Tags: Books, Christmas, dogs, family, holidays, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
It’s getting close to the time old Santa will hitch the reindeer to the sleigh, pack his sack with goodies and leave the North Pole for places south. I’ve been busy helping the Geezer with his book signings, decorate for the season and finding presents for his family and friends. My blogging hasn’t been as frequent as I would like, but I promise I’ll do much better after the first of the year.
Speaking of presents, a lot of you have asked me…to ask him…if he would post his short story, “Claus and the Consultant,” so many of you enjoyed three years ago. It was a Christmas present to all his friends, family and readers. It’s hilarious. It’s back. Go to his blog at http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com or his web site at http://www.dlhavlin.com to read and laugh!
The Geezer and I have been doing so many things, I thought I’d post some of the pictures and captions of the events here and talk about them later. Though I’m sure I’ll write between now and then — MERRY CHRISTMAS — Just in case!
Tags: autumn colors, Books, dogs, Humor, life, Oak Ridge, publishing, Reading, Scopes trial, Writing
Hooray! I’ve been traveling again. The Geezer has finally realized that he simply can’t get his old carcass to function properly unless I’m somewhere in his close proximity. So, when he took his last trip to Tennessee, I protected the rear seat of our SUV. I got to go to the land of old rocky top.
It was my first trip to the North in cooler weather. The temperatures certainly were a welcome change from the ninety degree days we’d been having on Pine Island. My coat was tailored for this kind of environment…it was invigorating.
Another first was seeing the leaves turn from green to a collage of orange, scarlet, beige, pink, tan, and some colors that don’t have a name. How magnificent! I ask Mrs. G to add a few pictures to this post. We stayed at Watts Bar Lake in the mountains. Talk about different. I never have been up and down slopes so many times. The only thing I didn’t like – ticks. Ouch!
While I lazed around the cabin, the Geezer and Mrs. G went on a couple side trips with their friends, Chet and Betty. They visited the site of the Scopes Monkey Trial, in Dayton, where Darwin’s theory of evolution as well as the teacher who was brazen enough to teach it were taken to court. The movie, Inherit the Wind, was made about it. Personally, I think the whole thing is ridiculous. Imagine anyone having the gall to say man descended from animals. That’s too stupid for words until you realize a human came up with the theory. Imagine me and the Geezer being related! I like him, but I like my chew toy too! Of course, my human believes that tripe.
Just to underline my thoughts about human inferiority, the Geezer and his group were excited and babbling about visiting the museum at Oak Ridge. That was the “Secret City” of World War II where the materials to make the atom bomb where manufactured. Can you imagine getting your boiler stoked about developing a way to kill thousands of your own species? If you listened to the Geezer and his friends talk you’d think some great achievement had been reached. We canines wouldn’t even entertain the thought of exterminating ourselves much less do it! Human’s are inferior, and unfortunately, my human, the Geezer, is one of them. I love him, but… Well, we do have to look out for the less fortunate.
Tags: Books, dogs, fiction, Humor, life, literature, publishing, Reading, Writing
The Geezer did it again! I knew something important was happening. Trying to get to the computer to blog has been difficult, if not impossible, for last month. And, the Geezer has been as jumpy as a frog on a griddle. Then he disappeared for four days, leaving me bored…my only entertainment was to do the exact opposite of whatever the dog-sitter ask me.
When he arrived back home, he had a smile engraved on his mug that made the Cheshire Cat’s look inconspicuous. I didn’t have to ask why.
“Guess what, Sandy, ” he babbled, “I won the FWA writing contest.”
“Congratulations”, I volunteered. “What did you win?” Was FWA an acronym for Funky Wombats’ Alliance? I couldn’t remember.
The Geezer got that self-important, smug smile he wears when he believes he’s achieved some important milestone. Like remembering where he stored his Viagra.
“I won the runner-up Royal Palm Literary Award,” he strongly enunciated the last for words, “for my manuscript for Francis’ Flowers. It’s a suspense/thriller genre novel.”
“Congratulations, again,” I remembered…Florida Writers Association, not Funky Wombats.
As I watched him, the Geezer’s head began swelling like a hot air balloon on steroids. “And…and… guess what?”
“What? I complied.”
His chest swelled. “My literary/mainstream manuscript for my novel, The Bully Route Home won,” the Geezer was drawing it out, dramatizing his announcement like a lady telling her husband she was pregnant, “first place?”
“A big congratulations! ” I said, The old boy was soaking up the praise like a bar sponge sucking up a spilled drink. I watched as the hot air building inside him lifted him skywards.
“DL… DL… where are you? Mrs. G called.
“I’m in the bedroom, dear.”
“Come take the trash out.”
The hot air balloon and the Geezer deflated.
Tags: Books, dogs, Humor, life, Media, publishing, Reading, Writing
Sitting on the couch and contemplating life is one of those things I do when there is absolutely, positively nothing else to do. Since canines live orderly, logical lives, I generally spend little time evaluating our doggie development. When I want something complex to ponder, I turn my attention to the human species. Posing a question and formulating an answer is my favorite way of analyzing their progress, or more accurately stated, lack of. Here are a few questions I’ve postulated and answers I’ve formulated.
Question: Why do humans invent machines to save them physical effort only to invent machines that require physical effort? They invented automobiles, dish washers, electric toothbrushes, self-propelled riding lawn mowers, etc., etc., etc. so they don’t have to sweat and strain. Then, in the time they save and with the effort they avoid by using these machines, they invent other machines like exercise bikes, weight sets, treadmills, etc., etc., etc. so they can sweat and strain. Makes sense to them, but none to we canines. I asked my human, the Geezer about this phenomenon, and his answer…”We humans start to gain weight because we eat too much and don’t get enough exercise to keep the weight off.” I didn’t have the heart to point out the obvious solution, “Eat less.” Human’s don’t have a sense of cause and effect.
Question: Why do humans buy something then never use or eat it because they’re afraid they’ll damage or consume the item? One of my human’s friend’s car is a good example. He seldom drives it, waxes it until I’m sure the paint will come off and screams if his wife requests the keys. The Geezer says it’s because the man has a lot of money invested in the darned thing. He said his friend had an older car he “clunked” around in. I asked, “Gee Geezer, why spend lots of money on something you aren’t going to use much and just a little on something you’re going to use all the time?” He got that blank look humans get when they do something they have no explanation for. He mumbled, “You wouldn’t understand.” That’s their answer when they have absolutely no earthly idea how to answer a question.
One more — Question: Why do humans insist people not lie to them on little things and let people tell whoppers when something important is the topic? The other day I took a paper napkin off the coffee table and started to chew on it. It was a used napkin that would be thrown out anyway. About the time I was deciding how to dispose of the darned thing, the Geezer surprised me, asking, “Sandy, do you have something in your mouth?”
“Nawww,” I answered, “nudthins ‘n maa moousth.” I thought about swallowing the darned thing, but knew it would come back up later.
“Don’t lie to me, girl!” He was visibly upset.
That seemed very unfair. He’d just delivered a sermon about how the press and politicians were lying about the killing of an ambassador, but didn’t seem half as mad. When I asked him why he was more upset with me than with those clowns on TV he said,”I expect them to lie. They do it all the time.”
Tags: Books, Cooking, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, traveling, Writing
My human’s life isn’t complicated. I’m sure the Geezer might disagree with me; you know how human’s are always whining. He let’s the littlest things interfere with his life and my fun. Let me share a couple of examples with you.
Before he left on his tour, leaving me and Mrs. G here to boot for ourselves, he had one of those minor problems that he lets control his activities. He bent over to pick up a spoon off of the floor. When he straightened up, I’ve never heard so much wailing. Not even my cat half-bro Oreo makes screams like that when he gets his tail caught under the rollers on a chair or in my teeth. “Aaaaggggghhhhh!…Oh shit! Not before my trip!” the old boy screamed.
I’m not swearing this is true, but I thought I heard Mrs. G asking him about doing a few chores before he left. You should have seen him. He was bent over from the waist, staring at the ground like he was hunting for fishing worms. This guy should have won the Oscar for portrayal of an ambulance case. Excuses, excuses.
In the off chance that the Geezer wasn’t acting, it just proves another thing we canines and most of the rest of the animal world knows…four legs are better than two. We dogs don’t need chiropractors, surgeons, or Ben-Gay. Guess what…there was no game of “get it” that day. (That’s when a trained human throws a ball so we canines can get it.)
Another example happened today. Mind you, this was his first day back. I was raring to go for our walk. a walk I’d missed for 12 days. The sun rose, but my human didn’t. That’s very unusual. He normally stumbles from his bed around 4:30 each morning, mumbles a string of unintelligible words and staggers to the coffee maker. There he concocts the vile blackened water he’s so fond of drinking, something I’d say would be more fitting as a punishment than a daily high-point.
When he was still prone in his bed as the first rays of light illuminated his gray hair, I decided to get him moving. A long stripe of fresh dog-slobber applied with my raspy tongue applied cheek to cheek awakens the dead. Sure enough, the Geezer’s eyes opened a tiny bit. He mumbled something I didn’t understand and rolled over so his face was turned away from me. The Geezer was going to be difficult. I hopped up on the bed, stood over him and reapplied the slobber. He repeated the response clear enough for me to understand this time. He said, “I got jet-lag, let me sleep.”
Can you believe that! He believes he got sick from riding in a jet plane. I wonder what “jet bacteria” looks like under a microscope. No amount of poking, licking or pawing could get him up to take me on my walk. If excuses were money there isn’t a human that’s ever been born that wouldn’t be insanely rich.
Tags: Books, dogs, food, Humor, Hurricane, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
The last several days have been one big bore for me. No walks. No sitting on the dock. Nothing outside except bathroom duties. It was all because of hurricane Isaac. Rain, wind, rain and more rain. It even restricted my opportunity to blog…due to the weather the Geezer was camped at the computer keyboard, his rear serving the same purpose as a concrete barrier at the end of a road. I couldn’t get around it.
Before the rain and winds descended on our southwest Florida house, the Geezer and Mrs. G ran around the property like a bunch of mice that had just been told a rumor that a cat was on the way. I guess I could have gotten to the computer then, but I’d have felt guilty if I hadn’t stuck close to my humans to provide moral support. The old boy and his wife did a credible job until it came to the most important part of all, putting up the shutters. That furnished me a few chuckles and an example of human male mental inferiority to we females.
The attempt at erecting the shutters was a real Abbot and Costello comedy routine. (For the very young, Abbot and Costello were a comedy team famous for their “Who’s on first” baseball gag. Rent it if you haven’t seen it.) Mrs. G kept asking when they were going to put up the shutters, but the Geezer said he wanted to postpone it for as long as possible, hoping that the storm would miss them all-together. When it was absolutely, positively, impossible to postpone longer, the Geezer sorted out all the shutters by window location, laid them out on the ground so they could be lifted into position, moved the ladder from the garage to the starting point, AND went to get the hardware. And went to get the hardware. And went to get the hardware. He couldn’t find it in the place HE KNEW he stored it. The Geezer made several trips back to the same place, hoping it would magically appear, but the hardware fairy’s union was evidently on strike. When Mrs. G asked what the hold up was, it pained the Geezer to confess, “The nuts and bolts aren’t where I put them.” He did what any human male in such a position would do, he passed the buck. “Where did you move them to?” Mrs. G snorted, rolled her eyes and said, “Come on, let’s start looking where they’re not supposed to be.”
Since they’d moved lawn chairs, tables, lanterns, hose racks, garbage cans, etc., etc., etc., inside every storage area available, they had to remove them to do a thorough search. After four hours of lifting, moving, fuming and not finding, Mrs. G. suggested, “We’re not going to locate them in time. We’d best go buy some more.” After doing a nut and bolt count, the Geezer headed out to the local hardware store. When he tried to purchase what he needed, the clerk looked apologetic, but she said, “Gee, I’m sorry, we sold out two days ago.” The folks at the next five stores, all large chains, were less kind. He got the same treatment “Arnold” got in Jingle All The Way when he was looking for a special toy for his son’s Christmas present. (Again, rent the movie) There were more snickers and snide comments than he could take. After the final visit, the Geezer announced to Mr’s G and me, “Everyone’s sold out. We’ll just have to hope it doesn’t get too bad.” An hour later the TV announced the storm was not coming close enough to do damage to unshuttered windows. That proved one of the Geezer’s favorite sayings, “I’d rather be lucky than good.”
Mrs. G was kind and suggested that as soon as the storm passed that the Geezer should buy more hardware…when the stores restocked…and before the next storm struck. She could have done some nose rubbing, but chose not to. Sorry, I’d have had to do a little if I had been in her place. Of course, we females would never make such a hardware error. We ladies are always careful we know where the nuts are.
Tags: Books, Cooking, dogs, food, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
Why do humans call those hot miserable days we’re experiencing now, dog days? I’d really like to know. It certainly isn’t because we canines enjoy the heat and humidity. I’m sure some forms of animal life enjoy it. Lizards, frogs, toads, and snakes? That’s a guess. I don’t know many frogs or toads and my command of the Lizarddi language leaves much to be desired. I know some snakes… and I can converse with them well enough to know I don’t trust anything they say. The only creature more deceitful is a umanas politicius.
Humans derived the name, but why? Is it because we canines suffer this time of year? Horses suffer as much. So do cows, pigs, even cats. My talks with Oreo, my feline half-brother, and Buddy, the horse that lives a couple blocks over, have confirmed it’s not because they like this summer roast.
Possibly, the name just sounds good. “Lizard days of summer,” doesn’t have a lyrical lilt like “Dog days” does. Neither does pig days, or toad days, or so on.
They could have called this time period, “miserable human days,” but this suggests they may have some slight responsibility for their own discomfort. Humans loath taking responsibility for anything. The “Blame Game” is their favorite past-time. Don’t believe that? If you can suffer through an evening of watching human TV news and advertisements during this political season you’ll know I’m telling you gospel.
If you think about it, humans use animals to describe all kinds of things they don’t like…”Good weather for ducks,” translates to more rain than they want… “Horse feathers (or shit)”, for lies they’re told… “Sneaky as a cat,” for anyone who manipulates them…”Bird brained”…referring to their low IQ associates… and my personal favorite, “Dumb as a dog,”…talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
Some humans are lovable, however. Oreo and I have been helping entertain some of the Geezer’s human friends and children/grand- children over the last two weeks. BO and Randy were first, followed by Big Den, Little Den and Natalia. We weren’t home much…in fact the computer was off for thirteen days.
Me and Oreo taking it easy after entertaining
To keep my promise to Randy and Bo, here’s the Geezer’s recipe for hush puppies I snuck out of his book.
The Geezer’s Light and Fluffy Hush Puppies.
Stuff you need to make them:
1 cup hush puppy mix – (Dixie Lily or Autry’s are fine)
1/2 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic (powder will do in a pinch)
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
8 stuffed green olives finely chopped.
3/4 cup of water
What you do:
First- Place mix, flour, chopped onion, pepper, salt in a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly.
Second- Add water, eggs (no shells please)…stir thoroughly…again. If he batter is too “grainy,” add a splash or two of water.
Third- Add the chopped olives and garlic…guess what? Stir thoroughly again! Set batter aside for twenty minutes.
Fourth- Heat vegetable oil 1″ deep in a skillet, etc. to 350 degrees. Use a tablespoon to measure and drop the batter into the grease. Cook until golden on both sides. Yummy!
Tags: Books, Cooking, dogs, Humor, life, Politics, publishing, Reading, Writing
I have a broken heart. Romanski hasn’t called. He hasn’t written or even emailed me. I’ve been mopping around the house…waiting…hoping. If you missed my previous post, Romanski is a handsome Golden Retriever I met on my recent trip. I’ve been in such a funk it was noticeable to the Geezer. It usually takes an anvil to fall on him before he notices such things.
“Sandy, what’s wrong old girl?” he asked.
“Old girl, aren’t you calling the kettle black?” I retorted.
“My aren’t we touchy today. That’s just a term of endearment, Sandy. I’m not really saying you’re old.”
Humans have the weirdest way of communicating. “My friend,” certainly would have been a more appropriate way to address me. We females are sensitive about being called old. Homo sapiens have hundreds of ways of nibbling around the edges of what they want to communicate. In Doganese, Woof is Woof, Arf is Arf, and Grrrr is Grrrr. Why complicate matters? I started to lecture him on the value of concise clear conversation, but I didn’t have the patience to deal with human mental deficiency at the time. Besides, he’s been subjected to so much rhetoric from TV political ads and programs I’m sure his mind is warped and has contracted into a protective shell. One needs a bull-shit deflector to stand anywhere near a television that’s operating these days. I decided to give the old codger a break.
“I know you weren’t trying to offend me, Geezer. I’ve just been a bit upset and disappointed lately,” I said.
“Really? I’m sorry to hear that. I hope it’s nothing I’ve done.”
“No. It’s something you had nothing to do with.”
“Do you mind me asking what it is?”
“I really don’t want to talk about it,” I lied. I really did. It helps to chat about your emotional issues even if you have to do it with a human…male.
“You sure, Sandy? One of the only good things about getting old is that you’ve experienced enough to give good advice. I certainly qualify as old.” The Geezer was using his most fatherly tone.
“I don’t need advice as much as a shoulder to cry on.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Remember when we stopped at the Welcome Station in Tennessee? I met Romanski, remember him?”
“I’m so sorry.” The Geezer had that, ‘oh, that’s how it is,’ look he gets occasionally. I just plain don’t like that look. He noticed I wasn’t impressed and quickly changed his expression. “He hasn’t called?”
“No. Not a word from him in any way. He seemed so sincere when we strolled around the parking lot. He made so many promises. Anything I said I wanted from life, he did too. Romanski looked into my eyes and told me it was one of those one- in-a-thousand love-at-first-sight things. I believed him and poured my heart out to him. Now……..”
“Sandy, don’t feel bad. You’re not the first lady, or for that matter, man, that’s been led astray in a parking lot or just while parked.” The Geezer shook his head sadly. “Those are what I call Parking Lot Lies.”
“Well, at least I wasn’t the first person to be told what they wanted to hear so a scum-bag could try to get what he wanted.”
“Gosh, Geezer, Romanski reminds me of one of those politicians I hear you listening to on TV.”
“That’s exactly right, Sandy! They’re both trying to screw us!”
Tags: Books, Cooking, dogs, food, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
If you wondered why no scratchings the past few weeks…I’ve been traveling. The Geezer decided he couldn’t be without my advice and counseling for three weeks, so I got to go on a combination book introduction tour and vacation.
The places we went! The things we saw! Dublin! Cairo! Athens! Rome! And that was all before we left Georgia! Well, we didn’t stop in all those places, we went through them. Well, that isn’t exactly correct, we were close to them….. Errrr, truthfully, we saw their names on road signs.
Where we did go…and stop…was impressive to a canine like me. There were the big places: Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville, Louisville, Ann Arbor, Cincinnati, Lexington, Knoxville, Asheville, Columbia, Hilton Head, Savannah, Jacksonville and Gainesville. And the little places: Elizabethtown, Coldwater, Ludington and Eatonton. I’ve got some great stories about many of them.
I met fascinating people like Lance, Edward, Sarah, Ranger Lee and the man in the art studio in Chattanooga. Of course, we visited old friends and relatives: D3, Natalia, Bo, Denny, Dorothy, Chet, Betty, Tom, Jim, Judy, Pete, Sandy ( a human version), Orson, Martha, and Jeanne and Bob. I’ve got lots to tell about them.
We visited Chickamauga the oldest military park in the US. If we had stopped and bought just one bottle at all the wineries and distilleries we passed, the Geezer would have enough alcohol to last him until the year 2114. (He’s not much of a drinker.) And, at the Tennessee Welcome Station on I-75, I met Romanski, a handsome male Golden Retriever. It was love at first sight. We ran, we frolicked, we panted together, then we had to part. I gave him my URL, but you know how those summer romances are – they never seem to work out.
The trip has given me an inexhaustible supply of information to write about. Like Joel Chandler Harris’ home, Eatonton, Georgia and the fine people we met there. I have some great recipes to pass on in the weeks to come. And I’ll tell you about the Civil War battlefield we visited. And the people at the Geezer’s high school reunion. And the motels that we stayed in that had water dripping from leaks in the ceiling, fights in the parking lots, exploding coffee makers, and on, and on, and on. And the Geezer’s fishing in Michigan. Yes, there are three things that are inevitable…death…taxes…and…the Geezer fishing if there is a body of water larger than a bath tub near him.
Ahhhhh, I’ll have to wrap this up. The human’s are starting to unload the car and I need to be there to supervise. You know the species. They’d probably leave my pillow and dish until last, like my things are less important than their suitcases and the cooler. The amount of patience required to deal with humans! I have to keep murmuring under my breath, “Be kind to inferiors,” so I keep my cool. Thankfully, I reassure myself that…at least my humans aren’t of that slowest and lowest humanoid subspecies of all, humanus politicianus.
Tags: Books, dogs, Humor, life, nature, publishing, Reading, Writing
On my previous post I had a picture of Natalie the Night Heron sitting on her nest. This is an update! As you can see the eggs hatched and Natalie is now the proud mama of her (?) babies. I mean they’re ugly babies. After taking one look I had to ask her, “Natalie, I don’t mean to pry…but who is the father?”
“Why Norman, of course.” It was apparent she was offended.
“Well…I…But…” It’s hard to speak with your paw in your mouth. “They don’t look much like you or Norman. Sorry.”
”Look, Sandy we don’t have a cushy house to protect our kiddies like you had as pup. The Geezer and his missus pampered you if I remember correctly, so you could be a miniature furball. My babies have to be camouflaged so Sneaky B, the black snake, Ronny racoon, or Otto the otter don’t make a meal of them. Tell me you could see them at first glance.”
I answered honestly. “No I didn’t see the chicks until you flew back to the nest and fed them.”
The Geezer walked up at that time. I asked him, “Have you seen Natalie’s babies?”
“What babies?” The Geezer stared across the canal into the mangroves like a blind bat.
Natalie snickered. I tried to save his reputation as an “outdoorsman” by pointing out. “Over there, in the nest.”
It’s bad enough that human’s were at the end of the brain line when the Maker was passing them out, they were dead last in the eye-sight, ear, and nostril lines as well. I mean, if they didn’t have thumbs………….