Thursday, December 30, 2010

Twilight's glory filled with twinkling lights

Now that I am working 2nd shift, and since I am not a late night person, I really love and appreciate my nights off. I have tonight off! Hence my excitement!!

A trek to the library and a new book brightened this evening even more!

Next was a trip to the grocery store, and while I was looking into all the surly shoppers' eyes, I was beaming! I have the night off! I am happy to stand in line at 5pm on a Thursday night!

Stepping out into the parking lot, the sky was dusky and gorgeous...that blue at the top,  purple in the middle, and red/orange/yellow at the horizon kind of sky... The lights of town were twinkling, as well as the holiday lights in the park. The ducks were flying over the river, trying to decide if they should touch down or not. The piles of snow and their melty trails were starting to freeze up as Mr. Sunshine was headed to bed for the night.

GORGEOUS! And I got to see it and feel the crispy air on my face!

It is amazing that by not having something as simple as seeing the sunsets and your town at dusk let you appreciate it all the more when you do get to see it. Enjoy everything that is good!

I am a Putnamaniac because the simple things make it so enjoyable to me!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

THIS is why I am a Putnamaniac! Good Samaritans exist!

The past few days have been busy - Christmas (was awesome!), then with all this snow and wind I haven't gotten out much except to go to work and back. While driving, I was concentrating on not crashing, so I didn't stop to "smell the roses" and appreciate my Putnam like I enjoy doing.

 I just read a post on a friend's facebook, which emphasizes why I am a Putnamaniac:

"Jane Doe" got stuck in a snowbank last night in Pomfret and a carfull of good Samaritans pulled her out! They left before we could get their names. Who were those good deed doers??? Thank you!!!"

That is how it is here in the Quiet Corner. You see and hear about things like this all the time. 

I am a Putnamaniac because we are surrounded by good Samaritans!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Conspiracy of friends and neighbors...spread it like a virus!

It is Christmas Eve. I love the anticipation of everything. In face, I could have eves and anticipation forever.

I just stopped on my way home from work and took this shot of this great phrase at WINY radio's broadcast house. Read it. Think about it.

As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I have great neighbors, which is a part of what makes me a Putnamaniac.

My next door neighbors (an elderly mom and her daughter) are so thoughtful. In fact called me last night to invite me to their home for a gathering of friends who would be caroling together. This proves they are great neighbors, and our condo builder was top-notch. If they'd heard me singing through the walls, they would not have invited me to carol!

Other neighbors are as awesome. They wave to me when I am jogging. They make sure I got home from volunteering at the ReStore safely. They post wonderful messages on their business marquees. They engage in the conspiracy of love.

I am a Putnamaniac because we conspire to do wonderful things!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I saw HIM making a practice run last night! Honest!

Working 2nd shift has very few advantages for someone who'd rather get up, get moving, and enjoy the evenings off... however I am adjusting.

Last night I had a big payoff while getting out of work at 1am... the flakes were flying, it was quiet and peaceful..  except for that jingling sound somewhere in the distance... it kept ringing in and out of my ears. Could it be??? Nah... Maybe I had the Christmas music up too loud, or water in my ear, or something.

As I drove home enjoying my cozy town of Putnam, I thought of Christmas and how people get so flustered and carried away by it all. You see the frenzied look of shoppers trying to buy something, anything, and for what goal? Shouldn't Christmas' gifts be for the innocent children? People put a lot of pressure on themselves emotionally and financially to live up to some crazy expectations. Truly try to enjoy the spirit of Christmas every day. If you see a gift that someone will enjoy in July, buy it then and give it to them! If you notice a fun event to do in September, invite someone who will enjoy it, and do it then! Spreading the cheer out all year long is easy and fun to do!

Otherwise certainly make Christmas an enjoyable day, filled with anticipation of giving and receiving hugs and kind words. Then make those anticipated moments come true. Hug away, and tell those you see that you love them.

Now, back to last night... The jingling I heard got louder and seemed closer as I approached the Little River. As I drove over the bridge, I glanced up, still thinking about Christmas hugs. And what did my wondering 4 eyes appear amongst the floating snowflakes, but a flying sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer.
With jolly old Saint Nick urging them on, he waved down to me, and continued on his practice flight!

WOW! "IT" is almost here, so enjoy it for what it should be. Good times together with those you love. Keep that spirit up every day!

I am a Putnamaniac because Santa does his practice flights in my neighborhood!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Charities (not really 1 of the 12 pains of Christmas)

You know that funny Christmas song, "The 12 pains of Christmas"??? Charities are the 7th pain. Listen - you will hear it in there amongst the hangovers, rigging up the lights, etc.! 

Through a friend, I have met a lovely elderly woman, Sister Alice, who dedicated her entire life to others. 
As I am not traditionally religious (I do not belong to or go to a church, nor do I pray in the usual fashion), I do believe that you should be a good person, be responsible for yourself, treat others as you'd like to be treated, live as an example to others, and lead a life filled with actions that you are proud of.

So while I was cleaning Sister Alice's apartment the other day, and having very interesting conversations with her as usual, I got to thinking about charities. Sweet Alice gave me a calendar that she had received from some distant charity that she had always donated to. This is a woman who has had little to no income her entire life, yet she gladly donated the little bit she had. Materialistic things don't mean that much to her. She sees a bigger picture.

I worry about the elderly (and all people for that matter) being scammed or taken advantage of by groups looking for donations. The best solution is to donate locally.

It is all too easy to see that people locally need  help. It is good practice to donate something of yourself locally as often as possible. Food banks are everywhere. Find one and donate once a month. Diaper banks are the newest thing. If you have looked at the price of diapers, you wonder how young, struggling families can afford it all. (And yes, I do consider that people should plan accordingly, but sometimes stuff happens and they can just get into a bind). Be willing to help out a little bit, often. Many places need time donated, so if you can, donate some of your time, too.

Putnam's local radio station, WINY, is a great source to us here in the Quiet Corner. They hold events at their broadcast house all the time, do promos on air, and post on their website. It is easy to give a little at a time. We have a very generous area, and all walks of life & income levels chip in.

So, I have learned from Alice that although she is not monetarily wealthy, she is as rich as it comes, in goodness and life experiences. Make yourself a richer person, and be good to your community.

I am a Putnamaniac because the local charities are NOT a pain at Christmas or throughout the year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Boot Scootin'....oops, I mean Boot Skating!

That nice little impromptu pond under the swings at the playground I wrote about the other day (12/13/10), is now frozen into a tiny little skating rink (still partially under the swing set). 

The ducks who'd been swimming there previously were lucky enough to get out of there before their DA's were frozen in place. (For you who don't know what a DA is, it was a popular boys' haircut of the 50's and 60's.... it was named because it resembled a part of a Duck's anatomy. The D was for Duck, the A was not for anatomy, nor arm... ask someone older about this phenomenon. They can fill you in on what the A was for).

Since the ducks abandoned this now frozen rink, today it was occupied by a young family. A mom, little toddler girl, and  boy of about 8 years old or so were boot skating in the glowing sun on this cold afternoon.

They went to the playground of course, to use the swings, but since they were iced in, they made the best of it and were boot skating like crazy together. Laughing, falling, sliding, hooting together in the fresh air!

Have you boot skated since you were a kid? It is a lot easier than actual ice skating since you usually have on boots (or shoes of some sorts) where these little rinks appear. Have fun and boot skate! Just be careful you don't fall and break your noggin' or something else. (Pre-wrapping yourself in bubble wrap to avoid injury is also advised)!

I am a Putnamaniac because you can see families boot skating at the playground!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Frosty Falls!

You might remember Frostbite Falls from childhood if you are old enough. That is where cartoon characters Bullwinkle and Rocky lived!

Today in Putnam, and actually lots of days in the wintertime, we have quite Frosty Falls. These falls are enjoyable year round. People are always stopping by for a view on their walks. It is very tranquilizing and hypnotic.

Enjoy this short video of our Frosty Cargill Falls:
...and a nice still shot, too:
I am a Putnamaniac because I love the mesmerizing, hypnotic Frozen Falls!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Name Game - Give me a P-U-T-N-A-M

Remember the game when you were a little kid where you had to choose an adjective for each letter to spell out something, like your name.

Remember the song; "M- is for the many things she gave me, O-is for the other things she gave me, etc - (or something like that) to spell out MOTHER. Same idea and thought process.

Today in my insane quest to keep fit, I bundled up with a gazillion layers of clothes, and I amused myself with this game in order to take my mind off the brrrrry run.  I thought of all the adjectives that spell out Putnam to me:

P - is for the plentiful positive entertainment, dining, shopping, community functions that Putnam offers.
U- is for the uniqueness of Putnam. Very small, yet clean & positive. Great variety, blending past & present.
T - is for the tremendous transformation Putnam has gone through over the last couple of decades.
N - is for the nature that surrounds us in our rivers, farms, trails, fairgrounds, woods.
A - is for the amazing audio delights we hear. Trains, church bells, water falls, WINY radio, brooks, birds.
M - is for the magical sights everywhere. People, landscapes, nature, decorations & lights.

Put them all together and they spell just the tip of the iceberg for my joy of being a Putnamaniac!

I am a Putnamaniac because even spelling and adjectives can be fun here! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Who says ducks can't have fun at the playground?

Lots of weather the last few days.
Mother Nature keeps us guessing for sure.

Everyone has seen or at least heard of all the snow across the country, and that dramatic stadium roof collapse in MN. (Rumors are that Brett Favre set the whole thing up. He figured a roof collapse was better than having to throw another game full of interceptions)!

Here in the Quiet Corner, it was about 4 degrees and windy as heck the other day. Yesterday the skies opened and the rains pummeled us! Today is was low 50's and warm enough to go jogging in shorts. 

The local ball fields and playground near my house are flooded as often happens after lots of rain. There is clearly has a "No Dogs Allowed" sign, but there is not a "No Ducks Allowed" sign. The ducks took that as a big welcome and were happily swimming under the teeter totters and swing set! How cute to see them splashing and quacking. Even though it was far too wet for the kids to enjoy, the ducks were happy to fill in for them.

Nature makes the best of things and so should we. That old saying "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" fits well here. Perhaps the ducks would update it to say "When life gives you rain, swim at playground ponds".

I am a Putnamaniac because the ducks make the best of things, and so do we!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pets produce plenty of pleasantness in Putnam and all over!

My neighbor from across the street just introduced me to a one year old perky Maltese named Benji. This neighbor, an elementary school principal in town, is dog sitting until March. The two were getting ready to go shopping. She hates to leave him alone all week while she works, so she likes to spend time with him on the weekend. She is clearly going to have a hard time giving this pooch back to his owner in March...

Our family has only pets. I have 3 dog nieces and a small flock of step-chickens. Their parents love them very much, and therefore, so do I.

Many of my friends have dogs, too. Big ones, little ones, stinky ones, drooly ones, nice ones, chippy ones. These friends all love their babies. Cats, turtles, fish are also included in the many menageries. 

A gal I used to work with runs a doggie day care and grooming place here in Putnam. It started all from the love she had for her own pets and then she want to share it with others. It is Quiet Corner Grooming and Doggie Daycare. Check it out if you'd like an exceptional experience. Wendy & Brett are awesome!

So, although I do not have pets myself, I understand the love people have for their pets. I saw it loud and clear on my neighbor's face this morning. I have seen that look many times. Thank goodness a little furry, wet nosed creature can bring such joy to people.

I am a Putnamaniac because I see little pooches bring joy to a babysitting neighbor!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Go see a Christmas play at The Bradley Playhouse! No humbugs here!

Treat yourself to a present this season. Go see a Christmas play or a concert locally, on a small stage, where you can see the expressions and the glow in the eyes of the entertainers. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the local talent that surrounds you!

Here in Putnam, we have the Bradley Playhouse. I treat myself to a season's ticket each year. It is inexpensive and the best, most enjoyable form of entertainment that I can think of the spend my $$$ on!

Tonight I saw the Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol. It is one of those stories that I've read a gazillion times and have seen a gazillion versions of; movies, plays, cartoons and any other production form you can think of.

And STILL, the Bradley manages to leave me thrilled and amazed. Local people - local kids - putting on a fantastic production! A friend's two children (Kody and Lexi Brunet), performed wonderfully tonight!

As the pleased crowd left the theater, snowflakes were flying, and the lights of the town sparkled. There is no wonder I am a Putnamaniac. This is my beautiful town and life!

If you are not in or near Putnam, find something near you and go! Even if you don't think it will be your cup of tea, open your mind and just go. I think you will be pleasantly surprised and entertained!

Honor Christmas in your heart, and try to keep it all the year.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the Bradley Playhouse which "continues to show me things, since I am not past all hope"... to steal a few of Chuck Dickens' words...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Howard Edwards Home Improvements-Robust Roofers...and more!

Another windelicious and frostastic day here in the Quiet Corner.

Today on my jog, I passed these guys up doing a roof. They were working at a good clip, and laughing and enjoying themselves in the process. I thought, who are these guys? Up on a roof and enjoying their work in this weather. Freezing, windy, and they were in the shade. Commendable to say the least.  In a world where jobs are scarce, it is good to see hard workers, doing not so easy jobs. 

So, since I could not make out the name on their truck as I jogged by with my eyes so blurry with wind tears, once I got back home I hopped in my car and did a drive by. I stopped and took a few pictures, and told them I wondered who these brave/crazy guys were up on that roof. They modestly said "Its not so bad out here."

If you need help in the Quiet Corner, call these guys! Howard Edwards Home Improvements. See how they can help you. 860-928-4043 or 860-928-9383.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to hard working people like Howard Edwards Home Improvements!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blustery beauty!

A gusty wind feels soooooo good in the summer, providing relief from the hot and humid New England.

That same wind feels soooooo evil in the winter!

However, as I was inspired by the old couple out for a walk yesterday, the jogging shoes went on today, and I hit the road.

With my nice big nose acting as a wind cutter (my own personal cow catcher if you will), and my pony tail out straight behind me, I marveled at the blustery beauty of the day.

Flags were out straight at attention, pledging allegiance to the USA or to Santa Claus.

Chimes were tink-tinkling and ching-chang-chingling in the breeze.

Chickadees were chickadeeing like they just discovered their voices for the first time.

I am so lucky to live in a place where you can put on your shoes, open your door, jog safely in any direction, and see nothing but heaven on earth. (Even with the occasional elderly driver sporting the really dark sunglasses, and coming dangerously close to you)!

Get out in all seasons. It really makes you feel good and positive about life.

When my mom had her knees and then hip replaced, her therapist advised her that one of the best things she could do is to get out and walk her dog 3 times a day. My mother replied that she had no dog. He said it didn't matter, it was the walking that mattered. What a wise man! Plus, when you come back inside this time of year, it sure feels toasty even if your heat is set at 61 degrees!

I am a Putnamaniac because I can safely enjoy a jog almost anytime!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hearty old folks aren't afraid of a few flakes!

Wind blasting. Flakes flying. Clouds cover a bright sun, then uncover it just as quickly.

Welcome to a New England winter day, and it is not officially winter by the calendar yet. That is how it goes, as we all know. 20 degrees one day, and 60 the next day! You can count on not counting on the weather. That is ok by me! It makes the winter a lot nicer when you get those toasty surprises thrown in once in a while!

This morning a hearty old couple was out walking the River Walk, bundled up and hustling along. A little wind and a few snow flakes did not discourage nor stop them. Wonderful! It makes me smile inside and out to see them brave the elements to enjoy a walk together.

Putnam is certainly filled with its share of hearty folks of all ages, (although I must confess I took the day off from jogging today...I will step back out tomorrow, no matter the weather).

I am a Putnamaniac who enjoys the old folks who aren't afraid of a few flakes, and hope to continue to be one myself!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Habitat ReStore-great bargains support a great cause!

I took time starting this summer and began to volunteer some of my time. In the past I had no time, so donated money. Times have changed, and since now I have some time and have no spare money, this works out great!

The Habitat ReStore was suggested to me by the Habitat Northeastern CT's secretary and a fellow realtor, Pegi. It is in Putnam and only a mile from my home, located at 171 Providence Street. Right across from Turtles Taco Shop. Convenient! Ideal! Most Sundays you will find me there with my new pal and fellow volunteer, Tony.

Little did I know the pleasant surprise that awaited me. I hope more and more people learn of this special place as time goes on. It is  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. I used to think it was for builders or contractors only. Not so! Everyone is welcomed to shop (and donate). You will find doors, windows, appliances (there is a 3 year old pristine stainless refrigerator in there now for $300), furniture (today a wicker set-couch & love seat sold for $100), tools, cabinets, sinks, lights galore! It is a great place to wander through and discover a treasure for yourself. Today I bought 2 tables (which will be perfect to put some of my house plants) for just $15. They just need a little TLC and paint!

Proceeds from sales assist in a future build and getting someone into a home of their own.

Please come and visit (and tell all your friends) the Putnam Habitat ReStore, or one near you!

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the Habitat ReStore in town! I love volunteering there!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Renegade Garden settles in for a winters nap...

I am not only a Putnamaniac, but a Renegade Gardener...

With the nickname my brother and sister gave to me, "Digger", you know there is gardening in my soul.

I was in the garden with my Poppa since the time I was in diapers. Poppa returned me to my mother, time after time, soaking wet and covered with dirt. I cried my eyes out, even before I could talk, if Poppa went back out to the earth without me. Mom gave in and let him take me back to the dirt every time. Thank goodness. I loved my Poppa and digging in the dirt.

The "tree farm family" was part of my life for 25 years, and even though I am not there this season, it is still a part of me!

Sam, the elderly neighbor I had at the first house I owned, used to drive by at 6am on his way to get coffee every morning to see what I was digging up or planting before I went to work. He used to joke that I couldn't make up my mind. Alas, that is what gardening is. Things grow, you move them! You find other new things that you just MUST have!

So now I am in a condo, with distinct and strict rules about personal displays, such as gardens. A wonderful loophole was discovered/invented (by me) in my "backyard". Where the tiny yard ends, a steep slope goes down to the river. It was nothing but weeds and rocks. LOTS of rocks - I mean this is New England.

So, I went to work, and the Renegade Garden was born. My next door neighbors love it, too, as they can view it from their porch as well. They have even contributed to the mayhem and donated a butterfly bush via a gift certificate from Sprucedale Gardens.

Now, the Renegade Gardens slumbers, like all our New England gardens. I miss it already and can't wait till next spring. A million new ideas are planted in my imagination. Long live the Renegade Garden!

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the wonderful gardens, including my Renegade Garden!

Friday, December 3, 2010

UConn Husky Women's Basketball - catch the fever!

'Tis the season... folks are putting up wreaths, Christmas trees, shopping and planning.

'Tis also college basketball season!

I'm not sure why the frenzy exists in Northeastern CT for the UConn Husky Women's team, but it does, and I joined the followers years ago.

Fans are very loyal, many planning around the team's schedule. Babies, toddlers, teenagers, young adults, middle aged, older folks, men and women alike follow Geno's team with a fevered passion!

Could it be that they have excelled so much over the years that it is easy to follow and cheer them on? Perhaps.
Could it be that most of their games are shown on CT Public Television making it very easy to follow them? Perhaps.
Could it be that when each new season starts, we hang with anticipation to see how good this year's team will be, after the graduation of so many stars from last year? Perhaps.
Could it be that getting to know the players and having something fun to watch gets us through the long, cold, dark winters? Perhaps.

Perhaps it is a little of all of these things. Whatever it is, UConn fever is here to stay. Flags, license plate holders, bumper stickers, t-shirts all advertise our team!


I am a Putnamaniac because we support a great & entertaining women's college basketball team!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turtles Taco Shop is DEEEELICIOUS!

Turtles Taco Shop is one of the newer food establishments in Putnam, making us Putnamaniacs that love to eat, happier than ever!

Located on Providence Street, right across from the Habitat ReStore, it is convenient (and only 1 mile away from my condo)! It is my belief that this section of town is the next up and coming section of town. Keep your eyes on this area.

Turtles Taco Shop is not at all a fast food taco place, but an authentic South California style taco shop.

The servings are HUGE, delicious, and very reasonably priced.

You'll find lots of veggie offerings. Since many folks (me included) do prefer beans and/or veggie selections when offered, that is a huge bonus!

Check out Turtle's Taco website, which includes their menu, all contact info, their hours. You can take out or eat in - plus they deliver, with a few limitations. They have picnic tables out front for the pleasures of the warmer seasons.

Wanna go? I'll meet you there! I already know I will be getting a humongous bean burrito!

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to yummy places like Turtles Taco Shop!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Christmas Carol opens Friday at the Bradley!

That's right - A Christmas Carol opens Friday at the Bradley Playhouse!

I can't wait! Two of my most favoritest things in the world - and yes, I did say favoritist!
Christmas and its ageless tale at the Bradley!

On top of my usual excitement for a trip to the Bradley, especially during the holiday season, this production features one of my friends two children. How cool is that? Talent is everywhere, in all ages in the Quiet Corner.

If you have never been to the Bradley, I strongly urge you to go. Driving by their small entrance you would never expect such intense and wonderful entertainment or the talent that explodes within! You will leave with your eyes as big as saucers and with your mouth hanging open in amazement.

Season tickets are a great idea, too. As a gift to yourself (which I so selfishly get myself each year) or to that hard to buy for person. The prices are so reasonable that you will want to pay more on your way out the door! You will not be disappointed any way you slice it.

I'm going to see A Christmas Carol on Friday, December 10th. Feel free to join me!

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to my season ticket to the Bradley Theater and great local talent!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Squeals at recess and ladies in Santa hats!

Jogging in winter is not my favorite thing. Hot & humid New England summers are preferred, when the winds seem a relief and not a bitter sting.

However, I still go out as much as I can during the chilly and cold weather for a few reasons. It is always better to move than to be idle, and I swear the brisk air that flows through my lungs keeps me healthy.

Another great reason to go out as much as possible is that this Putnamaniac knows she will be delighted in some sight, sound or smell.

Today was no exception!

Passing Putnam Elementary School (where one of my fine neighbors is principal), I heard squeals of delight from the kids enjoying recess. Remember recess??? I mean, come on, recess and lunch were the highlights of elementary school days! Nowadays "breaks" at work must suffice, yet they are not nearly as fun as running around playing tag, hop scotch, dodge ball.

After smiling at those sounds, I rounded the corner and ran smack into a walker I see often - wearing a bright red Santa hat. In general she barely offers a smile in passing, yet the wearing of this hat shows me there is more to her than meets the eye! Thank goodness for such a nice statement of personality.

So, words of advice from a Putnamaniac: Do something outside in your neighborhood or town as often as you can. It is great exercise and you will see something new to appreciate every day!

I am a Putnamaniac because I hear squeals at recess time and see walkers wearing Santa hats!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Dazzle really razzle dazzled!

Last night was the 9th annual Holiday Dazzle Light Parade held here in Putnam.

Pretty simple and fun idea. People, cars, floats, businesses, families, bikes, even cows, all decorate and light themselves up. Then they parade through town! Everyone gets hyped up! They estimated 15,000 - 20,000 people attended. Putnamania is truly catching. It is like a big, happy, positive magnet here and all good hearts and spirits are attracted by the wonderful times to be had. Promotion of community gatherings and fun are par for the course, but not taken for granted. Accentuate the positive is our unspoken but always acted upon agreement.
Oddly it was the 9th parade I had to miss due to work. I look forward to seeing it every year, but it has not worked out...yet.

Driving home after work at 1:15am, I looked up at the shining half moon and all the stars in the sky, as well as the few twinkling Christmas lights still lit in windows. I pictured the Holiday Dazzle Light Parade in my mind. It was fantastic!

So once again, I started vowing today that NEXT year I will be there!

Here is a short article from the Norwich Bulletin if you would like to check out the scoop.

I am a Putnamaniac because of great family & community events like the Holiday Dazzle Light Parade!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Cactus blooms in a timely fashion and recalls far away PA friends

Bloom / blossom is defined as: 
the state of flowering, to flourish or thrive, to glow with warmth.

I have a tiny little Christmas cactus that is now blooming away! You can see it is indeed in the state of flowering.

This particular gem comes from the state of Pennsylvania. In the short time I lived there, which I sometimes categorize as not a wise decision in my life, I met some extraordinary friends. I also adopted this tiny little plant. It has indeed thrived and flourished in its travels with me back to the Quiet Corner. So nice to see that Putnamania has a great affect on all things living!

This plants makes me glow not only for the obvious beauty I see in the blossoms, but for the good people I met in PA and still keep in touch with by email, facebook, or old fashioned letter writing. It is easy to get mad at myself for making what I sometimes think of a foolish move in my life. However, what would I do now without having met these folks?

I am a Putnamaniac who misses some fine Pennsylvania folks, and they all live through me every day!

A big shout out to each of you:
Charleen (who was like a mom to me) & the Weis crew, Shan (devilishly fun), Trish the Dish (so true), my bombshell (miss her and our rides to and from work sooo much),  Paul (who is now following his dreams), Brenda (sweetest ever), Amber (gorgeous and smart), Laura (a kindred New England spirit), Rodney (fun, fun, fun), Kelly-Kelly-Kelly (an expecting momma), Nicole (another expecting  momma), Andrew (a fine inspirational young man), Brandi (counting down the days to a new baby-what is in the water in Central PA?), Christy (beautiful smile), Jackie (so capable and smart), Tim (always with a smile even coming into the 3rd shift- perhaps because he was hoping for some of Brenda's treats), Bob & Sandi up in Wilkes-Barre, and even to Dave, who was a big part of the decision to move to PA, and then to quickly move back to CT.
Everything happens for a reason...even if it is not evident to us right way, if ever.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gray faced hound hoarsley barks "Rie Ruv Ru" to me!

You know how golden labs have that smiley kind of face? They really look like they are smiling at you all the time, and I think they are!

There is this old golden, with an old gray face, and a constantly wagging tale who talks to me almost every time I jog by, from his fenced in kingdom. He has an old coarse bark, probably because he's been barking for a long time during all of his dog days.

This is what he says to me every pass by:
"Rie Ruv Ru" - translation from old golden into human = "I love you".
"Reep Rooffin" - translation from old golden into human = "Keep hoofing".

And so I do.
He smiles, wags and talks to me.
I smile, talk to him, and keep hoofing on my way.

I kinda look forward to seeing that old hound every day.

I am a Putnamaniac because even the old dogs can teach you new tricks, and to say hi to each and every one you pass, no matter the language barrier!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Santa arrives in Putnam and brings a gorgeous sunset with him

Big doings in Putnam tonight!

Santa left the elves behind at the North Pole, busily working on the gifts for good girls and boys of ALL ages. The jolly old leader of the elves, Santa himself, arrived in Putnam with the help of the local fire truck. There he met a long line of children ready to tell him of their holiday hopes. Can you say EXCITED??? I wore an ear to ear smile and was every bit as excited as the kids.
Putnam is always scenic, but Santa used some of his special holiday magic to make it an even more lovely night than usual. Take a look around you and see the beauty; in nature or in your fellow man.
I am a Putnamaniac because Santa takes the time to come and visit the kids every year! P.S. I was good this year Santa....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gobbling up some football tomorrow?

Get your cheer on! Thanksgiving is well known for not only stuffing the turkey, and ourselves, but for enjoying football at all levels.

Everyone is talking about the Patriots vs Lions. Some speculate that the Pats will be too cocky from the win, albeit it a nerve wracking one at the end, against the Colts last weekend. Others think Tom Brady and company will come out and stomp the Lions, sending them back to their Detroit den like cowering kittens.

Locally, high school football will rule.

The "no parking" barrels are out in Putnam, and the field is ready to go for the big game tomorrow morning. With the leaves off the trees now, I can see the bleachers across the river looking out my porch windows.
This is the first year for the Quinnebaug Valley Pride as a cooperative team made up of athletes from Putnam, Tourtellotte Memorial (Thompson) and Ellis Tech (Danielson). The new entity, new name, and new uniform, which incorporates all three schools’ colors, bind the schools together. The rival will be the neighboring town's Killingly Redmen. It’s the first time since the Putnam (now Quinebaug Valley) vs Killingly Thanksgiving rivalry was re-established in 2000 that the game could bring more than bragging rights.

The way I see it, all the kids and local towns are winners in this game!

It will be broadcast on if anyone wants to listen!

I am a Putnamaniac because I love Thanksgiving football, local and big time!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Waking up with the morning crew at WINY radio

Look up Putnam, CT in the dictionary written by Marcy the Putnamaniac and you will see:
Small, close, scenic, happening, friendly town, where the best people accentuate the positive in life.

Great example of this positive atmosphere was this morning as I rolled over and hit the button on my alarm clock radio. NOT the snooze button to doze a while longer, but the button that turns the radio on. It is set to local Putnam station WINY 1350am ( if you want to check it out)!

There is no better way to start the day off than with the local radio morning crew on WINY, from 6am-9am.  They are up, happy, silly, fun, informative, supportive, have great local guests, are goofy - all of this and more.

As I opened my unfocused eyes and brain this morning, Gary O was going through a litany of the day's birthdays, anniversaries, upcoming events, thank yous, etc. Within a few moments, they were thanking me for dropping off some flowers for them all to enjoy yesterday. Bear in mind that I drop off healthy goodies, flowers and such regularly as a thank you to THEM! I appreciate the uplifting attitude that exudes from the station, owners, and employees.

Good people with good attitudes are contagious and bring the rest of us up. That is a vital part of my life, equal to sustaining me along with food, drink, exercise and sleep.

I am a positive Putnamaniac, thankful to live in a small town where they really do know your name, who you are, and help you to rise up and enjoy life!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Clicky pens and good service in exchange for cookies!

I love to bake.
I could live on cookie batter alone! 

This comes from having a grandmother who could not only bake sweet deliciousness, but could also cook her brains out for her 6 children, their compadres, and her grandchildren, too.

Growing up across the street from a penny candy store (Stevens' Store) did not deter my sweet tooth and it developed fully!

These bad habits are a reason I like to keep so active and jog regularly. Otherwise, I'd be pushing more maximum density than I already am.

However, this bad habit turns into a good habit when I bake and take treats with me everywhere I go. This morning I brought a couple of plates of cookie bars with me when I got my oil changed at Putnam Ford/Mercury. The guys were thrilled, and the boss ran out with a handful of clicky pens (which I LOVE), and a calendar for me in exchange! Spending a couple of bucks here and there to make others smile is a great thing. plus, if I bribe people, they are happy to see me coming! Win/Win situation. Plus I get to lick the bowl after the goodies are baking in the oven.

Share your smile with others. Smiles are infectious!

I am a Putnamaniac because you can exchange treats for clicky pens at Putnam Ford/Mercury!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving week - do you really think about being thankful?

Thanksgiving. Pretty elementary word. Not much translation needed.
Thanks giving.
Giving thanks.

Do you ever really take a moment and think what you are truly thankful for?

This was a rough couple of weeks for some folks I know well, and for some simple acquaintances I don't know so well.

One sweet family buried their dear mother. She was loved to pieces and will be missed equally as much.

Another family buried their dear daughter, who hadn't had as much time to experience what life has to offer.

A woman with a baby had her house burn to the ground.

So, please take a moment to be thankful for what you are truly thankful for. Time is very fleeting.

I am so thankful to have an outstanding mother, sister and brother, as well as wonderful friends, an uncle who has been like a father to us Dawley kids, health, a picturesque town to live in... the list goes on forever.

How about you?

I am a Putnamaniac giving thanks every day for what I have (and I don't mean material things)!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ambitious school kids get street renamed!

A bunch of ambitious school children at the local school decided to get the street that leads to their school renamed in honor of Israel Putnam, a  revolutionary war hero. They researched not only Israel Putnam himself, but learned the complicated steps it takes to make a change like this in a community, even in a small town like Putnam.
Read about Israel Putnam on wikipedia

There are many references to Israel Putnam in our area - there are schools & parks named after him, statues showing him off, and of course, the town of Putnam!

After a long battle with government red tape and town votes, I noticed this morning on my jog, that the new street sign is up! Kuddos to those industrious children and the teacher(s) and parent(s) that led and inspired them!
I am a Putnamaniac because the kids are ambitious, inspired, and encouraged to be so!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Goofy guy in Turkey costume, for a good cause!

Thanksgiving Food Drive today at WINY radio station, held by Putnam Ford Mercury.
Business owner dressed up like a turkey and waved folks in.
How can you refuse?
A good cause in a great town!
Be sure to spread some good will in your town this week for those in need.
I am a Putnamaniac because a full grown man dresses up like a turkey for a good cause!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Santa and his reindeer are exercising over Cargill Falls...

People are quite opinionated about Christmas decorations and music.

Some like it ASAP, some like it whenever, some like it only after Thanksgiving.
Some think it comes too early and is rushed.
Some think it doesn't last long enough.

I LOVE IT whenever! I turn on the "all Christmas" music radio station as soon as they start.
The music makes me happy. 
The sparkly decorations delight me.
Hopes of peace on Earth, and happiness and well being to all are in the forefront of my thoughts.
Wonder and excitement of the children sticks to me like glue.

So now that Santa and his reindeer are flying over Cargill Falls as of today, I am quite happy about it! They will certainly need their exercise in order to be in tip top condition for the work they have cut out for them on Christmas Eve.

Most importantly, even though this happens to be just a plastic Santa and reindeer, they symbolize all the above feelings for me.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

I am a Putnamaniac because Santa and his reindeer fly over Cargill Falls!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Walkers with walkers

What the heck am I talking about??  Walkers with walkers??...

On this past gorgeous Sunday, Thompson held a Turkey Wobble (walk) and Turkey Trot (run) through the woods and trails in their park.

While we runners were out doing our impressions of mountain goats over rocks and stumps, over hill and dale, the walkers were finishing up their walk.

Apparently a 70+ woman completed the walk - with the help of her walker. That could not have been easy.

GaryO from WINY was broadcasting live and interviewed her. When asked why she did this difficult walk, she replied that it was on her bucket list. She got a spontaneous round of applause from the gathered crowd.

GaryO reported the scoop to me when I got out of the woods and my race was finished. I believe that he was as excited and inspired as the walker-walker was.

The amazing thing is that Thompson has a Turkey Dip (swim) scheduled for Thanksgiving morning. The walker-walker informed us that she will be a walker-swimmer that day!

I am a Putnamaniac because people of all ages really love to live life!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The children are our future and not only in Putnam

There was a popular Whitney Houston song back when she was still "in the game".

Her lyrics that made me think today are these:
I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. 

Having children seems to be a right of entitlement to most people. 

Just because most people can have children, it doesn't necessarily mean they all should have them.  
Some people want children desperately and can't have them. 
Some people keep having children and yet don't have the slightest inclination to care for them. 
Some people chose pets instead, and they are their children.

Although I am one who never had children myself, it is clear to me that children are absolutely our future. Parenthood is the most important job anyone can have. It requires more work and dedication than I can imagine. It brings joy, anxiety, triumph, pride, and sadly can bring heartache as well. It lasts FOREVER.

Whether you are a parent by natural pregnancy, invitro, adoption, or whatever other method may exist that I don't know about, your job is to take care of the little ones. Teach them to be responsible for themselves, have good values, use common sense. They will be in charge some day. 

The mayor of Putnam and his wife are now in Europe adopting a baby. This has been a two year + process for them. Being a public figure, this news is public as well. I can also think of a handful of friends this very moment that have just recently given birth, are pregnant, or are attempting to become pregnant. Each and every one of you are taking on the biggest job of your life. I know you will all work your hardest and succeed in giving us a competent next generation!

I am a Putnamaniac because children are our future! Here and everywhere.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall warmth and baby carriages

After a few cloudy, damp and dreary days, a sunny fall day is AMAZING!

The sun makes everything look and feel beautiful, warm, cozy, and totally optimistic. 

Somehow the sun also brings out baby carriages. They are being pushed all over town on such nice days. How nice to see all the young mothers, grandmothers, babysitters, and their little ones enjoying the fall sun.

I hope you, too, enjoyed some warm fall sun today.

I am a Putnamaniac because all the shiny happy people are out walking today, including lots pushing their baby carriages!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mooning is allowed in Putnam!

When was the last time you heard of someone getting mooned?
Did you ever moon anyone?
Have you ever been mooned?

As our country goes though so many crazes, waves and phases, (such as streaking, an L for Loser on the forehead, the "talk to the hand", etc), it is good to know that mooning has never stopped in Putnam.

Check out this fellow, mooning all passersby from the Cargill Mill Antique parking lot!

Antiques, of all media and sizes, are a big part of what Putnam is made of and known for.

Long live the mooners, artists, and shopkeepers in Putnam!

I am a Putnamaniac because mooning (and being immature) has never gone out of style here!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Library + Books = Great Escapes

Putnam is a small town. You can get from end to end and everywhere in between quickly, including the library, which is a quick 1 mile jog away.

After waking up to a dusting of snowy slush, wind howling, and little sun poking through, it is great to have the library so close. Days like this were made for escaping! So on went the sneakers and hat, and I hit the road. Not only did I get a new book, but it warmed  me up, too!

Last night I finished adventuring with Jimmy Buffett. After starting in the Keys, going through the Caribbean, and winding up in Alaska, it is time for a new adventure to begin.

What will today's  new escape be?? I chose "The Almost Moon"  by Alice Sebold, who is better known for the "Lovely Bones". I'll give it a whirl and see where it takes me!

With Thanksgiving coming up, the next pick will be something to do with the Pilgrims adventures. All recommendations are welcome.

I am a Putnamaniac because I can jog down to the library for a new and great escape!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Habitat ReStore is hopping - pass it on!

This summer a gal I know asked me if I'd like to volunteer for Habitat here in Northeast CT. I'd never had the time to do something like this, so I jumped right on it.

Everyone knows that Habitat for Humanity helps provide housing.

Our motto: "Habitat for Humanity of Northeast Connecticut promotes home ownership with volunteers building houses in partnership with residents in need of adequate housing".

There is also a Habitat ReStore located right here in Putnam, on Providence St. It is just about a mile from my home, so I have a nice walk to and from it on the days I volunteer.

As with most places, you get to know your coworkers, frequent customers, and you learn a few more things along the way, as well as having some laughs.

Things are donated to the ReStore by folks just like you and me, or by nearby businesses, such as Lowe's in our case.
Donations include: appliances (stoves, dishwashers, washers, dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.), furniture, sinks, flooring, tools, light fixtures, doors, windows, cabinets.

The ReStore sells to ANYONE! We are open to the public. Many things are brand new, and many are in various stages of "used". The prices are incredible. You always get a great deal.
Putnam's ReStore is open: Thurs 4-7pm, Fri & Sat 9am-2pm, Sun 10am-2pm

The funds made help to build more affordable local housing.

Encourage people you know that are looking to remodel/redo something to come and see if they can buy that  item for a great deal at the ReStore. On the flip side, get them to donate their old item.

Check out our website: Habitat of Northeast CT

I am a Putnamaniac because I love to walk down and volunteer at the ReStore whenever I can!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Neighbors, clocks, smoke detectors, etc

Do you have great neighbors?

What is the description of a great neighbor to you?

I knew I was lucky the day I moved into my condo.

There are 2 units in my building. We are side-by-each, as they say in Woonsocket, RI and such French Canadian places.

My neighbor came over with a loaf of pumpkin bread the day I moved in. The neighbors are an elderly mom and her not quite as elderly daughter. They do favors for me, watch out for me, let me know if something is going on so I don't miss out on anything, and yet they give me my space. They are a perfect neighbor for me.

As neighbors, we have a few spoken and unspoken deals.

Things such as our unspoken, informal flower swap is a great surprise when you are the recipient of a nice bouquet of posies. It is equally nice when you are the giver and see the smiles you created.

Spoken deals include that each fall, on the "fall back" weekend, I change both of our smoke detector batteries. Since we are united under the same roof, we need to take care of each other this way.

If you have an elderly, disabled, or even really short neighbor, please go lend them a helping hand in changing their batteries. Don't forget to do yours either. They do the trick in saving lots of lives.

I am a Putnamaniac on "fall back" weekend while changing the smoke detector batteries!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Christmas lights are lit in the Rotary Park trees!

Yippy!! The Christmas lights are lit in the Rotary Park trees!

Driving through Putnam tonight you couldn't miss the sparkling white lights perched high up in the trees in Rotary Park. This means that soon Thanksgiving will be here, Santa will be flying across the waterfall by WINY, holiday music will be playing on the speakers in the streets downtown... and the Holiday Dazzle Parade will be here! I've never gotten to see it before, due to work, but I'm hoping to see it this year!

Putnam is so beautiful all year long. As the fall descends on us, and even with the bitter cold of winter peaking around the corner, Putnam shines and brings warmth to me.

I am a Putnamaniac because even the Christmas lights in the trees in Rotary Park get me excited!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Little River is just that, but spectacular none the less.

The Little River is in my backyard. It is so nice to hear it laying in bed at night, and so pretty to see it every morning when I wake up. The wildlife sightings are amazing!

This section pictured of the Little River runs under the small bridge on Recreation Park Drive (aptly named as all the town ball fields and soccer fields are located there). I drive over this bridge often, and jog over it even more often. A heron is in the river fishing often as well. One morning Mr. Heron was standing in the middle of the road as I jogged down the hill. He was as tall as I was, and I was hoping I didn't look like a gigantic fish for him to eat! (Like the time on Gilligan's Island when Leo the Lion was looking at the castaways like they were pork chops, lamb chops, etc). 

The Little River is gorgeous in every season!  I will remember to take a snowy picture when that next season arrives (but lets not push the fall out of here yet. The leaves are already gone).

I am a Putnamaniac because I love the Little River as much as the heron and other wildlife do, too!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Manny (as in Mannequin) the Cop!

Putnam is one of the only small towns in Northeast CT with its own police department. (Most other small towns have only a "Resident" State Trooper).

The Putnam police are a fine bunch. They are a part of the community, do a great job without being overbearing, are polite, and are a great presence here in town. Having grown up the daughter of a police officer, I am not always open minded to cops and their intentions. But, as I see it in Putnam, they are good guys.

The most popular guy on the force is Manny. He is a mannequin, who sits parked in a different location every day, just to keep us motorists on our toes. I know he is there, as does everyone who lives around here, however he never fails to slow us down. Occasionally a live officer may be in the car, and no one likes getting a ticket.

Manny is so popular, that a mini-Manny and mini-police car were part of the local scarecrow contest in town. Check out the mini-Manny and the real Manny.

I am a Putnamaniac because we have great cops, including Manny!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Raking leaves...leaves blisters and awakens falls of the past

Raking leaves.

Yuck. Who likes it? Not me, but my friend needed her one acre yard raked, and since she is paying me, I couldn't resist.

Still, yuck. The wind fights you every moment, fickle as Mother Nature is, blowing one direction, then another direction within a minute's time.

In Palymyra, PA, you rake to the street, and the town's  big vacuum comes by and sucks them up. Pretty cool use of tax dollars in my opinion.

Some towns you bag them, and they are taken away.  Also cool.

Some yards are near the woods, so you can dump there. Cool again.

It is great exercise, nice to be out in the stimulating fall air, and you have time to think. So, I guess it is not all bad.

As I was raking and thinking today, this memory came to mind.
Years ago, my father volunteered me to rake someones yard. I roped my little brother Si into helping me somehow. The great businessman that our dad was, had offered to do it for $10. Although that was 25 or so years ago, trust me, $10 was like working for peanuts. The yard was HUGE, and every inch was covered with approximately 4 inches of leaves. We raked like crazy all day. In the process we broke one of the old guys rakes. At the end of the day, we knocked on the door, explained we'd finished, but had broken a rake. "This changes things" the old fellow says. My brother looked at me, and we just smiled, figuring he wouldn't pay us at all, since now he had to buy a rake. However, he took mercy upon us tuckered out kids, and gave us $15 instead. We promptly went to whatever passed for "Subway" back then and ate our whole days pay.

Somehow, my brother forgave me for roping him into that job. We learned that hard work and honesty do pay off, if not in dollars, in feeling good about yourself.

I haven't asked Si-Si to rake with me since, but it is now fun to laugh at that story.

I am a Putnamaniac while raking leaves, lots and lots of leaves!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin headed scarecrows even dine out in Putnam!

This Putnamaniac has been out straight all week - working from 8:30 am - 1 am, with an hour transition between work places.

Although I have not had much time to enjoy Putnam the way it should be enjoyed this week, I did find this pair enjoying themselves on one of the outdoor patios of the fine eateries in town. Check them out! One day very soon, I will join them!

I am a Putnamaniac because I can dine outside with Pumpkin Heads!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I believe in the Tooth Fairy, amongst other things

Yes - it is true. I believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, love at first sight, peace on earth, the good in mankind. You name it, and I love to believe in it. I should have been named "Hope".

It doesn't matter what has actually happened to me, or to anyone else in this world of ours, or throughout history. I still believe. In everything.

Once upon a time, I had a brother. We had a mostly love and sometimes hate relationship. In general we got along just fine, played together, read together, did everything together as young siblings do. I was a protector, being almost 2 years older and much larger. I towered over all the kids my age.

One notorious battle raged between me and Skee, and a wild swing to the side of my head knocked a loosened tooth out, and I promptly swallowed it. The fight ended instantly in search of the answer as to what to do about my apparent loss of income from the tooth fairy. No tooth, no quarter, right?
My mother, the ever present genius of our world,  suggested leaving a note of explanation under my pillow. The genius earned her title once again, and the quarter was snugly tucked under my pillow in the morning, and the note was gone. I don't recall for certain, but I am sure Skee and I hot footed it across the street and loaded up with a big bag of penny candy from Stevens Store.

This week I thought of that memory as I spotted this tooth fairy in Putnam. She was hanging around just outside a local dentist's office.
What do you believe in??

I am a Putnamaniac because the tooth fairy is alive and well - and visits us!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Scream, You Scream

We ALL Scream for Ice Cream!!

Great kids rhyme - Great grownups rhyme!

I was lucky enough to savor a cone of Apple Spice Ice Cream at the end of the day here yesterday in Putnam, in celebration of our Great Pumpkin Festive. It tasted as good as it sounds.

Imagine your favorite apple crisp (my mom makes my favorite), with those soft and delicious chunks of apple, seasoned just right with cinnamon, a little brown sugar in the topping, with a big scoop of ice cream melting on the top. Mmmmmmm. That is exactly how this ice cream tasted.

There are a few great places that make homemade ice cream and gelato right here in Putnam, and a few more nearby.

Since I try to limit what I eat and stay relatively healthy with my choices, I missed out on any and all ice cream eating experiences all summer long.

What was I thinking?! I will believe that it was all worth the wait and sacrifice to enjoy the cone of apple spice, made by Quiet Corner Creamery on Kennedy Drive, yesterday. Next summer I won't wait so long!
I am a Putnamaniac because the homemade ice cream makes me SCREAM, with glee!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Crucible proves it is not all fun and games at the Bradley Theater

Did you read Arthur Miller's The Crucible in high school, or since then on your own?

I did both, long ago, and had a vague recollection of the story.

Obviously it is an appropriate time of the year to revisit the tale of the Salem Witch Trials.

Currently playing at Putnam's Bradley Playhouse is this same tale, The Crucible, based on sad but true events (not only in Salem, but in many New England towns at that time).

It really got my blood boiling! I had forgotten what that story really was all about - the worst side of human nature. Imagine that people can be: so evil, jealous, spiteful, swayed by peer pressure, gullible, hateful, conspirators, full of lies, swayed so easily, self righteous, greedy... I think you get the picture.

Human nature will be what it is, and we all make a choice how to live a life.

The troupe tonight gave strong artistic justice to this play. While the Bradley puts on many light hearted musicals and comedies, they still bring you to your knees and release emotions from within in thought provoking performances like tonight's show.

I strongly urge you to get a season ticket to any small theater close to where you live. It is well worth the small fee they ask.  If you live anywhere near Putnam, I invite you to join me at any of the 7 shows they put on each year. You will love it! A Christmas Carol is coming up in December.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to great performances EVERY time at the Bradley Playhouse!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Flashbacks and memories of picking weeds with my momma

Memories...misty water colored memories...of the way we were.

The older you get, the more memories you collect.

In general, I live without clutter and not much extra "stuff". 

Memories are another story. They fill to overflowing the corners of my mind. Imagine how many you have and that you've forgotten. Then, like an old friend, they sneak right back and say hello at any time and place. Sparked by a song, a smell, a laugh, a sight. An old story comes back to you like it was yesterday once more. How can a smile not appear and linger as the memory plays on the screen in your mind.

Memories of picking weeds (aka wild plants) with my mom came to me this afternoon.
The scene that jump started the film reel packed away in an old file cabinet in my cerebellum was this:
A young mother was in the weeds and picking cat'o'nine tails. Her toddler was patiently waiting in the stroller, feet swinging back and forth.  How often have I picked all sorts of weeds with my mom.... We scored a big bunch of bittersweet to make a nice homemade wreath for her garden gate just last year. 

Then, another memory reel started playing. In that Dawleyville scene, a spark from the fireplace jumped out onto a vase of cat'o'nine tails, bursting them into flame. Luckily my brother, Skee, was a quick thinker, and doused the flames with a jug of water, then escorted the crispy "weeds" right out the door.

How often did you pick weeds with your mom? If not weed picking, then something else?
I hope this memory of mine sparks a great memory for you.

Memories may be beautiful, and yet what's too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.
So its the laughter we will remember, when we remember, the way we were.

I am a Putnamaniac since old memories are sparked by so many things!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Putnam makes the ProJo!

 Connecticut's 'quiet corner'
Along two of northeastern Connecticut's main thoroughfares, Route 44 and Route 169, is a region of rolling hills, picturesque river valleys and bucolic small towns that feel like something you'd find in Vermont or New Hampshire, not just over the Rhode Island border.... Read the whole article:

Check out the article about the Quiet Corner in the Providence Journal

Thanks for the info for a fine Putnam friend and fan!

I am a Putnamaniac because the Putnamania fever is spreading! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall illuminates the eye with delightful colors

I've had 4 eyes most of my life, and I am certainly glad when I have views like this from right inside my house late this afternoon. 

During this spooky, ghoulish time of year, Mother Nature thinks: "Perhaps we may frighten away the ghost of so many years ago with a little illumination"... and color.

Looked out the back windows on the porch, and to the woods and river below. 

  There's more....

Then I looked out the front door and saw these illuminating colors. 


I am a Putnamaniac because of the beautiful fall colors I see right in my own home sweet home!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meet the Flintstones - seriously!

The Great Pumpkin Fest is this Saturday, October 23rd.

Halloween is the following Sunday, October 31st.

The usual decorations, treats, and antics are anticipated, and have begun popping up throughout the town!

Putnam's Great Pumpkin Fest includes all sorts of scarecrows around and about town. You never know who or what you will see each year. Look who cropped up today!
You gotta love a town with Wilma and Fred Flintstone hanging out amongst all the political signs.

I am a Putnamaniac along with Fred and Wilma Flintstone, just waiting for the Great Pumpkin Fest!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kisses on the River Walk

The River Walk...wonderful, as previously stated. Always a great sight or sights to see as you walk, jog, or drive by.

Tonight was apparently "kissing night" in Putnam.

First kiss spotted was a middle aged couple, after their walk, smooching it up for the whole world to see (well at least for some Putnamaniacs to see). 

Next kiss was an old fellow and his dog. Owner bent down to give doggy a pat on the head, and doggy jumped up with a big wet kiss for his owner.

Last kiss was not actually seen, but imagined. An older woman was taking a picture of the gorgeous water fall with the spectacular fall leaves surrounding it. I picture her throwing a kiss to a great scene and her artistry in capturing it.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to all the kisses on the River Walk!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I pass a couple of kids on the way to school every morning - they are walking, I am jogging. I worry they may be sick if I don't pass them on any given day.

Another gal says "hi" every day with a shy smile, and her dog tries to race me on the same early morning jogs.

Giggling occurs while volunteering at the Habitat Re-Store when another volunteer tries on an old and gigantic Halloween skeleton costume.

The owner of the local radio station replies back to your email requests for "Forgotten 45's", and he actually knows who you are.

The flags fly over certain businesses every day.

Driving past Turtle's Tacos, the smells escaping make your mouth water and  your stomach growl.

Someone is always walking on the River Walk.

The fire horn blows at 6pm. Every day.

These are but a handful of the great familiarities that make Putnam awesome. You can always count on them. 

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to all the familiarities I can always count on!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Zucchini bread in the freezer!

An apple a day is great medical advise. However I don't think the wise ones meant to just eat an apple and nothing else all day.

Well, that is what I'd had until I got home about an hour ago. 8:30ish. One apple. All day. Nothing else.

If you've visited my homes, you know the cupboards are usually pretty bare, and it is also usually nothing but absolutely healthy choices. (Don't let this secret out, but I can't be trusted with food! I like to eat it all until it is gone)!

So, I had some nice homemade veggie bean soup.

And then I started opening the cupboards and the fridge, thinking something, ANYTHING might be hidden that could be considered in the "treat" category.

Eggs and Hummingbird food in the fridge.  Soup, pam and coffee in the cupboards.

Then, Lo and Behold! I open the freezer and there sits a zucchini bread that a great friend, Deeda, gave me just earlier this week! WOOOHOOOO. I love Deeda, and not just for her cooking.

I am a Putnamaniac because I have a zucchini bread from Deeda in my freezer (and now some in my belly)!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Putnamania lives everywhere tonight

I tend to be enthusiastic about lots of things and generally give the benefit of the doubt to all people, places, and circumstances.

I'm very enthusiastic about Putnam, hence this whole Putnamania thing. It is a wonderful fit for me, just like the softball glove that caught every ball that came my way, or that old Diet Coke Olympics sweatshirt I got for $5 and a mail in coupon.  It makes me happy to be here, and happy to see the people who know me just for me.

Putnamania followed me today to my home town of North Kingstown, RI.

Under the worst circumstances you can imagine, I had the pleasure of seeing some old and dear friends that I hadn't seen in many years... far too many years. They were wonderful back when, and somehow, they are even more wonderful now. Beautiful, strong, kind, supportive, intelligent.

I am so lucky to have met and been surrounded by the top notch upper echelon of human kind over my entire life. I always assumed that everyone was as lucky as me, but I am not sure. I know excellent people.

Putnamania lives everywhere tonight... In North Kingstown with my dear sweet mom, uncle, and friends, at EB where my brother is hard at work now, in Atlanta where my sister is assigned to work these next few months away from her family, at M-F Athletic where I miss my cubicle comrades every single day that passes, at the tree farm with all our "farm family", in PA with the friends I was with for a short time and still miss dearly,

I am happy to share Putnamaniac with everyone tonight! Long live the feeling of Putnamania!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mornings (even frosty ones) bring hope to each new day

FROST! Everywhere!  On the grass, fields, cars.

It is beautiful, and the birds are suddenly singing a different tune.

The leaves have changed into beautiful colors almost overnight.

Acorns crunch under running feet and in the squirrels busy teeth.

The sunrise is a wonder.

Middle School kids walking to school don't seem quite as excited as the birds and I, but I manage a smile out of them if I say something goofy enough as we pass.

Each morning brings hope of a new day. No matter what has happened before, or what will happen in the future. We can't change it, and each morning makes hope and expectations fresh. Good things will always come again.

I am a Putnamaniac because each new and beautiful day is filled with hope and joy!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Appreciate what you have, take comfort where you can.

My heart is breaking today.

One of my best friends from high school lost her oldest daughter in a car crash yesterday. I can't imagine what their family is experiencing at this moment, or how they will feel for the rest of their days.

Nothing can turn the clocks back and make it not happen.

There is nothing to say to make it better.

I found small, but conflicted comfort just now. I saw a young mom and dad, with a tiny little baby in their arms. One month old. They were beaming with pride and the hopes of things to come.  It made me so happy for them, yet all the more sad for my sweet friend.

I am a Putnamaniac because I appreciate what I have in my life.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Scenic views and sights are everywhere.

One of my jogging routes is especially scenic, and the sights are all so diverse.

Through the wooded area, I can hear the river running down there under the trees. Squirrels scurry.

Past the golf course I can hear the "fore"s, and once in a while an angry club thrashing the brush searching for that elusive ball.

Further along are the endless corn fields. Gorgeous when the corn is small, high, harvested, and then cut down completely.

Beyond those fields are valleys and hills and trees galore. A sight in all seasons.

The water rushes down the falls to the rocks,  then continues happily along its way.

I never listen to music when I jog, since I'd hate to miss out on any of the great sounds that go with all these scenic views. Of course a picture never captures what the eyes and ears can, and it is difficult to jog with a camera. Yesterday I grabbed the camera and drove the route to attempt a few pictures. Not even close to the real thing!

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the scenic sights everywhere!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Star Light, Star Bright

Star light, star bright...

(Remember the rhyme from when you were a kid)?

First star I see tonight...

(There are gazillions of stars I see tonight).

I wish I may, I wish I might...

Have the wish I wished tonight.

(Were you lucky enough to see the stars tonight? Did you get your wish)?

I did. My wish was to live in a beautiful area, and be able to experience something fabulous every single day. In this case, the fabulous experience was at night, gazing up at a pitch black sky lit with twinkling stars of wonder.

I am a Putnamaniac because I can see all the stars on a chilly fall evening!

Friday, October 8, 2010

UPS men deliver more than packages in Putnam

UPS, Fedex, Postal Service. They are in the delivery business.

Packages filled with gifts, flowers, foods, shot puts...I'm sure you've gotten all sorts of things delivered by these fine folks.

Today in Putnam, a UPS man delivered kindness and a helping hand.

An older woman was struggling on the side of the road, trying to get something into her car.

The big brown trucked pulled right over, UPS guy jumps out, hoists whatever it was into her back seat, hops back in his truck and was on his way.

The woman stood there looking at the truck with her mouth agape, then a big smile took over. A big, ear to ear smile that makes you smile right along with her.

Who says there are no more nights in shining armor (or at least in a brown shirt and shorts)???

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the UPS man who delivered more than packages today!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rudy Pauls is the best loser!

Recently I saw an ad in the local newspaper that Rudy Pauls, runner up from a recent season of the Biggest Loser show would be speaking at the Putnam Middle School. How convenient. That is about 1 mile from my home.

My momma is a huge fan of that show. She fills me in on the details of each season. I can't watch it since it makes me cry whenever I attempt to sit through an episode.

We planned a night of it! Mom would come up, we'd have our nice sensible dinner, then go hear Rudy speak, and end it with a pajama party.

Now frankly, I do a lot of things with my mom because I know it will make her happy. She is easy to please. I could offer to take her to the dump to watch the seagulls, and she'd love it! It is that easy. So basically, I was along for the ride. I thought it'd be interesting, but it was FABULOUS! It was INSPIRING!

Kudos to someone who made a life changing decision to have a better, healthy life for himself and his family. Not only did he succeed, but he is willing to share, honestly, in order to inspire perhaps even one person.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to having big losers like Rudy Pauls live, work, and speak in the Quiet Corner!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Smell those falling leaves

Fall always has me conflicted. What about you?

On one hand, I love the cool, refreshing nights...

On the other hand, I hate that the days are getting so much shorter - waking up in the dark, getting home in the dark...

On the other hand, there is a new sharp clarity to the colors that surround us...

On the other hand, the gardens are winding down, and getting ready for a long winter's nap...

On the other hand, Pats football games and homemade soups rule the households on Sunday...

On the other hand, there are no more River Fires or outdoor concerts until next summer...

On the other hand, it is so nice to snuggle down deep under the comforter every night...

On the other hand, one knows these things can only lead to the dreary days of winter.

Apparently this Putnamaniac has become an octopus for this blog and I now have run out of hands.

Tomorrow, go right out and take a deep breath. Smell the outdoors, the cooling earth, the falling leaves. It is really one of the best things about New England. Take a big sniff.....ahhhhhh....... you know that smell - those crispy leaves as they crunch under your feet. That is a great smell!

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the great smell of falling leaves!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Plethora of Waterfalls

Are you lucky enough to have a waterfall in your town?   I am!

Are you lucky enough to have many waterfalls in your town?    I am!

I can think of 3 right off the bat...
*Cargill Falls by WINY Radio on Rt 44
*The falls by the Putnam WPCA building on Peake Brook Road
*The falls behind Rhodes & Nightingale Mills (seen from Bridge Street, and starring in this picture)
Most days I am lucky enough to see at least one of the falls. 
Other days I am really lucky, and see them all, a few times!

On windy days, the spray mists your windshield as you sit at the red light.
After heavy rains, they are loud and furious...and mesmerizing.
People stop on the bridge and enjoy them all the time. I am in that fan club myself.

I am one lucky Putnamaniac thanks to the plethora of waterfalls in town!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunsets painted on the canvas of The Quiet Corner

Red sky at night.... You've heard that old saying, right?

Tonight it was red sky extraordinaire! It was also pink sky, lavender sky, purple sky, red sky, orange sky. Not as fancy sounding as some of the crayola colors, but still a big WOW to the eye balls!

Driving from RI to CT I started to glimpse hints of the glorious sunset that was in the works.

Passing bodies of water with colorful reflections in them should have caused distracted motorists to crash. Luckily we are trained 24/7 at multi-tasking, so it was easy to enjoy the views and not crash into another car.

At the top of a big hill on Rt 101, an older gentleman stood at the end of his driveway, arms crossed, and just gazed at Mother Nature's work.

Going down that hill, my phone rang. It was my neighbors. They wanted to know if I was home. I know them well enough to know they enjoy the finer things and are always willing to share with me.
"Are you calling about the sunset?" I asked.
"YES!" they repied.
They wanted to make sure I didn't miss the remarkable, fleeting beauty of the moment. How nice is that?

I hope you enjoyed a sunset as perfect as I did today. But if you didn't, close your eyes, and think back to one you have witnessed. I'll bet it is every bit as nice. No picture can replace the paintings on the canvas of your memories.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to neighbors who will share sunsets with me, even from miles away!