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.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Times Square New Year’s Eve Balldrop


Weighing in at 11,875 pounds, NYC's New Year's Eve ball is embellished by 2,688 Waterford Crystals and powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs.

Click the image to watch the live stream as Times Square plays host to one million revelers!

Since early in the 20th century millions upon millions have gathered in Times Square on New Year's Eve...the highlight of the evening being the 'balldrop'. That first New Year's Eve Ball was nothing like the one depicted in the image above. Instead of Waterford Crystals, the ball was made of iron and wood, adorned with 25-watt light bulbs. Being 5 feet in diameter this ball weighed in at 700 pounds. While New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square began as early as 1904, the ball's maiden descent occurred from the flagpole atop One Times Square in 1907. It was built by a young immigrant metalworker named Jacob Starr, and for most of the twentieth century the company he founded, sign maker Artkraft Strauss, was responsible for lowering the Ball.

History of the New Year's Eve Ball...

Thanks to satellite technology, a worldwide audience estimated at over one billion people watches the ceremony each year. The lowering of the Ball has become the world's symbolic welcome to the New Year.

Auld Lang Syne 2015

In just a few hours, we will pay witness to the end of 2015. 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!


Revisit Life on the Train! 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 2016! 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 2016, 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 2015 Time Capsule?

Okay, everyone, no longer counting days for we are only hours away from... Goodbye, 2015 & Hello, 2016! 

Time to reflect back on the past year suspending in time those moments which are held dear to your heart...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 2015 to be revisited in the future?

http://journalstar.com/gallery/news/photos-air-park-time-capsule/collection_8179625f-f932-50c5-9bda-7371407fde40.html#0Think 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, record albums and the like. 

Make the preparation of this year's time capsule a fun family activity. Include special facts about each member of the family, favorite recipes, vacation memorabilia, current events, coins, food and gasoline prices, fashion statements.  

Time capsules are not limited to any one particular 'container' so to speak. They can be as small and simple as a cigar box, a mason jar 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 2015 Time Capsule? Your time capsule is a personal 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 2017. 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 2016? 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 2015 at the end of 2016 when 2017 arrives.

#1 Hits, Live Debuts & Music Trivia

Here we are at the end of yet another year! Looking back on New Year's Eve of decades past finds a couple of No.1 hits in its wake, a few live debuts and definitely its share of tidbits of music trivia, along with its sadness already revisited in Teen Idol Tragedy. Within your personal CD collection perhaps you have treasured memories of your favorite teen idol or even some of the songs relative to the #1 hits, live debuts & music trivia of previous New Year's Eve celebrations.

Today in Music History: December 31

  • 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.

    1966 Ray Charles appeared at the City Center Arena in Seattle Washington, tickets cost $4.50 on the door. Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music.

    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'.

    2001 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
    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.
    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.'

Many days in music history do not pass without their share of tragedy. Such was the case for New Year's Eve 1985.

1985 Ricky Nelson, along with six others, was killed when his chartered light aircraft crashed in Texas. Nelson had played himself on his parents' US TV 'The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.' He is credited with the 1958 US No.1 'Poor Little Fool', 1961 UK No.2 single 'Hello Mary Lou' plus over 30 US Top 40 hit singles.

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

Teen Idol Tragedy

For those of us growing up in the 50s and 60s, teen idols, also known as heartthrobs, dominated the entertainment scene, music and television. Swoons and screams were not uncommon whether during live concerts or on the TV screen. Many performers worked alongside their parents as group entertainers or in sitcoms.


 Ricky Nelson was well known for his good looks and captivating blue eyes!

Ricky Nelson an early Teen Idol of the 50s who acted out his real-life childhood as the son of Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Nelson on the popular series, 'The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet'

It was on the popular TV series where Nelson began to conclude each episode with a song from his band that established his popularity as a musician. A number of albums were produced whereby Ricky Nelson owned the music charts for a three-year period from 1957 through 1959 with his hit songs. In addition to his recording career, Nelson appeared in movies, including the Howard Hawks western classic Rio Bravo with John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Walter Brennan (1959), plus The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960) with Jack Lemmon and Love and Kisses (1965) with Jack Kelly.

 Garden Party reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Rick Nelson maintained his celebrity status through the 1970s, appearing in television shows ranging from the Midnight Special to Solid Gold, The Streets of San Francisco, and Saturday Night Live, while continuing to perform with his band.
Rick Nelson Garden Party 1985

Teen Idol Tragedy on This Day in Music History: December 31, 1985...

As with so many entertainers, lives are cut short with many being the result of airplane crashes.
Nelson dreaded flying but refused to travel by bus. In May 1985, he decided he needed a private plane and leased a luxurious, fourteen-seat, 1944 Douglas DC-3 that had once belonged to the DuPont family and later to Jerry Lee Lewis. The plane had been plagued by a history of mechanical problems. In one incident, the band was forced to push the plane off the runway after an engine blew, and in another incident, a malfunctioning magneto prevented Nelson from participating in the first Farm Aid concert in Champaign, Illinois.
On December 26, 1985, Nelson and the band left for a three-stop tour of the Southern United States. Following shows in Orlando, Florida, and Guntersville, Alabama, Nelson and band members took off from Guntersville for a New Year's Eve extravaganza in Dallas, Texas. The plane crash-landed northeast of Dallas in De Kalb, Texas, less than two miles from a landing strip, at approximately 5:14 pm. CST on December 31, 1985, hitting trees as it came to earth. [Source: wikipedia.org]

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...more to come on December 31...#1 Hits, Live Debuts & Music Trivia!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Get Ready to 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, if you do not have champagne on hand, there is plenty of time to go out and get a bottle of the bubbly! You want to be ready to raise your glasses with a toast of good cheer as you ring out the old and ring in the new at the midnight hour of December 31. 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! 

Easy Eggs Benedict with Blender Hollandaise

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

A little something extra for the sweet tooth!

How to open a bottle of champagne for the glass not the floor!

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!

The Eve of the Eve

The eve of the eve is the evening before New Year's Eve. Are you beginning early on the eve of the eve to mix & mingle jump-starting your New Year's Eve celebrations? If you have not started partying early, there is only tonight and tomorrow to get everything in order...guest list, hors d'oeuvres, champagne, fireworks, music or other entertainment, etc. 

 An all-time favorite for any party!

You do not want to be without mac & cheese...with bacon!

 Four easy recipes to impress guests!

Dip & punch recipes plus DIY decorations!

Get ready! It's almost time to...



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.
Today in Music History: December 30

Howdy-hi, Shindiggers! We've got a 'Shindig!' for you that's so far in, it's out of sight! ~Jimmy O'Neill's opening line for each show.

Jimmy O'Neill (1940-2013)
O'Neill as the host of Shindig!, 1964
1965 The KinksThe WhoManfred ManThe 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.
Relive the music moments...

No.1 singles & other hits on this day...
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...