DO DOGS ADAPT BETTER TO CHANGE? As most of my loyal blog readers know we recently made a move to a new home. As a mortal, I had many reservations and the changes it created. It has taken me several weeks to feel like myself and to become comfortable in my new surroundings. Greg has adapted a lot faster but even he had some adjustments to make. We have two dogs, one is Buster, a Papillon mix that we rescued as a puppy and is now 4 1/2 years old. The other one acquired about a month before the move, Duchess who is a Rat Terrier and Long Hair Chihuahua mix and according the vet, she is close to 3 years old. I have watched them before, during and after the move. It has become clear that animals have to adjust to the new surroundings like humans. I decided to share some of their experiences rather than ours on this blog.

First, I noticed the confusion and the curiosity about the packing prior to the move. Both dogs seemed to be out of sorts when they saw boxes and packing supplies enter. They sniffed and touched. They would back away quickly at sudden sounds more than usual. When the regular people who Buster knew more than Duchess, he seemed to be on the alert more. As items began to disappear from cabinets and shelves, they both watched with somewhat of an anxious eye. Animals instinctively recognize change and even though they cannot express through words, their barks tell a lot and their actions speak volumes. Each one seemed more possessive over their toys and treats. Buster, especially would parade around with his treat in his mouth for all to see it was his and dared them to try to get it and pack it with all the other disappearing items.

Duchess and Buster

Then came the move and what an ordeal that was with the animals. It was enlightening to watch Duchess who may have learned some tricks while she was abandoned and alone on the streets. We locked all of the dogs, including my daughter Missy’s Yorkie Poo and is a wonder dog herself into the second bathroom. The doors are pocket doors but apparently Duchess figured out how to open the doors and out came all three dogs with every outside door in the house open and with 6 guys going in all directions. The chase was on. The dogs could hear but not see while in the bathroom and it seemed they didn’t want to get left behind so they planned their escape. I am happy to say we got a lot of exercise but they were only interested in locating me, Greg and Missy.

Next was the moving in our home in Tifton and we had taken the liberty of having the fence installed prior to the move to ensure a place the dogs could watch. The doggie door had been installed by Greg and that was probably the saving grace. What I found amazing was the difference in Duchess and Buster’s relationship after the movers left and things quietened down. Yes, there were mountains of boxes, but it was the change between the two fur babies that was the highlight but taught me a lesson of how animals think and react. In our former home, Buster had been raised from a 3 pound “bear looking cub” so that is the only home he remembered. He was very territorial with his man cave which is all of the area under our bed. Duchess was not allowed unless she sneaked when he was out of the room.  They began to play together before the move but it was obvious that Buster treated Duchess like a guest in his home. The beauty of this move was it was a new home for both of them, not only Duchess but Buster too and the dynamics changed dramatically. This was now their home with equal rights. They tumble together and play together and even though Buster sleeps under the bed as always but he seems to not have any problem with Duchess sleeping with us. Both of them try to go out the doggie door together and they are checking out the neighbors’ dogs like a tag team.


An interesting event happened this morning that our back door neighbor posted a message about his dog Lucy which was Buster’s friend (seemed like a love hate relationship but apparently it might have been puppy love). Lucy’s owner Craig posted that Lucy must be missing Buster because when the new neighbor’s dog barks, Lucy doesn’t bark back. Craig said he thinks Lucy liked talking with Buster. On the flip side, we have neighbors with dogs on each side of us and one which our dogs can see and they bark together. The other side is a large dog behind a wooden fence. Buster has more curiosity especially when we moved in. Lucy was behind the wooden fence in our yard so I wondered if  Buster was trying to see if Lucy had moved with us. After he heard the bigger dog’s bark, he goes over with Duchess to explore but nothing like he did with his gal Lucy.

Finally, Buster loves to go to Lowes with Greg. All Greg has to say is Lowes and Buster goes to the garage and off they go. He went so often the cashiers knew him by his name or called him Baby so he loved the attention. This morning Greg took him to Lowes and it is not critical as they haven’t seen Buster as much as the other Lowes staff. Buster seemed to be searching for familiar faces. It is so intriguing to me to observe animals with their instincts and reactions. It made me aware that we humans should recognize those feelings animals have when their world is upside down.

All in all, Buster and Duchess love it here and most importantly they love the back yard. It is shady with trees they can explore and romp and stomp while being safe in the fenced yard and with their ever faithful doggie door that they can go in and out without asking permission. Adjustments have been made and tails are wagging at our new home.

Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the fullest by recognizing the need to make others as comfortable as you are.

(C) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Photos in this blog post are the property of Sipping Cups. If third party material is used, it is sourced to the original location if known. 


LIFE AS A BALLOON is one of those topic of the moment post. I think the inspiration is one of my dear friends is celebrating her birthday so a big shout out to Betty Burkhalter. She is at Emory Hospital with her sister while Jock her BIL is having open heart surgery. While looking for a photo to send to her to commemorate her special day, I thought about how balloons are associated with celebration especially with children but we adults love them too.


Betty Burkhalter with books
Happy Birthday Betty! I loved the support she gave me as a writer. May You Celebrate every day!

I thought about a balloon and how it may sit on a shelf unnoticed by others deflated and limp. It has the capacity to create laughter, excitement, energetic response, and a lot of admiration for the brilliant colors it reflects when “brought” to life. I would like to point out some thoughts on the life of a balloon for a little comparison to some of us living the life as a balloon.

  • Animal Bladders, and Intestines

    You can find mention in fairly old books of toys made out of water-filled animal bladders. Bladders apparently expand quite a bit (I haven’t tried.) Unfortunately I can’t give you names of these books since that’s about all I’ve been told by the various librarians I talked to. As far as more modern books, there is a reference to a ball of this type in one of the Little House on the Prairie books. I think it was “Little House in the Big Woods” near the beginning of the book. If you really want to do the research I suggest you look through literature written during the Renaissance in Europe. Merlin has found references indicating that balloon sculpting dates back at least as far as the Aztecs.Prior to skinnies being made out of rubber they may have been constructed out of intestine; presumably different animals would provide different diameters. The following is offered as supporting evidence;

    Swiss Family Robinson (1813) “Papa,” said Jack, “can’t you make me a balloon with this piece of whale entrail?”Moby Dick (1851) [re sperm whales] “Gasses are generated in him; he swells to a prodigious magnitude; becomes a sort of animal balloon.”

    In the “olden days”, especially in the European regions, jesters and troubadours  were said to sometimes inflate the entrails of recently butchered animals and “entertain” with them. The bladders, intestines, and sometimes the stomach, were strong enough that, despite their thinness, they could be manipulated into amusing shapes.


  1.           Birthday balloons for parties and/or gifts
  2.           Baby showers
  3.           Wedding events
  4.            Sympathy or empathy recognition
  5.            Comical events
  • Air Balloons are the envy of the onlooker and the thrill for the flight participant.

rainbows and balloons


I learned a few facts about balloons while researching the history and I hope you enjoyed that insert. Now, for the thought behind the post in which I will write in the “balloon presence” or as if I am a balloon telling my story:

“I lay here unnoticed by everyone who passes by the meager box which is my home. I am worthless in my present state. I have so much potential but still no one notices me. I am brilliant red and when inflated I can be the envy of the world. I will have to have a string after being tied in a knot to keep all of the gas or air inside me. That is a necessary action the same as humans have to do certain things to maintain their life; I have to have the air to give me life. Once inflated, it is show time. I can create a smile, cause hugs for those who give me away, and take a grand position tied to a child’s hand. It feels good to be loved and looked upon as a fun being. I bobble, bounce, and glide along the wind. I enjoy every second I am alive and flying. Wow, this is so much fun to fly and feel the freedom of the sky and even though I am anchored to prevent me from flying away forever, I am content at the moment but occasionally I look up to the Heavens and wonder if I could make it the entire trip. Would I be scared to fly that high? Would I hold together through the clouds and what if there were a storm? I have doubts but I also have faith as I am a strong, beautiful balloon brilliant in my red clothes. I decide to break loose and to the amazement of others I fly away and feel the altitude. I feel a little dizzy, discombobulated, but still I climb to the clouds. I feel the exhilaration on my rubbery skin and it creates a friction of excitement. I look down and see the child’s face which had smiled only to be crying. I will be missed and that stings a little but I must climb higher for this new adventure. I fly on!” 



As a writer I have to fly out of the normal day-to-day world and fly into my imagination. It is exhilarating for me and I suggest, whether it is writing, drawing, speaking, singing, sports, or any extracurricular activity, to give it a try. As a balloon sometimes burst, and artists and athletes fail to become recognized, it is most certainly worth the flight.


Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the Fullest by break the hold and Go For It!

(c) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. All third party is sourced to original location if known. Photos may or may not be property of Sipping Cups and sourced if known.





old ladies laughing1

STAY YOUNG WITH A SENSE OF HUMOR as a blog post has developed over a period of time and after some conversation on Face Book last week, I decided to give it the spotlight.  My first thought has to be a reflection on a photo I saw years ago about friendship of two elderly ladies full of wrinkles laughing themselves silly. Covered in wrinkles the viewer could see the children in them. This is the focus and sorry, not a miracle cream or solution for always looking 20 but enjoying the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and more like a 20 year old would do but with the added wisdom which usually comes with age.old ladies laughing

I will start with a little confession and let’s see if you can relate. When I was in my 20’s, I was a lot smaller inweight than now. I wore the tight bell bottom jeans, the body hugging tops and could still get in a bikini….imagine that! I barely ate a normal meal and was consumed with keeping slim. I thought, acted, reacted with all of my personal focus was on me and my body. Now, I think all of that stress and worry had to have put a few wrinkles, right? It sounds like sabotage to me. While all of this worry and stress and not eating regularly, I also screwed up my metabolism which means what? I made it harder to maintain a normal weight. I think it is becoming clear why it is somewhat funny how that worked.

Let me be blunt. I am what I am and I am not vain but I feel we need to take care of ourselves but not to the point of vanity. I saw a photo recently and itlooked as if the person was living in the past, trying to dress like a teenager with a hairstyle not suitable for this person, and it hit me. Also, and I have been guilty of this before of posting pictures of years gone by of youthful bodies and clothing. This process can be therapeutical if we have a great sense of humor and maybe say, “Did I look like that?” Is this ringing a bell with anyone? If you do it as a humorous gesture, that is good but if we are trying to prove something that we are all that and a pack of chips, we are fooling ourselves.


I say this to bring us to a point. Here is my philosophy of staying young as we get older:

1) Color your hair or welcome the gray. It is coming or is already there. Laugh about it being there as part of your wise days coming. You have never seen a spiritual guru with blonde hair, right?

2) If your body doesn’t match the photos you display on social media, wear appropriate clothes. Maybe keep a few pieces of those old clothes (like a museum piece) and pull them out occasionally and try to get one leg in them and have a great laugh.

old timers

3) If you exercise, do it wisely. But let’s get real we can’t bend like we used to so let’s don’t try to impress those tiny creatures in the gym. Remember the old song, “Your day will come.” Hum it while you struggle with the machines or weights and it will get you through. Remember the biggest accomplishment of exercise is you remembered to do it; and it doesn’t last for days, only the soreness.

4) Post good photos and scrap the bad ones. I am smiling as I had this happen yesterday and I worked a few facial muscles (good to fight wrinkles by smiling a lot) when I had changed the way my bangs fall on my face and I was told several times people loved my “do” and it made me look much younger. That was a good compliment but what resonated with my sense of humor is I must have been looking pretty dang old with my bangs hanging down. See, a good laugh is good for the soul and no products were purchased for me to enjoy life and its moments of enlightenment. Their comments were sent with love but you have to see the humor in them too.

Arline Bed Head

5) Take compliments graciously and one of the wonders of aging is it is easier to forget any negative feedback. I realized while observing a few things about aging that result in why older people usually look happier:

Eyesight gets worse so naturally everyone looks prettier even yourself.

    Memory fades so you don’t have the ability to rehash old arguments because you are busy trying to remember who they are.

    You can be yourself as most people seem to be more accepting of other’s faults and it is easier to laugh at crankiness.

Life is appreciated more at an older age as you start realizing a lot of your friends are missing and no one has posted Missing Person fliers. Hmmm???


In summary, I say to each and everyone of us who are aging: Welcome it. Embrace it. Look in the mirror and take in every wrinkle, scar, puffy eye, graying eyebrows, thinning hair, and cheeks that have gotten fluffier, and have a good laugh. Look back in the mirror and see the love in your eyes for your family and hopefully for God. See the results of the struggles, defeats and the victory over those same things. Life is a combination and full of seasons which come and go like our waistlines. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; and LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY HAVING A GOOD LAUGH WITH YOURSELF.old lady dressing young

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if noted. Photos may or may not be property of Sipping Cups.




A DAY LILY NAMED DETERMINATION will be a short post but one with a deep meaning. I hope you enjoy it and that you see a deep message for everyone.

We moved a couple of weeks ago from a home we loved and had lived in it 11 years. Greg, my husband had worked along with his helper Robert to keep it immaculate and beautiful. I hesitated at the thought of leaving so many hours of tender loving care along with a bunch of sweat and blistered hands. People would stop and stare when the day lilies hit their peak and we posted hundreds of photos over the years. Most of the day lilies and some special lilies had been given to us from my Mom who was a terrific gardener with beautiful roses, amaryllis, etc but her love were her day lilies. She loved giving anyone who visited her the “tour” and I was impressed she remembered their names. Mom passed away in 2010 and it became even more important to keep her day lily spirit alive.

As we sold our home very fast and had found one to buy in my husband’s home town, it became frantic to get everything packed and ready for the movers AND to schedule digging up those special day lilies. No, we didn’t take all of them but we split the plants and then cut the tops off and placed in a tub that we could get water to the roots.

It took two weeks before my husband found some help to actually create a new day lily bed in the front yard and then plant the plants. It was amazing to see they were green and seemed anxious to take their spot to show off next season. We had no hope of them blooming again since they had bloomed for a long time in May and even June.

To the point and focus of this blog message and DETERMINATION showing up. Greg came in the home yesterday and said “Look at this!” and held his phone camera up so I could see the photo. To my surprise, there was a day lily bloom in our new bed. I almost cried but said to Greg, “That’s determination if I have ever seen it. It has been chopped, separated, dug up, transported and stored for two weeks and then it shows out by blooming within a week of being put into our new yard. Determination, that is the best name for it.”

First Daylily at 118 Ansley Determination
This is our first day lily at our home in Tifton and I want to rename it Determination.

I realized the meaning of determination by this little delicate day lily who refused to lay still even after all of the struggle of being displaced and living for a while in a dark space. In life itself, what if we exercised that much discipline and determination when things got rough? Let’s see; Chopped…at some point in our lives, we are disconnected or chopped from family or friends; later jobs; Separated by relationships, distance, death, etc. and the feeling has to be loneliness; Dug Up and relocated by circumstances out of our control; Transported into a new environment even if is due to a happy occurrence like marriage or moving back home; Stored Away or as I say, forgotten by old friends and relatives as their lives or yours gets too busy to schedule a time to see each other or even call. Replanted into a new life, new surroundings, new challenges and sometime a new home can cause an adjustment period and it can take time to feel at home and start a new growth and good seasons.


(C) COPYRIGHT Arline Miller 2012-2017 with all rights and privileges reserved. All photos are not exclusively the property of Sipping Cups unless stated.


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.

moving1                     moving4

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.