Monday, August 31, 2015

ask yourself... for (me!) sandra, tvgp

every single person on the planet has something or someone that is the most powerful influence in their lives.

what is the most powerful influence in your life write now?

amen.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

3 & 10.. as Dreamed by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

these are the two websites I wish existed:

3 dot com.  -where there are never more than 3 choices to make for any given item you currently find in a grocery store.  -and no movie has a scene which captures the need for this better than the scene in the hurt locker.    landed it!  ~exactly.  plus..  wow of a movie.. but I skip here to:

10 dot com.  10 dot com is one website where anyone, stuck in any crisis, can quickly access 10 testimonies of real people who have experienced the same or very similar crisis.. and successfully navigated their way out.    'Tests into testimonies..  mess into message' kind of thing..

yes! I have my dreams...  

and I still dream to have the heart seen dot com, where people from all over the world post, share and archive their found heart photographs..  found heart = a heart shape not created by human intention.

amen.

Friday, August 28, 2015

you REALLY did a great job! says (me!) writeousmom

i had the great privilege recently of taking my son for a driving lesson in the writeousmom~mobile.

now, let me say for the record..  it is an entirely different experience giving a lesson to my son than it was my daughter a couple years ago..

the lesson itself was not so different; the actual experience..

-more, the internal experience is different.  -because my son has spent so many hours playing race car video games..  and because he talks about cars and speeding more often..   -because of his comments when im driving and he's in the front

"Oh I'd just go write now..  gas it".   and he is just joking of course, because if I did just go.. Lives would be lost..  so I joke back..

and tell him I must postpone him getting his license at least 6 months for every terrible driving comment he makes..

and I think at last tally..   he is really not supposed to get his license until he's like.. 43.

but all of that has been just for fun..  

now he is 15 1/2 and its time to get serious...    not simulated video game driving where a totaled car gets repaired instantaneously; or a life that gets wiped out, is easily replaced..

this is the real deal.   

and I'm giving his lesson same place as my daughter..  

church parking lot.

-this allows me to talk directly to Jesus during the lesson..

pray over and through the " brake! brake! brake!" part of the experience and express my gratitude for the privilege, and up my faith.. my hope... my prayers.. my trust..

because all parents with driving age young adult children know..

once they have their license.. and they start driving independently..

you, as the parent

have no control over what happens on the road.   after you teach and talk about safety.. and caution and warn, and build confidence and grow their instincts, and establish what a responsibility it is..

then, at some point..   you let them go. 

sign of cross, sign of cross, sign of cross..

and it is easy..  a great temptation... to be consumed by worry..

but what I have learned to do instead

is to look everywhere I go, day in and day out..   and for every adult I see, I say to myself..

she survived; he survived..  look at all these people who learned how to drive!

and so having successfully helped launch my daughter out into the driving world..  I was a tad more prepared

***

and you REALLY did great! son, on your first lesson..  it will stand out to me as a beautiful and entertaining memory, that at the end of the lesson..  the way you looked at me and said,

"K.. is there anything you would tell me I did wrong, or could do better, if you weren't being nice?"

and the truth is..   No. You REALLY did great.   It was your FIRST lesson..   not your third.  And you should not compare yourself to someone who has been driving ten years.  It is a process.. 

you even pulled in a parking spot backwards this first lesson.  -very impressive..

but I knew you wanted to hear something..   so, I made it up:

how maybe you could be easier on the brake.  -shoot for a smoother stop...

but  the truth is..      no one gets that perfect the first time.  that would freak me out if you did everything smooth and perfect the first time

and every car will be different..   you will adjust accordingly each time..

so, sorry I lied to you, k.     You REALLY did great! I'm not just being nice. I'm being real.

Love you!  Xoxo

wedding gift wine bottle art by (me!) sandra, tvgp

with a "thank you!" here to my daughter for selecting the perfect font and size to personalize this bottle..  and of course a "congratulations!" to victor & julie..    ~many blessings...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Happy Birthday!" to the best (mom!) in the universe..

1 week or so before her birthday, she stayed the night with us..  spoiled us with her good cooking, good love, good company.. and subtle hints like this:

"..look how tattered and torn my pajamas are..    they were my favorites..

..but boy are they old..   just look...

100% cotton..  my favorite, but..   and all I have is the bottoms.. can't even find the matching top anymore..

how long ago did you get these for me..  I can't even remember.."

***

and so, can we even call it a surprise?   did we ~surprise~ her with new, beautiful 100% cotton pajamas..

but what a smile when she opened this gift.   and when she said,

"Oh! pajamas! I really needed these.. how did you know?"

we just each looked at each other and laughed.

"Happy Birthday Mom!".   love & appreciate you!   Xoxo

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Add to list.. (john brazell!) -for (me!) sandra, tvgp

colloquially speaking, the word cougar is dropped frequently these days to define, seriously and/or playfully, an older woman who seeks out, and/or responds willingly to..  

a much younger man.

and may i say for the record:  i have no such desire.

the only reason i mention it at all, is because..

when i look at my taste in music; there is no denying a specific pattern:

not my taste in dancing music.  my taste in listening music. there is a notable distinction.  the list im about to abbreviate, the music these artists share with the public.  -with rare exception, none of it makes me want to dance, like say: uptown funk, in which..

my entire body must respond.

but this music..   it is wonderful to listen to while im working, or driving, or arts n' crafting.   it has to do with melody, lyrics, voice:

john mayer
jason mraz
james morrison
marc broussard
george ezra
hozier
ed sheeran
vance joy..

the list is longer, but how many names do you need to spot the pattern?

i do not watch music videos, so it has nothing to do with appearance/creative visual interpretations

but everything to do with melody, lyrics, voice...  some magical combination of the three.

and "thank you!" here to the pleasanton downtown association

and their hosting/creation of 'sizzling saturday' nights in downtown..

ricks picks has enjoyed having a live musician in front of our store on saturdays nights from 6-9pm for three weeks in a row now.

-just turns out, that just like steve martin happen to visit ON MY DAY OFF!

-these talented musicians show up just as i am leaving, so i don't necessarily get to enjoy..

but i did get to talk briefly with john brazell, and he did very generously gift me with one of his CD's

and i did stay long enough to hear, beginning to end, his song, city girl.

and adding that experience to now having listened to his entire CD, i can say with happiness and enthusiasm

YES!  add this handsome young man to my favorites list!

he stands out..  ~for blending in so perfectly with whatever that x factor is.. that unites my taste in listening music.

continued success to you john brazell!  and "thank you!"





Monday, August 24, 2015

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

hiding apparently under one of Ricks Picks racking fixtures..  

Sunday, August 23, 2015

photo of (julie!) by (me!) sandra, tvgp

"..you need to rub her shoulder.." i tell our customers, "she made contact with Steve Martin!"

how God works... according to (me!) sandra, tvgp

it might at first take appear as if God is cruel..   having Steve Martin

-yes THE Steve Martin

visit Ricks Picks..   

"On my day off?!?!?!....  really Jesus?!?!   ...after all ive neglected to do for you..."

but then.. i realize God is full of love and mercy and tends to know what is really in my best interest vs. what i think is in my best interest.   the battle is flesh vs. spirit..

-and

well let's take a closer look at what would have happened if i was working instead of Julie when THE Steve Martin casually and  innocently visited Ricks Picks..

"                                "

-because God knows how when i get nervous and excited all kinds of things will race through my brain to say, but -something prevents them from actually coming out of my mouth.

so see, God spared me the humiliating aftermath where i would have been unable to serve customers because i was preoccupied with how stupid i am..

also, im quite certain, i would have gestured, via arms, hands and running down main street in the opposite direction

that i wanted to "hurry, quick, -before you leave.. it will just take a sec..  i'll be write back...".  -buy his book from Judy at towne center books and have him autograph it and us take

" just one!  I promise...". picture together to add to my autograph book collection and literary scrapbook..

but when you can't speak..   running down main street with your arms waving all around might not translate well.. 

then!  how traumatic would that be.. to be at the register with his book..  my one and only shot at getting an autograph and picture

but my bank card gets declined.   -frickin' I.R.S.

that's one thing to take my grocery and gas and rent money..

but my autographed book?!?   -now you really crossed the line!

anyway..

none of that actually happened.

well, the I.R.S. really did take my money..   but! i mean,

none of the potentially humiliating things happened that would have happened if i was working instead of Julie.

also, i know, i know, i know, i would have been tempted beyond what i could handle to give The Steve Martin a copy of my self-portrait poem, because in it i reference the Shop Girl..

and not because i like to wear long black gloves..

and! i would have wanted to tell him,   -despite a long line at the register, -i mean, "please customers can't that wait til tomorrow? i am talking to STEVE MARTIN.."

i would have wanted to tell him that The Jerk is my favorite comedy of all time.. and how the whole reason I couldn't wait for my daughter to grow up.. was not to see her become a contributing member of our society; -but because I couldn't wait to watch The Jerk with her..

and then, how when we finally did watch it together when she was a teenager

-how she laughed too loud and readily at the sex jokes..

and then, well I suddenly didn't like that movie so much anymore..  and vowed never to watch it with my son.

but that too would have come out like this:

"                  "

and sometimes when the words don't come out of my mouth, my arms flap.   it is not good.

anyway.. and i would have wanted to tell him, how.. i love my charlie rose.. and have watched a gazillion interviews.. and out of those gazillion..

his interview is one of the very -very!- best..    -ever!

and..

if i would have been not working while he was there,

i would have wanted to show him the panel cartoon caption my daughter came up with for The New Yorker magazine..

I would have really, really! wanted to know... -off the record, of course..

if he was ever the true author of those..   if he was the anonymous ghost writer of some of those humor pieces under..   /name I can't remember..  In new yorker magazine...

and then! my God.. who wouldn't want to visit studio 7 with STEVE MARTIN! and ask him to think out loud as he looks at the art..

please.

I would not hesitate to turn off the Pandora, turn off the lights, turn the OPEN sign over to "NOT SORRY/CLOSED for the day..  I'm giving STEVE MARTIN a tour of downtown pleasanton..

and then Ricks Picks would have missed out on like 3 or 4 furniture sales.  

-that's what would have happened if I was (not) working instead of Julie.

...but for the grace of God..

and the store would need to be closed for maybe two days.. because we haven't even covered his play..  and i would want to tell him about Kissin The Chocolate Blues..

and.. about his music! how he taught himself by listening cord by cord.. to play the banjo..  and how " my moms dad was self taught on the banjo too!"

and I would want to tell him about my brother.. also a huge fan.. also a self taught musician.. and! really..  "My brothers comedic commentary during your movies..  elevates them another 3 notches..  turns a giggle into a laugh-so-hard-you-cry kind of thing.."

oh! there's so much..  so much..

but he has come and gone..   and none of this happened..   not the leaping into his arms and wrapping my legs around him and giving him a big kiss..

not the charades race to towne center books

not the autograph; not the picture

not the visit to studio 7; not the tour of downtown

not the visit to my moms, or call to my brother

not the poem, or the book, or the cartoon..

not the closing of Ricks Picks..

only the I.R.S. got what they wanted.

yes.. 

God is full of love & mercy.  my flesh was torn, my spirit was saved and Steve Martin was spared 

"                  "

  ~nothing.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

i feel some stories coming on... (Me!) sandra, tvgp

so the way Rick of Ricks Picks does his buying..  trade show floor samples, overstock, closeouts..

this is what allows him to pass along the awesome discounts on current season, top quality everything..

and he does not only purchase product and furniture and wall art this way..

but the very bags we package your purchases in..

We have grocery market bags from other states in the U.S., and MLB bags, and library bags..

but this one..  Motherhood Maternity..    -this yields the greatest opportunities for ...   

"What is a motherhood maternity bag doing in the trunk of your car?!?"

"Is she....?

" who was shopping for...?  

and so far I'm just having a lot of fun with people at the register..

"Are you sure you don't want to start some rumors.. this could be fun.. stir things up a little.."

especially as we have Jaime's bridal as a neighbor..   lots of engaged women shop in our store..

and I go, ..  "Be sure and leave this bag on the kitchen counter..."

all i need... (Me!) sandra, tvgp

... is to sell one of my Ricky picky photography books for $8,518.64

~tax free.

It's not you... It's them... by (me!) sandra, tvgp

you know one of my side hobbies is defining, recognizing people who are fully evolved human beings.  and i will just bullet point: no addictions or neuroses; humanitarian; humble not arrogant.. etc. etc.   -and I'm adding on today..  that a fully evolved human being would be incapable of consciously, intentionally, hurting another human being physically, mentally, emotionally, financially or spiritually, etc.  -just for the sake of it.

anytime someone knowingly hurts another persons  -feelings,  -for my example today,

it has nothing to do with the targeted person; and everything to do with the limitations of the person doing the hurting.

when you learn to see and understand this..  the result is that you become immune to having your feelings hurt by comments, gestures, or ill-willed deeds..

but there are many layers..  many things to evaluate..

Number one is. -is it being done on purpose, with intention?   or is it unconscious?  

-sometimes answering that question correctly. -corrects everything else.

more later...   Off to work..

Friday, August 21, 2015

they missed (me!). -they really missed (me!)

..and it felt very,   -very!-  unusually, almost addictively,  -good.

***

so good in fact, i thought briefly about recreating such a moment again on purpose.  -I will never do such a thing, I'm only wishing to convey how special...

***

what happen is...that I changed out of my pajamas and into some clothes appropriate for the public.  went down stairs and said to my nephew,

"im going out with rick.. be back later..".  and i might have even asked him to make sure the porch light stayed on.

and yes, he was quite involved in his..  video game. creating armies to conquer enemy armies and fighting who knows how many elements and aliens along the way...

but he did look up.  we did make eye contact.  he did nod.

***

but apparently he did not actually hear me.

***

my sister: " where's your auntie sandy?"
nephew: "she went outside and will be back in a sec."

a sec went by. I did not return.  more secs went by...   and more.

"where's your auntie sandy?..   she was in her pajamas...?!"

and apparently a hunt began.  My car was in the driveway.. and I was not in it.

my keys were inside...   and my phone was inside.   so, my sister could not figure out where I would go 'for a sec' wearing my pajamas..   I was nowhere in sight of the house..

did she go for a long walk? In her pajamas?    and then she thought maybe my daughter picked me up..  and so called my daughter but I was not with her...

my daughter arrives to aid my sister in the hunt.  -they drill my nephew some more..  "what was she wearing?".  " what EXACTLY did she say?".   -and write about here is when she includes our neighbors in the hunt..  "have you seen my sister? she's missing..."

and my nephew thought I was wearing jeans.. and said I'd be back in a sec.. and my sister was certain!

and so she started digging through my dirty laundry and dresser drawers to see if she could find my happy giraffe pajamas..

and since she didnt find my happy giraffe pajamas in the dirty laundry, or my dresser drawers.. she was even more certain .. and even more concerned..

but write about now is when my daughter decides to check the phone I left behind...

and pretty quickly sees via text that I'm having a quick beer with my rick.   and everyone is relieved and happy..

***

of course, I don't know any of this...  I'm just at gay 90's visiting with rick.. swapping jokes and stories..  and return very innocently home.

and it is upon returning innocently home, that I realize immediately everyone is very... -very!-    like, unusually glad to see me.

did I win a prize?  What happen while I was away... ?  -there is an extra happiness in their eyes..  there is an extra squeeze in everyone's hug..  there is an extra something in the tone of everyone's voice..

I thought they were maybe all bursting with some good news that they couldn't wait to tell me..  "What is it?"

and then... and then..  I found out.. I was the good news. (Me!).  

I had not disappeared or been kidnapped by aliens in my happy giraffe pajamas. I was not lost or wondering around in the pleasanton woods somewhere -without my phone.

I was in my street clothes. home. Safe n sound after having a quick beer with my rick.

and the unnecessary scare and concern just made it so that they were all extra glad to see me.

but I have to tell you..   its a pretty awesome reception.   I would never suggest you scare or concern anyone unnecessarily and/or on purpose...

but..  Then again...

I sure did feel loved.   and feeling loved is a pretty awesome thing.

"Thank you!".   I love you too!

in Jesus name, amen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

~Swept away. photo by (me!) sandra, tvgp

at the top of my gratitude list today -by (me!) sandra, tvgp

am i ever grateful that i am not a teenager in 2015.   -and i think my parents are pretty grateful about that too..   aren't you.   

in Jesus name,  amen.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

my next liberation... ! (Me!) sandra, tvgp

i am officially ready-ish to let my hair go gray. ..now, let me correct that.. 

i am officially ready-ish to stop painting over the true color of my hair which is gray.  i don't let it go gray; it did that on its own..

I am not completely ready..  only ready-ish..  but! Having enjoyed for several months now the great liberation from carrying a purse..

-how to lose 10lbs in one day..   and experiencing that that was a rough 3 or 4 days followed by great and permanent liberation and happiness..

what I'm actually prepared for is..  a rough road..  followed by liberation and more happiness...

not to mention the financial savings!!   -and time!!

so the very, very first way I'm going to celebrate is by taking that time ...1 1/2 to 2 hours!!   and that money...   that would normally go towards a fresh coat of paint...

and I'm going to do something very different with it.. Both the time and money...

I don't know what yet....      How awesome though.. I'm excited to knock on the door of this breakthrough...

hallelujah and amen! 

Imagination Bootcamp by (me!) sandra, tvgp

you will see.. it is the perfect title for my post today. imagination; because it suggests we will not find or accomplish this through the real world. and boot camp; which accurately suggests a very hard workout.  -this will not be easy. it will require more than a little effort. you will most likely sweat. there will be some pain during the journey and in the aftermath..  this is not for novices. not for people who like to cruise on coast...  this! is for people who are searching for some real growth from a true challenge.   ready?

employ your imagination to see what would happen, what would be required, what shifts, twists and turns, what consequences and results, what impact on every person, family, relationship and industry:

if sex was regarded as sacred by your culture, society, peers, friends, family, and individual self.   -if everyone was in on it..  sex as sacred.

and once you are done..  

flip it over like a pancake.   employ your imagination to see what it would be like if sex were treated by our culture as..  a recreational sport; commodity; power play; manipulation device; source to black mail; source to belittle, control, negotiate; selling/advertising tool...

and then compare the two imagination workouts..  how hard did you have to work out your imagination for each one...   at what point did your mind start to ache?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

sweet taste of the good life.. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

our wonderful neighbor gifted us with a bag of m&m's.

when my sister opened it.. a diagonal cut on the corner.. i knew if it wasn't sealed in some way we were at high risk of the m&m's spilling all over the place..  and the truth is, i would have no problem eating them off the floor if it happened, but if I could avoid it, I wanted to:

"Paper clip!  in the garage!  top left drawer!".   and i walked obstacle free through a bran new path co-created by my daughter and myself, in the garage

write to it.  ~and there it was.    

i will not be able to adequately describe what a beautiful moment that was..

Needing something and knowing where it was.. 

i nearly cried.     -this is how i imagine my whole life once i finish the enormous task of my current radical decluttering project..

passport?  " its write here!"

tax forms?  "third drawer!"

tape? scissors? Band-Aids? birth certificates? Christmas cards? postage stamps? matching socks? ..that gift card..?

and no matter what you ask for..  just like the very sweet moment i  just enjoyed..

i will immediately know where it is, and have an obstacle free path write to it!

amen! 





Saturday, August 15, 2015

I see your life in context says (God) to (me!) sandra, tvgp

you know I attend church and watch a lot! Of church TV. it is very common for the preacher to say "I prayed and asked God what he wanted me to teach on today..". -and they follow that up with whatever it is they perceived/discerned the answer to be..  

and I did that too..  Prayed and asked God.. " what do you want me to say?"

and what I received/perceived/discerned.. and without much effort; it was actually quick and clear:

God sees your whole life in context.

If youve ever witnessed things taken out of context you know just how important this can be..

I offer one very simplied example. a mom with a misbehaving toddler.

-how quickly! passersby with only a look at the misbehavior can and will harshly judge the toddler, or the parent or both..

but. if you saw the toddlers entire day or week in context...   the unexpected hardship that resulted in the missed nap...

***

God sees not just your day, your week, your month, your years; but your ENTIRE life in context.  and many times when you see peoples lives in context..

well its said, isn't it, that God is merciful, forgiving, understanding, and just. God is love..  love is: merciful, forgiving, understanding and just..

maybe your fellow man does not understand your behavior, decisions, pace of progress or lack thereof; but God does..

and he is rooting for you...  everyday.

In Jesus name, -amen.

Dual citizenship.. as seen by (me!) sandra, tvgp

"be in this world; but not of this world..".    " work for God and not for men.."

-this theme and sentiment run throughout the bible..  and i get it; understand it thoroughly..

in this world; not of this world..   -clearly suggests we are visitors. 

so I think of Christians this way sometimes...   dual citizens.  visiting earth, and adapting to this environment, but without losing sight of our original culture...

??? excuse me. repeat please. asks (me!) sandra, tvgp

the very moment time and circumstances allow, I will return to my charlie rose's program where there are a few people discussing the recent google/alphabet..   development.

in it, the woman with dark brown hair said something like,

paraphrasing: "... and search is a thing of the past.. -having to type in a word in a little box..   -thats gone.."

obviously not verbatim..  But!  -the search bar..  a thing of the past?!?!        -imagine briefly wikipedia without a search bar..  dictionary.com without a search bar...

-so, maybe they are already working on verbal search...!

but to date, at least, the search bar is one of THE single most greatest things to happen on the internet..

and I am still fascinated with the fact that once pleasanton patch changed platforms..  no more search bar.

You must go to google to search the archives of pleasanton patch. -access path usurped..

its not so much about having the information..   but who has immediate access to the information...

and I never think on these things without seeing analogies to our human brains; and the pathways to our memories, stories, experiences...  hyperlinks; search; keywords/key images..triggers.. memories gone vs. Just hard to find due to large quantity...

... search bar a thing of the past...?....  I need to go make sure I heard her correctly...

***
I double-checked because it nagged at me.. and yes.. I used the word usurped incorrectly..  I don't believe google took the search bar feature from pleasanton patch by force or illegally..

but I'm struggling for the vocabulary.   -but let's say, tomorrow I went to dictionary.com to look up the definition of a word..  but there was no longer a search bar..

I can still look up words..  just not from their website..

I have to go to google and type dictionary.com and then the word I want to look up.    its like a cyber-bypass-surgery of sorts...

that's it!   cyber-bypath-surgery...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ecclesiastes 2015 a.d. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

i am inspired by solomon to share what i have experienced under my geographically/chronologically oriented sun..

it is true, isn't it..  that within 5 or so generations.. give or take a couple generations in either direction..   you will be dead and only maybe mentioned in passing, when something or someone directly triggers the memory.. Or, if during your mere mist of a life, you happen to be famous..  perhaps you'll enjoy..  Oh, wait a minute.  -once you're dead..  you cannot enjoy hearing your name dropped? or your art admired?   -the chance that your life is positively influencing someone else's life several generations later...?

please pause here to take a personal inventory of people from history who have a direct influence on your life today.

-was that the point of their life?

anyway..  it doesn't look so hot for the average Joe.  -work, work, work... toil, toil, toil... 

and then several generations later take a look at the digital family scrapbook..    /perhaps hologram if we fast forward..

are there still any pictures of you?

when I look at our own family scrapbooks...  great, great grandparents.. ? great great aunts? uncles? cousins?

when I look at trends in social media archives; sad news..  there is no relational colloquial equivalent for "selfie"

-you got it Solomon.. generations come and generations go..but the earth remains.. 

wait. at least, we hope, in 2015 that the earth will remain.. it probably seemed like a foregone conclusion in 950 b.c.

but I've got some sad news from 2015 a.d....

we have nuclear weapons and climate change issues.. so.. the whole sun rising/sun setting.. and wind blowing..   -none of this can be taken for granted anymore..

but! we do have people locally at the Lawrence Livermore labs NIF project toiling on creating a new sun before this one..say,   permanently sets..

oh! what do people gain from all their labors toiling to make a new sun...    and i just have to laugh here because.. because I can almost hear future generations, " there is nothing new under this new sun"

and.. those rivers and streams -always returning to where they came..  -we can't necessarily take that for granted anymore either..

-very inconvenient.

Yes.. add it up, it doesn't multiply, it subtracts:  perhaps you were write back then solomon,

no one even remembers former generations, or will remember those yet to come.   what does anyone gain from their labor?

***
please! honey..  i applied my mind to study..  and to explore wisdom too!  amen!  -that is for sure a bunch of chasing after the wind..   and it just fascinates me to no end that the Kings and the Presidents and the CEO's and the like, seem to arrive at the same conclusion as their hired hands..

-heavy burden.  one set of stress for the boss; a different set of stresses for the employees.  everyone's got their very own brand of stress.. and it turns out..  that's true for people of almost any income level..  stress of growing it/investing it/maintaining it/not losing it vs. stress of just trying to get it:   the ole mighty dollar...

clearly being King did not immune you...  and what was the minimum wage in israel in 950 b.c.? vs. cost of living?

-because, if you could see California in 2015...   yes, yes .. what is crooked cannot be straightened. what is lacking cannot be counted.  it is a mess. 

and like you.. I said to myself, I said "enough with all my wisdom and knowledge.. sorrow and grief...

let me check out some madness and folly.  -or that is more of a direct result of.. 

this is really where we part spiritual ways..  -because.. laughter! well, who was the robin williams of 950 a.d.?    -and then, well..

he's gone now..   but if you want to know what is good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their mist of an earthly life:

-making people laugh; or being the responsive audience by laughing..

this is time very well invested.  money very well spent.  can fancy clothes or fancy cars or material things make you laugh? 

the return on investment for laughter is greater than any money market fund.  humor about the madness and folly..  it breaks through the sorrow and grief

and is the highest demonstration of wisdom there is.

-you were considered one of the wisest men of your generation..  but if we had a solomon today...

we would be watching her for one hour, commercial free on HBO and spitting out our wine from uncontrollable laughter..

i can picture you, King Solomon, as a King.. studying, exploring, amassing wealth and wives, slaves and properties, silver and gold,

I can picture you building houses, planting vineyards, developing gardens and parks.. making reservoirs...

but I cannot picture you in doubled-over, snort-laughing, shoulders shaking, jaws aching laughter..

-you write that you denied yourself nothing.. refused your heart no pleasure..  but, what I think, when I read how you wrote, 'laughter is madness. and what does pleasure accomplish.. and this also turned out to be meaningless..

well, what I think is that..  you just didn't have exposure to a great comedian...  they are all not good.. there are  a few duds.. but! if you could have found a talented one.. 

Ecclesiastes might have an entirely different ring to it; if it was written at all..

-can't take it all too serious my biblical king friend..  laugh and pray and cast your cares...

and i can almost hear you.. you in your severely depressed, severely wealthy, permanently severe state of mind..

"the comedian.. he toiled for years and years.. traveled the world, overcoming rejection, telling jokes to drunk people ordering more drinks during the punchlines.. the comedian he struggled for decades.. for what?

to make who laugh? the drunk ordering another drink during the punchline..

and they both share the same fate..  the comedian who toils and toils and toils to master his craft..  and the audience member who just sits on his ass and orders a drink...  they will both die and will not be long remembered.."

and when I picture you saying that it just cracks me up. 

-there is always that one person in the room on any good and special and wonderful occasion who raises his glass to say

"We're all gonna die.  -cheers."

and you know, you're write Solomon.. the bar owner.. he worked his whole life.. built the place, sacrificed time, energy, money.. finally grew from a small pub to a restaurant with a stage for great comedians and wonderful musicians... he's put in countless hours, sweat, weekends, skipped vacations.. 

and will pass it on to a son who hadn't invested a thing.. and not knowing whether his son will be as dedicated.. Or,

"Oh.. you dont want the family business.. just the inheritance money?.."

-it happens.  I see your point.. 

***
TBC.

***

i woke this morning to thoughts of your multiple wives.  it is a very, highly common mistake even all these thousands of years later:

quantity vs. quality.  its 57-ish a.d. when Paul writes and describes about the crucial necessity of love, and he did not cover every single applicable experience under the current sun, but if he did, in his letter to the Corinthians it would have said,

"..and if you have a thousand wives but love not one who loves you in return..  you have a thousand wives and who cares

these disposable easy come, easy go, wives may sound very impressive to the guys at work and look novel-length when names are logged on papyrus, but honestly..  void of true love..   "meaningless!  meaningless!" you have merely mislabeled a thousand people...

without a mutual, exclusive, surrender/sacrifice known and understood by the heart.. "meaningless!".  " empty, empty, empty!" and it is a rare gift from God..  but mathematically speaking,  one true love is greater than 10,000 culturally, egotistically, acquired wives. 

ANYONE can acquire spouses, make living arrangements and adhere to obligations..   -what is impressive about that?  -when it is born from the mind and not the heart.. you can achieve this  any day; any where; any time..   it is about as rare as a grain of sand.

but mutually exclusive LOYALTY!  true love known and experienced and communicated through the heart.. -what is more astounding?

-talk about an epic treasure hunt! 

-not an obligatory relationship based on fear, ignorance, cultural or religious dictates, intimidation, financial dependence..  etc., etc.

-but love; known to the heart.    -what an invention!

it is worth more than all the gold and silver in existence on this parched earth under our current sun.

yes.. Paul was pressed for time or he would have expanded on this.. I'm sure of it..   

***

you know, as i re-read you Solomon..  I see that you came to some of these same conclusions..   -the hard way.  

and in the absence of love you are exactly write: everything IS meaningless..

and i can tell you were very bothered by the fact, that despite your wisdom, wealth, status as King..   despite your power and position..

you shared the same fate as any peasant on the unpaved streets.

ultimately speaking,  -there may be some giant discrepancies in this world when it comes to power and position and assets and liabilities..    but none of it buys immunity to your physical death. 

all the empty relationships, the money, the knowledge... 

there is no investment of time, energy or money or education that yields immortality.

it belongs...  /and this just kills elitists... 

but it belongs.. not to the exclusive card carrying billionaires club members..

but to those who believe.  

***

"Gas Money". photo by (me!) sandra, tvgp

"clinically depressed misogynist" as read by (me!) sandra, tvgp

inspiration for this post is a recent email invite by ladies from a formerly existing Monday night bible study group I belong to for a while  -I was the novice of the group.. by a lot.

and on my initial reading of Ecclesiastes I was like..  "Whoever wrote this appears by today standards to be a clinically depressed misogynist"

-as I read Ecclesiastes I kept wanting to help this guy experience some joy in his life again...

and that task seems hopeless when you have someone who insists everything, "everything is meaningless... everything is meaningless!.."

paraphrase:  this is awful, that is awful..  its all awful..  awful, awful, awful...   having money is awful.. not having money is awful...work is awful, not working is awful, people are all awful!  oh, maybe there is ONE..  one man in a million who is not totally awful... just mostly awful.. but not one woman.. ALL women are COMPLETELY awful..  -this being alive stuff.. its just awful...   hard worker/lazy ass.. no matter.. we share the same fate. we are all going to die. and be forgotten...

***

honestly, on my initial read I was like.. My God.. get this man some anti-depressants!  and are there any pharmaceuticals for bitterness?

***
so I was entertained to read and learn..  in this order as a matter of fact:   Solomon is considered one of the WISEST people in the world at the time, and.. guess who wrote Ecclesiastes..

-I scratch my head...

but upon multiple re-readings.. I get it; his points..   and I am inspired to write a parallel

-very soon, when time allows.. which explains similar points of view but from this current year of 2015..  and geographically, from the point of view of pleasanton, California..

..and! from the point of view of a nearly 50 year old female, heterosexual, left-handed, utilitarian, pro-choice, Christian, mother of two, divorced, single, living under poverty line, survivor of multiple traumas, optimistic, life time student of Joyce Meyers... etc. Etc.  

/turns out you need a lifetime of information to put someone's point of view in perspective; doesn't it....

in Jesus good name!  Amen!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

And then ill let it go.. (Me!) Sandra, tvgp

some people have an allergy to bee stings; some to sea food; some to pollen, etc.    -and people, on the whole, seem to be very understanding.  -when it comes to allergic reactions, such a natural understanding..  I've never heard anyone say.. "Oh what's wrong with you? I'm fine.. just handle it.".   People seem to accept and understand that a pre-existing/predisposition to a given allergy exists and it is not the persons choice.. and it cannot be willed away... or.. Conquered through desensitization; repeated exposure, etc.    if you have an allergy to sea food; you avoid it.  if you are allergic to pollen, you avoid what you can, and medicate for what you cannot.. If you are allergic to bee stings.. You avoid getting stung, but if you do.. You get treatment.

the same principle is at work for phobias..  but they get put in an entirely different category by the general public.

i once knew a woman so allergic to sea food, she became very swollen and nearly unable to breathe..  she was rushed by ambulance to the hospital..

i wonder if the same program I mentioned in prior post..  I wonder if they would do that?  Know someone was severely allergic to sea food, and then secretly plant some on a dish for her to eat..

and call it entertainment.   -it is funny when actors in shows & movies pretend the part..  

but intentionally to someone who really is severely allergic...

-it is probably very obvious how desperately I wish I could rid people of their ignorance..  And so I just want this to serve as another effort:  to think of phobias in a similar matter as severe allergies.

now, I have allergies I can easily manage:  just today, I was petting a dog, my arms get all itchy.. no big deal.. I wash with soap, put on some lotion.. All better until the next direct encounter.   -so those kind of manageable allergies are equivalent to manageable fears we all have..

and then there are life threatening allergies which are equivalent to phobias..   entirely different biological reaction and treatment required.  and to judge someone for a phobia  is the same as judging someone for having a severe allergic reaction to eating sea food...    -like, they didn't choose it.. it has nothing to do with lack of personal character or will power..   nothing, by the way, to do with size... "see how much bigger you are than that tiny piece of fish..  why are you letting that tiny fish control you? -don't let that fish have such power over you!".  -etc.   -all ignorance.

-that's the best I can explain for now... 

in Jesus name, amen.

Biological Sensitivity Levels by (me!) sandra, tvgp

i return for the millionth time to Dr Eric Kandlers work: habitization vs. sensitization.  having lived with...  barely lived through having PTSD for many, many years... i know signs and symptoms intimately well. the most important word in this euphemistic diagnosis is POST.   -even more important than the word trauma actually.  i say this because whatever trauma it might be..  And what a sad and long list of traumas we have to work with..

but the trauma itself, be it a fire, rape, explosion, human act of violence or natural disaster.. earthquake, tsunami, etc.

these traumatic events are very finite. they have a beginning, middle, end.. all pretty condensed.   it is not living through the traumatic event that is nearly as challenging as all that happens after...  POST trauma; AFTER...    when your innate biological settings have been devastated... when hypervigilance, startle response, depression, fear, anguish, despair, hopelessness..

-the inability to manage biological, mental, emotional, physical responses...

PTSD is to the mind, as Parkinson's is to the body.  -you can no longer control what you once could.. You are entirely vulnerable and don't get to vote on whether or not you will surrender.

it is why I so appreciate Dyan nyads  /sp?    comment:

mind over matter is the luxury of a healthy mind.

-there is no mind over matter solution for the person who has Parkinson's disease...

-there is no mind over matter solution for the person with PTSD.

-there is only enduring, managing, Medicines...

and it is highly, highly, excruciatingly exhausting to endure,  manage, medicate...

PTSD: while i certainly perceive this as something i had; not have..

past tense..

i am not without lingering sensitivities..   things that don't  bother other people much; and/or things that very temporarily bother others, but their recovery time is quick..

-let us visit the example of a fender-bender..   a surprise rear-end hit while you are driving..   this can leave both the person whose car was hit, and the person who did the hitting, hypersensitive for a while AFTER it happens...

how long? what intensity?   I can promise you.. whatever the answer; it is different by measurable degrees from whatever it was before..

so I'm fascinated by.. innate biological settings; the impact of trauma; post-trauma settings... and recovery times/methods..

but close here with a written hug of support and understanding and compassion with those of us who battle internally..

because, when my uncle, who did battle Parkinson's the last several, many years of his life..

when his arms went this way and that.. when he walked with a hobble, when he struggled to speak..

he was not also bombarded with people expecting him to just get over it..  'What is wrong with you.. ? My arms don't do that...'

but again, and again, and again.. people with PTSD, or any form of mental illness; damage to the brain.. which is hidden from  view vs. broken bones, or any physical damage to the body people can readily see..

we battle not only the disease/syndrome/illness itself.. but simultaneously battle an utter lack of understanding by the general public.

without a lot of God.. without a lot of prayer... without the love & support of a lot of people..

i would not be alive to post this write now.

In Jesus Name, -amen.

***

some time ago.. i came across a tv program, where a person in the audience who had a phobia to frogs, was surprised with the sudden picture of a frog appearing in front of her on a very large monitor.

-she screamed and bolted and the audience laughed..  -something so funny about how scared people react...

but there is a distinction to be made between fears and phobias..

if people understood..  they might not laugh.

so, for example.. what if someone in the audience had a raw open wound...

and then suddenly someone ripped off the gauze and smacked it with bare dirty hands..

-to see this type of pain inflicted intentionally doesn't provide the same entertainment factor..  in fact, it would be considered cruel, and stupid not funny

but there seems to be a huge disconnect when it comes to physical vs. mental wounds and injuries..

for the most part. /with a few exceptions..   people are not diabolical; they are just wildly ignorant about things they can't see with their own two eyes, and/or things they have not experienced themselves.

-that's where i believe God comes in..  distinguishing between people who do things out of ignorance vs. with malicious intention.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Jesus saves by (me!) sandra, tvgp

very briefly:  I crossed paths with a man; kind face; dark long hair in a pony tail.  he said two things to me which revealed he knew who I was.  -that was it.  I went on..  wondering how he knew what he knew..  parlor trick? Social media?

and then that same man was next seen pulling something out of a deep, very dark brown and thick pool of mud..   I watched from a distance, curious what he was pulling out..

the first animal was a seal, and then a turtle..   and what I seem to intuitively know is that he was going to be there for a long while..

rescuing animals from the mud pit.

-that was it.   Woke up..    but getting to reflect on a strange and beautiful dream.  -that is certainly the Jesus I have come to know and love...     He rescues; he saves.

Hallelujah! & amen!

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Forms of political bribery by (my dad!)

Crispy peppered bacon on a croissant...

Dad:  "will you vote republican now?"

(me!) "Nnnn..oOO..MMmmmmmaybe"

What's In Store photograph by (me!) sandra, tvgp

check out what Rick landed on his recent buy...   why I describe ricks picks as a perpetual Christmas inside a perpetual puzzle.. Because "wow!" What an awesome surprise..  And now..

where on earth do we put this?  

-I think its everybody's new favorite...    and one thing that does bother me..    -artist? sculpture/carver?    -no signature..

But whoever you are...    "Awesome!".  

Friday, August 07, 2015

In defense of planned parenthood, by (me!) sandra, tvgp

because i love my dad, and my country.. I watched the republican debates. and it seemed a hybrid to me.   part Groundhog Day Movie; same thing over and over and over...  We've all seen it, we've all heard it before...

and part last comic standing.

***

isn't it a process of elimination for most viewers? I won't name drop here, but I pretty much eliminated everyone...

The skill set required for this position!!  The candidate i would wish for is too intelligent to even want the job and so instantly disqualifies themselves by entering the race..  know what I mean?  .but I don't want to spend time on that write now..

My main inspiration is to just defend planned parenthood.  And worth repeating here, that of course I don't support criminal practices..  -if any one, or any group within planned parenthood is guilty..  or if anyone or any group within any healthcare organization, hospital, insurance company, etc. Etc, is guilty..  I do not support that behavior or those people..

but as I watched the debates, I realized that they were really zealously attacking planned parenthood.

and based on these debates, and their comments, if you did not yourself know better,

you might be left to believe that planned parenthood's services are limited to performing abortions.

while in fact.. planned parenthood makes birth control available and affordable and accessible  to a very large number of people

Who without available, accessible, affordable birth control

-may very well end up with an unplanned pregnancy. They prevent abortions!

If we were to look at the numbers..  the number of unplanned pregnancies planned parenthood is directly responsible for PREVENTING every year, day in and day out, is..    HUGE!

when you PREVENT an unplanned pregnancy... you also PREVENT all those individuals from having to make the agonizing CHOICE of whether or not to terminate their pregnancy.

IT IS THE MOST PRO-LIFE thing anyone can do:  PREVENT unplanned pregnancies in the first place.

and I promise you.. if the attacks ultimately result in the decline or removal of affordable, accessible, available BIRTH CONTROL

the immediate and direct result of that will be an increase in the number of unplanned pregnancies and therefore an increase in abortions.

and I further promise you..  if you add on top of that horrific scenario the removal of a woman's write to choose..

the immediate and direct result of that will be an increase is self-performed and black market abortions; it will continue but underground, secretively and more dangerously..

FINAL statement:  it seems to me, one of the things all people, of all political parties, and all religions can agree on, is:

preventing unplanned pregnancies in the first place is an awesome strategy and very noble goal.

So I repeat.. Planned parenthood is in the compassionate business of PREVENTING unplanned pregnancies.   and their success rate is very, very high in that area.

"thank you!" Planned parenthood.    ~amen.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

The Verbal Search Bar.. idea by (me!) sandra, tvgp

What happens is, someone wants to show me a picture from the gallery on their phone..

and they stand in front of me and scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll..

and that got me to thinkin'  how awesome it would be to have "a verbal search!" feature:

it could go something like this..  just before you click away, you say "homecoming dance"

And then life goes on,  you take more and more pictures,

"Moms birthday".   " spring break".    "Kitchen renovation"

etc.

and then! When you want to show someone a picture from a given event, or of a given thing, you no longer have to scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll..  which album was it in? Scroll, scroll...

you can just say "homecoming dance." And "voilà.."

***

and let me just close by saying..  it is your fault.. You genius programmer/coders you... for spoiling us the way you do, -that I would even make such a suggestion, offer this idea..

beg for this technology.

-because there was a time not too long ago, when just the fact I could take such high quality photographs from my phone..

well, that was pretty amazing all by itself...  But I am a big, big fan of search bars..

and a verbal search bar...  especially for, and inspired by, the cumbersome process I see and experience repeatedly when people want to share a picture stored in their phone and can't quite remember where or when...

this seems like an awesome opportunity for the write programmer/coder...  

"Thank you!" In advance...    I can't wait!      Love, Sandra, tvgp

AKA.  mama~razzi.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Dearest ben carson, .. from (me!) sandra, tvgp

I just finished watching you on my charlie rose's show..   and I looked at your face..  and glanced at your title, and then, Yes.. recognized your name..

big fan of the movie, gifted hands..  grateful for your inspirational life story and noble service..

and so, .. then it crossed my mind how outside of himself excited my dad might be if I were to look deeper into a republican candidate..

and, well, that lasted all of about..  2 minutes.  -because only moments before investigating, I just had a conversation about how I support planned parenthood.

-that's write.  I support planned parenthood.  I do not support the criminal behavior of what I believe to be a small % of people who represent..     I believe we can fire anyone corrupt and engaged in illegal activity and continue with the highly socially beneficial, compassionate, caring, affordable, accessible, noble services planned parenthood was founded on.

certainly planned parenthood is not the only, is not the first, is not the last, organization to lose its way and hard earned good reputation over many years and decades due to the ugly and corrupt behavior/practices of one..

as a neurosurgeon, in the healthcare field, I know that you know, black market selling of body parts is hardly restricted to this organization.. it is widespread and horrific and should be stopped.

But to damn the entirety of planned parenthood, all the people they help all across the united states for how many decades? Is very shortsighted.

Do we not have corrupt police officers? Should we try and stop and/or close down every police department?

Do we not have corrupt politicians? Should we stop the democratic process?

Do we not have corrupt military personnel? Do we shut down the army, navy, air force, marines?

my experiences with planned parenthood are exclusively positive; as is so with many of my friends.. and people I have spoken with over the years..

Ive had no need or desire to watch said horrific and increminating video..

rather I know from life experience some very ugly behaviors and corruption within any large organization is.. Sad to say..  Not unheard of..

I believe our focus should be specific to the Individuals directly involved in corrupt behavior and not the organization..

-abuse seems pretty widespread in the NFL..   do we stop national football?

-there are athletes who are corrupt and win by false means in the Olympics.. do we shut down the Olympics?

you get my point.  I believe we should target specific illegal and/or criminal behaviors, and be very specific about targeting the individuals involved..    Not blanket targeting entire organizations.

Please do not dismiss and/or ignore the enormous value planned parenthood is to society, and has been, since they began..   based on the corrupt few.

.. keep a healthy perspective.     Blessings to you Dr Carson!  I understand all about prayer, and all about how God both opens and closes doors..

we share a strong faith.   -amen!

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

Sunday, August 02, 2015

..The Keeshie~kabob!... by (my sister karin!)

maybe there were a few people who thought that when our dad gifted Keeshie with a bbq for her birthday..  that maybe it would just end up gathering dust and taking up space in the backyard.. 

to the contrary!  she has already graduated from hot dogs to..  "Keeshie~kabobs!"..  delicious, healthy, lightly seasoned and perfectly bbq'd chicken and vegetables on a skewer..

and something tells me she is still just getting warmed up.. 

" thank you!".  love you! love this meal.  Xoxo

The Heart Seen... by (my brother larry!)

oh! do I ever love this.. sent to me today by my brother.. mushroom from the highlands of Montana.  "Thank you!"..  love & miss you! Xoxo