Hit the Wine Trail

Picture it: A warm summer breeze drifts by as you sit on the sprawling deck of a local vineyard, overlooking acres of grapes and sipping a delicious Maine-made wine. Sound ideal? Then it’s time to hit the Maine Wine Trail! Whether you pick and choose one to visit each week this summer or go for the gold and make a vacation out of tackling the whole trail, you can’t go wrong! Check out just a few of the wineries that are close enough for a day trip from Dirigo Pines.

Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery

The owners of Barrett Hill Farm in Union started exploring blueberry wines several years ago, and since have added acres of grape vineyards over the past 13 years to now offer a huge selection of Maine grown grape wines. And check out their Summer Concert Series, featuring Michael Franti and Spearhead on July 15; The Mavericks on July 19; and Chris Isaak on August 17! Union is about an hour and a half from Dirigo Pines in Orono.

175 Barrett Hill Road, Union ∙ www.savageoakes.com

Dragonfly Farm & Winery

With a love of German Riesling Style wines, Dragonfly started a vineyard right here in Maine. Most of their white wines are hybrids of the Riesling Grape, while the reds are French hybrids. They offer seven varieties of whites, six reds and eight fruit wines; a selection that will satisfy most palates! Just over 30 minutes from Dirigo Pines.

1069 Mullen Road, Stetson ∙ www.mainewinegrower.com

Winterport Winery

Winterport Winery is located in the historic village of Winterport, not far from Orono, and offers a selection of award winning fruit wines to complement various cuisines. Sophisticated and supple, their wines both elegantly accompany formal occasions and also stand refreshingly on their own. To expand their beverage offerings to include beer, Penobscot Bay Brewery – an on-site brewing facility – was started in 2009 specializing in small batch, handcrafted brews that are fresh, flavorful and fantastic. Only a half hour from Dirigo Pines.

279 South Main St., Winterport ∙ www.winterportwinery.com

Cellardoor Winery

From cooking classes to tastings to concerts, Cellardoor Winery is a stunning winery in Lincolnville, Maine with a lot to offer. The winery offers over 20 wines, appealing to every palate. Check out their free Complimentary Pairings events online, and find tickets for events like Live at the Vines featuring Aaron Neville. Just over an hour from Dirigo Pines.

367 Youngtown Road, Lincolnville ∙ mainewine.com

Better yet, explore the entire Maine Wine Trail! Invite some friends and make a summertime event of it! Download the map and discover more here: www.mainewineryguild.com.

Coffee with the Contractor

Ready to discover retirement living in a 55+ community? Come find out what it’s all about! Join Dirigo Pines for Coffee with the Contractor on Wednesday, July 11 or Wednesday, July 25, both events are from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. We will provide information on cooperative ownership and you can see how easy it is to customize your maintenance-free dream home.

Get a head start and check out our floor plans here.

You can learn more about our cottage community by clicking here, and what our homes really look like. Then join us to have all your questions answered!

RSVP appreciated but not necessary, to 207-866-3400.

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.

Living in Vacationland — Part 2: July Events

Summer in Vacationland means festivals and fairs aplenty! And they’re not just for tourists. Plan the ultimate “staycation” and check out these fun events and happenings throughout the summer and close enough to Dirigo Pines for a day trip or quick weekend getaway!

Southern Uprising Concert – July 7

Outdoor concerts are one of the best parts of summer! Check out this amazing grouping featuring Travis Tritt, The Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band and Outlaws! All together in Bangor at Darlings Waterfront Pavilion on July 7.

waterfrontconcerts.com

Moxie Festival – July 13-15

Since 1982, the Moxie Festival has been held on the second weekend in July in Lisbon, Maine. And just in case you’re “from away” and wondering “What exactly is Moxie?” we’ll fill you in on this Maine treasure. Moxie is a uniquely New England soft drink. Dr. Augustin Thompson of Union, Maine, first marketed Moxie as medicine in 1876 in Lowell, Massachusetts, according the Moxie Festival website, and it was guaranteed to cure multiple ills, including “loss of manhood, paralysis and softening of the brain.” To take advantage of the new and growing soft drink market, it was later put on the soft drink market in 1884 as “Beverage Moxie Nerve Food” and eventually just “Moxie.” What’s it taste like? Well, it’s root beer-adjacent but not as sweet — some love it, some say it tastes like the medicine it was originally advertised as. You’ll just have to try it for yourself at the festival!

moxiefestival.com

North Atlantic Blues Festival – July 14-15

Featuring two full days of live music, the North Atlantic Blues Festival at Rockland Harbor Park will feature Bobby Rush, Wee Willie Walker and the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, Tab Benoit and more! In addition to all day live entertainment, the festival has vendors selling a wide array of food, drinks and crafts. Overlooking the picturesque Rockland Harbor, this festival is not to be missed!

northatlanticbluesfestival.com

Bucksport Bay Festival – July 20-22

Food, crafts, a 5K run, pageant, parade, music and more! All on the on the beautiful Bucksport Waterfront. Bucksport is just a short drive (about 30 minutes) from Dirigo Pines.

bucksportbaychamber.com

Kneading Conference – July 26-27

What’s better than fresh made bread? Farmers, millers, bakers, maltsters, researchers, and grain enthusiasts from around the world gather for two days of intensive baking workshops, wood-fired oven building workshops, and discussions about grain growing and running grain businesses. Attendees choose from hands-on workshops, live demonstrations, lectures, panel discussions and more.

kneadingconference.com

Stay tuned to DiscoverDirigo.com for more Maine events and fun throughout the summer! And add your own suggestions to the comments area below!

Dirigo Dish: Spicy Korean Beef and Cucumber Appetizers

Want to impress at the next neighborhood BBQ? Bring this tasty appetizer from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Appetizer Ingredients

  • 2 beef Strip Steaks Boneless, cut 1-inch thick (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 seedless English cucumber, sliced into 1/8 inch thick, (18-24 slices)
  • 1/4 cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1/4 cup plain rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Garnish Ingredients

  • Micro greens, chopped kimchi, chopped roasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, shredded carrots, chopped cilantro, sliced scallions

Directions

  • Combine cream cheese, green onion, cilantro and soy sauce in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Combine gochujang, vinegar, honey and garlic powder in medium bowl; set aside.
  • Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered 11 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 11 to 15 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Remove steaks; keep warm.
  • To assemble, top each cucumber slice with 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture. Dice steak into bite-size pieces; toss in gochujang mixture. Top cream cheese mixture with steak. Garnish with micro greens, kimchi, peanuts, sesame seeds, cilantro and scallions, if desired.

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!

Planning for a Retirement Move

Planning for retirement and considering a move to a retirement village? Summer in Maine is the right time to start your search. Sunny skies and longer days are perfect for a road trip and exploring the many retirement opportunities all around our state. Here are a few things to consider:

Location

Want to be near the water? Near the mountains? Closer to a city? Out in the country? Maine literally has it all in terms of locales — and Dirigo Pines is set right in the middle of it all. It’s a hop, skip and jump to the ocean, the mountains of western Maine, the great outdoors in northern Maine, or the more metropolitan areas of southern Maine.

Amenities

As you scout various retirement communities, what they have to offer beyond room and board should be considered. If you’re moving to a new town, making new friends will be important — at Dirigo Pines we offer daily activities and social groups. From the “Out to Lunch Bunch” to yoga classes to cribbage clubs, there’s something for everyone and every interest. And did we mention our miles of walking trails, stocked fishing ponds, putting green, connection with the nearby University of Maine, library, and gourmet dining? The list goes on and on!

Healthcare

Aging into retirement sometimes means aging into some new healthcare issues. Planning ahead for what the years might bring is easy at Dirigo Pines, where we offer on-site geriatric care, podiatry, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy services. 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. Learn more about our Assisted Living services 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.

3 Hidden Gems at Dirigo Pines

There are lots of things to look forward to when you move in at Dirigo Pines. Worry-free living with your lawn care, plowing and home maintenance all taken care of; lots of social activities to mix and mingle with residents; walking trails and exercise classes to stay healthy and fit — and so much more! But there are a few hidden gems that only Dirigo Pines residents really know about. Here are a few of the unexpected benefits of retirement living at Dirigo Pines…

The Ponds are Stocked

The natural beauty of the Dirigo Pines campus is unmatched. Nature lovers will fall in love with our walking trails — and two stocked fishing ponds! 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!

A therapy dog visits the Memory Loss Neighborhood.

Pets are Welcome

Did you know your furry friends are welcome at Dirigo Pines? Making a move to a new home is stressful enough without having to displace your beloved pets. At Dirigo Pines, we’re pet friendly and home to many animals at the Inn and in our cottages. You’ll spot friendly pups strolling along our walking paths all year long. And for those without pets but a soft spot for furry friends, we enjoy regular visits from a variety of therapy animals. Cats from the Bangor Humane Society have also been making the rounds through the Cats on Laps program. Cats (and some dogs too) up for adoption are traveling to area senior centers, offering a chance to cuddle a kitten and also help socialized the animals before they are adopted. Learn more here.

Work on Your Short Game

There are lots of ways to have fun at Dirigo, but Piney Knoll Putting Green outside the Dirigo Pines Inn might just be one of our favorites. The 40×15 foot artificial turf putting green was installed in 2015, and it’s been a popular attraction ever since — with annual Putting Contests and more. What a fun surprise and a great way to dust off your short game!

Tuesdays at Two — Standing Guard: Protect What You’ve Worked For

Join us for a new series called Tuesdays at Two! On June 12 at 2 p.m. John Byrne, financial advisor with Edward Jones, will share information about Standing Guard: Protect What You’ve Worked For. If you are approaching retirement or have recently retired, your focus may be shifting from building your financial safety net to protecting the resources you have earned. Come learn about key risks and strategies to prepare for the unexpected.

We are holding these educational presentations on the second Tuesday of the month at 2 p.m. in the Penobscot Media Room. Light refreshments will be served. Enjoy topics relevant for seniors, caregivers, and adult children supporting seniors. FREE to attend, but we do encourage folks to call ahead just in case of weather or other unexpected schedule change: 207-866-3400.

Do Good with Dad

Dad has always looked out for everyone else — here are some fun ways to connect with Dad, support great local causes and celebrate Father’s Day this month.

Bark for Life — June 2

Do some good and have some fun with both Dad and your furry friend. The American Cancer Society’s Bark For Life event honors the caregiving qualities of canines and also creates an awareness of the importance of all caregivers in general. At nearby Hollywood Casino Raceway in Bangor, this is a great way to connect with Dad and help the American Cancer Society save lives. Click here for more details.

Trek Across Maine — June 15-17

Feeling adventurous? Travel by bike across Maine during Father’s Day weekend and support the American Lung Association. This 3-day, 180 mile cycling event starts at the mountains of Sunday River and ends at the sea in Belfast. The Trek Across Maine offers three route options with varying levels of mileage and fundraising. Whether you take the ride with Dad or in honor of Dad, it’s an amazing way to support a great cause. Learn more here.

Best of the North: Wings, Wine & Beer Fest — June 16

Supporting the local United Way AND wings, wine and beer? We’re in. Taking place on the Bangor Waterfront, this inaugural event combines the wing fest and beer festivals of the past into one amazing day of good eats and drinks, with proceeds benefiting the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) and the United Way of Eastern Maine. A sure-fire hit for dad and something you can feel good about supporting. bestofthenorthfest.com

Have more great ideas to celebrate Dad? Share them in the comments section!

Living in Vacationland — Part 1: June Events

Summer in Vacationland means festivals and fairs aplenty! And they’re not just for tourists. Plan the ultimate “staycation” and check out these fun events and happenings throughout the summer and close enough to Dirigo Pines for a day trip or quick weekend getaway!

Acadia Birding Festival — May 31-June 3

Celebrate the ecological wonders of the birds of the Gulf of Maine at the Acadia Birding Festival. Explore Mount Desert Island — just over an hour away from Dirigo Pines — and its birds through numerous events and venues. Greet warblers on early morning birding walks, visit with puffins and pelagic birds at sea, and observe Peregrine Falcons at an active breeding site in Acadia National Park.

acadiabirdingfestival.com

Maine Blues Festival — June 15-17

Enjoy the musical stylings of dozens of Maine blues artists at a variety of venues in the Naples area (about 2 hours and 20 minutes from Dirigo Pines). Want more blues? Stay tuned for the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland (about an hour and 45 minutes away) coming July 14-15.

mainebluesfestival.com

northatlanticbluesfestival.com

Melissa Etheridge at Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery — June 16

Enjoy a beautiful summer evening of music set in a stunning vineyard with farm-to-table pub fare and a wide selection of Maine craft wine and beer. And it’s only about an hour and half away from Dirigo Pines in Union. That’s how to take advantage of living in vacationland!

savageoakes.com

Maine Whoopie Pie Festival — June 23

If you haven’t been to the Whoopie Pie Festival, you need to make it a “must” for this summer. Fun music, tons of vendors, lots of food — and whoopie pies in every flavor and form imaginable. Dark chocolate, blueberry, red velvet, oatmeal cookie, lemon, orange… nom, nom nom. And Dover-Foxcroft is less than a hour from Dirigo Pines!

mainewhoopiepiefestival.com

Stay tuned to DiscoverDirigo.com for more Maine events and fun throughout the summer!

A History of Memorial Day 

Memorial Day has a special meaning for each of us. Remembering those we’ve lost and those who died while serving in the country’s armed forces is what this holiday is all about. Here are a few things you might not have known about this special day and how it came to be:

  • Also known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the U.S. observed every year on the last Monday of May. But did you know the holiday was held on May 30 from 1868 to 1970?
  • Some believe that the annual cemetery decoration practice began before the American Civil War. Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are still held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South.
  • On June 3, 1861, Warrenton, Virginia was the location of the first Civil War soldier’s grave ever to be decorated, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper article in 1906. However, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day, after ladies decorated soldiers’ graves on July 4, 1864.
  • In April 1865, following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and after more than 600,000 soldiers of both sides died in the Civil War, memorialization took on new significance. Under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves took shape. In 1865, the federal government began creating national military cemeteries for the Union war dead.
  • In 1868, General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.
  • In 1915, following the Second Battle of Ypres, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a physician with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, wrote the poem, “In Flanders Fields.” Its opening lines refer to the fields of poppies that grew among the soldiers’ graves in Flanders. In 1918, inspired by the poem, YWCA worker Moina Michael attended a YWCA Overseas War Secretaries’ conference wearing a silk poppy pinned to her coat and distributed over two dozen more to others present. In 1920, the National American Legion adopted it as their official symbol of remembrance.
  • On May 26, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson designated an “official” birthplace of the holiday by signing the presidential proclamation naming Waterloo, New York, as the holder of the title. This action followed House Concurrent Resolution 587, in which the 89th Congress had officially recognized that the patriotic tradition of observing Memorial Day had begun one hundred years prior in Waterloo, New York. The village credits druggist Henry C. Welles and county clerk John B. Murray as the founders of the holiday.