The “Saturday Some” — a new thing, kinda sorta

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you may have wondered what happened to my regular “Friday Five” post.

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Yeah … well, the long answer is, “It was sunny and bright, so I decided to go out for a long drive to a wonderful place I haven’t visited for quite a while,” and the short answer is, “I got lazy,” so feel free to take your pick.

Anyway, in lieu of the “Friday Five,” let me offer the very first “Saturday Some,” which is basically just a bunch of stuff I’m rambling about, off the top of my head. Plus memes! Lots and lots of memes!

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Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot more walking lately, and really enjoying it, too. Now that the weather’s getting nice and hot, though, I may have to go back to the gym and hop back on the treadmill. Which doesn’t particularly bother me. As I’ve said before, I do enjoy the video treadmills at Anytime Fitness (AF).

However, it does bother me in the sense that, given a choice, I’d MUCH rather do my walking outdoors. There are so many great places to walk in Southern California (yes, people actually DO walk in L.A.!) that I hate to give that up.

But once the temps start climbing up above, oh, 85 or so, it’s either the treadmill or the pool. And I do love me that 24 Hour Fitness pool, too, as you may recall!

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Still, it’ll probably be the AF treadmill more often than the pool, mainly because it’s much closer to home, and also right next door to a Ralphs. Which means I can do a couple of miles on the treadmill, then trundle over to the grocery store and do ANOTHER half-mile (I measured it!) in the store.

(And get cat treats, of course. That’s the main reason humans go to the store, according to certain purrsons.)

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Where was I? Oh, yeah, walking! And walking, although it probably doesn’t burn anywhere near as many calories as, say, kickboxing or weightlifting, if you do it every day … or every other day … or at least on a fairly regular basis, you’ll burn a few calories. Even if you can only walk around the block a couple of times, that’s some quality exercise there, my friend.

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More importantly, you’ll relax and enjoy life a little bit more. There’s just something about seeing the world at two or three miles an hour that makes everything else seem oh, so right. Except maybe your knees, if you have arthritis. Which I do. And I have to admit, my knees do get a bit sore the day after a really long, satisfying walk.

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Still, it’s the price I pay for staying in such fabulous shape! And we’ll find out how that translates into actual weight loss on Monday. Hope you’ll join me then! Meanwhile, have a GRRRREAT rest of your weekend!

(unused WordPress Daily Prompt: all of them! read here if you’re interested in some kinda “inside baseball” stuff!)

 

 

 

Finally Friday!

Hey everyone, I’m finally home from my travels! Sorry I didn’t do my regular “Friday Five” post today, but I didn’t have access to my fancy-schmancy computer while in the wilds of Arizona.

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No, I didn’t get lost in the Haunted Forest, but still, it was a long trip! Anyway, I’ll have my regular post on Monday, with my post-vacation weigh-in and everything.

Meanwhile, have a great weekend!

 

 

 

Lamest, groggiest “Friday Five” so far!

Boxing yourself into a regular format on your blog (like my “Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-ins” on Monday and “Friday Five” on … you guessed it), can really help you stick to your goal of blogging regularly. It gives you a framework and helps you corral your random thoughts into a targeted post so they make more sense.

So overall, most of the time, a specific, regular format is a good thing. However, there are a few notable exceptions.

Like today, for instance. It’s Friday, so I should be putting together my “Friday Five.” However, it’s also cloudy, gloomy, and a bit chilly. Plus I’m still not completely awake. Plus I just can’t think of anything to hook five connected thoughts together.

I probably could, if I put more thought into it – or if, as I’ve done before and HIGHLY recommend, I’d put together a rough draft yesterday, and just tweaked it a bit this morning. But guess what? I didn’t do that. So now, all I have to offer you is this lame post, full of lamentations and excuses for why I didn’t do what, after all, no one but ME really made any kind of commitment to do.

On the other hand … I DID manage to make this post five paragraphs long! Maybe that counts as a “Friday Five,” hmm? Especially if I embed this fun video to make you, my loyal readers, dance and sing! Yeah, that’s the ticket!

See you Monday, everyone!

Friday Five: Memes, shopping, bronchitis, and more!

  1. It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday! – First and of course most important, happy Friday to all of you! Hope your week has gone well, and that least one of you has won tons of $$ in the lottery so you can take the rest of us out for drinks later. No? Oh well … there’s always next week, right? Keep buyin’ the tickets! KEEP BUYIN’ THE TICKETS!!
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    Ronshelley at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

  2. Blogging – I’d like to pass along some important info re: the fair use of images. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed I use a lot of memes, funny pictures, etc. to illustrate various points I’m making. Well, it came to my attention earlier this week via this troubling article that this is kind of a BIG no-no. So from this point on, I’m going to try to use more of my own photos, artwork, and images, rather than rely on other people’s (or at least make 100% sure they’re available to reuse without a license or permission or anything of a legal nature). Who knows – I might even use more of my OWN WORDS! Literacy – what a concept, amiright?

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    Friendly turtle I met the other day along the Arroyo Simi Bike Path!

  3. Clothes shopping – some people love it, some people hate it. I tend to fall into the latter group. I used to think it was because nothing ever fit me due to my size. However, yesterday I went to a “Ross” in Simi Valley, and tried on at least 10 different tops and dresses. Well, guess what? They ALL fit – and they all looked CRAPPY! I finally wound up buying a pair of leggings that both fit AND didn’t look hideous. But frankly, I coulda done that online. Although that doesn’t always work out either. Maybe it’s time to rejoin that nudist colony …
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  4. Bronchitis – I’ve had chronic bronchitis for years, and it tends to flare up when the weather gets damp. Well, we’ve had an unusual amount of rain here in Southern California over the past couple of weeks (more than three drops is “unusual” here), and more on the way. So not only do we get to wake up to the beautiful, gentle sound of raindrops falling on the roof, we also get to hear a lot of this: HAACCKK wheeze wheeze cough cough couuugghhh (spittoo). Rinse and repeat. Summer can’t get here soon enough for me … warm, dry, hot summer … mmm …

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    Summer sun, I’m missin’ you! (taken by yours truly one bright hot day last summer)

  5. Exercising with Bronchitis – One of the many downsides of #4 (along with the rising cost of Kleenex) is that when my bronchitis is active, my body isn’t supposed to be. Which means all those long, lovely walks I’ve been enjoying so much over the past few months are verboten. Which is really triggering some conflicting feelings in me. I love the walks, and I really want to do more. However, I also love BREATHING, and I’d like to do more of that, too. So (sigh!) I’ve decided to compromise. I’ll walk, but only indoors, preferably strolling down the aisles of a bookstore or library.

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    Taken by yours truly at Prospero’s Books in the Westport area of Kansas City, MO, on my rainy 2014 visit!

That’s it, folks, your Friday Five! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

(unused Pingback of the Day: Wrinkle!)

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By Joe Haupt from USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Friday Five: Surprise, there isn’t one!

Yikes! Well, even though I was up with the crack of dawn this morning, I’m embarrassed to say I don’t actually have anything useful or interesting to say at all. (And for those of you saying, “Yeah? What else is new?” I say,

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So let me just tell you what’s going on. See, tomorrow morning, my wonderful husband and I are getting up super early in the morning, driving down to Union Station in L.A., and climbing aboard a really interesting, historic, private rail car called the “Vista Dome Silver Splendor,” for what they call “Brunch on the Beach” in San Diego.

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It’s our belated Valentine’s Day celebration, and we’re really looking forward to it. Only the thing is … I can’t stress this too strongly … we have to get up SUPER EARLY tomorrow morning. So this morning was a “practice run.” Let’s just say this is the first time since I gave up caffeine that I’m kinda sorta missing caffeine!

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So I’ve made a major life decision: Tomorrow morning, when we get on the train, I’m going to allow myself ONE cup of REGULAR coffee. Just one! After that, I’ll go decaf for the rest of the way!

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Seriously, though, this is in the nature of a “special treat” type thing. There’s no caffeine in the house right now, and I’m not planning to buy any to bring home with me. I just think it’ll make the day more Valentine’s Day-ish if I don’t fall asleep for the entire trip.

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Anyway, long story short, the reason I don’t have a Friday Five today is because, frankly, even though I’m the one who’s usually the “morning person” around here, today my husband put me to shame by getting out of bed, taking his shower, getting dressed, and going to work an hour earlier than usual. Not to mention feeding the cats! Or did he? Maybe I woke up in one of those alternate universes in “Rick and Morty” or something.

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Who knows? Anyway, I’m gonna sign off now, go brew a cup of my herbal coffee substitute, and see if anything happens.

Have a great weekend – see you Monday!

(Unused pingback: Rube)

Walking or Crossfit? A Southern belle ponders the choices!

Well, as promised, I’m gonna start morphin’ the ol’ blog format a little bit this week, just to shake things up a little bit. (When you work from home, you take your fun where you can.)

Anyway, I thought instead of trying to cobble together a list of five random things connected only by the snapping synapses of my KFC-greased brain, I’d just post five(ish) photos I took this week from various places that I walked.

I’m doing the walking just about every day now, and I have to tell you, if you’re looking for an exercise that’s easy to do AND makes you feel great, this is the one. It works on so many levels. Granted, as some fitness gurus will tell you, it doesn’t burn as many calories as, say, pushing heavy truck tires around a la Crossfit.

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On the other hand, the idea of pushing truck tires around makes me perspire, in a genteel Southern belle sort of way. “Frankly, my dear, if there’s a truck tire that needs to be pushed somewhere, I’ve got AAA on speed dial, thank you very much.”

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So that’s just not something I’m gonna do anytime soon, no matter HOW many calories it burns. But — the idea of putting on my waist pack/water bottle and just heading out the door, to see the sights here in the achingly beautiful San Fernando Valley (and points beyond), makes me strangely happy. It took a while to get to this point, but now, my day doesn’t feel complete if I haven’t walked SOMEWHERE for at least half an hour.

And if all you’re doing is pushing truck tires around a Crossfit track, you’ll never get to see nice horsies like this one:

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or read scathing political commentary on local bridges:

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or see the L.A. River in both its concrete

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and natural forms.

Yeah, walking beats Crossfit by several miles. If you disagree, feel free to sound off in the comments. But be aware — I’m in a feisty mood. Maybe that’s because it was stormy today — and STILL no measurable rainfall!

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Yeah, the drought goes on. But at least it was a nice, cool day to walk!

So — whaddya think? Walking or Crossfit? Or maybe something completely different? Let me know!

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(unused Pingback of the Day: Silhouette!)

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In, Humble-bragging edition!

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Let’s be candid, shall we? I don’t always take my own advice. (Yeah, I know, shocking, right?)

For example, I’m always pushing the excellent weigh-in strategy recommended by Jay over at aworkoutroutine.com, about weighing yourself every day, then using the *average* for the week for your weekly weigh-in.

And it’s a great idea! It makes total sense. And I actually do keep a running total in an Excel document, so I’m not completing ignoring that very sensible advice.

However, for some reason, when I do these Monday weigh-ins here on the blog, I feel like I should share the actual weight from this morning, rather than the average from the previous week. The culprit, as you may have guessed from the post title, is my deplorable need to humble-brag.

Humble-bragging, in case you’re not a hep cat, up with the pop culture and the things kids say these days, is defined by that erudite source of wordology, the Urban Dictionary, as:

Subtly letting others know about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or “woe is me” gloss.

Uggggh just ate about fifteen piece of chocolate gotta learn to control myself when flying first class or they’ll cancel my modelling contract LOL :p #humblebrag

In my case, the humble-bragging usually consists of: “Wow, I had a donut at church, and then we had a potluck and I had to eat some of the Key Lime pie I baked, because it was so yummy! Sure hope my weight goes down anyway! Here goes!” thus virtue-signalling to you, the loyal reader, that:

  1. I went to church yesterday. I’m so good!
  2. I baked a Key Lime pie. I’m so good!
  3. I’m being totally honest about my weight, whether it’s up or down. I’m so good!

See what I mean? And not only that, I’m such a humble-braggart that I’m letting you in on the secret of what I’m doing!

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Well, all this is wasting your valuable time (I’m concerned about your time! I’m so good!), so without further ado, let’s cut to the chase and get to what you came here for: the increasingly famous Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In! Ready? Here we go!!

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208.6
Do the Little Kicks!
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Not too shabby! See what a little humility can do for you, kids? It can LITERALLY make you lose weight! Well, okay, figuratively, then. At least, it can affect your figure. What I mean to say is–

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Oh, sorry about that, Mittens! Yeah, I’m done. Have a great week, everyone!

 

Friday Five: Things that won’t change when my weight does

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Happy Friday, everyone! Don’t be shocked: this may be the last Friday Five, because frankly, I’m ready to make some changes. But there are a few things that WON’T change, just because I’m losing weight. To wit:

  1. My atrocious fashion sense. I’ve always been a little old lady in tennis shoes, even when I was a kid. I even wore tennis shoes to my wedding, white ones with frilly laces. (And now I can’t find the photo to prove it! No worries, I’ll post it later.*) Anyway, the point is, I’ve always refused to wear uncomfortable shoes just because they look good, and I see no point in changing now. So there. Hmph.
    (*It’s later! Thanks to my hubby for emailing me this:

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    Photo taken by Nataly Lemus, Wedding Photographer extraordinaire!

    I forget what brand the shoes were but I remember my cousin Laura, my friend June, and I did a last-minute rush trip to Jo-Ann’s Crafts for some lace to make the shoelaces. Ah, fun times.)

  2. My bookworm-itude. Don’t get me wrong: I’m LOVIN’ the daily walks! In fact, during this past week, I’ve walked between two and three miles almost every day. Score! So regular, daily walking is definitely a part of my future. However, given a choice, I’d still rather curl up in a comfy cozy corner with a really good book. Right now I’m a third of the way through Dan Simmon’s “The Abominable,” which I actually purchased in large print hardback, for some reason. I think it was at a library book sale. Not only is it a good read, but I can get my strength training in while I’m reading.
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  3. My religiosity. Okay, I know I keep saying this isn’t a religious blog. But I’m a religious person, so sue me. It’s my blog, and my religion. And losing a bunch of weight just makes it easier for me to do things like kneeling and prostrations. We’re Eastern Catholics, similar to Eastern Orthodox, so we don’t kneel every week, but when we do, man, we go all the way down!
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  4. My inappropriate love for fried chicken. Yeah, I’ve tried the supposedly healthier grilled, but it’s just not the same as that yummy, delectable, KFC Original Recipe. Mmm mmm. Popeye’s Mild is almost as good. And don’t even get me started on Church’s — my guilty pleasure! Now that I’m doing the calorie counting, I don’t indulge in any of them very often, but once in a while, yeah. I admit it. Greasy chicken skin, my love for you will never die!
    'That'll be 10 bucks please.'
  5. My continuing difficulty in coming up with things for the Friday Five. It’s getting harder every week. I persevere, for you (you’re welcome), and it did help, when I first started blogging, to have this basic format: weigh-ins on Monday, five things on Friday. But now I’m giving serious thought to working without a net (OR Frankie).
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(And kudos to you if you get my weird sense of humor. That probably won’t change anytime soon, either.)

Don’t blink! I’ll be back Monday with the regularly scheduled Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In … and then, who knows? Maybe I’ll even post on Tuesday!
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Friday Five: Just a buncha stuff

  1. I dunno why, but all of a sudden I’ve become allergic to my own self-imposed blog structure. Specifically, the “Friday Five.” I’m having trouble thinking of five things that have some sort of connection, however tenuous, and it’s getting to the point where I’m debating whether to just skip it altogether.
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  2. However, as with all potential crimes (real or imaginary), it helps to retrace your steps. Why did I decide to do the “Friday Five” in the first place?
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    Well, IIRC, I was inspired by the great Amy Welborn’s “7 Quick Takes” which she’s been doing every Friday for many years.’
  3. “Hmm … okay. So it really is a crime, after all, because plagiarism, mkay?”
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  4. But I … er … five, not seven! And imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and etcetera, ad infinitum! So not plagiarism! Just, um, inspiration!
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  5. So anyway, what to do for next week’s Friday Five? Well, I’ll think of something. It might help if I started writing it sometime before 7:00 AM Friday morning.
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And that’s just what I’m gonna do! Welcome to my 2018 New Year’s Resolution, folks! Yes, from now till the end of the year, I solemnly vow to write all (or at least part*) of my “Friday Five” blog posts at least 24 hours before publication! That’s plausible (and also includes one o’ them valuable *loopholes!).

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So let’s give it a shot! Meanwhile, looks like that little weight fluctuation is taking care of itself, but I’ll tell you all about that on Monday. Happy weekend, everyone!

 

In the Bleak Midwinter: a midweek meditation

I had some reservations about doing this post, because I’ve settled into such a nice little routine with this blog — weigh-ins every Monday, and the Friday Five. Why rock the blogging boat?

But I know many of you are dealing with cold, wintry weather right now. And not too many years ago, I sat in a hotel room in Alamogordo, New Mexico, waiting for a break in the relentless, torrential rains that were ravaging the entire Southwest and playing havoc with my trip home.

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Gloomy view of Super 8 parking lot, Alamogordo, NM

As I sat there, staring sadly out the window, wondering whether I’d ever see sunshine and blue skies again, I looked at my phone and Googled photo after photo of sunny, blue skies, and felt hope rising in my heart again. I began to believe that, yes, even though I couldn’t see it right now, there WAS sunshine, somewhere in the world, and I WOULD get through this storm, and get home, somehow, someway.

And — just a few days later — I was there!!

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Casino Morongo — almost home!

So here I am now, in sunny Southern California, and maybe you’re stuck somewhere in the Midwest or the East Coast, needing a little of the same kind of comfort. The following photos are from the walks I did this past week, Tuesday and Friday. Both walks were in the beautiful Sepulveda Basin, in Encino, California. Enjoy!

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Los Angeles River Trail detour

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The “Little Grand Canyon” — aka “Oops! Part of the trail fell in the water!” I actually had to hold onto the edge of that fence post in the distance and pull my way around it back onto the detour — exciting!

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Signs, rapids, and a very steep path down to the river’s edge, which I very prudently did NOT attempt!

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At the end of the trail, a lovely little stream feeds into Lake Balboa. Great place to sit and meditate (but watch out for angry giant geese!)

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Climbed this tiny little hill, felt like I’d scaled Mount Everest!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief interlude, fellow SAD sufferers! Just keep reminding yourself: spring IS on the way! Hang in there!