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!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Just Ducky

GORGEOUS DAY!! After a few days of rain, heavy rain, which we needed, the rivers seemed a little fuller.

How can I tell??


While jogging I could hear the river running as I loped along beside it. I haven't heard that sound in a while.

When I got home, I opened the porch windows, and hear two loud "KA-SPLASH"es in the river behind my house. Figuring some kids on the other side must be chucking some huge rocks in, I went to take a peek. It was then that I heard a bunch of splashing and the good old "quackkkkk, quackkkkkk" of a family of mallard ducks. They were quite happy to have water in that river again! Last week they would have been up to their webbed feet and duck knees in mud if they landed in that spot!

I am a Putnamaniac when everything is just ducky in the rivers!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Walks in the Rain...

Today's best uplifting sight in Putnam was on the River Walk.

Rain has been falling, if not pummeling us all day, along with very high winds, as we catch the tail end of some tropical storm barreling up the coast. Fine. We really need the rain after a very dry summer. Time to replenish. No one was complaining. Yet not a good day for outdoor activities.

As the end of the day arrived, the rain weakened into some big drops, and some drizzle, with occasional dry moments.

As I drove by the River Walk, and elderly lady was walking, with her gigantic ear phones, and an umbrella in hand....just in case. New Englanders like to be prepared. She was strolling along with such an absolute look of contentment on her face.

My hopes are that some day 20+ years from now, someone will drive past me as I am walking those same steps with a big smile on my face.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to pleasant walks (and walkers) in the rain!