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, December 24, 2016

'Tis the Season to be Jolly

Awakenings touched on the Sights and Smells of Christmas so it is logical to follow up with the sounds of Christmas. Jolliness naturally accompanies Christmas Time mainly because of the music ever present on the scene...along the sidewalks, down the city streets, ringing from church steeples, within the comfort of our own homes, permeating the air like the aroma of freshly baked bread or cinnamon-laced apple pies.

As you listen to some of the ageless Christmas songs of the past, see how many you recognize and perhaps include in your own Christmas music collection. Then, compare the classics with the more modern Christmas tunes and decide which of the newer ones you think will be remembered in future decades. Will they last through the century?

Vintage Christmas Songs from the 1900s & 1910s

 Vintage Christmas Songs from the 1920s & 1930s

Vintage Christmas Songs from the 1930s & 1940s

12 Vintage Christmas Songs from the 1950s

1950s Rock 'n' Roll Christmas Songs

1960s Swingin' Christmas Songs

An All-Time Christmas Favorite from 1965

 5 Best Christmas Songs For A Kid Of The '70s

Christmas Songs From The 70's

A Very 80s Christmas - Christmas Music from the 80s

Studio album by NSYNC

12 Very ’90s Christmas Songs

Top Ten MODERN Christmas Songs

MORE Christmas songs of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s

Last but by all means NOT least...

Top Ten Christmas Songs of All Time

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Is it Winter yet?

For many parts of the country, it appears Ol' Man Winter and Jack Frost have delayed their normal visits. Warmer temperatures for the season make the winter seem more like an early spring. Of course, some will still experience a white Christmas...somewhere in the nation! 

Regardless of the weather, however, Winter Solstice is here! This is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the day with the least amount of sunlight in declaration of the first day of winter. It marks a pivotal point in the earth's rotation around the sun. The time may vary, the country different and different names...Yule, Midwinter, Jól...but the meaning is still the same.

Wednesday, December 21
Winter Solstice 2016

First day of Winter: everything you need to know about today's Solstice 

Along with the shortest day comes the longest night! Okay, all you nocturnal creatures get ready to romp and play - parta-a-a-ay -  a few hours longer while you day dreamers must dream a bit less during the shortest hours of sunlight. Get those bonfires burning in preparation for singing, dancing and feasting to generate new light and merriment in the midst of winter.
And, don't forget the 'zoup' for warmth and nourishment!   
Celebrate this festival of light with a nice rich bowl of Sun King Soup -- the bright sun colors and smooth texture are just the thing for either an appetizer, or a light meal at Yule.
Forgo Tacos For a Slow-Cooked Taco Soup
Let it simmer away as you go about your day, and then, as if magic, you'll return home to a powerfully intoxicating, hearty-as-hell taco soup. Try garnishing a bowl with crumbled tortilla chips, sliced avocado, chives, or cilantro for added flavor and texture.
 Tang Yuan (湯圓), or Chinese Dumpling Soup

Not into soup? What about a savory pie?

Topped with golden crust or creamy mashed potatoes, Savory Winter Solstice Pie is bursting with tender winter vegetables, a nourishing celebration of the return of longer days after the shortest night of the year.
Need a special brew?

What a truly magical + blessed gift to bring to any holiday party and/or family get-together!
 AND, don't forget the dessert...

Bring some rays of sunshine to your table with this Winter Solstice Cake. This dessert will brighten up any dreary winter's night.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Trivia, Treats & Tradition

[Go to catnipoflife for a purr-r-r-r-fect Thanksgiving blessing!]

Thanksgiving is loaded with historical trivia, delectable treats and holiday tradition. May this day be filled with fun, food and fellowship overflowing with voices of thankfulness and gratitude.

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth
by Jennie A. Brownscombe. (1914)
A mythologized painting showing
Plymouth settlers feasting with Plains Indians.

Embrace the Past...
With the coming of Thanksgiving comes a special time to embrace the past. The feast of which we are most familiar took place when the Pilgrims arrived and the Wampanoag Indians gathered in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. This was a time of autumn celebration and that's right, it took place in the 17th century!

Within the history of Thanksgiving lies nuggets of trivia that nudge at the heart and tickle the funny bone. 

Did you know...
  • Turkey may not have been the main meat that filled the guests' bellies at the first feast?
  • George Washington declared Thanksgiving to be a February holiday?
  • Fledgling colonists lacked butter and wheat flour for baking, thus no pumpkin pie?
  • Whether mashed or roasted, white or sweet, potatoes had no place at the first Thanksgiving?
  • While cranberries were plentiful, in wasn't until 50 years later that sauces and relishes were made with the tart orbs?
  • "Although Thanksgiving celebrations dated back to the first European settlements in America, it was not until the 1860s that Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be a national holiday" (History of Thanksgiving. (2012). The History Channel website. Retrieved 9:52, November 20, 2012, from http://www.history.comhttp://www.history.com/videos/history-of-the-thanksgiving-holiday.)
What about corn? 
So far there has been no mention of corn: roasted, boiled or popped. While corn and kidney beans were staples of the Pilgrim's diet, is it possible there was no corn gracing the table of that first Thanksgiving feast? If it was present, i.e., Indian corn, it presented itself in a form much different from that which we are familiar today. From this, a thought is interjected:
Popcorn is prevalent today as one of America’s favorite snacks but. . .

Did Pilgrim's Eat Popcorn?

Some believe to this day
Popcorn was a “parched” treat
Brought by the Indians
A banquet of harvest tradition
Surpasses any myth of yore
Hearty, bountiful plenty
Did grace every table galore
Venison, goose, duck, and eel
Beckoned the most squeamish lad
Time of rejoicing and feasting
Meant only the best to be had
A cornucopia of fruits
Berries, grapes, apples, and plums
Competed with homegrown veggies
Squash, peas, beans, even white corn
There were no potatoes
Pumpkin pie hadn’t been invented
Bread puddings, milk, and honey
Left no appetite unattended
Indeed more beer than water
Quenched the harshest of thirsts
With gin and wine not far behind
Unbeknownst which came first
But what about the popcorn?
Were pilgrims the early munchers
Of that salty, puffed corn treat
Or was someone else the launcher?
Not until over a century later
Did sweet yellow corn none the least
Become the corn that traditionally “popped”
As part of a Thanksgiving feast

©2012 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults
Empower the Present...

Thanksgiving Day is a federal holiday in the United States.
©iStockphoto.com/Olga Lyubkina

Two Sides of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day: A Holiday Feast

A cornucopia of fruits, nuts, and veggies,
Turkey, trimmings, cakes, and pies,
More than anyone could possibly ask,
Instead of a treat, becomes our demise. 
Family and friends prepare favorite recipes
Bringing various homemade dishes to explore.
Glutons for punishment, a natural instinct,
Led us back for more and more.
Thirst quenched and bellies stuffed to the gills,
Rocking chair conversation not too deep.
Is it the rocking motion or the turkey
That finally puts us all to sleep?

Thanksgiving: A Celebration of Gratitude
 A cornucopia of thoughtfulness and gratitude,
Thanks from the heart, as well as the lips, 
More blessings than anyone could ask
Comes with all the trimmings this day equips.
Family and friends unite in fellowship
Granting praise for all the gifts of the year.
A candle is lit and with prayerful hands
The try meaning of Thanksgiving is clear!

©2009 Remembering
Sharla Lee Shults

Enrich the Future...

This day is a day of celebration not only for the blessings of today but for blessings to be extended into tomorrow's tomorrows. Take a moment to count your blessings but most importantly ask yourself how you can bless someone else. Perhaps something as simple as a smile could brighten someone's day. Whatever it is, take the time to bring blessings into the world around you, one moment, one day, one person at a time. The future is in your hands!

There will be many empty seats at tables across our nation this Thanksgiving as war still rages overseas. Thousands of brave young men and women in uniform are fighting two wars on foreign shores. Remember them: Our troops, soldiers, men and women, who are away from home and the ones they love for the greater good of our nation.

Support our Troops: Support America!

 May they be blessed this day, every day, and be reunited with loved ones in the days ahead.

[Did you go to catnipoflife for that purr-r-r-r-fect Thanksgiving blessing? While visiting, don't leave without watching the video!]

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Being Thankful!

Elections are over! Whether the results brought about smiles or tears really does not matter at this point. In any kind of competition, one person wins. Another loses. This is the matter of fact way of looking at it only from an individual perspective. What truly matters here is our nation. My America, YOUR America, Our America! A monumental, pivotal point in American history has led us to a new beginning because we live in a country that allows the democratic voting process. Let us stand together as a united nation remaining always thankful for the privileges living in America has to offer...the right to vote being just one!

Being thankful comes natural in the month of November. With the special day of Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, preparations are already in the making with the best recipes in the country being sought out in order to beat the best of the best set forth last year.Travel plans bring on smiles and laughter in anticipation of the feast of the year. Food, fun, fellowship amid family and friends! 

Ol' Tom Turkey did NOT grace the the first Thanksgiving table!
This is a time to embrace the past, not only personally but also in reflection on the history of Thanksgiving. Do you know when and why the first feast took place? What foods donned that first Thanksgiving table? Get ready to be surprised at the absence of many foods commonly found at the modern day Thanksgiving table...even ol' Tom Turkey! WHAT??? NO turkey! Within the history of Thanksgiving lies nuggets of trivia that nudge at the heart and tickle the funny bone.  Check it out...

 Are you counting the days? How long 'til Thanksgiving? 
Click the Turkey . . .


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Stand up for America!

Will resume posting after Election Day. Concentration right now should be on the upcoming elections, especially voting for the next President/Vice-President of the United States of America! This is a pivotal point in American history!

At some point in time, you have had or perhaps will have your heart pierced sorrowfully by the loss of a loved one. While you may not bleed outwardly as those inflicted by daggers of war, the pain and sorrow weigh heavily on your heart and mind as you pass through this mortal life on Earth. The comfort of those around you see you through the troublesome times.

At the heart of Awakenings lies strong ties to those who give of their all for My America, YOUR America, Our America! Freedom is not free, it comes at a price, a very high price of sacrifice. Those who set personal gain aside, endure separation from family and friends, put themselves in harm's way do it all for you. For me. For America.

We have come far; suffered much; gained, lost, regained;
let it not all be in vain. 

Set aside a few moments now, tomorrow and every day thereafter in recognition and appreciation of those who sacrifice every day ensuring the rights and freedoms in America will be protected for generations to come. The fight to maintain freedom is not just for today, it is for America's future.

Support our Troops! They support America!

Among America's freedoms is the right to vote. The issue of voting rights in the United States has been contentious throughout United States history.

We're very fortunate to live in the United States where every vote counts! Whether a municipal election or a national election, we the people decide. Decisions are up to you. Up to me. If you don't vote, then what right do you have to express dissatisfaction with government, either locally or nationally?

It's up to you! Stand up for America!
Remember, America fought! America won!
Be sure you proudly wear the button. . .

Interested in early voting? 
Check out the Early Voting Calendar for your area.

Does your vote matter?  
Every vote COUNTS!
Think about it. . .


In some countries, you don't have ANY rights:
Billions of people live without freedom!

God Bless America!