...by Heels, a book loving mother from the South. I'm supposed to think of 20 New Things that I've never blogged about before.
1. The midwest. I like it a lot. I know people think it's boring, either culturally and/or geographically, but it isn't.
2. Above you see a recent photo from webshots, a photo upload/download site I just found. It was taken in Hennepin Canyon, in Starved Rock State Park, near where I grew up in northern Illinois.
3. I've been distracted by the American Memory site at the Library of Congress. You can enter a few key words and find documents and/or photographs of just about anything. I was thinking about Starved Rock and my hometown, and found a nice black & white photograph of the Illinois & Michigan Canal as it runs through the town of Utica there.
4. A bunch of my ancestors either helped build the I&M Canal or shipped their corn on it to Chicago. I like genealogy, especially when there are links to history.
5. My great-grandmother's former house in Utica, IL is now Patti's Pancake House. I have to say it is very weird to sit in a restaurant that has been made out of your grandmother's living room.
6. I like black & white photography a lot. If I win the lottery, I will do some of my own, which I haven't been able to do since college, when I took a course from Art Sinsabaugh. I had no idea how lucky I was, though I loved the course and thought he was an incredible teacher. I wish I could go see an exhibit of his work. Someday I will and I'll take some more of my own pictures, even if I don't win the lottery.
7. I've never bought a lottery ticket.
8. I don't really like Halloween, and I'm not sure why. I love candy, and I love fall.
9. I'm reading Frankenstein for my book club right now. I got distracted (yes, I am easily distracted) by Mary Shelley's life story. Unbelievable. Do some googling if you don't believe me.
10. My daughter approved my choice of music in the minivan today. She likes the new Eric Clapton CD. I'm a little disturbed by the chorus of crying babies in the background of "So Tired".
11. The calvacade of SUVs at my son's school disturbs me. I just don't get the whole monstrous SUV thing.
12. I wish my little local library was closer. Like right next door. They have some wonderful historic photographs of Washtenaw county on their website, and a little patch of woods right next to the library with a trail that is perfect for young kids.
13. I don't miss card catalogs a whole lot.
14. One of the funniest things I remember about working at the Ethnobotanical Laboratory at UMMA (University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology) happened when I gave my sister-in-law a tour. There was a Misc. cabinet filled with weird stuff that didn't fit into any plant family. I was pulling out the drawers, showing off the coprolites and the lacquered flea circus, when she saw the old-fashioned handwriting on the label on the next drawer and thought it said "Noses and Fingers"...it was actually "Mosses and Fungi".
15. What do you think appropriate discipline for calling your sibling "booger-butt" should entail? Hypothetically speaking, of course.
16. I miss burning leaves in the street. I don't want to pollute the air any more than it already is, and I know it's better to compost them, but I miss the smell of burning leaves, seeing whisps of smoke blowing across the streets, hearing the scritching sound of metal rakes on bricks and concrete, and lighting the fires and piling more leaves in.
17. I like chrysanthemums a lot. And asters, both wild & cultivated. Their abundance in fall makes me happy.
18. I like all of the squash around now. I'd like to do a photographic essay on all the different kinds of squash.
19. Squash has a really neat cell structure in its rind, which makes it easy to identify even miniscule pieces of charred rind from archaeological sites. It's now looking like squash is the oldest New World domesticate.
20. Unlike Heels, I like getting my hands in dirt and even into pumpkin guts. We need to go get our pumpkins from Makielski's tomorrow or Sunday. I'm happy now that I learned you don't need to rinse the seeds before drying them, coating them with butter, salt and other stuff, and roasting them. Mmmmmm.