Monday, January 30, 2012

Art Out My Window

This Monday the Art Out My Window is the window looking out from Philip's shower on Ocracoke. This is definitely my choice of shower...outside under the cedars and yaupons. I have to admit that I only use it in summer, but Philip showers every morning, even in winter, outside mixing steam and frost in the early morning air.

One morning I was looking out the window in the kitchen and the sun was streaming in the beautiful stained glass window through the outside shower, and I knew this would be my favorite picture of the week. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Farewell to Ocracoke

Today my suitcase is packed, my laptop and camera are securely in place in their bags, and today I say Farewell. A long journey by ferry, car, and eventually the train in Virginia to carry me back to the Midwest.

This January has been my first winter month to be here on Ocracoke. It was much more wonderful than even I had expected. I will miss the beauty of winter on this island, my friends, activities, and I will miss Philip. This photo was taken on our beach walk last night at Southpoint. It was brilliant.

Farewell until Spring.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Edgar Allan Poe party on Ocracoke!

Click here for this week's column on the Edgar Allan Poe party!

My annual Edgar Allan Poe party was held on Ocracoke this year. I hope you enjoy the article! We had such a great time. Here are just a few photos from the evening!!

Thanks to my Ocracoke friends for coming to the party, wearing black and participating in the discussion and readings. Thank you are well for making me feel so welcome during this winter month.

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore!"

Lida and Sundae

Bill, David and someone else?

Gary and Leonard

Don, Betty, Chris

Philip and I

Philip, Merle and Jim

Emmet with his dad, Rob

Friday, January 27, 2012

Robert Frost Reads "The Road Not Taken"

I have been studying Robert Frost with my on-line Yale class. I found this wonderful video of Frost reading his poem, The Road Not Taken. It is truly a treasure that has been saved. I have moved on to Yeats, but couldn't help published this video of Frost.

I am sure you are wondering how the class is going? I love doing the homework and taking the class. I am always on-time and prepared. I am, however, having a difficult time with the professor as he never calls on me! I wave my hand, I shout out, "I know the answer!" He continues to look around the room and no one responds. "Please, please, please call on me!"

We also broke up into discussion groups last week. I was left out of that as well. Could it be because my class was recorded in 2007??

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

101 Things I Learned While Sailing

The other day Philip received a packet in the mail. Inside was a mini-manuscript from a fellow he met on Ocracoke. This man and his wife were sailing through and stopped here to visit. Quickly he and Philip became friends and actually went clamming.

The mini-manuscript was titled, 101 Things I Think I Learned While Sailing. There was a bit more, but I will leave all names out of this piece!! (I didn't really ask for permission.)

I found this fascinating to read, as well as thinking...hmmm...we should all write down the 101 Things I Think I Learned fill in the blanks!

Here are a few of theirs, just enjoy them! (Don't worry, I did not copy all 101 things!)

3. Your dinghy is your car and becomes your lifeline to civilization.

11. When in question whether or not to stay put, and you are in a safe harbor, stay put.

15. James Michener bought a house on San Domingo Creek in Maryland and lived there for two years while he wrote his epic novel, "Chesapeake."

18. Piracy is alive and well!

33. Meltdowns happen.

37. Everything tastes better on the boat.

46. Boats leak.

51. Attitude IS the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. It's all up to you!

58. Always have a spare everything. Everything.

60. Listen to Elvis.

65. If you don't have what you need, make something else work.

88. Nine-and-a-half million bricks were used to build Fort Macon, North Carolina.

89. I feel comfortable in my sarong.

98. Dreams do come true and miracles do happen every day.

100. "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietsche.

101. Blackbeard the Pirate left behind no buried treasure.

Thanks to the Mullen family for taking the time to write up what they have it is our turn!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Poetry Passage

Here is another poem from my collection:
Knocking on a Glass Table

Canopied over earth

Sat wings of darkness




But not really.

The wings beat on each door...

One by one

Pulsating out each candle

Pulling the vapor northward

And then returning for the unflamed.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Art Out my Window....

Philip and I went on an Ocracoke cottage tour this weekend. We strolled the old pathways, climbed over  tree roots, and found ourselves peering out of dusty windows. All of the photos are from inside these old cottages. All are similar to Philip's cottage and were built between 1860 and 1880.

The quietness and beauty spoke volumes as we gingerly walked where those have walked before. In that dusty placidness, we listened to the echo of their voices and once-upon-a-time music upon the hearth.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Early morning walk on Howard Street....

It is chilly here today with a brisk wind, nonetheless, nothing like northern Indiana. My early morning walk down Howard Street on Ocracoke produced these lovely photos. There was a slight mist in the air, and no one was about as I strolled down this old historic street with camera in hand. Enjoy this early morning beauty. You can almost smell cedar!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Joy of Books!

This video has been circulating this past week, but I really love it.
If you love books, you will too. I can't imagine how much time
went into this project. Credits are given below!

After organizing our bookshelf almost a year ago (, my wife and I (Sean Ohlenkamp) decided to take it to the next level. We spent many sleepless nights moving, stacking, and animating books at Type bookstore in Toronto (883 Queen Street West, (416) 366-8973).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Farewell to the Poe Toaster....

Ah dear readers,

Here we are on Edgar Allen Poe's birthday without the toaster. How can that be?
For three years in a row now the toaster did not appear. Is this the new mystery? Where is the toaster, will there be a new one? I have often thought this is something I must secretly do (please don't tell). I have a long cape, a wide brimmed hat and I can always buy roses and a bottle of Cognac. I think I look the part, don't you agree?

So, on this day when the sun does not shine in Baltimore and all the world is saying 'nevermore', may we remember Poe and all his stories he has left us.

Oh, and by the way, Philip and I are hosting the annual Poe party on Ocracoke on Wednesday, January 25 at 6:00. It is a potluck dinner and please wear black as we will be celebrating the life of Poe.

Do you suspiciously think that the Poe toaster might show up? The only way to find out is to take a ferry out to the party next week.

Lifting my glass of Cognac to Poe!

This photo was taken when I was teaching Poe in school.
I think first person is the only way to teach! It is indeed a stuffed raven!
(OK, really it is a crow, but ahhh...enjoy!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rain falls on the Mad Mag Studio as I daydream...

It is one of the loveliest of days here on Ocracoke Island as the raindrops fall and cascade down through the trees surrounding my studio. I found an old umbrella that would just barely open to cover me while I trekked my few steps into the studio. It didn't work so well as I was still covered with the cold winter raindrops.

The small heater purrs, the twinkle lights dance and cast shadows onto my work space and a trunk of dress up clothes wait for an occasion. My guitar is propped up against the wall, small lamps adorn wooden trunks and my old blue table is covered with work. This old wash house space is good.

Working alone in a studio is a new experience for me. Without the structure of school, I find I own my discipline, whether I use it correctly or not. I do often find myself daydreaming, which is probably good. It reminds me of my elementary school days as well.

Oh, in case you are wondering, I am on my third class at Yale University...I am just waiting for my water soaked, marked up textbook to arrive by post before I go to the next class. Robert Frost is the first poet we have studied in class. Yesterday the professor put us into small groups for discussion. Unfortunately the class I am taking was taped in the spring of 2007 so I missed out on the discussion as well as the in-class worksheet!

Is it possible that I will just discuss this poetry with myself on this rainy day in my Mad Mag Studio?

So, wherever you are, hopefully your work is good and important to you.

Thanks for reading.
Lou Ann

The entrance to my Mad Mag Studio in the rain...notice umbrella!

One of my bookshelves!

This is the old blue table I rescued...great for working and drinking coffee!!

Dress up clothes whenever I need or want them!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Poetry Passage...

As I work on my collections of poetry this winter, I have decided to publish one each Tuesday. Hopefully you will enjoy and gain something from this piece. Thanks again for reading.

Diamonds feel.

He took her hand and led the way

Across the frozen creek.

They skated alone together,

She began to spin

And he let go of her hand.

He laughed and turned his back to her.

She did not know the ice was thin

Until she fell through in darkness.

Cold seeped into the twilight

Burying her in the frozen grave

As he led another to the ice.

They skated together.

Diamonds fell.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Art Out my Window...

This photo was taken out my back door last year in January. I hear it looks very much like this currently! It makes me cold just looking at this photo. I do love the quiet and lonely sound of winter. It is different here on Ocracoke as the chilly winter air does not stop anyone as there is, of course, no snow. A little bundling up and it is a delight to share in this brisk air here. So, wherever you are...snow or not...enjoy this lovely January and my art out my window!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I am a Yale student after all!

I hope you enjoy this week's column as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Just click here for this week's column!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday thoughts...

The blizzard comes to Indiana as a mini blizzard, as I understand it. Schools are delayed, the traffic crawling along on the interstates, and folks are digging out. Even though the snowfall was just a few inches, those winds carry it into the unknown corners of barns and houses and old wooden gates.

Matthew and Jonah will shovel for me after school. Hopefully they will return the shovel to its rightful place on the porch as, on occasion ,it is found a block or two away.

As for here on Ocracoke, the wind pounds upon the summer rockers still out on the pizer looking as if ghostly beings have taken control of my favorite summer reading spot. The ferries to Swan Quarter and Cedar Island are idly sitting in the harbor waiting for the wind to abate. The cedars and yaupons bend with each howl of the wind.

It is an interesting feeling to know that here we are on this fragile piece of sand with nary a way to get to the Mainland. Isolated, but not deserted. No, life continues on as school children go off to learn their sums, postal clerks and bank tellers break for lunch, and homes are full of conversation and warm fires.

It is a good place to be on a cold windy afternoon by the sea.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sunset on Ocracoke Island

Here are a few photos from the Sunset on Ocracoke Island. We went just at dusk to take a walk, and saw dozens of dolphins playing in the waves. A Simple Life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Poetry Tuesday

This is from my collection of poems,
Knocking on a Glass Table

Behind each picture is time lost-
Open it up for flesh and blood and bones.
Unseal the frame for the past to spill out naked and raw
Burdened like a bride, except the new is gone.
Old and blue weave memory tales lost in wood and glass.
Seal it back up with a whisper and a sly look.
No one will know as we reset the nail.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Art out my Window

Here is a view out the cottage front window. I took this after a rain this morning. I love the winter colors here on Ocracoke. I think this looks more like a painting than a photo, probably because it is through the glass. It also is a bit crooked.

I am finally settling into the winter life at Ocracoke. We have already had lots of activites and places to go. Last night was the Twelfth Night party held at the Meeker's. Philip did such a great job writing about it that I am just going to refer you to his blog.

So, here I am writing away in my studio, catching up on work and getting back into the swing of things. I love being a gypsy and a writer. Thanks so much for sharing with me as well. Lou Ann

Sunday, January 08, 2012

This week's column...I saw three ships come sailing in...

Click here for this week's column! Enjoy!

Traveling up the Eastern seaboard was an enriching experience. Please enjoy the article and the photos that follow! Lou Ann

The Battleship North Carolina, notice I couldn't get the entire
ship in the photo!

Another view of the North Carolina.

The Town Clock in Beaufort.

Sailing ships in the harbor at Beaufort.

Coming home on the Cedar Island ferry.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Happy Birthday Carl Sandburg!

Carl Sandburg

Several years ago I received a grant to follow the footprints of Carl Sandburg. I flew to Oregon, boarded a train and spent the next ten days traveling by rail.
What began as a journey to study the works of Sandburg turned into a plethera of literary giants to study.

As I traveled from place to place, how could I not study Steinbeck, Fitzgerald and Hemmingway? I still am immersed in these authors and that time period.

On winter nights I can quietly sit and read the poetry and works of these great men.

So, happy birthday to Sandburg. Here is just a small sample of his work, this one is from a collection of his Chicago poems.

NIGHT from a railroad car window

Is a great, dark, soft thing

Broken across with slashes of light.

Monday, January 02, 2012

New Year's Blessing

Click here for New Year's column!

Art out my window...

Driving to Charleston last week, we passed a beautiful Airstream Trailer. It was so reminiscent of my grandparents that I couldn't help but take a photo. My grandpa used to park these at the rallies all the while my grandma collected blue ribbons for her cakes and pies. Many a night I stayed over sleeping in their Airstream. I do not know where these folks are headed, but wish them a safe and wonderful journey.