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, August 1, 2014

Ready for a COLD sandwich?

There are many clever ways to serve ice cream! There are also the basics: cup of scoops, in cones, loaded with goodies as a sundae, in floats, over fruit, even as a sandwich. It is the latter that is the ice cream choice of this day.

August 2 is...

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

What better way to celebrate the height of summer than with Ice Cream Sandwich Day? Get out of the sun and enjoy a cool, creamy treat in the form of rich ice-cream layered between sweet biscuit bases. Delicious!

August 2 is celebrated each year as National Ice Cream Sandwich Day! On the beach or in an ice cream shop, these sweet sandwiches are always tastee-licious. Ice cream sandwiches come in many varieties. In their traditional form, vanilla ice cream is tucked between two thin layers that resemble chocolate cake. Other versions include chipwiches—ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies. 


Top 5: Aussie Ice Cream Favorites

Variations of this delight can also be found in different countries. In Australia, the most popular sandwiches are called “Giant Sandwiches," while "Maxibons" are half-dipped in chocolate. However, the most exotic ice cream sandwiches might be found in Singapore. Here, red bean, yam, and honeydew are all popular flavors.To celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, visit your nearest grocery store or ice cream truck and get a big ice cream sandwich. Whichever you decide, just ENJOY to the fullest!

Want to try a different kind of ice cream sandwich?



5 Yummy Recipes for National Ice Cream Sandwich Day


yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

Colorado: Land That Captivates the Imagination

This Day in History: August 1, 1876

"Passing through your wonderful mountains and canyons I realize that this state is going to be more and more the playground for the whole republic... You will see this the real Switzerland of America."
~Theodore Roosevelt

"Longs Peak Alpenglow" taken from the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain in the foothills of Boulder County, Colorado -
photo © Jesse Varner on Flickr - noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike.

Colorado acquired the official nickname 'The Centennial State' because it entered the union in 1876, 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It is also known as The Mountain State, which is no longer used but appears on license plates. Its magnificent scenery of mountains, rivers and plains produced Colorful Colorado and an old nickname The Buffalo Plains State referred to the large herds of bison that once roamed the Colorado plains.
On February 28, 1861, outgoing U.S. President James Buchanan signed an Act of Congress organizing the free Territory of ColoradoThe State of Colorado was so named because of its Spanish origin, meaning "colored red." The name was applied to the Colorado river (because of the ruddy sandstone soil of the region) and came into use for the entire territory after the discovery of gold in the Pike's Peak region. On August 1, 1876 (28 days after the Centennial of the United States), U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state and earning it the moniker "Centennial State".
Colorado is part of the Western United States,
the Southwestern United States, and the Mountain States.

 Colorado State Flag

The migratory lark bunting was designated the state bird of Colorado in 1931. The male lark bunting performs a spectacular courtship flight while warbling and trilling a distinctive mating song. A breeding male is jet black with white wings but in winter changes to a gray brown color more like the smaller female bird (the lark bunting is the only sparrow that changes in winter to a drab plumage).
 The Lark Bunting
Whose call is a two-note whistle

photo M. Noonan
The magnificent Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep was designated official state animal of Colorado in 1961. Named for their massive, curling horns (which can grow to 50 inches in length) and known for their agility and perfect balance, Rocky Mountain bighorns (Ovis canadensis) are found only in the Rockies (usually above the timberline) in extremely rugged terrain. Read MORE...

Of the various turtles of Colorado, the Western Painted Turtle was designated the official state reptile of Colorado in 2008 thanks to the efforts of Jay Baichi's 4th grade class.
The Rocky Mountain Columbine was designated the official state flower of Colorado in 1899 after winning the vote of Colorado's school children. Discovered in 1820 on Pike's Peak by mountain climber Edwin James, the Rocky Mountain columbine is a lovely flower with a rich aroma to attract bees, hummingbirds and butterflies to it's nectar.
 Colorado State Recreational Sports: Snowboarding and Skiing
Colorado provides outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation and with its fine, light snow attracts millions of skiers every year. Snowboarding and skiing were designated as Colorado's official recreational sports in 2008.
    For all State Symbols of Colorado click HERE!

 Colorado State Song: "Where the Columbines Grow"

Colorado State Song #2: Rocky Mountain High

   Land That Captivates the Imagination


Rocky Mountains both north and south
Lift their snowy heads into the heavens
Scenery - grandest that can be conceived


Nourishing grassy eastern plain
Affords grazing to millions of cattle
Richness - more than anyone perceived


High tableland to the west
Offers copious timber on mountain slopes
Majestic - panoramic in its view


Shiny green berry bushes
Drip heavy crimson globes 
Aromatic - fresh as the morning dew


Scenic, historic byways
Crisscross revealing natural beauty
Mesmeric - unmatched fascination


Purple mountains, blue skies, peaceful lakes
Extol essence of the American West 
Colorado - Land that captivates the imagination

 Colorado Facts and Trivia

Next state by month: #24 Missouri, August 10, 1821

August is...

...the height of summer heat! It is the last month of summer vacation and the beginning of a new school year. Time to make plans that include family fun outings, enjoying the sunshine when the days aren't too sizzling! Of course, you can always look for a place to picnic with a water park or lake nearby.

Ready for celebration? This month is...

Increase your happiness this August, and beyond. Put on your best smile, then, give a hug-receive a hug each day. You'll be happy and make someone else happy at the same time.

As summer vacation is drawing to a close & families are gearing up for another school year, this month is actually a perfect time to incorporate learning into your family activities. The main reason being so many activities and fun can take place in the good ol' outdoors amid the wonders of nature.

Congress declared August National Catfish Month in the late 80s to recognize the contributions that the United States catfish industry made to the economy. Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi produce the majority of the nations catfish.
August has been designated as National Eye Exam Month. As the sayings go Eyes Are The Windows to your Soul, they are also the windows to your health.


August is like a holiday to some; perhaps some golf enthusiasts even look forward to it more than granny’s home-made Thanksgiving stuffing. In celebration of this sacred month of golf.

Ah-h-h-h! The peach a classic sign of summer, and August is even National Peach Month! Click the image above for a round-up of facts about one of the world's favorite and oldest cultivated fruits.

August is Romance Awareness Month! Who would have guessed? Take the time out of your busy life to let your loved ones know just how valuable they are to you. Be appreciative of efforts that your spouse or significant other puts into your relationship and try your best to not take your loved ones for granted.

Water is an essential part of life, but poor quality drinking water can be the source of many health-related issues, such as tuberculosis, salmonella and diarrhea. Fortunately, there are ways we can know the quality of our water.

Who doesn't love a picnic?! Picnics are an invitation to get out of the house! Grab a cooler, fill with ice and your favorite drinks. Pack a picnic basket with cheeses, fruits, and don't forget the fried chicken!

Well, that's it, folks! Lots of celebration, lots of choices! Just remember to get outdoors. Follow the motto of catnipoflife (Awakenings sister site): 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!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

When Music Speaks...

Today in Music History: July 31

When music speaks, we listen. In listening, we relate. While relating, we smile, we cry and sometimes simply sigh. The relationship each of us has with music depends upon both the melody, the words and the stories behind the music.

A Bit of Elvis Trivia to kick off this day...

  Elvis Presley 'Tonsil' Photo
Fort Homer Hesterly Armory
Tampa, Florida July 31, 1955
1955 Elvis Presley performed three shows at Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa, Florida, (2 matinee and 1 evening). A full scale riot broke out after the show when Elvis announced to the 14,000 strong crowd, "Girls, I'll see you backstage." Fans chased Elvis into the dressing room tearing off his clothes and shoes. Other acts who appeared here include Tom Jones, The Animals, James Brown, Buddy Holly, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash and the Doors. The iconic cropped version of the 'tonsil' photo would be used as not only the cover of the first Elvis Presley LP from RCA but it was used extensively in newspaper and print to promote future shows. It also became a famous show promotional print.

1959 Cliff Richard was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Living Doll', The singers first of 14 UK No.1's. The song was from the soundtrack to the film Serious Charge, which was Cliff Richard's movie debut. It was written by Lionel Bart who also wrote the West End and Broadway musical Oliver. It was originally intended for the singer Duffy Power before it was included in Serious Charge. Richard has never achieved the same impact in the United States despite eight US Top 40 singles, including the million-selling "Devil Woman" and "We Don't Talk Anymore"

1968 Tommy James and The Shondells were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Mony Mony'. When they were recording this, it was considered a throwaway B-side. They had no idea it would become a huge hit. It reached No.3 in the US. Also a hit for Billy Idol in 1987. For anyone lovin' the 60s music, Tommy James and The Shondells more than likely have their own special disk space housing hits such as "Hanky Panky" (1966) and "Crimson and Clover" (1969), including five in the top ten: "I Think We're Alone Now", "Mirage", "Mony Mony", "Sweet Cherry Wine", and "Crystal Blue Persuasion".
A Bit of 'Mony Mony' Trivia...
"There was no drummer, so the recording engineer went out there, but he could only get through 2 bars. So before there were loops or anything else, we copied the 2 bars of drums 44 times and spliced them together, and that's the track of 'Mony Mony.' It was like an early loop before there was looping. If you listen carefully, you can hear just 2 bars of the drum track." He added: "When it came time to make it sound like it was a big party, it was lunch time. We went up to Broadway and talked all these strangers into coming down to the studio and going 'Mony, Mony!' There were all these serious guys out there having lunch, and we said, 'You want to sing on a Tommy James record?'" Source: songfacts.com

1971 James Taylor went to No.1 on the US singles chart with the Carole King song 'You've Got A Friend', (included in her album Tapestry and James Taylor's album Mud Slide Slim). Originally written and recorded by Carole King in 1971, this song became the biggest, and most well-known hit for then 23-year-old James Taylor, and his only No.1 in the US. It was the first single off of his third album, which was actually the second album he released on Warner Brothers Records. The song would go on to win the 1971 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Male Performance and Song Of The Year.
A Bit of 'You've Got A Friend' Trivia...
When Taylor recorded his own special version of King's song, both versions were released around the same time in 1971, so there was major competition at radio stations. It was a tossup between whether they should play the original piano version by Carole King, or the softer guitar version by James Taylor. When Carole heard James' version of the song, she finally put an end to the rumors about her being upset with the lyric changes by telling him, "James, I have no problem at all with your version of my song. Those lyric changes don't bother me one bit." Source: songfacts.com

1982 Survivor's 'Eye Of The Tiger' was at No.1 on the US album chart. The song, which was commissioned by actor Sylvester Stallone for the theme for the movie Rocky III, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song and go on to sell over five million copies. [See Awakenings Eye of the Tiger, Spotlight on Survivor.]

1985 The Eurythmics had the No.1 position on the UK singles chart with 'There Must Be An Angel, (Playing With My Heart)'. The song, which was the Eurythmics' first No.1 single, features a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder. The Eurythmics are associated with the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US. Another hit, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" is arguably Eurythmics' signature song. Its striking music video helped to propel the song to No.2 on the UK singles chart and No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

1991 Bryan Adams was enjoying his third week at No.1 on the UK singles chart with '(Everything I Do) I Do It For You'. The single stayed a No.1 for a record-breaking sixteen weeks (the longest in British chart history), seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, and nine weeks atop the Canadian Singles Chart in Adams's native Canada. This is one of the most successful singles of all time.

1999 Christina Aguilera scored her first US No.1 single with 'Genie In A Bottle', also No.1 in the UK. The song spent 5 weeks at No.1 on the US chart and won Aguilera the Best New Artist Grammy for the year.
A Bit of Genie Trivia...
The genie in a bottle legend has it that if you find a mysterious bottle and rub it, a genie will appear to grant you 3 wishes. This song uses the tale as a sexually-charged metaphor, implying that the girl will respond to the proper touch. This song caused some controversy when it was released, as the 18-year-old Aguilera was quite young to be singing such a racy song, particularly as her music was marketed to young girls. Aguilera explains in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, "It is a bit suggestive, but in a positive way. It's all about a girl who's a little sassy and likes to play hard to get, but equally wants sincerity in a relationship." The lyric, "My body's saying let's go, but my heart is saying no" emphasizes her point. Source: songfacts.com
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

Treat a mutt!

Are you a dog lover, dog owner, both? Are you intense on yours being a dog of special 'breed' or do you understand the love of a mutt? The dog mutt is synonymous with the runt of a litter. It is special. 

July 31 is...

National Mutt's Day

It's Mutt's Day. Mutts deserve their day in the spotlight, as much as a pure breed. If you own a mutt, or you are a mutt (reading this), then you know this day is for you.

National Mutt Day Celebration
By definition a mutt, sometimes called a "Half-breed", is a dog that is of mixed breed. They come from two to several breeds. Purebred owners, and sometimes the public in general, view them as lesser in many ways. Mutt owners know better. They value the diversity and uniqueness of their mutts. Sure, a mutt doesn't carry the expensive price tag that a purebred with papers has on its head.

To the mutt owner, however, the mutt is invaluable. In addition, mutts don't walk around needing to prove anything. You won't see them strutting around any dog shows trying to prove they are the best.They ARE already the BEST!

To all mutts and and mutt owners, we hope you thoroughly enjoy Mutt's Day. Since it is late in the day, spend the evening relaxing and doing all the things you and your dog like to do. Do so with both of your chins held high. For your mutt is worth a million bucks!