A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.


The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles tagged with: heroes

The legacy of a life ended too soon
Thursday, 21 Apr, 2011 – 12:45 | Comments Off

The guys are not squeamish about the news – there’s really no way a kid can be growing up in a military community, where events continents away can flare and invade your life. So …

The perfect presents — the perfect touch
Tuesday, 23 Dec, 2008 – 13:14 | Comments Off
The perfect presents — the perfect touch

When the box arrived yesterday, Dad hustled it into our bedroom, telling the guys it was a “shipment from his new job.” That’s been the standard excuse this holiday season, and the guys aren’t old …

People I’d like the guys to be like: German Fernandez
Monday, 2 Jun, 2008 – 19:19 | Comments Off

Does it make me a dork if one of my heroes right now is 17?

That would be German Fernandez, Riverbank High School’s track star/rock star and new national record holder.

German’s dilemma late last week: Whether to pull out of one of two distance events he’d qualified for in the California state high school track championships. The theory being, he had a better shot at setting a record running one race on fresh legs than if he tried to do double duty.

He ran both, and it didn’t seem to hurt him. He  won the 1,600 in a state-meet record 4 minutes, .29 seconds and the 3,200 in a national-record 8:34.23.

“”For him to do that 3,200 after his first race, just amazing,”" his coach, John Vizcaino, told The Modesto Bee. “”People were telling me

Memories of a role model from long ago
Monday, 2 Jun, 2008 – 5:26 | Comments Off

Sometimes, the oddest things can send me on 20-year jogs down memory lane.

Today, a story about Carme Chacón launched the trip. Chacón, 37, recently became the first woman to serve as Spain’s defense minister. She’s also seven months pregnant. Yesterday’s photo op included images of Chacón and her baby bump inspecting troops.

Which reminded me of Liz Martin, a lady I crossed paths with a lifetime ago.

Back in Liz’s child-bearing days, a baby bump wasn’t shown off. A gym teacher at the time she became pregnant with her first child, she was forced to resign the second she started showing. Not take a leave of absence, but resign. Liz was so slight, she was out the door shortly after her third month ended.

Liz – and she was always just plain Liz, never Delegate Martin – was in her 50s and her second career when I ran across her. She’d gone to law school and settled with her growing family in Morgantown, W.Va. Once the children were reared, she turned her attention to politics, winning election several times to the state Legislature.

I was a nervous 19-year-old student reporter covering a subcommittee she served on when I met her. One by one, the political hotshots blew past. No time for a snot-nosed college kid.

Grandma Antsy’s Captain Dave
Monday, 2 Jun, 2008 – 5:14 | Comments Off

“Momma, why does Grandma Antsy have a blue star in her window?” Big Guy asked during a visit last spring with one of my dearest friends.

“Because her son is a soldier. And she hopes he gets to come home soon,” I replied.

“Will I get to see him?”

“Not this time. But maybe someday.”

The first time I saw Grandma Antsy’s son, he was scrawny teen-ager in pictures his mom was showing off at the office, photographs from his kid sister’s prom.

Some evil guy had dumped Becki close to the date of the dance, so Dave dutifully donned the monkey suit and escorted her. Most 19-year-olds would rather dress in drag than go back to high school with their sister, but there he was. He even smiled in the pictures.

He walked two seemingly contradictory paths after that: College and the National Guard. He’d known since he was a boy that he wanted to be a soldier, but he wanted an education, too. There were no affordable schools close by that offered ROTC programs, so Dave made up his own.