Friday Five: The superbloom is…it’s everywhere, man!

Happy Friday, everybody! So, have you come across any of the stories in the Otherwise Perpetually Depressing News Cycle (OPDNC) about Southern California’s “Superbloom” — the explosion of wildflowers (mostly the delicate orange poppy) following all the torrential rains of the past few months? Well, strangely enough for the Lamestream Media, it’s actually true!

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But you don’t have to go to Lake Elsinore and trample all over the place taking selfies to see them — trust me, that is SO not cool, man!

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Instead, look at these cool photos I took myself, in my rambles around Chatsworth, Simi Valley, Acton, and even humble ol’ Reseda, showing the beautiful Eschscholzia californica in all its golden glory!

  1. Above Chatsworth:
    Poppies Chatsworth Forbidden Road 1
  2. Soledad Canyon Road, near Acton:
    Superbloom Acton MAIN
  3. Another Acton shot (and yessss, the rocks at the top of that hill are REALLY that pink!!):
    Superbloom Acton 4 MAIN
  4. In Sherman Oaks:

    St Mary Bird of Paradise

    (and OK, so it’s not a poppy, per se (actually, it’s a Bird of Paradise)! However, Mother Nature would like to remind you she DOES have other purty flowers, too, so don’t play favorites!)

  5. Finally, my very own humble little garden, in Reseda:

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    (and to be perfectly honest, this is last year’s photo – they still haven’t bloomed this year, maybe because after the rains subsided I did a whole lot of weeding, and may have accidentally “weeded” the poppies, which would be pretty ironic considering this would have been THEIR YEAR, huh? Still, they’d be here if they could!)

There ya go! Enjoy, and bask in the knowledge that you managed to enjoy the Superbloom without destroying them!

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A few good reasons NOT to go to the gym today (even if you love your gym)!

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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!).

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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.

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Actually, EVERYTHING there is purple … the signs on the doors:

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… the workout equipment …

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… and of course, the weight lifters’ faces.

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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 —

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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!

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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!

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Rare Saturday post: take a hike!

Hey, everyone, sorry I forgot about the “Friday Five” yesterday! Actually, I didn’t forget so much as … well … actually, I did forget, sorry! But to make up for it, here’s some photos from a hike I took this morning with a group of people from Anytime Fitness in Chatsworth, CA — enjoy!

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Out in the wilderness…hard to believe there’s a major urban sprawl just a couple of miles away!

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I’m a bit of a slow walker, so as usual I’m at the back of the pack. No worries — they didn’t get TOO far ahead!

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See, I’m catching up (pant pant!!)!

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Here we all are at the end of the trail. We’re smiling ’cause it’s OVER!! (Photo by Naomi Ruth Torres. )

This was all at a nice area called the Victory Trailhead Loop, part of the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve (depending on who you ask and which parking lot you’re in, I guess!). Apparently there are some caves on the property somewhere (the Caves of Munit), but since going there would have required more uphills than downhills, the majority vote was to save the caves for another time.
 

So all in all, it was a great morning for a hike, and a good time was had by all, even the dog.

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That’s all for now — see you Monday for yet another Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in!

Friday ̷F̷i̷v̷e̷ Three: Nonscale victories and helpful trainers!

Hmm, just realized it’s been quite a while since I’ve tried to find five random things and connect them in some way. Let’s see if I still have the knack!

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  1. Non-scale victory — Tried on and BOUGHT three new shirts at Ross yesterday, and two “gently used” shirts from Goodwill — and they were all MEDIUMS and LARGES, y’all!!! Not an “X” in the batch! It’s been years (decades?) since I even thought about looking at any non-X labels, but this week I decided to give it a shot. Plus I even had to buy a coupla new over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders! Yeah, my body is definitely changing, even if the scales aren’t!
    boobs
  2. Non-scale irritation — So losing weight is great, right? I’m really happy about it. What I’m not happy about is I definitely have the “loose skin” thing going on. Which I didn’t really notice till I started trying on all those clothes (see #1) and got a good look at myself in one of those unforgiving dressing room mirrors. Oh well — at least the clothes cover it up (mostly)!
  3. Helpful Trainer Award of the Week — in the neverending (in my mind, anyway) battle between 24 Hour Fitness and Anytime Fitness Chatsworth, this week’s winner is NATHAN at Anytime Fitness, who showed me some basic kettlebell moves and didn’t try to upsell me on a super-expensive training package just for asking for help (24 Hour Fitness, I’m lookin’ at you). Thanks, Nathan — and as promised, here’s your shout-out!

And guess what? I can’t for the life of me think of two other things, and I have to do a coupla things this morning, so many apologies to those of you who were laying awake dreaming about the Friday Five — that’s the way the cookie crumbles!

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On that note, have a great weekend! See you Monday for the big weigh-in (this could be it, folks!!)!

When Nature Calls!

So there I was, Wednesday morning, debating which of my two gyms to go to for my workout. 24 Hour Fitness in Simi, with the awesome pool?

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Or the equally awesome Anytime Fitness Chatsworth, with the super-fun video treadmills?

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I was at a crossroads (literally! Roscoe and Valley Circle, for you fellow Valley-ites). I had to decide NOW: right turn for Chatsworth, or straight ahead for Simi?

Then, my friends, I had a profound realization:

gotta

Yeah, I really did. And there was LITERALLY no time to get to EITHER gym!

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“Literally” literally, man! But then — aha! — I remembered that there was some sort of historical nature park with clean, easy to access restrooms, LITERALLY right around the corner!

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So I drove there; ran (well, walked really fast!) from the parking lot to the restroom; um, answered nature’s call …

and then … noticed this:

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and this:

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and realized that, while the gyms were nice and all, I’d kind of lost track of the whole reason I’d joined them in the first place: to lose weight and get in better shape, so I could go places like this:

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And so, Wednesday morning, instead of the comfort of the gym, I opted instead for the “cheap showiness of nature” … and enjoyed every minute of it!

The gyms will still be there when I want them. But it’s nice to know this will be, too!

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(and in case you’re wondering, that park is called the Orcutt Ranch Horticultural Center. Go visit — it’s a lovely place for an amble!)

Post-Anniversary Chocolate Truffles Weigh-in!

Well, howdy there, friends old and new! As you regulars know, around here, Monday is Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In Day! So fasten your seat belts, ’cause here we goooo:

198.0

hidey

Yay, a little bit of a loss there! I wasn’t sure there’d be one at all. See, this past Saturday was our 11th wedding anniversary (thank you, thank you!), and since we’re both simple, tradition-minded souls, we tend to celebrate with FOOD, and lots of it. His mom took us out for a simple breakfast — and you Parks & Rec fans will squeal with delight when you see where we went:

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Four ‘N 20 Sherman Oaks, aka “JJ’s Diner”!

And then I baked up a whole mess o’ Trader Joe’s Truffle Brownies. Mmm, good! I was actually planning to get the Reduced Guilt Brownie Mix, but they were out, darn it, so Full Guilt it was. And they’re really good … TOO good, if you know what I mean. What I mean is, I carefully cut them up into 16 brownies, so we’d know when we ate one that it was 200 calories, and then, of course, proceeded to eat about 800 calories worth. What can I say? They’re BROWNIES!! people!

brownies

So there you have it. It was a very chocolicious anniversary weekend, which is why I’m surprised I lost any weight at all. Still — worth it!!

Now, before I leave, let’s talk a little about my new gym, shall we? I’m planning to write about it in more detail, maybe later in the week. But right now, I thought you’d enjoy seeing a photo of it I took the other day:

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And see the bright orange building in the lower left, just behind the railroad tracks? That’s the world-famous Munch Box in Chatsworth, best known for its chili dogs and for being visited by the late, great Huell Howser on more than one occasion!

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A few chili cheese dogs should ensure that I spend a lot of time in the gym, so I’ll definitely write more about Anytime Fitness Chatsworth soon!

Meanwhile, enjoy your Monday — I’m outta here!

(unused WordPress Daily Prompt: vague)

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in: Post-Hike edition!

Good morning, everyone, and happy Monday!

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Yes, it’s time once again for me to entertain you with the Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, wherein all those years of judiciously studying the classic poetic works of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Walt Whitman, and Edgar A. Guest finally pay off! Ready? Here we go!

210
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Lookin’ good (and if you’ve never seen that “Kids in the Hall” sketch, “My Pen,” well, here you go, and you can thank me later)!

As for the “hike” part of the title, yesterday my husband and I did a nice walk slash hike in the foothills of Chatsworth, California — not very long, but enough to remind me that (a) I do really like hiking and (b) it might be time to shop for some sturdier shoes, ’cause I was slippin’ and slidin’ on the rocks along the path at one point. But still, it was fun! Here are a couple of photos:

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Looking down at Chatsworth Park South, where there used to be a pond, way back in the 20th century, long long ago, etc.

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C’est moi!! In all my hiking glory! Note the comfy but slightly slippery Merrell Mary Janes on my tooties.

So it was a fun day. And every time I do one of these “big walks,” I say that the NEXT day I’m going to “rest” (i.e., not walk), but this morning I’m planning to walk up to the library, not a big walk but still not resting either.

You know what? Once you get started on doing an exercise you really enjoy, you’ll find yourself WANTING to do it, and looking for excuses! So don’t worry so much about which exercise burns more calories than others. The one you enjoy is the one that’s going to burn off the most calories, ’cause you’re gonna do it more often!

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