Two of my closest friends have each been weathering multiple storms and going through major life changes. It seems that the hits have kept on coming for them. These two are my good-time pals, I have some of my most fun memories with them. Now, however, I no longer live nearby and struggle with my feelings that I can't physically be there for either of them during these hard times.
What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been. Now that school is out and high school sports (other than summer camps and all-star games) have wrapped up for the year, maybe there will be time to breathe. Maybe even time for a little vacation …
When your traveling experience has been limited to the United States certain aspects of life outside the cushy bubble of western civilization can be jarring.
Despite many women's claims that the male gender of the human race is comparative to the canine species, I don't claim to have any great insight to the innermost thinking of dogs - just my observations and beliefs.
A year ago at this time I was in the throes of pulling together final details for my wedding. My husband and I became engaged just before the holidays, which didn't leave much time for actual wedding plans until after the first of the year, resulting in a shorter planning schedule than I had dreamed about.
After some awful luck in the past week or so, I should have known that my first pick of horses for the Kentucky Derby - Animal Kingdom - was destined to win.
There are a couple of things I can always count on at the Oakdale edition of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life.
Recently, I participated in the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce job shadow event as one of the mentors to a high school student interested in a writing career.
I owe much credit to my predecessor in this position, Craig Macho, for recruiting me into becoming a staff reporter for the Leader, Times and News. For those who don't know, Craig and I worked in law enforcement as beat partners and detectives together for several years in the Bay Area. When Craig heard of my service retirement, he urged me to join him in the field of journalism.
At the risk of sounding self indulgent, I've recently found myself partaking in a little retail therapy. Shoes and jewelry have been a recent focus. It started with me needing them for an upcoming special event. But then I found my eye wandering to other shoes and jewelry items that aren't currently needed instead of just focusing on what I went shopping for in the first place.
People warned me this would happen. Either I didn't really believe them or just didn't think it would be a problem but now the dilemma has set in.
Yes, I know I wrote a column about the weather last time and that was only a month and a half ago. But you must agree the weather has been unusual this winter and is probably worth another column. What else is there to talk about? The weather affects everybody. It sometimes seems everyone is cowering indoors for shelter from the rain, cold and wind and nothing is going on outdoors. Everything is on hold awaiting the long delayed spring, one that lasts more than a day.
I have an itch.
So there's no way to deny it, I am definitely a sports fan(atic).
I could watch Brad Pitt solve a crossword puzzle for three hours.
May always makes me think of Mother's Day and flowers. And this year we added a graduation, planning for a wedding in June, and everything else in between.
As I write this, a named suspect wanted for attempted murder is on-the-lam, in a city that doesn't have any detectives to investigate its cases.
As I write this, a named suspect wanted for attempted murder is on-the-lam in a city that doesn't have any detectives to investigate its cases.
Many of our readers may recall the little yellow VW bug that became former Riverbank News editor John Branch's 'signature' vehicle. We laughed (mostly with him) at the trademark jet engine sound when he fired the bug up, shared our concern when one of the wheels literally fell off as he was turning the corner to come to the Oakdale office – luckily he was close enough to park with three wheels intact – and celebrated with him when the bug went to storage and a newer, more reliable vehicle emerged.
Who knew there would be an adjustment period to living the dream? I certainly didn't. Many of you know I published my first book in December 2006 and it's been a dream of mine for longer than I can remember to support myself solely on my fiction writing income. After many years of incredibly hard work, I managed to make that dream a reality and I left my post at The Leader to live the dream.
As I write this column, I am planning to be off work for an ROTC assignment.
Monday, April 15 did not start for me as it did my friend and running teammate Cathy McClelland or Oakdaleans Vanessa Walton and Tom Burchell, or Jesse Santana of Riverbank. I did not board a motor coach in my sneakers with a race bib pinned to the front of my shirt in anticipation of running the 117th Boston Marathon.
No need to check the calendar and this isn't an April Fool's Day joke – I am just trying to get my column schedule back 'on track' after having been haphazard about it the last couple of months. I know one ran just last week, so forgive me for the back-to-backs.
Twenty years goes faster than you think. Trust me.
More than a week past deadline, I finally have taken a few deep breaths and will try to get this column written. Typically, the 'Marg-Ins' column appears the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is running a week later than normal this time.
The Super Bowl Season is upon us as many of us gather for what is as close to an American holiday as it can get.
Hello, Escalon, Oakdale, and Riverbank. I am the new girl at the Oakdale Leader office. You may have seen my name on a few different articles, pictures, or both in various issues. Or by now, you may have even met me in person.
Happy New Year! We all survived the Mayan calendar apocalypse and the "Fiscal Cliff" – kind of started to remind me of the Y2K phenomenon 13 years ago.