Astronomy Picture of the Day

Friday, August 11, 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Hollyhocks came back
Like a miracle They sprout,
After Winter's cold

Monday, August 7, 2017

Mom's Butterfly

Zen Moments 

Mom came to me as a Butterfly,

A Black Swallowtail 

Adorned in Gold

Lighting on burdocks 


I am here. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Travelogue for the Universe: Rerun, again

Travelogue for the Universe: Rerun, again: When the night air starts to get heavy with dew, The fall is approaching, Ever so gradually, The Coyotes know. My favorite. Summer R...

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Inspiration for You

#FeelGoodFriday 🎢
The Israel MS Society created this song 'Just the way I am'
for #peoplelivingwithms. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Berries and Birds And Coffee

I intended to show you the first brood
Of swallows.

They look happy.
Will post as soon as the files
Find their way onto my blog pages...
Enjoy the berries,
Most are Not ripe yet...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Greeting August
with more

The Berries are great this year.

Enjoy the YouTube
And the berry views...

Saturday, July 29, 2017

New Music

Buy this Tune!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rerun #2/2 Travelogue for the Universe: Revenue Blues 2

Travelogue for the Universe: Revenue Blues 2: Revenue Blues 2 Tax and Spending  That's all those lawmakers do. Revenue is just another word For Taxing your sorry �� ass. ...

Re-run... Travelogue for the Universe: revenue blues

With news that Vermont legislature is kicking around raising property taxes,
On top of town taxes,
Oh, pardon me,
Not Taxes,
It's "Revenue "

Travelogue for the Universe: revenue blues: revenue blues some call it taxes, some cannot pay, some call it revenue, to hide what they say, some want to shirk them, others pay thei...

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Another Year

Another Year
Sunflowers Towering 
Sweet Corn 🌽 Tassling
It was
Another Year 

Monday, July 24, 2017



The neighbor mowed our long neglected yard,
Opening a path to our thorny patch
Of beautiful blackberries.
"Illini "

Fred crawled in between the thorny canes and stray wild 😜 Parsnip 
To pick a handful of these sweet berries.
Plenty of green and underripe berries 

Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Letters I've sent #healthcare

Hello Senator Leahy,
I write to you about health care and all the urgent reform some think are needed.I am an RN Case Manager with almost 30 years experience working in Vermont between hospital, subacute, nursing home, insurance/HMO, long term care and home based care. That is in spite of low wages initially and tough conditions.I was laid off in 1996 because I was under 40 and the legislature protected the elder workers.
I have recently lost over 40 thousand dollars in my retirement/savings, was denied disability insurance 3 days after my MS diagnosis and lost a bundle-over 200 thousand on legal expenses and payout after a 5 year bloody family land court fight.
But I never wrote you before that I recall.Maybe I was just stunned by circumstances.But I write you now, not angrily, but passionately, that you must not pass legislation that promises to fix the health care system in a thousand pages.
My healthcare is pretty good now so please stop saying how broken it is. I agree with Medicaid waivers because I work for Vermont's Choices for Care. And yet I disagree with the generous financial loopholes where large assets are hidden and passed to others while I visit other starving or homeless Vermonters and pay very high taxes.Managed care is not something to be undertaken lightly. I worked for Kaiser and believed in our concepts but still it soured my stomach to turn down a circumcision because the child wasn't the right age.I have cared for Canadians who had to wait or spend their dollars in the US to get our level of care.And please support tort reform. Not only for health care. But also in cases like ours, where we lost so much.Finally, I must remain in my present health care support system. Do not change one thing. Add a catastrophic+preventive system for the poor. Vermont has an ideal system. I fear we will not be able to afford it much longer.Aren't you better off really studying what is working, who is happy, and who needs what? Then make incremental changes. Do not doubt we have the best health care system in the world. This means more to me than money or time. That is why I write today, not out of anger. My anger is gone since diagnosed with MS. I do not have the time for anger. Mary Gerdt RN 

Favorite Places

Lake Champlain from The Spirit of Ethan Allen
Burlington Waterfront 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Replay... Travelogue for the Universe: Atlantis

Travelogue for the Universe: Atlantis: Atlantis I can still see my mother's eyes light up at the word, Atlantis A mythical place, a mysterious story, a continent, was it mo...

Monday, July 17, 2017


The Views 
All around us
Are Special
Bound in Silver

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Travelogue for the Universe: We are one


Travelogue for the Universe: We are one: We are one Can there be a doubt? Can you figure out, How there could be A way besides We are one? And if there is No start or end ...

Tweet from

my artist friend...

Monday, July 10, 2017

Locust Tree

Mom's Birthday is today...

Locust pictures.
This one is of the largest trees.
the gap at the top
Is where the the huge tree limb came from.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Wicked Wind

A Wicked Wind

A wicked wind came through, 
wind from south and north, 
torrential downpour
now blue skies😎

 Next... picture of the top of our locust tree blew down in the wind with a mighty Crack!
            It landed in the best place.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Thoughts on Gaz, #Fracking and the Future

I'm awake and I found this gem I wrote ..Like the Psalm Challenge from a few years ago, hosted by Robert Geiss, when you read the Psalm...the Song, it has different meaning depending on the context in which you read it. Today, years later, I woke up early and thought about Vermont's divergent roads. One ☝🏾 is fracker free, no pipeline extension, no extension cord from Canada to NYC,no Gaz to Vernon shut down nuclear plant. One road is leaving Vermont littered with soon to be obsolete gigundo solar mirrored fields, huge windmills placed on blasted mountaintops, vibrating the neurological system of man woman child and beasts,an extension cord the length of Lake Champlain after dredging a pathway. Disturbing fish 🐟 habitat,and revolutionary war relics and bones from soldiers in sunken war ships.Not least is the Trans Vermont pipeline. Now made shallower by the PSB now called PUC.

Sunday Psalm for #Fracking fighters

Sing me a song,
Of a Pipeline gone wrong,
and I'll tell you it's 
all about Gaz.

Pipefitters on Meth,
Drawing their last breath,
Welding their pipes,
A faint smell of Death.

Journalists Swoon,
Singing the Gaz Tune,
Keeping their Advertising,
Their Position Uncomprimising.

Politicians are told,
PSB knows the score,
3 feet underground?
Yes, said the....PSB.
no, this doesn't rhyme at all w/ me either...

Fracking voted down,
In each Hamlet & Town,
Gaz, he don't care,
He wants to be Everywhere.
(or is gaz a she, or an it...)

A 16 year old could see,
The Folly, 
like you & Me,
of a pipeline of Hell,
Rome Fell,
He saw the Future like We,
#fracking fighters
We Be. 

notes meg:
We love the Earth,
Our back yard,
our water,
our soil.
We love the Lake,
it gives us
Beauty, environment, fish, recreation.
We watch as the dinosaur bone wars continue.
Battles over fossil fuels-limited, finite, toxic.
Fuel prices going up again. Wars...
Is this to prop up the (un) natural gaz market?
Cram all these pipelines....through our rural neighborhood.
Not through the beautiful peoples' backyards,
they already winked and nodded and signed off in invisible ink. Oh yes, and New York State successfully averted a pipeline from Canada to International paper which sits on Lake Champlain across from Shoreham, Vermont. So why is NY silent about their "half" of the Lake Champlain which is earmarked for a high pressure gaz pipeline originating in Alberta, Canada? Maybe because their half of that part of the lake is a toxic sludge pile from vintage paper making. If I crossed all this out, it is because no one dares predict the combination of fermented chemicals and a burst pipeline...come will happen. Freeze,-thaw,-pipefitters on meth, in a hurry, defective products, wear and tear. The fricking lake freezes over with Feet of ice. God help us all.meg

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Travelogue for the Universe: Flashback to the First Generation Travelogue... #M...

This is a flashback
To a flashback...
My current blog visitor total
At Approximately
Thanks to my readers for visiting...

Travelogue for the Universe: Flashback to the First Generation Travelogue... #M...:   10.03.2015...My Notes: I am very close to 200,000 total views. It is a personal milestone that sparked a Flashback post to my firs...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Nature's Way

The nuisance, non native to Vermont 
Wild Poison Parsnip.
Seeds flourished in any disturbed soils,
Like our garden 😞
Theses photos from last year.
We were hopeful when we identified 
The Parsnip Webworm
This year, the Parsnip
Plants are less robust,
And we saw the Webworms survived. scroll down




Here are photos of this year's plants

See the webworms have started in the immature flowers.
The plants are weaker  this year,
Second year of no mow.
Better than digging up those vile wild poison Parsnip!
Nature's Way

Monday, July 3, 2017

Sous vide

It was a Special meal,
Fred had a birthday.
We chose to buy fine foods and cook at home.
I discovered the Sous Vide method,
Literally Without Air.
We got an Anova Cooking apparatus 
And have found the perfect steak,
The perfect egg,
And much more yet to be explored...
Look πŸ‘€ it up....
The scallops came from Great Alaska

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Music 🎢 Link

Beautiful Group of Musical Masters

Live Acoustic show at Carnegie Hall.
Link from Joe Bonamassa Channel on YouTube 😎❤️🌺🎸🎻πŸ₯πŸŽΉπŸŽ§πŸŽ€πŸŽ¬

Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday Night Musik

Have a Great Weekend!

Link from YouTube 😎
Wow, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble.
❤️ 🌻R.i.p. SRV 🎸🎀

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Rerun: Travelogue for the Universe: More on near death experience

Today's notes:
I posted this awhile ago,
While still working,
Before that MonSter persistently attacked my neurological system,
Dragging me home.
I don't ponder πŸ€” much on near death experiences,
I wrote this awhile ago and it goes well with a dark, cold, dreary πŸ˜” Vermont Summer.

Travelogue for the Universe: More on near death experience: More from my life on near death experiences... I've been a Registered Nurse from 1980 to present. Spent almost 20 years in hospital ...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Breaking #Fracking in land of imaginary rules and regulations


If you're following our local battle against a pipeline being literally crammed through idyllic, peaceful, gentle rolling hills, farmland,our homeland 🏑 
You'll know.
More Gubmint in action...
Or Inaction.

From the Digger,
To which we are Grateful,
Free Press in Action.
Raising awareness about Inaction.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


We call him "C"
Because he has a white splotch on his forehead 
In the shape of a C.
He's a Y2K cat 🐱 
Tommy's cousin or brother 
Another Mother 
He's Feral,
We caught him too late to tame him.
We trapped all the felines that year,
About 20. 
Green Mountain Animal Defenders 🌹
Helped us with technical advice,
Loaner traps,
Adopting out some.
C and Orangina, aka Buddy are the last two feral cats outside .
You can get close,
But not too close.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Breaking #fracking Gaz update part 2

Hi all - we just sent this out to a slew of press contacts - but please share with any personal contacts you may have, and with anyone interested in knowing whats going on with the pipeline! I am not including the attachments since they may not come through and are large, and they were posted to these lists in the past few days.  If you NEED them, please let me know and I can provide. 


June 26, 2017, for immediate release
Contact: Rachel Smolker, phone: office: (802) 482-2848, mobile: (802)735-7794. Email:
Vermont Gas violates their permit failing to bury the pipeline deep enough in New Haven, and failing to notify the Public Service Board of the problem for over a year. But the shallow burial problems may be widespread. Citizens, via attorney James Dumont, have filed a reply, demanding an evidentiary hearing, an investigation into VGS neglect and misconduct, and potential sanctions of up to $10,000 per day for 13 months.
On June 2, 2017, Vermont Gas filed a request with the Public Service Board, asking that the Board consider the fact that they violated their permit when they failed to bury the pipeline to proper depth in an area in New Haven over a year ago, to be a “nonsubstantial change” to the permit. [attachments A and B]
On Friday, attorney James Dumont filed a response [attachment c] on behalf of several Vermonters.  Dumont argues that insufficient burial depth may be chronic, not limited to the one area in New Haven, where vigilant Vermonters happened to take photographs. He also points out that VGS knew about the problem in New Haven over a year ago but failed to notify the state until now, even though they are required by permit to notify the state immediately of any deviations from their plans as permitted. Finally, Dumont’s response raises serious questions about whether VGS and the Department of Public Service had any process in place to ensure contractors were aware of and complied with the conditions of the state certificate of public good (CPG) permit. Dumont’s clients are requesting an evidentiary hearing, and also an investigation of VGS’ neglect and misconduct, including an independent survey of depth for the entire pipeline route, as well as sanctions.
Background: The state “certificate of public good” (CPG) permit required, (among many other conditions), that the pipeline be buried at least 4 feet deep where it runs inside the VELCO right of way, under high voltage transmission wires.  This depth was a condition of the permit, and of the agreement between VGS and VELCO. Other depth requirements are associated with agricultural lands, stream and road crossings and individual easement agreements. The compressed gas pipeline runs more than 27 miles in the VELCO right of way and more than 23 miles in prime agricultural soils.
The area where VGS admitted they failed to bury the pipe deep enough is a wetland area, designated as a “state significant area” in New Haven. In September 2016, as construction in the area was underway, an excavator sank deep into the mud. A curious citizen, Lawrence Shelton, visited the site and noted that the pipeline was laid out in an open trench at very shallow depth. He took photographs.
Those photos were later delivered by a coalition of Vermont organizations and residents to the Department of Public Service, as well as to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) first in October of 2016 and then again in April 2017, along with a compilation of other observations and concerns about unsafe construction.
The photos were also presented to VGS and the DPS at a public forum on the pipeline, in February 2017. Mr GC Morris, the DPS gas engineer, agreed to participate in a site visit with Mr Shelton, which occurred in March.
PHMSA indicated in early May 2017 that they had sent staff to Vermont, and taken some steps towards investigating the complaints they had received.
Mr Shelton stated: “VGS had to admit their error in New Haven, because WE forced the issue to the regulators.  But now the question is: how are we to be confident that the pipe was properly buried in places where nobody was watching? The vast majority of the pipeline route was laid down where it was not visible and most people have no knowledge of what the depth or construction requirements are anyway.”
VGS knew about the shallow depth problem well over a year ago but failed to inform the state that they were violating their permit.  Vermont Gas’ request for nonsubstantial change designation is accompanied by a letter from VELCO which states: “VGS confirmed in writing to VELCO, with a May 25, 2016 Mott McDonald engineering analysis, that the HS20+15% loading requirement for the pipe, referenced in the joint VELCO/VGS Ops and Maintenance agreement could be obtained and maintained at all locations with less than 4 foot installed burial depth”.  The May 2016 engineering analysis of the problem makes clear it was known back at that time.
Also in May of 2016, ARK Engineering published an “AC Interference Analysis and Mitigation System Design” for the project. The report refers to the required burial depth in VELCO ROW incorrectly, as 3 feet. ARK took  direction on the depth requirement from VGS.
VGS appears to have already decided to violate its permit conditions back in May of 2016 prior to constructing most of the pipeline. The CPG permit stipulates that any substantial or material deviation from the plans for the pipeline as permitted, must first be approved by the Board ahead of time. Not a year later when gas under pressure is flowing through the pipe!
Finally, the depth of cover issue raises serious questions about whether VGS, or the DPS, had any real process for ensuring that any of the conditions of the CPG – not just pipeline depth - were ever implemented.  In a separate case (referred to in the Dumont reply, item D., par 78-82 ) involving blasting damages to a property, VGS employee and Right Of Way Manager, Karen Kotecki, testified that she was “unaware of how VGS ensured compliance with details of the CPG.”  A project supervisor for a VGS contractor stated he “may have been provided a copy of the CPG but had no recollection.”
Rachel Smolker stated in summary: “This pipeline has been rushed into operation with slipshod construction, and gross mismanagement on many fronts right from the start and in spite of persistent strong public opposition. Currently there are still two pending Supreme Court appeals, yet Vermont Gas is allowed to operate the pipeline in the meantime. The more we learn, the more we are appalled and concerned for the safety of our communities and the environment. It is increasingly obvious that VGS paid little if any attention whatsoever to the state CPG permit requirements. DPS allowed that to happen.  That is why we took our concerns to the federal authorities last October, in hopes that someone would force some oversight. At least that seems to have aided in forcing VGS to admit to what happened in New Haven, but there is no reason to assume that is the only place with a problem. VGS is now crowing that their pipeline is “done”.  But we certainly are not! 
NOTES: What are the consequences and implications of too-shallow pipeline burial?
VGS, not surprisingly, claims the shallow burial is a minor issue. But burial depth is no minor issue. The CPG required Vermont Gas to build the system to higher than minimum standards with knowledge that there would likely be an expansion of the VELCO transmission system alongside the pipeline. The 4-foot depth was required as a means for protecting the pipe against damage from “load” - i.e. trucks and equipment driving over it. VGS is now claiming (and VELCO accepting) that the load bearing requirement will be met anyway irrespective of the too-shallow burial because thicker pipe was used. 
Depth of cover also impacts cathodic protection, which protects against corrosion and potential pipeline failure that can occur due to electrical interference under high voltage transmission wires. When corrosion occurs, it can happen quickly. In one case, for example, a pipeline installed 2 years earlier, had lost 95% of pipe wall thickness.
VGS is required to bury the pipe at least 4 feet deep in agricultural lands.  This is to protect farmers who are using equipment to dig/till/harvest on their land.  Equipment striking the pipeline could damage the pipe, and ultimately could lead to a leak or an explosion.  For farmers working their fields, and for people living along the pipeline route, especially those within what is referred to as the “incineration zone”, questions about the depth of burial raise serious concerns for safety. 

Breaking πŸ¦…#Fracking Trans Vermont Pipeline Update


Updates from the Stop the Trans Vermont Pipeline group...
First, summary by Rachel...

summer is fun time, but this truly cannot be missed….

On June 2, VGS filed a "request for nonsubstantial change" over their failure to bury the pipe properly in New Haven, along with a letter from VELCO saying it was OK with them. (i have those if you want and cannot access). This shallow burial was an admission of what we already knew to be the case - Cisco had taken photos, we had delivered those and other related concerns to PHMSA…and to GC MOrris at the public forum with June Tierney etc etc. SO they could not hide it. 

But a bunch more research has been done in the meantime, and some public record requests. Pieces began to fall into place... The story becomes quite a bit more damming indeed, with implications re whether there was ANY implementation of conditions of the CPG...

The filing submitted by Jim Dumont (on behalf of some of Protect Geprags, Kristen Lyons) is attached and a real page turner. 

PS: Note that the PSB took public comments on the nonsubstantial request until last Friday. DPS comment on the matter even at this stage states that they consider the depth of cover failure in New Haven to be a <<>> deviation from the CPG.  

not given up yet

***notes from Mary: I was unable to post the filing. It is a page turner...meg

Rerun🌻Travelogue for the Universe: For the Cowboys

Travelogue for the Universe: For the Cowboys: For the Cowboys When about 10, A friend and her Mom and I went to a rodeo. I was fascinated. Then when grown up we saw a big rodeo...

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Re run ➡️Travelogue for the Universe: The Color of Pain

Travelogue for the Universe: The Color of Pain: Today before I even read the Psalm of the day on Psalm Challenge I wanted to post some Sunday th...

Saturday, June 24, 2017

David's Starry Night

Courtesy of a friend, David Punia

A perfect capture of Fireflies or Lightning Bugs as I call them

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Night Musik

Friday Night Musik 

The ever amazing Beth Hart

Link from YouTube 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Travelogue for the Universe: Themes of Pain

Thought I'd repost some of my Pain writings.
This as the Vermont legislature ponders with deep thought
Incremental legalization of #cannabis
Or Legalization Lite.
Painful Progress 

Travelogue for the Universe: Themes of Pain: themes of pain there is the pain corporeal, our aches, our pains significant. some block the pain, ignore the theme, the pattern of pains,...

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Friday Night Musik ...Early Edition Richard Barone

Today the Travelogue received a fine vinyl album 
Richard Barone.
The postal lady liked the looks of it.
I was thrilled.
Here are a few favorite YouTube links...
Buy his album
And be teleported 
To 1960's Greenwich Village 
Crank it up 😎