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My new buddy! Ruger! He’s a real son-of-a-gun.

This is RUGER! He’s my new relative. Cousin Ruger has more energy than tens dogs should have

Meet the newest addition to our family. He is an Australian Shepard named Ruger. Ruger owns my human’s daughter and her family. Ruger, Lori, Mike and Bradley came down to visit and fish with the Geezer. Did you notice his eyes? Intense!

Of course, Ruger is a puppy. His perpetual puppy spring is still wound tight. He’s always on the move chasing something or somebody. From the time he bounded up the stairs until the time Lori and Mike’s pickup left for North Carolina … I was his primary objective. Being young and being male, well I’m sure you understand. I was polite and didn’t get harsh with him. However, I spent a lot of my time in a sitting position.

Ruger is a chaser. Balls … birds … beagles … boys … it doesn’t matter. He’s a very love-able character. Enthusiastic about everything, I got tired just watching him.

Ruger and me. Note my position.

 

“Chow Hound” should be Ruger’s nick-name. Here he drools over a lobster toy

 

The Geezer, Mrs. G, and I all enjoyed the not-so-little guy. Oreo our black and white cat was less thrilled. They stared at each other from a distance and Oreo chose the high ground. Stairs. The balcony. Back of the couch. The high ground.

 

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Vindicating vacation value …

“Where do you want to go, Geezer?” I asked.

He thought for at least two minutes, that’s a long time when you’re waiting for an answer. Finally, he spoke, “Remember Seinfeld famously said his show was about nothing? So, I want to do the Seinfeld thing … Nothing. I want to go where I can do that.”

I looked at him wondering if the steam in his boiler had escaped. “Nothing? You can do that at home.”

“No Sandy, I can’t. The phone rings, the Internet calls, my next chapter demands to be worked on if I stay here. So … I’m going where no phone will bother me, where there’s no wifi, and to a place I’m far away from my research notes and computer.”

“Is there such a place beside heaven?”

“Yes, I think I’ve found utopia.” He smiled. “We’re going to Amity.”

The view from Amity Cabin’s front porch – A beautiful 38 acre lake we had to ourselves. Except for fish that lined up to strike our lures.

 

The place DL found was off the beaten path. Let me rephrase: This wonderful piece of seclusion was off a once used game trail. Located in Mississippi near the Alabama line, the farm Amity Cabin is built on isn’t close to anything most Americans recognize as a “destination.” The rolling terrain, the beauty of the unspoiled pines, magnolia blossoms, curious deer, and mirror-like-lake, wrapped  a serenity blanket around us.

Pines in the morning mists

A full house … The Mississippi Martin Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’d been at Amity for three days when the old boy’s wisdom became undeniably evident. He’d found the ultimate location and way to relax. We sat on the porch, watching martins pilot their bodies over the lake, dipping, zigging, zagging, and intercepting insects that would be their babies’ lunch. “I have to tell you, Geezer, I thought you were crazy. You weren’t. This is the closest thing to a battery charger for humans I’ve ever seen.”

He nodded. “The one solace accumulating years brings is the wisdom experience imparts. I spent years going on vacations that were scheduled tighter than my work regimen prescribed. I’d race from attraction to attraction, take advantage of sight-seeing or night-life at any place I happen to stay, and squeeze in some work to salve my misguided conscience. The result … I was exhausted at its conclusion. A vacation from the vacation seemed necessary. Then, I discovered this is what I needed. When I returned from a true rest, I found my productivity and creativity returned to the 150% I strive for.”

Mrs G and I had time to read our favorite magazine, Garden & Gun – Wow – what a luxury.

The Geezer rockin’ the day away on Amity Cabin’s front porch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While our life style was definitely not an episode of “Naked and Afraid,” we were able to commune with nature. Deer visited daily … herons, owls, hawks, martins, robins, cardinals, and a multitude of other birds flitted around us … quail whistled “bob-white” from sun-up to sun-down, and a raccoon peered through the glass front door each evening, daring me to give chase. I didn’t even bark at him … not after his first appearance. It was my chance to relax, too.

 

A magnificent magnolia blossom. – The candle holders in the photo show size – each is 5″ in diameter. These flowers’ fragrance sweeten each day at Amity.

 

Most importantly, it was away from the filth Washington and the New York media dumps on us daily. There are no (vomit) politics on the farm. There are no assassination attempts at Amity. The only ABC we saw was in books we read. The FOX we watched had four legs. The Washington Post found its best purpose … to wrap garbage.

Yep, the value of our vacation was vindicated.

 

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Your New Years invite … Come see where I live.

Happy New Year!  2016 is here, lets hope it is better than 2015.  On to more happy things. I’m looking forward to changes for the better.

I'm looking forward to 2016.

I’m looking forward to 2016.

One of the things I enjoy most about blogging and reading blogs are all the trips I can make around the world without ever leaving my keyboard. The pictures that accompany the posts are wonderful bits of shared … vision … knowledge … and in cases, emotion. I’ve enjoyed Holland, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Singapore, Italy, England and many more destinations. That doesn’t include all the fascinating places that I’ve been transported to in the States. Yosemite. Zion National Park. New York City. San Francisco. The Grand Tetons. Seattle. Kansas City. The North Carolina Mountains. And, hundreds more!

Since I’ve enjoyed so many of these mini-journeys, I’ve decided to show you what my area is all about in pictures. Here’s a sampling of what I see and do with the Geezer and Mrs. G in our area.

My friend in flight

My friend Pelican Pete in flight

Mom heron getting ready to feed her babies

Mom night heron ready to feed her babies

Green heron!

Green heron!

Osprey looking for fish.

Osprey looking for fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above are some of my bird buddies. Below are some critters we share space with.

 

Margret the Manatee

Margret the Manatee

 

 

 

Samantha the Swamp Rabbit

Samantha the Swamp Rabbit

What funny teeth you have! The better to saw you with.......

What funny teeth you have! The better to saw you with…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ain't I boootiful --- chomp, chomp?

Ain’t I boootiful — chomp, chomp?

 

The Geezer, Mrs. G, and I like to:

 

Canoe and Kayak

Canoe and Kayak

 

Do research on the Geezer's books.

Do research on the Geezer’s books.

Go on speaking engagements and book signings

Go on speaking engagements and book signings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tarpon Time - from the back yard on a light fly rod

Tarpon Time – from the back yard on a light fly rod

 

When we do those things here’s what we see.

 

Sunrise over the Atlantic

Sunrise over the Atlantic

"A Place No One Should Go, territory"

“A Place No One Should Go, territory”

A beautiful sunset over the bay.

A beautiful sunset over the bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current weather I'm suffering in

Current weather I’m suffering in here on Bokeelia Bay

If you’d like to visit with the Geezer and me, go to his blog at http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com for his schedule. I’ll be accompanying him on outdoor events!

Don’t know about you, but … I’m tired of the negativity, the group think, the political correctness, and the division of everything into two opposing forces. Let’s hope a huge broom sweeps away a lot of our problems AND the people causing them this year.

Again HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Man’s good intentions often end in nature’s disaster.

The

The “lone cypress” was used as the navigational aid to help boat captains find the mouth of the Caloosahatchee canal on Lake Okeechobee.

Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of how things used to be. The Geezer took Mrs G and me to a place that figured prominently in Florida history. It isn’t a site of a battle, or the first fort-school-etc. The sign in the picture above doesn’t commemorate a disaster, though one took place here.  However, what was done here changed the states future and continues to impact it today.

Say South Florida to most folks and they envision white sand beaches, tourist attractions, and a retirement Mecca. Before what occurred at the spot pictured, South Florida had a very different reputation. An army major serving during the third Seminole War described the land as, “Much like Hell with insects replacing the flames.” Half the year the flat land was inundated with “sheet water.” Sheet water is the result of the lack of change of elevation; rains flood the ground and they sit moving at a snails pace in any direction that’s a few inches lower. The land becomes one gigantic “river without banks.” It’s what creates the Everglades. This also was what served as a super incubator for mosquitoes, deer flies, and countless other pests. It was malaria and yellow fever’s home town. The fertile land beneath it was unusable in what was still an agricultural country.

Someone thought, “Why don’t we drain it?” The whole story of how Hamilton Disston was drawn into this enterprise as a result of a Florida fishing trip is a fascinating but long tale. The Disstons led by father Henry had become fabulously wealthy as a result of their development of saw technology. Drastically shortening the story Disston and the state of Florida played lets make a deal in the early 1880’s. Disston was to get half of the lands he drained. (An area the size of Connecticut)

The picture  above is the site of one of the primary results of his efforts. He dug a canal from Lake Okeechobee to connect to the Caloosahatchee River. The “lone cypress” marks the spot where the canal empties lake water into the river. It served as GPS, channel marker, and signage for the early water-born trade that helped develop this section of Florida. He dug additional canals on the south lake shore. His efforts resulted in the partial drainage of the land, the opening of rich agricultural areas, and eventually the Florida land boom … and bust … that added more to the unsavory reputation many Disston contemporaries bestowed on the “Sunshine State.”

The cypress and sign are located in the town of Moore Haven. It remains an agricultural area and a heaven for bass fishermen (and ladies). Ironically, the town’s growth promoted by the canal, proved deadly. In 1926, a hurricane killed 400 and was a precursor to an even worse storm. The 2nd greatest storm related loss of life in US history occurred when the 1928 hurricane killed more than 2500 a few miles east along the lake shore in the Belle Glade area.

The 1928 hurricane figures prominently in DL Havlin’s book, Blue Water, Red Blood. If you’d like more information on the storm and, how through some fantastic coincidences, the disaster helped win World War II, it provides a good read.

The canal historical marker is pictured below.

The historical marker in Moore Haven.

The historical marker in Moore Haven.

Today the canal remains controversial. Much of the pollution of the surrounding rivers, Everglades, and the costal estuaries are a result of Disston’s efforts to improve life in the area. Human’s are slow learners. We canines understand that screwing “Mother Nature” can result in creating a baby that turns out to be a monster.

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

     “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!

"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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