TV Reviews: “Madam Secretary” and “How to Get Away With Murder” MADAM SECRETARY

By Alexandra MacAaron

As the new secretary of state in CBS’s “Madam Secretary,” Téa Leoni must negotiate a hostage crisis, parry with a resentful chief of staff, dodge a personal stylist, and host a dinner party for an African dignitary and his ten wives. And that’s all in her first week!

Medical Monday Alert: Deadlines Loom for Choosing Your 2015 Individual Health Insurance Coverage

By Maura Carley

Most consumers will have additional options to consider for next year’s coverage. So look carefully at premiums, but also at the plan’s benefits, referral requirements, and other rules—and at the plan’s network; many new plans will have narrower networks next year.

Poetry Sunday: One Woman’s Mammogram Moment WVFC ZYLIUS  pat1

This week brings the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Poetry brings awareness to life’s moments, and here poet Patricia Zylius brings us a moment of heightened awareness from her own life.

Finding Friends Fast—Wherever You Are (Version 2.0) Karen O'Connor

By Karen O’Connor

Well-honed friend-gathering techniques from a woman who moves from one city to another every two years. Wherever she goes, she needs to find friends fast. And she does.

Jasmine Tridevil’s Tale JASMINE_TRIDEVIL_3048540b

By Roz Warren

A wry look at the year’s most appalling publicity stunt.

Fashion Friday: The Red Shoe MODESTO_BORSUE_12

Red is a new neutral. No matter what color you’re wearing—black, tan, navy, chartreuse, or pink—add a pair of classic red shoes as a perfect final touch and you let the world know that you know how to step out in style.

UNHAPPY TOGETHER, Part 1: Locked In to Marriage 14756953490_b245e5f066_z

By Ellen Sue Spicer-Jacobson

“When I was walking down the aisle and my eyes met his, I had this cold chill, and I thought, ‘I do not want to spend the rest of my life looking at his face every morning,’ my friend Paula told me. She had expressed her misgivings to her bridesmaid the night before, but she’d been too embarrassed to step up then and say, ‘No way!’”

UNHAPPY TOGETHER, Part 2: When You Quell the Inner Voice That Says NO blog-you-should-have-known

By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

To paraphrase psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan (who said, “We are all more human than otherwise”), all marriages are more imperfect than otherwise, and the question sometimes becomes this: Which imperfections [in your mate or potential mate] can you truly not live with?

The Wednesday 5: Women in the News Claudia Chan

In this week’s Wednesday 5: Claudia Chan is aiming to change the media’s depiction of women; ‘Honor Diaries,’ the first film to break the silence on ‘honor violence’ against women and girls, is now on Netflix; the history of women dining in public; the current environment for women and girls in Chechnya; and confronting make-up’s dirty little secret: those concealers cover up abuse scars.

Today’s Talk Topic: Women, Girls, and the ‘Slow Violence’ of the Syrian Civil War IRC

“There is also a great slab of silent suffering caused by Syria’s civil war that goes comparatively unreported because it is, well, just too mundane to make juicy headlines. . . .This is a kind of human ‘slow violence’ being done to an entire generation of Middle Eastern women and children who are now growing up as refugees.”

Postcard from Crete OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

By Jerolyn Morrison

The chefs’ challenge: choose from a list of ingredients from the Minoan culture of the Cretan Bronze Age (ca. 1500–1000 B.C.), then use a ceramic Minoan-style globular-shaped, tripod cooking pot to prepare food over a hearth fire.

Dr. Pat Consults: “Heartburn,” “Indigestion,” “Reflux”—How Should It Be Treated? Medical Mondays 2

By Dr. Patricia Yarberry Allen and Dr. Brian Landzberg

I am 48 and have long suffered from heartburn, indigestion, reflux—all the names apply to the constant discomfort I have in the area of my lower esophagus and stomach. I took a series of tests, and the test for H. pylori was positive. What is H. pylori? How did I get it? Is the two weeks of medication I must take likely to get rid of the infection?

Poetry Sunday: A Woman’s Journey gibbon_black_sm(1)

Poet, teacher, novelist, Maureen Gibbon commands words with confidence. Here she takes control of a journey and the memories that followed. A strong woman is always a guide worth hearing.

Molly Fisk: “How’s It Working for You?” lightbulb

By Molly Fisk

Sometimes, when you least expect it, an idea comes into your life and radically changes your perspective. I got lucky this week; two complementary ideas walked in my open door hand in hand.

Fashion Friday: Casual Pants to Love crop pants

Here are some alternatives to what used to be called “slacks”—a downer of a name if there ever was one. A pair of any of these will make you look forward to walking out the door.