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

Free Write Friday #40: Image Prompt

Writing_BanditI am one of Kellie Elmore’s writing bandits at freewrite Friday. Kellie invites all who would like to participate to please join her. Rules are simple. Follow her prompt and write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes she will provide a word prompt, a phrase prompt or like today an image prompt. There is no time limit so even if you miss the Friday, the writing window is always open. New here? Read the intro.

Here is Kellie’s latest FWF prompt:

This house has a story…what is it?


Image Credit: We Heart It

Having passed by the old place seemingly hundreds of times, today I decided to stop. This would be my last time. There are too many ghosts wandering its inner halls, too many secrets that need not be aired—our secrets. Nothing should remain for nothing’s left to be shared. With time’s passing has come the hour to finally let go. Tomorrow the bulldoziers will arrive at 6 A.M. to demolish what remains standing, it will soon be gone. At least outwardly anyway.

Memories will remain along its grounds that can never be bulldozed down.  Some good. Some not so good. It is called life and in that house, overall life was good. Happiness and heartache can be measured with each board readied for its original construction. Great-granddaddy toiled and labored felling trees for just the right wood to be milled and planked. Stone blocks were hauled uphill from the creek below and set in for a solid foundation.

I can still sense the aromas from the back kitchen—hot apple pies, cinnamon spiced cider, homemade breads—that make my mouth water and stomach churn simply from hungering for the good ol’ days. Sounds of laughing in the backyard with the screen door slamming over and over again bring on a smile and tears at the same time.

Voices echo from the kitchen window calling me inside for the last time.


Echoes through broken glass
Whisper of times long past
Love’s endurance, young lives lost
Survival whatever the cost

Echoes within dawn’s pale light
Reveal a hurrisome sight
Early morn kitchen chores
Shadow sunny outdoors

Echoes in scorching, noonday heat
Bare tired, aching body and feet
Needing a shady place to rest
Leaves any desire hard pressed

Echoes when day is done
Hover ‘round the setting sun
Toil ’n’ labor at last o’er
When day’s light is no more

Echoes of the whippoorwills
Pierce the air across the fields
Visions of standing hand-in-hand
Long for a shooting star to land

Echoes of voices in my head
Forever alive, never dead
Wooden structure may be gone
Memories live on and on

Time for parting words to be said
Filled with echoes of joy, not dread
‘Tis the end of an old way
Time to begin a new day

catniplogosm1©2014 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Other Writing Bandits to Visit:






Joseph Hesch


Talicha J.





Author’s Thought


Just One Look

Not a leaf in sight but new buds & blossoms everyday!

Not a leaf in sight but new buds & blossoms everyday!

Every season sings its own personal song

from the eloquent watercolors of spring to the harmony of early summer bees & blossoms through the golden glowing essence of Autumn into the naked landscapes cloaked in white during Winter.

Regardless of the season all it takes is...

Just One Look

simple_dividerJust one look toward the far horizon
Captures an expanse beyond words
Limitless possibilities exist
Disturbed only by joyous birds


The sky, land and water connect
With discriminate attitudes
Ever present, ever changing
Dependent upon nature’s moods

simple_divider Glory in the springtime
Initiates visions without stopping
Greening hills, warming sun
Buds erupting and wildflowers popping


Family time summer excursions
End with strolls along the sandy beaches
Rising and falling blue-green sea foam
Occasionally unveils sea conches

A winding road in autumnsimple_divider
Demands a stop along the way
Gazing toward the earth’s edge
Reveals a breathless close of day


Snow-capped mountains of winter
Stand majestic out of reach
Valleys through which rivers run
Grant swift passages of each

simple_dividerJust one look upward and outward
Spans a view altogether incredible
Senses emotionally enhanced
Emerge surprised and totally audible!

Sharla Lee Shults

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each.
—Henry David Thoreau (American author, poet, & philosopher, 1817–1862)


See the countryside from A Bird’s Eye View

Watch this second video to get the true perspective of the eagle!


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)


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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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…


Listen to Life’s Songs

ListenMeet Mary Helen Ferris

In her own words…

I am a traveler who now travels on the keyboard. I have met many wonderful people in my life and they have put memories on my heart. I have been inspired most by my family and friends.

As a senior, I have time to reflect and enjoy. As I live in Alberta Canada, the winter is a great time for writing. I am fascinated by water, fire, birds and most of all people.

During the summer, Mary Helen posted on her weblog the photo depicted above with the following caption:

It is in the listening (list ten things the person is saying) THAT the hearts’ ears can become more open. IT is through the song, the laughter comes out, through the language of love…

Inspiration led me to reply with Ten things the person is saying within the catnip of life…

Life’s Whisperings

Wind, whisper to me
Arouse memories again to be

Trees, bend your branches low
Hoist me up, never let go

Leaves, lay your blanket down
Comfort me, lift my frown

Birds, sing your love song
Touch my heart all day long

Sunbeams, spread your heat
Shine on me, warm my feet

Clouds, float lazily by
  Evoke imagery in the sky

Heaven, look down from above
Wrap me in arms of love

Rain, let your tears refresh
Bathe & cleanse my aging flesh

Earth, solidify my stand
Mother Nature, hold my hand

Each embrace me with your loving grace
All of me in this beautiful place

©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Thank you, Mary Helen, for your inspiration. The picture made me write it!


Nature’s Doorway

Nature’s Doorway video poem was created and posted last year but sometimes repeat performances are called for at just the right time! After viewing the video, take a few moments to step outside and enjoy all the beauty around you!

Have a blessed day!


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


Licking the Bowl

Admiring Family Ties

What common thread binds families together?
Must be those silent unspeakable memories
Which hide in the attics of our minds
Gathering dust, but never brushed away

Episodes of loving, laughing, defending each other
Strengthen emotions to immeasurable depths
Wanting not, wasting not treasured moments
That natural instinct directs along the way

Domestic chatter that may breed bitterness
Welcomes forgiveness with open arms
Knowing a quarrel is momentary
Quickly resolved and not for keeps

Times with friends, pets, even the common cold
Bare little resemblance to a naked forest
But instead resemble a sheltered canopy
To inherently stay even while winter sleeps

Recollections of coveting Mom’s cake batter bowl
Hiding tooth brushes, locking the bathroom door
Borrowing money without any vision of payback
Reveal frowns only later lifted with a kiss

Family ties shed radiant lights like chatoyant gems
Making us at our absolute worst look our best
Are never meant to be broken
And ultimately become bondages of bliss

©2009 Remembering
Sharla Lee Shults

Discount/Autograph Copies Available

Also available on Kindle


Tears Cleanse the Heart

Life can be described as an avalanche of unexpected tears. These may arrive as soft teardrops or unyielding sobbing. There is simply no way around tearful emotions for they constantly simmer within the heart. From the most passionate of lovers to the coldest of cold hearts, tears can be the tie that binds or become the final straw. They may appear within a fleeting moment or build up over a period of time.

From a surprise reaction, a past recollection, a new beginning or an anticipated, as well as unintended, ending, tears can swell so emotively they become hotter than a smoldering cauldron. These are the times when we feel life has thrown a curve that we simply don’t understand. Because of the lack of understanding, emotions can quickly turn to anger. As a result, anger becomes the knife that severs.

Sometimes there is just a need to cry. Let the tears flow for they are the dewdrops of an early morn or the pouring summer rain that cleanse, nourish and refurbish the human soul.

What is life as you see it…

Is it a loving embrace
Or a solitary place?

Does it reflect a sense of devotion
Or is it filled with senseless emotion?

Are there moments of unchangeable dread
Or have you solidified your life’s thread?

How do you greet the morning…

Is it with a gentle smile upon a happy face
Or a frown wishing you were in a different place?

Do you bring sunshine to a rainy day
Or does the rain take the sunshine away?

Are there thoughtful images of someone dear
Or do remembrances of sadness appear?

What awaits you at the close of day…

Is it time with caring family
Or just another anomaly?

Does sunset bring an admiring, restful glow
Or do thoughts detail more than you need to know?

Are you with friends ready to make merry
Or are you alone and solitary?

Life IS as you see it…

As life’s proceedings command a new-found way
Greet each morning as the dawn of a new day

If you are dangling on the edge
Come back with a fresh, new life’s pledge

Be a sister, brother, lover or friend
Cherish each moment to the bitter end

Make the most of it!

Life is filled with countless challenges to endure
Times of uncertainty, times when you are sure

While tears may flow like falling rain
Let them cleanse easing any pain

Within the shadows learn to cope
Keep faith alive as well as hope



A Touch of Catnip


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


[This is the original poem published in Remembering, 2009. An adaptation is presented in slideshow video format at the end.]

Foxie, The Cat

Independent, full of curiosity
Agile, former creature of the wild
Foxie shares our home taking over the place
Demanding attention like a child

Curious by nature, held in awe
Cuddlesome, yet loving all the while
She expectantly meows for ‘tasty’ treats
At times leaving her prizes behind in style

Behind the settee, under the bed
Foxie scampers constantly without a care
Mysterious, perplexing, aggravating
Preferring to curl up in Daddy’s chair

Going from indoor to outdoor
Never looking for a new home
She emits confidence, strong will
Unhappy only when left alone

Distant and aloof, yet cherished
Quiet as though in simple meditation
Foxie resonates a soothing purr-r-r
Inviting soft cuddles and loving adoration

Finicky, picky about her food
Moody and sometimes remote
She prissily swishs her fluffy fox tail
Like a tiny, little woman in a fine fur coat!

©2009 RememberingSharla Lee Shults

©2009 Remembering
Sharla Lee Shults

Do you have a favorite pet?
(Click HERE!)


%d bloggers like this: