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.

Dirigo Dish: Jerk Chicken with Grilled Hasselback Zucchini

Sun’s out, grill’s out! Try this zesty take on grilled chicken and zucchini from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

4 Servings

Chicken Ingredients

8 large green onions (coarsely chopped)

2 medium fresh jalapeño peppers (seeds and ribs discarded, optional)

4 medium garlic cloves

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (divided use)

1 tablespoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed, and 1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed, divided use

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat discarded

Cooking spray

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

Zucchini Ingredients

4 medium zucchini

1/2 cup plain or whole-wheat panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon canola or corn oil

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (crumbled)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 medium avocado (halved, pitted, coarsely chopped)

1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

Cooking Tip: You can make this recipe using the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake on the top rack for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Broil for 2 minutes to brown, if desired. Meanwhile, pack the zucchini tightly in a baking dish. Bake on the bottom oven rack for 35 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the panko mixture. Bake for 5 minutes.

Directions

In a food processor or blender, process the green onions, jalapeños, and garlic for 30 seconds, or until finely chopped. Add the thyme, honey, 2 tablespoons lime juice, allspice, vinegar, cinnamon, and ginger. Process until smooth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the marinade is too chunky and process until smooth.

Put the chicken in a large shallow dish. Add the marinade, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

When the chicken has marinated, lightly spray the grill with cooking spray. Preheat on medium high.

Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade and wiping most of it off the chicken. Sprinkle the pepper and salt over the chicken. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until it registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Cover with aluminum foil.

Cut each zucchini crosswise into 1/4-inch slices without cutting all the way through in a hasselback cut. (It’s okay if you cut all the way through and break the zucchini. Just proceed as directed.) Gently fan the zucchini to open.

Place a double layer of aluminum foil on the grill. Make a large “boat” of foil to snugly hold the zucchini so they don’t move around. Grill the zucchini without turning for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and almost tender.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining zucchini ingredients. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the zucchini. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the grill.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, using an immersion, or handheld, blender, purée the avocado, sour cream, and the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice until smooth. Add the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the sauce is too thick. (You can also process the sauce in a food processor or blender until smooth.)

Serve the zucchini and sauce with the chicken.

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!

Gardening is Good for You

Those April showers are bringing plenty of May flowers — and our gardens have started in a hurry. Gardening is an activity enjoyed by all age groups, but did you know it’s also good for you? From fighting depression to helping you eat right, here are just a few of the ways your garden helps you grow…

Fresh Produce

If you have a vegetable garden, you can grow healthy organic fruits and veggies and know exactly where they came from. Fresh produce is great for heart health and fighting obesity. And it’s better for the environment — since veggies from your background or patio don’t have to be packaged or trucked anywhere, but simply walked straight to your kitchen to enjoy!

Stress Reducer

If you’ve gardened in the past, you probably understand the sensory experience of connecting with nature, watching things grow and enjoying the literal fruits of your labor. Disconnecting from screens, digging in the earth, being outside and enjoying the sounds and sights of nature can help reduce your stress levels, improve your mental health and fight depression. Add colorful flowers with nice smelling blooms to your garden for an extra mood-booster.

Staying Active 

The bending, kneeling, digging and stretching required to garden not only burns calories, but helps keep you limber and strong. The physical activity involved in gardening help prevent heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other diseases.

A Social Event

At Dirigo Pines, gardening is a great way to connect with neighbors and find common interests. Our cottage residents have grown incredible gardens throughout the campus for all to enjoy. And Dirigo offers raised bed plots to all Inn residents in a community space that comes to life in the summer with fantastic color and fruit. It’s a fun spot for residents to gather and share their work, as well as share the delicious fruits of their labors with other residents.

Because gardening is a goal-oriented activity, you’re even more likely to stick with it than a regular exercise routine like hitting the treadmill at the gym. With the prospect of beautiful blooms and fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the summer and fall, gardening is an easy routine to stick with.

4 Fun Ways to Spend Time with Mom

Celebrate mom and the women you love this month with a fun outing. There’s lots going on all around Dirigo Pines in May — here are just a few ideas to make a new memory with mom and those you love…

Color Bangor 5K

Mom’s used to a little mess now and then — and there’s no better way to get messy than the Color Bangor 5K! You can register now for the Saturday, May 12 event! You can walk, run, jump, skip, or dance the 5K route with friends and family all while supporting the American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront. Click here for more info.

Cabaret

Looking for something fun and different? How about a showing of “Cabaret” at the Collins Center for the Arts at UMaine in Orono on Tuesday, May 15 at 7 p.m.? Come hear some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen”and “Maybe This Time.” Please note, Cabaret is for mature audiences. Click for details.

The Spitfire Grill

Take mom to the Penobscot Theatre’s production of The Spitfire Grill, with shows from April 26-May 13. It’s the story of a feisty parolee who follows her dreams to sleepy Gilead, Wisconsin, and finds a place for herself working at Hannah’s Spitfire Grill. The diner is for sale but with no offers on the table, Hannah decides to raffle it off. Whoever submits $100 and the most compelling essay will win the grill. Soon, mail is arriving by the barrel and things are definitely cookin’ at the Spitfire Grill. Get tickets at penobscottheatre.org/show/the-spitfire-grill.

Sea Dogs’ Mother’s Day 5K

Take mom on a road trip to Portland for the Portland Sea Dogs’ 18th Annual Mother’s Day 5k Road Race on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13 from 9:15-11:15 a.m. Proceeds from the race go towards Maine breast cancer patients and research. There will also be a Kid’s Run that is free of charge. Slugger The Sea Dog and his Mom lead the way on the flat 5K course which begins in front of the Portland Expo building, travels down Congress Street, turning down Stevens Avenue, and making a right onto Brighton Avenue back down Deering Avenue into Fitzpatrick Stadium. The race culminates inside Hadlock Field in front of the third base dugout. Click for details.

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

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, May 9 from 9 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 May 9 to have all your questions answered!

RSVP appreciated but not necessary, to 207-866-3400. Attendees will be eligible for a $10,000 allowance toward custom upgrades!