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I've been preparing the same basic, traditional Thanksgiving menu for almost 35 years now. But in the past few years, our children have grown up, married and now have families of their own. Our tastes have changed, and our lives are more hectic. So what's a Diva to do? I've decided to create a new family Thanksgiving tradition with a schedule and menu that fits our lifestyle ... and you can, too!

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We're a granola-eating family. When the tall jar in our pantry reads almost empty, it's time to stir up and bake a new batch. It's never a chore, because the fresh homemade taste of heart-healthy oats with nuts and dried fruit always satisfies, whether combined with yogurt and berries at breakfast, or sprinkled over a scoop of ice cream for an evening dessert.

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This has been a beautiful fall in our part of Missouri. And a bonus is coming! According to local meteorologists, we’re going to have a spectacular display of color from the leaves above. That is, if we don’t get a hard-killing freeze first. One thing is for sure. Summer’s shady canopy is ab…

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Halloween can trace its origins to Ireland and is based on the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, during which people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off spirits. Halloween has since become a day to play pranks and don costumes while going door-to-door seeking treats from neighbors.

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What's better this fall than taking leisurely family walks to grab some fresh air and enjoy the stimulation of the outdoors? While everyone might recognize houses and neighbors, and get caught up in collecting fallen leaves along the way, this time can also draw everyone's attention to new discoveries ... like taking a closer look at the bark on trees. Is it knobbly and cracked? Talk about the colors and shapes. Some might even look like pieces to a puzzle. How does bark from an oak look different from that of a maple?

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Festive Halloween treats can be easily concocted with a little imagination. Crafting a homemade chocolate and candy bark is one way to incorporate many of the candies and other treats synonymous with Halloween in a single delicious bite.

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For years, it was an October tradition in our neighborhood to drop in at my friend's preholiday arts and crafts sale. Opening the heavy front door of her turn-of-the-century home, we were drawn in from the outdoor chill by the aroma of warm, freshly baked pumpkin bread served on trays in the…