I’M JUST CURIOUS: Smiles from children

by Debbie Walker

In Country Woman magazine, in its March/April 2003 issue, I read such a cute page and decided I would share it with you. We all need things to laugh about these days. Laughing helps to lower stress and aids in weight loss (if that’s the case I should be skinny!). Please enjoy the following:

After my husband showed our grandson the green beans he had planted. Ryan, 3, wondered “where are the jelly ones?” (Wanda Wyatt, Arkansas.)

Chatting with my granddaughter ,4, I listed the many chores I planned to do that day. “Whew,” she responded, “What you need is a Mom!” (Beth Tayson, Idaho.)

My three-year-old great-grandson came to me wearing his baseball glove and said, “Grandma, let’s play catsup.” (Wanda Thompson, Missouri.)

Explaining Colorado’s location to our grandson, his mother said it was above his home state of Texas. Promptly, Colton gazed skyward and said, “I didn’t see it!” (Nancy Roath, Colorado.)

At report card time, I told our young son he’d be rewarded for bringing home straight A’s. “That’s a sure thing,” he noted confidently. “My teacher makes all her A’s straight!” (Reba Martin, New Mexico.)

I even have one about my niece, Haliegh. It was close to her fifth birthday. I said, “Aren’t you excited, you’re going to be five years old.” She promptly told me, “NO. I don’t want to be five, I only know how to be four! ” (me) ”

“Why didn’t you have any kids, grandma?” Michael, aged 4, asked, “When I told him his mom and uncle are my children he replied “I mean kids you get to keep.” (Linda Isaacs, Oklahoma)

Thrilled by a book about dinosaurs, my then-young niece told her sister, “we should ask grandma and grandpa if they took any pictures.”

One chilly morning we passed a field full of newly-shorn ewes. “Look, mom” our four-year-old son noted with a shiver, “those sheep aren’t wearing their coats!” ( Rachel Wellman, Michigan.)

When I told the little girl I babysit for that I was going to color my hair, she responded, “You can borrow my crayons!”

Eager to share a safety rule he’s learned, grandson Chad, 3 , advised, “In case of fire, stop.. drop… rock and roll!”

One day, grandson Hunter and I were studying family photos when he piped up, “that boys wearing my face!” He was looking at a picture of his daddy at age three.

Defending why he liked to sleep with a night light, our then four-year-old reasoned, “it helps me see my dreams better.”

Catching me mumbling about how his baby sister had cried and fussed all day, my four-year-old pointed out, “she’s just doing her job.”

I’m just curious if you remember some of the stories you have heard over the years? How about sharing some of yours? Contact me at DebbieWalker@townline.org with questions or comments. Thanks for reading and have a great week!

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Conductor: Felix Weingartner & Guido Cantelli

Guido Cantelli

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Felix Weingartner

Felix Weingartner

Felix Weingartner (1863-1942) was the first conductor to record all nine Beethoven Symphonies, and the four Brahms. He was friends with Liszt, Wagner and Brahms; was music director of the Vienna Philharmonic for over 20 years; composed large amounts of his own music; and taught and wrote about conducting and other musical and non-musical subjects, having a special interest in astrology, the occult and theater. He guest-conducted extensively to the U.S., Soviet Russia and Japan. Finally, he was married five times.

His most distinctive quality as a conductor was the naturalness of it; one felt as though he/she were hearing music as the composer wished it to be heard. I recently listened to a re-issued LP of his very good 1938 London Philharmonic performance of the Brahms 3rd Symphony, a piece that I recommend as the best one of the four for listeners experiencing Brahms for the first time. And this recording and sizable numbers of the others can be heard on YouTube.

Guido Cantelli

Guido Cantelli (1920-1956) was drafted into the Italian army, when it was forced to fight alongside the Germans against the allies during World War II. He refused to, out of a matter of conscience, and thrown into a labor camp; by pretending to be sick, he managed to escape and worked as a bank teller with forged papers until the war’s end.
Having already showing incredible promise before as a pianist – he was in a jazz combo for a while – and a conductor, he started again doing concerts and opera at various Italian venues, such as the La Scala Opera House in Milan, where Arturo Toscanini spotted the young man and was so impressed that he took him under his wing like a long-lost son and gave him concerts and recording dates in New York with the NBC Symphony.

As a conductor, he had a phenomenally high level of inspiration, passion, elegance and precision, much like Toscanini, Reiner and Szell and yet had his own individuality in terms of an ear for the most wondrous hidden sonorities in whatever piece he was interpreting. I am now listening to a superb 1954 recording of Debussy’s La Mer, a piece in three sections that evokes the movements of the sea. It can be accessed on YouTube by budget-minded music lovers who are not collectors, unlike me.

On November 24, 1956, just one week after he was appointed music director at La Scala, Guido Cantelli was killed in a plane crash just after taking off from Paris’s Orly Airport on his way to New York to conduct the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. He was only 36 and left behind a wife and baby son. The 89-year-old Toscanini was never told of his death and passed away of a stroke on January 16, 1957, less than two months later.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: China

China Village, circa 1914. (Archive photos)

by Mary Grow

The Town of China lies north of Windsor and west of Vassalboro. Much of the town is in the watershed of China Lake, a major influence in the town’s history. Two of the town’s four villages, China Village and South China, lie at opposite ends of the lake’s east basin. The other two, Branch Mills and Weeks Mills, are on the West Branch of the Sheepscot River in eastern China, upstream of Windsor.

China Lake consists of two basins connected by a short strait called The Narrows. The long, narrow east basin runs from the northern end of town about two-thirds of the way to the Windsor line. The irregular circle that is the west basin extends westward into Vassalboro.

The Kennebec Proprietors, who have been mentioned earlier in this series, owned a vast tract on both sides of the Kennebec River. In 1773, they sent John “Black” Jones and Abraham Burrill (or Burrell) to begin surveying the area that became China.

Like earlier surveys along the Kennebec, the Jones-Burrill plan shows rectangular lots starting from the water on both sides of China Lake (then called Twelve Mile Pond, because it was 12 miles from Fort Western in Augusta). In the south end of town, similar lots ran east from the shore of Three Mile Pond. Rangeways separated each tier of lots as the surveyors moved inland.

According to the China Bicentennial History (1975; revised edition 1984), Jones and Burrill started work in the fall of 1773 and finished in the spring of 1774. Jones spent the winter in Gardiner, where he knew the Clark family.

In the summer of 1774, two generations of Clarks and several other families settled around the southern part of China Lake. The Bicentennial History and Kingsbury’s Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892) disagree on which Clark came first.

The Bicentennial History quotes from the diary of Benjamin Dow, who wrote on July 17 that he, one of the Clarks, a Burrill (perhaps Abraham), Job Chadwick and Michael Norton had felled the first tree in what they had named Jones Plantation.

The China Causeway at the Head of the Lake, heading west, circa 1914. (Archive photos)

Much of present-day China was settled, if sparsely, before 1800, according to the Bicentennial History and the sources it lists. Wards and Stanleys chose land west of the north end of the lake, toward northern Vassalboro, on Stanley (once Ward’s) Hill. The Wiggins family was apparently the earliest to choose land at the north end of the lake.

Joseph Evans was said to be the first settler in the backland east of China Lake, leaving his wife and family there while he served in the Revolutionary army. By 1802 Caleb Hanson was in the same area. Evans Pond and the Hanson Road that runs along its eastern shore are named after those families.

Farther east, along the West Branch of the Sheepscot River south of Branch Pond (which is mostly in Palermo), records list nine families who started the village called Branch Mills in 1790 or 1800. One of the Clark brothers was probably the first to settle at the south end of the lake, where South China Village developed. To the southwest, at Chadwick’s Corner (where the Arnold Road forks west off what is now Route 32 South or Windsor Road), Ichabod Chadwick was the earliest resident.

The southwestern part of town, now the Weeks Mills and Deer Hill area, seems not to have been settled until the early 1800s. The Bicentennial History says there were a sawmill and a gristmill in Weeks Mills by the fall of 1807, and lists several men surnamed Gray among Deer Hill residents in and after 1809.

Jones Plantation kept its name from 1774 until February 1796, when the Massachusetts General Court approved incorporating it as the town of Harlem. Ava Harriet Chadbourne says in her Maine Place Names and the Peopling of Its Towns that the name was taken from Harlem in the Netherlands, but she does not offer a reason or supporting evidence.

In 1796 Harlem’s north boundary line ran across China Lake south of the present town line. What is now northern China, including China Village, was part of the Freetown settlement, which became Fairfax in 1804 and is now Albion.

The town of China came into existence on Feb. 5, 1818, by act of the Massachusetts legislature. It consisted of the northern half of present-day China plus parts of Fairfax and Winslow, establishing the north boundary substantially where it is now. The southern half, from approximately the location of the current town office on Route 202 (Lakeview Drive) remained Harlem. Records do not show why the separation occurred.

The story of the naming of the town is well-known locally. Japheth C. Washburn, from China Village, represented the new town in the Massachusetts General Court, with instructions to have it named Bloomville. The representative from Bloomfield (which was separated from Canaan in 1814 and added to Skowhegan in 1862) objected that the similarity in names would confuse mail delivery. Washburn proposed China because it was the name of one of his favorite hymns.

The Bicentennial History says on Dec. 18, 1820, Harlem voters asked to become part of China. China did not want them; but town meeting votes and negotiations with legislators – after March 1820, Maine legislators – were unsuccessful. (A June 18, 1821, vote showed one China voter in favor of accepting Harlem and 81 opposed.) In January 1822 the two towns combined and China acquired most of its present dimensions. Harlem continued to elect town officers to close out town affairs for another six years.

The final significant boundary change was on the southeast, where the line between China and Palermo was redrawn in 1830, adding to China a long narrow triangle of land. The Bicentennial History quotes from the description of the new boundary between the two towns, which was also the line between Kennebec and Waldo counties, with its references to lot numbers, “the house of Joseph Hacker” and a beech tree on the north side of the road from Augusta to Belfast.

Each of China’s four villages was a commercial center for most of the 19th century and the first part of the 20th century. The Bi­cen­tennial History lists a wide variety of businesses. Unusual for such a small town, each village had at least one hotel. Probable reasons are roads and China Lake’s summer visitors.

In China Village at the north end of the lake, the hotel was in the building still standing (now a private residence) on the northeast corner of the intersection of Main Street, Causeway Street and Neck Road. The Bi­centennial History says the building dates from the 1820s and was a hotel until the mid-1940s. From 1827 to 1864, General Alfred Marshall was the innkeeper; the inn was a stagecoach stop. Marshall was born around 1797 in New Hampshire; he was a general in the state militia, a state representative for three years and from 1841 to 1843 representative from Maine’s sixth or seventh (depending on the source) district in the U. S. House of Representatives.

The 1907 and 1913 editions of the Maine Register or State Year-book also list the Starkey House in China, run by G. L. Starkey. In 1913, the Gordon House, operated by E. Gordon, was also listed.

South China is now bypassed by both main roads, Route 3 (Belfast Road) running roughly east-west from Augusta to Belfast and Route 202 (Lakeview Drive) coming south along the east shore of China Lake and intersecting with Route 3 and Route 32 (Windsor Road). In the 19th and first half of the 20th century the village surrounded a four-way intersection; incomplete records suggest it had at least two and perhaps four or five hotels.

The Bicentennial History and websites provide evidence of the South China House, in business by 1855 on Main Street east of the church, once run by Sabin Lewis; the J. R. Crossman Hotel in the southeast corner of the intersection by 1879, and an unnamed hotel in that location rumored to have a secret room where fugitive slaves were hidden in the 1850s; T. M. Jackson’s Jackson House in the early 1890s and the Whitehouse from at least 1907 to 1917, neither with a location provided; and a nameless 20th-century hotel on Weeks Mills Road east of Chadwick’s Corner.

Weeks Mills had one long-running hotel and apparently a second early in the 20th century. The Bicentennial History points out that the 1879 map shows the village at the intersection of west-to-east roads connecting Augusta to Belfast and south-to-north roads connecting Windsor and points south to China Village and points north.

Kingsbury writes the large hotel on the south side of Weeks Mills’ Main Street was started as a tavern around 1875, converted to a hotel by Alden McLaughlin, and in November 1887 sold to Abram McLaughlin, who still owned it in 1892. The Maine Register calls it the Weeks Mills House in 1882, the Union Park House in 1888 and 1890. The 1907 Register again lists the Weeks Mills House, run by Charles Chisam; the 1913 edition lists Frank Gardiner’s Lonsdale House and adds Joseph Segee’s Segee House, which reappears in the 1914 and 1915 editions.

In Branch Mills, the Bicentennial History refers in a footnote to the Shuman House, described as a wooden building that could accommodate 25 guests. The 1908 Maine Register lists Mrs. Nellie E. Shuman as the owner. It was one of many buildings burned in a fire that destroyed most of the village on June 26, 1908.

Main sources

Grow, Mary M. China Maine Bicentennial History including 1984 revisions 1984
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed. Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 1892

Web sites, miscellaneous

LEGAL NOTICES for Thursday, May 28, 2020

18-A MRSA sec. 3-801

The following Personal Representatives have been appointed in the estates noted. The first publication date of this notice May 21, 2020

If you are a creditor of an estate listed below, you must present your claim within four months of the first publication date of this Notice to Creditors by filing a written statement of your claim on a proper form with the Register of Probate of this Court or by delivering or mailing to the Personal Representative listed below at the address published by his name, a written statement of the claim indicating the basis therefore, the name and address of the claimant and the amount claimed or in such other manner as the law may provide. See 18-C M.R.S.A. §3-804.

2020-100 – Estate of BYRON R. WIERS, late of Skowhegan, Me, deceased. Michael A. Wiers, P.O. Box 159, St. Albans, Maine 04971 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-101 – Estate of ROLLAND R. CHURCHILL, late of Skowhegan, Me, deceased. Julie M. Churchill-Durkee, 6 Cedar Village Place, Oakland, Maine 04963, Laura Churchill Kendzia, 606 Five Island Road, Georgetown, Maine 04548 and Mary Churchill Moroney, 5000 Estate Enighed PMB 213, St. John, Virgin Islands, 00830 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2020-102 – Estate of DIANA L. CARR, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Michael Carr, 3 Osborne Street, Fairfield, Maine 04937 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-043 – Estate of TERRY A. NEWTON, late of Detroit, Me, deceased Terry A. Newton, 57 Main Street, Detroit, Maine 04929 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-104 – Estate of SUELLEN P. LUCE, late of Fairfield, Me, deceased. Harry M. Luce, 71 Davis Road, Fairfield, Maine 04937 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-107 – Estate of EDWARD F. JORDAN, late of Harmony, Me deceased. Denise M. Jordan, 175 Brown Road, Harmony, Maine 04942 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-108 – Estate of TERESA JEAN NILE, late of Madison, Me deceased. Dianna Lynn Haulk-Edgerly, 144 Old Point Avenue, Madison, Maine 04950 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-114 – Estate of MAXINE GROVER-LETARTE, late of Detroit, Me deceased. Randi Paulette Stefanizzi, 62 Zachary Drive, Oakland, Maine 04963 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-115 – Estate of PAUL LETARTE, late of Detroit, Me deceased. Randi Paulette Stefanizzi, 62 Zachary Drive, Oakland, Maine 04963 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-116 – Estate of PHYLLIS ANN OLIVER, late of Madison Me deceased. Daniel E. Oliver, 5514 E. Kelton Ln., Scottsdale, AZ 85254 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-117 – Estate of SHIRLEY W. FOXWELL, late of Norridgewock, Me deceased. Mark Colin Foxwell, 501 Village Road, Smithfield, Me 04978 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-118 – Estate of STEPHEN B. KIEDROWSKI, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Claire Kiedrowski, 207 Old County Road, Stockton Springs, Me 04981 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-119 – Estate of CAROLYN J. HOWES, late of Pittsfield, Me, deceased. Jeffrey M. Howes, PO Box 594, Pittsfield, Me 04967 appointed Personal Representative.

2020-120 – Estate of NORMAN L. KNAPP, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Carolyn Knapp, 14 Sunrise Drive, Fairfield, Me 04937 and Jennifer Bernier, 45 Ridge Road, Waterville, Me 04901 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2020-121- Estate of BYRON B. BALLARD, JR. late of Pittsfield, Me deceased. Randy B. Ballard, 964 Canaan Road, Hartland, Me 04943 and Kathy M. Vanadestine, 203 Pooler Road, Pittsfield, ME 04967 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2020-122 – Estate of CAROLYN M. BALLARD, late of Pittsfield, Me deceased. Randy B. Ballard, 964 Canaan Road, Hartland, Me 04943 and Kathy M. Vanadestine, 203 Pooler Road, Pittsfield, Me 04967 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2020-128 – Estate of TIMOTHY S. ROGERS, late of Norridgewock, Me deceased. Lindsay I. Richard, 23 Waterville, Road, Apt. 4, Skowhegan, Me 04976 and Peter G. Vermette, 1 Marsh Rock Circle, Scarborough, Me 04074 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

To be published on May 21, 2020 & May 28, 2020.
Dated: May 18, 2020 /s/ Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate

DOCKET NO. 2020-115

It appearing that the following heir of Paul Letarte, as listed in an Application for Informal Probate of a Will and Appointment of Personal Representative is of unknown address as listed below:

ROBIN LETARTE, address unknown

THEREFORE, notice is hereby given as heirs of the above named estate, pursuant to Maine Rules of Probate Procedure Rule 4(d) (1) (a), and Rule 4 (e) a.

This notice shall be published once a week for two successive weeks in The Town Line, with the first publication to be May 21, 2020.

Name and address of the Personal Representative: Randi Stefanizzi, 62 Zachary Drive, Oakland, Maine 04963

Dated: May 18, 2020
/s/ Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Turn your summer vacation into a staycation

You and your family can have a fun vacation without ever leaving home.

by Samantha Clayton, certified personal trainer

For many people, social distancing brings concern about summer plans. In previous years, summertime was when families planned their vacations. The kids would be out of school, the weather could be fantastic, and the days are longer — allowing optimal time to venture to new places, catch some sun and spend more time with friends and families.

Since you may have already been spending a lot more time with your family then you ever imagined due to coronavirus outbreak, you may be looking for ways to keep your family entertained. Between possibly working from home, managing your kids’ schoolwork and maintaining a functioning household, this time probably hasn’t felt much like a vacation.

Social distancing guidelines are likely to remain in effect in many places during the summer. Activities and entertainment options, lodging, and dining will be affected. The good news is, you really don’t have to totally give up on enjoying the summer at home with your family. Here are some tips to make your staycation exciting for the whole family.

Fit Focused Days

Plan hiking trips or long walks or bike rides close to home. Enjoy nearby parks and take time to look over the architecture in your neighborhood. A quick Google search of interesting facts can help you to plan what you want to go to see. Being a tourist in your own community will help you have a greater appreciation for the place. Challenge your kids to identify certain plants, landmarks or wildlife when you’re out walking. It will make the walks more engaging. Having prizes helps with motivation, too. Additionally, backyard games can be a blast — sprinklers, hula hoops and jump rope are things kids love.

Embrace The Farmers’ Markets

A trip to a farmers’ market is not just a treat, it’s a great way to shop locally. Many of them have adopted social distancing guidelines, so they can be safe for family outings. These markets usually have beautiful fresh and seasonal options to explore, and perhaps find some fascinating new fruits and vegetables. Also, getting the kids involved in selecting ingredients for your meals may help spark their interest in healthier eating. Breaking your usual grocery shopping routine by browsing the stalls in beautiful weather can help spark a vacation vibe.

Create Your Own At-Home Retreats

With a little planning, you can make your own backyard or home feel like an enchanting vacation spot. For a spa weekend, buy or make your favorite products, and set up time to relax and treat yourself. Turn off all your tech distractions, set up a space outside or in a quiet room. You can even make spa water by cutting up some cucumber or fruit to flavor the water. Consider creating your own yoga retreat. Turn to your favorite online trainer, set up your mat in a designated space, light some candles or incense, and be sure to practice daily, with relaxing music. It’s all about being creative.

Travel With Your Cooking

With travel on the back burner, consider themed cooking nights to help transport your taste buds to any destination. It can be really fun to make drinks, shakes and meals with ingredients from places that are on your future travel list. Enjoy a nice Italian spritzer with your pasta one night, try cooking a beautiful curry meal or ordering takeout from a restaurant you’ve never tried before. Take it a step further and print out some fun-facts you can find online or rent a movie about the particular culture you’ll be indulging in that night; it’s a great opportunity for your family to learn about other cultures through food.

Finally, take time to plan out your staycation in the same way you would with a travel vacation. Having an itinerary of what you want to do helps to prevent the lazy, do-nothing blues from taking over. A vacation is about rest, relaxation, discovery and recreation — all of those things can be accomplished right where you are. Studies have shown a positive correlation between taking vacation time and an overall feeling of well-being, so no matter what’s on your itinerary, make sure to thoroughly enjoy yourself.

Samantha Clayton is the vice president, Sports Performance and Fitness, Herbalife Nutrition. She’s also the mother of four and lives in Los Angeles with her family. You can find further tips and facts at www.IAmHerbalifeNUtrition.com.

Vassalboro awarded safety enhancement grant

Officials for the Town of Vassalboro are pleased to announce that they have been awarded a Safety En­hancement Grant by the Maine Muni­cipal Asso­cia­tion Workers Compensation Fund in the amount of $1,512.77.

The Ed Mac­Donald Safety Enhancement Grants and Scholarship Grants provide financial assistance to members of the MMA Workers Compensation Fund to purchase safety equipment or services to assist in reducing the frequency and severity of workplace injuries. The grant programs are designed to prevent injuries and improve workplace safety our Maine employees. The reduction in employee injuries also benefits the taxpayers by lessening lost hours at work, cost of claims and potential overtime expenses for employees who might have to fill in for injured co-workers.

The Maine Municipal Association has been awarding Safety Grants to members of the Workers’ Compensation fund since 1999. The Ed MacDonald Safety Enhancement Grants and Scholarships are an example of a successful partnership that has been preventing workplace injuries by bestowing more than $5 million in the funding of 3,938 Safety En­hancement Grants and 489 Schol­arship Grants. Together we are building safe communities.

For more information about Maine Municipal Association Risk Management Service programs, including Safety Enhancement Grant eligibility and applications, please visit www.memun.org and click on the Risk Management Services link, or call 1-800-590- 5583.

Summer reading program for children & teens coming from Winslow Public Library

Winslow Public Library

Sign-up starts June 1; theme this summer will be “Imagine Your Story”

This summer the Winslow Public Library will again proudly offer the Summer Reading Program for children and teens. The theme this summer is “Imagine Your Story,” which young readers will discover through fantasy, mythology, and imagination- themed activities. Due to the epidemic, most aspects of the program will be offered online, with some other aspects offered using social-distance protocols.

“With this year’s online Summer Reading Program, we hope to inspire continued reading over the summer, along with an ongoing love of learning,” said Kathleen Powers, Youth Services/Technology Librarian. “We do this by offering activities for all ages, along with reading incentives.”

Participants will work towards incentives through a challenge-tracker card that will include reading and activity challenges. In this way, youthful participants will be able to earn fun prizes such as free books and comic books throughout the summer.

Social-distance parts of the Summer Reading Program will include themed to-go craft bags. Each week will feature a special theme such as dragons, fables, magic, and music. The library will also be offering a table of crafts surrounding each theme every week, while supplies last. On alternating Fridays the library will offer “Weavers of the World” craft bags, which will include weaving, knitting, bracelet making, or simple sewing kits for older youth.

The library’s weekly online story times will be held at 10 a.m. each Tuesday via Facebook, Instagram, and the library’s website. This will provide an opportunity for a younger audience to interact with fun videos and songs. Past story videos also are accessible through the virtual programs tab of the Winslow Public Library website.

Starting June 29 and extending for the following six weeks, the library also will be offering a weekly children’s yoga course. This will include simple yoga and fun tie-in activities. Choose Your Own Adventure Interactive Read Aloud live stream will also be offered, each Thursday afternoon during the summer at 3p.m. These will feature titles such as Dungeons and Dragons Endless Quest Choose Your Own Adventure series. The library’s program for junior high and high school students will include online food challenges and virtual gaming events.

Sign-up for Winslow Public Library’s Summer Reading Program starts June 1, through an online survey (link below) to be presented on the library’s website or by calling (207) 872-1978 or emailing winslowlibrarycirculation@winslow-me.gov. Trackers will be emailed to participants who sign up online.

All parents and young readers interested in the Summer Reading Program from Winslow Public Library should check the library’s website, Instagram, and Facebook pages for the most up-to-date information on programs and events.

To register, please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J378882

For more information, please contact Kathleen Powers at Winslow Public Library, 207-872-1978.

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Are you a craftsman?

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

There is a show on cable called A Craftsman’s Legacy. On this show, host Eric Gorges visits various craftspeople who build everything from guitars to bows to saddles to well, just about anything cool you can produce by hand. It’s a fascinating show to watch because the people who are featured on the show are true craftsman. (PC police, please forgive my use of the term, it’s purely used generically, and the term craftsperson is too clumsy and does not convey the true sense of the word craftsman).

Okay enough of that. What I want to talk about today are the pure craftsmen that have worked at my house over the years doing things better than anyone I ever saw do them. People who are true artists at what they do. People who have such a love and passion for their crafts, regarding jobs that they are better than anyone else in their field…at least in my humble opinion.

This column’s shout out goes to Larry Costanzer, who has done painting in our house and our neighbor’s houses for years. In fact, I love that he worked on our house years before we got there. When he started working on our kitchen by removing the wallpaper, he knew exactly how to do it because he was the one who had put it up many years before. He could even show us his penciled markings on the bare walls.

Larry, like all true craftsmen, spends much more time on preparation than the actual painting or wallpapering. He’s explained to me a number of times how his work’s success relies completely on the preparation of the walls and woodwork, patching and sanding holes and irregularities on the surfaces, making sure that the walls will be “sized,” if necessary, so that the wallpaper will adhere perfectly once it is applied to the walls.

When Larry looks over a project he doesn’t just act as our painting contractor, no, he is much more invested than that, he acts more like our advisor, more like our expert consulting, sharing his year’s of experience and knowledge with us, advising us on the best way to go.

The most important thing about Larry is that he is always taking a long view of this projects, considering what they will look like in five years or ten years, or longer.

The pride he takes in his work and the respect he has for what he does is exactly proportional to the pride we take in our home. I feel like Larry’s approach to a project is to assume the responsibility to adding beauty and love to a home that is so already loved by the family that lives there.

And that’s precisely what makes Larry a craftsman and the most sought after painter in our area. And that’s why his business is always growing.

GARDEN WORKS: Exciting times in the garden

photo by Emily Cates

Emily Catesby Emily Cates

This time of year is buzzing with possibilities! The last spring frost of the year most likely has passed us by, clearing the way for warm-weather plantings. And although it’s a bit on the late side for trees, shrubs, and peas, we can be sure to plant greens, cole crops, cover crops, carrots, radishes, potatoes, onions, perennials, flowers, and herbs with abandon. To be on the safe side, it’s always a good idea to wait until after May 31, for tomatoes, corn, squash, peppers, eggplant, pumpkins, and the like. Unless we have another freak late frost, I would say, “Plant away after Memorial Day!”

If the weather continues to be so dry, however, make sure anything planted receives adequate moisture. Drip irrigation systems are preferable to a soaker hose, since a large proportion of moisture sprayed from a hose or sprinkler is lost through evaporation. Watering at night will conserve moisture by preventing water from evaporating in the sun. I noticed this spring that the trees and shrubs I planted needed an extra five gallons or so of water per tree every other day in May. Usually there is adequate of rain this time of year- but this year, like most years as of late, is a typical Maine spring; the one thing you can count on is the weather being unpredictable! Being prepared for this challenge is one way we can stay ahead of the game.

Naturally, there is little most of us can do to prevent a late heavy frost. That pattern would fool many flowering shrubs and fruit trees into blooming only to be nipped by the frost. Though that would mean little or no fruit this year for the affected specimens, we can take to heart that hopefully that wouldn’t happen again the following year. And if it does, it may help to consider planting cultivars that are late blooming, frost tolerant, or extra hardy. Most of our area is zone 4 (-20 to -30 degrees F.) with occasional zone 5’s (-10 to -20 degrees F.). Choosing a perennial plant, shrub, or tree that is rated to grow in the next zone down- zone 3 (-30 to -40 degrees F.), for instance – will ensure a plant’s hardiness. Remember, too, that a heavy snow pack should act as a blanket and keep a plant warmer than if there is low accumulation; so might a heavy mulch.

One thing that certainly doesn’t mind the weather was the weeds. These guys are public enemy Number One in many gardens. Any efforts to minimize them early in the season before they go to seed will help keep them at bay throughout this growing season and others. Cultivating, hand-pulling, mulching, and growing in raised beds and containers are all earth-friendly ways to make the job easier without resorting to chemical herbicides. Undiluted plain distilled vinegar works wonders on the ones in the cracks in the walkway and driveway. Plus, it’s cheap, eco-friendly, and safe to use around children and pets. Give it a try. And if you’re really adventurous, maybe you’ll consider the possibility of raising weeder geese in the garden. Many folks pen them in the strawberry patch until the fruit forms. They eat the weeds, but not the strawberry plants – though it should be noted that they love the fruits as much as we do. (Hence timing is important with this particular venture.)

While you’re planting seeds in the garden, remember to grow some plants that attract beneficial insects. Most of these have umbrella-like flowers such as those found on dill, fennel, carrot, caraway, valerian, angelica, and Queen Anne’s lace. And don’t forget to plant some edible flowers like nasturtiums and delicious herbs like basil. And for a change of pace, try growing heirloom and open-pollinated seed varieties and save the seeds for next year. Or try making a completely new variety altogether by cross-pollinating two different varieties of the same plant that will cross, such as cucumbers. Ah, the possibilities of the late-spring garden!

Emily Cates can be contacted by email at EmilyCates@townline.org.

SCORES & OUTDOORS – Slugs: what are they good for, and why are there so many?

The common slug

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

Over last weekend, I prepared my garden bed for planting, at camp. After tilling the soil, adding some manure, and carefully working everything into the soil, I moved a few containers from one location to another, and there it was. A slug!

I can remember, about four years ago, when slugs were raising havoc with my sweet peppers and Brussels sprouts, and were having a field day with my Romaine lettuce. In 2015, they were responsible for the complete destruction of my cucumber, green peppers and marigold plantings at camp. There seems to be no end to them. That raised the question: what are slugs, what are their usefulness and how do we get rid of them?

First of all, let’s find out a little bit about them.

Slug is a common non-scientific word, which is often applied to any gastropod mollusc, and the word “slug” is more frequently encountered as applied to air-breathing land species, including a few agricultural and horticultural pest species.

Land slugs, like all other slow-moving gastropods, undergo torsion (a 180-degree twisting of the internal organs) during development. Internally, the anatomy of a slug clearly shows the effects of this rotation, but externally the bodies of slugs appear rather symmetrical.

The soft, slimy bodies of slugs are prone to dry up (desiccation), so land-living slugs are confined to moist environments and are forced to retreat to damp hiding places when the weather is dry.

Slugs macerate (soften or separate food in the digestive tract by soaking) food using their radula, a rough, tongue-like organ with many tiny tooth-like denticles.

Like other snails, a slug moves by rhythmic waves of muscular contraction on the underside of its foot. It simultaneously secretes a layer of mucus on which it travels, which helps prevent damage to the tissues of the foot.

Slugs produce two types of mucus: one which is thin and watery, and another which is thick and sticky. Both kinds of mucus are hygroscopic (absorb and retain moisture). The thin mucus is spread out from the center of the foot to the edges, whereas the thick mucus spreads out from front to back. They also produce thick mucus which coats the whole body of the critter.

Slugs’ bodies are made up mostly of water, and without a full-sized shell to retreat into, their soft tissues are prone to desiccation.

Slugs are hermaphrodites, having both female and male reproductive organs. After mating, the slugs lay around 30 eggs in a hole in the ground, or beneath the cover of objects such as fallen logs.

Mostly, slugs are harmless to humans and to their interests, except for a small number of species of slugs that are great pests of agriculture and horticulture. They feed on fruits and vegetables prior to harvest, making holes in the crop, which can make individual items unsuitable to sell for aesthetic reasons, and which can make the crop more susceptible to rot and disease.

The great gray slug

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but so far I haven’t mentioned any benefits to the ecosystem. Their only contribution seems to be the fact they eat dead leaves, fungus and decaying vegetable material. It has always been my belief that if you allowed those to decompose, they will turn to dirt. Why do the slugs have to eat them?

Frogs, toads, snakes, hedgehogs, salamanders, eastern box turtles and certain birds and beetles are slug predators. Birds include blackbirds, crows, ducks, jays, owls, robins, seagulls, starlings and thrushes. With the large number of crows we have around our camp, I can’t figure out why they haven’t wiped out the slug population.

I also have seen numerous frogs and toads in my garden which might be helping with the fact the slugs have not attacked my tomatoes. Snakes, which are a no-no as far as I’m concerned are allowed to stay. However, those sightings have been few and far in between, partly due, I think, to the large number of raptors in the area.

Just so you know there are different kinds of slugs, Around my garden, at home, especially near the wood pile, I have seen great gray slugs, which almost resemble a small snake. Snakes are something I tolerate, but for which I have no love.

So, as you can see, slugs are a pest, they are disgusting, and they serve very little purpose in our environs.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Which Red Sox slugger led the American League in home runs in 1977, 1978 and 1983?

Answer can be found here.