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.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Blessings


Happy Easter to all and may your day be filled with blessings beyond words!

We have been blessed with my husband now off life support, out of ICU and resting in a private room. If fact, he was helped out of the bed yesterday and has begun sitting in a chair. He is very weak and cannot walk on his own. We still have a long road ahead but the way is filled with light and hope for a full recovery. Thank you all for your intercessory prayers, thoughts and concerns.

“Rightly the lily is the flower of Easter. It lies buried in the ooze of pond or stream. There is  the grave of the dead lily that appeals to nostril or eye. But silently the forces of life are  dark and the damp to prepare a glorious resurrection. A shaft of green shoots upward toward the sun. This is followed by a cluster of tiny buds. One day the sun smiles with special warmth upon the dank, black ooze, and there leaps into the light a creature of light and beauty; it is the lily, an angel of the earth, whose look is light.”
—Author Unknown

How did the lily come to grace the fields of America? The cultivation of lilies did not originate in the United States for the lily is a native of Japan. History reveals the account of a WW I soldier, Luis Houghton, bringing a suitcase full of hybrid lily bulbs to the South coast of Oregon in 1919. Houghton freely distributed bulbs to his friends and neighbors. Because of the events of WW II, the Japanese source of bulbs was abruptly cut off. Therefore, those growing lilies as a hobby noted the value of lily bulbs sky-rocketing and many decided to go into business on their own. At that time, Easter lily bulbs were known as “White Gold,” resulting in cultivators attempting to cash in on the crop. By 1945, there were about 1,200 growers producing bulbs up and down the Pacific coast, from Vancouver, Canada to Long Beach, California.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Out for Family Emergency

Awakenings will be on leave for awhile but hoping it will not be for an extended time. My husband, Jim, is in ICU in Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan, AL. This is approximately an 80-mile round trip from where we live. I had to have an ambulance dispatched this morning because he could not get his breath. 
We remained in the ER in our home town until approximately 12 noon. By the time he arrived at the ER in Dothan, he was not breathing. He has been put on a respiratory machine which is doing the breathing for him. He had to have a procedure called Thoracintesis to drain a liter and a half of fluid from his lungs. He is stable and resting.

I came home because they would not let me stay, of course, in ICU. I will be going back in the morning and will post updates as I know more.

Keep him in your prayers,

Friday, March 22, 2013

Earth Hour 2013

Earth Hour 2013 is at 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM on
Saturday, March 23
Dare the World to Save the Planet! 


WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature)

WWF’s Earth Hour is a unique annual phenomenon that focuses the world’s attention on our amazing planet, and how we need to protect it. At 8.30pm on 23 March hundreds of millions of people will turn off their lights for one hour, on the same night, all across the world in a huge, symbolic show of support.

For 2013 as we all switch off our lights, we want the focus to be on the kind of energy we use. Because to create a better future for our planet we need to move away from dirty fossil fuels and onto clean green renewable energy which works with the awesome power of nature, not against it.
CEO and co-founder, Andy Ridley, highlighted the grassroots nature of the movement:
"People from all walks of life, from all nations around the world, are the lifeblood of the Earth Hour interconnected global community. They have proven time and time again that if you believe in something strongly enough, you can achieve amazing things. These stories aren't unique, this is happening all over the world."
The Panda has become the symbol of WWF.
Related Articles

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Beauty of America: Lighthouses

Lighthouses have been the sentinels, the protectors, of shoreline after shoreline for centuries upon centuries. In the beginning, these were not 'houses' at all but instead simply bonfires built on hillsides as beacons to guide ships. Many a seafaring vessel would have crashed upon the rocks had it not been for the angel of light shining through the darkest of night or penetrating the thickest fog. Throughout history, the lighthouse has cast mysterious auras, sometimes romantic and often times echoing a ghostly resonance.

The first light of this type served the old world city of Alexandria in 285 B.C.

The Lighthouse at Alexandria was the first known lighthouse and 
stood for 1600 years on the coast of Egypt.

 The first American lighthouse came to life in 1716 at Boston Harbor.

The magnificence of the lighthouses and the beautiful places where they stand remain symbols of an era that is still with us. 

Have you ever vacationed or lived near a lighthouse? If so, did you sense its romanticism or feel a ghostly presence?

Hello, Spring!

Welcome to Spring: Season of new birth!

Glory in the springtime
Initiates visions without stopping
Greening hills, warming sun
Buds erupting and wildflowers popping

Bears, Bees and Stings

Attuned to the winter cold

Hibernation’s natural to a bear

With shorter days, longer nights

Sleeping is the primary affair

Sentiments of a fall/winter season

Affirm human nature’s lassitude

Reflections echo the past and present

Creating a melancholy mood

The early days of springtime

Find bees at work on the crocus

With the snow at last melting

Activity is the focus

New life buzzing all around

Finds everyone busy as the bee

Making plans, meeting demands

Goes about as far as one can see

Nature in its own pristine beauty

Flourishes after winter’s thaw

Prickly, bristly thorns and spiny things

Emerge clothed in springtime’s awe

Lovers stroll along forest paths

Inhaling the newness nature brings

Spring blossoms within love’s essence

But not without emotional stings

Sharla Lee Shults

"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."

                                                         —Rainer Maria Rilke (Bohemian–Austrian poet, 1875–1926)


Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patrick’s Day, Green Beer and Blue Mead

Today's author spotlight: R. L. Cherry 


St. Patrick’s Day, Green Beer and Blue Mead St. by R. L. Cherry

St. Patrick’s Day
, originally a feast day of the Catholic church, has become a major American drunken  celebration. Before I get into the down and dirty, let me assure you that St. Patrick never drank green beer. In fact, drinkers in ancient Ireland had a choice of ale (no hops) or mead (honey based), unless they wanted to pony up for imported wine. So beer is obviously not an ancient Irish tradition. How about the color green? Is it Irish because Ireland is called the Emerald Isle? This is a question that is still up for debate.

First raised in 1919, the Irish flag has three wide, vertical stripes.  In reverse order, one is orange, one is white and one is green.  This flag was designed in an attempt to join the Catholic and Protestant factions as a united Ireland.  

It is easy to explain why the orange stripe represents the Protestants.  The Protestant William of Orange (William III of England) defeated the last Catholic king of England, James II, at the Battle of Boyne in Ireland on July 1, 1690. The militant Orange Order of Irish Protestants take their name from the king who originally came from the Dutch principality of Orange and celebrate (mistakenly) this victory on July 12 each year. Since William’s victory led to the horribly punitive laws against the Catholics, this “celebration” is strictly for militant Protestants.

Okay, how about the white stripe? If you were sitting in between two groups who had a history of fighting each other, what flag would you raise?  It is generally accepted that the white is meant to be a flag of truce between the warring factions.
Now we come to the green, the main topic of this post. It’s often assumed that since time immemorial green was the national color for Ireland, perhaps established by the patron saint associated with the “wearing of the green,” Patrick himself. Not so. Blue was the color of Ireland for centuries, a royal color and the one traditionally associated with St. Patrick. The first known usage of a green flag was with a harp on it in 1642. It was only in the years after orange becoming the color of Protestants in Ireland, sometime in the mid-eighteenth century, that green became the established color of Catholic Ireland. Perhaps it is because the green shamrock was identified with that patron saint, Patrick. Perhaps it is because Ireland is so green and is now known as the Emerald Isle. Perhaps it is none of the above. However, whatever the reason, St Patrick and Ireland are now firmly greened.

And so, we return to green beer. It is about as Irish as the Union Jack. Or a margarita. It’s just the American misconception of what is Irish. So be a rebel. Be a traditionalist. Be an individual.


When your friends ask if you want a green beer, say, “Heck, no.  I want a blue mead. After all, that’s a real Irish drink.” 

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

R. L. Cherry is the author of Christmas Cracker. What begins as a vacation for private investigator Morg Mahoney soon becomes a murder mystery laced with threads of local history, race horses, the IRA, family secrets, a touch of romance and, of course, pure greed. More...

 • COMING SOON from R. L. Cherry•


Chicago Police detective Vince Bonelli's life had been organized and comfortable when sexy Gina Gallo blew into it. Like a whirlwind, she changed everything, destroying parts of Vince's life as she drew him close to her. More...


Friday, March 15, 2013

Kick Back Moments: The President Kennedy, James Bond & St. Patrick's Day Connection

Peggy Strack's Kick Back Moments features The President Kennedy, James Bond & St. Patrick's Day Connection. I dare say I would have never put these three together as having any kind of connection. Maybe JFK and St. Patrick's Day because of the Irish connection. But James Bond? Um-m-m-m? Now that raises some eyebrows.

How much do you know about James Bond or his creator Ian Fleming? Do you think Mr. Fleming's books were an instant success? Did he reach #1 best seller with his first book? Were his works ever criticized?

After all, look who we are talking about...James Bond, intriguing, sexy, with dark, rather cruel good looks! To learn more about this unusual connection, visit Peggy Strack's Kick Back Moments: The President Kennedy, James Bond & St. Patrick's Day Connection.

All I am going to say here is look at this book... Now, you should really be hooked for we have gone from the Irish to Russia!

Peggy Strack is the author of A Stop in the Park. "An engaging and hope-filled novel."—Kirkus Reviews 

"This was one of those books, that as soon as I put it down, I couldn't wait to get back to it. Each reader can find a message that speaks to her/him. Gives us all food for thought."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

K9 Veterans Day

Woo Hoo! March 13th is officially K9 Veterans Day in NJ!

Welcome to the national effort to make March 13 K9 Veterans Day. March 13, 1942 is the official birthday of the United States K9 Corps, and so it seems only right to annually honor their service on that date. They served to save, and they deserve to be remembered. 


What will YOU do to honor our nation's heroes,
WAR DOGS that serve us?

Reality Blog Award

Awakenings was honored in January with the Reality Blog Award from Alastair. My sincerest apology goes to Alastair for being so late in responding to this wonderful award. January was indeed a hectic month since January 22 was the official release date of Awakenings from Then 'til Now.

Before going into the award, I want to tell you a little about Alastair. Alastair is cool! He has an awesome blog, Alastair's Blog, where he shares stories AND poetry, and features terrific photography AND great music. One of his latest additions in 2013 has been his amalgamations. He participates in various blog/writing challenges, i.e., Friday Fictioneers, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Phoneography Challenge, Share Your World - 2013, WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, etc. As you can tell, he is one serious blogger! Check out Alastair's latest products @ Society6.

On to the award...

 With every award comes RULES!

1.) Show appreciation of the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post. DONE!
2.) Add the award logo to your blog. DONE!
3.) Share 7 things about yourself. SEE BELOW!
3.) Nominate 5 - 10 or more bloggers you admire. SEE BELOW!
4.) Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know. CHECK YOUR BLOG! WATCH FOR A TWEET!
5.) Optional questions. (This one I will forgo for now to make it easier on everyone!)

7 "memorable moments" about me:
  • Marriage - almost 30 years
  • Motherhood - 3 girls, 1 boy
  • Maiden Voyage - Caribbean Cruise
  • Motion Sickness - Charter Fishing
  • Many Pets - gerbils, goldfish, dogs, cats, bird, rooster
  • Mighty Mealtime - Midnight Buffet
  • Micky Mouse - Texas!

For the moment YOU have been waiting for...

Drum Roll Ple-e-e-e-ese!

Awakenings pays the Reality Blog Award forward to:

Susie @Country Side Poet [http://countrysidepoet.blogspot.com/]

Autumn @Autumn Sunshine [http://autumn-sunshine.net/blogs/]

Wendell @Forever Poetic  [http://foreverpoetic.me/]

Marion @Cats Rule [http://sammythesupercat.blogspot.com/]

Dicy @Dicy McCullough's Blog [http://www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog/]

Marilyn @Serendipity [http://teepee12.com/]

Micki @A Writer's Journey [http://mallie1025.blogspot.com/]

Rosemary @Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler [http://extraordinaryireland.blogspot.com/]