Image: Collegegreenlight.com

Welcome to October!  This has always been my favorite month of the year because it seems to signify the real change in season (September still feels like summer to me). I love the change in seasons. I love the colors and the crisp cool air, too.

Some of the things I love about October:

  • Crispy, crunch autumn leaves on the sidewalk.
  • Caramel apples.
  • Halloween Music (e.g., Thriller, Monster Mash, Psycho Theme Song, I Put a Spell on You, Halloween, The Magic of Halloween).
  • Apple crisp.
  • Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin cookies. Pumpkin face mask.
  • Cool crisp air.
  • The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (definitely a Shining Moment).
  • Fashion: Tweed, Boots, Corduory, Cashmere.
  • College football
  • Vegetarian chili.
  • Candy corn.
  • A long walk in the autumn sunshine.
  • New seasons of Modern Family and The Good Wife (all of which I watched for hours on end on my couch).

This October has special significance because on October 22nd five years ago, I had to have a hysterectomy.  It feels like it was yesterday and it feels like it was 100 years ago.  What a “few years” in this life it has been, filled with hardship and pain, but also resilience and Shining Moments.

I hope that this is an extraordinary month for you!


Crispy air and azure skies,
High above, a white cloud flies,
Bright as newly fallen snow.
Oh the joy to those who know October!

Colors bright on bush and tree.
Over the weedy swamp, we see
A veil of purple and brown and gold.
Thy beauty words have never told. October!

Scolding sparrows on the lawn,
Rabbits frisking home at dawn,
Pheasants midst the sheaves of grain,
All in harmony acclaim, October!

Brown earth freshly turned by plow,
Apples shine on bended bough,
Bins o’erflowed with oats and wheat,
And satisfaction reigns complete. October!

Radiant joy is everywhere.
Spirits in tune to the spicy air,
Thrill in the glory of each day.
Life’s worth living when we say, October!

- Joseph Pullman Porter


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Image: Sentara.com

Even though the flu season starts this month, there’s good news. This year’s vaccination is now fully covered by most insurance plans as long as the provider is in network.  So don’t forget to schedule appointments for everyone in the family.

Just a friendly reminder!

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Do you spend a lot of money on magazine subscriptions? I love getting them in the mail, but am not too keen on paying for them. Did you know many magazines cover health and cancer issues? Oh, yes! I found two publications that are FREE. Boy, oh boy! What a shining moment!

  • CURE:  A FREE subscription to CURE (Cancer Updates, Research & Education) is available to all cancer patients, survivors and caregivers in the U.S. To subscribe to the quarterly magazine and receive their annual Cancer Resource Guide, call 800-210-CURE. (I love it and find valuable information from this publication).
  • Cancer Fighters Thrive: Get a FREE online or print subscription to Cancer Fighters Thrive, a quarterly magazine designed to inform and empower cancer patients, their friends and families. (I just signed up for mine. I’m looking forward to receiving my first issue).

Good to Know (Another shining moment)!!

  • Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine costs $12 for an annual subscription to the quarterly, but you can get their FREE e-book, How We Became Breast Cancer Thrivers, by Beverly Vote, with stories from 44 “breast cancer thrivers.” Check it out!
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Image: Shoebuy.com

Did you know that September is the official Awareness Month for eight different cancers (more than any other month)? Cookies for Kids’ Cancer just happens to be one of my favorites.  It’s an organization committed to raising money for pediatric cancer treatments.

Asics America has partnered with the nonprofit to create a collection that includes the Asics Gel Noosa Tri9 sneakers ($140; asics.com), shown above, as well as t-shirts and socks.  They’ll donate $10 for each pair of shoes sold and $2 for apparel.

Now that’s a shining moment!


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Today is the autumnal equinox inaugurating the first day of fall. What’s an equinox, you ask? Well, an equinox (in case you are wondering) occurs twice a year (around 20 March and 22 September), when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes the center of the Sun. At this time the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun.  The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name “equinox” is derived from the Latin acquus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, night and day are about equal length.

Also, it is the date when day and night are exactly the same length. I happen to think that’s pretty fabby.

I love, love, LOVE fall. Here are a few things I adore about it:

  • Colors
  • Cool breezes
  • Boots
  • Pecan pie
  • Soups
  • Reading in front of a fire
  • Pumpkin everything!

What do you like about fall?


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Image: Parade.condenast.com

Entertaining this weekend? No problem, with this slimming skillet dinner! It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and is super scrumptious.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 (6 oz) pieces skinless salmon fillet
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • ½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp chopped capers
  1. Heat oil in skillet over medium for 1 minute.
  2. Sprinkle salmon with ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Cook, turning once, for about 10 minutes or until fish is opaque.
  3. Steam beans in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket.  Drain.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk yogurt, lemon juice, dill, capers, and remaining salt and pepper.  Top salmon with a dollop of sauce, sprinkle with dill, and server with green beans.

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Image: denovahomes.com

If your kitchen is the heart of your home, then your refrigerator is the brains behind it. Since I’m always in my kitchen, I keep my TO DO list on my refrigerator and try to accomplish three big activities a week. I’ve asked my friends what items or activities are on their personal TO DO list for the month of September. The top three are…

  1. Update family emergency contact list.
  2. Clean out refrigerator and make room for autumn foods.
  3. Move summer clothes out of the closets and bring in the fall wardrobe.

What’s on your TO DO list?

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Image: Recipe.com

Farfalle with spinach and mushrooms is a fast and filling dinner with an added bonus…. It’s SUPER LOW in FAT! It’s so delicious and only takes 10 minutes to prepare. I hope you like it as much as I do.


  • 6 oz. dried farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced Portobello or other fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp shredded Parmesan
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in spinach, thyme and pepper and cook until spinach is slightly wilted, about 1 min.
  3. Toss mushrooms and spinach mixture with pasta and sprinkle with cheese.

Enjoy, enjoy!


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Image: Massageyogawellness.com

Guess what?! You are invited to a free yoga class! To celebrate National Yoga Month, many studios offer free classes so you can perfect your downward dog-without spending a dime. Visit yogahealthfoundation.org to find a participating studio near you.


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Image:  Overstock.com

I admit, today I have the summer blues. It’s my second week back to school and can’t believe the summer is already over. Where did the time go?

Since some children have already gone back to school and others will be going back today, I thought it would be wise to discuss backpack safety. Yes, backpack safety.

According to Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, professor of pediatrics at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, OR, and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, a too-heavy school bag can be dangerous. It can cause muscle strains and sprains, or put your child at risk for hip and leg injuries.  Did you know backpacks should weigh no more than 10% to 20% of your child’s body weight and should be worn high on the back, as close to the shoulders as possible? Yuppers.

Let’s all stay healthy, have a wonderful school year, and make sure we don’t over-pack our backpacks!


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