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Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 4.55.57 PMPhoto by Dr. John E. Freed © 2015 All rights Reserved

Stacy Alexander

Welcome!

Please enjoy your visit to this blog.

© Stacy Alexander – 2015
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Reproduction or use of the content on this blog restricted without author’s permission.

Stacy Alexander – ARTE CALIFORNIA – Welcome!

Dallas says….

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This Day in Trump, Day 94: Polls hit rock bottom

Dallas News
WASHINGTON — With six days to go before hitting his 100th day as president, Donald Trump awoke to a torrent of embarrassingly bad polls.

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He dismissed these as fake news even as he boasted that if the election were held today he would “still beat Hillary … in [the] popular vote” — which, of course, he lost by 3 million ballots.
And, despite the boss’s bristling at the frenzy to pass judgment at the 100-day mark, the White House rolled out a vigorous PR plan pegged to that milepost.
On the Sunday shows, key aides projected optimism that Congress will avert a government shutdown when the current budget expires Friday, Day 99. And Democrats pushed back hard on a renewed White House demand to include funding for a border wall in any deal.

Congress returns Monday from a two-week recess. Averting a government shutdown on Friday is the top order of business. The White House is demanding funds to begin construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Democrats balk at that.
“I don’t think anybody’s trying to get to a shutdown,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told Fox News Sunday. But he said, “We want our priorities….What I would say is that they’re holding hostage national security.”

In this March 16, photo, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney speaks at the White House. Mulvaney says that Democratic negotiators on a massive spending bill need to agree to funding top priorities of President Donald Trump, such as a down payment on a border wall and hiring of additional immigration agents.

Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus struck a somewhat softer stance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” saying that he’s “pretty confident we’re going to get something satisfactory” for border security.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Democrats reject border wall funding as part of the budget talks.
“The wall is, in my view, immoral, expensive, unwise, and when the president says, ‘Well, I promised a wall during my campaign,’ I don’t think he said he was going to pass billions of dollars of cost of the wall on to the taxpayer,” she told “Meet the Press.”
On Twitter, Trump accused Democrats of allowing drugs and violent gangs to flow into the United States by objecting to the wall. And he reiterated his promise that Mexico will, eventually and somehow, repay the United States for the project — something Mexico has flatly refused to do.

Polls released Sunday showed Trump with the lowest support at this point of any president since World War II.
Until now, every president in the modern age could count on the approval of more Americans than disapproval at the 100-day mark. Trump’s ratings are under water.
The 40 percent of respondents who approved of Trump’s handling of the job in an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll were badly outnumbered by the 54 percent who disapproved. An ABC/Washington Post poll found much the same lopsided trend: 42 percent approval, 53 percent disapproval.
Keep in mind that to be a president at the 100 day mark means you won a nationwide election only five months earlier. That makes such results startling.
Even so, the vast majority of Trump voters told pollsters they would vote for him again.
As the Post’s front page story explained it, “Trump nears the 100-day mark of his administration as the least popular chief executive in modern times, a president whose voters remain largely satisfied with his performance, but one whose base of support has not expanded since he took the oath of office.”
Apart from a dig at the media, Trump took solace in his abiding support from supporters.
And he inexplicably claimed that the polls suggest he would “still beat Hillary… in the popular vote.” In fact, Clinton collected roughly 3 million more votes nationwide, though Trump won because of the Electoral College system.

The Sunday show spin was the start of a week-long push to shape perceptions of Trump’s first 100 days.
The White House on Sunday announced a drumbeat of daily events through next weekend aimed at highlighting achievements and promises kept, with a diet of briefings and public appearances by senior aides and cabinet members and, of course, the president.
Democrats plan a counter assault around the theme “100 days of Broken Promises to American Families.”

 

Welcome to the Portland Farmer’s Market

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Yesterday, John and I hopped onto the Number Four transit bus and headed to downtown.  We left the bus and boarded the trolley, which took us to the PSU campus.  This is where the Portland Farmer’s Market is tucked into the trees.  This is where the senses are delighted with the sights and sounds of fresh, delicious food and music.

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We were greeted by a small jazz combo with a rap singer . The sax player and bass players were quite good.  We sat and enjoyed them for awhile before wandering closer to the market. There were a number of different musicians scattered throughout the venue, providing great entertainment as we strolled from booth to booth.

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Portland residents were out in force, with their shopping bags, picking over the delicious organic produce, breads, cheeses, drinking vinegars, chocolate and other gourmet delights.

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Root vegetables are my favorite.  I love them drizzled with balsamic vinegar and garlic and roasted.

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These incredible bouquets of fresh flowers (below) were only $5 each!

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The colors were simply phenomenal!

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Of course, by nature, Portland is all about the color.  After drab and dark winters, the city virtually EXPLODES with color!

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This Farmer’s Market is  a little taste of country in the midst of urban Portlandia.

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I particularly enjoyed this local blues player who went to town playing slide guitar.  He was really great!

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We enjoyed a bite at the PSU McMinniman’s Pub on our way back to the trolley stop. We had a lively conversation with lots of laughs.  It was a good time.

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I found these Portland bubblers quite intriguing, and managed to snap some good shots as we waited at our bus stop to go home.

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Another interesting Portland landmark…

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This woman didn’t seem too pleased with lugging her big suitcase down the sidewalk, but I liked her hat, and felt she was a good subject to photograph.

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Portland is a city of flowers….These were randomly dropped on the sidewalk.

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This was one of my favorite shots of the day.  This little girl looked so sweet in front of one of our most famous statues.

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All in all, it was a beautiful day, despite the intermittent, light rain showers that showed up later in the afternoon.  I bought some watermelon/blueberry drinking vinegar concentrate and some delicious mint tea, so we went home and enjoyed that.   Our evening was also delightful…but that’s another story for another time.

I hope you enjoyed my pictures.

 

Ciao!

Good Company

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We have had house guests here, visiting from Europe, for the last couple of weeks.  One will be leaving this coming Wednesday, and the other will be staying through the 2nd.  The experience has been good.

They get up early in the morning, eat their breakfast, then pack a lunch for the day and take off.  They return just before dinner.  On most days, we have dinner together and talk, long into the night.  I am ever grateful for their friendship, their kindness, their intellects, and for their being here.

He is an architect.  She is a college professor/poet.  He lives in London.  She currently lives in Edinburgh.  They are a couple.  Like us, they love music, literature, politics, experiencing new places….and like us, they enjoy equality in their relationship.

We live in a small place, but they make it easy to coexist. Everyone pitches in together to get things done.  I like that.  No one has to ask, nor to be told.  We all just jump in and do it.  This arrangement runs smoothly, like a well-oiled machine.

Right now, they are in Seattle, watching her daughter perform in a ballet concert.  They are sleeping at our granddaughter’s place while SHE is visiting her mom in California.  Everything just seems to work out.  That’s what good planning does.

Today, John and I are going to the Earth Day celebration in downtown Portland…despite the rain.  Our friends will be in this evening, and the routine will begin again.  It’s nice to have such good company.  We will miss them when they’re gone.

Me n’ Some Neuro Linguistic Programming

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As I get closer to launching my business, I am getting another certification, this time in Neuro Linguistic Programming, or NLP.  Actually, I’m also getting certified as a hypnotherapist, but this post is about NLP. This is a controversial topic in the world of Psychology, and one that is frowned upon by half and supported by the other half.  Its purpose is to help dissolve the barriers that keep people from achieving their dreams.

In essence, all of NLP is founded on two fundamental presuppositions:

1. The Map is Not the Territory. As human beings, we can never know reality. We can only know our perceptions of reality. We experience and respond to the world around us primarily through our sensory representational systems. It is our ‘neuro-linguistic’ maps of reality that determine how we behave and that give those behaviors meaning, not reality itself. It is generally not reality that limits us or empowers us, but rather our map of reality.

2. Life and ‘Mind’ are Systemic Processes. The processes that take place within a human being and between human beings and their environment are systemic. Our bodies, our societies, and our universe form an ecology of complex systems and sub-systems all of which interact with and mutually influence each other. It is not possible to completely isolate any part of the system from the rest of the system. Such systems are based on certain ‘self-organizing’ principles and naturally seek optimal states of balance or homeostasis.

All of the models and techniques of NLP are based on the combination of these two principles. In the belief system of NLP it is not possible for human beings to know objective reality. Wisdom, ethics and ecology do not derive from having the one ‘right’ or ‘correct’ map of the world, because human beings would not be capable of making one. Rather, the goal is to create the richest map possible that respects the systemic nature and ecology of ourselves and the world we live in. The people who are most effective are the ones who have a map of the world that allows them to perceive the greatest number of available choices and perspectives. NLP is a way of enriching the choices that you have and perceive as available in the world around you. Excellence comes from having many choices. Wisdom comes from having multiple perspectives.

NLP was originated by John Grinder (whose background was in linguistics) and Richard Bandler (whose background was in mathematics and gestalt therapy) for the purpose of making explicit models of human excellence.

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NLP is a set of powerful tools for helping you change the patterns of your thinking and behavior. Here are some of the benefits NLP can provide:

  • Calm anxieties and be confident
  • Create the life you want — unfettered by depression, shyness, anger, rage, jealousy, phobias, allergies, traumatic memories
  • Clarify your goals, create a compelling future
  • Dissolve barriers that have kept you from achieving your dreams
  • Enrich communication in all your relationships — with family, friends, significant others
  • Heal the shame, grief, or guilt that binds you
  • Improve relationships, self-esteem, health, athletic performance, relaxation, sleep
  • Increase motivation and energy
  • Learn healthy eating habits
  • Overcome learning difficulties, math anxiety, test anxiety, ADD/ADHD, improve spelling and math
  • Recover from codependency, addictions, compulsions — smoking, food, gambling, sex, alcohol, and others
  • Release stress, tension, anxiety, headaches, migraines
  • Stop smoking, lose weight
  • Vaporize negative self-talk

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I am going through the program at a very fast clip, due to my background of knowledge in Psychology that I have already achieved. I am finding the process of going through this program very enlightening, helpful and interesting.  I will utilize this technique in my workshops.

A List of Changes

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By Amy Siskind

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. Here’s week 21:

Over the past three weeks, Trump’s approval plummeted, as he struggled to take back the narrative amidst legislative failures and a ubiquitous Russia. He floated several attempts to deflect, and replace Russia as the lead story: the Obama “wiretapp”, the Nunes brouhaha, the Susan Rice unmasking — but none seemed to work. This week he figured out a way to take back the narrative — one commonly used by autocrats — he started a war.

1. Five weeks have passed since Trump’s tweet accusing Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower. He has yet to offer any evidence or apologize.
2. Seeking to deflect from his growing unpopularity and Russia stories, Trump segued his Obama story to “a crooked scheme” involving Susan Rice spying on the Trump regime.
3. Citing no evidence, Trump said Susan Rice had committed a crime. Experts debunked his claim, saying unmasking is routine for an NSA.
4. The LA Times Editorial Board launched a scathing six-part series on the Trump presidency: “Our Dishonest President.”
5. Since taking office, Trump has made 367 false or misleading claims according to the WAPO.
6. Rejecting Trump’s defense, a Kentucky federal judge said a lawsuit against Trump for inciting violence at a campaign event could proceed.
7. Trump’s popularity plunged to 34% in an April IBD/TIPP poll, including a significant loss of support among rural voters (56% to 41%) and white men (58% to 49%).
8. A Quinnipiac poll found a similar drop in approval by Trump key demographic white men: 58% to 47%.
9. The US jobs report for March was dismal, weakest in almost a year. Unlike February when Trump took credit for a strong report despite his short time office, this time there was no comment.
10. ProPublica reported that despite his pledge to remove himself from his business interests, Trump can pull money from any of his businesses, at any time, without disclosing it.
11. At a WH press briefing, Spicer defamed ProPublica, calling it a “left-wing blog.” ProPublica issued a strong response and statement of facts, including the Trump trust documents which were revised on February 10.
12. While under consideration for a major national security role, Stephen Feinberg said he wants to keep his stake in Cerberus, which is the 17th biggest US Army contractor in 2015.
13. Breaking from Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp,” POLITICO reported that Trump ex-staffers are cashing in through foreign lobbying work.
14. Trump has left the WH Office of Science and Technology vacant, filling just one position with the former chief of staff for Peter Thiel. As discussed in past lists, Trump is installing “spies” into agencies, while leaving key roles without appointed candidates.
15. Researchers said the Trump regime has been deleting scientific data collected by government agencies. One scientist said, “It’s a bloodbath.”
16. In violation of the Hatch Act, Dan Scavino Jr., social media director and WH advisor, tweeted at a member of the Freedom Caucus that he was a “big liability” and should be primaried. He later changed his Twitter bio to “Personal @Twitter Handle.”
17. Without public announcement, Trump issued an EO changing the order of succession within the DOJ.
18. Twitter filed a lawsuit after the Department of Homeland Security requested they reveal the identity of an anonymous account which has been critical of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office
19. On Friday, DHS dropped its request, and Twitter withdrew its lawsuit.
20. The Twitter account for the US agency which controls the US nuclear force, US Strategic Command, tweeted an article by Breitbart.
21. Expanding his already huge portfolio of responsibilities, Kushner traveled to Iraq with General Dunford. The trip became the stuff of parody in a piece titled, “Jared Goes To Iraq! A Picture Story.”
22. WAPO reported Kushner Iraq trip violated protocol in that it was confirmed before they landed.
23. Kushner’s increasing foreign relations portfolio led to questions of whether he has become the “defacto secretary of state.”
24. The city council in Cambridge, MA passed a resolution calling for Congress to begin an impeachment investigation into Trump.
25. Trump invited Egyptian President el-Sisi to the WH, and did not mention human rights abuses. Families of Americans being held prisoner in Egypt also said Trump had ignored their pleas for help, after Trump on the campaign trail, excoriated Obama for not prioritizing prisoners in Iran.
26. On #EqualPayDay it was noted that Trump had quietly signed an EO taking away Obama-era protection for women workers.
27. Trump cut all funding to UNFPA, a United Nations agency that works on maternal and reproductive health.
28. Trump defended serial sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, calling him “a good person” and saying, “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
29. In the first three months of 2017, hate crimes in NYC doubled over last year. Most crimes were anti-Semitic, with an uptick in anti-black incidents as well.
30. The NY State Supreme Court ruled that NYC can destroy immigrants municipal ID information, as part of the City’s effort to protect undocumented immigrants from being deported by Trump.
31. An Indiana restaurant owner was deported overnight by ICE to Mexico, despite pending legal actions. According to NPR, none of his lawyers were notified.
32. FT reported that the FBI will create a special unit to coordinate its investigation of Russian interference with the election.
33. Before resigning as NSA, Flynn did not reveal income he received from Russian-related entities in 2015 for speaking fees.
34. Yahoo reported that Trump abruptly pulled out of meeting scheduled for February with Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of the Bank of Russia and a close ally of Putin, over disclosed ties to organized crime.
35. ICE whisked away Evgeny Buryakov, the Russian spy mentioned in Week 20. At trial, Buryakov’s attorney fees were paid by his employer VEB, a Russian Bank whose head secretly met with Kushner in December.
36. BuzzFeed reported that former Trump advisor Page met with an undercover Russian spy in 2013, and passed along information.
37. WAPO reported Erik Prince, Trump insider and brother of Betsy DeVos, attended a secret meeting arranged by the UAE with a Russian close to Putin in Seychelles on January 11, opening a back-channel to Russia.
38. A UAE crown prince also had a meeting with Flynn, Kushner and Bannon in December. In an unusual breach of protocol, the UAE did not notify the Obama administration in advance.
39. CNN reported the FBI is investigating links between Alfa Bank and Trump Organization servers, indicating an intention to communicate. During the campaign, 80% of Trump Org server lookups were done by Alfa Bank and 19% by Spectrum Health, which is led by Betsy Devos’s husband.
40. NYT reported that Kushner omitted his multiple meetings with Russians in filling out his Questionnaire for National Security Positions.
41. In a video obtained by Forward, Trump’s chief counter-terrorism adviser Gorka publicly supported a violent anti-Semitic militia group.
42. On Thursday, Nunes temporarily stepped away from chairing the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russia, citing an ethics complaint by the Office of Congressional Ethics.
43. In a letter that afternoon, the Republican chair of the House Ethics Committee announced they too are investigating Nunes for the “unauthorized disclosure of classified information.”
44. Confusion reigned in the Trump regime after the Assad chemical bombing. Without citing specifics, Trump said he changed his Syria policy, but no one else in the regime seemed to know details.
45. Without a formal announcement, Trump removed Steve Bannon from the National Security Council. Jennifer Jacobs, a Bloomberg reporter, broke the story after reading it in a notice published in the Federal Register.
46. POLITICO reported that mega-donor Rebekah Mercer convinced her close ally Bannon not to resign. Reporter Jane Mayer has uncovered that the Mercers stand to avoid $6.8bn in taxes under Trump.
47. The National Security Council page on whitehouse.gov is blank, save for these words: “Check back soon for more information.”
48. NYT reported that as early as July, the CIA had evidence of Russia’s efforts to get Trump elected, and that Trump advisers were likely working with the Russians.
49. In August, CIA director Brennan met with the Gang of Eight to share his findings. Reid had pushed repeatedly to inform the American public, but McConnell questioned findings and pushed for version of a public letter without any reference to Russia.
50. As noted in Week 4, McConnell had also been the roadblock to Obama going public in October with more explicit information on Russia’s attempted interference with our election.
51. Also as noted in Week 4, shortly after the election, Trump chose McConnell’s wife as his nominee for transportation secretary.
52. On Friday, McConnell passed the filibuster-ending “nuclear option” for Supreme Court picks. One columnist referred to him as “the man who broke America.”
53. Trump had also pushed McConnell towards the nuclear option. One expert in authoritarianism said of autocrats, “They will continue to rewrite major rules and disregard norms.”
54. Wars within the Trump regime continued this week, with open animus between Kushner and Bannon, and rumors that Bannon and Priebus could be on their way out.
55. All the while, power continues to consolidate into the hands of Trump, Ivanka and Kushner. In the executive branch, only 4% of key roles are filled and 92% still have no nominee.
56. In a PR stunt that fell flat, Trump donated his $78,333 paycheck to the Park Service. Ironically, Trump’s budget calls for deep cuts to the Interior Dept, which includes the Park Service, of 12% or $1.5bn.
57. On Thursday, amidst a continued fall in approval and a growing drumbeat of Russia, Trump used provocations by North Korea and Syria as an opportunity to threaten war against both.
58. On Thursday night, while in Mar-a-Lago meeting with China’s President Xi, Trump launched an attack on Syria .
59. Trump did not seek approval or notify Congress ahead of time. He did however, give advance notice to Russia.
60. Trump cited Assad’s use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians, including children, as justification. Ironically, one of Trump’s first actions in office was his Muslim Ban, which banned Syrian refugees. Also per PolitiFact, on the campaign trail, Trump promised to remove existing Syrian refugees from the US.
61. Also of note, the Trump regime has been responsible for killing hundreds of innocent civilians, including children, in the failed Yemen raid, and then in Mosul where pamphlets told citizens not to leave their homes.
62. Pentagon released a video of the US strike Thursday night, which they claimed, “Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment.
63. Nine civilians, including four children, were killed by Trump’s airstrike.
64. By the next day, the Assad regime was again launching airstrikes from the airfield Trump’s attack had supposedly destroyed.
65. The media loved Trump’s show of force, and on Friday Syria become story one, displacing Russian interference and ties to Trump.
66. The Onion ran the perfect parody of the situation on Friday, “Trump Confident U.S. Military Strike On Syria Wiped Out Russian Scandal.” Other pundits used the euphemism, Wag the Dog.
67. To complete the stagecraft, the Trump regime released their version of the Situation Room photo. This version was taken in Mar-a-Lago, and included Spicer, two Goldman Sachs executives, Commerce Secretary Ross, and Kushner glaring over at Bannon.

Past weeks:
Week 1: https://goo.gl/KWlyOO Week 2: https://goo.gl/Pn7MFs
Week 3: https://goo.gl/CZwxsX Week 4: https://goo.gl/JhwuON
Week 5: https://goo.gl/TGM6x8 Week 6: https://goo.gl/uhyjxe
Week 7: https://goo.gl/bMdhTG Week 8: https://goo.gl/89MW8h
Week 9: https://goo.gl/ekv9wE Week 10: https://goo.gl/RETyH1
Week 11: https://goo.gl/6cs0tt Week 12: https://goo.gl/bRMx5o
Week 13: https://goo.gl/xzdjyY Week 14: https://goo.gl/1HwN4H
Week 15: https://goo.gl/JxVghS Week 16: https://goo.gl/sZpudG
Week 17: https://goo.gl/QymWmJ Week 18: https://goo.gl/Ri6E9N
Week 19: https://goo.gl/L6JOSV Week 20: https://goo.gl/PvlahQ

Pictured: Trump’s Situation Room in Mar-a-Lago

Image may contain: 11 people, people sitting, suit and indoor

A Good couple of days

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Do you remember Andrew McCarthy from, “Pretty in Pink”?  Well, he is a travel writer now, and is quite good.  We went to see him yesterday, to listen to him read from his latest book.  We had fun.  Got to meet him and chat a bit.  Nice time.

I spent the evening finishing up a painting in a series of horse pictures that I’m doing for an exhibit.  Working on another one now.  Obsessed.

This morning, friends came over for brunch.  The sun was out and we sat out on the deck furniture to eat.  However, the clouds blew in later, after our guests had left, and it got really cold and started to rain…..sort of depressing.  Then, my phone rang, and I was delighted to hear from our granddaughter, Maya, who asked me what I was doing.  I told her I was cleaning house, and asked what SHE was doing.  She said, “I’m standing right outside your door!”  What a delightful surprise!  We adore our Maya.

She and I went over to Sarah’s and Nate’s house for a visit.  Then, we drove across town to VooDoo doughnuts so she could buy a box of confections for her friends.  She is meeting people from PSU tonight for a concert, and will travel back to Seattle afterward.

Maya is such a joy to be around.  She is on her way to being a labor and delivery nurse just as soon as summer ends.  Right now, she has moved in with four roommates and is having a great time in Seattle.  School starts for her in September, and she plans to attend full time.  She is going to make a wonderful nurse.

My husband is sick.  I just fed him and tucked him into bed.  The house is quiet, but I am smiling.  This has been a good couple of days.  Quiet now.  Good.   I’m going to stay in tonight so I can watch over John.  Not a whole lot else to report.  Life is good.  I am happy.  Oh…..and nothing has changed.

What’s in a Picture? The Psychology of Photography

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When I was in the midst of getting my masters degree in Psychology, I had the occasion to take a number of courses on the topic of forensics.  Within those courses were sections about how to apply psychology to the analysis of photographs. When looking at a photograph, you can learn a lot by focusing not on the subject of the picture –you, a child, a cat–but the representation of the subject and what it tells you about the emotions and psychology of the person doing the representing. In other words, when looking at a picture , a lot goes beyond what one looks like. 

These days, when a photograph is taken, there is immediate gratification. You can see what has been captured so quickly that there isn’t much time for emotion to build up, the sense of elation or disappointment one anticipates in checking the image within the small rectangle against the emotional perception in his or her mind.

Things such as composition, arrangement of bodies, expressions and lack thereof all play an important role in what is going on psychologically, behind the scenes.  I get tickled when I see photos that are obviously arranged by one party to attempt to convey a message of greater intimacy than actually exists.  The body language of a single subject in a photo can be very intriguing, but things really start getting interesting when we see the body language of two or more people interacting with each other.

Let’s take a look at the following picture:

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In the photograph above, the body language says a lot about what is really happening behind the scenes . See how the person standing in back has enveloped the person in front with his arms?  There is much more to this stance than meets the eyes . See how he is holding down her arms, and how his facial expression doesn’t match that of the woman he is holding onto?  This speaks of insecurities experienced by the person in back. He is attempting to make the couple look more romantic or affectionate than is mutually experienced.  The pose also reveals a desire for dominance.  Now, if the woman had been a child, the meaning would be completely different.  However, where two adults are concerned, this pose speaks of a desire to be in control and an unbalanced emotional relationship. You almost know that it was his idea to take the photo.

Now let’s take a look at a similar photo that has some telling differences.

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How do the lines formed by people’s arms,  head, hands, and body interact with each other,? Look at other lines in the image, and the frame.   Do these lines reinforce each other, as in feeling peacefully horizontal, firmly vertical, energetically diagonal, or do they compete with each other?

The picture above looks very much like the same pose as the first picture, but has some distinct differences.  First, note the facial expressions.  There is a mutuality of emotions being expressed here.  While the person in back has his arms wrapped around the person in front, the person in front has raised her hands to welcome the embrace.  This indicates a more welcoming equality between the couple. Chances are, neither party in this couple seeks dominance.  This looks like a well balanced, equal couple. It also looks like both participants mutually agreed to be included in the photo, as though it was discussed and agreed upon in advance.

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In this picture, we note inequality again, and a longing by the person in the back to have more of an emotional connection than the person in front desires.  Note the woman’s coquettish nuzzle into the man’s shoulder while the man remains noncommittal with his body language.  While his facial expression could be anything….a big smile, a little smile or no smile at all, his body speaks volumes about how he really feels.

Now, let’s take a look at a completely different pose:

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At first glance, this picture might give a different impression from what is actually transpiring. We have a couple snuggled together.  His arm is around her.  She is leaning into him provocatively.  But what does this REALLY mean?  First, look at their legs. They are facing in two different directions.  He is sort of standing on his own, and she is leaning into him.  While his arm is loosely around her back, he is not really engaged with the embrace.  In fact, it’s not an embrace at all.  It is an afterthought.  She is trying to give the impression that a lot more is going on in the picture than he is.  This is indicative of insecurity on her part, and a lack of commitment on his.

The same is true of the couple below:

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In the photo above, we see more inequality.  The person on the right is leaning into the person on the left, who is standing firm on the ground.  If you separated the two of them, he would be standing straight and tall, and she would fall over because of how far she is leaning.  While he is touching her with his body, she is clearly dominating the mood of the photo, trying to make the statement, “See? He loves me.”   Actually, he probably has another girlfriend on the side.  🙂

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The couple above, albeit photographed from behind, enjoys more of an equal bong.  They are both leaning toward the center of the photo, and their hands are clasped with equal force. See how he leans in so that the top of his arm is a perfect match to the top of her shoulder (since she is shorter)?  This is a couple that typically experiences equality in their power within the relationship.

There is no way to look at a single picture and make an accurate judgment as people have tried to do with the Obamas, the Clintons and the trumps.  However, series of photos….more than one that conveys the same messages of emotional imbalance are more than conjecture.  They are pretty much right on the money.  It is so easy to tell when one person is insecure and is attempting to convey that there is more to a relationship than actually exists.  Of course, you always have to add in other factors, too, before you get an accurate picture.

Snicker.

 

Traveling in Stereo

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We have just returned from two days at the coast …a surprise trip from John….where I shot some magnificent pictures with the Hasselblad. I don’t often shoot with that camera.  I was dismayed, to learn that I had misplaced my memory card, which the fine people at Otter’s Cove found and are sending to me, so those pictures will come in a few days….and there were some magnificent photo ops….but today, when we got back, John saw how disappointed I was about the pictures, so he swept me up and took me to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens, about 6 minutes from our house, which I thought was really sweet, and he left me with the task of shooting more photos so we could watch a slideshow tonight after dinner.  Instant gratification, and all that.

[I am having trouble with iPhoto on my computer,..this brand new (grumble…grumble…) computer……and I have to download, then take screenshots of all my pictures…for now, so the resolution isn’t as high as it could be.  ugh.  Technology. Why does it change so quickly?!]

I took the new Canon this time.  I like shooting with this camera. It is much lighter than the Hasselblad, and I can spend more time concentrating on composition than on all the bells and whistles the Hasselblad has, and I don’t really worry that it is going to get stolen, as I do with the other camera…..so this is what I came up with.

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Spring in Portland is a force to be reckoned with .  There is a strength within its delicacy.  The gardens are just now coming into bloom, but will get better and better in the weeks to come.  It is early, early spring here, after a long, dark winter.  The magnificence of the color is indescribable.  Soft.  Bold. Quiet. Brilliant.  Pristine. It is so much more beautiful here than anywhere either of us have lived before.

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There was an abundance of wildlife…..both on the coast and at the gardens.  Today, I saw Stellar Jays, Eagles, Squirrels, Ducks, Canadian Geese….and I have no idea why I’m capitalizing all of these creature’s  names.  They deserve the respect, I suppose.  lol!

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There is a stillness….a peacefulness here.  It is the kind of place, like Crater Lake, where people tend to naturally speak in hushed tones.  There are so many wildlife sounds and the sound of rushing brooks and the wind blowing through the trees.  THOSE are the sound we long to hear…so we are quiet there.  This is the place I often go to meditate.  It is peaceful.  Soft.

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I hope you have enjoyed these pictures.  In a few days, I should have my memory card from the coastal trip, and as soon as I have time to process them, I will upload them here.  Meanwhile….peace be with you.

 

Tell me…

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If we de-fund meals for seniors, after school programs for children, arts, humanities, public broadcasting, environmental protection, ignore infrastructure, roll back protections against increased interest on crippling school loans, stifle scientific debate and dissemination of empirically sourced data, def-und education for our children, and distance ourselves from the rest of the World, including our allies, all the while substantially increasing military spending, subsidies, incentives, and tax breaks for corporations, will we be a better nation? Will we be the greatest Country on Earth? Will we honor the morals, goals, aspirations, and intents of the Founding Fathers? Will we create a stronger foundation for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Donald J. Trump is a monster.

Least we not forget….

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NEVER FORGET:1. Trump did not fire Flynn. Trump fired the woman who warned him about Flynn.

2. Trump knew about Flynn for three weeks and didn’t tell Pence (or anyone else). The Washington Post told Pence.

3. Trump isn’t concerned about Russian interference. Trump is concerned about the leaks that brought the interference to light.

4. Jason Chaffetz doesn’t think we need an investigation into Flynn and Russia (or the Yemen Raid). Chaffetz thought we needed 33 investigations .

Pegi Young, and Women Who Can’t Live Without Men

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You know the type.  Even though he cheats on her….even though he bashes her behind her back…even though he is a serial liar, she clings to him, because she can’t live without a man to accompany her. Regardless of what he does, she HAS to have a man beside her or she doesn’t feel worthy or complete.

However, if  you’re in a relationship with someone who used to make you happy and no longer does, what keeps you there is not love, it’s fear, so don’t talk to me about being soft-hearted or forgiving, because you’re a fool, if this applies to you, and everyone who knows the two of you also understands this.  They just don’t have the heart to tell you.

If he has cheated once, he will do it again…and HAS…and still continues to.   You think by staying in an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship you are doing the right thing.  You convince yourself that things will get better, that he’ll change and that it’s not that bad, you can live with things the way they are. But the truth is you can’t and you know it.   Pegi Young is a woman who has said, “To hell with it…” and has forged a whole new life for herself, despite the public humiliation of her former husband’s infidelities.  I admire her for this.

Pegi Young turned that negative experience into a positive one.  She turned it into art.

This morning, NPR did a show about how Neil Young had dumped his wife of 36 years for the younger, prettier Daryl Hannah, shown here relaxing in France.

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But this story isn’t really about Neil Young.  It is about his ex wife, Pegi….the woman who was jilted….because she didn’t ‘just crawl into a hole and go away.  She embraced what happened to her in a way that puts Neil to shame.  Yes, “the best revenge is living well,” or so they say, and Pegi Young is doing just that.

I’ve heard a lot of people criticize her for putting out this album and drawing attention to herself at “this age” but I love it that she did this. Her album is not necessarily my cup of tea, and I have been a Neil Young fan forever, but I admire Pegi for taking the reigns and being in command of her own destiny regardless of what he did to her. Making this album demonstrated tremendous inner strength, and it doesn’t matter how old she is, what she looks like, how “jilted” she was when she did it.  She did it to heal, and I admire her for it.

Her new album is called, “Raw”….and it is.  She said that writing the songs that are on it is what got her through, i.e. saved her life. Each of her new songs deals with one of the seven stages of grief.  In this song, “Trying to Live my Life Without You,” Pegi wrote, “We regretted the changes that brought us to now. I’d take it all back if I only knew how. You can drive on away with the weight of demand. And the road keeps on going until you find where you land….”

She has made a statement that makes HER look like the better person. She has taken a pile of shit and turned it into gold.  I have so much respect for a person who does something like this instead of deciding to wallow in the shit as their lives go by with disrespect from their partners.  Pegi Young is a strong woman.  A REAL woman, and she has my respect.

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Blasting the Fascia

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For me, it all started when I had some  MFR (myofascial release therapy) done on my right calf. Myofascial release (MFR) therapy focuses on releasing muscular shortness and tightness. There are a number of conditions and symptoms that myofascial release therapy addresses.

Fascia is the head to toe, arm to arm, inside-out connective tissue. It divides our muscles and penetrates them like the internal skin of an orange. It also surrounds virtually every structure of the human body. If we were able to peek inside our bodies and only see the fascia, we would look like a human form of cotton candy with mummy-like bandages running throughout. The entire fascia system is connected in ONE piece like a 3D spider-web.

When my daughter-in-law, Katherine, started talking to me about her experiences with the new fascia guru, Ashley Black, I signed on to a Facebook group that pertains to the topic of “fascia blasting”.

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Fascia blasting consists of using specific tools to loosen the fascia throughout the body, from head to toe.  It is accredited for doing everything from restoring hair loss to body sculpting, to getting rid of neck “waddle” and crows feet.  In 30 days, it can make a person go from a pockled cellulite carrier to a smooth sailing, fit-looking body babe, as shown in the pictures below.

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The Fascia Blasters, as these tools are called, come in a variety of sizes, all intended to do the same thing.  That is, release the fascia that binds fat to bone.

Ashley Black  explains there are 4 types of fascia:

  1. Structural fascia- Runs in long strips through the body. Visible in chicken meat just below the skin. The white silky membrane.
  2. Inter-structural fascia- Is present inside muscles and connects muscles to other muscles and to the bones. Visible when eating steak, the cobweb-like material.
  3. Visceral fascia- The “goop” inside our abdominal cavity that surrounds our organs and digestive system.
  4. Spinal fascia- the straw like thick casing that surrounds the spinal column

The fascia has a brush point with literally every other system of the body. It is as, or more significant than any other system. Having loose, healthy fascia is vital for overall health and well-being. Healthy fascia also makes us look, feel, and function better!

SO…..

I purchased a fascia blaster.  I also purchased a mini fascia blaster and a “fake” (not Ashley Black brand) facial fascial blaster.  I have to say, the results have been amazing!  I have redistributed the tissue around my knees to be much more attractive than it was before.  I have completely rid myself of a slight double chin.  I have carved out my abs and the under side of my arms.  I am making progress over my entire body.  Fascia Blasting really works!

The idea is to heat the fascia via a sauna or hot shower, then to blast away using the above-noted tools. Expect bruising at first, but that just tells you that the fascia blasting is working.  You can use arnica to heal the bruises quickly.  Ashley also recommends that one drink a good detox tea, because blasting fascia releases all kinds of toxins in the body….so expect to feel a little wimpy at first, but this quickly goes away, and the practice becomes pleasurable.  It feels great to fascia blast these days.

Here are a few videos that tell more:

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Botox…It’s not just for wrinkles anymore

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Botox  is most commonly associated with smoothing out wrinkles to give the face a fresher, more youthful appearance. However, it has other  benefits  beyond this.  Botox can be used to minimize or stop excessive perspiration. Men use it these days, to gain relief from enlarged prostates.

Pending further research, doctors are hopeful that the treatment will  also be useful in the treatment of pain associated with arthritis.

Some of the other benefits are:

Brow Lifts

As people age, their eyebrows are prone to sagging.  Botox Cosmetic® is now commonly used to lift that brow, resulting in  a more energized, youthful appearance .  Botox brow lifts look much more natural than surgical lifts, but they don’t last as long, and have to be refreshed every 3-6 months, depending on the patient.

Strabismus

Strabismus  is a condition in which the eyes do not line up evenly in the same direction. It is best known as “crossed-eyes”, and  approximately  4% of Americans have this condition.  Botox has been used for treatment of strabismus for quite some time now, and has had surprisingly successful results.

Overactive Bladder

Botox has been approved by the FDA and is used to treat thousands of women in America each year for overactive bladder.  Women love Botox because it can help reduce a number of their bladder leaks considerably.

Chronic Migraines

Migraine headaches can go hand in hand with  nausea and sensitivity to sound and light. The FDA has approved treatment of these debilitating migraines with Botox.  A series of 31 injections are administered to seven different areas of the head and neck with results expected to last up to three months, depending on each individual.

Lips

Botox Cosmetic® can be  used in combination with fillers, such as Restylane,  to treat the lips and give them a fuller appearance, such as that of my granddaughter, Maya, pictured below.  Maya does not have Botox in her lips, because she is very young, but if she wants to maintain this look in her 40s and above, Botox may be the best solution.

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Whether one prefers to age naturally, or chooses to have a little help from cosmetic treatments, such as Botox, is up to the individual.  As for me?  I get by with a little help from my friends….and I’ve never used Botox.  😉

Stumptown Winter

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Cold season’s sky

The color of

old men’s teeth.

Discouraging,

like poverty,

a hapless, heavy gray.

Freezing rain.

Needles piercing tattooed skin

Staggering,

Like an angry crowd’s

paralytic crush.

Then a bud,

A blade of chartreuse grass.

It only takes an infant’s smile

To excise labor’s pain.

By Stacy Alexander, 2017

On “Working With” Trump

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This blog is a vehicle to express outrage of how far my country has fallen on the humanity gauge. To me it is a useful vehicle for my activism.     Someone posted the following sentiments on Facebook yesterday, and I am re-posting them here, because they precisely express my position at this time:

45ish and his cronies and the majority of the Republicans in congress are a threat to me and my way of life. So I will #RESIST and I will be part of the resistance (and proud of it).

Some people are saying that we should give 45ish a chance, that we should “work together” with him because he won the election and he is everyone’s president.This is my response:

I will treat this President just like he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years…I will not “work together” to build a wall.

I will not “work together” to persecute Muslims.

I will not “work together” to shut out refugees from countries where we destabilized their governments, no matter how bad they might have been, so that we could have something more agreeable to our oligarchy.

I will not “work together” to lower taxes on the 1%.

I will not “work together” to increase taxes on the middle class and poor.

I will not “work together” to help him line the pockets of himself and his cronies.

I will not “work together” to weaken (or demolish) environmental protection.

I will not “work together” to sell American lands to companies which then despoil those lands.

I will not “work together” to remove civil rights from anyone.

I will not “work together” to waste trillions more on our military when we already have the strongest in the world.

I will not “work together” to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive.

I will not “work together” to slash funding for education.

I will not “work together” to increase the immunity the police already have when they kill people of color (or anyone!) who is unarmed and does not pose any real threat.

I will not “work together” to take basic assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.

I will not “work together” to allow torture and “black op” prison sites.

I will not “work together” to “take their oil.”

I will not “work together” to get rid of common sense regulations on guns.

I will not “work together” to eliminate the minimum wage.

I will not “work together” to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that Trump and his supporters are wrong on the facts.

I will not “work together” to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women.

I will not “work together” to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons.

I will not “work together” to put even more “big money” into politics.

I will not “work together” to violate the Geneva Convention.

I will not “work together” to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party and white supremacists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred.

I will not “work together” to deny health care to people who need it.

I will not “work together” to increase the profits of the insurance companies.

I will not “work together” to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of an alleged or actual “pre-existing condition.”

I will not “work together” to increase voter suppression.

I will not “work together” to normalize tyranny.

I will not “work together” with anyone who is, or admires, tyrants and dictators.

I will not “work together” with 45ish or anyone who supports him, because I will not allow one man to feed upon the fears of the populace, blaming minorities for their condition or their inability to thrive. (Yes, I’ve read those books before.)

I will use my voice and my hands, to reach out to the uninformed, and anyone else who’ll LISTEN. About 45ish, his friends and the Big Lie:That “winning”, “being great again”, “rich” or even “beautiful” is nothing… if no one else is around.

What I Do

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As I work to open my new business, I find that a lot of people are unfamiliar with what I do as an Integrative Wellness and Life Coach.

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What is an Integrative Wellness and Life Coach?

As founder of Ajahn Life, I feel I should write a little bit about myself so that you will understand who I am and what I do.  I received my masters degree in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University, and feel that I got an excellent education.   Most recently, however, I underwent more specialized training to be an integrative wellness and life coach through the Integrative Wellness Academy in California.

Some of you may have questions about what exactly it is that I do. First, I am a life coach.  A life coach is someone who typically is known for helping client reach a specific goal or to make a wanted change in his or her life.  I can do that, but my training goes far beyond that.

The word, “Integrative” means to combine allpathic and complementary therapies and/or serving or intending to unify separate things.  A life coach is traditionally defined as a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges.  An Integrative Wellness & Life Coach has knowledge and training in “integrative” approaches in the areas of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellness.  This is referred to as “Wholeness in Balance.”

The approach that I use moves life coaching from simply counseling and encouraging, to fully equipping and empowering my clients to make the effective changes they need to come into balance within the aforementioned areas of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellness.

My clients can experience and expect to walk away with a personal plan to move them towards wellness and health in the areas of mind (thought life and patterns), emotions (emotions and relationships), physical (this can mean physical health or physical surroundings and situations, such as career or finance) and spiritual health (awareness and spirituality.)

What I do, really, is to use specific proven techniques and tools to help you get from where you are, to where you want to be in life.  I accept clients on an individual basis, and conduct workshops where I utilize my skills with other practitioners from different areas, to help clients reach their maximum potential.

My rates are $150 per hour for individual clients, and a predetermined, discounted, fixed rate for workshop clients who purchase a retreat package. At this time, our retreats are in the planning stages, but I will have more information about that soon.

“Dress Like a Woman” Part 2

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45 announced recently, that  he wanted any female on his staff to “dress like a woman.”  I asked my friends on Facebook to post photos of their ideas of how a woman should dress, and I posted my own.  I’ll begin with that one, and show you what everyone else posted as well.

When you “dress like a woman,” this is what you look like:

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These are all examples of what women dress like.

This is an example of 45’s idea of how a woman should dress.  This is his wife, the FLOTUS.

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