Then and Now!

Come see us at the Piscataquis Valley Fair

We sweated through setting up a “then and new” display in the Grange Building demonstrating how some things are and how they used to be… The display also features information about some of the projects we do, including our recent “Quilts and Lap Robes for Veterans” in support of CHCS’s Hospice Program. Stop by while visiting the fair–it’s open today through Sunday. The photos don’t do it justice!

Special thanks go to Irene Thomas for giving us a hand… and to Alex and Lilly for helping us unload! Help will also be sought for take-down on Sunday… contact Mary Annis at 564-0820 if you can help!

June Meeting Notes

We had our annual election of officers… the site has been updated but there weren’t many changes! Amy Larrabee was elected Ceres, Kevin Annis was elected Steward, and Janice Boomsma was elected to the Executive Committee. Kevin Annis was appointed Membership Director. You can check out a list of leadership positions and responsibilities here!

Pat Engstrom reported that she delivered 21 Linus Blankets–work resulting from our “Blanketeering” event back in April and several individuals who’ve been working on them sense. Thanks to Pat’s “blistered fingers” we are also delivering three lap robes to the CHCS Hospice Program. Walter admits he’s become a big advocate of the program, particularly the service they are providing veterans. Lap robes (afghans) and quilts are needed! If you’d like to help, contact Pat or Walter!

As a reminder, we substitute the Piscataquis Pomona Picnic Fun and Fundraiser for our July meeting. It is scheduled for July 13, 2021 at the Boomsma Abode! For more information, contact Janice or Walter.

We also voted our annual donation to House in the Woods and Home for Little Wanderers from the CWA Fund.

While it presents some challenges, we also agreed that we will create a fair display this year–both for Valley Grange and for Piscataquis Pomona. We need ideas for the Valley Grange display—and willing workers for setting up (August 25, 2021) and tearing down (August 29, 2021). Mary and Janice will be organizing, please let them know you are willing to help!

Help is one thing we always can use more of! And members! For various reasons, we recently lost several and we truly need to consider a “membership drive” of some sort. Joining Valley Grange is not difficult or expensive. Just ask any member!

As things return to “normal,” we are looking forward to gearing up more of our traditional programming such as Bookworming, GrowME… our community celebrations… and we hope you’ll want to be part of it!

January 2017 Bookworm Schedule

Reading is fun!Welcome to a new year of reading!

Thursday, January 5— Ms. Erwin will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Tuesday, January 10— Mrs. Chadbourne will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Thursday, January 12— Mrs. Lander will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Monday, January 16— No School!

Tuesday, January 17— Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Thursday, January 19— Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Tuesday, January 24— Ms. Erwin will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Thursday, January 26Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Tuesday, January 31— Mrs. Lander will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.


“The book you don’t read won’t help.”

–Jim Rohn

Bookworm Schedule — December 2016


A short but busy month it is!

Thursday, December 1 — Ms. Erwin will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Friday, December 2 is the Fellowship Breakfast at Valley Grange, starting at 6:00 p.m.

Monday, December 5 is the K-3 Holiday Concert at PCSS, starting at 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 6 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Wednesday, December 7 is the 4-6 Holiday Concert at PCES, starting at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 8 — Mrs. Chadbourne will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Tuesday, December 13 — Mrs. Lander will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Thursday, December 15 — Mrs. Erwin will be at school to read starting at 8:45 a.m.

Don’t forget to bring canned goods to PCES for the Giving Tree!

Monday, December 19 — No school–unless you’re a teacher! Christmas vacation for students begins… and the first day back isn’t until January 3, 2017! Enjoy the time off, but keep reading!

“Do give books – religious or otherwise – for Christmas. They’re never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.”

– Lenore Hershey

“My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles scattered in the pages. They smell of Christmas still.”

– Charlton Heston

What a bunch of cut ups!

Over twenty “cut ups” met at Valley Grange recently to manufacture blankets under the direction of Pat Engstrom. (The blankets are made by cutting and tying fringe around the borders.) Several dozen blankets have been made and distributed to the Linus Project and the Veterans’ Home in Bangor. A special thanks goes to the group of students from Foxcroft Academy who attended and pitched in. No doubt we’ll be doing this again!

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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

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

Painted and Painting

Photo from prep day... what it used to look like!

Photo from prep day… what it used to look like!

Wow… do we owe a big thanks to the “Helping Hands” Team of seven who showed up ready to paint last Thursday! We got a lot done!

As noted earlier, the Grange Team did a great job with preparations that including moving chairs, taking down curtains, scraping and more… our motives weren’t entirely altruistic–we were hoping that we could get the bulk of the painting done in the day we had “Helping Hands.”

Thanks go to Grangers Jim Annis, Roger Ricker, Janice Boomsma, Pat Engstrom and granddaughter Heather for showing up to help on painting day. We tried to be helpful in part by staying out of the way!

So here’s the progress report and another request for some support. By the time the Helping Hands crew had to leave we had the ceiling and walls done plus one coat covering the trim. To our grateful surprise, the Helping Hands crew from the Mountainview Youth Development Program asked if they could come back and finish… and not only finish, but also paint the floor!

Jim, that's a painting cup--not coffee!

Jim, that’s a painting cup–not coffee!

So… we’ve schedule another painting day on Thursday, May 1st. In anticipation, I’ve painted the dear old Glenwood stove and picked up the additional supplies–mostly floor paint–the Helping Hands Crew took all our brushes with them to clean and return!

But I am “forced” to call on our Grange members and friends for some real easy help that doesn’t involve brushes and ladders. We did not budget for lunch for a second day of painting… and we need to feed these guys with HUGE appetites that increase as a result of hard work! So we’re looking for some help with lunch. If you can, please help by providing some sustenance!

Bear in mind, cooking is pretty much out of the question as the kitchen is in total disarray, so we’re looking for sandwiches… baked goodies are a special treat–last time we had brownies by Mary and “Seven Layer Cookies” by Janice… We could consider a crockpot of soup… Unfortunately, both Mary and Janice are not available for this party–Janice took special pride in trying to fill the guys up last time! Can we put on a “Grange Spread” for our willing workers? We’ll probably be feeding seven to ten people and lunch is usually needed around 11:30. If necessary, you can drop food off the day before–use the refrigerator.

Breakfast type snacks are a bonus–donuts, coffee cake, etc. We’ll get the coffee on and I already have “Sunny D.” The crew will probably arrive around 8:30 AM and work until 2:30 PM. Stop by and check out the work, say “thanks,” and offer your encouragement!

A preview of the finished product.

A preview of the finished product.


Newspapers in Education — First Place Ads!

Don’t miss the Newspapers in Education Supplement in this week’s Piscataquis Observer–look for some stories about Valley Grange’s participation and find these two ads!

Third Grade, First Place ad drawn by Julia Rose Munson

Third Grade, First Place ad drawn by Julia Rose Munson

Fourth Grade, First Place Ad drawn by Taylor Folsom

Fourth Grade, First Place Ad drawn by Taylor Folsom

Home on the Grange – Part One

In case you missed the live broadcast… here’s a link to the feature story by Joy Hollowell, WABI TV 5:

Home on the Grange (Part One)

Home on the Grange (Part Two)