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.


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!


Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, and Dig (Out) That Bike!

Well, good morning, all! Happy Monday to you and yours. Ready? Let’s not waste one more second!

A little better than before

Only 0.4 pounds lost this week, but hey, I’ll take what I can get! Especially considering that I overindulged a little this weekend (what, again?), this time treating myself to some Taco Bell, as a reward for visiting my gym for the first time in over a month. And it’s so conveniently located, right next door. How could I resist?


Which is maybe another good argument in favor of quitting my gym membership and just exercising on my own. But then again, I’ve quit twice in the past several years, only to rejoin a few months later, with my tail between my legs, whimpering, since it usually winds up costing a little bit more each time, not to mention having to redo the fingerprint scan thingie with a different digit than before. 24 Hour Fitness has both my thumbs AND my forefingers in their system already, and who’s to say they aren’t reporting my suspicious activities back to the gov’mint? It’s theoretically possible. So maybe I’d better leave well enough alone, while I’ve got three unidentifiable fingerprints left.


Hmm, sounds like it’d be a good Friday Five kinda thing, though, don’t you think? Five reasons to quit the gym, and then five reasons not to? I’ll let it percolate in the hopper and see what comes up. (I’m sure you’ll be waiting on tenterhooks for the results.)

I may also do some stuff about my trusty, rusty ol’ Electra Townie, a bike that’s been sitting in our garage for at least five years, acquiring a nice patina of dust, cobwebs and desiccated spider corpses (eww). Last week, I dragged Ol’ Blue out of what seemed to be its final resting place, wiped off the spider corpses, and hauled it up to the local bike shop. Three hundred smackeroos later, it’s back, clean as a whistle and waiting in the driveway (behind a fence, don’t worry), waiting for me to toodle around the neighborhood looking geeky.


I love it, although I may replace the cool-looking leopard print saddle with something less cool-looking and more comfy. (This one might be helpful, if I find myself jonesing for Taco Bell again:)


Have a great week, everyone!

Friday Five: Themes Like A Mighty Long Time

Sorry if you missed the Friday Five last week, folks. I was sitting in a hotel suite — and before you get jealous, it was the La Quinta in Phoenix, which means it was basically two standard hotel rooms with the wall knocked out between them, and the same really uncomfortable furniture and crappy cable TV, with only 38 channels available and only 37 working at any given time, never the only one you really want to watch (TVLand).

Anyway, this week’s Friday Five doesn’t have any overriding theme.

But since it all happened to ME, maybe that’s enough, since, as we all know, the universe revolves around me. Anyway, here goes!

  1. Yesterday I went to this grocery store in West Hills, Fields Market. I like it ’cause I hate shopping at crowded, big box grocery stores, and this one, although it’s a normal-sized store, is hardly ever crowded.
    However, yesterday the usually empty parking lot was filled with that sight that makes everyone in California except the most wide-eyed tourists wince: a parking lot full of “Star Waggons” and other film crew vehicles.

    Apparently, they were filming a movie in my lovely, non-Ralphs grocery store today. Groan!! Well, the sign out front assured me “All business open during filming!” so I decided to chance it, parked at the outer fringes of Crew City, and walked over, careful not to trip over the big giant electrical cables.

    Inside, the store was COMPLETELY dark. A crew member (maybe the producer, or one of them) came over and whispered that they were just about to start rehearsing. I whispered back that I just wanted to get some cat food and pasta, and should I just come back tomorrow? No, no, she assured me, hang on, let me get someone to help you. She goes off in search of a store employee, while I hang around in the dark, trying to figure out just what they’re filming — a commercial? a TV show? a movie? a porno? You just never know around here.

    Finally she comes back with “Suzie,” a checker I recognize, and she tries to be helpful, asking me what I want (in whispers), and tiptoeing into the aisles, helpfully bringing back everything except what I actually asked for. Example: “I want to get one of those little pouches of cat treats.”
    cat treat

    “OK!” (five minutes of tiptoeing and rustling later) “Is it one of these?” (pant pant) and she’s carrying three giant bags of dry cat food.
    “Um no, the little ones — but you know, since you went to all that trouble, leave one of those and I’ll buy it too.” “Are you sure?” (pant pant) “Yeah, we’ll use ’em sometime.” “OK, and what else?” “Um …”

    and basically we went through that conversation for about 20 minutes, till I got tired of seeing her haul back all the wrong stuff, and said I’d just buy what she’d brought up and come back some other time for the rest. As she rung up my bill (ssh! They’re rehearsing!) I asked what they were filming, and she said (whispered!), “It’s a movie with Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich, but I don’t know what it’s about.” After leaving with my purchases, I checked IMDB, and sure enough, Sandra and John are currently working together on “Bird Box,” by Josh Malerman.

    It’s described as a “dystopian thriller” based on a novel I haven’t read, but which, according to Goodreads, features a woman’s “twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears.” Now I have to ask you, does that sound like a grocery store? Maybe Hollyweird’s just up to its old tricks. (Or maybe I should just read the book.)

    Anyway, if you’re a celebrity freak, you might enjoy knowing that you’re reading the blog of a woman who was just on the other side of a darkened grocery store from Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich. You’re welcome.

  2. Oh come on, I have to come up with four more? You people are insatiable! I haven’t even had my breakfast yet! (sigh) Oh, all right.

    Well, I dragged my old bike out of the garage the other day, wiped off the cobwebs and the dead spiders clinging to them, and carted it up to the local bike shop. It’s supposed to be ready today, so my plan is to WALK up there and RIDE back. This is a big deal for me because I haven’t actually ridden my bike for at least five years, primarily due to all the weight I gained after losing my job back in 2012. Now that the weight’s coming off, I decided it’s time to get back in the saddle! I’ll keep you posted on how that all works out.

  3. I’m also proud to report that I am walking for at least 30 minutes, almost every day! And on the days when I don’t walk, I feel funny. Kind of disconnected, like there’s something I forgot. Something important. Then I remember. “Oh yeah — walking!” And I go outside, and I walk, and I feel better. Sometimes I even just go out in the back yard and walk in place for a little while. I highly recommend doing that if you’re in the middle of a highly important binge-watching session.
    (And don’t forget: popcorn has fiber!)
  4. Finally, we can start watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music without some self-important know-it-all snottily whining about how “it’s not even Thanksgiving yet and you’re listening to Christmas stuff?”

    And since that self-important know-it-all is usually ME, that means I can stop talking to myself now. Bonus!

  5. Oh yay, finally, it’s the last one! Let’s see. What should we throw in now?
    Well, since she and my husband are the only relatives I know of who actually read my blog, how’s about I take advantage of my position as a powerful member of the media to wish a VERY happy (if belated) birthday to my wonderful cousin, Kathy H., a totally cool person who urged me to keep trying, and never give up, till I did it — I FINALLY managed to actually READ “Lord of the Rings” all the way through! Thanks, cuz!!

Whew — that’s it! Anyway, that’s definitely all I could think of. And I did all that without caffeine! Well, ahem … OK, I’ve had caffeine, but just a little. Now for the deluge!

And, as my cousin Kathy likes to say, “Have a sparkling day, everyone!”