Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Child's Christmas in Wales

Today I am posting the full text of A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.

Thomas was born in Wales in 1914 and died in 1953. He left a body of work behind him of stories and poetry. Several years ago I began reading this every Christmas...to students, to children, to adults. I had several small paperback versions that have all but disappeared from my library shelves as I have given them all away.

I had attached the full copy of the story in print, but there are also versions on utube in which you can enjoy the strong Welsh voice of Dylan Thomas.

In the meantime, I am leaving the mountains of North Carolina to journey on to Charleston.

Enjoy a cozy read on this rainy day in the Carolinas!


A Child's Christmas in Wales

Monday, December 26, 2011

Art out my window...

Philip and I are spending the Christmas season in North Carolina with his son and family. They live outside of Asheville in the mountains and it is certainly beautiful.

We spent Christmas Day with Snee's family (his wife), and so we traveled deeper into the mountains for a huge family celebration.

The scenery was lovely as we traveled. As always, I keep my camera ready.  Philip graciously stopped the car so I could take this great photo in the mountains.

This really caught my eye. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. There are many stories to be told from this one photo!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

In the Bleak Mid-Winter

With coffee and camera in hand, I waited for the morning sunrise in the mountains outside of Asheville. It was so quiet a peaceful, a perfect Christmas Eve morning.

I couldn't help but think of the song, "In the bleak mid-Winter". Please click on the link to hear the song.

Join me tomorrow morning on Christmas to watch the sun come up wherever you are on the holiest of mornings.


Click here for text and music!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

To Librarians Everywhere!!

Click here for this week's column!

This week's column is dedicated to librarians everywhere! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Date a girl who reads..."

Date a girl who reads...(click here)


So here I am directing you to another blog site and wondering why I didn't take the time to write this myself.

It is a brilliant piece of writing so I thought you must read it as well.

By the way, I am writing this as I await reading on this rainy day in December where the snow should be flying instead of raindrops. Alas, the lights are lovely against the windowpanes and the birds still share their own gossip at my bird feeders.

Out of my own curiosity, what are you reading right now?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

This week's article...enjoy!

Click here for Christmas in my home town.


This week's article features the events of last Sunday. It was one of those whirlwind days enjoying each and every event in my hometown.

It was, however, not the least or the last of these events. As you all know, each town, city, village or rural areas take great pride in their own traditions.

I would love to hear from you about something wonderful in your hometown a well.
Thank you all for the comments on the blog or on Facebook. You give me encouragement in this life as an artist that I pursue.




Some of the musicians at Wing Haven.



Just folks enjoying the sing!


Here are the three new musicians that have joined the group:
John Boyd, Steve Eyrich and Kevin Burnell.
Maybe next year I will be in this photo with my guitar!


This is Art Eberhardt!


Here is Matthew and Jonah warming up by the pot belly stove. I can't
tell if this is pre or post cookie consumption!



Here are a few members of the Trine choir accompanied
by the multi-talented Lyn Syler.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Girl's Potluck!


Girl's Potluck was started a few years ago in my house, although none of us can really remember exactly when. I know it was after a recent visit to Ocracoke where community is the main focus of the Island, and I love and long for community.


There are no rules for the potluck, you bring whatever you like; somehow it always works out. Once in a while there are all salads, and once there were all desserts, which was fine by all. But usually it all works out. New girls often ask what to bring, but I just tell them anything.


The numbers always vary due to busy lives. We spend time celebrating milestones in our lives. We also had quiet moments as we did last night as we remember Linda, who died this past year. Our thoughts went to Jeri as well as she sits by her sister's bedside just waiting.

We tell lots of stories too, and most stay as long as the candles are lit!

The potluck will meet again on February 6th, please join us. If you live in a different community, which you probably do, then start your own. It is always fun to see who comes in the back door!



Monday, December 05, 2011

Thanksgiving is over...now moving on to Christmas!

Hi Everyone,

I always appreciate you reading and commenting on my blog. I do try to get to it...but seriously life just gets in the way for writing every day. New Year's Resolution #1. Write daily.  #2. Work out daily. #3. Write on my blog why I couldn't write or work out.

Click here for this week's column!!   

The title says it all!!!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Jack Frost of Robert Frost?

The first snow of winter, and it was definitely a winter wonderland! The storm was predicted a couple of days earlier and the snowfall count continued to grow. It was one of the most beautiful snows I have ever known. Warm, soft snow clinging to each tree and bush.


The first photo is of the boys shoveling. They shoveled my walk and every other walk in the neighborhood. They are too young to know that someday they could make money doing this! The second photo is from my front porch and the last photo is taken from my living room window. As you can see, I fill my windows with prisms!


The porch windows were frosted over enough to actually etch your name in the glass. I love always telling the window sales folks that, "No, thank you, I love my old windows!" Where would Jack Frost do his work if I had new porch windows?


I couldn't help but think ofRobert Frost as well in his poem,Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.


So, the first of winter is here, let it snow and let the earth gently be covered letting the world rest until Spring.



Monday, November 28, 2011

Walking the 5K!

Click here for this week's column!


Hi Folks,

Hope you enjoy this column on walking the 5K!! It was fun and my first big walk for a while!!

Thanks for reading, always a pleasure!

Lou Ann

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Girl's Night Out




Every Thanksgiving vacation I take my three daughter-in-laws out to the Hatchery for an evening for dinner.

The Hatchery is a locally owned restaurant just down the street and make the best appletinis!! It is fun to have dinner, chat, catch up with these young ladies.

From left to right: Karen Homan married to Aaron (they live here in town), Kristin Homan married to Abe (they live in Phoenix), and Tonya Homan married to Adam (they live in St. Pete, Florida).

We had a wonderful time leaving the men with their own dinne and the kids!

The Hatchery always has a special table saved just for us!

We had a great time!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Family Story Night



Last night was family story night at my house. It was actually a planned event because of so many activities during this week.

My sons and their families are here for 10 days. It makes life very interesting and busy with children and their wives and personalities!

Each night is a different activity and I love all of it. I made a chore list this year so that everyone could help out with the work. (It is not quite working out as well as expected, however, it is a big help!)

I have been writing for NaNoWriMo. I have over 67 pages. These stories are all from the farm from which we all 'grew up'.

I made copies for the boys in notebooks and they read the stories before story night.

There were hundreds of stories I had forgotten or details. We set the tape recorder in the middle of the room. For two and a half hours the stories just poured out. We laughed, we cried. I took notes. Stories of which I had never heard about the farm....growing up, hunting, all of their activities on the farm.

I could only think that it is a wonder that all three survived those years.

I was oblivious to some of these stories as I lived in my wonderful world of writing, and romance and my own imagination.

So, what a great night of story. This is an important event for all families; turn off the cell phones, the TV and anything else that plugs in and tell those stories!

Lou Ann



Monday, November 14, 2011

Working the polls...

Hi Folks,

It is a cool and rainy day here in the Midwest...a great day for hitting that 25,000 mark for my NanNoWri project!

I have the coffee brewing, the candle lit and my writing shirt on as well. (I will take a celebration picture of me in my studio when I hit 50,000!)

In the meantime, here is this week's article on working the polls on Tuesday. It was such a wonderful experience for me.

Just click on for the article!


Working the election polls.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Dad!

My dad would have been 82 years old today. I could tell so many stories, but this one I just recently came across.

My mom has been cleaning and re-organizing her life as well as nicks and crannies in her house. Every once in a while she sends me a box of wonderful treasures. The last one arrived with a pink boa, flashlight, candles, my dad's tape measure...well you get the picture.

In that box was also a copy of a poem my dad wrote for me years ago when I lived on the farm with Bob and the boys. I had a small cookstove that I used for cooking, but oh, I so wanted a bigger one (which I eventually got!)

My mom and dad came to visit and my dad wrote this poem for me. There is a picture of the two of us holding the poem and I pasted the original copy of his own handwriting on the back.

We were both so young then!

Here is the poem my dad wrote for his homesteading daughter!


Lou Ann


The world around her kitchen turns
With lots of love and sometimes burns
But nothing is so downright purty
As my daughter with her apron dirty.

I see her in the pantry spicy
With all those things that smell so nicy
But I declare, it's hard to take
An apron black - as chocolate cake.

The old wood stove with the whistling kettle
Is hard to work and tests her mettle
But you know she has that special knack
When she ties on that old black sack.

I guess she wants a stove much bigger
Why she does I don't much figger
But black as tar that apron shows
A labor of love from spring to snows.

Happy Birthday Dad!


Monday, November 07, 2011

Out my Window..



This morning I was up early getting ready for my day. After a weekend in Indy with Ellen and all our activities, it was good to be back into my routine. My studio has become my favorite place to be, to write, read, think. I am up to 10,000 words on my writer's project, but need to gather many more on this day.

But days will filll up with activities...tonight all the girls come over to talk and gossip and share our potluck, breaking bread together as friends.

This photo was out my front porch. As you can see, the reds are not firey red yet, hopefully soon. There is a forecast of the first flakes of snow of winter, but just a hint or a tease of things to come.

Anyway, its Monday, let's all get to work and do our part

Tomorrow I won't be blogging or facebooking as i am working the polls in my town. This will be a new experience for me, and I am looking forward to it.

So, until Wednesday.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Bob Seger!

Click here for this week's article!

We had such a great time at the Bob Seger concert. I hope it brings back memories while reading!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!



This is a perfectly wonderful book to read this Halloween. The story takes place during the Salem Witch Trials, and if you have never studied that time period in our country, then this is the book for you. Fascinating. Insightful. Gruesome.

 
My book club gave it five stars out of five!

 
Here is some other very interesting information for your Halloween enjoyment. Enjoy, and keep watching over your shoulder!



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ghost Stories!!



Ghost Stories Tonight!
Featuring Lou Ann Homan
and Steve Etheridege


Pokagon State Park,
Angola, Indiana

6:30 for children
8:00 for adults


Popcorn and cider served!
Come early to get a seat,
and dress warmly!!

It will be cold and the goblins will
be flying tonight!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Gift

Out on the Porch


Last night was my last night of teaching dance in preparation for the Big Hoedown this Friday night at Fremont Library. I have hosted these dance classes every Tuesday night this month teaching traditional square, Virginia reel and Appalachian circle dances.

By the way, it is not necessary to have taken the classes to attend the party! I have loved teaching these dances and enjoyed my 'grown up' students so much.


I was presented with the above book last night as a thank you from Ellen Romans. She said she just knew that I would love it, and I do. I also do not have this in library!

The book is full of photographs and stories of just sitting on the front porches of America whiling away the afternoon or evening in the heat of the day.

I love this book and thank Ellen so much for her thoughtfulness.

In case you need to order, yes I checked it is in print, here is the necessary information:
Out on the Porch, and evocation in words and pictures with an introduction by Reynolds Price, 1992.

Yes, winter is coming and probably not the best of time to sit out on the porch, but Halloween is just around the corner and what better place to watch for ghost and goblins that on your front porch!



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Family weekend

Sunday was the perfect family day. We started out early having brunch at Coney Island in Fort Wayne. I think the coney island hot dogs and cokes in bottles are the perfect breakfast foods. Coney Island is such an icon in Fort Wayne. I kept handing out quarters to the boys too play the Juke Box! They are especially fond of the Beatles!



We traveled next to the Museum of Art for their display of the Day of the Dead. There were several exhibits of which were commissioned by local artitists. My friend, Ellen Sauer, had her own table as well honoring her family. It was interesting explaining this custom to the boys. The work was stunning by all of the exhibitors. By the way, there is no entrance fee on Sunday.


.


Our next stop was a Spooktacular performance by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Before the show, artists were available to help children try their hand at the instruments. Jonah seemed to take a liking for the violin.

The orchestra was all decked out in costumes as well and shared great pieces with children, including my personal favorite, The Phantom of the Opera.

The day ended with a trip to Atz's Ice Cream Parlor, bringing back memories of my childhood. We always ended the day at Atz's after the philharmonic or days at the museum.
It was a perfect family day, I am so honored to have been a part of their day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Carl Sandburg Morning


Last night I sat out in my garden with a friend. It was late. I lit candles on the table and we finished up a bottle of red wine while we talked into the night hours.

I could feel the mist coming down...not like rain...but like a heavy dew. The lights of the neighbors became brighter with rings around them.

This early morning the fog was heavy. This is a photo out my front door down my street. I do think there is a spot on my lens, but it seem metaphoric today.

Enjoy the fog, my friends.




Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Snapshots from Jonesboro

Voice of Kathryn Tucker Windham  (Click here to hear the voice of Kathryn)

Images of Jonesboro (Jonesborough) still fill my heart and mind as I settle back into my house at White Picket Gardens to do all the catch up work. I don't know how long I have been attending the National Storytelling Festival, but I do know it has been for many years. Next year will be the 40th celebration, so the art of storytelling is beginning to leave a legacy behind and a future to look forward to. I am so honored to be proud of this group of friends of mine that I call 'storytellers'.

The photos are just snapshots to give you an idea of the brilliance of the town. Everyone decks out for this, including alley ways. Folks stay at B and B's, if they can get in. Others (like me and Ellen) drive from Johnson City back and forth each day. Some camp, some stay in their airstream trailers.

Jonesboro, to me, is the heart of story. It is where I began years ago at the old Chester Inn when I took a week long workshop with Kathryn Tucker Windham, may her soul rest in peace; Donald Davis; Doc McConnell, whose voice is still as well; and Ray Hicks, direct from the mountains. He, too, is now gone from us.

Years have passed since that first experience, but I have had opportunities to meet folks, research, travel, write and become even more passionate about my work. Isn't that what our lives are all about? Passion.

So, enjoy these few photos.

Until tomorrow,
Lou Ann

















Monday, September 26, 2011

Snapshot



It is a rainy morning here in Indiana. I took this photo out my back kitchen window (through the screen and glass), thinking it was a lovely site for a Monday morning.

My garden is small, but large enough for folks to gather to have dinner or tea or wine late at night by candlelight. Flowers, red raspberries, and leaves adorn the yard as does the pumpkin growing in the tree. (See yesterday's post!)

The garden is quiet this morning with the cool rain. It is a good day to light candles and work in the studio all day answering emails and writing small missives to publish or to not.

"The Silence of Autumn comes so gradually that we are scarcely aware of it until we hear one lone katydid scratching at the evening, and not a tree cricket making a sound. There is no denying that we are on the verge of October and November."

Hill Country Harvest
Hal Borland

Monday, September 19, 2011

This week's column with photos from Arizona!

This week's column!  (Click on the link on the left!)




Early morning sunrise.



Enjoying the cupcakes!



Mountains behind Abe and Kristin's house.



We walked over to see the ponies every day!



Another view from their house.



"Ring around the rosy"....lots of pool games with the girls!



Under the big sun, we spent lots of time learning about
our shadows!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Next stop...Arizona!

A late night flight brought me into Arizona on Friday to visit Abe and Kristin and to care for the girls during his conference.

It is my first time to Arizona since I was a little girl, and I really wasn't prepared for this stark beauty. (And I am visiting at the end of a very hot, dry summer.)

The mountain ranges surround this Mesa Valley which includes a sprawling new area of homes and families. From all directions of their house, I can see the mountain ranges, yet a clear big sky overhead! (Except I brought the monsoon season!)

Abe and Kristin left the cool, damp climate of Portland to experience something new. My kids have always had the wanderlust...traveling, moving...so here we go again.

The house is lovely with a pool to cool away the summer heat.

When Abe lost his job a few years ago, he decided the only thing he could really do would be to start his own company, and that he did.

He is his own President and CEO of the Machaon Company. He hosts two technology conferences a year, at least for now. One is in Phoenix and the other, in the spring, in Houston.

This week is his Phoenix conference. Abe and Kristin were at the convention center yesterday setting up, and today is the big event. I am watching Channel 12 early morning TV here in Phoenix as they are covering the conference.

As to my antics with the girls? That will come tomorrow!!



Abe and Kristin at 4:00 a.m. this morning getting ready to leave.
I got up early to make coffee and send them off! My apologies to Kristin as she didn't want her picture taken without her make-up! (It was too early and she
was going to put it on in the car!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chopping down one tree isn't really about chopping down one tree!

This week's article is for all of us...but the challenge to become a better friend, neighbor and American is up to me!


This week's column!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Kendallville Blue Grass Festival


Westbound Rangers!

Kathy and I spent Sunday at the 35th annual Tri-State Bluegrass Festival.  The day was perfect with temperatures in the high 60's with scattered clouds giving way to a shower or two.

Folks were encouraged to bring their own chairs, but we became squatters and found seats down front to enjoy the day. We never actually left our seats except to buy popcorn or take a stroll through the booths set up by the artists.

The featured musicians were absolutely the best in the world:  The Stockdale Family Band, the Wolfe Brothers, Art Stevenson and High Water, Mississippi Sawyers, and Monroe Crossing.

Our favorite for this year was the Westbound Rangers from Tennessee. The Rangers are a group of 'just out of college musicians' who built this band while at Belmont College in Tennessee. They were funny and talented and received great approval from the audience!

They ended with the song 'Gentle on my Mind' which was made famous by Glen Campbell. A spell, a hush, a sweetness fell on the audience as they sang and the rain actually poured down upon the metal roof. That alone was worth the price of the admission.

I am glad I was able to attend, even if just for a day, as the memories will linger on into the fall season.

Thanks to the town of Kendallville for hosting this tradition for 35 years!


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Farewell to a good man...

My mom's good friend, Stan, died on Monday. She was able to spend time with him in the early afternoon of that day.

Stan and his wife, Eunice, were friends of my parents for years. We always visited when we went to Texas.

When Eunice died, my mom and dad included Stan on all their events and took care of him through his grief. He did the same for my mom when my dad died.

No, Stan was not a relative, nor was someone I saw every day or even every month for that matter; but he was a good man who fought to live. One day he wrote my mom a song and played it for her on the guitar.

She can't remember it now. I wish I had the song.

I don't understand life and death...how can we?

This is all I know...each day is incredibly important...what we do, who we see, whose life we influence and being with those we love. Time is short.

Farewell Stan, thank you for being friends with my family.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Texas and Back Again....

Here are a few photos and my weekly column on traveling to Texas with my mom! It was a quick trip, but it was good to share this experience with her!



Crossing the Mississippi River!




Another view of the bridge!




Crop dusting in Texas!



Stopping for lunch for a ten inch barbecue!!
(Really I got Cole slaw!)

Click here for the weekly column! Enjoy!


This week's column on a quick road trip to Texas!