Sunday, September 28, 2014

Times change, but Autumn festival lives on...

 Yesterday I told Sister Suffragette stories on the square at Autumn in Angola.
Photo courtesy of John Mowry

 It has been a great weekend in Angola with Autumn in Angola. I was out and about all day yesterday with stories and other events. I traveled on my bike from one venue to the other. Today I will spend the afternoon at the Civil War battle of the Crater. (I heard the Confederates won!)

Last night was the yearly square dance out at Pokagon under the stars. It was the perfect night for dancing. I was the last one to leave, as usual!

If you haven't been out, there is still lots of time. Support your own hometown. Festivals are abundant this time of year.

Today's column is just a click away on the above site. It is for my children...Adam, Aaron and Abe.

As always, enjoy, and thank you for reading.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Dance of Time

The Dance of Time by Michael Judge

Today was just one of those days for lollygagging, although I was not able to partake in that. The weather is so perfect here in northern Indiana...extreme perfect.
There was a heavy dew when I took my bike out of the garage this morning for school. The past couple of weeks I am noticing a bit of scrarlet color here or tangerine there...Autumn is coming in the door, and I am happy to welcome her.
School is a miriad of events for me...the challenge of teaching these college students is mixed with the challenge of getting to know them. How to make them laugh? How to make them cry? Or actually feel life or death?
Our study in the "Monuments Men" continues as we think about art and history. My job is to bring it alive for them and to help them realize these events all happened...these men and women all lived.
When I came home this afternoon, I found this book on my table. I use it often, but usually put it back on the shelf. I sat down in my old chair, turned on the lamp and the book fell open to this quote:
"We close our eyes and go spinning back to those old haunted folks, the happy-sad bittersweet drunk Octobers. What needs to be discharged is the intolerable tenderness of the past, the past gone, and grieved over and never made sense of."
Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thank you for helping me reach 100,000 page views!!

Photo by Bill Eyster

So, here we are reaching 100,000 page views! When I first started my blog it seemed as if 100,000 page views would never be possible, but here we are.
The journey has been long and full of surprises...we have traveled around the world on this blog...there have been family births and deaths...there have been injuries and recoveries on this blog.
You have listened to me tell stories and share photos. We have tried recipes, cried tears, and danced for joy.

You have watched my videos (my favorite is still the interview with the squirrel), listened to me recite poetry and share my favorite authors.
Thank you to all of you. This is an exciting moment for me.
So, until tomorrow when we begin again,
Lou Ann

Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumn's Arrival

Welcome Autumn with a campfire.

Tonight she, Autumn, arrives. I love the first day of Autumn so much. It holds so many sounds and smells and memories of years gone by and the current one as well. My house smells of pumpkins and apples and drying lavender.

Autumn arrives tonight at 10:29 E.S.T. I am hosting a campfire at that time for anyone who wants to meander by. Please bring a story, a poem, a song, or we can just sit in silence letting the air and the fire do the storytelling.

All who arrive will be handed a warm mug of mulled cider fresh from our local orchard. If you can't make it to my campfire, please have one of your own.

Raise your glass high...
to Autumn.

Downtown event was about community, really.

This week's column is about the cruise-in last week in my hometown. I already posted a photo in my gallery last week, but today I offer my column and a short video. Just click on the above KPC link for the column and the video is below.
As always, thank you for reading. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Mound in Angola, Indiana...

The Mound or the circle in my hometown.

Last night was our second annual cruise in. It was great fun last year and well attended, but last night was spectacular.

First of all the Mound was closed off on all four quadrants to all traffic. Everyone was free to walk or bike or lollygag in the center of town. There was live music playing music from the 60's, of course.

I spent the afternoon helping get the Democratic headquarters ready for evening traffic. It will be an exciting time in my hometown for local politics this November.

Another friend from the newspaper, Tyler, was out and about with his camera and he asked me if there was anyway I could get him up to the third floor for a photo. 

"Of course," I answered. Within minutes we were climbing two sets of stairs, meandering around boxes and sleeping bats over to the windows. Maria's son held the window open so we could take photos. We took turns hanging out of the window.

The above photo was my favorite shot of the evening. It has been shared all over Facebook, but possibly we don't know each other through Facebook so here is your photo.

It was a wonderful night of community, friends, music, and a glimpse into small town America. Thanks to the City of Angola for providing us with such a wonderful evening.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Johnny Appleseed Festival

I took this photo last year at the Johnny Appleseed Festival.

This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is a spectacular event for the entire family.

Here are a few of the activities...just a few: apple pie baking contest, battle of the bands, demonstrators' encampment, Settlers' pioneer village and country store, traders' market, living history area, farmers' market and so much more.

Johnny Appleseed, also known as John Chapman will be there meandering the grounds. I will be telling stories on the River Stage on Saturday at 2:00 and again on Sunday at 11:30.

This is a family event and admission is free. Come spend the day, take photos, eat apple dumplings, listen to the pipers, and enjoy welcoming Autumn back as northern Indiana celebrates the life of Johnny Appleseed.

Monday, September 15, 2014

An invitation to visit with Michael Czarnecki...

Michael Czarnecki

This Saturday evening, September 20, I will be hosting a house concert for Michael Czarnecki. Michael is a poet, a storyteller, and a traveler. He comes to us from New York state.

I first met Michael at the Angola Carnegie Library last year when I attended one of his readings. I loved his work and invited him back to Indiana where I said I would host a house concert for him. I am excited to say he took me up on the offer and will be visiting this Saturday night.

The event will begin at 6:00 with a potluck supper. We will have the readings around the campfire unless it is too cold. If so, we will meander into this old house for the readings.

Please bring a passing dish and a lawn chair. If you are coming from out of town, let me know as I still have a few beds left!

Everyone is welcome. Let's fill up the house and the yard as we listen to Michael's poetry and welcome Autumn.

Lou Ann

Sunday, September 14, 2014

More to draw from bees than honey...

Please click on the above site for this week's column.

On Wednesday I spent the day with Terry Dalrymple, our local beekeeper. It was a wonderful rainy morning, and I loved learning even more about bees and the properties of honey.

The photos were taken that morning as well as the video of honey extraction. The above column is culmination of the morning. Just click on the KPC News site on the top of this page.

As always, I thank you for reading my stories. Perhaps you will learn something about bees you didn't know before! Enjoy.

Terry is showing me the bee's wax on top of the honey in the frame.

Ray and Terry are getting ready to extract the honey from the frames. 

As I said in my column, there were hundreds of bees in the honey barn. All were docile.

Final product. Raw honey from your local grower! Beautiful.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Acres Land Trust and Aldo Leopold

I took this photo on a recent hike in Indiana.

Aldo Leopold, author of A Sand County Almanac, once said, "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

These words were echoed by Jim Barrett, founding member of ACRES in Indiana. 

It is that time of year that I take to the land even more so than in summer. The cool winds of Autumn blow over me  so it is now time to close my windows, take in the porch furniture, and cause a bit of a stir in the kitchen department.

But I also put on my hiking boots and head outside to heed the call of geese beginning their flights south, to catch the first of the scarlet leaves appearing on the trees, and to feel alive again in our soul and under our skin.

Don't miss out wherever you live. Take to the forests or the hills or the sea...and let the rhythm of Autumn carry you into a more peaceful existence.

ACRES Land Trust has published a wonderful book, Preserve Guide, featuring more than 4,450 acres within 68 nature preserves in Indiana. Perhaps that is even out of date by now. For your own guide and more information, please note the following:

ACRES Land Trust
1802 Chapman Road
Huntertown, Indiana 46748
Phone: 260-637-2273

Until tomorrow.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Indiana corn field in the rain and poet, Norbert Krapf.

I took this photo yesterday while meandering out in the country in the rain.

"Be glad for moisture
hanging above
and beaded below,
for the color gray
in the sky,
for flat land where
corn and soybean touch
and stretch to a copse 
of spectral trees
on the horizon."

Poet Norbert Krapf

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gerard Manley Hopkins and the beginning of the school year.

Photo by Ken Oguss

I have been reading Gerard Manley Hopkins this week. Perhaps I pulled out his book of poetry because of a few scarlet leaves popping out in the trees or perhaps because I have just finished reading the first round of essays from my college freshmen.

Gerard Manley Hopkins was born in England in 1884, the first of nine children. He won his first poetry prize in grammar school and went on to study theology in Northern Wales in 1874. While in Wales he learned to adapt the Welsh rhythm of poetry to his own work. He worked in the clergy for a short time and then took a position in Dublin as Professor of Greek and Latin at the University.

While grading exams (five or six a year, over 500 pages of grueling student essays), he found the writing of the students so poor, so discouraging, that he fell into a deep depression.

He died of typhoid fever in 1889 without ever having been published.

No, I am not in a deep depression over the essays. I believe I look at their work as a challenge to me as their professor and mentor to help them find the core of their own writing and possibly enjoy it as the semester unfolds.

I begin each class with a poem. It is so silent in the classroom when I read. Everyone needs poetry and is good there are those among us who provide that experience.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Tonight's Harvest Moon Photo

September's Harvest Moon. Photo by Bill Eyster

This photo was taken this evening by my friend, Bill Eyster, here in Angola, Indiana. Bill is a wonderful photographer and captured the essence of the moon.

I celebrated, of course, with a full moon campfire and poetry reading. It was a spectacular evening watching the moon come up over the trees in my town.

I hope you had the opportunity to share in this lovely moment as well. So, sleep well, my friends and to my man in the moon, keep watch.

Until tomorrow.

Sage Advice

My garden sage.

~"Why should a man die whilst sage grows in his garden?"
   ~"He that would live for aye, Must eat sage in May"
                                                        (English Proverbs)

Working in my garden this past weekend has been such a delight. With the cool September air swirling in, I was able to wear my old sweatshirt and pull the wheelbarrow out of the shed. I mowed and trimmed and weeded and by day's end I built a fire under the almost full moon. It was a lovely way to spend a quiet Sunday. 

My garden sage is perfect this year. Growing garden sage is easy. You must give it a try next spring. Hopefully with a little mulching, this plant will survive our harsh winter and surprise me in the spring. I hope your weekend was full of gardening as well. 

Sage is said to bring tranquility and peace to your home...not a bad thing for a small plant!

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Orion helps usher in celebration of the harvest - KPCNews...

Hello Everyone,
Here is the link to this week's column. As always thank you for reading!
Enjoy, and don't forget to check out the early morning sky.

Until Monday.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Orion, Mighty Hunter

As we head into the Autumn months my own heart takes quite a leap. It is my favorite season of the year, and it feels as if instead of decaying and dying, everything is alive...with scents and color and sounds like no other month.

I love getting up early and being greeted in the early dawn by the constellation Orion, Mighty Hunter. I love hearing our marching band practice just as the sun is coming up over the town. The gardens are lazy as are the evenings with crickets claiming territory through the darkness. Welcome Autumn.

Here is the Earth/Sky pattern of Orion. Enjoy your coffee on these stellar mornings.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Northern Indiana Blue Grass Festival

Labor Day weekend came in to Northern Indiana with a bit of higher heat than normal and humidity. The skies threatened a few times, but there were so many activities that nothing could stop the festival goers.

For the car lovers there is the annual Cord Duesenberg Festival in Auburn, Indiana. It is a spectacular event and draws thousands of folks from around the globe. I love to go and enjoy the cars, the food, and people watch. Last year we took Jonah to the festival for his birthday.

This year (as in all years) I attended the Northern Indiana Blue Grass Festival on Sunday. This festival attracts a different crowd every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

This weekend my favorite group was the Stockdale Family from southern Ohio. The group consisted of a dad and his four sons...most of them are grown up. They were absolutely delightful and we were all on our foot before the last song was over! The fiddle player is the Ohio National Champion Fiddle Player!

During the break we walked around the grounds listening to music, sampling barbecue, and meeting folks. I met a great gypsy couple from California. They were touching up their gypsy wagon with paint when we arrived. They are bookmakers and travel the United States in their wagon making books and giving ukulele lessons. I only wished I would have had my new ukulele with me at the time.

It was a great day exploring more blue grass music.

Here are a couple photos from the gypsy wagon. Enjoy. Until tomorrow.

The inside was hand crafted with beds and as beautiful.

These lovely angels adorned each corner.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Rick Lee, a true musical talent, passes on - KPCNews: Kpcnews

I met Rick Lee on Ocracoke Island at the Music and Storytelling Festival. He was always one of my favorite performers. He introduced me to the song, Follow the Heron Home, by Karine Polwart.

Every time I was at the festival Rick Lee would sing that song to me. I will miss him very much. I thought the least I could do was write a column about him and share him with all of you.

Please take a few moments to read the above column. I found this photo on Facebook and the piano piece is from Common Ground in Scotland. The piece is a bit long, so play it when you are writing a letter or just in need of meditation.

We all know when we share songs and stories we keep memories alive. Rick Lee, thank you for all your music. You will be missed by so many.

Until tomorrow.

Rick Lee