Jul 292014
State Master Vicki Huff with Legion Post Commander Shawn Coffin

State Master Vicki Huff with Legion Post Commander Shawn Coffin

In the fall of 2013 the State Grange Executive Committee voted to sell the former West Paris Grange Hall to American Legion Post #151. Last Saturday evening the Legion Post invited the State Grange Executive committee to a “thank you” dinner and presented State Master Vicki Huff with a plaque thanking the Maine State Grange for support of their Legion Post. Legion Commander Shaw Coffin was instrumental in the process and since taking ownership the Legion has been able to raise funds to redo the kitchen, paint both the upstairs and downstairs halls and add?a second bathroom. They also have taken in additional members. These accomplishments were due in a large part to having a home, goals and a project that they could all work together on.

Master Vicki noted that “losing a Grange is certainly not a happy event” there is some sense of satisfaction “that an ultimate result is a benefit to another deserving organization.” She added, “Post #151 can also be an example to Granges that are struggling. If Legionnaires can do it, so can Grangers.”

Jul 272014
Seated L-R, Verena Huff, Alva Smith, Bud Smith Standing L-R, Valerie Joy, Butch Gannett, Lila Wilkins and Joe Palmer (receiving posthumously for his grandfather Norman Palmer)

Seated L-R, Verena Huff, Alva Smith, Bud Smith Standing L-R, Valerie Joy, Butch Gannett, Lila Wilkins and Joe Palmer (receiving posthumously for his grandfather Norman Palmer)

Friday July 18th Hollis Grange celebrated over 400 years of continuous membership in the Grange by seven members. The following were presented certificates: Elton (Bud) Smith, Alva Smith and Verena Huff each for 65 years. Norman Palmer for 60 years, Gerald (Butch) Gannett and Lila Wilkins 50 years and Valerie Joy 40 years. These loyal members were joined by families and Grange friends for a delicious supper preceded the presentations of certificates by State Master Vicki Huff, causing folks to wonder how many Grange Suppers does 400 years of membership represent!? Thanks to these special members for their commitment to Grange and their service to our communities.

Jul 262014
Share your ideas with other Granges!

Share your ideas with other Granges!

Thanks to Rick Grotton for the email following… it serves as a reminder. State Conference is just about three months away! We always have a number of members who wish to take advantage of the opportunity to receive the Sixth Degree. In order to eligible members must have completed the first five degrees. For those who’ve become members under “obligation” this can take some time and planning. So it’s a good time to get started!

Please remember–if your Grange or Pomona is planning a degree conferral, send us the information so it can be placed on the Grange calendar–some folks will travel great distances for the opportunity!

Meenahga Grange #555 in Waldoboro?will be doing the first four degrees on Monday, July 28 beginning at 7 pm after a 6 pm potluck supper. Sorry it is short notice, however, we have members in the area?who have been obligated and need to see the degrees before taking the 5th degree next month. By the way, Lincoln Pomona will be conferring the 5th degree on Saturday, August 9 at Willow Grange in Jefferson village. Supper at 6:30, meeting at 7:30.

If you have candidates for either (or?both)?sets of these degrees, please feel free to bring them. For information call?me at 582-5915.


Jul 232014
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!


Here’s a reminder to send your Community Service book so it arrives by August 15, 2014 to:

Maine State Grange Headquarters
Attn: Community Service
146 State Street
Augusta, ME 04330

Also, please make sure to send in those nominations for Police/Firefighter/EMT of the Year by August 1, 2014 to:

Christine Corliss
Community Service Director
162 Center Road
Lebanon, ME 04027

If you have any questions to give me a call at 207-651-6494 or via email at ccorlissavonatmetrocastdotnet  (ccorlissavonatmetrocastdotnet)   or christinecorlissatymaildotcom  (christinecorlissatymaildotcom)  .


Jul 212014

Members and friends of Piscataquis Pomona recently joined together for their annual picnic fun and fund-raiser at the home of Janice and Walter Boomsma. Folks came from around the county to pitch some horseshoes, feed the mosquitoes, eat from a smorgasbord of gastronomical goodies, join in a spirited bidding competition for items ranging from talking flyswatters to little blue Smurfs, and–for those who could handle the late hour, toast some marshmallows!

Birthday Babies Bill Bemis, Dot Hutchins, Walter Boomsma, and Betty VanDyke. Photo by Grace Lommel

Birthday Babies Bill Bemis, Dot Hutchins, Walter Boomsma, and Betty VanDyke. Photo by Grace Lommel

Again this year Harley served as honorary Gatekeeper and Greeter and for his reward received numerous bites of hotdogs and hamburgers as the meal progressed. He admitted he was a mite confused by the ladder game Bob Carroll set up… but did accept the fact he wasn’t allowed to play with those strange balls connected by a short length or rope…

Most saved room for desserts which included a special birthday cake with maple frosting and pine trees designed and baked by Andrea Rollins. Given there were four birthdays to celebrate there was some confusion during the singing!

This year’s auction was a “big one” that included a wide variety of items. While it was all in the spirit of fun, folks learned “there are no friends at auctions” and Dave Pearson attempted to demonstrate his auction prowess by upping a bid by eleven cents. Hotly contested items included some note cards, fresh produce from Rollins Orchards, and handcrafts by Betty VanDyke and Roger Ricker. Auctioneers Walter and Bill noted that some items looked very familiar. “Didn’t we sell this last year?” Unfortunately we can’t really tell you about the pumpkin spice potpourri that Betty “had to have” but if it works as promised on the package, things will get really interesting at Riverbend!

Auctioneers were Bill and Walter, with Mary Annis serving as teller. An “unaudited” report at the end of the evening suggested this might have been a record auction, raising ?well over $100. Mary?noted “We’re a really low-budget operation and will probably donate most of this to a worthy cause.”

The weather was perfect, there was plenty to eat and lots of smiles and laughs. The only thing missing this year was an item in the auction that could be worn as a hat. Although a small log carrier did function as a bonnet briefly… and we had way too much fun selling Roger’s handcrafted paper towel holder. If you haven’t attended one of these fun and fund-raisers, you’re missing out and now you have to wait a whole year for the next one!


Jul 162014

National Grange recently released an “E-Newsletter” with quite a collection of news and information… there’s an article that asks the question “Is your Grange Hall busy?” and offers a few simple and do-able suggestions to make it look more so. This is so timely given Master Vicki’s recent challenge regarding the appearance of our halls. Appearance is about the physical condition and how many cars are parked outside how often!

There’s a recipe for “Banana Split Pie” — bring one to the next potluck and you’ll be the dessert diva!

And here’s an offer that will surprise many: The National Grange, in conjunction with the Assembly of Demeter and Granges and Grange members in Oregon and Washington, has put together an Instructional Degree video covering the first four Degrees of the Order. This DVD walks you through the key elements that encompass up each Degree.”? The description doesn’t say how long the program is, but it sure sounds like a potential lecturer’s program… you’ll be amazed when you discover how easy and affordable it is! You can bet I’m ordering at least one… I’ll let you know more after I receive and review it!

Speaking of DVD’s… those who used the “Food For Thought” program will be interested in an update and the fact that there are more available…

You’ll also find an article regarding entering member information into a National Database that will include an instruction to contact your State Grange for a log in and password. We are not quite ready to start this here in Maine, so please be patient for a bit—we’ll be in touch.

These are just a few of the stories you’ll find in Grange Monthly! You can read the entire issue on the National Grange Website.

To subscribe, contact Stephanie Wilkins at National Grange by emailing her at swilkinsatnationalgrangedotorg

Jul 152014
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

The July Bulletin has been released and posted to the website. If you don’t want to wait for the “snail mail” copy you can download yours from the Communications section of the “Program Books and Information Page.” Learn about the Grange Building at the Big E… find out what happened at the Northeast Youth Conference and Junior Grange Camp… where some of the resolutions from the past stand… what goes faster than a John Deer tractor… and a whole lot more! Anyone care to guess how many pounds of ?coupons have been shipped overseas thanks to the “Coups for Troops” program? (You might know if you’ve been following the website. You’ll also learn how much of what they read most people actually remember…

You can print a copy and share it with a friend–just remember the Bulletin is designed to be printed on legal size paper.

“What great paper is the Earth; what a typeface is the Day; what ink is the Night! – Everyone prints, everyone reads; no one understands.”

― Xavier Forneret

Jul 142014
NelsonRobert and Agnes Nelson, Agriculture Directors

The summer is moving really fast!? The farmers have gotten their corn in and now are chopping and baling hay steady. Our hay field has already been chopped for the second time this summer.

The local farmers markets are beginning to have more available produce now. The local Amish Market has listed available summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, beet greens, string beans and strawberries. Bob and I went to Raven’s Strawberries in our area and picked fresh strawberries yesterday. They were really good.? The first time we picked three weeks earlier was great picking also.

We have contacted the hall superintendents for the Agriculture Fairs. Grange Agriculture Fair ribbons have been sent out and judges for the Grange exhibits as requested have been set up.? The first fair began over the Fourth of July week-end, Houlton Fair. We were over to Ossipee Valley Fair on July 11. There was one Grange exhibit there. We look forward to getting to as many fairs as we can. If you get to the fairs you want to make sure you take time to check the exhibits out. They are all so different and so much work goes into each and every one. The members of each exhibiting Grange should be commended for all of their work.? It is so time-consuming and rewarding.

The summer comes and goes so fast.? August will soon be here and we will have a booth at Maine Farm Days at Misty Farms in Clinton for Maine State Grange and the Ag Committees.

Our local Grange has started having our monthly Grange suppers on the third Saturday of the month through the month of September and the fourth Saturday in October. Suppers are the way we keep our Grange going financially.

Jul 142014

Matt Dunn

by Matt Dunn, Youth Director

Summer is here and I hope you all are having a great one. Please get to me with any scores for bowling or golf so we can make sure that all are recognized.

I am literally just back from the Northeast Youth Conference–an excellent gathering. I first want to congratulate and thank the New Hampshire Youth Committee for their hospitality and running of the conference. It was an extremely fun event with all the speeches, both prepared and impromptu, the sign-a-song, the radio spot and the drill competition. Also we had a very insightful talk from the National Youth Director on “Yes in the world of No” which I will explain more in the coming months. Please remember that the summer camping is next weekend the 19th and 20th in Saco. I hope to see many there.

Have a great July and please remember the assistants’ competition.

Jul 142014

HeartDr. Lesley Fernow?writes a column called “Senior Matters” for the?Piscataquis Observer?in Dover Foxcroft.?Valley Grange?is privileged to have permission to use her past columns for our ?“Health Beat” Feature and for the information to be reposted to the Maine State Grange website. Address your questions or comments ?to?lmfatfernowmedicalhousecallsdotcom  (lmfatfernowmedicalhousecallsdotcom)  , 207-992-6822. Please note that information is general in nature and specific questions should be addressed to your health care professional.

It’s summer time and it is time for people of all ages to Live It Up. ?There are wonderful ways to start the month and to get out.? We recommend for maximum health benefit, seniors should do it with a kid.?? What can be better for the spirit than fishing?? Teaching a “young-un” to fish.

This is a special opportunity for seniors who want to spend some “quality time” with grandchildren (your own or someone else’s!) and share your wisdom, patience and love of the outdoors. ?It is also a time for children to remind us of how it was when everything was new and wonderful, to remind us how to really experience life as if it were the first time.? ?Sharing such moments with children gives meaning to our lives and allows us to pass on our dreams, skills and passions to the next generation.? It sometimes stretches us to answer questions we forgot kids ask, and reminds us to keep open to the joy of discovery which young children always have.? Our young children need the mentorship of older people to grow into healthy, responsible adults.? It is an opportunity for them to learn simple life skills from someone with time to spare who isn’t “measuring” their success.?? Their parents may also thank you for spending the time with their child.

If fishing is not for you, or you are looking for more “entertainment,” invite a child to go to?a fair or any on the many summer events in your area.? Whatever you do, call up a kid and grab an opportunity to “live it up”.

Whatever you are planning with young children, a few tips to make the trip easier:?? pack a few easy, healthful snacks like granola bars, fruit, raisins.? Plan for short outings.? An hour or two may be enough for a vey young child.? Don’t plan on driving a long way to the destination-the child will get bored and may get cranky before you get there. ?Most of all, have fun!