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, November 30, 2014

Bluesy Singing Style

Today in Music History: December 1, 1966

Pop, rock, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, techno, soul and gospel, all have unique sounds of their own. Recording artists cross over from one genre to another but not all master multiple genres with No.1 hits. In other words, only a few have sung it all. In today's spotlight is a full-throated, robust baritone who is one such singing legend.


Tom Jones: a Welsh rock, pop, blues and soul singing legend best known as a hit maker over the last five decades in the U.S. and U.K.

Welsh singer Sir Thomas Jones Woodward is best known by his stage name Tom Jones. Emerging from the British Invasion in the mid-1960s Jones became one of the most popular vocalists of the era. Tom Jones began singing at an early age, regularly singing at family gatherings, weddings and in his school choir. At 12 years old, Jones developed tuberculosis. Many years later he said: "I spent two years in bed recovering. It was the worst time of my life." During convalescence he could do little else but listen to music and draw.

Since then he has sung nearly every form of popular music – pop, rock, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, techno, soul and gospel – and sold over 100 million records. Jones' bluesy singing style developed out of the sound of American soul music. His early influences included blues and R&B singers.

1966 Tom Jones was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with his version of 'Green Green Grass Of Home'. It stayed at No.1 for seven weeks giving Decca records its first million selling single by a British artist. The song was also a No.1 in Germany for nine weeks and a No.11 hit in the US.
More on this day...

  • 1958 The Teddy Bears were at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘To Know Him is to Love Him'. The title of the Phil Spector song came from words on his father’s tombstone.
  • 1973 The Carpenters went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Top Of The World', their second US No.1, which was also a No.5 hit in the UK. Country singer Lynn Anderson covered the song and her version became her first hit when it reached No.2 on the US country singles charts in mid-1973.

  • 1984 Jim Diamond was at No.1 in the UK singles chart with 'I Should Have Known Better'. The song was displaced after one week by Band Aid's charity single 'Do They Know It's Christmas’. Diamond publicly requested that people not buy his single, but instead buy 'Do They Know It's Christmas’'
  • 1990 Vanilla Ice started a four-week run at No.1 in the UK with the single 'Ice Ice Baby'. The track sampled the bass intro to the Queen and David Bowie No.1 'Under Pressure'. 'Ice Ice Baby' was initially released as the B-side to the rapper's cover of 'Play That Funky Music', and became the A-side after US DJ's started playing it.
  • 1990 Whitney Houston went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I'm Your Baby Tonight', her 8th US No.1 and the first for writers and producers Reid and Babyface.
1987 A Kentucky teacher lost her appeal in the US Supreme Court over her sacking after showing Pink Floyd's film 'The Wall' to her class. The court decided that the film was not suitable for minors with its bad language and sexual content.
1997 Kenny G set a new world record when he held a note on his saxophone for 45 minutes and 47 seconds. (The record has since been broken by Geovanny Escalante, who held a note for 1 hour, 30 minutes and 45 seconds, using a technique that allows him to blow and breathe at the same time).
In the Christmas Spirit...

2008 Wham's 'Last Christmas' was the most played festive track of the last five years. The Performing Right Society put the 1984 hit at the top of their chart of seasonal songs, just ahead of Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas'. The Pogues came third with 'Fairytale of New York', recorded with the late Kirsty MacColl and first released in 1987. Other featured artists include Slade, Mariah Carey and Bruce Springsteen.

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

Bite! Bite! Bite!

In the past few months, Awakenings has featured How the Apple Orchards Spread, Cherries & Apples, Apple time!, Legend of the Apple, Yummy... Dessert!, APPle, AppLE, APPLE-licious!, and 'Dipped' Apples. Of course autumn is apple season! Apple pie is even one of the American Classics. How bout dem apples! Yum-yum-yum-yummy!

December 1 is...

Eat a Red Apple Day


We know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away so in September, Apple Time celebrated Eat an Apple Day, aka International Eat an Apple Day. Supposedly on that day any variety or color apple was on the menu with encouragement to eat anything apple related. There are more than 7,500 varieties of apples worldwide so finding an apple should never be a problem. Eat a Red Apple Day is the day to bite into a fresh apple that is simply red.


Red Delicious is a classic - America’s favorite snacking apple. The heart-shaped fruit is bright red and sometimes striped. Crunchy with a mildly sweet flavor, Reds are also great in salads. Washington apple growers have been producing the world’s best Red Delicious apples since the 1920s. They’re harvested in September and October and available throughout the year.
The Fuji, immensely flavorful, new variety was introduced to the U.S. from Japan in the 1980s, but now the U.S. produces more Fujis than Japan. Each year, this big, super-sweet, crisp apple gains new fans. The Fuji holds its texture when baked. It's known for its hard texture and syrupy sweetness. It's also excellent for baking and salads. Washington's cool weather in the late fall helps develop its reddish-pink color and superb flavor. Fujis are harvested in October and can be purchased October to August.
The Braeburn apple’s rich, sweet-tart, spicy flavor is high-impact. Color varies from orange to red over a yellow background. Aromatic, juicy and crisp, this apple is very firm. Braeburns are great for snacking and baking. Washington growers harvest the variety in September and early October. Consumers can purchase Washington Braeburns from October through July.
Developed by the University of Minnesota, Honeycrisp has bright red and pale green outer skin and a cream colored crisp yet juicy inner flesh. With a sweet yet slightly tart flavor, this variety of apple is great for salads, baking, cooking or eating as a snack. The Honeycrisp Apple was created to grow well in cooler northern climates. It is a variety that stores well.
The Gala apple is a hybrid of the Golden Delicious apple, developed in New Zealand during the 1920s. This small, two-toned apple has a sweet flavor and a firm texture. It is recommended for eating raw and for use in pies and other baked goods.
The Cameo is a cultivar of apple, discovered by chance by the Caudle family in a Dryden, Washington orchard in 1987. Its parentage is uncertain; it may be a cross between a Red Delicious and a Golden Delicious, since it was found near orchards of those fruits; [1] it also appears similar to the original Delicious cultivar. It is bright red striped over creamy orange, firm and crisp with an aromatic flavor. It is among the top ten most grown apples in Washington.
New York Empire apples are red, juicy, firm, crunchy and sweet. They ripen during September and October, and will keep until January. The original seed was a cross between the varieties McIntosh and Red Delicious. Empire apples are excellent for eating and salads, and good for sauce, baking, pies and freezing. It is an ideal lunch-box apple, not least because it does not bruise easily.

The Rome apple is rounded, all red, and very glossy, with a thick skin and firm flesh. It is primarily used for baking, as its flavor develops when cooked, and it holds its shape well. It is commonly described as less desirable as an eating apple because of its subtle flavor that is not as sweet, flashy, or tart as some other varieties, yet it is the favorite eating apple of many. It comes to market in late September and is considered a good keeper. 'Rome' apples are widely grown and available, and are a staple variety in American commerce.
Round in shape and medium sized the skin of the Winesap apple is dark red in color. Its firm flesh is crisp and exceptionally juicy with a creamy yellow hue. Winesap apples are highly aromatic with a balanced sweet tart taste and get their name due to their distinctive spicy wine like flavor.
Round in shape and medium sized the skin of the Winesap apple is dark red in color. Its firm flesh is crisp and exceptionally juicy with a creamy yellow hue. Winesap apples are highly aromatic with a balanced sweet tart taste and get their name due to their distinctive spicy wine like flavor.
By this time you should be READY to bite into a juicy red  apple...Go for it!

Do you know how to eat an apple?

Is your mouth watering yet?

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

Next on the Calendar...#CyberMonday!
America LOVES apples, apple blossom flowers, & apple cider!


December is...

...one of the most exciting times of the year...colorful and musical!

So much to celebrate during the month of December with Christmas being at the top of the list! Every day is overflowing with tantalizing aromas and music in the air as multitudes of people hit the shopping malls looking for the best gift, the best buy. Lengthy lists, crowded stores, long lines and hectic plans too often become the defining moments for Christmas.

Don't forget the true reason for the season!

Be sure to add a little love...

A few December month celebrations include...

National Bingo Month
 Cartoon Fun & History
December is Bingo's birthday month. The game was originally called “beano” and dates back to 1530 with the Italian variation called Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia. Bingo was made by toy salesman, Edwin S. Lowe, who initially overheard someone accidentally yell “bingo!” in their utter excitement playing Beano at a carnival. He produced the first commercial version of the game, which retailed at $1.
 Write a Friend Month
In the age of texting, twittering, and emailing, letter-writing has become a lost art. Grammar is thrown out the window and sentence structure has gone south with the birds. Challenge yourself during the month of December! Rediscover how to compose a well-crafted letter with The Right Letter!: How to Communicate Effectively in a Busy World, or spruce up your grammar with It was the Best of Sentences, It was the Worst of Sentences. For teaching children the art of writing, try How to Write a Letter or How to Write Letters and Email. If you want to get real fancy, how about trying your hand at calligraphy? Be sure to stay tuned for Letter Writing Day on December 7!
Challenge: Do you consider yourself your own best friend? Write a letter to yourself about the corrent events in your life. Seal it, stamp it, store it away and mail it to yourself in 10 years. Just don't forget where you put it!
The necktie, which is basically a long piece of cloth tied in a knot, is a snazzy fashion invention that dates back to the 17th century with the neckerchief. The necktie has developed into different variations over the years, meshing or clashing with the changing fashion eras (i.e. the clip-on, bow tie, skinny tie, novelty ties, silk ties, and ties for women). Primarily, the necktie had been a professional staple in wardrobes for men obeying a strict dress code. With the changing times, the accessory has developed throughout many fashion creations (the necktie skirt), tie trends like ties worn with casual wear, and terrible fads like females sporting the necktie with obscenely short skirts (such an fashion eye-sore!) During National Tie Month, let your BEST tie be seen!
Human rights are the fundamental rights which every living person is entitled to, and are considered to be universal rights or laws regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, country or time. Human Rights Month encourages greater awareness of human rights, and promotes the continuing struggle to ensure that all people have access to life’s basic necessities.

Begin the month of December...Eat a Red Apple Day!

Light As Air & Perfect For Fall

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere, especially in scrumptious fall dessert recipes! First thought, of course, is pumpkin pie. Next is maybe pumpkin ice cream or pumpkin cupcakes. Then, there is always pumpkin cheesecake. Nope! None of these. There are numerous variations/usages for pumpkin with today being no exception. It is absolutely the perfect addition for today's celebration! 

November 30 is...

National Mousse Day

What better mousse than Pumpkin Mousse at this time of year! Before delving into this light as air & perfect for fall recipe, let's examine exactly what encompasses the mousse.

  1. 1.
    a sweet or savory dish made as a smooth light mass with whipped cream and beaten eggs, flavored with chocolate, fish, etc., and typically served chilled.

What gives the mousse its lightness? It is not just the fact it is made with whipped cream and beaten eggs (some recipes call for the yolks, others the whites). Actually we can thank the teeny, tiny air bubbles formed from the whipping that gives mousse its signature delicateness. During the 1800s, chocolate mousse was a specialty in French restaurants and is probably the most popular mousse to this day. In the 21st century, it can be found in restaurants and prepared in home kitchens worldwide.

On to the pumpkin mousse...  

Pumpkin or sweet potato are common flavors associated with the holiday recipes. Variations according to taste makes either dish unique and personal.

Basic Pumpkin Mousse
Mousse is also referred to as a mass of tiny bubbles that forms on the top of a glass of champagne or sparkling wine. So, serve your mousse in a champagne glass for a unique presentation!

Even in the wintertime a cool dessert is pleasing to the pallet after a hot meal!

The spicy-sweet flavors of pumpkin pie are whipped to velvety, airy perfection in this five-star treat.

Pumpkin Mousse Parfait
The parfait makes The Perfect Snack!  Preparing in mason jars allows you to eat just the amount you want with some left over for later. Just cap it off and store in the fridge!

 Pumpkin Mousse-Filled Cupcakes

The mousse does not have to be served in a cup or glass. Have your cake and eat it too by piping the mousse into a cupcake!

This is the best way to eat sweet potatoes! The praline sauce is a perfect addition and the pecans add just the right crunchiness.

 Sweet Potato Mousse Cups
A deconstructed version of sweet potato pie - gingersnap crust, sweet potato pie filling, and marshmallow whipped cream

What about a combo?

This no-fuss mousse is an easy, decadent and nutritious recipe that can be enjoyed any time!

On to something different...

It is interesting that mousse is not limited to a dessert. As the definition points out, it can be sweet or savory. With that thought in mind, let's shift gears toward the savory.

The answer of what to do with the leftover turkey! If you didn't serve smoked turkey, add a little smoked paprika or black powder seasoning.

Lobster meat, cream and cayenne are chilled in a lobster-shaped mold to make this airy hors d'oeuvre, which can be garnished to create a whimsical appearance.

No way can we leave without chocolate - served in cup, espressoed a bit, baked in a pie, layered in a cake & peaked on top of cupcakes!

This delicate chocolaty mousse melts on your tongue exciting all your senses!

Of course, nothing goes better with chocolate than the flavor of coffee!

This is one of those confounding dishes in which a finished whipped mousse - cold, rich, a perfect balance of density & airiness - is popped into an oven.

The mousse texture in this cake is exactly the same from one layer to the next and the flavor so overpoweringly rich it's hard to finish simply a mere forkfuls.

A rich chocolate cake with a creamy mousse topping, this is a classic cupcake combo for chocolate lovers.


Is your mouth watering yet?

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

Next on the Calendar...Bite! Bite! Bite!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Entertainer of the Year - 1968

Today in Music History: November 30, 1968

Great stories evolve from life events. The dramas of life keep the stories coming and the music playing. Many entertainers come from impoverished situations, doors open, doors close, windows open to new views and opportunities. Different paths appear ahead which in turn lead to new destinations. Some travels occur cross country while others across seas. As a result of many journeys, legends are born.

http://www.biography.com/people/glen-campbell-9542426Glen Campbell: country music singer and crossover actor named Entertainer of the Year in 1968; Rhinestone Cowboy became his signature song

Glenn Campbell was born the seventh son in a family of 12 children in the small town of Delight, Arkansas. His family made their living as sharecroppers but they instilled in Campbell an interest in music when he was a young boy. By the time he was 16, he had pawned his guitar and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to join his uncle's band. This launched a career that later highlighted Glen Campbell as a successful Country and Pop recording star, and host of his own variety television show. He racked up numerous accolades including a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance ('By the Time I Get to Phoenix'), Grammy Award for Best Country and Western Recording ('Gentle') and recipient of a Golden Globe nomination. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

1968 Glen Campbell started a five-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'Wichita Lineman'. Jimmy Webb's inspiration for the lyrics came while driving through Washita County in northern Oklahoma. Webb was driving through an endless litany of telephone poles, each looking exactly the same as the last. Then, in the distance, he noticed the silouette of a solitary lineman atop a pole. Webb then "put himself atop that pole and put that phone in his hand" as he considered what the lineman was saying into the receiver.
In 2011, Glen Campbell came forward with a powerful, completely candid announcement that rippled throughout the entertainment world. With wife Kim by his side, Glen revealed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, which eventually robs one of memory. Continued HERE...
  More on this day...

  • 1971 Sly And The Family Stone were at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Family Affair', their fourth and final No.1. Rolling Stone magazine later ranked the song #138 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • 1985 Wham! Were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'I'm Your Man', the duo's third UK No.1, a No.3 hit in the US.
  • 1991 Michael Jackson scored his fourth UK No.1 album with his eighth studio album Dangerous. The album has sold over 32 million copies worldwide making it one of the best selling albums of all time.
  • 1997 Metallica were at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Reload’, the bands third US No.1 album.
  • 2008 Take That went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Greatest Day', their 11th UK No.1 which was taken from their 2008 album The Circus. Also on this day, The Killers went to No.1 on the UK album chart with Day & Age the bands third album.

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