Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolve to make reasonable resolutions and follow through! You can do it!

The dictionary says: res·o·lu·tion,[rez-uh-loo-shuh n],noun
1. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
2. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
3. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
 
Wikipedia says: A New Year's resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. A key element to a New Year's resolution that sets it apart from other resolutions is that it is made in anticipation of the New Year and new beginnings. People committing themselves to a New Year's resolution generally plan to do so for the whole following year. This lifestyle change is generally interpreted as advantageous.
 
 
Some of the most popular New Year's resolutions are: 
Drink Less Alcohol
Eat Healthy Food
Get a Better Education
Get a Better Job
Get Fit
Lose Weight
Quit Smoking
Save Money 
Volunteer to Help Others
 
Most people successful in their lives that I know say: 
*Make goals reasonable, so that you will keep at the until you reach them. Instead of I am going to lose 50 lbs by Feb 1st, say I am going to exercise 4 times a week, and only have one sugary treat per week). 
*Set them often. Once you have successfully signed up to volunteer at a place you are passionate about, set your goal to spend 15 hours a month there. 
*Set new goals, or revisit goals that might have slipped away from your attention. Remember when you used to do crunches during the commercials of nightly tv time...but now you no longer do it. Get back into that habit!

Keeping a dry erase board on your fridge is a great place to see your current goals, and once they are in your repertoire, a great place to see your newest goal(s). 
 
Mine change often. It keeps me on my toes and working hard. Right now I have two goals listed: 1) learn to play the piano again, 2) jog more ~ 1000 miles for 2013, which is about 20 miles per week. Broken down like that, I know I can do it, and I can take just one week at a time...
 
Past goals have been such things as take a little time every day to listen to and enjoy music more often. It worked! However, when that starts to slip away, I will re-goal it!
 
Speaking of good music, take a look and listen as George Harrison rings in the New Year with this great song. Man, he was my favorite Beatle! 
 
 So good luck as you set your goals! You can do it! Make it fun! You are so worth it!

I am a Putnamaniac making constant resolutions and setting goals and sticking to them!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Macbeth storms the Bradley Playhouse!

Embarrassingly enough I have never read or seen Macbeth. I do know it is a work of Shakespeare.... but...ummm...that is all I know.

Luckily, I have the chance to check it out because Macbeth is coming to the Bradley Playhouse very soon ~ this coming Friday and Saturday nights (1/4 and 1/5/13) and Sunday afternoon (1/6/13).



I just know that I will love it, and then I will make a beeline over to the Putnam Library and check out the book firsthand.

What do you think?  Have you had the chance to check out the drama and tragedy of Macbeth.  

Meet me at the Bradley Playhouse if you'd like to experience an evil family plot..... dun, dun, dun....

I am a Putnamaniac that can't wait to see Macbeth at the Bradley Playhouse!













Saturday, December 29, 2012

Libraries are like unlocking the Fort Knox of your imagination!

Yup, I'm a fan of going to the library, walking through the stacks, looking at the books, touching the books, reading the jackets... making the big decision, and renting a new life for 2 weeks!


Where else can you ride a dragon, go to Australia, visit the French Revolution, hang with a Hunchback, battle evil, become a nurse...

Yup, again, that is right... go to the library, which is just like going to a travel agent.

I am so lucky to have a great library right down the road... the Putnam Library!

Are you so lucky???? Hit those stacks as often as you can. Make your goal 12 books a year. That is only 1 book a month! You can do it! Reading is FUNdamental!

I am a Putnamaniac that LOVES her local library!!!







Friday, December 28, 2012

I took Taylor Brooke Winery for granted since I lived so close ~ but now I will visit often!

Like most folks, I tend to take things that are so nearby for granted.

Growing up in RI, I was not that far away from Newport and the mansions.  However, I only went to them once, and that was for my prom! Go figure... but I think that is typical behavior that most of us exhibit.

Since I've moved to Putnam, I live very close to the Taylor Brooke Winery, yet I'd never been there until very recently. It was gorgeous and mind you this is the less than stellar time of year... I will be certain to frequent this local treasure, and hope to find many more treasures in my hunting.



Keep hunting yourself! I hope you find you treasures and maybe a bottle of wine will be at the end of the rainbow, like at Taylor Brooke Winery!

I am a Putnamaniac that will try not to take my local treasures for granted!


 






Thursday, December 27, 2012

There's nothing like some live music to liven things up after Christmas ~ at Bella's Bistro!

As the fun holiday seasons wind down and the not so fun winter season cranks it up a notch, I work pretty hard at finding stuff to do and ways to keep my spirits lifted until the warmer, brighter days come round our way again.

Luckily I live in Putnamania where fun is plentiful!

Live music and theater are part of Putnam, and tomorrow night, Friday, December 28, is no different.

Bella's Bistro hosts live music often, and Sister's Keeper will be playing there tomorrow night, starting at 8:45pm. I have had the pleasure to have heard this group before ~ 3 talented and beautiful sisters ~ and although some may tease me that the starting time is closing in on my bedtime, I will be there to listen to a little bright music to warm my heart.


If you live anywhere near Putnam, there is no excuse for you to not have fun as often as possible. It is within our grasp in any number of locations and in all assorted varieties. Reach out and grab it!

After spending most of the first 51 years of my life putting off  many opportunities for fun for some other task, while thinking "I am not missing out on much", I have discovered FUN in the last year, and I will admit, I was missing out!!! I will not miss out on FUN ever again!

See you at Bella's tomorrow night to hear some songs to warm your winter!

I am a Putnamaniac that will be warming up my winter's night at Bella's Bistro with some good music with Sister's Keeper!

 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Frostival is almost here! Another fun, free NECT event!

Even though Christmas 2012 is officially over, and Boxing Day 2012 is coming close to an end, we still have New Years Eve to look forward to with delightful anticipation!

In Northeast CT that means great evening of family fun in Danielson at Frostival.

Like so many fun things to do in Northeast CT, it is free!

They close the streets down and bring on the fun!


I went last year for the first time and enjoyed the heck out of it! There were all sorts of stuff for kids (of all ages) to do! Very family friendly, very community minded, which is probably why there were so many people there. I stopped in to hear one of the musical offerings, The Alston Sisters, and they were fabulous! I am hoping to catch Yankee Dogs this year. (One of the Yankee Dogs is The Last Green Valley's Chief Ranger Bill).

After that, there are so many other options for fun around Putnamania...dinner at The Courthouse, Bella's, 85 Main, Someplace Special... or listen to some fine tunes at The Stomping Ground.

Ring in the New Year with tons of fun, like we do in Northeast CT!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to ring in the new year in good old Putnamania!





Monday, December 24, 2012

Gifting!

'Tis the time of year for gifting.

People are spending money like they have money trees growing in their back yards!

Everything at this time of year can get overwhelming... if you let it overtake you... and if you forget what is truly important to you.

Make it a point to remember how you felt as you sat in church with your friend and watched her kids up on stage performing in their Christmas pageant.

Listen to your memories in your heart of how great it was to see doors opened to you and faces lit up as a group of friends sang Christmas carols to them.

Think about how you felt when you heard of the tragic moments at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT and that you swore you would hug your loved ones tighter every time you saw them.

Remember when it dawned on you that you had the best mother on the planet.

Although giving gifts at Christmastime is something that most do, try to give the gift of time and love every day of your life. Something as simple as opening a door for someone, with a big smile on your face and a bit of a flourish & a curtsey as they enter before you is a great gift. Bring a big cardboard box over to kids house, and play rocket ship with them. This is the stuff that makes us great humans! 


I challenge you to do something as often as you can as the years pass. I know you can do it! I try my best every day!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves gifting all year long!





Sunday, December 23, 2012

Anticipation of fun and spreading good will in a song!

The anticipation of things (at least anticipation of good things) is as much fun as when the time actually arrives to do "the thing"!

Today I am eagerly looking forward to going Christmas caroling tonight with some friends that actually invited me along (brave souls they ~ if they only knew how I sing)!

The story of this group of rouge carolers began to unfold years ago, but last year was my first introduction to their night of good will...

Imagine a cold Sunday night just before Christmas in Putnamania. I'd just gotten home from the Christmas show at the Bradley Playhouse, and had turned on the Patriots game....

Then... a knock on the door.... upon opening it up, there arose such a clatter ~ a band of rogue carolers began to belt out some holiday cheer! You can imagine my surprise, my joy, my thrill of being chosen to be visited! (and so much better than Scrooge's visitors)! I felt like the Christmas Queen! They sang, I smiled from ear to ear, and want to cry every time I remember those moments.



So, tonight, I will join the band of rouge carolers! I CAN'T WAIT!!! If I can make someone as surprised and as special as I felt last year, that is a successful Christmas wish come true!

Carol on Putnamaniacs everywhere!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the anticipation of good things!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Keep on Following the Fifty and what they stand for (although they don't stand still very often)!

Follow the Fifty was an amazing bunch of women that inspired us all in Northeast CT this past year.

From the Follow the Fifty website:
Follow the Fifty: Models of Heart Health is an energetic and empowering women’s heart health initiative that was funded through The Heart Truth® Community Action Program, a women’s heart health awareness and action campaign that warns women about heart disease and provides tools to help them take action against its risk factors. Originally designed to recruit fifty women from northeastern Connecticut to serve as models of heart health, the initiative was expanded due to the overwhelming response to the model recruitment campaign. 183 women were selected on February 29, 2012, to lead others in Connecticut’s “Quiet Corner” on a remarkable journey of heart health.

The focus of Follow the Fifty is not on visual outcomes, it’s more about the importance of lowering the risk factors that are impacting your health on the inside. The emphasis here is on being a successful ‘role’ model rather than a ‘runway’ model!”

You could not help but follow them. They were everywhere!!!!! They were walking together, biking together, jogging together, racing together, at community events together. I found them very inspirational. Every time I wear my "Ask me why I follow the fifty" t-shirt, I got asked, and I told why!

This afternoon as I was at my friend's house, I spotted the Follow the Fifty heart logo in the project manager's driveway, so I stopped and took a picture of it.


This same heart logo was recently painted on the roads in town, in many spots. It sure does help me to remember to take care of myself and my heart health. 

It is very easy to be a part of this community if you choose to do so. The folks here make it easy! We are in it together. Good stuff.

I am a Putnamaniac that will Follow the Fifty and what they taught us all...forever!


 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tough exteriors can hide superior interiors!

I have known some tough nuts in my day....yup, they act all tough on the outside.

They have to.

Many times it is what is expected of them, by either themselves or by those whom they are surrounded by.

One friend in particular that I grew up with was stereotyped in this fashion. Eventually he just acted like he thought people expected him to act. Deep down inside, he was a very nice guy... but only a few people actually knew this. I was one of the lucky ones. I knew it.

Maybe it is a guy thing... since it is usually guys that shellac on this tough exterior.

If that is the case, I am so glad I am a girl! Girls don't have to act all tough, and the tough guys can show their softer side to me. I am so lucky to see that side of so many great guys!

Tonight while out to dinner with my little seven year old friend, who is a boy, not to be confused with a boyfriend as he always clearly explains to me, I asked him for some examples of a tough exterior and a soft interior. He came up with melons, elephants and a few more great examples.

Why am I thinking about this subject tonight?


It is because I work with a group of awesome, very tough guys. Ironworkers. They have to be tough as nails to do what they do. Thank goodness they are that tough. But I get to see their sweet, kind, and generous side, too.  I get the best of both worlds.

Today I told them all that I love them all. And I do. Of course, I also admitted to being fickle, but when you are surrounded by a bunch of unique, tough, sweet guys, you can easily become fickle!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the tough exteriors and soft interiors of her coworkers!






Thursday, December 20, 2012

Putnamglow....

I was basking in Putnamglow this morning...

Driving to work, stuck behind a tractor for a bit on Rt 97...

Listening to WINY Radio always providing me a wonderful and positive start to each day...

A John Denver song on my mind (converted for Putnamaniacs....)
See the sunlight through the pine
Taste the warm of winter wine
Dream of softly falling snow
Winter snow Putnamglow

As the winter days unfold
Hearts grow warmer with the cold
Peace of mind is all you know
Winter snow Putnamglow

Putnam is a life to live
See how much there is to give
See how strongly you believe
See how much you may receive

Smiling faces all around
Laughter is the only sound
Memories that can't grow old
Winter snow Putnamglow


Putnam, the place and the people, make me glow! Get your glow on as often as you can. 


I am a Putnamaniac that loves everything about Putnamglow!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Taylor Brooke Winery visit is sooooo in order!

Since I have started to have weekends off recently ~ like every weekend ~ like every Saturday and every Sunday ~ I am really looking forward to them. They are quite enjoyable!

Of course, I fill just about every second of those days doing something. 99.9% of that is fun!

This weekend, I am hoping for a nice interpretive hike at the Goodwin Forest, featuring Christmas Trees! Appropriate wouldn't you say?

Then I hope to fit in a visit to the Taylor Brooke Winery, which is just up the road from me in the neighboring town of Woodstock. I have never actually visited the place, although I have surely tasted their wines!


Sunday will include my joining in with a bunch of carolers, who visited and caroled to me last year! With my pipes, I am hoping the listeners will perhaps have enjoyed a glass or two of wine themselves. I sound pretty good if you've had a glass of wine!

So, get out and do something fun in your free time. I know I will!

I am a Putnamaniac that is going to visit the Taylor Brooke Winery this weekend!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

If you could change one thing about you... what would it be?

This is not as easy of a question as you might initially imagine.

Stop for one second and start to think what would you change about yourself if you could ~ ONE thing.

Recently I have been thinking about this subject, but how do I pick one thing?


I would have liked to have finished college, earned a degree and put myself to good use in the world.

I would have liked to not have been such a worry wart about things I have no control over. 

I would have been a lot nicer to my younger brother and others that I was not patient enough with.

The more I thought about it, I realized that it is never to late to change ~ you can change one thing and many more about yourself...


This means I should probably get to work....

I am a Putnamaniac that will change one thing...and many more about myself!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Simple pleasures, like spending a few minutes at home during the daylight to see some sparkle, make me so happy

Luckily I am able to spend some quality time at home each weekend, in the daylight.

I treasure it to no end.

The other morning I came in from jogging and saw a sparkle on my porch.


I am so glad that just seeing something like this in my home sweet home can make me so happy.

I am a Putnamaniac that just loves to be able to spend a little quality time at home!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas lights over the river and through the woods

Beautiful ride home tonight, from Salt Pond, Narragansett, RI to Putnam, CT.

From the sparkling lights across the pond at a marina, to the outlined tractor in Exeter, to the snowman in Greene, to the church in Moosup Valley with the star glowing atop its peak, to the Killingly candy canes, to the multi-colored park in Putnam, it was all beautiful.  Every single beautiful, sparkling and twinkling light



Treasure every moment.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to see the beauty of the season in all the lights as I travel over the river and through the woods. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hugs & Smiles

Everyone, including me, has a lot to say today, and I am sure lots of folks are holding back on what they are saying.

I know that everyone will hug their loved ones a bit tighter today as well.

There was a girl I used to work with, Jennie Jav, and she had the best smile in the world. The room lit up when she smiled, which was often. It always improved my mood to be on the receiving end of that smile. I think of it whenever I need a boost of positivity, and I try to pass that smile on to someone that looks like they might need it.

This morning I passed on a smile and a hug on the River Trail during my jog. The recipient was an older woman out there shuffle-jogging ahead of me. I kept seeing her stop, bend over, pick up a piece of litter, put it in her bag, and then continue on. I passed her, and on my way back towards her, I stopped her and told her I needed to give her a hug. "Why?" she asked.... "Because you are clearly a great person" I replied to her dear glowing face. She told me she gets about 3-4 bags of litter each day on her walk... And then we were both off on our separate ways.


Pass on a smile and hug it up. It can't hurt to acknowledge a good soul on this earth today.

I am a Putnamaniac that hopes there are enough hugs and smiles to go around where they are needed most

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nontraditional gift giving ~ Donations to a good cause!

My family has no kids... not that they are all grown up, but neither myself, nor my sister or brother ever had kids.

We are all ok with this! We have friends and relatives that "share" kids with us all the time!

Christmas is different with all grownups and no kids around though.. and sometimes because of where we live, we can't even all be together for Christmas day... but that is ok, too. We have learned to have fun when we can be together!

Christmas gift giving is also something that does not seem quite so vital to us. Perhaps since each of us have pretty much all the material things we could ever need or want. Perhaps it is because if we see something that someone would like in June, we give it to them in June!

My family is also very generous with what we have ever had, and some times that was not much at all. My mother is generous beyond belief in her time and spirit, my uncle is also generous and tries to teach others to learn to take care of themselves properly, my brother and sister are also very generous.

So, as we have done in past years, we are not exchanging gifts this year, but taking the money we would have otherwise spent on gifts to each other, and donating it. My choice is the Daily Bread Food Bank here in Putnam. They run solely on donations. Some day I might need some help, so I am paying it forward, backward, and sideways!


If you don't agree with making donations to causes, you may want to start a savings account or mutual fund for family members, and donate $XX.xx per month. It will add up, and then they can get something they want with it someday!

I am a Putnamaniac that is giving a donation as a nontraditional gift to my family this year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Team Putnamania!

I've always wanted to get together a nice, fun, positive team of Putnamaniacs... but with being so busy all the time, I have never taken the time to do it.

The time is now.


Since Putnamania is pretty much to make me focus on something positive and good every day, I may be a team all by myself most of the time, but that is just fine!

However, you are always welcome to join in on any event!

Monthly I will be organizing a simple event, ranging from things like a January hot chocolate hike at the West Thompson Dam, to making Thank You cards to give out to veterans in May at the Memorial Day celebration, to running/jogging/walking at such great local races like the O'Putnam 5k and the Deary Walk/Race/Ride. All events will be family and community friendly, and will not take up too much of your time.

You can find out about these events, as well as other things going on around Putnam on the Putnamaniac Activity Calendar here. (I will try to remember to add it to the bottom of every blog). I will also do a blog before each of the monthly Putnamania activities, so you can see if you'd like to join in the fun!

I am a Putnamaniac and part of Team Putnamania!



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thank you, thank you to a generous young man, and to his parents for raising him to know a good deed goes a million miles!

I just can never get over the great people I have met in my life. GREAT PEOPLE!!!

There was a girl on my high school basketball team. She was a little spitfire, who never gave up, believed in team effort (in many other sports as well as basketball), and was an all around good person.

Turns out she married a guy we went to school with, and he was cut from the same cloth. The only difference is she was cut a size XS and he was size XL. They had a few sized XL sons.

This is what she posted on facebook today about one of her fine offspring:  
(Hold onto your horses, because this is awesome....): 
"My son goes to college full time, works part time. He's pockets are not weighted down with money, but his heart is full of compassion and appreciation for deserving people. He works at the local pizza shop. Today a marine and his little girl came in for lunch. Wes went over to thank him for his service to our country and told him he would like to pay for their meals in appreciation for his sacrifice. The marine said Wes made his day. My heart is full of pride."
This makes me so happy for not only my friend, her husband, her son, that marine and his little daughter, but for all of mankind. How can you ever beat a story like this? If you look around in your life, I hope you will be happily astonished in the same fashion.
 You've been so kind and generous, I don't know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I'm in debt to you
For your selflessness, my admiration
For everything you've done, you know I'm bound, I'm bound to
thank you for it....


 I am a Putnamaniac that is blown away by the amazing people that exist in this world, and I am lucky to know so many of them!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Look what an elf named Claire left on my porch this afternoon!!!

Much to my delight, elves exist in Putnamania!!!!

Just arriving home from work, I saw this on my front porch:


Being my father's daughter, I thought "Wow, someone brought me beer!".

When I brought the package inside, this is what I found inside:


Check out the detail.... fresh holly with berries, the container decorated so grandly with a dainty gold ribbon tied into a festive holiday bow, fresh pine and other various evergreen sprigs.

So, as much as I love beer, I really love this grand centerpiece!

I TOTALLY LOVE IT!!!

I also love my talented and thoughtful neighbor and friend, Elf Claire. (Not to brag, but this is the 2nd year I have been the recipient of a fabulous centerpiece by Elf Claire)!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves her thoughtful friend & neighbor, Santa's own elf, Claire!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Being active is so much more fun than sitting around! Check out the Goodwin Forest!

Sometimes you just don't feel like getting out and doing something.

I've had those moments.

BUT, I force myself out the door, and it always feels a lot better to move than not to move.

Something that works great for me is to sign up for things/events ahead of time. That way I have no excuses not to go. (Otherwise I might spend every spare minute doing something silly like cleaning an already spotless home)!

This morning I attended a nice 5 mile hike in the Goodwin Forest, around Pine Acres Pond. I found out about the hike because I am on their email list. Otherwise I might not have had such a great morning!


So make yourself get off your duff and move it! You are sure to have fun, just like you did when you were a kid. Wash away the work week in just a few breaths of fresh air! Halleluiah!

I am a Putnamaniac that always has more fun getting out than sitting around!

Be sure to check out upcoming events on the Putnamania Activity Calendar here!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

More gift ideas! This time try the Complex Performing Arts Centre ~ also in Putnam!

Still looking for some gifts?

Don't know what to get someone?

Try tickets to a show at The Complex Performing Arts Centre!

Located in Putnam, which is not a big place, so it is easy to find, The Complex is a small and intimate venue that packs a big punch.

This outfit does not do the easy nor traditional shows. They are very ambitious and you will always be stunned by the shows, the sets, the music, the singing, dancing... well, you get the picture.

Here is what is coming up in 2013:

If you think you are not a fan of local theater, give it a try! I have heard from all sorts of people who "dragged" someone along with them to a show, and now those protesters have become big fans themselves.

I am a Putnamaniac that is sure you will score big points by giving tickets to a show at The Complex Performing Arts Centre!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Are you a member of The Last Green Valley ~ it is cheap money!

The Last Green Valley is a 35 town National Heritage Corridor in eastern Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts.

The Last Green Valley is also a member supported non-profit organization. That means they not only like and appreciate their members, they also need members!

I love where I live, and I am happy to be not only a member, but a volunteer ranger. It a so much fun to be at events like Putnam's First Fridays, Willimantic's Third Thursdays, the Brooklyn Fair, Walktobers, and Putnam's Holiday Dazzle Light Parade as a representative of The Last Green Valley.



You, too, can become a member, just $25 for individuals or $45 for a whole family for a year! Join now, or sign up a friend. You will get your money back if you attend a special member only event or two per year. You'll enjoy tons of fun, learn unknown facts, discover different places, and make new friendly relationships ~ guaranteed. What could be better than that?

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to live in The Last Green Valley, and is not only a member, but a volunteer ranger, too!



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Give the gift of entertainment and pure pleasure ~ tickets to the Bradley Theater !

Everyone has a hard to shop for person. They have everything, or they don't need anything. Socks are just not going to cut it.

If you live anywhere near Putnam, including RI and MA since Putnam is just a hop, skip, and jump from many of you, tickets to The Bradley Theater are a great idea!  The entertainment is outstanding and you do not have to fight the traffic of going into a big city. Parking, dining and the theater are all within walking distance. Shows are on Friday and Saturday nights, or Sunday afternoons.


The Bradley offers flex passes or season tickets, and even group tickets are available.

I am not going to lie to you... I buy myself a season ticket every year, always look forward to every show and have never been disappointed in the performances, stage, props, music... Always top shelf.

Some of the great shows coming up in 2013 are Man of LaMancha, Anything Goes, and Dracula.

Treat a loved one to a great gift (and yes, you can consider yourself a loved one and treat yourself)!

I am a Putnamaniac because I love to treat myself to the gift of local theater with season tickets to the Bradley Playhouse every year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Santa filled my stocking a little early this year...with love!

When I arrived home from work tonight, I had an EXQUISITE surprise in the mail!

One of Santa's Elves, a little pint of peanuts I grew up with, otherwise known as Jackie, made me a stocking!!! My very own home made stocking! Check it out!!!!! Both sides are different, and the interior is yet another fabric!!! I love the differences, and it is so perfect that there are cupcakes on one side, since I love to bake!!! It is so festive ~ the most festive stocking ever!!!


Elf Jackie is such an impressive stitcher, and she does not even know how awesome her creations are. I covet her imagination, heart, and creations all the time ~ and I really covet her skills, since I can't sew to save my life. A little bit of Jackie lives on in each of her pieces. Thank goodness!

So, I am amazed, awed, and greatful that Santa has filled my stocking, with pure love and generosity, even before Christmas this year.

I hope your stocking is filled with as much love as mine, and I hope to share some love myself with others, when they least expect it.

Love life, my friends. Pass it on.

I am a Putnamaniac that has her new Christmas stocking ~ and her heart ~ filled with very much love!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Elf on the shelf... forget that ~ I got Santa watching from my shelf!

This little "Elf on the Shelf" craze is great!

People either love it or are scared of it!

But the heck with the Elf.

I got good old Santa watching me....


I will most definitely not only behave, but be on my best behavior! There is no way I want to be on the naughty list!

What about you????? Naughty or nice????

I am a Putnamaniac that has Santa on the shelf... watching my behavior!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Don't judge a book by its cover ~ easier said than done.

It is difficult to not judge a book by its cover.


The first impression we have of others is generally what we see as we approach them.

However, take a moment to look a bit deeper.

Judging is big responsibility. If you want to judge, should you not have all the facts?

Does this person look you in the eye when they speak to you?

Are they responsible beings? Do they care for their children and raise them with values so they know right from wrong?

Do they have a job? Do they pay their bills? Do they care for more than just themselves? How do they treat others day in and day out?

I ask these questions because I am sometimes shocked at comments people will make about others that they do not know nor have ever met, all based on nothing but what a person looks like. How can that sort of opinion be of any value? Kind of like they are wasting their breath if you ask me.

As I googled looking for an image for "Don't judge a book by its cover", a picture of Susan Boyle was one of the first to appear.

We all remember this story. Check out the clip of Susan singing on Britain's Got Talent here to refresh your memory of how the snooty panel members judged Susan, until she opened up her pipes and teaches them not to judge a book by its cover. Makes me cry every time ~ for the courage and resiliency of humans, and for the shame that I ever have judged wrongly myself.

How would you feel if you were judged as you have judged others?

I am a Putnamaniac that will work very hard not to judge a book by its cover!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

I WON THE LOTTERY!!!!!!!!!

No ~ Seriously ~ I won the lottery.

Not that big power ball jackpot from the other night, nor even a dollar from a scratch off ticket, but the lottery in life.

My best bud always told me I had a bad case of wanderlust, since I moved almost constantly since I was old enough to be out on my own.

Then after a certain point I was able to buy houses to live in instead of renting. Folks thought I would settle in, yet I still continued to sell, move, and buy again somewhere else, living in lots of places over the years.

Well, I think I am settled in. I have found the community and place that I had been searching for all of those years right here in Northeast CT.

Words can't describe what it is to me and to so many others. It is simply like no other place on earth.


I am pretty happy that I never stopped looking and finally won the lottery that I was looking for over all those years. I suggest that you never give up on what you are looking for either, because you will eventually find it!

I am a Putnamaniac that won the lottery by finding a community like Northeast CT!





Saturday, December 1, 2012

The worst thing about decorating for the holidays is.... oh wait ~ NOTHING!

Today was a top 10 day for me!!!

Christmas music playing, and I had a blast decorating with not much more than a few bags of bows!



Cheap date???

You betcha!!!

In the meantime, Deck the Halls with bows oh shiny.... or something like that!

Have a blast decorating!!!


I am a Putnamaniac that loves to decorate for the holidays!



Friday, November 30, 2012

Picking up fun guys (or fungis) on the River Trail!

There are so many reasons for getting outside, in all seasons, and in almost all weather...

Fresh air pumping through your veins is always invigorating, and I swear it is a reason that (knock on wood) I rarely get sick, not even the sniffles.

The views are always great, no matter if it is nature, other people, or architecture that you are seeing.

Another great reason to get out is that you can pick up fun guys! Well.... in my case, it was actually a fungi I picked up on the River Trail, but check him out!




He did not want to let go of the stump along the river, and I don't blame him. It is gorgeous there. However, I will give him a great home, put him to work as part of some artistical project, and give him a good home with me!

                             (Yes, I did make up the word "artistical", but I like it)!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to pick up fun guys (and fungis) on my jogs!




Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Sing a Long / Spelling Bee with Frank Sinatra!

Frank Sinatra was one swinging cat ~ he even cooled up Christmas songs.



I, for one, LOVE Christmas music.

The carols and hymns simply makes me feel lighthearted and happy go lucky! I know all the songs, of course, since I have been singing along with them now for half a century!

One of my all time favorites is this version of Jingle Bells by Frank Sinatra (click here to enjoy it on youtube).  This is the song that they spell out  
"J-I-N-G-L-E    B-E-DOUBLE-L-S" 
as they sing along. Give it a try. It is hard to do if you are not a spelling bee whiz!

It is certainly a reminder to me that I have never been good in spelling bees. I need to write or type the word and see it. Clearly I am a visual person!

If you heard my singing.... you would also agree that I am not an audio person!

How do you do in this situation? Are you good with the sing along/spelling bee or do you get tongue tied like me?

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the Christmas Sing a Longs....even if a spelling bee is included!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Scenery Seen on the way to work! Breathtaking!

Yesterday Mother Nature dropped a perfect snowfall.

Everything was coated white this morning, but the roads were clear, and now it is about all gone!

The drive to work was dreamlike on account of this frosting...I could not believe I was seeing all of this beauty before my eyes.

I had to pull over and take a few shots....I am stunned at how this picture actually came close to capturing the breathtaking beauty.

 This is at the intersection of Rt 44/169 and Rt 244 in Pomfret 
(across from the Vanilla Bean)

Wow!!! Wow!!! Wow!!!

I am a Putnamaniac that did indeed see some breathtaking scenery this morning!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Make your mark on the world - even if it is the size of the head of a pin!

Do you ever wish that you could really leave your mark on the world?

Boy, I do.

Think of those before us that have done incredible things... freed the slaves, invented the polio vacine, discovered continents, taught thousands of children....

Well, it is pretty clear that I am not going to do anything that spectaular, but that does not mean that I am going to stop trying to aim for something grand!

The impact I may leave on the world will be small enough to fit on the head of a pin, but if we all do this, it will add up to a tremendous mark!



Even if I just do one little thing every day, I think I can live with that.  I hope you will all join me!

I am a Putnamaniac that wants to leave a good mark on the world, even if it fits on the head of a pin!





Monday, November 26, 2012

Reflections on bridges and beautiful scenery...


There is neverending beautiful scenery everywhere in Northeast, CT, and it does not matter what the time of year.

This is a look up the Quinebaug River at a little walking bridge, along the River Trail.
It is late fall, and although all the leaves and color of early fall have left us, look at the blues of the sky and the river. The reflection of the bridge in the river is simply artwork in and of itself.


Earlier this day I had jogged past and enjoyed the view. I am glad to be a slogger (slow jogger) as you can really appreciate the sights at that speed. It was so lovely, I drove by a bit later to capture this picture. At that moment, a flock of bluebirds fluttered by. Outstanding!

I hope that you enjoy sights like this every day! If not, the Quiet Corner welcomes you with open arms and much beauty.

I am a Putnamaniac because I love to reflect on the beauty that surrounds me everywhere!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Putnamania was Dazzle-rific & Dazzle-tastic!!! What a great annual parade!

Putnam is totally party central of Northeast CT!

Tonight was our 11th Annual Holiday Dazzle Light Parade!

It is free, it is fun. Bundle up. March with your group or line the sidewalks and cheer.

I walked with The Last Green Valley and had the time of my life!


The kids love it...kids of all ages. However, watching the little kids enjoy it is really the most spectacular fun.

Here were my blogs on the last 2 Holiday Dazzle Light Parades:
My first time, November 27, 2011
Yet another one I missed, November 29, 2010.

I am a Putnamaniac that hopes to attend every Holiday Dazzle Light Parade forever!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

River Trail morphs into Story Trail... another great reason to visit Putnam!

Putnam seriously comes up with the best ideas to get people out and enjoy things as a community and a  family.

Take this latest idea for example.

Putnam already has a great River Trail. It is well used. Recently a children's story has been added along the trail. You walk with children, stop at each post, and read. By the end of the trail, the story is complete.


How awesome is that? A simple idea to have a little family fun. Brilliant!

The scenery sure does not hurt!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the ideas that are always emerging in our town, just like morphing the River Trail into a Story Trail!

Friday, November 23, 2012

There is just something about Santa!

I'm not exactly sure what it is about Santa, but I love that guy!!!

This has been going on since I was a kid, when some tried to explain to me that perhaps Santa was not real.

I did not fall for that trick. He is real for sure.

He is the guy that helps his grandmother all the time. He is every military guy serving. He is the single working mother. He is the teacher that constantly encouraged that kid and changed her life. He is the firemen that come out to rescue us in a car crash. He is the doctor that saved a life today. He is the baby that just found her toes and can't stop playing with them. He is the boss that pushes his employees to make them better people & then appreciates their hard work. He is the grown up that takes time to listen to a kid.

He is every good man and woman and child.

Of course, the real Santa does allow some helpers on occasion, like this fellow that rolled into Putnam tonight on a fire engine!

video


Spread the love and kindness, and be a Santa yourself!

I am a Putnamaniac that not only still believes in Santa, but knows him, too!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Grow a turkey for Thanksgiving ~ one of my favorite stories dedicated to my brother, Skee!

Farmer Nubbins is a character I created, based on my family and some of the stories that I remember from childhood. Farmer Nubbins is more specifically based on my father...if you knew him, you would understand.


In any case, I have written a few children's stories featuring Farmer Nubbins, and hope to do more at some point in time, when I have more time.

This is one of my favorites, dedicated to my little brother, Skee, who is always sorely missed.

Farmer Nubbins’ Friend Grows a Turkey for Thanksgiving


Farmer Nubbins had a visitor one day in the fall long ago.
It was a young boy, who had something he wanted to grow.

If you want something to grow, a farm is a good place to be.
Farmer Nubbins’ vegetable garden went as far as the eye could see.

Skee was the blonde boy from just down the road,
and as he came to the farm, from his pocket jumped a toad.

The toad hopped away as quick as he could.
A boy’s pocket is no place to be, so the toad hopped quickly into the woods.

Skee loved to collect things in all kinds of weather,
and on this fine chilly day, he’d found a beautiful feather.

When Skee picked up the feather, and idea came into his head.
Maybe the feather would grow if he planted it in a garden bed.

Since Farmer Nubbins had helped Skee many times in the past,
Skee went there quickly, he needed to act fast.

Every day the weather got colder and the sun went down in earlier in the sky.
Thanksgiving Day was coming & Nana soon would bake pumpkin pie.

Skee wanted to plant his feather and grow a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
The family would feast on the turkey, carving it thinner and thinner.

Farmer Nubbins couldn’t believe when he heard Skee’s plan.
He gathered all the farm animals and told the whole clan.

“Skee wants to plant this feather and grow a turkey to eat” Farmer Nubbins told all the animals, as he paced on his feet.

”We can see your confusion, Skeeter, but turkeys don’t grow out of the ground.”
Then Farmer Nubbins reached into his pocket & pulled out an egg, without making a sound.

”Eggs are where baby turkeys come from, if they are kept warm in a nest.”
“Their mothers sit on them, warm them, and get lots of rest.”

“The moms sit and sit on the eggs until they are ready to hatch.
When the chicks are ready, they peck their way out & the eggs start to crack.”

That is the way little turkeys come about.
Lots of other creatures start out just the same, there is no doubt.

Well Skee felt a little silly now that he understood,
but it is good to learn new things, and he wanted to learn all that he could.

Skee said goodbye to all the animals, it was getting very late.
He wanted to get home, and gobble up the dinner that’d be on his plate.

“Thank you Farmer Nubbins, for the lesson of growing turkeys for Thanksgiving Day.”
“I shall remember it always, and I know I will learn many lessons along the way.”

Story notes:
This story is based on the story of my brother “Skee” – a character himself from day one – who picked up a chicken feather from our yard, and wanted to plant it and grow an Indian. Childhood memories are funny, since my recollection was that Skee wanted to grow a turkey, hence this story came about. My elder family members reminded me it was actually an Indian he wanted to grow. This turkey theme still works for me!
written by Marcy B. Dawley, April 2006

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to remember heartwarming stories of my childhood!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Dazzle Light Parade marches forth aglow this Sunday night (Nov 25, 2012)!

If you want to get geared up for the Holiday season and enjoy the feeling of community, you must visit Putnam for our Annual Holiday Dazzle Light Parade!

The date is Sunday, November 25th, starting at 5pm. The parade route starts on Grove St, heads down Kennedy Drive, loops back up Providence St, then back down School St to the point of origin on Grove St.

Last year was my FIRST time! I loved it. Talk about stimulation and good old fashioned fun!

It is loud, it is fun, it is bright and aglow with lights!!! It is a PARTY all along every step of the approximate 1.5 mile parade route.

Well over 100 entries are signed up for this year's parade - everything from Fire Departments, to Jeep Clubs, to Organizations, to musicians and bands performing, to all other sorts of Clubs, to families, to local businesses, to cows!!!  And plenty more!!!!

Floats are built, lights are affixed, horns are tested, music systems are powered up, voices are tuned up!

This Putnamaniac will be marching with The Last Green Valley! After all, it is where I live, and where I love to live! Here is a shot of one of the parade "paddlers" from last year's parade:


You can "like" the event: Holiday Dazzle Light Parade on facebook here.

Come in to town early, park, enjoy the parade and then some dinner at one of our many great restaurants.

For more fun events going on in Putnamania, check out WINY Radio's event calendar here.

Putnamaniacs know how to dazzle and throw a great party!!!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to be dazzled by the Holiday Dazzle Light Parade!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ho Ho Ho ....He's back!!!!

Who else do you think of when you hear "Ho Ho Ho"????

Why, that jolly old elf, Santa Claus!

And he is indeed back in Putnamania for the season, practicing his flying right over Cargill Falls.


What a great treat it is on the night I come back into town from work and see the man in the red suit testing out his reindeer over the falls!

It does not matter that I am 52 years old. This sight every year brings me right back to the ripe old age of 6 again.

Think about some of the great memories you have, during the holidays, and every day.

Enjoy every day like you were a kid again!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves when Ho Ho comes back to town for the season!

Monday, November 19, 2012

36th Annual Turkey Dip ~ A great start to a day of thanks and hopefully good health to all!

This Thursday morning, Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2012, Quaddick State Park in Thompson, CT hosts the 36th Annual Turkey Dip.

If you don't live in Northeast CT, you might be thinking everyone gets together and samples some new chic sort of breakfast appetizer type of invention.

Nope!

At 8am a bunch of bold (crazy) folks jump into the Quaddick Reservoir and get wet...and invigorated... and cold! This craziness ensues for a good cause, and that is to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. Last year $25,000 was raised. WOW!


Thanksgiving morning can be a busy time, with preparations for the big meal later in the day, traveling to visit relatives, football games, and yet all these folks get out bright and early to have a little fun and support this cause that clearly is important to them. Cheers to them!

If you would like to sign up for the Turkey Dip and participate yourself, click here.

You are also welcome to just come and cheer on these chilly gobblers!


In any case, enjoy a healthy and fun Thanksgiving!

I am a Putnamaniac that can't wait for the big Turkey day, although I will not be dipping this old bod into the Quaddick!!!



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Get out and smell an early fall morning!

Since the clocks have recently changed and we fell back a few weeks ago, it is so nice to be able to get out in the light for an early morning jog to start the day.

The cold and brisk late fall mornings sure do smell good! It is fun to not only see, but smell the different seasons. And since my nose is sized large, I sure can smell!



Wood stove smoke seeping out of chimneys, frost on the windows and grass, the crunchy smell of all those fallen leaves!


So, remember to get out and smell the season! Take in the sights! Nothing better than fresh air pumping into your veins!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to get out and 
smell the early fall mornings!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Another Top 10 Day in Northeast CT ~ we have way more than 10 by the way!

To quote one of my Northeast CT pals, Jimi G, today was a "Top 10 Day".



Of course, Jimi is rather optimistic and looks at the good side of things, so it only figures that he enjoys lots of "Top 10 Days".

That is the sort of folk that I like to associate with, "Top 10 People". 

It is easy to look at the bad side and complain.

It is also easy to look at the good side of things and appreciate them, and a heck of a lot more enjoyable. Work at it if you have to, because the end result is always worth it. Like any habit, you can make it a good one and it gets easier the more you do it.

Oddly enough, when you add up the "Top 10 Days" in a year, we have WAYYYYY more than 10 of them.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves having way more than ten "Top 10 Days" every year!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Lessons from the young, who learn from the grownups ~ Circle of life

Grownups teach the youth.

In most cases, the parents or guardians take up this task, since they do spend valuable time with their children.

Children learn how to behave, how to give back, how to be compassionate and understanding, how to laugh at themselves, how to live a good and productive life.

However, in some cases, it is turned around that the grownups learn from the children.

Take my friend, Seth. He is the short guy in glasses, not the cute turkey man.



Seth is 7 years old, yet has the wisdom and outlook of an 89 year old sage.

He teaches me something every time that I see him.

For instance: Putnam Ford/Project Northeast held their annual food drive at WINY Radio in Putnam today. Seth saves up his coins all year long for this food drive. He gladly & often passes up some of the smaller things that other kids might never want to give up, and rarely do.  He understands that not everyone may not have as nice of a life as he does, with a loving family, a welcoming home, meals and snacks to eat, support and love. Seth is thoughtful of others, and he also has a great sense of humor.

 Sethie making sure his big tube of coins is safe in the bed of the Putnam Ford truck, that will hopefully be full at the end of the food drive.

As I made my donation this morning, I was glad to do it, although last night while writing out the check, I was not feeling so generous...I was selfishly thinking something like "if I didn't donate so many local groups, I would probably have my condo paid off in quite a few years less than expected"...When I see what 7 year old Seth sacrifices and is glad to offer what he has to the community, it sure does change my outlook!

If you met Seth's parents and grandparents, you would know where he gets all of his good traits. They teach him well.

I thank the moment I met this kid and his family. This grownup has learned once again from the youth. Circle of life! Keep an open mind and heart as you travel through life.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the circle of life as grownups teach the kids, and kids teach the grownups!





Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quincy MA is my pal, Coach HennDog's version of Putnamania!

Hometown pride!

Clearly I have it!

My friends have it, too, even if they do not live in Putnam.

When working at M-F Athletic/Everything Track & Field, based in RI, for years, I not only worked with fine people, but met some fine people along the way, too.

There is a great guy, a master's thrower, that lives in Wilkes-Barre, PA. It is a pleasure to have kept in touch with him and his wife, even though I have not worked at M-F since 2007.

Then there is Coach Hennessey, aka the HennDog to his pals.


HennDog is an amazing soul, and has given so much to his town of Quincy, MA over the years, mostly through his teaching and coaching of unnumbered amounts of youth. He has almost single handedly run the Quincy Track Club for most of his life. He thinks all of this is no big deal.

Just the other night I got a text from the HennDog, informing me that the mayor would be having a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Quincy High School track, Faxon Track, on Sunday, November 18, 2012. Is this guy a Quincymaniac or what?

So, my question is, how do I get so lucky to meet and be in touch with so many amazing people?

Blessed...

If you are a track fan, you can "like" Quincy Track Club on Facebook. You will only enhance your life by getting to know someone like my Henndog, even if only on Facebook. 

I am a Putnamaniac that knows other Putnamaniacs, like Coach Hennessey, even if he is really a Quincymaniac!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The underlying cause of superficial sadness ~ I know what is really getting to me, do you?

Last few days have been oddly emotional for me, for dumb reasons... like watching the tv show Bones, like listening to John Denver's Rocky Mountain High on my drive to work on WINY Radio...

Yup, I feel like this at a moment's notice, and sometimes without any notice at all:


Clearly, it is not the tv show or the song I am really crying over. It is a deeper thing that I don't want to focus on...

Since I don't like to dwell on sad stuff... and sad stuff does happen to all of us... There are no explanations for it other than "that is life", so sometimes I guess I think it is easier to bury to real stuff and cry over a song.

Well, I guess we really all do know what it is that is bothering us when it boils right down to it. We each deal with it how we can.

This week, what got to me was that another friend that I went to high school with, lost their young adult son. This is the 3rd friend that I grew up with that has lost a child. I find that unacceptable, yet I can do nothing about it. That gets me thinking of all of the other losses people have endured. Sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, spouses, best friends.... the list does not end.

Luckily, time does heal a bit, but it is so hard to watch your loved ones waiting for that time to pass.

Good thing I am not in charge of everything, as I would like to be.... because there would be a big overpopulation problem.

Love your loved ones, as often and sincerely as you can.

In the meantime, I will cry over a stupid song when something is really bothering me.

I am a Putnamaniac because I do know what is really bothering me, and I wish I could take the hurt away from all those that I love.