Advice from Mister Rogers when tragedy strikes.

Even though I grew up most of my life down in Brazil, whenever I did spend time in the US, one of my favorite shows to watch growing up was Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. Mister Rogers had a gentle way of teaching you life lessons and how to get through the tough times in life. It’s amazing how a simple thing as puppetry could easily fascinate a young mind and be an easy and age appropriate way to teach values and character traits. Years later when I was in High School, I joined in a puppet team of college students who went to visit tiny towns along the Amazon river. Those memories of playing a character behind the curtain to the thrill and screams of children on the other side was unforgettable. I personally think it was easy to make the children laugh because I still was a child (granted I was maybe 16 years old-same age as my son today) so I still had the kid in me so I was goofy with my puppet. Of course, towards the end my arm hurt and ached, but I still kept going. I’m talking technicality of puppetry, but it brings it back to why as a young child I was fascinated by Mr. Roger’s kingdom with the likes of King Friday, Lady Elaine and Fairchilde. Sure, they were little puppets with really weird faces, but I was mesmerized by the story they told and how they got through their little drama. As I look at my son who is 16 years old, he’s still my baby. His mind is still learning about how the world works, why people do the things they do and how to react to it. Children are so impressionable. The world we live in now is very different from when I was 16 years old. As a 16 year old, drinking out of a water hose was the norm (unheard of today), writing notes and giving it to someone was our version of text messaging. I feel as though as he’s grown up in the 2000’s, I’ve had to explain in terms he can understand the battle between good and evil. The balance he needs to get through it and how he can be of encouragement to his friends. Tragic things happen and we often wonder why it happened. There is so much suffering, sadness in this world and if one allows it, it can destroy one’s view of the good in the world. Yes, tragic things happen, but somewhere in there, there is good. And there is hope. Which is why it’s good to look back at my own childhood figure like Mister Rogers who gave some good advice of how to deal with tragedy.

Red Rock Canyon: Part 1

Hey guys!

A warm welcome to my new subscribers and loyal readers. Let’s talk about the hike I took with my son and his friend last week. I’ve lived here in Colorado Springs for two years now and I just got around to visiting Red Rock Canyon, which is across from Garden of the Gods. We go to Garden of the Gods a lot just to sit and enjoy the scenery, hike and I also go there often with my clients. When we went on our hike, we took the long way to get to the lake at Red Rock Canyon. Luckily, the day was nice and windy, so it wasn’t too bad. My knee continues to hurt after a month (I injured it at work), so towards the end of the hike, it was very painful to walk back to the car. Hiking in Colorado Springs is very common among the locals and we’ve come to participate in that activity as well. Back in New Jersey, you’d never see us hike like we do here. Anyways, it was lovely to just walk and enjoy the little trail, think about how nice it was to explore a new park and anticipate the view of the lake I’ve only seen via YouTube and pictures. I decided to film the hike for memories to share. Click on the video below and you can come along with us on our little hike. This is part 1. There is another trail I’m very excited to go on and I can’t wait to show you all that one because it’s pretty incredible.

Continue being amazing.

xoxo

Amanda takes a Japanese Personality Test!

Hello guys!

I’m sure most of you have heard of personality tests and I for one think they are interesting. I came across a Japanese personality test and decided to take it. Give it a go and see what your answers reveal about you! I’ll post my answers below so you can know a little more about me. You must first watch the video to understand my answers.

Video credit: BuzzMoy

Do you see a cube?
-Yes.

How large is it?

Probably the size of a moving box.

What is it made out of?

-Shiny silver metallic. Unbreakable. Solid.

Where exactly is it in the desert?

-I don’t know. It’s just there.

Is it buried under the sand or is it sitting on top?

-It’s sitting on top of the sand.

Is it floating in the air or moving?

-No. My box is sitting on the sand.

What material is the ladder made from?

-Wood.

How tall is it?

-Six feet.

Where is it in relation to the cube?

-Next to the cube.

How far is the horse from the cube?

-It’s right next to it.

What is the horse doing?

-Not much, just standing there making sounds.

Which way is it moving?

-The horse is relaxed and just standing there content.

What does it look like?

-The horse is brown and beautiful.

Is the horse tied up or roaming freely?

-The horse is not tied up and can roam free as it pleases.

Is it wearing a saddle?

-Heck no!

Can you picture any flower in the desert?

-Yes.

Where are they situated compared to the cube?

-The flowers (yes plural) are situated in front of the cube and horse.

How many of them do you see in there?

-Lots of flowers! Flowers of all colors and sizes.

Storm approaching. Is it big or small?

-It’s big.

Is it violent or calm?

-The storm off in the far, far distance is calm yet dark with sounds of thunder every 10 minutes.

What’s the distance between the storm and cube?

-Very, very far. There are many miles between the storm and cube.

Does the storm affect the cube, horse, ladder or flowers?

-Nope.

**After watching the results of my flower inquiry, I must say I do think of kids, but I don’t want hundreds of them according to how many flowers I envisioned in my desert. I just love flowers and think they add beauty to anything. These two tests were fun and were interesting. Take it with a grain of salt and just have fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Other Prince William: A Love Story

Yesterday I watched this beautiful yet tragic love story between a Hungarian woman and a British Prince named Prince William. This is the love story of a namesake of the current Prince William of England. I never heard about this story and found it so sad, beautiful, romantic and tragic. Interestingly enough, the woman in the video currently lives here in Colorado. I found this similar to the movie “Titanic” where the woman at end has a necklace, but as you’ll see, the woman in this video has a lasting memory of her prince with something else.

There are love stories and there are love stories that are simply so beautiful you wouldn’t believe they actually existed. This is one of them. I hope one day I’ll finally have my fairytale ending.

Video Credit: Kayla Gillis

Remembering Sept. 11: 15 Years Later

Dear friends,

It seems like just yesterday that we experienced tragedy, yet it’s actually been 15 years. For those of you who are new to my blog and are new subscribers, New Jersey was my home since I was 5 years old every time my mother and I would come to visit from Brazil. Every four years we’d come up to visit my grandfather and visit relatives. Sometimes, we’d stay longer from a few months to a year. During these times, we’d go visit NYC since we lived less than 2 hours away, so thus began my relationship with New York City. I’ve never had a bad memory that occurred in NYC. Eventually, when I finally moved to NJ to stay after High School in Brazil, I would visit NYC many more times as a young adult would-exploring what was waiting for us there. I had dreams of moving there one day and even knew what kind of home I wanted. I had everything all planned out. I loved walking around the city and had met many interesting folks there; a place with so many things to see and experience it would take a lifetime to complete them all.

One particular day, we had the idea of going up one of the Twin Towers to visit. As you may know, I am terrified of heights yet I thought it would be something I’d never forget. Once inside the building, we took a long ride up in the elevator to the very top. I felt slightly dizzy as I walked out of the elevator and saw how high we were. The view from the top floor up in the Twin Towers were amazing. I walked closer to the glass wall and looked down. The taxis were so small, like bugs, and I felt like the tower was even swaying a bit, but perhaps that was just me. I thought how beautiful it was from up there and it seemed so peaceful. Very quiet. I honestly remembered even then this was something I’ll never forget. The feeling of being so high in a building I saw so many times coming into NYC from NJ. Sitting in the car as a child, I’d wait looking out the window to get the first glimpse of the two Twin Towers. Once I saw them, I’d get so excited. Now I was finally up in one of them and I was left speechless.

On September 11th I happened to have the tv on watching a morning show when they suddenly cut to breaking news. Reports were being said that a “small airplane” had flown into a tower. I saw the video and thought it was odd. I remember everything of that day. What I was wearing, where I was standing and the kind of day it was outside. How could a plane just crash into one of the towers? I was glued to the tv and was watching it as my heart started to race. I had no idea how worse it was going to get that day. I watched as the second plane hit the tower with my hands over my mouth in disbelief when it showed on tv. Sadly, the copilot of the second airplane was someone I knew; he was my childhood friend’s cousin. My stomach dropped. All those people on that plane (and the plane before that). As the day wore on, there was so much chaos and I felt like I was living a nightmare. So much sadness and grief that day.

I still get emotional when I watch documentaries about 9/11. It’s tough. My heart goes out to every single family that lost someone that day. The story of the heroes on the third plane I will always remember their story as well. As anyone who has experienced loss from a tragic event, you learn to cope. The pain remains, yet you do your best to keep your loved ones memory alive.

15 years and yet it feels like yesterday.

We will never forget.

Do you remember where you were or doing that day?

The September 11th Memorial and Museum from Amanda on Vimeo.

My 2016 Summer Song

Every year during the summer, I choose a song that reflects how I am feeling or what I am going through up to that point. This year I chose the song “The Sun is Shining” because of the lyrics. This song just makes me feel good, the video is filmed flawlessly and it just is special to me. It’s great to remind people that no matter what they are going through, they will get through it. I remind myself how I have dreams and goals and I won’t allow something to ruin my aspirations and determination. I have to work hard to get there. Speaking of which, I ‘ll be starting up kickboxing very, very soon. More on that later, but until then, please enjoy my summer 2016 song “Sun is Shining”. I dedicate this to all my newest subscribers and to all my blogger friends who have stuck by me through the years. Thank you. I love you! xoxo

Video credit: Axwell Ingrosso

Song: Sun is Shining

I dance in the car, do you?

Hey guys!

I found this gem of a video a while ago and shared it on Twitter. I love this song and video so much I wanted to blog it to my subscribers. As you know, blogging on WordPress allows me to look back at a certain time of my life and remember the good times. I work with adults with disabilities (Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy etc) and I absolutely adore them; I wake up and am excited to know I will make a difference in their lives and help them with their goals. I also like to have fun with them when we go out into the community. Those special moments I cherish so much. I’m making memories with them AND they see how fun it is to hang out with me such as dancing to music in the car, hehe. When I first saw how they were dancing in the car, I thought, “Omg! That’s exacty what I do with my hands too! The head shake, the rolling of the shoulders etc” So much fun!

Video credit: Superfruit

Song: This Girl by Kungs X Cookin’ on 3 burner

Downtown Brazilian Olympic Party 2016

When I heard there was going to be a Brazilian themed partay downtown Colorado Springs, I knew I just had to go. One, I love me some Brazilian music (it enlivens my soul and spirit) and secondly, it sounded fun! So, we headed down around 5:35 pm and didn’t leave until 10:30 pm. Here are some things we saw while there.

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Leaving the public parking lot, we walked down this little alley way and saw this. Seeing three colors on a wall is just pure eye candy for anyone with a camera. Hence, this picture.

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I love architecture and looking up is always something I must do when walking around. This was on our way to the festival or partay as I like to say.

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There were a good 100 people already walking towards the road block and the roads weren’t quite filled yet. This was my first time walking around downtown and I’ve lived here 19 months! I live up Northeast which is a good 25 minutes away, so I hang around up there most of the time. It was nice, I should come down there more often, there are tons of cool restaurants and shops. My kind of town baby!

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The way they had it set up was kind of funny. There were several things going on, so you would hear yells, shouting and clapping from different parts of the road. There were set times for performances and dances, so people would be like herds of cattle moving from one area to the next; it just made me laugh in a weird way to see a huge crowd move like schools of fish, haha. Anyways, here were some lovely ladies performing a typical Northeastern Brazilian dance.

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This samba dancer was not only gorgeous, but she wore my favorite color and her outfit was the closest to what the samba dancers in Brazil wear. Sometimes the feathers they wear is so extravagant, it weights up to 50 pounds or more!

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Here are some players from a Boulder Samba school. They did a fantastic job and I felt right at home when they did their performance. I was impressed! They are called Bateria de Alegria.

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Oh, to be flexible like that once again. I used to be able to do that when I was in middle school taking gymnastics.

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Flowers are sprinkle around town. Nothing makes a town more attractive than gardens of flowers on the sidewalks.

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It was soon getting dark and people were watching and cheering the Olympians as they walked into the opening ceremony. The loudest cheers from the crowd that night was, of course, when the team from the USA came. Did you know there are 19 Olympians from Colorado? Pretty cool.

We had a fun night and I love crowds. I love walking around and taking in the sights and sounds. The entire time there I wanted to dance with all the Brazilian sounds and music pumping through the speakers. I haven’t had that much fun in a very long time. It was due time.

Here are some things we saw Friday night. I chose specific music to go along with the dances. The only one I wasn’t to do that was the Bateria de Alegria Samba school. I was having issues with my Windows Movie Maker and their sound got deleted. Luckily, I found a song similar to what they were playing. Enjoy the video!

Dear Journal: July 12, 2016 A dying yellow rose

*This blog entry is more of a self analysis of how far I’ve come and how I deal with things. This is why I write so that I can look back and learn how I handled things. ALL comments welcomed, especially from my subscribers who have followed me for years.*

Dear Journal,

It’s been a while since I’ve written. The past six months have been such a learning experience. I’ve learned that I’m a lot stronger than I’ve ever thought I was. I’ve learned that I have immense patience and can perform under pressure. I’ve also learned that the truth always comes out at the end no matter how hard or sneeky my coworkers people may think they are.

Taking time off from blogging to enjoy the many adventures life offers here in Colorado has been much needed. Things are great in all areas of my life and I’m happy and content. I have great friends who are there to support me and a precious 15 year old son who brightens my day and who teaches me new things like the Pokemon Go game that has taken over the world. I’m a freakin’ dinosaur and 100 years old, so I had no clue this game was coming out and now I want to drive everywhere so he can catch some at the park. I think the game is great because it’s getting kids out to explore the parks and not be inside all day. Exploring and being outside is normal for my son and I. I love nature and I think I’ve instilled that in him because he loves taking pictures of flowers and little bugs he finds on our hikes. Watching his fascination with the smallest things in nature is marveling and inspiring.

I met this fascinating woman when I first started my new job. Cicily is one of those people who is pure sunshine when she walks into a room. We got along immediately and we bonded by discussing books (she’s an author), life in general, ping ponged sarcasm back and forth to each other and of course, our love for music. We worked side by side for a few months before her cancer returned and she had to stop working. I’ve had to deal with my own grief watching my own mom go through remission off and on in a period of ten years. That journey was long, yet it gave me time to get prepared in some way. However, when my mom passed away, it was somewhat sudden within 72 hours. With Cicily, it’s been over a course of 4 months. At first, I wasn’t sure how I was handling this the past few months. I kept thinking, “I want to help her, but am I emotionally strong? Can I do this? This is bringing me a few steps backwards from what I’m trying to do in dealing with my own grief.” I had mixed emotions. There were moments I would be driving and I would burst into tears knowing I was losing a friend. A dear friend. A single mom leaving behind 3 children. The cancer stopped, but then it came back with a vengeance that I had never seen before, even with my own mom. It was startling. My friend was so tired of all the treatments. She knew she had only a few months left. Her doctors said she would be lucky to see her birthday and this was back in late May. I was truly scared for her. Guess what? Her birthday is today. July 12th. Today we’re having a party for her at her house, but her organs are shutting down and all the signs of death is looming over her and this appears to be the right time when she has some energy left to share this day with all her loved ones. Death is so near. She knows it. We all know it. I’m so happy she’s come this far and is able to celebrate her last birthday. Over the course of the past months, I’ve sent her text messages and have visited her. Recently we discussed her funeral arrangements and about packing up her house. She knew I was familiar with this and wanted my opinion. Over the course of these months, I’ve had to mentally be strong. Not just for her, but for myself. If I was feeling emotionally fragile, I would not visit her that day. I needed to recharge and get it together. This whole situation has been tough. So recently when I was feeling great and felt like I could see her, I did fine. We talked about things, laughed and got down to business. Anyways, as my friend will say goodbye for the final time to her kids today at noon (they have to catch a plane), my heart can only imagine what she will be going through. Forever goodbyes are painful. After her party today and the days following, I am one of the people to help her with hospice and being with her for a few hours as others will be helping around the clock. I’ve never done hospice before. It’s all new to me.

People are brought into our lives for a reason. Even if it’s less than 8 months or so. What has Cicily taught me in knowing her for such a short time? I’ve come to realize that she has shown me that I am strong. Emotionally. More than I have given myself credit for. She has taught me to never settle for less and always remember I deserve better in anything and everything. She’s taught me the ability to ask myself tough questions even if I already know the answer to them.

She also wanted yellow roses for her funeral as they are her favorite flowers.

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Yes, that’s me after waking up. My brain is slowly turning it’s squeaky wheels after a foggy realization that I’m taking a selfie. Probably one of my favorite selfies because I’m in a vulnerable (this what you get seeing me in the morning lmao) and natural state. My hair is messy, I’m not wearing makeup and my eyeliner from last night remains reminding me that I can still stay awake out late at 3 am. My red bed sheets keep me warm as they appear to swallow me back into dreamland. My son said I look 12. My friends say 19 or 20. Lmao. This was taken July 1, 2016.

Xoxoxo!