If you’re missing your nuts, things can be difficult.

August 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments
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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.

http://www.dlhavlin.com

Why are Dog Days…Dog Days? Do I smell a human? (Plus Hush Puppies)

August 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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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
2 eggs
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!

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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June 30 – Rome, Athens, Dublin, Cairo…It could go to a poor dog’s head!

June 30, 2012 at 9:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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     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.

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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April 24 – What a computer hog looks like!

April 25, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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     There’s all kind of excitement around our house these days.  The Geezer has a new book that’s being released at the end of this month.  Mrs. G is busy on the phone, taking and making calls to people and places regarding the novel.  I worry that the old boy is so busy he’ll strip a gear; he’s racing around like a cat stuck in room with twenty mice and the poor feline can’t decide which to catch first.  He’s on the phone with his editor, then he races to the computer, he pounds on the keyboard, then it’s back to the publisher, you get the drift.
     I really shouldn’t give a Russian rat’s rump and wouldn’t if it didn’t interfere with some of the things I like to do.  Mrs. G doesn’t fawn over me as much as usual, but I can give her my “poor dejected dog” look and she’ll stop what she’s doing and make over me.  The Geezer cuts our morning walks short, spends a woefully short time playing the games I train him in and is less likely to sneak a hot dog out of the refrig for me.  I can live with these things.  But, the lack of computer access to write to you on my blog, upsets my stomach like a chocolate, jalapeno and dill pickle pie.
     Have you ever seen a picture of a computer hog?  This is what one looks like!  

 

     Trying to get to the computer to write my blog makes arranging a marriage between a Rabbi’s daughter and the son of a member of the Muslim Brotherhood a simple task.  First, the Geezer suffers from a bad case of fattassia.  (pronounced:   fat – tass – ia)  Trying to nudge his more than ample carcass from the over-burden office chair is mission impossible.  I’ve tried the normal tricks to dislodge his butt from in front of the console:  barking at the door…faking like I have to go out, dropping my tennis ball at his feet indicating I want to play, going to the window and whimpering like I do when the neighbor’s twenty-five-year-old daughter is sunbathing au natural (believe me, this usually works), but, so far…….
     I even tried something new and inventive.  The Geezer hates the political wrangling that’s on TV now; it makes him mad.  Using my superior canine logic and applying that to the fact he normally races to the TV to turn it off if such garbage appears– that’s no matter what he’s engaged in (I didn’t know it was possible to use toilet paper that fast.)– I skillfully DVR’d several alternating TV ads featuring Obama and Romney.  When I played them, he didn’t budge from the seat.  He simply put in earplugs, vomited in the waste paper can and cussed a lot.
     What can a poor canine do when faced with removing a massive ass from its resting place?  I would try dynamite, but the risk of damaging the computer would be too great.  Besides my compassionate side would bar this action, though the old boy could use forty or fifty pounds blown away.
     If you’re wondering how I got this opportunity to write to you, let me say two words – “Exlax pie.”  Oops!  He’s coming back.  Time for me to go do some more baking.

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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March 23 – Are all humans unappreciative? Or, just the ones I know!

March 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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     “It sure is frustrating,” I agreed.  I was sitting next to Sarge, the German Shepherd.  We were waiting for Opie to bring-to-order a meeting of the Canine Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society with one of his Scottish brogue laden ‘woofs.’  “I have to admit, I’ve had it happen to me.  Even the Geezer and Mrs. G are completely unappreciative, occasionally.”
     “You do something you think is really good and what do you get?  Sandy, I’ve been relegated to the rope.  They’re tying me up in my own yard.  All I did was growl and show my teeth to some strange human that was trespassing on my turf.  How was I supposed to know she was the water meter reader?  She wasn’t carrying a sign or wearing a uniform.  She could have been something terrible like an Al Qaeda terrorist or…or…or one of those Occupy Wall Street people.”
     “You scared her pretty badly.  Didn’t you tell me she tried to climb a tree?”
     Sarge got a sardonic grin on his face.  “Yep.  It sure was funny watching her try to slither up that coconut palm.  She only got high enough to leave her big, soft butt at a perfect biting position.  It sure was tempting.”
     “Sarge!  You wouldn’t do such a thing, would you?”
     “Oh, no, Sandy.  What kind of a canine do you think I am?  Besides, my human showed up at that second, frothing at the mouth with his underwear all tied up in knots.”
     “I’ve had it happen to me…I’ve had it happen to me!”  Manny our resident chihuahua was eavesdropping and said excitedly, “Humans don’t appreciate what we try to do for them.  Why, one time it was raining out.  I had to go.  You know, number two.  Well, there’s this big potted plant in the living room.  It was turning brown and looked like it could use some fertilizer.  I endangered my life and limb by climbing up in that tall flower-pot.  Just as I was finishing, my human came in and yelled at me!  It scared me so bad shit went everywhere.  I shook more than usual for a whole week.”
     Sarge looked dubious.  “You sure you just didn’t want to get wet?”
     Manny’s eyes opened wide with a, not to genuine, look of innocence.  “Oh, no, no, no!  I was just trying to be a service.”
     I shook my head.  Sometimes, Manny has to be Manny. 
     Sarge surprised me when he nodded.  He knows our little buddy is always full of…well…bull shit.  He said, “I guess you could be right, Manny.  My cousin Rookie lives with this really cool human named Tricia.  He says she’s normally sooooooo nice, but…even nice humans can be irrational.  Like one time, he was left alone with a tennis ball.  Tricia is always having to go find it so they can play.  He thought he’d just carry it around with him.  It’s unbelievable she got so upset when she took him to the vet to have it removed from his stomach.  And, another time Rookie and Tricia were playing with the hose, spraying each other with water.  The phone rang in the house and his human went to answer it.  Then she went insane, just because Rookie carried the hose into the house following behind her, so they could play in the living room.  He was just trying to save her a few steps.”
     “So true.”  Fifi our prissy poodle joined the conversation.  “I try to keep my human in proper fashion.  If she wears a pair of shoes, or a dress, or panties that aren’t chick, I immediately remove them from her wardrobe by chewing them to oblivion.  Do you think she appreciates it?  NO!  Chewing that fake leather and polyester is horrible.  The sacrifices I’m willing to make.  But, instead of being rewarded, I’m chastised.”
     Heintz, the neighborhood mutt walked up.  “Tell me about it.  I take home all kinds of gifts.  You think I get any thanks?  Hell NO!  Rabbits, squirrels, birds, all fresh killed or barely alive.  I mean, I’m bringing food for their table.  They yell…and then comes the real insult.  They throw my hard work away!”  
     “I know.”  I couldn’t resist adding my own tale.  “Both the Geezer and Mrs. G are getting a little heavy.  Well, that’s true of Mrs. G.  The Geezer’s getting a lot heavy.  Anyway, they were watching TV the other night while eating their suppers.  A neighbor came to the door and they both left their meals on the coffee table.  There were terrible things, dangerous things on their plates.  Steaks dripping with cholesterol.  Potatoes smeared with butter and sour cream.  Squash covered with cheese sauce.  I wondered if they had a death wish.  I hoped if I’d have the fortitude to face those dangers.  I DID!  I made them disappear.  All of it!  I was so proud.  I stood there, wagging my tail in anticipation of all the praise I’d receive for me helping save them from the horrors that had been on their dishes.  They screamed at me!”
     Sarge put his paw on my shoulder and said, “Poor Sandy.”
     “Uh-uh-uh-ummm.”  Opie got our attention.  “The subject for today’s meetin’ of the Canine Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society is how can we be doin’ more for our human friends.”
     Sarge yelled, “Motion that we adjourn the meeting.”
     “Oui.  I second the motion,” Fifi said.
     I’ve never heard such a chorus of barks…or seen a more confused look on Opie’s Scottish face.

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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November 24, Thanks for the sole coming off a shoe???

November 24, 2011 at 10:14 am | Posted in Reading, Thanksgiving, Writing | 3 Comments
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     Ahhh.  There’s nothing like the smell of Beneful in the morning.  Or Purina.  Or the occasional hot dog, fresh from the microwave.  The Geezer always warms them up for me.  It’s not really needed, but if that strokes his human sensibilities, who am I to deny him.  Beneful.  Oh well, you have to give thanks for what you have.
     It’s Thanksgiving morning; the Geezer, Mrs. G, and Oreo are moving much slower than usual.  I’d say its the holiday, but that usually makes them busier.  Not this year.  They’re going out to visit friends and relatives.  The canine translation – no turkey left-overs, no assorted snacks snuck to me off the table, no potato chips dropped while watching football.  I’ll spend a quiet day at home, catch up on my sleep, and play “chase the cat” and “chase the dog” with Oreo while my humans are out visiting.
     Thanks Giving.  What a concept.  I think we all should do that every day, after all, each day we get up is better than the alternative, right?  However, everybody gets too busy to remember to take the time.  The Geezer told me that’s why some humans called Pilgrims started the festival, though Abe Lincoln was the first to make it a national holiday.  I guess hard times like wars and bad economies make us miss what we don’t have and make us appreciate what we do. 
     I wondered what my little family would take the time to be thankful for, so I decided to ask.
     “Oreo, what are you thankful for today?” I asked my cat half-brother.
     “That’s a no-brainer, Sandy.  I’m thankful that humans remain dumb.  Think about it, all we have to do is look cute and be friendly and…viola!…they feed, house, and pamper us.  I haven’t even chased a mouse since I came here.  I’m a freeloader.  I haven’t the slightest thought of working.  I do nothing.  Nothing.  Sandy girl, I hope humans never wise up.”
     I didn’t have the heart to tell Oreo about the “Occupy” movement and ruin his holiday.
     Mrs. G came by, whistling as she walked.  I asked, “What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving morning?”
     She thought for a few seconds, smiled, and said, “The sole has come off the Geezer’s old Top Siders.”
     “I don’t understand.”
     “That means he’ll finally allow me to throw them out.  That means I won’t have to turn the exhaust fan on when he leaves them in the bathroom, or spray them with air-freshner continually, or give excuses to neighbors when he leaves them on the porch like “There must be a dead animal in the area.”  I won’t have to hold a scarf doused with perfume over my nose when I put them in his closet.”
     “Surely you’re jesting, Mrs. G.  They don’t bother me,” I said.
     “Yes, Sandy, but you like the smell of road-kill.  Think, have you ever seen a roach or even an ant in the Geezer’s closet?”
     I had to agree with that. 
     The Geezer was sitting in his recliner when I sashayed in to see him and asked, “What are you giving thanks for today?”
     “Why I can think of three things quickly.  People like my new book.  I have the perfect wife, dog, and cat.  And…and…and…and…”  He looked embarrassed.  “I kind of forgot the third thing.”  He looked perplexed until an ancient lamp-lighter lit a kerosene lantern in his cranium.  A look of enlightenment on his face, he said, “I remember.  I’m getting new shoes.”  After a few seconds pause, he asked, “What about your Thanksgiving thank you?”
     “Living here with you and Mrs. G is all a grateful canine could ask for.”  Do I know how to play the game or what?  The Geezer sprung out of his recliner like a seventeen year-old, not a seventies senior.  It was triple treat time.
     Actually, I’m thankful for a lot besides my family, though they are my greatest blessing.  I’m thankful for the neighborhood canines in the Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society, the cooler weather we’re having, and most especially – all of you who come to visit me.  Oh, and that the Geezer can’t find the fake antlers and bells he likes to put on me when we walk this time of year.   They got buried under one of the thorn bushes outside…ho, ho, ho.  Wonder how that happened?

Happy Thanksgiving, all !!!

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www.dlhavlin-author.com

Octoweenfest.

October 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Halloween | 3 Comments
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     (Check out the Halloween Party recipes at the end)

     “Party?  Did you say… Party?” I asked.
     “You’re out-of-order, Sandy.”  Peter the pointer, chairman pro tem of this morning’s meeting of the Canine Chowder & Ham Bone Marching Society, gaveled me down with a throaty growl.  Hey, I couldn’t help myself, I’m a party animal! 
    “Lighten up, Peter,” Lucy said in her cock-sure cocker spaniel way.  “This is a really a big deal.  My human says this is going to be a HUGE party.  Really, HUGE!  She says she’s combining Octoberfest with Halloween.  She’s calling it, “Octoweenfest.”  She paused, basking in the magnificence of her announcement, waiting for all the woofs of delight.  Fat chance of any of we girls giving her the satisfaction.  The boys did, of course.  “Everybody is to come in costume and to bring a dish.”
     “And,” Barbie her twin sister added, “All the costumes are supposed to be original.  I’m coming as Lady Gaga, in a plastic imitation meat dress.” 
     “What are you bringing to eat?” Heintz asked.
     “Lucy and I are serving Ken-L-Ration a la king.”
     “How plebian,” Fifi our resident poodle and snob opined.  “I’ll bring either escargo in a kibble gravy or filet mignon stuffed with Begin Strips.”
     “What are you going to come dressed like?” Sparkle asked while flicking a flea from her red Irish coat.
     “Marie Antoinette.”
     Snookie the lab moved her muzzle close to my ear and whispered, “I here-by volunteer to operate the guillotine.”
     I couldn’t help chuckling.  Everybody turned to look, but luckily, Manny unwittingly came to my rescue.
     “Oh…oh…oh…oh, I’ll bring the tequilla chimichangas, 100 proof specials with jalapenos and tabasco sauce,” Manny said.  The little guy was so excited that, from the tip of his chihuahua tail to the tip of his chihuahua nose, he vibrated like one of those toys I hear are sold in disreputable catalogs.  I don’t know that!  I just heard about them!  On page 76 of the… aaaaaaaaaaaaaa let’s move along.
     “What are you coming as?” Lucy asked.
     “A…a…a…a, a drug runner!”  Manny said.
     “Oh, that’s in really poor taste, Manny.”  Barbie looked disgusted.
     “A…a…a…a, an illegal alien!” 
     “That’s too common, and in poor taste, try again,” Lucy suggested.
     “A…a…a…a, a dancing senorita!”
     “I don’t think you can get the surgery in time,” I said. “Why not get a close hair cut and come as a Mexican hairless?”
     “Okay…okay…okay…okay.”  Manny is very cooperative.  And, maybe not so smart.
      “Well, Boog and I have our costume covered.”  Our resident beagle, Boob, smiled at her son who grinned in response.  “Boog will wear his gray sweater with the mathematical symbol for 3.1412 printed on it and I’ll wear my pumpkin orange tube dress.”
     “I don’t get it,” Sparkle said.
     “Why, we’ll be symbolically dressed as pumpkin pie.”  Boob snuck a pity peek at Sparkle.  The red-head is a little slow.  And they talk about us blondes. 
     “What are you bringing to eat?” Heintz asked.
     “Road-killed rabbit in wine sauce.”
     “Good,”  Heintz looked at me in his “mutty” way and asked, “What are you wearing?”
     “I’ll come as Sandy Claus.  You know, red hat trimmed with white fur and black boots.”  I think the boots are stylish and sexy.
     “What are you bringing to eat?” Heintz asked.
     “Finger food.”
     “Like what?”
     “It’s a surprise,” I don’t like Heintz when he gets pushy.  I asked, “Okay, what dish are you bringing, Heintz?”
     “A really smart dish.”  He gazed upward, trying to look aloof.
     “Like what?”  I used his own words like a sword…I thought.
     “Why, an empty one.  Why would I want to lose the space to put all the goodies you folks are bringing?”
     Everyone laughed, but me.  I tried again.  Heintz is notorious for his lack of taste…in clothes, or anything else, so I asked, “describe what your costume is going to look like.”  I figured I’d get even.
     “Oh…It’s one of those symbolic things.  I’ll have two arm bands on.  One with a swastika printed on it and the other with a hammer and sickle.  There will be a string tied to the base of my tail.  To the other end of the string, about six inches from where it’s attached, will be a large Idaho Baker.”
     “So?”
     “Don’t you get it?” Heintz leered. “I’m going to be a Dick-tater.”
     “I recommend we adjourn,” my friend Sarge said in his deep German shepherd voice.
     “Second,” said Lucy.
     “Adjourned.”  Peter didn’t bother with the formality of a vote.  Too much planning is a human thing.

    Oh……in case you were wondering what my finger food was, try spicing up your Octoweenfest table with these goodies.  Serve with a placard explaining what they are.

Head of Ghost.  (per each)
     1 – slice of provolone cheese
     1 – slice of pepperoni
     1 – ripe olive
Cut ripe olive in two and place on cheese slice for eyes.  Place pepperoni in proper position to be a mouth.  Walla!  A ghost head.

Bat’s eyes.
     Eggs, mustard, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, S&P –  What do you have?  Deviled Eggs….BUT, add red food color to the deviled portion before stuffing it back into the whites.  Then cut a green olive with pimento stuffing in two in a manner that the red is the center.  Place the olive half on the egg and Walla!  Bat’s eyes!

Lady fingers.  (per each)
     1/2 hot dog
     1 thin sliver of radish skin cut in an elliptical shape.
     1/2 slice of sandwich bread with crust removed.
     Catsup.
Remove a small slice of the cooked hot dog on the round end approximately 1/2″ x 1/2″ and about 1/8″ deep.  Cut a sliver off of the radish the same size or slightly larger.  Place the radish slice, red side up, on the hot dog where the piece was removed.  Put catsup in the center of the bread, 3/4″ wide by 3″ long.  Place the hot dog with radish side up in the middle of the catsup.  Walla-Walla…You have a lady’s finger complete with polished nail and blood! 

www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com

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July 28- A recipe for Vega-que

July 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Posted in Books, Camping, Cooking, dogs, food, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 11 Comments
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     My human is fat.  There I said it.  You know all those human interest pieces you see on TV about obesity, well the Geezer is the poster…I sure can’t say child…senior for that affliction.  It isn’t like he doesn’t try to get slimmer.  We walk a mile every day, he lifts weights four times a week, he makes a bona-fide attempt to avoid fattening foods, that’s until someone comes to visit.  Then “damn the calories, full gluttony ahead.”
     A case in point.  His beautiful daughter, her wonderful husband, and his two grand boys visited last week.  That meant an interruption.  Seven straight days where there was no time for walks, weights, or much of anything that constitutes a normal day in Geezerville.  Add to that the fact that some of the daughters friends visited; there was a whole lot of eatin’ goin’ on. 
     The Geezer is a good cook.  The problem is he normally prepares things like Steak Diane, or Eggs Bokeelia, or Baked Alaska.  By the time he gets done with the trimmings, the Titanic would have sunk under the weight of the calories he cooks, without tussling with the iceberg.
     Problem is, once the company leaves the overeating and break from the routine continues.  That’s compounded by the fact his publisher is releasing one of books, he’s working on two more, and generally, he’s trying to head in more directions at once than a cat dropped into a kennel holding nine pit bulls.  All this action is done while sitting on his ample ass behind the keyboard.
     I give him a hard time.  It’s for his own good, bbuuutttt I do enjoy it so.  As he pounded the keys I asked, “Are we going to take our 9 AM walk?”  It was 4:30 PM.
     “Oh shit, Sandy.  I forgot.”  He looked embarrassed. 
     “That’s all right, I understand.  It’s just I don’t want to look like you.”
     “Come on Sandy, give the old Geezer a break.”
     “Yeh, I don’t want kids chasing me down the street with a harpoon yelling, “There she blows!”
     “Ahhh, It’s not that bad.”
     “With all the food you’ve put away the last ten days, your brain must be in your butt.  And, with all that blubber pressing down on it, I can see why it doesn’t function well.”
     “Have a little compassion, girl.”  He looked like a toddler that just soiled his fresh diaper.  “I’ll get back on schedule tomorrow.  I promise.”
     “Oh yeah?  What are you having for supper tonight?”  I figured it would be something with enough calories to power up five sumo wrestlers.
     “Vega-que.”
     “Hmmmmm.  I’ll quit bugging you if you make some for me.”  I’m a meat and potatoes type girl, but……….
     “Deal.”  He went back to making arrangements for his book signing tour.  I went to the kitchen and waited.

     The recipe for DL’s Vega-que is:

Ingredients
4  tablespoons of butter
1   zucchini   9-10″  – cut into 1/4″ disks
2  yellow squash medium to large  – cut into 1/4″ disks
1  cup of cauliflower florets  –  be sure they’re small
1/2 cup of red spanish onion
1/2 cup of green bell pepper
1/2 cup of red bell pepper
2  medium gold potatoes  – peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
10  medium white mushrooms  – cut in half or quarters
1  can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of catsup
2 tablespoons of whole pickling spice
1  tablespoon of garlic powder

Instructions
1. Place a quarter cup of virgin olive oil in a large pan and heat to medium temperature.
2. Place butter in crock pot and melt with LOW temperature.
3. Place zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, onion, bell peppers, and potatoes into the pan and stir.
4. Place the mushrooms in the crock pot.
5. Cook veggies over medium heat 1-2 minutes then add to crock pot. (should NOT be soft)
6. Place can of diced tomatoes and catsup in crock pot.
7. Add whole pickling spice and garlic to crock pot.
8. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
9. Simmer (LOW heat) for 3/4 to 1  hour  – stir lightly every 10 minutes.
Serves eight – freezes well.

Yum!  Yum!

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www.dlhavlin-author.com 

July16- Is the whole poll to put a pole in the hole?

July 16, 2011 at 11:23 am | Posted in Books, Cooking, dogs, Elections, fishing, food, Humor, life, Politics, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 6 Comments
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     “You humans never cease to amaze me.”  The Geezer and I sat on the dock while he performed one of the obligatory functions I insist upon, brushing me.  “Your language defies logic.”
     “Oh?  How’s that?”  He cleaned the brush sending another puff of my fluffy undercoat onto the canal water.  Its surface was blossoming like the hibiscus bushes in the front yard.
     “Hmmmm, I was listening to the TV this morning.  They were talking about the polls saying this and the polls saying that.  Now, I know you have a room full of fishing poles.  Okay, okay, I know the difference.  But, why not have a different sounding word for every different meaning.  In Doganese, Woof is Woof, Arf is Arf, Grrrr is Grrrr.  There’s no guessing.”
     “That’s a good point, Sandy.  As you know, all humans don’t speak the same language.  English is the one you’re most familiar with and it’s also one of the worst for having words that sound the same, but have multiple meanings.”
     I hate it when he gets into one of his condescending, ‘I’ll explain this to you as nicely as I can, you poor unfortunate,’ modes.  It’s his Bill O’Reilly impersonation.  But, he means well, so I tacitly become his straight-man.  “And, why is that?” I asked.
     “English, as we know it, has been influenced by the Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and the Norman French.  Each was in control of the British Isles.  Each brought their own terms to describe a thing or a process.  Those identifiers were simply absorbed into the language.  That’s why we have so many ways to say the same thing.  Some sounded identical to words already in use.”  He smiled one of his patronizing, ‘I’m glad I could clear that up for you,’ lip curls.  Puke, puke, puke.
     “That doesn’t make it any more logical, or easier, for creatures and humans that aren’t steeped in your hodge-podge vernacular.”  I felt like adding, ‘Take that!’ but the old boy is free with the treats.  No sense in creating self-inflicted pain.
     “Give me an example, Sandy.  I’ll try to explain.”  He appeared to be a little contrite.
     “Okay, explain to me how a person unfamiliar with the lame logic your language employs wouldn’t be confused by the use of poll – which I understand to mean, a study to determine a group of people’s thoughts on a subject used to help influence others – and pole, which is basically a shaft.”
     “Why, Sandy, that’s brilliant!”  The Geezer smiled.  In this type of situation, that’s not a good thing.  Something smelled like a five-day-old dead fish.
     “I know I shouldn’t ask, but why is that?”  I could see the guillotine being wheeled into place.
     “You’ve connected the two meanings perfectly, Sandy.  So you’re saying that polls are designed to shaft a bunch of people by making them believe a certain way.”
     How do you answer something like that?  The whole theory has a huge hole in it.  Oh, good grief!  He’s got me doing it!

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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July 3 – The song says, “You must have been a beautiful baby.” I was! I was!

July 3, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Posted in Books, Cooking, dogs, fishing, food, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 21 Comments
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"YOU MUST HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIFUL BABY"

My human was listening to some really old music on his hi-fi. Major old. It was so old the plastic cover for the CD has iron hinges that creak when it’s opened. I mean, U-2 is dated, and the Grateful Dean ancient. But these bands… I’m almost sure they were exhumed from an archaeology dig, maybe Pompeii, or some place in Israel, or the Calusa Indian site here on Pine Island. No electric, you say. Come on, you humans haven’t figured out how the Egyptians did what they did. You know back when they were civilized and built more than they burned.

Anyway, the bands had names like “Guy Lombardo”, “Artie Shaw”, “Glenn Miller”, and “Count Bassie”. I’ve tried getting some meaning out of those names, but the thought process has turned up zero. I figure Count Basie is royalty from one of those small monocracies in Europe, maybe Liechtenstein. Oh, and maybe Artie Shaw painted in his spare time. That’s pure guess.

One of the songs they played was, “You must have been a beautiful baby”. I knew that before the Geezer told me what the title was. Back then you could understand the words when they sang. I guess there were a lot of distractions in the cave. He added, “That song certainly applies to you, Sandy. You were a beautiful baby!”

“Was I?”  I love to hear the Geezer talk about something I already know. Makes him feel good.

“You sure were.”

“That’s nice. You know I can’t see myself. The mirrors are all mounted incorrectly in this house.” Humans are an inconsiderate lot. You’d think they’d be more obliging to the other species in their houses.

“Well, we can take care of that.”

“You gonna relocate all the mirrors?” I got excited for a second.

“Oh no, I got lots of pictures,” he said. The old boy picked out an album and began showing me what I looked like in my frivolous, innocent youth. I WAS a beautiful baby. I’ve decided to share some of these with you. Hope you enjoy them.

Mrs. G and me at four weeks - me not her.

When I picked the Geezer and Mrs. G

The decision is made!

Me with my mom, Breeze, and my brothers

Mom and I were close

Nap time with my bros.

That was a long, hard day!

Yep, it sure was.

I'm on the left with my #1 bro at 10 weeks

Saying goodbye to my mentor/breeder

Goodbye Momma Breeze!

Visiting my older sister "Gracie" at 17 months

I'm the one with the tongue out!

The Geezer, his friend Randy, Gracie and me

And that marked the sunset of my youth and the beginning of my blogging career-so Walla, a beautiful sunset.

See you again soon. Oh, a PS. I’ll be accompanying the Geezer on many of his book signings for his new book, A Place No One Should Go. I hope I’ll meet you at one of them. Check his website for info on the book and in the near future he’ll post book signing dates and locations there.

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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