VCR upcycle for a fabulous Halloween


Did you know that VCR tape is made of the same material as the ribbons used for balloons? What a great use of old video tapes you may still have around the house. With Halloween coming up, imagine what you can do with all that great black, shiny tape.

Have gifts to wrap….use it for package ribbon. It curls great for a fabulous gift. Need to make some quick pompoms? – VCR tape works great. If you know how to crochet – you can make shiny, weather resistant shopping bags. Have a house to decorate on a budget for the Halloween party, think how you can drape and shape this shiny black ribbon to accessorize your decorations.

Why is this a great idea? Did you know that Americans spend over $1 billion dollars on gift wraps annually? Here is free black ribbon just sitting in your boxes. So, free ribbon and keeping trash out of the landfill – priceless.

Let me know how you use it this year.

P.S.  Here’s a simple drink for your Halloween party celebration.

Witches’ Brew

In a saucepan, pour 4 cups of boiling water over 6 teabags. Cover, and brew for 5 minutes.

Remove tea bags and add ½ cup of sugar and 4 cups of apple cider. Heat thoroughly but do not boil.

Serve with apple sections and cinnamon sticks; alcohol as desired.


 Is it instinct, intention, or intuition?


Sometimes I’m more tuned into the universe or God-incidence than others. Almost always, it is never about the big things, It is about the little things. But that is okay. After all, Mother Teresa reminded us:

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Normally I stop daily at the Wiki-Wiki for my tea and crackers on my way to work. I do this so that I don’t have to carry the extra liquid weight on the bus or on my walk to work. Usually, my plan works out well. One day, though, I had an extra left over at the end of the work day. I thought about putting it in the office refrigerator for the next day but instead popped it in my backpack. This instinctive action did not make logical sense, yet I didn’t remove it. So, off to the bus stop I went carrying extra liquid weight. At the bus stop was a person who needed a drink, and I had one to offer.

Another time, a few weeks later, I tucked one of those foldable bags into my bag….just in case. Just in case of what? I assumed the just in case was in case I needed to stop at the store and pick up a few things. However, as I approached the bus stop that afternoon, I noticed a guy with lots of papers in his hands. His rubber band had broken. We had some strong winds that day, and every time he tried to gather his papers and organize them, some of them would get away from him. I really liked this foldable bag, but it seemed he needed it more than me. Somewhere there is a guy with a bright red and white polka dot bag full of his papers.

In my office, I keep my work heels. At home, I have my comfortable shoes and small-heeled pumps. Today, I decided to wear the pumps…but thinking I may walk home, I threw some slippers (flip flops) into my bag. I ended up working late, so I didn’t walk home. Instead, I headed to the bus stop. Sitting there was a large man with one slipper on one foot, and one small bright pink clog on the other foot. I was tired, so I didn’t think about it for a few minutes, but eventually I looked down at my slippers. I looked at my feet and at his and thought, ‘yep, those are a fit.”

He wasn’t communicative. He kept his eyes closed most of the time and made noises and gestures to that indicated a headache or other pain. He had hospital bracelets on his wrist, and ace bandages on his swollen legs.

I hesitated. I couldn’t figure out how to talk with him to ask him if he wanted my slippers. I always ask if the person wants help (the drink, the bag, etc.) because I never want to assume I know what they need better than they do. I watched. I looked. I wondered. I tried to make eye contact. There was none. I tried to talk with him. There was no conversation. So after sitting there for a few minutes, I removed my gray leather pumps from my bag and put them on my feet. I held the flip flops in my hand and waited. I waited for him to look at me or talk with me. Nothing. The minutes ticked on, and I saw my bus a few blocks down the street.

I took a breath, walked over to this mountain of a man, and put the slippers in front of him. I walked back over to my bench and waited for the bus. Slowly the man realized there were new slippers in front of him. He looked at them for a few seconds, and then slowly removed his foot from the small pink clog and placed it in the new, just right fitting flip flop. After checking it out for a second or two, he raised his head and looked at me and smiled. I smiled back and headed to my bus.

So, why am I sharing these stories? I’m sharing them to say be aware of everyday opportunities. I don’t head out in the morning thinking, what can I take to help someone today? In fact, if you know me, you know I don’t think much of anything first thing in the morning. In each listed case and many others, there wasn’t this great voice saying “take the flip flops.” Nope, just gentle ideas…wear the gray pumps today. Okay. Since they aren’t as comfortable on long walks as the loafers, take the flip flops. Okay. How many believe it wasn’t about the gray pumps at all? J

Are these little things life changing? No. But somewhere tonight, there is a guy wearing matching slippers and walking a little more comfortably. And for now, that is enough.

Each Time


“Never yet, not once, have you ever smiled at a stranger, said “sorry” to a friend, or bowed to the glory of nature, when sparks didn’t fly, tears didn’t roll, and praise wasn’t sung for you behind the curtains of time and space.”

Isn’t this a lovely thought? What if every time you stopped to take a deep cleansing breath to enjoy the view, each time you stopped to offer a kindness, each time you offered forgiveness, you changed the world a little? Here’s a secret – it does!


Shatner Rules


When Bill Shatner turned 80 he (and Chris Regan) wrote the book Shatner Rules. It’s a quick, easy read. I thought you’d like some thoughts. To understand them more fully, you’ll need to read the complete book:

  • Life is hard…get as much free cake as possible.
  • Say yes. Many adventures begin when you say yes–two Emmys for Boston Legal; heavy metal awards for spoken word albums, and tons of money from commercials.
  • Until the movies, Star Trek was only 3 years of his professional life – 3 years out of 80, yet for many of us, he’ll always be Captain Kirk, the first Captain Kirk (no disrespect to Chris Pine). Moral: you’ll never know what you’ll be remembered for – always do your best.
  • When you travel, leave the map at home.
  • Stay hydrated physically and professionally; study and remember your lines.
  • Whenever possible, apologize and try to mend old wounds.
  • Never forget to say thank you to those who helped you along the way.
  • Always have a spare pair of underwear on hand, you’ll never know when someone else will kidnap yours.
  • If someone is willing to pay you $75,000 for your kidney stone, take it and give it to charity.
  • Even if you can’t do it 100 percent of the time, try eating vegetarian meals when possible.
  • Don’t be surprised when people remember you differently. Beam me up Scotty was never said on Star Trek.
  • Know when to turn your personality on and when to turn it off and simply ‘be’.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • When writing, always drop a bombshell somewhere in the book.
  • Know what conversations require a bullet-proof vest.
  • Birds of a feather flock together but make dull parties….invite some interesting folks to your parties or salons and see what happens.
  • If you look a gift horse in the mouth, you may get more gifts.
  • Life is short…say what is on your mind.
  • When nervous, take a deep breath and be patient. Don’t rush the message only to ruin it with the delivery. Be patient, read the room, and take your time.
  • Get out of bed and stay busy.
  • Smile, you’re lucky you made it.
  • Don’t die too soon, you’ll miss all your lifetime achievement awards.


CITE:  Shatner’s Rules by William Shatner



“We come into the world as part of a family. Some of us come as precious gifts, others as trials to be borne. We spend our days struggling for freedom or hiding safely in the arms of those who nurtured us as children. Sometimes we swing between one and the other as regularly, as gracefully, as the pendulum of a clock.

 Family is the greatest test of a man, the price he pays for entrance to the world and the debt he owes when he leaves it. Of all the sorrows I have known, and all the joys, none equals the instant of awakening in a familiar bed, the sounds of those who know me most intimately awakening too.”

What are your thoughts about how family influenced or still influences your life?

 Cite: Whiskey Island by Emille Richards

 Full of Grace



“You know the old story. A guy walks into a church and begs God for something. No answer. Another ten thousand people do the same thing. Another ten million. God is apparently busy with other matters and does not reply to them either. Here comes someone in need, just there to sweep the floor, too humble and meek to ask for a toothpick, much less anything else. Boom. His secret prayers are answered. Why? Perhaps because the space was conditioned by the millions of petitions of others. All those pleas of desperation from the believers who had gone before him had left a memory in the space.”

This excerpt from the book Full of Grace intrigued me because it reminded me of my love of holy and sacred places; not the places we are told are holy and sacred, but the ones that we feel are. I’ve gone to and into places that seemed permeated with prayer, permeated with people’s glimpses of holiness and goodness. I’ve found these feelings within small churches, at the red rocks of Sedona, at a museum in Cambridge, a garden in Memphis, a church in New Orleans, a forest in Georgia, a tall ship in Key West, and an empty tomb in Jerusalem. I’ve come to know them as bits of home, bits of peace, bits of holiness, and bits of God in many different places. The places are permeated with bits of my higher self.

What about you?

CITE: Excerpt from Full of Grace by Dorthea Benton Frank

Comparing Hawaii to other United States areas


Race: As of 2015, there were 237,107 Hawaiians living outside the state of Hawaii. It is predicted that the number of people living outside of Hawaii will soon surpass the number of Hawaiians living in the State of Hawaii. Twenty-three percent of Hawaiians identify as mixed race, while only 2.6% of other Americans identify as mixed race.

Seventy-seven percent of Hawaiians identify as being more than one race. This has created a new term majority-minority. In comparison:

Hawaii                  77%

D.C.                      64%

California            61.5%

New Mexico       61.1%

Texas                    56.5%


Honolulu Finances:  Our gross income is either saved, spent or taxed. Honolulu residents spent 75.4% of their gross income. This compares to the following cities:

Los Angeles         80.4%

New York            76.4%

Honolulu              75.4%

Seattle                 74.4%

Boston                 74.4%

San Francisco     74.1%

How Hawaii residents spend as compared to other United States areas:

Hawaii                  U.S., Other

%                           %

Housing                                            43.2                      33.4

Food                                                   14.7                      12.8

Transportation                                 13.9                      17.3

Insurance & Retirement                 8.2                        10.8

Health Care                                       5.8                        7.6

Education                                          4.0                        2.3

Entertainment                                  2.5                        5.0

Apparel & Services                          1.9                        3.2

Cash Contributions                          1.7                        3.5

Other                                                  4.1                        4.3