Crossing Pumpkins

We won’t be putting out pumpkins on the front porch this October. Two years ago, we went outside one crisp, early October morning to find our three pumpkins in various states of distress and eaten-ness. Our squirrels apparently decided there weren’t enough nuts out there in the world to nosh on, so they turned their attention to our vulnerable decorations. It was not a fair fight. It was not a pretty sight.

The irony is those three pumpkins may have been doomed from the start anyway. They barely survived the trip home.

We have a Wegmans grocery store nearby, where we bought those three pumpkins. If you have a Wegmans in your area, you know how ginormous they are. Many people are coming and going, with a front entrance that goes on forever. After we checked out a handful of groceries and the three pumpkins, we headed out the front doors and headed for the relative safety of the crosswalk. I say relative because everyone gets a little crazy whether they are coming or going from the Wegmans, driving by or walking to and from their cars, etc. And at the crosswalk, you can clearly see many drivers glaring at you as they reluctantly stop for the foot traffic to proceed.

I went to put my sunglasses on just as we got to the crosswalk…while awaiting those not-very-compassionate drivers to stop in both directions… so we could get to the parking lot. Two hands on the sunglasses. No hands on the cart. We were on a slope at that point, and I didn’t compensate for the additional weight of the pumpkins we had with us that day.

The shopping cart started to cross the crosswalk…without…me.

My wife gasped as I executed an impromptu jog to catch up to the cart. By the grace of the Holy Great Pumpkin himself, there were no cars immediately in the vicinity of the crosswalk and I regained control of the wayward cart. Little did we know the pumpkins wouldn’t be as lucky crossing paths again with the Grim Reaper just a couple of days later.

Ah yes, October. Days are getting noticeably shorter (am I the only person who likes that?). Leaves start to fall (they usually all wind up in our yard even though we have no trees). Air feels crisper (the air where I live, at least).

The following represents a handful of entertainment items I’ve noticed are on the way in October. As always, please share your comments on these (good or bad – this is a safe space!), and most definitely let me know anything you might be looking forward to.

October 3 – The Good Doctor returns on ABC – My wife is always down for watching medical shows. I’m not a big fan of them, in part because of the great lengths shows like this now go to show as close to an actual surgery as possible. It’s very hard for me to sleep after being deep inside a chest cavity late at night.

October 4 – The First To Die At The End is released – A prequel to the best-selling They Both Die At The End, Adam Silvera writes a new tale regarding the new app named Death-Cast, which promises it can predict the date of your death. When strangers meet, their lives are forever altered when one gets the call from Death-Cast…the other doesn’t. Didn’t read the first book, but might give both a read now. The biggest complaint I have heard about the original novel was they both died at the end.

October 5 – Reginald The Vampire debuts on Syfy – My wife and I are suckers for anything Syfy puts out there, aside from the relatively-new Chucky series and reruns of their “classic” Sharknado movies. I myself have never connected with the Chucky vibe, and my wife would rather be married to Chucky than watch shark movies. Sharks are her kryptonite. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t real sharks. Trust me, it doesn’t matter.

October 6 – Walker returns on The CW – We are huge, fanatical fans of The CW’s recently-concluded Supernatural series and Jared Padalecki, who played Sam Winchester on that show, is the lead character on Walker. This show is similar to Chuck Norris’ Walker, Texas Ranger in name only. I like Padalecki, but I’m not sure yet if I like his acting choice-post Supernatural.

October 6 – Walker: Independence debuts on The CW – Even my wife agrees the last show that needed a prequel was the above-mentioned Walker. It’s only been on for two freakin’ seasons. I will say this show will feature a good leading lady in Katherine McNamara, a star on Freeform’s Shadowhunters, as well as a co-star on The CW’s Arrow when that show was winding down. I’ll watch the first episode and see what kind of world-building they do.

October 7 – Amsterdam debuts in the theatres – Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Anya Taylor-Joy, Taylor Swift, Mike Myers, Chris Rock, Robert De Niro. Yes, please. Loosely based on a true story, it follows three friends in the 1930’s who saw a murder, got framed for it, and now are the prime suspects. With this cast, I am all in.

October 7 – MLB Playoffs start…NHL Regular Season starts – I remember as a little kid coming home from school as soon as possible to watch playoff games, especially when they involved my favorite childhood team (aside from the Phillies), the Oakland Athletics. Not a bad team at all to be rooting for as a child, as they won three straight World Championships from 1972-74. The Phillies may yet find their way into the playoffs this year (courtesy of Major League Baseball adding an extra Wild Card berth). The chances for the Flyers to win a Stanley Cup this year? None. Playoffs? None. We won the Cup back in 1973-74 and 1974-75. I went into Center City for both of the massive parades honoring the team. Who knew they’d be the only parades? Sigh.

October 9 – Full Moon – Called the Full Hunter’s or Harvest Moon. I always pause to check out the Full Moon. The Moon has always fascinated me, and it’s hard to believe we landed on it in 1969 and still no one lives there. Then again, it’s even harder to believe we’re now going to spend a gazillion dollars to start going there again. I think my fascination with the Moon goes back to when I was a kid and somehow the Moon wound up representing Heaven to me. At least I got the direction right.

October 11 – The Winchesters debuts on The CW – You’ll recall I mentioned the TV series Supernatural earlier. That show ran for 327 episodes…a whopping 15 seasons. Now THIS is a show you can have a prequel for. It will tell the early stories of John & Mary Winchester, the parents of Sam & Dean, who Supernatural was all about. Jensen Ackles, who played Dean is – along with his wife – an executive producer of this new series. Jensen will also be narrating this show. His time invested behind the scenes and his active participation on the show has we fans of Supernatural very hopeful the spirit of the original series will be honored and extended within this prequel.

October 14 – Halloween Ends debuts in the theatres and on Peacock – The 1978 original film for me is a cinematic classic. The director, John Carpenter, is one of my all-time favorites. In 2018, a reboot of the Halloween franchise (for the umpteenth time) provided the first film of a promised trilogy. I thought that movie modestly captured the spirit which made the first film successful, and I was ok with it being made. It was good enough I thought they should just forget the idea of making the next two movies and just call it a day. Unfortunately, the second film released last year was a complete and utter failure for me. I think it is an embarrassment to the franchise. I do hope that – as this new release is named – Halloween Ends.

October 18 – The Last Chairlift is released – John Irving’s first novel in seven years deals with a skier who becomes pregnant after competing in the National Championships in Aspen. She returns to New England and becomes a ski instructor, raising her son Adam in an unusual manner. As an adult, Adam travels to Aspen looking for answers in the hotel he was conceived within. The main themes here are sexual politics, a love story…and a ghost story.

October 19 – NBA Regular Season starts – Our 76ers will most definitely make the playoffs again this season, but it is hard to see them winning the Eastern Conference and getting to the Finals. That being said, I don’t have an opinion yet who will be the last teams standing at season’s end. Do however keep an eye on those Cleveland Cavaliers. No, they did not get Lebron back again. They’re going to be just fine without him. My sleeper team in the NBA this season.

October 21 – Black Adam debuts in the theatres – Dwayne Johnson is as big (literally) a movie star there is, but will he be believable and welcomed as a DC Comics mega-superhero? We shall see. I like Dwayne a lot and am hoping he and this film do great things. The Peacemaker series with John Cena recently turned out well for DC. Maybe the Black Adam movie will do the same.

October 21 – Taylor Swift’s Midnights drops – I am not a Swiftie (even though she’s from nearby Reading PA), but I will take note if any notes on this new release resonate with me. I will tell you her ten minute song and short film All Too Well is one of the very best musical concoctions I have heard and seen in the past year. She performed it on Saturday Night Live last Fall and just crushed it.

October 21 – Hallmark Christmas 2022 Readers here may recall my admitted weakness for having Hallmark Christmas movies on as we begin Christmas prep. I’ll be honest, I more often steer towards their older films made before the Hallmark “formula” became a standard for all their movies…which some folks legitimately can find repetitive. Some of the earlier entries took a much bigger creative swing and were a bit less predictable. Hey, Hallmark storylines and families aren’t anything like I’ve ever experienced, but I guess that’s the appeal.

October 22 – World Cup Alpine Skiing begins – This sport may have to rethink its locations as snow continues to disappear around the globe and man-made snow becomes ever more challenging to maintain. I never learned how to ski, but I always wanted to (still do, but the wife just shakes her head). As a kid I loved taking in skiing during the Winter Olympics, and have been hooked on watching it ever since.

October 30 – The White Lotus returns on HBO and HBO Max – The first season of this series had a super-great cast, but to me came across as slow and plodding. And then the finale came and it was – wait for it – slow and plodding. This show has garnered wide critical acclaim, but to me Season 1 was just a slow burn of a show that never got hot, and its finale left me ice cold.

October 31 – Halloween – Loved this holiday as a kid, and I do appreciate it even more as an adult. It’s great to see what characters come up to the front door for their treats. In addition, my wife does not enforce the cut-off number Mom did on candy consumption Halloween Night.

Happy October!

 

Pictures Courtesy City of Salisbury MD/The CW

77 thoughts on “Crossing Pumpkins”

  1. Wow. You do go for the scary shows, don’t you? I am not a TV person at all, but the good thing about late Sept/early October is the season premieres of the only two shows I watch–Blue Bloods and The Equalizer. Tom Selleck and the family own New York, although that is never stated so plainly, and Queen Latifah kicks butts so well. My husband is a retired computer tech so is fascinated by Harry’s computer set up. Practically drools over it. Old habits die hard.
    As for shorter days–I am all in. You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you cannot take Jersey out of the girl.

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    1. I saw several episodes from the first season of The Equalizer and thought the supporting cast was really good, including Harry (Adam Goldberg), who I like in everything I’ve seen him in. I get your husband liking that role – Harry did have a cool, high-tech operating station. Yay for shorter days, Lois!

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  2. I adore October and all it brings. Crisp air, apples, pumpkins, turning leaves. If you live in New England as I do, it’s worth waiting all year for. Sorry about your decorative gourds being eaten. It’s odd, but with all the visiting wildlife we have? They never nibble.

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    1. We have planned a trip to New England like…every year for the last two decades. Still haven’t gone. Been to MA and CT years back but they were urban business trips. Want to visit each one of the states there and take time doing so. Now that I am on Day 115 of the “first retirement,” I no longer have any excuse whatsoever not to take a trip. I suspect when we do, the vacation might very well become a staycation. Those pumpkins looked like they were hit with a hammer…

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  3. Wow, you are an entertainment for all blog writer! What a complete list. I’m in on The Good Doctor, as well as the final season of New Amsterdam which just released episode 1. I’m waiting very impatiently for Wednesday. The movie Amsterdam is also on my list, as is Hocus Pocus 2. I’m glad the White Lotus is coming back. It took me a few episodes to realize how much I liked the first season. I hope season 2 is just as good.
    Thanks for adding some great suggestions as well.
    Also, not ignoring the squirrels- I just put out a feeder with peanuts and corn. The blue jays were all over it yesterday and they are very loud in announcing their presence at the tray. Later last night I heard a weird tapping sound outside my open window. A huge squirrel had found the feeder as well. He emptied it of peanuts while scattering the corn. Even now I can hear a jay complaining that the nuts are gone. Time to refill I guess!

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    1. Deb, those pumpkins on our porch were turned into mashed pumpkins. I remember walking outside and looking down, and the sight was such it was one of those times where your brain has to “align” with what you are seeing because it was so hard to believe. You definitely have some fans in those blue jays and squirrels. Would you believe I only saw the original Hocus Pocus last year? I am looking forward to that when it comes out next Friday!

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      1. Do you have raccoons around as well? I wonder if this was a community midnight snack? Our squirrels are gluttons but I’ve never seen any true marauding hoards of them descending on peoples yards!

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      2. We’ve never seen raccoons in this area. I don’t think our ducks, geese, bunnies, or even deer are murderous. The only other suspects could have been the groundhogs, but they almost always “stay in their lane.” Unlike the crazed squirrels…

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      1. Thanks for the heads up! I knew it was coming back fairly soon and I think I read it was set in Europe somewhere?? Definitely not the tropical locale of season 1 but part of the same “hotel chain” I believe.

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  4. Wegmans are ginormous? We don’t have them around here but I thought they were small specialty markets. Wrong-o.

    I’m only familiar with the first TV show you mentioned. I like TV but don’t watch much of it. And when I do I’m years behind the curve. Oh well

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  5. haha, I could picture you every step of the way with your pumpkins. Funny, because all too many of us have done something similar!
    Looking forward to the playoffs, even if my team isn’t a gleam in the commissioner’s eye.

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  6. The squirrels in your part of the world are bold- we get the occasional bird feeder raid, but nothing more than that! I’m an Autumn lover, shorter days and cooler temperatures suit me well. I like crisp days and cosy evenings. I find myself looking to the Scandi-noir TV and books at this time of year for entertainment. I have an eye on Amsterdam too, although it’s a wait until November this side of the Pond. I suspect it will be worth the wait, though!

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    1. Helen, these squirrels around here are just…nuts. I am always up for a Scandi-noir film or book. That’s a perfect suggestion for this time of year. I am wondering if the date for Amsterdam has been moved up for you as well. It was originally slated for a November release here and elsewhere, but the studio changed its strategy for release. Agreed, it should be worth the wait in any case!

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  7. Once again, our taste in TV and movies doesn’t coincide, but this time, our experience with pumpkins does. At least the squirrel part. My neighborhood squirrels (the animals, not the people) are plump already, but that doesn’t stop them from mutilating the pumpkins. Oh well. I would’ve liked to carve one just for the roasted pumpkin seeds that come later, but that won’t happen this year.

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    1. Belinda, I am so sorry to hear you have murderous squirrels as well. I was starting to think it was just us. Oh, I am rooting for your Vikings the rest of the way, and I hope there are no “hard feelings” about the Eagles defeating them Monday night. I still think the Vikings are going to have a very good season! 🙂

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      1. Go Vikes! No hard feelings about Monday night’s game. I didn’t see it–I only have streaming channels–but I did see the lack of score in the second half, which tells me defense was strong on both sides. I hope the rest of the season goes well for the Vikings. Fingers crossed!

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  8. Amsterdam’s cast reads like a who’s who, and the story looks solid too. Win meeting win.

    The MLB playoffs will bring a much needed surprise to unseat one of the favorites. Maybe it’ll be the Phils or Padres or maybe even the Mariners, who I think are in it as of right now.

    Halloween Kills was a complete disaster I’m with you on wishing they had just done the reboot of the original and left out any thoughts of a trilogy. But where moolah is concerned, they’re going to beat it to death to such an extent that even Michael Myers would be like “Damn people, that is over the line!”.

    The Cavs have a really interesting club and I hope they can do something in the East. And I am super thankful Donovan Mitchell didn’t go to New York, because it would’ve been no bueno. He’s not a top tier talent that can put a team on his back and take them to the finals, but they would have expected just that. In Cleveland, he can play a big role on a contender.

    I get one pumpkin a year and then I carve it. 🙂

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    1. I would love to see Michael Myers take his mask off, look out at the audience, and say that line. I too am thankful Donovan Mitchell didn’t go and get gobbled up by NYC. He doesn’t have to be The Man in Cleveland, just a piece of a winning puzzle. It’s been a LONG time since I carved a pumpkin. You may have inspired me. Now I just have to go find my “Halloween” chef’s knife…🎃🔪

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      1. We had a chance to see it in Halloween Kills, because the writers threw ever single dumb plotline into that one. It felt like one of those parody flicks, it really did.

        New York hasn’t won a title in a half century and yet, some of their fans and media behave as if it’s still the expectation. They remind me of Cowboys fans in that they’re unable to deal with the fact they’re just not relevant.

        Careful pal.

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  9. Reginald the Vampire is kinda fun…and very funny at times.
    I wrote a short story recently, a comedy about fluoridated water turning people into the undead in LA and all the other countries that use fluoridated water, but… no acceptance anywhere yet. I can’t tell if the story just stinks or if people are sick of zombies, lol. Maybe both.
    The Last Chairlift sounds intriguing….hmm….

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    1. I don’t know if people are sick of zombies at this point or not. I certainly wouldn’t put it past our water “regulators” they’d create a delivery system for zombie-ism. That sounds like a good spin on it. Yeah, The Last Chairlift does sound encouraging. Looking forward to that.

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  10. Your shopping cart story reminds me of when as a kid my grandmother hit a shopping cart with her car at the Wiess at the Whitehall Mall and it rolled all the way into the the middle of Grape St. Her attitude was “oh well”.
    Saw the first episode of the Good Doctor, never went back preferred him in Bates Motel.
    I hope The Winchester’s is like the first season of Supernatural with different Monsters, my wife and I hated and stopped watching when the Angels became a part. Saw the original Halloween at 8 yrs old in 1978…still the best of all of them, although I liked the originallity of Season of the witch…if they do continue with the films,hope they go in that direction… without Michael Myers.

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    1. Syfy has Bates Motel listed for a mini-marathon in the next couple of weeks. Never saw Freddie in that so I may check out a couple of episodes. Funny you mention the Angels in Supernatural. I have a couple of friends who didn’t like them either and stopped watching. Season Of The Witch is a wild, crazy movie that I will rewatch. It was interesting without Myers in it.

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  11. I love October because of the cooler air and getting to see the changing of the leaves 😊 All the festivities begin to start again with Thanksgiving, Halloween, eventually leading to Christmas and it gets me excited for what’s to come!

    I’m personally excited for Amsterdam not only because of the stellar cast but because I’ve recently watched Knives Out and Murder on the Orient Express so I’m interested in the genre atm. 👍 The second Black Adam trailer looked more promising and it has potential, so I guess it’s one where I’ll have to wait to find out! Hopefully it’s good!

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    1. Cathy, it sounds like we share a love for all things October.👍Amsterdam does indeed look like a can’t-miss with that cast. I get that after recently seeing Knives Out and MOTOE you’d be pumped for Amsterdam. I do agree the second Black Adam trailer was the one that gave me more hope it would be a good one!

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      1. Am sure there will be a study of hammock/pumpkin use in the next issue of Nature magazine. Or it could already be an experiment – a scientist training squirrels to demolish pumpkins. Or someone even more evil hoping to pin the blame on squirrels.

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  12. Well this is interesting…
    We have no Wegmans in Canada (well, not in Quebec, anyway).
    Pumpkins I buy are to be cooked and made into all sorts of yummy things. I don’t do the trick or treating thing anymore. Turn off my lights and make like a ghost – too many years of ending up with too much candy which, in the end, makes it to my too big rump!
    I don’t watch any of the shows you do! But I am oh-so looking forward to Amsterdam!
    I’m only keeping tabs on the MLB for Judge 😉
    NHL… sigh… my Canadiens – can they do what they did two years ago? Can we ever win again? Considering our history… like before 1980 coz, yanno… sigh.
    Will definitely be looking for the full moon – can they make up their minds on what to call it? Harvest was September because it was closer to the equinox, if not, it goes to October? And Corn can be September and Hunter can be October. Are these the only two months with the potential of two names? Either way, skies permitting, I’ll be out there!
    Gah! I can’t believe you have me YouTubing Taylor Swift! (only time I was into Tay-Tay was when Dwayne Johnson lip sync competition 😉 Just in case you missed it… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn3tUOJ9yv4 I love him. I’ll watch whatever he is in. And, I hate to admit that I much enjoyed Peacemaker.
    Hallmark movies, eh? You softie, you!
    I’m probably one of the few who never got into the Hallowe’en thing. My husband was a huge fan and went to many a party back in the day. Me? Meh.
    Time to roast my first pumpkin of the season. Oh hey, waitaminute… is that the sun? Oh. It was and now is gone. Turning into the perfect Sunday (yeah, I’m late here)
    Have a good one, Bruce!

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  13. Dale, I always like to see the Canadian teams do very well in the NHL. I think it is good for the sport, and it is certainly good for Canada. The link of Dwayne lip sync’s effort was great. I had not seen that previously – thanks. Don’t hate to admit you enjoyed Peacemaker. I was determined not to watch it, but was “beaten down” by all the positive reviews, and my wife and I wound up loving it to the point it is one of my favorite series of the year. They do have multiple names for these Full Moons, but no matter what they wind up calling them I’m out there when the clouds are not, sucking in all that Moonlight. I do eat my share of Halloween candy, but then “get back into shape” before the pumpkin pie consumption starts. I love me some pumpkin pie. Have a great rest-of-the-weekend, Dale!

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    1. I was thinking… that’s not like Bruce to like a comment and not leave a response…
      I don’t care about the other Canadian teams 😉 Glad you enjoyed the Dwayne “Tay-Tay” 😉 We were the same but we couldn’t help but laugh and enjoy it. Full Moons are to be enjoyed, no matter their name 🙂 Hallowe’en candy is too damn good so I avoid it. I can’t just “get back into shape” as easily!!
      Enjoy the pumpkin pie (another thing I can’t get into!)
      You too!

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  14. October is a great month! I do enjoy this time of year, the seasonal change, shorter days, cool temps and I can wear sweaters again! I will definitely keep an eye out for the full moon, I enjoy star & moon gazing. I will admit to getting lost in the sweet fantasy of the Christmas story, but I do prefer the less predictable or different stories, also hooked on Hallmark mysteries. Happy Autumn!

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  15. Well I got a good laugh at all your pumpkins with faces. The run away cart story was quite funny. You made my day. I watch medical shows like your wife. The blood does not seem to bother me, but I actually think it is not needed for the show to have a plot or storyline. Sorry the squirrels ate your pumpkins. Love your humor!

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  16. I enjoy the shorter days, too. And the crispness in the air. It’s all a prelude to snow and cold anyway, which I also like.

    I’ve never even seen a Wegman’s before…but the way I keep inching farther east, I figure it’s only a mater of time.

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  17. Enjoyed the crossing pumpkins story, celebration of October and the entertainment reviews and recommendations! Loved learning about Jim Steinman in your last blog and the variety of entertainment options here. Top of my list for October is watching the MLB playoffs, hockey, football and way too many horror movies and shows. Wonderful to know someone else enjoys the shorter days of October!

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