Saturday, March 1

This is me. Sick in bed. The only difference is that I don't have Mom to take care of me. Of course I'm way too old for that and Mom has herself to look after. But sometimes a mother's touch can make us feel so much better.

I started feeling poorly on Wed. Nothing serious, but just not up to par. Friday I felt a little worse. I watched Griffyn for Melissa to go to her aunt's funeral. When I came home I laid down and slept for two hours. I didn't figure I would go to sleep, but was tired and in bed by 11 PM. I was awake on and off all night because of coughing and shivering. Nasty bug.

Today I was cold all day and was so stuffed up I couldn't breathe. I sent hubby to the health food store to buy some Breathe Easy Tea and made myself a cup. That cleared up my stuffiness, but was still cold and shivering and no energy. Hubby made me a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup and that was delicious. Yes, hubby can cook if he has to and sometimes gives me a break.

After I ate the soup, I crawled back in bed and covered up with lots of blankets and the comforter. I still shivered. I stayed there until about 5PM and then got up. It is about 7:30 now and I will soon be heading off to bed. Thank goodness for the relief that the Breathe Easy Tea gave me.

I just wanted to post a blurb to let all my blogging buddies and readers know what's going on with me. I know that some of you have wondered. Yes, I'm still in the land of the living, but wish I could get warm.

Whatever you do, don't catch this bug. It's nasty with a capital N. ~Blessings, Mary~

Awards and Gifts Page 2

This is page two of my Awards and Gifts page. Each award means a lot to me. I've truly been blessed with great blogging friends and appreciate each of you. These awards are truly cherished.
Thank you, Pea!
Thank you, Shortybear!
Thank you, Pea! It was a blast.

Thank you, Jeni!

Thank you, Grams and Jill!

Thank you, Mike!

Thank you, Mike!
Thank you, Mike!

Thank you, Storyteller!

Thank you, Renie!
Thank you, Jojo!
Thank you, Anni, Sammi, Storyteller and Tina!
Thank You, Lady Di!

Thank You, Pea!
Thank You, Pea!
Thank You, Mari!

Thank You, Grams!

Thank You, Pea!

From Grateful Living and Grams! Thank You!

Thank You, Nancy!

Thank You, Pea!

Thank You, Denise!

Thank You, Mike!

Thank You, Storyteller!
The above award was presented to me by
Hootin' Anni. It was made especially with me in
mind and is not to be passed on. Thank You, Anni!
You've touched my heart by making this with me
in mind.

Thank You, Hootin' Anni!

Thank You, Mike!
Thank You, Storyteller!

Thank You, Grams!
Thank You, Karen H!
Thank You, Grams!

Thank You, Karen H!

Thank You, Lady Di!

Thank You, Brandy!
The Medal of Awesomeness

Awarded by
to Mary

Thank you, Deena!

Wednesday, February 27

Black History, Awards and Other News

The above likeness of Henry Bibb was published by P.H. Reason. It states there is a $50 reward for the slave's capture. The bottom depiction is showing Bibb running from a slave catcher in 1838 in Louisville, Kentucky. He turned the corner and disappeared.

Henry Bibb was born into slavery on May 10, 1815. He was the son of slave Mildred Jackson and Senator James Bibb. He had six siblings that he saw sold to different owners during his childhood. He had little contact with his mother and was often hired out to work for other slave owners while he was still very young.

While he was still a teenager, Bibb took a wife. However, her owner put her to work as a prostitute which angered her husband. Bibb attempted escape sever times and finally in 1837, he succeeded. A few months later thie tried to help his family escape. They were captured and all were sold to a man from Vicksburg, Ohio, where they escaped again. This time they were set upon by a pack of wolves and were recaptured. The postcard below depicts Bibb and his family being attacked.

After he was recaptured with this family, Bibb was sold to Native Americans. He was successful in escaping but was never able to rescue his family.

Bibb began to work as an anti-slavery activist. He began lecturing in 1842. He also worked for the Liberty Party of Michigan.

In 1848, Bibb married Mary Miles of Boston. In 1849, his autobiography Narrative of the Life and Adventures of an American Slave was published by the Anti-Slavery Society.

Bibb joined forces with former slave Josiah Henson and together they went to Canada and established the Refugees Home Colony, a safe haven for escaped slaves. Bibb published the Voice of the Fugitive the first African Canadian newspaper. Henry Bibb died in 1854.

Karen over at Karen's Korner was handing out awards today. Thanks, Karen. Your friendship is very much appreciated.

Friends are very important to me and this one below is one that I'd like to give to all my friends who have prayed for our family while Michelle was undergoing her surgery and in the days since. Thanks to each of you. Your prayers, love and support meant a lot to us.

Nice does matter. I have met so many nice folks since I began blogging here last September. Anyone on my blogroll is welcome to take a copy of this one.

The on below is for my very best blogging buddies. You all know who you are. Yes, Karen, this means you too.

And the one below. Oh my! This is one that I originally created to give to all my very best blogging friends. This has come back to me twice now and I'm greatly honored. Any of my blogging friends who write to me on a regular basis are being awarded with this one. Thank you all for your love, prayers and support.

Update on Michelle: Michelle is doing better everyday. She is going up and down stairs now and getting around the house much better. She is still recuperating and tired at times. The doctor has told her it will be a full six weeks before she will be back to her normal self, but that is expected. It takes time to heal after surgery. She is still having some discomfort and her body just isn't always functioning the way it should, but for the most part she is doing good. We still do not have the lab reports. I will be sure to let you know when we find out the results.

Thanks to everyone who asks after Michelle and inquired how I was feeling. I had a touch of that nasty flu bug and it is lingering, but I'm doing fine.

If you enjoy giveaways, be sure to head over to visit Garden Goose. She has 3 giveaways going that are going to be drawn on leap year day. Her blog is lovely and such a great place to visit. She always has something of interest there.

Can you believe it's almost the first of March? I'm looking forward to spring. I've had enough frigid cold and snow to last me for another year. It is COLD here today. It is to be -35 Celsius overnight with the wind chill. I'm glad I can stay in where it's warm, but tomorrow is also going to be cold. If you life in a northern climate and you are getting this winter blast, be sure to stay warm and cozy. ~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, February 26

Harriet Ann Jacobs: A Prisoner of Freedom

Harriet Ann Jacobs was born into slavery at Edenton, North Carolina in 1813. Her mother, Delilah, was the daughter of a slave. Her father, Daniel, was a carpenter, owned by doctor Andre Knox. His father was white. Harriet's mother died when she was six. She was then taken in by her mistress, who taught her to read. When the mistress died, Harriet thought she would be given her freedom. However, the mistress' Will left her to her five-year-old niece. Because the niece was a minor, Harriet became the property of her father, Dr. James Norcom, who sexually harassed her. When Harriet learned that the doctor was building a cottage in the country where he planned to take her as his concubine, she was desperate.

In order to stall the doctor's advances, Harriet encouraged a relationship with a lawyer, Samuel Sawyer. Samuel had been attracted to Harriet for some time. The couple began an affair. Their son, Joseph, was born in 1829. A daughter, Louisa, was born in 1833. Dr. Norcom was furious when he learned of the relationship. He banished Harriet to a plantation where he ordered her to work as a field hand. This was excruciating work, but Harriet would not be intimidated. She continued to refuse the doctor's advances. In retaliation, Dr. Norcom refused to allow her to have her children. Harriet was again desperate. She made a plan to escape. With the help of the women in the community, both black and white, Harriet managed to hide from Dr. Norcom.

Then, Harriet found a great hiding place. Harriet's maternal grandmother, Molly Horniblow had been freed during the American Revolution. Unfortunately, on her way to Florida, she had been captured by slave traders and resold into slavery. She regained her freedom in 1828. Molly's house had a small crawlspace over a shed that had been added onto the residence. It was seven feet wide and nine feet long. The compartment had a bed on the floor for Harriet to lie on. The slope roof, which was only three feet high at one point, wouldn't allow her to roll over. The area had no window. Harriet lay in the dark hiding place while mice and rats crawled over her.

Samuel Sawyer had managed to buy the couple's children from Dr. Norcom without his knowledge. Joseph and Louisa came to live in their great-grandmother's home. Harriet could lie in the dark crawlspace and watch her children play through a hole she had drilled in the wall. Harriet couldn't take the chance of being found by Dr. Norcom. She lived in the crawlspace for six years and eleven months, coming out only at night for exercise.

Harriet escaped from her tortured existence in 1842. She boarded a ship to Philadelphia, then took the train to New York City. Here, she met Louisa, who had been sent to her mother by Samuel. Harriet lived in New York for a time and then moved to Rochester to reunite with her brother, who was also an escaped slave. Here, she became involved in the abolitionist movement and met Frederick Douglas. She began writing for his newspaper, the "North Star."

Harriet's troubles were far from over. She fled to Massachusetts and then back to New York to avoid being recaptured by Dr. Norcom. Finally, a friend of Harriet's was able to persuade the doctor to sell her. Harriet was free at last. Harriet's friends coaxed her to write a book telling of her life as a slave. Harriet wrote, "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl." She was the first to write of the abuse inflicted on women slaves. She used the pen name Linda Brent to publish her book, in order to protect her grandmother and her children.

Harriet was actively involved in the abolitionist movement before the Civil War. While the war raged, she used her position as celebrity to raise money for black refugees. After the war, she worked to better the life of freed slaves. Harriet died in 1897 at the age of eighty-four.

Lydia Marie Child was the Editor of "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl." She was also a writer and activist. She and Harriet became very close. Lydia pledged her life to the political, intellectual and civil rights of the oppressed. By publishing Harriet's book, she left us an accounting of a life of slavery that we might otherwise never have known about. Be sure to follow the link above to read Harriet's book online.

If you are interested in the decisions a slave had to make while traveling the Underground Railroad, be sure to visit the National Geographic's site and take THE JOURNEY. I found this site a few years ago and it is a fabulous way to learn more about the life of a slave and the Underground Railroad. I hope you've enjoyed learning about Harriet Jacobs and her life. Please visit both the sites I have linked to in order to learn more about Black History.

Not much other news from here today. I talked to Michelle on the phone and she is getting around well. She went up and down stairs today and she and Melissa are having fun together. The boys are having a ball with Griffyn. I know when Griffyn leaves to go home on Friday that he will miss the boys and they will really miss him. They are having lots of fun together and it's good for the boys to learn about babies.

If at all possible, be kind to someone today. Even a smile can make a big difference in a person's life. ~Blessings, Mary~

Monday, February 25

Black History, Update on Michelle and Photos of Griffyn

Photo above is of black settlers in Elgin Country, Ontario.

Since I've had lots of comments on how much people are enjoying my tidbits of black history, I wanted to share a bit more with you today.

If a slave living in American was able to obtain freedom papers, either by self-purchase or by the generosity (?) of their owner, they considered those papers a treasure and guarded them for the rest of their lives. These people lived in constant fear that they would have to prove that they were free. The majority of slaves had to escape the clutches of their owners by running and were often hunted down by bounty hunters and slave catchers.

In 1850, the second American Fugitive Slave Act was passed. It caused African Americans to be highly at risk because it was possible for free and enslaved African Americans to be accused of being a runaway slave and no proof of slavery was needed. At this time a great exodus began. Approximatley 60,000 African Americans took the risk of fleeing for freedom and Canada was a safe haven.

Slaves followed rivers and military trails, weaving across the countryside to one safe house after another. They traveled mostly by night and used the North Star as their compass. They watched for signs that identified the safe houses. Still, each time they approached a house, they were fearful for their lives.

Many of these people arrived in Upper Canada, which is now known as Ontario and once here, claimed liberty to live and work here. They were also free to have their children educated - something that hadn't been possible in America.
The photo above is of rhe Marble Village Black School that was established in Ontario.

Former slaves did not live in Upper Canada without challenges. Slave and bounty hunters would often capture them and return them to the US. At times they were ostracized by the community. At other times they were extradited by government officials.

Black Canadians banded together to actively fight for their freedom. They established their own communities and built their own churches and schools. Life was hard and continued to be for many generations. These people were pioneers in their own right and deserve to be recognized for their contributions to Ontario history.

Photo of settlers courtesy of Archives of Ontario 10014677 - no restrictions on use.
Photo of the Marble Village School courtesy of Archives of Ontario 100024783 no restrictions on use.

I realize I've been AWOL. I usually post everyday, but wasn't feeling myself over the weekend and so didn't post yesterday. That is very unusual for me and then I didn't get time to post earlier today.

This morning I took Michelle to the GYN to have her staples removed. We were there around 10 am and she was out by 10:30. It was supposed to be in and out but when the nurse took the staples out, she realized that part of Michelle's incision was red. Her regular GYN wasn't available so they called one of the other doctor's in the practice in to have a look. He said there was a bit of infection and told her to wash it really well twice a day and to keep an eye on it. If it gets hard or the redness increases, she is to phone immediately. Otherwise she has to go back next Monday.

He did tell her that she can go up and downstairs now and do more things around the house as long as she doesn't tire herself out or lift anything. So I'm asking for prayers for Michelle that her infection doesn't worsen.

My niece, Melissa, was nice enough to come and stay with Michelle this week. She will be returning home on Friday morning. She has a little boy that will be 8 months old on February 28th and she is expecting another baby in August. I thought it was nice of her to come when she has her hands so full.

When Michelle and I got back to the house, I went in to visit Griffyn. I haven't seen him since Canadian Thanksgiving, which was in October. Melissa did send me some photos that I shared with my readers, but I wanted to take some of him while I had the opportunity. He is getting around really well. He is starting to stand up at furniture and make his way around the house. He's had several bumps and bruises while attempting to discover the world and get his land legs.
Above Griffyn is sitting by his Mom who is trying to get a bit of time on the computer. She had several toys on the highchair table, but his little arms and hands cleared them in two minutes flat.
He thinks he is a smart boy and he is. Look at that angelic face and those eyes that are sparkling with mischief.
He knows he's the center of attention and he loves it. He is clinging to his very last toy for dear life. All the rest are scattered across the living room floor.
I took him out of his highchair and played with him for a few minutes, then put him down on the floor. Michelle's dog kept trying to kiss him and Griffyn wasn't sure if he liked that. He does have a dog at home, but she is a more docile creature than Michelle's dog. A few minutes before this photo was taken, Griffyn had been checking out the vacuum in the background. Then he decided he wanted to come to me. I was standing on the six steps that go from the living room to the foyer. He started for me...
And he came really quickly. Look at that smile and the look of achievement. Notice the red cheeks that are caused from teething.

Melissa is really lucky. For the most part he is a really good baby. He entertains himself nicely and loves his Jolly Jumper. However, sleep is not in his vocabulary and he doesn't want it to be in Mom's either. He puts up quite a fuss when she tries to get him to sleep.

Do you enjoy giveaways. If so be sure to stop by and visit Garden Goose and find out how to join in on the fun. Click on the magazine cover to visit Small Town Living.

Well, that is all for today. Please leave a comment and I will do my best to catch up with all my friends tomorrow. ~Blessings, Mary~