Astronomy Picture of the Day

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year


Happy New Year
From the dark cold northeast US
Where I'll dream of apple blossoms tonight.
The cold winds howling
and snow flakes drifting, shifting in the moonless cloudy night.
That only means it's warmer
and the blue moon won't be seen
making it an even rarer occurence to enjoy.
Meanwhile the town still has not responded
to my requests to see what led them to want to sell my property
without even stopping by and telling me
I suppose I can call last year a decade ago,
Can I say it took them a decade to address my concerns?
I might be satisfied if they said they would never do this again to another person, another woman, another
woman person with or without MS.
But they will not.
Will they force me to seek "legal remedy" that as I said before is an
oxymoron.
They have let me go on long enough to publish it in this, my journal haven
read by friends I admire
and I hope entertain in some way.
Now share my hope that the town will snap out of their obstinate defiance to let me know
why were they taking my property?
why don't they think this is a big deal?
how will they stop this behavior?
I will not ask why they might hate me because a friend told me a Lakota truth
that anything you pay attention to gets bigger,
I decided I should pay attention to having a wonderful 2010 for my friends and I.
I will focus on resolving hateful behaviors by sludging through the bureaucracy.
I will send out happy thoughts to all you who read my blog and those who despise me as well.
What could it hurt?
Mary Gerdt, Monkton, Vermont 12.31.2009



Sunday, December 27, 2009

Do you think you have had a hard life?


This postcard is by Ellen Clapsaddle artist and entrepreneur.








I know you have had a hard life.
As Levon Helm sings "You got to move a long train."

How do I know?
Because you read to find the truth, you travel the world wide web of words
for
answers.

We found these 100 year old old postcards somewhere and I looked up the artist.
Ellen, according to accounts on the web, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
She was doing this captivating art for card companies. She ended up in Germany and was probably on the verge of being more successful in creating and selling cards. She had a partner in New York. A well travelled woman of early 1900's. World War 1 broke out and she was caught up in who knows what?
She was lost, no one heard from her. Her partner found her 6 years later in bad shape. She died in a mental institution where she played with dolls. This postcard haunted me. Such a playful artist.
I think of Ellen when  think I am having a hard day. What did she do to survive? Could I have?
Hope you have a brighter day thinking of Ellen.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Winter Wonderland

The lake evaporates as it cools and it came down in fluffy flakes and covered all the dirt, brown and gray with a bright white blanket of snow.
This afternoon, Santa brought us the Carolyn Wonderland World Tour poster.
Very impressive print and we will look for a frame.
We have been cranking her CD Miss Understood and one we got from amazon.
Great Christmas music, our chosen holiday of the darkness, Carolyn's voice and music shining through for us.
Ok I said she sounded like Janis Joplin and Stevie Ray Vaughn, but now as we get into her other music, we find layers upon layers of genre, styles, pieces of the whole that is unique to herself, Her music truly is one Carolyn Wonderland!
Hey, order some of her music, (& poster), you will not be disappointed.
carolynwonderland.com
Goes great by the tree and fire in chilly Vermont.
Merry Christmas, Mary

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A letter to Congress

I wrote this letter tonight to congressional delegates from Vermont.
I anticipate flak from some direction but I have ripened to an age where I could give a damn.

"Please vote no on this bill. I favor an approach that involves all clients and health care workers, not lawyers and actuaries. Do not force me to pay in a new direction. I have MS and am happy with my current system. Don't mess up a good thing. Focus on what's broke and stop playing with my healthcare with making deals for votes.Stop pretending you can save medicare dollars. People do and always will get sick and that costs money. Don't be labelled as the congress who spent all my grandchildren's money."


don't hate me because I am a nurse with 30 years experience from bedside nursing to the inner financial ugliness of the sick body business. let's not delude ourselves into thinking politicians have the ability to reform a system as complex as the nebulae the Hubble spies on. greetings from NW Monkton.
Mary Gerdt, health care consumer, coordinator and advocate of more common sense and less politics

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A numbers game

We are headed towards one high numbers holiday. We want to spend spend or maybe not depending on our beliefs and how we have adopted or changed them.
Numbers likewise serve as a guide in our lives as my brother Paul said.
I see certain sequences like a beacon at times and a comfort at others.
A warning is the absence of those numbers, a wrong turn.
2010 is coming and a decade into the new millennium. Do you feel all modern?
Can you even keep up? If you saw a sign, would you know it?
The days will get longer from here until June, a hopeful sign for the next 6 months.
Watch for your numbers.
You will know what I mean.
Mary

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice is only a day away.
We picked out our Christmas tree: a full squat scotch pine that sucked up water and looked better afterwards.
Now I feel the celebration has begun for us in the season of darkness back to light.
Did our ancestors wonder if it would get light again?
Do we?
Happy Solstice. Hope is just around the corner.
Guess we dodged the snow but also have quickly adapted to the winter and now have the feeling that 20 degrees is balmy. It has been bitter cold.
We sailed across the lake Champlain yesterday on the ferry. The seas were a little rough and exciting feeling. We could see where the powerful arctic cold air formed a line with the outer fringes of the southeastern snow delluge.
We got a break from snow but are burning more fuel.
Hope you all have a great week in your celebration of light.
Mary

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Near Land Grab in Vermont

Now did I get your attention???
Read the post just below again.
They almost took my property for bobcats and just hating us and I received a few comments by those scarred enough to believe it. Otherwise benign in resonance after being sent out to the web.

That is why this story is stranger than fiction, could happen to you and
a heinous breach of humanity.
Or is it a mere illustration that evolution failed to take the ape out of humans?

Mary Gerdt, Monkton Vermont

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Intro and a poem

Herrad gave me a wonderful award which I am grateful for.
Today, I was again trying to make sense of a process where the Town of Monkton tried to sell my property and I still have never seen the paperwork or the notes of why us?
I even asked the "Addy Indy" for a copy of whatever legal notice was allegedly posted in the pay version of the paper (I read the online) that some residents saw but I still have not received it or seen it.
So in the absence of real info, my imagination runs wild, knowing a few facts
Like the conservation committee minutes were talking about tax sales.
The town did not post minutes on the website (even if they don't have to),
The fact that there is a website leads me to think of that as a way to communicate.
When I saw "tax sale" in the minutes I had no idea it was me.
Apparently, I as the female co owner of a property must rely on my husband to tell me the bad news.
When friends have said they know of many couples who might fall victim to this fate.
That the Male landowner/husband is all the town needed to tell. Fair warning to all you "minor" AKA "Chattell" landowners.With gay marriage legal now, I wondered who the husband might be?
Apparently being 9 months late on property taxes can be soon enough for the town to sell your property, especially if it abuts some natural area.
So I thought I would get this out of my system well before my holiday of Christmas.
It is my way of processing what the 1st ammendment allows me to name "eco terrorism".

I am.

I am an endangered species,

A human seeking shelter, food, happiness.



Finding instead the hate of human beings as unpalatable as a deer finds a rotten acorn and spits it out.

I wish I could spit out all the hate that has come my way.



People are funny about wanting to save bobcats and ravens and bats

While ignoring the people who live on this property that our ancestors fought for

And paid for

Over and over again with taxes, blood, sweat and tears.



Yes the bobcat has an ally,

The bobcat I saw one morning a year or so ago,

Thinking maybe he was looking out for me, the

Endangered human. He took my breath away, this simple creature.

The ravens or crows or I call them Prussian eagles of my fantasy world

Call to me, click, crow and fly over with the whooshing sound of their wings, telling me perhaps,

"Welcome home", hoping I will stay because they like our leftover stale bread and bits of fat

And conversation as We greet Pa Crow in the morning, like my Celtic friend advised.



Could any of the screaming conservationists come and hug me,

Not my trees

And talk to the crows, not ravens, and call the

Mountain its first given name? *



I have felt like the people around me feel I have no right to something I work every day to hang onto,

Until some one finds a way to take it from me,

And perhaps that will be a good time for me to go extinct,

Knowing there will be no one to argue that

"She had a right to live here like the bobcat, crows, bats and the Prussian eagles."



God help the people who lurk about and cannot face my face and talk to me.

God help the people who want to take from me the only things I have ever owned.

God help the people who place animals above citizens,

Trees above the people who own and love them,

Bobcats over my grandchildren

Land over civility.

Fair warning to others in my situation.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Dean Mountain
  Dean's Cave

02/12/11. update.
I still have not received anything from the town explaining to me what the process was
whereby they decided to sell my property. I own 2 parcels.
I still have received nothing from the addy indy as I requested a copy of what was in their pay newspaper,
I feel is not public it is private when they charge money.
I still have not received more than a sorry so sad letter from all the entities I have written.
I consulted an attorney who advised me it costs a lot to go against city hall and that the
parties who orchestrated this will lie and never "break down on the stand like a Perry Mason show"
I know the court system now. It is a hostile environ. All I can do now is keep writing about Vermont's dirty secret. In fact, just google Vt property tax lien sales and find out how you too can cash in on the foreclosure of property by local municipalities to pay education and municipal taxes. mary gerdt, monkton, vt

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter Travel

We went to the other side of the state for an office meeting and secret santa "yankee swap".
I am thankful not to drive over the mountains and Fred did the honors.
We took 89 across by Montpelier, the capital and then by Barre, granite capital and home to many beautiful public sculptures Italian craftsmen have made over the years.
Then onto 302 east. You can actually see all this on google earth. It is a meandering paved road that goes by evergeen stands, logging sites, used car dealers...a lot of them for such a remote area.
On to South Ryegate which is in a cozy nook of mountains, moose, bear and today about a foot of snow or so, packed down by the above freezing temps.
We were so lucky the weather stayed above freezing, even a little above and the roads were not icy yet. Tonight a cold blast that really starts the first stages of cold winter, albeit above zero.
Hope you stay warm wherever you are.
Mary

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pictures of other Galaxies

Every Day a new image appears on my website
of Space scenes, dust clouds, intimate views
of far far away places.
Travel there through the pictures captured
by the Hubble and other astronomers, photographers.
Sometimes I just sit and stare for a second,
Grateful my taxes went to something
Captivatingly beautiful and for a reassurance
Man is a but tiny piece
of the whole and yet
What an unusual place we are all at,
After "evolution" as some believe
and before the day when it all blows up or inplodes
or vanishes and leaves a tiny
hard
heavy
fragment
and begin the process all over again.
mary

Friday, December 11, 2009

We recommend Carolyn Wonderland and Guy Forsyth for Christmas

We Recommend

Carolyn Wonderland and Guy Forsyth.

Great music, blends of perfection.
Their radio interview on Carolyn's facebook we follow.

Here is her website
http://www.carolynwonderland.com/

and Guy Forsyth's

http://guyforsyth.com/

Have a great musical journey.
Mary

Monday, December 7, 2009

Time

Time

Time, I told you has no beginning, no end,


An illusion we teach our children, an illusion

We convince ourselves.

So our linear thinking side of our brains will feel like,

There, all done, or Got through that or has not happened yet

Or I do not have the TIME.

This is a good month to bring this up since most humans feel pressure

This time of year to buy, give, spend or otherwise celebrate the season

Of darkness for the northern hemisphere dwellers.

This is not intended to make your hair hurt or your brain to freeze up, but it might.

This is not intended to tell you something to irritate you or anger you, but it might.

This is not even intended to distract you from your stressed out life.



This is to give you another perspective, a change of viewpoint, a way to see the world in a fresh light.

A world without Time.

No minutes, hours, days. No getting through something.

As I write this I watch the clock, ready to finish, and hope to post tonight.

Will I have time?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Periwinkle Blue

Outer space travel will require blankets.
It is cold out there.
And the evolution of fabrics and plastic bottle recycling has brought us to Flurr.
see fleece4sale.com
fleece4sale.com

This is about my periwinkle flurr blanket and why I question evolution.
Why did we ever give up sleeping on fur?

Periwinkle Blue


It is the color of the Earth from the shuttle or the moon. It is the color of

The blanket I made from flurr, this spun fleece fabric that is so warm we do not need the electric blanket.

I wanted to tell you my thoughts about a fabric meant to resemble

Fur, and that is so soft, warm and wonderful I want to tell everyone on the planet.

If man evolved from some cave dwelling Neanderthals, I assume with some hesitation that that means Man got smarter as time went on (even though I told you before there is no beginning and end of time).

I hesitate because to evolve beyond using fur as a blanket is not evolution to me.
Those cotton thermal blankets, poly blankets that get “pilly”, sheets, etc. They are all less than fur.

Now there is a glimmer of hope as man has created synthetic fur from plastic soda bottles. Spun garbage so to speak. Don't worry, the processing removes the icky stuff.
Don't use fabric softener (actually liquid wax with perfume), or high heat.
Tack pieces of fleece over drafty windows or doors.
I tested the temperature in the sunny window-behind the fleece it was 5-10 degrees warmer.

So evolve, again?
Get some flurr. You don't have to even bind the edges except if you are visually needy.
I told you before, it is space age fabric and what I will cover up with as we zoom by Mars on out of this solar system.
Mary

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Black birds they flock

The days get shorter, the light fades away


My heart is beating another day.

Black birds they flock,

They caw from tree tops

And fly in swirling

Patterns

What do they speak about?

On our 25th wedding anniversary I looked up and saw 25 crows,
Then more joined until I could not count anymore.

They flew in a swarm, a graceful organized chaotic swarm.

Did they do that knowing I was watching?

mary

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Image du jour



the torn and tattered
butterfly
lands atop our
zinnias
we started when
this butterfly
was way down south.
What a resourceful creature
who freely flies between ideal climates,
gives birth never to know
their offspring.
This butterfly lived I hope
a blessed life
coming north to find
the zinnias
we
planted.
mary

Friday, November 27, 2009

Socialized Medicines

Socialized Medicines...
I guess that is what the Eye doctor was referring to...
My eye doctor who couldn't diagnose my ms but could treat the optic neuritis thus maximally preserving my eyesight. He was informative as ever telling me
all about the latest while he was teaching a med student.
He said that in England, avonex is not covered for ms. Now I am stunned. They do cover "statins"...hey that's cholestrol lowering meds, right?
He keeps talking away and I can't get over avonex not being covered by an entire Government...?
That they think if you have more exacerabations and faster disease progression that that somehow saves money?
Oh the questions that raises.
Also the ignorance of bureaucratic controlling arms that presume to know the cause...do they think it is high cholestrol??
Maybe they figure since it is a shot they can call it icky or awful or inconvenient or too expensive.
Not that studies show it is effective to prevent disease progression.
11/27/09***after posting this, Lisa Emrich, brassandivory.blogspot.com is MS and RA info specialist corrected as you will see in the comments. Look to the groups she lists as advocates for sensible treatment in England. Thanks Lisa!!

My vision is 99 percent better after having had a run of iv steroids 4 years ago. I wondered if I lived in England, would my vision still have that blurry blotch?

Would I be taking a statin and when would I begin to fall?

Have a great black friday.
re gifting is recycling with a rebate of the money you didn't spend.
mary

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving Week in the US where we see symbols of turkey, harvest, abundance and the food shelf.
Feeding the hungry new children of the depression that has blanketed our fair country.
The difference between this depression and the 1930 depression is that back then people knew how to cope with it.
Our grandparents were resourceful and had gardens, took in boarders, bartered and scrimped, hoarded, shared with family. There were poor farms and overseers of the poor before welfare, Medicaid and community action agencies.
These new generations are dependent on the electronic "necessities" even taking a priority over food and basics.
Maslow's hierarchy turned upside down.
Everyone wanting the transformative qualities of higher intellectual functioning and reasoning all while
ignoring the basics: food,water, air, and fire.
I sincerely hope that whatever you celebrate at harvest time is a joyful experience. Herrad shared her stuffing recipe and I am thankful as it came just before we go to town to buy the trimmings.
And even if all you can afford is a silent prayer for those less fortunate, give it a try.
Do you sometimes look at the crowds and see faces from black and white photos like those of the "great depression?"
Do you wake up in the middle of the night disoriented from the cruelty, jealosy and cold hearted behavior of humans?
Give thanks, my friend, you are not alone.
I think about my grandfather Carl, "Kelly", whom I only know through the light in my Mother's eyes when she said "Dad", whom she lost in 1930.
I often wondered what were his nightmares as he saw first the days leading up the the depression, The roaring 20's and in the aftermath the pit of a fallen market, hungry children, jobless despair.
The night he clutched his chest and looked one last time into Fanny's eyes, was he praying for her and her two children and all he was unable to help?
He will always be a tall strapping man. He has never aged beyond that day when he left the material world.
He was my grandfather, and I look to his memories for understanding of the depression that hit his granddaughter with a modern day version of Grapes of Wrath.
Oh to have a few minutes with him,
Someday.
Mary

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Garlic went in today

The garlic went in today, about 100 "toes".
We soaked them in a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 quart water for a few hours. Fred saw that somewhere for preventing that black stuff on the garlic. We'll see how it works.
A friend gave us a few varieties but I lost track and in they went.
Later we will have to cover them up.
A few of the artichokes plants and a bunch of little plants are still hanging in there despite frosts as low as the upper teens. Bitter on the hill and when the sky is perfect clear like tonight.
Nice day today, milder than most of the summer.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Sock Sale

We traveled to Northfield, Vermont today for the cabot hosiery sock sale.
Also champion t-shirt, etc. sale.
The prices are higher, lines shorter, we did not get as many but are satisfied with what we got. I couldn't even get near the $1 shot socks bins where whole shoppers seem suspended upside down, sock diving. No, I thought, they need them more than I do.
Had a great lunch at Sarducci's in Montpelier. A fabulous menu of hardcore Italian delights. We got to visit with friends on the second Saturday of deer hunting season. Local merchants find ways to lure the "deer camp widows" who are eager to shop for the upcoming materialistically demanding holiday of your ethnic/belief choice.
It was a beautiful day driving over the Green Mountains even though Fred had to drive, I got a treat of looking at the tops of green mountains sans the green leaves. Infinite shades of brown, gray, and splotches of evergreens. The granite walls by the interstate even look colder after the leaves have fallen. A warm day in November. We will take all we can get.
Have a great day in your corner of the world.
Mary

Thursday, November 19, 2009

If Wishes Were Horses

My Mom always said, If wishes were horses, we would all ride like Kings.
Indeed, this is why I use the greeting "Best Wishes".
Figuring we would all like to be King if we could and ride around
spreading nothing, keeping all and being in charge.
If I were King, would I give my horse to the man who could not walk or
to the woman who wanted to see her Mother again.
If I were King would I invite subjects to the palace or
Would I have trouble accepting my differences and decide to dress as a
peasant and walk amongst the normal people?
Or would I hole up in the palace, riches at my feet, counting them ad infinitum, wasting precious time when
The palace gardener dusts off his clothes and shoes, picks up his basket of food and heads home to a loving wife and family.
I saw a shooting star tonight coming home.
I made a wish.
Mary Gerdt

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Notes on the Levon Helm concert post

I wanted to add a few author's notes to my previous post on the Levon Helm concert last Sunday night.

First, there is no film allowed in the studio.Hence the title,
no film festival. Festival because it was like a very tiny mature small scale Woodstock festival without the body odor, acid and baby births. It was like a middle aged baby boomer rave where we somehow were swept in by some power of the universe. I still wanted to mention the brass and winds section of Levon's band.
I took Tuba in school and always longed for the tunes I heard from Levon's Tuba Meister. I apologize for not knowing everyone's names. The trumpet, sax playing fantastic.Oh yes, and the piano/organ impressive. And the guitar player, bass player, oh, they all were great.
How did I know Levon was mouthing words? His neck veins weren't popping out. Also he follows orders or he would not have put out his 2 latest albums. By the way if you are a singer, you will want to protect your precious throat strings. Don't fray or stress them. Levon is a good role model for working with a voice coach to save his throat strings.
We ordered The Midnight Ramble Phot book by Paul Raia. It is supposed to come soon.
Now let me tell you a little of the times I turned to The band, then Levon.
High school-just getting exposed. Donna and I saw The Last Waltz. Flunked out of engineering school and just before nursing school I went from Illinios to the Catskills with friend Judy. It was a wonderful trip. She had a boombox. What did I play over and over again on those long stretches? The Band Stage fright.
Katie and Suzie died a couple years later. My roommate and friends. Patty took her albums for safe keeping. She made me 2 tapes, The Band and the Dead. Over the years we played those tapes to dull rags. In the 90's we saw The Band at a local barn. So close up I got nervous. We ended up out on the patio with friends enjoying that familiar music and lyrics. A few years ago we got The new DVD release of the Last Waltz and I was so sad when I heard Rick and Richard were gone. I ached for the truth. I couldn't believe it. I searched and found Levon's book This Wheel's on Fire and we both read it. What a revelation. So well written. So revealing. So honest.
Explaining Levon's talents came from his journeys to and through different music genres.
Most recently stumbling onto his Midnight Rambles and how I came to write about this extraodinary man.
So yes, it is about me too and the effect music has in our lives.
It is also about how entertainers have to have an audience and I hope we were a welcome audience.
And we hope to see the Ramble again and strengthen our lives.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The No Film Festival

The No Film Festival
by mary e. gerdt. monkton vermont


"the trials of the world are all heaven's pearls" Electric Dirt Levon Helm Band

Angels were singing last night in Woodstock and they brought us a gift for having a hard year
and recent stress. My vision of heaven is Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble.
We were blessed to have tickets and yes that is a religious statement.
Because Levon's church is a healing place. We pray for Levon's healing and for his beloved soulmate Sandy, Amy and family and friends/staff. After paying the taxes on the farm
we realized there is more to life than death and taxes which are certain, however we do
control our destiny. Saturday morning Fred asked me to a special ramble like he said 25 years ago after I told him to.Yes was all I could say then and now.
We were more than pleasantly surprised again at the professional caring staff, the relaxed atmosphere, the musicians extraordinaire.
There was a band at the beginning who I enjoyed but I don't have their name. Wonderful sound.
Then proceeded the following fabulous bands filled with joy of music and dedication to a grueling, demanding rewarding lifestyle. Look them up. They are great!
Guy Forsyth. Part magician, part carnival barker, all musician and director of a tight group. He enthusiastically shares the stage with Carolyn Wonderland with her extreme vocal ranges, mastery of amazing guitar licks eerily reminiscent of Janis Joplin and Stevie Ray Vaughn. She seemed surprised at the audiences roars. Janis and SRV are back I marvelled. And so music goes. The techniques and styles handed off so that it may never be lost.
Waylon Payne has a touching voice and natural skill at playing. Hubert Sumlin showed us his masterful sweet style and those beautiful notes and humor.
Kris Kristofferson entered the room and we had already been saturated with seriously fine music.
He shared his life of music and allowed us to see how his simple complex melodies shaped us.
We saw he and his wife communicating silently as couples do, and share a moment like a song he wrote for his children. I got teary. That song will outlive us all and we are truly honored we saw the unplugged Kris Kristofferson.
Last but certainly not least is the man who brought the southern rambles to the New York scene. He fused all the genres he immersed himself in. Most of all to us, he allowed us to have a glimpse at his barn of memories.
I have trouble remembering all the songs and sets. I have no trouble remembering the feeling when that talented man with a cape began to walk through the crowd and the cheers started on one end of the barn and went clear through. The roar was therapeutic. We knew what was coming. We had seen and heard Levon before, and we knew we would never be the same.
Levon and Amy Helm, Theresa Williams and Larry Campbell and all the rest of the band who are each a master and together a heaven's choir. Levon voice comes through again in his looks, glances. mouthing words and his feeling on the drums. We bought awhile ago the 2 DVD set available at levonhelm.com.
On one DVD, Little Sammy sang because Levon could not sing-doctor's orders. The second was Levon singing again. They both show equal superior clean raw talent.
Is it my imagination that he beats those drums with even more expression when denied voice? It feels that way. I saw the drumsticks quiver above the skins and his hands seemed still. Voice or not, He is always a joy to watch and listen to and the rest of the band complements each other in perfect synergy.
Thanks Levon, you are a great human being.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Sentimental journey

We are close to our 25 year anniversary of marriage.
We have traveled to many scary and happy places and places we don't even remember anymore.
25 plus trips around the sun with my husband.
Silver anniversary.
Irony too as we have been drained of our silver by the tax man. Ready for a tea party in North west Monkton!
So when the email came Friday night, urgent midnight ramble, short notice, discounted tickets, we set our trauma to the side where it belongs and ordered the tickets.
A Spontaneous, desparately needed distraction.
We remember our first ramble, Levon Helm's birthday which was the most amazing few hours I have ever spent.
Tonight we will treat ourselves again.
Life is short. Taxes paid up another year.
We are going to the RAMBLE!!!!!
and yes, you will hear all about it!
Mary Gerdt

Friday, November 13, 2009

MS and the Moons

MS and the Moons





I look at the Hubble/astronomy link every day (below). I really liked seeing the Martian moon (above), imagining the streaks were roads but my realistic side saw they really looked liked long scorch marks.

The big crater in a crater. Insult to injury.

So many little nicks, direct hits by rocks and rubble, some even disturbing its orbit, setting it off course.

One of those asteroids or other space rubble may even have knocked the theoretical atmosphere off this cute little moon.

Or was it always a cold looking irregular shaped rock?





What does MS have to do with Martian moons?



When I saw my MRI for the first time, I almost passed out. My neck lesion lit up light a Christmas tree bulb, leading to what had been more than a decade long search for the truth.

But my brain really scared me. Like swiss cheese, I saw. Disbelief looked at the Doctor who was numb to seeing this. These lesions had been there all the time but never explained. I had always heard my tests were normal.



I thought about that as I saw the moon with all its scars.

The moon reminds me of the vision of those pockmarks on my brain that don’t seem to affect anything but does the damage still remain?



Have I lost my atmosphere that can burn down the rocks coming at me?

Do I ever feel out there?

Oh Mary, come back to Earth.



p.s. they found water on our moon. Watch the moon real estate futures market now…

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Look into the eyes of Columbus

Look into the eyes of Columbus.
He will tell you the answers.
Thanks Deb,
Best wishes Mary



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Oils from The Betsy Gerdt Collection

Sam sent images of 2 more of Mom's paintings.
Remember the Edwardsville of the 1960's.

Main Street


double click to enlarge.



Vanzo's Menu





I hope you enjoy this walk into the past
Thanks Sam!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Morning Star

I woke up this dark night unable to sleep and
Looked out the window. The sky a perfect clear.
The star or planet I don't care it's name,
Shined at me as if nodding, waves of light called twinkling.
Brandi's eyes twinkled to me yesterday and
Reminded me of how Uncle Jay's eyes twinkled.
B.B.King's eyes twinkled from far away in a full auditorium of people.
My Mom and her aunts and cousins and friends twinkled.
Fred's eyes twinkle.
So do mine.
Do we all contain the twinkling light of that extraterristial beacon I saw this morning and other sleepless mornings?
Maybe so.
This morning I preferred the company of my companion star or planet while most of the rest of the humans slept.
Feeling under the weather today.
Mary

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sprachlos

Sprachlos is one German word I use instead of the English "speechless".



In fact Speechless implies "less speech".


When in fact Sprachlos is the absence of speech.


No speech.


That slack jawed look when your chin drops and you breathe faster and your chest heaves up and down in agonizing sighs.


Your eyes fall to the floor, your posture slacks.


You are beaten down. You cannot even talk.


You are Sprachlos.


You do not believe what you just heard.


When you stop speaking it is in the spirit of denial.


Ego protective.


This couldn't, wouldn't, shouldn’t have happened.


Preposterous, outrageous, outlandish, sickening,


The feeling in the pit of your stomach.


Is sprachlos physical? Psychological?


Can more than one person be affected?


Does anyone react when they see the signs?


What do you say when you begin to speak again?






German proverb: Be Silent. Or say something better than silence.


I am sprachlos.






Mary Gerdt

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Long Nights, Beaver Moon

Long Nights Beaver Moon
by Mary E. Gerdt

Long nights, cloudy mist
beavers chew
and gnaw their
chosen trees.

Long nights, light through
Sounds are scarier
Cold is deeper
Can you hear the beavers chew?

Long Nights, Full Moon
Beaver moon
See the spikes
they leave?

Long nights
Splashing tails
They return to their homes
and talk about the moon.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Stick season


It is Stick Season in Vermont
Where we go without our famous green colors until next spring in April or May.
This picture is of our old truck
that went to a new home.
Many of the old vehicles being scrapped
due to the high price of metal.
Perhaps that will make this a rare photo someday.
best wishes.mary

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Answer

The Answer.

Did I get your attention?
Are you looking for the next line?
Is the media fooling the part of your brain that is dying to cut to "the end", "fine", all done, mission accomplished?
Do you keep spinning around on this planet feeling still and wondering why nothing and everything seems to be changing?
Do you wake up in a panic sometimes feeling you have no idea where you or anyone or anything is going?
Do I mourn the whole system where 2 people this week told me they can't afford their cardiac medication? And I know the system these politician prostitutes is creating would not even be useful as cat litter. They are politicians. They did not ask me, the health care provider and consumer what people need. People need people, not a new system.
Don't throw politics in with caring for humans.
But what is the answer?
I don't know, only questions.

Mary

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Read to me

"Read to me."
 Hunter said without saying a word.
"Now."
Hunter said in an impatient tone.
Still no words but the actions, his eyes were clear,
The intention was there,
The demands undeniable,
unable to be refused
and oh so precious in my memory.
Hunter, How can 16 months give you so much
knowledge and yet,
as soon as the book was 3/4 done,
Hunter was off to his next task
with equal full bore forward attention
That I marvel at.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Bridge is Closed

The bridge is closed
That goes over Lake Champlain
Between Chimney Point,Vermont and Crown Point in New York State.
It has been 400 years
since a French man named Champlain
came here
to explore new real estate
as men have done since
and we wonder
when where and how
the new bridge will
be constructed.
We hope that the residents of both sides can weather this unusual occurence with the least amount of harm. So many rely on the traffic across and around the bridge. I lost the picture of the rusty piers. Just as well it is a scary one. We were on it a few weeks ago.
Best wishes also to the ferry operators who are keeping the traffic flowing.
Mary

Friday, October 23, 2009

Late Foliage Season

It is late
in the foliage season with leaves
falling to the ground fast and furiously.
Piling up in the front yard
We let the wind take what it will
Up to the woods
Where squirrels take cover.
Have a great fall season.
Mary

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blog Interrupted

Fresh Post




My internet connection has gone

Kafluey

(is that how it is spelled?)

Maybe

Koophlooey?

Caphluey?

What does it matter?



I am (have been) unable to post to my blog

That has become

A refuge for my thoughts

And documentation of my human travel experience

Even if it only

Scratches the surface,

And then only when I can get

A connection.



Well I am writing this 10/15/2009 Thursday PM in Monkton, Vermont

And hoping the phone guys can get

The lines going again.

Don’t take me wrong,

This has caused me to rethink

My reliance on the internet

And how there are a billion starving people in the world

Which I heard on the radio.

So why are my connection contributions so important?

I found myself whining and caught myself as explained above.



So happy we planted seeds and are still reaping the rewards.

I hope you have enough to eat.

Consider growing even one thing to eat.

Will I still post when I can get back on?

Of course.

I hope what I write helps even one person even if that is myself.

I hope you have a great day, wherever you are on the planet, and have food and a warm place to sleep. This is in advance and

Yet to be posted….when the internet comes back. Mary

10/20/09. The internet came back on just as I was getting used to be unconnected again.
I had wanted to check if Mercury has been retrograde but I couldn't google.
Best wishes on making your connections. M

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Poetry: 340 and Music

Three Four Oh


340



The code


Some one


Thought


Should describe what


I have and others have


And try to describe


By words


And symptoms


As varied


As the colors on a rainbow.






340


The international number


That doctors use


And insurance companies


Cringe at when they see


The number


That means expensive


Meds, treatments and tests


And a person who may not work


Long enough to pay it all back






340


I looked for wisdom in that number


And some sign


That the number meant something to me


Or those others with what I have


That quirky strange set of symptoms no one can see but me right now


Some day perhaps I could be identified


By wheels or a cane or a staggering gait.


For now I can keep others from knowing


What I have


Is


340


_____________________________________________________

notes: "340" is the International Coding Term for Multiple Sclerosis.
It is used for Doctors, Hospitals, billing, etc.
in numerolgy it is reduced to "7" which is a very unique number. Am I over googling???
Oh, who cares....mary
_____________________________________________________

Also I wanted to put a link to our favorite vinyl music station going through some hard times. Help support them if you can.



http://www.musicheads.us/

Have a great day werever you are!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Notes on Mom's pictures

I wanted to write a few notes about Mom's oil painting "period" in her life.
The dates started about 1967-and went on for a few years. She took a class and for awhile her art teacher was mine as well. I longed to be able to put what was in my head onto the canvas but alas I am not able to like Mom did.
I used to watch her create and was flattered she did my image.
When I asked her why she did not "sign" my picture, she said a good artist does not need to sign for you to know it is their art. I guess that is true about a lot of things.
I pitched a fit about the same art teacher. He said I did not do a project because he said it was too good.
I knew I did. So I imagine all my fits in the seventh grade might have distracted Mom. Or maybe she just lost interest as I have done many times in exploring a new genre.
She did submit "Mark Twain" in a contest. She submitted his painting as a historic figure.
She lost the contest because she had actually painted "Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain". It was a show that played about that time. So the judge felt she was painting a modern image of a person playing an historic figure.
I felt like it was splitting hairs and not really fair. It would not be the last time I felt humans would be unfair.
Ah, the pain of self expression.
Mary

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More of Mom's pictures

More of Mom's pictures.
I can still smell the oils and I loved all the colors of paint.

Mark Twain



Mary (me)



My photo



a little better view of The Cat



We always called him "The Indian"


I hope you enjoy!
Mary

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mom's paintings


Mom's Art

Mom painted these
about the time I was in 10 to 12 or so.

I love the cat.



The Fish



The Zinnias.


I have a few more but have to get them photographed and downloaded.

I hope you enjoy Mom's paintings.

Mary

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Hard Frost

A Hard Frost swept over the the valley and nothing escaped damage this time.
Jack Frost he is called, a rascal for sure.
We picked all the peppers and medium artichokes (covered large ones for flowers).
and watermelon, broccoli and spaghetti squash.
At least the ragweed is dead too and the mold can settle a little clearing the air.
And today's rain means we can stay in and relax.
Good with the bad.
Have a great day wherever you are on the planet.
Mary

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Christopher Reeve (on Friday)

I have been wanting to post a link to Christopher Reeves website. It is posted below. What a marvelous person he was and his wife as well. Now his kids are picking up their parent's torch so that others may benefit from his famous name and his more importantly his work with spinal cord injury.
Before Christopher Reeve's accident, I was a hospital neuro nurse who cared for patients after spinal cord injuries and talked to them about "acceptance", "moving on from anger", in those days we would close the door and have a talk. I tried to teach new patients how to survive in the world from a chair with a body that could not move but still affected their health. I tried to teach them to see themselves in a new light.
Now after Christopher Reeve's courageous struggles and refusal to accept the status quo, we can see progress being made.
Thanks Christopher Reeve, Dana and now their children for supporting research and development of new ways and new treatments.

Stop by and give them a hand.

christopherreeve.org

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Autumnal Equinox

These pictures are from last year
but they show the range from  a late view
below  \|/


to peak in the maple woods
above /|\

We just have dabs of color today in the valley.
Nice mild weather after a near killing garden frost.
The garden looks pretty rugged but we did can saurkraut and stewed tomatoes last weekend
(tomatoes we got from Paul Mazza's wonderful farmstand.)
We steamed the artichokes and ripped their hearts out and froze in chicken broth for leek artichoke soup and appreciate why those little jars of marinated chokes cost so much.
I think I still have thorns. We left a few to flower fully and want to take pictures.
The plants are cold tolerant but the next frost will be a killer for sure.
So is the season of autumn.
Have a great day in your part of the planet.
Mary

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall Rolls In

Fall rolls in
by Mary E. Gerdt 2009
all rights reserved
Fall rolls in with a fury
Like squalls on the oceans
Or when you can't open a can
Or you drop a nice thing.
Fall colors amazing
While the weather holds out
Lots of brown this year
The summer was hard.
Falls I remember were sad with my loss
Some were happy
relief
was tucked into bed
For the long winter is coming
The starlings they fly
In a great
Brilliant
Miraculously
Circuitously
Bizarrely
Together
pattern of aerial dance
for such a silly looking bird.
have a nice fall.
mary

Monday, September 14, 2009

Small things

Small Things
by Mary E. Gerdt 2009. all rights reserved.
("Paws off!" Tommy would say)

Small things
can mean a lot to humans.
No this is not philosophical.
This is practical. My cubicle neighbor suggested it for just about anything external to a person's or dog's body.
I guess I had been warned in nursing school 30 years ago, that it could be harmful and should be treated with caution.
Well, that is true to an extent. The percentage/concentration was higher then for our mother's remedy nicknamed "peroxide"
or "Proxide" for expediency since it usually meant a scrape, bump or sore.
In fact it works well for all those uses unless a very deep abscess and even then just keep it out of the inside of the body because it foams.
For athlete's foot, fungal stuff, I keep a dark colored (light degrades it) squirt bottle in the bathtub. Squirt areas prone to fungus after shower and towel off.
Then I spray the tub area and shower curtain.
It turns to water and oxygen. No residue.
I clean all bathroom and kitchen surfaces and the scrubbing bubbles help de-scum and makes things shine. I spray on my sponge to keep fresh.
I know there are more uses. We have found less reliance on lysol, etc products and anti fungal stuff and also feel better for it.
So I know that you too may appreciate one of the little things that make this a better stay on Earth.
Think about it, it is just water and oxygen.
Watch out for heavier strengths-may need to be diluted. I can hear my nursing instructor after all these years.
Mary
P.S. Pat Leahy and Peter Welch wrote back their standard form letters. Better than nothing but not as personal or passionate as I was when writing them. Same old expectations getting in the way. It was to me as if what I wrote had no meaning. That hurts an egotistical writer like myself.mg

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Sun Came Up

The Sun Came up
by Mary E. Gerdt
2009 all rights reserved

The Sun
Came up this morning,
In all its full glory,
A great friend I take for granted,
What if the Sun did not come up?

The Moon,
A companion on nights when
I cannot sleep and I wonder
If there is anything softer than moonlight?

The stars,
So often I ignore,
Or just cannot find the time,
To go out to see them,
Instead watching them through
The Hubble images I get
On the computer.

The Space,
In between this and that or this star and that star
Or me and you,
The space we never see
And think we know is there
Because someone told us there is space
Between this and that.

Molecules and atoms look different in my mind than in the minds of my grandchildren
Because science has changed and
I still see the electron orbiting the nucleus
And wonder how I would see things differently
If I were born today
Instead of 50 plus years ago.

The Earth I stand on feels so solid,
And stationary,
Could it really be just atoms and spaces,
More spaces than atoms,
Spinning in time,
While I am feeling totally still?

The time it takes to read this,
Will be gone before you know it,
And
Will you wonder as I do,
If the time really went anywhere,
Or is it still here,
Waiting for me to notice how time
Can be a ball,
Not a line,
Orbiting like our Earth home,
Waiting for us to come back
To where we began,
Looking at the Sun, from the Earth
For the first time.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Earthly Connections

Thanks to Herrad for the connection and award.
I will try to post it when I have more patience.
Check out Maia's blog

http://maiasintothemoonlight.blogspot.com/

I love traveling through this virtual web of humans.
Somehow it all makes our problems a little distant even for a moment or two.

Herrad follows so many of us and still manages to find and post the most amazing photos and imagery.
I treasure her Trinidad descriptions.
Earthly neighbors.
Best wishes.
Mary

Monday, September 7, 2009

Blog reruns

It is Labor Day in the US where we celebrate having a job.
Here is a rerun from my early blogging.
I'm taking the day off.
Have a great fall day (or spring day south of the equator.)

Summer memories are warm and sweet. I wanted to share a poem even while fearing once I let it out I will be unable to ever outdo it in feeling and depth of myself immersed therein.

Coyote Night by Mary Gerdt * 2008 all rights reserved

When we walk down a road in the dark,
And the Coyotes are crying their mournful cry,
The smells of summer drift and hang in the valley
And little night birds chirp goodnight.
The stars peek out from the clouds of August mist
The moon hangs over the hills by home.
My memories fade to days gone by
When we looked at the nights from inside.
Now we walk on the path outside
Not afraid anymore.
While the coyotes cry.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Radio Logic

Radio Logic



I first heard Adrian Gilbert on The Art Bell Show. Late night radio where the listeners called in as well as guests who covered all kinds of subjects.

My blog is about the universe which we know consists of infinite possibilities.

Relax, sit back and check out



http://www.adriangilbert.co.uk/



All that political debating will seem minor compared to the end times.



Mary

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Change in Colors

I changed my colors and layout since reading with the black background can be difficult and draining.
I hope you are having a great day as we prepare for the coming change in color in Vermont.
For us the summer is over August 31st. Now we enter the magic cooler season, though after the summer, 40 at night is status quo.
Short post tonight.
Best wishes.
Mary

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Math

I have to be brief today because it is Sunday, not a day of rest, but is a day we try to catch up with chores and priority garden activity.I have photos but they are still in the camera and will have to wait for a rainy day. Tropical storm Danny (who is also my brother), is sending fluffy ocean clouds our way and blowing winds to hopefully dry out the garden.We want to salvage what we can of the tomatoes decimated by late blight.
What does that have to do with new math?
Well,
I contemplated what to write this week and decided the healthcare debate is still a hot topic. Getting my colonoscopy instructions drove it home.
Every time we "interface" or have an "encounter" with the healthcare system, our heart rate beats a little faster, we look around to see if anyone is watching, we make arrangements considering every possible detail and its probability.
Sort of like calculus with many variables missing.
We look at the statistics, the likelihood of something occurring.
And with the thousand page magic bill the house has cooked up with their secret recipe, we analyze the content and are not fooled by the intimidating stack of pages.
After all, they just got us used to computing in Billions and Trillions.
What is a thousand anymore??
I know the secret formula for healthcare cannot exist in a thousand page document.
The success of healthcare depends, as it always has, on the dedication of caring human beings and the detachment from bureaucracy, not the embracing.
See Herrad's story on her blog which I follow impotently.
In the US her new wheelchair would potentially take as long to order and bureaucrats would be having to approve if she were on HMO or Medicaid. But she also would have appeal rights, activists in legal aid, politicians could speak up for her.
I vote for incremental changes to the current system we have in the US.
That's where the fractions come in handy.
Have a great day wherever you are.
Mary