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!

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.

Farewell, November!

  Elizabeth Coatsworth once wrote, “November comes, and November goes with the last red berries and the first white snows…” We are certainly...