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?

  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.

  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.
    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!

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

No weigh-in today — just a sad goodbye to a good friend

I was debating whether to do a weigh-in today or not. FWIW, I’ve been dutifully keeping track of it every day. It’s been relatively stable, so I’m sure it would have been a decent weigh-in.

However, today is not an ordinary Monday. It’s the saddest Monday we’ve had so far, here in the 50by60 household.

You see, last week, we finally made the decision to have our sweet 13-year-old cat Princess, who’s been suffering from nasal cancer, put out of her misery.

Princess 2

That’ll happen at around 3:00 this afternoon. And we’ve been really sad all week, counting down the days … the hours … and probably the minutes, later today. (Oh, and it’s also sad because it’s Mr. 50by60’s birthday today — not his most fun birthday, that’s for sure!)

And even though we know it’s the right decision, that doesn’t make it any easier. So — decision made — no weigh-in today. Just a photo of our pretty cat, who sometimes liked to sit on the desk next to me as I was writing these posts…


…along with a prayer that God will grant her a peaceful, painless end to her life.

And that someday we’ll see her again, under better circumstances.

So long, Princess. Thanks for taking such good care of us both, all these years. Good girl!

Princess 3



Friday Five: Where’s my parade??

Well, it’s been a fun week! Thanks to everyone who cheered me on and helped me along the way!

However, now that I’ve reached my goal weight (the FIRST goal, that is — I’ll be setting a new one soon!), I realized that, fat or thin, there are a few things that won’t change — even though I kinda hoped they would!

  1. Most people don’t notice — or care — as much about your weight as you do. Sure, there are always a few people around you in your day-to-day life — your spouse, your kids, your fellow employees, etc. — who are aware of your weight challenges. But there’s a whole lot more people who don’t know, or care, that you used to be fat and now you’re slightly less fat. The cashier at the grocery store doesn’t really care that you’re buying more fruits and veggies and fewer giant bags of Nacho Cheese Doritos. All she wants is to go home and soak her feet and binge-watch “Downton Abbey” for the hundredth time. So keep your ego in check.
  2. Clothes shopping is easier in some ways, tougher in others. I used to dream about getting thin enough to fit into a beautiful dress that would make me look like a princess. Well, guess what? Fat or thin, you can’t find dresses like that unless you’re currently residing in a palace and/or playing the part of someone who lives in a palace. The fashion these days seems to be sleeveless dresses that show off your underarms, and IMHO that’s not a good look for ANYONE. Also, swimsuits still suck, even in “normal” sizes. There are very few women who don’t feel like “Cathy” when trying on swimsuits.
  3. No one will read your blog. OK, that’s not fair. YOU’RE not “nobody,” and you’re reading my blog! And believe me, I appreciate it! What I mean, though, is if you haven’t become a major star in the blogging firmament by the time you hit your goal weight, you probably won’t afterwards. I’m still gonna keep blogging though, since it seems to be an important factor in keeping me honest about my weight-crackin’ efforts (“Hmm, I’d really like to eat that second donut, but tomorrow’s ‘Rhymin’ Weigh-in Day’ on the blog, so I better not. Pass the celery, please!”).
    blogging is hard
  4. Crappy stuff still needs to be done and you’re the one who has to do them. For example, our sweet cat Princess had to go to the vet this week, which meant getting her into her carrier (helpful hint: “mrrOWW!!” means “NO WAY!!” in Cat-ese), then I drove her to the vet, which is about 5 miles and 5,000,000 angry “mrrOWWs” away (no matter how loud you turn up the radio), paying the vet bill, and driving her home again (repeat angry “mrrOWWs”). Cats don’t care if you’re fat or thin. They just want out out out NOW!!!
  5. Half the people in the world will hate you. I don’t write about politics or religion in this blog (though at some point I should probably mention that my faith in God was a MAJOR part of my motivation to stay on the diet, so thanks and yay, God!). Still, if you’re a normal person trying to live your life in this beautiful country we call America, you probably know that, no matter what your political views are, about half the country despises you and wishes bad things would happen to you. I won’t go into detail, but rest assured, those dirty looks you were getting at Starbucks this morning when you were reading “National Review,” or at Dunkin’ Donuts when you were perusing the op-ed pages of the “New York Times,” had NOTHING to do with your weight. Isn’t that a relief?

So there you go, five things that won’t really change a whole lot once you’ve reached your goal weight! Does that mean you shouldn’t try? Heck no! There are a lot of things that do change, for the better, and I’ll write about those next Friday. If I remember. Remind me, will you? Thanks, and have a great weekend!!


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.


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!


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!


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.)


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.


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.


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!)




Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In: Lazy Monday edition!

OK, OK, I know you’re in a big rush to find out what my weight is this morning. I get it. Everyone’s in a big rush this morning.

Our cat, Princess, is extremely impatient (and with good reason!) because her servant-human (aka my husband) had the colossal nerve to sleep a few extra minutes and thus deprive her of her morning shower. (Why yes, we give our cats showers. Doesn’t everyone?)


Anyway, you can untwist your panties now, Aunt Tilly, ’cause here we go!



So, STILL not “Milestone Monday,” but with any luck, it’ll happen … NEXT week!

Meanwhile, relax, and remember:


Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in: I wanna be the Bob Ross of something!

Well, good morning, everyone. Happy Monday! Let’s get right to the Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, shall we? Ready? Here we go!

youre my hero.jpg

All right!! I’m pretty happy about that. See, last week I stumbled across this YouTube video by this guy named Steve Gamelin, who’s perfected a method of baking bread called “No-Knead Turbo Bread.”

Now Steve G.’s not the only one who has videos about this concept, but in our nonstop, 24/7, media-saturated world, it’s all about image, amiright? And the thing about Steve G. is, he’s basically the Bob Ross of bread baking!


And as soon as I watched one of Steve G.’s laid-back, super-comfy bread baking videos, my imagination was stimulated: “Hey,  *I* could do that!” So I rushed out to the grocery store, bought a big sack of King Arthur Flour and some yeast, and got to work. And it was FABULOUS! The best loaf of bread I’d baked in … oh, let’s see … at least five years (which was the last time I baked bread, so logically speaking, that works, right?).


Unfortunately, it was so good that I wound up eating the whole thing myself over a couple of days. And frankly, I worried that my weight would go up today. But all’s well that ends well! My weight is down (at least a little), a fresh loaf is in the works, and this time I’ll share it with my husband. (Maybe!)


Just watch your hands – Bread Kitty’s very protective!

That’s it – have a great day, everyone! Thanks for reading!

Friday Five: Way too many cat memes

Welp, good morning, all, and happy Friday, for those of you who actually work for a living!

You know, I got up this morning and briefly considered getting a few things done before I wrote my post. Then I realized that if I did all of them, I probably wouldn’t write this till around, oh, I dunno, midnight. So I decided to simplify my life and just get this done first.

I’m sure you’ll appreciate the effort it took me to postpone:

  1. Making breakfast. Actually, making breakfast is the easiest part of my day. My hubby rarely wants anything more substantial than a Trader Joe’s cereal bar and a glass of water. Occasionally I’ll surprise him with some bacon and eggs (mainly when I want some too), but for the most part, breakfast is easy to postpone.

  2. Cat maintenance. This one includes feeding them, letting them out the back door, letting them back in (we have a cat flap, but they like that personal service), checking the litter boxes, checking the treat stations, flea combing, catnip application, peacock feather waving, and other miscellaneous attentions as required. I’ve done a couple of them already (I have to, or they’ll beat me up), but at the moment they’re sleeping off the catnip, so I’ve got a little window of time.

  3. Shoe shopping. Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you? Normally I buy my shoes, clothes, books, and other necessities of life online, as you do. However, I was looking at some Skechers “Go Walk” shoes on Amazon last night, and they looked really comfy. However, I realized from bitter experience that I probably should buy at least one pair in (shudder) an actual store, just to make sure they’re as comfy as they look in the photos. I’ve been burned before. (Literally as well as figuratively – I’m not that handy around the stove.)

  4. Laundry. I’m actually pretty much caught up on the actual human being laundry. This goes back to #2, because most of the laundry I need to do now involves the various things the cats sleep, shed, sneeze, and deposit their various and sundry bodily fluids on. Every piece of clothing I own, if it were sentient, should tremble in the fearful knowledge that it could wind up as a cat bed. Fortunately, clothing isn’t sentient, although who knows? It’s a funny ol’ world.

  5. Transcribing. Heh … yeah, this is my ACTUAL WORK that I am theoretically supposed to be doing when I’m home, to make money. You know, money really helps vis-a-vis cat stuff, shoes, and future cat beds aka clothing. I suppose I could ask Purina or Friskies (are they even different companies? who knows these days) if they’d throw me some free cat treats in exchange for mentioning them in my wildly popular blog, but that’s probably not gonna happen any time soon. (If it does, I’ll let you know.)

So once I’ve finished writing this post, and applying all the appropriate memes and formatting, I guess I’ll pick one of these things to get done. Probably breakfast, ’cause I’m hungry.

Unless, of course, the cats wake up first.


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


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, 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!


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!!


Do the Little Kicks!

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–


Oh, sorry about that, Mittens! Yeah, I’m done. 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!”

Time for the Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in!, and Don’t Let The Numbers Get You Down!

“Aha!” I bet you’re thinking. “Based on that provocative title, I bet she’s got a weight GAIN to report this week!”

Well, let’s find out, shall we? Here we go:

Get the brownie mix!

Down 0.4 pounds, baby! Although — let me tell you a li’l story.

This morning, I got up at about 5:45 a.m. to let the cats out. (Yes, we let our cats go out. They come back. They sleep for the rest of the day. Don’t hate me.) I held the door open for them for about five minutes, as I shivered in the subzero Arctic temperatures (46° F, brr!!), till they finally sauntered out.

On the way back to my warm warm bed, I stepped on the digital scales and weighed myself, for the first time.

Man alive!

Needless to say, I was stoked! Almost 7 pounds lost since last week? What a killer blog I was gonna have today! The late, great Huell Howser would arise from the sludge of his eternal resting place (Palm Springs, I believe), to proclaim my awesomeness!


But guess what? After lying in bed for about an hour, dreaming of my frabjillious weight loss, I finally got up (the cats again — this time, they wanted FOOD, ferkryinoutlowd), and weighed myself again.

And guess what? I’d gained back 6 of those magical 7 pounds!! All in the space of a little more than an hour!


So — if you’re one of those people who lives and dies by the numbers on the scale, maybe you need to rethink your philosophy of life, the universe, and weight loss. Those numbers can drive you nuts, if you think too much about them. Numbers suck, really.


And I for one am thrilled that I’ve lost as much weight as I have already. If anyone who tells you “calories don’t count,” you have my permission to punish them, severely!


Have a super-awesome week, everyone, and a happy Thanksgiving to all!