Friday, September 30, 2005

Culturally short-sighted?

My husband has been reading a book (something about economics) called "The World is Flat". His comments have been that it is a very New York City view of the world, and trendy. Well, do people get culturally short-sighted? everyone - not just the people who write books to sell.

I know when I go home to Maine to visit family, I can tell I've adapted to Minnesota. It's common to re-think your priorities when you have kids, for instance, but how about when you move? There's a high emphasis on community service here in Minnesota. It's important for everyone to stick together and work together to make a better community. I know that folks in Maine suport their community, too, but it's a different mindset. Both places have volunteer fire departments, where folks will organize themselves and raise funds. That's similiar. It's the non-essential 'stuff' I notice the differences. When I see a high school marching band in the midwest, it's often a very large proportion of the entire student body. In Maine, a high school marching band will usually be smaller and made of kids who are interested in music for reasons of their own. The idea that you support the band because it's important to do so isn't much of an issue in Maine. Both areas have very good bands, so it's not the quality that differs, or the quality of instruction.

There are plenty of people who don't move from where they grew up. I know people who don't travel far from their homes I didn't expect I'd move so far from where I grew up. It's not that the cultures of Maine and Minnesota are all that different - many folks come to the US from very different cultures around the world and do just fine. Maybe because it's similiar enough I notice the smaller things.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I was out in the country, about 30 miles from town today. It seems that the traffic is different the further from town you are. Folks drive faster, but slow down more for the little towns. The roads are straight, so it's fun and relaxing to drive.

The winters are so long and cold here that we notice perfect days like today; 70's, clear and crisp. The leaves are starting to turn yellow around the edges of the trees. Driving past fields I like to see the shapes made by the rows of corn. Local folks like to see their crop rows straight, just like they like to see straight lines of telephone poles down the country roads. Is it a reaction to being at the mercy of the weather so much? We work around the winter storms all winter and the bugs in the summer.

Almost all the houses in town have immacuate yards. The small house next door has perfectly straight mower lines in their freshly mowed yard - diagonally. I want to take a photo showing this uniformity created by people, but I've never really known how.

I'm fussy about different things - lacemaking and my kids speaking proper english. I'm not fussy about housekeeping, lawn mowing or staking tomatoes neatly.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


This is a tatted collar for a sweater I have. I finished it yesterday. I'm curious if anyone will notice it, and if they will know it's handmade. I've had the interesting experience of wearing sweaters my mother has made for me, but folks think they are made commercially.

I like tatting, but it's slow. Crochet is much faster, but less unique. I have tons of colorful varigated thread, but I don't know what to make with all of it. I've made bookmarks with varigated thread, but they seem pretty wild when I'm done. The same pattern in white thread is just classic, but the colored thread changes the entire look.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

This is my kid's un - intentional self-portrait. He was using his camera to take pictures of the flash in the mirrors. It took me a while to figure out how he did this: it's the way the mirrors in the bathroom are set up. The medicine cabinet mirror swings out to give you different angles to see the big mirror.

I like the little face so intent on his project. This bean is 6. I wonder (and worry) what he'll be doing at 12.

The kid's camera is an AGFA camera I found in a bargin bin at a computer store. It's the perfect carry-along camera for the picnic bag. I find I grab it when I'm running out the door instead of a disposable camera.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


This is the YMCA's lily. I liked it because I have taken photos of other lilies in my Mom's garden this summer, and this one made a matched set of four photos I can use on my wall. I also like seeing the patterns on the flower petals.

I'm always suprised how well digital cameras take photos - even on the auto settings. Imagine what you can do if you actually understood cameras and photography? Does having a camera in your hand make you look at things differently?

I bought my kids a old style digital camera and they love it. They can snap off 36 images ( with low resolution on such a basic camera) and download them all to the computer just for fun. Maybe they are learning to look at things differently, too. Maybe they are just capturing how they see their world.

Monday, September 19, 2005

new blogger

I'm a native Mainer. I followed my husband to the midwest for his job almost 10 years ago. Sometimes I find it amusing that we landed here, other days I just don't understand the midwest. I knew we were damn Yankees when we were in Georgia for college, and that we didn't like the south. Minnesota doesn't have cockroaches, and I'm used to the winters, anyway. So, here we are.

I'm taking photos for fun. It's been something that I've liked doing, but only since I've had kids have I been working to take better photos. I'll try to upload a photo I took in Maynard, MN. I took it while I was waiting for the kids to load into the van after visiting their friend.

P.S. The metal things in the background are grain bins (or grain elevators). They dwarf the main street of the town! The rail lines are behind them. The kids think they look like space ships.