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!

Sisters

For those fortunate enough to have a sister, the first Sunday in August is set aside just for you! This year that day falls on August 3rd. As for me, I never had a sister but do have three daughters. They will definitely attest to life with a sister. Good times, happy times, sad times, bad times…all are a part of life but bottom line, they will always be sisters.

Bedraggled! Photo taken during Jim's 3-mth hospital stay.

Bedraggled! Photo taken during Jim’s 3-mth hospital stay.

Sisters’ Day is your chance (if you have a sister, that is) to show your appreciation for that special family relationship. All siblings have the odd argument here and there, but deep down there’s little way around the natural bond of siblings.

Make this day a special celebration for your sister, by however you feel is best. If you don’t have a sister, you can still celebrate the friendships of sisterhood by having a girl’s night out!

Sisters We’ll Always Be

Sisters, sisters, sisters
Skipping through life happily.
Never a lonesome moment
For sisters we’ll always be.

How scared we were
The day we chased away the honeybee!

Remember the aroma coming from the kitchen?
Homemade cookies ready before eleven.
Mama let us eat them hot from the oven,
Um-m-m, melting in our mouths, tasting from Heaven.

How many chocolate chips were in your cookie?
Mine only had seven!

Fights over clothes seemed to never end.
You must wear this; you can’t wear that.
That one is mine; this one is yours.
You’ll stretch it out; you’re too fat.

Oh, how the words hurt as retaliation resulted in combat!

Younger days, too bad they had to come to a close:
Spouts with friends speaking in each other’s behalf,
Coming home late dreading to face Mom and Dad,
Sibling rivalry seemed to last time and a half.

Isn’t it funny how we look back in time?
All the times we fought and argued weren’t funny then,
But now we laugh and laugh!

 Excerpted from Echoes, 2004

 A sister makes the best friend, loving and trustworthy right to the end.” ~SLS

Multiple-CatsTo all sisters, have a purr-fect day!

Mosey on over to Awakenings and check out the quadruple celebration for Sunday, August 3, 2014!

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A Bird’s Eye View

Have you ever thought what it would be like to view the earth as a bird? Ever dreamed you could fly (not in an airplane!) soaring about the treetops capable of touching the clouds (other than fog, of course)?

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Here are 30 incredibly fantastic views you could see if you were a bird

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Ever wondered while you were that bird how you would manage getting food? Takes patience and a lot of perseverance…

A Bird’s Eye View

Wings expand with the gentle breeze
Soaring through the blue
Blade and bloom grace the meadowland
Nothing like a bird’s eye view

O’er rolling hills, down into valleys
Sleek, graceful, strong, light as a feather
Exploring recently harvested fields
Elegant in flight, no matter the weather

Seeking, searching, forward, backward
Circling what’s captured in sight
Watching for the right moment
To begin a natural fight

A chameleon crawls along the ground
Changing color, shifting from brown to green
Searching fervently for grasshoppers and worms
Camouflaged, barely visible, almost unseen

Swift, agile, virtually without a sound
Crawlapin sighted, playing hide ’n’ seek
A sharp dive, graceful swoop upward
Renders barely a snippet in the beak

Nature has a way of caring for her own
Ventures unconquered start anew
With a keen eye and unblemished spirit
Perseverance – from a bird’s eye view

Echoes©2004 Echoes
Sharla Lee Shults

If you were a bird, a different perspective…

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Free Write Friday #23: Keepsakes

FreeWriteFridayBadge

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Kellie Elmore is nostalgic this Friday challenging writers to examine none other than…

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Keepsakes

keepsake locket

Attic nooks, garage floors, closet corners
Full of clutter

Crates and cartons, cardboard boxes, packages and parcels
Nothing but junk

Paper sacks, bags and bundles, stacks and piles
Ready for the trash

Shoe boxes, jewelry cases, and plastic containers
Overflowing with treasure

Clutter, junk, trash, and treasure
My, oh, my how the time has flown
All personal collections, priceless beyond measure

Keepsakes renew old memories
I think I will just leave them alone
And go bake some brownies

© Sharla Lee Shults

Confession: I must confess this poem is from my book Echoes. With my husband’s illness and recent release from the hospital, my mind just wasn’t up to a new write today. Even though he is home, there are still many hurdles to cross. Kellie’s theme this week actually focuses on that one special something cherished beyond measure. However, when I saw the theme key word, I knew the one I needed to share.

Am I forgiven since I confessed? Hugs!

Now I am off to see what others have written…

terry 1954 http://terry1954.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/fwf-free-write-friday-keepsakes/

bennett @ http://endofmyrainbow.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/free-write-friday-keepsakes/

river @ http://riverurke.com/2013/03/22/upon-the-rocks-of-chester-creek/

joe @ http://athingforwordsjahesch.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/5568/

sana @ http://slewnwords.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/letters/

heather @ http://wisegrrrl.com/2013/03/22/my-memories-are-my-keepsakes/

graypoet @ http://graypoet.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/keepsakes-fwf-prompt/

gene @ http://geneticfractals.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/phone-hacking-in-the-stone-age/

Now it is your turn!

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Happy Columbus Day

What if Columbus had not made the decision to venture across the high seas? That was certainly not a walk in the park, a stoll along the beach or a Sunday drive! Throughout the many, many decades of celebration, have you ever thought about the voyage itself? Sure, we celebrate the discovery of America but what did it take for this to truly become a day of celebration? What were some of the conditions and hardships endured while crossing treacherous waters in hopes of one day citing land? The key word here is HOPE with a willingness to TRY and find new land!

Visit Awakenings for some history surrounding Christopher Columbus and Echoes of the Sea. . .

Exploration did not end with America’s discovery. That was only the beginning. Here is some food for thought in the form of a quote from the 1500s:

“We ate only old biscuit reduced to powder, all full of worms and stinking of the
urine that the rats made on it. And we drank water that was yellow and
stinking.”

~Antonio Pigatetta 1500s, a sailor aboard the Magellan

Step back in time: Would you have the willingness to try?

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Remembering ~ My Hand in Yours, Your Hand in Mine

Every once in awhile I compile a post to that is befitting to both Awakenings and catnipoflife. Today was such a day. As I worked on the posting Looking Ahead: National Teddy Bear Day for Awakenings, it occurred to me while I feature Echoes on catnipoflife, perhaps I should start featuring Remembering on her sister site. The genre of both books is poetry. While the first presents echoes of love, life and the past, the second connects the past to the present through remembrances and personal reflection.

National-Teddy-Bear-Day

Looking ahead to American Teddy Bear Day, which occurs on November 14, 2012, the poem Teddy Bear Hugs immediately came to mind. Below is an adapted version of the poem that was published in my book Remembering, My Hand in Yours, Your Hand in Mine. The premise behind this book is to allow you (the reader) to peer into the past and make personal connections. Journal pages are introduced intermittently throughout the book affording the opportunity for reflecting on your life, recalling special moments and recording thoughts to direct your energies toward tomorrow.

In this book, the reader also becomes a writer!

What a great keepsake to pass down to a son, daughter, nephew, neice, cousin – not only for reading the words of the author but for reading in a loved one’s own handwriting that personal connection as he or she peers into the past.

Discount/Autograph Copy
Contact poetrybysharla@gmail.com

Teddy Bear Hugs

there is something magical
in the hugs of a teddy bear
hugging and getting hugged
have a special place anywhere

in times of just not feeling good
moods can suddenly be shifted
bear hugs somehow understand
so spirits are quickly lifted

darkness acquires a new light
when tucked in bed all cozy and snug
dreams and memories are awakened
as sleep begins with a teddy bear hug

cuddled in secure arms, soft and warm
evocative tranquil moments occur
the teddy bear hug is never forsaken
even amidst worn-out spots or frazzled fur

loved by everyone, child and adult
the teddy bear travels anywhere wanted
the more hugs given, the more received
with comfort never ever being daunted

©2009
Sharla Lee Shults

“When a hug comes your way, cherish the moment and then give it away.” ~SLS
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Messages in the Wind. . .

“Simple messages are potent. Stay tuned in. . .” ~catnipoflife

Gentle whispers of the wind
Echo of days gone by
Unveiling nostalgic thoughts
Within a windswept sigh

Walking along the seashore
Sunbeams radiate warmth
Soaking into the bare skin
Any day, any month

Strands of tousled hair
Crisscross about the face
Swirling, twirling wisps
Completely out of place

A sudden short burst of wind
Forces a swift brush of the hand
Providing view of a sea gull
Standing proudly upon the sand

First there’s only one in sight
Then, out of the blue more and more
Massing along the shoreline
As they’ve done many times before

Assembling in loose flocks
Together as companion and friend
Side-by-side they stand
Decoding messages in the wind

Gentle breezes, whirling gusts
Boast of a whisper-quiet hue
Don’t miss a single moment
What does the wind say to you?

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Inspiration for the Soul

          REMEMBERING GRANDMA

“Nothing like walking in the door fresh milk in hand,
except the smell of bacon sizzling in the pan!” ~catnipoflife

Need nourishment? Visit Daily Soul Food at Pinterest!

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Inspiration for the Soul

pinterest-logo“Whatever you want in life, start today. Not tomorrow – today. Let it be a small beginning – a tiny beginning. Your happiness depends on starting today – every day.”

Need nourishment? Visit my new Pinterest board, Daily Soul Food!

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Mother’s Day

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” ~Tenneva Jordan

 To my mother, Anita Louise Weston Lee (1919 – 2010):

You Don’t Seem So Far Away

 Sometimes you seem so far away
Memorable moments shorten the way

Moments you firmly held my hand
Guiding me along life’s hardened land

Distance spans an epic terrain
Visions of your smile block out any pain

Smiles of delight as well as tears
Carrying us through the roughest years

As tears fall with each passing day
Voice of memory keeps sadness astray

In other words. . .

Though you seem so far away
You are as close as my thoughts

Thoughts remaining ever so clear
Never to fade from year to year

Images implanted in my mind
Lift my spirits at any time

Spirits to refresh my soul
Keeping me toward life’s goal

 For you see. . .

 Thoughts of you eternally stay
You don’t seem so far away

Echoes ©2012
Sharla Lee Shults

From: catnipoflife
To: all Mothers near and far


May your sons and daughters
Know how special you are

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Inspiration: Meeting the Challenge 2

Butterflies_DaisiesRoadsides are dotted with clusters of brightly colored daisies engulfed in rain-aided green grasses. The smiling face of each flower brightens the view of fields and ditches along nature’s highway. Butterflies flit and flutter from flower to flower beckoning “come dance with me.”  ~catnipoflife

Where do you seek/find inspiration? Perhaps you need only to simply stop, look and listen within your ordinary surroundings for its discovery may take little or no effort at all. Within our daily midst, sights, sounds and smells are waiting to be awakened, explored, enjoyed and shared.

Butterflies&Daisies1That which is seen with the naked eye is often interpreted differently from individual to individual. With each vision comes thoughts and emotions that may strike an emotional chord of harmony or cast shadows of discord. Through these visions comes the ability to put what is seen only once into words that can last for a lifetime. Of course, thoughts might instead shift to that of a camera with the old adage ‘a picture is better than a thousand words’ immediately coming to mind. But, oh-h-h, how many times has that miraculous once-in-a-lifetime Kodak moment been missed? How many times has it been said or heard, “If I only had my camera. . .” More times that can be counted for sure! Yet, the vision is still there, stored in the scrapbook of the mind. Each time a page is turned in the mind’s diary that vision reappears. The recourse: write about it!

Nature is overflowing in its natural awe-inspiring, breath-taking wonders, none of which more mystical, nor mysterious, than the butterfly. What is it about this delicate insect that unites the heart with the soul? Some might say it is its symetrical beauty, others feel it has sensory powers of healing, while many purely delight in its wispy nature. Its beauty is consuming, none of which more captivating than when feeding on sugary nectar. (View Beautiful Butterflies from around the world.)

One of the butterfly’s favorite sources of nectar is the flower, especially the daisy. Butterflies and daisies go hand-in-hand within the natural wonders of nature. Watching the butterfly feed is a wonder in itself as it perches atop the flower dipping deep with a strawlike tongue into the rich nectar, opening its wings wide, bringing them in again, all the while savoring each drop. Ah-h-h, but this sweet fluid is not the only treat these little insects enjoy. Did you know they also love fruit? Of course, that is totally understandable since the fruits of nature are filled with sweet, natural juices.

Book Connection – EchoesEchoes

Inside Echoes, Chapter Three reflects poetry surrounding the beauty of nature. The verses in this chapter reflect Echoes of Life. The poem Butterflies ‘n’ Daisies projects imagery in answer to the question Do you see what I see? Through its reading, you should be inspired as its words guide you toward meeting the challenge of your daily inspiraton!

Butterflies n’ Daisies

Come dance with me!

Mystical, magical butterfly
Holder of dreams, keeper of secrets
Touches so many lives
Bringing comfort without regrets

A simple message received
Or a challenge to be met
Inspires acceptance of life’s struggles
How to let go and accept

Fields of daisies, made of sunshine
Colors of splendor, a butterfly’s lair
Offer a place to linger and find solitude
Resting as though in thoughtful prayer

Butterflies and daisies, of rare beauty
Breath-taking in full summer sun
Reflect the colors of the soul
Instilling love and compassion as one

Kneel down in quiet repose
As though if part of someone’s plan
Let the daisies hug your knees
And the butterfly kiss your hand

Echoes©2004
Sharla Lee Shults

“The butterfly counts not months, but moments, and has time enough.”
~Rabindranath Tagore

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