LET’S OAT SOME GOOD OLE COOKIES

TODAY LET’S MAKE OATMEAL COOKIES. I will post my recipe for Arline’s Version of Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies but before I do, I thought I would re-post the message behind the Oatmeal Cookies attached to a loving memory of my Mom. In days where I watch all sweets, there is something wonderful about an oatmeal cookie and it is not the sugar; it is the sweet love I feel for my precious Mother.


Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

 

  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups oats (we use Quaker Quick or Old Fashioned. Do NOT use instant.)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (use 1/2 cup if using raisins)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
Method
1 Cream shortening and sugars, add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
2 Sift flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to first mixture and mix well. Add a tablespoon of water. Add raisins (if using) and nuts. Add oats last.
3 Spoon out by heaping tablespoonfuls on to greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely.
Copyright reference for above recipe. Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies on Simply Recipes. Thank you!
 
My version is taking and cutting sugar by half of the brown and granulated sugar and replacing with honey. I never measure by use taste method but no more than a 1/4 cup unfiltered raw honey. Love this taste. 

 

TODAY THE WORDS are OATMEAL COOKIES. We are going to go down memory lane for a visit to my dear Mother’s home before she passed away. As my Mother got older, she cooked and baked less, which is understandable.  I began to bring her baked goodies when I would visit her. I started out with a variety of different desserts but it was soon narrowed down to my version of “Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies. They had honey in them and they are scrumptious to say the least. I would bring her a container full. She would always eat one as if testing them to make sure they were as good as the batch before. As I would watch her, I received more sweet enjoyment than the cookies’ sweetness. I could tell how much she loved them and she also loved I had made them for her. She had a certain spot the container would be placed when she had finished. Once in a while she would splurge and eat two, but never more than two. As sweet of a memory as this is to me, this is only part of the reason for the topic. Why the oatmeal cookie plays such an important part is not that the cookies were tasty, it was Momma’s rationing of the cookies that will reflect a life’s lesson. When I would call Momma for our regular Saturday morning talk which usually lasted about an hour and a half, one of the things Momma would share is how many cookies she still had and if my Sister had stopped by and had eaten some cookies. My Momma was a wonderful person and she would share whatever she had, but you had to be willing to be frugal with those goodies like she was. I would bring her fresh ones every time I would come so rationing was not necessary. It was built into my Momma to have a willing spirit of anticipation.
Now for the deeper thought…...If we would live our live on Momma’s Oatmeal program, we could enjoy life a lot longer and better. I see many people who devour what they receive in a hurry never thinking if they are going to get hungry soon. We are a living, breathing example of why we should eat a reasonable amount of food and not overindulge. The same goes for the rest of lifestyles. some of them need to be lived (or tasted), We need to savor each day (or morsel). We need to appreciate the love and labor which went into each opportunity with a palette of life. We should exercise moderate portions of life and enjoy each bite (or experience) we are given and not feel as it we are on our last “cookie”. Live life, love life, and live life to the fullest!
 
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:\
1 Peter 5:8     
 
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
 
(c) copyright 2012-2017 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is referenced to original location for reference credit.
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LET’S GO WITH YOGURT

yogurt
                               PHOTO COURTESY OF FRAICHE YOGURT

TODAY THE WORD is YOGURT. I know that some of you who know me and understand how southern I am are smiling right now and thinking to yourself, “Arline eats yogurt?” I do! My health conscious daughter introduced me to yogurt several years ago in an effort to move me into a healthier eating regime. Oh, how I resisted at first. It had a different texture than anything I had eaten and I thought, “I have to eat this, maybe healthy eating is not for me.” I feel yogurt is an acquired taste unless you go the route of the sugar added not quite so healthy yogurt or get the frozen yogurt that can be topped with a  thousand candies, nuts, fruits, and even chocolate. Now, we may be talking, I thought. That delusion got squashed very quickly and rightfully so and this is the reason for the topic for the blog today. I am having yogurt this morning, and it is healthy non fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. This preparation gave me the thought of how we change things in our life to suit our desires, not our needs. In other words, we want to adjust to appease and that in itself is not healthy. While on one hand, to tell others I eat yogurt gives an impression of health conscious habits but it is necessary to look farther into the description. Am I eating the healthy yogurt or piling on the “goodies but baddies” on top and defeating my purpose?

Now for the deeper thought…..Do we do this misrepresentation in other areas of our lives? Do we pretend to be a good employee and steal time from the company we work for? Do we portray total faithfulness to our spouses and at the same time do what we call “harmless” flirting? Do we give to others when it is selfless or do we give when it suits our image? Do we say we trust in Our God but question when our prayers are not answered immediately? Let me say this please, I am speaking to all of us on this and getting real. Not everyone will go the healthy route and sometimes even the best of us will feel we deserve the toppings with disregard to our spiritual health, but God is there to guide us back to what is healthy for our souls. Life presents all kind of unhealthy temptations and our souls can benefit if we choose the healthy, wonderful lifestyle and be frankly honest with ourselves. At points in my life, I didn’t want to be frank with myself. I find it so enlightening to be honestly free now. I make mistakes and have to pray and “straighten up my spiritual diet” and God hands me my “soul diet” (bible) and forgives me for getting off the program. If all of us will commit to “soul happy diet” our lives become easier, better things happen, and we acquire a taste for the healthy living and we “exercise” God’s love. Let’s get healthy in our souls today!

 FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Exodus:

“He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all of His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.’ ” Exodus 15:26

(c) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

WHERE DID MY ROSE COLORED GLASSES GO?

WHERE DID MY ROSE COLORED GLASSES GO? Once in a while I will have a topic come to me without outside influence. When talking to my daughter, the topic of people seeing life for what it really is. Even though we want to think the best of people, we have to have eyes wide open and minds in sync with reality. Years ago, I took off my rose colored glasses. I hope I will never need them again.  John Conlee wrote a beautiful song and I used to sing it a lot. I actually bought a pair of rose colored sunglasses at a time when this was a fashion trend (not that I was such a fashioniva). So many things were distorted in my life at this particular time in my life. One verse now comes to mind in a different context:

So I just keep on hopin’, believing
That maybe by counting the many times, I’ve tried
You’ll believe me when I say, I love you
And I’ll lay these rose colored glasses aside.

 

 

Courtesy: John Conlee – Rose Colored Glasses Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Here is an excerpt from an article I find helpful in our discussion:
Be positive but stay realistic
 
How do you think and feel about the past, the present and the future? Do you tend to see the good side and the opportunities or do you tend to focus on the problems and things that might go wrong? How realistic are you being? All of this matters for how happy and satisfied we are with our lives
WHY DO IT?
People who are optimistic tend to be happier, healthier and cope better when times are tough. So there are a lot of advantages to looking at the world through a positive lens and focusing on the things that are good. However, it’s possible to be unrealistically optimistic which isn’t a good thing. And it’s certainly not helpful to put a positive spin on everything or pretend that things are fine if they’re clearly not
Whether we are naturally an optimist or more of a pessimist, it’s impossible to know what the future holds. So perhaps the best of both worlds is to be a realistic optimist – someone who tends to maintain a positive outlook, but within the constraints of what they know about the world.
Whether we tend to be optimistic or pessimistic is part of our personality, and can be hard to change – but it is possible. We can become more conscious of our own patterns of thought and learn skills to help us be more flexible in our outlook.
Source: ACTION FOR HAPPINESS 
 
By thinking of those lines, I think of God singing this lyric to all of His Children who hesitate to believe how much God loves us and how many times He has tried to show us and most of us live with rose colored glasses on trusting in ourselves only and not giving God the credit for all of the good things in our lives. John Conlee didn’t have this idea in his mind but doesn’t it fit for any of us who refuse to take off the rose colored glasses of life which distort the truth and take us down paths we don’t need to go? I am thankful for pulling off those rose colored glasses and seeing, believing, and trusting in God’s truth. I can now see how many times GOD tried to show me how much He loves me and you.
 
Today, I dived into the deeper thought by the message itself, but I leave you with this thought. God’s love is deeper than any ocean, wider than any river, and higher than any mountain and is everlasting!
 
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
1 Peter 3:3-4            
 
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
 
(c) copyright 2012-2017 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. All third party reference is sourced to original post.

TAKING THE DAY OFF

TAKING THE DAY OFF is a great idea but not just for Memorial Day but for a reset. I am proud to be an American for a lot of reasons but I am concerned for not only the state of our country but the world as well. It is hard to watch the news and witness the horrendous acts of humans. I want a reset. I want to ask all of us to stop the blame game since I keep hearing “It is this one’s fault; no it is this someone else’s fault; no, it is another’s fault and on and on.” Let’s get real. It is All of Our Fault if we allow this to fester our society.  Two wrongs don’t make a right and they never will.

reset

Here is my reset button list:

  1. Stop the blame game. We can only control our actions and not the actions of others. Throughout my lifetime, I have been disappointed by many and I am confident I disappointed many others.
  2. Decide what things we can change. Take positive actions that will make a difference in the world or at least the community we live in.
  3. React constructively to negative events or people. What can we do or say that will suggest positive action or thinking in a negative situation. Instead of criticizing others, figure out how you can make a good difference and don’t become part of the problem but instead come up with a sensible solution.
  4. Concentrate on internal growth and success. Personal frustration and/or unhappiness can exasperate any person’s reaction and allows depressing thoughts. I feel “Misery loves Company” comes into play in this situation. In using the time spent criticizing others, we can lose the necessary time to improve our personal lives.
  5.  Build on the idea that we need each other. I love to bake and cook but sometimes I need to take a break and use the services of a restaurant or bakery. How many of us are plumbers? Let something go wrong and a plumber becomes the most important person to contact. The internet, which as a writer and blogger can be a blessing but at the same time, if used unwisely, can be a curse and destructive. Use it wisely. I bounce ideas off a lot of people and they are from all kinds of backgrounds to get a well rounded base for writing but in the end, I select the usable information and discard what is not relevant to what I am writing. I need the input, however, and it is as important even if it is not used.
  6. Decide to live a happy life even in unhappy times. You may ask, “What are you talking about Miss Crazy Positivity?”  It is possible and allow me to reference a time in our country which will make the current times seem frivolous. Many people did not live through the depression of 1929 until it ended but even though the following statistics will show a big decline in births, it is evident some people found a way to be happy or survive the most difficult time. In other words, children were born and life went on in spite of the horrendous conditions.

Trend of the crude birth rate Estimates of the total number of births and the birth rate in the United States have been made for each year NATALITY since 1909. As shown in table 1-B and figure 1-2, the mid=thirties separate two contrasting periods of change in the crude rate. In the earlier period, 1909-33, the rate underwent a marked decline, dropping from 30.0 to 18.4. This represents a continuation of the downward trend that had started many years before. Available estimates place the annual rate in the colonial period at 50 to 57 births per 1,000 inhabitants.2 The only appreciable interruption occurred shortly after the First World War. Following a sharp drop in 1919, the rate climbed in the next 2 years again turning downward to reach an all the low during the depression period. The longterm decline has been characterized as a genuine demographic revolution, related to the development of modern society, the rapid development in arts and sciences, and the adoption of a rational approach in individual and family living.3 Changes in the reproductive patterns of persons living in both urban and rural environments, and the increasing and more widespread knowledge of effective contraceptive methods are factors associated with this secular trend. The movement toward urbanization was also 2Donald J. BOgue, The Population of the united States, The Free press of Glencoe, Illinois, 1959. 3Wilson H. Grabill, Clyde V. Kiser, and pascal K. Whelp ton, The Fertility of Anjeri..qn V/omen, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York, 1958.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.23.31 AM

7. Trust in yourself and your abilities. Before we can believe in others and trust others, we have to believe in our own gut and instinct. We can make decisions for ourselves and can even have input and influence on how others think about a situation. While trusting ourselves, we see things clearer and realize as one young girl said to another, “Do you think this whole world revolves around you or something?” Each one of us is important and we should realize input and brainstorming is the best avenue for resolution of an issue and the creation of solutions.  A true Know it All doesn’t know it all but is willing to listen to All to gain knowledge and expand his or her horizons.

8. Listen with an OPEN ear. I get asked a lot of times how did I decide to do this or how do I know how to do that and my answer is always the same. I was not afraid to ask questions, seek help from those who had the knowledge I was seeking, AND importantly, listening with an open mind with an ear tuned in for learning and not contradicting. All that I have learned has been a combination of studying, researching, communicating with others, experience both with success and failures. Others have given good advice which I listened and then chose my own path.

9. Be forgiving and understanding. None of us actually know it all. Plenty of people know a lot but by our human make up, we make mistakes and guffaws. We succeed and fail sometimes many times over. We look wise; we look stupid. We agree to disagree; or we remain stubborn and obstinate and nothing gets accomplished. Forgiveness is a win-win as both receive a good feeling from this encounter.

10. Feel good about life. When we wake up in the morning, it is vital we set the tone for our day. Practice saying, “It is going to be a wonderful day” instead of having a “Woe is me” attitude and watch how much better the day goes. Positivity works. Stop and look at the good things in your life instead of finding fault with your conditions or people you are associated. No matter how bad it may seem, trust me, someone in this world has it worse than you. Concentrate on positive attitude and steps to improve your surroundings and mental focus. You can turn your life into a life you can be happy by practicing being happy within yourself.

reset1

LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; LIVE AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LOVING EACH DAY OF LIFE.

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. All third party material is sourced to original location for reference credit. Photos are not property of blog unless stated.

INGREDIENTS IN A FRIEND

Missy and Luna
Friends come in furry packages too. My daughter Missy with her bestie Luna doing what they do best…..Going places together.
TODAY THE WORDS are INGREDIENTS IN A FRIEND. I think I can speak on this subject very profoundly as I have been blessed with a great assortment of friends throughout my lifetime. Some have come and gone out of my life; some have been there for a lifetime; some are very close and we keep in touch; and some are my infrequent friends with whom I communicate rarely but they are still dear to me. In thinking about friends and a person who loves to cook, I thought I would come up with a recipe for those friends we can’t do without (kind of like chocolate cake) and this was my thoughts:
 


Recipe for a Friend Cake:

First, find a person or maybe they will find you.
Blend your likes and their likes and see if they mix together.
Stir up some fun and laughter.
Slow down the mixer and just chill.
Add some sugar and some seasonings as it has to be sweet but spicy.
If the batter starts to separate, stir it again as you want it all to stay together.
Pour it in a pan making sure you don’t leave any of it left behind.
Bake with love, caring, sacrifice and charity to each other.
Savor the taste of friendship and enjoy each bite of life.
If the slice breaks, do everything you can to put it back together.
And if you have to stop enjoying your friend cake, keep the memory of the taste.
The good times, the sad times, the silly times and the times you wish you could do over again.

(written by Arline Miller, author 2016)

The next time you start to make a new friend cake, make sure you have all of the ingredients for being a great friend to them. Live life; love life; and live life to the fullest by adding friends to your life and keep the dear friends you already have!
 
 
Here is an excerpt from an interesting article about friendship:
 
The True Meaning Of Friendship by Alex Lickerman, MD
 
WHAT DRAWS PEOPLE TOGETHER AS FRIENDS?
  1. Common interests. This probably ties us closer to our friends than many would like to admit. When our interests diverge and we can find nothing to enjoy jointly, time spent together tends to rapidly diminish. Not that we can’t still care deeply about friends with whom we no longer share common interests, but it’s probably uncommon for such friends to interact on a regular basis.
  2. History. Nothing ties people together, even people with little in common, than having gone through the same difficult experience. As the sole glue to keep friendships whole in the long run, however, it often dries, cracks, and ultimately fails.
  3. Common values. Though not necessarily enough to create a friendship, if values are too divergent, it’s difficult for a friendship to thrive.
  4. Equality. If one friend needs the support of the other on a consistent basis such that the person depended upon receives no benefit other than the opportunity to support and encourage, while the relationship may be significant and valuable, it can’t be said to define a true friendship.
WHAT MAKES A FRIEND WORTHY OF THE NAME?

  1. A commitment to your happiness. A true friend is consistently willing to put your happiness before your friendship. It’s said that “good advice grates on the ear,” but a true friend won’t refrain from telling you something you don’t want to hear, something that may even risk fracturing the friendship, if hearing it lies in your best interest. A true friend will not lack the mercy to correct you when you’re wrong. A true friend will confront you with your drinking problem as quickly as inform you about a malignant-looking skin lesion on your back that you can’t see yourself.
  2. Not asking you to place the friendship before your principles. A true friend won’t ask you to compromise your principles in the name of your friendship or anything else. Ever.
  3. A good influence. A true friend inspires you to live up to your best potential, not to indulge your basest drives.
You can check out the friendly article by clicking on the link above.


DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Proverbs 18:24                 

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

(c) copyright 2012-2017 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material sourced to original location for reference credit.

MISERY LOVES COMPANY

 
 
MISERY LOVES COMPANY
This post is one of my favorite blog posts and merits re-posting. Join me and see if you find a reason to be positive instead of the pitfalls of attracting misery in your lives.
 the theme for today. I am bringing back a post I B to Stop Feeling Miserable and Start Being Happy | Huffington …www.huffingtonpost.com/..
 
I think you will enjoy the following post about Miser
 
 
TODAY THE WORD is MISERY. Isn’t this a switcheroo? Miss Positive herself, is writing about misery. I was driving yesterday for several hours and this word came to mind about how people encourage misery in their lives. Why, you may ask, would anyone encourage misery since no one desires to be miserable? I don’t know if any of you watched the movie, Misery, with James Caan, Kathy Bates, that was filmed in 1990. It is a grueling story of how one fan became so obsessed with an author she kept him captive and made him write the next book. She subjected him to so much misery and pain. I see people who subjectively put themselves in misery and pain by the choices they make.
Life throws people enough curves on its own without us making it simpler for life to cheat us out of the blessings that are meant to come our way. How is this possible for one to encourage misery as it seems more natural for us to want happiness, peace and contentment? For some reason, and it may be subconsciously hidden, I think people who have low self esteem crave attention and that opens some doors that should remain shut. Any attention is better than none; and therefore the problem manifests itself. The victim status comes into play. No one likes me; I am not pretty enough; I can’t find a job; my spouse doesn’t treat me right; I am too fat or I am too skinny; and on and on until the person starts believing they are a victim. I am a compassionate person but I say do not encourage “playing victimitis” when you hear someone make the comments seeking attention. True hardships as I was speaking earlier warrant our compassion while at the same time, compassion given to the attention deprived victim is harmful. In place of the compassion, give encouragement in the good things about the person to build the self esteem is my philosophy.
Why add misery to misery by agreeing with a trivial whine? Could we try when someone says something negative, to say something positive? Misery loves company, so help that person out of their “misery status” to a more productive status. “I can’t find a job” may be an opening to “Where have you been looking” or “Have you tried there?” instead of “I know, you won’t be able to find a job in this town”. Happy people have bad days too: they just deal with them better. Don’t invite Misery in for dinner; it may never leave!



DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Proverbs 15:15-16

15 A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song. 16 A simple life in the Fear-of-God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches.

(C) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material Sourced for reference credit.

MOTHER’S DAY TRIBUTE

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL MOTHERS! I can’t think of my Mother without thinking of her day lilies. Mom found out she could grow these beautiful, unique flowers and it thrilled her when they bloomed. I thought about how she applied this same love and care for us, her four children. All of us are different and somewhat unique and she gave us individual love according to how we bloomed. I take a few minutes to repost an original post of tribute. I have added some of the day lilies we have blooming and I can assure you we think Mom would be proud.
TODAY THE WORDS are KEEPING MOM’S DAYLILY LEGACY. I find this time of the year both gratifying and sad at the same time.This morning our sweet Mother is on my mind and I am sure Greg’s too as so many of her favorite day lilies are starting to show out. She would smile and tell Greg how he is taking such good care of “her flowers”. She would spot a small weed and direct us to pull it as if it was an emergency. She would call their names and I would do my best to remember the names one more time. She would put her hand on her hips and study them and make suggestions to Greg when to feed them; when to split them, etc.  what would be the best part of the walk through our garden would be her smile and we would most certainly laugh! Day Lilies make me smile but now I smile and shed a tear for Momma. How she loved God, her children and family, and right in the mix, her day lilies.
I want to take us back several years ago when we were blessed to have Momma here with us. I have always laughed and said “If Mom wanted to send any of her flowers on a suicide mission all she had to do was to send them home with me.” Of course this was before I met my wonderful husband Greg. He had a natural green thumb and is such a great gardener. He and Mom loved flowers in the same way and they bonded over day lilies. Well, let me say, in addition to Greg’s love of flowers, she loved Greg’s wonderful way of taking care of us. She prepared Honey Do Lists and he would laugh and grab his tools. Of course, Mom loved all of his help and support and so began a great relationship in addition to the great one Mom and I shared. I took the yard tours and tried my best to acknowledge every day lily and rose she pointed out.
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Now for the deeper thought….I could go on forever about our daylily adventures but I thought I would share the lesson Mom’s Daylily Legacy taught me and has kept it at the forefront of each and every bloom I see. As precious as our time with Mom was and how many great memories we made from sharing her love for this delicate flower; Mom was in a way like her precious day lilies. She was in the most beautiful bloom one day and it seemed she had gone the next day and as wonderful and beautiful as she was to us; there was nothing we could do to stop the normal process of life. She had grown; she had siblings and children with grandchildren; she had blossomed and radiated her beauty to everyone who saw her. She was a unique day lily who shared her love and beauty. But when the sun went down on her; all we have are those magnificent photos of her as I am displaying some of her favorites on here. Her garden is now Heaven and we keep her day lilies as a sweet reminder of her beauty and love.
 FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Luke 12:27New King James Version (NKJV)

27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Here is a gallery of our day lilies growing in 2017 in memory of my Mother Beatrice Holt Lott Hutchinson.

 

(C) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. All third party material sourced to original location for reference credit. These photos are property of the blog.