catnipoflife

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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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Remembering Our Soldiers

From Awakenings. . .

Support Our Troops and Military ImagesSupport Our Troops and Military Pictures

To our soldiers. . .

A special greeting
Is sent today
To all our soldiers
Near and far away
Tiny_StarTiny_StarTiny_Star
Just to let you know
While protecting our nation
You are in my heart
Truly with gratification
Tiny_StarTiny_StarTiny_Star
Words are not enough
In thankfulness for all you do
With little thoughts of self
Only sacrifice through and through
Tiny_StarTiny_StarTiny_Star
Throughout this day
As well as others too
Know this message
Holds loving thoughts for you
~~~~~
Happy Valentine’s Day!

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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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catnipoflife:

Well said: “It seemed everybody knew someone who knew someone there. It affected the world. We all became New Yorkers on that day.”

Originally posted on Fortyteen Candles:

 

 

I lived in New York City from 1994 to 1999. It is a city unlike any other because everything is larger than life. The buildings there are so tall that most streets remain in shadow much of the day because the sun simply can’t reach them. Looking up and down the avenues you see nothing but a thin strip of blue sky between two rows of dark skyscrapers lined up on both sides of the street, one after another, until they disappear into the horizon. The company I worked for was located in a small to medium-sized building by New York standards. My department was on the nineteenth floor of a twenty-one story building – just a third of the size of some other New York buildings.

 

I’d always put off seeing the sights when I lived in New York, always thinking I’d get to it some other day. I was…

View original 631 more words

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This Day in History: 9/11/2001

Twin Towers NYC

“The attacks of September 11 were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified… We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.”

—Mayor Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani, New York City (in office 1994–2001)
Click HERE to visit Awakenings for poems commemorating 9/11. . .
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Awakenings: This Day in History

August 31, 1997

Wikipedia.org

Tragedy struck at the heartstrings of young and old as news of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales spread around the world. What a tragic end to such a gracious lady who will always be remembered for her charitable spirit.

Click HERE to read more and leave comments. . .

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A Pet’s Prayer

Sandy

Inspiration can reveal itself so unexpectedly! It comes in many shapes, sizes, packages, in the form of simple or complex messages, and sometimes totally surprises us with random thoughts and complete spontaneity. Yesterday I was touched by Rosemary Adkins Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler. Within her posting was a bonus story, actually a prayer, about her dog, Sandy, who is very ill.

Throughout the formative years of our children, Jim and I have encountered, helped, saved, fostered, and laid to rest many pets. Some have been more memorable that others each leaving behind his/her own tales of antics that brought on the tears, either from sheer aggrevation or pure happiness. They ranged from pet snakes to gerbils to the adoring puppy to the dog who dug into our yard to the fiesty and last, but not least, the cuddly kitten.

This would be similar to our gerbil cages.

Let’s begin with the gerbils. Cute with all the accessories that go along with keeping gerbils active and happy, cage with bedding and nest fluff, exercise wheel and chewing toys (household items worked best). Of course, there were two since the two youngest daughters (Nicole and Wendy) expressed the most desire for the gerbil as their pet(s). Oh, dear, one would not do so we ‘adopted’ two, that is two of everything for the gerbils ended up being one male and one female. (Don’t really recall if that was intentional or totally by accident. LOL!) The kids would watch them as they performed their stunts and the laugther and giggles could be heard throughout the house. All was well and each girl took responsibility for caring for her gerbil, until. . .

One afternoon while Wendy was visiting a friend, Niki felt like her gerbil was sad being all alone in its cage. Oh, I know what you are thinking and you are on the right path alright! Yep, she opened the tiny door to Minnie’s cage, carefully reached inside and gently lifted the little socialite onto her hand. Then, cautiously opened the tiny door to Micky’s cage releasing Minnie quickly as she closed and relatched the cage door. Well, rightly to say that was not the end of the story but only the beginning for the loving couple! I will add that all in all it was not a bad experience for with the birth of the baby gerbils came excitement that could never be replicated! May they rest in peace:>)

OOPS! A little of track. . .

Sharla, Jim & Chief 1984

Since this reflection began with Rosemary and her dog, Sandy, it cannot conclude without reference to Chief, the black labrador and Prince, the dalmation. Chief was the one mentioned earlier that dug under the fence into the yard. It did not matter how many times we let him out the back gate or how many times we filled in the holes under the fence, we would wake up the next morning with his having returned via a new entrance into the backyard. It was early one morning as Jim let Chief out the back gate AGAIN that he was approached by one of our neighbors who proceeded to make a comment insinuating the dog liked our yard better than his own. Needless to say, by the end of the conversation, we had acquired the dog! To this day, I do believe Chief was abused and that is why he kept coming into our yard.

As for Prince, he strayed onto the front porch one day so skinny his ribs resembled a bony rack and what little skin that was there oozed profusely from sores. So pitiful were those eyes that just bored right through you pleading for love! Our son, Scott, actually knew the owner of the dog (I really think the dog followed him home with a little help.) After contacting Prince’s owner, we found out he was unable to take care of the dog mainly because of the expense to get him to a vet. So, he became Prince Shults! [I searched for a picture of Prince but there was none to be found in the family albums. Probably still in one of the envelops that never made it to any of the album pages.]

Well, Chief Shults and Prince Shults were buddies from day one! Both loved to run and play (inside and outside the house mind you)! Understand that Chief was the water hound and Prince, the instigator. The yard was fenced in but Prince being slender and quite agile quickly learned he could leap off the deck. Chief being the much heavier of the two struggled but eventually made it not wanting Prince to have all the fun alone. That is how the escapade began but it definitely did not end with just a simple romp around the neighborhood. It resulted in several nights of missed sleep because the dogs could not be found.

The kids were frantic. Jim and I were worried. The weather turned nasty. Then, we played the waiting game. We contacted everyone in the neighborhood, called the rescue center, the Pound, animal control, etc., etc., etc. You know the routine. No luck. For days we waited, hoped and prayed they were alright. Then came the phone call. . .

Actually, it was Jim who made the call once again to the animal control center. Here is the gist of the conversation.

Control Center Operator: “Bay County Animal Control. May I help you?”

Jim: “This is Jim Shults and I live in the cove. We have two dogs that have been missing for several days.”

Control Center Operator: “Hold on, Mr. Shults. Hey, Glenda, do you still have that boat owner on the line calling about the two dogs? I think I have their owner on this line.”

Bottom line, the dogs had crossed town to the bay. Prince was leading Chief to water! When the weather turned nasty, they seeked refuge aboard a doctor’s boat (You can use you imagination about the boat!). As soon as the weather cleared, the owner went down to the dock to check on his boat. Here is the last part of the telephone conversation.

Glenda: “Yes, I still have Dr. McCormick on the line. I told him we may have the owner of the dogs on another line. He says a dalmation is on the boat and a black lab is in the water. He wants to get on his boat but the guarddog won’t let him come anywhere near the boat or the water!”

Control Center Operator: “Mr. Shults will one of your dogs guard a boat while the other swims? If so, they are at Dr. McCormick’s.”

We knew the doctor so when we arrived at his house the atmosphere was frantic but cordial. The minute those two dogs saw Jim they bolted toward him, both wet, scared, hungry and totally exhausted. They slept for two days.

Oh, my, I did get a bit long-winded, didn’t I?

When you start writing stories about your children and/or pets, it is sometime hard to just stop. Must though or the message behind this story might be lost. Since catnipoflife is inspired by the feline she will end with a prayer, but it is a prayer to all the loving, adorable pets who grace our homes and lives.

Be sure to stop by and visit Rosemary. Leave a prayer for Sandy.

A Pet’s Prayer

Thank you, Lord, each day
For the victuals I am fed
Petting and brushing
And my soft, billowy bed

Thank you for the extra treats
Persistently when I’m good
Especially the catnip
Dusted along the faux wood

Thank you for safe keeping
As I scamper and play
Climbing trees, chasing bugs
During the night and day

Thank you for my parents
So loving and kind
Who clean up my messes
And don’t even mind

After all the thanks
I must surely add
I’m truly feline
For this I am glad

If I should die
And it seem unfair
Please let them know
I’m in Heaven’s care

To them you see
I am their child
They need to know
For me you smiled

But before I close
My prayer, you see
Is for more than one
Not simply me

© 2012
catnipoflife

“If we treated everyone we meet with the same affection we bestow upon our favorite cat, they, too, would purr.”
—Martin Buxbaum (Author, photographer, artist and humorist, 1912–1991)

18 Comments »

To my husband – Happy Anniversary!

Celebrating 28 years together!

 

At Heaven’s Door

 

The doors of Heaven opened

The day you came into my life

At our eyes’ first meeting

Divine intervention touched my soul

 

What once were dreams and aspirations

Transpired into fearless reality

Conscious reasoning gave way to inner feelings

Our encounter ensured destiny unfold

 

Love initiated in Heaven

Unconditional, without envy or self-pity

Free from illusion, secure in faith

Lays eternal in the mist

 

Two hands merged as one

One heart, one body, one spirit

Truly blessed to share life’s daily happenings

Until only memories exist

 

Our love spans the sands of time

Through the years, happiness and tears,

’Til one day we’re hand-in-hand

Standing quietly at Heaven’s door

18 Comments »

Inspiration: Meeting the Challenge 3

Visit Meeting the Challenge 2

Precious Moments: That is the challenge for this week!

Each of us is rewarded at some point in time with moments we deem simply precious. These moments stay with us stored away in our mental scrapbooks to be revisited as necessary through smiles, giggles, and sometimes even tears. Sweet memories!

Like the times the kids fought over whose cookie had the most chocolate chips. What a sight as they picked out the chips one by one just to prove a point! The next batch of cookies I dared anyone to start picking it apart threatening to bake non-chocolate, chocolate chip cookies. [ha-ha] I did decorate each one with a smiley face from then on, which brought on even more smiles and giggles, each delicate cookie equally branded!

Precious moments gently cradled ready to take flight

Meet the challenge! 

What warm, fuzzy stories do you have stored in your mental diary?  Think about it: Recollections of such precious moments might just trigger a poem, a story, a personal reflection.  After all, it is such accounts of life that keep us going, always on the alert for that next precious moment.

“Cherish those precious moments because they did not happen by plan or design
but by feelings, hunch, chance, fate, destiny or just the need to say hello
t
o a particular person at that point in time.”
~Author Unknown

Precious moments
Seconds in time
Treasured memories
Stored in the mind

Frets & falls
Tears have their place
Heartwarming smiles
Remnants of grace

Stories amid laughter
Echo & resound
Playfulness of heart
The true common ground

catniplogosm1
©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

3 Comments »

Inspiration: Red Wigglers?

[After reading this post, be sure to go to . . .echoes of the past. . . and read the poem
papa, mr. catfish and me!

Oh, I can just hear you now! WORMS! UGH! You shiver and squimishly shy away! But, WAIT! Don’t be in such a rush; there is actually a good reflection going on here. I do believe the reason this hit me last night is because throughout the entire day yesterday, my dad was heavy on my mind.

What a great man! He loved the out of doors and was his happiest either fishing on Lake Seminole or playing golf. He was also an avid hunter but that seemed to be put aside as he approached his senior senior years. How I loved the times he would take me fishing! The day before we would go digging for worms and set out early the next morning for the lake with his fishing boat in tow. No fancy rods and reels, just simple cane poles and the red wigglers for bait. He let me know right away he would not be baiting the hook for me. No, sir! He said he would have enough to do to keep his own pole baited and in the water.

There are no pictures of us in the family album but this is a very good replica of Daddy’s fishing boat. Could not find a photo of Daddy/daughter fishing!

Once on the water we road around and in a short while stopped at one of Daddy’s favorite fishing ‘holes’. With poles in hand, the first task at hand was baiting the hooks. I would shut my eyes and hesitantly dip my hand in the bucket coming out with a handful of squishy, wiggly worms. I would just look at them twisting and turning trying to crawl out of my hand in search of good ol’ Mother Earth. I would look over at Daddy silently hoping he would say, “OK, little girl, let me take care of that for you.” But, silence prevailed as he carefully tended to his own hook. I knew he was watching me out of the corner of his eye. Even his pipe could not hide the sly grin.

I carefully selected the prize worm and put the others back in the bucket to await their fate at a later time. Mother had already taught me how to sew so I decided I would just pretend I was threading a needle. [Not a very good analogy, I know.] Anyway, with the wiggly, swiggly worm between my fingers, I held my breath and voila managed to get it hooked without losing my breakfast. Whew!

Alas, with that done, I took a deep breath, sighed, smiled at my dad, and said, “At least the worst is over.” Oh, was I in for a surprise! With a flip of the line, the little worm hit the water, “Splash!” Dad and I sat in his fishing boat what seemed like forever but was probably no more than ten, maybe fifteen minutes. He glanced my way, asked if I was hungry and I said I would pass for the time being. After handling the worms, thoughts of eating just did not seem very appealing. Another ten, maybe fifteen minutes passed.

I squirmed, shifted in my seat, yawned (we hit the lake at dawn) and tried not to seem too bored or impatient. After all, I was nine years old and a girl for heaven’s sake. I should be home with Mother in the kitchen or playing with my baby dolls. Right? No way! I was like my dad and absolutely loved the outdoors. We both had looked forward to this day.

Of course, you know mine was no where near this big but to me it was the biggest catfish in the lake!

Then, it happened! It started with a slight tug on the end of the line. The tiny cork began to bobble up and down in the water, disappear and reappear within a matter of seconds. Daddy laid his pole aside and gently put his arm across my shoulder. The pole began to bend and I just knew it was going to break as it curved into a half moon. With a quick jerk, Daddy set the hook and helped me bring in the grandest catfish I had ever seen! I squealed with smiles and giggles as most girls do and wanted to jump up and down but remembered we were in the boat. That would have to wait until we were ashore. I was so excited but all I could do was simply stare at this huge fish with a half-eaten worm dangling from its mouth who appeared to be staring right back at me.

Oh, do you remember a little while ago my mentioning I was in for a surprise when I thought the worse was over? Have you figured that out yet? Yep, the next step was getting the fish OFF the hook. Of course, Daddy would not let me do that by myself since I was a novice and he did not want me to get finned. But I was required to watch diligently so I could learn the perfect technique for later fishing trips. With that task out of the way, we continued fishing for awhile, catching a few more catfish, and decided to end the trip with a ride around the lake.

After a few hours, we returned to shore, Daddy loaded the boat on the trailer and we headed for home. We talked about the fishing trip and how there would be more times like this one. I could not wait to get home and tell Mama about MY fish. That would come later, much later, for little did I know at the time that first the fish had to be CLEANED!

My daddy, Chester C. Lee, on the left and my uncle Carroll on the right

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