Tuesday, December 27, 2005

An Island Christmas

Matthew and I arrived about forty minutes late in Raleigh...but to a welcoming crowd! Philip had driven from Ocracoke to pick me up and Sherrie and David (Matthew's Grandparents from Atlanta) had come to pick him up. We exchanged greetings, picked up our luggage and all took to the road in different directions.

We had a non-stop trip as we wanted to get back before dark and before the pot luck (which was held at Philip's) was over. As always with traveling, I am amazed at the geographical changes. I left freezing temperatures with inches of snow on the ground and not a leaf in sight and arrived to blue skies of about 55 degrees, dry roads and the scent of pines.

When we arrived home to Miss Aliph's, there were no parking spaces left so we parked down by the shop and came a'callin (we actually knocked on the door!) The house was full of friends and relatives...what a nice home coming.

After the pot luck everyone scrambled into jackets and scarves and walked down the dark, clam filled street to the Methodist Church for the Christmas Eve service. There were, of course, wise men and shepherds and Mary and Joseph....there also was every person on the island in attendance. The service ended with candlelight and wishing each other Merry Christmas.

Christmas Day started with brunch at our house for family....the opening of gifts which took several hours. Most of it revolved around Philip's Grandchild, Lachlan. Dinner was later in the afternoon at Julie and Gary's.

The post Christmas activites are dinners at friend's homes each evening...games of cards, jigsaw puzzles and Werewolf...the pouring of conversation and wine.

The weather is crisp and sunny and fresh and clean.

It is nice to spend this week with Philip...to read and relax..sit by the fire...drink eggnog...and be appreciative for all life's blessings.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Winter Solstice

Today is the Winter Solstice...the first day of winter...the beginning of the longer days to weave ourselves back to summer days.

I have been celebrating the Solstice for years, often in the company of myself. I have been known to chant around old Oak trees surrounded by drifts of snow...or building small bonfires (sometimes in the grill!) and tossing in eulogies of my past.

A few years ago I celebrated Solstice on an airplane. I told my seatmate at the exact moment of Solstice. He had never met anyone who celebrated it before. He reached into his wallet and pulled out a $100 dollar bill and handed it to me. I was, of course, reluctant to take it. He said to just consider it a gift. When I arrived home, I stuffed it in one of my favorite books.

Last Solstice Philip was here so we celebrated with sparklers out on the front stoop...then had cookies and cocoa.

Tonight I will be with my book club...but tucked into my briefcase are a couple packages of sparklers. Hopefully I will get a few takers!

Here is one of my favorite Solstice greetings. Tonight after dark, go outside, circle around a special tree in the yard and recite it!

"Root to root,
Seed to seed,
May all that we have,
Be all that we need."

Happy Solstice.

Lou Ann Homan is a writer, teacher, and storyteller who lives in Angola, Indiana. She is available for writing seminars, storytelling, and speaking engagements. She can be contacted at locketoftime@aol.com. You can read more at www.louannhoman.com

Monday, December 19, 2005

One degree...

Arriving home late from a Christmas Party, I drove around the circle. I often do that...especially at Christmas enjoying the Christmas lights, checking to see how many folks are at Rachael's Coffee Shop...were there enough folks to show the movies at the two small theatres...or check the temperature. Actually I think I was sorry for the temperature check...it was one degree.

One degree. I drove around the circle, came home to my driveway and fumbled for my housekey (before getting out of the car.) As I was unlocking the back door, I couldn't help but notice the icicles..some more than three feet long..smooth, sharp, pointy, clear, twisted. I just stood and watched (for a very short time).
There is something magical about icicles. I remember breaking them off and licking them as a kid. I like to tell a story about a great, great Uncle who was killed by an icicle on his way out to the barn to do the milking (I think I made that one up)!

But no matter what the stories, three foot long icicles on a porch roof means One Degree. Now where did I put that electric blanket????

Lou Ann Homan is a writer, teacher, and storyteller who lives in Angola, Indiana. She is available for writing seminars, storytelling, and speaking engagements. She can be contacted at locketoftime@aol.com. You can read more at www.louannhoman.com

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Living in a snow globe...

Dear Friends in Angola (or of Angola),

You just gotta love it....cold and more cold. Snow and more cold.

The Farmer's Almanac predicted a heavy snow year. I will believe them the rest of my life.

We are already a half of what the entire winter should be...so keep the snow shovels by the back door (mine is) and the salt handy.

I spent some of my snow in days reading the old clasic, A Raisin in the Sun and The Historian. At least our Carnegie Library has stayed open. If you haven't been to the new library, then you are definitely missing out. It is beautiful, fully stocked with just about any book (or periodical) that you might want and a courteous staff to visit with.

Aaron and I took the boys on a field trip there on Friday. It was Jonah's first visit...he definitely was a celebrity and even picked out his own book. In fact he wasn't going home without it!!

Tonight is a Christmas dinner at a neighbor's house...I have books for the girls wrapped and ready, a freshly made cole slaw and a bottle of red wine for the dinner conversation.

So, let's toast the beginning of winter.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan is a writer, teacher, and storyteller who lives in Angola, Indiana. She is available for writing seminars, storytelling, and speaking engagements. She can be contacted at locketoftime@aol.com. You can read more at www.louannhoman.com

Monday, December 12, 2005

Artist District

My small corner of the world is home to artists. All kinds. Painters, graphic artists, cartoonists, storytellers and others inhabit the streets where I live.

We have decided to call ourselves The Second Sunday Artists and get together once a month. When? The Second Sunday of each month, of course.

We meet at my house and discuss our work and marketing strategies as well as consume large amounts of brownies and hot chocolate. (Yesterday was cut out sugar cookies!)

Anyone who has an interest in becoming an artist is welcome, of course. You will get lots of good ideas, make goals for yourself, and network with folks from my small town. Oh, and the cookies are great as well!

Lou Ann Homan is a writer, teacher, and storyteller who lives in Angola, Indiana. She is available for writing seminars, storytelling, and speaking engagements. She can be contacted at locketoftime@aol.com. You can read more at www.louannhoman.com.


Friday, December 09, 2005

Winter in a Small Town...

Late into the afternoon the snow began to fall in my small northern town...the warnings had been issued, and this tiime the forecasters were correct. By dusk the snow was whirling and swirling around all lampposts and street lights. We could not stop looking as the beauty was so great.

Our neighbor, Lee, called to bring supper over so we scurried around in the kitchen to add a hot cornbread, open several bottles of wine and light the candles.

It was a wonderful way to spend a snowing evening with good conversation, great food and no where to go.

By morning we were treated to eight and a half inches of snow. Philip shoveled while I baked bread.

It is stunningly beautiful.

Lou Ann

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

News from a Small Town...

You know you are in a small town when the lead story on the local radio station is the rescue of a dog off of a frozen pond.

We are all, however, glad to hear the tidings of great joy. The dog was tired, but safe.

And that's the news from the frozen tundra of the Midwest on this Tuesday afternoon.

Lou Ann

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

As November winds down...

I like November, I really do. I love the coming of winter...the stark barren trees. I love bundling up in my loden green cape during the day, and my Grandmother's quilt at night. I love the smell of cookies in my oven and candles on my tables.

What I regret is that November is winding down...Thanksgiving, family, the last leaves of the season, closing the screen windows for good, wrapping up the garden hose, and putting away my bike.

So, a toast to the ending of November....and a welcome to December!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Out my Window

out my window, rain has declared this her day

out my window, gray goblets of liquid rain pour on my car

out my window, children slush by in multi-colored slickers

out my window, yellow fog lights pulsate in darkness

out my window, barren bones of trees hold court in dampness

out my window......brrrr..pull the drapes and let's make tea

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Great Pumpkin Patch

I took my sweet little boys, Jonah and Matthew, to the Great Pumpkin Patch early this evening. It was warm and a bit of a foggy haze was setting in as we strolled around acres of pumpkins. The boys were fascinated...rolling, touching, chasing, biting (well, Jonah is only one) and finding just the right one. Jonah chose a large, well formed golden sphere (with a little help) and Matthew found one just his size to haul around. We had supper out, which is another exciting event...mostly they had French Fries...

When we arrived back at their house, we promptly put the pumpkins on the porch and admired their beauty in the moonlight The moon was playing hide and go seek among the aging Maples and Jonah couldn't stop saying..Moon, moon, moon...is was a stunning sight. In the distance I could smell the fragrance of burning leaves.

Riding my bike home through the darkned streets, I could only think how lovely Autumn is in Indiana.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Monday's Grey

mist of cool autumn
seeping into worn gutters
grey shades of Monday

shining metal streets
slick cars gliding through dense fog
strings of dirty pearls

safe in my cocoon
rain drops on age-old windows
dreaming by the fire

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Star in My Pocket..

Just came back from a lovely night walk...the stars are so brilliant I could have reached up and put one in my pocket. It's cold too..jacket and scarf for the evening stroll. The neighborhood is decked out for Halloween. My house is no exception with a great witch on the front porch and orange twinkle lights all over...All I need is a carved pumpkin...and that will be a week or two yet.

So, I guess it's time to put another quilt on the bed, pick up my book, and end this perfect day.

A James Whitcomb Riley Kind of Day...

Today was a splendid day in Northern Indiana...one of those days that you wait for all summer..cool temperatures (well, even a hat felt good today!)..lots of sapphire blue sky..and dry leaves gathering in nooks and crannies.

I went walking after dark, my favorite time to walk, and the moon just hung like a charm on a bracelet...folks were still out finishing up Halloween decorations...lights, campfires, ghosts and goblins up and down the streets where I live. I have added to the merriment with my own for-sure-looking-witch on my front porch and orange lights. My backyard is filled with corn shocks and pumpkins. Maybe I will fill a mug with hot cider and go sit amidst the small patch I have and watch the sparkling night sky.

Friday, October 07, 2005

New Year's Resolutions...

No, it's not January...but sometimes resolutions just hit you..especially during a quiet moment or two...I woke up this morning thinking about all that I want to do...let's see...be a kayaker..be a photographer...work out at the gym every day...keep up with my blog site.

Actually it was early and dark when I awoke and in the low 40's...fall is just now approaching and with the long fall and winter evenings writing seems a bit cozier...and life is a bit quieter. We shall see how I do...until tomorrow.

Lou Ann

Monday, September 12, 2005

Back of Basics..

I know my readership is low...maybe occasionally nonh-existant...but I really love blogging. Maybe just for the discipline for writing. Anyway, I have had trouble with this site since returning home, but now it appears that all is well. Looking forward to many more entries. Lou Ann

Monday, August 15, 2005

Once again a blogger...

Welcome back to my blog site! It was quite the summer, yes? I loved sharing the Village Craftsmen blog with Philip, but here we are back in Indiana.

Today was the first "real" day back to school. I have a new room...it is absolutely huge..fresh new sapphire blue tile..and so clean. I have it decorated to my liking with theatre props and playbills and costumes. It will be a year of new teaching as I follow the theatre curriculum for the state. I have called my classes "Flair." I really like the title. In between classes, I will be teaching an after school art's program, early morning spell bowl, student council, and numerous other jobs!

It was a great start...staff is all excited about a new year!

So, hats off to public schools...we do our best, give it all we have..just bring on the children!!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Blogging Hiatus

Hi folks,
Yes, I have arrived here in Ocracoke..I feel settled in...I feel at home. For the next few weeks I will be sharing the blog writing with Philip. So.....I am sending you there to his website. Just bookmark it on your computer and you will know what is going on each day! I will still write Sunday Passage starting again this Sunday.


Go to Ocracoke Journal...please leave us a message...

Lou Ann

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

corn fields and storytelling..

It was a day of storytelling..which always makes for a good day...and driving through Indiana's heartland to get there! The weather is stunning today...not hot..not cold..farm fields are just planted with the shadow of corn beginning to creep into the fields..farm stands are being repaired and rebuilt for the srawberry crop which will soon be here as well as sweet cherries.

It makes me feel quite poetic and a scavenger at the same time..a little James Whitcomb Riley an Johnny Appleseed..tossed around with my own thoughts..yes, spring is Indiana is worth waiting for!!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

a bouncing, fat, red haired baby..

Today Aaron and Karen and the babies are moving into their new house..just one block away. It has been quite the six months them with the fire and moving from one place to another. They have lived out of suitcases for the last six months. Ahhh, but today everything changes..they have a lovely old house in town. Actually Karen and Friends are moving, Aaron is still on a butterfy adventure with his brothers in Honduras. (As Karen was walking out this morning of just one more load of stuff, she said it so well...he really owes me for this one!!)

My job is taking care of babies...off to a birthday party (those car seats are really something these days)...then diapers, a bottle for Jonah and a nap.

They are both adorable and I have had the wonderful fortune of getting to know them as they have lived with me this past six weeks. Matthew will be four this summer.. dark haired and sweet (except when tired)..Jonah just turned 8 months and is a red haired, fat little baby. He says dada, has two teeth and is smart and beautiful, of course...except he isn't fond of blogging at this moment, so I'll just sign off for the day.

Friday, May 27, 2005

"there is always something to miss...."

Dear Friends,
It is late on a Friday afternoon...I am sitting in my empty, but dusty classroom here in Norhern Indiana..and before I log off, shut down, unplug, I just had to take a few moments to reflect on the school year.

There is something so serendipitous when leaving. Today is my last day of school (the others have to stay another week, but I am part time!!) I said my good byes at 3:20..and spent the last couple of hours wrapping up the last minute details...

What a year this has been...lots of projects...lots of activities. I hope the kids all learned as much as I did! In an empty classroom it is hard to tell...all signs of learning have disappeared..the walls are bare...the clutter is gone, and oh, how I have clutter.

So I'll just check off another teaching year...and move on to the next project which is to get Karen and the babies moved. (More on that later!)

Patricia MacLachan (children's author) once wrote..."there is always something to miss wherever we go..." So my farewells to my classroom and school routine..to Keith, the night custodian who keeps me lots of company in the evenings...it was a good year.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

breaking of the bread and the promise

So, I promise not to stop writing, and my laptop loses a wire or two..it has been in the shop for the past week just now coming home to me. How did we ever manage without email? I didn't even get the Sunday Passage done...so sorry about that.

Anyway, I am back on tract. It has been cold here in northern Indiana...jackets and heat at night. Aaron and Karen and the babies are still with me...school is winding down and I have been on the road most of my free time with performances, not a dull moment this spring!!

My to do list doesn't seem to get smaller as I keep adding new tasks as I prepare to leave for the summer. There is, however, always a little time for haiku writing..

poignant cry above
one faltering blue feather
lunch for the black cat

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

alabaster time...

It was late last night when I slung my house key around my neck and went biking, still later when I went walking and still later when I watered all the new plants that I put out on the week end.

I love late spring nights. My house is still full of family so I waited til the quiet sounds of sleeping began to lul the house at white picket gardens to rest.

The streets were quiet...just a few lights on here and there and the scent of spring lilacs was so pungeant that a few times I just stopped to twirl and take it all in.

Nights walks help clear my head..so much in there theses days..personal, professional. I didn't realize my thoughts were so transparent until my neighbor, Amy, brought me a bouquet of roses this morning...you look for forlorn, she said.

But the day has started..off with 300 kids to the Wizards Baseball game...then to Indy for a performance and dinner with a friend.

Amy, is you are reading my blog, I love the roses.

I'll close with a part of a poem from Emily Dickinson,

How lonesome the Wind must feel Nghts
When people have put out the Lights
And everthing that has a Inn
Closes the shutter and goes in.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

late afternoon hours....

I am sitting in my classroom at the end of a long day...with more yet to come. I am lucky enough to have windows that open..so the breeze stirs the costume I have hanging up on the windowsill...this week a cowboy..last week a lady in waiting.

The sounds of softball practice echo in over the music on my CD player. Schools are lovely at the end of a day...reflecting on their work...my work. My room is always messy, even when I stay late to clean, you just wouldn't know it by the next day. It is full of books and music and forms and talent show papers and posters..we had a party for a student teacher after school in my room so there are crumbs from the chocolate cake.

Tonight is our Writer's Workshop taught with my friend and colleague, Kathy. We both love writing and teach it differently...but a nice blend. We are hoping for a good turn out on our last night.

My board is littered with vocabulary words from the fourth grade. Words such as enraptured, frail, celestial, azure. One of my fourth grade students, Jacob, wrote the word perpetual. Then he came up to see me..."Ms. Homan-Saylor...look at this word. P E R P E T U A L..never ending, very frequent. Just like writing is to us!"

Yes, I say, never ending, just like writing. It makes me smile to know that he understands. That is enough for me.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

a public apology....

To my neighbors on S. West Street in Angola, Indiana.....

I have failed you. Yes, I know. My lawn is unmowed. I have violated Indiana code 470 which states: "All homeowners in Indiana will mow their lawn when the grass tips begin to wave in the wind."

I have not trimmed...violating code 834 which states: "All homeowners in Indiana will trim their lawns when the grass tips are higher than the mowed grass."

I have not weeded yard or garden...violating code 923 which states: "All homeowners in Indiana will weed their yards and gardens when one or more weed appears."

I have excuses...really I do. Do you want to hear them?

All right, all right...Saturday I will mow and trim and weed. So please stop marching in front of my house...please remove the TV cameras...it is so embarrassing to go to work with my coat over my head...and please don't withhold my paycheck. Isn't it enough to be honest with you, yes, my neighbors, I have sinned.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Early morning treasure...

I found this on my desk early this morning..what a nice way to start the day!!

Dear Ms. homen salory,
You are pritty.
You are a good reader
Thank-you for seting all of the programs up for us.
Age 7

Friday, April 29, 2005

Late Afternoon Serenade

Ahh, the world is full of music...and surprises...today I hosted a Mariachi band for the kids at school...the colors were bright..the music just wonderful..and the floor was flled with dancing children and teachers...The band was from Indinapolis, speaking only Spanish...and played everything we loved from the Chicken Dance to Tequilla!!

At the end of a long day I was in charge of little Jonah (my little grandbaby of 7 months)..although in all reality he was in charge of me. He cried all the time his Mama was gone. Finally at dusk I noticed the neighbor boy, Ed, practicing his trumpet in his back yard. I hollered over for him to come over...so bringing his case and music stand and gently carrying his trumpet he came over to the front stoop. He set up his one man band and played for Matthew and Jonah. Sometimes we listened, sometimes we danced and the neighbors peered through curtains wondering what was going on now at the House at White Picket Gardens. We heard everything from his own version of the Chicken Dance to America the Beautiful to Clair de Lune. What a great way to end the day.

By the way, this is Ed's first year as a trumpet player. I think we will see his name on a CD in the future!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Today I am hosting my first "annual" (that is yet to be determined) Sonnet-a-thon to honor William Shakespeare.

Now the truth is, I have particited in other Sonnet-a-thons with professors and writers and teachers and literary experts...it was glorious listening to the words roll off their tongues.

Today, however, it is being hosted by a fourth grade class. They have worked for a couple of months on this...committee work, their first, and hard to understand the concept that you do your work and someone else does theirs and it all falls into place..or so it should.

As of right now..the belief was that Shakespeare died and rose again (a product in conservative Indiana, typo, what?)....the reception consists of one large 7-up, a gallon of punch, one punch bowl, one tray, one package napkins...there are no cups, cookies, tablecloths.

We are still struggling with the pronounciation for the emcee cards of 'university' and 'graduate' to introduce our guest community readers.

The flu season still continues so we might miss an important fact or two in their 'facts of Shakespeare' part of the program. But, who really cares when he was born, died, what he wrote, thought...

All I can say is, all's well that end's well, and Shakespeare didn't even say that!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Florence M. Ball

Yesterday while having coffee (raspberry-chocolate) at Rachael's coffeeshop..just a few blocks from my house..I was reading the paper and came across an obituary:

Florence M. Ball, 99, of Ashley, died Friday, April 22, 2005. Arrangements by Johnson Fueral Home, Hudson.

I tore it out of the paper, stuck in my jeans pocket and walked home with it. Later I took out the crumpled piece of paper and placed in on my desk.

I want to know more about Florence, but all I have is this obituary. She lived for 99 years...think of all the changes that she saw in the world. Did she like the color ruby? Did she garden? Did she marry and have children? Did she ever see the ocean or built a sand castle? What color were her eyes?

Do you know Florence? If so, tell me about her.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Earth Day...2005

turquiose emerald
spinning whirling dancing
spherical diverse

I love Earth Day...I have been celebrating, or trying to celebrate it for several years. One year at school we all bought tee-shirts with pictures of the Earth, bought a tree and sang a specia song. Of course, it rained that day...but I remember all of the children poking their out the windows singing about the earth with much gusto.

This year a first grade classroom that I work with has gathered coffers for a tree and we are in the process of making our own list to save the Earth according to first graders! I will publish it next week!

I have told stories a Earth Day celebrations...planted trees...I recycle, car pool, turn my heat down...and do my part. So..you can imagine my disappointment for this Earth Day with 7 inches of snow predicted...all the celebrations canceled for the day, how I must feel.

However, it is nice to know she is still in charge.

Friday, April 22, 2005

And then there were five..

I live alone. My kids at school think that is weird...some of my neighbors wonder about me also!
After time a person gets used to it..now I'm not saying I like it..I am just saying it is how I live...or should I say how I used to live.

This afternoon around 4:00...a carload of folks moved in with me...they drove a white van that was filled top to bottom with "stuff" that has now filled the Cottage at White Picket Gardens.

Odd, you think...did they randomly choose my lovely house on this quiet tree-lined street? No, it was rather deliberate...it is my son, Aaron and his family, Karen and their two babies, Matthew and Jonah. They will be staying here until the first of June.

My kitchen is filled with baby food..the high chair is now in the dining room with a real live baby in it...my knitting basket, seashells, CD's, silver stars have all been tucked away...there are toys and cribs and diapers and trucks all over.

There is also something else around that I don't hear very often...soft voices, breathing, laughter, cooing, and someone to share dinners with.

Yes, life will certainly be different for the next few weeks. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

If I write it...will you read it??

Dear Friends,
I have just realized how irresponsible I have been to this blog site..and believe it or not..it it really important to me. So, if I become more faithful, will you become more faithful in reading???

Tonight was my book club night. I love book club. We are all women. We take turns hosting and serving dinner (yes, we talk about the book..a lot!!)

This month's read was Reading Lolita in Tehran. It will probably become (it is already!) my favorite book of the year. It is written by Azar Nafisi. I would recommend it highly!!

The book itsef lends itself to other reads...Nabokov, Fitzgerld, James, Austin...it is a rich read, and I found it especially wonderful after the V.M.

There are so many wonderful quotes that it is very difficult to choose one...but I shall indeed do that:
"Modern fiction brings out the evil in domestic lives, ordinary relations, people like you and me. What is frightening i that the blindness can exist in the best of us as well as the worst. We are all capable of becoming the blind censor, or imposig our visions and desires on others."1

1. Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Stuffing a backpack...

I can stuff a turkey, really I can...and I used to be able to stuff a Volkswagon (remember those days???), butI am having a hard time stuffing my backpack.

I will be leaving on my Carl Sandburg trip in just a couple of days and have been getting everything ready...black and white film, new mastercard to replace the one I lost at the fund raiser on Saturday night, cash from the ATM, charging the phone, stopping the mail, washing the jeans, finding sandals..raincoats, getting the new journal ready, books to read on the train, hair barretts, sweatshirts, business cards (never pass up a great opportunity!!), glasses...both distance and sunglases, sunscreen, t-shirts, socks, underwear, camera, clothes for Portland.

And then there are the travel arrangements...there are six folks involved in my getting to the airport and back from the train station..I feel a little like a bag of potatoes...but as long as everyone remembers their part, I should get there and back OK!!

So now comes the stuffing part...it just won't go, plus I forgot to put toothpaste, shampoo, hairbrush and all of that on the list.

The big question of the night is this? How in the world did the hobos do it?? Of course, they didn't photograph their historic journey (how did they know it would be a romantically preserved time period...and they didn't journal..again same reason. I am quite sure they didn't need sunscreen or sandals or their ATM card or business cards to drop along the way...here, Kansas City, have a business card, give me call if you have any work for fifteen cents an hour.

OK, ok, I am trying to duplicate the trip...but doesn't anyone out there want to go along to carry this big, stuffed backpack???????

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Pat's to all...

I love St. Patrick's Day...it is right up there with the Solstice and Robert Burns Day..

I love the wearing of the green...dusting off my brogue...and drinking green beer....(that comes later tonight!!)

Tomorrow night (at Rachael's) there will be a great St. Pat's celebration with singing (we made our own songbooks), and stories (that is my job!) Hopefully we will have folks from wall to wall..so if you are in Angola tomorrow night, come on over!!

Which reminds me..I best go brush up on those Irish tales, take my walk, and oh yes...have that green beer!!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Still winter according to my fourth grade writers!!

Haiku for Winter by Fourth Grade Students in Northern Indiana

blustery cold winds
blankets of snow falling down
gleaming snow glows bright

snowflakes still falling
animals want snow to leave
arctic winds blowing

Spring is a traitor
betraying us in sharp March
adios Winter!!

Winter, be gone now
take off your dreaded white coat
you've stayed long enough

cold frosts evenings
winter's sweet maple syrup
wondrous tree tapping

deer bound across fields
like snowshoe rabbits in snow
which are both awesome

longer March sunsets
warm air melting it's cold ice
geese swimming in ponds

snowy freezing days
cold, chilly, raw March evenings
people wanting spring

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The way it is...

Philip left this morning.

Coming home at the end of the day to an empty house was difficult. It is always like that when he leaves. He spoils me when he is here...cooking, washing dishes, having a lovely pot of tea ready for me when I walk in the door. Oh, how lonely my house is tonight.

I called my sister. She always has a way of listening to me...I read..I cooked dinner...and I walked in cold, dark tonight..the temperature is 21 degrees, but the stars are like diamonds. It was a good night for walking and thinking.

I think I'll just go to bed early with the electric blanket...a cup of herb tea...and a good book. Sigh.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Life has a way in interfering....

Sometimes I think I am on tract with my journal writing and then...life just happens right in the middle of everything. (If you are only a blog reader go to my website www.louannhoman.com and click on Sunday Passages for the full story. Also check out the new photos on the scrapbook page.

It is a rainy, dark day in Indiana. The rain is to turn to snow towards evening with another blast of cold, arctic air....but the promise of spring is somewhere???

Tonight is dinner at a friend's house..simple, cozy...soup for a cold night...a bottle of wine to share..and stories...always stories.

Monday, February 21, 2005


It does not end. The plow chugged up and down my street all night as I slept with the curtains open catching site of the blinking light in my dreams. By morning we had several inches of snow and my good neighbors were here shoveling for me.

By two in the afternoon, it had all turned to sleet...heavy, heavy sleet pelting all around my house and gardens.

Currently, it is raining and quite foggy outside. One of my favorite quotes about winter never ending is found in the book, Winter, by Rick Bass. He writes, "Be loyal to winter, all the way through--all the way, and with sincerity--or you'll find youself high and dry, longing for a spring that's along way off, and winter will have abandoned you, and in her place you'll have cagin fever, the worst."

Friday, February 18, 2005

Friday afternoon Haiku...

What a nice way to end the week with a fourth grade class loving Haiku, clinging to Haiku, not wanting to go home from school (well, almost!) Haiku!! These were all written by the kids!!

wishy-washy pearls
what's in your recollection?
Liquefy or not

savouring winter
non-ending glacial snowflakes
forsaking sunshine

cold silver diamonds
fridget crystals of winter
frosted crescents fall

snowflakes drifting
white pearly crystals falling
dancing all over

February's warmth
always melts your snowman's heart
so what about mine??

steal a broken heart
February warming air
my tragic break-up

ice looking like stars
walking in the cloudy snow
snow melts in my arms

cotton candy snow
sticking on windows like lace
flying in the air

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


I own a Jeep. There, I have said it. Some of you don't know me personally, but now you know the truth. I own a gas, guzzling SUV vehicle. I also protest against drilling oil in Alaska, support the Brady Bill for gun control and will be in the Vagina Monologues.

But, before you close out....just let me explain. I have to own a Jeep, I mean it is part of my storytelling. I have a great license plate that says STORIES...I have bumper stickers that give the world a clue as to who I am.

My Jeep is my house on wheels...my Laura Ingalls Wilder wagon..the first flight of the Wright Brothers...

I write in my car (not a safe practice!!)...read in my car (also not a safe practice!) sometimes enjoy other activitie in my Jeep (I'll not even go there!!)...I cry and eat McDonald' burgers in my Jeep (did I say McDonald's, I meant soy burgers from the health food store, really I did!!

I carry microphones, work out clothes, walking shoes, scraper,tapes for the tape player, 8 pair of ice skates (well, you never will know when you run across a lovely patch of ice, meet 7 folks who also need skates)...a cowboy hat (!)...musical instruments..empty and full water bottles, candy wrappers (they were from a hitch hiker I picked up once, and that is the truth)...and a lovly prism that bobbles from my rear view window.

Today my Jeep will turn 100,000. I have had three Jeeps during the past few years...all run 250,000 mles..I think Jeep should be reading this and letting me do their commercials..I am a walking (I mean driving) testimony to their durability.

Besides, I think I look cool in my Jeep. When I work at schools, the kids are all impressed when they carry my stuff out to my Jeep, "is that yours?" they ask in amazement.

"Yes," I say with pride looking at my beginning-to-be-rusted, bumper stickered, covered with Indiana salt Jeep,
"Yes, that baby is all mine!"

Monday, February 07, 2005


The fourth graders I am working with just caught on to Limericks. Here are a few of my favorites: (By the way, if you have one of your own or a favorite, send it my way!!)

There was an old man with a prize
Who loved to eat dirty black fries
He stayed out all night
He got in a fight
And now he has two blackened eyes!

There once was a clumsy your mare
Who loved a young lady named Clare
Asked her on a date
He ran a bit late
Then he bought them a dinner to share.

There once was a lady named Bell
Who was riding her bike and she fell
She scraped up her knee
And got stung by a bee
And then she forgot how to spell.

Thee was an old man not quite dead
Who stood up and cracked open his head
He had a small cat
Who sat on his mat
And often would call him Sir Red.

A flimsy old woman named Pam
Who couldn't eat nothing but spam
It started to snow
How could she know
And finaly ate strawberry jam!

Friday, February 04, 2005

The rehearsal week...

The first week of rehearsals is now over. It was what I thought it would be...meetings lots of new folks, sitting around the "acting circle"..learning which lines and parts we all will be saying...rehearsing...telling stories..and laughing.

It is a wonderful assortment of women...all ages...all styles..all backgrounds.

The days were long though. Last night was the hardest as I drov home late through newly formed frosted, fog. As I left the rehearsal, my cell phone was completely dead (I guess I forgot to charge it this week...) the fog was beginning to swirl around the top of the buildings in Fort Wayne, and I, admittedly, was tired.

As I pulled out of the parking lot at the theatre, I saw a horse drawn carriage up ahead. The streets were quiet except for the sound of the horse. The carriage was the color of pearl velvet...the driver decked out in top hat and ebony black coat...as I passed, I had to turn and look at the couple...they were snuggled up to the cold with a large blanket aound them. They didn't notice me passing or even looking...they were content on each other.

It was a lovely moment. Isn't it nice that romance still lives???

Monday, January 31, 2005

Plumbing update...

Ok, this is not my traditional..snow is falling...prisms are glistening in he golden sunshine...although I am thinking about this great cache of icicles I came across on my walk tonight...

However, this is about plumbing... (if confused,see this week's Sunday Passage)...

So, I come home from my week out to frozen drain pipes in my downstairs bathroom. Well, it is cold in there, I mean, visitors dress quickly after their showers, but I have not had frozen drains yet..until arriving home..

Now, this is distressing, I do not want to pay for a plumber (I much rather buy quilts and tea pots and books) so with a little phone help from a friend (no names are necessary but he lives far away on an island)...he says put hot water in the bathtub. I proceed to do that..however, the toilet is also plugged. I decided that if a little hot water is good...lots of boiling hot water is better..so I kept the tea pot going while I poured the steaming, hot water down the drain. I also propped myself up on a wooden box in the cellar with a hair dryer on the pipes.

I am happy to say that I did, indeed, thaw the pipes, but melted the wax ring on the toilet in the meantime.

So, today the plumber (my cartoonist neighbor, Lee) came and fixed it for me.....

All I can say is that it makes a great story!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Chatting in the late afternoon with lovers of books...

Every afternoon I check in with email and such at the school library...today not much got done..we spend all of our time chatting about authors and books and kitchen stores.

The topics ranged from the Orphan Train to cooking in Tuscany. Words just spilled out of our thoughts as we all tried to go about our work, but then knew it wasn't going to get done.

It is a nice feeling to know that wherever we go or travel, common denominators bring folks together for a moment or two..enough to say..it was a very good day.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Emerald City

This week finds me working daily in a school in West Lafayette, Indiana sitting among poppies..a yellow brick road..and the great Oz. Oh, well, take out the great Oz...he is in Florida for the winter...

Actually a parent committee decorated a lovely room for me to work in to teach children to love poetry and words. The room is full of winter murals, snowflakes, decorated pine trees, a wall of the Emerald City, yes, the yellow brick road and a field of poppies.

From early in the morning we write cinquins and haikus...talk about lovely words and write in journals. Tomorrow I will share some of their writings...they fill my mailbox with their words each moment of the day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

An Ode to the Bard...

Today is the anniversary birthday of Robert Burns, the Bard of Scotland. He was born in 1759 in the small village of Alloway.

Folks in Scotland will celebrate his life tonight with the cooking of haggis, the drinking of whiskey and a toast to the lassies. They will conclude with a recitation of his poetry, Oh My Luv is Like a Red, Red Rose; Comin Thro' the Rye, and Auld Lang Syne.

As for me, I am working out of town, will have an early dinner at Appleby's and read the night away. Ok, ok, I might hum a tune or two to the server!!

Monday, January 17, 2005

The same story...

I am trying to find something wonderful and creative to write about...but the truth is that deep winter is here in Northern Indiana. Streets are slick, neighbors are shut in, evening walking will be cold tonight with temps at 9 below. (I'll go line dancing instead!!)

My neighbor boy, Ed, just shoveled my walks (at least I think it was Ed, I couldn't tell with all those face masks and hats and such.)

I used to have boy friends shovel at my parents house...the my own children shoveled..now it's the neighbor boy. I hope he does it because he thinks I am fun and have lots of good stories and hot chocolate...I hope he doesn't shovel because I am "old lady Homan"...

I think I better go outside and have a talk with Ed. But then again...forty pounds of clothing, 9 below zero. shoveing for hours...it doesn't really matter what he thinks, does it?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Saturday evening post..

I have moved my writing desk to face my window full of prisms...by day and sunlight I am surrounded by ribbons of rainbows dancing all over my house..and now by evening I sit and watch the pale sunlight go from day to dusk, and I can view my neighborhood.

Winter Saturday nights are quiet...the neighbors to my south (Larry and Sherry) always go out to dinner with their grown children on Saturday night. They leave the porch light on to light their pathway when they reurn. It is never late...9 or 10.

Across the street my neighbor, Lee, has his girls this week, and with all the blinds open I can see them cooking supper and laughing.

On the other side the Lutherans are out for dinner also. Amy (a part time Lutheran minister) once told me that they use "funeral" money for Saturday night dinners. Sorry I can't oblige, Amy!!

My neighbors to the west are in Sante Fee visiting their daughter.

The rest of the neighborhood is quiet..very few cars approach; although the snow has come and gone and come and gone..just a light dusting tonight.

My house is quiet too...I can actually hear the clock tick and the furnace hummm, so I think with a half moon beckoning me...I will don my purple hat, coat and mittens, and hiking boots and celebrate this raw, cold day in January.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Haiku for January...

heavy winter tracts
circle around my garden
frost bites my big toe

inky night of black
halogen snowflakes falling
crystal shooting stars

deep under woolens
canopied dreams of ice cream
maraschino nose

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Garrison Keillor, John McCutcheon, ee cummings

So, a long winter's night...snow abounds everywhere. A long first storm that was predicted for days brought inches of snow...then last night..an unpredicted surprise snow brought more inches. I was surprised to be awakened by the blinking, chugging lights of the plow in the night.

My neighborhood is quiet. No one walks or even drives much for that matter. I know folks are home because I see lights come on around 4 in the afternoon after dusk knocks on the door.

I am lonely, but I am content. I have decided to take up knitting again between painting and NRP radio. I have made my dining room my January headquarters...it is rather cozy with my big flowered chair...lap top and candles, and the radio, of course.

Here is a lovely piece from e.e.cummings for a cold winter's night:

i go to this window
just as day dissolves
when it is twilight(and
looking up in fear
i see the new moon
thinner than a hair)
making me feel
how myself as been coarse and dull
compared with you, silently who are
and cling
to my mind always

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Snow Plow and Other thoughts...

Dear Friends,
I often say, hey, are you listening? I am back after a short hiatus...

It is cold and dark in Northern Indiana...snow pelts on my window pane as I am snuggled inside with a pot of hot tea, leftover candy canes and my Christmas tree still blazing on this Twelfth Night.

News comes in packages...my Dad has been very sick in Houston, but has been moved to a regular hospital room, and I spent a half hour laughing with him on the phone tonight. My Dad is so full of story..he brings me so much joy. I send wishes to him across the winds of sleet.

Philip was here for two weeks, and just left yesterday morning. I miss him. We spent a quiet two weeks..decorating the tree, baking cookies....cooking, walking, talking..being together. I miss his presence, I miss him voice, I miss the touch of his hand.

On this Twelfth Night...I hid a charm in a piece of leftover coconut cake from our New Year's Eve party...I found the charm (well, I am the only one attending my party!!) so I got to make a wish....

So, here's to a belated New Year's...to Twelfth Night...to good health to my Dad...and to wishes on a winter's evening.