Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Creative art...

In one of my clases, I am working with kids helping them find artistic photography. We are studying light and shadow...composition subjects. All I know about photography I have learned from my Uncle Dean and Tonya. We had a long conference call with Tonya this week. She was willing to share technique and ideas with the students. I wish she could have seen us all huddled around my cell phone, their faces beaming.

As a result here is the first artistic photograph that I have received. Her name is Caity and she is in the fifth grade. I think it is wonderful. She took it here in Northern Indiana as Winter ends.

Maple Syrup Time....

The surest sign of spring here in Northern Indiana is the running of the sap. It has actually been a poor season so for due to our extremely hard winter, but the local county park still hosted their pancake and maple syrup breakfast.

La Grange county boasts a beautiful nature preserve...a lovely building for bird watching and artistic programming (they are always strumming away on guitars, having breakfast with the birds, or celebrating Robert Burns day as well), and a natural forest. Scott Beam is the naturalist who had the vision for the park and under his direction it is an active, vital part of the rural community.

Each year they host a large pancake breakfast serving over 3,000 folks with the volunteer help from the Lions Club and other local organizations.

This year they tapped over 500 trees, but have only harvested 15 gallon of syrup. "A record poor year," quotes Jim Carr. Still it was a wonderful day. Aaron and I took the boys for breakfast, then on a wagon ride through the park pulled by draft horses. The boys were, of course, mesmerized over the woods and the horses.

The sap buckets were everywhere on the frozen earth with just bits of spring thawing here and there. After the wagon tour, we spent time in the evaporatin house to watch the process. The steam was fragrant with sweet maple syrup.

It was a wonderful event.

Aaron and I shared stories of tapping when he was a child with his brothers on the farm. That, indeed, is another story!

Remember to buy your syrup locally! Look for small stands here and there around the area and support these wonderful maple syrup artists!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I am afraid to say it out loud...so I guess I will just whisper the word. Spring. I hope she doesn't see it or hear it on the wind or she (Spring) will leave as quickly as I feel she has arrived.

BUT, I think it to be true. First of all, I was at the University on Thursday evening for the Cinema series and students were wearing shorts and tee-shirts and sandals. Well, it was in the high 40's. Come on, winter has been here long enough. Did you hear that, Winter? Long Enough.

Secondly, I hung out laundry and it dried, it did not freeze. Usually I have to hang it out and bring it back into the house and stand it up on end to thaw. It Dried.

Thirdly, I drove a long way yesterday for shows for Young Audiences. There was no snow, no sleet, no fog, no detriment to man or beast. The day was clear and sunny and the huge snow piles began to shrink as I drove.

So, is she here? (Whisper, whisper)....Please don't say it out loud!

Blossom Themes

Late in the Winter came one day
When there was a whiff on the wind,
a suspicion, a cry not to be heard
of perhaps blossoms, perhaps green
grass and clean hills lifting rolling shoulders
Does the nose get the cry of spring
first of all? is the nose thankful
and thrilled first of all?

Carl Sandburg

Sunday, March 09, 2008

For Kathy.....

I was asked to post a photo with one of my favorite teaching moments. I really thought for a while about this one...My teachng spans time and space and many interests as well. Just this week alone I was the guest speaker for two banquets. I spoke about community. I also hosted a community square dance for my school as well, hiring in a wonderful music group from Bloomington to call the dances. I also told stories to 600 children in Indianapolis. Hmmmmm....should I continue?

I got to thinking after the quest Kathy sent me one...one of my favorite teaching moments. Then I knew. Friday night and Saturday I was fortunate enough to have little Matthew and Jonah for the evening and the overnight stay. I like to consider myself as an event planner with them....filling their young lives with wonderful opportunities. We always make an agenda. This was our agenda this week end:


So, Kathy, my favorite teaching moment is right before your eyes!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Another girl's pot luck..

Last night the old house was full of women of all ages as we celebrated our "First Monday Night of the Month Potluck." I decided late last winter that so many women just need a place to go and chat and share great food, without the umbrella of restaurants. The Monday night pot luck was conceived.

The women are of all ages and last night the house was full...The foods ranged from spinach sald to five-fruit homemade pie with minestrone soup and everything else in between. We sit in the living room on chairs, on the floor with pillows and dishes and wine glasses surrounding us. The conversation is lively and engaging either in small groups or everyone talking at once. Last night the women were reluctant to leave and as the candles burned low some of us kept talking til the midnight hour.

I would love to see this concept move out to other communities. Let me know if you start one in your own home town.

Karen made up a flier with all the dates..it is colorful and lively...like all of the women. She asked me for a quote...here it is: Pot lucks are for folks who cook one thing really well!

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.