Bringing Home the Blue

20140823_71SMValley Grange left the Piscataquis Valley Fair and brought home the Blue Ribbon for it’s “Then and Now” Grange booth.  The display also turned out to be a traffic stopper as some of the older folks remembered… and some of the younger folks said, “What is that?!” Telephones seemed to be of particular interest with children and grandchildren expressing disbelief that their parents and grandparents actually talked “into those things.”

The display also featured information about Valley’s many community service efforts ranging from Words for Thirds Dictionary Days to Coups for Troops. Examples of handcrafts and agriculture rounded out the display which remained in place throughout the fair.

The display was assembled by Mary and Jim Annis, Janice Boomsma, Linda Erwin, and Bob Carroll in the hopes fair-goers would enjoy the contrasts and learn more about the Grange.

20140823_72SM

Eat and Learn with Extension

Saturday, September 6 Valley Grange hosts the UMaine Extension Piscataquis County Annual Supper and Meeting and it looks like there’s going to be something for everyone!

logo-piscataquis-santaAnother yummy supper is prepared by Penquis Volunteers and all proceeds will benefit Piscataquis Santa. Supper will be served from 5 PM until 7 PM. The meal deal will feature locally grown produce… baked ham, carrots, turnip, squash, potatoes and gravy… apple crisp for desert! Minimum donation is $8 for adults, $4 for kids 3-12, under 3 eat free! Remember, 100% of the proceeds benefit the Piscataquis Santa Fund! (There will only be 110 days until Christmas from this event!)

A LOGOThe program parts include lots of exciting things! Prior to and during supper there will be Extension exhibits and demonstrations including a working bee hive and information on gardening, farming and nutrition. Bring your gardening, farming, nutrition, 4-H questions! There will also be lots of material available… The annual meeting starting at 7 PM will feature highlights of local programming and a feature presentation by John Jemison, UMaine Extension Agronomist, “Think Globally; Eat Locally.” All exhibits, demonstrations, and the program are free!

This is collaboration and cooperation at its best! You can come to one thing or you can come to everything!

Up, Up and Away at River Festival

Here are just a few random images from the 2014 Guilford River Festival… Valley Grange is a proud participant, passing out approximately 300 balloons this year–including some that got away–and having a great time! Thanks to those who came by to visit and a special thanks to those who bought 101 Raffle Tickets! Your support makes our programs possible!

Booth space was provided by Abbot Village Press–hard working volunteers included Bob Carroll, Linda Erwin, Jim and Mary Annis, Roger and Judy Ricker, and Janice and Walter Boomsma.

 

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Health Beat — August 2014

HeartDr. Lesley Fernow writes a column called “Senior Matters” for the Piscataquis Observer in Dover Foxcroft. Valley Grange is privileged to have permission to use her past columns for our  “Health Beat” Feature and for the information to be reposted to the Maine State Grange website. Address your questions or comments  to lmf@fernowmedicalhousecalls.com, 207-992-6822. Please note that information is general in nature and specific questions should be addressed to your health care professional.

This month’s column was a guest column written by Walter Boomsma for the June 2014 Senior Matters and as a follow up to least month’s “It’s time to live it up” Health beat.

Borrowing Kids Helps Hearts

Several years ago the Mrs. and I accidentally started what has become an annual tradition when we decided to go to the circus. Since it just didn’t feel right going by ourselves, we borrowed the children of some friends to take with us. We had a ball. The kids kept thanking us for months.

Fearing they will eventually decide they are “too old,” we still keep asking every year only to discover they’ve been anxiously waiting for our invitation. We don’t spend much money—they bring their own but are careful spenders. It’s become one of our favorite days of the year.

Educator Rita Pierson says, “Every kid deserves and needs a champion.” She’s right, of course, but what’s great about borrowing kids is that every adult deserves and needs at least one kid. In fact, the older we get, the more important it becomes to spend time with kids. Whether you take your own grandchildren or borrow some, everybody wins.

Studies have documented the benefits of mixing seniors and kids, but the statistics aren’t half as exciting as the experience itself. During our last foray, we learned (rather humorously) the disadvantage of being the youngest in the family. We also watched two young ladies make some very intelligent decisions that left us believing there is hope for the future.

Of course we acknowledge that borrowing kids is an awesome responsibility, but we’ve learned not to make things too complicated. The kids actually don’t expect much. It’s not about how much money you spend; it’s about respecting and being interested in them as little people.

There are plenty of free and low-cost opportunities to share with a kid. Talk to them; listen to them. Appreciate their energy and wonder. Your heart will feel younger.

You don’t have to speak Italian…

You don’t have to speak Italian to enjoy eating it! Family friendly pricing… note also area Granges will be participating in an officer installation program immediately following the supper… the public is invited!

Italian Buffet Postcard

Health Beat — July 2014

HeartDr. Lesley Fernow writes a column called “Senior Matters” for the Piscataquis Observer in Dover Foxcroft. Valley Grange is privileged to have permission to use her past columns for our  “Health Beat” Feature and for the information to be reposted to the Maine State Grange website. Address your questions or comments  to lmf@fernowmedicalhousecalls.com, 207-992-6822. Please note that information is general in nature and specific questions should be addressed to your health care professional.

It’s summer time and it is time for people of all ages to Live It Up.  There are wonderful ways to start the month and to get out.  We recommend for maximum health benefit, seniors should do it with a kid.   What can be better for the spirit than fishing?  Teaching a “young-un” to fish.

This is a special opportunity for seniors who want to spend some “quality time” with grandchildren (your own or someone else’s!) and share your wisdom, patience and love of the outdoors.  It is also a time for children to remind us of how it was when everything was new and wonderful, to remind us how to really experience life as if it were the first time.   Sharing such moments with children gives meaning to our lives and allows us to pass on our dreams, skills and passions to the next generation.  It sometimes stretches us to answer questions we forgot kids ask, and reminds us to keep open to the joy of discovery which young children always have.  Our young children need the mentorship of older people to grow into healthy, responsible adults.  It is an opportunity for them to learn simple life skills from someone with time to spare who isn’t “measuring” their success.   Their parents may also thank you for spending the time with their child.

If fishing is not for you, or you are looking for more “entertainment,” invite a child to go to a fair or any on the many summer events in your area.  Whatever you do, call up a kid and grab an opportunity to “live it up”.

Whatever you are planning with young children, a few tips to make the trip easier:   pack a few easy, healthful snacks like granola bars, fruit, raisins.  Plan for short outings.  An hour or two may be enough for a vey young child.  Don’t plan on driving a long way to the destination-the child will get bored and may get cranky before you get there.  Most of all, have fun!

Backpack Registration Open

Valley Grange is a big supporter of this program–in fact we have a benefit dinner scheduled for August 16 at the hall. Parents, note the deadline to sign up for a backpack for your child(ren) is August 11th and can be done by clicking the link at the bottom. 


Registration is now open for parents to get help providing backpacks for their children. Please share with friends or on pages where families in Piscataquis, Penobscot and Knox counties will see it.

The Penquis Backpack Registration is now open for those families living in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Knox counties. The Penquis, "We've Got Your Back" program provides a backpacks to school-age children. Registration closes August 11th. Click the following link to register. http://www.penquis.org/index.php?id=2&sub_id=1686

The Penquis Backpack Registration is now open for those families living in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Knox counties. The Penquis “We’ve Got Your Back” program provides a backpacks to school-age children. Registration closes August 11th. Click the following link to register:

http://www.penquis.org/index.php?id=2&sub_id=1686

Happy Birthday, Betty!

Betty VanDyke continues to be a big supporter of Valley Grange in as many ways as possible. Betty recently celebrated her 9oth Birthday with a party attended by many friends and Grangers. Those couldn’t attend sent cards and messages. This is Betty’s appreciation and some thoughts about her Grange career.


A Happy Betty is flanked by her daughters Lois (left) and Ginny at her 90th birthday celebration.

I don’t think anyone will ever know how I feel about the Grange and how badly I felt the day I wrote for a demit that I knew I would never use.  Those 28 years were the best years of my life and I miss those days a lot.  The work I did being Lecturer of Valley Grange for oh so many years were growing years for me and grow I did using my brain to prepare the programs that I hoped would be satisfactory for the night.  Being on the CWA committee where my husband had to bring me to Augusta and “cart women  around” was a highlight of my belonging.  Then being asked to be Community Service Director of the Maine State Grange, how proud I was for that, receiving  a Plaque of Achievement for work well done was over the top. I tell you all this not to brag but to let you how much the Grange meant to me.

I was “from away,” you see, and people told me then that I would never be accepted.   But I tell you here and now I have been accepted and you can be too.  The friends I have made through this journey are precious to me because they don’t forget. I have seen this recently on the occasion of my 90th birthday with the cards and Facebook messages from Grangers near and far.

I do hope with all my heart that Valley Grange grows with the community as I try to help out in whatever manner I can.  If you are from away, please don’t try to change these good people, they have a lot to offer to you and you will be happier if you listen  to them. Join what ever Grange is closest to you.  Join to help them, your community and yourself.  And as the Girl Scouts sing, “Make new friends, keep the old, one is silver the other is gold.”  As a member of the Grange you can accomplish a lot.

Best of luck to all Granges everywhere.

I remain your friend,

Betty VanDyke

Bookworms Also Write!

Artist's rendition of bookworm buddies!

Artist’s rendition of bookworm buddies!

Here are a few thank you notes we recently received from our Bookworm Buddies at Piscataquis Community Elementary School:

Dear Bookworm Friends,

Thank you for letting me read to you this year. I enjoyed talkng and reading to you it was really fun very fun. You were very nice and very kind to me. I hope you have a nice and joyful summer.

Thank you for listening to me read this year. I will see you next year. Are you going to be here next year? Have a great summer!

I want to thank you for listening to me read this year. It was really fun and I want to do it again. I am going to read more this summer. Have a great summer.

Thank you for listening to me read this year. I hope you enjoyed listening to me read to you. I hope you have a nice summer. I won’t see you next year but I hope you have fun reading with the other kids.

Thank you for letting me read to you. I enjoyed when it was my turn to read to you. I live it when you take your time to come and listen to me. I look forward to seeing you next year.

Thank you for letting me read to you. I hope your summer is fun. I hope you do lots of things over the summer. Drive safe. I will be reading a lot this summer.

Thank you for listening to me read this year. It was fun! But I won’t see you next year because I’m moving. I wish I don’t have to move. Have a good summer!

Thank you for listening to me read this year and letting me talk to you. I plan to read this summer.


Dear Bookworms and friends,

Thank you! We will miss listening to you read this summer while we are all on vacation! We had fun with you and learned a lot, too. Have a great summer but don’t forget to visit the library and do your summer reading!

Sincerely,

The Valley Grange Bookworms

Health Beat — June 2014

HeartDr. Lesley Fernow writes a column called “Senior Matters” for the Piscataquis Observer in Dover Foxcroft. Valley Grange is privileged to have permission to use her past columns for our  “Health Beat” Feature and for the information to be reposted to the Maine State Grange website. Address your questions or comments  to lmf@fernowmedicalhousecalls.com, 207-992-6822. Please note that information is general in nature and specific questions should be addressed to your health care professional.

Lifelong learning is the process of keeping your mind and body engaged—at any age—by actively pursuing knowledge and experience. Lifelong learning–whether it’s learning how to paint, speak a foreign language, use a computer, improve your golf swing, or repair your car—has wonderful benefits for adults 50-plus:

  • Keeps your mind sharp
  • Improves memory
  • Increases self-confidence
  • Offers an inexpensive way to try something new
  • Saves money as you learn to “do it yourself”
  • Gives you a feeling of accomplishment
  • Helps you meet people who share your interests
  • Builds on skills you already have
  • Offers an opportunity to learn a new skill or trade and increase your income
  • Gives you a new interest that you can share with family and friends

The Piscataquis Valley Adult Educational Cooperative (PVAEC) is a regional collaborative offering courses in various programs from literacy training to personal enrichment to college degree programs.  For more information go to: http://pvaec.maineadulted.org/about/ or visit Penquis Higher Education Center (PHEC) at 50 Mayo Street, Dover-Foxcroft, Phone: 564-2942.

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