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It’s not like I have an affinity with criminals or condone criminal activity — it’s just that I have a tendency to look at this world like one of them.

How would I get up into the second story of that building? My neighbors’ house? How would I be able to disguise myself with a few versatile accessories?

There are clever lessons I learned just from reading mysteries — when renting a car, ask for a smoking one, and then have a cigarette burning in the ashtray for a while. After that car is returned, it will be cleaned from…


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Sometimes, I am actually too tired to sleep. After thirty minutes of trying to breathe steadily and slowly, and still failing at sleep, I changed tactics. I started flexing and relaxing my muscles, starting from my toes and working my way up to my head. Theoretically, that’s always the plan. However, around my belly button, I lost the thread of what I was doing and my mind wandered.

Sometimes, during this process, I started thinking about peacocks. I mean, the males are so beautiful, those intense colors. I love peacock-colored yarn, how versatile it is — both green and blue…


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This is June, the time of many graduations. In our neighborhood, here are signs on the lawn of houses where high school graduates live, proudly proclaiming the Class of 2021. There is also a banner that hangs on the fence as you turn into our neighborhood, with names of the graduates. That’s pretty cool at this difficult time of getting together for a ceremony.

I was pulling out of our street when I noticed a similar sign on a lawn by house that said, in big and bright letters, “Kindergarten graduate!” Whoa Nellie!

Kindergarten graduations are not new. Both of…


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As more of us get vaccinated, the more of the world is opening for travel. Now we can, again, make new travel memories. But from time to time, I still think about two of my “happy” places from my travels, places I would return to again and again, if only in my memories.

I will share just one of these memories. I’m pretty sure that I’ve written about them before, but since I’ve been thinking about them recently, I figured I’d write about them again.

There are places you visit, places of peace and beauty, that change you. Or perhaps…


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What is asked of me, and how I interpret that are often very different things. Here are a few examples to illustrate my point:

WHAT I AM TOLD:

If you are going for a hike, please take extra water with you. Do NOT forget sunscreen, and wear sunglasses, if you are able. The sun is not your friend. Beware of rattlesnakes. Have a good time.

WHAT I HEAR:

What?!!! What rattlesnakes? This is Colorado, rattlers are not that common. Are they? Now I have something new and hellish to worry about. First dehydration, then sunburn or sunstroke, and now dangerous…


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“Every household has a first language, a kind of language of the home. And luckily for me the language of my home was looking; I was just kind of raised to look around.” — Alex Kalman

It’s true — every household does have a first language. It could be cooking or car repair, music or observing others. In my home, that language was Russian. Yes, it was Russian, but the true language of my home was books. When I was 2 years old, I memorized the children’s books my mom would read to me. Sometimes, when we’d have company, my…


It is huge. There are many places to sit inside this massive barn-like building. It contains its own gift shop and it is famous — well, famous in Southeast Missouri and throughout most of the South. It is the home of “throwed” rolls, and has enough pass-around foods, such as fried okra, and fried potatoes with onions. It is a restaurant called Lambert’s Café.

What in the world is a “throwed” roll? Glad you asked. It is exactly what the name says it is — it is a giant, fresh and hot, buttery bread roll that is given to you…


I took this photo outside of Ste. Genevieve, a stone’s throw away from the Mississippi River. It’s close to the Illinois state line.

Missouri is a state of humidity, of rains and fogs, and in parts, a land of drained swamps. Green and lush, this state is Southern — not the deep South of Mississippi or Georgia, but plenty hot and muggy with sweet ice tea assumed when you order ice tea. Oh, and to prove its Southern bona fides, everything is fried. Everything.

But it’s really not the land that is important (unless you’re in the certain parts of the Middle East, then it’s the land), it is the people to whom we pledge our hearts, and who make St. Louis our…


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I don’t have time to do this blog today — I am getting ready for a trip. That’s right, you read that correctly. A trip! The family is going to take a trip to visit our family in St. Louis, Missouri.

It has been a year and two months since we were there last. It was March of 2020, and the pandemic was just about to hit these United States. I was looking forward to my trip to Scotland in May. But the world had other plans for me, plans that did not involve travel, did not involve fun, but…


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There’s a book called “The Bestseller Code,” by Jodie Archer & Matthew L. Jockers, that breaks down what it takes to become a best seller — a sort of a blueprint to write one. I have it on my Nook, but have not read it, yet. However, I was thinking what I would love to write a best seller, too. And, rather than spend money and take the time to read this book, I have come up with my own ideas. Here are my own concepts, character sketches, and ideas for plots. If you see something you can and want…

Elena Tucker

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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