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, October 1, 2014

October is...

 ...time for ghosts and goblins, all things Halloween! Of course, that does not come 'til the end of the month so let's see what is being celebrated all month long. You may have thought September was loaded but wait until you check out October! There are numerous Bizarre and Unique Holidays designated for this month, along with umpteen food celebrations. Here are but a few to mark on your calendar. Visit the two prior links for more.

National Apple Month

Apple Pies Baked in Apples
Just when you thought the apple celebrations were over you are about to learn September was only the beginning. With October being National Apple Month, that means the apples are a daily celebration all month long, instead of just a few special days thrown in for good measure. For a unique history lesson, visit the Legend of the Apple, which was featured on September 25 along with a plethora of 'apple links'. Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the United States (US). Thirty-six states grow apples commercially. National Apple Month is the only national, generic apple promotion in the US. Originally founded in 1904 as National Apple Week, it has been expanded to the entire month of October. Some sources designate September through November as months to celebrate the apple, all shades of red, green and yellow, even bi-color.
Not being ready to leave the apple, let's take a peak at America's applejack season...

National Applejack Month

October has us rethinking fall cocktails. Tiny umbrellas and slices of watermelon are no longer in the picture. Autumn brings in beverages that evoke the changing of the seasons...an apple brandy fireside eagerly awaiting that first sip to warm chilled bones. National Applejack Month honors Applejack, which is brandy distilled from apples once recognized as our nation's most popular booze, especially during Colonial times. How the apple orchards spread was featured on Johnny Appleseed Day. What was not mentioned on that day is that Johnny Appleseed sewed his apple seeds throughout colonial Ohio and Indiana primarily for the purpose of providing rural farmers with hard cider and applejack, the most popular intoxicating beverages for country folk back then! Along with the October season and abundant apple harvest is the traditional ushering in of apple cider and applejack, the latter being a concentrated and higher proof version of hard cider.
National Cookie Month

Colossal Cookies
This is not the first celebration at Awakenings for the cookie with many more possibly not having been mentioned. A Bit of Cookie History took us all the way back to 7th century Persia. Massachusetts boasted the Birth of a Cookie, not just any cookie, but THE ultimate cookie! Callin' All Cookie Lovers begged the attention of all who crave that ultimate cookie...in case you are unsure, that is the chocolate chip cookie. Cookies, anyone? enticed lovers of not only the cookie but a nutty one...the Pecan Cookie. Of course, one cannot go without being asked What is your favorite cookie?, especially when referring to Girl Scout cookies. Then, there was that one cookie which always takes us back to the kitchen bringing on the childhood memories of Sugar! Sugar! Coming up December 4th will be National Cookie Day, which is a great celebration all its own but October is even better since it is National Cookie MONTH!
National Pizza Month

The love of pizza! It is a wonder it has not been designated as its own food group since this food has become an all-American favorite. Did you know there is even a Pizza Party Day? Pizza parties are awesome but certainly occur more times than once a year. Cheese pizza is a first choice for many who get to celebrate Pizza! Pizza!...Cheese Pizza Pizza! Here again, it is for certain this is not the only day to indulge in a pizza loaded with cheese. Would you believe Bacon Me Crazy! even featured Pizza with Crispy Kale, Butternut Squash, Bacon & Smoked Mozzarella and Apple Time! hosted BBQ Chicken Apple Flatbread Pizza? People don't really need a special month for pizza in a country where there are an estimated 63,000 pizzerias and 94% of Americans eat pizza at least once a month. The figures equal the consumption of about 45 slices of pizza per person in the U.S. each year and show that Americans definitely love their pizza as evidenced by devouring 100 acres of pizza per day, or 350 slices per second. 
National Popcorn Poppin' Month

National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, a time to honor one of America’s favorite treats. You seldom need an excuse to grab a handful of these simple kernels of goodness. Plain or pumped up, you’ll join your fellow Americans in consuming some 16 billion quarts this year. October is chosen because it marks the triumphant end to the labor of the spring and summer months. As farmers head into the fields to gather the crops, families and friends gather to celebrate this beloved snack food. Popcorn also is a whole grain, which makes it a good-for-you food. As a whole grain, popcorn provides carbohydrates and ­fiber to the diet and is naturally low in fat and calories. That’s good news for your waistline. It’s an ideal in-between meals snack because it satis­fies, but doesn’t spoil your appetite. Have you ever wondered Did Pilgrims Eat Popcorn?
 National Seafood Month
Image Source: Catch a Piece of Maine
Seafood...delicacies of the ocean, highlights of Water! Water! Water! Where would we be without water? Void. Nill. Nada. What a shame it would be to not be able to enjoy the food from the sea! Take time this month to highlight smart seafood choices, sustainable fisheries, and the health benefits of maintaining a diet rich in seafood. Make October a 'shrimptacular' month of celebration and don't forget the Maine lobster! The United States continues to be the third-ranked country for seafood and shellfish consumption, behind China and Japan. Last year's seafood consumption per capita in the U.S. declined slightly to 15.8 pounds from 16 pounds in 2008 and 2009. So, all you seafood lovers, why not take advantage of this nationally coined month and enjoy eating seafood! This is also a great time to enjoy a Friday night fish fry with the family.
With so many food celebrations, one might think that is all being celebrated this month. Not at all! Most importantly keep in mind, October is... 

 Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go and need your help!
Source: about BREAST CANCER
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) is also referred to in America as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). It is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.
Whew! That's a lot...Enjoy October!