Thursday, November 29, 2012

Embers from a November evening....

The full moon last night, I did not take the photo, however. It is from Sky News.

Last night was the full November moon. After stringing lights on the Christmas tree and putting the roast chicken in the fridge, I bundled up to go outside. Already the frost had covered my garden chairs, but I was not to be daunted.

My neighborhood was festive with colorful lights on trees and bushes and trellises. It was a bit like a fairy land.

Kathy and I built a fire and sat around watching the embers head into the sky.
The fire was warm enough to be comfortable and, of course, a glass of red wine always helps.

It was a brilliant sky with the full moon and the planet Jupiter holding court next to the moon. Jupiter is so bright now that it can even be seen next to this cold moon.

Kathy brought a bag full of summer rose petals of which we scattered into the fire as a tribute for a friend who recently died. We gave him a toast and watched the ashes from the fire and the petals drift away into the night sky.

"The sheep fairs had been held. The plums had tumbled off the trees in the first big winds, and here and there, in the lovely sunlight too soon enfeebled, a branch of beech or oak was turning yellow; the one to died quickly and mercifully, the other perhaps to hold grimly to the frozen tree and to hiss with its papery skeletons all through the east winds of winter, until spring was there again." T.H. White, The Sword in the Stone


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Beaver Moon

Tonight is the full moon for November. It is also called The Beaver Moon aptly called this as by now the Beaver has a full coat, strong and warm. By hunting the Beaver and capturing the fur, the Native Americans were sure to be warm during the long cold months ahead.

It is also the furthest away full moon looking languid and cold.

Last night I left my guitar lesson during the deep dark of dusk. The almost-full moon caught my eye with a ring of frost circling it. I must say the sight took my breath away.

Tonight is the full moon and hopefully these Indiana November skies will clear enough to catch another glimpse of this beauty as we gently slide into our winter.

It is a good night for one more campfire, one more walk through the russet leaves before snow and ice pull them back into the earth, and, if your quilts are not on the bed yet, do it now.

Lou Ann

Monday, November 26, 2012

This week's column!

Click here for this week's column!

Here is the link for this week's column. As always thank you for reading. I hope this Monday after Thanksgiving finds you peaceful. I am sure most of you are back to work, as am I.

As quickly as my family arrived for the "ten for ten," they departed the same a flurry with packing, airport runs and streaming tears.

It was quiet in the old house last night, as well as this morning as I had coffee without golden haired granddaughters to sit with me.

Farewell Thanksgiving 2012, it was unique and fun and memorable. We were all together.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

End of the day in my small town...

Saturday was Small Business Day in all the towns across America. I hope you visited yours as well.
With friends and family we frequented the small shops in my hometown. We have lovely shops owned by folks we know. As you already know I believe in tossing the coffers throughout my town.
All of our shops close at 5:00 which is a lovely in itself. I hope your town can say the same...none of that open all night Mall status. As we were leaving I took this photo of our circle just as the lights came on.
Please visit and shop from your town as well, these small businesses are the heart of America.
Lou Ann

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving thanks...

Click here for the Thanksgiving essay...

Happy Thanksgiving to family and friends,

As an offering of love and hope for families whole or broken, I send you to this essay by Anne Lamott from the New York Times opinion page.

As for me, Wendall Berry will be my Thanksgiving read at my table.

Lou Ann

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The night before Thanksgiving...

Twas the night before Thanksgiving
and all through the house
every creature was moving
including the mouse.
The pans were all hung
from the worn rack with care
they had been waiting for weeks
the food all to share.
Mama in her apron
and Pa in his jeans
had just cleaned all the corn
and shelled all the beans.
When out in the field
there rose such a clatter
Pa grabbed his ole' shotgun
to see what was the matter.
Away to the hilltop
the hunter he flew
with a bag full of shells
in an early evening dew

And then in a twinkling
he heard a loud gobbler
while Ma was still home
a'fixin the cobbler

Now with the big turkey
a struttin' his stuff
after working the gym
he's looking quite buff.

The hunter took aim
his shot was real bad
the turkey flew off
the hunter was mad.

He walked through the garden,
a pickin' it clean
didn't leave any veggie
not even a bean.

Back into the house
they made a big stew
a big veggie dinner
just perfect for two...


This poem was compsed in bits and pieces as the Homan family came and went during the dinner hour! Enjoy it and Happy Thanksgiving!

Lou Ann


Monday, November 19, 2012

Once upon a Dream (yes, I borrowed that title from Sleeping Beauty!)

Dear Friends,

My studio is so quiet in the morning. Sometimes I think I should be a Folger's coffee commercial...waking up, putting the coffee on, and then opening the door to the studio. I turn on the lights, open the laptop and settle in.

I think everyone needs a quiet space, a place to be for thoughts to swirl through your imagination, or words to be read from books, or poems to be told that are waiting on the shelf.

There was a tree when I was a little girl to hide from my parents, the same tree that the neighbor boy, Roger, fell out of. That definitely was an exciting summer.

There were places on my college campus, on my farm, and in the town as well. Sometimes these places were simply getting into my old Jeep (have you noticed that my Jeep has always been old???), and driving away to settle down with a book for an hour or two.

I have a special place on Ocracoke as well, somewhere I can go to be alone to think or read. Of course, now I have my studio as well.

So, on this early Monday morning, I am spending a few moments thinking of solitude and how it is a good thing.

With all your busyness this week, find your place for tea or coffee or drifting off into a dream....

Lou Ann

P.S. No, Larry, I have not named it yet!

My Indiana Studio!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Popcorn Lady at Rural King...

Dear Friends,
Yesterday was day nine (of the ten), and I had all four children to myself...alone...YIKES!

Luckily for me, the boys are older (8 and 11), and they took over a lot of the work including the hauling in and out of the cars, seat belts..well all of that!

We played outside most of the day raking leaves from one location and then piling them up in another so that they could do some jumping.

We also took our field trip to Rural King, our favorite store. As we pulled into the parking lot, we notice hundreds of seagulls circling around a car. We stopped to watch and I jumped out of the car to take a video. I talked to the man and woman afterwards, and they told me their favorite hobby was to come to Rural King, buy a giant bag of popcorn for $1 and feed it to the seagulls.

It was very reminiscent of Ocracoke, except there are no tractors on sale there!

We spent the rest of the afternoon looking at deer heads, camouflage easy chairs and live bunnies.

Yes, all in all, what a great day in northern Indiana. Enjoy this one video clip of our own seagulls! More videos to follow from our exciting day!

As always, thanks for reading and watching!

Lou Ann

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Ten for ten..."

Dear Friends,

Here we go again, the ten for ten! (This translates to ten family members visiting for ten days!)

Often people say, "Are you ready for Thanksgiving?" Hmmmm.....what about the other nine, I think?

A couple of years ago I was listening to NPR during Thanksgiving and there was a woman caller who was whispering to the moderator. She actually was calling from the closet, the only quiet place she could find.

So, with the old house bursting with activity, we share our blessings one by one...or ten by ten!

I will let you know if I get to that point!

Thank you for reading, as always. 

Click here for this week's column!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Shadows and Light

Shadows in my Parlor

It is late on this Sunday afternoon. Earlier I dig the potatoes for winter, I clean off my shovel and dump old plants into the compost heap. The leaves I do not rake, I let winter have their way with them and mulch the goodness into the earth.

The bench is gone as are the other signs of summer, but I leave two green chairs by the fire ring for nights such as this.

I come into the old house with streaks of late Autumn sun dust filling the cracks on the walls. Shadows appear in places where shadows have not appeared before, since last Autumn.

I think of all that has come, the spring and summer, and patiently wait for the callings of winter and cardinals on the snow.

Tonight I will read Wendell Berry and Norbert Krapf before sleep takes me deep into the heart of dreams and darkness.

Farewell beloved Indian Summer, thank you for sharing your beauty another year.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

So, will he?

Dear Friends,

This week's column is a fun rendition of Philip's last couple of days in Indiana.

The story is for fun, but truthfully it has been a great visit. He has been busy with my community and storytelling events. He has built a nice group of friends and was able to find lots to do when I was working.

I just sent him on his way back home to Ocracoke. Perhaps he will come back for a visit...or perhaps not. We shall see.

As always, thanks for reading the column.  Enjoy!

Lou Ann

Click here for this week's column.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A little solitude...

Dear Friends,

The past week has been full of rehearsing, storytelling, and traveling. It has also been the week of the election which has occupied time and energy, especially those of us in small towns.

Late Sunday, upon returning home,  I took a hike at Beechwood Nature Preserve with friends. At the end of the walk, Kathy French pulled out her book, "A Sand County Almanac" by Aldo Leopold.

In the midst of life and chaos, it was wonderful to stop for a few moments to share in this moment in time.

I hope you enjoy it as well.

Thank you for reading and listening.

Lou Ann

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The circle goes on...

I hope you can join us in Indianapolis tonight for my new show, "Gathering Coal for the Lord." This piece is sponsored by Storytelling Arts of Indiana and Frank and Katrina Basile. Thank you so much.

This performance (and writing) piece has been a labor of love for me. Tonight there will be a wonderful surprise so I hope you can join us.

Not only do I now have a new story to tell, I have a written piece of history for my family. I am thinking Christmas gift!

Please click here for this week's column about this piece and how hope of the next generation will get us through!

As always, thanks for reading.

Lou Ann

Click here for this week's column.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Dear Folks,

This is for all of you who love Ocracoke.

Who is the Hunchback of Notre Dame??

No hints! The first one who guesses correctly will win a handful of candy!

Lou Ann