Saturday, January 31, 2015

SUPER HEROES - we've got them in Putnamania - here are just two!


We have them in Putnam.

They are also very unsung heroes. 

Tammy Jean Messier and Jerry Messier Jr. are insanely great people.

This morning they stood outside of US Button, across from Dunkin Donuts on Kennedy Drive in 8 degree weather with wind chills of ridiculousness. I stopped, made a donation and visited with them waving to passers by for a few minutes.

The wind was howling and whipped snow in our faces, making it feel like a bunch of little needles stabbing into us. One gust almost took Jerry away, with his sign acting as a sail.

Why were they out there with some of their coworkers in this crazy weather? They were out suffering the cold to help keep others warm. They were collecting for the IHSP fuel fund.

Sometimes growing up, we did not have heat (nor hot water), however we did have a wood stove. Thank goodness! Perhaps that is one reason that these kinds of drives seem like quite good things to me.

No heat is no good.

If you missed the drive today, you can still make a donation to IHSP by mailing to:
P.O. Box 281, Putnam, CT 06260
(Add a sticky note to your check saying "Tammy and Jerry inspired me".

I am a Putnamaniac that loves having SUPER HERO friends!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Caution! Smiles are Contagious, also known as turn that frown upside down! Pass it on!

This morning I was off to meet with some good folks are they are planning a big event in October of this year - details to come on that big 50th anniversary bash!

A few errands were accomplished along the way, and then I was a bit early.... go figure. I prefer to be early than late.

So.... very handily there was a Cumberland Farms right near my destination. I love their $1 coffee, and not just because it is $1. It is yummy!

As I was trudging through the mush to get from my car, through the parking lot, and into the store, a young gal trudged beside me.

She looked a bit tired, maybe even down trodden.

It is easy to feel that way, especially on a yucky day.

Who knows what else she was dealing with in life. We do all have things to deal with from time to time, don't we?

So as we filled our coffee cups, mine hot, her's iced, I smiled at her and teased her for being so brave to drink iced coffee on a chilly day like today! She smiled back and said she really does like iced coffee. She explained that she worked in a kitchen and it sure did get hot in there. The iced coffee was such a refreshing treat. She liked the $1 price tag, too!

We parted ways, and as we parted, both of our chins were held high, our smiles were beaming, and our posture was positive. We were both happy and smiling, just because!

I warn you now.... Caution.... Smiles are contagious. Use them often. Help someone to turn a frown upside down. It does feel better to feel better!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves contagious smiles and turning frowns upside down!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thankful for our great snow plowers!

We are all amazed at the amount of snow that fell  - it seems it fell all at once.

A big problem is always where to put it!

This is our 2nd winter living in this house, the last on a short dead end street.

Last year we had a lot of snow - often. It seems I was always shoveling.

That is OK - it was good exercise.

This year we all thought we were off the hook - not much snow.... until yesterday!

Today I took a little work break and went out to video the snow - and think how thankful I am to have a great town snow plow guy that does my street!

He and all the plow guys work tirelessly in this sort of situation.

He has nowhere to put the snow, has to back up down the road to get out, but he always has a smile and a wave, PLUS does a great job getting the snow out of the way.

I love that guy!

I hope you love your snow plow guy as much as I love mine!

I am a Putnamaniac that is thankful to have such a hard working and capable snow plow guy that takes care of my street!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Do you take action? It is really pretty easy - Check out just how easy!

Our team of Putnamaniacs are action takers.

One of the things we do a bi-weekly clean up of a section of our town every other Sunday morning from 8 a.m. til 9 a.m.

It is pretty easy, some days more so than others.

Take a look at this morning (a snow filled Sunday morning on January 25, 2015):

I did end up with just 1/2 a bag of litter when all was said and done. Most days there are from 2 to 4 bags collected, and sometimes some treasures found ~ like garden flags and cd's ~ but mostly just litter.

We talk to folks when we see them. Frequently they ask us what we are doing and why we are doing these clean ups.

We tell them simply that we love our town.

Do you love your town?

Take action! It is WAY EASIER than it sounds, plus it can be fun, not to mention great exercise with all the bending over you will do.

Use peer pressure in a positive fashion. Maybe someday we will have more clean ups than litter bugs!

I am a Putnamaniac that does take positive action! Are you?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Crossings Restaurant & Brew Pub - crossed off the list of funs things to do today!

Right down the street from where I live, within walking distance, are quite a few great places to eat!

Since the forecast was for snow, rain, sleet, snow today, I'd had thought it would be a perfect day to go out on a lunch date with my hubby.

It seems since getting married, I cook WAY more and go out WAY less than ever before. That was not exactly my plan! I always enjoyed going out to eat with friends, and with my family when they visit the area. I miss doing that, especially with all the choices available in downtown Putnam, all within a mile or 2 of my home sweet home.

So today we revisited The Crossings Restaurant & Brew Pub - an awesome atmosphere, with great service, yummy food and beverages!

The Crossings offer some great deals. Occasionally they hand out sealed envelopes with assorted discounts that can be used in a future month. We have a sealed envelope given to us in December to use in January. Today we find out our discount when the envelope is opened with our bill. How can you lose with that?

They also give back to the community. At this time the Crossings will donate a certain percentage of your bill to the local food bank. Another Win-Win.

So, be sure to visit the local restaurants as you Discover Putnam!

I am a Putnamaniac that is happy to cross off my excellent visit to The Crossings today from the "to do" list, and will add it to my new list ASAP!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"What would x do" leads to "What would you do" ?

Although the original purpose of this blog when started some years ago was to focus on something positive every day, and capture it, sometimes I get so danged busy that I don't take the time each day to do just that. Capture and share the positivity.

Don't think that I don't look for and find something just awesomely outstanding every single day, because I do.

Today's story is this: As I came back to the office, after a meeting today, I saw an old lady with a walker fumbling nervously through her purse in the parking lot outside of her car. I slowed myself down and asked if she needed help. She said she couldn't find her little black key purse inside her big purse. Someone had told her that would help her keep track of her keys. You could see her mind racing with thoughts, perhaps like "they knew I would lose the keys", "I am worried and disappointed in myself", "I am in a hurry with more to do and don't need this trouble", "What is happening to me..."

I told her I'd check inside the bank for her (where she had just come from) to see if her keys were there. There they were on the counter! I ran them out to her, she thanked me and called me an angel.

How easy it would have been to dash by that old gal and not really notice her concern.

But, I acted unselfishly for a second.

I thought to myself afterwards, "What would Kat have done", "What would Rachael have done", "What would my mother have done", "What would KG have done".... and they would have all done the same exact thing.

So, if you think someone might need and accept help, DO IT! Join the "What would YOU do" club.

Tag - you are now "it".

Do a good thing and pass it on.

I am a Putnamaniac that is happy to be in the "What would you do" club!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hey Buds! You can't stop Mother Nature from growing when she has her mind made up!

Evergreen branches are so nice to decorate with in the winter months.

Easy to find, clip and collect - sometimes in your own yard, they really are festive!

My window boxes outside are filled with the long lasting evergreens, but I also like a vase or two of them in the house.

Long lasting and great smelling are a great combination!

Even though my branches have been clipped for over a month now and sitting in a vase of water, amazingly an occasional bud opens on the end of a branch. The warm house has fooled the branches (and Mother Nature) into thinking it is spring and time to grow!

Here is a bud on a branch that we clipped off some trees back in early December!

Here are a couple of buds in the living room vase (these came in a flower arrangement my sister sent well before Christmas, with great smelling cinnamon sticks in it, too)

Isn't that amazing?! I think so!

For many years I helped out some friends who own a Christmas Tree Farm in RI, and that is another reason I love evergreen branches. I spent a lot of time in the fir, pine and spruce! Some people would tell us about how branches on their Christmas trees had also budded out - I even recall seeing a picture of one that had tons of opening buds!

Growth and life do like to continue onward. Thank goodness for resiliency!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to see my buds! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Are you a "Just one more thing, then I will sit down!" kind of person?

Do you always have a "to-do" list and a schedule to stick to?

Me, too!

My most familiar internal dialogue is "just one more thing, then I will sit down".

Of course, every time I finish "the list", I do one more thing, then I think of another, and another, and another.

It works better for me to keep on doing them, because if I try to sit down before they are done, I will just think about them and drive myself crazy. It works for me to just do it, whatever it is.

It is understood that this behavior is not for everyone, and that is just fine.

When I am "done", I will sit down and be able to relax.

Shouldn't you stick with what works for you, makes you tick, and in fact keeps you happy?

I vote yes!

A happy world is a good world!

I am a Putnamaniac that will sit down after I do just ONE more thing!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Putnamania! Why? Because I love it!

I used to work with a guy named Wayne, whom I dubbed "Wayneiac."

He reciprocated and called my "Maniac."

Perhaps it was destined that I would move to Putnam and become a Putnamaniac.

I do love my town!

The people, the places, the atmosphere - it is all very compelling, welcoming and special.

I would not trade it for anything!

I am proud to be a Putnamaniac!

I am a Putnamaniac that hopes you love where you live as much as I do!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Old men neighbors! Cuter than cute and I don't even know their names!

Living at the end of a very short dead end street, there are not a lot of neighbors.

But the few who are my immediate neighbors are a couple of nice old fellas.

Not these guys:

or these guys:

I've met one of the old guys, the one that lives next door with his wife (whom I have never met), and although I've lived here over a year now, I can't remember his name. He waves, grumbles or expresses communications of a very easy sort whenever I see him. Perfect for me!

The fellow across the street is much more shy and keeps to himself. I've never even made eye contact with him, since he will always turn away. That is ok with me, too!

These two old codgers look out and take care of each other very kindly with barely a word between themselves either. Apparent comfort from being neighbors for such a long time.

One has a snow blower. When it snows a lot, he takes care of the other guy's driveway. He also has a riding mower and happily rides both yards on the appointed day of neighborhood neatening.

I find these folks to be the perfect neighbors for me, and for each other as well.

It is so nice that they keep an eye on each other and help each other without busy-bodying each other to pieces.

What a wonderful arrangement! Take a hint world!!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves my caring yet keep to themselves old neighbors!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Here's to good health!

Let's have a toast to good health!

I am very lucky (knock on wood and all that other superstitious stuff right now) that I usually feel as fit as a fiddle.

However once every 4 or 5 years, I get a little something.

Yesterday was one of those days. WHEW! I did not like it one bit!

No need to tell all the gory details, but when I awoke this morning feeling in the pink again, it sure did make me appreciate feeling good.

It also makes me wonder how people who don't feel well a lot, due to whatever the circumstances or conditions they are experiencing, can take it. They must be a lot tougher than me.

So, today I am toasting to better health for everyone, because it sure does feel bad to not be feeling good.

I am a Putnamaniac that hopes you all have good health!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Good guys - watching out for others, chipping in and once again proving every little bit helps!

This is an easy blog tonight, like so many of them are, thanks to all the good people, places and things that I am surrounded by in Northeast CT.

Just home from work and waiting for supper to cook, I scrolled through facebook.

Here is what I came across rather quickly from a great Putnamaniac, who along with his wife are a great team of givers:

Good Tuesday People I will have some BREAKING NEWS this afternoon on our next public fundraiser for the IHSP-FUEL FUND. Here it goes: ON JANUARY 24, 2015 (Saturday) FROM 7am till 12pm we will be standing outside of the U S Button office parking lot, (328 Kennedy Drive, Putnam, CT) collecting money for the OIL PROGRAM (IHSP-FUEL FUND). IF YOU WISH TO DONATE MONEY BUT CAN NOT MAKE IT DOWN TO THE U S BUTTON PLEASE LET ME KNOW. IT ALL STAYS IN PUTNAM. THANK YOU FOR YOU SUPPORT. Jerry Messier, Jr., 1-800-243-1842.

Once in a while folks - our friends, neighbors, family - need a helping hand. Many are quite thankful and take only what they need to get them through a bad spell. Let us focus on them. Pay it forward to the good people that need a little help, because someday they may be the ones to offer that same help to others, perhaps even you.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves the good people that seem to write my blogs for me with their kindness!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Watching the snowflakes fall under the lights at night (like my old poppa did)

Last night as the snow gently fell, I flipped on the patio light and watched the flakes fall.

Oh what a peaceful sight. Oh what memories.

As a kid growing up, my grandparents lived next door.

My bedroom was at the end of the house that looked over the garden and down to my grandparent's house. Theirs was not a big house, especially considering they raised six rambunctious kids in it! Nana even gave birth in that house!

My grandparent's "living" room - a room where they really did live, faced my bedroom. That "living" room acted as their dining room, their card playing room, their visiting room, and their tv room.

It was also my "sitting in my poppa's lap" room. If we weren't out in the garden together, I was in his lap in that chair.

Poppa's chair looked right out the the window, so he could watch the happenings of School Street when he finally had the chance to sit down. I don't recall my Nana even having a chair, because I am pretty sure she never got the chance to sit down.

On nights that snow fell, Poppa would flip on his spot light and sit and watch the flakes fall. As I lay in bed, I would see that light suddenly glow, and I would hop up to look out my window and watch those same flakes fall. How much would fall? Would school be canceled? (It seems that school was hardly ever canceled way back then).  Could we go sledding or make a snowman? Shoveling? Hot chocolate? The questions and possibilities were endless.

And so, it was a pleasure to watch the flakes fall last night under the patio light and think of watching those same flakes with my poppa all those years ago.

I am a Putnamaniac that still enjoys watching the snow fall with Poppa Moone!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Do you just have the best friend ever? (aka: we are all that giggling & gabbing you hear early in the morning!)

Do you just have the best friend ever?

Sometimes people just click.

When you get one of those clickers, isn't it great?!

You hang on to them from the day you find them.

You find as much time to spend together as you can, doing whatever crazy things you can find time to do!

Me and my BFF got out and made some noise on the streets this year at the O'Putnam 5k, the Deary 5 miler, at WINY Radio early one morning for a birthday flash mob, and doing biweekly clean-ups!

Sometimes the only time one of my best friends forever and I can get together is early in the morning. No matter what season or weather, we head out for a walk & talk.

So if you hear lots of gabbing and giggling early in the day and out in the streets of Putnamania, you'll know it is two good friends, doing what BFFs do!

I am a Putnamaniac that likes to make a ruckus with my best friends!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Disappointing Disrespect for our very own Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT. Please share this!

Today I finally had some free time -

Strike that....

Today I finally found and took some of my free time to volunteer again for the Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT's Plainfield ReStore. They do need volunteers.

Did you notice above that I wrote "Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT"

Although Habitat is a worldwide organization, we have our own Habitat right here in Eastern CT. That means that what we do here impacts people here.

Somehow people still do not understand this whole concept. So, education is a good thing. Let's teach folks who may not know about Habitat, particularly our own Habitat!

Habitat's simple mission is to provide safe and affordable homes to those who need it.

It is not a hand out. Habitat does not give out free houses.

It is a hand UP. People apply to Habitat, much like they would a bank or mortgage company. These are people who are working, but just can't get enough for a down payment or can't afford the interest stacked mortgages. So they are working their tails off and living in sub-par situations. Probably most of them would not mind that situation if it were just them, but - and this is a big but - they have children, and they do not want their children to have to live unsafely.

So, Habitat chooses folks.

These folks, their families and friends must put in a lot of "sweat equity" hours. That means they must spend a number of hours working on building or rehabbing their house along with all the Habitat volunteers. They must also pay a mortgage. It is not for free. It is not a hand out. It is just the break that they need. Thank goodness.

One of Habitat's major fund raisers are their ReStores. People and businesses donate EVERYTHING that you see in a ReStore. The store's rent, utilities and a very few & small salaries are paid, then the monies go into another new or rehabbed home. MOST of the work done in a ReStore is by volunteers.

Now, let me reflect and share with you what I witnessed today at the Plainfield ReStore, one of two ReStores that serve Habitat of Eastern CT.

A "gentleman" pulls up to the donation door, immediately sarcastic and caustic that the ReStore was not open when he had stopped by the other day to drop off his donation. He admitted that he had no clue when the ReStore was open, nor did he try to find out.

Sadly, the ReStore continues to get a lot of non-quality items as donations, and it appears to me as a lack of respect for their end goal. Of course, they get a lot of wonderful donations, but let's face it, some folks are using ReStores as their dumping ground. This fellow today dropped off 4 items. 2 were marginal, 2 were less than marginal.

The volunteer that was with me, a long retired man, of questionable health, donates his time 3 days a week. He works hard. He instructs the younger guys about mechanics. He is invaluable. He kindly apologized to the donor that he was a volunteer, and then apologized again to this fellow for having to make 2 trips in order to drop off his donation. He offered a slip for tax purposes. You could see that the donor finally felt a bit of embarrassment for his initial rudeness.

I ask that you learn a little about Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT and the ReStores.

I ask that you share that information with someone you know.

I ask that you think about donating to something once in a while, whether it is Habitat of Eastern CT, a food bank, a medical cause.... Whether it is your money, your time, your material items.
Whatever it is you choose, learn about it.
Understand it.
Respect their mission.
Respect their volunteers.
Don't act like you are doing the world a favor unless you truly are.

I am a Putnamaniac that would like to see only respect for our hard working volunteers and organizations!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A man and his dog, like clockwork walking in the park every day!

Every morning.

Like clock work.

An old man walks his dog around the park.

They are long and comfortable friends.

That is easily recognized as they stroll together, matching step for step.

Something about seeing them every day sure does make me happy down deep inside.

They clearly share a deep friendship and enjoy the company of one another.

Do you see things like this? Isn't it great to witness such unconditional love.

I am a Putnamaniac that loves to see scenes of unconditional love!