Peace, love and joy to you.

Farm-fresh flowers

I’ve started watching travel videos.

https://youtu.be/0GZSfBuhf6Y

I’ve reflected on apartment dwelling.

https://youtu.be/RL7BECNn-RI

I’ve been trying to be present for life in the now.

I have been weeding things out everyday to better organize my life, and feel happier.

So I’ve decided to take a little hiatus from my daily blogging.

Sorry. I just need a break.

Exercise at the gym and playing ping pong with my life partner, husband and best friend Jim makes me motivated to be a better woman.

At least it helps me get focused on creating a better home-life.

Hubby is fully retired now.

I still work, albeit part-time.

Although he is not currently employed, hubby works at home to make the place cooler (installing air-conditioning,) pitching in on chores with gardening, cooking and being my chauffer when we go out together. ❤

He is a helpful husband.

Even though we haven’t got any vacation plans until November, every day spent at home with hubby is like a vacation for me, especially when the weather is nice.

While growing up in the big city of Toronto was over-stimulating and fun, living in outstate Minnesota has its perks as well.

Fresh air, parklands, Farmer’s markets, a big fenced-in backyard, and ample free time to enjoy it all is great!

Hubby likes to keep current on the news.

I like to keep current on the birds at the bird-feeder, the local temperature, recent amounts of rainfall, and what to eat.

Love this!

Wednesday Diet Wisdom: Appetite Considerations

So are you full?

Do you notice it when you have had enough to eat, or do you let the appetite needle swing into the red before you stop eating?

Observe if you feel satisfied

Eating to fullness is not the way to drop excess weight.

True, each meal is a time of rejoicing, but it is also a time to reflect on what it is we desire from our food.

Summer produce is so good!

A good meal is fresh veggies and lots of air on your plate.

😀 If you wish to plan your meals in advance, and the amounts you think you need, it will help you to enjoy your weightloss journey with less stress.

Interesting opinion

Tempting foods abound.

Plan your meal work, and work your meal plan.

You can do it! And so can I!

This radio gal loves to eat, but knows to quit when she’s had enough💕

Monroe Memories

So why is Marilyn Monroe’s beauty so iconic?

Movie star magic

In retrospect, she seemed to be a product, as well as a person.

Colouring her hair light blonde, affecting baby talk now and then, along with her wiggle-walk, seemed to cement her reputation as a vixen, automatically discounting her innate intelligence, and setting herself up as a target for exploitation and envy.

Sadly, she was not able to find serenity in her life, although she seemed to seek it by drinking booze, smoking cigarettes, and swallowing barbiturates.

(Judy Garland also passed away from overdosing on barbiturates.)

Marilyn left a lot behind when she died at the young-ish age of 36 in 1962.

Mostly captured on film, her lovely face and figure, along with her sweet voice, is forever available and easily accessible for all to enjoy.

What are some of your favorite films with Marilyn Monroe?

I really liked her in “Bus Stop,” and “Niagara.”

I’m sorry that she had to endure all kinds of emotional and mental issues, along with addiction problems.

When you consider it, addictions and drug abuse seem to be a sad fate of many rich and famous stars.

Many of them die young, or else prematurely.

Readers are leaders

In the end, what people see when they look at Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Baker) depends on how you perceive her in the light of hindsight and our modern-day mindset.

Was Marilyn just a tragic beauty? Or was she just an enviable person out of touch with life’s realities?

Or was she like you and me, someone looking to live life, make friends and be happy.

Chances are, not being famous may be better than all the pressures of dealing with the public, and the share of criticisms, sufferings and insecurities that are often brought on by other people’s demands and expectations!

We will never know what really happened to Marilyn, since conspiracies abound surrounding her death, but in life she certainly made a splash!

Monthly Memoir: The Distinguished Dropout

Off to my Memoir Writing Meeting

I walked to the New Ulm public library on Monday morning to attend my first Memoir Writing meeting.

I saw my old friend, retired school teacher, Nancy Busse with her friend Jan.

Nancy and Jan

I listened to other people read or talk about their memoirs.

Tom and Benny

Tom is 95. He was born in 1927! Benny is a trumpet player who traveled with many popular dance bands!

Our Librarian/Technician spoke of the Memory Lab where you can preserve all your old photos, Lps, 18mm film and other memories on digital media for free!.

Librarian and Memory Lab Expert LeRoy Harris

If you want you can read my memoir I read to the group, here it is!

“The Distinguished Dropout,” by Amy Zents


When I was 15 years old I was fed up with school. I had desperately tried to be a good student, but to no avail. I was either tardy or absent. I even tried changing schools, going from an eilite collegiate high school to a few other not-so-elite ones. 

Living in downtown Toronto I could not focus.Little did I know I had ADHD, and the stimulation of city-life overwhelmed my brain.At the time I could not understand why I couldn’t focus, and why I felt like such a failure.

After changing high schools to try and find the right fit, I quit school altogether and went to work.I kept changing jobs over and over again. I worked as a chambermaid, or housekeeper in downtown hotels Once while cleaning in the Sheraton, a guy claiming to be a Maple Leafs Hockey coach tried to pick me up stating his credentials.  I just ignored his advances.

In my later teens, I worked in a fancy travel agency. Although I had no experience I was put in the Accounts Payable department located in the prestigious Toronto Star Building. The job was not for someone like me. The pay was excellent, but I made too many errors because math was not my strong suit.

For awhile I ventured into working in retail. I learned how to use a cash register, albeit poorly, and I had a locker. The job was so slow and so boring, I could not bear it, so I quit. 

Later on, I worked at Sears in the mail room, where I delivered mail to the different departments. I felt invisible and degraded there for some reason.One day I saw an old lady lying flat on her back near the shoe department, and I alerted staff.. All they did was call the EMT’s while she lay there unconscious. She died at Sears.That incident upset me a lot, so I quit.

The last job, and the one I held the longest, was in catering and cafeteria food service at the Canada Life Insurance company. We served lawyers at their breakfasts, and banquets and each noon in their private dining room we filled their lunch orders that they checked off with a pencil from a daily menu.

At some point in my job search, I went to Canadian Man Power and took an employment aptitude test. The results showed my ideal job was a cook.Shortly before I got married, Man Power invited to pay for me to take a commercial cooking course. I declined.I was also contacted by the new IKEA store asking me come work for them. 

There seemed to be a lot of employment opportunities for me in spite of my work record. But I chose to leave that all behind.

At the tender age of 19 I got married and left the big city for a small town in Northern Minnesota. After eight long miserable years living in Sauk Center, earning two dollars an hour babysitting, I finally realized that in order to get ahead, I needed to get my GED! 

I learned to drive in a manual transmission car and it took me 3 tries to get my driver’s license at age 25, now I was ready to try to get a high school equivalency diploma.

I took classes at Melrose high school to review old subjects to prepare for my GED.I had to take the GED test in Alexandria, MN. I was so nervous, epecially since I remembered it took me three times to pass my driver’s road test. I hoped I would only need to take the GED test once and for all.

After the test, I waited to receive my notice in the mail, I was proud to find out I had passed! 

Along with the verification that I had succeeded in getting my GED, was a special note. 

It was a gold-embossed card that stated, “Congratulations to Amalia for Excellence in Adult Education.” I learned I had nearly perfect scores in all the areas of the test! I felt so amazed. I was a distinguished dropout!

Memoir resources were handed out
Personal experience is the ingredients of a good menoir

Memoir Writing Group

I can’t believe I survived college!

I am writing a little memoir of my college years.

Here is the Oxford dictionary definition of the word, “memoir.”

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/memoir

Or Monday I am going to the public library to attend a public memoir writing group.

I enjoy writing.

I really enjoyed college.

Too much!

I worked at the campus radio station for 15 years as a broadcaster as well.

And yes, like Albert Einstein I am a polymath too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymath

Unlike Einstein I did not discover the Theory of Relativity.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_relativity

My only phenomena was surviving two car accidents in two months that totaled both cars!

When I graduated I had over 500 credits from my University spanning 14 years.

I took a double major in Music and in English, along with a number of other credits in subjects ranging from anatomy, science fiction, film studies, to sailing, theater arts, chemistry, horsemanship and many, many more classes.

I took morning, noon and night classes.

I attended classes Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer.

My thirst for knowledge was driven by the fact I dropped out of high school at age 15.

I was a non-traditional student who began college at age 29. When I graduated I was in my forties!

I felt I needed to catch up intellectually.

I liked being a perpetual student.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_student

I will let you know how the memoir writing group goes next week. ✍

Thursday Book Review: Lose the Clutter, Lose the weight

Peter Walsh know his stuff!

Ok. So I am a pack-rat.

Where do I find the wisdom to change?

Peter Walsh!

I’ve admired his no-nonsense reasoning since the first time I saw him on TV.

But his book, “Lose the Clutter, Lose the weight,” is a good remedy for many who have too much

Here is a gem for you to consider.

Clutter comes from:

1. Bringing too much stuff into your home. 🏡 (Aquisiton)

2. Not getting rid of enough of it. (Difficulty discarding it.)

3. Allowing clutter to spread throughout your home to where it doesn’t belong. (Clutter’s core.)

So if you have ADHD like me, or just generalized anxiety disorder about your pig-sty, this book is a gem!

Of course you won’t get it all done  in 6 weeks.

But, the first step is understanding  what clutter is.

The first way to get started is to get educated, not overwhelmed.

Peace and love on Ringo’s birthday.

82 today. Glad he kicked the smokes and he’s a vegetarian too!

We can all do our best to make changes for a better life!

Thursday Book Review: Sell or Be Sold

We live in a world of sellers.

A good read

These days many sales people are called “influencers.”

Online or in-person someone is always going to try and sell you something that you don’t want or need.

I think back of what McDonald’s was doing to me as a kid.

My mom was a fabulous cook.

We would turn up our noses at her delicious soups and stews and wonderful meals because we wanted McDonald’s instead.

Ugh!.

Her homemade quality meals were so much better than horrible fast food from McDonald’s.

Not only were her delicious main courses fabulous we also enjoyed her wonderful baking.

Yet the power of mass media changed our minds about her hard work.

Nevertheless she instilled in me a love for good food, especially good healthy food.

Delicious homemade food

My cooking is not perfect and sometimes I burn things but I know I’m eating better by eating at home.

A little about the author.

He is a great real-estate salesman.

https://grantcardone.com/

A little about the book.

It is a tutorial of sorts to help the person who wants to be successful in business and in life.

Cardone has a podcast the Cardone Zone and also a YouTube channel.

https://youtube.com/user/GrantCardone

Although I am only halfway through the book I find it very illuminating and informative.

Sell or be sold, you decide.

Wednesday Diet Wisdom: Early Bird Exercise Experience

Brand new morning 🌄

This morning I was up at 5:15am.

I planned on going to a 5:45am strength-training class at the Recreation center I’d recently joined.

When I got there I was surprised to see how many overweight, obese and over-50 ladies there were there. Not all were fat, however. Some looked great, and a few were younger than the rest.

I was thrilled there was a good turn-out so early in the morning.

But, I was frustrated with the look of the space. It seemed crowded.

I was not wearing a mask, and neither was anyone else!

Instead of jumping into the strength class, I got on a parallel elliptical machine to tighten my thighs, and then I rode a stationary bike that had a video game on it.

That was pretty cool.

I have an online membership included in my gym package and I have free weights at home.

Back home I did some stretching with the video to loosen up my shoulders and back.

It’s important to warm up before you exercise too.

Before I left for the gym this morning I made a cold caffeinated beverage. Ice cubes, oatmilk and a shot of espresso from my Nespresso machine.

It didn’t burn my tongue like the usual hot coffee I make every morning, but I didn’t think it tasted all that great.

I will start weight-training at home today.

As for my weightloss journey, I an thrilled to say I am close to no longer being categorized as obese.

Since I started in May I have dropped 12 lbs. I hope to drop another 12 pounds by mid-August .

Then I will no longer be classified as obese!

I look forward to the time when I will not be in the overweight category either.

I want to be able to be in the normal weight range again and dress up in cute retro-outfits like this.

Slim and trim goals

But, it all takes patience and time to make it to your goals.

And I always track my calories on my Samsung Health app.

Tracking my calories on my cracked smartphone as usual

P.S. All diet advice by me is my opinion and does not reflect on any professional advice. Lose weight at your own risk.

Thursday Book Review: FDT

Coffee and goals

So what is future-directed therapy?

You want something special in your life? 😏

Something good to look forward to?

Then find the light at the end of your tunnel!

Find someone or something that brings you up.

Planning a vacation?

Really want to do or be something more?

It’s all up to you!

You choose.

You decide.

You discover.

Every Thursday I will give an inkling and quick review of what book I am reading, and/or studying. 📖

The book I am studying this week is called, “Think Forward to Thrive.”

It is an enlightening and enlivening book with a purpose.

It helps people discover meaningful goals to work towards.

Plan to be happy 😊

Some goals I’ve set for this summer.

Daily goals

Wednesday Diet Wisdom: Don’t Get Dressed in the Dark

So today I had my bra on inside out and my pants on backwards!

I was dressing in the dark so hubby might sleep.

I felt this was an analogy for not eating blind.

You need to shed light on your nutrition and your physical condition.

I am sticking to my calorie-tracking, never exceeding 1450 calories a day, and raising my metabolism by weight-lifting and cardio.

My pants are feeling looser and this week I found my good measuring tape.

Good measuring tape

I plan to fill in my measurements chart tonight with the help of my husband. It always helps to have someone measure you. But, you can also do it by yourself.

Stats

Just like knowing your weight and size, (and how to get properly dressed,) knowing your calories and nutrition is important for weight reduction and getting healthier.

Plan your work and work your plan and do it for yourself!

Food and focus go hand in hand.

Eat right. Feel right. Look right. Dress right!!! 🙂❤

Focus on good food

P.S. All diet advice by me is my opinion and does not reflect on any professional advice. Lose weight at your own risk.