"Nothing says the holidays like a cheese log."  Ellen DeGeneres

December 2018 Newsletter

President's Message

Eileen Nonemaker

Home for the Holidays

It’s hard to believe that another year has gone swiftly by and that we are approaching the winter holidays. Hollywood has romanticized the concept of being home for the holidays, but in many families, it has often been a dilemma as to where to spend them…her family’s, his family’s, with the kids or with the in-laws…maybe with good friends…and what do we mean by “home”?

Growing up, we spent Christmas eve with my mother’s sisters – at one aunt’s house with all my cousins. Christmas day we visited my paternal grandparents, with my father’s brothers and sisters and my cousins. As the families grew, with marriages and grandchildren, we no longer gathered as a group, but as individual family units. I remember that it was pretty simple until I got married. Then we had to share with each other’s parents or host ourselves and deal with food likes and dislikes and different cultural traditions. It was never easy. But I seem to recollect that it always went fairly well and there were no real issues. I hope your recollection is similar.

It is different now, because our parents are gone and we are celebrating with siblings, nieces and nephews and their children. On Rob’s side it’s an elegant dinner prepared by his brother and sister-in-law. On my side, the quiet dinners with adult conversation are a thing of the past. Now, it’s all about the kids.

The Christmas tree at my sister’s house is almost buried by the gifts for her six grandchildren. Opening gifts takes quite a while, starting with the youngest, whose attention span is the shortest, and ending with the oldest, who will be twenty-one this year. Each year the types of gifts change as each one grows older and develops new interests. And we all look forward to our “new” traditional feasts that are very different from our parents.

My family is lucky – we survived Florence with no damage to our homes. Our holidays will be somewhat normal. Unfortunately, not everyone can say the same thing. Our community is still not back to normal with folks in rentals, staying with family and friends, and busy renovating, reconstructing or possible relocating.

Family celebrations past and present have been wonderful gatherings with family members sharing love, food and gifts. This year, many people are displaced and for many their funds being diverted to rebuilding. Many kids (and adults) may be short on joy. Please share the joy by offering an invitation to a neighbor or friend, and by sharing what you can with Habitat for Humanity through the President's chosen Charity. 

We welcome you to start your holiday celebrations at our December events. Our Dinner at The Chelsea on December 4th and our Lunch at the New Bern Golf and Country Club on December 19th.  Our host locations will be brightly decorated with holiday cheer and we will provide opportunities for fun, joy, and laughs.  Representing the President’s Charity at our December events is Habitat for Humanity’s Volunteer Coordinator, Deedra Durocher.

I chose this charity several months ago, long before Florence arrived. The vision of Habitat, founded in 1976, is “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” It seems this vision is very meaningful for those in our area who are still working to get back in their homes.

Habitat for Humanity offers opportunities for first-time home buyers in low income communities who meet certain criteria. Due to the destruction created by Florence, the Habitat Board of Directors has reduced this year’s goal for building new homes, to create a special program for the repair and rebuilding of 50-55 Habitat and non-Habitat homes in Craven County. Deedra has prepared a more detailed article later in this newsletter.

December is a hectic month, but please take some time to celebrate with your CWF sisters! See you then!



Tuesday, December 4th  5:30 - 7:00 p.m.   Dinner at the Chelsea

Wednesday, December 19th  11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Lunch at the NBG&CC

Both events this month will feature the President's Charity, Habitat for Humanity Craven County.  Deedra Durocher is the Volunteer and Resource Coordinator and she will share information about the organization and the volunteer opportunities, many of which,  fit an individual's skills, interests, and expertise.  



Dinner Dessert Sponsor - Thank you, Lee

At Caravel Coaching, Lee Chaix McDonough serves helpers, healers, and creative entrepreneurs who want to build successful, authentic businesses. Using what she calls “the 3 Ms” – meaning, mindset, and mindfulness – Lee’s mission is to empower small business owners to create, grow, and scale their businesses while remaining true to their vision and their values.

Lee provides customized individual coaching, small group programs, and workshops, and is an acclaimed public speaker and writer. Her first book, ACT On Your Business, will be published February 2019. Download a free chapter and discover the 3Ms by going to https://www.caravelcoaching.com/chapter.

Contact Lee at lee@caravelcoaching.com, or head to https://www.caravelcoaching.com to learn more about her approach to coaching and her services.

Lunch Dessert Sponsor - Thank you, Nelda

Nelda Coats, Resource Financial Services

502 Hodges Street, Suite #5,
P O Box 755
OrientalNC   28571




Diane Hogan, A Step Ahead Adoption Services, Inc.

Christine Moore, ECEC

Sheridan Holstein, Retired Educator 

Michele Douglas, 3GenFashion 

Angelica Roman


Habitat for Humanity Craven County 

Habitat for Humanity was established in 1976 by Millard & Linda Fuller in Americas, GA with the vision of “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”  In June 1989, a group of citizens who shared this vision founded our local Habitat for Humanity of Craven County and over the last 29 years, this local affiliate has completed 66 homes, impacting over 95 adults and 120 children. Construction on home #67 will begin in late November and four new homes are planned by the end of this fiscal year in June 2019. In addition, a special program for repairs and rebuilding in response to damages experienced in our community from Hurricane Florence will be coordinated by Habitat Craven County to assist Habitat and non-Habitat homeowners in the coming months.  

There are currently 1250 Habitat affiliates in the US, with 67 located in North Carolina. Each Habitat affiliate operates independently, although each follows the general policies of Habitat for Humanity International and is responsible for their own fundraising. Habitat Craven County accomplishes this through grant awards as well as donations from businesses, organizations and individuals. In addition, monthly mortgage payments go into the Fund for Humanity to support ongoing home building projects and the Habitat ReStore contributes critical revenue from the sale of donated furniture, appliances, and household or remodeling items.

On an international level, Habitat is involved with building or investing in 84 countries throughout the world. Through an annual Tithe Program, Habitat Craven County has contributed over $104,000 to build 41 homes to date. A Global Village trip is planned in 2020 to recruit volunteers from New Bern for an international building mission. A Habitat “Home Brew Coffee” has been created to bring awareness and support for this trip and three South American countries are represented in the coffee selections available through Habitat Craven County.

With a small staff of ten, six of whom are dedicated to the ReStore, Habitat Craven County is dependent on volunteers to support construction, ReStore, and committee activities. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities to fit individual skills, interests, expertise, and time schedules whether you have only a few hours or are looking for an ongoing project.

Deedra Durocher, Volunteer & Resource Coordinator



The Philosophy of Decluttering

One of the most common questions I get asked is…"Where do you begin the decluttering process with a client who has a home (and garage) full of stuff"?  In my experience, it’s best to start with stuff that has less emotional attachment and these are belongings usually stored in spare bedroom closets, hallway closets, the attic or garage (out of the way places where you don’t see them every day).  

If you start with things that don’t hold significant memories or attachment, you’ll gain momentum and feel a sense of accomplishment before the time comes to tackle the items you are attached to but know it is time to part with; clothes, shoes, cosmetics, sporting equipment, household linens, kitchen gadgets, etc. 

I would be happy to have a conversation or start the decluttering process when you or someone you know is ready. 

Contact Linda @ 252-288-4467 or linda@efficiencyninja.com.


Become a Savvy International Traveler

In January, 2018, Craven Community College Adult Enrichment Program will offer “An Introduction to International Travel,” a new course to help you make the most of your overseas adventures. Whether you’re interested in exploring far away places, a novice traveler looking for a way to take those first steps toward your trip, or an international traveler wanting to get more out of your future journeys, this course is for you.

In this three session program you will learn:

  • What documents you will need and where to get them
  • How to find the best travel deals
  • How to find accessible accommodations and what rights you have in foreign countries as a person with a disability
  • How to pack like a pro
  • Preparing for and handling health concerns while traveling; and so much more!

For more information or to register, visit http://cravencc.edu/aep/enrichment-special-interest/#tvl.


Perfect Pet Presents

Your holiday shopping list will, of course, include gifts for your pets. While Rex and Fluffy will enjoy their new playthings (or at least the box they came in), what your pets really want is some playtime. Your pup would love a good daily walk or a chance to play fetch, while your cat is longing for an opportunity to show off their dexterity. And, if you asked, each of them would beg for a gentle brushing. Let Crockett’s Critter Care make their holiday dreams come true. Call Jeanne and set up a regular playdate with one of Crockett’s professional caregivers.

Jeanne Crockett’s team is bonded and insured which means you are hiring trained professionals to care for your beloved pet whether furry, feathered, or finned. For Fear Free professional pet sitting and dog walking go to crockettscrittercare.com, contact Jeanne by email , or call her at 252.635.2655.



Smart, simple legal coverage starts here!

Protect your family, your business, and your personal identity with simple, comprehensive coverage from LegalShield and IDShield. 

Call me to discuss your needs and how we can help.  Karen Monroe, Independent Associate cell:  757.343.4312 



Challenge Made

“My Travel Agent, LLC”  was recently featured in an article in Travel Market Reports, a national travel industry magazine. Anita English and two other New Bern travel agents recently founded “Luggage for Kids” to collect gently used suitcases for Craven County Foster Children. When Travel Planners International, my host agency, saw my post, ” Luggage for Kids,”  on Facebook, they contacted TMR.  I concluded the interview by issuing a challenge to other travel agents to start a similar program in their communities. A trash bag is not a suitcase.  To donate luggage call 252-638-4134.

Anita English

My Travel Agent






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