catnipoflife

Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest!

Awakenings: Maine: Beacons by the Sea

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This Day in History: March 15, 1820

Maine (the Pine Tree State, also commonly known as the Lighthouse State) became the 23rd state on this day as part of the Missouri Compromise. This geographically limited the spread of slavery and enabled the admission to statehood of Missouri the following year, keeping a balance between slave and free states. The state motto of Maine is Dirigo (Latin for “I Direct” or “I Lead”).

~~~
Lighthouses, sea coastal living and lobsters are the most common associations with Maine.
Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Maine is one of few states that has a designated cat. Every heard of the Maine Coon Cat? Check it out @Awakenings!

See on www.awakenings2012.blogspot.com

5 Comments »

Awakenings: Betcha can’t eat just one!

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Let’s celebrate that munchy, crunchy goodness! Today is…

National Potato Chip Day

One of sandwiches best accompaniments, as well as one of the world’s best-loved snacks, is being celebrated definitely with a grain of salt! More that just a grain is added to make this salty snack more and more desirable. Bet you can’t eat just one! Yep! We are talking about the potato chip, which has been around since the 19th century.  With today being Potato Chip Day, let’s step back in time to the first chip off the ol’ potato.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Check out the recipe of the day: Potato Chip Toffee Cookies!

See on www.awakenings2012.blogspot.com

2 Comments »

Free Write Friday #40: Image Prompt

Writing_BanditI am one of Kellie Elmore’s writing bandits at freewrite Friday. Kellie invites all who would like to participate to please join her. Rules are simple. Follow her prompt and write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes she will provide a word prompt, a phrase prompt or like today an image prompt. There is no time limit so even if you miss the Friday, the writing window is always open. New here? Read the intro.

Here is Kellie’s latest FWF prompt:

This house has a story…what is it?

Old_House

Image Credit: We Heart It

Having passed by the old place seemingly hundreds of times, today I decided to stop. This would be my last time. There are too many ghosts wandering its inner halls, too many secrets that need not be aired—our secrets. Nothing should remain for nothing’s left to be shared. With time’s passing has come the hour to finally let go. Tomorrow the bulldoziers will arrive at 6 A.M. to demolish what remains standing, it will soon be gone. At least outwardly anyway.

Memories will remain along its grounds that can never be bulldozed down.  Some good. Some not so good. It is called life and in that house, overall life was good. Happiness and heartache can be measured with each board readied for its original construction. Great-granddaddy toiled and labored felling trees for just the right wood to be milled and planked. Stone blocks were hauled uphill from the creek below and set in for a solid foundation.

I can still sense the aromas from the back kitchen—hot apple pies, cinnamon spiced cider, homemade breads—that make my mouth water and stomach churn simply from hungering for the good ol’ days. Sounds of laughing in the backyard with the screen door slamming over and over again bring on a smile and tears at the same time.

Voices echo from the kitchen window calling me inside for the last time.

Echoes…

Echoes through broken glass
Whisper of times long past
Love’s endurance, young lives lost
Survival whatever the cost

Echoes within dawn’s pale light
Reveal a hurrisome sight
Early morn kitchen chores
Shadow sunny outdoors

Echoes in scorching, noonday heat
Bare tired, aching body and feet
Needing a shady place to rest
Leaves any desire hard pressed

Echoes when day is done
Hover ‘round the setting sun
Toil ’n’ labor at last o’er
When day’s light is no more

Echoes of the whippoorwills
Pierce the air across the fields
Visions of standing hand-in-hand
Long for a shooting star to land

Echoes of voices in my head
Forever alive, never dead
Wooden structure may be gone
Memories live on and on

Time for parting words to be said
Filled with echoes of joy, not dread
‘Tis the end of an old way
Time to begin a new day

catniplogosm1©2014 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Other Writing Bandits to Visit:

Tracesofthesoul

dorothychiotti

poetryshack

phylor

Heidi

Joseph Hesch

buildingalifeofhope

Talicha J.

Colline

michael

Roberta

Lorraine

Author’s Thought

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Awakenings: Barbie’s Debut

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Today in History, March 9, 1959

Today is one of the few days of celebration to which a reason for this particular day actually exists. This Day in History, March 9, 1959, is the date when an 11-inch doll with a waterfall of blond hair made her debut, her name…Barbie!

Do you know Barbie’s REAL story? Have you ever seen the real-life Ken and Barbie who by the way actually do NOT like each other?

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Barbie has become a global icon of many faces with some body changes throughout her career. She has even acquired different cultural identities. Barbie remains, however, a fashion doll, unlike her predecessors, the baby dolls.

See on www.awakenings2012.blogspot.com

2 Comments »

Awakenings: Getting Nuttier with Chocolate!

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Today is…Chocolate Peanut Cluster Day

Yep! Another food holiday…not just any food but chocolate…not just chocolate but chocolate swirling over, under, around and through salty peanuts! WOW! With all the chocolate and nutty days already celebrated, what is one more? Right? Dieting went to pot during Thanksgiving and Christmas now the push for chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate is making weight watching almost an impossibility.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Check out the recipes for Chocolate Cluster-Peanut Butter Cake, Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters, One Perfect Bite: Chocolate Peanut Cluster! Try creating small clusters to use when decorating cupcakes and desserts, especially yummy when sprinkled over vanilla ice cream!

See on www.awakenings2012.blogspot.com

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The Power of Appreciation

Expectation-vs-AppreciationOften when I am working on Awakenings, inspiration guides me to share a day’s events on her sister catnipoflife. Today is one of those days since March 7th is National Employee Appreciation Day. The thoughts that came to mind center around appreciation vs. expectation. We are all expected to do a good job but are our efforts truly appreciated? Do we pass through the day seemingly unnoticed as robotic motions move us toward completion of assigned tasks? These are possibly questions we have all faced at some point in our lifetime.

Appreciation is something that should come Thank-Younaturally without effort. In other words, it is a natural reaction that is not always expected. Simple expressions go a long way for they replicate appreciation, nothing being expected in return. Pause for a moment and consider yourself a boss walking through the office where several employees are hard at work. Upon passing each person, you simply smile, say thank you continuing on to the next. What a great way to make someone’s day…simply smile, say thank you, walk away!

Expectation-vs-Appreciation2Now, change the scene. Take on the approach of looking around you with nothing in mind but expectations instead of appreciation. Does that ‘thank you’ come as easily since your perception has changed? Are you waiting – expecting – an ah-ha moment to suddenly appear? Becoming so focused on expectations shifts attention toward what is not there, rather than appreciating what is there all along.

Is appreciation more powerful than expectation or is it enough to say there is power in appreciation? While we may set our pace according to our expectations, the reward is being sincerely appreciated.

This is true of life itself outside the boundaries of the workplace. Whether you are reading this today, tomorrow or later on down the road, the power of appreciation flows from employer to employee, employee to employee, teacher to teacher, teacher to student, friend to friend, friend to stranger and it goes on and on…husband to wife, mother to child, brother to sister…

Appreciation

Isn’t it better to expect nothing so when all the surprises come along the gifts are truly appreciated? The gifts, of course, being expressions of gratitude through love, time, energy, and ourselves, not to get anything in return. When we say ‘thank you’, we are giving praise and receiving the real joy in the act of giving. There is indeed power in appreciation!

Appreciation1

To all employees, THANK YOU for the jobs you do for where would we be without you?!.

Employee Appreciation Day_full

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Awakenings: Chocolate Strikes Again!

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

Today is…

White Chocolate Cheesecake Day

 

Cheesecake. Just saying the word makes one’s mouth water. What can make cheesecake even better? Adding a chocolate crust? Drizzling it with chocolate? Making the whole thing from chocolate, of course! There’s no better dish to dedicate a day for celebration – especially since it involves eating it. Whoever decided to start White Chocolate Cheesecake Day must have been a big fan of this tasty dessert. Then, who isn’t?

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Is your mouth watering yet? Get to work and get it made! Call some friends over and celebrate together!

See on awakenings2012.blogspot.com

4 Comments »

Awakenings: ‘Hooping’ Along

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This Day in History: March 05, 1963


The Hula-Hoop, a waist-, limbs-, neck-swiveling toy, became a huge fad across America when it was first marketed by Wham-O in 1958. On this day in history, March 05, 1963, the Hula-Hoop is officially patented by the company’s co-founder, Arthur “Spud” Melin. An estimated 25 million Hula-Hoops were sold in its first four months of production alone.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Ah-h-h! I remember it well. It meant enjoying time outdoors, thus leaving household chores behind either completed or to be tended to later.

See on www.awakenings2012.blogspot.com

2 Comments »

Friends vs. Friendship

Piggies1

Piggies can be our friends!

During a lifetime, each person will encounter innumerable friends. They will come. They will go. Some will be remembered. Some won’t. Many will be real. Thousands will be virtual. Yet, we call them all ‘friends’. There is really no separation. Some we see. Some we don’t. These are our circle of friends.

What makes a person a friend? Can someone be called ‘friend’ yet not truly be a friend, only act friendly? Everyday conversation occurs during which someone will reply, “Oh, he’s my friend!” or “I know her. She is a friend of mine.” Has this happened to you? Have you ever paused in wonder as to what made you identify a person as a friend? Each of us will have different thoughts and answers to that question.

We have work-friends, buddy-friends, intellect-friends, fun-friends, the talker-friend and the listener-friend. There is the big brother or big sister and of course, the friend who is like a mom or dad. Some even earn our trust as we accept them into our hearts without question. Each plays a significant role in life.

Now turn to friendship. Any difference?

Friendship is a form of love, passionate in the sense of caring and understanding but not erotic. It is resting your head on someone’s shoulder and crying out of sheer happiness or sobbing uncontrollably in times of sorrow. It is that person holding you so tight you do not want him or her to let go for you are no longer capable of separating one person’s tears from the other. It is disagreeing and finding harmony in disagreement. Those are the personal lasting friendships.

Today, with the advancement of social networking, friendship does not get applied to many situations. The friends in this environment are acquaintances that people do not even know and probably will never know. Yet, comfort can still be found, it is simply within written communication, rather than in person.

Each of us can be a friend, associate with friends, and form lasting friendships. Those that last are the ones which we truly celebrate. In other words, a celebration of friendship is when you are not only told you have dirt on your face but your friend helps you clean up your mess! This is our blessing of friendship.

Angel of Friendship

friendship_angelstar-divider-lineA cloud floats from Heaven
To rest upon a shoulder
A soft, billowing pillow
Where an angel abides

Quietly, gently resting
‘Til needed to leaven
Heaviness like a boulder
Laying worries aside

Who is this angel?
Quintessence of loyalty
Bearer of charity
Who offers companionship…

Listener with quiet understanding
Sunbeam smiles radiating harmony,
A messenger of amity
Ensuring a lasting relationship

Who is this angel?
This angel is the angel of friendship

Echoes©2004 Echoes
Sharla Lee Shults


6 Comments »

Awakenings: Send a Hug to a GI!

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond
Today is…

National Hug a GI Day

Whether you send a hug, give a hug, or offer a handshake, one is just as important as the other! While today is set aside as a special day of celebration, don’t limit this one to just today. Show your appreciation for all who serve/have served in the military…today, tomorrow, everyday to come!

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

 Show your appreciation for all who serve/have served in the military…today, tomorrow, everyday to come!

See on www.awakenings2012.blogspot.com

2 Comments »

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