Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Talk about an Epic bike ride and lifetime experience! Go Dot! Go Hannah!

Today I am living my life - and my blog - vicariously through someone else!

Actually through two someone elses.

I have not been able to stop thinking about this since yesterday, when I spoke over the phone with Dot, owner of our local Sawmill Pottery here in Putnam.

She is on a cross country bicycle trip with her friend Hannah.

Did you just read that, stop for a minute, think about it, really comprehend what it takes to stop your life and do something like this?

Wow. WOW.  WOW!!!

Physically - you are riding a bicycle across the country, in the elements, in unfamiliar territory, without your usual comforts of home.

You set aside your work life or leave your business in the hands of someone else. 



Previously I have experienced such journeys in literature in books such as "The Memory of Running", "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry", and "The Road to Grace" to name a few, and of course the now classic film "Forrest Gump". They were all emotional and thought provoking, but they were literature.

This is real - real people that live where I live. You see them around!

I will not divulge all the stories that have transpired on Dot and Hannah's journey. I will let you read and follow along with them in Hannah's blog. I urge you to read it all here. 

People are amazing and inspiring for a million reasons! WOW!

I am a Putnamaniac that is amazed at what people do! 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Kids - what talent blooms! Especially when it is encouraged! Grease at the Hyde School = perfect example!

There are only 2 shows of Grease being performed at the Hyde School in Woodstock, CT.

Last night we saw the first show, but tonight there is still a chance.

How amazing are "kids" when they are allowed to let go, be themselves and let their talents grow.

The show is FREE, starts at 8pm, and the auditorium is just fabulous! 

If you have time tonight, get to the Hyde School, and go support them! Cheer loudly!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves when talent is encouraged to bloom!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Team Longmeadow is truly a community and family team!

They are family and they treat everyone else like family, too!

Have you met Team Longmeadow?

Led by team leaders and Longmeadow Automotive co-owners Karyn & Rich DiBonaventura, Team Longmeadow has organized and raised unbelievable amounts of funds for a plethora of local organizations. They never stop, just rolling from one event to the next!

I think that I have a lot of energy and can accomplish a lot, but these folks put me to shame! Karyn and Rich are very hard workers, run a great business, have fun and pound out the community involvement.

These facts add up to two great people that you should get to know if you do not already. Join their team, and support their local business. Longmeadow Automotive offers vehicle sales and service that is the top of the heap! Stop by and meet them as soon as possible!

I am a Putnamaniac and cheerleader for and member of Team Longmeadow

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Bradley Playhouse and the Complex ~ great local theater ~ it is not complex in Putnamania!

Today was the last show of the Bradley's current show "Caught in the Net" (cancelled due to bad weather conditions and icy sidewalks).

I saw the show a couple of weeks ago, laughed my head off, and had a great night! That is always the case at the Bradley Playhouse.

A blog was in the works to let you all know about this funny show and the Bradley, but time was very short recently, and I missed my opportunity to get the blog out sooner.

Feeling badly that I did not get the blog out before the show ended, I thought about it.... and realized that the Bradley is still there and has many more shows scheduled for this year, so pay attention! See their upcoming show schedule here.

Not only will the Bradley be offering its own shows, but their stage will host many more great shows, too.

The Complex Performing Arts Centre will present Alice in Wonderland on February 20th at 7pm, then on February 21st and 22nd at 2pm. I can't wait to see this! The Complex does an outstanding job in any form of entertainment they have to offer! The Complex also offers all sorts of classes in this realm, from art to acting to dancing.... and more!

The Bradley will offer other "off-Bradley" productions such as the New England All Stars Comedy Night, too!

Take advantage of great local talent and theater. As a friend of mine recently said "The Bradley rekindled my love of live theater." Those are sweet and true words. Don't miss out on what is right around the corner from you!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves my local theaters, and that is not Complex!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Fire & Ice! Best fun ever!!!

Not being a total fan of winter, cold weather, not enough sunlight, having to wear so many clothes, your hair standing on end when you comb it from the static electricity, having to use a treadmill, no gardening.... and on and on the list goes...

I need to look for winter fun.

Thank goodness I live in Putnam so I don't need to look far. Putnamaniacs know how to have fun all year long!

This Saturday, February 14th, 2015 is the date for the 5th Annual Fire & Ice Festival.

Click here for all the fun and listing of events.

I mean, it is huge and grows more each year. 

Running from 10am-10pm, Fire & Ice is a fun filled day packed with all sorts of fun, both inside and out.

What a great way to get to know the local downtown businesses, shops, studios, restaurants and more as you pop in to warm up and be amazed by what they all have to offer!

Putnam is a beautiful place and somehow manages to look particularly charming even with all this snow around!

Come to Putnam this Saturday and enjoy Fire & Ice!

Tell them the Putnamaniac sent you!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves Fire & Ice!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Old John" - an honorary Putnamaniac today!

Our energetic and kind Team of Putnamaniacs was scheduled to do our usual bi-weekly clean up this morning on Providence Street in the vicinity of Turtles Tacos.

I guess we all know that we are anywhere from ankle to knee to waist deep and higher in snow, depending upon where we are at any given moment in Putnam ~ and many other locations this winter.

The sidewalks, where shoveled, are not wide. Lots of spots are not even shoveled. The roads are much thinner due to all the snow piled up along side them.

After doing a drive by yesterday, and not seeing much litter anyways, I thought it best to call off the clean up. Too dangerous!

But, being a creature of habit and routine, I still wanted to do something with our team in this time frame, to keep that bond growing.

So.... Price Chopper had some fabulously spring bunches of carnations available. I bought 2 bunches. Very small expense. (I bought a little less food this week, and we will certainly not miss it a bit). Last night I got out some neon green bright ribbon, cut the carnations up and tied up little mini-sunshine bouquets out of them. I now had 22 little bouquets!

This morning Team Putnamania met.

We started at Putnam Supermarket and handed out a few bouquets there. Then we went to DD and slowly but surely handed out the rest.

Lots of folks greeted our smiles and good wishes to brighten up their day with "what are you selling". It was hard for them to believe a few people were standing out in the chilly snow early on a Sunday morning. They relaxed considerably when we told them we just were handing out some sunshine! It was tremendous to see them walking away smiling with their mini-sunshine bouquets!

"Old John" in particular was very pleased with this transaction. He told us all that we must have had good parents to raise us all so well. And since 2 on our Team Putnamania today were under the age of 15, clearly their parents are doing a good job of it now.

 Here is "Old John" with his mini-sunshine bouquet. from Spencer, MA. He comes down to Putnam for coffee with his pal Chico. He told us he was a purple heart Viet Nam vet, and had a tough time of it for a few years when he got back, but is doing just fine now. His wife, Theresa, however is dealing with cancer, and "old John" asked for prayers for her. See him and his tractor at the Woodstock Fair, always Labor Day weekend. His tractor will have 2 USA flags flying on it.

Going out and doing something like this on your own would be very hard, especially if you are a bit shy. With great teammates, it was a fun and easy thing to do.

I'll bet if you had your own little team that you could also do some fun things together, too! Start out with bi-weekly clean ups in an area near you, or that means something to you, or maybe that just needs a little good community action and tender loving care in it. One hour every other week. Make it a consistent day and time. People will join you!

I am a Putnamaniac that loved meeting "Old John", and could not have done it without Team Putnamania!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Do you love where you live? You should!

I have been very lucky to find a place that I love to live - and work - and play!  I Discovered Putnam!

Do you love where you live?

You absolutely should!

I don't mean your house, or condo, or apartment.

I mean the neighborhood, the community, the people, the places, the businesses, the library... everything that is a part of your life.

Of course I don't personally know every single one of these folks that I love, but I feel like I do. They are all so dedicated to doing a good job for not only themselves, but for their coworkers, customers, and clients. They help and support each other. They enhance each other rather than compete with each other.


Former neighbors text me to let me know when the UConn girls basketball team is playing in case I am busy working away and might forget about it.

Friends join me in volunteering and giving back because they are great giving and caring people.

Birthdays are shouted out on the local radio station, WINY Radio, a place that you call and they recognize most people's voices. Come on! I will bet that you can count this number of places in the world on your hand!

Events abound. You can find them listed on WINY's event calendar and The Last Green Valley's Calendar, too. The town gets packed, the constables assist the police force and everyone gets along AND has fun!

As you can see, I can go on and on and on.... and I do. I see something every single day that is positive, and I try to share that in this blog as often as I can.

One great woman in our community writes for a newspaper that covers our area, the Reminder News. She is beyond description. She is Denise Coffey.
Another great woman in our community is the Economic and Community Development Department director. She is Delpha Very.
Together they conspired to make me look good in this article, titled "Putnamaniac Marcy Dawley loves her town". 

I pale in comparison to every one mentioned above, whether specifically or in general. I am choosy, and I choose only the best to surround myself.

I am a Putnamaniac that is always lifted up by those I am surrounded by, and that is one reason that I love where I live! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fear ~ Fail ~ the real "F" words. Exercise your right to be excellent!

I just got back from the Webster Dudley Oxford Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting, attending as a representative of The Last Green Valley.

This was only the second event of the WDO that I have attended, but they have both been fabulously enjoyable, and I look forward to more!

A motivational speaker, Rita Schiano, was the guest. I know what you are thinking - you are thinking about the old SNL skit starring Chris Farley. Matt Foley/Motivational Speaker. That was a great skit!

Yet this speaker got my brain a'thinking.

She spoke of the four letter F words, which got a great chuckle from the crowd.

Fear and Fail were the words that she spoke of.

Sadly those words ~ fear and failure ~ go together like a horse and carriage to many of us.

As Rita pointed out, lots of people, ideas, and plans initially fail, but so many don't let the fear stop them from moving forward.

Resiliency is what will carry us through - and yes, we must work at it! Just like aerobics or strength training or public speaking!

Other things to consider are Perfection and Excellence.

I sort of get them all tied up and confused together. I should not do that. You can indeed have excellence without achieving perfection. They are two different things. I'm going to give it a try.

Rita states that self confidence + self worth = self esteem.

Again an equation that needs to be worked at like an exercise. And like all exercise, we always benefit from doing it! 

One last good tip, and one that I have been on to for quite a long time: Surround yourself with positive, resilient, excellent people! Good people bring each other UP!

One of my favorite quotes is "Use what talent you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang the best". ~ Henry Van Dyke.

I am a Putnamaniac that will exercise her right to be excellent!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Artique is an experience so sweet!

A social and artistic atmosphere in which you leave with a painting that you painted, with your own hands!

Have you tried it yet?

Whomever thought up this concept is super brilliant.

Thank goodness we have our own version of it right here in Putnam at Artique.

My first visit to Artique to participate in a paint night was just the other night.

As a surprise girls' night for me and my friend, and a good excuse to spend some quality time with her, I picked her up after work and headed into town.

She had no clue where we were going. As we walked in to the charming place, greeted by another friend, who is an art instructor there, we were gleaming and glowing with the excitement!

We felt like we were in one of those old commercials "Calgon, take me away", but instead of sitting in a bathtub filled with bubbles floating on a cloud, we became artists!

How relaxing and empowering all at the same time to create art! Yes, there is guidance, and in our case it was great guidance. Each of the 7 of us in attendance left with our own unique and precious creation.

It is an inexpensive night out with something to do that you would probably not otherwise do, unless you are an artist or crafter, of course.

Artique - just do it! Find your inner artist!

I am a Putnamaniac that loved the first of what will be many more visits to Artique!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Independent, individual and unique - that is us in Putnamania!

In Putnamania and all the surrounding areas it seems, you get to be yourself.

You are inspired to be yourself.

We are all so different and unique, and it is wonderfully inspiring to be surrounded by people who are themselves. They are happy, good, hard working people.

This picture of my pal Johnny's jeep, parked at his work place at WINY Radio speaks of the individuality of the area.

What else can you do with the huge piles of snow in your parking lot when you have a capable jeep? If you know Johnny, you know that this was an irresistible offer and one that he would not pass up. It makes you smile and shake your head.

I love Johnny and all of my other independent, individual and unique friends here. They each have something to offer to the community and make it what it is and what we all love about it.

Thank goodness for letting us each be ourselves!

I am a Putnamaniac that loves our independent, individual and unique area!