Archive for November, 2010

Blood Bank of Hawaii — Need is Critical!

Blood Bank Hawaii logoThe need for blood donors is always great but right now Blood Bank of Hawaii is sending out a plea for Type O blood donors!

This doesn’t happen very often.  When Blood Bank says “critical” they mean it.

The holiday season is a very bad time of year to be in short supply of any blood type!

Here is their appeal:

We are reaching out to you today for your help in getting the word out that we need O-type blood.  Due to the high usage of O-type blood, Hawaii’s blood supply for O-positive and O-negative blood is at CRITICAL levels. 

If you are an O-donor, we ask that you make every effort to donate blood now.

Please call 848-4721 to make your appointment today.   

For detailed information on a blood drive near you visit BBH.org.  You may donate if you are in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, have a valid photo ID with birth date and are at least 18 years old (or 17 years old with signed Blood Bank parent/legal guardian consent form).Thank you for your continued support and for being a life saver! 

There you have it. If you can, please give. If you cannot, please share with your friends and send them to a donor sight.  Go together and then go out to lunch! You’ll feel so good after you share a gift of life!  There are few things like it.  It also gives you an extra license to eat more afterwards!

No excuses!  Come on, the only part that really hurts is the tiny prick of your finger to be sure you have enough iron in your blood.  The facilities and equipment are very safe, sanitary, and comfortable!

Blood Bank of Hawaii and our community need you!  Please give!

Dia de los Muertos is a Celebration of Life!

November 2nd was Dia de los Muertos (the day of the dead) this year.  I was going to talk about this for the most recent Carnival of Aloha but I was too slow.  Talking about marigolds and a picture of these flowers was all I could muster.  The mystique of the marigolds intrigued a couple of readers and now I have to try to make this even more fascinating.

Birds watch over Puea Cemetery on School Street in Honolulu

I love how these white cattle egrets look so creepy sitting on those grave stones?  Most people refer to them as garbage dump birds but I’m going to go with Michael Walther at O’ahu Nature Tours and call them egrets.  Mahalo, Michael, for that information and reassurance!

Regular readers know how much I love and respect our graveyards.  Does this strike you as morbid?  It’s not!  Honest!  Let me explain.

CBS News Sunday Morning found itself on Halloween this year.  There were so many wonderful stories but I selected the best fit for this post.  I hope that link will work, at least for a while.  Fortunately for those strange people, like me, who are stricken with a touch of graveyard addiction, they spoke of all kinds of things like the tombstones of celebrities and some of the self-made monuments of the ultra-rich.

They even talked about the human fascination with, and dissecting of, the afterlife and near-death experiences that people often talk about.  I couldn’t help but be intrigued by America’s nerdy need to put a scientific explanation on it all.  Yeah, they actually think they might find one!  Good luck with that. Wonderful show, CBS, I so wish that I had taped it all!

What CBS missed, being stuck in Halloween, was a much more beautiful way to deal with the memory of our deceased families, friends, and yes, even celebrities.  I am anti-Halloween because I have read about its evil origins and, to be honest, it frightens me.  I love the silly dress up and the eerie nonsense, but the reality is not something I care to deal with if I can avoid it.

Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) puts the celebratory feel where it belongs — on treasured memories, not on ghouls and goblins.  Mexico doesn’t mourn their dead, they celebrate their lives!  What a beautiful way to remember loved ones and our ancestors.

I need to bring this all home to Honolulu.  Dealing with the memory of our loved ones and caring for their resting places is always a concern and very much a part of Hawaii’s culture, to be sure!  Sometimes the cultural observances of others overflow the borders of countries and are adopted.  Hawai’i should know all about this!

Don’t get me wrong; we celebrate too.  A good example of this is our celebration of the much revered King Kamehameha whom we remember with lei and a parade very year!  But, what do we do about our families and friends?  We take flowers, say prayers and/or recite words of love, and then weep.  I think I like the Mexican tradition better. 

I think we should blend the traditions.  Take flowers, say a prayer, recite a message of love, and then party!  Celebrate their lives and the people that they were.  What a wonderful tribute that is to them.  If they are still hanging around nearby (depending on your beliefs), they can join in and appreciate our efforts!

Marigolds from Home Depot

I know, you’re wondering, “Yes, but why the marigolds?”  My sister mentioned that they were a popular flower with spirits.  From what I’ve read, they are the flower of choice for Dia de los Muertos events.  Home Depot had a lot of them!  I noticed that many of them disappeared between the afternoon of November 1st and the morning of the 2nd.  Perhaps I’m not the only one?  Just an observation.

On November 2nd I quietly combined the traditions and took some marigolds, prayers, wipes, and water, and went graveyard hopping.  The sun was not always in my favor for picture taking but the photos are full of sentiment!  The places and the people may or may not be familiar to some but the message is universal.

Rose Pelayo stone at Puea Cemetery in Kalihi.

I started at Puea Cemetery because one of my readers who leaves comments from time to time told me that his grandmother was buried there.  I’m hoping that Rose Pelayo is Keahi’s grandma.  I have not seen him for a while so I hope he will let me know that I found the right lady!  If not, I’m still happy that I visited and prayed for someone there.  This little cemetery needs all the prayers and visitors that it can get!  These grounds are under the State of Hawaii’s jurisdiction and the State is in need of a reprimand but that’s another story for another time.

Nu’uanu has the best neighbors!  My dear friend’s grandmother is at Nu’uanu Memorial Park cemetery so I had to visit there.

Grandma Helen at Nu’uanu Memorial Park cemetery.

The sun was very warm that day and it was drying up my cleaning quickly!  The flowers seemed to like it though.

Zadoc and Lawrence Brown’s stones at O’ahu cemetery.

When it comes to upkeep and elegance, O’ahu Cemetery will not to be outshined by its neighbors.  It is worth noting here that my marigolds were not single flowers but rather a collection of little potted plants — that’s why they are not inside the vases.  The Brown family has a nice little area at O’ahu Cemetery and there is a lot of history there.  That is one thing that O’ahu Cemetery has a lot of — history!

Young Gill Jamieson buried at O’ahu cemetery.

I cannot, and will not, forget little Gill Jamieson whose story still shakes me because I know that story is what my own mother’s warnings were based on.  I washed his stone, gave him his marigolds, and told him that he didn’t die in vain.  His story has and will continue to protect children from the harm of messed up people like the one who kidnapped and murdered Gill at the tender age of 10.

Paticio and Francisca Yangson’s stone at Hawaiian Memorial Park cemetery.

Then it was time to shake a leg and move over to the Windward side and Hawaiian Memorial Park cemetery.  There are a lot of friends and family buried there.  I couldn’t find my own grandparents but I was able to find my husband’s grandparents.

James Wallace at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe.

Behind Hawaiian Memorial is another military cemetery, Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.   This is my stepfather’s stone.  The red dirt doesn’t help photography either.  I set a rule at the start of this day that I would not cry.  This was a day for the celebration of their lives.  Remember I said we are supposed to celebrate rather than weep? Rule broken.  I couldn’t help it!  This is fitting since today is Veterans’ Day!  Jim was more than a soldier for our country; he was a soldier for our family.

Mililani Cemetery grounds.

Mililani Cemetery is the best kept cemetery.  The grounds people are going at it constantly, and it shows!

Albertina Botelho’s stone at Mililani Cemetery.

Albertina Botelho is buried at Mililani Cemetery.  She was always a very dear friend.  I still remember things she said to me and the things I learned from her.  In my senior year, only a few months before graduation, she asked me for a graduation picture.  A few days later she was gone.  I had already broken my no-cry rule once today; I broke it again as I watered her marigolds.

I said my little prayer about eight times that day and used a lot of Lysol wipes. I wanted to do this — to celebrate with these dearly departed souls because the opportunity presented itself.  So, I did.  While exhausting, this was an accomplishment that felt really good, inside and out.  Um, I think I really like marigolds!

November Carnival of Culture, Fun, and Water!

The holiday season is upon us!  See what happens when you blink?  The Marigolds you see have everything to do with November.  Nothing to do with Hawai’i but I will explain their November importance in another post very soon!

Marigolds bring us into November.

The Carnival is in full swing this month so we’re going to need some added energy and nutritional sustenance.

Lisa is going to feed us with Big Kahuna’s Pizza ‘n Stuffs posted at Oahu Mom. Lisa tells us more about Big Kahuna’s: “With its location near the airport, Big Kahuna’s is a great place to take hungry friends after they arrive on island or to grab some food before a long flight. But even if you’re not making a trip to or from the airport, you should take a trip to Big Kahuna’s.”   Hmmm… never been there.  Thanks for feeding us, Lisa, and for sharing this discovery!

We are really going to need that pizza as we go on a visit to one of the cultural places that is vastly rich in knowledge and information.

Karen Awong checks her calendar and figures that, If Its Thursday, I Must Be At The Museum posted at Holo Holo Hawaii.  Karen says, “I live in and blog about Hawaii and Bishop Museum.” I hope, Karen, that you will continue to share things about the Museum with us!

It has been far too long!  I keep saying that I’m going to visit but I never seem to find my way there.  So much of our culture is housed within the walls of Bishop Museum.  Our support and continued visits are well overdue.  Holo nui to the Museum and get your cultural shot in the arm.  It will do your heart good!

I still worry about, and dearly miss, Bishop’s Maritime Museum, that sits quietly next to Aloha Tower.  That one brings on tears of frustration each time I see a visitor approach the closed doors and read the “Temporarily Closed” sign.  I only found it when I started blogging.  I never even knew it was there.  As soon as I fell in love with it, the doors were closed due to a lack of funding.  Some things are so worthy of our support and we so need to keep them open!  A heartfelt “Mahalo!” to you, Karen!   I’m so happy to add you and your blog to our little Carnival Ohana!

We need a chuckle!

Sheila presents 8 Myths of Hawaii Five-0 posted at Hawaii Vacation Advice – GoVisitHawaii.com. Sheila wants to let us all know that, “Hawaii Five-0 is not reality TV. 🙂 ”   Go “Nuts!”  (Myth #4)  Good one, Sheila!  Thanks for sharing, and I believe you when you say you could watch paint drying if scenic Hawai’i was the back drop!

Are you itching to move along?  Donna will help!

Donna Hull shares more of her travels with us as she goes Tubing Through Kauai’s History posted at My Itchy Travel Feet. Donna further shares that, “Tubing down one of Kauai’s old sugar plantations canals is a fun way to experience the history and beauty of the Garden Isle.”  What a great idea!  How can you not focus on the topic at hand?

Not wet enough?  One of Hawaii’s biggest draws for both visitors and kama’aina has got to be the dolphins!

Jennifer Miner presents Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Oahu, Hawaii posted at The Vacation Gals – Family travel, girlfriend getaways, romantic getaways, destinations, things to do, travel tips.  Jennifer says, “Swimming with wild dolphins can be an amazing travel experience, especially when done with a small group that respects the ocean and marine life.” I agree!

Still not wet enough?

Hawaii Beaches tells us all about the Popular Oahu Beaches posted over at Hawaii Beaches.  If you visit all of them you can’t possibly get away without being sufficiently water-logged!

We’ll wrap things up kind of the way we started.  While you’re still chewing on your pizza, let’s make one more Museum stop.

Evelyn, that’s me, shares a Homespun Honolulu blog post that is one of my favorites, Maritime History and Pirate Ships.   This is posted here in case readers were wondering why I am so dearly attached to the Maritime Museum.  I will thank Karen again for opening up an opportunity to share this post yet again.  The Falls of Clyde has been cut lose and is no longer connected to the Maritime Museum, except for its location.  Regular readers know how I feel about “my boat!”

Thank you, everyone, for a wonderful Carnival and a great collection of posts!

I promise to answer the question about “why marigolds are important to November” very soon!

That concludes this Chapter. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
Carnival of Aloha using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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