Astronomy Picture of the Day

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lake Champlain January 31

We have travelled more on Lake Champlain this winter than ever before but not as much as some people have.
Since the bridge first rusted out officially (as opposed to informally but obvious to common uneducated people) and was closed then blown up, many poor commuters and us commuter shoppers had to go the longer ways across the Shoreham ferry and then the Charlotte Essex ferry which is a wider more choppy crossing. The new ferry by the now old bridge site is almost open, delayed a day or so by the plunging subzero biting temperature.
We took one last trip on the Charlotte ferry before RT ticket will cost 25$ again. A lot of us hearty shoppers travel one direction or the other to catch the bargains, nomads like 400 years ago when early visitors looked for the best blamkets in the least hostile territory.
We saw some ducks swimming in the frigid water by the ferry dock. Wonder what they eat and how they can tolerate such cold.
The lake was pretty calm and frozen solid in the bays. Ice fisherman were out by Bulwagga Bay.
We caught some deals and got some sun and one of the last free ferry trips at that crossing.
Bon Voyage

Friday, January 29, 2010

Do Crows have ESP?

Do Crows have ESP?

The sense that something will

Or might


Do cats have ESP?

Do they know what I will do,

Before I do it,

Or sense something I cannot sense

on the human plane? Or can I, but I forgot or don't know how?

Does ego negate the senses we were given?

Is that the snake in the garden?

Do even tiny black flies sense my intention and

Land on my head the minute both my hands are busy?

Is ESP truly a special skill or one we just forgot because

We don't need to guess about the weather,

The weatherman says,

We don't need to know which herb to take that won't kill us,

The doctor says,

We don't need to worry our pretty heads about the healthcare morass,

The politicians say.

What is my sense about this?

My ESP is not all that reliable

By history,

a fact I cannot deny, in spite of my sometimes wish

We could predict the future,
When I really stop to think hard about things that I might have known in advance,
I have to conclude
Without too long a pondering
What a disappointment that might have been to know the future
Before it happens.
Do Crows have ESP?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Advanced Music Appreciation

I am happy to display links to two of our favorite musicians.
Levon Helm and Carolyn Wonderland at the bottom of my blog. Take a listen and you will see why we appreciate them so much. Hope for a Grammy for Levon because Electric Dirt is the best! Buy their music! You will be caught singing their tunes in public places and you just won't care who stares! Mary Gerdt

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tattoo anyone?

No, my taste for tatoos has not changed, but like others, I look in awe at the body art some choose, and wonder how strange it is to me.
Still Janet has launched a new blog that promises to paint the town or rather the people with new colorful ideas for body adornment and expression. Or just take a visual tour of her multi media circus of tatoo-ed ladies and men.

Does thes mean I have grown up
or regressed into some earlier developmental stage?
Or am I once again feeling like just a human?

not ready for body art but window shopping in Monkton, Mary

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January Re runs

I wanted to replay some early blog poetry I did while on AOL. I did this 2 years ago and the sparkling snow yesterday reminded me of days to come, those that have passed, and saves me from having to be creative while I recharge my solar battery in a sunny window. Have a great day in your corner of the known universe.

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, January 22, 2010

Check it out. Tour to the end of space.

Tour to the end of space and back.

This was on my astronomy of the day link a few days ago. Take a trip and marvel at what humans are capable of, and what we do not know, and where we may see.
My review: Mega Marvelous.
Here is a link:

Have a great trip!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Meditation Gateway

As my Wii trainer advises me, "Follow my lead, let's do some deep breathing together."
And I do.
I even learned to breathe through my nose in and out.
I get 2 virtual coins for that. Breathing!
Yes it does slow you down, take you somewhere else, transcend your problems.
Just breathe!
Then I try the lotus flame or whatever it is called.
You stare at the flame and if you lose concentration and fidget, it gets blown out. Either way you might hear footsteps, coming, anticipating, testing your concentration even more. Making you think harder.
Then suddenly the candle is blown out and your score displayed.
As I meditate, the world starts to look orderly even in its chaotic appearance.
I see MS as a candle, a burning flame. We sometimes hear the footsteps, sometimes a sudden loss, a candle going out. We never know when the footsteps will come, when the flame will go out.
I believe that intention could help and stress tears down function.
And that knowing you don't know makes it hard to concentrate some days.
My friends and fellow bloggers help me focus on the flame, and let my breath out.
Mary Gerdt

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King day

That speech always makes me tear.
"I have a dream"
Not black or white or not a certain religion
He was talking to me too. Even a nobody.
He was talking to Vermonters too, to people with MS, to people who choose nature over structured religion.
Listen again to the speech and re evalauate where we are.
I have a dream too.

Thank you Mr. King, you were a prophet, a visionary, a man, a Dad, husband, American.
You talked to me today so many years after your death
Your relevance more current
Even than it was then.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Journey

The journey is never what we expected,
Surprises at each turn
Changing course
Changing everything
Sometimes seeing the universal love,
Sometimes the universal pain,
Sometimes how people care
And sometimes they do not.

I wish that we did not have such a road to travel
But cannot imagine the roads of others.
I wish you safe journey and hope you reach your desired destination.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The reporter in me

I read Dick Tracy with the watch phone and watched countless movies about reporting, news. I did radio announcing competitively in high school but ranted twice too fast and did not breathe for a precise amount of time (got the time limit right). So blogs can overload too, but some things must be said. It is the reporter in me. This is a woman's issue, a landowner's issue, a person with MS's issue, a citizen with constitutional rights, etc.
I said it in a poem but it is not fiction. I'll never stop trying to stop towns from selling poor white nurse with MS's property without even a whisper to her. My choices involvce painful roads but I must take my time evaluating the facts of which only become obscured with time.
I have plenty of time.
What a difference a day makes.

One day I owe taxes, the next day a check bounces and I owe 8 percent more.

One day the town decides to sell my property without telling me

The day before they sell my property a check is paid and no sale.

One day later, I am glad the bank did not foreclose on my mortgage

Even though I knew about none of it.

It was in the pay version of the paper that I don’t read

It was posted in the places I don’t go in town,

Did people who despise me snicker when they saw my name in the town report I never received.

Is it my fault for feeling safe finally in our home we have made, sinking our roots

Which are entwined with the roots of Fred’s ancestors?

You know, the ones I talk to.

I slept in fits after receiving a letter of condescension reminiscent of feudal England.

I edited this after my rage subsided...: the following is my version of a letter that did not address any of my questions regarding my not being notified of tax sale of my property. It only said here is a list of delinquent properties (many many) and the policy that says we can sell at any time we want (even though they only picked 4). Also that this would answer all my questions (it did not answer any of them)

My interpretation:

You deserve shame, being singled out, you don’t deserve to own this or live here or question this or that.

Pay all you have to the tax ogre.

He won’t talk to you, you are a female.

I kept waking up, do I go to a lawyer? State’s attorney? Elected officials? Public? No where?

Then I saw the angel, I was half asleep, twilight of consciousness.

Not a she nor he angel,

Just an angel.

I slept.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dark Thoughts

Dark Thoughts

When the days get so dark
We try to keep motivated and
Do what needs to be done
Then we collapse in a heap like
The battery powered bunny
Ready for sunlight to peek from the horizon,
Begging for it to go higher
Then we'll be warmer
Our batteries will charge
These dark thoughts will sprout when
The garden goes in.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monkey Business

Monkey Business

We wonder who
thought of this delightful character.

We think he is very sweet and mysterious too.
We have been listening to Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys
and really thought this guy looked liked an imperial monkey.
There was a monkey who helped
Fred's Great Great (+/-a great) grandfather make money
in Brooklyn in the late 1800's with an organ grinder.
The profits brought to Monkton to buy the farm.
The monkey was reported to live over 50 years and
was buried in an undisclosed location on the farm so as to not be dug up.
In a fit of farmaid dreams, we offered the monkey to Carolyn Wonderland
If she would come and play on the farm.
Guess it nevers hurts to dream.
Look at the monkey.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

White of winter

In case from
Outer Space
or some island paradise
or just in your laptop,
or scantilly clad survivors
building a beach fire,
or you,
What winter looks like

In West Monkton Vermont
looking out at the Hogback Mountains
or is it just one mountain?
I could not resist showing you a cold morning
glimpse of our snow blanket.
January 2010.

Friday, January 8, 2010

What is under all that white

What is under all that white?
These fabulous colors
that say stay.

The snow coming down all week
standing straight up and fluffy.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just Us

This is not to be judgemental only to explain the pain of lawyering and why I believe the justice system is flawed. I thank my forefathers that I am free to write what I want in this, my blog haven. Someday perhaps Hunter will wonder what happened to us and this is how I saw things. by Alice Karma.

Hallways of Just us

By Alice Karma

We stood there shivering in fear,

I am comfortable in a hospital ICU where I worked and knew what to do, what to expect,

Not these scary halls of justice where lawyers stroll in in all black and saunter while we shiver.

Out darts our lawyer, pulled away from all his expensive research he had done,

We didn't know he charged us over 10 thousand dollars for the research that failed to nail down the real facts.

He returns face blank, washed of color, breathless because he doesn't want to tell us

Our opponents want us gone, they want all the money and property and they hate us.

I think, why do they hate us so?

Can they do that I ask? Now in a panic over losing what we have had, where we lived and now who we loved.

How could that lawyer say such bad things about us that our lawyer cannot even tell us, but that ashen look says he believes the other guy, that big imposing confident powerful I win every case I try attorney.

How little I knew then about the halls of just us.

Just us two people, so minor to the world, accused of heinous crimes without anyone calling the police.

Just us, two children who were taught to do as your parents say even if your parents wanted to beat you or accuse you and lie because someone told them to.

Just us, choosing then the wrong path, fear, afraid we would never see them again, fear we would have to lose everything we had worked for, fear of losing, fear of winning, afraid to the core.

Just us, our attorney already looking at us out of the corner of his eye, figuring the big I know everything attorney really meant that we are evil incarnate and if he says something, he must be telling the truth because he would not lie or bend the truth.

This is the halls of just us.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why Wii?

Why Wii?
Why Not,
My muscles have grown,
I hear cheers as I slay the ugly opponent.

Why Wii?
Why Not,
When my doctor says I'm stronger,
and one second faster,
when I do the dash down the hall twice.

Why Wii?
Y Naught,
When I see I am more balanced,
My chi on the run,
My image a cartoon
My sports all in fun.

Why Wii?
It is the future,
of neuro healing, intention,
a purpose to exercise for the lazy
like me,
who like to hit the ball,
But hate to chase it.


(Give it a shot. There is something to it.)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Time to start Garden Planning

Once the Tree comes down,
The ornaments put away,
The calendars changed,
The obligations put to bed,
We can begin the garden planning,
Helped along by a new book (xmas present from VA farmers/friends) by Eliot Coleman
And a new old passion for the thought of extending our season.
I thought I would share a picture of the artichoke just before
we had the real real deep freeze in December.
They made it a lot longer than we thought tempting us to make that a new mission in life, to grow Vermont artichokes.

These plants survived down to the teens degrees fahrenheit.

So I challenge you to start something you always wanted to do but someone said it
couldn't, wouldn't shouldn't.
It is time.