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, September 30, 2016

It's cookie time...HOMEMADE!

With October being National Cookie Month, it is not surprising for the star of the first day of October to shine on cookies. Not the store-bought, pre-packaged cookies, but the kind made from scratch right in the home kitchen.

October 1 is... 

Homemade Cookies Day


Do you sometimes feel like the cookie monster? I want a plate of cookies...now! Well, today is the day to indulge in all the cookies you want, the kind you love the most. Maybe even create your own combination like... 


Grandma's Chocolate Chip, Peanut-Butter and Oatmeal Cookies Recipe 

Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe The best of two worlds!

 German Chocolate Cake Cookies Recipe
It's everything you love about the cake shrunk down to cookie form!

Create your own special cookie or share your favorite with family & friends!

Outrageous October

What makes October outrageous?

October is...time for ghosts and goblins, all things Halloween! Of course, that does not come 'til the end of the month so let's see what is being celebrated all month long. You may have thought September was loaded but wait until you check out October! There are some outrageous, Bizarre and Unique Holidays designated for this month, along with umpteen food celebrations. Here are but a few to mark on your calendar. Visit the two prior links for more.

National Apple Month

Apple Pies Baked in Apples
Just when you thought the apple celebrations were over you are about to learn September was only the beginning. With October being National Apple Month, that means the apples are a daily celebration all month long, instead of just a few special days thrown in for good measure. For a unique history lesson, visit the Legend of the Apple, which was featured on September 25 along with a plethora of 'apple links'. Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the United States (US). Thirty-six states grow apples commercially. National Apple Month is the only national, generic apple promotion in the US. Originally founded in 1904 as National Apple Week, it has been expanded to the entire month of October. Some sources designate September through November as months to celebrate the apple, all shades of red, green and yellow, even bi-color.
Not time to leave the apple without taking a peak at America's applejack season for...

National Applejack Month

October has us rethinking fall cocktails. Tiny umbrellas and slices of watermelon are no longer in the picture. Autumn brings in beverages that evoke the changing of the seasons...an apple brandy fireside eagerly awaiting that first sip to warm chilled bones. National Applejack Month honors Applejack, which is brandy distilled from apples once recognized as our nation's most popular booze, especially during Colonial times. How the apple orchards spread was featured on Johnny Appleseed Day. What was not mentioned on that day is that Johnny Appleseed sewed his apple seeds throughout colonial Ohio and Indiana primarily for the purpose of providing rural farmers with hard cider and applejack, the most popular intoxicating beverages for country folk back then! Along with the October season and abundant apple harvest is the traditional ushering in of apple cider and applejack, the latter being a concentrated and higher proof version of hard cider.
Cookies an all-time favorite? Then, have a different cookie every day for...
National Cookie Month

Colossal Cookies
This is not the first celebration at Awakenings for the cookie with many more possibly not having been mentioned. A Bit of Cookie History took us all the way back to 7th century Persia. Massachusetts boasted the Birth of a Cookie, not just any cookie, but THE ultimate cookie! Callin' All Cookie Lovers begged the attention of all who crave that ultimate cookie...in case you are unsure, that is the chocolate chip cookie. Cookies, anyone? enticed lovers of not only the cookie but a nutty one...the Pecan Cookie. Of course, one cannot go without being asked What is your favorite cookie?, especially when referring to Girl Scout cookies. Then, there was that one cookie which always takes us back to the kitchen bringing on the childhood memories of Sugar! Sugar! Coming up December 4th will be National Cookie Day, which is a great celebration all its own but October is even better since it is National Cookie MONTH!
Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! Try a different kind all month long for...

National Pizza Month

The love of pizza! It is a wonder it has not been designated as its own food group since this food has become an all-American favorite. Did you know there is even a Pizza Party Day? Pizza parties are awesome but certainly occur more times than once a year. Cheese pizza is a first choice for many who get to celebrate Pizza! Pizza!...Cheese Pizza Pizza! Here again, it is for certain this is not the only day to indulge in a pizza loaded with cheese. Would you believe Bacon Me Crazy! even featured Pizza with Crispy Kale, Butternut Squash, Bacon & Smoked Mozzarella and Apple Time! hosted BBQ Chicken Apple Flatbread Pizza? People don't really need a special month for pizza in a country where there are an estimated 63,000 pizzerias and 94% of Americans eat pizza at least once a month. The figures equal the consumption of about 45 slices of pizza per person in the U.S. each year and show that Americans definitely love their pizza as evidenced by devouring 100 acres of pizza per day, or 350 slices per second.
Go to a movie...enjoy some popcorn! Watch a ballgame...pop the corn! Stock up the pantry for...

National Popcorn Poppin' Month
National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, a time to honor one of America’s favorite treats. You seldom need an excuse to grab a handful of these simple kernels of goodness. Plain or pumped up, you’ll join your fellow Americans in consuming some 16 billion quarts this year. October is chosen because it marks the triumphant end to the labor of the spring and summer months. As farmers head into the fields to gather the crops, families and friends gather to celebrate this beloved snack food. Popcorn also is a whole grain, which makes it a good-for-you food. As a whole grain, popcorn provides carbohydrates and ­fiber to the diet and is naturally low in fat and calories. That’s good news for your waistline. It’s an ideal in-between meals snack because it satis­fies, but doesn’t spoil your appetite. Have you ever wondered Did Pilgrims Eat Popcorn?
Ah-h-h-h! Indulge in those outrageously delicious ocean delights for...
 National Seafood Month
Image Source: Catch a Piece of Maine
Seafood...delicacies of the ocean, highlights of Water! Water! Water! Where would we be without water? Void. Nill. Nada. What a shame it would be to not be able to enjoy the food from the sea! Take time this month to highlight smart seafood choices, sustainable fisheries, and the health benefits of maintaining a diet rich in seafood. Make October a 'shrimptacular' month of celebration and don't forget the Maine lobster! The United States continues to be the third-ranked country for seafood and shellfish consumption, behind China and Japan. Last year's seafood consumption per capita in the U.S. declined slightly to 15.8 pounds from 16 pounds in 2008 and 2009. So, all you seafood lovers, why not take advantage of this nationally coined month and enjoy eating seafood! This is also a great time to enjoy a Friday night fish fry with the family.
With so many food celebrations, one might think that is all being celebrated this month. Not at all! Most importantly keep in mind, October is also...

 Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go and need your help!
Source: about BREAST CANCER
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) is also referred to in America as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). It is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.
Whew! That's a lot...Enjoy October!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mulling it Over

Ever heard the expression 'mulling it over'? Well, it means to think deeply about something. In other words, when you mull something over you ponder or seriously consider it. Well, let's mull over apples! Think back to any one or all of the previous apple celebrations. For this next celebration, take a few thoughtful moments focusing on the apple not being eaten but incorporated within a beverage.

September 30 is...

National Hot Mulled Cider Day 
It's fall. Cooler temperatures are on the way if not having already arrived at your doorstep. That, of course, depends on the area of the country in which you live. Either way hot beverages are on their way in! Click the image above for the first recipe of the day.
Mulled cider is a hot or warm drink, typically made from apple juice or cider, and is most popular during autumn and winter. It is sometimes called wassail, or wassail punch. However, typically wassail would be made with ale or beer. Modern, child-friendly versions are more likely to be made with either apple or cranberry juice, or a combination of juices. Click the image above for the source of this information and a lot more celebration that is happenin' on this day in September.
Ready to drink up? Make it warm or serve it piping hot!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How Sweet the Brew

Coffee, tea, hot cocoa  - yum- yum, each carries with it an aroma and goodness that is possibly only surpassed by pure chocolate! Different tastes call for indulgence in different brews so What is your brew? Regardless of your preference, it is coffee in the spotlight for this day's celebration.

September 29 is...

Are you one of the millions who will celebrate? Start by sending a free Coffee Day eCard and then find out where you can go to get a free cup of joe. There are number of local and national businesses offering free or discounted cups of coffee to celebrate Coffee Day 2014.

Some of the National Coffee Day deals include:
  • Krispy Kreme is giving away a free cup of joe  & glazed doughnut to any customer who shows up - no purchase required - at participating locations. 
  • Dunkin’ Donuts is celebrating its 66th birthday: medium-sized cups of coffee are selling for 66 cents.
  • Starbucks, the nation's most prominent coffee chain, isn't offering any discounts but will donate a coffee tree for every cup of brewed Mexican Chiapas cup of coffee in the US and Mexico.

    Keep an eye out for other local offers!

So, where did coffee come from and how did it become so popular? According to legend, a sixth-century Ethiopian goatherder named Kaldi discovered his goats frolicking from one coffee shrub to another. He realized the coffee berries had a stimulating effect, and he began to experiment with the seeds. A century later, brewed coffee emerged in Arabia and the popularity of coffee grew at an exponential rate.

Today, over 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year. It is a world commodity that is second only to oil.

A Bit of Coffee Trivia...

Okay, all you coffee lovers, what is your knowledge of this aromatic, acidic drink that begins your day, uplifts your afternoon and often times lends itself to sleepless nights? It is so-o-o-o-o g-o-o-o-ood to some of us that we indulge on a regular basis regardless of the day or night! It's hard to believe that coffee has not always been the pleasantest of brew. Who do we thank for the elimination of the coffee grounds in every cup and when did coffee reach the shores of America?

Ways of the World (Merci Beaucoup)
Having reached its way to America in the seventeenth century, it was not until the eighteenth century, when the French introduced infusion brewing, did one enjoy a cup without the coffee grounds.
Oh, those clever French
Whose aromatic scents
Tickle the nostrils
Without any dissents 

First to boast coffee
No grinds in the cup
Found a linen bag
Steeped it just enough

Then there’s the Dutch 
With a gift to the king 
One tiny sprout 
Did millions it bring 

Oh-so desired coffee plant 
That one tiny sprout 
On to the Caribbean
Yea, there and about

Then to the Americas 
In ships on the high seas 
Highly sought-after seedlings 
 Become the drink to please

Black coffee
Cafe au Lait
Cappuccino, too 
 Alluring while steaming hot 
Even iced will do

Mmm! To the French I say 
 How sweet the brew 
For a great cup of coffee 
Merci beaucoup!

  ©2013 Awakenings

 “Ah! How sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter than muscatel wine! I must have my coffee…”
JohannSebastian Bach (1685–1750)
 Don't like to drink coffee? Why not EAT it...in a recipe, that is!


7 Enticing Coffee Recipes for National Coffee Day

 Happy National Coffee Day!

Don't forget to take a coffee break (or two) to celebrate this historical and important beverage! 

 Is your mouth watering yet?

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!


In the Groove

Even in the 21st century many music lovers find themselves Stuck in the 70s. These were some Groovy Times! Remembering the 70s brings on memories of the mads, glads and the fads. This was also the era of enjoyable bands of the Sound of Soul world. So, if you find yourself in the groove, then, the spotlight today will be at the top of your music list.

Today in Music History: September 28

Andy Kim 1970s

http://www.andykimmusic.com/about_andy.phpAndy Kim, legendary rock indie pop singer/songwriter: Andy Kim was inspired by the Beatles, Hank Williams, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and Bob Dylan. At just 16 years old, he found fame when he wrote 'How Did We Ever Get This Way?' Andy Kim is a true Canadian son winning numerous awards with the JUNO Award (the country's top industry honor) for outstanding achievements in the record industry being at the top of his list not once, but twice.
1974 Canadian singer Andy Kim went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Rock Me Gently', it made No.2 in the UK. Kim was the co-writer of The Archies 'Sugar Sugar'.
Here again It is awesome when a successful artist of eras past is still performing in the 21st century.
In early 2010 at the supportive urging of friends and fans including American rock/pop legends and today's hottest indie artists, Andy Kim will release 'HAPPEN AGAIN'. This is an album of 10 brand new songs, each true to his passionate belief that "those who chase their dreams succeed only through sheer determination and a steadfast belief in the power of the individual to influence a multitude by speaking from the heart." Throughout his career, Andy has always maintained an unwavering and unconditional love for his music, believing that "art is more important than the artist." His new music possesses the timeless, transcendent and transforming qualities of his songs before, while giving us a very personal look into the artist's take on love and change. Songs such as "3 Days in Heaven," "Someday", "Without You," and "Happen Again" express the faith in love, life and the importance of personal strength to enduring change. (Source: About Andy Kim)

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ready to drink a beer?

There are quotes about beer, jokes about beer, stories about beer, lovers of beer and haters of beer. Nonetheless, football games, barbeques and beer, whether you like them all or in part, became icons of American culture, along with baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.

Meeker, Colorado Saloon, 1899.
In the days of the wild, wild West. . .

Longhorn saloons' piano tunes
Invited one to mosey up to the bar
Whiskey and sarsaparilla called
As stagecoaches arrived from afar

But for those parched and dusty
The volumes of beer did boast

Knock it back in a hurry, boys
No time for even a toast

September 28 is...
Drink Beer Day

Visit Dr. House Cleaning
Raise a pint and toast to one of the oldest and most popular beverages in human history. There are hundreds of different varieties of beer, but they all fall into one of two categories—ale or lager. Historians believe that humans have been producing beer, or some form it, since the Neolithic Era. The oldest continuously operating brewery in the world is in the Bavaria region of Germany. The Weihenstephan brewery began producing beer in the year 1040. 

Today, the company exports fourteen different brews all over the world.


A Bit of Trivia: 

. . .The art of brewing is as old as civilization. Read MORE. . .

. . .Ale is "one of the oldest beverages humans have produced, dating back to at least the 5th millennium BC and recorded in the written history of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia."
Read MORE. . .

. . .As a rule of thumb, the colder the state, the more beer consumption. Many Americans may now be unwinding by uncorking a bottle of wine, but by and large the U.S. is still a beer-drinking nation. Read MORE. . .

On the lighter side...

 Squirrel guards the bud light...

Is beer popular? Ask the owner of this gasoline, OOPS! beer pump!
Location: Somewhere along the highway

Related Articles:

Forget the Housework & Have a Beer!

Word of the Day...Beer

Too Wild for Kansas

Today's History Lesson...ol' West legend

Wild Bill Hickok, Legends of America
The days of the Wild West boasted of drunken brawls and gunfights. Local citizens were tired of the destructiveness brought on by the hard-drinking buffalo hunters and thirsty soldiers who literally 'tore the town apart' every night. Enough was enough and the townsfolk looked to Wild Bill Hickok as the ideal man for sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas. Was he up to the challenge? No question there. Whether the citizens could remain impressed with his methods is a totally different question.

Wild Bill Hickok lived up to his name 'Wild' yet at the same time expressed a humble nature.

... Wild Bill had his faults, grievous ones, perhaps ... He would get drunk, gamble, and indulge in the general licentiousness characteristic of the border in the early days, yet even when full of the vile libel of the name of whiskey which was dealt over the bars at exorbitant prices, he was gentle as a child, unless aroused to anger by intended insults. ... He was loyal in his friendship, generous to a fault, and invariably espoused the cause of the weaker against the stronger one in a quarrel.

Captain Jack Crawford, who scouted with Wild Bill before they both followed the gold rush to Deadwood. (Source: Old West Legends)
Wild Bill, Texas Jack Omohundro,
and Buffalo Bill Cody in 1873
 "Wild Bill was a strange character, add to this figure a costume blending the immaculate neatness of the dandy with the extravagant taste and style of a frontiersman, you have Wild Bill, the most famous scout on the Plains."  - General George Custer, writing about Wild Bill Hickok.
This Day in (Old West) History: September 27, 1869
Just after midnight on this day in 1869, Ellis County (Interim) Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok and his deputy respond to a report that a local ruffian named Samuel Strawhun and several drunken buddies were tearing up John Bitter's Beer Saloon in Hays City, Kansas. When Hickok arrived and ordered the men to stop, Strawhun turned to attack him, and Hickok shot him in the head. Strawhun died instantly, as did the riot. Read the rest of the story...
Wild Bill Hickok proved himself capable of 'cleaning up the town' but not by methods pleasing to the citizens of Hays City. Was he too 'wild' for Kansas? He lost the regular election the following November for sheriff to his deputy, which meant his first attempt at being sheriff lasted only three months. However, that was NOT his last!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Got 'Chocolate' Milk?

 for MORE celebration!

Do you love chocolate? All things, anything chocolate? It would not come as a surprise to find most people answer "yes!" to both questions. Chocolate, after all, is a feel-good food, a pick-me-up, a taste pleaser! For this celebration, instead of eating the chocolate, you get to drink it!

September 27 is... 

National Chocolate Milk Day 

Until the 1820s, drinking chocolate was fairly uncommon and no one knew how to produce a smooth chocolate taste in liquid form. In 1828 the Van Houten company in Amsterdam invented the cocoa pressing method. This produced a light, fluffy chocolate powder that could be easily dissolved in water or milk. Today, chocolate milk is a popular beverage for people of all ages. [Source: punchbowl]

Life in the Past Lane

 for foodie fun!
Embrace the past, empower the present, enrich the future. You are not an isolated individual but a thread binding together with countless other threads to create a rich and colorful tapestry of life. From the far reaches of America’s past, we can all, in some way or another, connect to someone who set foot upon America’s soil looking for a land of promise. It is through laughter and tears that the yesterdays of centuries past paved the way for today’s future. (Source: Awakenings from Then 'til Now)
September 27 is...
Ancestor Appreciation Day

What is your life in the past lane? Somewhere among the many family scrapbooks and photo albums are tainted photographs depicting times much different from the 21st century.
The lives and times of our ancestors are often obscure when it comes to understanding from whence we came. The impact they have on us today is embedded in long forgotten traditions and links between generations. Habits, traditions and values alive today just did not occur overnight. They evolved through the course of time being passed forward from one generation to the next.
Can you fill in the missing blanks of your ancestry?

Each person should complete the picture of relatives and their history,
which will promote a greater appreciation for life,
thereby forming a better understanding
of the individual journey a family has endured.

With the celebration of Ancestry Appreciation Day, there is a chance to take time out of your busy schedule to gather new insight into those who came before youthe chance to reflect on your ancestors, learn more about them and the ways in which they influenced each life before that knowledge fades away. In other words, >your ancestral history slips away with each passing generation if you do not take the time to listen and learn from those that came before you.

What is your bloodline?

Did someone in your ancestry sail across the ocean on the Mayflower or move overland during times of Western expansion? Anyone in your ancestry a gunslinger? Perhaps the other end of the spectrum, an Indian chief? Are you a relative of Jesse James? Do letters or diaries of the Civil War bear family connections with stories of pain and suffering? Did a family member serve his/her country in WWI or WWII? Gulf War? Vietnam? Is there record somewhere of a relative traveling as a passenger on the Titanic? Are you of French, Italian, Irish descent? The questions are endless but the results are the same: They define you.

How much do you know of your ancestry? Spend this day with relatives, especially the aged. Ask a LOT of questions, listen to their stories and learn about previous generations whose roles in life made you what you are today. Learning about your past can be used to preserve such history in written, recorded or video form. Don't delay for once the memories fade the knowledge is gone...forever.

Just one of many online sources to start your family research!