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:

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!