Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Recording on the Sea...

Gary Mitchel finishing up my Carl Sandburg CD!!

The day started out like all others...go to breakfast with friends (Gary and Kitty Mitchell), finish up a recording at a local island studio (Gary and Kitty Mitchell), dropping off the finished CD at, well, you guessed it the house of Gary and Kitty Mitchell.

Gary has a small studio in his cottage by the sea. The windows are large and plentiful and so open to the sea it seems as if we are actually riding the waves. I love going to Gary and Kitty's house as it is eclectic with, well, everything. Gary is a musician and song writer and a founding member of Molasses Creek, a local folk band here. Kitty is the island art teacher and an artist herself. Their cottage looks like it belongs to artists!

While Gary works at making my Carl Sandburg recording a delightful and beautiful piece of recorded art, I look around. I am not really nosy, just curious. The cottage is full of art, photographs, pottery, books to be read, books already read, boxes of tea, coffee, thumbnail sketches, old and new programs for Molasses Creek, dishes, a box of bows and ribbons.

I want to settle right into this warm cozy house on this rainy day to read my book or just dream away the afternoon.

All too soon, Gary is making the final CD for me to take back to Philip's to listen to, approve and then get the sales coming in. This CD should be available in a month or so along with two others! This will be a good year for work! I have taken this great picture of Gary so that you will have a glimpse of him and his work on this island of Ocracoke. So, if you are thinking of recording a CD, give Gary a call.

Lou Ann

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas on an Island

Christmas day dawned cool with the wind whistling through the pines. We put on the early morning fire, lit the candles, and settled down to hot coffee and homemade bread before traveling fifty yards to Amy and David's house for gifts. Lachlan, being only four, was the shining star of the day. Christmas definitely is for children. The adults mostly ate our way through the day...ham and sweet potato pie, broccoli salad, apple salad, pies, cookies, and a case of red wine.

After dinner, we snacked again and played games late into the evening. Philip and I walked home to our sweet, quiet cottage. The electric candles were lit in all the windows, and the Christmas tree fragrant and lovely in the corner. We decided to watch "It's a wonderful Life," as Philip had never seen the movie. I couldn't believe it. I do not know how many times I have seen it, but always it is wonderful. It is indeed a wonderful life.

Love to all and Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Travel

So, we left Indiana between blizzards and storms. The window of traveling opportunity was small, but by 9:00 on Sunday morning we were ready and took to the roads. I took the photo on the way. The interstate was still just one lane, and that one lane was bumpy with ice. I was amazed at all the beauty as we traveled and destruction as well as trees were snapping off like toothpicks along with power lines!

It was one degree when we left and we drove through Ohio and West Virginia. We stayed in West Virginia and when we left there on Monday, it was only 3 degrees!

The Island is not warm, but not cold either. It is nice to visit with Philip's family and friends. We set up another Christmas tree, this one was free from the Variety Store! Philip found lights and ornaments so we were able to make it cheery! He has a nice gas log stove which definitely adds to the atmosphere of Christmas. So with wrapped gifts and Island fruitcake, we are ready for an Ocracoke Christmas.

Tonight is the Island pageant...complete with a live Baby Jesus, so I understand. Dinner will be at Philip's for everyone and then off to the pageant. We will walk the lanes to the church and back again in the Holy darkness on this Christmas Eve.

Lou Ann

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No School and Gypsy Soup!!!

We were all hoping it would happen. We slept with curtains open and ears tuned in to the ice pelting the doors and windows. By morning, we were welcomed into a world of snow and ice. Teachers and students alike cheered, however, for others it was treacherous travel. Many folks are still without power.
As for me, I made a pot of soup, cleaned house and ended the evening with Scrabble. All in all, it was a good day.
Here is my favorite soup recipe for a cold winter's day:
Gypsy Soup
2 T. olive oil
2 lg. onions, chopped
2 lg. cloes garlic, chopped
1/2 c. chopped celery
2 c. peeled, chopped sweet potatoes
Saute these together, then add:
3 c. broth...any kind
1 bay leaf
2 t. paprika
1 t. turmeric
1 t. dried basil
Salt..if needed
Dash cinnamon
Dash cayenne
Simmer for as long as you want!
1 c. fresh tomatoes or 1 28 ounce can chopped or diced tomatoes
1 can chick peas
1 T. tamari or soy sauce
Simmer again.
Notes: If company is coming or shows up (as did at my house last night!) Add whatever is in your cupboard..canned green beans, more chick peas, and more spices.
Great served with cornbread and real maple syrup!
Lou Ann
Lou Ann Homan is a storyteller, teacher, writer and actress from Angola, Indiana. When she is not meandering around, she can be found writing late into the night or the early morning under the light of her red frayed lamp.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Swirling Snow

Tonight my town is a winter fairy land. The snow began around 4:00 in the afternoon as I joined friends at the coffee shop for a theatre meeting. We drank lattes, talked theatre, and watched the snow tumble down like an old woman shaking her feather bed. With plans and lists tucked into our satchels, we said good bye and scurried out to cars which were covered with snow. I drove home gingerly through the early evening twilight and came home to steaming hot tea water and Philip. He is here visiting for a few days from Ocracoke. We decided that the leftovers could keep so we walked back down into the town for supper at the Pizza Forum.

We took a table by the window so we could watch the plows go by. All too soon dinner was over and we bundled back up to walk home. The wind was strong, but I couldn't help but stand and enjoy the beauty of the town. All the windows are trimmed for Christmas and the mound is string with lights from top to bottom...Christmas carols serenade the walkers and shoppers alike. It was a surreal scene with the swirling snow. It could easily have been a scene from the 1950's. We braced ourselves for the walk home and directly into the falling snow.

It is a perfect evening.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Community Concert

Last night the town of Angola was treated to a Community Concert by the Auburn Community Band. It was a cold, clear night with an almost full moon as I made the trek down to the Community Center after dark. Fred Wooley was there to greet folks and to talk about the homeless shelter in town.

It was a wonderful concert performed by a band with folks of all ages. I was impressed with each rendition of Christmas carols, but especially with the age old song of Sleigh Ride!

By the time I left, it was windy and cold and the moon had slid away behind the night winter sky.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer and a dreamer of dreams. When she is not out meandering in Northern Indiana, she is writing late into the night under the light of her scarlet fringed lamp.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

So many stories...

It seems as if the beginning of winter has brought so many events and stories. Trying to keep the blog up and live the stories all at the same time is the difficulty!

This morning the roads are covered with snow and ice with two hour delays all across northern Indiana. It is the also the morning that Abe and Kristin and Blue Moon Baby, Holly, will be leaving. It has been a wonderful visit...the house will be quiet when they leave.

Last night was our Monday night girl's pot luck. Kristin and Holly were able to attend; it was their first! Holly definitely behaved as if she enjoyed all the woman and the conversation!

I'll add a photo later. Until then, stay safe and stay warm!

Lou Ann

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving Quietness

It is Monday morning after Thanksgiving. Quiet. Sweet. Clean. (ah, probably not!) The house has been fun, every bed occupied and so many trips to the grocery and vacuuming detail that I could not possibly count all of it!

All the boys, wives, children have been (are still) here from Oregon to Florida and, of course, Aaron and Karen. Philip arrived on Tuesday night to celebrate the holiday with this boisterous family as well as my international student, Mengting, from China.

We put all the leaves in the table and enjoyed meal after meal together. We went out to the Christmas tree farm and cut down our trees together as well. Philip and I were in the old fashioned Christmas parade in Hamilton on Saturday night as well. (Article and picture to follow!)

Abe and Kristin and baby Holly are still here on this foggy, snowy morning and I am just enjoying a bit of the early morning peace and quiet before I go back to school to spend the next three weeks with children too antsy to be in school!