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Without help, mini-mishap could easily have turned major

I don’t know if the term “bicyclist’s high” exists, but what I do know is that once I’ve built up a little momentum on my vintage Triumph bicycle (circa 1970) a feeling comes over me that is simultaneously invigorating and relaxing.

March 13, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Obamas set a good example for other couples

My valentine to Barack and Michelle Obama has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with admiration for them as a couple. Since I’m not very politicized, I’ll leave commentary on issues both foreign and domestic to the political pundits — with one caveat. There is a domestic issue…

February 13, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Barbara Russek: Do these conversational bugaboos bug you, too?

During some of our crisp January afternoons, I’ve been enjoying a steaming cup of peppermint tea al fresco at the neighborhood coffeehouse. Tables there are placed fairly close together, and I can’t help but overhear snippets of others’ conversations.

January 16, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

A little piece of paradise in the desert

Where do you go to get away from it all — where you can infuse a little tranquility into your stressful holiday schedule? Perhaps it’s at the crest of North Campbell Avenue with its expansive desert view. Maybe it’s a relaxing walk after work, when you pause to admire one of our orange sherb…

December 19, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Barbara Russek: Here's how to enjoy holiday gift exchanges

Halloween has been over just a few short weeks, but the merriment continues with December holidays, which are getting a November jump-start this year. To confirm this all one has to do is:

November 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Here's why we love and live in the Old Pueblo

Back in the dinosaur days when the school year started after Labor Day and ended around Memorial Day, a joke circulated among faculty members as the year drew to a close: What are a teacher’s three favorite months? June, July and August!

October 31, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

People are as beautiful as sights, sounds of beach town

I have many great memories of the time I spent in Pacific Grove, Calif., this past summer:

October 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Russek: 'Little House' gave me a bigger picture

If you’d like a greater appreciation of how much society has advanced in the last 125 years or so, you can do some scholarly research at the library or you can take the more enjoyable route, as I did recently, by watching reruns of “Little House on the Prairie” and its sequel, “Little House …

September 19, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Doves are gentle vacation memory

One of my favorite things to do while spending time in a new town is to take a long, leisurely walk, meandering along city streets, delighting in discovering shops with intriguing names that gently coax passersby inside.

August 15, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Book in right hands after circuitous trip

In one of my favorite "Seinfeld" episodes, Jerry shows Elaine the label maker he has just received as a thank-you gift from their mutual friend Tim Whatley. Examining the gift, Elaine realizes it's the label maker she had given Tim for Christmas. During that episode, "regift" was introduced …

August 01, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Golden oldie movie lines sometimes get it just right

Do you ever wonder who would buy any of those obsolescent VHS movies donated to thrift stores? I can name at least one person: me. I add them to my collection of favorite movies that I want to replay during our scorchingly hot summer afternoons. At this time there's nothing like the escape o…

July 04, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Beat the heat: Sleep all day, then do business overnight

Dog days of summer here in the Old Pueblo have hit with a vengeance. As if part of some masochistic ritual, we obsessively listen to the daily weather report in the hope of hearing a news flash about an upcoming cold snap.

June 13, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Some Tucsonans share their restaurant faves

Choosing a restaurant reminds me of the first few lines of the old Girl Scout song: make new friends but keep the old. New friends (i.e., places to dine) can easily be made with the help of various Tucson's polls, reviews in the paper and the best advertisement of all - word of mouth.

June 06, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Gratitude one of many Mother's Day blessings

Many of us look forward to this Sunday as a day to celebrate Mother and honor connection. For others, however, it's a day to accept Mother as she is and honor reconciliation.

May 09, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Soul-searching, stumbles led me to a new passion

I'm an arts-and-crafts-fair junkie. But at the most recent fair I attended, I got something much more valuable than a piece of pottery or turquoise jewelry.

May 02, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Getting to know your neighbors - a step toward fostering community

Tucson is still healing from the Jan. 8, 2011, mass shooting and one of the lingering topics is: Is there anything we can do to help prevent another such tragedy in our city?

March 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Unlike in Midwest, February is lively time here for a birthday

Growing up in the Midwest I always thought of early February as a rather blah time for my birthday. It was just another gray day in the middle of a cold, damp winter - way too late to take its place in the festive world of December holidays. Mother tried her best to give my birthday parties …

February 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Inauguration framed many inspiring American stories

I got a few shivers while watching President Obama's second inauguration, but they had nothing to do with the weather - it was a beautiful day in Tucson and Washington, D.C.

February 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Thank-you note: Still good manners

Santa's back at the North Pole with an empty sleigh. Gifts have been used, enjoyed, or maybe exchanged. Wrapping paper and ribbon have been tossed or added to the stash. There is one thing that may be left to do - acknowledge those gifts.

January 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Oasis classes a good way to keep active

Oasis classes a good way to keep active

Happy new year! Many of us welcome 2013 with anticipation and maybe even a resolution or two. How about resolving to keep the gray matter percolating by taking a class? For those 50 and older, Oasis might be just the ticket.

January 03, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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Words, however simple, hold power to keep one going

One day some years ago while substitute-teaching in public schools, I noticed a poster taped to the wall of a middle school classroom. It said, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may break my heart."

December 06, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Notable locals talk Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Nothing makes folks feel more like family - even an extended family of 314 million - than partaking of a festive meal on the same day.

November 22, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Most. Nov. 6 winners not on ballot

My emotions ran the gamut on Nov. 6, but they had nothing to do with what propositions won or who lost. Feelings of pride, sorrow, appreciation and intense gratitude filled my heart that sunny autumn day, one that will stay with me for a long time to come.

November 15, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Nobody is great at everything; everyone has talent

Recently while hanging out in the Phoenix airport, waiting for my connecting flight to Tucson, I had time to observe folks around me. Most were huddled over some type of computerized gizmo that started with the letter "i."

November 08, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Bright yellow car offers ray of hope on hot, stormy day

Do you believe in guardian angels? After a recent experience, I'm definitely open to the possibility.

September 27, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Pacific Grove is magical place to visit

Pacific Grove, Calif., was my home for much of this past summer. The city, called "PG" by locals, is also known by other endearing names, such as:

August 30, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Northern Calif. can give visitors a fine French fix

I didn't make it to France this year for a taste of la vie parisienne, so I headed to the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California.

July 26, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Tucson's early birds enjoy refreshing summer treat

I have medical heat sensitivity. Don't look for a disorder by that name in the Merck Manual, as I recently coined the term myself. In years gone by, when I explained to folks my need to be indoors from about 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. four months a year due to heat sensitivity, they would shrug their…

June 14, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Airline travel is too often taken for granted

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Super - no it really is a plane! Cool! I'm ready to board.

April 26, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Making friends: Get those conversation sparks to ignite

While attending a meeting recently, I found myself sitting across the table from a woman I had met at a holiday party this past December. To start the conversational ball rolling, I asked her how she had enjoyed the party. "Not so much," was her reply. In a word, she'd felt neglected.

February 02, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Friendship Day celebrates oft-complex relationships

Have you bought your hot-off-the-press 2012 calendar yet? With the plethora of places calendars can be purchased, chances are the answer is yes.

December 29, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Politicos say speaking French is a handicap? Au contraire!

Holy freedom fries! Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has recently taken some heat in a few Democratic circles - not for salacious behavior and not for cheating hard-working folks out of their retirement savings, but because he speaks French! (He learned the language as a missionar…

December 22, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Outgoing Walkup leaves lasting lessons for local youth

When I ran into outgoing Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup recently at an art gallery, I felt a little like the narrator in Marcel Proust's novel "Remembrance of Things Past." The narrator bites into la petite madeleine cake and memories come flooding back to him.

December 01, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
Contests can offer lessons, hope and ... oh yeah, wins!

Contests can offer lessons, hope and ... oh yeah, wins!

I don't smoke, drink or take illegal substances; however, I do admit to one addiction - entering drawings and contests.

October 20, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
Remarkable mom overcomes challenges for sons

Remarkable mom overcomes challenges for sons

This Sunday, those of us fortunate enough to have Mother with us will express appreciation for her caring, guidance, encouragement and all the other things that have helped make us who we are today.

May 05, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Speaking foreign language opens many doors

I wearily found my way to an aisle seat on the plane about to take off from Santa Barbara, Calif., the second to last leg of my recent whirlwind trip. However, I wasn't too tired for one of my favorite pastimes: people watching.

March 31, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Watching Oscars a thrilling, sometimes profitable affair

Oscar fever broke Sunday night with recognition of those greats in the film industry who had won by a hair's breadth over the competition.

March 03, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Encourage kids, don't browbeat them

One of my favorite parables concerns a certain Mrs. Jones, who had three boys.

February 17, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

A touch of French culture endures here

Joyous cries of "Joyeux Noël," (merry Christmas); "Bonne Année (happy New Year); and "Bonnes fêtes" (happy holidays) could be heard as I made my way among a tempting selection of French goodies: tarte tatin (apple upside-down cake); buche de Noël (Christmas log) and marrons glaces (glazed ch…

December 23, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
Hair-raising experience leads to great cut

Hair-raising experience leads to great cut

I'm looking forward to the graduation in October of a great student - one I never had the privilege of teaching.

September 16, 2010 12:00 am Photos

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Music, some luck, some cash, and voila! summer turns cool

Music, some luck, some cash, and voila! summer turns cool

Back in the days when I taught Arizona social studies as well as French, students often asked me how I liked living in Tucson.

August 05, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
What Tucsonan can resist a snowball?

What Tucsonan can resist a snowball?

We Tucsonans can really appreciate the concept of Christmas in July. After all, we can party with ice cream and other cold treats, refresh ourselves with foamy, frosty libations and, with the aid of air conditioning, forget that it's l07 degrees outside.

July 22, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Ignore fad diets, try healthy lifestyle

"If you want to reduce, don't eat," an elderly acquaintance told me many years ago. Ah, if it were only that simple. The number of weight-loss books continues to grow (there is yet another new one on the New York Times Bestseller List) right along with America's waistline.

May 27, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
Voilà! Museum rises in garage

Voilà! Museum rises in garage

After making some tentative plans for summer, I've concluded that the closest I'll be getting to le Musée d'Orsay (a museum in Paris that houses the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world) is … well … my garage.

April 01, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Bicycle ride in the rain reminds her of a walk down the Seine

News flash! Thanks to all the rain we had lately, for a time the Rillito looked like a real river, with water running not just underground but as far as the eye could see.

January 28, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Dear Sue: Let me express what you mean to me

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring: all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

January 07, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

See the sights; stay away from slots

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But my good news from Vegas, also known for good reason as the City of Lost Wages, needs to be shared. You can enjoy entertainment right on the Strip that will leave your wallet intact and you with some fun memories of your trip.

November 19, 2009 12:00 amLoading…

Decor makes closet contemporary

Can you think of a small room, part of just about every house, that often gets less attention from interior designers than even the garage?

September 17, 2009 12:00 amLoading…

Decor makes a walk-in closet contemporary

Can you think of a small room, part of just about every house, that often gets less attention from interior designers than even the garage?

September 17, 2009 12:00 amLoading…
Decor makes closet contemporary

Decor makes closet contemporary

Can you think of a small room, part of just about every house, that often gets less attention from interior designers than even the garage?

September 17, 2009 12:00 am Photos

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