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, April 19, 2014

Easter Blessings


Happy Easter to all and may your day be filled with blessings beyond words!

Rightly the lily is the flower of Easter. It lies buried in the ooze of pond or stream. There is  the grave of the dead lily that appeals to nostril or eye. But silently the forces of life are  dark and the damp to prepare a glorious resurrection. A shaft of green shoots upward toward the sun. This is followed by a cluster of tiny buds. One day the sun smiles with special warmth upon the dank, black ooze, and there leaps into the light a creature of light and beauty; it is the lily, an angel of the earth, whose look is light.
—Author Unknown

How did the lily come to grace the fields of America? The cultivation of lilies did not originate in the United States for the lily is a native of Japan. History reveals the account of a WW I soldier, Luis Houghton, bringing a suitcase full of hybrid lily bulbs to the South coast of Oregon in 1919. Houghton freely distributed bulbs to his friends and neighbors. Because of the events of WW II, the Japanese source of bulbs was abruptly cut off. Therefore, those growing lilies as a hobby noted the value of lily bulbs sky-rocketing and many decided to go into business on their own. At that time, Easter lily bulbs were known as “White Gold,” resulting in cultivators attempting to cash in on the crop. By 1945, there were about 1,200 growers producing bulbs up and down the Pacific coast, from Vancouver, Canada to Long Beach, California.


The Lily. . .
Sounding of trumpets
Extol the most high
Rallying a crowd
No one should deny

Calls to drill and battle
Resound a time nigh
Echoing surrender
Or a battle cry

No white, just crimson
Adorn the fields
Beds of blood and bone
A battle yields

Within time's passing
Ghastly signs disappear
Blades of bright green
Awaken thoughts held dear

Slender stalks emerge
Rising from earthy graves
Flaunting scaly bulbs
Pompous as ocean waves

Milky-white trumpets
Surge with praises toward the sky
Spiritual essence of Easter
Extols the most high

©2012 catnipoflife 
Sharla Lee Shults

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”
Song of Solomon 2:1

Shot Heard 'Round the World

This Day in History: April 19, 1775

Where once the embattled farmers stood, and fired the shot heard 'round the world, the War for Independence had now begun!

“What a glorious morning is this!”
~ Samuel Adams, after hearing news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord

Romanticized 19th century depiction of Battle of Lexington
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
The first shots were fired just after dawn in Lexington, Massachusetts the morning of the 19th, the "Shot Heard Round the World." The colonial militia, a band of 500 men, were outnumbered and initially forced to retreat. The British army was able to press forward to Concord, where they searched for the supplies, only to come up empty handed.
While the British were searching, the American militia was able to reform, and they met the enemy at the North Bridge in Concord, and they were successful this time in driving the British back. As more American reinforcements arrived, they forced the British army south to Boston, and the militias blockaded the narrow land accesses to Charlestown and Boston, starting the Siege of Boston.
The American War for Independence was now in full swing.
Source: The Shot Heard Round the Word: The Battles of Lexington and Concord
Since the first official engagement between Britain and the Colonies in the American Revolutionary War the term Shot Heard ‘Round the World has become synonymous with different events in history. 
In 1914, it has been associated with the shot that assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo. The shot that killed Franz became known as one of the Shots Heard 'Round the World because it is often accredited with sparking off World War I. It propelled Austria-Hungary and the rest of Europe into what was known as the "War To End All Wars".

In 1951, it became attached to the American baseball game-winning walk-off home run by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson.
As a result of the "shot", the Giants won the game 5-4, defeating their traditional rivals in their pennant playoff series, 2 games to 1. Outcome: New York Giants won the National League Pennant.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a famous ode—not an ode to baseball, nor did he live to see the wars of the Twentieth Century—but he wrote about the first Shot Heard ‘Round the World. Specifically, Emerson's poem describes the first shots fired by Patriots at the the North Bridge in what is now Charlestown, in northwestern Boston, Massachusetts.

 Concord Hymn

By Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July 4, 1837

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps,
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Vampires beware!


Today is...

The myth than garlic deters vampires is commonplace thanks to Hollywood and popular literature, so today "Vampires, beware!" Did you know it is also thought to protect against the evil eye and to ward off jealous nymphs said to terrorize pregnant women and engaged maidens? In addition, despite its pungent odor and taste, garlic enhances the flavor of almost any kind of food anywhere in the world and is well known for its diverse medicinal properties. 
 Garlic, Nature's Wonder Drug
It has been credited with extending human longevity, preventing certain cancers, lowering cholesterol levels, reversing high blood pressure, resisting the common cold and overcoming fatigue.

The herb, which can also be deemed a vegetable too, is rich in protein, vitamins A, B-1 and C and contains essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. It also contains 17 different amino acids.

WOW! Pass the garlic, please!
A Bit of Garlic History

Native to central Asia, garlic has a lengthy history dating back 6,000 years. Long a staple of Mediterranean diets, garlic was a commonly used seasoning in the cuisines of Africa, Asia and Europe. China is currently the world’s biggest producer of garlic followed by India, South Korea, Egypt and Russia.

Regarded as a force of both good and evil, the Egyptians are said to have fed the herb to workers building the Great Pyramid of Giza because they believed it boosted their stamina. In the Middle Ages, plague-phobic Europeans ate whole cloves of garlic to fight off the scourge known as the Black Death.
Source: National Garlic Day - Home 

Garlic Trivia Tidbits

#1 Dubbed the ‘stinking rose’ because of its overpowering taste and smell, garlic is known for causing bad breath, which apparently can be neutralized by sipping milk or eating parsley.

#2 Stinky garlic smell on your hands? Wash with soap and water, then rub your fingers along a stainless steel object like your kitchen sink, faucet or a butter knife.
Garlic may be odoriferous but it is one of the best culinary discoveries known to man! To add flair to flavor, there are only 4 calories to each garlic clove!

Recipe of the Day:

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Superman a madman?

This Day in History: April 18, 1938 

Action Comics #1 (June 1938),
the debut of Superman.
Cover art by Joe Shuster.
Superman created by Siegel and Shuster was originally a bald madman who used his telepathic abilities to wreak havoc on mankind. Having tried for years to no avail in finding a publisher for their Superman character, Seigel had a reverse thought, "What if this Superman was a force for good instead of evil?"

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster saw their creation, Superman (also known as Kal-El, originally Kal-L), launched in Action Comics #1 on April 18, 1938. This Superman is the Superman we have all known and loved for decades. In its first issue having been dubbed by the publisher as being ridiculous, strong sales proved differently. So, instead of being banned from the cover of Action Comics as intended, Superman became a permanent presence in issue #19 onward.

The series saw the introduction of several characters and themes which would become longstanding elements of the Superman mythos.
Cover of Action Comics #23 (April 1940).
The first appearance of
Superman's archenemy Lex Luthor.
Art by Joe Shuster.
Action Comics #1 - Lois Lane made her debut in the first issue with Superman.
Action Comics
An unnamed "office boy" with a bow tie makes a brief appearance in the story "Superman's Phony Manager" (November 1938), which is claimed to be Jimmy Olsen's first appearance by several reference sources.
Action Comics #13 - Superman was first depicted as possessing the power of flight
(June 1939).
Action Comics
- Superpower of
X-ray vision depicted for the first time (November 1939).
Action Comics
Superpower of telescopic vision and super-breath introduced (January 1940).
Action Comics
- Luthor, a villain who would later become Superman's archenemy, was introduced (April 1940).

Action Comics
- The original Toyman was created by writer Don Cameron and artist Ed Dobrotka (September 1943).

Superman has remained a pop culture icon, a protector and defender blessed with X-ray vision, herculean strength and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. After the initial launch in April, 1938, a daily newspaper comic strip came next, debuting on January 16, 1939, with a retelling of the character’s origin on the doomed planet Krypton. Since then, Superman has appeared in innumerable comic books, TV shows, movies, radio serials, video games, novels and even a Broadway musical.


Today in Music History: April 18

1985 Wham! became the first-ever Western pop act to have an album released in China. When the musical duo formed by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley released the album Make It Big, that was merely the opener. Western music has since invaded the expansive country. In honor of this musical history-making moment, here are some of the more recent pop songs to hit the charts in China.

  “Party in the U.S.A” – MileyCyrus

  “We are the People” – Empireof the Sun

 “She Wolf” – Shekira
“Obsessed” – MariahCarey

 “Waking up in Vegas” – Katy Perry

1987 Aretha Franklin scores a #1 US hit with "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me," a duet with George Michael of Wham! Her first Number One in 19 years and ten months, it breaks the record for the longest span between #1 hits.

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