Sunday, March 31, 2013

Waiting for life on this Easter morning...

Happy Easter to all of you. This day in Indiana dawns gray and rainy, a normal end of March day. I took this photo a couple of days ago with the promise of spring in the sunrise.
Here is the link to this week's column. I hope you enjoy it and it brings thankfulness and thoughtfulness to your lives.
As always,
Lou Ann


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Antonio Vivaldi visits my small town.

Sunday afternoon was blustery with winds from the northeast and the scent of snow in the air. Virginia and I bundled up with our usual coats, boots, gloves to walk the few blocks to the the Community Center for our town's choir and orchestra to perform "Gloria" written by Antonio Vivaldi.

As we entered the auditorium (which was once the home to our high school) we chatted with friends and neighbors before taking our seats.

The Dale Hughes Auditorium is adorned with high windows which were covered on this day. The red velvet seats and the thick blue stage curtains immediately puts one in the mood for a special event.

Mark Kayes, director of music at Trine University, was dressed in his finest as he took to the stage to direct this wonderful piece of music. He raised his baton to an orchestra and choir of community members. This is a new endeavor and I was so proud to be in their company on that cold day.

Vivaldi has long been one of my favorite composers. When in Prague this past winter I attended two concerts in old stone churches featuring his music along with Thomas Albinoni. I must say that I cried all the way through the concert.

Vivaldi (1678-1741) composed this piece, probably in 1715, for the choir of the Ospedale della Pieta, an orphanage for girls. During his lifetime Vivaldi was a very popular composer, but died penniless in Vienna and was buried in a pauper's grave. This particular manuscript was lost to time and was discovered in the late 1920's. It was first performed in 1939.

It is now a very popular piece. The above video is not the Angola Choir and Orchestra as I did not take a video. It is, however, one of my favorites on YouTube. Please enjoy!

I want to thank Peter Carey from the Royal Free Singers for his notes on "Gloria" as well as our musicians in my home town.

As always,

Lou Ann

Monday, March 25, 2013

I did indeed tell a lie...last week's photo was not the last photo of Winter!!

One week later, here is another view of my front yard!!

Here we go again! I am so sorry for the misguided information. I really thought last week was indeed the last view of winter!
Anyway, a week later with more travels and stories tucked away in my bureau drawers (reference to Emily Dickinson!), I am cozily sitting in my studio with work piled high all around. In due time, I say, in due time.
There are two other components to today's blog...first of all my weekly article. It is written about, OK, you guessed it, the weather.  I also have a new video that I took this morning. In reference to my article, I was very busy over the weekend and finished it with a young couple stopping in for R and R. John and Jessie are bicyclists who are riding from Chicago to Washington D.C. They are young and brave! John is a seventh grade math teacher and Jessie is getting her PhD in linguistic
As I sent them off this morning, I wished them well and also said that I would be happy to put them on the Amtrak train at Waterloo. They could still arrive in Washington!
So, it is a long blog today, making up for my absences of this past week. Life just shows up and takes away our thoughts and time!
Enjoy, and as always I really appreciate my readers!
Lou Ann

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Last photo of winter...

One more winter snow out my front window.

Is this the last snow of winter?
My studio is so quiet this morning. There is the hum of the heater giving warmth to me and my writing.
Snow falls out my window, the window that is curtained with red silk and tied back with Mardi Gras beads.
My two desks are full of the trades of my art....the laptop, camera, files, coffee cup, a couple broken pencils and photos of my little grandchildren.
Is this the last of the winter I ask myself? I take time to watch the snowflakes as big as silver dollars float by and I find myself on the front porch taking the last photo.
I come back in and find the book, "Many Winters," watching me from the shelf.
I pull it down and gaze through the poems of Nancy Wood, her poetry from the Pueblos. It is a stunning book and still available for buying and reading.
Here is an excerpt on the "last photo of winter day."
Many winters I blew the stars around
So that the place where each star fell
Was where a river grew
Taking as its course to the sea
The path of the winter sun.
Many winters the trees slept with me
And the animals walked on my breast
Just as the birds drew near
Seeking warmth from my fire
Which took the sting from the night.
"Many Winters, Prose and Poetry of the Pueblos"
Nancy Wood
Spring will come, my northern friends, just as the southern wind will come and blow winter away for her long-earned rest. We just hope the wind begins soon!
Lou Ann

Monday, March 18, 2013

Aurora Borealis

This photo was taken by Chris Schuler in Ft. Yukon, Alaska yesterday.

While we were getting the green britches out of our closets and adorning ourselves with those emerald beads and pins, the night sky joined in our celebration.
This photo was taken by Chris Shuler in Ft. Yokon, Alaska yesterday morning of the Aurora Borealis.
This amazing display was seen all the way down into Colorado! What a great surprise this must have been for the folks.
Only once have I watched the sky dance. It was years ago while camping near Lake Superior during August. I was sitting close to the fire when the sky erupted. It was breathtaking. It is the first and only time I have had this experience. Hopefully some day I will again be sitting next to a campfire in the north with fireworks overhead.
I am also sharing a blog with you that is just wonderful. Enjoy!
Hope everyone is staying warm and cozy this day. We are all shut in with another major storm, this time it is ice.

Changing plans and making tea. Spring will come, right?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A lesson in hope and love and welcoming the new Pope!

Dear Friends,

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all! There isn't much green in Indiana today except for the wearin' of the green, the canal in Indianapolis, and the beer, of course!

This week's column is a tribute to my housemate, Virginia.

Virginia is from Argentina and it has been an emotional week welcoming Pope Francis.

Click the link below for this week's column. As always, thank you for reading and supporting my work!

Lou Ann

Virginia calls this display in her room, her International corner!
Notice her Notre Dame t-shirt!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Last call for DivaFest!

Dear Friends,
Today brings another quick trip down to Indianapolis for another DivaFest performance. This new addition to the IndyFringe is sponsored by Storytelling Arts of Indiana.
The event is for women playwrights, storytellers, and Divas, of course.
What started with a fun topic, "And she lived happily ever after...or did she?" has ended up to be a great amount of research and well, soul searching.
I have talked with woman from planes to potlucks to coffeeshop conversations to just about anywhere looking for happily ever after.
So, is there such a thing? We all want to know.
If you come to Indy on March 17th at 3:00 you might find out. Then again, you might not. This story will be on-going, and if you have a happily ever after story, I would love to hear it!
Lou Ann



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ma'm, it looks as if you need some new siding!

A few nights ago there was a knock at my front door. I immediately knew it was someone I did not know as everyone either comes to the back door or just walks in.

Virginia takes a peak. We both shrug our shoulders and go out on to the porch to open the door.

There is a young man standing on the stoop with a clipboard. "Hmm..," I think, "clipboards can be a very bad sign."

He asked which one is the home-owner. I nodd that it would be me and refer to Virginia as well. That way she must stay for the conversation. We invite him up into the enclosed porch.

The conversation goes like this:
Young man: It looks as if your siding is very old.
Me: Yes, it is very old....around 1899.
Young man: It looks to be in bad shape as well.
Me:  Does it now? Well, I spent several thousand dollars a few years ago to rip off the vinyl siding and have this old siding repaired.
Young man: Have you thought about re-siding with vinyl?
Me: Well, not actually SINCE I just had all the vinyl ripped off a few years ago and spent a lot of money restoring the ORIGINAL siding!
Young man: Are you saying you don't want new siding?
Me:  Correct.
Young man: Your windows look old as well.
Me: These on the porch are original as well. See the ropes and pulleys? You don't see that much anymore.
Young man: I can give you a quote on replacing these windows.
Me: Do the new windows have ropes?
Young man: Of course not.
Me: Can you write your name on your windows with a thimble when it is very cold?
Young man: Of course not.
Me: Well, there you have it?
Young man: So, are you saying you don't want new windows?
Me: I could use a painter, however.
Young man: Oh, we don't paint.
Me: I see...well have a great day.
Young man: Could I leave you my business card in case you change your mind?
Me: Ummm... I don't think so.
End of conversation.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Out and About at the Home of Pepsi Cola!

Dear Friends,
So here we are with another "Out and About" in my video series. This one I stumbled upon while journeying back to the aiport in New Bern on Saturday!
What fun it was to find the birthplace of Pepsi Cola! My interviewee, Kelly, was delightful and shared some great stories with me!
It was a great afternoon to share a Pepsi float and enjoy this historical little store in the heart of New Bern, N.C.
As always, thanks for watching. I would bet lots of you have been to this wonderful little corner of the earth. What have been your experiences?
The above is a fun link to the Pepsi jingles as well!
Thanks also to Kelly for making the afternoon truly fun! The float was great!
Lou Ann

Friday, March 08, 2013

My Ocracoke Week

Dear Friends,
Here I am at the end of my week. This year, as you know, I took a teaching job at the college near my house. Whereas I have loved the experience and really enjoy the kids, it has kept me from visiting Ocracoke and Philip.
This week has been a wonderful visit with walks on the beach, pot lucks, and so many other events. We even had a team for the Trivia contest at Gaffer's on Tuesday night. We did not win (actually came in second to last), but we had lots of fun.
I had lots of time to work in my Mad Mag Studio as well. It is a wonderful creative space for writing and rehearsing. If I get the chance, I might put ono a video clip of this wonderful studio.
The winter beauty here is astounding. Is that a good word to use? Each day it is different...different colors, wave patterns, and sound.
I thought you might enjoy these photos from our late evening walk at South Point.
I am so glad you follow my blog, enjoy Ocracoke as much as I do, and other events in life that make us who we are.
I am off tomorrow for the DivaFest in Indianapolis. I am proud to be part of the women's performers to celebrate International Women's Day and month!
If you are in Indy, come on over to the performances this Sunday and next.
As for Ocracoke, I will be back this summer, but stay tuned for all the other adventures.
Lou Ann

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The winter storm slipping into Ocracoke...

Dear Friends,

The other day the beach was so calm and placid. The colors were spectacular, too, of all shades of blue.

This morning we walked on the beach ahead of the storm and found everything had changed...the colors, the texture of the sand, the wind.

Dressed in winter clothing I continued to hold onto my English woolen hat to keep the sand out of my ears. We could not hold a conversation with the wind pushing its way down from the northwest.

Alas, there is no snow as in the north, but a beautiful winter storm just the same.

I was reminded of the delightful book, "Off Season," written by Ken McAlpine. One winter he began a quest to find the "forgotten season" of winter beach. It is a stunning read for weather like this. I am fortunate to have an autographed copy of my own. Please look for his work. If you enjoy this blog and photography that I put forth, then you will love his work.

I took this video this morning as well. I did not even say any words, they would have been lost over the sea.

Hope all are staying warm with heat, good shovels by your back doors, and a pot of tea.

Lou Ann

Monday, March 04, 2013

The winter winds of Ocracoke

Click here for this week's column!

It just takes a car, a plane, a ferry and 1,000 miles to be back on Ocracoke. It is cold here, but skies are bright blue and the winter beach is spectacular.

Here is the link to this week's column and a photo I took at the beach on my walk with Philip yesterday! Enjoy!


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