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.

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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!

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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

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?

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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:

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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!”).

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

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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’!

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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),

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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).

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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.

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

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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?

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

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

Friday Five: A little late and a little short!

Hmm, I keep calling these posts the “Friday Five,” even though, from time to time, I can’t come up with five things. Wonder why?

charlie.jpeg

Yeah, but as Homer Simpson once said, “Hope springs internal,” so I’ll keep giving it the ol’ college try!

homer.jpg

Anyway, without actually getting into the numbers game, I did a lot of walking and BIKING this week! I’m particularly proud of the latter because I’ve been letting my poor ol’ cruiser languish in the garage for months, not even taking it out to wipe off the spiders.

But last week I decided it was time, so I’ve been puttering around the Valley (or at least my part of it) and getting slightly better at dodging traffic, not to mention running errands — groceries, post office, etc.

Gulch.jpg

So it’s been a productive week all around, and I’m looking forward to more bike/walk adventures in the near future (though preferably not at the same time)!

bike.jpg

That’s it — I guess the Friday Five will just be five memes, loosely connected by the fact that they’re on my page! Oh well, I’ll be back Monday with a weigh-in — a good one this time, I hope! Have a great weekend (and try to get outdoors, if you can)!

couch.jpg

Friday Five: Now we’re cookin’ with gas (and Spam)!

Happy Friday, everyone, and BOY, have I got a busy day ahead of me! I’m doing a LOT of cooking for two big events this weekend. First, tomorrow (Saturday), Mr. 50by60’s side of the family will be getting together to celebrate a bunch of birthdays.

I should explain that Mr. 50by60 is one of SEVEN brothers!

seven.jpg

So naturally, his mom feels it’s over her pay grade to remember all their birthdays. She likes to just get ’em all over with at once, and I can’t say I blame her! Anyway, MY mom gave me her patented recipe for “Spam loaf,” so that’ll be my contribution to the mix, sort of from one mother-in-law to another.

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Second, we’ve got ANOTHER big church potluck on Sunday! And those of you who know me and/or who’ve read this blog before know that means only one thing:

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So here ya go, for this week’s Friday Five: four recipes I’m gonna make today, plus one variation you might want to try – enjoy!

  1. Mom’s Spam Loaf!
    spam.png
  2. Aunt Chrissy’s Key Lime Pie! It’s the best, trust me!!
    mmm key.jpg
  3. And you might want to try this little variation on #2: Orange Pie. I made it a couple of years ago and it turned out pretty good. Basically, it’s EXACTLY the same recipe as my Key Lime Pie, except you MUST add sugar, like maybe half a cup per pie. Also, taste the mixture before you bake it, ’cause fresh unsweetened oranges are almost as tart as lemons, in case you hadn’t noticed.
    orange
  4. Key Lime Pie (low calorie)
    I’ve actually seen a few different versions of this, but the main difference seems to be that different sites recommend specific brands for the pie crust, the yogurt, or the gelatin. However, the BASIC recipe is the same. This Weight Watchers version from geniuskitchen.com is as simple as it gets:

  5. Aunt Chrissy’s Parmesan Crisps — mmm good!
    parmesan.jpgmmm

And there you go, five more or less great recipes you can try — and save!

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Let me know if you make any of these yourself, and send me a picture — I’ll put it in a future post!

Thanks, everyone! Hope YOUR weekend has some family, food, and/or fun! See you Monday for the post-potluck weigh-in!

potluck leftovers.jpg

Friday Five: My 5 rules for the gym, in no particular order

Well, howdy and happy Friday, everyone! This has been a different week, exercise-wise. Mostly, because the weather was a little cooler (i.e., 80s and 90s instead of 90s and 100s!), I walked every day, and enjoyed it, for the most part (although the last 50 yards are always the hardest!).

walk.jpg

Still, I did make it to the gym yesterday — 24 Hour Fitness this time, rather than Anytime Fitness Chatsworth, because — well, pool! I keep telling them at Anytime Fitness, put in a Slip ‘N Slide, but for some reason, they won’t. Insurance reasons, prob’ly.

slip.jpg

Anyway, while I was floating in the beautiful blue sparkling water, flicking away the bugs and other debris, I came up with my Five Simple Rules for Enjoying the Gym, in no particular order:

  1. People in the sauna tend to sweat, a lot. Every gym I’ve been to with a sauna seems to attract a lot of men with hairy chests and gold chains, going back and forth between the sauna and the hot tub. Back and forth…dripping with sweat and trailing chest hairs wherever they go. Trust me, when you see people in the sauna, skip the hot tub and just take a hot bath when you get home.
    sauna.jpg
  2. In my experience, the only people who take a close, personal interest in the details of your workout are (a) trainers who want to upsell you an expensive training package, and (b) perverts who want to show you their package. Either way, Nancy Reagan was right: Just say no!
    squats
  3. If you pick up a set of weights from the free weight rack, and you realize as you’re picking them up that you miscalculated and they’re too heavy, but you’re embarrassed to put them back because there are really genuine-looking, grunting weightlifters watching you — well, don’t worry about it. They’re not watching you. They’re watching themselves in the mirror behind you. Just set your weights back on the rack, quietly, and tiptoe away.
    mirror.jpg
  4. No one cares whether you actually exercise at the gym or not. Once you’ve checked in at the front desk, you’re on your own. You can spend an hour sweating like a maniac or you can catch up on some zzz’s. It’s your call.
    comfy.jpg
  5. If you think no one’s peed in that beautiful blue sparkling pool, you’re swimming in a fool’s paradise.
    pool.jpg

Hopefully these rules will save you some troubles when you hit the gym today. Or you could, y’know, just take a walk.

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That’s it — enjoy your weekend! See ya Monday for the Weigh-In!

Friday Five: How was your short week?

  1. Hey, everyone! Like most of you, Mr. 50by60 and I had a short work week, since Monday was a big holiday here in the Lower 48. (You know, Labor Day — aka my birthday?) Which means Tuesday was your Monday, right? So Tuesday’s Monday, Wednesday’s Tuesday, Thursday’s Wednesday, and ipso facto ergo sum, today’s really Thursday and I’m a day early! What a great week!
    short.jpg
  2. And I actually did get something useful done this week — as mentioned in my previous post, I created a brand new page here at WordPress, Women Who Run With the Stooges! Which, technically, isn’t “new” because I originally created it in 1999. Yes, kids, we actually had computers in the PREVIOUS CENTURY!
    any key.jpg
    And this was one of the many websites (or as we called them in the olden days, “websites”) I created back then, but the only one anyone but myself actually read. And it was really getting kind of sad, seeing it dying a slow painful death over at Angelfire (ick!), so now it’s here and safe and (theoretically) better than ever! (If nothing else, it’s forced me to relearn HTML coding, nyuk nyuk!)
    print is dead.jpg
  3. Yesterday I had a fun time: went to the dentist for a cleaning. Not just a regular cleaning, though — a DEEP CLEANING! And they had to give me Novocaine & everything ’cause I’m so sensitive. Somehow, some of the Novocaine actually got in/near my right eye, and my eyelid felt like it was stuck for most of the day. I had to force myself to blink so it wouldn’t water all over the place. It’s better this morning, thank goodness. Don’t you love going to the dentist?
    asking
  4. Earlier in the week (pre-numb-eyeball), I went to Anytime Fitness Chatsworth where I mentioned to Kaily that I’d reached my weight loss goal (50 pounds by age 60, aka the name of this blog!) last week. She congratulated me and did a little video interview with me right on the spot. My plan was to post the video here, then send them the link to this post to put on their Facebook page. However, as of this morning, I still don’t see it anywhere, so I’ll just post this charming spacesaver till I get it.
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  5. Whew…it’s tough to come up with five things, much less five things that have anything whatsoever in common.

    Either way, my hat’s off to Amy Welborn who manages to come up with SEVEN things every Friday, fer cryin’ out loud!

That’s it! Time to carpe the diem and make some toast or something! Have a great day and weekend, everyone — see you Monday!

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The Not Quite Ready For Prime Time Blog Post!

Hey everyone, I’m back from vacay, a couple of pounds heavier but not too upset about it — mainly because most of the weight consists of the multiple servings of chocolate cake, cheesecake, and macaroni & cheese with crumbled bacon I happily consumed while on board the luxurious Amtrak Coast Starlight!

 

And since we won’t be riding that train again for, oh, at least a year, I know those pounds will melt away as quickly as they rose up. But mm-mm, they sure were good goin’ down!

Anyway, I thought about doing a “Friday Five” where I’d list the five reasons I gained weight, but then realized there’s really only one reason: I didn’t track my calories, so I never knew whether or not I was in a consistent calorie deficit. And actually, since I was intentionally taking a “diet break,” and eating lots of cheesecake, etc. (see above), I KNOW I wasn’t in a caloric deficit.

And I didn’t care, ’cause I was on vacay!

vacay cat

Actually, our cats weren’t too thrilled to see us go, but we mollified them by putting them in a luxury kennel, complete with flat screen TV.

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So there ya go, one pretty lame blog post, but written by someone who had a nice vacation. Hope you had/are having/will have one, too! See ya Monday!