Friday, April 29, 2016

Type dragonfly in the search bar of this blog for (me!) sandra, tvgp

   -trigger: as we had one parked on the door mat of the house this morning. my nephew scooched it off the mat with his crutch. /recent ankle sprain.  -mainly so I wouldn't step on it with my bare foot.  It appeared dead actually.  But when I returned from taking him to school.. saw it exactly as we had left it..  then was going to grab my camera..  but write then.. it took off in flight -gone.    fascinating creatures...   -or...  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

THANK YOU SWIM AMERICA! from (me!) sandra, ttgp

original post date 04/03/08

i believe it was my friend and neighbor virginia who first recommended swim america.

with a pool in our backyard, two young children and one close call, swimming lessons were at the tip top of my list of things to do

and i remember, my first time, waiting in line for nearly TWO hours! to register my daughter.

- this a rare ability for me, considering i grow ancy in the express lane at raley's

and circumstances being what they were, my children waited in line for those two hours too.. how those other parents got their kids to stand by their sides that long is beyond me

- and why? goes further than that

i let mine run around, splash in the big puddles in the parking lot; get soaking wet. they had so much fun they begged me to stay when it was finally time to go

"you gonna let your kids get in the car all wet like that?" a man asked

"did my husband hire you?" i said with a smile.

i admit to causing a bit of a stir.. other parents throwing me thanks-a-lot looks, as their young ones tugged on their pants legs, "but their mom's letting them splash in the puddles, why can't we?"

one or two moms giving in as the wait grew longer, their kids grew louder and genuinely thanking me for taking the lead, "it's only water afterall"

the actual lessons would start several weeks later, and i was very glad to learn we'd made it in.

10:20am-ish, we show up for 10:30 lessons and by the time the first whistle blew i understood what made swim america so popular and respected. it was clear from the get go, this organization was professional, experienced and stellar in every aspect of its responsibilty; delivering on every promise.

each child was made to feel welcome and comfortable. never more than 3 children to each highly trained and encouraging coach. lessons started right on time and ended right on time with specific ~realistic~ age & level appropriate goals set and achieved for each and every session.

my daughter thrived in this program. i believe she was signed up for 3 out of the 4 sessions, and every new coach was just as well trained and compassionate and encouraging as the last.

i watched from the sidelines, heart in stomach and camera in hand, as my daughter struggled to learn to hold her breath and put her head under the water, blow bubbles and bob. watched her learn to float, use her big arms, and ... kick... , ...kick..., and then kick at the same time she used her big arms.. all the while the kind coach holding her, helping her, saying "awesome job!" and giving high fives for every incremental victory

and i remember the first time my daughter let go of the wall and freestyle swam

-independently- 3 big arms worth to the swim coach; then 4 big arms worth, then 5...

breathing so heavy and smiling so big when she reached her goal

until one day she swam freestyle from the wall aaallllll the waaaaaay to the blue n' white buoy finish line. graduating soon after into the big lane.

and having witnessed her progress, and what wonders swim america was accomplishing for hundreds of kids in the tri valley, i did not mind waiting in line at all once my son reached the age he could join too.

and in fact, the wait is shorter each year you register, as they give priority status to returning families by offering pre-registration dates based on what year you first joined.

my son would grant swim america a chance to shine even brighter, as he did not take to water, or lessons, or new coaches with the joy and ease my daughter did.

he cried. ( i cried ). he did not want to go in. did not want me to leave.

i stayed poolside, near him, wanting to comfort.. while the coaches explained he'd be better off if i left; if i sat with the other parents in the portable bleachers

i reluctantly agreed. focused on my daughter in her lane.. watched her zig zag her way from the wall to the buoys in early attempts at learning the back stroke

i prayed. resisted eye contact with my son, noting it had quieted.. no screams or pleas for me..

"and how awesome, wonderful is this?!?" i said out loud to other parents, "that you can have two children, different ages and different skill levels in the pool and taking lessons at the same time?!?"

this, one of the things i was most grateful for. in almost every other sport or activity, you are forced to drive two places at two different times to meet two different needs, but with swim america, you can choose ONE time slot, for ALL children. they have the pool filled with lanes and coaches for every skill level at the same time.

i snuck a glance and accidentally made eye contact with my son.

he threw me a thumbs up with a smile and i melted on the spot. ~thank you Jesus~ ~thank you Swim America!~

the classes went by so fast it seemed.. whistle, hop in. his turn. her turn, your turn. whistle, hop out, safety drill.. drive home. graduation & ribbons and recognition every two weeks.

"how long would you say you cried today jack?" i asked

"five minutes," he shrugged

"that is an excellent recovery time! remember that.. you recovered in under 5 mintues! ..maybe tomorrow it will be 3 minutes.. and by thursday, 1" i tried.

and that's just about exactly how it worked out. by thursday, jack would report, "i didn't cry at all, mommy." and before we both knew it, he was bobbing, blowing bubbles, floating and learning big arms just like his sister had

not with the same enthusiasm or speed; but he nonetheless thrived all the way to level 7. he is a competent swimmer, comfortable with all four basic strokes, knowledgable about safety and thrilled to play in the pool at home or on playdates

taryn graduated to level 8 and joined the year round competitive sea hawks swim team with her friend katie for a while.

and i confess here to pushing too hard.. mommy mistake #7139...

over-encouraging her into the pool against her will on freezing cold october nights after long days of school and homework

fortunately i saw the error of my ways and set her free;

in time.

just in time for the fun stuff.. the water-slides and high dives at the aquatic center in the summer time. the pool sides at home, at friends, at hotels when traveling; the boat rides with her daddy

they both love the water now.

they both can swim.

and i can rest and watch and enjoy them with a less worried, anxious heart thanks to six summers and 18+ sessions with swim america.

THANK YOU! each and every coach along the way

-this post inspired after receiving swim america sign-up information in the mail and realizing 2008 is our first year not registering. -great memories- saving and lasting our lifetimes

just for the record

and I have a big swim America gratitude post, which is apparently unpublished in here somewhere, but late for work, so will find/re-publish later...       but, come on! look at that smile!  xoxo

SEE JACK DRIVE, by (me!), writeousmom

yes, I did participate in a few driving lessons, once my son earned his drivers permit..   but, yesterday, marks the first time

that as an officially licensed driver, my son did all the driving.  the first time, I text'd, "pick me up" instead of the other way around

and what makes this very special occasion even more extra special..   is where, and what I got to do!

-because I'm pretty sure I have not been able to help my children, son or daughter, with homework since they were in around the 3rd grade..   I'm not trying to be humble, or cute here; just honest.

ive been, and remain, a wonderful cheer leader..  but as for practical help, mostly ive just had to apologize and send them to a more knowledgeable source.

-even with English, and writing and communications.

because I have been free-form blogging for so many years now,  I have literally, utterly, and  completely forgotten all the grammar, punctuation rules..   -gone.   so, they've mostly had to get help from their dad, or friends, peers, the internet..

but!   at long last..   and "thank you Jesus!"   jack had a homework assignment that I knew I could help with!    -made me want to put on a cape...    writeousmom!  -to the rescue

jack:  "do you know what blitzkrieg refers to?"

(me!):  " -no idea "

and a gracious definition was provided to me.   I tried to confirm:

(me!):   -sounds like what they called more recently, a shock n' awe campaign..     attack from the air, attack from the ground; attack, attack, attack from every direction..


and as for actual times/dates; specific world history information..   well, I was very good about short term memory requirments in school..  memorize, take test,  -and then it all would disappear

so, I only have very big bullet point info at hand:  WWI, WWII,    very rough/vague..

so, really I couldn't be much help at all until..


(me!):   "did you just say you need to go to...    MICHAELS?!"    and then I thought for sure, we should go to HOBBY LOBBY too..

paint!  miniature tanks and military stuff..    adhesives!     honey, I know my adhesives!


and, so, it is locked in my great memories file:  -how the first time Jack picked me up, as a licensed driver, and he did all the driving..

it was to two of my most favorite stores; and! the one time I could help him with his homework.  
and actually we went to three stores, because wherelse are you going to find miniature army men, and toy tanks..   but TOYS R US...

and then the whole drive, was a blessings, because we drove along foothill, and he talked about how that triggered painful memories of being forced to attend swim America swim lessons..   and how much he hated it..

"hated it?!   I have some pictures where you have a pretty big smile on your face when you earned those ribbons!"     -and I do.   but it is true, he wanted out before we actually let him out..     /same and worse for his sister..

anyway..   TOYS R US, triggered memories, great memories! of Jacks lego and Thomas train days..   windows of time I treasure now, and look forward to again, , God Willing, as a grandparent one day..

and we just talked in general..   -had him go over all his classes, and catch me up on how he is doing in each one.    -conversations that used to take place when I was driving him to school

-and I sure do miss that; but proud to see him driving himself now..

and what a very good A+ driver he is!   -and I had it in my mind to hold the praise until we officially arrived back home, but just a couple blocks away, he asked, "so how do you like my driving?"

"A++!   -YOU are a very good driver, I'm quite impressed!"

/and he parked perfectly too.

and speaking of A+'s:     I may not be able to tell you in detail about blitzkrieg; and jack knew the exact name of what is just 'an airplane' to me, but

"..  for that, you need double-sided sticky tape..  I have some!"

"for that..   a sponge..  and if you mix these two paints..."

"for that..   these scissors..    

"oh!   let me go get my Xyron machine..      every house should have 1 tv and 3 xyron machines"

/that last quote of mine appears in an arts n crafts trade journal somewhere...


and as you can see, this part of the assignment is still in progress, but it is turning out great, wouldn't you say..

"Thank You! Jack!"    -love you; very proud...    xoxo

on the topic(s) of... seeing/understanding/perspective. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

as a believer; I am confident the pattern holds true:  

the pattern I speak of,   -in joyce Meyer's words, goes like this:

".. we live life forward but we understand it backwards.."

so, when you reach 20 years old, you can look back at when you were 10 years old, or 5 years old, and evaluate, see, understand,  to a different degree, why you did the things you did, enjoyed what you did  -how you made decisions, behaved,  at that age, etc.

and if all goes well, you have matured some, and the toys and books that delighted you at 5 or 10 years old are quite different from the toys and books that delight you in your 20's.   and the way you handle hurt feelings, disappointment, compliments, praise, or lack thereof;   -all of this is different at 20..

and then when you reach 30 years old..  you can look back at what you liked and didn't, and how you handled life situations at 20, and understand to a better degree, -why and how you made decisions,   behaved and thought as you did 10 years prior.

and at 40 you can look back at 30, 20, 10, 5..

and at 50, you can look back at 40, 30, 20, 10, 5..

    -but you cant see it, when youre in it.    you cant see 10 years old when you are 10 years old; you can ONLY SEE IT, from 20...

" ..we live life forward but we understand it backwards.."

and what I am confident about as a believer, is that..   

after we die, and our spirits live on..      the pattern holds true.

now, and only after we die,  can we look back on our lives, and have it make more sense

  ~really SEE it..    put it in perspective.

maybe, there is a lot we cant see, exactly because we are in it..   

the same way you cant see 10 from 10, you can only see 10 from 20.

and this pattern somehow brings me enormous peace in the now..    at 50.

In patterned after Jesus name!   ~amen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

..and here again.. my (aunt tina!) as experienced by (me!) sandra, tvgp

what matters most here is the order in which this experience took place.

i was sitting alone in my room; the room i rent from my sister..  making art..

i had the experience of an aluminium taste in my mouth; odd.. different..  enough to grab my attention..

i went quickly over what i had eaten; drank..  


then i thought..   the last time i had an experience like this was probably 7 to 10 years ago..

and i associated it, ultimately, to a visit from my aunt Tina, now deceased, but who had a similar metal taste issue which was tied to, symptomatic of,  a medical condition for which I can't remember with any specificity..  name? Diagnosis?

the sensation passed, I was never checked or even remotely concerned about my own health..

it never happened again, until this recent experience..

so i began wondering..   aunt tina?

AND THEN, is when the dots connected; the planets aligned, and it made perfect sense to me..

I was working on, and holding in my hands the recycled wine bottle art which I am designing from pages in the book,

Where The Wild Things Are.

A book she gave me probably the same year it came out.  I would have to research how old I was to be more sure..

I don't think this is THE book she gave me.. Not sure, many, several moves later where the exact one ended up..

Maybe this one, maybe not..   I've received this book more than once over the years..   But anyway..

I dedicate this bottle to her.   And to know more about this extraordinary creative force of a woman.. You can type aunt Tina in the search bar of this blog.

In Jesus mysterious and beautiful name..  Amen.

incomplete spill.. for (me!), sandra, tvgp

cant just knock it on its side; turn it upside down;


(me!):  "k.  help me understand.  because the whole thing has never made sense to me to begin with..   the whole reason, write now, as I understand it

the entire reason we currently have separate bathrooms for males and females..

  -was based on heterosexual practices?   -write?     keep the boys away from the girls, vice versa, keep the men away from the girls, the women away from the boys?    and that is why, currently we have separate bathrooms, and locker rooms and showers in schools and colleges..


and if that is write..    and for all of time, we have had a gay and lesbian and bi, and try..  as a certain percentage of the population, then the whole thing is a joke to begin with, IF -it was based on sexual orientation..

   -and I went on to say how happy I was to see the addition of "family" bathrooms in the mall, where a dad could take his young daughter, or a mother her young son..   because what a dilemma it posed before the addition of the family bathroom..

"and, so.."  I said to my dad..   " you already have had lesbians sharing the bathroom with the same gender they are attracted to..   and you are okay with that?    -or gay men, already sharing the bathroom with other males.."

dad:  "it is NOT OKAY for a man, dressed like a woman, to use the girls bathroom, even if he feels, like a woman..  it is NOT OKAY."

(me!):   so you want it to be about matching body parts; not orientation...

and we went back n' forth a little bit longer..

and I really just never fully understood the whole bathroom/locker room thing to begin with; not entirely..

my proposal would be this:

first I should mention my goal: 

my goal:  for all humans to be able to freely, safely use the restroom when they need to. 

and my proposal, is for..  

let me borrow here from former President Reagan..

"Gorba~choff      -tear down these walls!"

-what I mean is..    well, write now, in the local ladies public restroom..

there are, I don't know, say 7 individually enclosed bathroom stalls, within the greater/larger building marked WOMEN.    -and, as women use these individual stalls, with closed doors, but not floor to ceiling doors, short doors which reveal two feet when occupied...

well, what if we just removed the outer building all together, and you just had individual stalls, which anyone/everyone could use   -individually-    as they needed.    and a community sink.

or, don't we already have the problem, mostly solved,   -since we use portable bathrooms this way already at large concerts, fairs, and events...

the portable bathrooms at these large events are not marked for specific gender.  /or orientation.
the long line can have men, women, children, gays, lesbians, any age, any religion..

anyone who needs to use the bathroom stands in line, and uses it..


all the rest of the arguments are silliness, and filling air space, and pitting people against one another..

In Jesus wash your hands..   and feet, name..   amen!

brain spill, so i can make art (me!), sandra, tvgp

this is not two separate chapters; it is two separate books; on opposites sides of the library, but let me spill two and be on with my art:

1.  -recent conversation with a single friend, who..  she has been on MANY dates..   and has had sex with just about every single person she has dated.   -she seems hurt; mildly, when the relationship, which never gets fully off the ground

/or bed, or floor, or wherever

ends.   and seems hurt; mildly, when her former date is now dating and having sex with someone new.

but fast forward several months, and, she has new stories, of new dates, and new sex partners, and new endings..

I am just never sure whether I should be admiring her bounce-back-ability and willingness to get back out there..    down there/over there..

or has she just gone numb?    -especially in contrast to other singles who, hurt once or twice; retreat entirely for many months and sometimes years.

baffles me.  

the hurt spectrum in humans; what does and doesn't hurt; and how much..      for me personally, there is a direct correlation to emotional pain and whether or not I have been intimate with a person..

focusing on spectrums really:
 - guilt and caring.

baffles me; fascinates me.   -just last night had a bible study friend share about her guilt  -after she was cut off in traffic and let a few obscene words escape..

vs.  all the people I know who experience no guilt at all about such a thing..   vs. a violent criminal..

the spectrum..   from the least harmful to the worst; and the spectrum of guilt attached to the crime; if guilt is perceived at all..


and then,

change bookcases:   my brother was write.  -long, long, ago he suggested to me, if everyone on the planet were the same skin color   -there would still be wars/fights/violence..   based on something else.

and he is very write, isn't he.    -because all this time, skin color, and gender and orientation and religions or social status, and geographic territories have been masks


distractors from the real ongoing war which is between oppressors/tyrants/controllers/terrorists

and freedom/equality/kindness/respect...      the real war, -which wears many masks, is between

slavery and freedom
evil and love.
fear and peace.

as true for each individual as it is for families,  neighborhoods, societies, cultures, nations..


.. mental declutter to free space for...  

" GABLAH BAH RAH, MYRAH... MY TURN!" favorite for (me!) writeousmom

1.  -before I die, Dear Jesus, I have about 12 family videos I want uploaded to youtube and shared with the entire world.  all 12 involve my children...

2.  thank you! for the one uploaded yesterday   /and this gratitude prayer could go on and on..  to the invention of the internet; the addition of youtube itself; videos/cameras; computers required to upload..  my nephews help figuring it out..    but I short-cut..  amen.

3. in my deepest, darkest, funk, watching THIS:    pulls me out and up.   rewatching does not dilute for me personally..   I can watch again, again, again...    and laugh and smile and re-experience great joy

4.  -I am very aware, moments like THIS...   only with a video camera and a loving family member; never with a script, videographer, lights, cameras, action...      -THIS is the real deal; the true magic, and I have it to share...   

5.  I don't need to point out how precious..  but I will anyway:  -the exchange between my daughter and my sister  -her auntie keeshie, and her unborn cousin...     the love is palpable isn't it..  precious and tender and beautiful and sweet..

6.  -and then..   my favorite, favorite!  to watch my daughter taryn, as she catches on..   after only 1 animated prelude introduction to her turn for the solo trumpet performance, by her dad  ../and my musician brother chiming in from afar...

well, she gets the rhythm of it..   write away!   big intro, and then hit 'em with a solo

-only she doesn't quite have the vocabulary; just the essence..    /and animation.

also, I do enjoy seeing, how at such an early age, she was very conscientious about taking turns.

watch THIS, as many times as you like; and share at will.   it is a BIG "THANK YOU!" JESUS moment for (me!).

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On the topic of ~courage. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

when was it?  two weeks ago?  -three?   the exact time is of no relavence

what IS

is      /did that just trigger Clinton's voice?  my apologies.   -but that IS how our brains work..

anyway..   here is the conversation: 

person:    "..  you ...  have done something  with your hair..."

(me!):   ".. yes. !   i am welcoming my crown of splendor"

-euphemism for letting my hair go gray; orno longer covering my gray with fresh coats of paint by the professionals..

person:  "... that sure takes courage.. i will NEVER not cover mine.."

and then i just playfully quoted the bible..  "Its not for everyone though..  I just knew I'd be ready one day..  and knew I'd know it when I was.."

and small talk went on, changed subjects, eventually concluded.

it was not until I was on my way home.   and I re-thought about it..   -that I

Well, in my imagination I changed the conversation so that I said then, what didn't dawn on me until my drive home.

". -courage?   -has the standard for courage dropped to an all time low?   is it courageous to not cover or hide    gray hairs?!

Shouldn't the word courage be reserved for someone like Harriet Tubman?!


and that is both a true conversation; and a true imagined re-conversation.   in my post conversation thought, it was exactly Harriet Tubman's name that came to mind.  

and so i was both suspicious and delighted when this week I started (consciously) hearing about Harriet Tubman appearing soon on the American $20 bill. 

when I heard that, I was like:   as SHE should be people!  and should have been a long time ago..

a toast!   " to TRUE COURAGE!"

-HIDING INNOCENT PEOPLE from life threatening onesAnd risking your own life to do it!

/not for un-hiding the true color(s) of your hair.

In Jesus truly courageous name,  -amen!

the heart seen... At pleasanton library! by (me!) sandra, tvgp

   -now, no way i would have seen this one had i remembered to mail  the card when i drove by the post office, the only reason i was treated to this, is because..   i had to mail the card while at the library..  and then it felt like a reward for getting my DVD back on time.  -much shorter turn around time than books..     Anyway,  This Is It, Michael Jackson..   have seen it many times and will no doubt watch it again someday..    Xoxo

enormously proud of my sister (karin montgomery!)

aka:   "keeshie!"

 -beautiful testimony here.  filled with truth, gratitude, inspiration..   and evidence for what God can, and does, continually do through people,         "i love you!"    xoxo

Power of Love

Monday, April 25, 2016

keeps rising to the top, for (me!), sandra, tvgp

type, jewel
in the search bar of this blog.   no need to repeat myself.

what I will say today, is that I have a new read in my hand.  and by page 7 I was like,  I'm so in!

the writing is brilliant, engaging..   

its been a long time since ive held a book in my hand, which made it so exciting to finish my shift at work and get home so I can pick it up again..

but, before I opened it.  as it sat on my lap, and i took in the cover, and read the praises, the synopsis

I said out loud to the book, I said,

"i wonder how many pages I will read before the plot line of an affair shows up...   3?"

and what ive takin' to do doing, is each time I read a good book, but which has the very VERY predictable, overused, repetitive, highly unoriginal plot line of an affair

I place it under the one which does not.   and jewel just keeps rising to the top as a masterpiece

higher and higher   -for a whole long list of reasons, only one of which is because it avoids the unoriginal

and actually its been a good long time since I've read it, so due for a re~read

but more ironically, I had a fleeting affair with the male person who gifted it to me.    -remember, we are divorced emotionally, for, generally speaking, a long time before we are divorced legally.

In Jesus knows our hearts name,  Amen!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

type hubble in the search bar of this blog. anniversary special for (me!) writeousmom

Saturday, April 23, 2016

spiritual encouragement for (me!), sandra, tvgp

Friday, April 22, 2016

In honor and remembrance of Prince.. from (me!) sandra, tvgp

  ~type,  let's go crazy      -in the search bar of this blog.

RIP..   remarkable legacy & body of work..  "Thank you!"  Amen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Heart Seen... by (taryn!).

.. say cheese ...   and isn't this the most perfect, cute, little darling of a heart shape..  "Thank you!". Love you!  Xoxo

recycled wine bottle art: in progress. by (me!), sandra, tvgp

  -has to be my absolute favorite canvas to work on:  wine bottles.   -the largest to date, is the 5 liter bottle i co-created with my daughter for the petite sirah's 50th birthday, and jim concannon  -father of the petite sirah   -it was his birthday too.  double celebration.   gonna see if i can find that picture...

i spy my lucky number! (me!) sandra, tvgp

channel surfing.  not even sure what show this is..  but:  PAUSE!  ran and got the camera. click.  ~surfed on...       and as far as sign reading goes:  adventure ahead; obviously...     hallelujah! & amen

Monday, April 18, 2016

May I introduce you to God.. (me!) sandra, tvgp

of course, I cant introduce you to God, the same way I can introduce you to my siblings, parents or children   -in the form of a human being, with whom you can make eye contact and shake hands.

but nor could I introduce you to Love that way   -write.    you have to experience and witness love to know and understand its existence

so I'm introducing you to the God I have come to know, love and serve, through one beautiful,

or rather, two

beautiful segments from the most recent cbs sunday morning:   research if you are so inspired:

link provided here for convenience:   The crooked cop..  and the innocent man, from april 17th, 2016

and we see here; corruption.   and we see here; suffering of the innocent
and we see here; accountability.   and we see here; forgiveness.    and we see here; healing
and we see here; peace   and we see here; fellowship, gratitude, service

we see here

 -tests, which became testimonies.    -messes; which became messages

All things can be worked for good


and I repeat here also,   how I believe we come to earth with instructions:

what we love to do, instructs us on what we are here to do;
and what suffering we endure
instructs us on who we are here to help

the segment, with kathy bates   

she loves acting; she suffers with lymphedema


In Jesus beautiful, healing, helping name!   ~amen.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Heart Seen: 8 panel exhibit. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Glory be to God!" ~ hallelujah! ~encore! ~amen! ~do it again!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

recycled wine bottle art, by (me!) sandra, tvgp

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recycled wine bottle art, by (me!) sandra, tvgp

recycled wine bottle art; in progress.. by (me!), sandra, tvgp

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Team work. photo by (me!) sandra, tvgp

I AM inspired by love; not motivated by fear, (me!), sandra, tvgp

lastly, in regard to the study of revelations, and then I will move on:   for me personally, I am inspired to Christianity, and a walk with Christ, and study of the Bible, and with the goal of manifesting the fruits of the spirit in my life

I am inspired by love; I am energized by the results I am getting and experiencing in my life; by the undeniable and very significant improvement in the quality of my day to day life..

revelations  -as ive read it, and as I have sometimes heard it taught  -the motivation is more fear based:

a threat:  acceptance of Christ, or burn in hell forever...   kind of thing.

I think perhaps, for people who intentionally, consciously, choose and practice evil, and evil ways..   -for evil-doers

this final book in the chapter of life on this current earth,  -serves as a promise.

and we all know, God keeps his promise.


  - I do not walk with the same high level of concern, I hear other Christians do:   that is, I do not feel called to proactively proclaim to others:   "hurry! accept Christ..!  I do not want you to burn in hell!"

-the analogy shared last night,  -in brief, and paraphrased was:  if you saw someone all happy, singing, in a life raft, but which you knew was about to head off a cliff..

wouldn't you jump up and down and scream and warn, and try and help?  or would you let them just float by without warning?


I have nothing inside me, nothing inside my heart, which lives with this level of concern or panic.

I am at peace with my personal walk, and if others are inspired, wonderful..    and I trust in the process itself

  -as it happened for me:   and I did not come to Christ out of fear.   I longed for a better internal life; for peace..    and I found it.   and it is actively growing..


I believe Hebrews 8:10;  love this passage!

God has already written his laws in our minds, and our hearts..

  -none of them shall teach their neighbor, and none his brother, saying "Know the Lord,"

-for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest

I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more..


so I am not personally inclined to say,  "hurry or you'll burn in hell!"

I am much more inclined to say,  "search your own heart and search your own mind..

ASK:   ask, seek, knock..      and when you hear a knock  OPEN wide your door...

and I am very confident, you will meet God there;  -it is where God lives; he dwells within us

-tattooed, if you will, in our hearts and minds,

in permanent, eternal ink:   I am your God.  I love you.

Monday, April 11, 2016

my take away from the study of revelations (me!), sandra, tvgp

we are nearly done with our several week study of revelations; our = BSF group.

my take away is this, quite summarized:

our God, is a God of hearts.  Our God is love..

is loving, is merciful, is forgiving..   does not keep track of wrongs..., etc.

forgives 77 x 7 times,   -and all that.

I believe, as Joyce Meyer teaches..   we never fail tests; but we do get to take them over and over and over again, until we pass..

I believe, God does knock  vs.  override/break in against our own free will,

and I believe God knocks more than once,

and I believe God knocks loud...   I believe he knocks on the front door, the back door, the garage door, etc.  

and I could go on and on with these scenarios; -all true, all evident in the bible; and repeated throughout   -especially in the New Testament

I believe Hebrews 8:10 -->    God's laws are already written in our hearts and minds


and what I get from revelations is this:   -while God is loving, merciful, forgiving,

and knocks politely, repeatedly

and seeks after the one..  

while God is consistently all those things;

at some point,  -which has already been established and is known to God alone,

but at some point,

a final judgement does come.   the testing does end.   the forgiveness stops.  the mercy is no more.  God stops knocking,

and true justice   (I will not go on here, as I could, about there being such a thing as TRUE JUSTICE..   but, i believe God is the only qualified..  because our human systems of justice are too influenced by money, status, ego, biases, ignorance, projections, guesses, assumptions, circumstantial evidence, impulsive public opinion, skewed by media, distorted by theatrics,  restricted by outdated, stupid laws..  etc.)

takes place.

evil and death are conquered; by love

which is God.   and I utterly, completely, believe:  love conquers all. 

that's what revelation is all, ultimately about...   evil is doomed; and righteousness prevails..

on a new earth; which is heavenly.


and very pleased to study John next...



the circular experience for (me!), sandra, tvgp

.. is captured quite well with this recycle icon:

the more i study the bible --------->

the more i experience the fruits of the spirit ------->

the more i naturally thank God and desire to study and learn more ----------->

"... think i finally found my hallelujah!....

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Very funny Jesus... from (me!) sandra, tvgp

-filed under God has a great sense of humor:

does anyone remember when I prayed to see more of the world

-and then like, the very next day, my nephew was cleaning his room and gave me his globe.


well what happen this time, was I said to God

-and only at the end of a long list of much more important, grave, serious and noble prayers

to end on a lighter note, I said

"...and I sure wouldn't mind if I got to see my Russell crowe
In nothing but a hat

and his birthday suit.".     -amen.

-he loves to tease me, our God does; very playful...

Saturday, April 09, 2016

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

  -on the nachos...  during the 2nd quarter of the Warriors game..   So, you know what that means...    "Victory!".  xoxo


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Gel: The most exciting manicure ill never get again. (me!) sandra, tvgp

the first analogy to come to mind for me was..    -telling your i just lost my virginity story, with great excitement and enthusiasm to a mom with three kids in tow..

but there is a crucial distinction to be made, so let me say instead:  -it was like telling your, my first orgasm story, to a mom with three kids in tow..    /because they are not always one in the same, are they..

  -what I'm trying to capture and convey,  is just how excited I was...   like, beyond belief wow'd by this entirely unplanned and unexpected experience of having my first gel manicure

but it was landing on the ears of women in the salon who had been getting gel manicures and pedicures for several years already, so they were like

yes, honey.. calm down..  we already know...


  -but, i'll tell you this..    -it was my first!  and I will never forget it!

-because I get  -maybe- 3 manicures a year at the most..   it is simply not in my budget time wise, or income wise, or patience wise, or return on investment wise, because with the amount of physical work I do at ricks picks + all my mixed media arts and crafts stuff + typing + daily stuff that requires both hands

a beautiful manicure lasts maybe 20 minutes before a chip here, and a crack there..

I wouldn't get them at all, except,   -well, I don't even really go for the pretty colors they paint on my nails; I go for the  -massage- of the hands and forearm that is included with the manicure

that's the best part; and that's what I'm actually paying for..   everything else is just bonus..

and I have never,  -never/ever-  received a manicure in my whole life, where a massage was not included..

so, that's how this whole thing got started..    -first she mentioned to me about how I might want to try the gel manicure instead of the traditional manicure because the paint dries really fast

and if the massage is the best part of any manicure ive ever had; the waiting impatiently for the nail polish to dry has been consistently the worst part

and many, many, times it involves, "damn it!  I just nicked this nail trying to get my car keys.. can you re-do this one.."

so, she talked me into it..    I was very interested to see just how much faster this gel would dry, and if I really could get out of the salon quicker and on to some arts & crafts project which would almost instantaneously destroy my fresh beautiful manicure..


as I mentioned, I don't get weekly manicures, but I have had enough manicures over my 50 years of life to have the process memorized..

so, when she..

when she started to paint my nails, but I hadn't yet received a massage..  

when it is the massage I'm actually there for, as I mentioned..

I looked at her with great confusion and sadness, and asked, quietly..    -you guys don't include a massage with your manicures?   -and before she answered, I had already decided I would never be coming back to this salon again  -ever

and she replied back, "after I put your color on.."

"no". I told her..   "don't you have to massage first.. then the color..   -or you mess it up..  smear the color.."

I mean, who knows..   maybe she was new; maybe she was distracted by problems at home..  maybe she has done so many, she is on auto-pilot, and lost track of what step...

maybe she was trying to get away with not giving me my massage and was coming up with a quick excuse when I called her on it..

but she insisted:  "after the color..   "    -very politely; but had to insist because I was certain!

massage before color!  that's the way it has always been!

  -eventually I surrendered, and she painted my nails, and I did alternate so that the hand with fresh painted nails was is a drying machine, while the other was painted

and we chit-chatted just enough to connect better and pass the time quicker..

and sure enough..  

write after she finished painting both hands, she put some lotion on the back of my hands and started in

with what I was anticipating and paying for all along:  the massage.

  -but to watch her go write over the nail polish without it smearing or smudging..

well, I did not belt it out, as I heard it in my mind

but what I heard in my mind, was Janice Joplin's...   "R E VO LU T I O N!"

and,  -but what I did vocalize, was my amazement..  and I tried to share it with the other women in the salon..   sitting in their massage chairs at a short distance, with their nails already painted and   feet in the tubs for their monthly pedicures..   -and I got like, no reaction..  only,

  -very subtle and somewhat forced smiles..    

no match in my enthusiasm at all.    -and at the time, I just didn't get it; I didn't understand..

it was such a big deal to me; huge!    -the scientific accomplishment!  the time it is saving people and the industry!  the amount of polish being saved; not having to correct the common smear!

I just thought to myself..   you people should be way more impressed than you are..


and I marveled at my beautiful, instantly dry, unsmeared manicure.   and I couldn't wait to get home and tell my sister..     she'll understand!  I know it.


and I practically burst through the front door to show and tell her..


sister:  "you are not going to believe this.. but I literally..  only about 3 seconds ago, got in a big argument with sarah because she wants a gel manicure, and I told her no..    I'm like the meanest mom in the world she told me..  but I didn't even know what a gel manicure was..  and now here you are telling me how wonderful.."

   -and she apologized to her daughter, based on my powerful testimony, and they scheduled an appointment.

we were convinced it was all meant to be!  divine intervention again!  "Thank you Jesus!"  -and all that..


ever heard the saying..    if it seems too good to be true..


well,   -turns out, as I learned the hard way    /a synonym for my way..   the only way I seem to learn 80% of everything I'm supposed to know..

that 1.  gel polish cannot be removed with regular, over the counter nail polish remover.  I will spare you details, that you can google for yourself, but to remove gel polish..

there are several steps; at least 7 types of tools; 3 chemicals; foil; coffee filters; an antique coin from the Netherlands with grooves around the perimeter, and at the very minimum,  -your entire morning, or afternoon, free from any other responsibility or day dream so that you can give yourself over fully to the grueling and cumbersome process..

which,  do I even need to mention, not only cancels out any time you saved during the manicure process, but negates by several dollars and minutes and energy and enthusiasm to about a   -7.3

or..  of course, you can pay a fee, and go back to the salon, and have it professionally removed..


as I have chosen

let it take its natural course..  chipping away randomly via use and exposure to the elements, with each chip taking a tiny bit of my natural nail bed with it..  destroying my previously healthy, all natural, perfectly wonderful, nails..

and vowing never to be wow'd again.

and I think, my initial analogy is a very accurate one, because..


until you fully realize, that in addition to a clitoris and nerve endings..

you also have a heart.   and there is price to be paid afterward.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

about face. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

i only know Joyce Meyer from TV; and I continue to watch her 5 days a week, and I still consider myself a student for life.  I know her also through reading a few of the many books she has published; and from a very brief in person encounter when I attended one of her book signings
-and I smile big here and interrupt with the passage that encounter triggered:   book/chapter/verse.. not memorized; just the essence:
   .. and the first shall go last.. and the last shall be first...
entirely unintended on my part for sure.. and you'll have to read about it if you're interested and curious enough to understand my reference..       type, a little unfair favor 
in the search bar of this blog.

but, all that is prelude to explain (again), that while I know joyce meyer from these sources and occasions; I do not KNOW joyce meyer

and, I cant invite her over for coffee with me this morning.  But, let's say I could.   She would be the one person

well, there are more than one.  so let me say instead, she would be the first person I would want to share this with:  My appearance on my Charlie Rose's show..    how after we talked and talked around the big round oak table about writing and blogging and all that,  -when he got to his closing question, and asked me


how I wanted to be remembered, what would come first?  writer, blogger, artist?  mom..   humanitarian..?    what would you want the first line to be?

"guess how I answered Joyce!  guess what I said?!       -Christian."


true; in my dream, this vision took place..


but it struck me in an odd way this morning when I picked up her book, and came across the 'about the author' paragraph.  I'm not sure where the problem exists exactly..  is it in the word and definition for about..   for author..    or is,  -as it has always been to me; and is to me write now:

the most ridiculous thing in the world to capture a human being in a paragraph...

if this was your only reference; how utterly absent it is; void..

I'm with time, energy and memory restrictions and obstacles write now, but I'm going to just bullet point:

* born into a highly dysfunctional family, where her father sexually abused her for many years, raping her over 200 times from age 8ish, through 15 or 16..   where her mother, in fear and without the courage or strength, essentially knew and did nothing about it..    where her brother, also abused, went into the military; and came out with drug addictions and an inability to cope in this world, and ultimately died, an addict, alone, homeless..   despite many profound attempts and opportunities to heal..

* where, after decades and decades, she repaired her relationship with her father; forgave and helped him in his senior years..   helped both her mother and father, in fact, and toward the very late part of her fathers life, he finally apologies and receives Christ into his before dying..

*  where, despite the chaos, trauma, abuse surrounding her, she had the instincts to attend church, and get saved..      and prayed her way through the suffering

* where she met and married the first man to show her any attention, because she felt like damaged goods and who would want her..     -but this man was a thief and womanizer, and ultimately she divorced..

*  and where, when she did start in a more specific way to learn and teach about God and the Bible, and found The Word of God, was helping in big ways to turn her life around, and help her heal..

well, ive always loved this description she shares:   how she taught bible study classes in her living room wearing short-shorts and smoking a cigarette..

but she did certainly become sensitive to hearing the voice of God, and knew she had a calling on her life..

and this badly, severely, traumatized, defensive, angry, sassy and determined young adult..  

has gone from glory, to glory, to glory..    in mostly slow and painful, but sometimes fast and joyful steps..

and I'm skipping a ton here too, but!  -how many years has she been teaching?  how many conferences? how many dream centers helping others?  how many starving people around the world have been fed?  ill people been visited and helped...   lonely people connected...  

but it is her very individual evolution, and not just the gazillions of people she helps around the world I am so fascinated with..      truly manifesting the fruits of the spirit in her life, as a daughter, wife, mom, employee, friend, pastor..

where there was hate; there is now love in great abundance
where there was misery; there is now joy
where there was quick, explosive, impulsive temper; there is now patience..

where there was chronic upset; there is consistent peace in all circumstances

where there was mean; there is now kindness

where there was gruff and bossiness; there is now gentleness

where there was spite; there is goodness

where there were questions; there is now faithfulness..

and where there was fleshly impulsive immature reaction; there is now thoughtful, practiced self-control.


when you witness or learn of any human being making that much progress against that many obstacles of such grave intensity; I hope you are inclined to look very closely at  -how.


mostly I have witnessed people who were troubled and abused with obstacles to face in their youth..  who never quite evolved in this way... alcoholics who remained alcoholics and died that way; drug addicts who remained drug addicts and will die that way; selfish, mean people who remained and died that way;  depressed who remained depressed; stuck who remained stuck..    I could go on.

but each time I witnessed an over-comer...   a conqueror..   someone who grew and evolved and reached out to help others..

-I saw the common denominator, and it was God.  

and it is only the people who have evolved in this way that I want teaching (me!), and as a result of being a student of these teachers..

I too am a spiritual success story.

"Thank You! Jesus! & amen!"

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The Heart Seen... in Africa.. by (CC!)

let me tell you why this particular heart seen contribution blows my mind: -because it was sent to me by my cousin CC.. who was in the departure area of the airport in Brussels when the bombs exploded in the arrivals area from terrorists attack... 
and who, along with her son, and a team of others, ultimately continued on to deliver 2,500 backpacks to orphans in Liberia..
and who, "thank you Jesus!"  -arrived safely home last night.
-now,  -what I know from receiving this, is that..  well, my cousin operates at a very high...  level, spiritually speaking; master level.  -this picture itself is evidence..     -because one of things terrorism, chaos, fear, travel interruptions, loss of luggage, existing in the unknown, trauma..  one of things that does, is fully consume the mind; preoccupy... 
-so the fact she was handling and processing all of that..   And had a heart and mind which was still healthy and open and free enough to see this heart...
WOW!    -what a testimony...     We all are so proud of you CC & Rhys..   and beyond words happy you are home safe and quite sound...     Prayers of love and healing..   -for everyone; for those immediately affected; for the world...  Love and peace and healing..   Love and peace and healing..    In Jesus Name,  -amen.


Monday, April 04, 2016

The Micro & Macro's of Escaping to Freedom by (me!) sandra, tvgp

The macro example would be what took place here, in US,  -the slavery and oppression and violence toward blacks; followed by the civil rights ..   and while not entirely accomplished for sure; to see President Barack Obama..    we have a pattern:

The macro example would be women...     -allowed to vote?!   -how did that happen?
The macro example would be   gays and lesbians...    allowed to marry?!   -how did that happen?

the oppression
the uprising/the war
the breakthrough..


and this pattern has repeated itself throughout history, and over all time, and all over the globe; and it is taking place write now; and it will continue..

on a micro level:  we have domestic violence; and the same pattern

write inside the house of one American family, we have the exact same pattern as is, and has, and will take place with large populations across the globe.

you have the abuser/the oppressor, who creates an environment of fear; and controls and oppresses with both psychological/emotional manipulation and physical abuse..  threats verbalized, and threats implied, and threats followed through on...

at some point,  -and as this is not a natural way to live and  -if I may borrow here, from popular Christian speak:  it is out of alignment with what God desires..  

for the seculars:  it is out of alignment with how any human being should or desires to live.

at some point, the oppressed spouse, makes a decision to escape.

if I may borrow here from Malcolm Gladwell,   -the tipping point when it comes to the victim of a domestically abusive relationship

is when he or she is willing to risk their very life in order to get out.

the tipping point is when, no matter what.. no matter how risky..  no matter how hard financially..
no matter what it cost..

the victim will escape; break free...

some people stay stuck their entire lives.  some people take the risk, and pay the highest price; and some people successfully break free..

but the common denominator for those who escape, is that living free of the abuse is the only thing that makes life itself worth living.


domestic violence takes place in households where there are two people of the same race..   -so fill in the variable anyway you wish:  in exclusively black homes; in exclusively white homes; in exclusively latino homes..  and in mixed marriages; mixed households..  and it is taking place all across the globe,

because it is A PATTERN of behavior...  not exclusive to any one race.. one time, or one place...
  it is a content of character issue, and not skin color issue

the oppressor/controller
the victim(s)
the tipping point
the price



again, again, again, ad nauseum. 

it seems to me in theory, and in my imagination, that we certainly by now have enough examples that we should be able to

1. identify more quickly the problem
2. reduce the amount of time in the oppressed/controlled circumstance
3. expedite freedom

and you know my dream of dreams is...   the root of the oppressive/controlling/violent character..
find it.  pull it out by...

and I will re-mention here, slavery has not been abolished; it is alive and well under a new name; human trafficking.

and then I will just close with mentioning one of my favorite bumper stickers I see on the cars of people in the military service, or the loved ones of..

freedom is not free.

-it must be fought for...   and once fought for

protected.   it is the job that never ends...  and is always worth fighting for...

in God's one free nation at a time name,   amen!