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Stacy Alexander


© Stacy Alexander – 2017
Reproduction or use of the content on this blog restricted without author’s permission.


Stacy Alexander – ARTE CALIFORNIA – Welcome!

Thai Touch – A Touch of Yum


It is always a pleasure to discover great new places to eat.  Our latest is Thai Touch,.  Situated at 1334 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, just two doors down from the Portland School of Rock, Thai Touch is a modest, unassuming Thai restaurant that is the brainchild of owner, Pimpron Sricsoontorn, who is a passionate, expert Thai cook.  Pim’s cooking genius is the driving force that makes Thai Touch so special.  Each ingredient is carefully considered and is of highest quality.

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Pimpron Srisoontorn, former Thailand high school teacher

Thai Touch is a family owned and operated business where Pim’s grandchildren pitch in to help. This is Natcho Ebay, who works as a waitress at the restaurant.

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Natcho Ebay

This particular location is the fourth incarnation of Thai Touch, and just may be the best.  The atmosphere is cozy and nicely appointed, while still maintaining a casual, comfortable ambience.

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Daily specials are prominently featured on a chalkboard that stands a few feet from the front entrance.

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Nathalie Srisoonstorn

John and I are vegetarians, and we don’t have a problem finding good things to eat at this restaurant, which also accommodates vegans and carnivores.

One of the appetizers that we like are the salad rolls. They consist of lettuce, mint leaves, carrots, cilantro and noodles wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut sauce.  They come with your choice of shrimp or tofu inside.

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Salad Rolls

We are also crazy about the Baby Rolls.  These delicious rolls are comprised of deep fried cabbage, carrots, taro root and glass noodles wrapped in rice paper and served with sweet and sour sauce. They have a nice crunch and are light and delicious.

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Baby Rolls


If meat is preferred, Thai Touch offers appetizers, such as their special pot stickers, consisting of deep fried pork dumplings served with pot sticker sauce, or Heaven, which is deep fried, ground chicken wrapped in a tortilla skin and served with sweet and sour sauce.  I’ve heard that the Chicken S’Tay is quite delicious, too.  This one is marinated chicken on skewers served with peanut sauce and cucumber sauce.

The restaurant has a wide array of salads, including the Cucumber salad with cucumber, carrots, red onions, green oinions, ground peanuts and chicken, or the Beef salad, that includes beef, red and green onion, tomatoes, cucumber and carrots, cooked in a spicy lime sauce.  Tiger Cry is another beef salad with red and green onions, but this one also has dry chili peppers and rice flakes served in a spicy lime sauce.

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Pineapple Curry

Oh!  And the curries!  My personal favorite is the pineapple curry, made with big chunks of pineapple, tofu, bell peppers, bamboo shoots, carrots and fresh basil in a red curry sauce, but they also have green and yellow curries, and a delicious Mus-Sa Mun curry with coconut milk, ginger, potatoes, carrots, pineapple, online and peanuts.  Yum!  Thai Touch offers curries containing the diner’s choice of chicken, pork, tofu, beef, shrimp or other seafood.

Another favorite dish containing pineapple is the delicious pineapple fried rice.  This delightful dish comes with your choice o chicken, shrrimp or tofu, and has olions, big chunks of fresh pineapple, bell peppers, carrots, peas, raisins, curry powder and egg, if desired.   They also offer a spicy fried rice, vegetable fried rice, green curry fried rice and more.

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Pineapple Fried Rice

Their noodle dishes are also delicious.  I love the spicy noodles made wiht rice noodles that are topped with red curry sauce and mixed veggies.  The Kee Maow also comes with favorable reviews.  This one features wide rice noodles, basil leaves, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, onions, cabbage, broccoli, carrots and chili peppers.

The Thai Touch Paht Thai also comes with high customer reviews.  This one has rice noodles, chicken, shrimp, tofu, eggs, bean sprouts, green onion, carrots and ground peanuts.

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Thai Touch Paht Thai

Listed in “Portland Cheap Eats” as one of the best bargains in the city, Thai Touch goes the extra mile to provide a comfortable, casual atmosphere, affordable prices and food that looks as delicious as it tastes.

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We hope you will spread the word about this fine Thai eatery.  Pay them a visit Monday through Saturday from 11 AM – 2:30 PM, and 4:30 – 9:00 PM for dinner, and from 4-9PM on Sundays.  You’ll be glad that you did!

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The food really is that good!

(Tell them Stacy sent you!)





June is going Swimmingly


I meant “swimmingly” sarcastically, as we are still having winter rains, which are finally supposed to end tomorrow, with sunny skies forecast for the conceivable future.

Things have been going very well for me.

My aunt Gaylon visited last weekend, and we did a whirlwind tour of Portland, going to Multnomah Falls, attending Ingrid’s School of Rock concert, taking a bus/Max tour of Portland, and spending quality time together.   She is standing on the bridge with my daughter and Ingrid in this picture.

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Ingrid’s concert was fantastic.  She had a fearful meltdown before the show, but one would never have known it by the time she stepped onto the stage with confidence.  Really.  She did so well.  We were all quite proud of her.  Auntie Gaylon had has all decked out in some awesome finery. She looked like a doll.

Ingrid at School of Rock

John and I are making plans for an undisclosed vacation next month.  Really looking forward to that!

I am happy.


Finding the Best Flea Collar for Your Dog



One of my readers asked if I would publish a blog about choosing the best flea collar for dogs.  While we don’t use a flea collar for Beatrix,.  I use essential oils, which work very well, and Revolution for heart worms, which also has a flea and tick repellent.

The Best Flea Collar For Dogs

Fleas and ticks can cause a number of serious illnesses in dogs. Mild diseases can make the dog nauseous or slow it down considerably. However, more severe cases can place the animal in excruciating pain or even cause its death. Therefore, flea and tick prevention is one of the most important elements to assure optimum health for your pet. Flea collars are an excellent solution for this problem. However, selecting the best flea collars for dogs can be a daunting task.

Therefore, we have written this guide to help you make the right decision for your pet.

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What are flea collars?

Flea collars are chemically-treated dog collars that are designed to repel and kill fleas and ticks on your pet. They are worn in conjunction with the dog’s regular collar, and provide safe, comfortable pest control. They come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and styles.

What do they do?

The best flea collars for dogs work to both repel and kill fleas. Some collars do both, and others are designed to do one job only, depending on what is needed for the individual pet.

How do they work?

Flea collars work by killing fleas and ticks, and by breaking their reproductive cycles. Three basic types of collars work in three different ways. The absorption based collar contains a type of insecticide that is absorbed into the dog’s skin. Fleas that then feed on the dog are poisoned and killed. The high frequency flea collar works by emitting ultra-sonic sound waves that repel the fleas. Gas based collars create a toxin that repels ticks and fleas from the dog, and kills the bugs when they come into direct contact with the collar.

How effective are Flea Collars?

Flea collars can be quite effective for combatting fleas and ticks. Their effectiveness varies from brand-to-brand, and should be clearly stated on the collar’s packaging. Some types can last as many as 8 months. Spot on flea treatments only last for up to 30 days.

When shouldn’t you use a flea collar?

It is a good idea to check with one’s vet prior to using a flea collar. Some types of flea collars are not compatible with older dogs. It is also unadvisable to use a flea collar in conjunction with other types of flea treatments and remedies. Use of a flea collar should be discontinued if the pet develops inflamed, red and itchy skin around the neck where the collar rests.

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Fleas are tiny insects that form the Siphonaptera order. Their mouths are adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Their hind legs are adapted for jumping. Fleas are external parasites of birds and mammals. They survive by the consumption of blood of their hosts. Adult fleas are up to about 3 mm long and usually brown.

Known as holometabolous insects, fleas go through four different stages of their life cycle. Their eggs produce larva, which require a varied diet, and feed on any organic substances that are available, including feces, vegetable matter and dead insects. They are blind and keep to dark, humid places, such as soil, under carpets and in bedding. Once they pupate, they weave cocoons and molt, where they undergo metamorphosis into their adult forms. This usually takes about four days, but can take longer under adverse weather conditions. Mature fleas can live for up to 3 months without food, if they do not emerge from their puparia.

Once fleas achieve adulthood, they begin to seek blood, feed and reproduce. Females can lay as many as 5000 or more eggs over their 2-3 month life cycle. If no blood bearing host is found, their lifespan can be shortened to a few days. When ideal conditions of humidity, temperature and food supply exist, adult fleas have the life capacity of up to 1.5 years.

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Ticks are classified as small arachnids rather than insects and belong to two major families, the hard variety, or Ixodidae, and the soft type, or Argasidae. Adult ticks are noted for their ovoid bodies, which become engorged with blood and expand when they feed. They have firm shields on their dorsal surfaces. The Ixodidae variety have a beak-like structure at the from of the mouth. The Argasidae have mouths on their undersides. There approximately 850 specific tick species, and are known for transmitting such diseases as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease and Ehrlichia. They are also implicated in a number of serious infections that are caused by protozoa, viruses and bacteria.

Both varieties locate a blood host by odor or from certain changes in the environment. Both types progress through four distinct life cycle stages, including the egg, larva, nymph and finally, the adult ticks. Different species of ticks go through various numbers of developmental stages. For instance, the soft variety ticks may go through up to seven different nymphal stages.

Dangers of Fleas and Ticks

  • Anemia

    Signs of anemia in dogs, characterized by a low white blood cell count, includes lethargy, exercise intolerance, decrease in appetite, and pale gums. Dogs with mild cases of anemia may not have any signs at all.

  • Lyme Disease

    The most frequently noted symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs consist of a fever of between 103 and 105°, swollen joints, lameness, swollen lymph nodes, tiredness, and loss of appetite.

  • Rockettsiae Infection

    Symptoms of Rockettsiae Infection in dogs includes difficulty breathing, general weakness, loss of appetite, lethargy and enlarged lymph nodes.

  • Meningoencephalitis

    Two illnesses merge to create Meningoencephaltis in dogs, encephalitis, which is the inflammation of the brain, and Meningitis, the inflammation of the meninges, or spinal cord and outer layer of the brain. It has a mortality rate of between 60-100%.

  • Dermatitis

    Dermatitis in dogs is an inflammatory, chronic skin disease associated with allergies, and can be associated with fleas and ticks. It effects their ears, muzzle, underarms, groin, the areas around the eyes and between their foot pads.

  • Tapeworms

    One of the more commonly known intestinal parasites, tapeworms are segmented, and can be found in most mammals. While usually not fatal, tapeworms can cause extreme weight loss, fatigue and discomfort.

  • Plague

    A parasitic genus, Yersinia pestis causes the bacterial disease known as Plague. Dogs infected with the disease will experience inflammation, high fever and excessive pain.

  • Haemobartonellosis

    Haembartonellosis is transmitted by ticks, and is characterized in dogs by an infection of the red blood cells by a parasite. Symptoms include weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness, white to purple gums, and high fever.

  • Erlichiosis

    The severity of the symptoms of Erlichiosism a type of bacteria, depends on the species involved and the individual immune response of the kanine. Symptoms include weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, lethargy, abnormal bleeding, enlarged lymph nodes, coughing, enlarged spleen, discharge from the nose and or eyes, pain and stiffness, diarrhea, vomiting and certain neurological symptoms.

Considerations before buying the best flea collar for dogs

Read product reviews in reputable pet magazines and other publications

Weigh the options between insecticidal, biological or ultrasonic collars

When choosing ultrasonic collars, consider battery life

Consider environmentally friendly collars

Choose collars from among well known manufacturers.

Read product labels to determine manufacturer’s age recommendations for dogs

Find out the concentration of the collar’s active ingredient

Determine which collars work best for specific sizes, breeds and ages

Read all precautions and warnings regarding health and safety hazards for pets and humans

Take note of how long the product is effective,

Find out the specific pests the collar kills.

Ensure the collar is the right size and made of a material the dog can tolerate

Consider collars with reflective strips that glow in the dark

Compare materials such as rubber, fabric, plastic, jute, et al

Decide on color

Consider ease of use for each type of collar under consideration

Find out if collar works alone or with additional products

Consider the magnitude of any existing flea or tick infestations

Inspect fastener

And there you have it!  I hope this has answered your questions about flea collars.  If you have any further inquiries, please let me know.

Do Not Hesitate to Meditate!


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I have a lot on my plate.  In finding balance between work, family, art making, marketing, recreation and personal development endeavors, I am often asked how I can possibly have enough energy to do all the things that I do. One of the key tools that I use, apart from exercise a great diet and plenty of rest, is meditation.

One might wonder how using the best way to focus and calm the mind, meditation, can be such a highly effective solution for increased energy, but alas. It works!

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Two things that set us, as humans, apart from prehistoric humans are changes in the brain’s Amygdala and the Prefrontal Cortex. The former (Amygdala) can be thought of as one’s “fear center,” while the Prefrontal Cortex area of the brain is the orchestrator of thoughts. People who still allow themselves to be dominated by their Amygdala are not as resilient during stressful times, ad people who enable their Prefrontal Cortex of reasoning to take control. Amygdala-ruled brains result in people with fewer stores of energy.

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Simply put, meditation upgrades the Prefrontal Cortex while deactivating the Amygdala.

Multiple studies suggest that people who meditate regularly have large, strong Prefrontal Cortexes, with calm Amygdalae. This is because people who meditate live with fewer worries, less anxiety and less stress than people who do not meditate on a regular basis. It also boosts two critical chemicals, GH (growth hormone) and DHEA.

DHEA is best known for providing an increased sense of well being. However, DHEA supplements can have unpleasant side effects. Furthermore, it doesn’t work for everyone, and those who do take it sometimes notice a decrease in energy.

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Growth Hormone is an important chemical for reducing fatigue and for putting a spark in one’s motivation. This is the chemical that makes one taller and stronger during puberty. As we age, however, the body produces less GH and DHEA. However, this is not a problem for people who meditate regularly.

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Meditation also helps one sleep better. It works by boosting melatonin production about almost 98%! Melatonin is a naturally occurring sleep compound. Extra production of this compound enables people who meditate to sleep more soundly and to wake up feeling refreshed and revitalized, and to have more energy.

Meditators also produce less cortisol. This is a chemical that zaps energy and keeps stressed out people in a state of stress. It also leads to excess stomach fat. An interesting study conducted by Rutgers University found that meditation reduced cortisol in the body by as much as 50%!

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Earlier, I mentioned temporary energy boosters, such as stimulants, which also have negative side effects. Coffee, energy drinks and so forth, only provide temporary solutions to fatigue. They always have an energy crash afterward, leaving consumers feeling exhausted.

While physical exercise is definitely a way to up your energy levels, meditation works on the brain and body in very similar and (many would argue) even better ways.

For instance, long distance runners’ are addicted to their sport for good reason, because running causes the brain to produce endorphins. These chemicals provide a powerful energy boost as well as a wonderful kind of mental euphoria that has appropriately been named “runner’s high”. However, meditation does the same thing…only better. The highs provided by meditation simply can’t be duplicated. Meditation lays the foundation for a calm, focused, higher level of mind that stimulants simply cannot touch. Toss out your energy drink. Pickup meditation. You’ll be glad you did.

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Thank you, Mr. Best…and All the Rest


Portland train stabbing.

Two men were killed in a stabbing on a MAX train last Friday when they tried to intervene as another man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, including one wearing a hijab.  A third passenger who tried to help was also stabbed, but is expected to survive.

Rick Best Taliesin Namkai-Meche

This is the climate of hatred that was bred when donald j. trump took the oath of office last November.  Hate crimes are now soaring and discrimination against Muslims has never been higher.

Stabbing on Max Train, Portland, Oregon.  Portland train stabbing

Police identify victims of stabbing on Portland MAX train

Officers arrested the suspect as he ran from the Hollywood transit station into the neighborhood near Providence Portland Medical Center in Northeast Portland, Simpson said. The suspect was ranting about many things, using “hate speech or biased language,” and at one point focused on the young women.

Two men who died in the attack were identified as:

Best died at the scene of the attack, and Namkai-Meche died at a hospital.

Police said the victim injured in the attack was 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher of Southeast Portland. He remains in a Portland hospital, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

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Today, I visited the spot where Rick Best and the  two other men were attacked, their throats slit, and left to die. The outpouring of love there today was very powerful, and I cried and cried as I walked around and snapped pictures of the offerings from mourners.

Here is a slideshow of some of the shots that I took.

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Muslim Hysteria


According to key research findings from the Pew Research Center, the Muslim religion is the second largest in the world and the fastest growing major religion.  If current demographic trends continue, the number of Muslims is expected to exceed the number of Christians by the end of the century.

The political climate in the United States since the election of “45”, has been one of heightened hatred toward the Muslim population.  Conservative (redneck) media has leveraged its listening audience toward a fear-based view of Muslims, sparking hatred not unlike the hatred exercised toward blacks when lynching was an “acceptable” remedy for suspicious acts.

When a Muslim commits a crime in the United States, it sadly becomes, not about the person or persons committing the crime.  It becomes about ALL Muslims who are demonized, largely, by the uneducated.  I recall a friend of mine telling me that his ignorant roommate calls them, “Mu-SLIMES” and this is a typical redneck response to what is going on.

I say that if we are going to ban people because of the color of their skin or their religion, we should also include this group of criminals.  I could have maxed out my blog with the names and info about these men, but instead, I’ll only post a small sample.   If we are going to ban Muslims because of the actions of a few, why not ban this demographic as well?

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Something to think about.


Oh, Baby…you DO go down smooth….


Feeling the music right now . Thought I’d share some of my favorites and the songs that have special meaning to me right now.

I listen to Lake Street Dive constantly, and feel that Rachel Price is one of the best contemporary singers to come down the pike since Annie Lennox.  It has been so much fun to watch this band rise higher and higher on the popularity scales, and not at all surprising.  They cannot come to the Pacific NW without finding Stacy sitting in the audience.

A friend from Oklahoma turned me on to John Fullbright several years ago.  His straightforward, simple, yet skillfully executed lyrics speak straight to my heart. I’ve only seen him play once, but loved every minute of that show in a smokey little Oklahoma bar.

I’ve known Lyle Lovett since the late 70’s when my friend, Katy, and I used to go see him for next to nothing at Anderson Fair in Houston.  I think admission was something like $2.00.  Like Fullbright, he is one of my favorite lyricists.  This is one of my very favorites by him.

My close friend, Robb, in Dallas, turned me on to Shook Twins recently.  I fell for this group when I heard one of the friends singing through an old telephone, creating a wiry, ethereal sound that I found haunting.

Alabama Shakes is another band that I love.  While Brittany Howard might not look like your typical Brittany, her soulful refrains shake me to the bone.

And speaking of bones…..Here’s a little dose of Texas, in the form of Shaky Graves.  Love him. Saw him recently in Portland.  Fantastic musician/lyricist.

My friend, Sheryl, hosted Vandaveer in her Seattle studio last year.  We had so much fun in the intimate setting.  Great people, these, very friendly.  My daughter in law loves them, so I got the lead singer, Mark Charles Heidinger,  to do a little video for her. He was very sweet.  Told her he wished she could be there, et al.  We had a blast hanging out with these guys, and the music was unsurpassed. Sheryl’s friend, Mary was there, and after everyone left, Mark sat down in a rolling office chair, rolled across the room to her and sang “happy birthday” about a foot away from her face. She cried and cried….from happiness.  This was a magical night for all of us. Close friends. Great music. Good food.  We had a lot of fun, thanks to Sheryl, the hostess with the mostest.

Even after all these years, it is difficult for me to make a list of favorite musicians without including Annie Lennox….as dated as this music is, she has remained one of my favorite singers for many years.  This song has special significance, and brings back some happy, happy memories for me….so bear with the oldness of it, ok?  This song was sent to me by someone who is very near and dear to my heart, so when I hear it, I am filled with gratitude.

And last but not least,  I’ve become a big fan of this little sweetie, who absolutely blew me away with a song that is near and dear to my heart for reasons I cannot convey.

So…I hope I’ve turned you on to at least one musician or group you weren’t familiar with. I love all kinds of music, old and new, but these selections all have special meaning to me right now.

John recently gifted me with an Amazon Echo, so every morning I get up and say, “Alexa, play……….(one of these musicians…or some other musicians)….and our house is filled with music.

Gotta love modern technology.


A Message from Dan Rather

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Dan Rather

Future generations may mark today as one of the truly dark days in American history, a history that may soon take an even more ominous turn.

President Trump’s sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey is a matter that should deeply concern every American, regardless of party, partisan politics or ideological leanings.

The independence of our law enforcement is at the bedrock of our democracy. That independance, already grievously shaken under the brief tenure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is now shattered by uncertainty.

The firing of an FBI Director is always a very serious matter in normal times. But these times aren’t normal. Far from it. The Bureau is engaged in one of the most important and perilous investigations of this or any other presidency—the investigation of connections between the Trump election campaign and the Russian government.

The questions mount and the shadow grows darker. What were those connections? What did Mr. Trump know about them and when did he know it? How can the President explain the serious allegations against his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn? And what is President Trump hiding in this regard? It’s imperative that the nation—We The People—get answers to those questions. It will take time, but the process must start now.

A politicized FBI is the last thing we need as we struggle through the maze of lies, concealment and ever-deepening mysteries. The last time a President fired prosecutors who were investigating him was Richard Nixon during the widespread criminal conspiracy known for short as “Watergate.” We all know how that turned out. In real ways, this potential scandal and coverup are much graver. We are talking about the very security of the United States and the sanctity of our republic.

Thomas Paine famously wrote in 1776: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. ”

I see this as having the potential for a similar reflection point in our American story. If there is a cover up, if our nation is at the risk that has certainly been more than suggested, it is incumbent upon everyone who claims to love this nation to demand answers.

We need a special prosecutor. We need an independent investigation. There is, obviously, much we don’t know about what has just happened, why it happened and why now. Just as obviously there is much more, so much more that we need know. We need to damn the lies and expose the truth.

Parental Alienation Syndrome….the FAKE Syndrome


You most often hear of Parental Alienation Syndrome in court cases where fathers who are proficient at conducting Google searches, are seeking custody of their children, but it is also claimed by women, in some cases, for the same reasons.  It is difficult to use this as an actual defense in a child custody case, as Parental Alienation Syndrome is, in fact, not considered by the scientific community as a syndrome at all.  It isn’t even a legitimate scientific theory.  The word, “theory” in this case, refers to how facts are interpreted using the scientific method.

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Richard Gardner, founder of the parental alienation syndrome movement based his opinions on his personal clinical experience, and without empirical evidence supported by science.  Parental Alienation Syndrome cannot be properly tested, because it relies on unproven assumptions….and so it goes.  This is wherein the controversy lies, and is why it generally does not hold up in court.

Certainly, there have been cases in which either or one or the other parent says or does things that may alienate children from their relationships with their other parent.  However, this does not constitute the definition of an actual syndrome or disorder, and that is why so often cases that attempt to use this as a defense in a court of law are thrown out or are not taken seriously.

Dangers Inherent in Making the Parental Alienation Syndrome Claim

One of the most strident arguments against using Parental Alienation Syndrome in court is that it is often used to undercut valid allegations of domestic and sexual abuse by redirecting attention from the alleged abuser to the victim.  Proponents of Parental Alienation Syndrome claim that the child has been lead to believe that abuse has occurred when it hasn’t.  They claim that the alienating parent has brainwashed the child to vilify or denigrate the other parent without an investigation being conducted first to find out whether the allegations are correct.  Parental Alienation Syndrome often follows the tenant that the alienating parent is making up the claims of abuse.

In his article about Parental Alienation Syndrome in SocialworkToday Magazine (2009) , Andraé L. Brown, PhD, an assistant professor at Lewis and Clark College here in Portland, OR, and the codirector of the Affinity Counseling Group, notes that PAS is often introduced in cases in which there is documented abuse on the part of the parent claiming alienation.

Brown states, “If there were no evidence of any kind of misconduct, then it would have more credence,” he says, “but the fact is that there’s usually some kind of documented abuse. In many PAS cases, the court has issued restraining orders against these men. PAS says there’s something wrong with the child because he or she doesn’t want to be around the father. Maybe it’s because there’s been this documented history of abuse, and the child has either witnessed the violence done to the mother or has endured violence themselves.”

Brown agrees that there are cases in which a child may become closer to or protective of one parent during divorce proceedings or the aftermath but says that when a father begins to claim that he is being alienated, it is most often the result of the alienated parent’s behavior, not the other parent’s efforts to vilify the “alienated parent.”

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There are many cases and examples of children being successfully raised by step parents or by one parent alone. The father who makes repeated false claims about the mother, who calls CPS at the drop of a hat, who derides and maligns the mother and watches for reasons to take her to court, then claims parental alienation, is the father who ignores the truth.  This is the fatal flaw in his strategy, but sadly, he will never see this.









List of Pre Existing Conditions Not Covered by Trumpcare


AIDS/HIV, acid reflux, acne, ADD, addiction, Alzheimer’s/dementia, anemia, aneurysm, angioplasty, anorexia, anxiety, arrhythmia, arthritis, asthma, atrial fibrillation, autism, bariatric surgery, basal cell carcinoma, ipolar disorder, blood clot, breast cancer, bulimia, bypass surgery, celiac disease, cerebral aneurysm, cerebral embolism, cerebral palsy, cerebral thrombosis, cervical cancer, colon cancer, colon polyps, congestive heart failure, COPD, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, DMD, depression, diabetes, disabilities, Down syndrome, eating disorder, enlarged prostate, epilepsy, glaucoma, gout, heart disease, heart murmur, heartburn, hemophilia, hepatitis C, herpes, high cholesterol, hypertension, hysterectomy, kidney disease, kidney stones, kidney transplant, leukemia, lung cancer, lupus, lymphoma, mental health issues, migraines, MS, muscular dystrophy, narcolepsy, nasal polyps, obesity, OCD, organ transplant, osteoporosis, pacemaker, panic disorder, paralysis, paraplegia, Parkinson’s disease, pregnancy, restless leg syndrome, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder, seizures, sickle cell disease, skin cancer, sleep apnea, sleep disorders, stent, stroke, thyroid issues, tooth disease, tuberculosis, ulcers.

A word about insurance… Beth Wilson Roberts


My friend, Beth Roberts, posted the following information on her Facebook today, and I wanted to share it with you (with permission) because it is important.

It completely floors me how many people have NO understanding of health insurance.

Listen, here’s the skinny, and some important points to remember…

1. When you pay your insurance premium, you are not paying for YOUR healthcare. You are paying, with a bunch of other people, for a policy that covers ALL of you. For whatever. When you need it, it’s there. When you don’t, you don’t get a refund.

2. It is absolutely stupid to believe that, by paying your insurance premium, you should only be paying for what you and your family want to use. If you honestly feel that way, drop your insurance, open a savings account and put the money there. We’ll see how well that works when you rack up a million dollar medical bill.

3. If you are pro-life, and don’t want to pay for maternity care, I can have a chat with you how babies are made, and all of the things that can go wrong between the sexy fun time and the actual birth of the baby. In other words, if you don’t think maternity care is an essential benefit that every woman should affordably have, then you are not pro-life. Sorry.

4. Medical coverage, like medical care, should not be based on what kind of care anyone “deserves”. If you go skiing and break your leg, or fall off a ladder cleaning your own gutters, or get poison ivy when you go camping, or stab yourself with a knife in the kitchen, or somehow manage any other of the insane mishaps that can befall us simply because we are human beings, I don’t get to call meeting with my employer and co-workers where we decide if you get covered or if you were just too stupid to deserve it. You didn’t ASK for it–and if a person implies that you did, they are wrong. So are you, if you somehow think anyone ASKED to become ill or injured.

5. “Lifestyle diseases” are fewer than you might think, and are almost always complicated by factors over which you have no control. Non-smokers get lung cancer. People with healthy diets get diabetes. Jim Fixx dies of a heart attack. Children get HIV. People who have done nothing more horrible than take the medication their doctors prescribed become opioid addicts. YOU don’t get to decide who has and who has not contributed to their disease, and who is or is not worthy of care. Mind your own business, or someone may be standing over YOU pronouncing judgement on the value of YOUR life.

There’s more, but this is enough for now.

Do you get it yet?

The Miracle that is Helichrysum Essential Oil


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The more I use essential oils, the more I love them. As more people realize the harm that chemicals can do to the human body and to the environment, natural remedies and products have taken center stage.

People are choosing to use essential oils instead of over-the-counter pharmaceutical products, chemical cleaners, bug sprays, and even in place of prescription medications in some special instances, although I do not advise this without running it by your doctor first. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to check with your doctor before using essential oils for ANY purpose.  They are powerful health tools that should be used carefully.

Helichrysum oil is one of the essential oils that has gotten more attention as this revolution against chemical products wages.  It is one of my favorite and moThis is an oil that is extracted from the helichrysum plant and is known as helichrysum italicum extract. The oil is created through the steam distillation of the plant’s flowers. It features a fruity aroma that has undertones of honey or tea and can be a pale yellow color to a red color.

About Helichrysum Oil

A member of the Asteraceae plant, helichrysum is native to the Mediterranean region as well as India. It’s been used for thousands of years throughout those areas for its medicinal properties including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in the oil. It’s been used to combat disease and to boost immune systems while also treating wounds, supporting the nervous system, and aiding in heart health, respiratory conditions, infections, and digestive issues.

Helichrysum oil is made up of different components that give it its various benefits and properties. The oil is primarily made up of 14 percent linalool, 15 percent limonene, 35 percent neryl acetate (the most important component), and 1 percent eudesmol. It also contains 1,8-cineole, camphene, pinenes, and terpinens, caryophyllene, myrcene, and similar chemical compounds all of which give it its various benefits.

The various compounds lend to the oil’s remedial values because they are able to enter into your body and bring about positive effects. Essential oils like helichrysum oil have the ability to enter into your blood stream through topical application, ingestion, and even aromatically. Along with the various benefits, this essential oil’s lovely fragrance will also provide you with emotional benefits and works as a fragrant element in your home. Now that you own this coveted oil you’ll be able to continually benefit from its various properties.

History of Helichrysum Oil

The use of helichrysum and its oil goes back to ancient times where it was reported that the flowers of the medicinal plant were dried and then presented as offerings to the gods in ancient Greece. It was traditionally used for medicinal purposes as well as culinary purposes throughout different cultures in the Mediterranean. In Italy, it was used for flavoring sauces and other dishes. It has also been used as a potent medicine in South Africa. There it has been used to treat things like rheumatism.

In medieval Europe, the flowers of the helichrysum plant were also used as strewing herbs. This means that the flowers were scattered on the floor of homes or on top of surfaces where their fragrance would serve as an air freshener or disinfectant. Throughout time the plant and the oil made from the flowers have been used in folk medicine. It was used for healing scars and remedying signs of aging on the skin.

Helichrysum has been used for thousands of years for multiple purposes across different cultures.

Dosage and Interaction

The dosage instructions for helichrysum oil can vary based on what you’re using it for and who is using it. A person’s health and age play a role in proper dosing instructions. The best thing to do is to follow all recipe measurements and instructions in order to avoid any unpleasant effects that might be caused by using too much oil. Just because helichrysum oil is natural and beneficial doesn’t mean that it’s completely safe in all forms and in all amounts.

Thankfully, helichrysum oil is quite gentle and has little-known side effects. So much so that it is one of the few oils that most adults can use without dilution (although dilution is always recommended with essential oils for precautionary measures). That said, there are certain instances where helichrysum oil should not be used. The oil has anticoagulant effects so it shouldn’t be used by people recovering from surgery or who are about to go through surgery since it can cause excess bleeding in these people and prevent proper healing. There have also been reports about the oil causing colic in people who have been suffering from gallstones. Similarly, people with blocked bile ducts should also avoid using the oil because it can actually trigger bile flow which can cause a person in this scenario problems. If you have allergies or sensitivities to plants in the Asteraceae or Compositae plant family, you should stay away from this oil. These plants include ragweed, daisies, marigolds, chrysanthemums, and similar plants. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be allergic to helichrysum but you might want to speak to a doctor or herbalist about using it or just experiment with it carefully to see if you have a poor reaction.

If you do use the oil and notice adverse reactions stop using it immediately and if need be seek medical attention.

Helichrysum Oil Studies and Research

With essential oils becoming more popular thanks to their various benefits, the scientific community has taken notice and have begun testing these properties to verify if they really exist. This is great because it gives scientific credibility to things that have been known for centuries. Here, you’ll find a few studies that were done on helichrysum oil so that you can see that the benefits are real. Researchers began studying helichrysum oil to test its pharmacological properties like its anti-inflammatory benefits and its antimicrobial properties. As they’ve done their research, scientists from the University of Bozok in Turkey believe that the antioxidant properties of the oil (phloroglucinols and acetophenones) are behind these health benefits. Researchers also found that the oil contains sesquiterpenes, pyrenes, and triterpenoids that have antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory effects that give the oil its power. Other researchers in the Department of pharmacy at the University of Naples in Italy found that helichrysum oil’s ability to lower inflammation in the body is from a corticoid-like steroid that inhibits happenings in different pathways of arachidonic acid metabolism. The same research found that ethanoic compounds in the oil have antispasmodic properties when introduced into an inflamed digestive system which can help lower swelling in the gut as well as cramping and stomach pain. All research done on the oil shows that the chemical properties of the oil naturally give it benefits that can impact the body in similar ways that medication does. These studies done by professionals give credibility to the ancient writings and folklore traditions that named helichrysum oil as a medicinal oil that was beneficial inside and outside of the body.

Benefits of Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum oil has been used for a variety of reasons across cultures and centuries. It’s been used in cooking, as an expectorant, an analgesic, a diuretic, an anti-inflammatory, an anti-allergenic, an antispasmodic, an astringent, and more.  It has medicinal properties that make it beneficial for a multitude of reasons. Here, is a sampling of the benefits that you can take advantage of by using helichrysum oil.


Helichrysum oil is beneficial in stopping unwanted spasms or contractions of the body. These spasms can occur in muscles, nerves, the respiratory tract, and the intestines. This can result in cramping, coughs, convulsions, and similar effects. The properties of this essential oil can treat spasms by relieving them when they happen. The oil can also prevent them from happening when it’s used continuously as an aromatic.


As an anticoagulant, this essential oil can help thin out the blood in people with ailments like high cholesterol and similar blood-thickening disorders. The properties in helichrysum oil can thin out the blood and prevent things like clots, strokes, and heart attacks by stimulating enzyme in the body that can dissolve clots. This is a great benefit because it not only helps a serious issue but it can actually allow some people to become less dependent on harmful prescription drugs….BUT PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR FIRST before using it for this, or any purpose.  This doesn’t mean that you should abandon those drugs if you’re on them, you absolutely shouldn’t, but using the oil might make you feel better and work in conjunction with your medication for your overall benefit.


Allergies can be a real problem and when an allergic reaction hits it can really take a toll on your system. People with allergies can suffer from rashes, stomach aches, breathing problems, and even cardiac arrest. All allergic reactions actually start in your internal organs and affect them. Using helichrysum oil can help calm down allergic reactions when they occur. This can give you enough time to get to a medical professional and take care of a severe allergy before it goes on too long and causes too much damage.


When a fever strikes there is inflammation that can go along with it. Helichrysum oil can combat this inflammation. Once this fever-induced inflammation is taken care of you will feel less tired and get over your fever that much faster.


Similar to the prior benefit, helichrysum oil can also provide relief from other inflammation within the body. The oil can calm down blood vessels that are causing inflammation and help lower blood pressure, and improve muscle function that is caused by inflammation, too. If you’re dealing with things like autoimmune diseases that cause joint pain and inflammation, this oil can be used in multiple ways to stop inflammation from occurring and for easing symptoms when the inflammation does occur. The antiinflammatory properties in helichrysum oil are so strong that it’s been used in cultures to ease even strong disorders like rheumatism.


People who suffer from chronic coughing need antitussives to suppress their coughs. Helichrysum oil can offer relief from chronic coughing and similar respiratory problems. If your coughing is caused by itchiness or phlegm build-up the essential oil can ease those problems and stop your coughing.


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A nervine can help maintain your nervous system and keep it functioning properly which can protect it from outside harm. Your nervous system can be harmed as you age which can lead to anxiety or stress. This oil can keep your nervous system healthy and keep those feelings at bay.


Fevers come about for various reasons. Since helichrysum oil has so many beneficial properties, it can cure the cause of the fever and reduce the fever as well. As it does this, you’ll experience an ease on other symptoms associated with fevers like chills, inflammation, and body aches.


Helichrysum oil can help wounds, cuts, scrapes, and skin abrasions heal quickly. It can also help reduce the appearances of scars from things like acne, pox, boils, and deep skin injuries. Expectorant The respiratory system expels phlegm when it is warm. Helichrysum oil warms the respiratory system and aids in the natural expelling of phlegm while preventing new phlegm from forming. This provides cough relief along with congestion relief. It can help you get over a cold faster or at least lessen the symptoms of a cold.


One of the more unique benefits of helichrysum oil is that is can promote the excretion of bile into the stomach and neutralize acids in your system. This can help promote better digestion, reduce symptoms of acid reflux, and cure general acidity.


One of the most beneficial properties oh helichrysum oil is its different disinfecting and protective properties. Helichrysum oil is antimicrobial and can inhibit the formation of contagions and can protect your body against infection. Similarly, it’s also antiseptic and can clean skin abrasions like wounds, scrapes, cuts, pin-pricks, and other sores that can possibly become infected if left open. Helichrysum oil is also an antiviral that can boost your immune system and stop harmful pathogens from infecting the body. This is believed to be linked to the oil’s strong anti-inflammatory properties that heal the gut (an important factor in your immune system).

The flavonoids and other compounds in the oil have shown to inhibit bacteria in the body as well as fungi and viruses, even powerful pathogens related to debilitating diseases.


While mucus in your body is natural and necessary for healthy function, there can be problems that occur when your body overproduces mucus and begins to deposit it in the respiratory system in response to an infection. Helichrysum oil can thin out the excess mucus in your system. If there is hard mucus present that is proving hard to expel through coughing, the oil can thin that out too through hydrolysis and aid in expelling it. Diuretic As a diuretic, helichrysum oil can promote the frequency as well as the quantity of urination. This will help flush your body of toxins that are filtered from your blood and into your urine. The removal of urine can help stabilize your blood pressure and help you lose weight and improve digestion. Similarly, the essential oil can also help stimulate gastric juices that can help you break down your food which will prevent indigestion and reduce bloating. The oil can be used to treat intestinal issues and aid in natural gut health.


If you have anemia, helichrysum oil can help you, too. The oil can aid in the production of red blood cells as well as the recycling of the red blood cells by keeping your spleen healthy and functioning properly.


Cell health is incredibly important to your overall health. New cells have to be produced while dead cells have to be recycled. Helichrysum oil promotes this cell health and is especially beneficial for children who are still growing or for those who have obstructed growth. Hepatic Helichrysum oil can help soothe your liver and promote its overall health. It can relieve liver inflammation and regulate discharge from it which helps stave off infection. This will help detoxify your body and treat things like liver disease by clearing heavy metals, bacteria, and free radicals from your body. Similarly, helichrysum oil can also reduce kidney stone development by aiding the in the detoxification of the liver and kidneys through the topical application of the oil on the lower abdomen.


The antifungal properties of helichrysum oil can help prohibit the growth of fungal infections in the body. Through the oil’s acetophenones, terpenoids, and phloroglucinols the oil can work against things like Candida, according to studies. To help aid in the recovery from fungal infections the oil can also boost your immune system and battle inflammation in the body that might be caused by the Candida or similar fungal infection.

Skin Care Benefits

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Helichrysum oil has a lot of benefits for your skin. It can act like an emollient and smooth out rough skin and keep it soft and healthy by helping it retain moisture and preventing cracking. It can also protect your skin against outside pathogens through its antibiotic properties found in the flavonoids and terpenes. This is great for protecting your skin from everything from general irritation to harmful infections. Similarly, it can promote faster and better healing of skin abrasions. It can even be used to soothe things like poison ivy, hives, and shaving bumps. The essential oil can also provide relief for sunburn and can protect against sun damage and skin cancer. The oil can hydrate your burnt skin and prevent it from swelling and causing your pain after too much sun exposure. By blocking UV rays, helichrysum oil can also reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and similar signs of aging. This will also help lower your risk of skin cancer. The oil can also promote healthy skin cell growth which can help you heal from burns faster. Another skin benefit is the oil’s ability to treat acne.

Thanks to its antibiotic and antimicrobial properties, the oil can cure acne without drying out your skin or causing irritation like alcohol based products can. It can also be used to cleanse your skin and prevent new breakouts from forming. If you have scars from acne, it can help reduce their appearance, too. All of the skin care benefits associated with the oil also have to do with the cell regenerations properties of helichrysum oil. This promotes the natural glow of your skin and smooths it out aiding in the prevention and treatment of acne, wrinkles, pigmentation discoloration, and oxidative skin damage. It can also help fade stretch marks and soothe eczema and psoriasis. With all of the beneficial properties of the oil working together, helichrysum oil is really a cure-all for skin problems.

Later on, you’ll find out how to use the oil to help with various skin problems. You’ll also get some great DIY recipes to make skin products for yourself using your helichrysum oil and other natural products.

Benefits for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis causes a host of problems for those who suffer from it. Helichrysum oil can help keep symptoms of the illness at bay while alleviating present symptoms as it supports your neurological system. If you have MS or known someone who has it, consider using helichrysum oil along with your medication to help deal with the pain and symptoms that can affect day to day living.


This essential oil can help lower muscle pain in the body according to research. The oil’s natural ability to lower inflammation and improve blood circulation can aid in overall pain relief. Your nerves, muscle tissue, and joints will all receive healing support from the oil which can treat pain related to things like arthritis, injuries from over exertion, fibromyalgia pain, and general aches.

Sports Injury Relief

Thanks to a lot of the aforementioned properties, helichrysum oil is great for treating a whole host of sports injuries including aches, muscle strains, and inflammation. It can even help with abrasions like rope or mat burn, bruises, and cuts. Blood clots and micro tears can also be treated with the essential oil. It’ll also treat other problems caused by an injury like swelling, capillary leaks, cell death and damage, and tissue damage. When used properly and in a timely manner, the oil can even prevent hemorrhaging after an injury.

Other Health Benefits

As you can by now tell, helichrysum oil has a wide range of benefits due to its various properties granted to it through the chemical compounds that it’s made of. Other health benefits of the oil include neutralizing harmful things like nicotine and caffeine. It can also help clear up herpes outbreaks, sinusitis, colitis, cystitis, and varicose veins. It also has positive effects on mental function.

The essential oil is also a natural defense against certain types of cancers according to studies. There are special compounds in the oil that actually stop oxidative stress within the body which can inhibit the growth of cancer. Similar research found that the oil can protect against DNA damage caused by radiation, cell death/mutation, and tumor growth.

Helichrysum oil can also be a natural soother for hemorrhoids. The oil can reduce both the pain and the swelling attributed to the ailment through topical application on the affected area several times a day.

For cognitive function, the aroma of helichrysum oil can aid in emotional support as well as mood stabilization. According to aromatherapy research, the aroma of the oil can especially help with half-conscious anger, negative attitudes, resentment, and bitterness. It can help you deal with unresolved emotions and in restoring memories and is used in psychotherapy to help people dealing with emotional traumas. It was mentioned briefly, but helichrysum oil can also treat cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure, palpitations, and irregular heartbeats. It can prevent strokes and similar problems through its various properties. According to studies, the oil has caryophyllene and curcumin in it that has a positive effect on blood pressure. As touched upon earlier, helichrysum oil can also help treat flatulence, ulcers, diarrhea, intestinal pain, vomiting, indigestion, urinary infections, and stomach cramping.

How to Use Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum oil can be used for a variety of different things and through various methods. You can choose to use your essential oil by itself or you can choose to mix it with other essential oils. You may even choose to follow some recipes and mix your helichrysum oil with other ingredients to create great home remedies that you can use for different things.

Besides being used for its health benefits, the oil has also been used as a perfume, as incense, and even as a natural way to kill mosquito larvae. The natural chemical compounds in the oil have undergone testing and intense research to prove the various health benefits of the oil, benefits that have been known for centuries and have been used throughout folklore. You can use your oil in whatever way necessary by applying it directly to your skin, inhaling the vapors, or using it in a homemade product.

How it Works

Helichrysum oil (and all essential oils) get their beneficial properties from the chemical compounds that the oil is made of.  Terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds in the oil enter your bloodstream through either topical application, ingestion, or aromatically. Once in your bloodstream, these compounds can combat problems in the body and help promote general health. Certain compounds are even able to pass between the blood-brain barrier where they can help with cellular health and a deeper level. As soon as you use your helichrysum oil, your body will be able to start reaping the benefits no matter how you decide to use the oil in your personal life. Essential oils are quite strong and you should always follow all directions, measurements, and dosage suggestions when using them.

If you’re unfamiliar with a specific oil, including helichrysum oil, it can be beneficial to consult an aromatherapist or a herbalist who knows about essential oils. They can tell you how to properly use them in order to benefit completely from them without causing yourself any harm by misusing the oil.

Oral Application

There is an on-going debate on whether or not essential oils (no matter how mild) should be ingested in any form. I’m convinced that they should not be ingested, but many people do it.  Again, I’d advice seeking assistance from one’s doctor before trying them orally.