September 22, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

We are beginning to see the slight transition to color with our campus foliage and that is a signal that change is right around our corner.  How appropriate with all that goes on with our residents (your children) who are living here, these days.  Coming to terms with change and accepting this natural happening in our world requires internal growth and wisdom that is often found and developed through surprise and a maturing response to struggle.  It’s safe to say that all connected to Ironwood can relate to personal experiences that have been different from what was expected.  “The becoming of something different” is the definition of change and when that change is unexpected and perhaps unwanted, the learning of how to respond well becomes a most valuable human tool.

There are several reasons why we resist change, but a few of the most common revolve around fear, trust and misunderstanding.  We focus much of our time at Ironwood around the processing of these “top three” and it’s quite wonderful to see resident’s growth and empowerment when their “change skills” expand.  Practice and repetition in things like:  seeking advice, slowing down the need to react, avoiding disconnection, considering alternative perspectives and forgiveness can all help in the development of resilience and stamina.  So many Ironwood residents have come so far in relatively short periods of time and it’s a great help when family members support the process.

Ironwood is a very busy place these days and there is very little free time.  Our planned off site field trips are a means to kick back some and escape the usual hustle. Yesterday, the Farmhouse group attended the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine.  This is a very popular event for our upper campus residents and revolves around organic farming and agriculture.

Our two campus gardens continue to deliver high quality produce and yesterday, I pulled up a few of the largest red onions that I have ever seen.  Cantaloupe sized pumpkins are transitioning from green to orange, the dahlias are in full bloom and our sunflowers heads are  losing their ability in tracking the sun, due to their heavy weight and old age.  For those of you who don’t know the term to describe how the sunflower head tracks the sun…it’s HELIOTROPISM.  Perhaps a winning Final Jeopardy answer on an upcoming episode?!  As the sunflower tires and runs out of energy, the head will typically end the journey, facing east.

We currently have a great group of kids on our beautiful campus, who are transitioning toward better lives.  Thank you for putting your trust in Ironwood and we hope you have a restful weekend.

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September 15, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

Well there, a deep sigh of momentary rest as the activities surrounding Family Weekend wrapped up. While the Frye families said good-bye on Saturday night, after a wonderful meal together, the Farm House residents trickled in through Monday. There is always such deep anticipation and emotion going into Family Weekend and there is, at times, an equal amount of opposite emotion as we conclude the weekend.

We are duly prepared, with the Frye Sunday being a day of rest, contemplation, naps, maybe a hike and good food. Each resident is allowed to process the “in the moment” emotion as some have just spent 2 days with their family that they have not seen for 1-3 months. It is not uncommon for Direct Care Staff to spend much one on one time with residents as they work through the days following Family Weekend. There is also an air of quick re-engagement as there remains much work to be done. It is not uncommon for us to see a surge in resident’s willingness to engage in their program to get to the ultimate goal of family reunification…

Farmhouse residents had returned by Monday morning, and we had some very tired Ironwoodians on our hands. There was no FH school Monday so this was a great day to re-group and rest up. There was much cleaning and storing of items used over the weekend and the schoolhouse which catches the bulk of family activity got a nice deep clean.

The routine of good exercise, along with eating and work, remains a focus with the regimen of Frye Loop run, strength station circuits, and soccer being enjoyed this week. The resident’s schedules on both campuses is very busy, yet we do all we can to be certain that physical exercise and activity remains a vital part of their daily routines. And after an emotional weekend like Family Weekend there is nothing like some of the fresh September air to reset the internal engine back to work mode.

You all had an opportunity to see and enjoy the bounty of our beautiful gardens. The outdoor meal really was exquisite. What made this experience so very unique is that the planning and preparation of the event came from within our own staff’s strengths. Couple that with the cultivation, care and growth of the garden coming from staff and residents, well, made this a true family meal for all to enjoy on our beautiful campus. Our staff is amazing. And the residents worked so very hard all spring/summer to have the garden as bountiful as it is was for all of us to enjoy last weekend. Important to note that we will continue to harvest from the garden for the next 2 months to come! Hey, maybe we’ll have some fresh veggies for the next Family Weekend?

The FH residents are off to the Common Ground Country Fairgrounds in Unity this afternoon to assist in volunteer efforts of setting up for one of the most unique Organic, Country Living Fairs in the North Eastern United States. The Fair is actually next weekend and the 3 day event will see as many as 40,000 attendees enjoy the culture and history of organic farming and living here in Maine. In addition, our residents will attend the fair and go over the weekend after the fair to participate in the clean-up.

Well, much has happened since saying good-bye just 6 days ago, and much remains to be done before that incredible day of Ironwood Graduation…thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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September 8, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

Wow! The first day of Family Weekend is a tremendous whirlwind of activity and emotion. Launched by a family introductory meeting at the Farmhouse School, the day is then set in motion with reunifications, smiles, laughs and yes, tears. All of the emotions you could imagine after not seeing your child for 10 weeks. After that the families head off for a day of family therapies, experientials and some quiet time together

The Level III, and Level IV residents enjoy a much deserved and looked forward to trip off campus   beginning in the mid-afternoon. All Level III’s get to stay off campus on Saturday night. A Level III with their second family weekend get to stay off campus Sunday night as well. Level IV’s will enjoy a complete 3 night family weekend with a return on Monday. Level II residents, while enjoying a great day with family are not allowed off campus for the overnight.

This always leaves the question as to what happens to the Level I residents who’ve not yet been here long enough to enjoy a Family Weekend. Well, staff, usually led by Staff Alex, take great care of our Level I’s, aptly named “Team Orange” to correspond with their Level color, by planning a good mix of activities and work. Today saw them in school for the regular amount of time, followed by a Pizza lunch cooked on an open fire, then a hike with the Frye mini horses. After exercising the small equines, productive time and hikes up to the Totem pole take up much of their afternoon. Tomorrow will see another day of activities, some hiking, all will complete their “cooking over an open fire goal” with Hot Dogs and Grilled Onions on the menu….and some fun outstanding outdoor fun in the woods and field of our campus. Early fall is a great time for exploration and they will be seeing a lot of the area hiking, reading, and writing…never a dull moment.

Thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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September 1, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

Well, it’s here. September. Hard to believe that this wonderful summer is wrapping up. The weather this morning was very much a harbinger of things to come with early morning temps hanging in the low 40’s. Sweatshirts and even jackets are becoming the common attire as we bid farewell to t-shirt weather. The natural beauty of our campus is truly amazing and the changes that the season’s bring us makes it that much more spectacular. Migrating ducks are frequenting the Administration and Beaver Ponds and Canadian Geese can be heard and seen as they cruise the Atlantic Flyway on their trip south.

Farmhouse residents were treated to a trip to Portland to take in a Portland Sea Dogs Baseball game last Sunday. The Sea Dogs are a Double A Farm Team of the Boston Red Sox. The kids had a wonderful time but the opposing team was a farm team for the New York Mets, and many of our residents actually were rooting for them! They were reminded by staff that they were actually in “Red Sox Nation”, but their enthusiasm was not diminished. Hadlock Field, home of the Sea Dogs, is an incredible venue, and is featured as one of the nicer “small” ball parks in the league.

The gardens are taking on the late season look of fullness and plenty. We continue to harvest beans, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce mix and cabbage. Our Pumpkins are just starting to get that beautiful orange hue. Sunflowers and Dahlias and Tomatoes have begun to be harvested. The kids have really enjoyed the garden and while they may complain about the work, they are enjoying the bounty. A very regular question now is can we make more Kale Chips? And refrigerator pickles? Can’t wait for you to see and enjoy the garden when you arrive next week.

Koconut has settled in rather nicely and is receiving the best of care. The rules for her growth are very strict with FH residents taking turns being the leader with her and regimenting her routines. The care and training of such a pup is critical as her function in her adult life as a Seeing Eye Dog will require her to be very disciplined and attentive. Kokonut joined the “big dogs” in Canine Class this week. While she mostly observed the others the girls group did engage her and she actually did most of the obstacles. She very much enjoyed the tunnel! Her activity was limited as it is very important that Koconut not have a negative experience. Oh, and she has not gone potty in the house, not once! You’re going to enjoy meeting her.

We are breaking ground this week on an obstacle course to augment our physical fitness program. To be located in the woods down near the admin field a number of stations are being built to allow the kids a safe, and serene setting for some outdoor recreation. A typical week of physical activities sees the kids doing isometrics, running, and physical strength building. The emphasis is always on the “fun” part of staying fit rather than muscle building or competitiveness. Frye loop run is always a weekly adventure as well as some timed sprints in the indoor arena. Staff makes it fun and mixes it up with routines like the “break dancers” and “pouncing push-ups”. Lunges, jumps and a robust game of handball usually finds its way into the weekly routine.

Ethnic night was Authentic Chinese food. One of our residents, whose family is from China took the helm in the kitchen, and with support from staff prepared Meat Ball Soup with Broth and Noodles, Hot and Sweet Peas, along with Dumplings and what is described as an “Incredible Sauce” topped off the evenings fare.

A group of 6 girls, 4 from Frye and 2 from the Farmhouse returned from their Wilderness experience on Tuesday and they are still talking about it. It was a bit cool on the first night so staff radioed back to campus and a tote full of wool blankets was delivered for night number 2. Nestled in the NE corner of our campus is a tremendous wilderness camp site that was built and maintained by staff. There is much hiking that is done on the 3 day trip, but the experiences of cooking and caring for oneself and others in an outdoor setting is something that stays with them for the rest of their lives. Our staff is uniquely trained to make this the best of wilderness experiences. When not tending to camp the residents have sufficient time for reflective and contemplative writing and thought. There are a number of such weekends throughout the year and we’re having some discussion of a late fall/winter event.

Oh, and in the event that you forgot, Family Weekend is next weekend…you can feel the excitement among the kids. They can’t wait to see you. And we can’t too. Have a great week, a peaceful Labor Day, and we’ll see you soon. And, as always, thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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August 25, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

Not quite time to pull out the crying towels in bidding farewell to summer but we are one week away from Labor Day Weekend and the weather here is sure feeling like change is in the air! We had an arid 48 degrees upon wake up this morning with every aroma in our wilderness air emitting a very autumn type odor. Not that we are afraid of the changing weather, it’s just hard to let go the warmth of mid- summer. Sure, there will be many warm days ahead, but we’re turning the corner.

Not to be eclipsed by such obvious news of the weather, the Solar Eclipse was a big hit here on campus. With our expanse of sky and real estate the viewing was to our liking with the Frye kids gathering at the Totem Pole and the FH kids off the back porch of the Farmhouse. The preparation for the eclipse lasted 4 times as long as the eclipse itself! Staff at Frye gathered pizza boxes at the local Morrill General Store and fashioned them with peep holes for the sun to come through and display on the inside of the box where a white piece of paper was place to view the reflection of the eclipse. Viewing could then be achieved without looking at the sun.

In addition, the boxes were individually decorated with hand drawn art work, complete with moons, stars, spaceships and Martians! It was really fun to see. As the hour approached, 2:35PM, peak eclipse, the Frye residents were at the Totem Pole and ready for action. To place a little extra fun to the event Staff surprised the kids with “Rocket Dogs” as an ecliptical treat. A “Rocket Dog” is a new invention, unique to Ironwood. It is a Maine Red Natural Casing Hot Dog, wrapped in dough, and then baked in the oven! They were then capped with a triangular wedge of cheese (the head of the rocket), by a tooth pick holding the dog and cheese together. Oh my, it was all too much fun. Now, picture this? 21 kids, 5 staff, in an open field, in the middle of very rural mid-coast Maine, underneath a Totem Pole, eating Rocket Dogs, each with their heads peering into their personal pizza box viewing apparatus, watching a Solar Eclipse! If someone had just looked at the picture with no explanation…well…can you picture what I’m saying? I dare say it will be a day the kids will never forget!

Farmhouse had a very wonderful trip to Acadia National Park last weekend with a robust hike being enjoyed up Mount Champlain. After the hike in the August sun, a cool off in the Ocean at Sand Beach and small nearby wading pond was enjoyed. Atlantic Ocean temps off Acadia this time of year remain at approx. 53-55 degrees. So, our residents from the Carolina’s, Florida, and even Massachusetts, where ocean temps may be as high as 85 degrees were in for quite the surprise when they felt the chill of the water that Lobsters come from.

Ethnic Night was celebrating the country and culture of Jamaica this week. It turned to be a complicated meal but came out “unbelievable”. A good mix of “hot’ and sweeter foods were served. There was beef, onion, pepper mix stuffed into hand-made dough like wraps, looking like a Calzone. The dough was a corn meal, flour mix. These were served up with a complete smattering of vegetables, mostly peppers and onions. And with the flavor, presentation and amount of onions, there was not a “dry eye” in the house!
Canine training this week saw the appearance of Sobie. She is an aged member of the Ironwood Dog community and is enjoying semi-retirement but periodically arrives for abit of the training. And no, we do not bring her in to see if we can falsify the claim that we can’t “teach an old dog new tricks”! It is actually great to see the kids handle the older dog with great compassion and care as they walk her through the obstacle course routine. We are happy to announce that we will be receiving a new Canine on campus as we will be receiving a puppy from the Freedom Seeing Eye Dog group. Known for training seeing eye dogs for those in need, a puppy entering their program must spend the first year of its life becoming “socialized” around lots of people. What better place than here. So, “Koconut” a Lollie Breed (Half Labrador, Half Collie) will be joining us next week. We will of course have a complete new set of rules for handling and training this little gem of the canine world and needless to say, everyone is kind of excited about her coming.
Another wilderness weekend is coming this weekend with 4 Frye girls and 2 FH girls heading out to enjoy all of the wilderness that Mid-Coast Maine has to offer; right here on our own campus. I’ll give you an update next week about how it went…
Hey, did you realize Family Weekend is only two weeks away? The kids sure do! LOL
Have a great week, and thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

 

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August 18, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

Half way through August here in Mid-Coast Maine is a very serene time of year, with the reality of summer’s conclusion, while not experiencing the Labor Day holiday, and the expectation of the glorious autumn to come. Because we are surrounded by such natural beauty it is hard to not notice the change in our environment. Like spring, late summer and autumn provide us with a panorama of change on a weekly basis. As spring creeps in slowly to summer, we see our summer slowly fade weekly to autumn.

Garden activity is extremely brisk with harvests on Monday’s and Thursday’s. Buckets and crates of fresh veggies are brought to the Farmhouse kitchen to be washed, processed and distributed to both campuses. The Horticultural Director then reports to the staff who orders food how much has been harvested so they know how much fresh food to “not” order! Kids absolutely love it. This past Monday there was a moment of panic among the supper prep residents in the Farmhouse when they realized they had no potatoes to mash for the grilled chicken supper. Thinking they’d have to change menu, I noted, “Not to worry, grab some pails and a shovel”, and off to the garden, only to return 15 minutes later with 15 pounds of fresh dug potatoes! The pride, and conversation concerning the end product for supper that night was amazing. Frye garden continues to churn out much of the fresh spices being used on both campuses for daily use.

This week’s wilderness weekend was a great success. However, some re-adjustment had to be made when the group of merry hikers encountered a “ground” bee’s nest on day number 2 with most participants receiving at least one sting. Because staff was leading the hike, unfortunately he took the brunt of the angry insects and thankfully no one was allergic, so, outside of some momentary sting, no harm done. At the very least, it created quite a memory for the campers to remember for a long time to come. They stayed the 3 days and two nights and returned to campus on Tuesday morning. An outstanding experience had by all. For those of you who had children on the experience I’m certain you’ve heard what a great time they had.

Farmhouse residents got a water level view of Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay this past Sunday aboard the historic ocean Schooner Olad! The children actually had the chance to hoist the sails and steer the vessel. Prior to boarding the craft they enjoyed a picnic lunch at the Camden Harbor Park and on the ride back to IW, a stop for some local hand-made Ice Cream.

Oh, and yes, the frequency of Family Weekend conversations are beginning to really pick up. Wonder why….?

Have a great week and thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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August 11, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

The weather has been agreeable with some very refreshing and needed evening rain and thunderstorms. This is actually normal for this time of year and it’s been especially nice because many of these are occurring during the overnight. While the gardens receive the immediate benefit the ground soaks up all the moisture very quickly. The view of Frye Mountain sees a few of the trees taking on some different shades as they prepare for the autumn transition.

7 of our male residents will be packing up Sunday morning and headed out to our wilderness site for a 2 night 3 day wilderness experience. The Farmhouse boys know they are going, but the Frye boys are not told until Sunday morning. They actually don’t even know there is a wilderness weekend planned, so the surprise for them is really outstanding. What also is left to the unknown for them is that they don’t even know that the wilderness site is on campus. Staff takes them on a circuitous route, actually “bush-wacking” (not using a marked trail) off through the woods behind the administration building and after about a 2 mile hike end up at the wilderness site which is behind the Beaver Pond. If your child is one of the participants you’d have signed a waiver by now, and if you know your son is going and they are at Frye, please don’t tell them. After they arrive on site, they set up their campsites, dig their privy, gather firewood and settle in. Staff conducts experientials on all these activities. A robust evening meal is prepared and then some much needed rest before Monday’s adventures. An early wake-up, clean up camp and off for a 6+ mile hike around Frye Mountain. This is done on all marked trails so there’s no danger of getting lost. Monday night meal is the big one, after such a long day in the wilderness, the food tastes especially good. On Tuesday morning they pack up, clean up the site, and head back to campus where they unpack, clean the gear, put it in storage and then clean themselves up and join the group. It really is a once in a lifetime experience for these kids. We schedule them so that every resident has the opportunity to enjoy the adventure.

We hit a point last week where we actually didn’t have to order any vegetables from our food vendor as our gardens are producing enough vegetables for both campuses. That’s a lot of vegetables! With a resident population of 40, and with an average of 10 direct care staff and managers on the floor on any given day we are preparing 150 meals a day! When placed in perspective of the numbers of meals that are prepared here at IW it can seem quite staggering; 150 meals a day, 1050 meals per week and 31,500 meals per month. And the children play such a huge part in not just the gardens, but in the preparation of the meals. Both the Frye and Farmhouse campus has the children doing the preparation and cooking of the meals. We have residents leave here that had never, ever cooked a meal, and go home and cook full course dinners for their families. We’ve even had residents graduate that went on to culinary pursuits.

Canine class this week had the residents moving their four legged friends through an obstacle course. At times, the viewing of the Canine class can be comical, as the dogs are mostly staff dogs of varying ages and breeds, as the old saying “can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, is very apparent. What is most fun to watch is the kids trying to get the dogs to do certain tasks.

Our exercise coordinator is on vacation this week, but the show still went on. Frye loops, Farmhouse Hill, sprints at the mini barn, all continued on as scheduled.

Not to put it out there too early, but there are very distinct rumblings among the residents of both campuses that Family Weekend is only one month away. They miss you all soooo much…

Have yourselves a great week and thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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August 4, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

Here we are in the first week of August and the countryside is beginning to take on that late summer look with our fields going to a browner hue and the Administration Pond is showing signs of the heat with water levels literally receding by the day. The small spotted Whitetail Deer fawns that were frequently seen a month or so ago, have become less frequent visitors as the summer draws on. It’s not that they’re not here it’s that they’ve become a bit more savvy, and have learned from Mom that it isn’t the best practice to just saunter around unalarmed. It’s Blueberry time here in Maine and although we don’t have any Blueberry Bushes here on campus (although I believe we will by next spring) our food orders will definitely have some of these succulent little fruits for the residents to enjoy for snack and in Sunday Pancakes. Days are getting shorter, and some species of birds have packed up their young and have begun their journey’s south. As in all the Maine seasons, much like Ironwood there is a constant flow of change.

Gardens continue to dazzle the country side and the tables here at Ironwood. We’re very proud of our Horticultural program and while the residents may be getting a little tired of the work they do in the gardens they are definitely not tired of the table fare they’re enjoying each day.

The boating field trip last Sunday was a huge success. Staff reported a very rich and enjoyable experience as the residents rowed out and about of Belfast Harbor. They rowed Cornish Pilot gigs and got the complete history and tutorial of these little craft before heading out. The rigs were designed to race pilots out to cargo vessels coming into port in the Scilly Islands off of Cornwall. The pilots, being the locals who would navigate the vessels into port, due to their vast knowledge of the local waters. The gigs had to be fast, because the first gig that the pilot was in go to the vessel, got the job. So, armed with the history, off the residents went racing through Belfast Harbor. After the afternoon “rowing” Belfast City Park was visited for a bag lunch and some Basketball. Great day had by all.

We had no Ethnic Night this week as all the FH residents had cycled through and we had a graduation that prevented us from having Canine class this week.
All of the winter’s hay is in the barns and we have many loads of fertilizer to spread the fields with in hopes of one more cut of hay before the season is over. Hay is a constant fodder here as we feed the 7 horses that are part of our Equine programs.
Not quite the dog days of summer, but things do have a tendency to have ebbs and flows of activity. And things have been quiet lately although we have both campuses almost full right now. I was reminded of this flow this past Monday when we had a graduation ceremony for a resident at 12:30pm, and then had an intake arriving at Fyre at 3pm…life at Ironwood goes on.

Have a great weekend and thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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July 28, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

Where, oh where, has the time gone? Seems like just yesterday I was writing about ice out and snow melt and here we are on the last Friday of July. Weather has been spectacular here near the 45th Parallel. Cool nights, warm dry days; we’ve not experienced much humidity this summer. That usually arrives next month. We did have a very warm day that “required” staff at Frye to pull on the lawn sprinkler and hook it up for the kids to run through. It was really fun to watch these adolescents running through a lawn sprinkler like they were toddlers. And they very much appreciated the fun extra effort that staff exhibited.

Our gardens are simply awesome. Both campuses harvested Lettuce, Kale, Swiss Chard, Zucchini, Basil, Kitchen Herbs, and the first of the Cucumbers! Not only do the kids enjoy the bounty of the gardens but they are witnessing the economic impact of growing one’s own food. And, I can tell you, they really do love eating the fresh food that they themselves played a part in putting on the table. And, we continue to plant! We have Fall Lettuce and Kale Seedlings in the greenhouse and the Tomatoes are going strong. Two more rows of Lettuce Mix went in along with Winter Storage Carrots. Next week we begin harvesting Summer Carrots and Potatoes. Last year we went through over 900 pounds of potatoes alone on this little campus. Our goal is for 300-400 pounds of potatoes coming from our garden. We have 8 rows, 80 feet long of potatoes planted! Oh, and it’s been reported that we have a family of groundhogs enjoying the “salad bar” that is our garden!

Since the FH has begun a more consistent exercise regimen, and the excitement of the 5K run the residents are actually looking forward to their Frye Loop run. Staff is currently putting together a Frye Fitness Program with a couple of staff being the point people to assist in furthering a more regular program on that campus as well. This Sunday the FH kids are off to Frenchmen’s Bay (Belfast Harbor) for a “Come Boating” event. They will be rowing Cornish Pilot Gigs. In addition to the fresh air and great exercise there is a high probability of Seal sightings! Much to look forward to.

Viva La France was the Ethnic Night theme at the FH this week! Crepes, stuffed with Ricotta, Bacon and Spinach were served up. Along with this treat there were Baguettes with Swiss Cheese and Onion Dip, Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce, and Roasted Potatoes with Sage. There were no leftovers!

Again this week the Canine instruction was centered on the Retriever Training. Use of hand signals to give the dog direction was introduced along with the application of using signals in both field trial and hunting situations. It was challenging as we had some young dogs there, but it was a great opportunity to see how consistency, persistence and patience pay off with your Canine.

Well, another busy week moving into a busy weekend. Have a great weekend and thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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July 21, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

Well, it seems we’ve turned the corner into a bit of the late summer weather and have experienced a couple days with the daytime temps hitting high 80’s. Nothing in the 90’s yet, but when we compare what the weather is going to look like say in mid-January, well, we’ll take the heat. We’ve not had much rain this week but the lawns and forests still look very green. Grass is growing well in our acres of fields and we’re hopeful for a second cut of hay in the future

The gardens look great with some excellent yields coming off every day. We have installed a post sprinkler system that operates on a timer so the residents can take abit of a break from the daily watering chore. Garden tending times have been changed from afternoon to morning to escape the heat of the day. We harvested over 60 lbs. of Peas this past week with another 40-50 lbs. of salad greens. And we continue to plant into this week. And, yes, we planted pumpkins, so we’ll have some carving fodder come October!

Japan was the host country for Ethnic Night. Chicken Katsu, Crispy Edamame, and Yakasoba Stir Fry was served up. Dorayaki was enjoyed for dessert. The Ethnic Night has become the highpoint of the culinary week at the Farmhouse, very participatory and very tastefully done.

Canine class this week to a short field trip, by foot, to the Beaver Pond, where beginner Retriever training was accomplished. They started with some basic obedience and ended up with dogs in the water fetching tennis balls. It was a great event for the dogs as it was a very warm afternoon and the kids got to watch the dogs have a very “cool” time plying their retriever instincts.

Exercise enrichment took a bold new turn this week with the FH kids heading to the Belfast Celtic Festival and participated in the 5K Celtic Canter! Everyone had a blast and we had one of our female residents finish first in her age group! It was very well attended and our residents represented themselves, their families and Ironwood very well. I fully expect there to be a few more of these in the future. In the spirit of the Celtic Festival the residents had an exercise routine this week that was a 5 station circuit fashioned after the Highland Games. Also, they had a cheese stick race, to correspond to the Cheese Roll Event. Quite a sight. Frye Campus has had a Disk Golf Pole installed and it is getting a ton of use! I think there may be more coming in the future.

Been another busy week here on our beautiful summer campus. Have a great week and thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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