Tour Through the Past

September is great time to explore the history of our area. The Bangor Historical Society offers a variety of walking tours this month, through nearby Mount Hope Cemetery and through an area of Bangor known at the Devil’s Half Acre. The Historical Society also offers tours through its headquarters at the Thomas A. Hill House (did we mention it’s haunted?) — Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm June through September. Hours October through May are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Hours may vary due to special events, programs and activities. Private tours are also available.

Upcoming Walking Tours:

Mount Hope Cemetery

Sept. 9 at 10 am; Sept. 16 at 6 pm; Sept. 23 at 6 pm; Sept. 30 at 10 am

Learn about the famous and infamous individuals who make their final resting place in America’s second oldest garden cemetery. This tour meets at Mount Hope Cemetery on State Street. $10 for adults; $5 for children. Purchase tickets through the Historical Society’s website at bangorhistoricalsociety.org.

Want to explore Mount Hope Cemetery on your own? Click here to check out this self-guided tour providing an overview of some of the highlights. 

Devil’s Half Acre

Sept. 13 at 6 pm

Even though Maine enacted a Prohibitory Law in 1851, Bangor didn’t comply. In the area known as the “Devil’s Half Acre” saloons & brothels reigned and vice & violence thrived. Led by the city’s most notorious Madam, Fan Jones, this tour shines a light on Bangor’s wicked side and tells the tales of the people who are just as much a part of the city’s history as those who lived in the majestic homes on Broadway.Purchase tickets through the Historical Society’s website at bangorhistoricalsociety.org.

Watch for the group’s Ghostly Bangor tours coming in October and featuring tales veiled in unsolved mysteries, murder and the past residents who may still linger in the Queen City.

For more information about the Bangor Historical Society, click here.

Dirigo Dish: Summer Veggie Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Transform pizza from special treat to a healthy meal with this tasty dish from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

4 Servings

For the cauliflower crust:

  • 1 large head cauliflower (roughly chopped)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup shredded, fat-free mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the sauce and toppings:

  • 1/2 cup canned, no-salt-added tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup shredded, fat-free mozzarella cheese

Directions

For the cauliflower crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and coat them with cooking spray.
  • Trim and discard the leaves from the cauliflower. Roughly chop the cauliflower florets. Add to the bowl of a food processor in batches, pulsing until the mixture resembles couscous. (The key to getting the correct consistency is to not overload the food processor.) Measure out 4 cups of the cauliflower and transfer to a medium bowl. Into the bowl, add egg whites, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan, garlic powder, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Divide the cauliflower mixture over the 2 prepared baking sheets—aim for each “pizza” to be a 7- to 8-inch oval or circle, using a knife or a spatula to spread the mixture into this size.
  • Bake cauliflower crusts in the oven until edges are totally golden, around 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

For the sauce and toppings:

  • Reduce the oven to 425°F.
  • Make the tomato sauce: In a small bowl, combine tomato purée and spices. Reserve.
  • Prepare all the vegetables. Warm oil in a small nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and, stirring constantly, cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • When the cauliflower crusts are finished, divide tomato sauce between each pizza, swirling into the middle of each pizza. Top with basil leaves, the cooked vegetables, and cheese. Bake in oven until cheese melts, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove pizzas from the oven. Use a large spatula to carefully remove pizza from parchment and transfer to each plate. Cut each one into quarters 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!

Better Health Through Art

Trying new activities and projects are what retirement is all about – not only does it keep our brain engaged and working and solving new problems, trying something new is a great way to meet new people. Personal growth is important and creative arts provide a great way to grow and learn and try something new. Dirigo Pines is pleased to offer many creative arts opportunities each month, including regular art classes. 

Did you know art has proven health benefits? In addition to keeping our minds busy, art can induce both psychological and physiological healing, help prevent feelings of depression and improve hand-eye coordination and concentration. Not only is a great way to express yourself, art can also help you relax, find a sense of control, encourage playfulness, and increase self-esteem. And when you participate in classes like those at Dirigo Pines, it’s also a great way to socialize and meet new people. 

Ready to be inspired? Here are just a few local art museums to check out:

Cats on Laps

A therapy dog visits the Memory Loss Neighborhood.

The benefits of a four-legged friend are well known – from providing purpose and companionship to being a calming presence, Dirigo Pines also recognized and appreciates the importance of pets. Cats and dogs play a special role for many families, which is why Dirigo Pines is a pet-friendly facility. We are home to many animals at the Inn and in our cottages, offering residents the companionship, love and compassion that only a furry friend can give.

In addition to 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. 

Check out a local news story about the program here: www.wcsh6.com/news/local/207/cats-on-laps-2/421178909.

Science shows that pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase social interaction and physical activity. In addition, pets are great companions, helping to reduce loneliness and depression. Those are some pretty impressive tricks!

For more about the Bangor Humane Society, click here: www.bangorhumane.org.  

Eat Better, Live Better

Chef Lou Stubbs and his incredible team in the Dirigo Pines kitchen make mouth-watering meals that leave residents (and visitors) raving. Using locally sourced produce and seafood is important to the team, and ensures high quality, fresh and delicious meals. You can find some of your own locally sourced food at area farmers markets – and Orono has one of the best around!

The Saturday Orono Farmers’ Market opens at 8 a.m. in the Steam Plant Parking Lot at the University of Maine and remains there until the Saturday before Thanksgiving. During Homecoming weekend in mid-October, the market will move to the Asa Adams School (behind Fire Station) just for that day. From December until commencement in May, the Market will be held downtown.

From fresh seasonal fruits and veggies to organic milk, yogurt and cheese, to amazing locally sourced meat, fresh bread and bakery products, to coffee, seafood, and more, it’s a veritable smorgasbord of fresh food and local products. Remember to bring your own bags and an appetite. It’s a great place to find fresh food and meet the farmer who grew it. For more information, visit their website and Facebook pages: 

Need Assistance?

Looking for the freedom to enjoy life’s many pleasures unburdened from daily tasks that may have become more difficult to manage? Assisted Living in Kenduskeag Commons at Dirigo Pines is the answer. Tailored to meet your individual needs, Dirigo Pines Assisted Living provides help with personal care and medications whenever needed. In addition, three meals are served daily. Housekeeping and laundry service are provided on a weekly basis and staff is available around the clock.

Apartments

Choose from a variety of one‐bedroom, one bath apartment styles and become a part of one caring community. Click here to see the variety of floor plans available in Kenduskeag Commons.

Services & Amenities

  • Basic care assistance (bathing and dressing)
  • Scheduled transportation to medical appointments
  • Medication management and monitoring (up to 3 times daily)
  • Professional care planning to enhance residents’ overall health
  • Three nutritious, delicious meals daily plus snacks
  • Social, recreational, and cultural programs. Click here for a list of this month’s activities and events.
  • Kitchenette, including refrigerator and microwave
  • Weekly linen and laundry service
  • 24‐hour team
  • Wellness programs
  • On‐site emergency response system
  • Scheduled group transportation
  • Routine housekeeping
  • Medical Director oversight available
  • Utilities, including cable TV, WiFi, heat, air conditioning, and electricity

Click here to check out our list of frequently asked Assisted Living questions. 

Come take a tour and 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.

Close to Home: Portland

Maine’s largest city is just 2 hours from Dirigo Pines – and a great place for a summer road trip! From sea kayaking to brewery tours to museum visits, there’s no shortage of things to do and places to eat! Share your favorite Portland highlights below!

Here are some ideas for your next trip:

  • Take a tour of Portland breweries. Visit “y’East Bayside” and Rising Tide Brewing, or take a tasting tour of Allagash Brewing Company. Allagash’s location on Industrial Way in Portland is also home to a veritable farmers market of beer – and food trucks. And of course there’s the Old Port with Shipyard and Sweetgrass Tasting Room. Thompson’s Point and Bissell Brothers is another great stop on your beer tour.
  • Explore Casco Bay. Rent a kayak for a workout and on the water view of stunning Casco Bay, or enjoy the trip via a sail boat cruise or hop aboard the Casco Bay Ferry for a trip to the islands of Peaks, Little Diamond, Great Diamond, Long, Chebeague, and Cliff. Check out the schedule here: www.cascobaylines.com/schedules.
  • Visit Peaks Island. Once an important WW II outpost and also known as the Coney Island of Maine, Peaks Island is home to artists, retirees, commuters of all sorts and a substantial summer population. Take the ferry over and explore the island via golf cart, the preferred island transportation and enjoy some delicious food and great views.
  • Portland Museum of Art. Enjoy American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine-highlighting the rich artistic tradition of the state and its artists.
  • Catch a Show at Thompson’s Point. Thompson’s Point outdoor venue is located on the southern tip of “The Point”, adjacent to the recently restored section of the Union Station platform shed that was moved to the site in the 1960’s. A beautiful piece of land on the banks of the Fore River, Thompson’s Point has a scalable capacity of 2,500 to 5,000 for concerts and festivals – and within close proximity to downtown Portland – the venue will be linked to Portland Trails for easy walking and biking access.
  • Catch a Game at Hadlock Field. The Portland Sea Dogs are the Eastern League Double A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, and play their home games at Portland’s Hadlock Field.
  • Fun for Kids. Located in the Arts District of downtown Portland, the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine features a wide variety of interactive exhibits and activities for children and families!
  • Something Unusual. The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland offers up an inside look at the study of hidden or unknown animals, and the world’s only cryptozoology museum. With a wide range of exhibitions from rare, one-of-a-kind scientific, zoological specimens to popular cultural homages, there’s lots to discover! Ever seen a Yeti hair sample? Plan your visit!

It’s Festival Season!

It’s festival season in Maine! Take advantage of living in the middle of it all at Dirigo Pines in Orono, and visit these August festivals for lots of fun and Maine culture!

American Folk Festival – August 25-27 on the Bangor Waterfront

A massive 3-day music events, the American Folk Festival is a Maine tradition offering music and dance from all cultures and corners of the world. Dance to zydeco from C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band, check out a Quebecois group, enjoy the blues, celtic music, jazz, reggae, and our own Pride of Maine Marching Band from the University of Maine. Insider tips: Don’t miss the Inuit Throat Singing for a unique musical experience – and make the trek down to the Dance Tent – you won’t be disappointed!

www.americanfolkfestival.com

Maine Lobster Festival – August 2-6, Rockland

Celebrating its 70th year, the Maine Lobster Festival serves up the state’s favorite crustacean (we’re talking 17,000 pounds of lobster last year!) in every way possible. Enjoy five days of feasting on the coast of Maine, the coronation of the Maine Sea Goddess, the Great International Lobster Crate Race (open to anyone brave enough to risk falling into the chilly ocean with thousands of people watching your every move), parade, arts & crafts, and more food. 

www.mainelobsterfestival.com

Machias Wild Blueberry Festival – August 18-20, Machias

Blueberries get their time to shine in August too. Celebrate the powerful little fruit in Machias as they roll out the blue carpet with food, entertainment, contests, and all things blueberry. There’s no admission charge. About 2 hours from Dirigo, the area also offers great whale-watching, lighthouses, hiking, kayaking, lobster rolls, and lots more!

www.machiasblueberry.com

Ploye Festival – August 11-13, Fort Kent

If you’re up for a bit of traveling, there’s a unique tradition in the northeast corner of America this time of the year – the making of the world’s largest ploye. And if you’re not familiar with ployes, you’re in for a special treat. The buckwheat pancake is an Acadian icon and it’s celebrated every summer in Fort Kent along side the International Muskie Derby (and if you’re not familiar with that one – it’s a real big fish!). The events include activities such as making the world’s largest ploye (12 feet in diameter last year!), live music entertainment, craft and vendor fair and more. It’s a weekend of fun for the whole family.

visitaroostook.com/event/24th-annual-ploye-festival/

Dirigo Dish: Broccoli and Cheese Scramble on English Muffin

Kick your day off right with a healthy breakfast from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

4 Servings

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen (thawed) broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 extra-large egg whites or 1 1/4 cups egg white substitute
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 whole-wheat English muffins, split and toasted
  • 1/4 cup shredded, fat-free cheddar cheese

Directions

  • Finely chop broccoli. Coat a large nonstick saute pan with cooking spray; warm over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and water; stirring frequently, cook until broccoli is limp, around 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer broccoli to a dish.
  • In a bowl, add egg whites, milk, and pepper. Whisk together to combine.
  • Split and toast each English muffin; set aside.
  • Meanwhile, use a paper towel to wipe the saute pan clean. Coat again with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Add egg whites and use a spatula to stir eggs constantly until whites are almost firm, just a few minutes. Stir in cooked broccoli and cheese; remove from heat.
  • To serve, place each English muffin half onto a plate. Divide egg mixture between each muffin, piling high with eggs. Serve with a fork and knife.

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!

Cottage Community

Looking for the convenience of retirement living but in your own home? Dirigo Pines cottage community is the answer. The cottage community at Dirigo Pines is a beautiful and convenient way to enjoy your retirement. One monthly fee includes cable television, internet, grounds keeping, snow plowing, trash removal, building repairs, maintenance and more. You can also access an array of services and facilities in the central Inn, including a lovely gathering room with a large fireplace, dining rooms, library, hair salon, activity rooms and more. There is even a private dining room, which you can reserve for your own gatherings with friends and family.

Every duplex style, one-story cottage home at Dirigo Pines offers a living room, dining area, fully applianced kitchen, master bedroom with walk-in closet, guest bedroom, two baths, screened-in porch, and attached garage. Some cottages also have a den. There are many interior finish options and upgrades available.

Curious what the inside of our cottages look like? See our slideshow below or check out our Facebook events page for a list of upcoming cottage tours. 

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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 your own tour.