agnestirrito

"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

4:30am. Still dark out. Wide awake after five hours of good sleep. Sometimes we need more, sometimes less. Happy to awaken early on this Black Friday. Lots to do. On the list:

Put all the random buttons I find today in a glass jar I saved. When will I use said buttons? Maybe this will be the year. All sorts of random things reside here with me: bits of paper, keys to long abandoned locks…maybe they will find their rightful places today.

Take a 30-gallon trash bag to the end of the driveway and fill it up with all the litter people insist on discarding: ice bags, beer cans, cigarette packaging, plastic bottles…

…there is a danger for that to sour my spirit, so while I’m out there, I will hang wreaths at the edge of the drive. Collect nandinas and holly. Cut pine and cedar and arrange a bucket or two of fresh cuttings to welcome this most beautiful time of year. Do you hear it? The whisper of Christmas coming. The preparation that involves no shopping today.

Of course I am a consumer. Too much so, in fact. But not today. Today I hope to exist in silence and solitude. My lists are in progress. I will likely add to them throughout the day. Little things.

The woodstove needs cleaning. A fire burned bright the last couple of evenings, but Texas being what it is, we might hit 80 next week. So, time to clean and stack and lay kindling for the future. Notice the oak and pecan. Discern the colors as I place each piece. Feel the weight of it. The beauty waiting to explode with the scratch of a match sometime down the road.

The dogs will want to play. And eat extra treats. They will be happy I am not leaving on any errands today. They always hear when I open any door. They never fail to greet me.

Somewhere there is a container of ornaments I have lost. Maybe today will be the day I find them. And as I search, I will pay attention to the many things I have too many of, and I will share. I will line up little cardboard boxes and begin.

I look at the calendar and see that in three short weeks, I’ll get to greet my daughter home for the holidays. The thought of that moment motivates me today. The getting ready. The paying attention to little details. The creating of a space so that when she arrives she feels it, too–the “it” that costs nothing, involves no shopping, the “it” that we do to welcome that feeling that has no price.

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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. 


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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. 😊


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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. 🍀 

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!