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12/21/11 - NNHS Newsletter - Winter Solstice

Grant, O God/dess, thy Protection
and in protection, Strength
and in strength, Understanding
and in understanding, Knowledge
and in knowledge, the Knowledge of Justice
and in the knowledge of justice, the Love of it
and in the love of it, the Love of all Existences
and in the love of all existences,
the Love of God/dess and all Goodness.

- Nichols, 305

Dear Friends and Schoolmates, 

   Today's Newsletter, marking the day's Winter Solstice, is especially for   Domi O'Brien ('64) of NH and her daughter,   Avens, but as we celebrate everything together here with our big happy Typhoon family, Good Yule to all!

   Domi sent me this BONUS VIDEO last night:

BONUS #1 - - Ring Out Solstice Bells - Jethro Tull

   No free midi file was available, but I think you'll enjoy that video, as well as this one she sent me on 12/05/11:

BONUS #2 - - Winter Solstice & Yule Time Blessings - Winter Born by Unto Ashes AND Night Stillness by Hiroyuki Kikuta

  Thanks, Domi!


This song is a dance to celebrate winter Solstice (mostly on the 22nd and sometimes on the 21st of December) and appeals to rejoice the lengthening of the days, c.q. the return of the light. In it druïds dance while the narrator calls for people to gather underneath mistletoe and give praise to the sun. For many European nations like the Celts, and the Germanic peoples this festival in ancient times was one of the major ones of the year, full of rites and ceremonies of which some survived the ages like the bonfire/fireworks. During its spread over Europe, Christianity claimed this festival by 'implanting' Christmas as a festival of light on the 25th of December. The back of the sleeve of the "Solstice Bells"-EP (released in 1976) has a brief anecdote describing how the Church coöpted the pagan winter solstice celebrating, Yule, and replaced it with Christmas...



The Winter Solstice is a Minor High Day, usually occurring around December 21st or so of the civil calendar. Also known as Yule and Midwinter, this is a day sacred to Sun, Thunder, and Fire Deities. Large fires were built outdoors and Yule Logs lit indoors, in order to rekindle the dying Sun and help it to return brightly to the Northern skies. Burnt logs and ashes from the Midwinter fires were kept as a talisman against lightning and house fires. It was also a custom in many parts of Paleopagan Europe to decorate live evergreen trees in honor of the Gods (cutting down a tree to bring indoors is a blasphemous desecration of the original concept). This is considered, along with Midsummer, the best day of the year to cut mistletoe. Among some Mediterranean Paleopagans, a date on or near this was celebrated as the Birthday of Mithras and/or the Feast of Saturnalia (which the Christians co-opted to use for the birth of Christ).


   Happy Birthday tomorrow to   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!

   Happy Birthday this week to:

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! 


Saturday, Dec. 21, 1861

The death of Albert, Prince Consort to Queen Elizabeth, may have had the nation in official mourning but this did not keep the Empire's bureaucracy from their work. The greatest empire of the day was not about to take much more misbehavior from an upstart ex-colony, in this case over the seizure on the high seas of two passengers from one of Her Majesty's mail ships. Lord Lyons, negotiator, wrote to his superior Lord Russell, the Foreign Minister: "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."

Sunday, Dec. 21, 1862

Jefferson Davis was visiting Vicksburg, and perhaps it helped being on the scene to remind the Confederate president that there was more to his country that needed defending than the area immediately surrounding Richmond. He wrote to Gen. T. H. Holmes today that he felt it was "...clearly developed that the enemy has two principal objects in view, one to get control of the Missi. River, and the other to capture the capital." Preventing the former, which would "dismember" the Confederacy, would require holding defensive works at Vicksburg and Port Hudson. Seeing this and being able to carry it out were, of course, two different things.

Monday, Dec. 21, 1863

Warfare in wintertime was relatively rare, due in large part to the ease with which inclement weather could make movement of large forces impossible. Common sense on the other hand required continual patrols around the areas where the forces were encamped, lest a combination of good weather, good luck and ignorance of military custom cause somebody to sneak up on one. When patrols from one side ran into parties from the other, hostilities might be undertaken, but were regarded as of little account. Most such activities appeared to be going on in Tennessee, where encounters are recorded as happening in Cleveland, as well as Fayette, Mississippi.

Wednesday, Dec. 21, 1864

What was anticipated to be a major battle for the city of Savannah, Georgia, failed to take place today since when Union forces advanced upon the town they found nobody there to fight with. This was surprising as they were under the impression that they had the forces under Confederate Gen. Hardee backed up against the Savannah River. Lacking bridges, Hardee had constructed an ingenious arrangement of vessels known as rice flats. The improvised pontoons allowed the 10,000 man force to escape and even bring along some quantity of artillery. Still, 250 heavy guns and a large quantity of cotton had to be left behind, a fact Sherman would take into account when writing to his commander in chief tomorrow.

      From Mickey ('54) and   Carol Moell ('56) Marcella of VA - 12/20/11 - "RE: 1963 Anchor":

Dear Carol,
  Jimmy Walker ('62 - of VA) was trying to help Bobby Ball ('63 - of NM) get a 1963 NNHS Anchor yearbook.  We saw that on the notes that you send around to us.  Thought you would like this for your future information:  There is a place in Phoebus, VA by the name of The Way We Were Book Store.  They collect old items that people would be interested in and NNHS yearbooks would be on that list.  In the future, you might like to keep this info. on hand to help others:
The Way We Were Book Store
32 E. Mellon Street
Phoebus, VA
Phone:  757-726-2300
I did call that store today and the man said that as of today, he has no NNHS yearbooks on hand.  We have been lucky in the past and those interested should keep checking because they have a good turnover.
We have gotten several from them and I believe we have all of the NNHS yearbooks now.  Hope this will help others in the future. 
Carol and Mickey Marcella 

Good work, Carol!  Merry Christmas. 

   Thank you so much, Carol and Mickey! I knew of the existence of such a business, but I wasn't aware of the name or contact information. I've stored this in a safe place. Merry Christmas, Sweetie-Pies!

       From My Daughter, Adrienne Harty (Hillsboro HS, IL / American School, IL) of NC - currently serving an eighteen-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Seattle, Washington - 12/19/11 - "Baptism blue and Merry Christmas to you!":

Haha Did you like the subject line? hehe I'm a dork, I know.
  Anyway, Ismael's baptism was AWESOME! There were several investigators there (granted they were all for other sets of missionaries, but still) and Ismael's family. Ismael - only 16 years old - is one of the sweetest young men you'll ever meet! I'm going to be so sad if I get transferred out next week. Anyway, he said after the baptism, "You guys were right! When I got baptized my whole world was turned upside down for the better! It (the Holy Ghost) feels like I'm being hugged every second! It's like my own personal body guard!"

How amazing is that!? Less than two weeks since we met him and he got baptized (by his best friend, Brady). Oh, did I mention that less than a week before we met him, he had prayed to know what church to join or what path Heavenly Father wanted him on?! He recognized that we were placed in his path for a reason and that Heavenly Father wants him to be happy and he already has several church friends (who neither one of us knew they were friends, otherwise we would have had several member present lessons a lot sooner). Ismael is amazing.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
BACK ROW:  Brady and Ismael;
Sister Keller, Sister Hirano,
and Sister Harty

Brady is Ismael's best friend (we didn't know at first) and when Ismael showed up to mutual, Brady asked him what he was doing there. Ismael (before baptism mind you) answered "I'm a Mormon!". He still hasn't seem the commercials or advertisement. Pretty amazing, huh? The dedication and love of the ward members here is absolutely wonderful!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. God loves us all. If you don't believe this fully...pray about it. "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God..." (James 1: 5)

I love y'all! Have a Merry Christmas and be safe!

Sister Harty

What fabulous news! I love all the shining faces! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Sister Adrienne! Much love and success, many blessings - and Merry Christmas!

        From My Oldest Grandson, Andrew Harty (Collinsville HS, IL - '10) of IL - currently serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Frankfurt, Germany - 12/20/11:

Cool, It sounds like a lot is happening [with you and       Grandpa (Paul Harty - Bardolph HS, IL - '61 - of NC) and       Eleanor (Buckley Nowitzky -'59 - of NC)]. And I love hearing about baptisms and reactivation. Thank you for the news. Things are going well here. We have a couple of rock solid investigators and life is good.

...It is awesome that (Adrienne) got a baptism, and may many more follow. Hopefully I will get an experience like that soon. I had a way sweet lesson with Ade who was a pro soccer player, and he said we were an immediate answer to his prayers asking for forgiveness and to find the path back to Christ, but I have been unable to get a hold of him (again). Once I do I think he will be ready quickly. Love you.

Elder Andrew Harty

   Great news, Elder Andrew! Much love and success, many blessings - and Merry Christmas to you, too!

    From Norm Covert ('61) of MD - 12/19/11 - "A DOUBLE PEDESTAL REMEMBRANCE":


Posted: 18 Dec 2011 12:30 PM PST


MY FATHER didn’t invent “man caves” as we know them, but The Rev. Harry M. Covert Sr. showed me the value of a home hideaway. His desk, not power tools, was a convincing and integral part of his personal space. It helped shape his life.

Dad with brother Harry, April 1940. He is wearing the uniform of the 111th Field Artillery, 29th Division, Virginia National Guard.

A couple weeks ago I moved his desk out of my man cave, it having been fully restored and matched with his chair, also resurrected. They had occupied space in the flotsam and jetsam of my garage more than two years – call it cogitation time.

Completion comes 26 years after his untimely death in December 1985. The items are memorials of sorts for his lifetime of service. His studies preceded many projects developed at the desk. A marble memorial aside from his simple grave marker might be more seemly, but he never suffered inflated ego.

We believe the rejuvenated plywood desk and chair would please him.

How close we came to putting the desk and chair on the curb for disposal in the county landfill! Consider the chair had a broken leg; several drawers of the desk were jammed; the three-eighths-inch plywood was splintered; and the shellac finish was scratched and discolored. 

Dad was a newlywed, just discharged from the Army Air Corps in 1939, when he was hired on at the Newport News, Va., shipyard. He and Mother were able to stretch his painter’s wages to purchase a desk. His choices were limited, but he accepted the idea of a kit he could assemble. The six-drawer, double pedestal desk was ordered from the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalogue.

Dad’s zeal to become a minister sparked the need for a desk. He was resolved to earn educational certification and achieve ordination. His rural Illinois schooling fell short of the requirements.

His goal was rooted in the dramatic religious conversion he experienced in 1937 at The Foursquare Church in Urbana-Champaign, Ill. At the time he was assigned to the Army Air Corps Radio School at nearby Chanute Field.

Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, founder of The Foursquare Church. (Archive image)

He felt his “call” to the ministry more strongly when he was assigned to the 2nd Bomb Squadron at Langley Field, Hampton, Va. He enrolled in The Foursquare Church’s educational institute, begun by its founder Sister Aimee Semple McPherson.

He continued his studies after graduation and in 1943 found a mentor who sponsored his ordination in the Church of God of Anderson, Ind.

Friday and Saturday night street meetings became his introduction to Christian witness through music and words. His success led to his being called to conduct services for a Full-Gospel Fellowship church in Norfolk. His first congregation met in an empty store front building in Newport News.

The First Church of God, Newport News, has its roots in the makeshift chapel he built in our garage; musical accompaniment provided by his guitar. In 1955 he joined a consortium of independent Church of God pastors, who still gather annually at their Camp Meeting in Manassas, Va.

He continued the association until his retirement as pastor of the Wythe Church of God, Hampton. Afterward, he accepted the call to be chaplain for the Union Rescue Mission two blocks from home where he offered his final sermon and played his last piano accompaniment.

Author (left) presents plaque
in 1983 commemorating 40th
Anniversary of Dad's Ordination.

His work at the desk led him to develop study guides, write Sunday school lesson plans and sermon outlines, many of which we still possess. He compiled hymnals from pages of tattered paperback song books for use at the pulpit and in parlor meetings. His study of early scripture led him to develop a unique Greek vocabulary lexicon, which required years of effort.

A skilled archivist, Dad stocked his impressive library with dozens of three-ring binders, their pages secured by sticky round tabs to guard against wear and tear. His work was put on paper using the hunt and peck typing method on his $25 Underwood typewriter. He reproduced much work using an Army surplus mimeograph, also mounted on the desk. He spilled some of its ink in the desk drawer, a permanent stain.

This Underwood matches that bought by Dad for $25 in two installments from church colleague Gladys Weiss.

My first recognition of the desk and its purpose was at our house in Newport News about 1948. Dad set up a study in the uninsulated attic above the kitchen and wore a wool Army pullover to ward off cold. Not much heat came from the chimney a few feet from the desk.

He saved “coffee money” to buy an antique Lantern Slide projector, replacing the oil lamp with an electric fixture in front of the parabolic reflector. He took advantage of sales, ordering glass slides from Blackhawk Films of Davenport, Iowa. He assembled presentations of Jesus’ Parables and versions of the Christmas and Easter stories. He presented them at Sunday or Wednesday night services.

Dad (right) talks with the Virginia Sen. Harry F. Byrd, Jr. at Brother Harry's Daily Press Hampton News Bureau opening in 1968. At left is former Daily Press General Manager, the late Robert B. Smith. He hired author as news reporter in 1963.

My brother and I were moved “upstairs” into Dad’s study space, the bed legs secured on joists, when the family outgrew the two bedrooms in 1955. He gathered scrap lumber and fashioned a walkway and flooring to the opposite end of the attic, placing the desk and his reference material by the south window.

Our next house had a finished attic. Again Dad put his desk on one end and the boys’ bedroom occupied the other. His studies continued as he scoured local “schlock hauses” for used religious texts and commentaries.

The family’s final move put Dad’s desk in a small alcove on the second floor, but his work had outgrown the space. The desk was full, still utilitarian, but he added tables to accommodate his audio tape ministry including recording equipment.

I took ownership of the desk by default. Mother moved to Massachusetts and it sat alone with the trash in the vacant bedroom. It had seen better days, being virtually unused since Dad’s death. Drawers were full of old paper, envelopes, pencil stubs and extenders, non-working pens, dried up refills, pen nibs, paper clips, labels, old rubber stamps and an array of bits and pieces that took root in the drawers.

Propped in garage, desk reveals repairs to the drawer guides, added support strut and first coat of Tung Oil.

My nephews propped it in the garage giving me time to determine what to do. My neophyte wood working projects had yielded positive outcomes, telling me I couldn’t mess up the desk. I am not a woodshop artisan, but with some quality coaching, I took on the challenge.

Refurbished desk and chair
 with original pen set and pencil/correspondence holder.

I was able to repair the drawer frames and guides. The old finish came off easily and the succession of sand paper smoothed out rough edges, achieving an interesting desk top we dubbed “Tiger Striped” wood. Brass drawer pulls were added, a brace fashioned to secure the two pedestals and footers added support.

The chair underwent the same intense hand work. It was reassembled with new wooden dowels, its seat restored to its original look. Several coats of Tung Oil turned out beautiful and functional pieces of furniture.

Now you know why the desk couldn’t be discarded. What will be the next chapter in the desk’s odyssey? –©Norman M. Covert 2011

#  #  #

(Editor’s Note: Readers ordinarily would find a Christmas tale in this space, at this time. This tribute to my father is a Christmas story of sorts and one some might recommend better off to my genealogy writings. Nevertheless, it is offered for your possible edification and hope that you might share my admiration for his path in service to mankind.)

You may contact Mr. Covert at 

   Thank you so much for this charming and moving remembrance, Norman! Merry Christmas!

   From Eva Ellis Madagan ('61) of FL - 12/20/11 - "Clever Ideas to Make Life Easier (#1 in a Series of 24)":

  Some of these ideas are really good.

Rubbing a walnut over scratches in your furniture will disguise dings and scrapes.

   EXCELLENT! Thank you so much, Eva - I do love clever tips!





"A Slice of Life"

Jean heaved another world-weary sigh. Tucking a strand of shiny black hair behind her ear, she frowned at the teetering tower of Christmas cards waiting to be signed. What was the point? How could she sign only one name? A "couple" required two people, and she was just one.

The legal separation from Don had left her feeling vacant and incomplete. Maybe she would skip the cards this year. And the holiday decorating. Truthfully, even a tree felt like more than she could manage. She had canceled out of the caroling party and the church nativity pageant. Christmas was to be shared, and she had no one to share it with.

The doorbell's insistent ring startled her. Padding to the door in her thick socks, Jean cracked it open against the frigid December night. She peered into the empty darkness of the porch. Instead of a friendly face -- something she could use about now -- she found only a jaunty green gift bag perched on the railing. From whom? she wondered. And why?

Under the bright kitchen light, she pulled out handfuls of shredded gold tinsel, feeling for a gift. Instead, her fingers plucked an envelope from the bottom. Tucked inside was a typed letter. It was a...story?

The little boy was new to the Denmark orphanage, and Christmas was drawing near, Jean read. Already caught up in the tale, she settled into a kitchen chair.

From the other children, he heard tales of a wondrous tree that would appear in the hall on Christmas Eve and of the scores of candles that would light its branches. He heard stories of the mysterious benefactor who made it possible each year.

The little boy's eyes opened wide at the mere thought of all that splendor. The only Christmas tree he had ever seen was through the fogged windows of other people's homes. There was even more, the children insisted. More? Oh, yes! Instead of the orphanage's regular fare of gruel, they would be served fragrant stew and crusty, hot bread that special night.

Last, and best of all, the little boy learned, each of them would receive a holiday treat. He would join the line of children to get his very own....

Jean turned the page. Instead of a continuation, she was startled to read: "Everyone needs to celebrate Christmas, wouldn't you agree? Watch for Part II." She refolded the paper while a faint smile teased the corner of her mouth.

The next day was so busy that Jean forgot all about the story. That evening, she rushed home from work. If she hurried, she'd probably have enough time to decorate the mantle. She pulled out the box of garland, only to drop it when the doorbell rang. Opening the door, she found herself looking at a red gift bag. She reached for it eagerly and pulled out the piece of paper. get his very own orange, Jean read. An orange? That's a treat? she thought incredulously.

An orange! Of his very own? Yes, the others assured him. There would be one apiece. The boy closed his eyes against the wonder of it all. A tree. Candles. A filling meal. And an orange of his very own.

He knew the smell, tangy sweet, but only the smell. He had sniffed oranges at the merchant's stall in the marketplace. Once he had even dared to rub a single finger over the brilliant, pocked skin. He fancied for days that his hand still smelled of orange. But to taste one, to eat one? Heaven.

The story ended abruptly, but Jean didn't mind. She knew more would follow.

The next evening, Jean waited anxiously for the sound of the doorbell. She wasn't disappointed. This time, though, the embossed gold bag was heavier than the others had been. She tore into the envelope resting on top of the tissue paper.

Christmas Eve was all the children had been promised. The piney scent of fir competed with the aroma of lamb stew and homey yeast bread. Scores of candles diffused the room with golden halos. The boy watched in amazement as each child in turn eagerly claimed an orange and politely said "thank you."

The line moved quickly, and he found himself in front of the towering tree and the equally imposing headmaster.

"Too bad, young man, too bad. But the count was in before you arrived. It seems there are no more oranges. Next year. Yes, next year you will receive an orange."

Brokenhearted, the orphan raced up the stairs empty-handed to bury both his face and his tears beneath his pillow.

Wait! This wasn't how she wanted the story to go. Jean felt the boy's pain, his aloneness.

The boy felt a gentle tap on his back. He tried to still his sobs. The tap became more insistent until, at last, he pulled his head from under the pillow.

He smelled it before he saw it. A cloth napkin rested on the mattress. Tucked inside was a peeled orange, tangy sweet. It was made of segments saved from the others. A slice donated from each child. Together they added up to make one whole, complete fruit.

An orange of his very own.
Jean swiped at the tears trickling down her cheeks. From the bottom of the gift bag she pulled out an orange -- a foil-covered chocolate orange--already separated into segments. And for the first time in weeks, she smiled. Really smiled.

She set about making copies of the story, wrapping individual slices of the chocolate orange. There was Mrs. Potter across the street, spending her first Christmas alone in 58 years. There was Melanie down the block, facing her second round of radiation. Her running partner, Jan, single-parenting a difficult teen. Lonely Mr. Bradford losing his eyesight, and Sue, sole care-giver to an aging mother....

A piece from her might help make one whole.

 -- By Carol McAdoo Rehme


     From Me ('65) of IL - 12/21/10:
   Today's story reminded me again of some words I shared with you just over seven years ago:
   I'm sure you're not all as obtuse as I am, and this thought is no doubt superfluous, but I'll just include it as a reminder to myself.

   This time of year is not always a joyous one for everyone. There are those who struggle bravely just to maintain an outward smile, and those who may have formerly delighted in this season but who now find it filled with pain and heartache. There are many whose moods swing sharply and suddenly from gaiety and merriment to gloom and desperation. As we hurry through our ever busy days, let's try to remember to be aware of those around us. Let us even seek out those we may not see, those whose spirits may be lifted by a smile, a hug, a phone call, a note, a card, an email, a loaf of homemade bread, or even something as simple as diamonds and pearls - oh, no, I mean a plate of cookies. Your own burdens will be made lighter as you pause to share a bit of yourself.

   Y'all take care of each other!


From - 12/19/11 - "Your Holiday Comfort Zone":

7 Tips to Celebrate Holidays Comfortably

By Paula Eder

Time management tips couldn't be more important than right now - just in time for the holiday season! How would you like to transform the stressful parts of holiday get-togethers into truly celebratory occasions for yourself?

Well, you can do it ... and you can start right now by creating a holiday plan that's geared to your comfort zone.

The first thing you'll need to do is get familiar with your very own comfort zone. I'll walk you through it, step-by-step, below. Basically, you'll want to look back at other holidays and highlight the things that either added to or detracted from the festivities for you. Then, with that information in hand, you'll relax, breathe deeply, and look ahead. This is your chance to fashion what will be an optimal holiday experience for you!

So let's start by exploring the details, using the following 7 Timely Tips. In the end, you'll be able to work from your comfort zone and make these upcoming holiday celebrations into times to truly treasure.

Identify Your Holiday Comfort Zone

The key to "comfort zone" celebrating lies in focusing only on things that are within your control. Your power lies in your ability to meet your own needs. When your comfort zone is your base of operations, you are able to savor your moments and to stretch without straining. From your comfort zone, you can thoroughly enjoy those around you. Not only that, but you'll find that you can much more easily engage in creative problem solving on the spot. That's a priceless skill to have in the midst of the holiday bustle!

Here are your 7 Timely Tips for Getting to Your Holiday Comfort Zone

1. Relax and think back.
Call up memories of a past celebration. How did you feel as it approached? What did you like most? Least? How did your feelings evolve over time?

2. Describe your comfort zone.
What makes a situation work well for you? Make a list and be as specific, concrete and detailed as you can. This will give you an overview of your comfort zone that may surprise you!

3. Spot the stressors.
What situations have pushed you out of your comfort zone. Record specific information like: Where were you? What happened? When and how did you feel out of control of the situation? How was this situation part of a larger pattern of events? What was at stake?

4. Conduct an energy check.
Now let's tap into your power to transform your energy. Turn your attention to the actual choices you made. What responses to specific situations energized you? Which choices depleted you? What choices moved you closer to your comfort zone and what moved you away?

5. Chart out future challenges.
Jot down a phrase or two about challenges you are likely to encounter. Imagine looking down on the scene from a friendly, slightly detached vantage point. What encouragement and suggestions could you offer yourself in this situation?

6. Scan the big picture.
You've given yourself an overview of two sets of circumstances: those that are outside of your control and those within it. What insights have come to you? Are there any patterns that you notice? What are you learning about how your choices contribute to your feelings about the holidays?

7. Locate your oasis.
Now close your eyes, take a deep breath, and envision your holiday comfort zone. Notice where you are. Who is with you? What are you doing?

It lies within your power to make time choices that maximize the time you spend in your comfort zone as much as possible.

When you make "contentment without resentment" your mantra as you plan for the holidays, you bring more flexibility and openness to demanding situations.

So what will be your first step to creating a comfortable holiday?

Well, here's one idea for getting started. Sign up for our free gift, "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" at

This time template will help you move beyond overwhelm, disappointment, and frustration. Using a workbook format, with room to record your answers, you will discover that 24 hours really are enough!

Offered by Paula Eder, Ph.D., The Time Finder Expert.

About the Author:

Paula Eder, PhD, the Official Guide to Time Management, is an internationally-known coach and published author who mentors spirit-driven solopreneurs and small business owners to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they can make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.

Living on a working farm in rural New Hampshire, Paula's connection with time is as organic, spiritual, and down-to-earth practical as the vitality and resiliency of the seasons. From her base in New Hampshire she has maintained a thriving coaching practice for the past 35 years; is a Certified Coach in Kendall Summerhawk's Money Breakthrough Method™ Program; and is a certified graduate of the Vanguard class of the Authentic Happiness Coaching Program conducted by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD and Ben Dean, PhD.

Her Heart-Based Time Management System helps busy people just like you develop the skills to make authentic time choices that lead to work success, personal growth, vibrant health, and an ever-deepening relationship with yourself and those you love.

To learn more about Paula's unique, Heart-Based Time Management System and begin your transformational journey, sign up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Discover how you can find time for what matters most.  


From - 12/20/11 - "Food For Thought: Christmas Morning Brunch":

Dear Friends,

The countdown has started and now is the time to get the food ready for the Christmas holiday. I know not everyone celebrates Christmas but everyone enjoys the festivities of a celebration and when we can break bread together and feast together, it makes life rich and full. That is why I am so passionate about keeping the family dinner table a well-loved and well-used place to bring the family together.

To keep it simple, I have an easy and doable menu that you make the night before Christmas morning. You're going to love it!

Christmas Eve Shortcut Cinnamon Buns
Christmas Morning Strata
Chilled Tangerines

Recipes below, plus a shopping list! ENJOY!

Leanne Ely, Your Dinner Diva helping you Save Dinner since 2001

Christmas Eve Shortcut Cinnamon Buns
Makes 20 buns

These are made the night before and popped in the oven Christmas morning when the kids are attacking their stockings!

20 unbaked frozen dinner rolls (Bridgeport is a brand I have used)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Lightly grease a 10 inch bundt cake pan. Place frozen rolls into the pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, the pudding mix, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over the top. If you don't have a bundt pan, you can use a muffin tin, but they turn out better in a bundt pan.

Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight at room temperature to rise.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake rolls for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Turn rolls out onto a serving plate and dig in!

Christmas Morning Strata
Serves 6-8

1 loaf French bread -- cubed (either by hand or with a knife)
2 packages frozen chopped spinach -- thawed and squeezed dry
3/4 pound Provolone, chopped
14 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
Salt and pepper -- to taste
2 teaspoons dry mustard (optional, but adds a nice little bite)
3/4 pound cheddar, shredded

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Make a single layer of bread cubes in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the bread evenly with the spinach. Then add the chopped Provolone cheese. Top with another layer of bread cubes.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and seasonings. Pour over the layers evenly making sure that all of the top layer of bread is moistened. At this point, you have two options: refrigerate it overnight or bake for 1 hour (350 degree preheated oven)

When you bake it, watch it starting at about 50 minutes It shouldn't be ready to pull until its puffed up a bit and just starting to get golden brown (you don't want it too brown).

If you want to test it, a knife inserted in the center should come out clean. While it is cooling, top with the cheddar cheese and allow it to melt by itself. You might need to return it for just a minute to the oven to finish melting.

Makes 6-8 servings? depending on how hungry you are!


From - 12/20/11 - "Morning Musing: Two Minutes Just for You":

Dear Friends,

Here we are with just a few days until Christmas. The mid-night editor is working over time. The holidays are jam packed with things to do and people to see. Lots of times we are just so busy that we don't even take a few minutes for ourselves. This is why our December habit is to pamper yourself.

I can hear you now! I don't have time to pamper myself! Those words, I don't have time are your first clue that the stress level is starting to build. When you hear those words come out of your mouth or scroll pass that mental TV screen in your brain; I want you to stop whatever you are doing and realize that those words are a form of perfectionism.

Set a timer for 2 minutes and do something for yourself.

There you go again with that perfectionism! "What can I do in two minutes to pamper myself! That isn't enough time to do anything!" OH, YES IT IS!

I am going to give you a little list to get you feeling special!

1. File your fingernails
2. Drink a glass of water
3. Eat a healthy snack
4. Freshen your make up and smile at yourself in the mirror
5. Make a cup of tea or my favorite Cafe Mocha
6. Pick up a magazine and read or look at the pictures
7. Listen to your favorite CD
8. Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deep
9. Open up your personal journal and write
10. Make a list of things you are thankful for
11. Pet your cat or dog

It is the act of stopping the negative perfectionist thinking that helps to defuse the stress! The icing on the cake is the pampering action that takes care of you!

All that any of us have ever wanted is just to feel loved! You find us because you are searching for a way to get your home in order. You never dreamed that Finally Loving Yourself is the key that opens the lock that has kept you hidden away from the simple joys of life.

Are you ready to FLY?


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 - 12/20/11 - "Holiday Countdown: Time to Get Up and DO!":

Dear Friends,

Here it is five days and counting till Christmas. Are you beginning to feel like a chicken with its head cut off? Now is not the time to run around like a screaming banshee. We have things to do, and the faster we get to them, the easier life is gonna to be.

The first thing we have to do is sit down with a warm cup of something wonderful and your holiday control Journal or notebook. We're going to look at exactly what it is that needs to be done and in the order that it needs to be done. Now is the time to figure out what it is we really want and what it is we think we want and decide which is a priority.

Sometimes deciding what we want and what we're willing to let go of is a big step for us. As SHE's we want to it all and we want it now. Then when we can't figure out how to do it all at once; we give up and do nothing. This is not going to happen a week before Christmas. We have a plan. We been procrastinating about putting together a plan for several weeks now, because we don't think we have time. Time is running out, but you still have time. The key is letting go of our perfectionism, setting our priorities and getting off our Frannie's to do something.

If we spend the next few minutes feeling sorry for ourselves saying, we only have seven days; how in the world can I get all this done in just seven days. We won't accomplish anything! You can do it! It's called babysteps. Our babysteps will get us to our goal. We just have to start now!

1. Do you have that cup of something warm yet?

2. Do you have a piece of paper?

3. Set your timer for 15 minutes.

4. Do you have any presents that need to be mailed?

5. Do you have any presents that need to be purchased?

6. Do you have any parties to attend? Do you have to bring a dish? Do you have a hostess gift? Do you need to take presents to this party? When is the party? Are the presents wrapped? Are the presents purchased?

7. Have you purchased the food for your Christmas party? What are you having? Make a list of the menu.

8. How's the house look? Do you need to do is in crisis cleaning? How about clearing off your hotspots?

9. Are there any presents a need to be wrapped?

10. Any more decorations that need to be put out?

11. Is there anything else that you can think of that needs to be done?

Now that you've answered these questions. It's time to put them into priorities. You can't do everything at once. So it's time to pick one! What will it be? What item is bothering you the most? This is a good place to start.

Now that you've been sitting for 15 minutes. It's time for you to get up and do something. Set your timer. Now pick something from your list and go!

Set your priorities, you got a plan, now to implement that plan!



From - 12/20/11 - "Testimonial: Pampering #19":

Dear FlyLady,

I love that the habit for December is pampering! As a busy mum, housewife and working mum, I don't often take time for myself. I have started selling Avon this year, so I treated myself to some foot products to pamper my neglected feet! I already had a foot spa, so I plugged it in (after dusting it off LOL!) and soaked my poor tired feet, scrubbed them, and then rubbed some moisturizer into them. BLISS!

Thank you FlyLady, and Merry Christmas!!!!

Jessica, FLYing in NSW, Australia


Now that the weather is chilly again, I've taken to putting my clothes in the dryer for a few minutes to warm them up before I put them on. This also gives me motivation to put away the clean laundry, since I need an empty dryer to do this. Thank you for all you do!



Kelly here: Our habit this month is pampering.

This is a busy time of year but you really do deserve to take a few minutes every day just for

I am so proud of you.



From - 12/20/11:

Never criticize someone unless you walk a mile in his or her shoes, and then when you criticize them you'll be a mile away and have their shoes!


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





Ring Out, Solstice Bells

Written by Ian Anderson (b. 10 Aug 1947)

Recorded by Jethro Tull, 1977

Now is the solstice of the year,
winter is the glad song that you hear.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Have the lads up ready in a line.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Join together beneath the mistletoe.
by the holy oak whereon it grows.
Seven druids dance in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Praise be to the distant sister sun,
joyful as the silver planets run.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.
Ring out those bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.
Ring on, ring out.
Ring on, ring out.

"Ring Out, Solstice Bells" lyrics courtesy of - 12/20/11

"Red Bird Berry" image courtesy of - 09/13/04

"Crown of Thorns" image also courtesy of - 12/15/04

Holly Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

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

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!

Hillsboro High School's Topper (Band Version) clip art courtesy of - 06/07/08
Thanks, Mark!

American School Logo courtesy of - 09/05/06

Collinsville High School (IL) Logo courtesy of - 09/22/07

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!

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2011

Return to NNHS Class of 1965