January 2012 Bookworm Schedule

Reading is fun!

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

 C.S. Lewis

Welcome to a new year! At least one New Year’s Resolution should probably be about reading! Let;s hope we don’t have any Tuesday or Thursday snow days!

Tuesday,  January 3 – Mr. Boomsma will be at the school at 9 AM.

 Thursday,  January 5 – Mrs. Leeman will be at the school at 9 AM.

 Tuesday, January 10 – Mr. Boomsma will be at the school at 9 AM.

 Thursday,  January 12 – Mrs. Marsh will be at the school at 9 AM.

Monday, January 23 – Bookworms are invited to attend the “GrowME” meeting to help plan school activities by gardeners, farmers, and other volunteers. The meeting will be held at 9 AM at the PCSWCD office in Dover Foxcroft. Contact Mr. Boomsma for more information.

 Tuesday, January 17 – Mr. Boomsma will be at the school at 9 AM.

 Thursday, January 19 – Mrs. Leeman will be at the school at 9 AM.

Friday, January 20 — Bookworms and guests won’t want to miss the Valley Grange Potluck Supper at 6 PM followed by our meeting and program at 7 PM. This month’s program features the Penquis Journey House Program.

Tuesday, January 24 – Mr. Boomsma will be at the school at 9 AM.

 Thursday, January 26 – Mrs. Marsh will be at the school at 9 AM.

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January 2012 Health Beat

Karen’s Kolumn is written by Karen Dolley, R.N. and Grange Friend… we appreciate her knowledge and her willingness to share! This month’s topic is especially timely and important… it looks like the cold temperatures have arrived!

Happy New Year everyone! Unfortunately, the cold winter air seems to have arrived here in Maine along with 2012! So has the danger of hypothermia.

Victims of hypothermia are often elderly persons with limited resources for food, clothing, or heat; babies that are sleeping in cold bedrooms; people who remain outside for extended periods of time like the homeless; and people who abuse alcohol and/or illicit drugs.

Hypothermia, or cooling of the body’s temperature, occurs when the body’s normal temperature of 98.6 degrees F. drops below 95 degrees F. Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, confusion, sleepiness, slow-slurred speech, weak pulse, shallow breathing, behavior changes, and poor control of body movements. Infants will have cold skin that may be bright red in color and they will exhibit low energy. Hypothermia can cause an irregular heart beat, heart problems, and death.

To prevent hypothermia, wear several layers of loose clothing which traps warm air in between the layers. Stay inside on cold, windy days if possible. Wear a hat and gloves. Keep your head and neck wrapped. If you suspect a person may be suffering from hypothermia, keep the person warm and dry by wrapping them in blankets and coats. Have the person drink a warm beverage. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which promote body heat loss. Remove any wet clothing. Call 911.

Inside temperatures should be between 68-70 degrees. To conserve heat and heating costs, heat only the rooms that are being used and shut the vents to the other rooms. Shut the basement door. Always use space heaters safely. Check on your neighbors.

Call Penquis Cap if you think you may be income eligible for fuel assistance programs. Apply for emergency fuel assistance if you find yourself without heat and you can’t afford to purchase fuel. Call 211 for additional information about fuel assistance programs in the area.

For more information about hypothermia, visit www.cdc.gov or www.nih.gov. Be safe and stay warm this winter.

Merry Christmas!

Sincere best wishes for a very Merry Christmas to our friends far and near!

May your days be merry and bright! Of course not everyone can have a white Christmas… but here’s hoping for one that is filled with meaning and love… good times, good friends… and a few quiet moments to reflect on the season.

Thanks for the Dictionary…

A recent packet of thank you letters from third graders in Brownville included one from a young lady who understands the mission of the Dictionary Project:

Dear Mr. Boomsma,

Thank you for the dictionary. I love it. I read almost the whole thing. I even know what “leftover” means. It means some things (as food) leftover. I think that the dictionary is super cool. And super awesome. I now know that dictionarys can be pritty cool and quite awesome. I read until page 469. The dictionary is so, so, so cool. I know almost all of the words and what they mean. I read almost all the things to my mom and my baby sister. She loved the dictionary. My mom was prowd of me. I wish everyone in the world had a dictionary.

We’re working on it!

Bring On The Sheep!

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
“Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea,
With a voice as big as the sea.”

Thanks to the Bluegrass Music Association of Maine for making Piscataquis Santa the beneficiary of the “Jam” they held today in Cambridge… as a result, over $200 in cash was raised… along with a sack of presents… and over 100 pairs of mittens knitted by Debbie Burdin. So there were some voices “as big as the sea” raised today by some folks with hearts as big as the sea too! Thanks to all who performed and all who attended!

If Debbie has her way, there will be some naked sheep running around this year, because she’s already announced she wants to keep knitting… Valley Grange has a few knitters of our own and we are pleased to count Debbie Burdin and Pat Engstrom as “friends of the Grange.” Pat recently donated several afghans to our causes, including one currently being raffled by Penquis Journey House in Dexter.

We’d love to help these knit-wits by providing some yarn to keep those kneedles knitting! Colors really aren’t important–especially for the mittens. If you have any yarn hanging about that you’d like to see put to good use, please send an email or contact any member of Valley Grange.

Donate yarn! Save a sheep from being cold and support a worthy cause!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

We've been good!

The dusting of snow the night before allowed Santa to arrive by sleigh  (nobody noticed it on the roof) to enjoy a pancake breakfast with lots of kids from the area… even a few who took a while to “warm up” to him! The occasion was, of course, a merry one… but also with a purpose. Proceeds from the breakfast will be used to support the work of Penquis Journey House in Dexter. In addition to cash contributions at the door, folks brought a number of items to help fill the playpen with baby care and household goods. Valley Grange members also contributed to several specific projects, bringing the proceeds from the collaborative event to over $500. (There is still time to purchase raffle tickets for the great afghan that was also donated!)

The Penquis Journey House is a Transitional Housing Program for pregnant and parenting young women and their children who need a safe and nurturing place to live and grow.

I've been good!

Located in Dexter, the Penquis Journey House provides a safe haven and a home for up to four young women and six children at any given time. The young women are 16-21 years of age, and many have faced extraordinary hardship. They have endured abuse, poverty and health challenges. They have lacked safety, stability and support. Yet, they have persevered in hopes of a better future for themselves and their children.

Assistance is available for nearly every aspect of their lives, from health and transportation to parenting support and child care to education and career planning. They arrive at the Journey House seeking basic needs and leave ready to pursue their life goals.

Valley Grange is pleased and proud to support these young women and the Journey House Project. For additional information or to learn more about the needs and opportunities, call the Journey House at 924-0151 or visit the Penquis Journey House website.