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!

Bon Appétit & Music Too!

Reposted from Awakenings with a touch of catnip…


Gobble Gobble Gobble is the tune of the day if the only thing on your mind is the Thanksgiving feast…BUT that is not all Thanksgiving is about. It’s only a start…

  gluttons for punishment
partake of the Thanksgiving feast
with abundant choices
one can feel like a gorging beast

try this for something different…
go around the table
fill a plate with all the trimmings
deliver to the disabled

~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  Thanksgiving is not just about food…it’s music too!

music of Thanksgiving
soul felt,  full of emotion
melodies of the heart
spreading joy, inspiration
 it’s rhythmic balance in nature
in tune with songs of life
 spiritually rewarding
“whispers of drum and fife”

 Thanksgiving is about…

 giving thanks for many blessings
received the whole year through
being with family and friends
 cherishing all they do
living, laughing, loving
never forgetting those in need
giving inspiringly
encouraging others indeed
Beyond the Thanksgiving table…
remember blessings said
being heard with a grateful ear
 humbly and earnestly
memorable words to endear
 emit emotions from the heart
those that last all year through
solemn thankfulness amid praise
to never bid adieu


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World Kindness Day

Have you ever thought about the difference in thankfulness versus gratefulness? During hot, dry spells, you are thankful for the slightest hints of rain or during the winter, you are thankful for the day falling snow finally wanes. On the other hand, you are indeed grateful for the presence of nature, the nurture that Mother Nature brings to the earth in the forms of nourishment, care, shelter, guidance, inspiration. Being aware of your surroundings interjects feelings of thoughtfulness which in turn makes you truly thankful thereby expressing gratitude for all blessings received. Inner spirit is at peace, heart and soul.

Turning Thoughtfulness

Being thankful, giving thanks
Go together hand-in-hand
One without the other
Makes for a lonely stand

Be thankful for many blessings
Each new day may impart
Specially those unexpected
Which arrive heart-to-heart

Give thanks in return
For those blessings received
Since unspoken words
Can’t be quickly perceived

Be thankful for troubled times
Reaching out to those concerned
For without painful mistakes
Lessons cannot be learned

Give thanks for the little things
From strangers and loved ones alike
Whose genuine thoughtfulness
Presents a delightful heartstrike

Be thankful for each morning
With which a fresh start begins
Giving thanks for daily blessings
Until the day finally ends

Turn thoughtfulness into gratitude
A work of heart, a practice of soul
Find pleasure giving to others
A notion that never grows cold


© 2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

—Albert Schweitzer (Alsatian theologian, organist, philosopher 1875–1965)


November 13th is World Kindness Day!

A global 24-hour celebration dedicated to
paying-it-forward and focusing on the good.

Feelings of thoughtfulness naturally bring on acts of kindness, which make for a better day any time of the year. Even though November 13th is set aside as a day of celebration, let it only be the beginning of random acts of kindness to last all year!

Need some ideas?
Opportunities for random acts of kindness are everywhere. We just have to take the time and allow ourselves to do something memorable for others. November 13th, World Kindness Day, is a good day to remind us of that. The good news, is that kindness doesn’t always require spending. A nice letter, a compliment, or even your time can make someone smile.
Shari’s Berries created a Random Acts of Kindness Generator to inspire you on World Kindness Day. Just choose a category, and the generator will provide a simple act you can do for someone else. Luckily, there are over fifty different kindness ideas which you can perform all year long!
Random acts of kindness come from the heart, one beat at a time! 

Both Sides of Life: City vs. Country

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Are you a city slicker born and reared in the country? A country boy or girl living it up in the city? Country born, country stayed or city born, city to this day? Much is to be learned from both sides of life. The sleepy country side isn’t for everyone nor is the flipside, hectic city life. One may seem pale in comparison to the other so venture forth seeking the brightness of each. If you live in the country, take time to visit the city. If you live in the city, get out into the country for rural goodness.

Life in the City

Welcome to the city!
May I show you around?

A concrete jungle
It has long been called
A mighty fortress
Towering, stone-walled

Glaring, surely blaring
Sights amid sounds
All around the city
Hold you spellbound

Daytime, nighttime glamour
Makes you feel like new
Singing, dancing, engaging
Nothing you can’t do!

Hustling, bustling city squares
Crisscrossing asphalt streets
Coffee shops by the dozens
Invite strangers to meet

Spectacles, smells, odd routines
Invite strangers to stroll
Events in a city park
Offer a grassy knoll

A haven for many
Sin city to a few
Life in the city
Never bids adieu!

Welcome to the city!
Ready to wheel around?

Hail a taxi
In a heated rush
Paint the city
With your own life’s brush!


©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.

            —Margaret Mead (American cultural anthropologist, 1901–1978)

Have you ever felt like walking directly into a picture? The image being so clear, so persuasive you actually felt the scene? It could be you’ve imagined a setting from books or magazines you read or heard described. What drew you in could be the pleasantry of the landscape, the land, the horses or the people. The image became so implanted in your mind nothing could stop you from searching for such a place. You drove, drove, drove until you found it! Maybe after reading that will be the guidance you need to seek your own spot in the countryside.

Countryside Manner

At dawn beads of morning dew
Dance across spiders’ webs
Reflecting the rising sun
As pale light strokes the sky

An oratorio of frogs
Birds, mammals, creepy-crawlies
Generate the essence of song
Bringing on a tender sigh

Wide expanses of green-on-green
Adorn the rolling country hillside
With wildflowers, gems of beauty
Joining the horizon’s edge of blue

Just up the road two horses
Grazing alongside a field of buttercups
Look upward toward earth’s edge
In the forefront of the panoramic view

A wooden farmhouse in the background
Stands naked within the scene
Surrounded only by fields of green
Serene, natural beauty

An old country farmer
Plowing his corn field nearby
Reflects on life’s duty
With a swift wipe of his brow

Chickens scatter noisily
As eggs are carefully gathered
The plumpest of the plump hens
Tries to escape supper somehow

Such is the countryside manner
Where thoughts lost in daydreams
Leave imagination unbound
On wings completely free

Holding hands, shoulder-to-shoulder
Sittin’ upon the grass
Bears glory in the countryside
Now that’s the place for me!


©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: When I go out into the countryside and see the sun and the green and everything flowering, I say to myself —Yes indeed, all that belongs to me!

            —Henri Rousseau (French Post-Impressionist painter, 1844–1910)

So, what is your side of life…city or country?



Remembered time and time again
Embedded dramatic, iconic images
Symbols of excitement and joy
Inspiring, mesmerizing, unforgettable

For each of us, what is deemed unforgettable differs. It may be a nature experience, a walk with Mother Naturepanoramic tranquil scenes or minuscule patterns or even the depiction of natural disasters. For some, it is all in the name of love, whereas for others, it is unconditionally patriotic. The possibilities are indeed endless.


There are connections to the past, present, and future. Some can be classified as Defining Moments establishing, often shifting, the course of history. Many cause a plethora of tears yet remain surrounded in blissful happiness. Then, there are the sights and sounds when Flying Over America!


What do you consider as an unforgettable moment?

Perhaps it is as simple as the fact AUTUMN is here!

Related Article:
The end of the Great Wall of China at…

True Riches

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing today, pause in reflection on whom or what you are truly grateful. You may find the naming easy coming rather naturally or you may find it takes some thought, time and effort. Remember, regardless of whether easy or hard, the goal is giving thanks and being grateful for all you have. There is a lot to be thankful for…all you have to do is sprinkle a little catnip into your life embracing the cherishable moments being careful not to let the little things go unobserved. These are the true riches in life!

True Riches

Consider that which you’re truly grateful
What would be at the top of your list—
Friends, family, loved ones, favorite pet
Something you simply cannot resist?

Material—here today, gone tomorrow
Proposes value not set in stone
But when it comes to everlasting life
It is priceless—it and it alone

Life’s filled with cherishable bounties
Each to be considered on its own
Not to be thought of haphazardly
Instead measured from birth until grown

As a tiny infant you learn dutifully
Survival outside your mother’s womb
With loving care, nourishment of adoration
You grow up going forth in full costume

From childhood to young adult
Life flows as a river of dreams—
First crush, first date, first kiss
Without worry or so it seems

Once into the world of adulthood
Life takes on a whole new meaning
Gratefulness is the bounty of life
Which is only the beginning

As the days turn into months
The months forge ahead into years
Passing by all too quickly
Memory slowly disappears

The tick-ticking hands of time
Move in only one direction
The only way to step back
Is merely in life’s reflection

Live each day for its moments
Not simply day by day
True riches of life excel
In all you do and say

catniplogosm1©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Could it be that the mystic gratefulness in the depth of every human heart sings with “a still, small voice,” and is easily drowned out by the noise we endure and the noise we make?

           —Bro. David Steindl-Rast O.S.B. (Catholic Benedictine monk, b. 1926)

1 Comment »

Summer Relaxation

catnip_cat_grass_and_greens_for_your_cat_s1What is your favorite summer relaxation? What about observing a sunset within the sea, shells and smells at the beach? Living in the fast-paced world of e-this & e-that makes it easy for life to become so stressful that the need to get away is at the top of the list. Ready to relax? Kick back, breathe deeply the salty air, take a few moments for a quiet walk…simply get away welcoming peace at the end of the day.


Perhaps yours is . . .


A Walk along the Beach

Radiance on the horizon
Broadcasts day is about to begin
Sending sunbeams of golden warmth
To soothe, visibly gilding the skin

Sunlight reflects on the water
Mirroring synthetic jewels
With prismatic colors arching
Inside raindrops like cultured pearls

Noonday scorching, sweltering heat
Offers the darkest, most perfect tan
Ebbing the tide to erase footprints
Where sand pipers once swiftly ran

Breathtaking views of glistening sand
Stretch outward miles upon miles
Beach sandcastles’ unique creations
Generate smiles upon smiles

Summer evenings, moonlit nights
Flaunt stars for strollers to abide
Lovers walk lonely beaches
Staying close, in step side-by-side

Tears in the pale moonlight
Unleash desires to cry no more
For loving thoughts triumph
Hand-in-hand along the seashore

catniplogosm1©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Today, walking the beach, I was reminded of the bounty of the earth in the form of wild blackberries – a free feast, with no one else bothering to partake.

—Jonathan Lockwood Huie (Author, n.d.)


Diamond in the Rough

Raw, rare beauty…that’s the diamond in the rough! It exists within the yard clutter of overgrown grass, scrubby shrubs, deciduous trees being housed in the most conspicuous, often non-conspicuous places. Eruptive, wildly beautiful engagements mix with snapshots of ethereal beauty as Mother Nature balances auras of delight with intensity. From the opening gates of dawn until the final curtain of daylight, nature channels its power of enchantment bringing you to your knees or lifting your spirits skyward. At the closing of day through the midnight hour, from dusk ’til dawn, nocturnal creatures add to your world of imagination with fascination.

Diamond In The Rough.jpg

 Awaken to the raw power of nature
When crashing waves, lightning cavort
Embark on a journey of pure imagery
Where the mind’s eye is the transport

Blend the defiant power of nature
With wonderment amid fascination
Draw on the earth’s primordial spirit
Charisma amongst imagination

Succumb to nature’s wilder places
Mysticism within self-awareness
Become lost in nature’s miracles
Of healing, transforming consciousness

Perceive rapid-flowing rivers
Cascading through rocky terrain
Imagine deafening sounds
Waterfalls, hammering rain

Evoke visions of pure impulses
Those of unbridled natural power
Peaceful before quite overwhelming
Surpassing any meditative hour

Observe nature untouched, unpolished
Like finding a diamond in the rough
Leave with a better understanding
Of yourself interestingly enough

Proclaim the exhilaration
A freedom deep within your soul
It’s observing life at its best
Totally under mind’s control

©2015 CatnipofLife
Sharla Lee Shults

The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.
—Daniel Defoe (Journalist, 1660–1731)



Blessings at Easter


Easter brings blessings to all who believe
Joy in celebration this special day
Hope in all the tomorrows to come
Wisdom in following the right way…

 Comfort in the fulfilled promise
Fellowship in the spirit of love
Truth in divine faithful guidance
All by the hands from Heaven above


While enjoying Easter with family
Take a seat at Mother Nature’s table
With her intoxicating, bold “buffets”
Bountiful, readily available

Arrange a bowl of fresh cut flowers
To bring cheery greetings in early morn
Soak up pure inspirational goodness
While enjoying what sunbeams adorn


“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed.” — 1 Peter 2:24


Beyond the Box

The expression ‘stepping outside the box’ takes you away from redundant routines into territory filled with intensiveness, often nervousness, but at the same time, opens up new horizons, bold ideas. It is a mindset establishing an entirely new way of thinking ultimately guiding you toward listening to life around you from a totally new perspective. When you wake up in the morning, what are the first thoughts that come to your mind? If they encompass dread or a boring outlook, it is time to cast off the dreary atmosphere that surrounds you. Gaze out the window, listen to life’s songs!


 A room bears semblance to a box
Ceiling to floor, wall to wall
Confining that which is inside
Posing not much change at all

Outside a bedroom window
Surfaces life beyond the box
Unfurling naturally
Without the need for alarm clocks

As daylight filters through the window
The new morning rises into view
Not to be seen as melancholy
But one bidding the old adieu

Greetings with the beam of light
Snap attention when your alarm rings
Not much else greets early morn
Except the voice a “good morning” brings

Consider the birds as they awaken
Filling the atmosphere with song
An ambiance of joyful melodies
To carry with you all day long

Ponder how nature greets the morning
Eye to horizon, in between
Unfolding in striking harmony
Monopolizing your first scene

Ease toward the window’s light
Thwarting thoughts of the day before
No reason stuck inside the box
This day, days to come, no more

Thoughts now align with the day ahead
Beyond the box into the light
Listening patiently, intensely
Not to miss a moment in flight

©2015 Sharla Lee Shults

I desperately needed to reevaluate, get outside and beyond the box and my head. Time out again to reinvent. Fight or flight.

            —Marilyn Grad (Self-taught artist, n.d.)


Back Online Part Time…

Br’er Groundhog gave us six more weeks of winter so Winter Break isn’t over altogether but with February being a short month, Spring is already in sight! Just the thought of Spring is enough to bring sunshine on a cold wintry day, at least inside if not out…that is, within the heart and mind! So, bring the sunshine that is on the inside outside with some really big smiles and focus on the days ahead. If you are as impatient as I am, you cannot wait for those first buds to appear or specks of green to peek out from beneath the cold, cold ground. Each region of the nation will begin experiencing its own unique signs of Spring dear to the heart with both plants and animals sending forth harbingers that signal the annual demise of Ol’ Man Winter!


Mother Nature’s Delights

Snowdrops from Winter sleep
Bring life to land that is dreary
  Mother Nature’s paintbrush
Delightful sights for the winter-weary

Glory-of-the-Snow in the snow
Burst forth blue, white, even pink
Mother Nature’s honor guard
Delightful indelible ink

Witch Hazel ‘promise’ shrubs
Bear warm, spicy scent
Mother Nature’s wild catkins
Delightful descent

Not just the blossoms
Harmonize amongst greening trees
Mother Nature’s balance
Delightful birds, butterflies and bees

High-lonesome pitch of spring
Emerge from wet patches of ground
Mother Nature’s evening chorus
Delightful spring peepers’ sound


Ladybugs under the leaves
Awaken to a taste of aphids
Mother Nature’s tiny dots
Delightful as hungry little kids


Songs of an American Robin
Blend with a Woodpecker’s drumming
Mother Nature’s melodies
Delightful singing and humming

Deeper the Winter cold
Later these signs appear
Mother Nature’s springtime
Delightful visions all clear

©2015 Sharla Lee Shults

 What signs of Spring have you already encountered?



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