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.
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.