Thursday, March 31, 2011

It might be snowing...again...but it is almost ice cream season!

 Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah, it is snowing right now (March 31, 2011 at 7:55pm). 
BUT, we know it will not last for long, AND Ice Cream Season is just around the corner, here in the Quiet Corner!
You must come get some great ice cream here in Putnam and close by from these places:
1) WeLiKit, is close by in Abington. opening Saturday, April 2nd, with spring hours are Mon-Thurs 12 to 7pm, Fri & Sat 12 to 8pm. Like WeLiKit on Facebook
2) The Farmer's Cow Ice Cream is also outstanding, and it is made locally by local cows (well the cows don't make it, but provide the main ingredient)! Check out the Farmer's Cow website.

3) Right along the River Trail you will find the Quiet Corner Creamery (located at Riverview Landscape Supply, 147 Kennedy Dr, Putnam). They make their own hard ice cream, with flavors like apple pie... 
I am a Putnamaniac looking forward to lots of Ice Cream varieties and places to get them!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A video clip is worth a thousand words...

I took this video today, overlooking my wonderful Putnam.

It only will get more beautiful every day as time continues to flower us with the many colors of the different seasons.

Enjoy it! It'll take just about 30 seconds, but gives me endless joy. Come visit anytime!

I am a Putnamaniac because it is always just picture perfect beautiful!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Husky Fever Spreading - No need for a doctor, we know the cure!

Medical alert for the Quiet Corner.

New cases are noted in the area every day, especially during the mad month of March.

This not so rare disease throughout the area, known as UConn Huskies basketball fever, persists and continues to grow.

Our ears ring with the Husky Fight Song (click to listen)!

Man, woman, child, middle aged, elderly; no one is immune to the fever.

No need to call the doctor for a cure. We know the cure.

Wins STAT for both the Men and Women in the next tourney games and onward!
I am a Putnamaniac with UConn Husky FEVER!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Re-Cupe, Re-Roof, Re-Rake, Re-Sweep, Re-Energize!

Recuperation, Re-Roofing, Re-Raking, Re-Sweeping, Re-Energizing!

Branches are being gathered, fallen trees cut up, wood is getting stacked, sand on the streets and sidewalks is being swept up (enough to make a few beaches of our own), roofs and gutters are being repaired, yards and garden beds are being raked out.

Anything we did before winter, we are now RE-DOING in Putnam and all around New England, after a long, white winter.

Spring is coming, really, and we want to be ready.

We are almost Re-Energized and ready for some warm weather!

Are you ready???? Do you see signs of  things being Re-Done in your neighborhood?

I am a Putnamaniac because we are RE-ENERGIZED for warm weather!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Habitat ReStore ReVisited - finally!

I had missed being able to volunteer at the Putnam Habitat ReStore for the past few months, due to my schedule during that time. I mean, I really missed it!

However, since I was successful in finding an awesome job, perfectly suited to me once again, I am now able to get back in and do some volunteering at the ReStore! (Note to self: keep this new, perfect job forever!).

So I baked a plate of brownies for my Sunday volunteering cohort, Tony, and we got down to work today.

Stuff comes and goes so quickly in the ReStore, it is amazing. If you are in or around our area, stop by once a week. Putnam's hours are Friday & Saturday 9am-3pm, and Sunday 10am-3pm.You never know what you will find!

Right now there are awesome deals on dishwashers, stoves, window air conditioners, tile for walls & floors, lights of all sorts, and furniture galore. A lady today got a small used tv for her bedroom for $10. We tested it out, and it worked perfectly. There are all sorts of construction items for "do it yourselfers".

Conversely, if you are or know a contractor with old cupboards, sinks, etc, to get rid of after doing renovations, the ReStore is a great place to have them donate these things.

Best of all, the monies are used to complete the Habitat of Northeast CT's current builds. A great cause!

I know I can go on and on about this topic, but stop in and talk to one of the volunteers, and you will also become addicted to Habitat for Humanity!

I am a Putnamaniac because I have a Habitat ReStore to volunteer at right in Putnam!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jury is in. My favorite is the Courthouse in downtown Putnam!

Since I first moved to CT, I have always loved the Courthouse Bar and Grille in downtown Putnam. It is still my favorite place to visit and enjoy a great meal.

The Courthouse gives you a good feeling of being "in court", versus the bad connotations associated with having to go to court.

The Courthouse name their appetizers as "Opening Statements", desserts as "Closing Arguments", and the kiddies' choices as "Juvenile Hall". The menu (entitled The Docket) has a play on words everywhere you look. Enjoying a corny sense of humor, I love to read the Courthouse's menu.

Enjoying a hearty appetite, I love to eat there as well! I bring people with me to the Courthouse whenever I have the opportunity. No complaints! In fact, my uncle, a pretty choosy scallop man, LOVES their scallops. My favorites are definitely the Cold Veggie Wrap or the Veggie Melt. Mmmmm, mmmm, good!

The Courthouse has everything you can think of, and it is all good. Next time you are around, give me a jingle. Let's go to the Courthouse. One of those Veggie Wraps is calling my name!

I am a Putnamaniac because the Courthouse has "Arresting Food and Spirits"!

Friday, March 25, 2011

'Tis maple syrup making time!

This cool scene is on one of my jogging routes:

It is a bit more complex than the usual steel or aluminum buckets you see hanging from tapped red maples or sugar maple trees. Check it out...the taps are still there, but are all connected to this one big plastic bucket by a series of tubes. See the sap that has collected in the bottom of the bucket? And, you can actually HEAR the sap gurgling into the bucket. It is amazing! Who ever thought it'd be a good idea to try and get sap out of a tree and make it into something delicious??? Like many things from New England, it was probably the Native Americans who used their Yankee ingenuity to figure this out. It is a lot of work! It takes 10 gallons of sap to create one quart of syrup! Yikes - I would not have the patience, and I would gobble it all up too quickly! 

I found this pretty cool website, How to Make Maple Syrup, even with a little video to watch if you are interested in learning more about making syrup. If you want to make your own syrup, there are instructions for you to do it, too. There are many folks in New England who do it- just like my neighbors up the road.

I am a Putnamaniac because my neighbors make their own maple syrup!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Framed falls

When you enter Putnam on Kennedy Drive, this framed "picture" greets you every time.

What a welcome! The arched bridge showing a glimpse of Cargill Falls. Every season is different and wonderful. I could look at it forever!

I am a Putnamaniac because the framed falls welcome me home!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Enterprise - Does NOT let you down

I had an experience these last couple of days.

It could have been turned in an unpleasant direction, however I find myself very satisfied and very impressed by a small branch of a large company that I never even knew was in Putnam.

I'm talking about Enterprise Rent a Car - specifically the Putnam Assistant Manager, John Michaud.

The story unfolds:
Driving home from work yesterday, my faithful Ford Focus started losing power. The radio went off, all the dials shut down, lights went out... clearly something was wrong. Kind of scary - not sure when/if the car would die out altogether on my trek home.Would my steering and brakes then fail, too?

Happily, I made it to the local shop that was open till 6pm, which was a nice find in and of itself. (I'll await that outcome to see if a glowing blog will appear for them). Only a mile from home, I was able to walk home to clear my head and plan what to do for the drive to work today.

The internet was of course the logical plan. I found there was an Enterprise in Putnam - in fact I drive by it every day. Never noticed it! I will never miss it from now on.

You can order a rental online, and since the Enterprise office was already closed for the night, I ordered. I figured my problem was solved.

Since Enterprise opens at 8am, I started walking just before 7am to cover the 4 mile walk to get there on time. I was greeted by a pleasant young gentleman, who said he'd just tried to reach me. Unfortunately they did not have a car available for the day. (Apparently their online form allow endless amounts of reservations). This presented me a big problem. Now I had no car, nor another plan to get to work. Not a warm feeling.

However, Mr. John Michaud, of my Putnam Enterprise, stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. He should be in the big leagues, but I hope Putnam can keep him forever. John had his driver take me to work, and then she came back at the end of the day and brought me home. (It is a 20 minute drive to work). John did not charge me a cent. He felt responsible that I had ordered and he had nothing available for me. John took responsibility and solved my problem as if I were not only his best customer, but his friend.

I have brownies baking right now to drop off tomorrow morning to John and his fine employee. Hats off to them for a great job. I am sure that great customer service and effort goes into every customer they have!

If you need a rental for ANY reason in and around Putnam, call John Michaud at Enterprise: 860-928-6402.

I am a Putnamaniac thanks to John Michaud and his staff at Enterprise!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Victoria Station Cafe - cool place to hang in Putnam

Time flies, but I am sure you might remember the tv show "Friends". The characters had a cool coffee shop they hung out in. It had cozy chairs and couches, they could sit and chat without getting hustled out too quickly, occasionally Phoebe would sing some crazy songs...

Putnam has a place with that same sort of welcoming atmosphere, but it is way better!

The Victoria Station Cafe welcomes you in with great smells of coffee, hot chocolate, pastries that require sticking to your workout regime in order to enjoy guilt free!

They have chairs, couches, tables everywhere, and yet the layout is very roomy.

It is a place you can go to by yourself or with a gang of pals.

The Victoria Station has local artists perform and lots of events always lined up, as well as areas to accommodate private parties.

When there is not snow piled up everywhere (like it was all winter), and the weather is mild, the patio is also available.

Putnam is definitely a hands on type of town, and there is something for everyone. Come on down and lets get some coffee on at the Victoria Station Cafe.

I am a Putnamaniac because I love the Victoria Station's welcoming atmosphere!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Will Hunting.

This blog has nothing to do with the old Matt Damon movie, Good Will Hunting.

It has everything to do with the Good Will of a small, modest community. This community is mine.

Time and time again some group is in need of and solicits assistance. The need is always met. Every time. AMAZING! We are not Beverly Hills! We are a modest community, as mentioned.

Today's Good Will was aimed at the Day Kimball Homemakers used car drive. The DK Homemakers wanted to raise $5000 towards buying a modest replacement used car that cost $10,000. Their old vehicle was getting on in years (like over a decade old). WINY Radio put out a plea over the airwaves, made the station "Donation Central" today, and the community's Good Will raised the entire amount to buy the used car! Folks dropped off donations, and those listening online called in from as far away as AZ, FL, and even Great Britain to chip in.

If you are searching for Good Will, come to Northeast CT. You will find it here over and over and over again!

I am a Putnamaniac because of the Good Will that thrives here!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Measuring a year in Putnam - Seasons of Love

525,600 minutes...How do you measure a year in life?

In daylights
In sunsets
 In midnights, in cups of coffee. 
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife
How do you measure a year in life?
Measure in love. 
(Seasons in Putnam, 2010) 

I am a Putnamaniac loving the seasons and every great day here!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jewett City Savings Bank is a great local business

I am partial to the Jewett City Savings Bank.

It is my bank of choice here in Northeast CT.

Jewett City Savings Bank branches are convenient, have little to no fees, great rates, and it is a strong community bank.

(Of course the fact that one of my best friends is the manager of the Brooklyn branch does not taint my opinion, it only makes it stronger, as I know what kind of a person and leader she is. JCSBank is loaded with good people).

So, if you are unhappy with your banking situation or simply looking around, stop in to the Jewett City Savings Bank branch near you:
You will not be disappointed. (If you stop in to Brooklyn, tell Deeda that I sent you!).

There are lots of strong, healthy local banks in Northeast CT if JCSBank does not fit your needs. Also check out: Putnam Bank or Citizens National Bank.

I am a Putnamaniac because I am a happy customer of Jewett City Savings Bank!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

So many Home Sweet Homes!

Certain things in life are necessary;
  1. Food
  2. Water
  3. Clothing
  4. Shelter, in other words, A HOME, the American Dream; capes, ranches, condos, bungalows, etc, etc, etc
Many folks prefer renting over owning.

I'd say that I am not one of them, since I am now living in the 5th home that I have bought. I love buying houses, and obviously I don't mind selling them and moving on to the next. I enjoyed it so much, I took the CT Real Estate course at QVCC last year. A new found appreciation was discovered for what Real Estate professionals do when you are kicking back and dreaming of where you will hang that picture of Nana and Poppa.

If you are in the Northeast CT area and need help with your needs for "shelter", I can offer a few suggestions. Before you sign any paperwork with a Real Estate professional, it is best to do your own "due diligence" and scout out the one that will work best with you and for you. There are tons to choose from, so don't be shy. You are literally "the boss of them".

These great & dedicated individuals were members of or taught the Real Estate course I took, or who I met along the way, so to give you a starting point, give them a call. All are highly recommended (click on each of them to get their contact info):
Rachael Johnston, Johnston & Associaties
Amy Brunet, Exit Realty
Carl Mercier, Loomis Real Estate
Kara Mazzola, First Choice Realty

I am a Putnamaniac because there are so many great places to live, and so many great professionals to help you find them!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nutmeg Container is packaging up great work in Putnam!

Putnam was an old mill town, as so many towns were back in the day, since it is located right on a river. Putnam also has the railroad tracks running through town.  Back when, those were vital elements to being a successful mill town.

Technology came, along with lots of other changes, and the mills were no longer used. Putnam and its buildings also took a  beating from the big flood of 1955.

We also know that many similar towns, with similar histories, have tons of old mill buildings, like Putnam. They go to rack and ruin rather quickly. It is not an easy task to find a solution to this history crumbling around us all.

Putnam is lucky to have most of the old mills filled up nowadays with business activity. Nutmeg Container is one business that is working away in an old building. They house a 140,000 sq. ft. sheet plant - and produce boxes, pads, crease sheets, die-cuts, CAD, contract packaging, foam and plastic corrugated. Trucks are coming and going out of that place all day long. 

I am a Putnamaniac because I love the old buildings in Putnam!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daylight Savings Time - Yippeeeee!

How are you adjusting to Daylight Savings Time and the clock change?

Do you take a while to adjust, or do you adjust right away? 

Do you like springing forward or falling back better?

I always adjust a lot better to the Springing Forward, since I seem to come out of hibernation, have great expectations for the upcoming (literally) Renegade Garden at my condo, and plan to get out an enjoy as much of the great outdoors as I can before next winter arrives.

After work tonight I witnessed, by sight or sound, kids playing outside in their yards, boys playing hoop at the town courts, people walking the River Walk, dogs walking their owners around town, birds chirping and flitting about...

It looks like all of us Putnamaniacs came out of hibernation!

I am a Putnamaniac because people come out of the woodwork when Daylight Savings Time arrives!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Canadian Geese are attending the Woodstock Fair already!

Since it is Saturday, rather nice for a New England March morning, not raining, not snowing, then it is a particularly great day to get outside and breath in some great air and scenes!

Heeding my own advice, I took a good long jog (for me that is), and followed a route I hadn't traveled by foot during the winter months. Up past the golf course, past the corn fields, came out by the Woodstock Fairgrounds, then looped back home. 

I love Fairgrounds, even when they empty and no fair or other event is going on. You can see how big the grounds really are, imagine all the smells, people, animals to come... Good times!

The Canadian geese apparently couldn't wait for the Fair this year. They were all over the Woodstock Fairgrounds, and even in the parking lot.  This is a good thing! The geese are coming back in droves. Spring is in the air!

Enjoy your day, enjoy the season!

I am a Putnamaniac because the Canadian Geese are coming back for spring!

Friday, March 11, 2011

So much wine, so little time!

I'm not sure if you know that the Quiet Corner of Northeast CT is deep in wine country.

It is!

We are lucky to have many wineries nearby, and although I have yet to visit any of them, they are on "my list".

Two that are very close are:
Taylor Brooke Winery  and
Sharpe Hill Vineyard

Check out their websites, and check out their wines, as I am about to do with Sharpe Hill's Red Seraph:
A fine Chianti style red wine made from a blend of St. Croix and Merlot grapes. This ruby colored red wine is richly complex and smooth. It is a perfect accompaniment to beef, lamb and pasta dishes.
The Red Seraph has received more than 21 medals including: 
Gold Medal - 2007 & 2008 Tasters Guild International Wine Judging
 Mmmm, mmmm good after a great week of work!

I am a Putnamaniac because we have so many great local wineries!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Good times at the track, running track that is!

I thought it was going to be raining cats and dogs this morning, so I did not plan to get up and jog... at least that is my excuse... so I slept a bit longer, listened to WINY radio, and ate some cereal.

Good times!

However, forecasts aside, it was not raining this morning, nor did it rain all day.

So while driving home after work, the guilts kicked in. My jog for the day was calling me.

I went to the Putnam High School Clippers track. Since there is still snow on the track, you have to run on the outer perimeter. That is ok with me! Accompanied by the Dropkick Murphys, Abba, Michael Jackson, and Fergie, I ran my laps....and it got darker and darker... finally I quit since I could no longer see (and Thriller was playing, with all that werewolf howling, freaking me out)!

Good times!

As I was feeling my blind way to my car, another fellow showed up and started jogging.
Then 2 other ladies drove in while I was starting my car!
Now that is dedication! It was dark and they were still listening to their inner joggers!

Good times!

Get out and use your local tracks or sidewalks. It's the best exercise ever, mental and physical. It costs no more than a pair of shoes and conscious decision making by you to take a few minutes for yourself!

Good times!

I am a Putnamaniac because we have a great, well used running track!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day Kimball Hospital is just a stitch away

Putnam does have a lot of nice things.  I could go on forever!

Add Day Kimball Hospital to my list of Putnam's nice things. DKH is literally within 2 miles of my home. That sounds pretty good in case an emergency comes up!

I know many people who were born there, who work(ed) there, who've had medical tests galore there, who have had surgery there...

It is a luxury to live so close to DKH, and like all things in our quiet corner, it sits on a beautiful hill and overlooks a scenic vista (...not views "to die for", since we are talking hospitals here, but really awesome seasonal views year round)!

My wish is that you never have to visit me there, nor will I have to visit you there, however it is nice to have the piece of mind knowing that Day Kimball Hospital is just a stitch down the road.

I am a Putnamaniac because I feel safe and secure with DKH so close!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A book will always jump off the shelf at the library!

I've been a big fan of libraries and the escapes they provide since my mom took me and my brother, Skee, on walks to the Davisville Free Library. We thought we were so cool to get our own library cards and books. Such fond memories inspired one of my Farmer Nubbins' children stories (see end of blog for story).

I still think it is pretty cool, and now I go to the Putnam Public Library and pick out my books. They literally jump off the shelves at me. What a great way to discover a new author or to find an old familiar favorite.

Go to the library, and if you have small children, get them started early. I never met a kid that did not like to read. Even the ones that don't come by it easily. There is always something for everyone.

I am a Putnamaniac because the librarians all know me due to my frequent visits!

One of
Farmer Nubbins’ Favorite Places
(Can you guess where it is?)

Can you guess one of Farmer Nubbins’ favorite places to go?
It is in a building that was built long ago.

Farmer Nubbins likes to walk to this special place.
When he opens the door and walks in, he gets a big smile on his face.

Once inside he learns about people, places, and things.
And he also learns which planet is encircled by rings.

This place has many desks and lots of shelves.
And you can also find out about fairies, trolls, and elves.

You can borrow things, if you have a special card.
Anyone can get one, it is not very hard.

Sometimes the kids get to make different crafts.
Once they made paper boats and popsicle stick rafts.
Another thing that happens here is the weekly story hour.
Hear stories of such things as princesses trapped in high towers.
Have you figured out this place by using the clues?
The animals here are not alive or in cages, so it is not the zoo.

A lot of you may guess that this place is a school.
That guess is close, you’re getting warmer, and that is cool!

Here are a few more hints to help you out…
You should speak softly here, please don’t shout.
This place has thousands of books to read.
That is a big hint indeed!

Farmer Nubbins is at his local library.
Libraries are great places, don’t you agree?

You should visit the library in your school or your town.
Pick out a book, pull up a chair, and sit right down!

Story Notes: My mom used to walk us to the Davisville Free Library all the time when we were kids. We got so much enjoyment during those walks and learned an appreciation of reading at a young age. Part of the walk included crossing over the train track bridge, which is another whole story altogether.  We enjoyed the outdoors and the exercise to get there, as well as the time spent together, and finally an escape to another time and place through our stories. What could be better?  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

This guy can't wait for golf weather!

OK. It is March 8th. We've had some rain, mild temps, and happily some melting lately.

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel of a long, white winter.

We can smell spring!

That sentiment rang out loud and clear this morning as a guy stood in a muddy parking lot by the soccer field, hitting gold balls onto the still snow covered field. Big smile on his face.

I am a Putnamaniac because we all show our anticipation of spring weather in different ways!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Antique Bottles and Glass - learn a lot more from Heckler Auctioneers

I learned about this interesting business just up the road in Woodstock recently.

Norman C. Heckler and Company are auctioneers.

They sold a glass flask with General Jackson's bust on it last October for over $176,000.


That is amazing to me, and it also raises a million questions...
1) Where do you find an old bottle like that?
2) How the heck do you know it is valuable when you find it?
3) Who on earth would spend that much to take it off your hands?
4) Who do you trust to find out the value and get it for you?

It seems to me that the answer is to go straight to Heckler's and get their expertise in such matters.

Since I have dug up some glass bottles at the tree farm over the years, I can appreciate Heckler's enjoyment in their business of dealing with antique glass. I know my glass is very me...since it recalls lots of fond memories, and looks so pretty sitting on my porch.

Get digging and find your own valuable memories!

I am a Putnamaniac because there are auctioneers, like Hecklers,  that deal with very interesting articles right up the road!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Steeples; reaching to heaven or shouting out their location to you?

From our picturesque little downtown of Putnam, I can easily see 3 steeples, belonging to the;

Steeples are as New England as it gets.  The steeple was one of the first architectural forms to be cultivated in New England, and it is still one of our most boasted calling cards. 

Steeples are associated mostly with churches, but are found in other New England buildings, like Putnam's town hall, as well. Some say the steeples were made to reach towards heaven, as those early New England settlers were very dedicated to their religions. The tall steeples certainly did shout out the location of their buildings to the countrysides and travelers seeking refuge. You can always spot them from afar.

Remember the children's rhyme (recited with the use of your hands and fingers):
This is the church, this is the steeple, open the door, and see all the people. 

Do you enjoy old New England architecture, such as steeples? Do you look around and even see them poking up where they do? Do you enjoy the architecture of your town?

I am a Putnamaniac because I love the steeples I see around town!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Weather Alert - the snow will go away someday

Gorgeous day in the Quiet Corner.

Very windy, but sunny and otherwise mild-ish - with no precipitation falling.

The kinda obvious wise weather alert today is that the snow will eventually be gone.

Putnam town trucks and payloaders are scooping up buckets of snow from parking areas along the River Walk, in anticipation of all the dogs and their people who want to get back out to their favorite walking spot, as well as upcoming River Fires, Concerts in the Park, Fireworks, car shows, and lots more outdoor fun town activities.

Did you smile at the sun today? Will you be glad or sad when the snow is gone for yet another season?

....Soon some of us will be complaining that it is too hot out! I will be happily smiling and sweating!

I am a Putnamaniac because I know that the snow will eventually melt away!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Not the Mighty Mississipp, but the Little River, she's a'rolling!

This morning, looking out my porch windows, I remind myself how lucky I am to have the Little River in my backyard.

It is great to see it this time of year, since the leaves are not on the trees yet. In the summer, you can hear it, but it is much more difficult to view.

It is really moving along pretty quickly now, and with all the snow there is still to melt, I imagine it will be speeding along for some time now. Hard to believe it was so dry last summer that I saw 5 deer taking a walk across the pebbled bed one morning. Seasons change.

Enjoy the sounds of the Little River rolling on by:
I am a Putnamaniac because the Little River lulls me to sleep each night!