Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Roya!" in downtown livermore.. raves (me!) sandra, tvgp

i just finished typing a passionate review on trip advisor, i think it was.. but then you have to -sign up- in order to publish..

you know i already vowed never to create another username and password for as long as i live..

so, let me just make my point here:

"Spectacular! Delicious! Magnificent!"

my date let (me!) choose where to eat, so "Roya!" was my top choice...

i had visited there last month for the first time.. lunch. sat outside on a gorgeous day.. salmon, shrimp kabob with brown sauce, red wine..   however they prepared that salmon.. best ever! texture, flavor..  and that sauce drizzled over..   heaven.

tonight we sat inside.. got to take in the art, photography, mosaics, decor..   plus the meal was delicious again and the service most hospitable and gracious..    he had the chicken kabob, i had to order an encore of that salmon..   -damn.. its just so good..

pardon me..   but darn does not capture..

anyway..  little something i learned while inquiring about the pbotography

of course i was curious who took the photographs..  maybe someone who owned or worked at the restaurant..  but no, -turns out they were just purchased..

but the one of the village.. tucked in the mountains.. the view!

and it was explained to me.. the poor people live at the top, the rich on the bottom.

-you know i've written about that here..  how it is the exact and polar opposite..  the best views go to the rich..   period.   and i think, if im remembering correctly..  i pointed out that..

well,  any rich people with great views here.. if you mentioned that maybe some low income properties should also be made available..

a low income person as a neighbor of someone with a great view from their mansion..

well, they'd have their attorneys paying another layer of attorneys to stop even the suggestion from floating around in public places.

i do not know this, as a fact.  ive not actually interviewed any rich people on the subject

what i have done is watch several exciting episodes of city council meetings, and what i do know from watching those..

if it weren't absolutely required and mandated by law that we include low income housing in our city

-we would have no low income housing at all; period again.

but it is the law.. and so we have some...  but not next door to rich people with mansions and great views..

the great views for low income people will come only from 'high-density' properties.  /my very favorite euphemism for apartments.

anyway.. i must interrupt with an inconvenient truth:

even if you are living out of your car here in pleasanton..

its still amazing living, -relatively speaking.

back to the photograph at Roya's..

the reason the poor people in the villages live at the top with the great views..  and the rich people live at the bottom..

is because "there is NO WATER!".   so, people at the top have to hike back and forth, hunting, gathering, and carrying...

did i not just blog about how i am swimming in blessings everyday even though i don't have two dimes to rub together...


so there you have it.  a different kind of restaurant review by (me!) sandra, tvgp.

A Case for Poetry. -to (alexandra petri!) from (me!) sandra, tvgp

i'm about to be serious here.  i can be entertaining.. and im responding directly to your highly entertaining article, "is poetry dead?"    -but i am quite serious when i say

"God determines the life or death of poetry; not people."

what happens. -what seems to happen, is that people get very confused in capitalist societies..

confused by monetary systems; confused by supply and demand; confused by popularity; social media; public opinion..

and they tend to think that one dictates the life or death of the other.

it does not.

it might in fact dictate whether poetry is published or not; how well it is or is not distributed and shared; whether or not it is publicly
glorified or mocked..

but poets..   people who are born with an instinct to write poetry

-it is a certain   -small-   /relatively speaking,

percentage of the human population which does not answer to and is not dictated by, capitalism; supply and demand; popularity, monetization, celebrity endorsement, praise or criticism.. fads or trends, Etc.

-because i live inside all of these man-made systems mentioned  above..  I too, at one, and for a long time


it was my responsibility somehow to popularize the genre

and so I smiled Inside, as a panelist who helped select my city's two current teen poet laureates

as I listened to candidate after candidate explain how they intended to make poetry ...  more accessible.. more popular.. 

I may have even made the same claim during my Interviews to become the current poet laureate..

sometimes it is heartfelt; sometimes you just know what they need and want to hear..

in any case..  Poetry is far from dead; but any desire I once had  to popularize it certainly is.

-sour grapes?   I would argue not.

I would rather lean in the direction of recognizing that  -as we are only a small percentage of the human population..

us poets,

it makes us even more valuable!  More blessed! More lucky..

novelists..  Dime a dozen, as the saying goes..
fiction writers, journalists, academia, trade...

reach out your hand at any writers conference and touch the shoulder of the person next to you..

But poets!    -a select and small breed if you will..

Perhaps not even attending such conferences..

Because THE INSTINCT to write poetry..

it does not require a conference,
A permission slip,
applause, validation..

it only requires the human host to listen and honor..

and I think it is worth repeating here

the birth of a poem happened first.  that is, someone spoke and ,wrote in a certain way, distinct from other forms,  AND THEN! It got a label, a name:

Poem. poetry. Poet.

further..  Patterns happened FIRST!  and then were labeled and categorized; not the other way around.

it is worth contemplating the ORIGINS of poetry. 

today..we give the structure/form first,  -and then ask students to squeeze their words inside a given format..

that is why I make a distinction between what I call

Organic poetry vs. Imposed.

organic..  = No one asked you to write one, it is not for a class, or grade, it may or may not ever be shared publicly..   But it has been written by someone who honored the Instinct; the rare and beautiful Instinct.

Imposed of course =  you've been asked..  By a teacher, a friend,  it is a responsibility, an obligation..  And you might enjoy the responsibility, the obligation, the results..  But imposed poetry does not exist without an external request of some sort..

organic poetry exists no matter what.  answers to an internal instinct..   

You   -random reader-  may never have exposure to it..

I'm quite convinced the worlds greatest poems are not available on the Internet, or at your local bookstore..

and yet,  -I know they exist.   and in our capitalist society we make quite a big deal of whether things are popular and monetizable.. 

and we equate value with..

But oh!  The rare, wonderful, exquisite sensation of feeling a poem coming on...    -when no one asked!!

the rare, wonderful and exquisite sensation of honoring that feeling..

and speaking..

Or writing the words down...   organizing and playing with.. or, oh! when they come out perfect  and require no play or editing at all!


only a small percentage of humans who are first gifted with the  instinct and then who dare to honor it..

only they get to know and experience this...  

this...      this...!

and same, by the way, for people who never write but only read and find themselves RESPONDING to poetry.

grab 12 people and show them all the same poem.

if you RESPOND...  that too! is a rare, wonderful, exquisite internal sensation; a gift.

a gift in and of itself which also does not require prior permission or applause or validation; experience that independent of...


contemplate the origins of poetry. look at the history. Check the graphs and stats..   while it fluctuates some, trending up and down..

there has always been
And will always be

poets and poetry.  Has no one else already noticed how God does not conform humans to capitalism?   he is so stubborn isn't he.

I mean, do you think if starting today, write now,  -there was never a poem published again,

that nor would there be a poet born?   God does not play by those rules..

  It is my belief, that poets have always been and will always be,

a small percentage of the human population.

and when we look at the shelves in any given library

and there are hundreds of rows of other types of writing

and only a few shelves of poetry.

it has more to do with..

Well, the best analogy might be..

perfect diamonds at a jewelry bazaar.

we are not dead. we are rare, and therefore;

highly valuable.

..for the Washington Post... by (me!) sandra, tvgp

/i repeat..

i have a glitch in my brain which prevents me from writing anything that is not true.   -can you imagine such an infliction?!

what i learned over time, though, is that it doesn't seem to matter whether it is true~true; or literally true.   -what a relief!!

so, shortly in advance of an interview i was dreading, i did this exercise:   (see picture)

-because i just knew! the question was coming.

"Yes!" i said with a smile.  "several times, in fact."


today's memory triggered via this route:

i had taped BookTV 2014 Miami Book Fair.  i watched with great delight, Richard blanco's presentation ..

i googled blanco..   poked around..    /innuendo is impossible to avoid..

i somehow landed on "is poetry dead?" by a very entertaining columnist named Alexandra. /dria? petri who writes...

...who -actually, really, truly writes

for the Washington Post.


read her. SHE is funny.

"Can poetry still change anything?!"

"Yes! it can!  Ms. Petri...".  I say with a smile,  " it changed my son's D into a C-

-just by attending family poetry night at his middle school."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spiritual Lesson # (fill in the blank) by (me!) sandra, tvgp


compare yourself to no one.  do your own, unique, individual, personal best.

and isn't that fascinating..  how we each have a magical, miraculous, mysterious way of


when we are in fact, doing our very best.

we know when we are; and when we are not...


can anyone ask you to exceed doing your very best?

let that stand then as your lesson.

Do not forget to factor in your whole day.

your very best, first thing in the morning, might be very different from your very best at 11pm...

Your very best when you are healthy, is quite different from your very best when you are I'll.

your very best, after receiving great news, might look very different from your very best after being hit with traumatic news..

but guess what

You do have a very best you can do and be in all circumstances

and even more important than that

~you have a way of knowing.


Swimming in Blessings... (Me!) sandra, tvgp

and probably (you!) too.

my topic is shortcut prayers to Jesus.  it is a huge blessing in and of itself having a shortcut prayer communication; feeling heard and understood without having to itemize details

we certainly enjoy the experience with close friends and family.  with just a look, we know..  a whole series of things the other person is thinking, feeling, -has been through..   what they might need, want..

we do not even ask for or require the details..  to explain the look of exhaustion, for example..     we can fill in the blanks:

rough morning
horrific traffic
conflict at work
bills in waiting

on, and on...

so certainly if we can enjoy this shortcut communication system with fellow humans it is easy to know an even more advanced version can be enjoyed with our God.

and thank God for that, -because if I took the time to itemize all my blessings?!    I would never leave the prayer position to get to work..

but I think them sometimes as I ready myself for a given day..

roll out of my bed. (Which I didn't have to invent; just purchase..)
Onto carpet (which I didn't have to make or invent...)
walk downstairs in a home (I didnt have to invent.. already existed.. inside a community somebody else developed..)
make coffee (but didnt have to pick beans.. figure out how.. inside an -automatic!- machine, somebody else created
-drink orange juice without needing a tree and to pick the fruit and squeeze it myself.. Pour it in a glass I didn't have to make.. Already existed..   /this goes on and on..  Toaster; refrigerator; electricity; washer/dryer; the clothes I wear; the car I drive; the business I work at; the gas station I visit; the grocery store; the doctors office; the TV... 

And! even when "i" create something..  it is on a canvas someone else manufactured; with paints, paper, scissors, glues, etc that someone else manufactured..

i mean, my entire daily highly convenient life is thank you to an incalculable number of other people, ideas, inventions, businesses, products, systems already in place

this phone I'm blogging on write now..   do you see how many blessings!?! the music on the radio inside my car I listen to with great joy..    -that's my whole part in it!  just listen and enjoy!  I didn't have to write the lyrics, make the music, create an instrument, make a radio system..

I go like,  -push of a finger-   amazing music at my fingertips.  I'm just blown away sometimes..

the paved roads, traffic signals, schools...   last nights very exciting basketball game!   -what was my part?  Pay for a ticket; Sit and enjoy...

there is my own body (mind, spirit, heart...); the books I read..

I have both my parents, my siblings, my children.. immediate family members, all here, alive, doing well; all loving, kind and true..

but if I really, truly, took the time to consciously recognize and itemize and detail every blessing..  well, I hope you can see that it would take...

forever.   so, I have a shortcut prayer to Jesus.  I say,

"Thank you for the blessings I swim in everyday"

he knows.   and I have shortcuts for praying for people who need healing..  Because, I mean really.   -talk about forever..

I have so many shortcut prayers for huge things, that I almost need another shortcut prayer to capture all my shortcut prayers..

and in fact I do.   It goes like this:

"Jesus. Amen."

by the way..  there is a popular saying people use to describe financial poverty.  It applies to (me!)

"i do not have two dimes i can rub together..."

/write now.

but i am in fact, swimming in blessings.  -it is not make-believe; it is true.

"Thank you Jesus!".  -amen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Oh No! Here SHE goes again... (Me!) sandra, tvgp

Side note:  Anne brought it back to my attention yesterday that I didnt have a purse.   Do you know I stopped even thinking about it..  I just don't bring a purse with me anywhere anymore...

-there was a couple tough days..  and then.. I acclimated.   now it seems as natural to be without one as it once was (and for many decades) to always have one.

that transition took place pretty quick i'd say.   i love traveling light..

what else might we learn from..  those male creatures...

"Thank you! Dad, Chris..". from (me!) sandra, tvgp

and! for the new lamp i will eventually purchase...    /true story here that the current lamp.. its pull string broke.   "-no problem though," i told my dad, "if you just reach up inside and under the lamp shade you can just twist the bulb thing to turn it off or on..."

and do you know i never even, on my own, considered for even 3 seconds, that i should replace the lamp and get a new one..

i mean, it still works... -write.

with love & gratitude..   xoxo

"Thank You Anne!" from (me!) sandra, tvgp

Monday, February 23, 2015

Shakespeare of the 21st century? -are you kidding (me!) sandra, tvgp

Let me revisit my personal acquaintance with Shakespeare:

1.  Never have enjoyed reading Shakespeare...  have tried on more than one occasion.. Especially! after learning the profound effect his writings had on my sheroe: Dr Maya Angelou..

still. -no pleasure..

But! Can and do watch  -with intense interest and great joy!-   people who talk passionately ABOUT Shakespeare..

and in any given month of the year I can talk with people who

1. find Shakespeare boring.
2. find Shakespeare amazing.

-so, all that said and acknowledged

everyone is a shakespeare; aren't they.   I've yet to meet any artist beloved by the entire population..

and why, how, when, how deeply, how long any given person does or does not respond to a story, or film, or music or any art of any kind..     -who is turned on; who is turned off:

is as much a mystery as curiosity itself.

EVOLUTION of a SCIENTIST by (me!) sandra, tvgp

ape:  everything is matter.
human:  everything does matter.

I'm sure I'm not the first to say it; so let it serve as validation then; having reached the same conclusion independent of...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

treasure! hand designed by (molly!) for (me!) -writeousmom..

"Thank you!" Love...  /birthday gift per my daughters request to a co-worker friend for something green and with a heart..    i love it!   Xoxo

The Theory of Everything.. to (me!) sandra, tvgp

my God.. I loved this movie.


and I repeat what is worth repeating:

dear beloved scientist friends,

it is ridiculous to try and reduce God into a simplified mathetical equation


to entirely leave God out of ANY equation is an error of even greater arrogance.

so sincerely,   and with love,    ~sandra, tvgp.

Treasure! To (me!) sandra, tvgp

topping the charts of my way cool list..  -this journal's cover is a painting by Carla Graci ... which resulted from classes she took from Nancy Eddinger!   ..and then to have it personalized with WriteousMom...   "Thank you!".    I love it!  -I'm keeping my daily affirmation prayers in there..

my imagination today when I looked at my own handwriting..

well, I thought of someone.. A graphologist projecting in his analysis:  ".. you can see on this day she was struggling with.. (Variable here)

-when in actuality.. Yesterday I was sitting at a table.. And today I balanced the journal on my legs..

".. That by the way.." /I say with a smile..  "Effects ones penmanship also..."

Very special jewelry to (me!) Sandra, tvgp

...sparkly blue earrings handmade by NATALIE..  Her designs are available for sale at the Berry Patch in Downtown Pleasanton...   "Beautiful!".   Xoxo

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Public "Thank you!" To my co-worker friends from (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I repeat what is worth repeating:   -I hit the lottery when it comes to coworkers!   I was reminded last night at a potluck dinner, slash, apples to apples game night hosted by Tatiana..   

what a diverse group we are in race, religion, age, life experience, etc.  But what harmony we work together and socialize in..

I feel very lucky; very blessed!   ..for the magnificent meal! Which included my first encounter with Venezuelan ...

/let the white girl practice...

"Rrrrrr.  A!   puz".      <------  something like that. 

made from scratch and stuffed with.. Delicious chicken and/or pork.. Handmade green sauce.. Handmade cheese sauce.. Avacado..    what else did I put in there?   -not sure.. But I loved and devoured..

As I did Anne's masterpiece chicken.. (Name?) Dish.. Which may I add was delivered in beautiful pottery she herself created!

and there were salads, and fancy beverages, pina colodas..  and an edible fruit bouquet..  (God Bless Julia!)

partially in honor of Megan.. who is ... Well, I refuse to acknowledge, so I just say..  Will be working less hours with us..

and then there is Partricia..    Mark my words here: future real estate mogul..   

and.. There was the void from two absences..  Unable to attend..but!  Exactly why we will schedule another

the more the merrier!

and .. Anyone who knows me even a little knows that the kitchen is not my area of expertise; or even mutual acquaintance..

so I am grateful here that everyone was a good sport about my  "hand crafted and made from scratch chocolate raspberry cake..

which I personally picked out

and purchased

from a rare, local speciality gourmet bakery aisle




You are the best!  Each one of you!  " thank you!".  Let's do it again soon...

Thoughts on lent.. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

-such a variety of things by a variety of people are 'fasted' during lent:   some giving up chocolate, some soda, some alcohol, some red meats, some social media, some technology..

but more important  -much more important than the what.. is the why.   -the goal; Intention; motivation, purpose..

is it to,  A. Increase your recognition of your own blessings; things you might otherwise take for granted; via sacrifice?  B. demonstrate a commitment to God; your faith via sacrifice?  C. increase your spirit of generosity via giving to others what you otherwise keep for yourself? D. Use 'fasting' as a type of prayer.. looking for deeper connection?

It gets blurred sometimes.. The distinction between New Years Resolutions and fasting for lent; I hear many overlapping goals toward self improvement

But I have come to favor this definition of fasting most of all:

Isaiah 58: 6- 14.  True Fasting: loose the chains of injustice...

In Jesus name,  -amen.

Friday, February 20, 2015

mixed media in progress.. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

Mixed media in progress.. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

Interpreting our internal experiences. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

-there has to be something very specific, biologically, going on inside each of us that allows..well

1.  that causes certain feelings..
2.  only identifiable by some kind of matching mechanism within our biology
3. And then this ability to experience and interpret and identify KNOW.


I have a saying I use very frequently when I invite friends and family.. To church, for example

I say, "you are always invited; never obligated."

-and I mean it, when I say it.   (How do I know I mean it?)

-more importantly..  When a person feels obligated to do something vs. feeling genuinely enthusiastic..

what is going on inside the body/the mind that allows the person to identify/understand the distinction?

-we must have some type of very specific..  Like, lock/unlock combinations..that take place inside us

7, 3, 6, 2 = obligated
9, 3, 10, 5 = sincere desire

-how else could we possibly know? what we feel...

so.. I just land at being very, highly, curious about.. If we could see feelings via fmri, the way we see bones via xrays..

what do they look like?

potluck...handmade from scratch /just not by (me!) sandra, tvgp

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

JOYCE MEYER & DOUG HOFSTADTER on ICONOCLAST just for (me!) sandra, tvgp

-that's my dream! when I had the channel available to me, I loved watching sundance TV's program called ICONOCLASTS.

if you visit their website they give a much fancier description, but the upshot from my point of view:

-is that they put two icons (from film or science or politics or art.. Etc) that might otherwise never meet

two people you couldn't imagine would really be hanging out with each other if not for this very setting..

and then they introduce them to each other

and we get to witness and eavesdrop in on their initial introduction and conversation

-Dave chappell and Dr Maya Angelou among my favorite iconoclast episodes.

so..  This brings me to my newest dream:

"Joyce Meyer & Doug Hofstadter!".    -awesome!

(Me!) & several friends Enjoying grey goose and cranberry cocktails while we watch it on the silver screen at the vine in Livermore.. /in couches, loveseats.. 

-how fascinating would this encounter be?!

Joyce Meyer creates some of the greatest analogies ever when it comes to teaching and explaining about life with God..  How to enjoy everyday life.. The spiritual walk..  How Jesus saves and prunes us..

And Doug Hofstadter has researched and studied and taught about the human brain being  " analogy making machine!"

-it is! 

I would love for these two to meet... 

/in Jesus name..   I say with a smile.     Amen.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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

- little scuffed up, as they all are after getting walked on over and over again, eh...

The Heart Seen... in the bird bath by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

this song i dedicate to my husband...from (me!) sandra, tvgp

The Heart Seen.. In the best red velvet cake of all time!

"Thank you!" Chris Lampson!  everyone we share this cake with agrees .. It is THE BEST tasting red velvet cake EVER!  you have quite a gift...    "Here.. this is what anointed taste like.."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

"Public Thank You's to Family & Friends!" from (me!) Sandra, tvgp

"Thank you!" for spoiling me and making me feel so special!  what a day! the gifts.. breakfast in downtown Livermore, sexy devil chocolatinis in downtown pleasanton ("thank you debra & ken!") pizza party, drinking and dancing until we could dance no more ("thank you Keeshie & Chris!)...     -whose turn is next?...   

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

.. this is a fun one to me because it looks like an explanation point with a heart..  spotted at ricks picks in Danville, -working with Patricia..      "Happy Valentines!".   Xoxo

Friday, February 13, 2015

"HaPpY BiRtHdAY!"..... to (me!) sandra, tvgp

..friday the 13th... 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

On The Eve Of My XLIXth Birthday. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I am the same age as the Superbowl.. So every year in promotional materials, t-shirts and mass media in general I get to see my age in giant roman numerals.  I love it!



my parents, like many; but not all,  -they had a wish that when I grew up I would be "happy and healthy."

let's start there, because "I AM!".   and so are my own children.. happy & healthy; thriving in life..   if that was all; it would be more than enough.. but that is not all:


every morning I handwrite the same thing, but I'm going to add in some details for the sake of this birthday blog:

I am in the Best Shape of my ENTIRE life!


-yes. that's write.  I remember well the day someone all judgemental in tone said to me, "you're not one of those people who live pay check to pay check are you?"

I said, "pay check to pay check?!..   are you kidding me?  I ASPIRE to live pay check to pay check!   -write now I live cash advance to cash advance."

And I no longer live cash advance to cash advance..   Now,  I have no income I can currently brag about for sure.. But I have made tremendous progress in this area and if I take debt-to-income ratio into account.. I really am in the best financial shape of my entire life!  -and what I know for sure Oprah.. Is that the habits you adopt with a little are the same habits you will have with a lot; so I am very conscientious.  


"I can do 49 push-ups!".   -somewhere I got the idea that I would like to be able to do my age in push-ups. Where the idea came from, I don't know. I didn't have it at 30, 35, 40 or 45..  but I did at 48 1/2..

When I started I could do ZERO.  -zero push-ups.  But I've been training and practicing every day for several months now on my own.. And we are talkin' real push-ups, not on my knees.. " I can do 49!".    I recently did this in front of my family and had it recorded. My form gets a little sloppy before I reach 49, so I will work on this.. And add 1 more so that next year... "50 push-ups in a row! In great form!"


I am in the best shape of my entire life!  -very free; peaceful; content in all circumstances.  all I have to do to appreciate my mental health today is spend 3 seconds remembering the long tour in hell with PTSD.  -I am literally free of every symptom! 


-again, -best shape of my entire life.. Free to experience the full spectrum of human emotion; appropriate emotion for given experience. I laugh when things are funny; cry when they're sad.. Experience and manage  frustration, anger..  Love, bliss, joy!  

PTSD locks you in fear.  DEPRESSION locks you in hopelessness;despair.    I am intimately acquainted with both.  But "I am more than a conqueror!" In both areas. I am free! And I recognize and honor my emotions; manage my emotions; they do not control me.

I repeat often..  The opposite of depression is not happiness.  It is being able to experience the full range of emotions.  I am mostly happy; occasionally sad.. and many things between.. alive! And emotionally responsive to my day to day encounters and experiences..


-best spiritual shape of my entire life!  in prayer I graduated from 'only in life or death situations' to..   well, I function in life now with Jesus as my everyday, every moment, invisible best friend. -perpetual dialogue.  And I came to define success for myself as the manifestation of the fruits of the spirit: love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, -self control.  I am pleased with my spiritual practices; my walk with Jesus...

it has proven out in my life experientially: God first.. Everything else falls into place.   things I do on a very regular basis: prayer, meditation, bible reading, church, church TV, spiritually themed programs...


best shape of my entire life!  -I have a healthy variety of creative outlets:  this blog, my Ricky picky photograph collection, the heart seen photograph collection, my mixed media art, poetry, documentary I've been working on, merchandising, accessorizing and preparing now for two upcoming art shows..


Best shape of my entire life!  I have a small circle of the best friends anyone could ask for!  A best friend in my sister..some friendships that go back 25 years or more..  Some 10-15 years..  And new friends added in just the past 5..    Life experience, prayer, wisdom has allowed me to 'weed out' people where needed and invest, nurture, grow friendships with a select few..    I have a nice blend of my own quiet time; solitude which I treasure.. And outings..  Dancing, theater, walks, readings.. Etc.  -healthy social life.


how blessed am I?   .. he's giving me a second chance! -after I 'kicked him to the curb' (his words not mine) some 25 years ago...  and I've been on a 100 mile Harley ride..  To the golf range..  dinner, lunch and coffee dates..  the occasional rendezvous..   I get to hold hands, kiss,..   have a valentine!   -someone to bake cookies for.. watch sports with..   entertain with my unique blend of intelligent awkwardness..  plus.. come on! he's Italian! a retired police officer!
has golden brown eyes, and ... 


I stay intellectually stimulated by reading, watching my Charlie rose.. A steady diet of books and programs which expose me to great thinkers, spiritual leaders, challenges the world faces..

so!  It is true: I am in the best shape of my entire life!

"Thank You Jesus!"


I also always handwrite:   please allow me to be a positive influence in someone's life this day.

-I very consciously choose the words 'positive influence' -because .. Well even when I mess up; make mistakes..  If I own up to my mistakes; apologize when it is appropriate...  That is being a positive influence.  It does not mean being perfect.


I also handwrite:   every thing and everyone within God's will for my life comes easily and naturally to (me!).


Thank you Jesus for placing me in the write place, at the write time, doing the write things, for the write people, and most importantly

the write reasons.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Embarrassing moment #97853 -for (me!) Sandra, tvgp

In a group text which required me to confirm my attendance and food contribution to an upcoming potluck dinner with coworkers:

Yes! I am banging someone dark and chocolate.


OMG how embarrassing..   I am BRINGING someTHING dark and chocolate.

Monday, February 09, 2015

How do you behave when you dont get your way? (Me!) Sandra, tvgp

Today I want to thank Joyce Meyer for bringing this question to my attention; making me conscious of..  my own behavior when I don't get my way; and an observer of others as they encounter the same..

how do you behave when you don't get your way?

I think the most important thing is to first just be aware in the actual moment when you are in a situation where you are up against not getting your way

because if you can be aware..  you can take a breath and not respond impulsively; in an immediate reaction kind of way

...unless your impulse and immediate reaction is loving, kind and patient

But in my experience and observations this does not come up first or naturally; it requires consciousness and training..

so you first become aware; then you take a breath; then you pray for wisdom

and if you approach with love, kindness and respect.. 


and sometimes the result of having a respectful approach opens a door that was otherwise shut; -sometimes it still doesn't open that door..

when respect STILL doesnt open the door.. how do you behave?

I like the saying "do not cut what you can untie."

-because sometimes people, unaware and untrained, people who are impulsive; reactionary

bully their way through..  use physical intimidation; anger; threats etc. when they don't get theit way..

terminate relationships unnecessarily

"My way now or nothing...  My way write now or else!"

without much or any consideration for why they are not getting their way..

and what I've observed is that sometimes that is literally the only tool people have in their tool box

the bully tool.  intimidation/threats..

here's something I know for sure Oprah:

for everyone:

there WILL be many occasions in life you won't get your way.
-sometimes they are justifiable
-sometimes they are not

-there are times you should be persistent (with love and respect)
-and there are times you should accept that you are not going to get your way; but you can/should remain respectful

-for Christians this is a spiritual test..

and another thing Im grateful Joyce Meyer teaches is that

You never fail. But You get to take the test over and over and over; until you pass..

"Thank you Jesus! Thank you Joyce!".   Amen.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

"What is my definition of God?" (Me!) Sandra, tvgp

"Oprah.. I love this question too!".  I've written many times,  accumulating my definition. Let me see if I can bullet point.

God IS love.   Love IS God.

-one in the same.   God is omnipresent; as love is omnipresent.

as I wrote about recently..  You cannot open a map and point to love; you cannot talk to love on the phone; or put a picture of love in your wallet.  You can put an icon of; but not love itself; only a representation..  Love IS.   (Same as 'I AM).   Love is everywhere without beginning or end. Omnipresent and eternal.

we KNOW whether or not we are loved via an internal interpretation; of a 'feeling'.  /for lack of vocabulary.

I believe we are made from love, with love and our purpose is to  love and be loved.   Nothing
and no one
would exist without love;
could exist without love;
should exist without love.

my greatest insight into understanding the omnipresence of God; of love,  came during a prayerful walk

I was invited to describe my own 'I AM's

So,  I am Sandra, I am a sister, I am a daughter, I am a mom, I am an aunt... I am creative, I am an employee...  (Long list)

and God said, "I AM.

I am God. I am Love
I am you. I am that tree.  I am the air you breathe. I am space. I am time (infinite list).

so, the same way love just.. Is.   And we experience love through people; it is an interpretation of an internal experience we both give and receive through relationships with others..

But we KNOW it..  That is, I KNOW who I love..  I KNOW when I feel loved by another..   It is a KNOWING. (Vs. Guess, belief)

The ability to recognize, interpret, KNOW,  -experience LOVE

The omnipresent Life giving; life validating, life affirming, and healing power of LOVE.  <------------   that then is my definition of God.

God is spirit; not flesh or material.. As love and peace and joy are spirits; not things.  Experiences; intangible.

this leads to Jesus..  but even if we  -for the sake of inclusion-   remove Jesus and Christianity and remain secular

Everyone KNOWS about LOVE;   -write.

There IS such a thing as LOVE.
There IS such a thing as TRUTH.

so,   -there IS such a thing as True Love.


Happy valentines and amen!

The Heart Seen.. by (me!) -writeousmom..

-in the last of the mustard squirts; making salame, pepperjack on toast for my kids.   -many cute little hearts to be found in salame all the time. -cute one here too...

The Heart Seen... photo by (tatiana!)

   -in the Styrofoam while unpacking candles...   I just love these little ones..  high charm factor...

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Spiritual School with (me!) Sandra, tvgp

"Yes.. Oprah.. I love the question: what is spirit?

there is a prerequisite to understanding spirit.   -first! You must understand the distinction between knowing and believing.    -this leads also to understanding there is such thing as truth.. But

Let me move on as if these concepts are already understood:

SPIRIT IS an intelligent energy which KNOWS and REVEALS what you BELIEVE about yourself and others.

keep in mind.. What you believe may or may not be true.

Friday, February 06, 2015

gravity. a poem by (me!) sandra, tvgp

Inspired by my weekly visit to


when i was taught
the earth was round
when as a child i could not see

i held 10 photos upside down
-stared at water, -stared at trees

how? does water cling to earth?
while trees reach for the sky?

how? do mountains peak
but rivers flow?

upside down my wonders rise.

the earth is round? and.. always spinning?
why don't the oceans spill?

as a child i wondered this;
i marvel at it still.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Mixed media by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

"My favorite dish".  -complete.

Super soul sundays (dr. Maya angelou!) As seen by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Of course I have to release and honor a few tears..  But!  It is one of the best!! Super soul sunday interviews and I've only just seen part I. Part II is not until this sunday..    Almost everything is a revisit for me I've been listening to; reading; watching her for so long..

But worth mentioning is this:   everyone she remembers, acknowledges, mentions when she talks about who she thought of when she received her freedom medal from President Barack Obama.

I will come back with actual.. For now, from memory:  she mentions African Americans, Chinese, Irish, Indians, Jews,. Long list!

AS THERE ACTUALLY IS A LONG and DIVERSE LIST of people ALL AROUND THE WORLD from the begining and to this current day! who have and are suffering oppression, injustice, violence, slavery, exploitation, etc

This brings me to the movie SELMA.  the movie  my 17year old daughter said moved straight to the top of her favorite movies of all time list..

but which I wouldn't have bothered to see at all if she hadnt wanted to.  Here's why:

I'm nearly 50 years old. I've seen/read/been exposed to versions of this same story over and over and over..

seen by mature minds it increases compassion.
Seen by immature minds it instigates and increases  anger, violence, hatred, and vengeful behavior on innocent people today for wrongs committed by long time ago others.

It continues to be my opinion and belief that as it is -2015!-

NO story of oppression/slavery/injustice, etc

NOT ONE! Not of blacks or Jews or women or gays or Indians or Egyptians..  Not ONE should be told in isolation from the others

We have a very clear pattern in human history

Neon flashing bright lights:  Holocausts, genocides, slavery..apartheid

ALL begin with evil; violence, oppression.  But the evil and violence and oppression do not prevail; freedom wins! Peace wins!

In every situation this is already true.  -what is the pattern?

Can it be expedited?  Can we recognize the evil more quickly? Respond more efficiently?   We surely know our goal:

World wide peace. Respect for all human beings.

Dr Maya Angelou clearly arrived at this same realization/conclusion..

I am not the only one (race) who has suffered..    She acknowledges the pattern..

One more reason to love and admire her...    


Super Soul Sundays (jack kornfield!) as seen by (me!) Sandra, tvgp


-yes; a pretty fully evolved human being. I am a fan of his teachings.

Of special interest to me.. His father, "a brilliant biophysicist who had an explosive temper and was prone to streaks of violence.".  -it is also shared, that he beat his wife; jack kornfields mom.

In my almost 50 years here.. I am left unable to count the number of people who I've either personally encountered; heard about or read about..

That are -by external standards, 'highly successful'.   -and yet by internal standards; severely lacking. terribly unhealthy; unevolved; unhappy..

External standards = academic degrees; wealth; status; title; influence; power; authority; expertise

Internal standards = manifestation of, practice of: love, peace, joy patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control

Or by kornfields Buddhist influenced description: compassion born through meditation and mindfulness; enlightenment; peace..

"However you get there:  towards love, peace, patience, self control..

Just get there."   -that's what I say with a smile.

I must also type out his response to why he became a monk:

"I became a monk partly because I read these cool books about zen masters and I said, 'I wonder if there still are any?'. -and partly because I had so much suffering in my family and nothing in my education taught me about my emotional life

Or my values

How do I live?   <------ that wasn't part of the curriculum

Now it is.   

I graduated from ivy league education, Dartmouth college; but it was only 1/2 of an education.

I learned science, history, philosophy

But nobody taught me how to deal with my fear or my anger

Nobody taught me how to [deal with] emotional stuff -which is what plays out in our lives."


Amen kornfield!   Amen to that!

-exactly why I believe in SPIRITUAL SCHOOL!    -we can't have religious school because..  Too much separation/interpretation, dogma, doctrine, rules...   Which one would we send everyone to?

But spiritual things!  Like love, peace, joy, compassion, self-governance..     No one religion or faith system (or lack of) has the monopoly..  They belong to all of humanity

INNER LIFE 101..   Introducing you to your... Self...

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Merchandising/photo by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

-if I were to describe my style as a literary, mixed media and/or merchandising artist; in two words:

EcLecTic  hArMoNy.    

/and so, the perfect title for an upcoming column I'll be writing..

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

TREE MAJESTIC feb. 2015 photo by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

-darn it.. never made the one picture a month thing happen..   -one picture every once in a while then...   Love this tree! Sat. May 9th, 2015

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

Monday, February 02, 2015

Mixed media in progress.. By (me!) Sandra, tvgp beautiful to (me!) Sandra, tvgp

-that was a very exciting Superbowl to witness!   We had no loyalties or attachments to either team prior to the game, my sister and I..  We just picked the patriots arbitrarily so we could concentrate our cheering effort; coaching from the couch.. ..   -this makes it much more fun..   "Congratulations! Patriots!"...   That clutch play belongs in the history books!