FOR YOUR HEALTH – Tips For Tailgating: Add A Little Healthy Balance

(NAPSI)—Tailgates typically mean enjoying lots of fun foods and big flavors. The good news is that you can enjoy tasty treats and activities that bring a little healthful balance to the festivities.

Smarter tailgating can be as simple as adding some nutritious treats to the menu—and staying on your feet a little longer throughout the day.

“Everyone loves a good tailgate with family and friends, but it’s important to remember that the main activities are usually sitting and eating. Bring a little healthy living back into the mix with foods like blueberries,” says Jenna Braddock, RDN and spokesperson for the Blueberry Council. “Everyone loves the delicious flavor of blueberries—and they love your body back with nutritious benefits. Try a recipe like my gluten-free Boozy Blueberry Bacon Bites, a finger food that’s easy to eat and easy to savor.”

Smart and Delicious Choices

Here’s another tip to encourage healthier tailgate habits: Rather than have all food out all day, set a “meal time” for the main dishes. Before and after that time, set out healthy snack options like blueberries. That way, guests can still graze while being mindful about what they’re eating.

It may also help to bring your own food into the stadium, where easy-to-eat finger foods like blueberries make a natural choice. They taste deliciously refreshing on a warm day, and they’re a good source of fiber, helping you stay full and satisfied—and away from the concession stands. Many stadiums allow outside food if it’s in a clear container, but it’s important to check the policy ahead of time.

Healthy Anytime

Blueberries contain just 80 calories per cup, are low in sodium and contain virtually no fat, making them a go-to food for experts like Jenna Braddock. They’re also a good source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system-great for tailgates and events as the weather gets cooler.

Staying Active

A little bit of planned activity goes a long way at a tailgate. Even 10-minute bouts of movement will help meet your daily exercise needs. Try:

  • Walking around to visit other tailgaters
  • Playing games like cornhole, horseshoes or Jenga
  • Throwing a Frisbee or football
  • Organizing a relay race
  • Parking farther away to get a good walk in (and get out faster).

Learn More

For more ways to enjoy blueberries at all your favorite events, visit www.PositivelyBluetiful.com.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Even though they are not welcome, mice just keep coming

The common meadow vole.

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

We’ve covered this subject before, but I think it’s worth another go-round.

Earlier this year we talked about the rather large number of squirrels running around our countryside – even city-side – and the many we find dead along our roads. Well, I want to know how come there is now a proliferation of mice. Last year, I trapped 13 mice in my camp in the month of September alone. That pales in numbers compared to this year. In the month of September – 17 mice trapped in camp. And we’re still counting. Camp is closed for the winter, but I check in periodically to find if I have trapped any more. Incidentally, my neighbors are experiencing the same problem.

Over the 30 years my wife and I have had our camp, we had only sporadic sightings of mice inside the building. The last two years have seen a population explosion.

A small mammal, although a wild animal, the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus, sometimes called a field mouse, is active year round.

A lot of people confuse the field mouse with house mice. They are a little different. A house mouse in uniformly brown-gray, right down to the tail. They typically have small hands and feet with big eyes and ears. And if you have a house mouse, you will know it because of their strong smell.

Common field mouse.

The meadow vole has sandy brown fur and a white to gray belly. A cautious mouse which always sniffs anything unfamiliar before approaching, this mouse does not have a very strong smell. Which, obviously, is why I didn’t know we had mice in the house. There was no odor. The mice I have been catching also have white bellies.

The meadow vole has the widest distribution of any North American species. It ranges from Labrador west to Alaska and south from Labrador and New Brunswick to South Carolina all the way west to Wyoming. They are also found in Washington, Idaho and Utah.

Meadow voles have to eat frequently, and their active periods are associated with food digestion. They have no clear 24-hour rhythm in many areas.

Contrary to what you see in the cartoons, mice do not like cheese. They actually like to eat fruits, seeds and grains. They are omnivorous, which means they eat both plants and meat. The common house mouse will eat just about anything it can find. In fact, if food is scarce, they will eat each other. (I bait my traps with peanut butter – works every time!) They have voracious appetites, and usually build their nests near places that have readily accessible food sources.

Male mice are usually ready to mate after six to eight weeks. One captive female produced 17 litters in one year for a total of 83 young – no wonder the population is escalating. One of her young produced 13 litters (totaling 78 young) before she was a year old.

The house mouse, Mus musculus, originally came from Asia, colonizing in new continents with the movement of people. Either of the three species can transmit diseases, though not on the same scale as rats.

Common house mouse

The house mouse lives more comfortably with humans, while field mice, Apodemus sylvaticus, prefer to live underground, although they will, from time to time, enter buildings.

The house mouse and field mouse are nocturnal and are active only at night, while meadow voles have no time schedule. My little intruders are active only after dark, especially in the early morning hours.

They also have strange names. Females are does, males are bucks and babies are called pinkies. In the wild, the life span of mice is usually one to two-and-a-half years.

If a female lives 2-1/2 years, and can produce up to 17 litters a year (up to 83 pinkies), that comes up to a lot of little mice, which will grow to be adult mice, roaming around out there. The numbers seem to be climbing.

I know they are looking for warm and dry shelter for the winter, and ready supply of food, but they are not welcome in my world.

MOOSE UPDATE

According to Lee Kantar, state moose biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Aroostook County remains a stronghold for moose in Maine. This September moose hunting season has been off to a great start with cold morning and all. “We currently are heading into the sixth year of our moose research study on adult cow and calf survival,” he said. “While winter tick has become a large focus of our work and the news, the reality is that the winter tick attacks smaller moose which is primarily overwintering ‘calves’ trying to make it through their first winter. Adult winter ticks feed on moose from mid-winter to early spring and can be a physiological tax on those moose that carry heavy tick loads. Again our survival study shows that the biggest impact by winter ticks has been on overwintering calves in our western study area. Overwintering calves in our northern study area have double the survival rates. Adult cows in both our western and northern study areas continue to have high annual survival rates.”

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

What was the Houston Astros nickname in 1962, 1963, and 1964? – (Thank you Michael.)

Answer can be found here.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: What do you think?

by Debbie Walker

Do you remember years ago when the scare about eggs came out? We weren’t supposed to eat more than one egg a week. It wasn’t just ‘don’t fry them,’ it was only one a week. NOW according to the American Heart Association we can have one a day!

For years we had paper bags and then …. We moved into plastic bags to save trees (and there has been the collateral damage of the woodsmen and paper mills). Other than some bags made of fabric most of the ones I see seem to have some form of plastic woven in. The plastic bags and products are killing off water creatures, big and small. I am not making light of pollution in any way, just our ‘over use’ society. (Did you ever notice in the grocery stores how just one or two items sometimes have their own bags?)

Plastic, how wonderful. That’s right? We got rid of glass bowls for plastic (somehow an oil byproduct) to use in the microwave (Health? Microwave?). Oops, now the plastic is not good for us so we are encouraged to go back to glass. I imagine the plastic jars and bottles will go back to glass one day or onto the next health problem product.

Marijuana is a product thought once to stunt our brain cells and it was, until recently, illegal here. Now you can buy it and medical byproducts at even the little country corner market. It was thought for a long time when the government figured out how to tax it properly that it would be available to all. I guess they figured it out.

For generations, families were their own biggest resource. Processing their own food and the preparation of such was all important for survival. After more years went by the farms and the gardens disappeared as more of our foods and products became out-sourced. We lost so many farms and local businesses. In recent years we have seen an increase of folks wanting to do things the old ways with new local people learning the old ways sprinkled with new technology. It seems people are willingly going back to the basics in all walks of life.

I guess over time a lot of things have and will continue to change back to the way they were. I do hope that toilet paper is not one of those things. I hope I don’t live long enough to see that one go backwards. I forgot, it can’t. We don’t have the old Sears’s catalogs to leave in our bathrooms anymore!

So what do you think?

I do have new T-shirts to add to the collection of sayings: “Children are Spoiled because No One will spank Grandma!” (Love that one!) AND “Mirror, Mirror on the wall I Am my MOTHER after all.”

I’m just curious if you find odd things humorous like I do? How about if you share some of yours. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. I’ll be waiting! Thank you for reading.

REVIEW POTPOURRI – TV: NCIS; Conductor: Andre Cluytens; Film: Dark Eyes; Music: Liszt

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

NCIS

Current Netflix 15th season

Mark Harmon

This program featuring naval intelligence stories is one that keeps on giving. I am convinced some viewers watch it for the facial expressions of Mark Harmon alone. The balance of humor and suspense is another factor. The addition of Maria Bello as special agent Jack is a third factor. The series is one special in ways beyond description. Try the first five episodes of the 15th season. They are entertaining.

Andre Cluytens

The Complete Concerto and Orchestral Recordings
Erato. 65 CDs.

Andre Cluytens

The conductor Andre Cluytens (1905-1967) was one very gifted individual. I have been collecting his recordings for about 20 years. They are the gift that keeps on giving as far as I am concerned. Beethoven Concertos with Solomon and Oistrakh. Debussy, Ravel, Franck, Bizet, Gounod, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini, etc…

The best approach would be to sample the various YouTubes and decide if he is for you. There are videos as well.

Dark Eyes

Nikita Mikhalkov

Dark Eyes is the 1987 film of Nikita Mikhalkov. Francis Lai’s soundtrack is a mixture of Mozart, Strauss, Rossini, Lehar and Francis Lai himself, most famous as the composer of A Man and a Woman. It is a mix most suitable for pleasant ambiance at dinner parties and very listenable. The soundtrack is on the DRG label, a cassette with the catalog number SBLC 12592. The actor Marcello Mastroianni.

Liszt

Piano Concerto No. 2; Sonata in B minor.

Franz Liszt

The Concerto has Walter Susskind conducting the Philhar­monia Orchestra and the Angel lp is from the ‘50s – Angel 35031. Again this Polish pianist, Witold Malcuzynski, knew how to make the kind of music making that wore well, much like the conductor Andre Cluytens. His Liszt recordings had the combination of musicality and virtuosity that elevated my fondness for this composer, the 2nd Concerto and Sonata being cases in point.

YouTube is a good place to sample these selections mentioned above.

SOLON & BEYOND: Tax collector resigns to work in private sector

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

The following e-mail was sent by chairman of the board of selectmen Elaine Aloes: Leslie Giroux has resigned as Tax Collector/Clerk as of October 1, 2018. She has gotten a full time job in the private sector.

“We thank Leslie for her six years as tax collector/clerk. She did a great job serving our community. It was a hard decision for her to leave the town office and we, the selectmen, very reluctantly accepted her resignation . We wish her well at her new job.”

The selectmen have appointed our treasurer, Christine Jablon, as our tax collector/clerk effective October 1, 2018. Christine will continue as the town treasurer for the time being.

They are conducting interviews for a new treasurer and will, hopefully, make a decision on October 10, on a new treasurer.

They have decided to revise the town office hours from October 8 to the end of the year. They decided to have the town office also open on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to noonand 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This will give Christie more time to learn and adjust to her new job and to also train the new treasurer. Christie has only worked for the town since June of this year so she was still learning the treasurer’s job and had not yet done training for Leslie’s position. When Leslie informed she was leaving Christie started training for the tax collector/clerk position. Leslie will come in on Wednesday evenings for a while to help out.

They are planning on having a meeting with the budget committee on October 17 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss this and some other issues with them.

The office hours for the selectmen are Mon-Wed-Fri. 8 a.m. to noon and 1p.m. to 4 p.m., Wed 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

The next Embden Historical Society meeting is Monday, October 8, at 6:30 p.m., at the Embden Town House (751 Cross Town Road). The program “Sandy River Rangeley Lakes Railroad,” by Tom Moore, is scheduled for 7 p.m. All are welcome. Refreshments to follow.

The next Embden Community Center supper is scheduled for Saturday, October 13, at 5 p.m. Location is 797 Embden Pond Road (formerly Embden Elementary School). My continuing thanks to Carol Dolan for sharing the news with us.

Lief and I were in the large crowd that attended the bridge ceremony dedicated to Cpl. Eugene Cole, in Norridgewock, on Sunday. It was a very inspiring and well planned affair, and we were both glad we had attended it. The weather was cloudy and windy as we stood watching and listening to all the wonderful words spoken about this dedicated and special man. When the people started walking across the bridge, just dedicated, the sun came out in full force and it was beautiful!

I think by now, many of you must know that I grew up in Flagstaff. And I do have many fond memories of living there. The other day as I was going through old papers, I came across a very important looking certificate that stated: The United States Secret Service Treasury Department certifies that Marilyn Houston, a student at Flagstaff High School, has completed the Know your money – know your endorser course of study on this 7th day of February 1946, is now a member of the Secret Service Crime Prevention Club. It was signed by my teacher and the Chief U. S. Secret Service person at that time. I knew that Flagstaff gave me a good education, but I hadn’t realized it was way ahead of the times. I am sure that I am not still a member of the Secret Service!

And now for Percy’s memoir for this week: “Be Happy” Life’s a treasure cherish it, Enjoy everyone special you share it with. Be thankful for all you have and know. Be happy now before this minute goes. Time waits for no one, neither should you. Make the most out of life and all that you do. (found this saying on a small piece of paper, don’t know who wrote it…but it sounds like a good idea. Hope it makes your day!)

COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: If you have VA questions, I will find the answers

Veterans Day parade in Waterville 2016

by Gary Kennedy
Veterans’ Advocate

I have been a contributor of The Town Line news for a number of years now. I am a 100 percent service connect American veteran and have been aiding veterans in the development of difficult cases by all service organizations standards. I have seen VA refusals many times because of cases that couldn’t/ wouldn’t be developed, too time consuming or very difficult to prove. Most things can be proven if not frivolous. Your records were lost in a fire was the popular excuse. Some were in fact destroyed by fire but many were preserved and protected. Anyway, I am writing this to give my opinion based mostly on hearsay. However, when there is a lot of hum there is usually a hive. Lately the Veterans Administration has undergone a lot of trauma. I would like to share a little of that in hopes for feedback.

Veterans’ need media to vent their feeling and concerns. I can assure you this veteran will search for the answers for you. Whether you agree or not you will receive an answer. For those of you who aren’t aware, the Togus Pharmacy will be partially down from October 22, 2018, for approximately nine days because of a flood. Also another of my pet peeves is the fact that orthopedics is hurting for doctors and they have nowhere enough service rooms for the vets in need. The executive director Ryan Lilly could have prioritized the expansion of the medical side but elected to do almost nothing. Now there is a new director who has started off on the wrong foot; so I don’t see longevity there.

However, the VA, in its infinite wisdom, elected to promote Mr. Lilly to the head of the region and demote Kurt Johnson, the assistant director, to a paper pusher. He use to be the head of pharmacy but his friendship with Mr. Lilly somehow got him promoted to assistant director. It is fairly well known they are/were close friends.

There is a federal case involving prejudice involving Mr. Lilly and Mr. Johnson. The power-that-be overlooked the situation or have no knowledge of it; which means they didn’t do their homework. It was sad for me to see Senator Susan Collins and Rep. Chellie Pingree joining forces at the new homeless housing complex developed on federal land. I am a veteran and support veterans with unfortunate circumstances but I don’t believe housing should be built on the 500 acres at Togus. It should be done but, in my opinion, is in the wrong place. That is a medical facility which could develop into the greatest in our country. I have said that many times. Lilly made the statement and believes that he had more land there but wasn’t sure what he would do with it. Some of that land is wetland and the habitat for various many wildlife and fish.

Last but not least, the director that replaces the promoted Lilly has just closed down the Veterans Record Retrieval window placing a state of mayhem there with a considerable workload shift on those employees. New people to the records who do other things will try to pick up the slack. The more they squeeze to make themselves look good to Washington, the more they eat on veteran services. They spend their money on bad who knows what; but it isn’t something you can see. They are building a small new building directly across from emergency to further congest and demean the beauty of the Togus facility. With 500 acres you can do better than that.

Many of us are getting “farmed out” now because they don’t have time for us or they don’t have the proper room, tools, ability and doctors. Thanking a vet is not enough. You need to learn respect, responsibility and remember why you don’t speak Korean, Japanese, German or Russian. We are the land of the free, home of the brave and no matter how bad we hurt we were there for you. The oversight of VA and how it evolves for the vet is the first priority. There is much more but this is enough for now. You can call me at 458-2832 and I will try to assist in anyway I can. We can keep our affairs alive through media.

Community Commentary is a forum The Town Line makes available for citizens to express their opinions on subjects of interest to our readers. The Town Line welcomes, and encourages, differing opinions, counterpoints or opposing views. Keep the rebuttals positive and informative. Submissions containing personal attacks will be rejected.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Small Moments Make a Big Difference

(NAPSI)—There are about 74 million children in America today and if you’re a parent, here’s something you should know: involved fathers—whether they live with their kids or not—can help their children lead happier, healthier and more successful lives. Children who feel close to their fathers are two times more likely to go to college or find a job after high school, 80 percent less likely to end up in jail and 50 percent less likely to experience depression.1 The small moments kids enjoy spending with their fathers can make a big difference in their lives. If you’re like most fathers, you’re already doing what you can to be a great dad. Here’s a look at five easy ways to keep it up.

What You Can Do

Spend time with your children; Be a positive role model; Send a text to stay connected when far away; Read to your children; and remember #DadJokesRule!

There has been a massive growth in fatherhood involvement over decades—fathers now spend nearly triple the amount of time with their children than fathers did in the 1960s.

What Dads are Already Doing

Recent research suggests fathers are already very involved:

  • 90 percent consider their role as a dad to be rewarding day in and day out.
  • 78 percent have talked to their child’s teacher about progress in school.
  • 61 percent have attended a PTA or other school meeting.
  • Over half have helped with a class trip, special project or activity.
  • Over a third of fathers have helped with coaching their children’s sports teams.

Even though fathers are largely more involved than in previous generations, dads today still want to be more engaged. Nearly half say they don’t spend enough time with their kids and want to do a better job at parenting.

To help more fathers understand the importance of their role in their children’s lives, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (@fatherhoodgov), and the Ad Council (@adcouncil) have partnered on a national Responsible Fatherhood Campaign.

“All dads should be supported and celebrated for their efforts on Fathers Day and year-round because we know how the story ends for the kids whose fathers show up for them consistently—these children and families thrive,” says Kenneth Braswell (@braswellkenneth), Director, National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse and Fathers Incorporated.

The campaign drives to Fatherhood.gov a free resource that offers information, tools and more. Dads can visit the website for ideas to get involved and stay involved in their children’s lives. Other resources include activity suggestions, homework help, online games and a long list of dad jokes! No matter how busy you may be, make time for your children. It only takes a moment to make a moment.

Learn More

For helpful tips, tools, information, jokes and resources, visit www.fatherhood.gov.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: It’s been a strange year weatherwise: but is a pattern developing?

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

It’s always a sad time of the year when we have to close up camp. That is a ritual my wife and I do every year on the last weekend of September. While taking a break during last Saturday’s “just gorgeous” day, we started to rehash the last six months.

It has been a strange summer, with many of the observations we discussed while sitting on the deck. It actually all started back in March and early April. It is said that a 40-year-old maple tree should produce approximately 10 gallons of sap to make maple syrup. I have two trees that I tap in my backyard. This year, those two trees produced 48 gallons of sap. Do the math, it doesn’t add up. They produced more than double what they should have produced.

Then, on to May. We didn’t realize it at the time, but later we would conclude that the black flies this year were not all that bad. And that was followed by a summer when mosquito numbers were down.

Another strange occurrence, we only saw three June bugs in late May and early June. This is compared to some years when, in one particular season, we counted 53 June bugs in one night.

We moved on from there, and noticed that the cicadaes, the insect that “sings” (buzzes) during the hot summer days of July. I, personally, did not hear one until July 26. Remember the old farmers folklore? From the day you first hear a cicadae, we will get the first killing frost 90 days from that time. However, that is not the problem. I probably heard cicadaes less than a half dozen times during the hot days of summer. Unusual. You normally hear them almost every sunny day.

How about the hickory tussock caterpillar? The fuzzy white one with the long black “feelers” that usually show up in abundance in August. If you just make incidental contact with them they can leave you with a rash. I have not seen one yet.

Wooly Bear caterpillar photographed on Sept. 7 at camp. (Photo by Roland Hallee)

Another caterpillar is the wooly bear, which usually predicts the severity of a winter depending on the length of the rust-colored bar on its body, and usually makes its appearance around early to mid September. So far, I have seen one, on the steps to our deck, and its rust-colored stripe was about equal to the black portions of its body. You usually see them crossing the road everywhere. Nothing, so far, this year, but that one.

Over the last couple of weeks, however, we have heard and seen an unusually large number of Canada geese settling on Webber Pond for their break before continuing south.

During August and September, we have gone through an unusually long, hot, dry spell. A time when we are pestered by yellow jackets who are in search of moisture. So far, nothing. I have seen a few small bumble bees going after the flowers’ nectar. But no yellow jackets. I haven’t even seen a nest.

For those of you who have taken vacation time to go leaf peeping, it’s not happening at the same time this year. Have you noticed that, here in early October, the trees have barely started to change colors. Most of the color you see is brown, which means the leaves are dead and will merely fall off the trees without changing to those spectacular colors. Also, if you own pine trees, which I have three, the needles have been falling in mass quantities all year. It’s impossible to keep up with them.

One other thing that remained constant were the hummingbirds arriving and departing on time, and being overrun by the harvestmen (daddy long legs).

Things, overall, just don’t seem right in 2018. But, following some research of my journal, I found we had a very similar summer in 2015. Maybe not as hot and humid, but very similar with respect to natural activities.

You can probably blame it on climate change; el Nino, el Nina or polar vortex, but it’s just not normal. However, two almost identical summers within a four-year span could spell the beginning of a pattern. I’ve heard many predictions on our upcoming winter. I don’t believe any of them. I will continue to get ready for a “Maine winter.” The oil tank is full, snowblower tuned up, and shovels ready to go. Are you?

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Which Red Sox pitcher gave up the most career home runs?

Answer can be found here.

SOLON & BEYOND: Pine Tree Club, historical society news

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

The Solon Pine Tree Club met on September 15 for the final meeting of the year. After the meeting everyone enjoyed a trip to pick apples at North Star Orchard.

On Sunday, September 23, 18 members, parents and leaders enjoyed a rafting trip from Solon to North Anson, Moxie Outdoors supplied the rafts and Kate Stevens was one of the guides.

Eleven members exhibited at four fairs this year and did a very good job at each fair. At Skowhegan State Fair the members got first on their educational exhibit on “How Does Your Garden Grow.”

The members are displaying some of their projects at the Coolidge Library in observance of National 4-H Club Week which is the first week of October.

On Saturday, October 13, the club will be reorganizing for next year at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station.

The Solon Congregational Church will be having a Harvest Supper on Saturday, October 20, from 5 to 6 p.m., at the Solon Masonic Hall.

Leslie Giroux has accepted a new job, so she has given up the position as Solon Municipal Clerk and Tax Collector; her last day was October 1. Selectmen have appointed Christy Jablon, of Embden, to replace her and she will run for the position at town meeting in March. The selectmen have been accepting applications and conducting interviews for a new treasurer.

The next Embden Historical Society meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 8, at the Embden Town house (751 Cross Town Road). There will be a brief business meeting at 6:30 p.m. and the program will be at 7 p.m. Tom Moore will be talking about the Sandy River Rangeley Lakes Railroad. Refreshments will follow. All are welcome.

Solon Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary spaghetti dinner. Saturday, October 6, 4 to 7 p.m., at the Solon Elementary School. Get served by our firefighters! Free door prize!

This is from Solon Elementary School entitled: Attendance Matters! As the new year begins, we hope to see all our students set a goal to have a good rate of attendance. Unless students are ill or there is a family emergency, need to be in school. We ask that parents try to schedule routine doctor or dentist appointments after school hours and family vacations during school vacation weeks as often as possible.

If your child is ill or needs to miss school for an appointment or family emergency please contact Mrs. Weese so that we can log that day as an excused absences. If we don’t hear from you, we have to log the day as an unexcused absence. After seven unexcused absences, the state considers your child as truant. So please help us to document your child’s absences correctly.

After 18 absences ( 10 percent of the school days in a year) whether excused or unexcused, your child is considered chronically absent, in addition to MEA test scores, the percentage of chronically absent students in our school is a factor in whether the state decides that our school is making academic progress. Of course, sometimes students are out for extended illnesses, chronic health conditions or family emergencies, and those can’t be helped. So we are working to reduce the absences of our students for other reasons.

Punctuality is also a key to a successful school year. Our buses arrive between 7:20 and 7:40 in the morning. If you bring your child to school, please be sure that he or she arrives by 7:45 a.m. in order to be ready when teachers start their classes at 7:50 a.m. A student who arrives late misses important learning time. So let’s work together to make sure your child gets the maximum benefit from his/her school experience this year. Attendance matters! Thank-you for your cooperation.

And now for Percy’s memoir taken from a little book entitled, Good Advice for a Happy Life, and it says, “Rule Number 1 is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule Number 2 is, it’s all small stuff. And if you can’t fight and you can’t flee, flow.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Have you ever wondered…

by Debbie Walker

Have you ever wondered how long different things might last? Well, I found a few listed in an HGTV magazine awhile back. I thought maybe it might hold some interest for you. It’s an odd assortment of subjects listed in an ABC index. Here we go:

Aloe Vera gel – 12 months once it’s been opened. It’s suggested to store it in the fridge.

Bulbs – 10-15 years These bulbs are of the plant variety, not electrical.

Cast Iron pans – Generations (finally something that lasts). Suggested to use warm water and a non-scratch scrub brush.

Deli-meat – Up to 5 days. (Told you it is an odd assortment). Best if kept in meat drawer.

Exterior Paint Job – Up to 10 years preparation, the quality of paint and color play into it.

Fertilizer (dry or liquid) – Forever. If it clumps or crystals break with a trowel.

Hot Water Heater (tank) – up to 12 years, (tankless) up to 15 years. Maintenance is big issue – should be flushed out when heat system gets checkup.

Ice Pops – Up to 18 months. Home made only about three weeks. Store in back of freezer.

Skipped J, K on to L

Laptop – three to five years. That one is funny! I know kids who can kill them off fast. Then you have me who has been using my adult granddaughter’s cast off for over six years!

Mattress – Up to 10 years. If it’s not a pillow top it ought to be rotated two times a year. We’re waking up achy, may be time for a new one. The achy can’t be because of US growing old.

Nut Butter – Up to 6 months. Store opened jars in fridge. Oil separation is normal, if it smells like oil paint, it’s bad.

Skipped O & P

Quinoa – three years. Keep it in cabinet away from heat source. It’s not a grain and any moisture may make it sprout.

Razor Blades – up to six weeks If you shave more than 2 times a week, anything over six weeks you’ll get razor burns and nicks.

Shower Curtain Liner – one year.

Skipped T,U & V

Wood Cutting Board – A lifetime, maybe even a passer-oner.

Skipped X,Y & Z

Okay, on to something else. Have you ever heard of Spoonerism? I hadn’t but I like it! It is an error in speech or a deliberate play on words where letters are switched between two words in a phrase. Examples follow:

Heard at a wedding: “It is kisstomary to cuss the bride.”

Heard a nervous college student on an official visit: “Is the bean dizzy?”

Heard from many a mother: “Now you go upstairs and shake a tower!”

Heard from aggravated fan: “I can’t believe they scored a Dutch town!”

I’m just curious how many times I have done the word swap! Thanks for reading! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Don’t forget this winter when you can’t get out to get a paper, we are online!