There's something to be said for keeping your defenses up.
They've been hard to escape; if you haven't heard re-caps on the news or found them as you wield the TV remote, chances are you have talked about them at work or with the family over dinner. And there are many stories to tell, as the Winter Olympics in Vancouver play out on the ski slopes, the ice rinks, the skeleton and luge tracks.
There are moments in our lives that remind us - sometimes painfully - that the march of time is resolute. I'm not talking about the inevitable body changes or the pressure of responsibility that seems to increase with each passing year as we age but rather something far more heart-rending.
I'm talking about the moment when you realize you won't always have your loved ones surrounding you as you did in childhood.
I'm not your atypical sports enthusiast.
The Oakdale City Council doesn't like it.
Usually when it comes to our columns, we write about what's going on in our lives. In a previous column, I made the promise that I wouldn't write too much about my wedding planning. The problem is, that with the exception of car trouble and my fiancé being stuck on jury duty because he thought he wouldn't get selected, wedding planning is pretty much what my life's been all about lately. That was precisely what I was hoping to avoid.
And so the time has come.
I'm rarely stumped for a column topic but this time was a little different. After tossing around a few ideas in my head, I found myself repeatedly coming back to the same thing. It's not the weather, or some escapade perpetrated by my youngest child … I keep coming back to a feeling of sadness after having experienced a loss. A couple of them, actually.
Thinking fast on your feet is critical in the game of parenting.
Sometimes it helps to get another perspective, to look at a situation from a different point of view. At times, in fact, it might even result in a change of heart, or at least a change of mind.
I had several ideas floating in my head for my column this month but when it came down to putting those thoughts on paper, I was disenchanted with the possibilities, which then lead me to sit and think of all the things that are happening in my life and what the coming year promises to yield.
A colleague and I were recently having a conversation about how quick time passes, even at a weekly paper. I had just completed covering the birthday of Vera Piccetti who celebrated her 107th birthday. As I took the ceremonial photo of her with her cake I joked that she was my job security. After all, I'd been covering this event since she hit the triple digits in 2003.
I'm going to offer an unpopular opinion for a town as conservative as Oakdale.
A recent conversation in the office brought to light that someone had actually seen me in an "anatomically correct" mode at the airport without my knowledge. You see, I was somehow randomly selected to step into this high-tech glass booth at the Las Vegas airport a couple months ago.
I'm a December baby. For those who follow astrology, a Capricorn to be more precise.
Spring is in the air and for me that means one thing. Not flowers blooming, not complaints of sneezing and watery eyes from allergies, not Easter, not even the Oakdale Rodeo.
It never fails.
Another birthday has gone by and the year is moving along at its normally quick pace. Birthdays have always been a cause for celebration in my life. We are not guaranteed a long life so every year that I reach a new age, I find myself reflecting, feeling very blessed, and thankful that I had a year filled with a lot of laughter and love.
It seems to have all of a sudden hit me that I'm in my mid-50s. With that awareness comes the oh-so-common, "Where did all the time go?" (And there's no mid-life crisis here with plans to go out and buy a corvette and cruise with a young blonde bombshell named Bambi).
Let's just say I have never been that much of a fan of 'reality' TV because in all honesty, it's probably the furthest thing from real life as you can get. Who can be 'natural' when there are lights and cameras tracking your every move?
There comes a time when you just have to part with things.
Whether you are an ardent sports fan or just a casual observer you really can't go wrong taking a few minutes out of your schedule to sit down and watch the Olympic Games. Chances are, you get one of the many channels that are carrying them, with nearly nonstop action all day, depending on where you turn.
It's bedtime at Villa Paloma and as I make my way upstairs after turning off the lights and ensuring doors are locked, comes the time where I need to make my claim on what's left of the real estate on our California king as the TV flickers the nightly news.
All right, I can tell on myself. This column and the ones our reporters periodically provide for this page are due on the Friday before the next Wednesday's paper. Typically, a 5 p.m. Friday deadline, though I have been known to let people email them to me on a Saturday as long as I know it's coming and can still get it proofread in time for the page to be built. But it has been an extremely busy time for me so I gave myself a break and put the deadline off until – yikes! – Monday. Besides, I ...
What did I get for Christmas?
Some people just aren't meant to wear heels.
It's the middle of December and I still have pumpkins on my front doorstep.
I'm taking a chance by voicing an unpopular, politically incorrect position on a contemporary issue, but from me, this shouldn't come as a surprise.
November is such a busy month, leading right up to an equally hectic December, that it literally feels like a lifetime ago I wrote my last column.
Some people may not realize it, but there are actually two ways to get Medicare benefits.