WOW! Student collects over 50,000 golf balls from the ocean! – Humans doing awesome things for our planet!

In the category of “Humans doing awesome things for our planet,” we have a young woman picking up the trash golfers leave behind.

Link and video

Why this student collected more than 50,000 golf balls out of the ocean

My two cents?

Regular people are fined for littering our highways and our towns, why aren’t golfers fined for littering the world with golf balls?

Not only do golfers leave golf balls behind when playing at clubs, but many golfers never think twice before hitting golf balls from their boats or from beaches directly beside the ocean. They’re never fined for actively polluting the oceans. These golf balls break down into micro-plastics which are ingested by fish and birds.

golf-onbeach

Since we know golf balls are super cheap, and most golfers don’t mind losing a few, what I’d like to see is every golfer pay a clean-up fee whenever they play golf. It wouldn’t matter to me if they were playing nine holes or eighteen, they need to pay a clean-up fee for the luxury of leaving their trash (golfballs) all over the country and all over the world.

Continue reading

Death Of Our Oceans – The Problem With Plastics

“Ocean plastic a ‘planetary crisis’ – UN”

Link – Ocean plastic a ‘planetary crisis’ – UN

As the caretakers of this planet, we must do better at protecting it.

mannestés_tlita_od_hamdan8475550398458879599..jpg

Photo from: WikiCommons 

First step: Stop using plastics as often as possible. I know this will be the hardest part, but even small changes can make a big difference.

Second step: Reuse as often as possible. Donate your random plastic containers (clean) to art stores or children’s art classes.

Third step: Recycle — Really recycle. America sucks at recycling. We must do better. Find new places around the country which will accept different plastics.

Fourth step: Support all efforts to clean up our oceans of all plastics, even microscopic plastic. Many companies are working to clean up our oceans and beaches. Support these efforts through donations, volunteer hours, or spreading the word about the organizations in your area.

If we don’t work together to save our planet, including our oceans, we won’t have to worry about it.

Humans will be the next to go.

Until next time… Be safe, be kind, and take time to love one another.

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Cut The Cord On Toxic Relationships! Protect Yourself From Any and All Abuse.

Women, listen up.

I’m literally shaking with anger.

I’ve had an ex kind-of stalking me on social media. Nothing to the point of “crazy” but worrisome.

He’s got a few mental issues. I’ve been as kind to his issues as I could be, but only because I knew him for a very long time, considered him a friend, and mental issues are hard to handle alone.

The conversations and messages soon turned insulting, possessive, demanding, and full of anger.

So, not only did I ignore him, but I muted his messages. He recently became demanding that I answer him right away.

He immediately reminded me of trump.

I spent my childhood living through mental and physical abuse and because that’s all I knew, I grew up to marry men who mentally and physically abused women.

I grew strong. I left those situations behind and never looked back.

I’m super protective over my freedom. I’m confident and mentally strong. No asshole will come in my life and try to take my freedom from me.

He’s now 💯 percent blocked from all my social media.

No friendship is worth abuse.

I have zero regrets for what he might do to himself. He’s a grown man. I am not his keeper, his counselor, nor am I his punching bag.

*I did contact his friend to let him know this guy was spiraling, but as the victim of this toxic person, it is not my job to keep him safe. When trying to cut from a toxic person, it’s not your job either.*

Ladies, protect yourself from all forms of abuse, including mental abuse. The moment a man (or woman ) takes a conversation to the level of making you feel uncomfortable, cut them completely out of your life.

Their happiness is not your responsibility.

– Rant over –

Until next time…Be safe, be kind, and take time to love one another.

** Protect yourself from abusive and toxic relationships **

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My Garden – Peppers

Just a glimpse of my peppers.

Gardening is one of the many hobbies which keep me happy and sane.

To me, there is nothing like feeling dirt in my hands, the sun on my back, and eating something I grew.

I have a big pile of peppers I need to photograph this weekend.

I always love food photography, but I love vegetable photography because they’re all so different and colorful and they last for days outside of the refrigerator, which gives me time to take a variety of photos from different angles and from different times of the day.

Photo by Amanda Blount

Sadly, I can’t upload my very favorite photos to my blog or social media because a few of my photos were stolen by strangers in the past. But I do share the next best ones which, I think, are still really good.

I’ll post more pepper photos this weekend.

Now it’s time to find some lunch.

I hope everyone has a great day!

Until next time… Be safe, be kind, and take time to love one another.

Shhh Here’s a secret. There’s a “follow” button near the top right of this page. I know you want to click it. It’s okay. No one is looking. Go on. Press it. You will receive all the wine induced updates you can handle.

The legal stuff:

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The Hashtag Heard Around The World — Why I Created The #SecondCivilWarLetters Hashtag.

Donald Trump is following in the steps of Alex Jones and other far-right supporters. He’s using his platform to flame the fires of war.

You can see that tweet here:

I’ve got a few words to say about this rhetoric. (** Published originally on Medium on June 10, 2018.)

We’ve only had one civil war in our nation’s history and I consider that a good thing. The war which raged on social media, starting with my tweet, was of sarcasm and no blood was shed in this war of words. I wish we could always keep it that way.

The original hashtag started here (and quickly followed by talented writers.)

#SecondCivilWarLetters

There was no malice attached to the tweet. In fact, it was the complete opposite.

When I read Alex Jones talking about a second Civil War, I became filled with rage. On a good day, his message is nonsense, but on this particular day, it was dangerous. He didn’t speak about an utterly fictional second Civil War supposedly being planned by Democrats just once, but three times to his crowd of rapt listeners and viewers who are already living in a political tinderbox.

Jones effectively put a target on half of the country. This was not “only” political rhetoric, but also highly irresponsible.

I’ve often been threatened online and I certainly have strong opinions, but I would never encourage anyone to take up arms against another. The cost of violence and war is too great to us as individuals and as a nation.

I served over 20 years fighting for this country in the US Army. Many of those years were served in war-torn countries. I saw the destroyed homes and museums in Iraq. I visited the Holocaust museums and concentration camps throughout Germany and Austria. I saw the death, despair, and destruction that comes with war. I saw what happens when a country is pushed to the brink of destruction. I saw the children begging for food in the poverty-stricken streets of Panama. I served behind the Berlin Wall, and I saw the hopelessness on the faces of those who lived there, oppressed for generations and only wishing for a better life. I was in Egypt during the 1993 Civil War and saw the upheaval and the despair of terrified civilians. I worked in the Cuban refugee camps, and I saw first-hand the sadness and pain that all refugees must face. In all these cases, there was a physical and mental toll on the refugee survivors that will remain with them in some form forever.

We witness modern civil war and refugees camps on TV in magazines, and newspapers, and online including those currently located at our Southern border, yet Alex Jones uses his words to incite fear and hate in his supporters. He uses his platform to create rather than quell violence and chaos.

During a civil war, progress stops, homes are destroyed, infrastructure falls apart, education becomes sporadic, and medical services are reserved for those who might survive to fight another day. The first to die are children, the elderly, and the disabled; disease and hopelessness set in, and some survivors soon follow their families to the graveyard.

Panama

Photo by: Greg Roberts

Those who do survive the war are refugees who have no place to call home, no bed to call their own, and no food to share with their children.

If the United States had a second Civil War, this time the refugees on the news would not be the strangers we cast aside or the ones that weren’t allowed to enter our country. They also would not be the faceless people overseas that we send thoughts and prayers to each Sunday. The refugee camps would be overflowing with millions of Americans. Our homes, colleges, museums, coffee shops, malls, and places we worship would all be bombed. There would be nothing left. Abstract as war may be to Alex Jones, this is what he’s toying with bringing into being.

Instead of working together for a better tomorrow and putting our resources towards something greater for our nation, our already crumbling streets would be marked with the throes of war. It wouldn’t matter if the damage was done by the enemy or friendly fire, everyone would suffer. That is the reality of a war in your homeland.

We’ve never in history had access to so much and been willing to throw it away over so little. We have food from almost every country in the world, technology at bottom-dollar prices, more choices of clothing then what some people in the world will ever have available to them in a lifetime — home supplies, party supplies, personal hygiene items, and fruits and vegetables in every color of the rainbow. Education is available at the touch of a button, science kits can be purchased online and studied at home, the Internet is available to most of American children so they can read the great speeches of wonderful men and women throughout our history, find help with their reading or math assignments when their parents can no longer help them, and use apps to produce and create some of the most wonderful music and art available in our history.

Our country has many issues we must work through, but we’ve never seen a time like this in history, where we have the potential to move forward and create the most advanced civilization the world has ever seen.

ISS

ISS from Endeavour — WikiCommons

All of this will disappear if we continue down the path of mutual destruction.

I look around me and realize we have everything we need to survive, and the politicians and their pundits push the idea to throw it all away.

Alex Jones is an adult. I may not agree with anything he says, but he’s not stupid. He knows that his words carry weight and that his audience sees him as their guide. He knows that his words can inspire a mob mentality. For him to insist many times that a civil war is on the horizon is akin to someone shouting fire in a theater or claiming a hijack on a plane. It is irresponsible, immature, and dangerous to the foundation of this country.

He has children of his own. Do the photos of children trying to survive in Syria not haunt him?

My own Great+ uncle William Blount signed the US Constitution, I read articles about our world history daily, and I’m well versed in our own civil war, so when I heard Alex Jones’ false and inflammatory statements I was angry. Angry at the ease in which he used his vast platform to incite hate and anger and to ram a wedge between two groups of Americans. Angry that he would dare to use his voice to incite war and throw away all the sacrifices so many generations of families have given this great country.

In a moment of pure frustration and reflecting on the mass murder of hard-working journalists, our rights being stripped away daily, racism running rampant through the country, and the deep divide we have found ourselves in, I wanted to shout and rage online. I was furious. I wanted to scream and say, “Enough!” But in a moment of calmness, I remembered the jesters in the king’s court and thought of how the talented comedians of today represent those jesters. Jesters held an important role in the great tragedies, bringing carefully worded opinions from the people to the leaders of a nation, telling them the truth in ways that their advisors never would.

Instead of reacting out of rage, I turned my anger into comedy so I could point out the destructive insanity Alex Jones presented to his followers and to the nation.

In one tweet and one hashtag, I wanted to show just how ridiculous his claims were and present the silly daily basics we would lose during a civil war. I wanted to defuse the cycle of angry rhetoric with laughter and sarcasm.

Our country isn’t perfect, not even close. But what we have is a country that we should work towards saving, not breaking apart. We should be working hard together to help house the homeless, aid the undereducated and the jobless, provide care to the sick, and access to the disabled. We should be helping those who have served their time for their crimes to reintegrate into society so they may provide a better future for themselves and their families. We should help veterans find jobs and obtain training in areas which will prepare them for an ever-changing future. We should help parents find resources for themselves so they may provide a better home and education for their children. We must work towards humane immigration and oppose inhumane practices.

We need to be a nation which stands up against evil and supports kindness and compassion. We should be a nation where those who are the future of medicine, technology, education, and manufacturing are welcome in our country, not shunned. We should work with other nations to help all people achieve their greatest potential because alone, we will fail, but as a global friend, we will succeed.

If we continue to fight among each other and listen to the rhetoric of those who wish to throw a match into the tinderbox we now live, we will fail ourselves, our citizens, and our allies. We will fail as a nation.

To Alex Jones, I refuse to give your ramblings of a civil war any credit. I will meet you with horror and disdain. I refuse to allow you or others like you to break my resolve to keep fighting to make this nation a better place for everyone. I refuse to allow you to bring down everything generations of people have sacrificed for.

I will not shed blood on our country’s shores. Your children and your listeners deserve more from us. I may not agree with them, but they are my brothers and sisters in this fight to find the best way forward. We must find a way to create a country where we can support progress for the future for everyone, or we will fail together. No matter what negative message you spread, I will continue to fight hard for the rights of all people and the planet we live on.

I will fight you with legislation, with my vote, and I will continue to fight your ridiculous accusations with as much comedy as it takes to stop more blood from flowing in our streets.

Amanda Blount

1LT(R), US Army

 

** This essay was originally published on Medium on June 10, 2018.

https://medium.com/@amandablount2/the-hashtag-heard-around-the-world-why-i-created-the-secondcivilwarletters-hashtag-c48311aab3c0https://medium.com/@amandablount2/the-hashtag-heard-around-the-world-why-i-created-the-secondcivilwarletters-hashtag-c48311aab3c0

View story at Medium.com

Sunday Funday – Writing and Painting, and Photography, Oh My!

On top of my medical issues, I live with anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, and ADHD. Seriously, no joke. I’m always a bundle of nerves. There are days even I can’t stand being around me. To find my center, I keep a variety of hobbies available at all times. I set goals, and I tackle them a little each day. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Note 1: My life depends on a constant supply of Post-it notes. Seriously! They need to sponsor me.

Today I went full ADHD and worked on all three hobbies without losing my mind in the process.

Note 2: When it comes to hobbies, it’s perfectly acceptable to go full ADHD and have fun with as many as you wish, but plan your time carefully, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

What’s great about writing, painting, and photography and living with ADHD is I’m able to set the amount of time I need to finish each project. I can decide what size project I’m going to work on depending on how I feel that day.

When it takes weeks to finish something, I get bored and hate the project before it’s completed (I have no clue how I created children without getting bored. Those little humans take nine months to create!) Small projects, which can be completed in a few days, or less than a week, are fun for me and make me happy.

I’m having fun painting today, but I think the art on my hands is better than my canvas.

Paint on my hand

Photo by Amanda Blount

 

Until next time…Be safe, be kind, and take time to love one another.

Shhh Here’s a secret. There’s a “follow” button near the top right of this page. I know you want to click it. It’s okay. No one is looking. Go on. Press it. You will receive all the wine induced updates you can handle.

The legal stuff:

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Journalism 101

Journalism 101

 

Until next time…Be safe, be kind, and take time to love one another.

(Shhh Here’s a secret. There’s a “follow” button near the top right of this page. I know you want to click it. It’s okay. No one is looking. Go on. Press it. You will receive all the wine induced updates you can handle.)

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Check this out! A Serious Awww Moment. Super sweet gender reveal video! Also covered on Channel 3 CBS News GA.

Awww! A military couple makes a gender reveal video and it’s super sweet!

Seriously! You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Gender reveal video that will melt your heart

 

Beverly Baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly and Rob

 

Channel 3 News Columbus Georgia picked up their story. See it here.

Channel 3 News – Local Veterans Didn’t Think They Could Have Children

Or here…

http://www.wrbl.com/news/local-news/exclusive-local-vets-who-thought-they-couldnt-have-children-host-unique-baby-gender-reveal/1084242148

 

 

Never give up on love. 🙂

Until next time…Be safe, be kind, and take time to love one another.

(Shhh Here’s a secret. There’s a “follow” button near the top right of this page. I know you want to click it. It’s okay. No one is looking. Go on. Press it. You will receive all the wine induced updates you can handle.)

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I’m tired of listening to the same old excuses about gun regulations – I’m angry!

{Warning: Strong words}

I’m just going to lay it out here.

I was raised in a Republican based mindset. Obviously, I went my own way, but there were times in my life, even after I became a progressive liberal, where I stood up for Republicans and the @GOP.

Not all their ideas were terrible. There were a few which could actually help people (Like TN — a red state — giving two free years of college to all TN residents), but this crop of Republicans are not the Republicans from the past.

Republicans are no longer the party of Lincoln. They have sworn allegiance to the far-right base of the @GOP and they are the party of Trump.

I will no longer listen to the excuses and dumbshit I’ve heard my entire life. I’ll no longer be nice and shake my head politely when a relative or distant friend says something racist or stupid about LGBTQ. I will call each and every one of them out for the stupidity they preach.

This goes for common-sense gun regulations. Don’t come at me with some bullshit excuse that common-sense gun regulations do not work. — All you have to do is look at Europe and Australia. — It works fine for them, so obviously, laws work.

We can come together to try a few things;

  1. More money to help patients with mental illness
  2. Go back to Obama era policies banning the severely mentally ill from purchasing firearms.
  3. Better acknowledgment of serious incident reporting by FBI
  4. Military, FBI, and other agencies actually talk to one another and create one “no gun buy” database.
  5. Everyone must wait 7 days from order to pick up of a gun.
  6. Background checks on everyone who purchases a gun
  7. Middleman to facilitate person to person sales and registration of guns (just like cars)
  8. Zero bump stocks unless someone can prove a disability who cannot pull a trigger . — If anyone other than the rightful owner is caught using the bump stock, they will be jailed.
  9. Get rid of all AR15s. No one, outside the military and police, needs an AR-15.
  10. All weapons must be registered. Period!
  11. All gun owners must go through training (except military, veterans, and police). If you’ve been using a gun for an extended period of time or you are a military veteran or police, you can “test-out” but this will include watching a film on gun safety and the aftermath of gun violence.
  12. If you own a weapon, it must be part of your homeowners’ insurance. If your gun is used to harm another person (even if it was stolen) your home insurance must pay for the physical and mental damages of those affected. If you do not own your home, you must obtain separate gun insurance to ensure the expense of damages to others will be recovered by the victims and families.
  13. All items of expense will be limited to an amount which is fair. Americans will have the opportunity to own at least 3 weapons if they wish. After three guns, the price of expenses (registration and ins) will go up drastically with the number of guns a person or family owns.
  14. If you can’t afford these items, you can’t own a gun.

These are just a few of the minor changes we can make as a society to decrease deaths and mass shootings (I’ll probably add more soon). Will it eliminate all deaths? No. Of course not. Not all baby seats prevent baby deaths, but it’s against the law to carry your baby anywhere without one.

No law eliminates all crimes. Laws are created to decrease crime and make crime harder to commit.

Let’s look at exactly what I’m talking about.

I don’t do meth. I’ve never done meth. I don’t plan to do meth. I have no idea how to make meth. But, because some criminals create meth, I’m forced to go to the store and show my ID, and purchase only one box of Sudafed a month for my allergies, and I can only purchase so much per year.

Do people still make meth? YES! Do people still die from meth? YES! But the reason for, what I consider, an insane law, is to get as much as the stuff off the streets and hopefully make it harder for meth makers to make a deadly drug. Does it stop all deaths? No. Not even close. But it does help.

The same goes for pain medications. I must suffer greatly because Drs have been ordered to get pain medications off the streets as much as possible to deter criminals from abusing drugs. — Yet, many disabled people suffer daily because they can’t get the pain medications they need daily. All because some fucked up criminal messed it up for the good people who need it.

So, let me tell you something. I don’t give a rat’s ass if you sleep with 50 damn guns to make your penis look longer. I don’t care if you’re never going to hurt anyone with your guns. I don’t give a shit if no lives with you, so no one will hurt anyone either.

If I have to give up my Sudafed (for my allergies) and my pain medications (which I need for many painful diseases), because some uneducated, knuckle dragging, doped up, asshole, decided to almost OD, then, by god, I honestly do not give one shit about your damn AR 15s and bump stocks which are used to murder many, including school children.

If the teens from Parkland are any indication, change is coming. Get used to it.

If you wish to read more about my thoughts on the matter, here is an interview of my opinion and answers to common sense gun regulations, written for Mic.com by Anna Swartz (Twitter — @Anna_Snackz)

https://mic.com/articles/185008/a-gun-owning-military-veteran-explains-why-she-supports-more-gun-control-laws#.L8rettEs4

I hope America will come together and devise some common sense laws that will benefit everyone and keep more people safe. The least we can do is start with bump stocks and AR 15s.

But, if you don’t want to help with progress, and if you’re super sad about losing a few gun rights (and I mean very few), then, don’t worry, I will gladly send you my thoughts and prayers.