Friday, November 17, 2006

Retaining wall fun

With the retaining wall finished, we needed to backfill with aggregate and dirt. Pete stepped up to fill in the aggregate and impressed us all with amazing bobcat skills!
Unfortunately, he could not make it to the site in the morning so we looked around to see who would take his place. Wait a minute...
No, no, no! I don't want to drive this thing...but Norbu and Ani Sonam would not give up on me.

Norbu watches as I try my first scoop. Yikes!

After receiving directions and a demonstration from Norbu, I manage to transport the dirt across the street to the Migyur Dorje stupa.

All of my buds are there to support me...Beth watches and makes sure I dont get too close to the stupa.

Pete continues filling the wall...

Uh you can see our bobcat has more than one purpose! Norchu's vehicle rolled down the hill into a creek...Pete and Sandy help her pull it out with the bobcat.

This was my first scoop behind the wall...can you tell I was a little bit nervous?

Ani Sonam cheers me on with Ani Dawa and Ashby there for support as well.

While waiting for the bobcat to return, sangha members pitch in with their shovels. Thanks Marilyn and Ashby!

Ani Sonam joins in on the fun.

We are always inviting you to join us at the stupas and circumambulate and pray...Ani Pema's dog did just that! Adorable, huh?

Okay, now that the dirt has been filled in, what is the next step? Mulch... we unload into the bobcat for Pete to transport...cuz they are heavy!!

Ani Sonam and I cant believe how much is left to heft into the bobcat...must take break...ugh.

Did I tell you this guy has skills or what? Thanks Pete!

We finished the wall before the election (which was our goal). Unfortunately, we were so focused on finishing that we did not take a picture of the finished product. I promise we will get that posted soon.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Okay, this is just between us...I really enjoyed learning how to drive the bobcat (dont tell Norbu and Ani Sonam or they will raz me) whats next? Maybe I can learn how to drive a forklift? Yeah!

By this effort may all sentient beings be free of suffering.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

November 2nd....Guru Yoga and following instructions...

Many years ago, when the Stupa was completed, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche informed us that we had a problem. (We are now use to such information) The bottom gold area should be touching the ground, it is called the "earth hugging layer". For many years folks puzzled over this and finally.... Posted by Picasa

Here's the solution we conceived...well...actually it wasn't our brainchild. We simply heard the instruction, and worked on finding a way to implement it. His Holiness had suggested some sort of wall with now you get to see concept become reality! This image is the one Ashby cooked up for us once we got a handle on actual solutions, meaning decorative concrete block. After many months of research and effort... Posted by Picasa

Monday the foundation for the wall was laid. Ani Yeshi and I (obsessed with this project!) each visited the Stupa in the dark to see it. This photo was taken Tuesday morning early, living in Poolesville has great advantages! Posted by Picasa

This was the status of the wall by the end of the day on Tuesday. Each of those large blocks weighs over 70lbs! Ani Yeshi and I were pretty relieved to not have to place them all! Not to mention the reality hitting us at how difficult it would have been to cut all the corner pieces and keep everything level....whew! Posted by Picasa

This is one thing we did notice that will need to be addressed. The path around the Stupa became pretty narrow in the southwest corner (the others look okay). We (or our grounds crew preferrably...we harm plants...) will need to move that flower bed back to make the path more uniform.... Posted by Picasa

Nothing drives a Stupa gal (or gals) crazier than activity that happens in our absence! So we both got up early and met at the Stupa to check out the progress this morning. The wall was finished, with the exception of a few capstones (shipping error....don't worry, our faithful contractor fixed this shots though, as it was dark when I left work). We were both overjoyed at how it turned out...but.... Posted by Picasa

Here's a shot of what she was looking at...that's a pretty big hole actually. We've been busy today scrambling for a plan to fill it in with aggregate and dirt, so we can finally get earth up to the earth hugging layer. We have bobcat fantasies...but we'll have to keep you posted as to whether we are that fortunate! But I'm guessing you want to get a glimpse of the wall! Posted by Picasa

Granted it is still a little dark, but had to swing by on the way to work to get the shot....So there you go! It's really there! This is not a "mock up" it is something you can touch! And more importantly, something that will hold the earth up to the "earth hugging layer" of the Stupa! Please do come out and see it for yourself! It's an amazing transformation, and it happened quickly thanks to Brook Lee, who gave us a super discounted rate for the job. Thanks as well to Kurt from Standard Supply, who worked with us until he found a way for the wall to be built (even when it meant finding someone to do it!). In case you're reading this, concerned you weren't able to generate any merit as this occurred, don't fret. : ) We'll be working hard at backfilling over the weekend. Our goal is by election day, so if you want to lend a hand even one shovel full of dirt or aggregate would be sufficient to generate tremendous blessings for the sake of beings! So bring your compassionate aspirations and join us for this long awaited event. Of course, if you can't get to the Stupa in person, your prayers are always welcome! Posted by Picasa