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 winyradio.com 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 (winyradio.com 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!