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 21, 2016

"Go Nuts" for NUTS!

Did you know there is a day when you can 'go nuts' (Complete Madness) and it is acceptable? Ask yourself, "Are you nuts or have you been nuts at some point in time?" Like the old saying, sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. Of course, the meaning of this statement envelops more than one context. Is it being crazy or experiencing a craving? One thing for sure setting the temporary insanity aside, when are nuts not an appiteaser? No time!

October 22 is...

National Nut Day


On this day, you can "go nuts" for NUTS! Great way to stack up on proteins and gobble down those crunchy peanuts, almonds, walnuts, macadamias, chestnuts, hazelnuts, hickory, pistachios, cashews and pecans. Whew! That is just the tip of the iceberg since nuts have been part of the human diet dating as far back as 7000 B.C. with more than 50 varieties having been discovered and, for the most part, consumed ever since.

As with the APPle, AppLE, APPLE-licious apple, not only are the nuts  yum, yum, yum ... yummy! but they also have tremendous health benefits among having been noted to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, as well as heart disease making them one of the healthiest, most nutritious, and absolutely delicious snacks. Medical studies have shown that eating nuts also reduces hypertension and the risks associated with heart disease. Nuts are also full of protein, fiber, and unsaturated fat.

A Bit of 'NUT" Trivia...
By the 1940s the  Goober Pea Meets the Vendor. The fresh aroma and availability of a quick snack takes to the street thereby leaving quite a legacy. While most enjoy this nutty snack in the context of being a 'nut', did you know that the goober peas (peanuts, folks) are not really nuts? They are legumes and belong to the bean family. Check out The Peanut Institute...
Celebrate National Nut Day by eating lots of nuts as a snack, topping for a delicious casserole, sprinkling on top of your favorite ice cream, adding to the icing on the cake, even dipping some in chocolate! Resist the urge to devour all the nuts or concoctions yourself. This is a great day for sharing with your family and friends.
ALERT: Some people are allergic to nuts so be mindful and on the lookout for medical alert bracelets or simply ask if anyone has a nut allergy.
Not only enjoy 'going nuts for nuts' but also be thankful for the farmers here and abroad who grow and harvest all that delicious nuttiness!

Make some scrumptious trail mix to snack on all through the day...


...while you baking the dessert...


 Almond Bundt Cake (Recipe)

1 hr30 mins
"A delicious Bundt cake using ground almonds, sliced almonds, and almond extract."
...and preparing the main course for dinner...

 Baked Honey Nut Chicken (Recipe)

55 mins
"A savory, buttery, nutty, baked chicken dish with a little sweetness of honey. Excellent for dinner parties. Everyone raves about it. Substitute any nut you prefer with equally good results."

...OR Go Fishin'! Straight to your local market for some tilapia fillets. This recipe has already been featured on Go Fishing Day. Up to 325 reviews and still averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars! Got to be some kind of g-o-o-o-o-od eating!

Is your mouth watering yet?

  yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

♫To Sir With Love♫

Lights. Camera. Action! This traditional cue to a film crew can be heard at the beginning of a take throughout the filming of a movie. A number of features accompanying a film make or break the essence of excitement. Movies are especially renowned for the musical accompaniment, with many theme songs reaching #1 on the Billboard charts, some having received Academy Award nominations and even wins. Such is the case for a #1 hit on this day in music history as the spotlight shines on a Scottish singer whose career careened in the 60s.

Today in Music History: October 21, 1967

LuLu Famed charismatic singer Lulu was born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie on November 3, 1948, in Glasgow, Scotland. Growing up, she was the eldest of four and resided in a two-room tenement in Lennoxtown. At age 15, she had already become a singing sensation. Lulu went on to become best known in the United States for her performance of the song "To Sir With Love," which was featured in the 1967 film of the same name, starring Sidney Poitier. She continues to perform still to this day on solo projects, as well as in collaborative efforts—and has also tackled endeavors in film and books, and on TV and the stage.
Lulu said in 2010 on the Daily Mail's website, "I'm 62 this year and people often ask me how I look so good for my age. I eat well, exercise and I know what looks good on me. I'm a grandmother to Isabella, who was born just after Christmas, which is an absolute joy. I never want to retire."
1967 Scottish singer Lulu started a five-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with the theme from the film 'To Sir With Love'. The song was also Billboard's single of the year for 1967. Lulu performed this song on The Ed Sullivan Show on October 22, 1967, which was the day after hit #1 in America.

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

What IS this...giant upside down cupcake?

All across America, the world in fact, is indescribable beauty often referred to as visions of grandeur. Many such wonders occur naturally while others are man-made. Within those made by the hands of man lies the world of architecture, which is fascinating as it features an artistic flair filled with strange, weird, bizarre, wonderful buildings. Like beauty itself, architecture is observed differently through the eyes of each beholder.

This Day in History: October 21, 1959

The building in the photo below to some might resemble a giant upside down cupcake. Unusual? Yes. Artistic? Most definitely. Not only is the building itself seen as an art form but it is home to one of the world's renown collections of art.

Not a cupcake but just as deliciously enjoyable. This is the Guggenheim Museum. So, what is its connection to this day in history? On October 21, 1959, the home to one of the world's top collections of contemporary art opened to a waiting crowd of thousands of people on New York City's Fifth Avenue. Inside, a long ramp spiraled upwards for a total of a quarter-mile around a large central rotunda, topped by a domed glass ceiling. Reflecting the architect's love of nature, the 50,000-meter space resembled a giant seashell, with each room opening fluidly into the next. Indeed a sea of wonder!

Museum under construction in photo taken on Nov. 12, 1957
An interior view of the museum on a busy day
The skylight in the center of the museum

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is one of the best-known museums in New York City and one of the 20th century's most important architectural landmarks. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum, which is often called simply The Guggenheim, is the permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Early Modern, and Contemporary Art, and also features special exhibitions throughout the year.
Wright's creation continues to be awe-inspiring with many of the 900,000-plus visitors who visit the Guggenheim each year making their own odd comparisons to the design—a Jello mold! a washing machine! a pile of twisted ribbon! a giant upside down cupcake!
Inhouse to online...

For a peep into the museum, the Collection Online features a searchable database of selected artworks from the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. The site currently contains more than 1450 artworks by over 470 artists from the Guggenheim’s overall permanent collection of over 7,000 artworks.

Collection Highlight

Édouard Manet, Before the Mirror (Devant la glace), 1876

Thursday, October 20, 2016

APPle, AppLE, APPLE-licious!

With the autumn season in full swing, it is impossible to stay away from dem apples! Apple pie - an American Classic, apple tarts, apple dumplings, apple this, apple that, everything APPle, AppLE, APPLE-licious! From celebration of Sweet or Sour...Tarts & Strudel in June to Apple Time and the Legend of the Apple in September to National Apple Month & National Applejack Month in October to bobbing apples at Halloween, the apple is center stage. 

October 21 is...
Apple Day


Apple Day is a celebration of apples and orchards mainly observed in the United Kingdom recognizing the wealth and variety of apples available. The day was first started in 1990 by Common Ground in Covent Garden.  The following year it launched nationwide with over 50 events ranging from apple roadshows, grafting classes and village hall markets.  By 2000 the day was celebrated in over 600 events around the country, and abroad! That means it is also celebrated in America. Not surprising since America loves apples: 
The state fruit of New York, Vermont and Washington is the red apple along with the state muffin of New York being the apple muffin, the state beverage of New Hampshire being apple cider and the state pie of Vermont boasting scrumptious apple pie; Minnesota, the Honeycrisp apple; Illinois, the GoldRush Apple; Rhode Island, the greening apple; West Virginia, the Golden Delicious apple, and the state flower of Michigan and Arkansas is the apple blossom. Where there are blossoms, there will surely be apples!

Scientific research supports the ol' adage "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." The health benefits of eating apples are unquestionable. But, here is a new twist on 'an apple' a day. Much like the 'Dried Plums', which have been numbered, now the healthy eating of apples has a number...eat five (5) a day! Of course, that does not mean eat 5 slices of apple pie or indulge in 5 fried apple tarts!

Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fibre and they are low in calories. But only a third of adults eat their five a day, according to the Government. Five turns out to be a number created by the State Nutritionist for California in 1998. [She] looked at the average figure of what people ate and doubled it. Source: MailOnline Health
 Apple Crumble with Custard (Recipe)

 Apple Bake/Apple Crisp (Recipe)

Apple Pancakes (Recipe)

Chicken-Apple Bake with Pumpkin Seeds (Recipe)

Individual Baked Apple Pie Dessert (Recipe)

The only thing left is get to the kitchen! Get to work and bake/fry/saute dem apples in your favorite recipe!

Is your mouth watering yet?

  yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

♫M&Ms...Music & Monsters♫

With Halloween just 11 days away, M&Ms will be among the many, many treats ready for delivery to little and big ghouls. For today, the M&Ms are not the candy but the connection of music and monsters. The song and artist in the spotlight on this day are very apropos. Among the many decorations and costumes of the holiday, one can anticipate the guttural breaths and rattling groans as creatures prepare for night fright. An essential component to Halloween is, of course, the music. Gearing up for Halloween engages finding just the right sound effects and scary music for the spookiest day of the year.

Today in Music History: October 20, 1962


Bobby 'Boris' Pickett As a 9-yr old, 'Boris' watched a lot of horror films. Since his father was a theater manager this gave him an advantage of easy access to many films. In his nightclub routine, Pickett would do an impression of actor Boris Karloff, who played the monster in many Frankenstein movies. With the assistance of his friend Lenny Capizzi at the piano, the two came up with the plot about Frankenstein's monster starting a dance craze based on the dance of the times, the "Mashed Potato". 'Monster Mash' is arguably the most successful novelty song of all time. Bobby Pickett accomplished the rare feat of reaching the top 100 music chart 3 times with the same song.

The song has been used in several TV shows, including Cheers, The Simpsons and Happy Days. It's also been used in the movies Halloween III and Sweetheart's Dance. In 1995, Monster Mash: The Movie was released, starring Pickett as Dr. Frankenstein.

A Bit of Monster Mash Song Trivia...
This being 1962, many of the sound effects had to be created in the studio. The effects on the song were done as follows:
*The coffin being opened was made by pulling a rusty nail out of a lump of wood with the claw of a hammer.
*The bubbling sounds came from blowing through a straw in a glass of water.
*The sounds of the chains was made by dropping chains onto plywood planks on the recording studio floor.

1962 Bobby 'Boris' Pickett and the Crypt Kickers started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Monster Mash', it became a No.3 in the UK eleven years later in 1973. The song had been banned by The BBC in the UK, deemed offensive.

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