My name is Wanda Lee Callagy.  I really did not make this up.  I can’t help it if when people say it fast it rhymes a bit.  I looked up the word sarcasm and the meaning of it   I felt bad, because I always thought the gift could be a useful tool.     The dictionary told me that, so to speak.  I looked up the word.

It finally dawned on me.  I own a book called the Snark  Handbook.  The author was Lawrence Dorfman. In the pages I found so many funny quotes.  I realized if I told a story and I repeated these quotes some folks might not understand.   If I verbally said them, maybe.  If I used sign language it was worse. More worser.

The fact  did trouble me.  And I had sent it out for the whole wide world and I couldn’t believe everyone and I mean everyone could see it.  So, I took a break.  And one more thing to add if I may.

I love listening to music.  I own a really old guitar. Someone I thought I loved more than life itself helped me pick it out.  But, later I learned that there were two little boys born that proved something else to me. I had to share them with the whole world.  I had to learn to let go.  It was harder than I could ever imagine.  I kept misunderstanding.      I thought words like let it be and running on empty could not only be a lyric but I could listen.  I thought it might be a tool, like a hammer.  I mean, I thought it was cool.

Sadly, I also thought we were all in this together.  I had heard terms before like ego.  I just kept on.  But the I I  i i eye continued.   The worsted was that I had to look in a mirror.  And I remembered something.  I think i could smile.

I could just be falling in love again with we.   I hope it works out.  YOu be well.  Say it with flowers if that is what it takes.    And, PS, I did not notice spelling mistakes.  Darn it, now I have to look up me, me, me.  I get scared just posting that word.















For the love of the rails


time table


mighty crane




Going somewhere.


Jordan spreader


Young engineers


On its way

By Wanda Callagy

In August each year there is a group of folks who get together to share their talents and knowledge of working on the railroad.

The Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad offers not only this experience which is as hands on as one could want, from fixing tracks or engine workIMG_7870 IMG_7877 to simply enjoying the ride.

In 1997 the Leatherstocking Railway Historic Society as an organization was incorporated as a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) tax exempt educational corporation by the New York State Department of Education and became an affiliate of the National Railway Historical Society on May 7, 1983, being designated the Leatherstocking Chapter.  IMG_7897  IMG_7810 And, history to explore.  One of the objectives of the organization was not only to create a local railroad museum, but the acquisition and operation of the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad built in 1869.  A sixteen mile long tourist railroad brings visitors from Milford to Cooperstown, Home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Bruce Hodges, president of the organization since 1985 explained that it is the love by the volunteers  of the rails and the love of the history  who make this happen.  The train’s schedule includes everything from seeing the fall colors to having time with Santa.

“We have families who come year after year for some of our special trains, and one group travels from Boston, he added.  They now have grown with the tradition and bring their family.”

Ticket sales and volunteers keep this all alive, Hodges said.  ” The Railfan Day that we have the first weekend of August every year is a draw. Many bring their equipment in, such as the velocipede or pump cars for rides.  The day each year grows in more people visiting, more success, ” he said.

“We have a guest engineer program, and we are always looking for volunteers of many railroad disciplines such as brakemen or track work..something for everyone here.

The Cooperstown Blues Express is popular in the summer months, and is run a bit separately due to the liabilities of that equipment and maintaining a liquor license.  Weekly blues bands liven up the woodsy tour with music and dancing.   The Easter Bunny Express and the Train Robberies are busy trips, also,” Hodges  added.

For more information on the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society, or to get the 2015 operating schedule, visit their website at or reach the main office by telephone @607-432-2429.

“We always have time for questions, and we look forward to seeing new families.  Every day here we add a new page to the history of all this,” he says.  It is quite a legacy.”

Care to Cook?


2nd run through. Benefits many musicians in need of health care. Learn about this organization and the Blues Foundation.

Originally posted on long story, short:

Notes and photo by Wanda CallagyIMG_5041 There is something to be said about cooking a meal.  Learning to cook from scratch was an effort my mother shared, but at the time her skills were lost with me.  However, there may be hope yet.

I heard and read about this cookbook and picked up a copy while in Memphis while attending the International Blues Challenge there.  The proceeds of this project benefit the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust ) which in essence assists blues musicians and their families with health concerns.  Established by the Blues Foundation,  this project has helped many through donations and this collection of recipes were imagined and produced by Blues411.  Many sponsors helped to fund the printing costs so that 100% of monies raised goes to the HART Fund, and recipes were donated by blues fans, musicians, radio hosts, and other folks from around the world.

One may see a recipe from Gil Anthony and be…

View original 249 more words

Autumn project. Want to barter?


Beale Street, 2015

I need an assist with building a website that will contain my blogs and other articles I submit along with other projects. In return, I will give you words in an article or we can discuss photos if you are a musician or other person of interest. I am bringing this up now but the project needs to start in the fall. We could meet at a public library. Two to four hours time. Serious conversations only requested.

My farm

You know, really the title may be silly  and very misleading. I don’t own many animals. Three cats  chose to live here with me and I suffer from canine loss. I am determined not to go there as far as taking in more animals for awhile, anyway.  I need time.  Maybe add two hens for eggs after some work is done on the barn by fall, later.  Nothing like fresh eggs and spirited, active hens clucking and dancing out the window.

This spot here offers a desk and a small kitchen and a deck to see the stars.  I call it my gentlewoman’s farm.  After recently reading the book I started up some “Compost Stew”and am cleaning out the storage part of the barn (why do I need all this stuff?) The ferns came in beautifully and there is a nice balance of sun and shade all around me.  This I take in over coffee in the early morn these days.

See some pictures of my little garden and my watering duck, a gift from T-man and his mom and Lyla and Herbie.

Lettuce is growing here with tomato, squash of all types  and bell  peppers.  I buy fresh locally at stands.  The  blueberry farm has opened in Grand Gorge and on my list. The strawberries near Middleburg were wonderful this year.  I had none left to freeze after picking.  That is the fun of it.

Having a herb box  I use many in medicinal teas.  Wild violet, lavender, sage (I burn) and others can be found in the woods and I do have a great book  and identify first, and know this to be a good idea.  I also splurged on a couple of varieties new to me while purchasing more creeping perennials


Watering duck. Note matching gloves with a touch of blue.


Colorful lettuce.


Glass ornament surrounded by wild tomato.

to add to the rock garden. It is a weakness! I spend hours on the deck.  Sometimes I blast the music in the evenings.  Most times  listening to the night sounds coming in I crave.  I transplant many things and I putter close by  and am awaiting tree people to assist me with some limbs.

To pursue my earlier goals of adding many chickens, some miniature goats, and a lamb is a bit unsettling. Besides company they would be  for eggs, and to mow the property, moving around pens.  I get my magazines out..remember last winter.  I became a wimp.  I did not want to go out.  For days.  Pipes scared me and froze.    I barely made it to the barn a couple of times, imagining myself frozen  in time and I have pajamas on under my heavy coat, hat, and mittens.  Should have used the snowshoes.  Anyway, much tending.  I weigh this with my urge to travel.  Family, friends, music, projects, thrift shops, more music…so many books..lots of paths to take. Options can bring hope.

Last winter I got away to Memphis and other warmer places and had a good friend watch the place.  Another took the pup while I was off to the blues world there.  No worries.

Admittedly  being able to have the freedom to travel if I want to is very new. I make time for other interests, but at my own pace. This home is a comfort spot, a haven.  Cats are good company and they chase critters. Yet, if I want to visit and stay over for the fireworks, I can. Felines can be haughty, distant and independent, but welcome me back after enjoying their alone time. Traveling includes foreign lands or a different perspective around the block for me.

A home that nurtures. This is what this spot in the woods is.  Some place to be shared but also a hidey-hole.   I guess I CAN call it my gentlewoman’s farm after all.  I am seeking and growing and always learning (yes, over and over) and healing and as nature also reminds us to stay in the moment, I do.

A Writeshop

Join me this next Wednesday!   I will be at the Stamford Village Library @10:30am for a new program for youth ages 6-12.  Do you enjoy writing down a funny story?  Do you have new camping adventures from the summer?  Perhaps you want to send a letter to grampa, or you want to make your own joke book.    Supplies are provided as pencil and paper are the tools we need..bring your ideas and I will be there with a listening ear and a dictionary.   This week we may talk about your summer so far.  Do you swim?  Do you have animals for the fair?  Do you explore your neighbor’s woods with permission?


“Every hero has a story!”


The Stamford Village Library, 117 Main Street, Stamford, NY, 12167. Call this number for questions regarding their programs @607-652-5001. Check out their FB page!

Do you know the library has all kinds of new programs?  Book clubs to study groups to a chess club to knitting.   Something for all ages and interests.   Find something there for you!