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

Weird New Year’s Traditions

Here in America, New Year’s Eve celebrations usually end with ringing in the new year amid songs, laughter, fireworks and the dropping of the ball in New York Times Square. There are exceptions as with any rule. In addition, this tradition does not hold true around the world. There are some weird traditions going on somewhere tonight, even in America!

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Happy New Year!


Awakenings: 100,000 Views!

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

What an awesome ending – 2013/beginning – 2014!

2013  has certainly had its share of ups and downs. But, of course, those are all a part of life. With every touch of happiness often comes a bittersweet sorrow. Even within those times where the tomorrows shed little light, a ray of hope always seems to be found: The promise of better days ahead.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

WOW!!! HUGE, HUGE Thank You for 100,000 views!

See on


Awakenings: Happy New Year: Dance the Night Away

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

With New Year’s Eve comes immense celebration: partying well into the night and even beyond the bewitching, magical midnight hour. Do you Wanna Dance? Just the thought of New Year’s Eve makes you feel all Wooly Bully, wanting to (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty, Dance the Night Away! Feel like a Dancing Queen! Wanna Dance with Somebody, any body, just DANCE!

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

See which dance tune brings back your happiest memories of a New Year’s Eve past…

See on


Awakenings: AULD LANG SYNE 2013

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

Today is the 365th day of the year 2013, the last day marking preparation for the final hour, minutes, and seconds of yet another year. With the passing of its last second comes a new beginning, a new year filled with hopes and promises in the form of resolutions for some while others enter the year without resolve.

Embrace the past. . .History of Auld Land Syne and New Year’s Eve @Awakenings!

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Let your hearts be mindful of those who will not be celebrating with family and friends, some perhaps on homeland soil, while others across oceans and continents. They continue to protect and defend our nation from enemies who lurk about waiting, watching, plotting for the right moment to destroy.

See on


To Believe…

Each of us carry our own unique talents. Some are miniscule, some are gargantuan but they are still our talents. We are not all destined to be center stage as with the child prodigy, Jackie Evancho, who mesmerizes audiences with her remarkable operatic voice. She has talent, yes, but it is what she is doing with that talent that ranks first and foremost, front row center, in importance. Ponder thoughtfully as you listen to the words of her song,

To Believe…

Do you promise to do the very best you can?


Cat’s Ten Commandments

QUICK POST: A stopover at Facebook resulted in running across the Cat’s Ten Commandments. Would be interesting to see what some of our cat lovers might add to the list.



I know you love me
That comes as no surprise
I feel it in your touch
I see it in your eyes

I know you love me
You treat me with special care
Letting me cuddle in your lap
While you brush my fur-ry hair

I know you love me
With every super treat
he gentle paw massage
Tickles my little feet

I know you love me
Meals are o-oh-so-o good
My bowl is never empty
Always the best kitty food

I know you love me
You pat me on my head
Talk to be softly
Let me sleep in your bed

You know I love you
That’s a given too
I rub against your legs
Purr-r-r-ing that I do

Sharla Lee Shults

 “A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
Ernest Hemingway



[The links provided within today’s post provide additional insight into the world of simplicity as they connect to previous catnipoflife postings. For Eskimo Kisses, the link directs you to catnipoflife poetry within which you will need to scroll for the new poem.]

SimplicityHave you ever given much thought to the word, simplicity, other than relating it to the little things, those being easy to understand or do? There is simplicity of the world around us, simplicity of the moment, simplicity of thoughts, simplicity of actions, simplicity of trust, simplicity of values, simplicity of character, simplicity of respect, simplicity of generosity, which all fall within the complexity of love. None of these are hard to achieve. All reign within the realm of beauty, simple beauty, beauty of heart, mind, soul.

The mindset of beauty, its purity & clarity, forms the simplicity of elegance. To be elegant does not necessarily demand gaudiness for beauty is found in the humblest of things – beauty of a smile, beauty of wiping a single tear, beauty of an Eskimo kiss, beauty in the taste of a wild berry, beauty within the aroma of a freshly cut rose, beauty within the embers of a campfire (Read catnipoflife poetry below).

Then, there is the power of words, those which are penned for posterity.The most powerful expressions can be written in the simplest form yet be truly austere, most humbling, undemanding, fully generated from the heart.

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Around the Campfire

Nothing like the burning smell
Of a cozy open fire
As amber-glowing embers
Displace any chilling ire

A cup of rich piping hot cocoa
Eases bitterness of the cold
As vapor rises to the nostrils
On downward deep into the soul

All bundled up in sweats
Cross-legged on a woolen rug
Wisps of newly burnt ash
Land softly in my coffee mug

Smell of toasting marshmallows
Tempts all senses, typically taste
When golden brown in color
Ready to be eaten post haste

Simple aromas of nature
Sentimental thoughts do aspire
As wintry pine needles and cones
Sizzle, snap and pop in the fire

Old favorite campfire songs
Snuggling, ghost stories and such
Echo with smiles and laughter
Of memories loved so much

In the magical hour of midnight
No stronger time doth inspire
Than the gripping taste of hot cocoa
Around the blazing campfire

Sharla Lee Shults

“One can enjoy a wood fire worthily only when he warms his thoughts by it as well as his hands and feet.”

—Odell Shepherd (American professor, poet & politician, 1884–1967)



Angels in the Snow

“Angels in the Snow” is featured on catnip’s page catnipoflife poetry. Expressions on this page are in five categories: 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! I do hope you enjoy reading and hopefully will find inspiration from words reflective of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

In case you have not visited catnipoflife poetry, “Angels in the Snow” is reposted here since it is befitting to the Winter season. After reading, hop on over for more of catnip’s poetry. Just click catnipoflife poetry.

Observe life at its best. . .

ngels in the Snow

Wintry days bring chills to the bone
Inviting the cozy fireplace
Sips on steaming cups of cocoa
Add warmth to eagerly embrace

Icy ponds and lakes form mosaics
Under the weight of sleds and skates
Hearts melt, hands clasp firmly together
Balancing two perfect soul mates

Day’s end sends heartbeats pounding
As we race for all our mighty worth—
Slipping, sliding, twisting, turning
Hurrying across the frozen earth

Snowflakes shine in the setting sun
Reflecting pure rawness of nature
Each one caught quickly disappears
Melting under the slightest pressure

A snowball fight puts us on our backs
Giggling and laughing all the while
Eyes meet along with a gentle kiss
Ending the battle with a smile

Lying on the snow-covered ground
We gaze upon the sky’s lustrous glow
Arms and legs reach upward and out
Making wondrous angels in the snow


©2012 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

“An angel can illuminate the thought and mind of man by strengthening the power of vision.”
—St Thomas Aquinas (Italian Dominican Priest, 1224–1274)


Free Write Friday #36: Quote Prompt

Writing_BanditThank you, Kellie Elmore, for another great prompt. If you have not participated in Kellie’s Free Write Friday, she has extended an open invitation. Read the intro. Would love to ‘see’ what you have to say! You may write in any form you choose for the prompt as she will never discourage your pen, but she encourages you to try your hand at free verse for the exercise.

Here is today’s FWF prompt:

What_ifWhat if…how many times have we posed that question followed by I should have…? ‘If’ is the biggest little word in the dictionary, probably being one of the most often spoken words. We look to the past as though the what ifs will some how make a difference, evoke a change. We make decisions, then, ponder, what if…, we make choices, immediately thinking what if…, we say things to wonder why we spoke and what if we could take it back, we perform a task resulting only in a what if… .

The only good coming out of a what if might possibly be to look to the future with the perspective of those what ifs left behind—Using them as hurdles  already jumped, perhaps ending in a fall, helping slow life down just a little, taking the time needed to make the right decision, right choice, right words.

I should have done this, I should have done that, what if I had done this, what if I had done that…sounds like a broken record spinning out of control, life with no direction. You made the decision, live with it. You made the choice, deal with it. You said what was on your mind, let it be. You completed a task, it is done. Move on, forge ahead, leaving the what ifs and should haves to rest in peace as life goes on.

What if all the what ifs I ever said could come to fruition? Then, I would not be who I am, where I am, with who I am today so all the should haves really do not matter after all!

Forget the what ifs…Enjoy the only ifs that matter: BountIFful gIFts of lIFe!

©2013 catnipoflife Sharla Lee Shults ©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Other Contributions…Here are a few that have been posted so far on Kellie’s website:

charleenm says:

Thanks for the inspiration!

Joseph Hesch says:

Expectations, depression, paralysis by analysis, all dam and damn this poet —
Can Only Tell You

Annie’s Muse says:

Now you have done it Kellie — unleashed my sleeping Muse — here is another post for FWF says:

graypoet says:

Another Friday to try to think…. thanks Kellie…


Winter’s Berth

With winter comes days where chilling winds are felt right to the bone. In some areas, snow and ice  envelop the landscape leaving the only color in sight for miles being white. Unlike our furry friends, we don our heavy coats, boots, woolen socks, mittens and scarves to ward off the bite of the frigid air. Of course, we know the soft fur of our little friends keeps them warm without the need for all the extra ‘gear’ but that does not necessarily mean they do not feel the cold.

BUT… does the cold inevitably keep them indoors? See the slideshow ‘Come play with me!’ after the poem!


Winter’s Berth

A mound of silky white fur
Amid cushions of bottle green
Reflects hues of icy blue
Off crystal dewdrops barely seen

Teeny tiny silver moons
Draping from hairy stems
Tickle a pink little nose
Like frosty pearlized gems

Stretching and yawning
Rising above home turf
Tiny paws reach forth
Scratching in winter’s earth

Within a few steps
Visions begin to blur
Chilly winter winds
Softly lift the long fur

Delicate hints of sunlight
Peeping through bleak gray skies
Grant fleeting moments of warmth
Around wide-open eyes

Suddenly through the bitterness
A little hand reaches down
“Nosy Nettie, why are you here
Among plumage turned gray brown?”

With a special purr-r-r
Ever so thankful to be found
The snow white fur ball
Bids farewell to the cold, cold ground

©2012 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

The purr from cat to man says, ‘You bring me happiness; I am at peace with you.’
—Barbara L. Diamond (Writer, n.d.)

Touch of Catnip: Come play with me!

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Special Care After Play Time

After being outside, especially playing in the snow, little paw pads become very cold, often leading to numbness. Upon return to the indoors, cuddle time is first on the agenda. He or she will be happy to have a little bonding time with you. Once the furry little fellow (or gal) is cozy and warm in your lap next in the order of care is the purring pal’s paw massage. This stimulates the nerves making sure all feeling is restored to the toes. Speaking of toes, it is then time to inspect the space between each one, examining for possibility of debris or maybe a cut on the paw pad. Remember, there is a lot more to those cut little feet than just razor-sharp claws!

“Purr-r-r-r-r-r, purr-r-r-r-r-r, purr-r-r-r-r-r!” Gotta go. Someone’s calling…


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