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!