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An array of delightful friends gather for surprise party

Sometimes it takes extra effort to make a wonderful memory.

August 08, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Resolve to take charge of life

Years ago when things went wrong it was easy to blame someone. My boss didn't appreciate me; my mom couldn't possibly understand me; my friends acted mean because they were jealous. On and on and on.

August 01, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Grateful for rain, a bountiful life

Watching the abundant rain one hot, sultry afternoon, I ran outdoors, stood still and let the water pour down on me. What joy! Dripping wet, I returned to the house where the air conditioning was on. I quickly toweled my hair and face, changed clothes and felt deliciously comfortable.

July 25, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Unusual, complex or mysterious, it's captivating to me

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."

July 18, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

From a single idea, great things are born

Observing how the mind works is fascinating. After my experience this spring with a mother quail abandoning her babies, I kept thinking of those adorable baby chicks and how brave they were, even though they must have been really scared. Then I realized this could be a wonderful tale for children.

July 11, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Celebrate the courage of our Founding Fathers today

Being an American means a lot to me. When I sing "The Star-Spangled Banner," my voice cracks with emotion. Each year I watch the Memorial Day commemoration on PBS and get teary-eyed.

July 04, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Give me desert sunshine over a blizzard any day

About this time of year people start complaining about the heat. I am no exception. While at the dentist's office I complained and the technician said, "Would you rather be in a blizzard?"

June 27, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Kind words, actions can mean a lot to those who get them

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was the founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. Here is one of his quotes:

June 20, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Exploring the definition of 'stupidity' on 2 wheels

We've all heard the adages: "Never give up." "Keep trying until you succeed." "Practice makes perfect."

June 06, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Baby quail become a true rescue mission

Baby quail become a true rescue mission

Last spring a quail laid 18 eggs in a plant on my enclosed patio. After they hatched, seeing those miniscule creatures scurrying around my patio brought tears to my eyes.

May 30, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

We remember these souls as family, not heroes

Editor's note: Columnist Alexis Powers teaches a writing workshop at the Oro Valley Library. One of the workshop participants, Gail Bornfield, wrote this essay.

May 23, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Universe smiles on committed writers

One of my favorite quotes is, "At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you," from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

May 16, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Oh, for the days of sky-high heels

The other day I went for a pedicure and manicure. My manicurist looked taller than usual as she walked toward me. I looked at her feet - she was wearing a pair of platform stiletto-heeled shoes.

May 09, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Definitions of 'mother' and 'love' complicated

Definitions of 'mother' and 'love' complicated

Pushing a cart through the grocery store recently, I spotted a large Mother's Day card display. Sadly, I realized this will be my first Mother's Day without my mom. Memories of past Mother's Days flooded my mind.

May 02, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Desert Ashram offers serenity, lightness

Desert Ashram offers serenity, lightness

If you're thinking of taking time off to reflect on life and yourself, you might consider visiting the Desert Ashram.

April 25, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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A focus on others, being positive can transform

A friend of mine has this saying posted on her refrigerator: "In every connection we are either positive or negative. The choice is yours."

April 18, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Even snakes and scorpions delight this new desert dweller

Even snakes and scorpions delight this new desert dweller

Now that I've experienced snakes, scorpions and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, I consider myself an old-time resident of Tucson.

April 11, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

A few key words helped me defuse arguments

My odometer notched up another year in February. Now that I'm in my vintage years, I am calmer and don't feel the need to win every quarrel. What changed?

April 04, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

'Uncle Stanley' has been inspiring friend for many years

My forays into writing have led me to all sorts of characters - literary and otherwise. I met one of the most fascinating men I know at one of my book signings. His name is Stanley Gordon. From that day on I called him "Uncle Stanley" because his last name is the same as my protagonist, Leah…

March 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Arizona weather offers adventure

It never occurred to me that I would ever utter the words "I can't wait until the weather gets warmer."

March 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Live for day, but also trust the flights of fancy

A friend sent me an email with this message: "Heal the past, live the present, dream the future." This concept spoke to me.

March 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
A daughter's visit is a special time for Mom, and for a party

A daughter's visit is a special time for Mom, and for a party

A few weeks ago, my younger daughter, Madi, phoned.

February 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Love Windows 8; love computer tech more

My middle name should be "tech-challenged," so when my computer started giving me grief, flashing messages such as "You are obsolete," I panicked.

February 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Hats off to those brave women who misbehaved

I recently read the quote "Well-behaved women seldom make history." My immediate reaction was to think of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, followed by the women who were arrested for their efforts in getting the vote for women. Hard to believe how badly they were treated. After su…

February 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Not everyone in Tucson is ready for costuming

Not everyone in Tucson is ready for costuming

Last week I wrote about some unsightly mirrored closets in my guest room that I was trying to cover without going to the expense of replacing them.

February 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Guest room fix-up, advice tests my creative side

The other night my friend Kevin called to tell me he's flying in for a visit. He has boundless energy and a brilliant sense of humor, and is one of my favorite people. When I heard that he was coming, I decided to redecorate the guest room.

January 31, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Memory of guiding spirit lives on decades later

Since my mom passed away a few weeks ago, I've had time to think about how much she influenced me. Rarely did we have conversations that did not reflect our mother-daughter relationship. She was the problem solver, the one who would make things better. Or, on the other hand, the didactic par…

January 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Alexis Powers: New Year's was a time to reflect on many good things

A note from the writer: Last week's column was a tribute to my mom who passed away unexpectedly. This is the column that was scheduled to appear.

January 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Alexis Powers: Mom was loving guide, charting her own path

Alexis Powers: Mom was loving guide, charting her own path

You know it's inevitable, but another part of you believes you'll never see that mournful day.

January 10, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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Alexis Powers: To tat or not to tat?

To prepare for my big Christmas celebration, I drove to the hair salon to have the world's greatest hair stylist, Mandy, add some color and trim my hair.

January 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Alexis Powers: This Christmas may be best yet

Alexis Powers: This Christmas may be best yet

Two weeks ago I told myself, "Never shop on a Saturday afternoon, ever again!" So where did I find myself a few Saturdays later? Standing in an endless line to pay for a gift for yours truly.

December 20, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Alexis Powers: Oftentimes, we pass by chance to offer gratitude

Alexis Powers: Oftentimes, we pass by chance to offer gratitude

My sister's father-in-law passed away a few weeks ago. Bob Belle was a great guy. Even though we didn't see much of each other over the years, we shared a special connection, based on a mutual dry sense of humor.

December 13, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Alexis Powers: More and more, my life is inside a computer

Alexis Powers: More and more, my life is inside a computer

Hearing that Windows 8 arrived made me laugh because I'm still using Windows XP on my computer. The last computer I bought I paid extra to have XP installed. New technology drives me crazy.

December 06, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Food, friends, festivities make for merry season

One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. Each year I look forward to turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and my favorite - mashed potatoes. In past Thanksgivings, I've indulged to the point of wanting to get into my pajamas to take a nap (difficult to do when you are not in your own home).

November 29, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Be thankful for what you have, and don't let fear hold you back

Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to reflect on life's gifts. This year my gratitude is focused on the writers' workshop I conduct at the Oro Valley Public Library every other Wednesday morning.

November 22, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Alexis Powers: Nature's worst can bring out our best

Alexis Powers: Nature's worst can bring out our best

Even though I live in Tucson, the land of dull but ideal weather, Hurricane Sandy affected my life. Many relatives and friends suffered greatly. I will never again complain about the heat or endless blue skies.

November 15, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Alexis Powers: Christmas accessories light up the day

Alexis Powers: Christmas accessories light up the day

The other day my friend asked me if I wanted to go to lunch and then shop at Costco. Almost any time someone offers to take me somewhere, if it doesn't involve driving on a six-lane highway, I'll put on my Sunday best.

November 08, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Alexis Powers: Clearing out household 'stuff' also clears mind, soul

Something wonderful happened a couple of weeks ago. A good friend told me her church was having a rummage sale and was willing to pick up stuff I no longer wanted. My heart beat wildly with joy!

November 01, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Alexis Powers: Trick-or-treating down memory lane

Alexis Powers: Trick-or-treating down memory lane

The other day while buying dog food at Petco, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a plethora of Halloween costumes for dogs. Looking at the colorful array, I couldn't envision dressing Charlie or Toots in one of those adorable fashions to take them out to trick or treat.

October 25, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Alexis Powers: Watching films more than once can be enlightening

When my granddaughter visited years ago, she watched "The Little Mermaid" over and over again. I couldn't understand why she enjoyed seeing the film so many times. Well, guess what? Now that I'm beyond middle age, I've acquired a similar habit: I love to watch movies that I've seen before.

October 18, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Alexis Powers: Not all tasks require same approach

The dictionary definition of procrastination is "to put off doing something until a future time; to postpone or defer taking action."

October 11, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Alexis Powers: Packing smart saves time, space, energy

When I hear someone say "I'd better pack for my trip," I ask when they are leaving.

October 04, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Alexis Powers: TV is big part of our culture

Why didn't I know there was such a vast supply of robots to be had?

September 27, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Alexis Powers: Plane travel wasn't always awful

A news article caught my eye that said a U.S. Airways plane bound for Dallas had been ordered back to Philadelphia International Airport due to a bomb threat. Scary! Happily, it was only a hoax, although that is bad enough.

September 20, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Alexis Powers: Political attacks are out of control

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees four freedoms: freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly.

September 13, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Alexis Powers: So much has changed when it comes to dining

Alexis Powers: So much has changed when it comes to dining

One of my dear friends recently bought new state-of-the art kitchen appliances. She is a great entertainer and I couldn't wait to be invited for a home-cooked meal. Sure enough, I got an invitation for homemade boeuf bourguignon, better known to me as beef stew.

September 06, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Recreational activities abound today

Do you think cavemen participated in recreational activities? After a hard day of spearing and skinning, is it possible they took their children out to play "toss the rocks"? Maybe one of their forms of entertainment was to use clubs to maneuver small stones into holes they dug outside the cave.

August 30, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Book club question sparks journey

A friend told me her book club recently read the novel "Replay" by Ken Grimwood. The book is about a guy who dies when he is in his 40s. Instead of going to the Promised Land, he wakes up in his dormitory at the age of 18, completely aware of what he did with his life before he succumbed to …

August 23, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Writer waxes nostalgic for class, style of past

Writer waxes nostalgic for class, style of past

When I began to suspect I would never reach 5'5" in stature, fashion became my method of standing out in a crowd.

August 16, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

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The hearing of a dog is more sensitive than humans.

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