KNEADING THE BREAD OF LIFE

I have been so pleased with the response to one of my posts My Life As a Dumpling which has proven to be one of the most popular blogs. While I was watching its popularity, I was also a student of desire to accomplish making yeast rolls/breads. For someone who will keep trying with the mentality of I think I can, yeast rolls have not been a success for you…..YET!

I began researching and observing the baking/cooking groups I belong for hints, the ultra secret, the magical tip, etc. What I found was interesting so another attempt will soon be coming. As most of you know that have followed me, is I apply everything to everyday life and at 4 am one morning the enlightenment came and now it is time to share it with my readers. If any of you have not tried to make yeast “something” you should. You will see the relationship with my blog post of The Bread of Life.

I have provided a link to this recipe Courtesy of Chocolate by Grace.

When the dough has risen, punch dough down with a floured hand and shape and bake as desired.

I borrowed this instruction as the basis of my analogy of making yeast dough to life. One of the times I attempted to make yeast bread, I was so proud of the rise the yeast dough had made, I forgot this important step…In order for the final product to process and make the dough the best it can be, it has to be punched down, right, all of you best bread bakers? I thought about this and my daughter reminded me something I had said to her many times. Success is a result of many small failures. So the punching down may be a little overwhelming, it is part of the process.

In life, and in yeast bread making, some recipes require two or even three punch down tasks. Shortcuts to success are usually shortcuts to failure and it takes patience to wait for the dough to rise. Life works that way. Once in a while, we will see what appears to be instant success but if you study those successes, it was the result that seemed instant and a lot of time and patience with several punch downs taking place that gave the true success.

Now, let’s talk about another important step in making yeast dough, KNEADING. Here is another place or step that I failed. I am not a person who has a lot of patience and some would testify that I may not possess any of that beautiful talent. I want everything I do to be resolved, completed, and successful in a second or maybe two. That doesn’t work in breads. You can do the prep, the mixture, the perfect rise and yes, even the punch down and the second or third rise, but if you skip the proper kneading you won’t have the successful end result. I will provide how important the kneading is to the process.

I found a great article that is linked below with some excepts/pictures:

https://www.thespruceeats.com/kneading-dough-bread-baking-for-beginners-427562

Why We Need to Knead

The reason kneading is an important part of bread making is to create structure and strength in the dough, leaving it silky and soft with a little cushiony feel. Flour contains two proteins that combine to form gluten, which is responsible for creating the elastic texture in the dough. After the dough ingredients are mixed, the proteins are in a random pattern and knotted together. When the dough is kneaded, the proteins begin to line up in such a way that strands of gluten develop and create a structure that allows for the trapping of gases and the dough to rise.  

This is how we should see success in yeast baking. We should also see success in our lives if we are willing to do the work. If we get punched down, remember we will rise again!

I have some more thoughts about comparison of life with everyday events and processes. If we understand, some learning curve is necessary and practice makes perfect, we get life. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE TO LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY ROLLING WITH THE PUNCHES AND RISE TO THE TOP.

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

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

TODAY THE WORDS are HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Get the costumes out for the kiddies and for those adults who refuse to grow up and love Halloween as much or more than they did as kids. We have an average of 200 trick or treaters at our home each year. Over the years, we have had the cutest and some scary visitors. May all of the little ones be safe and have fun getting the sugar rush of the year. May all parents who will feel the effects of the sugar highs…..Patience dear parents….we used to be them!  I wanted to give us a little history which is later than the Celtic Pagan festivals for the dead. I found an excerpt from Bodie Hodge’s article for us to enjoy.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL! 

WE HAD FUN DRESSING UP OUR PETS IN FORMER YEARS AND NO PET OF OURS ENJOYED SEEING THE KIDDIES AS MUCH AS OUR WHISKERS.
HE EVEN FOLLOWED SOME OF THE KIDS ACROSS THE STREET. I THINK HE THOUGHT HE WAS SUPPOSED TO TRICK OR TREAT WITH THEM.
WHISKERS in HIS HALLOWEEN COSTUME
MILLER’S HALLOWEEN 2007

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

The Name “Halloween” (Excerpt by Bodie Hodge on October 29, 2013)

Around AD 600, Pope Boniface IV created All Saints’ Day, and Pope Gregory III later moved this holiday to November 1 in an effort to give a Christian alternative to this pagan celebration.5

Christians who did not want to celebrate pagan festivals celebrated something of positive spiritual value—in this case honoring the saints and martyrs. With the overwhelming expansion of Christianity in Europe, All Saint’s Day became the dominant holiday.6

In fact, the current name of “Halloween” originates from the day before All Saint’s Day, which was called “All Hallow Evening”; this name was shortened to “All Hallow’s Eve” or “All Hallow’s Even.” The name changed over time and became “Hallowe’en.”

A couple hundred years later, the Roman Church made November 2 All Souls Day to honor the dead. This may well have been influenced by the continued persistence of the day of the dead by the ancient Irish, Scots, and others in Europe. Standing against this, many Protestant Christians celebrate October 31 as Reformation Day in honor of reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others who spearheaded the Reformation in the 1500s.

Now for the deeper thought…..Many people wonder if Halloween should be celebrated. As anything can be used for good or evil; remember to keep good thoughts in any holiday with reverence and kindness. For us, it is a time of fun for the the children to dress up in costumes and go to either church events and/or going around the neighborhoods for treats. It is up to the individual families to decide for themselves. We, as children, had so much fun trick or treating, I cannot see harm in it; but again choose for yourselves and enjoy your children doing something fun.

An alternative to Trick or Treat is the Trunk and Treat which a lot of churches are participating to control the risks of going home to home which has been successful.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Colossians 2:16–17 (NKJV)

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.


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

SWEETS AND SWEET FAMILY TIME

I thought I would double up on the blog and share one of my recipes I created and my family time. This past weekend, we combined both and it was so sweet. Due to so many health issues, work related tasks, and also the confinement atmosphere due to the economy and the COVID reoccurrences, our family time has been limited to the extreme. After a lot of thought and contemplation, we agreed it was time for my sister, my daughter, my husband, and my sister’s great granddaughter to gather at our house and do some cooking, laughter, outings, and good ole talks. Of course GA DAWGS played and we mixed yelling and catching up at the same time.

First, all of you have learned how close my daughter is to me and her stepdad. We share a lot of weekends now that she is closer in proximity. She and I love to cook both separately and together with created dishes that we create. This weekend we took different tasks and then put them together at our house with our guests. On the first day, Saturday, we went out for lunch, seafood at a local restaurant Charles’s Seafood, been here forever but still great food. Since the DAWGS played at 3:30 pm, we chose to eat out and get back to the house to cheer them on to victory. Pizza was delivered later that day with dessert available with ice cream for anyone who had an inch left in their tummies Next, I will go over the dessert recipe I created for a fall treat (or it could be great for any time of the year)

Here is our Pecan Apple Streusel with my recipe to follow. It was a winning dessert.

Top this wonderful fall dessert with some delicious ice cream and the guests will love you even more.

Our family visit was long overdue and we made the most of it. Before they came, I invited God to join us and it seemed we were blessed with the most joy and love we could have experienced.

To add to our fun all of the fur babies including Luna who spotted our uninvited little guests who put on a show for all of us in the backyard. You will see in the next couple of pictures who they were.

You have to look close but two young frisky squirrels were above Luna and she was on point. They played, almost like they were teasing her. Quite the show!

This was a close encounter as Luna was ready and all of us worried about both the squirrel and Luna.

Now for our Sunday dinner, with Missy making her awesome fresh garlic bread and her deviled eggs. I made a chef’s salad with ham and mozzarella cheese, black olives, pickled banana peppers, iceberg lettuce, and of course Thousand Island Dressing. For the main course, I made Lemon Garlic Peppery Pasta. Here is a summary of how it was made:

Our Sunday lunch which as my sister said was Better than Good!

Lemon Garlic Peppery Pasta

1 pkg. Spaghetti or other type of preferred pasta cooked in large pot with oil and salt

1 cup Pasta water (save from spaghetti pot)

Drain spaghetti after retaining pasta water. Allow to properly drain.

3/4 – 1 stick butter melted in large saucepan

1 1/2 T. freshly ground black pepper (I covered the bottom with pepper I ground)

Lemon zest from 1 lemon and the juice from that lemon

Freshly roasted garlic 4 cloves or as much as you like to taste.

1/4 cup chopped chives.

Salt and pepper to taste (I added a little more pepper at the end)

1 1/2 cups Picaroni cheese hand grated from a block

3/4 – 1 cup Parmesan Romano Cheese (freshly grated is best).

In a flat sauce pan, I melted butter with black pepper. Once I blended this together, I added the garlic, lemon juice and zest, and 1/2 cup pasta water. I allowed this to blend and added cheeses. Once this combines into a sauce, I added the chives and the spaghetti. I gauged the sauce and added about 1/4 cup more pasta water. It is done at this point so turn off the burner. Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle with more Parmesan and chives if desired. Bon Appetit!

My daughter and “my personal chef”Missy Haas, Makenzie Hester, Arline (me), and my sister, Juanelle Fussell. It was a great gathering. My husband was taking the photo, so next photo is Greg.
Greg Miller, my husband sporting his GA Bulldog shirt. Go DAWGS, we cheered you on to victory.

I hope you enjoyed our visit and recipes. One more joyful moment. Later, after Missy, Juanelle and Makenzie had gone, we were blessed again to have Cory, Teddie, Nolan, Mason, and Rubie Miller, more of our great family drop in because the youngest granddaughter kept telling them she wanted Nana. For those of you who have grandchildren know how they will fixate on one name when they are little. Nana made Rubie’s list and I am loving it. Granddaddy kids her but she was sharing a lot of love. They enjoyed Missy’s deviled eggs and then on to the dessert. It was happiness all over again. Mason showed me her pierced earrings and I told Nolan how everyone thought our German Chocolate cake we made was a big hit too. Great times for all of us and that brings me to my final thoughts.

When things try to get in the way of family times, and it seems you will not get to share times with your loved ones…..Stop and make time! It is never going to be easy to fit in time, but it is healthy for your soul and heart. It’s those smiles and laughter that keep us going and loving so fill ’em up and plan for the next visit. Live Life, Love Life, and Live and Love Life by Filling Your Days with Love and Family!

WHAT’S TO SAY ABOUT UNSPOKEN PRAYER REQUESTS

In a conversation recently, unspoken prayer requests came up and it brought back some thoughts I had originally about unspoken prayers. I felt a need to “say” something about unspoken prayers. I hope for some readers, it may make sense for the first time, answer some questions this subject may have raised when we see I have an Unspoken Prayer Request, and what the importance may be symbolic of this particular request.

I have given this topic some thought and in years past, I wondered why people have a reason for not giving specifics or details to enable the one willing to pray with and for them. I was confused when I prayed as it seemed obscure and I was not understanding the meaning of unspoken prayers. The following is from iBelieve and answers the definition of the prayers that are on the heart but not speakable.

God knows each one’s heart and mind with all needs for His Love, Mercy, and Healing. Image is from BibleVerseImages.com

What Are Unspoken Prayers?

Unspoken prayers can be those prayers requested when words are too difficult to speak. We can lift someone up to the Lord when they seek help, comfort, guidance, healing, and other needs. We can also give thanks and praise to the Father for being able to bring unspoken prayers to Him. There may be times when hearts and spirits are broken due to circumstances. Prayer is needed.

Perhaps someone is embarrassed to share why they are requesting prayers. When a person requests prayer without giving details, we are called to pray and not judge. Maybe the situation will be shared at a later time. Perhaps the person needs comfort and guidance from the Lord. We can pray and be assured that God is listening. He will answer in His timing and in His way.

I gave this thought and I was humbled on my previous questioning of what could be the reasoning behind unspoken prayers. It finally made sense and I realized that unspoken prayers may have more impact and importance than spoken prayers. Whatever the reason for a person to request prayers, we as prayer warriors should not question what the need is. As a matter of fact, God already knows the need and is looking for the faith behind the effectiveness of prayer, the trust to share prayer requests with others, and keeping communication between all of us and God.

I speak now to those who have needs that fit the category for unspoken prayers. Do not hesitate to call on others to pray for unspoken prayers as God knows and already has your situation under His Control. What we find when we pray is comfort and a camaraderie with the Creator of All. Solace and peace, guidance and protection, and a feeling we belong no matter how embarrassing or stressful our need personifies.

I have included an excerpt about praying for one another and if you click on the author, it should take you to the entire article in The Blazing Center.

PRAY For One Another And Watch God Do AMAZING Things!

November 6, 2018 by Mark Altrogge

God does AMAZING things when we pray for one another. 

Have you ever said to yourself or someone else, “There’s nothing left to do except pray”?

That’s a pretty silly statement when you think about it. 

When we pray for others, we’re asking our all-powerful God to take action. We’re asking God to do what we can’t. 

Praying for others should be our first action, not our last resort! 

When someone asks you to pull them up, you don’t ask why. When someone asks you to pray for them, you don’t need to ask why, just pray. God will take care of the rest.

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