Astronomy Picture of the Day

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Les Paul & Mary Ford- Live Medley

As 2014 winds to a close,
A little music is in order.
The Masters..

Les Paul & Mary Ford

Monday, December 29, 2014

Theatre in the Park

It was 1974 ish...40 years ago🌼🌻🌸
Edwardsville, Illinois
The Park on the block where the Bandstand stood, where the library is.

We planned our plays and pestered the Edwardsville Intelligencer to take photos.
I assembled excerpts from a book called Edgar Allan by John Neufeld.
Reader's Theatre became my venue of choice
(Because I froze up trying to remember lines)

my older siblings had the book.
It was easy to read. It featured a young black central character.
I remember nothing about it except a weird feeling it was an all Caucasian cast, tryouts, and me, the collater of pieces of the book, director, coordinator,.
Yesterday I found the author's notes and book excerpts.

We had a good summer that year, under the mighty tall trees in the Park.
I challenged myself to be in the now, in front of people,
In the summer heat we presented dramatic offerings.
I remember that.

Sunday, December 28, 2014



Random words spilling onto the pages.
Me trying to
Remember what it was,
What was so profound,

And it all slipped through my fingers,
Fell to the floor,
With the sound a feather makes,
I collapsed.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tangled up in Zen

A fellow MS blogger

started a Zentangle blog
I truly did not understand it at the time,
and yet now I am getting the hang of it.
A good friend gave me a lesson book and bright markers.

So I want to share a zentangle early on...

i think the structure of them helps you see the patterns, 
structure helps your cognition. meg


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Blogging Forward...guest post...Yes Vermont Yankee: The High-Cost Consequences of New England's Energy...

Blogging Forward...
Thanks to Meredith Angwin for filling in the blanks...

Yes Vermont Yankee: The High-Cost Consequences of New England's Energy...: Collage from " Green Lemons into Lemonade " Why Are My Electricity Bills Getting Higher? Green Lemons into Lemonade ...

Chocolate fixes everything

One more replay....

For Dad

Photo 1994

Story 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.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Shumlin concerned about pipeline project overruns - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Shumlin concerned about pipeline project overruns - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Glimmers of hope for we who oppose the #fracking proposed pipeline...

Rest Peacefully

Rest Peacefully
Joe Cocker
This  yt Link  just beautiful

The Shortest Days

In the Northern Hemisphere
The Shortest daylight days
Are upon us.
It's a hard start to winter,
All this darkness.
The angle of the Sun
Traveling the horizon
The lowest arc possible.
From here onward,
Until June,
The Sun will show us
A little more light each day,
Hopeful for the new year.

@marygerdt: @bbcweather #bbcsunrise  Happy Solstice from cloudy cold  Monkton, Vermont.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Travelogue for the Universe: A Christmas Tail ... Monkton Chronicles

Another rerun for Christmas...
Oh Holy Night,
A Magical Night,
Today the shortest daylight day...northern hemisphere
A good day to tell tall tales..

Travelogue for the Universe: A Christmas Tail ... Monkton Chronicles: A Christmas Tail Monkton Chronicles   My first Christmas away from Illinois was in frozen Monkton, Vermont. I moved here after urg...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Immortal Christmas (Sock Puppet Parody)

Oh yes,

I rely on YT for content some days  weeks intervals
so that my readers hopefully will remember to come back periodically
and so I can go back tosome other activity.
This is essential to writing what amounts to a daily column.
It can be quite easy some days
Some days I rack up some videos for later.
I always preview and the few time I did not,
it was disastrous in my nit picking mind.
No one else probably noticed.
That is actually an up side to all this social media activity.
Enjoy the video link.
Xmas 6 days away...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gaz update...#fracking

A small glimmer of hope for landowners in our idyllic little town. Thanks to dedicated people who have assembled all today's news...

Was going to post a bunch of updates,
Then today it all changed again...for the better
Yesterday's news, NY State governor Cuomo banned fracking in NY.
Immediately, I thought, half of Gaz pipeline will be under the NY side of 
Lake Champlain.  Some of the gaz is from fracking
Vermont banned too...I'm confused.  {That was the plan}
Now after a few hours, I thought,
But it's OK to frack somebody else's place,
Where lawyers are unemployed
And money is scarce as hen's teeth.

What follows is the latest news from the sorces below:

Vermont Public Radio

Vermont Public Radio

Although I am pleased that the new leadership at Vermont Gas is taking the time to reevaluate the proposed projects, this further cost increase is very troubling. In the coming weeks my administration will be evaluating all of this new information and looking at these projects as a whole to ensure that they remain in the best interest of Vermont. Meanwhile, I expect Vermont Gas to also reevaluate its communications and negotiations with affected landowners to help improve relations. I trust those steps will continue. Peter Shumlin

Vermont Gas pipeline estimate jumps 27 percent; seeks delay of Phase 2 Rutland Herald SOUTH BURLINGTON - The Vermont Gas Systems natural gas utility says its estimate to complete phase 1 of a new pipeline has gone up 27 percent, ... Vermont Gas Pipeline Costs Continue To Rise Vermont Public Radio Vermont Gas Systems announced Friday that it faces additional cost overruns for its pipeline to Addison County. The company is not ruling out a rate ...

Vermont Gas pipeline estimate jumps 27 percent Businessweek SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The incoming head of the natural gas utility working to extend a pipeline from Colchester to Vergennes and ...

Vermont Gas pauses phase of natural gas pipeline

Vermont Gas announces another pipeline cost increase Vermont Gas CEO announces about a 27 percent increase in the estimated cost of a planned natural gas pipeline, the second hike this year.

WCAX Vermont Gas is pausing Phase Two of a planned pipeline that would carry natural gas to Ticonderoga, New York. Vermont Gas says they are pressing ...

VT Gas Announces $33M Price Increase for Phase 1 of Pipeline - My Champlain Valley FOX44 & ABC22

Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine

Rock Ikon e-zine suggested this stellar video,
which led to a simple posting for a Friday, the week before Christmas....

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Music from across the Pond

It started as an inspriration to get organized.

I was realizing the clutter around me and in my mind was just something to trip over.
I mean, I Knew it, it just did not connect that it would be such a heavy anchor.
Bear with me. You may know what I am saying.
So I went through 2 boxes and gave up again.
Then back at twitter control center,
I clicked a better twit manager
and made room to follow more  people.
Wily Bo Walker has been on that list...

So I earned karma points for cleaning up my twit list.
Wily sent me a link to a great tune...

Now for a nap...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

#NY Governor announces fracking decision - WRGB CBS6 - Top Stories

Governor announces fracking decision - WRGB CBS6 - Top Stories

So how will Canadian owned Vermont Gas get across/under Lake Champlain since NY is banning #fracking?
Wait, Monkton, Vermont voted no on fracking also....just that we are small dogs in the big world,
or so we are told.

one more look at the lake

Link to Great Music...

seems to be the season of music...
this one hits home..
my mind returns to the home of my youth...
great music!

The Tuttles and AJ Lee "Pins and Needles"

Yt suggested this link
Love this!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Are Vermont Delinquent Property Tax Procedures Uniform? Fair? Constitutional?

some weeks i cannot go a step farther without trying again, to reform some injustice, to right a wrong, a heaviness in my heart i feel
as someone may fall victim to a tax sale...anxiety triggers my memories,
so i wrote this last monday and emailed it,

To: Selectboard of Monkton, Vermont,
From: Mary Gerdt
Pardon me for sending a string of emails
but within this group of emails is my argument for Monkton Delinquent Property Tax Reform.
These sales are not structured as to a specific date each year.
For instance, our property was targeted at 9 months.
I have never received information I asked for in 2007 like how was I contacted. ( I was not).
When I read the minutes, there is very little info there. Anything that goes in the pay to view newspaper should be in the online minutes.
I never saw my properties were for sale. I was never noticed as a female co- landowner.
I have never been successful at attempting to get the Monkton Selectboard to change the policy, to make it kinder, fairer. John Phillips told me the policy could not be changed.
I question the constitutionality of delinquent tax sales.
Some towns have None. Hinesburg is one.
The reason I bring this up is I feel like these tax sales are too quick, hostile and in our case,
creates a sense of fear.
Our certified card to prove we sent the taxes to the town was returned unsigned, unstamped.
Whether you as a selectboard choose to listen to me or not, I am compelled to speak up again, as I have done since this town tried to take my property.
Having a test at the hospital a tech told me about my neighbor Matera who lost his property to a sale.
A selectman bought it. Not even a ripple on the beaver pond.
Mary Gerdt,
Monkton, Vermont

From: Gerdt, Mary
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 1:48 PM
To: 'David Sharpe'
Subject: RE: I left you a message about property tax penalties and reform
Thank you for responding and for trying to change the laws.
I feel the way the law is written and carried out is unconstitutional.
There is no one for me to complain to.
There is no board that I can speak to.
The town has a mostly male board of abatement that denied all of my protests.
This is the way it always has been.
John Phillips told me the rules will not change.
There is so much more to this particular situation which is why I stated blogging.
People wanted what I and my husband own.
I want to see the constitution followed. Due process, right to abatement offered before sale.
I want to see consequences to the town when they do not follow this.
I want my grandchildren to own land without encumbrances like fees, interests and penalties. Oh yes, and fear someone will take it.
The taxes are too high and are not equalized across different towns.
The townspeople or town lawyer should not be the ones deciding whose property is sold.
No property should be sold at all.
How my life would have been different had Rod Burritt knocked on my door and said, Mary, the taxes are late, are you OK?
Instead, I discovered a month afterwards, that my husband was forced to take an early withdrawal to pay taxes, penalties, etc under duress from an account I had earmarked for my inevitable disability so our mortgage would be paid if I cannot work.
That is when we had to take out another $5,000 or so to pay the next year.
The treasurer made a snotty comment about it was from an annuity account.
As if we could pay but just were refusing.
We pay our way and have suffered shame and hardships.
Thanks for listening.
Mary Gerdt

From: David Sharpe []
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 12:26 PM
To: Gerdt, Mary
Subject: Re: I left you a message about property tax penalties and reform
Hi Mary,
Thank you for your note, I am very sympathetic with your situation. In fact, I have co-sponsored legislation to reduce the amount that a community could impose for a penalty, that bill did not get out of committee will not pass this year.
If you add together the 8% penalty and the 1.5% interest per month a taxpayer could pay as much as 23% additional tax in the first year, not to mention all the fees and expense if the property goes to tax sale. It is WAY TOO HIGH!
The legislature did respond to the concern I and others put forth to allow communities to set a rate lower than 8%, unfortunately few have. I would suggest you get a petition or other pressure to the Monkton selectboard to put it on the ballot for next town meeting.
Representative Dave Sharpe
1209 Meehan Road
Bristol, Vermont 05443
home - 802-453-2754
cell - 802-989-6427

>>> "Gerdt, Mary" 3/29/2011 8:53 AM >>>
Hello Dave,
I am at work and read your synopsis in the Monkton paper.
Please consider this another plea to reform the delinquent property tax laws.
We were the victim of a close encounter tax sale after being 9 months late paying statewide locally administered property taxes to Monkton.
I was never notified as the woman landowner. My husband sheltered me from this mean spirited move by the town of Monkton.
We owed $6500 for 1 year and had to pay 15% to the town’s attorney ($1,000), 8 % to the tax collector ($500) who hates us, interest and paid for the add I have never seen.
Our property was nearly sold 1 month before the next annual taxes of $6500 came due.
We came up with the money to keep our poor 4th generation family farm.
We go without, cannot fix our house or improve our property. We both struggle with getting older, health issues and less money.
Much more on my blog which is easy to find. Search for my name.
Alternately, if you feel I am hysterical or otherwise contrary to your ideals,
Just ignore.
My fight is as strong as the day I found out my property worth $300,000 was nearly sold to the highest bidder, my name was published in the shame section of the paper which I do not read, others knew my property would be sold and I had no idea.
Everyone wants to blame my husband. I love him and understand he was just trying to protect me as a good husband would.
He paid one day before the sale.
What if we were gay? Who would the town have told? The town said they were OK just telling the husband of 2 landowners/taxpayers.
I want to see the whole law reviewed. The attorney decided which properties would be sold based on value.
Percentages of values have become inflated with the growth of taxes.
Back to work at my day job, I want to impress you with my feelings of frustration.
I do not know for how long, but we are living in Vermont one more year since we paid the taxes again in November.
Is that what my grandchildren will say?
Mary Gerdt  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My Comments to EPA.Gov

The EPA invited comments...
What follows are mine.

Comment:My name is Mary E. Gerdt. I am a 56 year old disabled RN now on a fixed income. I and my family consume power in Monkton,Vermont. I write as a consumer concerned about power costs, availability, and political manipulation of Vermont's fragile power grid. I have watched powerlessly while the Government has allowed Canadian Gaz Metro to buy Vermont utilities like Vermont Gas and Green Mountain Power. The current administration has effectively closed VT Yankee by hook or crook. This disappoints me. I studied nuclear energy in college and it's safety can be superior to the so called "natural" (or fracked) gas. Then Canadians have threatened my US neighbors with land condemnation to run a pipeline Through Monkton, Vermont. Lake Champlain is undoubtedly as precious as the Connecticut River. Lake Champlain is likewise planned to house cables, pipelines UNDER the lake to transport power. Nowhere is the end game revealed. No where can common people like me find out Gaz Metro's history of rate hikes. I don't even understand the monopoly power of the power corporations remaining. For the record, I believe VT Yankee should have remained open or modify, upgrade. Stand down the expensive attorney threats that raise all of our energy costs. I believe the Pipeline from Alberta, CA to Ticonderoga, NY should be scrapped. This gaz could be transported by rail. Our local environment would suffer with a pipeline. The plan to extend the pipeline to Addison County is putting local seniors and vulnerable citizens at risk. Yes, this all ties together. What happens when a pipeline is put where a politician says, not planning around safety? Freezing, thawing, rocks, erosion, 5 feet of ice on the Lake. New York State refused. So we are all being threatened with being "NIMBY", as we live in the idyllic countryside. I feel like the closing of Yankee, and Gaz Metro's acquisitions of power control dovetail to crimp Vermonters into wanting a pipeline. Pipelines have been shown to increase methane with those pesky leaks. Some of the gas will be from fracking which has been outlawed here. Once again, private citizens having to lawyer up singly while the government entities act and wait for backlash, then ignore. I believe we need to rethink pipelines. Please do not plan on replacing coal generation with "natural" gas generation or use gas lines to transport electricity as I have read about. Keep the power lines out of Lake Champlain. Pardon any procedural lacking on my part. I am a citizen. My GMP power bill is $160 a month. Doubled past 10 years with less use. If a pipeline comes to Monkton, Vermont, less than a mile from my house, I could not get gas but would have to pay municipal taxes for fire and rescue departments that would have to respond to leaks as first responders. I feel as a citizen, that it appears political people may have taken donations for elections or other considerations with expectations about closing nuclear or facilitating Canadians to condemn beautiful homesteads in Rural Vermont: clearly not the most direct route from Alberta, CA to Ticonderoga, NY. Not scientific argument, just common sense logic. Thank you for your consideration of my comments.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dim Light

Dim Light

Dominates the Vermont December.

Darkness Rules,

Snow a welcome friend,

Brightens the Bleakness,

Winter is here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Travelogue for the Universe: Christmas Re runs

i blogged this story first time 2008
re-ran in 2011
seems due for a repeat
merry christmas...meg

Travelogue for the Universe: Christmas Re runs: Christmas stories are re-run year after year because some stories need to be repeated, some lessons are timeless. ***and with the depart...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Great yt link...brothers...

Listening again today
I think of our pipeline fight,
The loss of SRV
The dedication needed to play this amazing arrangement...meg

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Monkton Chronicles

Monkton Chronicles

"all the news that fits, we print." alfred e. newman

Well, in the dim light of a Vermont winter's day,
I can see my editor really needs to pull it up a bit...

Next thing you know,
(after struggling to scrape money from my nest egg savings
that I will pay taxes on,
on top of taxes)

Then the town of Monkton, Vermont posts minutes from the selectboard
Where they are changing the delinquent tax policy...or something...actually it is not clear
what, why or when they sprung this baby on us...nice warning to voters...

Immediately I went into Lois Lane mode...
searching memory banks...searching...searching...
Hey, the head of the selectboard told me,
"You Cannot Change the delinquent tax policy"...
 Guess that meant I cannot, but some other schmuck can....

So if you are huddled
In a cold and drafty room,
and you're wondering what to eat next,
and you forget to use the broom,
and your body doesn't smell so good,
The tax bill on the stand,
The bread bag, oh so empty,
They have the upper hand,
2 cents here, 4 cents there,
You got to pay the man.

All you feel is cold despair,
You huddle with cats,
With blankets, socks and underwear,
Cover all the windows there,
Keep out the cold night air.
You smell the hate of others,
Blowing in the Wind,
Hate or Greed, they smell the same,
All will do you in.

Grow calluses
or skin of brass
don't let them
pull you into 
The Morass.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Conquering the MonSter #MS #MultipleSclerosis

Friend, Healthcare blogger, Lisa Emrich put out another appeal for particpants in
Patient oriented research on living with MS.
Many participants will ensure a good bit of data.
Patient confidentiality, Privacy
and a feeling of Power that comes with action.
The results?
Real information, collated to see patterns, what helps, what hurts,
who gets better, worse, stays the same.
If you have MS or know someone who does, please share this.
Marc, the Wheelchair Kamikaze got me thinking about joining.
Lisa sealed the deal.
Then I read these testimonials by Reputable clinicians, Experts and Patients...

I am ready to help be a part of Patient oriented Research to help slay the MonSter...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Song of Beginning

Song of Beginning

12.1.2014 by mary e. gerdt
all rights reserved

Beginning to begin.

You're doing that again.

Your heart tells you to grow.

We all want you to know.

Because you are so free.

Now you are going to see.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Video SparkNotes: Orwell's 1984 Summary

Fred and I were married 30 years ago today,
It was 1984.
We did not plan on getting married that year.
It was spontaneous,
Symbolic of Commitment,
No frills,
Us, the JP and his wife.
Their living room,
It was pouring rain.
Now Our anniversary comes 2 weeks after taxes due.
That check sucked all the oxygen out of our savings.
Money isn't everything,
Good thing we have always had plenty of what we need,
knock on wood.
This post is for Fred...
With me through thick and thin,
No doublespeak here,
But an interesting video about 1984 above...
the Jp snapped 2 polaroids,
We got this one...