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!

Stormy Times

Throughout life we encounter experiences that bring on tears of happiness but all too often those tears are tears of sorrow. While catnipoflife strives to share thoughts of inspiration on life’s beautiful reflections, it is also necessary to sometimes pause in refection of the stormy times in life. Like the firey nature of a storm, the atmosphere may suddenly appear bleak and often dark but never without the shining rays of hope.

Recently there have been several bloggers who have shared ‘stormy’ times within environments of either family members, friends or both. Prayerful thoughts are sent to each of them.

♥***♥***♥***♥***♥

May you always find the light within and
have the courage
. . .
the courage to accept, the courage to bear the sorrow, the courage to show strength to others, the courage to carry on but most of all, the courage to believe. For though the world may at times appear dark, you have the light of the gospel, let it be a beacon to guide your way throughout the long hours of each day.

To each person who reads this message, take a few moments of silent prayer for those who seek and need your support during dire times in their lives. I just did!

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Pen Pals

Motorcycle Postman, 1912 (Library of Congress)

Do you remember waiting in anticipation for the postman to arrive? Let me clarify that which you are anxiously awaiting. . .it is a letter from someone much different from yourself and living in a far away land. That’s right. . .a hand-written letter, not typed nor texted, but actually penned in the best cursive one could produce. It could have even been debated whether the letter itself was the most important or that wonderful foreign stamp.

Needless to say, should I mention this to one of my daughters, now an adult, or perhaps I should say granddaughters, she would more than likely react in complete astonishment. “Mother, you have got to be kidding! Write a letter? That would take way too much time! I can contact anyone in the world with a click of a button.”

So true today, but not in the days long, long ago and not anywhere near as personal.

The memory that someone, somewhere once took the time and trouble, I might add, to pen their thoughts ever so carefully, fold the paper and crease it gently with his/her own hands, then, post it with a well-chosen stamp lay embedded in the knowledge that days or weeks had to pass with hopes of receiving an equally personal response. Those days or weeks of anticipation were filled hour upon hour with thoughts of excitement and imagination!

Did you have a pen pal? What do you remember?

“Dear Pen Pal, you are a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. Please write back.” ~catnipoflife

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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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The Original Text Message

My inspiration today actually came from a lady’s T-shirt I spied while checking out at Walmart. The drudgery of walking back and forth from one end of the store to another (more than one time mind you because something was missed on the list or thought of after the fact) finally ended or so I thought. OOPS! Forgot the cream cheese and sour cream for the cheesecake:>(

[Hubby bakes KILLER cheesecakes for friends and family on birthdays and one is coming up next week.]

He waits in line while I trudge one more time to the lower forty for the forgotten items. Along the way, I see the graham crackers needed for the crust and don’t remember if we have any at home. Grabbed a box plus a box of powdered milk. Needed four 8-oz packages cream cheese and one 8-oz carton sour cream. Got those. Turned to head back to checkout and noticed the butter. Oh, dear, do we have extras in the freezer? Not sure, snatched up one pound. Made a right-hand final turn toward the front of the store and there it was – Hershey’s Syrup in the can! Glaring down at me with imaginative signs of oozing chocolate waiting to be licked!  [When hubby bakes cheesecakes there is always enough for a tiny cheesecake sample for all the hard work. Wouldn't that thick, rich Hershey's Syrup be great drizzled over the top? And, o-o-o-oh, it is so much better in the can and not always available or that easy to find.]

Reinactment!

Now, remember, I already have a box of graham crackers and one of powdered milk, four 8-oz packages cream cheese, one 8-oz carton sour cream, and one pound butter. What’s one more item? Shifting the items, cradling them in my arms which are crossed hoping to keep everything secure, I slowly turn my body to the right, reach up with my right hand that is only mobile from the wrist to the fingers, and voila I ease the can off the rack onto the pile and neatly tuck it under my chin. Only thing left is the walk down the longest aisle of the store to checkout where hopefully hubby is patiently waiting. It was definitely the longest aisle and took the longest time to trek than any other during the entire shopping spree.

Whew! Almost there. Hubby is in sight and thank goodness he is the next in line for the conveyor belt. That was in my favor. He hates lines and if he had to let someone ahead because I was taking too long, heaven forbid! As he turned his head and spotted me coming toward him, all I could hear was this roar of laughter as he (not whisperingly) exclaimed, “That’s my wife, octopus arms!”

I know by now you are wondering what all of this has to do with the lady and her T-shirt…

As all of the items plummeted from my arms onto the conveyor belt. I turned around to begin unloading the grocery cart. That is when I spotted the lady and focused on her T-shirt. Think about it. Had I not gone back for the forgotten items and took the amount of time I did as I spotted other items along the way hubby and I would have already been out of Walmart and on our way home never having seen the lady, the T-shirt or read its message.

All of a sudden thoughts of how everyone is so in tune with today’s advancements in technology, gizmos, gagentry and gear, ‘techie’ tips at every turn, flooded my mind centering on how appearances of hearts and minds no longer yearn for the simple things in life. One cannot leave home without a cell phone, Tablet, iPad, iPod or as I just learned about yesterday, the Livescribe Smartpen. They have become as much a part of daily life as the quill and scroll, pen and paper of yesteryear, used to be. Where messages and love notes were once penned, now they are texted. In other words, where messages and love notes were once hand written, now they are generated electronically.

Are you seeing a connection? Recall the title of this post, The Original Text Message?

It was these words, The Original Text Message, that appeared across the front of the T-shirt. Why was I so focused on those words? I don’t even text. In fact, I had text-messenging added to my new cell phone over six months ago in order to receive a code for activation. Received the code along with 500 ‘free’ whatever and I haven’t used it since. I do have a computer (in fact, two, desktop and laptop) but no iPad, iPod or the newly learned Livescribe Smartpen. [The pen does seem worth investigating. I hate losing random thoughts.]

The lady with the T-shirt obviously felt my stare. I abruptly stopped unloading the grocery cart, totally oblivious of anyone else in line and as I walked toward her, she began to walk toward me. . .

OMG! There it was! The message and its true meaning. . .

The Original Text Message

Thank you for visiting catnipoflife. . .Please leave a comment!

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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

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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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The Buzzard, the Bat & the Bumble Bee

If you put a BUZZARD
in a pen 6 feet by 8 feet
entirely open at the top,
the bird, in spite of its ability to fly,
will be an absolute prisoner.

The reason is that a buzzard always
begins a flight from the ground
with a run of 10 to 12 feet.

Without space to run, as is its habit,
it will not even attempt to fly,
but will remain a prisoner for life
in a small jail with no top.

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

The ordinary BAT
that flies around at night,
a remarkable nimble creature in the air,
cannot take off from a level place.

If it is placed on the floor or flat ground,
all it can do is shuffle about helplessly
and, no doubt, painfully,
until it reaches some slight elevation
from which it can throw itself into the air.

Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

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

The BUMBLE BEE,
if dropped into an open tumbler,
will be there until it dies,
unless it is taken out.

It never sees the means
of escape at the top,
but persisits in trying
to find some way out
through the sides
near the bottom.

It will seek a way where none exists,
until it completely destroys itself.

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

In many ways, we PEOPLE are like
the BUZZARD, the BAT, and
the BUMBLE BEE.

We struggle about with all
our problems and frustrations,
never realizing
that all we have to do
is look up!

That’s the answer,
the escape route,
the solution
to any problem. . .

JUST LOOK UP!

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

Sorrow looks back,
Worry looks around,
But faith looks up!

Live simply,
love generously,
care deeply,
speak kindly, and
trust in our Creator,
who loves US!

Share this with friends. . .I just did!

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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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