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

Amazing Grace

There are probably very few people that are not familiar with the song Amazing Grace. It has been sung by countless choirs, recorded by numerous artists in multiple languages, enjoyed by young and old, and dubbed the most popular song on earth.

After listening to this awesome rendition of Amazing Grace, venture over to Awakenings, catnipoflife‘s sister site for a bit of history behind this remarkable song. If you are seeking a good movie for this Sunday afternoon, check out The Amazing Grace @Awakenings.

Elaine's Random Thoughts

Sung by an amazing 7 year old Gospel singer!

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A Woodsy Morning by Sharla Shults | The Write Room Blog

See on Scoop.itWater the mind – READ

Join me and let’s take a walk: A walk in the woods, a step back in time when I was adventurous and inquisitive. Picture this while opening your mind to discovery and reflection. . .

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Visit The Write Room Blog where friends from disparate approaches to life and writing work together and share.

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Awakenings: The Biggest Baddest Bubble

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

How many of us as a kid tried to blow the biggest baddest bubble only to have sticky goop covering our faces, sometimes becoming entangled in our hair, the end result being to cut it out? It is definitely a natural phenomenon from the earliest age of the bubble gum chewer.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Be sure to stop by Awakenings and leave comments on your results if you attempt the biggest baddest bubble!

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Free Write Friday #26: Time and Place Scenario

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreWelcome to Free Write Friday. New here? Read the intro. Everyone else, let’s get started.

We had so much fun with the time & place prompt last week that I thought we’d have another go. Ready? Here is your FWF prompt:

It’s high noon. Sun blazing. You awake in a field and birds are pecking your skin… GO!


Day had begun no different from any other day. I knew at daybreak it was gonna’ be a scorcher. Weatherman had already predicted temperatures in the 100s and with little or no rain in sight that meant the heat would be relentless.

“Hey, Paw, are you going to ride across the fields this morning?”

“Yeah, son. Gotta’ check on the crops. Not much I can do but it beats just sittin’ ‘round.”

Grabbing my handkerchief from my back pocket, with a quick swipe across my brow, sweat drops saturated the tattered and worn cloth. It was only 6 AM.

Ol’ Sadie lazily trotted out of the barn with an expression (as far as mule expressions go) that indicated she did NOT want to leave the coolness of her shelter. She started with a whinny and ended in a hee-haw! With a quick toss of her short, thick head, her long ears flopped about swatting anything that dared to come near.

“Come on, Sadie. We need to get a move on before the sun reaches high noon and too hot to go anywhere. Don’t want to be out in the field for too long on a day like today. Bye, son. Draw a couple of buckets of water and gather the eggs while I’m gone. I’ll be back before noon.”

Of course, I did not make it back as promised. As I lay in the tall grasses of the field, thoughts shifted back and forth trying to grab hold of reality. What happened? A slight breeze tossed bits of dirt and particles about my face. With each sting, it felt like the birds were pecking away at my flesh. Hey! That is the darn birds!

Puzzlement engulfed any conscious thoughts as my mind tried to discern what did happen. With eyes barely open, I caught a glimpse of Ol’ Sadie ambling toward my limp body. All of a sudden she struck outward with her hooves in every direction. . .even sideways. . .even with her tail. Swish…down one! Whump…down two! This went on until the birds decided to give up feasting on any more of my fleshy morsels.

I had no clue how long I had been lying in the field but I could tell it was approaching high noon. Off in the distance, I could hear a voice shouting, “Paw! Paw!” Junior had become worried since I had not returned and took it upon himself to see if anything had happened. Good boy!

Ol’ Sadie started whinnying ending in multiple hee-haws with each sound wave from Junior’s voice. All I could do was look up into those sad eyes and smile. “Way ta’ go, girl! Maybe I will sign you up for the Little League!”

Check Out Other Contributions: I’m off to see what others have to offer and will return with the links. Here they are…really great reads! Enjoy!

Ms. Roberts says:

Here is mine, I don’t know why the pingback didn’t work.

neenslewy says:

Brilliant – I enjoyed the time and place prompt last week – love having a new one!
Here’s mine

Rishal says:

Hi, here’s my first contribution to FWF. Love to hear what you have to say!

Heidi says:

Okay, EWWW! LOL Here is mine for this week.

Annie (@txstarkeeper) says:

Kellie … you win again! Thought I was stumped, but found my crazy way out of the box again!

Lorraine says:

Hi Kellie, thanks again for the prompt, here’s mine

buildingalifeofhope says:

Hope you are getting enough sleep! Here is my entry:

Yoshith Perera says:



Observe Diamonds of the Morning

MeetSkyeMeet Skye, who is a recent recipient of the Very Inspiring Blogger award from catnipoflife. Skye not only showcases awesome photography but she is also a writer of poetry. She manages two blogs: The Sanctuary of My Heart for her writing and Oh, The Things We Shall See for her photography. One of my favorite poems from Skye was posted to her site only a few days ago. Check out Happily Ever After!

Skye is like so many of us who aspire to become good – great – writers. Within the writing world is a lot of fear, fear of acceptance, as well as rejection. If we are accepted, do we have the fortitude to move ahead with swiftness and accuracy of the mighty pen? If we are rejected, do we thrust that mighty pen aside or push that much harder for acceptance? Here are the words of Skye that will allow you into her world of fear.

Fear, lack of self-confidence, FEAR, has kept me from going confidently into anything. Settling for the status quo because it is comfortable and safe keeps me in a bondage like no other. I watch others boldly going forth. Grabbing at the brass ring and sometimes falling to the ground ~ other times attaining that ring and rejoicing. As I watch. Afraid.

Visit Skye at The Sanctuary of My Heart and Oh, The Things We Shall See. Follow and provide her encouragement to move forward toward achieving her goals as a writer. Her writing is pure and touching. You won’t be disappointed as you watch the beauty of her words unfold.

Now, a little touch of catnip poetry accompanied by the wonderful photography from Skye. . .

Dew on a Rose

(As Skye puts it: Diamonds on the Rose)

Sparkling and dancing dewdrops
Sway lazily with a slight breeze
Falling deftly toward the earth
Lightly touching petals and leaves


Dew’s wet water droplets
Quench life’s thirsty pups
Resting on a spider’s web
Before sunlight erupts

Dew-laden leaves and foliage
Grace the picturesque scenery
Within morning or evening
Visions of pearlized greenery


Pale light and soft shadows
Enhance the morning hue
As nature’s teardrops reflect
The day’s first hints of blue

Dew sparkles at first sight
As it silently settles on a rose
Colors burst forth in song
Sunbeams gracefully compose


A dew-kissed morning
Magical and fresh in its view
Revitalizes the inner being
As the rose opens wet of dew

Sharla Lee Shults

“May each day unfold for you like roses, sparkling in the dew, that open to the morning sun and bloom until the day is through. And may each passing moment bring a song as pure as angels sing but may there be above all things a peace that only God can bring.” —Author Unknown










A hug, a cuddle
Soothing sensations from within
Smiles of the heart

Sweet Dreams!



[This is actually a repeat post from catnipoflife’s sister site Awakenings that was featured last spring. The addition of the animated falls makes you feel like you are there. Feel its power, relish in its beauty as the waterfall takes on all your emotions and appeals to your senses! A HUGE thank you goes to Mary Helen Ferris (greatpoetrymhf) who surprised me with the beautiful animation that makes you feel you are right there experiencing the awesomeness of the waterfall!]

Something awesomely powerful and totally action packed IS at the same time oh-so relaxing. What is this two-sided coin?

The waterfall.

   From Imgur

It energizes. It mesmerizes. It spiritualizes. It epitomizes.

It can even colorize with a spectrum of rainbow colors appearing in its mist. It is awe-inspiring, breath-taking and powerful all in the same moment. It is in the forefront of electricity and the backdrop for relaxation. It is the epitome of nature, the diamond in the rough.

Embrace the Past…

Before the invention of electricity, river waterfalls were used to move turbines, which powered mills that could grind wheat into flour far faster than any human hand. Its power became the mechanical basis for generators which could create electricity from the motion of falling water, the birth of hydroelectricity.

Empower the Present…

Yet, its sights and sounds can be completely mesmerizing taking the mind on an incredible journey into the world of imagination.

Waterfalls are the background for fairy tales and an all-time favorite in real life. They carry with them an aura of romance, a hint of magic whether rippling over a rocky rivulet or splashing playfully while descending rocky steps. Even when a brook babbling through a forest encounters a rocky riverbed, the result is nature playfully showing off one of its finest moments.

Enrich the Future…

May the waterfalls of life be the forces that lift your heart relinquishing thoughts of daily stress and drama. Let the meditation begin…

What do you feel at the sights and sounds of a waterfall? There is a World of Waterfalls waiting to be explored and enjoyed!
“Think of your life as a waterfall; it may come crashing down at some point, it may have it’s ups and downs, but in the end, it will continue to flow.” —Author Unknown

Dare to Dream!

Dare to dream the impossible for it too may one day be possible!
Life is no life at all without dreams…

Dream a little, live a little – Live a little, dream a lot – Dream a lot, live a lot – Your choice!

“Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.”

—Sai Baba (Indian leader, 1838–1918)


“The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.”

—James Allen (British philosophical writer, 1864–1912)


Life is a trail of tears, the will to cope
A mountain of discomfort based on hope
It is a highway of dreams, a road very demanding
Out of balance at times, but not without understanding

—Sharla Lee Shults, catnipoflife



Sometimes you read something and just know it needs to be shared. Diane Reed writes from the heart and in her own words, “In my lifetime, I have realized that a lesson is worth nothing unless you pass it on. My blog is a lot about learning lessons. Some I am still learning, some I would like to share with others.”

Visit Diane @The One Thing I know For Sure not only to read this post in its entirety [which you must read to the very end for that is where this life lesson lies] but also to peruse her many other writings: A soft place to fall, some poetry, some stories, some random thoughts but most of all a place that I hope blesses those who stop by.

To get the true perspective of this life lesson, be sure to read it on Diane’s blog!

The One Thing I know For Sure

I am but a vessel

that houses who I am


A symbol of the outside

where inside my soul lands

jumping in his arms

I’ll only love you if I really do

breaking up

won’t fake it if I don’t

holding hands over ears

my ears have believed

a thousand lies

closed eyes2

but my eyes…

well, they just won’t.

woman at the mirror

seems as if I’ve spent a lifetime

being someone

everyone wished I’d be

fake people quote

but suddenly

I’ve become

the most authentic

part of me!

my portfolio from the seventies

Diane Reed


Lately, I have done a lot of soul searching. Who are we really? I will tell you what I think. We are not the vessel we are wrapped up in. That is just a shell that carries us through out our journey. We are what is inside the package. A bunch of memories, joys, and tears, triumphs and mistakes, goals and dreams. A heart and soul and series of lessons learned. It is not what is…

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Touch of Catnip

Meet Shiva. His unusual name was bestowed upon him by our daughter, Nicole, when she was studying marketing and design at the University of Florida (GO GATORS!). It was during the summer in which she was completing an internship with the St. Petersburg Times in St. Petersburg, FL. We helped Niki move into her new apartment: One bedroom with a sectioned off kitchen area and a tiny, tiny bathroom. Jim and I were visiting over the 4th of July helping her with the move. It was hot, ohso HOT! Anyway, back to Shiva…

Jim and Shiva bonded immediately. They were like two-peas-in-a-pod around the apartment. When we went outside to grill, of course, Shiva had to stay inside and was not a happy cat. To make a long story short Shiva did not stay very long in Niki’s apartment. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Needless to say, he made the trip back with us to our home at the time in Panama City, FL.

Shiva was regal and we often called him Mr. Handsome. He was a great cat and loved chasing the Labrador across the street out of our yard. It was a big lab, too! Go, Shiva!

The series of photos being shared today comprise one of Shiva’s favorite pastimes: giving daddy human’s head a bath! As you look at the photos, you will notice the almost exact hair color. Each photo is numbered for sequencing and has a caption to carry you through the bathing process.

For your enjoyment, meet Shiva, aka Mr. Handsome:

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“I gave my cat a bath the other day…[cats] love it. He sat there, he enjoyed it, it was fun for me. The fur would stick to my tongue, but other than that…” Steve Martin


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