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Awakenings: MORE on the All-American Diner

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Meet Miss Mendon: Classic Diner of Distinction

by Marilyn Armstrong

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Some say the American diners are coming back…I say they never left! Visit one today and enjoy its American history!

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The Darwins Are Out


What could possibly be better catnipoflife than humor?! Not just simple humor that brings on a smile but side-splitting humor that just makes you keep on laughing and laughing and laughing! Don’t stop until you have read the very last one…


Thank you, Don in Massachusetts!

A Pondering Mind

I sometimes wonder if this stuff is true, or partially true…. You decide.

The Darwins are out!!!!
Yes, it’s that magical time of year again when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us .

Here is the glorious winner:

1. When his 38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach , California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

And now, the honorable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The…

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Land of The Beavers: A Conversation With Queens Historian Carl Ballenas

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

From the ancient glaciers to slavery, Carl Ballenas knows Queens. Born in Brooklyn, Ballenas moved to Queens as a toddler in 1965 and never left. “Everything in Queens fascinated me,” he says. A history teacher at the Immaculate Conception School in Jamaica Estates, he has written several books on local history, even involving his students in the research and fact-finding.


Through Arcadia Publishing’s “Images In America” series, Ballenas has published books on the adjacent Southeast Queens neighborhoods of Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens (and its famed cemetery, Maple Grove), Jamaica and Jamaica Estates. Although these places now look very different—Kew Gardens is mostly co-ops and high rises, while Jamaica Estates is home to large, Victorian mansions—they were originally part of one community, Jamaica. The process of how land was acquired from local Native American tribes and then parceled out to various developers is something Ballenas and his students in the Thomas Aquinas Honor Society explore in their books on Jamaica and Jamaica Estates.


I caught up with Ballenas after he visited York College this month for a lecture. I asked him about the Richmond Hill and Jamaica history that hides in plain view–in Queens’ topography, its architecture and the names we use everyday.


OC: What was the first historical project you researched?

CB: The first project was about the history of St. Benedict Joseph Church in Richmond Hill. I was told it was the only parish with that name. While researching, I kept coming across “Morris Park.” I was like why? This is Richmond Hill. I found out there were other towns—like Morris Park—that eventually got absorbed by Richmond Hill.


OC: Let’s start way back. What do geologists tell us about this area?

CB: The hills that make up the backbone of Long Island, north of Hillside Avenue–hence named–were created 10,000 years ago by a glacier, which moved huge boulders and large amounts of soil. When it eventually stopped, it deposited all those things. So from Hillside Avenue south to Jamaica Bay is level, because those things flattened everything out. In the 1870s, when people started settling in this area, the ocean breezes and cooling temperatures in the flat area were part of the area’s attraction.


OC: What is the most interesting architectural find in this area?

CB: We’ve found the Lefferts Farmhouse. The Lefferts family sold their farm to Mr. Albon Platt Man, the founder of Richmond Hill. The farmhouse may date all the way back to the 1830s, and it wasn’t in the same location–that was one of the most amazing things we found–people used to move houses!

And we also found the Captain Briggs farmhouse. Briggs was a veteran of the War of 1812, who retired to Richmond Hill to become a gentleman farmer. He won many awards for his pear orchards. You find these little remnants of the past poking out at you.

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Awakenings: The All-American Diner

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

A classic of classics, like baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet…that’s the all-American diner! Often epitomized with an exterior of stainless steel, the diner is unique in its architecture. Then, of course, there is the interior: a casual atmosphere, a counter, stools and service area along a back wall.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Embrace the past, empower the present, enrich the future of the all-American diner!

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Nature’s Doorway

Nature’s Doorway video poem was created and posted last year but sometimes repeat performances are called for at just the right time! After viewing the video, take a few moments to step outside and enjoy all the beauty around you!

Have a blessed day!


27 Ways To Be A 21st Century Teacher

See on Scoop.itSizzlin’ News

So what does it take to become a 21st century teacher? This handy chart details more than two dozen ways to get started. A must-read and share.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Keeping up with the times and forging ahead! I may be retired but I will always be an educator!

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Awakenings: Thank You, Soldiers!

See on Scoop.itSizzlin’ News

Awakenings honors our soldiers, past, present and future…without them, America would not be the America as we know it today. Next time you see a soldier, shake his/her hand and express how much you appreciate the services performed and sacrifices endured by each and every one. They are the life’s blood of American freedom!

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Honor, respect and support the United States of America military!


Click the link, scroll through to poetry from Awakenings from Then ’til Now…”Walk among the Wild Flowers”

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Awakenings: 50500 PAGEVIEWS

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

Awakenings Shoutout!

 50500 pageviews

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

In a little over two years, Awakenings (catnipoflife’s sister site) has provided writings, author spotlights, and highlights of America. Awakenings is your journey through time and provides insights into the book Awakenings from Then ’til Now. It is about America, of America, for America…Your land, My land!

May we all continue to Embrace her past, Empower the present, Enrich her future! God Bless America!

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Inspiration: ❤ of Life

31 Things You can Do to Improve Your Life in 31 Days from Nicole Elmore

I would add #32: Find time to meditate and be thankful.

What would you add?

Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.

~ Sai Baba (Indian Leader, 1838-1918)


Awakenings: Earth Day – The History of A Movement

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

Each year, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 marking the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. This was during a time when protest was of the highest order, especially as war raged in Vietnam. Earth Day, however, did shift conscious awareness away from the war opposition and more toward environmental concerns.

The photos of the first Earth Day are courtesy of National Geographic Daily News.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

The immediate aftermath of the first Earth Day celebration resulted in people looking hung over and litter-filled parks which partly negated the previous day’s environmental message.

“The crowds again are often people looking for something to do or an axe to grind on some other issue. People should practice what they preach.”

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