Upcoming posts when time allows:
1. do you make people dance around your moods; because your moods dance around your circumstances?
2. The over emphasis of living in the NOW.. Ignoring past and future. Rather.. ~living in the now WITH lessons learned from the past AND hope for the future...
God Bless Santana. By (me!) sandra, tvgp
the first truck driver gave up. left. never came back. and the only thing that surprised me about that.. is that it was the first time it had ever happened. Because when I look at the trucks.. some huge, long 53' beds.. and the very narrow size of the driveway they need to enter plus the way they need to angle themselves between two buildings.. add traffic, and cars parked here and there..
well, every time I do see a truck driver negotiate all those obstacles and pull in backwards without taking out a couple pedestrians and half a building or a street lamp.. I'm like.. "Thank you Jesus!"
-honestly it always feels like a small miracle. Very special gifting.. Driving, backing up..those huge trucks. And still another miracle to see how we end up getting a hundred boxes to fit in a warehouse designed for 50.. But that will lead me away from today's story.
Today's story is about a very heavily tattooed and handsome young man named Santana. I shook his hand, "are you named after the musician?". He just smiled, explained that no, Santana is his last name.. and then he proceeded to ask me where he was supposed to park his truck in order to drop off the 3 pallets of toys we had coming in..
exactly because the last driver gave up, I avoided just pointing and telling, and instead walked him over to the narrow driveway itself.. left no room for guessing.. told him I was amazed each time I witnessed a truck backing in.. ".. But they do do it.. I just helped unload a 53' here Monday morning.."
and then I walked back to the store.. And watched Santana return to his huge truck temporarily parked on main street; also not exactly designed for trucks of this size.. and then watched a little while longer as he tried to pull back on the street and.. what? turn? U-turn on main street?!? no.. he crossed over to a larger parking lot.. and I could only see the back half of the truck moving forward.. Then stop. Then move backwards. Stop. Forward.. meanwhile a little traffic is building.. I had to get back in the store. So I whispered to myself, ~dont think we'll be seeing him again either. -but did the sign of the cross, wished him well
rang up one or two more customers then decided to check out the back door of the store in case a miracle did happen.. And sure enough.. There he was..!
he somehow made it to St. Marys street and was in the very dangerous process of backing up into the very narrow driveway that leads to our warehouse.. and.. sign of the cross three more times because it looked like he was going to take out the hair salon and lamp post in one more false move..
"I can't watch..". -and a customer came asking me to please ring her up... " Oh Jesus.. help him..". -and I left.
meanwhile I'm sending the store owner Rick text updates.. He's here but doesn't seem to have the experience the other truck drivers do.. I'm praying.. Im rooting for him!
and Cortney, my coworker friend was on her way back in to help.. and Mark.. another coworker friend.. on the way..
when I finally made it back out to check the status of how much building damage was done to the salon.. and how many women were running around with foils in their hair, and drapes on.. how many stylists running around with scissors in their hands..
I was very relieved to see the building still in tact.. And Santana parked on St. Marys street in a smart and sweet surrender. He was in the process of lowering the lift gate and would just deliver to the warehouse from there; skip the whole narrow driveway thing.. and add walking distance to the delivery.. But who cares.. All is safe and well..
by this time Cortney had arrived so I could be with customers.. and shortly after Mark arrived too
"I came down here to rip this guy a new one.. He can't even back up a truck.. he shouldn't even be driving.. !"
"Now, how is that going to help at all?!" I jumped in.."he just doesn't have experience.. how would yelling at him help? That would make it worse.. You could just help him out.. explain.. Or show him.."
And then Mark said something about hopping in the truck and doing it himself.. Because it turns out, he does have the experience. -but it was never necessary, because it was just 3 pallets and not a big deal really to fork lift them over...
and Santana made a successful delivery; stuck it out. So, good for you! -not easy..
And Cortney came to the rescue, and helped out..so, "thank you!"
and Mark stuck around to get the boxes off the pallets and inside the store, -after already moving two houses worth of stuff earlier in the day, so, "Thank you!"
Rick got his toys delivered, at last!
And Ive been provided with another great opportunity to reiterate my message to the world. -what the tattoo on my face means to (me!):
"Conquer the world with KINDNESS!"
when someone doesn't know how to do something; lacks experience
-ripping them a new one
demeaning, criticising, yelling.. none of this helps.
Instruction; guidance; help..
there is a popular lesson for writers that goes, "show don't tell."
I feel the same for the public at large with a bit of a twist:
"Show don't yell."
demonstrate; teach; educate.. and there is no substitute for experience itself.
I'm quite aware when these other truck drivers back in so easily and professionally
it is obviously not their first time. looks like there might be practice and training involved..
and I can't even parallel park my tiny little Saturn hybrid so..
My hat is off to all of you
In Jesus name
Americas Credibility by (me!) Sandra, tvgp
I would love to see America earn credibility again, wouldn't you?
What passes through my imagination sometimes.. Micro/macro..
let's look at micro: if a person lead a lecture to a large audience.. about healthy families; how to raise your children.. but you learned that the leader had two kids in prison and one a high school drop out... and one who committed suicide..
credibility? -would you listen to a single word? Have any respect for?
in this same way; macro.. on a larger scale.. America herself..
Can we have the incarceration rates we do.. Drop out rates? Suicides? Unemployment? Poverty levels.. Crime rates..
and expect anyone from other countries to respect us; hear what we have to say?
we need a much better report card.. We need to demonstrate we know what we are doing.. We need some impressive numbers..
otherwise, we are exactly that leader I mentioned at the beginning; who can take us serious? Who would listen?
America needs to re-earn respect and credibility. America needs a much better report card.
In Jesus name, amen.
Jesus & The Placebo Effect. by (me!) sandra, tvgp
placebo; a recent conversation because it is being discussed in class at my daughters school..
a fascination with me because I spend an embarrassing amount of time contemplating the distinction between believing and knowing.. between truth and fiction; between literal truth and truth~truth.. between what we believe is true; and take as fact.. But is later revealed as false..
it is a little unnerving at first.. If you've ever been told, take this medicine, it will cure such n such.. and then you are later told, -it was not really Medicine.. But youre cured! ~because you thought.. Because you believed.. So, it turns out you never really needed the medicine at all..
it would take more time than I have write now to cover this topic in detail.. Puncture holes in it.. Because there are many opportunities to do so..
but a highly important topic: -what we each believe.. What science can and cannot prove..
I, for example, can believe my whole heart out.. that when I wake up.. I will no longer have gray hair..
But believing ain't gonna change the color of my hair is it. Only dye can do that.. -someone had to figure all that out.. What ingredients, chemicals, in what combination, put on for how long.. Etc.
-these people amaze me. But! To avoid getting off track..
it is true: sometimes just believing can accomplish what we give medicine the credit for..
And sometimes if all you are counting on is -belief. Nothing will change, heal.. Medicine is in fact mandated if you want to see a result.
How can we distinguish.. Control groups, write. Experiments and control groups..
Now.. This brings me directly to Jesus.. to believers.. To believers in Jesus.. In God.. In a holy spirit..
Placebo? Just believing is getting the result? but he's like fake medicine? Not real?
.. Control groups... Experiments..
Do lives really change? Do people really heal?
Yes they do. When they believe. ..by faith and not by sight...
couple thousand years worth of evidence... millions of testimonies..
Very important for people to take inventory of what they believe; and why they believe it..
And assess the results.
In Jesus name, amen
"Now thats mercy.." as seen by (me!) sandra, tvgp
Topic: romance, mercy, grace and 2nd chances.
Now, -here is my truth: there is no one I have dated who 'kicked me to the curb' that I would ever give a second chance to; period.
and yet, I'm being given a second chance by the person I'm dating now... who I, once upon a time..'kicked to the curb'
either my interpretation is wrong.. Or!
this is God showing off again.. Grace and mercy. Extending to (me!) what I am not willing to extend to others, and do not, therefore even really deserve..
but that's the very definition of grace and mercy; it is not tied to or determined by ~deservedness. it can't be earned..or bought..
only recognized, and received with love and gratitude.
So, like.. "Thank You Jesus!"
..how do I not mess this up... please help. Amen.
"8 SHOTS OF INK!" at the (firehouse art center!) Wed. Apr. 8th, 2015
The Heart Seen! .. In my brownie crumbs...made by (Chris lampson!)
-remember the heart seen in the most delicious red velvet cake also made by Chris Lampson.. Well, -now he went and handmade from scratch these incredible amazing brownies with cream cheese. I've been having a -small- piece /she says with a smile.. each morning with my coffee.. warmed up in the microwave just as he suggested. when I looked down at the paper towel I used.. The heart seen in the crumbs. -too cute. I took the picture write away then licked my fingertip and collected the crumbs as my last bite. You don't even let the crumbs go when it tastes this good.. Know what I mean.. "Thank you Chris!".
The Heart Seen!.. in (John Mellencamp's!) ear...
-picture does not do justice.. See TV program: speakeasy. John mellencamp with jann wenner.
"oh no! not another awesome conversation show!" for (me!) sandra, tvgp
no secret charlie rose is my favorite.. conversation vs. interview and.. uninterrupted! I sometimes watch tavis smiley; love oprahs new super soul sunday interview/conversations; master class..used to watch iconoclasts.. Inside the actors studio.. but whenever I'm channel surfing and it looks like a genuine conversation and an interesting person.. "I'm in!"
I'm the first to admit I watch too much TV already, but!
irresistible to (me!), I'm now hooked on: speakeasy. -check this out:
Geddy Lee & Michael Chabon.
Nile Rodgers & Valerie Simpson.
Roger Waters & Bill Weir
and just finished watching John Mellencamp & Jann Wenner...
-these are fantastic conversations! watch.
and if I were to update my self~portrait poem today.. I would definitely include.. "I am mellencamp..."
Now, as I watching.. every time john mellencamp turned his head a certain way.. "The Heart Seen!... in his ear!". -which seems especially fitting for a musician.. I don't think my phone camera captured it well, but I'm going to post it anyway.. but if you get a chance to see the interview.. pretty cool.
The Most Important thing he said (dan harris!) as heard by (me!) Sandra, tvgp
close your text books and turn on charlie rose..
See interview with Dan Harris, author of... /book cover close-up please..
10% happier. How I tamed the voice in my head. Reduced stress without losing my edge. And found self-help that actually works. A true story.
Now, ignore the impulsive reaction to gag at successful prep who has a drug induced panic attack on national TV and then profits from writing a book about it.. No audience gained ever goes wasted..huh..
It is a cultural slash capitalistic formula.. Seen over, over, over.. Usually to my disgust, But I force myself to listen to a fellow human being anyway..
don't you just hate that.. When there's someone you don't necessarily want to feel compassion for.. But then as you listen.. You do anyway..
That was my experience listening to this dan Harris sharing his story with my Charlie rose..
I'm not going recap the entire conversation; watch it yourself. I'm cutting to what resonated with (me!)..
Upshot: covered war in iraq as a journalist.. Perhaps did not cope as well as he hoped.. Self-medicated upon returning home via cocaine and ecstasy.. had a panic attack during a morning news show he was anchoring.. good morning america.. And quit in the middle of his on-air performance..
Now, cut to later in conversation: his boss, peter Jennings (RIP) told him to go cover religion, faith and spirituality. /cut, skip, jump..
" I don't think I had had a serious conversation with a person of faith in my adult life until I got this assignment."
-worth noting just how successful and far in life.. Education, career, one can get ... without ever having had a serious conversation about. -faith. I'm very curious, and suspect, about higher education if it doesn't include some basic training in world religions... -that frightens me.
but that's not even my point.. My point! -is how he visits different synagogues, churches, temples, etc.. And eventually bumps into:
Meditation. This! Turns out to be the key to his new found
10% increase in happiness. You really must hear this conversation.. The way he describes encountering
-for the first time- and as an adult.. -the voice in his head. How he learned to pay attention to his own thinking.. And train his mind to override default thoughts of negativity and proactively return his mind to peace ..and positive thoughts..
THIS is something we should be teaching everyone from elementary school on.. meditation. Paying attention to your thoughts. Noting what they are by default.. Learning to override and control your own thoughts. -crucial.
meditation is neutral.. Its not religion; its basic health. brush your teeth; and then mental hygiene: meditate. Exercise your mind muscles.. 10 times more important than physical-body exercise in my opinion..
and yet, people can go their entire lives without reaching this, relatively speaking, low level of awareness and it is so key to a healthy, happy life..
-so! Fascinating for me to learn, this otherwise successful and mature professional journalist.. Reporting on world events..and war and whatnot..
had no idea, until in his 30's, and until after his panic attack..
that he can actually observe, assess and control his own thoughts. -awareness;.. A late bloomer to becoming conscious of his own thoughts and learning to direct and Influence them vs. Accept and react to the default settings...
Of interest for sure..!
What I would love to share with dan Harris is this:
there are still deeper levels of consciousness; conscious awareness.. you are only getting warmed up my friend..
pay attention.. continue meditating...
Ask; seek; knock.
truth will answer the door.
you are only half way there... I wish you many blessings! continued success...
in Jesus name, -amen.
"I walked over hot coals with tony robbins!" (Me!) sandra, tvgp
True story. and I'm sure I've already written about it, so won't go in to detail. But the memory was triggered because he appeared at the round oak table with my charlie rose recently..
/charlie rose.. Who I got to meet in person and kiss on the neck..
Anyway.. here's the big stand out lesson in a couple bullet points:
1. I would have never been able to afford the tickets to see him and walk over hot coals on my own. The tickets were gifted to me by someone else who suddenly could not go..
2. MY REASON for wanting to conquer my fears was to be able to make more money.. I was swimming in debt.. I thought the entire reason anyone would go see tony robbins was to learn his secrets for financial success.. Once you have that, -what else could you possibly need?
3. I will never forget pulling into the parking lot for the event. I swear to you.. My car was the only junker. The parking lot was full of Mercedes, and expensive luxury cars.. Everywhere, new, clean, beautiful expensive cars..
it dawned on me, like.. Duh. Only these people can afford tickets to his events!
But.. If they can afford these beautiful cars.. And afford tickets to his events
Why do they even need to see him?
that's when I really fully realized, as I had suspected all along..
maybe money didn't solve every problem after all...
then, the next set of tickets to see tony Robbins was for.. A lot.. Because his event was going to be in Hawaii..
he does teach us all a lesson...that's for sure.
but I've found that when it comes to books and teachers..
The bible and joyce meyer have staying power in my heart, mind and soul and spirit..
but I did do it! Walked over hot coals with my bare feet...
Hallelujah & amen!
"Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!" from (me!) sandra, tvgp
-from my four leaf clover treasure hunt with my niece last march...irish luck & blessings!
Public "Thank You!" to (city of pleasanton!) from (me!) sandra, tvgp
I was thinking again recently.. of how much writing has poured out of me since the invention of the blogosphere.. and how.. if you were to eliminate that.. -had it never existed; nor would thousands of my stories.. -platform first. a safe place... the space to create must exist first... YouTube is another awesome example.. how much exists now that otherwise would never.. -birthing centers for creative expression; self expression; expression in general..
that lead me to think about how many creative adventures I've had since I moved to pleasanton in.. around 1995 or so..
this is not in order; but as it comes to mind:
-creative writing workshops I taught through the city of pleasanton parks and recreation programs; at the pleasanton library; at the pleasanton poetry, prose and art festival; at the firehouse art center..
-movers & shakers: a creative dance class for children I co-created and taught with Kate barton at Pam's dance studio..
-good neighbors holiday boutiques, I co-founded with Virginia Lai, Patti Benson and Nancy Eddinger which rotated in the vintage hills neighborhood every Christmas season for approx. 8 years...
reflections chair -for vintage hills elementary school art show and competition, 4 or 5 years in a row..
the publication of my book(s): eat, write & exercise, -beautiful fish.. anthologies, etc. -readings, open mics, etc.
TV30 IN A WORD & Conversations with robin fahr: guest appearances on local TV to discuss literature; to discuss, share, the innovation of my Mag Time Frames..
Art for recess! -supervising creativity time at vintage hills for kids who wanted to be creative instead of climb bars and or play four square during recess /my room was packed! I feel compelled to point out...
Diapers to diapers exhibit in collaboration with Monica dawn.. Fundraiser for Tri valley haven.. Photography & poetry exhibit celebrating the entire circle of life for females, with truth, humor, beauty..joy..
Vagina monologues.. performed at bank head theatre in Livermore, but all rehearsals in pleasanton.. /I have a different upcoming list to thank the city of Livermore; also..a creativity birthing center..
kissing the chocolate blues.. My first theatre piece, performed at the firehouse art center.. In collaboration with faith Alpher, Jessica reaber.. FAC administration...
poet laureate.. with its own sublist of events, readings, etc. Including the above mentioned.. And!
8 shots of ink. -my first documentary in collaboration with Jane berry, Casey Boyden.. FAC administration..
The Heart Seen exhibit at Ricks Picks.. The Mothers Day crafts.. The wine bottle craft class... the Ricky & Picky photography...
The Momma palooza event in collaboration with Debra knox..
The local artist work I was able to get on display at Amelias..
Articles & Feature columns I've written for the Pleasanton Patch..
My invention of Facebook~Guestbook at Ruby Hill.
and I'm sure there are many I'm leaving out.. But my point, is that over the past 20 years I've lived (6 different places) in Pleasanton..
I think my creative output provides its own testimony
-same way, the amount of writing I've done since the invention of the blogosphere provides its own testimony.
-it starts with a place; a place you feel safe and welcome to create in..to experiment within..
Best First Baseman of all time! (JaaaaAAAAaaack Kay!)
Playing for the San Francisco Giants! /he has in the past informed me, maybe the Oakland A's.. but in my visions I never see him wearing green and yellow.. I see him....
in black, orange and white. and can even hear the sports announcer write now!
"Did you see that?!? 3rd OUT! for KC... And I think Jack Kay just set another record for the high jump.. "
-because oh! this is where he shines.. 1st base.. I mean.. who stands a chance?! Of getting on 1st when Jack is there?
No one! That's who..
I've said it before, I'll say it again.. He is amazing! As ready for the accurate power throw as he is for the accidental over throw..
too high.. no worries; he jumps like a NBA champion..
off to the side.. No worries; he stretches like a yoga master.. left, write, center, up, down, straight on.. No matter
He's got speed, he's got instincts, he's got determination, he's got experience, and!
He's got love for the game...
Wanna know where else he shines..
"That's his 3rd steal! #43.. Loves to taunt.. that one..."
because.. he'll stomp his feet, clap his hands, speed step to the side.. Antagonize the pitcher, distract his opponents,
-whatever needs done.. Always going for the steal
-always within flight of the base..
"Highest stats for crossing home plate..". -because, if he hits his way to 1st base, or gets walked.. Once he's on base.. chances are very high he'll be crossing home plate..
no hit or miss by his teammates ever gets wasted! If he can go..
..2nd base... 3rd... " and he's crossing home AGAIN!!"
I just never tire of watching him do his thing.. So exciting! He not only has his head in the game at all times..
He has his heart, mind, spirit, soul...body...
And! When I tell you here, he is always willing to step up to the plate; I mean it both ways..
Last game, I was all temporarily engaged in a conversation with another parent, and then.. When I glanced back on the field..
...like, where did my son go?...
Took me a couple seconds to find him, because..
He was on the pitchers mound! Now,.. this is a position for which he has not received any concentrated training; and for which he has not logged in any countable hours of practice..
But.. they asked.. they needed him. And he stepped up to the plate.
-makes me so proud!
-and you know (me!) By now.. I realize the great life lessons..
there is a place we each shine; a place, a position.. just write for each of us..
But each of us will also be required to just do the best we can in an area outside of our expertise, and training..
When you get put, or end up, in positions outside of your skill set..
that's all you are required to do: your best.
the trick is to not let that make you feel like a failure in any way.. not to let that give you any sense you are not enough, because you can't shine in every single position..
Shine bright where you do shine! With humility..
and do your best everywhere else.. with humility..
So much.. so much.. I learn every year from watching baseball..
my favorite lesson: the speed at which you are required to shake off an error and move into the next moment with a fresh, powerful, optimistic perspective.. error to awesome in .02 seconds!
Really. This sport demands it. Strike out; the 3rd out, when the bases were loaded...
you have to let that go; immediately! Run with energy and confidence back out on the field in whatever your defense position is.. fresh start.
miss an important catch? -you let that go; immediately! -ready to get the next one..
-there is absolutely no time -whatsoever- for beating yourself up, or dwelling, or rehashing.. or self punishment of any kind.
Mess up; move on..;immediately! its great spiritual training.
-ever into the next moment of winning possibilities..
I can't close without revisiting two of my favorite; make that three of my favorite baseball related memories:
-throwing socks rolled up into make shift baseballs around the living room to help my son build his instincts. This is definitely one of those areas where you can see God turn my weakness into a strength
-because. Well, I can't throw to save my own life. I'm a little better now with practice.. But I never had any idea when I threw those sock-balls what direction they'd be going you see..
-so, -neither could my son. -he never knew if he'd have to be running left or diving write..
But I would fast pitch those socks in the air.. And he would figure it out so quick.. Make the catch! Sometimes rolling, sometimes stretching, sometimes standing still.. Boom!
so, I'm going to take some credit here for building his instincts.
/only briefly mentioning I have no experience.. never played sports, etc. And only briefly mentioning his father has coached him every year since T-ball..
To share my next favorite memory, I must first turn myself in. I must share that I was at the time, battling.. Battling a lot of internal, personal demons..
and during this time, I mean.. I could not, COULD NOT get myself to complete domestic responsibilities. trying to motivate myself to even do one load of laundry.. Well, it was like requiring myself to conquer half dome. I couldn't do it. Just couldn't..
But! ..for some reason.. even though I could look directly at a growing mountain of dirty laundry and ignore it..
I did always feel inspired.. I always found the energy to wash jacks baseball uniforms.
I see it with sentiment, compassion and humor now; several years later..
But if I can paint the picture.. That's what you would see:
mountains of dirty laundry over there, and there..
but on the bed: Jacks baseball uniform. Sparkling clean. Laid out flat on the bed spread: the white pants; the shirt; the sliders; his cap, his cup, belt.. socks...
-it was sometimes the only thing I accomplished on a given day that made me smile.
So, the sock-ball throwing and the clean uniform; two of my favorite memories..
gosh, there's four really.. Not three. -the catch! At max baer park!
Skip forward... And.. Well, -I had been telling jack -mommy coaching
-for which I have no experience, no training, and virtually no credibility
My experience is all just from watching him play several years in a row.. Observing..
So I told him, "hit on the 1st pitch! -you leverage the element of surprise!". -and he has a great eye, my son.. And he never hits the 1st pitch.. He uses it to assess..
but to humor me at one of his games.. He swung at the first pitch and GOT A DOUBLE! -landed himself at second plate!
-has since served as a lighthearted joke between his father and I..
-his father who has actually coached year after year.. Put in who knows how many hours, practicing, warm-ups, clinics..
" and then you want to credit your mom?! with that hit?!"
Anyway.. I'm repeating myself.. But I do fully credit my son with making me fall in love with baseball. -not just the glorious joy of watching him play and evolve since T-ball,
But the game itself. -last year with my sister, we,
-without the influence of any men, or kids, or sportsfan friends..
-we watched and were completely engaged in the world series. Too exciting! and then.. I mean my goodness, to watch the giants come back from a 10-zero loss.. Claim ultimate victory!
Life lessons of the sweetest kind...
When I get to talkin' to customers and find out they're baseball fans..
"My son is going to be playing 1st base for the S.F. Giants" I say with a smile..
-usually they take me serious.. And congratulate me.., then I feel a little guilty, so go like,
"Yep.. In about 10 years or so... ". -then they get it and smile back.
" I know how to dream," I tell them.
-because that's where I shine.
The Gorgeous, Sexy, red head i wrote about! (Candace harding!)
source: on the cover of the Independent newspaper Thurs. March 12, 2015.
excitement/memory trigger: ".. former Otis Spunkmeyer DC3 pilot.."
reaction: OMG! that's her.. The GORGEOUS, SEXY red head I wrote about...
type: Otis. - in the search bar of my blog here..
I cannot even admit the amount of time I spent wondering what it would be like to be her, -the PILOT! Vs. The hostess...
Anyway.. my awesome neighbors here (type Harley in search bar). -have a connection to the Livermore airport.. So I'm going to print out my Otis spunkmeyer memory blog post and see if john can't somehow get it to Candace... -would love to say hi...