January 11, 2014

Edward Rapp August 20, 1918 - January 10, 2014

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It is with some sadness I announce that this will be the last post for this blog. Ed Rapp died last night, January 10, 2014 at the age of 96.

All will be sad but I cannot help but marvel at what Uncle Ed did with his life. He lived it just the way he and his wife Laura wanted to. Both couldn't sit still for very long and the many jobs they had and houses they renovated took them on many adventures and to many countries around the world.

He was a terrific writer. He had a sharp mind, a quick wit, terrific sense of humor right up to the end. His daughter Elna siad just last week he was talking withher about New York's Mayor DeBasio. Uncle Ed lived for almost a century. If you had a conversation with him, you knew he was talking from first hand experience.

Uncle Ed's politics are mine were at opposite ends of the spectrum, he a fierce liberal and I more conservative. He sent continuous "Letters to the Editor" to many newspapers but especially to the New York Times (which he read everyday) and the Washington Post. When he mentioned to me six years ago that he actually got a letter in return.....asking him to stop sending letters, I suggested he write a blog. And so this website where he could air/vent his opinions was established.

And so he continued to write....over 1400 posts which he entered here. Until I figure out how to get them off this blog and saved on a disc, I will continue to support this page. Take some time to read some of his opinions. he had a knack for taking an issue and reporting on it in a few paragraphs. I always loved his closing lines.

Yes, he will be missed but I can't be too sad. What an extraordinary life he lived with Laura and his children Elna, Cammy, and Tim. I'm so grateful for the decision I made 15 years ago to help Laura and him drive their Airstream cross country from Nashville to Laramie. Many stories were told but I was reconnected with a unique and remarkable person.

I was fortunate.

Kathy Thompson McCurdy
Niece

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Ed and Cammy

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Ed and Elna

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Ed and I

November 9, 2011

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor....

Let's make this year different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement. Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a gazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for Mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day (or month!).

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes. So visit a craft fair.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theater.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

THIS is the new American Christmas tradition. (see editor's note at the end)

(Editor's Note: New tradition? No. This is what we grew up with. Let's just get back to supporting one and other.)

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion groups -- throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV News departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?

June 26, 2011

LADY OF THE MANOR

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April 10, 1999-June 26, 2022

This morning at approximately 7:30 a.m., our wonderful Labrador Retriever, Lady (aka Ladykins, Ladybug, Ladybuggles, Baby Girl), died.

We had Lady for just over 12 years. She came to us the day of Heather's graduation from Northfield Mt. Herman. I remember that beautiful, sunny, blue-skied day well. Leaving Northfield, we stopped at a nursery and bought Heather a red rose bush to commemorate the occasion and, when we arrived home, we quickly unpacked the car and headed down to Clinton to pick up our new puppy. I can see that little black ball of fur with the red collar calmly sitting on the passenger lap now, leaving the only home she had known.

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Lady had a great life at Thirsty Boots Farm. She loved to play and there were plenty of people who loved to play with her.

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She loved to retrieve sticks or tennis balls. It was her regular routine that when a visitor got out of the car, she would dash off to find her stick or ball which was then dropped at the visitor's foot. She'd look up with those brown eyes...."Go on! Throw it!" This instinctive habit of hers continued even when she lost the use of her right rear leg due to an ACL injury and we had to beg people not to throw things for her.

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Lady loved to swim. At first it was in the pool. I remember that requiring some repairs to the vinyl lining. She learned that was a no-no and moved on to the pond. She loved to glide after us when we were in the rowboat and we'd order her to "go back." She loved swimming out through the lilies to retrieve her stick or tennis ball. She could go forever.

She loved digging the dirt out from under bushes and lying in the cool spots she had created. Up went fencing. She loved food and had greater finesse at stealing from the table than Tucker. In fact, I'm sure Tucker got blamed for a few of Lady's thefts. She loved her own mealtime. She was the best alarm clock I had. When she came over to me and sat in front of me and stared at my face, I knew it was 3:00 p.m., dinner time.

She loved the couch. I gave up a long time ago trying to keep the dogs off....electric pads, spiky pads...forget it. She particularly loved the couch or loveseat if you were sitting in it. She'd hop right up and put her head in your lap (or her entire body). She loved John's side of the bed where she got to sleep when he was away on business.

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Lady loved people and animals. When people arrived, she would often break into a huge grin, something that was a little disconcerting to those who did not know her well. I remember two deliver men who refused to get out of their truck. She hated the UPS truck but loved the driver with his cookies. She loved the horsie vet who often greeted her with a piece of his morning doughnut. She loved being in the middle of holidays and family gatherings. I have many mental pics of her surrounded by mountains of wrapping paper. She loved Tom Wells, our neighbor across the road. She loved the chickens and every once in a while would bound after them pretending to chase them. At the beginning of her life, she liked the horses but after she got kicked one day, she'd bark protectively whenever she accompanied me out to the barn at feeding time. Ahh...Lady hated squirrels.

There were three places Lady particularly loved to sit and survey her domain. One was on the hill lawn looking down at the pond. She'd spot things moving we could not see and bark, "Stay on your side." She loved sitting in the entry doorway, with her front paws hanging over, watching the comings and goings on the driveway and across the street at Tom's house. Her most favorite place was in the sun out by paddock gate.

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This morning was a normal day for Lady. She went outside and came back in to eat her breakfast. As I came down the stairs, Lady had her first episode (which the vet tells us was a heart attack) near the bar door. She fell and began breathing raggedly. I gently placed her legs under her and rolled her on her side. Her breathing stopped and she stared fixedly ahead. I called John and as we stroked her and massaged her neck and told her she was a good dog and all was OK, she heaved three huge breathes and came back. In another minute or two she was lying normally. She continued to improve and got up and went into the den. We gave her water which she drank. She sat at my feet and thumped her tail as only a lab can do. After another few minutes she decided she wanted to go out and it was on her way through the hall with me she had her second heart attack. She took three breaths and went down. On her side and with me beside her and stroking her, she drew her last two breaths. It was quick and her last thoughts were of going outside and of a voice telling her she was loved.

She now rests near her favorite sunny spot and next to the Northfield roses. She joins our dogs Ben and Miles (her first TBF buddy), and cats Tippy and Cotton. We are so terribly sad and are missing the great black presence in the house but are so grateful for her quick and "easy" death. We will miss her more than we can say, but are so grateful to have had this happy, loving, devoted "Ladybug" with us for twelve years.

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Thanks, Heather, for the headstone.

January 27, 2011

Got Hit Again!

Ok....so another foot of snow last night....yes a foot. The yardstick disappears in parts of the lawn. There are some who don't mind the snow and just want to play......

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Oreo decides he wants to roll.

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He's under there.

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That felt good!

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Let's do it again!

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The other side and Willy gets into the act also in the back field.

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You called?

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Getting out to the barn

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and back to the house.

January 12, 2011

Blizzard of 2011!

Yikes! We knew it was coming. School was cancelled yesterday, the weatherman were talking it up and said we'd get about 20 inches and this time they were right. Here's what we woke up to this morning:

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From one horse.......

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...to another.

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Need the horses to trample the snow!

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Dug out the chickens but they won't come out! Smart!

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There is a Mini Cooper under there.

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Buried horse trailer

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To the house

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To the barn

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Going out

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Not at all interested! Dashing back to the house!

1:15 p.m. and it is still snowing! Out to shovel to the barn for the 5th time.

Don't you want to come back to New England, Heather and George?

November 1, 2010

Half the Year in Review

I can hardly believe that my last post to this website was four months ago. The simple fact is that the ease with which one can upload photos to Facebook and the limited space for comments encourages one to be lazy. Here's my chance to catch up.


There was Easter......

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We miss Cameron terribly.

A visit to Florida to see Uncle Ed, aged 93!

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Uncle Ed and my cousin Cammy

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And a visit to the Proias in Gainesville.

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We saw the Igoes in Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island also.

Getting back home it was time to concentrate on the wedding.

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Found the dress!

Then it was time for showers.....Aunt Barbara's was the first one.

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Then Gretchen's

This one given by Heather's bridesmaids....

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Instant aunt

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Last fling before the ring!

In between the party there were some other things that happened! We joined John and Lynn Adams in Windham, NY. Who knew it ws Irish Arts Week?

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Look closely at the sign.

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We visited Joan on Cape Cod.

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My nieces and Lily came for a sleepover......

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...and discovered chicks had been born!!

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We fostered Lou.....

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...who loved following Tucker into the pond!

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There was Joe and Katie's engagement

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Then time for mailing the wedding invitations

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A September visit to Middlebury for Murphy's football game

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John published a book....

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...and emceeed at his 50th reunion.

There were:

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Boat rides on Heather's boat...

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a birthday and Sushi...

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a Choate speech...

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a reunion in Florida...

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a visit to Epcot...

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A new nephew! FJ and Diyari's son Liam!

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Julia's arrival

and oh, yes...the wedding!

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Extended family

It was a great year.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

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Here's to a great 2011!

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.


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!")

May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

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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!