Meet my friend Thomas!

February 5, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Posted in Books, Cats, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 3 Comments
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Read Thomas’ description of life as a lady author’s cat.

 

Hi Gals & Guys - Meet and welcome my feline friend, Thomas

Hi Gals & Guys – Meet and welcome my feline friend, Thomas

The Five Best Things about Being the Cat of an Author

Hello, everyone! My name is Thomas, and my human, Kate, is an author. I’m sure Sandy has shared lots of stories about what it’s like to be the canine companion of one of these odd humans. However, I thought you all might like to know a bit more about the feline side. So, without any ado (I’ve got to catch my afternoon cat nap!), here are my favorite things about having an author for my human:

  1. I get to help!

Sometimes, Kate sits down with her laptop to write and the words get stuck in her brain. Just when she thinks about giving up for the night, it’s Tommy to the rescue! I’m the perfect size to crawl up in her lap and lay on top of her arms. With me being so sweet (and pinning her hands to the keyboard), she can’t help but keep working.

  1. Procrastination = Tommy Time

Whenever Kate is trying to avoid working on her author business, I reap the benefits. She’ll bustle around the apartment, cleaning my litterbox, gathering my misplaced toys, and giving me fresh food and water. It’s like having my own personal maid. Now I’ve just got to train her to sprinkle a few kitty treats on top of the regular food …

  1. She’s easy to cuddle.

Much of Kate’s author “research” involves reading other books (especially those in her genres – science fiction and fantasy). Most of the time, she reads in the bed (that is, in my bed), propped up against the pillows. While she takes up more room than I’d like, it’s the perfect time to get my cuddle fix and a few good ear scratchings.

  1. It’s all about me.

Kate says that her career goal is to be a full-time author, so that she can stay home with me all day long. If that isn’t devotion from a human, I don’t know what is! I know she’ll get there and that’s not just my feline loyalty talking. She is really good – all you have to do is read some of her work.

  1. I’m on the fast track to fame!

Part of Kate’s author work includes social media and sending an email newsletter. Often, she likes to take pictures of me to share with her growing readership. (Probably because I’m way more photogenic than she is … and who doesn’t love cats?!) I’m a frequent star on her Instagram, Facebook, and I even get to make a few appearances on the blog. Give it a couple years, and I’ll have my own YouTube series. Just you wait!

If you’d like to learn more about Kate (and me!), you can visit her author website at www.KateMColby.com. And don’t forget to follow her on social media to see all my adorable photos!

It's me Thomas! Oh those humans in the background are MY humans, author Kate & husband Daniel

It’s me Thomas! Oh those humans in the background are MY humans, author Kate & husband Daniel

 

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The Geezer’s back … Mrs. G’s pic … and I’m enjoying my sirloin

January 30, 2016 at 9:52 am | Posted in Books, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 6 Comments
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He’s back home after his cruise. That’s the Geezer. He must of had a very good time; the smile he’s wearing is extraordinarily wide. (His mouth corners contact his earlobes.) I’ve seen that once before … when he happened upon a famous female movie star skinny dipping on an isolated beach. That took two weeks to disappear. It means three things happened on the trip. First, he enjoyed the food. Second, Mrs. G had a good time (He doesn’t if she doesn’t). Third, his seminar must have been a smashing success!

I’ve had a lot of interest in what Mrs. G looks like. Why, I’ve been asked, is there never any pictures of her. Simple … she’s normally the one taking them. But, at last, I have a picture of her taken on the Enchantment of the Seas.

The Geezer and Mrs. G ... it's easy to see why he's always happy.

The Geezer and Mrs. G … it’s easy to see why he’s always happy.

I’m speaking to him again. He’s doing the appropriate amount of groveling, and I intend to keep under my paw as long as possible. I doubt he’ll leave me behind on one of his fun trips any time soon.

He’s getting ready for a busy February and March – he has speaking and book signings fifteen different places. It includes libraries and a university appearance. The old boy prepares hard for these. I’m sure he’ll grease up the gears grinding in that old mind of his. Check his calendar of events on his webpage at http://www.dlhavlin.com if you want to hear him, see him or throw things at him.

Oh yes, I’m enjoying my sirloin and I have two more weeks to go!

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Your New Years invite … Come see where I live.

January 3, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, fishing, Humor, life, New Years, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 5 Comments
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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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Merry Christmas …… Now for some LAUGHS …..

December 18, 2015 at 11:55 am | Posted in Books, Christmas, Cooking, dogs, holidays, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 8 Comments
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I'm a raindeer - Did I fool anyone?

I’m a reindeer – Did I fool anyone? …… Maybe rain dear?

Well, the Geezer has done it again. He’s posted his laughter inducing classic, “Claus and the Consultant.” This thoroughly enjoyable read is posted on (linked for your convenience)  www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com   If the season is getting hectic, and you need to renew your positive attitude with some humor, DON’T MISS READING IT! And, PLEASE, share it with your friends. Everyone can use an attitude adjustment at the end of this year.

 

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A Christmas story … for your pups … and you.

December 7, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Posted in Books, Christmas, dogs, holidays, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 5 Comments
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Woof! Woof!  Each year I like to tell a Christmas Story. This year it has a message … a positive one! Please share with your pups, family and friends.

A Christmas Story in the park.

The Geezer and I wish you all a very "Merry Christmas"

The Geezer and I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas”

Hi. I’m Sandy the Golden Retriever. I want to tell you a story.

            Each day my human takes me to the park. We meet some interesting people there … and we get to watch what they do. That’s how we got to know Sam, and the Wilson kids.

Sam is an old fellow who spends most every afternoon sitting in the park. He comes there to feed the birds. The old man doesn’t seem to have anything else to do. Sam is short, plump, and bald. I like to think his hair slipped ten inches because he has a long white beard and a mustache. He always has a big bag or two with him. The bags are loaded with goodies for his bird friends. All the birds in the park and the surrounding neighborhood know Sam and flock to him when they see him walking toward his favorite long bench. It is right across Main Street from Miller’s Department Store.

The Wilson kids like to hang around the same area. Billy is five. He loves to play “fetch” with me and his sister, who is a very wise ten, is one of the greatest dog petting people in the world. Trina knows just how to scratch behind my ears. Both the Wilsons love to feed the birds. I don’t chase the pigeons, starlings, and sparrows because Sam, the Wilson children, my human and me are all friends. We spend a lot of time sitting together and talking.

It gets cold where we live … very cold in December. The Wilsons don’t seem to mind the cold. They don’t wear heavy coats like most folks. Both Sam and my human have suggested they should dress warmer, but Trina and Billy never want to talk about it.

The leaves had all fallen, some patches of snow were scattered on the ground, and Christmas decorations filled Miller’s Department store. It was the day before Christmas. We were all seated on the bench feeding the birds from Sam’s huge bag of day-old bread. Little patches of white fog marked each breathe we took. The birds ate so much they could hardly fly. Sam said, “I think we need to stop feeding our buddies. I’m afraid some of them might pop.”

“Do we have to?” Billy was disappointed. I think he’d like to see a bird pop.

“Billy, Sam is right. Besides we can go look at what’s in Miller’s windows before they take everything out after Christmas.” Trina grabbed her brother’s hand and tried to pull him from the bench.

Billy resisted. “Awwww, I don’t want to. It makes me sad.”

My human asked, “Sad? Why does it make you sad?”

Trina answered, “Because he knows we’ll never get those things. Mama can’t afford it.”

“What does he want?” Sam asked.

“The train set with the yellow engine.” Trina tugged on Billy’s hand, half pulling him off the bench.

“You seem anxious to go look. What do you want from the window?” Sam smiled. “It must be important.”

“A cell phone. I don’t care which one. I want to call my friends and have them call me. I get left—” Trina didn’t finish her sentence.

Sam rubbed his beard for a few seconds. “Have you tried to ask Santa?”

“I would, but Mama doesn’t have time to take us. She’s too busy working this time of year.” Billy looked enthusiastic. Trina just smirked.

“You don’t have to see him in person. Just ask, he’ll hear,” Sam said.

“I don’t think so,” Billy said, “I’ve tried that before and it doesn’t work.”

“Will you walk me across the street?” Trina asked her brother.

Billy snorted, shrugged, and got off the bench. He walked to the street. Trina started to walk with him, but ran back for a second and whispered, “Don’t get his hopes up. He’ll never get it.” She raced back to catch Billy before he crossed the street.

My human shook his head. “What size coats do you think they wear, Sam?”

“The boy wears a size 4 the girl a 9. I’d buy them a size or two larger.”

My human nodded. “I hope they get something for Christmas that they want.”

Sam remained silent for several seconds before saying, “I want them to get something more important than a train set or a cell phone.”

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            Christmas afternoon my human and I were walking in the park when Billy and Trina ran up to us. Both wore new coats that were a little large. Their smiles were wide, but not as wide as the one on my human’s face. I figured out what the two of us had left outside the Wilson’s door. I barked to let them know, but my human just said, “Shsssh.”

We walked to the bench and our Friend Sam was already there. He looked tired, but happy. Two huge bags rested at his feet. “Merry Christmas,” he said as we approached. We answered, “Merry Christmas.”

“The bakery had an extra-large supply of bread to throw away and I intend to see the birds have a great Christmas, too.” Sam patted one of the bags.

Billy plopped down on the bench next to Sam and yelled, “Hooray.” My human and Trina sat on Sam’s other side.

Sam said, “Those are big Christmas smiles.”

“Yep, look at our coats,” Billy said.

“They’re so nice and warm,” Trina added.

“Well that’s good,” Sam got a serious look on his face. “I thought you’d be disappointed.”

“Why?” Trina asked.

Because Santa made a mistake and delivered some of your presents to my house.” Sam opened the second bag lying at his feet. He handed a large gaily wrapped package to Billy and small one to Trina. The wrapping paper tore easily and soon Billy was admiring his new train set … with a yellow engine. Trina held her I-phone in her hand with a grip so tight her fingers turned white. Tears entered her eyes and my humans. And, I admit, mine. Trina looked at Sam and said, “Thank you.”

“Oh, don’t thank me. These really came from Santa. Look,” Sam slid his fingers over the cell and a message appeared. He handed the phone to Trina and she read the e-mail.

“From: S. Claus … To: Billy and Trina Wilson …

I hope you enjoy the wrapped presents. I have two more gifts for you that are far more important. One is hope. The other is belief. As long as you keep these two things in your hearts and minds, anything is possible in your lives.”

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Merry Christmas from Sandy & Author DL Havlin 
sandy-blog-1-042www.SandySays1.WordPress.com qrcode.32492489 Web Site (2)
www.DLHavlin.com

Help me. Tell the Geezer to let me get my paws on the computer.

November 24, 2015 at 9:31 am | Posted in Books, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment
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"Open Minds - Open Books"

He believes readers are thinkers!

The Geezer is in the middle of a stretch where he is busier than a one armed paper hanger! It means he’s gone a lot and the lap top goes with him. I had a chance to get my paws on it for a few minutes this morning, so I took this opportunity to communicate to all of you. You can help me. He’ll be speaking at The Copperfish Bookstore in Punta Gorda, Florida, Tuesday afternoon, November 24, at 6:00 PM. Go see him (the Geezer is also known as DL Havlin) and tell him to let me get a chance to spend some time on line. You might want to stay and hear him talk. He’ll be speaking about his newest novel, Bully Route Home. If you like history delivered in an entertaining style he’s worth seeing. His book, Bully Route Home deals with bullying and race relations and he calls it, “The past’s portrait of today’s problems.”

 

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If a human …

October 26, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, Humor, life, Media, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 4 Comments
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- A website dedicated to what this dog wants to say!

Don’t believe everything humans tell you!

 

Dogfucius says:

If a human tells you the moon is made of cheese, don’t argue, ask them to cut you a slice.

If a human tries to put stupid looking clothing on you, tell them, “No, not until I see you try it on first.”

If a human feeds you lots of table scraps including beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tacos, and radishes, get even with them by staying close and keeping your rear end pointed at them until your problem passes.

If a human tells you “this hurts me as much as you,” bite them and ask the same question.

If a human tells you you’re the smartest animal in the world, remember she or he is probably selling Brooklyn Bridges as a two for one special.

If a human politician promises you the canine right to vote, a chicken in every pot, sex with your favorite movie star, free phones, free medical care, free housing, 360 days on sunshine each year, and to execute all dog-catchers, remember she or he’s already promised everybody else something similar. (E.g. – Dog-catchers are promised all dogs will be executed) Quick! Bury them in the backyard before they do the same to you!

 

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Doggie Daffynitions ——–

August 11, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 3 Comments
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Here I am, pointing the way to the next historical site. Note the royal pillow the Geezer provides for my head.

The way I see it…………….

Here are some of my doggie definitions … maybe I should call them daffynitions.

Intellectual – A person who occasionally knows more than most, but most of the time just pretend they do.

Restroom – A poorly named place that most human are in a hurry to get in, to get done, and to get out of — It should be called a Rushroom.

Legacy – Lies told to perpetuate the myth of an incompetent person’s competency.

Fidelity (definition #1) – State of mind said to exist in the minds of admirers of the former Cuban dictator. Often referred to by others as people who have been “fideled” or something starting with the same letter.

Fidelity (definition #2) – A monogamous, favorable, but difficult human condition to maintain … however, seemingly impossible in Hollywood.

Fidelity (definition #3) – An affliction of violinists who play country music.

Trade-in – A course of action taken by wealthy women and men who become bored with their cars and spouses.

 

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Dedicated to the Charleston Nine’s families – True Americans

June 23, 2015 at 11:45 am | Posted in Books, Current events, dogs, Elections, life, Politics, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 1 Comment
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“The victims’ families in the Charleston killings teach us what WE THE PEOPLE is about.”

 

A recreation of a  typical frontier cabin at the time of the Revolutionary War. _ Picture taken at Brattonsville Historical Site in SC

A recreation of a typical frontier cabin at the time of the Revolutionary War. _ Picture taken at Brattonsville Historical Site in SC

Once in a while a blind squirrel finds an acorn. And … once in a while my human comes up with a good philosophical observation. We’ve just returned from a multi-purpose trip to the Carolinas: to see my human’s grandson graduate from high school and to do research on a book the Geezer is writing. By happen-stance my humans and I were in the Kings Mountain National Military Park and in nearby Shelby NC the day before the racist lunatic that committed the unspeakable atrocities in Charleston was caught. We traveled the same road he was spotted on by the observant and brave lady that lead to his capture.

The research portion of the trip was enlightening both from the point-of-view of providing volumes of material for my human’s novel and as a tool to understand why we continue to suffer from mistakes we repeat … and repeat … and repeat. However, I want to tell you, my human friends, what the event that happened in South Carolina should teach you. I’ll save the exciting historical information for future posts.

The entrance to Kings Mountain National Military Park. - A place to learn about our roots, our triumphs, our mistakes.....

The entrance to Kings Mountain National Military Park. – A place to learn about our roots, our triumphs, our mistakes…..

“We can learn a great deal from the events that transpired in the last ten days. However, by far, the most important of those is that the greatness of a country is measured by the strength of character of its citizenry, not its government and certainly not its elites and politicians.” That’s a quote directly from my human. I believe it’s true.

If there ever was an example of this statement’s truth it’s in the actions of the Charleston victims’ families. They are what this country is about. If anyone had the right to rage, to recriminations, it would be them. What we saw was the understanding that we are one people, that those who choose to try to divide us are our enemies. The son of one of the victims spoke and as I listened, I was inspired. Why aren’t these the people who lead our country? I couldn’t help but compare the self-sacrificing language of someone who was suffering so severely to the self-serving rhetoric coming out of Washington.

The strength of the United States of America is in the character of its people. That’s you … me … and those valiant Charleston families that have sacrificed so much. We must constantly strive to fortify that strength. It is up to each individual acting in a free and responsible way to insure that our country retains its promise. Not the elites whose primary objective is power. Not the mindless automaton that is government. Certainly not the passage of a law. I remind you that slavery once was THE law.

This post is dedicated to the AMERICANS who died in the process of strengthening their character and their magnificent families. If we could only place them in the White House and Congress and remove what is there now, how much improved our country would be.

 

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Here today, gone tomorrow … that’s humans and their things.

June 9, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 1 Comment
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Once a major city it's disappeared except for a sign.

Once a major city it’s disappeared except for a sign.

Many of us accept the places we are born and live in as an anchor. A place to begin and end. A place to return to. Home. There is an implied sense of permanence to the word. We simply can’t vision a community or a house simply vanishing.

It happens. The story of Newnansville is one that illustrates how transient human endeavors can be. Newnansville once was one of the largest cities in Florida. Today, finding any of its “bones” is a project. The sign pictured above commemorates where it was. A building or two that their owners claim stood when the town thrived and a cemetery are pretty much what mark the corpse’s location. The site is near the current city of Gainesville.

The city was named after a prominent figure who fought in the “Patriot’s War.” That war is one of those bodies buried by national pride and the obscurity of the area’s history. The Patriot’s War was an attempt to seize Florida from Spain during the early 1800’s for the fledgling United States. Supposedly a settler’s attempt to throw off Spanish rule, it was a thinly disguised American exploit. It failed, partly because of the poorly organized clandestine effort the US made, partly because the Tories who had been expelled from the colonies during the Revolutionary War sided with the Spanish, and partly because it paralleled the War of 1812 that found the US scurrying to survive. Daniel Newnan took a hero’s part in the ill-fated attempt made to conquer St. Augustine.

Andrew Jackson then demonstrated to the Spanish it was time to leave. He announced his intention to make war on the Seminole’s and other tribes in the region. His edict to the Spanish Governor in essence stated “stay out of my way or I’ll make you eat dirt.” The Spanish weren’t that enamored with Florida and ceded its territory to the United States in 1821.

The war ended badly for the Native Americans. The Seminoles resisted relocation and resorted to moving further south while fighting with the settlers over lands seized by them.

In 1824 the five building community sited in the Indian territory’s original name was “Dell’s Post Office.” When Newnan settled there the town renamed itself, “Newnansville.” The government built a road that stretched from St. Augustine to Tallahassee. The Bellamy Road was the main connection between East and West Florida. Newnansville became the major station along its length. Fort Gilleland was built nearby to protect the road, the town and the steadily increasing number of white settlers homesteading the area.

Justifiably alarmed by the continuing incursions of the settlers, the Seminoles were pushed to the point that war broke out in 1835 when Colonel Dade and a hundred men were ambushed and killed in the area. During this period of time (1835-1842) Newnansville became the largest settlement in the area exceeding 1000 people. When the war ended, the city retained its prominence until the railway decided not to lay rails  through the community. Instead the railway went to Alachua a few miles away. With it went commerce, with commerce went people … Newnansville literally was abandoned over the succeeding decades.

Today the most prominent reminders of the town’s existence are the sign and some old grave stoves, like the one below. People things, aren’t permanent things, as much as humans like to believe they are.

Grave Stone dating to 1839

Grave Stone dating to 1839

 

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