Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Find peace and joy outside your back door...



Here is the link to this week's column. Enjoy and thank
you for reading as always! Just click on the above link!


I took this photo through the trees as we hiked.

 
Marie took this photo at the Spring Shelter.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

My winter garden...

This is a photo of my winter garden.

Robert L. Stevenson once wrote the following poem:

"To make this Earth our hermitage
A cheerful and a changeful page
God's bright and intricate device
Of days and season doth suffice."

Even in the midst of the bleakest of Decembers (yes, no snow to speak of), my
garden gives great beauty. It is always there...just waiting for us.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

This is one of my favorite photos of Matthew and Jonah! It is the epitome of childhood.

Merry Christmas to all my faithful readers!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Seinfeld - The Full Story Of Festivus [HD]



f you are a Seinfeld fan, you will love this. Needless to say, I still think Seinfeld was the most brilliant TV series ever produced!

Happy Festivus Everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Santa Claus is coming to town!!


Last night Santa Claus came to Cahoots Coffee Cafe. We (Crystal from Cahoots and Mrs. Claus) planned an evening for families, but we had no idea how many would actually show up! We had wall to wall babies, children, and families. There were no chairs or beanbags left by 7:00. It was a wonderful evening for all. I told stories for half an hour with babies crawling all around and nine year old boys snickering. 

On the last line of Twas the Night Before Christmas when I said, "But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,...." Santa appeared with a Ho,Ho Ho and the last line of the famous poem.

Oh my! The children did squeal with delight. It was quite wonderful. There were cookies (4 cases donated by the Girl Scouts!) and milk for all the children. I think it is these kinds of events that make us all believe in Christmas. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

At the end of the evening, Jonah and I finally had our turn to see Santa. 

I want to thank Ken and Karen Shelton for being the best Mr. and Mrs. Claus on this side of the globe. I am sure at the end of last night they were glad to head back up to the North Pole and get to work and have a much longed for rest!

Happy Christmas to all!!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Solstice


solstice morning dawns
between the dark and the light
balancing the earth



Today is one of my favorite days as the northern hemisphere begins its descent back to summer. I am one of the unusual folks who love long winter nights. Maybe it is because it is the only time I feel it is okay to curl up with a great book or a good movie. In the summer we are out and about working the garden...the earth.

On Saturday evening friends gathered in this old house to celebrate this festive event. We recited poetry, drummed about out thoughts, lit candles on the Christmas tree, sang old songs, sat around the campfire, and ate each other's cooking. It was a night of celebrating, of holding hands and hearts thinking about what really is important in this life.

So today, take a few minutes from your busy day to reflect on this spectacular world we live in and light a candle for peace.

Lou Ann

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Visitor shares life of homelessness at holidays...


Dear Friends,

Here is the link to this week's column. I hope you enjoy it. It was a labor of love to write this one.
All you have to do is click on the above KPC link and there it is.

I was also fortunate enough to be able to do a video interview with Tim. We talked for a long time before I asked, and he was more than willing. I made it into a youtube video. I hope you like the video as well. 

As always,
Lou Ann



Friday, December 04, 2015

Stopping by a woods on a snowy evening...


Enjoy this reading by Robert Frost himself!

I took this photo last year during a horse-drawn wagon ride in my hometown.
Tonight there are rides from 5:30-8...don't miss it!



Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Our Town...


This photo was taken by Tonya Lonsbury a few days ago on her way out of town. She stopped to snap the photo and to reflect on growing up in this town. I love the photo and I loved her reflections about childhood.

I guess it doesn't matter where we grow up...home is home. 

It always makes me think of Thornton Wilder's words from Our Town. I am sure you know the play well, but in case you have forgotten, here are a few words from the last scene.

Being grateful is important wherever we are and whatever we do. On this third day of December, I take time to reflect...

Lou Ann



“EMILY: "Does anyone ever realize life while they live it...every, every minute?"

STAGE MANAGER: "No. Saints and poets maybe...they do some.” 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The little ones can see right to your soul...


Here is the link to this week's column. It was certainly written with 
much love. I hope you also enjoy it. Just click on the above
link. As always, thank you for reading.
Lou Ann

I took this photo of Brianna right after our "deep talk."







Monday, November 23, 2015

November's storm with a little poetry!

Ah, so the weekend's storm came as a bit of a surprise. There were a few inches predicted, but as the day wore on, the forecast changed and the accumulation began. 

I was to have gone to Detroit to visit the Museum of Art, but something told me the weather would deteriorate, and I would be stranded somewhere in Michigan. I was right!

By early evening,events were canceled in town, the toll road closed, and it looked like a snow globe out my windows.

I had a call in the early evening from a young couple traveling west from Vermont to Idaho, but couldn't get through. Yes, I had a room for them, and yes, come on over. It was fun letting them in and sharing travel stories. I had a feeling that someone would need shelter on that night.

We had a record low of 11 degrees last night, and it was late in the evening when I realized I had not shut off the outside valve for the hose. Hopefully I saved myself some frozen pipes.

By dark last night I put on my winter cleats (how did I survive without them?) and crossed the street to my neighbor's house. We sat and chatted until the candles burned low eating a late night supper which is always my favorite.

Here are a few photos from the weekend. They were all taken from my front and back porches!




During the storm I entertained myself quite nicely. I finished a library book, practiced on my ukulele, made soup, and watched reruns of Downtown Abby! I also read poetry and worked on my on-line class from Yale...seriously.

I chose for you a poem from Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O'Neill. It was originally published in 1961. Each color poem is a delight. I chose white for this day, of course!

What is White?

White is a dove
And lily of the valley
And a puddle of milk
Spilled in an alley--
A ship's sail
A kite's tail
A wedding veil
Hailstones and
Halibut bones
And some people's 
Telephones.
The hottest and most blinding light
Is white.
And breath is white
When you blow it out on a frost night.

White is the shining absence of all color
Then absence is white
Out of touch
Out of sight.
White is marshmallow
And vanilla ice cream
And the part you can't remember
In a dream.
White is the sound
Of a light foot walking.

White is a pair of
Whispers talking,
White is the beautiful
Broken lace
Of snowflakes falling
On your face.
You can smell white
In a country room
Toward the end of May
In the cherry bloom.


Mary O'Neill

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I’m longing for a return trip to Paris...




Here we are...the five women who spent ten days in Paris. I think this photo was before our luggage arrived! It was my second time to Paris as you will read in the column.
This is my weekly column. Just click on the above link and enjoy.
As always, thank you for reading!
So, have you been to Paris lately?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All 154 sonnets...


It was just a normal day biking to school. I love wearing my Ophelia dress with a crown of flowers in my hair! Today was our Sonnet-a-thon at Trine University. The event began at 8:00 this morning and was finished by 1:45.

Two out of my four classes read sonnets. We practiced ahead of time because the sonnets can be difficult. First of all, the students looked amazing with nice dresses for the girls and jackets and bow ties for the gentlemen. 

We read all 154 sonnets today. It is amazing to listen to them from beginning to end. 

This is Megan Miller and she was the only other person to dress in Elizabethan garb. She belongs to the local Renaissance group here in town. I don't remember where I found my dress, but the crown was from a festival in Texas. I love wearing it.

So here we are after the event in the gallery. My caption for this photo is Ophelia meets Queen Elizabeth.

It is a little early for Shakespeare (usually in the spring) but it is being taught this semester.

We plan to have a larger celebration in April as will everyone else! We are hoping to bring actor/storyteller Tim Mooney in for his show of Breakneck Hamlet. I have been having a conversation with him about it, but wouldn't you know, he is in London performing Shakespeare!

So, what is your favorite sonnet? 

Until tomorrow.

Monday, November 16, 2015

November's beauty...


Yesterday was one of those perfect days that we see in October, yet it is November. I spent the afternoon working in the yard getting ready for winter. We say that phrase a lot up north...getting ready for winter. Sometimes it feels as if I am out on a farm getting all the crops in including the hay.

The truth is I once upon a time did live on a farm so I know the real meaning of getting ready for winter. But for me it is simply the raking of the leaves, the draining of the rain barrel, and putting away the garden tools. I still have out a small table and chairs. I don't know what I am waiting for but I do sit out and night for the late night glass of wine. The fire ring and chairs remain as well for those late night campfires which I love.

While working in the yard yesterday I noticed how lovely the trees are without their leaves. I took this photo of one of my crab apple trees. The beauty was stark against the blue sky. And look...there is a lovely bird's nest sitting atop the tree. I wonder what bird lived there this summer and did that sweet lovely bird raise a family and watch me work in the garden day by day?

It reminded me a poem by Emily Dickinson:


A Bird, came down the Walk - 
He did not know I saw -
He bit an Angle Worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw, 
And then, he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass -
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass -
He glanced with rapid eyes,
That hurried all abroad -
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought,
He stirred his Velvet Head. - 
Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers, 
And rowed him softer Home -
Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,
Leap, splashless as they swim. 

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

All I need...

Miss Columbia


I am like most of you...absolutely paralyzed when grief comes to our world. I know it comes daily, but when it is foremost in the news, I am unmovable. My friends know this about me, and try to coax me out of my anxiety.

It is good to grieve. We must do it. We must cry as that is how we remain human.

I was glued to the television set yesterday as were most of you until my sister called asking to meet me in Fort Wayne for a movie. "No," I replied, "it seems so wrong."

And it did seem wrong to me. How dare I see a movie...eat popcorn...chat about the family with grief so rampant in our world? But then I changed my mind. It would be good to sit side by side with my sister who understands me so well. It would be good to laugh with her and share popcorn. So I did.

I drove home slowly watching for deer as it is that time of year. When I pulled in to my town I knew I would have to go to Miss Columbia. I think she is often my Holy Ground. I pulled into a parking spot, got out of the car, and spent time thinking. The sky grew dark and full of color. Luckily I had my camera and snapped a shot. I got to thinking about her. She is our Eiffel Tower...our Rockefeller Center...our Mount Rushmore.

It isn't much really in the scheme of the world. We have a small town, a few shops, some nice schools, some old houses...

But it is what we have, and it is where I feel safe and secure. It is where I don't lock my house or my car. It is where friends are free to gather at my house any time of day when I am home or not. It is where I come at night to put on the kettle and live my simple life.

I am so grateful for this simple life...not much, but all I need.

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

To Paris With Love...

I visited you a few years ago. There were four of us...all women. We stayed for ten days attending concerts, touring museums, and falling in love with you.

We traveled to Monet's gardens, rode the Ferris wheel, and drank your sweet wine.

Nights found us on small boats on the Seine River and up into the Eiffel Tower to see Paris at night. Never once were we afraid...never once.

I will come back to Paris, and I will not be afraid. 

We, who have seen your lights, will see them again.

In the meantime, we lift you up in prayers, in thoughts, and in our conversations with our friends. 

Lou Ann

Friday, November 13, 2015

Diwali Festival at Trine University!



Last night Jonah I attended the Diwali Festival at Trine University. 
We had so much fun listening to the stories, watching the dances, and
sampling the food. I hope this becomes a yearly event. Special
thanks to Mari McHenry for all her work with the
international students.

Happy Festival!!

Monday, November 09, 2015

The last rose of summer...


I picked this rose on Saturday for my guests. They arrived before I had a chance to get out to the garden, but I told them it would be waiting for them in their room.

After they left I brought the rose downstairs little knowing it would be the last rose of summer. With two heavy frosts the past two nights, the other remaining roses are gone.

So, I ask the question. Do we know when we will see the last rose? The last leaf? The last great love of our lives?  I think the answer is no to all the questions. Perhaps we should hold on to what we have and enjoy it before it too slips off the branch and gone for the season or forever.

Just some thoughts for this Monday morning. Enjoy this haiku today as you go about your day contemplating these thoughts.

veils of Autumn's frost
covered my amber maple
winter is knocking

Until tomorrow


Sunday, November 08, 2015

After an election it can get rather quiet...


Here is the link to this week's column. As always, enjoy, and thank you for reading. Just click on the above KPC link!

I took this photo early this morning (Sunday, November 8) from my balcony window. It was a gorgeous sunrise with the waning crescent moon.


Friday, November 06, 2015

Poets and photos of beauty....

Last night my good friend and poet, Michael Czarnecki, came for a three day visit. He arrived late last night just as the wind shifted and I was just coming in from a long and fun day.

We sat at the table talking about poetry and life and all the things that really matter. He gifted me with two of his newest books, Morning Mist and wild voices come when they will. These books I will greatly treasure. 

Tonight I am hosting a house concert for Michael. My group of "salon" friends has certainly exceeded the limits in this old house. I think we will be wall to wall enthusiasts for the potluck and the readings that will follow. I have always wanted my house to become a salon for artists...perhaps I am on my way.

Michael and I talked about the beauty of the world. In following up with that conversation here are a few photos taken by my friend, Tyler Moore. Tyler is a wonderful photographer who lives just around the corner. These photos were taken less than a mile from my house at Fox Lake. Enjoy that last few glimpses into Autumn.

Lou Ann




Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Post election thoughts from Angola, Indiana by Justin Young...

Yesterday was election day. I lost. I accepted it as part of Democracy. We can't lose if we don't run. I did not have any tears until this moment. I have copied Justin Young's Facebook post.
Thank you for those words.

26 mins · Edited · 
Yesterday was election day and the majority of comments in my feed were of disappointment, disillusionment ("Well, I voted for the lesser of two evils..."), or moral ambiguity ("Doesn't matter who we vote for!"). While I can't argue how you might feel personally, I can argue that you're wrong.
Lou Ann Homan is a coworker, a teacher, a storyteller, a newspaper columnist, and a friend. Yesterday she lost her election. That's fair--democracy worked. Her opponent, who I do not know, may very well be a wonderful person. I can't say. But I can say she is a wonderful, giving, and caring human being. She loves her town and would have served it admirably. She has already--serving on a variety of committees and organizing the recent singing on the circle event. She brings the arts to a small town that isn't always sure that it wants them. She is not a lesser of two evils. She is not the same as anyone else we could put into office.
People default to that talk not because it is intellectual or insightful, but because it is easy. It's a surrender in the face of a complicated world filled with conflicting shades of gray. Each spring I spend a semester ranting to my students about the dangers of how the media manipulates us through things like agenda setting, framing, etc. But the last day of class I warn them not to allow any of that to make them cynical. Cynicism is the intellectualism of stupid people. No curiosity--just disillusionment.

The world is not changed by the cynics who have given up, but by good people who refuse to.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Vote!!

Wherever you live
today is the day
you must
VOTE!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween is a wonderful celebration for all...


Here is the link to my Halloween column. Just click on the above link. As always,
thank you for reading. 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

My garden scarecrow!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Dedication of Lady Columbia...

Photo by Jennifer Decker

The wind was howling at the four bells yesterday afternoon so we moved the celebration into the Masonic Lodge. It was the perfect place for the celebration as we were on the second floor and the windows looked out over the mound.

There was a nice crowd for a late afternoon event. Mark Gropp, my piper, was there to play, the mayor was there to give a nice speech as well.

It was my honor to tell Columbia's story. This was my second time to do this for my town. In 1993 Mayor Selman asked me to do the same for the 4th of July. 

Notice I kept my cape on even though we were inside because I love the festive look.

So, congratulations to my town for a job well done. 



Thursday, October 29, 2015

A typical day in my town...

The monument at Christmas.

Sorry to confuse you, no, it is not Christmas. I just love this photo.

Today we are celebrating the restoration of the mound (not the monument) on the square at 4:00 this afternoon. The Mayor will be giving remarks and my friend and piper, Mark Gropp, will be on hand to play the pipes. I will tell the story of Columbia. It is my honor to do so and this is the second time in my life I have been asked to do the dedication story.

It will be cold and blustery on the square, but the stories will warm you (and so will the hot chocolate!). See you at 4:00 to make history once again.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

One more night of Poe!

Photo by Dean Orweiler

Tonight my students, along with a few theatre students, will be presenting an evening of Poe. This year there will be two shows because of the popularity of this evening: 7 bells and 9 bells.

The performances will be held in Wells Theatre in Taylor Hall. There is no charge and the community is invited. I hope to see you there in the audience. We have worked hard to bring you a wonderful show tonight!

Yes, I say with a sigh, one more night of Poe and one more night of stories before this storyteller pulls out the shingle...at least for a while!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Poe!


Today I will presenting a symposia on Poe! The event begins at 3:30 at Wells Theatre. It is the perfect addition to your Halloween week and, for those of you in my neighborhood, a great way to spend an afternoon before the winds howl and the rain pours. Come on out and hear things about Poe you never knew...Nevermore! This is part of our Hall of Haunted Humanities!

I took this photo last January on my journey to Poe!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Haunted Hall of Humanities 2015 Promo





Today kicks off our Halloween Week at the Haunted Hall of Humanities at Trine University. We have had so much fun putting these events together. Come to one...or come to all...can you guess how many I will be attending?



Enjoy the video and come on out and see us.



Lou Ann

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Autumn's beauty...

I do not think I have ever known an Autumn to last thing long or be of such great beauty. It is as if a painter stopped in his or her tracks and couldn't move on. What a lovely, lovely day. Here are a few photos of my old purple house and yard.





Enjoy this last glorious week of October...

 
Here is the link to this week's column. Just click on the above link!
 As always, thank you for reading.
It was a great night at Pokagon last night. The crowds were huge, the stories were scary,
and it was a very creepy drive home in the mist and fog. I took this photo at the park
last night before the darkness settled in.
 
 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

October hauntings...


 Tonight there are ghost stories at Pokagon State Park for our annual shows. The other day I met someone who told me they love bringing their children to my shows just as their parents had brought them. Wow...how long have I been telling stories??

The weather is for wind and thunderstorms and hail (no, I added the hail actually)...so dress warmly and bring a friend to sit with to keep you safe.

The children's show begins at 7 and the adults are at 8:30. Steve Etheridge and I are looking forward to another great evening.

This will conclude my whirlwind of storytelling for October...except for Poe events at Trine University, but I will talk about that later.

Until then.

Lou Ann

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin...

Photo by Earthsky.org

Tonight was the night to wait for the Great Pumpkin. A crowd of us gathered at the pumpkin patch at the community gardens at early dark. I lit candles all around the pumpkin patch and we waited.

Hmmm...nothing appeared to be happening so I read "The Raven" by Poe, of course. I think the kids got a little anxious and they began running around the gardens in the dark yelling "nevermore!" 

After a while we realized that perhaps the Great Pumpkin wouldn't be coming this year or at least not on this night. We picked the final crop of pumpkins by flashlight, blew out the candles and drove home. As I was coming into my garden gate I thought I saw something orange flash through the sky...what it was I cannot say, but never give up hope, Charlie Brown, never.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Warmshowers.com



This is a photo of Steven from Brakel, Germany. He was my guest last night as part of Warmshowers.com.

I joined the organization several years ago in order to host bicyclists who are crossing the United States. I have had many folks stop by on bikes. I love hearing their stories, feeding them breakfast, and sending them on their way.

As it was, Steven arrived just as I was leaving for a storytelling performance. He said he was tired and slept his way until morning. Today we went to the Village Kitchen where he fueled up for the day.

Steven left his job in Germany to explore the United States. He is traveling in 25 states with Indiana being his 24th. Two days until Chicago and then back home. I told him to hurry as the snow was coming!

He shared stories of the kindness of Americans. I am glad he was able to come here to see for himself that we are a friendly nation.

Safe travels, my new friend, and thanks for the invitation to Germany!!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Campaigning...


Campaigning for City Council has been very interesting. I love meeting my neighbors and talking about our town. It is fun to hear their ideas and what they think should change and what they love about Angola.

Today my opponent, Dave Martin, and I had a conversation while we were both on the campaign trail. He gave me a hug and wishes me luck. He has held this office for 20 years. His signs say, Experience Wins. My signs simply say, "Your town is my town."

Whatever the outcome I hope folks vote, even though it is such a small election this year. If you live in Angola, District D, I would love to have your vote! 

Until tomorrow...
Lou Ann

Saturday, October 17, 2015

First frost brings a flurry of activity...


Here is the link to this week's column. As always, enjoy, and thank you for reading.
Just click on the above headline.

I took this photo in the garden yesterday.
Perhaps it is the end of the roses and the
morning glories, but how lovely they have been.
Notice the sweet drops of morning dew.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

My GPS always gets me home!

 
Here is the link to this week's column. Enjoy and, as always, thank you for reading!
 
Dustin Woods at Sunset.
 

Friday, October 09, 2015

Crown Hill Cemetery...


This weekend the storytellers of Indiana will gather under a huge tent at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana. No, there is not a burial or a wake, but an evening of ghost stories that will cause you to look over your shoulder.

The event begins at 7:30 at Crown Hill. Tickets are available at the door. This is a great way to kick off this ghostly season. Please be sure to come up and say hello after the show!

This event is sponsored by Storytelling Arts of Indiana.

Until then...

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

My favorite literary day...

Edgar Allan Poe's grave in Baltimore.

It is a known fact to everyone that reads my blog that poetry is very important to me. My studio shelves are full of poetry books from the greats and the not-so-greats.

I pay attention to births and deaths of poets and where these dates fall in the timeline of the world. Having said that, today is one of my favorite literary days.

On this day in 1849, Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore. His death is still shrouded in mystery. Why was he in Baltimore? Whose clothes was he wearing?

I have traveled to Baltimore and to Richmond in search of answers, but have found none.

At the same time on this date in 1849, James Whitcomb Riley was born on what was known as the edge of the prairie. He became one of Indiana's favorite poets leaving us with Little Orphant Annie, and The Raggedy Man, to name a few.

Coincidental? Hmmm....think about it!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Brookside...


Today is an exceptional day for me as I will be telling my story, Sandstones and Scholars, at St. Francis University. I told my commissioned piece last year in November, but this time it is for the faculty and staff. 

I am so excited they wanted the show "in person" as this was also done as a PBS special. Isn't it wonderful that storytelling is so alive and well?

So, another quick rehearsal and I am off to do what I do best...tell stories.

This photo was taken by my grandson, Matthew, last year after the original show.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

With the tip of a hat, it’s a LaGrange adventure...


Here is the link to this week's column and my adventures into the
world of millinery. Just click on the KPC link and there you are.
As always, thank you for reading!
I took these photos on the morning I visited!

A milliner's dream table.


Jacqui from Chicago.

...and more hats!