Tag Archive | family

On haunted, hallowed ground.

 

The "King's Highway." This piece of American history is haunted.

The “King’s Highway.” This piece of American history is haunted. It wandered its way from Fort Brook (Tampa, FL today) to Fort King (Ocala). A bloody massacre occurred on the sands pictured here.


 

Have you ever been on a spot that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck? I’ve been to several, but I’ve never been to one that had my ESP on alert more than the one pictured above. My fur, and I have plenty of that, was at full attention during my entire stay at this place.

You might ask why. The shaded, sandy lane is the place a war started. It was one that those who fought its battles, at the time, saw as necessary. History would add “unjust” as a descriptor of the conflict, but would also have to  add “inevitable” during the era it was fought. On December the 28th, 1835, Major Francis L. Dade and a group of 108 soldiers were attacked and defeated by 180 Seminole warriors under Chief Micanopy. Only three of Dade’s command survived; Seminole losses were later reported to be less than a dozen braves.

The reason the Seminoles attacked was fear that Dade’s troops were there to enforce a treaty that some of their leaders signed agreeing to relocate to west of the Mississippi in what is now Oklahoma. The soldiers were on their way to strengthen Fort King which settlers feared wasn’t strong enough to protect them. Reality, harshly stated, was 30,000 settlers wanted access to the lands belonging to 5,000 Seminoles. Tricked, bribed or coerced, some Seminole chiefs signed treaty papers ceding their lands to the US Government at Fort Gibson after visiting Oklahoma in 1833. Legality and morality became opponents.

My human, the Geezer, is doing research for a four book historical series he’s writing on the birth of modern Florida. It was a pregnancy that covered a period from the 1780’s through the 1950’s. Ohhhhh, my! That makes the canine gestation period of 9 weeks and the human pregnancy of 9 months, pieces of cake.

We walked over the well-documented battle site trail at the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park. I could feel cold hands reaching out, touching my coat. The dead’s spirits hadn’t left this spot.

I asked, “Geezer, do you feel something?”

“Like what?” he answered. He grinned at me. His expression was wry, not mirthful. The old boy knew and felt their presence, too.

“Ghosts!” I said and he simply nodded, yes. It is a haunted, hallowed place.

There is a great museum there and the battlefield is very well marked. I’ve included a few photos.

Flintlock rifle, bayonet, and sword in the Dade Battlefield Museum.

Flintlock rifle, bayonet, and sword in the Dade Battlefield Museum.

 

An artist's recreation of the battle scene.

An artist’s recreation of the battle scene. The Seminoles wait, hidden, as Dade’s column approaches.

 

Recreation of the log revetment the survivors of the initial assault built. They made their last stand behind the logs they cut down.

Recreation of the log revetment the survivors of the initial assault built. They made their last stand behind the logs they cut down.

1835 soldier in uniform

1835 soldier in uniform

Seminole ready for battle.

Seminole ready for battle.

 

These two figures are in the museum on site. The information provided is excellent and portrays both sides fairly.

 

 

 

The Dade Battlefield park is well worth making a trip to visit or swinging by if you’re traveling past. It is just a few miles off I-75 near the town of Bushnell, Florida. The address is 7200 County Road 603 (Battlefield Parkway). You can get more info from the website – http://www.dadebattlefield.com.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving All!

Sandy wishes you all a happy turkey day!

Sandy wishes you all a happy turkey day!

I know. I know. I’ve been behind in my posts. Sorry, I’ll catch up in the next week or two.

So much for excuses, I have a thing or two to tell you. My human has had a short story (500 words) published in a literary magazine. The magazine is Ripen the Page. Check it out!  http://www.thepagereader.com/blog/  The story is titled, “There are no lights in Naples.” I promise it will grab you.

My humans have been busy going to book events – some I could go on and some not so much! Here are a couple pictures.

"DL when is your next book coming out?" - "It's being released this spring, Dan - it's a suspense/mystery called THE BAIT MAN.

“DL, when is your next book coming out?” – “It’s being released this spring, Dan – it’s a suspense/mystery called THE BAIT MAN.” Dan is one of DL’s biggest fans.

 

The Geezer, sorry that's DL, making a historical presentation to a full house at King's Gate Country Club.

The Geezer, sorry that’s DL, making a historical presentation to a full house at King’s Gate Country Club.

And once again – HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!

 

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Meet Remi, my niece … she’s nice!

 

Meet Remi!

Meet Remi!

I want to introduce you to my niece, Remi. She lives with my humans friends in Jacksonville. Isn’t she a pretty puppy. She’s only four months old and she’s a heart-breaker already.

 

Remi loves the pool. Is she a future Olympian?

Remi loves the pool. Is she a future Olympian?

Remi has energy levels that exhaust me just watching her. Her human, Mr. R, would throw different toys into the water and … kerplunk! She never tired of retrieving and swims magnificently. Imagine, she’s just a baby. I see gold metals around her neck in the future. Look out Katie Ledecky!

 

Ssshhhh. I'm not supposed to be here. If I don't move they may think I'm a stuffed toy

Ssshhhh. I’m not supposed to be here. If I don’t move they may think I’m a stuffed toy

Remi is a mischievous young un’. She likes to tease her humans, the Geezer, Mrs G. and … me! She’s learning. And she’s very smart. Mr. R says she’s too smart! If Remi knows there is something off-limits to her, naturally, that’s the thing she wants to do. She usually finds a way. Like the picture above. She claims she’s camouflaged for just such occasions.

If I’m around her enough, I’m sure I can impart some canine wisdom in her. The picture below is proof. My lecture was on how to train your humans to bring treats to you. It went like this — “Take a load off. Lay down. Look bored. But, still look cute. Adorable works better. Give them a big doggy smile. Wag you tail to reward them when they feed you. It works.”

 

 

"Remi, lay down, relax, let the humans bring the treats to us." She's learning.

“Remi, lay down, relax, let the humans bring the treats to us.” She’s learning.

 

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The most popular place to shop … The Two Sizes Too Small Mall

 

a shopper at the Two Sizes Too Small Mall

a shopper at the Two Sizes Too Small Mall

 

I’ve noticed more and more people are going to one place to buy their clothes. It has to be the “Two Sizes Too Small Mall.” My humans take me with them everywhere they can, so I can attest to the growing popularity of this shopping Mecca. More and more people I observe while sitting in the car, walking down the street, or curled up under the table at one of Geezer’s book signings are packed into clothes that would make sardines sweat.

I assume humans pinch their body into what amounts to a sausage casing because it’s one of those fads humans are fond of pursuing. Fads! One more reason to be thankful I’m canine! Why would these folks reveal secrets better kept cloaked, if it wasn’t for some misguided fashion whim? Most men would like others to think they have abs, not flabs. Isn’t the hour-glass the vision most women would like others to believe lies under their garments? Clothes purchased at the Two Sizes Two Small Mall give many ladies the appearance of a stack of tires in a used auto parts store.

Maybe this fad is a guilt trip on which humans are embarked. They seem unable to speak the truth. Is this their way of being truthful without having to verbalize it? They display what’s there whether it should be or not. Maybe clothes bought at “Two Sizes Too Small Mall” are a form of truth serum. It’s like them saying, “This is what I got.” Unfortunately, more often than not, what they got is one hell of a lot.

Not all the men and women who buy their clothes at that mall look bad; in fact some look just fine. This isn’t just my opinion. I can tell from the straining eyes, the snapping sound of necks turning, and dripping saliva that I observe as human members of the opposite sex saunter by each other. I guess many of them don’t really mind being objectified after-all.

I asked my human why the fad was so popular. He answered, “Sandy, it’s not a fad. Many of these people suffer from fatassia disease.” I didn’t know what fatassia meant, I asked, and he explained. “It’s pronounced fat-ass-ia.” I asked why the thin ones and humans with good shapes wore clothes from the Two Sizes Two Small Mall. He grinned and replied, “All humans are marketing experts. They’re advertising.” I told you humans can’t tell the truth.

Humans! I glad my coat fits fine all the time.

 

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Octoberfest – some canine observations

 

The Geezer with the smiling fraulein from the Octoberfest.

The Geezer with a beautiful, smiling Fräulein from the Octoberfest.

I always enjoy going along on the Geezer’s book adventures. Last weekend I had the opportunity. He attended an “Octoberfest” in Sarasota, Florida that was a number of things. First, it was a thoroughly enjoyable event. Its organizers are an enlightened crew that understand that canine presence adds to any festivity. I became a major point of interest in the Geezer’s booth; a celebrity in fact!

The Celebration was a bit of Munich transplanted to Florida’s west coast. The authentic garb many of the participants wore livened the festivities. German food and pastries added a yum factor and there was an abundance all types of beer to wash it down. The sounds of music was non-stop and had me looking for Julie Andrews and Christoper Plummer. The traditional folk songs made me try a four-legged polka from time-to-time. Beer steins were everywhere, smiles were on most everyone’s face, and tossing beer kegs was a big time game.

It was hot! I’m going to speak to the event organizer and see if some Bavarian temperatures can also be imported next year. Of course, the hot temperatures meant some patrons reduced the clothing wore to a minimum. In many cases, this was a good thing – least ways, the human males seemed to enjoy it. There were some individuals that would have been best served to have dressed themselves in fur like I do. Most of these wore fashions from the “Two Sizes Too Small Mall.” I’ll write a whole blog post about my visit to that shopping area.

Come next year this Octoberfest event is one to add to your list of “got to go to’s.”

 

octoberfest-1

 

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Fall has fell! … The Geezer’s on the road again.

I hear Willie singing, "On the road again"

I hear Willie singing, “On the road again”

 

Fall is in the air! It’s only 92 degrees today and the humidity is 78%. Well, that’s better than its been. It means the holidays are coming and, best of all, the election will be over! It’s also traveling season for us as the Geezer starts his appearance schedule after his hip replacement.

Dogfucius has some bits of wisdom for the upcoming season.

Advice to does. A horny deer and a horny dear both must be approached with great caution unless one wishes to be horned. Approach a horny deer from downwind for best success when hunting. Approach a horny dear from upwind for nostril relief. (Hunting these is not necessary.)

Do not discuss going to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving with any of your turkey friends.

Buy stock in insane asylums. The election will be over soon and overcrowding will be a problem.

I suggest humans with white chimneys post the following sign on Christmas Eve: “Santa, this is not our outhouse.”

Men, do not argue with your spouse about who will be the back half of your Halloween costume if you’re going dressed as a horse. You are what you are.

Speaking of horse rumps – My human, the lovable old Geezer, will be signing books at the On Point Book Fair tomorrow. If you’re in the Tampa, Florida area, he’ll be at the Westshore Plaza 10AM until (ugh) 9PM. Look for the sign with DL Havlin printed on it and the Geezer wearing his black Stetson.

 

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All points of view told here … now for a cat’s eye view.

"Confucius" Oreo!

“Confucius” Oreo!

All points of view should be heard! Unlike humans, we animals listen to all ideas.

With that in mind, this post features the feline point-of-view as expressed by my house mate, Oreo. My interview was a question and answer session. Some of his wisdom is expressed below.

Sandy Q. – What is your defense for those people who say cats are lazy?

Oreo A. – That’s completely unfounded. Our species just really enjoys doing nothing.

Sandy Q. – Do you believe that personality and attitude are impossible to divide?

Oreo A. – Ridiculous. My personality is who I am. My Attitude depends on many things: What food you put in my bowl, how many tummy rubs I get a day, if you have a broom in your hand, if you pet the dog more than me … I could go on.

Sandy Q. – Do you take responsibility for opinions you express?

Oreo A. – Absolutely. But … not for your lack of intelligence to understand them. Gee, maybe I should run for office.

Sandy Q. – How do you settle bitter arguments you have with others?

Oreo A. – Its a 4 step process. 1) I suggest a cooling off period. 2) I insist we stay silent and hold our breath for 20 minutes. 3) I cheat. 4) I call for a hearse.

Sandy Q. – Do you believe that we can read each others minds?

Oreo A. – No. If that were true I’d be slapped and punched much more often.

Sandy Q. – Are you in agreement that we carnivorous folks should change our eating habits because we kill living things?

Oreo A. – Hell no. Aren’t plants alive? Whats that leave? Rocks? Give me a break.

Sandy Q. – Do you doubt that humans are the mentally superior species on earth?

Oreo A. – Yes. Proof in one word answers. Bush. Clinton. Obama. Ryan. Pelosi. Romney. Want more?

Sandy Q. – Do you have a suggestion to create more world peace?

Oreo A. – Just as we animals are subject to … forced neutering. Less humans, more peace.

 

So speaketh the feline sage.

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