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  • Writer's picturekiehart

...was in Ixtapa, Mexico. My partner-now-wife booked us for two weeks at a VRBO unit situated on the golf course with the beautiful Pacific Ocean as our backdrop. We golfed every day for two weeks and I had a lot of fun and did pretty good considering. That was back in 2005, many years before my back began to remind me that I'm getting old.





In Mexico, sand traps weren't the only hazard!



Since then, the clubs (and what remaining balls survived water hazards) have been shuffled from one side of the garage to another and from one state to another. Except for a few occasions, having cobwebs dusted from the case was the only attention the clubs received for nearly twenty years! Not that golf was ever 'my sport.' Growing up I played basketball and softball. Now, the thought of running from one end of the court to another or from first to second base scares me more than any crocodile! So, I pulled out the putter and wedge, and decided that 2023 is the year for this minimalist golfer to .... well, to golf!


Someone once told me getting back on the course is like riding a bicycle -- you never forget. Or was it 'getting back on the horse' that you never forgot? After about ten minutes of putting and chipping, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. My wife patiently reminded me about the basics: keep your wrists firm, keep your head down, and keep your eyes on the ball. And then, miracles of miracles, I sunk one from twenty feet! Soon, we'll be ready for the driving range. And then, the 9-hole Delphi Golf Course.

Enjoy your round!



Judy

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  • Writer's picturekiehart

Updated: May 10, 2023



After being unplugged from emails (my choice) for several weeks, I thought I’d tally a sampling of the 400+ garbage/spam emails I received during those days away from social media.



The gist of the first 100:


___ My anti-virus account has expired, my AOL settings are out of date, my Medicare account needs updating, my iCloud storage is full, and my credit scores can be better.

___ I’ve won 3 Costco Gift Cards, a $500 Walmart Gift Card, a JC Penny reward card, a Sams Club gift card, a Keurig Coffee Machine, a Dell Inspiron, an Igloo Trailmate cooler, a Samsun Galaxy Z Fold (?) and two, 170-piece Stanley Tool Kits.

___ 13 Shipments were delayed for unknown purchases and I was notified that 3 claims are under review and that I am behind on my reverse mortgage payments.

___ Several product ads assure me, that: my penis (if I had one) can stay harder longer, I can no longer suffer from pain and anxiety, I can whiten my teeth, I can unlock three inches of extra growth (not sure to which body part this refers), and I can reverse limpness with a potent tonic now available.

___ If I choose to ‘click here,’ I could learn how Eskimos prevent nerve pain, how to stay rock hard 12 different ways, how to get rid of skin tags, how to train my parrot, how to apply for a mortgage, and that by doing something with my left arm how to improve memory.

___ There are treatments available for turning back the clock on aging knees, a new stocking is available for sore feet, new shoes are available to ease back pain. I can also have whiter teeth, thicker hair, tighter buttocks, and a longer-lasting erection.

___ Numerous emails referred to CBD products and at least 26 ways to lose weight.

___ I was selected 9 times (but have no idea what for).


I’ve had time to sort through (but not time to respond to) valid emails, a mere 35 of them. The one that stood out was the announcement that Calico Lane received the 2023 Firebird Award (first place in the LGBTQ Nonfiction Category) for the first quarter of this new year!


I limit which contests I enter mostly because there are so many and everyone is willing to take your entry fee--with the chance of winning kind of like playing the Lottery. With Firebird, the submission entry fee is considered an actual donation to women with children in homeless shelters (and not a contribution to the organization’s till). More important than receiving a sticker for the book’s cover, I know entry fees help to provide happy handmade pillowcases, pillows, colorful totes, and children’s books to women and children in long-term shelters, including Enchanted Makeovers. A win-win even if your submission is not selected!

I’ve also added several new items to my website (upcoming book events, podcasts, and announcements). Also, now you can purchase a signed copy of Calico Lane through my website.

Remember to tell your friends to check out my website for lots of fun stuff, and if you’ve read Calico Lane, please take a moment to leave a one-line comment on Amazon or Goodreads to help other readers decide if Calico Lane is a book they’d also enjoy!


Next, a post about my trip to Amsterdam.


Stay tuned! Stay healthy!


Cheers!


Judy

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  • Writer's picturekiehart

When I was in grade school, I remember waking to soft tapping on my bedroom door and Dad’s announcement: “No school today, it’s a snow day.” I bounced out of bed, excited to have a full day of sledding and building snow forts. The joyful mood passed quickly as Dad’s wide grin and proclamation confirmed I had been fooled. As I got older, I realized April snow days -- even in Northeastern PA -- were rare, but it didn’t stop Dad from using this prank on my younger sisters and me for many years.


Today, googling “April Fools Day” will result in about 1,920,000 search results on the world wide web.


The annual April 1st custom consists of practical jokes and hoaxes followed by jokesters exposing their actions by shouting "April Fools!" Mass media has also been known to pull pranks – only ‘fessing up’ on the following day.


Among these almost two million links you will learn that April Fools Day is celebrated around the world with pranks dating as far back as, yes, you guessed it: Noah and the Ark (It’s been said that Noah sent out a crow to check for land before he sent the dove.)


There are many theories about the origin of April Fools Day; you can google those, I’m not going down that rabbit hole. However, I did spend considerable browsing time on what are considered the best hoaxes and practical jokes of all time, such as:


In London, the proud recipients of an invitation sent out in 1856 must have felt they were being called to witness a magnificent event that joined history, royalty, and a superb setting – British pomp and circumstance at its best. Signed by one Herbert de Grassen, evidently a "senior warden", sealed with an imposing blob of crimson wax…it summoned recipients to witness "the Annual Ceremony of Washing The Lions" at the Tower of London. It is unknown how many did not notice the date of April 1st stamped on the invitation. Earlier in the 19th century—before the date of the invitation—the lions and other animals were moved to the new Regent's Park zoo.


There was a year ( 1946 ) when an undersea (13,000 feet beneath the surface) earthquake occurred off the Alaskan coast near the Aleutian Islands, causing the April Fools Tsunami in the North Pacific. The shock had a moment magnitude of 8.6, a tsunami magnitude Mₜ of 9.3, and a surface-wave magnitude of 7.4. It resulted in about 160 casualties in Hawaii and over $26 million in damage. Certainly no joke…right? She’s fooled us more than once; could Mother Nature be setting us up for a Sargassum Seaweed Blob Invasion this year? Keep an eye on those headlines!


In 2008 (or was it in 1998? – the date differs depending on the source) press releases and full-page ads for Burger King’s Left-Handed Whopper announced the new dining choice for lefties, in which placement of condiments like pickles was rotated 180 degrees, "…redistributing the weight of the sandwich so that the bulk of the condiments will skew to the left, thereby reducing the amount of lettuce and other toppings from spilling out the right side of the burger." Thousands arrived at the fast food establishment on the first day in April with great anticipation, only to be fooled!


Not to be outdone by Burger King, in 2015, Cottonelle tweeted that it was introducing left-handed toilet paper claiming that "America has spoken, and we at Cottonelle have listened." ReverseRipple™ toilet paper, specially designed "for left-handed wipers” was introduced.

The most common pranks between family members seem to involve food: switching the sugar bowl contents with salt or removing the white cream filling from an Oreo and replacing it with mayonnaise. For families with a baby in the home, a clean diaper is smeared with chocolate candy or peanut butter; then a spouse or older child is called to observe with horror as the prankster tastes the mess.


Elaborate pranks have appeared on radio and television stations, newspapers, and websites, and have been performed by large corporations. On April 1, 1905, for example, a German newspaper wrote that thieves had dug a tunnel underneath the U.S. Treasury and stolen $268 million in silver and gold (today’s purchasing power of about $8,478,218,181).

Another famous prank in 1957 was the broadcasting of a BBC film in their Panorama current affairs series purporting to show Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti, in what they called the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest. The BBC was soon flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the film a hoax on the news the next day.


In Thailand, the police warned ahead of April Fools' in 2021 that posting or sharing fake news online could lead to a maximum of five years imprisonment. This was not a joke, the police were serious! Hmmm, I wonder how many of us will be fooled by the media on the first of April? I’m not going down that rabbit hole either.


I like what Jeff Dean of NPR said not too long ago, “Although we may never know its true origins, April 1 has come to represent a day of joy and comedy as we move out of the darkness of winter and into the light of spring.”


On April 1st, before you leave your house, remember to check the back of your coat for a “Kick Me” sign -- and have a Happy April Fools Day!


Note: Any facts in this post were taken from the world wide web. Any mistakes are mine.


If you enjoy my scribblings, please ask your friends to sign up so they can receive my monthly posts.

Calico Lane is now available for purchase through my website: www.judykiehart.com/purchase-from-me

Thank you for your continued support!


Judy

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