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!

It’s All About Character

Today is …

National Inconvenience Yourself Day

simple_dividerInconvenience_Yourself_DayThis day is not about inconveniencing others but taking a good look at what can happen when you take a few extra moments or steps that inconvenience yourself but help others. This unique holiday asks people to pause during their busy day looking for opportunities to do something nice for someone else, practicing common courtesy, or acknowledging the positive actions of others. Something that actually should come as natural as breathing but unfortunately has lost a lot of steam because people just don’t take the time or think only of themselves.

It doesn’t matter where we are or what we are doing, there is always someone somewhere watching. We should use our own actions to encourage others to pay attention to their actions, understand how those actions affect others, and adjust which actions have a negative impact on people they encounter. It’s all about paying forward a little inconvenience making it convenient for others!

Shopping_CartHere is a snapshot. Picture yourself in a hurry. You had to make a rush trip to the grocery store to pick up a needed item for dinner. You park your car and hurriedly head for the door. As you take a few steps away from your car you glance an aisle over and notice a shopping cart in the middle of the lot. An elderly lady had just struggled to step into her car with a couple of grocery bags in her arms.  She started to back up and just in time noticed the cart blocking her movement. Was it there the whole time? Did she just not see it? Did someone close to her leave it as she was getting into her own car? She sighed. Just as she was about to get out of her car to move the cart you intervene with a big smile as you walk a few car lengths out of your way to move the cart and return it where it belongs. What did you receive in return? The biggest smile ever of appreciation and gratitude. It doesn’t get better than that!

Today don’t be sorry for any inconvenience…turn your inconvenience into opportunity to help someone else! The concept is simple. The idea is embraceable. Think more about how your actions impact others . . . regardless of age.

Abigail-Van-Buren-quote

Check out what else is happening today @Awakenings…

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Kindness

Today, February 17, is celebrated as Random Acts of Kindness Day. While it is a good idea to designate a day for kindness, it is most important to never let any day go by without showing you care…for the humble and meek, the weak and strong, from the youngest to the oldest, critter and creature, human or pet.

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What indeed is so hard about being kind?

Kind Words and Kudos

A young child and an elderly woman
Waited patiently to cross the street.
An offer of a helping hand
Received the reply, “Please.”

Safely across to the other side,
The young child softly cries,
“Thanks for helping my grandmother.”
Then, she hugged me around my knees.

An elderly man seated in a café
Sat alone sipping a cup of coffee.
The expression on his face wasn’t one of grace
For he appeared all solemn and glum.

A quick glance made me smile his way
Hoping to help make his day seem better.
When he smiled back suddenly in return,
I knew that one smile helped him overcome.

Kind gestures make good echoes
For there is a hidden power in kindness.
One kind word or sweet smile
Brings joy to the heart the minute after.

Remembering© Remembering
Sharla Lee Shults

Random_Act_of_Kindness

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Furry Valentine’s Day

Perhaps we should learn real love from our furry friends!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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Just One Look

Not a leaf in sight but new buds & blossoms everyday!

Not a leaf in sight but new buds & blossoms everyday!

Every season sings its own personal song

from the eloquent watercolors of spring to the harmony of early summer bees & blossoms through the golden glowing essence of Autumn into the naked landscapes cloaked in white during Winter.

Regardless of the season all it takes is...

Just One Look

simple_dividerJust one look toward the far horizon
Captures an expanse beyond words
Limitless possibilities exist
Disturbed only by joyous birds

simple_divider

The sky, land and water connect
With discriminate attitudes
Ever present, ever changing
Dependent upon nature’s moods

simple_divider Glory in the springtime
Initiates visions without stopping
Greening hills, warming sun
Buds erupting and wildflowers popping

simple_divider

Family time summer excursions
End with strolls along the sandy beaches
Rising and falling blue-green sea foam
Occasionally unveils sea conches

A winding road in autumnsimple_divider
Demands a stop along the way
Gazing toward the earth’s edge
Reveals a breathless close of day

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Snow-capped mountains of winter
Stand majestic out of reach
Valleys through which rivers run
Grant swift passages of each

simple_dividerJust one look upward and outward
Spans a view altogether incredible
Senses emotionally enhanced
Emerge surprised and totally audible!

catniplogosm1©catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each.
—Henry David Thoreau (American author, poet, & philosopher, 1817–1862)

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See the countryside from A Bird’s Eye View

Watch this second video to get the true perspective of the eagle!

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Free Write Friday #39: Image Prompt

Writing_BanditAs I have done many times, my Free Write Friday has ended up on a Monday. Email has not been touched for three days so when I finally got the courage to check it out, the first thing I did was type in Kellie Elmore to see what kind of prompt she provided. To my amazement, the prompt last Friday was an image prompt that immediately triggered my grandpa. The little story sparked from the image began with the end in mind. Some of it is fact while as with any writing, extras had to serve as fillers to make it interesting. Anyway, here are my thoughts which are just beginning thoughts working themselves backwards as I wrote the last paragraph first. Would love to hear your thoughts so leave a comment or two or three…

From Kellie, welcome to Free Write Friday. New here? Read the intro. Everyone else, let’s get started.

Here is your FWF prompt:

Tell me his story…

Old_Man_With_Axe

Grandpa was a hardworking man. He toiled the earth, tilling, planting and sowing crops to be gathered and preserved by his loving wife of over 60 years. They met as mere children. Grew up together, married, and reared half a dozen kids while raising ten times or more as many chickens. Home was a cabin hewed by logs cut from his own timberland. Firewood was chopped every evening before sunset.

Seldom did he complain even when he was so tired his feet dragged over the threshold. Sometimes just the heaviness of that ol’ axe would cause him to stumble. He would have no other, however lighter it might be because of differences in wood used for the haft. This one was special. Notched up and down like the handle of a six-shooter. Each notch represented a tree felled by the hands of his grandpa’s grandpa and every generation since. Pretty soon there would not be enough wood to even support the head. In addition, the blade was wearing thin from all the daily sharpening, the bit was chipped and the beard often hung low until the shaft was reheeled. Grandpa took pride in that ol’ axe. Said for a tool to complete a job in the quickest amount of time, it had to remain sharp, just like the mind attuned to its surroundings.

This day was special. It seemed different. He wasn’t any less tired than usual but the atmosphere seemed brighter, his legs seemed lighter. After making it through the door as he had done thousands upon thousands of times before, he stoked the fire, and hung his hat on the back of the chair, then sat down for a brief rest. Grandma was in the kitchen humming her favorite church hymnal while preparing his favorite, dumplings.

Sitting by the hearth in his rocking chair Grandpa gently closed his eyes. A faint smile crossed his parched lips as weathered hands firmly clasped the wood-splitting axe. The final blow had been made. A job well done. The fire logs crackled underneath the weight of his last log having been placed atop.

© Sharla Lee Shults, 2014

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Free Write Friday #38: Word Bank

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreIf you have not participated in Kellie’s Free Write Friday, she has extended an open invitation. Read the intro. Would love to ‘see’ what you have to say! You may write in any form you choose for the prompt as she will never discourage your pen, but she encourages you to try your hand at free verse for the exercise.

Oh, Kellie, this is a good one! Since my husband and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary Summer 2014 let’s see what I can conger up using that ‘train’ of thought. What’s the connection you might ask…pearl represents the 30th anniversary and we were just discussing that only a few minutes ago.

Two avenues ran through my mind so here are my thoughts on…

train – burlap – fiction – pearls – vertigo

The train rolled into the station under a canopy resembling burlap. Like a character out of a fiction novel, I stepped onto the platform into open arms. Something cool ticked the back of my neck as you gently clasped a strand of pearls around my neck. Thoughts began to whirl as though I was experiencing an attack of vertigo. “Welcome home, Darling!” you whispered. “So glad you made it back home for our anniversary. I love you!”

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Pearls

Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

The Our Pearl Anniversary

What a grand day to celebrate
30 years that’s a milestone in this day
When divorce is real, not fiction
Where a little thing can get in the way
picky, picky, picky

It’s little gifts should really matter
Whether made of sap
That’s honey, of course
Or one of burlap
the LITTLE things

Gifts from the heart
Even a ride on a train
Holding hands in the park
Strolling at night in the rain
no umbrella

The memorable vacation
A cruise away from the snow
An eventful memories
Without the slightest vertigo
ice cream for breakfast

30th anniversary WOW!
My head whirls and whirls
What a grand day to celebrate
Its symbol: iridescent O-o-o-oh! pearls
cultured or opalescent

©2014 Sharla Lee Shults

Here are a couple of others to ponder and reflect upon:

graypoet says:

http://graypoet.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/oh-boy/

parallel universe says:

http://paralleluniverseblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/free-write-friday-2/

9 Comments »

When More is NOT Always Better

We live in an age of MORE, MORE, MORE! We have more than we possibly need yet the need for MORE surpasses the need for what we truly need indeed. Try to say that fast 3 times! The point is

WE WANT

Can you imagine a world without wildlife? It would be as mundane as mundane could possibly be. Of course, some of you might welcome silence from chirping crickets, barking dogs, screeching owls, howling coyotes but in giving those up, you also lose the drumming sounds of the Red-headed Woodpecker in spring, the chuckling Summer Tanager, the whistled warble of the autumn Yellow-rumped Warbler, the energetic tune of the Winter Wren. That is only sounds of some of the birds!

I’ll take the sounds of wildlife, what about you?

“I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?”

                                                                                 —James Thomson (Scottish Poet, 1700–1748)

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Just Little Things

It’s the little things… The moments… The sighs… The smiles… The cries.

The times unforgotten… Laughing at yourself… A lover’s sigh… Smiles from a stranger…A baby’s first cry…

Encouragement

Kitty Kallen (born May 25, 1922) is an American popular singer who performed with a number of big bands in the 1940s, and scored her biggest success, a number #1 hit in 1954, with the song “Little Things Mean a Lot“.

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The Chair

The visual inspiration (photography) for this writing comes by way of Vate @Consonancias y Disonancias o el Eco del Murciélago de Abril Estados de Alma y Espíritu frente a la época actual de nuestra Humanidad

With the help of our friend, Google, translation at its best is Consonance & Dissonance States of Soul and Spirit against the current era of our Humanity. Unfortunately, there were some parts that did not translate sensibly and my Spanish is low, very low, on the totem pole. That, by no means, takes anything away from Vate’s site. I encourage you to visit and read more HERE!

I first saw the photograph last evening and immediately wrote…

Aged with Time

TheChair

The chair
so empty and bare
What good are you
just sitting there?

Aged with time
paint chipped and peeling
Who would want you
discolored, unappealing?

Your back’s not straight
Resembling a sick tree
What’s with those legs?
Much too short I see

There’s a hint of beauty
beneath your scarred skin
Why were you abandoned
in the shape you’re in?

Eying you closer
I ponder and ponder
A little love and care?
I wonder, I wonder

I’ll take you home
make you mine
Where will I find
time, time, time?

Time to repair
Time to mend
Time together
When, when, when?

catniplogosm1©2014 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

What inspiration did you gather when you first saw the photograph?

How many times do you stop to ponder “Where will I find the time?” If you could recapture those moments and add them all together, you might be surprised at how much time you’d have on your hands!

Time-in-Hand

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Find Serenity

Serenity Serenity.jpg photo

“I had found a kind of serenity, a new maturity… I didn’t feel better or stronger than anyone else but it seemed no longer important whether everyone loved me or not–more important now was for me to love them. Feeling that way turns your whole life around; living becomes the act of giving.”  ~Beverly Sills

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Find Serenity

Serenity_Sunset

Serenity has not one color
One place nor one time
It’s sunrise and sunset
Blue waters of storm or calm…

Serenity_Blue_Water

Cloudy and cloudless
Tina ripples upon a lake
Silence within when tossed about
Breaking waves amid a wake…

Serenity_Lake

Distant as the farthest mountain
Atop the highest peak
Closest as the sweetest kiss
Nearby a rocky creek…

Serenity_Rocks

Velvet touch of the crimson rose
Touchless like the thorny vine
Happily ending love story
Tingling goosebumps up the spine…

Serenity_Rose

Find serenity
Within your heart, mind and soul
Easily seen on the outside
It’s the inner beauty to behold

catniplogosm1©2014 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

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