The winds are rising, and the stock market is falling (but hey, so is my weight!)

Happy Monday, everyone! Yes, I know — as Mr. 50by60 just pointed out to me, the winds are rising, and the stock market is falling.

winds

However, on a more positive note — my weight’s falling, too!

182.0
scales
woo hoo

So there ya go — a little good news for your otherwise melancholy Monday! Hang in there  — the Holiday Season™ is on its way!!

Oh, and speaking of holidays, today’s Veterans Day in the U.S., so a big THANKS to all you military veterans out there!

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Friday Five: Just a bunch of photos

Happy Friday, everyone! Yeah, I know, not so happy for a lot of people. Well, when I’m sad, something in my brain clicks over and I start doing (or at least, wanting to do) new and/or creative things. Or maybe just go for a walk.

walk

All of which I’ve been doing, over the past couple of weeks. And it’s starting to show up in my daily weigh-ins, so Monday should bring me closer to those ever-elusive ’70s, y’all!

Anyway, without further adieux (as our French-Canadian neighbors might say, if they were grammatically challenged, which they’re definitely NOT — je vous aime, le Canada!!), here are five pictures I took recently:

  1. 1 - Art Journal

    On the first of the month, I decided to start ‘art journaling’ again. I’ve done it before, most recently 2015-2016. I ran out of ideas, and steam. However, after we lost Princess, I decided to go back to it, and just keep it simple and cheerful — so far, so good!

  2. 2 - First ever bike tire

    I’ve also taken up — ta-da! — bicycle repair! Well, at least the basics. I’m practicing on a super-old bike that was rusting away in our back yard. Yesterday I decided it was time to learn to change the tires — and I did! Here’s my very first ever replaced bike tire!

  3. 4 - Finished Bike.jpg

    Habemus bike, with both tires properly installed, mounted & pumped up, and a decent-looking seat as well! Looks really good with all those rays of sun pouring over it, huh? Still needs a lot of work, but it’s definitely looking better than it’s looked for, oh, the past decade!

  4. 5 - Fire.jpg

    Speaking of sad things, this is the view of one of the Southern California wildfires currently disrupting people’s lives. This is the Woolsey Fire, and if you follow that link, there’s some suggestions of how to help those affected.

  5. 1 - Grumpy Pumpkins.jpg

    Saw these in front of a neighbor’s house on my walk this morning. Aren’t these the saddest pumpkins you’ve ever seen? Don’t you just wish you could pick them up, pat them on the head and say, “There, there, it’s gonna be OK”? No? Me neither. Ick.

That’s it, a visual treat for your Friday Five. Hope your weekend goes well, and see you Monday for the weigh-in!

monday

My Weight, and Welcome To It!

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With apologies to the late, great William Windom, not to mention James Thurber!

Good morning, everyone! Well, as you may remember, last Monday I didn’t post my weigh-in, due to excessive sadness. However, time passes, grief slowly loses its initial punch, and we move on.

And part of moving on, for me, is getting back into the weight loss swing of things! So here goes with my first weigh-in in two weeks — is it…? is it…? YES it’s a loss!

183.0

vo de o.jpg

Not bad! Still stuck in the ’80s, but at least it’s not going UP, right? And with temps in Southern California getting a little more fall-like, this week (theoretically!), I’m hoping to do more long walks and short bike rides this week. So perhaps NEXT week I’ll be edging closer, ever closer, to the ’70s!

See you Friday!

Friday Five: Four things NOT to say when someone’s pet dies, and one thing you should ALWAYS say!

Happy Friday, everyone! Well, if you remember Monday’s post, it hasn’t been a very happy week for us. We’re getting better, though we’ll always miss our little Princess.

Princess 3

And most of the people we’ve told about our grief have been very comforting. However, there’s always a few whose “words of comfort” cause more pain than if they’d just zipped their lips! So for our Friday Five, let me share with you four things you should NOT say to a grieving pet owner – plus one thing you that’s ALWAYS OK to say!

  1. Trivializing your loss: “Too bad, but can’t you just go to the animal shelter and get another one? There’s thousands of ’em out there who need good homes.”

    Um, yeah, that’s true. And maybe when some time goes by, we’ll consider doing that very thing.

    Right now, though, the cat we ALREADY adopted, and have loved for over 13 years, has left us, and we’re very sad about that. Would you say the same thing to someone who’d just lost their grandfather, child, or spouse?
    grandpa.jpg

  2. More trivializing: “It’s just a cat (or dog, or horse, or whatever) – what’s the big deal?”

    The “big deal” is it’s a living creature we’ve spent time with EVERY DAY for the past 13+ years, and we’ll miss her.
    idiot

  1. Second-guessing: “Are you sure you have to put her to sleep? I heard about someone whose cat had the same thing and they took her to a Mexican vet who fixed her right up!”

    Uh, yeah, sure … let’s put our sick cat in the car, and drive for several hours across the border into a country we’re really not that familiar with, and see if we can find a vet who knows how to CURE CANCER … yeah …
    that should end well

  1. Glurging them to death: Look, I get it. The “Rainbow Bridge” poem is sweet (I guess). And I’m sure it’s helped a lot of people. However, I worry that maybe some of the pets I’ve accidentally killed, like little Harlan Ellison, the hamster I squished with my mattress when I was moving into my new apartment, might not be so thrilled to see me. And frankly, a little glurge goes a long way with me.
    rainbow
    Also, while I, like Abbot Tryphon at Ancient Faith Radio, do hope that our afterlife will include our beloved animals, that “Rainbow Bridge” thing seems a bit too New Age-y for my Eastern Christian sensibilities. What I’m trying to say is, stop sending me “Rainbow Bridge” poems, pictures, songs, YouTube videos, etc. Please!
    gayley.jpg

And finally, the one thing that’s ALWAYS appropriate to say to someone who’s grieving for their pet (or anyone else):

  1. I’m sorry!

    Yes, just a simple expression of sympathy that’s never out of line and always appreciated!

    Look, I get it – not everyone has pets, so not everyone understands how a person can grieve over “just a pet.” But if you care about that person, you can express sympathy for them, even if you don’t understand their feelings, right? So just follow the lead of the Doctor, and you’ll do fine!

That’s your Friday Five, everyone! Monday I’ll be back with a weigh-in, and maybe some more bike stuff. Meantime, have a great weekend!

Friday doc

No weigh-in today — just a sad goodbye to a good friend

I was debating whether to do a weigh-in today or not. FWIW, I’ve been dutifully keeping track of it every day. It’s been relatively stable, so I’m sure it would have been a decent weigh-in.

However, today is not an ordinary Monday. It’s the saddest Monday we’ve had so far, here in the 50by60 household.

You see, last week, we finally made the decision to have our sweet 13-year-old cat Princess, who’s been suffering from nasal cancer, put out of her misery.

Princess 2

That’ll happen at around 3:00 this afternoon. And we’ve been really sad all week, counting down the days … the hours … and probably the minutes, later today. (Oh, and it’s also sad because it’s Mr. 50by60’s birthday today — not his most fun birthday, that’s for sure!)

And even though we know it’s the right decision, that doesn’t make it any easier. So — decision made — no weigh-in today. Just a photo of our pretty cat, who sometimes liked to sit on the desk next to me as I was writing these posts…

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…along with a prayer that God will grant her a peaceful, painless end to her life.

And that someday we’ll see her again, under better circumstances.

So long, Princess. Thanks for taking such good care of us both, all these years. Good girl!

Princess 3

 

 

Friday Five: New Secret Weapon…Revealed!

OK, as promised, here ’tis – my secret weapon for combatting the creeping return of Teh Fat:

What? (listens to off-camera whispers) Um yeah, it’s a bike. That’s right. YES, that’s what I meant by “secret weapon”! What did you think I meant?

secret weapon.jpg

Heh, well, no, as much as I enjoy “The Red Green Show” (hey, it’s my second-favorite Canadian show!), and although I do plan to mention a practical use for duct tape later in this very post, I actually meant THIS:

1024180950a

My totally AWESOME new folding bike, hereinafter to be known in this blog as “Little Blue”! And as soon as I get “Little Blue” all tweaked & ready, it’s going to be a permanent addition to the trunk of my decrepit ol’ 2005 Toyota Corolla (aka “Decrepit Blue!”).

1024181248

That way, when I’m out driving, enjoying the scenery and ignoring the omnipresent “Check Engine” light on the dashboard (and btw, here’s where the duct tape comes in handy!)
red duct

and I notice a park with a really tempting bike path,

bike path.jpg

I don’t just drive by, thinking, “Nice, but I forgot to bring ‘Big Blue’ [the Electra Townie] on my hard-to-use bike rack, so I guess I’ll just have to keep driving, and maybe eat some Doritos to console myself!” NOPE! Now I’ve got a bike! So I can stop, take it out, unfold it, et voila! I’m ridin’ – and exercisin’!

miss gulch.jpg

And in case you can’t tell from the photos, I’ve already taken this lovely little bike out on one of the bike paths in the Sepulveda Basin. I kinda had to, because when I unboxed it and looked at it, sitting next to “Big Blue” (my venerable and super-comfy Electra Townie Cruiser),

1024180950a

I wasn’t sure it had been such a good idea after all. For one thing, Little Blue has a slightly higher “stepover” than Big Blue, which means, being both short AND clumsy, I knew that at some point I’d trip over it and get some nice blue bruises on my shin(s).

learn.jpg

But also, I knew that if I didn’t give it a fair chance – take it out for a real ride it in a safe place, and not just in the narrow confines of our back yard – I’d never ride it at all, and it would just sit back there, rusting away, taunting me. (It’s happened before!)

So I folded it up, lugged it out to the car, drove to the Basin, pulled it out of the trunk, and rode it — and it was WONDERFUL!! y’all! Really awesome! I was impressed by how sturdy and well-built it felt, the minute I hit the bike path. Initially, I planned to ride it for about 15 minutes – but I stayed out there for more than half an hour, just cruising along, enjoying the scenery, dodging the Canadian geese and the oblivious pedestrians.

cyclist.jpg

I don’t have a horn or a bell yet, and was tempted to do my Tim Conway, Jr. imitation,

ding dong.jpg

but I decided that might not be the greatest idea. The pedestrians might not have minded, but geese are notoriously violent when provoked.

geese.jpg

And in case you’re wondering – yes, I did, as predicted, trip and fall over the bike at one point. And of course, it happened at the moment I decided to stop under a shady tree, in full view of an L.A. Commuter Express bus that had, for some reason, decided to stop in the park. Since I learned a long time ago how to fall with a minimum amount of injury (hint: don’t lose *all* your butt fat – it’s there for a reason), I’m sure they appreciated the show.

oops.jpg

Nevertheless, like a true cowgirl, I got up, brushed myself off, and got right back on the horse – er, the bike! And I rode it back to my car, got off (WAY more carefully this time!), re-folded & packed it up, and went home, to a well-deserved afternoon of rest & “Victoria” binge-watching!

victoria.jpg

All in all, I’m very pleased with my new Secret Weapon, and plan to incorporate it into my exercise regimen at least twice a week to start, though probably not on consecutive days, as it did kinda wear me out – but in a good way!

Oh, and for those of you thinking, “This is all well and good, but where’s the ‘Friday Five’ part?” let me see what I can do? How about this:

Part 1: Cute names for all my transportation options:

  1. Little Blue – the Euromini Zizzo Via folding bike.
  2. Big Blue – the Electra Townie cruiser bike.
  3. Decrepit Blue – my 2005 Toyota Corolla with the fading paint and the Check Engine Light.

Part 2: Two things I need to get for Little Blue:

  1. A bell or a horn.
  2. A basket and/or a rack.

There, feel better now? I sure hope so! Enjoy your weekend…oh, and if you’ve got a rusty bike in your backyard, why not take it out for a ride, and tell me about your experiences in the comments?

Just hangin’ out in the ’80s for a while, I guess…

OK, so last week, my weight was 184.4 — and what is it today, I wonder? Let’s find out!

184.6
scales
obama kick.jpg

Hmm, doin’ a lot of those little kicks lately … you’d think that would burn way more calories, huh? Oh well, I’m not too worried. Some of you loyal readers may remember I had to hang out in the ’90s for a lot longer than I wanted to.

plateau-point.jpg

But eventually, I cracked the ’90s/’80s barrier, and eventually I’ll make it to the ’70s as well!

66fd183725cbbd1bdad0ce31f46e7079b0682ae5d22c03085fee91966861b1ac

It’s just a question of patience (although, not being a doctor, I don’t have a whole lot!).

jd patience

Still, I think next week’s weight will be lower because I’m expecting a special delivery in tomorrow’s mail of a SECRET WEAPON which I’ll tell you about Friday!

you can get

Meantime, I’m just gonna keep countin’ the calories and doin’ the daily weigh-ins and keep my fingers crossed! Have a great week, everyone!

good day

Friday Five: Blogs to bookmark!

Today I thought, rather than subject you to yet another nonstop memefest (that’ll be Monday, thank you!), I’d introduce you to five of my fellow WordPress bloggers!

  1. https://pennywilsonwrites.com/
    I think Penny Wilson was one of the first people to click “like” on any of my posts, so naturally she’s gotta be number one on any of my blog lists! Penny describes herself as “a free-lance writer who’s been blogging for more than 5 years.” She manages the (to me) incredible feat of blogging EVERY DAY, and given that I can barely manage twice a week, my hat’s off to her!
  2. https://zombieflamingoes.com/
    A close second to Penny is Emily’s Zombie Flamingos, another blogger who’s been kind enough to visit my page regularly for a long time. Her schtick is that she lives “in Victoria, BC, Canada with my optometrist husband and 3 insane cats in an 1907 Heritage house that we will never finish renovating.” And (also like Penny Wilson), she seems to have a new post pretty much every day, accompanied at least one of her own beautiful photos! Well worth bookmarking!
  3. https://changetheoutcomehf.com/
    Martin Alvarez has some great recommendations for non-gimmicky weight loss and fitness. No pills, no weird stuff, just sensible nutrition and workout advice. I don’t necessarily agree with all his nutrition recommendations (as you know, I’m more into calorie counting than low carb), but then again, he’s “a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist,” so what do I know? Anyway, check him out!
  4. https://thisgirlsgotcurves.wordpress.com/
    This isn’t a weight loss blog (although I thought it was at first, because of the title – you know, curves?). Instead, it’s one woman’s experiences with bipolar disorder. Kimberly lives in Michigan and has been blogging here since May 2017, and writes beautifully. Having had family members and friends with this problem, I find her posts very honest, brave, and yes, sometimes funny! Drop by and say hi!
  5. https://tmfitness.co.uk/
    And last but not least, take a look at Troy Martin’s TM Fitness! Troy says he has 10 years experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach, and strives to put evidence-based articles on his blog and website. Excellent motivation and advice here, plus He’s located in Hitchin, a small town in England, which automatically makes me want to read all his blog posts with the English accent I’ve acquired (in my head) from such fine educational programs as “Downtown Abbey” and “Doctor Who.”downton.jpg

I hope you’ll take a little time today to visit all these sites. Give ’em a like and tell ’em 50by60.com said hey! And if you have any blogs you’d like to recommend, by all means, please let me know in the comments — I’m always looking for new reading material! Meanwhile, have a great weekend! See you Monday for the weigh-in!

weekend

Why it’s a good idea to weigh yourself every day

Good morning, everyone! Yes, it’s Monday again, and time for the weekly weigh-in. Ready? Here we go!

184.4
sw open door

Hmm, let’s see … last week, it was 183.6, so I’m up 0.8 pounds. Should I be concerned?

alfred

Nah, definitely not! And here’s why: even though I only post my WEEKLY weigh-in here on this blog, I’ve been weighing myself DAILY for quite some time. I can tell you from personal experience that it really does make a difference in how you deal with these minor weight fluctuations. And it’s really easy to do, too. I just buy these cheap-y magnetic pads and write my weight on it every morning before breakfast.

new resized.jpg

See how it started out at 183.6, then went up a little, down a little, etc.? Chances are excellent that tomorrow, and/or later in the coming week, it’s gonna go down again. Ever heard the old saying, “God writes straight with crooked lines”?*

crooked.jpg

Well, weight loss is kinda the same way! Once you start keeping yourself in a calorie deficit (by whatever method works for you), the weight WILL start going in a downward trend. It’ll take some time, and there’ll be some ups and downs and zigzags along the way ’cause, well, we’re humans, not machines!

speak.jpg

So don’t let those little fluctuations get to you. Just keep doing what you know you should be doing, and have faith* in the process — it’ll work! Just keep at it!

sw stay on target

Have a great week, everyone!

*oh, and even though, as I’ve said before, this isn’t a religious blog, I personally don’t think I would have been able to do this without God’s help, so sue me! I could use the publicity, nyuk nyuk!

stooges god.jpg

 

A few good reasons NOT to go to the gym today (even if you love your gym)!

thing bloggerin

Uh, yeah, time to get to work, huh? OK (yawn, stretch) hang on! Sorry, I should be more awake than this — I did go to the gym yesterday, after all (hi, Kaily, Charles, and Nathan at Anytime Fitness Chatsworth, here’s your shout-out, as promised!).

8 years gym

And I’m glad I went — it’s been a while, and I was beginning to worry I wasn’t getting enough use out of my pretty purple key fob.

purple key fob.jpg

Actually, EVERYTHING there is purple … the signs on the doors:

purple door

… the workout equipment …

purple ball

… and of course, the weight lifters’ faces.

tired weightlifter

So it’s a good gym, and I have no complaints about it. However, I haven’t been using it much lately, nor any other gym, for one very good reason: THE WEATHER! Yes, as I mentioned last time, it’s finally FALL/AUTUMN (depending on your personal vocabulary preferences) with the cooler temperatures to go with it! Which means my PRIMARY reason for keeping my gym membership(s) active — the hot weather —

hot hobbit

is no longer viable! (Ooh, there’s another good vocabulary word for you! Who said this blog isn’t educational?)

So anyway, with temps going down, along with my weight (yay!), my energy levels are rising slightly, just enough to make me want to exercise, all right — but NOT indoors, or on a machine! That’s right — instead of walking on a treadmill, I walk OUTSIDE!

 

And instead of riding a stationary bike, I ride a REAL BIKE!

 

You can do all sorts of other “gym” exercises outside too, like carrying heavy stuff around:

Or just go for a long walk amongst the crunchy fall (autumn!) leaves!

crunchy

Whatever you decide to do, just remember: exercise is simply moving your body (preferably off the couch) in some way — whether it’s in a gym or outdoors, in the cheap showiness of nature, it’s all good! So find a way to move around today — indoors or outdoors — and enjoy this beautiful fall/autumn weather!

autumn