Thursday, February 26, 2015


BUT, boy, is it heavy!

We have had several snowfalls this year. It is almost embarrassing to mention it, especially to my friend Sarah who lives up in Eastport Maine where last week they had had 109 inches since January. We, on the other hand, have had maybe a foot? But we have had bitter cold temps – for us. If you are a regular reader, you might remember we have flowers in bloom some winters, all winter long. The Camellias start to bloom on my birthday in September and keep going until June. Not this year! In fact, my humongous camellias are bent over with snow today… from 20 feet to 10, so low I have had to duck under them. This is the one that always gives me a bloom on my birthday… the camellia right outside my computer-room window. It is as tall as the house.

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The pine tree is bent almost to the ground! Qwan Yin is under those prayer flags. See her?

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DSC_0043_01 Probably not gonna sit here to meditate for a while.

DSC_0044_01 Think Buddha’s nose is cold?

DSC_0038_01 The net over the blueberry patch is loaded with snow.

DSC_0034_01 The little de-icer has worked well! St Fwankie is wearing a nice coat and hat of snow.

DSC_0033_01 clothes lines and pine tree.

DSC_0057_01 I started to shovel the driveway… the little birds immediately came down to investigate. Notice how evenly they have spaced themselves out!

DSC_0051_01 I know you can see the truck, but do you see the van in front of it?

So, after taking these pictures and resting a little bit to relieve the leg cramps from the cold and trying to walk thru 7+ inches of snow, I went back to work on shoveling the driveway out. It generally takes me all day as I have to give the body a rest every 20 minutes. So I had the driveway about 1/4th of the way done and a black suburban-type truck pulled in… a man got out, took my shovel and finished my driveway. POOF! Just like that! He told me to go sit down, put my feet up, he had it all under control.

Who was this man? John Burr… REV. John Burr from the Baptist church here in town. No, I am not a member of his church. Yes, he knows I am a Buddhist. But John is a man who lives his religion. His God is Love. He puts his words into action. And so, he was driving around looking for old idiots such as I who have no business being out there shoveling that heavy snow. The driveway is clear, all the way out to the middle of the road, so if the plow ever goes thru here, there is nothing for it to shove back up into my driveway. Now how cool is that?

Did you get any snow last night? today?

Friday, February 13, 2015



Since pictures speak better than words sometimes, I will just put these shots on here.

DSC_1095  DSC_1097 DSC_1098    DSC_1101  They seemed to be playing Hide and Seek with me. I was sure there were 2 of them…DSC_1099DSC_1096

Wednesday, February 04, 2015


Currently at the Train Station, we are working with our local group of Boy Scouts as they are trying to earn their Railroading Merit Badge. It has been an interesting process, a process actually that started with passing a criminal check and getting clearance from the Boy Scouts by passing the Youth Protection Program. Currently all of our Board members have been certified by the Scouts and our certifications are posted in the Station.

As most of you know, I have a policy of not identifying kids on my blogs… some kids are never even shown clearly for their privacy and protection.

The boys have a certain amount of “desk” or book work to do and then we try to have some hands on activities with the model trains. It might be identifying the different type of freight cars – I bet there are more than you realize – or learning all about Train Safety, signals, warnings, or just about the different types of model trains that are available. Eventually, some of them will be building their own model railroad. Last week we learned about the unbelievable number of jobs related to the Railroads. We adults are learning things, too!

It has been a serious learning experience for me… I have always been more into the scenery than running the trains, so I have had to learn some things right along with them. Then, some of the classes have been easy for those of us who have traveled on buses, trains, or planes. 3 weeks ago, for example, we learned how to read a train schedule and planned a trip to Disney World since the trip the scout manual asked them to plan was a minimum of 500 miles.

We always have some parents there with us. They were interested in the cost of the train ride from Richmond to Orlando especially if one took a sleeper coach! 

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They are also learning about setting up a layout. As you can see, most of the smaller train (HO) layout is still under construction, but the trains run well and the boys know what each car is for and how to hook a train together and run it.

Stay tuned! More as we finish our classes!