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

Something to Smile About

SmileDo you always NEED something to smile about or does a smile come naturally, just happen without a great deal of thought or reason behind it? Perhaps you wake up in the morning and smile even before your feet hit the floor. Ever ask yourself “Why?”

When someone smiles at you, how does it make you feel? Flirtatious? Warm? Do you wonder why that person is smiling? All kinds of thoughts can possibly fleet through your mind often depending on your mood at the time. If a smile is taken for the right intent, it can surely make a cloudy day full of sunshine.

The beauty of a smile: blazes, amazes, teases, pleases, warms, never harms, satisfies, gratifies, an ever burning flame of love, hope, desire! That’s something to smile about!


Simple MomentsIgniteLife’sEmotions

[Someone may have a camera!]

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Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

So blessed with this award being bestowed on catnipoflife by Len

Welcome to the Sisterhood!

There are rules for this award which are basically the same as for most any blog award received. The last part, deciding on recipients for this award, is exceptionally difficult. How does one choose from all those who have visited and provided support for catnipoflife? To me, you are all my ‘sisters’ (of course, there are ‘brothers’ too but their honor will need to come in a different form). For a sisterhood, why should some be selected while others are left out? Since there is no other criteria for selection other than choice and even though this is not exactly the intention of the rules, it is the decision of catnipoflife:

All of my ‘Sisters’ are Welcome to the
Sisterhood of the World Bloggers!

Acceptance is contingent upon the following:

1. Leave a comment that you would like to be a member of the Sisterhood.

2. Grab the badge for posting to your blog, thank catnipoflife for this award and provide a link to her blogsite.

3. Answer the same questions as posed to catnipoflife (see below) in your blog posting.

4. Nominate and provide the links to 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read OR follow the same procedure as catnip. [If you choose to bestow the award on special sisters, be sure to kindly let the recipients know they have been invited into the sisterhood.]

5.  Return to catnipoflife as soon as your posting is complete to provide a link to your blogsite. Those links will be added to this posting as comments of completion are received.

Here are the 10 Questions

1. What is your favorite colour?

2. What is your favorite animal?



3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

4. Facebook or Twitter? = Tweet me @ awakenings2012

5. What is your favorite pattern? = B&W Check
6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents? 

7. What is your favorite number?

8. What is your favorite day of the week?

9. What is your favorite flower? 

Handful of Daisies

10. What is your passion?

Welcome to the Sisterhood!

 1. Posthumously Sandra @ Dare to Dream Big!
Character books for kids and Kids Can Do It! Dare to Dream Big!

2. Claire Cappetta @clarecappetta
A journey through writing and publishing an indie book and all that pleases and irks along the way

3. Marilyn Armstrong @Serendipity
Popcorn on Main Street

4. Raani York @raaniyork
Beauty/Fashion, Diary of a Cat Prince, Letters to Celebrities. . .

5. Gys @ Poèmes Français & Anglais by Gys
Poignant poetry written in both French and English, as well as an awesome photo blog

6. Who is next? Leave your comment per ‘acceptance’ above…


On Any Given Day: Life is Full of Beauty. . .

. . .regardless of the weather. . .

how often do you take the time to notice the simple things in life . . .

the innocence within a single smile, the laughter of children on a playground, the helping hand as an elder crosses the street, the young man holding the door or the young woman tendering a sweet, loving kiss, the aroma of a bakery with its fresh baked bread or gooey cinnamon rolls cloaked in snowy white drizzle, the soft purr-r-r-r of a kitten, the bumble bee savoring sugary nectar from a sunflower or the attala butterfly hovering over a field of daisies, perchance the melodies drifting about with the wind or the raindrops pelting a windowpane on a steamy summer afternoon?

Ah-h-h-h! Could there be an endless list of possibilities?
Perhaps, for. . .


Life is full of beauty
Stop and notice it. . .
The flight of the bumble bee
The butterfly flit

Life is full of delight
Stop and enjoy it…
Laughter of a wee child
A holiday skit

Life is full of love
Stop and cherish it…
A hug from a friend
The time to commit

Life is full of sorrow
Stop and learn from it…
Live for tomorrow
Never to forget

Life is full of beauty
Stop and notice it…
The sights, sounds, smells
Never ever quit


In other words. . .

“Life is full of beauty.
Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
Live your life to the fullest potential and fight for your dream.”
Ashley Smith

In some way, we all notice beauty around us.
What in life represents true beauty in its purest sense to you?


Tag – You’re It!

Last week I was ‘Tagged’ by Claire Cappetta!  Claire is sharing her journey, fears, tears and joys, through her first novel, A Broken Ring. It is a story of a woman’s journey from abuse to empowerment. Claire also shares thoughts and messages why she loves New York with her husband, Vincent, who inspires readers with poetry of his own. OK, Vinny, why haven’t you been writing lately?

There are rules to this TAG which require my answering questions about myself. This should prove to be interesting. I have not read the questions in advance so here goes. . .but first the rules. . .


1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
3. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
4. Tag (eleven) people with a link to your post.
5. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

Questions to me:

1. Where is the most exotic place you have traveled?

The Matterhorn in the Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy

Interpreting exotic to be foreign and striking, it would have to be the Swiss Alps. Kind of sad for this American’s first visit to the mountains to be in Switzerland!

2. If you could be any animal what would you be and why?

I love margaritas!

No doubt about it, the CAT. I am moody, want to be petted only when I am in the mood, finicky about my food, sometimes giddy, sometimes aloof, love a fur coat but most of all, my nickname is Kitten. Go figure! Sh-h-h-h! Don’t tell anyone. Yeah, right!

3. If you wanted to be famous what would it be for?


Not really into be classified as famous but would like to be remembered for helping people, being there when needed.

4. You are stranded on an island… what 3 things do you have with you?


EASY – My heart to keep me strong, My mind for prayerful thoughts, My soul already promised: Anything else necessary for survival is already there. FOR REAL!

5. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

My dad’s ’54 Ford, except his was dark green.

Being one of many GRITS (Girls Raised In The South) leaves that door wide open. It would have to be ‘backing the miles off my daddy’s ’54 Ford’ to get enough miles for a ‘joy ride’ with my friends to a nearby town. I was only allowed 5 miles and the ride took 20 miles one way. [I discovered the odometer rolled backwards when the car was in reverse.]

6. Tattoo or piercing? What and why?


No, tattoos, OOPS! unless your count permanent eyeliner! If I ever got a tattoo, it would be a butterfly. Only piercing is the ears. That hurt enough!

7. What’s the best movie you’ve ever watched?


Somewhere in Time. I could handle time travel:>)

8. You could live in a lighthouse on a cliff top or a cabin in the deep dark woods, which would you choose?


Definitely the cabin. Don’t mind stairs but the lighthouse might be a bit much on a daily basis although the view would probably be magnificent. However, the woods holds adventures of its own and there are always candles and perhaps a flashlight. (Batteries?) Just may have to carry a big stick sometimes.

9. What is your best feature?

Yep, mine are blue.

Definitely my eyes. Have been told many times I have eyes of an angel. Too mushy, huh?

10. What is your favorite color?

No question here, always been blue. Second to that would be red. Um-m-m-m? Cool to fiesty

11. What is the most inspiring thing you think you have ever done?

Suppose that would have to be through my writing. I only say this because of comments received from readers of my books, especially Echoes.

Questions to you:

1. What is the worst food you ever tasted, when and where?

2. What does your spouse/significant other do sometimes that is totally annoying?

3. If you could go anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?

4. What is your favorite sport, participating or watching? Why do you like it so much?

5. Describe you most hair-raising experience?

6. What was the most embarrassing moment of your life?

7. Complete this thought: A friend is one who . . .

8. Who was your favorite teacher and why?

9. Who inspires you the most? Why?

10. What is your favorite music, era and artist(s)?

AND, the final question is. . .

11. What 11 words would best describe your personality? 

You’ve been tagged by catnipoflife!


Free Tag Zone

The Thoughtful Life

A Hairdresser’s Diary

Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler

Jen’s Thoughts


Poems French & English by Gys

Women Making Strides


One Week to Crazy

Darlene Craviotto


Inspiration: Drop a Stitch

OOPS! I dropped a stitch!

Knit one, pearl two, knit one, pearl two. . . brings to mind the ol’ nursery rhyme “He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not” because of its repetition. The Decision of the Flower results in either “yea” or “nay” with perhaps dropping an un-named petal along the way to alter its destined outcome. The knitter faces a similar fate, “keep it” or “leave it”, dependent upon whether too many stitches have been dropped in the process.

Every “petal plucker” and “kicker knitter” drops stitches. C’st la vie! The stitches of each rely on the rhythm of the moment. If you stop paying attention, even for a second, suddenly you’ve lost track of whether it is true love or not, OR a loop has slipped off the needle going unnoticed. Too much delay and you might end up completely fumbling the nursey rhyme or in the case of the knitter, continuing to knit several rows before you see the tell-tale ladders of yarn filling the gap where the stitch initially dropped.

Are you in sync? What is your Rhythm of the Day?



Inspiration: Red Wigglers?

[After reading this post, be sure to go to . . .echoes of the past. . . and read the poem
papa, mr. catfish and me!

Oh, I can just hear you now! WORMS! UGH! You shiver and squimishly shy away! But, WAIT! Don’t be in such a rush; there is actually a good reflection going on here. I do believe the reason this hit me last night is because throughout the entire day yesterday, my dad was heavy on my mind.

What a great man! He loved the out of doors and was his happiest either fishing on Lake Seminole or playing golf. He was also an avid hunter but that seemed to be put aside as he approached his senior senior years. How I loved the times he would take me fishing! The day before we would go digging for worms and set out early the next morning for the lake with his fishing boat in tow. No fancy rods and reels, just simple cane poles and the red wigglers for bait. He let me know right away he would not be baiting the hook for me. No, sir! He said he would have enough to do to keep his own pole baited and in the water.

There are no pictures of us in the family album but this is a very good replica of Daddy’s fishing boat. Could not find a photo of Daddy/daughter fishing!

Once on the water we road around and in a short while stopped at one of Daddy’s favorite fishing ‘holes’. With poles in hand, the first task at hand was baiting the hooks. I would shut my eyes and hesitantly dip my hand in the bucket coming out with a handful of squishy, wiggly worms. I would just look at them twisting and turning trying to crawl out of my hand in search of good ol’ Mother Earth. I would look over at Daddy silently hoping he would say, “OK, little girl, let me take care of that for you.” But, silence prevailed as he carefully tended to his own hook. I knew he was watching me out of the corner of his eye. Even his pipe could not hide the sly grin.

I carefully selected the prize worm and put the others back in the bucket to await their fate at a later time. Mother had already taught me how to sew so I decided I would just pretend I was threading a needle. [Not a very good analogy, I know.] Anyway, with the wiggly, swiggly worm between my fingers, I held my breath and voila managed to get it hooked without losing my breakfast. Whew!

Alas, with that done, I took a deep breath, sighed, smiled at my dad, and said, “At least the worst is over.” Oh, was I in for a surprise! With a flip of the line, the little worm hit the water, “Splash!” Dad and I sat in his fishing boat what seemed like forever but was probably no more than ten, maybe fifteen minutes. He glanced my way, asked if I was hungry and I said I would pass for the time being. After handling the worms, thoughts of eating just did not seem very appealing. Another ten, maybe fifteen minutes passed.

I squirmed, shifted in my seat, yawned (we hit the lake at dawn) and tried not to seem too bored or impatient. After all, I was nine years old and a girl for heaven’s sake. I should be home with Mother in the kitchen or playing with my baby dolls. Right? No way! I was like my dad and absolutely loved the outdoors. We both had looked forward to this day.

Of course, you know mine was no where near this big but to me it was the biggest catfish in the lake!

Then, it happened! It started with a slight tug on the end of the line. The tiny cork began to bobble up and down in the water, disappear and reappear within a matter of seconds. Daddy laid his pole aside and gently put his arm across my shoulder. The pole began to bend and I just knew it was going to break as it curved into a half moon. With a quick jerk, Daddy set the hook and helped me bring in the grandest catfish I had ever seen! I squealed with smiles and giggles as most girls do and wanted to jump up and down but remembered we were in the boat. That would have to wait until we were ashore. I was so excited but all I could do was simply stare at this huge fish with a half-eaten worm dangling from its mouth who appeared to be staring right back at me.

Oh, do you remember a little while ago my mentioning I was in for a surprise when I thought the worse was over? Have you figured that out yet? Yep, the next step was getting the fish OFF the hook. Of course, Daddy would not let me do that by myself since I was a novice and he did not want me to get finned. But I was required to watch diligently so I could learn the perfect technique for later fishing trips. With that task out of the way, we continued fishing for awhile, catching a few more catfish, and decided to end the trip with a ride around the lake.

After a few hours, we returned to shore, Daddy loaded the boat on the trailer and we headed for home. We talked about the fishing trip and how there would be more times like this one. I could not wait to get home and tell Mama about MY fish. That would come later, much later, for little did I know at the time that first the fish had to be CLEANED!

My daddy, Chester C. Lee, on the left and my uncle Carroll on the right


The Buzzard, the Bat & the Bumble Bee

If you put a BUZZARD
in a pen 6 feet by 8 feet
entirely open at the top,
the bird, in spite of its ability to fly,
will be an absolute prisoner.

The reason is that a buzzard always
begins a flight from the ground
with a run of 10 to 12 feet.

Without space to run, as is its habit,
it will not even attempt to fly,
but will remain a prisoner for life
in a small jail with no top.


The ordinary BAT
that flies around at night,
a remarkable nimble creature in the air,
cannot take off from a level place.

If it is placed on the floor or flat ground,
all it can do is shuffle about helplessly
and, no doubt, painfully,
until it reaches some slight elevation
from which it can throw itself into the air.

Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.


if dropped into an open tumbler,
will be there until it dies,
unless it is taken out.

It never sees the means
of escape at the top,
but persisits in trying
to find some way out
through the sides
near the bottom.

It will seek a way where none exists,
until it completely destroys itself.


In many ways, we PEOPLE are like
the BUZZARD, the BAT, and

We struggle about with all
our problems and frustrations,
never realizing
that all we have to do
is look up!

That’s the answer,
the escape route,
the solution
to any problem. . .



Sorrow looks back,
Worry looks around,
But faith looks up!

Live simply,
love generously,
care deeply,
speak kindly, and
trust in our Creator,
who loves US!

Share this with friends. . .I just did!


Just Imagine. . .

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imagination,
our possibilities become limitless.”

~Jamie Paolinetti


Inspiration for the Soul


“Nothing like walking in the door fresh milk in hand,
except the smell of bacon sizzling in the pan!” ~catnipoflife

Need nourishment? Visit Daily Soul Food at Pinterest!

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Spirit of the Ladybug

Whether you call them ladybugs, ladybirds, or lady beetles, what is it about this ‘bug’ that so lovingly captures our attention? After all, it is an insect! Oh, my, yes, but what an adorable little insect that can lovingly tickle the palm of our hand or lightly rest on your arm! Let’s take a closer look at this phenomenal tiny creature and its impact on life.

Did you know this tiny beetle is an emblem of good luck, links to spiritual ideals and carries a powerful message? With its tiny, short legs, transparent wings and brightly colored black, yellow or reddish markings, the ladybug fascinates us with her delicate and loving nature.


A Ladybug’s appearance often signals new happiness and a renewed sense of well being, worries will fade and higher goals will be attained. Some say if you count the spots on a ladybug they correspond with the number of wishes and gifts that will come to you in the future but take warning, hurt a ladybug and the spots show how many misfortunes await you. Ladybugs remind us there will always be opportunities to pursue and capture our dreams.


Inspiration for this post came in an email notification from Inspiration Import ~ Art & Words – Spirit & Soul – Create & Creations. What messages have you received from the ladybug? What stories do you have to share about the ladybug and how she touched your life?




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