Please stay six feet away from this blog, thank you!

Ah, what a difference a week makes, huh? Last week at this time, most of us were still going our merry way, tra la la, a little worried about this whole coronavirus thing, but y’know, I’m sure they’ll work it all out, nothing to see here, mate!

Then Tom Hanks and Idris Elba got it, and all h-e-double-toothpicks broke loose!

So we’re all under house arrest, pretty much, but sorry, that doesn’t let you off the ol’ diet-and-exercise hook!

And after some long and careful thought, I decided to go on with the weekly weigh-ins, because really, what else have I got to do?

Oh — well, yeah, that! And I do plan to stand in yet another line later today, making sure I’ve got all the canned tuna and shrimp I can snag!

But before I head out to stock up on essentials, let me just jump on the ol’ scales … hang on … let’s see:


Wow, down an entire pound since last week! Well, that’s really interesting ’cause (true confession time!) I kinda gave in to temptation yesterday and indulged in some KFC.

Hey, stressful times, baby! And I know, it’s Lent, so theoretically I’m supposed to be giving up all that stuff. But y’know, since we’re giving up a whole lot of OTHER stuff right now (like the freedom to wander aimlessly around Trader Joe’s, shoving our fellow customers out of the way and grabbing that last box of Mini Hold The Cones out from under their noses, ’cause who do they think they are, shopping at the same time WE are?)

…I figured, what the hey! It may be a while before I get to indulge, and as Pete Hornberger sang on “30 Rock” (a great show to binge watch, btw!),

So, a pound down, that’s good! And by the way, while everyone else is a little uncertain about where our next roll of toilet paper might come from, those of us who’ve got every nook and cranny of our houses, cars, and She Sheds filled with books and vintage magazines are feelin’ pretty vindicated right now!

Seriously, there are some rough times ahead, but we’ll make it! Hang in there, and I promise, come hell, high water, or icky virus, I’ll continue to post my weigh-ins! See ya next week, and remember, spring is on the weigh!!

Mid-week interlude: Ash Wednesday and book quiz

Happy Ash Wednesday, everyone!

funny ash.jpg

Not to mention that “other” holiday:


Anyhoo, Amy over at Bibliophile posted this interesting quiz on her blog a week ago, the “This or That Book Tag,” and at first I thought she’d tagged me on it. Then I went back and reread her comment with my eyes a little wider open and saw that, no, she’d tagged three other bloggers and just gave me a shout-out.


Which I appreciate, believe me! It’s nice to be noticed! Thanks, Amy! But meantime, I had already filled out the quiz, so since I have it right in front of me, and it’s all ready to go, I thought I’d just go ahead and post it. If that’s okay. Is it? I don’t want to make any unfounded assumptions or anyth…

get on 2

Okily dokily then!

  1. Reading in bed or on the couch? Depends – if it’s a real (i.e., print) book, couch, definitely. If it’s on my Kindle, bed, for sure! I’ve tried reading printed books in bed and just have trouble balancing them.
  2. Male main character or female main character? Female, usually, but then again, my all-time favorite novel is “David Copperfield,” and David was definitely a guy, although his best pal Steerforth called him “Daisy,” so who knows? Hmm.
  3. Trilogies or quartets? Actually, I prefer septets, like “Harry Potter” or the “Narnia” books.
  4. First person POV or third person POV? I personally prefer the first person POV; however, Christine thinks the third person POV is much more objective.
  5. Sweet snacks or salty snacks? Popcorn, which can be either sweet OR salty, depending on what you dump on it!
  6. Reading at day or night? Daytime, as I’m usually busy at night. (Sleeping!! Get your mind outta the gutter!)
  7. Libraries or bookstores? Until recently I would have said bookstores, but since I started walking regularly, I’m enjoying my visits to the local library. Plus, virtually every library I’ve visited recently has its own used bookstore, anyway, so win-win!
  8. Books that make you laugh or cry? Sometimes you can get both in the same book – hilarious Mr. Micawber’s in the same book with David’s poor tragic mother.
  9. Black books covers or white book covers? I have to confess I don’t really understand this question. I just looked at one of my many bookshelves, and didn’t see any books with only black or only white covers. A lot of them are green or blue. I’m so confused!
  10. Character driven or plot driven? Again, it’s possible to do both – and do it well – Again, Dickens! “David Copperfield!” They don’t write ’em like that any more. (Hmm … maybe I should read something else … )

Since I wasn’t *officially* tagged in Amy’s post, I won’t *officially* tag anyone else, either; however, if you’d like to answer the quiz yourself, please do, and let me know – I’ll link to it in a later post!

That’s all for today! I’ll leave you with a photo I took on a hike through Griffith Park over the weekend. See you Friday!


Unused Pingback of the Day: Suspicious

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


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:


    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.
  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!
  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).

(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!
slow blink

Friday Five: Just a bunch of sorry excuses

Welp, I got up this morning and realized I had a blog post to write, and I hadn’t prepared for it at ALL. My deepest apologies! Here are some of the reasons I procrastinated this week.

  1. Celebrity sexual harassment. Unfortunately, even though I’ve lived in Los Angeles for over 30 years, and even worked on the peripheries of Show Biz (answering phones at a radio station), I’ve never been sexually harassed by a celebrity. I’ve been NONsexually harassed – Sandy Duncan once spat the F-word at me – but in her defense, she’d asked for coffee and I’d brought her hot chocolate, because the coffee machine wasn’t working right.
    But, since bitchiness isn’t a hate crime (yet), I’ll just have to hang onto all those juicy tidbits.
  2. Rain. Yes, it actually rained out here in sunny Southern California! Well, not so much rain. You know how you’ll be driving, and suddenly notice there are little droplets of water on your windshield, so you turn your windshield wipers on, but there aren’t enough little droplets of water and the wipers screech really loud, so you turn them off, and then more droplets show up, just to taunt you? That kind of rain. Like maybe the angels in Heaven are spitting at you. Or maybe Sandy Duncan. Anyway, it rained.
  3. Tar and slurry. The City decided to do some asphalt work on our street Tuesday, so we had to move our cars off the street for the whole day, as they were starting early-early-early. Well, 7:00 AM, which is kind of early. And I hear they didn’t actually start till 7:30ish. But still, I decided to take advantage of the situation and do a Road! Trip! to visit some bookstores in Orange County, specifically Bookman, Book Carnival, and Altair-4, all on Tustin Avenue. Which, I discovered after the three-hour drive to get there, was ALSO being asphalted. Nevertheless, I persevered and got some great books, which meant I spent a lot of quality time reading, rather than writing or creating.
  4. Memory Loss. On the way home from Orange County (see #3), I stopped at the grocery store to get some mundane but necessary items, specifically Kraft Grated Parmesan (2 teaspoons = 20 calories, mmm!) which we’d just run out of. The nice, chatty cashier bagged my groceries while we discussed life, the universe, and everything. I had to park a couple of blocks from my house as the street was still tarry, but I figured, hey, exercise, right? So I lugged everything home, and guess what wasn’t in the bag?
    parmesanYou got it. So I walked BACK to my car, hoping it’d fallen out, but it wasn’t there. Oh well – I didn’t feel like driving all the way back to the store, so there went four bucks, right down the drain. The next day, I went to a different grocery store to buy more Parmesan, and also some dry cat food, which we’d also just run out of. This time, I used the “self-checkout” and bagged my own groceries. Got home, and guess what was missing?
    cat food

    So, my brain’s had a rough week. Which kinda ties in with:

  1. Sheer laziness. We just started Daylight Savings Time this past week, so you’d think I’d be up a little earlier in the morning, given that nice cushy extra hour we were handed on a silver platter. Well, no – I always THINK that’s how it’s gonna be, but in reality, that extra hour just winds up getting converted into sleep, and pretty quickly, too. I mean, come on, I can’t work when it’s dark!

So there you go, friends, five more or less good reasons why I couldn’t come up with a halfway decent Friday Five this week. I’ll see if I can do better next week. Meanwhile, have a great weekend!


(Unused pingback of the day: Mushroom!)


Friday Five: Books You’ve Gotta Read!

Hey, everyone – welcome once again to my Friday Five!

This week, I thought I’d do something a little different, and share with you five of my all-time favorite diet/weight-loss books.

These are books I’ve really, truly enjoyed reading, more than once – not just for “nuts and bolts” diet info, but for inspiration, laughs, and – well, fun! Because you need some fun, when you’re dieting. You also need to know you’re not in this alone.

So, without further ado, here’s my Friday Five Book Review:

  1. The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl by Shauna ReidDietgirl
    First published in 2008, this is a collection of Shauna’s posts from her original blog, in which she chronicled, in a charming Aussie accent, her attempts to lose weight (notated in stones rather than pounds), but oh, my friends, it’s so much more than that! It’s about family, friends, and finding true love when you least expect it. (AND weight loss – it’s in there too, trust me!)

    (Try to get a copy of the original edition, if you can (love those stones!), but even in its Americanized version, it retains its charms.)

    Shauna said goodbye to “Dietgirl” in 2014, and started a new blog, In a recent post there, Shauna says she no longer thinks of herself as “Dietgirl.” Hey, I get it! I called myself “Chrissy the Stooges Woman” for WAYYYY longer than I should have. At some point we all outgrow our Internet personas. But that’s cool. “Dietgirl” was there when I needed her – and her wonderful book is waiting for you, too!

  1. The No-S Diet by Reinhard Engels
    no s diet
    This is a really short, really simple concept developed by an engineer named Reinhard Engels. Here’s all it is:No Snacks
    No Sweets
    No Seconds
    Except (sometimes) on days that start with “S” (Saturdays, Sundays, and “special” days)

    Now, even though it’s such an easy concept you could recite it in your sleep (almost), the book is well worth reading, too. Although the weight loss is really, really slow, it’s a fantastic behavior modification tool, perfect for anyone who’s a nonstop snacker. Stick with it, and you’ll learn to love it.

    And I did love it – for about six months. However, as I’ve mentioned earlier, during this past summer, it got really, really hot, and I really, really wanted some “S’s” in the form of ice cream. Fortunately, one day, I stumbled across my next choice in my Kindle Unlimited recommendations:

  1. Then Just Stay Fat by Shannon Sorrels
    then just stay fatShannon Sorrels is a mysterious soul, cloaked in secrecy, seemingly without any sort of Internet presence at all. I’ve looked high and low, and she doesn’t seem to have a blog or a website*. So there’s no way to let her know how much her championing of basic, no-nonsense calorie counting has impressed me. I started tracking my calories, and it’s made a huge difference – as you can tell by my weight loss stats over there on the right.

    Shannon states the case for calorie counting very simply and forcefully. If you need a good kick in the pants, this is the one you want!

    (*I did find a Facebook page for the book. It hasn’t been updated since December 2016, but hey, it’s better than nothing!)

  1. Calorie Accounting by Mandy Levy
    calorie accountingThis is the EXACT same concept as “Then Just Stay Fat” – basic, no-nonsense calorie counting. The difference is Mandy Levy herself! She describes herself as “an Emmy-winning writer, comedian, and karaoke enthusiast,” and that’s quite a winning combination of talents.

    I recommend you get the oversized paperback, rather than the Kindle version, because Mandy’s book is just so bright and cheerful and colorful that it makes you smile just looking at it! She’s like the bouncy cheerleader big sister you never knew you needed. I love her attitude, her cheerfully nutty photos, and her love for totally fake foods.

    I don’t agree with all of them (the Zero Calorie Noodles are definitely an acquired taste!), but it’s nice to find someone else who shares my illicit love for I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter Spray!

  2.  A Walk In the Woods, by Bill Bryson
    bryson walkOkay, you got me – this is definitely NOT a diet or weight-loss book! However, it’s a wonderful, often funny, sometimes terrifying (bears, eek!) book about a couple of guys who decide to walk the Appalachian Trail, and have all sorts of wonderful, often funny, sometimes terrifying adventures before they pretty much give up. The movie version starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte is pretty awesome, too – plus it features the great Kristen Schaal in the small but hilarious role of Mary Ellen, who was apparently the most annoying woman on the planet.
    Anyway, the main reason I mention it here is that reading this and other books about ordinary schlubs heading out to the wilderness to walk for miles and miles and miles every day is, it motivates ME to get up out of my comfy recliner and go for a walk. Maybe just around the block, or down the street to the library. But hey – walking is good, so whatever it takes, right?
    exercise block

Let me know in the comments what some of YOUR favorite weight-loss books are. I’ve got a library card, so I’ll definitely (dare I say it??) check them out (yes, I dared!!)!