Sunday, August 31, 2014

Are you variegated? I am! Especially when I visit the Variegated Foliage Nursery in Eastford, CT!

Today, ahhhhhh.... the middle of a long holiday weekend.

All should be good, right?

Um... not so much.

I did get up and jog, then had to go grocery shopping... then came home and started cooking for the week. A few hours later,way more than my 15 minute happy limit in the kitchen, I took up the task of making homemade horseradish for my husband. I love this guy I married, but really I do not enjoy all the cooking.... I am very happy with a bag of frozen veggies every night of the week. He loves to eat.

So..... I peeled all the horseradish - kind of like peeling the bark off a tree, then cut it into chunks, put it into the food processor with vinegar and sugar, turned it on, where it promptly squirted all over the counter, walls, cabinets. STINKY! STICKY! YUCK!

What the heck am I doing?????????

After I cleaned up that disaster, transferred everything into the blender and made the horseradish, we hopped in the car and headed out to the Variegated Foliage Nursery in Eastford. I needed to pick up a donation for the upcoming Tastes of the Valley, The Last Green Valley's biggest fundraiser of the year.

As soon as I stepped foot on the property I felt serenity. Under the trees, you hear gently music tinkling in the air. You see gorgeous sights. You wonder how long did it take to make this place what it is. Then... you meet the owner, Mr. Stan Megos. He is the most charming, soft spoken and knowledgeable man you will meet. He has a bazillion varieties of a bazillion things, and he can inform you about them all better than google could ever do.

Mr. Megos picked out 5 outstanding plants to donate to the Tastes of the Valley. I am bidding! I want them all!!! I know my momma will love the newest variety of mouse ears hosta.... and every other plant is as awesome!

There is also a new path that meanders down to the stream, where picnic tables welcome you to come sit and stay for a while. Maybe a little lunch or a smooch with your love.

Two concerts were held at the Variegated Foliage Nursery in the past few weeks, and hopefully another is pending. Keep your eye on the Variegated website to see if the hopeful Saturday, September 13, 2014 concert will come to fruition!

I went a little crazy with the picture taking - I could not help myself. You can see them all on my facebook page here if you are my friend. 

Be SURE to go to Eastford and this great nursery! If you do not go, you are missing out on a great visit.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to visit the Variegated Foliage Nursery in Eastford CT!

Friday, August 29, 2014

My first kayak adventure was a success, thanks to some great friends - and guides!

Can you believe that I have never gone kayaking .... before ... today?

It seems like every other human being on the planet has paddled at least once, and some of them very often.

Thanks to 2 awesome friends, LyAnn & Ken, I got to not only go kayaking for the first time, but also got some nice lessons about the ins and outs of paddling. They even had an extra kayak for me to use!

We hit the West Thompson dam area and headed up the Quinebaug River.

It could not have been a more perfect day if we had designed it ourselves. Sunny, mild, bright blue sky with some decorative clouds. A million turtles smiled in the sun as we paddled by, birds twittered and dragonflies filled themselves with the water bugs.

We even saw a green heron!


Certainly my river guides made my first kayak trip outstanding, but I never imagined that it would be such a wonderful adventure! Now I know why so many people are addicted to their watercraft! 

You can find places to paddle in The Last Green Valley, 35-towns in Eastern CT and South Central MA by clicking on this interactive map. Check the "paddle" box at the bottom and you shall see where you can paddle til your heart's content. 

I am a Putnamaniac that loved my first time in the seat of a kayak!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hummers in full force - I think I heard one humming Barry Manilow tonight!

Holy hummingbird Mother Nature!

These little, fast beauties are gearing up for their annual fall migration to points south of New England, as far as Central America.

With that being said, they are filling their gas tanks, much like we fill our gas tanks in our vehicles for a road trip.

Tonight I saw quite a few while I was out in the yard during the late afternoon and early evening. They were enjoying the tall canna plants, with red flowers ablaze. There were also a few visiting the regular bird feeder. One in fact stopped right over my head as I was digging. It took me a moment to recognize the sound of his wings - I thought for sure I was hearing some far off syncopated beat.... sort of like Barry Manilow's Copacabana!

I swear that I could see another bazillion more hummingbirds every day before I die and still be very excited every single time!

This picture is taken by a friend of mine, a talented photog, Mr. Ben Salisbury.

You can find out lots of cool facts about hummingbirds, and all sorts of birds for that matter, on the Cornell website.

How do you feel about the small and mighty hummers? They are quite a story, aren't they?

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to see the hummingbirds humming around my yard and over my head!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Am I breaking the Putnam River Trail walking rules? Perhaps!

Walking in the early morning along Putnam's River Trail with my BFF is a great way to start a day.

Stretching your legs, focusing your eyeballs and mind on a new day, catching up with each others family details, planning upcoming fun times together, picking up litter as we find it on occasion even in Putnam, laughing, and solving the world's problems... now that is a great way to start a day.

I've taken notice lately that I seem to breaking some sort of Putnam early morning River Trail walking rules.

How, you might wonder....

It appears that there is a strict female height rule, thankfully not strictly enforced before 6am.

I come to this conclusion as I am a good 5'8". My BFF, Kat is 5' next to nothing. She moves those short legs rather quickly.

We pass a three - foursome of another group of 5' next to nothings. They also scoot along swiftly on those little shorties.

Stop by and see for yourself some early morning on Putnam's River Trail! If not here, then just get out and walk anywhere! It does a body and mind good!

I am a Putnamaniac that just may be breaking the early morning River Trail walking rules!

Monday, August 25, 2014

We want a pitcher and other fun rhymes from childhood!

Scene 1, Act 1:
Setting: The Best House in Putnamania
Timeframe: late summer evening, crickets chirping loudly outside, Red Sox floundering badly, game on the tv

Me, washing dishes: "We want a pitcher..."

Hubby, reading the newspaper chimes in for the second portion of this ever popular childish chant: "Not a belly itcher..."

Both of us in unison, laughing hysterically: "hahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"

Sometimes the most stupid things can be so much fun!

Do you remember any other childhood rhymes?

Like "Comet, it makes your teeth turn green....Comet, it tastes like gasoline.... Comet, it makes you vomit, so try some Comet and vomit today!"

I am a Putnamaniac that thinks you should spend at least a few moments every day being a kid again!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The James L. Goodwin Conservation Center offers tons of programs and tons of things to do on your own, too!

Have you ever been to the Goodwin Conservation Center / Forest area located off Route 6 in Hampton, CT?

If not, why the heck not??

It is such a gorgeous place that offers many organized programs as well as plenty of room to roam on your own.

You can sign up to be on their mailing list so you will be alerted about all of their upcoming programs - year round. It is well worth it, and they are not overbearing in contacting you. Being kept up to date without having to search anywhere at all for what is going on at Goodwin is a great feature.

To subscribe to their email list:
Send an email to
In the email, leave the subject line blank and in the body of the message type:
Subscribe DEP-Goodwin YourFirstName YourLastName

Goodwin is very close by if you live in Northeast CT or even close by in MA and RI.

So, what are you waiting for? Hop on your bike or load the family into the family truckster and head over to the Goodwin Conservation Center and Forest!

Did I mention that this is all for FREE?!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to go to visit Goodwin whether for one of their great programs, hikes, or just by myself!


Friday, August 22, 2014

A positively productive day!

I had a positive day!

It was productive!

It might not be the type of day that everyone might love, but I did!

(You can tell I loved it if you notice all the exclamation point punctuations used above).

Graced by a day off, unexpected and discovered just a few days ago, I sprung out of bed bright and early (well, ok, maybe it was cloudy and early), and got to work.

Yard! Garden! Cooked and preserved! Cleaned! Laundry! Jogged! Emails! Filing! Bill paying!

(Note that I am still excited by the continuing exclamation marks).

Nothing glamorous, but a chance to catch up and spend some time with yourself is priceless once in a while!

Do you agree? Days like this actually recharge my batteries although I go long and strong all day. I am revitalized since I am back in my comfort zone of complete cleanliness and orderliness.

I hope that you all find the time once in a while to do just what it is that makes you tick and makes you use exclamation points!!!!!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves a positively productive day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Don't forget about Habitat for Humanity of EASTERN CT and our ReStore!

It sure is easy to file things away quickly in the back of your mind if they are not right in front of you every minute.

Some people I know have desks, garages, closets, and even homes like that! They pile stuff up. As the stuff piles up, it gets forgotten about.

Since we are all so busy, the same things happen with our minds.
Unseen = forgotten.
It is not on purpose, but with every minute of every day booked up with being busy, we can forget some important things.

This weekend I was truly reminded about Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT and our own ReStore (one of two ReStores in our affiliate area)! I had not had time to volunteer there for quite a few months, but when asked this time, my calendar was clear.

I pulled up to this great sign:

Our ReStore, located at 808 Norwich Road, in Plainfield, just off exit 87 (the Lathrop Road exit), is open and going strong. There are all sorts of great finds and great prices, and remember that everything in a ReStore is donated! Monies raised are used to build/rehab affordable housing in our area.

If you have not been, just stop in out of curiosity. Inventory changes constantly.

The ReStore needs volunteers (mechanical types, driver and donation pick up crew, etc) and donations. If you can help, let them know! 860-564-7507.

I am a Putnamaniac that will remember all the good that our Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT does - and can/will still continue to do!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fair weather friends - are you ready for the FAIRS!?

It is FAIR season in Northeast CT and throughout New England and beyond.

Fair season is a bitter sweet time of year for me.

As a summer, heat, long day lover, I know that the fairs indicate we are nearing the end of my favorite time of year.

The fairs are also such a memory enhancer of days gone by... thinking back to when you were a kid, riding the rides, smelling the smells, tasting the tastes. What excitement!

I also had the pleasure to work at the local RI and NECT fairs with my friends, who own a Christmas Tree Farm. We set up a booth, which created many stories just doing that... and we also displayed & sold all of our ornaments, as well as handed out lot of coupons for the upcoming "tag" your tree time of year.

Wow... my memories are flooding back as I type.... so many stories.

Certainly you have the same sorts of memories from over the years associated with country fairs.

Rekindle those feelings very soon!

Brooklyn Fair is coming up August 21-24, 2014.

Woodstock Fair, always Labor Day weekend, is coming up soon after on August 29-September 1, 2014.

Fair weather is always nice for a fair, but it is really not necessary. Think of the new memories you will create no matter what!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the fairs, no matter what the weather!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The next life...begins tomorrow ~ with The Last Green Valley!

How many times have I said "I love where I live"?

How many time have I said "In my next life I want to be a Ranger"?

Answer to both questions is: A LOT!

Amazingly enough, my next life starts tomorrow!

No lies!

By some wonderful twist of fate, I was offered a great position with The Last Green Valley, a great organization that I've volunteered for the last few years.

WOW! I can't wait!

Keep dreaming your dreams, because they do come true!

Are you a member of TLGV? You can join for a minimal (aka cheap and affordable) $25 a year for individuals or $45 for families. Great corporate and business partnerships available, too.

Yippeeee! I love where I live ~ in The Last Green Valley!

You can "like" The Last Green Valley on facebook here

I am a Putnamaniac that begins her next life tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Yankee Dogs will be howling in Thompson this Friday night! 8/15/14!

Looking for a great way to wrap a week?

Come to the Thompson Lion's bandstand and listen to Yankee Dogs Friday, August 15, 2014.

Free concert!

If you have not heard of Yankee Dogs, you are missing out! They play all over the place locally in NECT, so chances are you might have actually heard them and didn't even realize it.

A talented and fun bunch of everyday people, who like to perform their hearts out for you, the Yankee Dogs may contain members that you know from other places around NECT (like Louise and Chief Ranger Bill of The Last Green Valley).

Check out their website here - where you can learn more about them and listen to some tunes! The Yankee Dogs schedule is also listed in case  you can't make it to Thompson on Friday.

I am a Putnamaniac that will be hooting and howling for the Yankee Dogs on Friday night!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

No Farms, No Food ~ do you get that?

This morning I was walking to work with a banana in my hand, like a monkey, and taking it for granted that I will always be able to have a banana any time I want one.

But.... I did grow up with a big veggie garden, fruit trees, chickens (for eggs), goats (for milk), along with great fishermen and hunters in the family. We grew a lot of what we ate all year long thanks to canning the bountiful harvests on those hot days of summer.

I get the idea that relying on land, nature, weather, insects, predators/pests, along with a plethora of other things is nothing that you can count on to promise a bountiful harvest. That was true on a little tiny "family farm" of just over an acre. Imagine acres and acres and acres to manage.

So as I monkeyed along to work, I was so thankful for farms and farmers, worldwide.

Truly if there are no farms, there is no food.

Food does not just appear in your local grocery store as some really do seem to think. Hmmmph. Respect not only the farmers, but all the folks who pack, drive and deliver to those stores, too.
It is a complex world, appreciate it, think about it. Keep it clean, keep it green.

I am a Putnamaniac that understands the "No Farms, No Food" concept and hopes it never comes to that!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Great people helping people! Great concept by great people!

So did you notice I used the word "GREAT" in this blog title today - a lot???

I did it on purpose, because, well, I know some GREAT people.

In this case it is a couple that live and work in Putnam.

They are hard workers and have made hard and tough decisions in their life to make it a good life.

They do not gossip, they stay positive, they encourage others, and they do not stop there ~ they do for others and give back, too.

Today we had a fabulous car show in Putnam, with tons of cars on display, as well as tons of visitors.

A community yard sale/vendor fair also took place in the parking lot of US Button on Kennedy Drive in order to raise some funds for the Putnam Food Bank, Daily Bread. 


This event did not just "happen".

It was organized, and organized well in advance.

Who started this quest of People HELPING People??? None other than some fine Putnamaniacs, Tammy Jean and Jerry Messier, Jr.

Man oh man, do you know GREAT people? So glad that I do. I choose them any day of the week!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the great people that I know that step up and help others!



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Saturday is the 25th Annual Deary Memorial Race, Walk, Ride ~ and you still have time to sign up or to donate!

This year marks the 25th Annual Deary Race, Walk, Ride, being held this Saturday, August 9th, 2014..

 *Note that this photo is from a few years back so the date you see on the banner is not for 2014!

Funds raised by this event each year stay locally in NECT.

This is what they are used for:
"Since 1990 the DKH Deary Road Race, Walk & Ride has raised over $1,117,000. Funds raised from this event will be used to provide cancer services and support to individuals in our community who may not have the resources to obtain much needed medical attention. The support and generosity of our 2013 sponsors significantly contributed to providing our friends and neighbors with mammograms, ultrasounds, surgical procedures, medications and transportation through the Day Kimball Healthcare Deary Memorial Cancer Fund. All monies raised remain local."

I think that is not only a noble cause, but simply AMAZING!

It is not too late for you to sign up for any of the events:
Starting place: JD Coopers in Putnam:
6am five mile walk
8am five mile walk
9am five mile run/race
9:15am 1/2 mile kids' fun run
Biking is also available, starting at The Golden Greek Restaurant in Dayville at 8:15am.

If you do not want to join in any of the events, or can't join in, you can still donate here.
Make checks payable to: Day Kimball Healthcare Deary Memorial Race, Walk & Ride.
Mail to: Day Kimball Healthcare Development Office, P.O. Box 632, Putnam, CT 06260.
You can also register as a sponsor online at or call (860) 928-7141 with credit card information.

I am a Putnamaniac that will be walking with my BFF at 6am this Saturday at the Deary Memorial Walk!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A couple of other rather productive and fun letters here in NECT! KG it is!

I've got a thing for letters - silly, but true.

You know, like ABC, its easy as 123... the old Jackson 5 Song.

HP means one thing to most folks, as well as the IRS and AAA.

Here is Northeast CT we have quite a few letters that mean a lot to us, too.

I've done a few blogs in the past on some of these great letters....

TLGV = The Last Green Valley. Check out one of the many blogs concerning TLGV here.

KK = Kerensa Konesni of WINY (another good set of letters). Check out the KK blog here.

Today the productive and fun combo of letters I'm happy to have met on life's path and tell you about are KG.

Many NECTers know, love and respect KG - especially those that come from Eastford where she spread her devilish charm in her early years, making an impression on all she met.

KG continues to bring out the best in people, and quite frankly, I don't know how she does it! She just does it! Always a great smile, an ear that listens, and usually a comment to lighten the air!

On top of being a good person, she is a creative and hard working genius!

Have you guessed whom this unique KG character is yet?

YES, it is Kathy Moore Guertin, of Chase Graphics.

This picture, with her always present smile is quite indicative of her personality.

I am a Putnamaniac that sure is glad she got to meet the talented and fun personality of KG!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Who is the Bradley Playhouse - well one quiet behind the scenes superstar is Pat Green!

You've heard me rave about The Bradley Theater in Northeast CT, located right in downtown Putnam many times.

It is a beautiful structure, holds many memories and stories that people love to tell, serves up wonderful and diverse entertainment on stage as well as some pretty good popcorn, too!

TNECT at The Bradley Playhouse has a hard working board of directors, as well as endless volunteers of all skills, trades and talents.

The Bradley Theater also has Pat Green, with the official title of Business Manager.


Pat does manage to do a lot of business for The Bradley, and she also manages to do a whole lot more. You might have spotted her face a million times when you attended a great show, or maybe you didn't. She is not one to flaunt herself about, nor look for praise. She simply does all and much more than is asked of her.

Next time you call The Bradley for tickets, or go to a show, ask to say hi to Pat Green if you do not know her. Then don't stop with "hello", but be sure to give her a big THANK YOU for all that she does.

You can "like" The Bradley Theater on facebook and keep up to date with their happenings.

I am a Putnamaniac that sure does appreciate Patricia Green of the Bradley Theater!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Car cruisin' - downtown Putnam - Sunday August 10th, 2014

The Main Street Car Cruise is almost here!

Next weekend, Sunday August 10th, Putnam will welcome in the classics, cars and all sorts of fun events.

Well over 2000 cars are expected at this time, and if the weather is predicted good, the sky is the limit. In past years close to 3000-4000 classic cars have arrived for this show.

I've told some folks about this, and they have "poo-poo'ed" it... until the arrived and viewed the many splendored motor headed beauties!!!

The assortment of colors, styles, makes, models will make you swoon! Wouldn't it be great to hear a cumulative "gentlemen start your engines" at a car show like this??? I think YES! I am still trying to sell it as the best idea ever, but so far no takers. Imagine for even 15 seconds all the engines started at the same time! What a sound!

I am a Putnamaniac that hopes if you are a classic car lover, you will come to Putnam's Main Street Car Cruise!

Friday, August 1, 2014

BLOG Putnamania!

I'm a blog fan - I like short spurts of what people have to say or what means a lot to them.

Can you believe some people don't know what a blog is?

It is so!

The Putnamania blog began for me a few years back, because in this busy life that rushes by, you do not always stop and appreciate all the goodness that surrounds you.

By taking time to do a blog almost everyday, I vowed to focus on something positive, to literally stop and smell the roses. Whether it is to focus on a great local business, non-profit or organization, or just something wonderful that passed before my eyes, the Putnamania blog acts as binoculars and brings that goodness into focus.

B = be alert and choosy about what you focus on and who you choose to associate with. It makes a difference in the quality of your life, and those you are with.

L = Love life! Love your family and friends! Love yourself! Love good choices!

O = Offer to help people. Offend no one on purpose.

G = Goodness is not a bad thing. Take the high road, and enjoy the glory of being good, gracious and generous in all ways.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to blog about all the good things around us!