Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Service Without Question

Here we are in the month of September anticipating the splendid changes within nature's landscapes...the season when crispness of the air infiltrates our nostrils while visions of majestic changes in color mesmerize our senses. Yet, it has not always been this way during the autumnal season. Nor is it so pleasant for all everywhere at this time. While peace exists on this earth, somewhere there is war.

Our history and ancestry are filled with times of war. Biblical war. Civil war. World war. Cold war. Unnecessary war. War is WAR! War is hell. So many lives taken. Young. Old. Age knows no boundaries when it comes to war. The visions of war are woven with bloody images and broken bone. Within battlefields reside ghosts of our ancestry.

Today let's embrace the past taking steps back to the American Civil War ...

Footsteps of History
While the American Revolutionary War created America, the Civil war of 1861-1865 determined the kind of nation America would be. There is difficulty in fathoming a war where father is pitted against son, brother against brother, but it happened. In America. This Civil War was America's deadliest war, World War II its bloodiest.
The [Civil] war resolved two fundamental questions left unresolved by the revolution: whether the United States was to be a dissolvable confederation of sovereign states or an indivisible nation with a sovereign national government; and whether this nation, born of a declaration that all men were created with an equal right to liberty, would continue to exist as the largest slaveholding country in the world. (Source: A Brief Overview of the American Civil War)
The Importance of Letters
As with any war, contact from home was invaluable becoming on many occasions the highlight of day. One must remember these were times before the development of rapid communications, such as those prevalent in the 21st century. Letters from the homefront were such a delight and to think these were hand written, painstakingly hand written. They spoke of times back home, bleak times, where women and children were left alone to fend for themselves. As soldiers fought on the battle field, wives and loved ones fought their own battles of survival. 

The reverse is also equally as painstaking (if not more so): the letters home from the soldiers. These serve as footnotes of history for many were written in the shadows of a battlefield. The poignant words did not find their way easily onto paper presenting a vivid picture of what was happening on a daily basis, not a very pretty picture. Then, the day finally came...the journey home. There were no luxury buses, no direct flights, no waiting trains, no plush limousines...just two feet and a vision.

Walk Among the Wild Flowers
A soldier’s life far from home is a lonely life in the sense of family ties and times. It encompasses dreams of one day returning to the life and loved ones left behind.
My journey home was a walk alone
A knapsack upon my back—
My only companion

Days were long and nights were cold
Tattered clothes, laceless boots—
My wardrobe companion
Memories kept my will alive
Belief in my only rightful love—
My true companion

Plans remained deep-rooted in my mind
Clear visions of future anticipations—
My crystal companion

Darkness succumbed to daylight
Dawn of a new day for me—
My faithful companion

Wounds were deep, blood visible
Faith in a better tomorrow—
My healing companion

Desire to live and see you again subsisted
Hope to walk among the wild flowers—
My constant companion
  ©2013 Awakenings

"There is no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending."
~Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865)

Pow! Slap! Whack! Zonk!

 for double foodie fun!

With rapid changes in technological resources running rampant, the days of the comic book are pretty much in the past. In fact, by the latter part of the 20th century, they had already become matters of note as collectible items. For those of us growing up during the Golden Age of Comic Books, we will always remember Superman, Batman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, and Captain Marvel. So, let's celebrate!

September 25 is...

National Comic Book Day
1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1,
it features Superman lifting a car on its cover.
Original cost 10 cents
These creative and inventive books have been entertaining both children and adults for more than 200 years! However, the first comic book did not appear in the United States until 1933 and then as a reprinting of earlier newspaper comic strips. American comic books first gained popularity after the 1938 publication of Action Comics, which included the debut of the superhero Superman.

One of the entertaining aspects of the comic book are the printed word sound effects. These are used at strategic points throughout the book. The villain might get punched in the nose (Pow!), struck across the face (Slap!), hit on the head (Whack!), fall down a flight of stairs (Zonk!), etc. Each represent the special effect necessary to make the reading come to life.  Vroom! Here comes the superhero to save the day!

While comic books have quite a storied history, it was in the late '30s when they reached massive popularity. By the mid '40s, comic books were outselling traditional books. From Spider-Man to Batman to Superman, something special touched the heart through these sketched panel books.

Since the later 20th century, comic books have gained note as collectable items. Comic shops cater to fans, and particularly valuable issues have fetched in excess of a million dollars. Systems of grading comic books have emerged, and plastic bags and backing boards are available to maintain the comic books' condition. This text has been taken from www.cute-calendar.com
    To celebrate National Comic Book Day, take a few minutes to catch up on your favorite comic or watch a movie based on your favorite comic book series!

    Double the Pleasure...Seafood, that is!

     for MORE fun!

    Double celebrations are always an added plus but when both are seafood, they become even better! Then, when one seafood is crab and the other lobster...well, what can I say, other than oh, my! scrumptious! Bring 'em on!

    September 25 is... 

    Crab Meat Newburg Day

     Crabmeat Newburg Recipe
    What is newburg? First, it is really not anything 'new' at all. According to The Nibble, "Newburg or Newberg is a very rich sauce of butter, cream, egg yolks, cognac, sherry, cayenne pepper and nutmeg, to which cooked shellfishcrab, lobster, scallops, shrimp
    is added, alone or in combination." Keep those saucy thoughts in mind, but don't stop there!

    AND September 25 is... 

    National Lobster Day* 

    *National Lobster Day was moved to September 25th in 2015 by an act of the U.S. Senate. The resolution was introduced by Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, after no one could find any official approval of the National Lobster Day celebrated on June 15th. However the old National Lobster Day, June 15th, is still being widely celebrated today. Keep the old and the new, we say. Here’s more information.
     Visit your favorite restaurant for succulent Maine lobster!


    Buy a fresh lobster at the seafood market and cook your own!

    Whichever route you choose, crab or lobster, here are some more ideas to prepare and share with friends and family!

    ~Recipe Time~
    Crab Meat Newburg with Milk plus MORE Recipes

    Pillsbury Crab Newburg Recipe

    Crab Newburg Chowder Recipe

    10 Lobsterric Recipes

    A Look at America's Favorite Lobster Recipes


    Saturday, September 24, 2016

    The Last Wig

    Today's History Lesson...the Supreme Court

    When it comes to appearing in court, there is one considered the court of last resort. This is the place where the ultimate decision is made, the highest judicial body in the United States. Under Article III of the U.S. Constitution is the establishment of the federal judiciary.
    "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." 
    This Day in History: September 24, 1789

    The Judiciary Act of 1789 passed by Congress on September 24, 1789 established the highest federal court in the United States: The Supreme Court. First justices to serve on the court were six in number whose terms did not end until death or retirement. President George Washington signed the act putting it into effect and nominated John Jay to preside as chief justice with John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson to be associate justices.

    A Bit of Trivia...


    When the first session of the Court convened in 1790, the tradition of justices wearing wigs still lingered. Justice William Cushing was the only justice to arrive at the court wearing the white wig he had worn on the Massachusetts bench. The ribbing he took from boys outside the court apparently turned the tide against the headgear, and he took the advice of Thomas Jefferson: “For heaven’s sake, discard the monstrous wig which makes the English judges look like rats peeping through bunches of oakum.”
     First photograph of the U.S. Supreme Court, by Mathew Brady, 1869
    (courtesy of National Archives).

    The Supreme Court of the United States is the only court specifically established by the Constitution of the United States. Under the Judiciary Act of 1789, the Court was to be composed of six members—though the number of justices has been nine for almost all of its history, this number is set by Congress, not the Constitution. The court convened for the first time on February 2, 1790.
    The United States Supreme Court: Iconic symbol of our democracy
    "The Republic endures and this is the symbol of its faith." These words, spoken by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes in laying the cornerstone for the Supreme Court Building on October 13, 1932, express the importance of the Supreme Court in the American system.

    Friday, September 23, 2016

    Being Jubilant!

    What are your first thoughts when you hear the word jubilee? Jump for joy? A celebration? An anniversary? Think food! Jubilee Chicken? Nope. Jubilee Punch? No, again. Stay focused on food, not drink. Royal Jubilee Trifles? Not this one either. Diamond Jubilee Strawberry Crumble Crunch? Sounds good and we will be adding fruit but not strawberries. Give up? OK...let's get on with the jubilee of the day.

    September 24 is...

    National Cherries Jubilee Day 


    Keep it Simple
    Cherries jubilee is a classic flambé dessert made with cherries and liqueur (typically kirsch or brandy), served over vanilla ice cream.

    The original recipe is attributed to French chef Auguste Escoffie who prepared the dish for one of Queen Victoria's jubilee celebrations. It is unclear whether it first appeared at the Golden Jubilee in 1887 or the Diamond Jubilee in 1897, but it quickly became one of the most fashionable desserts of the era. For many years, cherries jubilee was a standard menu item at America’s finest restaurants, reaching the peak of its popularity in the 1950s and 1960s.

    If you're looking for a dessert for a dinner party (even if it's not on National Cherries Jubilee Day), try making this vintage dish for your guests. So simple, yet very impressive!
    A Bit of Cherry American History...
    The United States has historically been the largest exporter of cherries worldwide. In the United States, most sweet cherries are grown in Washington, California, Oregon, and Northern Michigan. Sweet cherry cultivars include "Bing", "Brooks", "Tulare", "King" and "Rainier". In addition, the Lambert variety is grown on the eastern side of Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana.

    Both Oregon and Michigan provide light-colored "Royal Ann" ('Napoleon'; alternately "Queen Anne") cherries for the maraschino cherry process. Most sour (also called tart) cherries are grown in Michigan, followed by Utah, New York, and Washington. Native and non-native cherries grow well in Canada (Ontario and British Columbia). Sour cherries include Nanking and Evans Cherry.

    Traverse City, Michigan claims to be the "Cherry Capital of the World", hosting a National Cherry Festival and making the world's largest cherry pie.
    As with any recipe, there are always variances.

     Land O Lakes® Cherries Jubilee


    Then, of course, if game, you can really try something different...


     Is your mouth watering yet?