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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After several weeks of personnel shuffling, between an (away from the job) injury, one previously scheduled vacation and another mini vacation by various staff members, it looks like we are back up to our full complement of reporters.
I have a confession to make. At least once a month, as I put the finishing touches on a 'Mommy Musings' piece I wonder, 'Does anyone really care about life according to the Hammond family?'
I recently broke up with my hairdresser.
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.
Another year is coming close to an end. Every year seems to go by faster and faster. I have heard after a certain age everything starts rolling downhill. I don't believe that is entirely true, but I do believe the speed has increased each year.
DEAR DIDI: I am hoping you can help solve a disagreement that my husband and I have been having. We love your column and your answer will be our 'tiebreaker' of sorts. My husband thinks our dog should spend nights outside in the yard to protect our home. I feel sorry for him and want him in the house but my husband says I baby him too much. What do you think? Caring Mom in Manteca
Timewise, we have fallen back, hopefully taking advantage of that extra hour of sleep over the weekend. Daylight Saving Time has ended and we have, incredibly, entered the final two months of the year with major holiday celebrations fast approaching. Halloween is over; recent windy days have kicked up swirls of leaves and the possibility of rain has returned to the forecast.
They say you can never go back. Well you can. But it will have changed and nostalgia will be all that remains. On a recent trip to England which I left for the United States more than 50 years ago, I got to visit the primary school that my sister and I attended when we were seven or eight years old.
There's something special when the leaves turn, days start to get shorter, the weather cools, and you start to feel a tingle of a nip in the air.
Bowler hats and brollies, cricket on the village green, unceasing rain and wind, motionless sentries guarding a monarch, fish and chips with beer for an evening meal.
Now that fall has officially arrived, we are in my favorite season of the year.
Some people with Medicare are asking lately if their Medicare coverage is affected by the new the Health Insurance Marketplace that starts in 2014.
As I write this column, it's Friday the 13th and this morning a coworker sent out a mass, funny text message about remaining calm, but then warning about all the things not to do on this date.
If you look at the date on this paper, it likely touches off a flurry of memories. Images, perhaps, seared in your memory.
One by one, readers, you have helped us make a huge difference in dealing with a devastating situation.
In July I attended my annual writer conference sponsored by the Romance Writer's Association and this year it was held in balmy Georgia, which was where my first RWA conference was held in 2006. It was fun to return to the peach state a little wiser than my first go-round and with the exciting changes in publishing right now, it was an amazing, vibrant conference.
Hi, my name is Rich and I am an addict.
There were five Wednesdays in July this year and that just makes it seem like it was months ago that my last column appeared.
I admit that when I received the congratulatory notice, it had me fooled. I thought the well-worded email was the lead into a scam informing the recipient they've won an award but would have some sort of out-of-pocket expense to be paid in advance with a product I'd never see. As I read on, I found it was in fact authentic. My screenplay was a "Silver Ace Award" winner at the Las Vegas Film Festival being held July 18-21.