I’M JUST CURIOUS: The silent abuser

by Debbie Walker

Have you ever been surprised when someone you know ends a relationship because of abuse and you had no idea? It’s hard to believe there was anything wrong because you ‘didn’t see or hear it’. This is the role of the silent abuser.

The silent abuser has had years to wear down the confidence of the abused. When we are told abusive, down grading, negative, and belittling words long enough it becomes real to the abused. That makes the abused weaker and easier to control.

After the surprise you begin to question a few things? Those questions are answered now. Now you know why she never questioned what he said. You understand her lack of confidence, why she had to miss group or couples activities. Many things become clear now.

The definition of ABUSE I chose for this column is: language that condemns unjustly or angrily.

The quiet abuser is always right. The partner’s opinions have no value. They may even be told repeatedly how stupid they are. Even though on the one hand, the abused know these things aren’t true but over time this eats away at their confidence.

I want to add here that his abuse also pertains to our children, maybe even our parents or co-workers. Quiet abuse is possibly in all their communications.

Sometimes this abuse is generations deep. A person may be verbally abused or physically abused as a child. When given the opportunity to get out of the home they jump at the chance. They may be making the next generation of quiet abuser.

One woman says a few people who witnessed the final couple of years of her life asked, “How much longer can you put up with this behavior?” Her answer was “for the duration, she owed him.” As his abusive behavior intensified beyond anything, she could foresee there came a day… The day came when she had to finalize their relationship. It had become a risk for her own health, bordering on breakdown. She found her voice and left.

Because it was a situation of ‘silent abuse’ some family and friends may not understand their separation. They hadn’t witnessed the behavior. Their disbelief may even cause the abused to wonder, “Was it really so bad?” Hell, yes it was!

I spoke to a few people about this and we came up with some of the categories for a quiet abuser: Yelling (is that ever necessary?), silent treatment, isolation (running your family and friends away), roller coaster of emotions (I promise I’ll never do it again) not being allowed to get medical assistance, destroying personal belongings, insults … Sadly, there are still more categories, but I am running out of space to continue.

One thing I did want to mention is the abused will often defend the abuser. Fear of the unknown is often stronger than fear of the known.

I’m just curious if anyone realizes this is the adult version of “Bully.” Please remember this is not a medical report, it is only my opinion. It is also not a reflection on this paper. If you would like to leave a comment or ask a question please contact me at my new email address: DebbieWalker@townline.org.

Thank you for reading. Have a great week.

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Soprano: Mirella Freni

Mirella Freni

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Soprano: Mirella Freni

On Sunday February 9, the soprano Mirella Freni died from the combination of strokes and a degenerative disease she had been suffering for a number of years. I have been a fan of her records ever since first hearing one of her singing a Verdi aria over 50 years ago while still in high school. Her good looks, the power and beauty of her vocal chords and the magnificent acting she brought to bear in her various stage roles set her apart from the other sopranos (to take nothing away from the great ones among them such as Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Virginia Zeani, Victoria de los Angeles etcs.).

She and tenor Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007) were born in the same town, Modena, Italy, about six months apart. Their mothers worked in the same cigar factory, were friends themselves, and, because of the toxins from their jobs, gave their babies to the same wet nurse. Pavarotti later happily attributed Freni’s beautiful rosy cheeks to her getting more of that nutritious milk from their nurse.

Pavarotti’s 1965 La Scala debut in Puccini’s La Boheme under conductor Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989) had him paired with Freni. As I write this column, I am listening to the YouTube of the 1974 recording of the opera that all three of them did for London records, which I highly recommend as a beginner’s set. For those who want more Freni recommendations, I will simply state I have never heard a Freni recording, with or without Pavarotti, I didn’t like and leave it at that, especially with so many examples of her on YouTube.

Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess delayed and recorded Met February 15 link at Waterville Opera House!

I first saw George Gershwin’s 1935 opera, Porgy and Bess, in 1977 through a touring Houston Grand Opera production at Boston’s Opera House, one that has been preserved on an RCA Victor set. The composer (1898-1937) called it a folk opera and explained his reasoning in a 1935 New York Times article:

Porgy and Bess is a folk tale. Its people naturally would sing folk music. When I first began work on the music, I decided against the use of original folk material because I wanted the music to be all of one piece. Therefore, I wrote my own spirituals and folksongs. But they are still folk music-and therefore being in operatic form, Porgy and Bess became a folk opera.

The Met production starred Eric Owens as Porgy, Angel Blue as Bess, and a fine supporting cast. Mention should be made of Alfred Walker as Bess’s evil ex-boyfriend, Crown; Frederick Ballentine as the unsavory drug dealer, Sportin’ Life; Latonia Moore as the righteous woman of prayer for everybody, Serena; Denyce Graves as the feisty cookshop owner, Maria, etcs.

The opera contains the old favorites Summertime, It Ain’t Necessarily So, Bess You Is My Woman Now, I Got Plenty Of Nuthin’, I’m On My Way, and several other less known but equally good musical numbers.

The very gifted David Robertson conducted a magnificent performance and all visual aspects of the staging were very good.

The next live Met link is George Frederick Handel’s opera, Agrippina, on leap year, February 29.

Maine’s only leap year town set for celebration: Smithfield to observe incorporation as town

Come help Maine’s only Leap Year town celebrate its anniversary! All the fun begins on Wednesday, February 26, with Saturday, February 29, being a day filled with family friendly fun! The schedule of events looks like this:

Wednesday, February 26 – FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: 6 – 8 p.m., at the Fairview Grange #342, in the village. Hot dogs, popcorn, drinks and snacks available.

Thursday, February 27, Join us at the Fairview Grange #342, for a MURDER MYSTERY DINNER – $25 per person and space is limited, 6 p.m. Get your tickets at the Town Office ASAP! This event is BYOB.

Friday, February 28 — THE LEAP YEAR TONIGHT SHOW, featuring local entertainment – musicians, dancers, comedians surprise guests! Fairview Grange #342, 7 – 9 p.m.

Saturday, February 29 – VINTAGE SNOWMOBILE SHOW & SWAP at TRI-POND VARIETY, Corner of Rtes. 137 & 8. 9 a.m., registration. Raffles, evening trail ride and so much more. FMI go to their Facebook page.


  • GRAB A HOT LUNCH at the Firehouse! SVFD firefighters will be serving it up! (Donations accepted!) noon – 2 p.m.
  • FREE HOT CHOCOLATE BAR OPEN ALL DAY in the fire House. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Smithfield Maine Historical Society Powerpoint Presentation with Postcards & Photos from 1860 – today! 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Red Cross and SCART Team 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • AFFORDABLE PET CLINIC – Jordan Farm Livestock Rescue 9 a.m. – noon. FREE PHOTOS OF YOUR PETS!
  • SNOW SCULPTURE CONTEST – make it a family event or grab your friends! Pre-register at town office. Supplies provided, 9 a.m., Prizes awarded at 2 p.m.
  • TOBOGGAN RACES! Get your team ready! 1 – 3 p.m., pre-register in the town office. PRIZES AWARDED 3:15 p.m.!

Banners and fliers will be posted in and around Smithfield – so be on the look out!

Thanks to the many local businesses for sponsoring all of the planned events — unless otherwise stated, everything is FREE! (Donations happily accepted and go toward Summer Leap Year Celebration Events in August!)

Please call 207-362-4772 for more information, and how you can be part of the fun as a volunteer!

GARDEN WORKS: Seeds of your dreams, Part 2 (G-H)

Read part one here: Seeds from your dreams, Part 1 (A-thru-E)

Emily Catesby Emily Cates

Calling all gardeners! There’s treasure hiding among the pages of all those seed catalogs, ready to be highlighted and added to your order form. In our last article, we looked at a few alphabetically and got all the way to “E for eggplant.” Now let’s move on to “G for garlic” and beyond. Please feel free to share your thoughts for what’s on your dream garden wish list in a comment on our website or Facebook, or email me at EmilyCates@townline.org.

Garlic – A staple in my garden, I’d never be without good-old German Extra Hardy. It does best when fall-planted, but it’s possible to start it in the spring.

Ginger – While a lot of folks who grow ginger on a market scale in Maine use high tunnels and hoop houses, a simple, well-drained flowerpot with good potting soil can accommodate a plant or two for an occasional treat. I bring mine in before a frost in fall, and outside after a frost in springtime. It looks pretty good as a houseplant, too.

Ginseng – I just found seeds for this in the Johnny’s catalog! Though my initial attempt to grow ginseng years ago was not a success, I am determined to try again. Let me know your experiences with ginseng.

Gourds – This is another plant with endless possibilities to fire an artist’s imagination. Not only are gourds delightfully ornamental, they can be fashioned into useful objects such as canteens, containers, dippers, birdhouses, children’s toys, musical instruments and more.

Grains – These crops are incredibly important from a historic perspective, but are equally important now as food, forage, cover crops, and ornamentals. On a small, garden-scaled plot, try hulless oats, Opopeo amaranth, and Duborskian rice.

Grapes – While many folks think of vineyards when they think of grapes, all that is needed is a well-drained, moderately fertile, sunny spot, preferably with something the grapevine can climb on – such as a fence, gazebo, or trellis of some sort. Brianna, Somerset Seedless, and King of the North are among my favorites.

Greens – I never seem to be able to get enough of them, and I’ll probably die trying to plant as many packets of mixed greens as I can get my hands on. The varieties for braising seem to hold up well in my garden. Also, the green known as Good King Henry is a perennial, spinach-like plant that even self-sows. What could be better than that?

Groundnut – As a child, I always wondered about a distinctive fragrance along a meadow near China Lake, until discovering it was actually groundnut. What a wonderful surprise to find out that this useful plant, that nourished native peoples from ancient times, would grow well at my home. This lovely native perennial vine with unusual, highly fragrant maroon/pinkish leguminous flowers yields tasty, protein-filled tubers that are edible and delicious when peeled and cooked. It likes damp, shady places with something to climb on, and will care for itself once established.

Herbs – I’ve mentioned a few, and though they are more commonly recognized for their culinary properties, herbs also provide medicine, pest control, aromatherapy, dyes, art projects, and more. Why not plant some herbs among garden plants to confuse their pests?

Horseradish – When planted in an area outside of the garden where its invasive-ness can be controlled, horseradish pretty much takes care of itself. Its bold, bold flavor commands respect unsuitable for the fainthearted.

Husk Cherry – These sweet, pineapple-flavored, cherry tomato-resembling fruits are encased in a husk and are ready to eat when they fall from their plant. Oftentimes they will self-sow, to my delight.

Well, looks like we only made it to “H” this time on our whimsical stroll through our seed catalogs. No worries, we’ll look at a bunch more next time. Until then, stay tuned and let me know your thoughts.

Read part 3 here: Seeds of your dreams: Find joy in a seed catalog, Part 3 (H-N)

FOR YOUR HEALTH: A Quick Brush-Up On Children’s Dental Health

Getting kids into good dental habits early is a wise idea and easier than many parents realize.

(NAPS)—For most parents, happiness is seeing a smile on their child’s face—right from that first gummy grin. Instilling good dental hygiene habits early can help protect your child’s precious smile.

Your dentist can help. Most dental plans cover children, starting at birth. And since February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, now is a great time to brush up on the topic. Here are some hints that can help:

Baby Their Baby Teeth

Even though baby teeth eventually fall out, they still matter. Decay and other problems can set the stage for dental problems in adult teeth.

To help prevent decay in baby teeth, never put baby to bed with a bottle. Milk and juice break down into sugars, which can pool around their teeth and cause cavities.

Even before the first tooth pops up, get in the habit of gently wiping baby’s gums with a clean, moist cloth after feedings and before bedtime, to prevent bacteria from growing.

Concerned about pacifiers and thumb-sucking? Both can contribute to an overbite. The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children stop all sucking habits by 36 months or younger. But pacifiers put less pressure on the teeth than thumb-sucking, and they’re an easier habit to break.

Year 1: First Toothbrush, First Dentist Visit

When that first tooth pops up, it’s time for baby’s first, soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, per the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, brush gently with plain water or just a drop of toothpaste with fluoride—no bigger than a rice kernel. Be sure to schedule your child’s first dental appointment soon after their first birthday, too. Early visits can help them become comfortable with your dentist and reduce anxiety down the road.

If your child is especially fearful or has special physical or developmental needs, consider a pediatric dentist. They have years of specialized training in child psychology and development.

Age 3 And Up: Make Brushing Fun

By age 3, kids can begin using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride. Make brushing and flossing a fun daily experience: once in the morning and once at night. Remember that it’s difficult for little hands to use a toothbrush correctly—and at a 45-degree angle. They’ll need your help for quite a while.

Try setting a timer for two-minute brushing sessions. You can brush together, have a special brushing song, and treat your kids to a colorful character toothbrush. With a little creativity (and much patience), brushing can be a positive, feel-good experience.

A “Silver Lining” For Cavities

A cavity or tooth decay can result when tooth enamel breaks down. Although most cavities are preventable, tooth decay is the most common childhood disease of children aged 6 to 19.

The good news? Dentists now have a painless way to deal with cavities. “An application of silver diamine fluoride can effectively slow or stop the tooth decay process in its tracks,” says Dr. Gregory Theis, Director, Dental Services, Delta Dental of Wisconsin.

Applying the antimicrobial liquid is quick and easy. And, because it can prevent the loss of a tooth, many dental plans cover two applications per year.

Teens’ Teeth Need TLC, Too

Teenagers are known for their big appetites and busy schedules. They often grab whatever food comes their way—including sticky sweets that tug on braces, and sodas or sports drinks that can erode enamel.

Do your best to offer healthier meal and snack options at home—and don’t let your teen skip dental or orthodontic appointments. If you’re weary of reminding your teens to wear their elastics or to stop chomping on ice and sticky sweets, give your dentist or orthodontist a heads up—and let them help reinforce healthy choices at the next appointment.

MONEY SAVINGS for MAINERS: A few cost saving ideas in today’s economy

by Shell Rowe

There are many of us in today’s economy that are thriving. That said, however, there are also many in our communities that struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table. That includes tons of financially challenged parents as well as single folks who simultaneously are also health and environmentally conscious. Here’s a few cost saving ideas I personally have utilized over the years.

Food Purchasing & Cooking: Organic or naturally grown consumption is optimal, for those on a tightly fixed budget, the next best route at least temporarily, is to purchase healthy foods at the least possible price.

Dry Beans: Though canned beans are so convenient for time strapped folks, dry beans are consistently cheaper than their canned counterpart. Pinto beans in the largest sized bags (at Walmart) & bags of lentils at (The Dollar Tree) are the lowest prices I have recently found.

Make Substitutions: If a recipe calls for a particular spice; say for example, oregano, for a spaghetti sauce, if you are out, just improvise. If you have, for example, other Italian type seasonings such as basil or parsley just use that. It may turn out a slightly different, but just as tasty and modifying makes each meal a bit of a surprise.

Garden Sharing: For those without the space to grow a garden on privately owned land, in many locals there are community/-shared gardens. In my local and nearby town gardens, there are typically empty plots. Your local town hall or community Parks and Recreation often manage them or will have contact info on who does.

Wild edibles: While this one is unconventional in today’s society, Maine has lots of plant-based food free for foragers. Of course its vital to ascertain what is safe to consume. There are learning resources on this subject such as books that can be rented for free through the interlibrary loan from your local library.

Multi generational households:

In this modern society, for a variety of factors, there is a stigma surrounding adult family members living together and combining resources. Ironically, it actually is not financially prudent for gainfully employed or college enrolled family members to live in separate households.

Responsibilities & Resource Sharing: Though my housemates and I do not work as professional gardeners, and have separate full time jobs, we do work together within family real estate business on the side, we all employ teamwork to provide sustenance and livelihood for the three of us.

With the exception of our seed order, which, we all monetarily chip in with voluntarily, as much as each can personally afford, we do not require that a specific percentage of money from each household member to go towards food expenses. Each of us contributes by purchasing up what we collectively need and that averages its self out. In other households, a more rigid system such as chore and bill payments assigned to individual members may be required.

Free Resources:

Seed swaps: For the past few years, I have gone to the yearly MOFGA seed Swap and Scion Exchange. It an event in which people donate seeds and scion wood (a tree shoot or twig) in turn exchange them for seeds they would like to grow and scion wood they would like to graft onto trees. Don’t worry if you have no seeds to trade. Many such as The MOFGA swap allows for seed swappers to bring in baked goods etc in exchange for seeds. To find a seed swap in your area, your nearest Cooperative Extension may have a listing on Reddit-seedswap.

Freebies: The internet has loads of swap and give away groups and listings. Freecycle is one such free for the taking listing site with groups throughout Maine in which no money exchanges hands: Freecycle-Maine.

Free Stuff in Maine is a public Facebook group with lots of free item listings. Type in free in the search bar on classified ad websites such as Craigslist-Maine and Uncle Henry’s regularly to search for needed items.

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Embrace change; grow your business

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” – Lily Tomlin

Oh, that dreaded word “CHANGE.” I have seen companies go out of business, rather than change. I have seen people suffer from all kinds of physical ailments, rather than change. I have seen companies fail because they don’t want to change.

People, by natural instinct hate change. They hate anything that takes them out of their comfort zone. They would rather stay in a deplorable situation, than make a change. It’s that proverbial frog in the water syndrome. Which isn’t at all true by the way. The fact is that even a frog will be smart enough to jump out of the water when it gets too hot!

In our own times, look at the people who have made fortunes by taking advantage of the changing social media platforms, as opposed to those who sat back and called Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook…passing fads.

Here from a neat little book titled: Change is Good…You Go First: 21 ways to inspire change, by Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein are six ways that you can inspire change in your own organization:

  • Change what needs changing – not what’s easy: Sometimes people will see easy things to change. That low hanging fruit. That’s a fine way to get started, but though the easy stuff can get you started, but in the end the real change that has to be done can be painful. Don’t be scared of it
  • Forget to success: Remember the 50 reasons why it won’t work? Forget everything you tried in the past. So many times, when change is introduced, members of your team will wrack their brains trying to find the few reasons why it might not work. What just might go wrong. Don’t let them do that. Think of the good change can do.
  • You’ve got to believe: You have to get the entire team to believe that change is the right thing to do, and that the changes you want to make are the right ones. It’s an all hands on deck situation. Everyone has to buy into it.
  • Remove barriers: The company leader’s main job is to remove all the barriers to change. Make sure the team’s path to change is as clear as possible and you’re the one who has to do the clearing.
  • Communicate/ simplify the message: “Peace and Bread,” the Russian revolution was started by the use of these two simple words. The people were hungry, and they were tired of war. So, when the Bolsheviks showed up and promised them, “Peace and Bread,” they converted the populace and the rest is history. In the end it’s all about simple communications.
  • Celebrate your successes: People love success. People love recognition. Start with small success and then build from them. Recognize those who are doing a good job not only adapting to but actually driving change. The more you recognize them for their achievements the more they will become your best “change mongers.”

And the more change mongers you have, the more everyone on your team is ready to embrace change, the more your business will grow.

Dan Beaulieu has owned his own business consulting firm since 1995, during that time he has helped hundreds of companies all over the world with their sales growth challenges and issues. Originally from Maine he returned a few years ago and is ready and willing to help his fellow Mainers start and grow their business. He can be reached at 207-649-0879 or at danbbeaulieu@aol.com.

JMG announces students of the quarter in China

JMG team members Hailey Estes, left, and Alexia McDonald. (photo courtesy of Ryan Sweeney)

JMG is proud to celebrate two eighth graders who were named students of the quarter for the second quarter. JMG team members, Hailey Estes and Alexia McDonald, earned the recognition for their hard work and dedication. Hailey felt that she managed her time well, kept herself organized and completed all assignments on time. “Whenever there was a free moment, I would take advantage of the time and work on assignment.” Alexia reflected on her willingness to be open minded to learn new topics and to ask questions in all classes. “I try to approach all I do with a positive.”

RSU #18 gifted and talented hard at work

These RSU #18 gifted and talented students are hard at work on their spring project, Find a Need, Fill a Need. (photo courtesy of Mandi Favreau)

by Mandi Favreau

RSU #18 Middle School Gifted and Talented students have been hard at work on their spring project, “Find a Need, Fill a Need.” Student teams are tasked with finding a need and then designing and building an adaptive device that helps increase independence or enhances quality of life for a person facing a physical or cognitive challenge due to a disability or increased age.

The project was launched with a district-wide GT workshop at MMS on January 17, with presentations by Occupational Therapist Heather Kerner, Thomas College Pre-service Teacher Alissah Paquette, and New Hampshire engineers Alex and Alec Cobban. The Design/Stem challenge really encourages empathy and problem-solving for students and walks them through the engineering design process of identifying the problem/need, exploring the background of the need and how it might be addressed, designing the device, creating, testing, and improving it.

“I like this project because it is people helping people,” said MMS student, Nar Peterson.  Classmate Elise MacDonald added that “ it can help children enjoy the (Easter) holiday more and give them new experiences.”

Students have already chosen their topics and completed their research. Currently, students are templating designs, researching cost-effective materials, and reviewing possible obstacles. “I am witnessing intense discussions and enthusiastic sharing of ideas,” said GT teacher Tamiko Paquette. “Students are really trying to put themselves in the place of their “client” to really feel that it might be like to have to cope with the differing ability.”

After vacation, students will begin creating prototypes for testing.  They will be presenting their completed projects at a Parent Showcase on March 26, from 6 – 7 p.m., at the MMS Library.

SOLON & BEYOND: Second quarter honors at Solon Elementary

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

The Second Quarter Honor Roll at Solon Elementary School is as follows: All A’s, Katelyn DeLeonardis, Kaitlin Dellarma, David Dixon, Lydia Dixon, Lane Frost, Charlotte Hamilton, and Jillian Robinson.

All A’s & B’s Isabella Atwood, Maxx Caplin, Amelia Cooper, Veronica Hoffman, Allyssa Hutchins, Alex Jerkins, Joseph McLaughlin, Riley Pelkey, Hunter Pouliot, Aiden Powell, Ben Powell, Spencer Rogers, and Haylee Towers.

The first snow day of the year, November 12 caught them all by surprise. They weren’t ready for the annual “Guess the First Snow Day” contest. So they decided to hold a “Guess the Second Snow Day” contest! The winners, who came the closest to choosing January 16 as the second snow day, were preschooler Maelah Wellman and fourth grader Isabella Atwood.

Preschool Applications Available: If you have a child who will be four years old by October 15, 2020, stop by to pick up an application for the preschool program for the 2020-21 school year. Please call the school at 643-2491 for more information about this program.

Again this year, Solon Elementary School scheduled some fun activities to celebrate Valentine’s Day. They held their annual Secret Cupid activity in which each decorated a heart with some kind words for another person in the school. The hearts are displayed on the bulletin board in the lobby. The annual Heart’s game was played on February 13. Students also exchanged Valentine cards with their classmates and friends.

Superintendent Teaches First Grade: On January 28, the first graders had a very special substitute teacher. Superintendent Mike Tracy spent the day teaching reading, math, and all the other parts of the first grade curriculum at the Solon Elementary School.

Why did Mr. Tracy teach first grade? Well, he is teaching a five-part series of after-school workshops on working with children who are affected by trauma for district staff members. At each workshop, he does a drawing from the names of the staff members in attendance. The person whose name gets chosen gets a day when Mr. Tracy will fill in for him/her on his/her job. Mr. Tracy worked in the CCS kitchen in December after he picked the name of one of the cooks there. In January, Mrs. Campbell’s name was chosen so that’s why Mr. Tracy came to Solon to teach first grade. In February he will be teaching Special Education at the Garret Schenck School, in North Anson.

The first graders enjoyed working with their special teacher for a day!

Grades 3-5 students are getting ready to take the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA), which will start the week of March 16 and go until April 10. Students in all three grades will take tests in reading / ELA and math. After April vacation, the fifth graders will take a test, in science. Please encourage your child to do his/her very best on this important test, which helps the school to assess each child’s achievement level as well as the progress of the school.

Ms. Rich organized an activity for students to complete a calendar of healthy alternatives to screen time that they engaged in during the Christmas break. Each student received a certificate and a water bottle.

Students completing this challenge were Katelyn DeLeonardis, Derek Dixon, David Dixon, Emma Pooler, Hunter Ingersoll, Olive MacDonald, Jayden McKenny, Sophie Duquette, Lane Frost, Kyliee McNear, and Nevaeh Beaulieu.

Students will have a chance to take the 5-2-1-0 vacation challenge again during the February vacation week.

And now for Percy’s memoir entitled, The Wind’s Not Always at Our Back: The wind’s not always at our back; the sky’s not always blue. Sometimes we crave the things we lack and don’t know what to do. Sometimes life’s an up hill ride with mountains we must climb. At times the river ‘s deep and wide and crossing takes some time. No one said that life is easy — there are no guarantees, so trust the Lord continually on calm or stormy seas. The challenges we face today prepare us for tomorrow, for faith takes our fears away and peace replaces sorrow. (words by Clay Harrison)

And now a few words of wisdom from my little book: “If you Always tell the Truth you Never Have To Remember What you Said.” Now isn’t that good advice?