LifeLong Learning at PebbleCreek

Hear the inside scoop about Arizona Highways from the magazine’s publisher, Win Holden, Jan. 25.

Hear the inside scoop about Arizona Highways from the magazine’s publisher, Win Holden, Jan. 25.

Free Online Lectures Resume

Pat Ingalls

Take your pick of free, interesting, online lectures, held Mondays during January and early February; all begin at 10 a.m.

Arizona Highways Magazine (Monday, Jan. 25) Since its first edition in 1925 (as a pamphlet about Arizona’s best roadways) to its present circulation of 200,000 readers worldwide, Arizona Highways continues to thrive in the highly competitive publishing business. Learn how it has creatively managed to sustain its operations—without state funds or advertising income—as part of the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Speaker: Win Holden, the magazine’s sixth publisher, will surprise you with insights and stories from his 20 years there. A local resident since 1980, his resume includes publisher and editor-in-chief of Phoenix Magazine and executive vice president and general manager of Phillips-Ramsey Advertising & Public Relations. He has been honored by the Arizona Office of Tourism with its 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award and by Phoenix Business Journal with its 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. He also was the 2007 inductee into the Arizona Tourism Hall of Fame and has held leadership positions in many influential civic organizations.

The Planet Mars (Monday, Feb. 1) Arizona scientists are playing a key role in evaluating the surface of Mars using landers and rovers, as well as orbiters from above. During this captivating presentation, you will learn how robotic missions to Mars have been, and will continue to be, a source of great discovery. This program offers insights into the challenges, dangers, and plans for human missions to the red planet. Who knows how long it will be before humans make Mars our second home in the solar system?

Speaker: James W. Rice, Ph.D., is an astrogeologist with more than 30 years of research experience, specializing in exploration of the solar system, especially the Moon and Mars. Astrogeology is the combined study of two sciences: Astronomy and geology. Rice will be discussing his role as the geology team leader on the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Project (Spirit and Opportunity.) He has NASA mission experience working on the Mars Odyssey Orbiter and has been involved in Mars landing-site selection for every NASA Mars Mission since Mars Pathfinder in 1995.

The Gut-Brain Connection (Monday, Feb. 8) Who knew that a human’s gut and brain communicate all day long? An imbalance in either organ can cause problems and common conditions, such as brain fog, fatigue, depression, and other serious neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s. All individuals have unique bacterial populations that live in their gut, and research is showing that altering lifestyle and diet can help alleviate many health disorders.

Speaker: Yasaman Tasalloti, a doctor of naturopathic medicine, will discuss the gut-brain connection, new research, and provide actionable steps you can take to improve your gut health.

Visit for more details and to register. Lecture capacity is capped at 100, and each lecture maintains a waitlist. Registration for each begins 30 days prior to the lecture. You must have a LLL online account to register. If you do not have one, go to the LLL website and click Sign Up on the right side of any webpage.

When Cancer’s In Your DNA

Ruth Shaffer

While our parents, grandparents, and other relatives may no longer be with us, the genes we inherited from them remain in our bodies. Unknowingly, those family members may have passed on to us mutated genes that could lead to increased risks for getting cancer.

Studying genetic mutations has led to one of the most exciting and promising research areas in the causes and prevention of cancer. Researchers have already identified more than 25 genes that can indicate a family connection. They can affect everyone—men and women of all races, religions, and ethnicities.

On Monday, Jan. 18 at 1 p.m., LifeLong Learning and Kare Bears are jointly sponsoring a free, informative presentation by Rachel Householder, a volunteer outreach coordinator for Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE.) She will explain, via Zoom, signs that may indicate a risk for an inherited mutation and how genetic counseling and testing can be lifesaving to you and your loved ones.

While a sample of your blood or saliva can show if you have an inherited mutation in a cancer-related gene, most people do not have an inherited mutation, so genetic testing is not recommended for everyone. However, if your family history includes one or more of the predictors of possible inherited cancers, you should consider being tested. Genetic counseling is recommended to determine if you are at risk for an inherited mutation and can guide you through the process of genetic testing.

Householder will explain the importance of genetic counseling and how genetic test results may affect your options for detecting, reducing your risk of, and treating hereditary cancer. She’ll also explain why sharing your test results with relatives can help them learn more about their own cancer risk and provide them medical options for staying healthy.

FORCE is a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the lives of individuals and families facing hereditary cancer through education, support, advocacy, and research. Visit its website, for additional information and support.

Register for this free webinar at

LLL Contact Information

Pat Ingalls

* Website:

* Email: [email protected]

* LLL Center hours: Closed until further notice

Exercise Transforms Brains

Bill Nee

What New Year’s resolutions did you make? Most of us have included goals we want to achieve for 2021, and many will include getting COVID-19 behind us and increasing our physical activity. Exercise programs will appear on many of our lists.

“The brain-changing benefits of exercise,” a TED Talk by neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki, describes how exercise transforms your brain. This 13-minute talk can be found at We all want improved mood, focus, attention, and long-term memory, so let’s go exercise for our brains’ sake.

Go to, click on the header watch, then TED Talks, and in search talks, input the talk’s title above.

My Family’s Fight Against Inherited Cancers

Linda Kesselman

In 1969, when I was 14 years old, my dad, who was 56, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Despite two surgeries and rounds of chemo, he died two months later.

In 2010, my 41-year-old niece was diagnosed with breast cancer and decided to have a bilateral radical mastectomy, along with the removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes. When our family heard about her breast cancer, we understood that the surgery was critical to her survival, but no one could understand why she was having an additional surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.

When I flew to North Carolina to be with her for her chemotherapy, she informed me that she had inherited a deleterious gene, known as BRCA1. She suggested that I have a BRCA1 test to see if I had it. I shrugged my shoulders in denial and proclaimed that I knew I didn’t have the gene. Then she explained that my father (her grandfather) was most definitely positive, and a blood test was the only definitive way to know. Her chemo and radiation went well, and she has been cancer-free for many years.

After testing positive for the BRCA1 gene in January 2011, I waited until the end of June to begin my surgeries. I was a teacher at the time and didn’t want to take time off from school. My husband and I had tickets in hand for our summer vacation in Italy, but instinct told me to move on having the surgeries performed, and we postponed our trip to a later date. When the pathology report came back, it was apparent that cells were changing at the molecular level. I had four weeks to go before having full-blown fallopian tube cancer, a difficult cancer to diagnose.

While living in California, I connected with a support group that has branches in many states. Its acronym is FORCE, which stands for Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered. Through FORCE, I learned that other inherited genes also increase the risk of inherited cancers. If anyone in your family has had cancer, I urge you to learn more by attending the free Jan. 18 webinar, co-sponsored by LifeLong Learning and Kare Bears.

Explore Bread, Barbie, Pictures, and Pasta

Pat Ingalls

Learn new skills in this new year through these free Zoom classes, held during January and early February; all begin at 1 p.m.

Artisan Bread (Tuesday, Jan. 12) Observe how to mix and form this practically no-knead, rustic, country bread, and to bake it in a Dutch oven; all demonstrated live from the instructor’s kitchen. Students will receive the nearly foolproof recipe and have ample time to discuss the many aspects of artisan bread making, as well as see the finished loaf. Instructor: Gene Fioretti, a retired cardiologist and PebbleCreek resident, has taught this short course before, as well as the baguette class, and has garnered excellent feedback from students.

All About Barbie (Thursday, Jan. 14) This class will cover Barbie, the 11-inch doll, her friends and family, and their history from 1959 to the present. Learn about the worldwide phenomenon of Barbie collecting, including sources of information and fellowship with other collectors. Also learn about Barbie’s value—how to identify whether your doll is valuable and worth selling. Information about resources for learning about Barbie will be shared, along with contacts for collecting Barbie. Instructor: PebbleCreek resident Priscilla Wardlow is president of a local Barbie collectors’ club, the Pink Saguaro Doll Club.

French Baguettes (Thursday, Jan. 28) Can the distinct taste and texture of crisp-crusted, long, French baguette loaves be duplicated in an American kitchen, without a steam oven? Our skilled baking instructor has researched and perfected a recipe and is ready to share it. In about 90 minutes, he will demonstrate all the important phases of making and baking baguettes. Every student will be sent a copy of the recipe for reference and taking notes. Instructor: Gene Fioretti is teaching this class.

Beginning Photography Plus Camera Basics (Wednesday, Feb. 3) Beginning and intermediate photographers will appreciate this review of basic photographic principles, including how aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and focus choices interrelate. Instructor: PebbleCreek resident and nature photographer Adriana Greisman is president of the PebbleCreek Camera Club. She leads photography workshops and teaches photography in the Phoenix metro area. Greisman has won awards in competitions sponsored by the PebbleCreek Art Club, Phoenix Camera Club, Photographic Society of America, Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards, Nature’s Best Photography National Parks Competition, and North American Nature Photography Association Showcase.

NEW: Pasta from Scratch (Thursday, Feb. 11) Learn the secrets to homemade pasta, from the specifics of ingredient selection to a demonstration of the mixing, rolling, cutting, drying, and cooking methods that the instructor has used for more than 30 years. You will receive recipes and equipment lists and have ample time to discuss the many aspects of pasta making. Instructor: PebbleCreek resident Gene Fioretti has added pasta to his teaching repertoire.

Visit the LLL website at for more details and to register. Class capacity varies, and each class maintains a waitlist. Registration is open for all of these classes. You must have a LLL online account to register. If you do not have one, go to the LLL website and click Sign Up on the right side of any webpage.