UMaine’s Homecoming Weekend

The University of Maine, just down the road from Dirigo Pines, is the alma mater of many Dirigo residents and the “college of our hearts always.” Whether you were once a graduate or just looking for some fun this weekend, Homecoming is the perfect time for a visit. Here are just a few of the activities happening around campus Oct. 25-27…

  • UMaine football takes on William & Mary at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. Tickets available online at or at Alfond Stadium. Click here for details about tailgating at this event. Tailgating begins at 10 a.m. and is a great way to reconnect with alumni and have some fun before the big game!
  • Maine Marketplace: Check out Maine-made products from 150+ vendors at one of the largest craft shows in the state! Admission is only $2 (and if it’s your reunion year, receive complimentary access). The craft show starts Saturday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Balance Field House.
  • Welcome Home Social: Join fellow alums and representatives from across the campus for a social hour. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available. Takes place Friday, Oct. 25 at 4:30 p.m. at the Buchanan Alumni House. Click here for tickets.

There’s more to discover! Click here for a full list of events and activities during Homecoming Weekend 2019.

Special Holiday Pricing for Short-Term Respite Services

Dirigo Pines provides short-term respite services to seniors and their families. Plan ahead for the holidays and reserve your loved one a place to stay while you are away. Special pricing will apply if you call before Nov. 8 — $250 per day!

There has never been a better time to make Dirigo Pines your new home!

Join Us in the Fight to End Alzheimer’s

One of our very favorite causes around Dirigo Pines is the Eastern Maine Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The Walk is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. All year long we raise money through various events and fundraising to support Team Dirigo and this important organization. Dirigo Pines is one of the top 5 fundraisers this year, with over $3,000 raised! Want to support our team and the cause? Click here!

You can also join more than 400 participants on Saturday, Oct. 19. Check-in time is 8 a.m., the ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m. and the Walk begins at 10 a.m. at the Bangor Waterfront. You do need to register ahead of time, so click here to sign up now. Every registered participant will receive a T-shirt after achieving the fundraising minimum of $100. On Walk day, you will also receive a wristband, and each registered walker with a wristband will receive a flower to add to the Promise Garden. It’s a great way to remember a loved one, support a family member or just support the general cause.

We’ll see you there!

Dirigo Dish: Sriracha-Glazed Chicken and Squash

Brr! Warm up with a spicy fall meal. This tasty recipe from the American Heart Association combines Asian flavors and butternut squash for the perfect mix of spice and all things autumn. Find even more heart healthy recipes at!

For the butternut squash:

  • 1, 4-lb large butternut squash (peeled, seeded, diced)


  • 2, 2-lb medium butternut squash (peeled, seeded, diced)
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

For the Sriracha-glazed chicken:

  • 2 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4, 6- oz. thinly sliced chicken breasts


For the butternut squash:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut the butternut squash in half vertically. Use a vegetable peeler or a knife to remove the peel. Remove the seeds with a spoon and discard. Cut squash into a 1-inch dice.
  3. Add butternut squash cubes onto a large foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, paprika, salt, and pepper. Use a spatula or clean hands to toss ingredients together. Make sure the squash is on a single layer on the baking sheet.
  4. Cook in preheated oven until soft, about 30 to 35 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through the cooking process. Serve with the chicken.

For the Sriracha-glazed chicken:

  1. Into a large resealable plastic bag, add marinade ingredients: Sriracha, canola oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper. Add chicken breasts into the bag, making sure the chicken is well-coated with marinade. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes (and start the butternut squash while it sits) or place chicken in the refrigerator to marinate for up to 24 hours.
  2. To cook, into a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add chicken breasts and all the marinade liquid. Use tongs to frequently turn the chicken breasts to be coated in marinade, and sauté until chicken is fully cooked, around 8 to 10 minutes depending on thickness. Remove from heat 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!

Learn About Yom Kippur

Most of us have heard of Yom Kippur, but if you didn’t grow up in the Jewish faith, you might not fully understand this important holiday. Yom Kippur is the second of the Jewish High Holidays and a time to focus on self improvement. The holiday begins in the evening of Tuesday, October 8 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, October 9. This time is traditionally observed with a full day of fasting and prayer, often spending much of the day in synagogue services. 

Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement. According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to “seal” the verdict. During that time, you’re to gain introspection, change your behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs against God and other humans. The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt. At the end of Yom Kippur, one hopes that they have been forgiven by God.

Large meals and festivities often mark the time just before and after Yom Kippur, with special food like challah. Challah is a special braided bread — click here for recipe to try making it at home.

According to Time magazine, “the best greeting to give to someone observing Yom Kippur in English is ‘have an easy fast.’ For those who are not fasting, but are observing the Yom Kippur, you can wish them a ‘Good Yuntif,’ or ‘Yom Tov’ which is Yiddish and Hebrew, respectively, for ‘Have a good holy day.’”

3 Ways to Celebrate Autumn

It’s always hard to say goodbye to summer, but fall foliage, cooler nights and less humidity do have their appeal. Here are 3 fun ways to celebrate autumn and enjoy all that mother nature has to give this time of year…

  1. Nature’s Bounty: From an abundance of beautiful fruit and veggies ripe and ready at nearby farmers’ markets to the farm stands and orchards full of produce and goodness, everywhere you turn there’s something delicious. Visit Orono’s amazing Farmers’ Market every Saturday in the Steam Plant Parking Lot (and at Asa Adams School after Thanksgiving). Click here for details. Or head to Treworgy Family Orchards in nearby Levant to pick apples, pumpkins, berries or test your navigational skills in the corn maze. Click here to learn more.
  2. The Colors of Fall: Be there to enjoy the show when Mother Nature puts on her colorful foliage display. The Maine Foliage Report suggests several spots for the best views in our area, including the drive to Dover-Foxcroft, taking a stroll along the Guilford Memorial River Walk, and a visit to Lowes Covered Bridge in Guilford. Check out the full report here.
  3. Spirt of the Season: Did you know our great state has both a Maine Wine Trail and a Maine Beer Trail? What better destination than a nearby vineyard or brewery while you’re out hunting foliage? Click here to learn about some of Acadia and Down East’s wineries. Or just head to nearby Bangor or Brewer’s waterfront, sit on the deck of the Sea Dog or Mason’s or any of the many nearby eateries or food trucks and enjoy a local brew and the water view.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy fall? Share in the comments below!

Dirigo Dish: Make-Ahead Beef Stew for a Crowd

Fall time calls for cozy, comfort foods like this beef stew from the American Heart Association. Make it anytime, freeze it, and when you’re ready, just thaw and drop in the slow cooker. What could be easier? Invite friends over to watch a Sunday football game and feed a whole crowd. Find even more heart healthy recipes at!


Servings  12

  • 4 lbs boneless sirloin steak (all visible fat discarded, cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 4 cups baby red potatoes (halved)
  • 4 cups baby carrots
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 10-oz package dried lima beans, sorted for stones and shriveled beans, rinsed, and drained
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp quick-cooking tapioca
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp dried parsley (crumbled)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (crumbled)
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Divide the stew between two 1-gallon resealable plastic freezer bags. Place the bags flat in the freezer and freeze.

Directions for Cooking

  1. Thaw the bags overnight in the refrigerator. Pour the contents of the bags into a slow cooker. Pour in 1 cup water, stirring to combine. Cook, covered, on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.
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!

Picture Yourself Here: Independent Living at Dirigo Pines

Lunch and Learn Series from Rudman Winchell – Part 3

Join us Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Dirigo Pines for another Lunch & Lunch event from Rudman Winchell. We’ll be discussing Wills & Beneficiary Designations.

Discover what you need to know about writing your will, designating beneficiaries, and keeping things up-to-date.

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

This presentation will take place Tuesday, Sept. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dirigo Pines, 9 Alumni Drive in Orono.

And stay tuned for Part 4 of our series, scheduled for Nov. 12 on Planning with Trusts.

You can reserve your spot today by calling Dawn Spinney at 992-2302 or emailing

Celebrating Grandparents Day!

What’s more grand than getting to watch children grow and bloom. Being a grandparent is a special gift in itself — and celebrating Grandparents Day this Sunday, Sept. 8 with young ones makes it all the more fun. Here are a few ideas for spending some time together this weekend — or any time of the year!

Take a Hike

People of all ages can appreciate spending time in nature, spotting wildlife, listening to the birds and enjoying some sunshine together. Dirigo Pines offers beautiful nature trails to enjoy with family (click here for more information), and nearby you’ll find more perfect spots for a stroll or hike. Just minutes away is the Orono Bog Walk — the perfect length of a leisurely walk and full of natural fun and surprises (click here for more info). Or head to Fields Pond Audubon Center, just 20 minutes away, to do a little hiking, bird watching or paddle the lake (click here for details).

Share a Family Recipe

It’s not secret that grandmas already have the best cookies and treats — but sometimes their recipes are. Share your secret recipe for ginger snaps, coffee cake or whatever your speciality dish might be. Getting messy in the kitchen with little ones creates lasting memories for everyone.

Growing Together

Not a baker, but maybe you have a green thumb? Sharing your gardening know-how — kids are always willing to dig in the dirt or help harvest ripe fruits and veggies. Planting seeds, watching them grow and reaping the rewards is all part of the fun.

Get Crafty

Share your love of knitting, sowing, painting or creating with your grandkids. Creating something beautiful and useful from simple supplies can have a lasting effect. You find lots of ideas online as well to help you find the perfect craft based on the child’s age and skill level.

Sharing and spending time together this Grandparents Day is the perfect way to create new memories and a lasting bond.