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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Today in Music History: December 31, 1997

In less than two hours, we will pay witness to the end of 2014. With its ending comes a new beginning: A new year filled with promise and hope. Promises and hopes come in the form of resolutions for some while others enter the year without resolve.

Embrace the past. . .

Before looking ahead, let's step back in time to the year 1997. It was on this day, December 31, 1997, when an American Hall of Fame pianist made his last appearance on this earth thereby no longer performing before live audiences.
Do you remember Floyd Cramer?
(October 27, 1933 – December 31, 1997)

Floyd Cramer was an American Hall of Fame pianist who was one of the architects of the "Nashville sound". He was known for his "slip note" piano style, where an out-of-key note slides into the correct note. Wikipedia

Click on the caboose and enjoy the scenery!


Take the Train Along with Me! Enjoy the music of Floyd Cramer. Awesome slideshow!

Empower the present. . .

We are in the final hours of New Year's Eve reflecting upon the past year and waiting in anticipation the arrival of 2015! With New Year's Eve comes immense celebration: partying well into the night and even beyond the bewitching, magical midnight hour. Families and friends gather to "ring out the old and ring in the new!" amid the socialization of dancing, singing, eating, drinking and watching or lighting fireworks. Many will attend a watchnight service, a late-night Christian church service

As the hands of the clock approach midnight, billions of pairs of eyes worldwide will be fixed upon the dazzling lights and bustling energy of New York City's Times Square. Whether physically present within the square itself or glued to the television screen, adrenalin runs rampant with anticipation. A global tradition awaits commencement. The world holds it breath as the famous New Year's Eve Ball descends slowly...10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, until the clock strikes twelve. Tall and short glasses are raised as voices in unison shout ...
"Happy New Year!"

  History of New Year's Eve
Watch the History of New Year's Eve Times Square Video

Enrich the future. . .

As you move past midnight into the dawn of 2015, may your thoughts be affixed upon resolutions of joy, peace and happiness. Look to the future in ways of enrichment for America: recovery and renewal! Remain attuned to changes that are wanted, more importantly needed, for hope, faith and courage to remain in the forefront of our nation.

Happy New Year! Many blessings for a Happy and Healthy New Year to all our veterans, troops, and their families.

Auld Lang Syne : Lyrics

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne. 


  Next on the Calendar... New Year's Day!

What is in your 2014 Time Capsule?

Okay, everyone, only a few hours remaining...Goodbye, 2014 & Hello, 2015! Time to reflect back on the past year suspending in time those moments which are held dear to our hearts...changes, births, deaths, happy times, heartache. All the events that are part of life. There is archive after archive holding memorabilia of the past but what holds that which is personal?  Diaries, still photographs, videos, movies perhaps. As you look back over the course of the past year, what moments do you want to capture in 2014 to be viewed in the future?

Think time capsule. During your youthful years, did you ever participate in burying a time capsule, perhaps as a part of a school project or simply with a few friends? Maybe you created your own treasury of keepsakes planting it under a rock or mound of earth in the backyard, stashed away in the attic or hidden behind the paneling of a wall in your home. Perhaps it contained some kitschy souvenirs—gadgets and record albums and the like. 

Time capsules are not limited to any one particular 'container' so to speak. They can be as small and simple as a cigar box or a whole trunk full of stuff of the times. Within the technological age of the 21st century, the time capsule can even be digital holding gigabytes of data, photos, videos, audio files, etc. 

What is in your 2014 Time Capsule? Your time capsule is a step back in time preserved until time for its resurrection. Prepare a time capsule either personal items in a box or digitally to be re-examined a year from now at the dawning of 2016. What has changed your life in a significant way? What is your favorite food? What do you feel you could NOT live without? What will you do differently during 2015? These are just a few thought questions to ponder but get to work and get it laid to rest...at least for a year. It will be interesting to re-investigate 2014 at the end of 2015 when 2016 arrives.

Hits, Debuts & Trivia

Today in Music History: December 31

Here we are at the end of yet another year! New Year's Eve of decades past leaves a couple of hits in its wake, a few live debuts and definitely its share of tidbits of music trivia. Happy New Year!

  • No.1 Hits

    1955 Based on sales from stores, radio and jukebox plays Billboard named 'Unchained Melody' by Les Baxter the No.1 US song of 1955.
    1966 The Monkees started a 7-week run at No.1 on the US singles charts with the Neil Diamond song 'I'm A Believer'. Also No.1 in the UK in 1967.

    Live Debuts

    1961 The Beach Boys made their live debut using their new name when they appeared at Long Beach Civic Auditorium, California.
    1963 The Kinks made their live debut when they played at the Lotus House Restaurant, London. Now recognized as one of the most important and influential rock acts of the era, brothers Ray Davies and Dave Davies remained members throughout the group's 32-year run.
    1973 Australian band AC/DC made their live debut when they appeared at Chequers Bar in Sydney.

    1991 Ted Nugent donated 200 pounds of venison to a Salvation Army soup kitchen in Detroit with the message 'I kill it, you grill it'.

    An X-rated D12 shirt has become the highest-selling t-shirt of the year in the UK, according to retailer HMV. The shirt, which features singers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, was HMV's best selling t-shirt, outselling shirts for Limp Bizkit, Blink 182 and Slipknot. D12 collaborator Eminem has referred to both singers in his lyrics. Meanwhile the biggest-selling poster and calendar for 2001 went to our very own pop princess Kylie Minogue.
    2001 UK record chain HMV listed the best selling music products over Christmas: 'No Angel' by Dido was the best selling album, Kylie Minogue sold the most calendars, Kurt Cobain: 'Heavier Than Heaven' was the best selling book and D-12 T-Shirt was listed as the No.1 seller.
    2003 Ringtones.co.uk announced that Beyoncé's No. 1 hit 'Crazy In Love' was the best selling mobile ringtone of the year. 'Fly On The Wings Of Love' by XTM was the second biggest ringtone and R. Kelly's 'Ignition' was third.

    2005 The John Lennon song Imagine was voted the nation's favorite song a quarter of a century after his death. A UK radio station conducted the poll of 7,000 listeners. The Beatles were voted into second and third place with 'Hey Jude' and 'Let It Be.'

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

Toast the New Year!

With the celebration of New Year's Eve comes the ever popular toast of the evening as flutes are raised containing the quintessential wine of celebration and good cheer...festive, bright, sparkling CHAMPAGNE! There are many sparkling wines on the market but there is only one champagne and it is produced exclusively within the Champagne region of France, from which it takes its name. 

December 31 is...

National Champagne Day

There is a bit of controversy over this day's celebration. It is thought the reason everyone celebrates December 31st as National Champagne Day is because of the New Year's Eve saying - "It's Champagne Day!" It is champagne day as far as the New Year's celebration goes but as far as the National Holiday, it is more likely August 4.

Without further ado, break open a bottle of bubbly! Raise your glasses with a toast of good cheer! Prepare to ring out the old and ring in the new at the midnight hour. Maybe even start celebrating early by playing host to a champagne breakfast. Since the beverage is classy champagne, the accompanying breakfast should be of a similarly high standard, including rich foods, such as, salmon, caviar, chocolate or pastries, Eggs Benedict... foods which offer a little more flair than the ordinary 'bacon & eggs' breakfast. Not a bad way to end the year...good food, good cheer!

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/12/30/best-champagne-alternatives-for-festive-and-affordable-new-year-fete/Not a Champagne drinker?  
Perhaps you are not a connoisseur of the fine wine, Champagne. This is a possibility for various reasons but the number one reason is more than likely its cost. After all, the average price of Champagne has risen gradually since 2007 and runs the range of around $50–$55 per bottle — with specialty bottles costing easily three to five times that much. Never fear! There are alternatives! Check out the Best Champagne alternatives for a festive and affordable New Year's fête!

One year ends, another begins
Family & friends gather around
Tradition never changes
Anticipating that final sound

'Tis cause for celebration
 Not occasion for feeling blue
Letting bygones be forgotten
Saying hello, bidding adieu

Pop the cork, pour the bubbly
Raise glasses with good cheer
Ring out the old, ring in the new
Shouting "Happy New Year!"

Next on the Calendar... AULD LANG SYNE!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Today in Music History: December 30

Google's definition of a 'shindig' is a large, lively party, especially one celebrating something. It is an interesting little word with spellings with and without a hyphen. The origin of the term 'shin-dig' or 'shindig' can be found at World Wide Words. For sure, it is a perfect title for an American television musical variety series. The actual show Shindig! ran from 1964 - 1966 featuring the biggest acts in rock 'n' roll performing their latest hits. 
Top American and British recording artists that were featured included Marvin Gaye, Petulia Clark, Jackie Wilson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ian Whitcomb, The Rolling Stones and Manfred Mann. Jimmy O'Neil was the series host. Weekly regulars included The Blossoms, featuring Darlene Love , " The Shindig Dancers", Bobby Sherman, The Shindogs rock band and The Righteous Brothers who debuted their now legendary "You've Lost That Loving Feeling". Regular house band members included Billy Preston and Glenn Campbell.
Howdy-hi, Shindiggers! We've got a 'Shindig!' for you that's so far in, it's out of sight! ~Jimmy O'Neil's opening line for each show.

1965 The Kinks, The Who, Manfred Man, The Hollies and Gerry and the Pacemakers all appeared on tonight's episode of TV pop show 'Shindig!' The US series featured "British invasion" bands and performers throughout its run.
  • No.1 singles & other hits on this day...

    1967 The Beatles scored their 15th US No.1 with 'Hello Goodbye', Gladys Knight and the Pips were at No.2 with 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' and The Monkees at No.3 with 'Daydream Believer'.
    2001 Nickelback went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'How You Remind Me'. In an interview with MTV, Nickelback's lead singer Chad Kroeger said that he wrote the song about his old girlfriend Jodi, who he had a rather dysfunctional relationship with. He kept the lyrics very ambiguous, however, which accounts for much of the song's success, as many people could relate to an ex who started pointing out all of your faults at the same time and caused considerable heartbreak: "This time I'm mistaken, for handing you a heart worth breaking."
2013 Bruce Springsteen's latest album 'High Hopes' briefly appeared for download on Amazon's US site for several hours, two weeks ahead of its scheduled release date. Although it was subsequently removed from sale, the record had now appeared on several file-sharing sites. The album's official release date was listed as 14 January.

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

Monday, December 29, 2014

All things BACON!

Pork, aka the other white meat, has found itself moving up and down the scales of nutritional value for years. The problem being its fat content, which is actually what makes pork taste so good. One of the most popular pork cuts is, of course, bacon. The aroma. The taste. Hard to beat, especially at breakfast time!

American Bacon, or “streaky bacon” as the British like to call it, is generally cut from the fatty sides of a pig’s belly, thus, the name 'Pork Belly'. The flavor of bacon is so delicious people have been known to eat it like candy...one cannot stop with just one piece. Wouldn't that be like eating one potato chip? Bacon can definitely be described as the 'Meat Candy'. Now Canadian Bacon, known as “back bacon” to the English, is made up of the 'tender loins' located on the back of Piglet and his swine friends. By this time, you are probably wondering why all the discussion about bacon. It's celebration time!   

December 30 is...
Another Bacon Day

During the latter part of the year, Bacon lovers get a whole month (November) and two special days (September and December) devoted to the 'pork belly', 'meat candy' and 'tender loin' of the pig. While International Bacon Day or simply Bacon Day is an unofficial observance held on the Saturday before Labor Day in the United States (Labor Day is traditionally the first Monday of September), other factions celebrate Bacon Day on December 30th. 

For the bacoholics, here are some very unusual bacon ideas that avoids the fat and calories with some serving as terrific gag gifts...

Like the sweet taste with your bacon? Perhaps this dark red bacon-flavored frosting is a dream come true! Keep a tube of Bacon Frosting on hand to finish off a dessert masterpiece, add sweet smoky delight to any dish, or indulge in a delicious squirt right onto your tongue. Rumor has it the astronauts have been asking for bacon in a tube for decades!
Jelly Beans have been around for eons loved by kids and adults alike. What a grand idea to simply pop a jelly bean into your mouth when a bacon craving hits! Quick & simple treat convenient to have on hand any time. Um-m-m-m? But...what about the taste? Is it possible to capture the succulence of bacon sizzlin' in the pan? Watch the video, then, perhaps try some of your own. You be the judge!
Now, this just might be a bit much! Think about the smell of your favorite 'greasy spoon' restaurant. Yep, the one that fries everything, seasons with bacon grease and makes the best country breakfast in town. Um-m-m-m? Do you want your whole body to smell like your breakfast? BTW, Bacon Soap is the soap preferred by dogs.
This just may be taking the love of bacon a little too far! 'Nuff said!

Setting the humor aside, we are all familiar with the deliciousness of bacon that can accent almost any type of food. Here are a few suggestions...
 Bacon-Egg Breakfast Cups (Recipe)

Maple Bacon & Apple Baked French Toast (Recipe)

 Bacon Heirloom Tomato Frittata with Basil (Recipe)

Maple French Toast & Bacon Cupcakes (Recipe)

Sriracha Bacon Caramel Popcorn (Recipe)
 Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Pork Loin (Recipe)


Bacon Cheese Potato Casserole (Recipe)

 A Bit of 'Piggy' Knowledge...
It is common knowledge that bacon is pork, thus, coming from the pig. Our thoughts now shift from where bacon comes from to more specifically Where Bacon Comes From on a Pig.
The side cut has more meat and less fat than the belly. Bacon may be prepared from either of two distinct back cuts: fatback, which is almost pure fat, and pork loin, which is very lean. Bacon-cured pork loin is known as back bacon.
A definition of heaven: Homemade bacon!

Ready for some bacon? Only one thing missing in the video for enticement: smell-o-vision!


Is your mouth watering yet?

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

Next on the Calendar... Toast the New Year!

Time in a Bottle

Today in Music History: December 29

Many performers have gone before their time. Some became members of the bizarre 27 Club while still in their prime. Others were victims of horrendous accidents, overdoses (drugs & alcohol), many plane crashes. Memorable songs and performances hold a special place in our hearts as we listen over and over again to the limited number of recordings left behind. So much music has died through the decades as epitomized in American Pie. Successful chart toppers were not realized in life for many whose songs hit the top of the charts after lives were cut short.

Welcome into the Spotlight...

Jim Croce in 1972, photographed by Ingrid Croce.

Jim Croce: an American singer/songwriter of upbeat and empathetic, melancholy songs with a visually-rich lyrical style

Between 1966 and 1973, Croce released five studio albums and 11 singles. His singles "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle" were both number one hits on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album I Got a Name released on December 1, 1973 included three hits: "Workin' at the Car Wash Blues", "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song", and the title song, which had been used as the theme to the film The Last American Hero released two months prior to his death. Jim Croce did not take music seriously until he studied at Villanova University, where he majored in psychology and minored in German. He graduated with a Bachelor degree in 1965. Croce was a member of the Villanova Singers and the Villanova Spires. When the Spires performed off-campus or made recordings, they were known as The Coventry Lads. Croce was also a student disc jockey at WKVU (which has since become WXVU). [Source: wikipedia.com]
Songfacts: Jim Croce wrote this song the night that he found out his wife, Ingrid, was pregnant. The couple had been married for five years, and Ingrid found out she was pregnant when she went to a fertility specialist. She recalls a mix of terror and delight in Jim's reaction when she told him the news. The child was a boy named Adrian, who grew up to become the singer-songwriter A.J. Croce.
The song was never intended to be a single - it was released on Croce's first major-label solo LP You Don't Mess Around With Jim in 1972. The album had already yielded the #8 title track and #17 "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)." His second LP, Life And Times, had given Croce his first #1 single, "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown." "Time In A Bottle" became a hit over a year after it was first released when it was used in the ABC made-for-TV movie She Lives, about a woman dying of cancer.
1973 Jim Croce scored his second No.1 US single of the year when 'Time In A Bottle' went to the top of the charts 14 weeks after he was killed in a plane crash. On September 30, 1973 a plane carrying Croce and five other people crashed upon takeoff as he was leaving one college venue to travel to another 70 miles away. He was 30 years old.
No.1 singles on this day...

  • 1960 Cliff Richard was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'I Love You'. The singers fourth UK No.1 and his first Xmas No.1.

  • 1984 Band Aid were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' and Madonna was at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Like A Virgin.'
  • 1990 Cliff Richard has his 12th UK No.1 single with 'Saviour's Day', his 13th UK No.1 single and his second Christmas chart topper.
No. 1 Albums on This Day... 

1999 UK music paper The Melody Maker published it's Music of the Millennium Poll of albums placing The Smiths 'The Queen Is Dead' at No.1.
2012 According to sales data, Adele’s 21 had overtaken Oasis’ (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? to become the UK’s fourth biggest selling album of all-time. Latest data confirmed that, Oasis’ 1995 second album had sold 4,555,000 copies to date, while Adele’s 21 has surged ahead with sales of over 4,562,000 copies. The news came just over a year since 21 overtook Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black to become the UK's biggest selling album of the 21st Century.

Yes! It really happened...

1999 Three ferrets named Beckham, Posh Spice and Baby Spice were used to lay power cables for a rock concert being held in Greenwich, London, England, (workers were not allowed to dig up the turf at the Royal Park). Organizers found that rods could not push the cables through the tiny tunnels, which frequently bend and dog-leg. The ferrets were eased into tiny nylon harnesses with wires which where then attached to a rope, the animals ran into a series of ducts which were under the stage like rabbit runs, leading the cables with them. The ferrets instinctively make for any hole in the ground and are enticed to the end of the duct by a slab of smelly meat. The New Years Eve concert featured Simply Red, Eurythmics and Bryan Ferry.

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