Keep your Spark in the Dark

Many are guilty of it, including billionaire business magnates.

First let me speak from personal experience. I had a gal assist me with the housework a couple nights a week. I told her I was off sugar. I needed to lose weight. I asked her to videotape my impassioned declaration to the Universe that I was going to drop 50 lbs. 

She gobbled up my enthusiasm and imitated my passion for losing weight. She stopped eating sugar too. She took it a step further by exercising nightly, and turned to her mum for support. Needless to say, she went from frumpy to fabulous, and so did her mom!šŸ˜­ As for me,  I just maintained my weight, and she and her mum got skinny.

Something strange happens in human contact that propels some people to steal other people’s dreams, ideas, and desires, or else just get motivated by them.

Keep the big dreams under your hat and be careful.

As my acting coach always told me, don’t give your power away!

 

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When it’s Springtime in Minnesota

Today was a glorious day! 68 degrees Fahrenheit, or 20 degrees Celsius, and a nice, cool breeze.

You never know what kind of weather you will get in Minnesota, especially in the Spring.

You never know if you will get a snow storm or a heat wave. Minnesota weather has a mind of it’s own.

On days like today when the weather is perfect, you feel like having a party!

Yesterday my Poodle Cole turned 13 years old. To me he is still a puppy, full of pep, and joie de vivre!

I just took him, and the Pomeranian out for a walk in the beautiful sunshine.

Perhaps later on I will get the motivation to finally mow the front and back lawn!

Tonight we must celebrate Spring in Minnesota because days like this don’t come every day!

The Joy of Snacks

A snack can be anything from meal-like to minute

In America we live in a culture of snacks.

Snacks dominate our day.  We love to eat.

These days there is a trend toward a grab at healthier snacks. Perhaps at the back of our minds we think we will be skinnier if we eat healthier. This outcome may or may not happen, but we remain hopeful.

In olden days, people would eschew snacks for three square meals a day. You wouldn’t want to ruin your appetite, right?

Our appetite is stronger than ever. There are so many tempting snacks.

Even though we strive to eat healthier, the typical snacks are still as popular as ever. French fries, potato chips, chocolate bars, ice cream, donuts, tortilla chips and salsa, soft drinks and cupcakes.

More than 50% of Americans enjoy a cup of coffee everyday instead of tea. We are a nation of coffee drinkers and we like it that way.

Of course, we shouldn’t mention obesity. But the obvious truth is most of us adults are overweight or obese. It’s not like in the movies where most of the women and men are skinny and sexy.

No doubt about it, one of the glories of life, is the often ignored, albeit often indulged in, ubiquitous snacks.

If you plan to visit with a radio DJ or want to see a friend to practice guitar, bagels and cream cheese are always popular. Bring snacks and you’ll be well-loved.

What are some of your favorite snacks? 

Here are ten of mine.

1. Cookies. 

2. Tortilla chips and dip. 

3. Chocolate, preferably Belgian with hazelnuts.

4. Tangerines. 

5. Fresh fruit salad. 

6. Tea and muffins.

7. Coffee and donuts. 

8. Pistachio ice cream. 

9. Cheesecake with Italian cherry sauce. 

10. Black licorice such as that found in a big box of Good and Plenty.

Next time you look in the mirror at your body in your swimsuit, and you bemoan your excess adipose tissue, remember a lot of it was bought and paid for in snacks!

Fashion Feels and Real World Tears

What’s that on the shoulder of your Calvin Klein jacket Amy? It’s an unknown stain, and the weight of the world!

You may love to shop. You may feel good after you buy an item or two that you love! Just like a drug or a drink, there is a high after you buy.

Especially if you live in the Western world, you can’t escape fashion. It’s everywhere!

You look good, you feel good, right?

The words fast fashion have a negative connotation. It means you consume cheap trendy goods to dispose of them quickly because they donā€™t last.

Why waste your money?

You may buy a top for $3 made in India or Vietnam or any other place, but the lack of durability and value is the basis of fast fashion. The low-cost is really a high price when you consider the lack of biodegradability of the fabric.

What was the provenance of the top you bought?

The origin of your new top may belie a horrible history in it’s creation, especially if it’s made by underpaid, uninsured workers.

Once you’ve used your purchase to your delight and have consumed it’s considered worth, what will happen to your used-up cast-off?

The top may perhaps be made of a fabric that lacks the ability to disintegrate into the earth, and will only wind up burned or buried under the ground. Fast fashion pollutes.

It’s excellent to look good. It’s excellent to shop thrift stores as well. It’s best if you look for good quality first, low price second.

Recycle your clothes, instead of throwing them into the landfill. Donate them to others. Let them be recycled or upcycled!

When you buy, consider avoiding acrylic and highly-flammable petrochemical-based fabrics, such as 100% polyester and go for biodegradable textiles such as wool, silk and cotton.

However, don’t always consider cotton to be the best, if it pollutes and drains earth’s natural resources, in order to ensure production.

Just like you find out where your food comes from, find out where your garb comes from.

Make sure that it’s not being made by exploited workers paid slave wages.

In order to keep everyone up to standard there has to be more transparency in the fashion industry.

If your favorite brand won’t tell you where your clothes originate from or what is in them, skip the brand and shop local.

There are companies in the world that will tell you where they harvest their textiles and how they make their products.

Find out how earth-friendly they are, and not only will you be better off, the whole world will benefit now and in the future.

Plus, you’ll be able to wear your fashion with confidence. Then like a good citizen of this planet you will really be in fashion!

Memories of my Mum

Amy Zents with her mum in British Columbia in 2010

My mother was born on February 27th 1936. On February 27th, last month, she would have been 81 years old.

I have a lot of precious memories of my mother, sadly she got disabled in her sixties. She had the right-of-way walking through a green light when she was run down in the crosswalk by a truck driven by a drunk driver.

She was lucky to survive after she sustained a massive brain injury and lost her sight & hearing. This was a decade before she died. Her poor husband who is older than her had to take care of her and nurse her until he himself passed away. Then she was in the care of others and had to be put in Assisted Living.

After her husband passed away, and my mother was unable to walk the dogs or care for them, we adopted their two dogs.

My mother and her husband had adopted them as puppies and raised them for five years until my husband and I brought them to live in Minnesota.

The two dogs are named Cole and Pixie.

My husband James and our two furkids

After my husband Jim and I picked  up the dogs from my mother’s house, we were shuttled to the airport by my mother’s friends.

The two dogs were checked in at the airport and we all had to take the Big Metal Bird from Seattle to Minnesota, first crossing over the Pacific from Victoria Island in a noisy boat, the Seattle Clipper.

The two frightened dogs had to hunker down in crates near a loud engine.

I went from being footloose and fancy-free to becoming a dog mom. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past seven and a half years.

The dogs have taken over my life. No matter what we do we have to always take the dogs into consideration. Especially since the Pomeranian as a diabetic.

Cole is 12
Pixie is 13

But they are a memory of my mum. They are her legacy to me because she loved them so much. When she could no longer walk them because she was too disabled and her husband had passed away, then I agreed to rescue the two dogs and not separate them from each other.

They are very happy and contented living in our house. They are a lot happier given free rein of the place.

Back in British Columbia they barked so much the police were always being called because they were bored and depressed penned in a little entry area of the house.

My mother couldn’t take care of them the way they needed to be taken care of. The dogs were much younger then and were high-spirited. They needed a lot of exercise and attention. Actually, they still do.

Some of my happiest memories as a child was seeing my mother walk through the front door after she had been at work or grocery shopping. It makes my heart rejoice when the dogs get all excited when I walk in the front door. It’s fun to see them jumping up and down and glad to see me!

Everytime I look at my dogs I am reminded of my mother and how she loved animals. Although I grew up in the heart of urban Toronto, we always had animals as pets.

There were the white mice, Flinky and Twinkie, cute cuddly cats named Sammy and Susie and others, a tan chihuahua named Fritzie, a brindle Bull Terrier, a brown and white guinea pig named Joey, Myrtle the Turtle, a budgie bird, and many others over the years.

Having pets is a good thing. I think it taught me empathy more than anything. I’m very grateful to my mother for being an animal lover and for her two dogs who light up my life everyday.

Alive and kicking

I just watched a really good show on HBO about heart disease.
Amazingly, in spite of all our good luck here in the USA with an overabundance of good food, good health care, access to clean water, and digital devices, obesity is killing people and that really is the heart of the matter.

Sadly, the people who are most prone to being obese are those who are economically challenged, namely the poor. Nevertheless, there are many folks who look like, heart attacks waiting to happen, among the upper crust as well.

We see this all around us and it is epidemic. The most horrible fact is that the problem is getting worse.

The question is, with all this cardiopulmonary disease sitting like a time-bomb ready to explode in these many obese bodies, is there anything to stem the tide?

Obviously, eating less and moving more to lose excess weight off the belly is a start.

Too bad it takes a tragedy for people to wake up to reality about obesity and heart disease.

You may come from an abundant country with lots of food tempting you every which way, but don’t let that be your excuse. If you want to live without regrets, then the time to act is now before it’s too late.

Follow the following three rules in addition to weight loss:

  1. Avoid alcohol
  2. Don’t smoke
  3. Don’t sit for longer than 50 minutes at a time.

Much of the heart disease today is preventable in America.

If you want to be successful and live a long life you have to take personal responsibility. You might be a lone voice in the wilderness of obesity, but after they’re gone you’ll still be here alive and kicking!

Inspiration found through Information

A little walk, a little sit, a little sip, can inspire a great idea!

Walking often yields my inspiration, but so does surfing online.

If you’re looking to be creative, walking certainly makes a difference. You don’t even have to walk very far, just four or five blocks will suffice. It’s an opportunity which affords the brain to formulate an idea.

Right now I’m enjoying my Teavana Earl Grey creme, and reflecting on recent thoughts.

I think we live in a society where we are often drained of our inspiration by people, politics, and events.

I look back on some of my blog posts and the things I’ve published. Sometimes I scratch my head and wonder what I was nattering on about. I must admit some of my earlier posts were pretty rough. Some of them even seemed nonsensical and scattered.

Nevertheless, some of of my WordPress posts were truly inspired. Especially those based on real-life experience. There are lessons to be learned every day.

From personal experience we can glean not only punishment but precious rewards.

Learning from personal experience is one of the the harshest ways to learn, but maybe that’s why the lesson sticks.

However, I do find inspiration and consolation in some of my previous blog posts, and the blog posts of others.

šŸ˜€
Musically yours,

Amy Zents