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 24, 2014

An Oily Kind of Day!

Whether baking, cooking (especially frying), or garnishing, there are a diverse number of different oils available. A question often arising is which one to select? Of course, the answer is totally dependent upon the exact purpose, which begs yet another question: Is the food to be baked, fried, sautéed, seared, stir-fried? Perhaps the oil is to be used in a marinade or even a salad dressing. There are occasions where an "anointing oil" is to be used as a garnish. In this case, it only takes a few drops of the best oil to go a log way. Whichever oil or oils you have on hand, get ready for an oily kind of day! 

October 25 is... 
National Greasy Foods Day
Although it might not be the healthiest choice out there, everyone loves the taste of greasy food. From pizza and nachos to burgers and French fries, it's nearly impossible to ignore this guilty pleasure. Can't think of anything better fried in grease than good ol' Southern Fried Chicken!

Did you know that fried chicken is the most ordered meal in sit-down restaurants in the U.S.? Even if it’s just for today, allow yourself to indulge in a little greasy good to celebrate National Greasy Foods Day!

Why not start the day with...

 Breakfast Pizza (Recipe)

For lunch try some...

Fried Chicken & Waffle Sandwiches (Recipe)

Then, start dinnertime with a side salad...

 5 Salad Dressings to Know by Heart (Recipes)

If that is not enough...
7 crazy gut-busters for National Greasy Foods Day

Greasy foods are not the best health wise so at least try to enjoy the day as best you can in moderation!

Not before having dessert...

 Fried Custard (Recipe)

Is your mouth watering yet?

  yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

Next on the Calendar...Stay Tuned!

The Godfather of Soul

Today in Music History: October 24, 1962

Within the music arena have been various kings and queensPaul Whiteman,"The King of Jazz"; Benny Goodman, "The King of Swing"; B.B. King, "King of the Blues"; Elvis Presley, "King of Rock 'n' Roll", Arethra Franklin, "Queen of Soul"; Mary J. Blige, "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul"; Koko Taylor, "Queen of the Blues" to name a few. The Sound of Soul also reverberates with an American funk/soul band, The Commodores, who was at its peak in the 70s. Every decade offers its own chapter of soul. Sam Cooke has been honored as the 'King of Soul" but there is only one "Godfather of Soul".

James Brown, aka "The Godfather of Soul"

Georgia vocalist James Brown coined a frenzied style of choppy rhythms and jazzy horns, coupled with exaggerated dramatic behavior designed to attract attention. This along with a grotesquely choreographed performance was first documented on Live At The Apollo (1962). 

Brown's deep inward feelings came to life in exceptionally high notes, often shrieks amid guttural overt and often offensive wails of sexual desire. His was a distinctive and purely-percussive style of soul melded within a powerful and uniquely emotive voice. James Brown is unquestionably one of the most influential musical pioneers of the last half-century known from the beginning for his passionate and soulful crooning. The 'Godfather of Soul', the inventor of funk, the grandfather of hip-hop—Brown is cited as a seminal influence by artists ranging from Mick Jagger to Michael Jackson to Afrika Bambaataa to Jay-Z.

He also went by "Mr. Dynamite," "Soul Brother No. 1," "the Minister of Super Heavy Funk" and "the Godfather of Soul," and he was all of those and more. 

"Others may have followed in my wake, but I was the one who turned racist minstrelsy into black soul—and by doing so, became a cultural force." ~James Brown

1962 US Soul singer James Brown recorded his legendary 'Live At The Apollo' at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and released it in 1963. The album was was an amazingly rapid seller and listed at No.24 in Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Brown went on to record several more albums at the Apollo over the course of his career, including 1968's Live at the Apollo, Vol. II (King), 1971's Revolution of the Mind: Recorded Live at the Apollo, Vol. III (Polydor), and Live at the Apollo 1995 (Scotti Bros.).
"As I always said, if people wanted to know who James Brown is, all they have to do is listen to my music."  ~James Brown

In Augusta, GA, May 6, 2005, a statue of James Brown, "The Godfather of Soul", was unveiled. The bronze life-size statue was to commemorate Brown's musical accomplishments.

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

Way Back When

Stepping back in time is fun . . . just plain and simple fun! Whether a teenager wanting to learn about the eras in which our parents grew up or the adult who wants to relive the memories, the nostalgia is an alluring invitation for a trip down Memory Lane.

More than likely at one time or another you have said, or heard someone else say the phrase way back when.... Its context could be in reference to good times or bad times but in either case reflects upon events of the distant past...a different year, decade or even a different era. Some folks refer to it as back in the day.  

But, whose day? Before indoor plumbing? Before electricity? Before the phonograph? Before the automobile? Before radio? Before television? Before the cellphone, iPhone, iPad?

Regardless how we say it, distinctive spans of time become identifiers for each individual. There are countless, precious moments held dear to the heart before time erases all memory. Each footnote has its own unique melody playing out the music of life. 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.

An old privy or outhouse
(Photo credit: The Library of Congress)
Conversations can quickly turn to making comparisons of amenities that are commonplace today but totally void in the past. Such things as living in houses with dirt floors, having to complete private business in outhouses, boiling clothes to get them clean, bathing once a month with or without soap, are considered primitive by today’s standards. Of course, we don’t have to step that far back in time. Simply disregard the cellphone, TV and Internet. 
Without those three, some people would not know how to survive!

Many comparisons to way back when or back in the day are derived from the changes in the state of the economy. For instance, think about the cost of gasoline. Today excitement abounds if to fill the car, truck, lawn mower or farm equipment with gas costs under $4.00 a gallon. Also, if a trip to the doctor’s office or a prescription is under $100, shouts of jubilation can be heard! It has not always been that way. Can you date either of these scenarios? Do you remember when…
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. The rate it is going gasoline will reach a dollar a gallon before we know it. What’s the world coming to?

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?

Time to hang out the clothes. Bring the bucket of clothespins. 
These are only a random sampling of conversations today that ultimately begin with I remember when or back in the day. These examples would place one’s when in the 50s.

Let's turn back time through the decades to the use of catch phrases. These are expressions used repeatedly until at some point in time they are replaced or simply have worn themselves out. Memory is not just about self so date not only yourself but also others...friends & family!

Swingin' in the 30s & 40s
~Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
~Hope for the best, but expect the worst.

~Live hard, die young and make a good looking corpse.

~I have been here longer than I am gonna be here... so I'm gonna have fun.

~Look at that cat’s 'zoot' suit. It’s crazy, man.

Memorable Movie Line: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." - Rhett Butler, Gone with the Wind (1939)

Coolin' in the 50s

~Man, this place is 'antsville', USA!
~Let's 'agitate the gravel'!
~Hey man, I know it’s tough, but don’t 'blow your top'.
~You mean your brother has been 'buzzed by germsville'?
~You are 'lighting up the tilt sign'!

Memorable Movie Line: "Well, nobody's perfect." Some Like it Hot (1959) 

Spirit of the 60s 
~This is going to be a real 'gas'!
~'Are we having fun yet?'
~Girl, you are 'all show and no go'!
~'Big brother' is watching you.
~'It's been real.'

Memorable Movie Line: "Bond. James Bond." Dr. No (1962)

Groovin' in the 70s

~Let me give you the skinny on the deal.
~Can you dig it man?
~Good night, John-boy.
~May the force be with you!
~Catch you on the flip-side.

Memorable Movie Line: "May the force be with you." Star Wars (1977)

Mania in the 80s

~He's confused again. What an airhead!
~Oh yeah. Big Time!
~That is totally boss
~I'll pencil you in, just in case something comes up.

Memorable Movie Line: "I'll be back." The Terminator (1984)

Into the 90s
~What's up girl?
~All that and a bag of chips
~As if!
~Dude that guy freaked out.
~Chill out!

Memorable Movie Line: "My momma always said, life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." - Forrest Gump (1994)

First Decade of the New Millennium

~That's hot!
~Bling bling.
~Fo' shizzle.

Memorable Movie Line: ? Maybe you have one to contribute!

Do you remember who said... 
Love is being stupid together?
Ever notice how "what the hell" is always the right answer?
Both are still very apropos in the 21st century. The first is credited to Paul Valéry but made popular by Lucille Ball in the I Love Lucy show. The second is said to be attributed to none other than Marilyn Monroe but not credited to her as an original.

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

Related Article:

The Write Room Blog where friends from disparate approaches to life and writing work together and share...

Taking the Plunge!

This Day in History: October 24, 1901

The United States of America is a nation blessed with wonder and beauty, both natural and man madefrom the Spacious Skies of Arizona to Amber Waves of Grain in Nebraska to Purple Mountain Majesties of Colorado to Fruited Plains of Kansas and everywhere in between. Of the many wondrous places in the US, one of the most magnificent sights is a collective name for three waterfalls specifically located between the province of Ontario, Canada and the state of New York. Carved by the epic force of melting glacial ice, Niagara Falls instills awe through its natural majesty and its raw power.

Such magnificence is both awe-inspiring and breath-taking, whether feeling the mist, viewing photographs, or watching a video. As with any wonder of nature, there is the innate instinct to do the impossible, accomplish the unthinkable. Niagara Falls has experienced its share of temptations for man, or woman, to take the plunge. Some survived, others did not. The first reached shore alive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Edson_TaylorOn this day in 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

After her husband died in the Civil War, the New York-born Taylor moved all over the U. S. before settling in Bay City, Michigan, around 1898. In July 1901, while reading an article about the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, she learned of the growing popularity of two enormous waterfalls located on the border of upstate New York and Canada. Strapped for cash and seeking fame, Taylor came up with the perfect attention-getting stunt: She would go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Taylor survived, though a bit shaken, but never received the fame nor fortune of her hopes. Her feat, however, inspired other dare-devils to take the plunge. While Taylor went over the falls in a barrel, more recent methods have included a kayak and a jet ski. Between 1901 and 1995, 15 people went over the falls; 10 of them survived. 

Don't even think about it. It's illegal...

No matter the method, going over Niagara Falls is illegal, and survivors face charges and stiff fines on either side of the border. 

The Horseshoe Falls drop about 188 feet (57 m), while the height of the American Falls varies between 70–100 feet (21–30 m) because of the presence of giant boulders at its base. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost four million cubic feet (110,000 m3) on average. The volume of water approaching the falls during peak flow season may sometimes be as much as 225,000 cubic feet (6,400 m3) per second.
Related Articles:

Origins of Niagara

How to Survive an Accidental Plunge Over Niagara Falls

Amazing Niagara Falls Facts

Facts About Niagara Falls

Fun Facts

Stand up for America!

Image Credit: photobucket.com
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.

Elections in the United States are being held throughout 2014, with the general elections scheduled for Tuesday, November 4, 2014. During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested; along with 38 state and territorial governorships, 46 state legislatures (except Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia), four territorial legislatures and numerous state and local races.  

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

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

Does your vote matter? Think about it. . .


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

God Bless America!