Category Archives: Karen Tashkovski

Paper Trail

And just like that…I am up to $4.62 in found money for 2023!

One Dollar’s Worth

Found this seventy cent spill at the bank this morning! Lucky-lucky! I also received a $20 bill with 777 in the serial number and saw a license plate with 777 on it. Nothing else needs to happen to make this rainy day any more amazing, but I will welcome more amazing things/experiences with open arms. Thank you, universe! I am up to $3.62 in found money for 2023!

Bears Craft Lions

My Studio in Art students spent three days drawing lions in anticipation of the annual Lions Club peace poster contest. They will be incorporating lions in their posters, which they will begin working on next week.

These lions are pencil only on 8″ x 8″ white tagboard. Students are 8th graders at Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, New York.

ISO Fish Fry – Sal’s

I had planned to go to the Atlantic Seafood Company in Baldwinsville. They were supposed to be open until 7:00 pm. They were closed (I don’t know why). As I stood in the parking lot wondering what to do next, Janine drove by…and twenty minutes later four of us were dining at Sal’s New York Style Pizza & Restaurant. Broiled haddock is on their mainly Italian food menu.

Presentation: The haddock dinner came with seasonal vegetables, which ended up being green beans. I also received a side salad and knot rolls. I loved how my meal was served on a red plate. Everyone else got white plates for their respective meals of tortellini, calzone and salmon salad.

Taste: The broiled fish had a ton of paprika on top. While the haddock was perfectly cooked, it and the green beans were very salty. I ate everything because it was $21. I didn’t want to throw money away. I felt like I was two sizes bigger when I left the restaurant. I should have ordered the fish fry with french fries but I thought this was going to be the healthier option.

Restaurant Experience: I remained in the small dining area. There is also a fully stocked bar on the other side of the wall.

Everyone was very nice. There were two hostesses and two waitress. As I waited for my friends, the waitress brought the knots to the table. I received the plain ones because I do not like garlic, which is the norm. They were warm and came with butter. When my friends arrived, another basket of knots, this time garlic infused, was brought to the table for them.

We all ordered different meals. Cooking times must have varied significantly because the meals were not brought out at the same time. I had ordered first, but I was the third of four to be served the main courses. Two of us had salads and it felt weird to eat while someone else was just sitting there.

Location: Sal’s New York Style Pizza & Restaurant is located at 41 E. Genesee Street, Baldwinsville, New York 13207. Call  (315) 638-8505 for more information. I don’t know if they take reservations or not. I was the first one in the dining area and within a half hour it was full. No one indicated they had a reservation.

Saturday11 AM–11 PM
Sunday12–9 PM
Monday(Labor Day)11 AM–9 PMHours might differ
Tuesday11 AM–9 PM
Wednesday11 AM–9 PM
Thursday11 AM–10 PM
Friday11 AM–11 PM

Parking: There is a huge parking lot with plenty of spots because an Ace Hardware shares the lot.


The tail end of summer vacation is upon us. Here are my picks for binge-worthy TV shows/series, that is, if you are looking for recommendations on something to do and you are in a staycation frame of mind, and you just want to watch television.

Jury Duty on Amazon Prime (Freevee)

I was hesitant at first with this one because I thought it was going to be humiliating for the guy who is being duped. But he rises to the occasion of the “hero’s journey” and everyone will fall in love with Ronald Gladden. He is the American every-man. The show is filmed as a fake documentary. This is unscripted comedy at its finest – it has garnered four Emmy nominations! If it wins, Ron should renegotiate whatever fictitious contract he signed and get at least ten times more than he was eventually paid.

The Gilded Age on HBO Max

They used actual places/historical homes for this series, albeit they were streets in Troy, New York and homes in other upstate locations to depict late 19th century 5th avenue in New York City. Miranda from Sex & the City (Cynthia Nixon) portrays a completely different New Yorker and it is an amazing transformation! The Gilded Age has one Emmy nomination.

Daisy Jones & the Six on Amazon Prime

Riley Keough and Suki Waterhouse shine as 1970s era rock stars (think a fictional Fleetwood Mac). This mini-series is based on a book by the same name. In The Gilded Age, the set decoration is one of the stars. In this show, fashion is. And singing. A lot of drinking and smoking makes these beautiful people’s lives go awry but there is a sliver of a positive outcome and love wins. The saga bounces between narrative and a twenty-years later documentary, which reminded me of the movie Eddie & the Cruisers. Daisy Jones & the Six has received nine Emmy nominations!

The Resort on Peacock

This is a timey-wimey thingy. More humor than drama plus adventure and mystery. I loved it! People are comparing it to the White Lotus show on HBO Max, but I had to fast-forward a lot of that one because the acting was so bad (or maybe it was the script?). They did such a great job with the set decoration on this one. After digesting it, it took me down a rabbit hole of real derelict beach hotels in various locations, which I didn’t know existed in prime real estate of the resort hotel industry.

The Lake on Amazon Prime

The writing on this series is so intelligently funny, the delivery is deadpan and of course, no laugh track, which allows the viewer an intimate experience with these flawed yet relatable characters. This is another series where people are on a vacation, but there is no other-worldy element. There are two seasons of this one. I watched the first season last summer and I thought, what else can they do with this? Well, they delivered! So good!

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Paramount Plus

This one is a Star Trek original series prequel. Captain Christopher Pike was reintroduced in the Star Trek: Discovery series on the same network and this show was created because fans loved him. Anson Mount is perfecto as the captain. Spock, Uhura and Kirk are there too. It is brilliant. And there are two seasons to watch (spoiler alert: season 2 ends in a cliff hanger so there will be more – you’re welcome). One Emmy award nomination.

And, P.S., there are a number of other Star Trek incarnations on the channel.

Star Trek: Lower Decks on Paramount Plus

Lower Decks is so funny, so witty and fast-paced, and it is a cartoon! You’ll have to watch the episodes more than once to hear everything over your own laughter. The writers are Star Trek savants. They pull material from every other series and the result is obscure reference hilarity. You’ll want to be in on the joke. So, yes, I am saying that I saved the best for last and I reiterate: it is a CARTOON.

Enjoy! <3

Greatness Awaits!

The New York State Fair is a memory machine. As we walked around, Janine and I recalled events set in this location from various decades of our lives.

The Art & Home Center reminded me of all the times Gramma won blue ribbons for her crochet. This building is always my first stop once past the gates because there never seems to be a line at the bathroom there.

This year we saw this wonderful display of miniatures. The hobby brings together collections from across the state and they really spark the imagination.

The Horticulture building brought reflections of waiting in line for a free baked potato. There is still a line, but it is not free, lol. This year we viewed floral arrangements there and tasted maple-infused products.

Janine shared stories of going on rides as a child and bringing her kids when they were little. I love the way the mid-way looks at night!

The Dairy building with its annual butter sculpture – that is such an iconic part of the experience. The sculpture is inside a refrigerated case and it rotates like the stage in the Toronto production of Les Miserables I saw many years ago. I would say it matches the drama as well.

Last time I attended the Fair (two years ago), Joey and I saw Train at the Suburban Park location. This year Janine and I enjoyed the tail end of the REO Speedwagon concert.

It’s like a memory wrapped inside a memory encased in gold.

In the early seventies, Dad would take Kathy and me to the Fair on a Tuesday because that was always his day off. We always got steamed clams for lunch. This year, I had a lobster roll at the Colosseum followed later by a maple-flavored milkshake from the Horticulture building.

New experiences worked their way into future nostalgia. The Expo Center, where I had to go to get those Covid shots, is currently home to another animatronic dinosaur exhibit, albeit on a grander scale than the one at the MOST.

The Center of Progress building has always been home to merchants and in recent years, houses a giant sand sculpture. This year we had fun at a political news conference photo op booth poking fun at the NY State assembly.

People watching is at its prime. I saw two former students (thanks, Savannah and Hope!) and ran into my grandmother’s nephew and wife (love you, Mickey and Connie!).

There is something for everyone at the great New York State Fair. The theme this year, as expressed on the cover of the map flyer, is Greatness Awaits! There’s still a week to go before it ends on Labor Day. You can get tickets on-line or buy them at the gate with a credit or debit card. Check out their web-site for the deets.


Yesterday was the perfect day to visit the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park (1 Conservation Place, Syracuse, New York 13204). They are open every day from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm, so I imagine every day is a perfect day to view the magnificent animals who live there.

Check out their web-site for more information including exciting upcoming events and party planning opportunities, as well as membership info.

There is a wonderful gift shop at the entrance filled with high quality stuffed animals (my favorite was the flamingo). There were all sorts of things for all ages – toys for the children and beverage glasses (think shots) for the adults.

We had so much fun. Bobbi and I are both art teachers. I predict animal art is in our students’ collective future.

This may be my new happy place. You should go – become a member and admission is free or use the Onondaga County library pass (good for four people), or wait until you are sixty-two and it is only $5.00. Or just go. It is $9.00 for adults, $5.00 for children (babies up to two years old – free).