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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

♫50s Car Radio Trivia♫

If you love to listen to the radio (or CD player) in your car, you will love this day's tidbits of history. In fact, this will take you back to the days of good ol' rock & roll way before the invention of the CD player, so just think radio.  
Today in Music History: July 27

1958 Rambler Ambassador Custom

1958 Fans of rock & roll music were warned that tuning into music on the car radio could cost you more money. Researchers from the Esso gas company said the rhythm of rock & roll could cause the driver to be foot heavy on the pedal, making him or her waste fuel.


If the car radio was dubbed an issue, it is no wonder the car record-player was short lived, even if for a different reason.

After the war, as technology and transistors became more commonplace, the physical size (and cost) of a wireless set gradually fell to more reasonable levels, enabling most motorists to buy a radio and whistle while they drove. 

Perhaps the coolest accessory of the 1950s was the in-car record player, a hefty device that mounted beneath the dashboard and meant that any self-respecting Brylcreem'd rocker could tap their finger to the latest vinyl disc from Buddy Holly or Bill Haley. The only slight problem with record playing on the move was that to stop the needle jumping off the records surface while on the move, the stylus had to be a very heavy jobbie, which resulted in vinyl records being scraped away by the downward pressure on the needle. Such impressive audio gadgets were a pricey luxury over a standard radio set, and became a passing fad after a short time only. [Source: OldClassicCar]

Best Sellers in Stores 1958

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Burnt Cream...a drool worthy dessert!

Burnt cream? Why would anyone 'drool' over burnt cream? Doesn't sound very appealing, does it? What if I changed the title to Crème Brûlée? Sound more appetizing? OR Does a quizzical expression cross your face begging an answer to the question what is Crème Brûlée? 
July 27 is...
National Crème Brûlée Day

 Crème Brûlée Recipe
The world of French desserts can be summed up in two words...pure pleasure! From taste to presentation, sheer artistry is at work. A perfect resultant is the sound of the spoon cracking the caramelized shell covering an expertly crafted Crème Brûlée. The Crème Brûlée typically has a custard base flavored with vanilla. However, it is sometimes flavored with lemon or orange (zest), rosemary, chocolate, coffee, liqueurs, green tea, pistachio, coconut, or other fruit. A matter of personal taste!  

 Yogurt Crème Brûlée Recipe
Crème Brûlée is usually served in individual ramekins. Discs of caramel may be prepared separately and put on top just before serving, or the caramel may be formed directly on top of the custard, immediately before serving. To do this, sugar is sprinkled onto the custard, then caramelized under a broiler/salamander, with a butane torch (or similar), or by flambéing a hard liquor on it.
Coconut Crème Brûlée Recipe
How do you make Crème Brûlée better than it already is? Add some cinnamon and vanilla bean, and put it inside a buttery, flaky pastry tart shell. That's how. Plus there is always the added bonus when making Crème Brûlée using a kitchen torch. There is nothing like a little pyrotechnics early in the morning, am I right?

Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée Tartlets Recipe
For a unique cupcake idea, a fluffy vanilla cake is the perfect base for Crème Brûlée filling. You know you have made something special when you take your first bite tapping the bruleéd top and watching it break.
Crème Brûlée Cupcakes Recipe


yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

♫One of These Nights♫

The group in today's spotlight formed as an American rock bank in Los Angeles, California in 1971. With five number-one singles, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, and six number one albums, they were one of the most successful musical acts of the 70s.

Welcome into the Spotlight...

Today in Music History: July 26, 1975

The Eagles The Eagles started a five-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'One Of These Nights'. Written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley, this song was inspired by the Soul music Frey was listening to when he started writing it on the piano. Artists like B.B. King ("King of the Blues") and Al Green (known for the hit song "Let's Stay Together") were a big influence on many songs on the album.

1975 In a 1975 interview with Phonograph Record, Frey explained: "It's like, puttin' things off... Everybody I'm sure has said, 'One of these nights I'm gonna...' Gonna drive back to that restaurant an' take that waitress in my arms, whatever. Find that girl, make that money, buy that house. Move to that country. Any of that stuff. Everyone's got his ultimate dream, savin' it for 'someday.' And 'someday' is up to you." (This interview is available at Rock's Backpages).
Where are The Eagles today?


In today’s faddish, fractured rock landscape, it’s refreshing that classic bands like the Eagles retain an appeal that transcends both generation and genre -- Dad may not know what Spotify is, and Little Johnny may not know what LP stands for, but chances are both know the words to “Hotel California.” As the best-selling American band of the ’70s, and one of the top-selling acts of all time, the Eagles’ relaxed harmonies and California-inspired sound came to define what critics eventually dubbed classic rock, and cemented their role as enduring musical icons. Read MORE...

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

Write it, Stamp it, Mail it!

Today's History Lesson...postal service

Awakenings provides historical insight to embrace the past, empower the present and enrich the future. As you turn back the hands of time, opportunities are afforded to make new discoveries and reflect upon old ones. With ever-changing, mind-boggling expansions, it is always interesting to examine humble beginnings.

This Day in History: July 26, 1775

Embrace the Past...

On July 26, 1775, members of the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, agreed
That a postmaster General be appointed for the United Colonies, who shall hold his office at Philadelphia, and shall be allowed a salary of 1000 dollars per an: for himself, and 340 dollars per an: for a secretary and Comptroller, with power to appoint such, and so many deputies as to him may seem proper and necessary.

That a line of posts be appointed under the direction of the Postmaster general, from Falmouth in New England to Savannah in Georgia, with as many cross posts as he shall think fit.
This simple statement signaled the birth of the Post Office Department, the predecessor of the United States Postal Service and the second oldest federal department or agency of the United States of America.

Colonial Times

The backdrop for a unique form of writing during Colonial times
reflected a dimly lit atmosphere absorbed in pungent aromas from the kitchen.
Puritan life was harsh with very few amenities.

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Jump back in times past
Before the typewriter
Even ballpoint pens
Pencils or paper bags

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With the quill of a goose
Dip the sharp tip in ink
Scratch out a meager note
On paper made from rags

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 Fold the paper closed
Tightly smooth each edge
Seal with drops of wax
Press with a brass stamp

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Visualize this early writing
Visualize this early writing
Under the faint glow from burning fat
Where leftover grease saved for lighting
Renders your colonial day lamp
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Imagine tapping coded messages
Flicking beads upon an abacus
While tantalizing, pungent aromas
Hover lazily throughout the air
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 Jump back to colonial times
Find a place in the kitchen
Freshly baked breads, spicy fruit pies
Invite you to take a chair

 ©2013 Awakenings

20th - 21st Century

"A rural mailman travels up a creek bed toward Morris Fork near Jackson, Ky., in August 1940.;
 K. Ng rides a Segway on his mail route in July 2002 in San Francisco."
Empower the Present...
Rate increase/decrease:
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has implemented two rate adjustments in 2016. The first rate adjustment took place on Sunday, January 17, 2016 where prices of several USPS shipping products and services were impacted. The second rate adjustment occurred on Sunday, April 10, 2016 that focused on price reductions for USPS mailing services. [Source: stamp.com]
April 2016 update: First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.) rates will decrease from $0.49 to $0.47 when purchased at the Post Office. Each additional ounce will cost $0.21.
Personal letters and hand-written invitations are rapidly being replaced by e-cards, e-invitations, e-this & e-that. With the growth of online bill paying, fewer and fewer notifications are being stuffed into mail boxes.
Side note: The click of the mouse may be much faster than the mighty pen but there is empowerment when the message is personally written and stamped! 
Enrich the Future...

With the influx of electronic forms of communication, the postal service is in jeopardy. We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing society. Will the postal service survive? Only time will tell. How can you help? Write a letter today, then, just stamp it and mail it! Of course, don't stop with just this one day!

"It's going to be a much smaller postal service in the future but the goal is to make it a profitable postal service." ~Victor Dubina, Chicago Regional Communications Manager 

Related Article:

The Evolution of Mail and Postage Stamps

Monday, July 25, 2016

Bliss in a glass!

Do you like coffee, chocolate ice cream, salted caramel sauce and whipped cream? What about coffee ice cream, strong brewed coffee, Kahlúa mixed together topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings? Um-m-m-m...is a combination of coffee, vanilla ice cream, a banana and whipped cream more to your liking? Perhaps mint chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate syrup, cold strong coffee, Andes mints and whipped cream tempt your palate? Oh, my! Looks like celebration is definitely in order!

July 26 is...

Click HERE for recipes!

Any of the combinations mentioned above fit the category of 'bliss in a glass'! Summer isn't over yet with plenty of hot days remaining where anything that cools you down a bit is surely welcomed. Coffee? To avid coffee drinkers, this beverage is enjoyed any day, any time of the year, hot or cold. Ice Cream? True, it too is enjoyed year around but definitely considered a coolant during the summer. Put the two together (with whatever else you like) and a wonderful balance of coffee-creamy goodness appears!

 S'mores Coffee Milkshake Recipe
This one was featured in June for National Dairy Month. Now, it is being reintroduced in July, which is National Ice Cream Month. Guess what? It will be up for grabs again since August is National Coffee Month!
 Espresso Coffee Milkshake Recipe
Have a Happy National Coffee Milkshake Day with an Espresso Milkshake with Whipped Cream, Chocolate-Espresso Syrup and Pecans!

But WAIT! You do NOT have to use cold, leftover coffee or hot brewed coffee at all!

Cold brewed coffee is essential for a tasty coffee milkshake. Cold brewed coffee IS NOT hot brewed coffee that has been chilled. Cold brewing calls for an entirely different but very easy process: Combine ground course coffee with cold, filtered water and let sit for between 8 – 24 hours then strain when finished. Now you have coffee that is slightly less caffeinated, with less acid resulting in a less bitter taste. Blend with vanilla ice cream, chocolate, vanilla or hazelnut syrup. If you are of a mind (and of age) you can add a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream or Kahlua. Enjoy! [Source: Last Night's Parties...]
 Are you ready for a coffee milkshake? Get to work & get it made!

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!