Graduation Time

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When I was in school, elementary school was from grades 1-6. Now it is 1-5 and then the children ‘graduate’ to middle school, which is 6-8.

So now each child has four graduations. Kindergarten, Fifth, Eighth and High School. Here in Hawaii that means lots of hoop la. Each child gets leis from their friends and relatives. Children and parents give leis to their favorite teachers. And of course, lots of balloons.

Last week my eleven year old grandson ‘graduated’ from fifth grade. The ceremony was held in the school cafeteria. Forty boys and girls (two classes) marched in two by two and then after speeches from students, principal and teachers, got their diplomas.

Each child walked across the ‘stage’ and it was interesting to note that most of the boys still looked like little boys, but most of the girls were not only taller and beginning to have ‘curves’, they were dressed in either long dresses and ‘heels’ or in current fashions.

There were some teary moments when one of the children in a wheelchair and another one with Down syndrome proudly received their awards.

Then they went out on the lawn, with Diamond Head looming in the background. All the children were given leis and candy.Image 1 Image Image 2The children had a celebration lunch at the Pacific Beach Hotel and at the end of the day, received their final report cards.

When Steven gave his report card to his dad, (my son), there was another item underneath. It was a royal blue cardboard folder with a large embossed star on the cover. When my son opened it, he nearly fainted. It was a National Scholastic Award printed to Steven, and signed by the President of the United States, Barack Obama and also the Secretary of Education. Complete with presidential seal.

I guess that is something to write about. Especially since this was Steven’s first year in the United States and first year going to a public school. Born in the Philippines and educated in Singapore, at first he struggled.

My son took it to the admissions office of the school he is applying to and the dean of admissions said he had only seen one of these once before and not any this year.

So as a proud grandma, I just had to tell this story.


Time for a Joke

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Joke 1: Man and wife in their early sixties are celebrating their 40th anniversary. They are having dinner in a very romantic restaurant. A beautiful little Fairy comes to their table and says she will grant each of them a wish. Wife says “I would like a round the world cruise with my darling husband.” Poof. Two tickets to QE II appear in her hand.

Now husband. “I would like a wife who is thirty years younger than me”. Poof. The fairy waved her magic wand and suddenly he was a 92 year old man.

So be careful what you wish for.

Joke 2: There is an elderly couple. They go to the doctor for their annual checkups. It is a small town, so they both go to the same doctor. First the husband goes in. Everything is OK and the doctor says, “Do you have any questions for me?”

Husband says, ” When I have sex the first time I am so cold I am shivering, but the second time I am all hot and sweaty.”Why do you suppose that is?”

The doctor is puzzled but says he’ll look into it. Then it is time for the wife to come in.

She gets a clean bill of health and then the doctor says, “Your husband had a question for me and I am stumped, maybe you can help solve this. He said the first time he has sex he is freezing and the second time he is roasting. Do you have any idea why this would be?”

‘Oh, that old goat. The first time is in January and the second time is in August’.

The Top Ten Baby Names

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This just in from the Department of Health. What happened to Michael, Robert, Paul and John and Mary, Susan, Nancy, Diane and Sharon?

Most common names given to babies in Hawaii, 2012: (Similar to general USA list)


1. Ethan
2. Noah
3. Mason
4. Elijah
5. Logan
6. Jacob
7. Liam
8. James
9. (tie) Aiden, Daniel, David, Jayden


1. Sophia
2. Emma
3. Isabella
4. Ava
5. Mia
6. (tie) Chloe, Olivia
8. Lily
9. Madison
10. (tie) Abigail, Aria

Source: Hawaii Department of Health

In Hawaii, it is very common to give a Hawaiian middle name to a child. Here are a few of those:

The most popular Hawaiian middle names given to boys born in 2012 to one or both parents of Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian ancestry include Kaimana, Ikaika, Kalani, Kamuela and Kekoa. For girls, Kealohilani, Mahealani, Kaiulani, Lokelani and Noelani topped the list.

When I had my babies in 1958, 1960 and 1962, I chose Gary, Jody and Sherry. Other popular names were Jeffrey and Peter for boys and Sally and Carole for girls.

In my parent’s time and my grandparents time here are some names I remember. Jeanne, Claire, Bertha, Dora, Rozalind, Maxwell, Stanley, Marshall and Harold. These were names of my relatives, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

My father’s first name was Conrad, and his middle name was Wilfred. When he came to Hawaii in 1934, people he worked with called him ‘Mr. Conrad’, as a title. Just as they would say ‘Mr. Robert’, or ‘Mr. Thomas’.

He didn’t like his last name and later legally changed it to Conrad as well. So he was known as Conrad W. Conrad. Most people called him Connie.

Times have changed. Names now seem more biblical and also more ‘old fashioned’ sort of like Jane Austen times. Except for Sophia. Is that because of the popularity of Sophia on Modern Family TV show?

It’s amazing how name popularity changes in as little as ten years. My own grandchildren who are 11-13 were all given popular names of the time when they were born. Benjamin (Ben), Steven and Cameron (Cami). Now they wouldn’t even make the list.

And my own name, Sandra (Sandy) is not very popular. In fact, I have only met two other women named Sandra in my whole life.

Now, What did I come in here for?

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Aha!  So that’s it.  Tomorrow I’m taking all the doors out of my house.
Ever walk into a room with some purpose in  mind, only to completely forget

what that purpose  was?

Turns out, doors themselves are to blame  for these strange memory lapses.

Psychologists at the University of Notre  Dame have discovered that passing

through a doorway triggers what’s  known as an event  boundary in the mind,

separating one set of thoughts  and memories from the next.
Your brain files away the thoughts you had  in the previous room and prepares

a blank slate for the new  locale.
So it’s not  aging, it’s the darn door!
Thank goodness for scientific studies like  this!

Bet You Didn’t Know That…

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Use a post-it note to catch drilling debris. Today I got an email with this interesting piece of information. The photo shows a post it note folded across, with the bottom forming a V. The note is then stuck to the wall directly below the hole you are drilling.ATT00490

Gee, and to think that sometimes I just delete something like this. If this article saves one person from having to clean up ‘drill dust’, my day will be complete.


A Story for Women…and a good deal

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For all of us who are married, were married, wish you were married, or wish you weren’t married, this
is something to smile about the next time you see a bottle of wine:

Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly
Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.

As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like
a ride.

With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.

Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old
woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally.

‘What in bag?’ asked the old woman.

Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, ‘It’s a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband.’

The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two. Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said:

‘Good trade…..’

OK. Now here is the good deal part. Whole Foods has a wine special. Three Wishes wine at $2.99 a bottle or $35.88 for a case of twelve. This comes in Merlot, Chardonnay, and Cabernet. Pretty hard to pick up six bottles of wine these days for less than $20.

Lo Cal Martinis

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PER SERVING (entire recipe, 1 martini): 109 calories, 0g fat, 69mg sodium, 2.5g carbs, 0g fiber, 0.5g sugars, 0g protein — PointsPlus® value 4*This low-calorie cocktail tastes EXACTLY like those sherbet ‘n ice cream bars you used to eat as a kid… Mmmmmmmm!Ingredients:
4 oz. diet orange soda, room temperature
1.5 oz. orange-flavored vodka (like Smirnoff Twist of Orange)
1.5 oz. Torani Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
1 tbsp. Cool Whip Free

Place all ingredients in a martini shaker, but DO NOT shake (or the carbonated soda will explode!). Mix thoroughly with a spoon until mixture is mostly lump-free. Add about 1 cup ice (crushed, if you’ve got it), and stir until mixture is cold. Then place the strainer on top and pour into a large martini glass. Enjoy!


Mounds Bar MartinisPER SERVING (half of recipe, 1 martini): 112 calories, 0g fat, 80mg sodium, 2.5g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 1g protein — PointsPlus® value 4*Creamy… chocolatey… coconut-y and deeeeeeeelicious. This recipe will rock your world!

3 oz. vodka (80 proof)
1 packet Diet Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix (the 25-calorie one)
2 oz. Torani Sugar Free Coconut Syrup
2 tbsp. Fat Free Reddi-wip

Fill a martini shaker halfway with ice (preferably crushed). Combine cocoa mix with 2 oz. hot water, and mix well. Then add 2 oz. cold water, and pour the mixture into the martini shaker. Add the vodka, syrup and Reddi-wip, and cover the top of the shaker. Shake for about a minute, or until the liquid is cold. Then strain into 2 martini glasses. Enjoy!


Kickin’ Key Lime Pie Martini
PER SERVING (entire recipe, 1 martini): 129 calories, 0g fat, 21mg sodium, 7g carbs, 0g fiber, 4g sugars, 0g protein — PointsPlus® value 5*
This one tastes even better than a slice of key lime pie! Don’t believe us? TRY IT!!!

1.5 oz. lime-flavored vodka (like Finlandia Lime or Smirnoff Twist of Lime)
1 oz. Torani Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
2 tbsp. pineapple juice
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. Cool Whip Free

Place all ingredients in a martini shaker with 1 cup ice (crushed ice works best). Cover the top of the shaker, and shake thoroughly. Strain into a martini glass and enjoy!


HG Non-Alcoholic Alternatives! For the Orange Creamsicle Martini, just swap the alcohol for an extra 1.5 oz. diet orange soda. For the Mounds Bar Martini, use cold water in place of vodka. The alcohol-free version of the Orange Creamsicle Martini or one Mounds Bar Martini will have 15 calories or less and a PointsPlus® value of 0*. For a virgin-style Kickin’ Key Lime Pie Martini, trade the alcohol for 1.5 oz. diet lemon-lime soda and STIR your drink instead of shaking it — that liquorless beverage will have just about 30 calories and a PointsPlus® value of 1*.

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