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Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Fool’s?

No Fooling Here!!

I love Hawaii, and I hope to someday get back there again.

My first experience in the islands was as a student at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. What a wonderful year. I attended every class I could about Hawaii—history, geology, music, and dance. While living in the dorms (Hale Laulima) I participated in dorm life which included all the normal college experiences, but also putting on our own luau. My jobs for the luau included serving and dancing (a Filipino dance).

Some of the other things I did while living there included volunteering at a juvenile facility, hiking into Diamond Head crater in search of olivine, attending a number of amazing weddings, working at The Research Animal Facility on campus, visiting other islands, and working for Hawaiian Telephone.

I’ve been back only once since then. I’d say it’s about time I return again, huh?

I’d never fool you about my love for the islands, but beware of being “fooled” about anything and everything tomorrow!

Mahalo for visiting!


Monday, March 28, 2011


I promised you a story about my experience with a fish in Hawaii.

While snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, I spotted a long skinny fish of some kind swimming toward me. Thinking it was an eel, I freaked. You have to realize I was only nineteen and had never seen any ocean fish, let alone anything quite as exotic and strange as tropical ones.

As I recall, I stopped swimming, whipped off my facemask and snorkel, and hollered at my friend. “It’s an eel!”

He quickly dove under to examine the situation. When he popped up he informed me it was only a pipefish. How embarrassing. The pipefish was a lovely blue color, and months later when I did see an eel (I wasn’t in the water with it, thank goodness!) I could see how much larger and darker it was.

Makes a great memory!

Although the one I saw was blue, here are a couple photos of pipefish.

Mahalo for visiting!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Fishy, Fishy . . .

In a brook.
Daddy catch you with a hook.
Mommy fry you in a pan.
Baby eat you like a man!

My mom taught me this when I was very little. It had hand motions and I loved it. In fact, much to my mom’s horror, I performed it for my doctor during one visit when I was maybe five years old!

Thus began my love of acting—even being a theater major in college for a while.

I was wondering about all the fish you can find in Hawaii. There are many types, sizes, and colors. Here are a few of the fish that are endemic to the islands. I’ve listed them with their Hawaiian name and their common name:

Aweoweo                  Hawaiian Bigeye

Pao’o                       Gargantuan Blenny, Hawaiian Zebra Blenny, Marblehead Blenny, Scarface Blenny, Strasburg’s Blenny

‘Oio                         Longjaw Bonefish
Kikakapu                  Multiband Butterflyfish
Lauwiliwili                 Milletseed Butterflyfish

Upapalu                   Bay Cardinalfish, Spotted Cardinalfish, Hawaiian Ruby Cardinalfish, Hawaiian Spotted Cardinalfish, and Transparent Cardinalfish

Puhi uha                  Hawaiian Conger
Mamo                      Hawaiian Sergeant Major Damsel
O’ili’uwi’uwi               Hawaiian Fantail Filefish
O’ili                         Shy Filefish
Aholehole                 Hawaiian Flagtail
Kumu                      White Saddle Goatfish
Piliko’a                     Redbarred Hawkfish
Ulua Lauli                 Whitetongue Jack
Lauia                       Regal Parrotfish
Uhu Uliuli                  Spectacled Parrotfish
Nohu Pinao               Hawaiian Green Lionfish, Hawaiian Red Lionfish
Nohu                        Shortsnout Scorpionfish, Titan Scorpianfish
Puhi                         Steindachner’s Moray
Hapu’upu’u                Seale’s Grouper (Hawaiian Black Grouper)
‘Iao                          Hawaiian Silverside
Ala’ihi                       Hawaiian Squirrelfish

There are many other endemic fish, some with Hawaiian names, others without. There are also a huge number of interesting fish not endemic to the islands. You can see a complete list at this site:


Join me next Monday and I’ll tell you about my experience with one of Hawaii’s unusual fishes!!

Mahalo for visiting!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Mene--What??

The Menehune!

These Hawaiian, leprechaun-like little people are treasured in the islands for their part in the physical and historical building of the islands.

In drawings and small statues, you will see many variations in the look of menehunes. Some are much rounder and others more hairy. But all have a wonderful, magical part in the Hawaiian culture.

The Menehune are said to be responsible for the building of ponds and roads as well as many mischievous activities.

As we acknowledge Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17 and celebrate the Irish culture, we surely won’t forget the lucky little leprechauns of Ireland. That’s why I chose this day to introduce The Menehune of Hawaii.

My second book in The Hawaiian Island Detective Club Series is entitled, Menehunes Missing. Leilani and her friends, while participating in a school fundraiser, discover several of the menehune statues missing from their hiding places. This triggers an all-out search for the statues and an investigation as to why they have gone missing. Check out My Web Site for a small preview of this book.

In the meantime, if you’d like more information on The Menehune, visit this site.

Mahalo for visiting!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono!

What do these words mean and how did they come about?

If you read an earlier post, you are aware of the great king of Hawaii, King Kamehameha I. He was followed by several other Kings—Kamehameha II, III, IV, and V.

In 1843 during the reign of Kamehameha III, a British warship visited Hawaii. They lowered the Hawaiian flag and replaced it with the English flag. They even changed the Hawaiian names of streets to English names.

But after about six months, another British admiral, Richard Thomas, arrived and gave the land and the Hawaiian flag back to the Hawaiians.
The king celebrated with his people, saying the words, Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono!

The words mean The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.

On May 1, 1959, this phrase was adopted as Hawaii’s state motto.

To read more on the state motto and to see a picture of Kamehameha III, click on this link.

Mahalo for visiting!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Missionaries in Grass Houses?

When missionaries first arrived in Hawaii, the king gave them one year to stay and then he would decide if they could continue to live in Hawaii.

Missionaries in Honolulu lived in Grass Houses. During that first year, they built schools and churches. They taught the Hawaiian people to read and write and created an alphabet for their Hawaiian language.

They also helped with illnesses and influenced the government and laws, as well as printing books with a printing press. The Hawaiians thought it was a magic machine.

After the first year, the king allowed the missionaries to stay, and even allowed them to build a wooden house. It was called The Frame House. You can still visit the area in Honolulu, which is now a museum.

For more information on the history of The Frame House, and the missionaries, click on this link.

Mahalo for visiting!


Monday, March 7, 2011

What’s A Long Neck?

In 1820 Christian missionaries arrived in Hawaii. Because the women wore clothing up to their necks, the Hawaiians called them Long Necks.

The ship they arrived on was called The Thaddeus. It sailed from New England in America and started its trip in 1819.

The Long Necks were the first to introduce the Hawaiian women to clothing that covered them fully—muumuus. Before this, the native women didn’t wear tops. Because the missionaries befriended the king and queen, they agreed that the Hawaiian women should wear clothing that covered them—top and bottom.

The Long Necks taught the Hawaiian women how to sew their muumuus. They used cotton fabrics and Oriental silks.

Find out a little more about the missionaries on Thursday. See you then!

Mahalo for visiting!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Today Is Girls’ Day!

In Japan (the original Girls’ Day) they no longer celebrate on March 3, but combine it with Boys’ Day in May. Hawaii still celebrates March 3 as Girls’ Day (Hina Matsuri.) The holiday is mostly observed by Japanese and Okinawan families in Hawaii.

Traditionally, girls receive gifts such as money or trinkets. Years ago in Japan the gifts included peach blossoms and paper dolls.

Elaborate Dolls given to Japanese girls at birth are kept in families and handed down through the generations. On Girls’ Day these dolls are displayed.

I remember celebrating Girls’ Day when I lived in Hawaii. Even though the traditional treat is a box of mochi cookies, the guys in our group of friends brought us a guava cake and we “pigged-out!”

The red roses here were not given to me to commemorate Girls’ Day, but for Valentine’s Day from my husband. Aren’t they beautiful?

For more information and some links to Origami, Festivals, and Dolls, check out these sites.

Mahalo for visiting!