Little dog has a big presence at jewelry store.
My father, Simon Igelski Russek, must have had a premonition that his was not to be a long life. One day, out of the blue, when I was about 9 years old and he was 60, he said, “Barbara, just don’t forget about me when I’m gone.”
“Not to know a rule in art and break it is bad art, but to know a rule and break it is good art. Only by knowing the rules and breaking them will one develop an individual style.”
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.
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…
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.
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…
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:
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!
I have many great memories of the time I spent in Pacific Grove, Calif., this past summer:
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 …
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.
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 …
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
Do you believe in guardian angels? After a recent experience, I'm definitely open to the possibility.
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:
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.
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…
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Super - no it really is a plane! Cool! I'm ready to board.
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.
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.
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…
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.
I don't smoke, drink or take illegal substances; however, I do
admit to one addiction - entering drawings and contests.
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
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.
Oscar fever broke Sunday night with recognition of those greats
in the film industry who had won by a hair's breadth over the
One of my favorite parables concerns a certain Mrs. Jones, who
had three boys.
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
I'm looking forward to the graduation in October of a great
student - one I never had the privilege of teaching.
Back in the days when I taught Arizona social studies as well as
French, students often asked me how I liked living in Tucson.
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.
"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
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.
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.
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.
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.