Fryeburg Recreation sign-ups have begun for seventh- and eighth-grade softball, fourth- to sixth-grade softball, majors and minors and T-ball rookies.

Rick Buzzell is working on a discount price for batting helmets and fielding masks.

Due to COVID, the recreation department will require each child to have their own equipment. This will safeguard the kids while still being involved in their favorite sports.

The information regarding the price, etc. will be available on the rec. website in the near future. Programs will be free of charge this spring to help keep costs at a minimum.

Buzzell would like to start these programs indoors at some point in March so the season can be extended.

He asks that anyone interested in participating, to please get your sign-ups in to him as soon as possible, so that he can plan accordingly. Go to fryeburgrec.com. to find forms and to sign-up.

With the cold temperatures that we’ve been experiencing in the last few weeks, I want to remind everyone to keep your pets safe and warm.

Indoor pet tips:

• During severe weather, dogs should be let out only to relieve themselves. Cats should be kept indoors at all times.

• Remove ice, salt and caked mud from your pet’s paws and coat immediately.

• Before walks, put Vaseline or doggie shoes on your dogs’ paws to protect him/her from sidewalk salt and chemicals; wipe the Vaseline off when back inside.

• Make sure your pet’s bed is not on the floor in a cold or drafty area of your home.

• Indoor dogs typically receive less exercise during cold weather and therefore may require fewer calories. Feed smaller portions in order to avoid weight gain. Keep them busy with indoor brain games.

Outdoor pet tips:

• In severe weather, allow your pet to be in your house or garage.

• Outdoor pets typically need more food in cold weather because they must burn more calories to keep warm.

• Check for frostbite, especially on paws and ears.

• Make sure your pet’s water is never frozen.

• Keep an eye out for and clean up all antifreeze spills — one lick of the sweet-tasting fluid can be fatal to an animal.

• Cats have been known to climb onto vehicle engines for warmth. Knock on the hood of your car before starting the engine if you suspect your cat could be inside.

• Watch for signs of hypothermia — weak pulse, dilated pupils, decreased heart rate, extreme shivering, pale or blue mucous membranes, body temperature below 95 degrees, stupor and unconsciousness. Consequences of extreme hypothermia may include neurological problems including coma, heart problems and kidney failure.

While pets on your mind, consider making a donation to our very own Harvest Hills Animal Shelter. Shopping at Nine Lives Thrift Shop is another great way to show your support for the animals.

Located next door to the shelter, all of the proceeds from donated goods go directly to help feed the animals at the shelter.

Whether you are donating unwanted items or making a purchase, you are helping to support the homeless animals. You’ll find new merchandise daily. They are open on Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed on Sunday and Monday. The donation center is open on Wednesdays only from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A blood drive will take place at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church at 857 Main St. in Fryeburg, Maine, on Thursday, March 11, from noon to 5 p.m. To schedule an appointment, go to redcrossblood.org or call (800) RED-CROSS. There is a serious need at this time. If you are in good health, consider giving blood.

“February, a form

Pale-vestured, wildly fair,—

One of the North Wind’s daughters,

With icicles in her hair.”

— Edgar Fawcett, “The Masque of Months,” c.1878

Robin Johnson can be contacted at ravenstone54@hotmail.com.

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