Thursday, January 28

Pink bombshell


Barbie announced today the expansion of its Fashionistas® line with the addition of three new body types – tall, curvy and petite – and a variety of skin tones, hair styles and outfits. 
The new 2016 Barbie® Fashionistas® doll line includes four body types (the original and three new bodies), seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles, and countless on-trend fashions and accessories. Adding more diversity into the line continues the journey that Barbie started in 2015 when the brand added 23 dolls with new skin tones, hair colors and, most notably, a flat foot.

The 2016 Fashionistas® line will include:
  • 33 new dolls
  • 30 hair colors
  • 24 hair styles
  • 22 eye colors
  • 14 face sculpts
  • 7 skin tones
  • 4 body types
The new dolls can be viewed on and will be available to order on Jan. 28, 2016 on in the U.S. The collection will be available starting in spring 2016 at major toy retailers worldwide.

Sunday, January 24

Hill of Sacrifice

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Momma and I are now well rested enough to write about our whirlwind trip to Honolulu.

I shall start with a little background. Nineteen years ago Momma's aunt flew her extended family to Honolulu to be with her when she interred the ashes of her late husband at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. He was a World War II veteran and a survivor of the Battle of Iwo Jima, Feb. 19 - March 26, 1945).

Momma does not know too much about his wartime experiences as a Marine simply because he Did Not like to talk about it. She does know he was running up the beach at Iwo Jima when there was a blast or explosion which knocked him to the ground. When he looked up, his two best friends (who had been on each side of him) were dead. He was later shot through the wrist and received a Purple Heart. 

That service qualified him for burial at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (informally known as Punchbowl Cemetery).

Momma's aunt enjoyed having her entire family with her so much she always said she wanted us to do the same when she died and made provisions for such a trip in her estate. So this trip was planned since her death in October. 

Few national cemeteries can compete with the dramatic natural setting of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The "Punchbowl" was formed about 75,000 to 100,000 years ago during the Honolulu period of secondary volcanic activity. A crater resulted from the ejection of hot lava through cracks in the old coral reefs which, at the time, extended to the foot of the Koolau Mountain Range.

Although there are various translations of the Punchbowl's Hawaiian name, "Puowaina," the most common is "Hill of Sacrifice." This translation closely relates to the history of the crater. The first known use was as an altar where Hawaiians offered human sacrifices to pagan gods and the killed violators of the many taboos. (During the late 1890s, a committee recommended that the Punchbowl become the site for a new cemetery to accommodate the growing population of Honolulu. The idea was rejected for fear of polluting the water supply and the emotional aversion to creating a city of the dead above a city of the living.)

The Punchbowl Cemetery is a national cemetery located at Punchbowl Crater in Honolulu, Hawai'i. It serves as a memorial to honor those men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces, and those who have given their lives in doing so.

The view of Honolulu from the rim of the Punchbowl crater.
It is administered by the National Cemetery Administration of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Millions of visitors visit the cemetery each year, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hawai'i.

In February 1948, Congress approved funding and construction began on the national cemetery. Prior to the opening of the cemetery for the recently deceased, the remains of soldiers from locations around the Pacific Theater—including Guam, Wake Island, and Japanese POW camps—were transported to Hawai'i for final interment. The first interment was made Jan. 4, 1949 - 10 years before Hawai'i became a state. The cemetery opened to the public on July 19, 1949, with services for five war dead: an unknown serviceman, two Marines, an Army lieutenant, and one noted civilian war correspondent, Ernie Pyle.

Since the cemetery was dedicated on Sept. 2, 1949, approximately 53,000 World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans and their dependents have been interred. The cemetery now almost exclusively accepts cremated remains (cremains) for above-ground placement in columbaria.

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific contains a "Memorial Walk" that is lined with a variety of memorial markers from various organizations and governments that honor America's veterans. As of 2012, there were 60 memorial boulders (bearing bronze plaques) along the pathway. Additional memorials can be found throughout the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific—most commemorating soldiers of 20th Century wars, including those killed at Pearl Harbor.

Among the many memorials is the quote from Abraham Lincoln's letter to Mrs. Lydia Bixby: 
The solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.

That costly sacrifice can take place with lives lost - or the emotional toll it later takes upon our veterans and their families.

Thursday, January 21

Down under

Momma and I are still recovering from our whirlwind trip to Honolulu (Momma brought back a cold, too), but I wanted to post one special photo of two of my newest friends from Australia!

Momma and I met these two lovely Aussies, their parents, and Grace and Maryellen while staying at the Royal Hawaiian!

I was, of course, delighted to meet them and see my Good Friends, but they laughed when I told them about my desire for Nugget the Wombat!

Oh well, I tried.

G'day mates! I hope your travels were fun, good and safe.

Tuesday, January 19

In the pink

Don't swoon, but I have overcome My aversion to pink.

We are back in Arizona, but Momma and I stayed at the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki with the rest of the family. 

Momma's aunt flew the family to Hawai'i 19 years ago for the interment of her husband. She enjoyed the celebration so much she always said she wanted the family to do it again when she died.

So we stayed at the Pink Palace of the Pacific, courtesy of her Estate!

The opening of The Royal Hawaiian on Feb. 1, 1927, ushered in a new era of luxurious resort travel to Hawai'i.  The resort was built with a price tag of $4 million and was completed in 18 months.

The six-story, 400-room structure was fashioned in a Spanish-Moorish style, popular during the period and influenced by screen star Rudolph Valentino. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin described the newly opened Royal Hawaiian as "the first resort hostelry in America."

I shall share more history, stories, and photographs this week, but I'm exhausted!

Wednesday, January 13

Aloha 'Oe

Momma and I are heading tomorrow with the family to inter her aunt at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The song Aloha 'Oe, composed by the late Queen Liliʻuokalani, seems appropriate:

Haʻaheo e ka ua i nā pali Proudly swept the rain by the cliffs
Ke nihi aʻela i ka nahele As it glided through the trees
E hahai (uhai) ana paha i ka liko Still following ever the bud
Pua ʻāhihi lehua o uka The ʻāhihi lehua of the vale

Hui: Chorus:
Aloha ʻoe, aloha ʻoe Farewell to thee, farewell to thee
E ke onaona noho i ka lipo The charming one who dwells in the shaded bowers
One fond embrace, One fond embrace,
A hoʻi aʻe au 'Ere I depart
Until we meet again Until we meet again

ʻO ka haliʻa aloha i hiki mai Sweet memories come back to me
Ke hone aʻe nei i Bringing fresh remembrances
Kuʻu manawa Of the past
ʻO ʻoe nō kuʻu ipo aloha Dearest one, yes, you are mine own
A loko e hana nei From you, true love shall never depart

Tomago: Refrain:
Maopopo kuʻu ʻike i ka nani I have seen and watched your loveliness
Nā pua rose o Maunawili The sweet rose of Maunawili
I laila hiaʻia nā manu And 'tis there the birds of love dwell
Mikiʻala i ka nani o ka liko And sip the honey from your lips
Hui Chorus

Saturday, January 2

Hats. Why did it have to be hats?

I can see already that Lea is going to be trouble.


Momma got Me a Fun Fedora yesterday at the American Girl Scottsdale store, but what did Lea do last night?

She stole it.

I admit she wears My Fedora with panache, but really.

The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by dramatist Victorien Sardou, Fédora being written for Sarah Bernhard. Bernhardt played Princess Fédora and wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat. The hat became fashionable for women, and the women's rights movement adopted it as a symbol.

It dropped in popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but Indiana Jones re-popularized the fedora in the Indiana Jones moving picture franchise.

No one messes with Indiana's hat, and they better not mess with mine.

Friday, January 1

Karma chameleon

Checking out Lea's Rainforest House ($395). The Lea
slumped in the chair is the newest member of our Vinyl American family.
Boy, talk about what goes around, comes around.

Momma's wallet was stolen in November. The banks were quick to replace what was stolen from her accounts, but her gift cards?


All the stores said there was no way to replace them since Momma had not bothered to write down any of the numbers on any of the gift cards.

Sadly, that included the more than $100 in American Girl gifts cards that Momma was planning on giving my Big Sister for Christmas so she could choose her own 2016 Girl of the Year Lea Clark on the release date.

Momma was devastated and told people on Facebook of her loss and disappointment.

That was when her friends (and some fans of My Blog!) stepped in and sent Momma more than enough cash and American Girl gift cards to cover the stolen AG gift cards.

So off we went early this morning for the 10 a.m. opening of the American Girl Scottsdale store and Lea's release.

After paying for Lea, we went to get her ears pierced at the doll salon.

That's when Momma spotted a small wallet on the ground at her feet. Thinking it was an American Girl accessory, Momma picked it up and casually glanced in it - only to discover is was stuffed with currency. Leaving my Big Sister and I in line, she went to find an employee.

Just as Momma started telling an employee what she had found, an emotional young girl rushed up saying, "That's mine!"

Boy, that felt good and one of the few times Momma could honestly say, "I know how you feel."