Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Welcome in the New Year as you see FIT (fit being the key word)!

Here's hoping for a great first day to the new year of 2014!

There are swimming events around and about - like penguin plunges and polar bear plunges... not quite for me, since I hate swimming when it is 99 degrees and sunny outside!

However, there are so many other options to take advantage of.

Of course, you can go for a jog, walk, hike, paddle, bike ride all by yourself or with friends...


You can check out a brand new place to hike with an organized event, like the CT DEEP is offering.

I have only been on the walking/jogging path of the Mansfield Hollow Dam near the airport... but I have never traveled the nether regions of the park. So tomorrow, this will be my choice!

 Of course tomorrow's colors will not be quite the same as pictured here in this great aerial shot!

Mansfield Hollow State Park’s hike begins at 11:00 AM.
  Mansfield Hollow State Park will be hosting two hikes.  The 2.2 mile hike is a relatively flat loop starting from the parking lot on Bassetts Bridge Road along the dike towards route 89 in Mansfield.  This easy wide beautiful trail will eventually turn into a deeper wooded section looping back to the parking lot.  Hikers will see lots of beautiful pines and a brief overlook of the reservoir on the way back.  The 4.5 mile hike goes on trails past the boat launch and wrap around the lake at Mansfield Hollow.  Hikers will view a number of scenic points along the way overlooking the reservoir.

As a part of the country's First Day Hikes, all 50 states have something to offer. What a refreshing and invigorating way to start a new year!

Here's hoping that you will welcome in the new year as you see fit!

I am a Putnamaniac that will ring in the New Year fitfully - and stay fit all year long!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Downhill faster than 35 on Heritage Road ~ well at least it felt like that!

Why is it that when you are driving, the little hills and inclines are barely noticeable?

But, get out there on your legs, and they suddenly grow into mountains!

Treading uphill, it feels like you are in a stream of molasses, your legs weigh 600 lbs, and you are panting like Lassie after a big rescue!

Then you reach the summit, high five the stop sign there that marks your half way point, and turn around.

A whole new world!

Heritage Road ~ downhill ~ 35 miles per hour! No problem. I am going faster than 35 miles per hour on the downhill run... well, at least it feels like that!

Perception is everything!

Get out and perceive as often as you can. It is a blast! Even the uphills!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to go faster than 35 mph downhill on foot on Heritage Road ~ at least it seems that way!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Downtown Putnamania - always lovely, any time, any day!

Downtown Putnamania is a work of art all by itself.

The architecture of the buildings is beautiful.

Flags are flying everywhere.

People are happy to be here.

Take a peek:
The Post Office

Putnam Congregational Church - and you can't even see the steeple in this picture!

The Cargill Trust Building- being renovated for Noma Kitchen & Home

The Flying Carpet's Tree - and just a glimpse of the lovely decorations

Victoria Station is quite lovely! 

 Another shot of the Montgomery Ward Building from Antiques Marketplace

The pictures say it all - and this is just a small glimpse. Come visit and see for yourself!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves lovely downtown Putnam!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Seeking wallets in WalMart and other such tales from vast lands of the lost....

Let me be clear that I am not picking on Big Box stores, like WalMart, Home Depot, etc.

Although I do support locally owned businesses as much as possible, the big box stores also employ many local people - many of my friends, so there can be a place for both types of businesses to exist side by side in this world.

However, by virtue of their size, the big box stores are a challenge at times.

Recently I was grabbing a few items in our local and newly refurbished/transformed Super WalMart. There was an elderly gentleman, walking with the assistance of his cane, asking an "associate" where the men's wallets were. He moaned "You are the 4th person I've asked and all anyone can tell me is - look in the men's department". He was nearing his wits end. We've all been there.

Coincidentally, I had recently executed this same search mission, with success. I knew just where the men's wallets were! My cart and I marched right over to this man and led him to the wallets. We both were happy!

Another funny adventure in big box land I had a long time ago was in a newly opened Home Depot near the first home I bought in RI. I was looking for some lattice for under my porch.

The "associate" saw me searching and searching, approached me and asked if he could help. When I mentioned I was looking for lattice, this nice fellow (with quite an accent) brought me directly to the ladders, and proudly said "Laddiss". Hmmmmm, I shook my head, said "Lattice" very clearly, and even drew a picture of the criss cross lattice patterns.... He shook his head, pointed to the ladders and said "Laddiss". I gave up and left the store. Looking back, this is quite funny, but not so much at the time for a non-shopping fan like me!

The lessons here are that sometimes in shopping, like in other aspects of life, you are on your own. It pays to know how to depend on yourself - but it is also good to help others when you can. It is also good to have a sense of humor, even if it shows up after the fact!

I am a Putnamaniac that can find the humor in shopping - most times!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Words of wisdom by Dickens - and not his most famously quoted line!

On the days preceding most Christmases, I will re-read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. It is a good exercise, and it seems that every time you read it, you take something new away.

We all know Dickens' most famously quoted words of "God Bless Us, Every One."

This year as I finished up the classic, words in the second to last paragraph of the book, after Scrooge's transformation, struck me as Dickens' wisest words. They are common sensical words that we all have experienced, should always keep near to our heart, and abide by when we question our own good acts:

"Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him." 

Great, great, great words. Be happy with yourself. Do not worry what others will think of your good and positive actions, because you know you are doing the right thing.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the inspirational words of Charles Dickens!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Danged rubber neckers... guilty as charged!

Recently I found myself guilty of rubber necking.

Yes! Driving down Kennedy Drive in Putnamania, I glanced to my right, and up into a tree, above the River Trail that ambles along side of the Quinebaug River.

I spotted a gigantic thing! Gigantic!!!! Majestic!!! A bald eagle!!!!

Photo courtesy of the CT DEEP website - click here to learn more about bald eagles

I pulled over and jumped from my car, as the glorious being spread its wings and took to the air. WOW!!!

As I drove away, still in the shocked and amazed afterglow of being so lucky to see this creature, I spotted it again further up the river! Once again I pulled over to enjoy Mother Nature's beauty. 

A concerned State Police pulled up beside me to make sure I was ok! Was I ok???? 

"Sir" I hooted, "Look at the eagle!!!!"

He smiled, waved and enjoyed the view for a moment before he was off to more serious duties.

Since then, I have jogged and driven past this stretch of the Quinebaug as often as possible, rubber necking the entire time. I'm bound to get lucky again!!! 

This rubber necking must run in our family, as I can recall my mother's only car crash occurred  approximately 50 years ago as she was driving over the Davisville Road train bridge, eating a banana, and watching Mr. Ballou paint the sign in front of his oil business. 

Rubber necking - use it for good, not for evil!

I am a Putnamaniac that is guilty of recent rubber necking hoping for another glance at that big old bald eagle!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A recipe box filled with histories of family and friends....What a thing to reminisce with!

Today I was looking for my grandmother, Elsie Moone's, date square recipe so I can make it for Christmas Day.

She was a GREAT cook, chef, chief bottle washer... piano player, and more.

I found the recipe, and I also took a stroll down memory lane looking at all the recipes I have received from family and friends over the years.

Many of these were given to me at my wedding shower, way back in 1982, before I got married to Tim, for a short time.

Tim and I didn't make it, but these recipes sure did. They include some from my mother's aunts, my father's aunts (all since passed away), and many friends I still have and love to pieces.

Want a fun time... pull out your recipe box and stroll down memory lane.

The funny thing is that I don't think in over those 30+ years I have even made most of the recipes, but I love them because they are my link to these loving people.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves my recipe box filled with a loving history with family and friends!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Based on my love of beans, I might have some hobo in my soul!

No offense to hobos, but I seriously think I might have some hobo in my soul.

I base this genetic discovery based on nothing more than my love of beans.

Check out this colorful, delicious, filling, good for you bowl of multi-bean salad I just made!!!!


Although I can have a sweet tooth, which could easily control me, this sort of delightful bean medley hopping into my mouth and belly are by far so much more tasty than any confection ever invented! Try it, you'll like it!

Thank goodness I long ago found my hobo soul and have kept it present and accounted for.

Eat, live, love!

I am a Putnamaniac, part hobo, all bean lover!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Love is all around us... just keep your eyes open!

Although Stephen King is my favorite author, his books are quite upsetting and disturbing at times to say the least. In real life, I prefer the positive outlook.

I've surrounded myself with positive, effective, and fun people most of my life.

It works for me.

Tonight, out shoveling the driveway for the 2nd time, (note that I am not fan of winter at all), I looked at the end of the driveway. This is what I saw:

Undeniably 2 hearts intertwined. It gave me a positive outlook!

Were these hearts of winter love left by some magical snow elf????

Well, of course... disguised as the local mailman as he turned his truck around at the end of the dead end street, but an elf of love none the less.

Keep your eyes open, and you will find love everywhere.

I am a Putnamaniac that sees love all around me!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Grove Street War Memorial looked just great in the snow!

Ahhhh, the things you see when you are jogging and not driving...

Since it was my day off, I had the opportunity to go jogging in the middle of the day, hoping for the least amount of slipperiness.

I got my wish, and as with most jogs, also saw a great sight....

The Grove Street Civil War Memorial was awash in snow... the display of cannonballs looked like North Pole ornaments... or really big sugary holiday treats! How delicious this was to see!

What a different perspective you can enjoy when you are on your feet, or when you are trying to stay on your feet in all the ice!

Although I did not go back and take a picture of this scene, I will remember it forever in my mind.

I did find this lovely, yet so sad picture of another holiday remembrance for our war heroes.

Remember to look around, and to get out and treat yourself to a walk or a jog whenever you can, no matter what the weather or season. 

I am a Putnamaniac that loved to see the Grove Street Memorial in the snow today!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fire sirens blasting Santa's arrival!

This afternoon I was painting the trim in the bathroom...final steps to completion of the home remodel... Christmas music blasting... fan humming...

And then I heard the blaring fire sirens.

Jeez, they sounded close. I immediately got nervous and jumped up and ran to look out the window, hoping nothing was wrong.

Not only was everything not wrong, it was totally right!

The sirens were announcing the arrival of Santa at the Putnam Elks for the children's party!!! How exciting. I had goosebumps!

Picture courtesy of Putnam Elks' Sarah Hamby

Welcome to Putnam, Santa! I hope you come back on the early morning hours of December 25th. There are many good kids around these parts... of all ages... many of them are Elks!

You can "like" the Putnam Elks on facebook here

I am a Putnamaniac that loves when the fire sirens are blasting for a great reason!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Santa IS watching!

Fleet of foot I sprung from my Faithful Ford Focus tonight, and entered the mayhem of shopping on the night before a predicted snow weather event.

Personally, I did not need milk or bread, but was using my time and schedule as it is to purchase ingredients for a yummy birthday dinner for my hubby.

Cars everywhere, carts everywhere, grown ups cranky, kids all the more cranky...

One young mother, with 2 small girls in tow, one in the shopping cart being smacked every time the mother turned her head by the sister on the loose, seemed a bit frazzled. She told the girls "you will both be in bed 5 minutes from the time we arrive at home". They whined some more, smacked each other some more, moaned some more.

As I passed I exclaimed that I'd just seen Santa outside and I sure hoped he hadn't seen them. He was on the lookout for kids giving their parents any trouble.

Their jaws dropped open.

They responded both excitedly and nervously about having a Santa spotting so near.

The mom said she wasn't surprised Santa was there, too, since she'd already heard from 2 other people that he'd been in the area today.

Girls = now on best behavior.

I still stop and think about what Santa, or my grandparents, or my parents would think of my behavior when it is not exemplary. Do you??? Come on, admit it!

I am a Putnamaniac that knows Santa IS always watching!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Complex's Christmas Carol sure to knock my mittens off!

I love Christmas!

I could listen to Christmas music 24/7/365. Makes me so happy!

All the Christmas specials... I wish they would never end.

And so when I get the chance to attend a great local Christmas production, I am all over it!

Right now The Complex Performing Arts Centre is putting on A Christmas Carol.

I've got tickets for this Saturday! Color me sparkly!!!

The Complex is always a  great place to see a show. A very small, intimate theater, packed with talent that can't be described even with the use of the biggest thesaurus ever....

So, if you really need a Christmas fix, or just enjoy great talent any time, please consider this great local theater. 

I am a Putnamaniac that can't wait to be back inside The Complex for yet another fantastic show!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Shop in Putnam ~ not at all what it sounds like!

Ummm, I hate to shop.

But what else do you think of when you hear the words "the shop"?

Immediately a memory of Stephen King comes to my mind - he used "The Shop" as a secret government operation, and a not so nice one, in many of his books. 

The shop also reminds me of the construction places I have worked at over the years... there is always a shop where the work gets done before it gets taken out to the field.

Yesterday I discovered a whole new meaning to "The Shop".

It is a delightful hair salon in Putnam.

I've passed it a tons of time, on foot jogging, and in my car.

I've heard the ads on WINY radio.

Yesterday, after a full year has passed since I had my last haircut, I called The Shop. They told me to come right on in! WOW!

Carla took fabulous care of me, cut so much yucky hair off, gave me some nice bounce... and I felt like a million bucks... all that along with great conversation... for far less than what you'd expect to pay elsewhere.

I made an appointment already for my next visit.

On top of this, they are open 7 days a week.

So however you have felt in the past about "The Shop", let me suggest you visit "The Shop" in Putnam.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves The Shop in Putnam!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Remember the real gifts, all year round, although they are accentuated at this time of year!

A couple recently received long awaited and anticipated news.

A baby!

Here is what I read on their recent facebook post:
"I just want to thank everyone for the gifts and well wishes that we have received for little G-Man!!!! We are so blessed not only to have him but all of you in our lives. This has truly solidified what the holiday season is about..... friends and family not gifts and purchases".

That says it all. This blog wrote itself, thanks to a very wise man. 

Stay solid and focused on what is truly your gift all year long.  

I am a Putnamaniac that tries to remember the true gifts I have all year long!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pay attention - it might make a difference someday!

Today was a day off - Sundays are regularly scheduled days off for me.

I like that!

I was awake at 3am, 3:30am, 4am. etc. etc.... thinking about all the things I wanted to do today to enjoy my day off.


So, we got up, went for breakfast, took a scenic ride, and as we turned in down our short little dead end road, we noticed a guy standing outside his car... with some sort of tubing hook up, going from  the exhaust pipe into the back window.

Being the naive soul that I am, I looked and said "what is that guy doing??? trying to kill himself?'.

Thankfully my husband spoke up and said "YES. Call the cops ... NOW".

I called, we drove home, we went about our business, and I tried to forget about that scene and hoped  it was not what we thought it was.

When I came in from making some upside down tomato cage christmas trees and raking my yard, there was a message from the Putnam PD. They asked me to call and provide a bit more info for their report as it turned out that the fellow we called about was trying to do harm to himself. They thanked us for our help.

Yikes. Yikes. Yikes.

I have experienced people that have had a difficult time in dealing with life, and have chosen to exit stage life (my brother took his life years ago to the sadness of our entire family and many friends). I never had a chance to intervene there at the crucial moment.

It is with many mixed emotions I will think about this situation that occurred today.

All I can say is pay attention. Always. To everything around you. It might make a difference.

I am a Putnamaniac that hopes everyone pays a bit of attention - it may make a difference!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Facebook friends can be such lovely additions to life!

Do you have a friend or friend that is exclusively on facebook? ...  at least for the moment???

 I do!!!

I can't even recall how the connection was originally made, but I am sure glad it was.

This gal is always positive, has a great outlook, believes in great causes, posts great things, gives me great feedback, and even ignores when I am not an ideal facebook friend.

Today, she made my day.


She posted this on my facebook page today: "Hey, I'd like to buy a Christmas tree for a family that cannot afford one - can you put me in touch w/ any churches or groups that are in need??"

 this is a shot of a Christmas tree walk I took at the Goodwin Forest last year

WHAT????????????????? Is this just the greatest thing or what???? 

On top of that, another act of kindness was done in the Habitat ReStore today. A family came in and bought a bed frame, with a built in drawer beneath the bed, along with the headboard for someone they knew in need. They planned to go and give the paid/pick up slip to the family for them to come and pick it up themselves. 

WHAT?????????? Is this just another great thing or what???

Tis the season to pay if forward, share good will, and look beyond yourself. 

If it feels good to do in now, try it more often. 

Believe it or not, others WILL catch the fever and carry on. 

I am a Putnamaniac that loves her facebook exclusive friends and all the other ones as well!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Davisville RI history - all captured in book form by a brilliant friend of mine!

I know some wicked smart people!

Seriously - my sister for one....

There is also a fellow I went to elementary school with, George.

Here is a shot of me & George at the Davisville Free Library a few years ago.
At that time, in my early elementary school years, I was up to the brainiac challenge. George and I fondly rivaled each other every day as to who would finish the test or project first, and who would get the best score.

My school mate went on to great things - he is now an attorney... and he took a great deal of time to compile a book about the history of Davisville, RI, where we both grew up. My family still lives there.

If you love history, or know the Davisville area, check it out.

My husband is a history lover and is now enjoying my book (signed by the talented author, my old friend, George Loxton). It is loaded with plentiful and colorful local information, great stories, a glimpse of life in the past, as well as a lot of pictures.

Am I lucky or what?

I am a Putnamaniac that loves her brilliant friends and the history of her roots in Davisville, RI!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Day Kimball shines all over Northeast CT

There is a great hospital right here in town, Day Kimball Hospital.

They have a lot of other facilities around the area, too.

All of their volunteers and employees are just so nice and so good at what they do.

This past Monday I took my somewhat cantankerous husband in to Day Kimball for a hernia operation with Dr. McCallum.

What a pleasure it was in spite of what it was.

We were greeted quickly, pleasantly and efficiently.

We were checked in and were immediately ushered in to a room for prep.

A short time later I sent off the hub with well wishes, and I sat down with my book for the duration.

Oddly enough, I chose a long time favorite that I haven't read in a while... Misery, by Stephen King.

However, there was no Misery. I read in comfort, and enjoyed some coffee... and some few hours later, my phone rang. Doc McCallum let me know that my hub was fine. There were actually many small hernias to repair instead of one big one as it originally appeared.

A short time later I was sitting next to a rather sedate hubby (I kinda like it that way)!, and a wonderful nurse giving me the explanation of what to expect and how to care for this situation.

The next day I got the follow up call to see how things were.

This was such a pleasant experience when it could have been much worse, given the patient!

Thank you to all the fine folks involved with Day Kimball Hospital. Everyone from top to bottom and side to side there is spectacular!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves how Day Kimball Hospital shines all over Northeast CT!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Can you believe what someone said to me today?

I have a really sweet friend.

She is a sincere, honest, hard working, do the right thing kind of person.

She faces problems head on and appreciates the good things in life, like her kids, grandchildren, pets, and better half.

It is always a pleasure to see her - always.

Since she is the manager of the Family Dollar Store in Putnam, and she is pretty much on duty whenever they are open (when does she sleep?), I stop in there intentionally to get to see her and say hi.

Today was the day!

And do you know what she said to me?????????

"Maybe someday when I am not so busy, I would love to volunteer at the new ReStore".

Now, let me reemphasize - she is busy with work, life, family - and yet she wishes she could have some spare time to ....... not sit on the couch and eat bon bons, not stand around and complain about things.... BUT to volunteer and help out her community.

Someday, when she is not working a gazillion hours a week, Cyndy will have time for herself, and yet she will not keep it for herself. I am sure she will give to others. 

Yup - she is fabulous because she is unselfish and giving.

Didn't I tell you I choose very high quality people as my friends?

I am a Putnamaniac that can't believe how unselfish and thoughtful some people can be! Or can I???

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Imagine being deaf.. and talented... for your entire life?

My hubby works with an amazingly talented guy, Billy.

Billy has put in the tile floors and threshold in our bathroom.

Billy has also put in the floors for our living room, hallway, kitchen, and today he is doing the sun room, too... the last final touches on our re-do.

Billy is a great carpenter. Like...seriously great. 


He is deaf.

When I asked my husband if Billy was born deaf or became deaf over the years, he did not know.

Today, as we sat at the table to enjoy our Thanksgiving together, in between rooms, I asked Billy about his situation. He said he was born deaf, did not have the patience for sign language, so learned to read lips.


Could you do that???? I am not sure I could. I depend on my ears since my eyes most times fail me.

People are amazing, don't you think?

Share your amazingness with the world!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves her talented friends! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Quality youth exists - and will carry us forward!

I am fortunate to meet some great volunteers since I work in a most volunteer staffed work force with Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT. 

You would expect grown ups would be responsible and make great volunteers.

BUT ~ I am thrilled to have met quality youth volunteers as well, featuring a great high schooler, Jake.

Jake has stepped right up from the moment he walked through the door... he is courteous and helpful to customers and fellow volunteers. He is mechanical and can fix things. He has common sense. He is independent. He is strong! 

It was not only my lucky day when Jake signed up to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT, but our entire community's lucky day. We are a better community thanks to Jake and everyone just like him.

Quality youth exists. They take responsibility! Thank goodness for them (and for the fine upbringing that brought them to be them).

I am a Putnamaniac that believes in the youth and the future of the nation!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Dazzle Light Parade - 20,000 viewers can't be wrong! This will be the 1st LITTER FREE PARADE IN THE WORLD!

If you have nothing to do this Sunday night, December 1st, 2013, head to downtown Putnam.

This is the night of the 12th annual Holiday Dazzle Light Parade.

There is no way you can imagine this parade - you must come and see it....

Over 120 floats... all lit up like the 4th of July.

There are musical floats with live bands playing, marching bands, farm animals, 4 wheelers, a hot air balloon blaster, churches, organizations, scouts, costumes, community groups, businesses, and LIGHTS.... pretty much everyone in Northeast CT is here, either marching or watching.

To top off this usual miraculous welcoming in of the Christmas holiday season, this year The Last Green Valley is the grand marshal, and they are welcoming in their 20th anniversary in 2014. To celebrate, this is going to be the FIRST LITTER FREE PARADE in the world!!!

Garbage bags will be handed out and available before the parade begins, to share with your parade watching neighbors. At the end of the parade, volunteers will pick up all the bags. Outcome; 1st litter free parade in the world!

Pretty cool stuff, huh?

As one was has watched and marched (and I will be marching again this year as a volunteer of The Last Green Valley), I can tell you this is a not to miss out on event. You will be astonished and razzle dazzled!!!

20,000 people can't be wrong. That is the number of folks that show up every year to watch this parade! You should be among them if you enjoy a good time ~ family and community friendly!

I am a Putnamaniac that can't wait for this year's Holiday Dazzle Light Parade!

Thursday, November 28, 2013



I love holidays - all of them - decorating - foods - celebrations - parades - music - traditions...

So, yes, I do love holidays all year long.

However, there is a particularly jolly man that comes once a year, if you've been good.

Tomorrow this bearded fellow will be visiting Putnamania to check up on all of us - from the youngest to the oldest, to make sure we are being good. He will be happy with the results of his investigation.

If you want a glimpse of this jolly old elf, be in front of the Riverfront Commons walkway (Price Chopper, Dollar Store, Crabtree & Evelyn) at 4pm tomorrow afternoon (Friday, November 29, 2103).

I can''t wait!!!!!! Most excited 53 year old child ever!!!!

Here is a shot of Santa visiting with a little Putnamaniac in years past
I am a Putnamaniac that can't wait to see Santa!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

One of the most memorable Thanksgivings ever... included Brian Piccolo and James Caan ~ What about you?

Thanksgivings are always great ~ even if pressed for time, still great.

Today I was thinking back to my earlier years.

Living next door to my grandparents, I was one lucky child.

My grandmother (Moone) was a fabulous cook, chef, baker. You name it. If you could eat it, she could make it! Mmmmmm.

It was always a big gathering at the grandparents house for Thanksgiving, with 6 children in their family, and all the extras you pick up along the way with marriages, births, etc.

It was fun and delicious.

Then came a day when the grandparents were no longer next door. One of the saddest days of my life was when I was about 10 years old, and they moved away to Maine. Good for them. Bad for me.

However, being the swamp yankee troopers that we are, my momma took on the Thanksgiving meal at our house. The night before the aunts came over to cook. Aunt Melinda was there, Gigi was there. The place smelled great!

I was sitting in the living room, just beyond the kitchen, watching a movie:

Brian's Song. Did you ever see it? What a tear jerker... it was about the life (and sadly the death) of football player Brian Piccolo, played by James Caan. I was pretty young, and did not know the story, nor the outcome. As the movie got to the meat of the story, I was shocked and started bawling uncontrollably.... while being completely embarrassed to be doing so in front of my mom and aunts...

Lesson learned... on the rare occasion I watched something that might even be closed to sad, I would do it in private. I even skipped the Waltons and Little House on the Prairie, because goodness knows they had large tear potential!

So, stop and think back. Do you have a crazy Thanksgiving story to tell?

I am a Putnamaniac that has had a ton of memorable Thanksgivings!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Well, well. well... what do we have here? Why, Putnamania of course!

Do you live in an awesome place?  

I DO!!!

At the end of this long day, I sat down and looked at facebook, the local newspaper, and listened to the radio, and....

There was awesome news everywhere!

Food drives are going on all over the place, everyone chipping in, people enjoyed their friends and family, road trips were taken, food was cooked, tons of projects were accomplished, cookie exchange parties began, and new friends were made.

So, yes, I do live in an awesome place... Putnamania... and I know awesome people here!

I love it when you can sit back at the end of the day and be so happy with where you live!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves where she lives!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sweetness gets sweeter with age ~ at least with my neighbor Connie it does!

As a little kid I developed a theory.

It seemed to me that people who were nice when they were younger, got even nicer as they grew older.

Unfortunately, it also seemed that people who might have had a bit of a mean streak in them perhaps got a little more nasty as they aged.

I focused on and stuck with the nice ones.

Yesterday I visited my old neighbor, Connie, while she is visiting Westview Health Care Center.

(Here is a shot of Pam, me, and Connie on a lunch outing earlier this year to 85 Main)

She was snoozing a little when I got there, so I took a seat and read for a while.

Her eyes opened, she smiled grandly, and so sweetly asked "When did you get here?".

She is a doll. We talked, laughed, then talked and laughed some more.

Connie is as sweet as they come, and I am pretty sure she has been just so her whole life.

Her daughter, Pam, is cut of the same cloth.

I sure hope I wind up as one of the "sweet" ones as the years go by....

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the sweet ones that get sweeter with age!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My goal today ~ to fly off to good times at The Flying Carpet Studio!

Impossible to believe that although I live in and love Putnam, I have never been to one of the most positive businesses downtown... one I love to follow on Facebook... one that I admire heartily...

... The Flying Carpet Studio!

So, today my goal is to selfishly take at least 10 minutes (5 minutes to drive there and back, and 5 minutes to visit) and hopefully meet the wonderful woman who is The Flying Carpet Studio!
I know it will be a dazzling visit, because when I drive by, it sure does sparkle in there. Since I already know it is sparkling to the eye, I also know it will be sparking to the senses.

Don't overlook or take for granted your local businesses. Just because they are right around the corner to visit anytime doesn't mean you will take the time to actually do it. So... just do it!

You can "like" The Flying Carpet Studio on facebook here. 

I am a Putnamaniac that will be flying at the Flying Carpet Studio if only for a few moments today!

Putnamaniac Activity Calendar

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Manville AND Womanville ~ See the proof!

The best house in Putnamania did come with rather good insulation, so that is a good thing!

It is easily spotted in the garage, where there is no ceiling to hide it.

Apparently "Manville" is a well known insulation brand...

However in Putnamania, we have not only Manville, we have Womanville!

Check it out ~ proof positive:

My husband thinks I am crazy that these sort of things amuse me, but he knows me well enough to know that of course this sort of thing amuses me. He even handed me the sharpie to do it! 

I am a Putnamaniac that loves Manville and Womanville in the best house in Putnamania!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The POWER of the opposite of negative thinking! Seriously works! My mother was right!

Every now and then do you just not feel all peppy and nice and happy?

We are human after all, but when you feel like this, do you even like yourself?

I do not.


On one of those days I over pep myself up to be positive.

I make it a point to smile gloriously and say a very friendly "hello" to the next person I see, maybe ask how their day is ~ let them know I think it is an awesome day.

After I do this with about 2 people, I am seriously in a positive and upbeat mood myself. What a salesman I am!

So, once again as my mother, and probably your mother used to say, "turn that frown upside down".  She was right ~ It works!

Make everything fun and keep your positive eyes and ears open. Close those negative Nellies.

 I am a Putnamaniac that loves the POWER of positive thinking ~ and positive acting!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Flat Stanley and Flat Brookie-Cookie arrived and made my day!!!

So, yup, I came home from work ~ after 11 hours ~ how is it creeping up ??? From 8 to 9 to 10 to now 11 hours.... on salary ~ at about the lowest rate I've had since just after post high school days ~ but since I chose this route at this time in my life to give back as much as I can to my community, so be it!

Pura Vida!

And in the mail was the BEST THING EVER... my adventures of Flat Stanley/Flat Brookie kit!!!!!

YAY!!! My friend, Brooke, trusts me to take her and Flat Stanley on some fun adventures around Putnamania!

So, we will visit WINY Radio, the Habitat ReStore, Day Kimball Hospital, the River Trail, and all of the great businesses in town! Any other ideas?

What great fun a young friend can bring an old friend at the end of a day.

xoxoxoxox to the young and old, working together.

I am a Putnamaniac that will bring Flat Stanley and Brookie all around Putnamania!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Onions, garlic, and a bag of meat in my kitchen - the truest sign of true love!

Take a gander at this!

Yes - you see onions, garlic, and a bag of meat - in my kitchen!!! These are like my three cryptonites!

Why on earth would I not only welcome these deadly things (to me, at least), but slice them up and cook them???

There is but one answer ~ it is true love.

I am going to cook this disgusting mess up for my husband, because he loves this meal, and I love him.

That is all.

Go beyond yourself for those you love. It is worth it every time.

I am a Putnamaniac that is happy to cook my arch enemies up for my husband, whom I love dearly (or "deerly" in this case)!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A day of topsy turvy plans!

When my head hit the pillow last night, I had my plan all laid out for today:
1) laundry
2) Turkey Trot 5k
3) Shower
4) Give Momma and our friend Jane a house tour of the best house in Putnam
5) Visit Logees Greenhouse for their open house weekend
6) Go to the Elks Veterans Dinner
7) Relax

In actuality, it did not turn out that way... Why? Because sometimes a day's plans go topsy turvy.

Since I awoke way too early, thinking of how we still haven't finished the sun room nor the bathroom (have you tried to comb your hair, brush your teeth, apply the most minimal amount of makeup you use, which is basically to cover those ever there bags under your eyes over the kitchen sink - with no mirror for 2 months????).

So, I then jumped up and decided it was time to turn my plans topsy turvy! This is how it turned out:
1) laundry
2) sanded the sun room walls
3) more laundry
4) coffee
5) listened to the coverage of the Turkey Trot on WINY Radio
6) washed the sun room walls
7) more laundry... and more coffee
8) primed the sun room walls
9) cleaned up all the sanding and painting mess
10) took a shower, and yes, combed my hair over the kitchen sink
11) gave Momma and her friend a house tour when they arrived
12) told my hubby to have a nice time at the Elks Veterans dinner
13) went to the Logees open house with Momma and friend. Bought a nice meyer lemon!

Note: although my purchase is much smaller than this beauty, some day it will be this spectacular!

14) stopped at the Vanilla Bean for a lunch/supper with Momma and friend


Sometimes you gotta change things around a little, but as you can see, you can still jam a lot into a day, whether it is as planned or a little topsy turvy. Sometimes there is just too much fun to be had in a day!

I am a Putnamaniac that is ok with topsy turvy days!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thankful I'm full of lots of the best stuff on earth!

During the month of November, people stop and give thanks.

We should really do it all year long, and lots of us do.

So, I am just simply sitting, pooped out at the end of the week, and thinking of how thankful I am.

I am in a warm, clean, nice house that I own with my sweet hubby. It is nice to be a part of my own little family after lots of happy years of singleness.

I have the best mother on the entire planet and in all of history.

I have outstanding sister, brother, brother in law, and Debbi in law.

My Uncle T is one of the best guys ever. 

My friends, near and far, old and new, are all top shelf quality people.

My cousins are all precious and talented.

Good health has continued to follow me around.

I  could not ask for anything else, except maybe another 60-70 years on this earth to enjoy all there is to enjoy!

I am a Putnamaniac that is thankful for it all!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Diversity is the spice of life! That is as spicy as I get!

I like my food pretty bland, boring, not spicy. A bowl of steamed broccoli = great!

However, I really like diverse people, and I know so many!

There are quiet people and loud people.

There are athletic people and couch potatoes.

There are great chefs and take out only types.

There are musicians and authors and artists.

There are Sox fans and there are Stankees fans. 

There are parents ~ of humans, pets, and both.

There are dramatic people and there are behind the scenes type of people.

There are doers, and then there are super doers.

There are funny people and serious people.

There are brilliant people and not so brilliant people.

There are night owls and early birds.

There are meatasauruses and veggiesauruses. 

I am lucky enough to know them all! 

How about you. Does the variety and diversity in the people you know just astound you? You can learn and appreciate so much more in life by knowing a diverse crowd!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the variety of people that I know ~ they spice up my life!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Is it time for Christmas music yet? It really makes me happy!

I might have a screw loose.

We've covered that on a few occasions, but I feel it is best to be true to yourself and honest with yourself. How else can you carry on with others if you can't with yourself?

So, I am an admitted Christmas music LOVER!

It makes me happy, calm, joyous, and emotional in a nice way.

Today I discovered a radio station playing some Christmas tunes (yes, I forsook WINY Radio during the non-local show time around noon today.... don't tell on me for that)!

AND, color me happy. Tis almost the season to sing! Especially in your car, all by yourself!

How do you feel about the Christmas music? Be honest.... why do you like or dislike it??

I am a Putnamaniac that is so happy the Christmas music time of year is approaching fast!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tractors to Trimmers is my gift assistant ~ and I can't wait to give this gift!

Shopping is so not my thing.

It is like torture.

However, I do like to get a nice gift for someone ~ especially when it is just the right thing for that person.

Yesterday I shopped locally at Tractors 2 Trimmers in Woodstock, CT and ordered a gift for my hubby. A riding mower, with leaf bagger and plow attachment, too!

I can't wait to have it delivered and surprise him next week. He will LOVE it!

The shopping experience was fantastic. Tractors 2 Trimmers owner assisted me with my choice, based on the info I gave to her regarding yard size and terrain. She was able to match me to exactly what I needed at a great price, and it will be delivered next week.

As she was helping me, she was also seamlessly answering the phone, helping landscape crews arriving with broken equipment, and making it all look easy. 

So, once again, shopping locally is a great choice. Think before you shop! Take the advice of a non-shopper whom is always pleased with local merchants!

You can "like" Tractors 2 Trimmers on Facebook here

I am a Putnamaniac that loved my trip to Tractors 2 Trimmers, and my hubby will love the surprise he will be getting next week!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ahhhh, the things you see while jogging versus driving!

This morning I took a nice morning run.

Since it was my day off, I pledged to take some time for myself. Very selfish!

It was crisp and brisk and bright and colorful!

It was well worth it.

Venturing off on a new route for my legs and lungs, I was really able to check things out. That is one reason I love jogging ~ I take in a lot of views that are so different than when you are driving by these same spots.

Check out my reward at the top of the slow, upward trek to the intersection of Heritage Road and Liberty Highway. Wowza!!!

It was so beautiful, I did drive back later in the day, just to take this picture!

The brilliant red leaves, cozied up to the holly tree, sporting its green leaves and red berries was so eye popping, and the background colors just add to the scene.


I suggest you get out and jog, walk, ride your bike ~ whatever it takes to get you to look around at the beauty surrounding all of us.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to see things while jogging!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Walking, Talking, Litter Patrolling Super Heroes!

I have an awesome friend, Kat.

We have had a lot of fun times together since I met her, and some not so good times in our lives, too, but we share and enjoy each other to the max when we can.

This morning, for the first time in a long time, we got together for one of our classic walks and talks. In just over 5 miles, we solved the world's problems, our problems, made each other come close to tears, and laughed - a lot.

We also became litter patrolling super heroes!

A shopping cart from a local store had been unceremoniously dumped into the Quinebaug River. I saw it the other night when I stopped to take the gorgeous picture at sunset, but could not reach it on my own.

However, this morning, the litter patrolling super heroes teamed up to retrieve it from the river. Kat held onto the back of my shirt, I stretched out and grabbed the stick that was stuck in the kiddie seat, she pulled on that, and I grabbed the kiddie seat. Together we hauled it out of the water and rolled it back to it's home/store.


Isn't it great to have a super hero as your friend? YES it is!

Be sure to keep in touch with your good friends. All others can step aside.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves my walking, talking, litter patrolling super hero friend!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Delicious Roast Beast dinner at the Putnam Congregational Church (even though all I had was the veggies)!

Tonight we had a great date night dinner at the Putnam Congregational Church.

They host quite a few shin-digs every year, and they are always delicious!

Tonight's feature was roast beef.

Being a vegetarian, that roasted beast did not interest me much, but the butternut squash, green beans, and mushrooms sure did! YUM!

Like many churches, this one gives back to the community in massive quantities. That makes it an easy choice to support them.

That, and the deliciousness they offer!

Keep your eyes open for community events like this. It is always a win-win situation.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves eating the veggies at Putnam Congregational Church's dinners!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wearing shorts to work on November 1st! I'll take it!

Being one who is a big fan of hot, steamy weather and long bright days also makes me an anti-fan of cold and shorter days.

So, since it is now November 1st, and it was a mild enough day to wear shorts to work for Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT's ReStore in Putnam, I'll take it...

....for as long as it lasts!

Chime in on this epic debate over preferred seasons.

Which do you prefer, and why?

In any case, enjoy all that you can since every day holds something just a little special, especially for you.

I am a Putnamaniac that is happy to wear shorts on November 1st!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Poonge Nation (population 2) ready for Sox Nation!

My family traditionally has had great nicknames ~ like Skee (my brother) Si (my grandfather that my other brother was named after), Nubbins (my father), Digger (me), Choodalink (my brother), Zeus (my uncle) to name a few.

We also have great names for our living spaces ~ like The BIG G and little g (Uncle Terry's 2 garages), The Grand Allee (my mother's path along side the house), Lower DC (my sister and brother in law's finished basement/relaxing zone), and the Renegage Garden (of course my infamous garden at the condo) to name a few.

Well, of course this tradition has been carried on by myself and my former old boyfriend/now husband.

Way back when, we dated. Bob became "Bug". Somehow we both became "Poonge" or "Poonie". When we reunited, we immediately became using these nicknames again. It was only natural!

  A shot of us in NH on our short but wonderfully sweet honeymoon

It doesn't even embarrass us to call out across a store "Hey, Poonge, what kind of squash did you want?". It may turn others' heads, but sounds as right as rain to us.

So now that Poonge Nation, population 2, has their own home sweet home, we are ready to enjoy a little Sox Nation spirit tonight! Won't you join us in cheering on the Sox in Game 6 of the World Series?

I am a Putnamaniac that loves being a part of both Poonge Nation and Red Sox Nation!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall in love with Putnam - you will never leave (puns intended here today)!

Fall is most definitely in the air - crisp/chilly temps, scarecrows out and about, apple picking, shorter days, and leaves falling everywhere.

I'm not sure if a lot of towns pick up the leaves from the sidewalks and curbs, but Putnam does!

It is pretty cool and a great service.

Folks rake their leaves to the street, and the town comes by with a big vacuumey/shreader type machine behind their truck. Town employees rake into the chute, and the leaves disappear, just like that! And they do it so quickly!!!

Just another great service from a great town, and great work from their employees.

I am a Putnamaniac that has fallen in love with her town and will never leave!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Today I learned about The Wyndham Land Trust - the signs I drive by all the time!

Today was my last Walktober for the season with The Last Green Valley... and the Walktober season is winding down fast.

I made a great choice (not that there are any bad choices when it comes to Walktobers).

Today I got to walk and learn about The Wyndham Land Trust, and specifically walked the Rapoport/Spalding Land Trust in Woodstock.

Previously I have seen Wyndham Land Trust signs around and about - most frequently on Rt 171 just before the Woodstock Fairgrounds. I drive and jog by it often, but never really knew what it was all about.

Imagine having land and donating it a land trust, so it stays available as open land - for all to visit and enjoy? That would be great! And that is just what happens often, and that is why we were able to enjoy our walk today. I plan to revisit this location over and over again. I also plan to find other Wyndham Land Trust locations and visit them often as well.

You can become a member for only $20 per person or $30 per family per year, and you can also "like" The Wyndham Land Trust on facebook here to keep up to date with information and events.

I am a Putnamaniac that loved to learn about and visit with The Wyndham Land Trust today!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Driven to make a difference!

I just might  be insane... in the good way of course (no disrespect to those with sincere issues ~ I do understand that mental health issues are an important issue in the world and affect many).

However, since I have recently accepted a position with Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT, I think I might have a screw loose.

I have been an exceptionally hard worker my entire life - tried my best - always went above the call of duty -  and I did it for my self satisfaction, and because I wanted to make a difference in the world.

Luckily, I was rewarded for my efforts along the way. I always paid back and donated a lot, because I could and it was the right thing to do.

With all those years of hard work - and rewards - I was still not really prepared for working for Habitat. WOW! These folks, including me, work harder and for less than anyone I have ever met in my over half century on Planet Earth. And those are the staff. Volunteers work to the max - and we all know volunteers do it for nothing, except for the chance to pay it forward.

So, every night when I get home exhausted, bruised, feeling inadequate in reaching my daily goals - I will look at that big picture. If I can help one person, or family, before my days on Planet Earth are through, then I will have the greatest satisfaction ever!

I am a Putnamaniac that is driven to make a difference!