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

May 9, 2016 at 10:28 am | Posted in Books, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 9 Comments
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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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They’re back … and love is in the air!

April 7, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Uncategorized, Writing | 7 Comments
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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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One that I got to go to …… Book Festivals are fun.

March 16, 2016 at 9:13 am | Posted in Books, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing | 1 Comment
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James Engram, organizer of the FGCU History Authors Day and the Charlotte County Family Book Festival with DL

James Abraham, organizer of the FGCU History Authors Day and the Port Charlotte Family Book Fair with DL

I enjoy going to book festivals, art and author events, and speaking appearances that the Geezer attends. It’s fun to meet the readers (and get petted by most of them) and watch the flood of people that pass by. This event, the Port Charlotte Family Book Fair, is one that is new, but will certainly will grow in the future. It has a beautiful setting in Bayshore Park located on Charlotte Harbor and most importantly it has great folks organizing and promoting it. In the picture above is the “father” of this event, James Abraham. May every community be fortunate to be blessed to have a man like James working to improve it. James has “invented” literary events before like the Dearborn Street Book Fair in Englewood, FL. He is a high character individual that wants to help the folks in his community. Nancy Staub handled the History Day program for Florida Gulf Coast University and did an outstanding job of administering the presentations. She had three excellent authors (obviously- The Geezer aka DL Havlin was there.), a fine facility, and a large attendance. Kudos to Nancy! I’m running behind with my blog posts and so is the Geezer. He’s been at the keyboard non-stop recently. He has three books in process, has entered two contests, is taking a class, and is preparing for teaching three. I have to fight to get my paws on the board. Until I can get back on the computer……………

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Hic … Hic … Hic …

February 27, 2016 at 11:08 am | Posted in Books, Cats, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 3 Comments
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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!

February 5, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Posted in Books, Cats, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 8 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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FLASH!! – I’m a guest poster dog — or something like that.

February 4, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Books, Cats, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing | 3 Comments
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I'm a celeb. Read my post on Kate Colby's web page.

I’m a celeb. Read my post on Kate Colby’s web page.

MY FIRST GUEST POST.  Thomas, my feline friend, invited me to post on Poet and Novelist Kate Colby’s blog page. Thomas will be posting on my blog this Saturday! I’m excited.

I researched the post by questioning my human, the Geezer, and having him select the proper bourbon to drink while reading some of his favorite books. Bourbon and Books can be read by visiting Kate’s site.  www.katecolby.com  .  After you get that far, click the “Boxthorn Press” block and it will get you there.

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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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You too, Brutus? Humans … #@$&#@

January 18, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing | 3 Comments
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I'm considering camping out in the car so he can't leave without me.

I’m considering camping out in the car so he can’t leave without me.

Just when believe you can trust a person’s word you get crushed! I had finally decided my HUMAN is a magnanimous king. I’ll need to reconsider, the Geezer is only a court jester.

He promised he’d take me with him on his speaking trips when he traveled. He speaks with forked tongue. He’s full of it. Hot air. Bull shit. He’s the cat that ate the canary. He’s … He’s … He’s … I was going to say he’s as bad as a politician, but nobody’s that low except for one of those professional liars.

The Geezer had told me, “Sandy, this year I’m going to take you with me when I go on book signing trips and personal appearances every time I’ll be gone for a few days. You love riding in the car. You do fine in the hotels and I can find places that don’t discriminate against canines. You’re on the travel team!”

“Woofee!!!” I said.

Guess what? The first trip of the year and I’m going to be left with the dog sitter. Isn’t that a pile human manure? The conversation went like this:

“Sandy, may I talk to you?” He had that I’m about to steal your favorite toy look plaster all over his ancient wrinkled gnarly face.

I said, “No, I don’t want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge. I don’t care how much of a discount you’re giving me.”

He looked at the floor like (to quote an old southern slang saying), an egg suckin’ dog. “I … well … Mrs. G and I … a … well … and … you know I’m speaking this weekend.” He stammered and turned pink. “I’m going to have to leave you home.”

“What! What!” I ran to the bedroom to try to get under the bed. I hadn’t done that since I was a pup. It didn’t work. There’s a big difference getting a twelve pound puppy body under that frame than my current eighty-five pound carcass. “How could you?” I said as he followed me.

“I didn’t have a choice … I forgot that the first over-nighter is a cruise.” A cruise? A cruise! He saw my now really disappointed expression. “Sandy, they won’t let me take you. It’s rules you know.”

“That’s no excuse, you could sneak me aboard in a suitcase. I won’t let out a whimper.”

The Geezer looked guilty of dog-slaughter. “I don’t have a big enough suitcase.”

I said, “Buy a bigger one.”

“I don’t know where to find one.” His face changed to 2nd degree dogacide. “Besides … think about it. There’s no grass.”

“I can back up to the railing. I’ll just feed the fishes.”

Now his sad schmuck face was guilty in the first degree. “Think of getting seasick. It would be terrible.”

I pouted a few seconds then exclaimed, “Chihuahua SHIT!”

He looked so bad; it was time. I waited for what I knew would come. “I feel so bad Sandy. What can I do to make it up to you?”

I answered, “Shall we say sirloin for two weeks?”

 

Note: the Geezer is off for a sail and will teach a seminar. Visit his web site, http://www.dlhavlin.com for details.

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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 | 9 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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