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!

On Any Given Day: Life is Full of Beauty. . .

. . .regardless of the weather. . .

how often do you take the time to notice the simple things in life . . .

the innocence within a single smile, the laughter of children on a playground, the helping hand as an elder crosses the street, the young man holding the door or the young woman tendering a sweet, loving kiss, the aroma of a bakery with its fresh baked bread or gooey cinnamon rolls cloaked in snowy white drizzle, the soft purr-r-r-r of a kitten, the bumble bee savoring sugary nectar from a sunflower or the attala butterfly hovering over a field of daisies, perchance the melodies drifting about with the wind or the raindrops pelting a windowpane on a steamy summer afternoon?

Ah-h-h-h! Could there be an endless list of possibilities?
Perhaps, for. . .

LIFE is FULL of BEAUTY

Life is full of beauty
Stop and notice it. . .
The flight of the bumble bee
The butterfly flit

Life is full of delight
Stop and enjoy it…
Laughter of a wee child
A holiday skit

Life is full of love
Stop and cherish it…
A hug from a friend
The time to commit

Life is full of sorrow
Stop and learn from it…
Live for tomorrow
Never to forget

Life is full of beauty
Stop and notice it…
The sights, sounds, smells
Never ever quit

 ©2012
catnipoflife

In other words. . .

“Life is full of beauty.
Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
Live your life to the fullest potential and fight for your dream.”
-
Ashley Smith

In some way, we all notice beauty around us.
What in life represents true beauty in its purest sense to you?

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Personal Reflection: To my Husband

***************

As you lay weak and weary in the hospital bed. . .

i take your hand

i take your hand
to ease the pain
lend comforting words
for hope to remain

i watch you sleep
restful it seems
questions surmount
nightmares or dreams?

that impish grin
the one i do adore
implies a dream
perhaps of the seashore

a time together
jumping waves, kicking sand
moseying along
side-by-side, hand-in-hand

suddenly the grimace
followed by a shout
grabbing sheets, drawing knees
imply nightmares about

what is it that lurks
in the shadows that bind?
are you searching, seeking
erasers of the mind?

gasping for breath
a soft whisper in your ear
reassures the moment
you know you’re still here

ever so cautiously
struggling to see clear
a soft kiss on the cheek
lets you know i’m near

. . .watching and waiting ’til you are able to come home again.

***************

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Inspiration: Solitude

the nightingale glides across a twilight sky

a symbol of love and longing in flight

it exhales in a melodious love song

shattering the solitude of the night

~catnipoflife

Since ancient times birds have been considered a connection between heaven and earth. They are known to reach deep into the heart and the soul through symbolism and spirituality. For some cultures, their symbolism is one of immortality, while some myths declare every bird in the world representative of a departed soul. Birds have been immortalized in art throughout the world and in Christian art, birds often appear as saved souls. They also provide inspiration for remarkable stories written in both prose and poetic meter offering time for solitude within deep repose.

How many different birds can you match with their key word significance? Here are just a few. . .

The most renown bird in America is, of course, the  Bald Eagle. As our national bird, it bestows freedom and courage to look ahead being forever watchful. It signifies strength while conveying powers and messages of the spirit. Special significance is placed upon the Eagle and its feathers by Native American Indians often becoming an iconic symbol and tribal logo.

The eagle or one of these below just might be your inspiration for tomorrow. . .

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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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Just Imagine. . .

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imagination,
our possibilities become limitless.”

~Jamie Paolinetti

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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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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: The Butterfly Effect

Yesterday I ‘happened upon’ a Tweet [literally stumbled upon it among hundreds of Tweets] from writer Claire Cappetta that led me to her posting of the day Love and Coffee. Before going any further, be sure you click the link and read Claire’s ‘top of the morning’ greeting! Then, think about what your reaction would be if this happened to you:>) Of course, I smiled to myself as all kinds of thoughts passed through my mind! Um-m-m? Now, where DID I put that old coffee pot I decided to keep for emergency?

murphys-law2As I pondered the situation, Murphy’s Law entered my mind: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. The coffee pot scenario seemed to fit since anything manmade will at some point in time ‘decide’ to just quit. It can and it will! Unfortunately, more often than not it doesn’t end there: one thing goes wrong that leads to another that leads to another to another to another. . . and the beat goes on. If it can, it will go wrong and there is nothing that can stop it!

Claire’s posting at least let me start the day with a smile and a laugh along with, of course, hubby’s risque nature:>) However, the day did not proceed so light-heartedly, not even a giggle was able to creep its way in ’til the latter part of the day. In fact, it was hectic from that point on and very mind-taxing with my writing geared toward a totally different direction than that of catnip.

In order for you to understand the discovery and the inspiration that actually led to this posting, you need a little background information. Being an educational consultant, better still an ‘online learning specialist’ (just a fancy title for this ol’ retired school teacher), a lot of writing is necessary in response to the daily evaluations required of teachers’ online submissions. Well, this one video arrived that totally took me by surprise. I watched, I listened, I took notes; I rewatched, I relistened, I retook notes; I watched again, I listened attentively, I took more notes. The phone rang and rang and rang. I picked it up along with every other phone I passed on my way out to the porch, I laid all the phones down on the table and said, ” You answer it!” Then, I slowly turned around and walked back to the computer. A few short minutes later, I heard footsteps and only a head hesitantly appeared in the doorway. “I love you, Babe. Are you all right?” I think the hesitation came about of fear I might snap his head off but he knew the “I love you” gets me every time! He smiled, I trembled, we kissed!

OOPS! Careful animated_computer_studenthere, I am getting off track. Anyway, with attention back to the computer and trying to decide how to formulate the feedback, I decided to set it aside for awhile and collect my thoughts. Sometimes writing too quickly in the wrong state of mind can lead to misconceptions and unsupportive comments. That’s when I thought once again about Claire’s morning and I began to smile and giggle to myself. Still at the computer but now with thoughts of coffee and coffee pots I began a Google search. I cannot tell you what keywords I used nor how many searches I made but the words ‘butterfly effect’ caught my eye. Now, what on earth could butterflies have to do with coffee? When I began reading, it was not long before I was laughing but this time outloud, for right in the second paragraph I read . . .”Imagine you wake up in a good mood but then the coffee maker is broken. . . !

The next morning I found myself chuckling at yesterday’s musings. After many chuckles, the mood was set, I was inspired, and ready to write (hence this posting). Since catnipoflife focuses on life outsite the confines of four walls and a door (maybe a window), I ventured onto the porch with steaming coffee in hand, sat down in the rocking chair and watched as the wonders of nature begin to awaken my senses. Then, I saw the butterflies. I had bookmarked the site I found yesterday so I immediately opened it and read it again.

Have you heard of the Butterfly Effect? There IS inspiration here, my friends. Just click the words and you will be directed to Inspiring Yourself at Work. Claire, hope the rest of your day yesterday did not follow the path of the ‘butterfly effect’.

Where will you get your inspiration today?

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Inspiration: Meeting the Challenge

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~Leo Buscaglia (1924 – 1998)

LittleThingsAuthors are challenged in their writing to reflect senses that can be captured by readers in the manner in which they intended. A paraphrase of a quote by Plato (born c. 428 BC), “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,” can be rephrased for the writer into “perception is in the eyes of the reader.” In order for our readers to perceive through their eyes what is proposed by our writings is often a delicate task. Word choice initiates feelings and visions, which if not chosen wisely could totally shift meaning in the wrong direction or portray a completely different image from its intentions.

For most of us, ideas come from our own experiences or stories related to us by family or friends. Thus, it all begins with our perception. It is much easier to feel an emotion by listening to a story being told or read aloud because of the tone and intonation of a person’s voice. For example, if an event depicted a scream in a scene, the actual sound of that person screaming could send chills to the bone, whereas if you read “she screamed as the door opened” might not provoke the same chilling reaction. Our voice, therefore, must become just as powerful but through the medium of the written word.

EchoesPeriodically I will post verses from Echoes. Within this volume of poetry are five chapters intended to tap into your senses as you focus on the following:

Family and Friends Do you sense the emotion?
I’m a BelieverDo you believe?
The Beauty of NatureDo you see what I see?
Good VibrationsDo you feel the spirit?
Whispers of YesterdayDo you hear what I hear?

It is hoped you will be touched by words that will evoke personal thoughts and ideas. As these thoughts surface, write them down. Such thoughts could trigger a poem, a story, a personal reflection. Who knows when someone somewhere in time might read them and how a life might be touched in the process.

One Final Thought

“Everything that we presently feel and see moving and taking place in our hearts, our minds, and our lives is His gift to us. We know not what it is or where it is going but He does and He gifts it to you. . .drink in His goodness, savor, and cherish every drop. He gifts it to me. . .I drink it in, savoring and cherishing every drop. May the verses to follow be His instrument of joy to you.”

Below is a sampling. For this poem and more heartfelt echoes, visit/scroll through the page link Echoes from the Heart. Periodically a new poem will be added for your reading pleasure that will hopefully echo emotion of your heart.

Family and Friends – Do you sense the emotion?

***************************************

Mornin’ Bustle

Sister’s in the kitchen
Flour from head to toe
Helping make biscuits
Kneadin’ the dough

Window’s open
Curtains flappin’ in the breeze
Mama wipes her brow
”Pass the milk, please”

Potatoes peeled and washed
Are set aside to drain
Thunder in the background
Quickly turns thoughts to rain

A poor man’s gravy becomes
A true Southern surprise
Country ham sizzlin’
Forming perfect red-eyes

Fresh eggs swiftly broken
Crackling in the skillet
Aroma quickly commands
“Come and get it!”

The table’s all set
Coffee steaming in the pot
Biscuits from the oven
Sat down while pipin’ hot

Thank you, Lord, for daily bread
Country ham and bacon
Grandma’s jam and all the rest
Ready for the takin’!

AMEN!

Echoes ©2004
Sharla Lee Shults

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Personal Reflection: The Teardrop

hospitalteddybearWhen a loved one is ‘out of sorts’ so to speak, all energies go toward making that one special person feel as comfortable as possible – spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally. While endeavoring to meet all of the daily demands and maintain sanity, thoughts of one’s self seem to somehow become insignificant yet that ability to sustain self does not go unnoticed.

This hit me right between the eyes during my stay in the hospital with my husband. He had already been in our small town hospital for almost a week. The chair that did pull out into a small cot offered little or no comfort other than providing me the time and place to be beside him during his most uncomfortable and painful moments. Then, he was transported to a different hospital and to both our surprise was placed in CCU. Of couse, that meant no cot for the night! Thus, the 80-mile round trip landed me home well after midnight. Fortunately, the next day he was transferred to a private room. Problem was it was a very small room and they had to bring in a recliner for him to sleep since he could not lie in the bed account of breathing issues. Therefore, another 80-mile round trip was in the making.

It was the following morning that weakened my knees and brought tears to my eyes. Upon arriving in his room, he commenced to tell me this story. Remember, he is very weak and his mental faculties are not in perfect order because of so much trauma.

dozenroses

“Sweetheart,” he said, ” I tried my best to have roses in the room for you. I wanted them here as soon as you arrived. The nurse just would not cooperate.”

“Roses? For me?” I said quizzically. “I should be sending you flowers. You are the one in the hospital. Don’t be silly,” I smiled.

“No, you don’t understand. I wanted YOU to have the roses for all you have done to take care of me. You are the deserving one, not me,” he replied in a very serious tone. “I asked the nurse to call a taxi and have the driver come up to the room. I was going to ask him to go to the florist and come back with a dozen roses. She laughed at me and said that was against hospital policy. I argued, she won and walked out,” he said poutingly.

I gently kissed him as a teardrop fell softly on his cheek.

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