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12/20/11 - NNHS Newsletter - First Night of Hanukkah

Wishing you and those you love
all the good fortunes of life,
health, happiness and peace
throughout the New Year.

Best Wishes at Hanukkah!

Dear Friends and Schoolmates, 

    Hanukkah begins tonight at sundown, so like the big happy Typhoon Family we have become, it's time to celebrate some more! Happy Hanukkah to all of y'all who are observing it this week!

BONUS #1 - - The Chanukah Song - Adam Sandler, Saturday Night Live, December 3, 1994

BONUS #2 - - Sevivon - Moshe Skier Band

BONUS #3 - - S'vivon - Fairfield County Children's Choir, Chorus, 13th Annual Winter Concert, When Children Sing, Klein Memorial Auditorium, Bridgeport, CT - Jon Noyes Music Director & Founder, Lucille Parkinson, Conducting, December 9, 2007



   Happy Birthday this week to:

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;

24 - James Gay ('57) AND Ann W. Hutcheson ('57) AND   Sandye Jordan Murray ('67) of VA;

25 -   Patsy Bloxom Meider ('57) of NC AND Doug Dickinson ('69) of VA;

27 -   Anita Morgan Becker ('66) of VA!  

   Many Happy Returns to You All! 


Friday, Dec. 20, 1861

Shuttle diplomacy was not yet a term in common use, but communications were shuttling back and forth by every vessel traveling between Washington and London. The dispute did not center so much on the fate of the two Confederate commissioners Mason and Slidell themselves--although their release to British custody was one of the demands--as it did on English outrage that a US ship had stopped a British one on the high seas and demanded the men be turned over. Negotiations took place again today between British ambassador to Washington Lord Lyons and Secretary of State Steward. Lyons was losing patience. He wrote to his boss, Foreign Minister Lord Russell, “I am so convinced that unless we give our friends here a good lesson this time, we shall have the same trouble with them again very soon...Surrender or war will have a very good effect on them.”

Saturday, Dec. 20, 1862

It had hardly been a smooth march down the Mississippi River from Cairo, Illinois, for the army of Ulysses S. Grant, but it had seemed unstoppable until today. Grant had established this base as a supply depot for the next stop, an attack on Vicksburg, Miss. In a lightning strike out of Grenada, Miss., Confederate Gen. Earl Van Dorn led a force which swooped down on the camp without warning. Grant was not there at the time, confusion ensued, and it was finally surrendered almost without a fight. Some 1500-1800 Federal soldiers were taken prisoner and an incredible $1,500,000 worth of supplies were taken or destroyed. Grant, aghast, was forced to cancel plans for the attack on Vicksburg and withdrew his surviving forces to LaGrange, Tenn. Criticism of Grant was mounting, and this did not help at all.

Sunday, Dec. 20, 1863

The recent command changes at the top of the Confederate Army of Tennessee seemed to have settled down. After Bragg had come Hardee; replacing Hardee now was Gen. Joseph Eggleston Johnston. As he settled into the intricacies of his new office there was the expected bureaucratic tangle of orders, requisitions and paperwork of all sorts to be gone through. At the top of the pile was the obligatory letter from his President, Jefferson Finis Davis. To call it a letter of congratulations, under the circumstances, would not be quite correct, but not yet was it a missive of condolence. “The difficulties of your new position,” Davis wrote, “are realized, and the Government will make every possible effort to aid you...” What Davis did not need to write, because Johnston, like every other Confederate commander, already knew it, was that there was precious little that Richmond could do to aid the effort in the West. The effort of sending Longstreet’s corps of the Army of Northern Virginia to Tennessee had been a failure.

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 1864

It had been three days since Gen. William T. Sherman had sent a letter to his Confederate counterpart Hardee inside Savannah, Ga., demanding the surrender of his army and the city it defended. As Hardee had barely 10,000 men to Sherman’s 62,000, fighting was out of the question. As the city was surrounded on three sides, with Howard’s corps moving to cut off the route to the north, surrender seemed the only choice. Hardee, after delaying as long as he could, booked out of town. The bridges were unusable, but Hardee’s engineers rigged an ingenious pontoon bridge out of rice-carrying barges lashed together across the Savannah River. All the cotton and most of the 250 cannon had to be left behind, but 10,000 soldiers of the Confederacy lived to fight another day. Sherman was severely criticized for allowing the escape.


   From Fred Field (June '45) of CA - 12/20/11, 11:11 AM - "Oasis Restaurant Closing":

Hello Carol,        Tue. Dec. 20, 2011
In today's on-line Daily Press appears some sad news.  The iconic Oasis Restaurant on Kecoughtan Road is closing.
The restaurant was a favorite place for many generations - going all the way back to even my time. 
I hope you will decide to include it in the newsletter.
Fred W. Field
Loma Linda & Fullerton, CA
   Thanks so much, Fred! I awoke sleepless in the middle of the night and was devastated to read of it. As it was one of my Very Favorite Places on Earth, I had in fact had already placed it on today's edition when your note arrived.

From the Daily Press - 12/20/11:

Hampton restaurant to close after 60 years

  HAMPTON – When Nick Sorokos' father bought The Oasis restaurant just before Christmas in 1977, the teenager was less than impressed.

"I thought dad had bought a dive," he recalled. "Everything was '50s retro."

But it was a busy dive. Business people would come in for lunch as well as some of the older people from the Wythe community who would follow a well trodden path down the bustling Kecoughtan Road.

Sorokos soon came to appreciate the charms of one of the city's oldest restaurants, a place with an exotic past and a rumor of a visit by Elvis Presley.

The Christmas of 1977 is likely to hold happier memories than the Christmas of 2011, when the restaurant will close after losses mounted during the recession.

The Oasis has been a fixture in Hampton since 1952 and menus from that era list combination ham and cheese at 60 cents and a grilled hamburger for 40 cents. The food has remained as traditional as the clientele, although the building first opened as a gentleman's club in the 1940s when burlesque dancers were on the menu.

Nick Sorokos at the Oasis
Oasis closes
Image by Sangjib Min
Daily Press
/ December 13, 2011

Sorokos said the restaurant was in some disrepair when his family took it over but it did a "tremendous business."

"I remember the place being packed. There was older clientele. It was just bustling but it was an old place."

When he later took it over and upgraded it he said some of the regular clientele gave him a hard time.

"They said, 'We like things the way they were.' I said, 'But there are holes in the booths and there are tin cans propping the table up.'"

Nick Sorokos took over the Oasis from his father, Jim, in 1983 and gave it a facelift. He said the restaurant is the one of the oldest in the city. "Everyone else has gone by the wayside."

Glory days

The premises at 3506 Kecoughtan Road was built in 1945 and first opened as The High Hat Club.

The Ives family opened the Oasis in 1952. Sorokos said in these days Kecoughtan Road was a major highway that petered out to the west where there was a golf course and an airfield.

"It's just a family friendly neighborhood restaurant," Sorokos said.

Sightings of Elvis are apocryphal, but Sorokos said he was told by a customer who was a child at the time that the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" visited the Oasis after playing at the Paramount in Newport News in the mid-1950s.

For the best part of three decades since, Sorokos said, trade held up at the Oasis. But there were signs of what was to come after the closure of the Sentara Hampton General Hospital off Victoria Boulevard in the 1990s. That deprived the restaurant of business.

The flow of traffic through Wythe slowed dramatically, but the Oasis managed to reinvent itself, Sorokos said. "We just thought that the neighborhood would continue to support us."

'Three lousy years'

But three years ago the recession hit and hard times came to the Oasis.

At the same time Sorokos said new chain restaurants were opening in the Power Plant and the new Peninsula Town Center, which has 17 eating establishments.

"We've had three lousy years, this being the worst of them all," Sorokos said.

He estimates the restaurant's trade has fallen more than 40 percent in the last three years. Employees were reduced from 22 to 12.

"We were supposed to have the place sold but the deal fell through last Friday," Sorokos said.

Sorokos' wife, Caroline, paid tribute to her customers. "When we got married we had 400 people at our wedding – 250 of them were Oasis grandmas and grandpas. They were my family," she said Tuesday.

The imminent closure of the restaurant has upset regular clients such as Thom Christian, 70, who said he has been eating at the Oasis all of his life.

"I am sad about it," he said. "The food is good and reasonably priced. I'll have to find another place."

     My heart is breaking.....

    From Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 12/19/11 - "1963 Anchor":

Hi, Carol:
Thank you for sending me your electronic Newsletter today.   Jimmy Walker ('62) of VA is trying to assist Bobby Ball ('63) of NM locate a copy of the NNHS 1963 Anchor.
If he is not successful in finding it on eBay, let me offer one other alternative. has been placing NNHS Anchors on their website. In fact, this week they sent me an email asking me if several photos in the Anchor are really me. Of course, it was a way of trying to being me back to the "Gold Membership" level.
But, if Bobby or Jimmy are subscribers to they might search that website for the 1963 Anchor. An electronic version is better than none.
TYPHOON Regards,
Joe Madagan ('57) of FL

   Thank you so much, Adonis - what a great idea!

From Robert O'Neal ('71) of VA - 12/19/11, 12:57 AM - "RE: My Mom,   Reva Woodard O'Neal's Passing Away":

Thank you, Carol, for all that you do. I greatly appreciate it.

W. Robert O'Neal('71)
Certainly, Robert, it was my privilege! Again, you and your family have my deepest sympathies.

  From Adrian Whitcomb ('67) of VA - 12/19/11 - "Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!":

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

   Thanks so much, Adrian - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too!

    From Jerry ('65) and    Judy Phillips ('66) Allen of VA - 12/19/11 - "Merry Christmas!":

MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you all have a blessed and joyous Christmas filled with love and special times.


   Thank you, Sweetie-Pies! Merry Christmas to you, too!

    From Stacy Dorn Davis ('64) of CA - 12/19/11 - "Understand that things happen for a reason":

Understand that things happen for a reason.

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?"
The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria.

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home. That was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid who says God does work in mysterious ways. I asked the Lord to bless you as I prayed for you today, to guide you and protect you as you go along your way. His love is always with you. His promises are true, and when we give Him all our cares we know He will see us through.

So when the road you're traveling seems difficult at best, just remember I'm here praying and God will do the rest.  
When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need. Take 60 seconds and give this a shot! All you do is simply say the following small prayer for the person who sent this to you.

Father, God, bless all my friends and family in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day!  May their lives be full of Your peace, prosperity and power as they seek to have a closer relationship with You. Amen.

   Thank you so much, Stacy! This story is a favorite of mine - for so many reasons! Richest blessings to you and yours!

  From Norris Perry (Warwick HS - '59) of VA - 12/19/11 - "Mountain Cabin":



Please don't break this even if you only send it to one person. Look at the date when this was started. Thanks.

I am not going to be the one who lets it die. I found it believable --- Angels have walked beside me all my life----and they still do.
This is to all of you who mean something to me, I pray for your happiness.
The Candle Of Love, Hope & Friendship

This candle was lit on the
15th of September, 1998.
Someone who loves you has helped keep it alive by sending it to you.
Don't let The Candle of Love, Hope and Friendship die!

Pass It on to All of Your Friends and Everyone You Love!
May God richly bless you as you keep this candle burning.

Please keep this candle alive.
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

   Thanks so much, Norris Sweetie! That was before I even had access to a computer, much less one of my own; I'm surprised I never received this before!


   Here are some links to Hanukkah recipes:

   And here are some recipes by some familiar names (they don't really appear to have any particular bearing on Hanukkah, but, well, you know....):

Mrs. J. L. Levinson (Selma) - mother of Ilene Levinson Lieberman ('65) of Israel Mrs. Ira Hirshman (Lee) - mother of Mike Hirshman ('65) of CO and Janet Hirshman ('68) of VA Mrs. Franklin O. Blechman (Marie) - mother of Judith Blechman ('57); Libby Blechman David ('61) of VA; and Frank Blechman ('65) of Northern VA Mrs. Sol Ellenson (Bernice) - mother of Harron Ellenson ('65) of MA, and aunt of Rabbi David Ellenson ('65) of NY
p. 166 p. 171 p. 185 p. 222

   These were all taken from Always in Good Taste, collected by the Hampton Roads Section of the National Council of Jewish Women in August, 1972.

   "I bought it on eBay!"

CHRISTMAS RECIPES: - "Hole y" Christmas Tree - "Out of creative ideas this holiday season? How about a Christmas tree...made of doughnuts? It's a crazy idea, but we think it works!" - Frozen Peppermint Cheesecake - "Wake up your taste buds with this no-bake cheesecake that explodes with big peppermint flavor. For a classic pairing, serve slices in generous puddles of rich chocolate sauce, and sit back and enjoy the raves!" - Coconut Cream Pie - "A favorite diner dessert is luscious Coconut Cream Pie. Why go out for it when you can make this scrumptious version so easily at home?"




"Into the Wind"

She hadn't been born on the high plains of Wyoming. In fact, even now, after all these months, she still called Pennsylvania home. She was only here because in 1923 that's what wives did: They followed their husbands. And her husband had a powerful yen to homestead in the West. So here she found herself, on the lonely plains of Wyoming.

For the most part, Grete Klein had made friends with the land. Well, maybe not friends, but she was learning its ways and that was the first key to survival in this harsh country. She had even learned to accept her "new" house, but the drafty tar-paper shack rattled with each gust of wind.

The wind. The ever-blowing, good-for-nothing, bitter Wyoming wind. The thief that puffed away the few autumn leaves before she had a chance to savor them. It robbed the children of pleasant play and stole the moisture from the crops.

Grete sighed and stoked the fire in the black majestic cookstove. She smiled as she recalled her mother saying, in heavily accented English, "If you vant to get rich, mein daughter, you must schtrike those matches tvice!" Rich? Hardly. Even her mother would be amazed and impressed at the ways Grete found to economize. Corncobs for fuel. Flour sacks sewn into underwear. Cardboard insoles to cover the holes and extend the life of the children's shoes.
And now Christmas was nearly here. Not that the landscape gave evidence of that. In the predawn light, Grete pushed aside the gunnysack curtaining the kitchen window and gazed out. No soft December snow blanketed the bare dirt. Instead, grim skies of gunmetal gray hovered while the wind howled in swirls of dust. Its icy fingers clawed at the flimsy door, while its frigid breath seeped around the crooked window frames. And all the while, a lone cottonwood tree -- their only summer shade -- batted its skeletal arms in a field dotted with tumbleweeds too stubborn to blow away. Shivering, Grete turned away.

Christmas. And we can't even spare a tree for the children.

Her children were so young. She knew they carried no memories of holidays back home. Of stately evergreens brushing the ceiling. Of Grossmutter's fine, hand-blown glass icicles dripping from its full branches. Of visits from the Weihnachtsmann, Father Christmas. Or of a table groaning under the weight of tasty traditional delicacies. Roast goose with potato dumplings. Sauerkraut and noodles. Apple strudel.

Oh, and don't forget all the home-baked desserts with their old-world names. I must teach them to the children.

Names like Pfeffernusse, Lebkuchen, and Blitzkuchen. Nusstorte, Apfel Pfannkuchen, and Schnitzbrot. Like taking roll call, Grete whispered her favorites one by one. The familiar German words rolled from her tongue, comforting her with their rhythm and taste.
Schnitzbrot. Fruit bread. Hmmm...maybe if I made some substitutions, altered the proportions....

With an excitement she hadn't felt in a long time, Grete pulled out a saucepan, a wooden spoon, and a large tin bowl. She reached for the carefully hoarded currants and dried peaches. Since the fruit was sweet, maybe the children wouldn't notice that she would have to skimp on sugar. She could spare two eggs and felt lucky to have fresh milk from the cow. But Schnitzbrot needed yeast. Grete hesitated.

Do I dare?
She dared. Grete lifted the crock of sourdough starter, her old standby. She had tended it faithfully for months, stirring for four days, adding exact amounts of milk, flour, and sugar each fifth day. It was the foundation for their regular fare of bread, johnnycakes, and biscuits. Why not Schnitzbrot? Grete could almost hear her mother say, "Ya, that's right, mein Grete. Lean into the vind and you vill arrive vit ease."
Humming "Stille Nacht" under her breath, Grete set about stewing, draining, and chopping the fruit. She measured. She mixed. She kneaded until the dough was soft and firm. Grete divided the dough into balls and rolled them like clay between her palms. Instead of the customary loaves, she would make a festive fruit bread wreath for each child. She braided the strips and shaped them into small circles. Covering the dough rings with dishtowels, Grete set them aside to rise near the radiating warmth of the cook stove.

Now, if only the children could have a tree. It would seem more like home. Then I think I could be satisfied.

A Christmas tree. No amount of wishing, no amount of dreaming, no amount of wanting would make it so. Of course, there was still prayer. Doubtfully, Grete closed her eyes and paused a long, silent moment.

Realizing it was nearly time to wake the family, she grabbed her long woolen coat and headed for the door. Let them sleep. She would see to a few outside chores first.

Grete lowered her head to shield her face from the grit of whirling dust. She leaned into the breath-stealing wind, headed toward the barn, and -- she gasped when she felt it. As sharp as needles, spiny tentacles pricked her stockings, scratched her legs. Tumbleweeds. Thorny, branched tumbleweeds. Those last, stubborn thistles had finally broken loose in this gale and rolled right to her feet.

With a hoot of laughter, Grete plucked them from around her ankles. She gathered tumbleweeds and carried them gingerly to the house. Already she could imagine her children giggling and stacking to make a towering tumbleweed tree. An answer to prayer. A gift from the fickle Wyoming wind. Who would have thought!

Remembering Grossmutter's heirloom icicles, she felt a fleeting tug of regret. But she shrugged and turned her thoughts toward tissue paper, shiny ribbon, and scraps of cotton batting. The children could string popcorn and make paper chains. Together, they would create new traditions. Perhaps, with a few clicks of her knitting needles and a little more thought, she could even arrange some small gifts from Father Christmas.
And at that very moment, Grete swore she heard her mother whisper, "Yust think, mein daughter. First sauer Schnitzbrot. And now a Vyoming Christmas tree. Vhat a vonderful place is home."

-- By Carol McAdoo Rehme

From - 12/19/11 - "Top Solutions for Holiday Issues":

Top Tips For Overcoming Common Holiday Issues

By Dr. LeslieBeth Wish

Few of us are immune to holiday stress. It doesn't help that Thanksgiving and Christmas are so close together. For many people, it's like getting a second-wham of anxiety and disappointment before you recover from the first one at Thanksgiving.

Most families have a few issues that are unresolved. What may be stressful to one family may not be to another, yet despite the differences, the top holiday stresses are familiar to most of us. What can you do to make the holidays a happier time? Everyone's situation is unique, but here are the top problems and solutions.

1. Unrealistic expectations of happiness, joy and acceptance

The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time. If you have unresolved issues, hopes run high that the festivities will propel family members to act with greater kindness and emotional responsibility. Unfortunately, holiday time is not necessarily the best time to try to settle grievances or have one of those long, heart-to-heart talks with a family member.

Of course, if there is a timely hot topic that has to be addressed, then speak to other family members about ways to coordinate a strategy. For example, a common issue is how to care for a close relative who has dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Some families divide up the tasks of researching doctors, nursing homes and other care facilities in the area and use emails to remain in touch.

2. Rigid rituals

Rituals sustain the family emotional glue. They provide an easy format to recall and chart family growth, connection and cooperative decision-making.

Yet, not everything can stay the same. Family members are lost and added through death, marriage, birth and feuds. Life demands flexibility. Rather than complain about a ritual, recruit the key person in the solution. Be prepared to provide a reason and ideas.

Take advantage of changes in the family to forge new traditions. Use events such as births, marriages, remarriages or college graduations as springboards for new gift-giving, different homes for the celebration or more flexible seating arrangements around the dining table. These changes might prompt innovative ways of sharing the holiday.

3. Issues of divorce and re-marriage: Emotional adjustment of children, acceptance of new partners or being alone

Divorce and remarriage challenge family interactions and rituals. Old feelings about former spouses or divorce in general can affect the family's reactions. The family of the new spouse may have rituals that conflict with established ones of the other spouse. If all the major family players get along, invite the exes. This approach is especially important for young children who have trouble adjusting to being shuttled back and forth between family events.

Including the new spouse's children can also cause problems. For example, Jesse was used to being the star athlete in the family. His mother worried that he might not welcome his new step-cousin who also happened to be the star athlete in the family of her new husband.

Solutions include making a list of potential problem areas and providing solutions. Discuss these solutions with key family members and ask for their advice. When Jesse's new, blended family came together at Thanksgiving, his mother and step-father were smart enough to tell the parents of the cousin that they were bring video footage of Jesse's recent top plays and to bring videos of their athlete son also. The son and cousin bonded over football war stories rather than compete for the spotlight.

Being alone at the holidays can intensify issues of being single or divorced. One way to lessen the discomfort is to stay in touch with other family members and ask them to help you by spending extra time with you or by not mentioning your divorce. The goal is to take charge of your unhappiness and get remedies in motion before the holiday.

4. Absent spouses and other family members due to death, sickness or war

Every family deals with the hot topics of death and illness according to their comfort zone with uncomfortable feelings. Reactions range from avoidance to healthy grief to reverence and idealization.

For example, in Renee's family, no one dared mention her grandfather who recently died in a knife fight in a federal prison. Yet, the silence about him prodded the younger grandchildren to ask why they didn't receive the candy basket that grandpa sent every year. The children asked again, and an aunt turned to them and said to be quiet.

In general, family members who are not present due to circumstances such as illness, death or war should not be overlooked. Susannah's father served in Iraq during Christmas. The family decided to set a place for him, and everyone had a chance to say a few words about him. At first, the ceremony brought tears, but then the reverence strengthened the family's emotional connection to each other.

5. Overeating

You don't have to gain weight during the holiday season. One solution is to start a Sensible Portion Club within your own family. Email everyone to join your club and pledge each other that you will all help each other not overeat. If that doesn't seem popular, recruit the few cooperative family members and agree to sit next to each other.

Don't deprive yourself and miss out on Aunt Maya's chocolate mudslide dessert. Instead, agree to have a taste--with nothing larger than a soup spoon.

6. Gifts: How much to spend and to whom to give them

Gift-giving, especially in large families, can be expensive, time-consuming and anxiety-provoking. Rather than being an overwhelming experience, gift-giving can become part of the family tradition. Some families put everyone's name in a hat and each person draws the name of one person to receive a gift. Others set spending limits or agree to buy stocking stuffers and gift cards to favorite stores. Sam's family pooled their money and took long weekends at a favorite place.

Giving to charities can also become a family tradition. Marsha's parents decided that in order to get a gift, you first had to donate a toy, clothing or household goods to a local charity.

Don't lose sight that gift giving should be fun and not a popularity contest. You can't please everyone.

7. Travel related problems: Expenses, distances, not enough time off from work

Holiday travel can often feel like a cruel test of your patience, pocketbook and perspiration. Travel delays, missed flights and cancellations are so common that people expect them now.

To ease the travel burden:

• Mail gifts far ahead of time and insure them.
• Pack medicine, toothbrush, make up and a change of clothes in your carry on.
• Don't overpack.
• Try not to take the last flight or train to your destination. Also get the names and phone numbers of hotels in both your area and the city where you must make a connection.
• Arrange vacations ahead of time at work.
• Budget yourself.
• Bring a good book or work to do.
• Most importantly, bring a smile and a sense of humor.
Hope you enjoy your holidays!

About the Author:

Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, the Official Guide to Family, is a nationally honored therapist, specializing in all aspects of healthy families, including parenting, sex, marriage, relationships, smart dating, careers, trauma and divorce. Her groundbreaking work in treating sexual issues at The New England Institute of Family Relations and her provocative book "Incest, Work and Women," earned her recognition as a pioneer in the field of women's sexual, family and career issues. Her next book project on No-nonsense women aims to help today's strong, independent women who are smart at work but not in love. For more information or to become a participant in the research for this book, go to

From - 12/19/11 - "15 Minutes at a Time to stop the Meltdown!":

Dear FlyLady,

Last evening I cried. My head was swimming- I felt like it was impossible to work hard enough to do all that needed to be done. I was having my own little nuclear melt down. My Dear Husband and Dear Children tiptoed around me, I did what I had to do - but felt like I was trying to do it under water! I went to bed praying, "PLEASE! I don't want to ruin Christmas for the children!"

This morning I woke up feeling better - the snow is falling, the kids are excited and happy and Christmas is just few days away! One of the first things I did was turn on the email, I really needed a "dose of FlyLady". The rest of the morning has been spent 15 minutes at a time - not in a fury of activity and muddled thoughts - but focused and simple- one thing at a time, 15 minutes at a time. What a difference it has made! I can sing as I work, tease the children and encourage them. It's easier for them 15 minutes at a time too! Instead of hearing Mom say, "Clean the bathroom - oh, have you emptied the garbage yet? And by the way - you still have a stack of clean laundry to put away on the stairs!" It's nice to give them a list to check off as they go - and then get out of their way!

Christmas was meant to be joy, and I went into it with that attitude. But the closer it gets, the easier it is to feel overwhelmed and stressed! It sure helps to gather my thoughts onto a list and into comfortable routines.

Thanks, FlyLady, for the doses of reality you give us every day. I sure appreciate you. (And my family likes the flying Mom a lot better too!)

Love you! Merry, Merry Christmas to all of you!!

FlyLady here: Spend this last week before Christmas taking BabySteps.

Do what you can and make sure you and your family have fun! Celebrate the season with lots of love...

From - 12/19/11 - "Perfectionism and Perspective":

Dear Friends,

As we are Cruising through the Holidays we need to make sure that we keep a few things in perspective. Perfectionism. Ahh - there it is that terrible "P" word. How do we keep our perspective about our own perfectionism. There are so many of us that don't believe we can possibly be perfectionists. I mean we are SHEs!! We don't worry about being perfect, we are just trying to survive! Right? WRONG!

There is something about the Holiday season that makes us want to jump through hoops that we would never aim for any other time of year. We scour through magazines looking for new and exciting ways to prepare a turkey. We love watching those DIY (Do It Yourself) television shows on how to make an oh, so lovely centerpiece. We aspire to making the cutest and tastiest holiday cookies - ever!! OK, I could go on and on but the reality is this, a turkey is a turkey and most people really prefer their holiday meals the way they are used to. A lovely centerpiece? Sure, we all would love to have a centerpiece for our holiday table that makes our guests just gush in awe and amazement, but in reality let's aim for our dining room tables being set and ready before the turkey is out of the oven. Holiday cookies - the last time I checked I am always thrilled to just have holiday cookies that are baked by me and not the local bakery because I could not find the time. As for them being the cutest ever, well, I'll settle for delicious over cute. There is nothing wrong with wanting a great holiday season and all the trimmings that we can handle. Keeping your perspective is the key.

If you are going to stay up too late at night, not getting enough sleep just so you can re-arrange the dried holly berries and leaves for your centerpiece - you might have lost perspective.

If you are spending time and money that you can't afford on the cutest cookies ever - you might have lost perspective.

If you are not letting your children participate in the decorating for the holidays because they don't do it "right - you might have lost perspective.

If you are yelling at your kids because you have lost your patience for the very last time over spilled sprinkles for the cookies - you might have lost perspective.

If you have gone behind your family and have re-done the Holiday decorations because they weren't what YOU wanted them to be - you might have lost perspective.

If you have spent a hundred dollars on Holiday magazines that will show you the perfect table setting, recipes, and gifts for this year - you might have lost perspective.

If you are rolling your eyes and sighing at your husband because he just won't help you do anything (because you haven't actually told him what you need) - you might have lost perspective.

I think by now you might have gotten the point. FLYing will get you well on you way to having a more peaceful and joyous Holiday season. Loving yourself enough to get good rest. Loving yourself enough to know that there are NO perfect holidays. Norman Rockwell had to paint the perfect Holiday scene because in reality, we are real people with real lives that make up real families that are not perfect! FLYing means keeping your perspective close at heart and perfectionism at arm's length!


You are not behind! I don't want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are. O.K.?

From - 12/19/11 - "Holiday Countdown: Shortcuts for Dinner":

Dear Friends:

We have been Cruising Through the Holidays since mid October and I hope you all have been enjoying yourselves! We want you to know that we do understand that even when you have a plan set in place, life will sometimes take you by surprise and you find yourself feeling as though you are behind the eight ball with no where to go.

This week we are going to help you through the last week of getting ready for Christmas, with some menu planning, crisis cleaning and much more. Please understand that we are SHE's, FlyLady and I more than anyone know what it feels like to be overworked and overwhelmed. We can jump in where we are on any given day! If you have found yourself behind and are feeling out of sorts, it is okay we are here for you!

Some of you may find yourselves working 2 or 3 jobs, working longer hours, have school activities for the kids, have too many activities and commitments, and other things that are draining you of your energy levels.

Today, I am going to address getting prepared for your Christmas Dinner. Some of you may have your dinner on Christmas Eve, Christmas day or both. Some of you may want to have both and then also a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast ala the famous Norman Rockwell paintings. Please remember that those paintings are exactly that - paintings! That is not real life!

There are so many options out there to help you save time and energy. We all would like to be the one that can prepare everything from scratch and impress our families with these beautiful dinner presentations but for those of us that need some help and time savers; let's explore what is out there.

In the freezer section of the grocery store there are turkeys that are sold in a bag that you cook the turkey in FROZEN! I am not kidding, you do not have to thaw the turkey, you take it from the freezer, put it into a roasting pan and put it in the oven. They sell these three different ways - whole turkeys, turkey breasts and boneless turkey breasts. They even come with gravy packets and a pop up timer. These turkeys are almost fool proof and a huge convenience.

Staying in the freezer section there are some fabulous frozen vegetables out there right now that are so easy to prepare. They come in bags that you pop into the microwave, the vegetables steam in the bag and voila in less than 5 minutes you have a vegetable that you can "dress" up as though you have slaved all day. An example would be to cook the green beans in the bag and then toss with a bit splash of lemon juice and top with some slivered almonds. Quick and easy! These are sold in green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, a medley, carrots and corn. You can mix and match and provide a tasty and wonderful vegetable for your family very easily without pots and pans. There are also fresh vegetables in the produce section that come in steaming bags. Again an easy way to provide veggies with very little work or dishes to clean up.

One of my favorite ways to provide a basket of steaming rolls for the table is to buy frozen yeast rolls, these come in a pan that you pop in the oven and then place in a basket for the table. MMMMM fresh and hot yeast rolls that taste like you were mixing a yeast dough all day and oh so easy! Again no dishes or pans to scrub.

Mashed Potatoes can be made in a number of ways without spending two hours peeling potatoes, boiling water, cooking, and mashing. My particular favorite shortcut to mashed potatoes can be found in the meat section of the grocery store. There are several brands of mashed potatoes that are already made and waiting for you in plastic tubs that only have to be heated in the containers. You can jazz them up with cheese or garlic if you want. You pop them in the microwave, dump them into a serving dish and bam! You have mashed potatoes that have great texture and taste with out the pots and pans.

Stuffing is something that is always made differently in all families, some like it baked where it is cut into squares and others like it fluffy in a bowl. Some like to make the stuffing from day old bread and others use it from a box or bag. I am going to tell you how I have made it for years and my family goes crazy for it. I happen to not like stuffing and I find it hard sometimes to prepare things that I myself do not eat. I used to make a box mix of stuffing and just get by with that. After reading magazines and recipes I found a way to jazz up a box mix that no one has ever noticed that I do not spend hours slaving making the stuffing. I take a medium to large onion and chop it finely, then 8 stalks of celery and chop finely, sauté in a pan with half a stick of butter, prepare the stuffing mix as the box instructs then add in the sautéed vegetables, loosely pile into a oven safe baking dish and lightly toast the top. Done. I use two boxes of stuffing mix, one cornbread flavor and the other turkey flavor. I use canned chicken broth for the water and add in a finely grated apple. I honestly can't tell you how it tastes because I don't eat it, but the family raves over it!

We are a family that has a ham and a turkey for our dinner. Some of us like ham and others like turkey. I purchase a small already cooked and spiral sliced ham from the meat section of the grocery store. I do not bake the entire thing in the oven. I peel off the slices, arrange them on a plate and heat them in the microwave. I place the heated slices on a platter for the table. No one (until now) would ever know that I do not bake the ham myself. This is a huge time saver and again a way to save on roasting pans and also the fight for oven space.

Gravy - there are so many options out there for gravy; canned, jarred or mixes. If you insist on homemade that is great but please have a back up mix in the cabinet just in case.

These are some simple ways for you to save on time and energy for most of the traditional foods that are prepared for Christmas dinners. I love to cook and love to please my family, I want them to have memories of fun and enjoyable dinners, if that means utilizing some shortcuts so that I am not stressed and yelling, I am all for using whatever I need to do to make sure that Mom is still smiling by the time we sit down to dinner. I used some of these shortcuts for Thanksgiving and was amazed at how much easier some of these methods were that allowed me not to be exhausted by the time dinner was over.

FlyLady and I want you to have a season full of peace and joy, not one of stress and bad memories because we were too short tempered and ill prepared to enjoy ourselves and our families. Take the time to really look at what you have planned or if you don't have a plan, make one and look at what you can do to save yourself time and energy!


You are not behind! I don't want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are. O.K.?

From - 12/19/11 - "Holiday Reality Check: Cards, Cards and More Cards":

Dear Friends,

Every now and then we all need a Reality Check! Sometimes we are just FLYing along and get caught up in things that actually weigh us down and keep us from truly FLYing. This really seems to happen to us during the Holiday Season. As we are preparing and promising ourselves that we won't get sucked into the perfectionism that actually takes the fun out things, we will get sidetracked by the most simple of things and before we know it we are stuck in .. oh no.. hang on... Perfectionism! Just when we thought it wouldn't happen to us again.. BAM! There is is, chasing us like a bad habit!

The subject of today's Reality Check is this..... Holiday Cards! (Christmas cards, Hanukkah cards, Kwanza cards, New Years cards, etc.) Can we talk here? I mean really talk! Before the Halloween items in the stores had time to collect dust on them, right after all the Back to school items were tucked away, the tables and tables of Holiday cards arrived. As SHEs we walk past them shaking our heads and thinking "it is not even November yet and they are already putting out Holiday items." I am telling you that pretty soon you are going to see snowmen in the back to school ads! Sorry, got a little sidetracked there myself with my own rant! Anyway somewhere there is a hormone in our SHE selves that makes us stop and look at these tables and tables of cards. We start to get a little short of breath and almost dizzy with all of the beautiful and cute scenes on these cards. We picture ourselves in the perfect Hallmark moment of sending out these cards, beautifully addressed, with elegant or cute return address labels that we think we are going to make and we must not forget those perfect stamps that match the theme of our cards! OH! It will just be so wonderful! We will send them out on time, which means we will impress everyone will how special and perfect these cards are. We will write each and every single one with care, they will all be personalized to each recipient with kind and generous wishes for the season. OH! We are almost giddy with excitement... it will just be ...sooooo perfect! OUCH! WAKE UP!!! Snap out of it!! I know I almost took you to a place that I might not ever get you back from!! The reality is this, we go through all of these emotions and then we set ourselves up to fail! Don't look to send the most perfect card, aim for actually getting them in the mail!!

Let's get something straight right here and right now! Holiday cards are wonderful to send and wonderful to receive. My husband has a rule in our house that he gets to open to Holiday cards first, he LOVES them! (Funny about that - he loves to get them, just not crazy about sending them LOL) I love to look at them, I love to buy them, I love to write in them yet somewhere along the line I get stuck in the sending them process. I know I am not the only one. The bottom line is this - keep your holiday card list of who you send to reasonable. Keep your card buying reasonable. There are no perfect cards, the person that is receiving your card would just love to know they heard from you during the season, not whether or not you penmanship is at its all time best or if your stamps on the outside of the envelope match the card. The person that you are sending a card to would actually love to hear from you in May just as much as they would in December. Don't allow your perfectionism of finding, addressing, writing and sending the most wonderful card actually keep you from doing it!


From - 12/19/11 - "Let There Be Peace On Earth! Let It Begin With Me!":

Dear Friends,

Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me! This week is going to be busy! Take some time for you! Everyone will be blessed when you are rested!

I love you all!

From - 12/19/11 - "Pampering #18":

Dear Flylady & Staff,

It's paper yourself month so for this week I had my annual mammogram. Some might not think of this as pampering, but really is - pampering is taking care of me!

Flybaby in MN


Dear FlyLady,

I'm not sure if this is "pampering" but I had to share how my thinking is changing.

Our teen son caught a cold and after a few days it was obvious he needed to see a Dr. We took him yesterday, he got some meds and felt much better just overnight! Now, while I was in the doctor's office with him experiencing the exact same symptoms, it did not occur to me to make an appointment for myself. This morning I dragged myself out of bed for the 4th day in a row coughing and breathing heavily and thought, "Oh, if I could just stay in bed ONE day and have hot broth brought to me....." I wasn't mad or anything but I just know there is no one to do that when the mom gets sick! But I did NOT want to waste these last few days before Christmas feeling so run down. Well, my mind went to Fly Lady and I wondered if I was being a martyr! No one to take care of me? Sure there is! ME!!! So I called the doctor, got errands done waiting for my appointment, filled prescriptions, and am now going to take a nap, maybe even a hot bath! I'm sure I will feel better tomorrow but meanwhile I will focus a bit on myself so that a little cold doesn't develop into a long drawn out ordeal (very possible with asthma). And already I feel better just knowing I'm not shoving myself and my needs under the rug. To be truthful I thought I wasn't worth the expense (we are self-employed and our insurance is only for catastrophes) but I asked for a generic and then went to a less expensive pharmacy so saved some $ that way. I am, however, worth the office visit and I can not for the life of me understand how I ever thought otherwise. Your influence is 1000 times better than a shrink! I thank you for your common sense words and wisdom. If Momma ain't happy (or healthy!) ain't NOBODY happy!

Lovin all up on myself in PA.


Kelly here: Our habit this month is pampering.

The idea is not to forget about yourself during this very busy time!

I am so proud of you.


From - 12/19/11:

One horse can carry more money on its nose than the stage coach carried in all its history.

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!

   Y'all take care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!  We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                                 Love to all, Carol





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


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S'vivon Sov Sov Sov

Dreidel Spin

L. Kipnis / Traditional Lyrics

S'vivon, sov, sov, sov
Chanukah hu chag tov
Chanukah hu chag tov
S'vivon, sov, sov, sov

Dreidel spin. Spin, spin, spin
Chanukah, Chanukah
Dreidel spin. Spin, spin, spin
Chanukah, Chanukah.

Nes gadol ha ya sham
Chag simcha hu-la-am
Nes gadol ha ya sham
Chag simcha hu-la-am

Nes gadol ha ya sham
A great miracle happened there
Nes gadol ha ya sham
A great miracle happened.

"S'vivon (S'veevon) is the Hebrew word for "Dreydel (sic)."

“S'vivon” midi courtesy of - 12/24/05

"S'vivon" lyrics and Dreidle clip art courtesy of - 12/26/05

Small Dreidle clip art used to form Divider Line courtesy of Google Images - 12/26/05

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

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

Crying Baby clip art courtesy of - 09/28/05 (resaved 02/27/09)

Marine Corps Seal clip art courtesy of the late Herbert Hice of MI - one of my Famous Marines who served in the South Pacific during WWII.
Thanks again, Herbie!!

Army Seal clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06 (still missing...)
Thanks, Al!
Replaced by Norm Covert ('61) of MD - 02/09/09
Thanks, Norm!

Gold Star of David courtesy of - well, I cannot seem to locate that information right now, but it's been in my files since 12/26/05

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!

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2011

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