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Holidays & Celebrations

  • 2023 Keystone Holiday Celebrations

    Picture of Keystone staff and their partners sitting at a long table in a private dining room during their 2023 Holiday Dinner held at Cafe Luna.

    Keystone has some annual holiday celebrations during the month of December that give our staff and families an opportunity to gather together, enjoy some delicious food, reflect on what we've accomplished over the last year, and discuss what might be possible in the next. This year, our Holiday Dinner and our office potluck / white elephant gift exchange happened on consecutive days.

    On the evening of Tuesday, December 19, we gathered around a long table in a private room at Cafe Luna in downtown Raleigh for an evening of wonderful Italian food. The conversation was lively and everyone enjoyed the opportunity to catch up on the lives of our coworkers outside of the office.

    Keystone staff and spouses gathered around a table. In the foreground are Katharina and Katy, further in are Tracey, Brian, Marion and her husband, George, Lee and his wife, and John with his wife. Nancy is at the far end of the table.

    Just after noon on Wednesday, December 20, we gathered in our project area for our annual office potluck. We are always impressed by the variety of choices once everyone's contribution is added to the buffet spread. Our staff even thoughtfully create dishes taking into account known food allergies and sensitivities, so there's something to appeal to everyone and no one goes hungry!

    A long table with various casserole dishes, bowls, and two croc pots. George brought John Owen's traditional soup, and other highlights included chicken, sweet potatoes, rosemary bread, and meat and cheese boards.

    After our potluck lunch, we do a white elephant / dirty Santa gift exchange. Our rules are: only one steal per gift per round, and everything's in play until the person with the last number's round. Does your organization do a white elephant exchange? If so, what are your rules?

    An angled view of the staff gathered around the conference table as they finish of their lunch. A pile of gifts waits temptingly in the middle.

    I hope you enjoyed a brief look at some of this year's Keystone holiday celebrations. Hopefully, your year end also included festive gatherings such as ours, or at least some good rest and relaxation.

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from all of us!

  • A Valentine to All KLASUsers

    Two red hearts sit in the lower left with the text "A Valentine for ALL KLASUsers'" written in all black, all caps in the center of the image.

    On February 16, 2024 Maureen Dorosinki, Vice President, KLAS Users' Group shared the below message on the KLASUsers' listservs. Based on the overwhelming positive response to it, we're also posting it here so it is easier to find and share with others.

    Valentine’s Day means a variety of things to many people in various stages of life. It used to mean buying a pack of assorted valentines shaped like Garfield and writing your name 30 times to sign them and sneaking in a smiley face to the cute boy. It meant hoping you were going to get a carnation in high school, and be able to carry it around, and then, have your face burn with embarrassment when you didn’t get one. It meant finding The One, and today means you are happy making chocolate chip cookies from scratch after work because those are the only sweets you can justify eating on the terribly restrictive cholesterol diet you are on.

    At work, it also means something altogether different, it has turned into caring about something bigger than us and doing it for the most part without ever meeting the people you serve. It means staying late to make sure the e-readers are plugged in so they can go out the next day. It means sticking with the call even though you have 20 more to do and the phone keeps ringing. It means trying to get ahead on the hamster wheel because you care. You care about the thousands of people you don’t see, as much as you care about the few you might talk to.

    But I’m asking all of us to do one more thing this Valentine’s month. Take a day where you can allow yourself to fall off the hamster wheel and make one extra call. You could call that person who always has something positive to say and is so lovely you wish everyone was like them. No, I challenge us to call that person you dread calling. The person who you know lives alone…and is crabby. Call them and just say hello. Call them and thank them for being a patron. Reach out with empathy. You may think you know their story, but we only know one page of their story. Maybe even a half page, with something spilled on it.

    Make this Valentine’s include giving without expecting something in return. You gave the gift of yourself and made someone’s day a little brighter, a little easier.

    Speaking of easy, KLAS makes all your days easier. They can get us out of a pickle and show us that maybe something is going to be easier than you thought.

    Post something on the KLAS Users forum! You may get something done that changes your procedures and moves your department forward.

    Valentine’s Day used to mean waiting for gifts and being able to show off what you got. Now it means giving quietly because you truly care and know what working for a higher purpose means.

    Maybe not everyone is completely there, but trust me, one day you might be.

    Thanks for all you do to support each other, and the patrons.

  • Happy Holidays from Keystone

    Happy Holidays from Keystone

    We wish you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season! May you in find joy and warmth in the holiday lights and comfort knowing a new year is just around the corner! From our homes to yours...here's to a cheerful holiday and a fresh 2021!

    Our office will be closed Thursday, December 24, and Friday, December 25, 2020 in observance of Christmas. Regular support hours will resume on Monday, December 28, at 8:00 AM ET. The office will also be closed on Friday, January 1, 2021 for New Year's. Regular support hours will resume on Monday, January 4, at 8:00 AM ET.

    If you need to arrange special support hours for these days, please call or e-mail us as soon as possible.

  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Well, it's going to be an unusual holiday season this year, but may you all find some joy and celebration. Even more importantly, we hope you and your loved ones stay healthy.

    In these difficult times, we're grateful to be here for all of you. We have a fantastic users' community, and we're looking forward to supporting you through the winter and hopefully to brighter and easier days ahead.

  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving, KLAS users!

    This fall, we're very thankful for YOU, and I'd like to do some specific thanks-giving:

    Thank you to everyone who reads our blog posts, social media feeds, or Thursday Tips on the forum. You help us to feel connected to our community. You help keep me learning new things to share with you, and when you reply — with a question, an addition, even just pointing out a typo -- you let me know you really are out there. You are all so valuable! I hope you will all stick around with us, and let us know if there's anything we post you want to see more of!

    Also, thank you to everyone who volunteers their time and expertise to keep the KLAS Users' Group running. From our amazing officers to our hard-working conference committees to our intrepid KDAC members: we couldn't have a Users' Group without you, and KLAS would be worse off for it in so many ways. We are truly grateful for all of your efforts — and I'm particularly thankful that I get to work with you!

    Finally, thank you to the early adopters! Those brave souls who volunteer to help us field test new versions and new features help us provide a better, more stable KLAS to everyone. For example, North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped's support of the Scribe's development and their ongoing testing will ensure we will get high-capacity duplication implemented on schedule. With their help, we will be able to develop and support both Scribe and Gutenberg with a KLAS workflow that really works because they've spent the time, effort, and frustration putting the Alpha version through its paces.

    So, here's one more great big "Thank You!" to each and every one of you, from me and from all of us here at Keystone.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Holiday Celebrations at Keystone

    Holiday Celebrations at Keystone

    We thought you might enjoy some photos of our holiday decor and staff celebrations here at the office.

    This is Keystone's 2018 lobby Christmas tree. It greets all the visitors who come to our front door.

    Here we are gathered around the table enjoying our office holiday potluck lunch. After we eat lunch, we enjoy a cutthroat Dirty Santa gift exchange. The presents piled in the middle of the table are just waiting for us to draw numbers and start the game.

     Holiday Celebrations at Keystone

     For more pictures check out the 2018 Holiday Celebrations photo album on Keystone's Facebook page.

  • John Owen's Retirement Celebration

    Photo of John and Laura at dinner. John is waring a dark v-neck sweater and smiling at the camera. Laura is wearing a patterned scarf and white sweater, and is smiling at John.

    After over 20 years of service in Keystone's Customer Support department, John Owen retired on December 30, 2022. Last Thursday, Keystone staff gathered at Margaux's Restaurant in Raleigh, NC to enjoy a celebratory dinner in honor of John and his dedication to his clients and coworkers. John will be remembered for his calming voice, adeptness at diagnosing and fixing various types of mailing card printers, and his unrivaled selection of shoes. While his presence is already missed, we're excited to have had Katharina training for six months in anticipation of his departure.

    John, we wish you all the best in the next chapter of your life! You and Laura will always be a part of the Keystone family!

    Below are a selection of photos taken at John's retirement celebration:

    Photo of John and Laura at dinner. John is waring a dark v-neck sweater and smiling at the camera. Laura is wearing a patterned scarf and white sweater, and is smiling at John.

    A look at the long table where the Keystone staff are gathered. John and Laura are sitting at the head of the table. On the side facing the camera are Mitake, Nancy, Kyle, Drea's husband, Katy, Marion, and Marion's husband. On the side closer to the camera are Brian with his wife, and Mark with his wife. The room has green textured paint, and a pair of wall lamps beside a convex round mirror.

    Another view of the other end of the table, showing Tracey, Lee, George, John C and his wife, Katharina, Marion and her husband, and Katy. Food has just started arriving.

    A photo of the menu, which everyone has signed for John. At the top, it reads Congratulations John Owen, then it lists the options for each course with Margeaux's logo at the bottom. The Keystone staff have written their congrats and well-wishes around the menu text in blue or black ink.



  • Wishing you a hearty & healthy Thanksgiving

    A Happy Thanksgiving image with a roast chicken and plenty of fall favorite sides and fixings.

    Keystone Systems' office will be closed Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 in observance of Thanksgiving. But before we send out staff off to gather with friends and family, we asked them to share some of their favorite holiday recipes.

    We're all grateful that you're part of our KLAS users family, and hope you all have a lovely holiday!

    From Nancy Honeycutt, Customer Support Manager:

    Mom would always make refrigerator rolls. One time she left a cookie sheet with rolls rising on the counter while we went to pay a Christmas visit to neighbors. When we came back, the cookie sheet was on the floor, completely cleaned off, and the dog was suspiciously innocent (and sick later that night).

    Refrigerator Rolls


    • 1 yeast cake
    • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
    • 2/3 cup shortening
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 cup mashed potatoes
    • 1 c scalded milk
    • 6-8 cups flour
    • 2 eggs


    1. Mash potatoes.
    2. Add shortening, sugar, salt & eggs. Cream well.
    3. Dissolve yeast in water, add to lukewarm milk. Then add to potato mixture.
    4. Add sifted flour to make stiff dough. Knead lightly.
    5. Place in casserole and brush top with butter.
    6. Cover tightly and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
    7. About 1/2 hour before baking time remove and shape in rolls. 
    8. Cover and let rise until light.
    9. Cook at 400* for 10-12 minutes.

    A handwritten card with the above recipe. The card shows clear signs of age and use.

    From Marion Campbell, Customer Support Specialist:

    One of my families favorite food for the holidays are sweet potato biscuits. One holiday when my nephews were 9,10,10-ish, the biscuits came out early and were warming on the table. Slowly, they each snuck a biscuit or 3... when it was time to eat there were no biscuits left in the basket because the boys had eaten them all. Needless to say, a 2nd tray came out soon after but the boys were full from biscuits and did not eat much else that year. They all had tummy aches from the biscuits and now the rule of biscuits is: only eat 2, more than 2 and you will not be happy.

    Sweet Potato Biscuits

    Here's what's cookin': Sweet Potatoe Biscuits
    From the kitchen of: Dorothy Wright


    • 4 cups packed of sweet potatoes
    • 1 cup Crisco
    • 1 cup of sugar
    • 4 cups of self-rising flour


    1. Peel sweet potatoes and boil until done.
    2. While hot mash and add to them Crisco, sugar, and flour.
    3. Mix good.
    4. Work into biscuits.
    5. More flour is sometimes needed. Depends on wetness of potatoe to be able to handle the mixture.
    6. Bake at 350* for 20-30 minutes. Depending on size of biscuits.
    7. Mix handles better if cooled.
    8. Bake on greased cookie sheet.

    The sweet potato biscuit recipe card has labels for "Here's what's cookin'" and "From the kitchen of" in an imitation-handwriting font. The card has an image of various fruits and veggies spilling out of a basket in the lower corner.  The reverse side of the card with more instructions.

    From Katharina Stevens, Customer Support Specialist:

    Among many other things I am thankful for are ovens that allow you to set a specific temperature and that cook evenly. Baking in East Africa was always an adventure. One summer I brought the ingredients for pumpkin pie back with me to make at Thanksgiving. It didn't turn out very pretty. Had to cut off the burnt parts, and take a moto taxi across town to buy some cinnamon whipped cream to hide the mess. Tasted good though.

    Seriously though, I'm immensely thankful for family, friends and the blessing that is America. We've come a long way from the 5 kernels of corn that that Pilgrims had to eat each day that first winter of 1620.

    Photo of an unusually lumpy pumpkin pie with burnt blotches on half the top.  The pie is now covered in whipped cream, and is on a metal charger with a blue diamond-patterned tablecloth behind it.

    From Drea Callicutt, Director of Marketing, Sales & Communications:

    One of our favorite holiday dishes is more recent. My sister learned to make duck fat roasted potatoes while she was in graduate school in Edinburgh. She made them for us for the first time for Christmas dinner when were visiting her in Leeds, and they’re now a staple whenever she’s joins us for a holiday meal.

    This recipe from Vindulge.com is pretty much how she makes hers:

    Roasted Duck Fat Potatoes


    • Large Sheet Tray
    • Parchment Paper
    • Ingredients
    • 2 pounds yellow potatoes, cut into ½ inch dice
    • 2 tablespoons salt (for boiling the potatoes)
    • ¼ cup duck fat
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 tablespoon freshly graded parmesan
    • 1 teaspoon thyme, finely diced


    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. In a large pan, place the diced potatoes and fill with cold water until it just covers the potatoes. Add 2 tablespoons of salt in the water.
    3. Bring to boil. Start timer for 14 minutes. When the potatoes come to boil, reduce heat to a simmer. After timer runs out, strain the potatoes in a colander.
    4. In a large bowl, place the potatoes and then add the duck fat, additional kosher salt, and pepper. Stir with your hands to incorporate and then place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    5. Place in the oven, and toss the potatoes every 15 minutes. The duck fat will slowly brown the potatoes, especially the sides touching the pan. So turning the potatoes every 15 minutes will help get more of the crunch on the surface area of the potatoes.
    6. After 40-45 minutes, the potatoes should be golden in color. Remove and place them in your favorite serving dish. Top with the parmesan and thyme. Serve warm.

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