Three month old Pomeranian, in sunny East Florida

She likes to dig the ice cubes out of her water bowl. Some she eats, and the rest she hides for later, some times, in my shoe.

Athena Veritas Alexander

During the day, I build cabinetry for 70′ luxury yachts here in Florida. Athena waits patiently.

In the morning, 5am, Athena whines in a high-pitched squeel, expressing her objections to my leaving. After a few seconds, the objections stop, and she goes to the master bedroom and sleeps on part of my robe that hangs from the bedpost, onto the floor. I usually return to the house about 3pm, and I apologize for my absence by playing in the back yard.

She takes me around the yard and shows me things that interested her during the day. We have a doggy door. Usually, it’s a branch from a palm tree that fell, a dead lizard in the grass, or strips of flesh that she stripped from the sides of a banana tree. We usually end lying in the grass, with her head propped on my arm, watching a mocking bird, a squirrel, or the kids playing in my neighbors pool.

After checking for leftovers in my lunch box, I go to my home office to work on things like… this. I have a stool under my desk, and that is Athena’s next landing spot. She stays there until I finish, and expects to be carried to the living room. It’s a Pom thing.

She’s only three pounds so far, and it’d funny watching her learn and experience everything for the first time. Today, she learned that she can jump from the back seat in the car, onto the arm rest, and back. Before, she would fall in the floor and stand there with her face between the two front seats. Today we put down the windows at the drive-thru and I watched her listening to the sounds, and smelling all of the flavors of a busy shopping area. She likes to dig the ice cubes out of her water bowl. Some she eats, and the rest she hides for later, some times, in my shoe.

This afternoon, we took a nap on my bed. Her idea of taking care of her human is to lick my ears and eyes. I often travel with sawdust residue from the shop. She did my ears, and moved to my eyes where I still wore my glasses. I saw her coming and removed the glasses, which she chased all over the bed, as if my eyes were in the glasses.

It’s a warm, quiet, Saturday. I think I may open the windows, and go back to bed.

If you’ve read this far, go look at my latest book. Book one, and part of book two, also has a Pomeranian.

Longue Durée I, II, and III

ReverseAging #Longevity #Aging #FountainOfYouth #Science #Research #ScientificResearch #Pharmaceutical #Medication #Romance #Love #Family #Sailing #Travel #Caribbean #Uruguay #Adventure #Memory #Alzheimer’s #Pets #Teenager #Puberty #Housesitter #Petsitter #Book

“I’m the human. You’re the dog!” Therapy on my keyboard. When a writer loses his dog.

Now, she lays on the examination table with an IV in her leg. We petted her and talked to her as she closed her eyes and relaxed for the last time.

 

When a writer loses his dog.
What has brought on this flood of emotions, is the condition of my Pomeranian companion of 15 years. We bought her as a puppy when my construction company went under. I had to file bankruptcy, and moved what I could salvage to Florida. The emotional and financial damage from the Chapter 13 was extremely damaging to my confidence and self-esteem, but Koko helped. She hated sailing, and always wanted to get back to the air-conditioned home, and her fenced in back yard. She slept on my bed, shared my food, and was on my heels at all times. If I worked on a car, or in the garage, I don’t have to worry about her running off. She would always be in the shade of a magnolia tree, or in the grass by the big fern.
A few days ago, we took her to the vet for her shots. Koko has always been overweight, mostly my fault, and recently has lost a lot of weight, and feels like skin and bones. The vet did tests and they came back as terminal kidney disease. She has a year on the long end, now has special dog food, and gets an electrolyte IV. It makes her feel great, and she gets them once a month, at $12.00 a visit. I try not to think about this too much. I have never had kids, and my two Poms, are my kids.

Zenzi, (wolf-sable Pomeranian) is 1-1/2 years old and 8 lbs. She has always had Koko and is sad when they are apart, so I am considering a third Pom.
The Alexander family is up north. I live in East Coast Florida. I am flying up next week to see them. My parents are 84 years old, and it’s been a long time since we have conversed further than Facebook. My wife’s mother died a few years ago and her father is in assisted living, in a private home. It’s cold up there. The news said 17 deg and snow. I keep thinking about Jamaica, but I need to go up north.

(I typed this much, before I went up-north for Thanksgiving. I am now back in Florida.)

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In many ways I wish I had opted for the Jamaican vacation. I bought a coat and some long sleeve shirts before I left, and a few more after arriving. Most, but not all, of the Alexander family, is surviving in the same repetitive life-style they were living fifteen years ago, with one of my sisters floundering, with help and failure so many times, that everyone has now severed their connections. Others have excelled, grown up, and created a great life. My emotions were up and down every few hours, but in general, I tried to keep my opinions to myself. The one common trait that I witnessed after being in other parts of the world so long, is that they seem to acquire gratification from criticizing and speculating on other people, unable to see themselves from outside of their colloquial mold. If I could buy each one a gift, it would be an unlimited airline ticket, with six-month layovers in the countries of their choice. It changes you.

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Upon returning, Koko was looking worse. She was not eating, not drinking, her legs shook when she stood, and diarrhea and vomiting took whatever moisture remained in her fragile body. It was cold for Florida, 55-60 deg at night. Koko would go out, try to poop, get liquid, and then her legs would give out. She would lie in the back yard, in her feces, until I went out looking for her, and brought her back in the house. I blocked her doggy door and spread out a towel on the floor where she likes to sleep.
Zenzi brought her favorite toys to Koko, and laid them down beside her, and backed up to give Koko an advantage to play. After moving all of her favorite toys and getting no response from Koko, she laid on top of her toys and slept beside her.
Saturday morning, I called the Veterinarian. It’s time. Koko seemed to know what we were doing, and welcomed it. Before, she looked at me, to make it better. I could only lie in the floor with her and gently pet her. My voice seemed to soothe her and she would sleep. Now, she lays on the examination table with an IV in her leg. We petted her and talked to her as she closed her eyes and relaxed for the last time.
“I’m the human! You’re the dog!” This is often heard in my house when I think the fur-babies are taking control. Right now, I would gladly give up my authority. Zenzi is confused. She keeps looking for Koko. She comes in my office, sits by my feet, and looks up at me with tears in her eyes. “How can I explain this to her?”

She lays, all of the time, in the living room where Koko slept. Her toys are still accumulated there, and she sleeps on top of her biggest one. They used to chase each other around the coffee table, but now she barks at me until I follow her into the living room and run around the coffee table with her. (Yes, I do it.) Poms need partners. I am looking for a female puppy for her. This is a bad time of year for puppy buying with Christmas coming. She may be doing a solo-show until 2020. Affordable POM puppy? Email me! DBAlexander@cfl.rr.com

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In book II of Longue Duree, Extending Life, Louis had a Pomeranian named Koko. He too, went through the above scenario, but his Koko died of bladder cancer. I’ve noticed that many things I write often come true before the book is live. Louis also became a very wealthy man… “I’m waiting!”

#Pets, #animals, #Dog, #Pomeranian, #Pom, #author, #Book, #Nature, #Psychology, #Transportation, #travel, #Vacation, #Loveofadog #Dealingwithdeath,

Longue Duree I on Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author finds his religious answer in YouTube music video. Longue Durée

I found today that the emotion that drives my writing, and my confusion, is anger.

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Book author cracks his own

 subconscious mental block.

I was just watching a fantastic video by a musician named Hozier on u-Tube. In his song (Take me to Church) he expresses his frustration with organized religion, and sees his woman as his new church. He says he feels closest to God while having sex. He sings of worship, sacrifice, and amen! As I listened to the words, I suddenly had clarity of my own situation.

I just finished a three-book set called Longue Durée. Through all three books, the main character Louis Bautista doesn’t hide his resentment for organized religion. Things he does, things he allows, and things that he instigates, make it clear that Louis has an inner battle with a bigger power. In book three, Louis is married to a girl that is very religious, and they, after other failed marriages, succeed in becoming parents. By this time, Louis has become very wealthy. Their son has become a research scientist, breaking all the rules of science and God. His wife tries to show him how he is angering God, and Louis, keeps funding his career to prove her wrong. This is just a back-story in the books, and not the main story.

Sometimes writing is a form of therapy. This one has been coming for many years.

Reality, takes more work then writing a book. From the time I was a child my parents pushed religion at me. It was burnt into my mind at an early age; therefore, I am still haunted by the teachings to this day. I spent years in classes, theology, ministry school, and even bible studies at home. I am not a person that blindly accepts something that will shape my life. Things have to be proved to me. I, for lack of a better word, graduated, and was qualified to be a minister. After years of study and research, I kept running into a barrier with each religion. I was not looking for a barrier. I wanted to believe. I do Believe! But, just as in my books, man’s greed and corruption can take the most beautiful gift, and corrupt it.

I grew up in the Bible Belt, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky. When you are deeply surrounded by the faith, it’s hard to see beyond the congregation. I moved out of the U.S., back into the U.S., and now live in Florida. I have been in many countries, islands, and oceans, with drastic financial ups and downs. When you get out of your little… space, the big picture gets clearer.

God and I communicate in prayer. Prayer is not for public display and when I pray, it is usually very personal. I must believe? I keep going to him.

I found today that the emotion that drives my writing, and my confusion, is anger. At first, I thought that for some reason I was angry at God, but that didn’t make sense. Hozier’s song, as out there as it is, showed me my problem. The anger is at man’s attempt to use God to manipulate the sheep. It’s never enough, I’m always guilty. I’m tired of feeling guilty. I tried to be a sheep. I can’t do it!

I have written twelve finished books, so far. The inner battle of the author shows in them all. Now that I realize I am doing this, perhaps I will change my style.

Longue Durée book 1, 2, and 3, do a fairly good personality profile of me. I was surprised! Only you will know that! Read book 1, and let me know what you think.

Longue Duree, extending life,

David B. Alexander

#Religion, #Psychology #Travel #Health #Medical #Book #Fiction #Music #Awareness  #Sex

The author builds a new galley table. I am a woodworker too.

The music was loud, the Heineken was cold, and the fans were blowing on a hot Florida afternoon. I am a cabinetmaker too!

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Above is the new galley table I built for my sailboat. The original was ugly, and I was always hitting my knees and feet against the pedestal trying to get in or out of the tight sitting area. I have photos of how I built it, so I thought I would show you a bit of the carpenter in David Alexander.

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I planed down  an adequate supply of Sepele and Wenge that I had been hiding on my shelves. I applied a coat of polyurethane to see the color on a test piece. I cut a piece of teak plywood to the size required to drop between the seating, allowing me to have a third sleeping area on this sailboat. In the future, I found that this area had better ventilation and made a much larger bed. It became the TV pit since I had a large flat panel TV on the opposing wall.

 

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Using Titebond III glue, I started by doing my layout on the plywood, started in the center, and worked my way out, using a pin nailer to secure the pieces to the plywood. The surface and all contact points were secured with glue. Each ring of wood was allowed to dry before the next ring was added.

 

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I did this project in my garage. The music was loud, the Heineken was cold, and the fans were blowing on a hot Florida afternoon. As you can see from the above photo. the wood hides its beauty at this stage.

 

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I thinned the first coat as a sealer and sanded it to a glassy smooth. Sepele is easy to work with but Wenge requires control and patience. It works like stringy oak and will blow apart if your router moves too fast. The end results are worth it. I plan to build my new office out of Wenge. After several more coats of finish, sanding between each coat, it produced the table in my boat.

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A pedestal? I still have Sepele on the workbench. I have an idea! I cut the angles into the Sepele and glued all but one side with Titebond III. I added Sepele trim pieces to the top and bottom after cutting the pedestal to my required height.

 

The top and bottom plywood pieces are identical size with rubber T-edge, as edgebanding.

In the end, the height of the rubber edging, when the pedestal is laid on its side, is the exact height between the floor and the bottom of the table top, when the table is dropped to seat level. The side cushions fill in and make a comfortable bed with added support under the table top.

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The floor and table top have recessed threads on the top and bottom. I found big bolts with rubber coated handles to soften the accidental contact with bare feet.  You can barely see the knobs in the following photo.

 

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The pedestal had a hidden door? Many of the islands I visit have issues with piracy. A Mossberg 12GA shotgun with marine-coat, fits right into the pedestals quick release mounts.

 

If I get much response from this post, I may add an additional page and start posting my many, many, projects. I am, a cabinet-maker too.

#Cabinetry #Cabinet Maker #Woodworking #Carpentry #Carpenter #Sailboat #Boat #Transportation #Refit #Rebuild

Do you smell cigarette smoke?

Phantom smelling of cigarette smoke, burning wires, or something rotting, is common.

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Many, many, years ago, I played guitar in a rock band. Our band never got beyond the small bars so I’m sure you never heard of us. We argued all the time, fought over girls, and wanted to become big rock stars by… tomorrow. The world had not been educated yet… into the dangers of cigarette smoke, and all of the other things that followed the night life. I remember nights that the smoke was so thick, I couldn’t see the bartender, or the people at their tables. I closed my eyes from the smoke, and learned to control the coughing. I never developed the desire for cigarettes, but would do anything… to play my music.

Now, 2019, I still don’t smoke, and have a closet full of guitars that I haven’t played in ten years. I know, I can’t believe it either.

Through my life, I have had a few major career changes. I was a finish carpenter in new construction, then I became the vice-president of a construction company, and now I build yacht interiors for a Florida company that sells them for $5.4M each.

Even with that resume, what I derive the most pleasure from is writing. It also pays the least. BUT… that’s not what this post is about! I started typing tonight to tell you about a strange condition I have acquired. The above history lesson is my way of searching for straws in my past.

For a few weeks now, I have been occasionally smelling cigarette smoke. I still don’t smoke, but many of the guys I work with do. I assumed that having to walk through their break area three times a day, or having them with me with their smoke saturated clothes, had rubbed off on me and was just an occupational hazard. I could smell the smoke at my workbench, in my truck, and even in my land home. Again, I assumed that the odor was following me, from my association with smokers. This weekend, I was on my sailboat. I had fresh clothes on and there has never been a cigarette on my boat. I could smell it down inside my boat, which eliminated passerbys on the dock. The other component is that I don’t always… smell it. Even at work it comes and goes. This is driving me crazy, and no-one else was smelling what I described.

I Googled it! “Happy Day!” There were hundreds of people asking the same questions that I had. I spent hours reading the threads, comments, and analysis of doctors and ENT’s. I am not crazy!

“It’s called Phantosmia.

Phantom smelling of cigarette smoke, burning wires, or something rotting, is common and is nothing to be alarmed about. Often, the problem will go away on its own, and in some cases, it has been cured by antibiotics inhaled as a nose spray. I suspected that mine may have been a sinus infection because months ago, whenever I sneezed, I could smell mold. The environment I work in supplies multiple sources for a sinus infection.

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If the smell issue remains for a long period of time, you should consult an ENT or neurologist to take your condition to the next level. One of the more serious things that can create the same symptoms is a brain tumor. A tumor that creates the illusion of smell would be located in the temporal lobe. This also interests me because I had a severe injury to my skull when I was a kid. A punch… (Different story), to the side of my head caused a blood clot the size of my fist. Surgery was performed after removing ALL OF MY HAIR… and multiple therapies began. This was also the end of my rock-star fantasy when a young nurse brought me my hair in a brown grocery bag, and left me to figure out that I was shaved beneath my bandages. Again… I am getting off the subject.

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Several of the reports that I read on-line said that they were getting an MRI of their brain to check this possibility. There are other things that cause phantom smells such as a stroke, seizure, or epilepsy. Some people are not aware that they have had one of these conditions. Even if one of these disorders are benign, the smell problem can still be present. In any event, it sounds to me like a warning to find a specialist and have it checked out.

NOW! I am not a Doctor. As I stated, the information here was collected from the internet in an attempt to research my own problem. I welcome any input or suggestions and strongly suggest that you do your own research and don’t base your conclusion on any of my research.

Leave me a comment… tell me how you have dealt with a phantom-smell… or send me an email. Add “I smell smoke” to the title so I don’t think it’s spam.

AND, FOLLOW my blog. I have a book that will be out soon… I hope. The editor has had it now for six weeks. It is a fiction, but tells of a man who learned how to reverse his age and stay young indefinitely. I’ll send a notice when it’s available. It’s called Longue’ Duree, if the editor hasn’t changed that too.

 

#medical #Health #Boat #Yacht #Carpentry Cigarette, #research #Medical #RocknRoll #LongHair #sailing #Smell #Odor #

Broke down in Florida nature reserve. Alligators and Space-X

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Alligator Bait.

I left the cabinet shop at the yacht factory after a hot day of doing things over. The partially visible hinges between the doors and the jams were not perfectly spaced. They wanted them to show 50/50 in case someone took a flashlight and checked the dark space between. There were three SOS hinges on each of nine doors.

The Alpi veneer on one side of a finished door had been damaged and had to be sanded off and re-veneered. This required me sanding with 80 grit sandpaper for two hours, then leaving the door and veneer overnight in the vacuum table.

A cedar wardrobe that went into the starboard stateroom was complete, except for the missing door and trim for the front. I pushed it aside until the walnut arrives and started on another wardrobe that was also missing the walnut parts.

After the standard ten-hour day, I laid my thumbprint on the timeclock and ducked out of the side door to my 2006 pickup. I waved at the guard at the guard-shack and sped through the traffic of 528. I exited onto Courtenay and zoomed north toward Kennedy Space Center. The radar detector was working fine. I had a 5:00 appointment with the cable company at my land home to check the cables to my high-speed modem.

As I came to the light at 405, I smelled antifreeze. My truck was running hot and as I passed the intersection, the steam came through the hood and across my windshield. I sat puzzled for a second as the steam came through the dash vents of my A/C. I opened the windows, turned off the outside air, and popped the hood.

The hose that went into the heater core had broken.

My adrenalin was peaking and I pulled the tools from behind the seat and removed the clamps. Between the hose on the heater core, and the hose to the engine, was a cheap plastic part that had a small fitting for service. The front of the plastic part was still in the hose and I ungracefully dug it out in pieces with needle nose pliers. With my hands bleeding, I tried to push it over a flange that was just a little too big. I laid my cell phone on the fender and pressed my mechanic’s number.

“Yeah David, if you pull the rest of the hose fitting off, you should be able to push the long hose onto the heater core tubing! If it doesn’t work, call me back and I’ll send a wrecker.”

“Okay! Thanks Tony.”

I managed to get the other clamp off that was recessed back against the firewall, with other hoses inconveniently around it.

Space-X, had just released their employees and cars were zooming by in a hurricane evacuation type frenzy. I laid the broken plastic part in the floor of the truck and resumed pushing the hose onto the BRASS fitting of the core. I had to use a screwdriver to push the clamp back far enough, but finally had it secure.

“My appointment! I have a 5:00 appointment!” I hit the button for my service provider.

“If you are calling to pay your bill press…”
“If you would like to change the services on your account press or say…”
“If you are calling for technical assistance press three.”
THREE… I pressed three!
“Please press one, for English… Press two for Spanish…”
ONE… damb it! English!
“Thank you… your estimated wait time is…”
AAaaahhhh! I pressed zero… and zero… and zero…
“Spectrum-Brighthouse, how can I assist you?”

“Look! I am on the side of a busy road with a broken-down truck. My hands are covered in grease, antifreeze and blood, and I have a rather large alligator that wonders if my legs may taste like chicken. I have a 5:00 appointment at my home with your service rep. and it appears that I will not be there.”

“Is this the account associated with the number showing on my caller ID?”
“Yes.”
He was laughing and snickering. “Don’t worry sir. I wall take care of it.”
“Thank you.”

Fortunately, I had been working on my sailboat last week and had all of the fairing compound, primer, sandpaper, and related tools in the back. (My truck has a fiberglass shell.) I cleaned the blood, and antifreeze off of my hands, and took out a five gallon bucket to dip replacement water from the nature reserve.

“Crap!” I stared at a big gator. He stared at me. I walked further away from him, and got some water, as we watched each other closely.  He leisurely swam toward me. I added the water to the trucks plastic reservoir and drove home watching the temperature gauge all of the way. I relaxed when I pulled in the driveway.

I took a quick shower and popped the cap on a cold Heineken. I pulled the handle on the recliner and pushed the Netflix option on the remote. It downloaded a movie, started, and kicked back to antenna TV. After doing this over and over, I went to my home-office and turned on the computer. No Netflix, no Twitter, no WordPress, no Pinterest, and only old email, from eight mailboxes.

Long drink… deep breath… and started running through the tests on the modem. In the end, the Tampa server was down, and I was exhausted. I remembered that it was a full moon… and went to bed.

#wordpress #gator #alligator #Brokedown #overheated #travel #Florida #MerrittIsland #AutoRepair #Bait #RocketLaunch #Space-X #NASA #NatureReserve

The KoKo Plant. A pomeranian with roots.

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The KoKo Plant

A Pomeranian with roots.

I was walking through the woods and noticed a small dog ahead of me sitting on the ground. It was KoKo! She looked hurt. I walked over to her to find that she was buried from the shoulders down in the ground.

Something didn’t look right. Her eyes were seeing me, but not moving and focusing as fast as they normally did.
“How did you get buried in the dirt?” I said to her. She turned her head away from me as I rubbed her ears.
“Something is weird here.” I was starting to get concerned and reached down to the side of her head and raised her lip. She had her normal white teeth. Her eyes slowly moved down to see what I was doing. The ground around her had not been disturbed, and leaves had drifted against her body. I started poking around in the dirt to see how deeply she was buried.
“What the Hell!” I started digging with both hands trying to find her legs as she watched me in silence. After getting a ditch dug all around her I realized there was no biological body below the dirt.
“What has happened to you girl?” I grabbed her shoulders and gently lifted her out of the ground.

 “ROOTS! She has roots!”

She continued watching me and acted as if she felt no pain. I wrapped moist dirt and leaves around her roots, gently held it all together in my arms, and slowly walked back to the house. When she saw the house come into view she tilted her head back and licked my face.

    I found a towel, wrapped the roots, and set her in the kitchen sink while I hunted for the right sized flower pot.
“That one’s nice. It is not too heavy and has handles on the sides” I planted her in it with some premium potting soil, a shot of Mericle Grow, and set her by the glass patio door. I heard a tiny growl.
“Oh yeah girl! There are your squirrels!”
“Woof… Woof!”
Later on that evening I moved her over by the couch while we were watching TV.
“Here’s a potato chip KoKo.”
Crunch, Crunch, Crunch.
I poured my melted ice into her pot.
“Bedtime!” I said as usual.
I saw her ears tweak up, so I picked her pot up and set it in the middle of the bed, and went to sleep.

 

(This is an actual dream) #dog #animals #Nature #Dream #Pomeranian #Author #Sleep

Insomniac in Jamaica

An affordable Caribbean hideaway for the creative traveler.

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I am a writer and cabinet maker. I travel when I can and often include my vacation experiences in my books. Although my first Jamaican experience was not what I hoped, I’m sure that other travelers with different ideals of fun… may love it. I’m not into bars and drugs and am pulled more toward nature, the ocean, and honest interaction.

I had never been to Jamaica. I rented this little house at Rhodes Hall Plantation. The owner is also a woodworker and has his shop behind my house. This patio, with a big round table, is at a vantage point where I can see all of the activity on the property and miles out into the ocean. It is covered, so even in the rain I can sit out here with my laptop and produce a few more pages.

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Right now, (Feb 18, 2019), I am working on my next three books, Longue Duree’ I, II, & III. They were written in Florida USA, where my sailboat lives at present. While sitting on this porch, I wrote Insomniacs, which still resides in this hard-drive. I love writing, but there is so much more to it. Editing, Beta-readers, the real-editor, marketing, marketing, marketing…  It takes a lot of the fun out of it. I have been off work, (I also build yacht interiors), and am returning to work tomorrow. While nursing my double-hernia back to a safe spot, I created some imaginative advertising that will start surfacing as the books become available. Follow my site, and let me know what you think as they appear.

“JAMAICA! OH yes, we’re talking about Jamaica.”

I was actually not that impressed with Jamaica. The nature aspect is a phenomenal credit to our creator, but some of the natural inhabitants ruined it for me. There were some that were exceptions, but in general I described it as “Dawn of the dead” walking the streets in search of tourists, hands outstretched in front, moaning, “Give me money.” Any time I was outside of the plantation, there was an angle being played to get tourist money. Not in a free-trade manner, but attempting to apply pressure or fear into the tourist as they put their hands on you trying to push you to an area where their scam could be deployed. The smiling faces in the markets were good as long as you were spending money, but if you walked past and did not spend money in their shop, the expressions changed and the poor, poor me was vocalized loudly. When I left the airport, rented a car, and headed along the coast, there were areas that traffic became congested and locals on bikes would ride beside the car asking you to put the window down. Their angle was telling the insecure driver that he was going the wrong way. Regardless where you were going, it was the next left, which routed you into an area saturated with tourist trinkets.

Even the Police were on the take. I popped over a hill and the speed limit suddenly dropped to 35. Before I could reduce the speed, the radar cop aimed the gun at me and another cop waived me off the road. They went through my ID, ask what I did, where I lived, and how much money I made. They had my passport and were running it while I went back to my car and had the woman with me start filming video on my conversations. After they asked me how much cash I had on me, I started writing down their names. What I had wasn’t enough, so they wanted my passenger’s cash too. “NO!” I told them “Write me up! I’ll see you in court!” I was getting very angry, and no longer hiding it. They talked among themselves and decided to give everything back and told me to slow down.

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I Imagine that if you stay in the cruise ship areas and don’t explore outside of the walls of the fabricated paradise, you would love it here. But then, we have Disney World in Florida.

Rhodes Hall Plantation keeps calling me back. If I do return, I will just plan on spending my time in this natural sanctuary, producing another book, or even do a painting with all of the bright colors and panoramic sunsets that are common here. They also have a bay that has a healthy coral reef, a shipwreck, and even a downed plane. They own the property around it, so it remains private. It is almost a farm, with horses, peacocks, goats, and cats roaming freely.

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Sometimes, I cooked at the house, but usually I would walk up the mountain to the open-air restaurant. The chef cooked my breakfast every morning. As I left, he would ask me what I wanted for dinner and I enjoyed his creations with backdrops such as the one above. On the way to breakfast, I took the shot below with a cel-phone.

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As things change in the airline industry, my travel preference leans more toward the slower and more rewarding method known as, my sailboat. For a writer, it fuels my data base of exchanged stories and the experiences that are inevitable when nature and mechanical failure find their way into your pages. Leaving the U.S. this time, I bought my first… super cheap… ticket. I reasoned that Jamaica wasn’t that far so I could do without the luxuries and add some money to my publicity account.  What I hadn’t considered was that tickets that cheap would be flooded with other budget minded persons.

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Many of us sat in the floors for hours. On the plane, the seats were tight. Your knees were in the back of the person ahead of you, and if you wanted to work on your laptop, it was too close to focus on the screen. They did not recline and seemed to lean a bit forward. Fortunately, we all had the same problems and worked together with smiling faces. We were going on vacation… not working. Customs was a little different too. I suspect it is the way all systems will eventually go. Instead of collecting stamps in your passport, we are now furnished a little piece of paper with our black & white photo and information on it. You keep it in your passport during your vacation. It is all processed through a Kiosk and actual human help is only there if you get confused.

I’m sure some of you at this point have questioned if I travel alone. Never. Due to keeping a professional appearance in her career, and avoiding letting her office find out she hangs out with me, I keep her out of my posts. She too, is an experienced sailor, diver, and Caribbean traveler, shown here examining another of the Chef’s creations.

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Somewhere in this blog, is an article I did about the island of Nevis. I loved Nevis and hope that Big Money doesn’t move in too fast. It has been several years since I went to St. Croix. (I used to live there.) I will be returning in May and June. Follow this blog for my reports from the U.S. Virgin islands.

The beginning of my dragonfly experience.

Some of you know about my history with dragonflies. They’re attracted to me every year.

Lately, they are back. I have had at least one visit every day for the last two weeks. Most of them, flutter around, unbalanced by cobwebs from the ceiling in the shop, and come to my workbench for help. I hold them down in the palm of my hand and carefully pull the cobwebs from their legs, wings and tails. I always calmly talk to them as I work and take them outside and release them. Everyone at the shop makes fun of me, but also wonders why they only go to me. Personally, I wonder too?

Monday, I was pushing a large cart back from the vacuum table. I had just taken some doors over to the other room, glued them up with veneer, and applied the negative pressure on the table. On the way back to my workbench, a dragonfly kept fling ahead of me erratically. Up and down, back and forth, and finally landing on my rolling table directly in front of me, I laid my hand over him and continued to my bench. I made the repairs to his wings, etc., and released him.

Tuesday, I went back to the same room, and was returning to my area. A dragonfly, with the same erratic flight problems, flew a foot or two ahead of my face for several steps.

“Having a few navigational problems?” I asked aloud. I held out my hand and it clumsily landed in the palm of my hand.

I about lost it.“HEY! CHECK THIS OUT!” I yelled. I did repairs and released this one. Everyone laughed and joked about the dragonfly whisperer.

Today… Friday, I found a big one under my bench, covered in webs. It was the biggest one this year. Again, I fixed him up and released him. Every year, the dragonflies come to me. I feel honored, but confused.

Now… everyone in the shop talks to them too. I hear them all the time.

“HE’S OVER THERE!” and they point.

tumblr_ntj2v2qm8d1qh41oao1_1280#Dragonfly #Damsel #Cabinetry #Carpenter #Travel #Florida #Insect #Nature

A Yacht Cabinet Maker’s Dragonfly Experience

We joked about him all morning and started calling him George.

When not writing, I build cabinets for a local yacht company.

Yesterday morning, a cold front came into Florida. It was 65 deg at my workbench when I unlocked at 5:45 am. I sat my coffee on the toolbox and noticed a large dragonfly hanging on the side by my clamps. I moved around him all morning as I worked, sometimes within inches, and he just watched me and occasionally moved himself around.

We joked about him all morning and started calling him George. After lunch the temperature was near 70 and George had left. About 3:30, George came back with a friend. His friend had cobwebs tangled on his wings and tail, and I cleared the webs and released him. They both flew into the upper level of the huge shop, and I suppose they plan to stay warm in here… until tomorrow.

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I was building this cedar cabinet for a 70′ yacht.

#dragonfly #cabinetry #insects #woodworking #yacht #Florida #WordPress #author #writer