December 23, 2018: Sunshine Blogger Award

About two weeks ago, I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

On December 9, I gave a Blogmas post about the Second Week of Advent. The next day I received a message from Pam Gaines at WriteSquire that I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Such a pleasant surprise. Thank you so much Pam!

11 Questions for Me

1)How do you define friendship?
Friendship is the act of two people sharing their passions with one another. They laugh, love and cry together throughout life’s moments.

2) What’s the latest thing you learned?           
I’ve learned that friends and family will be there for you during life’s most difficult moments. These past few months have been so stressful with work and health difficulties. Thank goodness for my fiancé and cousin

3) How do you begin each day, as a general rule?
I write my blog entries. I maintain two: Woven From Words, and my poetry blog, Poetic Threading. I’ve learned that writing is such a refreshing start to the day!

4) What’s your favorite quote?
I adore this quote from Rumi: Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.

5) What quote do you despise?
Life is what you make of it.

6) Why do you hate it?
It seems so flippant. I always roll my eyes whenever I hear it!

7) With whom —living or dead— would you like to share a meal?
Hmmm…I think I would love to share a meal with Martin Luther King.

8) Why would you share a meal with her/him?
I would love to ask him advice on staying true to your principles, despite interacting with people who act and behave differently each and every day.

9) What do you love most about blogging?
I enjoy sharing my thoughts on life, and my interests. I began blogging in 2011, after watching the film Julie and Julia. I enjoyed the idea of leaving posts about your passions each and every day. Since I have a love for poetry, I began a BlogSpot page called Poetic Threading. Six years later, I began my journaling page on WordPress, Woven From Words.

10) What do you least enjoy about blogging?
Sometimes I struggle to put words on the page. I’ve learned to accept that a post can just be one or two paragraphs, even though I’m still hard on myself by doing so. But then if I put off writing to later in the day, I’m so fatigued that my thoughts are all over the place. So, posting at 5:30am is the most ideal for now lol!

11) What’s your favorite hobby?
Reading, and crocheting. I’m currently on a crocheting break, due to an injury on my left hand (Tendinitis…I can still function with it, but too much work on my left wrist leaves it in pain for a couple days. Thankfully my OT sessions have been very beneficial, and I hope to return to crocheting very soon. I really miss it).

11 Questions for You

  1. What are your passions in life?
  2. How do you mentally prepare for a challenge?
  3. What does Love mean to you?
  4. Do you believe in symbols as guides in your life journey?
  5. Describe your favorite book and/or poem.
  6. What was a moment that stood out in your life for 2018?
  7. Name someone you hold a deep respect for in your life. It can be anyone (friend, family member, mentor, etc.).
  8. What is one goal you would like to achieve for 2019?
  9. How long have you been blogging?
  10. What do you consider to be a strong support system in your life?
  11. What is one thing that you do in your daily routine that empowers you?

I Nominate:

I will post the Sunshine Blogger Award rules below, in case you know someone with unique content that deserves this honor.

Thank you for reading!

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

✦︎ Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.

✦︎ Answer the questions.

✦︎ Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

✦︎ Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.

✦︎ List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.

December 8, 2018: Life Journeys

Yesterday I discovered that a co-worker is enduring a very difficult life journey, and it was completely by accident. She has a few days off next week, so since she tended to travel to the Carolinas to visit family, I asked where she was headed.

Her response was ‘I had surgery, but it was postponed’. She then told me her recent struggles, having to wait longer for the services needed due to it being out of network. I was grateful that she chose to share such a personal piece of her life with me. I’m also saddened that she’s enduring such difficulty with the healthcare system. It’s failing her at a time when she needs it the most.

My thoughts are with her this weekend as she continues to fight for a better life, and peace of mind.

September 7, 2018: My Thoughts on ‘The Other Wes Moore’

Yesterday I finished reading Wes Moore’s book ‘The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates’. Each chapter was broken into two parts, going back and forth from each Wes’s perspective. Both men were born in the same Baltimore, Maryland neighborhood, their father figures being absent from their lives (one never met their father, the other lost his to a medical issue that was sadly treatable). For the first few years in their lives, both boys turned to the streets in search of a connection, forming close-knit friendships that served as a bond that was absent in their lives. As they got older, the connections made in their lives took them in the path that determined the deciding factor in their life journey. One became a successful Rhodes scholar and Army veteran, returning to serve the community in which he was raised. The other became ensnared in the drug trade, leading to an arrest and conviction for first-degree murder.

Reading ‘The Other Wes Moore’ brought into mind the environment in which I was raised. I was born and raised in an inner city in Northern New Jersey, living with a loving family with very little money. Things didn’t look too well when it came to obtaining assistance for higher education. My family encouraged me to take the steps necessary to apply for college. My high school counselor did little to support my decision, so I took care of the whole application process on my own. Once I got admitted into college, I took the steps needed to better my life.

My path in life could have gone differently if my family was not supportive of my choices in bettering my education/job situation. I believe that this was a large factor in why one Wes Moore was able to take the right path in life, while the other failed to progress. I enjoyed reading ‘The Other Wes Moore’, and I hope that I come across another book that focuses on people connecting with community in order to better their standing in life.

September 3, 2018: Labor Day Heartbreak

Today brought heartbreaking news locally and around the world.

In Brazil, a devastating fire destroyed the National Museum. Countless artifacts documenting Brazil’s history, as well as other countries’ precious gifts, are now in ruins. I didn’t want to believe it when I first came across the story this morning online, but when I turned on the television and saw the museum in flames, I felt waves of sadness. So much work, so much history, gone. I mourn the loss of another piece of history and cultural value, and pray that this wasn’t the work of hurtful individuals.

I also mourn the loss of those killed in local soil. There were three reported shootings in Paterson over the weekend. I say ‘reported’ because this type of violence happens regularly in this area, yet rarely receive any media attention. Since I grew up in Paterson, and still have family living there to this day, I’m aware of the rough conditions firsthand. My family is at a crossroads when it comes to living in Paterson: some want to leave, return to Puerto Rico, where my line originated. Others want to stay, live life in the moment, since ‘violence happens everywhere’. While this fact is indeed true, there’s a child to be concerned about, who will soon start school life, and navigate the neighborhood with new friends. I pray that Ana will stay protected, and keep away from negative influences during daily life.


July 26, 2018: New York, Always

Only a couple more days until I share poetry with friends in New York. I’m glad I can come by and be with my community for the weekend. Visiting NYC on a regular basis has not worked out the way I had hoped since moving back to NJ. I miss the moments I had with good friends. I wasn’t able to communicate as much with Johanna while she was still living and working there. While she was still alive. I deeply regret that.

When I visit New York this weekend, I will honor Johanna’s memory while connecting with the group we cherished so dearly. They’ve always been there for me when I needed them the most during my times of need. Now, while looking back on Johanna’s life, we need to be here for each other.

July 22, 2018: An ‘Inactive’ Kind of Day

Usually Sundays are spent admiring the scenery in the area. After church, Andy and I take some time to explore, viewing the beautiful farmland and wildlife Hunterdon County has on display. Today is a slow, ‘relax at home’ day though. Sometimes you just need afternoons like that. We don’t have lots of cash to spend anyway, so some relaxing time at home it is.

I’m already looking forward to next Saturday. I’m spending the weekend with my poetry therapy community. It happens every July for 10 days, but I can only attend the last 2 days. As I mentioned earlier, my current work schedule & finances severely limit me from attending events often. So it will be a wonderful time to see my poetry therapy therapy friends and colleagues once again.

The rememberance session for our friend Johanna will take place this week. Johanna was a constant fixture every year during this time, and her absence is truly felt by everyone. It truly won’t be the same, but we’re all holding on to the memories we’ve created with her.

July 18, 2018: Good Outcome

Last night’s Sips and Stitches event went really well. It was located in Flemington, not far from where I work. I was the only crocheter at the gathering (the group leader does also, but currently does cross-stitching), but I enjoyed meeting others who work with yarn like me.

I felt a welcoming presence from the group leader, and she was easy to talk to. The other members were friendly also, with the exception of one who only cared to network with ppl with embroidery tools in front of them. I laughed it off. Everyone has their way of interacting with others. Hopefully I can make it to the next yarn crafting event held in the area.

March 27, 2018: Children Making a Difference

I am so amazed by the movement the current young generation has inspired in our country. The Parkland school shooting has displayed a phenomenal action of young adults taking a stand against the poison that needs to be removed from our country, and that’s the misuse of firearms. Yes, we have the right to bear arms in the U.S., yet the 2nd amendment is being exploited by those claiming to carry weapons for the sake of protection, only to use it against our most vulnerable citizens-children. So many protests across the country is a clear message to everyone that it’s time to stop ignoring the safety of our students. Children and their families should not have to go to school fearing that they may never come home. Firearms should be owned and used properly by citizens. The fact that the safe use of weapons is getting twisted into a cycle of fighting and debate is what’s going to lead to indifference, which will lead to the next mass school shooting. The push for change is always in motion.

March 16, 2018: Maintaining Connections

I had a very good conversation with a good friend last night. We were very close in college, and we manage to keep in touch over the years despite us living in different locations. We arranged to get together in a few weeks, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing her again.

I contacted my family in Paterson the other day, but it’s tougher to get in touch with them. One of my relatives noticed the photo Andy took of us at our pre-cana class last weekend and sent a message to me. I responded to her, but the discussion didn’t go any further. It’s not the first time this person has done this, yet I could never understand why it’s done constantly.

I’m very much looking forward to tonight, since I’m seeing an old co-worker for dinner. We used to work together a few years ago, but thankfully we’ve also maintained contact. Our work schedules make it difficult to connect (I have my crazy hours at the center, she’s a nurse and teacher), but we finally came up with a day to meet up and connect. Hopefully my job doesn’t take an insane turn toward the end of the day which makes it tougher to leave on time.

March 4, 2018: Weekend Drive

After brunch and running errands this afternoon, Andy and I went for a drive through Hunterdon and Somerset County. It was such a nice, sunny afternoon, so we wanted to enjoy the scenery before we picked up groceries. What began as taking random turns in Flemington turned into viewing wonderful fields and farmland sights (This photo features the Raritan River Greenway). I never get tired of watching farmland and open space. Since people are so consumed with buying up land for real estate, I hold a deep appreciation for areas that seemingly hold little.

Now we’re back home, and I’m readying myself for another week. It will be another busy one, with deadlines on the horizon, yet I’ll have good memories of the engagement gathering, my niece, and my poetry community carrying me through the week.