Crispy fruit snacks in the lunch box get an A+

Making a healthy, tasty school lunch can be a breeze with Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels.

For Your Health

(NAPSI)—What your child eats for lunch matters more than you might realize, say the experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A healthy lunch and nutritious snacks can help keep your little scholars happy and attentive throughout the school day.

The CDC recommends making sure you include a “combination of foods” when you pack school lunches and, for “something sweet, grab a piece of fruit.” Your kids can “enjoy the naturally sweet taste while loading up on vitamins, fiber and other nutrients” instead of empty calories.

Making that easier are freeze-dried, 100 percent pure fruit snacks that come in convenient single-size serving bags. There are no preservatives and no added sugar, oils or fats—just fruit. What’s more, they’re non-GMO Project Verified, kosher and have 55 calories or less per bag.

The snacks come in seven flavors that kids like: apple, Asian pear, banana, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple and tangerine. All these Crispy Fruit flavors are available in convenient 6-pack or individual, single-serving “Grab & Go” bags.

Why Freeze Dried

Major benefits of freeze-dried fruit are:

  • Light and flavorful
  • Retain nearly all the nutrients of fresh fruit
  • Long shelf life

Power That Lunchbox

When it comes to providing healthy meals and snacks, parents can be “Pro-Packtive” in two other ways. First, visit to find a wide variety of creative and delicious lunch options, such as:

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

  • 8 oz. cooked shredded chick-en breast
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegy Vida Cool Buffalo dip
  • 1 Tbsp. shredded carrots
  • 2 (8-inch) tortillas
  • ½ cup Pero Family Farms sliced mini sweet peppers
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegy Vida Kids’ Dip‘n More Creamy Ranch
  • 1 pkg. Crispy Green freeze-dried fruit

Mix chicken, dip and carrots in small bowl. Divide between tortillas. Wrap up and cut into pinwheels.

Next, take the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge to eat a healthier lunch. For every parent who does, Produce for Kids will donate $1 to Feeding America.

Learn More

For further facts, tips and recipes, visit You can also sign up for a one-time 20 percent discount and free shipping, plus a free, helpful, healthy lifestyle newsletter at To find a retailer nearby that carries Crispy Fruit, go to

GARDEN WORKS: Plum yummy! Delightful plums to grow and enjoy


by Emily Cates

What a busy time of year, plum full of chores to finish and fruits to process! Whilst hauling a cartload of garlic plants from one corner of the yard to the place where I clean and prepare them for curing, I happened to walk by the plum patch. Then and there my nose was greeted with the delightful aroma of ripening plums. Visions of plum cobblers danced in my head! Yes, I thought, I will pick these as soon as I bunch the garlic….. (which, by the way, I didn’t finish until 2 a.m.). Thankfully, when I was finally able to get out there and pick the plums, many were just right for harvesting. I was able to pick enough Purple Hearts and Cochecos to share at a family reunion and make a cobbler or two.

In fact, as I type, I am finishing a snack of plum cobbler with banana custard, trying with all my might not to besmirch the keyboard with a sticky, gooey, yummy mess. So with the lingering perfume in my yard and the delightful flavor on my palate, I am compelled to extol the virtues of this wonderful fruit in this article. We’ll look at what types of plums are most suitable for growing in our area, cultivation tips, and personal favorites. If you like plums, this is the article for you!

Plums, known as Prunus sp., are divided into several groups, among them are: American Plum – P. americana, P. nigra, P. besseyi, and P. maritima; Asian Plum – P. salicina; European Plum – P. domestica. Hybrids of American and Asian plums are commonly offered in the nursery trade as well. If you plan on growing plums, remember that they generally need to be pollinated by an adjacent plum tree from same compatible group with an overlapping bloom time. European plums are oftentimes self-fertile and are unable to pollinate or hybridize with American or Asian plums or their hybrids. So if you only have room for one tree, consider planting a European plum. Conversely, if space is not an issue, American, Asian, or hybrid plums are a great option. Remember, too, that more than one variety of plum of the same group can grow on a tree if it’s grafted! European plums take several years to bear and are oftentimes larger trees, while the others can bear sooner and are mostly smaller, more compact trees.

American, Asian, and Hybrid plums (Group A) appreciate full sun, well-drained soil, and a site where late-spring frosts are avoided. They generally are cold-hardier than European plums (Group B) – which are more tolerant of heavier soils. Group A plums have tendencies toward suckering like crazy and forming thickets, while Group B plums tend to grow as a single tree. Though not always the case, Group A can be susceptible to a disease called brown rot, and Group B is more likely to have problems with black knot. Make sure to prune off and burn any branches with abnormalities, especially if you spot something that looks like a dog pooped in your tree (black knot). Good airflow and sun exposure can do much to keep a plum tree healthy. Other than a yearly late-winter pruning, an application of slow-release azomite and a nice mulch, plum trees are relatively easy to care for if you keep ahead of their diseases. Resistant varieties might be a good choice for areas where plum pestilences are common.

I never spray my plums and always have enough to share. Some folks have problems with the plum curculio and apply Surround, a spray made from clay. The Fedco Trees catalog (in which you’ll find most of the trees mentioned in this article) suggests planting garlic in the plum patch. Chickens are said to be good predators for these pesky bugs, and cardboard laid on the ground under the tree smothers the curculio pupae. Japanese beetles can be a problem for time to time, though the trees will recover. If you’re worried, shake them off the tree into a bucket of soapy water. Yellow jackets will appear as the fruits ripen to perfection, and they seem busiest in the morning and on sunny days. You might beat them to the plums on a windy, rainy, cloudy day, or at sundown.

Now for my favorite part of this article! Really, the best way to find out if you like the taste of a plum is to try it. Right now the Purple Heart, Cocheco, and Black Ice plums are ripe. These are my favorites from Group A, simply because they are early and delicious. Purple Heart is hands down my favorite, is possibly the best plum in the world, and probably would be yours, too. No other plum compares with such an intense, spicy explosion of fragrance and flavor. The tree is susceptible to black knot, occasionally will get a bout of brown rot, and has an odd tendency to grow a curve in it’s trunk. I can certainly overlook these issues in favor of those fabulous purple, medium-large sized heart-shaped fruits that are delightful however you eat them- whether fresh or in desserts and sauce. Cocheco is the most beautiful plum tree I’ve seen- with red leaves, bark, and fruit. The upright-growing tree is healthy and vigorous. The soft, sweet medium-small round plums fade from red to an orangey-pink when ripe. They are delicious fresh. Black Ice is a wonderful, unique, large, round, dark purple plum with a scrumptiously sweet and mild flavor that is wonderful eaten on the spot. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever tried them cooked because they simply do not make it to my kitchen! Other delectable plums from Group A include LaCrescent, Pembina, Superior, Tecumseh, and Underwood.

Of the Group B plums, Stanley – a large blue European oblong sweet plum- is among the best flavored of the prune types; It’s great fresh, dried, and in desserts and sauces. The “Gage” – type plums, such as Golden Transparent and Green Gage, are small, round, candy-sweet and wonderful.

Wild and seedling plums – though usually inferior in qualities than named varieties, make delicious sauce when fully ripe. They’re great when you’re feeling a bit on the wild side. I double dare you to try them!

Well, I better get back to the garden. Until next time, enjoy the dog days of August and all the delightful fruits and veggies that are ready to be savored right now.

What you should know about boundary surveys featured at SRLT monthly program

The sight of land surveyors peering into tripod-mounted equipment by the roadside is common enough, but what are they actually doing? Frank Siviski, a professional land surveyor with more than 30 years of experience, will shed light on the seemingly mysterious world of boundary determinations.

Siviski has taught survey-related courses at Unity College, and is currently an instructor at Kennebec Valley Community College. His talk will help landowners understand how surveys are created, standards that are applied, and how landowners’ goals shape the outcome. If you have questions about boundary surveys, this is an opportunity to have those questions answered.

Siviski’s presentation is part of the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust’s monthly speaker series, “Restoring Connections to Place,” featuring a wide variety of conservation topics. The programs are held. on the second Wednesday of every month at the café, 93 Main Coffee Shop, located at 93 Main St., Unity. These monthly events are open to the public and a five dollar donation is suggested. For more information, please email or call 948-3766.

IF WALLS COULD TALK, Week of August 31, 2017

Katie Ouilette Wallsby Katie Ouilette

WALLS, have you had a ‘Ma’ in your life? No, I’m not talking about your mother, I’m wondering if you have had a ‘Ma’ sometime during your life. Yes, WALLS, we’ve had a ‘Ma’ in our family and when I sat and talked with Elaine Cannell, while we were waiting for her other guests to arrive, I learned that Ma had been at her house, but not for as long as we had her in our family.

Now, WALLS, I’m not going to write her real name, because she was always ‘Ma’ to me. It all started when housework became too much for my mémère, so my mom got us ‘Ma’.

Yes, Ma even got some things done as I was preparing for Colby Junior College, in New London, New Hampshire. (Yes, it is Colby-Sawyer College now, and I’ll write about ‘why’ in another issue.) Back to ‘Ma’ and, yes, she was proud of her own family. Her husband, Carrol, worked faithfully for the Skowhegan Road Department.

Oh, you have asked why she was ‘Ma’ to all our family. Well, she not only cleaned our house at 29 Chestnut Street once a week, but she was definitely one of our family. In fact, after college, I married and she was ‘Ma’ when my husband and I moved back to Maine with the business which we had started in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, so she cleaned our house in East Madison, as I worked at Z.D.Wire.

Then, when my marriage to Joe Denis became history and I later married Lew, ‘Ma’ came to our rescue when she agreed to care for my grandson who was born in Alaska and his mother said she wanted him to grow up in Maine. Oh, she was a truly wonderful mother but followed the wishes of her mother and father who called every day to remind her of her obligation. (Yes, Eskimo custom was that the youngest would care for the elder parents.) So our grandson was cared for by ‘Ma’ while Nana went to work every day. Yes, she was always ‘Ma’ to Danny, too.

‘Ma’s life has passed, but she is still ‘Ma’ to all of us. Yes, WALLS, ‘Ma’ will forever be a part of the Valliere, Denis, Ouilette memories.

Oh, WALLS, there are so many reasons for memories having popped up in our minds. We had a gathering of friends and, yes, schoolmates at Elaine’s house, Evalyn Bowman brought her two classmates from Vermont who were visiting her. Betsy Hall and I had been in the same class at Lincoln School on Leavitt Street and Elizabeth (was Rodden) lives in East Madison. And, know what, WALLS? Surely our faithful readers who attended school with Betsy and Elizabeth will say: “I remember them!” Yes, faithful readers, there is so much in our ‘memories’ of our younger years. Enjoy! That is what age is for!

I’m Just Curious: Who is more superstitious?

by Debbie Walker

Remember those books I told you I bought in the south, one was titled Southern Superstitions. I decided I would give you some of the New England and some of the Southern Superstitions. Save this column because next week will be the southern version of the subject! Then you can compare. It’s up to you to figure who is more superstitious.

I believe the following New England information comes from the New England Historical Society and I took the license to edit the information for this column. The Town Line is not responsible for my choice.

New England Puritans were a superstitious lot who believed luck ruled their lives. They took measures to ward off bad luck, attract good luck and change their luck from bad to good. One of their odder customs was to place old shoes in the walls of a house wards off evil. (Wish I had read that one before we closed up the walls in this house, we could have used a little more good luck!)

  • Dropping bread and butter with the butter side downs brings bad luck. (Who wants to eat dirty bread?)
  • Rock an empty chair and you will have bad luck. (Never heard the bad luck but I knew we weren’t supposed to rock that chair empty!)
  • Tripping on something is a sign of bad luck. The remedy is to walk over it again. If you’ve tripped on a stone, go back and touch it. (Since I have lost most of my balance control there is a lot to that tripping business!)
  • If you put on an apron inside out, wear it that way or your luck will change. (Maybe that is why so many homes don’t have any aprons anymore!)
  • If you have bad luck playing cards, get up and move around your chair. Or blow on your cards to change your luck. (You could just give up and say goodnight!)
  • See a pin and let it lie, come to sorrow by and by.
  • Finding a penny is surer to bring you good luck than anything else.
  • It is good luck to fall up a hill.
  • If a spider spins down from the ceiling toward you, it will bring good luck.
  • If you move to a new home, don’t bring the cat with you. It will bring bad luck.
  • If you see a cat sitting with her tail to the fire, expect bad luck.
  • If a strange dog or cat comes to live with you, it will bring good luck. A black cat will bring its owner good luck.

I’m just curious if you remember if you’d missed an issue of The Town Line and you have a computer you can look up the week you missed. So…hold your decisions until you read the southern version. Keep in mind the New England Superstitions has a sailor/fisherman version of their own! Maybe we will look at those one day. In the meantime send any questions or comments to

REVIEWS: Soprano: Teresa Stich-Randall; Composer: Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller; Author: Evan Eisenberg


by Peter Cates

Teresa Stich-Randall

Preiser 93458, CD, recorded July 31st, 1956.

Teresa Stich-Randall

Born and raised in Connecticut, Teresa Stich-Randall (1927-2007) had a major career of over 30 years, starting in the U.S. but mainly centered in Europe, as a soprano performing opera, and other forms of vocal classical music. To me, her fame is well deserved, she being one of a handful of sopranos who provide genuine pleasure through their recordings – because she avoids the cloying vibrato that turns, not only sopranos, but mezzos, altos, tenors, baritones and basses into very painful listening ordeals. She conveys the beauty in what she sings, rather than indulging in being a histrionic nimcompoop in how she sings!

The above CD is a collection of lieder, or classical songs by Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Richard Strauss and Debussy, 21 in all and each one a gem. She collaborates with the exceptionally phenomenal conductor, Hans Rosbaud (1895-1962), who swaps his conducting baton for the piano, performs with once-in-a-lifetime musicianship, sensitivity and beauty and leaves me wondering why he didn’t play the keyboard much more often. I posted Brahms’s Mondnacht on my Facebook page from YouTube, which should still have it !

A couple of little tidbits – Stich-Randall was a holy terror about exact punctuality for her voice lessons while Rosbaud mastered five instruments and relaxed by reading ancient and modern classics, in the original language.

Fats Waller

1935; Classics 746, CD.

Fats Waller

The phenomenal Fats Waller (1904-1943) was a masterful composer, orchestra leader, classical and jazz organist, pianist and one very entertaining singer. The 22 shellacs on this CD are all first class, with not a single dud among them, and remastered skillfully.

Evan Eisenberg

The Recording Angel
Penguin, 1987, 256 pages.

Evan Eisenberg

I had high hopes for this book when I forked over four bucks for it some months back. Superficial dipping into it led me to a story about Clarence, who collects records while living just barely on $270 a month and they consume his house with only minimal living space.

Such stories are few. Eisenberg devotes most of the book discussing how records have changed the way we listen to, and relate to, music. But he uses endless quotes from, and paraphrasing of Plato, Aristotle, Schopenhauer, etc., to discuss the endless byways of music for several centuries in an overblown manner that makes this book tiresome most of the time as a reading experience.

But it got glowing reviews from many critics.

Bicentennial committee gears up for China’s 200th birthday

The old Weeks Mills one-room schoolhouse, built in 1860 — newly upgraded with Wifi and electricity!

by Eric W. Austin

Funny how you can spend half your life in a place and still discover something new, I think, as I head down Old Weeks Mills Road to a meeting with China’s Bicentennial Committee.

The meeting is being held in the old Weeks Mills one-room schoolhouse.

Blue lights blink at me as I enter: a modem plugged into the wall just inside. It seems out of place in such an historic setting. The building was restored seven years ago and gleams with clean, whitewashed walls and dark, stained-wood floors.

Wifi and electricity are two modern conveniences that Neil Farrington, China selectman and local history enthusiast, hopes will encourage the next generation to use the building.

“It’s the perfect place for tutoring or to do homework,” he tells me as we wait for the other committee members to arrive.

He’s right. It sounds like a library in here. I feel compelled to use my inside voice.

We’re soon joined by Betty Glidden, who attended class in this very schoolhouse until the eighth grade, her husband Sherwood, and Bob Bennett, a retired history teacher who taught at Erskine Academy, in South China.

The committee has been tasked with planning celebrations for China’s 200th anniversary next year. The talk turns to the many unknown – and unnoticed – places of historical interest in China and the surrounding areas.

“We once had more than 20 schoolhouses just like this one in the areas of China, Weeks Mills and Branch Mills alone,” says Neil. “Imagine that!”

“And there are a ton of little cemeteries all over the place,” I say. “I bet they each have a story to tell.”

“Twenty-eight,” Neil supplies. “Maybe more.”

Neil is big on getting the community involved. Everybody agrees. Bob Bennett tells us how he encouraged his students to conduct interviews to add color to their term papers. Heads nod. China has a rich, deep history, but it’s locked away in the minds of its older citizens and hidden in quiet corners of the landscape.

I pipe up and offer to interview some of our senior residents and share their unique experiences with readers of The Town Line.

“Before they’re lost forever,” says Bob. The prospect is sobering for this little group of history buffs.

A reverence settles over us as we shuffle out of the little schoolhouse. There’s something about considering the vastness of history: you get the sense both of your own insignificance and yet also of our eternal connection to what has gone before.

Do you know someone with a story to tell? Contact The Town Line at or visit our contact page !

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of August 31, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

On August 13th Betty Lightbody, of North Anson, was honored with a wonderful 90th birthday party put on by her daughter, Carol Oliver. There were 25 family members present and a total of 57 friends and family who were there on this special day, some coming from far away places such as North Dakota (where Carol lives), Colorado, Oregon and North Carolina.

Betty said she was so pleased to see so many of her nieces and nephews who she doesn’t see very often, along with her children and many friends. In Betty’s words, “It was unreal to have so many show up!” She also commented on “All the lovely food.”

Carol and her husband Guy had traveled from North Dakota. Betty’s grandson, Jeremy Rogers and his family also came from North Dakota and spent a week in North Anson. Again in Betty’s words, “They came all that way. It was a great gathering!”

Then on August 15, which was Betty’s actual birthday, 25 family members honored her again with their presence and another smaller get-together. My congratulation and best wishes to you Betty, on your wonderful 90th birthday celebrations.

The September 11 Embden Historical Society meeting has been canceled. Many of the members are involved in putting on a huge luncheon for over 400 bikers from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine at the Embden Community Center. This is a major undertaking. The annual meeting, election of officers and committee reports will be given at the October 9 meeting. There will also be an Antique Show & Tell at that meeting.

The Country Sunday/Open Mic has been canceled for September 10th. The next Country Sunday will be September 24th and then on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

My many, many thanks go out to Carol Dolan for her faithful sharing of this news with us, it is very greatly appreciated.

And now from the First Congregational Church of North Anson’s bulletin: The Fellowship Committee is selling calendar raffle tickets again this year to benefit a church mission trip.

On August 31, at 6:30 p.m., the first choir rehearsal for the 2017-2018 church year will be held at the church. On September 1, 2, and 3, the annual Church Camping Trip at Cathedral Pines, in Eustis; Sunday Morning Worship in the Pines at 11 a.m. and church picnic to follow. Sundays starting on September 10, at 9 a.m., Adult and Teen Sunday School; 10 a.m. Children’s Sunday School during the worship service; 6 – 7 p.m. Pilgrim Fellowship; Tuesday’s starting on September 12, at 6 p.m., Yarn etc. Fellowship; Wednesday starting on September 13, at 5:30 p.m., Weekly Soup and Evening Devotional; Thursdays starting on September 14, at 11:30 a.m., Bible Study at the Parsonage, Choir Rehearsal at 6:45 p.m., and September 16 at 8 a.m., Women’s Devotional and Coffee.

I realize this is lots of dates into September, but the way time flies, I thought if you were interested in any of these things, you could cut out this information.

And now for Percy’s memoir, Cultivating Friends: Sow a seed of praise today, Plant a kindness seed; Listen to a troubled friend, Help someone in need. Compliment a weary soul Too fatigued to try; Shine forth rays of hope on all, Comfort those who cry. Scatter deeds of love each day, Plant each row with care; Sprinkle joy along your way, Soak each one in prayer. Ask the Lord to bless each one, And one day you’ll reap A harvestful of loving friends To cherish and to keep. (words by Connie Hinnen.)

Percy collected many great friends when he was alive and helping me with this column. One day recently Lief and I were up to the Dam Diner, and one of Percy’s friends recognized me from the picture by this column and greeted me with a big hug! I had no idea who she was, but she introduced herself and said how much she had loved his wise words, and now his memoirs. It made my day! He was a great cat and helped me so much.

Track teams capture state crowns

Winslow summer track and field 13-14 year old 4×100 boys team won the state title recently. From left to right, Gabe Katz, Trey Goodwin and Levi Olin. Absent from photo is Riley Toner. Photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff

Winslow summer track and field 11-12 year old 4×100 girls team won the state title recently. From left to right, Allie Kimball, Kaylyn Bourque, Madisyn Niles and Paige Goodwin. Photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Bees and wasps – stinging insect activities continue into the fall


by Roland D. Hallee

With the relatively dry summer we have experienced in 2017, you have probably noticed an increase in activity by bees and wasps over recent weeks. That is typical of a rainless period as bees are now out in search of moisture of any kind to continue their work at the respective hives.


Bees, wasps, and hornets – commonly referred to as “stinging insects” – continue to be active into the late summer and early autumn months in the northeast, despite the majority of nest and hive activity taking place earlier in the year. As a result, prevention techniques are still important for individuals and families looking to avoid painful stings.

“There are thousands of different species of bees, wasps, and hornets worldwide and as many as 200 that may be found in New England,” said Mike Peaslee, technical manager and associate certified entomologist at Modern Pest Services, a QualityPro company, recognized as such by the National Pest Management Association, serving Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. “They all have different functions and jobs within their own colonies so some are more active or prevalent than others as the days start to get cooler. But, as a whole, they are still around and still working hard, which can be problematic for people looking to avoid getting stung.”


Among the reasons there may be stinging insect activity without any visible nest is because 70 percent of the 20,000 bee species actually nest underground. Wasps also have some ground-nesting species like Digger Wasps and Yellow Jackets. As the final days of summer draw near and the cooler days of autumn approach, sweet foods like loose, rotting apples on the ground can be a significant attractor of stinging insects to homeowners’ yards.

“People with apple trees or crab apple trees who don’t clean up loose fruit on the ground can see a bigger problem in their yard than others,” said Peaslee. “The insects will find a significant source of food and because the days are getting shorter, honeybees know they have to gather more food and nectar to feed their colony throughout the winter. That makes autumn a very important time of the year for these insects to prepare for the colder months.”

New England is home to several different types of bees and wasps, including Bald Faced Hornets, Carpenter Bees, Paper Wasps, and Cicada Killers.

“Distinguishing between a bee and a wasp is important, especially regarding control measures or nest removal, because they each require a specific treatment method,” said Peaslee. “Bees and wasps have a number of beneficial qualities to them, but they are also disruptive and dangerous for some people, which would require action to be taken on the nest.”

Bees stay in their hives throughout the winter while wasp and hornet nest will die off after the first hard frost with just the queens overwintering in protected sites in trees, structures, etc. before returning to activity in the spring, More information on bees, wasps, and other stinging insects can be found at

These little creatures are not exactly my favorite. They can be nasty, unpredictable and take no prisoners, so to speak. I always refer to them as “underground terrorists.” Although they perform a needed service to the ecosystem, I don’t particularly care for their presence.