Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The aloof red tail hawk regards us from above!

Hawks are not uncommon in Northeast CT as well as many other places.

It is still a thrill to see them, especially when you can get rather close to them. They are huge!

Early one recent morning as I jogged up the frosty country road, I spotted a big something up on a utility pole.

Since the sun was bright, and shining in my not so sharp four eyes, I was not quite sure who was up there.  This fellow was looking directly at me! Could be an owl or a hawk at first thought.

I jogged off the road and down the path to get a bit closer, hoping for a better glimpse, especially if the head turned so I could view the profile and beak, which tells a much better story of who you are looking at.

He turned, and indeed it was a hawk, sitting aloof, not caring a bit about what I was up to.

As I approached he took wing, showing off his wingspan and grand tail. A red tail.

Awesome! Just me and him. Out in the Northeast CT countryside. He could care less. Off he went to take a seat on a branch beside a big cut cornfield, in hopes of finding some breakfast.

I continued home myself, for a glass of water & a cup of coffee, but I was happy to have shared a few quality moments with my big winged friend.

What a great way to start any day!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the red tail hawk and all my winged friends, even if they could care less about me!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Unexpected "I love you"s hit the spot - pass them out frequently and for no reason!

No need for a long explanation on why today was sort of feeling like one of "those days", but it was.  

On these sort of days sometimes the littlest thing can just surprise you into tears of amazement and thankfulness for the good people you happen to know.

Early today I sent out an email request. Honest and heartfelt, but a request none the less.

This was the reply I got back (edited for a bit of personal privacy):

Remember at uncle Gus’ funeral when you said, “I love you…people need to say that more often”?
That was nice.  And true. I love you, Marcy!!  Happy New Year!!

 Boooo hoooo hooooo - I started sniveling. No controlling it.

Gee whiz, if it is this easy to touch someone's heart and make their day feel filled with a little kindness, we should all probably do it once in a while. 

 heart tree full of love in my neighbor's yard

See love everywhere, and be sincere. Spread the love around like you are the knife on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich in life! 

I am a Putnamaniac that needs to pass out some unexpected "I love you's" more often!

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

An unexpected hike = unexpected fun!

I love to hike!

But, I also love to plan!

Sometimes I am teased for my planning, but since planning seems to work for me, and I try not to affect anyone adversely by my planning personality, I'm sticking with it. In fact, I hope that I have brought some fun to others by planning activities that they may have joined and enjoyed with me.

So you can imagine it was a wonderful surprise to be driving along on this damp, dreary and mild winter morning and to pass nearby a place that I had been only once before to hike.

You can also imagine that is was a wonderful surprise to decide to stop and hike the place again!

Southbridge MA was the place.

I love Southbridge! It has some great old buildings. It has some very nice people. It certainly has a lot of history. And it has some great places to hike!

It is amazing to me how many places I have learned and found that there are to hike - such as conservation commission lands, land trust lands, and other like properties and preserves. These are places that exist, but are far less advertised spots with hardly any fancy signage at all compared to State Parks & Forests for instance. These places are there, and you might drive right past them, but you don't even  know they are there! Unless.... someone has given you a guided tour!

For years I have taken advantage of The Last Green Valley's Walktober and also their member programs. I have discovered many new places to visit, hike, enjoy. Most times you are there by yourself or with a fellow walker. It is wonderful.

Maybe I am basically a lazy person, but instead of searching high and low for new places to discover and visit, I use others to lead me to them. I am happy to return to these locations over and over again and to introduce my friends to these same hidden finds!

I am a Putnamaniac that enjoyed unexpected fun on an unplanned hike today! 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Magnolia Forecast!

The magnolia forecast is good for the spring of 2015!

So I think!

Why the optimism for those grand buds this coming season?

Take a look at the buds formed and still forming on these trees in your New England neighborhood. They are tremendously fat.

I have no idea if this is really a good or bad thing, but being an optimist and using what I consider is a common sense look at the situation, I vote that it is a good thing!

Of course, we know that once spring is here and those magnolias bloom, we are again very dependent on the weather. Some years as soon as they bloom, Mother Nature pours down a doozy on us, knocking all those precious blooms to the ground. Other years, she shows us some mercy and lets us enjoy the beauty for a longer spell of time.

In any case, these magnolia blossoms are something we look forward to. They are surely a sign that spring has sprung!

Do you look forward to these spring things, even now when it is only late December? That is a great thing about living in Northeast CT and enjoying all four seasons!

I am a Putnamaniac that predicts big magnolia blossoms this coming spring!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Overheard: An old gentleman's thank you on the street!

I've been itching to share this short but sweet story.

Thank goodness there is a moment today to get it out of my brain and into this blog.

Downtown Putnam. A couple of days before Christmas 2014. Lights sparkling, music joyfully playing. Hustle and bustle all around.

As I rush out of Sawmill Pottery with gorgeous new mugs made for The Last Green Valley to deliver to a loyal supporter, Linda at Taylor Brooke Winery, I see an older gentleman stop a young robust Putnam police officer. Both are on the sidewalk just up the way from me.

The older gentleman is sincerely expressing his thanks to the young police officer, who is clearly a stranger to him. I catch bits of the conversation and his carefully chosen words "We really appreciate your work", "You're making a difference", "We love to see you around all the time", and so it went. 

The young officer shook his hand and said his own thanks to the older gentleman for his kind words.

See how easy it is to make a difference - of good - in the world.

Speak up, be thankful, express appreciation. Don't be shy!

Enjoy this. Share this. Look for these sorts of great stories yourself. You will find them!

I am a Putnamaniac that approves of giving thanks for things you appreciate - even to strangers on the street!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Do not forget about Habitat for Humanity and their simple mission!

Habitat: noun:
1. the natural environment of an organism; place that is natural for the life and growth of an organism.

2. the place where a person or thing is usually found.
3. a special environment for living in over an extended period.

Humanity: noun: 
1. all human beings collectively; the human race; humankind.
2. the quality or condition of being human; human nature.
3. the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence.

It makes a lot of sense that Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT's mission is simply this:  
To create decent and affordable homes in partnership with families in need - through the dedicated efforts of community volunteers, financial sponsors and partner families who find rewarding experiences by sharing their time, talents and resources. Their goal is to make a difference in the lives of others, fulfill the dream of home ownership and help eliminate sub-standard housing in Eastern Connecticut.

Volunteers are a big part of this equation - you can help! Every little bit adds up. Do not overwhelm or overextend yourself. Do what you can, when you can. Each of us has a special talent.

After a very busy time and being away from volunteering in the ReStore, I will start the New Year off by dedicating just a few hours a month. I know what I can do in a few hours, and it will all add up and help our community. I urge you to join me! We can have a lot of rewarding fun along the way!

Habitat founder, Millard Fuller says “For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people's love and concern for each other.”

Yup - we know that, and we can do that!

Check out Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT here, and you can sign up to volunteer!

I am a Putnamaniac that knows a bunch of little bits adds up to a lot! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chase Graphis offers the best service and product ever ~ and they are local!

Chase Graphics is the name of a local business. This is their logo, and they recently celebrated their 25th anniversary.

The 2 words "Chase Graphics" does not come close to describing everything they do.

Let me expand on this and enlighten you...

I had the pleasure to work on the employee side of the counter for a time at Chase.

You drive by their building and it looks quite peaceful.... quiet even.


That place is hopping from the start to finish of each day, and even stretches out to each side of that business day.

It was shocking to me how many times a day the phone rang and how many people came through the door (...the front door that is. Many more folks came in through the back door where the shop is located! I didn't keep track of them)!

An average of 25 calls AND 25 walk in customers came through Chase Graphics doors every day! That does not count all of the emails received, their sales team's orders, and yes, even still some good old fashioned faxes that rolled in every day.

Chase Graphics' list of services and products is endless. Chances are that you have received lots of their work, in your mail perhaps - in the form of an annual report or advertisement. You see their menus out at restaurants. There are business cards passing hands everywhere, thanks to Chase Graphics. Calendars, wedding invitations, newsletters, event tickets, funeral programs, show programs, signs on the streets, for special events and in businesses are courtesy of Chase Graphics.

Need a logo? They do that, thanks to their very creative design team. They are not cookie cutter designers. They do not have a style - they create what you describe to them. Imagine getting the idea out of your head and into something visible? Yup - Chase Graphics does that.

Enlargements, laminations, printing photos, scanning old memories, banners for trade shows, coozies for family events... the list is endless. If you are wondering if Chase Graphics can do it, just ask them. Chances are, they can!

How do they do it? Great people! Hard workers! A family - literally as owners Jimmy & Deb are married, their sister in law Kathy is part of the team, and Tracie, Danny, Jenn & Melissa have worked their since forever, some from the beginning (and before). There are some other great talents chipping in at Chase, too - Mike the Mailman, the Whittler, Big Paul and Carolyn to name a few.

So, stop in and see what Chase Graphics can do for you!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The best gift EVER!!! Proud Membership to The Last Green Valley - or whatever is a good fit!

People complain about their money and financial situations all the time.

I get that - it is standard fare, like the weather.

The realization that some folks are in dire financial straits, even though they are working hard and cautious with their money is also understood. Been there, done that.



Don't you think we should be very cautious, choosy, picky, even quite thoughtful about what we spend our gift money for?

I do!

If you have family or friends and feel obliged to give a gift on special occasions, such as birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries... whatever... do it thoughtfully.

"Stuff" is not always as long a lasting gift as something as thoughtful as a membership or a donation to an organization meaningful to the giftee or some time together with that special someone - maybe tickets to a show to enjoy together - or a nice dinner out to have some visiting time.

This past year I saw a 70 year man receive a rare birthday gift, but one he loved from a friend. Since they are both hunters, one friend presented the 70 year old birthday boy a permission slip from a land owner to hunt on his land. This was rich territory, and the birthday boy has hunted vigorously on that property this season. What a cool gift, even if you don't like or agree with hunting. It was thought out.

Recently someone else made a donation to a hospice care organization, who provided wonderful care to that person's loved one in their final days.

Since I've volunteered for The Last Green Valley for some years now, and am actually a staff person now, I always think of the gift of membership or a donation to this fine organization.

However, I think that you should think about your gifts, and your money, and what that hard earned money that you spend will mean to the person on the receiving end. Give it a try! There are many great gifts out there, that will do some good in the world!

I am a Putnamaniac that likes to "give" well thought gifts! 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I'm Positive!

As I've mentioned in the past, this blog began so I could make sure I focused on at least one positive thing every single day. It was a good exercise, because you sure can get busy in life "doing" things, and forget to stop and appreciate the good things.

 Well, this week has been an exceptionally busy one, so although I did not find the time to sit and write a blog, I still found many wonders to notice and appreciate each day.

A story on the local radio of a prayer tree, a child who asked for his birthday party guests to bring canned goods to donate to the food bank instead of presents for him, a shared memory of someone's school years and the impact they as students had on the school janitor that he treasured many years later, the wonderful businesses in our town who bond together fabulously, the kind people I know... there are way more good things to notice than not.

So, be sure that you each take time each day to actually notice something good. Appreciate the goodness. It is far more uplifting than the bad. Stay positive - however you can - do what works for you! You definitely will have an impact on your own life and perhaps on other's lives, too!

I am a Putnamaniac that believes in the power of POSITIVE!

Monday, December 8, 2014

I like Putnam because I like the people who make up Putnam!

Or maybe I should say that I love Putnam because I love the people who make up Putnam.

Some folks I know a lot better than other folks, but plain and simple, they are all awesome.

I can't paint a clearer picture.

Check out The Putnam Business Association website, the Discover Putnam website, and the WINY Radio website. You will find some great people on these sites, as well as great businesses and lots of events. When you come visit Putnam, you can judge for yourself.

True love will follow!

 I am a Putnamaniac that loves my town and the people who make it up!

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cleaning up down garbage hill has resulted in some treasures!

The lesson today is that it is good to pick up trash.


You may find treasure!

And because you will most certainly make a difference by cleaning up an unsightly place in the very least.

Case study:

We bought a house last year. The last house on a dead end street. Perfect!

However, there is a big gully right next to our house. That is both a plus and a minus.

+ It certainly is unbuildable - a very wet spot a lot of the year. That is good, because it is like having a nice woodsy space for yourself, and yet not have to pay for it.

- It was used in the past as a dumping ground by goodness knows how many people. Certainly the family that used to live in the house we bought used it. They previously had a home that burned down on the lot, and it looks like they tossed a lot over what I have dubbed "garbage hill". There is a big porcelain bathtub, a water heater, a big 50 gallon metal drum, tires, just to name a few of the bigger pieces of garbage. There are also lots of chunks of wood, cement, and more. You get it - "garbage hill".

+ As I've been going over garbage hill and picking up garbage as I see it, (and at this time of year with no leaves on the trees, you see it), I do find some treasures amongst the trash.

On the side of good, someone's trash became my treasure in the mascot lion now guarding our yard, bricks that I used for the little area under my bench & bird feeder, and today I found FOUR suet feeders - all like brand new!

Here is Gilligan the Lion, mascot of our yard!

Here is a shot of the bricks from this summer after I dragged them up garbage hill and reused them!

I can remember years ago, when I owned my 2nd house and was preparing to have a new fence put it. Early that morning I headed out to do a cleanup of that area, and found a $10 bill!

So, you never know what you will find, trash or treasure. But, one thing is guaranteed - you will find a much nicer looking area after you do a cleanup!

I am a Putnamaniac that has found some treasures in the trash on garbage hill!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Bradley's A Christmas Carol is worthy of 2 blogs in a row!

My last blog from a few days ago was titled Bradley Theater Tickets are great gifts! Kick off the season and gift giving with A Christmas Carol!

That blog was written BEFORE I went to see the current show at the Bradley, which is indeed A Christmas Carol. 

I am telling you that you MUST see this show! Last night was the first performance, and they nailed it! The characters are cast perfectly, and although I am quite partial to the Bradley, love every show, love to volunteer there, love the business manager, Pat, my opinion was not influenced by any of those things.

It was really amazing, which is something to say about a show that you've seen every which way over the years, plus you read the book every Christmas! I felt so touched in a new way by the story that I felt close to tears a few times.


But true.

I would seriously suggest that you treat yourself to the Bradley Playhouse's A Christmas Carol. There is still time!

 I am a Putnamaniac that thinks the Bradley's A Christmas Carol was very worthy of two blogs in a row!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bradley Theater Tickets are great gifts! Kick off the season and gift giving with A Christmas Carol!

Everyone knows Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

I've read it a gazillion times, and seen many movie and on stage versions over the years, too.

And I still love it!

There are so many ways that each character has been portrayed by so many, including when they come to life in my imagination as I read it yet again.

The good news - I mean the GREAT NEWS is that The Bradley Theater's Christmas show this year is A Christmas Carol. It is starting this Friday, December 5th, and will run on Friday & Saturday (7:30pm) and Sunday (2:00pm) for the next 3 weeks.

More good news - I mean GREAT NEWS is that The Bradley Theater sells season tickets and flex tickets. What an awesome gift! Just think of someone who has all they need, but theater tickets are always nice! If they have no one to go with, get tickets for yourself and them, and you can take them out to a show once in a while! How thoughtful!

Get a move on it! The big show is starting soon, and Christmas is almost here. You will definitely be on Santa's good list if you are a thoughtful giver.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Holiday Dazzle Light Parade Time in Putnam!

It is almost here!!!!

The 13th Annual Holiday Dazzle Light Parade in Putnam!

I can't even try to describe what awesome fun this parade is - I've watched it and marched in it, and from either side of the parade, it is incredible! I'll be marching again this year with The Last Green Valley. Once again The Last Green Valley will provide garbage bags along the parade route in efforts to have a litter free parade. Please participate in this aspect of the parade.

Floats line the staging area, which takes up all of Grove Street and many of the side streets off of Grove Street.

Port-o-potties are set around town, including one in parade organizer Gary O's front yard. Now that is taking one for the team!

The floats, trucks, jeeps, bikes, people all have lights on them. There is music - both canned and live on the floats. There are animals on the floats! It is bright, loud, and a ton of fun. This still does not describe how it is to see and hear all of this in person!

Once this parade starts rolling it is awesome! What an unusual event.

We know how to have fun in Putnam!!!!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the Holiday Dazzle Light Parade!

Friday, November 28, 2014

SANTA is COMING to Putnam - TODAY!!!!! 4 pm!!!

Yes - it is the season!

Thanksgiving turkey and all the fixins' filled our tummies yesterday, and we enjoyed family and friends.

But clearly Christmas is next up.

Santa has been spotted doing a few fly overs in Putnam the last few days.

He was checking that list of his and wanted a glimpse to see if all Putnamaniacs were on the good list! He was so pleased that he is coming back this afternoon.

You can see Santa arrive, safely delivered to the River Front Commons parking lot, in front of the Crabtree & Evelyn Store at 4pm on a big red fire truck by the Putnam Fire Department.

I don't care what age you are, seeing Santa arrive to a ton of excited kiddos is the BEST! So whether or not you have a little one, it is worth the visit.

Shortly after Santa's arrival the holiday lights will be lit across the street in Rotary Park.

Tis' the season to appreciate every joy there is. Focus on them all!

I am a Putnamaniac that can't wait to see Santa today in Putnam at 4pm!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

VOTE to bring more music to Putnam! One vote per email from anywhere in the whole wide world!

I must be getting slow-er in my old-er age, but I did not even think to blog out this information.

Luckily I have awesome friends who stay on top of things!

Putnam is involved in a nationwide contest right now where towns are vying for grant funds of $25,000 for outdoor concerts.

If you have been to Putnam, or if you have read this blog you know that Putnam loves outdoor concerts. They happen throughout the year, some more widely known than others. River Fires are big draws, and First Fridays and the 4th of July Fireworks attract lots of music fans, too. There are more... and if Putnam wins this grant, well.... figure it out! More outdoor concerts!

This shot is of one of our River Fires al Fresco featuring Linda Eder

The deadline to vote is this Sunday, November 30th. The top-20 vote getters advance to the next round where judges will select 10 towns out of the top 20 to each receive a $25k grant for outdoor concerts.

Recently Putnam was in 7th place, but lets keep on it until the last minute. Please share share share and help get the word out for our final push. You can vote once per e-mail address. Advice from Gary O of WINY Radio: "Please note that when you sign up to vote, they will send an email confirmation and the confirmation will probably get caught in your spam filter, so be sure to check there for the confirm email". Go here to vote: http://amp.levittpavilions.org/

Sign up, scroll down, choose CT, and vote! You can live anywhere, and since each email gets one vote, use as many email addresses as you have. (We do seem to gather email addresses, don't we?).

I'll tell you what. If you do not live near Putnam, when we win, you can come and stay over at my house and attend any of these great concerts we have in Putnam! Deal? Deal!

I am a Putnamaniac that needs help to bring more live music to Putnam! Vote now!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bigfoot spotted in Thompson! REALLY!!! I caught a photo of him!

Spotted earlier this week in Thompson: BIGFOOT!

Honest to goodness! I saw him!

Since that quick spotting, I have been keeping my eyes open and hoped to catch another glimpse of  the elusive creature, Bigfoot.

There are many "squatchy" areas in Northeast CT, and since we are quite friendly here, I imagined that my hard work would result positively and I would indeed spot Bigfoot again.

This morning I scored:

There was that handsome and shy beauty again before my eyes! What fun!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the crazy and entertaining things I find in Northeast CT!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Give thanks, give of yourself, Give Often!

There are always mixed emotions and comments when food banks are the topic of discussion.

Are we enabling people into not working harder to take care of themselves, are people taking advantage of the good will and good nature of others, is there truly a need...??

These are some of the comments you will hear.

After volunteering at our local food bank, Daily Bread, I will admit that I sometimes feel a few mixed emotions myself.

...Not impressed by the impatience (and sometimes quite rude comments) of those that have to wait in line to receive their foods,
...So very impressed by the single father who chooses every item based on what his little daughter loves,
...Heart broken by the young/single/working mother who is embarrassed but thankful that she can get enough food to feed her children,
...Tickled pink by the learning disabled older gentleman that gets up and offers his chair to a very pregnant young mother with a toddler also in tow,
...Thankful that although we did not have a lot of money ourselves growing up, and a lot of mouths to feed, we had chickens (hence eggs) a big garden filled with fresh veggies all summer, and canned veggies all winter, as well as fishermen and hunters in the family.

Whatever your emotions or opinions are, you must admit there is a need to help our fellow man on occasion. As most of us overeat and overindulge during the holidays, perhaps we could each cut back a bit and donate an item or two to a food drive instead.

This could be a win-win. As we cut down on our mass over-consumption, which is good for us, we could donate more, which is good for the community.

With Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday, this weekend is a big push for food drives. The state and local (Putnam and Plainfield) police are teaming up for their annual "Handcuff Hunger" food drive. Details from WINY Radio:


Date: November, 22nd 2014 8:30 am - November, 23rd 2014 3:30 pm
8:30 A.M. – 3:30 P.M.

I am a Putnamaniac that gives thanks, gives of myself and gives often!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Make Way for Ducklings! Reading is really fundamental!

Remembering back to earlier days, I recall the big push and lots of PSA's/commercials dubbed "Reading is Fundamental". 

Do you mean to tell me that reading had to be and still has to be promoted?

Considering myself quite lucky that I've known this secret for most of my life, thanks to a mother who walked us over to the Davisville Free Library since before we could walk, I hope that you, too, love to read!

It matters not to me what takes you away... history, sci-fi, the classics, cheesy love stories... as long as you allow it to take you frequently.

What is better than to travel to 18th century Paris, witness someone overcome demons, solve great mysteries, climb a mountain, without having to leave your living room (or better yet your bed)?

Years ago a friend told me his new year's resolution that year was to read 12 books - one per month. Kind of like an exercise for the mind. He did it!

I love that goal setting and reaching type of thing. That is also my goal every year, but I manage to do a lot more, because I love to go places! A great way to accomplish this goal (and to find endless choices of books - for FREE) is to go to your library. You have a return date. You must read the book in that amount of time. EASY!

Today I got to be a guest reader for a bunch of tiny tots at the Pearle L. Crawford Memorial Library, where my dear friend is the children's librarian. It was great! "Make Way for Ducklings" was my choice, and I have loved it and Robert McCloskey's other books as well forever.

Make time to read. Our lives are quite short in the big picture of things. Take time to read, to exercise, listen to music - enjoy and take care of yourself. Reading - it does a body good!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to read!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Artique - a great night out (I can't wait to go)!

There is not much for me to say about this local Putnam business, Artique ~ because it speaks for itself.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words...

At Artique, you create art! No experience is needed! From the Artique website:

Together we will create a fantastic painting in 2 hours while you celebrate a night out with your friends and meet new ones too! Simply choose a painting in the online calendar and pre-register. Bring your own wine or beer and a few friends.

I know tons of people who have gone and had a blast. I can't wait to get the chance (and time) to go, too! This is a perfect type of fun, enjoyment and relaxation.

Come and Artique with me!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bird feeders provide exercise ~ really. Read how!

If you have a bird feeder and an affection for spotting birds, whether they are the same old familiar chick-a-dee-dee-dees or more rare species, you will understand these thoughts today.

Bird feeders and bird watching can provide a lot of exercise!

The supporting facts:

1) You must go back and forth to your seed bucket in the garage to the feeders, often - not only do the birds eat a lot, but those pesky squirrels take their share, too, so refilling is frequent!

2) Running back and forth into the house to get your bird book to identify what you just saw or heard is also something that keeps you moving. How often do you hear a new "chirp", and strain to see where the source is perched? You spot that beauty, taking in the shape of the beak, the coloring, the size...! As you run to your old faithful bird book, with so many pages folded over referencing past sightings, and you repeat to yourself, "short yellow beak, white belly, black tail, etc., etc., etc.

3) You return to the scene of the bird sightings, holding as still as you can... almost in a yoga-like pose, hoping again for that new find, or another, to arrive.

Now that I think of it, there could be a whole new industry based on the fitness of birding!

What do you think? Do you get a lot of enjoyment - and exercise - from your bird feeders?

I am a Putnamaniac that loves my bird feeder aerobics!  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Turkey Dip - Gobble Gobble!

Turkey Dip sounds like it might be something yummy, doesn't it??

There are so many great restaurants, caterers, bakeries, delicatessens, and all around foodie type of places locally here in Northeast CT, AND with Thanksgiving coming up, I can see where you might be thinking with your tummy.

BUT, not so for this Turkey Dip.

On Thanksgiving morning, as has been done for many years now, a hearty group will jump into the Quaddick Lake in Thompson at 8 a.m. This invigorating crowd continues to grow each year!

The cause for this splashy and most often frigid early morning Turkey Dip is that it is a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

What a blast to join in, if you are hearty enough, or even to watch! Best of all, it does bring awareness to another issue that many have to deal with in their lives - enough so that they started this wet and wild Turkey Dip almost 40 years ago.

So, go, and have fun, but respect the things that we all live with and challenge us with in our lives, whether it is Muscular Dystrophy, cancer, diabetes, depression....(the list is a long one, my friends, and does not stop here).

As my wise mother says "None of us get through life unscathed". She also says to make the best of every minute you have and help where you can!

Now that is one wise momma!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves Turkey Dip for Thanksgiving mornings!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Joshua Smith connection - kind of like my Kevin Bacon game!

The Kevin Bacon Game - remember that game, also known as The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?

...or is it how ever many degrees of separation from Joshua Smith???

The Joshua Smith game is much more familiar to me.

This is what happened and shows what a small world it really is.

I had the pleasure to first meet Pastor Joshua Smith this past summer, as he was preparing a summer arts program. He needed all sorts of print materials, signage, etc. to make this program happen. Since I was working at Chase Graphics at the time (they do all sorts of fabulous printing), we met there.

Pastor Joshua was very organized, polite, had a plan/vision, a great program and was so easy to work with!  This guy got two thumbs up, and if I had more hands, he'd get more thumbs up!

Time passed, the event passed and so did my visits with Pastor Joshua.

Turn the clock forward a few months to the Putnam Great Pumpkin Festival. I was set up there as a vendor, selling my Putnamania greeting cards and a-Luring Jewels. Up steps Pastor Joshua and his family. He said that he'd heard of my new position with The Last Green Valley and googled to see where exactly the office was, since he had been nearby and wanted to visit. In his google search appeared me and this blog of mine.

That connected the dots for him.

Can you believe that approximately a year or so ago, when Pastor Joshua was looking to relocate to the Putnam area from Oklahoma, he googled a lot to see what kind of place Putnam was. He read my blog, which tries to show the positivity of the community as well as all of the fun family offerings there are in our town and close by. He enjoyed it and looked forward to moving to such a great place!

Can you believe that although we'd met earlier in the year, neither of us knew of that connection at the time!?

I am pretty glad that I have the Joshua Smith connection, and even though it is not a close one, it is a familiar and good one. Coming across good people in your life is a gift. Keep seeking them.

To find out more about Pastor Joshua Smith and The Green Valley Crossing Church, click here.

I am a Putnamaniac that loved playing the Joshua Smith Connection, or the six degrees of Joshua Smith!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

We are the Putnamaniac Team - and I sure am proud of the members!

So we have this little team of Putnamaniacs in Putnam! Where else, of course?

How did we meet?
It seems that we were meant to be a team - it might have been predestined.

Two of us met through facebook (believe it or not facebook has some great qualities, including keeping people in touch easily and introducing new people) and our common love of our local WINY Radio. I used to hear a young boy on WINY Radio. He went on the air with Gary O every time there was some sort of fund raiser going on. This youngster and his mom always brought in a donation - and they still do to this day. It matters not if they are short on funds themselves that week, they make some sacrifices and bring in what they can. This is a family teaching their children well. There is no doubt the children will give back to society throughout their entire lives. It is a part of them.

Three of us (2 were already friends) met as we volunteered for Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT (back then it was actually Habitat for Humanity of Northeastern CT). These two gals did not shy away from the dirty jobs, and there were plenty.

What else do they all do and have going on in their lives?
Families. Friends. Work. Pets. Church. Other volunteering responsibilities...
What do we do as a team?
We are doing some 5ks and that sort of local event to keep moving - our official team name is "Putnamania - Team Move it or Lose it"!
We do a "trash mob" by going out every other Sunday morning for just an hour to clean up whatever rubbish we find on the streets of the town that we love.

On the second Wednesday night of each month, we volunteer at our local food bank, the Daily Bread.

Do you get the point I am making here?
These are GREAT people. It just shows that giving people keep on giving. They chip in for a good cause. They work on community! I love them and what they do!
Get involved! It does a body and soul good!

We are the Putnamania TEAM

Monday, November 10, 2014

A handmade Thanksgiving card! I gobble these things right up!

There is really not a lot of mail these days.

A few bills still arrive, although so many of them are paperless and paid online that we don't even get a lot of dreaded bills in the mail any more.

Of course junk mail still arrives on occasion, too.

Luckily for me, I still get some awesome cards in the mail! I get nice thank you cards, holiday cards, and yesterday I got another of those cards I love to get!

Check this out - handmade by girls I love:

Front of card: Made with beautiful felt cut outs! What detail!

Inside of card: Complete with felt turkey (LOVE IT) and the nicest note, along with this year's school pictures!

My heart exploded with love!!!

Think of your family and friends and mail them out a card once in a while. It will make their day!

I started making cards out of some of my favorite photos a few years ago, and it is a pleasure to mail them out. (FYI, I have started selling my cards, along with my a-Luring Jewels at local craft shows and coming soon online here. I thank you for considering purchasing some)!

Hopefully you get a nice card in the mail today, but if you don't please think of someone and pop a card out to them!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to get cards in the mail! It is the nicest surprise!

Early morning silly fun to start every day! We have it with WINY Radio!

Something I hope I never come to take for granted is having a great local radio station here in Putnam!

WINY Radio became a part of my life and routine listening habit when I moved to Northeast CT about 10 years or so ago.

The morning show starts at 6 a.m. with a perky and positive crew. One of their offerings is on air birthday and anniversary greetings to family, friends, and neighbors. All you have to do is call in and let them know who is celebrating!

Many mornings that provides me with a lot of fun, in either finding out who is enjoying cake that day or by calling in and getting someone's special day mentioned. Isn't that great?! Somehow this community bonding always puts a smile on my face. It is the little things!

Along with all the birthdays & anniversaries, there is all sorts of other silly fun we enjoy with WINY; interviews with folks putting on happenings in the area, contests with prizes, great music, live broadcasts at local events, and more endless fun!

For the sometime serious side, there is also a mid-morning talk show, where all the topics, including politics and some more difficult topics are discussed. Listeners are welcome to call in and opine during this show, too.

The afternoon offers another time set, with great music as well as their "top 5" list, recipes, interviews and more fun.

If you are not lucky enough to have a great local radio station, you are missing out on great community togetherness and fun. You can always listen to our station online and even on your phone with the "tune in" app. You will have fun!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves our local radio station ,WINY Radio!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pet Pals is having a wine tasting event on November 8 from 6 – 8:30 pm at the Putnam Elks!

My friend, who notices a lot of things going on for the good of many locally always keeps this Putnamaniac in the loop.

I appreciate that, because it sure is easy to get busy and miss something!

This is a good one NOT to miss! If you are a pet lover, be there!

The poop is:
Pet Pals is having a wine tasting event on November 8 from 6 – 8:30 pm at the Putnam Elks.
Tickets are $25 and available at the following locations:
Moxie’s Hair Salon – Putnam CT
Cat Hospital of Canterbury - Canterbury CT
Quinebaug Valley Veterinary Hospital - Danielson CT
Uncle Dan’s Wine and Beer - Putnam CT
GRI liquors - Griswold CT
V Town Liquors - Voluntown CT
Keifer’s Kettle Korn - Voluntown CT

You can also get tickets by calling 860-317-1720, and they will be available at the door as well.

If you can, please post at your place of work or share with friends. Anything you can do to help make this successful, will be greatly appreciated by the folks putting it on.

I am a Putnamaniac that knows a lot of pet pals who will love this event!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Terri's Embroidery does a great job for small money (I think maybe she isn't charging enough)!

I'd been thinking about getting some Putnamania Team t-shirts, but figured it would be too expensive...

I even knew what I wanted to have printed on them...

But I only needed a few, so figured it would be too expensive...

Or no one would produce such a small quantity.

HA! I was wrong, and I am SO GLAD that I went to Terri's Embroidery & More in Putnam.

Not only is Terri a friendly and familiar face, she is honest about what she can do for you, knows her product inside and out, and most of all - she is QUICK and INEXPENSIVE! ...Like... I feel like I did not pay enough! That is a great feeling to walk away with.

I chose my nice bright green t-shirts (LOVE the color and feel), emailed Terri the image I wanted, she screened them, and here they are!

*Note that the green color is not shown well in this photo I took*

So, I highly recommend Terri and Terri's Embroidery to you! She can do lots of stuff for you. Do not be shy - just ask her!

I am a Putnamaniac that is very impressed by Terri and her business, Terri's Embroidery & More! 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trick or Treating in downtown Putnam! What a sight, and you can join in!

Most years I have to miss this fun time in Putnam:

5-7 P.M.

But.... this year I get to go! I can't wait.  The sight of the entire length of sidewalks - both sides of the street - lined with kids of all ages, and many parents all dressed up, laughing and trick or treating together is quite a sight! Even the adult volunteers and street crossing guards are dressed up. 

If you have nothing to do tomorrow afternoon, anytime between 5-7 p.m., head to downtown Putnam for some great views. It will bring back memories and create many new ones for you, too!

I am a Putnamaniac that can't wait for Trick or Treating night in downtown Putnam!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No-vember is Yes-vember as The Bradley Playhouse welcomes in Blackstone Valley Bluegrass Band!

Usually I say NO to November, but this year I am saying YES-vember!

Check out these details from emails I receive from the Bradley Playhouse, keeping me up to date.
 (I never miss a thing going on at the Bradley)!

The Blackstone Valley Bluegrass Band
Listen to their music at www.blackstonevalleybluegrass.com
Dave Dick on banjo, Bob Dick on guitar,
Dan Nowlan on mandolin, and Ken Taylor on upright bass.
Come check them out to hear some great bluegrass music, smooth harmonies,
fast but tasteful pickin’, and most importantly, to have a great time!
Sat., November 1, 2014 • 7:30pm
Ticket Prices: $16.00/$10.00 For Season Ticket Holders
General Admission
Order your tickets online at www.thebradleyplayhouse.org
Charge by phone: 860-928-7887. Or visit the box office.
Tickets  available at the door.
 I am a Putnamaniac that will be feeling upbeat and tapping my feet to the quick and fun beat of Blackstone Valley Bluegrass!

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