Below, photos from late June 2017 "Joe family reunion" in Portland, Oregon, also a memorial held there for my late ex-husband's sister who passed away at age 84, just days before our scheduled get-together. Although I was divorced after spending 24 years as a member of the "Joe" clan (last name's spelling thanks to Papa Joe when he arrived from Korea), later, because of marriages, my own side of the family are practically the only ones still bearing the odd "Joe" last name. (I'm glad now to be accepted back into the fold.)
Left and below, eating at pirate-themed restaurant. (If I were better at arranging these photos, they wouldn't take up so much space.)
Family members came from the east coast (ourselves), Minnesota, California, and various parts of Oregon.
Above, my nephew Darrel, a loud snorer, right, great-grandson De'Andre in pool at our Air B&B rental with my nephew Conrad.
Below, making Korean mandu, something I once often made years ago with the family.
Above, center, new widower Bernard, age 85, wife of the recently departed and mourned Elizabeth; at left is my granddaughter Natasha,
The beautiful gardens of our rented house put me in mind of one of my favorite childhood books, The Secret Garden.
Below, Multnomah Falls--the others crossed the bridge partway up, but I stayed behind, being afraid of heights.
Osprey below is a common bird of prey in the area, seen here in the falls' museum.
Above, on flight back to DC, fortuitously and with completely random seating, I found myself next to another former Peace Corps volunteer, both of us wearing our PC t-shirts, his for Panama, mine for Honduras. Small world!
We had such a wonderful reunion with my ex-husband’s family, people I was once close to but was cut off from for a time after 24 years of marriage to my late ex-husband, who remarried. They all accepted me as if I had never been gone. Now we were brought together again, as can be seen, but sadly, my ex's older sister, Elizabeth/Betty, age 84, died days before our scheduled get-together.
Since I don’t have or watch TV in my own home, it was revelation for me to see it airing fairly constantly at the AirB&B house that we were renting. There are lots of commercials on TV depicting an idealized version of the American family, a Mom, a Dad, a couple of kids playing outdoors while a dog romps with them. The news and ads seemed repetitious. I’m so grateful for more balanced and substantive public radio news with few ads and I only hope Trump Inc. won’t manage to gut that, along with other damage he is doing.
Apparently Comey was not the only government official that Trump leaned on to stop the Russia investigation. But others have apparently testified to that behind closed doors.
Team Trump plans to reduce Peace Corps spending by close to $12 million immediately. This is not good news and could portend even deeper cuts in the years ahead. More at : http://peacecorpsworldwide. org/taylor-dibbert-now-isnt- the-time-to-cut-peace-corps- funding-guatemala/
Sen. Bernie Sanders has gleefully pointed out Trump’s praise of the Australian single-payer health care system in a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, after making unfavorable comments about our own system.
No need to say much about Trump’s continuing weird and concerning personal behavior, which speaks for itself and which may still inspire his base—the worse he acts, the better a shrinking number seem to like it—and is something which the spineless Republican Party mostly fails to acknowledge. Maybe he likes being an outrageous showman to distract from his other problems: lack of broad popularity, the Russian investigation, his dearth of knowledge and plans, his apparent mental and emotional deficiencies. The guy seems impervious to embarrassment and unaware of normal expectations. (His family and staff must secretly be cringing.) He and Kim Jung-Un, two crazies, are a dangerous, possibly combustible, combination.
Of course, Kim’s ace-in-the-hole is nuclear capability. Thank goodness that the Soviets halted Cuba’s attempt to acquire the same, or we might be facing a similar threat much closer to home.
I was at a recent interpretation assignment for speech and behavioral therapy for a boy and his father. The boy is being regularly coached to pay more attention, wait his turn, and respond appropriately. Too bad Trump won’t be attending any such therapy to help him learn to behave in a less impulsive and more socially acceptable manner, but maybe it’s too late for him. My 9-year-old great-grandson would be as capable as Trump of declaring that North Korea has engaged in "very, very bad behavior” and that “something will have to be done about it," warning of “severe things” (such as what?). Maybe Trump wants to keep Kim guessing?
As part of the American majority who never voted for the Donald, I do feel resentful of the quirks of the electoral college and Republican gerrymandering which have allowed an uniformed and vindictive minority to hold our country hostage with this clown. In the other hand, he makes for a lively news cycle, ample fodder for conversation, and is certainly one for the history books.
Glad to hear there has been a stay of deportation of Iraqi Christians. Can’t Trump’s evangelical supporters get behind the effort to support them?
Vehicles being used as terror weapons has proven to be a frightening new development since vehicles are everywhere and readily available, and are also needed in everyday life.
Finally, since greater automation allows more production with fewer workers, there will be no going back to the mass factory jobs of old (sorry, Trump) nor a romantic return to rugged frontier individualism and survival of the fittest, a vision at least given lip service by many Republican politicians. Nor should the financial benefits of automation accrue only to CEOs and shareholders, but can be more equitably distributed in a national “safety net,” if you will, including in support of education and the arts, to offer people more avenues of what we used to call “purposeful activity” when I worked at the occupational therapy association. A guaranteed minimum income, universal health care, and support for education at least at the community college level (Hillary Clinton’s plan) would benefit the economy by promoting jobs—both in the health and education sectors and by providing buying power to benefit recipients. I am not advocating Soviet (or Cuban) style top-down control of the entire economy or full-blown socialism, whatever that means, but something along the lines of the system of the Nordic countries have adopted, with regular, fair elections, a competitive economy, substantial taxes, and a basic minimum social safety net. Those countries have proved that such a system can work in the real world. Henry Ford deliberately paid his workers enough to buy the cars they made—what goes around, comes around—we need to keep the economy and life moving and even Donald Trump cannot take it with him.