After the last few days of this gorgeous weather, I believe I can now safely say that spring has sprung … just in time for the summer solstice.
Something about the signs of our long awaited summer brings back amazing memories of my childhood and the neighborhood we lived in.
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.
Much has been said and covered by the news media in regard to the recent decisions from a St. Louis County and New York grand juries not to indict police officers in the separate deaths of two subjects by the police officers involved.
Well, I resisted as long as humanly possible.
That loud clacking sound everyone heard Wednesday morning, Nov. 5 after the elections was the sound of area deadbolts latching in homes after the passage of Proposition 47 – the initiative that reduced penalties for drug possession and other "nonviolent" crimes.
October is over. And on a brief shopping excursion on Saturday, Nov. 1, I noticed with more than a little horror that the Halloween costumes that were placed on 75 percent clearance were right next to the brightly decorated Christmas trees, tinsel and holiday wreaths.
I've been covering Oakdale government and crime regularly now for nearly three years and in that time I can honestly say I've seen a serious concerted effort by elected officials and city staff to save the city money, making cuts where available, and directing resources for maximum efficiency.
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