Kevin’s Peace of Mind
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The Best Gift We Could Ask For Celebrating the Birth of My Amazing Daughter, Callie
July is an important month for our country, but it’s equally as important for my family because it marks the birth of one of the very special people in my life: my daughter, Callie. You might remember reading about our miracle baby during the February edition of my newsletter, but here’s a recap just in case. Missy and I had been married for 10 years before Callie came along. In all the time I’d known Missy, she always said God called her to be a wife and mother, so, for an entire decade, we tried every avenue we could to bring a baby into this world. After several medical specialists told us we would never be able to conceive a child, we started looking at adoption. But we still never gave up hope. We knew that God would not put this desire in Missy’s heart without fulfilling it, and we knew that anything is possible with God. Even though our faith never wavered, the day Missy gave me a bib saying, “I heart my daddy, ” I didn’t believe it. In fact, I initially thought the bib was a gift for my brother who was also expecting until Missy convinced me to take a second look at the bib that had my
name written on it, causing me to exclaim, “How did that happen!”
I truly believe that every baby is a miracle, but, to us, Callie is so much more. It’s been the best joy of my life getting to stand next to Missy and watch our daughter blossom into the young woman she is today. This month, on July 9, Callie will be turning 15, so between the hours she’ll spend behind the wheel learning to drive and hanging out with her friends, (yes, even some boys), I’m looking at a year filled with all the things that turn a dad’s hair gray! Every time I tell her she can’t date until she is 45, she rolls her eyes at me ... I can’t figure out why. extremely independent, determined, and kind individual. I know none of that will change as she continues her journey through her teenage years. Even as a teenager, Callie already has so many great characteristics. For example, she’s demonstrated her perseverance through the number of hours she has dedicated to her swim team and earning her first-degree black belt in karate. Even when she suffered injuries and growing pains, she continued to stick with it. Now she is working toward her second-degree black belt. Callie is also an astounding scholar. On top of lettering in swimming as a mere ninth-grader, she also earned the Academic Athlete Award as the student athlete with one of the highest GPAs on the team. I like to think her academic excellence grew out of her love for writing and reading (“Star Wars,” in particular, just like her dear old dad)! If all that isn’t enough, Callie also has a heart for God and a heart of gold. It is a joy to watch Callie pursue the work of God with passion, always growing in her relationship to God, which translates to her heart of gold. With Callie, I know I won’t have too much to worry about. She has always been an
Even as a little girl, Callie went out of her way to befriend anybody she could, and she has a particular fondness for kids with special needs. I can’t remember a time when she didn’t go out of her way to make sure everyone around her felt welcomed and appreciated. While Callie has already accomplished so much, I can’t wait to see where her life takes her. Since she was old enough to understand, I’ve always told her to remember a few things: 1) You can do anything you want to do; 2) Only God loves you more than your mom and I do, and (3) You are good for Dad’s heart. I can only hope that as she continues through high school, college, her career, her marriage, and then raising her own family, she never forgets those things, especially the last one.
Happy Birthday, Callie!
I love You,
-J. Kevin Tharpe
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3 FAMOUS UFO SIGHTINGS (BESIDES ROSWELL) Did You See That?
Going stargazing this summer? Be sure to keep your eyes out for unidentified flying objects (UFOs)! July 2 is World UFO Day, commemorating the supposed UFO crash that took place in 1974 in Roswell, New Mexico. Everyone knows about the strange things that happened in Roswell, but let’s look at a few lesser-known, but no less strange, UFO sightings.
object giving off lights and still moving. The object was gone when police arrived, but they found unusual markings at the site. A few days later, more servicemen went into the forest where they spotted three mysterious bright lights in the sky that shone for hours.
EAST COAST GO FAST VIDEO
THE FIRST FLYING SAUCER
In 2015, a U.S. Navy Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet strike fighter captured video of a bizarre, fast-moving object that had no visible wings and emitted no heat or no exhaust trail. The video, which can be viewed at COI.ToTheStarsAcademy. com/2015-go-fast-footage, shows the object in the fighter’s targeting system. The pilot and the weapon systems officer can be heard shouting and asking, “What is that, man?”The video leaked in 2017 along with news of the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), a secret U.S. government organization investigating UFOs. Most UFO sightings have rational explanations. Even the famous Roswell Incident was proven to be debris from a surveillance program the U.S. military used to spy on the Soviet Union. But there’s something to be said about how a UFO sighting makes us look up at the night sky and wonder if we’re not alone.
On June 24, 1947, civilian pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying his plane near Mount Rainier in Washington when he reported seeing nine blue, glowing objects flying in a V formation at around 1,700 mph. Arnold would later describe the crafts’motions like “a saucer if you skip it across water.”The government confirmed there were no aircraft tests in the area that day. In the following weeks, other sightings of Arnold’s flying saucers would crop up across the region.
THE RENDLESHAM FOREST INCIDENT
Things got weird at a Royal Air Force military base in England on Dec. 26, 1980. At around 3 a.m., two Air Force members saw odd lights falling into the nearby Rendlesham Forest. They reported finding a metallic
Gone to the Dogs HOW CAN A THIEF SUE THE FAMILY HE ROBBED?
Have you heard the story of Terrence Dickson? Even if you don’t know the name, you might have heard his strange tale. Dickson was a burglar in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. One day, after breaking into a house and helping himself to some valuables, Dickson decided to leave through the garage. After discovering the automatic garage door was stuck closed, Dickson turned around and was horrified to realize he’d locked himself inside. To make matters worse, the family he was stealing from had just left for an extended vacation, so Dickson lived off of soda and dried dog food for eight days. When the family returned and found the unlucky burglar, a lawsuit was filed — by Dickson! He sued for mental anguish, and the jury awarded him $500,000. There’s nothing that shakes our faith in the justice system quite like injustice being served. When Dickson’s story first gained notoriety in 2001, thanks to an email circulated by the now-defunct Stella Awards newsletter, which highlighted “outrageous lawsuits,” people were rightfully enraged. There was just one problem: Terrence Dickson never existed. In 2002, a reporter from Pennsylvania contacted the Bucks County prothonotary’s office, where all records for civil cases in the county are kept. He discovered there was no record of any cases involving such a burglar. It’s worth noting the original email where this story
first appeared ended with a call for tort reform from a made-up law firm in Ohio. Likely, this hoax was an attempt to manipulate the public perception of the justice system. Despite being debunked 17 years ago, this tall tale still makes the rounds and often appears on lists of “outrageous lawsuits,”many of which are featured on the websites of legitimate law firms! There are plenty of wacky legal cases, but when a story is too ridiculous, there’s a good chance a few important details are being left out or the readers are being lied to. Don’t believe everything you read online!
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TAKE A BREAK
BEWARE THESE RETIREMENT
Common Financial Pitfalls
The bulk of retirement planning is spent discussing how you will save money in the years leading up to the end of your career, but that’s only half of the picture. Once you enter retirement, your focus shifts to the smartest way to divest your money for both your own enjoyment and your continued financial security. There are countless ways to wisely spend your nest egg, such as taking trips, providing for the education of your grandchildren, and more. However, this article isn’t about good ideas. Instead, let’s talk about some of the worst ways to spend your retirement funds. The appeal of a timeshare seems obvious. It’s a space of your own for a few weeks of the year, and you get to enjoy a nice change of pace from your regular environment. The problem is that these properties are full of hidden costs and have been outpaced by other vacationing options. In a world where you can book an Airbnb with just a few clicks, timeshares are poised to become a relic of a past age. Hackers and cyberscammers love to prey on the elderly. As gross as it may sound, they know that older generations tend to be less tech savvy than their younger counterparts. You should be wary of online offers that look too good to be true. If you have even the slightest doubt, have a loved one take a look at the offer to ensure you’re not being scammed. Never provide your private financial data to a source you don’t absolutely trust. TIMESHARES ONLINE SCAMS
JUICY LUCY SLIDERS
Inspired by Bon Appétit Magazine
2 lbs. ground chuck beef, 20% lean 8 slices melting cheese (like American, Swiss, Muenster, or cheddar)
16 small potato rolls, toasted
Salt and pepper, to taste
Your favorite burger accompaniments
Many of us have walked into the house of an older relative to find a room full of American Girl dolls or a display case of Candlewick glassware. Collecting can be a rewarding hobby when done in moderation, but amassing junk simply for its own sake is a waste of money and space. Make sure you’re acquiring objects because you truly want to treasure them.
1. Divide beef into 16 evenly sized balls. 2. Rip cheese into roughly equal pieces, creating 16 equal portions. 3. Using your index finger, create a small indentation in each ball. 4. Fill indention with cheese and pinch meat around to seal. Then gently form balls into 3/4-inch-thick patties. Season patties. 5. Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high. 6. Lightly coat skillet with oil and cook patties in batches. Brown one side undisturbed, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium. 7. Serve on toasted potato rolls with your favorite accompaniments.
In general, real estate-based purchases can be extremely beneficial for retirees. The exception to this rule is a spur-of-the-moment relocation in order to be closer to your family or a retirement community. Because real estate transactions are so expensive, it’s best to approach them with extreme care and due diligence.
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(770) 503-1022 www.KevinTharpe.com 405 Broad St. SE Gainesville, GA 30501 INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Happy Birthday, Callie!
Juicy Lucy Sliders The Worst Retirement Spending Decisions Going Stargazing? Watch Out for UFOs! Did You Hear About the Dog Food Burglar?
The Madden Curse
ON THE TRAIL OF THE MADDEN CURSE Truth, Lies, and Superstition
There is no urban legend in the world of modern video games as well-documented as the so-called “Madden Curse.”The curse revolves around the highly sought-after cover spot of the popular NFL video game “Madden NFL,” formerly known as “John Madden Football.”While the games date back to 1988, the curse is said to originate with the 1999 version. Garrison Hearst, a popular running back at the time, broke his ankle shortly after being featured on the cover of the 1999 edition. This was the first in a long line of injuries and personal issues that resulted in the rumor gaining traction. Soon, the idea
as coincidence. Despite the ambivalence of many players, there does seem to be a correlation between the cover and player issues. Of the 22 players who have been featured on the cover, 16 of them have suffered from significant issues in the season that followed. While the causes varied, with severe injuries, contract disputes, and personal issues all afflicting different players, something about the spotlight appears to have disturbed the powers that be. In fact, sometimes these issues occur shortly after the game is released in stores.
that the game’s seemingly innocent cover could have devastating effects on a player’s career was widespread. Once a substantial honor in the world of football, the Madden cover spot has become one of the sport’s most feared superstitions for fans.
Whatever the true cause, the curse seems to have taken a dip in recent years. Only one of the last five players has been affected, a stat that bodes well for this year’s star: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The real answer probably lies somewhere between fact and fiction. The increased pressure of national attention is bound to make players tense up every once in a while, and in a game as physical as football, any distraction can end in disaster.
The players, however, seem to find the correlation more amusing than scary. Most of the athletes in contention for the spot still consider it to be a great honor, choosing to brush off the rumors
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