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Here at Thirsty Boots Farm Archives

November 5, 2006

Birthday Celebration

Last night I was lucky enough to be surrounded by family and my friends Kay and Bob for a birthday dinner here at home. The evening was beautifully plannd by John who even had fireworks outside. Great fun was had by all.

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Full Moon

Every once in a while the moon rises at dusk over the pond and is reflected in the pond. I do love where I live.

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November 15, 2006

Who's the Boss?

So at what point did I lose control (or should I say the couch)?

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January 7, 2007

January 2007

Beautiful days lend themselves to picture taking in order to capture the moments. The photos never compare to the real thing but enjoy.

At 7 a.m. the moon sets in the west...

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as the sun rises in the east. You can just seen the early-rising geese in the lower left

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The chickens don't seem to mind the dark.

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No.......there was no fog that morning. Just a curious horse with his nose and hot breath on the camera!

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Here's how it was supposed to look.

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Off to school with a look back at the house with the setting moon.

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On a gloriously warm weekend for January, everyone is out.

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Even the skunk cabbage!

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January 26, 2007

4 Degrees

So, winter has finally arrived at Thirsty Boots. The thermometer outside is reading four degrees while the weatherman on t.v. is talking about windchills of 15 below.

We've had it easy here so far this winter, resulting in some confusion for plants and animals. Ticks are still piggybacking on the dogs, the daffodils in some areas have thrust up a spoke or two, some chickens have put off their usual October molting until now (boy, are they sorry) and the swans are still on the pond. They, however, are now reduced to one small area that remains open.

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I don't expect them to last such longer. When the entire pond freezes over, they will head out to find open water, only to return in the spring to nest and raise their brood.

I have to admit, this morning was a little tough for many of us. The chickens were reluctant to come out of the coop, except for the "bottom of the totem pole" rooster who resides in the barn.

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The horses have their blankets.

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Poor Sweetie, the barn cat, took some extra time to appear out of her hay bed for her morning feeding,

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and I, after several minutes of trying to open a grain bag with fingers that inceasingly refused to work, gave up to escape back to the warmth of the house and the frosty news from the weatherman.

And speaking of frosty news, I must be turning into a crab in my old age. I've started along the "In my day........." path. I am astonished at local schools who have canceled school today because of the cold. Honestly, each year we are becoming increasingly wimpy. In my day, school was only canceled for blizzards. You might ask residents of North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota or Buffalo when they cancel school. They drive in two feet of snow and more!

Oh well.....off to school for me (we did not cancel). Two bright spots to keep me warm today...Julie and her friend Alison are off to Florida to meet Heather and George and that means more blog photos through which I can live vicariously....and then this afternoon the third graders are hosting a Tea for their mothers, complete with tea sandwiches, lemon tea bread, petit fours, cookies, sugar cubes and siver tongs. Only thing missing.....bone china!

Hmmmmmmmmmm.....can smell the Earl Grey now.

February 23, 2007

Thirsty Boots Snow

Don't you just love the muffled, quiet of an early morning blanket of snow? (And a delayed opening isn't too bad!) For you, Heather! Hurry home before you miss out on it all!

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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.

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Sunrise at Thirsty Boots Farm

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Flooded and frozen Field 1

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Point covered with water and ice

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

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Trees surrounded by the pond

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Yesterday the water was over the top of the wall.

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Ice can be pretty.

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On the fences

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The orchard trees await their pruning.

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Water flowing out of the pond...

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

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

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More dumpster diving for the kids!

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Beautiful wall work behind Tom Wells' house

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He would approve.

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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.

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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).

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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

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

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How is it that dogs instinctively know about couches?

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!).

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

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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?

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

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

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

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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.

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Before

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After (yes, it's still there)

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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.

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Painted wall

Then of course there was the orchard to prune.

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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!

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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.

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Some individual ones:

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

May 13, 2007

Spring Is Finally Here!

You know that spring has finally arrived when Tucker gets his haircut!

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What a handsome boy!

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June 7, 2007

Thirsty Boots Farm

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Agatha Holly (Aggie)
May 17, 1974 - April 29, 2007

It's time.

Aggie has been gone two months now and I've begun the search for another horse. This is the easiest way for people to see where their horse will end up. Hopefully they will approve.

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This is half of "Field 1". Put it together with the next photo.

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The other half

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Another view of "Field 1"

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View of the barn (35 yards from the house)

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View of barn insides with house behind

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View of "Field 1" and part of "Field 2" behind barn paddock

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Field 2 behind paddock

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"Field 3"

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Willy

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Oreo - always curious. Has to come check out the camera.

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View from "Field 1" looking back at barn (left), house and cottage (right)

October 21, 2007

Glorious Weekend!

This has got to be one of the all time best weekends ever!

It began, as it should, on Friday night with the engagement party for Patrick and Chrissy and what a party it was (be patient...next blog entry!). Then dinner Saturday night with fun friends, and two glorious days of summer-like weather with which to enjoy the fall foliage. Sunday afternoon the Giants won and to top it off, the Red Sox tied up the playoff series on Saturday night! Yes, I know...I'm a Yankees fan but I am NOT one of those fans who roots for whomever is playing the Red Sox. So a great Sunday with the final Red Sox game tonight. Life is indeed good.

But back to the weather...I was stunned to see in NYC Saturday morning that the trees in Central Park were still green and that New Yorkers weren't even close to experiencing what we're seeing in Connecticut. And so for all you city dwellers, here's what's coming.........

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So enjoy....fall at Thirsty Boots

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We have not had a frost yet (unheard of for October 21) and the summer plants are loving that.

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Even the tomatoes are hanging on!

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A walk down to the pond showed the fall colors.

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Looking across to the beaver's island.

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The photographer on her walkabout

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A photographer from Illinois passing by asked if he could photograph the swans against the foliage.

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Enjoying the sunshine

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A stopoff for the geese

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Mushroom village

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What a day.

November 10, 2007

Daylight Savings

I love the mornings when we go to Daylight Savings time. Instead of leaving for work in the dark, I now have this.......

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My boarders

I miss Aggie....a lot. I keep an eye out for horses on the internet and during the summer looked at a few and I wonder if I'll find another like her.

November 28, 2007

Fall Sunrise

Sometimes it pays to get up early.

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December 4, 2007

More Sunrises

I just can't get enough. Saturday morning, December 1st.

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Movement in the water is the ducks swimming off.

January 29, 2008

COMING SOON

OK, I know....it's been a while since my last blog entry and we're all tired of looking at the wine bottle. This is just to let you know, there is more coming!

I guess we're all just caught in the winter doldrums. There's not much going on at Thirsty Boots to write about. The weather has been cold. I'm not much of a cold weather person and definitely not a skater. Football is over so Sunday afternoons have lost their sparkle...except for the Giants game this weekend! Perhaps it's time to finish upholstering the chair I started for Patrick last March!

One thing I am doing is looking for a new horse to replace Aggie who died last April. This is a process that is not much fun. Not having bought one for 23 years, I've discovered the price of these four-legged animals has gone up drastically. Those I do go take a look all miss the mark in some way or another. Am off to look at two or three this weekend so will keep you up to date.

Meanwhile....go Giants! (One can always dream!) and bring on the spring when we get into showers for Chrissy and Patrick that then lead to the wedding. Now that is something to look forward to!

February 5, 2008

Just Dandy

How can this week get any better? First the Giants win the Super Bowl and then I find a horse!

Look who is joining the McCurdy Clan! Nine months after losing Aggie, I have finally found a new buddy....Dandy (which, by the way, was what we called my maternal Grandfather). The new Dandy is a sweetie pie and good looking to boot.

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I can't wait to get my new baby home. Yep, life here on the farm is Just Dandy! Come by to see our new boy.

February 24, 2008

SNOW

This February, we were teased with some hopeful signs of early spring - snowdrops in warm patches of earth, the sitings of robins, and increased music of newly-arrived birds (even on some chilly mornings). This past Friday, winter reminded us that it is still February. Even our "global" friend was disappointed:

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Today is a beautiful Sunday morning with the morning sun casting diamond sparkles on the snow, but it is also 17 degrees.

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If it hadn't been for the snowstorm on Friday, this barn would be housing my new horse


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Barring any other storms, Dandy will hopefully arrive on February 29!


And Julia, as for your cottage, it will look more inviting than this in June!

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I have to keep remembering, the first day of spring is only four weeks away.


September 28, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN!

While the actual date is September 29, we were able to celebrate a day early. In spite of a car that would not work, Patrick and Chrissy made it up from New York. Heather and Julie joined us and that made a party!

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When these two get together there are always giggles.

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Pat and Chrissy sharing a joke also.

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Pat and Chrissy come through with Argyll socks!

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Then there were books from Julie....

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....and Heather...

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....who never misses an opportunity to mug for the camera!

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But Heather's chair was the big hit!

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as she demonstrates in the office.

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Mom's present...grass seed (note the grimace as this means more yard work).

It was a great day, as it always is when the kids come home to Thirsty Boots.

January 4, 2009

Once a Kid, Always a Kid

The day after the Thompson Christmas party brought one of those big, fluffy snowstorms with great, wet snow just perfect for making SNOWMEN!! Here are the efforts of Julie, Pat, Chrissy and Kathy.

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Kathy's snowboarder

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Calvin and Hobbes would be proud.

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Chrissy's

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Patrick's farmer with goggles in the middle


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Julie's Amazon!

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She was big!

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In the sun the next day.

Just waiting for the next big storm!


January 18, 2009

Winter

HI Heather!

I know you've been watching the weather from your sunny beach in Key West and cringing at the weather reports. Well, you don't have to worry anymore. We've been through a few days of -8 in the early a.m. but we're done with that now and you can come home. We are up to 18 degrees. So that's good.

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I'm sure you're getting sick of the blue water down there, so we have plenty of white, flakey snow for you to enjoy.

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And plenty of blankets if you feel chilly.

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Lady wants to play with you.

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Tucker wants to bring you his prizes...in this case his frozen meadow muffin.

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Dad has even shoveled a path for you!

So, don't worry. You can come home now.

Love, Mom

January 24, 2009

You Asked for It, Heather!

Here you go, Heath. I've picked up the gauntlet!

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I must admit, getting started was a little tough...

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...but it's a great upper body work out.


You can come home now.

June 24, 2009

WOW, WOW, WOW, WALL!

Julie is like a house on fire with the wall this week. Here is her progress:

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Five days ago - west side

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Looking down the center at how she fills in with smaller rocks

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A day later

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East side facing house

June 23

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June 24

The artisan at work...

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West side

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Facing North, looking at the insides

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East side


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West side


all around the town!

Seriously, Julie is doing a fabulous job and we've already started to talk about where to get the rocks to continue. How she moves some of the large stones is beyond me.

More to come!

July 6, 2009

Taking a Break from Ducksitting

Julie bought a newer kayak and therefore sold me hers. Today we the two of us decided to do a little exploring. There is nothing like being in a beautiful spot, low in the water and out in nature.

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Julie on Pattaconk Lake

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Up close

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Here she is having just done an assisted rescue...she rolled on over and used my kayak to right herself.

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Here I am in my "new" kayak.


We had a blast and then it was time to get home and let the ducks out for a swim and a walk.

It's Not All About Ducks!

Not everything here at Thirsty Boots Farm is about the ducks (although almost everything is). A pair of bank swallows (I think) have made their nest right by our entry door (not very smart). Everytime we go in or out, Mom or Dad get spooked and fly off of the nest. One day I left the screen door ajar and the next thing I knew I was trying to escort the female out of my kitchen!

At any rate, here are her babies. You can only see three but there are four crammed into the little nest. We're a little worried about when they learn how to fly. The bricks seven feet below the nest will not make for a soft landing. Also Tucker is definitely a bird dog and can sniff out vulnerable birds. We'll have to be careful when they do fledge.

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The nest

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Up close view of the inhabitants

July 8, 2009

What a Difference Fours Days Make!

Well, the eyes are open and they are crowding each other in the nest!

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Keep watching!

August 9, 2009

Two Visitors

This week we had two visitors to Thirsty Boots. Both arrived on Monday.

The first was Joan McDermott, John's mother's good friend who lives in Cape Cod. Joan is remarkable and I hope to be like her when I grow up! At 84, she drives all over to visit the people she loves. She is a great guest and arrives with all sorts of goodies to spoil you.

We fun with Joan. Tuesday we drove to the end of Rt 148 and took the 5 minute ride on the ferry across the Connecticut River to show her Gillette's Castle. It was a gorgeous day and we got there before the crowds.

For those of you not familiar with Gillette's Castle, it was a retirement home built in the early 1900s by the actor William Gillette, famous for creating the Sherlock Holmes character for the stage.


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The man loved stone!

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William Gillette loved cats. Note the two at the top of "Grand Central Station" where his small train brought weekend guests (who arrived by the boat) up from the river.

We had fun with Joan who returned home after her two-day visit.


Our second "guest" was our first foster pet, Lucky the poodle. A former Emma Willard classmate works for an organization called Safe Pet which places pets in foster care so their owners can get out of abusive situations or can get the medical help they may need. Lucky fits this last category. His elderly owner fell and will require rehabilitative care for a while. Lucky is fourteen, hard of hearing and has cataracts, but he is cute, smart and friendly.


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Lucky on his first day here


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I swear he's smiling.

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Everyone still has their place on the couch.


Lucky continues to delight us. We are discovering the many ways he was spoiled by his owner. He likes human food and is always underfoot when we're preparing food in the kitchen. Well, guess there's nothing new there. So are my dogs, Tucker and Lady. Lucky also likes being hand fed. Hmmm.....we'll work to change that one! And then there is the separation anxiety he has a night. After three nights on the couch in the den, I discovered the miracle of melatonin. Lucky got his first pill last night and slept through the night. The excitement I felt was equal to how I felt when I had babies!

Lucky is a cute little dog. An apartment animal, he is delighting in all the new things here at Thirsty Boots. He discovered swimming pools are not good to walk on (tried to follow me when I got on a float the other day). He walks right on by the chickens as though he has lived with them all his life and has no fear of the horses. I have to watch he doesn't get underfoot. He could care less about Jay Blue, the cat, and he and the dogs are getting along just fine. In fact, Lucky gets along with everyone.

Pistol Practice

This summer we did something a little out of the ordinary for us...we took a gun safety course from a friend of Heather's. Bud Sambrook, a former chief of police, joined us at Thirsty Boots Farm to teach us about pistols, revolvers, single action, and semi-automatic weapons. I must say the course was interesting but the target practice was more fun.


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John set up a an old door and Bud brought some targets for us to shoot at.

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Five of us took the course.

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Our friend, bob, went first.

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Julie did well.

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John did the best of all of us.

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Bud and Heather

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We've got some more people who may want to take the course so our poor door may get a few more holes.


October 18, 2009

Three Weeks After the Party

The beautiful lawn where we hosted 57 people for dinner on a warm August evening? .... looked like this three weeks later....

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Yikes! Who knew replacing a 45 year old septic system would do this!

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Tucker wasn't quite sure what to do about it. Pee on it, Tucker. You do on everything else!

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Hmmmm...I see rocks for Julie!

Miraculously, five weeks later, the lawn is looking remarkably well, thin but green. Some reseeding in the spring and we'll be back in business.

April 12, 2010

SPRING

This past weekend was gorgeous and allowed for all good outdoor, fun things - garden planting; weeding; fort building with Lily, Julie and Heather; kayaking and just sitting in the sun. After such a perfect weekend, it was hard this morning to leave all the beauty of Thirsty Boots Farm and come to work.

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May 8, 2010

Engagement Party

They say a picture is worth a thousand words:

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Congratulations Heather and George!

May 25, 2010

Life Is Good!

This little guy surely lives up to his name.

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How did we get so "Lucky" to have him in our lives? (if my dad were here, he would be correcting me that the correct word is "fortunate!")

July 9, 2010

Summertime and the Living Is Easy

It may be summer but here at Thirsty Boots we are busy....relaxing, beautifying and having fun!

Michelle and Andrew have made the flower beds around the house look a lot better.

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Michelle

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Andrew trims the 40 year old yews.

The final result. You can just see the fencing, meant to keep Tucker out!

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New seating for the terrace

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A baby raccoon got separated from mom.

We lost our beautiful swans to a coyote but gained this cormorant:

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Lucky enjoys an early morning walk.

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The horses enjoy the early morning.

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Lady continues to be optimistic.

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Kim came up to relax on July 4.

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John joined him in cool relaxation.

Hamish and Ellie were here with Rowan and Heath before they move to Portland Maine.

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Hamish takes Rowan for a row.

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Heath charms Kim.

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John chooses the pond to cool down.


About Here at Thirsty Boots Farm

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