The Perfect Halloween:
A Girls’ Weekend in Sleepy Hollow

Last fall, my friend Clare and I sought to set aside a weekend for some serious girlfriend time that wouldn’t necessitate either of us enduring the requisite 6 hours of driving. (Clare’s in Boston; I’m in Philadelphia.) What to do? Clare emailed me with the perfect solution: A Halloween in Sleepy Hollow. With the dual benefit of colorful foliage and the scenic view of the Hudson River, what a beautiful location for a fall rendezvous! And the area would add a very special twist for Halloween—it was the setting of the famous “Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” by Washington Irving. You know the one: gangly teacher Ichabod Crane flees for his life from the (quickly gaining) headless horseman . . . a favorite of mine as a kid, but over the years, I had forgotten all about it. . . .

The Empty Nesting Caregiver:
Deep Relaxation—The Key to Wellness and Good Self-Care

Many of you are, no doubt, moving through big changes. Some of you are empty nesters yourselves; others are caregivers for others (parents, ill relatives, or friends) who need your love and support. Almost everyone on the planet is facing some form of change at this time. What I’m learning about change—through personal experience as well as through professional expertise gained during hospice work—is that the more we can relax through it, the better. I have learned that relaxation is the key to managing change, stress, and fear of all kinds.

Changing Careers?
Be Careful What You Wish For

I have no idea when the seeds were first planted, but somehow they put down roots and sprouted. At first it was annoying: I’d be slaving away at my job as a project manager with a “content management” service, sitting at my desk in my home office, checking email and answering authors’ queries, reviewing copyediting and proof, and doing billing for my publishing projects. Then, a little voice inside my head would say, “Wouldn’t you rather be standing in a classroom, talking to people?” “Wouldn’t you rather be explaining this to someone?” “Wouldn’t you rather be teaching—helping people learn how to write?” Soon, though, I found myself thinking, “Well, why not?” . . .

Real People Empty Nesting:
Meredith Birchall, Creating Her Best Image

When we look our best, we feel our best, right? If you don’t believe it, then Meredith Birchall is the best person to convince you. Although her college education focused on communications, a summer job led to a career in retail and then to her life’s calling: helping women find their best image—one that will give them the confidence they need to lead their best life. From community education classes to spa parties for girlfriend groups to a new retail store, Meredith does what she can to help those around her look and feel good, spreading happiness wherever she goes.

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