Wednesday, April 30, 2014

First First Friday is here!

The garage is now loaded with 2014 Guides, TLGV maps, Vision 2020 books, 2013 Annual Reports, a great display unit... and anticipation!

Why the excitement in the best house in Putnamania?

This Friday night is Putnam's first First Friday of the season (May through October).

This Putnamaniac will be representing The Last Green Valley at each First Friday event.

Surely, you have heard of First Fridays... and surely, you have attended.

What??? Some of you have missed out?

Here is the scoop:
On the First Friday of each month, May through October, Putnam closes off Main Street to vehicle traffic and opens it wide to welcome in people and culture of all varieties ~ music, dance, theater, architecture, food, folklore... and more. In fact, this year each month will be dedicated to one of these themes of culture.

Filling the streets each month are artists, musicians, hula hoops, chalk, local tastings, information about the local area, friends, fun, laughs... and the list goes on forever.

A good time is guaranteed, for all ages. Families, singles, couples, friends... GUARANTEED!

And best of all, it is all for free, unless you can't resist a tasty treat or a perfect artisans creation.

Try it - you will like it! Let me rephrase that - Try it, you will LOVE IT!

For more information on each month's activities, check out Discover Putnam's event tab on their website, and be sure to "like" First Fridays on facebook.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Do you see hearts everywhere?

Recently I ran upon an old acquaintance from approximately 20+ years ago.

We met way back when as I worked for the long ago extinct Davisville Credit Union's East Greenwich, RI branch.

I loved that job! What a great mix of using your brain, getting to see great "members", and working with great people. If that place had not gone the way of the do-do bird, I do believe I may still be behind that counter to this day.

This fellow mentioned, upon our recent reunion, that way back then I had given him some paperwork, which he still had. On that paperwork was a blue ink & hand imprinted heart. Yup - I've been adding exclamation points, x's and o's, smile faces with glasses on their faces, and of course hearts to anything on paper for years.... and years... and years.

Today, the hearts are still encroaching my life - check out this tree that I see while looking out my back window and into our neighbor's yard:

Do you see it? I LOVE it!

I am a Putnamaniac that sees hearts everywhere!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Looking for snakes in the grass - and leaves - and rocks!



I know, I know ~ they are very beneficial....however, one benefit is not scaring the dickens out of me and just about giving me a heart attack every time one sneaks up on me!

They surprise me in the yard (so far 5 times this spring), while I am jogging, while I am hiking, in my mother's little frog/fish pond....

As I walked/rushed home last Friday night from work, I saw a grandpa rummaging through a pile of leaves with the end of a rake, with a little girl attached to one of his legs while yelling "ahhhh, did you find it, where is it, ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!".

Obviously they were looking for a snake that had surprised them, too!

What fun!

How do you feel about snakes?

I am a Putnamaniac that is always looking for snakes - and hoping I see them before they see me!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Clothes hanging on the line!

It sure has been windy a lot lately here in New England.

Feels like March instead of the end of April, but I guess that is what you get when you have just endured a seemingly never ending winter!

These winds are good for something, though.

Drying clothes on the line!

Personally, I do not subscribe to this practice. I think I am too lazy to do it... but I sure do come from a heritage of clothes line hangers. My grandmother did it, and my mother still does it.

The sight of a fresh laundry flapping in the breeze on my way home from work tonight warmed my heart. I thought of my Nanna, and I thought of my Momma, and then I thought how lucky I was to snuggle into those fresh sheets as a kid ~ courtesy of being dried on the clothes line!

Celebrate the wind, however you can!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to see clothes hanging on the line!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I am living the life in the town I love!

Surely a lot of you love where you live.

But, do you really, really, really love where you live?

Holy smokes! I DO!!!

Typical day:

Wake up.

Jog around town, hear the birds, wave a few hellos.

Get ready for work, and walk to work!

See lots of nice people, co-workers especially.

Walk to the library and get a new book.

Stroll through downtown, and smell the great smells, and see the beautiful sights.

Coming home, you check out the gardens bursting into life, springing forth.

Once home, you love the best house, yard, home,  and hubby on the planet.

Does it get any better than that?

I think not.

Embrace what you have! If it is not that great, you'd better make some decisions. Life is quite short.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves living the life I love, where I live, with the ones I love!

Monday, April 21, 2014

It is a sad, sad night in Putnamania as I say goodbye to an old pair of shorts I've had since circa 1990...

Booooo hoooooo.....

I bid farewell to an old friend tonight... a pair of sweatpants that I cut off into shorts many moons ago (after I tripped over a sidewalk while jogging at 5:30am one dark winter morning, and ripped not only the sweatpants knee to pieces, but mine as well).

 Here is my old friend, sitting atop the garbage heep... oh so sad!

So many memories in these sweatpants converted into shorts...

When I bought my first house, I wore them every night after work for the 2 weeks I had to paint and clean and fix everything before my apartment rental expired. It was so easy to come home to an empty space, change into my beloved sweats, and work until 2am or so....

Then I jogged for years and years in them. In the early morning hours, no one saw us, nor scoffed at us as we slogged the streets before work.

We spread many yards of mulch together, and planted endless gardens.

We painted more new houses we bought together, and planted yet more gardens.

Tonight, as I adorned the old sweat shorts, and painted yet another garage door on my newest home, I made the critical decision to say goodbye. It is time to put my old friends out to pasture... our last night together.... I mean, they are held up for the most part with a big safety pin.... they are stained with paint, bleach and god knows what else over the years... the crotch has been sewed together more than I've sewn anything else in my life.

Alas, I say goodbye to an old and faithful friend...  Do you hate to part with such prized possessions and life long friends? Let me know if you do!

I am a Putnamaniac that is sad to say goodbye to my old sweats! Friends forever!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Renegade Garden lives on... along with all the memories of where the plants came from!

Every garden I've ever had, I have loved.

Most plants in the gardens I've had have come from family's and friend's gardens.


Then I sell the house, leave the gardens, and start over again.

The Renegade Garden began when I bought the condo. I planted on a steep hill. Really steep. Tons of rocks. Treacherous...

 Here is a picture of Debbie's iris from last summer... soon to be abloom again!

Again, the garden had many plants from many gardens, including lovely iris and day lilies from a friend's sister, who has since passed to greener gardens, and a white rose from a friend and her daughters that I have loved to pieces since forever.

I've been thinking about those plants since I sold the condo last fall. There was no time to take them with us to the new homestead and current best house in Putnamania.

Out of the blue I got an email the other day from the woman who bought my condo. She said that she was not interested in continuing the hilly, rocky, Renegade Garden and that I was welcome to come and help myself to the plants.

WOW!!!! That was the greatest email ever!

This morning I went and dug up iris and day lilies from Deb, the rose from all the sissies, sedum from Rae, May apples and tons more from my mom...

The memories will always remain, but now I have the plants, too!

Long live gardening, gardeners, and their plants. Spread the love and memories.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to keep the memories alive with plants!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fishing lures.... or earrings? Lure-Ring Dynasty here I come!

There is some big Duck Dynasty thing going on.

I admit, I am not much of one who gets hooked on trends, so I have never seen it. However, I do listen and read what others are in to, so I do know about Si and his duck calls.

In that vein, I think I have the newest, latest, greatest craze! (I've previously mentioned, I am an "idea girl", and of course I think this is an awesome idea. Feel free to steal it, just credit this Putnamaniac with the thought)!

Fishing lures grace my hub's truck and our garage. He collects them when he sees them, and therefore doesn't have to spend a ton of money on them (just one of the reasons I love him - he is as "thrifty" as I am)!

Here is a bunch of lures hanging in our garage...
A lot of them look like they would make some awful sweet earrings! Just a little adjustments might need to be made, but they are shiny, colorful, and each have their own personality. 
I have 3 fleeces that would go with this sparkly color scheme!
Voila a new business - Lure-ring Dynasty! Seriously - it is a grand slam idea! Who is with me?
I am a Putnamaniac that is ready for Lure-ring Dynasty!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Low spark of high heeled sneakers - great solution for walking in the rain!

Walking in the rain can be a drag.

Not exactly a drag, but you can get wet from head to toe if not dressed properly. Nothing worse than being all wet ~ clothes, hair, feet, glasses.

Being a former Brownie and Girl Scout, always an oldest sister, and average all around worry wart and preparer for all things, I am happy to report a great street walking rainy day shoe! My high heeled sneakers! Seriously!!!

I got them a few years back, when they were the craze, but never bothered with them much. Since I am not much of one to adhere to crazes at the time they are actually in fashion, I decided to wear these shoes to walk to work in the rain. Result = dry feet! I'll take it!

Now, if I could invent an all body umbrella.... you know umbrellas are great for your head, but they drip off all over the rest of your body. Oh, if only I could invent! I am more of an "idea man", sort of like Michael Keaton's character Bill was in the movie "Night Shift"... Here are a few of his "invention ideas":

1) Bill: OK, here's an example. Watch out, stand back.
[speaks into tape recorder]
Bill: This is Bill. Idea to eliminate garbage: edible paper. You see, you eat it, it's gone. Eat it, it's out of there!

2) Bill: What if you mix the mayonnaise in the can, WITH the tunafish? Or... hold it! Chuck! I got it! Take LIVE tuna fish, and FEED 'em mayonnaise! Oh this is great.
[speaks into tape recorder]
Bill: Call Starkist!

Yup - those are the sort of ideas I come up with..... so maybe that is not my forte'. What do you think?

So as I walked in the rain in my high heeled sneakers, of course I thought of a song, as most moments in life make me think of a song. Remember this classic, Low Spark of High Heeled Boys by Steve Winwood??? 

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the low spark of my high heeled walking in the rain sneakers!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Six flags! No... not that Six Flags, but the red, white, and blue on Grove Street!

Today I had a "Six Flags - more fun" kind of day!!!!

No... not that Six Flags...

...But Six flags a flying on Grove Street!

That is right - at one spot I could look on each side of the street and see not only six LARGE flags, but six small flags, flapping proudly in the very brisk winds.

That was an amazing sight!

I am a Putnamaniac that knows it pays to keep your eyes open - you just might see Six Flags a flying!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Do you know the Whittler?

Do you know the whittler?

He is my co-worker!

Mild mannered printing press operator by day, a man of few words...but a whittler extraordinaire by night!

The dictionary says: whittle;verb: to cut or shape (a piece of wood) by cutting small pieces from it : to make or shape (something) from a piece of wood by cutting small pieces from it

That is what the Whittler does, and this whittler is good!

Take a look at the details he carved into this piece of wood, which is part of a stool that he made.

Here is a picture of the Whittler, aka Mike... with his piece of art. 

When you pass someone on the street, don't you just wonder what talents they have that you don't know about? It is exciting to find out what makes each person tick and to learn of the talent they possess. 

I am a Putnamaniac that is happy to know the Whittler, a talented and great guy!





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Time, it is a sweet, precious, fleeting thing!

My life and schedule the last 25 or so years:

*Wake up
*Go to work
*Come home
*Do all my paperwork, mail, blogs, emails, etc for the day
*If it is spring/summer/fall, make sure all the yard and gardens are in order
*Eat a bag of steamed veggies over the kitchen sink
*Watch a little New England sports - depending on the season, Sox, Bruins, Patriots, Celts, UConn hoop.
*Do some crunches during commercials
*Go to bed by 9:30 or so with a book to read
*Fall asleep by 10
*Dream about working all night long
*Get up and do it all over again - 7 days a week.
*Shop (some frozen veggies, maybe salad stuff), clean the house whether it needs it or not (approximately an hour or so a week), and do a load or 2 of laundry once a week.

I thought I was busy then.... I was.... and yet now, I have become busier since getting  back together with my one and only true love last spring, and marrying last fall.

My life and schedule the last year:

*Wake up
*Jog, if I wake up early enough
*Go to work
*Come home
*Try to do all my paperwork, mail, blogs, emails, etc for the day - but sometimes I can't finish it all
*In a new house as spring arrives, try to get the years neglected yard and gardens in order
*Cook supper, something new every night
*Wash and dry what seems like massive amounts of dishes from the dinner that is no longer a bag of frozen veggies
*Try to watch a little New England sports - depending on the season, Sox, Bruins, Patriots, Celts, UConn hoop, unless the hubs gets to the tv and finds Gilligan's Island (yes, I am a fan, too), or some other old sitcom.
*Try to read a few pages of the latest book, while hubs laughs hysterically at whatever old sitcom is on
*Go to bed by 11 or so with long conversations (I'm on the listening end....)
*Fall asleep by whenever
*Dream about working all night long
*Get up and do it all over again - 5 days a week.
*Shop (a huge basketful), prepare lunches for the week, clean ~ and it needs it very much (approximately 3 hours per week) and do a load or 2 of laundry once a day.
What a difference! I am a rather good time manager and efficient with my movements but I see it is much more of a challenge when there is more than one man in the boat!

Time, it is a sweet, precious, fleeting thing!

Be thankful for the time you have, appreciate it, and use it wisely!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves time! Wish I had some more!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2 mile daily ritual walk, interrupted by 8 hours of work!

Since I got a job just a mile away from home this past February, I vowed I would walk every day - no matter what, figuring if I give in and drive just once, it will be too easy to drive all the time and for any excuse. That mile walk to and from work could easily go by the wayside.

As a child, I always enjoyed my walks to and from Elementary School and then Junior High School. Here is my chance to live like a kid again!

So far, I have stuck to my guns - or should I say legs.

Snow storms of rather large proportions have snowed down on me...

Rain and winds have challenged my old umbrella...

Bitter cold has made me grimace...

Folks toot and wave as they pass...

Dogs bark and wag...

The sunny warmer days encountered lately have not only given hope to the idea that spring really just might be arriving, but brings out contented smiles from all directions.

I see sights that most miss while driving, and I look at everything.

Today, this little beauty was peeking out of our front garden, waiting for me to get home!

Hello Iris, hello spring. Welcome to the best house and yard in Putnamania!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves her 2 mile daily ritual walk, even if it is interrupted by an 8 hour work day!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jennie's Smile! Captivating and so welcoming!

Ever notice how a great smile really makes a difference?

It sure does!

I used to work with a great gal - we called her Jennie Jav, because we were a track and field supplier, and Jennie was a javelin thrower and our javelin "go to" person.

Jennie had and still has THE BEST smile in the entire world. I have never not seen her smile.

This is a smile that reaches out and says "HELLO, ISN'T IT GREAT TO BE ALIVE!"

This smile is not asking you that question, but giving you the answer, and the answer is YES!

I wish I had this smile, because I know what it does to me when I see it, or when I even think about it.

Smile when you can - it does make a difference. The old expression "turn that frown upside down" is a true classic.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves Jennie's smile - it makes a difference to everyone it reaches!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What a difference a day makes.... No truer words!

What a difference a day makes - 24 little hours....

There is a great song with these words, and man, it says it all!

 What a diff'rence a day made
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain
My yesterday was blue, dear
Today I'm part of you, dear
My lonely nights are through, dear
Since you said you were mine
Lord what a diff'rence a day makes
There's a rainbow before me
Skies above can't be stormy
Since that moment of bliss, that thrilling kiss
It's heaven when you, find romance on your menu
What a diff'rence a day made
And the difference is you

Today this song kept popping into my head. 

Yesterday morning I walked to work with my umbrella sheltering me from hail, sleet, cold, wind. 

Today I strolled along on a sunny and mild day, with birds singing, windows rolled down, music playing, warmth and leisure on everyone's mind.... Smiles on everyone's lips. 

Hope is indeed in the air, and you can make your own difference ~ to yourself certainly, and perhaps others you unknowingly touch!

It is always best to remember that a day can make a big difference... 24 little hours. It can change attitudes, provide hope, present another outlook. When times get tough, remember, there is always another day. 

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the difference a day can make!