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.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Eat your vegetables!

Pumpkins, winter squash, purple cabbage, carrots, brussels sprouts, red or Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams, cauliflower, kohlrabi, turnips, kale are just some of the more interesting and complex vegetables of fall. You do not have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the deliciousness of vegetables!

November 1 is...


The Vegan Society was established in November of 1944, although the exact date was unknown. Vegan Day first occurred on November 1, 1994 as a way of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the UK Vegan Society and indeed the term “Vegan”.  The President of the Vegan Society decided to elect the date of the 1st of November.

Along with celebrating the start of the Vegan Society, Vegan Day is an opportunity to promote the benefits of a vegan diet and veganism in general. The term "Vegan" was coined by Donald Watson and derived from the word Vegetarian. At that time, the differentiation was that Vegans did not consume dairy products. Later this extended to eggs, and by 1951, veganism had become a movement of people who did not partake in the exploitation of animals.

The term "Vegan" and celebration of Vegan Day has become worldwide. Each year there are a number of festivals and exhibitions held around the globe by vegan societies. In addition, there are many local events, talks and cooking demonstrations organized by individuals. November 1 is the first day of World Vegan Month!

Meat is off the menu today so enjoy...

 Blueberry Oatmeal Waffles (Recipe)

Vegan Shepard's Pie (Recipe)

A rich, hearty filling topped with gorgeous root-veg mash and zesty breadcrumbs for a super-crisp finish makes this dish really special.

Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese (Recipe)


Is your mouth watering yet?

Next on the Calendar...Who knows sandwiches?

November is...

...family time, patriotic remembrances and thankfulness!

November is a time for change...not only mid-term elections but also a change in time! Mark your calendars now to 'fall back' since Daylight Savings Time ends at 2am Sunday, November 2nd. The month of November is packed with historical accounts, challenges and memorable moments for giving thanks. November has more, so much more, than just the Thanksgiving holiday.


From the flying of the first kite, man has been on a quest of flight...the longest, the highest, the fastest, the most luxurious. Lighter-than-air balloons led to gliders to powered heavier-than-air craft to supersonic jets to space shuttle flights to the solar airplane. November is the month to get to know and celebrate the Famous Firsts in Aviation.

The railroad is an icon of American history. Scale modeled railroads have become a means to preserve the evolution of the train and relive some of the most treasured memories. A lot of us grew up with the railroad during some of its most meaningful times. A scaled-down version of the iron horse can instill the beauty and power of the railroads of days gone by.

Want to write a novel? Then, get started on November 1st and make a pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Join the challenge of many writers during "NaNoWriMo". 
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time." ~Leonard Bernstein

Celebrate and explore the cultural contributions of the American Indians. Seek and research the history and heritage of the American Indian, learn about firsts by American Indians, read biographies of famous American Indians, find statistics and facts about different tribes and reservations, locate the best American Indian novels and insightful proverbs.
Celebrate one of our nation's favorite foods - peanut butter! Those of you who can hardly go a day without peanut butter will be in 'peanut butter heaven' this month! There will be more than 60,000,000 (60 million) pounds of peanut butter consumed during the month of November. Eat up! Great source of daily protein.
National Sleep Comfort Month 

Sleep is essential to good health and well-being. In this day and age, we are all constantly busy making a good night's sleep even more important than ever. Getting the right amount of sleep helps you do your best in whatever you may do. Keep the mindset of sleep being just as important as proper diet and exercise.
 Keep foremost in mind, November is...

 American Diabetes Month

Learn about diabetes and how it relates to your family history. America Gets Cooking℠ to Stop Diabetes® is an initiative designed to inspire people to live a more active and healthier lifestyle, empowering all Americans to cook nutritious and delicious food, and be more active. Staying healthy throughout the holiday season is definitely something of high value!

Stay tuned for some great foodie fun!
 Most of all, don't forget Veteran's Day...

...and being thankful!

That is a lot of celebration...and, as with months past, is not all being celebrated but all for now! Enjoy November!

Godfather of Punk

Today in Music History: October 31, 1967

An album titled The Weirdness and a single "Free & Freaky" might make it unsurprising for a band to have had its debut on Halloween. Of course, there is the possibility that was totally coincidental. The music is American Proto-punk, which came out of the mid-60s and mid-70s influencing punk rock. Proto-punk in itself is not a distinct musical genre


Iggy and the Stooges: the creators of punk-rock well before the genre even had a name

The leader of the Stooges, Iggy Pop (born James Newell Osterberg), has been hailed as the "Godfather of Punk". Under the leadership of Iggy, the punk-rock sound was devised and defined by the Stooges for all time. This high-energy quartet has been reviled and revered, but there’s no denying the contributions they’ve made as prototypical punk-rockers. A sound that began in the 60s remained active through the mid-70s being reformed in 2003 and still going strong today. While theirs may be a wild, weird style of music to some, The Stooges were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them 78th on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.

Pop as a high school senior, 1965.
Iggy Pop, October 25, 1977 at the State Theatre in Minneapolis
Pop at the UK Hop Farm Festival, July 2011

The Stooges soon gained a reputation for their wild, primitive live performances. Pop, especially, won fame for his outrageous onstage behaviour—smearing his bare chest with hamburger meat and peanut butter, cutting himself with shards of glass, and flashing his genitalia to the audience. Pop is also sometimes credited with the invention or popularization of stage diving. Source: en.wikipedia.com
1967 Iggy and the Stooges made their live debut when they played at a Halloween party in Michigan.

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

Carving History

This Day in History: October 31, 1941

Carvings of a monumental nature reached their final stages on this day in history 1941. These were no ordinary carvings, not of wood using Wayne Barton, Flexcut Tools or Swedish Frost Carving Knives as one might use for basic chipping and carving. These carvings occurred on the side of a mountainMount Rushmore, which is mainly composed of granite, that is, in simple terms, rock! The tools instead of knives consisted of dynamite and drills.

Before watching the videos or reading further, do you know whose faces are carved into the mountain and why these specific historical figures were chosen for the monument? 


Mount Rushmore is a project of colossal proportion, colossal ambition and colossal achievement. It involved the efforts of nearly 400 men and women. The duties involved varied greatly from the call boy to drillers to the blacksmith to the housekeepers. Some of the workers at Mount Rushmore were interviewed, and were asked, "What is it you do here?" One of the workers responded and said, "I run a jackhammer." Another worker responded to the same question, " I earn $8.00 a day." However, a third worker said, "I am helping to create a memorial." The third worker had an idea of what they were trying to accomplish. Continue HERE...
Mount Rushmore before construction, circa 1905.
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
Construction of Mount Rushmore Monument
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
Mount Rushmore, showing the full size of the mountain
and the scree of rocks from the sculpting and construction.
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
From 1927 to 1941 the 400 workers at Mount Rushmore were doing more than operating a jackhammer, they were doing more than earning $8.00 a day, they were building a Memorial that people from across the nation and around the world would come to see for generations. Source: Mount Rushmore

How was your memory?
Did you have the right names with the right faces from the beginning?

Nevada: Running with the Wild Horses

This Day in History: October 31, 1864

"As the cowboys throw loops over two stallions, the friction between equine energy and human calm crackles." ~Beatrice Hodgkin at the Financial Times

Horses on the plains at Mustang Monument (Kristi Johnson)
What does Nevada mean?
The name Nevada comes from the Spanish Sierra Nevada (which is also a mountain range in Spain), or snow-covered mountain range. "Nevada" is the Spanish feminine form of "covered in snow."
Nevada boasts several nicknames with The Battle Born State being the official state slogan. It recalls that Nevada was admitted to the union in 1864, during the Civil War. This slogan also appears on the Nevada State Flag. The Silver State dates from the Nevada silver rush days of the mid 1800s. At that time, silver was literally shoveled off the Nevada ground. Heavy gray crusts of silver had formed on the surface of the desert over millions of years and were polished by dust and wind to the dull luster of a cow horn (called "horn silver"). Since silver is one of the state's most important industries, Nevada is also referred to as The Mining State. Wild sagebrush is abundant in Nevada, thus, the nickname The Sagebrush State or "Sage State". Because of its abundance, sagebrush is Nevada's official state flower and is found on the Nevada state flag. Being a true bird of the West, the sage hen or sage grouse, once very plentiful in Nevada, gives us the nickname, The Sage-hen State.

Nevada is known as a Wild West state that's still a little wild, but there's more to this ancient desert land than the City of Sin. This aerial tour highlights Nevada's vital role in the shaping of America, from the mines and ghost towns of its gold and silver rush, to its icon of American ingenuity: the Hoover Dam. Discover the highs and lows of Nevada's history, and the booms and busts that have defined it as the land of big builders and bigger dreamers.
Nevada's harsh but rich environment shaped its history and culture. In the 1820s, trappers and traders entered the Nevada territory. In 1843–1845, John C. Frémont and Kit Carson explored the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada. The U.S. obtained the region in 1848 following the Mexican War, and the first permanent settlement was a Mormon trading post near present-day Genoa. In 1859, Nevada was made famous by the discovery of the Comstock Lode, the richest known U.S. silver deposit. Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, after telegraphing the Constitution of Nevada to the Congress days before the November 8 presidential election (the largest and costliest transmission ever by telegraph).
Nevada is a state in the Western, Mountain West, and
Southwestern regions of the United States.

Nevada State Seal

Nevada State Bird: Mountain Bluebird 
Nevada designated the mountain bluebird as the official state bird in 1967 (also the state bird of Idaho). A small thrush found on ranchland and other open areas of the American West, the mountain bluebird lives in Nevada's high country. It prefers more open habitats than other bluebirds and can be found in colder habitats in winter.  
The Mountain Bluebird
 sings with a clear, short warble.

Desert bighorn sheep in Hellhole Canyon
Image Source: en.wikipedia.com

Nevada State Animal: Desert Big Horn Sheep

Nevada State Reptile: Desert Tortoise
Image Source: en.wikipedia.com

Nevada State Tree: Bristlecone Pine

Nevada State Flower: Sagebrush
Close-up of sagebrush flower - photo © Kim Bryant on Flickr

Nevada State Fish: Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

For all State Symbols of Nevada click HERE!

Nevada State Song: Home Means Nevada

The Nevada State March: "Silver State Fanfare"

Running with the Wild Horses

The desert's painted scenes
Fiery sunsets, deep ravines
Splendor beyond Vegas glitz
Nulls neon signs, gambling hits


Long, scenic, empty drives
Taken by few in their lives
 Hidden away such beauty
Calls forth tours of duty


 Roads of ruts, turns and twists
Ghost town shadows in the midst
Primitive camping in sight
Signs of rest for the night


Open wind-swept mountains
 Geysers' natural fountains
Summer's yellow color rush
Veils silver-grey sagebrush

 Arid desert terrain
Dusty from no summer rain
Echoes of freedom voices
Resound with the wild horses

©2014 Sharla Lee Shults

How Nevada Got Its Shape

  Nevada Facts and Trivia

Next states by month: 

#39 North Dakota - November 2, 1889

#40 South Dakota - November 2, 1889