Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Solstice Poem with Lantern Light

Listening to stories by lantern light.

I was sent this lovely poem by a friend of mine for the Solstice, and even though we are a few days past, the darkness penetrates our days and thoughts. I love this photo of my boys listening to stories...nothing is more beautiful to me.

On The Other Side of Solstice
by Carrie Newcomer

The earth turns and we lean out 
Gathering to ourselves 
A little more light each day. 
Yes, it is true, 
That shadow and light 
Walk side by side,
Bowing their heads together in intimate conversation. 
Because the world turns
The darkest days must come,
and the long nights will spill across the floor like water.
And yet, 
There will always be 
That subtle shift
A pivotal moment, 
When we know the deepest dark is done
And the longest night is over,
When we sense something luminous, 
Something clear and unmistakable 
The fulfillment of a promise,
Growing stronger
in regular and trustworthy increments.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Walker

Marion's Woods

Perhaps my Christmas Eve is less frantic than most. Perhaps my Christmas holiday is less frantic as well. I think I learned years ago to make the most of the season as opposed to just so many gifts. Whereas, I do enjoy a few gifts, I think most of my time and thoughts relate to the music, the trees, the children, family and friends during Christmas.

This morning I took my traditional Christmas Eve hike. This year, since I stayed in northern Indiana, I hiked in our local woods. It was raining quite a bit, but there was a bit of a let up when I took to the woods. It was a lovely morning of reflection.

I thought of poetry, of course, and the poem, The Child's Christmas in Wales, just continued to go through my head. I love Dylan's poem and have pondered quite often at Christmas. If you don't know of the poem, please look it up. You will love it as well, I think.

To you and your family, I wish you the merriest Christmas. If things are tough, and believe me, I know they can me, find a friend to share the day with...drink some eggnog and say a prayer into the holy darkness. Morning will come.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Relating Christmas miracles never grows old...

The above is the link to this week's Christmas column. Enjoy and, as always, thank you for reading.

Here is the youtube version of John McCutcheon's song, "Christmas in the Trenches."


Monday, December 15, 2014

Don’t miss a moment of this joyous season...

Dear Readers,

It has been a while...a long while. Let's hope I am back on track and you will come back reading! Sorry for the delay, sometimes life just gets in the way!

The above link is this week's story. I love that you read my columns. Thank you so much. The photo is from the horse drawn wagon rides in my home town. These are every Friday night in December. When we came around the mound I just had to take this photo in the fog. I wasn't sure how it would come out, but later on that night in my studio, I found it was beautiful. Hope you love it as well.

Until tomorrow.

Lou Ann


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Shopping for holiday memories is the easy part...

Here is the link to this week's column! Just click on the above site. Also I have included my grandmother's famous sugar cookies. That is part of our Thanksgiving tradition! As always thank you for reading. I hope your Thanksgiving Holiday was as rich and wonderful as mine!

Grandma's Sugar Cookies
2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
6 T. butter
1/3 c. shortening
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat butter and shortening for 30 seconds; add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture, beating till well blended. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Working with 12 of the dough at a time, on a lightly floured surface, roll to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes or till done. Makes 3-4 dozen.
I make my own icing out of confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and cream. I make several pots of colors for the kids. I also spread newspapers (not my column) on the table before they start!
I love sharing this recipe from my grandmother. It is always an opportunity to tell them about their great-grandmother Louella.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The 10 days of Thanksgiving are upon us!

The 10 days of Thanksgiving are upon us! - KPCNews: Kpcnews

Please click on the above link for this week's Thanksgiving story!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Cinderella Tale

Brookside Mansion in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Photo courtesy of Matthew Anderson Homan.

So, the show went off just great. I was, of course, a nervous wreck before the show, but once on the stage, all the jitters melted away.

It was a delightful evening with faculty members from St. Francis University as well as community members, friends, and family in the audience.

Following the performance a lovely reception was held inside the mansion. There was food in several of the rooms (numbering 33 rooms!) and dancing in the ballroom with a lovely young group of jazz musicians.

I was the last to leave as is usually the case. Perhaps I felt a bit like Cinderella at the ball? I worked very hard on this show and then it was over just like that!

I did not leave my glass slipper behind though, I am still wearing it...for good luck, of course!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

An invitation to Brookside Mansion in Fort Wayne, Indiana...

Brookside Mansion in Fort Wayne, Indiana

You are cordially invited to my show, Sandstone and Scholars, at St. Francis University on Friday evening, November 21st at 6:00. This commissioned piece is a collaboration of Storytelling Arts of Indiana, Indiana Landmarks, and St. Francis College about the history of Brookside Mansion, also known as the Bass Mansion.

I told the story in Indianapolis last March at Indiana Landmarks, and this week I get to tell the story at the home of all the characters...Brookside.

There is no cost to the event which is held in the North Campus Auditorium. This also is the night that Fort Wayne lights the lights for the holidays, so make an entire evening of it and come on out. I would love to see you in the audience!

Lou Ann

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


My dad's birthday slides into my own life this week. My dad would have been 85 on Monday. I miss him every day as you know from my writings.

I turn on the lovely red lamp over my piano to play a tune or two, and I think of him. I pick up my Edgar Allan Poe book, and I think of him. I hear Tchaikovsky, and I think of him. I teach a class, and I think of him. 

My amazement at these memories grows stronger as I grow older. How is it that his influence still nurtures my life? And, for the most part, we spent our grown up lives apart from one another.

It gives me great cause to think of my own children and wondering what they will remember five years after my own death? Will poems and stories surface for them? Will something catch their eye such as a sunset or a sunrise, and they will think of me?

Well, it is something to ponder for all of us. How is it for you? How do your memories hold up from those you have loved and lost?

Until tomorrow.

Lou Ann

Matthew and Jonah listening to my stories by lantern light.

Monday, November 10, 2014

You can feel the AHS band show down to your belly...

The beauty of living in a small town is that you know most of the folks...the kids...the events.

This past weekend our Angola High School Marching Band went to state competition. On Saturday morning our mound was full of those wishing them well. Today's blog features this week's column about our band, a short video, and a couple of photos.

As always, enjoy, and just click on the above link.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Extra, extra read all about mail just arrived!

I love to get mail...the old-fashioned kind...actually in the mail! The other day I received two letters in an envelope with no return address or name. The postmark said Cincinnati, but there were no other hints.

I would like to thank both Braydon and Michael for their letters. If you are related to them, please thank them for me.

In case you can't read Braydon's letter, I will translate it here!

Dear Lou Ann Homan,
Thank you for telling us those stories. It was an honor for you. I like those stories. Thank you. I like your stories. I think your last one was the best.
from Braydon Archer

I think Braydon is right, it is an honor for me to tell stories!

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Once upon a time there was a lovely old purple house....

This past Autumn was quite fun on my little Homestead. I decided this old house needed an update in the paint department.

A few years ago I had the siding all taken off. I can't tell you what it was exactly, but it was something like a compressed cardboard. I wanted to showcase the original siding. Most of it was still in good shape with only a few repairs. It was then painted a sweet lavender with yellow and pink trim. I did love the colors, although time was not kind to the old house. The paint began to peel, the colors began to fade so something needed to be done.

When I performed in the IndyFringe last August, I noticed a lovely house next door to the Phoenix Theatre. I loved the colors and took photos sending them to my friend, neighbor, artist colleague, and house restorer, Lee. He kept getting these cryptic messages with a partial from porch or a window. I thought he knew exactly what I meant, but he did not.

When I returned home this fall we headed to the paint store to match up the little photos. We had the most trouble with the turquoise having to change it many times. Gutters also had to be purchased and some new windows. 

But now here we are with a lovely bold house in my neighborhood. Did anyone say artistic??

Enjoy the photos. I do love the house.

The House at White Picket Gardens

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Don't forget to vote!!

Dear Friends,

Here we are at voting day? It seems as if the campaigns have been long, but for those of us who have been working at HQ, campaigning for friends, and listening to dialog, it has come too quickly.

Please take time to vote today, and if you are hesitant, please read this week's column that I published on Sunday. Voting is our right, our responsibility, and our duty.

Good luck to all my friends who are running for office. It has been quite the whirlwind this year. I have loved it all!

Now off to the polls and then to HQ for all the last minute details!

Lou Ann

Monday, November 03, 2014

Poe Night at Trine University

My students were wonderful last week at Poe Night. It was great fun watching them rehearse, getting on their make-up, and taking to the stage. I promised them a blog full of photos so here they are. I think all of you will enjoy them as well!

My speech class only has two girls that is why you will notice so many young men. My daughter-in-law, Karen, did all the make up. All the students were good sports over that! So, I will just post some photos for you to peruse. We had a full night and had to turn some folks away!!


Poe Night at Trine University

Photo by Justin Young

Photo by Justin Young

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Women fought long, hard for right to vote...

Here is the link to this week's column. It is an important column to read and even more important to vote on Tuesday! Just click on the above link. As always, thank you for reading!

I took this photo at dusk of our civil war monument in Angola, Indiana.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Poe Night!

Tonight is my third annual Edgar Allan Poe Night concert at Trine University. It started as a small event in just one of my classes. Now it is a Chat event (which means the students get credit for attending a cultural event). Tonight we will have a make up artist coming in early for our make up, refreshments following the show, and specific stage lighting. The students have many special effects as well inside the performance.

We will feature "Annabelle Lee", "The Raven", and "The Masquerade of the Red Death" just to name a few.

If you are around our area, please stop by. The show begins at 7 bells in the Wells Theatre in Taylor Hall. It will be entertaining and beguiling. Hope to see everyone there for Poe Night!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy haunting: A witch, brooms, herbs...

Finally I am getting around to posting this week's column.

It was great fun to write, and I hope it is great fun to read as well!! Just click on the above link and it will take you right to the story!

The photos are of my back porch and my front stoop. They will make perfect sense after you read the story.

As always, thank you for supporting my work. I appreciate you.

Back porch...notice broom.

Front stoop,..notice broom.

Happy Hauntings!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A bit of Shakespeare and Storytelling

This weekend is going to be great weather and the perfect weekend for Autumn events. On Friday, the Fremont Public Library will be hosting their annual Pumpkin Trail from 3:30-6:30. I will be inside telling stories by the fire. This event is for your young children, and make sure they go in costumes!

On Saturday evening Steve Etheridge and I will be sharing our ghost tails at Pokagon State Park. The event begins with children's stories at 6:30 and then adult stories at 8:00. This will be held in the pavilion so dress warmly! 

Here is a photo of me telling stories at Crown Hill a couple weeks ago, compliments of Storytelling Arts of Indiana.

This is at Crown Hill Cemetery in the tent.

I just had to add this bit from William Shakespeare. I mean, what is Halloween without the witch's chant? See you this weekend!

       1 WITCH.  Round about the caldron go;
       Toad, that under cold stone, 
In the poisoned entrails throw.— 
    Days and nights has thirty-one; 
    Swelter'd venom sleeping got, 
    Boil thou first i' the charmed pot! 
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 
       2 WITCH.  Fillet of a fenny snake, 
    In the caldron boil and bake; 
    Eye of newt, and toe of frog, 
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, 
    Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting, 
    Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,— 
    For a charm of powerful trouble, 
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 

Act IV Scene I

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Scuffling along in the leaves with Rose Fyleman.

My back yard at the White Picket Gardens.

Dear Friends,

Here we are in the deepest part of October. On this days of bright blue sky and sunshine, I can hardly stay inside, although there are tasks to do.

My bike and the trails call me, almost by my name, as I wander around this town and local farms. I think October makes us feel alive in every way. I love waking up to the early morning darkness, putting on wool socks, and tumbling my way downstairs to hot coffee and the beginning of the day.

When my children were young I always read this poem to them during October. Now I read it to the grandchildren. They must have a poem in their pocket as well.

This is one of my favorites, October, by Rose Fyleman.

Fyleman was an English writer and poet. She published her first poem at the age of nine, but pursued her love of music until she was in her forties. She then went verses from There are fairies in the bottom of the garden to Punch magazine and a star was born. Perhaps her name does not surface as does Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but nonetheless, when October comes, her name is whispered in the early morning frost.


The summer is over,
The trees are all bare,
There is mist in the garden
And frost in the air.
The meadows are empty
And gathered the sheaves--
But isn't it lovely
Kicking up leaves!

John from the garden
Has taken the chairs;
It's dark in the evening
And cold on the stairs.
Winter is coming
And everyone grieves--
But isn't it lovely
Kicking up leaves!

by Rose Fyleman

Monday, October 20, 2014

This is a fun time of year to study our town - KPCNews: Kpcnews

Steuben County War Memorial
I took this photo one evening at dusk.

As always, here is the link to this week's column. It is a combination of our county read, The Monuments Men, my teaching at Trine, and our first Architectural Tour.

As a post note to the story, we had a wonderful turn out for the tour. It was cold and brisk and a hint of rain, but folks came out to hear the stories. I was able to tell the story of our Steuben County War Memorial monument.

Thanks to all who came out, and look for another tour in the future.

Just click on the above KPC site for the whole story. Let me know your favorite piece of art or monument!

Until tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Architectural Tour in my Hometown!

Come on out to our first Architectural Tour!

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 18th marks the first Architectural Tour for my Hometown. This will be a walking tour through Angola's Historic Commercial District listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Here are a few facts for you even before the tour starts!

*The Steuben County Court House was styled after Boston's Faneuil Hall. It was completed in June of 1868 at the cost of $27,000.

*Silas Doty, a well known horse thief, spent time in our jail built in 1839. Originally it was a 12 x 12 feet square of Hewed logs closely bound together. By the way, Doty escaped at least twice.

*The Croxton Opera House was built in 1890. The first floor was built for shops and the second floor for entertainment. In 1901 Sara Bernhardt and Lionel Barrymore performed. Booker T. Washington spoke there in 1899.

*Our crowning jewel of the county is the Steuben County Soldiers' Monument. It was built in 1917 and represents the memory of the 1,285 soldiers from Steuben County who fought in the Civil War.

There are many more sites on the tour, but I just wanted to give you a sampling of the stories.

I am so excited to be part of this event. I hope to see you on Saturday at 10:00!

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Short Story

I was invited to a party following the ghost stories at Crown Hill Cemetery last week. I am not one to turn down an event, even if it starts at 11:00!

I was one of the last to leave the storytelling tent as I was chatting away with friends and other storytellers. Finally I picked up all my things (bag, blanket, cape, etc.) and meandered back to my Jeep. Most of the cars were gone by then which made it a bit eerie, but there were a few folks leaving late like me. The lights in the tent were still on as the sound man was wrapping things up.

I put the new address into the GPS, situated myself in the Jeep, and followed the clear instructions. "Turn left. Take a right. Turn left. Turn left.") etc. 

I trust my GPS. I need my GPS, but on that night I don't believe it knew it was nearing the midnight hour as my Jeep continued weaving around the curvy roads of the cemetery. I reached a gate, however, it was chained and locked.

Now I know there are several entrances to the cemetery as it is so large. There are over thirty miles of roads with the 200,000 folks calling it "home". 

I started over and ended up at the same gate. Now I began to panic. I locked the doors (?) and started to look for the storytelling tent. It was as if it vanished. I drove around with headlights glaring on tombstones and old trees. Where was that tent? How will I get out of here?

After 15 minutes I finally found the storytelling tent and there was one last truck beginning to leave. Quickly I followed that vehicle and made my way to the front entrance and out on to the streets.

I was thinking if I didn't find my way out, I would have to call 911. But how to explain that one?  Hmmm... I got to the party a bit late.

All in all, I now have another good story to tell.

Monday, October 13, 2014

In search of the poetry of the Great Pumpkin - KPCNews: Kpcnews

Here is the link to this week's column. As always, thank you for reading! Just click on the above link.

Matthew is waiting for the Great Pumpkin!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Coming Home!

After a lovely weekend in Indy, I drove home this morning following a trail of color. It really can't be more beautiful in Northern Indiana than it is right now. After I left the interstate, I took the back road into town. I took a short hike and this short video.

The falling leaves seemed to whisper....welcome home.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Storytelling at Crown Hill Cemetery

Storytelling Saturday Night at Crown Hill Cemetery, 7:30

This weekend I am traveling to Indianapolis for several events. One of my favorite theatre productions is "Cabaret Poe" which is this evening. I attended last year as well and just had to go again!

The entire evening is dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe. The event is held at the Indiana Repertory Theatre and presented by Q Artistry. Take a look!

On Saturday I will be telling stories at Chocolate Fest which will be held on the Indiana State Fairgrounds this year. Come on out and join us; the chocolate is divine and so are all the performers from Arts for Learning.

And finally, Storytelling Arts along with the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation and Lew  & Knappes will be sponsoring ghost stories at Crown Hill Cemetery.

Crown Hill Cemetery holds more than 200,000 souls. When it was dedicated Senator Albert S. White said of the cemetery would be for "the rich and the poor, the proud and the humble, alike may enter here." It was established in 1863. The cemetery holds remains of such folks as John Dillinger,  James Whitcomb Riley and Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States.

A reception will be held in the Gothic Chapel (above) before the storytelling event!  Hope to see you all somewhere in Indy this weekend.

Until tomorrow.