Monday, April 27, 2009

Watching the apple tree buds open

Late Saturday night,
We sat out back,
And watched the apple tree buds open.

The night sounds clear in the newly warm air,
The birds and creatures stirred afar.

The swallows came back Saturday last,
And the bugs came just before them.

Did they know the bugs would be here then?
Those long distance masterful flying machines?

Or are they just a part of a master plan
Like the apple tree buds late Saturday night,
That we watch open.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

MS Walk Burlington Clear skies and Picnic for a hero

It is a beautiful perfect spring day in Vermont.
It poured rain last night which cleanses the pollen and gives the spring flowers, plants and trees a drink to carry on. It has been quite dry and allergy sufferers are suffering. The redwinged blackbirds are in full tweeter mode.
My step daughter is doing the MS Walk for which I am quite proud. She always raises money for research and supports programs.
I am thankful she will have a clear blue sky and fresh perfect 60 degree air.
Wish her luck!
My contributions have lapsed since we have been more miserly when I got denied disability insurance on our mortgage.
3 days after diagnosis, my parents and family did not even know yet.
I was have trouble verbalizing I have MS.
I went to our State of Vermont employee disability insurance and waited 1.5 hours to be told categorically No.
I said, Why don't you have a sign up front saying disabled need not apply.
And where is my disability?
I work and have a very mild case.
She said, My grandma lived to be in her 90's and had MS but we have rules.
Ironic cause and effect.
So my contribution is by participating in research.
I donate blood, side effects, extra clinic appointments, extra MRI's, and goofy tests.
I donate the fact that what I am taking may not be as good as what someone else takes, 'but one important point is
It is Free.
It is also sponsored through research funding at least in part by organizations like the National MS Society.
Thanks Janet.

Today is a Picnic for a hero, Captain Phillips who made it back in one piece and showed us again the gumption, persistence and strategic skills of Vermonters.
His philanthropic mission to deliver food to the pirate's families made it twice as heinous of a crime.

Thanks to Captain Phillips and family

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sean's picture and Hunter's Paradise

I want to put Sean's picture up. He was incensed I referred to a mothballed blog entry.

He gets that way.

And Hunter's Paradise is one of the oldest of Grandma's puzzles. It is missing 3 pieces but stunning nevertheless and surprising since there were no pictures on the boxes back then. Circ 1930. The last depression caused wallboard companies to print artwork on wallboard and cut them out.

These old Tuco puzzles are quite a challenge. Hunter is our Grandson as well so it was twice as fun to put together.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Our Eagle Co-child Virgil Caine flies right by us and we stood still.

For the past week I have ignored our Co-adopted golden eagle named Virgil Caine. In fact the week we plunged for tickets to see Levon Helm in May. That darn bird had been circling around PA and points south like teenagers do, just kicking the dust and exploring the surrounding areas inhabited by competing bird gang members.
So when I looked today, she (in this case, Virgil is a she) had not only flown past Woodstock,NY (roughly) and grazed the south end of VT and is now in Northern NH! She didn't even call except I did ignore her recent daily updates found at My fault.
Hopefully she will travel south via the Lake Champlain flyway since the fishing will probably be better for her then. She did that last fall.
Last year she flew a similar pathway in the spring to the one now.
I'll have to pay better attention so we can see if we can find her as she flies on her way south or north. Plenty of others birds have been activated into full spring mode with song and courting.
It is refreshing to hear them as it will be to hear Levon in person.
Will let you know how it is!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Uncle Willie

Uncle Willie was known to me only in a confidential relationship so I cannot say what we spoke about. Perhaps that adds to the secrecy and mystique of this German family with deep passions and silent cold stares. He was Fred's uncle who died a few weeks ago which we found out by accident, not direct notification.

More hints.

I can say he gave me permission to feel we did the right thing by giving up the barn and other dilapidated buildings thinking we might be committing some disrespectful act. Of course the buildings should go. Our brief highly enjoyable chat left me with seeing the man much more similar to my husband in personality, grit, independence, ingenuity, caring, charm and one of a kindness. The oldest man in the family.

We will miss that we were shut out of his life and wish him peace on his journey and the embrace forgiveness and love that heaven should bring.

The sheep barn disappeared as I looked at the calendar on April 3rd.

Willie died April 4th.

We saw a view likely not there when he was born, in this house, at the outset of world war 1. It is quite stunning. He was right. They should have got rid of that building a long time ago.

Auf Wiedersehen Willie.

Mary Gerdt

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Update Shard Villa Story

Update on my March 18th,2009 Shard Villa Story.
The photographer for the Shard Villa photo I posted is

Don Shall
Check out all his other nice works. The Shard Villa photos are fantastic.

FYI, the Villa is in a sort of legal limbo and we pray for a speedy return to it's original intent as a care home. Stay tuned and say a prayer for the lawyer who died 100 years ago this year and whose legacy is being tested in that snarly place, the courtroom.
More later.
Our little artichoke plants are looking good and onion plants are mostly up.
Spring has been cruelly cold with delightful days to tease us. Today my meeting brought me out on a beautiful perfect day and I begged not to go back into the cave with stale air to work.
I relented.
Hope you get out and take some deep breaths of spring air and stop and look at a spring flower.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My power animal

Jasper Sean is my power animal.
This sentence will ping the world wide web and some may wonder, what is a power animal?
Brenda my co worker who descends from Native American medicine people, told me a power animal eats you.
What?? I thought?
I wanted it to be a wolf since when younger, I wrote "Wolf's Den" in gray model car paint inside the little funky closet in my bedroom at that time on 128 East High.
It was my secret hiding place even when no one was looking for me. It was blistering smotheringly hot or freezing damp deep cold. I love wolves (from far away). Coyotes are scary sounding to me.
Then I thought perhaps my animal is a cat.
In the next few days Jasper Sean would be biting my fingers (we call him Sean after nephew Daniel Sean who was born the same year). I finally realized, He is my power animal!
(Sean looks like Paca, who brother Dan et al will remember.)
I tried to train him to high five and now he high five claws and has started love bites which with his wildness, sometimes hurt but have not bled.
There is a picture of Sean with our Captain Blakely in March 2008 on Town Meeting in my other mothballed blog.
Is there an animal eating at you? It may be your power animal.
Food for thought.
Yesterday, in a planned action by the neighbors, the sheep barn, granary and another building came down with the excavator and went up in flames. It was a welcome act. Today we saw the vulture named Ed checking out the final burning smoldering pile.
Our views are opening up to the west and it feels a relief. The poor old buildings were beyond repair and with their elimination, a new era here in NW Monkton.
Spring is arriving in morsels of warm days cool nights. The taps are off the maple trees. Some poor Vermonter is being held captive in the Indian Ocean. Say a prayer for him and his wife whose privacy is being hijacked by overzealous news reporters.
When they say she is in seclusion they don't know what people do in Vermont when the spring starts, mud season and you live on a remote back road. That means we don't invite news media or more cars to rut up our driveway.
Sean is napping as he likes to do.
I think he would approve of me saying he is number one power animal. I was surprised at my feline tendencies when I thought myself more canine.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wrong turns and the last song on a CD

Wrong Turns and the last song on a CD
Today I did a home visit and thought ahead to google the map.
Print the map and out the door.
Part way there I found it had only printed the segments of the map where I already knew the way. I tried to retrieve the rest of the map in my head.
I thought I knew it.
When passing my turn I saw the sign as some impatient moron was on my tail.
About that time the last song ended, specifically #13 on The Story by Brandi Carlisle.
I went another mile until I could pull off in a parking lot to check my old faithful printed map of the county. I carefully unfold the worn out but welcome creased tattered map and plan my route.
I got back on the road heading north and forgot to advance the song back to #1 which is what I usually do.
Suddenly a surprise I was amazed. Another song.
It was good.
Where was it?
After song 13 there was 2 minutes or so of dead silence. Then the real last song. I listened a few more times to the whole cut on my driving around the county and to the office.
I was amazed that a random wrong turn and combination of simple acts can lead to the discovery of a surprise you had all along.

Brandi Carlisle's CD itself is good.
One of my favorite lines of her and band's original work:
Broken sticks and broken stones,
they turn to dust just like our bones,
it's words that hurt the most, isn't it?

My advice for a change?
Get lost.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fort Ticonderoga

This is the view to the south from the top of Fort Ticonderoga. We took this picture during the Grand Encampment in 2007.

What a beautiful view and it is amazing how many times this treasured star shaped fortress changed hands.

The re enactors really get into period dress and have great raging battles with a representation of the history of the early days of America. French, English, Scottish, and many others were soldiers for one side or another in this power struggle for control of the imagined vast resources of the western continent.

American Indian natives were used as scouts and soldiers, many were killed and diseased and died from Europe's endemic plagues.

Smell the black powder and hear the crack boom of the cannons.

Hear the orders shouted in all languages by military men of various backgrounds and training.

Marching men, drills, the encampment where they refreshed, were fed and slept in fits to return to the fight all around them in the Adirondack wilderness.

The cannon blasts echo in the mountain haven where Lake Champlain connects with the waters that drain towards Saranac Lake and ultimately the Hudson.

This year 2009 is the 400Th anniversary of Samuel De Champlain's discovery of Lake Champlain. The native Americans knew of it's existence so much earlier. Also were vikings here earlier? and other ocean travellers?

We are grateful for the opportunity of living by such a beautiful treasure as Lake Champlain. Fort Ti is a well renovated historical treasure worth seeing as well.

By the Crown Point bridge to New York, there is a monument on the New York side that houses an original Rodin statue of Samuel De Champlain which was a gift from France.

Spring brought 1 inch of fluffy snow this morning after raining all day yesterday.

We slept in.

Have a great day in your fort.