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.  (See?  I attributed its use to both men and women here.  I’m not picking on the guys…)

It is difficult to use PAS 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 Socialwork Today 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.
This fact alone, discredits the PAS claims considerably.

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 the offenders. 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.


I refer you to another article that illustrates the many ways in which PAS, in its current incarnation, is seriously flawed as an argument:










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…..by 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.


Busy times….


I don’t have a lot to say today….just exhausted, mentally and physically, from the whirlwind activities of recent times.

Had guests from Europe for two weeks, the last of whom left for England this morning.  Delightful company, and a true joy to be around.

Last weekend, I spent time with a friend from Texas with whom I had not spent time for at least 20 years.  John and I attended her graduation here in Portland.  She attained her masters in teaching from the same university where my daughter is a professor, and we were the only people she had here, so we celebrated in style with lots of pictures, flowers, champagne….and even opera.

I am spending most of my days and nights working on the new business, and on adding additional certifications to my arsenal of tools.  Fun….but hard work.

We have had rain and rain and rain this spring.  I’m ready for some sunshine!


That’s all she wrote.

Dallas says….


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.

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.



Good Company


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


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


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


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.



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.