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Back Home…time to Relax…& Remember

BACK HOME! Is it my imagination or does the world look better upside-down?

I’m home! I believe Dorothy is right. There isn’t anyplace like it. The Geezer family trip to the North Carolina mountains was a blast, but it is good to be back in the familiar places where I’m comfortable.  The Geezer went to Burnsville for a commemorative for his best friend and his best friend’s wife. Loss of the fifty plus year relationship left a gapping hole in the Geezer’s universe. Friends and family gathered to celebrate Chet and Betty’s lives. Our destination, Burnsville, is a mountain town with historic settings and past. It’s people are friendly, the weather pleasant and cool, at least compared to our Florida steam-bath home.

Visiting a world that isn’t flat takes getting used to!

Living on a slanted world took me a little time to adjust. I quickly learned running downhill and uphill are different. Stopping resulted in me doing a barrel roll on my first attempt. However, I mastered what I needed to learn in a day. There are a lot of differences to discover. The trees, grass, dirt, even the light were all new. The Geezer had to adjust his driving skills. The curvy roads and the ups and downs took him longer to reach a car-aiming comfort level, than I did with being a passenger. Some of the bends were sharp! Our Edge’s front tried to tag the rear a time or two; at least it felt that way.

Meeting new friends, human.

 

Making new friends, Golden.

I love making new friends. There were oodles of humans and canines I met that are now buddies. A couple are pictured above. Bo is a friend of the Geezer and Mrs. G and the son of his best friend. Bo is a great guy who gives super ear rubs! I also met Remi, a cousin a few times removed. We had a great time! Play time was all the time. I met lots of humans…Michael, Jessica, Sadie, Samuel, Brandley, Natalia, D3, Carolyn, Brandon, and many more. Among my new canine pals are Mabel, Kimber, Ruger, and Whiskey Girl.

It was a wonderful trip…but there’s no place like home.

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June 6th, 2020…Another D-Day? Getting a toe in the water —

The Gezeer, “I shall return.”

June 6th, 2020 is another D-Day of sorts. At least, it is for a lot of us. That includes the Geezer. He’s venturing out to try to reclaim some vestige of “normal” life. For the first time since February, he’ll be out and about. He’ll be at Mixon’s Arts & Crafts Show in Bradenton, Florida. Will he observe all the do’s and don’ts – masks, spacing, disinfecting.

There is the same question in his mind that must be occurring in thinking human’s in ALL the US of A. Which is right? We must stay isolated. We must hit the streets and thrust people together to mix and match virus strains. One has to be correct…but which? Of course, if you’re waiting for direction from our political leaders, what is jokingly called our news media, or the even more ludicrous disappearing medical experts, good luck!

As the Gezeer said, “At this point, I’m going to use my common sense, try to protect myself and those around me, and enjoy what little portions of life the politicians, media, and junk science people allow us.”

As I remove my four paws from the soap box, I’ll tell you that the Geezer will be at the Mixon Arts & Crafts Show, Saturday, June 6, 9 AM to 4 PM. The location is:  2525, 27th Street East, Bradenton, Florida. He hopes to see you there and encourages all to wear masks, practice distancing, and be good citizens…something that is lost on a segment of our population.

The sign at Mixon’s…one of Florida’s last privately owned tourists attraction.

 

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Escaping the Chinese Crud – Getting away from it all…

Hiding from the Corona Crud – Our “stay in the car” trip

After a while, you just have to get out. That’s what we did! A week ago the Geezer, Mrs. G, and me crawled into the car and headed out. We went to the site of the Geezer’s latest book, “The Grave with Greener Grass.” It certainly put us in a position to observe social distancing and isolation. Kenansville and Lake Marian are in south-central Florida. They are in an area that has escaped the growth much of the state sees. In other words, it hasn’t been spoiled…yet. Geezer said he hadn’t visited the area he used to fish, for thirty years. He was ecstatic observing how little it had changed! As he remarked, “It is wonderful to see there are still places God and nature created that man hasn’t screwed (My word, not his) up.”

The trip was not without its problems. Mrs. G and the Geezer aren’t short-sighted. They realized the need to minimize potty stops. Food and drink intake was severely limited before and during the eight hour trip. Nature doesn’t relent. When you got to go, you got to go. Face masks, gloves, aerosols, none of them leave you with complete peace of mind at the gas station, etc. that becomes a pee stop. Finding open businesses, ones that looked less likely to be infected, and that had facilities available for use, just weren’t plentiful.

Lake Marian – Paradise fishing resort, one very few access points to the lake

Lake Marion’s shoreline is 95% the way nature made it. Gators, snakes, turtles, frogs, otters, herons, cranes, ducks, and other wildlife are the only over population to which its waters are subjected. It is “old school.” Oh yes, there are plenty of bass, specs, and bream swimming around. You can truly “isolate” here.

The Paradise Inn – Lake Marian’s, Ritz Carlton

We visited what would equate to the setting of the main character’s ranch gate in “The Grave with Greener Grass.” The Geezer’s (DL Havlin) novel is the first in a planned six book series featuring redneck light hero, Sly Harrell. A former operative for the DOJ and a defense firm employee where he did industrial espionage, Sly owns the ranch and runs a business the specializes in “finding things.” (Hence “The Finder” series) This is what its entrance looked like.

The ranch gate – the prototype for Sly Harrells property

The trip went well, and my humans began feeling adventurous. They decided to take the unmitigated risk of eating at an actual restaurant! (TIC) They stopped in the wonderful little town of Frostproof. The old main street is a photographer’s delight…it is like stepping through a time portal into the 1930’s. Located on “the scenic highway” in that quaint little city is the Egg Works, a place the Geezer loves to eat lunches and breakfasts. It was opened…he couldn’t resist the stop…and Mrs. G had to go. Try the Philly Cheese Steak! It is outstanding.

One of the Geezer’s favorite places for breakfast or lunch!

“After the ball is over” – The Egg Works after hours…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grave with Greener Grass” is hot off the Geezer’s keyboard and was just turned over to his literary agent in the last two weeks. It’s a mystery/suspense novel with a lot to please reader’s who like to think. I’ll let you all know who the publisher will be and when it will be available. That is as soon as I know!     WOOF!  WOOF!

 

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I was born to be a travelin’ dog.

I love going in the car………….Riding as my humans act as my chauffeur.

There was a song out many years ago with words that said, “Lord, I was born a traveling man.” That song was written about me…of course, I’m a dog…not a human. There is something about a highway running out in front of the car that captivates me. The panorama changes constantly. It’s unending eye candy. I’ve included some pictures of my recent trip to Mississippi that the Geezer made to do research for a book and to get some R & R time.

The Geezer and Mrs. G sit in the front seat and perform their duties skillfully when I ride with them. The Geezer dutifully turns the wheel and works the pedals while Mrs. G feeds me treats. They even have made it easier for me to get in and out. I now have my own personal entrance and exit ramp. Mrs. G tells me they bought it to save their backs but I know better. It was purchased so I can impress as I exit and enter the car.

The open road calls – “See whats over the next hill or around the next curve.”

there are towns to see

and flowers to sniff

 

 

 

 

 

 

there are friends to visit

and historical places to see

 

 

 

 

 

 

I get excited if I even suspect that we’re off on an adventure. Every time my humans get near the car doors I put my nose up to where the door opens to let them know “I’m ready!” If I hear the magic word, load, I know my dream is coming true.

I guess the thing I love most is that I get to be with the Geezer and Mrs. G rather than staying home to guard the house. When we ride, I get in my favorite position and alternate between resting my head on each of their shoulders.

Traveling position 101

 

Did I hear an engine start?

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I’m Back!

 

Hi all! I know it has been a long absence but I’m back. The Geezer has agreed to relinquish the keyboard long enough for me to sit behind it for some time each week. I’ll start blogging regularly next week.

Lots has happened since my last jotting, so I have a lot to write about.

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Fort Myers Beach Library: 1/29/19, 10:30 AM

Out and about: January 29, 2019, 10:30 AM
Fort Myers Beach Library
2755 Estero Boulevard
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Award winning author DL Havlin presents
“Florida’s Contribution to WWII
and
WWII’s Contribution to Florida”

Holiday House of Hope

I can’t go, but you can. Visit with award-winning author DL Havlin at the Holiday House of Hope, 11/30, 5:30-10:00 PM hosted by the historic Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island

Get your copy of “Turtle Point” set on Pine Island and Cayo Costa

Summertime and the livin’ is easy … or is it?

Main Street, you have to love it!

The good ole summertime or dog days, which is it? People dread it or love it! Some of that depends on the location of your doghouse. If you’re in the mountains of North Carolina or along the Montana – Canadian border, it’s like Hammerstein’s lyrics from Porky and Bess, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” Not so if you’re sweltering in the desert southwest or in Florida’s everglades. Give it six months – those songs will change 180°. I like the summer for another reason. My humans are home more, and when they do travel, they’re much more likely to take me along.

Example, I went up into the cool mountain air a couple of weeks ago. The Geezer’s best friend was celebrating a special birthday in the beautiful town of Burnsville, NC. Ah! The mountains! Plenty of deer to chase. Flowers to sniff in the mountain meadows. Crystal waters to drink from spring fed “branches.” The luxury of watching time rock by. What a trip for relieving the tension created by the tortuous times we live in.

Time to watch the world rock by, IF you can keep awake. See me making Zs at the end of the line?

The difference in the two summers was driven home to me when we were returning. Driving south on Interstate 26, we stopped at a rest area, still in the Hendersonville mountain area, so I could sprinkle the grass. The temperature was pleasant, the humidity low. An hour-and-a-half later Mrs. G needed to find a used coffee disposal device (that’s a Geezerism). Hopping out of the car was like jumping into a Swedish sauna with palmettos and pines as decor.

The Herons return to raise a new generation!

Summer is baby manatee season – Mama & offspring relax in our canal

 

Summer is when life renews itself. The proof is in our back yard … in the canal and bushes behind it. Two exhibits are placed in evidence. Matilda the Manatee is shown here with her latest young ‘un. Our resident night herons have had their nests in full operation. The next squadron is already flying. Our canal’s air traffic rivals O’hare at times.

Outside is … outside. That’s hot and fun.

 

Inside is cooler and comfortable in summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I get to go to more of the Geezer’s book events and presentations in the summer. One thing about this season is the drastic difference in outdoor and indoor events. He has two coming up in the next couple weeks. The Geezer will be presenting programs for Master the Possibilities this fall. He’ll be in Ocala for a kick-off meet and greet at 8415 SW 80th Street, in Ocala, FL this coming Friday the 24th at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. It’s in the Cypress and Live Oak’s AC. He’ll also be at Englewood Florida’s Pioneer Days in Pioneer Park on Dearborn Street, September 2nd & 3rd where he’ll be doing some MCing of the program and signing books. It’s outside … it is hot, but it’s fun! 

Don’t forget to check out  “Possibilities! The Hudson comes to the Peace” writers conference at http://www.southwestfloridawritersconference.com . This is going to be a premier conference. If you want to improve your skills, determine if writing is for you, or GET THE RARE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE NEW YORK AGENTS & EDITORS VIEW YOUR WORK you need to be there! 

 

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The Geezer is at the Crowley Museum this weekend.

That’s where he’ll be this weekend. The #Crowley Museum is one of those places that few human folks know about and that lots of human people should. It’s a living photo of history within a two-and-a-half hour drive for those living in communities from Marco Island to Clearwater and into the center of south Florida. I love that kind of place, but unfortunately, I’m on guard duty this weekend. He’s listed by his author name on their program – DL Havlin, instead of his more descriptive title – Geezer.

 

One of the structures at the Crowley Museum

The Crowley is a late 1800’s frontier town that’s been restored to preserve the area’s heritage. It even has some of the cattle breed the Spanish brought with them in the 1500s that was the foundation for Florida’s first important industry, “ranch herding.” One reason I’m not going is all the farm animals. Chasing is irresistible.

The event for this weekend is the Southwest Florida Heritage Festival. There will be all kinds of demonstrations like squeezing sugar cane and making syrup from the juice just like Florida Crackers did using draft animals and wood fires. Other exhibitions include spinning, whip making, bee keeping, noodle making, pioneer cooking and more! Here are a few pictures.

 

Museum Exhibit – Whip that gave birth to the term “Cracker.”

Transportation – 1880’s Florida style. One of a multitude of exhibits (as they were) at the Crowley Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar Cane Press

A place to think and stink back in the day.

Irma was rough on this wonderful example of Florida history. It has just recently been reopened after the extensive work done to put it back as it was! I highly recommend you stop by and see this fascinating bit of Americana. The Geezer will be presenting two historical talks at the Crowley Learning Center. “The Loyal 14th Colony: Florida in the Revolutionary War” will presented Saturday (2/24) at 11:00 AM. He’ll talk about “Florida: The Forgotten Years – 1865 to 1920” on Sunday (2/25) also at 11:00 AM. Both presentations have power point programs with them and the old boy will stick around to answer questions and chat afterwards. He loves that. The Geezer (DL Havlin) will be there both days open to close. Instructions to get to the Learning Center are available on-line and will be at the event.

The Crowley Museum is located very near Sarasota. Exit I-75 on to Fruitville Road East. Fruitville dead ends into Myakka Road. Turn right.  The road twists and turns for a few miles to 16405 Myakka. That’s about 13 miles from the #210 exit off I-75. It’s on the left side of the road traveling east. There is a website with more info. It’s http://www.crowleyfl.org .  GPS should get you there. Come see him this weekend!

 

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A day at the fair …

Englewood Florida’s “Cracker Fair” was a great event. Heavily attended, its organizers deserve to take a bow.

 

Wow! The event I attended over the weekend gets a five bone award on a five bone scale. It had something that all who attended could enjoy. Woof-woof for the “Lemon Bay Historical Society Cracker Fair.” Everything from demonstrations of pioneer living, to the wildlife that Florida’s early settlers had for neighbors entertained and educated. You couldn’t help but be impressed by the folks who made up the very large crowd. I spoke to men and women from nine different countries. (Count ’em – England, Canada, India, France, Denmark, Germany, Columbia, Switzerland, and South Africa.) Like you’d expect, many canines took their humans to the cultural event. I had a chance to bark with breeds from – Boxers to Yorkies – with Chihuahuas, Bull dogs, German Sheperds, and many others mixed in. Of course, other Goldens were well represented. I distributed my canine cookie recipe to so many, I almost ran out of the cards it’s printed on. Below are some interesting pics from the fair.

 

This hawk checked out the spectators. Old talons was part of the wildlife exhibit.

“Who dat?” The wise old owl asked about an admirer. Wildlife was there courtesy of a wildlife rescue/refuge group. They do great work!

There wasn’t a negative about the fair. The result on the Geezer … that’s another thing. It will take a month for the swelling to go down. He was the featured speaker during the town’s history week at Charlotte/Englewood library a few days before and many people stopped by to tell him they really enjoyed his presentation. (At that point, an air-compressor hose was attached to his cranium) A couple individuals asked him to speak to their organizations. If that wasn’t bad enough, four people who have read his books stopped by to buy more and tell him how much they loved his stuff. That last part, the loved his stuff, was bad! The compressor fired off. Putt, putt, putt, putt……… Next, two placed orders for a book he’s in the process of finishing. Compressor. Faster.  Buttabuttabuttabutta……….. Finally, one person left her name with a standing order for each new book when it comes out. Compressor. Race. Bbbbrrrruuuummmmmmmm………. The old turkey will be hard to live with for a while. If I can find a large pin, I’ll puncture that balloon – that is if I can find a way to shelter from the gush of hot air that will rush out at hurricane force.

The Geezer loves history and the culture of ALL of our past. He believes that choosing to ignore history insures the same mistakes will be relived. Ignoring or “deleting” what’s happened won’t change one thing and only drastically increases the probability of an instant replay.

The Cracker Fair is all about history. Some intrepid re-enactors sweated and sweltered in the Florida sun so the visitors could get the flavor of the times. Below are a couple of gentlemen who were walking, talking history books. They added mystic and ambiance besides answering questions about the time period.

Infantryman Gene, a friendly fellow from the Florida militia, circa 1860s

Here comes the cavalry! An officer from the same period. One neat guy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worse, the Geezer will be speaking at the Helen B. Hoffman Library, located at 501 N Fig Tree Lane, in Plantation, Florida, Monday 2/12 at 10 AM. He’ll be speaking about “The loyal 14th colony: Florida in the Revolutionary War.”

I may need a blimp tender to hold him down after that.

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