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Archive By Section - Local Columns


Stuff ‘N Nonsense – Homeownership: An Education In Economics

As previously mentioned, you might remember that we purchased our first home last year. It's been about six months now and we're still settling in but we've managed to unpack most of the important boxes even if we aren't entirely sure where everything ended up (I still can't find certain items that once resided in the kitchen).

June 23, 2010 | Kim Van Meter | Local Columns


Dawn’s Column - On To Something ‘Big’

A couple years ago around this time, I wrote a column about going to see the Sex And The City movie on opening night. I drove three hours to meet up with one of my partner-in-crime girlfriends from college and some of her girlfriends who held a 'Big' bash, complete with cosmopolitans (and champagne and kamikazes and…) and a limo to drive all 10 of us to the theater. It was memorable.

June 09, 2010 | Dawn M. Henley | Local Columns


Mommy Musings - Not-So Common Sense

Knowledge is not always power.

June 02, 2010 | Teresa Hammond | Local Columns


Marg-Ins - Through The Raindrops

May has given way to June and junior high has given way to - yes, that noise was me gasping - having a high school freshman daughter. Of course, she won't actually be considered a freshman until school starts in August but the simple fact of the matter is my daughter is now an eighth grade graduate, has completed her elementary and junior high school years and, I am afraid, the next four years are going to be even more of a blur than the ones since she was sitting on the couch all smiles with her Sesame Street lunch box ...

June 02, 2010 | Marg Jackson | Local Columns


Stuff ‘N Nonsense - A Few Words…

The school year is winding down. My teenage boys are moving into their junior and sophomore years respectively and my daughter is moving onto kindergarten.

It's hard not to sit back and reflect when everything has gone by in such a blur. This past year my oldest son traveled to New York with his drama club and collected priceless memories to treasure forever; my youngest son played three sports and earned his block "O;" my daughter's speech has improved immeasurably and her self-esteem is soaring.

May 26, 2010 | Kim Van Meter | Local Columns


Mommy Musings – More Than Smart … Pure Genius

It's a whole new world out there.

May 19, 2010 | Teresa Hammond | Local Columns


Dawn’s Column - The Merger

My fiancé and I are in the process of planning the final details for our wedding, it's nerve wracking. But I can tell you something else that's equally stressful - getting his house ready for me to move in.

May 12, 2010 | Dawn M. Henley | Local Columns


Mommy Musings – It Takes A Village

What makes a good mother?

May 05, 2010 | Teresa Hammond | Local Columns


Marg-Ins - It’s A Wrap

One of the luxuries of being the editor - at least on some days - is that since I am the last one that reads stories, captions and columns before they go to press, I can tinker with my own deadlines. For instance, reporters have to turn their columns in by mid afternoon Friday before the Wednesday it is published, since the 'Perspective' page is laid out over the weekend. But here I am, about 3:45 p.m. Saturday, just getting it started. Time has once again gotten away from me and the week, like the entire month of April, has ...

May 05, 2010 | Marg Jackson | Local Columns


Stuff ‘N Nonsense - Things That Go Bump

I've always been fascinated by the paranormal. I embrace the theory that there is something beyond the life that we experience in the here and now for I cannot imagine that this is it. Throughout my life I've encountered a number of experiences that may qualify as paranormal from a phantom touch on my shoulder to noises that don't belong and while I may have been a bit freaked out at the moment, it only served to whip up my enthusiasm and interest in the subject later.

April 28, 2010 | Kim Van Meter | Local Columns


Dawn’s Column - Sparkly Shoes And Ham

My fiancé and I recently hosted Easter dinner at his house for our families and have done this for the past few years, as his place is centrally located. We made the plan to drive to Stockton the day before Easter to pick up a Honeybaked Ham for the family gathering. He ordered the ham and I proposed that we arrive at the store early, before the line got too long.

Then my wheels began to turn.

April 14, 2010 | Dawn M. Henley | Local Columns


Mommy Musings - Navigating Diplomacy

For those who follow Mommy Musings - be warned, the Hammond Family has enrolled a student in the Oakdale Joint Unified School District system. This is a precarious time for me, personally. It is a time when I will now be tested on how well I can balance my personal and professional life and not have it come at the expense of my children.

April 07, 2010 | Teresa Hammond | Local Columns


Marg-Ins - Keeping It Simple

Amazing as it seems, we are already a quarter of the way in to 2010. Time literally seems to be flying by – yet again – this year and, before we know it, we'll be looking at Halloween candy and Christmas decorations.

April 07, 2010 | Marg Jackson | Local Columns


Ramblings – Flirting With Fantasy

Well I finally did it. Having for years disparaged people for going on cruises and indulging in what appeared to be unforgivable sloth and decadence, I succumbed to my son's persuasion and went on a Caribbean cruise with him - and enjoyed it very much.

March 31, 2010 | John Branch | Local Columns


Stuff ‘N Nonsense – The Stuff Happening In My World

The life of a working mother is rarely static. Between kids, home and work, there's always something going on. I'm accustomed to the chaos but lately, it seems the hectic nature of my life has sent me skidding a bit sidewise as I try to hold it all together. But rather than focus on the negative, I'm concentrating on the positive aspects of my life.

March 24, 2010 | Kim Van Meter | Local Columns


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Articles by Section - Local Columns


Marg-Ins No Rest For Weary

By definition, 'vacation' means an 'extended period of recreation' either at home or in travel. The word has also gained the reputation of meaning you get some rest while you are on vacation but that particular four-letter word did not seem to be on the itinerary for this trip.

July 02, 2014 | Marg Jackson | Local Columns


Confessions Of A Jersey Junkie

Recently, one of my favorite websites, Uni-Watch.com, had a piece written titled "One Fan's Experience with Jersey Addiction" and it got me thinking of my own special closet that houses over 40 jerseys of past and present MLB, NFL, and NHL teams.

June 25, 2014 | Richard Paloma | Local Columns


Dawn’s Column - The Final Countdown

It's been a while since I've written a column for The Leader, and this is my last one before saying goodbye to my coworkers and colleagues in the community.

June 18, 2014 | | Local Columns


Marg-Ins - Weighing The Options

Sometimes writing a monthly column seems like putting together my life, chapter by chapter. I have even had more than one person suggest all the columns be put together into a book but who knows if that will ever happen.

June 04, 2014 | Marg Jackson | Local Columns


RICH IN THOUGHT – Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword

Soap box time where I get to get atop and sound off about a few things.

May 14, 2014 | Richard Paloma | Local Columns


Marg-Ins – Senior Survival

For those of you dealing with a high school senior right now; a few words of encouragement.

May 07, 2014 | Michelle Kendig | Local Columns


Time Out – Take A Breath

So far, 2014 has flown by faster than Dale Jr. in the 88 car at the Daytona 500. With April in the books, we now turn our focus on summer. I want to take this opportunity to slow things down and invite you to take a "time out" and reflect on the first quarter of the year.

April 30, 2014 | Dennis D. Cruz | Local Columns


RICH IN THOUGHT – We Interrupt This Marriage For Baseball Season

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.

April 09, 2014 | Richard Paloma | Local Columns


Marg-Ins - Student Safety Center Stage

It never fails.

April 02, 2014 | Marg Jackson | Local Columns


Still Matters - Make A Wish

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.

March 26, 2014 | Virginia Still | Local Columns


RICH IN THOUGHT – When Did I Get This Old?

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).

March 19, 2014 | Richard Paloma | Local Columns


Editor’s Notebook - Blame It On The Bachelor

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?

March 19, 2014 | Marg Jackson | Local Columns


Marg-Ins - Move It Or Lose It

There comes a time when you just have to part with things.

March 05, 2014 | Marg Jackson | Local Columns


Marg-Ins - Glory In The Games

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.

February 19, 2014 | Marg Jackson | Local Columns


RICH IN THOUGHT - Not Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie

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.

February 12, 2014 | Richard Paloma | Local Columns


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