Monday, December 14, 2015


We were invited to show our trains and scenery at Ker Place in Onancock on Saturday. It used to be spelled Kerr, but somebody found some documents that had Ker on it, so they pushed to have the name changed. I grew up with Kerr, so if I lapse into the old spelling, so be it. It has always been pronounced Car around here. has more info on Ker Place. It was an 1800 Eastern Shore Mansion back then. It took 4 years to build, 1799-1803. We were in the Dining Room. With temps in the low 70s, the doors to the Garden were propped open.
We had 208 visitors, not including Santa Claus or any of the pups that came to visit! (I love Shelties! This is Rocky, the black & white and Dylan in brown. They discovered I had puppy biscuits in my pocket! Imagine!) We took the newest layout that was made specifically for this show, specifically to travel, and pretty much put together in a very short time just for this occasion and to see “how it could be done.” It has been a learning tool. The base is several inches of insulation foam with a half inch glued on top with spaces cut out the size and shape of other pieces of scenery from the O scale layout. This way I did not have to actually “make” any more bits of scenery, like a second Exmore Diner, since that piece (among others) was specifically requested. I was able to just lift the modular units, like the Farmer’s Market and Greenhouses and slide them into the appropriate slots on the Traveling Layout. We also took the Boxcar Children display (G scale – Garden size) Niall and I were the baby-sitters for this show. We have learned that someone needs to be in constant attendance or things, even things we thought were adequately glued down, can disappear. Sad, but true. Niall stayed with the O-scale (Lionel size) and I stayed with the little N scale – 1/4th the size of a Lionel Train. This N scale is not modular. Niall really loves kids and is wonderful with them. He loves sharing his joy of just running the trains and teaching kids how to run them, too. I enjoy watching the people “discover” the little people and animals on the layouts. Since I love nature (and hate cities) there are loads of trees, bushes, weeds, and sometimes flowers and gardens on my layouts. Someone mentioned I had greenhouses on both the O and N scale layouts. “You must be a gardener,” one person said. Mostly I enjoy creating little worlds within little worlds where everybody is happy, life is simple, and nothing bad is going to happen… even without crossing lights at the tracks! Anyway, here are some shots of the show at Ker Place. DSC_0425_01 DSC_0426_01 DSC_0416_01 DSC_0418_01 DSC_0415_01

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Blogger problems - again

Trying to get Blogger to work. Cannot get it to publish. go figure. Correction - can't get the pictures to come out right. Get their code, but no images. Guess I need to work on this a little longer.

Sunday, December 06, 2015


WHAT A WEEK THIS HAS BEEN getting ready for the Santa Train – and then a showing at Ker Place (Onancock) next week. I feel like i have been at the Station everyday this past week – but seeing the kids enjoying it all makes all the aches and pains worthwhile. And, even better, my ego has enjoyed all the adults complimenting what we have done.

Best of all, the weather was with us yesterday. Temps in the 50s – no wind – sun to warm folks up even a bit more. Jackets left in the car… and we started with a heavy frost on the empty trailer waiting for a G scale layout. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the sizes of model trains, G scale is the size of the trains that are made to run outdoors in the Garden. It is double the size of the familiar O scale Lionel trains. We had a couple of those running in the Station, also some HO (Half O) and my little N scale in the show case – which is again half the size of the HO.

The day started with moving the boat (now Train) trailer into the sun to melt the frost, covering it with a garden cloth and 6 big bags of mulch into which we “planted” 7 live baby trees – cedar, juniper, ilex, and one I forget the name of. duh. Then the guys laid the track and we positioned some buildings and a covered bridge, a papier mache type hill and some more “plantings.” Add some more finer mulch and cover with moss from my backyard and, voila! Well, i added a few people and animals just for fun. The kids loved it!

We had some great people helping out – Marsha and Billye D made hot chocolate, Susan and Shannon (Shore Bank) made popcorn, Shannon’s son Luke helped pass it out, Debbie (PNC) took charge of the cookies. Chuck ran the O guage, Tom the HO (and the candy express!), Donna took charge of the G scale. Thanks to all the folks who helped by making/bringing cookies and brownies. You all made this Happy Day a success! I am not ignoring Niall who helped all over the place, from one end of the Station to the other.

So, here are some shots, starting with the not quite finished G scale:

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Meanwhile, inside the Station…….

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And finally, the train arrives, an exhausted Santa and Mrs Claus make it to the station thru the crowd…

DSC_0371_01DSC_0372_01  DSC_0388_01  DSC_0373_01  DSC_0374_01  DSC_0375_01 And then the kids……

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And, 100 kids later, Santa heads out and on to Parksley.

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