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The Game Is Afoot
Marg's Mug.jpg

This one is for my niece.

She typically asks – after we have been at their house for some themed event – if I am going to write about it in my column.

So, this time, I will.

Though she is not employed as a party planner, that is probably the line of work Kristel should have gone into. She is my sister’s daughter, second oldest of four kids, married and a mother of two. Her oldest, Lily, my great niece, just turned nine and, following a bit in her mother’s footsteps, had requested a ‘Game Night’ theme for her recent birthday party.

Kristel is also an avid game player, board games, card games, setting up elaborate scavenger hunts, that sort of thing, so this was right up her alley.

There were plenty of games for the attendees to play, some of the variety where you sit in front of a TV with a controller in your hand but even more interactive games set up indoors and out. The day was sunny and mild, letting the kids play several of the games in the yard. As far as the theme, the party snacks included a Jenga-style pile of sugar wafer cookies, Scrabble Cheez-it crackers and bottles of water with Monopoly money as labels. You didn’t actually get the cash value assigned to your bottle; maybe I will see if Kristel can remedy that little oversight for next time.

A craft the kids did was painting their own take-home picture frames, then (after the paint dried) having an adult use the hot glue gun to spell out their name or a short saying with the scrabble tiles that they got to select.

For added fun, there was a face painter there – some kids chose the full face paint, others opted for just a small design.

As a ‘thank you for coming to my party’ gift, as opposed to a ‘goody bag’ of assorted treats, the kids at Lily’s celebration each had the opportunity to pick a game to take home with them.

All in all, it was another successful event. Not quite as unusual as when Lily wanted a ‘blue’ party and everything – including the homemade macaroni and cheese – was the color blue. But it went off smoothly and everyone seemed to enjoy the theme and the various activities.

Now we wait and see what my great nephew Jay chooses as the theme for his birthday in December. It might be worth another column.

Luckily, the birthday celebration was on Oct. 13, a Sunday, so I was able to carve out some time to get there. Time has become increasingly difficult to find in recent weeks – that might sound strange but I guess the real thing I mean is there doesn’t seem to be any ‘extra’ time in the schedule.

Last minute checklists and running around for my daughter’s Oct. 26 wedding, trying to keep up with the Oakdale sports teams in the absence of my sports guy Dennis – still on the mend from his badly broken leg courtesy of covering football – a plethora of Halloween and harvest-festival type activities to get to … it has been pretty crazy around here lately.

Case in point: Saturday, Oct. 19 saw me at five different events in Escalon and Farmington alone, with photos taken and stories to write for each. By the end of the day, there were lots of miles logged and dozens of pictures to download and notes to go through.

There is one thing for sure about life at a small town newspaper – there just isn’t any time to get bored. Especially when you think maybe you are getting a little bit caught up and then you find that pile of last week’s ‘to do’ items on the corner of your desk ...

Guess making a priority list should be a priority so I can actually get some things done by deadline.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.