Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jog with Judy 5k was today in Woodstock, CT

Today was the 6th annual Jog with Judy 5k race in Woodstock, CT. The number of participants grows like mad every year. Last year there were just over 700 who made the trek.

The death of Judy Nilan was a tragic news story that happened shortly after I moved to the Quiet Corner. She was murdered while out on a jog.

Judy Nilan was a social worker at the Woodstock Middle School who had a tremendous impact on the lives of the people around her. Her positive energy influenced the students and staff in the middle school.  She was dedicated to her many worthwhile causes.  All money collected from this annual road race will be put into a fund that will support these causes and future endeavors that will help students in the Woodstock Middle School.

Thank goodness residents in our area are able to make something good out of something tragically sad.

I am a Putnamaniac because my neighbors always try to make something good out of even the worst.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Expecting company? This lady in Putnam is!

Driving home from work tonight, I saw this expectant "lady", looking out her door as though she were expecting company. She expects and receives a lot of "pop-ins",since everyone loves to visit Putnam!
Check out this fine lady, and many others like her, at the fine antique boutiques in downtown Putnam!

I am a Putnamaniac because I am always expecting company in Putnam, too!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The fire pots are in the River!!!

The fire pots.....They were put away all winter, and now they have reappeared!
That means River Fires are approaching.

Click on this video to see the fire pots in the river! Woooohoooooo!

May 1st. First River Fire of the year. Be there or be square!

I am a Putnamaniac because the fire pots are now in the river!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Renegade Gardener sends a BIG thank you to Mother Nature!

After much anticipation, and about 1000 mosquito bites this evening, the Renegade Gardener is thanking Mother Nature kindly for breathing some life (in the form of recent spring rain, sunshine, and quite warm temps today) back into the Renegade Garden. Signs of life have finally arisen!

Take a tour of the Renegade Garden (click on this video for your Renegade Tour) as she resurrects from slumber and shows promise of lots of growth this growing season. Yippeeeeee! Do not report this incident to the "Condo Police"...

I am a Putnamaniac because I also am a Renegade Gardener!

Monday, April 25, 2011

All varieties of blooms, including fun-now in Putnam!

Blooming now in Putnam, CT:
PJM Rhodys, Forsythias, Magnolias, Daffodils, Tulips, Dogwoods, Young baseball players, Young soccer players, and lots of upcoming fun!

Fun includes this coming weekend, Sunday, May 1st:
*85 Main's 3rd annual shuck off contest (oyster shucking contest and shellfish celebration), 12-6pm
*1st River Fire of the season, starting at dusk
Both events will be held in Rotary Park, downtown Putnam on Kennedy Drive.

Let your smile blossom while you enjoy these 2 great events!
I am a Putnamaniac because I love everything that blossoms here, including the fun events!

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm razzle dazzled, and all that jazz by Chicago at the Bradley!

And Razzle Dazzle it was at the Bradley Theater!

If you like musicals with some comedy thrown in, set in an exciting/romantic/tumultuous time and place in our country's history, Chicago is just the ticket.

I had seen the movie. Loved it. I never knew it was based on a real historical events... until I heard an interview with the Bradley's director on WINY radio.

Apparently they did not call them the "roaring 20's" for nothing! Prohibition, gambling, drinking...

The musical is based on a play, written by a newspaper reporter who covered the trial of murderesses in Chicago in the mid 1920's. These women all had committed murder, "crimes of passion", under the influence of alcohol. Most reporters and the jury were all men, who couldn't resist these "darlings", showered them with attention & celebrity, then set them free by acquittal.

How could this story lose? And it gets better as the years go by.

So get your ticket for Chicago at the Bradley Theater now! There is still another weekend left! (...and I am going back one more time with friends. Can't wait for my second helping of Razzle Dazzle)!

I am a Putnamaniac because I love all the Razzle Dazzle at the Bradley Theater!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

See Putnam "in your eyes", through my eyes

Ahhhh.  Putnam...every morning...

"I drive off in my car, but whichever way I go, I come back to the place you are"...

Today, try to see picturesque Putnam through my eyes.... I approach town, the Quinebaug River runs high and is moving swiftly. A tiny lady is walking her very large and fluffy white dog on the River Trail.  I'm pretty sure they are both smiling.

The forsythia and daffodils are spurting yellow splendor everywhere. Color and beauty so bright, you wonder if you are really seeing it.

As I get closer to our quaint downtown, I see the Cargill Falls framed under the arched bridge on Pomfret Street.  A life sized picture I never get tired of seeing.

The falls themselves are bubbling and frothing, and falling swiftly. The roar is steady and tranquilizing. The spray and mist attempt to soften the roaring falls.

The Little River runs along my road. Although it is "littler" than the Quinebaug, it is still high and moving fast this time of year. A pair of mallard ducks land in the corner of my eye. Such sparkling water.

I pull in the driveway, and WINY radio is playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes"...I'm not sure this song was ever used to capture a person's feeling about their home, but it really struck me that way today.

"in your eyes, the light the heat, in your eyes, I am complete, in your eyes, I see the doorway to a thousand churches, in your eyes, the resolution of all the fruitless searches, in your eyes, I see the light and the heat,
in your eyes"

I am a Putnamaniac because I love to see Putnam through my eyes!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Locally made Maple products! Delectable Delights!

An ad for Darlene's Delectable Delights just jumped off the page of the Shopper's Guide (a local paper that is mailed to homes in Northeast CT).

Darlene's Delectable Delights features maple products, locally made in Northeast CT. That made me think of the blog I had written a few weeks ago, after I had come across a new fangled sap collection system on the side of the road! (Check out that previous blog; "Tis maple syrup making time" here).

I came right to the computer and checked out Darlene's Delectable Delights website, and OMG! is my mouth watering. You should see the treats!

Go to their website now and check it out. You soon will be drooling, too! Best of all, now you have a great source for a delicious and unique gift for that hard to buy for person (or even for a special treat for yourself)!

I am a Putnamaniac because Darlene's Delectable Delights makes local maple treat deliciousness!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Trout Season - man vs. heron

Another sign of spring in New England is when trout fishing season opens.

Last weekend was RI's opening day. It opened yesterday here in CT.

Check out CT's state info on licenses, rules, and even a map of where the trout are stocked at this link: CT DEP fishing info.

As I saw a fisherman clamoring through the briars and brush to get as close to the Little River as possible, I also saw a heron fly into the same river, a bit upstream. I put my money on the heron catching more than the haphazard fisherman. However, I am sure they both enjoyed their time fishing!

What about you? Do you enjoy fishing, or do you think it is for the birds?

I am a Putnamaniac that enjoys watching fisherman vs. heron on opening day of trout season!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Putnam Little League opening ceremonies-goosebump time!

I kept procrastinating today's jog. Not sure why, just kept putting it off.

Once I got out, I knew why I had waited...

Going down Recreation Park Rd, I could see the ball field was jammed; both the field and the stands were packed! Fans and players everywhere. I inadvertently had perfect timing and went past the field during Putnam Little League's opening day ceremonies! Cutest thing ever! As the announcer introduced each team, they jogged around home plate, high fiving each other, while the fans & parents cheered!

It was nice to see almost as many coaches as players. In such a busy world, how amazing that parents still find time to spend with their kids.  That is what it is all about. Companionship, learning the agony of victory and defeat, team work, setting goals, camaraderie,  and of course the 3 traits that Little League boasts; character, courage, and loyalty.

I am a Putnamaniac because Little League Opening Day gives me goosebumps!

I also found this story on the subject in one of the local newspapers, The Putnam Town Crier:
By Steven Dakai
PUTNAM — This year’s long harsh winter is now beginning to give way to springtime,finally. A true sign of spring is when the the young boys and girls take to the small diamond and begin to practice for the Little League season. Opening Day ceremonies will be on April 16 at Murphy Park. Mayor Bob Viens and  Recreation Director Willie Bousquet will will address the players and offer some words of encouragement. Laura Fisher Andersen and her daughter Sidne will perform the National Anthem. The ceremony will be followed by the opening day game between the two Little League teams: the Pirates, coached by Scott Goldbach, and the Red Sox coached by Scott Davagian. The Pirates “Big 3” are: Ryan Whitehouse, who is an All Star catcher; Aiden Ciquera, MVP candidate; and big Zachary Cutler who is capable of hitting double-digit home runs this year. The Red Sox are led by Cole Andersen and Tristan Vanscoy, Putnam’s top pitchers. Steven Shippee and Jacob Brule will provide the defense and muscle at the plate for the Sox. The two teams will compete this spring in the SSGT Joe Phaneuf League against Pomfret/Eastford,Brooklyn and Woodstock. The league was formed four years ago and named for the local man who lost his life in Afghanistan. Games are free to attend and very entertaining. Please come down to Murphy Park and enjoy some baseball and great sportsmanship.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Putnam's town green is greening up nicely indeed!

After a few days of rain, and a few days of sun, everything is suddenly greening up so beautifully here in Putnam!

It is the time of year that makes us really appreciate the change of seasons.

I save up pictures in my mind during the drab winter months, until the scenes finally arrives for real.  My imagination is no longer needed. I can now drink in the beauty of every moment!

Bring it on Mother Nature! We love the change of seasons and the beauty they bring to us in New England.

If you grew up in New England but now live elsewhere, you are missing out on some invigorating moments, and we miss you, too. 

I am a Putnamaniac because I love when the town green turns green in spring!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Showers, bring Mayflowers...I mean May Flowers and nothing like the Flood of 1955!

Growing up and living in New England, I consider us pretty lucky with our weather pattern and seasons.

New England does not get a lot of the traumatic weather that other parts of the world deals with often. Tornadoes, land slides, mud slides, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis... they leave us alone.

We may on occasion get a snowstorm, a piece of a hurricane, and lots of rain, but considering the overall global options, I am feeling pretty lucky with the impact that Mother Nature doles out to us here in New England.

The few times we get dramatic weather, it sticks with us for a long time. RI remembers the hurricane of 1938, the blizzard of 1978, the floods of 2010.

Since I moved to Northeast CT, I learned of  the great flood of 1955. At the closing on my first house bought in CT, at the attorney's office in Putnam, tragic pictures of the devastating flood were displayed throughout the office. This was my first introduction to the CT flooding of 1955. There are all sorts of pictures throughout the town. Every year there are stories in the local papers. 

As I sit here comfy in my condo, listening to the falling rain, and listening to the Little River rushing by in my backyard, I can't help but think that we are lucky here not to have too many of these devastating weather events here in New England.

Here is an old news clip showing the devastation in Putnam, which looks like the Roman ruins in some spots. It is amazing that Putnam has made such a beautiful comeback. People and communities are resilient.

Here is a link to more details of the Flood of 1955. 

I am a Putnamaniac because Putnam has some amazing history and is resilient!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Jesus Christ, not the only Superstar at the Complex!

I had never seen the rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, before the other night.

I am thrilled that my first time seeing it was at the Black Box Theater @ the Complex, right here in Putnam.

This is the 3rd show I've enjoyed at this theater. So much so that now 2 days later, I keep thinking about it.

It is a very small theater, like so small that there are 3 rows. You can see into the actors eyes.

The Complex does not ever take on an easy challenge. They attack complex projects and succeed with flying colors! I can only imagine that is why they chose "Complex" as the name for their theater.

As with the Bradley Theater, just down the street from the Complex, there are tons of locals performing. The talent that played Mary Magdelene works for Putnam Bank, and I've had the pleasure to volunteer with her and her hubby at the Habitat ReStore. Man, can she sing! (Her famous song is "I don't know how to love him").  Just like the rest of the cast, outstanding.

I am a Putnamaniac because Jesus Christ in not the only Superstar at the theaters in town!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jog, Walk, Bike, Boat - just get out!

Take advantage of good weather when we have it!

There is plenty to do outside in Northeast CT.

Walk the River Walk, walk at the track at the high school. There are sidewalks galore, with lots of sights to see. Many roads are wide enough for biking. There are nature trails. There are tons of rivers.

The Last Green Valley's website lists all sorts of places to visit:
Hiking, Biking, Boating

Check out all of these places. Investigate and enjoy! Give your body and mind a nice treat.

I am a Putnamaniac because there are tons of places to jog, walk, bike, boat, and just get out and enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Renegade Gardens exist in Putnam!

If you've ever lived in a condo or know someone in one, you know they have all sorts of rules. No gardens, no flags, no wreaths or decorations on the front doors. A kind of "no personality allowed" blanket set of rules.

It is a give and take. You get a gorgeous place to live, with no outside maintenance to do yourself. No shoveling, no raking, no mowing. For a busy person, or for an elderly person, it is the perfect set up.

I own a condo and fall into the "busy person, someday soon to be elderly" category. However, since I am also known by the nickname "Digger", a name assigned by my brother and sister, because I love to dig, plant, and garden in general, the "no gardening" rules are tough on me.
The Renegade Garden provides me with the loophole I need to satisfy my digging.

Behind my condo is a steep hill that rolls down to the Little River. I mean it is mountain goat steep! It was nothing but weeds, rocks, and brush when I moved in. It is not maintained by the condo landscape crew. Technically not "common property." So, the Renegade Garden was born.

It is coming to life now for another season! Plants from friends and family reside in the Renegade Garden. My next door neighbors love it.  I love it!

Do you have a garden? Did you name it?? If not, you should!

Long live the Renegade Garden and the Renegade Gardener! (My great friend Tara made this picture of me as the Renegade Gardener).
I am a Putnamaniac because my Renegade Garden exists beautifully here!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Courthouse once again compels and entices!

I mentioned The Courthouse Bar and Grille in this recent blog: (Jury is in. My favorite is the Courthouse in downtown Putnam).

The Courthouse scored some more with this Putnamaniac judge and jury yesterday by sending me a $5 coupon!

Why, you may ask?? What would merit such a reward??

I took part in the Courthouse's recent ESPN March Madness bracket. Although my team won the tourney, I was not considered a "winner" in the bracketology calculations. However, I consider myself a winner indeed in receiving the consolation prize of a $5 discount off my next meal. Coincidentally, I will be dining there this Saturday night with my mother and uncle, so the coupon will be used with 3 smiling faces and full tummies! Veggie Wrap, here I come!

I am a Putnamaniac because I have a $5 coupon for Saturday night at the Courthouse!

Monday, April 4, 2011

This IS my town

There is a country music song, with a chorus conveying how I felt driving home from work today and into "my town":

Where I came back to settle down,
It's where they'll put me in the ground:
This is my town. (Na, na, na, na, na.) Yeah, this is my town. (Na, na, na, na, na.) My town.

I think I love Putnam even more because everyone here knows me for me. I can accept if they like me or not since it is based on me, not anything else.

Growing up in a RI town where my father was a cop, my mother worked in the school department her entire career, uncles worked for the town, and the family had lived there forever and a day...everyone knew you by who you were related to. This sometimes worked out nicely, and sometimes not so nicely...However, as a child growing up, I never thought it was fair to be treated kindly or badly based on another's opinion of some relative of mine.

In my town, I love getting a phone message reserving my seat at the local theater from someone who knows me and asks me to stick around to say hi after the show. I love dropping off a donation at the radio station and having the DJ on duty run out to say he loved the treat I dropped off earlier in the week so much that he bought the ingredients to make it for his wife. I love my friend texting me that she saw me while I was out jogging and thought I looked thirsty. I love going to a wreath making class that my friend teaches.

So, I guess you get it. I found a place to be me, the Putnamaniac that I am!

Do you love your town???? I sure hope so!

I am a Putnamaniac because I found and love MY TOWN!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gentlemen! Start! Your! Engines!

It is almost time for the Thompson Speedway to open for another season. Just a few short miles north of Putnam, it is close by for lots of fun.
Local racing on a small track is awesome;
The sights, on and off the track. The smells not only on the track & in the pits, but also of all the foods that are cooking. The sounds are all so exciting and inviting.

You get to know the drivers. Not personally, but how they drive, who they work with and against, who the bad guys and good guys are. You quickly choose a favorite for every division.

The "Ice Breaker" Weekend is speeding upon us - April 9 & 10. 

If you enjoy small track racing, you will love Thompson Speedway. Racing happens all summer long on Thursday nights, starting May 12th. Check out their website, and plan on meeting up with me there sometime soon!

I am a Putnamaniac because I love racing at the Thompson Speedway!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Saturday packed with my favorite things!!!

I'm wondering if a day like today could be any better!

Woke up without the alarm clock and having the day off to do as I please, since it is the weekend!

Took a nice jog!

Cleaned my already clean house, garage, car!

Went to a twig wreath making class at my favorite Putnam Library with my favorite garden designer/herbalist and awesome friend, Lisa Withers, from Down to Earth Gardening. I now have this big twig wreath hanging on my porch, handmade by me!

Tonight the UConn men's basketball team plays!

Do you think I ended every comment with and exclamation point on purpose? You betcha!

I am a Putnamaniac because days are just packed with my favorite things!