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

Inspiration: Life on the Train


Take a Virtual Trip

The evolution of the train is much like life, its journey through time collects treasured memories of people and places as it stops and goes from one station to another. Have you ever thought about comparing life to a train ride or a series of train rides?

While we may say goodbye to an era once vibrant, let us not forget the impact of the railroad as America rapidly became an urban nation. Where would America be today without the expansion of the railroad?

A little extra. . .

The remainder of this post is at catnip’s sister site, Awakenings. It was featured last November just prior to our 2012 Presidential Election. Included in the original post are some nuggets of railroad history and poetry from Awakenings from Then ’til Now – Poetry of Steam.

We’ve come a long way from the days of steam powered locomotives, which demanded back-breaking drudgery, to trains of today having advanced to high-speed technology centered on magnetic levitation. However, from the steam engine to the electric to the diesel to the stream-lined locomotives none compare to the poetry of steam.


“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.” —Henri David Thoreau (1817–1862)


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


Empty Nest

Each of us at some point in time has hoped for that perfect (well, almost perfect) Kodak moment: the moment when the extraordinary appears right before our eyes. To have that happen to the novice of novice photographers is indeed PRICELESS!

I have seen pictures and watched videos of tiny baby hatchlings but NEVER experienced such a sight up close and personal. I spotted the bird nest as I was in the midst of completing yard work, specifically edging around one of the Crepe Myrtles in our front yard. My camera broke some months back and I was told it could not be repaired. So, I quickly ran into the house and grabbed my SmartPhone. (Don’t you just love the name of these newfangled phones!)

Needless to say, I knew the bird nest wasn’t going anywhere since it had already endured days upon days of wind and rain thus enough time to get Mr. SmartieSnap. Of course, I thought I was only getting a picture of a nest.

Here are the results:

© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults

© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults

Occasionally in the outdoors
One discovers a bird nest
Fascinating in its craftsmanship
Where speckled eggs gently rest

© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults

© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults

 Collected mud, sticks or dried grass
Are readied for the begotten
Woven against a soft lining
Of fur, feathers, hair and cotton

© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults

© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults

Intricacy of design
Built by two feet and a beak
Becomes nature’s protector
From that which predators seek

© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults

© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults

Cradling of such a small nest
Rests in the crook of a branch
Simple but awe-inspiring
Like dawn at a Western ranch


© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults

Tiny little hatchlings
Eager to fly on their own
Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp
Letting their presence be known

Baby birds flop out of the nest
Landing abruptly on the ground
Mother bird stands close by watching
In case danger might be around


© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults


© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults

Once grown, flying on their own
Mother knows she did her best
Does SHE now somberly mourn
Facing life with an empty nest?


© 2013, Sharla Lee Shults

©2013 catnipoflife

Sharla Lee Shults

“Empty is a negative word. Replace it with peaceful, calm or relaxed.” —Joi Sigers (Author, b. 1978)

A little something extra from one much more professional than I. . .live and learn!


You have but one life: LIVE IT!

Today, inspiration steers me toward sharing with you some of my catnipoflife poetry along with featuring awesome photography so graciously provided by Barbara Beacham @Life in the Foothills. If you have not visited Barbara’s blog, I encourage you to mosey on over right now! You will not be disappointed. In fact, you will probably leave as a new follower. As just a little insight into the awe of Life in the Foothills, the Best Moment Award was bestowed upon Barbara by catnipoflife just recently. Here is what I had (and still have) to say about Barbara Beacham:

Can you imagine Life in the Foothills? I can! after visiting Barb’s blog and her exceptional photography. With just one look, you will be hooked! She will draw you into the lowest valley one minute only to take you to the highest mountaintop the next. She will enlighten you with the wild side of the countryside!

Okay, Barb, you had just better get ready for a visitor one day! I want to experience what life is like living in the foothills! With life being so short and the fact that we only have ONE life to live, it is most befitting to simply LIVE IT! From the inner voice of catnip, “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!”


Follow Life’s Echo



Is it true a mountain echo
Resonates the cry of man
Swallowing up the lonely sound
Just to bring it back again?


Reflective in its harmony
Does the echo solemnly rest
On the ears of the crier
Who put it first to its test?


Mirrored in the background
Of this shrill, lonely sound
Incredible beauty exists
Sometimes lost, sometimes found


Each sunrise and every sunset
Capture life’s true mystery
Echoes of their glory and beauty
Intensify life’s living history


Take a long, panoramic look
Marvel as wonders abound
For the echoes of life
Stand stalwartly all around


Beautiful rainbows, exquisite stars
Embellish a magnificent sky
Revealing fragileness of life
Gone in the mere blink of an eye


Visit the awe-inspiring mountain
Remember to follow the echo
You have but one life: LIVE IT!
Applaud in the blaze of life’s glow

Sharla Lee Shults

“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.”

                                                                  —Joan of Arc (National heroine of France, 1412-1431)



Do you have a favorite? Cast your vote!

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A little drowsing cat is the image of perfect bliss! Cat Wisdom 101 by Layla Morgan Wilde


Always Remember Our Soldiers…

Happy Mewmorial Day

Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth;
Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth…

— Thomas Moore, How Oft Has the Banshee Cried


Stop and Smell the Flowers


“Walk among the wilds, gaze at the sky, understand nature and feel the spirits as they pass you by.” ~SLS

Stop and Smell the Flowers

Papa walked along life’s rocky path
Where no flowers lay beneath his feet
Tired and weary bones from toil and pain
Found rest only during winter’s sleep

 End of day brought Papa home
To Mama waiting at the door
With a faint-hearted smile he entered
Then wanted to leave no more

 No dust, grime, or smell of sweat
Not a place drab and dreary
Sweet fragrances of lilac and roses
Made the air bright and cheery

 Mama’s laugh made Papa smile
Ending the drudgery of the day
Early morning sun came too soon
Once again finding Papa on his way

 He stopped and smelled the flowers
Along side the dusty road
On the way home he picked a few
To lightened his heavy load

 A tradition handed down…

 Mama worked hard each day
Some days ready to explode
Papa brought Mama flowers
To lightened her heavy load

©2009 Remembering
Sharla Lee Shults

“Lighten the heavy load each day, stop and smell the flowers, maybe pick a few along life’s narrowing way.” ~SLS


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