Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Im willing now to meet this tolstoy fellow (me!) sandra, tvgp

generically speaking: all of the people labeled 'great writers' of today, have studied and know, to some extent, the people who were labeled 'great writers' of yesterday.

So for those of you who can..  -name the top 10 greatest writers of all time.

k.  I probably do not know, and have never read them, but could recognise their names as names I've heard before floating around out there in media enough that it crossed my cerebral path.

I'm going to go google that write now..10 greatest writers of all time.   Or rather, after I post this, so as not to be interrupted while making my point.

my point is that Leo Tolstoy is on the list; most likely.

and I remember..  I think, his Anna Karenina, was an Oprah book club selection, and everyone was raving about how wonderful it was..

but I did brief research, and the entire story is based around infidelity.  My thoughts on the matter are already well documented here so I will not bother to repeat..

But in essence I had absolutely no interest and remain dumbfounded as to how the whole world is not bored to death with Infidelity as a plot line.  It does not get less original than that I promise you. Same story over, over, over, over, over, over, over, over, over, over, over ad nauseum.  -just change character names and scenery.

and it is why for (me!) The book titled Jewel, by (must relook up author) is a true masterpiece..    A true accomplishment!   and.. Was also an Oprah book club selection if I remember correctly..

Now.. Based on Anna Karenina alone I had zero interest in learning even 5 minutes more worth about this Tolstoy fellow..

-shame on me.

because just the other day I was listening to NPR .. National public radio on my 10 minute break and you don't even need one guess to know who they were talking about

-out of what must have been an entire half hour or hour talk.. My 10 minute break landed me write at the part where they discussed Tolstoy's later life conversion to Christianity..  and how he later  -denounced? Regretted?     -well, let's just say that post conversion he would not have invested his gifting and talent in writing the likes of Anna Karenina...

and then  they talked about his books post conversion..

and you don't even need one guess to know what books I'll be checking out next visit to the library...

dear Leo Tolstoy... I look forward now to meeting you.

in Jesus name, amen.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

MINDFULNESS as seen by (me!) sandra, tvgp

-on hold:  stories about my daughter graduating from highschool; preparing for college; the parties, celebrations, etc.

-but I will springboard a little because of the number of people I talked to at the recent party who now practice some form of mindfulness; meditation; yoga..  and the result and testimonies are remarkable and remarkably consistent.  In a nutshell:

"It works!!"

every good thing you can think of: reduces stress overall while simultaneously strengthening your ability to cope with stress as it appears; yields greater peace, joy, confidence, esteem..

in a nutshell again:   -all the fruits of the spirit; peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control..

well..  Mindfulness is the..  Primary ingredient, tool, daily practice.. the key for helping any and all of those manifest.

How much testimony do you require?

listen to any spiritual leader from any faith system..
listen to Eckhart tolle.. The Pope.. Ghandi..
Visit savingzach.com
-a thousand self help books..

I have my own personal experience which is so positive I don't require additional evidence.. but to validate

-read Dan Harris' 10% happier book..

"It works!".   Mindfulness & meditation  "it works!"

I am convinced this is humanities path to evolving..  you know how many times I've stated my concern: technology out-evolving humans; humans remaining stuck..

one of the greatest roadblocks is.  -religion.  that is.. we cannot incorporate prayer in schools, or espouse any specific faith system over another.   this results in one of two things: either not one religion can be discussed at all for fear of offending another; or all religions can be discussed with the goal of not favoring one over another..

that ends up being counterproductive no matter which way it lands..

The beauty of mindfulness and mediation is that..

it is entirely religion/faith neutral.   -entirely independent of!

but when it comes to helping people grow, evolve, and achieve greater peace, health, confidence, esteem..  improving relationships to self and others..

mindfulness/meditation not only consistently gets results; it gets results without encountering all the controversy, and dead ends and  roadblocks that prayer or any given faith system faces..

it is so noncontroversial and so remarkably consistent in yielding better quality lives

that if I could only add just this one practice, this one class, to our public and private school curriculum..

it would no longer be: reading, writing, arithmetic

it would be:

mindfulness/meditation
reading
writing
arithmetic..

it would be first and foremost and would no doubt improve the ability for each child to master the others..

now, I do not know the instructor teaching this class through the pleasanton community and activities summer program..

but I am very happy to see it being offered.. and wish it for the whole wide world.   -the younger we learn it; the better!

In Jesus name,   -amen!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Corinthians 13:13

this: -is where i live; literally. it is my spiritual address if you will: my spirit lives at 1 Corinthians 13:13.   lives there.

how do I know..   the same way in a recent post I described what happened when I received the writing prompts book..   -what that helped me fully realize is that..  I do not need writing prompts; but for how long this has been true, I do not know..

in that same way.. It was when I was having conversations with multiple others.. and faced with a given situation.. each person shared their response..  And as I listened to each of them..

I fully realized.. that is not what is in my mind, heart or spirit at all! My initial and -permanent residence is to react with faith, hope and love.   -nothing else is there... Nothing else gets in.   -I am amazed myself.. how real, how clear, how unwavering..

and I can remember when this was not the case.  I can remember in non specific ways.. 

being unable at all...and then only on special occasions.. Only under certain circumstances..  and gradually over time.. Without my being entirely conscious of the process..

I have arrived.

and it feels wonderful.

to live here:  at 1 Corinthians 13:13.   With faith, and hope and love.   -in response to ALL things, good or bad, hard or easy, traumatic or blissful..

-and to KNOW it..  

***

how fascinating to be able to interpret our internal goings-on!

I reask..   in circumstances relevant to the question:

Are you doing such n such out of obligation or because you want to?

when we provide an honest answer to that question..  -like, what is going on inside of us that allows us to judge/determine and know what our feelings are.?. Or determine when/how they subtly change..

I.e., I started out feeling obligated but now I want to..  Or vice versa..

-we know what we know. We interpret feelings all the time; unconsciously; but expertly

and I know.. That once upon I time I did not live in such a permanent way at 1 Corinthians 13:13..

I was not sure it even existed on the spiritual map.  

Then I learned it existed..

I visited it once or twice..   and then returned..

and on what date exactly I do not know, but

apparently I moved in.   I live there.  All the time.

and it is beautiful.   And guess what else..

there is room for everyone!   how awesome is that!

In Jesus name..  amen!

Brudders & Sistours. as seen by (me!) -writeousmom..

i have always been curious, in regard to the family video mentioned in prior post..  like, -how on earth, at 2 1/2.. did TaRyN come up with this "to all my brudders and sistours".    for one, she didn't have any brudders or sistors..   Only one 'brudder' who would not arrive into the world for another four days..  and for two..   that address, 'brudders & sistours' was not in my vocabulary at all, nor in her fathers.. no one in our immediate family,   -and this is long before I was watching so much church TV..

I've always been curious where she picked that up.   -it is so sweet to me..   how inclusive.

" to my brudders.. and my sistours..   and my whole fam~ily..  and my mom.. and my dad.. and my grandpa.. and my grandma.. and to my rob.. and to my Keesh.. 

***

there is one more highlight in that video.. melts me! to the core.  My sister has TaRyN on her hip..   Like me, my sister is also pregnant at the time, only she is couple months behind me..

but my daughter touches her aunties tummy.. she at first is talking through a pacifier " -its just a baby now..  

but when he gets bigger..."  Removes pacifier and her arm shoots up as she readies to share the big revelation..."he can play with me!".  -and then they talk some more about visiting wal mart when the baby arrives..  -very, very sweet.. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Value of a family video.. to (me!) sandra, tvgp

more valuable than...  anything! I mean take my home, clothes, food.. 

-leave me on a park bench..   but if I could just have access to family photos and videos and the drawings and writings my children have done over the years..

I just rewatched one of my all time, all time! favorites..  and what series of events led me to finding and rewatching..  as it was not on my agenda at all to do so..  I promise you, it was the saints again.. I know it.

I know it because back to back hard news was starting to..

and so, next thing you know I'm watching this family video from 1999 and smiling so big.. And then laughing so hard..

hard, deep laughter.. where tears fall..  

if ever there was some family video worthy of sharing with the whole wide world!  I do not write now know how to go about getting this on YouTube or my blog..  But the very second I do..

you can't miss it..  you have to see it...   the highlights for me, and you are welcome to fast forward.. But the highlights..

1. it should be called 'the worlds longest Christmas card'.  -my daughter is 2 1/2 years old.. It is Christmas morning.. I am 4 days shy of giving birth to her younger brother.. house is filled with family sitting around the Christmas tree, opening presents, visiting, etc.

and at some point TaRyN takes center stage and starts reading a Christmas card.  only, as I mentioned, she is 2 1/2 years old.  -she can't, like, actually read.. but you sure would never know it..

-until you notice maybe that the card is sometimes write side up, and sometimes upside down...

-and you can glance and see that there are probably 10 words at most inside the card itself..

but she is standing there with the card in hand, reading like nobody's business..

"and to my mom, and my dad, and to my grandpa and to my grandma and to my rob and to my Keesh..

and to all my brodders and sistors.. 

and to your helf..   (health).

and to my whole fam~i~ly.    -this all gets a good laugh and so repeat, repeat, repeat..

when she starts losing her audience she gets very animated..

waving her hand to each group of family, left, write and center:

" listen! listen! Listen!  Ev~eDY~body... "

and then she reads some more...

and some more..

and a little more after that.   as she starts losing her audience again.. she decides to add some attention-grabbing flair..

"and to all my brodders and sistors.. and to your helf..  and to my pajamas.. And to my bottom hurts.."

-anything for a laugh.. 

***

and!  better still!   her trumpet performance with her dad!  Oh.. Praise God!  this is the part that just sends me into one every time..

it is because..  Because..

I can barely type this I get to laughing..

  -from very early on TaRyN imitated the patterns of speech and conversation way before she incorporated the actual words..

she mimicked sounds and patterns..  

if you wonder what I mean, this brief little magical Christmas musical will explain everything..

her dad has a flute..   He plays a couple random notes.. then he, in the voice and tone of a band leader, says something like..

"wind section done..  now the brass section.. Hit it.. Your turn!"

and then TaRyN makes at least one noise come out of her plastic kid trumpet..  and..   then.. sense she has no idea what her dad actually said, but got the pitch and pattern, she utterly takes on all the body language and animation of a famous conductor and goes, like.. 

"Batada..   Ratbudad... Blahbeba...  batada!   YOUR TURN!"

and then her dad makes a couple noises come out of his..  flute or kazoo or whatever it is..

and she takes it away from there..  does the whole thing again..

"Batada, rpadata, matadyaba!   MY TURN!"

and then follows all her animated conducter-speak and waving of hands and giant incomprehensible introduction to her bass section with..

a short little,  barely audible whisper of a noise from her plastic trumpet.

they go back n forth a couple times.. And I am laughing so hard I can barely record it..

but when it comes to true treasures...  

I'd trade the Mona Lisa and any equivalent   -there is no material thing.. No value that can be placed.. nothing as precious.. 

as my family videos.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Last Word regarding economics of low income.. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

I am 1. exhausted of the topic. And 2. Need to move on..  but I cannot move forward.. it would be a huge disservice if I did not share this before I close writing on this topic. So here:

ObamaCare:  -first let me thank Jesus.. for my health over the past decade living below the poverty level.. having no medical, dental, vision coverage for eight or nine years..

and I remind everyone here the reason I did not have coverage is because I COULD NOT AFFORD COVERAGE.  -not that I didn't want or need it.  K.

the only reason I have auto Insurance is because it is mandatory by law.  So,  making health insurance mandatory by law does get results.  I am now covered.

However!  And please pay attention here: I.. Who could not afford it to begin with.. Was financially penalised for not getting it on time.

-taking even more money from someone who has very little begin with..

-next.. I was behind on a payment.. So the result of that was extra penalties from the insurance and the bank..

Taking even more money away from someone who has very little..

So, the result of this mandatory health coverage has cost me..  A LOT.   and where is that money going.. To who? Really?   and times how many people are the mandatory penalty fees, insurance and bank fees being taken..      -why we keep taking more and more from those who don't have to begin with..  And giving more and more to those who have plenty is beyond my comprehension.

I would like to suggest here: The issue IS NOT healthcare.. The issue is COST of LIVING vs. WAGES..

that is where the gap  -grand canyon gap exists.

and I know there are some intelligent people out there who can address this issue..   -write.

and it just kills me.. That we pack our downtowns and cities with stores and restaurants which offer a minimum wage  -give or take a few bucks..   And then..

refuse to offer low income housing in the same area?!?

which means people who can't afford the basics.. are required to commute further.. Which costs more in gas, wear n tear on automobiles, etc. 

if ever there was a fixable problem... 

who among you hears the call?

In Jesus name, amen..

Monday, May 18, 2015

Winner! as described by (my sister!) to (me!) sandra, tvgp

description of a backyard:  "it was like Martha stewart ... well no, it was like Martha Stewarts cousins backyard might be..  Like Martha came over and helped a little but she still had her own style."

/God I love that... Has such an Irresistible blog~ability factor to it..

Dear Super Soulers.. from (me!) sandra, tvgp

Super soul Sundays with Oprah on OWN. I remain a fan.. You know my greatest concern for humanity is that we are investing so much in advancing our technology while humans are getting left far behind.

Helping humans evolve.. That is our greatest need.  And anyone who is helping in this crucial area.. "THANK YOU!"

pleased to see the panel of three 30 something's..  I am provided hope..

But! the answers to living a spiritual life are seeming a little too redundant and trite to me.. I do not question their authenticity in answer.. And all speak a certain truth:

yes live with gratitude.
Yes live in the moment.
Yes be able to meditate, evaluate, control your own thoughts, etc.
Yes your strength and happiness are INSIDE jobs and cannot be achieved externally..

I could go on. Its all true..  They've got it!  

But the true test to me, for me personally of a spiritual leader is not whether or not they live with gratitude..

the true test is in their response to personal and others ~suffering.

Dear Oprah.. I am about to share my very real world, real life experiences/observations on any given week..

The question for spiritual leaders is this: how do you process suffering:

-a perfectly healthy elementary school age child just collapsed in an unexpected death.

-a child diagnosed with cancer

-a man just abandoned his family..

-a friends sibling committed suicide..

-a ten year old baby died..

-a 47 year old died of a heart attack..

-a child down the street was molested..

-a mother/daughter were just killed by a drunk driver..

-a teen was hospitalized for attempting suicide..

-a cyber bully just released humiliating videos of someone they wanted to humiliate..

-rapes, murders, wars, violence, crime, genocides, poverty, natural disasters.. Greed, corruption..

true spiritual leaders will be able to speak on and address life issues on this level.  I keep my eyes and ears and heart open..

In Jesus name, amen..

The real gift... to (me!) sandra, tvgp

first: a public thank you to Mr Motown.. my long time dance partner friend.. gifted me with some Jesus jewelry and this book..   I love all things Jesus, so thank you..  And! without realizing it.. well, I know that you know I like to write..

and so, the 642 book was based on that knowledge.. But the real gift you gave me was.. The realization that I graduated past needing writing prompts a long time ago.   In august I will have been blogging for TEN YEARS!  -thousands of posts..    And I'm not sure exactly when it happened because earlier in my writing life I did want and need prompts..   but that has not been the case in a very long time..

prompts ...   At the risk of sounding ungrateful for the gift which I am not..  but I do regard them as necessary for beginners..  and a sign of growth and progress is the lack of that need..

it applies in many areas of life I believe..  Including sex.  -yes it comes to mind for me..  when I learn someone needs a prompt.. An outside stimulus of some sort..    -need a porn to get you going?  -novice.   /she says with a smile..

for writing, for sex, mixed media art...I need no prompts..   but for math and cooking..

I need prompts, books, videos, tutor, extra inspiration, help..  I need a very, very high incentive..

Or what I really need is..  An accountant and restaurants..

***

count down to music under the stars: 4 days...

Is there a mix~ologist in the house.. for (me!) sandra, tvgp

something old/something new; something borrowed, -someone's blue..

***
Old: /as I have mentioned it before. the award, -top honor! for best two songs ever blended and fused goes to...

whoever came up with the ides to mix john mayers , your body is a wonderland with..  I'm never speaking up again, I'll use my hands..

My God! what a perfect mix.. awesome.. Wow!

***
New:
and now.. if someone with that same talent for mixing would help (me!) out..

I want to hear..  I long to hear.. I know it would be equally awesome if someone would blend/fuse/mix..

Louie Armstrong's, ~wonderful world

with

James Morrison's, ~wonderful world.

Oh! the lyrics! the music, collaboration of melodies.. the way it can hit home..  grand slam the life experience of both..  Of how it really is; can feel in any given week..  the miracles of life simultaneous with the traumas and tragedies..

something like this:

***

Armstrong..  "I see trees of green, red roses too, I see them bloom, for me & you, and I think to myself, ~what a wonderful world..

Morrison:  " and I know its a wonderful world,  but I can't feel it write now..  thought that I was doing well but i just wanna cry now.."

***

back n forth like that for the whole mixed long version...

****

borrowed:   = with intention/assumption it will be returned.

***

blue = validation for gray.

***

..something random; something true:

I watch the voice.. Love! The voice..  I could watch that level of talent and variety, for many, many, hours in a row and still long for more..    every song artist   -although entirely unique.. Wants exactly the same experience

That experience can be seen by watching beth hart sing I'd rather be blind for buddy guy when he received the Kennedy ..something.. Honor..

all of the performers were professional..talented.. Gave great performances..  Etc.    -but there can be no argument that beth hart's performance was above & beyond.

mystical, magical, miraculous, anointed, blessed, larger than life..

This level cannot be achieved every time she hits the stage; the expectation is unrealistic.  It is very special when it happens.

My guess is that every artist performing that night has had their own.. Let's call it a 'beth hart moment'  -on a stage somewhere under their own special circumstances..

And I think it is just as much a miracle and honor to witness as it is to experience.

So it becomes my prayer for every artist.. Singer, dancer, writer, painter.actor... Whatever..

I think it can happen more than once for sure... But if it only happens once

That is awesome!  -hope you get it recorded so it can be relived and shared with generations to come...

In Jesus name, amen

The Heart Seen.. on (noah's bagel!)

~little love for breakfast...  "Thanks mom!"

The Heart Seen... by (squidmann!)

/forgive me; can't avoid the pun: taco 'bout the heart seen..  its in the spill of the sauce..

The Heart Seen... by (lee ann caldwell!)

please.. how precious is this? they welcomed a number of little duckies into their home from the zoo~ology class..   enjoyed an extended stay..  I smile every time I see Lee Ann's face as she talked about having to return them..  "Don't forget your mama loves you...".   ~sweetest bond.    -and she invited me to sit down and hold one for a little stretch.. neat sensation to have it go from flittery and nervous rapid breathing to.. calm and nestled comfortably..  darling little creatures... heart magnets.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"page 37!?!". says (my sister!)

"This should be FRONT PAGE NEWS!"   /and we both are wondering..  mike..  divorced?  how's he doin'?

Sex Education by (me!) sandra, tvgp. ~writeousmom...

so, my son was doing his homework

um,  -in the car, on the way to school this morning while i drove.

and part of this included a questionnaire with sex-related questions the kids were to ask their parents..

these things leave my mind pretty quickly, so i don't remember all of the questions.. just a few

how old do i think a person should be before having sex?

18.   as i've mentioned before; i do not know how to dream small.

-my thoughts on abortion..  pro-choice.

-best age to have children...  24/25..   /after its legal to drink.. /she says with a smile..    but i kid.   more to do with energy/maturity/optimism..

-can he talk to me about sex?...  i said 'i sure hope so!  any awkward question you are brave enough to ask.. i will honestly answer..'

but my favorite one.. the one that stands out:

what do i wish i knew about sex and relationships back in the day.

i said, "i wish i knew men who put God first in their lives."

both my son and nephew responded with the equivalent of boos and tomatoe tossing..

".. i mean it..  because they would make better sex partners..  anyone who puts God in front of their ego.."

and then i signed the homework just as they were exiting the car for school...

***

and i remembered a male creature who wore a cross necklace.. who talked a good Christian game.. 

who could look directly in the eyes of someone he swore fidelity and faithfulness to.. and lie    -so competently, and convincingly..

/very impressive acting retrospectively speaking.. 

but could be all the while f'ing more than one person.

-just undoes me..   not the act of infidelity itself; which is  several degrees of horrific all by itself..  but

the lying, sneaking, deceiving..  so casually and at master levels..

with no care.     -it is beyond my comprehension..

i just know, based on SEVERAL life experiences; and countless observations..

when I say 'a man who puts God first..'

I do not mean a man who PRETENDS to put God first; who wears the write jewelry and talks the good talk..

I mean a man who.. in His heart and mind and conscious..

Who -for real, puts God first..

such a man would make an awesome lover..  because it has to do with actually being in love. /which is not self seeking..

and being able to trust..

In Jesus name..  Amen!

The Heart Seen... sent by (roz gamble!)

email read:  hi Sandra,  whenever I see a heart, in any way shape or form and it looks new, I think of your collection. Here's a stunning one I just received from my cousin in North Carolina.  Enjoy. Hope all is well with you. God Bless, Roz Gamble

"Thank you!!".  -means more than you realize..  Xoxo