Category Archives: Volume 3, 2015

Helping people find wellness and resolution through deep relaxation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor many people here in midcoast Maine, spending time on the water is definitely recreational, not only in the sense of being an enjoyable pastime, but also in the therapeutic sense of renewing one’s peace of mind. This latter meaning is one reason Martinsville resident Joanna Calderwood chose to use “Sailing Hope” in her professional email address.

“Our sailboat is Hope,” Calderwood explains. “She has been a home for us—my husband Bill and I even spent a sabbatical year on her. And I believe being on the water is a metaphor for the work I do as a hypnotherapist because it can be such a good way to relieve stress. I also like to think that I can bring hope to people through my therapeutic work.”

Calderwood began her work as a hypnotherapist in 2011, after retiring from a career in education during which she focused on literacy and special education, mostly at the high school level (she still subcontracts part time with RSU 13 to perform assessments and other services). The career change was something she had long been contemplating.

“I had worked with a hypnotherapist years back following a divorce. At the time I thought, ‘This is so helpful! It is just amazing how this can help clarify issues for people.’ So I thought if I ever found a really good training program I’d like to get training in this.”

The hypnotherapist had put her into a light level of trance that allowed her to get to “a deeper thought process,” Calderwood says.  The therapist had then used guided imagery to help Calderwood work through different issues she had brought to the session—family issues, goals, things that were obstacles to moving forward with her life.

“She was able to help me relax deeply so I could access my subconscious mind and do some work,” Calderwood explains. “What is really going on when you do that is that you are really talking to yourself, your deeper self where your memories lie, where your issues lie, where your earliest learnings lie and sometimes stay hidden because in all the chatter of the conscious mind—errands to run, bills to pay, deadlines to meet—we don’t bring those things up very often to look at them.”

Calderwood acknowledges that some people fear that hypnosis is a form a mind control or a way for a hypnotist to discover a person’s closely held secrets. But she says that is definitely not the case. “When someone is in hypnosis they are not unconscious, they are aware of everything that is going on,” she points out, adding, “I think hypnosis is meditation, a deeper level of meditation. When we do inductions to take a person into a trance, we are just providing a series of steps to help people who aren’t used to being that deeply relaxed. Once relaxed, your body is able to restore balance chemically, mentally and spiritually. It is actually a physiological shift in your autonomic nervous system.” That shift, she says, is basically from a “flight-or-fight” response to the world to a “feed-and-breed” response that is about nurturing the body’s immune system, its digestive system—all the systems that are negatively impacted by stress.

Calderwood’s clients come from all walks of life. “I’ve worked with students, with professional people, with fishermen, veterans, people in the arts, retired people, carpenters, landscapers, janitorial workers—there are just so many stresses people have, whether from work, home, family, finance, or health issues. We are all seeking calm and resolution.”

Working with veterans, in particular, is something close to Calderwood’s heart. “I love that work. I have a real strong empathy for veterans and their issues. My father was a surgeon on Iwo Jima and I believe he suffered with PTSD. And during the Vietnam War I saw so many soldiers who returned completely changed or damaged.”

In this part of Maine, Calderwood notes, “we are in an atmosphere where hypnosis is not foreign. A lot of people who come to me are already familiar with holistic healing practices. People in this area are a little more informed because of the wealth of resources here.”

A downside of Calderwood’s practice, which includes life coaching, she admits, is that health insurance does not cover the cost. However, she adds, three to six session is often enough. “Hypnotherapy doesn’t usually take very long because we are addressing more immediate issues that a person would like to resolve, from relationship issues and money issues to finding ways to manage and cope with chronic illness or pain. It is not a deep therapeutic process of going back and working through something from childhood.”

But the connection between hypnotherapy and psychotherapy is growing closer, Calderwood notes. “There is a psychologist in Camden who uses hypnosis and who is training mental health professionals all over the midcoast area to bring it into their practices to help people relax and access different parts of their mind and emotions that may be blocked and might take a lot longer to get to than with just ‘talk’ therapy.”

In the end, Calderwood reflects, the most important thing is to find ways to let your body slow down and rest so it can come into balance and thus allow your mind and emotions to come into balance. “I think meditation is one of the most therapeutic things you can do,” she states with conviction. Also doing yoga, tai chi—or even going sailing, she notes with a smile—“only add more benefit.”—JW

(To contact Calderwood at Coastal Maine Hypnotherapy call 590-8636 or email SailingHope@msn.com.)

PHOTO: Julie Wortman

Opportunities for visits and ‘shadowing’ are aimed at helping 8th grade students make an important choice

by Karizma Chickering

Karizma Chickering

Karizma Chickering

St. George Municipal School Unit is currently offering students a choice of five different high schools to attend.  The choices are: Camden, Medomak, Lincoln Academy, Oceanside and Watershed. This fall we have begun the important process of choosing the one that is the right fit for each of us.

Back in October, 8th graders visited the high schools to start deciding which they want to attend. They went to Lincoln and Medomak one day and another day they went to Camden and Oceanside.

The next step is for us to shadow high-schoolers at our chosen school. We will do that starting this month.  The teens will be heading to Camden Hills High School where they then will be paired up with a student who goes there and follow them throughout the day to see their daily routines and classes and to take tours. They will be checking out what classes there are like, the opportunities that exist for extra-curricular activities and generally get a feel for the school. Later in December the teens, accompanied by their parents, will be heading to Lincoln Academy for half the day. Lincoln will be providing a shuttle bus for transportation. The teens will also be shadowing there with other teens and tour guides.

Other shadowing opportunities will be available for Oceanside, Medomak and Watershed for the teens when time is available.

After we follow this process, we must complete our school choice forms and hand them in by January 31.

(Chickering is an 8th grade student at the St. George School.)

Kindergarten students find out who’s hibernating now?

mollyAMby Sophia Vigue and Allison Gill

All the leaves have fallen off the trees, and bears are crawling into their dens to hibernate until next spring. But when we interviewed the kindergarten, we found out that bears aren’t the only creatures that hibernate! They have been studying hibernation for a few weeks now, and have learned that frogs, bats, snakes, ladybugs, and more creatures hibernate, too. Both kindergartens from Ms. Albright’s and Ms. Woodworth’s classes have been hard at work creating projects that teach about hibernation. They made arts and crafts, read books, and colored their own small books about hibernation. The students (and teachers) of the St.George Kindergartens have been very excited about this unit and have had lots and lots of fun learning new things.

(Vigue and Gill are 6th grade students at the St. George School.)

St. George VANITZ

VANITZ 12-17-15 SMWho would like to be back on the slopes of Sugar Loaf this winter, if he could get some time away? (This is the 3rd of his vans with this plate.)
—Susan Bates

Who’s behind the wheel? Email  your answer! The first reader to respond correctly wins a free business-size ad in the print edition of The Dragon. Charlie Merrill identified Kathleen Fox’s plate WR PONY in the December 3 issue.

A theory on why fruiting plants did so well this year

IMG_7286 CsmThe apples this year have been amazing: abundant, large, disease free and delicious. I have eaten my fill and have plenty of drops to still pick up from the ground. Not only the apples. I had great pears. Lots of them. My young medlar tree had enough fruit for me to do something with them this year (I didn’t as I finally tasted one that I’d thought was ripe —blech! I know why it fell into obscurity). And the winterberry, hasn’t that been magnificent along the roadsides?

Last year there was no winterberry in evidence. The apples were okay, but not spectacular. So why this year? Here’s a theory: Experts say the weather in 2014 actually set the stage for this year’s crop. That was a wet year, and a great growing year. Because of a late frost, many blossoms were nipped and never bore fruit, so trees stored a lot of energy that would have otherwise gone into producing fruit. Then this past year winter seemed to hold on forever, so buds were slow to swell and plants were late blooming. And then, miracle of miracles, we did not have any additional frost. Consequently, almost all of those blossoms turned into fruit.

Another thing that helped this year’s lovely fruit crop along, I believe, is that after the over-abundance of moisture (i.e. snow) from last winter, this was a particularly dry summer, at least here along the coast. Even the heavy fogs that tend to drape us in June stayed away. That means that conditions were not good for the various fungal diseases that often plague fruiting trees. It was dry, not wet and humid (aside from a couple of uncomfortable hot, humid days in August that are best forgotten). I was even able to eat serviceberries growing in the wild. Often these small red fruits are bumpy and yucky-looking, so that I have not wanted to sample them. Not so this year. I have one tree that I stopped by regularly for a little sweet-tart snack.

Add to the mix a long warm autumn, and lovely large fruits are the result.

What does this mean for next year? I think it means that the summer of 2016 should be a rebuilding year for fruit trees. I imagine that they have used up their reserves and need a bit of a rest. So I am making a note to give some extra attention to my trees, with good compost out to the drip line and, if I am scrupulous, some additional fertilizer (FEDCO has nice organic fruit tree fertilizer). And if I am particularly attentive I will thin the fruit if we have another perfect blossom/freeze cycle in the spring so that trees will not over-produce a second year, further depleting their reserves.

So in 2016 we are not likely to see the same abundance of fruit. But the memory of 2015’s bumper crop should last for the next decade, at least!

—Anne Cox (Cox is co-owner of Hedgerow in Martinsville.)

PHOTO: Anne Cox

A banker with roots in the working waterfront who likes to keep things personal

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The summer following Jake Miller’s graduation from the University of Maine Farmington, he had a decision to make: either follow in his father’s footsteps and become a commercial lobsterman, or find a profession that promised a steady paycheck and benefits.

“My father, Dan Miller, got me started lobstering when I was about five years old. We would go out in a rowboat with him rowing me, my brother, who is a year younger than I, and my older sister. And the three of us would haul traps together, baiting and banding and doing everything. Then on my ninth birthday my father bought my first boat, which was a small wooden skiff with a 9.9 power outboard, and from that point on my brother and I would go out and haul our traps together. We did that for several years and then when I was 13 or 14 I got my own boat and my brother got his own boat and he started hauling his traps and I started hauling mine. I did that all the way through college.”

The pull to continue lobstering after college, Miller says, was strong. “Lobstering is a big family tradition, at least for the Millers in this area. My father and his three brothers own the wharf at The Cod End [in Tenants Harbor] and they are all commercial lobstermen, my brother Jed is a commercial lobsterman, and my cousin Josh is a commercial lobsterman.”

But finally, after spending the summer working at The Cod End, Miller, who was engaged to be married, decided the uncertainties that go with lobstering were not for him and instead took a job at MBNA. “At that time I needed to focus on a sure thing,” he admits. “And the sure thing was benefits, a steady paycheck and not having to put up a lot of capital to get started. And not long after that my wife and I found out we were expecting our first son, so knowing that he was coming we needed some security and the job that I had was all of those things.”

Seventeen years later, Miller, who currently lives with his wife and four sons on Simon’s Road off the Dennison Road, is now the manager of the Park Street branch of The First in Rockland. [MBNA was eventually acquired by Bank of America and then Bank of America was acquired by The First.] His primary focus is on business development. “That involves being out in the community, meeting with people, and understanding what their banking needs are,” he explains. “What is a little different about my approach is that I am very willing to go to them instead of making them come to me. I reach out to people to ask them how we can help with their banking needs—and sometimes that may not be a loan or a bank account but it might be helping out with a community event, either as a volunteer or a sponsor.”

One key way Miller reaches out to people, he says, is by being involved with business alliances and chambers of commerce and organizations like Rockland Main Street, Inc. Recently, he added the St. George Business Alliance (SGBA) to his portfolio of affiliations. “It is fantastic that the SGBA now has over a hundred members,” he says. “I’m very interested in finding out how I can help out, and how the bank can help out. Being from here, I feel very connected to the St. George community. I’m very familiar with a lot of industry that happens down here and the fact that we have a lot of sole proprietorships down here. Also, having grown up working at The Cod End, I understand the seasonality of businesses down here.”

More than anything, Miller’s philosophy as a banker is to keep things personal. “If you understand a business firsthand you can speak to why somebody might be wanting to make a request. We do individual credit decision making, so if I am the loan officer I am making the decision on the loan. And then once the loan is booked I still remain the customer’s loan officer—so they call me, not an 800 number. We live in an area where people like that personal attention. And even if someone believes they might be denied a loan, I tell them it is best to at least have a conversation because in that conversation we might identify better avenues to solve a problem or at least we can make a plan.”

Being a banker rather than a commercial lobsterman, Miller may seem the odd man out among the local Miller clan, but he’s still contributing to the family’s reputation as a lobstering family. His oldest son, Silas, a sophomore at Oceanside East, is a student in the school’s new Fishermen’s Academy. “Silas has been hauling his own traps since the age of eight and seems clearly headed toward becoming a commercial lobsterman,” Miller says. “This new program is designed to help students who are geared toward becoming commercial lobstermen. They learn very practical skills that they will need, like navigation, the science of lobstering and the business component.” Miller also notes that sons Sam (age 13) and Zeke (age 11) are also interested in becoming lobstermen.

“My kids are my biggest pride in life,” Miller says with satisfaction. He also points to another source of pride. “I’m proud that I’m from this area and that I understand the area—I like to be involved and I want to figure out how to help people here.” —­JW

PHOTO: Julie Wortman

DRAGON EATS: Sugarplums

Sugarplums can be customized to suit. Use any combination of dried fruits to equal 12 ounces—including cherries, raisins, dates, cranberries and blueberries. Use the spices you like best. Try adding finely ground black pepper for a little more zip!

6 oz slivered almonds, toasted
4 oz dried plums (prunes)
4 oz dried apricots
4 oz dried figs
1/4 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for rolling
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground fennel seed
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 T honey

Briefly whirl the almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then add the dried fruit and pulse until finely chopped but not so long that the mixture forms a ball.

In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, orange zest, spices and salt. Add the fruit mixture and honey and mix well. Pinch off teaspoon-sized pieces and roll into balls. Roll in powdered sugar and arrange on cooling racks to dry overnight. They improve with “ripening”.

These will keep in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper for up to a month. Because the powdered sugar tends to be absorbed, you may want to re-roll in sugar before serving.

Why I grow vegetables

Onion and shallot braids

Onion and shallot braids

I like growing annual vegetables. I love participating in the miracle of tiny seeds turning into fruiting plants and the wonder as buried tubers sprout and eventually multiply into baskets of potatoes. I like the way a vegetable garden looks, full of different textures and shades of green. I like the process of making rich compost from the stalks and leaves left after the harvest.

But here’s what I really love and why, I truly think, I garden: I like eating the produce. I love the taste of fresh vegetables right from the garden. With the mild autumn we have had this year, we are still picking from the garden: Brussels sprouts, bok choi, spinach (at least what the deer didn’t eat to a nub), kale and chard.

But now that the weather is cooling I am spending more time in the kitchen than in the garden. The gardens, thankfully, are finally put to bed and the soil is resting for the winter. The other day I was making chili, and I realized that I knew first-hand the provenance of all of the ingredients, save for a few of the spices I used. From our garden I used Vermont cranberry beans that I had dried, red onions, frozen tomatoes, frozen green peppers, dried hot peppers, coriander and baby ginger. The beef I added friends had raised on their farm in Freedom. The salt came from the Maine Sea Salt Company in Marshfield. It’s true, the cumin and one of my favorite chili spice blends did come from away, from Penzey’s Spices in Wisconsin. Last year I made my own spicy herb blend, and I think I can grow cumin at least in the green house, so maybe I will take on drying chili spices next year.

I am so focused on gardening tasks during the growing season that I don’t have much time for preserving and setting aside the harvest for the winter. Many folks are far better at canning, freezing, pickling, fermenting, and drying than I am. I always plan to do better, to use the crock I have for sauerkraut, to can tomatoes and pickles, and some years I have managed to do that. But even when we barely manage to put anything up, we have bounty from the earth stored up for winter. Onion and shallot braids hang in the kitchen and in the pantry; potatoes, celeriac, carrots, turnips are in the cellar (some day maybe we will have a proper root cellar); tomatoes, peppers, beans, broccoli, peas and even kale are in the freezer; dried beans are colorful in jars in the pantry; dried dill, coriander and tarragon are in the spice rack; roasted red peppers are in olive oil in the refrigerator and we have jars of baby ginger preserved in vodka. All of this is chemical-free produce we grew right here.

So there you have it. I love vegetable gardening because I like to eat—and eat well.

—Anne Cox (Cox is co-owner of Hedgerow in Martinsville.)
PHOTO: Anne Cox