Test Your Knowledge: Defining Dirigo

Dirigo Pines is named after Maine’s state motto: Dirigo. It’s on the flag, the Maine coat of arms, the state seal. But what does it mean? Quiz yourself or quiz your friends and test your Dirigo knowledge…

  1. The word “Dirigo” is latin for:
    1. Pine Tree State
    2. I Lead
    3. Oceanside
  2. What analogy of “Dirigo” is represented on the state seal?
    1. North Star
    2. Moose
    3. Pine Tree
  3. What two professions are represented on the state seal?
    1. Blueberry Picker and Lobsterman
    2. Farmer and Sailor
    3. Football Player and Businessman
  4. Maine was a part of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, until what year? 
    1. 1790
    2. 1805
    3. 1820
  5. One other way Maine leads the nation is being the first to see what?
    1. The sunrise
    2. Election results
    3. Blackflies in the summer

Bonus Question: Besides Dirigo, name 5 other Maine nicknames or slogans. 1 point per answer!



  1. B. Dirigo is Latin for “I Direct” or “I Lead.”
  2. A. The North Star is considered the mariner’s guide, just as Maine was the leader or guide for the nation. Maine was once been the only state to hold its elections in September and that how we got the phrase “As Maine goes, so goes the nation.”
  3. B. Farmer and Sailor. A farmer rests on his scythe and a sailor leans on an anchor.
  4. C. 1820. On March 15, 1820, under the Missouri Compromise, Maine was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state.
  5. A. The summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park and Lubec, Maine are 2 of the first spots to see the sunrise each morning. Though, the blackfly answer could be debated too 🙂

Possible Bonus Answers: The Pine Tree State, Vacationland, Worth a Visit – Worth a Lifetime, The Way Life Should Be, Where America’s Day Begins. How many more can you come up with?

Celebrate Mom with Fun, Local Events

It’s time to celebrate Mom — now, what to do? Go beyond flowers and trinkets, and plan a mini adventure. All around Dirigo Pines there are fun events, perfect for spending some quality time with Mom and showing your appreciation for all she does. Here are just a few of the fun things going on around Mother’s Day:

  • Color Bangor 5K: Get the whole family moving and sign up for the Color Bangor 5K, a fundraiser for the American Folk Festival, taking place the Saturday before Mother’s Day. Walk, run or skip through multiple color stations throughout Bangor, where volunteers cover participants in colored corn-starch powder. It’s fun, it’s messy and mom will love it. Click here for more info and to register.
  • Mother’s Day at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens: Take Mother’s Day flowers to the next level and treat mom to garden after garden at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay (a little over 2 hours if you take scenic Route 1 — click here for directions). Enjoy the early tulip display and other spring ephemerals with mom this Mother’s Day. All moms receive free admission to the gardens on Sunday, May 12. Visit www.mainegardens.org for more information.
  • Catch a Show: Penobscot Theatre in Bangor has a great line-up of shows for Mom! Catch the last performance of Fun Home on May 12, or pick up tickets now for a June or July show of Mamma Mia. Click here for tickets and details: penobscottheatre.org.
  • All Roads Music Festival: Does mom love music? The weekend after Mother’s Day, May 17 and 18, is the perfect time to visit nearby Belfast (only about an hour away — click here for driving directions) and enjoy some of Maine’s favorite indie musicians. The lineup this year includes Rustic Overtones, The Mallett Brothers, Spose, Paranoid Social Club, Kenya Hall and more! Tickets start at $20. Visit allroadsmusicfest.org to get yours and surprise mom.
  • Wingfest Maine 2019: How about tickets to Wingfest Maine for some excellent sampling, judging and just plain fun. Restaurants around the area offer up their tastiest wings for participants to taste test. Coming May 30 to the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Visit www.wingfestmaine.com for more info and tickets.

Have your own great idea for Mother’s Day fun? Share it with us!

May the Cinco de Derby Be With You

If you’re looking for a reason to celebrate and have fun with friends, this weekend’s got you covered! From Star Wars fans to Mexican food to horse races, we’re combining this Saturday and Sunday’s festivities into one big “May the Cinco de Derby” weekend.

Saturday, May 4 (aka May the Fourth) is Star Wars Day: Use the force and celebrate Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy and the gang on this “punny” day. “May the Fourth Be With You” started as a clever play on words and is now a full fledged holiday. We recommend gathering friends from galaxies both near and far, far away for a movie night — or even an all day marathon! Click here for the recipe for a yummy Avocado Pesto Dip to serve to guests. And click here for more fun ways to celebrate — and May the Fourth be with you!

Saturday, May 4 marks the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby: Louisville, Kentucky hosts one of the biggest horse races of the year at 6:50 p.m. Did you know the Kentucky Derby is only open to 3-year-old Thoroughbreds? Who will be victorious this year: Omaha Beach? Improbable? Game Winner? (Don’t you just love horse names?) Some must-haves for the perfect derby party include a big, fun hat (make it a contest for the most creative!) and the perfect Mint Julep (get the recipe here). Have guests wage friendly bets (winner gets to host the next party?) and enjoy the race!

Sunday, May 5 is Cinco de Mayo: Cinco de Mayo celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. While it’s actually not that big of a deal in Mexico, here in the U.S., it’s turned into a reason to enjoy Mexico food dishes and fiesta! So invite your amigos over for some tasty treats and a margarita! Check out this recipe for Sweet Potato Nachos for a twist on a classic.

Or go for a trifecta and combine all 3 festivities into one big May the Cinco de Derby celebration with Mint Juleps, nachos, horse races and a movie night!

Register by Friday for The Heart of the Pines Golf Tournament!

The cost is $60 per player, with 4-person teams. The fee includes a cart and lunch. And lots prizes will be given out during lunch following the tournament!

All proceeds will go to the American Heart Association.

To register, contact Laurie Cates at 866-3400 or email lcates@dirigopines.com. Register by May 3!

Interested in sponsoring? Sponsor a hole for just $75! Contact Laurie. All proceeds will go to the American Heart Association.

Dirigo Dish: Tuna-Stuffed Avocados with Corn Salsa

Fresher, lighter lunches are the things springtime is made of. Try this tasty dish from the American Heart Association, packed with fresh corn, tomatoes, avocados, lime juice and tuna. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!


For the Salsa:

  • ears corn, shucked and kernels cut off
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup chopped tomato (about 1 medium tomato)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped jalapeño
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice, plus more if needed (from 1 lime)

For the Tuna:

  • 1 (12.6-ounce) pouch chunk light tuna in water
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • avocados (halved, pitted)


For the Salsa:

  1. Use a knife to slice the kernels off 2 ears of corn. Add corn into a heatproof container with 1 tablespoon water, cover, and heat until cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cool to use in the salsa.
  2. Prepare the other ingredients, chopping the tomato, cilantro, red onion, and jalapeno. Add into a bowl, along with the corn and lime juice.
  3. Stir together to combine. Taste, adding more lime juice or jalapeno depending on desired taste. Let sit for flavors to mingle.

For the Tuna:

  1. In a medium bowl, add the tuna. Chop the celery and add to the tuna.
  2. Into the tuna, stir in yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Mix the prepared corn salsa into the tuna.
  4. Halve and remove the pit from each avocado. Drizzle a little lemon juice on the top of each avocado half to prevent from browning. Spoon tuna mixture into each avocado half, packing as much tuna into each one as possible. (If the pit doesn’t leave large enough of a “cup” for the tuna, spoon a tiny bit of the avocado out to fill it up with tuna.)
  5. Serve immediately or place in the fridge to chill before serving.
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!

Test Your Knowledge: Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! We love being surrounded by nature at Dirigo Pines and doing our part to take care of the Earth. One recent project is offering reusable containers for meals ordered from the kitchen for Inn residents. How are you going green? Quiz yourself or quiz your friends and test your Earth Day knowledge…

  1. Dirigo Pines residents are all about being good stewards of the Earth and following the 3 Rs, which stand for: 
    1. Reuse, Reformat, Recycle
    2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
    3. Recycle, Recognize, Return
  2. Earth Day was first celebrated in what year?
    1. 1970
    2. 1980
    3. 1990
  3. The “father” of Earth Day, Senator Gaylord Nelson, was disturbed that an issue as important as our environment was not addressed in politics or by the media, so he created the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970. Which state was Sen. Nelson from?
    1. Maine
    2. Wisconsin
    3. Vermont
  4. Silent Spring is an environmental science book by Rachel Carson, documenting the adverse effects caused by the use of pesticides. The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is located in which Maine town?
    1. Presque Isle
    2. Ellsworth
    3. Wells
  5. Maine has how many State Parks and Historic Sites to explore?
    1. 8
    2. 28
    3. 48
  6. The Lorax is a popular children’s book about the environment, first published in 1971. Who wrote it?
    1. Dr. Seuss
    2. Roald Dahl
    3. Judy Bloom

And a 5 Point Bonus Question: What are the 5 main types of clean renewable energy sources?


  1. B. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  2. A. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970.
  3. B. Sen. Nelson was from Wisconsin. Earth Day was started as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970.
  4. C. “Silent Spring” was published on September 27, 1962.
  5. C. According to Maine.gov, there 48 State Parks and Historic Sites.
  6. A. The Lorax “speaks for the trees.”

Bonus: Wind Power, Solar Power, Biomass (the term for using plants and organic matter for fuel), Geothermal, and Hydroelectric.

Happy Easter!

From family to bunnies to baskets — Easter is one of those special holidays with deep meaning for many. At Dirigo Pines, we recognize that religion is an important piece of the lives of many in our community, and that’s why we offer regular bible study groups, hymn singing, Catholic communion, and transportation to local churches for Sunday services.

Our monthly newsletter details times and meeting places for religious services. Click here for more details about this month’s opportunities. 

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 visit.


Join Us for the Heart of the Pines Golf Tournament!

Join us for senior living at its finest! Dirigo Pines is pleased to host The Heart of the Pines Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 18 at Hidden Meadows Golf Course in Old Town.

Tee time is at 8 a.m. The cost is $60 per player, with 4-person teams. The fee includes a cart and lunch. And lots prizes will be given out during lunch following the tournament!

All proceeds will go to the American Heart Association.

To register, contact Laurie Cates at 866-3400 or email lcates@dirigopines.com. Register by May 3!

Interested in sponsoring? Sponsor a hole for just $75! Contact Laurie. All proceeds will go to the American Heart Association.

Easy on the Ears: The Many Benefits of Music

There are so many ways to enjoy retirement living, socialize with new friends, and experience something new — and listening to music is one of our very favorite things to do at Dirigo Pines. Each month we line up tons of opportunities for residents to enjoy everything from ragtime piano to strings to celtic folk tunes right here at the Inn.

We have frequent musical guests join us to entertain our residents, including piano players, Irish music experts, country guitars, trombone players, and more. Last month, The Maine Steiners, the University of Maine’s all male a cappella group, stopped by to share their talents. Every week brings new musical entertainment to delight residents, including our regular Wine & Cheese Social with Fireside Strings.

In addition to being a relaxing hobby and making for an evening of fun, did you know music can actually be good for you? Listening to a tune can help reduce stress and anxiety, lift your mood, help you sleep — and if you’re learning a new instrument or practicing a new song, it can even make you smarter!

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 visit.

Lunch and Learn Series from Rudman Winchell – Part 2

Join us Tuesday, April 2 at Dirigo Pines for another Lunch & Lunch event from Rudman Winchell. Attorney Rachel Trafton and Sarah Barr will hold an Advance Health Care Directive Workshop.

Learn what an Advance Health Care Directive is, if you should have one, and what is included. Discover how to protect yourself and your family in case of incapacity.

This is the second of a 4-part series brought to you by Dirigo Pines, Rudman Winchell and Maine Elder Law Firm.

This presentation will take place Tuesday, April 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dirigo Pines, 9 Alumni Drive in Orono.

Part 3 of the series will be held Sept. 10 regarding Wills & Beneficiary Designations. Part 4 will be held Nov. 12 on Planning with Trusts.

You can reserve your spot today by calling Dawn Spinney at 992-2302 or emailing dspinney@rudmanwinchell.com.