High school graduation is an exciting time in a young person's life. One chapter of life has ended, excitement for the future is at an all time high and gifts from lost relatives arrive by the truckload. Yet among the excitement and parties, nervousness came over me. Where to go, the four-year universities I was accepted to or Modesto Junior College, which was affordable, but came with a stigma.
Welcome to August and the resumption of school and a somewhat normal routine. Summer, or what months pass for summer vacation here in California, are just about over and like it or not, alarm clocks will soon be back in use.
The unusually mild summer weather (trust me, I'm not complaining at all) has made it seem like we are still waiting for the real summer to hit and it's a little difficult to fathom that classes are about to start. We'll probably get slammed with a week of 110-degree weather sometime in September, just to make ...
Today I cannot help but wonder … have I lost my mind? The good news is, I realize I am not alone and many parents wonder this on a daily basis. The bad news is, I am still really wondering if I am completely nuts.
As July comes to a close and August creeps closer, a number of important calendar events are coming for our household. Most notably, school starts quickly followed by both sons' birthdays but also, my first Silhouette Romantic Suspense novel is coming out and that's very exciting.
You may recall the trip my husband and I took to the northern coast for research two years ago. Well, the information gathered from that trip was for this book. And thus far, the reviews have been very complimentary so I think the authenticity of the location really helped give it an extra ...
The time has come for yet another unforgettable Hammond Family vacation.While I am writing this prior to the vacation happening, there is one thing I am certain of. This vacation will indeed be unforgettable. The location we will travel to this summer is not exotic, tropical or even coastal. This year the Hammond Family is headed to the hip and happening location of … Henderson, Nevada.For those familiar with the area, it is just a short distance outside of Las Vegas. Otherwise known as "Vegas Baby" by my husband and six-year-old son. We have family in Henderson, which is ...
Dear Editor,This past February I was out on a business trip when I got a call from my wife at approximately 9 p.m. She had just gotten a frightening call from her 82-year-old mother who lives alone on Tioga Avenue. She said there was a strange acting, hooded man sitting in a rocking bench on her back patio. I told my wife to call the Sheriff's Department since Tioga Avenue is just outside the city limits and in their jurisdiction. My wife said the Sheriff's Office had already been called and she was on her way ...
It's official. I'm now a Mrs. - for an entire month already.All the details came together for the wedding, which was a beautiful, memorable event - that went by very quickly. We feel blessed to have wonderful friends and family who supported us throughout this whole process.I now have a husband. I've altered my name, moved into a new home - just to name a few changes.There are some things I'm still trying to get used to. During our honeymoon, at this one restaurant while waiting to be seated I had gone to the ladies' room ...
If you have been a regular reader of the paper for any length of time, you are probably familiar with our feature that has been called a number of things, from 'Street Beat' to 'Question of the Week' to our latest moniker 'People Poll.' It typically occupies a space here on the 'Perspective' page but that, too, has changed over the years, from the bottom of the page a decade ago to the more recent right side of the page.
With this week's issue, we suspend the 'People Poll' column as a regular feature. It will appear occasionally, most ...
Words slip and slide. I discovered that a long time ago. In writing essays for high school, papers for college, accounts of trips and adventures, I found the words take over and dictate the story, not the other way around, and the story doesn't turn out the way you intended it even when you sometimes, almost by accident, choose the right word. Much is the same with life itself.
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).
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.
Knowledge is not always power.
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 ...
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.
It's a whole new world out there.
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.