Surprise! Just poppin’ in to say Merry Christmas!

Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m on a blogging break and all that.

Still, if former Pres. Obama can pop in to say hi, I guess I can, too!

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I’m enjoying my little break, and hope you’re all keeping snug as the proverbial bugs in your rugs, keeping warm, sipping cocoa and enjoying life.

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Listen — we’ll get back to the diet and exercise struggle soon enough. This is a time to relax and enjoy yourself. Go ahead, have some chocolate. We’ll work it off, together, in January.

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Merry Christmas to all my loyal readers! See you again on Monday, January 7, 2019 (aka Orthodox Christmas, for my non-Western readers)!

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Happy Friday (in keeping with the situation)!

Happy Friday, everyone!

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And yes, I know, it’s not a happy Friday for a lot of people. Fires and angst in some places, snow and angst in others … sickness, misery, sadness …

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Life is like that sometimes! But y’know, you gotta keep your chin up, face the day, and just keep on keepin’ on …

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Things will get better, eventually! And during the coming week, we’ll once again, as a nation, get a chance to take out some of our frustrations on a bunch of innocent birds!

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Of course, there are always a few iconoclasts …

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But for the most part, don’t we all enjoy sitting around the table with our families, enjoying a relaxing, drama-free time of peace and togetherness?

 

Well, whatever you decide to talk about, remember — Thanksgiving is just the beginning!

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So there’ll be lots of other chances to interact with your loved ones, between now and that blessed morning, January 2, when you wake up from your multi-holiday-binge and slowly try to make your way back to Normal Life™ — whatever that may be for you.

 

But first, we gotta get through THIS one! Well, try to be positive, if you can!

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Hey, whatever works for you! See you Monday for my last Post-Holiday Season Weigh-In! And remember … hang in there!

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Friday Five: Things I Ate This Week That I Won’t See Again Till Next Year

Well, that title kinda says it all, doesn’t it? Here’s a list of five extravagantly delicious, yummy things I ate this week, because Christmas, and which I won’t eat again till the week of December 25, 2018, because again, Christmas:

  1. Trader Joe’s Cocoa Truffles. These were a gift from my husband, who’s ostensibly on the same calorie-counting diet as myself, but who, nevertheless, bought me this lovely red-and-gold box of Cocoa Truffles, containing eight servings of Cocoa Truffles, each serving consisting of four truffles and 180 calories per serving. You do the math. I’ll just savor the flavor. Because chocolate.
     

  2. Stroopwafels. These were offered up by my mother-in-law at the family Christmas dinner, because a friend of hers at church used to eat them, and she’d passed away, so this was a way of remembering her. Yeah, that’s it. Not because they’re so delicious it’s almost impossible to stop after just one. Because memories.
     

  3. Sour cream potato chips and homemade French Onion dip. Well, I don’t know if it was French onion or just onion. Onions is onions, I always say. Anyway, I generally try to stay away from potato chips and really yummy onion dip (French or otherwise) because it’s so easy to get carried away. But this week, I couldn’t. Because ooh-la-la, French onion.
     

  4. Soft dinner roll with a big giant pat of butter. Another thing I try to avoid, for the same basic reason as #3 Potato Chips above – they’re just too darn good, and it’s too darn easy to eat too darn much. Butter is 100 calories per tablespoon, and it’s really hard for me to stop at just one tablespoon, once I get started. But it was on the table, and it was Christmas, so I had it. Because butter.
     

  5. And finally, what list of Christmas-only favorites would be complete without Trader Joe’s Egg Nog? Not this one, that’s for sure. We still have about half a carton left, and I think we’re going to try to save it for New Year’s Eve. No promises, though. It does taste pretty good in coffee, too. Because nog.
     

    Okay – that’s the “better late than never” edition of my Friday Five! Sorry it’s late, but it’s such a beautiful, warm, sunny day out there, I had trouble tearing myself away from the Great Outdoors. But for you, I did! You’re welcome – and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas Weigh-In, aka Before The Storm!

Good morning, everyone, and a very

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to all my faithful readers! Rest assured, I cherish each and every one of you, honest. In fact, as my Christmas present to you, here’s the late, great David Cassidy assuring you of that very fact!

Meanwhile, I will do a quickie Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, if only to establish a baseline before I hit the inevitable mound of dark chocolate balls and red velvet cake that surely awaits me at the family table this afternoon. Ready? Here goes!

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Whoop-di-do!
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Yeah, I had a loss — good thing, too, since that makes me feel better about all the upcoming goodies! And after today, I’ll have a week to sober up and fly right, so next week I should at least be able to hold steady, just in time for those pesky New Year’s resolutions.

So hang in there! If you’re a Christmas person, enjoy your day! If you’re not, well, there’s always next year, Charlie Brown!

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Friday Five: At Long Last, Pros of Gym Membership!

Sorry for the delay, folks. I know I’ve procrastinated quite a bit on getting you these pros of keeping my gym membership. And this morning, I was a bit torn: write my blog, or huddle in the La-Z-Boy recliner, sipping hot coffee and staring in amazement at the ridiculously low temperatures showing on our nice digital indoor/outdoor thermometer.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m a California girl. But this morning it’s cold even for “normal” people. Seriously, it’s 35 degrees here! Fahrenheit! in the San Fernando Valley! at 8:00 AM! So you can see my dilemma.

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Okay, okay! Fortunately for you, I’m totally dedicated to the craft of blogging and whatever, so here you go, my five arguments FOR keeping my gym membership, after which I’m headin’ back to the La-Z-Boy!

  1. WEATHER – well, that should be self-explanatory, but since this is a blog, I’ll explain anyway. Exercising outdoors is great and wonderful. But occasionally (like today), it’s way too cold for sensible, normal human beings to be outside. Other times (way more often, sadly, out here) it’s way too HOT for sensible, normal people, etc. etc. So having the option of going to a nice, temperature-controlled place to exercise isn’t a bad idea. Plus, if the weather’s REALLY bad, there won’t be so many people, so my agoraphobia won’t be triggered!
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  2. VARIETY – Yeah, I love my walking, and my bicycling. But every so often, I get the idea that I’d like to try something completely different. Something completely nuts! Something (more likely than not) that I saw on TV. Well, since I don’t have an unlimited budget for exercise equipment, chances are I won’t be able to purchase the intricate equipment needed for that weird form of exercise. BUT – since I belong to a major Big Box gym, chances are they’ve already got something there that approximates what I’m jonesin’ for, and maybe even have classes in it. So there’s some potential financial benefits to keeping the membership.
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  3. INERTIA/LAZINESS. I’ve already GOT the membership. It’s already set up. I’ve already paid the initial fees, and gone through the hassle of setting up the monthly payments, giving them pretty much every finger- and thumbprint I’ve got, and saving my favorite (or least objectional) locations on my Google Maps. And I know, from previous experience, that if I quit, I’m going to want to rejoin at some point in the future – because I’ve already done it twice within the last 20 years. Do I really want to go through all that hassle again? Not really. Let sleeping dogs (or cats, in our household) lie.
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  4. I DO, OCCASIONALLY, GO THERE. Not as often as I should, but more often than I imagine. Every once in a while, I wake up from an uneasy, restless sleep, and there it is: the guilt. “Why aren’t you going to the gym? YOU PAID FOR IT! Use it, you lazy bum!” (or bum-ess – not sure if there’s a female version of that noun, but if not, well, TM me, then!) So I get up, have breakfast, have coffee, have more coffee, take some coffee with me to the car, drive around for a while listening to the radio, and then, when I can’t think of anything else to do, park the car at one of my bookmarked Google Maps locations and, yes, GO INSIDE THE GYM. Then, once I’m in, it’s almost impossible not to do SOME form of exercise, if only so the perky young gals at the front won’t think I’m just some old lady with nothing better to do. Of course, they probably don’t think anything of the sort, mainly because there are plenty of other old ladies there and most of us obviously don’t have anything better to do, so they’re used to us.
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  5. And finally (whew!), reason number five (drum roll please), THIS:

    Yeah, I don’t care how many scare stories get published in the Lamestream Media about how dirty and infectious gym pools and hot tubs are. I still love ’em! And I know you find this hard to believe, but even though I live in sunny Southern California, we don’t have a swimming pool in our backyard. Well, we do occasionally, when we remember to pick one up at Walgreens.

    But they’re not really as good as the ones at the gym. Plus, there’s a hot tub there, and being old, I tend to get chilly a lot.
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So – there you have it! The best five arguments I can come up with AGAINST quitting my gym membership in 2018. During the next few weeks, I’ll be comparing them to my arguments FOR quitting (and lest you forgot, here they are), and making a decision. Maybe. It’s still me, after all.

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Oh well – at least I got one thing accomplished today: this blog post! Now, for my reward:

And oh yeah, there’s one other decision I have to make: whether to do my Weekly Weigh-In this Monday. Which, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock (or in Iraq, for all I know) happens to be CHRISTMAS!!! so I might be busy opening presents from Santa Claus or sipping hot cider by the fireplace or something. What do you say? Can I take the day off? Or maybe the rest of the year? I’m open to suggestions! Meantime – –

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, and Serenity Now!

Good morning, everyone! Hey, did you know it’s just exactly one week (7 days) till Christmas morning? Are you ready? Have you got your moral compass synchronized, to resist all those last-minute wiles of the satanic, evil merchants and credit card companies? Remember, they just LOVE to see you wildly overspend this week. Who cares if you have to mortgage all your worldly possessions to pay their usurious interest charges? I mean, everyone knows Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we’re celebrating, WANTS you to buy everyone on your list a ridiculously overpriced box of chocolates, and have it delivered by one of their wildly UNDERpaid employees. Don’t even think about just making some homemade cookies and delivering them yourself! That’s … that’s just decadent, man! Get a REAL present, you cheapskate!

Anyway, time for the Weekly Weigh-in! Ready? Here goes!

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Time to do some little kicks!
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I have to confess, I was a little worried. My knees have been sore for a couple of days. Sometimes that means it’s going to rain. (Yes, that’s right — I have weather-predicting knees!)

"My back says 'low pressure', my joints say 'cold' and my old UFC injury says 'snow'. Back to you, Katie."

Comes in handy, when they’re accurate! However, this time I didn’t think that “rain” was the reason, since, if you’ve been paying attention to the news cycle, we’re currently experiencing some crazy-dry winds and horrific wildfires, out here in beautiful sunny Southern California.

And btw, if you really want to give a meaningful Christmas gift, how about taking all that money you were going to use to buy a piece of crap for your great-aunt Tilly, and donate it to the American Red Cross instead? They’ll use it to help someone whose Christmas has been all but destroyed by the wildfires or some other disaster. Someone who actually NEEDS it.

Unlike your third cousin Jerry, in Oklahoma. You know, Jerry — that guy you’ve never actually seen in person since you were both five years old, but your mom always asks you if you sent him a card, and makes you feel vaguely guilty (moms have a way of doing that) when you say “no” because apparently Jerry’s mom and your mom went to summer camp together, so he’s really almost like your own brother, sort of, so why didn’t you send him something, you cheap bastard?

Well, my advice is, send the money to the Red Cross, and send Jerry an email saying you did it in his name. (CC your mom, just in case.) The Red Cross will use it wisely. You’ll feel better. Jerry won’t care.

And remember – whatever you do – whatever you give – whatever you celebrate or don’t celebrate – enjoy your week, and don’t let the rampant materialism destroy your peace of mind! Serenity Now!

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Friday Five: It’s already October??

Hi, everyone! Time once again for my “Friday Five” – here we go!

1. If you haven’t already encountered it, do whatever you can to get access to any episodes you can find of the great Canadian sitcom “Corner Gas,” created by a comic genius named Brett Butt (yes, it’s his real name!). Specifically, look for an episode called “Blog River,” in which Brett’s best pal Hank starts a blog – and can’t get anyone to read it! I don’t know about you, but there are times when I TOTALLY identify with Hank! Ah, yes, blogging is a lonely life …

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And by the way, you can still read Hank’s Blog, “Hank Talkin’,” here at WordPress!

2. Walking is great exercise. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, it’s good for your joints, it’s mildly calorie-burning, and you can save gas by walking to the store instead of driving there. So why can’t I make myself go out and walk every day? Huh? Huh? You tell me.

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3. It’s October 6. That means it’s LESS THAN THREE MONTHS TILL CHRISTMAS AAAAHHH!! And I haven’t even started to THINK about Christmas shopping. (Well, that’s not completely true. I’ve thought about OTHER people shopping for ME! nyuk nyuk!)

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4. After weeks of complaining, my husband bought some new bathroom scales! They’re actually pretty nice. What I like about them is that the numbers are HUGE, they light up, and they STAY there on the screen long enough for me to step off, lean over, and read them, squinting. (I don’t always have my glasses on, first thing in the morning.) But I must admit, I feel a little sorry for the ol’ WW scales, leaning there against the wall, forlorn, forgotten … they did the best they could, poor things …

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5. Do you have a Trader Joe’s near you? If not, you should seriously consider moving. They have these delicious, juicy Mahi Mahi burgers that are super-easy to prepare, yummy as all get-out, and only 110 calories each! Now, I personally hate the actual experience of SHOPPING there – not to mention parking! For some reason, they always seem to have the WORST parking lots.

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However, my husband loves it, so I make sure he always has a nice long list. If you’ve got someone in your life you can con — er, I mean, convince! — to shop there for you, make sure those Mahi Mahi burgers are on your list!

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That’s all, folks! Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday for the Weekly Weigh-in!

Friday Five – Let the Holiday Food Fest(s) Begin!

  1. Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you’re looking forward to a perfectly scintillating First Weekend of October! At my little church, we’re looking forward to our annual Parish Family Festival, which basically means FOOD FOOD FOOD! Yours truly will be baking not one, not two, but THREE of her fantabulous Key Lime pies tomorrow, and they will NOT be “low calorie” or “healthy” – they will be DELICIOUS!!

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  2. And of course, that means it’s the start of the dreaded Holiday Food Season! As us dieters are only too well aware, there’s a HUGE wave of food temptations heading our way over the next three months.

    All Hallows Eve isn’t as big an issue for me as it used to be, thanks to a brainstorm I had a few years ago (when buying candy for trick or treaters, ONLY buy candy you absolutely HATE, so you won’t be tempted to scarf it all down yourself).

    Thanksgiving is a little more problematic due to the turkey, dressing, and of course, GRAVY (my ancient nemesis!) flowing like a river through the whole works.

    Then, of course, there’s the Birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ*, which translates into all sorts of delectable sweeties, for days and days and days and…

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    It’ll be tough, but hang in there – we’ll get through it together!

    (By the way, I know some of you may celebrate some other holidays – Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, etc. – and that’s fine! This isn’t a religious blog. But I’m all about the Christmas stuff, so you’ll just have to put up with it. Sorry! Anyway, I understand from informed sources that those holidays have their own sets of food issues as well. Dieting is an ecumenical issue!)

  3. Is anyone else watching Seth MacFarlane’s witty sci-fi series, “The Orville”? Last night’s episode featured one of the alien characters, in a fit of depression, sitting in front of the TV watching “The Sound of Music” while scarfing down a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream, which he’d obtained by asking the computer what people did when they were depressed. How about you? What’s your comfort food? Maybe in future posts, we’ll explore some lower-calorie options for those days when you just… can’t…

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  4. Man, it’s hard to come up with five things, first thing in the morning. Of course, I haven’t had my coffee yet. I did get up early to let the cats out, let the cats back in, feed the cats, give the cats their morning treats, clean out the cats’ litter boxes, cats cats cats cats cats…

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  5. Don’t tell anyone, but there aren’t any actual “Key Limes” in my Key Lime pie. They’re just plain ol’ limes. That’s because I zest them myself, and regular-size limes are a LOT easier to scrape than those tiny itsy bitsy ones. Yet I still call it “Key Lime Pie.” What’s wrong with me?

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A few Friday quickies!

When I started this blog, I imagined writing long posts, maybe (in my incredible optimism) even one per day.

Well, rather than wait for inspiration to strike, today I’m going to emulate Amy Welborn’s weekly “7 Quick Takes” over at Charlotte was Both, and just do a post with a few short, pithy* observations, comments, and whatnot.

  1. Happy first day of Fall! Yes, the leaves have started turning gorgeous colors (even out here in Southern California); the temperatures have been dropping (57 degrees Fahrenheit this morning, brr!!); and most importantly, the Christmas decorations are showing up at the drugstores. So we know it’s coming, right? The dreaded Holiday Season (aaughh!!) which causes so much angst to so many (and not just us dieters!).

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    But be of good cheer – one of the advantages of getting older is that time seems to pass a lot more quickly. Before you know it, it’ll be Spring again (aaughh!!).

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  2. In Praise of Fake Foods: Again, I was gonna do a whole blog post on this, and in fact, maybe I will, in the future. But yesterday I had a couple of completely fake slices of “vegan cheese,” and I just have to say, they were actually not too bad. A little oily-tasting (engine, not vegetable), but there was enough of a hint of a taste of actual cheese in it to satisfy my Cheese Lust, for a few minutes, anyway. So yay fake cheese, I guess (but not for too much longer!).
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  3. My husband is freaking out, on an almost daily basis, about the fact that our venerable old Weight Watchers digital scale (which, I’d like to point out, HE selected and purchased) is slightly inaccurate. Actually, it’s INCREDIBLY inaccurate. And not in a good way, like the even older analog scale which it replaced, which you could easily readjust (downwards) by sliding the little metal lever at the back just a li-t-t-l-e bit to the right. No, this one goes UP by two or three pounds, within a matter of seconds. I keep telling him to just do the weigh-yourself-every-day-and-only-count-the-average method, and he says he does, but he still freaks out. I sense some new scales in our future.

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  4. I’m doing pretty well with my exercise promises. This week, I did nice long walks (at least 30 minutes) on Tuesday and Thursday, and plan to do another one tomorrow (Saturday), for my bare minimum of three days a week. Now, I know a lot of fitness gurus out there say we should be doing this kind of thing every day. Well, I don’t know about you, but most of my “keeping commitments” energy is spent on remembering to brush and floss every day. So exercising three days a week isn’t too shabby, if you ask me!

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  5. Right now, I’m cooking a really yummy-smelling lunch: no-egg-yolk pasta, topped with just a sprinkling of cheese (the real, non-crankcase kind!), tuna, frozen veggies, and lots and lots and LOTS of garlic and onion powder. Mmm! (And yeah, I’ll definitely be brushing and flossing afterwards!)

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OK, that’s it – my Friday Five! Hope your first day of Fall is a scintillating one. (Dare I say it might be a good time to turn over a new leaf? Hee hee!)

(*watch your pronunciation there!)