You may want to rethink that next bite, treat, or sip! Whoa Nellie! Stop the elbows!!! Have you checked the calories contained in foods these days?  One cup of dry Old Fashioned Oatmeal equals 300 calories.  This does not even begin to include all of the toppings to actually make it edible, i.e., blueberries (79 calories for one cup – I could eat three cups for less calories and turn my entire body into being TOTALLY ANTIOXIDANT!! (don’t we wish it really worked that way?)); 19 calories for 1 tablespoon of Half & Half cream; and thank goodness I do not add any type of a sweetener! Wowzer!

Now, if the above isn’t bad enough just to have a healthy breakfast and with enough calories left not only for lunch, but snacks and dinner, then check into how many minutes of walking it will take to work off each of those items. Get this – it takes 21 minutes of walking to work off 79 calories or one cup of frozen blueberries.  What?  I make myself walk at least 20 minutes even though I shoot for 30+ minutes, but I get too bored.   So, apparently I walk just enough to work off 79 measly calories. Sigh …

This is depressing.   Talk about letting the air out of someone’s balloon!  Couldn’t the nutritional gurus at least lie to help motivate us?  Nooooooo … this is where honesty is not the best policy.  Okay, so, here is what it would take to work off my breakfast and lunch:

1 cup dry Old Fashioned Oatmeal – 300 calories – 39 minutes of walking

1 tbs Half & Half – 19 calories – 5 minutes of walking

1 cup frozen blueberries – 79 calories – 21 minutes of walking

1(4 oz) roasted chicken thigh – 236 calories – 62 minutes!

(The chicken didn’t even walk that much!)

            1 “side order” of steamed broccoli – 104 calories – 28 minutes of walking – dang!

Did you do the calculations? That totaled 155 minutes or 2.59 (oh heck – 3 hours!) of walking just for breakfast and lunch.

At this point, who even wants to consider dinner?  Let’s just skip and head on over to the  5 oz glass of Merlot wine which is a whopping 124 calories resulting in 33 minutes of walking.  (How many of you even have 5 oz wine glasses at home, much less stop at the 5 oz line?  Exactly! Only in restaurants is it acceptable to serve a 5 oz glass of wine!  We are talking 12+ oz wine glasses!)  My thoughts are to walk and drink.  Savor each sip of that 5 oz for those 33 minutes!  Wine isn’t for chugging anyway (unless you are really having a bad day), so one shot glass (aka 5 oz wine glass) should last you for each 33 minute walk.  Yeah, I know, a shot glass is one oz not five, but seriously, it is truly what 5 oz of wine looks and feels like!   How many guys would be happy with 5 oz beer bottles?  Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

All I can say is that you know how some people (me) can’t walk and chew gum, too? I suggest we practice eating, drinking and walking!  Put the next 33 minute walk reward (shot of wine) ahead of me like grilled chicken in front of Dog!  Forget the gum!  Time to pick up the pace!

Ya gotta laugh!

Aunt Maxine


Squirrel Syndrome!

Got your attention, didn’t I? Ha! You just may recognize it once you read the definition. And, watch out! Apparently, it is contagious!   My niece, Maxine Jr., decided to pass it up to me since I and others in the family have been infamous for passing unwanted issues down the line with her in the mainstream.

A friend asked me today via e-mail what was up with my continuous forgetting to do a certain event that is a requirement.  I explained, sorry, but the Squirrel Syndrome takes over when I get distracted.  Her reply was, “huh?”  I could picture her scratching her head.  So, I had to explain.

Do you have times when you are on track, doing exactly what you planned and needing to do? You think, “This is going to be a breeze.” Nope! Something throws you off track. Think of a squirrel coming out of nowhere and you yell, “SQUIRREL”!   Yep, that is the Squirrel Syndrome. You are now off track, can’t remember squat about what you were doing and have no clue where that track went or how to get back to it.

Friend had never heard of it, but she said, too, knowing me that she totally believes it.  Hey!  What can I say?

Welcome to the Squirrel Syndrome Club. It has now been passed down to you!

Now, what was I doing again?

Ya Gotta Laugh!

Aunt Maxine


PJ Party!

Hey girls! Do you remember having slumber parties when you were growing up?  Okay fine, I am still growing up at 60, so let me be more specific – before you were 12ish?   Ahhhh the fun we would have and the shenanigans we would get into!  And don’t forget the boys sneaking over.  We actually had bras hanging from trees at one slumber party.  We have become a little bit more grownup now, so no bras will be hanging from the trees thank goodness!

Girl, let me tell you. Do not ever forget your girlfriends!  I am not talking about boyfriend/girlfriend type relationships. Nope. I am talking about us girls and our girlfriends!  Confidantes!  Sisters by other parents!  Fun influencers!  Now, you’re getting it.  A significant other may not be there tomorrow, but your TRUE girlfriends will always be there with or without the SO!

I recently had a PJ party with a couple of girlfriends and we had a blast! Beer, pizza and the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes!  It was agreed upon in advance that we would all wear PJs.  I am not talking about Victoria Secret lingerie.  I am talking about good ol’ comfy jammies!  If you are going to a girls’ slumber or PJ party wearing sexy lingerie as your PJs, then you aren’t having the same kind of “girlfriend” party and are on the wrong blog!


We loved it! I ran home after work, took care of Dog and all of his issues, packed the cooler with beer, and excitedly changed into my margarita jammies (bottoms with margaritas all over and top with one right in the middle on the front!), washed my face and removed all makeup, pulled the hair back into a scrunchie, slipped on my flipflops, threw Dog his goodbye treat and I was good to go!  Guess I should be posting pics, but nope.  That isn’t happening as that is the whole idea of it!  Fun and just being ourselves, letting our hair down (or putting it up!) and not having to be “public/husband/boyfriend or photo presentable”!


We popped the beer tops, stuffed ourselves with pizza and breadsticks, then piled up and started watching Fried Green Tomatoes.


I apparently had never seen this movie or it has been so long that I had forgotten most or all of it.  I do believe I would have remembered the BBQ aspect of it.  UGH!!!! {GAG}  {GAG}  {GAG}


We laughed. We cried.  We laughed at each other as we were all crying at the same time in the same pose!  Oh yeah!  It doesn’t get much better!  Your girlfriends, confy PJs, good beer, good pizza and a good chick flick!  Girls just wanna have fun!



And it was a girls’ night to remember! Here’s to us!

Ya Gotta Laugh!

Aunt Maxine

Chapter 999,999,999 of Me vs. Dog

I swear this dog is THE most stubborn dog I have ever in my life been around much less owned!   I was so frustrated and upset when I (FINALLY) left for work this morning that I was muttering all the way!  “Darned dog.  You are pushing my last buttons!  Blah blah blah …I’ll put your butt down a lot sooner than you need to be! Blah blah blah  GET OUT OF THE WAY!  JUST GO!!!  … blah blah blah …Dog, you really have no clue how spoiled you are.  Oh yes you do! Blah blah blah  …”

[Note: Before you  get all riled up and have your panties/drawers all in a wad, Dog is not going to be put down unless it is necessary for his quality of life and, then, until it is probably way past time to do so.  I have been this route with two of my prior dogs and it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life.  I love this dog and that is the problem as he knows it ALL TOO WELL!]

Due to the cold weather North Florida has been experiencing this week, Dog has had to spend his days inside. He has not been happy.  He shoots out the back door like a cannon as soon as I open the door every evening.

Apparently this morning, he decided he wasn’t having it. Nope.  He was taking this bull by the horns and directing the decision.  And, that he did!  Midway through  my makeup routine, he comes in bathroom panting and all antsy.  Well, we all know what this means:  1) pain; 2) outside; 3) treats; 4) food; 5) water; and/or 6) just to irritate the daylights out of me because he can.  Number 6 probably needs to be placed in the first spot instead of the very last or, oh heck! Just include it in every one!

This morning it turns out Nos. 2 & 6 were the answers. He was not going to stay inside.  No sirree!  Nope.  Nada.  Not happening. I let him out and continue getting ready for work.  I had already made the decision to leave him outside today as the weather was going to mimic a beautiful Spring day!  (And I have to go to work! Hmph!  And Dog isn’t spoiled?  I go to work while he enjoys all the benefits!)  I am running on time at this point so begin to prepare everything for his outdoor comfort and wellbeing.  In addition, since he will refuse to come inside, I proceed to get his pills and “smoked chicken pill pockets” ready so I can just give to him before I enter my vehicle.  Piece of cake, right?  Nope!  (Why would you even think it would go that easy?)

At this point, I am pushing the clock. Out I go, loading all of the bags (excluding the kitchen sink today) and coffee mug in vehicle while Dog is giving me “that” look – you know, the stank eye (see pic above).  He is lying down behind my vehicle just glaring at me.  I call him.  He saunters on over and the first yum yum he spits out! What?  And then walks off!  You are probably thinking, so leave him as is and don’t worry about his Yum Yums.  You do not understand.  These Yum Yums contain pain pills and Prozac!  I will have to deal with the repercussions of his not taking them and that would not be a good scenario – even worse than what I am going through trying to give them to him.

So, after him I go with the Stuffed Yum Yums. Spits each one out!  I get the Prozac down and start with the rest.  You are going to take these pills if you have to choke on each Yum Yum!  Finally!  Success!  But, at this point, I am not only late for work, but PO’d hence the muttering all the way to work!

I reluctantly send Boss an e-mail that he is used to receiving at least once a week: “Running late, but on my way.” .. ugh … so thankful for a boss who is not a morning person! Whew!

So, of course, on the way to work, who do I get behind ALL THE WAY TO WORK – Slowbees!!!! MOVE! JUST GO FOR GOODNESS SAKE!  GOOOOOOO!!!!!

Lord help me. Better yet, Lord, please help those who cross my path today.  Thank you and amen.

Until the next chapter …

Ya gotta laugh!

Aunt Maxine

P.S. Can Dog come stay with you?



Flying Cars???? What???

Whoa! Nellie! Slow down.  All of my past years have flown by pretty much like they were going downhill on a skateboard and have been since I turned 18 which was way  too many moons ago!



But, technology? WOWZER!!!! It has skipped the hill and skateboard and just jumped off the cliff landing on its feet!




Are you old enough to remember the cartoon, The Jetsons? If not, Google it (your homework assignment).  If so, then you will understand what I am saying.



Never would I have thought flying cars would be in my lifetime. My childhood years involved the 60s which included cartoons such as The Jetsons.  I looooooved The Jetsons!  I thought it was neat to have all of the technology that they had.  I mean, seriously, remotes had not even been thought of at this time.  People had babies which grew into children to be used as remotes, “Maxine, change the channel to 13.”  Now, this didn’t mean we had 13 channels.  No sirree.  We probably only had about 3 or 4 at the most.  And an outdoor antenna attached to our home that looked like a cell phone tower!  Maxine also came in handy with the antenna as well.  “Maxine, go turn the antenna until I tell ya to stop!” If the weather was bad, they would send the brother.  (Yeah!)   (My parents always said children were free labor.)  Yep, those were the days.

I thought my biggest worry on the road would be Pwiuses (aka Prius) and their cousins. But, no, now we will be having cars flying over our heads!!! Yikes! That was close!

Let me explain about my hate relationship with Pwiuses. There is no love-hate relationship. It is a purely hate relationship. Period.  My niece and I have said for years we were pooh (aka a not so nice word) magnets which could attract the wrong kind of people that all of a sudden become connected at the hip, things, etc.  My Pooh Magnet flaw tends to not only attract the undesireables, but also Priuses (“Pwiuses”) and their cousins.   Either I am getting behind every one of these darned cars in my area or these little Tonka toys are multiplying rapidly!!!!  And their family is growing!  Now, Honda, Ford, Nissan, etc., all are getting on the action of Pooh Magnets!  AUGH!!!!!   These little no-go cars I refer to as Pwius’ cousins.  And I call them no-go cars because they can’t go!!!!  We are talking 15-20 mph and that’s gunning it!  AUGH!!! Again!  And I tend to get behind one or MORE every time I put my vehicle on the road.  Never fails.



And worse, my Pooh Magnets have now decided to incorporate more “no-go” vehicles into its group. Namely, the larger and massive SUVs – Tahoes, Suburbans, Yukons, dump trucks (might as well be included!), etc.    I say this because drivers of these vehicles start out at 0 mph and  maybe work up to 35 mph sometime in the next week all to be able to receive 14 mpg instead of 13 mpg.  Now, granted, I used to have a Ford Expedition, but I loved it!  Mind you, it would only get 13 mpg and was like trying to stop a dump truck when hitting the brakes.  So, I do understand, but geez, these are NEW vehicles.  If you can’t afford to drive one, do not buy it!!!




Back to the original subject of the blog – flying cars! You would think that after finding out how much I hate being stuck  behind no-gos, I would love the idea of flying cars!  I did once, but not anymore.  This is a girl who has a 12’ deer stand in her back yard so she can take nature photographs, but have yet to made it to the top.  Why?  Because I am afraid of heights!!!!  This girl does not fly, climb on roofs or up trees, etc.  So, while everyone else will be “Jetson-ing” all around up and above the Pooh Magnets, I will be stuck on the ground going 5 mph behind the no-gos, going outside to turn the antenna and getting up to change the channel on the tv. Sigh …




Ya Gotta Laugh …


Aunt Maxine

You Know It Is Going To Be One Of Those Days …

First, HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! I hope your year is starting off better than mine!

And, today is Dog’s 13th birthday! Happy birthday Buddy! Now, stop being such a cranky little old man!  (I am thankful that he is doing so well as there have been times in the last several months that I really did not think he would make it to today.  Hopefully, more good and aggravating times are in store!)

You know how you can tell it is going to be one of those days? One thing leads to another to another to another to another … STOP ALREADY!   I wish it was that easy!

Well, this is how my morning started – rather early, too, I might add!

            First, I wake up at 2 a.m. and started tossing and turning.  Now, mind you, I do believe Dog can hear my eyes open!  Yes, you heard me.  I don’t know what it is, but somehow he senses I am awake!  After about 30 minutes, my bladder decided it was awake, too.   Great (groaning emphasis added). So, up I get, turn on bathroom light and I hear Dog get up and start coming into the bathroom! Nooooooo!!!  Can I just have some privacy, please?  Oh no.  He wants to go outside RIGHT NOW.   Stands right in front of me and starts panting.  Really?  Can I finish my bizness first?  Now he starts “THE” dance!  In and out of the bathroom!  Gotta go now!  Gotta go now!  No you don’t.  You didn’t have to go until I got up!

            Sigh … up I am.  Now, bathroom and living room lights are on.  Dog is all excited!  Don’t even.  Out he goes.  I grab a throw blankie and crawl up on the sofa and wait.  About 20 minutes later, I realize he isn’t outside doing his bizness, he is probably hunkered down and snoozing somewhere.  I call him.  Here he comes sauntering over from beside the house.    Get your butt in here now!  More sauntering aka lollygagging.  It is now about 3 a.m. and I am wide awake and so is DOG! Ugh.

            I grab my pillow and another throw blankie and decide I will go back to sleep on the sofa.  I start catching up on the news and FB.  About an hour later, 4 a.m., I am starting to doze off! Yay!  Still about another 1-1/2 hours of sleep that I can catch before the alarm starts.   I barely closed my eyes when BAWK BAWK BAWK BAWK!  What?  Yep, the alarm!  Snooze!  Ahhhh … BAWK BAWK BAWK BAWK!  Snooze!  This went on for way too long.  I am now running late. Period.

            Coffee poured, Dog’s breakfast ready and he wolfs it down while I maybe have one or two sips of coffee and trying to catch the weather to see if the temp will allow him to be outside or require an inside nervous doggie day!   Ready to go outside?  I open the door and NOPE!  He plops down in the middle of the floor.  This dog has really gotten stubborn over the last several years.  I am, like, great.  If temp is going to be too cold for outside, then it means Dog just ate dry dog food with cooked brown rice, peas, carrots, chicken livers/gizzards and his “bizness” is not going to wait for 8-10 hours! GREAT (another groan sarcasm emphasis added!).  I make him go outside anyway so I can jump in shower and get ready for work.

           Well, after shower, I walked to laundry room where I discovered the jumbo Ziploc bag full of what “WAS” newly purchased bags of frozen strawberries, mango, etc. on the floor by the freezer! Yep, the evening before, I had to do a butt up in air to get to the veggie scrap bag to save $2.00 worth of leftover fresh sage only to lose $20.00 worth of frozen fruit.  You realize the strawberries are going to be mush, don’t you?  Well, I threw the entire bag in a huge bowl and placed in refrigerator to deal with this evening.

           I check on Dog and he doesn’t look like he has budged from the deck.   The day just keeps getting better and better and better and I haven’t even left for work yet!!!

          The weather finally came on at a time that I was able to watch it. YES!  Temps are good for Dog to be outside!  And, of course, as I grab everything to head out the door, Dog is all about going outside.  At least two things out of what seem like 100 are working out. Whew!  Now, remember, my day actually started at 2 a.m. and it was already 8:40 a.m. which meant I should have already been on my way!  Not to mention, today was first day of school since the Christmas holidays!  Running late plus traffic plus the morning I am having = not good!

         Needless to say, the morning commute did not venture from the rest of the morning. I get behind not only a school bus, but also a garbage truck on a two-lane road and a huge SUV that is trying to get 15 mpg instead of 14 mpg by going 35 in a 45 mph zone.

         I do the dreaded – send Boss the dreaded weekly e-mail – running late, but on my way! (Thank goodness he isn’t a morning person either!)  Unfortunately, he decides to come in after he said he would be late and his feet hit the floor running when he walked through the door.  My feet were still back at home on the sofa!

          It may be a new year, but some things never change!

Ya gotta laugh!

Aunt Maxine


God’s Miracle …


Hmmm … wonder how many of today’s blogs will be reflecting on the past year.  Well, count another one as this one is doing so as well and is more of a long read than most of my blog posts.

I have thought for a long time on how to do this post as I am usually a happy-go-lucky type of girl, love to laugh, prefer humor over doom, etc., even though my glass is usually always half empty versus half full. Hey!  I have references – multiple columns of too many pages to count!  So there!  The last two years have been a roller coaster health-wise and 2016 seemed to be starting off like it was going to be the steep fall of them all.

On my two-year anniversary of stop smoking, I was having a Pet Scan for possible lung cancer.    I could not believe it.  Me?  No.  Not me!  It can’t happen to me!  Slow lines, slow drivers, bad luck, worst scenarios, half empty glasses, etc., yes, but not something this serious.   We are all immortal, aren’t we?  I hate to tell you, but no, we aren’t.  No matter how old we are, we think we are immortal.  We think it won’t happen to us, but it can.  Only God knows what the plan is for each of us.

I had told the Pet Scan tech when the scan had been completed, “Well, it is in God’s hands now.”  He replied, “Don’t worry until you receive the results.”  That pretty much told me right there.  Techs see the bad stuff a lot.  They know.  They just can’t tell you less they lose their jobs and maybe even their license and I would never ask them to put their careers on their line.  And I already knew as I had been having CT scans for 2 years to monitor two nodules in the lung and this would have been my last CT scan had there been no change.  When I received the call that the Pet Scan was being scheduled, I cried, again.  Since being informed of the two nodules, I cried every time I saw my pulmonologist for my follow-ups just knowing he was going to tell me I had cancer.  But, he was always so tender and caring as well as his staff.  He is like a girlfriend!  I love him! And his staff is awesome! They all feel like family.

One of my besties went with me to receive the results of the Pet Scan, but I already knew which is why I allowed her to go.  I knew I would need her.  I am normally a very private person.  I don’t need anyone, but am always there to help others.  I learned differently.  Doc showed us the Pet Scan on the computer.  This new evil playmate in the lung’s playground was lit up like a Christmas tree.  This was not the same playmate as the two we had been monitoring for the past two years.  This new playmate was a fast grower and had only been there for maybe three months.  He was a bully.  I needed surgery ASAP.  No waiting.  Bestie stepped in and took control of my life at that point and scheduled everything I needed.  I had no clue and could not think of anything except work.    I needed to go to Moffitt, but being single with a dog this just wasn’t possible.  Bestie, her parents, my family, close friends, Boss/employer, coworkers, etc  all stepped in and made sure Moffitt would definitely be in the plan.  We had girlfriends’ trips to/from Moffitt and surgery was scheduled for May 3, 2016.  I had been evaluated by a local surgeon and the Moffitt thoracic surgeon, who together with my pulmonologist , and after reviewing the Pet Scan, said it would be a 1 out of 1,000,000 chance that this was NOT cancer.

I had always believed in God, but thought that was enough.  I wasn’t raised in the church due to some family issues.   But, I was still taught to believe in God.  I had started going to church after finding out about the initial two playmates in the lung playground that were found in 2014.  I had always wanted someone to go to church with, but never really found anyone that would and then this happened and a friend of mine suggested a local church.  So, I started going and kept going as much as I could.  But, there was still a distance between me and God, I just didn’t realize it.

I had started praying on a daily basis when I started attending church.  When I had been diagnosed with Stage I Lung Cancer after the Pet Scan, I started praying even more.  About a week before my surgery, I started praying even more intensely and asked God that if He would heal my cancer, I would witness for Him.  I did this every day.    But, I also said, if not, okay.  Just please carry me through this.

On May 3, 2016, I had surgery that involved removal of and biopsy of the evil playmate along with biopsies of four surrounding areas in the same lung.  Dr. Fontaine at Moffitt, my thoracic surgeon, woke me up in recovery  and said, with both his hands above his head, “No Cancer!!!”  The nurses said they had a difficult time getting me back to sleep. Well, duh!

Dr. Fontaine then went to my family and friends waiting and informed them.  They were jaw-dropped shocked. They couldn’t say a word.  They were in tears.  A call was made to my office and everyone was speechless.

I had been granted the greatest gift – one of God’s Miracles.  God had healed my cancer. 

Now, about a month later, I fell and broke my left arm just under my shoulder joint.  This I was not happy about and not very thankful for.  I have lived 60 years without a broken bone and why now????

That is neither here nor there.  You know why?  Because, I realized I had a distant relationship with God.  And His bringing a miracle to my life brought me closer to Him.   And, as I promised Him, I am witnessing for Him.  Thank you God.  You are Awesome!

I look forward to 2017.  But, God, would you mind leaving out some of the medical stuff since you have me now?

I wish for you and yours a Happy, Safe and Blessed New Year!

Ya gotta pray and laugh!

Aunt Maxine