Friday, May 31, 2013

Brookside Mansion

Brookside Mansion, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Today I want to introduce you to the Brookside Mansion in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The first cottage was built in 1889 but was destroyed in a fire. It was  replaced in 1903 by this mansion.

It was built by John Henry Bass (1835-1922), a native of Salem, Kentucky.

In 1944 The Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration bought the home and 65 acres from the Bass family. 

It is now listed as the John H. Bass Mansion with the National Register of Historic Places.

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to have a private tour of the home. Needless to say I was in awe and respect. 

This beautiful piece of history was recognized by Indiana Landmarks and received the coveted Cook Cup in April.

There will be more on this later, but for now, I just wanted to introduce you to  the Brookside Mansion. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Peony in Bloom

Peonies in bloom in my garden.

One garden at a time comes alive at the White Picket Gardens. In the last two days my peonies have opened in full bloom. They join my Iris garden and my French lilacs. With all my windows open, the scent from these gardens waft through all the rooms in this old house.

I remember peonies in my grandmother's garden. They are perennial and, once established, they bloom for decades. In China these lovely flowers are as important as the plum blossoms.

The peony is the state flower of Indiana. This was decided by the Indiana General Assembly in 1957. It replaced the zinnia. Although I must say, I still love zinnias in my garden.

What is blooming in your garden?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Dear Friends,

I understand that yesterday's blog did not pay reference to the right column! Please go back and read the story. It was a delightful time traveling to St. Pete to have lunch with my son!

Lou Ann

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Salvador Dali, St. Petersburg and my son Adam!

A couple of weeks ago I traveled to St. Pete to have lunch with my son Adam. Yes, it is a long way to go to have lunch, but moms must keep tabs on their kids!

We had a great time visiting, having lunch, walking the town at dinner with late night bistro dinners and his dog, Zoby, of course. Please sit back and enjoy this column and the video at the Dali Museum!

Click here for the story of my travels to St. Petersburg!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

We are truly blessed to live in the heartland - KPC Media Group: Kpcnews

I want to wish each one of you a peaceful and reflective Memorial Day. I also want to thank my grandfather, Walter F. Rhoads, and my uncle, D. Dean Rhoads. Thank you men and all the others for my freedoms.

The above is the link to this week's column. As always, thank you for reading.

The courthouse is my hometown.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

And the correct answer is......

Hi Everyone! Thank you for your guesses last week on my photo. Yes, indeed, it does look like the Milky Way. I would be really happy if my camera could actually catch that beauty! It is not Arizona from the sky, but great answer as well. 

So here is the answer...they are left over cupcake sprinkles on Abe and Kristin's black kitchen table.

I simply changed the photo to black and white. Amazing how our minds work, isn't it?

Holly and Brianna did the decorating, of course!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Indiana says good night..

Last night I took a bike ride around my neighborhood with Aaron and Jonah. We made a special trip to a hidden little glen which Jonah calls "Roxaboxen."

He chose that name from one of our favorite books by the same name written by Barbara Cooney. The story tells of a group of children long ago who claimed a place in the desert all their own. This was away from adults and full of imagination.

Jonah and his friends have claimed this place as well, although I won't reveal the location!

I stayed a little longer to take a short "Out and About" video. I have had trouble the past couple of months putting these videos on my blog, but I think I have it fixed now!

The video is a bit shaky and you can hear the mosquitoes in the background as well. Enjoy saying good night in Indiana in the spring.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


"I said to my soul be still and wait...
so the darkness shall be the light, and the 
stillness the dancing."

T.S. Elliot

My iris garden this morning.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Singing under the Arizona sky...

Dear Friends and Family,

As always thank you for following my blog, my life story, and my oftentimes fairy tale existence. This has been a week for all of the above.

Here is the link to this week's column. Enjoy!

Click here for this week's column!!

As for the real star in the night sky, here she is before her dance recital!

Brianna before her recital.
Kristin Homan, her mother, was the photographer!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Can you guess?

As you know I am in Arizona this week. I took this photo myself and would love to hear your guesses.

Looking forward to your creative answers!!

Lou Ann

I took this photo with my Nikon D3100

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My son Abe, an avid Arizona gardener...

My son Abe moved his family to Arizona a couple of years ago. They considered many southern choices such as North Carolina, Texas, and several others. Abe's main purpose was for the brilliant sunshine and deep blue evening skies and gardening.

Abe grew up to be a tinkerer and that has followed him into adult life. He successfully is the CEO of his own company with his office in his house. (Once in a while he does have to come out and ask the girls to hold down the noise when he is on the phone!)

In the early mornings as well as noon and after five he is the caretaker of his home, his wife, and his children.

I am spending a week in Arizona as a house guest, a Nannie, a mom, and an admirer of his work.

Abe believes in 'walking the earth' with his bare feet every day. It reminds me of one of my favorite bloggers,,  by Cirrus Woods.

I met Cirrus a couple of years ago as he walked across America. 

Here are a few photos I took last night from my son's garden.

As always, enjoy, and thank you!

Dessert in the garden, carrots from the patch. Look who gets the smallest carrot?


Morning hibiscus

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day

Here is the link to this week's column. I loved writing this Mother's Day column and hope you enjoy it as well!

My sister Jessie is in the blue, my brother Scott is the baby, and I am in the pink dress.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Indiana countryside...

No trip to Shipshewanna is complete without a photo with a horse!
We stopped at a farmhouse to buy fresh eggs for $1.25. This tree was in the front yard!
The lilacs were town, in the country. 
Spring countryside at dusk in Indiana

We waited a long while for spring to come to Indiana this year, but it has not disappointed us in any way. I think it is one of the loveliest springs I can remember.

Virginia's family is visiting this month from Argentina. I told Virginia that it would be the perfect time to visit, and they are enjoying it immensely. They have meandered across northern Indiana including Pokagon and Trine. They have stayed at lake cottages, and prairie homes. Last night we went to Shipshewanna for the late afternoon and evening. We took the road less traveled coming home on 100E. It was a beautiful drive through Amish country. There were no cars, just bicycles and buggies. We stopped a few times for photos as I could not resist.

So here are a few photos from the day!

As always, enjoy and thanks for reading. 

Lou Ann

P.S. Makes you want to visit Indiana, doesn't it?

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Goin' fishin' with my Daddy!

Matthew, Aaron, and Jonah are showing off just a part of their catch yesterday!

Indiana lakes in the spring are the perfect place to find little boys playing hookie with their dad! Aaron picked the boys up from school and took the boat out to their secret fishing hole!

In Steuben County, Indiana we have 101 lakes. In the winter we ice skate, ice fish, and ponder over thickness of the ice in winter. When the apple trees blossom and the crab apple trees cover the streets in bloom, it is time to take the boat out and bring in supper.

My three sons have been fishermen since they were about three years old. Their dad took them fishing and now the tradition continues. Lucky for the rest of us who are invited to their house for a fish fry or to be given a bucket of blue gills! Aaron fillets all his fish and Karen is the cook!

Lou Ann

Sunday, May 05, 2013

My Indiana/Ocracoke fence!

My Indiana/Ocracoke fence!

I love this photo as it reminds me of the fences on Ocracoke! This is my delightful "White Picket Garden" fence after power washing!

For more stories on this first week in May, here is the link to my column!

As always, thank you for reading. Maybe you have a fence of your own you would like to share?

Lou Ann

Thursday, May 02, 2013


Those of us in the north are finally experiencing spring. It seems as if overnight the flowers and trees have budded and blooms are appearing each moment.

Yesterday was the perfect day...light breeze, sunshine, gorgeous sky and the unfolding of spring. It was also my last day at Trine. What an exciting year this has been working with the kids and the faculty at my local university. The students were playing music, sunbathing, and just being normal college kids at the end of the school year. One fraternity had taken all the couches out of their house and placed them in the front yard for the day.  After my last final we went outside to sit in the courtyard just as the Dominoe's pizza van pulled up. Yes, it was pizza day to celebrate!

Coming home I worked out in the yard helping my friend Lee power wash the fence, put in a new raised bed, and doing some other chores that had been neglected. All the neighbors were outside telling stories, cleaning up after winter and well, you know, catching up. Kids were everywhere with shovels for worm digging (my garden is the best for worms!), and playing every game imaginable.

At sunset I built a campfire to welcome May Day and everyone sat around roasting marshmallows not wanting this day to end.

Here are a couple of photos from my neighbor's trees.

Happy Spring!

This is a weeping cherry tree.

This is, of course, a forsythia bush.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Happy May Day!

Happy May Day! Today is the cross-quarter day between spring and summer. It is also known as May Day Beltane in Ireland.

Traditionally it is the day May Poles are set up for dancing, children leave treats on the doorsteps of neighbors, and the embers from bonfires mingle with the stars.

It is a fascinating day of celebration that we often miss. There is still in the street, build a campfire, offer a gift to a new neighbor.

The masks were gifts from my friend Kathy. They adorn my dining room table on the first week of May.

The wind blows out the gates of day.
The wind blows over the lonely of heart
And the lonely of heart is withered away,
While fairies dance in a place apart,
Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring.
Tossing their milk-white arms in the air.

W.B. Yeats