Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Witness old time family baseball fun!

Driving home from work tonight, I passed the town's baseball field.  No games were scheduled tonight, yet a game was in full force. The players were a mom, a dad, three young sons, and a younger daughter.

The car windows were down as I was enjoying the warm early fall evening. All I could hear were cheers, laughter, the "tink" of the bat hitting the ball.

I'm sure this sort of thing happens in every town and city, but I still felt like the luckiest person in the world to come upon it tonight.

As one who never had the chance to have children and my own family in that sense, I loved that scene. I will think of it often when something tries to get me down. Simple family fun. 

I am a Putnamaniac because it is a great place for families to have fun together!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Assorted, affordable housing is available in the Quiet Corner!

I wasn't born and raised in Putnam. I was an import from the border lands of Rhode Island - imported by myself. Nothing so exciting as being smuggled in over the border in the back of a van, or risking the lakes (and snakes and snapping turtles) for a ride in on a homemade raft. Just good old common sense guided me here.

Not only is there affordable housing, but you have so many choices!

Whether you are a condo personality, or you like a neighborhood setting, perhaps lots of open land, or even to be hidden out in the woods all by yourself, you have all of those choices and more.

Brand new homes, rustic homes, antiques, and everything in between is available.

Capes, colonials, ranches, bungalows, contemporaries, and every other style and combination you can think of is available.

The homes are so affordable, and compared to many neighboring states, and even parts of our own state of CT, the property taxes are lower as well.

Top that off with wonderful views everywhere you look, polite and considerate people, and an emphasis on supporting local businesses, the community, and family, I believe I live in heaven on earth here.

Check out properties available in the Quiet Corner at First Choice Realty, LLC
I bought my 1st home in CT from Pat when I moved from RI.
I then sold that home and bought my condo with Pat.
In fact, I love the homes in this area so much that I became a realtor myself!

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to assorted, affordable, available homes in the Quiet Corner!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Putnam has the tastiest chefs!

We have many yummy restaurants and bakeries in and around Putnam.

If I won Powerball, I would go out to eat at a different place every night!

My favorite place is generally the place I most recently dined...or the place that I plan to go to next...or the place that I enjoyed a meal at 2 years ago. Me and my taste buds are very fickle, and we pledge allegiance to all.

However, of all these great chefs and bakers, my most favorite chef in Putnam is this guy:
For now he resides in the Cargill Falls antique shop. I will miss him when he goes off to entertain elsewhere. 

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to my favorite no nonsense chef!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Red Sox Cow puts me in the moooood for smiling!

The Quiet Corner has quite a few cows that reside here. The humans and cows have an agreed upon relationship, and it all works out just fine. They provide us with milk and cream, which leads to ice cream...
Therefore, it is actually a GREAT relationship!

Sometimes WINY radio reports that a bovine has escaped its pasture and is walking a local roadway.  Probably just needed a change of view. Who can blame them?

Sometimes they stroll over to the fence as you jog by, big lonely eyes just begging for a pat on the head. The head patting provides for a momentary rest for the jogging legs, until the cow drools or burps on you, providing inspiration to move on!

The best Putnam cow however is the Red Sox cow that calls the Citizens National Bank its home. It proudly reminds us of the Sox long awaited World Series win in 2004. As a Sox fan, I will never forget the excitement and joy of that victorious season. Ever. I thank that little cow every time I pass him by.

These decorative cows are throughout our area, much like their living counterparts. Their outfits vary and delight everyone who stops and enjoys these little moo-cows.I think that is pretty cool.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the Red Sox Cow!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

No excuses not to have fun!

On this fine Indian Summer day in Putnam, there was no excuse not to have fun.
This is the case on most weekends.

Celebrating Agriculture Day was held at the Woodstock Fairground.
Positively Pomfret Day was held at the Pomfret Recreation Park.
A Dog Walk and Family Fun Day were held in Rotary Park.

Admission to all events was FREE!!!
Admittedly, you could spend some money at these events once you got there on crafts, food, face painting, etc, but you could actually go and have an enjoyable time at all events for FREE!

This is not unusual for this area.  Now you have no excuse not to have fun in the Quiet Corner. Get a move on and don't miss out!

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to so many free fun events. I have no excuse not to have fun!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Views from almost everywhere you look!

New England is beautiful most of the time and during all seasons. It is difficult to go far without being "Wowed" by some great sights. Scenic turnoffs are located all along the roadways.

Putnam is no different and offers beauty everywhere you turn.

As I exited the grocery store late this afternoon, I glanced across the parking lot and then looked further, across the street. There over the river was a canvas that any painter or photographer would be thrilled to capture.
Right there!!! As I carried my frozen dinner and bag of apples to my car!

Stop and look around once in a while. Beauty is everywhere. Enjoy it.
I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the beautiful views!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Smells from Frito-Lay are mouth watering on the way home from work!

If you've read any of the Putnamania blogs, then clearly you have noticed that I run strongly on my senses...
Sights, sounds, and smells. I'll bet you depend on your senses, too, if you think about it.

The sounds and smells are usually my strongest and sharpest senses, most likely due to the bad eyesight over the years. When things sound and smell marvelous, this works out nicely. However, we all know that things don't always smell or sound that great. Witness a drive by of a sewage treatment center, or a really bad cat fight! Yikes, that is when those senses are not appreciated so much!

Driving home each night, I've discovered one of the best smells ever, emitting from Frito-Lay's Dayville location. Each night my mouth waters, and I dream of ripping open a big bag and jumping in head first. I become like Pavlov's dogs as this feeling grasps me every single night as I pass by that spot! Luckily there is not a rest stop right there on the highway selling these items or I'd never get home. Once I pass the area, and the smell no longer taunts me, I make it home with self control in tact.

What smells get to you? Do you sit back, sniff, and enjoy just the smell? I sure do! Why do you think there are so many successful candle and scent companies? Everyone loves a great smell.

Check out Frito-Lays website. Luckily computers are not made with a smell function....yet...

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the great smell of Frito-Lay!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quaddick State Park!

Putnamania today is all about our summer winding down, fall approaching (and much worse......winter approaching)!
I've been reminiscing all day about the most beautiful summer we had this year in Northeast CT. The kind you dream about...  We actually experienced it! Awesome!

This summer was the first in my adult life that I had the time and opportunity to do some fun things!

One great adventure took me by bicycle with an old willing pal to Quaddick State Park in Thompson. It was a scenic and hilly ride to get there, so that made it even more fun. Since neither of us had ever been to the park, it made us curious as to what we would find.

Once we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised immediately that there was no entry fee to the park for bike riders! Considering I am a cheap skate tried and true, that of course was the best welcome I could imagine!

In the park we discovered plenty of room for picnics, boating (even a boat ramp), hiking, and just lots of  good family fun out in there in beautiful nature. We took to the woods and enjoyed the hiking path. We woke a deer from her afternoon napping time, and she delicately hopped out of sight, leaving nothing for us to do but gasp at her white tail as it disappeared into the brush.

I can't wait to go back in the fall to see the beautiful leaves around the reservoir. Believe it or not, I think I will go and hike it again in the winter, just to enjoy the beauty from another whole point of view. Perspective is a good thing!

Check out the Quaddick State Park. I highly recommend it! As you can tell, we made the bike ride back, too. It was much hillier going home, but isn't that always the way?!

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the Quaddick State Park!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Libraries Liberate the Mind!

Putnam is luck enough to have a town library, located in the downtown shopping plaza, so it is convenient!

If you were raised with a library nearby, and were taken there often, you grow up with an appreciation and need for reading for the rest of your life. 

I'm one of those lucky ones! Mom walked with us kids often to our local library. Each visit allowed us an entrance to another grand world... in other words, a book! How grand indeed!

If you have never gotten into the habit of reading, please do so. Find your local library. Get a card, get a book. It is intoxicating and addicting! If you have little ones, make it a part of their lives now!

The library of course has many other services and events, so don't miss out!

Check out the Putnam Library
Check out my Farmer Nubbins' story about the library on Facebook

I am a Putnamaniac because our library liberates my mind!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Honest Car Service - Fact not Fiction in Putnam!

The ever faithful and reliable Ford Focus (purchased right here in town @ Putnam Ford Mercury) is getting on in age, so she really needs to be pampered.

All paid for, she owes me nothing, but I'd hate to say goodbye any time soon.

Since little Ms Focus is now over 90,000 miles and approaching 100,000 quickly, I figured she might need a few bucks put back into her to keep things running smoothly.

She's only had oil changes, one new set of tires, and a few tire rotations over the years. I was expecting that she might need some new brakes and/or another set of tires while today's oil change was being done. (I based this on the fact that another nearby town service center tried to convince me I needed new tires over 20,000 miles ago. Now that is what you expect out of service stations! A lot of B.S.).

HOWEVER, Putnam Ford's service department today told me that perhaps next time I would need some tires, and they'd look at the brake pads again then. WOW! My car is still fine and dandy, with no unnecessary work done! $36.00 and I was out the door smiling!

I'm glad to have a bit more time to spend in Putnam, and will be able to bring my car to Putnam Ford's service department from now on. I will also be buying my next car, when needed, at Putnam Ford as well.

Check out Putnam Ford Mercury

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to honest car service at Putnam Ford!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Putnamaniacs run on their Someplace Special!

Today Putnamania is about satisfying taste buds.

There are vast choices to appease these demanding little taste buds with loud voices shouting "feed us something delicious"!!!

Today's choice is Someplace Special, very aptly named.
Located at 58 Main Street. Their phone number is 860-928-2884

Based on the weather or season there's a choice of dining outside on the patio, surrounded by lovely flowers, or inside to catch a Sox or Pats game. 

This summer I've had the chance to eat both inside and out. All comfy, all delicious!

Some delicacies I've sampled are:
Mushroom, spinach, cheese wrap
Asian chicken salad (minus the chicken)
Apple, cranberry gorgonzola salad

Someplace Special offers not only salads, wraps, burgers, pizza, but meals and a full drink menu as well.
Everything is reasonably priced, and comes with a nice serving of tortilla chips with homemade salsa to keep those taste buds busy while your food is being prepared.

A drive through take out window is also available for your "call in" orders.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to Someplace Special being able to satisfy my taste buds! 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

High School Football time!

It is an exciting night in Putnam!

The Quinebaug Valley Pride football team takes the field at Putnam's St. Marie Greenhalgh's field tonight for their first home game of the year against the Plainfield Panthers.

Quinebaug Valley Pride is a cooperative team made up of Putnam, Tourtellotte, and Ellis Tech players. 

WOOOHOOOOOOOO! Go PRIDE. Putnamaniacs are proud of the cooperation amongst the local schools to put this great team together!

If you can't go to the game, catch it on WINY Radio with John Wilbur making the calls.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to High School Football games and the Quinebaug Valley Pride!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Looks good even from UNDER your eye lids!

OK. So it is pretty obvious that to me Putnam is a great place, with beautiful sights, delicious restaurants, live entertainment, affordable homes, etc, etc, etc.

Yet today's Putnamania is all about the simple and necessary things in life.


At the end of a long day, it is so satisfying to hop into your bed for a well deserved night of rest.

Since I live in Putnam, my bed is in Putnam, and therefore it looks great to me even with my eyes closed.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to going to bed and recharging my mental and physical batteries here every night!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Putnam Recreation Department is OUTSTANDING!

Most towns have Recreation Departments.

No big surprise that our own Putnam also has a Recreation Department then.

The big surprise is that these town employees are all secretly SUPER HEROS!

A few events held in town this summer point as direct proof of this secret knowledge...think about it...

Exhibit #1: Car Cruise. Over 3000 cars were on display throughout downtown, closing down most streets to driving traffic, allowing foot traffic and food & drink vendors only. Thousands of people attended the car show, on top of all the car owners themselves. I drove through town at about 7pm that night, and not a speck of litter or any other disturbance was in sight. Clearly Super Heroic effort only could complete that task.

Exhibit #2: French Canadian Fest/River Fire: Just this past Saturday, these events took place in Rotary Park, attracting thousands once again. No French Canadian fest would be complete without tons of food! There was plenty, and also lots of litter. This crew also stoked the River Fires all night. Once again, early the next morning, the place was immaculate and looked as if it had not been used in years! Super Hero work for sure.

So, keep your eyes and ears open for a cape tucked into a pair of work pants, you will know it is one of the fine Putnam Rec Dept employees. Don't blow their cover, but a big thank you and pat on the back will do. We are lucky to have them!

Learn more about the Putnam Rec Department and their fearless leader.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the Putnam Rec Department!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

French Canadian Fest & River Fire!

Today, as usual there are about a gazillion happenings in the Quiet Corner. All fun, all good causes, lots of food, and it is a glorious day!

French Canadian Fest & River Fire are both taking place at Rotary Park starting this afternoon and run into the evening. Featuring all sorts of French Canadian foods and music, it should be a blast. 

In Putnam I am surrounded by folks with last names such as Lefevre, Bissonnette, St.Onge, St.Jean, Deslongchamps, Bousquet, etc, etc, so in other words, lots of French Canadian roots.

My Nanna Moone's maiden name was Fagnant (pronounced Fay-own), so those roots are also included in me. Not being a fan of meat, I guess the meat pie gene was skipped over in that part of my DNA! I also know why my mom loves maple walnut ice cream!

If you haven't chosen your event for the day/night, come on down to Rotary Park for the French Canadian fest ay! We can sit side by each and enjoy it all.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to French Canadian Fest and River Fires!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Great people like Lori Kerttula put on the Nick Silvesto Benefit!

I have this great friend. I had the pleasure of meeting her every morning at 6am sweating away at Curves.

This group at Curves was my first CT influence when I moved in from RI. We came in with our hair sticking out all over the place and barely awake some mornings. We talked as fast as we worked out. We shared everything in those early morning hours. These women are all outstanding souls for many reasons.

Today I speak of my friend, Lori, who has a pretty hectic life of her own, with family, home, work, friends... you know the feeling.

However, back in June, her BFF's husband Nick was in a serious motorcycle accident, was life-starred to Hartford Hospital, and he is still there months later. As tragic as that is, Nick's wife (and Lori's best friend) is legally blind. The couple have 2 teen-aged boys, ages 11 & 13. They have their hands full to say the least.

My sweet & wonderful Lori and a couple of other gals organized a benefit for the family. They had to find a date, location, food, entertainment, etc. to put this all together. And put it together they did.

The benefit is tomorrow, Saturday, September 11. Following are the details, and if you can't make it but feel in your heart that you could chip in a bit to help support this great family in need, please call Lori. It is time to pay it forward.

Where: Plainfield VFW,7 Windsor Ave,Plainfield, CT
When: Sat, 9/11, 6-11:30
Contact: Lori (Allstate Ins.) at 860-564-3383

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to great people like Lori Kerttula who put on the Nick Silvestro Benefit!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back Yard Nature Abounds!

Since I was sooooo busy yesterday enjoying Putnam, working, dinner with my Wednesday night BFFs, etc, I did not even have time to post a Putnamania blog.

Today's script was all mentally prepared....and then I woke up. As I rolled over listening to Brother John informing me of the day's early news on WINY, I put on my glasses, and as is routinely done every morning, I looked out the window to my back yard.

As we all know, it has been an extremely dry summer. The river in my back yard is barely a trickle. However it was transformed from a dry river bed to a safe deer passage this bright, crisp morning. Five deer, including some very tiny Bambi-like forms, walked cautiously across the river and on to their destination.

Of course we see deer everywhere here in New England, so that in itself is not such a big deal. However, with that little deer family being my first sight of the day, barely 50 feet behind my house, it was surely a great start to a day in Putnam.

Hopefully their destination was not my Renegade Garden to meet with the woodchucks and chow down the hosta!

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to Back Yard Nature Abounding!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

WINY 1350 am Radio - this could be my Putnamaniac blog EVERY day!

People who live near or travel through Putnam have seen the WINY radio station.
It sits besides the picturesque Cargill Falls.

It is my constant ray of sunshine each day. Certainly it fits that same bill for many others. The joke heard almost daily on the radio from listeners is "I wake up with Gary O every morning, I hope his wife doesn't mind".  Ain't that the truth!?

The day starts at 6am, with a bright sunshiny wake-up hello from Brother John, then the Pledge of Allegiance recited by a gathering of young children filled with the bright hope of each day. From there on the next 3 hours are filled with POSITIVE, LOCAL, and FUN information, facts, conversation, the best music you somehow have forgotten but just love. It is certainly a great way to start each and every day.

Sports hawk, John W joined the northeast CT "biggest loser" contest earlier in the year, and he inspired me to run my first 5k! I've jogged in solitary bliss for years, but was so truly inspired by John W's success and the goals he set, that I did the Brooklyn Fair 5k recently. Came in 3rd place for my age group, proving turning 50 pays off. Great fun!

On top of the great chemistry that Gary O and the "Johns" have in the morning, we have the talk show with Paul Coutu, which makes us think, and Zach & his entourage are just as good in the afternoon. Karen O pops in to deliver wonderful recipes every week. These people make you feel like you are living in the greatest movie ever written! Oscars all around!

Accentuate the postive - live the local life. Enjoy WINY, which could be my daily Putnamaniac blog!

Check out WINY Radio

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to WINY Radio!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Today is the last day of the Woodstock Fair!

Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, today is the last day to enjoy the Woodstock Fair.

Since it is only 3 miles away from my home, and much closer as the bird flies, I can hear many of the sounds of the fair muffled as they carry over the airways. I will enjoy the fireworks tonight from my porch!

Thank goodness the delicious smells of all the food booths don't carry that far!!! 

There are always great shows, big named entertainers, local crafts, rides, and of course that delicious food at the Woodstock Fair!

If you haven't gone to the fair yet, this is your chance. If  you missed it this busy weekend, then be sure to mark your calendar for next year. The Woodstock Fair is always on Labor Day weekend!

Check out The Woodstock Fair

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the Woodstock Fair!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Habitat Re-Store is thriving in Putnam

Habitat for Humanity is a well known organization, due to the help of years of hard work, and attention brought on back in the day by big hitters like Jimmy Carter.

There are many chapters of Habitat, and we are lucky enough to have a dedicated group here in Northeast CT.

We are also lucky to have the Habitat Re-Store, now located in Putnam at 171 Providence Street. It is a convenient location, and a public parking lot is beside the store. It is run by volunteers (including me)!

Hours are now:
Friday and Saturdays 9am-2pm (Donations are welcome on these days)
Sundays 10am-2pm

Soon the Re-Store will expand its hours to Thursday nights as well.

Feel free to stop in and see what they have (lights, fixtures, furniture, appliances, flooring, doors, windows, etc, etc, etc). You can pick up some great buys for yourself. You may also discover that you have things in your home that you would like to donate. In either case, you support a great cause.

Spread the word and we encourage you to visit in person, and learn more about our chapter online: Habitat Northeast CT

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the Habitat Re-Store on 171 Providence Street!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Local Artistic Talent is shown by Eye of the Wild Photography!

I had the pleasure of meeting a talented artist at the Pomfret Concert in the Park earlier this year.

Photography is her craft, and she is outstanding at what she does. I am not sure she knows that she is as talented as she is... she seems to enjoy it so much... her joy at snapping away at nature may skew her view of her talent.

Not only did she exhibit her outstanding photographs in Pomfret, but she was a true kind and noble spirit. She was at ease naturally with spectators of all ages who strolled by for a view of her work.

During this outside event, when the rain drops started falling, she was immediately in the next vendor's booth helping him to cover his wares, since he did not have a tent to protect them.

At the end of the day, she helped me carry my things to my car.

Imagine that someone so talented is also a great person! Welcome to Putnam! Great people everywhere!

Check out Eye of the wild photography

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to great local artists who are great people!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sweltering Steeple Sitting in the humid New England heat!

Today's astonishing Putnamania event played out 100' up in the sky above Putnam, as Pastor Tom Meyer sat in the steaming church steeple all day long.

Why would a man who is afraid of heights climb up there and do such a thing???  Apparently the steeple has been leaking into the church, and is in desperate need of repair. This is a pricey fix. Pastor Tom thought he might be able to raise some money by having people pledge donations to the repair fund if he climbed up and stayed in the steeple all this long hot day. Yikes!

Bear in mind that this church, like so many other great organizations in Putnam, donates to many of the wonderful local causes when they are in need.

Today was a case of what goes around comes around.

Gary O and the WINY Radio crew broadcast the plea for help throughout the day.

The last count I saw was that a total of $8,500 was raised today!

Gary O, another height fearer, climbed up to interview the Pastor at the end of the day. I think he might have cried tears of joy if he hadn't been dehydrated from sweating all day up there!

Check out The Putnam Congregational Church here.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to the generous hearts and spirits of all those in the Putnam area!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Quinebaug Valley Pride Football is really about cooperation!

Small towns have a great sense of community, competition and cooperation amongst themselves. It is a natural thing.

Competition and rivalry are always strong in High School athletics. Long histories of rivalries are witnessed in full force during Thanksgiving Day football games when kids, parents and grandparents come out a cheer for their almamater.

This year the communities in the Quiet Corner have formed a whole new sense of cooperation that will change Thanksgiving football games in the area forever.

Putnam, Tourtellotte (Thompson), and Ellis Tech (Killingly & Brooklyn) have formed together to create one great football cooperative team. The seniors of the team named themselves "Pride". 

Get ready to cheer on the Quinebaug Valley Pride, and all they stand for in our great area of cooperation and invention out of necessity in the Quiet Corner!

Learn more about how this story played out and how the co-op was formed: Quinebaug Valley Pride story in the Norwich Bulletin

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to Quinebaug Valley Pride Football!