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 27, 2016

Portable Pies

Something Creamy, Tangy & Sweet became the center of attention when celebrated in April on National Cherry Cheesecake Day. Then, Oh, my! Pie! Pie! Pie! to Cobbler! Cobbler! Cobbler! spotlighted the month of May with National Cherry Cobbler Day. Sweet or Sour...Tarts & Strudel were the highlight when Cherry Tart Day occurred in June on the same day as Apple Strudel Day. WOW! And the cherry goodness did not end there. It continued into August, twice already: Any way you slice it...YUM! featured National Spumoni Day, which combined three layers of flavorchocolate, pistachio and cherry, and Cherry Reigns Supreme brought out the child in each of us on National Cherry Popsicle Day.

Is that all? Is that enough of the cherry? Of course NOT! One cannot leave out the 'cherry on top'! That allows the inclusion of the month of July and adds yet another cherry to the month of August: Hot diggity! Hot Fudge! paired chocolate with the cherry on top during National Hot Fudge Sundae Day and Let's Split! made National Banana Split Day complete as the long-stemmed cherry rose to the highest peak.

With that last tidbit, let's recap before taking a peek at what is happening next in relation to the cherry...cheesecake, cobbler, tarts, ice cream, Popsicles, sundaes and splits! Pie wasn't mentioned nor cake but time will roll around again for their celebrations in February, which is National Cherry Month. So, what's missing

August 28 is...


The cherry is obviously well known but what is a turnover? Are cherries being flipped? Rolled over from side to side? A replacement for something else? Perhaps a foldover?
A turnover is a kind of pastry made by placing a filling on a piece of dough, folding the dough over, and sealing it. Turnovers can be sweet or savory and are often made as a sort of portable meal or dessert, similar to a sandwich. It is common for sweet turnovers to have a fruit filling and be made with a short (pie crust-like) or puff pastry dough; savory turnovers generally contain meat and/or vegetables and can be made with any sort of dough, though a kneaded yeast dough seems to be the most common in Western cuisines. They are usually baked, but may be fried. Unlike pasties or empanadas, they are triangular in shape. (Source: The Nibble)
Since turnovers are a delicious pastry they can be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert, even snack. Having been classified as "portable pies," turnovers quickly became a common addition to a picnic. A traditional cherry turnover recipe calls for puff pastry, which is stuffed with a gooey cherry filling and then baked until golden brown. There are many variations on this classic treat though. Some recipes call for cream cheese, extra lemon juice, or even ice cream.

To celebrate National
Cherry Turnover Day, bake your own homemade cherry turnovers to share with friends and family! Bon appétit!


♫Unique Attraction to Boyz♫

Often narratives are set to poetic verse each telling its own emotional story. Blending a ballad with a cappella harmonies brings the lyrical poetry to life. In the later 19th century, the term (ballad) took on the meaning of a slow form of popular love song and is now often used for any love song, particularly the pop or rock power ballad.

Today in Music History: August 27, 1994

Welcome into the Spotlight...

Boyz II Men According to no less an authority than the RIAA, Boyz II Men are the most commercially successful R&B group of all time. Boyz II Men found fame on Motown Records as a quartet featuring bass singer Michael McCary, baritone Nathan Morris and tenors Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman. McCary left the group in 2003 due to health issues but the group continued as a trio. They are recognized as an American R&B vocal group, best known for emotional ballads and a cappella harmonies. During the 1990s, Boyz II Men gained international success

1994 Boyz II Men started a 14 week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I'll Make Love To You', a No.5 hit in the UK. The record- breaking 14 week stay came to an end when they knocked themselves from the top with 'On Bended Knee'.
 Nothing like knocking yourself off the No.1 spot with another No.1 of your own!
The group continues to perform worldwide, as a trio. Their 10th studio album, Twenty, was released in 2011. Then, their 11th studio album, Collidewas released in 2014.

Boyz II Men performing at Vega, Copenhagen
A Bit of 'Boyz' Trivia... 

The 'boys' were high school friends attending Philadelphia's High School for Creative and Performing Arts. The group was originally called Unique Attraction and would practice in the school's bathrooms due to the excellent acoustics. Now, that is definitely  'using' the John!
 A boy band that needs no introduction.

From Unique Attraction to Boyz...

Behind the music are episodes of the highs of success and the lows of losing a close friend. Calling themselves Unique Attraction while attending Philadelphia's High School for the Creative and Performing Art, Nate and his best friend Marc Nelson enlisted the help of a revolving student line-up. Unique Attraction became a school staple. Combining their classical training with the a cappella "Philly sound," Unique Attraction quickly took their graceful harmonizing style from the school to the streets, performing everywhere from local hangout The Gallery to subway platforms. In 1989, a much-needed name change was in order. Sources vary on who was responsible for the switch in moniker, but the group eventually settled on Boyz II Men having taken inspiration from New Edition's harmonies and routines, especially in the similarly-titled New Edition song 'Boys to Men'


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

Flashback in Time...Memory Lane

The Home of Old Classic Cars from Yesterday
Each of us strolls down a unique memory lane...one of a personal nature. While there are many similarities within each decade, there exist a plethora of differences. This is true whether you're a teenager wanting to learn about the eras in which your parents grew up or the adult who wants to relive the memories. Either way the nostalgia is an alluring invitation for a visit. 

Looking back provides reflections into 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. The changes in fashion, cars, appliances, entertainment, even looking back/reflecting upon sayings about the future, which is now the present, can have one doubling over with laughter or simply smiling in amazement. 

Mode of travel...

Let's start our trip down memory lane in the Chevrolet Corvette, which was unveiled in 1953. It featured one of the first all-fiberglass bodies and wraparound windshield.

The Corvette Story: Modest Beginnings

The first C1 Corvette didn’t have a lot of muscle, but the model lasted nine years with gradual improvements under the hood. The C2 Corvette, aka the Corvette Sting Ray, came out in 1963 to much fanfare for both design and performance. The seventh-generation Corvette, the C7, came out in 2014 with a weight-saving aluminum frame. To this day, it is still considered one of the best American sports cars.

Evolution of the Corvette: from then 'til now

Fashionable Changes...

The American film industry, and popular music industry influenced hairstyles around the world, both in mainstream fashion and teenage sub-culture.
Elizabeth Taylor, c.1955
Fashionhairstyles and body wearhas undergone radical changes from decade to decade with each leaving its unique signature in the pages of history. Some surfaced never to appear again (thank goodness!), while for others as history repeats itself so do styles.

The 50s decade was an era of experimentation. With WWII over, imagery reverted to styles of glamour. The American film industry and popular music industry influenced hairstyles around the world, both in mainstream fashion and teenage sub-culture. Women generally emulated the hair styles and hair colors of popular film personalities and top models of fashion magazines. Sound familiar today?
Music Through the Decades...

Entering the 21st century brought across the board many songs from the 50s all the way through the 90s. Of course, it was by way of the 20s, 30s and 40s that music evolved into a passion relative to survival as many listeners would so declare today.  Look at the plethora of choices available for listening pleasure, dancing, rapping, or simply relaxing: contemporary music, popular music, traditional music, hip hop music, country music. Each decade has offered its own unique genres of music. 

From the 50s into the 21st century, memories remain and the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

50s General Conversation...

You are living in the 50s. 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'?

Turn your thoughts to the economy of today with comparisons of that which came up in conversation in the 50s. In other words, move that conversation into a new millennium.

General Conversation Today...

It is the 21st century. You and a friend are sitting at a bar having a few drinks before going home after a hard day's work at the office. 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.
Looking into the Future... 

No matter how you turn it, the sands of time flow only one way through the hourglass. Look ahead, not backwards, but always keep the memories. Events, encounters, endnotes (sweet or sour) may be gone but certainly not forgotten. All senses are incorporated within the memories awaiting the trigger to bring them back to life—a smell, a taste, a nickname, even the tone of someones’ voice, a particular phrase, the shape of someones’ head in the distance. The memoriesthey are you, you are them. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness.


Friday, August 26, 2016

♫Caesar and Cleo♫

There are music duos, actors, singers and entertainers some of whom form duets while others are made up of husband and wife teams. Some stay together through thick and thin, while others separate moving on to individual careers or dropping out of the music business altogether. For most duos, even in spite of separation, the names are tied together for eternity. Often, the names change as the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times.

Today in Music History: August 26, 1965

Such is the case of the duo in today's spotlight, Caesar and Cleo, better known as...

Sonny & Cher Sonny Bono got a major break in 1957 when he was a delivery boy. He had just arrived at Specialty Records when owner Art Rupe fired Sam Cooke and his producer Bumps Blackwell. Bono was asked if he would like to produce records and the inexperienced Bono accepted the offer. At age 16, Cher dropped out of school, left her mother's house, and moved with a friend to Los Angeles, where she took acting classes and worked to support herself. 

Cher met performer Sonny Bono, 11 years her senior, in November 1962 when he was working for record producer Phil Spector.

1965 Sonny & Cher were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'I Got You Babe', the duo's only UK No.1. Sonny Bono was inspired to write the song to capitalize on the popularity of the term "babe," as heard in Bob Dylan's 'It Ain't Me Babe' "I Got You Babe" topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became, according to Allmusic's Bruce Eder, "one of the biggest-selling and most beloved pop/rock hits of the mid-'60s." As the song knocked The Beatles off the top of the British charts, English teenagers began to emulate Sonny and Cher's fashion style, such as bell-bottoms, striped pants, ruffled shirts, industrial zippers and fur vests.
In the decade they spent together, Sonny and Cher sold 40 million records worldwide. Performing under her first name, Cher went on to a highly successful career as a solo singer and actress, while Sonny Bono was eventually elected to Congress as a Republican U.S. Representative from California. The two performers were inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998, right after Sonny's death in a skiing accident. [Source: en.wikipedia.org]

A Bit of Music Trivia...

Who do you think tops this list?


Is your favorite at the top of the list?

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