Life Is Like Baseball

Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay
Major league baseball started a few days ago. 

The Houston Astros is playing the New York Yankees. Unfortunately, the Astros are on the losing end so far. But things can change/


You may not think so, but life and baseball have much in common. Let me explain.

In baseball, one thing every player must learn is how to hit a curve ball. The curve ball, sometimes called a Bender, sometimes a Hook, is dreaded by batters—even the power hitters.  You see, the curve ball is slower than a fastball, but it fools batters into swinging too soon thus earning them a strike rather than a hit.

How do baseball players overcome this? They learn that the first thing they must do is keep their eyes on the ball. That way they don't have to guess what the pitcher is going to throw at them. They see and recognize what the pitcher is going to throw as soon as the ball leaves his hand.

Every pitch has a "release point." If the pitcher's fingers are over the front of the ball, he's throwing a change-up. If his hand is directly behind the ball, he's throwing a fastball. If his fingers are to the side, you better believe he's pitching you a curve ball.

Batters have to recognize what's coming at them and what action to take.


Life is all about curve balls. No one gets a pass on life's curve balls. No career is free of curve balls. As a writer, I've had my share of curve balls. Authors get curve balls pitched at us 
all the time. Regardless of your profession, you need to have a plan of action ready when this happens.

An action plan usually means having a backup plan ready to go when a curve ball explodes in your life. Some people never see the curve ball, but they suspect it's coming so they swing too early. That can be a problem of its own. Some never know it's coming until it's whistling by at warp speed. These are the ones who strike out because they wait too late to take action.

Image by Keith JohnstonPixabay

Batters have an easier time at recognizing what's coming at them and what action to take because they keep studying the aspect—the pitchers—that affect their careers, and they never become complacent.

Everyone with a career and a life should be doing three things.

1. Always be analyzing what's going on in your career—seeing where your career is going and learning how to be more valuable, more effective.

2. Never be complacent or take your career success or your relationship happiness for granted. The status quo rarely stays constant whether you're talking about a career or life itself.

Everything is always in a state of flux. Never take your relationships or your career for granted. Each requires work to be successful. Nurture each of them because success in one and failure in the other never brings happiness.

3. Always plan for curve balls in advance. Think about all the things that can happen and figure out how to deal with them before they happen. Advance plans help you keep your head.


So, yes, I think life is like baseball. Don't get tagged out. Hit a home run—in life and in your career.

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Saturday Share: Fix a Slow Computer

Here at the casa, we've had a lot of tech challenges in the last month.

The new router continues to be a problem in that our Samsung TV won't stay connected wirelessly. But that's probably because it's several years old.

The other issue is a slow-running computer—my 2011 Lenova desktop PC. It's several years old too, but updates have been kept up.

 This desktop PC has been a problem-free workhorse. In fact, it's been so dependable that when it came time to replace my laptop, I bought a Lenovo.


As many of you know, My Tech Guy is my Darling Hubby. When he hears me ranting and raving in my office and using inappropriate language because of some computer problem, he comes to the rescue. What a patient guy who is my biggest supporter.

He researches tech problems and finds a solution or a workaround. He assured me the new router wasn't the problem. It's my 13-year-old PC.

It appears that an overall slowdown of a computer is one of the most common problems and the one people complain about most often.

In case you're wondering what running slow means, it's how long your PC takes from the time  you turn the computer on to it being ready to open a program.

Sometimes you'll also notice that typing something on the keyboard doesn't instantly appear on the monitor. Unfortunately, there's no 1 single reason for a computer to run slow. It can be caused by several things which kind of makes it more difficult to diagnose and fix.


Most often, a slowdown occurs because certain programs or processes take too much of the computer's RAM (Random Access Memory), hard drive, or the CPU (Central Processing Unit).

Of course you know that the hard drive has a certain capacity. If you're close to maxing out the storage space, that can make your computer slow down. The solution is to offload data to another device or upgrade the hard drive if your computer is capable of that.

The RAM, or Random Access Memory, is the hardware that provides temporary storage for the operating system (OS), software programs, and any other data in current use in order to make all of that quickly available to the device's processor. 

The more RAM, the faster a computer processes. It's like a person's short term memory. Always get the most RAM you can. If your computer is upgradeable, add RAM.

The CPU, or Central Processing Unit, the main part of your computer, is a complex set of electronic circuitry that acts as the control center. It's what actually runs your computer's operating system and apps. 

Just running your operating system takes a base amount of resources—just like a person's basic functions takes a certain amount of calories.

If you have a computer program that takes a huge amount of RAM, hard drive space, and processing resources, it's going to slow your computer. An easy way to check to see what program is sucking your resources is to run Task Manager.


(1) Task Manager is a part of Windows. Right-click your taskbar and select Task Manager.

(2) On the top of the Task Manager window, you'll see tabs. Select Performance.

(3) You'll see a list of everything that's running on your computer. If you see something showing 100% or close to that, click that.

It will show you how much of your computer resources are being used for that program. If that's an open program you're not using, close it.

I know it sounds very basic, but I too disregard this. I'm bad about opening several different programs and going from one to the other. 

I know all those open programs slow my computer, but I don't think about it until my computer bogs down.


Get in the habit of closing programs when you're finished with them so your computer can run fast and efficiently.

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Thought for Good Friday

Good Friday is a special day for Christians.

In case you don't know the significance of this special day, I think Marianne Williamson perfectly captures the meaning.

She said: "Think of everything you've ever experienced that was painful; that's the meaning of Good Friday. Think of all the ways that love ultimately healed your heart; that's the meaning of Easter."


May you be blessed with the gift of forgiveness and redemption.

Need an Attitude Adjustment?

Life is often puzzling, isn't it?

Sometimes, it seems that everything in the world is changing—all at once.

Software and websites you use change just when you've become comfortable working with them.

Everything you've grown accustomed to is going away and/or changing.

Maybe it's a department store where you loved to shop that's closing for good. Maybe it's as simple as a courtesy card at the supermarket that suddenly has gone digital so you have to use the store app now.

Sure, we all hear that Life is change, but don't you just want to yell, "Stop changing." I don't know about you, but I'm tired of constantly updating software, hardware, phone apps, television apps, and such, not to mention filling out the same online forms every time you have a doctor's appointment because their software changed.

Can we just maintain the status quo for a nano second or two?


Yep, I'm the one who needs an attitude adjustment which is why that's the subject of today's blog post is that. 

I guess this is appropriate since it's spring cleaning time. Why not clean out the old brain and get rid of some bad attitudes?

Of course, we can't just chuck an attitude in the trash bin no matter how much we'd like to do exactly that. 

Attitudes can only be changed by replacing one with another, and it requires conscious effort to make that change.


Start an attitude adjustment by analyzing how you face challenges and disappointments. If life hands you a bunch of lemons, do you turn the fruit into lemonade?

Or do you pucker up in sourness and make self-defeating statements like: "I hate the way things are now."

Do you automatically think you won't succeed at something—before you even try?

When something "bad" happens, do you say: "If it's not one thing, it's another." Do you sing that old country music song, "If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all?"

Guess what? That attitude will only mire you in defeat. Self-defeating statements come from fear and the insecurity we each host inside our subconscious. The only purpose of defeatist self-talk is to make us feel bad.

Isn't it time you told that bully in your head to take a hike?

If you perpetually host negative self-talk, you'll succeed only in killing optimism and probably grind your ego into dust. Self-flagellation in the face of change or disappointment leads only to unhappiness.


Consciously change the way you react to challenges. Write out a script and keep it within eyesight. When you're tempted to heap recriminations on yourself, read that script aloud. 

When you tell yourself something, ask if that's really true? If not, why did you think it? Because it was the path of least resistance. Change that reaction.

You change it by becoming consciously aware of what you're saying to yourself. Here's a clever hack to help you change your reaction. Wear a rubber band on your wrist. When you realize you're telling yourself something guaranteed to keep you down, pop that rubber band. 

A little pain on the wrist is worth it if it will help you change the way you react to life. 

(Sometimes it's good for me to remind myself of these life truths. Thanks for listening.)


Attitude adjustments can make the difference in a life lived happily and a life lived miserably.

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6 Questions to Answer in Creating Content

Blog Ops, only 99¢
Those 6 questions are:

1. Who?
2. What?
3. When?
4. Where?
5. Why?
6. How?

My elementary school English teachers called this the 6 W's—Who, What, When, Where, Why, and hoW.

If you had a good English teacher when in school, you were taught that those 6 questions should always be answered when writing an article or a book, and the rule applies to writing fiction too because those details ground the reader in the story.

Surprise, those 6 W's can be applied to bloggers too because too many bloggers leave out those pertinent details that orient the reader immediately. 


If you're writing a blog, stick those details in to orient the reader immediately lest you immediately lose that visitor because he has to work too hard to make sense about what you're writing. Don't assume the reader is on the same wave length as you.

This is especially true if you're writing on a topic that you plan to continue as a series. If you're posting the first of three-parts or whatever, remember in subsequent posts to introduce the topic again.
Scale Up Your Blogging Skills, 99¢

It's like the television shows with ongoing story lines that show pertinent scenes of previous episodes. Most television series have a voiceover that intones: "Previously on Blank."

For instance, in this post, here are the answers that I give to those 6 questions.

1. Who is the audience for this post? Anyone who blogs or writes content.
2. What is this about? Writing Tips to help someone create good content and why it should be used.
3. When is this applicable? Right now.
4. Where is this useful? On the internet and in real-life writing.
5. Why should this be relevant to readers? To help them blog better.
6. How should this information be used or be helpful? By word and example. Enbrace the tips.


Visitors will return again and again to blogs that give them solid content and present it in a way that's easy to assimilate. 
Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, affiliate advertising designed to help websites earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon. If you click an Amazon link in her post, she may receive a small commision at no extra cost to you.

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Review - Ricky Stanicky on Prime

Which describes Prime's new movie, Ricky Stanicky, which stars Jon Cena and Zac Ephron?

A. Gross out

B. Laugh out loud funny

C. Award-winning performance by Cena

D. Heartwarming

E. None of the above

F. All of the above.

Believe it or not, the answer is F. All of the above.

I selected the movie for our weekend viewing because I thought it might be like Tag, a 2018 film starring Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, and Jake Johnson which Darling Hubby and I enjoyed immensely.


When they were kids, three friends created an imaginary buddy named Ricky Stanicky to blame on their childhood misdeeds. This practice carried over into adulthood any time they wanted to shirk responsibilities or events they deemed boring. Of course, one day they were forced to have Ricky make an appearance because their families were getting suspicious.

That's when they hire an out of work porn actor (John Cena) to play Ricky Stanicky, the role of his lifetime. What ensues is gross, hilarious, and is probably Cena's role of a lifetime too. 

Some things are simply over the top, and the language and content is crude. This is NOT a family movie.

The upside is that it has moments that will make you guffaw with laughter. I don't know if it's possible to watch a  Prime movie if you're not a subscriber, but you can visit the Ricky Stanicky page on Amazon to find out.

In addition to Efron and Cena, the movie also stars Jermaine Fowler, Andrew Santino, Lex Scott Davis, Anja Savcic, Jeff Ross, and William H. Macy. 


Yes, it was gross and crude in places, but the movie made us laugh. We also gained enormous respect for John Cena as an actor. I give it 2 thumbs up.

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, affiliate advertising designed to help websites earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon. If you click an Amazon link in her post, she may receive a small commision at no extra cost to you.

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Monday Magic - Have I Been Pwned?

Today's free app is Have I Been Pwned? 

Do you know the meaning of Pwned? It's a derivation of the word owned due to the proximity of the O and P keys on the keyboard. It comes from video game culture, i.e., "I can't wait to pwn that ork."

It's leetspeak—a system of modified spellings used primarily on the Internet.

Pwned implies that someone is owned, controlled, or compromised, i.e., "I was pwned in a data breach."

If you wonder whether your email address or website has been breached in some way, you can find out with this free online app which allows Internet users to check whether their personal data has been compromised by data breaches.

Read the FAQ to assure yourself of the privacy and security of anything you enter on the site as well as what should NOT be entered.


This is a utility you should definitely bookmark.

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Saturday Share - Recipe - Oven-Fried Potatoes

Happy Saturday!

Here's a recipe for a dish just about everyone loves.

It tastes great, it's easy to fix, and it's economical  too.

The great thing about potatoes is that they go with every kind of main dish—well, except pasta I suppose.

The ingredients may sound like a lot of fat, but you drain off the excess fat. You can save it in the fridge for use the next time you make this.



1 potato for each person dining

4 tablespoons melted butter

4 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

rosemary, an option for a different taste


1. Wash the potatoes well, but do not peel them. Slice each potato into quarter-inch rounds.

2. Soak the slided potatoes in cold water for a half hour.

3. Melt the butter and olive oil together on a cookie sheet.

4. Drain the potatoes and pat each round dry. Then place them on the cookie sheet in a single layer.

5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over them then turn over so the other buttered side can be seasoned.

6. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until lightly brown and tender when pierced with a fork. Serve hot.


Sprinkle with crushed rosemary in addition to the salt and pepper. This makes them even more scrumptious.

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Keyboard Shortcuts to Pick Colors

Last week I blogged about Keyboard Shortcuts for Punctuation Marks and Symbols.

This week I'm giving you Keyboard Shortcuts for Colors.

You can use select a text color by typing in the color code on newsletter providers like MailerLite, on your own websites, blogs, and on graphics websites like BookBrush, etc.

These HTML color names can be used with inline HTML styles or in a separate CSS stylesheet 

For example, you can change the color of a headline and/or the body text with a simple HTML code instruction like this:

<!-- In your HTML document --><body> <h1 style="color:IndianRed">Indian Red Title Text</h1> <p style="color:SlateGray">Slate gray paragraph text</p> </body>

I use color codes a lot because it's faster to type 6 characters than click on a color chart and find the one yu want to use.

You may know already that #000000 is the HTML color code for black, and that #FFFFFF is the HTML color code for white.

There are HTML Color Codes for every color of the rainbow. Here are a few commonly used color codes in a list you can copy and print.


Black  —  #000000

White  —  #FFFFFF

Bright Red  —  #FF0000

Bright Pink  —  #FF1493

Medium Violet Red  —  #C71585

Magenta  —  #FF00FF

Orange  —  #FFA500

Gold  —  #FFD700

Bright Yellow  —  #FFFF00

Lime Green  —  #00FF00

Green  —  #008000

Teal  —  #008080

Blue  —  #0000FF

Navy  —  #000080

Beige  — #F5F5DC 

Chocolate  —  #D2691E

Brown  —  #A52A2A

Maroon  —  #800000

Gray  —  #808080


Visit and bookmark ColorCodes, one of my favorite resources.

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Auto Crash Into Power Pole?

A few months ago, I read an article in a local magazine that asked this question: "Do you know what to do if you crash into an electric utility pole?"

Well, I didn't know. I told my husband and other family members because you just never know when you might be involved in a freak accident.

I thought I'd share the information online too in the form of a list.

1. Always, always think of a power line or other electrical equipment as LIVE—meaning it can kill you.

2. If you crash into a power pole and the power line falls on your car, there may or may not be fire. If there is NO fire, the safest thing to do is stay inside your car and call 911. You never know if a live wire may be laying on the ground. Don't exit your car until help arrives.

3. If passersby run to your car, tell them to stay away until help arrives. They may inadvertently receive serious electrical shock in trying to get to you.

4. Don't touch anything metal inside your car because electricity might be flowing through the frame of your car and along the ground.

4. If the accident caused a fire, then you need to leave the car, but do it this way. Open the car door, rotate your body so you're facing out. Place both feet at the same time on the running board if you have one, or on the bottom edge of the door frame. Jump out, making sure both feet leave the running board or door frame at the same time. Make sure you land with both feet on the ground at the same time.

5. When you jump out, be sure no part of your body or clothes touches the ground AND the car at the same time.

6. In getting away from the car, you have 2 options. Option #1—Shuffle step which means keep both feet in contact with the ground, sliding your feet along to maintain contact with the ground. Option #2—Jump away, making sure both feet leave the ground and land on the ground at the same time. Shuffling or jumping decreases the risk of electrical shock.

7. If you see an accident where someone has hit a utility pole, do NOT approach their vehicle. Call 911 and shout instructions to the driver.


I never thought about any of this before. It's a scary scenario which is why I wanted to spread the word about it. Be sure and pass this information on to your family and friends.

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Think About This Part 3 - Beauty

Every woman wants to be feel beautiful. I think the desire to be perceived as beautiful exists in every culture.

The late great Tina Turner said something so wise about the quest for beauty.

I wanted to share it with you because I think there's a lot of truth in it. 

"My greatest beauty secret is being happy with myself. I don't use special creams or treatments—I'll use a little bit of everything. It's a mistake to think you are what you put on yourself. I believe that a lot of how you look is to do with how you feel about yourself and your life. Happiness is the greatest beauty secret."

Self-identity—the way you perceive yourself—can make you feel special and beautiful or plain and unimportant. Call it self-esteem, self-confidence, self-identity, or any of the other buzz words, but know that how you think about yourself is of greater importance than you may imagine.

Don't look in the mirror and say mean things about your appearance. Would you tell another woman that she looks fat or wrinkled or old? Probably not, but I've heard women say things like that when they look at their own reflection. 


I've often urged readers to dwell on optimism rather than negative thoughts. Today I urge you to think of yourself as beautiful. Tell your reflection that. See yourself as beautiful.

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The Color of Spring

"Happiness? The color of it must be spring green." —Frances Mayes

I'd be willing to believe that if happiness had a color, it would be the green of emerging leaves.

Yesterday, I spent a lovely half hour walking through a garden center. The most beautiful fragrance floated through the air, and the sun was warm on my face.


While no one was looking, spring sneaked in, but I—and the hundreds of other customers at the garden centers—recognized the lovely visitor.

I'm always happy to take a break from the routine. No, I'm not going anywhere. I'm just going to garden a little every day because Spring is my favorite season. That's my way of dealing with spring fever.

Funny how the phrase Spring Fever has become the name for many things including college festivals, triathlons, mixed drinks, perfume, several movies, poems, and books. For thousands of years, spring equinox has been celebrated in pagan rituals. (I guess one could characterize  college spring break as a bit pagan too.)

Humans haven't changed much since cavemen hunted T-Rex. Even today, we look forward to similar pursuits that involve shedding winter wools and slipping on tee shirts, shorts, and sandals.


My grandfather always said spring fever is when "a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love." I looked up spring fever in the dictionary. It defined spring fever as "a feeling of languor or yearning brought on by the coming of spring."

Since I'm a romance author, I write about yearning all the time. In my novels, a man and a woman yearn for each other—often against their better judgment. That's what creates the push-pull in a relationship that can be quite funny.

In the end, all that really matters is that winter is over and spring is here. Hurray. Go forth and celebrate! 


By the way, if you don't garden, try it. It's like Luther Burbank said, "Flowers always make people better, happier, more hopeful."

Second Chance Reads - Health, Beauty, Success, Etc.

It's been a while since I caught up on my blog reading. There always seems to be so many things to do each day that I miss a lot of great content.

Here are a few I've gone back too that I think you'd like too.

I've roughly categorized them. There were a lot more that I could list, but I'm super short on time.

Hope you find some that interest you and will click on them. Here we go.


Make your own Rose Scrub from Wellness Mama Blog.

Wake Up to Glowing Skin from Nyka

In case you're interested...How to Apply False Eyelashes for Beginners from Cosmetify (I found a new mascare that makes you look as if you have falsies on your eyelids. I'll blog about it another day.)

9 Desk Stretches for People Who Sit All Day



How Not to Succeed (in case you missed this on New Year's Day)

If you think you're too old for social media, read It's Never Too Late to Become an Influencer

Beginners Guide to TikTok



12 Book & Reading Facts You May Not Know

The Changing Ways of Romance by Bea Tilton

An Open Letter by Liz Flaherty (the kind of letter most of us could and should write)



A Few Questions for Writers from Karen Jones Gowen

Writers & Imposter Syndrome

Book Trends in 2024 from BlurbBlog


There you have a recap of some recent blogs I read. Hope they're helpful to you too.

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Cowboy Poets Offer Powerful Words About Honor

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, an annual festival celebrating western life and creativity, was held last month in Elko, Nevada.

Cowboy Poetry has been around a long time and is more popular than ever. About 6,000 people attended this year's gathering. You may wonder who comes to this?

Anyone interested in western arts, music, and the lifestyle. After all the cowboy is an icon of the Old West—perhaps the myth of the Old West.


The 1870s trail drives gave birth to Cowboy poetry. Cowboys herded cattle to northern railheads on the Chisholm and Goodnight-Loving trails. The work was exhausting and there was nothing to do when night fell and chores were completed. 

To entertain themselves and others and to pass the time, Cowboys wrote poetry about their work, the loneliness of long nights, and sang old folk songs they'd rewritten to fit their world.

Cowboy Poetry Book
In Texas, a Cowboy Poetry Festival takes place every year in Alpine. In fact, there are about 200 gatherings in the U. S. each year, and they're well attended.


In this lyrical poetry, you'll find traditional elements like rhyme, meter and narrative—not often used in contemporary poetry. 

Most of the long-time practitioners of the genre have actually worked as cowboys. There may be a few cowboy poets who've never had to throw a saddle over Trigger, but they probably had ancestors who knew how to cinch a saddle and ride the line, or they married into a family with that ancestry.

Baxter Black is considered the most famous cowboy poet in the world. He's published more than a dozen books, recorded more than a dozen albums, and appeared on TV and radio.

His poems are humorous, often satirical, as he tells about the struggle and joy of ranch life.

Another famous cowboy poet is Bruce Douglas "Waddie" Mitchell, sometimes called the Cowboy Poet Lariat.

Mitchell often performs his poems with a guitarist providing background music. You'll find CD's and books with his work on Amazon, like One Hundred Poems.


Most of us are disconnected from nature. We live stress-filled lives of constant frustration. Try Cowboy Poetry, the simple yet powerful words about living with honor and integrity, may offer a respite from the discord of the world.

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, affiliate advertising designed to help websites earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon. If you click an Amazon link in her post, she may receive a small commision at no extra cost to you.

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