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12/16/11 - NNHS Newsletter - Holly Herald

“Then sing to the holly, the Christmas holly,
That hangs over peasant and king;
While we laugh and carouse 'neath its glittering boughs,
To the Christmas holly we'll sing.

Eliza Cook, “The Christmas Holly
(24 Dec 1818 - 23 Sept 1889)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates, 

   We owe the theme of today's Newsletter to   Domi O'Brien ('64) of NH who sent me this BONUS VIDEO on 12/05/11: - Holly Herald - Jethro Tull, 2003

   Although traditional carols are easily recognized within it, the spirit of Ian Anderson's arrangement is so lively and unique, I opted to attach no midi.

   Thanks, Domi!


     Happy Birthday today to   Betty Brockwell McClure ('58) of VA!
   Happy Birthday tomorrow to
    Tom Oxner ('65) of AR!

   Happy Birthday this week to:

18 - James Strickland ('57);

19 - Durwood Adams ('57);

22 -   Kitty Norman Haskins ('57) of VA AND    Dottie Pegram Daniels (NNHS / George Washington HS - '64) of WV AND    Harry Barritt ('64) of VA AND    Dale Mueller ('64) of VA AND   Bill Rash ('67) of VA;

23 -   Tom Flax ('64) of VA AND   Joyce Lawrence Cahoon ('65) of VA AND  Holly Hill Campbell (Hampton Roads Academy - '72) of VA!

   Many Happy Returns to You All! 


Monday, Dec. 16, 1861

In one of the odder political actions of the early days of the War, Ohio’s Democratic congressman Clement Vallandigham introduced a resolution on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The point of the resolution was to commend Captain Charles Wilkes of the USS San Jacinto for his actions in capturing the Confederate commissioners on the British mail ship “Trent.” The oddity comes from the fact that Vallandigham was a Peace Democrat, advocating negotiation or any other means to settle the dispute between North and South, short of war. Why he would wish to commend Wilkes’ hostile action--which had so infuriated the British that they were on the verge of war with the U.S. themselves--is unknown. The bill was referred to a committee for study and was never heard of again.

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 1862

In the aftermath of Fredericksburg, the defeated Union army completed its withdrawal across the pontoon bridges erected at such a tremendous cost just a few days earlier. Climbing back up the heights on their side of the river, and looking back at the heights opposite that they had tried six times to take, they proceeded on just as far as Falmouth and Stafford Heights. There the exhausted men stopped and set camp for the winter. The countryside was soon scoured of every piece of lumber, brick and anything which could be used to construct cabins or huts or at least fortify the flimsy tents for the winter. So much wood would be scavenged that trees died for miles around. When the spring rains of 1863 came, much valuable topsoil would wash away. The area would not recover its agricultural value for decades.

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1863

There was a major shuffling of commanders in the Western Theater of the Confederate States of America today. At the headquarters of the Army of Tennessee, Lt. Gen. William Hardee was out, Gen. Joseph Eggleston Johnston was in. Hardee’s appointment had only been a temporary one, filling after Bragg’s departure, anyway. Johnston’s departure from Brandon, Miss., left a vacancy at the head of the Army of Mississippi, which was filled by Gen. Leonidas Polk. One promotion was noted on the Union side of the field: John Buford, cavalryman, received a long-overdue promotion to Major General. It is good that this honor was not delayed any further, as six hours after the papers arrived, Buford died of typhoid fever in Washington, D.C.

Friday, Dec. 16, 1864

Attack, Gen. George Thomas had been told for weeks. Go forth from Nashville and attack the Army of Tennessee, he was ordered. He had resisted until he felt his forces and supplies were sufficient, to the point where Gen. John “Black Jack” Logan was on a train today with orders to take over command from him. But yesterday the attack had come at last, and today it continued. First the right was pushed back. When they rallied and held, the Union cavalry swept around the Confederate left and threatened the rear of the lines. Finally the climax came, around three in the afternoon, as firing was almost continuous. The Confederate left could take no more and began withdrawing. The center soon followed, and finally the right wing was forced to follow. The Army of Tennessee effectively ceased to exist as a fighting force, and the threat to the Union hold on Kentucky and the Ohio River was ended. 

    From Glenn Dye ('60) of TX - 12/15/11 - "RE: Mary, Did You Know?"

Did not know if you knew or not that Michael English and his family are from Wallace, N.C.  He and his brother Biney English along with their father sang in a group together called The Singing Samaritans. - Mary Did You Know - Michael English

   WOWZERS! No, I did not know that! Thanks so much, Glenn!

      From My Husband, Paul Harty (Bardolph HS, IL - '61) of NC - 12/14/11 AND    From Norris Perry (Warwick HS - '59) of VA - 12/15/11 - "The best Christmas video I've seen":

This is great, you'll love it!! Merry Christmas!!

   OHHH, I do love it, Guys, thank you so much! Merry Christmas to y'all, too!

CHRISTMAS RECIPES: - Tasty Toffee Cheesecake - "When I can't quite make up my mind between cookies, candy, or doesn't matter! With this one, I don't have to choose!" - Chocolate Silk Pie - "When you're talking about fabric, silk has always been considered among the finest and most elegant. When you're talking about pie...well, try this one and see if you see any similarity." - Black Bottom Pie - "Make this special treat tonight! Black Bottom Pie is a delicious pie-within-a-brownie that's perfect for anybody with an extreme sweet tooth!"



"The Story of Christmas Spiders"

In a quiet cottage in the woods lived a gentle widow and her eight children. The widow worked very hard to keep her children warm and well-fed, but money was not plentiful. When the air grew crisp, and the snow began to fall, the widow knew Christmas was coming. But instead of feeling joyful as the holiday approached, she felt sadness and sorrow. She knew that she did not have enough money to buy her children any gifts to open on Christmas morning.

I cannot afford new toys or books," she thought, walking home through the woods one night. "What will I give my children?"

On Christmas Eve the family ate their simple Christmas dinner together, and the widow tried to conceal her worries. After tucking her excited children snugly into bed, she pulled her chair close to the fire and tried to erase the visions of their little disappointed faces from her mind. After all, what fun is Christmas morning without gifts to open?

"Perhaps a Christmas tree would make my children happy," the widow sighed.

She put on her coat and hat and walked through the woods in search of the right tree. She chose a small but beautiful evergreen, chopped it down with her husband's ax, and brought it to the cottage.

For hours, the widow carefully decorated the fragrant tree branches with colorful fruits, bits of ribbon, and Christmas cookies. Then she blew out her candle and went to bed, hoping the tree would make her children's empty Christmas a little bit brighter.

While the tired widow slept, tiny spiders crept from the cracks and corners of the cottage. They had watched her hard at work, decorating the tree for her children. Onto the branches they jumped, spinning delicate strands of silky web which gracefully covered the small tree from trunk to top. It was a beautiful sight.

When the family awoke on Christmas morning, they could not believe their eyes. The webs of silk had been turned into pure silver, covering the tree with dazzling brightness! During the night, Santa Claus had come with gifts for the children and saw the tree covered with spiderwebs. He smiled as he saw how happy the spiders were, but knew how heartbroken the widow would be if she saw her tree covered with spiderwebs. So he turned the silky webs into pure, shining silver. The next morning, as the widow watched her children sing and dance around the beautiful shining tree, she knew it would be a wonderful Christmas after all!

From that day forward, people have hung strands of shiny silver tinsel on their Christmas trees in honor of the poor widow and her tiny Christmas spiders.

-- By Stephanie Herbek

From - 12/12/11 - "7 Holiday Stress Strategies":

Never Let 'em See You Sweat: 7 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

By Sharon Sayler

Love the holidays, but hate those family gatherings? Do you find yourself praying for a "new" family member just so your family might be on best behavior that day? (You know it won't last, but you can dream.) Are there family members that always seem to want to start a fight, or can't let that embarrassing moment from 1971 go?

Typically, it is the same thing year after year. Most families have a couple of topics that are almost as predictable as "pass the turkey and dressing". So why do we go into the Holidays expecting anything different? Short of family counseling know that family dynamics rarely change without a conscious effort to do so. Take a few minutes and plan your response ahead of time, so you are less likely to react. We are very good at rehearsing what we want to say, not so good at writing a new script and planning what we should say. Remember, this planning includes how you say it too.
People remember how we make them feel long after they remember what we said.

Seven Nonverbal Strategies for a Stress-less Holiday

Strategy 1: No response can be the best response.
A smile and a change of subject or your location might be all that is needed.

Strategy 2: Have a great memory already selected, what I call "go to your happy place" ready.
When that stressor moment begins, think of the happiest memories you have. (Hey, you really can only partially listen, you already know the story...) Some of my happiest memories are the births of my sons, each time I think of those, I smile automatically and begin to relax. Holding those happy thoughts changes your body language and the thoughts around the current situation. Yes, we really can "head-fake" ourselves out of a negative reaction.

Strategy 3: Have a buddy.
Let your buddy know how to intervene when "that family member starts..." Have them intervene by asking a question or having a task for you.

Strategy 4: Use positive gestures of relationship to set the tone.
Using an open, upward facing palm, gesture with your forearm and hand to the person most likely to start the negative situation. While you slowly gesture - remember palm up and open - comment on how wonderful the decorations are this year. As you get to the word wonderful be sure to have your fingers of the open palm gesture pointing directly at the likely offender. You have just nonverbally called them wonderful. Continue the day assigning all the positive words you say, you'll be amazed how it can reset the tone.

Strategy 4.5: The opposite is true, you want to "aim" negativity AWAY from the person you're talking to--no matter what you're talking about.
You can hurt feelings with your gestures and not even know it. For example, right after Thanksgiving a coaching client was telling me about how he hurt his aunt's feelings. He was speaking about an event at work. "What a jerk!" he said, while widely gesturing about "That jerk!" Before long, his auntie wasn't listening. He said to me, "She looked like she had been insulted." She had--he had just called his aunt a jerk, nonverbally.

Strategy 5: Many situations can be diffused (or inflamed) by intentionally using your voice.
Besides the words you choose, the emphasis, tone, volume, speed play a crucial role in how someone listens, interprets and reacts to what we say. (Remember, "the happy place," it can change your voice pattern too.)

Strategy 6: Your facial expressions tell the world what you are feeling.
Monitor those reaction facial expressions such as the ever so easy and favorite eye roll or pouty frown. Research with botox patients has shown that blocking a frown can really change how you think and feel. No botox needed--try this little experiment, look up, throw your arms up to the sky and try to frown--your body movements are tied to your emotions and your emotions are tied to your movements.

Strategy 7: My favorite and the most powerful -- your breathing.
Train yourself to maintain low, abdominal (natural) breathing. The more you experience the calming effect that low, abdominal breathing has on your body, brain and voice, the easier it is to do in all situations. The goal is to maintain balanced breathing even while others around you are not. Our breath supports all our non-verbals; most importantly, our voice. It is our breathing to which people react when they hear our voice patterns. How you are breathing at the time determines how you will be perceived. When you and the listener are breathing low and comfortably you are in rapport. If either of you are breathing shallow or rapid, there has been a break in rapport, a distraction or threat. If you remind yourself to breath comfortably the situation will diffuse even quicker.

People really do pay more attention to what your body says than what your mouth does. That's why it's so important to be intentional and plan your strategies before the gathering begins.

About the Author:

Sharon Sayler, MBA, is the Official Guide to Women in Business and a Communications Success Strategist. Sharon trains professionals on how to become stronger, more influential communicators and leaders. Her latest book What Your Body Says (and how to master the message) is available wherever books are sold and get an autographed copy at

From - 12/15/11 - "Food For Thought: Eat, Drink and Be Merry":

Dear Friends,

This weekend I had a dinner party for some friends who are getting married next weekend. I've known them for awhile, needless to say, the joy of the upcoming nuptials was more than a welcome occasion to have them over and completely celebrate their happiness. I'm in the process of losing some body clutter with a very focused approach, but took time off from that pursuit to focus on this special occasion, on my friends and to make them a special meal. This is the preamble for repeating something I wrote long ago that bears repeating. Here you go:

A long time ago, when my daughter was about 6 or 7, I took her to a children's birthday party. It was pretty typical--games, lots of junky food, birthday cake and ice cream. I couldn't even tell you the name of the child the party was for or anything about it except I remember this one poor little kid who was just miserable.

Her mom, doing her best to do the right thing, wouldn't let this child eat the hot dogs, chips or any of the other junk. She gave him a whole-wheat muffin while the other kids snarfed down gobs of cake and ice cream. I joked with the other mothers about how I'll be trying to get my daughter off the ceiling with a spatula later on from all the sugar. But curiosity got the best of me as I watched this mom argue with her child and watch her like a hawk during the entire party--being a nutritionist, I was convinced she had some sort of serious allergy.

Turns out this mom had never let her child eat anything other than organic, wholesome foods and there were no exceptions--ever. She was horrified to find out I was a nutritionist and even more horrified when she spied my child inhaling her third hot dog. "How can you let her eat like that?" she asked. I said, "She doesn't. Just for today. Today is special, it's a birthday party and we do things differently on holidays and birthdays."

She didn't understand, but I'm hoping you will.

It's important to eat healthy and it's important to be balanced about it, too. And my idea of a healthy eating is doing it right 90% of the time. The rest of the time, eat what fits: if you go to ball game, eat a hotdog. If you go to an Easter brunch, eat the ooey gooey buttery coffeecake and forget about it! Life is too short to always say no. (Obviously, the key is moderation and a modicum of self control! And you obviously can't do this if you're dealing with a severe allergy, physical restriction or religious restrictions.)

There are parts of life that are filled with celebrations and there are celebratory foods that go with it. Eat those foods with relish and don't even look at the nutrition info. Then start over the next day eating healthy again. And when you look back, enjoy the memory of the people that went along with all that good food because that's what it's all about.

I'm back now. Like I said, this past Friday night I took time out from my focused plan to celebrate my friends' upcoming nuptials. Naturally, I made dessert—. I make it every year for Christmas, too. It's in my book, Saving Dinner for the Holidays:

Easy Trifle
Serves 6, plus

My British father was quite the cook and often made a traditional trifle that I absolutely abhorred. The whole mess floated in too much sherry and custard. I didn't like it because it was so soggy and boozy. So I came up with my own version, which not only preserved the integrity of the pound cake, but also gave those who didn't want the sherry on it, options. Trust me, this is easy, fabulous and you are going to love it.

2 Sarah Lee frozen pound cakes, thawed and sliced
1 small jar raspberry preserves (I prefer the seedless)
1 pint of fresh raspberries (or whatever other kind of berry you can find fresh or skip)
1 pint whipped cream ("whipped” - NOT Cool Whip and not the stuff in a can)
1 recipe Crème Anglais (recipe is below)
1 pitcher of cream sherry (optional)

In a footed trifle bowl (or use a salad bowl with straight sides), you are going to layer everything, starting with pound cake slices spread with a generous spoonful of raspberry preserves. Place the first layer on the bottom with jam side up.

Then a layer of whipped cream, then some berries, then more pound cake smeared with raspberry jam. Do it again. End with whipped cream on top. Garnish with any remaining berries.

Serve with Crème Anglais on the side in a pitcher.

Crème Anglais (make this anytime. It will hold up for a few days in the fridge, no problem)

This is easy to make, but you must follow the directions exactly. You don't want the half and half boiling! It will break and you will have scrambled eggs floating in your sauce. Not good. For those in the UK and Australia, half and half is half cream and half milk.

1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 cup white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla, plus another 1/2 teaspoon
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine half-and-half, 1/4 cup of the sugar and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth.

When cream mixture starts to just to a boil, remove it from the
heat. Whisk a small amount of hot cream into the egg yolk mixture, then pour egg yolk mixture into remaining hot cream and whisk together until smooth.

Return it to the heat and cook over medium heat stirring until mixture coats the back
of a metal spoon and is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter. To keep it from getting a skin on top, put plastic wrap directly on the surface. Stir in the last 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla just before putting the plastic wrap on.

Leanne Ely, Your Dinner Diva since 2001
Get a Fr*ee Menu-Mailer when you get our Daily Dish!

From - 12/15/11 - "Thank You for Day 31 BabyStep":

Dear FlyLady,

This morning I read what you had in mind for me on this Day 31 of your BabySteps. I always prided myself on not being prone to emotional outburst and pathos, but I must admit my stomach was churning a bit when I opened my Internet browser on my very last BabyStep page.

Before reading, I let my gaze rest on my kitchen, with its shiny sink and its beautiful uncluttered countertops; on my living room, where the only thing out of place on the floor is my cat AzraĂelle basking in the sun; on my dining room, where the kids are playing Lego at the table, because there is space on the table, and they are playing with all those Lego pieces I gathered while rescuing one room or another. From the basement comes the sound of my washing machine. My bed is made, and I am dressed to my shoes.

As I've been doing for 31 days, I first reviewed the morning and before bedtime routines you made me integrate in my life. It was a bit special this morning; I had the feeling of achieving a milestone, of having finished something, and I was somewhat shocked when I realized all that I do now.

Before knowing you, my house was a real "capharnaĂĽm" (excuse my French!). I was seriously suffering from the Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome and I was telling myself that it would be thus until the last day of my life, that it was simply my nature and my destiny, unless I packed everything and moved out.

After reading my routines, impressed, I read your advice for this Day 31. Against my will, but without any real surprise, I felt tears come to my eyes. You don't say much today, only a few sentences about the need to not worry if I don't understand the rest of your method all at once, right now. You encourage me to keep going, one step at a time, at my own pace. In other words, you ask me to stop being too demanding on myself. You hit a sensitive spot, and you know it. What I read from your message is that perfection is not of this world, and that perfection is not necessary for me to be proud of myself. And when I raise my eyes to look around my house, I know you're right.

It is by pure chance that our paths crossed, dear FlyLady. There is one word that comes often in your writings, and I believe it applies to the crucial moment where I discovered your existence: you coming into my life and the life of my family truly was a blessing.

Thank you, FlyLady, thank you from all my heart.

Gaby Isabelle

FlyLady here: All I want to do is help you find the same peace I found one BabyStep at a time.

The 31 Days of Beginner BabySteps is your guide to learning how to make routines, habits, BabySteps and decluttering work for you!

From - 12/15/11 - "Pampering #14":

Dear FlyLady,

I pampered myself by finally asking for help when I really needed it! What a blessing that is, finally admitting I'm NOT PERFECT and can't do everything alone!

Flying in CO


Dear FlyLady

It has been very interesting to me to see how many Flyers have been pampering themselves by attending to their teeth. That was my focus too. I treated myself to some whitening toothpaste - and used it! It has worked wonders in removing plaque!! I saw the dentist a couple of days ago, and he says I should consider having my 7 crowns/caps replaced as they are all but worn out. It's the first time he has suggested it might be worthwhile doing such extensive work!! Are the two events connected? Who knows, but I feel my pampering has paid off, and I can look forward to a lovely smile (once I have saved up!!), and, coincidentally, "go for 7"!

(Trying to fly in the UK)

Kelly here: Our habit this month is pampering.

This is a busy time of year, but it is so important that you take a little time just for yourself!


- 12/15/11:

Q: What's the definition of mixed emotions?

A: When you see your mother-in-law backing off a cliff in your brand new car.


1. Thursday, January 5, 2012 - The NNHS Class of 1955 holds Lunch Bunch gatherings on the first Thursday of every month at Steve & John's Steak House on Jefferson Avenue just above Denbigh Boulevard in Newport News at 11:00 AM. The luncheon is not limited to just the Class of '55; if you have friends in that year, go visit with them.

2. Saturday, January 7, 2012 - 11:00 AM - The NNHS Breakfast Bunch will host a Breakfast Bunch Brunch at the Warwick Restaurant, 12306 Warwick Boulevard, (across from CNU) Newport News, Virginia 23606. "Please come join them for a Dutch Treat Brunch featuring a lot of 'War Stories' and maybe a lie or two. Everyone is welcome so bring your wife, husband, boy friend, girl friend, class mate, school friend or whomever you choose." Please RSVP to Bill Roady at or call him at 757-595-0716 so they have a head count.

3. Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - The NNHS Class of June 1942 meets at noon on the second Wednesday of every other month for a Dutch treat lunch at the James River Country Club, 1500 Country Club Road. PLEASE JOIN THEM. Give or take a few years makes no difference. Good conversation, food and atmosphere. For details, call Jennings Bryan at 803-7701 for reservations.

4. Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6, 2012 - Class of 1962 - 50-Year Reunion - Crowne Plaza Hotel, Hampton on the Water. More information after the Holidays. Meetings are second Tuesday of each month. CONTACT: Brenda Amos Williams at 

PRAYER ROLL: - updated 10/22/11

BLOG: - updated 03/13/11

Please find a few minutes of your busy schedule to support

Thank you so much!

Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309


1. Visit the main page (, scroll halfway down, and click on the Pay Pal Donate Button (;

2. Go to, log in, select "Send Money (Services) to; or

3. Just mail it directly to my home. Thanks!    

Holly Herald

Recorded by Jethro Tull, 1977

Holly Image courtesy of - 12/12/07

Holly Bar Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 12/17/05

Animated Tiny Birthday Cake clip art courtesy of Sarah Puckett Kressaty ('65) of VA - 08/31/05
Thanks, Sarah Sugah!

Coast Guard Seal clip art courtesy of - 10/03/07

Navy Seal clip art courtesy of - 05/29/06

Animated Ringing Christmas Bell clip art (designed by Art Holden) courtesy of - 12/08/05

NNHS65 Home Page Banner created by my #5 Son, Nathaniel Harty (Hillsboro HS, IL - '97) of IL - 06/06/02
Thanks, Nathaniel!

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