Friday, October 31, 2014

"REDEMPTION IS MINE!". By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

To understand you must first know this.. I have a positively terrible -TERRIBLE!-  reputation with my children, niece and nephew for providing the good times, wonderful experiences, and awesome memories I "promise, promise, promise!" When I'm talking them into going somewhere with me..

Somewhere usually being an educational, cultural, art-related event of one kind or another..

Let me provide two quick examples:  "mom.. I don't want to go on the pleasanton art stroll..  We'll be the only teenagers there.. Its boring.. I don't care.."

And I'm like, "what on earth are you talking about?! Everyone loves art!  There will be all kinds of people.. Whole families!  Plus.. This is your home town. Its awesome.. And people have worked really hard to make these sculptures available..  It will be fun..promise!  You'll get to learn the background stories.. "    /true.. I once had them memorizing the names of the sculpture & artist of all the public art in pleasanton..    But its been forgotten.. And so much has been added!

-and.. Well, you know how this story ends don't you.  They were the only teenagers there..   

It does not help that their father, my exhusband..   Lives in an entirely different financial bracket and has an additional house, boat, jet skis..  And can take our kids to do things they actually really love to do.. Like, watersports with their friends.. Knee-boarding and tubing..

The art stroll you see..  /its free.  Write here. Local...

Anyway..  I'm terrible also about falling for media hype..  And recently read about an author that would be giving a talk at the Livermore library..  -gorgeous place!  But.. And so, the write up was so promising.. So exciting...   /and its free.. And its local..

So I told my daughter.. I'm like, "oh baby won't you come with me..  You'll love this author..  This is stuff you'll be really glad to know.. Inspiring..!"

She said, "mom.. Am I going to be the only teenager?!"

"Heavens no!  Read this..  There will be ALL KINDS of people.  Whole families!  -should be a really good mix..."

And you know how this story ends too, -write.  We walk in the room and there is nothing but silver-haired people..  /and trust that I am acutely aware that without a fresh coat of paint myself, every 4-6 weeks.. My hair would be silver too..

So..  I felt just awful..  And usually not my style to walk out on anyone's presentation... But I didn't have the heart to make my daughter sit through it..  Even though, God bless her, -she would have..

I did take them to tommy t's one time to see joey Bragg..  And I have a couple successes.. But the ratio is probably.. 29 to .5

But! I'm about to improve my score!  Thank you very much to my friend Jane and her her friend Robert.. Details to follow..

"Redemption is mine!". I can feel it...

What you must know here, is that.. How many years ago? I fell for the posterhype..   I can explain a little.. Because it was shortly after I had witnessed via TV, a flash mob..    Oh! I mean to tell you!  -best trend to ever manifest in humanity.. 

People secretly choreographing a dance... Then showing up in street clothes in public.. A farmers market. Or train station..  Wherever..  All blending in with the variety of passersby.. Locals, tourists..  Camouflaged perfectly... Then.. Suddenly starting to, one person at a time..  Dance.. More and more joining in..  Until

WOW!  -most awesome thing ever..   Random performance.. In the street..  No tickets/no theatre stage/no seats.. No advance promoting..

Just suddenly, on the spot, in the middle of your otherwise regular, otherwise predictable day..

WHAM...  A stunning, exciting, performance..

Then.. Everyone goes back to their version of normal.

I literally wept the first time I had exposure to this..  Still, if I you tube and watch flash mobs..   They bring tears to my eyes..

Who originated this?  " thank you! X1000000"

So.. All that to say.. And to explain, that when I read this poster about being a part of one!  No experience necessary!   -thriller flash mob! Michael Jackson!   -a number of years ago..  

"You guys have to come with me! You have to! This is like the most awesome thing ever!  It will be way fun.. I promise!"

And in my imagination.. And based on what the flyer said.. There would be hundreds of people!

And so the day came when we all packed in the car and headed for our very first flash mob rehearsal in dublin

/which was free and local...

And you don't even have to guess what:

We were the only ones there; us and two instructors.

There is an expression that I've seen too many times on my children's faces..   It is a combination of..  Really? Do we have to stay? Can we get a new mom? And.. How did we get talked into this?    It shows first in their eyes; then unsmiling mouth; and finally in very slumped posture..

But God bless them..  They stayed for a lesson anyway..

But exactly because of that prior experience, I knew I had to very delicately extend our current invitation  -which I'm personally certain is a REAL good time...  With a REAL variety of people of all ages, and REALLY whole families..

"Save this date for me, k.   Were going to a ..  To a..

Well, .. Its a Michael..   Jackson thriller ..  Halloween party.."

Write away my son was like..  [Eyes narrow. Smile erased. Slump.]


"... No, no, no..   I knew you were going to think that..   This is different..   Promise..

We get to get all zombied out...  Check out this invitation..

/cool invitation..  Elevated my credibility

My daughter is like..  " I'm pretty sure I have to work that night.."

I go.. "No.. No,..  Come on.. This is going to be different.. Promise!   And its in San Francisco!   I know one of the people hosting it..  Way creative..  Lots of people.."

My son..  With reluctance but a skilled negotiators determination and savvy..  He goes..

"I'll go.. But! Only if I can have a professional paint my face"

I go "done deal!".  -without any idea how, who..

But.. Guess what.  God is always a few (thousand) steps ahead:

Turns out, that in my wallet, was a business card from an artist who professionally paints faces that I met during the big draw in downtown pleasanton last year..

So I made us all appointments...   /not free.. But worth every penny I've saved..

And I can't Bragg about the level of enthusiasm during our first at home rehearsal of the thriller dance..  But we did practice.  And my daughter double-checked the online email invitation which actually shows the # of RSVP replies..   She showed it to her brother...  " looks legit.  -we won't be the only teenagers.."

-to be continued...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Heart Seen.. By (mary re!) ..on (riley)...

  -poor Riley happened across an ant hill..  Scratched his nose raw.. But, -take a look at that heart seen in his scab..  Obviously healing just fine..   Xoxo

The Heart Seen... By (mary re!)

...thinking of you too! Count down to new Orleans... Xoxo

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Keep The Faith!" With (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Monday, October 27, 2014

What?! No Invisible best friend named Jesus? By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Notes from the interfaith service with the Rabbi:

  -cool how I happen to be reading people of the book..
  -before I attend any interfaith anything/exposure to other religious beliefs/faith systems (or lack thereof) I remind myself:  you are not to judge; only learn..  Only learn...

Guest "do the Jews say that Jesus was a prophet?".   /I recall that that is a distinction for Muslims..  Jesus as a prophet, not the son of God..

Rabbi:  " No. Jews do not say Jesus was a prophet..  They just don't regard Jesus at all.."

(Me!). Silently to myself, not out loud:  well, how ironic is that, Jesus,  -they make it as if..  YOU never existed...


There are many religions. There are many faith systems. There is also agnostic and atheist.  Controversy.. Controversy..  But undeniable is this:  you can choose = free will.  Human beings were not created to robotically obey one system.

Now.. I admittedly am skipping the long argument(s) regarding people who only have exposure to one way of believing based on geography; time/place of birth, etc.   -and people born into families who essentially dictate what their children will or will not believe..

Let me speak only to my own exposure and experience:  I have observed and experienced that everyone believes in something; and lives according to their beliefs and exposures..

What beliefs yield what results?

I have observed and experienced that everyone is, every single day, functioning under the influence of something..

Under the influence of drugs..
Under the influence of too much alcohol..
Under the influence of the pressure to succeed..
Under the influence of pressure to perform..
Under the influence of mass media, pop culture..
Under the influence of insecurities..
Under the influence of money..
Under the influence of status..

Long list..  And I have observed people under the influence of catholicism, buddism, /variety of ism's...    

Under the influence of a variety of -Bibles-   passages, stories, life authoritative narratives,  on and on..

My conclusion is this:  none of us.. From the pope to the Dalia lama to the Indian chief..   Not one human being KNOWS.

We are not -knowers-    we are BELIEVERS.

I have come to believe in a God that did create the heavens and our earth. I believe in the holy trinity: a God, son, AND holy spirit.   For me, that there exists a relationship is vital..  Because I have come to believe God IS LOVE.. And love gets expressed between people..

Love is a spiritual law.. Because it is experienced by ALL human beings and no one religion/faith system has the monopoly on that one..

LOVE is a HOLY SPIRIT..   And for me..   The guiding spirit of my life..

I believe in LOVE.. And believe one of the characteristics of love is sacrifice..   I have come to believe that the God I believe in, did sacrifice his one and only son.. Jesus, for the greater good of humanity..    That Jesus lived here on earth.. And died for our sins..

And conquered death..  Living on in spirit..   Spirits of: love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control..

I further believe our God is a God of hearts..  Never inflicts or intrudes but always available;  ask, seek, knock..

The long list of blessings and comforts and signs and wonders I have and continue to experience personally..

Has strengthened, deepened, grown my awe factor to the point of no return..

So, having these experiences..  It just makes me kinda sad for anyone who does not believe in Jesus..     I pray and speak to Jesus like he is my personal best invisible friend..

James Morrison's song is coming to my mind again..  ".. Whatever I do.. It is under the influence of yoooouuuuu"

-so:  you may choose what you believe and what or who you allow to influence your life.

What/who are you under the influence of? What result is it yielding?

In Jesus name..   Saturated in the holy spirit,   grateful for love, forgiveness, strength..

I believe in YOU. I pray for YOU..   Hallelujah and amen!

The Heart Seen.. By (carla graci!)

It might be a new favorite..  Just look at that...   And let me share a tiny bit of background: I get to take credit for introducing Carla to Nancy Eddinger when Carla mentioned wanting to take water color painting lessons..  -beautiful friendship connection it turns out..  And the whole reason Carla wanted lessons was to prepare for a painters retreat in calistoga..  Which she just attended.. And look again!  When the instructor doled out paint on Carla's palette..   Oh, I love this heart seen collection...  More and more all the time..

Sunday, October 26, 2014

"NO!". IM DONE WITH THAT! IVE HAD IT! (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Its not that I don't love you, or dont want to celebrate you, or don't want to connect or reconnect with you...

Its that I simply refuse to spend one more second figuring out what my username and password was for that given site..

I'm done.  I've had it.

I don't know where my Frickin' list is..

I'm not clicking on anymore "forget your password?" Links..  Which lead me to a "forgot your username...   Which sometimes leads to " forget your ID?  That goes with your username..

Which brings me to " forgot which email...

And the username and password for the given email.. Where the username and password I forgot are supposed to show up..




I'm not looking any up. I'm not making any new ones...

Just click here ------>. On the one that applies

"congratulations!" On your (new job, baby, engagement, divorce..  Whatever..)

Or..  "Happy birthday!".  Or "blessings for continued success!".  Or " my thoughts And prayers are with you"

"Thinking of you too.."

"I love you".     "I miss you".     " how are you?"

"Can't believe it either!".    " too funny".      "WTF"

"Did you say....". By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

"Gotta story for you...type that in the search bar of my blog...

Another imaginary conversation by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Good thing, -imagination, yes..  How else could I talk to Helene hanff this morning..

I positively ache with the desire to underline and highlight.. To write in the margins of this book! People of the book..

But it is from the library.

  -I have a thing I wrote somewhere in this blog of mine..

About how,  

Reading a book without a pen is like taking a vacation without a camera.

"..and it is one of many things that endeared me to you Helene..

How...  How much you enjoyed used books exactly for that reason.. To see where/what someone else had written..

-that the writing, the highlights.. They weren't considered -damage- to the book..

It added..  

(We are having lunch together..  Peppered salame sandwiches)

I think there should be a section like that at the library..    I already know every counter argument and so won't hold my breath, but..

My God! I just want to take a highlighter out and have my way with this paragraph!

[She takes the book..   Reads with a smile.   Picks up a highlighter and without any hesitation goes over the exact sentences I would highlight if I owned the book and then hands it back to me and takes a bite of her peppered salame sandwich]

"Thank you" I say with a smile of my own, "I accept"


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Stories & Authors. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

It is often said, "every person has a story."

I think, "every person IS a story"

.. And who among us has ever encountered a story that didnt have an author?

Life; it is a story.

Stories & Authors. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

It is often said, "every person has a story."

I think, "every person IS a story"

.. And who among us has ever encountered a story that didnt have an author?

Life; it is a story.

Friday, October 24, 2014

"..gotta story for you... ". (Me!) Sandra, tvgp

Did you say Hostess?   ... Well, -speaking of 'The Sweetest Comeback In The History of Ever'

Type:   mouth full of silver

In the search bar of this blog.

Speaking of memories in single file.. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Let me explain it in a way that complements my prior post:

Memory stored somewhere...  Dormant.
Immediate access! (Key that opened; awoke..) = article about juanita haugen scholarships..

Single file:(multiple associations/multiple potential hyperlinks)

1. I met her! She came to one of our good neighbors holiday boutiques (year?) And we had a brief conversation..  But i had "no idea who she was" -as the saying goes..   Would later learn about her, and her contributions..

2.  Community of character!   -did not know for who knows how long.. Who to credit..    Juanita haugen!   Connect the dots...  Same lady i met at our boutique..

3. Compassion...  My daughters poem; inspired by...  Somewhere here in my blog posts..   Her "responsibility" award..

4.   Comparisons between juanita's "community of character" traits..  Vs.   The 9 fruits of the spirit...

-however we communicate this emphasis on character..   Im grateful; very grateful..

We are write now experiencing the results of making book facts (math, science, history) more important than...

It is not that those things arent vital too..

But character; learning to be a good person, caring about personal integrity and caring about others..   This we have been neglecting!

How is it that there are bullies in middle school and high school?

Because they have been required to pass the wrong tests..

How is it that we end up with college students raping other college students?   Because in order to graduate from high school and be accepted at a college, theyve only been required to know.. What?

No one should receive a diploma and move forward until they master respect for other human beings.

Im all for testing students..   But we need to change the tests, the standards, and what it takes to pass..

Think Fest on Memory. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Coming soon.. But let me get some notes down before they disappear:

-every experience is instantaneously memory.
-for teens/adults..  Some memories surface on their own; others can only, will only, surface with a key

Key = picture, object, aroma, word, part of a name.. Etc.

Is there access (key) to every single memory?   Of the memories we never recall.. (Who would have time? You'd re-live your entire life, -write); do they go dormant/stored.. Or disappear? ..die..

-even with pictures.. Or memory access keys of any kind..  Our memories from infancy/toddler years can't seem to be accessed..

Our own birth, first steps.. Long list.    -obviously something needs to develop first.. A platform of some sort, storage.. Before memories can be stored AND accessed vs. Just stored..

With every memory there is associated stimuli..  We can only be conscious of one thought/memory at a time when we share them..

So.. When one memory has a multitude of associations.. They line up single file in order to be communicated; but not chronologically..  How?  (I.e,  consider multiple visits to the same zoo, with different people at different times..   Retell.)

More later..  

Speaking of delicious books!... By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Just getting started, but WOW already..
You know how i end up with books to read, write.  Never from a list.. God no.  Or from a flap..   My goodness if i believed that.. Every single book i pick up is a masterpiece of some sort or another..

I let them arrive.. They all arrive at different times; for different reasons..  But more often than not, turns out it is just the write book at just the write time..

This one: people of the book..

This is the result of a conversation i had with a customer whose daughter was getting married soon..

Upon inquiring i learned that the theme for the upcoming wedding was LITERARY!   Oh, she mentioned some of the coolest ideas they were using...  Old books and library cards with due date stamps for the invitations..  At mere mention my imagination soared..

She promised to bring back some pictures..

And somewhere along our conversation she mentioned being a librarian, i believe..   For young children..  Then we talked books.. And she almost apologetically mentioned that she was mostly familiar with childrens books.. Young adult.. 

But then talked with passion about this one..  People of the book..  Maybe that was the last adult book she remembered reading? I cant remember

But her testimony inspired my next visit to the library..  And all i can say now is, "thank you!"

How To Eat A Book. A poem by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

No napkins.
No silverware.
No pretty plates.

No table.
No chair.
Hands all over your date.

Throw manners outside.
And eat with a grin

Let the secret sauce words
Drip down your chin

Mmmm.  Delicious!    ...reading...

Drink some for breakfast
Pack some for lunch
Bite so hard at dinner we hear the crunch..

   -dont forget to save room for dessert.

Bite size paragraphs before you close your eyes
Dream to digest
Wake more alive

Eat some raw.  Eat some cooked.
Skip those vegetables and eat your books!

Key words for (me!) Sandra, tvgp

In Galations 5:1

My previous addictions/strongholds..  Variety of things i was once slave to

They are no more.

They are already well documented so i wont bother to repeat them here.  What is worth repeating is that i have been set free.

Not just set free from the variety of strongholds themselves; but also free from any guilt, self-hate, self-disappointment, once associated with..

Truth does set you free.  "Thank you Jesus!"

I am highly confident that even under enormous trauma or stress, i would not return to any past negative addictive thoughts or behaviors.    Having tasted freedom..  Nothing is worth returning to for comfort

Outside of prayer.

I feel enormously blessed to know this experience.  Slave to freedom.

And it fascinates me..  The use of the word -again- in Galations 5:1.

For me.. It speaks to the idea that it is/was a foregone conclusion.. That at some point, everyone will/would be in fact a slave to something..

In modern times..  What a long potential list, huh

Slave to money; drugs; opinion of others, self-doubt, alcohol, porn, status, schedules, cosmetic surgeries/procedures, fame/popularity..

Add on at will.

But Good God is it a beautiful thing to break free..

So... This passage is very impactful to me: is FOR FREEDOM that Christ set us free...

This also makes me very curious..   In the population at large.. Among the seculars, atheists, and anyone outside of Christianity

Who has lived out this experience:   slave to (variable), and now entirely free

Who or what do you credit with the how...

Are there people who believe they accomplish this on their own?