catnipoflife

Observe life at its best, Listen to life’s songs, Embrace life’s bounties, Breathe the breath of life, Savor life to its fullest!

The Last Flight

On one of my morning walks, I glanced upon the sidewalk and noticed a clump of bird feathers. The vision captured in my mind produced. . . The Last Flight. With today being the anniversary of 9/11/2001, timing seemed appropriate for sharing.

Think about your plans for the day. Is Mother Nature part of the mental picture? If you are in a area of sunshine, take a brisk walk. Observe. Listen. Breathe. No sunshine? No worries. Stand in your doorway or look out a window. Marvel at what you see for behind every cloud or within each raindrop is a degree of sunshine.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Life is too short to let a day go by without a smile and saying, “I love you!”. . . out loud! To yourself!! Love yourself so that love will be spread to others!

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Catnip of Life’s New Website

ANNOUNCEMENT: Catnip of Life’s manuscript is in the hands of Keith Leon @keithleon.com. What a blessed milestone! I will keep you updated on the publishing process as time moves along. After all, it is a process, not an overnight event!

For detailed information on The Catnip of Life visit https://poetrybysharla.wixsite.com/catnipoflife

What is Catnip of Life?

Stir your inner spirit with Catnip of Life poetry! Be the cat on catnip—reel with excitement or relax in tranquility! Catnip poetries open doorways to nature around you, up close and personal. Voices of nature call you away from the busyness and business of life.

Why poetry? The rhythmic balance of the natural world is poetry in motion. Catnip of life widens observation at its best. It captures your listening ear to what you may have overlooked as a joyous song. Catnip’s verses embrace bountiful artistry, where the breath of life is bittersweet as you learn to savor its essence.

Mother Nature’s wonder thrives where you least expect it. Enhance your vision through a life-changing lens as the poems follow the natural cycles of nature. Quotes presented throughout the chapters connect life to each poetic writing. Pausing for reflection allows you to note when, where, or how your awareness increases.

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Thoughts on the Easter Lily

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 with thoughts enveloped in the “spiritual essence of Easter” as my Foxie and I celebrated the resurrection in the quietness of our home.

Ah! 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 this day regarding 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 war, 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. . .

The 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

©2021 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

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

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catnipoflife is Back Online!

To all my friends and family – past, present & future – I am back where I belong, in the writing world! After three years since its completion, I have pulled to the forefront and removed the dust from the pages of Catnip of Life. The manuscript is complete, 200+ pages of poetry, times for reflection, musings on life and famous quotes that make a personal connection to each poem.

catnipoflife blog is ready to reawaken your senses to the world around you! Today, more than ever, we need to remain thankful for the beauty of this earth that brings abundant gratefulness for simply being alive. Whether you followed me in the past or are new to catnip, welcome to my world that offers insight to help you “keep a smile on your face, joy in your heart and optimism on your tongue” (Lou Vickery, former New York Yankees, Author & Radio Show Host)

It is time to take Catnip of Life manuscript off the shelf, remove the dust from its pages and share its presence with all who desire to examine life through a personal lens and ponder what is or has been missing or gone unnoticed. The essence of Catnip of Life is 200+ pages of poetry, time for personal reflection, musings on life, and quotes that make a connection of the verses to real life.

I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?

            —James Thomson (Scottish Poet, 1700–1748)

Note about catnip: Catnip targets feline “happy” receptors in the brain.

            To inevitably understand the catnip of life requires opening your senses to the world around you: Observe life at its best, Listen to life’s songs, Embrace life’s bounties, Breathe the breath of life, Savor life to its fullest! The sky, the hills, the sea, the birds, the blossoms—each takes you to its own unique world. Captivating moments are right before your eyes, music to your ears, within your very grasp, under your nose waiting to be enjoyed.

           Catnip of Life exposes nature as a diamond in the rough with its power to heal, outwardly in addition to inwardly. The verses reveal openness to the world, how simple everyday observances make a difference in your life, furthermore allowing you to touch the lives of others. From reflections where happiness is found in the darkest of times to sunshine easing innermost fears to experiencing life being given a second chance, there exists lightheartedness, along with heaviness of heart.

            Keys to the catnip of life: beauty, imagination, nature, reflection, wonder!

First up is Diamond in the Rough. You have the option to read or listen to the audio (see below).

Diamond in the Rough

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
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

Quote of the Moment:

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)

AUDIO is for your Listening Pleasure! Close your eyes and enter the visionary mind.

Don’t leave yet! Time for observation and reflection…

As you go through the days ahead, focus on observing life at its best.

Observations—

On a scale of 1 to 10, right now in the moment, leave a comment rating your catnip level in observing life at its best. With the mindset of observance in the next few days, elevate your awareness of the world around you. Remain alert to capture something new or become more deeply acquainted with something familiar. Then, return to this post, leave a smile and add comment upon something you feel you never truly noticed…until your observance through the lens of the catnip of life.

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‘Til we meet again at Heaven’s door…

To all my wonderful blogger friends, visitors, followers and acquaintances. Posting has been very slim due to the illness of my husband, James (Jim) Lee Shults. Friday morning, May 12, 2017 after nearly 33 years of marriage which began on July 10, 1984, Jim’s time in his temporary home on this Earth ended with a new beginning commencing in his eternal home. The pain and suffering is over as he rests in peace in the comfort of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your cards, letters, prayers, comforting thoughts and so much more. Jim will be remembered for his compassion, humor, endless stories & jokes, love of country and family. For him, to go though the day without making someone smile or laugh, was wasted time, time without purpose or meaning. He was a joke waiting to be told and never missed an opportunity to lift someone’s spirits.

To my soulmate…

Treasures in Jars of Clay
(2 Corinthians 4:7-18)

7Now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us.8We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always consigned to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our mortal bodies. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13And in keeping with what is written: “I believed, therefore I have spoken,”c we who have the same spirit of faith also believe and therefore speak, 14knowing that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is extending to more and more people may overflow in thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles.18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 

‘Til we meet again …

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

 

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The Reason for the Season: Spread the pure Joy!

The Christmas season is filled with times of joyful gathering…family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, acquaintances from many different backgrounds. The main question is…why do you join others in celebration at this time of year? Is it simply feasting and partying, dressing in fancy attire, for camaraderie, perhaps time to catch up on happenin’s throughout the year? What makes it different from any other gathering? There is only one reason for this season which should remain at the top of the list, the star of the Christmas tree, the most wondrous gift of them all…

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May we never be so focused on getting gifts & PRESENTS 
that we forget to receive…
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…the gift of HIS PRESENCE!
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Spread the pure joy!


There is magic in Christmas
A time for joy, a time of peace
Sharing, caring, preparing
As cascading snowflakes increase
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A star tops the Christmas tree
Presents of love beneath
All in the joy of giving
Encircling like a wreath
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People come, people go
All in the name of good cheer
Wishing Merry Christmas
And the happiest New Year
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Coziness of a fireplace
A warm hug, tender kiss
Christmas Eve closes in prayer
No one dares not miss
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While saying Merry Christmas
With wishes for a Happy New Year 
How many celebrate birth
The real reason behind all the cheer?
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Wining, dining, feeling fine
Feasting on the best
When asked why YOU celebrate
What do you attest?
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Hope in Christmastime
The message of the season
Birth of our Savior
Truly the blessed reason
*****

 

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Happy Thanksgiving from Catnip!

Catnip is excited to offer all her followers and visitors Purr-r-r-r-fect Thanksgiving Blessings. So, without further ado and with special Happy Thanksgiving blessings from Foxie…

ENJOY!

BE SURE TO SCROLL DOWN TO THE VIDEO! Visit catnip’s sister site AWAKENINGS for loads of trivia, treats & tradition!

FOXIE:Turkey’s purr-r-r-r-fect, you say?

And to really top it off. . .

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Lollipop, Lollipop…Oh lolli lolli lolli! Lollipop!

July 20 is…National Lollipop Day

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Cat-eating-lollipop

I could not resist alerting everyone to this celebration since childhood is such an intricate part of the catnipoflife. Mosey on over to catnip’s sister site, Awakenings, for the celebration. You just might find some lollipops that turn you on or perhaps turn you off!

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Plus how on earth could I pass posting the cat eating the lollipop?!

Sweet-Day-Image

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Happy Fourth of July

Are you truly READY to celebrate the true meaning of this day? Click each image or link!

America-Glitters-3

In God We Trust

Star-Spangled-Banner
Star-Spangled Banner

Pledge-of- Allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance

Remember-our-Troops
 Remember Our Troops

patrotic_animated_fireworks
Happy Independence Day!

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To all Fathers…

Today Sunday, June 19, 2016 is Father’s Day…a day of honor and celebration for our dads and fathers. Not all fathers are dads nor are all dads fathers. Each holds a special place in a child’s, teen’s or adult’s heart. Regardless of the roledad, father or bothnot any one of us could be here without having been fathered. With fatherhood comes a tremendous responsibility encompassing tasks of sharing, caring and preparing for life’s journey.

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May this Father’s Day be filled with wondrous blessings that continue through each day of the year! To each of you…A Father’s Day Salute!

 A father’s day is every day
Not just one day of the year
Holding a wee little hand
(day time and nighttime)
Wiping away a tear

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It’s faith, hope, love
All rolled into one
Encouragement, patience
(never giving up)
‘Til a task is done

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It’s being thankful
Gratitude of heart
Knowing what you need
(when you need it)
Right from the start

  
It’s together time
The thrill of hearty laughter
 Seeing what you’re going through
(even if it doesn’t show)
The morning of the day after

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It’s helping with decisions
Staying taut through outs or ins
Teaching life’s not easy
(taking the right road)
Supporting losses and wins

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It’s hurting and being hurt
Holding discipline’s place
Leaving behind a legacy

(not of material ‘things’)
Rewards of saving grace
*

It’s compassion and comfort
When a hug is all that’s needed
Priceless moments in time

(Teddy Bear hugs)
Quickly and tenderly heeded

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It’s shaping, molding
Each life that has begun
Making an investment
(often without return)
‘Til the full course is run

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It’s when having to leave
Looking back with pride
Releasing all the tears
(happiness and heartache)
Bottled up inside

©Sharla Lee Shults

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