Saturday, August 21, 2010

Taste Countdown - 7 days!

Only one week left until the 2010 Taste of Montgomery County! We're putting on the finishing touches to make sure everything goes smoothly, and it will almost certianly be the best Taste yet. In addition to the great music line-up of Not Too Bad Bluegrass Band, Green Room Rockers, and Midnight Special, the food also promises to deliver something for everyone.

Some returning favorites include The Juniper Spoon, Joey's Main Street Cafe, The Iron Gate, China Inn, The Big Dipper, A Country A-Fair, Bon Apetit, Two Guys Cooking, Miller's Quality Meats and Catering, Arthur's Cafe, Norvell's BBQ & Catering, Moody Meats, Applebee's and Buffalo Wild Wings. Menu items include midwestern favorites such as barbecue sandwiches and ice cream, and also branch into more exotic territory with Mediterranean orzo salad, low country boil, and sushi.

Newcomers to this year's Taste include Hawg Wild BBQ, Athens Nutrition and Smoothies, Ross Mobile Foods and Catering, Chapel Books, Patch of Blue Denim Cafe, and Las Cazuelas Mexican Restaurant. Sun King Brewing Company will debut with three different kinds of their freshly-made beer. Iced coffee, smoothies, roasted pork, and authentic enchiladas round out the menu options.

Is your mouth watering yet? Advance tickets are still available at the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum, Milligan's Flowers and Gifts, Kwik Kopy, the Montgomery County Visitors Bureau, and Homestead Gifts for $1 cheaper than gate prices - that's $4 for adults and $2 for students!

Have a great time supporting the Museum at the Taste on August 28!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fly-in Visitors

The 3.5 acres of blooming trees and flowers have been host to a multitude of fly-in visitors. Birds and beetles (japanese) visited the grounds early this spring, with the cicadas, hummingbirds and butterflies soon following. The easter swallowtail, black swallowtail and the viceroy butterflies have been feasting on the lantana, salvia and butterfly bushes.

The swallowtails are the most popular with the visitors, many amazed at the bright blue on the black swallowtail. The yellow swallowtail flit from bloom to bloom, rarely holding still for a photo opportunity.

While picking green beans, i noticed two green/black striped caterpillars. Hoping to have monarch caterpillars, I researched and foundthat they are black swallowtail caterpillars. They are green with black stripes, approximately two inches long. We will keep an eye on them in the next few days and see what transpires.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Farewell, Kasey!

Today is the last day for summer intern Kasey Greer, who will be a sophomore at Indiana University Bloomington. A history major, she applied for the Rhetorical Analyst internship analyzing Lew Wallace's writings to get a sense of the man behind the actions. Since May, she has worked over 30 hours each week, which has given her opportunity to sample the many facets of working at a small museums. Kasey has been a creative and outstanding addition to the Museum. Here are some of her reflections about her experience:

"When I applied for this internship in early spring, I never would have imagined the variety of knowledge and skills that go into running a museum. Now, thanks to the staff and volunteers at the Museum, I have experienced a lot of them firsthand.

"My main project for the summer was to answer a few of the long-pondered questions about Lew Wallace to better our interpretation for guests. The two questions I decided to focus on are Lew's view of 'the woman question,' which visitors ask frequently because of his independent wife susan, and his opinions on slavery since he was a Union general.

"I first researched both, then drafted the more academic versions with all the appropriate citations. Next, I pared them down to add to the volunteers' manual. though some parts of the project, like reading all of Lew's 1003-page autobiography, were tedious at times, for the msot part I had a lot of fun discovering all I could about Lew's thought processes and opinions. I am particularly interested in questions of gender and the way it influenced culture and society at different historical time periods, so getting one man's take on the subject of women's roles particularly fascinated me.

"While my main project took up a large portion of my internship time, working 32-36 hours each week gave me plenty of time to learn more about other aspects of the Museum as well. I have given tours almost daily since the beginning of my internship, and I helped make signs and lay out the Museum newsletter. In June I had the opportunity to help move the paintings out of the Study in preparation for the roof restoration. That peek into collections work really fascinated me, and I plan to look more into that field because of my experiences. In July I assisted with the Lew Wallace Youth Academy. The kids were a lot of fun to work with, and getting to see them retire the Indiana flag using the ceremony I wrote really capped off the experience.

"Now I'm looking to the future. This fall I will be a sophomore at Indiana University Bloomington. I am majoring in history and minoring in sociology and anthropology. I took this internship hoping to gain some experience to decide if I want to stay in academia or expand the public's knowledge of history through museum work. While I have not totally made up my mind, this experience has certainly opened my eyes to the museum world."