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, July 28, 2012

Remember the Clothes Line???

The Clothes Line - the best gossiper in the neighborhood!

Do you remember the clothes line?
Oh, what tales it would tell, if it could only speak. Even in its voiceless state it boldly flaunted the kind of underwear a person wore, sizes whether small, medium or large, color combinations that sometimes looked like fruit basket turnover, and of course, how many times the wash rags and dry cloths had been used (this was evidenced by the number of holes and dinginess in color).

What did it tell of the days when the line sagged from being overloaded? Well, before the age of the automobile, long before the jet plane, in order to visit friends and family people had to travel across rocky, dusty terrain either on foot, by horseback, buggy, stage coach or covered wagon. When they reached their destination, the stay normally was not just a few hours or merely one day, but stretched on for days, even weeks. Back then, when someone had company, the clothesline would proudly announce, "Company's here!" Swaying in the breeze one would find extra linens - sheets and pillow cases, cleaning rags, double (maybe triple) daily clothing - more of anything than what was exposed on a regular wash day. This was a time when outside claimed the visitation more than inside. Front porch chatter permeated the air as conversations centered about homes and families with tales of both happy and sad times since the last visit. Children romped and played in the yard until the dinner bell rang or someone shouted, "Come and get it!"

What signs of growth did the clothes line bear? A new member of the family has arrived! Cloth diapers and simple little shirts, all having been washed by hand, dangled one by one, row by row sometimes more than once a day. As for other children, ages of each child could be deciphered from the size and style of each article pinned carefully to the line. From infant to toddler to young child, the cycle of life could be traced as one item no longer found its place along the line and was replaced by another of larger size.

What about Papa and Mama? No modesty allowed here whatsoever! "Daddy needs a new pair of long johns," the clothes line would shout! Shades of grey or bleached white would boldly stretch outward as rays of sunlight filtered through the thin spots reflecting signs of wear. Then, of course, there were the flaps, not securely fastened, but openly catching the wind and flopping about in rhythmic motion with the breeze.

As for Mama, the clothes line had no mercy. No, sir! Panties, bras, petticoats, you name it, all swayed unblushingly as the heat of the noonday sun belted down upon the fabric until every last drop of moisture was sucked up into the clouds. Want to know how much time Mama stayed in the kitchen? Just check out the aprons! On some days it would be hard to tell which burdened the clothes line the most - the diapers or the aprons.

On any given day, one could ascertain the comings and goings, wants and needs of a family just by inspecting its clothes line! On Sundays, the clothes line would get its rest as the dirty laundry would just have to wait one more day.

What about today? Are the clothes lines still carrying their heavy loads or have they been replaced by the modern-day machine that whirls and twirls until what was once a soggy mess becomes soft and fluffy? It is certain the clothes line has not completely become reminiscent of the past but its viability might be questioned.

Let's put it to a test. . .

What are the steps for machine drying?
  • Wash the clothes (obviously)
  • Remove from washer
  • Separate any items that do not go into the dryer
  • Place said items on hangers to air dry
  • Load the dryer with the remaining items
  • Decide on the temperature setting (Will same temp suffice for all items dried together or will the items need to be sorted and await their time?)
  • Set the dryer time (best guess)
  • Listen for the buzzer to announce cycle is over hoping the clothes are dry at the end of this time

What are the steps for line drying?
  • Wash the clothes (obviously)
  • Remove from washer
  • Place all clothes in carrying basket along with clothes pins
  • Hang all clothes on the line while enjoying the fresh air
  • Let the sun do the rest of the work (rainy days you get to rest)

Ah-h-h-h-h! The smell of sundrying beats any dryer sheets on the market!
What do you think - would you be willing to air your (clean) laundry?


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    Thank you for stopping by!
    Hope you enjoyed your visit as you journeyed through a flashback in time.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Pen Pals

Yesterday, Awakenings' sister site, catnipoflife, featured a reflection about Pen Pals. Ah-h-h! Those were the days when letters were considered treasures since they were personally hand-written. But, have you ever thought about writing during Colonial times? Keep in mind we are looking back, way back, before the manual typewriter, the Bic pen, even the #2 pencil, all the way back to the 17th century.

Writing with a Quill Pen
Ink Bottle and Quill: Wikipedia
Colonial Times
The backdrop for a unique form of writing during Colonial times
reflected a dimly lit atmosphere absorbed in pungent aromas from the kitchen.
Puritan life was harsh with very few amenities. 

Jump back in times past
Before the typewriter
Even ballpoint pens
Pencils or paper bags

With the quill of a goose
Dip the sharp tip in ink
Scratch out a meager note
On paper made from rags

Fold the paper closed
Tightly smooth each edge
Seal with drops of wax
Press with a brass stamp

Visualize this early writing
Under the faint glow from burning fat
Where leftover grease saved for lighting
Renders your Colonial day lamp

Imagine tapping coded messages
Flicking beads upon an abacus
While tantalizing, pungent aromas
Hover lazily about the air

Jump back to colonial times
Find a place in the kitchen
Freshly baked breads, spicy fruit pies
Invite you to take a chair

A Colonial Kitchen in Williamsburg, VA


Into the 18th century, crude writing instruments penned famous documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. The writing style was intricate taking hours upon hours to complete even the simplest of pages.

Have you ever written with a quill pen or hand-lettered a design in calligraphy?

Thank you for the visit! Be sure to leave a comment and
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Under the Afghan Sun

Sometimes a happening crosses your path most unexpectedly. You know, like being in the right place at the right time. What are the chances of popping into Twitter just at the moment a Tweet request appears stating "Retweet if you think these soldiers deserve a phone call."

Would that message grab your attention? Well, it did mine and without further ado, I would like to share what you may have missed unless you were Tweeting at the same time.

These guys and gals WORK HARD for YOU, for AMERICA!

"It is important to take a break and have some fun every once and a while, whether you're back in the states hanging with friends and family, or serving your country under the unrelenting Afghanistan sun." ~Eric Raum

Click HERE to read the article. . .

Support Our Troops!

 Would YOU lay your life on the line? THEY DO, every day!

My comments. . .

What an awesome idea and video! Too many people simply accept the role of those in the military but do not truly take the time or effort to let everyone know how much they appreciate all that goes on in, out and behind the scenes of military life. Without our military, there would be NO United States of America! Support our troops for without them you would not be enjoying America's freedoms!

What are yours?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Step Back in Time to the Movies

Who is your favorite actor/actress in what movie of all time?

Mine is . . .

 Don't leave without letting me know your favorite(s)!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Senses of Cinema

19th century

Ah-h-h! Where would we be without the movies—
a favorite pastime of enjoyment and relaxation?
Its presentation may have changed as technology has advanced,
but the emotions on and off the screen still remain the same.

Movies, the cinema, the silver screen
Exposed on film metaphysical tricks
Motion pictures and moving photoplays
Rendered reeling picture shows known as flicks

Viewers, no matter the era or their age
Befell gripping sights, sounds, even smells
What better means to idle away the time
Than captured under a magic spell

From slides in the magic-latern show
To successive motion in flip books
Quests out of touch with reality
Dangled from supernatural hooks

From the beginning of cinema
To the first appearance of sound
Optical toys and shadowbox shows
Played magical tricks all around

Quickly becoming popular in carnivals
The "peep show" made a dramatic stand
As the forerunner of motion picture films
The Kinetoscope primed movie land

Edison Kinetoscope Record of a Sneeze


Classic Movie Kisses

Don't Forget. . .

Friday, July 20, 2012

Letters from the Civil War

Writing home in times of war. . .

The American Civil War
(April 12, 1861 - April 9, 1865)

Few letters from the Civil War are more famous than that of Major Sullivan Ballou (left) of the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers to his wife, Sarah. An excerpted version, with minor word modifications, was featured prominently at the conclusion of part one of Ken Burns's landmark PBS documentary "The Civil War" and touched the hearts of millions of viewers. Due to the length of the original letter, Civil War Dads also features an excerpted version but with the original wording. Read more. . .

For a poignant recitation of Major Ballou's letter, click the video link below. As you listen to the heart-rending words Sullivan left for his beloved wife, Sarah, think about the soldiers deployed or being deployed today, those who have left or will leave their families, loved ones and homes for engagement in war and protest to protect America and her freedoms. Think about those at home, as well as abroad, who defend America, her land, her country, her people. Think about all the freedoms you enjoy today that would not be available had it not been for the hope, faith and courage of our ancestors.

A moving, compassionate letter from Major Sullivan to his wife, Sarah

Grab your tissue boxes, folks, this is AMERICA!

Remember, even in times of civil war. . .
The fight was for America and America WON!

Connecting the past to the present…

“I am passionately interested in understanding how my country works. And if you want to know about this thing called the United States of America you have to know about the Civil War.
—Ken Burns (1953–Present)

Please leave a comment. . .
I'm hungry:>)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Like classic movies?

How many stars do you remember?

A couple of weeks ago appeared a post on Awakenings for an opportunity to Guess the Celebrity. This offering followed the posting This Day in History, July 6, 1946, the day which marks the introduction of the bikini.

Since very view (in fact, only two) have been identified let's add a little trivia to help you decide. Here are the names and focus on the decades from 1920s through 1960s. Keep in mind the names or pictures are in NO particular order.

See how many of these past fabulous 'babes' you can match correctly.

 And the celebrities are. . .

Lana Turner, Mary Thurman, Barbie, Virginia Mayo, Tina Louise, Ann Miller, Susan Hayward, Elizabeth Taylor, Betty Grable, Gloria DeHaven

Click HERE to revisit the picture of each 'babe'.

Below is a little extra trivia about each one.

Babe #1 . . .
Began her career in Vaudeville and became an American film actress

Babe #2 . . .
Discovered and signed to a film contract by MGM at the age of 16

Babe #3 . . .
American actress, singer, and author best known in her role as Ginger Grant

Babe #4 . . .
Acclaimed and awarded actress during the Golden Age of Hollywood

Babe #5 . . .
Began with roles in comedies as one of the Sennett Bathing Beauties.

Babe #6 . . .
Celebrated for having the most beautiful legs in Hollywood

Babe #7 . . .
Remembered for her work in Hollywood musical films

Babe #8 . . .
Appeared as a regular in the television series and soap opera As the World Turns

Babe #9 . . .
This babe was identified on the first round: Elizabeth Taylor

Babe #10 . . .
This babe was identified on the first round: Barbie

This is for fun! No grades will be given in the end!

Guesses that missed the mark but well worth mentioning:
Ester Williams, Rosalind Russell, Clara Bow

Ester Williams born August 8, 1921
Made a series of films in the 1940s and early 1950s
known as "aquamusicals"

Rosalind Russell (June 4, 1907 – November 28, 1976)
American actress of stage and screen
Won all 5 Golden Globes for which she was nominated

Clara Bow (July 29, 1905 – September 27, 1965)
American actress who rose to stardom in the silent film era of the 1920s

Thank you for visiting Awakenings!
Leave a comment so I know you stopped by for a visit:>)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Awakenings - The Book

Time for celebration!
Maybe I can get a clearer picture but not tonight:>(

The designs are in, the decision has been made!

Click HERE to learn more about my latest book!

What is life without history? Isn’t life itself 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 to be 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.
~Awakenings Foreword

As of late I have been saddened by the signs of declining patriotism in America. All to well do I remember 1976 when Kate Smith belted out God Bless America with such strong conviction the words struck heavily into the soul of every American! Of course, her debut goes back to days of the radio when on November 10, 1938 the original FIRST broadcast radio performance of God Bless America by Irving Berlin was introduced by none other than Kate Smith. All to well do I remember streets lined with America flags in honor of those serving or who have served in the military forces of the United States of America: Those who have left their homes, families and loved ones to defend America's honor and freedom. All to well do I remember. . .

The inspiring anthem, God Bless America, impacted young and old as emotions swelled bringing forth an avalanche of tears because of America's sovereighty. This was a time of pride in a country represented as the land of the free and the home of the brave. People felt good about America and what she stood for. . .

In times of insecurity, it was the responsibility of our leaders to erase doubt and minimalize fear. Words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Only thing we have to fear is fear itself" and John F. Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country" resonated (and still resonate) heartfelt symbolism of America's challenges and her greatness.

What has happened to the genuine, heartfelt love of our country? Have we stopped believing in the values and purpose set forth by our forefathers penned in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States? Have we forgotten the sacrifices made for freedom and liberty?

A grave price is being paid every moment of every day of the year for all the freedom America has to offer. Let us not forget those who have fought or are fighting for our nation; they are the epitome of the human spirit called freedom!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Independence Won, War Still On

Clockwise from top left: Battle of Bunker Hill,
Death of Montgomery at Quebec,
Battle of Cowpens, "Moonlight Battle"
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia
The American Revolution, one of the most pivotal events in American history, was not over with the signing of the Declaration of Independence or the ringing of the Liberty Bell. The American War of Independence spanned the years from 1775 to 1783: April 19, 1775 to September 3, 1783, 8 years, 137 days. What began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the growing United States of America gradually expanded to a global war: Great Britain stood staunchly on one side while the United States, France, Netherlands and Spain secured their places on the other.

With the American Army struggling in the last stages of the war, the French, allied with the Americans since 1778, became the glimmer of hope. Read more @ Eyewitness to History.com  

America's Final Victory - 1781

On September 3, 1783, the United States and Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris acknowledging the United States to be free, sovereign and independent states.

Always remember. . .

America FOUGHT, America WON!

Support our troops in all they do to maintain America's freedom. . .

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Guess the Celebrity

See how many of these past fabulous 'babes' you can identify. Go for names and year. Have fun! [No particular order.]

Friday, July 6, 2012

This Day in History: The BIKINI

TIMEPhotos: The First Bikini Introduced July 5, 1946

'The modern bikini was introduced by French engineer Louis Réard and fashion designer Jacques Heim in Paris in 1946. Réard named his swimsuit the “bikini”, taking the name from the Bikini Atoll, one of a series of islands in the South Pacific where testing on the new atomic bomb was occurring that summer.’

The swimsuit was so tiny it fit in the small box
she is holding in her right hand.

(You've come a long way, baby !)

Swimsuits haven't always been typically baring. Peruse some of the earlier 'models' that led the way to the bikini. Which ones do you sometimes still see today? Which would you like to be available once again? Think carefully for you just may get your wish. Fashion is always going back in time presenting reflections on yesteryear.
Late 1800s

"What do you think, Babe?"

Cover-up, cover-up, cover-up is the way of swimwear in the 1880s until about the early 1900s. Women are not supposed to reveal too much skin for that would present too much ogling by the men! Swimsuits of this era resemble dresses thereby allowing for very little exposure to man, as well as the blazing sun! Not much chance for a bronze suntan, girls!
Not your cup of tea?

"I think you need to stop there, mister!"
Fashion history makes waves in the Roaring Twenties as styles take on a curvish nature -daring and sexier - allowing for more skin exposure. Liberated from long skirts, the introduction of the sleeveless tank suit huggs every body curve making women feel sexier than ever. However, restrictions are still in place (time isn't right yet for complete freedom): a city ordinance requires swimsuits to not be more than six inches above the knee! Imagine that! Um-m-m? Prelude to the mini-skirt?
Perhaps this style offers you the more rounded teacup?

Ooh, la-la!
Bearing some relationship to the swimsuit of today is the one-piece backless suit of the 1930s. Not as ugly as in the twenties, the suits become more sleek with scooped out backs to allow for tanning. Women during this era like to show off their tanned backs in backless and low-backed dresses. Favorite colors: navy, white, cream, grey, black and buff with touches of red. Also in this era, is the introduction of the two-piece swimsuit leading up to the bikini in the mid-1940s.

Does this one seem more your style, more on the oval side than round?

Darling 40s

"All my life I have been looking for class...but this, is real class!"

The 1940s are very popular for their halter top bathing suits promoting the sexy corset-style. Introduced are a darling two piece with bloomer-style bottoms and the stripy one piece. Some were even designed with straps that unfastened to prevent tan lines. This one would most definitely be admired by the sun bather!

Do you perhaps find this one a little more alluring to your style and taste?

We never get tired of being told we're pretty!

Imitative of the recent past the styles of the fifties - fun and flattering retro-inspired swimsuits - blend the best of the old with the best of the new. Detachable straps are still in during this era with almost every woman appearing to be wearing what one would view as the equivalent of a beach corset! Flowered, polka-patterned swimsuits evoke the cheery styles of the 1950s with mustard being a popular color. These swimsuits epitomize perfection for a day in the sun whether or not your intentions are cruising the boardwalk.
Okay, this one has to be more of your liking - look at that cute little skirt! Yes?

"Fun, Fun, Fun. . ."

In full swing, the beaches sing to the tune of the bikini: Bryan Hyland kicks off the Decade of the Bikini with his smash hit Itsy-Bitsy, Teeny-Weenie, Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini! The end of the 1950's, the waistline has been lowered and the fascination of the day is "the navel." The young and the restless lead the way with the shrinking bikini BUT not far behind are women of all ages.

Now, we're talking! Do you 'dig' this one for a great tan?

No string or thong, just those with cut outs!

The string bikini and thong bikini are revealed to the world, pushing the levels of public exposure to previously unheard of extremes. More recent one-piece swimsuits include revealing cutouts that leave very little to the imagination.
How daring are you?

Windows, windows, windows. . .

What can be said about the 80's swimsuits or should I ask, what can't be said? Check out these descriptors:
o high leg line
o low armholes
o v-kini's, culotte
o low waistline
o topless
o side halters
o asymmetrical
o layered
o exercise inspited
o cut out one piece

AND, just when you thought that was enough. . .

o false belted waists
o skinny straps
o tying on sides
o knotting
o wrapping
o T-backs
o contrasting twists
o geometric seaming
o buttons, rings, zippers

Did you really expect a thong?

The theme of the nineties is still the rising legline with its correponding rising waistline thus closeing the midriff from the bottom up, and recovering the navel. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, both men and women are arrested for wearing thongs on state property, e.g., state beaches. Therefore, they are worn at pools, on city, county and federal beaches, and occasionally, even on the street!

Did you find your best fit yet?

Just imagine. . .

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for
Guess the Celebrity. . .