catnipoflife

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

Thoughts on the Easter Lily

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 with thoughts enveloped in the “spiritual essence of Easter” as my Foxie and I celebrated the resurrection in the quietness of our home.

Ah! 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 this day regarding 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 war, 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. . .

The 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

©2021 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”
Song of Solomon 2:1

1 Comment »

catnipoflife is Back Online!

To all my friends and family – past, present & future – I am back where I belong, in the writing world! After three years since its completion, I have pulled to the forefront and removed the dust from the pages of Catnip of Life. The manuscript is complete, 200+ pages of poetry, times for reflection, musings on life and famous quotes that make a personal connection to each poem.

catnipoflife blog is ready to reawaken your senses to the world around you! Today, more than ever, we need to remain thankful for the beauty of this earth that brings abundant gratefulness for simply being alive. Whether you followed me in the past or are new to catnip, welcome to my world that offers insight to help you “keep a smile on your face, joy in your heart and optimism on your tongue” (Lou Vickery, former New York Yankees, Author & Radio Show Host)

It is time to take Catnip of Life manuscript off the shelf, remove the dust from its pages and share its presence with all who desire to examine life through a personal lens and ponder what is or has been missing or gone unnoticed. The essence of Catnip of Life is 200+ pages of poetry, time for personal reflection, musings on life, and quotes that make a connection of the verses to real life.

I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?

            —James Thomson (Scottish Poet, 1700–1748)

Note about catnip: Catnip targets feline “happy” receptors in the brain.

            To inevitably understand the catnip of life requires opening your senses to the world around you: Observe life at its best, Listen to life’s songs, Embrace life’s bounties, Breathe the breath of life, Savor life to its fullest! The sky, the hills, the sea, the birds, the blossoms—each takes you to its own unique world. Captivating moments are right before your eyes, music to your ears, within your very grasp, under your nose waiting to be enjoyed.

           Catnip of Life exposes nature as a diamond in the rough with its power to heal, outwardly in addition to inwardly. The verses reveal openness to the world, how simple everyday observances make a difference in your life, furthermore allowing you to touch the lives of others. From reflections where happiness is found in the darkest of times to sunshine easing innermost fears to experiencing life being given a second chance, there exists lightheartedness, along with heaviness of heart.

            Keys to the catnip of life: beauty, imagination, nature, reflection, wonder!

First up is Diamond in the Rough. You have the option to read or listen to the audio (see below).

Diamond in the Rough

Awaken to the raw power of nature
When crashing waves, lightning cavort
Embark on a journey of pure imagery
Where the mind’s eye is the transport

Blend the defiant power of nature
With wonderment amid fascination
Draw on the earth’s primordial spirit
Charisma amongst imagination

Succumb to nature’s wilder places
Mysticism within self-awareness
Become lost in nature’s miracles
Healing, transforming consciousness

Perceive rapid-flowing rivers
Cascading through rocky terrain
Imagine deafening sounds
Waterfalls, hammering rain

Evoke visions of pure impulses
Those of unbridled natural power
Peaceful before quite overwhelming
Surpassing any meditative hour

Observe nature untouched, unpolished
Like finding a diamond in the rough
Leave with a better understanding
Of yourself interestingly enough

Proclaim the exhilaration
A freedom deep within your soul
It’s observing life at its best
Totally under mind’s control

Quote of the Moment:

The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.             —Daniel Defoe (Journalist, 1660–1731)

AUDIO is for your Listening Pleasure! Close your eyes and enter the visionary mind.

Don’t leave yet! Time for observation and reflection…

As you go through the days ahead, focus on observing life at its best.

Observations—

On a scale of 1 to 10, right now in the moment, leave a comment rating your catnip level in observing life at its best. With the mindset of observance in the next few days, elevate your awareness of the world around you. Remain alert to capture something new or become more deeply acquainted with something familiar. Then, return to this post, leave a smile and add comment upon something you feel you never truly noticed…until your observance through the lens of the catnip of life.

3 Comments »

‘Til we meet again at Heaven’s door…

To all my wonderful blogger friends, visitors, followers and acquaintances. Posting has been very slim due to the illness of my husband, James (Jim) Lee Shults. Friday morning, May 12, 2017 after nearly 33 years of marriage which began on July 10, 1984, Jim’s time in his temporary home on this Earth ended with a new beginning commencing in his eternal home. The pain and suffering is over as he rests in peace in the comfort of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your cards, letters, prayers, comforting thoughts and so much more. Jim will be remembered for his compassion, humor, endless stories & jokes, love of country and family. For him, to go though the day without making someone smile or laugh, was wasted time, time without purpose or meaning. He was a joke waiting to be told and never missed an opportunity to lift someone’s spirits.

To my soulmate…

Treasures in Jars of Clay
(2 Corinthians 4:7-18)

7Now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us.8We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always consigned to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our mortal bodies. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13And in keeping with what is written: “I believed, therefore I have spoken,”c we who have the same spirit of faith also believe and therefore speak, 14knowing that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is extending to more and more people may overflow in thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles.18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 

‘Til we meet again …

At Heaven’s Door

The doors of Heaven opened
The day you came into my life
At our eyes’ first meeting,
Divine intervention touched my soul

What once were dreams and aspirations
Transpired into fearless reality
Conscious reasoning gave way to inner feelings
Our encounter ensured destiny unfold

Love initiated in Heaven
Unconditional, without envy or self-pity
Free from illusion, secure in faith
Lays eternal in the mist

Two hands merged as one
One heart, one body, one spirit
Truly blessed to share life’s daily happenings
Until only memories exist

Our love spans the sands of time
Through the years, happiness and tears,
‘Til one day we’re hand-in-hand
Standing quietly at Heaven’s Door

 

Save

15 Comments »

The Reason for the Season: Spread the pure Joy!

The Christmas season is filled with times of joyful gathering…family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, acquaintances from many different backgrounds. The main question is…why do you join others in celebration at this time of year? Is it simply feasting and partying, dressing in fancy attire, for camaraderie, perhaps time to catch up on happenin’s throughout the year? What makes it different from any other gathering? There is only one reason for this season which should remain at the top of the list, the star of the Christmas tree, the most wondrous gift of them all…

 *****
May we never be so focused on getting gifts & PRESENTS 
that we forget to receive…
 *****
*****
…the gift of HIS PRESENCE!
 *****

 

Spread the pure joy!


There is magic in Christmas
A time for joy, a time of peace
Sharing, caring, preparing
As cascading snowflakes increase
*****
A star tops the Christmas tree
Presents of love beneath
All in the joy of giving
Encircling like a wreath
*****
People come, people go
All in the name of good cheer
Wishing Merry Christmas
And the happiest New Year
*****
Coziness of a fireplace
A warm hug, tender kiss
Christmas Eve closes in prayer
No one dares not miss
*****
While saying Merry Christmas
With wishes for a Happy New Year 
How many celebrate birth
The real reason behind all the cheer?
*****
Wining, dining, feeling fine
Feasting on the best
When asked why YOU celebrate
What do you attest?
*****
Hope in Christmastime
The message of the season
Birth of our Savior
Truly the blessed reason
*****

 

4 Comments »

To all Fathers…

Today Sunday, June 19, 2016 is Father’s Day…a day of honor and celebration for our dads and fathers. Not all fathers are dads nor are all dads fathers. Each holds a special place in a child’s, teen’s or adult’s heart. Regardless of the roledad, father or bothnot any one of us could be here without having been fathered. With fatherhood comes a tremendous responsibility encompassing tasks of sharing, caring and preparing for life’s journey.

heart-divider

May this Father’s Day be filled with wondrous blessings that continue through each day of the year! To each of you…A Father’s Day Salute!

 A father’s day is every day
Not just one day of the year
Holding a wee little hand
(day time and nighttime)
Wiping away a tear

heart_divider
It’s faith, hope, love
All rolled into one
Encouragement, patience
(never giving up)
‘Til a task is done

heart_divider
It’s being thankful
Gratitude of heart
Knowing what you need
(when you need it)
Right from the start

  
It’s together time
The thrill of hearty laughter
 Seeing what you’re going through
(even if it doesn’t show)
The morning of the day after

heart_divider
It’s helping with decisions
Staying taut through outs or ins
Teaching life’s not easy
(taking the right road)
Supporting losses and wins

heart_divider
It’s hurting and being hurt
Holding discipline’s place
Leaving behind a legacy

(not of material ‘things’)
Rewards of saving grace
*

It’s compassion and comfort
When a hug is all that’s needed
Priceless moments in time

(Teddy Bear hugs)
Quickly and tenderly heeded

heart_divider
It’s shaping, molding
Each life that has begun
Making an investment
(often without return)
‘Til the full course is run

heart_divider
It’s when having to leave
Looking back with pride
Releasing all the tears
(happiness and heartache)
Bottled up inside

©Sharla Lee Shults

4 Comments »

The Reason for this Season

The Christmas season is filled with times of joyful gathering…family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, acquaintances from many different backgrounds. The main question is…why do you join others in celebration at this time of year? Is it simply feasting and partying, dressing in fancy attire, for camaraderie, perhaps time to catch up on happenin’s throughout the year? What makes it different from any other gathering? There is only one reason for this season which should remain at the top of the list, the star of the Christmas tree, the most wondrous gift of them all…

*****
May we never be so focused on getting gifts & PRESENTS 
that we forget to receive…
 *****
*****
…the gift of HIS PRESENCE!
  *****

 Spread the pure joy!

There is magic in Christmas
A time for joy, a time of peace
Sharing, caring, preparing
As cascading snowflakes increase

A star tops the Christmas tree
Presents of love beneath
All in the joy of giving
Encircling like a wreath

People come, people go
All in the name of good cheer
Wishing Merry Christmas
And the happiest New Year

 Coziness of a fireplace
A warm hug, tender kiss

Christmas Eve closes in prayers
No one dares not miss

 While saying Merry Christmas
With wishes for a Happy New Year
How many celebrate birth
The real reason behind all the cheer?

Wining, dining, feeling fine
Feasting on the best
When asked why you celebrate
What do you attest?

Hope in Christmastime
The message of the season
Birth of our Savior
Truly the blessed reason

 Spread the word far and wide
In full convoy
 Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Spread the pure joy!

 

1 Comment »

The Time When Giving Rules

As Christmas day draws nearer and nearer, very little time remains for shopping, especially for the little gifts that may have been forgotten. The last minute push always has people rushing around almost in a daze…in a craze anyway! So, ever thought of doing something different? Staying away from the malls, putting your imagination to work? What about inviting family and friends over and being creative! Make some small gifts together or simply let the time of enjoyment be the gift itself…give the gift of smiles and laughter.

* * * * *

The Time When Giving Rules

 Christmas-red-divider

Christmas
a time for giving
Loving, laughing & living
Forgetting & forgiving
Remembering, reliving
 
 
 
Christmas brings time for laughter
Today, tomorrow, thereafter
Gifts of love, you’re the crafter 
Those ne’er bought before or after
 


Something to use, something to share
The idea is showing you care
Make it something unique with flair
 Or totally risque if you dare
 
 
Should you decide food’s the thing
 Add to it just the right zing
Small goodies smiles surely bring
When the mason jar is king
 
 
If the gift is a gift of money
Be sure to make it funny
Any dollar bill, sweet as honey
Leaves the day bright and sunny

 Less demanding are simple tools
Maybe rhinestone studded jewels
Some little wooden sewing spools
All in the time when giving rules

©2014 Sharla Lee Shults

Leave a comment »

Bon Appétit & Music Too!

Reposted from Awakenings with a touch of catnip…

Happy-Thanksgiving2

Gobble Gobble Gobble is the tune of the day if the only thing on your mind is the Thanksgiving feast…BUT that is not all Thanksgiving is about. It’s only a start…

  gluttons for punishment
partake of the Thanksgiving feast
with abundant choices
one can feel like a gorging beast

*****
try this for something different…
go around the table
fill a plate with all the trimmings
deliver to the disabled

*****
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  Thanksgiving is not just about food…it’s music too!

music of Thanksgiving
soul felt,  full of emotion
melodies of the heart
spreading joy, inspiration
*****
 it’s rhythmic balance in nature
in tune with songs of life
 spiritually rewarding
“whispers of drum and fife”

 Thanksgiving is about…

 giving thanks for many blessings
received the whole year through
being with family and friends
 cherishing all they do
*****
living, laughing, loving
never forgetting those in need
giving inspiringly
encouraging others indeed
~
Beyond the Thanksgiving table…
~
remember blessings said
being heard with a grateful ear
 humbly and earnestly
memorable words to endear
*****
 emit emotions from the heart
those that last all year through
solemn thankfulness amid praise
to never bid adieu

 Thanksgiving_catnip

Thanksgiving-cute-kitty-in-pumpkin
2 Comments »

World Kindness Day

Have you ever thought about the difference in thankfulness versus gratefulness? During hot, dry spells, you are thankful for the slightest hints of rain or during the winter, you are thankful for the day falling snow finally wanes. On the other hand, you are indeed grateful for the presence of nature, the nurture that Mother Nature brings to the earth in the forms of nourishment, care, shelter, guidance, inspiration. Being aware of your surroundings interjects feelings of thoughtfulness which in turn makes you truly thankful thereby expressing gratitude for all blessings received. Inner spirit is at peace, heart and soul.

Turning Thoughtfulness

Being thankful, giving thanks
Go together hand-in-hand
One without the other
Makes for a lonely stand

Be thankful for many blessings
Each new day may impart
Specially those unexpected
Which arrive heart-to-heart

Give thanks in return
For those blessings received
Since unspoken words
Can’t be quickly perceived

Be thankful for troubled times
Reaching out to those concerned
For without painful mistakes
Lessons cannot be learned

Give thanks for the little things
From strangers and loved ones alike
Whose genuine thoughtfulness
Presents a delightful heartstrike

Be thankful for each morning
With which a fresh start begins
Giving thanks for daily blessings
Until the day finally ends

Turn thoughtfulness into gratitude
A work of heart, a practice of soul
Find pleasure giving to others
A notion that never grows cold

catniplogosm1

© 2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

—Albert Schweitzer (Alsatian theologian, organist, philosopher 1875–1965)

RAK_be_one

November 13th is World Kindness Day!

A global 24-hour celebration dedicated to
paying-it-forward and focusing on the good.

Feelings of thoughtfulness naturally bring on acts of kindness, which make for a better day any time of the year. Even though November 13th is set aside as a day of celebration, let it only be the beginning of random acts of kindness to last all year!

Need some ideas?
Opportunities for random acts of kindness are everywhere. We just have to take the time and allow ourselves to do something memorable for others. November 13th, World Kindness Day, is a good day to remind us of that. The good news, is that kindness doesn’t always require spending. A nice letter, a compliment, or even your time can make someone smile.
Shari’s Berries created a Random Acts of Kindness Generator to inspire you on World Kindness Day. Just choose a category, and the generator will provide a simple act you can do for someone else. Luckily, there are over fifty different kindness ideas which you can perform all year long!
http://www.berries.com/blog/53-random-acts-kindness-generator
Random acts of kindness come from the heart, one beat at a time! 
2 Comments »

Both Sides of Life: City vs. Country

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Are you a city slicker born and reared in the country? A country boy or girl living it up in the city? Country born, country stayed or city born, city to this day? Much is to be learned from both sides of life. The sleepy country side isn’t for everyone nor is the flipside, hectic city life. One may seem pale in comparison to the other so venture forth seeking the brightness of each. If you live in the country, take time to visit the city. If you live in the city, get out into the country for rural goodness.

Life in the City

Welcome to the city!
May I show you around?

A concrete jungle
It has long been called
A mighty fortress
Towering, stone-walled

Glaring, surely blaring
Sights amid sounds
All around the city
Hold you spellbound

Daytime, nighttime glamour
Makes you feel like new
Singing, dancing, engaging
Nothing you can’t do!

Hustling, bustling city squares
Crisscrossing asphalt streets
Coffee shops by the dozens
Invite strangers to meet

Spectacles, smells, odd routines
Invite strangers to stroll
Events in a city park
Offer a grassy knoll

A haven for many
Sin city to a few
Life in the city
Never bids adieu!

Welcome to the city!
Ready to wheel around?

Hail a taxi
In a heated rush
Paint the city
With your own life’s brush!

catniplogosm1

©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.

            —Margaret Mead (American cultural anthropologist, 1901–1978)

Have you ever felt like walking directly into a picture? The image being so clear, so persuasive you actually felt the scene? It could be you’ve imagined a setting from books or magazines you read or heard described. What drew you in could be the pleasantry of the landscape, the land, the horses or the people. The image became so implanted in your mind nothing could stop you from searching for such a place. You drove, drove, drove until you found it! Maybe after reading that will be the guidance you need to seek your own spot in the countryside.

Countryside Manner

At dawn beads of morning dew
Dance across spiders’ webs
Reflecting the rising sun
As pale light strokes the sky

An oratorio of frogs
Birds, mammals, creepy-crawlies
Generate the essence of song
Bringing on a tender sigh

Wide expanses of green-on-green
Adorn the rolling country hillside
With wildflowers, gems of beauty
Joining the horizon’s edge of blue

Just up the road two horses
Grazing alongside a field of buttercups
Look upward toward earth’s edge
In the forefront of the panoramic view

A wooden farmhouse in the background
Stands naked within the scene
Surrounded only by fields of green
Serene, natural beauty

An old country farmer
Plowing his corn field nearby
Reflects on life’s duty
With a swift wipe of his brow

Chickens scatter noisily
As eggs are carefully gathered
The plumpest of the plump hens
Tries to escape supper somehow

Such is the countryside manner
Where thoughts lost in daydreams
Leave imagination unbound
On wings completely free

Holding hands, shoulder-to-shoulder
Sittin’ upon the grass
Bears glory in the countryside
Now that’s the place for me!

catniplogosm1

©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: When I go out into the countryside and see the sun and the green and everything flowering, I say to myself —Yes indeed, all that belongs to me!

            —Henri Rousseau (French Post-Impressionist painter, 1844–1910)

So, what is your side of life…city or country?

cityvs.country

2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: