Thursday, December 30, 2010


Sunset a few minutes later each day now.
Trying out the sony sure shot.
Bear with me...

one more with the barn

Warm spell on the way, aka January thaw.
will be 40's F then back down below freezing.

Keep warm wherever you are........mary
Hope to post my blogger review tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sean's View

Sean sitting on his shelf where he often looks out to the back yard.
He was patient as I clicked to find the right pose.

Monday, December 27, 2010

For my doctor

For Hillel Panitch,
my primary MS doctor and the relentless researcher of MS,
who had stellar bedside manner and
who I really had to be talked into seeing by my eye doctor. In the end he became my first choice neuro doctor and I am very picky, being an "old neuro nurse".
I wrote this shortly after I found out he was gone.

I was sitting in the McDonalds parking lot,
Eating my lunch on the road where I work
(I still work full time, thanks Dr. P...)
Assessing clients

And helping them access personal care.

The clinic called and my heart always skips a beat when they call me

Back to my other reality....

This is YOUR life, not some other sufferer.

They wanted to invite me to a tribute to Dr Panitch.

I was on the “a” list.

I looked around, was there anyone looking at me?

Did anyone see? Hear?

I wanted to be polite, respectful,

I wanted to say, Yes.

My schedule flashing in my head.

How could I do that, I thought.
It is for the MS society.

The people who thought my MS story was too long and when I shortened it they said it wasn’t quite right.

But it is for Dr Panitch, I thought,
A lifetime achievement award.

No, I said, so plainly, No.

I am honored (and I was sincerely),

But I cannot do it.

I lived in two worlds,

The Neuro Nurse and the Neuro patient.

My friends, coworkers from 30 years ago would be there,

as health care professionals.

How would I fit in?

My world, a subset of both nurse and patient.

Hearing he is gone from our material world,

I am relieved I was not there,

That my memories can be of him standing in the hallway,

Trying to peek at my progress on his study meds,

Briefly making eye contact, I smiled at him,

Trying to say what he has done for me is appreciated.

He has bought me some time,

He has given me expensive cutting edge treatment I would have otherwise gone without,

He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, we will take care of you.”


He meant every word.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chocolate fixes everything

Christmas 2010 and people are saying Merry Christmas again, freer
and without hesitation or thought of taking it back or modifying to a happy holiday...
We rode on the ferry to NY to save some money, last minute shopping and got to see the heavy snow on the mountains and moderate levels in the valley. Nice blue sky, calm and cold. New bridge is coming along.
I kept thinking about how, as far back as I remember, that there was no S*nt*. You know who.
It was no mystery to me where the presents came from and how behavior was monitored and the good was rewarded
whether a fat mythical white bearded jolly man or my parents.
My father had to work at the post office delivering mail and packages until late.
He would come home very tired to some wound up kids and a tree with gifts.
We had to be patient and would try to sit still and not get in trouble.
When he walked in the door, he always had a big box of chocolate called
Mavrakos. I assume that was the family name but it was exquisite big triangular chunks
of pure chocolate. I could not wait to break of a triangle and start gnawing.
Soon the floor would be a sea of paper and we would be fondling our take.
Mom's and Sis's cookies on plates all around.
The tree with the old ornaments.
These memories come back when I picked up a couple of chocolate bars.
Dad figuring, even though he had to work late,
That chocolate would fix everything.
Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Music Link

Here is a link to an amazing slice of music by some of our favorite musicians.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Are humans humane?

Are Humans humane?
Or is it just an illusion, a mirage?

Who made the definition, anyway,
You know, of the word, "humane"?

What does it mean?
The word, "humane"?

Use it in a sentence....

"She was humane, the way she..
"She was inhumane, the way she...
"She did all humanly possible...
no, wrong word,
"He went over to the humane woman...
oh forget it.

Like sometimes we might say,
"That [some heinous act] was inhumane."

But what is heinous anymore?
It seems there are things I think are bad that someone else might find pleasure from.
And vice versa.

So perhaps we need humane definitions,
So that we could refer to the basics when we struggle to be nice.

Maybe each of us may write our own code
of what we think humane is?
How humans should act?

The laws don't seem to mean as much anymore,
When humans do inhumane things and
no one cares.

The illusion of the status of being an humane human,
Do we all fail the test in some way?

If monkeys evolved into humans,
then is it because we call ourselves humane?
Or are humane?
Or want to be humane?

And why are monkeys happy the way they are?
Do they forget about being humane and therein lies their happiness?

And finally,
Why am I surprised still, after 52 years of hearing people do inhumane things?
Is that just being a human?

happy solstice. we are entering the lighter days.
i hope you have a great day if it is at all humanly possible
mary gerdt, monkton, vermont 12.21.2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Three Shortest Days

Where we are at, The three shortest days by daytime length are today, tomorrow (winter solstice) and the day after tomorrow.
These three, once we get past them, are like a hurdle of darkness.
This morning, driving to work with threats of "ice fog" had me alert until I saw the pavement looked pretty good and the trees were all sparkly looking.
At some point I saw a light and wondered where the new light came from.
It was yellow like sodium vapor lights.
It was the sun on day one of these three shortest days. Guess it was
burning through the ice fog.
I have noticed where the sun rises and sets now, on these shortest days.
Now wonder it is cold.
Hard to believe what this place looks like 6 months from tomorrow.
Here on these shortest three days.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sparkling Snow

Re-posting a past poem.
Today the sun is so low in the sky, the snow sparkled a long time. It looked like jewels. I forgot how pretty that is and am happy for the clear sunny sky even if that means it is colder.
Ready for the solstice this week...

Sparkling Snow
Sparkling Snow**all rights reserved

by mary gerdt

It happened today,

when I thought some great thoughts,

that peace would come


all hunger would stop

and the sick would rejoice when their pain went away

and the lonely will find a friend and the sad will smile.

It happened.

The snow sparkled like never before.

Is that a start?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Music Links...

This is posted on you tube...
Raise Your Hand!
Tom Jones and Janis Joplin.
Enjoy this link ...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Summer's Hope

Summer holds such hope.
In this case, we dutifully started these onion and tomato plants in little plastic cups and then transplanted into these black plastic covered beds.
Hoping that we would not get a freak frost or chilling wind.
2009 brought late blight to most VT gardeners.
These tomato plants were laden with half perfect/ but all ruined fruit.
They all withered and died in a matter of hours, it seemed.
Reminding us gardeners that nature can take as it gives.
Treasure each fruit.
As tough as winter has been the past week (and worse for those down south),
This picture reminded me that summers can hold hidden darkness.
Now we approach the darkest days.
Treasure each glimmer of light, even moonlight or starlight, as a hopeful gesture
looking forward to next year, next summer, and hopeful planting again.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I had a dream

I had a dream I woke up and Thomas Jefferson was shaking me.
Wake up, he said.

Thomas Jefferson put it this way: "...a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."

My eyes wouldn't open, I did not want to wake up. This was a dream I told myself.

Of all the people I would like to dream about, he would be in the top 5.
I felt like of all the people I have told my stories to, Thomas Jefferson would probably sit down with me and politely say, can my girl get you something to drink?
Take your time,
now tell me your story.

And I would relax back enjoying the mountain breeze, gazing at his gardens, and I would tell him.
If it was a real dream, he would just google me or tweet or FB or something.

What would he say? Would he think women should own anything? Would he ask me where my husband was and he would just ask him what happened?
Would he let me ask him why he has a girl? What does the girl want? What does she dream?
Maybe he would ask me the same thing.

Dreams are funny things. I still remember some dreams like postcards, or short action clips.
Thomas Jefferson had a dream and yearned to create the best government possible.
Perfection, unfortunately is not possible.
Reality is always a little Off Balance, tending towards entropy, with unsustainable perfection.
So when he woke me up,
I said,
Can I get you something to drink?
Wow, I cannot believe it is you.
I have been to your house and paid to see inside several times and I was impressed.
Your writing, inventions, gardens and philosophy in and out of government is incredible.
Tell me,
how did we do with carrying out your dreams?
Do you want to hear my story?

Then I woke up

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santa, Where does the power for Christmas lights come from...

Oh Santa,
Where does our power come from, to light the streets and little light bulbs on all our appliances
and house lights and heaters and factories, human life support infrastructure etc...?
We all know reindeer cannot fly.
And money doesn't grow on trees and it is hard to get sunburned in Vermont winter.
So Santa said to watch this video about
the other green power, responsibly produced, using naturally occuring elements
by people who live right there and also
naturally choose to be responsible
so they can earn a living and live with cheap power.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Music

"Tis the season,
Whatever your reason
To celebrate the return of light
To our Northern Continent,
This is the CD you want!
Got mine in the mail today.


and on

Thursday, December 9, 2010

From the Archives

I started blogging on the old aol site until they closed down.
This picture of our classic barn cat Napoleon
appeared in the First Edition of the Travelogue.
I found blogging started out as being a place to unload
my personal views, frustrations, hopefully some
wisdom or empathy for another's plight. For what hurts me hurts you too.
I connected with some other bloggers who also have MS
and in that respect, a virtual support group with infinite
acceptance from my worldwide friends who comment and
read my rants and dreams and enjoy a random photo of
a cat we found when a little ball of fur out by the barn.
The first night I went out because he was crying. I reached to rescue him and
he hissed and bit at me.
"Forget you!" I said.
The next day he was crying. Fred went out
and picked up the hungry little orphan who by now
relented to human contact.
That is how we got that little scrapper who beat up kittens twice his size.
At one time I might have jotted this down in a notebook.
But these days we can ping this message around the world
and perhaps people reading this later, will enjoy,
these random trains of thoughts and images
and perhaps they will understand
why we blog.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


We had an unexpected nor-easter day before yesterday. We got about 8 inches and and still getting
snow showering and blowing around. Light, fluffy stuff this time so much more tolerable.
I got home early after getting my 20 pounds of remnant fleece at the mysterious fedex ground site.
I trudged through the snow to get the recycling barrel which we call the refrigerator, because it is about the size of one. I loaded the garbage barrel inside it and dragged it up the hill.
The fresh air was nice. About 20 degrees F.
I proceeded to shovel a bit and pretended I was doing wii downhill skiing.
The sun set early about 4:30 and I realized it would be even earlier for a few more weeks.
Heading back to the house I saw a weird path, like I had shoveled a pathway to the front of the house.
I didn't shovel that.
Then I remembered. The recycling bin had carved a perfect path in the fluffy snow.
The cats will appreciate that, I thought,
then went in and got warmed by the fire.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Are you a slave to the tax?

A link to an editorial about taxation and history.
Whether tea parties nauseate or elate you,
or if Rush makes you quiver or shiver,
Do not ignore that high taxes especially in Vermont,
Are crippling us.

(the girl looked for the monkton sb minutes for the annual october
property tax lien sale. no oct. minutes. omg. oh, nov. minutes posted
oh, tax sale after taxes due this year. wonder what they sold this year?
anybody out there besides the girl want property tax reform in vermont?)

Monday, December 6, 2010


All they were is words.
No knife edge, no rope burn,
No stitches, no itches,
No pain,

Think again,
The words they cut,
They leave a scar,
You can't see,
but not far.

Don't be fooled,
The sharp tongue speaks.
Don't take
The havoc that it wreaks.

A sharp tongue lashes out,
Lies and carries on.
Hurting all around it,
like an acid thrown upon.

Call the dragon what it is,
A fire breathing monster,
When you feel the pain
of others bad words,

You must fight, and
Slay the dragon

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Patriotic Potatoes

This is representative of last year's potato crop.
red, white and blue

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dia Art Foundation - Robert Smithson: Spiral Jetty Links

This is an amazing site and have just begun to look into who Robert Smithson was:
This foundation needs your support.
But question their salaries before you give, see comment from a friend....

Dia Art Foundation - Robert Smithson: Spiral Jetty Links

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Artichoke Monkton Vermont 2009

I have been wanting to tell about Thanksgiving dinner
where we made a really good dressing/stuffing (Thanks google and Oprah),
We wanted to add some broth and had some from '09 in the freezer.
We use broth to freeze some veggies like leeks and celery because they keep
better that way.
We forgot that in '09, we also did those tasty
and tiny artichoke hearts in broth and found one last container in the freezer.
Which made a very special dressing or stuffing as you might call it.
No artichokes this year even though the plants did OK.
Making that package of artichoke heart broth that much more special.
What a gift.
Thanks, Danke

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Carols

Carolyn Wonderland and Guy Forsyth have made a new CD
for Christmas. I just ordered 2 because before 12/3/10, the artists autograph them. These two people separately are
amazing but together, they complement perfectly and stretch your imagination of what music can be.
Check out CW's link and order the holiday album for your
hippest xmas bash...