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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Let Nature Be Your Alarm Clock

Since we all need to awaken our senses to the tune of relaxing it seemed very apropos to post catnipoflife's (Awakenings' sister site) latest post here. Visit both sites...the videos are a little different on each one.

Word of the Day: Relax

Life is filled with schedules and deadlines. Most mornings begin abruptly with the harsh, annoying sounds of an alarm and first words of the day are often "Hurry, hurry, you [we] will be late!" Routines govern every minute of every hour and life in the moment is lost within chaos. 

STOP! In order to maintain sanity, RELAX! Throw aside senseless thoughts of "I will never get caught up!" Because you probably never will. The only true form of 'catch-up' is red, comes in a bottle and is labeled Ketchup! You will get done what you can get done, nothing more (perhaps less if you procrastinate)! The 24 hours, 1440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds (however you look at the course of a day) will pass regardless. You cannot add to it...that is all there is! So...slow down, chill, loosen-up, unwind, RELAX!

Embrace Calming Music

A very powerful time lapse video with calming music:
 Mountains, trees, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and Northern Lights.

Blue seeks peace and tranquility above everything else, promoting both physical and mental relaxation. It reduces stress, creating a sense of calmness, relaxation and order - we certainly feel a sense of calm if we lie on our backs and look into a bright blue cloudless sky. It slows the metabolism. The paler the blue the more freedom we feel.

 The Earth. An ocean planet. Our home.

Color image showing the full disk of Earth.
A true-color NASA satellite mosaic of Earth.
Enrich the Moment

Do something exciting before you relax!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Trip Down Memory Lane: The 50s

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
Stepping back in time is fun . . . just plain and simple fun! Not boring as some might think or say. It is who we are, how we have evolved and in some instances, where we are going [again]. Making comparisons of how things were 'back in the day' to present day is often hilarious. Even looking back/reflecting upon sayings about the future, which is now the present, can have one doubling over with laughter. Perhaps the following trip down memory lane will bring it on for you. . .

Today's GUEST: A visit to Sweet Americana opened the door for this trip down memory lane. Thank you, Phill Senters, for your insight into the America We Love!

Embrace the Past...

You are living in the 1950s. Picture yourself sitting with someone on your front porch in the early evening or perhaps visiting your grandparents. Recall conversations with Grandpa who had a tremendous impact on your views of how things really were in the past - the days before our ever present technological age.

The following statements come up in the topic of conversation, the economy.
~If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00 nobody will be able to hire outside help anymore. How's a business man suppose to feed his family paying such outrageous wages for hired help?
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~Did you hear the post office is gonna start charging 7 cents just to mail a letter? That's utterly despicable!
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~They say someday soon all our appliances will be electric. Can you imagine the ol' wringer washing machine being electric? That would be a hoot!
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~Who would have thought gas would ever cost 25 cents a gallon? I hear it will soon go up to 26 cents. Up a penny now, another penny later. Rate it is going gasoline will reach a dollar a gallon before we know it. What's the world coming to?
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~Them Volkswagen cars are gonna open up the door to a whole lot of foreign business. What's happening to made in America?
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~Things are really gettin' tough nowadays. Hard for a family to make ends meet. Even some married women are having to get jobs outside the home. It won't be long before people are gonna have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work. Um-m-m? Work to earn enough to pay a sitter so you can work...what's wrong with that picture?
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~There is no sense going on weekend trips for a break anymore. It costs nearly $2.00 a night to stay in a hotel. That means a Friday and Saturday night will set one back $4.00...that's almost a full day's wages!
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~At $15.00 a day in the hospital, no one can afford to be sick anymore. All those doctors want to do is make their lives easier at our expense! Maw, what's that home remedy for sore throat?
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~Some scientists think it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. Down in Texas they even have some fellers they call 'astronauts' gettin' ready for it. Now, ain't that somethin'?

Empower the Present...

It is the 21st century. You and a friend are sitting at a bar having a few drinks before going home. Today's economy becomes the topic of conversation.
~Do you remember how things were in the 50s? Sure wish we could turn the clock back.

Enrich the Future... 

The sands of time flow only one way through the hourglass. Look ahead, not backwards, but always keep the memories. They are you, you are them. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Timeless B&W Photography

A continuous range of spectral colors engulfs the Earth, sometimes pastel, oftentimes bright and bold, but such is not true for the beginning of photography. Yet, the images captured are nothing short of spectacular - delicate, pure and detailed - and that is simply the black and white (B&W) of it! 

During the 1890s, black and white photographs became commonplace in seed and nursery catalogs shortly after Kodak introduced the first handheld camera in 1888.

Embrace the Past. . .

Empower the Present. . . 

B&W is the oldest form of photography that is still in use today. Many photographers prefer a vintage camera in capturing the essence of pure black and white. Then, there are those who convert the color photographs to B&W. Since we live in a highly digital age of photography black and whites can be captured digitally and even accented with a splash of color for enhancement.

Guest Photographer: Marilyn Armstrong @Serendipity has graciously provided some of her terrific B&Ws. She is an awesome photographer whose photos provide the perfect accompaniment to her blog. The B&Ws she has provided are mostly architecture with a portrait and a waterfall thrown into the mix. Then, of course, there is my favorite B&W with a splash of red!

My favorite. . .

Additionally, there are the occasions where historical B&Ws are colorized:
Original Photograph by Toni Frissell
Colorized by HansLucifer | valdigtmycketfarg.wordpress.com

Even though life in the past occurred in just as much color as today, the black and white photography seemed to capture the essence of the emotion of the times.

Original Photograph by Dorothea Lange
Colorized by Jordan J. Lloyd (photojacker on Reddit) | Photo Chopshop on Facebook
Visit 20 Historic Black and White Photos Colorized @Twisted Sifter.
Enrich the Future. . . 

Whether the amateur or seasoned photographer, each will capture images on the wings of a free spirit of adventure. New designs will emerge exposing greater detail and surprising us beyond our present imagination.

Perhaps the unexplained will be explained. . .

What is your opinion of the B&W photography? Do you think B&Ws best depict historical events?

Related Articles:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Most Famous Brands by State

Each state of the union is unique by design, state song, bird, flower, food, beverage, etc. Most people are somewhat familiar with their own home state but rarely venture into knowing much about neighboring or other states across the nation. Trivia that are considered nothing more than just that - trivial facts - carry very little weight when it comes to learning for most are not taught in school or reflected in textbooks. 

Take food for example: iconic dishes/local flavor. Each of us is probably fairly familiar with Texas and its Texas brisket, the King of Texas BBQ, and the Philly cheese steak that has its roots in Philadelphia, PA. The mouth-watering Texas BBQ is smoked for nine hours and rarely will one find brisket slathered in sauce at a Texas roadhouse! What about the Philly cheese steak? Are you familiar with the debate ongoing between rival restaurants whether to use sliced real cheese or canned Cheese Whiz?

Ever heard of Mississippi mud? PIE, that is! Rich, dense chocolate filling — dark as the banks of the Mississippi river — sitting atop a crumbly cookie crust carries the name Mississippi Mud Pie. YUM! Then, of course, there are the specialties of Vermont and South Carolina, which should never be confused. Sweet tart apples meet sharp cheddar on a classic favorite fall pie (Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie), while thick ground corn grits form a nice warm bed for fresh-from-the-sea shrimp (Shrimp and Grits). Um-m-m-m-m? Now which is local to which state? Just kidding!

OOPS! I digressed, sorry! Let's get to the meat of this matter...not meat as in food but meat as in the heart (is that a food, too?), maybe soul (not sole!) of the states and famous brands. Some are fairly commonplace, GM for Michigan, Hershey's for Pennsylvania, Tabasco for Louisiana, Coca-Cola for Georgia, others surprising.
Image credits: mapsontheweb.tumblr.com

Note: A few of the states are hard to make out. New Jersey is Campbell's, New Hampshire is Timberland, Vermont is Ben & Jerry's, Rhode Island is Hasbro, Delaware is DuPont, and Hawaii is Hawaiian Airlines.

There may be some room for argument here. So, think about your home state and its most famous brand. Do you agree/disagree with its label above? Of course, the real test here is knowing which is your home state. Now, that knowledge definitely needs to remain as a topic to be taught in our schools! Can you name them all?

Related Article:

Across the Country: 50 State Food Dishes