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12/21/07 - 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, 

   We're continuing to celebrate all our holidays together (whether or not we ourselves personally observe them) like the big happy Typhoon family that we have become.  Today we're celebrating the Winter Solstice with our Druid Priestess, Domi O'Brien ('64) of NH.

   This Newsletter is actually postponed from last year (when many things I had planned were left unfinished...); the first part of the material was planned then, and the second part was added from this year's entries.


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).


From Domi O'Brien ('64) of NH - 12/13/06:

Mean Gheimhreidh is the Irish name for the Winter Solstice, Alban Arthan is the Welsh name. Various Scandinavian countries call it Jul, Yule,  Midwinter, etc, though often those names are often applied today to Dec 25th also (Dec 25th is called Nollaig in Irish). On Isle of Mann (Vannin) Winter Solstice is called Mon Gherry. Celebrations thousands of years old focus on the longest night, the hope for the returning light, the Sun return. There is usually a midwinter feast, some sort of buffet,  and in all of those lands it tends to include salmon (fresh, cured, or smoked), duck or goose (though nowadays instead of hunting many people use store-bought chickens or turkeys), and venison or salt beef or spiced beef or corned beef or ham if possible-- food from sea, sky, and land.  The wider the variety of foods on the table, the better luck. Cheeses tend to be popular to round out the meal or as appetizers! In the old days there were few vegetables at midwinter feast, except such "keepers" as carrots, beets, cabbage, onions, turnips or rutabagas, kohlrabi, and parsnips.  Relishes, pickles, and preserves are brought out. Evergreen trees-- ancient symbol of the fact that there is always life present even as the world looks cold and dead-- lights, decorated logs and bright fires, candles, etc are much in evidence. In old times housewives swept their floors (or dirt, or stone, or wood if very well-off) clean and covered them in new rushes or clean sand to brighten the house if they could not afford rugs or carpet, which were mainly for the rich! They baked "fortified" breads-- enriched with ginger or cardamon or cinnamon or other spices-- full of dried or candied fruit  or citrus rinds (citrus fruit, like the spices, imported from far-away exotic lands, and too precious to waste even the rinds)-- or lacking that, assorted seeds (caraway, anise, fennel, poppy, sesame as symbols of life to come)-- and sweeteners-- sugar, honey, molasses, etc., plus nuts-- walnuts, hazlelnuts, almonds, etc. Think Stollen, Lebkuchen, gingerbread, fruitcake, vortlimpor, Irish Christmas Cake, Frisian Ginger Cake, even the Italian Panneforte as examples of the type! Tables-- some of them makeshift of boards or planks on supports (sawhorses, etc ) to accommodate the crowd and the variety of dishes-- are covered with clean cloths. No matter how conservative you were about use of lamps, torches,  or candles ordinarily, on this day the household should be ablaze with light.  It's good luck for the prosperous to invite the not-so-prosperous to the feast, and make sure they go home with some good things to sustain them a while longer! There should be hot spiced wine or hot spiced cider or wassail, etc, and/or eggnog or syllabub. Bright coloured ribbons should adorn trees, children's and unmarried women's hair ; everyone should dress in their best. On this dark day and long night, people express their hope and faith that indeed spring will come!  It is customary to drink three glasses of beverage formally, going around the room: first each person drinks, in turn, a toast to a High One (g_d) or hero or dead ancestor they wish to honour; second, each one boasts-- of their proudest accomplishment in the last year; third, each one oaths or affirms what they intend to accomplish in the coming year. Gifts may be exchanged, with an emphasis on the hand-crafted-- carved, embroidered, appliqued, etc. It's a good day to sing (funny how getting a bit of alcohol into everyone tends to loosen their tongues and throats!)  Traditionally people would tend to arrive early--  some even the day before-- to help cook and decorate and set up-- and many would bring their own blankets and stay overnight on Solstice night, before going home the third day. 
May your winter holidays be bright with light and hope, and full of delicious food, and warm with family and friends.

   Thanks, Domi!  Good Yule to you and yours!


From Domi O'Brien ('64) of NH - 12/13/06:

Midwinter duck (or goose):
Two to three days ahead prep, 4 and a half to six and a half hours to cook.
Soak the duck (or goose) in a non-reactive pot or bowl,  completely covered in sherry or mead or vermouth (or half wine and half apple cider or orange juice or just cider if you are a non-drinker) in a cold place for two or three days, with a good spoonful of salt, a few cloves of garlic, some sliced onions and peppers, and a few sprigs of rosemary.
Drain the marinade into a saucepan, and place the bird in a roasting pan in a HOT oven (475 to 500 degrees). (If you have smoke alarms be sure to unplug them or put on a fan to direct any smoke away from them).
If it looks really fatty in the pan  after the high heat cooking drain off the fat; you can mix it with birdseed and put it out by your feeders and make the live birds outside very happy.
Cook the bird at high heat 30 minutes for a duck, an hour for a goose.
Meanwhile bring the marinade to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook down to a quarter of original volume.
Reduce oven heat to 300, and baste duck with boiled marinade.
Cook another hour.
Slice together 4 to 8 large  potatoes (depending on duck or goose), 2 to 4 sweet onions, and 4 to 8  tart apples.  You can add a pound or two of mushrooms if you like them and 4 to 8 pared carrots, and 4 to 8 pared parsnips.
Surround bird with veggies and fruit. Baste bird with marinade. Pour rest of marinade over veggies and fruit.
Bake an additional 3 hours for duck,  or 4 or 5 for goose, basting every 45 minutes to an hour.
For a holiday dinner serve smoked salmon (or cold cooked spiced shrimp, or hot mussels in wine and garlic, or some other seafood) and thin slices of salt or spiced meat (corned beef, Irish spiced beef, hot sausage, ham, venison sausage, etc) with dark bread and cheese as an appetizer.
Serve some sort of  green salad next, with a vinegary or herbal dressing, not a creamy one.
Then the duck or goose, which should be falling off the bones tender, surrounded by the fruits and veggies, and some fresh bread or rolls-- something crusty works well to sop up the juices.  You will want to put the pan drippings in a gravy boat and pass them around but it's better not to thicken them. If you want to make it look pretty line your platter with watercress, peppercress,  argule, etc and then put the roast duck and veggies on top-- the brown, crisp contrast of roast poultry and veggies to the greens is attractive.
Follow with some kind of heavy winter cake or steamed pudding-- one rich in fruit and/or spice.
Nuts in their shells to crack, plus a bowl of plain fruit to peel and cut and pass around, next.
If you like wine with your meal, a dry mead or a dry sherry or a brut champagne works well with the appetizers. Duck or goose, though poultry, work well with a pinot noir or other full-flavoured red-- something with spice and fruit notes.  A sweet dessert wine like an ice wine or a cream sherry, port, or cherry kijafa works well with the cake and fruit and nuts. Or for a lighter taste, back to a not-too-sweet bubbly.  Or  cordials, brandy or cognac-- the Icelandic Brennevin,  Celtic Crossing, Remy Martin, etc.
If you don't drink alcohol, apple cider, lemon selzer, and sparkling grape juice or cider can be nice accompaniments.

   Mmmmm!  Thanks again, Domi! 


YULE LOG CAKE RECIPES:,1-0,yule_log,FF.html


Tomorrow, we'll have another one of those rare Birthday Four-Fers for
   Kitty Norman Haskins ('57) of VA,    Harry Barritt ('64) of VA,    Dale Mueller ('64) of VA, AND  Bill Rash ('67) of VA!  Sunday brings us a Three-Fer: Tom Flax ('64) of VA,    Joyce Lawrence Cahoon ('65) of VA, AND  Holly Hill Campbell (HRA - '72) of VA!

   On Christmas Eve, we'll have another Two-Fer: James Gay  ('57) and Ann W. Hutcheson ('57), and on Christmas Day, we'll have yet another Two-Fer: Patsy Bloxom Meider ('57) and Doug Dickinson ('69) of VA!

   Many Happy Returns to you all!


    From My Niece, Shari, of VA - 12/19/07 - "so cool!":

     WOWZERONI-RINI! How pretty! Thanks, Shari!
Snow Castle


      From one of my Famous Marines,  Herb Hice of MI, who served in the Pacific Theater during WWII -  12/19/07 - "Dear Carol / Dimples, Boating On Lake Superior":

Dear Carol / Dimples
The Lakes can get pretty rough around Michigan.

 Boating On Lake Superior

These pictures give you a different perspective of those freighters which pass by St. Clair so peacefully! 
Lake Superior in November.. "Gitche Gumee"

Ever wonder why the Edmund Fitzgerald didn't make it..?

 A little taste of the seafaring life on the Inland Seas ..
These photographs were taken in November 2006
 aboard Misener Steamships MV Selkirk Settler as she crossed Lake Superior in typical November weather.
The first pic is in calm water..


Lake Superior is the largest & deepest of The Great Lakes and could hold all the water of the other 4 Great Lakes three more Lake Eries !

   WOWZERONI-YOWZERONI!!! Thanks, Herbie Darlin'!


  From Jerry ('65) and    Judy Phillips Allen ('66) of VA - 12/20/07 - "An Invitation to You and Yours":

Merry Christmas and Blessings for 2008!
Check out this invitation.

   Thanks, Judy and Jerry! Merry Christmas!


      From Sepi Dinwiddie Prichard ('58) of NC - 12/20/07 - "First grade responses and Happy Birthday to    Kitty Norman Haskins ('57 - of VA)":

Carol and my Typhoon Family...........

The response to first graders answers from Mike White ('67 - of VA) was a wonderful stress releasing belly laugh,  my favorites were #18, #20, and of course #26.  If for some reason you skipped over them go back and read them with visions of innocent (or maybe not so innocent) six year olds responding with all the enthusiasm their little voices could carry.  The last one tells me that some little girl has been listening to way too many teenage girls or a group of mothers talking. 

Happy Birthday, Kitty Norman Haskins; hope to see you at Buckroe this coming year !  Please don't get a case of "Cake Blindness" like I did, forgot to wear my sunglasses while blowing out the candles !


   Thanks, Dimples!


    From Pat Beck Letzinger ('57) of VA - 12/20/07 - "NNHS Class of '57 - FYI - Carol Wornom Sorenson":

Hi Classmates,
Good news regarding Carol Wornom Sorenson.  Below is the e-mail I received today from Carol.
I AM HOME......again...For good I hope.
Thanks for all the emails and letters and cards and calls ......
..... I am awed by the members of our class... they are the best.
Will be up and "running"  .....well, not yet, but up and doing soon.
Thanks to all.  And a very Merry Christmas to all.

   SUPER-DE-DUPER!!! Thanks so much, Pat! And our continued Best Wishes, Carol!!!


       From Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 12/20/07:

    Joe Madagan ('57 - of FL) referred to the famous "verbal punctuation" routine by Victor Borge.

Thanks to "You Tube", everyone regardless of age may now enjoy Mr. Borge's unique wit and talent.

Joe also mentioned the Victor Borge's  "Inflationary Language" Routine.  It is also on You Tube:


   WOWZERONI!!! What a special treat! Thanks so much, Brown Eyes!


      From one of my Famous Marines,  Herb Hice of MI, who served in the Pacific Theater during WWII -  12/14/07 - "Dear Carol / Dimples, This is Dog Logic" (#4 in a series of 12):

Dear Carol / Dimples
Something to ponder.

   Awww! Thanks, Herbie Darlin'!  

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
-Andy Rooney


   There's much more to come - next time!  Meanwhile, Good Yule - and Merry Christmas!

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

                          Love to all, Carol 





Carol Buckley Harty
219 Four Ply Lane
Fayetteville, NC 29311-9305


Deck the Halls

(The music to Deck the Halls is believed to Welsh in origin and was reputed to have come from a tune
called "Nos Galan" dating back to the sixteenth century. In the eighteenth century Mozart used the tune
to Deck the Halls for a violin and piano duet J.P. McCaskey is sometimes credited with the lyrics
of Deck the Halls but he only edited the Franklin Square Song Collection in which the lyrics
were first published. The first publication date of Deck the Halls is 1881. The author is unknown
but the words are said to originate in America.)

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the season to by jolly,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.

Don we now our gay apparel,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Troll the ancient Yuletide carol,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.

See the blazing Yule before us,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.
Strike the harp and join the chorus.
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.

Follow me in merry measure,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
While I tell of Yuletide treasure,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.

Fast away the old year passes,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.

Sing we joyous, all together,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.
Heedless of the wind and weather,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.


"Deck the Halls" midi and lyrics courtesy of - 12/03/05

History courtesy of - 12/05/05

Animated Yule Log courtesy of - 12/21/06

Small Yule Log used to form Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 12/21/06

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

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

Animated Yehaa Typhoon clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 08/18/05
Thanks, Al!

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

Army Seal clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06
Thanks again, Al!

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