Bluesie Magoo, Ms. Geepers and Me!

This was a first for me.  Was it a bucket list item?  Not at the time, but guess someone wrote it in and I have now checked it off as “DONE”!  What was “it”?   Driving to Tennessee by myself and in the pouring down rain!  It may be more like two bucket list items as this girl does not like to drive in the rain even when I am in familiar territory, much less when I have no clue where I am and/or going!  And I don’t do mountains!

Let me introduce the trio:  Me – well, hopefully, I do not have to tell you who I am, but for all of you newbies, I am Aunt Maxine; Bluesie Magoo – my trusty old vehicle which is a blue 2008 Chevrolet SUV that has only about 94,000 miles on him; and Ms. Geepers (pronounced “Gee-pers”) – the GPS – who often times does not know where she is either or to where she is taking me!  Ms. Geepers and I have had some really gritty conversations!

This is the longest trip that Bluesie Magoo has made as his average is about five hours.  I never really trusted him before since he seemed to stay in the shop a lot (monthly for about a year) when I first adopted him in 2012.  He was used and maybe abused or maybe it was me being abused by the dealership!  Since I started taking him to my personal mechanic instead of the dealership, he is loving life a lot more and so am I!  (History of Bluesie Magoo is a story for another day.) So, I decided to put Bluesie Magoo to the test – a 12 hour test!   Yes, it took me 12 hours to drive what should have been a 9-10 hour trip at the most!  It was Ms. Geepers’ fault!

One reason I do not like to travel is I HATE (and, yes, I said the word “HATE” and I hate the word “HATE”) driving on interstates.  They are dangerous.  I like to make sure I have my estate planning documents all in order and updated before I enter onto an interstate even just for a short jaunt around the town.  People are nuts as soon as they get on an interstate.   It is like social media – people tend to show their craziness on social media; same thing on the interstate highways – drivers tend to show their immortality and crazy thinking! Wowzer!  Slow down buddy!  If one makes a bad move, it is over for a whole slew of others who are in close proximity!  Therefore, I tend to travel the back roads which is more enjoyable anyway as they allow you to view the countryside.  There is so much personality in the small towns along back roads.  Check out these traffic signs in Baconton, GA.



.How quaint!  Loved them





You do not see stuff like this on the interstate highways.  This is one of those you stop and smell the roses IN THE RAIN!



Okay, so these are like daisies, but you know the cliche!  Roses, daisies, freshly mowed grass, whatever!

And if it is raining, the drivers are even more crazy and immortal on the interstate highways! AUGH!  So, what do I do?  I ask Ms. Geepers to avoid the highways and let’s go the backroads.  Well, apparently, she can’t decipher between highway and interstate.  Really?   I couldn’t figure out where I was half the time which is scary as it was raining most of the way.  And this girl doesn’t do travel and rain at the same time.  Ms. Geepers was taking me almost to the western side of Georgia when I needed to just go parallel with I-75, just not on I-75.  Hello????  Then, she takes me on these really back backroads!  I have no clue where I am.  There are no signs other than a street sign or two and she keeps telling me to turn.  Then, this was where she and I about butted heads big time – turn left – what?  That’s a clay road going behind a house and looks like it is going up a mountain!!  Nooooo!  What?   I turn around in the driveway of the house and, she then tells me to turn right onto the clay road!!!  NOOOOO!  For one, I have lived on a clay road and it isn’t fun when the clay is wet!  Slip sliding away!   And, two, it looked like it was going into the middle of nowhere and never to be heard from again!  This girl wasn’t turning.  Nuh -uh!  Nada!  Ain’t happening!  No!  Ms. Geepers, you are nuts!

So, I try to double back and lo and behold, I find this 4 lane highway that she was trying to keep me off of that goes right by where I assume the Never to be Heard From Again Road comes out.   Why can’t you just let me do these little highways????  Next, she has me go all the way around to come back out to this highway again.  Really?  All I wanted to do was go to Tennessee to see my niece and the boys in this lifetime!  Is that too much to ask, Ms. Geepers?  Apparently it is as this happens more and more throughout the trip!  I was so ready to embrace I-75!!!

I finally make it up just south of the Tennessee/GA line and I hop onto I-75!  I was never so happy to see this interstate!!!    I would have stopped, kissed the highway if it weren’t for the fact I would become a dead frogger!  Besides, all I was trying to do was avoid Atlanta and the crazies!  The rest of the drive was okay, not great, as I ran into more rain in Knoxville and it was dark!   I finally made it safely and everyone had to get up early for work the next morning, so they were already asleep – woke up long enough to help me in, get and receive hugs – then zzzzzzz again.  That’s family.  We are good with being considerate of each other by saying – go to bed – See ya tomorrow! Love ya!

For my route home?  I decided to take I-75 as it was a Sunday and I had to be at work the next morning.  And Ms. Geepers won.  At least the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day to crank up the sounds and taking it on down the road!  On the road again (one of my favorite all time traveling songs by Bob Seger) …


I stopped and had breakfast with a Bestie who also lives in Tennessee. And I arrived home in a timely manner with time to sit back with a glass of wine and go ahhhhhhhh …life is good!

Ya Gotta Laugh,

Aunt Maxine


One Year Ago Today …

One year ago today, May 3, 2017, God chose me to receive one of His blessed miracles.   It was a beautiful and bittersweet time and witnessed by so many of my family and friends (“Loved Ones”).  It is also a time that I do not regret and would do over again to receive His blessings.  Please note though I do not wish another of “THE Event” on myself and Loved Ones at all, but once you read the story, I think you will understand why I say I do not regret THE Event and would do it over again.

You see, it was one year ago today that I was admitted into the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida and underwent lung resection for Stage I Lung Cancer of the upper right lung. I was being monitored for the two prior years with regard to several nodules in the same lung to insure they were nothing more than maybe scar tissue.  In March of 2016, I had what was supposed to be my last CT Scan.  I would no longer require a CT Scan if the nodules had not changed.  Unfortunately, undergoing one CT or PET Scan is equivalent to being in the sun 350 days straight which is why these diagnostic tests are done more routinely. (Yes, I asked!)  My being a “former” smoker of 44 years (I quit for good on March 19, 2014) places me at high risk for lung cancer, so I knew The Event would more than likely happen and it was just a matter of time.

My anxiety level would climb mountain high as the time approached every year for the annual CT scan and pulmonologist’s appointment. My poor pulmonologist was so good and more like a girlfriend.  I loved him and his staff.  Anna, his RN, was just as country as she could be, but she was an excellent nurse and even though she was probably younger than me, she had that Country Mama personality that you just felt safe when she was in the room.  She was fulfilling God’s calling to do what she does.  I felt like I had known her all of my life.  As soon as Doc would walk into the room, I would start bawling!!  He kept telling me he was not concerned about those nodules.  I am like, well, then why do I have to have them monitored?  They always made sure a fresh box of tissues was in the room!

All of my annual appointments seem to fall in the first quarter of every year.   It wasn’t until I was approaching what was supposed to be my last CT Scan when I started feeling like it was going to be okay and not allow my anxiety and worry to climb.  Nothing was going to happen.  The nodules had not changed in the last scan and therefore I was not going to be anxious for nothing.   This would be my last one.  Unfortunately, that was not to be the case.

I received a phone call from Doc’s office scheduling me for a PET Scan. I was stunned and devastated as I knew what it meant.  PET Scans are to determine where cancer is living in your body.  I did not tell a soul as I needed to be able to process it.  I cried and cried.  And I begged God for the strength, grace and mercy that I would need to get through whatever was to come.

I finally told a close friend, Bestie, who took over for me and rallied my close family and friends.   She and her mom went with me to the local doctor appointments and took over my life for me while I concentrated on getting my office and home ready for me to be out of commission for a while.  They were a Godsend and a true blessing!!!  I have always been the friend that was there when needed, but refused to allow anyone to be there for me.   Bestie made me chunk that policy!

Arrangements were made for me to go to Moffitt Cancer Center where I became a patient of Jacques Fontaine, M.D. and his team. They were AWESOME!  The entire facility is AWESOME!  Bestie and close family/friends came from afar to be there with me throughout while many others were on standby to be on the road if and when needed.  Again, I have been truly blessed throughout my life.

But, it wasn’t until I was in recovery, doped up, that I recall Dr. Fontaine coming in, waking me up and standing there with both hands in a touchdown position, yelling, “NO CANCER!!!”   Those in the waiting room were stunned as well.  EVERYONE WAS STUNNED!

He had taken a small “wedge” from my upper lung (via computerized robot), along with taking four biopsies of that lung, and all were found to be NEGATIVE, including the Evil Playmate!!!   Now let me tell you, Mr. Evil Playmate (the nugget) was lit up like a Christmas tree on the PET Scan.  None of the specialists even suggested that it may not be cancer.  All of the recommended treatments were for Stage I lung cancer.

I had been praying like I had never prayed before beginning with the first time a nugget was even found on March 19, 2014. Then, when Mr. Evil Playmate appeared, I prayed and prayed even more.  About a week before the surgery, I told God that if He would heal me, I would witness for him.   You see, I had always believed in God, but had this distant relationship with Him that I did not realize was distant.

On May 3, 2016, by God blessing me with a miracle, He closed the distance in my relationship with Him. I now attend church or watch Dr. Charles Stanley every Sunday.  I read a daily devotional every day.   I talk to Him in prayer every morning and evening and throughout each day.  I now have a thirst for the knowledge of knowing Him and becoming the person He wants me to be.   I, like everyone else, am still a work in progress and will always be as I am human and not a saint.

And that, my friends, is why I said I would do it all over again if it was for the same reason – to bring me closer to Him.

In addition, another very good friend of mine underwent a bilateral mastectomy last week and received her pathology reports today. She, too, was blessed with a miracle on this day, one year later, as the pathology reports were negative for any cancer having spread beyond the one breast.  Please keep her in your prayers as she recovers and works to remain cancer-free.

And this is to God: I thank you for all the blessings and miracles You have bestowed upon me in my lifetime and continue to do so. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

God is Good!

Aunt Maxine!



I do not think either one of us expected to see the other.  At least, I know I didn’t.

I keep the curtains closed in the front of the house since it faces the south and heats up fast.   I have thought several times of keeping a pot holder in my purse to be able to open the front door!  That bad boy gets hot during the summer months!  OUCH!

The house was starting to get a little dark due to some dark clouds that were blowing in so I proceeded to open all of the curtains on the front side.  I got a little surprise when I opened my bedroom window curtains!  I am standing up close and personal to a Mama Cardinal sitting in her nest.  We were so close I could have identified her in a lineup of other Mama Cardinals!   She gave me that “What the heck?” look!

I almost cut down the tree yesterday but, thankfully, did not have time.  It is more of a tree wannabee in the making – in other words, a baby tree!   In the last few months, Dog would lie at the bottom of it nestled in the pampas grass when he was hurting and trying to hide from the world.  He made a bed in each of the 4 pampas grasses that I had planted.  He made himself a bed right in the middle – splitting them and looking more like a path.  Emotionally, I was a little hesitant in cutting it down, but knew I needed to before it got much bigger.  I am glad I didn’t have time.  I would have been devastated to find out afterward it contained a bird’s nest with eggs.   This will be great though because I can share daily photos of the babies once the eggs hatch and occasional photos of Mama Cardinal.  I love cardinals!  Red is my favorite color so go figure.

Years ago, before social media and digital cameras, I had a nest of hawks in the back which was located on top of a debris pile that was to be burned and was about four feet high.   I was surprised Mama Hawk did not place her nest in a more secure area.  I would walk down every afternoon and take photos of the babies.  I kept waiting for Mama to swoon down and attack me, but she never did.  One of the babies was a runt and sickly.  I actually watched him/her die and it broke my heart.  I couldn’t wait to get home after work every day so I could check on them and take their photos.

I love hearing birds sing, frogs croaking (which is usually an alert that it is going to rain!), etc.  Having a bird nest outside my bedroom window is one of the perks of living in the country.  (There are a lot of non-perks, too, like wildlife I don’t want to deal with much less photograph!)  I also have a nest on the back deck, but that Mama Bird is a little skittish and ends up scareing both me and her when she suddenly darts out of her nest!  So I have to tiptoe around her.  I have to hold on to the rails when I go down the steps as I am worried she will fly out and scare the doo waddling pooh (aka poop! another southern term) out of me!

Should I turn on the tv so she won’t be bored?

Ya Gotta Laugh!

Aunt Maxine!

Hitting Two Birds with One Stone …

WHOA PETA Members/Supporters/Organizers, STOP!  Slow down and don’t go there – this is only a figure of speech – an Ol’ Southern cliché. No one (that I am aware of at least) is trying, much less able, to hit two birds with one stone.  I mean, seriously, I can barely knock down one bowling pin with a bowling ball.  So, let’s continue on.

You know that moment when you realize you should have listened to Him (Him being God) and didn’t? Yeah, well, that moment hit me this morning like an iron skillet upside the head (again, figure of speech.  Darn!  I know now what manufacturers feel like with all of their warning signs on products, i.e., an Iron: WARNING!  Hot when plugged in!  (Ya think?)  SQUIRREL!


Yep, I keep getting off track – it is in my DNA.   [See the past Squirrel blog.]

God did everything BUT hit me on the head with an iron skillet this morning trying to tell me not to go my normal route to work. But, did I listen?  Noooooooooo … not me!  What do I do instead? I ended up going around the world and being about 15 minutes late(r) to work.  I am so thankful Boss is not a morning person either and was out of town today!

It was one of those mornings when I just couldn’t get it together after a very busy and stressful past two weeks. All I wanted to do was crawl back under the covers and sleeeeeeeep!  My “normal” arrival time to work is 9 a.m. give or take a few or more minutes. (I get this from my mom who was never on time anywhere!)  I was in a mental fog.  My mascara disappeared and I still have no clue to where.  I just used it yesterday and keep all of my makeup items in one cosmetic bag.  My coffee kept spilling out of my sippy cup – yes, I am even messy with a sippy cup! Ugh.  And I didn’t change from my black flipflop sandals to a more office-appropriate pair even for Casual Friday.  And all of this before I even got to the vehicle.

Once inside the vehicle, my phone (“Mr. Siri” with an Australian male voice – oooh la la) automatically phone lights up with – “27 minutes to work via T-ville Road” and then the GPS (“Mr. Geeps”) picks up and tries to tell me to do the same route.  Um …. Thinking …. Mmmm … No.  I hate that route.  But, here I was thinking Mr. Geeps was just trying to tell me which route would be quickest.  Little did I know IT was right, but not due to the route itself!

[Note: T-ville Road is not my favorite route as it is multi-lanes of bumper-to-bumper, dog eat dog inconsiderate drivers.   My peaceful mood is no longer by the time I arrive at my destination when I take that route.  I prefer the scenic countryside, two-lane canopy roads route where drivers are actually allowed to go slow because you cannot move from/to any other lane and no passing is allowed due to the curvy road.]

So, I decide to not listen to Mr. Siri  or Mr. Geeps as when I approached the end of the driveway, what do I see to the right but a schoolbus stopped picking up neighborhood kids. Mmmm… nope, need to beat the schoolbus out which is going my normal route, so I take off out of the driveway telling Mr. Siri and Mr. Geeps,  no thank you, but I have this one.   I can hear them both saying, “Yeah, not so fast Missy!  You are going to regret this one!”  Whatever!

Off I go taking my normal scenic route and it has limited traffic (probably due to the schoolbus holding everyone up).   Then it happens!  I see flashing blue lights ahead of the all of the red brake lights that are lining up behind as well.  Oh Snap!  Seriously?  No biggie.  The LE Officer will re-route the traffic around the auto accident one lane at a time.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t happening anytime soon.  No oncoming traffic is getting through other than those drivers in line who are now doing a 10-point turn (with these small lanes and deep drop-offs, 3 point turns aren’t always possible) and going a different route.   I now do my 10-point turn and go back through a large subdivision that apparently everyone else is doing as well since the main roads are backing up.

Well, it wasn’t Mr. Siri or Mr. Geeps trying to tell me – it was GOD using them as his transmittors! Now, I normally try to listen to Him when He is trying to get my attention.  But, for some reason this morning, He wasn’t getting through.  And God tried to tell me TWICE!  Take the T-ville Road route!  Take the T-ville Road route!!!   My child, next time you will listen to Me.  Yes sir.

I finally arrive to work 15 minutes “later” than I normally arrive. If I had only listened to Him … sigh

And the two birds with one stone? God not only helped me with fodder for The Blog, but maybe saved me from being involved in an accident.   Thank you God.

P.S. And, too, maybe He was helping me to be safe by allowing me to be in a mental fog this morning preventing me from leaving earlier and being involved in that accident.  (Hopefully no one was injured and my prayers are with any and all involved.)

Happy Friday!  Time to do the HaPpY DaNcE!

Ya Gotta Laugh!

Aunt Maxine

Dog’s Celebration of Life & Tribute – 01/04/2004 – 02/27/2017

Warning:  This is a long read, but Dog so earned it.  So bear with me. Humor?  Not so much today.  Dog did provide us with humor in the past which is why I am posting this also in the Humor category.

Sunday evening, 02/26/2017:

My heart is breaking and breaking and breaking as I write this. Tonight, I have had to accept the fact that Dog’s time on earth has reached the end.  Tears are flowing down my face and my nose is so stopped up I can barely breathe.  I can’t sleep!  I am surprised I can even see through my contacts.  How do you say goodbye to a fur baby that has been your protector, entertainer, pain in the butt, comforter, pain in the butt, best friend, pain in the butt, sounding board, child, pain in the butt, right hand man, shadow, pain in the butt, companion for the last 11 years?   Did I say pain in the butt?  As most of you know, he did that part so well!

While my blog is supposed to be all about humor, sometimes humor doesn’t make an appearance until much later when you get beyond the grief, sadness, and heartbreak and/or maybe it is part of the grieving phase.  I am not sure I will be able to find humor in this post, but in Dog’s honor I am going to do my darndest to do so!  He has always been such a prankster and in turn this will be a celebration of his life.  He has been entertainment not only for me, but for my family, friends, Facebook, Twitter and Blog friends.  It was actually family and friends who gave me the idea to create the Blog as they loved hearing what shenanigans Dog was up to next.  I wanted to name the blog “Aunt Maxine and Dog”, but since he was 12 years old at the time of the blog creation and already having issues, I knew that was probably not a good idea.  It broke my heart to not be able to do so, and so I did as many blogs as I could that included him.  To me, it will always be Aunt Maxine and Dog as Dog has definitely been the little Dennis the Menace in canine form and brought joy and laughter to so many people!

Dennis the Menace

If you are too young to know who Dennis the Menace is, then do what you do best and google him!  He is a trip!

Dog and I came to be about a month after I lost my previous dog and she was a force to be reckoned with in her own right.


I lost her Christmas week of 2005.   She came to live with me when she was about two years of age and was with me for about 7 years and was the female canine version of Dennis the Menace, but so smart, sweet and loyal.   I didn’t think I would be ready for another dog for a long time.  But, then, about a month later, after a three-day weekend of walking around outside and looking behind me only to find no one there, coming home to a dark, lonely house, I knew I was ready.  I was lost. I was lonely.  And the house was a lonely dark even during the sunshine.  Apparently God thought so, too, as that following Monday, a good friend of mine at work walked me out at the end of the day and said, “I know it may be too soon for this and I do not want to make you cry, but do you think you would be ready for another dog?”  I was surprised as I could not believe the timing.   Her future son-in-law was looking for a home for Dog as he and Friend’s daughter were living in a townhouse with a crackerbox yard.  Dog had been chewing the furniture and he would be put in the crackerbox yard during the day only to bark all resulting in multiple municipal ordinance citations.

Can we say red flags??????  Furniture chewing?  Barking???  Hmmmm….   I have over three acres with about 2-1/2 fenced.  So, there was plenty of room to roam.  Instead of running the other way, I said okay, bring him out and let us meet.

We hit it off from the beginning.  Former Dog Dad actually got his feelings hurt because Dog went inside with me while Former Dog Dad was still outside beside his truck.  Not even turning around to say goodbye.  But, it didn’t take long.  Dog stayed near the gate for several weeks waiting for Former Dog Dad to return.  That broke my heart.  Happened with former Dog, too, when her Former Dog Dad left her with me.  Can you imagine?  I now can.  Don’t even think your dog will not miss you after a long period of time.  They never stop.



So, in trying to get him settled in and thinking I would not have to buy new dog thingies, I should have known better!  That darned dog would not go near Former Dog’s dishes – I tried.  Water and food dishes.  Nope.  He sort of danced around them.  I thought  mmmm – hmmmm,  she is haunting his butt telling him to stay away from her dishes and her territory!   I had to get him new dishes.  This should have been my first sign because he would not eat or drink out of metal bowls!  Really?  He would only drink out of plastic bowls  as in disposable bowls.   Couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t eat or drink at the kennel until I realized it was the bowls!  Darned dog is a basket case or spoiled arse rotten dog  or both!

So from the beginning, due to Red Flags, Dog stayed outside when I left.  Remember how I said that Former Dog only took one day to learn to stay inside the gate unless received permission otherwise?  Dog?  Are you kidding me?  It took me months and two sessions of dog whisperer training to get him to stay inside the gate!   He only chewed up one pair of my shoes (brand new at that! Grrrr), and a few gardening pots, but other than that, he was in heaven!  He chased squirrels, deer, and barked at nocturnal critters (ugh).  He exerted that energy and became a great dog as long as he was either inside the fence, in a vehicle with the windows partially (half a head) down or on a leash!!!  Otherwise, he was gone!   If he ever got on a scent – especially a deer scent – you and everyone else might as well be poison ivy!  He couldn’t hear or see you!  He was on a mission and he sounded like a herd of elephants on a deer run!

I swear that dog could smell a deer from inside the house!  Unbelievable!  I stopped putting corn and apples out because all I seemed to be doing was fattening up the raccoons and squirrels as Dog kept the deer out of the yard.  It was really funny watching him on his runs.  All four legs would go out and his tail would turn into a propeller.  No joke. I have never seen a dog do this.  I kept trying to get video of Dog on a deer run, but, you just never know when he would take off and go.  So, unless I had a video cam going 24-7 on backyard, it wasn’t going to happen.

It was funny though because eventually the deer realized he couldn’t get beyond the fence and they would bust butt to jump the fence and stop just on the other side, look at him as he is jumping up and down going absolutely nuts.  It was like they were saying, “Nanny nanny boo boo – you can’t catch us!”

He would do this, too, for the squirrels, but not to the level of excitement that he would get with deer.  And he and the squirrels had their own games with each other.  Now, this is the dog that hated, absolutely HATED a bath.  I would have to chase him down just at my bringing out the dog shampoo and a towel.  He knew what the bottle looked like.  Are you serious?  Can’t I get a dumb dog for a change?  So, knowing this, it was really surprising that when a storm would come up, he would go nuts to go outside so he could check out all of the squirrels’ storm shelters!  Seriously Dog?  Get your butt in here before it gets struck by lightning!  He would be out there lollygagging!  And then I could get him to return to the house, he would be sopping wet!  Wet dog hair and towels.  A washing machine and dryer’s nightmare! Ugh!

When I first got him, I would take him with me on my errands.  Leave the windows rolled down and drive on down the road until THE day! Yep, THE day!  Every once in a while I had a problem with his barking at someone walking or being nearby, and I would roll up his windows.  No problem.  This day?  Not so easy!  I was sitting at a BUSY intersection – multiple lanes on all four sides – and back windows down – and just as I am pulling out to turn left he gets sight of a SQUIRREL on the left!  What?  He is about halfway out the window when I finally get ahold of the power button as I am trying to maneuver a safe turn to get the window up and keep  him inside, when he races to the other side, and sees another squirrel trying to dodge out that window!  Geeze oh pete, God Help Me, Please!!!!!   Prayers prayers prayers!  How I was able to make the turn safely and get both windows up while keeping Dog inside is beyond me. God is good!  I was a nervous wreck!   Needless to say, from that point forward, windows only were allowed down to half-head height – in other words, he could only get half his head out side of a window! This is a dog that doesn’t like wind on his body such as a ceiling or other type fan, much less hanging his head out a window, so no issue!  He likes to put his nose out just enough to get the smells and then he settles back down in the seat.  Ahhhh…. Dang dog!

The last week or two near the end, he was at my side 24-7.  He would pant if I wasn’t nearby and many times even if I was he would peel his ears back.  That was a sign he was in pain.  I was already giving him almost the full dose that I was allowed to do so.  I tried to give him whatever he needed or wanted.  The last night, I had to call friends over to help me get him inside.  I tried everything I could to coax him in – the Yum Yums (smoked chicken), nope.  Tried picking him up – he yelped in pain no matter where on his body I put my hands. I cried.  I gave him extra pain meds – nope.  I tried using a towel as a hoist, but he again yelped in pain.   The temps were going to dip too low to leave him outside and I couldn’t anyway.  He needed to be near me.   It was getting late.  I had been trying for several hours – even ran to Target to see if they had a rear-end type harness I could use.  But, nope.  I finally called my Bestie and she and Hubby came immediately.    I was in tears when they pulled into the driveway as Dog and I were sitting outside, me with a blanket and he with a towel over him to trying to keep him warm.   Bestie gets out and she, too, is in tears but immediately tries to change the atmosphere and she almost does until we all realize that THE TIME has arrived.  I think we all thought we had more time – several more months or longer.   Guess not.

I have watched him try to do a squirrel run and it just isn’t happening.  It is heartbreaking to watch, but I try to let him have his moments.  He tries.

Dog loves Bestie and Hubby so they go up on deck to try to coax him and nope.  Not happening.  He is so happy to see them though.  They decide to have him lie down on a blanket and they will then pick up the blanket to bring him in.  He was very calm throughout the process.  That told me a lot.  I saw his look when he was in the blanket.  It is time.  And my and Bestie’s hearts break all over again.

So, tonight, I have tried to go to bed my normal time, but all I could do was cry.  I listened for Dog to see where he was.  I used to could hear his “click click click” all over the hardwood floors, but those clicks have faded over time as I have not heard then in a while.   I was waiting to hear him last night after I had already gone to bed as he made it from the kitchen to the bedroom and there weren’t even any clicks, just a really slow walk.  You couldn’t even hear the clicks and I really had to strain to hear him walking.  I have noticed for the last week or so that he has been sleeping just inside the master bathroom door which is about 3 feet from my bed – and he hasn’t moved all night long which is so unusual.  He is usually all over and everywhere all night long which depends on the nocturnal critters and temperatures.  And on weekends, he has been in and out even more than usual.   I believe it is because he can’t get comfortable and doesn’t want to get far from me at same time.  Can you say heart breaking all over again? This is a different antsy – more like, please help me as I can’t get comfortable.

Maybe it has been past time, but not for me.  How do you let go when it is time to let go?  I have always known that humans have to be ready to let go of their fur babies when it is past time them to go.  That seems so selfish, but then humans hang on sometimes until one or all of their loved ones can let go.  Why are fur babies any different?  They aren’t.  They, too, have to make sure their Human is ready for them to go and will be okay.

It is now 3:30 a.m. and I really need to get to bed, but I am still wide awake.  I am tired, but awake.  My heart is broken and tired.  I am watching him sleep as I know tonight may be the last evening I have with him.  Tears start to flow every time I think of “goodbye”.  I keep taking photos to capture memories.  Most are already in my memory cells and can’t be captured with a camera.  I keep trying to make sure I can make his last time, minutes, moments being of good thoughts, happy times and my holding him.

Monday, 02/28/2017:

I woke up with Dog lying right beside my bed.  I had placed a towel in the bathroom where he normally slept with hopes of giving his back legs more traction, but apparently he didn’t agree.  My heart broke when I saw he couldn’t even sleep his last night in his spot.  He just recently started sleeping as near me as he could and being right under my feet.   It has only been since Sunday evening that I have thought back on his recent changed habits that should have been red flags flapping me in the face.  Could it be because we do not want to see those flags?  Denial?  I believe so.  As long as I could see sparkles in his eyes, happy to have his yum-yums (smoked chicken tenderloins a/k/a pill wrappers), Denta-Stix and whatever else he could twist my little finger to get, I kept thinking he was fine and issues were temporary or that I could fix with home treatments, food, increased medication, etc.

March 11, 2017

First this this morning wearing my shades to hide the tears, I picked up Dog rom the Vet.  He was in a gift bag along with a few other items, cards, etc., but I cannot look in it.  Not yet.  I brought the bag home and placed it on the table next to the sliding glass doors overlooking the back that he loved.  Also on the table sits the plaque and the cards that close friends gave me in memory of him.



March 18, 2017

I thought I was ready to continue with his tribute, but I am not so sure.  Last Saturday I picked up his remains along with the gift bag of other items, which included his paw print.  I could not look in it.  I thought I could today since I have been dogsitting  Bestie’s two dogs this week.  That is a whole ‘nother  post all by itself!  (FYI “’nother” is southern slang aka “another”.) As I looked in the bag, tears started welling up.   His paw print – yep, that is his.   I couldn’t bear to cut his nails as it was too painful to maneuver his body in order for me to do so and therefore I definitely recognize his paw print.  In addition, he had slender paws.


I will look into the best way to display it, whether shadow box, frame of some kind, etc.  There are so many new ideas out there today.  I will post it when I do.  I welcome any suggestions you may have as well.

I can’t bear to look further into that gift bag.  One day I will.  But, not today.

Yesterday, I ordered a set of charms from a good friend of mine in his memory.  Not only was I helping her 4 year old grandson’s fund (he has had amputations and about to undergo more surgery on 03/20/2017), but it will help  to keep Dog’s memory alive – not like that would ever be a problem or anything!


[Courtesy of Nancy Parnell and Premier Jewelry.]

Dog, you touched so many people and they loved you ALMOST as much as I did.  You will always have my heart.  You provided me with love, loyalty, aggravation, love, frustration, love, entertainment, but most of all, love.  I will forever miss you.   Give a lick to Dog 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 for me  and know that I will see each of you again one day and give you hugs and kisses!  Until then, enjoy the squirrel and deer chases.  Hopefully you will now be able to at least catch one of each.

Love ya Buddy.  You will be forever missed.

Your Human Mom

aka Aunt Maxine






Dog & Happy Hour

Why why why do I never learn from past mistakes? If there is one thing I thought I had learned and it was not to start Dog on anything new that he MIGHT like, much less would LOVE and result in driving me absolutely crazier!   I do believe he is milking this “I’m old and hurting” thing.

I buy the mini-Milk Bone biscuits which are 5 calories each and break in half to give him while I eat my human food or just for a simple treat. I used to give Prior Dog human food while I ate and that was a HUGE MISTAKE!  I made another HUGE MISTAKE of trying to break her from it when I decided to not share with her the beef roast I had smoked.  That dog pouted and went on a hunger strike and slept in the living room keeping her back to me at all times for 3 days!  You think I am kidding?  I wish I was! On day 3, I couldn’t take the guilt anymore and went home at lunch, giving her the rest of the darned roast resulting in her being happy as could be from that point forward!  I am not sure which is worse – having a dog or a husband!

So, “allegedly” having learned with Prior Dog, I was not going to give Current Dog human food especially from the grill!!!! Well, that lasted most of the 11 years I have had him until he started down the old and decrepit road of old age.  You already know about the grilled/smoked pill wrappers and homemade chicken broth for his kibbles (dry dog food).  Now you can add cheese to those Mini-Milk Bone Biscuits.  Seriously. Sigh …


Dog gets right in my face and will not even wait for me to have 3-4 bites. Nope.  He thinks he should have one for every one I receive.


Um… who is working and paying the mortgage and buying the food here Buddy? Oh well … he is the Little Old Cranky Man getting older and more decrepit.  And I am working on fulfilling his bucket list aka my guilt list.   Lord help me.

Ya Gotta Laugh!

Aunt Maxine!


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?