BRING ON THE GREENS FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY

For the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to pull up a favorite blog post since I love greens. This is a repeat of a message from a few years ago but I think you will enjoy it.
TODAY THE WORDS are COOKING GREENS. You are reading the words of a person who loves to eat greens. I cooked greens yesterday and any time I eat them, I am brought back to a special memory.Mustard greens, turnip greens, collards, cabbage, kale are all good to me and this brings me back to my Step Mom, Martha. My Dad had a massive stroke which paralyzed him on his right side. He was able to sit in his lift chair by a lift which he was lifted from his bed and pushed to the chair and lowered into a sitting position or more like a reclining position for the day. I lived a distance away and would travel to spend some time on the weekend with Daddy and Martha during the day and at night at my Mother’s house in the same town. I tell you this to get to the cooking greens theme of the message. How many of you have prepared greens to cook?

It is quite a job to “look over” the greens and then go through several washes to remove any sand, dirt, or any debris in them. There are several methods, but I can assure you, each method is still time consuming. There is usually meat to season them; although more and more people are using other seasonings for health reasons. Martha, barring all others, could cook greens better than any other person I have ever known. Her greens were so delicious I could eat them cold; that’s right, cold. She always fried pork chops and other great side dishes with the greens. This had to be a full day of preparation and do remember she was taking care of my Dad at the same time.

Now for the deeper thought…...She waited for me to smile at the first bite and it seemed to give her as much joy as it did me eating it or even more if that was possible. It was tiring for her but she made me feel so special when she cooked me greens. When my visit was through and they were telling me to be careful on my trip home and gave me my container of greens to go with me; I love them, cherished my time with them and I was so thankful for Martha’s sacrifice and love. She loved Daddy and she loved her family and that always included us. Great restaurants are so enjoyable; Martha’s greens were true love! God wants us to “cook greens” for others. I am using a metaphor as God wants us to do whatever we can to help others; make others feel special; be charitable; be loving and kind. Today and every day, may we borrow a little spirit from Martha who is in heaven with Daddy, and “cook up some greens” for someone we love or a stranger we don’t know but needs our help. (DEDICATED TO MARTHA THOMAS LOTT, our STEPMOTHER)
I have attempted to add health benefits when applicable and here is an excerpt from an article I found on the health benefits of greens (turnip greens, mustard greens and collards) If you go to the link, there are instructions on how to prepare. Enjoy some good eating:http://www.livestrong.com/article/85263-stay-eating-collard-mustard-/

How to Stay Healthy Eating Collard, Mustard & Turnip GreensLast Updated: Jul 10, 2015 | By Daryn EllerHow to Stay Healthy Eating Collard, Mustard & Turnip GreensTurnip greens growing in a field. Photo Credit Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Collard, mustard and turnip greens are vegetable royalty in the South—and for good reason. All three are in the cruciferous family of vegetables that the American Institute for Cancer Research reports might help defend against cancer. The three greens are also rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate and iron. Collards, which taste like a cross between cabbage and kale, are especially high in calcium. Mustard and turnip greens have a sharper bite than collards and provide a nice dose of vitamin K, a nutrient important for bone health and blood clotting.
Paula Deen, the guru of Southern Cooking to many of us, knows how to put the hurt on a good pot of greens so I thought I would include a recipe from her on Food Network:

Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.43.39 AM

Collard Greens Recipe by Paula Deen
You can go to the link and get the House Seasoning ingredients and enjoy some GREEN today.

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material is sourced to original location, if known, for credit reference.


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CUPID WENT INTO WITNESS PROTECTION

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY to all! I thought I would get your attention with the heading. Let’s have some fun in the midst of all of the hoopla of hearts flying, gifts given, love showed and shared with lovers all over the world, but why did Cupid have to go into hiding? I had forgotten the story behind Cupid, have you? Here is the caption on google to jog our memories of how Cupid developed

Psyche is a princess so beautiful that the goddess Venus becomes jealous. In revenge, she instructs her son Cupid to make her fall in love with a hideous monster; but instead he falls in love with her himself.

10 JULY, 2015 – 03:59 RILEY WINTERS

The ancient fairy tale of Cupid and Psyche, where love endures against all odds

The mythological tale of Cupid and Psyche is one of the few Greek and Roman myths that has not fully become assimilated into modern consciousness. Though adapted somewhat into the better known “Beauty and the Beast”—first written by French author Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont as “La Belle et la Bête”—the correlation to the earlier ancient text is relatively unrecognized.  Cupid is often still portrayed as a chubby baby cherub with a fondness for arrows, and Psyche is still predominately unknown outside the psychological community –”psyche” means “soul” in ancient Greek and was subsequently utilized in the literature of psychologists.  However, in the ancient world, Cupid and Psyche’s love was well documented and appreciated among the literary scholars.  Despite that its original Greek form is now lost, the length of the text remains within Lucius Apuleius’ The Golden Ass , a side anecdote that—in many ways—overshadows the remainder of the novel.

Once upon a time…

Cupid and Psyche’s narrative begins as most modern fairy tales do: with a kingdom, a daughter with an insurmountable burden over her head, a trial, and a subsequent moral.  It is as follows: a king and queen give birth to three daughters, but only the third possesses unearthly beauty.  Apuleius’ text claimed that her beauty was so astounding the “poverty of language is unable to express its due praise.”  Rumors spread of this girl, Psyche’s, astounding loveliness, eventually reaching the ears of the Roman goddess Venus.  Angry that so many mortals were comparing Psyche’s beauty to her own—and in many ways claiming that the mortal surpassed her—Venus calls upon her son Cupid to demand that he use one of his arrows of desire to ensure Psyche fall in love with a human monster.

Obedient as always to his mother, Cupid then descends to the earthly plane to do as she wishes.  Yet he was so astonished himself by the mortal princess’ beauty that he mistakenly shot himself.  From that moment, Cupid was irrevocably in love with the princess.  Around this time, it became evident to her parents that Psyche’s attractiveness had angered the gods, as no mortal man would take her hand in marriage.  Imploring the temple of Apollo, they learn that Psyche is destined for a much worse fate than celibacy: “The virgin is destined for the bride of no mortal lover.  Her future husband awaits her on the top of the mountain.  He is a monster whom neither gods nor men can resist.”  Psyche, conscious of the mistakes of her mortal kingdom for praising her so highly, is content to follow the oracle’s advice

From the top of the highest cliff, dressed in funerary garbs, Psyche is swept away by the west wind, Zephyr.  She is brought to a striking valley, in the center of which stands a palace so magnificent it could not have been built by any hands other than the gods’.  Surrounded by luscious trees with a crystalline fountain at its heart, Psyche soon comes to the conclusion that this golden hall is her new home, further reiterated by the voice of her new husband echoing through the halls.  This faceless stranger begins to visit her in the night, every night, to make love to her in the darkness.  But despite his nighttime tenderness, Psyche is haunted by the oracle’s claim that he was a monster.h

Psyche's Wedding (Pre-Raphaelite, 1895) photo by Edward Burne-Jones

Psyche’s Wedding (Pre-Raphaelite, 1895) photo by Edward Burne-Jones Wikimedia Commons )

Psyche’s Betrayal

When allowing her two sisters to visit, they are jealous of her beautiful home and insist that Psyche’s husband really is a monster and she owes it to herself to find out.  So Psyche is convinced to break her husband’s only request of allowing his face to remain a secret and look upon him in the night.  In doing so, she damns their relationship.

A single drop of oil falls from the candle Psyche lights to gaze at his face, waking him, and Cupid, in all his majestic beauty, flees their home, distressed by her betrayal.   Distraught, Psyche goes in search of her husband, traveling for many days, until she comes to the temple of Ceres, the motherly goddess of grain. 

The Trials

Ceres instructs Psyche to surrender herself to Venus and take whatever ill will the goddess throws at her.  Obeying Ceres’ advice, Psyche is thus given three seemingly impossible tasks to complete. First, the princess has to separate the grains of Venus’ temple’s storehouse into piles of barley, millet, beans, etc. Second, Psyche has to steal golden wool from a herd of sheep; third and finally, Psyche is ordered to travel into the underworld and request from Queen Proserpina a little of her beauty to pass along to the goddess of love. This task, however, demands a further challenge: that Psyche keeps the box in which the beauty is placed tightly closed, for fear of terrible repercussions.

Unknown to Psyche, throughout these trails, Cupid is constantly at her aid.  He instructs ants to help her sort the grains; and then the river god offers her instructions of how to steal the prize fleece from the shepherd. Finally, Psyche is given divine advice on how to surpass the dangers of Hades.

Her failure—foretold by Venus herself—comes when Psyche, greatly upset by the trials she had to overcome, opens the box and is overcome by the Stygian sleep, a sleep so strong she is considered the living dead.  By that point, Cupid has had enough of his separation from his wife, and he flies to her rescue, lifting her sleeping form to the heavens, and pleading with the great god Jupiter to talk sense into his mother.  Venus lifts her terrible curse from the girl, and once Psyche is awake, she is transformed into an immortal, and is properly wed to the young god of desire.  (for the full article and photos you can go to: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends-europe/ancient-fairy-tale-cupid-and-psyche-where-love-endures-against-all-odds-003393

Note from blogger: As always, I have a deeper thought about love and life. When we read a myth, may we retrieve some thoughts to use in our lives. Out of the confusion, the betrayals, the trials, we can notice one consistency of Cupid. As the story unfolded, Cupid was constantly at her aid and made the effort to make her life and chores easier. Isn’t that what true love is all about? Also, this story confirms that we do not choose who we fall in love but when Cupid’s arrow is shot in the heart, life as we know it is changed forever. I made a remark about Cupid going into hiding but hopefully he is out and about today shooting love arrows into the hearts of many.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, including photos, if known is sourced to original location for credit reference.

Chocoholics, It Is That Time!

Calling all Chocoholics (Chocolate Lovers who might need intervention)! Valentines Day is coming soon so excuses are not needed as it is the reason for the season but WHY? Let us consider the pros and cons of downing the chocolate, milk, white, dark, or mixed with nuts, fillings, or whatever form we can get it. Is there a link to Love? Is it a feel good reason we have to have it. Today, we enter the river of flowing chocolate and get our mouths drooling. Here is an enlightening article I found giving us the psychological reasons and we already know the real reason is “we can’t live without it.”

Why Do We Crave Chocolate So Much?

Why Do We Crave Chocolate So Much?

The psychology behind why we love chocolate

Posted Feb 11, 2014

Source:Why do we crave chocolate so much? I consulted a professor of psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Amy Jo Stavnezer, to help us understand why we desire chocolate so much (just in time for Valentine’s Day!).

Dr. Albers: On a biological level, why do we crave chocolate?

Professor Stavnezer: We crave chocolate because it is good! It tastes good. It smells good. It feels good when it melts on our tongue. And all of those ‘feelings’ are the result of our brain releasing chemicals in response to each chocolate experience. The experience of eating chocolate results in feel good neurotransmitters (mainly dopamine) being released in particular brain regions (frontal lobe, hippocampus and hypothalamus—definitions a bit later).

Dopamine is released when you experience anything that you enjoy—sexlaughing, or watching your favorite Olympian claim the gold. This reward circuit is partially hard-wired by genetics, but it learns, changes and responds to your specific preferences based on your life experiences. This malleability of the brain is what makes each of us unique. In fact, there are supposedly people in the world who do not like chocolate.

By simply using one neurotransmitter system to associate rewards with actions, an efficient and powerful brain network evolved so that a positive outcome would be repeated. The dopamine signal sent through the reward circuit brings about positive feelings and assessments of the situation in the frontal lobe (just behind your eyes), creates a memory of the experience including where, who, what and why and links that to the positive experiences via the hippocampus (about an inch inside of each ear), and when food is involved, the hypothalamus (a few inches above the roof of your mouth) gathers information about the caloric and nutrient content for future hunger and satiety signals.

It was originally thought that chocolate contained compounds that could activate this dopamine system directly (like cigarettes and cocaine do). Chocolate does contain theobromine that can increase heart rate and bring about feelings of arousal, caffeine which can make us feel awake and increase our ability to work and focus, and fat and sugar which are preferred food sources for humans because they are calorie dense. However, elegant experiments in which the components of chocolate were separated out indicated that just ingesting the chemicals in chocolate without the mouth-feel and taste does not decrease craving.

Photo courtesy of goodhousekeeping.com

Maybe this is why we eat chocolate?


I found an excerpt from an article on the history of how chocolate became the ruler of Valentines Day. It is from National Geographic and is titled Why We Want Chocolate for Valentines Day

THE PLATE

Why We Want Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

3 MINUTE READBY APRIL FULTON

So how did chocolate become the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat?

The origins of the historic combination are far from clear. Chocolate has been considered an aphrodisiac since the time of the Aztecs, and was once only available to the wealthy. Spanish conquistadors brought it back to Europe, and according to The Oxford Companion to Food, Italian chefs were shaving blocks over their risottos in the late 17th century. The French made pastilles in the 18th century, a favorite of the marquis de Sade. But it wasn’t until the cocoa butter extracted from the beans was processed into the rough form of a candy bar in England in 1847, according to Cadbury, and later rounded out with milk, that its appeal began to grow. Once candy became cheaper to produce, more people got to taste it. And once they tasted it, well, you know the rest.

Meanwhile, the origins of Valentine’s Day are even more complex. They can be traced to Roman times and Lupercalia, a Pagan festival that involved fertility and feasting in mid-February. The Romans “were drunk. They were naked,” Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told NPR in 2011. Young women lined up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They thought would make them fertile.

Not too romantic, was it? It gets crazier. The early Catholic Church martyred a rebel priest named Valentine and tried to take the nakedness out of the Lupercalia festival by declaring Feb. 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. Chaucer combined the essence of the pagan rituals with courtly ideas of love in one famous Valentine’s poem about bird sex: “And, Lord, the blisse and joye that they make! For ech of hem gan other in wynges take.” And then Shakespeare took the notion of romantic love even further in the sonnets.

Hopefully, this will get your Valentine craving for chocolate flowing and from this Sipping Cup of Inspiration blogger, Happy Valentines Day and now it is official, you have a natural reason for loving chocolate. My deeper thought is to LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by digesting all that life has to offer as long as you add to other’s lives and not make their lives unhappy. Eat chocolate or don’t, but love always.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, if known, is sourced to original location for credit reference.

ANYONE Can Blog

via ANYONE Can Blog

ANYONE Can Blog

Blog article based on reply from Cristian Mihai on Jordan Peters’ blog. I like giving proper credit on content referenced.

The third blog post devoted to those who desire to blog. Is it for you? Do you have the craving to dip into the sauce of blogging? Join me as I repost Jordan Peters great article ANYONE Can Blog for vital information while considering creating your own blog. Please join me and Jordan on the blog and learn the ins and outs of blogging. #blog #JordanPeters #amwriting #bloggers

ANYONE Can Blog

via ANYONE Can Blog

The post came from a reply by: Christian Mihai Blog Post

With some of my friends looking at the world of blogging, some of them seriously and some pondering the prospect of creating their own blog after guest blogging on my Sipping Cups of Inspiration, I thought this is perfect timing to bring Jordan Peters message, ANYONE Can Blog. This one is worth the read. I loved the reference it has to be a craving. I agree 100%. If you don’t have a true passion to build a blog with loyal and regular readers, do not attempt it. If, however, you have a true voice in whatever direction it follows, and you have the discipline to work at creating interesting, informative, funny, inspiring posts that catch readers’ attention……by all means, blog away. I love the diversity of blogging.

I encourage all aspiring bloggers to dive into Jordan’s blog as he knows the blogging lingo and has given us a lot of food for thought.

Until we blog again,

Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration blog

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers

via The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers

I am sharing this wonderful resource through my blog since I, no expert, find this a great way to ask the expert Jordan Peters. To all of my aspiring blogger friends and writers, please look at all of Jordan’s blog posts on blogging. Thanks Jordan for this invaluable information.

THE INSPIRATION KEEPS INSPIRING ME

via THE INSPIRATION KEEPS INSPIRING ME

THE INSPIRATION KEEPS INSPIRING ME and I take us back to 2016 to encourage all aspiring writers and bloggers to keep on keeping on and allow inspiration to seep into our dreams and goals. Journeys are meant to be enjoyed so let’s go on the blog journey and enjoy the ride. Please join me and share the blog with others. #blog #amwriting #love #books #blogger #authors #lifeskills