Monday, February 28, 2011

5th grader wins the $10,000 prize in the ice fishing contest!

5th grader wins the $10,000 prize in the ice fishing contest!

YES! The title says it all today!

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about an annual ice fishing tourney being held to raise money for one of the local church's steeple fund. (The church had all sorts of leaks and structural problems, lots having to do with the steeple, which was removed, fixed up, then re-set on top of the church. No easy or cheap task there).

The tourney was yesterday. I heard a few blips of interviews during the tournament (including lots of hooting and hollering when someone's tilt proclaimed "fish on") on local WINY radio, including an interview with a boy named Evan. He was quite serious about his fishing. He was even using his own jigs that he'd invented - he called them the "easy jig" and would happily sell one to you for $2.

Today I learn that this young entrepreneur, Evan, won the contest! How great is that???

Check out the story in the Norwich Bulletin 

I am a Putnamaniac because to the delight of a region, a 10 year old kid can win the $10,000 ice fishing prize!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

High School Sports - another season wrapping up, another soon to begin!

High School sports! I love 'em. Probably because I was lucky enough to be on the NKHS Skipperettes (class of '78) basketball team, with a bunch of great people and a great coach. My younger brother, 10 years later, (class of '88) had the pleasure of being a part of a great NKHS Skippers football team. Good times, with experiences that stay with you forever.

So, I went from being a Skipper to a Clipper, cheering now of course for my home team, the Putnam HS Clippers

I've been known to be fickle, though.

Since my friend Aaron is in his senior year at Plainfield HS, and is an important part of the Panthers basketball team, I also cheer for their teams.

Putnam also boasts a private school, Putnam Science Academy, who take most other area teams to school on the courts. So, yup, I cheer for the Mustangs, too.

I don't limit my fickle loyalty to 2 states only...the Milton Hershey School in PA also has a fond spot in my heart. I knew 2 students from New England who loved to pole vault.  Go Spartans.

If you are in the RI area, I recommend a great training facility for your Skippers, Avengers, Mustangs, Eagles, etc. Check out Primal Athlete Training Center.  This guy knows what he is talking about and gets results.

Today some of our Northeast CT hoop games will even be broadcast on WINY radio. Go Teams!

As a season of basketball and indoor track wind down, get ready for spring sports! Hopefully the snow is gone by then so the teams can hit the fields.

Who do you cheer for? Do you have great memories?

I am a Putnamaniac because high school sports are great to cheer for!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Entertaining Sights and Sounds

Putnam is very entertaining, thanks in big part to the great local businesses and events, but also due to the variety of people and their personalities.

Jogging today, I was entertained by:
  1. A little old man, who drove past me, twice. On the 2nd time by, he slowed, rolled his window down, gave me a thumbs up, and hooted "You can jog lady!" (I go slow, but I love it).
  2. The old gray faced dog, who was out in his yard by the Middle & Elementary Schools, who always barks "Ry Ruv Ru" (translation from dog speak to  English is "I love you").
  3. A guy riding a bicycle with an end table precariously balanced on his handle bars. Not sure what I think of that, but it made me wonder. 
  4. Arriving home to a text on my phone that said "Saw you jogging, be safe & careful". This is not the first time this has happened, and by different, caring, sweet people!
I am a Putnamaniac because there are a gazillion ways to be entertained here!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cowboys. Yup, we got 'em!

If you are a fan of cowboys (I am! Especially loved the movie "The Cowboys" with John Wayne, which is a classic blast from the past), then Putnam will not disappoint you

In Putnam's antique and art rich area, we have had a cowboy on horseback in town for a while now. He and his faithful companion move around town. Yes, they even ride in the snow. The deep snow. Luckily a lot has now melted.
When I stopped to take this picture today, a truck of "new" antiques was being unloaded at the Cargill Falls Mill. The owner hollered over to let me know I could buy the set of big urns sitting out in the snow for a steal. He clearly did not know that it was the cowboy I was lusting over!

If you want to check out some interesting and unusual antiques, have a good meal, and a beautiful drive to and from, then come on over to Putnam.

Check out the information on local antique shops here.  I hope to see you around, maybe get a delicious bite to eat, and meet a cowboy or two.

I am a Putnamaniac because I love the cowboys in town!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Putnam Farmers Co-op...always reminds me of going to the grain store when I was little!

One of the great small local stores here in town is the Putnam Farmers Co-op.
They have everything you will ever need for your pets, farm animals, and your property, too. They've been around since 1941. Like most places in Putnam, they run a successful business, but they are always there to chip in, lend a hand, and support all the happenings around town, too. 

When I was a little girl, I used to go to a place like Putnam Farmers Co-op. It was Mr. Lee's Grain Store on one of the back streets of East Greenwich, RI.  My brother and I would go with one of my parents or grandparents. My brother was so young when we went, he always called him "Mr. Wee", instead of Mr. Lee. All those chickens, ducks, goats, etc that made up our menagerie had to eat, and Mr. Lee's was the place to get what they wanted. We'd run up that loading ramp and into the "store". It smelled great in there! All that hay, grain & feed. There were also always a million little kitties running around. My brother wanted to take a kitten home every time we went there! Great memories, and Putnam Farmers Co-op reminds me of just this sort of place. I'll bet the kids love to visit the Putnam Farmers Co-op!

**(I wrote one of my Farmer Nubbins' childrens stories about the Grain Store. It was such a great place to visit as a kid. See the bottom of the blog to read the story).

Next time you are in Putnam, lets go to the Putnam Farmers Co-op! If you live in or near Putnam, I expect to run into you there sometime soon.

I am a Putnamaniac because places like the Putnam Farmers Co-op are great fun!

 Farmer Nubbins Visits the Grain Store
(written in June  2006)
Farmer Nubbins awoke early and rubbed his eyes.
He peeked out the window and saw the sun rising in the sky.

 He hopped out of bed, put on his work pants and boots,
A farm is no place to wear a fancy suit.

 Farmer Nubbins then had a good breakfast, including some juice.
“Squack, Bock” – what was that commotion? “Oh my, some of the chickens got loose.”

Farmer Nubbins ran outside and rounded up the loose chicks.
He put them in their cage and locked it up with some sticks.

 Now that things were all settled, Farmer Nubbins opened the barn door.
He went in and picked his feeding pails up off the floor.

“My animals sure eat a lot,” said Farmer Nubbins as he looked into the grain bin.
“It’s almost empty, I’d better get more before everyone gets hungry, and they no longer grin.

This meant a trip to the grain store in town.
Everyone knew it was the best place around.

So Farmer Nubbins finished his chores and hopped into his truck.
The driveway was a bit muddy, but he didn’t get stuck.
Before he knew it, Farmer Nubbins was where he wanted to be.
He had arrived at the grain store, owned by Mr. Lee.
Mr. Lee’s Grain Store was always such a fun place to be.
People of all ages loved it, and some of the little kids called it “Mr. Wee’s.”
“Mr. Wee, Mr. Wee,” called out some kids as they ran inside.
“Can we go out back in the hay bales and hide?”

“Of course you can play. Go have a blast.”
Mr. Lee knew summer vacation would go by very fast.
Not only were the bales of hay piled high on the floor,
There were many other things to find and explore.
If you looked in the corners you could always find a little kitty.
Some were frisky, some fluffy, but all were quite pretty.

Sometimes Mr. Lee would have baby bunnies or chicks.
He even had an old dog that could roll over and do tricks.
 Mr. Lee’s store had grains, oats, and seeds of every kind.
They were all lined up neatly so they were easy to find.

 Farmer Nubbins shopped for his animals and filled his cart high.
Then he paid Mr. Lee, loaded his truck, and waved goodbye.
As Farmer Nubbins’ truck came into view, his animals’ eyes grew wide.
They could see all the bags of grain piled up over the sides.
 Farmer Nubbins unloaded his truck and put everything in its place.
When he was done, he had filled every space.
 Every farm animal now agreed, from the goats to the hens,
that Mr. Lee’s grain store was a great place, even though they’d never been.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Shuck off... coming to Putnam soon...

So what the heck am I talking about? A shuck off coming to Putnam?

Did you guess it has to do with oysters?? (ewwwwwwwww says me, although my Poppa Moone would disown me for thinking evil thoughts of such a widely well loved bivalve mollusk).

This May 1st is the 3rd annual oyster shucking competition, sponsored by 85 Main, a fantastic restaurant, right here in Putnam, (which is located at 85 Main Street, so it is easy to find)!

The oyster contest started out as a small event, held on the patio in front of 85 Main, but it has grown so much in just a few short years that this year's contest will be held in Rotary Park, where there is a lot more room.

Did you ever wonder how that first brave soul looked at an oyster and decided it would be a good idea to try to eat one? I mean they look like a rock sitting there in the bay.

Have you ever tried to open an oyster? It is not easy, so I will be there to check it out. Save the date, and meet me there! If you want to be a shucker, sign up and I'll be cheering for you. 

**Note that there is a River Fire later this same night! I could go to River Fires in Putnam 364 days a year, saving 1 day for the Fireworks!

I am a Putnamaniac looking forward to fun upcoming events like The Shuck Off!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Flag in a snow pile

Spring is definitely approaching. The weeping willow trees are getting that look - you know it. The buds are fattening up and getting ready to appear. The birds have their spring song in rehearsal, soon to be on stage for the season.

But we still have quite a lot of snow in Putnam. Of course it is melting a bit each day...eventually it will all be gone. In the meantime, since birdbaths and cute statuary (gnomes included) are still buried, people are still finding entertaining ways to use all the snow as their lawn adornments. There is a flag stuck in a pile of snow in someone's front yard these past few days.
It reminds me of many famous flags we can all recall; the flag on the moon, the flag the firefighters raised in New York after the terrible day of 9/11, the flags at half mast when a great loss is experienced...

I came right home and hung my flag out. It is a beautiful day!

I am a Putnamaniac because we proudly fly our flags no matter what and where!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tiny Dancers

There were many topics floating around my head today for Putnamania. Such decisions, decisions...

All those miscellaneous, previous ideas disappeared when I drove past The Complex Theater's Studio of Dance.

I saw Tiny Dancers hopping out of their parents cars and running in for their dance lessons. No, not Elton John's Tiny Dancer; (you remember her... Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band)... But little girls with lots of energy. They were in their little dance outfits, and were a hopping and a skipping into the place. They were clearly excited to be there and could not wait to get inside! A sight so precious it made my heart ache. I knew that today Putnamania was all about this great local business.

Parents entrust their children to this wonderful place, and the kids entrust their imaginations. Remember back to when you were a little kid and everything was such a big learning experience! Of course we continue to learn every day of our lives, but as a child, every new thing is breathtaking. I try really hard to remember to appreciate every new thing, just like I did when I was a kid. Take change as an amazing thing, not a scary thing. Expand your horizons as children do, especially the Tiny Dancers.

The Complex Performing Arts Centre is a wonderful, ambitious, and multifaceted local business here in Putnam. I have been to a few theater performances (and am looking forward to many more), and of course the Dance Studio is a part of the big picture, too. I am sure that I will see some of these little girls someday on one of our big stages in Putnam, and beyond.   Take advantage of this place!

I am a Putnamaniac because Tiny Dancers learn to express themselves at The Complex's Studio of Dance!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day from Putnam!

Valentines Day is OLD. The day is named after early Christian martyrs, Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius in 496 AD.

Sometimes it is mispronounced; Valentimes Day. Silly.

As a kid, I loved those tiny little cards that we all exchanged in school.

A great Simpson's episode has dopey Ralph Wiggum giving Lisa, whom he is in love with, this great card:
Florists enjoy the day, too, although it entails lots of work. We have a great florist right here in Putnam! Lillium Florist actually has 2 locations (one in Danielson and one in Putnam). They delivered birthday flowers from my mom to me last year, and Christmas flowers from my sister this past December.  BEAUTIFUL! I drive and jog past the Putnam location often, and it always looks beautiful and inviting. It smells great when you enter! The colors are uplifting in every season.

If you have not gotten your honey something for Valentines Day, get a move on! Lillium can help you out with all your flower needs.

I am a Putnamaniac because I choo-choo choose everyone to be my Valentine here!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Kitchen Witches starts out Bradley's 2011 season with lots of laughs!

Last night I used my season ticket to see the first show of this season at the Bradley Playhouse.

It was a cute, fun comedy called "The Kitchen Witches" with lots of laughs and a few surprises thrown in. One cool surprise was that they pulled a member out of the audience to participate in a scene. That was fun! The fellow did a great job, too, and seemed to enjoy his few minutes of "fame".

It is nice to have local theater, especially in the boring winter months. I look forward to all the shows, but it is one of the only things that gets me out on a freezing cold night! You should get out to one of these shows.

Shows still to come for 2011 at the Bradley are:
Chicago- in April
Doubt- in June
The Producers- in August
Nevermore- in October
Annie- in December

I am a Putnamaniac because I love going to the shows at The Bradley Playhouse!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ice fishing contest - a big prize will be swimming under the ice somewhere

Have you ever been ice fishing?

Since I am not a fan of fishing or ice, you'd think my answer would be "no".
However, as a child, I can remember going with my father and brother. Once. All I remember is that it was COLD! My father, who was not known for his hunting and gathering skills, probably did a lot of swearing, and I also recollect catching that day...a COLD!

All kidding aside, ice fishing is a huge winter hobby all over New England, since our region has many bodies of water, and some years, lots of ice! Putnam and its surrounding towns are no exception to the ice fishing frenzy.

There is even an ice fishing tourney, with a $10,000 prize, if you catch the tagged trout! Last year someone won. Can you imagine that? Having fun and winning $10,000 to boot. If you live anywhere nearby and like ice fishing, call and enter the contest. Here are the details:
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27TH, 8:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.
$50.00 ENTRY FEE
BREAKFAST AT 6:00 A.M. for $6.00
(info from WINY radio)

I will make dinner at my house for any of you fishermen who fishes in the contest (but it won't be fish).

I am a Putnamaniac because even the ice fishermen have fun and cooooool contests!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The finer things...

The finer things keep shining through
The way my soul gets lost in you
The finer things I feel in me
The golden dance life could be...

Good chorus to a good, old song.

Putnam has so many fine things that keep me shining. I love the restaurants, the theaters, the stores, the River Walk, the rivers, the architecture, the people, the schools, the nature, the radio station, my neighbors, even the simple layout of the town. It has things happening now, and always has things to come. If you look and listen, there is never a dull moment in Putnam. Many of these events about town are even free.

Life can be a golden dance. It is for me. All you have to do is choose positivity as your dance partner.

I am a Putnamaniac because there are so many finer things in life here!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spring Fever hit Putnam today - at least it felt like that!

Yowza! Did we have spring fever here in Putnam and Southern New England today, or what?

Sunshine. Mild temps (high 30's). No wind. Lots of melting. Birds singing. Car windows and sunroofs open.


We were even happy as we were shoveling the gazillion inches of snow still around on the ground and roofs, chipping the ice from driveways, and planning how to fix leaks, gutters, and damage to ceilings and walls.

Smiles were blazing as brightly and warmly as the sun. It is amazing how we can appreciate a change in the weather. The silver lining to our cloudy winter is our new found delight with a nice day. Bring 'em on!

I am a Putnamaniac since a nice, sunny February day brings out the smiles, even with the shovels and clean up work to do!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hopes and airplane tails through setting sunbeams

Driving home, at dusk, there were tons of airplanes leaving their happy little trails in the color streaked sky as the sun was headed out of town for the night.

Like most things, it got me thinking. Today it was about hope and dreams and wishes.

Simple things always inspire these positive thoughts within me. A new baby, the birds tweeting, icicles dripping, thoughts of the green grass of spring to come, a captivating book, and music are just some things that inspire both inner and outer smiles for me. 

The Rhode Island state motto is "Hope". It is apropos that I was born and raised in RI, since I always have hope. There is even a Great Aunt Hope in my family. I definitely put stock in her name! This hope follows me wherever I go and now resides in Putnam with me. It is easy to be naive about things, but I would still rather have a basket of hope with me where ever I go and what ever I do.

As I was watching the airplanes and their trails, and thinking about hope, this chorus of a recent song sung happily in my head:
Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars
I could really use a wish right now (wish right now, wish right now)

What gives you hope? Do let hope have its way with you?  You most definitely should! Always keep hoping!
I am a Putnamaniac because hope followed me here and lives along side me!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I may want to borrow your grandkids to tell them about this winter!

I am no scientist, but since I have no children, I can put 2 + 2 together to figure out I will not have grandchildren.

What a bummer that is, since I will want to be baking and telling some grandkids about this winter in the future!

So, I may have to borrow yours... we can tell them together about all this snow, ice, worry, beauty.

Today sleet fell and froze onto the trees. All the outdoors looks like those fancy desserts you see in the December woman's magazines - all sprinkled with sweet, sweet sugar! Luckily I was wise enough not to stick my tongue onto any of those sweet looking branches (or flagpoles ala "A Christmas Story"), so no rescue was needed!

I tried taking some pictures out my window when I got home. As usual, pictures just can't communicate the beauty as my eyes saw it. I hope you had a beautiful wonderland outside your own windows today, too.

I am a Putnamaniac because I will have many stories to tell YOUR grandchildren some day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We actually have a pothole in Putnam! This is big news!

Growing up in RI, I got used to the roads. I thought that was how roads were everywhere. Potholes, bumps, sections always being worked on, yet never completed. I can't imagine how difficult it is to maintain a road system, so I am certainly not criticizing. I do not know why that is the situation in RI, but it can't be an easy solve.

A few other states have pleasantly surprised me with their roads. Pennsylvania had great roads, with the exception of an occasional sink hole in the Harrisburg/Hershey area, the roads were in tip top shape. New Jersey, now that is another story...

The Quiet Corner of Connecticut has great roads as well. Pleasant, smooth roads, nice driving. I don't know how they do it here in the Northeast corner of CT, but the roads are in great condition, year round.

This is why it startled me to see a pothole of all things in my great Putnam!

I suppose the over 5 feet of snow that has fallen this winter, and all the sand/salt/plowing that has ensued contributed to the only pothole I can remember ever seeing in The Quiet Corner! Again, I am not criticizing, but I am complimenting. It is amazing to me that with such a dratted winter as this one, I have still only come across one pothole.

Keep up the good work Quiet Corner road crews!

I am a Putnamaniac since road conditions are great year round and the occasional pothole is very rare!