Hostess With The Mostest

The story begins in 1919, when the world was introduced to what is now known as the Hostess® Cup Cake, at the bargain price of two for 5 cents. It was the beginning of a revolution, right up there with the Toll House and Oreo cookie. No longer did anyone have to ferret out a bakery or crank up the oven for a snack attack. Six years later, the Continental Baking Company, who had struck gold with their packaged white Wonder® bread, named their new creations Hostess and they were a hit. In 1930 an employee named Jimmy Dewar came up with a sponge cake named Twinkies®. and they surpassed cupcakes by a mile. Twinkies are an American icon, with half a billion sold each year.But it wasn’t until 1947 when a machine was invented that injected creme filling into the cupcakes and Twinkies, captivating its customers by providing not only an individually wrapped confection, but one crammed with creamy filing. What an idea. As other products were added to their repertoire, including fried fruit pies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, the snack cake category was secured with no end in sight. Currently a staggering 11,000 cakes are produced every hour, so joke all you want, but Hostess is smiling from ear to ear.

Although the ownership has turned over several times in its history, and faced bankruptcy, those snack cakes keep coming and their popularity continues to this day, proving Americans with that artificial creme filling and the convenience of grabbing a snack cake. Deep-fried Twinkies are a popular item at many regional and state fairs each summer, as Americans line up for this high-fat treat, alongside booths selling deep-fried funnel cakes. Featured in numerous films and cookbooks, the Twinkie continues to reign despite comedian’s jokes and celebrity chefs’ sneers. (One has to wonder if there are secret fans who indulge privately.)Even though preservatives are used for prolonged shelf life, the company insists that Twinkies are scrapped from your local grocer after 10 days, making way for more “fresh” ones. Here is the current Hostess snack cakes hit parade:1) Ho Ho’s – top seller, basically a rolled version of Ding Dongs2) Twinkies – the butt of endless jokes, it still ranks high on the list3) Sno Balls – marshmallow coated chocolate cake rolled in flaked coconut4) Ding Dongs – shaped like hockey pucks and covered in chocolate5) Suzy Qs – unfrosted cake with creme filling6) Cherry Pies – fried and easy to eat by hand7) Vanilla Zingers – creme-filled oblong cakes, vanilla reigns8) Chocolate or Orange Cupcakes – the classic, complete with white squiggle on top9) Crunch Donettes – people of all ages begin their day with these mini-treats (easily eaten while driving)

10) Mini Muffins – not exactly bakery quality but still popularCurrently, top competitor Little Debbie brand, started by the McKee family during the 1930s and still a privately held corporation, occupies the lion’s share of space on the snack cake aisle, which once was dominated by Hostess. Their Oatmeal Creme Pie remains the flagship product, followed by Swiss Cake Rolls and Nutty Bars® Wafers. Dozens of additions have been added since 1960, when the company took off nationwide, racking up a staggering 157 billion snack cakes sold, which totals 1.4 billion dollars in annual sales, followed by Hostess at 670 million dollars.Perhaps actress Ann Blyth just did it for the money, or maybe she really did feed her own children snack cakes, but either way, those sweet packaged goodies are cranked out so fast they probably are pretty fresh. Any way you slice it, when it comes to our sweet tooth, we’re all still kids at heart.

The Benefits of Beginning in Creativity

Sometimes our dreams seem like a wound that we work to heal, but it remains open, festering, bothering us just enough that we keep picking at it. There are many people who believe they have a book inside them. 83% of Americans, in fact. Some of them dive into their project and string word after word together until it forms a kind of story. It might be complete, it might be harder than they thought it was going to be, so some finish later and others never get around to typing “The End” on the last page. Beginning anything can be hard, and something that requires pieces of us can keep us locked in fear and therefore not having the courage or trust to just start. How does one begin writing? There are more ways than there are books in a library. One just begins. An idea, a conversation, a picture, an event, a realization or epiphany, a dream or a job can all spark a person to just begin. Most people can begin anything, but it takes a lot to complete that same project.

Every artist creates differently. However, what many of them would agree on is that the creating needs to come first, then the editing. But what can happen, especially with someone just starting out, is that they begin to write, think about how their readers may interpret what they’ve written, then change their words, the direction of the story, make the characters less evil, less broken, less flawed. And that changes everything. Only with practice do we get to understand how the creative process works for us. What we need to begin, how to keep going when things begin to slow in the middle, and how and when to end our session comes with familiarity. We figure out what works for us, and we apply that time and again. And if we get stuck or blocked (for a number of reasons) then we change that familiarity.

Practicing for a sports team begets familiarity with the plays, the bat, the ball, the field, the equipment, teammates, and opponents. We begin to focus on the game, the fundamentals of the plays, the rules, the possible scenarios. Then we notice how we think, how we move in our body. With familiarity, comes understanding, and then trust. It’s helpful to create anything if we can understand the workings of it. And once we understand, we come to trust that it will operate in a particular way.

After the novice, or the tenured, begins once, we return to the starting point. For some, all they want to write is just one book, one poem, one song. That’s fine. For the rest of us, we begin again because we become addicted. Whether it’s the feeling when we’re entrenched in our project, the elation and exhaustion of completion, or the opening of the floodgates of ideas from our Muse, we begin again and again and again. Sometimes we discover something vital about ourselves. Other times the dream of being a professional artist, of challenging ourselves to overcome the critic or the fear that holds us back becomes the driving force to return to the beginning. The more times we begin again, the more practice we get, the more familiarity blossoms, laying the groundwork for understanding and trust.

New Beginnings

Over the past several weeks there has been so much news of endings. End of tournaments, end of life, end of businesses, and end of relationships. All of these endings could cast a pall of depression over us. We wonder why things have to end.

This column is going to focus on beginnings. It is like Spring which sends a natural message of new growth, after a season that has hardened seeds to be ready for their explosion into life. Spring has a sense of renewal and freshness.

Marsha Petrie Sue said, “Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.”

In my own life experience, I have felt that there were those times I was facing an ending. It was so overwhelming I was not sure that tomorrow would ever feel the warmth and joy again. Miraculously, I discovered a newness of living that was not on my radar screen. I experienced living life as it opened up to new vistas.

Beginnings require that we let go of yesterday to live today. If we hang onto yesterday wishing we had lived it differently, we reach the sunset of today only to realize that we have compounded our regret for not having lived another day. We sit in despair not beginning because we could not let go of the ending of yesterday.

It is true that yesterday may have been a life altering event. There is a time to grieve for a loss, a missed opportunity, an error in judgment, or just making the mistake of not trying or engaging. Whatever it is, we cannot live the day over again. Nor can we make someone else do what we wished or change what happened.

Maria Shriver said life-altering experiences make us then live the altered life direction we are pointed toward and make it into something worthwhile. I’ve thought a lot about that fact of living. How different our lives have become because of what looked like the end, and it became the beginning of a whole new life experience.

Beginnings are not a once in a lifetime event. They begin every day. When there is an ending, is it not really just the beginning of something new? I came across this quote, attributed to Semisonic, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”

The end of childhood begins adulthood. High school graduation begins a future holding a variety of options and challenges into a world of discovery what it means to be adult. The end of a career begins the discovery of retirement and new challenges yet to unfold.

Relationships end and new ones begin. Marriages may end in divorce or death. It is the beginning of a life not planned for when there were two and now there is one. Children leave home, the nest is empty, and time is open for something else to fill it. Explore a new career, an opportunity to serve the community, or rediscover the person who is full of gifts that could not emerge until this time of their life.

Jobs are lost to downsizing or relocation and now the door opening requires a new look at skills unused but valuable. Could it mean more schooling, creating a small business or something outside of the box only dreamt about?

Beginnings are often fearful, for we do not know what the ending looks like or how it will change or alter our lives. However, without them we have lost living to the fullest potential given to us.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce said, “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

It is Spring! It is New Year’s Day! Today is the beginning of another day of life. It is up to you to leave yesterdays pain and hurts behind which hinder your own ability to plant seeds of new growth and discovery.

Life is short, spring into action and live today’s beginning. Who knows what the next ending will mean for your next new beginning.


©MCStrom 11/AP/05

All Wealth Begins In Your Mind

I know it is hard for one to believe that all wealth begins in your mind; however whether you want to believe it or not it is true. Everything begins with a thought that you hold in your mind whether
it has to do with wealth or a great idea. So has your mind been focused on abundance or lack of abundance? Well it is easy to tell all you have to do is take a look at your finances and you can easily answer that question.

So do you choose to believe that all wealth begins in your mind and that you do have control over how much you can attract; or do you want to be like 97% of people who think they are at the mercy of others and that they do not have control over their lives? I choose to believe that I have control over my life by choosing the right thoughts that I focus on.

One of the first things you must understand when you begin the process of all wealth begins in your mind is that whatever you choose to put in your mind will influence your subconscious whether positive or negative. You must begin taking precaution of what you are feeding your subconscious. What kinds of movies are you watching? What books are you reading? What kind of music are you listening to? Most importantly what kind of language are you using? Are you talking positively or do you find yourself saying a lot of negative things like; can’t, shouldn’t, don’t or any other negative words? You must begin talking to yourself in positive ways and begin telling yourself that you can do something and that you do have wealth.

Yes sometimes it is hard to believe that you do have wealth when your appearances say that you do not have it at the present time. However the more you keep telling yourself and seeing yourself with the wealth that you desire you will begin attracting that wealth to you. All wealth begins in your mind and if you really wish to attract it you must begin playing these games with your subconscious. The more often you continue playing these games then your subconscious will help you achieve what you are focusing on. It could be that you will find a new career, start your own business or however else you will come upon the money.

You have nothing to lose to begin focusing on wealth and begin seeing yourself living a more abundant lifestyle. So what is it that you desire do you desire a new home or a new car? Whatever you want begin seeing yourself already in possession of what you want and let your faith in the law of attraction go to work for you. The more often you can see whatever you desire and believe that you already possess it or it is on it’s way to you; you will begin to see those things becoming a reality in your life.

As your faith grows and becomes consistent then you will have learned that all wealth begins in your mind and you will be able to attract whatever you desire. Let’s begin attracting wonderful things to us by utilizing these principles of course if you require more assistance then get your hands on a great personal development program that can assist you on your journey.