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!

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?


Awakenings: Autumn Road


Along the many highways and byways, change is imminent: change in season brings about crisp, cool mornings along with the bursting forth of vivid reds, burnt oranges, spun gold as leaves intensify in brilliance during their own change. Within this anticipation is yet another eager time of awakening. The change in color announces the time to venture cross country in search of nature’s most glorious landscape.


“I’ve never known anyone yet who doesn’t suffer a certain  restlessness when autumn rolls around. . . . We’re all eight years old again and anything is possible.”

~Sue Grafton

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

Leave a comment »

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 »

Eskimo Kisses

Teeny tiny little kisses between family, loved ones, too, have been tradition since exposed in film in 1922. These express fondness in lieu of passionate emotional kisses. Children especially enjoy Eskimo kisses since a tickling sensation nose-to-nose warms the heart inciting smiles, giggles, happiness. Such kisses are not limited to human factors alone. What about the velvety touch nose-to-nose with a kitten or the wet, sloppy kiss nose-to-nose with a puppy? By chance you may find some odd couples in nature… a horse rubbing noses with a goat, a baby fox with a doe, a dog nuzzling a rabbit.

Eskimo Kisses

Gentle little kisses
A brush of the nose
Soft, tender caresses
Everybody knows

Language without words
Bids hello or adieu
Sweet, childlike kisses
Emanate “I love you”

Sensuous simplicity
Merely a breath apart
Wisps like butterfly wings
Tickling right to the heart

From eye to eye
To nose to nose
Joyful feelings
Smiles do expose

Both giver, receiver
Sigh with a grin
Nuzzles on a cold day
Glow from within

Sweet, tender kisses
Forever lifelong
Whisper sweet nothings
As part of life’s song

From the tiniest baby
To your most beloved pet
Little Eskimo kisses
You don’t easily forget

catniplogosm1©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.

            —Ingrid Bergman (Swedish actress, 1915–1982)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the funny bone…



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.)


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?



At Awakenings, Catnip’s sister site, are ongoing daily celebrations, music spotlights and historical tidbits. Today, we are celebrating Electronic Greetings Day, which is November 29. Catnip wishes to purr-r-r-r-rt her own spin on the special e-greeting.
The greeting can be robotic, get to the point so to speak…
Or a special kind of sharing rising to its peak…
It can express love that touches the funny bone…
Or be a message of a more serious tone.
Perhaps someone is feeling under the weather…
Or needing encouragement for things to get better.
Maybe you need to send a simple message that’s sweet
Let the little e-birdies sing Tweet, Tweet, Tweet
Click Image
To celebrate today, I’m happy to provide
A message to make you smile inside!
Now, it is your turn to make someone’s day,
stop what you are doing & send greetings right away! Send them to family, maybe a bunch of friends
Perhaps there is someone with whom to make amends.

An e-card needs no stamp, this you can bet
Just click send right over the Internet!


The Lily

Happy Easter to all and may your day be filled with blessings beyond words!

Sometimes we ponder and ponder in hopes of eventually mustering the right words to tender an emotion, offer inspiration or purpose newfound knowledge. That is exactly where I found myself today as thoughts were enveloped in the “spiritual essence of Easter.”

Ah-h-h-h! The wonders of the Internet directed my fingers toward exploring its limitless boundaries in search of something overpowering. Webcrawlers fetched page after page delivering data, information, pictures, videos, etc. At the end of the day, a plethora of windows had opened stroking my heartstrings with sights and sounds of wonder and passion. For every time a window opened a new window was discovered that led to another window and . . . Oh, my! Sounds like something venomous caught in a silky web waiting to be a tasty appetizer while life begins to ebb! Doesn’t it?

Needless to say, my efforts were not in vain. The words of my heart had already been written and laid to rest upon the sands of time to be revisited and never forgotten. Now, I share with you, my readers and followers, what thoughts I discovered on the Easter Lily. . .

Thoughts on the Easter Lily

“Rightly the lily is the flower of Easter. It lies buried in the ooze of pond or stream. There is the grave of the dead lily that appeals to nostril or eye. But silently the forces of life are dark and the damp to prepare a glorious resurrection. A shaft of green shoots upward toward the sun. This is followed by a cluster of tiny buds. One day the sun smiles with special warmth upon the dank, black ooze, and there leaps into the light a creature of light and beauty; it is the lily, an angel of the earth, whose look is light.”

—Author Unknown

History of the Easter Lily

How did the lily come to grace the fields of America? The cultivation of lilies did not originate in the United States for the lily is a native of Japan. History reveals the account of a WW I soldier, Luis Houghton, bringing a suitcase full of hybrid lily bulbs to the South coast of Oregon in 1919. Houghton freely distributed bulbs to his friends and neighbors. Because of the events of WW II, the Japanese source of bulbs was abruptly cut off. Therefore, those growing lilies as a hobby noted the value of lily bulbs sky-rocketing and many decided to go into business on their own. At that time, Easter lily bulbs were known as “White Gold,” resulting in cultivators attempting to cash in on the crop. By 1945, there were about 1,200 growers producing bulbs up and down the Pacific coast, from Vancouver, Canada to Long Beach, California.

Of course, this post cannot end without my own personal atonement to. . .

he Lily. . .

Sounding of trumpets
Extol the most high
Rallying a crowd
No one should deny

Calls to drill and battle
Resound a time nigh
Echoing surrender
Or a battle cry

No white, just crimson
Adorn the fields
Beds of blood and bone
A battle yields

Within times’ passing
Ghastly signs disappear
Blades of bright green
Awaken thoughts held dear

Slender stalks emerge
Rising from earthy graves
Flaunting scaly bulbs
Pompous as ocean waves

Milky-white trumpets
Surge with praises toward the sky
Spiritual essence of Easter
Extols the most high

©2012 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”
Song of Solomon 2:1


Free Write Friday #40: Image Prompt

Writing_BanditI am one of Kellie Elmore’s writing bandits at freewrite Friday. Kellie invites all who would like to participate to please join her. Rules are simple. Follow her prompt and write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes she will provide a word prompt, a phrase prompt or like today an image prompt. There is no time limit so even if you miss the Friday, the writing window is always open. New here? Read the intro.

Here is Kellie’s latest FWF prompt:

This house has a story…what is it?


Image Credit: We Heart It

Having passed by the old place seemingly hundreds of times, today I decided to stop. This would be my last time. There are too many ghosts wandering its inner halls, too many secrets that need not be aired—our secrets. Nothing should remain for nothing’s left to be shared. With time’s passing has come the hour to finally let go. Tomorrow the bulldoziers will arrive at 6 A.M. to demolish what remains standing, it will soon be gone. At least outwardly anyway.

Memories will remain along its grounds that can never be bulldozed down.  Some good. Some not so good. It is called life and in that house, overall life was good. Happiness and heartache can be measured with each board readied for its original construction. Great-granddaddy toiled and labored felling trees for just the right wood to be milled and planked. Stone blocks were hauled uphill from the creek below and set in for a solid foundation.

I can still sense the aromas from the back kitchen—hot apple pies, cinnamon spiced cider, homemade breads—that make my mouth water and stomach churn simply from hungering for the good ol’ days. Sounds of laughing in the backyard with the screen door slamming over and over again bring on a smile and tears at the same time.

Voices echo from the kitchen window calling me inside for the last time.


Echoes through broken glass
Whisper of times long past
Love’s endurance, young lives lost
Survival whatever the cost

Echoes within dawn’s pale light
Reveal a hurrisome sight
Early morn kitchen chores
Shadow sunny outdoors

Echoes in scorching, noonday heat
Bare tired, aching body and feet
Needing a shady place to rest
Leaves any desire hard pressed

Echoes when day is done
Hover ‘round the setting sun
Toil ’n’ labor at last o’er
When day’s light is no more

Echoes of the whippoorwills
Pierce the air across the fields
Visions of standing hand-in-hand
Long for a shooting star to land

Echoes of voices in my head
Forever alive, never dead
Wooden structure may be gone
Memories live on and on

Time for parting words to be said
Filled with echoes of joy, not dread
‘Tis the end of an old way
Time to begin a new day

catniplogosm1©2014 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Other Writing Bandits to Visit:






Joseph Hesch


Talicha J.





Author’s Thought


Friends vs. Friendship


Piggies can be our friends!

During a lifetime, each person will encounter innumerable friends. They will come. They will go. Some will be remembered. Some won’t. Many will be real. Thousands will be virtual. Yet, we call them all ‘friends’. There is really no separation. Some we see. Some we don’t. These are our circle of friends.

What makes a person a friend? Can someone be called ‘friend’ yet not truly be a friend, only act friendly? Everyday conversation occurs during which someone will reply, “Oh, he’s my friend!” or “I know her. She is a friend of mine.” Has this happened to you? Have you ever paused in wonder as to what made you identify a person as a friend? Each of us will have different thoughts and answers to that question.

We have work-friends, buddy-friends, intellect-friends, fun-friends, the talker-friend and the listener-friend. There is the big brother or big sister and of course, the friend who is like a mom or dad. Some even earn our trust as we accept them into our hearts without question. Each plays a significant role in life.

Now turn to friendship. Any difference?

Friendship is a form of love, passionate in the sense of caring and understanding but not erotic. It is resting your head on someone’s shoulder and crying out of sheer happiness or sobbing uncontrollably in times of sorrow. It is that person holding you so tight you do not want him or her to let go for you are no longer capable of separating one person’s tears from the other. It is disagreeing and finding harmony in disagreement. Those are the personal lasting friendships.

Today, with the advancement of social networking, friendship does not get applied to many situations. The friends in this environment are acquaintances that people do not even know and probably will never know. Yet, comfort can still be found, it is simply within written communication, rather than in person.

Each of us can be a friend, associate with friends, and form lasting friendships. Those that last are the ones which we truly celebrate. In other words, a celebration of friendship is when you are not only told you have dirt on your face but your friend helps you clean up your mess! This is our blessing of friendship.

Angel of Friendship

friendship_angelstar-divider-lineA cloud floats from Heaven
To rest upon a shoulder
A soft, billowing pillow
Where an angel abides

Quietly, gently resting
‘Til needed to leaven
Heaviness like a boulder
Laying worries aside

Who is this angel?
Quintessence of loyalty
Bearer of charity
Who offers companionship…

Listener with quiet understanding
Sunbeam smiles radiating harmony,
A messenger of amity
Ensuring a lasting relationship

Who is this angel?
This angel is the angel of friendship

Echoes©2004 Echoes
Sharla Lee Shults



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,527 other followers

%d bloggers like this: