Dirigo’s Green Thumbs

A quick tour around Dirigo Pines and you’ll quickly see just how much we like to play in the dirt. Our cottage residents grow beautiful gardens that add real curb appeal, and our folks at the Inn are always more than willing to add some color and life to the garden beds come spring. 

Did you know our Inn residents also have the opportunity to claim a raised bed just outside the breakfast room? That means those in our apartments can still have a chance to grow beautiful flowers and tasty veggies and play in the dirt all spring and summer. 

The benefits of gardening are many – from stress relief to exercise to adding all those delicious fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. And when the veggies start growing at Dirigo there’s usually more than enough to go around – many days residents can find vegetables available at the front desk in exchange for a donation to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s – a favorite charity among Dirigo residents.


Dirigo Dish: Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl

egg-157224Here’s a fun and hearty breakfast from the American Heart Association. And it’s easy to add your own twist with black beans, cucumbers and more. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

4 Servings

  • 1/4 cup raw quinoa
  • 1/2 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup no-salt-added, frozen corn (thawed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • hot sauce (optional)

Tip: Cooked quinoa stores well in the freezer. Make a big batch and freeze. Add a few teaspoons of water and warm in the microwave. Or, let the frozen quinoa defrost in the refrigerator for a day and stir into a cold salad.

Directions

  • Cook quinoa according to the package directions. Remove from heat and let sit.
  • Prepare the remaining ingredients: pit and dice the avocado half; chop the tomatoes; rinse the canned corn; chop the scallions, and chop the cilantro.
  • Divide quinoa between 4 bowls. Arrange the avocado, tomatoes, corn, scallions, and (optional) cilantro between each bowl.
  • Meanwhile, coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Crack each egg into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook until egg whites are set but yolk is still runny, about 3 to 4 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully transfer each sunny-side-up egg into each bowl. Garnish with hot sauce and serve.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!


Volunteer!

cat-205757_1920Volunteering is a great way to serve our communities and our souls. Dirigo Pines residents regularly gather funds to help the Alzheimer’s Association, a favorite charity for residents and staff alike. Here are few other ways to volunteer and help out in the Orono and Bangor area. 

  1. Help a furry friend. The Bangor Humane Society is a nonprofit organization serving over 200 communities in northern and eastern Maine. The shelter’s wish list includes canned dog and cat food, new or used blankets, sheets, towels and washcloths, dog and cat treats, paper towels and more. Click here for the full list. Interested in volunteering? They need dog walkers, help cleaning cat kennels, doing laundry, socializing with kitties, and more. Click here for details. 
  2. Enjoy cooking for others? Just dropping a meal to neighbor is a great and simple way to spread some love in your area. There are also lots of soup kitchens in the area that would love your help! Volunteer to cook and/or serve a meal. The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter is a great place to provide a meal – whether it’s just one time or on a regular schedule. Click here to learn more! 
  3. Speaking of donating food – there are lots of food pantries that need supplies. Good Shepherd Food Bank serves residents throughout the state, and accepts donations at their Hampden facility. They are also always looking for volunteers. Click here to learn more. Like driving? Meal on Wheels needs volunteers to deliver food! Find details on volunteermaine.org.
  4. Local hospitals are another great way to find regular volunteer opportunities. Both Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital are always looking for great volunteers. The Ronald McDonald House in Bangor, which provides a home-away-from-home for families of ill or seriously injured children, is another service looking for volunteers right now!

Want more volunteer ideas? Visit volunteermaine.org to find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you! What’s your favorite way to give back? Share your volunteer ideas!


9 Reasons to Fall in Love with Dirigo Pines

There are so many reasons to love Dirigo Pines – let us count the ways!

  1. Putting Green: Take a swing over at Dirigo’s Piney Knoll Putting Green. In 2014, the 40 by 15 foot artificial turf putting green was installed and it’s been a popular attraction ever since! You can spot residents out clearing the snow at the first signs of spring, anxious to get swinging! The green is host to annual putting contests among residents, as well as with other area retirement communities. It’s also a great way for residents to brush up on their short game while preparing for Dirigo’s annual Golf Classic that takes place each August to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. 
  2. Trails: Dirigo’s trails connect in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main Street, between Route 2 and I-95. Pick up a  trail brochure – developed by our residents and available at the trail entrance behind the Dirigo Pines Inn – and get walking and discovering! Click here for more information about our trails! 
  3. Fine Dining: Chef Lou Stubbs and his incredible team in the kitchen make mouth-watering meals that leave residents (and visitors) raving. Using locally sourced produce and seafood is important to the team, and ensures high quality, fresh and delicious meals. From grilled salmon to monte cristos to lobster ravioli, the dining at Dirigo can’t be beat. And don’t miss Sunday brunch – it’s an amazing spread you’ll be thinking about all week! Dirigo recently introduced All Day Dining Program, a unique concept designed to provide residents freedom of choice with options like breakfast for dinner or lunch at 2 p.m. rather than noon. 
  4. Location, Location, Location: Orono is centrally located in our great state, and just a short drive to amazing attractions like Acadia National Park, Maine’s rocky coastline, the western mountains, outdoor adventures in the great north woods, or a day of shopping in Freeport. Within Orono itself, great restaurants, museums, and the University of Maine are all easily accessible. At UMaine, enjoy a show at the Collins Center, cheer for the Black Bears hockey team, check out Fogler Library, or enjoy a swim or workout at the New Balance Recreation Center. UMaine also offers tennis courts, cross-country skiing trails, and bike paths. Seminars and lectures are regularly presented on campus, and academic courses offer endless ways to fulfill lifelong desires for learning. Click here for a list of upcoming performances at UMaine’s Collins Center for the Arts.
  5. The People: Dirigo Pines is home to artists, musicians, college professors, outdoor enthusiasts, world travelers – you never know who you might meet while walking the halls or trails, attending an event or enjoying dinner. Dirigo Pines also boasts the friendliest and most professional staff around. There’s always someone to greet you with a warm smile at Dirigo or offer a helping hand. Our nursing staff is available around the clock, our maintenance crew is always ready to help, and our kitchen staff is top notch. 
  6. Beautiful Facility: We know you’ll be impressed the moment you step foot on Dirigo Pines’ campus. From our beautifully maintained grounds, stunning Inn, stone fireplaces, and cozy library, it’s clear that attention to detail is important here. There’s something for every season – from spring fishing in the stocked ponds, to summer meals on the stone patio, to walking the nature trails to enjoy the fall foliage or winter’s wonderland.
  7. Fishing Ponds: Dirigo Pines offers two stocked fishing ponds, available to residents ready to cast a line. The ponds are stocked with small trout each spring, just before we celebrate our annual Fishing Derby for anglers of all skill levels. Residents have been known to hook a monster or two and throw them right on the grill! The ponds are one of the many ways to enjoy nature at Dirigo. They’re surrounded by walking trails and benches, and it’s not uncommon to spot a deer, Canada geese or a heron enjoying the natural beauty.
  8. Healthcare Services When You Need Them: Working with area hospitals, Dirigo Pines offers a depth of medical expertise to all residents. The Inn provides independent and assisted living opportunities, as well as memory care and specialized care. Primary and specialized care practitioners provide on-site geriatric care, podiatry, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy services.
  9. Activities & Events: Dirigo residents and staff know how to have fun! From concerts and play productions, to fun traditions like watching Dirigo Dug come out of his tent each Groundhog Day to predict the beginning of spring, there’s no shortage of entertainment at Dirigo Pines. The Dirigo Pines activity staff plans regular exercise programs, guest speakers, groups for all interests, musical entertainment, outings to local shows and attractions, movies and more. With fulfilling programs and activities every day, it’s easy to meet new people and make new friends.

Healthy Eating Tips

salmon-518032_1920Who doesn’t have eat healthier on their list of New Year’s Resolutions? A healthy diet is one of best ways to take good care of yourself and benefit your heart this February! Keep that old food pyramid in mind as you’re shopping, and focus on adding a wider variety of fruits and veggies and whole grains into your daily menu. We love sharing heart healthy recipes – click here for a list of Dirigo Dish recipes! 

Here are a few other healthy eating tips:

  • Get friendly with fish and work salmon, trout, herring and other fish containing omega-3 fatty acids into you diet at least twice per week
  • Choose low-fat (1%) or fat-free dairy and milk products
  • Need to lower your cholesterol? Try reducing your saturated fat to no more than 5 to 6 percent of your total calories. So if you’re eating 2,000 calories per day, that’s about 13 grams of saturated fat.
  • Lose the soda and foods with added sugar
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That’s no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.

Want more great tips and healthy recipes? The American Heart Association website is full of tips and healthy recipes. Click here!


Skiing and Snow Shoeing in Maine

human-93758_1920Winter in Maine means time to hibernate, right? Wrong! It’s time to get outside and enjoy the snow! 

Go skiing! If your knees are up for some downhill skiing, Maine’s got you covered! Close to Dirigo Pines is Hermon Mountain, family-friendly (also friendly to those of us who haven’t strapped on skis in a while) hill with rentals available. They’ve also got a great tubing park – a fun idea for entertaining the grandkids and those of all ages! Click here for more about Hermon Mountain.

Camden Snow Bowl is not to far either and offers amazing ocean views. Of course, Sunday River and Sugarloaf are close enough for a day trip as well and offer some of the best skiing in New England!

If cross-country skiing is more your style, the Penobscot Valley Ski Club offers a great list of nordic trails on its website (click here). PVSC grooms several trail systems that are free and open to the public. And did you know that all PVSC grooming and trail maintenance is done by volunteers! Trails right here in Orono include the Caribou Bog Ski Trail, trails behind the Orono schools, and University of Maine trails (click here for a UMaine trail map).

Check PVSC’s website for a full list and trail conditions!

Ever been snow shoeing? It’s another great and super fun way to enjoy the snow! Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in nearby Alton (about 10 minutes from Orono) offers some amazing snow shoeing opportunities, as well as the University of Maine. Click here for a list of top snow shoeing spots from the Bangor Daily News’ Outdoors reporter Aislinn Sarnacki.

What’s your favorite winter activity? Share it below!


Graceful Stays – Short Term Respite Care

20160615_162536Considering retirement living at Dirigo Pines but not sure what to expect or if it will be right for you? Our Graceful Stays program allows you the option to try us before making the commitment to move in. Have peace of mind knowing that someone is available at all times to take care of your needs. Participate in our enriching activities program, enjoy our delicious cuisine and get to know your neighbors. 

Graceful Stays are also an option for seniors needing support after a hospital visit or illness. Many of our permanent residents began their residency at Dirigo Pines through our short term Graceful Stays. Call for pricing and more information on both independent and assisted living Graceful Stays.  All stays are based on availability.

Click here to learn more about our Graceful Stays and other living options. To schedule a visit, call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


New Cottage Construction

constructionOur new cottages are almost complete at Dirigo Pines! We love watching them go from wooden frame work to completed cottage, ready for new residents. Did you know that by choosing a cottage in the construction phase, you can have a say in finishes, upgrades and more? 

Your investment in a share of common stock in the cooperative is equal to the value of your cottage. You’ll enjoy the privacy of your own home and have added peace of mind knowing that the cooperative covers your home maintenance. From routine mowing and snow removal to prompt service when it is time to clean your furnace or replace an appliance, the Dirigo Pines onsite maintenance staff are available to maintain your cottage inside and out.

Check out some of the available floor plans by clicking here.

Come see for yourself what retirement at Dirigo Pines looks like. Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.


Dirigo Dish: Broccoli Salad with Water Chestnuts and Dried Cranberries

broccoli-498600_1920Need a quick and delicious side dish in holiday colors? Tasty anytime, this broccoli salad from the American Heart Association requires no cooking and looks festive with the addition of dried cranberries. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 7 cups chopped broccoli florets (from about 2 heads broccoli) – cut small
  • 1 cup grated broccoli stem (also from those same 2 heads broccoli)
  • 2 (5-ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/3 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Remove and reserve the stalks from the broccoli. Chop broccoli florets into bite-size pieces. Add into a large zip-top bag with water chestnuts and dried cranberries.
  2. Place a box grater inside a small bowl. Grate the stalks to get around 1 cup of grated broccoli stem (or more depending on how big the stalks are). Add into the bag.
  3. In a small bowl, add oil, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk with a fork to combine. Add dressing into the zip-top bag. Seal the bag and gently toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours to let the broccoli marinate in the dressing. Serve.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!


3 Tips to Choose the Right Retirement Community for You

DirigoLibraryDid retirement make it on your New Year’s resolution list for 2017? When thinking about retirement and the move to a retirement community, there’s a lot to consider. Can we afford it? Does the facility offer the care we need – or may need in the future? Will we still be able to enjoy the things we’ve been looking forward to in retirement, like traveling or a new hobby? Here are a few tips as you weigh your retirement options:

Starting the Process

There are lots of ways to research nowadays – the internet offers a wealth of information about retirement communities (Dirigo Pines website can be found at dirigopines.com). But one of the best ways to research is asking trusted friends and family for their recommendations. And when you find a community you think you’d enjoy – get the inside scoop. Take a tour, talk to residents and get their opinion on what they love and what they’d change. At Dirigo Pines, we offer tours and lunch and an opportunity to chat with residents and get your questions answered.

Can We Afford It?

Does a retirement community make sense financially for you? It’s a big question. The best way to figure it out is putting pen to paper and comparing your current expenses with your expected retirement expenses. Remember to include regular expenses like electric and cable, but also keep in mind big ticket expenses like that new roof or furnace. Many home expenses, both regular and unexpected, are included for Dirigo Pines residents. Check out our interactive maps comparing costs inside and outside your home.

Does the Facility Offer the Care We Need?

Or better yet, the care you may need in the future. The last thing you want to do in your retirement is be constantly moving as your healthcare needs change. Choosing a community like Dirigo Pines that offers a continuum of care, from independent cottages and apartments to assisted living to memory care, ensures you will have the care you need as you age. 

Ready to learn more? Come take a tour! See for yourself what retirement at Dirigo Pines looks like. Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.


Spring Cleaning Tips for Seniors (and Everyone!)

vacuum-cleaner-268179_1280Tis the season for opening the windows, dusting off the shelves and doing a little spring cleaning! Okay, maybe it’s not that exciting, but there are some ways you can make this year a little tidier and safer. Here are some tips:

  • Clean Out the Medicine Cabinet: We’ve all got old half-empty bottles of cough syrup and other medications kicking around from a long-ago affliction. It’s time to check the expiration dates and toss the olds in the trash. Many medications do not retain their potency or effectiveness after the expiration date – so it’s time to trash them. 
  • Declutter: Particularly in those heavy traffic areas like hallways, doorways and entrances – make sure you’re cleaning a good space and not leaving any tripping hazards behind. 
  • Ask for Help: As you’re cleaning and decluttering, ask for help when it comes to moving heavy furniture or reaching awkward or high spaces. No matter our age, we should be taking advantage of lightweight and cordless cleaning tools to avoid unnecessary climbing and twisting to clean odd spaces. The Dirigo Pines Maintenance Staff is happy to assist residents who need help changing an awkward light bulb or reaching a high space. 
  • Change the Batteries in your Smoke Detectors: Spring ahead and make sure your smoke detector batteries are up-to-date for safety. Did you know that at Dirigo Pines, our Maintenance Staff will help with chores like this too?

Happy cleaning!


Dirigo Dish: Apple and Walnut Chicken Salad

Feel light and springy with this tasty springtime salad from the American Heart Association! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

For the Chicken Salad:

  • 1/4 cup fat-free, plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp salt-free, dried Italian spice blend or dried thyme, dried basil or both combined
  • 2 cups skinless, shredded chicken breast of a rotisserie-cooked chicken
  • 3 Tbsp chopped, unsalted, uncoiled walnuts (or whatever nuts are on sale)
  • 1/2 cup halved, seedless grapes OR sugar-free, dried fruit like prunes or cranberries
  • 1 red (sweeter) or green (more tart) apple, finely chopped

For the Green Salad:

  • 1 head lettuce (green leaf, red leaf or romaine), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 chopped cucumber (chopped, peeled if desired)
  • 1 large tomato (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp red vinegar, white vinegar, or lemon juice

Directions

Chicken Salad

  • Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, and spice blend in a large bowl with a fork.
  • Add chicken, nuts, grapes, and chopped apple. Stir to combine.

Green Salad

  • In a bowl, combine chopped lettuce, cucumber, and tomato.
  • Add oil and vinegar, stirring to combine with salad.
  • Serve salad greens with chicken salad on top.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!


Close to Home: Acadia National Park

One of the best parts of living at Dirigo Pines is the location – we’re centrally located in Vacationland, meaning amazing day trips aplenty. People travel far and wide to get to Maine – so take advantage of having places like Acadia National Park so close by! Acadia is located on Mount Desert Island, which is just over an hour from Dirigo Pines. Click here for driving directions.

Did you know April 15-16 and April 22-23 are the National Park Week Weekends – which means FREE entrance! Can’t make it this month? No problem. Everyone age 62 and over can get a lifetime pass to Acadia for just $10!

Here are some other fun facts about Acadia and what not to miss:

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/900079301880184833

 


Living Independently at Dirigo Pines

Retirement living means something different to everyone – some want to relax, some plan to head out on a new adventure, and most of fall somewhere in between. But what we all agree on is that a worry-free, low-maintenance lifestyle sounds just about right. 

The Inn at Dirigo Pines offers independent living apartments, complete with moving assistance and one monthly fee that covers rent and utilities, daily dinner, weekly housekeeping, 24-hour emergency response system and scheduled transportation.

The apartments form a welcoming community within the Inn, which is the heart of social activities at Dirigo Pines. Here you will find a lovely gathering room with a large fireplace, the dining rooms, library, hair salon, media/game room, fitness studio, and arts and crafts studio. There is even a private dining room, which you are welcome to reserve for your own gatherings. With summer visitors, it’s the perfect place to gather with friends and family.

Choose from five different apartment styles designed with comfort and convenience in mind. Maximize your lifestyle and pursue your personal interests with a variety of wellness, cultural, and educational programs offered daily. Join a book club or cribbage game, catch a movie or concert, or attend senior college. Perfect your stroke on the putting green, walk the nature trails or go fishing at the trout ponds. You will also receive your own Pines Pass, with an annual allowance for purchases at The University of Maine. Use it to pay for tickets at the Collins Center for the Arts, University of Maine athletic events, classes at the New Balance Recreation Center, and more.

Dirigo Pines can meet a variety of living arrangements without moving out of the Dirigo Inn with independent living, assisted living, memory loss, and specialized care all available to residents. When you compare the apartments, the service, the price, and the amenities, we think that you’ll want to make Dirigo Pines your home.

Visit www.dirigopines.com/independent-living to learn more about our Independent Living Apartments and other living options. To schedule a visit, call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


4 Springtime Rites of Passage

Things are finally warming up in Maine – it’s time to get out and celebrate! Mainers have lots of ways of celebrating the changing of the seasons, including these fun annual events. Dirigo Pines is conveniently close to the coast as it awakens from winter, not to mention southern Maine’s constant stream of events, and we’re really close all the fun and games (and concerts!) happening in Orono and Bangor! Check it out:

  • Catch a Concert: The Waterfront Concert season has begun! Check out www.waterfrontconcerts.com for latest updates to the summer concert series on the waterfront in Bangor, and in Orono and Portland. Celtic Woman will be in Orono on April 12, Tony Bennett is on tap for Portland on May 11, and Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper will rock the waterfront on July 14. Collins Center for the Arts in Orono (www.collinscenterforthearts.com) has its own great lineup for spring – including An Evening with Humor Writer David Sedaris on April 11 and the classic “Annie” on April 26. 
  • Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race: Whether you’re a river vulture (aka: spectator) or one of about 1,000 race participants, the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race is a not-to-be-missed Bangor event. The race is scheduled for Saturday, April 15. The best way to watch? Pick a spot on the riverbank (Six Mile Falls is a popular spot to watch racers traverse tricky rapids) or downtown at the finish line, dress warmly, bring some snacks and enjoy the spills and thrills! Check out kenduskeagstreamcanoerace.com for more info.
  • Sea Dogs Opening Day: Opening day at Hadlock Field, home to the Portland Sea Dogs (Maine’s minor league baseball team that’s affiliated with the Boston Red Sox) is set for April 6. Tickets are reasonably priced and the city of Portland makes a fun day or weekend trip from Dirigo Pines! You might even meet Slugger the Sea Dog if you’re lucky! Click here for more: www.seadogs.com.
  • National Park Week: April 15-16 and April 22-23 are the National Park Week Weekends – which means FREE entrance! Take advantage and beat the crowds to Acadia National Park, one of the nation’s most popular parks. Can’t make it this April? No problem. Everyone age 62 and over can get a lifetime pass to Acadia for just $10!

What’s your favorite springtime rite of passage? Share it below!


Dirigo Dish: Chicken “Zoodle” Lo Mein

zucchini-2054823_1920Have you tried making “zoodles” yet? Substitute spirals of zucchini for noodles for a lower calorie, more nutritious meal! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 1/2 lb skinless, boneless, thinly sliced chicken breast (cut into 1-inch strips)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (divided)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 3 teaspoons canola oil (divided)
  • 1 (14.4-ounce) bag frozen broccoli stir-fry vegetables, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoons red hot chile flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions:

  • Place the shredder blade onto the spiralizer to cut zucchini into spaghetti-like threads. Spiralize each zucchini, and cut threads into 6- or 8-inch pieces so they are easier to eat. Add all the zucchini into a large bowl and reserve.
  • Tip: Don’t have a spiralizer? Grate the zucchini on a box grater or buy about 12 cups packaged spiralized zucchini in the grocery aisle.
  • Place the chicken breast lengthwise onto a cutting board and cut 1-inch strips of chicken. Add to a bowl and continue slicing remaining chicken. Season with 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ginger, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  • Warm a large nonstick pan with 1 teaspoon oil over high heat. Add chicken; stirring frequently, saute until chicken is fully-cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes depending on thickness. Remove from heat, transfer chicken to a plate, and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Again warm 1 teaspoon oil in the large nonstick pan over high heat. Add thawed stir-fry vegetables, stirring constantly and cooking until vegetables are cooked and all the water has evaporated, around 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to reserve.
  • Make the sauce: In a small bowl, add soy sauce, chicken broth, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ginger, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and (optional) chile flakes. Stir together with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved. Also, chop the scallions.
  • Warm 1 teaspoon oil in the large nonstick pan over high heat. Add half the zucchini, using tongs to stir constantly, until zucchini is somewhat wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in remaining zucchini along with the sauce, again using tongs to cook the zucchini and let it absorb the sauce. Cook until all the zucchini is tender, about 2 more minutes.
  • Quickly stir in reserved chicken and vegetables. Cook another minute. Remove from heat and add bean sprouts, scallions, and sesame seeds. Serve.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!


Learn About Assisted Living

BackPatioViewTightThere are some daily tasks that just become too difficult as we age – whether you need help with personal care, housekeeping, managing your medications – the staff at Dirigo Pines is ready to help. Our Assisted Living options give you the freedom to enjoy life’s many pleasures, unburdened from daily tasks that may have become too difficult. Tailored to meet your individual needs, Dirigo Pines Assisted Living serves three meals daily, and housekeeping and laundry service are provided on a weekly basis. Staff is available around the clock.

Residents can choose from a variety of one‐bedroom, one bath apartment styles and become a part of one caring community.

Services & Amenities

  • Basic care assistance (bathing and dressing)
  • Scheduled transportation to medical appointments
  • Medication management and monitoring (up to 3 times daily)
  • Professional care planning to enhance residents’ overall health
  • Three nutritious, delicious meals daily plus snacks
  • Social, recreational, and cultural programs
  • Kitchenette, including refrigerator and microwave
  • Weekly linen and laundry service
  • 24‐hour team
  • Wellness programs
  • On‐site emergency response system
  • Scheduled group transportation
  • Routine housekeeping
  • Medical Director oversight available
  • Utilities, including cable TV, WiFi, heat, air conditioning, and electricity

Click here to check out our list of frequently asked Assisted Living questions. 

Come take a tour and see for yourself what retirement at Dirigo Pines looks like. Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.


Spring Fever Reliever

20160615_163347Do you have spring fever? Anxious to open the windows, get outside, spot some green grass? We understand! Dirigo residents have been known to help spring along and rake the last of the snow from the putting green as soon as spring has sprung. One of the best ways to take advantage of sunny weather is to enjoy one of the walking trails at and near Dirigo Pines!

We’re fortunate at Dirigo to have residents dedicated to keeping our trail brochures up-to-date and even offering occasional Interpretive Trail walking tours. Our extensive trail system connects in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main St., between Route 2 and I-95.

Orono Land Trust also maintains the Stillwater River Trail, which follows an old rail bed constructed in 1860’s.  he faint patterns of old railroad ties and occasional spikes can be seen on parts of the trail. This trail is a great one for spotting beaver dens along the river’s edges. Just be sure to avoid the abundant poison ivy in this area. Parking and trail access are available at the base of Noyes Drive at Brownie’s Park.

And if you haven’t visited the Orono Bog Boardwalk, spring is the perfect time. The 4,200-foot Bog Boardwalk opened in June 2003. It is easily accessed via Bangor City Forest and is wheelchair accessible. The bog is an outstanding example of a raised peat bog with various habitat types. The area was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1974. For more information and directions visit: www.oronobogwalk.org.

For more trails and hiking ideas to get out and shake off that spring fever, visit oronolandtrust.org.


6 Lucky Reasons to Live at Dirigo

klee-2005303_1920Whether it’s the luck of the Irish that brought you to Dirigo Pines or just a lucky decision – here are 6 very lucky reasons to live at Dirigo Pines.

  1. Something for Everyone. We all have different interests and abilities. Whether you want to spend your retirement traveling, singing, meeting new people – there’s a never-ending list of activities and programs for every interest at Dirigo Pines. It’s easy to meet new people and make new friends.  Dirigo Pines activity staff offers exercise programs, fascinating guest speakers, musical entertainment, outings to local shows and attractions, movies and more. 
  2. Resources You Need. Dirigo Pines’ various levels of care ensure you and your loved ones will have the care you need as you age. From independent cottages and apartments to assisted living to memory care, Dirigo offers the care you need as your healthcare needs change over time.
  3. Friendly and Professional Staff. There’s always someone to greet you with a warm smile at Dirigo or offer a helping hand. Our nursing staff is available around the clock, and our maintenance crew is always ready to help.
  4. Beautiful Facilities. From spring fishing in the stocked ponds, to summer meals on the stone patio, to walking the nature trails to enjoy the fall foliage or winter’s wonderland, there’s something to enjoy every season. And inside, the Dirigo Pines Inn offers multiple stone fireplaces, a cozy and well-stocked library, billiards room and more.
  5. Convenient Location. Orono’s central location means we’re just a short drive to amazing attractions like Acadia National Park, Maine’s rocky coastline, the western mountains, outdoor adventures in the great north woods, or a day of shopping in Freeport. Within Orono itself, great restaurants, museums, and the University of Maine are all easily accessible. 
  6. Amazing Food. Our chefs make mouth-watering meals that leave residents (and visitors) raving. Using locally sourced produce and seafood is important to the team, and ensures high quality, fresh and delicious meals. From grilled salmon to monte cristos to lobster ravioli, the dining at Dirigo can’t be beat. And don’t miss Sunday brunch – it’s an amazing spread you’ll be thinking about all week! 

5 Tips for Staying Active at Dirigo Pines

Moving to a new town, new neighborhood or a community like Dirigo Pines can be challenging when it comes to meeting new people and getting involved. Making new friends can feel daunting, but at Dirigo Pines we make it easy. There’s so much to do within our community – you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll find fun new activities to get involved in and meet new friends with like interests.

  1. Check out our monthly activities. There is no shortage of things going on – right now, we’re catching up on Downton Abbey episodes every weekend, and every Saturday and Wednesday night we enjoy a movie on the big screen in the Kenduskeag Gathering Place. We have non-stop musical entertainment and guest speakers, crafting activities, and visits from therapy dogs when we need a furry friend to pet. In December, we’re looking forward to a performance by the North Country Strings, a Holiday Open House, tree lighting and more! 
  2. Move and groove. Exercise classes are offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, in addition to Sittercise and Yoga classes. Or join us for the occasional trip to hear bands like The Skyliners Band & Dance At the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer – just hop on the bus for an evening of dancing!
  3. Join a club. Dirigo offers clubs, groups and religious services for just about everyone. From cribbage and bridge players to our Out to Lunch Bunch who enjoy trying new local restaurants, it’s not hard to find someone with similar interests. 
  4. Get outside. Dirigo’s trails connect in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main St., between Route 2 and I-95. Pick up a  trail brochure – developed by our residents and available at the trail entrance behind the Dirigo Pines Inn – and get walking and discovering! 
  5. Off campus fun. Dirigo Pines has a strong tie to the University of Maine, whose campus is just minutes away. In addition to its excellent library and museums, residents enjoy access to the school’s many sports facilities, including tennis courts, an indoor pool, cross-country skiing trails and bike paths. Seminars and lectures are regularly presented on campus, and academic courses offer endless ways to fulfill lifelong desires for learning.All independent residents of the Dirigo Inn receive a Pines Pass, which allows for special discounts at UMaine. All other Dirigo residents can apply for the Pines Pass and receive the discounts as well. Activities and services include tickets to the Maine Center for the Arts, UMaine athletic events, library card, parking pass, Fitness Center discount, purchases in the UMaine bookstore, and meals at the Marketplace Cafe. Click here for a list of upcoming performances at UMaine’s Collins Center for the Arts. 

Click here to check out other upcoming activities!


3 Holiday Gift Ideas that Celebrate Your Family History 

book-1667826_1920As children and grandchildren get older, gift giving becomes challenging. Some of the best gifts as those that are personal and meaningful. Take the role of unofficial family historian this holiday season and consider these gift ideas…

Cook book

It’s no secret that Great Grandma’s molasses crinkle cookies are the best – but the recipe is. Create a cookbook of those cherished family recipes that have brought everyone to the table over the years. Frame it out like a real cookbook with a section for entrees, side dishes, desserts and cookies. Better still – help those modern cooks by making suggestions for substitutions and replacements for “old fashioned” ingredients like lard.  

Family Tree

Who is better to write your family history than the eldest statesmen? Pass along a piece of personalized history by creating your family tree or ancestry. Want to really dig in? There are lots of websites available now that can help you research your family lineage, some for free or a small fee.

Special Hand-Me-Down

Is there a special antique or family heirloom you’ve been wanting to pass along? What better time to do it than the holidays. Make the season extra special by gifting something unique and sharing the history behind the piece. 

Have your own great idea? Share it in the comments section below!


Memory Care in The Arbor

BackPatioViewTightA memory loss diagnosis is challenging for the individual and their family and loved ones. Often, individuals lose their sense of freedom as the price for ensuring their safety and security. Dirigo Pines offers The Arbor Neighborhood, a beautifully warm and inviting environment that provides an ideal and affordable solution for those with memory loss. Residents can enjoy a feeling of independence while remaining safe at all times. 

The Arbor offers lots of activity and involvement by our staff, as well as volunteers and family members. Medications are administered and monitored under the guidance of our medical director or the resident’s assigned physician. Residents have access to their own garden courtyard, sun porch, exercise programs, outings, and special events.

Activities such as baking, watercolor painting, crafting, exercising, spa treatments, singing and more keep residents active and engaged. Click here to check out our Monthly Calendar of Events for The Arbor.

The Village Program – Available at The Arbor

As a Grace Management community, we are proud to provide The Village Program in The Arbor neighborhood. Our approach to memory care focuses on our residents’ life experiences and on establishing strong relationships within our community. Developed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s or related dementias, The Village Program offers personalized programming intended to engage our residents in activities that reflect their preferred schedules, lifestyles and interests.

Services & Amenities

  • Individual specialized attention, working with the resident’s personal physician
  • Medication management
  • Professional care planning to enhance residents’ overall health
  • Therapeutic assistance with activities of daily living (eating, ambulation, transfer, bathing, toileting & dressing)
  • Three nutritious, delicious meals daily plus snacks
  • Linen and laundry service
  • Specially trained care associates available 24 hours a day
  • Wellness programs
  • On‐site emergency response system
  • Routine housekeeping
  • Outdoor garden courtyard
  • Medical Director oversight available
  • Social, recreational, and cultural programs
  • Utilities, including cable TV, heat, air conditioning, and electricity

Click here to learn more about our Memory Care services and other living options. To schedule a visit, call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


Getting in the Halloween Spirit

We know how to enjoy Halloween!

Don’t be spooked – it’s Halloween time! If you have little goblins to entertain or just want to get in the spirit of things, there is plenty happening all around Dirigo Pines and greater Bangor this time of year!

Pick a Pumpkin

There are lots of farm and pumpkins patches to visit in our area. One local favorite is Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant, featuring a giant corn maze, pick your own apples, fresh apple cider, ice cream, hay rides, friendly goats, and a 5-acre pumpkin patch.

treworgyorchards.com

Fright at the Fort, Fort Knox

Consider yourself warned – this one is no joke. The scariest haunted experience in Maine takes place through the passageways of Fort Knox in Prospect every year, and it’s recommended for older kids and adults. For a total scream-fest, check this one out.

fortknox.maineguide.com/fright

The Pirates of Penzance, Collins Center for the Arts

This New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players production is your chance to get carried away by Pirates. Join the band of swashbuckling buccaneers, bumbling British bobbies, frolicsome Victorian maidens, and the delightfully dotty “model of a modern Major-General” for a rollicking romp over the rocky coast of Cornwall. Scheduled for October 20.

collinscenterforthearts.com

Pumpkins in the Park, Bangor

For more grandkid-friendly fun, UCP of Maine hosts an annual Halloween party, coming Sunday, October 23, at the Anah Shriners center in Bangor. Bounce houses, clowns, and trick-or-treating for grandkids to enjoy and an amazing display of jack-o-lanterns to entertain those of all ages.

ucpofmaine.org

Have your own fun idea or event to share? Add it below!


Enjoying Fall Foliage to the Fullest

lewis-with-pumpkinsAutumn is officially here and it’s the perfect time to get outside before the snow flies. Not far from Dirigo Pines are multiple opportunities to enjoy the foliage, pick your own apples and pumpkins, and celebrate all things fall!

Maine’s official state foliage website (that’s how much we love fall!) indicates that the peek season historically for our area is early to mid-October. They suggest visiting one of the many state parks in our region to fully appreciate the changing color, and offer the following suggestions for colorful drives and outings:

“Depart Bangor and travel north on Route 15, as you crest Charleston Hill, autumn unfolds in every direction. Continue through Dover-Foxcroft, turn left on Route 7, turn right on the Sangerville Road and make your way to Stutzman’s Farm Stand and Bakery located in Sangerville. (Stutzman’s was rated the 2015 Best Farm Stand in Maine by DownEast Magazine!) They offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, homemade baked goods, brick oven pizza and on Sunday, they offer brunch with live music. As you make your way to Route 16, you may opt to take an easy walk upriver at the Guilford Memorial River Walk. At one time, this was the rail bed for the Bangor & Piscataquis Railroad and offers a mixed species forest, a tranquil picnic spot, benches and good birding along the river (you might even see eagles, osprey and heron). Turn right on Route 16/15/6, and travel east along the Piscataquis River and you will capture the quintessential New England fall foliage photo at Lowes Covered Bridge.”

Click here for more and a link to the official Maine state foliage page.

Dirigo Pines extensive trail system is also a great place to take in all that fall color. Our trails connect in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main St., between Route 2 and I-95. Click here for a map of the Sklar Park trail system.

A walk along the riverfront in Orono is another great local option for foliage seekers. Get out there and enjoy – and share your fall foliage photos (say that three times fast!) with us on Facebook!


Baking for a Cause

12916130_1031078026930055_2480372115232475573_oThe Eastern Maine Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a very special event and charity for the Dirigo Pines community. We hold fundraisers throughout the year to support this important cause – because everyone knows someone whose life has been affected by Alzheimer’s.

Support our efforts by stopping by Dirigo Pines to purchase some yummy treats and beautiful handmade items during our Bake Sale & Craft Sale coming up Tuesday, October 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

All money collected will go to Team Dirigo’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising goal.

Click to learn more! 


Dirigo Dish: Healthy Twist on Quiche

sweet-potatoes-912635_1920Swap heavy cream and whole eggs for skim milk and egg whites – and you’ve got a delicious quiche that’s better for you. With a crust of grated sweet potatoes, this dish from the American Heart Association is delicious hot or cold! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato, washed
  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 6 slices turkey bacon, thinly sliced
  • 1, 10-oz. packaged, frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
  • 3/4 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fat-free feta cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place a box grater into a medium bowl. Grate the sweet potato until there are 2 cups grated sweet potato. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Gently press the sweet potato into the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides; the sweet potatoes will be loose but will hold together once cooked. Place in the oven and bake until sweet potato crust is cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and decrease oven temperate to 350°F.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium pan, warm oil over medium-high heat. Finely dice the onion and add to the pan. Cook until almost translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add turkey bacon, continuing to stir and cook until onions and bacon begin to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in spinach, dill, salt, and pepper; cook until water from the spinach is released, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Use a spatula to transfer mixture from pan into the sweet potato pie shell.
  4. In a bowl, add eggs, egg whites, and milk. Using a fork, whisk to combine. Pour eggs over vegetable mixture in the pie shell. Dot the feta cheese over the top of quiche.
  5. Cook quiche in oven until eggs in the center are set, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool just a few minutes before slicing. Serve.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!


Discover Dirigo: What is Specialized Care?

BackPatioViewTightOur specialized care neighborhood provides a higher level of personal care for those who need more assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, getting in/out of chairs or bed, walking, and eating.

People often ask us the difference between our Assisted Living and Specialized Care settings. Our routine Service Plan meetings help to determine when more assistance can make for a more enjoyable lifestyle. The number of activities with which a resident needs assistance, as well as the amount of time required for those activities, determines whether the resident can benefit from either Assisted Living or Specialized Care.

We provide assistance around the clock, and medical care is close at hand. Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital, each just 15 minutes away, provide state‐of‐the‐art specialty services for our residents needing advanced care.

Services & Amenities

  • Therapeutic assistance with activities of daily living (eating, ambulation, transfer, bathing, dressing and toileting)
  • Scheduled transportation to medical appointments with attendant
  • Medication administration and monitoring
  • Professional care planning to enhance residents’ health
  • Three nutritious and delicious meals daily
  • Linen and laundry service
  • 24‐hour on‐site care associates
  • Wellness programs
  • On‐site emergency response system
  • Routine housekeeping
  • Social, recreational, and cultural programs
  • Utilities, including cable TV, heat, air conditioning, and electricity
  • Medical Director oversight available

Come see for yourself! Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.


Comparing Costs on the Inside

It’s easy to compare mortgage or rental payments, taxes, and utilities, but when you truly add up the cost of staying at home versus choosing a retirement community, be sure you’re not forgetting anything. Have you considered the cost of replacing old appliance, cleaning the furnace, general maintenance costs and more?

Click on the interactive graphic to see how these costs add up inside your home…

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/823253454616002562

Maintaining a home is time-consuming and often a labor-intensive task. The monthly maintenance fee at Dirigo Pines includes all maintenance inside and outside of the cottage, including:

  • All lawn and garden upkeep
  • Snow removal
  • Internet
  • Cable television
  • General maintenance, even washing the windows inside and out twice a year

All cottages have two bedrooms, two baths, living room/dining room, porch, and one-car garage. All appliances are furnished. Many options are available, including a second garage, basement, loft, flooring upgrades, cathedral ceiling, and window box seats. Many custom design options are available as well.

Ready to learn more? Call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


Senior College: Back to School

pencil-918449_1920New pens and pencils, fresh notebooks – it must be back to school time! For local seniors, the Penobscot Valley Senior College offers unique learning opportunities throughout the year – with no tests or homework and a focus on socializing and enjoyable learning. Sounds pretty good, right?

Dirigo Pines is pleased to be a host for various classes through the Senior College, making attending even more convenient for Dirigo residents.  

Established in the fall 2002 at the University of Maine in Orono and affiliated with the UMaine Center on Aging, Penobscot Valley Senior College serves the greater Bangor-Orono region. The college’s mission is to offer adults who are at least 50 years old opportunities to learn about a wide array of fascinating topics. The college’s emphasis is on enjoyable learning in a relaxed non-competitive atmosphere. Approximately 200 adults attend PVSC classes during each fall and spring term.

Senior colleges provide unique educational and social opportunities, and are largely volunteer-driven. Members volunteer to serve on their college’s board of directors and committees as well as to plan and present all courses and special programs. Their interests are the foundation of all program planning. PVSC is one of 18 senior colleges in Maine, stretching from York County to Presque Isle and Calais, linked to the Maine Senior College Network, which is located at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine.

Click here to learn more and keep an eye out for the fall schedule being announced soon. 


Customize Your Cottage

13754286_1092511524120038_214569463897697275_n

Our cottage community is growing! New cottages are being built right now – it’s a great time to pick your new home and have a say in finishes and upgrades before the cottages are finalized.

The duplex style, one-story or two-story cottage homes at Dirigo Pines are created to maximize your privacy while maintaining a warm feeling of community. Every cottage offers a living room, dining area,  kitchen with all appliances, master bedroom with walk-in closet, guest bedroom, two baths, screened-in porch, and attached garage. Some cottages also have a den. There are many interior finish options and upgrades available.

Customize your own, complete with the high-quality craftsmanship of the builder who constructed our original cottages in 2002, and who still maintains them today. Your investment in a share of common stock in the cooperative is equal to the value of your cottage. You’ll enjoy the privacy of your own home and have added peace of mind knowing that the cooperative covers your home maintenance. From routine mowing and snow removal to prompt service when it is time to clean your furnace or replace an appliance, the Dirigo Pines onsite maintenance staff are available to maintain your cottage inside and out.

Check out some of the available floor plans by clicking here.

Come see for yourself what retirement at Dirigo Pines looks like. Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.


Dirigo Dish: Tomato and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

paprika-1300353_1920Harvest time is here. Chilly weather, falling leaves – and soup! Try this simple, low calorie and flavorful soup from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 14.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added, diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped, roasted red bell peppers, drained if bottled
  • 1 Tbsp. dried basil, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 tsp. olive oil, extra virgin preferred
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the tomatoes with liquid, broth, roasted peppers, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the oil, sugar, and salt. Serve sprinkled with the parsley.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!


Riding in Style

dsc02015dsc02016Getting a new vehicle is always exciting – particularly when it’s got special features like our new wheelchair accessible van! We’re pleased to have this new ride available to Dirigo Pines residents. 

The new van is especially helpful for our Assisted Living residents with mobility limitations. Did you know our Assisted Living services including transportation to medical appointments, grocery store, bank, post office, and other outings just for fun? And now residents are riding in style!

For more about Assisted Living at Dirigo Pines, click here. Assisted Living offers residents freedom to enjoy life’s many pleasures unburdened from daily tasks that may have become difficult. Tailored to meet individual requirements, the Assisted Living Program at Dirigo Pines provides help with personal care and medications whenever needed. In addition, three meals are served daily. Housekeeping and laundry service are provided on a bi-weekly basis. Nursing staff is available around the clock with Medical Director oversight, and we can even accommodate couples in the Deluxe and Regency sized Assisted Living apartments.

Contact Ann or Susan for a tour of Dirigo Pines by calling 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


Feeling Festive: Nearby Holiday Events

Dirigo-Inn-Entrance-in-snow-1-2011Our area has no shortage of fun events to get you in the holiday spirit. Here are a few upcoming events in greater Bangor and beyond to get you feeling festive…

Nov. 18-Dec. 31: Gardens Aglow

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay

The gardens will transform from a summer paradise to a winter wonderland. Tens of thousands of lights will be hung, making this the biggest light display in Maine. In addition to the lighting, visitors will enjoy music, special food and beverage options and holiday shopping. 

www.mainegardens.org

Dec. 1-24: Oliver! 

The Penobscot Theatre, Bangor

In this musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’s classic novel, orphan Oliver Twist navigates the underworld of Victorian London, searching for a loving home and falling into a gang of child pickpockets led by the conniving Fagin. With spirited, timeless songs like “As Long as He Needs Me,” “Food, Glorious Food,” and “Where is Love,” Oliver! is a musical classic. 

www.penobscottheatre.org

Dec. 2-4: Victorian Christmas

Penobscot Marine Museum, Fowler-True-Ross Sea Captain’s House & Museum Store, Searsport

The Ship Captain’s house is beautifully decorated for the holidays and filled with live music and holiday-themed readings. Check out the Museum Store for book signings, a holiday gingerbread house display and more. The Town of Searsport’s Tree Lighting And Carol Singing are on Friday night. 

www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org

Dec. 3: Festival of Lights Parade

Downtown Bangor

The Rotary Club of Bangor hosts this annual parade featuring dozens of entries all lit up for the holidays. The parade steps off at 4:30 p.m. As one might expect, Santa Claus will be the main attraction; his appearance will formally usher in the holiday season.

www.bangorrotary.org

Dec. 17-18: Bangor Symphony Orchestra presents “The Nutcracker”

Collins Center for the Arts, Orono

A holiday tradition for all ages, the BSO’s annual production of The Nutcracker with the Robinson Ballet is beloved by audiences throughout Maine. Join us for as a magical production as Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Nutcracker grace the stage of the Collins Center for the Arts. 

www.bangorsymphony.org


Dirigo Dish: Slow Cooker Harvest Beef Stew

potatoes-888585_1920Sweater weather means it’s time to dish up some stew in the kitchen. This slow cooker recipe from the American Heart Association is easy and delish. Toss all your ingredients in during the morning and let the slow cooker do the rest! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bottom round beef roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large Russet potato, cut into ½-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into ½-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups peeled, thinly sliced carrots
  • 10 oz. packaged, frozen pearl onions
  • 14.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added, diced tomatoes
  • 14.5 oz. canned, low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 10 oz. packaged, frozen peas
  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley

Directions:

  1. Cut the bottom round beef roast into 1-inch cubes and add into a 4-to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl. Chop the potato into ½-inch dice, adding to the beef cubes, along with the flour. Use a spoon to stir mixture together.
  2. Cut the sweet potato into a ½-inch dice and thinly slice carrots. Add the sweet potato and carrots into the slow cooker bowl over the meat. Top with the pearl onions, diced tomatoes, beef broth, water, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cover the slow cooker with a lid and cook until beef is tender, about 10 to 12 hours on low heat or 5 to 6 hours on high heat. Right before serving, stir in the frozen peas and dried parsley. Cover and let peas cook, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!


All Day Dining

food-1648767_1920Not a morning person? Or maybe you get up at the crack of dawn. We all run on different schedules, which is why Dirigo Pines recently introduced the All Day Dining Program. When’s dinner? It’s whenever our residents choose. 

The All Day Dining Program is a unique concept designed to provide our residents the freedom of choice with options like breakfast for dinner or lunch at 2 p.m. rather than noon. Whether you’re an early riser or late sleeper, All Day Dining offers the flexibility to choose what works best for you.

All Day Dining offers an alternate menu of choices that may include the main entrée of the day, breakfast items, soups, salads, sandwiches, etc.

Visit our website to learn more!


Working Off the Turkey

20160615_163347Or maybe we should call this working off that third helping of pie? Whatever your Thanksgiving Achilles heel may be, we have some ideas to combat the tryptophan blues this holiday. 

Turkey Trot: Nearby Brewer High School is hosting its 35th annual Turkey Trot. This 3 mile road race and one mile kids fun run is set for the Sunday before Thanksgiving, November 20. Get some friends together and form a team! Click here to learn more.

Take a Walk: Dirigo Pines walking trails connect with the with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system. Stretch out your eating muscles before or after the big meal with a stroll along the Pines. Click here for more about our trails.

Enjoy Nature: Another great walking area nearby is the Orono Bog Boardwalk. Volunteers have been hard at work all summer and fall replacing old sections of the boardwalk. Never been? It’s an amazing 4,200 foot long boardwalk, with seven interpretive stations plus an orientation kiosk to educate visitors about the various habitats and wildlife present, as well as the geologic history of the Orono Bog. Benches every 200 feet provide visitors rest areas and are placed at wheelchair turnaround sections. The perfect place to get some fresh air and digest all that turkey! Click to learn more.

Putt it Off: Dirigo Pines’ Piney Knoll Putting Green just outside the Dirigo Pines Inn offers 40×15 feet of artificial turf to brush up on your short game and get a little exercise after all those mashed potatoes. Click here to learn more about the Piney Knoll Putting Green.


The Real Cost of Remodeling

florida-home-1689859_1920Retirement planning often brings up the question of renovation vs. relocation. Here’s a look at the national average cost of popular renovations.

Click on the interactive graphic to see the real cost of remodeling…

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/845657712212574210

Did you know the monthly maintenance fee at Dirigo Pines includes all maintenance inside and outside of the cottage, including:

  • All lawn and garden upkeep
  • Snow removal
  • Internet
  • Cable television
  • General maintenance, even washing the windows inside and out twice a year

All cottages have two bedrooms, two baths, living room/dining room, porch, and one-car garage. All appliances are furnished. Many options are available, including a second garage, basement, loft, flooring upgrades, cathedral ceiling, and window box seats. Many custom design options are available as well.

Ready to learn more? Call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


Independent Living at Dirigo

Back-Patio-View-6-2012Starting your search for the perfect place to retire? There’s lots to consider – from price to convenience to available medical services to how good the food will be (let’s be honest, it’s important), you likely have a long list of wants and needs. Worry-free living is what most retirees look forward to and why they choose a retirement community like Dirigo Pines. 

The Inn at Dirigo Pines offers independent living apartments, complete with moving assistance and one monthly fee that covers rent and utilities, daily dinner, weekly housekeeping, 24-hour emergency response system and scheduled transportation

The Inn at Dirigo Pines encompasses a true warmth and welcome and is the heart of the community. Here you will find a lovely gathering room with a large fireplace, dining venues, library, hair salon, media/game room, fitness studio, and arts and crafts studio.

There is even a private dining room, which you are welcome to reserve for your own gatherings. During the holiday season, it’s the perfect place to gather with friends and family.

Choose from five different apartment styles designed with comfort and convenience in mind. Maximize your lifestyle and pursue your personal interests with a variety of wellness, cultural, and educational programs offered daily. Join a book club or cribbage game, catch a movie or concert, or attend senior college. Perfect your stroke on the putting green, walk the nature trails or go fishing at the trout ponds. You will also receive your own Pines Pass, with an annual allowance for purchases at The University of Maine. Use it to pay for tickets at the Collins Center for the Arts, University of Maine athletic events, classes at the New Balance Recreation Center, and more.

Click here to learn more about our Independent Living Apartments and other living options. To schedule a visit, call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.


5 Ways to Show Your Thanks

cake-791137_1920Feeling thankful? Turn November into a month of gratitude and encourage your friends and family to join you. Here are 5 ways to show your thanks and love this holiday season:

  1. Say It (or Write It) Out Loud: Create a gratitude tree or area to collectively share what you and loved ones are thankful for this year. Many of us do this at the Thanksgiving table, but sitting down and putting pen to paper and displaying your appreciation publicly is another great way to get the word out. Write down your thanks on a card and hang it like an ornament on a branch or other space – it’s the perfect Thanksgiving decor!
  2. Share Something! Sharing is caring – and one great thing to share during the holidays is a favorite recipe. Whether you bake up a batch of cookies or muffins to say thank you to a friend, or share your sought-after secret recipe for pumpkin pie with family this holiday, food is the way to everyone’s heart. Creating a homemade cookbook of family recipes is a great idea for Thanksgiving or the upcoming holiday season!
  3. Send a Note: Thank you letters are another great way to show someone just how much you appreciate them. Feeling grateful to a neighbor or friend? Write it down! This is the perfect time of year to make a pledge to write a thank you note every day for a week, a month, or maybe the whole year – and brighten someone’s day with your words of thanks.
  4. Host a Meal: Tis the season for lavish gatherings and meals – take advantage and invite your nearest and dearest (and those you’ve been meaning to show your appreciate to) for a holiday feast. A meal made with love is the perfect way to say thanks.
  5. Give it Away: Whether it’s your time, talents or money, giving back to the community is another great way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Consider volunteering in a local soup kitchen, donating food to a homeless shelter or food pantry, or making a donation to a worthwhile charity. Giving back will warm everyone’s heart this holiday. Click here for a list of Maine food pantries.

How do you like to give thanks during the holidays?


3 Unexpected Things You’ll Discover on Dirigo’s Walking Trails

20160615_163318Before the snow flies, take advantage of a crisp autumn afternoon with a walk along the trails at Dirigo Pines. Our trail system connects in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main St., between Route 2 and I-95. Among the falling leaves and occasional wildlife, you’ll find some interesting features, outlined in our trail brochures which were developed by our residents and are available at the trail entrance behind the Dirigo Pines Inn. 

In addition to a variety of plant life, fungi, and trees of all kinds, there are a few unexpected things to spot on our trails. Play your own game of “I Spy” and see if you can spot these natural features:

  • Glacial Boulders: Part of the till deposited by the last glacier about 16,000 years ago, these boulders are made up of granite, gneiss, silt stone and quartzite from as far away as the St. Lawrence River.
  • Woodpecker Holes: As trees die and insects invade, woodpeckers excavate cavities in search of food. The round holes are made by downy and hairy woodpeckers, while the larger oval cavities are made by pileated woodpeckers. Wood peckers use the cavities for nesting, as do a variety of secondary nesters like wood ducks, raccoons, squirrels and chickadees. As winter approaches, as many as 25 to 30 chickadees, kinglets and nuthatches will huddle in a tree cavity overnight for warmth.
  • Wire & Rock Walls: Along a short side trail, you’ll find strands of wire imbedded in a hemlock tree suggesting the area that is now Dirigo Pines Cottage Community was once farmed or grazed prior to being developed. Many large trees were left untouched along the property lines. Up behind the water tower, there are very large oaks, pines and hemlocks straddling old rock walls.

For more about our trails, click here. Tell us what you discover on our trails!


The Dirigo Putting Contest is Coming This Thursday

Thanks to an unusually warm spring, Dirigo Pines residents have been brushing up on their short game over on the Piney Knoll Putting Green just outside the Dirigo Pines Inn. We’re ready for the annual Dirigo Putting Contest coming up Thursday, June 16 at 3 p.m.

Two years ago, the 40 by 15 foot artificial turf putting green was installed and it’s been a big hit with residents ever since. We’ve spotted folks out clearing snow off the green just to get in a few extra swings! Golf is a great way for residents to get outside, stay active, have some fun – and enjoy a little friendly competition!

Come enjoy the competition on June 16, and stay tuned for news about our Dirigo Pines Golf Classic coming later this summer!


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