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

AULD LANG SYNE: The Good Old Times

NOTE: Don’t leave without watching the video below! In the meantime, let’s start with a slideshow!

Click the little caboose…


As we soon will say goodbye to 2012, it is very important for me to thank all of catnip’s visitors and followers for some good old times throughout the year! You made (and continue to make) my day with your visits and especially when you left comments. By entering my world, you let a part of me inspire a part of you which in turn inspires others. Writing is a gift but only worthwhile if it tugs at the heart of its readers. One can write, write, write but if that written word is not read, nor acted upon, then its message is lost and becomes mere dust on a shelf, ashes in the wind.

Catnip is definitely graced with many wonderful followers. My goal in the new year is to visit each of you with the same gratitude you have shared with me. I’ve got a lot of visiting to do so I had better get started! I will not give up until each one has been visited, Liked and catnip added as your latest follower!

catnipoflife has been honored by Len with being one of her Most Influential Blogs of 2012. Thank you, Len, but it is YOU who truly inspires me!

The Most Influential Blogs of 2012 Received from Len

The Most Influential Blogs of 2012 Received from Len

I never know on any given day who might be the most influential. Today it is Arlen Shahverdyan  from whom I would like to share a video he featured on his site today. In addition, catnipoflife would like to recognize Arlen as one of her Most Influential Blogs of 2012. Arlen is Armenian, fond of writing and is an eloquent speaker. He has already published 3 books (from 2008 to 2012).

Read more about Arlen, his writing, his poetry, his blog, his goals HERE! While visiting be sure to leave him a comment to let him know you stopped by and of course, he would love for you to become a Follower.

As with any award, the next step is to examine the rules.


The Rules…SURPRISE! There are NO RULES except you MUST pay it forward, and that means, sometime in the next six (6) months you “should” choose the blogs you deem worthy of your label of The Most Influential Blogs of 2012. Those that have influenced you the most!

That’s it, no exception, no ands, ors, ifs or buts! There is ONE added notation:

EVERY blog I follow inspires me in some way so this award is quite difficult in choosing those that have had the most impact on my life this year. So, understand Arlen is just the beginning. He is the first to be followed with recognition of others within the six (6) month time frame. That means stay tuned, visit often for your name may be the next Most Influential Blog of 2012!


All aboard! If you missed the ride in the beginning, Take the Train Along with Me now! Click on the caboose and enjoy the scenery! It may take a minute to load but well worth the wait!

Do you remember Floyd Cramer? Click HERE for more @Awakenings. . .




2012 in Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 17,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals.

Click here to see the complete report.

NOTE: catnipoflife‘s sister site, Awakenings, is BlogSpot. I have not discovered a similar summary as the one presented on WordPress to be available on BlogSpot. I did discover some interesting nuggets while researching on my own:


Pageview chart 23,802 pageviews – 172 posts, last published on Dec 29, 2012 – 75 followers
The post with the most hits: Word of the Day – Beer with 3,043
The post with 2nd most hits: Historic Visions of the Past with 630

As compared to catnipoflife…

Pageview chart 17,197 pageviews – 231 posts, last published on Dec 29, 2012 – 201 followers
Do you see what I see? Okay, my catnip followers, let’s see more visitations and comments in 2013! I love you all! Cheers in the New Year!
Get your catnip HERE! HERE! and HERE!



catnipoflife is celebrating her 200th follower! For some, this is only a drop in the bucket. But, for catnip, this is a milestone: she has exceeded the limitations of the Liebster Blog Award and is no longer considered a ‘newbie’, new kid on the block, novice, noobonaught, or nooblet!

With this announcement comes the opportunity to recognize the 200th sign-on: [Drum roll, please…]

Dan @hurdlestohappiness

Here is a little about Dan in his own words:

My name is Dan, and I am currently a student at the University of Central Florida, majoring in Creative Writing and double minoring in Spanish and Hospitality Management. I recently completed my first book, a self-help for teens, with hopes of it being published in the near future. This blog is meant to give you a deeper look into the life of a teenager wanting to become a published author, as well as offer tools and tips of advice to help you ultimately achieve the life-long goal of Happiness.

GiftBoxesGifts of Appreciation in Celebration

As catnip’s 200th follower, she would like to provide a few gifts in celebration. So, Dan, I do hope you will accept with pleasure. . .

First gift…

versatilebloggernominationsThe Versatile Blog Award: catnipoflife recently received this award from Poems French & English by Gys. [This award was the very first award received by catnip last spring. Click HERE for her info.] Having perused your blog, I discovered the categories Achieving Happiness, My Writing Process, Poetry and Travels. With versatility comes accomplishment and accomplishment indeed is evidenced in your many blog awards that honor writing purposely, skillfully and with talent.

As with any award, there are rules:

1. Thank and to link the blogger who nominated you.
2. Show the award logo on your blog.
3. Write a post on the appointment.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers (or any number of your choice, more or less) and inform each.
5. Tell 7 things about yourself.

Second gift…

super-sweet-awardSuper Sweet Award: catnipoflife graciously accepts this award from Ute Smile. [This is catnip’s second, the first coming from Len a few months ago. Info can be found HERE.] Everyone loves sweets, some more than others! With this award, comes naming your favorites!

Here are the rules:

Nominate a baker’s dozen of other bloggers and answer these five questions in your own blog posting. Be sure to inform those upon which you bestow the award.

1. Cookie or cake?
2. Chocolate or Vanilla?
3. Favorite sweet treat?
4. Time when you crave sweets the most?
5. Sweet nickname? (If you don’t already have one, what would you like it to be?

Third gift…

AwakeningsHRsmAwakenings from Then ’til Now: catnipoflife‘s sister site Awakenings recently featured The Next Big Thing highlighting the soon to be released Awakenings from Then ’til Now. An additional gift to you is a copy of this book signed by me, the author. To receive your signed copy, I will need a mailing address. Should you not want to publicly display your address, you may email it to me . There are no rules, of course, in acceptance of this gift but perhaps you might consider a review.SmileySm

Fourth gift…

AwakeningsBookmarkA Bookmark: What is the gift of a book without a bookmark! Yep, one is included so when you take a break from reading you won’t lose your place in time. The book covers five centuries from the 17th century to the 21st century. What does the past whisper to you? opportunities for reflection occur intermittently throughout each chapter. Happy journeying and journaling!

Five is catnip’s “number” so there is a Fifth gift…

TheNextBigThing2The Next Big Thing: An invitation is extended to you for an interview to be included on catnipoflife and Awakenings as an addition to The Next Big Thing, which is a series of blog posts where authors talk about their work using the same ten questions. At the end of the blog you can tag other authors who will do the same thing a week later. So not only do others get to find out more about your book but you also connect your site to some other interesting writers. The Next Big Thing is a hot topic in the writers’ world so say ‘yes’ and tag along!

Before closing, catnip thanks all of her followers for their time visiting and leaving comments. Any day is a good day to gather a little catnip of life!


Awakenings: Arrival of the “Ghost Dance”

See on Scoop.itAmerica & Beyond

Arrival of the “Ghost Dance

This Day in History: December 29, 1890 –
Massacre at Wounded Knee 

How did it begin, this hate for the Indian nation?  They were, after all, native to America well before the arrival of the “white man.”

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Such senseless killing and for what end? And the senselessness has not stopped to this day!

See on


Free Write Friday #14: Resolve

fwf logo

Welcome back to Kellie Elmore‘s Free Write Friday! If you are new here, feel free to read the intro, otherwise let’s get started…

This week, our FWF prompt is:


I resolve…

to not make any resolutions this year
that are not
doable or
easily attainable!

Every year I
manage to list
to never
take a moment’s
time to revisit


They are unmanageable
Too many

They are not doable
Too demanding

They are not easily attainable
Too farfetched

So, why make them?

To impress others?
To say I have them?
To hope!

Resolve, resolute, resolution
Any way you look at it
It is hope

I hope for determination
To follow through
Should I decide to resolve

©2012 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Thank you, Kellie, for another great challenge!

Happy New Year!

Related Articles:

Maleko @ Maleko’s Art

Pat @ Source of Inspiration

Lesley @ Inspiration Import



Life is a Struggle, Accept it!

So often events of life leave us with questions without answers…Why is THIS happening? Why is this happening to ME? What did I DO? What did I do? WHY me? Why ME? WHY ME!

Life is a struggle, it is up to us to accept it. It IS a Bed of Roses full of many thorns. Yet from its thorny stem bursts forth velvety soft petals of such a rich radiance that its aromatic fragrance emits an essence of healing.

Next time you question WHY me? Why ME? WHY ME! reflect on the thankfulness of your ability to see the beauty! At that point, lift your head high, let the “Why me?” become Thank You!

beauty is all around us

hiding among
spines and thorns
of the cactus and rose

the broken limbs
the naked branches

 Lying among
the ugly weeds
the dried up leaves

It sleeps, it waits
in its splendor

 For just the right moment
To emit its power to heal

To soothe
To comfort
To embrace

©2012 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults



The Next Big Thing

AwakeningsHR1The Next Big Thing is a series of blog posts where authors talk about their work using the same ten questions. At the end of the blog we tag other authors who will do the same thing a week later. So not only do you get to find out more about my book but you also will discover some other interesting writers. The wonderful Taylor Fulks tagged me. Taylor’s first book, My Prison Without Bars, was just released on December 17, 2012.

“Taylor Evan Fulks is a talented wordsmith, able to conjure up the hideous experiences with remarkable clarity and emotion. She writes from the heart, and the agony of real experience lends authenticity to her riveting descriptions.”
– Reviewed by Fiona I. for Readers Favorite. Awarded 5 stars.

Thank you, Taylor, for giving me the opportunity to introduce my latest book, which is currently available at Tate Publishing and will be officially released on January 22, 2013.

1. What is the working title of your next book?

While there are actually two other books in progress, catnip of life and Reminiscent of Chocolate, I would like to introduce Awakenings from Then ’til Now. It is in its final stages awaiting official release in January, 2013.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?:

There is a need for everyone to make connections within whisperings of the past to the present day on into the future. Each of us is not an isolated individual but a thread binding together with countless other threads to create a rich and colorful tapestry of life. From the far reaches of America’s past, we can all, in some way or another, connect to someone who set foot upon America’s soil looking for a land of promise. It is through laughter and tears that the yesterdays of centuries past paved the way for today’s future.

There is also an important need for us to support our military. Since history is plagued with war after war after war it is only befitting that this book be dedicated to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Therefore, this book is dedicated to those who laid the foundation and established the platform for our American freedom: those who have served in the past, presently serve, or will serve our military forces in the future. A profound appreciation is extended for the sacrifice of these brave men and women who left or will leave their homes and family to ensure America’s freedom endures.

A contribution from each book sale goes to benefit the Wounded Warrior Program and/or Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its purpose is not for advertisement or to gain endorsement but solely in support of our military forces.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Historical poetry

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This book is poetically written so the book itself would not lend itself to movie production. However, there are many parts of the book that have already been successfully produced as movies or television documentaries.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Embrace the past, Empower the present, Enrich the future (Not a sentence but definitely highlights the purpose for the writing)

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My publisher is Tate Publishing. The book is due to be released in January 2013.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

That is truly hard to pinpoint. The idea initially came when writing my first book, Echoes, in 2004. I actually outlined five books for the volume. After Echoes, Remembering was published in 2009. The third was to be Step Back in Time, which later became Awakenings. I would venture to say from the time the first outline was drafted for Awakenings to its final manuscript would be approximately a year and a half to two years. Don’t hold me to that explicitly! All writers know of the interruption after interruption that sometimes delays a project’s completion.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Janice Richards recently published A Tribute to Those Serving the Red, White and Blue. It is also a book written in poetic verse targeting our military.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My love for America and the sadness in seeing her become less than she is meant to be, the lack of knowledge of her citizens concerning her establishment, the historical events that helped shape our nation

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

TinyFlagIf you want to know more about the hardships endured in the founding of America and establishing her freedom but do not want to resort to the informational text of a history book, then this is the book for you.

TinyFlagIf you want to know more about ‘from whence you came’ with a better understanding of your ancestry, then this is definitely the book to read.

TinyFlagIf you want to experience the sacrifices, feel the emotion, relish in the joys and sorrows from the past in order for you to enjoy the freedoms America has to offer today, then do not miss reading this book.

TinyFlagIf you want to make a personal connection to past events, then not only read this book but engage in the opportunities within the text for personal journal reflections.

After all, America is your country, this is her story!

So that’s it for me. If you want to discover some other great writers, check these out:

Carole McKee – Writing from the Heart that Cleanses the Tear Ducts

Christine Hannon –Trading Scissors for Other God-given Talents Just to Survive

Claire Cappetta – A Woman’s Journey from Abuse to Empowerment

Jeanette Andersen – Treasure Valley Mysteries: Dreams, Ghosts & Coffins

Rosemary Adkins – Life on its Own as Memories

Stuart Carruthers – Exploration of the Hidden Depths of Asia



While just yesterday those of us of Christian faith celebrated the miracle of the virgin birth, today we all fall witness to the miracle of birth at any given moment somewhere across our planet as a new life begins.

UPDATE: It is December 28, 2012 and I just read the most remarkable post on The London Flower Lover!

Click Flowers for the little baby girl who was just born and you will ‘see’ what I mean!

Source of Inspiration


Will this baby
grow up surrounded
by love or war,
compassion or greed?
Will he learn kindness
or hate by his surroundings?
Will fear be his normality,
or will he reach for the stars?

We hold this child’s life
in our hands. What we do,
or do not do will be a
deciding factor. He is
our tomorrow.



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Joyous Wishes on a Blessed Day!


From Awakenings and catnipoflife

The Soul of Christmas


Full-bodied aromas
Permeate the nose
Along busy sidewalks
Where everything glows


Joyous melodies
Vibrate all through the air
Amidst hustle ’n’ bustle
Of shoppers everywhere


Bundled from head to toe
Out despite the weather
Wassailing and caroling
Bring us all together


Balsam, spruce and fir
Boughs that glisten and gleam
Bells, balls and tinsel
Add magic to the scene


Sights, sounds, aromatic scents
Surround all the fuss
Bringing out the childish ways
In each and every one of us


A time of giving
Welcomes heartfelt returns
Tears, smiles and laughter
Just what the spirit yearns


Great joy, new beginnings
The soul of Christmas brings
Happy birthday, Jesus
The holy church bell rings


“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things-not the great occasions-give off the greatest glow of happiness.”

—Bob Hope (British-born American comedian & actor, 1903–2003)



Awakenings: Remembering our Soldiers at Christmas

See on Scoop.itAmerica & Beyond

Not everyone will be home for Christmas. Support our Troops for they support you!

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

While celebrating during the Christmas season
Always remember those away from home
Keep them in your hearts, cherish them in your soul
A day may come when you find yourself alone

See on


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