Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year Celebration in Amsterdam

Today is Chinese New Year and is the celebration of the year of the horse.
I found this photo of the dragon on the web in celebration in Amsterdam.

I started celebrating Chinese New Year when I became a host family for Mengting. We were together for four years before she moved on to Notre Dame. Mengting became a part of our family in every way. We taught her our American customs, and she her Chinese heritage.

This year is no exception to the celebration. We will all wear red, share each other's cooking, play Chinese New Year games and send off a small lantern into the night to end the celebration. Karen is hosting the party this year, all I have to do is figure out a way to get there!

So. wear a little red on this day, and perhaps give a salutation to your friends, "Happy Chinese New Year!" 

Until tomorrow,

Lou Ann

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

And so January continues...

Photo courtesy of the Angola Sheriff's Department

My winter photos have become common place now. They also have become common place with you as well. I love this one in particular as it really shows how vulnerable we are to weather, especially winter this year.

I have also, of course, been watching winter slide across America through photos on Facebook and the news. We complain. We groan. We wish for Spring, but in our heart of hearts do we love what we cannot control?

We are in charge of so many things in our life. I have always enjoyed the fact that weather still happens and we must live in the middle of it.

If you have a photo you would like for me to share this January, please send it on to my email address:

Since I am not out and about I would love to share your photos this winter.

Until tomorrow,

Lou Ann

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Storyteller Remembers Pete Seeger

Dear Friends,
I have been wondering today how we live without Pete Seeger in our lives? He was the inspiration for our hippie days, our homesteading days and our current lives in the face of politics and art. He knew how to bring community to all who gathered at his feet or around the record player.
A few years ago I had the privilege of hearing him perform at the National Storytelling Conference in Jonesboro, Tennessee. He was to do the gospel sing on Sunday morning under one of the largest tents. Ellen Munds and I got up extra early to make sure we had good seats. It was a cold morning with frost on the ground, but a lovely sunrise.
And there he was...Pete Seeger. I think I began to cry at the beginning of his show. He sang all of our favorites and everyone sang as well. At the end we sang acapella, Amazing Grace. By then everyone was standing and weeping all at the same time.
I will never forget that experience.
Thank you Pete Seeger for all you gave us. I can't help but weep now as I write.
Good night to Pete and farewell to one of America's greatest musicians, activists and human beings.
Until tomorrow,
Lou Ann

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Icy mishap leads to quite the lifestyle change -

Icy mishap leads to quite the lifestyle change - KPCNews: Kpcnews

Dear Friends,

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

Lou Ann

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Eridanus the River


Eridanus the River from "EarthSky"

A week passes and the blog goes untouched.

The story: Last Thursday afternoon I slid on a patch of ice. This slide resulted in the breaking of three bones in my ankle and a trip to the surgery department at Lutheran Hospital on Friday morning. Needless to say, the world again goes into topsy turvy mode and everything changes. 

My cast is the size of a watermelon, but not quite so colorful. Each day that passes brings folks to my house with gifts and stories. Could this be like the Magi?

Today's blog is a view of the constellation Eridanus the River. This can be followed from Orion. This constellation is not able to be viewed from the city or even the suburbs. It is visible in the darkest of nights. I chose this because possibly our best work, our best person is visible in the darkest of nights as well.

I have had these dark feelings for a week while beginning the recuperation process, depending on others, and watching the world from my small perspective. It is during these times we can see Eridanus the River.

The next few weeks my blog will be filled of stories from those who visit, poetry from friends, and photos from other cameras. I might even lift interesting tidbits from past blogs.

Until tomorrow, try to find the darkest of skies to view Eridanus,

Lou Ann 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tonight's rising of the Wolf Moon..

The Wolf Moon compliments of Earth and Sky

Tonight is the rising of the Wolf Moon. It was named the Wolf Moon by the Native Americans in northern and eastern United States. By this time in the winter, food supplies were scarce and the wolves would often circle these villages and howl during the night. I must say that I would find it difficult to sleep if there was howling around my old house!

It has also been know as the Old Moon or Moon After Yule. This January full moon will appear to be the smallest in size to the viewing audience.

If you live in my area, tomorrow evening, January 16, you can join me and others at Wing Haven Nature Preserve for a celebration of this full moon and a hike down to Little Gentian Lake. The event sponsored by Acres Land Trust,  begins at 7 and will conclude by 9. Please dress warmly as the temperatures will be in the single digits by tomorrow evening.

No matter where you are please enjoy the Wolf Moon this evening.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Suddenly the sky turned gray,..."

Indiana photo by Rachael Link

The snowfall in Indiana last week produced many photos on Facebook. As much as folks complain about the cold and snow, it is also the topic of conversation and photographs.

Rachael lives out in the country and just happened to snap this photo of the barn on her property. As you can see there are no footsteps towards the barn and the large bush is in the way of chores as well. I have to wonder about the farmer or farmers who once lived there bracing the winter weather to milk the cows, feed the pigs, scatter grain for the chickens and help with the lambing. 

The photo brought the poet, Melville Cane, to mind immediately. Cane was schooled at Columbia University as an attorney and worked in legal copyright. He died in 1980 just a few days short of 100 years old.

I hope I won't be in trouble to copy his poem here. Melville, I give you all the credit and my readers will love it!

Snow Towards Evening

"Suddenly the sky turned gray,
The day,
Which had been bitter and chill,
Grew soft and still.
From some invisible blossoming tree
Millions of petals cool and white
Drifted and blew,
Lifted and flew,
Fell with the falling night."

Melville Cane

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Settling back into Indiana life, just in the nick of time...

Settling back into Indiana life, just in the nick of time - KPCNews: Kpcnews

Dear Folks,

Here is the link to this week's column. As always, I appreciate your reading. I have made some changes to my Blog; I hope you enjoy them as well.

Until tomorrow,

Lou Ann

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Burning the Christmas Greens"

My Christmas tree with the candles lit.
Dear Friends,

During this week of the Polar Vortex storm, I took down my Christmas tree. I think nothing is as forlorn as taking down a tree. It only matches the uplifting joy of putting up the greens.

As most of you know I decorate my tree with candles as well. This is a long standing German tradition that I brought home with me from my stay in Germany years ago.

However returning home this week, I found my tree was shedding its share of needles and needed to be taken down. Candle by candle....trinket by trinket...went back into the box.

I was hoping someone would brave the blizzard winds to come over and help me haul it out, but in the end I did it myself. I usually carry my tree out to the bird feeders to act as a buffer. This year I didn't quite make it that far with the deepening snow. I will get it there sometime this weekend, stand it up tall, and let birds rest upon its branches during the duration of winter.

When I lived on the farm I cut up the branches and placed them on my herb beds for protection from the winter winds. Those beds were up on a hill and received much bitter cold.

My poet friend, Norbert Krapf, told me about the poem, "Burning the Christmas Greens" by William Carlos Williams. I am sharing a link to the poem at the bottom of this post. Please listen to it as well. I love it, and it is a new poem to me.

Just as a thought, once when living on the farm we did burn the greens in the woodstove. I am surprised we did not burn down the farm house! (At least not then, but that is another story!)

Until tomorrow,
Lou Ann

Friday, January 10, 2014

Another view...

Here is a view of downtown Angola. Thanks again to Jim.

Another view of the downtown.

Here are a couple more photos. These are from the downtown area. I drove through town yesterday, and it was strange peering out from these drifts looking for traffic. I understand the snow was hauled away during the night to an unknown destination. 

Today the schools are closed for freezing fog. Interesting weather we are having in this part of the country. Rain is expected for the weekend which will flood all areas, of course.

In the meantime, there are books to be read, cupboards to clean, and stories to write.

Until tomorrow,

Lou Ann

Thursday, January 09, 2014

A ribbon of snow...

Photo by Jim Measel

This photo was taken by Jim Measel, news director for WLKI. He was the first to make it back to work on Monday morning. This is our main highway into town, Route 27. As you can see it is completely silent and void of traffic and folks out and about.

As for out and about? Schools, businesses, libraries, etc. have been closed all week. The storm left mounds of snow, and bitter cold temperatures in its wake. We are beginning to thaw and check on one another once again.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Storm of 2014

Just a few photos from the Storm of 2014

My street

My backyard

My front yard crab apple trees

Karen and Aaron's House

The House at White Picket Gardens

My street again.

These photos were taken on Sunday morning as the snow began to fall. It was still warm outside, in the low 30's, and all the neighbors were outside shoveling away last week's snow in preparation for what was to come. 

I have not been out to take photos since then because of the cold, but we are now up to zero so I guess it is time to venture out and see the world. We have been under a code red since Sunday late evening. All schools, offices, etc., have been closed since then. There still is no school for all the students here in this part of the country. I think tomorrow we will begin to open our doors once more. It has been a fun time with family and friends with dinners and games in the evenings. No one is in a hurry to go to bed or even get up early. Hope all are well and healthy where you are living.

Until tomorrow, 
Lou Ann

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year's Eve sunset at Southpoint on Ocracoke Island with Lou Ann Homan.

Dear Friends,

We come to yet the ending and beginning of another year. The New Year usually means so much to folks...losing old habits, gaining new ones. For myself, how many times have I made the resolution to lose ten pounds!

It is good we think we can change and make ourselves better, and I believe these resolutions do indeed come with good faith!

This week has been a lazy one on Ocracoke Island. It is nice to lie fallow at times as in winter fields. Some time has been spent on reading, other time on movies, beach walking and in search of the Snowy Owl. (Photo tomorrow!!)

Wishing you health and happiness is in my thoughts for you. Take care, dear readers, thank you for finding my photos and my words of interest to you.

Today's blog will end with a poem, of course! This is in the original Scottish form as written by Robert Burns.

Until tomorrow,

Lou Ann
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And never brought to mind? 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And auld lang syne! 

Chorus - For auld land syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne, 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne. 

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp! 
And surely I'll be mine! 
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne. 


We twa hae run about the braes, 
And pou'd the gowans fine; 
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit 
Sin' auld lang syne. 


We twa hae paidl'd in the burn, 
Frae morning sun till dine; 
But seas between us briad hae roar'd 
Sin' auld lang syne. 


And there's a hand, my trusty fere! 
And gie's a hand o' thine! 
And we'll tak' a right gude-willie waught, 
For auld lang syne.