Friday, March 31, 2017

Pet grooming is an important part of a healthy and happy dog by Caitlyn Brundage

Keeping dogs in a regular grooming routine is part of keeping them healthy and happy. Each breed and dog is unique in its specific grooming needs. Hair length, regularity of grooming, temperament, and experience of groomer act as factors in a healthy grooming experience. 

For short haired dogs, a sufficient groom could simply mean cleaning the ears, brushing and bathing the coat, clippings the nails, and brushing their teeth typically every 2-4 months. Long haired dogs, however, need more frequent and skilled grooming. 

Keeping their coat clean and manageable is important to their health. Dogs that aren’t groomed on a regular schedule can be subject to: matting - which can cause sores and bruising, yeast or skin problems, and other underlying issues that routine grooming can help eliminate. Brushing your dog, clipping their nails, and cleaning their ears, in between grooming visits, are all recommended to keep your pup feeling his best.

The temperament of your dog can also greatly affect their experience. Grooming can be a stressful time for most dogs, but there are ways you can help your best friend feel more comfortable: Finding a trusted groomer, starting their grooming routine as puppies, and keeping them on a schedule. This can help make the process easier on both you and your pup.
Dog owners have a number of choices for regular grooming, including at home grooming and an array of professional grooming options. If you choose to groom your dog yourself, proper research on techniques and tools is imperative. At home grooming is only recommended to those who have done adequate research to prevent accidents and ensure their pet is being groomed safely.

For those who would prefer to leave your pet grooming sessions to a professional (which is most people, so don’t worry if this is you!) finding the right groomer for your dog is just as essential as keeping them on a reasonable grooming schedule. 

You want to make sure the groomer you choose is someone you feel comfortable leaving your dog with. While some groomers offer straight-through service, others will take dogs in the morning and board them until you pick up at the end of the day. Mobile grooming - where a grooming is performed in a van or trailer in your driveway, is also an option for dog owners who require flexibility. 

For dogs that have high anxiety or whose owners want them to have one-on-one attention, some specialty groomers can offer a calming, spa-like experience. Either way, bringing your dog to a professional can certainly help cut down on the mess in your home. Bringing your pet to a reputable groomer on a regular basis ensures your pet has a handsome look and beneficial experience.

Caitlyn Brundage is the owner of Lavish Dog Day Spa.

Maple Sunday a sweet success at Merrifield Farm by Stephen Signor

With unfavorable conditions for sap harvesting over the past two weeks, a cold snap and ideal weather prevailed this past weekend for Maine Maple Sunday. Anyone who has a passion for tradition and the taste buds for anything maple, showed up at Merrifield Farm in North Gorham. From the very start at 9 a.m. the cars began to line both sides of Gorham Road. At one point the line of vehicles stretched a good half mile. 

Long lines formed and remained steady to get their fill of Maine’s state sweetener on a fun filled weekend. 
Jokingly, Lyle Merrifield explained, “I am starting to get way too many eggs in one basket!”  Last year he had an estimated 7,000 visited the farm and expects more this year. “We count that [number of visitors] by how many schools visit as well as the amount of cups used for the ice cream.” 

Vsitors enjoyed the process of making syrup and sampling the treat over ice cream. But that was just the beginning. Also offered was a full pancake breakfast, a chance to purchase many of the maple products and see demonstrations. A blacksmith toiled over a hot furnace, while close by another fire was ablaze, heating huge cast iron cauldrons filled with sap, as had been done in the early 1800’s. Ox cart rides were available for a relaxing escape from the heat and the crowds.

Providing the musical entertainment was the duo of Melissa Bragdon-Caron and her husband Kevin, otherwise known as Sugar Hill. Melissa, who now lives in New Hampshire but originally from Windham, taught fiddle playing at 317 Main, the Community Music Center located in Yarmouth. Both Carons have been a part of the Portland area music scene in the past. On this day maple lovers were treated to an array of instruments that include the mandolin, banjo, and acoustic guitar and of course, the fiddle.

The real draw, as always, was witnessing the process of making Maine’s official sweetener. The last two weeks have been too cold to make syrup. But that didn’t stop Merrifield’s efforts for a successful weekend. “We put together a lot of small ones (batches) and saved it for yesterday and today,” explained Merrifield.
Processing sap is a long process requiring many gallons of sap to produce just one gallons of syrup. “The ratio for making syrup is 40 gallons of sap to one gallon of syrup,” shared Merrifield. There are 750 to 900 trees that are tapped. 

Grades of syrup, for the most part, are all determined as Grade A. There is a system of measuring with a standard grading kit. But according to Merrifield it wasn’t always that way. “It took almost 15 years to have all of the United States and Canadian Provinces to use the same grading system. We (Maine) haven’t had Grade B syrup in 35 years.”
Not all visitors were from the area or Maine for that matter. Visiting Maine until Tuesday was Louisiana resident Arlene Byrd. “I’ve been to Maine before but further South,” shared Byrd. Wearing four layers of clothing she has never worn before did not prevent Byrd from having a fun time. Braving the long line to see the sap being processed she also shared laughingly, “This isn’t my first stop. I headed for the ice cream.”
It is doubtful that maple syrup purchased over the weekend will last long in any household, but it does keep. “I’ve seen syrup at the Cumberland County fair knocked off the shelf and the handle on the top broke, so the can started leaking. When we opened up the can and noticed the lithograph that dates the syrup, it indicated being as 50 years old. It was fine,” recalled Merrifield. 

Raymond Fire Rescue Association honors volunteers, past and present by Lorraine Glowczak

It has been said that volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. Yes, it’s true that we vote in elections once a year but you vote every day about the kind of community you want to create and live in.
Gifford receives award from Jane Jordan's grandson.

The Raymond Fire Rescue Association appreciates the truth of that statement by recently recognizing the important work of volunteers within the community, both past and present. At their annual banquet last Friday, March 24, at the Spring Meadows Golf Club in Gray, they presented for the first time, the Jane Jordan Community Service Award. The award was presented to Elissa Gifford of Raymond. She is the first recipient to receive the distinction.

“I am honored and humbled by receiving this award,” Gifford stated. “Jane was an outstanding individual who contributed a lot to our community; I only wish I had the opportunity to meet her personally.”

Jane Jordon was a member of the Raymond “Fire Police” that oversees traffic safety at fire scenes and traffic accidents. She volunteered an extensive amount of time not only for the “Fire Police” but was a member of the department’s auxiliary as well as a member of the planning committee for the Public Safety Building built in 2002. Her commitment and volunteer efforts to the community were endless.

“The Jane Jordan Award is named after this very unique and generous lady,” stated Denis Morse, past Raymond Fire and Rescue Chief and a close friend of Jordan. “In my three decades of active service I have never met a more generous person with their time. She stayed active right though my time in the department, despite walking with a cane. Also, I recently discovered that her deceased husband, Richard, was active in the Cape Elizabeth Fire Department. Ironically, he had died in a fire at their Raymond home making sure she had gotten out.”

Many examples have been told of Jordon’s unselfish dedication to others. “A snapshot of Jane’s personality would be at age 81,” Morse continued. “On one wintery day she slipped and fell down in her driveway and wouldn't call 911 with her cell phone because she didn’t want to bother the fire department. So she laid there until a neighbor saw her and called us.”

Jane passed away last year. She made a donation to the Raymond Fire Department for an educational scholarship for the fire rescue members. “This was the first year the Raymond Fire Rescue Association presented the Jane Jordan Community Service award,” explained Cathy Gosselin, EMS Deputy Chief of the department. “It was her family's desire that she also be remembered for her donation to the community, for all the years of volunteering that she did for the town but mostly with the department.” And thus the annual award has been established in her honor.

Gifford was chosen to receive this award due to her volunteer efforts with the Raymond Village Library. “Elissa's dedication to improving this community resource is a large reason for my involvement with the library,” stated Sheila Bourque, President of the Raymond Village Library Board of Trustees. “She quietly leads by example and unselfishly devotes many hours to community service. Her caring and integrity are on display in all that she does. Our library and Raymond are fortunate to have such a leader on our team.”
The award was presented to Gifford by Jordon’s own grandson, Lt. Andrew Jordon of the Raymond Fire Department.

The town of Raymond and the Fire/Rescue Department has been blessed with many volunteers,” Morse said. “It is a privilege and an honor to select and acknowledge these very people who often go unnoticed and all too often fade into the sunset not knowing how very important they are to the very core of what makes us great as a society.”

WPrimary School’s Odyssey of the Mind Teams compete at the state level by Lorraine Glowczak

Windham Primary School’s (WPS) second through fifth grade students competed in the Odyssey of the Mind regional meet a week ago on March 25 in Auburn. Three of the four Division I students placed and will compete at the state level on Saturday, April 1 at the Biddeford High School in Biddeford. Two WPS Primary division teams also competed at the non-competitive portion of the tournament.
“Odyssey of the Mind (OM) is a creative problem-solving competition for students of all ages,” stated Linda Berry, Enrichment/Academic Support Coach for RSU14. “Teams of students select a problem, create a solution, and then present their solution in a competition against other teams in the same problem and division. Groups of students are placed on teams of up to seven students (with one or two coaches), typically meeting weekly throughout the OM season.”

Windham Primary School began to participate in OM five years ago when Dr. Kyle Rhoads, WPS principal, wanted to offer the experience to the students. Berry began to coordinate the program at that point. “We have more students participating every year,” Berry said. “This year we had roughly 40 students participating in the program.”

Fulfilling the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Common Core and 21st Century Skills Initiatives, OM fosters critical and creative thinking in - “An environment where there is no right or wrong, no grades, no standardized tests.”  Instead, students are introduced to creative problem solving in tangible ways.

“Odyssey of the Mind aligns directly with the current district Strategic Plan, specifically around innovative practices and creative problem solving,” Rhoads said. “Importantly, our students learn lifelong skills and have loads of fun!”

The team of students and coaches, who begin to meet in late/fall early winter, select which of the five long-term problems they wish to solve. “The specific problem changes every year, although there is always one in each of five categories that include: Vehicle, Technical/Performance, Classics, Structure and Theatrical,” Berry explained.

All coaches are volunteers and contribute to the success of the students and their participation in OM. “We truly need community support to operate successful teams,” Rhoads explained. “Teams are coached by volunteers and at times need to do some fundraising to buy supplies for their problem.” 

All the hard work and fundraiser efforts have paid off as the three teams in Division I prepare for their competition this weekend.

“Good luck to our teams on Saturday,” Rhoads said, cheering on the team. “I know they will make us proud! 

For more information about Odyssey of the Mind visit: To donate supplies or help to raise funds for the WPS teams contact Dr. Kyle Rhoads at:

Friday, March 24, 2017

Windham Veteran Center Memorial Pavers by Dave Tanguay

The Windham Veterans Association provides an opportunity to honor veterans, past or present, with a granite paver inscribed with your Veteran’s name and branch of service. 
The Windham Veterans Association will continue to sponsor the “Honor Your Veteran” program with approximately 24 additional granite pavers to be installed in the Windham Veterans Center, for Memorial Day 2017. Space is limited, so please order early.

Each Granite paver is 8 inches by 4 inches and will have up to three lines of the veteran’s information. Each line may have up to 16 characters and spaces and may include name, rank, branch of service, unit, dates of service, conflict etc.  

Each commemorative veteran’s paver, with up to three lines of information, may be purchased for $50.00 from a Veterans Association member listed below, with proceeds to benefit the Veterans Center and Service to Veterans.

For additional information or to request an order form, please contact one of the following: Mel Greenier (892 4779) or Dave Tanguay (892 1306)

Looking for a unique gift for your Veteran?   A Commemorative paver might just fit the bill. 

Book Review by Abigail Lougee

Abigail Lougee is a student at Windham High School

I recently read the book, “This Book is Gay” by James Dawson and I know what you’re thinking, this is a joke. But, I assure you it’s not a joke. No, I’m not making any jabs, and I’m certainly not making fun of anyone. When I first heard the title I laughed and thought that my friend who had recommended the novel was pulling my leg as she said the title. Then she went on to tell me that it was an excellent source of support as she came out to her family and friends, and that I should read it. 

Now that I have, I’m certainly not disappointed with the recommendation. 

James Dawson doesn’t make it uncomfortable and outlines his goal in the first few pages “… gay, straight, or bi; trans or cis - have oodles of questions about what it’s like to be LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender]”. This book has some of the answers. 

“Whether you think you might be LGBT or you think you’re straight but you have questions or you’re anywhere in between, this book is for you” (Page 4).

Dawson’s voice allows you to feel whatever you want to feel, without the author casting judgment, giving the book a conversational tone.

My favorite part about the book is the fact that throughout the duration, you are presented with facts. “In America 3.5 percent of adults identify as LGBT, which equates to about 9 million people - roughly the number of people who live in New Jersey!” (Page 7). 

You are presented with opinions. “…I was sad at how we still DEFAULT to heterosexual in the twenty-first century” (Page 7). 

You are also presented with questions that make you curious about how you view yourself and how you have been looking at the world. “Who said statistics had to be boring?”(Page 8). 

This book is a thought provoking, educational, supportive read, with the undyingly hilarious cartoons, adding a comedic examination.

Dawson has done the impossible of bringing forth education in a light, productive, non-judgmental way, allowing the book to be a guide through an unfamiliar journey. This novel can pose as a read to be a supportive friend, or even a read just because you’re a curious person. 

Student of the week goes to Austin Rice. Congratulations!

Austin Rice, an eighth-grade student at Windham Middle School, is The Windham Eagle’s student of the week. The 15year-old enjoys participating in and is on the RSU#14 Track & Field Special Olympics team.

Rice stated that his teacher, Mrs. Taylor, has played a significant role in his education.

“Austin is a very hard worker who always puts forth his best effort,” Taylor stated. “Austin is a true role model in the classroom, always helping his peers and cheering them on.”

Rice’s favorite subject is math and he states that getting good grades in school is one of his greatest accomplishments. He learns best when he is in the classroom with his friends.

Although Rice does not have a favorite music group, he enjoys listening to his mother sing.

During his free time, Rice plays basketball, draws and rides horses at Riding To The Top. His favorite holiday is the fourth of July.

Rice lives at home with his mom, dad and three sisters.

“The Friendship Garden” Series. Chapter 1 by Gayle Plummer

*For the next couple of months, look here for the weekly “Friendship Garden” series. It’s a tale for children that can be enjoyed by adults.
What was that? She could hear a loud buzzing noise. Where was it coming from?  

Ouch! It hurt when she tried to open her eyes. It was really bright . . . why? Where was she?  What is this place? Polly was trying to have a look around. She needed to figure out where that noise was coming from. After a few minutes, she was able to get her eyes open and she could see others! Some of them were still trying to open their eyes too. Others already had their eyes open and they were cheering loudly. Now that she had her eyes open, she liked the brightness. It was kind of warm and cheery - a very happy place really.

Where were they all? WHAT were they all? Polly learned that the noise she heard was coming from all the others, who were all talking at once. They were trying to figure out where they were and what they were.  

As Polly looked around, she could see that all the others were light green and very wispy and very delicate looking. She looked down at herself - she also was light green and very wispy. She continued to look around and . . .  oh wow! Some of the others were talking to her! They were shouting, “Hi, how are you? Isn’t this fun?” Polly realized she could speak to them. “Yes,” she shouted, “This is fun and sunny and warm!”

Polly decided this must be her house. She found out later that it is a house, but it is called a greenhouse. The greenhouse has lots and lots of windows that let in lots and lots of sun light.  That’s why it is so bright inside. It is where the baby flowers begin to grow from seeds into healthy plants. And she was one of them! She was a flower! 

Over in the corner - just sitting and soaking in the sunshine, was a very large, very full, and very colorful  . . . what? “What was that?” Polly said to herself. She looked at it and wondered some more. But she did not have to wonder for long, because it was looking right back at her and then it spoke to her! 

It said, “Hello Polly, how are you dear?” Polly could not speak. She was so shocked, so surprised and excited by all the wonderful, bright colors that were covering this beautiful thing - that she was speechless. The very large, beautiful thing in the corner spoke again, “Don’t be afraid dear, I am your Grandmother.”

So, Polly decided to be brave. She took a deep breath and she answered, “Grandmother, I don’t understand what’s going on.  I don’t know what you are or even what I am.” They talked all day and she peppered her Grandmother with lots of questions. Polly’s Grandmother’s name was Prudence. Polly learned that she and her Grandmother were flowers called Pansies. So her name was Polly Pansy. 

Grandmother explained that Polly came from a seed that was put into some soil, here in the warm greenhouse, and she was very much loved, fed and watered. Granny Prudence also told Polly that she would grow into a beautiful flower with many, many, colorful petals and that she would look the same as Granny looked!  “Would you like to look like I do, Polly?” Grandmother asked. Polly shouted, “Oh yes!”. . .  She almost jumped right out of her soil, she was so excited.  She found it hard to imagine that she could be almost as colorful as her Grandmother!

Quiz Question to spark a conversation with your child:  What is a “greenhouse” used for?
*Look for more things to happen to Polly & her friends coming up next in Chapter 2.