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Sometimes humans do horrible things – And Nero fiddles …

Sometimes humans do good things -

At times humans do good things – Sometimes they’re plain horrible!

 

Unless you are deaf, dumb or blind, you can’t be ignorant of the events of the last 48 hours. Humanities scum, filth, garbage … showed its depravity in Orlando. Unfortunately, the human who perpetrated this event will get the headlines. Sharing those headlines will be pundits and politicos who ask everyone to “be as one.” Aaaaaa … humans, let me enlighten you … you’re already divided. If you don’t make changes, severe ones, World War Three is in the wings. You cannot allow the type evil that is evolving in all areas of the world to grow and prosper. I’d prefer not to have to scavenge your bodies to survive.

I don’t like to talk politics so I won’t say more than this. You humans need change. In thinking. In policy. In honesty. In functionality. Most of all, in leadership. That’s at all levels, in all organizations. Government and the news media should be first, followed closely by what you humans humorously call collegiate education. Barking won’t get it. The only way a mouth saves is CPR. We have had way to much mouth – in fact, fifteen years of it is enough.

 

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They’re too sexy for their feathers … too cute for this picture shoot …

 

Owl in home

Wise young owls … burrowing owls that is. The youngsters don’t quite trust my doggy smile.

 

“I’ll only take a few moments!” – That’s what I yelled at the Geezer so I can send out this quick post. Getting my paws on the keyboard, right now, is like getting any two people to agree on politics. I had to share the pictures of these cuties we saw while taking a ride in the neighboring city of Cape Coral. Burrowing Owls are a protected species and the “Cape” does a good job of doing just that. (Much to the consternation of some home owners and builders) Papa owl is pictured below as he stands guard on his “young-uns.”

The Geezer has been super busy the last few weeks traveling to other states for conferences, historical research for a series of novels, etc. and conducting seminars and speaking locally. He hasn’t done much writing in three weeks and that makes him as grumpy as bear leaving hibernation. This was such a good set of pics I had to get them posted.

 

Owl w-protected sign

Papa owl watching over his family

 

Owl family

The whole fam-damilly – Mom, Dad, and the four kids.

 

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My human’s teaching … something useful.

 

DL (the Geezer) teaching a seminar.

DL (the Geezer) teaching a seminar.

The Geezer is going to teach a seminar this Saturday on writing historical fiction.

Are you thinking about writing a historical novel? Let him share what he’s learned while writing Blue Water, Red Blood and The Cross on Cotton Creek – both traditionally published by Double Edge Press. The Florida Writers Association is sponsoring a Mini-Conference … “Day at the Bay” … on May 7th in Tampa. It will be held at the Clarion Inn, 9331 Adamo Drive, Tampa, FL  33619.

Visit his site at  www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com  and read his last two posts for more details .

The Florida Writers Association consistently provides excellent seminars and conferences. You can obtain more information on this event by calling 813.621.5555 or on the net by visitinghttps://floridawriters.net/conferences/mini-conferences/day-at-the-bay/ I hope you’ll join him May 7th in Tampa.

 

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They’re back … and love is in the air!

 

Love is in the air!

Momma manatees give birth and are raising calves in our canal. We have two "toddlers" this year.

Momma manatees give birth and are raising calves in our canal. We have two “toddlers” this year.

Each spring our back yard becomes a nursery/rookery for the manatees and night herons.

Here are a few pics of the returning wildlife. We’re up to eight night heron nests and two extended families of manatees. (Seven in one “herd” and five in the other.) When all twelve are cavorting around our narrow canal we need to install a traffic light. Some weigh well over 500 pounds. In addition two green heron nests are sandwiched in between the night herons.

Nosing up to the mangroves to nibble on the leaves.

Nosing up to the mangroves to nibble on the leaves. Notice #2 up under the bushes?

Here’s a brief film clip of manatees being manatees.

The night herons normally do a good job of hiding their nests so it takes some real concentration to find them camouflaged in the mangroves. We have an exception this year. The pair are real exhibitionists. The Geezer calls them Madonna and Justin. Here are some pics.

Green heron!

Green heron invasion! Sometimes you wish for a camera but…….. A black snake tried to steal this herons eggs, but the whole bird community responded and made Swiss Cheese of Mr. Slithers.

 

Mom and babies - how quickly they grow!

Mom and babies – how quickly they grow!

 

Madonna and Justin showing off their plumage!

Madonna and Justin showing off their plumage!

 

Exhibitionists !!!!!!!!

Exhibitionists !!!!!!!!

 

This green heron looks like he has a hangover in the early morning light.

This green heron looks like he has a hangover in the early morning light.

 

Ain’t love grand?

 

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Hic … Hic … Hic …

A couple weeks ago Kate Colby’s (she’s a wonderful author) feline friend, Thomas and I exchanged posts. (I Recommend a visit to her webpage –  katecolby.com ) It was in regard to wine and book selection post from her site. You’ve read Thomas guest post here regarding what it’s like to be an author’s kitty. I asked the Geezer, to do the post for me for his wine selections, he said, “Sandy, I’m not a wine connoisseur. I’m more just a sewer. I’ll give connecting bourbon to books a try. I know more about them.” Here’s his list (and post) giving the book, author, booze, and bottler. Yep, they’re all real. Fact is, I’ve … Hic … tried … Hic, Hic … a few.PresentationBourbonBattle Cry – Leon Uris                                                                     Semper Fi Corn Whiskey – Ascendant Spirits

How could you not select this bourbon to sip while reading this tale about Marines in WWII. Hell, I can see High-Pockets holding an aluminum cupful in a fox hole.

 

Deliverance – James Dickey                                                        Midnight Moon Moonshine – Piedmont Distillers

Crank up Earl Scruggs’ recording of “Dueling Banjos,” pour the booze from the bottle into a clay jug, tip it up, and turn the pages of a book that ended more than one person’s desire to canoe and camp in the mountains.

 

The Help – Kathyrn Strockett                                                      Jack Daniels – Jack Daniel’s Distillery

Quality bourbon for a quality book. Besides, this is the brand bourbon I can see Skeeter drinking, sitting in a New York City apartment, wishing she was back in Mississippi.

 

The Girl in the Train – Paula Hawkins                                       Mattingly & Moore – Heaven Hill Distillery

Mattingly and Moore sounds like a London accounting house where this psychological thriller is set.  With all the twists, turns, complications, and betrayals a few doubles will keep you relaxed.

 

City of Thieves – Daniel Benioff                                                                 Old Grand-Dad – Jim Beam Distillery

This bourbon has been around a long time just like the protagonist chronicled in this tale of the misery that was the siege of Leningrad. It’s the fictionalized story of the author’s knife-fighting grand-dad. Three shots recommended, it has some tough emotional reading in it.

 

To Kill A Mocking Bird – Harper Lee                                          Rebel Yell – Heaven Hill Distillery

One of my favorite books and bourbons. How more appropriate than drinking a glass of Rebel Yell when listening for the fading echo of a sound that provided the framework for this great novel’s time and place.

 

A River Runs Through It – Norman Maclean                         Wild Turkey – Wild Turkey Distillery

Smooth to the point of perfection. The book or the bourbon? Both! If you’ve not read Norman Maclean’s writing, do it. He defines the art!

 

Gone With The Wind – Margret Mitchell                               Southern Comfort – Southern Comfort Company

Well shut my mouth and call me Rhett. Visualize Scarlet sitting on Tara’s front porch pourin’ and a pourin’ and a pourin’ till, well, this smooth tastin’ bourbon is a good medicine for a guilty conscience and a sleeping pill.

 

Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain                                                           Old Rip Van Winkle – Buffalo Trace Distillery

Like Twain’s prose this whiskey flows smoothly but has a kick you can’t ignore. Besides, I love the brand Name … it sounds so literary.

 

Scandalous Behavior – Stuart Woods                                      Fighting Cock – Heaven Hill Distillery

Ahhhhhh … the hero wants a peaceful rest in the English hinter lands. However, relations with the neighbors create a situation closer to converting him into this bourbon’s brand name. With neighbors like he has, a pint of the product in the morning and evening is recommended

 

Message in a Bottle, The Choice, etc. – Nicholas Sparks  Four Roses – Four Roses  Distillery

Nickolas Sparks! You read his books and they all have two things in common. Their similarities produce déjà vu. And you fall in love with each one of them. Drinking Four Roses is the same, you never quite get enough.

 

The Mermaids Chair – Sue Monk Kidd                                    Cougar – MGP Indiana /or/ Firefly Moonshine – Firefly                                                                                                                  Distillery

This family tale wound around a woman’s mid-life crisis and fling takes place on the Carolinas coast. That’s where Firefly Moonshine is made and I couldn’t resist mentioning Cougar Bourbon even though it’s only sold in Australia and New Zealand. Cougar is so appropriate to describe the books heroine.

Happy elbow bending or paw tipping.  Or …Hic … Whatever … Hic … Hic

 

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Meet my friend Thomas!

 

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

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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