February Pomona Meeting

The February Pomona meeting is now scheduled for Saturday, February 16th at East Sangerville Grange. Members of East Sangerville are providing supper at 6 PM and the meeting to follow at 7 PM will feature Vicky Huff, Maine State Grange Overseer. All area Grange members are encouraged to attend… while supper reservations aren’t required, it will help to have some idea of how many are coming… please contact Bill at 924-3537 or send an email to grange@boomsmaonline.com and let us know! Our complete February schedule will be posted soon…

Bookworm Schedule July 2012

Reading is fun!We may not be getting together at school, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t all reading! (Mr. Boomsma is reading some non-fiction [Talking Back To Facebook] and a book on Yankee Humor.) In lieu of a traditional bookworm schedule, consider these thoughts from Carl Sagan:

What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.

Here are some Valley Grange activities coming up:

Friday, July 20 – The regular Valley Grange Meeting will be held at the home of Mary and Jim Annis… potluck picnic starts at 6 PM! Call Jim or Mary at 564-0820 for more information.Saturday, July 21 – We’ll be having our Italian Buffet Dinner from 5 PM to 7 PM at the Grange Hall… this is a huge treat with a menu that runs from pizza to chicken cacciatore… and wait until you try the chocolate mousse (two s’s – otherwise it would be “mouse”) with raspberries… adults eat for $6, kids 5-12 $3, and under 5 eat free! All proceeds from this dinner benefit the Smart Starts for Students Program… come early before the food runs out!

Thursday, July 26 — Piscataquis Pomona* has their annual Fun and Fund Raiser in the form of a picnic and auction at the home of Walter & Janice Boomsma in Abbot… you don’t have to be a Grange Member to join the fun that often features some fantastic auction finds, plenty of laughs, and we usually wind up roasting marshmallows around the fire pit. Hamburgers and hotdogs are furnished… bring a salad or dessert to share… and if you have something “cool” for the auction, bring that as well! For more information contact the Boomsmas at 876-4131.

Saturday, July 28th — Valley Grange Bookworms and members will be at the Guilford River Festival again this year, handing out free balloons and asking how kids are doing with their summer reading!

Enjoy the summer… and spend some time with a book!

*The Grange “Pomona” is a regional (originally county) collection of local or community Granges… the Piscataquis Pomona includes Dexter, East Sangerville, Garland, South Sangerville and Valley Granges.

Valley Brings Home Blue Ribbon

Janice did her little victory dance… and all around the membership you could hear the smile of victory as the news travelled. (Yes, you can hear a smile!) Valley Grange will be bringing home the Blue First Place Ribbon from the Piscataquis Valley Fair.

A major part of our booth was devoted to a "sheep to shawl" demonstration.

This year’s exhibit featured a “sheep to shawl” demonstration and our 2010 National Community Service Award, along with a mixture of items, products, and information that the judges felt deserved the Award. Setting up the booth was a true team effort under the watchful and artful eye of Mary Annis assisted by Jim and Kevin, Roger and Judy, and Janice and Walter… along with appropriate heckling by several Garland Grange members and a few suggestions from unidentified passers-by.

South Sangerville Grange received second place for their display and Garland was a close third. A fourth (Pomona) display focused on the grange in general with specific information about each grange in the area. There’s still time to visit the Grange Exhibit Hall for a first-hand, up close and personal look!

Exhibits are traditionally removed Sunday afternoon as the fair closes, but the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene could impact Sunday’s activities.  We believe it will be possible to postpone removing exhibits until Monday and that may be both practical and safe! If we receive any official news I’ll either post or pass along by telephone.


Grange Leaders to be Installed at Valley Grange

Valley Grange is honored to be hosting the annual installation of officers ceremony on Friday, August 19th at 7 PM and the public is invited. For those unfamiliar with Grange structure, the organization follows a “grassroots” model starting with local or community granges also called subordinate granges. These subordinate granges are clustered into Pomonas–historically the Pomona Grange followed county lines, but over the years these lines have blurred with Pomonas now organized in more regional fashions.

The local Piscataquis Pomona includes Valley (Guilford), Garland, Dexter, South Sangerville, East Sangerville, and Parkman Grange.  The installation ceremony being conducted on Friday is organized by the Pomona with all subordinate granges invited to participate. State Grange Leader James Owens will lead the ceremony assisted by a special installation team.

In years past Pomona Meetings were big events–sometimes lasting an entire weekend with members “camping out” at a local Grange Hall. These campouts always featured great food–a grange tradition. While this year’s event doesn’t include camping, it does include a food opportunity.

In planning this year’s grand event, Valley Grange is collaborating with Penquis to provide an Italian Dinner that will benefit the Smart Starts for Student’s Project. For a minimum donation of $6 for adults, $3 for children 5 -12 (under 5 eat free) folks will enjoy a wide variety of Italian Dishes and a build your own salad bar.

The public is invited to either the dinner, the installation or both! This is an unusual opportunity for a great meal and to learn a little bit about the granges who are serving communities in the area. Dinner will be served from 5 PM until 7 PM (or until the food runs out)… Installation will begin at 7 PM. Come join your friends and neighbors!


Grangers Have Busy Weekends!

Starting tonight… at 5 PM, Valley Grange members decided move our meeting to Dover Foxcroft and show our support of Pinetree Hospice by joining their 25th Anniversary Celebration on the grounds of Mayo Hospital.

Tommorrow we travel to Garland Grange for a “degree day” beginning at 3 PM. (This event appeared in several local newspapers as being at Valley Grange–my mistake! The correct location is Garland.) We’ll be joining other granges from around the area in a special program that officially installs new members. Attending members are encouraged to bring a salad or dessert to accompany the “bean supper” Garland will serve at 5 PM.

Don’t forget next weekend Valley Grange has a public bean supper and and Hootenanny on Friday July 22. Supper is from 5 – 7 PM… Hootenanny featuring North Country Strings starts at 7 PM… and the JD Foundation Yard Sale  will be  going on Friday (22), Saturday (23) and Sunday (24).

And we’ll see you at Piscataquis River Festival on Saturday, July 30th!

And don’t forget… we’re collecting school supplies for the Smart Starts for Students Program at all these events.

Pomona Plays and Picnics

Over the river and through the woods… about thirty folks came from far and wide for the Annual Piscataquis Pomona Picnic at the Boomsma’s Abode… We think we had three Pomonas represented as well as a number of Granges and some “non grange” folks too! Harley served as gatekeeper, vacuum cleaner, and a source of occasional amusement.

We raised some fun and we raised some funds… the auction fattened up our treasurer by approximately $100 thanks to some competitive bidding on some unusual items. While Dot Hutchins of Ripley was after one item, she observed to her competing bidder, “Well, I don’t know you.” Cheryl Morin from Valley replied, “You will before we leave.” Auctioneer Walter reminded folks, “There are no friends at auctions.”

Valley Grange’s collection box for Smart Starts for Students got a little fuller… as did everyone’s stomach, thanks to those who brought a wide variety of “potluck picnic” food. The weather was perfect and we didn’t end up feeding very many mosquitoes. Thanks to all who made this annual event a success!

Coming VERY soon!

Thursday, July 7–Pomona Picnic

We’re still on for Thursday… come any time after 5 PM—the grill will start at 6 PM… our auction promises to be fun… and we’ll finish up with the traditional marshmallow roast. Right now the weather forecast is “scattered thundershowers.” Let’s hope they are scattered somewhere besides Abbot! Complete details are posted here.

Friday, July 15–Monthly Meeting

In lieu of a traditional meeting, we’ll be supporting Pine Tree Hospice as they celebrate their 25th Anniversary from 5 – 8 on the Mayo Hospital Grounds. It’s a free family barbeque, entertainment and silent auction… should be a fun evening! We’ll meet there. If you have any questions about our participation, call Jim and Mary at 564-0820. This could end up being one of our “easiest” meetings this year!

July 16 Pomona Degree Day

This starts at 3 PM at Garland Grange and will include all granges in the area. New members who joined this year are especially encouraged to come… If you are part of the “degree team,” make sure you’ve reviewed your part in the manual. There will be a paid supper – we are being asked to help with desserts. Call Bill at 924-3537 or Jean at 924-3504 to see what’s needed.

July 22 Supper/Hootenanny

Summer fun! Enjoy a traditional baked bean suppah and some great music by Susan Ramsey and The North Country Strings… Supper starts at 5 PM, music starts at 7 PM. Come to one or both! Everything is by donation so this is definitely affordable family fun. Complete details are coming soon!

July 23-24 JD Foundation Yard Sale

Congratulations to Vic and Blaine for completing the bike ride across Maine for Suicide Awareness… They pedaled some 538 miles and made contact with a lot of people. After finishing up, Vic said, “In bicycling there’s always one more hill to climb and for people suffering from mental illness and depression I feel this is also true. Blaine and I were able to climb those hills because we were well prepared with great equipment. We as a society need to provide the needed tools and equipment to those suffering from these diseases so they too can climb their hills.” That is, of course, one of the points of the annual yard sale—to raise funds so they can provide tools and equipment to help people climb their hills. You can obviously help by attending and buying stuff, but note also that Vic and Cheryl could use some help getting ready, during the sale itself and after… their Yard Sale is “wicked huger” than Valley Grange’s! Send Cheryl an email with your offer to help and check out this post!

July 30 River Festival

Grange members and bookworm readers will be at the Valley Grange Information Booth… Come by and say “Hi!”

Summer Schedule Announced!

Valley Grange doesn’t take the summer off… and this year we’re busier than ever! You can download a copy of our 2011 Summer Programwith details regarding…

Our Wicked Huge Yard and Bake Sale on June 18… a Potluck Picnic on July 7th… Bean Supper and Hootenanny on July 22… and an informational booth at the Piscataquis River Festival on July 20th…

Annual Piscataquis Pomona Picnic Fun and Fund Raiser

Ending with the traditional marshmallow roast

It’s the… seventh? annual fun and fundraiser at the home of Walter and Janice Boomsma…

The official start time (eating!) is 6 PM, but you can arrive any time after  5 PM to  sit and commune with nature, throw some horseshows, feed mosquitoes… .  If you can find the Abbot Post Office, you can find the Boomsma’s house… just head down River Road across from the Abbot PO… it’s the second house on the right, 17 River Road.  Bring lawn games and lawn/folding chairs! It’s a Potluck Picnic… the grill will be going and Walter and Janice will provide hot dogs and hamburgers and should have plenty of condiments… you might bring a casserole, salad, dessert to share. We usually have plenty of food, so don’t think bringing something is a requirement!

The auction probably won’t put Christies out of business, although we always have some classics… it’s really sort of an opportunity to get rid of junk, have some fun, and raise a little money for worthy causes. Remember, you do not have to be a Grange Member to attend this… and it’s a great opportunity for some good old-fashioned fun with some good old-fashioned folk. Well-behaved children are welcome and might be enlisted as auction helpers. Poorly behaved children will be auctioned off as slaves.  Any questions about the event can be directed to Janice or Walter either by email or at 876-4131. Bring a friend — if you don’t have one come and make one!

Note that this will be an opportunity to contribute to the Smart Starts for Students Collection Box or Can… bring some school supplies (pens, pencils, erasers, gluesticks, etc.) to help our kids!

Let Them Eat Cake!

How many reasons do you need to have cake?

We have some ongoing jokes about our Pomona meetings hosted at East Sangerville Grange… but they always have some surprises for us under the heading of “Grange Food.” This last meeting was no exception as we feasted on a delicious cake prepared in celebration of Valley Grange’s National Community Service Award. Diane McCarthy Clark did manage to work up the courage to cut the work of art… it didn’t take much courage to eat a piece or two! Thanks to East Sangerville Grange for hosting the meeting and honoring us with the cake! Yum!