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!

The Art of Kissing: A 1936 Guide for Lovers

See on Scoop.itAmerica & Beyond

“Like a bee that settles on the fragrant pistils of a flower, and sips in the nectar for honey, so should you sip in the nectar from between the lips of your love.”

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Since there is so much history behind the art of kissing I am posting this to America and beyond. Of course, kissing is definitely an intricate part of the catnipoflife so it will also be ‘planted’ on catnip just like a first kiss!

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A Catnip Valentine’s Day

AnimatedHeartswithHugsValTo all my visitor’s and followers in blogland…

A Valentine filled with hugs and wishes for a purr-r-r-r-r-fect Valentine’s Day!

This day is a day of love with the word of the day being HUG!

Hug those who are near you, send a hug to those far away,

let them know your thoughts are for a Happy Valentine’s Day!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The automatic slideshow advances too quickly to read the poem. Wait for the slide that says Pause HERE or use the arrows to move ahead or back manually, then pause.  From there, advance each slide manually using the right arrow which allows ample time to read the lines.

Visit Awakenings for the history of NECCO Candy Hearts and the written form of the poem.


Awakenings: How do I Love Thee

Awakenings features Micki Peluso, author of …And the Whippoorwill Sang.

See on Scoop.itAmerica & Beyond

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, let’s examine some history behind this day and what makes it so special. The featured article on Awakenings is from Micki Peluso, author of …And the Whippoorwill Sang.

February 14th sometimes signifies the first day of Lent, depending upon the date of Easter, and is also Admission Day in Arizona. Most people however, celebrate the day by sending comic or heartfelt Valentines to family, friends and lovers. People seem to delight in St. Valentine’s Day, as florists, candy stores, boutiques and card shops do a rallying business providing heart-shaped novelties of all variety. Chocolate, long known for having properties that produce a euphoric feeling similar to the bittersweet emotion of love, seems an appropriate gift for St. Valentine’s Day.

Continue reading @Awakenings…

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Mick Peluso is a prolific writer. Her articles, stories, and book,. …And the Whippoorwill Sang, have won rave reviews. Thank you, Micki, for providing such a great historical account for St. Valentine’s Day. You can visit Micki at her blog A Writer’s Journey.

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“This is why you marry your best friend.”

Repinned from for the heart by Barbara Eastlick

There are many who say, “I married my best friend.” Perhaps they grew up in the same neighborhood, attended the same church or school, or simply met somewhere along life’s highway. Whatever the situation, they bonded. . .a bond that remained taut through good times and bad, happiness and heartache.  None of these times went lacking for humor. 

Smiles and laughter keep the mind active, fill the heart with joy and supply food for the soul.  ~ catnipoflife


Relish the Charms of the Present

Is there really any need to say more?



What better way to express ‘heart’ than through the talents of Louis Armstrong, aka Satchmo and Pops!

Inspiration Import

What a Wonderful World it is when people find a way to share their Heart … music, words, a smile, a touch a caring gesture, a reminder of love and peace.

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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
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


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?


Personal Reflection: A Silent World

Today I read the inspiring words at the left posted on facebook by Kathleen Reeser Hill. How true are these words! I read it over and over again thinking of our daughter, Nicole, and the persecution she faced in growing up, especially during her middle school years. I would like to share a little of Her Story.

When Nicole was born on March 28, 1981, I was overjoyed for I so much wanted a daughter. A son had already blessed our family two years earlier but two miscarriages destined us to seemingly having only the one child.

When the miracle happened, never did I envision how the new life set before me would be the beginning of overwhelming challenges for both of us. Hers was not an easy birth and she entered the world at 9 lbs 13 ozs already with determination written all over her face. She was not one of these babies born with a headfull of hair but only a tiny tuff on the top of her head. I was so excited wanting everyone to know the long awaited daughter had finally arrived that I scotch taped a tiny pink ribbon to that tiny tuff!

Being around the children more than their father placed me in the situation where I almost felt like their only caretaker and sometimes instances would go unnoticed, not from neglect by any means, but simply from being a working Mother and trying to keep the household together. It was on a weekend when my parents were visiting that my dad questioned whether Nicole could hear. She was eighteen months old, and that day was the beginning of a totally unforeseen ending ahead…

A trip to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, AL and many tests, tests, tests later confirmed that she was 80% deaf. The doctor was so rude he told us she would never hear well enough to amount to anything in society. Then, to top that off her father insisted she could NOT be his child because she was ‘imperfect’. Can you imagine what went through my heart, mind and soul on that day?!. This was our daughter, a gift from God!

Nicole – 3 yrs old

The next couple of years were unimaginable. She was easily agitated, totally frustrated as she tried to understand the world around her and communicate her wants, needs and feelings. Temper tantrums would result in such unruliness that her father would walk out demanding, “That is YOUR daughter, YOU deal with it!” A lot transpired within that time span which led to. . .well, doing exactly that, I dealt with it…without him. He came home one too many times to a dinner table set for four to only brush us aside and say HE was going out for dinner.

The kids and I moved out and on. Then, I met Jim who was soon to become the Dad she had never had: The man in her life that would not give in nor give up on her, the one who would work with her day in, day out making sure she listened. Yes! I do mean listen. She was first aided with over the ear hearing aids connected to chest packs that brought her hearing within 80% capacity. Remember, in the beginning, she was diagnosed as 80% deaf which allowed for only 20% hearing. [I can recall the embroidered designs on little vest pockets where ‘eyes’ of various animals became the holes for the microphones of the hearing aids. These have long been replaced with ones so tiny you don’t even notice she is wearing them.]

There are stories upon stories about her hearing aids – the time she became so frustrated she buried them in the sandbox at daycare, the time they were retrieved from the garbage can, the time the dog chewed them up, the numerous times they just simply went missing, etc. Then, there was the turmoil that churned on the inside that she dealt with on a daily basis and the persecution beyond words from her peers whose cruelty was unfathomable. She excelled, however, at all grade levels even being admitted to an advanced program in high school only to forfeit that status in the second semester of her senior year in order to transfer to a different school.

None of that feigned her determination. She beat them all! She went on to receive her Associate’s Degree from Santa Fe Community College in Gainsville, FL, then on to the University of Florida (GO Gators!) where she received her BS Degree in Marketing. Now she is working on her Masters, but has ventured into Financial Analysis with aspirations of obtaining her Doctorate. And this is a child who was born 80% deaf, told by a doctor that she would never amount to anything, rejected by her father BUT has already accomplished more than most of her high school classmates! And, she will tell you very quickly she has the best Daddy in the whole world!

John and Nicole Reina

She is married and has two beautiful daughters, Natalie and Catalina, both of whom at birth passed Florida’s mandatory hearing test!

To Nicole and all those whose world might be on the quiet side. . .

A Silent World

I called and called your name
Why didn’t you answer?
You were so close—
A vision of loveliness

Your wonderful smile
Upon a laughing face
Concealed a lonely place—
A world of silence

Over and over the same refrain
Thinking I was just ignored
Irritated and exhausted—
A game of annoyance

Suddenly becoming perfectly clear
After I called louder and louder
Heartache and tears revealed—
A moment of sadness

Through the years of special care
Hours and hours, frustration and tears
Overjoyed with anticipation—
A day of hope

Confirmation finally came
No longer a silent world
You turned and smiled
When I called your name

When you call someone’s name
Why don’t they answer?
Think before you repeat
Theirs may be a silent world

Sharla Lee Shults


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


Inspiration: Drop a Stitch

OOPS! I dropped a stitch!

Knit one, pearl two, knit one, pearl two. . . brings to mind the ol’ nursery rhyme “He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not” because of its repetition. The Decision of the Flower results in either “yea” or “nay” with perhaps dropping an un-named petal along the way to alter its destined outcome. The knitter faces a similar fate, “keep it” or “leave it”, dependent upon whether too many stitches have been dropped in the process.

Every “petal plucker” and “kicker knitter” drops stitches. C’st la vie! The stitches of each rely on the rhythm of the moment. If you stop paying attention, even for a second, suddenly you’ve lost track of whether it is true love or not, OR a loop has slipped off the needle going unnoticed. Too much delay and you might end up completely fumbling the nursey rhyme or in the case of the knitter, continuing to knit several rows before you see the tell-tale ladders of yarn filling the gap where the stitch initially dropped.

Are you in sync? What is your Rhythm of the Day?



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