Friday Five: Things I Ate This Week That I Won’t See Again Till Next Year

Well, that title kinda says it all, doesn’t it? Here’s a list of five extravagantly delicious, yummy things I ate this week, because Christmas, and which I won’t eat again till the week of December 25, 2018, because again, Christmas:

  1. Trader Joe’s Cocoa Truffles. These were a gift from my husband, who’s ostensibly on the same calorie-counting diet as myself, but who, nevertheless, bought me this lovely red-and-gold box of Cocoa Truffles, containing eight servings of Cocoa Truffles, each serving consisting of four truffles and 180 calories per serving. You do the math. I’ll just savor the flavor. Because chocolate.

  2. Stroopwafels. These were offered up by my mother-in-law at the family Christmas dinner, because a friend of hers at church used to eat them, and she’d passed away, so this was a way of remembering her. Yeah, that’s it. Not because they’re so delicious it’s almost impossible to stop after just one. Because memories.

  3. Sour cream potato chips and homemade French Onion dip. Well, I don’t know if it was French onion or just onion. Onions is onions, I always say. Anyway, I generally try to stay away from potato chips and really yummy onion dip (French or otherwise) because it’s so easy to get carried away. But this week, I couldn’t. Because ooh-la-la, French onion.

  4. Soft dinner roll with a big giant pat of butter. Another thing I try to avoid, for the same basic reason as #3 Potato Chips above – they’re just too darn good, and it’s too darn easy to eat too darn much. Butter is 100 calories per tablespoon, and it’s really hard for me to stop at just one tablespoon, once I get started. But it was on the table, and it was Christmas, so I had it. Because butter.

  5. And finally, what list of Christmas-only favorites would be complete without Trader Joe’s Egg Nog? Not this one, that’s for sure. We still have about half a carton left, and I think we’re going to try to save it for New Year’s Eve. No promises, though. It does taste pretty good in coffee, too. Because nog.

    Okay – that’s the “better late than never” edition of my Friday Five! Sorry it’s late, but it’s such a beautiful, warm, sunny day out there, I had trouble tearing myself away from the Great Outdoors. But for you, I did! You’re welcome – and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas Weigh-In, aka Before The Storm!

Good morning, everyone, and a very


to all my faithful readers! Rest assured, I cherish each and every one of you, honest. In fact, as my Christmas present to you, here’s the late, great David Cassidy assuring you of that very fact!

Meanwhile, I will do a quickie Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, if only to establish a baseline before I hit the inevitable mound of dark chocolate balls and red velvet cake that surely awaits me at the family table this afternoon. Ready? Here goes!


Yeah, I had a loss — good thing, too, since that makes me feel better about all the upcoming goodies! And after today, I’ll have a week to sober up and fly right, so next week I should at least be able to hold steady, just in time for those pesky New Year’s resolutions.

So hang in there! If you’re a Christmas person, enjoy your day! If you’re not, well, there’s always next year, Charlie Brown!



Friday Five: At Long Last, Pros of Gym Membership!

Sorry for the delay, folks. I know I’ve procrastinated quite a bit on getting you these pros of keeping my gym membership. And this morning, I was a bit torn: write my blog, or huddle in the La-Z-Boy recliner, sipping hot coffee and staring in amazement at the ridiculously low temperatures showing on our nice digital indoor/outdoor thermometer.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m a California girl. But this morning it’s cold even for “normal” people. Seriously, it’s 35 degrees here! Fahrenheit! in the San Fernando Valley! at 8:00 AM! So you can see my dilemma.

get on1

Okay, okay! Fortunately for you, I’m totally dedicated to the craft of blogging and whatever, so here you go, my five arguments FOR keeping my gym membership, after which I’m headin’ back to the La-Z-Boy!

  1. WEATHER – well, that should be self-explanatory, but since this is a blog, I’ll explain anyway. Exercising outdoors is great and wonderful. But occasionally (like today), it’s way too cold for sensible, normal human beings to be outside. Other times (way more often, sadly, out here) it’s way too HOT for sensible, normal people, etc. etc. So having the option of going to a nice, temperature-controlled place to exercise isn’t a bad idea. Plus, if the weather’s REALLY bad, there won’t be so many people, so my agoraphobia won’t be triggered!
  2. VARIETY – Yeah, I love my walking, and my bicycling. But every so often, I get the idea that I’d like to try something completely different. Something completely nuts! Something (more likely than not) that I saw on TV. Well, since I don’t have an unlimited budget for exercise equipment, chances are I won’t be able to purchase the intricate equipment needed for that weird form of exercise. BUT – since I belong to a major Big Box gym, chances are they’ve already got something there that approximates what I’m jonesin’ for, and maybe even have classes in it. So there’s some potential financial benefits to keeping the membership.
  3. INERTIA/LAZINESS. I’ve already GOT the membership. It’s already set up. I’ve already paid the initial fees, and gone through the hassle of setting up the monthly payments, giving them pretty much every finger- and thumbprint I’ve got, and saving my favorite (or least objectional) locations on my Google Maps. And I know, from previous experience, that if I quit, I’m going to want to rejoin at some point in the future – because I’ve already done it twice within the last 20 years. Do I really want to go through all that hassle again? Not really. Let sleeping dogs (or cats, in our household) lie.
  4. I DO, OCCASIONALLY, GO THERE. Not as often as I should, but more often than I imagine. Every once in a while, I wake up from an uneasy, restless sleep, and there it is: the guilt. “Why aren’t you going to the gym? YOU PAID FOR IT! Use it, you lazy bum!” (or bum-ess – not sure if there’s a female version of that noun, but if not, well, TM me, then!) So I get up, have breakfast, have coffee, have more coffee, take some coffee with me to the car, drive around for a while listening to the radio, and then, when I can’t think of anything else to do, park the car at one of my bookmarked Google Maps locations and, yes, GO INSIDE THE GYM. Then, once I’m in, it’s almost impossible not to do SOME form of exercise, if only so the perky young gals at the front won’t think I’m just some old lady with nothing better to do. Of course, they probably don’t think anything of the sort, mainly because there are plenty of other old ladies there and most of us obviously don’t have anything better to do, so they’re used to us.
  5. And finally (whew!), reason number five (drum roll please), THIS:

    Yeah, I don’t care how many scare stories get published in the Lamestream Media about how dirty and infectious gym pools and hot tubs are. I still love ’em! And I know you find this hard to believe, but even though I live in sunny Southern California, we don’t have a swimming pool in our backyard. Well, we do occasionally, when we remember to pick one up at Walgreens.

    But they’re not really as good as the ones at the gym. Plus, there’s a hot tub there, and being old, I tend to get chilly a lot.

So – there you have it! The best five arguments I can come up with AGAINST quitting my gym membership in 2018. During the next few weeks, I’ll be comparing them to my arguments FOR quitting (and lest you forgot, here they are), and making a decision. Maybe. It’s still me, after all.


Oh well – at least I got one thing accomplished today: this blog post! Now, for my reward:

And oh yeah, there’s one other decision I have to make: whether to do my Weekly Weigh-In this Monday. Which, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock (or in Iraq, for all I know) happens to be CHRISTMAS!!! so I might be busy opening presents from Santa Claus or sipping hot cider by the fireplace or something. What do you say? Can I take the day off? Or maybe the rest of the year? I’m open to suggestions! Meantime – –

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, and Serenity Now!

Good morning, everyone! Hey, did you know it’s just exactly one week (7 days) till Christmas morning? Are you ready? Have you got your moral compass synchronized, to resist all those last-minute wiles of the satanic, evil merchants and credit card companies? Remember, they just LOVE to see you wildly overspend this week. Who cares if you have to mortgage all your worldly possessions to pay their usurious interest charges? I mean, everyone knows Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we’re celebrating, WANTS you to buy everyone on your list a ridiculously overpriced box of chocolates, and have it delivered by one of their wildly UNDERpaid employees. Don’t even think about just making some homemade cookies and delivering them yourself! That’s … that’s just decadent, man! Get a REAL present, you cheapskate!

Anyway, time for the Weekly Weigh-in! Ready? Here goes!

Time to do some little kicks!

I have to confess, I was a little worried. My knees have been sore for a couple of days. Sometimes that means it’s going to rain. (Yes, that’s right — I have weather-predicting knees!)

"My back says 'low pressure', my joints say 'cold' and my old UFC injury says 'snow'. Back to you, Katie."

Comes in handy, when they’re accurate! However, this time I didn’t think that “rain” was the reason, since, if you’ve been paying attention to the news cycle, we’re currently experiencing some crazy-dry winds and horrific wildfires, out here in beautiful sunny Southern California.

And btw, if you really want to give a meaningful Christmas gift, how about taking all that money you were going to use to buy a piece of crap for your great-aunt Tilly, and donate it to the American Red Cross instead? They’ll use it to help someone whose Christmas has been all but destroyed by the wildfires or some other disaster. Someone who actually NEEDS it.

Unlike your third cousin Jerry, in Oklahoma. You know, Jerry — that guy you’ve never actually seen in person since you were both five years old, but your mom always asks you if you sent him a card, and makes you feel vaguely guilty (moms have a way of doing that) when you say “no” because apparently Jerry’s mom and your mom went to summer camp together, so he’s really almost like your own brother, sort of, so why didn’t you send him something, you cheap bastard?

Well, my advice is, send the money to the Red Cross, and send Jerry an email saying you did it in his name. (CC your mom, just in case.) The Red Cross will use it wisely. You’ll feel better. Jerry won’t care.

And remember – whatever you do – whatever you give – whatever you celebrate or don’t celebrate – enjoy your week, and don’t let the rampant materialism destroy your peace of mind! Serenity Now!


Friday Five: More Lame Excuses!

Hey, is it Friday already? Ahem! Sorry, folks, I totally forgot that:

  1. It’s Friday, and
  2. I’m writing a blog, and
  3. I promised to update it on Fridays and Mondays, and
  4. today was supposed to be Part II of my riveting series on the pros and cons of gym membership, and
  5. I totally have a good excuse!

Although it may seem a bit meager at this point, the excuse is as follows:

  1. I forgot.


But I forgot for a really good, exercise-related reason! See, when I got up this morning, I decided that, since there’s only a little more than a week till That Holiday That You’re Pretending Is Further Away Than It Really Is (aka the Birth of Our Lord and Saviour), it might be a good idea to actually send out some Christmas cards.

So, I sat down at the kitchen table, addressed all the cards, signed them (using alternating, festive shades of red and green, nice!), got my hubby to sign them, put stamps on them, removed them when hubby pointed out they were the wrong stamps, re-stamped them, sealed them, and decided, “Hey, the weather’s really nice! I think I’ll walk to the Post Office and mail these, thus combining a necessary chore with some good exercise!”

So, I did the walk, and as I was on my way home, I passed by this beauty school, which had a big sign out front advertising $5.00 haircuts, if you don’t mind their students doing them, and I realized, “Hey, I’ve got $5.00 with me, AND I really, really need a haircut so I can get rid of that Gordon Cole look!”

So, I stopped in and spent a relaxing hour in the chair, having my hair cut by a sweet, shy, and very careful young student who used only scissors, and consulted her teachers fairly often to make sure she was doing it right. (You’ll be happy to hear that she was, and that they commended her for following The Guide.)

When she finished, she took some photos, I thanked her profusely, paid my $5.00 plus a small tip (it had to be small, I don’t carry much cash when I’m out walking, but she certainly deserved more!), and ambled on, getting home just in time to make lunch.

So, here I am. And no Friday Five for you, just because I prefer walking to blogging about walking. Oh well — I PROMISE I’ll get to those five “pros of gym membership next week — although at the moment I can only think of a couple. (Hmm, maybe that says something!)

Anyway, sorry if you were waiting on tenterhooks and all that, but y’know, it’s a nice day. Maybe YOU should be out walking, instead of just reading about it! Whatever you do — hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, Post-Potluck Edition!

Well, good morning to you, friends and neighbors! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! We had yet another church potluck yesterday, this time in honor of ol’ St. Nicholas who, in the Eastern Christian tradition isn’t so much jolly as … well, kinda curmudgeonly. Like the late, great Andy Rooney, with correct dogma.

So there was lots of yummy potluck-style food, including my all-time fave, baked macaroni and cheese, with extra cheese!

Not to mention lots and lots and LOTS of chocolate, in the form of cupcakes, M&M cookies and, of course, chocolate coins!

Fortunately, I used my amazing Math Brain to calculate that there are approximately 20 to 25 calories in each chocolate coin, so even though I overindulged, at least I knew how MUCH I was overindulging. It was a good day.

AND — when I stepped on the scale this frosty morn, here’s what I saw:

Let’s Go to the Store!

Because yay, I actually lost a whole pound since last week! And I do have to buy a new cellphone today anyway (my old one rolled over and died yesterday), so I’m goin’ shopping! Not with chocolate coins, although … who knows? At an exchange rate of 25 calories each, I might be able to strike a deal with some starving kiosk phone seller.


Anything’s possible, right? I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Meanwhile, stay warm and have a great Monday! See you Friday, when I give you my five reasons for possibly NOT quitting my gym after all!

Friday Five: Five Reasons to Quit Your Gym Membership (well … maybe!)

Happy Friday, everyone! As promised, here’s my unvarnished list of five reasons why I keep wondering if I should just quit my gym membership.

  1. Expense. Granted, I belong to one of the cheapie big-box gyms (24 Hour Fitness), so my monthly payment isn’t that much – only around $35 a month. Still, I’m on kind of a fixed income these days, what with my job being “outsourced” a few years ago. My primary source of extra spending money right now is freelance transcription, which doesn’t pay that much, but at least it keeps me home, where I’m less likely to overspend. Still, every penny counts!
  2. Clothes. Confession: I wear a skirt almost all the time, except when I’m on a bike or in the pool. The skirts I tend to favor are long, comfy, soft, and most importantly, have nice, roomy POCKETS. I guess you’d call them “cargo skirts,” although they weren’t called that when I originally started buying them or their equivalents, back in the previous century. This all goes back to when I was working full-time in downtown L.A., and had to putter around the office, carrying card keys and actual keys and change for the snack machine, which I visited a LOT, which is partly why I’m dieting today. Now I pretty much live in my comfy skirts, and having to change out of them into quote-unquote “workout clothes” is just a big fat pain in the butt.
  3. Parking. Every! single! location! of my fitness club has a big, crowded parking lot which you have to deal with before you can even get NEAR the actual exercise equipment. Now that I’ve lost a bit of weight and am a bit more mobile, I’m following the classic “passive exercise” advice about parking farther away and walking the extra distance. But ya know, sometimes I just find myself thinking, “Why not just park in the WAY less crowded parking lot at that beautiful, tree-lined PARK a couple of miles down the road, the one with the attractive dirt trails, and just WALK – in my nice, comfy skirt?” And more and more often, I find myself doing just that.

    So*, more and more, I find myself not wanting to even get into the car to make the drive to the gym. The closest location to me is at least a 20-minute drive, and has the absolute WORST parking of all their locations. It’s tempting to just stay home, which brings me to:
  4. Agoraphobia. It’s mild, but I do have kind of an aversion to large crowds. And gyms tend to have lots of people in them. Not so much right now, but give it a few weeks – all those New Year’s resolutions tend to fill up those prime treadmill spots for at least a couple of months.
  5. Non-Gym Exercise. As previously mentioned, I’ve been doing a lot more walking, at least every other day, for my regular exercise. In addition, last week I dragged my abandoned, but still quite functional, Electra Townie Cruiser bike out of the garage, where it’s been waiting patiently for the past few years, gathering cobwebs and desiccated spider corpses; took it up to our local bike shop; and had it all fixed up, spandy new and purty as a picture! After my husband helped me adjust the leopard print saddle – very picturesque and exquisitely uncomfortable – I’ve had three short but increasingly delightful rides around our neighborhood, and am really looking forward to the next one. Plus, I’ve got a whole bunch of free weights (well, they weren’t really free, but they were cheap, nyuk nyuk!) scattered around the back yard, to take care of those underarm wings we fat middle-aged ladies seem to sprout.

So – there you go. My five best arguments for quitting my gym membership.

Still, there are some good reasons for keeping it active, and next Friday, I’ll give you those.

Meanwhile, what do YOU think? Do you belong to a gym? Do you use it, or just keep it in reserve in case you can’t think of anything else to do, or there’s nothing new on Netflix? Let me know!

(*by the way, if you’re also a freelance transcriber, you’re probably shouting at me, “Hey! Never start a sentence with ‘and,’ ‘but,’ or ‘so’! That’s … that’s just so wrong!!” And you’re right. But I did it anyway. So there.)