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, 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..

Done.

DONE

DONE!

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:   ..it 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?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"CONGRATULATIONS!!" To (nicole tsuno!) & (maya lyubomirsky!)

Pleasanton's two new teen poet laureates..  Having served on the selection committee panel, I can attest:  Remarkable young women, talented writers.

-look forward to your individual contributions and our future collaborations..  A toast!  "To ambassadors for the literary arts!".   Blessings!

Left to write: (me!) Sandra Harrison Kay, Pleasanton Poet Laureate 2013-2015; Maya Lyubomirsky, Foothill High School, Nicole Tsuno, Amador High School -Teen Poet Laureates 2014-2015, Julie Finegan, Visual and Literary Arts Coordinator, Firehouse Art Center/City of Pleasanton.    City Council Meeting 10/21/2014.

The Heart Seen.. In my scabs.. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

.. What happen here was I was holding the golf club all wrong..  Chance to redeem myself today...

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

If I get to chit chattin' with the customers at the register, chances are pretty high these days /having blogged for almost ten years..

that eventually they'll say something that serves as a memory trigger for one of my posts

Several times in the past month or so.. Someone will say something and I'm like, "oh! I've gotta story for you..". Then I handwrite the address of my blog on scratch paper and what word or phrase they should type in the the search bar

Most recently (which will help explain my re-posts of older blogs) a woman at the register mentioned working at heritage estates..

[Ding.. Ding.. Ding...]

(Me!):  "did you say heritage estates? .. Here in Livermore?  Oh.. I know heritage estates..  I played the flute there...

/and I slowed down on the delivery of the rest of this story on purpose:

Yes.  -twinkle, twinkle, little star.   True story.

Mmm hmm.   I was in my 40's.

I thought maybe during my divorce instead of drugs and alcohol that maybe I should learn to play the flute.

I had never played an instrument as a child.. Or learned to read music or anything..   Yeah..  So that was one of my big flute debuts..

With Bernie Burke..   Twinkle, twinkle little star at the heritage estates."  (I could feel my face blushing some; you never know who will find it amusing and who will find it.. Stupid)

The man behind the woman at the register, he was listening too.  -had no choice really.  And he goes, 'I think you should have done drugs instead'

I had to laugh at that one.  "Yes," I said with a smile.."I believe that was indeed the consensus after my big performance"

And they laughed back.

***     ***

But..  Heritage estates! I also have the story about rescuing midnight in the garden of good and evil..

-so I wrote that down for her too..   You have to enter that in the search bar "garden of good and evil"

***

The upshot of our exchange might result in me teaching another one of my "must love blogs" classes at heritage estates.  -help these remarkable seniors capture their memories for family and friends; who knows how many strangers.  I certainly encourage it..

Think always.. What I wouldn't give to read from the journals of my great grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles..etc.

Especially the feeling of reading a memory book by my grandma.. Completely glued to every word..

But there was ONLY THREE PAGES!?!?   Then she stopped.  Oh! I still ache over it.

***

Anyway..  Ordered some business cards yesterday.  I finally tired of handwriting SHEsaysWITHaSMILE.blogspot.com.   in search bar, enter (variable) here.

-soon I will only write what to type in the search bar...

Sex appeal.

Seattle

Shady characters.

Sweetest kid in america.

69.

Cigarettes.

Quantum butter fly's

Robin Williams

Maya Angelou

Jeanette walls

Earthquake

Imaginary conversation

Paul McCartney

Embarrassing

Math

Money, money, money

...long list...

But not every story/post would interest every person.. So it works out kind of cool to direct people only to posts relevant to a conversation we've had..     Like the gentleman I met at the aquatic center who worked for the government on the census bureau

"Census bureau?!...  Why you might be the only person I've ever met who might actually appreciate my poem:  census of a different kind..    You just type that in the search bar.. Census.

Add that to my "21 reasons I love to blog".  Which is now at about 213 reasons...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BERNIE, MOZART & (me!) by sandra, ttgp

original post: 12/18/2006 thanks jim! i've finally added a photo.

thanks frank! -for the photo to add and moral support

and thank you bernie! my wonderful music teacher, for creating a memory i'm thrilled to share.


***


and now just look at me will ya.. i hardly recognize me myself!
i've been secretly taking flute lessons for only a few weeks (right bernie)

(i asked him to say only a couple weeks, so my twink

le, twink

-kle

lit, li,

ttle star would sound more impressive, but turns out he is as honest as he is patient and kind. darn it! anyway)

every single aspect of this experience is new to me. prior to signing up for lessons i had
a) never seen a flute close up
b) never held one
c) never put one together or took one apart
d) never cleaned a flute and put it inside it's case
e) never read music
f) never played a note
g) never played a musical instrument of any kind, anytime.. save only "chopsticks" as taught to me by my big brother on my grandma's organ about 35 years ago.

but i've been experimenting with proactively adding new brain pathways; dilutting old and yucky pathways and guess what?

it works! learning something new, i'm convinced, has an even greater impact than an antidepressant, lasts longer AND -offers like, five times the ongoing reward.

and how did i pick the flute? i can only say i responded to the results of my automatic listening/writing sessions and then went out and purchased a used flute. pre-owned; whatever. (and a tambourine).

anyway

how did i find bernie? i can only say here, and i believe quite fully, he was god selected and heaven sent.

having experienced his opposite in other areas of life, i know that without bernie's (specifically bernie's) incredible patience, joy, encouragement, kind and thoughtfulness, plus enthusiasm

i would have quit or never started. but in fact, under his care and guidance, i kept on even when i fell behind in practice and had to miss a few lessons and

ultimately succeeded in participating in my first recital with him and his many other lucky students, playing none other than who? mozart! and successfully surprised the heck out of my daughter, son and nephew (and myself for that matter).

and what a trick.. to learn this entirely new language. to read music for the first time. to create fingering charts and learn which fingers go where and then breathe

breathe, breathe, breathe, (tu, tu, tu) to make sounds. -so challenging, frustrating

and exciting!

and now, i've been thinkin' about how i succeeded a couple years ago at finishing my first half marathon. -very, very slow. but i finished

and then after the big nike race, the men in tuxedo's with the tiffany necklaces, and the bright blue finishers t-shirt w/the golden gate bridge and nike logo

i pretty much put my tennis shoes away. i've not been motivated since

but i think the flute experience might be very different from the running experience.

i just want to learn more, practice more, learn a new song

when i look outside at this cold winter weather, i have no desire to go out for a walk or jog

but look lovingly upon my new instrument.

we keep each other warm and hopeful.

and my master plan is working too because after school today i made music with my children.

and what better way to celebrate the season?

so i was the first one up, and the only 40 year old as you will see now that i can post pictures with such ease

and didn't every single one of these elementary through highschool kids do an outstanding job performing their music. such a variety of instruments, skill levels and songs

but everyone of us infected with bernie's contagious hope and joy of music.

and to my great pleasure and big surprise, bernie and all his students invited me to join them again when they play in 2007 at pier 39

their generosity is my motivation.

practice. practice. practice.

and can't close w/out a thank you to the two beautiful middle school flautist girls who helped me out in the very unfamiliar, noisy & crowded tune up room. -you were terrific!

I'M A MEAN, MEAN, MOMMY (me!) sandra, ttgp

original post: 05/23/2007:

thank you to bernie berke, the most patient music instructor in all the milky way galaxy, i
survived my second flute recital at heritage estates in livermore.

"i don't want to go!" my son pleaded, "please don't make me go!"

surprised the shit out of myself when i so quickly sat him down and had a little talk

"i want you to know i was married before i married your father.. and i divorced him too..
want to know why?"

did not wait for answer

"because i supported him in everything he did, but he didn't support me back; that's why!

(direct eye contact/serious voice) ..and now, i go to your practices, and your games, and your school plays, and help in your classroom, and guess what..

you can give me an hour. -support is a two way street mister! -not, i do everything for you, and you do nothing for me (hear song playing? .. me too..)

and i want you to think about two things

one: what it would feel like if when you told me you were in the school play, i said,
"that's nice. have fun."

-and i was gonna yield a break, by letting him sit in the back and leave the recital early

but followed that up with

"and two: think about what it would feel like if when it was your turn to get up on stage and say your lines, people got up and left?"

and the upshot, is that he went.. stayed for the whole thing, along with my daughter, mom and family friend, sue. accidentally enjoyed himself.

and we were treated to a variety of excellent live music performed by outstanding young musicians playing a variety of instruments

-no place i'd rather be on a sunday afternoon ")

and i've just thought so much about that conversation with my son..

he'll make a great husband one day

"but remember.." i tell my children. "marriage is not mandatory. -one of many options."

The fully evolved human being by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Sometimes my notes are born from the process of elimination.  -the other day, I was trying to get from here to there and had to ask a stranger for directions..  He was kind, informative, and as it turns out; accurate.  But while he provided great direction..  He simultaneously blew cigarette smoke in my face.. It was unconscious I'm sure,

But it occurred to me:  a fully evolved human being will be free from any and all addictions.

And as I drove from here to there..  I was cut off by a speeder who was zipping in and out of traffic putting who knows how many people at risk..

A fully evolved human being might not be a perfect-all-the-time driver, but would always care about the safety of others. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

I Corinthians 15:44 interpretation by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Per last post:  ..it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body..

Where the Bible refers to 'perishable'
I believe this to = our physical body.
'Imperishable' = our spirit.

For people who have had out of body experiences; being able to see, hear and travel without the aid of our human physical body (host or container)  -for us, there is no doubt we have a spirit living INSIDE a body..   And we know the spirit can exist separate from... So,  it only makes sense that when the physical body dies..  There is an opportunity for the spirit to live on.

So, I ponder it.. I think on it.. When face to face with the physical toll Alzheimer's or Parkinson's or other illnesses of the physical body and mind..      When you can no longer communicate with the person; reaching their spirit with words or gestures..

What the spirit knows anyway?  And does it sometimes leave permanently before the physical body dies?   I don't know of course..  What I sure think though..  Is that when people die..  Especially who suffer diseases as the ones I've mentioned..   Part of me aches at the loss while another part of me smiles and knows..  "Your spirit has been set free...".  -and I think.. Doesn't now know peace; but BECOMES peace.

Peace is a spirit after all, isn't it. 

Heaven is for real. As seen by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Wonderful book. Good movie.. Not without its questions, mysteries and holes; easy to puncture.   As i have personally had an out of body experience i dont question the validity of this. In my experience i left my body but did not visit heaven, i only hovered temporarily to the side.   But.. THAT is the part of us i believe goes to heaven and lives on.  Not our physical bodies, which only serve as a host.   The part of colton that left his body during surgery..   That part.. Let us call it our spirit; that is what I believe has an opportunity to exist eternally; to "see" Jesus..  Experience Heaven.. Others..      And I'm certain I've read a passage in the bible which suggests this also..  Will return here when I re-find it.

The perfect analogy! To (me!) Sandra, tvgp

..to a closed mind.

K, follow along:  if im repeating myself.. So be it.  So be it:

In order for me to post a picture to my blog from my phone

FIRST.. My blog must be opened.

Then i have to go to my gallery of photos; select and upload.

IF my blog is not already opened..  I can click on a picture in my gallery one thousand times and nothing happens.  BLOG MUST BE OPENED FIRST; PERIOD.  ..no go arounds..

And it occurred to me..  That is very much like a person with a closed mind..

Im sure youve talked to one before and know what i mean..

If a persons mind is closed..  You can talk and talk and make all the perfect sense in the world..   But nothing happens.  You are literally wasting your time, breath and energy; period... No go arounds.

You must first seek to open the mind.. 

Then at least you stand a chance to upload new information.

How do we open closed minds?   It has been done...

No place to go... For (me!) Sandra, tvgp

What is? Wonders (me!) Sandra, tvgp

That which cannot be undone. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

    -coming soon..  as I have time to write it:  a belated concession to warren buffett.

***

Makin' time write now:

K,  -one time long ago I was watching my charlie rose (hey, did i ever tell you about the time i got to meet and kiss charlie rose on the neck?)

"Yes. About 200 times already."

Anyway then.. He was interviewing warren buffett. And during this wonderful commercial free conversation (vs. Interrogation/exploitation), at the round oak table.. Warren said something about 'never doing ANYTHING you wouldnt want seen on the front page of an international newspaper the next day."

/i threw in the all caps and 'international..'

K..  At the time, it raced through my mind.. I do mean raced. -the gazzillion things ive said, thought and/or done that i certainly would not want seen on the front page of an international newspaper

Or even a national newspaper..

Or even a neighborhood newspaper...

Or even just family correspondence...

Or even just my very own diary.  Not even there!

But then it also raced through my mind... All i had learned; how i had grown..  How once you fast forward..  I knew (know) there were things i had done, i would not do again..

And i had to stop and ask..  "What if i had never done them at all?"

What if my entire life were G rated?   -because if you are sensitive to having anything you do that's say R or X-rated..  Or just S for stupid, or TI for terribly immature...   Or NATT for naive at the time....

If you are sensitive to that kind of thing in todays world -where so much can be hacked, shared, manipulated, confiscated, exploited,

You are doomed.

So that seems the choice to me.  Privacy is no more.

You live G rated lives from the womb to the heavens (seems it would improve your chances at the pearly gates doesnt it)

Or, you desensitize yourself to the outcome of the public at large having access to your actual otherwise private life.

Im just certain this is altering behavior; but for the better or worse i wont pretend to know..

What i do know.. Is that there is a large percentage of the population who are not conscious of the fact   -of the potential for their otherwise private experiences to become public..

And i am aware there is a certain population thrilled to exploit it..

And there are still others who enjoy manipulating it so that for attention, publicity, etc. Aim to make it look like their private experiences were 'accidentally' made public, when that was the intention all along..

But.. The main thing im inspired to do write now, is change my mind.

Because i remember responding to warren buffett with quite an animated "what kind of pathetic, boring, g-rated existence...

Like, that would so stifle your growth.. Abort important lessons.."

And now, i think..  You know what warren

You were write.

I just ache inside when i recall my teenage, and young adult years..

And then picture that...

And see todays teenagers, young adults with immediate, convenient, easy access to everything..

And everything recorded..

It at least seems important to frequently remind:  "everything you say and do   

Can and will most likely be

One day

Used against you.

Please dont say or do ANYTHING you wouldnt want seen on the cover of an international newspaper the next day."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How Prayer Evolves. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

-that's silly from the start because it is not prayer that evolves; people evolve, and it can be seen through their prayers.

I'm not telling you anything original here, just validating.  And it appears the two most pronounced ways people evolve which can be seen through prayer is this:

On the way:  "please bless me"
Arrived:  "how can I bless others."

On the way: "make (variable) go away."
Arrived: "please give me the strength to endure and/or conquer"

In Jesus name,  amen.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Public "thank you!" To unknown from (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Dear unknown kind person.. "Thank you!!".  I feel as if I was divinely guided to circle around and drive by those golf clubs next to the handwritten 'free stuff' paper sign.  " FREE?" I said to myself, "that's my favorite price!".    I said thank you to the sky in case it might reach you and then carried them to my writeousmom-mobile half concerned someone might  come running after me yellin' " STOP! THIEF!  ..  those are mine..."

You never know these days; so many divorces and all..  Maybe one spouse got pissed off at the other spouse.. And just put the others spouses shit out on the sidewalk with a FREE SIGN on it..

I've seen much worse..

But.. Upon examination..  All the dust, yellow, stringy, mildewy, spiderweb-like adhesive that was stuck all around the bag..  And the rust on the clubs themselves..

Seem safe to guess they just hadn't been used in years; were buried under who knows what in a basement which  -perhaps inspired by a sudden move, or particularly influential episode of hoarders.. Was now being cleaned, decluttered and organized.  I don't know.. I just excel at projecting..

Anyway.. "The timing!".  Here I've been on like,  3 hot dates now, with who I affectionately, sarcastically refer to as husband #3, at the golf range hitting buckets of balls with HIS clubs..

Now..  God being the creative choreographer he is..  " I have my very own!"

I took the bag this very morning to the AM/PM station where they have a supersonic vacuum for 4 quarters..   So, if anyone is keeping track.. My free golf clubs are now $1.

I vacuumed best I could..   Let me just say they did not come out 'looking bran new'.   So I took them to the dry cleaners where they explained the bag would not fit in their machine...   My best bet is the car cleaners where they professionally detail cars..  But that has to wait because I was only like, a football field away (see how naturally sports related things roll of my tongue now..) From the golf range.. So..

Today I paid $7 two times for what amounted to "120!" Balls.

And I'd like very much to tell you that I hit all 120 balls..

I did in fact swing at all 120 balls..

And in conclusion I would like to tell you the same thing I told the man at the register -twice- who gave me change for my $20.  /he was hard of hearing:

"I've never enjoyed sucking at something so much in my whole life."

"IVE... NEVER ENJOYED SUCKING AT SOMETHING SO MUCH IN MY WHOLE LIFE.."

And I couldn't have been there today without you; unknown kind person..







Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Heart Seen.. While unwrapping product.. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Embarrassing moment #79642 for (me!) Sandra, tvgp

K..  I'm going to put you in the same situation I was in.  I'm going to list the names of items I was unpacking..  And you tell me if one stands out as not belonging, k.  Here we go:

Apple corer
Cheese slicer
Garlic chopper
Lemon saver
Ceramic peeler
Pasta spoon
Wine server
Screw cap opener

Dear Joyce Meyer.. From (me!) Sandra, tvgp

-been watching you for years...  I am a student of yours for life..  Love you, respect you, admire you..  Blah, blah..  Let me cut to the chase:

Today you spoke/taught again about ..  Staying somewhere even when you don't like it..  How, sometimes you are suppose to stay and stick it out even when you are very tempted to leave..

How, even if you are pulling out your hair.. Thinking "I can't take this anymore!".  And wanting to run...

You should stay.  God may be using that person or situation to grow you..

I get it.

But I am very curious STILL..   When you found yourself in a preschool classroom.. Working with toddlers..  You said " I lasted three days"

And then you ran.

You describe yourself as 'not anointed' for that position.

What criteria are you using when deciding when to flee.. When to stay and work it out?

I will take my answer off the air.  Yes.  If you could leave it in comments..  "Thank you!"

In Jesus name, amen.

Learning how and when to lie. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Honest to a fault.  -it fits me.  I've mentioned before.. My honesty is not born from morality or righteousness.  It is because I do not have, have not properly developed, what I consider a very important life skill.

I am not however 100% honest.. Its just that necessary lies, that come quickly, easily, and naturally to others..

They come to me very slowly, painfully, awkward..

I thought of this again when a customer came into the store.. A beautiful young woman who by appearance and behavior, I knew had down syndrome..  Or something on the spectrum thereof..

Entirely delightful to talk to, but I realized quickly she had absolutely no understanding about the value of money..

(Mine I would describe as limited).

She purchased an item which cost under $10, but when handing me a $20 bill, was not sure whether that was enough to cover the cost.

I let her know it was..  And provided her correct change.   She took my picture.. And I shared with her some of my found heart photographs..  

Anyway..  The way life is..   Even if you don't know something, you are not supposed to let people know.. That you don't know..

-write.

How easily someone could take advantage of that situation!

"No..  1 $20 bill won't cover it..   You'll need three of those.."

And she would never know.

She has to depend on the honesty and good nature of others; period.

Me too.   (See my green mile cable man story).

Maybe not to the same degree.. But to some degree for sure.

Because I realize this is true..  I've learned to ask a lot of questions and double check with people I know and love and trust..

"Is this one of those areas where its common for people to lie?"

And when the answer is yes..   Lie I do.   But I am terrible at it!

And the very word..  'Honest' can trigger a million memories in my own life..

The essense of them all the same formula:

"Sandra..  Why did you say that? (Or write that..  Or share that..)?!"

(Me!):  "because that's what happen.."

Them: "don't you know you're not supposed to share that even if..."

And mainly the reason not to share something true is because I can get taken advantage of..  to spare myself harm or embarrassment..

So even though by first appearance or behavior you might not peg me as having down syndrome

I function in life much the same way.  I have to count on the honesty and good nature of others; period.

Well,  and trust in God.    -he seemed to know we'd all lie at one point or another; or tell the truth when we weren't supposed to..

And didnt he devise the most brilliant plan for dealing with such matters..

Forgiveness.   Love.

What amazing concepts.  Thank you for coming up with those..

In Jesus name, -amen.

The Heart Seen.. In our large, hot n' salty, delicious french fries from mcdonalds

Pairs well with their 'I'm lovin' it' marketing campaign.

Absence of pretense. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I was telling my daughter about a lovely couple who came into the store. They were visiting from Palo alto..  -  I'm going to skip large parts of our conversation to jump here:  back in conversation with my daughter

"I told them maybe you might end up at Stanford..  -and they both go there now..  And I'm mad at myself for not asking what they were studying..  But they seemed to really like Stanford..  And then mentioned 'a bit of pretense on campus.. But it could be overcome'

My daughter asked what that meant..  Pretense.

I explained it as a euphemism for snob..  Superiority complex..  -people who think they're better than..

And then we talked about a variety of other things.. But!  I've been thinking about that ever sense..

I'm always working behind the scenes figuring out what it means to be a fully evolved human being.   I have already concluded such a person would be a humanitarian..

But the other thing I am quite, very, certain about:

A fully evolved human being would not be pretentious. 

A fully evolved human being would not suffer from either inferior or superior complexes; relative to anyone else of any status or education or income.

A fully evolved human being recognizes each human being on the  planet has the same intrinsic value as.. A human being.  None of us created ourselves.. We were created with a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses and are born for and from love.

I know

That a fully evolved human being would be humble; not pretentious.

Most people know this intuitively

But I wonder...

Could it be proven in a court of law? Scientifically?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

THE POINT by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

This is my imaginary conversation with a real man who wrote in to a magazine asking whether something was wrong with him if when he read about a woman being raped, he became aroused.

Our conversation takes place in a kitchen.

"See this knife?  Tuesday night it was used by a psychopath who stabbed a pregnant woman to death with it.

But monday night it was used to cut the best beef in the market which was cooked to perfection and fed an entire family one of the greatest meals of their life

When you look at the knife..  Does it make you hungry?

***

Conquer the world with " kindness...  Kindness..."

***

Let me try again...

*****

See this delicious meal?  The appearance and aroma so enticing it re-creates an appetite in a completely stuffed human being..  

Inside however, poison has been planted and whoever eats the meal will grow very sick and die.

Even if you KNOW their is poison inside..  Your brain's first/default response will be to the sight of the meal..  And you might in fact salivate

But this is NO indication you are a bad person.. It is just a biological response; common

You are not your brain..  You are not your biological responses; you can observe them..   Steer them... Educate them..

So,  look again at the meal..  Compare your biological response with knowledge it has poison inside

You might in fact salivate.. But you can and should ignore that/dismiss that..  Biological

What you ultimately respond to is your knowledge.

If the knowledge that the knife, in the first scenario, was used to murder a pregnant woman..

And the knowledge that meal contains poison..

If those two things arouse you..

Please do us all a favor and jump off a bridge.

Fulghum is write on! Says (me!) Sandra, tvgp

The Heart Seen... In my peanut butter!.....

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Heart Seen.. In Squidmann & Spike's backyard!

    Apparently the moles are in love with their backyard.. Im told there are several more piles..  "Thank you!" Melinda.. Great shot!

The Heart Seen... In my Pirate's Booty...

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The heart seen.. As oil dripped from foil.. By (carla graci!)

The heart seen.. While unpacking boxes.. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

The heart seen.. On the "holy bowl" by (keeshie!)

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

wild. -book review of a different kind, by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

We spend the first part of our lives figuring out our default systems: we learn via experience, this type of movie (or book or situation or whatever) makes me cry; this type makes me laugh, this type makes me scared, this type makes me horny, this type makes me bored.. On and on, etc. Etc.   -and then once you understand/know what stimuli = what result...  Then you get to CHOOSE! 

Want to laugh?  Want to cry?  Feel like being scared and hypervigilant for several hours or days?   For actual life.. We cant always choose... But for books and movies and various forms of voluntary entertainment we certainly can..

And the older and wiser you get..  The more selective you become about just how exactly you want to invest your irretrievable precious time -based on the result.

And all of that is just so i can say how glad i am; elated, really, that i didnt know a single thing about this book, wild, except that it was good.

Testimony was provided by more than one guest when i worked at the marriott..  I always paid attention to what book was in whose hand..  And i saw more than one copy of wild float by the front desk..

I made a mental note to check it out for myself, but then forgot.. Changed jobs..  Moved..  Shift here, settle in there..

And if not for my sage friend catherine just reading it and passing it on to me..   Probably i would have never remembered on my own..

And! Had she mentioned i would cry..   I most definitely would have passed. I mean..  I cry sometimes because life demands it..  But its not my favorite state of mind, and why volunteer my otherwise happy hours to voluntary crying? 

So my book review is as follows:  you will cry. And her memoir is worth it.  Pay whatever the book costs.. Invest also in a box of tissue, plant yourself somewhere..  Anywhere..  And read.

It is not a sob story for the duration.. Just in very valid, very necessary parts

It is as well organized as eat, love, pray..   Not anything like it.. I compare it only for how well organized, because real life is so messy; this skill fascinates me to no end

And the two authors.. Cheryl strayed and elizabeth gilbert -they both take you on two simultaneous journeys: one physical; real world, and the other spiritual; super natural..

Here are a couple other things you'll need to pack before you start reading, in addition to tissue..

Toenail clippers.  I noticed after several chapters i randomly went upstairs to the bathroom and just..  I just had the sudden unstoppable urge to trim my toenails.  - and then..  I called a local salon and scheduled a pedicure.

I also set the book down one time.. And just out of nowhere.. I decided to take a long hot shower..  I shampooed my hair twice.. And shaved everywhere else three times..

You will also want to have a variety of beverages nearby..  This story will make you very thirsty

For more!   -more, more, more...

I cant remember how long its been since i held a memoir this  good.  But it is worthy to live on the same shelf with the greats:  Dr Maya Angelou, elizabeth gilbert, jeanette walls, anne lamott,...

"You are awesome! Cheryl Strayed!".   -congratulations!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Friday, October 03, 2014

Awe & Wonder. For (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Another moment of awe & wonder: went down like this...   -had a day dream; Jesus asked me if I would put my life down for my children..  I answered with an unequivocal yes before he finished with, 'if you knew it meant they would have a better life'

-my mind raced with lives of people who lost a parent early.. And were inspired to live well FOR the deceased parent..  -knowing what the parent would have wanted..

Not a child defeated by grief.. Turning to drugs, alcohol, -living in depression, unable to cope..

But a child who grieved healthily (new adverb for you..)..

And moved forward.. Feeling the spiritual presence of their deceased parent as a guardian angel..  And going on to do great things..

My mind leaped, skipped.. Fast-forward.. Through the narrative I just described..

Jesus repeats the question..  

I say, "well, I sure don't want to leave here early..  But yes, of course, I would die for my children.. I would give my life, especially knowing theirs would be better if..

K

Just a random day dream..  

Followed by this:   when I open my journal to write the poem that I just wrote called beauty (which I was divinely inspired to write)

I opened to this page:  the one with this passage:

" as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.". Isaiah 66:13.

So, I instaneously went like, "oh! Of course..  YOU DIED for US! ALL of US!  -knowing we would have a better life if...

And I don't know the passage by memory; but I do know by heart:

That there is a passage in the bible where Jesus talks about humanity being better off if he goes..

And something about the holy spirit..

I'll have to look it up...  But! Honestly..  I have no choice but to catalog and share these spiritual experiences best I can..

In Jesus very mysterious name I say..  Wow and amen! 

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Aww, The Heart Seen.. In my salame...

...look at those two cute little hearts..   Columbus/San francisco

Beauty. A poem by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Black or white
Behavior is
It's ugly or it's beautiful

Black or white
Intentions are
Selfish-dark or musical

Black or white
Our motivations
   -though circumstances gray

May beauty over take you today

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Just B Wear...clothing line for writers by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

"What do you mean 'I have no pride?'.  -I'm wearing the school colors aren't I..."