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

Easter Blessings

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

We have been blessed with my husband now off life support, out of ICU and resting in a private room. If fact, he was helped out of the bed yesterday and has begun sitting in a chair. He is very weak and cannot walk on his own. We still have a long road ahead but the way is filled with light and hope for a full recovery. Thank you all for your intercessory prayers, thoughts and concerns.

Not being in the frame of mind lately to keep up with catnip, I am reposting Easter greetings from last year.

Regardless of the year, the message is still the same!

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



Time Out for Family Emergency

hospitalteddybearcatnipoflife will be on leave for awhile but hoping it will not be for an extended time. My husband, Jim, is in ICU in Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan, AL. This is approximately an 80-mile round trip from where we live. I had to have an ambulance dispatched this morning because he could not get his breath.

We remained in the ER in our home town until approximately 12 noon. By the time he arrived at the ER in Dothan, he was not breathing. He has been put on a respiratory machine which is doing the breathing for him. He had to have a procedure called Thoracintesis to drain a liter and a half of fluid from his lungs. He is stable and resting.

I came home because they would not let me stay, of course, in ICU. I will be going back in the morning and will post updates as I know more.

Keep him in your prayers,


Free Write Friday #23: Keepsakes



Kellie Elmore is nostalgic this Friday challenging writers to examine none other than…



keepsake locket

Attic nooks, garage floors, closet corners
Full of clutter

Crates and cartons, cardboard boxes, packages and parcels
Nothing but junk

Paper sacks, bags and bundles, stacks and piles
Ready for the trash

Shoe boxes, jewelry cases, and plastic containers
Overflowing with treasure

Clutter, junk, trash, and treasure
My, oh, my how the time has flown
All personal collections, priceless beyond measure

Keepsakes renew old memories
I think I will just leave them alone
And go bake some brownies

© Sharla Lee Shults

Confession: I must confess this poem is from my book Echoes. With my husband’s illness and recent release from the hospital, my mind just wasn’t up to a new write today. Even though he is home, there are still many hurdles to cross. Kellie’s theme this week actually focuses on that one special something cherished beyond measure. However, when I saw the theme key word, I knew the one I needed to share.

Am I forgiven since I confessed? Hugs!

Now I am off to see what others have written…

terry 1954

bennett @

river @

joe @

sana @

heather @

graypoet @

gene @

Now it is your turn!


Awakenings: Earth Hour 2013

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

Dare the World to Save the Planet! 


WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) WWF’s Earth Hour is a unique annual phenomenon that focuses the world’s attention on our amazing planet, and how we need to protect it. At 8.30pm on 23 March hundreds of millions of people will turn off their lights for one hour, on the same night, all across the world in a huge, symbolic show of support.

For 2013 as we all switch off our lights, we want the focus to be on the kind of energy we use. Because to create a better future for our planet we need to move away from dirty fossil fuels and onto clean green renewable energy which works with the awesome power of nature, not against it.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Watch Earth Hour 2013 Official Video @ Awakenings.

See on

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TGIF & The Weekend

While TGIF is a most familiar acronym, has this day always represented the “end” of the work week?

 In today’s society, “weekends” are taken for granted. However, that luxury has not always been recognized. The work week was once Monday through Saturday with work, especially on farms, starting before the sun came up and not ending until sundown. Jobs ‘back in the day’ consisted of positions, such as …

Read poetry, ‘Before TV, Nineteenth Century’ and MORE @ Awakenings

 Learn who was responsible and where the catchphrase TGIF originated!


Short and Sweet: The illustrious history of the short film…

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

After sitting through the latest three-hour blockbuster, it’s hard to believe that in the early days of movie making all films were short. Everything from newsreels and comedies to serialised dramas and adventure stories.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

And there’s more: huge shifts in film distribution options have changed how we make and think about short films. Perhaps we should consider going back to more of those short films. With the repetitiveness of sex, violence, and the same story line over and over, one falls asleep or walks out way before the movie is over.

See on


Awakenings: Beauty of America: Lighthouses

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

Lighthouses have been the sentinels, the protectors, of shoreline after shoreline for centuries upon centuries. In the beginning, these were not ‘houses’ at all but instead simply bonfires built on hillsides as beacons to guide ships. Many a seafaring vessel would have crashed upon the rocks had it not been for the angel of light shining through the darkest of night or penetrating the thickest fog. Throughout history, the lighthouse has cast mysterious auras, sometimes romantic and often times echoing a ghostly resonance.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Have you ever vacationed or lived near a lighthouse? If so, did you sense its romanticism or feel a ghostly presence?

Go to for the video

Lighthouses in America!


The Dragon ’s Loyalty Award

dragonsloyaltyaward1I have always been fascinated with dragons and Dragonheart is one of my favorite movies! So, when catnipoflife was honored with an award from Marilyn @ Serendipity that none the less featured a dragon, I was elated!  In actuality, it is two awards that have been packaged into one. The two awards, the “Very Inspiring Blogger” and the “Versatile Blogger”, have combined their powers to become….. (wait for it!):

The Dragon’s Loyalty Award

Catnip humbly accepts the compliments of “Very Inspiring” and “Versatile”.

Usually, there are a few rules that go with awards and this one is no exception:

  1. Display the Award Certificate on your website
  2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award
  3. Present 15 or so awards to deserving bloggers
  4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post
  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

To me, a Dragon is a fighter, strong and mighty without a sword. Here are those I deem Dragons but they are mighty with a sword, aka a pen and/or camera!

Gys @ Love Poems French & English by Gys

Arlen @

Raani @

Alastair @

Texas, a Cat in New York @

Penny @

Wendell @

Ute @

Len @

Mark @ Maleko’s Art

Lesley @

Rosemary @

Micki @

Life in the Foothills @

Grace @

There are three I want to mention that have opted out of award acceptance but I encourage you to visit their sites. You will NOT be disappointed!

Amber: Lady Lovely Blogger @

Bob: Northwest Photographer @

Don: Don in Massachusetts @


 I have run out of interesting things about myself Frownso I will leave you with this thought:

“My husband says I am SO funny when I don’t know I am being funny!”Wink&Smile


Welcome to Spring!

Love’s Presence

The soothing breath of spring
In its light of innocence
Suffuses the meadows
With a hint of tenderness

Nature’s arms embrace
The warmth of the sun
As buds and blossoms
Awaken with the dawn

Within winter’s wake
Fields and forests come alive
Stretching and yawning
As flora and fauna arrive

Freshness of the air
Bares the arrivance
Of new beginnings
In winter’s absence

Lovers solemnly stroll
Arm-in-arm, hand-in-hand
Admiring magical wonders
Within splendor of the land

Beauty of springtime
Void of the bitter cold
Propels love’s presence
Deep down into the soul

©2013 catnipoflifeSharla Lee Shults

©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

“In springtime, love is carried on the breeze. Watch out for flying passion or kisses whizzing by your head.”
—Terri Guillemets


The Pencil Maker

PencilAfter reading about the pencil maker, I gathered a whole new perspective of this little gem, the pencil, and will view each one a little differently from now on.







Just pencils? I don’t think so…

Think about replacing the pencil with yourself. Do you promise to remember with purpose in your heart?

Magic with a common pencil…

Pencil Carving with Dalton Ghetti

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“Just the tapping of a pencil is taken for granted until you see what can be done with the TIP!” ~Author Unknown

AND just when you thought you had seen them all…

Check out Intricate Sculptures Carved from a Single Pencil by Hungarian artist and deviantART user cerkahegyzo. He carves intricate miniature sculptures from a single lead pencil (with the exception of #5 & #15, not sure how he did those!). The artist says it’s a hobby and form of relaxation for him and that he carves them in his free time. During the day he works as a professional tool-maker in Hungary.

Here is a little video of miniature pencil carving in action!


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