5 New Year’s Resolution Ideas — and How to Keep Them

New Year’s Resolutions come in all shapes and sizes — some are fun, like learning how to make your own pasta, while others are more serious, like getting your finances in order. The start of a fresh new year is the perfect time to make a resolution or two or three in a variety of sizes, and we’re here to help you discover the best ways to stick to them for the whole year to come. Have some great resolution ideas of your own? Add to the comments section at the bottom!

1. Exercise

It’s everyone’s favorite resolution! Regular physical activity is the best medicine to keep active and moving, improve your balance, posture, mood and bone and muscle health, and ward off heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and more. From yoga to sittercise, Dirigo Pines offers regular opportunities for residents to stretch and move. 

If walking is more to your liking, Dirigo Pines’ walking trails connect with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system. Stretch out your muscles with a stroll among the Pines. Click here for more about our trails.

The University of Maine is just minutes away and offers access to the school’s many sports facilities, including tennis courts, an indoor pool, cross-country skiing trails and bike paths. Dirigo residents are also eligible for a discount to UMaine’s state-of-the-art Fitness Center

2. Eat Right

Just about everyone has eating right on their list of New Year’s resolutions. At Dirigo Pines, we’re making it easy. With gourmet meals prepared daily, it’s simple to eat delicious, nutritious food every day. In addition to our regular meal schedule, our All Day Dining Program offers flexibility for those who don’t eat on a regular rotation. What time is dinner? Whenever you choose. With dining anytime, incredible menu items and multi-venue options, you can savor the day on your own schedule. Whether you are an early riser or late sleeper, our program provides the flexibility to meet your unique lifestyle. You’ll always have a seat at the table. Visit our website to learn more!

Like to cook but need some new ideas? We’ve all been there! 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! 

We share lots of great recipes from the AHA and more on this blog! Click here for a full list of Dirigo Dish recipes! 

And did you know that during the summer, residents can sow their own little plot of land to grow delicious fresh veggies? What better way to eat right – and get some exercise!

3. Meet New People

Making new friends as a child – it’s a breeze. Making new friends as an adult – it’s a little trickier. Finding people with similar interests is a great place to start – and Dirigo Pines is full of fun ways to do just that. Every day Dirigo residents can join in different activities of all kinds – from Bridge, Cribbage and Mah Jong groups to our singing Songsters, regular art classes, Bible study groups, and much more. Join the Out to Lunch Bunch for a meal and good conversation, check out a Sunday movie matinee, shop, exercise, or just join our regular Social Hour. There are lots of great ways to meet new people and build lasting friendships at Dirigo.

Check out our monthly events calendar to see what’s happening now.

4. Learn Something New 

Ready to try a new hobby or take a class? Resolve to make it happen in 2020! From Scrabble to Rummikub, there are lots of clubs and activities at Dirigo Pines to help you learn. Dirigo also hosts various classes through the Penobscot Valley Senior College, offering unique learning opportunities throughout the year – with no tests or homework and a focus on socializing and enjoyable learning. Aced it!

5. Get Regular Screenings & Doctors Visits

Taking care of yourself is perhaps the best resolution you can make. Schedule your annual wellness visits, discuss screenings and tests including eye exams, cancer checks, hearing screenings and more. Talk to your doctor about your medications and if you still need them or need to change anything. And don’t forget about immunizations and shots! It might not be the most fun resolution on your list, but it might be the most important!

Feeling Grateful – 5 Ways to Share the Love

Feeling thankful? Turn November into a month of gratitude and encourage your friends and family to join you. Here are 5 ways to show your thanks and love this holiday season:

  1. Say It (or Write It) Out Loud: Create a gratitude tree or area to collectively share what you and loved ones are thankful for this year. Many of us do this at the Thanksgiving table, but sitting down and putting pen to paper and displaying your appreciation publicly is another great way to get the word out. Write down your thanks on a card and hang it like an ornament on a branch or other space – it’s the perfect Thanksgiving decor!
  2. Share Something! Sharing is caring – and one great thing to share during the holidays is a favorite recipe. Whether you bake up a batch of cookies or muffins to say thank you to a friend, or share your sought-after secret recipe for pumpkin pie with family this holiday, food is the way to everyone’s heart. Creating a homemade cookbook of family recipes is a great idea for Thanksgiving or the upcoming holiday season!
  3. Send a Note: Thank you letters are another great way to show someone just how much you appreciate them. Feeling grateful for a neighbor or friend? Write it down! This is the perfect time of year to make a pledge to write a thank you note every day for a week, a month, or maybe the whole year – and brighten someone’s day with your words of thanks.
  4. Host a Meal: Tis the season for lavish gatherings and meals – take advantage and invite your nearest and dearest (and those you’ve been meaning to show your appreciate to) for a holiday feast. A meal made with love is the perfect way to say thanks.
  5. Give it Away: Whether it’s your time, talents or money, giving back to the community is another great way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Consider volunteering in a local soup kitchen, donating food to a homeless shelter or food pantry, or making a donation to a worthwhile charity. Giving back will warm everyone’s heart this holiday. Click here for a list of Maine food pantries.

How do you like to give thanks during the holidays?

Spooky Happenings for Halloween

Don’t be spooked – it’s Halloween time! If you have little goblins to entertain or just want to get in the spirit of things, there is plenty happening all around Dirigo Pines and greater Bangor this time of year!

Pick a Pumpkin

There are lots of farm and pumpkins patches to visit in our area. One local favorite is Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant, featuring a giant corn maze with a “Blueberries for Sal” theme, pick your own apples, fresh apple cider, ice cream, hay rides, friendly goats to pet, and a 5-acre pumpkin patch.

treworgyorchards.com

Fright at the Fort, Fort Knox

Consider yourself warned – this one is no joke. The scariest haunted experience in Maine takes place through the passageways of Fort Knox in Prospect every year, and it’s recommended for older kids and adults. For a total scream-fest, check this one out.

Click here for details

Gaslight, Penobscot Theatre

Get creepy with a new show a historical theatre. A Broadway hit first produced on the West End under the title Gaslight and filmed twice as Angel Street, this classic melodrama gave rise to the popular term “gas lighting”. The tale of the Manninghams, in 19th century London appears to be the essence of Victorian tranquility. However, it is soon apparent, that things may not be as they seem. Join us as we stage this victorian melodrama in the truest sense, with no better atmosphere than the historic Bangor Opera House! Running Oct. 17- Nov. 3.

penobscottheatre.org/show/gaslight

Take the Stephen King Tour

For the full Stephen King spook-tacular experience and visits to many nearby spots that inspired King, check out SK Tours of Maine. Stu Tinker offers private narrated tours seven days a week all year round. The tour features about 30 stops at places King worked, lived, spots that have inspired him, and actual film locations from his movies.

Check out more here. 

Have your own fun idea or event to share? Add it below!

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 goblackbears.com 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.

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!

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.

Have you signed up yet?

There’s still time! Team Dirigo Pines and Geaghan’s Brewing are teaming up to present the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Raffle Fundraiser! Buy a ticket for just $1 each and you’ll be entered to win lots of great prizes! Tickets are available at Geaghan’s Tasting Room in Brewer, at Dirigo Pines in Orono, or via email by contacting arsmith@dirigopines.com or tcomer@dirigopines.com.

Then plan to join us this Thursday, September 5 from 6-8 p.m. at Geaghan’s Tasting Room for prize drawings and specials on pints. Enjoy a select draft for just $3.50. Snacks will be available by donation. You can also purchase raffle tickets during the event.

All raffle and snack proceeds will benefit Team Dirigo Pines’ fundraising efforts for the 2019 Eastern Maine Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Cheers to a great cause!

Click here to discover more about this fun event!

The 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s is scheduled for October 19. To learn more about supporting this important cause, click here.

Win Prizes and Support a Great Cause!

Team Dirigo Pines and Geaghan’s Brewing present the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Raffle Fundraiser! Buy a ticket for just $1 each and you’ll be entered to win lots of great prizes! Tickets are available at Geaghan’s Tasting Room in Brewer, at Dirigo Pines in Orono, or via email by contacting arsmith@dirigopines.com or tcomer@dirigopines.com.

Then plan to join us Thursday, September 5 from 6-8 p.m. at Geaghan’s Tasting Room for prize drawings and specials on pints. Enjoy a select draft for just $3.50. Snacks will be available by donation.

All raffle and snack proceeds will benefit Team Dirigo Pines’ fundraising efforts for the 2019 Eastern Maine Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Click here to discover more about this fun event!

Fashion for a Cause!

Check out all the latest styles and support the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Dirigo Pines’ Fashion Show coming August 22 from 1-3:30.

Christopher Banks and Valentine Footwear will be showcasing beautiful designs with Dirigo residents and staff serving as the fashion models!

Christopher Banks will also be offering 40% off items that they will have available at the show for purchase, and raffling off a complete outfit to one lucky winner! Enjoy other prizes, along with free refreshments!

All proceeds will be donated to the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Katie Luce, Community Events Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter will be in attendance!

RSVP by August 10 to lcates@dirigopines.com or call 866-3400!

Take a Stroll Around the Orono Bog Walk

Summer in Maine is best enjoyed outdoors! Very nearby Dirigo Pines is the Orono Bog Walk — a popular destination for walking, as well as running and biking on the connected trails of the Bangor City Forest (click here for more about the City Forest).

The Orono Bog Walk is a 1-mile boardwalk loop that begins at the forested wetland edge in the Bangor City Forest, and after 800 feet crosses the Orono town line into the portion of the Orono Bog owned by the University of Maine. Along the way, the boardwalk passes through a wide range of changing vegetation and environments on its way to the open, peat moss carpeted center of the Orono Bog.

It’s a fascinating and educational walk, allowing visitors to observe the colorful bog, its tranquil beauty and the amazing plants and animals that call the bog home. Signs with illustrations help visitors spot interesting plant and animal life along the way. 

Hours through Labor Day are 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 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.

Nature walks are scheduled throughout the summer, guided by experts in their respective fields that provide insights into the ecology and natural history of the flora and fauna found along the boardwalk. Learn more and find a calendar by clicking here.

On Saturday, August 31, Allie Gardner, University of Maine Assistant Professor of Arthropod Vector Biology, School of Biology and Ecology will lead a tick and mosquito walk at the Boardwalk. Meet at the cabin at the start of the Boardwalk at 9 a.m.