Friday, January 30, 2015

Thoughts i keep to myself. (Me!) Sandra, tvgp

Thoughts I keep to myself..  And later share here.  In the name of manners... In the name manners..   -because I keep time and place as factors..     It is not always the write time, the write place, or even the write person..

I just smiled.

My customer on this occasion was a scientist.  -how my conversations with people start, and where they travel in concentrated amounts of time is a beautiful mystery to me..

But in a short time I learn 1. She is a scientist. (You know my love for scientists!) 2.  Someone close to her is dying; in the final stages of their life...    

I always ask, "are you a woman of faith?"

Scientist says (I dont make these things up...   These are things I Really hear people say...)

Scientist says to (me!):   "I know too much to believe in God."


sometimes the best possible response is just to repeat back exactly what you just heard.. So they can hopefully hear themselves..

So I said back, "You Know Too Much To Believe In God."

and I just smiled.    -that was it.    I refrained you see from telling her how her head was morphing into a grasshopper's head in my imagination as she stood before me..

I refrained from sarcastically saying.. "Really now.. You.  A mere human being..  Here as a brief mist..   You.   You know too much..

You know why human beings exist? Galaxies? Why we are the size we are relative to the unknown universe?  Why now? Relative to time and space? .. You know why we suffer? Love? Forgive? Get stuck? Evolve?   

I could go on..   But..  Maybe God will allow our paths to cross again..

I find myself very intrigued by people who know so much it prevents them from believing in



recommended reading: Isaiah 40.    -amen.

Super Soul Sundays with (oprah!) & (guests) as seen by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I am a fan.

I watch the super soul Sunday Interviews; master class episodes, etc.   I am perpetually on the look out for fully evolved human beings; survivors; thrivers; humanitarians..  I am fascinated by how people live, and internally explain to themselves; or at least wrestle with the big questions life presents..   I'm grateful to people who share their experiences/thoughts with the public..

Which allows me to learn.. Discern..  Grow...

My (self imposed, hobby.. Creating a master thesis for what characteristics make up a fully evolved human being.).

Has me listening with great energy; my attention undivided, to the true life stories of people succeeding in life; ever aware everything is an interpretation..  Everyone is in process..

My favorite Interview to date is with Diana nyad.  Two parts.  The only one I will invest time to rewatch multiple times..  

My criteria for being a 'fully evolved human being' is   -my opinion.  Based on my own life experiences and observations..

A short list/brief idea looks like:

Fully evolved human being IS a humanitarian.
-has no addictions; free from hate while seeking justice;
-filled with love, passion,
-is superior or inferior to no one; understands/appreciates the unique value, gifts, talents, strengths, weaknesses, of each human being is in fact unique for good reason; higher purpose..
-has mastered their ego and moods..

The list is much longer, but..  That Diana nyad..  I regard her as pretty well evolved human being...

I repeat here,  although I am a Christian myself..  Being a Christian is not part of my criteria..  Being a humanitarian IS.   Diana nyad is self described as an atheist.  

It remains my greatest concern; technology out evolving human beings.   -not that robots will take over..  Not that way..

But rather, we invest enormous amounts of time, money, resources, etc. Into evolving technological machines

While such large populations of humans remain stuck.  -in self loathing; hate; deceitful cultural lies; Insecurities; unexplored potential; selfishness; greed; unnecessary addictions..  Another long list..

I'm inspired to bring this all up again having watched the Interview with panache Desai..

I will return when time allows to respond to this Interview

Specifically to his Interpretation that "we are not broken.. We don't need fixing"




I cannot respond to panache in the secular (or, actually I could, but am choosing here not to) -I speak through the lens of a Christian here

Dear panache.. To the extent you spread love.. Speak of love.. Walk in love.. Remind people they are born from; made with; and belong to love..    I thank you.

To the extent you remind people they are magnificent..  Thank you.

It is when you said, "we are not broken.. We don't fixed".  And " being available to every experience, emotion, -not stuffing them..".  /I paraphrase..

It is to those ideas I must respond:

First.. Let me give my interpretation of broken as it applies to human beings (not objects..although great analogy)

Broken = living outside of optimal mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, (etc.) health.  -as It applies to individuals, families,cultures, systems..


Where we have human trafficking:   broken.
Where we have high (any) rate of suicides:  broken.
Where we have exploitation of children: broken; women; broken..   Anyone who is participating in exploiting another:  -broken.

Anyone with an addiction of Any kind (food, sex, money, status, attention, power, drugs):  broken.

Where there is high incarceration rates:  -broken.

Where there is violence, crime, abuse, bullying, blackmail, gangs, poverty, hunger:  broken, broken, broken, broken, broken, broken, broken, broken...

and in desperate need of fixing.

Here is where my experience, observations as a Christian fill me with enormous amounts of hope and joy and faith..

If we use the analogy of an object.. A broken vase, for example

Let's say we have a beautiful vase in perfect condition.  And then it falls and breaks.

Someone repairs it with glue.   It can be said, it is repaired; but it has not, in fact, -cannot- be repaired to the point that it is exactly as it was before it was broken.

but it is my experience and observation that when broken people (as mentioned above.. With addictions, etc)  give their lives over to God..

Not only does God repair, restore..  But people can become even more beautiful; even STRONGER! -than if they were ever whole and never fell or were never broken...

I love when I hear Joyce Meyer say, "there is no pit too deep that God can't reach in and save you.."

I'm living testimony.

It appears to me.. The saying is true: we were made to be broken.

We have to be able to recognize this truth; when we are living broken lives; or contributing to broken systems..  In order to surrender to the love that can and will repair us.. To an even greater level of health and well being.

I cannot close without mentioning where I believe your words are entirely accurate though panache, when you say "you are not broken; you do not need repaired.."

-because I live in a culture which convinces young girls, teens, women, females in general.. That they are nothing unless..

They weigh a certain weight.
Look a certain way.
Own a certain this or that..

When I hear about cosmetic surgeries.. Eating disorders.. Preoccupations, insecurities..self loathing..

These ARE the people that most need exposure to what you say:

You are not broken.. You are living in a broken culture with broken values and responding to lies.   You are a beautiful masterpiece of a human being; as is..

But YOU!  You who constantly comment about physical appearance.. Who see a sensitive and insecure person.. And exploit consciously.  -making them to feel less than and unworthy unless..

Woe be to you...  You are the very broken one.  I pray you let God get a tight hold of you...

In Jesus name,   -amen.


Wait.. not quite done.  I need also to respond panache to what you said about 'not stuffing' and 'being available to every experience'

Specifically.. Anger.

As a person who has been on the receiving/absorbing end of other peoples anger..

The anger of an abusive alcoholic..
The anger of a rapist..
The anger of bullies..
The anger of jealous people..
The anger of people just unhappy and dissatisfied with their lot in life..
The anger of people under self-imposed stress..
The anger of people under unexpected, life imposed stress..

The anger of a large number and long line of people who have not learned how to recognze,handle, manage, process, understand and tame their emotions or anger..

To know from experience and observation the incalculable quantity and intensity and frequency of anger which gets directed toward and absorbed by innocent bystanders..

I would caution here that we don't all just 'be available to every experience and emotion'

Unless you mean that we are available to recognizing; and then evaluating.. And then considering the consequences of, potential impact on..  Etc.  Of releasing our impulsive reactions..

There are thought processes and considerations that should take place before we DECIDE whether or not to honor and release emotions..

There are distinctions to be made between an unhealthy counter productive stuffing of emotion vs. A healthy and conscious decision to wait; tame; reword; revisit..

In regard to emotions:  never hold back.  Or,  always hold back.  Neither one of those should apply across the board in anyone's life..


Recognize.Think. consider. Decide.

Otherwise, how can we separate ourselves from animals?

I believe In the distinction of flesh and spirit.   And people who let every impulse of emotion out with considering the consequence and impact on others are living in the flesh..

People who evaluate, consider..    Live in the spirit.

What is the saying?  "Let your conscience be your guide."

-first you must realize you have one... -write.

This leads to long essays on the definition of and origins of human conscience...

But! I have church and the Superbowl!  Nachos and cold beer!

"Cheers!".  In Jesus name....   Amen.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Livin' like a man.. (Me!) sandra, tvgp

DAY 5; no purse.


(Me!):  " I think this is like, the 5th day I've been without my purse.  -but, like,  -where do you guys keep everything?  Where do you keep your aspirin? Your chocolate? Gum?"

Jason:   -he pulls a wallet out from his back pocket.   "If it don't fit in here.. I don't need it.".       And then he mentioned convenient stores.

Something about this.. Only as needed vs. Always on the in case appeals to me..

He wore a baseball cap; Jason.   -went on to explain how at the end of the day when he gets home,  he flips his baseball cap upside down on a table, places his wallet; keys, phone inside. Everything in one place.  Picks them up in the morning, puts them in his pocket; puts his baseball cap back on..    Heads back out in the cold, cruel world..

"I can do this!"

I'll tell you what sealed the deal.  I went to an evening meeting at the local school; hundreds of parents were there..

I looked around the room..  Everywhere there were big purses. Some women kept them the whole time over their shoulders, some women set them on the floor next to them.. Some women tucked them under the table where they were seated..

But here's the thing.  Not one woman actually  -needed- her purse.

Not in this instance, not for this meeting. It was just a show up and listen kind of deal..   Then go home.

What I realized is that all of these women.. They carried their purses from their homes, kept them in their car, lugged them from their cars into the building, set them on the floor or wherever,

Never once used or needed them..

Then lugged them back to their cars.. Transported them home.. And carried them in their house.

-when we need them, use them; that's one thing..

But how often they get lugged around out of habit alone..

Or an entire purse because you need your license?

I am determined to unbreak this habit; interrupt the pattern..

Thursday, January 22, 2015

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

-its not when I think of the place;
Or purchase a ticket to get there..

It's along the way..  Too specific to say

- your strategy to unearth and lay bare

emotions and memories that are no longer there.

A manipulated excavation

Will always come up dry

But tip my hat; I do for you

For giving it a try.

"I wanna be like a man!". (Me!) Sandra, tvgp

First I thought it; then I declared it out loud, "I wanna be like a man!"

-specifically, I wanted to stop lugging my bowling bag of a purse around everywhere I go; and just keep a tri-fold wallet in my back pocket.

The trouble started write there.  -because in yet another act of pop culture rebellion I had re-done my back pockets so that..  Well I had no back pockets on my jeans; just a slice of lace in the shape of a pocket where the pocket used to be..

I'll spare you the details, and stop here only long enough to say.. It started seeming a little pathetic to me.. how the pockets on jeans started becoming status symbols; like, instead of the pocket being directly embroidered with a $ sign and the exact gross amount spent on said pair of jeans.. the design on the pocket screamed it for you

I had to make a change.   -couple that with my disgust at how..

Well,  -let's just say I've learned along the way subtle ways to direct people's attention   -away from this.. And toward that.   -so, if I see pop culture dictating all the attention..    -there.

I redirect it here.   God himself inclined me this way.

Anyway...  I got on another one of my personal rebellion rampages

"Like.. How did we  (we, meaning females)

" like.. How did we..   How and when exactly did we get suckered into carrying 20 to 30 pound purses everywhere we go when all men have ever needed is a wallet?!"

-this consumed me for a while..   The cost of purses; having the write one, the write size,  -the responsibility..  -the weight...  

50 extra pounds every day; All the time...  Everywhere we go...

-men live such care free frickin' lives!  -no make-up; no hair; no handbags... No shaving everywhere...   No painting their nails.. No menstrual cycle... No earrings...  Toe rings...  Bracelets...  No bras..

If I think about it too long I won't talk to one of those male creatures for months so I stopped myself: "Jesus.".       /that's all I say.   Its a short cut just between the two of us..  Or.. Four of us if you include God and the holy spirit..

Or back to two when you realize the three are one..

Well anyway..   Can't beat 'em, join 'em,  eh...

So I thought it to myself first; then I declared it out loud,  " I wanna be like a man!"

and the very next day.. True to my word..   /which is nothing like a man...

I decided I would leave my purse at home.

That's write.   -if men can go 365 with nothing but a wallet in their back pocket..  I see no reason I should lug 50 pounds of crap around everywhere I go.   -another culturally driven.. Capitalism motivated, pop-culture bad habit great big subvertly misogynistic TRAP!   -and I've been victim to it for too long!

and so, convinced Ive never really ever needed a purse in the first place; I left it at home.

I skipped to my car  -swinging both arms and hands freely i must add, and headed for the library before my shift at work.

Yes.. !..  My special order arrived.   -only when the lady at the desk requested my library card..  

Well. No big deal really, write.   I just didn't have a wallet yet.  But! When I do get my very own man-like Tri fold wallet, I thought to myself,  I will be sure and put my library card in it.

I skipped back to my car swinging both my arms and hands freely..  Just for fun, I said to myself in a pretend panic..  'Oh my God.. did you forget your purse in the library?'.  "NO!". with child like giggles I said, " I don't have one!"

I like this life ... Living like a man.

On my way to work, at a stop sign, a passerby smiled at me. But when I returned his smile, my lips hurt a little.  Chapped.  -so I reached for my ChapStick..

'Oh. Its in my purse...    That I don't have.'

Ah, well.. No big deal really. I licked my own lips and kept write on smiling.

When I got to work..  Only natural I should reach over and grab my purse before I got out of the car.. -been doing' it for over 40 years after all..

But there was no purse to grab.  No big thing to lug in with me.

How light on their feet men live!          -bastards.

And so I skipped in for my shift.   -but first!  -I had to use the restroom.

While in the restroom I discovered a great surprise.   As in

"Surprise!". -you need a tampon.

And so I went to get a tampon out of my purse, only.. 

Frickin' men. And their Frickin' wallets...

No big deal though.  I just stuck a half roll of toilet paper in my pants and..

Well,  - this did make it difficult to skip..  

My coworker welcomed me with warmth as usual and then asked about a text she'd sent..

" yes.. Let me grab my ...   Phone.  Which. Is. In. My. Purse. I. Do. not.have."

Men.  Where do they keep their phones? In their wallets?

Smiling at every customer with dry chapped lips which were only barely bleeding really, I waddled on.

After about an hour or so, I had cause to refill the register tape and when I reached inside the box for the refill... 

My heart stopped.    "My purse!?!". ...  Its always write there!  -write there!  Next to the tape..     Where did it go?   Did I leave it at the library?  Oh my God! I left it at the library..

and I was just about to explain to my coworker how I was going to need to leave write now!  And race to the library and check the lost and found..   When I realized..

-Men.  Frickin' men and their frickin' wallets.

Anyway..  Then I needed a piece of chocolate to calm me down and celebrate the fact that I hadn't lost my purse or had it stolen..

But my chocolate was at home in the bottom of my purse that I didn't need.

By this time I had chapped bleeding lips, a roll of toilet paper in my pants, I was not calm, in no mood to celebrate, and my mouth was dry..

So I went to get a piece of gum..

Which is of course write next to my chocolate at the bottom of my purse that i don't need.

'Easy fix!'. I thought to my carefree man self..  I'll just have some water..

And! Since I don't have my purse which i also use to carry water and food..  I'll just go next door and buy s...

Except my money was in my purse too.

Fine.  I'll fast.
get a head start on lent.  No big deal.

When my lunch break came, I thought fasting would be pretty easy because I could just read instead

-where do men carry their books?

Fine again; I don't have to eat or read. - I'll meditate! 

   But the lack of food, water, ChapStick, gum, tampon, phone and reading material gave me a terrible headache

So I went to reach for some aspirin....

Where do men keep their aspirin?

I was trying so hard to be stoic about the whole thing.. Fighting back the tears and smiling through cracked lips, that my nose started to run..

Where do men keep their Kleenex?

And then..  Just when my no-lunch break was over and I got back  to work feeling all triumphant and man like..

A pokey thing I rang up at the register pierced my thumb and it started bleeding.    -why not, huh..   "Jesus."

Where do men keep their Band-Aids?

Not one to give up easily and certainly not one willing to surrender to the unnecessary, cultural practices that enslave women and keep them weighted down under the capitalistic conspiracy commonly referred to as -fashion

I simply and very matter of factly wiped my nose on my sleeve.

No big deal.    

I made it through the whole day.

I do not need a purse.   Or a wallet!   Or a man!

All I really need

All I really need are my car keys..

"Oh my God!   -where did I put my car keys?   -they're usually in my purse...

there; much better... By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Meet my new travel partner (james michener!)

I was chit chatting with some customers who shared with (me!) That they were visiting from Israel..  "I hope to visit there one day," I said.. And it simultaneously hit me how that might never happen so I followed by saying, ".. But if I never do get to visit.. Is there one book .. What one book do you think I should read that would tell me best about Israel..  I know better than to count on travel brochures or magazines..  "

and they  -they being a married couple, perhaps in their late 60's, early 70's,  -they both agreed on "The Source" by James Michener.

I wrote it down. That was before Christmas I think.. But I finally made it to the library..  Got only started reading about this author and his loooooong list of published work..   Only just started in The Source..   When you know what happened, -write.

"He has a memoir!?"

and so I admit to abandoning The Source for..

Well THE source..    Source of the source; -please forgive but who could resist..

And this memoir is...  

Speaking directly to (me!)....     Very hard not marking up the pages; might have to purchase this one..  

and very grateful for the LINK program.. But honestly.. They slapped the sticker write over his face...   How rude.  I will remedy this... 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Worth Repeating. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp


-well, one of my favorite things about being my age:

Now I know the song and dance before the curtain even opens and I decide whether or not I want a ticket to the show.

-spare me the song and dance; I already know


Save me a seat please.. In the front row.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Speaking of interpretations.. (Me!) Sandra, tvgp

.. Yes. That is how, as humans, we identify -love.-

-It is a personal interpretation of an internal experience.

-fascinating; the mechanisms within our human bodies that allow us to interpret the experiences: I am loved; in love; out of love, etc.

But we sure do know it don't we.. When we are in love.. Not loved or love others..

Authentic love vs. False love.   Strong love vs. Fading love..

Loved deeply vs. Not at all...

-I speak for myself only here: my own interpretation of my personal internal experiences:    -this is my TRUTH.

/truth is also an interpretation of an internal experience but I won't venture that road in this post..

For (me!) When it comes to love; my internal experience of it:

For my parents; my grandparents; my siblings; my children; relatives (nieces, nephews, cousins, etc) and a countable number of friends..  -my love is utter; complete; unconditional; fixed; permanent..   Add synonyms at will.

And it is still true for me today that romantic love  -it has a toggle switch

That is.. A friend confided his spouse had been unfaithful, and said, 'but I still love her..'

I am fascinated

I think when I was younger I could better share/understand, but as an adult..  That toggle switch:

Loyal/faithful; on.
Unfaithful/betrayed; off.     -that quick; that easy.

and I'm going to close here by saying...   Good thing God doesn't operate the same way, huh..

In Jesus name, -amen.

Allow (me!).. Sandra, tvgp.. to explain..

Here. Open this: it is a map of the world.

Here. Take this. It is a thumb tack.   /intentionally poke student so student feels a little pain and sees a tiny bit of blood.

Now.. Please locate love and place the thumb tack there so I know when you've found it.   Pin pointe it exactly.  I will wait with great patience.

God is love.

and that is what people mean when they say 'God is in you.'

Or.. 'I am God.'.  -which at first sounds impossible or delusional or arrogant..

But if you first realize they are one in the same; God. & Love. And then realize the only way you experience love is as an interpretation of an internal experience..

Then in fact its true isn't it.  If God is love and love is inside you...

So there you have it.

Now.. Can you call love on the phone and talk to love directly as if were a manifest human entity? No.  Can you make an appointment with love; invite love over for dinner; keep a picture of love in your wallet?

No.  You can keep icons which represent love.. But not love itself because love itself is a spirit; not a tangible thing.

Now.. Because love is a spirit and you cannot talk to it on the phone or make an appointment to see it..

Does that mean love does not exist?

I repeat. God IS love; they are one in the same.   -so for the atheist who says or thinks.. 'There is no God..'.  -because they cannot see or touch this


I ask..  Is what you are saying then.. Is that you do not believe in...  Love?

To the agnostic..    Do you not know one way or the other? Maybe there is... Maybe not. I make no official claim..

About love?

To people of all faiths..  To the people of the world

Do you believe in...   Love?

Believe? Know? Wonder? Hope?

In Jesus name..   ~amen.

Conversation with a legally married man by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Him: "why do you call him husband, -say that you have a husband, when in fact you aren't married?"

(Me!): ".. Because I am married to him in my heart.  -where it actually matters the most."

Him:   "well.. I am not married in my heart to my wife but I am legally married."

(Me!):    "see..  (I glance here at his ring; wedding band).   -the contracts and the jewelry mean nothing actually do they.."


and when I read certain passages in the bible I understand them the same way.. Jesus; he wants our hearts.

-he couldn't care less about sacrifices; church attendance; fasting.. Public prayer, Christian jewelry.. Etc.

None of the external things matter at all.  Does he have your heart?

He certainly has mine.

He cares nothing for riches if it is without.. -heart; love..

I understand this fully because of my exposure to wealth discrepancies..   The husband who can provide the house, the car, the vacations.. But not his heart..   -some women accept this; some kind of trade off..

Ive never had interest in this trade off; one without the other..

I want his heart, the way Jesus wants my heart; the way I give mine

-to whom does your heart belong?  -not your signed contract..  Your heart; -to whom does it belong? 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wine cork holder decor embellished with moss by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Mixed media.. Complete. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Pleasure to meet you (sue evans!)

...  I've seen her photography in many places, on many walls over the years but had never met her in person..   what a treat..   -blessings!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Heart Seen.. On a walk with (my daughter!)

The Heart Seen.... by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

... write outside the front door...  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Imitation Game a review by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Category: historical fiction.
Rating: perfect.

-and there's just no explaining how I still haven't recovered from the text/bullet point/mere sentences ending of unbroken..

-and yet had no longing for more.. No problem whatsoever with that exact same technique employed for the ending of the imitation game.

? Can't justify my own experience... 

Maybe because there was so much more life story to share for Zamperini while Turing terminated his own physical/earthly life very early..

and maybe because when I saw unbroken it was in a traditional (although recently upgraded) theatre

and when I saw the imitation game it was at the vine, in a cushy love seat with great tasting popcorn and a delicious cold beer...

But on the whole..   I am fulfilled; deeply gratified.  -great movie!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thoughts on sexy by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

There's only one thing sexier than witnessing a man who truly knows what he's doing

and that

is a man who is still trying to figure it out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Got Spanked" introducing my new friend (obed espinoza!)

K..  So here's the deal.. I was in Livermore..  Or rather I was headed there on 580.. and write about where you can see Dick's sporting goods store and BJ's restaurant from the freeway, ~i  suddenly found myself with a fierce craving:

Casper's was too far in the opposite direction so I took the N. Livermore exit..  Found a parking spot and called my husband

"Where's the best place to get a hot dog around here?"

-and so I walked toward panama red and just around the corner there it was:   "with outside seating!"

If I was a plant.. My plastic tag would clearly explain that I need lots of direct sunlight, an abundance of fresh air, a little chocolate everyday and at least once a month -a great hot dog!

so I was hunting the menu for something big and spicy..

while I waited for my husband to arrive.. and got lost in thought about the proper romantic and biblical etiquette required for my current situation:

like.. would it be okay for me to have already swallowed a great big spicy dawg when he walks in? and then just keep him company while he eats his?   -or do I have to Frickin be polite and wait so we can eat together?  and I hadn't quite figured out what to do when my new friend walks in.. Obed.

Now, there is a great neuroscience type lesson in here about who notices what, when and where.. because my mind was fixated on the menu and etiquette.. and I never even noticed the sign hanging from the ceiling which contained the magical word that grabbed obed's immediate attention and  transformed the entire energy of the room from ordinary to...   "You're going to do WHAT?!"

and that word was this:   CHALLENGE

-something about this word.. which I did not even notice.. called out to Obed

and inspired him to...

"What?!".   -says Michael..   my other new friend I made while I was simultaneously scanning the menu and silently arguing with Jesus about the importance of patience as one of the fruits of the spirit..
-how necessary?

anyway.. Michael starts repeating out loud what Obed has stepped up to the counter and agreed to:

" you're going to take the challenge?  You're going to eat what? ... I'm sticking around to see this!"

and that got me intrigued..   and so I announced I was a blogger, that I'd take some pictures, -write about it..

Michael called his daughter and told her to come down to spanky's with the video camera..

my husband finally walks in..     /I heard God whisper to me..  "you're welcome".  -because all the excitement prevented me from inhaling lunch before he arrived...

anyway..   Obed signs the agreement.. I sign as his witness..  Michaels daughter arrives with the husband is there.. the owner arrived to prepare the 

INSANELY HOT!!! ATOMIC CHILI DOG..    and we're all outside watching the owner, also named Mike if I remember correctly, go over the rules.. " no napkins.. No drinks.. Eat within 15 minutes...". 

-and it gets explained that hundreds have tried and failed...

-and obed gets warned like 3 different times how hot it is but only smiles with great confidence..

He explains he is from mexico.. And has already had exposure to the hottest spices and chilli peppers..

And then he digs in.. 

And we watch..   And we cheer from the sidelines..

And we watch...   as his face starts to flush..  and water starts to leak from his eyes..   

And we are not sure whether to cheer him on...   Cheer him on to what?   vomit?

and he slows down a little..  and moisture is leaking also from his nose..

He is literally turning red before our eyes..

"Did you soak this in liquid hot sauce?" He asks the owner..

and then he taps out..

We all applaud at the effort..  "You gave it a go!" I congratulated him..  and Michael and his daughter promised to email the video before they left..

Obed excused himself to the bathroom for an extended amount of time

I finished my way delicious Cajun spicy dawg..

My husband finished his.. /forgot what he ordered..

And we sat visiting with the owner under the beautiful, warm, California sunshine for a good stretch of time before we all went our separate ways again to take care of our separate responsibilities..

-but that was just plain, unplanned, wonderful, exciting, spontaneous fun..

pleasure to meet all of you!  

 Livermore, California.

Home to delicious hot dogs, unexpected adventure and "outside seating!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Congratulations!! OHIO STATE college football CHAMPIONS!"

..and "thank you!" for bringing my mom and her husband such uncontainable happiness!   -bragging writes...   and humorous taunting privileges toward all opponents and anyone/everyone who doubted they could do it...

A toast!..... "To the buckeyes!".   -very exciting game...

/my mom had on her OHIO hoodie, actual buckeyes in her pockets and a bag of them to shake for every great play and every touchdown..

I wore my "42" jacket..

So..  Somehow this makes us feel that we contributed to your win you see..    "42 - 20!". 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Public "Thank You!" To (gary winter!) from (me!) sandra, tvgp

... he is my long time artist friend.. and came into ricks picks not too long ago to share about this exciting and historically significant creative opportunity he had in front of him..    he not only showed me some of the nails he'd be working with.. but "gave me one!".  -i know a good luck charm when i see it!  " thank you artist friend!"

He is featured this week in the pleasanton weekly..

"Congratulations!! Gary Winter!".     -that's awesome!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

In memory of Ray Orrock from (me!) Sandra, tvgp

if my books were still not in boxes I would look up the exact story and get the numbers write..  But without knowing the exact number what I can remember on my own, is that he has a precious, fun story about how his speedometer was just shy of hitting some magical number..   And so he piled his kids in the car and they drove around the block however many times they needed to so they could witness the change together..

Why is it so fun?  -I think it has to do with seeing something momentarily all the same which is otherwise not the same and perpetually changing..

In any case.. I was not logistically in a place to pick up my kids and bring them with me.. Although I certainly would have if I could have..

But I did exit the freeway and take the extra long way home so I'd be in a safe place to pull over and take a picture..

-makes me feel very lucky

That I knew ray orrock

That he too, knew how to make magic out of the mundane.

Blessings to you!   

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Mixed media in progress by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

-very blessed to be collaborating with Laura Capilla of Laura Lee Interior Designs

She is an outrageously talented interior designer with an incredible gift for what i describe as "the major stuff" selection of furniture; fabrics; frames; drapes; paint, flooring/carpet/light fixtures,.the layout; overall look and feel, etc.  an exhaustive list actually..

my part of the collaboration is accessories & aesthetics..  table tops, book shelves, mantles, counters, nooks and crannies, so to speak...  my passion, my joy!   and in addition to finding just the write decor piece for just the write space..    i take great pleasure in embellishing decor pieces to enhance an overall look/feel; pull colors/styles from Laura's designs/selections -which i highly respect and admire, and complement her work..

the inspiration for this piece includes: needing a larger size visual anchor for beautiful dining area furniture. -which is one of the first places your eyes land as you walk in..  Pulling colors from 2 pieces of cherished ceramics; family heirlooms which this piece will sit near..  to bring the spirit of love, warmth, life into the room.. to offer a one-of-a-kind decor art which cannot be seen as duplicated in any other home; special... progress...

embellished butterfly by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

my goals:

1. avoid being too feminine.
2. pull colors from background.
3. honor style in background (easiest because it is MY style already).
4. avoid overdoing (biggest challenge! -restraint)
5. leave original edges & some areas exposed; as it was; untouched.

and i did meet my own self-imposed goals, so returning it to Michael with a satisfied feeling and hope that he is pleased.

Public "Thank You!" to (michael james!)

...who brought this wall art in with a request that something creative be done to the butterfly because it just seem too plain...

oh! i love these opportunities!   "yes & thank you..."

Monday, January 05, 2015

"Am I a feminist?". (Me!?) Sandra, tvgp

Answer:   "No.   -because that would imply that I believe women should be, or are already, equal to men

when anyone who has read WILD by Cheryl Strayed can clearly see that we are in fact  ~superior."

"It's A New Year!". for (me!) & (you!)

...make a new friend, listen to a new song, see a new movie, pray a new prayer, serve God in a new way, try a new food, jump into a new activity, create a new healthy habit, read a new book, think a new thought, dream a new dream... Be the best new you!  Xoxo

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Dear Angelina Jolie.. From (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Customer: "you saw unbroken.. What did you think? Had you read the book?"

(Me!):  "hadn't read the book.. Movie was phenomenal and I left severely disappointed"

/which requires some brief explanation doesn't it:

"Congratulations Angelina!" On your directorial debut.. 

First.. On your choice of material; your selection of Louis Zamperini as the remarkable human being to introduce to a global audience through the medium of film      -as the book by Laura Hillenbrand, unbroken, was on the NYT best seller list for 4 years..  We can know that his life story, as captured and retold by Laura, is widely known, appreciated, celebrated, longed for, and worthy of being shared in as many different artistic platforms as exist; perhaps even inspiring new ones..

And prior to seeing the movie I was describing it as a grand slam based on the publicity:  we've got the author of unbroken who herself had/has severe health and life struggles still managing to produce great literary works the likes of seabisquit and unbroken; we've got a genuine hero in Louis Zamperini; and then you Angelina; battling your health issues simultaneous with wife/mother/ career.. And taking on this HUGE EPIC movie as your INITIATION into directing

So we've got the bases loaded so to speak, and the movie itself up to bat:

And everything  -  costumes; make-up; cinematography; cast; musical score; narration; editing..  Every decision you made seem to me "out of the park!".   Grand slam..  Amazing...


Until.. Toward the end.   -when I started to see..

Text?  Sentences and bullet points?!? A paragraph?!? or two to capture the entire aftermath and second half of his epic and inspiring and amazing, complicated and beautiful, most meaningful life?!

I'm still not over it.

Someone told me the book does the same; gives all the time/attention to the 2 years he was a prisoner; to the suffering

And then bullet points the aftermath; PTSD; healing process; journey from internal hell to forgiveness and peace and glory..

And for (me!), and I suspect I speak for many others

It is the aftermath and that journey that can most serve humanity on the whole.  So,  i would like you both to know, you and laura..

That if you did.. If you could..  If you could capture the aftermath and the second half of Louis Zamperini's life with as much master-level talent as you did the 2 years he was a prisoner

I would and could easily spend my last dollars on the book..

And would pay whatever the cost, and sit for more than 3 hours giving my last dollar and undivided attention to that part of his life.

Not everyone will be a prisoner of war.

But everyone does suffer; everyone will be broken in one form or another; have at least the opportunity to heal; at least the opportunity to learn how to forgive and move forward..

Turn a mess into a message; a test into a testimony

When I look around and see so many human beings stuck

I think the most important thing we can teach and share and celebrate is not the spirit unbroken

But the very messy process by which the human spirit heals.

Friday, January 02, 2015

"Happy". Photo by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Fun & Colorful by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Anne requested something fun and colorful for the end cap; formerly occupied by baggallini, a clock and misc. decor

-it was certainly fun to put these colors together..  

  -woke ricky & picky from their hibernation inside my purse for a new year cameo..

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

-now, as you can see, my socks here do have man-made intentional heart shapes in the design on the fabric, so of course they would not normally qualify..  But the purple heart here..  Not intentional at all!  -just happened that way when I took them off and tossed them on the floor.   Very high cool factor when it happens this way.

The Heart Seen! By (keeshie!)

-what's funny.. Is that one of the last heart seen contributions from my sister was also from a blood stain; the way it dripped on a white cloth.  This one shines write through her band-aid.  Happened last night after a wine glass fell from an overcrowded cupboard..   Signs of healing; fresh healing.

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

.. this is the view I had while getting my hair washed by Lacey @ fusion 3 salon.. On the ceiling -flowy drapes..  And if you look at the bottom edge, lower left corner... An upside down heart shape.  It is more pronounced when seen directly with the eyes.. And most pronounced from this view only. When I experimented with flipping and cropping.. The shape disappears.  From only one angle and only a specific distance...