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 22, 2014

From the Baby Boomers to the Common Era

Today in Music History: August 22

Music through the centuries is ever changing...even within each decade styles and rhythms take on the beats of the times with no two decades being the same! For those growing up in the 50s and 60s Baby Boomer Era, the music of the past is still at the top of music lists. Once in your blood it is hard to shed the tunes of such greats as Elvis, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Chubby Checker, James Brown, The Rolling Stones, Pat Boone, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra and so many more. 

What is so incredibly sad is many youth of the Common Era have never heard of the truly classic recording artists. Going a thought further means they have possibly never heard any of the truly great music. Let's get a move on starting with the 'oldies but goodies' enjoying the memories and laughing at the unknown tidbits of trivia...unknown until now that is.

1956 Elvis Presley began working on his first movie, Love Me Tender, a 1956 American black-and-white CinemaScope motion picture. In the drama that was set during and just after the Civil War, Elvis played Clint Reno, the youngest of four brothers. The original title for the movie was The Reno Brothers, but was changed to take advantage of the 'Love Me Tender' song recorded for the film. When advanced sales of Presley's "Love Me Tender" single passed one million—a first for a single—the film title was changed to match.


http://www.oocities.org/es/melgarbeatles12/badtome.html1963 Billy J Kramer And The Dakotas were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Bad To Me'. A song John Lennon wrote for them while on holiday in Spain with Brian Epstein. The track later became the first Lennon–McCartney composition to reach the US Top 40 for an artist other than the Beatles. Released with 'I Call Your Name' as the B-side, it was a huge hit, which Kramer followed up with a #1 UK cover of "Do You Want To Know A Secret."

1964 The Supremes started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Where Did Our Love Go', the girl group's first No.1 hit. This occurred while the Supremes were on tour as part of Dick Clark's "American Bandstand Caravan of Stars". The song also reached number one on the Cash Box R&B singles chart. Holland–Dozier–Holland had originally composed the song for The Marvelettes to record it who rejected the song, thinking it childish.

A Bit of Beatles Trivia...
1968 Ringo Starr quit The Beatles during the White Album sessions when the constant bickering and tension became too much for him. The news of Ringo's departure was kept secret, and he rejoined the sessions on September 3rd. After Ringo walked out, the remaining Beatles recorded 'Back In the USSR', with Paul on drums and John playing bass.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make_It_with_You1970 Bread went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Make It With You', the group's only No.1 hit, which was a No.5 in the UK. It was also certified gold by the RIAA for sales of over one million copies.When the song was released, Gates' mother was asked by a local interviewer how her son's music career was going. Misunderstanding the song's title, Mrs. Gates replied her son, David, and his group had just recorded a song called "Naked With You."

1970 Creedence Clearwater Revival started a nine-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with their fifth studio album 'Cosmo's Factory'. The name of the album comes from the warehouse in Berkeley where the band rehearsed. Bandleader John Fogerty was so insistent on practicing (nearly every day) that drummer Doug "Cosmo" Clifford began referring to the place as "the factory".


http://nnm.me/blogs/moote34/led-zeppelin-studio-discography-remastered-series-2012/1979 In Through the Out Door was released in the US, Led Zeppelin's eigth and final studio release before the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980. The album went to No. 1 on Billboard's chart in its second week of charting. 'Fool in the Rain' was released as a single in the US. In Through The Out Door has now been certified 6 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 6 million copies.

1987 Madonna went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Who's That Girl', her sixth US No.1, also a No.1 in the UK. The track was from the soundtrack album of the motion picture of same name in which Madonna starred. The film was a flop, but the soundtrack did well, with this song and "Causing A Commotion" both reaching the US top 10. 'Who's That Girl' was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Song From A Motion Picture" and a Golden Globe Award for "Best Original Song." The Grammy went to "Somewhere Out There", the Golden Globe to "(I've Had) The Time of My Life.

1999 Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell scored her first UK No.1 solo single with 'Mi Chico Latino' ('My Latin Boy') the second single from her debut solo album Schizophonic. The single identifies her maternal Spanish background, as the song has a number of Spanish lyrics. It went on to sell almost 375,967 copies in Britain and was certified Gold. 

Fascination with Elvis... 
2003 Kjell Henning Bjoernestad a Norwegian Elvis Presley impersonator set a world record by singing the rock 'n' roll legend's hits non-stop for over 26 hours. The previous record was set by British Elvis fan Gary Jay who sang for 25 hours 33 minutes and 30 seconds.

A Bit of Music Trivia...

2004 Al Dvorin the announcer who popularized the phrase "Elvis has left the building" died in a car crash, on his way home from an Elvis convention in California. Dvorin aged 81, was in a car driven by Elvis photographer Ed Bonja. Dvorin was never paid for recordings of his words, and was bitter towards the multimillion pound Elvis Presley Enterprises. In the early 1970s, Colonel Parker asked Dvorin to inform fans at a gig that Presley would not be appearing for an encore. He took the stage and announced: "Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight."

2004 Natasha Bedingfield started a two week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'These Words'. The sister of singer and producer Daniel Bedingfield.When this song hit #1 in the UK, Natasha and Daniel Bedingfield became the first brother and sister ever to have separate solo UK #1 hits. Daniel had already hit the top spot three times, first with "Gotta Get Thru This" in 1999. 

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

Relief for Undue Suffering

This Day in History: August 22, 1864

International Red Cross

We are all familiar with the American Red Cross, aka the American National Red Cross, founded in 1881 as a humanitarian organization but the origin of the Red Cross itself goes farther back. On August 22, 1864, 12 nations met in Geneva, Switzerland. The Geneva Convention of 1864 for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick of Armies in the Field was instituted at a critical period in European political and military history. The agreement, advocated by Swiss humanitarian Jean-Henri Dunant, called for nonpartisan care to the sick and wounded in times of war and provided for the neutrality of medical personnel.
The movement for an international set of laws governing the treatment and care for the wounded and prisoners of war began when relief activist Henri Dunant witnessed the Battle of Solferino in 1859, fought between French-Piedmontese and Austrian armies in Northern Italy. The subsequent suffering of 40,000 wounded soldiers left on the field due to lack of facilities, personnel, and truces to give them medical aid moved Dunant into action. Upon return to Geneva, Dunant published his account Un Souvenir de Solferino and, through his membership in the Geneva Society for Public Welfare, he urged the calling together of an international conference and soon helped found the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
The ICRC's Mission Statement
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance.
The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.
Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the Geneva Conventions and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It directs and coordinates the international activities conducted by the Movement in armed conflicts and other situations of violence.
Why a red cross...

Also being proposed at the convention was use of an international emblem to mark medical personnel and supplies. In honor of Dunant's nationality, a red cross on a white back ground was adopted. This emblem represented the Swiss flag in reverse. As a result of his humanitarian efforts, Dunant was awarded the first Nobel Peace Prize being recognized as the Founder of the Red Cross. As with so many founders, inventors, etc., financial difficulties led Dunant into poverty and loss of social respect. At least gradual acceptance led to the recognition of his life's work even if it was during his aging years.

On to America...

Clara Barton –
steel engraving by John Sartain
Founded by Clara Barton in 1881, the American Red Cross has served exponentially providing emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States. Barton developed the idea for the American Red Cross after learning of the Red Cross in Europe. As a nationwide non-profit organization, it boasts a rich history spanning more than 130 years yet it has not existed without its share of controversy. Being completely non-profit, the Red Cross depends on the generous contributions of time, blood and money from the American public to support its lifesaving services and programs.

 The mission of the American Red Cross is heartfelt!

People count on the American Red Cross to help them through some of the darkest times in their lives. Each year, the American Red Cross immediately responds to about 70,000 natural and man-made disasters in the U.S., ranging from fires to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents and explosions. 

Although not a government agency, the American Red Cross also provides emergency and non-emergency services to the United States military. The most notable service is emergency family communications, where families can contact the Red Cross to send important family messages (such as a death in the family, or new birth). It also works closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Back to School: Are you ready?

Not only are we awakening to a new day but to a new year! Okay, okay, okay, I know it is not Happy New Year 2015. We still have a few months left in 2014. However, it IS the beginning of a new school year and for many counties, school is already in session while in others the doors do not open until after Labor Day. In either case, preparations are in order with still lots to be done.

It seems like just yesterday we were getting ready for summer vacation. Now, summer is rapidly drawing to a close with hints of autumn already in the air...somewhere anyway. Still sweltering temperatures continue to rise throughout many states whose residents wait patiently (hopefully patience is part of the picture) for cooler temps.

Whether parent, student, bus driver, teacher or administrator, the question for all is "Are you ready?"

http://www.ecredable.com/blogs/entryid/281/7-huge-mistakes-back-to-school-shoppers-makeDifferent schools, different states, different dates share one thing in common for sure: There is much to do getting ready for school. Supplies need to be purchased, schedules received and mentally recorded, uniforms or appropriate school attire sought and bought. All parties concerned have major roles in the preparation process.

Has it always been so hectic at the beginning of a school year? With time comes change, with change comes progress, with progress comes innovation! Follow the path of Awakenings - embrace the past, empower the present, enrich the future.

Embrace the Past. . .

Looking back upon times past
The quill pen or stylus ruled

A one-roomed schoolhouse
Was simply readied and tooled

Days before the blackboard
Resources were slim for sure
The daily teaching tool
Sticks scratching on a dirt floor

Practice of sums and spelling
Topics up to date
 Used no paper nor carbon pencils
Only slabs of slate

 Staying focused on studies

 Discipline was strict
 Keeping students in line
To the tune of the 'hickory stick' 

Empower the Present. . .

Pencils, erasers, composition books
Paper, pens, and drawing tools
Backpack, markers, folders, calculator
Lunch menus, lists, and new rules 

Gadgetry, gizmos, and gear
'Techie' tips at every turn
Edmodo, Grockit, EduBlogs

Time on the Web all students yearn 

Interactive whiteboards
Promethean becomes the rage
Combining pen and multi-touch
Students inspiringly engage

iPad's iBooks
iThis and iThat
Easy to work at 

Enrich the Future. . .

Enrich the children

Enrich the nation
Enrich your life
Through education

  Here's to the teachers
Who give their all
Teaching, training, tutoring
Whatever the call

 Planning and assessing
Each day's a rerun
From sunup beyond sundown
There's work to be done

Regardless of long days
All the while
One thing's never forgotten
Smile, smile, smile!

© Sharla Lee Shults

Ever thought about giving a teacher a back-to-school kit?
It's the simple things that are often forgotten!

 Reach out today, 
Be a caring friend. 
Know a teacher? 
Lend a helping hand!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Peachy Keen

The benefits of fruit are non-negotiable. They provide nutrients - potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid) - vital for health and maintenance of the body. Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol. Plus, they are just plain GOOD, especially the peach! So good, it has already been celebrated...twice! Since cream goes well with peaches, Peaches and Cream Day was celebrated on June 21. Have a Peach of a Day celebrated the fruitful flavor of peach ice cream on July 16. Let's add one more!

August 22 is...
Eat a Peach Day

Have you ever picked a fresh peach right off the tree? If you answered yes, then you immediately bit into the succulence and experienced juicy goodness running down your chin as you frantically caught all the drippings in the palm of your hand. Nary a drop of peach nectar to be wasted! Whether you like them fresh and juicy out of hand or baked into a luscious dessert, one must agree peaches are a summer must. Enjoy them while you still can! As for Eat a Peach Day, this does not limit eating the fresh peach solely by hand. Although, they certainly are mighty good just by themselves.

Rather one bite of peach than a basketful of apricots.”~Chinese Proverb

Stay peachy keen today!



The edible peach can also be used in drink recipes. If you are a true Southerner, this day cannot go without a double...

Last, but definitely NOT least...



w/ Cinnamon Honey Buttercream Frosting

Is your mouth watering yet?

  yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

Dirty Dancing in Theaters

This Day in History: August 21, 1987

Theatrical release poster
A massive, unexpected box-office hit, one of the greatest movies of all times, Dirty Dancing, opens in theaters across the nation. Originally billed as a low-budget film by a new studio, Great American Films Limited Partnership, its expectations consisted of the film being shown in theaters for one weekend only, then, direct-to-video. To lessen its hopes of success even more was the fact that the cast consisted of no major stars at the time (except Broadway legend Jerry Orbach in a supporting role). 

What a surprise! It was the first film to sell one million copies on video and as of 2009, Dirty
had earned over $214 million worldwide. The little-known Patrick Swayze became an overnight sensation and
in 1991, he was chosen by People magazine as that year's "Sexiest Man Alive".

Not only was the movie a monumental success but also the soundtrack. The Dirty Dancing soundtrack went multi-platinum. Included in the hit singles: “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen and “She’s Like the Wind,” co-written and sung by Swayze himself. The film also contained the now-famous line “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”


Sidenote: In 2004, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, a reworking of the original film set in Cuba in the 1950s, just before Fidel Castro’s revolution, was released to a tepid response from critics and audiences. The still-fit Swayze appeared in a cameo role as a dance instructor. Want to watch Dirty Dancing? Watch the original! You just can't beat a classic!

 An iconic scene from the dancing finale

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...as well as the movie!