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, October 31, 2015

Back Home & Back in It

Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets celebrates with Noah Syndergaard and David Wright after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning against Kansas City. The hit put pitcher Syndergaard across home plate after he hit a single in his first World Series at-bat.
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
With so much happenin' today, the post about the status of the World Series almost slipped right on by. My, my, my! What a turn of events! That's why it is still anybody's ballgame! The Mets lived up to past experiences coming from behind to stop the Royals from their third win.
METS win 9 - 3

With the Mets’ first World Series game at home in 15 years, they entered the field in attack mode determined to win. This was a must-win situation for the METS and they left the field with exactly what they had intended victory!
The first pitch came out of Noah Syndergaard’s right hand at 97 miles per hour and zipped past the head of Alcides Escobar, the Royals’ leadoff hitter, who had tormented the Mets in the World Series. Escobar dived out of the way, fell to the ground and sat in the batter’s box for several moments, trying to gather himself while toying with his bat...
...Syndergaard wanted to attack the Royals, make them feel uncomfortable — a feat that Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom had failed to accomplish in Games 1 and 2, as the Mets lost the first two games of the series in Kansas City. Read the article...HERE!

Check out the GAME'S WRAPUP...especially if you missed the game either in real time, TV or radio! Royals may still be in the lead but it is still anybody's series!
Royals lead series 2-1

Game 4, today, 8:07 PM on FOX
Citi Field, Flushing, New York

Time to Have a Laugh!

Apple on a Stick

What's Happened & Happenin' in October is rapidly coming to a close, which will end in the hauntings of Halloween. So, it is only fitting to add one last celebration to the list.

Throughout the month apples have been at the center of attention since October is National Apple Month and apples are APPle, AppLE, APPLE-licious! Of all the apple celebrations, one in particular stands out during local fall festivals and is actually a must for Halloween. In fact, this treat is fun for everyone and anyone. No age limit whatsoever.

October 31 is...

National Candy Apple Day
Candy apples are known by an assortment of names: candy covered apples, candied apples, caramel apples, caramel candy apples, lollipop apples, taffy apples, toffee apples and whatever you may wish to call the 'apple on a stick' that is not on this list.

"Almost all wild apples are handsome. They cannot be too gnarly and crabbed and rusty to look at. The gnarliest will have some redeeming traits even to the eye." -- Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples

Candy apples are made by coating an apple with a layer of sugar heated to hard crack stage. The most common sugar coating is made from sugar (white or brown), corn syrup, water, cinnamon and red food coloring. A variation on the red candy apple is the caramel apple. Then, with the holiday right around the corner, decorated Halloween candy apples fit the scene most appropriately.

Halloween Treats & Desserts (Recipes)

A Bit of Candy Apple History...

http://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-shortcuts/how-to-eat-a-candy-appleAmerican William W. Kolb, a veteran Newark candy-maker, produced his first batch of candied apples in 1908. While experimenting in his candy shop with red cinnamon candy for the Christmas trade, he dipped some apples into the mixture and put them in the windows for display. He sold the whole first batch for 5 cents each and later sold thousands yearly. Soon candied apples were being sold along the Jersey Shore, at the circus and in candy shops across the country, according to the Newark News in 1948. Source: en.wikipedia.org
Candy Apples (Recipe)


Candy apples are not limited just to on-a-stick treats...

Caramel Apple Cheesecake (Recipe)

Caramel Apple Cupcakes (Recipe)

Candy Apple Cookies (Recipe)

Happy Halloween!

Even the candy apple has the apple as it core!

Is your mouth watering yet?

BOO! Happy Halloween!

Trick or Treat!

What is Halloween without a good horror story or movie! Stories of ghosts, goblins and ghouls monopolize the setting as the movie makers try to outdo one another with scenes of blood and gore. I often wonder how many bottles of ketchup (or similar fake blood) are wasted as Dracula feeds upon his victims, the Werewolf mauls his prey beyond recognition or Freddy Krueger uses a glove armed with razors to kill his victims in their dreams. We scream at the sight of bizarre transformations and close our eyes as flesh melts away like candle wax exposing the skeleton underneath. Then, as if that's not enough, the Zombies right out of the grave thrash about uncontrollably with gutteral breaths and rattling groans. All in the name of entertainment!

This may be carrying it a bit far with a selfie!

Of course, all horror movies do not necessarily feed upon blood and some actually bring about laughter, rather than shrills and chills. Among the best is the good old-fashioned black and white classic Young Frankenstein staring Gene Wilder and directed by comic genius Mel BrooksPeter Boyle portrays The Monster whose heart is soft while his appearance is grotesque. Then, there is comedy legend Marty Feldman playing Igor, or is it Egor (?), who embraces movie lines that become as natural as speech itself.
The film is an affectionate parody of the classical horror film genre, in particular the various film adaptations of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein produced by Universal in the 1930s (Wikipedia).

A Bit of Nostalgia


What are your fondest memories of Halloween - laughter or shivers?
What characters have you portrayed through the years?

Ever tried burlap and an old wax mask?

Related Articles:

Monumental Carvings

This Day in History: October 31, 1941

Carvings of a monumental nature reached their final stages on this day in history 1941. These were no ordinary carvings, not of wood using Wayne Barton, Flexcut Tools or Swedish Frost Carving Knives as one might use for basic chipping and carving. These carvings occurred on the side of a mountainMount Rushmore, which is mainly composed of granite, that is, in simple terms, rock! The tools instead of knives consisted of dynamite and drills.

Before watching the videos or reading further, do you know whose faces are carved into the mountain and why these specific historical figures were chosen for the monument? 


Mount Rushmore is a project of colossal proportion, colossal ambition and colossal achievement. It involved the efforts of nearly 400 men and women. The duties involved varied greatly from the call boy to drillers to the blacksmith to the housekeepers. Some of the workers at Mount Rushmore were interviewed, and were asked, "What is it you do here?" One of the workers responded and said, "I run a jackhammer." Another worker responded to the same question, " I earn $8.00 a day." However, a third worker said, "I am helping to create a memorial." The third worker had an idea of what they were trying to accomplish. Continue HERE...
Mount Rushmore before construction, circa 1905.
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
Construction of Mount Rushmore Monument
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
Mount Rushmore, showing the full size of the mountain
and the scree of rocks from the sculpting and construction.
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
From 1927 to 1941 the 400 workers at Mount Rushmore were doing more than operating a jackhammer, they were doing more than earning $8.00 a day, they were building a Memorial that people from across the nation and around the world would come to see for generations. Source: Mount Rushmore

How was your memory?
Did you have the right names with the right faces from the beginning?

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Witching Hours

The Countdown to Halloween is almost over with getting ready for the witching hours soon to be a thing of the past. Each year on the eve of Halloween Awakenings features the writings of Micki Peluso, author of ...And the Whippoorwill Sang. Read more on Micki at the end of the article.

At your Halloween gatherings, enlighten your family and friends on how much you know about Halloween! Bet you will teach someone something new.

This is a story of the origins of Halloween from olden times up to the present.

animated halloween_animated.gif photo
Photo Credit: photobucket.com
Strange shadows dart stealthily across sparely lit streets, as dusk settles heavily on quiet neighborhoods of tree-lined sidewalks and cheerful well-kept homes. The eerie scream of a screech owl, more likely the brakes of a passing car, echoes deep into the night. Looming ominously from nearly every window is the menacing glare of smirking Jack-o-lanterns, while the often nervous refrain of "Trick or Treat" rings out in repetitious peals. Halloween is here, and with it the shivery remembrance of things that go bump in the night.

, a holiday once favored second to Christmas, is not as much fun as it used to be. The last few Halloweens have brought tampering scares, such as finding razors in apples and poisoned candy. A sick segment of society has forced many parents to hold neighborhood parties, instead of allowing their children to trick or treat. The tricks have been turned on the children, ruining an a once magical evening.

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Photo Credit: photobucket.com
Gone are the days when children, dressed up hideously, or gaudily beautiful, could enter the home of a stranger, and be offered chilled apple cider with cinnamon stick straws, and homemade gingerbread, or cupcakes with orange icing and candy corn faces. No longer can mischievous children creep up on neighborhood porches to toss corn kernels against the front door, or generously soap window panes, without triggering house alarms and angering guard dogs kept behind locked fences. The mystical lure of Halloween is becoming a commercial enterprise for the sale of candy, costumes and decorations.

Celtic Warriors - Halloween CelticWarriors_HappyHalloween.jpg photo
Photo Credit: photobucket.com
Halloween is a Christian name meaning All Hallows, or All Saint's Day, but the custom of Halloween dates back to the Celtic cult in Northern Europe. As the Roman conquest pushed north, the Latin festival of the harvest god, Pomona, mingled with the Druid god, Samhain. Eventually, the Christians adopted the Celtic rites into their own observances. Halloween signified the return of the herds from the pasture, renewal of laws and land tenures, and the practice of divination with the dead, presumed to visit their homes on this day. For both the Celts and the Anglo-Saxons, Halloween marked the eve of a new year. The Britains were convinced that divination concerning health, death and luck, was most auspicious on Halloween. The devil, himself, was evoked for such purposes.

The Druid year began on November first, and on the eve of that day, the lord of death gathered the souls of the dead who had been condemned to enter the body of animals to decide what form they should take for the upcoming year; the souls of the good entered the body of another human at death. The Druids considered cats to be sacred, believing these animals had once been human, changed into cats as punishment for evil deeds.

animated witch 029.gif photo
Photo Credit: photobucket.com
The Druid cults were outlawed by the Romans during their reign in Great Britain, but the Celtic rites have survived, in part, to the present day. By the time these ancient rites migrated to America, the mystic significance was lost, and all that has remained is an evening when children can dress in outrageous costumes, and collect candy from obliging neighbors; yet a tiny part of every child still believes in witches, ghosts, and the nameless entities that creep about on Halloween, relatives, to their young minds, of the monster that lives under every child's bed.

In the ancient days, it was believed that Halloween was the night chosen by witches and ghosts to freely roam, causing mischief and harm. Witchcraft existed before biblical times, believed in by ancient Egyptians, Romans and American Indians. The Christian Church held varying opinions on witchcraft, at one time accrediting it to be an illusion, later accepting it as a form of alliance with the devil. As late as 1768, disbelief in witchcraft was regarded as proof of atheism.

Halloween customs varied from country to country, but all were related to the Celtic rites. Immigrants to this country, particularly the Scotch and Irish, introduced some of the customs remaining today, but there were many more that are unfamiliar. On Halloween in Scotland, women sowed hemp seed into plowed land at midnight, repeating the formula: "Hemp seed I sow, who will my husband be, let him come and mow." Looking over her left shoulder, a woman might see her future mate.

Glowing Apples AppleBobbing.jpg photo
Photo Credit: photobucket.com
Apples and a six-pence were put into a tub of water, and whoever succeeded in extracting either of them with his mouth, but without using his teeth, was guaranteed a lucky year. In the highlands of Scotland in the 18th century, families would march about their fields on Halloween, walking from right to left, with lighted torches, believing this would assure good crops. In other parts of Scotland, witches were accused of stealing milk and harming cattle. Boys took peat torches and carried them across the fields, from left to right (widdershins), in an effort to scare the witches away.

The Scots strongly believed in fairies. If a man took a three-legged stool to an intersection of three roads, and sat on it at midnight, he might hear the names of the people destined to die in the coming year. However, if he tossed a garment to the fairies, they would happily revoke the death sentence.

Scotland's witches held a party on Halloween. Seemingly ordinary women, who had sold their souls to the devil, put sticks, supposedly smeared with the fat of murdered babies, into their beds. These sticks were said to change into the likenesses of the women, and fly up the chimney on broomsticks, attended by black cats, the witchs' familiars.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia
(Click thumbnail to enlarge.)
In Ireland, a meal of colcannon, consisting of mashed potatoes, onions and parsnips, was solemnly served on Halloween. Stirred into this concoction, was a ring, a thimble, a coin, and a doll. The finder of the ring would marry soon, the finder of the doll would have many children, the thimble finder would never marry, and the one fortunate enough to find the coin would be rich. Jack-o-lanterns originated from Ireland, where according to newspaper editor and writer, George William Douglas, "a stingy man named Jack was barred from Heaven because of his penuriousness, and forbidden to enter Hell because of his practical jokes on the devil, thus condemned to walk the earth with his lantern until Judgement Day."

A more serious custom was the holding of the General Assembly (Freig) at Tara, in Celtic Ireland, celebrated every three years and lasting two weeks. Human sacrifices to the gods opened the ceremonies, the victims going up in flames.

England borrowed many of the Scotch and Irish customs, adding them to their own. Young people bobbed for apples, tied a lighted candle to one end of a stick and an apple to the other. The stick was suspended and set spinning, the object of the game being to bite the apple without getting burned by the candle. This custom was a relic of the fires lighted on the eve of Samhain in the ancient days of the Celts.

The only customs bearing no relation to the ancient rites is the masquerade costumes of today, and Halloween parades. But the custom of masked children asking for treats comes from the seventeenth century, when Irish peasants begged for money to buy luxuries for the feast of St. Columba,a sixth century priest, who founded a monastery off the coast of Scotland.

Image from All Things Halloween
From the north of England comes the activity known as "mischief night", marked by shenanigans with no particular purpose, or background. Boys and young men overturned sheds, broke windows, and damaged property. Mischief night prevails today, but is mostly limited to throwing eggs, smashing pumpkins, and lathering cars with shaving cream. The custom of "trick or treat" is observed mainly by small children, going from house to house. The treat is almost always given, and the trick rarely played, except by teenagers, who view Halloween as an excuse to deviate from acceptable behavior.

Children today, knowing little or nothing of the history and myths behind Halloween, still get exited over the prospect of acting out their fantasies of becoming a witch, ghost, devil, or pirate. It is still pleasurable for an adult, remembering Halloweens past, to see the glow on a child's face as he removes his mask and assures you that he's not really a skeleton. Watching the wide-eyed stares of young children warily observing flickering candle-lit pumpkins, is an assurance that even today, thousands of years beyond the witch and ghost-ridden days of the Druids, a little of the magic of Halloween remains. Children need a little magic to become creative adults; adults need a little magic to keep the child in them alive. 

So if, on this Halloween, you notice a black cat slink past your door, trailing behind a horde of make-believe goblins, it probably belongs to a neighbor. And the dark shadow whisking across the face of a nearly full moon is only the wisp of a cloud, not a witch riding a broom... probably.

flying witch thflying_witch.gif photo

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!


Happy Halloween, my pretties!

Pre-Halloween Sugar Rush

Nothing says Halloween better than "candy". And, no candy says Halloween better than Candy Corn! For more than a century, its creamy taste is unmatched. Countless parties and Halloween trick-or-treaters will be loaded up, laden down with oodles and oodles of the deliciously sweet yellow, orange and white tiny candy morsels. It is tradition when gearing up for Halloween! Therefore, let's take a day to celebrate these mellow candies for a pre-Halloween sugar rush. Don't forget to hide a bag for Halloween night!

While snacking on the tiny, fun morsels, check out the History of Candy Corn. There you will find The Story Behind Candy Corn, Fun Facts About Candy Corn, and Creative Ways to Display Candy Corn. Ever eaten a doughnut sprinkled with crushed candy corn? Keep reading for there is more to this day than just the fact that...

October 30 is...

National Candy Corn Day

Ick or treat? 5 strange facts about candy corn

Did you know candy corn has been around for more than a century? In more than 100 years, its look, taste or design has never changed!

According to oral tradition, George Renninger, a candymaker at the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia, invented the revolutionary tri-color candy in the 1880s.  It was made to mimic a kernel of corn and became instantly popular because of its innovative design. It was one of the first candies to feature three different colors! The Goelitz Confectionery Company brought the candy to the masses at the turn of the 20th century. The company, now called Jelly Belly Candy Co., has the longest history in the industry of making candy corn -- although the method has changed, it still uses the original recipe.

Today, candy corn is a favorite American treat to enjoy during the Halloween season. The National Confectioners Association estimates that 20 million pounds of candy corn are sold annually. Grab a handful to celebrate National Candy Corn Day!

Recipe of the Day...


You may even want to make your own candy corn...


October 30 is...Buy a Doughnut Day! 

To continue the pre-Halloween sugar rush, October 30 is also Buy a Doughnut Day! Buy a dozen and take it to the office for mid-morning break! Or, even better bake or deep fry your own ring-styled or cream-filled. 

Step back in time, revisit National Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day (Not your plain donut!) and National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day (Sandwich & Dessert) for ideas and recipes. Any of these can be decorated with Halloween flair! Crush a bag of candy corn and sprinkle generously over the top of a fresh, warm doughnut!

Check with your local Krispy Kreme and/or Dunkin' Donuts in your area. There is a good chance either or both of these franchises are celebrating the holiday. A trip to their websites doesn't cost a thing to see if they are offering any "specials".

Is your mouth watering yet?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Countdown to Halloween

Why should your jack-o’-lantern
always be deprived of a body? 
When one speaks of the month of October, thoughts focus on pumpkins, autumn leaves and Halloween. First, hand-carved pumpkins lend themselves to family time as each member tries to pick the perfect pumpkin to carve and outwit the other with scary designs. Tension mounts as imagination soars with competitions arising to see who is the most creative from spooky to elegant to funny. Get your carving tools ready. Pumpkins, knives, action! Just be careful, those knives are sharp! Don't need any real blood on the scene.

Falling Leaves of Autumn
Then, the falling leaves of autumn call forth the yard rake. This brings out the child in each of us with memories reflecting upon the back and forth rhythmic motion as leaves cling to the 'fingers' of the rake before being deposited in a pile. The pile, of course, offering an open invitation to jump right smack dab in the middle!

Halloween should be a fun time big on family time. Halloween Happenings include The Witching Hours where the origins of this spooky holiday can be learned from olden times to present day. Stories of ghosts, goblins and ghouls begin to monopolize the setting as family members try to decide which of the movie makers outdid the other with scenes of blood and gore. Of course, all horror movies do not necessarily feed upon blood and some actually bring about laughter, rather than shrills and chills. Which do you enjoy - Monsters: Laughter or Shivers?

Have you seen Young Frankenstein?
GREAT B&W released in December, 1974

Most enjoyable are probably the times in the kitchen. Gearing up for Halloween means plan and prep of scary goodies with black and orange being a prominent sign of the times. Of course, other colors add slime and blood to the scene. From breakfast Halloween Pumpkin Pancakes to "hairy" green spider cookies to little monster cupcakes to ug-g-gly witch faces to whatever...

Daddy, the Monster, 1984
Last, but not by any means least, are the Halloween costumes. The decision must be made...who or what will I be this year? Do I glance back into the past for a repeat performance or go toward something entirely new and different, cool or bizarre? Zombies seem to be the craze this year but I just might meet myself along the street. Ideas can be gleaned from DIY to what's trending on the runway to ideas No One Else Will Have [hopefully no one at all] to Letting Celebrities Be Your Guide to Over-the-Top Halloween Costumes! The possibilities are limitless with a little creativity and a lot of imagination. Get to work and let your imagination soar!

Mummies are in!
With Halloween only two days away, are you ready? Do you buy or are you into homemade Halloween treats? Buying from the store may be the quickest but not necessarily the most fun. You can actually plan your own 'tricks' while enjoying time with family and friends in the kitchen! If you don't want to take the time to bake from scratch, the simplest store-bought cookies can be dressed to kill...or should I say scare!

Quick Halloween Treats: #Recipe

Of course, stocking up on candy is a must for the surprise trick-or-treaters. There are the all-time favorites along with many taste-tested newbies. One of the most common Halloween candies is candy corn, which by the way will be in the spotlight for celebration tomorrow, October 30. While you wait in anticipation to learn more about this special day, check out the latest varieties provided by Brach's. Candy corn is still a classic but oh-h-h so many more flavors: Sea Salt Chocolate, Autumn Mix, Indian Corn, Caramel Macchiato, S'Mores and Apple Pie.