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, April 30, 2016

May Day

Today's History Lesson

As history is the study of the past, it comes in many contexts. Some events appear more complex than others but all have a connection with someone or something. They all embrace human emotions and are ever evolving.

May 1 is officially...

May Day

May Day has been celebrated for many centuries, and its origins date back to pre-Christian times. Today, May Day is celebrated throughout Europe and North America and is often recognized as a public holiday.

Traditional May Day activities include dancing around the maypole and the selection of the Queen of May/May Queen. A crowning will also take place of the Queen of May.

Morris dancing is another May Day tradition, and offers the perfect excuse to dress up in full Morris dancing gear. A sturdy stick will also be required, as Morris dancers striking each other’s sticks is just one aspect of this eccentric British tradition.

Though not so popular these days is the May Day basket tradition of leaving a gift basket on someone’s doorstep or hanging on the doorknob. This tradition has waned through the years but seems like a wonderful opportunity to surprise someone and make their day with a gift.
We would hang the baskets on the doorknobs of neighborsespecially old people—ring the door bell, then run away with great hilarity and peek out as the elderly person found the little bouquets on their door."
Source: A Rolling Crone
Embrace the Past...

There is a lot of history behind May Day. At the heart of Awakenings are historical accounts that embrace the past, empower the present and enrich the future. In 2013, Awakenings featured an article by author Micki Peluso. 

Click the image below and learn the origin of the month of May, events surrounding celebrations of May Day, ritualistic and symbolic fetes of olden days, when May Day celebrations flourished and the magical rites of May Day.

  by Micki Peluso

  Even sing along with The Merry, Merry Month of May!

  Or enjoy the poem written in 1609...


The Merry Month of May (poem)


Maybe even another song...



Happy May Day!


Welcome to the fifth month of the year! The month of May is all about music, mirth and merriment. Maybe its all the flowers with aromatic fragrances filling the air, the sights and sounds of all the birds and critters of the morning, or perhaps just the fact that summer is right around the corner.

 ...a month that hosts a variety of well-known holidays - Mother's Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day weekend and Kentucky Derby Day, just to name a few. Before jumping into a day's celebration, let's take a look at a few monthly celebrations for the merry month of May.

 Summertime and the Grillin' is Easy!
Time to barbecue! Americans agree summertime and grillin' time go together like ocean waves and beach sand! But, who has to wait until summer? Outdoor cooking makes meal gatherings a lot more FUN with family time as an added bonus. You get to relax in your own backyard with no waiters/waitresses to tip unless you want to put your own kids to work. Let them do the work for tips! 
 Have it your way! 
The grill is already fired up for the barbeque so throw on some hamburger patties. Let them sizzle 'til the grill marks indicate nice and done but still juicy. Don't hold the mustard or the lettuce, add the onion and the ketchup. Whatever you do, don't forget the pickle! Add a layer of cheese, if you please!
 Burn those calories!
With all the grillin' going on, counting calories is out of the question! Of course, grillin' is actually healthier so you may be cutting calories without even trying. In any event, gear up the bike for some great exercise and burn, burn, burn! You might even want to go for that second burger. Nah!
Capture nature's beauty!
Grillin' means outdoors! Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest! Enjoy the catnipoflife preserving some of the most beautiful scenes in the world through photography.

Celebrate the salad!
What better 'green' to add to your plate along with that juicy ribeye steak than The Salad! Not just any salad but one that shouts flavor. Try different textures and colors for the greens. Add nuts, berries, cheeses, and herbs to help turn ‘rabbit food’ into a meal accompaniment everyone will enjoy.
The grilled steak won't be complete without that baked potato! You realize you can wrap the potato in foil and throw it right on the grill. Of course, with this celebration being the LOADED baked potato, you just may have to settle for a small steak. The really great thing about the loaded baked potato is you get to "load it up" with whatever toppings you like. No guidelines, no restrictions!
Time for some zzzzzzzs!

With all the food celebrations, it is important to pay close attention to the hours planned for the grillin' and the exercise that follows. We tend to forget the importance of sleep in maintaining wellness. Grill outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, remember your mom (Mother's Day is coming up), and resolve to get a better night’s sleep. You deserve it!

Need MORE to celebrate, click HERE for all of May's designated celebrations! They do NOT end with only those already mentioned :-) That is only the beginning. As with any month or even day, some crazy, weird  things have been set aside for celebration. May is definitely no exception. At least this way you have a choice, not only in choosing whether to celebrate or not but also in deciding just how crazy weird you really want to be.

May Tidbits of Trivia...
In early days, young girls would rush out into the garden on the first of the month to begin May Day celebrations by washing their faces with the May dew. This was supposed to guarantee them a beautiful complexion all year round. May was also considered an unlucky month for getting married - "Marry in May and you'll rue the day."

Some sources report May is shortened for the word majores. Ever heard of that word? It is the Latin word for older men. Perhaps that means May was held to be sacred to older men. Something to think about!
April showers bring May flowers!

Gag, gag, gag!

My, my, my! I cannot believe I let this one get by me yesterday. Perhaps it is because a specific date is not associated with its celebration but rather recognition being on the last Friday in April. Anyway, it is important since it pertains to our feline friends whom we love and adore as we make sure each is well taken care of. Even though a day of celebration is set aside, it's importance is awareness that definitely warrants merit and should be prevalent each and every day of the year!It is something that comes very naturally to cats and if they had the capability would definitely find the remedy!

The answer has to be here somewhere!

Question for You: Have you ever gotten up in the middle of the night to a wet mushy feeling as something oozy squishes between your toes? If yes, then you have already been initiated, so...

The Last Friday in April is always...

National Hairball Awareness Day


The very nature of cats is to keep themselves and baby kittens groomed. In the process of preening, the collected hair must so somewhere. Gulp! Down the hatch! At some point in time, what went down must come back up. Hair accumulates in the cat's throat or stomach until it causes enough irritation to trigger a retching hacking sound...thus, here comes the hairball!

Cats clean their paws...

 Also getting between the toes

 When it comes to kitties, they even clean the nose

Then, gag, gag, gag - with all their might

What comes up - not a pretty sight!
Did you expect a picture of cat vomit complete with hairball? You can always Google it (haha). To minimize the amount of hair being swallowed, personal grooming invites human intervention...thus, the brushing!

Will you please brush the other direction?
Not all cats take to the brush very well. My experience with many cats is they either like it - love it! - or simply hate it. No in between. However, you want to make it a positive experience since it is a very important part of a cat's daily routine. Newborn kittens are groomed within inches of their lives by enthusiastic mother cats, and personal hygiene becomes ingrained ranking above everything except food. Look at it this way, every time a cat is brushed, the collected hair NEVER becomes a hairball!

With all these thoughts in mind, National Hairball Awareness Day is indeed a good thing! It is a time to consider the grooming challenges of our purr-fectly aristocratic pets. Being beautiful and regal comes naturally to felines, but lots of personal grooming is required to maintain that exquisite superior look.

A cat's own ferocious grooming causes ingestion of fur, and sooner or later, in a most unbecoming way, the haughty, dignified feline will hack up a hairball. National Hairball Awareness Day is an invitation to be aware and to practice preventative measures to help kitty through this nasty process. Practice regular grooming with a pet brush to reduce the amount of ingested fur, and offer a vet-recommended diet for hairball prevention. Be aware that occasional hairballs are to be expected, but frequent hairballs could indicate a problem.

Will I ever get through all this fur? Help, please.
YES! Bring on the soft, bristled brush and the grooming mitt...purr-r-r-r-r!


Heard it Through the Grapevine

Here we are at the end of another month with one third of the year already gone. Before you know it, Christmas will be in the air. In fact, today's foodie fun is quite well known around the holiday season...cakes, pies, cookies, snacks, etc. But, you do not have to wait until the holidays to enjoy this foodie. Either one of them for on this day, there are TWO!

April 30 is...

National Raisin Day

It takes more than 4 tons of grapes to produce 1 ton of raisins.
Raisins existed as far back as ancient times. History indicates that raisins were discovered for the first time by accident when they were found in the dried form on vines as early as 2000 BC in Persia and Eqypt. Then, in 1873, a freak California hot spell caused the usual plump grapes to wither on the vine. One account reported an enterprising grocer in the San Francisco area advertised the shriveled grapes a "Peruvian Delicacies". For sure, California is grape country. In 2015, California's grape acreage totaled 918,000 with the majority of the acreage bearing fruit. Acreage of raisin-type grapes totaled 186,000 acres, of which 184,000 were bearing and 2,000 were non-bearing. Selma, California in Fresno County is the Raisin Capital of the World. Check it out...In This Town, the Raisin Is 'Who We Are'.
April 30 is also...

National Oatmeal Cookie DAY
 Some sites report this celebration on March 19. If you celebrated on that day, guess what? You get to celebrate again! Bake 'em & eat 'em!

Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

We could not have oatmeal without the oats! Of course, you know that. Oats were one of the earliest cereals cultivated by man. They were known in ancient China as long ago as 7,000 B.C. The ancient Greeks were the first people known to have made a recognizable porridge (cereal) from oats. Not a cereal eater but a cookie lover? Oatmeal cookies are the #1 non-cereal usage for oatmeal, followed by meatloaf and fruit crisp. Bet if you open your pantry, a box of oatmeal is front and center. Seventy-five percent of U.S. households have oatmeal on hand.
So, why not celebrate both National Raisin Day and Oatmeal Cookie Day by baking up a batch of your favorite oatmeal cookies! While raisins and nuts are usually optional ingredients, on this day, you can leave out the nuts but don't forget to add the raisins! 

 Click the image for the recipe!

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Bad To The Bone!

Today's History Lesson - 2
History is not limited to just one event on any given day. So, let's turn the page forward from April 29, 1913 and step back in time from today to the year 2004. This day marks the end of an American classic...automobile, that is.
This Day in History: April 29, 2004

From 1897...
Oldsmobile was first manufactured by the Olds Motor Works in Lansing, Michigan, a company founded by Ransom E. Olds in 1897. In 1901, the company produced 425 cars, making it the first high-volume gasoline-powered automobile manufacturer. In 1908, Oldsmobile was the second brand, after Buick, to become part of the newly established General Motors (GM). 
'Til the last rolled off the assembly line in 2004

The last dark cherry Alero left the line with
 Lansing Car Assembly’s two most senior employees behind the wheel.
Thousands of people signed their names underneath the hood.
On April 29, 2004, the final Oldsmobile drove off the line at General Motors’ Lansing Car Assembly plant. It was an Alero sedan. That Alero represented the send-off to a nameplate founded in the city more than a century ago by the son of a machinist. It was just not unique enough to pique the interest of young people. When the final Oldsmobile rolled off the assembly line more than 35 million Oldsmobiles had been built during the brand's lifetime.
Not a terribly bad car nor an especially good one, the Alero’s white-bread mediocrity is typical of the small to midsize cars that Detroit has churned out for years,” it wrote. “The Alero is, in fact, a virtual twin of the Pontiac Grand Am. Both are transportation devices, cars for people who don’t like cars very much.”
This marked the end of the road for the Oldsmobile...an automobile well remembered from the 70s and 80s. During those decades, the Oldsmobile Cutlass was America's best-selling auto. 

Olds 442 Cutlass

Bad To The Bone!

Just zip it!

Today's History Lesson

It's never too late in the day to learn something new, especially when that something is a necessary 'connection'. The most popular is probably found on a pair of blue jeans. That is, unless you prefer the skinny, latex pull-on styles that hug your hips and legs like a glove. You know, the 'candle' pants...those that you feel like you were melted and poured in. For today, however, we'll stick with those that necessitate the zipper. 

Begin with an image - fashion without the zipper...

 Ladies' undergarments either laced or hooked as well.
A woman's attire in the 19th century was composed of 6 layers.

 Even men's trousers - NO zipper!

Proceed to your closet - How many articles of clothing do you have that have a zipper? Think about each of those items NOT having the zipper but all of those openings that need to be closed having snaps or hooks & eyes instead. Consider it is Monday morning and time to get ready for work. Need an extra hour? Two? Definitely need more than two hands, especially the ladies!

This Day in History: April 29, 1913 (17?)

Embrace the Past...

Thank you, who perfected that miraculous device, the zipper! Of course, it did not come about without trial and error. Just think back to the number of times you have experienced a broken zipper and multiply that many times over until the zip in the zipper was perfected.
Clasp Locker or
Unlocker for Shoes
This Day Trivia marks April 29, 1913 as the day of the all-purpose zipper

Illustration: Whitcomb Judson's clasp locker

The term "zipper" was coined as an onomatopoeia by B.F. Goodrich, whose company started marketing galoshes featuring the fastener in 1923. Regrettably, Whitcomb Judson died in 1909, and never heard the term, or saw the success, by which his invention would become ubiquitous.
Source: Inventor of the Week Archive
Next time you put on a pair of jeans, slacks, shorts or cutesy top, 'just zip it!' with a smile! Usually it takes only seconds and you are on your way.

Can you imagine this with hooks & eyes?

Shrimp, Shrimp, Scampi, Scampi

Are you wondering what to have for dinner tonight? Think no more. If you are a seafood lover, then today's celebration is exactly what to put on the menu. If it is too late or the necessary ingredients are not on hand, time to go out for dinner!

April 29 is...

National Shrimp Scampi Day

This quick scampi is perfect over pasta or by itself with fresh-squeezed lemon. It serves 2 as a main course and 4 as an appetizer; and it's easy to double for a crowd. Recipe
Shrimp Scampi with Linguine Recipe

Bet you can smell this one! Recipe

If it is too late to celebrate this day's foodie, have it tomorrow! 
It will still be delicious! Any day is the right day for good food!

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!