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DO WE NEED TO CLEAN OUR HEARTS? I thought about this thought as I am beginning my master bedroom closet clean out and organization today. I am going to combine these tasks for a great life lesson. You may learn some tricks on organizing closet space as well as some of us may learn some important cleaning tasks for our hearts. Let’s dive in.

I would like to make some suggestions on closet cleaning and then we will see if they apply to the harder task of cleaning our hearts from harmful and hurtful thoughts.

Sunday morning addition to post: Our closet cleaned out and organized. I thought I would share that it can happen.

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Preparing for the Big Clean-out of a closet:

  • Trash bags are necessary for both trash and for donations. Large but tote-able bags.
  • Freezer tape or other tape that a sharpie can label the tape on bags for trash, charity names, or individual names. Label and keep separate piles of items to be placed in the bags or you can load as you go.
  • For the trash bags, I punch a hole large enough to hang on door handle for easy disposal of trash.
  • Move out all boxes, bags, storage tubs out of closet. I place all of these “gets in my way” bulky items in my bedroom the night before. This keeps me from procrastination and maintains the goal in front of me.
  • Dress comfortable for this task as it requires bending, reaching, moving, and not a fashion show. Hair should be out of the way too.
  • Scissors, cutting knife, tape, and any other tools to pack up or open to see what has been hidden, and a sharpie or other marking tool should be laid out on an accessible table.
  • Keep some drinkable water handy so dehydration will not be an issue while this task is being undertaken.
  • Schedule yourself and keep on point without distractions. Unless you want this to be a multiple day undertaking, allow yourself an amount of time to empty, arrange, dispose, and clean.
  • Take a picture before and after for you to appreciate your hard work and efforts.
  • With everything ready, BEGIN NOW.

    Step 1: Assess Your Big Obstacles

    Are your shoes overtaking the space? Try a hanging-shoe rack or over-the-door organizer. Do your clothes overcrowd? Thinner hangers create space so you can find things easier. Feeling rushed each morning?  Dividing shirts, dresses, jeans, etc. bring a sense of order and saves time. Solving your biggest problem will motivate you to create the closet of your dreams.

    Step 2: Make it a Family Effort

    Getting your hubby and kids involved in organizing can make a difference in your family’s day-to-day life. Everyone should be in charge of his or her own clothes, accessories, and toys. This will cut your cleaning time in half and ensure nothing important is thrown away by mistake.

    Step 3: Take An Hour

    Scheduling just 60 minutes a week can really make a dent in your overstuffed, cluttered closet. Can’t spare that much? Try two half-hour sessions. If you’re constantly being interrupted by “Hey Mom!” — ask your spouse to take the kids out for the afternoon. Remember to return the favor when it’s his turn to hit the closets.

    Step 4: Start from Scratch

    Take everything (yes, everything) out of your closet. If you don’t remove it all, chances are the same unworn clothes will be moved around the closet. Now it’s time to sort. Throw out old and damaged clothing. Donate what you don’t need or don’t wear.

    Step 5: Out with the Odd

    Remove items that have no business in your closet. Bank statements, insurance information, or tax documents don’t belong next to your shoes, scarves, and sweaters. Create a Life.doc to organize and store all of your important documents in one accessible place. File the remaining papers in an office cabinet or milk crate.

    Step 6: Organize in Sections

    Designate a place for everything in your closet. Shoes in one place, sweaters in another, and so on. This will help you keep order and save you time each morning. Make smart use of the space. Installing shelves will double your storage and help sweaters and t-shirts keep their shape better.

    Step 7: Apply the 80/20 Rule

    You may not want to admit it, but the majority of clothes you have probably go unworn. It’s said that the average American only wears 10 to 20 percent of their clothes. To cut down on the fluff, remove items you haven’t worn in a year. Drop off the excess at Goodwill or arrange a clotheswap with friends.

    Step 8: Put One In; Take One Out

    For each new item you buy to put in your closet, donate one item (or pitch it if it’s past its prime). This will keep you from returning to your pack-rat ways.

    Step 9: Keep It Going

    Dedicate 15 minutes a week to straightening your closet after the “big clean”. Spending this small amount of time will ensure you never have to go through a major de-clutter again.

    Step 10: Reward Yourself

    Recognize and celebrate what you’ve done. Treat yourself to some new hangers or buy that silk blouse you’ve been eyeing. Now, you actually have room for it!
    Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore are the co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stretched and stressed people get themselves organized. They are also co-authors of Everything (almost) In Its Place.

This article 10 STEPS TO A DECLUTTERED CLOSET can be read by clicking on this link.



Now, we have our closet(s) clean and let’s move on to how we can apply some of these tips to cleaning our hearts. I love the first tip from the article

Assess Your Big Obstacles is a wise way to assess our heart’s status.  Do we have obstacles and/or issues that stand in our way to feel love and kindness toward others? Do we hold grudges or have jealousy that need to go in the trash bags I mentioned we should have on hand in prep to cleaning our hearts.

Make it a family effort will give you support. Let your family know you want to clean your heart or in other words, purify your thoughts for displaying your beautiful heart. Ask for advice from those who display a kind heart and seem to be calm and loving.

Out with the Odd  could eliminate some unnecessary people and things from our lives. Are others influencing your heart and mind? Do you listen to negative and cold people? Do you surround yourself with positive and good hearted friends? Do you cloud your thinking and feelings from media, groups, clubs, and regretfully sometimes churches? Choose places and people that enlighten your life and your faith.

Keep it going is one of the best ways to keep your heart clean in the same way you maintain your closets, drawers, garage, and home but decisions not to re-clutter. Maintaining is as important as cleaning and this applies to our hearts.

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(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced when known for credit references.




STAGING YOUR HEALTHY EATING sounds a little strange, right? I have been giving a little advice to a good friend who is preparing to sell her home. She didn’t need any advice on how she had decorated her lovely home. My advice and you may have seen a previous post when we sold our home on staging. This blog post wasn’t inspired in totality from my lending her a hand but it came from looking at some real estate posts on some homes. Both of the homes I viewed had “slashed prices” and drastically reduced prices” and when I looked at the photos, I understood why they were not selling. The bones were good in both of the properties but the photos showed clutter, clutter, clutter. I will spend a few minutes with some tips on how to stage a home and I think you will see how staging a home and staging your healthy eating have a lot in common. Paying attention to details in any stage of our lives is vital to success.

I used to stage model homes for trade shows and there is an art to bringing out the best features while directing the eye away from the negative features. A neutral background is necessary with accents to draw the attention away from the possible show stopper.

Looking at these photos of the rooms, it is easy to see how the clutter is what shows and not the features of the room. This is how Not to Do It examples.

Here are some of my tips for staging a home or apartment and are actually great tips when decorating a new place:

  1. As much as we love personal belongings and favorite things, pack them away while selling your dwelling. A potential buyer may think your grandchildren are precious, it is important they can imagine hanging their family’s picture in THEIR home so no family photos. Remember your intent is to sell and if you are successful, these precious belongings will be packed anyway, so get started early.
  2. Counters need to be free of clutter. Even if you have to pull all of those fantastic small appliances, mountains of spices, papers, sets of glasses, collections of ceramic mugs, chickens, pigs, or cows; pack them up and away from sight. Think about a certain collection a friend has that turns you off but they love them to death.
  3. Clean, clear, and shine. Your home is now a showplace and should reflect a clean and polished environment. A clean and clear home will show off the features of the home. Don’t forget the dust on the baseboards, crevices, and corners. Also glass is such a beautiful reflective asset if smear-free and sparkling.
  4. Personal belongings and specific trend decor items are distractions and selling a home is not a time to display everything you own. In selling, more home and less gadgets, clothing, accessories is more appealing.
  5. Tubs, sinks, and counters are to be seen and shampoos, cleaning tools, and trinkets are items to be stored. Those dollar store tubs and bins are great ways to de-clutter until the viewings/open houses are completed and a sale is pending. If you place your grooming items in small bins or tubs and put them away temporarily, the rooms will look so much neater and appealing.
  6. A good tip is refrain from buying during the selling period. Even if you already have a place in mind, the time for furnishing the new place is when you have sold the current place.
  7. Smells are very important. All pet items are to be removed and fresh linens are a must. Air out the home if possible and avoid certain candles as they may be your favorite but as I am highly allergic to a lot of scents and chemicals, the fresher and more natural the better. Bake cookies, but don’t burn them (meant to be humorous but very relevant). Trash is to be continually removed.
  8. De-clutter and clean refrigerator and stove. Cabinets are to be organized and clean. These are vital as the future homemaker may love to cook and this is a critical space which can make or break a sale.

Clean counters and floors cleared of clutter can stage rooms to show off the best features. Artwork or nice accessories can be used but never overwhelming. 

I have many more tips and may spend a few blogs on how to stage and maintain a home while selling it and more importantly while you live in it. I promised to tie these tips into how you can stage your healthy living. Here is how I can relate all of the tips and apply them into making eating healthy easier.

  1. As much as you like personal snacks and food, remove them from your eyesight by cleaning out the storage areas where you normally and proudly display food that is going to distract you from your goal of “selling” yourself on taking better care of you. Remember your goal is to be successful in improving your health.
  2. Counters need to be free of clutter. While focusing on meals, there is no place to see food items or reminders of what not to eat. Take away the temptation and if you have to display items, make sure you have healthy choices handy and visible.
  3. Clean, clear, and shine. When you are feeling good you look good. As you make progress with your healthy eating, learn to reward with gifts other than food. A new haircut, manicure and pedicure and an addition to your wardrobe in your best color is better than going out to eat. Non food rewards are the best.
  4. Personal pleasures of foods should be avoided. This is not the time to display or go through pictures and ads for the temptation foods. Instead, start building the recipes you can have and make recipe collections to focus on instead of that wonderful pound cake you bake. Also pack up the cake cover, the cookie jar, etc.
  5. Restock your personal care items with healthy oils, supplements, and care items. Vanity is not an option but looking at your progress in the clean mirrors and seeing yourself excited about stepping on the scales will keep you on track.
  6. Refrain from buying at this time. Give yourself time for your new look. You may drop a lot of sizes and it is okay to wear your clothes as they get looser until it is officially a WOE and not a temporary fix.
  7. Smells are very important to eating healthy. If your new WOE contains wonderful smells, it is easier to adjust. Freshness outweighs staleness so be choosy in what you buy and fill your home with great herbs and seasonings.
  8. Declutter your refrigerator, pantry, and cabinets. Stock and organize with colorful and fresh food items. Make it an event to walk into your kitchen and open the doors to a wonderful and healthy display of foods.

Colorful foods, clean home and fresh scents of herbs and fruits can guide you on the right track.

As I finish, you may see that I transcend from any part of my life with the same intent. All phases of our lives can intertwine and these rules can apply to a lot of ways to live. I encourage any of you who struggle with selling a home or eating healthy to first declutter, clean, and shine your mind. As I say, “LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by eating well and living the best life ever.”

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced if known to original location. All photos are not exclusive property of Sipping Cups unless stated and third party photos are sourced to original location if known for credit.





IS SIMPLE BETTER THAN GLITZ? When I was young, several people stated I missed my calling and I should have been a lawyer since I could see both sides of any argument. I hoped that meant I was open minded and not tunnel visioned. This morning, you will see this side of me when I review the topic IS SIMPLE BETTER THAN GLITZ? I had a friend to say when I posted my Christmas decorations to say she prefers simple. This started my blogger mind to begin an internal debate about Simple or Glitz. Here is hoping that you will see both sides of this discussion but if not go with your instincts and choose whichever you prefer.

Let’s look at Simple first. The web definition of simple:

sim-p uhl]
1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.: a simple matter; simple tools.
2. not elaborate or artificial; plain: a simple style.
3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned: a simple gown.
4. unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.
5. not complicated: a simple design.

This sounds wonderful and uncomplicated and matches my friend’s personality. She seems to be a person who enjoys nature and I know her to be a person comfortable in simple surroundings. I enjoy seeing the pictures of their remodeled country home and all of their animals. It seems peaceful and unassuming. There is nothing wrong with having a simple life as long as it is a choice and not a result from fear from challenging oneself to set goals to improve a life. As long as the person chooses simplicity as a way of life, that life will be a happy one. I like the idea of simplicity but as I said before; I look at both sides so let’s look at glitz.


The Web gives us this description of GLITZ:

  1. extravagant but superficial display.”the glitz and sophisticated night life of Ibiza”
    1. make (something) glamorous or showy.”we need to glitz up the program”


I would like to throw a monkey wrench into this definition. I rode through the country roads in route to my hometown. Every year at Christmas time and Easter, the yard of a mediocre home a “glitzy” display of blow up characters. I would think most of it came from Walmart or similar retailers. They might have been bought at yard sales. The source is not important except to express the monetary investment. You see glitz does not always have to be diamonds, gold, pearls, or gems. It can be a Simple Soul wanting to express their feelings or even an expression of “pay attention to me”. They may be saying “I may live a simple life but I count in this world.” I go back to the yard adventure. Year after year I would slow my vehicle down to see if they had a new piece and I realized they had caused me to pay attention and I felt a connection with a stranger’s home and felt excitement for them if a new piece of “glitz”.


GLITZ OR SIMPLICITY? Here are my feelings, mine only, and not to change or sway anyone’s thoughts. I think there is room in this world for both and I am not sure which, if any, is better. It is an individual decision and should be accepted. Because a person is drawn to the simpler things or if another is drawn to glitz, doesn’t negate or promote their worth. Both are expressing their individual preference. I only see a negative if either express a dislike of a person who is the opposite. Sometimes I love simple; other times I like a little glitz so maybe that is why I love both kinds of people.

An Additional Note from me: In the last few years, the glitz of the mediocre home disappeared and no more can I anticipate what will be in the yard. It has become simple and it made me sad. I wondered if the person who had lovingly blown up all those reindeer, Santa, candy canes, etc. as well as the big Easter Bunny with blow up colored eggs passed away and this thought brings me to a distinct conclusion.

Life, whether lived simply or extravagantly, ends for all of us. What we gathered, treasured, and adored in life will pass and will not be on display for others who have enjoyed our friendship, neighbor relationship, co-worker, church family, or even strangers who paid more attention to your simplicity or glitz. What is important is not things but how we chose to live and our reflection in the mirror. The acts of kindness and generosity and compassion will forever shine in honor of those who choose those above things, simple or glitzy.


LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by giving of yourself and sharing the gifts of simplicity or glitz with all those who are affected by you.

(C) Copyright Arline Miller 2012-2017 with rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced to original location if known. All photos are not property of Sipping Cups of Inspiration unless captioned.



WHEN THE MOVE MOVES YOU is the topic for my blog today after moving to a different town and setting up a new home (or at least new to us) and thinking about all of the changes and how to react to those changes. Years ago, we discussed moving to my husband’s home town and I was a little hesitant. I came from a small town, Douglas, and I had become accustomed to a larger city. It was a double concern since not only is Tifton, even though larger than Douglas but I know very few people here. Now, that move has happened and we are settled in, I felt I would share some thoughts on how this move has moved me and Greg.

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We started packing and culling a month before the move. I am not sure that was a good idea or not. It seems as if we have been moving for a couple of months and no moving should go on that length of time (grinning at how much “stuff” we had accumulated over the past 11 years) and even before then as we should have culled a lot before we moved to our last home. As we went through the attic items, a thought hit me when I saw things I thought were precious possessions and I realized I hadn’t even seen those items for 11 years and somehow I had not missed them. Of course, my heart was jubilant at their discovery. It seemed some sort of wonderment that I had made it through many years without knowing where this priceless treasure was. I began to feel the Antiques Roadshow excitement but then I realized they were still the same items I chose to place in the attic. Was this enlightenment teaching me something?

What I did find out was the longer it took to pack, the more I became willing to dispose or donate more and more items. The items’ importance became minimal as hours and boxes became maximal. I think the move was moving my internal relationship with material items.

As we entered the new home, I found myself, instead of feeling excited, I felt a little disappointed. It was not organized; it was not immaculate; it was not the fairy tale home I had envisioned. The move had moved me to emotional disarray. I had to act and act quickly. My daughter instinctively picked up on my anxiety and fell into cleaning and installing cleanliness into the drawers and cabinets. We started unpacking those mountains of boxes. My thought was why didn’t I cull more when I was packing. Did we really need all of that “stuff”?


As days progressed and we stayed determined to unpack and organize, we found Greg and I made a great team. He unpacked the boxes, bagged the packing paper and bubble wrap, and tore down the boxes for recycling. I found places to store and display all of the items we did bring (with some more culling as I went for donations). It began to come together and I began to see a home instead of a house. Our new home became our home and this reaction moved me into a peaceful place.

One of the symbols of our happy life in our former home was our yards filled with a lot of remembrance of my Mother’s green thumb and how she had shared her bounty with us. Of course, part of the sale was an agreement Greg would dig up some of each of the day lilies, spider lilies, and her rhododendron plants as well as some of Greg’s priced purchased ones. As the home came together, it was very important to have love in our yards. Missy had given as a house warming present a beautiful hibiscus, a bright and beautiful yellow so it had to be on display to bring Missy’s love into the yard too. I am happy to say, Greg found some help since it required grass removal and a new, bright day lily bed in our front yard. I smiled as I looked at it and thought The Millers are here.

In summary, I want to express a lesson I have learned during the “move that moved me”. We are given and things are taken in life. Some of those changes are good changes; others are sad changes and may have profound effects on our emotional state. What I learned is to allow life to move you. Staying in the same place, with importance placed on unimportant segments only allows dust to accumulate. Either dust those items off and use them or get rid of them. I use this as an example of word play. Life gives us experiences which we place on the shelves or attics of our minds. We can polish those experiences and use the lessons, good or bad, in our lives to enhance or beautify our world. If an experience is so painful, we tuck it away but not discard it; we are only accumulating dust on our lives. We can either place it into proper perspective or learn to walk away from its memory. REMEMBER: Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the Fullest by allowing yourself to be moved.


(C) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location when known. Pictures are not property of Sipping Cups unless stated.



BRINGING THE BEST TO THE SURFACE has been brought to life with the recent move from Kathleen GA where we had made our home for 11 years. Both Greg and I have taken pride in our home and yards but it was shocking when the furniture pieces were removed and some dusty residue was visible. Yes, there was dust and little items which had escaped our hands and found refuge in a dark and quiet place. It was embarrassing but we had made arrangements for a final clean. Carpets were cleaned, dust all gone, walls, cabinets, and baseboards all freshened and with the house shining the doors were locked until the new owners take residence. I felt pride that we wanted the best to show without those shady reminders we are better on the surface apparently but made a promise to keep the hidden parts cleaner and shinier.  This brought me to the next phase for this topic…..our new home.

We had also arranged for the new home to receive a cleaning but had to rely on a stranger to clean and that was a mistake. However, we have to move past mistakes and make the most of life. When we viewed the home and as I always do, I looked at the “bones” of the home for potential. I had some reservations, which are now unfounded, about some colors on the walls and the layout. Without furniture, I could see the areas that needed TLC and it was pretty much visible on the surface. Now, for the unveiling of our move in adventure:

Missy, my daughter who was the number one trooper involved with the move pointed out the failures of the person who disappointed us with a pitiful job. We slowed down the unpacking and Missy went to work cleaning out drawers and cabinets as well as bathrooms. She replaced old shelf lining with fresh marble design contact paper and I saw the best coming to the surface, not only in the shelves and cabinets but in my daughter’s ability to take pride in any job she does. The love for cleanliness and organization had been passed down and she glowed while she scrubbed and swept along side of her Mom. Yes, things are best when viewed on the surface but she has learned and was practicing those values which are embedded deeply in her mind and body. The house began to shine both on the surface and in us from taking pride in what we do.

As I said in the beginning, we can make the surface appear all is well and pretty but how would we feel if the layers of our mind and soul were peeled away and the hidden places brought to the surface? Would we be happy and content for all to see? Or would we feel embarrassed as I did when the dust bunnies appeared from their dark, creepy places? I hope this is food for thought as we continue to structure our new home with intentions of moving the furniture more often, dusting in the dark corners, we will be conscious of moving our minds and souls to a clean and shiny environment.

Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the Fullest by bringing your best to the surface while dusting out the cobwebs of the soul.

(C) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with rights and privileges reserved. All third party material sourced to original location if known. Photos are not exclusively owned by Sipping Cups unless stated.


MOVING INTO A MOVING STATE OF MIND is what is on my mind after several weeks of packing, cleaning, and sorting. As I usually do when undertaking a task of any kind is how can I apply this experience to my life. In contemplating what effects the action of moving are created by this activity and it is enlightening. I felt it was worthy of sharing with my readers.

Moving creates activity and physical movement by the necessity to move items which may have been stored for a long time. 

  • Closets, cabinets, and drawers are emptied and/or organized. During this task, many items can be eliminated, donated, or trashed. Items which have not been used in years are located. Sometimes this creates laughter or a sigh of a memorable occasion. The main rule of thumb: If you could do without it for many years, it makes sense to get rid of it unless you think it might be a good item for Antiques Roadshow.
  • Dusting is necessary and even though you feel you keep a tidy, clean home….this activity will prove a humbling episode. I always heard that dust means souls have passed through….I must have had an army come through those upper shelves. It pays to keep a good sense of humor upon discovery.
  • The thrill of finding that one item you felt lost is exhilarating and a treasure hunt ensues from this find. However, the thrill is diminished when nothing else that has ever been lost is not found. At the end of this frenzy, the physical exhaustion takes over.
  • Soul searching takes place frequently during the cleaning, sorting, distributing, repacking, and trashing. With the removal of items not used or items we should have never had in the beginning, and the sense of pride when you turn loose of possessiveness of old things.
  • The process begins to speed up as more things are discarded and it becomes easier to let go of those things we don’t need.

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This list brings me to the life lesson learned from this Moving into a moving state of mind. I found it difficult when I started to clean my soul to let go of familiar habits or vices, whichever way you choose to think. At first, I wanted to hold on to those items or people. I would try to attach more meaning and/or feelings to those items which never served a good purpose and I struggled with the decisions of release. Maybe I would need this or that later, but even with the struggle I began to discard items, habits, and even people that were not positive influences on me. What I found, and I saw this in the moving stage; the more I discarded the freer I felt and the cleaner my surroundings were. Yes, some dusting had to be completed in my life as well as our home. Things begin to shine as the dust is removed; you have more room for the pretty items when the trash is removed. In other words, when we move into a moving state of mind and move in the good and move out the bad; we feel refreshed, clean, and ready to take on the world in a positive frame of mind.

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(C) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced and/or titled with authors stated. Photos are not property of Sipping Cups of Inspiration unless stated.


Good morning Blog Readers! As I am gulping a big mug of coffee, I wanted to give you an update on why I haven’t posted lately.

My husband and I are in the process of preparing and packing for a move this month to his hometown to be closer to our families. My hometown is only 40 miles away from our new destination which will be great to visit family and friends as well.

I am having some new adventures from finding out there is a time relevant process to pack certain rooms or it can get very funny when you can’t even find a bowl in your kitchen so a Red Solo cup is utilized to scramble/beat eggs. I can’t wait to share these moments which can be a character building phase or lost it all moment.

There are over 800 posts on my blog which you can access in my brief absence. You can access them from the home page and can go back even to the first posts for the blog.

Have fun browsing, and when we are settled in our home, I will settle myself down with a fully stocked kitchen and blog away.






Have fun with Bitmojo. Create your own bitmojo to fit the moment.


See you later with some kind of moving tales to share with you.

(C) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Photos may or may not be property of blog. Third party articles and materials are sourced to original locations for reference credit.

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