Thursday, May 05, 2016

Face with a name: this is (me!) sandra, tvgp, writeousmom, auntie sandy.. that girl.. hey you.. miss.. madame.. hot chick.. woman with the gray hair... smiley...

long prayer short:

".. but God.. couldn't I just set the papers on a table, and as people come by,
if they are interested
they can pick one up."

"Sandra. re-post face with a name."

which I am linking HERE
I wrote it for creative imaging photography studios

and I have agreed, to personally pass out, by hand, said papers to people
vs. set them on a table.

    -darn it.

love you JESUS!  XOXO

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Frickin' Tooth Fairy, photo by (me!) sandra, tvgp

..  and i quote:  "..Frickin tooth fairy..  ONE dollar?!? The tooth fairy is just dumb.  -I can't even get a Starbucks with this."

i spy my lucky number! photo by (me!) writeousmom

authentic fans. photo by (lee ann caldwell!)

-she isn't following the warriors, Lee Ann,  -and therefore missed out on last nights awesome! sweet-come-back-in-the-4th-quarter-victory-of-a-game!

but no less authentic, and an even bigger fan of pleasanton baseball..  where our sons are on the same team.

and where you start out at 5:30pm in shorts and tank tops and flip flops, but end up by the 7th inning in thermals, parkas, scarves, gloves, socks and boots.  -and a blanket or two over all of that

-things you do for love.

pictured left to write: lee ann, me & my mom.

The Heart Seen... sent by (kim christensen!)

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

type business consultant in the search bar of this blog, for (me!), sandra, tvgp

memory triggers are in the brain; as hyperlinks are in cyberspace text.   -in the post I just published, speed, time, money & math, when I typed the words, even out, 

this hyperlinked in my brain to: my THINGS WILL EVEN OUT post, which was directly inspired by a jack handey (steve martin?) article in the new Yorker, I think it was..

Speed, Time, Money & Math for breakfast. by (me!), sandra, tvgp


monday through friday i drove 25 mph in a 30 mph zone.  to even things out, i drove 55 mph in the 30 mph zone on saturday, and on sunday, i drove the posted speed limit.


i usually spend one hour reading in the morning.  this morning i did not read; but still spent the hour.  where did that hour go?  can i read for two hours tomorrow morning, and get it back? -make it up; the hour, not the book.

time & money

the book i was reading was on loan from the library; so free..  i read it during my unpaid lunch break from work, so was not receiving my hourly wage while reading.   and it is filling me with all kinds of thoughts, and inspiration and new knowledge, and day dreams.   i wonder how i determine the R.O.I.


i earned a paycheck; i received a financial gift; i inherited a small sum.  i invested some, saved some and went to give some away in a birthday card i handmade.   somehow, i lost the handmade birthday card with the money it.   -so i handmade another birthday card...  


i learned you can add numbers; multiply numbers, divide numbers, create and solve problems with numbers, make determinations and predictions with numbers..   but no matter how many numbers you try and subtract...      -can't seem to eliminate numbers.


wonder how quickly i can buy yesterday's hour and for how much?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Type dragonfly in the search bar of this blog for (me!) sandra, tvgp

   -trigger: as we had one parked on the door mat of the house this morning. my nephew scooched it off the mat with his crutch. /recent ankle sprain.  -mainly so I wouldn't step on it with my bare foot.  It appeared dead actually.  But when I returned from taking him to school.. saw it exactly as we had left it..  then was going to grab my camera..  but write then.. it took off in flight -gone.    fascinating creatures...   -or...  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

THANK YOU SWIM AMERICA! from (me!) sandra, ttgp

original post date 04/03/08

i believe it was my friend and neighbor virginia who first recommended swim america.

with a pool in our backyard, two young children and one close call, swimming lessons were at the tip top of my list of things to do

and i remember, my first time, waiting in line for nearly TWO hours! to register my daughter.

- this a rare ability for me, considering i grow ancy in the express lane at raley's

and circumstances being what they were, my children waited in line for those two hours too.. how those other parents got their kids to stand by their sides that long is beyond me

- and why? goes further than that

i let mine run around, splash in the big puddles in the parking lot; get soaking wet. they had so much fun they begged me to stay when it was finally time to go

"you gonna let your kids get in the car all wet like that?" a man asked

"did my husband hire you?" i said with a smile.

i admit to causing a bit of a stir.. other parents throwing me thanks-a-lot looks, as their young ones tugged on their pants legs, "but their mom's letting them splash in the puddles, why can't we?"

one or two moms giving in as the wait grew longer, their kids grew louder and genuinely thanking me for taking the lead, "it's only water afterall"

the actual lessons would start several weeks later, and i was very glad to learn we'd made it in.

10:20am-ish, we show up for 10:30 lessons and by the time the first whistle blew i understood what made swim america so popular and respected. it was clear from the get go, this organization was professional, experienced and stellar in every aspect of its responsibilty; delivering on every promise.

each child was made to feel welcome and comfortable. never more than 3 children to each highly trained and encouraging coach. lessons started right on time and ended right on time with specific ~realistic~ age & level appropriate goals set and achieved for each and every session.

my daughter thrived in this program. i believe she was signed up for 3 out of the 4 sessions, and every new coach was just as well trained and compassionate and encouraging as the last.

i watched from the sidelines, heart in stomach and camera in hand, as my daughter struggled to learn to hold her breath and put her head under the water, blow bubbles and bob. watched her learn to float, use her big arms, and ... kick... , ...kick..., and then kick at the same time she used her big arms.. all the while the kind coach holding her, helping her, saying "awesome job!" and giving high fives for every incremental victory

and i remember the first time my daughter let go of the wall and freestyle swam

-independently- 3 big arms worth to the swim coach; then 4 big arms worth, then 5...

breathing so heavy and smiling so big when she reached her goal

until one day she swam freestyle from the wall aaallllll the waaaaaay to the blue n' white buoy finish line. graduating soon after into the big lane.

and having witnessed her progress, and what wonders swim america was accomplishing for hundreds of kids in the tri valley, i did not mind waiting in line at all once my son reached the age he could join too.

and in fact, the wait is shorter each year you register, as they give priority status to returning families by offering pre-registration dates based on what year you first joined.

my son would grant swim america a chance to shine even brighter, as he did not take to water, or lessons, or new coaches with the joy and ease my daughter did.

he cried. ( i cried ). he did not want to go in. did not want me to leave.

i stayed poolside, near him, wanting to comfort.. while the coaches explained he'd be better off if i left; if i sat with the other parents in the portable bleachers

i reluctantly agreed. focused on my daughter in her lane.. watched her zig zag her way from the wall to the buoys in early attempts at learning the back stroke

i prayed. resisted eye contact with my son, noting it had quieted.. no screams or pleas for me..

"and how awesome, wonderful is this?!?" i said out loud to other parents, "that you can have two children, different ages and different skill levels in the pool and taking lessons at the same time?!?"

this, one of the things i was most grateful for. in almost every other sport or activity, you are forced to drive two places at two different times to meet two different needs, but with swim america, you can choose ONE time slot, for ALL children. they have the pool filled with lanes and coaches for every skill level at the same time.

i snuck a glance and accidentally made eye contact with my son.

he threw me a thumbs up with a smile and i melted on the spot. ~thank you Jesus~ ~thank you Swim America!~

the classes went by so fast it seemed.. whistle, hop in. his turn. her turn, your turn. whistle, hop out, safety drill.. drive home. graduation & ribbons and recognition every two weeks.

"how long would you say you cried today jack?" i asked

"five minutes," he shrugged

"that is an excellent recovery time! remember that.. you recovered in under 5 mintues! ..maybe tomorrow it will be 3 minutes.. and by thursday, 1" i tried.

and that's just about exactly how it worked out. by thursday, jack would report, "i didn't cry at all, mommy." and before we both knew it, he was bobbing, blowing bubbles, floating and learning big arms just like his sister had

not with the same enthusiasm or speed; but he nonetheless thrived all the way to level 7. he is a competent swimmer, comfortable with all four basic strokes, knowledgable about safety and thrilled to play in the pool at home or on playdates

taryn graduated to level 8 and joined the year round competitive sea hawks swim team with her friend katie for a while.

and i confess here to pushing too hard.. mommy mistake #7139...

over-encouraging her into the pool against her will on freezing cold october nights after long days of school and homework

fortunately i saw the error of my ways and set her free;

in time.

just in time for the fun stuff.. the water-slides and high dives at the aquatic center in the summer time. the pool sides at home, at friends, at hotels when traveling; the boat rides with her daddy

they both love the water now.

they both can swim.

and i can rest and watch and enjoy them with a less worried, anxious heart thanks to six summers and 18+ sessions with swim america.

THANK YOU! each and every coach along the way

-this post inspired after receiving swim america sign-up information in the mail and realizing 2008 is our first year not registering. -great memories- saving and lasting our lifetimes

just for the record

and I have a big swim America gratitude post, which is apparently unpublished in here somewhere, but late for work, so will find/re-publish later...       but, come on! look at that smile!  xoxo

SEE JACK DRIVE, by (me!), writeousmom

yes, I did participate in a few driving lessons, once my son earned his drivers permit..   but, yesterday, marks the first time

that as an officially licensed driver, my son did all the driving.  the first time, I text'd, "pick me up" instead of the other way around

and what makes this very special occasion even more extra special..   is where, and what I got to do!

-because I'm pretty sure I have not been able to help my children, son or daughter, with homework since they were in around the 3rd grade..   I'm not trying to be humble, or cute here; just honest.

ive been, and remain, a wonderful cheer leader..  but as for practical help, mostly ive just had to apologize and send them to a more knowledgeable source.

-even with English, and writing and communications.

because I have been free-form blogging for so many years now,  I have literally, utterly, and  completely forgotten all the grammar, punctuation rules..   -gone.   so, they've mostly had to get help from their dad, or friends, peers, the internet..

but!   at long last..   and "thank you Jesus!"   jack had a homework assignment that I knew I could help with!    -made me want to put on a cape...    writeousmom!  -to the rescue

jack:  "do you know what blitzkrieg refers to?"

(me!):  " -no idea "

and a gracious definition was provided to me.   I tried to confirm:

(me!):   -sounds like what they called more recently, a shock n' awe campaign..     attack from the air, attack from the ground; attack, attack, attack from every direction..


and as for actual times/dates; specific world history information..   well, I was very good about short term memory requirments in school..  memorize, take test,  -and then it all would disappear

so, I only have very big bullet point info at hand:  WWI, WWII,    very rough/vague..

so, really I couldn't be much help at all until..


(me!):   "did you just say you need to go to...    MICHAELS?!"    and then I thought for sure, we should go to HOBBY LOBBY too..

paint!  miniature tanks and military stuff..    adhesives!     honey, I know my adhesives!


and, so, it is locked in my great memories file:  -how the first time Jack picked me up, as a licensed driver, and he did all the driving..

it was to two of my most favorite stores; and! the one time I could help him with his homework.  
and actually we went to three stores, because wherelse are you going to find miniature army men, and toy tanks..   but TOYS R US...

and then the whole drive, was a blessings, because we drove along foothill, and he talked about how that triggered painful memories of being forced to attend swim America swim lessons..   and how much he hated it..

"hated it?!   I have some pictures where you have a pretty big smile on your face when you earned those ribbons!"     -and I do.   but it is true, he wanted out before we actually let him out..     /same and worse for his sister..

anyway..   TOYS R US, triggered memories, great memories! of Jacks lego and Thomas train days..   windows of time I treasure now, and look forward to again, , God Willing, as a grandparent one day..

and we just talked in general..   -had him go over all his classes, and catch me up on how he is doing in each one.    -conversations that used to take place when I was driving him to school

-and I sure do miss that; but proud to see him driving himself now..

and what a very good A+ driver he is!   -and I had it in my mind to hold the praise until we officially arrived back home, but just a couple blocks away, he asked, "so how do you like my driving?"

"A++!   -YOU are a very good driver, I'm quite impressed!"

/and he parked perfectly too.

and speaking of A+'s:     I may not be able to tell you in detail about blitzkrieg; and jack knew the exact name of what is just 'an airplane' to me, but

"..  for that, you need double-sided sticky tape..  I have some!"

"for that..   a sponge..  and if you mix these two paints..."

"for that..   these scissors..    

"oh!   let me go get my Xyron machine..      every house should have 1 tv and 3 xyron machines"

/that last quote of mine appears in an arts n crafts trade journal somewhere...


and as you can see, this part of the assignment is still in progress, but it is turning out great, wouldn't you say..

"Thank You! Jack!"    -love you; very proud...    xoxo

on the topic(s) of... seeing/understanding/perspective. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

as a believer; I am confident the pattern holds true:  

the pattern I speak of,   -in joyce Meyer's words, goes like this:

".. we live life forward but we understand it backwards.."

so, when you reach 20 years old, you can look back at when you were 10 years old, or 5 years old, and evaluate, see, understand,  to a different degree, why you did the things you did, enjoyed what you did  -how you made decisions, behaved,  at that age, etc.

and if all goes well, you have matured some, and the toys and books that delighted you at 5 or 10 years old are quite different from the toys and books that delight you in your 20's.   and the way you handle hurt feelings, disappointment, compliments, praise, or lack thereof;   -all of this is different at 20..

and then when you reach 30 years old..  you can look back at what you liked and didn't, and how you handled life situations at 20, and understand to a better degree, -why and how you made decisions,   behaved and thought as you did 10 years prior.

and at 40 you can look back at 30, 20, 10, 5..

and at 50, you can look back at 40, 30, 20, 10, 5..

    -but you cant see it, when youre in it.    you cant see 10 years old when you are 10 years old; you can ONLY SEE IT, from 20...

" ..we live life forward but we understand it backwards.."

and what I am confident about as a believer, is that..   

after we die, and our spirits live on..      the pattern holds true.

now, and only after we die,  can we look back on our lives, and have it make more sense

  ~really SEE it..    put it in perspective.

maybe, there is a lot we cant see, exactly because we are in it..   

the same way you cant see 10 from 10, you can only see 10 from 20.

and this pattern somehow brings me enormous peace in the now..    at 50.

In patterned after Jesus name!   ~amen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

..and here again.. my (aunt tina!) as experienced by (me!) sandra, tvgp

what matters most here is the order in which this experience took place.

i was sitting alone in my room; the room i rent from my sister..  making art..

i had the experience of an aluminium taste in my mouth; odd.. different..  enough to grab my attention..

i went quickly over what i had eaten; drank..  


then i thought..   the last time i had an experience like this was probably 7 to 10 years ago..

and i associated it, ultimately, to a visit from my aunt Tina, now deceased, but who had a similar metal taste issue which was tied to, symptomatic of,  a medical condition for which I can't remember with any specificity..  name? Diagnosis?

the sensation passed, I was never checked or even remotely concerned about my own health..

it never happened again, until this recent experience..

so i began wondering..   aunt tina?

AND THEN, is when the dots connected; the planets aligned, and it made perfect sense to me..

I was working on, and holding in my hands the recycled wine bottle art which I am designing from pages in the book,

Where The Wild Things Are.

A book she gave me probably the same year it came out.  I would have to research how old I was to be more sure..

I don't think this is THE book she gave me.. Not sure, many, several moves later where the exact one ended up..

Maybe this one, maybe not..   I've received this book more than once over the years..   But anyway..

I dedicate this bottle to her.   And to know more about this extraordinary creative force of a woman.. You can type aunt Tina in the search bar of this blog.

In Jesus mysterious and beautiful name..  Amen.

incomplete spill.. for (me!), sandra, tvgp

cant just knock it on its side; turn it upside down;


(me!):  "k.  help me understand.  because the whole thing has never made sense to me to begin with..   the whole reason, write now, as I understand it

the entire reason we currently have separate bathrooms for males and females..

  -was based on heterosexual practices?   -write?     keep the boys away from the girls, vice versa, keep the men away from the girls, the women away from the boys?    and that is why, currently we have separate bathrooms, and locker rooms and showers in schools and colleges..


and if that is write..    and for all of time, we have had a gay and lesbian and bi, and try..  as a certain percentage of the population, then the whole thing is a joke to begin with, IF -it was based on sexual orientation..

   -and I went on to say how happy I was to see the addition of "family" bathrooms in the mall, where a dad could take his young daughter, or a mother her young son..   because what a dilemma it posed before the addition of the family bathroom..

"and, so.."  I said to my dad..   " you already have had lesbians sharing the bathroom with the same gender they are attracted to..   and you are okay with that?    -or gay men, already sharing the bathroom with other males.."

dad:  "it is NOT OKAY for a man, dressed like a woman, to use the girls bathroom, even if he feels, like a woman..  it is NOT OKAY."

(me!):   so you want it to be about matching body parts; not orientation...

and we went back n' forth a little bit longer..

and I really just never fully understood the whole bathroom/locker room thing to begin with; not entirely..

my proposal would be this:

first I should mention my goal: 

my goal:  for all humans to be able to freely, safely use the restroom when they need to. 

and my proposal, is for..  

let me borrow here from former President Reagan..

"Gorba~choff      -tear down these walls!"

-what I mean is..    well, write now, in the local ladies public restroom..

there are, I don't know, say 7 individually enclosed bathroom stalls, within the greater/larger building marked WOMEN.    -and, as women use these individual stalls, with closed doors, but not floor to ceiling doors, short doors which reveal two feet when occupied...

well, what if we just removed the outer building all together, and you just had individual stalls, which anyone/everyone could use   -individually-    as they needed.    and a community sink.

or, don't we already have the problem, mostly solved,   -since we use portable bathrooms this way already at large concerts, fairs, and events...

the portable bathrooms at these large events are not marked for specific gender.  /or orientation.
the long line can have men, women, children, gays, lesbians, any age, any religion..

anyone who needs to use the bathroom stands in line, and uses it..


all the rest of the arguments are silliness, and filling air space, and pitting people against one another..

In Jesus wash your hands..   and feet, name..   amen!

brain spill, so i can make art (me!), sandra, tvgp

this is not two separate chapters; it is two separate books; on opposites sides of the library, but let me spill two and be on with my art:

1.  -recent conversation with a single friend, who..  she has been on MANY dates..   and has had sex with just about every single person she has dated.   -she seems hurt; mildly, when the relationship, which never gets fully off the ground

/or bed, or floor, or wherever

ends.   and seems hurt; mildly, when her former date is now dating and having sex with someone new.

but fast forward several months, and, she has new stories, of new dates, and new sex partners, and new endings..

I am just never sure whether I should be admiring her bounce-back-ability and willingness to get back out there..    down there/over there..

or has she just gone numb?    -especially in contrast to other singles who, hurt once or twice; retreat entirely for many months and sometimes years.

baffles me.  

the hurt spectrum in humans; what does and doesn't hurt; and how much..      for me personally, there is a direct correlation to emotional pain and whether or not I have been intimate with a person..

focusing on spectrums really:
 - guilt and caring.

baffles me; fascinates me.   -just last night had a bible study friend share about her guilt  -after she was cut off in traffic and let a few obscene words escape..

vs.  all the people I know who experience no guilt at all about such a thing..   vs. a violent criminal..

the spectrum..   from the least harmful to the worst; and the spectrum of guilt attached to the crime; if guilt is perceived at all..


and then,

change bookcases:   my brother was write.  -long, long, ago he suggested to me, if everyone on the planet were the same skin color   -there would still be wars/fights/violence..   based on something else.

and he is very write, isn't he.    -because all this time, skin color, and gender and orientation and religions or social status, and geographic territories have been masks


distractors from the real ongoing war which is between oppressors/tyrants/controllers/terrorists

and freedom/equality/kindness/respect...      the real war, -which wears many masks, is between

slavery and freedom
evil and love.
fear and peace.

as true for each individual as it is for families,  neighborhoods, societies, cultures, nations..


.. mental declutter to free space for...  

" GABLAH BAH RAH, MYRAH... MY TURN!" favorite for (me!) writeousmom

1.  -before I die, Dear Jesus, I have about 12 family videos I want uploaded to youtube and shared with the entire world.  all 12 involve my children...

2.  thank you! for the one uploaded yesterday   /and this gratitude prayer could go on and on..  to the invention of the internet; the addition of youtube itself; videos/cameras; computers required to upload..  my nephews help figuring it out..    but I short-cut..  amen.

3. in my deepest, darkest, funk, watching THIS:    pulls me out and up.   rewatching does not dilute for me personally..   I can watch again, again, again...    and laugh and smile and re-experience great joy

4.  -I am very aware, moments like THIS...   only with a video camera and a loving family member; never with a script, videographer, lights, cameras, action...      -THIS is the real deal; the true magic, and I have it to share...   

5.  I don't need to point out how precious..  but I will anyway:  -the exchange between my daughter and my sister  -her auntie keeshie, and her unborn cousin...     the love is palpable isn't it..  precious and tender and beautiful and sweet..

6.  -and then..   my favorite, favorite!  to watch my daughter taryn, as she catches on..   after only 1 animated prelude introduction to her turn for the solo trumpet performance, by her dad  ../and my musician brother chiming in from afar...

well, she gets the rhythm of it..   write away!   big intro, and then hit 'em with a solo

-only she doesn't quite have the vocabulary; just the essence..    /and animation.

also, I do enjoy seeing, how at such an early age, she was very conscientious about taking turns.

watch THIS, as many times as you like; and share at will.   it is a BIG "THANK YOU!" JESUS moment for (me!).

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On the topic of ~courage. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

when was it?  two weeks ago?  -three?   the exact time is of no relavence

what IS

is      /did that just trigger Clinton's voice?  my apologies.   -but that IS how our brains work..

anyway..   here is the conversation: 

person:    "..  you ...  have done something  with your hair..."

(me!):   ".. yes. !   i am welcoming my crown of splendor"

-euphemism for letting my hair go gray; orno longer covering my gray with fresh coats of paint by the professionals..

person:  "... that sure takes courage.. i will NEVER not cover mine.."

and then i just playfully quoted the bible..  "Its not for everyone though..  I just knew I'd be ready one day..  and knew I'd know it when I was.."

and small talk went on, changed subjects, eventually concluded.

it was not until I was on my way home.   and I re-thought about it..   -that I

Well, in my imagination I changed the conversation so that I said then, what didn't dawn on me until my drive home.

". -courage?   -has the standard for courage dropped to an all time low?   is it courageous to not cover or hide    gray hairs?!

Shouldn't the word courage be reserved for someone like Harriet Tubman?!


and that is both a true conversation; and a true imagined re-conversation.   in my post conversation thought, it was exactly Harriet Tubman's name that came to mind.  

and so i was both suspicious and delighted when this week I started (consciously) hearing about Harriet Tubman appearing soon on the American $20 bill. 

when I heard that, I was like:   as SHE should be people!  and should have been a long time ago..

a toast!   " to TRUE COURAGE!"

-HIDING INNOCENT PEOPLE from life threatening onesAnd risking your own life to do it!

/not for un-hiding the true color(s) of your hair.

In Jesus truly courageous name,  -amen!

the heart seen... At pleasanton library! by (me!) sandra, tvgp

   -now, no way i would have seen this one had i remembered to mail  the card when i drove by the post office, the only reason i was treated to this, is because..   i had to mail the card while at the library..  and then it felt like a reward for getting my DVD back on time.  -much shorter turn around time than books..     Anyway,  This Is It, Michael Jackson..   have seen it many times and will no doubt watch it again someday..    Xoxo

enormously proud of my sister (karin montgomery!)

aka:   "keeshie!"

 -beautiful testimony here.  filled with truth, gratitude, inspiration..   and evidence for what God can, and does, continually do through people,         "i love you!"    xoxo

Power of Love