Astronomy Picture of the Day

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Town Meeting,property taxes in vt

02.27.10
i have decided to keep this posted as my road sign until after town meeting. i will not attend and do not feel comfortable there. i am white middle aged, middle income although teetering while i'm tweeting. ms makes me have priorities different than before diagnosis. suddenly i have to pay attention to what stresses me out. the town stopped communicating with me when i questioned why they almost sold my house and why no one had the human_ness to see if i was ok or whether we needed some help. i work in long term medicaid and ask every day to help some person trying to navigate a debilitating and sometimes devastating illness and they cannot accept their disability, how could they? Kubler Ross calls that denial. so when i fail to hire a lawyer or re enter the legal system about the town's actions, don't think i have failed. i have chosen to publish these words i speak and hope others will awaken to the progressive destruction of our assets' value. my dream of home ownership has been littered with battles and my scars are depper because of ms. this i must speak outloud. if people judge me they are welcome to swallow that themselves. i will not react. but when the masses awake to the tax mess that might lead to their homes being taken in Vermont to pay for schools to have laptops, then look to this posting and say, by God she was right. mary gerdt monkton vermont 2.27.10


The new paradigm.
Schools need money and in Vermont must suck the blood of the property tax payers.
When you have run out of blood, they eliminate you.
Such was nearly my lot but we got to be revived just in time.
I fear others will fall prey to the local tax collectors who collect a statewide tax by selling your property.
The rules usually read, anytime more than $250 is owed. Are you scared yet?
I know there are rules about it, I know there are procedures.
I also know this time, especially in the current economic conditions in Vermont, no one should lose their house over 6 thousand in taxes, 9 months late.
I nearly did.
So here is my version of Vermont Town Meeting and property tax.
Next week some Vermont citizens (unless they have to work or do not feel comfortable there like myself) will gather in the age old tradition of town meeting day.
My feeling is of being an outsider, a flatlander. Skeptical but never feeling welcome to speak up. Nauseated actually. Fred was so comfortable. He knew what was going on. I never really did. I guess that is my fault.
With voice voting and over zealous activist screaming, I felt as though I could not vote my conscious,
Nee
I felt it was more like a sermon at times and a church service. My fault.
I felt like glances from audience and those “higher ups” in town up on the school stage. I felt more detached than ever.
Yes, “all the world is a stage”, as was in Shakespeare’s time.
The town report a mysterious document of numbers, how can I audit that? What if I question that?
Who will be angered? Do I have the energy to take this on?
Meanwhile I am still trying to decipher why they picked our property to sell for taxes.
There were several others in our same sinking ship.
We feel fortunate to have had some nest egg, earmarked for my inevitable disability.
There goes that money, but at least we got to pay and stay.
A strange new paradigm for Vermonters.
So I am not faulting schools, only the funding schematic.
I am not faulting town meetings because it is up to me to adapt and choose not to attend.
I am seeking to inform other Vermonters that you must pay to stay and I am continuing my fight to stop the sales of homes in these economic times. The burden is too great.
Mary Gerdt Monkton,Vermont

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vermont finally gets its due snow.

First storm of at least 3 expected this week.



the snow is like confectionary icing and when it is in a pile the center glows perfect sky blue.
then I noticed the sky was total gray. it was snowing hard.
Was the blue captured from when the sun shone through the clouds to form snow?
even if there some scientific explanation for the beautiful blue in the snow?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Land Rights

Land Rights.

"When I fought to protect my land and my home, I was called a savage." Chief Dan George

James Logan. Chief George.
a link to James Logan HighSchool website and well written article about Chief George.

I find myself in a position about reflection and contemplation.
The first step in change.
My effeminate Yoga Wii trainer tells me to take deep breath. I did.
2 points.
Chief George says stand tall.
He also never said it was easy.
mary

Friday, February 19, 2010

Martian Home

Martian Home.
by mary e. gerdt 2010
This is about my Martian home, a thought I have whenever I see
mars by hubble
my taxpayer dollars contributed to a portion of this image



No this is not "2001 Space Odyssey" which date we are long past and yet we are not taking space excursions or even very close.
No it is not Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury which is a book that peaked my interest in Sci Fi.
I am Martian by astrology, even by choice. I believe my ancestors came from Mars as it froze over or some other explanation. Or are there living beings still? Under that red cloak?
Ray Bradbury said he challenged himself to write a story every week. He is quite the story teller, complex, detailed, creative. That got me thinking I could write a blog, go on about something I hope is entertaining, fun, enlightening, or even the dark side.
Good and bad. So here is my mini tale of Martian memories yet to be. I will not profess to be a serious sci fi writer, but I do write about the universe as my chosen realm of interest. I look at Mars and wonder at the history of the markings, what is the depth? Are there any signs of life? I believe life is possible there. If we go there by 20**, (When do you think?) I say 2039.
I hope we do not hurt the living there but like Columbus' journey to the new world, our journey to Mars will be hurtful to someone on or off the planet and some will prosper, multiply and rewrite history.
Wonder if I'll make it back home some day.
mary

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Helping Humans

mbaexperiment.org

Kate Larose started following me on Twitter and I could not resist checking out her MBA project.
Click on the link above and learn all about
Burkina Faso,
a country in dire need. Polio has left its hideous mark.
As a nurse it is painful to hear of polio stricken people. A preventable disease.
You can donate to the organizations Kate has identified and help the country help itself and establish planning for ongoing self sufficiency.
Go Kate!

Support her project. What a great use of an education!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Minute Poem

All I have is a minute
To tell you all I know.
Will I leave out the hateful things,
Because I really have to go.
Will I omit the ugly mean things I have endured
Since the clock says 30 seconds.
Soon I am gonna blow.
Should I tell you how some wanted what I have,
Or hated who I was,
Or how that bitter stench remaining
Stained my view of man, because...
But 15 seconds is all I have
My tale is brief I know.
I loved a few, Hated none,
And left a minute poem.

by mary e. gerdt 2.15.2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pivots


Fort Ticonderoga, View to the south.
by Mary E. Gerdt 2007 all rights reserved

Pivots
Places that our lives pivoted on but may not know it.
This spot was owned by No one, American Indians, French, English and Americans/founders of the U.S>as we know it.

The cannons pivot in their carriages and thus the cannon ball brought to rest in it's desired location.
These waters pivot boats in a sense giving passageway to Lake Champlain and waters south. The throughway before 1900, before cars and trucks and 1800 something trains. Before that.

We saw the wreckage of the Crown Point Bridge another pivotal place and moment in time.
The rusty bridge pieces/scraps really lying askew pivoting on the large concrete bases.
We took the new ferry across by the "no bridge" restaurant and were happy the familiar pivotal travel corridor from VT to NY was intact again and the businesses humming even a little.

My post today pivoted on what I could find in my camera.
I shied away from Valentine's greetings but what the heck.
Happy Valentines Day.
How many of our lives have pivoted on a moment of love?
mary

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bare ground, Clear skies

There is a strange mildness to February so far and I say that hesitatingly but also with experience. We are getting past the worst of winter. While others to our south struggle in the deep snow, we have dodged the snow bullet recently except for an inch or two here and there.
It was nice to see the sun today and it is noticeably higher in the sky.
Hopeful for warmer weather.
We saw wild Tom turkeys strutting and fanning their tail feathers and really felt it was a sign.
We hear a little different bird song which you hear in spring.
It was funny I read there was an Amber alert out for Al Gore.
Frankly we are milder than normal but still freezing. I cannot speak for the poor people down south.
Just remember, don't fight a storm, you will loose. Step aside, let it do it's thing and then clean up the mess once it is over.
And get a crooked handled snow shovel. We have 3 between the 2 of us.
Have a great night and keep warm.
Mary

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rewards of Gardening

There are many rewards to gardening in spite of crop failures, diseases and pests. More like humans than rocks.
Tonight we had some broth with artichoke hearts we froze last summer.
I cut the hearts out which made me appreciate the poor person who does that for a living. The worst part is your hands get sticky with resin and then poke the spines in your fingers and hands.
They really are delightful frozen in the broth and then we thawed it, cooked pasta in it and drained the broth for tomorrow's soup. It would be silly not to be amazed at eating Vermont grown artichokes in February.
Likewise the other foods we have preserved and some like potatoes, squash just kept in a cool room.
I am eager to work on the seed order. We need the ultimate disease resistant tomato because it would be hard to handle another summer like last year's blight. A reminder we are not invincible. But Oh, when the garden comes in well with a bounty of food we grew, we have to smile and be thankful for our blessings and our backaches and dirty fingernails.

Monday, February 8, 2010

J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger wrote one of the first books I read easily and more than once.
Catcher in the Rye
It had a cover with red color with yellow simple print. A smooth feeling book. That was important.
He used words I could understand easily. Short words, simple words, simple deeds by an average guy.
I still don't quite get the body catching a body coming through the rye thing, even though that is one point of the book. In fact we planted rye a few years ago on the garden as a weed inhibitor. That stuff is thick, deceptive in that it looks easy to walk through. It is not easy. So I thought he must be talking about rye fields like the fields of corn in Illinois. Endless and impossible to find someone in.
It never mattered much to me. I liked reading the book. I liked the story, his failure, his life of simple activities, like it could be me.
When I heard J.D.Salinger died and he lived near hear, and he was only 91 and he never wanted contact with people, I was sad, like when Kurt Vonnegut died.
I liked them both, their writing inspiring my own search for simple words that mean so much. Simple stories that say the most, Simple characters that makes us cry.
I would have written him had I known he was around here even if he burned all his letters or read them or just put them in a box. Let this be my letter to J.D. Salinger, a man who helped me read. Thanks for your words that have encouraged me to take up a pen even if it is for my pleasure alone or even mostly. I still remember how that book felt in my hands, how I felt turning pages faster than I ever had before, comprehending the feeling of a story above the grammar, the print, the numbers on the pages that used to hold me back. I was floating. And I thank you Mr. Salinger, though you will never know. Mary Gerdt, Monkton, Vermont 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Blogger trails

For some weird reason I have been unable to post since Friday.
Now it is back up as if nothing happened (did it really?)
Once again this situation points to the fact that I have become dependent on my train of self expression, my highway to catharsis, my blogger dusty trail.
Somehow it was also linked with some posts I almosts did which led me to call it Random Blogger Bingo.
The words spit out sometimes like in real life and then they are hard to retrieve. These three almost posts ended up instead in my archive e-mail likely to never see the light of day or a monitor glow.
Will you wonder about the blog never posted? The trail not taken seriously?
Was it my road lesser travelled?
Best wishes on your dusty blogger trail. Read the bloggers I follow and your path will be lighter I guarantee.
They make it look easy and help me spit out my feelings so that someday, someone may understand
my viewpoint and not
what someone else thinks of me.
Click on Carolyn Wonderland's link, Her song so true, I don't want to be Miss Understood.....
Now what was I talking about?

Oh yes, Bingo.....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Woodchuck's Day from sunny cold Vermont

Happy Woodchuck's Day in Vermont.

Herrad was kind to ask about this fun holiday, February 2nd.
PETA wants a mechanical ground hog (pennsylvania style) instead of the traditional ceremony. The ground hog may get a little snappy but he by and large has a better life than being roadkill, or eagle treats. Here is my explanation of the two closely related but dissimilar holidays, a cultural event no matter what you call it.


February 2nd. Ground Hogs (big rodents) in Pennsylvania predict the weather. When the ground hog sees his shadow and goes back into the hole (sunny day), 6 more weeks of winter. If he does not see
his shadow  (overcast day), then it would be an early spring. A local radio station WDEV Waterbury Vermont adopted woodchuck day since Vermont always has more than 6 weeks of winter on Feb 2nd. The WDEV broadcast explains the woodchuck greeting. When you say happy woodchuck's day, the appropriate local response is "Bug off!" Just to show the extreme of winter cabin fever this far north.

So Happy Woodchuck Day to you and I won't be offended if someone comments, Bug Off!



I'll use this as my post.

Thanks for asking...