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March 2007 Archives

March 3, 2007

Flooding and Ice at Thirsty Boots Farm

Well, I hear it's going to be 50 degrees today and that is a good thing. It will melt all the ice. Hmmm....maybe not such a good thing. That will create more water and we have enough of that right now.

The rain was unrelenting yesterday and when the area of the school playing field that always creates a puddle in heavy rain looked more like a lake, I began to be concerned about what I'd find at home. With good reason....I got home to the humming noise of John and the water vac in the basement. The frozen ground and the volume of rain was too much for the ground to handle and so for the second time in the 22 years we've been in the house, the basement floor was covered with a quarter of an inch of water. In the middle of vacuuming, Heather arrived, back from her trip to Florida. "Welcome home, Heather....here take these buckets outside and dump the water."

So we ended up here at the farm with too much water and over night, it all froze. Here are some early morning (6:30 a.m.) shots.

Sunrise at Thirsty Boots Farm

Flooded and frozen Field 1

Point covered with water and ice


Flooding in the woods. The trees should not be standing in water.

Trees surrounded by the pond

Yesterday the water was over the top of the wall.

Ice can be pretty.

On the fences

The orchard trees await their pruning.

Water flowing out of the pond...

...and flooding the woods behind Mr. Wells' house.

He was with me as I watched and listened to the roaring waters.




More dumpster diving for the kids!

Beautiful wall work behind Tom Wells' house

He would approve.

Last look back at the water rushing through the woods.

In the spring Tom and I used to sit on his lawn overlooking the woods, listening to the rush of the spring thaw waters and drinking our tea.

Today I feel the hope of spring. Bring it on.

March 16, 2007

For the Love of Dogs

That must be the title of a book somewhere. If it's not, it should be.

There is nothing we won't do for the love of our dogs. For me, at this moment, it's sitting still on my couch with Lady lying on my feet asleep as she recovers from surgery to fuse the knee joint in her right rear leg.

A year and a half ago she torn her ACL and while she had that repaired, a damaged meniscus resulted in her raising that leg and discontinuing to use it. After months of deliberation, we decided the best option was to fuse the knee joint into the natural standing position. This would allow her to put weight on that leg and walk on all fours which would be beneficial should her left ACL and meniscus go (which is often the case).

Wednesday she was operated on and apparently, what was found "in there" was a mess which meant the surgeon could not put in a plate but had to secure her leg into position from the outside. So she now has an enormous contraption pinned to the outside of her leg and presently swathed in purple. This is probably a good thing. I think I am going to be horrified next week when I have to redress it and get an up close view of all that metal.

Hidden contraption

She is still walking on three legs (as she's been doing for months) and is happy to be home but getting the anesthetic out of her system is making her uneasy. She follows me around like a shadow not understanding why her body is feeling so strange and uncomfortable. While I can get her to lie down, she requires a warm body, massage and lots of stroking to lie still. After about an hour or so of agitation, uneasiness and whining, she finally wearies and drops off to sleep at which time I try to ease my foot out from under her so I can get some work done, namely upholstering a chair to replace the broken one in Patrick's apartment (next blog).

Lady coping

So right now, thankfully, Lady is asleep......breathing deeply......on my feet. I suppose I could move but that runs the risk of waking her, and she is a wonderful dog and companion who deserves the best and the most that we can give her. So for now, I'll stay put, feet trapped by a heavy dog and stuck on the loveseat forced to watch The Price is Right, The View with Rosie O'Donnell, Martha Stewart, or the Food Network where I can learn the recipe for Kansas City's "best" barbeque baked beans.

Hmmmmm.....tough decision. Come to Thirsty Boots' annual summer picnic in August to taste my decision.....and hopefully see Lady walking on all fours.

March 18, 2007


How is it that dogs instinctively know about couches?

What I Did During My Spring Vacation

After getting over my jealousy regarding all the warm places my third grade students were traveling to this March (Hawaii, Bahamas, Florida, Nevis), I decided to try and be productive.

Several years ago I found a chair tossed out at the dump. It was old, in horrible shape, and covered in ugly green fabric that was worn through in spots but there was something I liked about it (besides the price). So I took it. It's been living in the basement for years. In fact I think I planned to recover it for one of the kids while they were at college. Well that didn't happen but several months ago when I noticed the overstuffed arm chair in Patrick's apartment had a broken arm, I thought, "Ah ha!"

And so, having to babysit Lady and knowing that snow was coming, what better thing to do than stay inside and upholster a chair? (Well, Nevis would have been nice.)

I wish I had taken a photo of the whole chair before starting. It would have helped me with some of the details I forgot. I did take some of areas where I thought I'd need reminders.

Outside side view

Inside view

Worn out

Taking it apart

Inside it was a little more complicated than chairs I had done before.

And the chair was old.

Again, I wish I had taken photos of the chair stripped down but had no intentions of doing a blog on it. Once stripped down I had to reweb the bottom. I decided the springs were in ok shape. They probably could have been a little tighter but not having experience with tieing them, I decided to leave them alone. (This is called avoidance.)

I was able to keep some of the insides also, specifically the stuffing on the arms and the inside back.

I did the deck, then one of the inside arms and then the back. I forgot that I should have done both inside arms before the back and this kept me from getting the back really tight later on the right side.

Putting on the outside arms is always fun as the chair begins to look like something.

I worked on the chair on the ping pong table so I wouldn't have to bend over and kill my back.



Then moved it to the floor to finish sewing the cording to the fabric. I didn't want to make my own welting so bought some decorative cording. This resulted in having to go to three stores to find enough for the chair. Ugh. Here are some close-ups of the trim.


Hmm...I see a little something to correct.

Voila, the finished product...except for the cushion which I've discovered has disintegrated due to age, so off to the store again to buy a new cushion.



Watch for the final photo in a few days.

March 23, 2007

Planet Earth, Discovery Channel, 8 pm, March 25

If you haven’t heard about it by now, I’m here to urge you to watch Planet Earth, an 11-part series about this gorgeous planet, which airs on Discovery 8 pm Eastern and Pacific Time (check your local listings). I know I sound like a commercial but this promises to be spectacular. Four years in the filming all over the world to view our animals as we’ve never seen them before. 204 locations shoots in 62 countries, capturing rare shots of animals, habitats, and unique geographic perspectives above, under and on the planet’s surface.

For the USA article on March 22 go to



Please tell your friends. My ulterior motive? We have got to get serious about protecting this astonishing world of ours. Hopefully this will help us all to get on board.

March 25, 2007

Week Two of My Vacation

As vacation comes to a close and I begin to think about getting back to school tomorrow, it's a time to reflect on what I accomplished.....no deep tan, no sand between the pages of the books I read, no weight gain from the multiple Pain Killers I consumed reading the non-existent book on the non-existent beach (perhaps I'll leave all that for next year), but I still had fun.

There was time to relax with friends. My friend Wendy and I used our Christmas gifts from a parent and went to the Norwich Inn for a relaxing day at the spa, complete with facial and massage. Sorry, no pictures of us in our terrycloth bathrobes!

There was no vacation from strength training classes however. For over a year now I have been going twice a week to fend off the encroaching aches and pains that seem to come with age (and I can't believe I am beginning to talk like this). One of the members of my class is about to move to Florida so natually that meant a party! Here we are last week at our first get-together. Yes, I said "first." We've already made plans for a May Mojito party (you never know how long it might take to sell a house!).

Linda, Julie's former piano teacher; neighbor Laura; Barb who is moving; and trianer Joey


Next there was duck watching....yes, duck watching. Here are three Wood Ducks, who are suppose to be very shy, walking in front of the den window. Lots is going on at the pond now. The swans are back, as are the Canada Geese, and lots of other ducks have come to nest. Hopefully the next thing I will experience is the sound of the spring peepers. The end of March is when I should hear them. Stay tuned. Any bets on which day this week?



When the weather warms up, the chickens like roaming about also.


As if it weren't warm enough, Roadrunner chose to sit on the manure pile.

Rescued rooster from the woods behind school. Someone dumped him there in the fall. Now I'm up to five!

My favorite hen

Saturday's warm weather also got John and me outside to start tidying up the yard. Now that we have the pergola (thanks to Julie who designed it and Derek who built it), there was Auntie Kay's wisteria to be tamed.


After (yes, it's still there)

I also prepared a bed in front of the pergola for the fragrant peonies that will be planted in the fall (hate to wait that long). The hen came looking for worms.

Pruning the wisteria led to pruning the climbing roses on the cottage. But the southside of the cottage just looked terrible and so that led to the scraping and painting of the south side of the cottage. No, I am not kidding.....there is something that happens when the weather warms up. One project just seems to lead to another and then another. While we had no intention of painting the cottage, within two hours one side was scraped and painted with two coats.

Painted wall

Then of course there was the orchard to prune.


Last fall I planted 700 daffodil bulbs under the fruit trees in the orchard. This is the before picture and in a few weeks, I hope to show you a much different sight!

Keep your eyes on the grass

So vacation is coming to an end. Tonight is our last last gasp. Friends are coming over for dessert and to watch "Planet Earth" on the Discovery Channel.

Tomorrow it's back to work. I can't complain.

Vacation Painting Project

Besides the cottage, the painting project I really enjoyed the last week of vacation was the Pysanky or Ukranian Easter Eggs I made. I started these a few years ago when I made personalized ones and used them as "place cards" for family members coming to Easter dinner. The problem was they kept walking off with guests, so each year I have to make more.

This year, rather than just trying to guess at how to make them, I finally bought a book that showed me the first steps. They are fun to do but require time and patience as well as the ability to "think backwards." I still have the personalized ones to do but here's what I've done so far.


Some individual ones:











More to come...............

Silly Kitty

What is it about cats and their ridiculous poses?


This is Jay Blue. She came to live here 7 years ago with Grandmother to whom she was devoted. After Grandmother died, Jay kept going back to the cottage, meowing to be let in. She moved into our house then and became friends with Cotton.


But Tippy wasn't crazy about her.

Now that Tippy and Cotton are gone and she's the number one kitty, you would think she'd be more tolerant.


Sweetie, our barn cat, would love to be friends with her but Jay is having none of it.


Each summer Sweetie keeps making her way closer to the house. Maybe this year.

About March 2007

This page contains all entries posted to KathyMcCurdy.com in March 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2007 is the previous archive.

April 2007 is the next archive.

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