"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe

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Friday’s Five

It is four months until Christmas. Yes, I keep track. 

Kisses from an eleven month old who lavishes them on demand. 

A two year old’s outstretched hand…and little voice saying, C’mon Loulou.

Knit blanket almost ready to send to #welcomeblanket project for immigrants.

Netflix nights.

And, while I sit in a comfortable spot writing tonight, my prayers are with the folks across southeast Texas who are bracing for Hurricane Harvey. Latest tracking shows it’s a Category 4. Pray for Texas. 



Friday’s Five

Five little things from the past few days that remind me I am a human on this earth:

babies’ laughter…

my daughter’s text from 5,000 miles away…

my son’s hugs…

a sacred medal mailed from a beautiful friend named (appropriately) Care…

a late night phone call from a friend decades younger in real years, but our soul years are sort of the same…

…our connections sustain us. They are the most beautiful and treasured gifts we have on this earth. Cherish your people. 

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Friday’s Five

A new red wagon, a prior generation tricycle, a hand-it-down/pass-it-on bouncy horse. All these things litter the landscape of my yard these days. Beautiful litter. 

A spider I named Lucy. Spiders are easier to name when they are outside on their own turf. She’s set up house on the edge of last year’s wood pile. I’m interested to see if she stays.

Little hands helping me fill all of the bird feeders. This is serious work, folks. And the reward of watching an almost two year old jump with joy at a filled feeder…well. 

A special acquisition today: an art acquaintance posted a picture of an easel her artist dad built by hand. He’s passed on and  she is downsizing, so the easel was for sale. I’m sure I’ll post a pic of it here one day. I’m very honored to give it a new home here under the outside art space I’ve created. 

Seeing an 8 month old’s eyes follow everywhere her daddy (my son) goes. Watching her little hands flail with joy at his nearness. Hearing her sister call Daddy and hearing in that single  word all of the love and safety and goodness she feels. 

So much good. So much more than good. 

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/24/17 (Friday’s Five)

I’m mining the past week’s journal entries for a few of the blessings to share here. 

1. Keeping a journal routinely. That in itself is something I am grateful for and as time goes on, I realize how much more comes when I make the time to have a consistent routine: memories, images, new ideas. I’m continually amazed at what appears on the page if I just show up.

2. Poetry. Ideas have crept in my entries this week and I have made time to create some blackout poetry, collect words for a found poetry project, work on a single syllable poem. I’m currently adding more text in my painting projects and stitching work. I know it’s a result of daily focus. That 40 extra minutes a day I told myself was necessary at the beginning of Lent has not always been easy to find, but it certainly has provided rewards. 

3. International mail. Sending and receiving always brings a smile.

4. Seven geese. Two usually have taken up residence at our pond by now, but this year seven stayed. Unusual to see an odd number since this is mating season, but there is  a lone duck here, too. I see them several times a day. Moments of peace.

5. Trash bags. I’m in a big purge time. That’s always a good sign for me. When I can  let things go, I make room for new things to come. When I get rid of junk, my mind is always lighter, too.

What did you see this week that brought you a sense of peace? Of joy? Of awareness? Of love? 

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/20/2017 (Monday)

Here we are, already celebrating the first day of spring–as well as the International Day of Happiness. Those are two good things to think about during the next few hours. 

The birds are cooperating with a sweet serenade this morning. I have a few windows open and a light breeze is wafting through my little house.

We have no electricity  at the moment because linemen are setting some new poles nearby, but they were considerate enough to come tell me this would be happening. So–electronics are charged, a pot of coffee is made and staying hot in a carafe. Little happinesses.

Today I’m planning to open my eyes to the beauty of springtime, this season of renewal God sends. I may watch birds a little longer, look at flowers a little more consciously. I’ll likely think about little ways to mark another season’s entrance. And, in the spirit of the International Day of Happiness, I think I’ll start a list:

Maybe you’ll join me. 

Think about all of the reasons you have cause to be happy. Think about what you can do to help others find joy in their lives. 

Read and repeat. šŸ˜Š

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Open Your Eyes: A Journey /3/17/17/ Friday’s Five

Flea market finds–today, a lovely marking of St. Patrick’s Day–running across this beautiful piece.

I wonder about the maker. Time spent. Where it was displayed. I’m glad it’s home with me. šŸ€ 

Fresh haircuts  and a hairdresser who knows what to do when you sit down. There is a lot of trust in that. And one less thing to think about. 
A hot cup of good coffee. Any hour of the day. 

The man who works in the fabric dept of Hobby Lobby. He listens and understands the value of the making. He has the sweetest spirit that stays with me long after I’ve  left. 

Red geraniums. I know. They show up on my list a lot. I bought a couple more today. I think this is the year they get to have a place outside  AND in here. I’m thinking an art studio windowsill is calling their name. 

Open your eyes to the little ordinary things that make life grand. May your lists be endless! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey

Today, a pre-Lenten promise to myself: reflect here during the prelude to Easter. Think through the days and live them mindfully. I do not expect that to mean anything lofty. I mean it to have meaning for me, and perhapsĀ for you. Maybe you will read the words here and find something in them that speaks to you, too. I hope so.

This morning, I wrote in my journal with two grand-babies underfoot. The older one grabbed an orange crayon and “wrote” on top of the words I was jotting down. It made me so happy. We do not learn to grab the crayons without help. Someone buys them, makes them available, reacts with wonder as the wax makes its way across the page. It all adds up over time. Then, one morning an 18 month old joins you as if it has always been this way–as if she cameĀ writing with her grandmother on a sunny porch since the day she arrived.

Lent has never been an easy season for me. I do not do well with giving things up. I have tried and failed throughout many years. Sometimes I say I’ll give up Coca-Cola. Or chips. Or eating out. These days wine would be a biggie. Or cheese. Or coffee…God forbid. So, I adjusted somewhere along the way. Now, I focus less on what to give up and more on what I might add.

Last year, that meant $40 extra in the collection basket at church each week. The 40 representative, of course, of the 40 days of Lent. I actually managed that one. This year, I have decided to set aside 40 minutes a day to disconnect. It doesn’t sound like a lot, I know. But if I use those minutes to just look and listen and think and observe, I think it will turn out to be quite a lot. I think I will see a change in myself that I will be able to sustain and increase over time.

This morning, Sofia and I sat on the sunporch and watched the birds. There were dozens of them. I saw a baby bluebird dart from the roof. The cardinals are busy, as are the robins. Two geese have taken up residence again at the pond. And a gold flash of feathers gave me pause–a bird I do not know. One I will look for again and learn about this year, I hope. Ā And this was during only a few of the 40 minutes I decided to set aside today.

What will I learn during these minutes? I have no idea…but you are welcome to accompany me. For some time now, I have been wanting to use my time more wisely. To create more during the day. To write. To read. To start some projects that have been making their way into my mind. So, that is what this Lent is going to be about for me.

I am still going to have the private offerings of the season that will be between just me and my God. But here, I will share a few other things. I realize He gave me so many gifts and it is time I started using them. I hope they will turn into something good. I am counting on it.

Happy Mardis Gras, dear readers, and here’s to a blessed and bountiful Lent. I invite you to join me in awakening to the world around us. There is so much to see.