One of My Valentine’s Gifts

Tonight I got busy making a huge glass baking pan of Artichoke French for my Mom for Valentine’s Day (yes, they’re a couple of days late, but she’ll love them anyway)! I buy a 5.5 lb can of Ruby Artichokes from my local Italian market. These are the best artichoke hearts – they’re huge and soft.


I drain the artichoke hearts


and while they’re draining I prepare the flour mixture, beat the eggs and get the oil heating in the skillet. Then I cut the artichoke hearts in half and drain them some more, put them in the flour mixture,


then the eggs,


and into the skillet to brown.


After they’re browned on both sides,


I put the cooked artichokes on paper towels to drain

I haven’t achieved the art of keeping all of the breading on the artichokes yet, but Mom still loves them!

then into the glass baking pan.


In a sauce pan I make the olive oil sauce to cover the cooked artichoke hearts.


Once I pour the boiled sauce over the artichokes, they’re almost drowning in the sauce.


They’re ready to take to Mom’s, where tomorrow we’ll pop them in the oven for 30 minutes and she’ll be in heaven! And I’m sure she’ll share with me. Well, maybe!

P.S. I really don’t know how people cook and photograph at the same time. I must be the messiest cook on the planet! I steamed the lens accidentally while photographing the boiling sauce


and I got flour/egg all over the camera, and my new Roman shade.

Good thing the shade is washable!

I Need Some Color

and I thought maybe could use some, too, so here’s something beautiful I found in Arizona last March.

AZ-2007-03-20thru29 274

Ahhhhh! That’s good! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my blogging and real life friends and family! I hope this Valentine’s day brings you whatever you love the most, whether it’s birdies (a lifer would be great) and/or something else really cool from nature, and/or one of my favorites, chocolate covered strawberries!

P.S. Not my photo or strawberry – mine would be covered to the top in chocolate!

Whatever it is that is love and happiness for you, I hope you really enjoy your day to the max!



Wimpy Wimpy Wimpy

So I woke up to the news on the radio this morning and heard schools around the area, including the ones we serve at work, were closed. I’m thinking ‘oh great, there must be tons of snow outside.’ So I rip open the curtain and there was nothing. It was a beautiful morning. WTF? Turns out it was too cold for kids to go to school. Already then. Sounds a little wimpy to me, or should I say, real wimpy. My Mom used to bundle us up to wait for the school bus in all sorts of weather. The only time school was closed was when the road was closed, like my Dad had described here.


People these days have NO spines. I sleep with my window open every night and have ever since I was very little, no matter what the weather. So to say cold air hurts kids is, IMHO, bunk.

My Fingerprinting Saga

So in order to work with children the state requires everyone be fingerprinted. Which, in my case, is easier said than done.


Not my fingerprint

I first went to get fingerprinted on October 18, 2007. Remember my post “Do All Old Sears Buildings Look Alike?” That was my first attempt at fingerprinting. My second attempt was on October 19th. The lady smashed my fingers into the ink pad and smashed them onto the paper, and what did I know? She sent them in and the big black blobs got rejected.

So I went back to the Sears building and someone else did them. And I waited a month. And I called the man who did them. And he said he didn’t remember me and they must have gotten lost. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

So I went to the local police station near where I work. And got a third set of black blobs done, sent in, and three weeks later, rejected. By this time I’ve had it. I’m done. Forget it.

But I was out with my friend Josie and she was driving and after we had done what we were out for she told me she was taking me back to the police station. I went kicking and screaming. I told her NO! But we went anyway. And I told the man, this is my fourth attempt and I don’t think I have any fingerprints since they always turn out as black blobs. He looked at my hands closely and said “do you use your hands a lot?” Uh, yeah, all of the time ever since I was very young. He said I have worm my fingerprint pads down to almost nothing. OMG. I’m not that old! What are they going to be like when I’m 90? But he being a policeman knew exactly what to do (I hope). He used a special ink pad and took my prints very gently and they actually may go through this time. If not, I AM so done trying.

Ice, Not So Nice

I’m tired of ice. This is New York State. We’re supposed to have tons of snow. Not ice, slush and rain every other day. I have ice two inches thick on my driveway. I can’t even wheel my garbage containers to the curb because of the ice. I’m done with it. I’m staying inside until it stops. That’s not a threat, it’s a promise.  Because nobody knows how to drive on ice.

I am requesting a melting of the ice on my driveway, then some real winter snow. It doesn’t need to be deep like when I was a kid, but just sufficient so it can protect plant roots and so I can play in it for a little while.

March 6, 1971, LaFayette, NY

Wordless Wednesday

Another one of my Mom’s amaryllis.

I love the pretty little girl sitting up high above all of those boys whose pollen is just waiting patiently to jump into her.
I was working to get a better photo than this when my younger brother called and interrupted my photo session.

My Dad’s Scissors

My Mom had a pair of my Dad’s scissors on the kitchen table yesterday, and it brought back memories. One of his jobs at the NY Telephone Company was as an electrician and he was one of the lucky guys to work up the poles and down in the manholes (yuck). In the manholes he had to splice wires, and hence the need for these scissors. He also used them quite a bit around the house.

My Dad’s electrician’s scissors, one of many pair he had.


Wiss 175E5 made in the U.S.A.

They are Wiss 175E5 5″ electrician scissors with serrations along the entire bottom blade. There are two notches for stripping different gauges of wire (19 gauge and 23 gauge). He used to wear them in a holder that would attach somehow to his belt.


View showing the serrations and two notches.

Even though these are older than I can remember, they are still very sharp. Now that’s a good pair of scissors!

The Jerry Rescue, October 1, 1851

In honor of Black History Month, I’ve been thinking about the Jerry Rescue which occurred in Syracuse, NY on October 1, 1851. I first learned about the rescue at the Onondaga Historical Association when I watched a first-person video at their museum with my Dad in February of 2006. We also went through their museum exhibition “Freedom Bound: Syracuse & The Underground Railroad.”

I grew up south of Syracuse and I knew nothing about any of this until I went to the OHA museum. The teaching of local history, except for Native American history, was lacking when I went through school. As far as I know, this is being corrected now, I hope.

2007-08-18 OHA DSC01517 crop
Jerry Rescue building, 1954 watercolor by Nicholas Tadisco at OHA Museum

Instead of piecing together an article from various sources, I decided that the following article pretty much said everything I wanted to include. I don’t like the “n” word at all so I left it out in the article.

Abolitionists Stopped Slave’s Arrest

Rescuers Stormed Jail to Save Jerry

By Marilyn Marks

The mob of people at the police station the night of Oct. 1, 1851, was ready for a showdown.

The crowd attacked. Stones flew; iron bars, axes, and wooden clubs broke the building’s windows. At the front door, a gang of men with a battering ram ran forward and heaved.

The door came down. Next, the wall.

19911158-PS-1974-06-12-Jerry Rescue Bldg 1852_

On the other side of that wall was Jerry, held at the police station as a fugitive slave. These men were his rescuers.

“Get out of here, you n–, if you are making all this muss,” yelled the policeman guarding Jerry, thrusting him violently toward his friends.

Jerry was hurt. A flying stone had cut open one side of his head, and a rib was cracked in his struggles with police.

The rescuers carried Jerry outside to a waiting carriage which spirited him to his hiding place of four days, just a few blocks from City Hall. Traveling well-hidden, covered with hay under a wagon seat, Jerry fled to Mexico [NY] and then Oswego.

Ten days after the rescue, Jerry was on a boat quietly crossing Lake Ontario on his way to Kingston, Ontario.

Jerry’s arrival in Canada marked the end of what may be the most historic event in Syracuse’s history. The rescue signaled to the rest of the country that the controversial Fugitive Slave Law could not be enforced.

The events leading to Jerry’s rescue began like a fulfillment of the prophesy made by Daniel Webster here in May, 1850.

“The persons in this city who mean to oppose the execution of the Fugitive Slave Law are traitors,” Webster announced.

“The law ought to be enforced and it will be enforced: yes, in the city of Syracuse it shall be enforced,” Webster said, and then predicted “and that, too in the midst of the next anti-slavery convention.”

That convention came to Syracuse Oct 1, 1851. The morning found Jerry, whose legal name was William Henry, hard at work in his barrel-making shop.

Labor was especially difficult, as the sun shone brightly and visitors to the county fair thronged the streets.

Suddenly the door to the small shop swung open and federal officers entered. They forced Jerry’s arms to his sides and shackled his wrists. The charge, the officers said, was theft.

Almost immediately after the arrest, church bells began to ring – a pre-arranged signal of the city’s abolitionists. The anti-slavery convention adjourned for the day.

The federal officers took Jerry to the office of the U.S. commissioner.

Barely had the proceedings there begun when more than 30 men stormed the small courtroom, breaking windows and smashing furniture. And in the midst of it all, Jerry escaped.

“The n—made his escape into the street, and was followed by a crowd of persons, some desirous to assist in his escape, and other anxious to arrest him,” The Daily Standard reported.

“A carriage was procured, but the poor fellow was taken into custody before he got out of the limits of the city.”

Not to be dissuaded, Jerry’s rescuers tried again at 8:30 that night at the police station. This time they succeeded.

Jerry, three-fourths white, originally had planned to go to Canada when he escaped from a Missouri plantation in the winter of 1849. But upon arrival in Syracuse en route, he decided the city would make a safe enough home.

Relatively well-educated – on the plantation he had minded his master’s accounts – Jerry easily found a job in a cabinet-making shop. He soon opened his own barrel-making shop on North Salina Street, where he was arrested.

Syracusans were exuberant over his rescue. Several women packed Jerry’s shackles and sent them to President Millard Fillmore. The Daily Standard congratulated Syracusans as the “true friends of Freedom.”

And the old police station at Clinton and Water Streets was well known for decades as the Jerry Rescue Building, until it was demolished in 1974.

19911158-PS-1974-06-12_Jerry Rescue Bldg 1974

In keeping with the pride of Syracuse, no one was punished for the rescue.

Of the eight men arrested and 15 others indicted, only one man, Enoch Reed, was found guilty of treason. He died while his case was under appeal.

Then, as if to tell federal officials to keep their hands off Syracuse, the Onondaga Grand Jury handed up kidnapping indictments against an agent and a deputy marshal who arrested Jerry. Both men were tried and acquitted.

Not everyone was thrilled with the rescue, however. Newspapers around the country condemned Syracusans as traitors.

The Washington Union even suggested that Syracuse be placed in a state of siege by the army and be kicked out of the union until it repented for its sins.

Sources: Syracuse Post-Standard, June 12, 1974, pg 17, Jerry Rescue Building to Fall;
Syracuse Post-Standard, Thursday, Sept. 20, 1979, Page B-5

I was glad to hear that Mr. Henry made it to safety, along with many other people I’ve studied. In 1990 the city erected this monument to the Jerry Rescue at Clinton Square across the street from where the jail stood (which is a parking lot now). The monument includes the faces of Henry, Loguen and May.

Jerry Rescue Monument in Clinton Square, Syracuse, taken on April 12, 2006.

I saw a pair of old shackles like the ones used on Mr. Henry and other African Americans while working on an exhibition at OHA and they made me want to throw up, seriously. Sometimes history does that to me.

The Weather, Boring? Nope!

You know I’m overdue for an article on something of an historical nature, and you’re right! I have a few potential articles swirling around in my head that I’ve been researching, and as soon as I can get a good handle on at least one of them, I’ll write it up for you. In the meantime, I’ll talk about the weather. First it got really very windy this week. I would have taken photos of the sideways traffic lights, but keeping both hands on the steering wheel was essential. Then it got icy and slushy and it took me an hour to get to work (because of all of the slow pokes who have vehicles that can’t handle the snow, why the heck do they live here with vehicles that can’t handle snow, did I write that out-loud, grrrr)? And last night we finally got some snow. But still not enough to do some real snow shoeing in. Sigh.

Just barely enough snow to cover the evergreens in my back yard.

Spring can’t come fast enough here!

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