Protecting the Environment


I’ve always been an environmentalist. I will soon be living, at least part of each year, in an area where protecting wetlands, and the plants and animals that live within them, is of vital importance. This may be difficult since there is a movement in the nation’s capitol to abandon environmental regulations and concerns. 

The current budget, presented to the U.S. Congress by President Donald Trump, abandons most, if not all, environmental regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency has essentially been defunded. The Keystone XL Pipeline has been approved. The waste water of coal mine operations is going to be allowed to pollute the water around the coal mines of West Virginia and Kentucky. This is not an exhaustive list of the effect of the proposed federal budget on our environment. 

My area wetlands in Southwest Florida support a large variety of tropical plants, birds, and animals. Part of the area has recently been rehabilitated and the wetlands restored. Wetlands only exist if there is symbiosis between the species of plants and animals within them. The Florida Everglades are an example of wetlands where the symbiosis of the area is not only being disturbed, but destroyed.  Snakes that people have kept as pets and that have gotten too large have been dumped into the Everglades. Pythons, boa constrictors, and others. They are not native to the area and are upsetting the symbiotic balance in this very important wetland area in the United States.

Another environmental issue that is particularly important to me is in the state of Kentucky and its coal mining operations. I, of course, want the people of the state that I have called home for many years to have jobs. Many people in the eastern part of the state work in mining. They blame federal regulations for the loss of their jobs. To increase his popularity, President Trump has dropped the regulatory requirement that coal waste water not be dumped into local waterways. In reality, federal regulations are a small part of the coal miners’ problems. They will simply end up with polluted water and jobs that won’t last very long, if they are rehired at all. 

The Keystone XL Pipeline will run the width of the United States. The chances of a disaster of epic proportions regarding oil spills is high. That is one reason that environmental groups have protested against the construction of this pipeline.

Perhaps the most troubling action against the environment is the dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in this President’s budget. When we think about the advances in cleaning up our air and water since the federal government established the EPA, it is shocking to think of what dismantling it might mean. The symbiosis between species of plants and animals within the environment will disappear as environmental regulations are dropped. Entire species will vanish as well. We don’t know what effect that will have on our environment and, ultimately, on the human population.

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Posted in Non-fiction

#SoCS – 03/25/2017

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What is it about eccentric personalities? I’ve known my share and liked most of them. When I met a person once who was to become one of my best friends, he didn’t immediately strike me as an eccentric. It was only over time that I found he marched to the beat of a different drummer. I admire people who can do that and get away with it, but having known many people with eccentric personalities, I’ve found most don’t really get away with it. They may march to that different drummer, but they pay a price for it. They get to maintain their marching beat, out of time with the drum major, but they are looked at with skepticism by their community at large. Whatever that community may be. They seem vaguely suspicious to everyone who values marching in step. You might even say they can be the outcasts of society.

Some professions welcome eccentric personalities. Why? They tend to be original thinkers and come up with inventive ideas. Academia is one such profession. Original research is required in academia. Inventive ideas are a necessity in order to excel and even to keep one’s job in all but the smallest of colleges. Even there, inventive teaching ideas are welcomed. That slightly (or not so slightly) out of step marcher is welcomed. Think Stephen Hawking to call upon an extreme example.

Some industries, at least those that actually invent products which are rare in the U.S. these days, welcome eccentric personalities as they tend to think big and develop the products that are cutting edge. Think Steve Jobs and Apple Computer. Steve Jobs was certainly an eccentric and imagine someone never having conceived of Apple products.

I haven’t seen that churches particularly welcome eccentrics. Church goers seem to enjoy like-minded people. There hasn’t ever been much room for different ideas or ways of looking at things in my experiences. Or for people who march a bit out of step.

Artist’s colonies. Eccentrics with tendencies toward the arts – writing, painting, sculpting, theatre – are often comfortable in artist’s colonies. There are some artist’s retreats to be found and even some permanent artist’s colonies. Fewer and fewer that I see.

There are Stephen Hawking’s and Steve Job’s everywhere you look. Many people just don’t give those who march to the beat of a different drummer a chance. They laugh at them. Pretend to look down on them when they may actually envy them for going their own way. Even try to make them throwaway members of society for not fitting into the cliques, clubs, and gossip circles. All because their marching speed or steps are a little different than theirs. Think of what others may be missing by not knowing them. Think of what the world may be missing. Shameful really.

Copyright Rosemary Carlson 2017

 

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Posted in Challenges

Journaling #1

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This is not my usual story, but just my thoughts this morning. It’s a nice morning in Kentucky. It’s 55F degrees at 8 a.m. It’s supposed to warm up to 70F degrees today which is going to be a wonderful change from two weeks of bitter cold. The cardinal, in the picture above, is a bird of spring in Kentucky. We love our cardinals!

I woke up thinking about writing as I do most mornings. I’m wondering about you – my bogging friends. Do you sell your writing? Do you want to? I did for years. If you write non-fiction, polish up some of your pieces, research the markets where you would like to place them, and query those markets. If you’re rejected, just keep on trying. You’ll break through. Some publications don’t even require a query letter. Don’t just automatically think you can’t do it. You can. It is hard work. Some of the Writer’s Digest publications can help you. No, I don’t work for them. Aim high! Don’t be ordinary.

Fiction is tougher to sell, but there are markets out there. Find them, query them, same process. Try short stories or flash fiction. Flash fiction, in my opinion, is an amazing tool to help you learn to write only what is necessary.

Can you make a living writing? Absolutely. I did for years at one time. I’m not trying to right now as I am semi-retired, but I may try it again. I don’t much like retirement. 🙂 I’m focusing on a book.

Writing a book? So am I. First research how to write a book! The elements that make a book good. It’s not as simple as telling a story.

Another topic. It’s busy around here this weekend. We’re getting ready to go to my favorite place in the sun in Florida where we have a little home. Two months this time.

I’m going to the city today for lunch. Looking forward to that. Writing is a solitary profession. You live inside your own head. Take breaks, get out, see your friends, have new experiences. You can’t write without new experiences. Our home in Florida is in an artist’s colony. I get inspired in many ways there.

Have a great day!

Rosemary

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Posted in Non-fiction

The Big House

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I still walk by the big house behind the fence every day. It’s empty now. My mother lived in that house with her parents and her brother. After I was born, I lived with her, but then I went to live with my dad and only visited the big house.

It’s been ten years since she called and asked me to come over. She said she was frightened. I rushed to the house but I couldn’t find her. She was behind the house. With a bullet in her head. Her brother was standing over her with a gun. Laughing.

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Posted in Flash Fiction

I Can See for Miles…..Farther!

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My name is Liz and I told my story here last fall in a story called I Can See for Miles. I didn’t use my name then because I was so humiliated and embarrassed. I can use my name now. Yes, I let someone humiliate me. Hurt me terribly. Embarrass me. Shatter my heart. It’s six months later now and I can tell a little more of my story. Some of it is so personal I can’t tell it all, but I can talk more about what happened to me. Maybe it will help someone else.

To put it simply, I got involved in a relationship with the wrong man. I didn’t know he was the wrong man. I had known him for more years than I want to think about and we had been involved on some level a number of times before last fall. It wasn’t a traditional relationship. Quite the opposite. But, it was a relationship that was important to me and I had every reason to think it was also important to him, including both his words and his actions. He was the love of my life……..I thought.

The truth of the matter is that I made a terrible mistake and a terrifically bad decision to get involved with this man – ever. From the first time many years ago. Why? Because he is a sociopath. Sociopaths are dangerous people and I found that out – in spades. He has some other issues besides the fact that he is a sociopath, but that is the issue most relevant to what happened to me with him. Normal people don’t do what he did. Not only men can be sociopaths. Women can be too. In my case, it was a man. Let me tell you what makes a sociopath who he is and why he is dangerous.

1. Sociopaths are charming and smooth. Dating a sociopath can be wonderful. They sweep you off your feet. Believe me, I was swept totally off my feet.

2. They have no regard for societal rules or norms. But, they are good at faking it. They are big time risk-takers.

3. They are also good at faking relationships. In fact, I did not ever, over many years, have an actual relationship with this man. It was fake. It was all fake. Sociopaths cannot have real relationships because they have no empathy. Perhaps that’s the reason this man had been married more than five times. The relationship was real to me because he was able to make it feel real to me, but it was never real. There was something about our relationship that he needed, that he gained.

4. Sociopaths are control freaks but you often don’t realize it because they are so good at it. I certainly didn’t realize it. He chooses to date or marry you because you meet a need, not because he loves you or even likes you.

5.  Sociopaths will treat you like a queen, until they are finished with you. You may have a thousand wonderful times with a sociopath. I certainly did. But, they will eventually throw you away like yesterday’s garbage. You will feel like yesterday’s garbage. 

6. In relationships, sociopaths are self-serving. A relationship to them is a means to an end. They want something – money, power, sex, amusement, something you can give them. When you quit being able to give it to them, they are gone.

7. A sociopath has three phases to his relationship. First is the assessment of the victim. Will she meet his needs. Second is when he is in the relationship and getting what he needs. He will fake love and romance but he feels nothing. Third is the abandonment stage. He leaves the other person when he has gotten what he wants. He has a desire to hurt that person and goes about the business of doing that.

8. A sociopath is very good at determining his partner’s weaknesses and using them against her.

9. Can a sociopath love? In a word, no. They love themselves, power, and manipulation. They love in an unemotional, uncaring manner, but the partner does not know it. But, the true, complex emotion of love. Absolutely not.

10. Can you love a sociopath? On that, I am an expert and the answer is yes, absolutely. That’s because you aren’t loving the real person, but a persona. You are treated so well and so intensely, that you can love a sociopath very intensely.

I think what is so important to me about these ten points about sociopaths is that I did love this man who was a sociopath and wasted many, many years of my life loving him. The second thing is that I was hurt deeply when the relationship ended, before I figured out that I had been involved with a man who was a sociopath. Third and most important is that sociopaths have a desire to hurt their former partner and they very methodically go about doing it. That is what makes a sociopath dangerous.

So why is this post entitled, “I Can See for Miles….Farther?” I will never totally recover from the hurt from this relationship, but I have discovered a new relationship!  I have met a wonderful man who is good to me. I’m a different, eccentric kind of girl and our relationship isn’t traditional either, but it is good. In fact, it is very very good. I’m happy and fulfilled in this relationship. I never thought that would happen for me again.

 

 

 

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Posted in Fiction

Friends

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John decided to warm up while Carl and Scotty bought their train tickets. The train ran much later tonight, but they had to get their seats. They wanted to entertain the crowd and maybe make a little money while they waited. They had hours to play some of their music – classic British rock.

Carl’s fiancee was waiting on him at his Mum’s home in Scotland. The wedding was this weekend. John and Scotty were standing up with him. Carl was so excited he could hardly hold his guitar. A big party was planned after the wedding and John and Scotty were going to be the band.

Carl and Scotty came running out of the terminal.

“John,” they cried, “There are no tickets left for the train to Scotland. We’re on the waiting list.”

“Start playing,” John said. “We’ll make enough money to hire a car if we have to. Nothing will stop your wedding, Carl!”

 

Photo credit to Sunayana MoiPensieve

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Posted in Flash Fiction

Label

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When I saw the prompt from the daily post today, I just had to write a short post about it because it is the word label. That word, in certain contexts, has always bothered me. Allow me to explain.

When children are growing up, they are often labeled. There are the cool kids. The poor kids. The rich kids. The label that other children attach to each other determines the way children are treated by other children. We all experience that in our first twelve years of school. Sometimes, those labels are painful and make for a hurtful experience for children in school. Labels may cause children to be bullied. In reality, these children may simply be introverts or extroverts. They may have problems at home. We, as parents, should teach our children not to label other children.

Attaching labels to people doesn’t stop when we grow up. For example, I’m told that I am eccentric, reserved, cool, conceited, a snob, and a few other labels. In reality, I’m just shy. An introvert who is probably a bit eccentric. The other labels that people have attached to me are hurtful and untrue. An introverted, shy person like myself is mistaken for an arrogant, conceited snob when only a few people really know me. Is that fair? I don’t think so.

Instead of attaching labels to people we don’t really know, we, in my opinion, should make an effort to get to know them. Then, there would be no need for labeling. We should teach our children to do the same. The world would be a kinder place.

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Posted in Non-fiction

#weekendcoffeeshare 03/18/2017

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Stages in our Lives

Good morning and welcome to the #weekendcoffeeshare! It’s been cold this week, especially cold for mid-March. I have both Arabica and Robusta coffee for you today! Also decaf, of course. I have some special black tea, a flavored black currant tea and a darjeeling tea. So pour a cup of whatever you want and join me in my writing room!

I have something on my mind that I’ve been thinking a lot about. I’ve been thinking about the stages of our lives and how we pass those different stages. I’m thinking about this as I think I’ve entered a different stage in my life over the last few months. Have any of you ever been aware of entering a completely different stage in your life?

I’m not sure I know exactly what’s caused this…..what can I call it…..revelation to occur, but something has. I find myself wanting to change my life. Not completely change it. I will still be a writer. I will still value my friends. I will still, essentially, be me. But I don’t much like the current version of “me.” I’m tense, stressed, and under constant strain. I don’t have the life I want to have.

As many of you know, I’m going to be moving to Florida on a half-time basis and that is the only thing happening in my life that feels right to me. I feel the need to make a radical change in my life. Florida feels right. I don’t like the commercialized, touristy parts of Florida, but where I am going, it’s “old Florida.” What I want to do is sell my house in Kentucky, and soon, and move to Florida full time. I don’t want to waste any time doing it. The money from the house will be put in the bank. It will not be used to buy a comparable house.

Not only that, but I want to drastically downside. I’m not interested in “stuff” anymore. Almost out of the blue. By stuff, I mean the trappings of prosperity such as furniture, household goods, clothes, and such. Also housing arrangements. I want to live in something very small. I can’t take care of a large place anymore and just don’t want to. I have no interest in anything large. I want a small home, very small, with little in it. I want to be able to walk out my door and to the beach in the morning and not worry about my house or anything in it. I want to buy it with a very little bit of cash.

Have any of you ever felt like this? Am I losing my mind? 🙂

I’m going to accomplish this by first buying something a little larger than we already own in Florida. Not large. Still very small. Maybe under 800 square feet. I want minimalist furniture and little of it. This means selling almost everything I have, which is fine with me. I’ve lost any emotional attachment I had to it. I’ll have to have an antique dealer help me. Until I sell everything, it will be put in storage and sold from there.

I want to be free of the trappings of success and prosperity. I want to be just me, with my family and dog and cat and very little else. I love to write and will write my novel….and another after that….and another after that. I’ll keep up with my blog and write magazine articles. I”ll spend a lot of time enjoying myself on my island in Florida, hopefully entertaining friends occasionally.

Maybe the stress, strain, and worries…..and nightmares……will cease. I hope so.

So come with me on my journey to change my life. It should be interesting and will start very soon.

Thanks for coming to my #weekendcoffeeshare!

 

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The Trauma

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Liz is over it now. The breakup of her relationship with the man who meant so much to her. She goes on with her life and is happy most days. She doesn’t even think of him. She thinks of the life she has ahead of her and all she has to look forward to. He flashes through her mind occasionally, but that doesn’t bother her much. He’s a stranger. A stranger in a tragedy that seems like it never happened. Often, she feels that must have just happened in her imagination. Until night time comes.

Liz has had other traumas in her life. She doesn’t remember them. She has no idea what they were except for one incident, but her doctor thinks there was more than the one incident. That something happened way back, maybe in her childhood that she has buried deeply. She hasn’t been able to sleep for a long time, not without medication. If she falls asleep without medication, the night terrors arrive.

After the breakup with this man, the night terrors got worse. A man became front and center in them. She isn’t sure if it is the man who hurt her so badly. She thinks it is.  Their breakup is not what hurt her. It was the way he let her go that was so painful. This trauma on top of the other traumas has caused the sleep medication not to work. She supposes she is going to have to revisit the doctor as she is once again going without sleep and remembering the terrible night terrors.

Sleep deprivation, along with the PTSD that Liza suffers from due to repeated trauma, can cause all kinds of problems. Even though Liz feels like she is over her breakup and over the other trauma in her life, she probably isn’t. She realizes that. Liz always laughs and says she is the queen of repression. That she can repress almost any memory and it does seem to be true. She tells her friends she has taken these painful memories and locked them in a little box she stores in her heart and head. Once they are put away, she goes on with her life. Don’t we all do that? Liz isn’t sure.

Recently, Liz has started to feel strain in other areas of her life and she isn’t coping with stress very well. She has found herself wondering if the memories she is repressing, and can’t remember if she tries, could be bothering her. The details of her most recent trauma, the relationship and breakup with the man, are even leaving her. How could she possibly forget that? But she is. But, the night terrors remain. Sleep is elusive. During the day, her coping mechanisms are failing.

What now?

 

 

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Posted in Challenges

Three Things Thursday

Three Things Thursday, sponsored by NerdintheBrain , is a little challenge where we post three things that are making us smile this week. So here goes:

ONE

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This is a picture of Dolphins in Pine Island Sound, where we will be living six months out of the year. We’re preparing to move there and it is really hard work, but it will be so worth it! I can’t wait to live there, at least part-time! It makes me happy to think about it!

TWO

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Friends. Good friends make me happy! I feel so fortunate to have good friends! I have good friends that I can rely on and they can rely on me. I’m a lucky girl!

Three

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I’m writing a novel and it’s really going very well! I’m about 25,000 words in and almost ready to write a big scene to end the first third of the novel. It’s getting complicated and exciting. My novel is a psychological thriller. It makes me happy that it’s going so well!

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