Monday, August 30, 2010

Bats in the belfry...bees in the wall.

Owning an hold house is not for the faint of heart...or for someone with a really thin pocketbook! 

I always think it is especially difficult for a girl to own her house, but then that seems a bit sexist, don't you think? I mean, I really love owning my house, but there is nothing that I can repair. OK, I can paint, really I can. However, I cannot roof or plumb or build or repair anything.

Let's just take this month for example: the air conditioner goes out so I call Armstrong Cooling and Heating. They are great, come on the first call and I am back in business. They send their bill through the mail.

The washing machine is next. I call Jim's Appliance Service. They are great, a husband and wife team always showing up the next morning. Jim always finds souvenirs in my cellar like coins in the furnace or broken parts in the washer. He fixes it right up and leaves the bill on my old kitchen table. 

Now there are bees in the wall, yes really in the wall. I am afraid to tell my border about them. I mean, it is late and dark outside and he really doesn't need to know...unless they break a hole through the wall in the night. Hmm...should I...shouldn't I? 

Tomorrow Charlie the Spider Fighter will be here to fix it all up. He will leave the bill next to the kitchen sink.

Everyone has their skill, and it seems as if I really need them all this year!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Farmer's Markets

Dear Folks,
I love my local farmer's market! (Photos to follow when laptop comes home from the repair shop!)

I decided to write this week's column about my local market and some reflections on the Barr Street Market in Fort Wayne. I have had some lovely comments on folks who remember that market as well.

As a bit of interest, yesterday when I shopped I came home with a beautiful bouquet of gladiolas...just as it should be. 

Enjoy this week's column!! 

This week's column on Farmer's Markets!

Friday, August 27, 2010


It is a lazy day in northern Indiana. I don't work at school on Friday as I save the day for storytelling or traveling, or in some cases, finishing up my article for the paper. (Friday a.m. deadline!) It is always good when I have a storytelling gig or big week end plans as I get the column done early. If not, well....

Today was one of those days. I just couldn't get to work. The day began so cool so I hung out laundry, made the first pot of soup since last spring, did the normal household chores and then finished up the column. I am not a procrastinator, I simply work well with deadlines.

I also decided to get the errands done before the actual weekend, leaving me a carless couple of days. My first stop was the ATM where I sat in a man standing at the ATM. His truck was park to the side and he was pulling a fishing boat. When he finished his transactions, I rolled down my window and said, "It's a great day for fishing, yes?" Maybe I shouldn't do things like that, I mean maybe he thought I was going to rob him, but nevertheless, I do things like this.

We got to talking and he was on his way to northern Michigan to camp and fish on a small lake. He told me that last week he attended the wake and funeral of a Lakota woman in South Dakota. He said it was fascinating as the wake and funeral lasted for a full two days, not just an hour or so. He also said that he didn't get much fishing done.

The things you can learn at your local ATM ! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A taste of Autumn

Tonight a heavy veil of dew covers trees and bushes and grassy areas. Just sitting here working on my screened in porch, I am surrounded by the evening cacophony of crickets and cicadas. While the August full moon peeps over my neighbor's house, I know the truth, Autumn is coming.

I have noticed the shift in sunlight in my kitchen window, the one facing the West. When I first returned home three weeks ago it still filtered direct and hot through the stained glass window and bounced off of the red walls. But now it has become slanted and sunbeams dance with sweet, sad beauty as summer begins to let down her guard.

The garden is heavy this time of year as Susies, last of the day lilies, green pumpkins sprawling all over the compost heap, and a luscious red-raspberry patch. My raspberries usually riped toward the end of September, but are a month early, and the berries are huge. Tonight I picked several pails full with more tomorrow night.

By tomorrow evening the temperature will dip into the low 50's, and I will toss another quilt upon the bed.

I love each season as it shows us its grace, so be what may, I will cherish these last misted summer days.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Indy Fringe Festival

I spent this past weekend in Indianapolis at the Indy Fringe Festival. It was a gorgeous weekend to attend and, as always, great fun to be with my Indy storytelling friends.

The Indy Fringe is a wonderful festival with lottery-based events, not juried. Folks from all the world can apply, but it is a first come, first serve basis. (Also whoever has $500.00 to toss around as that is the entrance fee!)

Several of my friends were in the festival this year, and I was lucky enough to catch both of their shows on Friday night.

Loren Niemi and Howard Lieberman, from Minnesota, had an interesting set with "55 Minutes of Sex, Drugs, and Audience Participation." They were, needless to say, quite entertaining and left us on the edge of our seats wondering what would happen next!

Deborah Asante, from Indianapolis, told her Fringe version of love stories. Deborah is a gifted storyteller and looked like a million dollars in her white-sequined dress and wrap. Her shoes and fingernails matched as well and glittered onto the wall as she worked under the red light. 

Afterwards we all sat out in the Fringe tent til midnight telling stories, meeting new folks.

The Fringe continues until the end of next week end, so if you get a chance to make the trip down, you won't be disappointed. Just tell Loren, Howard, and Deborah that I sent you.

Oh, and don't let the music stop with you holding the fish bowl full of stories at Loren and Howard's show or you will become part of the Fringe as well!! On the other hand, don't let go of the fish bowl, and you will really have a great time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another year starts..

School started today in my home town. It makes for a bittersweet day for all of us in the neighborhood. 

This summer our quiet streets have been home to many children...children who still stay out until late dusk...children who run barefoot every day...children who make up their own games to play with their imagination running rampant.

They travel as well. They might be at my house for a tea party (first day back!) or another house running through the grass or yet another house sitting on the stoop eating watermelon.

I love these children. Two of them are my grandsons, Matthew and Jonah. I think they are the ringleaders of the neighborhood!

But last night the streets were quiet at dusk with just the sound of crickets and cicadas as these children were called in early for baths and bed.

Jonah had his first day of school today as he went off to Kindergarten. Matthew went to third grade. Their parents walked them to school and then walked them home after school. (We have the old-fashioned crossing guard as well!)

So, another year begins and we are all a little older and wiser.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Meteor Showers!

Hi Folks,
Welcome back to took a while to find my space and my voice again after my summer on Ocracoke, but I can assure you that I am settled in to my routine of living in my small town in Northern Indiana.

My first article back home is on-line about the Perseid Meteor Showers!

Enjoy! Thanks for being patient while I unpack the sand and store away the summer memories!

Lou Ann

Monday, August 02, 2010

A day for sweetness and sighing....

Dear Folks,

Today is Philip's birthday, along with his grandson, Lachlan. They love sharing this day together. We have had pot lucks and family dinners to celebrate and today Philip's brother and wife are coming for lunch.

Lachlan is getting a new/used bike and I bought Philip an afternoon cleaning of his wonderful house. (No, I am not the one cleaning!)

After partying and lunch, Bud and Jamie will take me home with them to Norfolk to spend the night as I have an early morning flight back to the Heartland in the morning.

I can't believe my summer on Ocracoke is ending. It has been so wonderful, so magical, so healing for me!

It is definitely bittersweet with salty tears mixed in.

Here is a picture of Philip on his birthday. His friend, Rob Temple, had this hat made..Captain Philip. (Philip restored his dad's North Carolina skiff this past spring. I am afraid we have not heard the end of Captain Philip.

 Happy Birthday to Philip. My next post will be back home again in Indiana.
  Lou Ann