Bloody Mississippi Bayous

This is a YouTube video of oil and Corexit in the bayous of Ocean Springs, Mississippi that was posted today by Lorrie Williams. She has a YouTube channel where she posts video updates of the oil spill’s affects on her hometown.  I initally found it on the Ladies’ Guide to the Apocolypse blog (which is an awesome blog, by the way) and had to share it with all of you. Man, this video is intense. It totally blows my mind that the federal government continues to tell us that the water is “clean” and the oysters, fish and shrimp are fine to eat.

Take a look at this video and tell me if you’d eat an oyster, a shrimp or a strawberry shortcake outta this water…

What kind of crap are the feds tryin’ to pull? Seriously? What the hell?

Oh, and BP has waltzed out of town with it’s drawers still in tact. In fact, their shares went up a point today. But, the residents of Ocean Springs, Mississippi’s housing values went into the toilet along with their health. Am I still living in America?

Bad habits are hard to break…

Why are we just now thinking about reducing our energy consumption? Why now?

A year ago, I wasn’t this concerned with the amount of plastic I was using or how many miles I was driving in my car. Now, I’m completely obsessed with it and cringe each time I can’t recycle something. I think that it’s because this oil spill has really hit home for me. I thought that the oceans and beaches of my hometown would always be there. In the back of my mind, regardless of where I was living at the time, I knew I could go home, and they would be there waiting for me. Well, that’s not necessarily true anymore. I’m nervous to put one toe in that water, especially because of the Corexit. Which is so crazy, because that is the exact same body of water that I spent years of my life swimming in. 

For the first time in American history, we’ve got friends and families who are divided over whether or not to swim in the Gulf of Mexico, a giant body of water that has been there for thousands, if not millions of years. That’s heavy. I mean, really, really heavy when you stop and think about it. In fact, last week they were telling people in Pensacola not to make sandcastles because of the amount of oil underneath the sand!  Not making a sandcastle at the beach? What is this? The Book of Eli? I mean, seriously. That’s pretty post-apocolyptic to someone who has built thousands of drip sandcastles in her lifetime…here’s the video to go along with it:

So, is this all a part of the great awakening? A friend of mine is very much into 2012 and the events that surround it. I’m not so sure about the whole 2012 thing, but I have to say that more Americans are thinking about their energy consumption.  I guess when you see millions of gallons of oil spewing out of a fractured hole in the ground it does something to you.

Or does it? What did it do to you? Did you reduce your energy consumption for a few weeks and then fall off the wagon? Hell, I’ll admit that I did. And, it was subconcious. The other day, I left almost all of the lights in the house on. I like light, it makes me feel good, and I typically like to have a few on. But, after that oil spill, that was it. I was like a Quaker. My house was almost completely dark. It looked like a Hobbit Hole.  I didn’t care. I just wanted to do something in my life to make a difference. But, just like a recovering alchohlic, I hit the bottle again. I turned every one of those damn lights on without thinking about it. A few minutes later, I thought “Shit! I left all the lights on!”  I guess what I’m trying to say that is that we’ve got some bad habits that we’ve got to break. My gramma used to put tabasco on my fingernails so that I wouldn’t bite them. If that’s what it takes then I’m puttin’ tabasco on those damn light switches. And my steering wheel. And my toaster oven. 

What are you gonna do to fight your energy addiction? Even if it’s turning off one light switch or walkin’ to the store, you’re doin’ somethin’….as my dad likes to say, “Git ‘er done”.

Help for Gulf Coast Homeowners?

Alright, I’ve got friends and family on the gulf coast who are considering forclosure due to the combination of the housing crisis and the oil spill. In light of this, I just got a flyer in the mail  about “Hope for the Gulf Coast” .   It reads, “Struggling to Pay Your Mortgage? Need Assistance to Save Your Home?”. 

This article shows how much value gulf coast homeowners will lose this year and over a period of five years due to the oil spill. It’s pretty crazy.  But, the National Association of Realtors posted this article on their website with alot of great information regarding real estate claims, including interactive videos put out by the Emerald Coast Association of RealtorsThis is another article on oil spill claims from the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors.  I realize that the claims process has been reportedly slow, but I would contact these folks before completely giving up, because you just never can tell…

So what are these nonprofits from “Hope for the Gulf Coast”  going to help the homeowners of the gulf coast with? Are they going to sit there in their metal folding chairs at the Pensacola Fairgrounds and pass the buck? Or, are they really there to help? I honestly don’t know. But, I think it’s worth checking out.  There are three events, one in Kenner, LA on Sept. 21st, one in Biloxi, MS on Sept. 23rd and the last one in Pensacola, FL on Sept. 25th.  Here is the listing of events for 2010.  The events are listed as “a broad partnership of the mortgage industry, non-profits, and local partners coming together to lead Gulf Coast homeowners down the path of recovery”.  Let’s hope so. There’s a lot of folks on the gulf coast who want to walk down the path of recovery, I can tell you that.

Hang in there!

I was talking to my mom on the phone last night and we were reminiscing about all of the time my brother and I spent in the water while we were growing up. She said that she was really happy that we were able to swim, surf, and enjoy the water before the oil spill.  When she said that, I started to feel so many different emotions.  Anger, regret, sadness…and then, a will to fight.  That’s why I started this blog in the first place. To continue to fight for my hometown and the people in the gulf.

Battle fatigue has set in across the nation. Many people have turned to other news, such as Hurricane Earl, Paris Hilton’s recent jail time and the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars.  Where will the people of the gulf fit into the daily news feeds? Well, we’re slowly fading away, thanks to the federal government’s recent announcement that the oil has “disappeared”.   Tourists are slowly coming back to the gulf coast, but the locals know better and aren’t going in the water.  Where’s the disconnect here?

Last week’s telethon “The Gulf is Back”  looked like it was sponsored by BP. The panaoramas of tourists eating gulf seafood and playing in the water was maddening.  I had to change the channel because it just isn’t true.  The tourism boards want gulf seafood to be safe (we’d all like for it to be safe, if that truly was the case) and the water to be crystal clear. But, the truth is always right underneath the surface…all you have to do is scratch a little bit and you’ll find it. Kinda like scratch off Lotto tickets.  The tarballs are right underneath that first layer of sugary sand, waiting to be exposed. If you scroll down and look at the fine print of the “Gulf is Back” website, you’ll see that it’s sponsored by the State of Mississippi…hmmm.  I mean, on one hand, great, I know people are losing money and revenue needs to be created…but like I’ve said in the past, does it have to be at the expense of the health of American people?

So, how do we combat battle fatigue and keep going? Here’s some inspiration from Kristina Johnson, Senior Press Secretary at the Sierra Club, as she writes about the resiliency of gulf coast residents.  Her story is short, but sweet.  The skeptical side of me always cringes when they call us “resilient”, though.  Aren’t there other resilient folks in the rest of the US? But hey, let’s not focus on that…we are resilient, we will keep going…this is a great article written in the LaCrosse Tribune about disaster fatigue and how it shouldn’t foil relief efforts in the gulf.

One of the things that we have to do is manage our stress about the oil spill…starting this blog was one of the ways that I’m managing my stress. I mean it, I couldn’t hardly sleep. So, I decided to start blogging and telling my story.  Are you telling your story about the spill and about the gulf?  I’m trying to find the positive in all of this and let me tell you, it’s difficult. But, I’m reminded of people like Jack Rudloe with Operation Noah’s Ark who are fighting every day to be heard. He’s not giving up, and neither should we. I’m always reminded of the cat hanging onto the tree limb with the quote that says “Hang in there!”  Find your groove and hang in there, guys. It’s may be tough, but we can do it. I’m counting on you!

Hang in there

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