Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Makeover Magic

Diane Hancock started the School-aged Child Care (SACC) program in Windham 11 years ago. She also has three children (8, 7 and 5) with her husband Dan. She volunteered for a makeover because as she said, “I’ve never done anything like that before.”

“It was awesome,” she said. “Shari was easy going and laid back.”

According to Hancock, stylist Shari Fowler asked her a lot of questions to find out exactly what would best work for Hancock.

“She listened to who I was and made it better. High maintenance hair would not have been good for me,” Hancock said. 

Fowler did a natural looking sun-kissed hi-light. She trimmed Hancock’s ends and reshaped her cut with some long layers and some framing around her face. She then shaped her eyebrows and did a light makeup application to finish off the look.

“I don’t usually wear make-up. That’s probably the scariest thing,” said Hancock.

After her appointment, she went to work at the Manchester SACC location. “People really liked the hi-lights because it added dimension,” she said. “I will definitely be going back to see her,” said Hancock.

As a new feature for the makeovers, Hancock chose to visit with dentist Dr. Leslie Elston for a teeth whitening take-home treatment.

Doctor's Orders - "Sleep Apnea" by Dr. Stanley D. Armstrong DMD

An excellent night's sleep is paramount to an excellent, ongoing quality of life. But for millions of Americans, the dangers of sleep apnea may not only be robbing them of a beautiful day, but also a beautiful life.
Sleep apnea, which causes a consistent interruption to your breathing patterns during the night, has been directly linked to weight gain, high blood pressure, heart failure, heart attacks and strokes as well as accidents during the day due to fatigue.  And very often, the sufferer doesn't even realize there is a problem, although their partner is often more than aware of snoring and general uneasiness every night.

If you or a loved one is worried about whether sleep apnea is negatively affecting you and your life, we have hope.  Modern dentistry has many innovative new solutions beyond the typical CPAP breathing machine that so many would rather not have to get used to. 

For a limited time, we are offering complimentary screenings right here in our dental practice.  Simply call us and we'll find a convenient time to have you come in, fill out a short questionnaire and then proceed with a few very simple and non-invasive tests.  And if we find it necessary, we'll refer you on for a traditional sleep study and be here to offer support, education and information about any one of several new options that can treat and eradicate this silent, snoring killer.

Summer's for Baptizing by J. Grant Swank Jr. Pastor

Chilly! Yep. Maine's lakes take their good ol' time getting warm in summer. Wade in and size-up gingerly the environs. Looks comfy from the shoreline, but is as cool as you get under the water.

But we were not into diving that Sunday. We were into going old-fashioned for a baptism in the lake.

"Baptized in water, Sealed by the Spirit,
Cleansed by the blood of Christ, our King;
Heirs of salvation, Trusting the promise,
Faithfully now God's praises we sing."
So Michael A. Saward wrote it in 1981 and so we sang it in summer.
Mike had wanted to be baptized. So with the lake handy and summer hanging over our heads, the place and time called for the blessing.

Evening hours had just begun. We welcomed them with several hymns, Scriptures and prayers. Then there was a brief exhortation regarding the seriousness of baptism. In the early church, believers risked their lives for that sacrament. Or they would be shut out of their homes for the new Jesus religion. In other times, devotees could be burnt at the stake, fed to lions or scalded alive in caldrons.

I recall when a youngster joining others at the river for "The Baptism," were lined up with the pastor waiting in the water. Hymns were sung extemporaneously. Testimonies were shared. It was a jolly good time of it in the Lord.

Standing alongside the Jordan River I witnessed several submitting to those historic waves, biblical pictures flashing across my mind. At that particular scene, there was a hushed awe that overcame us. After all, we had traveled far for that event.

So when walking into Lake Sebago with Mike that summer, I reminded him that the blessing was up to God.
 With that, heaven smiled upon the scene.
"Come, Holy Spirit, Dove divine,
On these baptismal waters shine,
And teach our hearts, in highest strain,
To praise the Lamb for sinners slain."
Thank you, Adoniram Judson, of 1832 script.

Putting a face on ALS in WIndham by Michelle Libby

In sickness and in health, those words ring true to Linda and John Gregoire. On December 17, 2007, John was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

“Life has had to change,” said Linda. The house is like most houses in Windham, except for the lift, special van, two walkers, a Hoyer lift and a new bed. “The house has changed, but John hasn’t.”

ALS is a disease of the body where nerves waste away leaving muscles without a way to move, but the brain stays alert and active. It took doctors a long time to diagnose John. They thought he had had a mini-stroke, then the doctor said it was neurological, or a brain tumor, but finally they gave John the diagnosis of bulbar onset ALS, meaning that the first thing it effects is the speech.  

John now communicates through the use of an iPad, which can talk for him and can project the words he wants to say on the television screen.

John, Linda and their younger son Matthew, 17, travelled to Washington D.C. from May 7 to 11, to speak to representatives from Maine about ALS. Their older son, Nicholas is 26 and married. The trip was especially timely because May is ALS awareness month. Others, almost 500 people, were in the same hotel as the Gregoire’s all there to show support for ALS. Some were friends of people with ALS, who had lost their PALS (people with ALS). John represented the patient.

“Our representatives were so gracious. No matter how you vote. They were so kind to us,” Linda said. “They needed to put a face and a story to ALS. All we were asking for is ‘don’t cut the funding’,” she said.
"For the 12 years before my diagnosis, I successfully turned a small call center start up into a sales and marketing consulting firm. A key component of the business plan was turning a business, based on minimum wage work, into a business with greater growth potential and which would provide significantly higher wage jobs for Mainers,” John said.

“My role was to manage and train staff and to act as, chief evangelist, for the firm, finding, closing and setting up projects. The job required me to travel frequently to our key markets of Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston. The job also required I do a lot of talking to large and small groups.”
“Ironically, my first symptoms showed up in my speech. I would slur my words when I became fatigued. It first became an issue at dinner with a client in Chicago.  We had just been seated and were waiting. I spoke a sentence and really slurred the words. Two people, sitting across from each other, exchanged a look that told me they thought I had been drinking already,” John said.

He retired in 2009 after he began falling and his speech became a larger issue.

Going to Capitol Hill was an important step for the Gregoire family. The more information John can give people, the closer they can come to finding a cure, he said. At this time there is no cure for ALS.
When in Washington, John added his information to an ALS registry. Through the registry researchers look for “hot spots” and trauma types that might have caused the onset of ALS.

“They want to fund a bio repository to collect tissue samples from patients to find common threads,” John said.

“As Linda mentioned, the cruelest irony about ALS is that, as the body wastes away, the mind stays sharp and intact. It's the same disease world famous physicist, Stephen Hawking has. Hawking is only able to move one muscle in his cheek and he uses that to control a computer to write his books and lectures. OJ Brigance, former NFL player, whose last team was the Patriots, gave the keynote address at a dinner the night before we went to The Hill. OJ can only smile and move his eyes,” John said.

“I was an avid fly fisherman and golfer, coached youth soccer and little league, but that's all gone now, obviously. It's important to note that, ALS is a disease that impacts the entire family, however. Not just the individual. An ironic twist of the disease is, if you are what the doctors refer to as a, slow progressor, as I am, the financial pressures only increase over time. The compassionate allowance program for SSDI was a God send to us, but it doesn't come close to replacing the income I was earning when I owned my own business,” John said.

“It’s hard not to have a heart for someone who coaches soccer, work and then everything stops,” said Linda. 

ALS patients, on average, live two to five years after diagnosis. It’s been five and a half years for John.
Treatment is hit or miss for Linda and John. There is a medication that can offer an additional three months of life, perhaps, but it made John very ill and cost $1,000 a month. According to Linda, they have done a lot of research and have tweaked John’s diet and have given him supplements to slow the progress of the disease.
“Doctors said, ‘we don’t know what you’re doing, but just keep doing it,’” Linda said. John receives treatment at the Massachusetts General Hospital ALS clinic. They only see ALS patients and it’s a multi-discipline clinic where the specialists and therapists come to the patient instead of the other way around. The appointment lasts almost three hours and John goes every three to six months.

The routine at home is filled with daily activities that can take large amounts of time. Linda takes care of John, getting him up, dressed and ready for the day. It takes 45 minutes to floss and brush his teeth and 20 minutes to walk 20 feet, she said. “I do everything for him.”

“There’s a fine balance between being active to maintain muscle strength and conserving energy,” John said.
Most ALS patients get to a point where eating burns more calories than they consume because eating and chewing is hard for them. John lives on peanut butter sandwiches, pasta and burritos. High fat and high carbohydrate stuff, he said.

John tries to stay socially connected through Facebook. He has a personal page, a TeamIsaiah365 and a TeamIsaiahHope page. The Team Isaiah page is the page used for promoting his ALS walk team under that name. Every year on the first Saturday in September, the family walks Back Bay raising money for ALS research. The team wears a t-shirt with a blue square showing a stick man standing up from a wheelchair, which was designed by John.

“Every year it grows and grows,” Linda said. The team name comes from the Bible verse “The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!” - Isaiah 35:6

The hope page is a place where people post pictures with “Hope JG” in different locations and with different materials. John is proud of his 105 likes that he has on that page. 

John also creates videos to raise awareness and money for the cause. The first one he made is “An ALS story in three minutes.” It can be found here: http://youtu.be/6hnNX4IoYhM.

“ALS is humbling. ALS is cruel,” John said, but he has hope and will continue to work toward his goal of finding a cure.

At the Library by Sally Holt

June will be a month abloom with something for everyone at Raymond Village Library with the news that June is garden month in Raymond, Maine as proclaimed by the town’s selectboard. There will be something for everyone to take part in at the library.

On Wednesday, June 5, at 6 p.m. Lisa Colburn, author of the book The Maine Journal, will share insider secrets from Maine people who love to put their hands in the dirt. Please pre-register at the library, call 655-4283, or email sally.holt@raymondvillagelibrary.org.

The annual plant and bake sale will be held on June 8, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. If you would like to drop off some plants as a donation, do so on Friday, June 7, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Come early for best selections. There will be many types of both annuals and perennials from which to choose, at amazingly low prices. Maybe, even some you have not heard of.

The kick-off for the summer reading program will be on Sunday, June 23, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the library. There will be an ice cream social, and a chance to win prizes. The event is for children through teens.
The book group meets at the library on June 26 at 7 p.m. to discuss The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obrecht. All interested readers are invited to join in. For more information, call 655-4283.

The Raymond Village Library Garden Tour will be Saturday, June 29. The tour is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It begins at the library and includes 12 private Raymond Gardens. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the tour. They may be purchased at the Raymond Village Florist on Route 302, at the Raymond Village Library on Route 121 and online at www.raymondvillagelibrary.org.

At 3:30 p.m. following the tour, in collaboration with the Hawthorne House, there will be a gardening talk by Judy Paolini, author of The Inspired Gardens, as well as homemade strawberry shortcake for snack. Donation is $10.00.

In support of the Raymond Village Library Garden Tour, Donna Kantor presented the library with a stunning watercolor painting to raffle off and all proceeds will benefit the library. Tickets and a viewing of the picture are available at the library. Stop by, it is going to be a glorious June!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Students CATCH healthy habits at Manchester School afterschool program by Elizabeth Richards

Students and adult volunteers aged 50 and older come together weekly at the Windham-Raymond SACC program located at Manchester School to participate in an intergenerational program designed to promote healt
hy lifestyles.

Each Wednesday, Sharon Schulberger, coordinator of the CATCH Healthy Habits program, and four volunteers arrive to lead students at the afterschool program through the various components of the program. The evidence-based curriculum includes lessons that have a 20-minute basic nutrition lesson, 30 minutes of physical activity and a healthy snack.

One of the goals of the program is to promote interactions between generations. Schulberger said, “Our goal is to have people 50 and over have an opportunity to interact with young children. Many mature adults don’t have grandchildren in the area, so it gives them some of that opportunity.” In addition, said Schulberger, studies have shown that mature adults who are active in their community, both socially and physically, are healthier and live longer lives.

CATCH Healthy Habits is also designed to bring information on healthy lifestyles to children. “We’re trying to teach some fun activities, getting them to know that they can be active for at least half an hour at a time. We’re also trying to teach them, for now, to make good healthy decisions. It will help them throughout their lives if they’re aware of the go, slow and whoa foods,” said Schulberger.

On the third week of the program, students gathered around a parachute and spent 30 minutes playing games led by one of the volunteers. Throughout, participants cooperated to meet a common goal, such as getting a ball into the center net of the parachute, or having people run underneath to switch spots. They laughed, talked and worked together, all the while moving in healthy ways designed to raise their heart rate and show physical signs of activity. When the activities were finished, students gathered inside for a snack of fresh fruit kabobs. 

Olga Schimmer has been a volunteer for CATCH Healthy Habits since January of 2012. “Both the seniors and the kids are sharing something that is so important,” Schimmer said. “It’s just the idea of being with the kids and sharing time with them. It’s just fun.”

Schimmer also enjoys helping children understand about eating healthy food. While many of the children already knew something about healthy eating, the program is a nice complement to what they are learning at school or at home, she said. “They are also getting a lot of information to take home to the parents. Every time they are there, there is a recipe or some information to share with parents on eating healthy,” said Schimmer.

The Manchester School program is Beverly Wyse’s second experience with CATCH Healthy Habits. A former teacher, Wyse likes the opportunity to still be involved with children. Not only does she like helping children who may be overweight and need the information the curriculum has to offer, but she said, “It has awakened me to put in the forefront what I need to do for myself.” Leading lessons and listening as the other volunteers lead their lessons has made her more aware for herself and her husband. “I enjoy being with the children and doing the physical activities,” said Wyse. “It’s a great program.”

CATCH Healthy Habits is pilot program, housed at the Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging. The program is offered through the OASIS Institute and funded by the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, making it free for participating sites. Schulberger said that the program, now in its second cycle of grant funding, is so new that she has been marketing it by calling sites to ask if they are interested. “Hopefully sites will soon be calling me,” she said.

The first CATCH Healthy Habits program in this area was in January of 2012, and the current grant extends the program through December 2014. CATCH Healthy Habits was awarded the 2012 Maine Fitness Award in the Adult Category from the Governor’s Council on Physical Activity, as well as the 2013 Anthem Community Angel Award.

The volunteers for the Manchester program come from all over the Southern Maine region, but Schulberger said she would love to have Windham volunteers in the program, giving back to their own community. There is a volunteer training for prospective volunteers on June 4 and 6. Interested individuals aged 50 or older can contact Schulburger at 396-6523 or sschulberger@smaaa.org.

The passing of Max, Windham’s First police K9 by Lt. David DeGruchy

On Thursday, May 9, 2013, Windham’s first canine, Max, passed away.  He began training in June of 2000 and was retired in November of 2008 with eight years of service.  Max was fourteen years old.
In a email sent to Windham Police officers, Sgt. William “Bill” Andrew said, “I want to thank all of those who helped in his training to make us the success that (Max) was,  those who spent hours and miles following us through the worst of conditions needing while trusting in his abilities.  His fellow two legged officers are what helped make him a great success, without all the trust and support we could not have shown what a police dog is capable of.”

The Town Council approved the implementation of a police canine unit in February of 2000.  Windham Police Sergeant (then patrolman) Andrew was then appointed to the position of police canine handler.  With the help of Sgt. Thomas Chard, Scarborough Police Department canine unit, ten dogs from various sources were screened and rejected.  Finally with the help of Connecticut K9 Services, a German Shepherd was located in Czechoslovakia and brought to the United States.  Andrew said, “K-9 Max was the last dog we looked at and in the words of the broker, ‘I have one left, if you don't care what it looks like’.”   In mid-June of 2000 an anonymous supporter then generously donated the funds to purchase the first Windham Police canine. Andrew and Max had over 500 hours of training in obedience, agility, tracking, building and area searches, handler protection, and evidence search and recovery.  Max was smart, had a great nose and he excelled in the training.

Max loved to work.  He was an aggressive tracker with a great nose.  Max’s quick pace often kept Andrew at a run.  Andrew said, “Max found his first missing child in the spring of 2001. From there he continued finding bad guys, drugs, lost hikers, elderly and protecting me.” 

Max had numerous successful tracks finding people and property.  In the winter of 2001 Max tracked and located burglary ring suspects, who were responsible for breaking into businesses in southern and central Maine.   Max also was requested by other law enforcement agencies and located cocaine and crack cocaine valued at nearly a million dollars for the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the recovery of thousands of dollars in lost property in other cases.  Max participated with Andrew in well over two hundred demonstrations to schools, civic groups and other special requests. Andrew and Max were awarded the K-9 Team of the Year Award in 2001 by the New Hampshire Police Canine Academy and recognized twice by the United States Police Canine Association for successful drug searches and tracks.

“Although we are all saddened by Max’s passing, most of us cannot appreciate the special bond that K9 teams have and Bill and Max were no exception.  Max was a great and ever faithful dog and partner to Sgt. Andrew.  When Max was called to duty, he was ready.  He served honorably and bravely to make the community a better place and to that, we all owe our gratitude.

Thanks Max.”

Along the Garden Path… Blooms of Spring by Genevieve Coombs

Spring is here. Warm weather is here. All of the flowers are blooming! It’s been pretty dry, though, and a little rain would be welcome to keep all the plants happy. Some supplemental watering in the early mornings or early evenings will help ensure all these tender new leaves don’t dry out before they have a chance to really grow. Water deeply; don’t just spray and wet the foliage and top centimeter of soil. Set your hose to a slow trickle and let the ground around your plants saturate before moving on to the next thirsty shrub.

There are all kinds of bright blossoms starting to pop out in our gardens. Everyone recognizes the cheery yellow forsythia, but other flowering shrubs and early perennials aren’t so well known. Those big white or pink flowers on trees are Magnolia (yes, we can grow Magnolia in Maine!), and bright fuchsia blossoms belong to small-leafed rhododendrons, a very versatile evergreen shrub. Flowering cherry trees are clouds of pink and white in the landscape. Large shrubs or small trees that have thousands of little tiny white flowers are Serviceberry, a wonderful native plant. Later in spring these will be graced by small blue fruits, a favorite of birds.

Early blooming perennials include Candytuft, a small white groundcover, and the ever popular Creeping (or Moss) Phlox. Phlox subulata comes in a wide range of pink, blue and white shades, some multi-colored like ‘Appleblossom’, which is a pale pink flower with a dark eye, and ‘Candy Stripe’, a white bloom with pink stripes down the center of each petal. ‘Purple Beauty’ is a beautiful true purple. These phlox are a fast spreading groundcover that can take some foot traffic, and are ideal for dry, sunny areas. To keep them looking nice, after the blooms have faded, give ‘em a quick trim with the lawnmower! They may even re-bloom later in the summer!

Ask the Horticulturist: Got a gardening question? Want to see it answered here? Send questions to columnist@TheWindhamEagle.com. Many times one gardener’s question leads to information for many gardeners!

Genevieve Coombs is a horticulturist and manager at Roosevelt Trail Garden Center in Windham

Windham Public Library: Art on display

Artwork by Brenda McGuinness is currently on exhibit at the Windham Public Library. McGuinness was born in Ireland and currently resides in Sebago, Maine with her husband and daughter. Having always had a passion for illustration, she founded 'ealainART in 2003, painting murals and later produced a range of hand painted t-shirts and vests. Since then, her collection has grown to include drawings, paintings and a series of language learning books available in Irish, Spanish and English. Her artwork will be on display at the library until July 31. For more on the artist, visit www.ealainart.com and for more about the display call 892-1908.

RSU 14 shows off its artsy-side by Michelle Libby

RSU 14 is known for its athletics, but it is also known for its arts program

headlined by the Windham Chamber Singers and third grade chorus. It is also know for an annual art show at Windham High School, which shows off the full spectrum of artistic talent from kindergarten to high school.

Art teachers Christina Warren (WPS/JSMS), Allison Livengood (WMS), Deborah Livengood (WMS), Kim Chasse (WHS), Becky Wright (WPS), Jeff Bell (WHS), Colleen Kearney-Graffam (WHS), Kirsten Hackett (RES) and Angelika Blanchard (Manchester), were in attendance for opening night Monday.

“My favorite part is seeing the culmination of the whole thing K to 12,” said Deborah Livengood.

“Everything comes together like a puzzle. It’s incredible,” said Blanchard. “It’s the art and music coming together that’s special.” The students get the chance to tour the art show during the week and it was open in the evenings for parents to view.

Windham High School principal Chris Howell, welcomed the crowd and thanked them for their support of the arts. The Windham Chamber Singers and the third grade chorus preformed.

Exciting Changes at Dundee Park by Jon Bolduc

Soon, the excited cries of children splashing in the water will sound through Windham’s own slice of the Presumpscot River. Visitors to Dundee Park this
season will be greeted with a much needed renovation, a new bathhouse.

"The old building is getting an uplift," said the Windham Parks and Recreation director Brian Ross.
A 16-foot by 16-foot addition is currently under construction. The $59,000 renovations include a new unisex handicap bathroom, and the relocation of the office and storage area from the center of the building to the other side of the new addition.

The new bathroom is not the only change happening at the park. On top of the new bathroom, an 80-foot wheelchair ramp will be added to the bathhouse. Although now the ramp is only a concrete slab, it will eventually allow disabled residents full access to the facilities.

The bathhouse had not been renovated since it was constructed in the seventies, and did not meet the American Disabilities Act’s standards. However, with the addition of the ramp and the unisex bathroom, the bathhouse will finally be up to par.

“We’ll meet the requirements as far as access to the bathhouse,” says Ross.

Although visitors will be initially surprised by the changes and lament the loss of the giant tree that once loomed over the grounds, Ross is anticipating a smooth and eventful summer.

While the beach was closed several days last year due to low water levels and dam maintenance, Ross does not anticipate last year’s water level problems to resurface this season.

“The water levels in the river should be normal,” says Ross. “We’re expecting a return to a good summer.”
Those itching to visit the picturesque beach don’t have to wait very long. The beach will open for the first time on Memorial Day weekend, and will open permanently for weekdays on the 17th of June.

Thankfully, the changes this season only apply to Dundee’s facilities. Rates will remain the same as last year. Adult Windham residents will continue to pay $4 for admission, while children from two to twelve years will pay $2.

For those who want a full summer of fun, season passes to Dundee are available for purchase.
“We have season passes available at the Parks and Rec office,” adds Ross. Passes are also sold at the Town Hall.

An annual season pass to Dundee Park costs $45 for Windham residents, $25 for Windham seniors and $60 for non-residents. More information can be found on the Dundee Park Facebook page.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Get your garden ready; it's time to begin by Harrison Wood

Who ever thought that after all the heavy snow of March and the wee bit of snow we just received that it would finally be time to begin?

By now the spring flowers like the scillas, daffodils, and the crocus should be well underway. The winter mulches should all be removed by now, off to the compost while the sun warms the soil around our world of perennials.

The hummingbirds, which have great memories, will be back soon so their feeders should be up and ready.
As soon as the soil has dried enough to work in the vegetable garden it's time to begin planting. Some of our vegetables need and enjoy the cool spring weather, resistant to any worries of spring frost they will thank you many times with a robust production. The cool crops like peas, the lettuces, and the cacophony of radishes fall into the category of those ready to begin.

Start first with the peas, some will need staking others will not.  Either way it is time to begin by planting a few right away with more to follow in about a week. By successive planting you will extend your harvesting over a longer season. Peas detest hot weather so the sooner we begin the better. Also keep in mind that peas like beans have a symbiotic relationship with natural bacteria in the soil that allows them to feed themselves. So when you plant vegetables of these sorts remember to coat the seeds with a bacterial inoculant that you can pick up at any devoted farm supply store that also sells seeds.

The myriad of loose leaf and head lettuces should also be planted at this time using a number if successive plantings scheduled out over about 10 days. Doing so will allow you to enjoy fresh greens over a longer season. Loose leaf varieties can be planted closer than the head varieties. Loose head varieties like Bibb are a perfect tasty choice for us here in Maine, in that they will stand up well to our summer heat.  Keep in mind that if you overdo it with over seeding the head varieties that you can transplant the larger varieties so as to give them more room. The loose leaf varieties can be planted closer and harvested with scissors  thus allowing them to regrow for an additional harvest.

The radishes should also be planted at this time. Keep in mind that they will be ready to pull in about thirty days, so successive plantings will also extend your salad crops. Radishes also need a wee bit more room so be careful not to over seed.

In each case, plan on side dressing with a balanced fertilizer as soon as they show their first true set of leaves. Feeding with a slow organic feed will go a long way to developing a robust continuing harvest that will help to give you something special.

Begin and enjoy with more plantings later. Your peppers as well as your tomatoes should also be started by now inside on the sunniest window you have, ready, for planting outside once the worry of frosts have past.
For old timers like me, we remember lessons from our generations in the past, one of which dates itself back to colonial times, when the lilacs are in bloom, it's safe to plant just about anything. Frosts won't happen.

Until then, begin and enjoy the start of the season.

Harrison Wood
Master Gardener
Windham Community Garden

Mothers Day Makeover

Barb Maurais is involved in everything. She has two children, two and a half grandchildren. She is perfect for The Windham Eagle Mother’s Day makeover because like most mothers, she is busy. Maurais works for RSU 14 as a behavior and academic interventionist, owns her own “31” business, is the educational resources person for Mainely Ticks and works with her husband at the family business, Southern Maine Renewable Fuels. She also is a Girl Scout leader for her granddaughter’s troop, which is run by three grandmothers. 

She is in remission from Lyme Disease and has struggled with that, so educating others has been a personal crusade for Maurais.

When she walked into the salon she told Tracey Chambers owner of Voila Salon and Day Spa to “do with me what you will.”

Chambers gave Maurais a razored-bob and colored her hair back to its natural color, but just for fun, left in a streak of white in the front.

“I like it. It’ll keep it. If Tracey were to go in a different direction, I would trust her, but no bangs,” Maurais said.

The response was incredibly positive, Maurais said.

“They were so funny. I was an old hag, I guess. It’s very easy. I just wash it,” she said, shaking her head. “It took 10 years off,” she added.

Bob Maurais, the husband in the equation said this, “I don't know who she is...what she's done with my wife, but I'm asking her to stay!”

“It was fun to have a professional put make up on so my eyes would pop,” said Maurais.

Her sister, Susie Richardson calls her Cruella, now, as in Cruella de Vil. “Oh Cruella, they left your streak,” Susie told Maurais. 

“There is a little bit of edge to it,” Maurais said.

Special thanks to Voila Salon and Day Spa

Goodwill trip unearths antique German clock by Leah Hoenen

An old, carved wooden clock had seen better days when Norman Lowell saw it peeking out of a bag at the Goodwill store in Windham. Now pleased with its restoration, Lowell wants to find out more about the German timepiece and its history.

Lowell often visits Goodwill to see what interesting pieces he can find. “I’ve always been interested in antiques and I knew this is something different, and this is worth something,” he said.

He bought the box clock for $8 and immediately set about having it restored.

Lowell, who has been a corrections officer at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham for 26 years, took the clock to the center’s woodshop.

Matt Theriault runs the woodshop. “It was in fair shape when I got it. We really put a lot of work into restoring it and refinishing it,” he said. The clock is made of dark, oiled wood and features the face of a woman wearing large earrings. Other decorations include flower-shaped medallions and columns.

Craftsmen at the correctional center’s woodshop touched up the jeweled woman’s face, carved columns and medallions to restore the clock’s symmetry, said Lowell.

In addition to restoring pieces, staff at the center’s woodshop also build custom furniture, make repairs and upholster furniture. The woodshop has a store at its River Road location, but will move to Windham early this summer to help make its products and services more easily available, said Theriault.

The clock project involved more than a simple restoration. During months of research, Lowell said he and Theriault discovered the name of the clockmaker online and found similar clocks made by the Gebr. 

Junghans (Junghans Brothers) company through the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th century.
They guess the clock was made around the turn of the 20th century, said Lowell.

Unearthing the name of the clock maker took some detective work. Theriault said they began by simply searching for German clockmakers because they didn’t have much to go on in the beginning.

“We took what we could apart,” said Lowell, “but there are no markings.”

Theriault said he found some similar-looking clocks which led to more information. “I found something that looked like it a little bit. After more research, I found one by Junghans that’s just like this one,” he said. “These are very unique and very detailed,” said Theriault.

A fully-restored, nearly-identical clock is listed for sale online for $700, said Lowell, and that clock is in Transylvania. “Thank God for the Internet,” said Lowell.

This clock could be the only one of its type, or there could be hundreds, said Lowell. “I’m not selling,” he said.

Lowell is interested in more than the clock’s manufacturer. “I’d like to know the history – the person who donated it and where they got it,” he said.

In the meantime, he plans to continue his regular trips to check out donations at the store. “You’d be amazed what you find at Goodwill,” said Lowell.

Lowell asks anyone with more information on the clock to contact him at namronllewol@yahoo.com.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Gruber to retire from Windham Public Library by Michelle Libby

After 23 years in the stacks at the Windham Public Library, Inese Gruber will retire as director of the library a position she has held for 17 years.

“I’ll do what I want, when I want. I’ll have more time for things like reading,” Gruber said with a smile. She knew when she reached a certain age that she would want to retire. She and her husband plan to take a fall road trip across the country to visit family and friends they haven’t been able to visit.  “It’s hard to do when you work full-time,” she said. The casual trip will give them time to stop at national and state parks, something Gruber is excited about.

“I’ve loved all my years here. I’ve loved my staff, colleagues and the library. I will miss the people the most,” she added. “It’s a nice community library. The social aspect of chatting and getting to know people I’ll miss.”

Over the years the library has changed. It has grown physically and through access to information through the Internet. “Books are still the core of the library,” Gruber said. The Internet has become a vital part of libraries because it’s all about access to information. The integration of other media, like DVDs and music CDs has brought in a new group of people who use the library, she said.

“Libraries used to be a quiet spaces, but now it’s much more of a community center,” said Gruber.
Gruber’s favorite books (she couldn’t choose between the two) are “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett and “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden.

A new library director will be hired by the town, she said. “Change is good,” said Gruber. She doesn’t know who will replace her, but she is confident the library will continue to be an important part of the Windham community.

May 23 will be her last day and she plans to throw a pizza party for her staff.

Doctor's Orders - Hypertension:"The Silent Killer" by Su-Anne M. Hammond, DO

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the number one silent killer because most people who have high blood pressure feel fine, making it a "silent" disease. High blood pressure especially in the early stages does not cause any symptoms, but left untreated can lead to an increase strain on the heart and arteries which eventually causes organ damage. Poorly controlled high blood pressure increases the risk for heart failure, heart attacks and stroke.

Your blood pressure is measured with two values. The top number, or systolic number, measures the pressure in your heart while it is contracting. The bottom number, or diastolic number, measures the pressure in your heart while it is at rest. Normal blood pressure should be <120/<80.

Many people are nervous when going to a medical provider thus hypertension is not diagnosed until they have an elevated level at two separate visits at least one week apart. Many providers will have patients monitor their blood pressure at home or work over several weeks to get a better perspective of their true values.

Treatment of pre-hypertension, 121-139/81-89 includes lifestyle changes. If you have a family history of high blood pressure, or pre-hypertension you should limit the amount of salt in your diet, lose weight if you are overweight, avoid excessive alcohol intake, quit smoking if you smoke and exercise regularly.

A low sodium diet has less than 2grams of sodium per day. (Read your labels, especially on canned and processed foods.) Alcohol intake should be limited on average to one drink daily for women and two for men. Exercise should be done for 20 to 30 minutes at least three days per week. Before starting any diet or exercise program you should consult with your primary care provider.

For some people lifestyle changes are not effective. Whether your high blood pressure is from genetics (family history) or a secondary cause of hypertension, discuss the risks with your doctor as well as treatment recommendations which may include medications.

Su-Anne M. Hammond, DO
Lead Physician - Mercy Windham Family Practice

Tea for Two raises money for Deliah by Michelle Libby

For the second year, Tea for Two will raise money for a Windham family on Saturday, May 4 at Windham High School. Stacy and Seth Turkington’s daughter, Deliah, is fighting Leukemia. She is almost three years old.

“Stacy works in all of our schools helping kids with special needs in gym,” said coordinator of this year’s fundraiser Kelley Wassick.

The event will take place between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. at Windham High School. Everyone is invited to come in costume. There will be live entertainment, games, princesses, raffles, concessions, a photo booth and face painting, said Mary Wassick.

“It’s a group effort,” said Mary. Kelley is spearheading the event for her community service and scholarship component to the Miss High School America national competition, where she is the delegate from Connecticut because they break the country into regions, not by the state they live in, said Mary. Others on the organizing committee are Patrice Foley-Olsen, Tianna Burton, Jody Colangelo and Mary.

The committee would like to thank Roosevelt Trail Garden Center and The Print House for their work with the event.

Eight-year-old Trista Thorton heard about the Tea for Two event and she set up a lemonade stand, raising $80 for Deliah.

Deliah plans to make an appearance at the event toward the end of the evening. “It won’t even look like the high school,” said Mary.

If anyone would like to donate to Deliah’s treatment, they can send checks made out to Crossroads to Kelley or Mary Wassick, 3 Maplewood Ave, Windham, ME 04062, Crossroads, out of Saco, is a non-profit organization that helps students become self-confident and well-spoken. They are acting as the financial manager for the tea.