Dirigo Dish: White Bean and Avocado Wrap

Great for a meal or a snack, this tasty wrap feels like spring with crunchy veggies and a touch of honey. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!



  • 15 oz. canned, reduced-sodium white beans (navy, cannellini or Great Northern), drained, rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado (pit removed)
  • 3 Tbsp. vinegar (red wine, white, apple cider)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 carrot (shredded)
  • 2 cups green or purple cabbage, washed, cored, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro (coarsely chopped, divided)
  • 4, 100% whole-wheat 8-inch, wraps or tortillas

  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, honey and pepper to create the dressing (marinade).
  • Add the carrots, cabbage, cherry tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro to the bowl. Toss gently to coat the vegetables with the dressing. Set aside and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the white beans and avocado. Mash with the back of a fork and mix until thoroughly blended and spreadable.
  • Place four wraps/tortillas on a flat surface. In the center of each wrap/tortilla, place 2 heaping tablespoons of the mixture. Using a knife or spatula, spread the mixture out until it is two inches away from the edges of the wrap (to allow for easier assembly).
  • Stir the cabbage mixture again, and place 2 heaping tablespoons on top of the bean/avocado mixture.
  • Add cilantro as a garnish on top, if desired.
  • Begin folding the two sides inward. Hold with fingers and lift the bottom portion of the wrap up with our thumbs to create an “envelope.” Once the bottom of the wrap is touching the two sides, begin rolling the wrap until it’s completely closed. Place on a flat surface with the smooth side up.

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!

Growing Fun with Grandkids

April vacation is coming up April 16-20 for most local students — and if you’ve got grandchildren coming to visit during that time, here’s a great way to keep little hands busy and get your garden started! Our Dirigo Pines residents have created some amazing gardens, and everyone at the Inn has the opportunity each spring to claim a raised bed of their own. Planting seeds, watching them grow and harvesting yummy fruits and vegetables is a great hobby for all ages. Here are a few tips for gardening with kids…

  • Plant the seed. Let kids choose their own seeds to grow. Sure, they might pick some strange vegetables to try, but why not give it a shot? And throw in a few old stand-bys — tomatoes, zucchinis and cucumbers all appreciate an inside start — or try radishes if kids are eager to see the seeds start quickly.
  • Watch the process. Starting seeds from the very beginning is a fascinating thing to watch. Try sprouting a few seeds in a wet paper towel or cotton ball so kids can watch what happens. Simple spread the seeds out evenly on a damp paper towel, then sandwich with another moist towel and tuck them inside a plastic baggie and set in a warm, sunny window. You can even transfer them to soil after they sprout.
  • Plan your garden. Many Dirigo residents in our cottage community enjoy large flower and vegetable gardens in their yards, but even with limited space, you can enjoy gardening. Lots of vegetables, from tomatoes to cucumbers to beans, come in varieties perfect for small spaces and container gardens. Have children map out the garden on paper with colored pencils or crayons to decide where things will get planted. A gardening journal is another fun way to track your progress.
  • Plant in pots or raised beds. Pots and raised beds not only help keep weeds to a minimum, they also help bring the garden a little closer to you to reduce the bending and kneeling related to gardening directing in the ground. Raised beds can be built tall enough to eliminate any bending at all – saving your back! Pots can be placed on patios and porches and even on rollers, so those with limited mobility can keep their thumbs green.
  • Crafty decor. While you’re waiting for things to sprout, make a project out of garden markers. Painted rocks or sticks make great garden row markers. Wind chimes from recycled materials and simple stepping stones are great garden additions as well.
  • Go big! Consider some fun giants like sunflowers and pumpkins for your garden, and let a zucchini or two just keep growing. Kids will love watching them get bigger and bigger each day.
  • Reap the rewards. Gardening is a great way to get kids eating healthy. Be sure to involve them in the harvest!
  • Bring it in. Bring the outside in for those who can’t make the trip to the yard or have limited outdoor gardening space. Create a garden in indoor pots or create a low-maintenance terrarium.

Events to Celebrate Spring

Does it feel like we had to wait extra long for spring to finally spring up this year? I blame Dirigo Dug for making us hopeful for an early spring. (Watch his prediction here. I just don’t know about that guy sometimes.) But springtime in Maine is nothing if unpredictable — then again, it’s always worth the wait. Check out these harbingers of warmer weather and plan to get outside!

  • Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race: In nearby Bangor, every April we celebrate the arrival of spring by canoeing the Kenduskeag Stream in bizarre costumes — or simply watching from banks with the rest of the river vultures (even the spectators have their own special lingo at this annual spectacle on water). Six Mile Falls (click here for directions from Dirigo Pines) is a good spot to watch some wicked wipe outs or head to the finish line in downtown Bangor. Remember to dress warm and bring snacks. This year’s race is scheduled for Saturday, April 21. Check out kenduskeagstreamcanoerace.com for more info.
  • Orono Bog Walk: Set to open May 1, this incredible natural resource is just minutes from Dirigo Pines and a great place to take a springtime walk. Learn more about the Bog Walk here. The boardwalk is a wheelchair-friendly facility, and benches for rest and contemplation are provided at least every 200 feet. Please note that dogs are not permitted on the Bog Walk.
  • Sea Dogs Opening Day: Opening day at Hadlock Field is set for April 13, versus the Rumble Ponies. Hadlock is home to the Portland Sea Dogs — Maine’s minor league baseball team that’s affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. Fun fact: 13 of 25 former Sea Dogs are slated for the Red Sox opening day roster. The Sea Dogs season consists of 140 games (70 home and 70 away) against 11 opponents. Sea Dogs 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: Combine great scenery and history with great savings and visit a national park for free. Get into Acadia National Park for free on April 21, the first day of National Park Week. Take advantage and beat the crowds to Acadia, 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 America’s National Park for $80; annual senior passes are just $20!

Your New Home is Ready

Is 2018 the year you’re retiring? Ready to downsize, meet new people, and find time to truly enjoy your retirement? Dirigo Pines Cottage Community has homes available now! Every cottage has a spacious living room, dining area, large kitchen including all appliances, beautiful master bedroom with walk-in closet, guest bedroom, two baths, screened-in porch and attached garage. Some of our cottage include a den and other upgrades. Tired of home maintenance expenses and wasting time clearing snow and cutting grass? 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.

Available Now: 20 Dirigo Drive 

This cottage offers convenient one-floor living, a charming heated porch and private patio among lush perennial beds. Thoughtful extras include cathedral ceilings in master bedroom and additional windows for more natural light. Enjoy central AC in the summer and a heated porch in winter. Enjoy a walk along the nearby nature trails, go fishing in the pond or just take a stroll along the paved sidewalk. This home is ready to move-in — or you can work with our contractor to customize it perfectly to your taste.

Learn more 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.

Take in a Show

Our area has become a hotspot of major shows and concerts — and now’s the time to stock up on your tickets! From nationally touring shows at the new Cross Insurance Center in Bangor and the recently revitalized Collins Center in Orono to the Waterfront Concert series that brings major acts to Portland and Bangor, there’s no shortage of things to do around here!

Get your tickets soon for these upcoming events:

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

April 4 at 7 p.m. — Collins Center for the Arts, Orono

Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the hilarious hit show that won the 2014 Tony Award® for Best Musical. It’s the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way… and be done in time for tea.

Click here for more information.

Masterworks V: Mozart & Beethoven

April 8 at 3 p.m. — Collins Center for the Arts, Orono

The BSO under Maestro Lucas Richman continues its multi-year Beethoven cycle with the composer’s First Symphony, followed by Mozart’s glorious Mass in C Minor, a beloved work that will feature the University of Maine Singers and Oratorio Society in our annual collaboration.

Click here for more information. 

The Wizard of Oz

April 10 at 7:30 p.m. — Cross Insurance Center, Bangor

This production is a spectacular celebration of the classic 1939 film. It’s a new, refreshed and lavish rendition of the beloved classic. Audiences young and old, seeing it for the first time or the fifth, will be dazzled by the brightly colored sets, charmed by its timeless score and enthralled with its breathtaking special effects. Whether it creates new memories or conjures them up from the past, everyone deserves to experience or relive the wonderful, whimsical and enduring story.

Click here for more information. 

Comedian Jim Gaffigan

May 6 at 7 p.m. — Cross Insurance Center, Bangor

The Fixer Upper Tour is the new show from Jim Gaffigan, a Grammy-nominated comedian, actor, New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. Gaffigan is known around the world for his unique brand of humor which largely revolves around fatherhood and his observations on life and food. Last December, Gaffigan became one of only ten comics in history to sell out Madison Square Garden and few months prior, Gaffigan had the honor of performing for Pope Francis and over 1 million festival attendees at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia.

Click here for more information. 

Jason Aldean

May 27 at 7:30 p.m. — Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, Bangor

Waterfront Concerts presents the return of two-time and reigning ACM “Entertainer of the Year” country music’s Jason Aldean on his High Noon Neon Tour with special guests Luke Combs and Lauren Alaina live at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion.

Click here for more information. 

Meet our New Life Enhancement Director Tracy Comer!

Meet our new Life Enhancement Director Tracy Comer! Tracy Comer is not new to Dirigo Pines — she’s been with us for several years as the part time Activities Assistant and we’re excited to have her in this new role!

While working in restaurant management, Tracy decided she needed a change of pace. She started working at Dirigo Pines as a part time Activities Assistant. Tracy quickly realized she had a passion for the job and that she loved working with Dirigo Pines residents. When Amanda Smith decided to change positions in order to have more flexibility and more time with her beautiful new son Remi, Tracy embraced the opportunity to step into the role of Director of Life Enhancement. We are glad Amanda is still with us, but we are so lucky Tracy was prepared to take on new responsibilities. She has taken on the challenge with energy, enthusiasm, creativity, and her well known good sense of adventure.

Tracy is a longtime resident of the greater Orono-Old Town community. She grew up in Bradley, and now lives in Old Town with her husband and two Boston Terriers.

In her spare time she enjoys hiking, kayaking, camping, nature photography and has been known to go whitewater rafting. Tracy and her husband are adventurous travelers who have been to 17 countries and several states.

We want to congratulate Tracy and officially welcome her to the position of Director of Life Enhancement!

Click here to learn more about Dirigo Pines. To schedule a visit, call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com. 

Dirigo Dish: Mason Jar Taco Salad

Wondering what all the fuss is around Mason jar salads? Check out this tasty dish from the American Heart Association that fits into a four quart-sized jar. Bring it along for a spring picnic or day trip!  Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 2 medium green onions (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 medium fresh jalapeño pepper (seeds and ribs discarded, coarsely chopped, optional)
  • 1 medium avocado (halved, pitted)
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
  • 1 tablespoon water plus more, as needed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Salad Ingredients

  • 1, 15.5-ounce can no-salt-added kidney beans (rinsed, drained)
  • 1, 15.5-ounce can no-salt-added black-eyed peas (rinsed, drained)
  • 1/2 medium English, or hothouse, cucumber, chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked fresh corn or frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed and drained
  • 1 cup sliced radishes
  • 1 cup fat-free, shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 cups shredded romaine or any other greens, such as spinach or arugula, chopped if desired


  • In a food processor or blender, process the cilantro, green onions, and jalapeño until finely chopped. Process all the remaining dressing ingredients until smooth, adding more water if needed so the salad dressing is the desired consistency.
  • Put 4 Mason jars on a work surface. Remove the lids. Divide the salad ingredients among the jars in the following order: salad dressing, beans, black-eyed peas, cucumber, tomatoes, corn, radishes, and Cheddar. Top with the romaine.
  • Replace the lid on each jar and tighten it. Refrigerate the jars for up to 4 days.
  • Before serving, shake the jars to distribute the salad dressing. Serve the salad in the jars or pour into bowls.

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!

Why Spring is the Best at Dirigo!

Happy First Day of Spring! While it might mean some mud and unsettled weather, springtime also ushers in some of the best parts about living at Dirigo Pines. Blossoming flowers, walking paths free of snow, sunshine and longer days to enjoy our great state.

Spring showers bring May flowers

More sunshine and warmer weather means things start to bloom all over Dirigo Pines. We’re pleased to have so many residents help in the spring planting around our campus, from the Inn to the cottages. The touches of bright color in our beautiful garden beds make everyone’s day. Along our walking paths, azaleas, beach roses, day lilies and more begin adding touches of color and life each spring.

Time to start the veggie garden

Our Inn residents have some really green thumbs — each spring everyone has the chance to claim a bit of soil in the raised beds outside the Inn and plant some seeds. From gorgeous flowers to towering tomatoes, we’ve had some bumper crops! And the best part — they’re more than willing to share the bounty with others! 

Go for a drive

With less risk of snow storms and nor’easters, it means it’s safe to start planning day trips and drives around the state. Dirigo Pines in Orono is perfectly situated to make a day trip to Aroostook County, the famed Maine coast, the mountains of western Maine, or the shopping and beaches of southern Maine all within easy reach. Click here for a few ideas for Maine day trips.

Dining al fresco

Let’s take this outside — to the stunning patio off the Dirigo Pines Inn. The first meal outside is the official harbinger of the warm weather to come. And Dirigo Pines is renowned for its fine dining. Using locally sourced produce and seafood ensures high quality, fresh and delicious meals — perfect for taking outside as the weather grows more mild. Not much of scheduled diner? That’s okay — Dirigo offers an 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. Click here to learn more. 

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. 

6 Lucky (and Fun!) Reasons to Live at Dirigo

There are countless reasons Dirigo Pines residents consider themselves lucky to live at such a beautiful retirement community. Surrounded by nature, the stunning facility and cottages speak for themselves. A stop inside and you’ll be greeted by friendly staff and residents, and have we mentioned the food? Amazing. The Inn provides independent and assisted living opportunities, as well as memory care and specialized care for those in need. Primary and specialized care practitioners provide on-site geriatric care, podiatry, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy services. It’s beautiful, friendly, offers the care you need as you age — but did you we’re pet friendly and we have a putting green? Here’s a look at few of the lesser known (and really fun) reasons it’s lucky to be at Dirigo Pines:

We’re Pet Friendly

Making the 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. And for those without pets but a soft spot for furry friends, we enjoy regular visits from a variety of therapy animals. Learn more about the important role of pets by clicking here.

Our Very Own Putting Green

The weather is warming up, spring is just around the corner — that means golf season isn’t far behind. And while there are lots of ways to have fun at Dirigo, our 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 — and a great way to dust off your short game.

Nearby University of Maine

Maine’s flagship university is just down the road, meaning Dirigo residents have instant access to amazing shows, concerts, theatre, music, sporting events and more. All independent residents of the Dirigo Inn receive a Pines Pass, which allows for special discounts at UMaine and $125 applied to the card annually. 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 more information about the Pines Pass.

Gone Fishin’

Each spring we stock Dirigo’s two fishing ponds with small trout, just in time for our annual Fishing Derby. Fishermen and women of all skill levels enjoy hooking a big ol’ fish, and for the non-anglers, our ponds are surrounded by beautiful walking trails. The trails are not to be missed in the spring — edged with stunning flowers in bloom and convenient benches to spot the occasional deer or heron.

Take a Hike

Speaking of trails, Dirigo offers hiking trails connecting 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! 

Dirigo Dug

We like to have fun — from concerts to lunch outings to movies and more, Dirigo Pines residents stay active and busy with a full activities schedule. We look forward to crazy annual events like a visit on Groundhog Day from Dirigo Dug. Check out the video here. With fulfilling programs and activities every day, it’s easy to stay active and make new friends.



We’re Famous!

Dirigo Pines’ new Meadowbrook Commons Specialized Care expansion has been getting lots of attention lately — and rightly so. As the need for specialized care in our state continues to grow, Dirigo Pines is ready with the addition of seven efficiency apartments, similar to our assisted living apartments. Each unit has a small kitchenette and separate bedroom. In addition, we’ve added two new studio apartments to Meadowbrook Commons as well.

Local TV stations recently stopped by to check out the new apartments. Dirigo’s Specialized Care offers couples or individuals a unique option of practical help and assistance with daily activities, bathing, dressing and more.

Watch the Fox Bangor story here

Watch the WABI story here

Many people find they’re not quite ready for a skilled nursing facility, but they do need more help with daily activities. That’s where Specialized Care at Dirigo Pines’ Meadowbrook Commons can help. Offering a higher level of assisted living, our caring staff can help with bathing, dressing, getting in and out of chairs or bed, cooking dinner, doing laundry, and more. And it’s often less expensive than a skilled nursing facility and provided in a more comfortable, home-like setting. 

As Community Outreach Director Susan Habeeb explains, “What I think is very special about us is we often have couples that come together and it does give that respite to the spouse who was the caregiver and yet, they can be together and they will do better if they can be together.”

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


For more information about our Meadowbrook community, click here. 

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