Archive for August, 2014

How to Be Happy

August 15th, 2014

We've all had bad days. Bad periods, in fact! Now, some witty and humorous advice from Laurie Gardner, a Harvard-educated expert in personal development and leadership, in her new book The Road to Shine: A Story of Adventure, Life Lessons, and My Quest for More.


“Virtually every country and culture has an expression that means, 'Life is short; don’t waste it,' yet too many people are settling for less in their lives – at work, in their relationships, with their health, and where they live. Although they sense that there’s more to life than what they’re living, they still keep themselves small instead of allowing themselves to shine," she says.

Here's a sample of that good advice about how to break free and create a life that’s more fun, full, and free:

Settle schmettle. Life’s too short not to live fully.

Choose among the chatter. Of all the voices in your head, follow the one that’s calm, non-judgmental, and clear. That “no duh” is your inner wisdom.

Happiness is an inside job. To be fully happy, make sure that what you do, whom you’re with, and where you live match who you really are.

You already know. The question is why you’re not doing it.

Think like a Spaniard. In Spanish, “esperar” means both to wait and to hope. Instead of trying to control specific outcomes and timing, have faith in “this or something better.”

Unsubscribe from your to-do list. Life is supposed to be fun, not an endless chase of chores.

Celebrate your inner freak. Do or say one “out there” thing daily that you’re sure everyone will judge.

You are what you Tweet. Be as aware of your words as you are of your actions.

Peel the onion, baby. Underneath your excuses are your fears. Under your fears is what’s really holding you back.

Downsize blame. Own your piece, nothing more, nothing less.

Your nose knows. Listen to your gut for when to trust someone and when to keep up your guard. If something smells fishy, it probably is.

Lose the schtick. Recognize when you’re acting a certain way because it’s authentic in that moment versus how others expect you to be.

Let it all out. In a society that values specialization, be proud if you have multiple passions and skills. Michelangelo and DaVinci were the rock stars of their day.

Change is a double-hop. Letting go of what wasn’t working is only the first step. Sticking it out until you get where you want is where true courage lies.

Practice “practical passion.” Balance your dreams with your current reality. If you can’t be a rock star, you can still sing in the shower.

Transform on your own time. Baby steps are as good as a big leap. Just keep moving forward.

Quit if it doesn’t fit. You know you’ve found your purpose when you can’t not do it.

Just answer the call. Your vision’s been on voicemail for too long.

For all those who sense that there must be something more…let the adventure begin.

I like the Spaniard tip... anything here resonate with you?

Valley of the Temples hosts second annual Obon Festival

August 13th, 2014

Valley of the Temples Memorial Park will celebrate the second annual Obon Festival on Saturday, Aug. 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Similar to America’s Thanksgiving, Obon marks a time when families reunite to celebrate their heritage with loved ones and ancestors who have passed away.


Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

Held since the seventh century, Obon is a tradition that preserves Japanese heritage and passes the country’s culture to younger generations. In addition, two round-trip tickets to Japan will be given away during the event, courtesy of Valley of the Temples Memorial Park.

Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

This year’s daylong festivities will begin with a traditional opening ceremony that calls upon the spirits of ancestors through incense burning and the offering of a prayer. Performers, including Wa-Taiko, Aikido and Naginata, are among those providing the day’s entertainment. The event will conclude when spirits will be symbolically guided back to the world of the deceased with illuminated lotus water lanterns lighting their way.

This family-friendly event will provide entertainment, fun events, activities and prizes for kids. Food and shaved ice will be available for purchase.

Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

WHERE: Valley of the Temples Memorial Park

Byodo-In Temple

47-200 Kahekili Highway

Kaneohe, HI 96744


WHEN: Saturday, August 16, 2014

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.


WHO: Entertainment includes:

·        Traditional Bon Dance

·        Floating Lantern Ceremony with free lotus water lanterns

·        Dharma Talk & opera

·        Aikido

·        Minyo & drawing

·        Gagaku

·        Okinawan Dance, music & drawing

Visit or call (808) 236-4078 for more information.

Posted in family | 1 Comment »

Flying poshen

August 11th, 2014

Olivia had a playdate with Meya. They were in the kitchen asking for weird ingredients and little bowls and measuring devices.

When I say weird, I mean weird. She asked if I had dragonfly breath. I was like, "Dragon breath? You mean bad breath?"

"No, Mommy. *eye roll* DragonFLY breath," said the sassy girl. "Where can we buy some?"

Oh, right, I just saw that on special in the weekly Long's ad.

They wouldn't tell us what they were trying to make but I figured out it wasn't brownies. Anyway, as long as they weren't burning the house down I didn't care as long as they were occupied and not fighting.

Then, Claus picked up his iPad to use (we are always grateful it hasn't melted from being Netflix'ed to death for hours upon hours) and saw this:

photo 1

photo 2

Potions for how to fly and become a vampire. Poshens, I should say.

Upshot: it didn't work. I still have Earth-bound, non-blood sucking little girls running around the house.

But if it does kick in after a delayed reaction, I'll have to try some myself. If I were a vampire I wouldn't be so sleep deprived on the morning shift, plus I could fly to and from work and avoid the afternoon congestion on the roads.


Educator helps children understand what Alzheimer’s means for families

August 8th, 2014

Alzheimer’s disease is a scary situation for adults. Imagine being a child and trying to understand how the diagnosis affects the entire family.

chang cover

Why Can’t Papa Remember My Name? is a resource for children on Alzheimer’s disease. The book teaches about the disease, that others are experiencing the same situation, and that mixed emotions are common and valid, all in language appropriate for children.

“The main point of the story is the changing behaviors of one who has Alzheimer’s explained in terms a child can understand,” Dr. Chang said.

Jeve prof pix

As primary caregiver for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s, Dr. Chang lived through the disease’s impact on young family members.

“Through my family’s experience, I observed the impact of this debilitating disease on family relationships, especially that of my grandson and his papa,” Dr. Chang said. “There were many resources on Alzheimer’s written for, about, and by adults, but books on the disease from a child’s perspective were limited.”

Why Can’t Papa Remember My Name? covers the confusion brought about by Alzheimer’s from a child’s point of view so young readers can understand what is happening and what they can do to help.

For more information, visit

"A Day on the Land" to restore wetlands in Hawaiʻi Kai

August 6th, 2014

Nearly 100 volunteers spent their Saturday  restoring two rarely accessible cultural sites in Hawaiʿi Kai - Hāwea Heiau and Keawawa Wetland - for The Trust for Public Land community workday known as “A Day on the Land.”

Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto

Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto

The work included removing invasive plants and trees, removing fencepost stumps, and replanting native greenery under the guidance of the community nonprofit Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, which now owns and stewards this special place.


Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto

Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto


Keawawa wetland is home to a number of endangered species, including ʿalae ʿula (Hawaiian moor hen), ʿaukuʿu (Black-crowned night heron) and pinao (Hawaiian dragonfly). The five-acre property contains petroglyphs, a heiau and ahu (altar), agricultural terraces, and one of the oldest niu (coconut) groves on Oʿahu. Once slated for development, the site is now a community-owned and managed Hawaiian cultural heritage preserve.

Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto

Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto

Workday participants included The Trust for Public Land's local donors, board members, and sponsoring companies that sent volunteer teams of employees. "We are especially thrilled about local corporate supporters -- most of our volunteers came  from Hawaiian Electric , HMSA, Morgan Stanley, and Alaska Airlines" said Leslie Uptain, The Trust for Public Land's Director of Philanthropy.

Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto

Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto

"This is important work because The Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as gardens, parks, and natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1979, we have conserved over 42,000 acres of land across Hawai‘i." To volunteer or learn more, contact or 808-524-8694.

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