Thursday, August 31, 2017

Cheerleadin' Mom. a poem by (me!) WriteousMom, ~sandra, tvgp

 -i am a cheerleadin' mom,  "do your best!"

with a daughter and son,  ~doubly blessed

"fight the good fight.  walk in love.  holy spirit within, loved ones above"

spiritual armor.  your life ~God's light
in the fruit of the spirit    ~delight

-i am a cheerleadin' mom, your biggest fan
watching you grow into God's master plan

of love.

you are intelligent, funny
insightful and kind

gorgeous, handsome
unique, sublime

back on your feet
wiser each stumble

observing and learning
grateful and humble

discovering, uncovering   -revealing God's gifts in you
born in (not of) this world,  with your part to do   ~God's will:

shine.  bear fruit.  

love, joy, peace

from the womb, seeds in bloom  ~released

patient, kind, good   -move in this spiritual neighborhood

good soil.

forgiving, gentle, faithful

mastering self-control

living toward God's promises..   long ago foretold

i am a cheerleadin' mom, "just keep on doin' your best!"

do you know the 9 fruits of the spirit?   master them  ~ pass the test

i am a cheerleadin' mom..   most grateful and doubly blessed.


In Jesus, loves all children     's, name..   amen!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Craft Night at Alden Lane... (ruth, heather, sue, cyndee, shirley & (me!)

"Thank You!"    ... you amazing, creative, talented, fun women you...     i am perpetually inspired in your company and by your creations     "cheers!...    to felting, to leaf art, to mixed media, and colorful clothes pins, and fairy doors, and the quilt show, and t-shirts, and patty..

the cow..         and glitter!"

The Chain Breakers of each Generation. by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Chain breaker: any child who survived dysfunction/abuse/neglect/poverty of  financial or emotional support

and who as an adult, broke free from, vs. repeated the pattern.


and it struck me, how jeannette walls is a chain breaker..

how Joyce Meyers is a chain breaker..

How Dr Maya Angelou is a chain breaker..

Anyone breaking a pattern of racism, sexism, ageism..

Anyone breaking patterns of status quo..

Breaking patterns of addiction,

Of tyranny, of misuse of power/influence..

-where you can clearly see..   there was a negative pattern which had existed for multiple generations..   or popped up like a weed, threatening a current one..

and then an assessment, and then a conscious effort to break the pattern:

Chain Breakers.

There is a very large and growing population all over the world!!

and in any memoir worth reading; is the bitter sweet unfolding..

But the distinction

Between those who never assess, never make the conscious effort, and just continue negative patterns..

Those are the tragedies,

Families, neighborhoods, societies, cultures in waiting

for a chain breaker to arrive

    -because things only get much better from there.

So, I do a coffee toast this morning..

"... to each and every chain breaker, a big CONGRATULATIONS! to you!.."


it is the theme of a toastmasters speech I gave while pursuing my CTM.. the video is in a box...  one of these boxes...  somewhere....

As I gave the speech, each time I mentioned an addiction within the larger family tree, I stapled a paper strip to create a link, and the link became a chain.. which I put on around my neck.. and then of course, broke through it for the conclusion..

But it was just symbolic of course..   negative patterns in families/cultures are certainly not made of paper

What are they made of?


In Jesus,  master chain breakin' name,  hallelujah & amen

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Light of Alden Lane... (vanessa!)

   remember how I said, I had decided..

I decided I would rather let myself get attached to people, and experience the pain of goodbye's vs.  avoid getting attached so I could avoid cry


                                                                                crying, when it comes time to say..


-this is a tough one!   SHE is the LIGHT of ALDEN LANE... Vanessa..       a dream to work for, to work with..   to talk to,  to learn from..  

and ive had the great pleasure of working directly with her, in the small, intimate quarters of the cashier kiosk, where the environment itself brings people closer together; and the shared work objectives create bonds which deepen with the..

start/stop; start/stop..   conversations about our real lives, outside of work.

this is how we've gotten to know each other:   share a little..   STOP! in the middle of a conversation..  serve customer(s)..    PICK up conversation..  fold boxes...    STOP..   help customer(s)...

it is the polar opposite of my uninterrupted coffee visits with friends, where the conversations remain fluid...

I have gotten to know Vanessa over the one year plus I've been at alden lane, and over, what must be now..   300 multi-interrupted conversations..  

some of which, get started, and so much time passes, we forget...

some of which get started on a Monday, and conclude...     'when I see you saturday'

but, -Vanessa..

What a joy! it has been to share the kiosk with YOU!  Knowledgeable, professional, kind, creative, supportive, encouraging, and   -very entertaining!

I will severely miss your spontaneous Disney soundtrack mini performances..      the way you know every lyric; light up, dance and sing us into great moods; give us more energy...

and your big heart for alden lane's senior/elderly customers..

and your love for all the pets..    the dogs you know by name...

and, the spiritual blessing the name Barbara inspired..

and your wonderful doodles, with the fancy fonts..

your fantastic photography

your million dollar smile

your outstanding customer service; integrity, compassion..

and what a blessing it has been for me, to cross paths with you and work side by side during this specific year of your life, so filled with major milestones...  

"Congratulations!!" to you,   and "Blessings!"  on your journey

and "Thank You!"    -for being the light..


Self Appointed President of the Vanessa Fan Club,

xoxo   ~sandra

Friday, August 25, 2017

ALDEN LANE QUILT RENDEZVOUS 2017: Sept 23rd & 24th

from the archives:

as experienced by (me!) sandra, tvgp


THAT'S WHAT IT IS!   "... very,  ~romantic."   this union, this pairing, this coming together,  -of fine art and venue.  how beautifully they meet:   colorful designer quilts and the big oak trees

under a perfect blue sky, with a gentle breeze sweeping quilt and alden lane appreciators write off their feet.   yes.  in one word:  romantic.   the way everyone strolls through alden lane with a smile on their face..    soft whispers of ooohs and ahhhs making their way from the entrance to the greenhouse, from the maples to the succulents, and everyone is so in love with alden's

"OAK! trees.."    

that's what it is..  romantic! to see these magnificent quilts in the great outdoors  -sending each other compliments all day long; nature flirting with fine art

"... hello darling...  you can hang from my branch anytime...  "

~ just look at that great big oak with a string of beauties...

yes. it was romantic, and beautiful, and colorful, and fun..   and inspiring!  to see the sun shine on these quilts vs. a spot light. to see the flowers, trees, plants,open sky, serve as a backdrop vs. an enclosed gallery of walls.    alden lane as venue, has a natural way of elevating the aesthetic value of each and every quilt; and each and every quilt has an artistic way of elevating the natural beauty of every living thing at alden lane.

and they have been meeting like this   -annually; for how many years now?

so, it just keeps growing; this exciting weekend romance..     and, if you missed it

jot rendezvous at alden lane September 2017 in your secret garden notebook write now

and seal it with a kiss.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

MAPS. photo series by (me!) sandra, tvgp

Speaking of brain glitches... lost in san francisco (me!) sandra, tvgp

long ago and far away I requested sat august 19th off..  switched to working on a sunday, so I could, on the Saturday, go see my friend, former manager, anne, in her debut hula performance at golden gate park in san Francisco.   important to note, this is not the  -vegas/show girl, touristy hula type dancing, but rather the -authentic/cultural traditional hula..

I think she has been taking lessons for 2 years plus..

so -no one can go with me.  I opt to go on my own, daring to do so ONLY BECAUSE I would be going to the same place in Europe I went before with gerry...    and could follow the same route:  bart to embarcadero, to bus 5...   /and only know that,  -not because I remembered on my own, but because of how my blog serves as my external memory storage and I had written about it..

skip, skip..

off at embaracadero -and up the stairs.. and...   bus 5?  every bus stop has several different numbers, but not a 5 among them.   around in the circles, and finally ask a person in a neon vest

"oh.  so if I walk up two blocks... "

and sure enough, two blocks up, a bus stop with a number 5 option..    pop in $2.50...    ask, and learn I need to exit at 10th to get to golden gate park.

visit with a couple of my fellow bus-mates..   all native san Franciscans..   one with a bag that had ALOHA printed on the front..   so apropos..

all is well.  exit at 10th...   and now I am to find, pioneer meadows...  

"you've never heard of it either?"     -no one.    circles, circles...   check the list..

nowhere to be found, ask the shuttle driver,   -nope.   and so I finally surrender, realizing that her performance has already ended by now, and so..

may I report here, that ive never been lost in a more beautiful place in my whole life!   when I saw botanical gardens.. and then adults $8...    I jumped write in, and joined a tour that had only been already in progress about 5 or 10 minutes..

took lots of pictures; great joy!

and then, not enough cash on me to also visit de young...    so, headed home.


and so, I went searching for a bus stop with #5....

and searching...

and back..   and forth...   and two blocks up...    and two blocks over....

past the homeless man under the big tree...      along a narrow sidewalk...    where for art thou bus stop with number 5?

and then it started getting cold, and then it started getting dark, and then it started getting late.

and then, I stood at the next bus stop I could find, giving up on finding a #5 because my feet were aching. I looked at the map.   and that is all I can do; look.  I cannot understand, make sense of...

such a simple question:  do any of the buses that stop here go anywhere near embarcadero bart station?!?  yes or no?

stare at map.  I have no frickin' idea...     its all just a bunch of squiggly lines; it's like looking inside a computer, or anything with a million small wires...

yes. I see all the wires.. criss crosses of colorful confusion...     I have no idea where they originate or where they go or what they do...    its just abstract art to me.   nice curves..   loops...   pretty colors..  fascinating design...    tells me nothing.

  when a bus finally stopped I said to the driver,

"where is a bus stop with the bus 5?!"    -and he started giggling.

"that's on the opposite side of the park"       /my feet were throbbing..

"well, how can I get to embarcadero bart station?  do you go there?"

he laughed out loud.  "you're on the wrong side of the street.   cross the street, on the other side, bus 7"

/can you trust a bus driver who is giggling..  having a hard time containing his laughter..?   might just like to toy with tourist and people who don't know east from south?

but he convinced me that if I crossed the street, bus 7 would get me to embarcadero bart station.

I knew if I tried to navigate my way to 'the other side of the park' to get to a bus stop with #5, i'd end up in Detroit, so

$2.50 in bus 7...   "I was told you will go to embarcadero bart station...?   please.."

can you trust a man with a Russian accent who paused for 15 seconds before answering with a slight nod? and questionable yes

I was so nervous he would forget to tell me...

"is this where I exit?"     5 stops in, and he smiled...     not yet.   i'll tell you.

/i'll bet you'll tell me...     but I will not be still sitting on this bus, as everyone else exits..    I will not be on this bus alone...      wherever the group exits; i'll exit..

and so, many stops later..     many. stops. later.  people getting on, people getting off..

my occasional eye-contact through the rear view mirror with the Russian bus driver, which clearly communicated in anxious American English     don't forget about me.. embarcadero station...

and eventually,  "you get off here."    all handsome, and nice and trustworthy

and, even though I was at address 555, I remembered I had seen a 333, and I might not be able to read a map, or know west from north but I can know direction by whether the addresses increase or decrease.. so

with aching feet I walked a few blocks to "embarcadero station!"


awful, missing anne's debut hula performance...      sorry my friend,  "Congratulations!!"

but wonderful, getting lost in the botanical gardens!     -concluded that visit by finding my very own two black n' blue birds of great happiness.   now, I have fed/seen pigeons this close..   and black birds, crows, finches...   but this is the closest ive ever been to these colorful Audubon delights:  stellar jays

In Jesus,  is the spiritual map to heaven,   's name...    amen!

Cerebral Hyperlinks to St.. Stu... Stut.. stut-t--t-er-er-er-ing & brain glitches.. for (me!) sandra, tvgp

I consider it a great privilege, working side-by-side high-school age young adults, and helping them navigate, what is for some of them, their first real job.

my first real job..   I was 15, so I have to work at remembering how young I was, how awkward it all felt, how new everything was, but I do remember..

and, as ive had several jobs post divorce 11+ years ago, as an adult,  and have started new several times...  at a variety of places, some of the awkward/anxious/nervous feelings are more fresh and easy to access than I would choose..

but I especially remember how awful/awkward answering phones for the first time, professionally, at a place of business, vs casually from home..

one of our newer employees confessed it was over a month before she answered the phone..

and another one confessed being concerned about stuttering...   "oh, I know all about stuttering.." I said with a smile,

"what does it feel like?"  she asked (me!),

     "it feels like, your brain knows what it wants to communicate, but your mouth won't cooperate."


  we are now all engaged in conversations about.. and I could not,  -not, open these cerebral hyperlinks in conversation:

     "sit on your hands."    -origins/first memory... or at least, didn't help matters

itz itz:
how I named my art


In J..   Je...     Je-sus, sus, sus'  name..     amen!

The Cartoon Panel(s) in my head (me!) sandra, tvgp

real pictures from the great depression, with captions/quotes/sage advice from all of today's money gurus

"..if you would just learn to live within your means...

" you didn't budget properly...

"you wouldn't be in this food line, if you had saved...

"let's look at the way you've been thinking about money...    or,

"how would you describe your relationship with money...


as I recently heard on tv, by rich person...

"wealth is its own prison too"

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

" I Got to Ride in the Real Batmobile!" (me!) sandra, tvgp

from the archives.  article written for Pleasanton patch.    -inspired to repost story/pictures because..  every time I see a child wearing a t-shirt with the batman logo [CH] I want to share..  "I got to drive in the batmobile!"     -but I never have any pictures on me.. and, no child is going to go online and "then in the google search, type..   tully's corner, Anthony Bettencourt..."    so, I think i'm going to have these pictures printed and keep them in the kiosk..  anyway, "thank you!" again Anthony Bettencourt!  -great memory.


Tully's Corner:  Meet Batman, AKA: Anthony J. Bettencourt III

Introducing the beautiful people I randomly (and sometimes intentionally) meet at Tully's Corner
— downtown Pleasanton's No. 1 people watching hot spot.
by Sandra Harrison Kay,  AKA WriteousMom

I'm very excited to introduce all of you to my new superfriend, Anthony J. Bettencourt III. He is a husband, married to the lovely Karin Bunnell, president of the board for Valley Dance Theatre; a father of four, with beautiful 23-year-old triplet daughters, Candace, Ashley and Jessica, and a beautiful 14-year-old daughter, Tory, a freshman at Amador High School.

Bettencourt is a 14-year Pleasanton resident and world traveling president, CEO and chairman of Coverity, an international software company that does...something really important, I don’t remember.

But let’s be honest. Who cares about software! The man owns and drives a real life, Gotham City, flame-shooting, lights-flashing, custom-designed and entirely rebuilt BATMOBILE! Like, straight out of the comic books, straight out of the legendary 1960s television series and onto the downtown streets of Pleasanton.

It is impossible for me not to project on him all of the wonderful crime-fighting, justice-seeking, super-power characteristics of Bruce Wayne himself. Impossible not to hear the theme music and envision the “Pow!” “Bang!” “Boom!” speech bubbles that assured all of us Batman and Robin were conquering the villains and saving our world.

The very sight of the Batmobile triggers a million positive memories fighting for their own spotlight in my mind. And, after watching everyone's reactions upon seeing this car, it obviously does this for countless others.

There is no counting how many people I watched — adults, children, teens — who stopped to admire, take pictures of, and pictures with, Bettencourt's Batmobile while it was parked on Main Street, near Baci’s, last Saturday morning.

So that inspired my first question, when I met him on Corner, a couple of blocks from where he parked his hot, new, very popular mobile: How comfortable was he, on a scale of 1-10, being down the street and away from being able to see all the people hovering around the Batmobile.

"Oh, a 10," he said, with complete confidence and genuine peace. "People are very respectful. I’ve sat and watched from a distance. They just smile and look and take pictures."

Bettencourt waited more than 10 years before finally bidding on and purchasing his Batmobile via Ebay. Luxury cars are a long time passion of his. He has bought, driven and sold many elite and rare automobiles over the past several decades, including seven Ferraris, three Bentleys and one Rolls Royce. He has his eye out for a Rolls Royce Phantom.  He was 27 when he bought his first Ferrari.
“I had a lot of people ask if it was my father’s car,” he said, smiling.

He acknowledges that his other luxury cars don’t draw the same smiles and acceptance. A few select people will demonstrate appreciation at the sight of a Ferrari, but the majority express disapproval; too showy for the hard economic times we’re facing.

The batmobile is a Lincoln Continental originally constructed by Detroit Customs and then super-hero enhanced by a team Bettencourt hired to re-construct with a new LS1 Corvette engine, new transmission, exhaust, radiator, starter, brakes, tires, etc.

“Now, when you turn the key, it starts.” he said.

But the Batmobile, from my passenger seat view during a quick spin downtown, appears 100 percent beloved. It is an attention magnet of the best kind, inspiring thumbs up, waves, big smiles, lots of pictures and triggering wonderful memories for anyone and everyone familiar with the Batman empire.

The Batmobile travels primarily from his batcave in Ruby Hill, to downtown Pleasanton. It made a debut appearance at Amador High for a sporting event and will be parked on 264 Main St., outside Heroes and Villains Comics on May 7 for a special event hosted by store owners, Catherine De Dood and Jim Cravens.

See you there.