Dear Sun Spots: As the new year begins, there are many tremendous opportunities for compassionate people to make a difference as hospice volunteers for Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice.

Volunteers assist and support terminally ill patients and their families at home, in nursing homes, in other long-term care facilities, and at our new Hospice House on Stetson Road in Auburn.

This winter, a Hospice Volunteer Training Course is scheduled Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, beginning Jan. 24. The 27-hour course will meet at the agency’s office, 15 Strawberry Ave., Lewiston.

Classes cover the hospice philosophy, listening skills, family dynamics, spirituality at the end of life, grief and bereavement, the role of the volunteer, and additional topics.

Volunteers are matched with patients in or near their community. They visit patients and may stay with a patient for a few hours so that family members can get some time for themselves or meet other needs. In the Hospice House, they often sit with patients or family members, answer phones, greet visitors, and help with other needs. We ask for a commitment of two to four hours per week.

For more information, please contact Nancy Greene at 795-9581 or 1-800-482-7412. We would like to talk with prospective volunteers before the classes begin. Thanks very much. – Nancy Greene, volunteer coordinator, Auburn.

Dear Sun Spots: I copied the recipe for Weight Watchers vegetable soup you printed several months ago. I lost it. Could you please reprint it? Thanks. – No Name, No Town.

Answer: The following appeared in the Feb. 4, 2005, column:

Weight Watchers’ cabbage soup. Ingredients: 3 cups tomato juice; 1 cup water; ½ medium green pepper, chopped; 2½ cups cabbage, chopped; 2 ribs celery, chopped; 1 cup mushroom stems and pieces; 1 package each beef and chicken bouillon; 2 tablespoons onion flakes; 1 bay leaf; and salt and pepper to taste. Method: Combine all ingredients and cook until cabbage is tender.

Sun Spots: Good morning and thank you for your informative column. I have a cuckoo clock that needs repair. Do you or any of your readers know where I could bring it for repair? Thank you for your help. – No Name, No Town.

Answer: Contact:

Rohman Clockworks at 721 Lake St., Auburn, 784-1211.

Michael Lovejoy in South Paris at 743-8222.

Doug Parker 892-4205, 506 River Road, Windham, ME 04062.

Dear Sun Spots: I am an English teacher at the Franklin Alternative High School in Auburn. My class is currently working on a community service project using children’s literature in a literacy project. The students are interested building a library of children’s books that they might use in their volunteer work as reading mentors in the elementary schools. If any reader has children’s books that are no longer being used and would like to donate them to a very worthwhile project please contact Jon Morris at Franklin School, 23 High St., Auburn, phone 782-3242 or via e-mail at [email protected] We will pick up. Thank you. – Jon Morris, Auburn.

Dear Sun Spots: One of my favorite parts of the Sun Journal has been Leonard Pitts’ column. I have missed him for the past two weeks. I hope this is not a permanent situation. When can we expect his column to return? And, if that is not planned, what can we readers do about it?

As always, thank you for your very helpful column. – Lorraine Latour, Lewiston.

Answer: He’s back. You will likely have seen his column in Wednesday’s paper. Editorial Page Editor David Farmer says he, like other columnists, tends to take a break during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be posted at in the Advice section under Opinion on the left-hand corner of your computer screen. In addition, you can e-mail your inquiries to [email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.