Happy, Healthy Holidays: Nov.- Dec. 2015

October 31st, 2015

November and December are especially busy months for many people. From after Halloween to New Year’s we are busy, busy, busy. Much of that has to do with shopping and cooking for family events. If you are working full time, this time can be especially stressful. So, hopefully, the postings will help you navigate the next two months with ease and joy.

This time of year seems to go with a fireplace. Picture downloaded from Home Depot’s website.

Part of my postings are obviously about recipes. Now that colder weather is on its way, I will be featuring soups, root veggies and denser foods to keep your energy levels up in the colder weather. Below is a beet salad I will be posting:

While many of you are too busy to read, I would still like to review some books that may help you through the holidays, even if just to unwind. This one is in the latest issue of an online magazine called It’s Your Life and I will report the review here as wells give you the link to this terrific new publication.

Don’t be fooled by the title. There are lots of recipes for adults with allergies, as well!

When I searched for other events for November and December, I came across some interesting ways to celebrate or ruminate or investigate. Here are just some:

November 1st- National Author’s Day – As a writer, I may investigate this further. It is also National Literacy Day and my older daughter has just signed up to be a literacy volunteer for a young Hispanic woman. What a great way to contribute to another person’s education. Computers, Kindles and iPads notwithstanding, I still like the feel of a pencil and pad and a book in my hands to read.

November 2nd is National Deviled Egg Day, so maybe I will post my curry inspired deviled eggs.

It’s also Election Day, so don’t forget to VOTE!

And Daylight Savings ends, so “Fall Back” with your clocks.

November 11th is Veterans’ Day, a day to remember all theme and women in the military who help defend us and others in need.

The Great American Smoke Out is Nov. 20th, a good day to stop smoking and think about what it does to your body. Because smoking has been linked with cancer, I will also have some more information on cancer as a follow up to Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.

Of course, the big day in November is Thanksgiving on November 26th and I hope to post some recipes suitable for your consideration. (I may be able to post a couple of seasonal recipes from a cookbook I reviewed in the Spring called Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas.


I would like to think that this was a time when Native Americans and Europeans co-existed peacefully!

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a family day and I hope to have my article about a family that is giving up half their day to serve the homeless in Center City Philadelphia. I went to the Good Shepherd Soup Kitchen in late October with the husband and wife who volunteer weekly to get an idea of what happens on any given weekday and ended up helping to serve more than 200 men, homeless or in the shelter, feeding them casseroles made by dozens of volunteers in the Philadelphia area. Quite an experience!

I will post December events during the first week of December, since there are already enough in November for you to digest!

Finally, I found a list of 100 ways to reduce stress and hope to post some them throughout these last two busy months of 2015. And I couldn’t resist posting one more leafy photo, since we still have trees that are brilliant!

P.S. on Nov. 9th- I forgot that November is National Diabetes Month. An article appears on Nov. 10th in Health Flashes & Special Reports.

Autumn Anticipation: September/October 2015

August 30th, 2015

NOTE: I like the idea of combining months that go together, as I did with June, July and August. Making a Home Page interesting every month is difficult, but combining them gives me more range of topics and ease of moving from one month to the next.

I took this photo in our parking lot one early fall, perhaps late August. It shows how some trees start to lose their chlorophyll early. For me it is a sign of joy; for others, a sadness that summer is almost over.

Here’s a rhyme that I found in my files that seems to fit the photo:

The Flames of Fall

Patiently I wait for Summer’s ending
to fan the flames of Fall.

Summer means only Autumn’s pending—
my favorite season of all.

Enduring all the hot summer days,
anticipating September—

Dreams of anticipating Autumn’s blaze;
Ah, the crispness I remember!

Fall has a feel of its own for me: the beginning of the school year, the Jewish New Year, the change of clothes, the hardier foods as the weather grows cooler. All of these are familiar signs that summer is ending and another year will soon be over. Last year I saw a picture of fall on the Internet that said underneath: My favorite season is October. So fitting for me!

September and October also bring other celebrations and significant dates, such as: Labor Day, Grandparents Day, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month for September and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Halloween, and National Hispanic Month (Sept 15-Oct 15).

These are also the months that I love to buy apples for their crispness, dark greens for their chlorophyll, and adding nuts and seeds to my salads and main dishes. In fact, September is Fruit and Veggies-More Matters Month, a new one for me. Also, National Yoga* Awareness month is September, and also World Alzheimer’s Month, a disease of growing concern for older people like myself. October brings us Mental Illness Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness month, and Health Literacy Month, to name only a few. Whew!!!

*I plan to review a The New Yoga For People of 50 by Suza Francina, whose books I have reviewed before.


Since National Grandparents Day is September 13th and Joan Rivers died only one year ago on September 2nd, I thought I would review the book her daughter Melissa wrote as a way of honoring Joan and also Grandparents Day, since she left behind grandson Cooper.

End of summer also brings the flavors of the end of summer and beginning of fall. I made an easy dish using zucchini and yellow summer squash that I will post. There may also be some of my recipes still being posted on Women’s Voices for Change. If so, I will post the links.

End of Summer Squash Stir Fry

Finally, I forgot to post my early summer trip to Grounds for Sculpture not too far from where I used to live in Hamilton, NJ. Started by Seward Johnson of Johnson & Johnson, the gardens are on the grounds of the old fairgrounds where I used to watch fireworks. While Seward Johnson’s sculptures are life-sized, this one of Marilyn Munroe was huge. (See my husband in the lower left hand corner.)


This, of course, is the famous scene in which MM stands over a grate in NYC and the hot air blows up under her dress. This is huge!!!

If you are not too far from central Jersey, this sculpture garden is quite interesting and there is a nice restaurant on the grounds. But you need a reservation.


Enjoy the lovely colors of fall!