Friday, March 30, 2012

Step Gently Out by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder

I am so excited to share this new book with you. Helen Frost has been a friend of mine for a long time. She is gentle speaker, writer, and is always in touch with our environment.

She and Rick Lieder will be presenting their new book, Step Gently Out, on April 6 at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. The reception is from 6-8.

I love showcasing the work of artists on my blog, and I am delighted to showcase the work of Helen Frost. Come on out to the museum, you won't be disappointed in any way! I will be attending as well and getting my own autographed copy!

Congratulations to Helen and Rick.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nuvo's review of my show, The Charley Creek Inn

Here is the Nuvo review for my show this past weekend. Yes, I am the first to  wish I had more than three stars. Alas, alas. I also received three stars last summer for my Virgin Nudist show. It is good to know there is alwayas work to do to make the shows better. Thanks to Rita at Nuvo. It was nice chatting to her afterwards.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Garden fever...

Here are just a few photos from the seed display at Rural King, my favorite store!

I love the colors of these garden flowers, someone at Rural King knows how to display in pure art!

There was no way I was not going to buy these seeds!

With the warm weather last week, the gardening bug has definitely hit northern Indiana. Every time I go into Rural King it is full of folks...buying seeds, looking at baby chicks, buying tillers. Maybe it is because it is spring and we all have the fever or is it possible that we are ready to take control of our own food. I would like to think it is a bit of both.

I am a careful shopper. In fact, my "grocery" shopping takes quite a while, especially in the summer. Fruits and vegetables I get from my local farmer's market, meat from the local butcher shop (when indeed I buy meat), eggs from my local farmer...well the list goes on...honey, maple syrup, etc. I also like growing my own vegetables in my garden as well as herbs and my beautiful raspberries that feed the neighborhood when I am gone!

When I am not out on the road, I divide my time between writing (and all that goes with that!), photography out and about, and working in my garden. Onion sets, potatoes, and peas are ready to go in the ground, and thank you for asking, but the turtle garden is growing beautifully.

Indeed my turtle gardening story is the tip of the day for any gardener. You can turn any old child's swimming pool or sandbox into a wonderful salad garden with very little work. (Check out my Turtle Story.)

Today I hope to also attach my new rain barrel, a gift from Kathy!

Tomorrow my secret for homemade whole wheat bread, and a new fairy tale!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poetry Passage

This is a typical Saturday morning at my house...full of readers and writers. Matthew (right) and Jonah love my library full of books as well as tablets for writing.

Today's Poetry Passage features a poem by Jonah Homan. He is seven and in the first grade. This is the first time he has been published. Enjoy!


Armadilloes every ware
I love Armadilloes, Armadilloe, Armadilloes
so much.
 I'll die if I don't get one.
My life will never be the same agin.
I hope I'll get one or I will be one because
I love

Jonah Homan

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thoughts on Monday...

Hi folks,

It looks like I took a couple of days off (OK, I actually did take a couple of days off), but I was working in Indianapolis.

I have been researching and writing the story of the Charley Creek Inn for several months now and the premiere show was Saturday evening at Indiana Landmarks in Indianapolis. I was thrilled and honored to be the host and storyteller for this event which was sponsored by Indiana Landmarks and Storytelling Arts of Indiana.

I love the history, the research and the crafting of the piece as well. If you were there, thank you so much. It was so good to see familiar faces in the audience with you wishing me well.

The truth is, I love performing and telling stories. It is what makes my blood flow, my brain clear and my imagination come alive. It is good to be passionate about one's work. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I do believe that doing good work in all that we do can save the world. It doesn't matter how we choose to save the world, just do it.

Yesterday I spent with Ellen catching up on the stories of our lives. Today was spent at Smokey Row Elementary School with 700 children! We had a great day.

Tomorrow, I have poetry passage for you and back on schedule.

As always, thank you for celebrating art, poetry, music, storytelling and for being a friend, a reader, and a listener to me!

Lou Ann

Friday, March 23, 2012

March Madness!

I am interested in basketball, somewhat, at least during the March Madness. (Oh, I am of course hoping for I.U. I mean, I am a Hoosier and Adam graduated from I.U.) I also watch the Superbowl and love the World Series. Maybe one of these days I will actually get a REAL team and follow them through!!

However, my March Madness is my show the Charley Creek Inn, Window over Wabash. I eat, breath, think 1920!

I would love to see you in the audience on Saturday night at the Cook Theatre in Indianapolis!

This show is a commissioned piece by Indiana Landmarks, Storytelling Arts of Indiana, The Historical Society and the Charley Creek Inn Foundation!

Here are a few photos of my own March Madness!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Comment note..

Good Morning! Just a note that many comments are not showing up on the blog. I apologize for this and I am not sure how to fix it. I want you to know that I love your comments, thank you for them. It is always good to know that words and photos are not just lost up in cyberspace. Thank you for picking them up out of the air and bringing them into your thoughts.
Lou Ann

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Poetry Passage: Daffodils by William Wordsworth and a few other tidbits!

Today's Poetry Passage features the lovely poem, Daffodils, by William Wordsworth. Wordsworth was one of my Dad's favorite poets as well as mine.

I was out picking daffodils from the community garden this afternoon and making bouquets for friends. Using old vases and with copies of the poem in hand, I spent the afternoon sharing these lovely flowers leaving them on kitchen tables, doorsteps, teachers work was a nice way to spend a beautiful day.

The gardens in Angola are spear-headed by Bob Caywood who is a master gardener. I thank him for all his work and love of the earth. Enjoy the photos and the poem at the end.  Happy Spring!

By William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,-

A host of golden daffodils

Beside the lake, beneath the trees

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I, at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

Happy First Day of Spring!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Art Out My Window...

I have a guest photographer this week! I saw this wonderful artistic photograph on Facebook last week and asked permission to share for my Monday blog.

The photo was taken during the full moon last weekend by Ken Oguss. Ken is a storyteller, writer, photographer, recording artist and a great cook as well!

Thanks for the use of your wonderful photo!

Looking closely at the photo, you can almost see the man in the moon. This reminds me of a wonderful Irish riddle that I read in a book, "Moon Penny," which was collected by Bill Meek.

Maybe you would like to share with your children at bedtime tonight, or even trying to bring them indoors to think about going to bed! I know they children in my neighborhood stay outside until the first stars of twilight!

The Man in the Moon

The man in the moon
Looked out of the moon,
Looked out of the moon and said:
'It's time for all children
That live down below
To think about going to bed!'

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Turtle Garden

Every once in a while the thought of returning to a small farm is enough to put the house up for sale! I realize that working a small family farm is probably too much for just one person so I put away the idea. So, I often think of how to turn my small yard into that farm that I so miss?

This year I have a few new ideas to keep me from searching the list of farms for sale. I am thinking of a new herb garden, adding asparagus and rhubarb to the garden mainstays and how about a few raised beds? Without sufficient building knowledge I looked around my yard to see what I already had.

Hmmm....the turtle sandbox caught my eye. I bought this when Matthew and Jonah were small. They have spent lots of hours with neighborhood children playing in this tiny sandbox. Holly and Brianna only visit in the winter, so they never even enjoyed it!

On Saturday we took a neighborhood vote...can we get rid of the sandbox for a raised bed?? It was unanimous to turn it into a giant tossed salad!

With the help of the kids I transformed the small play area into a great big turtle garden! We took out the sand, cut holes in the bottom for drainage, filled it up with good manure and top soil, and planted lettuce and spinach.

We were just in time as the soft gentle spring rain came this morning.

In the weeks to come, I will keep you posted on this interesting success.

Maybe you have an old kid's swimming pool you could convert as well. I say we grow as much food as we can this summer and save a few $$$$ at the grocery store. Of course, supporting our local farmer's market is the next best way!

Here are a few photos of our project!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

This week's column...Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Piper Mark Gropp and me!
Jonah learning the pipes!

Matthew helping out with the concertina!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring in Northern Indiana

The most gentle and beautiful of the spring flowers have arrived at my house. It is a welcome site even though we really don't deserve it after such a mild winter.
This daffodil is from my garden.

The above crocuses are from Karen's garden. It is so beautiful and so surprising to see these gems of color right outside our doors.

Windows are open, sheets on the line, words flow as if the well has thawed and everything comes easier now.

This spring I am focusing on Emily Dickinson and the gardens she tended in Amherst, Massachusetts.

New feet within my garden go
New fingers stir the sod,
A Troubadour open the elm
Betrays the solitude.

New Children play upon the green,
New Weary sleep below,
And still the pensive Spring returns,
And still the punctual snow!

Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So, two holidays to celebrate!

Today we (or some of us) celebrate two national holidays. OK, I know the banks aren't closed, and there are really no decorations to hang or special twinkle lights in the window, but fun to celebrate anyway.

It is National Spider Day. I biked over to Aaron and Karen's early this morning to walk to the boys to school and announced it proudly. They have a pet tarantula which they proudly took out of the cage and took a photo.

I actually had to pet it as well. I think Karen is going to take it into school now that it is warm outside. As I was walking the boys to school Jonah proudly announced that now he wants a pet armadillo. (Did I mention that we live in northern Indiana?) This past week he wrote 15 poems about armadillos.

I think that quest will be up to the parents.

It is also National PI Day. Here is a fun video to spice up your day! Enjoy!

Please click on the video for all the credits and lots more songs to choose from!
Anyway, enjoy this wonderful day and sing up a storm and don't sweep up the spiders!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The most astounding fact about the Universe.

My Saturday column has created a wonderful buzz in my small town. I love getting your comments and emails! What is most interesting is how each one of you are "Saving the World" in your own ways.

You talk about kindness...bouquets of
well, the list goes on and on.

The discussions have taken place at my dining room table, at the Spring Expo, and in the home of Carolyn and Elten.

On Saturday evening several of us were invited to a dinner party. We viewed a spectacular sunset out their windows overlooking the prairie. After dinner we gathered in the living room for Carolyn's events. With a fire going and friends circled around me, I was asked to read my column. Following that we watched the above video and then went out into the night air to view the sky. With the moon beginning to wane, the sky was brilliant with stars and planets. I hope you have been watching Venus and Mars this past month. Simply spectacular.

We all came back into the house with quiet reverence and awe.

Saving the world means saving ourselves as well.

night of moonless glow
glittering drops of stardust
illuminates souls

Monday, March 12, 2012

Art Out My Window

This photo was taken in Indianapolis last fall. I was driving to Ellen's and actually had to pull into a subdivision to get the shot. I didn't have time to put down my window or get out of the car. By the time I did so, the rainbow was faded and gone.

When my father was alive he would always tell me that we carry our rainbows with us and that we are the pot of gold. His words of wisdom have carried me through many trials in this life and continue to do so.

I miss him every day, especially when it rains and poetry fills my heart as it does today. Thank you to my daddy, I wish you were here with me today.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saving the world one story at a time!

Click here for this week's column on How To Save the World!

As always, thank you for reading my blog. I know leaving a comment appears to be difficult, but give it a try, I would love to hear from you!
Lou Ann

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Writer's group and saving the world..

I started a writer's group this past Autumn for writer's in my northern Indiana area. There are five of us who are committed to this cause and meet twice a month to share our thoughts, writings, postings, etc.

We bring quotes and books and even writing contests to the group. Not everyone is wanting to be published, and we all have our own goals.

The wine was low, the night late when I simply said, "Writers can save the world."
There was silence and then Stephen began to laugh. "No one can save the world," he said, "not even writers."

I started thinking about his comment. Are my glasses so rose colored that I think that writers, poets, artists, dreamers of dreams can save the world?

I have always thought that artists are more in tune to sunsets and foggy mornings. Or is it just me and the way I look at life?

Is the way I look at life the reason I write...or do I write because I look at life the way I do?

A few years ago I took my own hobo train trip across country. What I attempted to find out was whether hobos became writers or did writers become hobos? The question was left unanswered.

For now, I can dream that my blog, my columns, my way of thinking will somehow save the world...or maybe it will just save me?

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Poetry Passage

This early morning by candlelight I read this poem to Matthew and Jonah. It is from a compilation of poems by Josette Frank with paintings by Thomas Locker.

The book is called Snow Towards Evening, and this is the March poem.

Mountain Brook
Because of the steepness,
the streamlet runs white,
narrow and broken
as lightning by night.
Because of the rocks,
it leaps this way and that,
fresh as a flower,
quick as a cat.
Written by Elizabeth Coatsworth
Whereas I do not have a mountain brook or a stream or even a rivulet of water, March is in the air here in northern Indiana. My neighbor saw his first robin yesterday, and my bird feeders are full of birds flying in and out as if I am a local diner on their way to somewhere!

Here is also a lovely rendition of the Lady of Shallot.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Art Out my Window...

Snow falls and swirls out my window as I sit in the studio hammering out words by the dozens. When March arrives I always wonder about each snowfall whether it will be the last one of the year. Thinking as I do, I appreciate each snowflake the drapes my still-asleep garden. Will this be the last or next week will I ask the same question? I think the answer lies in the wonderment of life thinking that everything has a first and a last. It is up to us to appreciate each moment.

My quote comes from writer, Matthew Brown. He is a contributing writer for Acres. Thank you for letting me quote this lovely piece, Matthew.

The photo, Art Out my Window, is through my  dining room window art. I decorate my windows with stained glass and prisms. Enjoy.

Utter Stillness Rules These Woods

Beyond the window
a white appears as if from fog,
a white containing its own light.
Outside every tree, every branch
and each dry weed is frosted
with a condensation of snow;
seeds that cling to the ash
are now glass ornaments,
more than ornaments.
It's as though the waters themselves
had stood up as trees
filled with light.

Matthew Brown

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Dr. Seuss, we thank you...

Just click here for this week's column!

Here is this week's column, an open letter to Dr. Seuss. (A note for all of you regular blog readers, this is a different from yesterday's post!)

After seeing all the news the past couple of days on the tornado devastations, this column is so appropriate.

As always, thank you for reading.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss....

Dear Dr. Seuss,

Happy Birthday! I know these wishes are being sent up like sky rockets and balloons today in blogs, on Facebook and in elementary schools where children are dressed in characters and eating green eggs and ham, but nonetheless, here are mine.

What can I say to you on your birthday that you haven't been told? I think the world is in a bit of a topsy turvy dilemma. You best know these politics, don't you? The Republicans and Democrats...the same old story. You would think we all would have learned by now.

Gas prices are higher, but then again, I am of the thought that it will help out small towns as we struggle to survive. My little town of Angola? Oh, thanks for asking. We have had a major revitalization project the past couple of years so things are looking good. Still much to worry about...our small theatres, vacated store fronts, and we still don't have bike racks. Hmmm...

The books you wrote? They are still on my library shelves, although they have moved houses with me a few times. They are a bit worn out from over use. Your books have passed through decades of own children, grandchildren and all the children I taught in between.

Lots of schools have dress up day today? Did you ever think that would happen?
Oh, and the big news? Your book, The Lorax, is a motion picture and is in theatres everywhere starting today. I am going to see it tonight with my little grandsons. We are very excited.

We are striving to take care of the environment as you have shown us in your books, and we are trying to keep peace on earth, but wow, that seems to be always difficult.

So, thanks to you for dedicating your life to writing for children and adults around the world. We still love you. I'll check in again next year to let you know how things are going. Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!